After The Storm:Confidence
Original concept by Cattrina
Before The Storm
As a young girl Samantha was shy and homely and a little awkward around people. The school bullies took her as a target and the teen years were like hell for Samantha. Secretly she dreamed one day getting her revenge. She did not have many friends, and the ones who she thought were, never felt quite the same way about her. Things changed drastically when she discovered LARPING and the role playing community. She had a real knack for acting and all her insecurities vanished when she was 'in someone else's skin'. Years doing that and all the props and equipment taught her many invaluable skills in life. Being real nerd Samantha was self-taught in technical things, which eventually lead her mother Lucy to suggest she'd get a real degree in IT, which she did
Samantha had worked in the [insert local phone company name here] for six years as an IT-support specialist. She had been happy with her job and really proud of what she did. Being really handy and creative she managed to solve most problems others would deem a lost cause.
Samantha was sent to fix a communications network at a local medical research lab when the storm hit. She was never too keen to go there, because they did animal testing and she felt sorry for the poor critters. This time, however the lab was filled with hissing noises and various clicks and rattles.
'Do not worry, Sam' said Greg the lab technician, 'they are all safe and secure inside glass terrariums, they can't poison you' 'You mean they have their venom sacks intact???' Samantha gasped. 'what on earth are you testing?'. Samantha knew quite well Greg could not answer her, all the research in the lab was top secret. It made her feel like a secret agent, coming here through all the security checkups. 'Never mind, where's the culprit this time?'. Greg took her to the cooled cabin at the back of the lab, where the terrariums were. 'Keeping the reptiles calm and the computer array cooled', Sam thought to herself, 'who doesn't like a good win-win?'. And at the exact moment The Storm hit. The electronics burst with sparks, the ceiling lamp exploded, fell down and hit Greg in the head, he crashed on top of a cage full with mice. The animals panicked as the cage was shoved over the edge and they scattered every which way. That is the last thing Samantha remembers.
After the Storm
She woke up to sharp pain, everywhere ached. It was really dark and hard to see. Some of the glass terrariums must have been broken and the floor was a moving mass of glass and hissing snakes, She bled, was she bitten? How venomous these snakes were? She felt fine, little drowsy, but otherwise fine. She felt her way towards the door and found Greg, or what was left of him. Samantha gasped and was glad she could not see. Her imagination was vivid enough. She crawled out of the cooled room to blue emergency light. Some of the ceiling lamps were fallen here too and precious lab equipment broken. The lamps remaining were glowing ominously with blue sparks swimming inside the tubes. 'That´s not normal' she said aloud to herself and then she noticed the entire lab was empty of people. 'nononononononononooo they have evacuated without me!' she yelped and ran to the door to only confirm what she was afraid of: the emergency shut down was at play.
'Calm down sissy' she told herself 'you are a smart girl and you have watched every episode of McGyver, four times no less! You can get yourself out in no time'. She went back to the cooled room to fetch her tool case and opened it under the blue light. 'now that's my girl', she heard her mom say in her head. 'piece of cake'
Originally posted on the IC thread, page 21 post 202 by Potted Plant
Stifling a yawn, Joe Owens attempted to look attentive. Working as security at an electronics store was not a bad job. These days the wage was better than at the bank. It was often terribly dull though. Basically just standing beside the door to deter any thoughts of running out of the store with an unpaid purchase. Today was feeling particularly mind numbing. Perhaps it was the weather. Gray, overcast and chilly. Like it was autumn already.
Joe's day suddenly brightened considerably as a statuesque redhead with a generous cleavage sauntered up the street, heading for the store. Straightening up and pulling in his stomach, he greeted her with "Good afternoon, miss" as she reached the doors.
"You too," the woman replied. "Do you have to greet every customer?"
"No, miss," Joe grinned. "Just the ones who look like that."
"That's what I thought," the woman said with a slight smile. "It takes a bit more than a greeting and a flirt to impress me, though."
"I am not surprised," Joe said as the woman stepped inside the store.
The red headed woman walked to take a look at the newer model cell phones on display under a glass. As she started to frown, a clerk with a pony tail and "Josie" written in her name tag walked up and asked: "Can I help you?" "Only if you can lower the price," the redhead said. "Now that the production lines are running again, one would think that the prices would have gone at least a little bit down."
"The materials remain rationed," Josie explained. "And there is much more demand than supply. Even at these prices the phones get taken off our hands. But if you are looking for cheaper alternatives, we do have a line of recycled cell phones." "Recycled phones? Bah. I could build one myself."
"For real," The redhead said, taking out a somewhat nonstandard looking phone. "That is how I got my current phone."
"Really? Well, in that case, we have some phones we have gotten in exchange. They are in the back room because they were to be sent for recycling. But if you could fix one yourself - would you like to come and take a look?"
"Sure, why not," the redhead said. "Maybe there is one that has more features than my current phone."
The two women walked in the back room. Soon after that, an UPS van stopped outside the store.
A bushy bearded driver wearing sunglasses stepped out, handing Joe a thick envelope and saying: "I have a delivery. Will you sign for it?"
"I was not told that we were expecting a delivery," Joe said, taking a look at the envelope. With his attention on that, he did not notice the driver pull out a taser. The next moment, a jolt of electricity struck Joe's chest. As the guard started to topple, the driver grabbed him and pushed him inside the store. At the same moment, the side door of the van slid open and three armed men in trench coats and commando masks rushed out, following the driver in.
"No one make a sound!" the driver commanded, letting the guard collapse on the floor and replacing the taser with an automatic pistol. "Everyone on the floor now!"
As the frightened staff and customers moved to comply, the driver started issuing orders, scratching his itchy fake beard. "Red, the security station! Destroy the footage. Green, the back room! Make sure no one is there calling the cops. Blue, get the phones!"
"This is not my day," the red headed woman was complaining in the back room. "First the prices are daylight robbery, and now this place is really getting robbed in broad daylight!"
"One of them is coming here!" Josie said, frightened. "What do we do?"
"You hide in the restroom and call the police," the redhead said. "I will deal with the man."
"Go now! Fast!"
As Josie rushed towards the restroom, the redhead grumbled: "A woman's work is never done," and adjusted her cleavage to be a bit more revealing.
As the man code-named Green stepped in the back room, the first thing he saw was an attractive redhead holding her arms up apparently frightened. "Please don't hurt me!" the woman said. "I will do absolutely anything!"
"Anything?" Green leered and stepped closer. "Well, I am a bit in a hurry, but perhaps a little feel..."
"How is this for a feel?" the redhead said and her head snapped forward. Green felt a stinging pain in his neck and attempted to bring his gun up.
"You crazy bitch!" he said. "You bit-"
Green stopped speaking and his gun fell from his nerveless fingers. And not just because he had seen the woman's suddenly long and pointed incisors. It was because his entire body had suddenly gone numb.
As Green collapsed on the floor, the redhead crouched down beside him, saying: "I know what you are thinking. It is true. I am a toxic individual." Patting the man's cheek she grinned and continued: "It is only paralysis, and the amount I injected should not be enough to paralyze your heart or lungs, so you will live." Hearing the sound of shattering glass as Blue was smashing the display cabinets, she said: "I suppose I should see to your friends too."
Picking up Green's machine pistol, the woman looked at the unfamiliar weapon and said: "How do you use these things? I suppose I will be needing a few things from you." Pulling off the man's mask and trench coat, she said: "First, your outfit." After hastily putting the coat on, she crouched down again, touching Green's face, and said: "Second, your voice and looks." Her skin seemed to ripple, and then she looked exactly like the man on the floor. "And third, your skills," she continued in Green's voice, expertly checking the weapon.
A moment later Green stepped from the back room. "What the hell took you so long?" the driver asked.
"What do you think? That I found a pretty girl?" Green said, spreading his arms. "Do you know how many potential hiding places there are back there?"
"Doesn't matter, we are almost done," the driver said. "Help Blue with the cell phones."
"Sure," Green said, stepped next to Blue, and bit him.
"What-" the driver started to say as Blue began to collapse. He was too surprised to react in time as Green then rushed him. The driver only managed to bring an arm up in defense, but the only result was that Green bit him on the arm.
"What the hell is going on?" said Red, who at that moment stepped out from the side door to the security station. He started to bring his gun up, but confused by the situation he hesitated. Green didn't. He leveled his machine pistol and fired a short burst, hitting Red in the thigh and bringing him down.
"You shot me!" Red said holding his wound as Green rushed to retrieve his fallen gun. "God damn it, you shot me!"
"I didn't hit the artery," Green said. "You will survive." Walking to the counter, she put the guns down on it and looked at the man cowering on the floor behind it. "Are you the manager? Will you keep an eye on the guns until the police arrive? Those men should give you no further trouble."
The store manager carefully got up from the floor. "Why- Why did you subdue your friends?"
Green removed his mask. His skin rippled and he turned into the red headed woman. "Because I am not their friend after all."
"You!" the manager said. "The customer from a moment ago."
"Yup," the redhead said, taking off the trench coat. Spotting a brand new phone under shards of glass in a display cabinet, Blue having apparently missed it in a hurry, she picked the phone up and said: "Say, do I get a discount?"
"Lady, you can have that phone," the manager said. "Courtesy of the company."
"Deal," the woman said, pocketing the phone and heading for the doors. "Give my regards to the police. Unfortunately, I need to be elsewhere."
"Who are you?" the manager called out after her.
"I am the Lady with Many Names, but you can call me Hydra" the woman said as she walked out the door.
A pair of teen girls were huddling behind a counter. "Did you see that?" One asked. "It was like she changed her shape or something! And she took out all those men."
"I did more than see," The other girl said, showing her friend her cell phone. "I took her picture. Just her back as she was walking out, but still."
"You should send it to Nakahara," the other girl said. "That woman had to be either one of the protectors or some new vigilante."
Originally posted on the IC thread page 24, post 232
At that moment there is some kind of commotion downstairs in the bar. From the railing that looks down on the floor below the source can be seen. A young lady sitting at a table is loudly explaining to a well-dressed and intoxicated young man next to him: “For the third time: No, I don’t want a drink! I have already got one. And no, I don’t want company either! I came here to have a drink and check my email. So will you please leave me alone and stop looking over my shoulder as I try to log in!”
The scene has caught the attention of the red headed barista, who steps from behind the bar, walks to the table and asks the woman: “Is this guy bothering you?”
“Yes. He actually is.”
“Out you go then,” the bartender says, grabs the man by his neck and belt, hoists him off his feet into a horizontal position, and starts carrying him towards the door.
“Let me go!” the vainly struggling young man says. “Aggravated assault! Aggravated assault!”
“Quit whining,” the bartender says. “If you want to whine about something, how is this: You are banned for two weeks. And if you want to keep coming here after that, never bother the other customers again.”
Reaching the door, the woman drops the man back on his feet and pushes him out. “Now away with you.” Then she turns on her heel and begins walking back to the bar.
“I am going to file a complaint!” the man shouts from outside.
“Remember to mention this in the complaint, jackass,” the bartender says and flicks a finger over her shoulder without bothering to turn.