Scimitar pulled into the parking lot, then drove around back. He backed the truck into the open storage shed, then locked it. Walking to the main gate, Scimitar opened the door on the compact vehicle. His general shape looked too big to fit into the small car, but he slid in with ease. Once settled behind the wheel, he drove off to a bar several miles away.
Walking inside, he nodded to the bartender and slid into one side of a booth halfway down. The near pitch black of the room made it hard to see, let alone recognize anyone. “You’re on,” Scimitar said to the woman across the table from him. “You start next week.”
“Good.” The woman sipped through the straw in her azure colored drink. “As long as the check clears, I’ll do what needs to be done.”
“Then we have an accord.” Scimitar extended his hand over the table, palm up.
A chime sounded, and the woman looked at the smartphone in her hand. The soft glow of the message made her pale skin ghostly. Her obsidian lips curled in a smile that reached her violet eyes. “We do.” She tapped the open hand offered, then pulled her gloved hand back. “It’s a pleasure doing business with you.”
Scimitar nodded once, then left the way he came in.
“Move over Cobalt,” the newscaster said, with a chuckle. “It seems that we have a new hero in town and her name is Amethystia.” A small window displaying the footage of the shipyard rescue appeared over the newscaster’s shoulder. “She has a different power set than our beloved Cobalt and knows how to use it save the day.” The footage jumps to the workers running across the hardened surface of the deadly goop.
“They got my good side, and I didn’t stall during the interview,” Vivian said out loud to no-one.
The mechanical voice of SYMON spoke from her wrist, “There is no bad side of you. Your brain processes information at thirty-four times that of a normal, intelligent human.”
“SYMON,” Vivian said. “You’re so analytical.”
“Yes.” The voice went quiet.
“All I have to do now is continue on my current track.” Vivian stood from the couch and walked to the open kitchen. She put several dishes away and slowly organized the silverware. “I just wish it could last forever. I’m only here for the year.”
“That was the length of the contract,” SYMON said. “Once your year is up, you can return to the fifty-first century and resume your normal life.”
“I like the normal life here,” Vivian said, her voice taking on the whine of a machine.
“You don’t belong here.” The bracelet on Vivian’s wrist turned a dark shade of red. “You belong with your parents and brother.”
“I do miss them,” Vivian said, her voice taking on a more sorrow tone. “It’s just that Scimitar vowed to get even with my parents. Once this mess with his trial and execution is dealt with, then I will gladly go back.”
“That is why you are here for the year. He can’t come for you here.” SYMON switched to the soft blue color. “Your parent’s and brother’s testimony should be enough to put him in the chemical destabilizer.”
“Then why did they encode extra information in my DNA?” Vivian threw a spoon into the drawer. “It’s not fair and they won’t tell me what it is.”
SYMON paused several beats, then turned the color of butter. “Your parents did what they did as a precaution. They arranged with the time patrol for you to hang out here for a year. The information on your DNA is in case Scimitar jumps through loopholes again to get off. When you go back, we get the information and indict him again.”
“Fine,” Vivian sighed. She finished sorting the rest of her silverware, then moved onto the plates.
Kelly parked her car in the designated spot and went up the stairs to her apartment. Humming a song to herself, she went in and plopped on the couch. Pointing the remote at the TV, she turned it on and scanned for a movie. As the menu appeared, she flipped through the internet on her phone and found a pizza delivery. Placing an order for a large sausage and anchovy pizza she set the movie to start. Twenty minutes later, her cell chimed saying the delivery person was a block away.
“My first pizza in fifteen years!” Kelly sprang from the couch and flew down the stairs. The delivery guy’s fist didn’t touch the door when she yanked it open. “Here,” she said, thrusting a twenty dollar bill at him. Snatching the pizza box he held in his other hand, she sniffed over the cardboard. “Heavenly.” With her foot, she closed the door and turned to head upstairs. The pizza delivery guy saw the money and the receipt. Paid with debit was blazoned across the bottom. Pocketing the twenty, the dashed back to his car and drove around the corner.
Stopping by the fridge, Kelly grabbed a diet soda and went back to the movie. Pulling a melting slice from the box, she bit and savored the taste. “Oh, man!” Her eyes rolled into the top of her head. Touching the remote, she unpaused the movie.
“Ignore!” Kelly didn’t even look at her computer as she scarfed the first slice in just four bites. She washed it down with a large swallow of the soda.
“I said ignore,” Kelly shouted then settled back to the movie and stuffed another pizza into her face.
“Let the newbie handle it,” Kelly said as she jumped from the couch. Moving to the laptop on the table, she looked at the screen. It was covered with several messages about different events. The majority were speeding cars, domestic disturbances, and a small brush fire.
Tapping on the icon for her scanner program, she adjusted the settings. She limited the span of trouble to that of bank robbery, violence, or super humans. “That should take care of it.” With a smile, she went back to her movie still in progress.
Over the next few days, Kelly ignored the news mostly. She paid attention to the random appearances of Amethystia. On a few occasions, she even muttered different curses under her breath.
Heading downstairs, she dumped several pizza boxes, soda cans, and even ice-cream containers into the garbage bin. Arriving at her storage shed, she picked up her bag and retraced her route home.
Upstairs, she hung her suits on their hangers. While she bent over, she noticed her pants were snug around the waist. A small bead of skin extended over the belt and caught her eye.
“Oh no.” With eyes like dinner plates, she stripped down and pulled on a super suit. It fit but was tight and hard to move in. “It’s all the pizza. Dammit.”
Hanging the suit back up, she made a solemn vow to cut the stuff she liked out, once again. “I need to be in shape to fight crime. Even if there is another hero here.”
When Saturday arrived, Vivian didn’t wake up until noon. “SYMON, we need to adjust the level of urgency on the trouble notifications.”
“You wanted to be Cobalt’s sidekick or even her partner,” the voice said from her bracelet. “We have to get her attention. What better way than to be in the public eye?”
“She hasn’t contacted me yet.” Kelly went to the open kitchen and put several fruits and vegetables into a blender. She dropped several pellets into the container before turning on the device. Once the items were blended into a drinkable conception, she downed the contents. “I don’t know what else to do?”
“It is a high percentage guess that she has decided to vacate the city,” SYMON said. “Since you are first at every response and have the situation under control within only a minute. She probably has seen that you are significantly better than her. Your popularity is increasing.”
“That’s great,” Vivian said. “But it isn’t helping.”
“Understood.” The mechanical device stopped talking.
In a dark building, Coquette walked down the line of men gathered. Their eyes sparkled as they followed her down the line. “Gentlemen, we are just about ready,” she said, running a finger under one man’s chin. “You all have your targets and the weapons are over there.” Her arm waved in a random direction. “Monday, seven am. Be ready and be thorough. Or I will be displeased.” She cocked a hip and put a fist on it. The men’s face took on a sad look.
“We aim to please you, love.” All the men spoke in unison. “We love you with all our heart, soul, and body.”
Coquette tossed her head back and laughed her dark, rich laugh. Tendrils of purple mist rolled from her and caressed each man, making them shudder and display a drooling smile. “Good.” Turning from the men, she walked out, her black boots and cape making her disappear in the lightless room.