B009.7 Family Matters

Previous | Next

5th November, Early Morning

The morning had actually turned out warmer than expected – Basil still had to wear a jacket and a scarf, but at least there was not any new snow. Not that he disliked snow – far from it – frozen surfaces were bad for his grappling hooks and, subsequently, bad for him.

And I will have a lot less protection than before, once I have reworked my armor into something lighter and cheaper. He really had to get more money. Maybe I should have asked Mister Karlson for a job, he thought with a smirk no one saw.

He walked on past a fast food restaurant as he thought about yesterday evening – he had tried to talk to Amy, but she had been in a weird mood, and he had decided to wait for a better opportunity to take his first step in… well, he did not know if it could be called redeeming, but perhaps reigning her in? He should have talked to her at once, made his position clear, set boundaries…

Except the mere idea of getting into a fight with her made him physically ill. Just looking at Amy at breakfast had made him feel both ashamed, angry and wistful, all once, remembering the good old days.

I wonder if this is how Lady Light feels, every time she looks at the Dark. Was that what he was doomed to do? Spend the rest of his life trying to reign a mostly insane – and he could not deny it, Amy was not all right in the head (but neither was he, so he could not really throw stones) – supervillain in, always trying to preserve those beautiful memories of better days, trying to bring them back to life?

Maybe he was assuming too much – there probably were other, better reasons, more noble ideals and goals, maybe even something tied to Point Zero and their powers involved – but that would explain a lot of things. He only had a few years of those really good memories, and they were rather normal – Lady Light had a full score of years, an entire lifetime of being together with him, through an entire world war even before they got powers, and everything since then… Maybe that was the reason for conceiving Irene? A desperate attempt to draw them closer, to pull him back onto the side of the angels? It certainly seemed to work, he had never been as mellow and restrained as during the past decade.

Or perhaps a weapon to stop her older sister… because there certainly seems to be no other way besides bringing overwhelming power to bear against her.

But that, too was just speculation.

I would sure like to talk to them both. First, though, I need to stop distracting myself from the issue at hand. Amy.

He walked by the alley next to the restaurant just as he finished these thoughts, and caught a movement out of the corner of his eye. A trash can’s lid had moved.

I found Grimalkin in a place like this, he thought, and suddenly he hoped… maybe he would find him again? He sure missed that crazy red-brown eyed furball of a cat. Despite what it had done to Amy’s underwear drawer. Or maybe because of it. It had been rather funny, after the horror had worn off. I could keep him in my hideout now, so Amy could not object.

Reaching out, he lifted the trash lid – and a rat jumped out and scuttled away. So not Grimalkin. He put the lid back down and walked on towards his hideout.

I wonder what happened to him – where he is by now.

Shaking his head, Basil continued on his way to his hideout. There was a lot of work to be done. And maybe, tonight, he would feel up to confronting Amy.



* * *


The lift went down into the lair, and Basil was not surprised to find Vasiliki already there, in her winter school uniform, sitting on the couch.

“You know, your perfume is nice, but you wear too much of it,” he said in lieu of a greeting.

She looked up from her book (she was always reading something) and gave him a deadpan look. “It’s supposed to be noticable,” she said as she closed her book and stood up. “And I didn’t come here to discuss cosmetics.”

He shrugged, taking his jacket and boots off. “Why did you come here? You don’t usually come in the morning.”

“Since I don’t have school this week – again – I’ll be working in one of our restaurants, and I drew the afternoon shift,” she explained, brushing a few stray strands of hair behind her ear. “Anyway, I wanted to try an experiment with y-“

His head whipped around from where he’d been switching into his labcoat. “Experiment! Tell me more!”

“Weeeeeeell… you know how they say, Contriving and Gadgeteering can’t go together? I thought, maybe, there’s a way to get around that. Here’s what I was thinking…”



* * *


“Oh God, I think it’s alive!”


“What in the name of God are you doing!?”

“I always swore to myself I would laugh madly if this happened! I have been practicing the laugh ever since I got my powers!”

“Are you c- Oh shit, it’s trying to escape! Quick, we have to stop it before it gets out!”



* * *


“Let us never do this again,” she sighed, falling down onto her butt.


“Let us never speak of this to anyone,” she added.

“Agreed. I guess there IS a good reason why people do not do these experiments anymore. Though I have to say, it was rather… sporting, do you not think so?” he replied, sitting down next to her, looking very deliberately away from her.

“Well… yeah, but… how come I always end up indecent after these things!? Thank God I wasn’t wearing my costume, because I only have one left!” she replied, glad that he was not the peeping type (sometimes she thought he didn’t have a sex drive to begin with).

“Here, take my coat,” he said, giving her his labcoat. Of course he’d gotten out of it unharmed – though Vasiliki had to admit, his reaction time was insane to begin with. In fact, they should probably test him sometime, in case he had some kind of secondary power that sped them up.

Because it was either that, or being a grizzled veteran with finely honed instincts in disguise. And that was too ridiculous to consider, really.

Basil was many things, but not grizzled.

“Do you want a dragonskin suit? I should have enough material for one more,” he offered.

She thought it over. She really didn’t want to impose on his fading resources, but… her current costume was basically just fabric – she could only enchant objects she’d customized to meet her standards, and doing that to a fullbody skin-tight suit took time.

“I’ll take it. I insist on paying you back, though. If only in rates,” she said, giving him a look that dared him to give it to her for free.

To her surprise, he just nodded, his expression understanding. “Alright. We will work something out. How about you pay me in meals at your restaurant? Haven’t ever been there, but I hear the chain’s great. And I love Greek food.”

She shrugged. “Suits me. I’ll give you a card, then they’ll be putting it on my name.”

He raised an eyebrow. “You actually have a system for giving out free meals to people?”

She raised her nose up. “Paying people with food is common Hellenic family tradition.”

“Think I can join your family?”

She looked away. “D-don’t be ridiculous!”

“Huh? Why are you blushing?”



* * *


Around Noon

Melody stumbled back into her room, yawning. She really shouldn’t have gone drinking with Irene. They were too young! And she’d never even touched alcohol before, except for a sip of wine during Christmas or such. Of course, her body could take it – she’d emptied half a bottle of… something Irene had given her, and had barely felt her fingertips and toes prickle.

But still, they’d really lost track of time, and she’d never even considered the damage Irene might have caused if she got drunk – but she turned out to be the most pleasant drunk Melody could imagine (it turned out her power didn’t protect her from alcohol at all unless she wanted it to, and sometimes not even then). She’d just gotten quieter and quieter, and then fallen asleep.

Of course, that meant they were stuck in Italy, two underage girls without passports or anything. And Irene wouldn’t wake up.

She could have gone to the local United Heroes chapter, but… somehow, she really didn’t want this to become official.

Finally, she’d done something she never thought she would – she’d taken Irene’s cellphone and called her father (she didn’t want to disturb Lady Light at work, and something told her the Dark would be more understanding of the situation – besides, anything to distract him from doing Evil).

And… well, travel by Darkwraith was definitely not something she ever wanted to do again. He’d been a perfect gentleman, even seemed to find it funny what had happened – apparently, he already knew how Irene reacted to alcohol – and had taken her straight back here, dropping her off in the nearest alley, out of sight, telling her to ‘be a good girl’.

Look who’s talking, she thought as she pulled her sticky clothes off – the first half of a bottle hadn’t done much, but the following nine bottles of Italian spirit had done a number on her senses.

She stumbled out of her room in a bathrobe and into the showers, passing by a disgustingly chipper Aimi (who began to say something, then saw how messed up Melody was and wisely shut her mouth), and all but falling under the first showerhead, turning it on to ice-cold.

Brrrrr! Now, that helped better than any other remedy against a hangover… or whatever one would call her state. Not her field of expertise.

How did we even get the idea to try out Italian alcoholic drinks? Had it been Irene’s idea, or hers? She couldn’t quite remember…

Maybe Irene would remember, whenever she woke up. Her father had said it might take time, though.

I should probably go to sleep, she thought. No school this week, anyway. She turned the shower off, put the bathrobe on, and walked back into her room, wet and dripping. There wasn’t much chance of her catching a cold, but… she still sat down to dry her hair.

Turns out, she shouldn’t have, because someone knocked.

“Melody? It’s me, Sarah!” her handler said in a soft voice.

Oh, please don’t tell me I have an appointment. She at least couldn’t remember one.

“You have an appointment with Mister Patrid and Mister Gerden, from the Board of Directors.”

Dratz, why can’t they let me- wait, the Board of Directors!? What do they want with me!?



* * *


Later that evening

Dalia raised her glass high, shouting along with the other people in the club. The band had gotten a call-response thing going, and though she couldn’t, for the life of her, tell what she was supposed to say in response, she just shouted along with the others. The intervals were just big enough to take another draw from her drink, or call for a new one, and it was awesome.

She never could have gotten into a place like this! No way, even if she hadn’t so obviously been underage. Now the bouncers didn’t care if she was underage or not – she was hot, she was dressed up and obviously up for a party, so she was just waved in.

Suck on that, Zara! Bet’ya you never got to skip the line just for being hot! she thought in triumph as she emptied her glass and put it back on the counter, calling for a new one. Another advantage of being her, she could take a lot. As in, she was on her ninth drink, and she barely noticed a buzz – when she’d tried some alcohol back then, she’d dropped after just one drink! Now, her vision was a little weird and unfocused, but she could still tell where everything was and all!

And the guys. They were all looking at her when she danced by them, looked her body up and down, feasting on every bit of skin she was showing off… It made her feel so much more like a woman than she ever had before!

And, as if she wasn’t feeling good enough already, just then, she saw her. Good God, was she hot. She’d known that before, of course, but she’d never seen her dressed up for partying before!

Grabbing her new drink – something blue and gold and sparkly, with a name she couldn’t even pronounce – she danced her way through the crowd – I fucking love this – I don’t even need training to dance, it just works and towards her. There was already a throng of guys around her, trying to dance her up, but she just danced by all of them, teasing, playing.

She’d already taken the dancefloor over, as people began to dance around her, she had that much presence.

I should hate her for stealing my thunder. But she had to admit, she still had to learn a lot, and here was a chance for some of it.

“Didn’t ecssspect to find yyyyyou here,” she said, not noticing the slur in her own voice. “How come yyyyou can dshuust come in here and make everyone pay attentschion like that?”

She turned, looking at her, eyes and lips sparkling brightly. “I just do it!” she replied. “And aren’t you a little young for a Fleur de Lune?” she asked, taking Dalia’s drink and emptying it in one draft!

And yet, I just want to kiss her. How does she do that? “I can take ik!” Dalia said proudly. “I lick alcohol! Never knew it wash thish goot!” she continued, giggling.

She smirked, and took her hand. “I think I can do better than some alcohol! Come, let’s dance!”

Dalia was so focused on the warmth and softness of her hand, she barely noticed when she pulled her onto the dance floor, held her hand up in hers, put her other hand on her hip and started to move.

It started slow, in tune with the slowly winding up song the band was just getting into, and then sped up along with it.

And Dalia was keeping up. She’d never have believed it, but her every step was perfect, keeping up with her as they whirled around the floor, two unbelievably hot babes dancing in a way that was just barely out of the realm of indecency.

She was so warm, and she smelled so nice, and the room was so hot and loud and full and just…

The world whirled around them, and Dalia couldn’t even really tell what they were talking about, just that she felt so… fuzzy…



* * *


“Well, this is awkward,” Amy whispered as she twirled with the barely conscious girl, getting her off the dance floor without making a scene. She was emitting gentle waves of don’t notice us, and once she was sure they were unobserved, she picked her up like a baby (she weighed about as much to her) and carried her out of the club through the backdoor.

“Basil would kill me if I didn’t take care of you now, you know? What a bothersome girl…” She looked down at the pretty face with the badly applied make-up. “A cutie, though.”

 Previous | Next



B009.4 Family Matters

Previous | Next

4th November, 22:10

The elevator hummed as it descended from the faux-hideout.

Dalia and Vasiliki were leaning against the console, looking straight at it with matching frowns (Dalia more than Vasiliki), while Prisca was sitting on the couch and looking contrite. There was a screen open on the console’s monitors, showing Eudocia’s emblem – the lips with a red jewel inbetween, forming an eye on black ground.

They were obviously waiting for Basil, and at least two of them were none too pleased, but everyone stopped in their tracks when they saw Basil.

He looked… not like himself. His hair was messy, but that was normal. What wasn’t normal were his old grey sweatpants, or his frayed black shirt. Basil was a very scatterbrained person, but he usually dressed very carefully – not stylishly, but carefully, and appropriate for the occasion. He did not do sweatpants outside the house. Not to mention that he looked kind of… pale.

“Basil, are you alright?” Prisca asked, flying over to him, putting her hands onto his shoulders. She looked into his tired eyes, worried.

“More or less,” he said, brushing her off without even a kiss.

He’d never done that before.

The girls watched as he walked towards his laboratory entrance, until Dalia got her indignation back and hollered, “Hey, mister! We’ve got somethign to talk about!”

He ignored her.

“We just learned about your AI – why did you keep something that awesome secret from us!?” she continued, stomping after him. “Didn’t you trust us? Or what? Why did your girlfriend know, but we di-“

Basil whirled around, his eyes cold. “I don’t fucking care right now! Leave me alone!” He walked into his workshop and shut the door behind him, leaving the girls stunned.

<I don’t think I’ve ever heard father swear at someone,> Eudocia commented, her voice meek.

“No shit,” Vasiliki breathed.



* * *


Basil felt ashamed almost before he’d finished speaking, but he left the room nonetheless and closed his workshop’s door and sat down in his favourite chair.

My head hurts.

It really did. His power had been running non-stop, at its maximal intensity, for weeks now. It had only gotten worse since he’d… since he had almost died fighting Hastur. More intense, almost an order of magnitude more so, in fact. Almost.

And now this. As if he’d suddenly had his blinkers… blinders ripped off, now he couldn’t stop thinking about all the things he knew Amy had done… he hadn’t been able to face her, he’d just left, practically ran over to his lair.

Prisca told them about Eudocia, came an unbidden thought. She probably slipped up and didn’t regain her composure quickly enough to divert their suspicion. It was very obvious. Right?

Right you are, mate.

He pinched his nose’s bridge, closing his eyes. Blazing Sun. Can you hear me?


Can you… tone it down? My head hurts.

I have only little influence on that, but I shall do whatever I can.

You are my power. How can you not have influence over yourself? he asked, irritated.

I cannot say.

So we’re back to that, eh mate?

Neither of you seems to be of any fucking use beyond making me feel miserable.

Ouch. You break my widdle heart.

Basil shut them both out and stood up, swaying on his feet. He looked around… he still had to rework his armor into something more resource-efficient, he needed to work on a better protable energy source, a functional flight system, an upgrade for the three-dimensional maneuvering gear, the new explosive compound, the enhanced stun gun, his anti-brick rifle, the stealth suit…

He shook his head, trying to refocus his attention. He couldn’t block out the ideas, the inventing, but he could focus on something else.

Not in here, though. Why did I come?

He had been hoping to see Prisca. At least that had been his initial intention. He had thought maybe she could help calm him. Then he had just started getting more and more irrate as he had gotten closer to the base, to his work and then he had blown up like that. He did not even really care about Eudocia being revealed to the others, he probably would have done it soon, anyway, but it had been just another thing to think about and he really did not need that right now.

I need to get out, go somewhere quiet and away.

He always kept a change of clothes in his workshop, and he switched into winter pants and a pullover (it was getting rather chilly outside, and there were signs of a massive snowstorm coming) and a pair of winter boots, pulled his jacket over it, stashed some self-defense equipment and went back into the common room.

Prisca was gone, but Vasiliki and Dalia were still there, apparently chatting with Eudocia, but all three fell silent when he came in.

The girls were both dressed in bathrobes, their hair in towels. When had they found the time to shower? They certainly had not showered together and even if they did that, he could not have spent more than five minutes in the workshop…

Basil tried to remember how long he had been in his workshop, at which point he might have nodded off without noticing it… perhaps when he had pinched his nose and closed his eyes? He could not really say.

They looked at him, apparently as unsure about how to react as he was. Though most definitely for different reasons. Vasiliki looked ready to start into a lecture.

<Father? I’m sorry I-> Eudocia started up, but Basil cut her off with a wave of his hand.

“I’m not angry. It was going to happen soon, anyway.” He looked at the girls, and they seemed to deflate a little under his gaze, for whatever reason. “And I’m sorry I blew up like that. I have some… issues to deal with, and I need to do it alone, I think. Please excuse me.”

And without another word, he left to go for a walk.



* * *


“Did he… doesn’t he kind of look like he’s in pain?” Dalia asked, now concerned instead of outraged.

Vasiliki nodded.

<He’s complained about his power never turning off,> Eudocia confided in them. They were his teammates, so it wasn’t wrong to share this information with them, right?

“He never told us that,” Vasiliki whispered.

“I don’t think he tells anyone much of anything,” Dalia supplied, frowning.

<So true.>

“Well, if he wanted our help, he’d tell us,” Vasiliki continued. “Let’s give him some space, unless it really gets worse,” she finished in an authoritive tone.



* * *


Earlier the same day, in Rome

‘I have never, ever eaten so much ice cream at once – and still wanted more,’ Melody thought as she ate another spoon of this delicious, delicious chocolate ice cream.

It actually tasted like chocolate, not weird synthetic stuff mixed with frozen pseudo-milk. And it didn’t come in balls here. No, they just used a honest-to-god palette knife to scoop out the ice cream. Each serving was about the size of a double hamburger and it cost less than a normal ball of ice cream back home.

Quite simply, Melody was in heaven. It was almost good enough to make her forget the mortifying turn lunch with her family had taken. She hadn’t expected her mother or her brothers to behave, but she’d hoped her grandmother and her dad would reign them in.

“I’ve been coming to this place since I was two,” Irene said, pulling her out of her contemplation of family drama and delicious ice cream and back to the small, backstreet ice cream parlor in Rome they were at, sitting outside with a table between them to enjoy the afternoon sun. “I remember, the first time we came here, I accidentally knocked out mom’s glamour. Suddenly, me, my mom and my dad – all out of costume – where sitting in the middle of the place in the late afternoon. Which is kind of the prime time of places like these, during summer at least.”

‘That ought to have been fun,’ Melody commented, for once thankful for losing her voice. It meant she could talk to Irene telepathically and so keep eating delicious ice cream.

“Eh, it was kind of underwhelming, after the initial shock. Mom ported me away, Dad knocked out the short term memory of everyone and came after us. No one was harmed, except Dad,” Irene continued with a soft smile, her eyes sparkling as she reminisced.

Even Melody couldn’t help but notice how incredibly cute she looked when she was deep in thought like that. It made her want to snap a photograph, but she didn’t want to ruin the moment.

‘How come your Dad was hurt?’ she asked, curiously.

Irene shrugged, looking up. “Mom didn’t like him using his powers like that on innocent bystanders. She blasted him through three walls for that.”

‘I wouldn’t have thought that Lady Light gets violent like that. I mean, domestically,’ Melody said as she finished the chocolate ice cream and turned to the equally gorgeous Straciatella scoop. With extra chunky chocolate bits inside. She was going to weigh a ton by evening.

“Believe me, any woman would get physical with Dad as her significant other. He is… aggravating,” Irene said, taking a deep, calming breath. “I can’t count how many times… oh, seven-hundred and eighty-three times… he’s made me lose control and lash out at him. He loves to tweak peoples’ noses until they snap.”

‘I’ve heard about that. He always plays with his enemies, before he gets serious. If he gets serious in the first place.’

“Kind of the opposite of mom, really. They are like that, in many things,” Irene supplied, tasting a spoonful of her lemon ice cream (it looked delicious).

‘To be honest, I know very little about your mother, especially about her battles. There’s so few records of them, and most of them are really short,’ she replied as she assaulted her own ice cream. It was, as predicted, delicious. Almost made her forget the look on her mother’s face when she’d come in the door.


“That’s the point, really. One of mom’s lesser known nicknames is the ‘Fist of God’. Because you’ll feel like the lord almighty reached down and smacked you a good one, once she’s through with you,” Irene said with some obvious pride in her voice. “Mom hates fighting. She never toys with enemies. And she doesn’t believe in drawing negotiations out, either. Unless she’s sure she can do something with words, she only gives the bad guys one chance to surrender – and then she simply smacks them down by the principle of ‘in combat, overkill is the only appropriate amount of force’.”

Melody shuddered. She hadn’t seen much of Lady Light, but she knew how strong she was. And how, obviously, experienced she was, too. The thought of her just cutting lose as her modus operandi…


“There’s a reason most people she fights never fight her a second time. Dad, on the other hand, enjoys fighting so much, he usually gets angry if people refuse to fight him… unless he’s actually serious about what he’s doing, then he can be just as ruthless as mom,” Irene added.

For a moment, Melody wondered whether Irene knew how she really felt, and was just doing her best to distract her, but… Scratch that, she definitely knows.

Maybe she’d even tell me… Should she risk it? Irene had almost lashed out at her family for asking, but…

“What is it, Melody? You stopped eating ice cream,” Irene asked.

Melody gave a start, and looked down at the delicious treat. She took another spoonful, almost moaning in pleasure. ‘It’s nothing really. Just a little scatterbrained.’

Irene’s face became a little contrite. “I’m sorry about that. I didn’t expect them to… to act like that. I wasn’t really prepared.” As if to underline that statement, she swallowed one of her pills.

Shaking her head, Melody ate some more ice cream. ‘It wasn’t your fault. And… it’s really, really sweet, how you stood up for me. So… Thank you. And don’t feel bad for it,’ she thought as gently as she could. Communicating directly with her thoughts had been tricky, at first, but once she figured it out, it turned out to be really handy. So easy to express how she felt.

“I just… Mom and Dad have their flaws but they’d never treat me like that. Even at his worst, Dad was always… you know, acting like a father. And Mom… I don’t want to brag, but she’s always been… she always says the right thing, she always knows what I need, what to do to make me feel good, no matter what…” She looked wistfully at a passing family of locals. “I just wish we had more time, but Mom is always working, except on Sundays. And Dad has nothing like regular work hours.”

‘I know how that goes… Mom and Dad were always travelling around for concerts and stuff, and they took my brothers along once they learned to properly make music. Never me, though, except for one or two times.’ She didn’t really want to focus too much on her family right now. ‘Who raised you, if your parents weren’t always around?’

“Well, Mom did take off for a while when I was on the way, and to raise me. And Dad cut down on his work, too. Otherwise, it was people who could survive me lashing out. Kraquok, Severance, Quetzalcoatl (scarier than I can put into words), Journeyman,” Irene replied, now wistful again.

‘Journeyman?’ She’d never heard that name before.

Irene nodded. “An old friend of my parents. He’s rather private, doesn’t like being in the spotlight. Don’t spread his name around.”

‘He must be very powerful, and a real good friend to be trusted with you.’

“I’m not sure I could harm him, even if I wanted to. I’m not even sure my sister could, to be honest. It’s a shame, really, that his powers are so…” She obviously fought for words, while Melody just listened in fascination. “Limited! Limited is the right word. Let’s not talk about him anymore. And please keep it to yourself.”

‘He’s a secret, alright. But I’d really like to know what his power is, if he’s so invincible.’

“It’s… complicated. He’s the Mover,” Irene answered. Either she still felt guilty for the scene earlier or she just trusted Melody enough to keep her mouth shut. “I mean, he can go anywhere, any time, no matter what anyone tries to keep him out. He even visits parallel and alternate dimensions.”

‘Wow. Does he offer trips?’ It sounded like an awesome power. And she could see how it might only be useful for evading enemies instead of fighting them directly.

“Very rarely, and only to parallel Earths where there is no human life. He’s never told me why. Something about his power backlashing if he breaks certain rules,” came the answer. “And I can’t analyze them with my own power, at all. I think he always keeps most of himself in some other place, really, so we only see a part of himself in here. Subject change, please, I already said too much.”

‘We really need to talk some more about all the interesting people you know. Like this Wyrm…’ Melody leaned in closer, eyes sparkling.

Irene looked at her eyes, not breaking eye contact. “Wyrm is out of your league, Melody. Please, don’t dig deeper.”

‘Awwww, pleeeeeease?” She gave her her best puppy dog eyes, supporting her chin on her hands as she leaned over half the table.

Her friend kept up the eye-lock, and Melody noticed for the first time how strange her eyes were even when they were ‘normal’. Such a brilliant dark blue…

“No. And you’re definitely being too flirty for a straight gal, Melody.” She was smiling, though, her eyes growing somehow even darker. Flecks of red appeared in the dark blue.

Melody giggled, never breaking eye contact. Irene’s eyes were growing more interesting with every heartbeat, thin, fine black veins running through the white, the eyes turning darker, the red spreading. ‘As if you’re any better…’ What had they been talking about again?

Irene smiled, which made her eyes squint a little bit, somehow making them look darker and redder. “Yes, but you’re supposed to be the responsible one,” she said. “Besides, I just wanted to distract you from… you know, your family.”

Something stirred in the back of Melody’s head. Something was wrong. But Irene’s eyes were so beautiful, black orbs with a red-and-blue ring each, somehow drawing her in, drawing her closer…

“You know, I could just kiss you silly right now,” whispered Irene, and the spell broke. Irene wasn’t supposed to speak like that to her!

Irene gasped, her eyes going white as she surged back – literally, space twisted, putting more distance between them. Melody gasped as she realized how much – and how subtly – Irene’s power had been pushing her. Blushing furiously, she looked down at her ice cream. That was close, she thought to herself.

“Oh God, oh God, oh God, I’m so sorry!” whimpered Irene as space contracted again, returning the table to its normal dimensions. No one around them seemed to notice anything. “Melody, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to… I swear, I didn’t even notice…” She broke out into tears as she shoved pill after pill into her mouth.

Taking slow, deep breaths, Melody calmed her hormones again. She couldn’t feel their mental link anymore, so she took out her vocalizer.

<Don’t… relax. It pushed you… as much as it pushed me. You wouldn’t have resisted so long, otherwise, and you said something that helped me wake up.>

Irene nodded, as if trying to convince herself.

It took them a while, but they regained their composure and finished their ice cream in silence.

At the very least, Irene had managed to distract Melody.

 Previous | Next



B009.3 Family Matters

Previous | Next

4th November, 14:11

Irene wanted to commit murder.

No, that wasn’t quite right.

She wanted to call up her dad and tell him to come over. They could do all that sappy tv-bonding while they slowly drove Melody’s family insane. They could invite Melody to join in and teach her to let all that repressed anger out. Much healthier that way. Dad would make the bodies disappear, and then they could all go and eat some ice cream.

And that would be wrong. The driving-people-insane-before-killing-them part, not the one that involved eating ice cream.

In fact, she was quite sure that going to eat ice cream would be a very good idea, whether or not they ended up going supervillain on these people. It should cheer Melody up.

It wasn’t that Melody’s family was impolite – her brothers had certainly kept their eyes glued to Irene’s body, despite her clothes not showing all that much, but that was to be expected – or actively mean, but… they were treating Melody like some kind of Pariah, all while being all nice and hospitable.

Her power had already suggested twenty-three different ways to painfully murder them, by way of switching between some of the nastier powers Irene had ever held. Some, Melody wouldn’t even have to know were her w- No, don’t even start to think like that!

She took a centering breath and refocused her attention on Melody’s grandmother, Amelia, who was sitting at the head of the table, the matriarch of the family. A short, but still surprisingly agile and energetic woman in her late seventies. Her pure white hair had been tied up in a bun, she was wearing a simple blue dress (the family seemed to favour blue a lot) and eating slowly, in small bites. She was looking at her, as if waiting for something.

Her power focused, replaying the last few seconds for her – she’d been asked why she’d decided to be a superhero.

“It’s rather simple, ma’am,” she replied, putting fork and knife down. She was glad for the excuse to stop eating – she wasn’t hungry and the food wasn’t bad, but her mood didn’t let her enjoy it, anyway. “I want to make a positive difference in the world. The heroes desperately need more power on their side, so I joined to provide that.”

The old woman smiled, nodding. That was the worst part of the day, so far. They weren’t anti-metahuman, or anti-superhero or anything. In fact, except for Melody’s mother, who seemed to have a chip on her shoulder. Irene hadn’t peeked into her head (yet) to find out what it was about.

No, it was way, way worse. But she’d promised Melody she’d play nice, so…

“Though, to be honest, Melody has done far more good so far than I have,” she continued while she picked her cutlery up again. Everyone at the table, including Melody – who had barely used her vocalizer so far, staying quiet – looked at her. “It’s true,” she said, throwing a look around. Five people, not counting her and Melody. Her two younger brothers, her parents, her grandmother. The rest of the (rather big) family wasn’t there today, which was just as well. “She’s created a gadget for protecting United Heroes personnel against sonic attacks. That’s going to save a lot of lives.”

“Yes, Melody always had a hand for practical stuff,” Cadance, Melody’s tall mother (she looked like a taller, older version of her daughter, minus the massive bust and more wrinkles), said with a just barely non-condescending tone. Irene felt her small finger twitch, almost blasting a hole in the wall. Almost. “But I’m sure you’ll be able to match her – someone with power like yours can surely keep up with anyone.” The woman smiled at her, which only made Irene angrier.

She opened her mouth to remark that Melody’s music was even better than her gadgets, but her friend kicked her leg under the table. ‘Please don’t. You’ll only ruin the mood’, Melody spoke into her head, having apparently guessed her intentions. She closed her mouth, feeling the anger boil inside her belly.

Because, it wasn’t that the Stenton family had anything against one of their members being a superhero, or a metahuman. No, it was just the fact that Melody’s powers were musical. More to the point, they’d turned the only non-gifted member of the family – the daughter they’d already written off – into the most successful musician it had ever known.

As far as they were concerned, Melody was a cheater.

And Irene was this close to cracking, because ever since they’d entered the house, Melody had acted like she believed it herself.

‘You don’t have to take this,’ she told her best friend as she returned to making meaningless chit-chat. ‘You don’t have to let them make you feel like less than you are.’

‘They’re family,’ Melody said, looking sideways at her with a gentle smile. ‘They’ll change their mind, eventually.’

‘Bollocks,’ Irene replied, focusing on the casual conversation Melody’s father and brothers were trying to draw her into, about her costume. They wanted to know where she’d gotten the idea.

“The cape belonged to my mother – she used it in the years before she became pregnant with me,” she replied casually. This wasn’t all that interesting. “The bodysuit is just comfortable, and a nice contrast. White and black, light and dark.”

“Interesting. So, you’re proud of being their daughter?” Amelia asked, her voice curious and very precise (she was a former opera singer).

Irene turned her head to look at the old woman. “Of course I am,” she spoke with utter conviction in her voice.

“Even though your father is a monster?”, the old woman continued, her voice harder. Everything fell silent in the room.

I will not blow off her head, I will not blow off her head, I will not blow off her head…

“Whatever else he may be, he is my father,” Irene said carefully, enunciating the words slowly, deliberately, to prevent her voice from slipping into its usual abnormal form. “And he has always been good to me. I will judge him by that, first.” ‘He’s certainly a better father than yours seems to be,’ she thought towards Melody. She didn’t reply, but Irene felt a surge of sadness and shame that made her feel bad, instead. She shouldn’t put this on Melody.

“That is both admirable and dangerous – just because he is good to his family doesn’t mean he’s a good man, do you understand that?” Amelia continued, keeping her gaze steady.

“No, but that’s where it starts,” she countered with more vinegar in her voice than she’d wanted. At least it didn’t slip. “I know what he’s done. What he still does. But I can’t very well take any influence on him if I shut him out, now can I?”

The atmosphere at the table grew colder.

“And how does your mother justify being with him?” Cadance asked, drawing Irene’s attention to her. She looked as furious as Irene felt. “She’s had more than a century to work on him, and he hasn’t gotten better. I’m not even sure she’s trying. And yet she still calls herself a superhero, being together with a man who murders countless innocents!”

Irene called on her power, and for once found it responsive, reaching out, assembling data without actually invading minds.

She lost someone to dad, or to his subordinates.

“I don’t know what happened to make you so mad,” she said, calming down a little. “But whatever else you may think of me, or my father, don’t presume to judge my mother.”

The temperature in the room fell, again, as she put steel into her gaze.

“It’s the fourth of November today, of the year two-thousand and twelve. It’s fourteen past two,” she said, slowly. “It has been eighty-nine years, ten months, three days, fourteen hours and two minutes since she gained her powers. Eight days later, she put on what later became her costume for the first time. In all that time – nearly a century – my mother has never, ever called herself a hero.”

She put her cutlery down, folding her hands on the table in front of her. “Superhero, Queen of Superheroes, the Paragon of Modern Virtue… those are all labels the public put on her, labels she’s protested against more than once. There is a reason she is not actually a legal member of the United Heroes, only an independent advisor. My mother has never, ever pretended to be anything but what she is – a woman with her own set of beliefs, who does what she thinks is right and asks others to do the same.”

Looking up, she circled the table with her gaze, looking them all in the eyes one after the other. “If people expect her to be a paragon of virtue who always does what they feel is ‘good’, that’s their problem, not hers. She wants to be together with my father – who may well be the only man in the world she can really share her life with – and no one has the right to tell her not to. Besides, have you ever stopped to think about how bad my father could get if she wasn’t doing her best to moderate him?”

“That isn’t… it doesn’t… he’s still a monster! How can she be with him!?” Cadance threw back, flustered. “Even if what you say is true, how can she consider herself a good person!?”

Suddenly, Irene’s anger vanished. Or at least, it died down. She’s just lashing out… why? Her power surged, but… no. She quickly took a few pills, calming herself and her power.

“My mother has literally saved billions of lives – and that’s not even counting all the people saved by her charities, or the people she trained or advised – so I think regardless of what she may or may not call herself, no one has the right to criticise her for anything until they’ve spent most of a century doing nothing but helping people,” she said calmly. “And before you say anything else, I think it’s pretty fucking low of you to bring up this kind of topic at a friendly get-together. And that’s nothing compared to how you treat your own daughter.”

Melody threw her a wild, scared glance, but Irene ignored her. “Don’t think I haven’t noticed! I literally have a nigh-unlimited breadth of power at my beck and call, and I don’t need it to get it. You’ve been making snide comments about her all the time, when you weren’t just ignoring her, and I find it pretty fucking sad that the Dark is a better parent than both of you,” She pointed her finger at Melody’s parents, who looked utterly shocked, “because he at least isn’t jealous of me for being better at something, nor does he treat me like a pariah!

She rose from her seat, the chair flying backwards across the dining room of the old colonial mansion. Grabbing Melody’s hand, she dragged her out of the room.

‘Irene, what are you doing!?’ the startled girl asked, just barely remembering to grab her vocalizer.

She stomped out of the house, slamming the door shut. “We’re going to Italy. I know the best ice cream parlor in the whole world, and we can visit the Colosseum, too!”



* * *


4th November, 21:25

In Basil’s hideout, Prisca, Dalia and Vasiliki had spent the last two hours blowing stuff up.

Well, that was a little inaccurate. To be precise, Vasiliki had been trying to blow Gilgul up. Having picked up a lot about proper research from Basil, she’d made sure to include control samples (which meant she always tried to blow something else up along with her, to see how each attempt worked). So far, nothing had worked on Gilgul, which made Prisca feel quite smug.

The hour before that, they’d been following Basil’s advice, testing Dalia’s power against Gilgul. The results had been too random to make sense off, and they’d decided to wait for Basil to make sense of that stuff. It was his speciality, anyway. So they’d been blowing stuff up, instead. But now Gilgul’s time was running out, because apparently being covered in acid that ate through steel, set on fire and then blown up with enough force to rattle the walls of what Basil called his Fun Room (the one set apart for explosive testing) was actually taxing for her power. And that was just a single experiment.

They’d reached number thirty-four now. And Vasiliki claimed she could still come up with more.

“Wow, you must be… a nightmare to fight out there,” Prisca commented as she let Gilgul sit down on the floor, conserving time.

Vasiliki, who was naked (apparently, some of her rituals required nakedness, and she’d also remarked that there was a worrying tendency for her clothes to get torn up all the time, so she was taking precautions now) and quite sweaty enough to have Dalia’s eyes glued to her, breathed deeply and replied, “Not really, I… I can’t pull this stuff off on the fly… nor can I enchant something with… all of this. What I can do… on the fly, or through artifacts, is nothing compared to what I can do with a ritual, but they take too much time. Besides, I don’t want to… strip naked outside… you know?”

Prisca nodded, letting her spear fade away, followed by her armor, which she quickly replaced with a simple green sundress. “But if it comes down to it, you can pull out the big guns?”

“Whoa, whoa, wait a minute!” Dalia threw in, jumping up. “Did I see that right? You can just… change clothes, at will!?”

The other two girls looked at her in surprise – she’d been rather quiet since they stopped experimenting with her power – and rolled their eyes.

“Yes, I can wear anything I want, in this form. Now, back to important stuff,” Prisca said, turning back to Vasiliki. “So, about my question?”

The girl shrugged, still breathing hard. “N-no, I’m… unable to really go beyond the… the paragon tier. Biggest thing I’ve ever managed was when Basil and I were testing my power. I managed to blow up some whole cars at the junkyard, and melt some others. One time, I took a bus apart.”

Prisca eyed her suspiciously. “And did you do that stuff… naked, with him?”

Vasiliki blushed, and nodded. “B-but I made sure he promised not to look!”

The redhead in front of her nodded, satisfied. “Not like he’d be interested, even if he hadn’t promised it. Basil is weird about girls.”

They all chuckled about that.

“Yeah, how do you feel about that? He kinda totally ignored you in favour of his sister!” Dalia threw in, sliding over to sit next to them, dressed in sweatpants and a shirt.

Prisca shrugged, drawing Dalia’s gaze to her barely covered chest. She wasn’t into girls, at all, but she enjoyed peoples attention… after years of having nothing to draw it to herself. Except, of course, for… “Look, I know Basil. That’s just what he is – bloody oblivious. I knew that going in, and honestly… even disregarding how he’s saved my life twice now, he was with me even… before I got my power and turned into this.”

The other two nodded, slightly uncomfortable. They’d both quickly learned that Prisca preferred to see her projection as her real body, and neither of them was quite comfortable with that. But neither did they confront her about it.

“So I guess I can forgive him for being… himself. Besides, his sister is really nice,” Prisca continued, oblivious herself. “Even after I tried to… um…” She blushed, suddenly cutting off.

“Whaaaat?” asked Dalia with a grin. “Does this relate to… the Incident?” Prisca had let it slip, days earlier, how she’d tried to get Basil into bed with herself, and failed. Even Vasiliki had laughed herself sick, and was now leaning in curiously.

Blushing even more, Prisca answered, “Well, two days later, I visited… in this form, because Basil said his sister knew about him, anyway, and he thought it’d be pointless to keep my power a secret from her – she wouldn’t rat us out, anyway. So, um, Basil was still asleep – he’s been sleeping a lot, lately, recovering – and we got to talking and… she’d kind of… sort of… listened in on us, on that night. And she, uh…”

“Totally berated you for not seducing her little brother properly?” Vasiliki helped her along with a grin.

“Um, yes…” Prisca replied, wide-eyed. “How did you know? I mean, this isn’t normal behaviour, I think…”

Shrugging, Vasiliki rose to her feet. “I’ve gotten to know Amy a little. She’s just the type to go that route.” She looked at Dalia. “I wouldn’t be surprised if she’d actually encourage us all having an orgy with Basil. She’s just the type for liking the idea of her brother scoring with two – or three, now – supernaturally hot girls. She’s probably been encouraging him to do so, actually.”

“Y-you think she’d do that? Sounds more like something a guy would say to his little brother!” Prisca threw in, exasperated.

“That’s Amy for you. Basil is not one to tell, but I can read between the lines, and it sounds like she’s quite… promiscious. Not in a bad way, I think, because Basil would totally have a cow about that, but still,” Vasiliki finished, leaning on her staff. “Anyway, I’m tired. I’ll get a shower, then go home.”

“I’ll come along. You shouldn’t be going around alone at this time, not with the way things are right now. And I can just wink out once you’re safe home,” Prisca said, standing up, her clothes melting and reforming into heavy winter clothes. “What about you, Dalia? Want me to walk you home?”

The other redhead shook her head. “Nah, I’ll shower and crash here. No school tomorrow, anyway, and mom probably won’t notice, anyway.”

“Alright… call if you need anything,” Prisca said, a little unsure. Dalia rarely talked about her mother, she’d found out, and it was never good. She wondered what her home life was like, if she preferred sleeping in Basil’s underground hideout alone. “Actually, keep the console on – we can play some games or something, later.”

Dalia raised an eyebrow. “I thought your time was running out?”

“Which means I’ll be waking up soon. I can just use the computer Basil made for me to link with this place, and we can play games, or watch movies. I’m sure Eudocia will j- uh, forget that!” She slapped her hands in front of her mouth.

“Eu-what?” asked Dalia.

“Eudocia… ‘good thought’? Sounds like the kind of name Basil would give to something. Or someone. Who is Eudocia?” asked Vasiliki, suddenly looking far less tired.

“Uhm… I guess… I need to explain some stuff…” Prisca said, looking down at her feet, drawing a circle with one as her clothes melted back to a comfortable sundress. “Let’s go to the console room, boot up the screens and all…”

 Previous | Next



B009.2 Family Matters

Previous | Next

“A week after the probing attack on the British Isles by the Red Army, what many expect to develop into the third world war has entered a new – and worrying – stage, as a coalition of various Sovjet metahumans from both side of the law have declared open rebellion against the remnants of the Red Council. Lead by the longtime member of the Foremen, Kopatel – also known as ‘the Digger’ – they attacked the temporary capital of the Sovjet Union, Saint Petersburg today, taking the Second High Secretary of the Red Council hostage and occupying the local government buildings…”

Basil and Amy watched as the news anchor rattled off the events. The revolutionaries had declared their intention to do away with the Red Council for good, preventing their resurrection. There was no information yet on what kind of follow-up government they wanted to implement, but their declaration of intent seemed mostly focused on them just taking down the council.

“Do you know why they do not talk about their actual goal beyond toppling the current rulership?” Basil asked his sister. She ought to know something, having been in Russia (and they would have a talk about her going off on such a dangerous job without telling him).

“Because they have none. Or rather, too many,” she explained as she ate chips out of a bag. “They’re not one group. They’re several distinct, even opposed groups of metahumans who are united solely by their desire to bring down the red council.” She finished the bag, crumpling it. “They’ll almost definitely turn on each other if they succeed.”

He nodded, focusing his attention back on the television (he had to upgrade it. The one they had at home was just a commercial model, utterly beneath his standards). There were some profiles given of the various metahumans and groups identified so far. Since he knew all about Kopatel (one of his personal favourite capes) and most of the others, he kind of spaced out while watching, devising the improvements he could make on the television whitout turning it into an obvious gadget. No Human Eradication Mode, then.

They saved the Devil’s Bride for last. Her profile was short, really. A (censored) picture – too many naked women out there, he thought surly; it was hard enough getting Amy to dress decently as it was, he did not want her to get the idea of doing away with clothes entirely (and she would, probably) – of a tall, slender woman with pure white skin and hair, the latter in a braid that was twice as long as she was tall. Her eyes were scarlet red.

Exact powerset unknown, but rumors from the other side suggested that she was considered an S-Class in the Sovjet Union and had evaded capture for two decades now.

“That’s bollocks, by the way,” Amy said. “The Sovjets class her as an S-plus meta.”

“What can she do?” he asked with a shudder. Not another one. That classification had originally been supposed to exist only for Desolation-in-Light. Then Emyr Blackhill – also known as the Godking of Mars – had been retroactively classified as an S-Plus threat. Then Ember had joined that list, and people had prayed it would stop there.

“She’s a… well, technically, she’s a power mimic,” Amy explained. Wait, was she not just using a British accent? “She permanently takes the powers of other people – by eating them.”

“Permanently? The whole power?” he asked. Nasty.

Amy slid over the back of the couch, cuddling up to him from the side. “Far as we could find out, she can only use three powers at a time, but it can be any power she’s ever eaten. Plus she’s got some kind of immortality going on – she regenerates slowly, but she can and has recovered from complete dismemberment and even cremation.”

“Oh, great. So she is basically a mini-DiL?” Just what we needed.

“Yup. She even manifested during a DiL-attack, back in the early days,” Amy said, wrapping her arms around his waist as she made herself comfortable. “Spent the last two decades roaming the lands eating people. Now, for whatever reason, she suddenly decided to involve herself in politics.

Basil sighed, putting his right arm around Amy’s shoulders. What’s next?



* * *


An hour later, Amy had fallen asleep, drooling on his shirt. He did not have the heart to disturb her, even to just close her mouth. She had obviously tired herself out more than she had been willing to admit.

Besides, it looked utterly adorable. He took pictures with his cellphone, in case he needed some blackmail material.

Then he leaned back, switching through channels. He had never been much of a television watcher, all things considered. Daytime (and nighttime) television mostly bored him, except for a show or two every season.

Still, this was rather nice. Just relaxing on the couch with Amy. They had not done that since… well, since he had started building his base. Way too long.

So he just enjoyed relaxing, trying to ignore the ache that was still left after Gloom Glimmer had pretty much healed his entire body. Even with her power level, that had been draining. He still suffered from phantom pains every now and then, and a constant ache that had only gradually lessened over the last week.

Not to mention this damn headache.

That’s not from the healing, mate, the man in the moon spoke up. You’ve been overusing your power, over the last week, trying to make your stuff low cost and low maintainance.

I can not exactly not use my power, as you well know, Basil replied. And besides, unless I manage to do just that, then we will have to somehow make a lot of money in a short time. And I do not know how.

We’ll figure somethign out. Worst case, we’ll see about selling some of your stuff, or get ourselves a loan from A-

No. I am not going to rely on her for this, Basil cut him off decidedly. Setting aside the issue of me wanting to be independent from her on this, we are talking about money made out of criminal activities-

Which you obviously don’t object to enough to actually call Amy out, the man replied in something like a sneer.

What did you say? Basil thought angrily.

I’m literally talking right inside your fuckin’ head, he said, unimpressed. No way you didn’t understand me, matey.


Oi, don’t get me wrong. I totally get why you’re making an exception for her. She’s family. Only family, at that. Still, if you’re gonna ignore the fact that you’re currently cuddled up to a serial rapist and murderer, then I’m sure you can ignore that fact when you use her money to buy yourself some quality materials and equipment to work with.

Basil fell silent (mentally), looking at Amy’s drooling, sleeping face. He wanted to punch the guy in the face for calling her those things, but… well, he would have to punch himself, to do that. Also, he was right.

He had never really connected Amy to Mindstar’s deeds, not… not emotionally, at least.

I am a hypocrite, am I not? he asked. I go after criminals, but no one I’ve fought so far – not even Hastur or Panthera Rex – was half as bad as Mindstar, were they not?

The voice in his head replied, in a somber tone, It’s not so cut and dry, pal. She’s family. Everyone makes exceptions for family.

There is a limit to it, though, Basil thought. How can I call myself a hero, sharing a home with, cooking meals for and tolerating a… well, her? He could not bring himself to put those words to her himself.

Best to look at it from a pragmatic point of view – you couldn’t possibly fight someone as powerful as she is, and that’s not even counting in her allies or her boss. You’re doing far more good concentrating on badguys on your level, and providing her some human grounding. Who knows how monstrous she’d be if she didn’t have you to ground her?

Tell that to Amazon. Or that sorority at the East Texas University.

By all accounts, the girls enjoyed that night, came the reply. In fact, I believe more than a few of them have been trying to get her to come back, haven’t they?

And how much of that is their own will?

You know as well as I do that Amy couldn’t possibly mind control that many people over an extended period of time. Face it, sometimes, reality makes pornos look reasonable.

I think we have derailed this conversation.

Well, what are we supposed to talk about? Apart from lots and lots of naked girls having a night-long orgy? It’s not like you’re actually considering turning Amy in, or working against her. Even if you could, you wouldn’t and we both know it.

Basil turned the television off, falling silent. He looked down at Amy, gently caressing her flank. She smiled, closing her mouth and snuggling closer.



* * *


“I think it’s funny,” Irene said. “How you’re more nervous about this than you were about meeting my parents.” She was sitting on Melody’s bed, one foot drawn up to rest her chin on her knee as she watched her friend try and pick out a dress to wear. She enjoyed seeing her in her underwear more than she wanted to, but neither could she take her eyes off Melody’s backside as she bent over to rummage through her drawer.

Am I really that bad? Melody asked absentmindedly. Irene had grown so used to being mentally connected to her, her power did it pretty much automatically whenever they were close. I mean, I know was a mess when we had dinner with them… even though your mom was really nice, and your dad not as scary as I thought he’d be…

“Yep, you’re even more agitated now. And I did tell you that dad was just deliberately messing with you, right? He’s not actually that scary, at least not in private,” she admonished her friend.

I know, I know, but… I mean, he’s the Dark. I ate dinner with the Dark and Lady Light. How could I not be agitated? Melody asked as she turned to look at Irene, interrupting her search.

“Don’t think of them as the oldest and most powerful cape and cowl of the world. Just think of them as your BFF’s quirky parents.”

Yeah, that’s not gonna happen any time soon. Also, I was quite freaked out that your dad just showed me his real form. I mean, didn’t he go out of his way to destroy all pictures of himself?

“He did, except for those that belong to mom. But who’re you going to tell? Why would you?”


“Anyway, relax. This is your family. I’m sure they’ll be glad to see you,” a shadow passed over Melody’s face, “And I promise to not be naughty. C’mon, it’ll be fun!” She smiled for her friend, trying very hard not to use her power to calm her emotions. That would be wrong.

Melody took a deep breath (drawing Irene’s eyes to her bust for a moment, before she reigned herself in) and relaxed, fractionally. Then she turned back to her dresser drawer. After a few quiet minutes, she finally chose two dresses and presented them to Irene, holding them alternatively in front of her body.

One was a knee-length cotton dress in bright pink, to be worn with pantyhose beneath. No cleavage, long sleeves. It’d probably cling tightly to her body, but be thick enough to not show too much.

The other was longer, made of thinner blue material and clung tightly. The neckline was tame, but considering Melody’s bust size, that still put a lot of smooth, delcious f- Stop it, Irene. She’s your friend!

“Go with the pink one,” she said, hoping Melody hadn’t noticed the direction of her thoughts. Her power surged, confirming that no, she hadn’t. She was too nervous. “It’s more appropriate for a casual get together with family and friends. And it’s so you.”

Melody nodded and put the blue dress away. Then she pulled on a black pantyhose before putting the dress on. Irene clucked her tongue and stood up, helping Melody fix her hair again.

“It’ll all be fine,” Irene said. “We’ll meet your family, I’ll make your brothers drool, we’ll eat, make small talk, then go about our way. Relax.”

I don’t think it’ll be so simple, Melody said. I told you what they think of me, and what I do.

“I’m sure it’s not as bad as you make it out to be,” Irene replied. “I mean, my dad is the king of supervillains, and he wouldn’t ever be that mean to me.”

It’s kind of sad that the Dark seems to be a better dad than mine is.

“Oh, shut up!” Irene slapped her friend’s butt, making her jump up. Feels nice and so- Stop it, Irene! “Let’s go eat and have fun! Family awaits!”

 Previous | Next