Sarah opened her eyes. There wasn't alcohol clouding them but somehow she felt confused. She wasn't in her own bed, that much was for sure. This room had light coming in through windows that weren’t covered by thick curtains, in general it was lighter...more refined, with an air of subtle sophistication. The room was judging her and she hadn't spent a conscious minute in it. That was unfair.
Sarah then looked over. A shoe was about to drop she knew. Someone was next to her, under sheets that Sarah could already determine smelt a bit like sex and fear. Despite herself and her foggy mind Sarah found this rather enchanting. It was a mystery...a wonderful surprise in a way. Who was this enchanting delight that was part of her delightfully fucked up life? One of the treats.
Next to her, wrapped up surprisingly tight in blankets, was the Flame. Her long brown hair was put over Sarah’s shoulder and she wore a smile of contentment. Flame was nude of course, and Sarah got a look at her very flat narrow back. In a way it was pretty. As were her arms that looked like tent-poles compared to Sarah’s.
Eternal Flame: ‘Mazing Girl’s superhero cohort; the psychic who created fire from nothing. The Flame the eerie looking girl who saw right through Sarah. The Flame...the gingham dressed heroine that frankly looked like something from a Tim Burton film. Woman. Female. Possessor of Oviares. That Flame. As Sarah looked around the room, she had thought it would be gothier. There was a lot of tasteful white furniture and subtle colors.
Sarah had a sensation there were several options here. Though in the last couple of months they had grown to know each other a bit, she still... well, Sarah was kind of creeped out by the girl who talked in a singsong voice that suggested murder. Yet here Sarah was, with a vigina that felt gushy...obviously something had happened that she had no reason to forget, but her mind wasn't quite remembering. Perhaps a little panic would help.
But she couldn't quite work her way up to panic. Instead she decided to be more neutral. She leaned over and hugged her new lover from behind, wrapping her arms around the woman who was as flat chested as a board. She nuzzled into her. Sarah cupped her breasts - or what there was of them. Flame had the kind that suggested yes, this was a breast...but nothing more. Sarah traced her stomach and several ribs, finding the smallest hint of abdominals. I mean she had to work out to be a hero...how could she be this thin? Then a finger went between her legs.
"It’s too early," said Flame’s voice. And Sarah agreed with that.
She closed her eyes and tried to remember...
Last night she had been thrown roughly into the room...her arms tied behind her back, her body beaten, her spirit had been crushed. Well, it was a hard spirit to crush, but it had been given a pounding.
She had been patrolling the city, feeling rather happy with herself, when she got shot in the ass. Normally that was a pain...in the ass, but this one was a very strong dart, that injected her with what she had been told was enough tranquilizer to bring down a pack of elephants.
The force of the hit disrupted her jump, and as she spiralled into the side of a building. The impact didn't do wonders. She landed on the ground in a heap...and while she tried to get up she was starting to feel really ’Mazingly groggy. Alcohol did affect her, but she was feeling worse now then she ever did in her life.
A group of thugs - anything more then their groupness and their thugness was lost on her - came at her and beat her up some more. Frankly the drugs were taking effect and she really didn't feel most of it as she half heartedly put up a fight.
She remembered throwing up on one of the thugs shoes. Take that shoes. That’ll fuck em...
She found herself being brought into a building -again a building – and into an office.
"Ahh!” said a man waiting in the office. “The mighty ‘Mazing woman,"
"Wait till I get your hands on me," said ’Mazing Girl, almost instantly aware that hadn't really made a lot of sense.
"Charming as always," the man observed. Did she know the voice? She thought she did. Her eyes just weren't working properly.
"Set the chain," the man ordered.
She felt her hands being brought behind her back, and something put around that the informed was: "Tripple strength titanium based alloy. That strut could hold up the Empire State Building."
"So. Come on...tell me your evil plan," urged ‘Mazing Girl. It was good to fall back on what you know.
"You'll figure it out. It does involve you staying alive, so that’s something in your favor. You’re worth a lot to me alive...well, worth more to other people."
Then she put it together. "Kraygen."
"Yeah we've met" he said
Kraygen was a mercenary. She hard heard from various sources that he used to work for the Canadian government, in their secret service, which really made her give it up for Canada. He was somewhere between a thug and a criminal mastermind, depending on the day of the week. He was the kind of the guy who could, say, shoot down a flying superheroine with a high powered dart and capture her and take her to a building. It all added up.
"Put her in the room," he said. "You look like you lost some water in the process. We’ll get you some. Don't worry, I want you alive and healthy.”
By this time ‘Mazing Girl was only just shy of unconsciousness. Still she soldiered on and managed to step on the foot of the thug behind her. There was no real power in it, but that will show em. His shoes must be really messy.
So she was thrown in a small storage room. Most stories like this featured an abandoned warehouse. This looked more like a small office space. She was tossed on the floor.
"who is that?" a voice asked quietly.
This voice Sarah was able to identify more readily.
"Flame! You’re the Living Flame!"
"eternal flame," said the voice. "but points for effort."
The Flame looked Sarah over. “’mazing girl. good finally they got you."
"What?" said ‘Mazing Girl, really not feeling it.
"captured...brought here. Ttey got me two days ago when I was on patrol, the wretches. dart to the back of the neck. It put me down, but only for a short time. been fully conscious for a day or so and planning my escape. however, a big part of my plan was for them either to capture someone else like you, or..."
“How did you know they were going to?"
"i am a telepath."
Then the voices outside Sarah’s head stopped, and the voices in her head started.
((we should probably communicate this way anyway, it’s safer. as I was saying, i'm a telepath. i can read that beast Kraygen’s thoughts. such a ghastly inhuman sort. he has made come contacts in what might be called the white slave trade in asia and wants to sell heroes there for some type of underground setup.fighting maybe, sex...even he’s not sure. but he wants to get about five of us. I knew his next target was you.))
"That was your plan?"
((talk like this)))
((That was your plan?)) ‘Mazing girl thought. ((Have me get captured?))
((to help me. I know your groggy. they probably plan to keep you like that. their plan for me was to tie me up and keep me in an inflammable room, however i think with both our powers together, we can escape.))
Just then she heard and felt drums in her ear, something coming close to her... moving. She opened her eyes to see that Flame was over her. Flame’s hands and legs where both bound up.
((i need straight contact with your skin to do this. it’s not going to be pleasant, i’m afraid. But be a good sport and buck up.))
Flame leant down as if to kiss her...however all she really did was nuzzle her neck with her face. Rather awkwardly, as she felt a nose somewhere.
It was then she felt it...a huge rush of chemicals going through her mind as if every alcoholic drink she had ever experienced was rushing through at once. It was incredible. It only lasted about a second...and then Sarah fell unconscious.
She then woke up, opening her eyes.
"What happened?" she asked, looking around. She felt fine now. Dehydrated, but as if the cloud was gone. Also, she had peed her costume.
((i helped you clear your mind. i have the power to get inside your head a bit...your body. i sped up the drugs about a 100 fold. it hit you hard, but you should be fine now. Now use your super-strength and we can effect an escape.))
‘Mazing Girl smiled and laughed just a bit. She felt her hand. she had been told the metal was designed to hold up the Empire State Building.
However, she had found that with enough pressure metal of any kind was really sort of weak when she pushed it. Well...after about twenty seconds of tugging and grunting...she was free.
“okay,” Flame said "they have a camera. get me, and let’s get out of here before they come in.”
‘Mazing Girl grabbed the manacles holding Flame’s hands together. They were a standard set of handcuffs. She just broke the chain, she would worry about the cuffs later. She did the same with Flame’s feet
"stiff, but workable" Flame told her as she got up, moving and stretching her arms. "there. they almost certainly have more of those tranquilizers they got you with before, so be careful."
Mazing girl nodded. She approached the metal door.
"stop!" Flame warned. "i can read their minds. they’re waiting for us to bust through the door to get us. there’s five of them. kraygen. can you do me a favour?"
"i want you to make a small hole in the door...maybe 6 feet up. I want to see in there."
‘Mazing girl punched the door near the top, making a small hole. A bunch of bullets blasted at it, but the metal door stopped them.
Flame went over. "give me another hand. A hand up."
‘Mazing Girl leant down and made a bridge for the diminutive heroine in gingham. She noted she was just wearing a gingham dress. It wasn't a fake made of Kevlar like most superheroes wore. It was just maybe a 1/8 inch of clothing. And yes, underneath she was wearing panties. Very sensible ones.
Flame looked through the hole. And then ‘Mazing women heard a cry. And the sound of fire.
"making the room more cozy. i forgot to ask. I myself am quite fireproof, but what about yourself?”
"I'll do. And I got an idea."
"then effectuate it partner."
‘Mazing girl grabbed the door handle, and pushed. The hinges gave way pretty quickly, pulling free even as she kept pushing.
Within a second the door wasn't in the wall, and she had a shield.
The room was on a lot of fire. Flame of course didn't actually set any of the men on fire...but several desks, plants, and other things weren't so lucky. Sarah felt the almost deafening impacts of felt like rockets hitting the door. Must be the launcher.
She moved up and swung the door at the source, and the man. Both flew to the side. Another met the same fate. Flame was, despite her size, good enough in a fight. She managed to disable one of the men with what looked to be very precise use of judo, even as another fled the room with his toupee on fire.
That left Kraygen. He pulled out a gun.
‘Mazing girl dropped her shield.
“I'll shoot," Kraygen threatened.
"Oh come-on. Why don't you just stop now and throw the gun at my face?" ‘Mazing Girl suggested.
"I’ll shoot her!" He then turned, and he did pull the trigger. But the gun exploded in his hand.
‘Mazing girl punched him as he dropped the gun in shock.
"lots of very flammable things in guns, i’m afraid" said Flame. "dull sort, I have done that before. I would assume it was on a fact-sheet somewhere."
They waited for the police to come up, put the rest of the thugs in a more presentable order...and well, talked a bit. Sarah had thanked Flame. Then Flame thanked Sarah. Both, it turned out, felt indebted to the other for others help in their predicament. It wasn't the debt, it wasn't that precisely. Or drink. ‘Mazing Girl felt, if anything, too sober. As if reality had taken an extra sheen.
Well, it somehow ended up back in Flames house in the mid Wilshire Distrct, where they had spent quite a few hours eating each other out. Very well, in fact. I mean...that was a hell of a tongue on that woman.
Which lead to some real good sleep. which she undoubtedly needed. And eventually it lead to her waking up. And then Flame waking up with Sarah holding her.
"Good morning," Flame offered, when at last she fully waked up.
This was good as Sarah really wanted to go to the bathroom. Yet somehow she didn't want to leave Flame in bed by herself. No, a part of her really really wanted to go right now, but another part of her felt that would be seen as rude, and she didn't want to insult a woman who could burn her up with her mind.
"I’m going to the bathroom. Is that alright?" asked Sarah.
"Of course," said Flame. "First door on the left.”
Sarah got of bed gingerly separating their limbs as she did. They were rather entwined, in fact.
She went in and pissed like a mother. She had drank a lot of orange juice after another and not all of went into curing her dehydration.
"May I ask you what your real name is?" inquired Flame through the door. "I apologize...you may have offered it last night...but I don't remember."
"Can't you just read my mind?" said Sarah. Then paused. This was a step. A big step. But...
"My name is Sarah."
"Nice name," said the Flame. "Reliable. Strong. Just like you. My name is Lana, but you can probably find that from all the magazine subscriptions in there."
Sarah left the bathroom. She looked at the still nude Lana. "Do you want a robe? They will probably fit you though you are a...”
"Much bigger girl then you."
“Didn't want to say, but these tend to be one size fits all. I have this very nice kimono," Lana explained as she went to her closet. "Picked it up in Japan several years ago.”
Lana returned with the Kimono. Sarah looked at her...well what was she? Associate...that much was obvious. They worked in the same field. At times there had been moments where they had been friends-but the kind of friend you don't actually know the name of. They now fucked each other. Lana herself, whatever her last name was, was still so small and tiny. Sarah admired her. Even without her ’Mazing strength she could have broken her in half. Her waist must have been 17 inches and not a lot of her body was that much more shapely than that. She was a small girl of bone and sinew. From the brown hair on her head to down bellow. That Flame did smile at her suggested friendliness, so at least there was that.
Lana handed over the silk kimono. It did fit well enough, covering Sarah in rish light blue cloth. "You look rather smashing, I must say. Charming even."
Lana put on a light blue robe of her own. "I must admit: I have always thought you were rather beautiful ‘Mazing...well, Sarah. Not a fake model, but your curves, the wash of your face, yes...I must say your gorgeous in a healthy way. I myself can't gain an ounce of weight with my metabolism, but I do envy your curves."
Sarah blushed. That was sweet. She had no idea how to end this encounter, and had the desperate desire to do so, but this was sweet, even if her eyes still looked through her.
"You look nice to."
"Thank you, from an old stick and bones," said Lana. "I can make you breakfast if you want."
Sarah paused. A million things went through her mind. This was a superhero. She made a rule never to fuck superheroes. Or supervillains for that matter. She wanted a separate, uncomplicated, life and secret identity. Of course, these were words; titles. And Sarah did sleep around a bit. Now she was sleeping round, but this...Nighthawk would know. Everyone would know. And they would whisper. And that would be no good. The fact that she was a girl too wasn't going to help anything either.
She lowered her head. "Sure."
"Are you okay?" Lana asked. The Flame, if anything, was good at keeping her emotions in check. what she was actually feeling, if anything, was a mystery to Sarah. She could be thinking the same thing, or the exact opposite. This was a mistake Sarah knew...but a person like this you didn't want to tell. You didn't want to make a person mad when they could set the house on fire with an angry thought. But something in Lana’s character told Sarah she would never do that...and besides it was Flame’s house.
And a very nice house at that. They walked down to a large airy kitchen, full of pale whites and tasteful furniture. It looked like a mansion or a mini version of that.
"Hope it’s clean enough," said Lana "I don't have any housekeepers or anything, I don't want to risk them finding anything."
Sarah paused. The flame wore no kind of mask. She wore a kind of costume one could wear anywhere, in fact, in a look normal enough kind of way. How did she actually keep a secret identity? It was a question she never actually got a decent answer to.
And the house itself looked cleaner then she ever could possibly imagine any real property looking. Fuck what a tidy fucker.
Sarah shook her head. "You have a beautiful house."
"Oh thank you," said Lana, as they walked into a kitchen of steel and light paints. "Bought it a couple of years ago. It’s serviceable. Works as a house...sometimes as an office, and I suppose my lair. I sometimes call it my candle." She shook her head. "I don't have people over often."
Sarah, as a woman of a certain moral repute, and age, in the city of Los Angeles...had woken up in some real shit houses. With guys doing blow in the bathroom. Not today. This could be considered a treat. An awkward treat. But, well...
Sarah sat down at a breakfast table. "Do you have any coffee?"
Lana nodded and went to a grinder that looked more expensive then Sarah’s car. "Oh, I get Sumatra beans from a shop in silver lake. Do you want a French grind or something smoother this morning? I want a bit of thickness, I need the caffeine, as if you couldn’t tell."
Lana looked, well, energetic was the wrong word, but if the one setting on her motor was functioning properly.
"That sounds good" said Sarah. She got her coffee from a can pre-ground. Though she did use little white filter cups, thank you.
"What do you want for breakfast? I usually eat granola bit of fresh fruit, but now I’m entertaining a lady caller for this meal, so perhaps I should get more elaborate."
"Do you have any eggs? And, like, some bacon?"
"I am vegetarian, but I do have some eggs I think still. Buy them from the farmers market." She opened the refrigerator "Scrambled? Poached? An omelette with some fresh tomatoes and basil?"
"That sounds good," said Sarah. This was really odd. The sex, the house everything.
Lana busied herself prepping ingredients behind Sarah.
"Do you need any help?" asked Sarah.
"No, I can manage," said Lana. "You know I get The Times - both the local and the New York version. Do you want to read the paper? It’s Sunday.”
It was Sunday. Sarah had no excuse...no work to go to. Which was okay, as she probably would have been late already.
"I bet it probably has some account of our exploits. How do you feel about reading your own stories? It always makes me feel a bit awkward I’m afraid."
"me too," Sarah agreed with genuine solidarity. "It’s such a weird thing. And I just don't know how to talk to the press.”
"It’s not natural for me either. Still the press loves you, and thinks me perhaps rather odd. Like I am some ghost from Chatswim. That is the effect I am going for. Still the world does need us so we must oblige. you get to be supergirl, I guess I’m The Shadow."
Within a couple of minutes there were omelettes on the table. And toast. And Orange juice. They ate in silence for a few moments.
"You know," said Lana, "It is Sunday, and I have a membership to the county museum of art. Would you like to go today?"
"I went there a couple of years ago, they had an exhibit on Jack Kirby’s art."
"No, I think you’re confusing the county with the museum of contemporary art. MOCA. That’s different, though with the problems they've been having maybe not for long."
Sarah paused, and thought, as she ate what was a very good omelette.
"You know, I came here in my costume. And I can't very well wear that to the museum.”
"Nothing I have would fit you," said Lana. "That isn't an insult, except to me."
What was she thinking? Perhaps there was just a glimmer of hope and disappointment. Or it could have been Sarah’s imagination.
Clearly the invitation meant that this wasn't a mistake. Breakfast could be a curtesy. A trip to the museum was not. The Flame thought they were enough of something to go to the museum together, enough of a ...what precisely?
Sarah realized that this could be a mistake. This entire episode had been a mistake.
But what the hell? She didn't have any plans for the day.
"I'll go home and change, then meet you there at let’s say...what time is it?"
“11? Jesus. Say 12:30 then?"
"That sounds like quite a lot of fun," said Flame. Yes...it was a smile, as big as this strange person sitting across from Sarah at the table could give.
Sarah smiled back.
And they spent a happy afternoon walking through the museum, looking at art from Mesopotamia, old European masters, and Japanese contemporary pieces. It was one of those things in LA that you would never quite do without company.
(to be continued)