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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

HOTN: TLF

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Heroines of the Night
Tripping the Light Fantastic

by Bevie James

Episode One – Jewel Heist

The explosion of light was so intense it was like it had a physical presence. Verena Castle fell away from it, covering her eyes against the waves of intensity. There was the sound of laughter, and then the light was gone.

Regular evening seemed like deep darkness now, and it was difficult to make things out. But one thing was easy. Standing where the wall to the MacRoodies Jewelry Store had been was a man holding a large mallet in one hand, and a large cloth bag in the other.

He wasn’t a tall man, perhaps only an inch or two more than Verena herself. But he was well-built. His muscles flexed inside the yellow-orange clothes which were painted on his body. His eyes darted about from behind the black mask which covered the upper portion of his face. Although the police were surely on their way he did not appear to be overly concerned, stepping lightly over the rubble and to the sidewalk where Verena stood watching his every move.

The man saw her and tipped his fedora.

“Good evening, miss. Sorry if I startled you, but I needed to leave and this was the shortest way out.” He hung his mallet on his belt. Then he reached into his bag and took out a small jewelry box, which he presented to Verena. “Here. As a token of apology for any inconvenience I may have caused.” Then, after tipping his fedora again, he took a control device from his belt and pushed a few buttons.

The sound of a purring engine made Verena turn around. It was a shiny black Ferrari. The F430 Spider. No driver.

The man hopped into the car and drove away even as the sound of sirens filled the air. Before he did, though, Verena managed to take something from her purse and toss it at the vehicle. It bounced below the rear bumper and up where it apparently attached itself to something, for it did not come down.

Verena slipped away into the shadows before she could be seen. She didn’t have time to be questioned by the locals. She had to be some place. Fast.

She was able to make it to her car without having to resort to invisibility. That was good. Being invisible meant she wouldn’t be stopped, but it also slowed her down as most of her energy would be devoted to maintaining her cloak. She was still at least ten minutes away from her headquarters. Sometimes time just wasn’t friendly.

Along the back streets of the more decrepit part of town she pulled into what appeared to be an abandoned parking ramp. There were three levels above ground, and one below. Turning her radio dial to A.M., and then to the Religious Conservatives Broadcast Station she waited for the sensor display to appear on her dashboard. She smiled. It was the perfect way to hide the car’s ultimate controls. Only complete lunatics listened to RCB, so there was little danger of this ever being discovered.

The sensor display lit up and she checked for life forms. Nothing larger than a rat. She drove in and down to the lower level, shutting off her lights as she did. Driving up to a wall she then spoke aloud.

“Commander Castle wishes to enter.”

What appeared to be simply a dark shadow on the wall dissolved, and a tunnel opened up for her to enter. Driving slowly, she passed through. Her rear-view mirror showed the opening closing again. When it did, the tunnel lights came on, and now a voice spoke to her from the dashboard speakers.

“Welcome back, Commander. What’s up?”

“We have trouble, Alanna. Mr. Manners is out and about again. Gather the team.”

1 comment:

fairyhedgehog said...

This is a good start, Bevie. I look forward to seeing where you go with this one.