Proof and Polish by Alisia
Power Consultation Zap
Resident Editor Brawny Buck
An explosion of debris sent Dash flying with a completely haywire sonar sense and reeling from the sudden stop. Trying to sit up, Dash felt panic run through her as she realized she was pinned.Crap, I need to get up like now! she thought with an urgent tone. Another wave of panic hit her with the sound of a dull repetitive scraping making its way towards her.
Refocusing as quickly as she could, she threw a punch as soon as she felt the rubble removed from her. Only to have her hand caught by Pinkie Pie.
“Wow!” Pinkie exclaimed as she dusted her buddy off. “Is it me or did we stay knocked out longer than you'd think?” the speedster removed Dash's remaining obstacles in a blink of an eye.
“I don’t know, Split.” Dash picked up her collapsed staff from the pile, all while noticing Pinkie had seemingly made a nice neat pile of all the bricks. Each was sorted by size and completely out of the way of passersby. “My head is killing me though. Which way did that maniac go?” Dash noticed her facemask was torn from the impacts as she rubbed her temple. “Ugh. Now I have to fix this. Great.”
“Oh hey I can fix that no problem.” Pinkie gave a quick nod after looking it over. “Oh and the crazy lady went that way!” she swiftly answered while holding her own throat with her hand and pointing upwards. “She's got a mean grip, like, twelve of them!”
“No kidding.” Dash concentrated more, sending more sonar pings out further and stronger with each tap of the collapsed pole into the hard ground. “I think I see a trail of Mayhem,” she finally said after a moment of silence. Focusing on the trail of broke ledges and windows that climbed upwards into the skyscrapers, she pointed for Pinkie’s sake.
A series of explosions sounded in the distance and staggered Dash's sonar a moment as it reached them. “I'd say that's a confirmation. Come on!” Pinkie eagerly grabbed her arm and before Dash could protest, she was moving at breakneck speeds up and over buildings.
Pinkie scooped up Rainbow Dash and the world blurred and whirled around her, before coming to an abrupt halt. Dash gave a small gasp as her inertia didn't bleed off as fast as her friends did. She tumbled forward into a somersault, coming to a halt in a kneeling position. The surroundings told her they were on a taller building rooftop. The smell of exhaust from the heating ducts was a dead giveaway to her. Reaching out with several quick pings again, she realized why they stopped: a pair of figures were standing near the edge of the roof they were on.
Dash was ready this time. Being ready for the hits was always part of any exercise, with this being no different. While watching the two figures battle it out, it became obvious the multi-limbed woman was having more fun than one would think. Cackles and snickering could be heard as more lethal strikes flew at Fluttershy's body.
“We gotta help her.” Dash snapped her staff to a ready size, the metal sounding sharply. Turning towards the two battling girls, she sized up the distance. “You ready?”
“Oh yeah!” Pinkie grinned in response, punching her own palm once. “Last one there is a rotten egg!” she spouted off, leaving a blur in Dash’s vision.
“Hey that's cheating!” Dash scoffed and took off at what felt like a snail's pace towards the action.
Mayhem laughed, her chortle and growing pitch echoing across the rooftops tall HVAC units. Strained metal and snapping struts sounded as she threw one of the smaller units at Andrea.The four main trunks that came out of her back planted to the ground and elevated her up above the quick vampire she’d been trading blows with.
“You are by far the most entertainment I've had this week!” she commented as another round of impaling tendrils sailed from her hair and tried desperately to hit the spinning target. “I'd say we should do this again dear, but today is one of my final performances before my big finish!”
“Big finish?” her target asked, running up and along edge of the ledge work, narrowly missed by Mayhem’s salvo. “You haven’t done anything to even impress us.” Her prey back flipped and landed, throwing several shards of broken metal from the HVAC remains.
“Ha! Now that is funny!” Sassy felt a twitch of stability rush through her already cracked mind, Andrea's insult triggering her. “I'll have you know when the world sees what I have to unveil, it'll make the Canterlot Explosion look like a car bomb!” she shouted back, pupils almost normal for a moment before reverting. “Not that anyone will be alive to bear witness!”
“Good to know you won't be needing a lawyer.” Shadowstrike shouted from above her, taking the initiative and shouting at Mayhem. “Cuz you’re definitely pleading insanity!” the hero finished with a series of strikes from her staff to Mayhem’s spearing ends.
“Oooo. It's been a while since I've been invited to a threesome!” Mayhem kept her concentration on keeping Andrea at bay with most of her swinging appendages. The few that attacked the new player missed their marks each time they struck.
“Then you're soooo not doing something right.” Splitsecond response came from out of view, the pink trail she left closing the distance and a series of quick strikes hitting Mayhems unprotected face. She drew a few tentacles back in to shield her face and knocked the staff wielding Dash to the ground in the meantime.
“I'll have you know I was on Equestrian City’s list of most desirable two years in a row!” Sassy barked back at the newest addition to the fray. Her eyes snapped open wider as she felt a main tendril root pulse with pain. Turning to see Andrea, she laughed at the misbegotten attempt to surprise her. The root in question rapidly responded and shot two more thick tendrils at Andrea’s torso. While one missed, Mayhem felt the delightful impact as the other impaled her victim.
The victory was short lived as she felt another series of stings and glanced to see the pink trail left by the speedster leaving again. Lifting up the impaled vampire Mayhem sent her flying towards the edge with all her strength. Feeling the body slide off her tendril she unleashed all of her focus on the staff wielding Shadowstrike. The remarkably nimble flat chested warrior wormed and weaved out of every swing much to her chagrin. “Nimble but lacking style. Who does your hair? You remind me of that little boy, Feather Dash? Rainbow Bangs? Can't recall his name.” Mayhem grinned as she noticed her words hitting their mark as much as her tendrils weren't.
“You’re one to talk!” Shadowstrike replied, having herself back and then forward out of the reach of each claw and spear tipped grappler. The resonating metal impact of her staff drove two more away from behind her, her sonar picking them up in time. “Talk about killer snags, lady you have some serious hair trauma!”
Mayhem grunted in frustration, pulling a ringing phone to her ear as she held the two remaining at bay. “Give me good news, Babsy,” her tone changed to an almost seductive tone despite her continuing efforts in battle.
“We got everything in place, boss.” Babs responded over the phone. “We didn’t have any--hey what's that sound?” a loud chiming sounded as Splitsecond’s body impacted a metal chimney, the lucky shot eliciting a smile from Mayhem.
“I'm having a bit of a party. Why don’t you bring some of the girls to my location.” Sassy grinned, her closer small tentacles deflecting a series of rocks thrown at super speed. “NOW!”
Mayhem clipped the phone in her hand and balled her other fist as well. Turning all her attention back to her attackers she gasp in pain as a wooden beam splintered into her back. Turning to see the source, she continued her laughter. “Here I thought you flew the coop!”
Andrea ducked under a swing and hit her dead center in the chest with a haymaker punch. “Nobody here but us chickens!”
Reeling from the sudden impact, Mistress Mayhem enjoyed a good joke, grabbing hold of Fluttershy's throat and examined the flesh as it knit back together. “Keep this up and you'll be naked before long!” she commented.
“Hey! Put down the Vampire and step away from the AC!” Dash shouted, leaping past several strikes and coming down on the villains back with her staff.
Turning to look at the short haired staff wielder, the pink trail of the speedster came to a stop next to her. “Yeah, and his name is Featherbangs!”
Mayhem felt her arm nearly break from the surprisingly strong hit Andrea gave her. The growl that sounded was followed by, what was clearly, adrenaline filled rage. The third girl went flying into the other two and all three crumpled into the final HVAC, that was somehow left standing.
“Now then. Let's see if your blood matches your skin tones!” Mayhems pupils dilated smaller and her energy spike from the near break, intensified.
“I just don't understand why Coco would do this. She's never shown any interest in top leadership or running things.” Rarity tapped her chin with a finger, lost in thought for a moment.
“What's even weirder is I can't find her. Her tracking application on her phone is turned off.” Spike popped up next to Rarity on a monitor. “Last known location was in her car heading towards midtown.”
“Thank you, Spikey.” Rarity replied, taking out another slender tube and lighting it. She turned to her two friends behind her, the leather in her chair creaking softly. “Then there's the whole mystery to what these items she’d been smuggling are for.”
Rarity leaned back and began looking at all the paperwork in front of her, She felt the ice pick pain of a migraine approaching, she suppressed her desire for a drink. She winced as a high pitched whine came from Sunsets direction. Looking at her recently un-deceased friend, Rarity watched her pull a phone from her jacket pocket. “I do hope that's not your ringtone, dear.”
Various flashes of light reflected off Sunsets goggles as her fingers swiped through security checks. Finally she shook her head slowly. “Nope. Meta Alert. Class S.” Sunset lifted her head to look at Rarity. “Gotta go.” She finished as she replaced the phone in her jacket, footsteps heading to the door.
“S Class. THAT’S dangerous.” Twilight interrupted her exit, standing in front of Sunset.
“Maybe. But it's my fault.” Sunset said with a tone and attitude seldom seen by Twilight. She pushed past her and walked down the vacant hallway, the friendly glint in her eyes gone. “So I'm responsible for it.”
“Ok, I get you think this is all your fault.” Twilight started after her, shoes nearly tripping her up as she picked the pace up.
“It IS my fault. If I didn't come here--” Sunset snapped around as she balled her fists. The action made Twilight abruptly stop. Yet that was all Sunset got out. Her face unchanging, she told her friend again. “I have to do this. Stay here and see what you and Rarity can come up with.”
Sunset called the elevator to her floor and waited silently. Tightening her gloves by the straps and her goggles by the fastener, she walked through the parting doors.
As the elevator began to rise, Spike popped onto the screen near her. “Have you ever considered you might not be able to do this alone?” Spike morphed to his dragon guise.
“I can handle myself fine, Spike.” Sunset remained stoic, her gaze not meeting the A.I. at all. “This isn't my first dance.”
“That I can see. My point, and the point Twilight was trying to make before you stormed off was--”
“I don't have to do this alone anymore...” Sunset finished for him. “I get that, really I do. But you're both wrong, ok?” finally turning to the screen as the elevator rose silently. “If I didn't come here, if I hadn't been so--”
“Headstrong,” Sunset offered a different word. “None of these people would be dead, dying, or in danger.” She sighed with a final frustrated grunt. Running a hand through her hair a moment, the elevator slowed. “It's my mess, Spike. When you make a mess you have to clean it up. That's responsibility. Princess Celestia taught me that much.” She said as the doors opened, revealing the rooftop helipad. A misstep from the elevator car send her forward to her knees, cursing softly. A shadow over her caught her attention, fire igniting from her palm in defense.
“She also taught that a burden only gets heavier...” Twilight’s voice broke the tension, the speakers on her suit clicking on as she spoke. “When it’s carried by a single person.”
Sunset starred up, a silence between the two filling their ears.
Hesitantly, she took Twilights hand and stood up. “You're going one way or another aren't you?” Sunset smiled ever so slightly. As her hands fired with magic, she lifted from the ground. After a brief tilt and correction, she disappeared in a flurry of flames heading towards the center of the city.
Malcontent looked upwards into the skylight above them. A large metal box had crashed through and was falling right at him chased by shards of glass. Holding up both gloved hands, he shifted the momentum of most of the debris to land on a display far to the left.
“What the hell? Is it raining air conditioners?” Aria floated up to survey the damage as Mal pushed open the display case with The Everfree Gems. “So much for subtlety?” she shrugged towards him.
“Whatever did that was very upset. Typically you don't throw HVACs on a whim.” He answered, his hands and eyes lighting up in a cold blue aura. All six gems flew into his hand and were quickly deposited in a black velvet bag.
“Sounds like a decent party starter to me.” Aria snickered.
“We need to make haste before--” he stopped and tilted his head as if to hear something. “Nevermind. Kill them.”
“Kill who?” was all Aria had time to ask him before the room lighting turned on and it became apparent whom he was talking about. Surrounding the duo in a semi circle were four armed guards, all wearing varying degrees of frowns on their faces.
“Them. I assume these are the orgy-less guards you subdued?” Malcontent remarked as he narrowed his eyes at the guards. The feelings of each began to seep through the air and into his prying mind, the jumble of emotions congealing inside him. “Oh my. You really did leave quite the impression on them,” he said with a slow but knowing smile.
“Hands up! Drop the gems!” a female guard barked towards the pair of villains, the telling sound of their pistol cocking punctuating her command.
“That one in particular,” Malcontent continued his commentary, his gaze shifting to a smaller guard to their left. “Was hoping for a relationship if they participated.” The guard in question began to take a step back as Malcontent’s smile cut through her confidence. He watched as the effects of his words resonated inside her, as he exposed a shameful secret to the room. “She's so lonely. She found you so pretty. She hoped you'd be the one.”
Aria’s laughter delivered another blow to the ego of the guard, the siren slowly gauging the last of the threat, two smaller sized men. “Now that IS funny!”
“Hands up! I ain't asking a third time!” the leader shouted again at them.
“Of that I have no doubt.” Malcontent finally made his move. Having fed off the negative emotions of the guards long enough, a gentle motion with his right hand was all he needed to form a wall of solid ice in front of them. The bullets from the guards uselessly became embedded in it and he walked to the side of the ensuing battle. “Finish up and don't leave any witnesses.” Malcontent motioned to Aria, his footsteps calm and even as he leaned on a marble pillar. He heard her summon her sisters soul fires and took a moment to enjoy the show in front of him.
Aria blew a strand of hair from her eyes. “With pleasure,” she replied with a bit of a purr in her tone. The siren drew her hands back behind her, gathering momentum a brief moment before throwing them forward. Adagio and Sonata left wispy trails behind them as both broke through the wall of ice and struck the two male guards square in their faces.
The two female cops gasped in horror. Their focus turned on the floating woman and their gunfire filled the room, mixed with the sounds of their male counterparts hitting the ground, revealing gaping blackened holes in their torsos. Malcontent smiled, closed his eyes and inhaled deeply, quietly exhaling with satisfaction from the rooms emotion.
Once sound ceased from the bodies, Adagio and Sonata shot out of the chilled flesh with unnerving giggles. Their wispy forms faded from sight as they drew closer to their handler. The disheartened woman’s hands trembled, her gun rattling rapidly. “Holy crap!” she exclaimed as Aria turned towards her. Traumatized by what she just saw, she couldn’t even squeeze her trigger. Giving up, she threw her gun to the ground with a stammered, “I-I’m ou-outta h-here!” and ran away in one fluid movement.
Aria giggled, throwing her right hand out. “Aw, going so soon? Why not stick around?” the fleeing woman halted abruptly in her tracks, gasping and choking for air while her hands were clawing at the energy ribbon freshly wrapped around her neck.
“No! Lemon!” the leader screamed and rushed to reload. When she fumbled the clip a couple of times, the siren took notice. After sighing heavily, Aria inhaled deeply. Right as the guard fired on Aria, she released a banshee screech, dropping the bullets out of the air and knocking the woman back. As her body slid to a stop, she began to convulse blood dripped from her ears, “Sorry dear, but sadly a deals a deal.” Aria quietly commented and turned her focus to the remaining female.
Lifting her right hand a bit, the ribbon brought the dangling Lemon closer, turning the officer to face her. Aria’s gem shimmered to life and the ribbon vanished back into her palm, leaving behind a purple ring of magic around the half dead woman’s neck.“Now then, if it makes you feel better, I was flattered..” Softly stroking her clammy skin, the siren cupped Lemon’s cheek, pulled her closer and locked their lips. Lemon’s eyes widened in confusion and panic but gradually, her eyes relaxed and eventually closed as she began to embrace the alluring warmth.
Malcontent cocked an eyebrow after the scene held for a minute. As he lifted a hand and motioned for her to hurry up, Aria broke the kiss and snapped the woman’s neck, locking the peace on her lifeless face. “Nothing personal, cutie.” She seductively said while she ran a thumb over Lemon’s moist, cold lower lip.
Aria released her head and the corpse, watching it strike the flat tile and land in an unnatural position.
“Delicious as usual. Was it good for you?” Malcontent commented as he pushed off the pillar.
“Meals a meal.” Aria remarked with a throw of her hair back. “I suppose you enjoyed some girl on girl?”
“Only if you could actually be fulfilling for me. Now come, there is much left to do.” He proceeded the way they came. Aria landed and followed behind without a second look back at what would surely be found by either other officers or the hired janitor.
As the two stepped out the side entrance they came through, another series of falling objects hit the main street nearby.
“Sounds like Mayhem.” Aria sneered, a strange feeling of disgust and amusement washing over her. Floating several inches off the ground, the siren gazed up, levitating higher above the rooftops. Peering over the edge briefly her suspicions were confirmed as she saw the melee unfold. Eyeing with interest, she broke away for a moment to shout down to her boss. “It’s her. She's got three heroes in a bind. Soon to be dead heroes by the looks of it.” A noise caught her ear. She glanced back and her eyes went wide as another object, a metal door, flew at her. Clipping Aria in the shoulder, the door impacted into the second story window of the building and triggered an ear shattering alarm.
Aria fell to the ground with little grace, her coat tearing on the dumpster she barely missed. Landing on her side, the impact was drowned out as more alarms began to sound. She opened her eyes and sat up on her knees to stare at her keeper's less than amused stare. “Oh like I did that. Tell your crazy bitch to--” Aria choked on her words as her air was shut off, her chest feeling like it was in a tightening vice.
Malcontent stared back silently at his gasping minion, his grip on her life force crushing in time with the slow closure of his fist. The red glow of Arias chest gem reflecting red off his glasses, while he picked up her crumpled form with a gesture of his hand. “Less commentary, more evacuation.” He dropped her on her feet, the siren stumbling and grabbing at the nearby wall to steady herself from his actions. “Perhaps you need a review in discipline before this world en-”
“Hey, pal, back up.” A voice cut off Malcontent, followed by the distinctive cocking of a handgun. “Let's let the lady decide if she wants to leave with you.”
Mal turned, slowly sizing up a man holding a six round revolver in his hands. Messy blonde hair and a lair of brown eyes stared at the villain. The man wore the casual outfit of a civilian out on the town. Pulling what emotions he could from him, he felt less useful ones like righteousness, but creeping up behind that, was more to savor from this savior. Burning hatred for his treatment of Aria seemed to be igniting. As delightful as it would be to make the conversation turn amusing, the alarm was his main concern. “You should walk away from your betters, boy.” Malcontent stared back as his cobalt energy ignited in his own eyes.
“Mister, there's nothing about you that's better than me.” He snapped back. “I don't have to beat someone to show how powerful I am.” The samaritan centered the iron sights on Mal, moving to help Aria.
Aria in the meantime began to stand up straight as her breath returned to normal. She stared at her would be hero and then back to her contract owner. A look of inner conflict dropped from her face a split second later and she walked over towards Mal, linking an arm around his waist. She gave the samaritan an almost apologetic look.
“You're hopelessly deluded.” Mal narrowed his eyes in disgust. “A person is measured by their power over others.” At that moment he lifted his leather gloved hand, snapping his finger in mid lift. The shot rang out but the ice that encased the outmatched civilian stopped the projectile more inches out of the barrel. The shock of the sudden temperature change bugged out the man's eyes as he became a frozen statue.
Malcontent and Aria walked towards the man as the ice continued to form up and past the victims neck. “I leave you to your final moments to consider had you just minded your own business you'd be alive five minutes from now.” Aria and her keeper walked around the doomed samaritan, relinking as they both chuckled.
“Sad how some people never realize the truth until death is inches from them.” Aria commented. “Fool probably wanted to claim me as his own. As if.” She laughed at the premise and threw her hand back, an energy whip snapping the head off the frozen statue.
Before the lethal pair could get to the end of alley, four distinct explosions flashed around them and formed an energy cage around the would-be thieves. Blocked in by the brick walls on two sides and a laser grid on three others, they stopped in their tracks.
“Must we kill everyone tonight?” Mal groaned, pushing his glasses up on his nose. Turning to hear the loud echo of metal hitting the concrete, he came face to face with Matterhorn on the other side of the makeshift prison.
“You're done killing, for good.” Twilight said, her voice echoing in the alley from her speakers. The iris covers on her palms opening and glowing with purple magic, her helmets horn joining the light show.
“I have yet to finish my evening's activities. I doubt you can stop me alone,” Mal turned entirely, hands clasped behind his back in a show of arrogance. Staring down the armored hero he gave the smallest smile. “Twilight Sparkle.”
End of Episode