• Published 12th Apr 2017
  • 910 Views, 20 Comments

The Dazzlings Get Superpowers - CGPH



Aria and Sonata get superpowers. Adagio, begrudgingly, does not.

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Part 3: President Adagio Dazzle

It was a still night in Canterlot. Winter had been and gone, and things were just beginning to warm up around the city. The snow melted and turned to slush, which in turn became water and drained away in sewer pipes, leaving behind wet concrete surfaces. Now night had settled, light from the street lamps reflected in the puddles, bathing the streets in an eerie orange glow.

One area of the city was less lit than the others. The lower south of Canterlot was an industrial area; the usually-cheerful buildings were replaced with dark warehouses, litter-ridden streets and a polluted docking station. It was area only passed through if left with no other choice; where locks on family vehicles suddenly clicked on. The only inhabitants it had were the poor or those looking to live off the radar.

An unusually shiny car rounded a corner, driving too slowly to simply be passing through. The dark car swam through the streets like a shark stalking its prey, lurking around every corner and slowing at every building. It eventually settled on a warehouse, and after scouting the area two times to be sure, finally grinded to a halt outside.

The door opened and a hooded man climbed out. He, like the car, surveyed the area carefully. He stepped a few feet away from the car, before turning back around and giving a nod of approval.

With the coast all clear, four similarly dressed men got out of the car. As the last of them climbed out, they held the door open for a fifth man.

He wore a tailored, pristine white suit and had long blonde hair pinned back into a ponytail. This man was unlike the other men in every conceivable way. As he stepped out the vehicle he took a breath in, frowned, and turned his nose up at a pile of nearby litter.

“Is this the place?” he asked in disgust.

One of the hooded gangsters nodded.

“Right, well…” he eyed the area nervously. “Let’s get on with it, then.”

The men formed a V formation around the richer man, and the six of them began towards the building. Visually it looked the same as the rest of the warehouses in this area, but these men knew that was just a deceiving appearance. And it was for that reason they all walked with their hands in their pockets; hidden holes allowing them to conceal firearms in their trouser legs. They had their fingers wrapped tightly around the triggers, ready to let loose the second things looked like they were turning sour.

Enough had been heard and seen for them to know not to underestimate the President.

The group came to a stop as the leading man reached a large garage door. As he lifted his hand to knock there was a loud VHUZZ sound and the door began to lift on its own.

“Cause that’s not unnerving…” the rich man mumbled.

Swallowing his rising anxieties, he nodded them in and the group stepped forward into the darkness of the building. After a few seconds of nothing, the VHUZZ returned and the door began to close behind them.

Kuh-lunk

Kuh-lunk

Two overhead lights came to life, creating a pathway through the darkness of the large room. The men did what they were clearly being instructed to do and began walking down the path, continuing in the V formation.

“Sir,” one of the men whispered, “I don’t like the look of this.”

“You could have said something before they closed the door, I’ll be honest..” The rich man snapped. “It’ll be fine… there’s more of you than there are of them. You can take them.”

His use of the word ‘you’ instead of ‘we’ wasn’t lost on the gangster. He rolled his eyes.

“Yes boss,” he grumbled.

The group came to a stop as they reached the end of the light path. The man placed his hands in his pockets, straightened up and bit gently on his lip.

“Hello?” he asked into the distance.

There was a sudden harsh flash of light. The men let out an identical gasp as it singed their eyes, and stumbled backwards as they fought to regain their vision. It appeared and disappeared instantaneously, and was far too quick to have belonged to one of the overhead rigs.

Kuh-lunk

The overhead light brought itself to life as the group struggled to regain their bearings.

Ahead of them a large number of wooden crates had been organised into a monument of sorts, stacked on top of each other to form a pyramid. But that was only the second-biggest eye catcher; surrounding them on all sides was a bounty of treasures: expensive cars, posh furniture, ancient artifacts and literal piles of gold and money. The mens’ jaws hit the floor.

The rich man was too busy staring in shock to notice his men begin to panic.

“Sir, we’re unarmed!” One of the men shouted.

He frowned and turned his head, and was shocked to see his men looking cluelessly towards him with their overturned pockets in their hands.

“The deal was that you would come unarmed anyway.”

And with that, every muscle in the room tensed up. The rich man’s breath caught in his throat, and he forced himself to turn around.

The pyramid of crates had suddenly had two girls stood on either side of it, watching them. They resembled Egyptian obelisks guarding an entrance, and likewise a makeshift set of stairs went up the centre of the crates, leading all the way up to throne at the top.

“Madame President!” The rich man spluttered down, before hastily bowing.

A young, familiar woman sat on the throne. Her usual outfit and been stripped away and replaced with a black suit and red tie, signifying her status as the new president of the Canterlot underworld. She looked down at the men with predatory eyes.

“Finance Director Blueblood,” Adagio cooed. “How nice it is to finally meet you.”

Blueblood encouraged the rest of his men to bow before the woman.

“Yes, and likewise!” He stood back up, pulling at his collar nervously. “We’re honored that you accepted our request for an audience with you.”

Adagio smirked.

“I know.”

Then her face dropped, and she her head cocked to the side, much like a cat.

“But if that’s the case, then please tell me something…”

Blueblood noticed the drop in tone of her voice, but his nervous smiled didn’t break.

Adagio pursed her lips.

“What are these?”

Out of fine air, the weapons his men had snuck in clattered to the floor beside the group. Blueblood flinched, partly from the shock of the sudden noise, and partly out of terror. As his men exchanged panicked whispers, he found himself tripping over his own words.

They had heard the stories of people who had tried to make a move against the President.

“Y-y-your highness, you h-have to understand those were merely… a cautionary,” he settled on.

Adagio cocked an eyebrow but remained silent, allowing him to squirm.

“Your reputation precedes you!” he exclaimed. “We’ve heard stories, r-rumors of the new President who took over after Sombra. W-we didn’t know what to expect… after what happened to the Diamond Dog family, we didn’t want to take any chances! Think of it as a compliment, we would never dream of trying anything!”

Blueblood’s grin never faltered, but the bead of sweat dripping down his temple did not go unnoticed.

Adagio nodded slowly, listening. She began inspecting her nails.

“You know what it’s called… when a man conspires against his ruler?” she asked.

Blueblood waited for a moment, unsure if she was being rhetorical. When no follow-up came, he answered.

“T-treason… your honor?”

Adagio nodded.

“It’s treason. Do you know what the punishment is for treason?” her voice grew harsher.

Bluebloods felt his mouth dry up and he began doing his best goldfish impression.

“E-e-e-errr, w-well it’s d-different depending o-on where the crime was c-committed, b-but usually…”

Death, Director Blueblood. The penalty for treason is death.”

Blueblood sensed his men stiffen up behind him. He continued his smile and raised his hands, starting to slowly back away.

“Your majesty…” he said calmly, “I assure you there was no plan of a plot against you... We were merely frightened for our own safety... We are cowardly men and you’re… a very, intimidating figure-head. Your reputation persuades you, as I said. Please forgive us,” he gave a small cough. “Please?”

Adagio’s response didn’t come immediately, allowing a heavy silence to fall over the room. She cocked her head, looking down on them like a cat watching a insect. Blueblood could practically see the cogs working behind her eyes. She pulled herself forward in her chair and gestured to her royal guards.

“What do you girls say?” she asked. “Let’s put it to the court… guilty, not guilty?”

Guilty.”

Blueblood stared daggers at the guard who spoke.

The other girl didn’t speak immediately. Instead she turned around and pulled something out from behind her back.

“Well… one of the guys had this on him.”

The guard flashed a bottle of champagne to Adagio and the group.

“Kind of inconvenient, trying to carry a bottle around in your pocket while trying to shoot people. So… I’ll take not guilty for £1000, Alex.”

Blueblood nodded his head frantically, thanking the girl.

“That bottle was for you, Madam President. It was to celebrate the happy partnership between our two alliances!”

Adagio looked down at the bottle and pursed her lips, pondering.

“What type is it?” she asked.

“I beg your pardon?”

“The champagne. What type is it?”

Sonata took a glance at the bottle and read it out loud.

“Lewis Roader… Crystal-Rose?”

“Dumbass,” the other guard mumbled.

Lous Roedered Cristal Rose,” Blueblood corrected.

Adagio bit her lip..

“That is good champagne…”

Her silence returned, and at this Blueblood was convinced their President was simply playing with them for the thrill of theatricality.

Ahhh, what the hell!” Adagio grinned. “Your President is a merciful one! We’ll let it slide.”

The whole group deflated as they shared a sigh of relief.

Blueblood clapped his hands together.

“Oh thank you Madam President! I promise yo-“

The pile of firearms on the floor suddenly began to glow purple. One by one, the weapons floated into the air and took aim.

Click, click

Click, click

Click, click

Click, click

Click, click

“But this doesn’t happen again,” Adagio deadpanned.

Blueblood forced out the breath he had been holding and swallowed, his fake smile returning.

“O-of course, your greatness. Never again... I swear!”

Adagio gave a light chuckle, and the weapons suddenly fell to the floor again, startling the men.

“Now that that’s out of the way… let’s get on with our meeting.”

Adagio laid back in her chair and folded one leg over the other one, way too casually for Blueblood’s liking, who was still trying to calm his beating heart. She laid her head to rest on her hand and waved for him to begin.

“I have to say,” she began, “It was quite the surprise for me and my girls to hear from you. Finance Director of Canterlot is a pretty big name, I don’t see why you’d feel the need to get involved with my family.”

Blueblood forced himself to take a long calming breath and nodded to her words.

“W-well you see, Madame President, you’d be surprised I’m just one of a number of people on the city council who has a work history with the previous President. I’d be interested in continuing those connections, if you would be so kind?”

“Who else?” Adagio asked.

Blueblood blinked.

“Eh, pardon?”

“Who else on the city council,” Adagio repeated, “Did Sombra have connections to?”

“I… erm…” Blueblood coughed awkwardly into his hand, “don’t think I’m really at liberty to say, your honour.”

Adagio’s expression dropped. Blueblood’s heart followed suit.

She peeled back her lips, exposing her teeth, which were grinding together. She gave a hauntingly cold laugh.

“I hope you didn’t just say no to the President?”

Blueblood’s stomach jumped into his mouth.

Or that could have been the feeling of his men staring daggers at him.

Either way, he repressed a squeal.

“Of course not!” He half-shouted. “T-there’s e-ermm… Filthy Rich! He forwards the money he c-claims is for rural housing development i-into an offshore account, annndddd…. W-Wind Rider! He uses the Canterlot City Football Club as a front for an illegal smuggling o-operation, there’s also Abacus Cinch-“

Adagio lifted her hand, silencing him.

Blueblood bit his tongue and fell silent.

“I can see you’re going to be of use to us.”

A shiver shot down Blueblood’s spine.

There was something about this woman’s tone, and the way she looked down on his men… like they were flies caught her spiders web… it didn’t just unnerve him, it terrified him. He could practically see the evil oozing from the grin she pulled.

It was a grin that would be visiting him for many nights to come.

“I’m g-glad, your honour.”

Adagio smiled, and gestured to the guard who had spoken in Blueblood’s favor.

“Sonata, dear, crack open that bottle and pour myself and the Councilman some. Oh, and fetch him a chair won’t you?”

Sonata gave a small roll of her eyes and obeyed, and made her way out of the room, via a back entrance Blueblood had not noticed prior.

“You can send your men outside now, I’ve proven we’re not a threat and I would really rather they aren’t here to eavesdrop,” Adagio told him.

It wasn’t his trust for her, but rather his fear of upsetting her that made him obey. Blueblood gestured for his guardsmen to leave. As they turned to do so, the room was suddenly thrown into a ruckus.

“EVERYBODY PUT YOUR HANDS UP!”

Suddenly dozens of police officers dove out the darkness. Blueblood instinctively threw himself to the ground, while his men panicked and some attempted making a break for it. Shots began firing, and within seconds there was pandemonium in the warehouse.

“You son of a bitch!” Adagio roared, leaping out of her seat. “You set us up!”

“I didn’t! I didn’t!” he shrieked. “This isn’t me!”

The officers swarmed the building, tackling Blueblood’s men to the ground, firing shots and shouting commands. Blueblood felt himself get roughly grabbed him by his ponytail and his head forced against the ground, and then his chest constricting as the officer forced their weight onto him. He let out a groan of pain, but didn’t attempt to fight his way free.

It was okay. He had good lawyers, this wasn’t the first time he’d been caught in the act and got away scot-free. Right now, it wasn’t the police he was worried about.

He had heard rumours, but hadn’t believed them. He knew these girls were strong, but he didn’t believe the true extent of the stories he’d heard. A fishermen’s tale, he’d brushed them off as. What obviously happened was someone was too chicken to admit they got beat down by three teenage girls, and so exaggerated what happened. But as he was about to learn, he couldn’t have been more wrong.

Just like that, everything froze.

The world had been over taken by a purple light. Or it looked like it had, from Blueblood’s point of view. In reality, a thick inch of purple glow had wrapped itself around everyone in the room, minus the President and her guard. Blueblood recognized the glow as the same one that had a nearly caused his men’s own weapons to fire on them moments ago.

He found himself unable to move, but this was no longer because of the police officer restraining him. His arms, his legs, and even his face. He felt like his entire brain had been unplugged from his body. The only muscle he could move were his eyes, and they were telling him that every person in the room was experiencing the same restrictions as him.

His attention was to the only one moving in the room, one of the President’s guards. She was stood with her arms outstretched and her hands glowing.

She was source of the power that froze them.

There was suddenly another harsh explosion of light, the same one that disarmed them, but this time Blueblood saw it all. The other guard had leapt forward in the room, like she was diving into a run, and was swallowed up into a bolt of lightning. Within seconds the lightning zigzagged across the room and then came to a stop exactly where the girl was first positioned. The electric dissipated and she was stood there, unharmed, but now with every officers’ weapon tucked under her arm. She smiled, proud of her work, and dropped the guns loudly to the floor.

“It appears we have some unexpected visitors, girls.”

Adagio sounded pleased. A wave of chills washed over Blueblood. With the tone she was using, he was very glad she wasn’t addressing him right now.

The President stood up and began making her way down the steps. She walked slowly, her hips swaying hypnotically from side to side. She crossed down the steps and onto the floor with the rest of them.

“Somebody talk to me, who’s in charge?” she asked.

Blueblood scanned the area. All of the police officers remained silent, or continued trying to fight their way free from the magical grasp.

Adagio huffed.

“Aria…” she addressed her magic-wielding guard. “Let’s make these gents a little more… cooperative.”

The guard nodded and slowly began pulling one of her outstretched hands into a fist. The room was suddenly filled with the grunts and groans of the police officers. The tighter she pulled her hand in, the louder the cries grew, and the wider Adagio smiled.

She finally pulled her hand into a tight knot, and suddenly the room fell silent. Blueblood could spy one of the officer’s faces from his position. He hand gone from total agony to his face completely dropping, expressionless and monotone.

“Now I’ll ask again, who’s in charge?”

Almost robotic-like in movement, all of the officers lifted an arm and pointed in the same direction, singling out one of the officers. The officer was stood in the centre of the panic, and had his gun outstretched towards the back of one of Bluebloods goons.

Adagio sauntered across the room towards the officer. She came to a stop in front of his gun, and joking stared down the barrel. Blueblood could see the officer squirming like an arachnophobe next to a tarantula. Even if he wanted to, the officer couldn’t pull the trigger.

“What’s your name, handsome?” Adagio asked.

When he didn’t reply, Adagio gestured to Aria. Aria nudged her fist to the side.

“Captain Shining Armor of the Canterlot Royal Police Force,” the answer sounded like it was dragged from his throat.

Adagio nodded, and made to move around him. The captain was still frozen in place, giving her absolute power over him. She draped her arm over his shoulder, and began to caress his cheek with her hand.

“A Captain, aye?” her voice was deeper. “You know, women love a guy in uniform.”

The captain’s eye twitched. It was clear he was fighting against the power over him with all of his might.

Adagio moved in closer, and spoke almost at a whisper.

“You know I have the power to kill you and all of your cronies right now, right?”

She gestured to her guard.

“All it would take is a slip of her finger… and your neck would perform a seven twenty degree spin.”

The captain’s face began to glowing red, more out of rage now than embarrassment.

“Soooo… to avoid any of that nasty bloodshed, how about you cooperate?” Adagio then gave a cheeky smile, “for me?”

After a moment’s hesitation, the captain made a reluctant grunt, signalling his agreement.

Adagio smiled again and gave a flick of her head, flipping her hair to the side.

“Good… we’re gonna have so much fun together.”

A shiver went down Blueblood’s spine. Oh, how he was glad he wasn’t the captain right now.

“Captain Armor,” she began, “would you mind telling me how you happened upon my sisters and I this evening? As you can see, we were kind of in the middle of something. Gate crashing is very rude, you know, you’d better have a good explanation.”

Another slight twitch of Aria’s hand returned the captain to his expressionless state, and he began to answer.

“Two months ago the Mayor launched a new law that requires routine investigations of the city’s councilmen, and since then Director Blueblood has been linked to numerous crimes involving the unidentified criminal known as ‘the President’. For the weeks that followed he has been under close watch by the CRPF, and tonight we traced him to this location, believing him to be meeting up with the President in person.”

Bugger.

At least the President now knew he wasn’t a spy.

But still.

Bugger.

“Well, you found him!” Adagio laughed. “So what’s the plan?”

The captain’s monotone expression continued.

“Subdue the President and bring him in for questioning regarding the unsolved felonies that have been linked to his organisation.”

“Felonies?”

“The president has been linked to case of fraud, larceny, arson, the manufacture and sale of illegal drugs, kidnap and murder.”

Adagio pursed her lips and nodded.

“Sombra sure got up to a lot, didn’t he?” She laughed. “I almost feel bad for him now. All that effort he must have put in… Let me ask you a question, Captain. How long back do these crimes begin?”

“The first reports of the President arose in the nineteen eighty-seven.”

“And what year is it now?”

“Two thousand and seventeen.”

Adagio nodded.

“So… explain something to me… I’m the President, you caught me, well done, you were right about that. But look at me!”

She cocked her hip to the side and gestured to her figure. The captain glanced down.

“Gorgeous as I am, I’m barely legal. I’m in my late teens… probably. How could I possibly be guilty of crimes committed years before I was born?”

The captain didn’t show any expression, but his silence was enough of an answer.

Adagio gestured to the rest of room.

“There will be no arrests made today. There have been no crimes committed here. The President is no longer under your investigation.”

Aria twisted her hand, causing the captain to spasm violently.

In a robotic tone he repeated her words back to her.

“There will be no arrests made today. There have been no crimes committed here. The President is no longer under our investigation.”

Adagio glanced down at Blueblood for a second, before rolling her eyes.

“Neither is Blueblood.”

“Neither is Blueblood.”

“Excellent!” Adagio clapped her hands together. “I’m so glad you feel that way, I thought we were in trouble for a second then! Aria!”

At her President’s signal, the guard released her magical grip.

Half of the cops fell to the floor while the other half keeled over wheezing. Blueblood suddenly felt a release of pressure, as the officer holding him down rolled off him. Blueblood’s men seemed less affected by the magic, as they began to free themselves and stand up. Despite the police coming to their senses around her, Adagio remained in front of the captain, hands on her hips.

“Don’t worry, the sickness wears off pretty quickly.”

The captain looked up at her, anger riddled across his face. As he made to take a step towards her, he suddenly froze.

Adagio stepped forward, grinning.

“What’s wrong? Cat got your tongue?”

The captain took a step back. He shook his head, trying to free himself from whatever it was that just overtook him.

He stepped forward again. And again, he froze.

Adagio turned to the crowd watching them.

“Today is career day boys, and you all just lucked out! Every one of you works for us now! You answer to us, you protect us, you do whatever we ask and we’re all going to be one big, happy family. Any questions?"

The captain thought before answering. A purple glow flashed around his pupils.

“None, your majesty.”

Adagio pulled a shit-eating grin and placed her hand on the captain’s shoulder.

Good.”

She turned to her guards.

“Sonata, dear, about that champagne?”


The door to the Dazzlings’ apartment creaked open. It was the dead of night, but that didn’t stop Aria and Sonata knocking over a lamp as they drunkenly stumbled in.

The original plan had been for them to move to a better neighbourhood once they had the money, but that plan had quickly been cancelled as they became the wealthiest people in the city. Adagio was set on keeping a low profile to avoid suspicion, so they’d had to continue making do with their small apartment. Adagio herself was still at their new HQ, enjoying a drunken Blueblood and Shining Armor competing for her affection.

“I love you, Aria.”

“I know you do, Sonata.”

“No like, I really love you.”

“Okay.”

“I think we should have a baby.”

Aria chuckled.

“I nearly strangle you daily, neither of us is bringing a child into this household.”

Sonata pouted.

“What about a dog?”

Aria pursed her lips.

Maybe a dog.”

“And a cat?”

“That’s pushing it.”

Aria pushed Sonata down onto the sofa, and then used her powers to flick the main light on, before making her way to the kitchen. Sonata snatched the remote control and turned the television on.

“You need to eat bread. Bread and water, they’re the best thing for preventing hangover,” Aria said from the kitchen.

“What about spaghetti?”

Aria laughed. “As far as I know that doesn’t do anything.”

“Can you do some anyway?”

“Sonata, it’s quarter past four, I’m not making you spaghetti.”

“Even with your magic thingy?”

No.”

“Please?”

“Your life is remaining pasta-free for the rest of the evening!”

“But Ariaaaaaa!” Sonata moaned.

Aria returned from the kitchen holding two plates of buttered bread, and had two water bottles floating behind her.

“Eat this, all of it,” she handed her sister the food and took a seat next to her,

“Is this gonna make me not drunk?” she asked.

Aria shook her head.

“It’ll make you wake up without hangover… which trust me, you don’t want.”

Sonata smiled and took a bite of the bread. She smiled.

“I like being drunk.”

Aria chuckled into her own slice.

“I can tell.”

“Why did you and Adagio not let me do it?”

Aria finished her chewing and swallowed.

“Sonata, with respect, you have every form of ADHD on the planet. The last thing either of us want is to chaperone you drunk,” she laughed.

Instead of taking offense, Sonata simply nodded. “So why now?”

Aria shrugged, before smiling.

“Because we’ve won.”

Sonata cocked her head, puzzled. “Won what?”

Aria took a big gulp of her water.

“Everything, Sonata. Everything we ever worked to achieve. Nobody can touch us, we’re the bosses now. Everyone works for us, and everyone adores us. There’s a god of irony laughing his ass off that losing our powers actually made us win in the end.” She chuckled, “Neighptune, would I love to see the looks on those Rainbooms’ faces now.”

It took Sonata a moment before she nodded. It looked like she was having difficult processing this.

“So what do we do now then?”

The corner of Aria’s mouth was curled into a smirk. She pulled her arms back to relax behind her head.

“Whatever we like. We run the world now. Time to have our happily ever after.”

Sonata gave a lop-sided smile. She pulled her legs up beneath herself and rested her head on Aria’s chest. Aria dropped her arm around her sister’s shoulder.

“I love you, Aria.”

Aria gave a slight chortle. Her little sister’s first time drinking was exactly what she suspected it would be like.

“I love you too, Sonata.”

A moment passed, and the two sisters simply lay there together, zoning in and out of consciousness. A loud noise from the TV eventually brought the two back to reality.

“C’mon, it’s bed time.”

Aria pulled herself free from Sonata and stood up. She turned and extended a hand to her sister.

“Do we haaaaave to?” she moaned.

“Yessss, we have to.”

“Five more minutes?”

Aria rolled her eyes.

“I’ll go do my teeth and get changed, be ready when I get back.”

Sonata nodded, and was then left in silence as her sister left the room.

“… has four confirmed dead, a toll that is expected to rise in the next few hours.”

Sonata opened her eyes, not realizing she’d closed them. Her attention turned to the TV. She turned up the volume and sat up.

“It’s unknown how the fire started but it’s suspected to most likely have been the result of a gas leak or a smoker in one of the properties. Fire crews are working around the clock to put the fire out, and nearby apartment blocks have been evacuated in the event of a possible spread.”

“Ready, dude?” Aria reappeared in the doorway.

Sonata nodded, but didn’t look away from the screen.

“Aria, look.”

Aria took a step forward and craned her neck to see the screen.

“Aw shit, isn’t that in Canterlot?”

Sonata nodded.

“Shame,” Aria remarked, giving a rare show of sympathy.

She patted her sister on the shoulder.

“Come on, I’m tired. I’d go by myself, but frankly I don’t trust you to get ready for bed alone.”

“But look!” Sonata pointed at the screen again. “Four people have died!”

Aria nodded.

“I know, it’s a shame, but there’s nothing we can do. Now, are you coming?”

Sonata watched the TV a moment longer. She sighed.

“…yeah. I’m coming.”

As she turned the TV off and made her way out of the room, Aria’s words hung in her head.

“There’s nothing we can do.”

Maybe it was the alcohol, but something about that didn’t ring true in her head.

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