#1 Posted by Agent_Hannigan (1209 posts) - - Show Bio

Melissa stood in the bedroom of her house in the suburbs of San Diego. It had become a pretty desolate place recently, thanks in no small part to her job. Almost everything was coated in dust. Still, she managed to make herself comfortable when she had some time off, and tonight, she was doing something even rarer for her than sleeping in her own bed, hanging out with a friend. She finished buttoning up her white dress shirt and pulled on her shoulder holster, double checking that her gun was loaded. It wasn't just part of her job description that she was always prepared. She threw on a brown leather jacket and sat down at the foot of the bed, lacing up her black Converse sneakers.

Her cell phone began rattling on the nightstand and she sprung for it, answering before it tolled twice. "Hello?" she said.

"Yes, sir..." her smile gradually began to drift away, "But we aren't scheduled to ship out again for another week... Tomorrow... Yes, sir, very good." She hung up and sighed, running her fingers through her scraggly blonde hair. Sometimes, she wondered if her job was really worth it, if the long hours, the strained social life, and the ever-growing collection of scars were really worth it. Hell, the only real relationship she'd had, all the way back to when she was in the CIA, was with a superhero who couldn't even spend the night with her without sending himself on a guilt trip about neglecting his responsibilities. No matter how much he cared about her, she would always come in second to his mission. Still, for wall the madness, exhaustion, loneliness, and almost being eaten alive on a regular basis, she wouldn't miss it for the world. She got to live her fantasy every day, or the closest thing to it without being bitten by a radioactive something-or-other. Every day, she was in the middle of the action, at the heart of a world inhabited by real life, honest to god, super heroes. And villains, unfortunately. Not to mention, if she didn't have this job, she would never have met Amelia.

The Gaslamp District

Melissa entered the crowded bar as the sun was just starting to set. For some reason, she always felt tempted to kick open the door when entering a bar, probably because she watched so many westerns growing up. The gun strapped under her arm didn't help to quell the urge. She took a few steps inside and scanned the room, straining her eyes to make out individual faces in the dim red light. She liked this bar. Drinks were cheap...ish, and they didn't play crap on the juke box. But good god, did the lighting screw with her eyes. Maybe she was early. Where was Amelia hiding?

#2 Edited by Amelia_ (2065 posts) - - Show Bio

There was a row of assorted scum and deadbeats at the bar. Couple drifters, one or two truckers. Hell, even an off-duty cop here and there. For some odd reason, the amount of women in the bar was limited to scarce few, at least three of which were employees. It wasn't exactly a crappy bar or anything. Drinks were relatively inexpensive, and they even played Zeppelin on the juke box every now and then. Today was just.. a bad night. At the end of the bar was a woman. Early-20's, crappy olive drab jacket draped over her body. Her head was pressed face-first down onto the bar. Long, slightly matted brown hair hid her face from view. If you got close enough, you could hear the girl snoring.

She was enjoying catching up on much-needed sleep, but apparently the universe didn't like that. A guy sat down next to her. Tall, muscular, nice hair. The dreamboat most girls looked for. "Hey bab-" He was interrupted by the woman holding up a finger. Raising her head, she glared over at him. "Don't even start. You haven't got a shot in hell at getting with me." She plopped her head back down on the bar, trying to sleep once more. The guy didn't take the hint. Like any other guy that didn't know when to back off, he grabbed her shoulder. "C'mon babe, I just-" Interrupted again. Instead by the woman grabbing his wrist in a crushing grip. "Believe me, Fabio, unless you've got some sort of fetish for hospital stays.. back off." Again, he didn't, and tried to hit on her again. Having lost her patience, she stood up.

Doing something that a person her size should be physically incapable of doing, she yanked the idiot to the floor. The bar stool he'd been sitting on went crashing to the floor with a metal clanging noise. Making her way to the front of the building, musclebound idiot dragging behind her, she intended to make a show out of the jackass. Stopping in front of the door, she looked down at him. "Try not to land in traffic, alright? Last thing I want is someone getting hurt because of your thickheadedness." Lifting her arm up, she slid her leg back. With one arm, she pulled him up into the air and threw him like a rag doll. The last thing she saw of him before turning around was him crashing through the front window of the bar.

Blinking, she looked at the bartender. "Uh.. I can fix that." The bartender was about to speak when someone walked on in. A blonde-haired woman, had an athletic build and an air of confidence about her. The slightly disheveled girl recognized her instantly. There was an instant feeling of joy. Sleep-deprivation gave way to contained excitement. She was a close friend, Melissa Hannigan. Amelia simply hoped that her little.. display wouldn't ruin things. Spending time with Melissa was one of the few good things in her life. Smiling innocently, she waved, trying to pretend like she hadn't just thrown a 195 pound man out of a window.

#3 Posted by Agent_Hannigan (1209 posts) - - Show Bio

Melissa looked around once again for her friend, but couldn't seem to find her. Suddenly, she heard a commotion across the bar and saw a blur of hair gel and arrogance hit the floor. Yep. She'd found Amelia. The guy was dragged across the floor, the entire crowd falling silent as Amelia marched for the door. As much as she wanted to watch the guy surrender a couple teeth, Melissa was obligated to try and smooth things over, to save him, unfortunately.

Before Melissa could elbow her way through the crowd, the poor bastard hit the pavement outside, along with a pile of glass shards. By the time Amelia turned around, Melissa was standing there with her arms crossed and a disapproving expression on her face. "'Bout finished?" she asked condescendingly.

She sauntered back to the booth she had laid claim to, and when the people who had moved in while she was up saw that the crazy chick who just threw a guy out the window was with her, they made a hasty and orderly retreat. "I knew being your friend had its advantages." she said with a grin, dropping down in her seat.

#4 Edited by Amelia_ (2065 posts) - - Show Bio

The tone made her avert her eyes to the floor. It was odd, really. Melissa was potentially the only person that could make Amelia feel bad about when she got violent. "Sorry. He woke me up to hit on me." She held her arm. The next few words were muttered. "At least I didn't kick him in the nuts with my full strength this time.." Melissa started to walk off. If it hadn't been for her gaze facing the floor in the blonde woman's general direction, she might of missed it. Quietly this time, she followed her over to a booth, and sat down.

"There's some, yeah." Amelia smiled back. She spread her arms out across the back of the booth. "Course, there's disadvantages like anything. Having old-ass monsters go after you is one. Though really, that's part of your job anyways." She grinned, almost teasingly despite knowing that her 'job' was far worse than Melissa's. "But I'd say they balance out." Looking to the crowd, she noticed that all the other men that had been stealing looks at her had turned back to their drinks. Their types usually preferred a chick stupid and hot. Semi-attractive and crazy was a no-go. She noticed that she still had her backpack on, and quickly removed it, dropping it onto the seat next to her.

The younger woman found it hard to start a conversation. Her strengths rested in taunting people and intimidating idiots. Starting conversations.. not so much. "Sooo.. how's the job treating you? Still doing mountains of paperwork in what little time you get off?"

#5 Posted by Agent_Hannigan (1209 posts) - - Show Bio

"Nah," Melissa replied, fingers galloping over the table, "I've got a pretty good system for getting my paperwork done on time. I just keep a butane lighter in my desk." She cracked up and knocked back her drink. "But our schedule got pushed forward again. We're shipping out tomorrow instead of Thursday. So now, I have an entire season of Doctor Who in my DVR that's been sitting there for months, and I'm not gonna watch 'em for another month. If you tell me what happened last season, I am going to kill you." She finished off her beer and sighed, "And if I'm reporting for duty at the crack of dawn tomorrow, that ain't gonna stop me from doing it with a headache." She jumped up and went to the bar, coming back with two more drinks in hand.

"So, how's the monster hunting business?" she asked, relieving Amelia of the obvious trouble she had with conversation starting, "Still nightmarish? Ya know, like that time I did a ride-along with you and wound up having to stab a werewolf in the eye with a chair leg? Not exactly the best Saturday afternoon of my life, but at least we saw the Avengers afterward... okay, maybe it WAS the best Saturday afternoon of my life." She chuckled and slid farther into the booth, kicking her legs up to get more comfortable. She tired as all hell. The dark circles around her eyes made that fairly apparent. She thought she would have a few more days to rest and prepare herself for the next couple weeks on the high seas. Maybe she should've broken it off with Amelia in lieu of getting some sleep before reporting for duty, but she gave too much of her life to her job to cancel this, and the girl sitting across from her did exactly the same thing. She needed this time to herself. She needed time with a friend.

#6 Edited by Amelia_ (2065 posts) - - Show Bio

Her lips curled into a smile, and she laughed. "There's a difference between doing it and incinerating it, y'know." The younger girl even snorted, a somewhat annoying habit of hers. "I'm.. uh.. a little bit behind myself." Amelia abstained from drinking much. She had already had a couple before Melissa had gotten here. "Yeah, well.. I have to be up around the same time. There's a vampire nest in the Mojave Desert that I have to go clean out. Surprised I heard about it before you did, it's barely a couple miles outside of Edwards Air Force Base, built into a mountain. They've been there for awhile.. just barely got caught when one of the new-bloods got photographed feeding on a pilot." Looking over, she accepted the drink. "On second thought, I need this. Gonna be knee-deep in bloodsuckers later.."

While she asked a question, Amelia took a long drink. "Nightmarish for normal people, sure. I got used to it.. around 20, I think." That was a lie. You really couldn't 'get used to it'. She laughed a little. "Yeah. I also remember having to save your ass using a silver candlestick that I snapped in half." Any other person probably would of gotten their ass kicked for such a remark. She slowly tipped her head back, taking another drink, then set the bottle on the table. Amelia looked just as, if not more, tired than Melissa did. "You remember how we ran into each other? Brazil, I think.. or was it Caracas? Been awhile, and my memory isn't always the best." Her fingers reached up and scratched her head.

She needed this. Hunting took its toll on her sometimes, and hanging out with someone other than Eddie helped, a lot.

#7 Posted by Agent_Hannigan (1209 posts) - - Show Bio

"Oh my god..." Melissa laughed, hiding her hand in her face as the memory returned to her, "It was Caracas, and thanks to you, I remember that whole fiasco like it was yesterday."

ONE MILE OFF THE COAST OF CARACAS, SIX MONTHS AGO

The U.S.S. Vigilant, headquarters of U.N. Metahuman Affairs, drifted silently on the crystalline ocean in the dead of night. All was silent, betraying the chaos they had been called in to contain. There was a gathering of people in the hangar below deck. They moved along the right hand walkway, passing by an array of boats and submersible craft. Each was covered in body armor, pieces of bulletproof carbon fiber plating held together by a durable mesh. At the head of the group was Melissa. Her armor was marked by three yellow stripes on the shoulder to signify her rank. She still wore her beret atop her head, her pistol at her waist.

They all stepped aboard a dark gray patrol boat and inside the cabin, found a rack of assault rifles. Each took one from the wall and two clips of ammo from a trunk at their feet. "Alright, people," Melissa said, loading her rifle, "Information's sketchy, but at approximately 2200, something crawled up onto dry land and started destroying everything in its path. Death toll hasn't been specified, but nothing local law enforcement has tried has had any effect on it. Your second magazine is loaded with explosive rounds. Once we have it confirmed that all civilians cleared, you're free to use them. 'Til then, keep your grouping tight and hope regular rounds do the trick." With that, she gave the signal and the canal in the center of the hangar began to flood with water. A massive threshold in the far wall opened up, exposing the open ocean. Their boat quickly moved along the narrow canal and burst out of the bow end of the ship.

Within minutes, they drove up onto dry land and jumped over the bow, landing on the sand. Already, they were surrounded by evidence of the bedlam that was unfolding on these shores. Melissa spotted a place up the beach where the trees had bowed to either side, and a remarkable set of footprints lead to that exact spot. She gave a silent gesture to her men and they moved in, rifles raised, fanning out to ensure that whatever lurked in the darkness of the trees had no option for escape.

Melissa raised her fist, signalling for them to stop. They stood at the very edge of the trees, waiting quietly for a sign. They got it. Without warning, a tendril shot from the darkness. The bulbous tip struck one of the agents in the chest, sticking to his armor. "What the hell?" Meliss whispered. They could see, from just above the base of the tongue, two glowing white eyes. Before he could fully react, the tongue reeled in and he was pulled off his feet, flung forward into the darkness. Melissa shouldered her rifle again, switched off the safety, and howled, "FIRE!"

#8 Edited by Amelia_ (2065 posts) - - Show Bio

After what had felt like ages, she finally saw it. Out in the trees, her eyesight picked out a pair of bright white eyes. Amelia had been tracking something through this area for awhile. Exactly what, she didn't know. But there had been a string of "mysterious deaths" in Caracas. Given that mysterious deaths tended to suggest that there was something not-so-friendly hanging around, she'd opted to go in. The utter lack of information on the beast disturbed her. Even Eddie hadn't been able to find a single ounce of information on it. And Eddie knew everything. The little weirdo was like a freakin' database on this type of stuff. A low hiss came through the trees. Its gaze turned to her. "Ah.. crap." Getting up, she turned and ran out into the road.

Quickly, she ducked her head down. A massive tongue shot out to where her head had been just a second ago. Pulling out a vial of clear fluid, she hurled it in the creature's direction. It broke onto its skin, and did nothing but irritate it. "Craaaaap. Holy water's ou-" Off in the distance, she heard noises. Boots on the shore. "S**t. S**t, not good, not good!" As soon as she heard it, the monster did, too. It turned away from her, moving in on what it perceived to be easier prey. Turning on her heel, Amelia chased after it.

Coming into view, she saw it pull a soldier out of the air. Just as he was about to be consumed, Amelia leaped into the air, landing on its back. Pulling out a knife, she leaned forwards and sawed the tongue off. The soldier was dropped to the ground, and the beast howled in pain, then swung around, trying to knock the woman off of it. She furiously stabbed at his back, only to notice something. "Oh, COME ON!" Each time she made a wound, it sealed up in seconds. "Craaaaaaaaaaaaappp." She felt it grab her by her hair, and fling her out onto the beach. Landing on the ground, she slid right to the feet of the formation of soldiers. Coughing, she forced herself back up. "Ow."

The monster began to regenerate its tongue. It was only hungry before. Now, it was angry.

#9 Posted by Agent_Hannigan (1209 posts) - - Show Bio

"You!" Melissa bellowed, pointing to the young woman, obviously insane, who had hopped on this creature's back and now lay in the sand, "Get the hell out of here!" Before she could turn back around, the newly regrown tongue coiled around her legs and forced her to the ground. She kept a hold on her weapon, unleashing a hail of hot lead on the monster as its tongue dragged her towards the dark, gaping maw.

Her magazine emptied and she chucked it into the beast's mouth, mainly just to piss it off. It worked. She started moving faster along the beach. This thing was obviously strong enough to pull someone off the ground with its tongue. It was just toying with her. She quickly discovered why.

Melissa caught a faint sizzling sound, slowly growing stronger. Smoke began billowing from the shin guards of her armor, from between the folds of the creature's tongue. Peachy. She swiftly loaded her second magazine and started firing explosive rounds at the beast, her subordinates promptly following suit. She moved back and forth between controlled bursts of gunfire aimed at the back of the creature's throat, and it's eye. The others kept firing in strategic points on the creatures thick, scaly hide. That was a bad plan. But at least they kept the thing still, for the most part. One agent who had wandered just a little too close to their target, found himself caught in the iron grip of the creature's claws and was hurled into one of the others, knocking them both out of the fight. This was perhaps the worst possible time to be thinking about Star Wars, but now that she got a good look at the thing, it reminded her of a Rancor crossbred with a frog. The acid slime coated tongue was a nice touch. Well, not nice, really.

Melissa's rifle emptied and she discarded it in the sand beside her. The tightly constricted tongue crushed through her compromised armor, beginning to disintegrate through her boots. She was pulled up right to the threshold of the things mouth when suddenly, she drew her knife and hacked at the tongue, freeing herself enough to prop the mouth open with a foot on each lip. She emptied her pistol down the creature's right nostril, simultaneously stabbing and ripping and gouging the freshly regenerated eye. Despite every instinct not to, she plunged the knife deeper, gouging elbow deep into the eye socket. She dug around behind the thing's eye socket and it stumbled around, half blind, howling in pain. She twisted her knife and left it lodged inside the creature's head as it's eye began to heal over it.

She turned to her people, barely able to hold the monstrosity's mouth open for another second. "GRENADE!"

#10 Posted by Amelia_ (2065 posts) - - Show Bio

"Hell no, lady! I was here first!" The tongue shot out again, grabbing the woman who'd shouted at her. Predictably, she shot at it. All of them did. "This is why I don't work with other people.." When it got close to her mouth, she had to move. Pushing up, she vaulted over a soldier, taking off sprinting. She noticed the woman stabbing at the thing's eye, then heard her shout grenade. Judging by the distance she was to the beast, she jumped. Why she was going out of her way to keep this chick alive.. was way beyond her comprehension. Twisting halfway, she grabbed the woman, moving her body so that it was between the monster and her. There was a loud boom, and her world went silent. She could see the two of them tumble to the ground, and could feel the searing pain on her backside. Standing up, she felt behind her and noticed that the back her jacket had been blown off. "You are so repaying me for that." Amelia pointed her finger at the other woman, ripping the jacket off of her.

When she turned around, she was about to run at the abomination for another attack, when that stupid tongue shot out and wrapped around her wrist. However, much to the creature's surprised, Amelia didn't budge an inch. And, unlike the soldier's armor, her skin was not burned on contact. Spreading her legs, she got a firm grip in the sand, then started to pull back behind her. "This is gonna be so gross.." Extending her other hand, she grabbed the tongue with her free hand, tightening her grip immediately. "Ew, ew, eeeeeeeewwww." The beast stumbled, then fell to the ground when Amelia jerked on the tongue. Wrapping the slimy appendage around her arms, she finally got the right grip. In a sudden display of inhuman strength, she yanked up on the tongue, lifting the monster up into the air. Shutting her eyes, she moved her arms slowly to the left, directing the path of its travel through the air. When it was over her head, she let the tongue go loose, causing the monster to drop to the opposite end of the beach. Suffice to say, it released its hold on her arm.

"Great. I have slime all over my arms, probably slime that'll take industrial strength cleaner to get rid of.." Looking at the thing, she saw that it was already getting up. And it was regenerating, fast. Swallowing, Amelia started coming up with plans. Anything to put the damn thing down. But she was only getting one. Sighing, she turned to the woman as she got up out of the sand. "Look, I can get rid of this thing.. but I need you to trust me. Or, whatever it is you military types have that passes for trust. Because bullets aren't stopping it, and it's starting to look like nothing short of nuking the coastline of Caracas is going to stop it." Amelia really didn't want to go with this plan. She'd never even tried it before, and she seriously didn't feel like trying it now. "It's a bit of a gamble.. but it's not looking like anything else is going to work, here."

#11 Posted by Agent_Hannigan (1209 posts) - - Show Bio

Melissa pried the melted armor from her shins and examined the raw, blistered skin within the area of her boots that had been dissolved by the creatures tongue. "Ah, hell!" she groaned, "Look at my legs! Dammit, I had a date tonight! And he's supposed to be the one with messed up skin. Guess I'll just keep my boots on the whole time. That was already the plan, anyway." She looked up and watched, face frozen in awe as the strange woman, who was matching her in stubbornness by now, had picked the beast up by its own nefarious tongue and flung the damn thing across the beach.

Director Hannigan rose to her feet, but stifled a scream the very second she put her weight on her legs. It felt as though the slightest shift would cause the inflamed skin to tear. Not to mention the relentless searing pain that burrowed deeper into her flesh with every passing second. She realized that the girl was approaching her, begrudgingly tolerating the thick coat of slime that would send an ordinary person convulsing on the ground in agony.

"Look, I can get rid of this thing..." said the girl, raising Melissa's brow in curiosity, "But I need you to trust me. Or, whatever it is you military types have that passes for trust. Because bullets aren't stopping it, and it's starting to look like nothing short of nuking the coastline of Caracas is going to stop it. It's a bit of a gamble... but it's not looking like anything else is going to work, here."

Melissa glanced up the beach at her troops. A sharp whistle brought all of them to attention as she called out orders, "Move in, tight formation. Keep your distance and supply a steady flow of suppressing fire. Force that thing into a corner. Put its back against the rocks." The agents all nodded and moved out, leaving the two alone with only the sound of gunfire down the beach to break the tranquility of night. "Alright," Melissa said, "Whattaya got?"

#12 Edited by Amelia_ (2065 posts) - - Show Bio

"A half-cocked, haphazard, brazen plan that'd make Captain Reynolds proud." The girl did her best to make it look like she was perfectly fine. Of course, it failed horribly. Her breath rate had quickened to a noticeable degree, both hands were shaking, and.. if someone would of pressed their ear to her chest, they would of heard her heart pounding. "Well, here goes nothing." She stood till for what felt like an eternity. Finally, her legs forced her body into motion. Gradually they built up until she was sprinting across the beach.. straight at the monster. As she ran, her hands reached up, ripping the gloves off of her hands. What she was about to do would require direct contact with her skin. Putting the thought of touching that.. thing's slimy skin again in the back of her mind was the most she could do.

By now the lumbering beast had recovered, and took notice of the girl running straight at it. It started to run, but gunfire erupted, forcing it to step backwards. Shutting her eyes, Amelia rapidly began to close the distance. She could almost feel time slow down when she got within thirty feet. Her eyes slowly opened as her legs pushed off of the ground, sending her flying into the air. Extending her hands outwards, she latched onto the monster's face, holding it still. Fighting the urge to gag, she secured her legs around its torso. "Never going to get this out of my clothes.." Glaring down at the creature, she adjusted her body so that she had a better hold on him. "Alright, big boy.. time for you to go." Each hand began to glow, outlined with a blinding whiteness. Focusing with every ounce of concentration she had, she let go of the control she maintained over her powers.

Gradually, the light began to extend from her hands, spreading across the beast's flesh. The process had already begun to take its toll on Amelia. Every inch of her body ached with burning pain, her muscles starting to weaken. Thankfully, the glow enveloped the creature before her hands could lose their grip on his skull. She wasn't prepared at all for what happened next. A loud booming noise rendered her temporarily deafened, a blinding halo of light extending outwards across the beach. By the time the halo dissipated, the creature had seemingly vanished into thin air.

The after-effects began barely a second after the monster had disappeared. All of the oxygen was slammed out of her chest, leaving her gasping for air, followed by her muscles locking up on her. And finally, when she hit the beach, a wave of fatigue washed over her body. If all that wasn't bad enough on its own, her half-exhausted mind began to pick up the signs indicating that a loss of consciousness was imminent. Sweat started to bead up on her skin, accompanied by a rise in body temperature and a sense of dizziness. The muffled sound of the waves behind her, in addition to a gradual loss of her peripheral vision, confirmed it for her. Whatever it was that she'd done, it had taken far too much out of her.

Tilting her head back towards the soldiers, she smiled for a moment, then mouthed the words 'Hey, I pulled it off'. The smile faded when she noticed a figure on the horizon. From a distance, it almost looked like her. except with considerably paler skin. Of course, that could be attributed to fatigue-induced hallucinations. Amelia blinked once, and the figure was gone. Had to of been a hallucination.

With that thought, she felt her conscious state begin to slip away from her. Her vision blacked out, followed by her eyes closing. Consciousness left a few seconds later.

#13 Posted by Agent_Hannigan (1209 posts) - - Show Bio

Did she just make a Firefly reference? Melissa was starting to like this girl. She ran off down the beach toward the sounds of gunfire and aggressive, monstrous screams.

"Wait!" Meliss hollered, "I meant actually TELL ME what the plan is! Ah... sunuvva bitch."

She could hardly believe her eyes when the girl jumped up onto the slimy creature and touched her hands to it, resulting in a blinding flash and a boom that left her on her ass in the sand. When she finally got up and straightened herself off, the thing was gone. It was just... gone. She had seen enough crazy things to see a book in her life, but it never ceased to amaze her when something new would pop up.

Melissa peered across the beach at the girl. She could hardly stand on her own two feet. Being at the center of a blast like that couldn't be easy to endure, even if you were the one responsible for it. The Director ran down the beach, arriving just in time to catch the girl in her arms.

"Report!" she ordered. The men, who were still recovering from the blast, got a hold of themselves and examined the surrounding area. "No visible trace of the creature, ma'am." One of them replied.

"Alright..." she said, "We're moving out. Prep the infirmary to receive wounded." she looked down at the girl, face smeared with dirt and blood and, unfortunately, slime. "And ready quarters for this one." she ordered.

Some time later, Melissa walked into the cramped crew quarters set aside for their guest. She would be returning to consciousness any moment now. Melissa brought with her two plastic cups of fresh brewed coffee.

"Good morning, sunshine." she said, passing their guest one of the cups, "Mind telling me what kinda browncoat shenanigans you were pullin' out there?"

#14 Posted by Amelia_ (2065 posts) - - Show Bio

When the girl finally returned to the waking world, it was to an unimaginable pain. Her head pounded like never before, her eyes stung and felt like they were on fire. Pushing herself up on one arm, she groaned, then made a loud snorting noise. "What the hell happened..?" Her hand ran through her brown hair. Looking over, she noticed the woman from before. "I'm in trouble, aren't I? Hey, it was you guys who got in the way of one of my hu-" Instead of reprimanding her, she was passed a cup of coffee. "Well.. I kind of.. removed him.. her.. eh, it, I guess, from time, as weird as that sounds. I can age people by touching them if I want to, and if I focus hard enough.." She made an exploding notion with her hands. "Poof." Her hand set the coffee aside for a moment, and she let out a loud cough that lasted for a good twenty seconds. "Just didn't think it'd hurt that much. I mean, Christ, I've had hangovers. Hell, I've had bad hangovers, but that just blew them out of the gorram water."

Grabbing the coffee, she greedily drank it with a thirst that was disturbing to anyone who hadn't come to know her. She only stopped to catch a breath. "Though, that does beg the question. Am I in trouble? Because I've got to get over to Louisiana. There's some hoodoo priest that's screwing around with the tourists or something." The girl leaned up against a wall, downing the rest of her coffee.

“And.. wait. Was that a firefly ref...eren..” The girl’s eyes widened a little, and before the older girl had time to react, Amelia had wrapped her arms around her. “OH MY GOD I LOVE YOU.” She stepped back immediately afterwards. “Course, not in a literal sense. That’d be weird, for complete strangers.” Just to be sure, she started whistling the theme to the show, stopping halfway through. Anyone with a computer could look up the word browncoat and use it in casual conversation. Not many bothered looking up the theme song.

#15 Posted by Agent_Hannigan (1209 posts) - - Show Bio

Melissa couldn't help but chime in under her breath, "Take me where I cannot stand... I don't care, I'm still free, mhm hmm hmmmm..."

She snapped back to reality, glad that the girl had let go before she had to find a crowbar. That behavior was best saved for Comic-Con. She straightened herself and cleared her throat, making it abundantly clear she wanted to get down to business, "Eh, no. You're not in trouble. We brought you in for observation and recovery. You gave us a hand out there, and it's against my nature to leave somebody behind after they've gone out of their way to help. But I'd like to ask you to fill out some information. We're in no hurry, but we need to have something like... that... on record. I mean, you can't expect to be able to perform a Rory Williams on that thing and just walk off like nothing happened. Don't worry, government G-Men aren't gonna come bursting through your window in the middle of the night and stick electrodes in your brain. We just need to have stuff like this on the books. Hope you understand."

She extended her hand to the girl, "I'm Melissa, by the way. Director Melissa Hannigan, U.N. Metahuman Affairs."

#16 Posted by Amelia_ (2065 posts) - - Show Bio

"Sorry." The embarrassment was clear in the way her eyes averted to the floor. What wasn't clear, however, was exactly how anxious this situation made her feel. Questions? Documentation? Sounded a helluva lot like some freaky G-Man stuff to her, despite the re-assurance to the contrary. "Last person to tell me that tried to throw me in an "examination facility" indefinitely." She made air-quotes towards the end of her sentence. "I'm pretty sure sticking electrodes in my brain was part of his evil plan." Sitting forwards, she got within inches of the woman's face, giving her best conspiracy theorist look. "How can I trust you?" After a few seconds, she busted up laughing, falling back onto the bed she'd been seated on, followed by a fit of coughing. "Ow. Alright, laughing's bad, gotta avoid doing that for awhile." Smiling, she nodded. "Don't worry, I'm not actually a paranoid nut. 'Else I'd be dead or in some sort of nuthouse for crazy super-powered people. Questions are fine as long as it doesn't involve my internet history." The thought struck her that she'd forgotten to delete it before leaving. "Crap." She muttered.

Amelia extended her hand, returning the handshake. "Neat title. So.. does that make you a female Nick Fury? 'Cuz if you are, I like you more already. You're not incredibly grumpy, you're a browncoat, and you're h.. nice enough, for a government employee." The girl stopped talking for a moment, then it dawned on her. "Crap. Sorry. Amelia Roberts-Sinclaire, broke-ass monster hunter."

#17 Posted by Agent_Hannigan (1209 posts) - - Show Bio

"Charmed. And yeah, the job description calls for some very Fury-esque traits, more Jackson than Hasslehoff, though. Plus, I have way better depth perception." Melissa pulled off her beret and extended her hand to the girl and said with a genuine smile, "Nice to meet you, Amelia."

"Oh my god!" Melissa laughed, downing the rest of her drink, "I can't believe how stupid my hair was back then! Wait... I've had the same haircut since the seventh grade. In a related matter, I'm gonna start wearing a lot of hats. Get ready." She set down her empty glass and got up, straightening her jacket. "Ready to go? I got Left 4 Dead, Hunger Games and a lot more booze."

She lead the way out of the bar, down the street toward the small park to cut across right to the trolley station. The street lights cast a tint of orange over everything, stark shadows falling across the wet grass. Melissa jumped onto the edge of the fountain, walking around, narrowly avoiding a big splash. She could put away her liquor, but she could also maintain her balance... fairly well. She jumped back down on the ground, her laughter fading out as she noticed the six or seven hooded figures emerging from behind the trees.

"Evenin', ladies." one of them cackled as his buddies pulled out knives and chains. Melissa just looked at them in disbelief, then over her shoulder at Amelia for conformation that it was truly happening.

"Really, dude?" she asked, catching the punk off guard with her lack of concern or dread, "Tonight?! Out of all the times you coulda gone out on the town to play Clockwork Orange, ya HAD to pick tonight? Ya HAD to pick us? Well..." she looked back over at Amelia, a wicked grin stretching across her face as her knuckles cracked, "At least you're doing it in the company of responsible adults. Ready, Amy?"