Intro: The Liafador-Pettis Regime (Spanish Economy Report)

Though the international laws pertaining to refugees were pretty straight forward, Ziccarra felt the need to address the situation brewing in Ethiopia. Her husband, Thee Champion, launched a massive campaign to rescue a couple hundred refugees from the unforgiving waters of the Mediterranean. Facing pressure from both the parliament and the rest of the EU, Ziccarra opened the Spanish borders to receive the refugee’s; despite facing for sure public backlash.

Slowly but surely the economy was starting to rise, a lot slower than a lot of people wanted, the inclusion of refugee’s would only make matters worse; she was sure of it. Article 33 of the 1951 Refugee Convention prevented Ziccarra from sending them back to their country of origin because of religion and race—in short they were stuck.

In just the few short hours of receiving the refugee’s, Ziccarra passed a series of laws that directly began to the country. The “Refugee Act allowed persons from Ethopia to petition for legal residency in Spain, it’d allow them to own a home, vote and other necessities needed to assimilate into society. Despite her reservations, Ziccarra signed the creation of the “Civil Works Administration” an office that begin to create manual labor jobs to improve the infrastructure of Spanish Cities, an organization to temporarily employ millions.

The second major concern was the addition of a new drug known as “Konite”, while very little was known about the drug, she’d read reports of its effects. She was then forced to push more Anti-Drug legislation which enforced stricter punishments for those caught using “recreational drugs.”

The reports in the 4th quarter showed a gradual rise in the economy, nothing she did, but it was also nothing she was actively trying to change. Spain didn’t need government force job creation, as she found out when her family’s winery took a hit in the early 90’s.

She believed that allowing people to innovate and profit from said innovations were the key to economic growth, and that the government should step in, in times of stagnation. With those laws in place she seemingly bought herself more time to deal with the economy, but even as she fought to keep the Spanish people together, she couldn’t help but feel like a revolution was on the horizon.

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Thee Champion/ The Goddess

Mr/Mrs. Pettis

1. For Ziccarra: What was your husband's first reaction when you told him about your intention to pursue a political career? Was he supportive?

"Alexis is, (looking at him) supportive of everything I do. When I decided to run for office; he was as supportive as he always is. I do think there was some sort of initial concern about how much time we’d have with one another, but we found a way to make it work. In the immediate months following the election; I kept to my reserved role, which was to create some sort of peace amongst myself that everything would stay the same. Alexis supported that, and now that he has joined me as my general. (Looks at Alexis amorously before laughing), we are united on many fronts"

2. For Alexis: Your wife is a Political Figure, your daughters are social icons; we've seen you at various functions, but we could never get a comment from you. Why'd you choose to meet with us today?

(Smiles), "Well you've been insisting on an interview for so long, so I thought, 'Why not?', you know?".

3. For Ziccarra: What do you say to all of the criticism you've received for the Spanish Armament Act? Does it bother you that people are saying all of these judgmental things while you're going out of your way to do what's best for them?

“Well, Chris it doesn’t really bother me; because I know why I’m doing it. I saw the destruction of Malaga, and I watched what the Registration Era did to nations. I look at the people like I do my own children. I tell them not to do it, and they do it anyways. You set them up for success, and then they deviate from the plan of action. The people are like children(laughs while playfully bumping Alexis), they rebel for the sake of rebelling, talk back for the sake of talking back, but they know at the end of it all, they cannot win. That is not to say that this Armament Act is my final word, I do believe bits and pieces of it will be augmented; but it’s for the greater good of Spain to become the beacon in Europe".

"Especially since for the last couple of decades, we’ve been dependent on American ideals; and American response to certain issues. I think it is time that we establish our own identity away from modern politics. That is what this act was created for, a statement to the world that we will not tolerate nonsense".

4. For Ziccarra: In addition to that, does it sometimes make you feel as if the people don't appreciate you or what you're doing for them?

"Of course it does, but that is the spectrum of politics. Before I became the Prime Minister I could count the amount of friends I had on one hand, those being just Ellie Knightfall"

(Laughs at the thought of having one friend)

"You can kill me, or shut up and like it"

"But as a Prime Minister, that number has not changed; instead of Ellie, I now have Valerie. Politics has a way of “cutting the grass to reveal the snakes”, it does not matter how good the idea, or the course of action is; if all the cards are stacked against you; you can get nothing achieved. I know a lot of people don’t appreciate my presence on this Earth; a lot hate the power I wield here in Spain, but there are only two things that can be done. “You can kill me, or shut up and like it”. I hate to be crude, but I do not see any other alternative" (Looks at Alexis with a wide grin)"

5. For Alexis: You recently became the General of the Spanish Military, are you at all worried that your new exclusive role will tarnish your image as the herald of hope?

"My image is the last thing I care about. One of the most quoted things I've ever said is that 'The fame of heroes owes little to the extent of their conquests and all to the success of the tributes paid to them'. The key word there is fame. I'm not interested in fame or my image. I'm interested in doing what's right. In results. And what's right now at this moment is making sure that Spain is prepared and doesn't suffer another Malaga incident".

6. For Alexis: How did you become so powerful?

"I was born with most of my powers, just not at the level they're at now. Its a lot like how someone may be born with muscle fibers, but they develop and become better as the person becomes an adult. But basically its that. I was born with my powers".

7. For Alexis: Is there anything you can't do?

"Magic?", Laughs.

8. For Ziccarra: What's the most difficult part that comes with balancing your job as the Spanish Prime Minister, a mother, and a wife?

"The most difficult part is trying to please everyone, the things I do as a Prime Minister may affect my family and vice versa. I struggle with switching out of a political mind set around my children, and struggle to switch out of mother mode around the parliament. As a mother I have six mouths to feed, but as a prime minister; I have millions. There are times when one aspect gives me insight on another, but that’s a rare occurrence".

9. For Ziccarra: Before the two of you started working together, how did you and your husband manage to keep your marriage strong with your hectic schedules and him traveling so much?

(Laughs) "We really didn't, we’d go days without seeing each other, at first it was hard; at least for me. Then it became easier; once we worked ourselves on a little schedule. A lot of it was him coming to me, showing up at the office; or at a meeting; or an interview. We are busy people, but the fact that I can still steal him away from his duties for a little while".

10. For Alexis: You and your wife represent two different theologies, how did you two meet, and what were the initial challenges of your union?

"We met by chance actually. I remember there was a bank robbery in Solace City, I believe. She, the original Retrofire, and I all arrived at the same time to stop it. It wasn't love at first sight but I did think she was beautiful when I saw her",smiles. "We haven't that many challenges but the initial ones were that she wasn't sure she was what I wanted because of her past and other things. I had to show her that I was sure about her. Five kids later and I think I have", laughs.

11. For Alexis: What do you say to the rumor that your wife is a modern day Hitler, arming Spain in preparation for war?

Laughs, "That if my wife was a modern-day Hitler, I think I'd be the first to know".

12. For Alexis: What do you think of your wife’s Spanish Armament Act?

"I think its necessary. Spain is in a sensitive position right now. With all the things that have happened, the people want a leader willing to do what's needed in order to ensure their safety. Tensions have been high ever since Malaga's destruction, and I think Ziccarra addressed that with the Spanish Armament Act".

13. For Ziccarra: You have a reputation for exercising great control when dealing with the press and the paparazzi, how is it that you manage to remain so calm and in control when every aspect of your life is essentially under a microscope?

(Releasing a hearty laugh) "That took years of practice. Life to me is a battle, the more emotion you exhibit shows people where the target is. Once I realized that, I begin to train myself to conceal my exact feelings on certain topics. I can be at a fever pitch on the inside, but on the outside I won’t show it because I’m giving the power to something else".

14. For Ziccarra: Which of your children is most like your husband?

"I would have to say either Maya or Selene; Maya is a caring person; she has an inviting personality. She can make anyone feel welcomed just by her presence. I see her father in her a lot, it why a lot of the time I cannot bring myself to argue with her sometimes. Selene has more of a natural Alexis coolness to her. She is the only one of my children that seems to have inherited Alexis’ natural physical attributes and she’s a lot more level headed than Maya. I truly believe that Maya and Selene together are Alexis".

15. For Ziccarra: And if you could, what would you change about your husband?

"Nothing at all". (Laughs) "Cheesy, I know but it’s the truth".

16. For Ziccarra: What is he like as a husband? And also as a father?

"As a husband he gives me the courage to be me. Sometimes that takes a lot of courage! He taught me that simplicity is best and less is more. The way he moves through life with grace and a smile is truly rare to find. His patience and love for others is remarkable. He gives without any expectations to receive. He is honest and bright and reminds our entire family the importance of hard work. As a father, he is a source of protection. He will not allow himself to condemn another even if it is against popular opinion. He is sometimes annoyingly optimistic, laid back and reserved; he allows the children to make their mistakes, but reminds them that everything is okau. He is "Mr. Fix it"

17. For Alexis: What would you say is your wife’s strongest attribute?

Pauses for a moment, "She's a very strong woman so you'll have to forgive me if I take a while to decide which of her many strong attributes is the strongest", laughs. "But I think its her ability to change for the better. Her willingness to take responsibility for her actions and if questionable, rectify them. People who met my wife before all of this, can't believe how much she's changed. How much someone with a past as questionable as hers changed this much for the better. I'm proud of her for it".

18. For Alexis: And her weakest?

"I... can't talk about my wife's weaknesses. She'll knock me out", laughs. "But no, in all seriousness, I can't talk about that. I'm her husband, I'm supposed to lift her up, be the spine that supports her, not someone who exposes her vulnerabilities to the public".

19. For Ziccarra: Given the chance, is there anything you'd want to tell a younger you? As a way to prepare her for what lies ahead?

"I got to where I am through experiences; I think…I think if I told my younger self anything my life may have turned out different. So If I had the chance I do not think I would tell myself anything. Well… (Visibly thinking) I might tell her to keep a stronger influence in Isadora's life, because as you all know she died. I believe if I had a stronger hand in her upbringing I could've saved her".

20. For Ziccarra: Recently your daughter assembled her own team called S.T.R.I.K.E., do you have any comment on that?

"I am curious to see what it will all amount to. Do not get me wrong, we are proud of her; for going out to do her own thing. My concern is, Maya is used to doing things with Selene; and her brother, but they will not be joining her. She will need to find the strength to do things on her own, act; and think like a warrior, but also remember she is part of a team".

"As a celebrity, she already has a massive amount of exposure; I would hate for her to lose something she loves doing so much; because she feels obligated to another. She watches Valerie closely, and talks to Selene everyday—so I’m sure this isn’t the first time she’s heard this. "Pace yourself darling, there is a lot more life to live".

21. For Alexis: Your daughter Catalina Liafador burned the city of Malaga to the ground, what was your initial response to that?

"Disappointment. In both her and myself. In her because I just wasn't expecting that. She was... is my little girl. It was just not something I was prepared for. And disappointed in myself for not being there, for both Malaga and her. I could have prevented it".

22. For Alexis: What is it that broke her personality?

"Catalina's sick. She needs help, not punishment. She's suffering from Capgras syndrome and other delusions caused by the neurodegenerative diseases she has. She believes everyone she knows has been replaced by an exact double. She doesn't trust us anymore, and in addition to that, her other delusions have driven her out of control. I think that is what truly broke her".

23. For Alexis: Which of your children do you feel closest to?

Growing pensive, Alexis answers. "Sometimes all of them actually. When I'm feeling goofy, I feel closest to Tassi and Maya. When I feel like I need to improve as a warrior and train, I feel closest to Leo. And when the paparazzi starts to get on even my nerves, I feel closest to Selene as I'm sure you all know by that oh so flattering picture of she, Maya and I flipping off the paparazzi. But in general, I think Tassi since I spend the most time with her. The others are usually out and about doing their things while Tassi is still a baby. We take care of her more so we have more time for bonding".

24. For Ziccarra: Do you think you'll ever do an interview with the entire family?

"I think we will one day". (Ziccarra Laughs and looks at Alexis)

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The Liafador Legacy

For years the women in our family have been bound to servitude by our male counterparts, revered only as simple house whores and political weapons; I Ziccarra Isabella Liafador, Matriarch of the House Of Liafador rebuke the statements laid forth in the previous edition of this pamphlet. With the power bestowed upon me by my abuelo, Ricardo Ramon Liafador; I give you the Liafador Legacy.

  • · Because of our father’s sin relating to the aforementioned, the Liafador will be female until no female heiress exist to assume responsibility. In that case, the senior most male will announce “Sede Vacante” before assuming control of the family, and from that point a new Legacy shall be written.
  • · Genetic cloning, replicating; or any sort of genetic manipulation is punishable by death.
  • · Any form of mental manipulation is punishable by death.
  • · In the event of a recession the Matriarch has the right ration the family expenses.
  • · Betrayal of a family member is to be taken up with the Matriarch. Betrayal of the Matriarch is punishable by death.
  • · The Matriarch is to assume absolute power over the family expenses. To ensure that all members of the Liafador House receive equal shares in the family winery, The Matriarch will determine the pay out to the family.
  • · The Matriarch is the only Liafador that can issue official decrees. She also wields the sole power to augment the Liafador Legacy should she see fit. Despite having the power to enact a change, The Matriarch cannot propose a change herself. A change must be initiated by senior members of the family and she will judge as she sees fit.
  • · The Matriarch is the commander and chief of all Cardinal Elements and the Cardinals shall respect her as so.
  • · Private discussion with the Matriarch must be approved beforehand, and is susceptible to be denied.
  • · If summoned by the family Matriarch, the summoned has 24 hours to respond; if the time is not met. They must send a Cardinal grunt to inform the Matriarch of the intended meaning of the absence. This will only be allowed once; further infractions will result in a Cardinal Ring of Fire.
  • · The Matriarch is the only member of the family allowed to kill another; until it becomes her word, no blood must be shed.
  • · Children of the Matriarch will be treated as the Matriarch themselves.
  • · The husband of the Matriarch is absolutely powerless, and has zero claims to her role.
  • · If the matriarch is wedded, she must abdicate the title of Matriarch, unless her names are joined by a hyphen.
  • · The Matriarch is not able to abdicate power in times of peril or financial crisis.
  • · All Cardinal Elements will be given to those that complete the pit, or inherit them from a senior member.
  • · The Red, White and Shadow Cardinals are to be used in times of war; they are the most elite warriors of the Cardinal sects.
  • · The Matriarch is not to be questioned on her final verdicts; this is punishable by 52 blows from the Matriarch.
  • · Given an official Liafador meeting, The Matriarch will spar with the senior most available Liafador to demonstrate her refined skills.
  • · When the Matriarch orders the death of a Liafador, she is to do it by the Cardinal Ring of Fire; and the “Bloody Eagle”
  • · Consanguineous marriages or any other familial unions are forbidden. Such unions will not be tolerated and will be met with instant death of participating parties; AND their immediate family.
  • · The Liafador Matriarch must be knowledgeable in the 12 Cardinal Principles even if she does not believe in the Cardinal Theology.
  • · A death in the family will be celebrated from twelve days, unless it is the death of a matriarch.
  • · It is the duty of the Cardinals to protect the Matriarch at all cost; even if your life is in danger.
  • · The Matriarch will attend any social/business party that is in the best interest of the family business; but is not to show her devotion to the Cardinals.
  • · Puglia and Tibet are the only two authorized Cardinal training grounds.
  • · The “Black Cardinals” do not exist, and are not approved.

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Catalan Countess Part 2

Back at home

Once again night set in, as both women were set to enjoy a hearty dinner complements of Cherish, Cat’s mind backtracked to Cherishes previous statement about ending her "employment" with Don Emilo.

"I’m interested in hearing this master plan for how you intend to deal with Emilo." Cat inquired drinking a cinnamon applesauce through a straw. "I’m going to kill him" Cherish replied, continuing her savage onion chopping. "Whoa, when did you become a murderer?" Cat asked, drawing close to Cherish interested in hearing a possible story.

"You’re so nosy!" Cherish whined playfully pushing the little girl back a few feet. "I’ll be glad when you talk about little girl stuff like, boys and tattoos"

Cat’s innocent face released a chastising smirk before once again prodding Cherish into divulging her secret. "Yes, I’ve killed someone before but it was an accident. I’m not going into anymore details" She said, sternly.

"If you’re serious about getting us out of this whore ring, I suppose I can make an honest effort to start trying to be an actress." Cat wagered bending over the counter with her hands propped against the bottom of her jaw.

"Good, but I’ll need the help of those four body guards Han gave you." Cherish instructed tossing the onions with a mixture of butter inside a small pan.

"I don’t know where they are, for all I know the bastards could’ve gone back to Tibet." She didn’t know how to summon them exactly, but if their job was to keep her safe; she’d have to say they failed to stop her from slitting her own wrist.

Her interest turned from the Cardinals to the situation unraveling on television; apparently more and more "metas" were emerging in the world and people were in havoc over it. "That’s a crazy situation huh?" Cat said, alerting the Cherish to the ongoing meta-human struggle on the TV.

"Yes, it’s a shame" Her reply was generic; it didn’t contain the slightest hint of concern. "What’s the US like anyways?" Cat asked again, this time molding the huge block of beef into a square shape.

"It’s not really what it’s cut out to be, it’s better than living here; but it’s like being free but the freedom never really expands pass your front door. You should go take a shower before dinner, the meatloaf should be finished by the time you get out"

Cat nodded accordingly and headed up to her room to gather her things to take a shower. Cherish waited until she could hear the shower beat against its porcelain floor before summoning the Cardinals.

"Um-Cardinals?" She whispered, and on cue four of Ziccarra’s red Cardinals appeared out of thin air to greet the young woman.

"You called" one of them answered standing with his hands tucked inside his decorative red and gold Cardinal Hood. "I have a job for you guys." She explained, wiping down the counters with a hot cloth to prevent salmonella.

"We do not work for you, our employer is the child of the High Cardinal Queen" another spoke, but Cherish was able to halt a pre-emptive exit on their behalf.

"I-I know! But Catalina has not worked in a few days, if she does not pay Don Emilo we’ll be hunted and killed, I have a plan. With your help, we can ensure that she stays safe." The Cardinals glanced around before agreeing to help Cherish.

"Great meet me at this location; at exactly Six-thirty don’t be late!" She said, dismissing them.

The next morning

"Are you scared?" Cherish asked, watching as Catalina’s hand slowly quivered alongside her lithe frame. "N-no, it’s just a bit weird is all. I’ve never actually been around children my age." Cat replied, placing her hands in her pocket; she took one step up the stairs before glancing back at Cherish.

"W-what will you do while I’m gone?" She asked, still nervous; her eyes told the story she didn’t want to be abandoned. "I have a few errands to run, but I’ll be back at about seven to pick up you. Kitty... I’m not going to leave you" Cat broke a timid smile before once again heading up the steps; once again stopping to turn back.

"Oh, and make sure you color INSIDE the lines. You’re almost eleven years old now, that sh!t aint cute anymore." Cherish yelled, causing Cat’s cheeks to burn red with embarrassment. Watching as the closest thing she had to a daughter entered the Bogota school for performing arts; a warm feeling burned in her gut, she felt like she’d given Catalina a chance to become someone.

Cherish went to the supermarket gathered something’s for Catalina’s birthday, and doubled back to the house for some alone time. Removing a bottle of Jim Beam she sat in her window slowly drinking, and thinking. The combination wasn’t a productive one, her child’s birthday just happened to be today, just one day before Catalina’s—information she didn’t want to plague Cat with.

As the only remaining video she had with her dead child played in the background, her lips continued to hug the rim of the jim beam bottle, before her eyes glanced at the small picture she had. Her thick hair concealed the cascading tears that drenched the side of her face. Fate claimed one of her beloved children already; she would not allow it to take Catalina too.

"I’m going to protect you kitty" She said, wiping the tears from the side of her face. Dropping the bottle of Jim Beam, she changed from her everyday clothes into her street hooker clothes complete with the fishnets. Dropping a small pistol in her purse she set out with just under nine hundred dollars in her purse to Don Emilo’s compound.

"She’s a Liafador!" the old woman screamed, rushing into her son’s office with a wily smile across her face. "Catalina is the daughter of Ziccarra Liafador" she said, again informing her son. "Mama, is that supposed to mean something to me?" He replied counting his money.

"It should, her mother has conquered the entire Tibetan provinces, spreading her Cardinal influence! Think about what this means!"

"What does this mean?" He replied sitting a stack of money on his table top. The old coot released a deep sigh before beginning to explain. "The Red Cardinals are listed as a Terrorist Organization, if we appeal to the FBI we can get a lump sum out of the deal" her words brought a hearty smile to Emilo’s chubby cheeks.

"That sounds like a…" a knock at the door halted his words, rising to his feet he moved behind his half-naked concierge to the front door. As the young woman opened the door, his eyes rose from the bottom to the top of Cherish’s frame.

"I was beginning to think that you "Madeoff" with my money" He said, opening the door just slightly to allow Cherish to pass by him.

"BITCH!" He screamed smacking her to the floor as she strolled in. Her body hit the floor helplessly before trying to rise. "Stay down bitch! You are two days late with my money!" He screamed, standing over her, the anger in his body seen through his quivering fist.

"Where is that bitch Catalina!" He said, rising his hand to strike her again; as he brought his hand down to strike her again, Cherish rolled out of the way and in the same motion removed her pistol. Emilo’s hands shot in the air with a fearful smile, he didn’t get a chance to say anything; cherish popped one in his shoulder bringing him down to his knees. "No…I-I didn’t, SHUT UP!" Emilo started, but was immediately silenced by the angered Cherish. "You thought you had the power" she said, with labored breaths.

Emilo realized what this was not an assassination attempt; but an attempt for Cherish to reclaim her own life. "Heh, if you kill me doll you’ll never make it out this compound." He tried to reassure her whilst rising with his hand over his shoulder.

"Shut up!" Cherish screamed again this time; a forceful gale pushed from her body sending the cheeky old man flying through the wall into the next room. "Oh no…" she whispered, realizing she was losing control of her dormant powers.

Dashing into the room she watched Emilo pull himself through the debris backing away in fear. "So…that’s how you did it" He said shying away from the extraordinary presence of Cherish.

"Heh…I read your file, Naweya. Your baby mysteriously jettisoned out of her three story apartment building. The police blamed you, and how right they were" His eyes held the same look as her ex-boyfriend…fear.

"You know for being the man that just pissed me off, you is awfully catty" She said, using her control over the wind to hit him with a hardwood desk. "This is the fucking deal, release all the girls under your control…and I won’t kill you" She said, pushing her pistol back in his face.

"Ok." He said, as if it were nothing. It was in his answer that she knew he never meant it. Even in the face of death he couldn’t deny his own arrogant disposition. Right on time the four Cardinals sworn to protect Catalina appeared in-between Cherish and Emilo.

"This is the man preventing Catalina from living her life do with him what you will. I would suggest with starting with his mother…take your time with that bitch" She said, waltzing through his compound. Stopping mid-stride she heard the thunderous footsteps of Emilo’s compound security force rushing to the sounds of Emilo’s frightening screams.

"Whew…" she grunted throwing her hands outward the ambient energies surrounding her swirled and tumbled until three gigantic cyclones circled the compound. The distance from the innards of the compound insured they wouldn’t cause damage to the compound but, any of the loose items—and people were immediately sucked into the destructive power of the vortex.

As the armed gunmen were slowly sucked into the vortex Cherish waited until she knew the crushing wind killed them before causing the cyclones to abruptly dissipate. The savage winds did a substantial amount of damage to the compound, but largely left it intact. She wanted to search the house for things that would facilitate her living conditions; money, drugs anyways of worth, but Catalina was almost out of school and she didn’t have adequate time.

"Almost Seven" She whispered, heading for the front door, she needed to pick up Catalina from school. As she strolled back through the compound the Cardinals made a living sacrifice of both Don Emilo and his mother. She could see their grotesque concoction in her peripheral vision, but didn’t stop to admire the beauty of the Cardinals work.

Instead of walking away from the compound and risk being seen; she shot herself into the air with the use of her own wind and landed in an alleyway a few blocks down from Catalina’s school. There was a certain anxiety resounding through her veins, she was free to do as she pleased for the first time since fifteen years old.

She wasn’t entirely scared of the repercussions, more so how this would affect hers and Catalina’s relationship. The young girl would be free to do as she pleased now, perhaps she’d set out to find her mother with the Red Cardinals; or maybe she’d move to the United States to give herself a shot at acting. Cherish didn’t think Cat had all the necessary tools to live on her own; but she wouldn’t try to stop her should that be her choice.

Arriving promptly at the steps she watched Cat stroll from the school with her hands in her pockets. "So, come on how was it?" Cherish asked, running her hands through Cat’s hair. "Well...it was interesting the parts that I stayed up for. I found out I’m a pretty good singer…I do really good improv too."

Cherish’s eyes immediately cut to a squadron of police cars flying down the street, before resting placidly back on Catalina. "Ha! I always knew you were a drama queen".

Cherish jested purposely bumping into Catalina’s shoulder. "Did you see those crazy tornadoes earlier? Who would’ve thought here in Columbia" her eyes scanned the sidewalks, the people were still fearful; most of them had never seen a tornado before, three of them in one area seemed like the omen.

Cherish released a sigh, and stopped the young beauty in her tracks, Cat could see something was bothering her; but again her ability to be completely apathetic hindered a concerned inquiry. Cherished pushed her hands through her hair, before repositioning her hands back in her pockets.

"Don Emilo is dead." Cat’s eyes nearly popped from her eye sockets, the information clouded her immediate thoughts, and she remembered Cherish saying she would kill Emilo, but she never thought it to be possible.

"Th-that’s great what happened?" Cat asked again; this time closing the distance between them so the information didn’t fall on passerby ears. "Your Cardinals killed him…because I asked them too." Cat’s scoff turned into a hesitant chuckle; the thought that sweet Cherish could have someone killed left her mind boggled.

"So what now?" Cat asked taking a seat on their outside stoop. "Well, I was kind hoping you had some sort of plan." Cherish replied joining her. "I’m a ten year old; my mind is not capable of independent thinking"

"S’not true, you forget; you’re genetically enhanced to be better than the average human." Cherish said, always reminding her of how perfect she should be.

"Cat...I think you should find your mother" Cherish purposely didn’t turn to see the look Cat gave; it would’ve killed her to see Cat’s reaction. "W-why would I do that?" Cat replied, pulling herself from the stoop to peer into the teary eyes of Cherish.

"You’re not meant to be down here living this type of life. You’re one of the most beautiful human-beings I’ve ever met. You deserve to be living in Tribeca somewhere chatting up a Kardashian". Her explanation didn’t make a bit of sense to Cat; she didn’t know what Tribeca was.

"What I mean is, your father created you to be perfect, everything you know up to now has been taught to you by him or myself. Think about what your mother can actually offer you?"

"My mom can suck it; she looked me in my eyes and told me I was not her daughter. I don’t have respect for people like that. My dad used to make me feel awesome, because I was awesome. Now I kind of hate him for creating me in the first place. He can suck it too. Besides part of being perfect is realizing how imperfect we really are"

Cherish immediately grabbed the young girl and brought her in for an embrace, Cat was the best thing to happen to her; the maternal instincts that came with raising Cat, made her appreciate her own mother. "So is…abuelita dead too?" Catalina asked finally pulling away from the prolonged embrace.

"Yeah that bitch is dead too" there was a hint of malice in Cherish’s voice; she did not share the same opinion on Emilo’s mom as Cat.

"Cat, you got the lucky. You’re a virgin, and you were entirely too young to be in the whore home. Instead you got to live with Emilo until you started to fill out, and by that time you earned enough loyalty to just hit the streets. Me? I was in a whore home that—that woman ran; and drugged to the verge of over dosage."

"I hardly think being dry humped is considered lucky" She retorted, but she was beginning to understand why her price in comparison to some of the other girl’s was considerably higher. Emilo planned to extort her virginity for as long as he could, before selling her for a ridiculous amount of money to someone willing to take it.

Cat had never heard an actual account of what went on in the whore homes; but she did know they supposedly had sub-human living conditions. "I heard a lot of girl’s died in there; how’d you make it out?"

"There was this girl; her name was Emerald she stood about 5 foot 5 really petite frame, long black hair and intoxicating natural green eyes. She was a new street girl Emilo bought from another trafficker; apparently she escaped. To fill her vacant spot Emilo moved me to the streets. I don’t think she was a whore though, she was way too pretty, seemed to have her shit together. She might’ve worked for one of those alphabet agencies in the states"

Cherish had a very crude way of explaining things, she usually spoke to Cat as If; she were somewhat accustomed to the United States—which she wasn’t. The mention of "Alphabet Agencies" lingered on her young mind, before Cherish started speaking once more.

"I’m going back to the U.S to visit my mother. I kind of miss her." Other than having somewhat of a torn relationship with her parents; Cherish never really spoke of them, to Catalina this was a peculiarity; one that left her scrambling for the right thing to say.

Nothing—she didn’t have to say anything, before she could purse her lips to spit out a guttural response; Cherish interrupted with a proposal of her own. "I think you should come with me". Cat’s head looked up from her downward gaze with her tendril-like black hair in tow, she could only raise a sardonic eyebrow--it was a natural defense.

"I don’t own a passport" She said, still trying to process why Cherish NEEDED to see her mother. "Are you coming back?" She asked, daring herself not to lock eyes with her interim mother. "Of course! " Cherish reassured trying to appease the nerves of Cat.

"Well, I don’t want to say I don’t want you to go, but…I don’t want you to go." Cat’s gaze turned grave, there wasn’t a time she could see herself without Cherish. She could see her reservations were placing Cherish in a sticky situation.

"We need to find jobs" Cat said opting to change the conversation seeing it wasn’t working in her favor. The change of conversation didn’t ameliorate prior feelings for wanting to visit her mother, but Catalina was correct in her assessment of their current financial situation.

"Yeah well, we will. But tomorrow we’re celebrating your birthday. We’ll worry about that when I come back."

Cat chose not to hear anything about Cherish leaving, rather her attention turned to a five foot five, silver haired, full framed female walking past the stoop. "Catalina?" She was a student in Cat’s performing arts class—Martha Phillips. She’d seen the silver-haired girl a few times at school, but Cat was in a class full of younger inexperienced children; while Martha was with the older; more advanced classes. Cat didn’t think of her as a friend, more so an odd-glance periodically in class; she didn’t even know Martha knew her name.

One thing she did notice was that Martha was boisterously dramatic with everything she did—it bugged Cat to no end. "HOW are you!" the silver-haired teenager screamed, dragging the end of her words.

"I-I’m good" her reply filled with a hesitation that suggest she had been caught off guard. "Me, and a couple of friends are heading down to the plaza for a good time; you want to come?" Her question was directed towards Catalina, but her eyes shifted as if; she was really asking Cherish.

"You go ahead with your friends; I have something’s to set up anyways." Cat was genuinely surprised at Cherish’s reply; perhaps she didn’t catch the subtle hint that Cat had virtually zero interest in hanging with them; but she went anyway, only to take her mind off of things.

She did find it funny that Martha labeled their outing as a simple "Good time" with little prefix as to what that actually entailed, especially since the guy to girl ratio favored the males 4:2.

The group consist of Catalina and Martha, there was one guy who stood about five foot six; he had a very large frame, small beady goldenrod eyes, and a head that seemed to be disproportionate to his body. Cat didn’t find him attractive at all, but he exuded a confident aura that made it easy to see why he was the life of the group.

Two of the other males were twins, both had sandy blonde hair with sapphire tinted eyes; neither of them stood more than five feet four. The last was a coy local Columbian, he kept his distance from the rest of the massive group and walked stride for stride with Catalina and Martha. He had the "make" of a flimsy teen, and spoke with a slight lisp, there were small little indicators that suggest he was gay; but Cat kept those thoughts to herself.

The entire sojourn to the plaza was riddled with innocuous exchanges; oddly enough Cat never cared to learn the names of company—save for Martha. "So, Catalina how old are you?" the Columbian asked; shifting the attention of the group to the reserved Cat.

"I turn Eleven tomorrow" she replied apprehensively; a revelation that was followed by an awkward silence and a series of perplexed gazes. She understood, she didn’t look her age; most of them had tagged her for about 16 or 17, she found herself being excluded from most adult talk at least as far as the guys were concerned.

After a five minute walk the group arrived at the plaza, a place where other teens and cliques gathered to hang out. Judging from the various accents in attendance, she could tell this particular milieu was targeted towards diplomatic teens—those who were living in an embassy somewhere.

There was a whole host of drinking and "pill-popping activities" going on; nothing she was really interested in. As the guys quickly disperse to engage in the evenings activities; Martha pulled Cat to the side for a more private conversation.

"You don’t care for us to much?" Martha’s voice was laced with thick French inflection; allowing Catalina to accurately pin-point her country of origin. "It’s not that, I generally don’t hang out" her answer was only partly true, she didn’t hang out; usually because she was always working for Emilo—but she also didn’t care for them.

Martha let out a flamboyant laugh before accusing Catalina of being a terrible liar. "What made you even speak to me?" Cat wondered.

"Well, I’m going to be honest; you have this Mephistophelian ambiance about you. When I saw you my curiosity piqued; so I told myself that I was going to get to know you." Martha replied speaking with an overuse of her hands.

"So what’s your power?" Cat wasn’t entirely sure if Martha knew for sure she had powers; or if she was merely assuming; whatever the case—she was wrong. "I don’t have any powers. I’m a human" Cat replied.

Cat’s answer caused a curious brow on Martha’s face to rise; she could see the previous presumption and eventual revelation left the silver haired teen a bit disappointed. Martha’s eyes shifted to Cat’s lithe but overdeveloped body, as anyone could see it was not that of an eleven year old. Cat could visibly see the French native once again drawing an assumption in her head, but for this one instance the usually intrusive Martha remained quiet.

"Are you a meta-human?" Cat asked, her curiosity had been mounting in the aftermath of Martha’s question. Martha threw her hands up in the air with her usual charismatic élan, before excessively nodding her head yes.

"I studied in Paris at Valerie Huntington’s academy, my father got a job at the American Embassy; but once they started the whole registration act stuff. He reapplied for a position here." Martha’s explanation provided Cat with a bit of clarity on the on-going mutant-human conflicting ensuing in the North, but the mention of Valerie Huntington was a surprise.

She knew the name from various magazines and the occasional commercial; but never knew the world famous super-model to be associated with mutants—or homo-superior as they were officially classified as.

"What can you do?" Catalina asked; now genuinely interested. Martha drew uncomfortably close and whispered so that only Cat could hear. "I can read people’s minds." Her revelation was the source for many questions on Catalina’s end; but before she could ask any of them she could hear Martha speaking again; this time almost in a singsong manner. "I can also see the future!"

Martha proved to be full of surprises; Cat had a hard time digesting the disclosure, instead of engaging Martha further Cat alluded to returning to the events transpiring behind them. As the two of them slowly moved back toward the plaza Martha gave Cat a bit of cryptic advice.

"Don’t try to control the next few events of your life, just allow them to happen. You’ll become a stronger person from it." Cat’s eyes briefly met Martha’s, the alluring crisp brown eyes Martha had before shifted to a more sinister crimson hue. To Cat, this charlatan was the proverbial "Snake in the garden" leading her to some sort of predestined path.

Cat chose not to say at the soiree too long, the atmosphere was cloudy; and full of uncertainty. As Cat departed Martha returned to her friends reconfirming her initial impressions of Catalina. "I fear that in the eyes of the beautiful beast; many innocent people will meet their end."

Cat’s walk back was a tense endeavor, she’d taken this exact route many times before; but tonight she couldn’t help but feel like the darkness was purposely molesting her. With each step her eyes cant both ways remaining vigilante of what may pop out at her. The darkness became a source of anxiety; this was the first time she could remember the night’s sky without the governing presence of the moon.

Struggling up the stoop to her apartment, she found herself riddled with deep laborious breaths; the kind one usually gets from running. "Are you alright?" A passerby asked, causing Cat to look back at the concerned woman.

She was thrown back by the woman’s face—it was hers. Instead of the incandescent glow usually associated with Catalina; this version of her was darker; and bore the same red glare she saw in Martha just moments before.

With the simple shake of the head; she was finally able to see the woman for who she was—just a kind old woman who happened to see a child in need. Had she been seeing things all along? It was a question that rapidly begins to circulate through her mind as she sped up the steps to her apartment. When she reached her room she didn’t bother to undress—she collapsed on her bed exhausted. Glancing at the clock she realized she spent more time than she originally planned to at the plaza. "Maybe I’m going crazy because I haven’t eaten anything today…" though it was true; she hadn’t ate since the meatloaf—she didn’t exactly plan on getting up to get anything either.

The night was quite—too quiet for Catalina; the eeriness of her room and the dark figures she believed she saw compelled her to leave her room for Cherishes. She slowly slid her head into Cherishes room; the much older woman was long asleep, seizing the opportunity to slid in without too much protest Catalina toss back Cherishes covers and balled up right next to her.

The night didn’t seem to terrifying now; at least not for the brief moments she was awake anyway.

Catalina’s Birthday

"Happy birthday to you!" Cherish screamed waking Catalina from her deep slumber with cake in hand. Cat woke in frantic but soon calmed down once she realized what was happening. "Here, here blow out your candles" Cherish insisted placing the cake right under Cat’s nose.

Blowing the candles, Cat struggled to keep a tough exterior despite being overjoyed that Cherish took the time to acknowledge her birthday. "How does eleven feel?" Cherish asked placing the cake on top a dresser.

"It doesn’t feel like I’ve been a sex slave all my life" Her cynical remark complimented by a comforting smirk. "No, but It feels the same. Anyways thanks Cher".

"What made you sleep in here with me?" Cherish asked, slowly portioning sections of Cat’s cake for consumption. "I couldn’t sleep yesterday." She simply replied, trying not to think too much into everything that transpired.

"Oh! And I’m totally ok with you going back to the States for a few days" Cat lied, but she knew it was something Cherish really wanted. "Now that I’m taking these acting classes, most of my time will be spent practicing and stuff."

She could see the silent sigh of relief resounding through Cherishes facial features; It was in that moment that she opted not to tell her about her experiences the night before. "Well that’s great so how about you eat this cake" she said handing Cat an enormous piece of cake.

"N-not to big…" Cat protest much to the chagrin of Cherish. "I have class today, and I really don’t want to be running back and forth to the bathroom all day".

Though it was unusual for Cat to turn down any quantity of food; Cherish understood the reasoning behind it—still she wasn’t too happy about making a cake that wasn’t going to be consumed.

"Well what do you have planned for today?" Cat asked taking the small plastic fork to her cake. "I’m going back to Emilo’s compound to look for something we can sell. It’ll alleviate us having to work for a little while."

"You should take the Cardinals with you just in case some of Emilo’s men are still there" cat suggest still chewing on a piece of cake. "I thought of that too, but those cardinals only act in your best interest. I doubt I could get them to work with me again."

Cat’s knowledge on the Red Cardinals was limited to the information Han’s pamphlet , but according to Cherish they were a terrorist group operating somewhere within the borders of Spain. "Well then I suppose we need to make sure they obey you. Cardinals…" on her command the four crimson clad Cardinals appeared mysteriously in a circular formation in the room.

"I’m not going to lie…that’s freaky and cool at the same time" Cherish said with a still face. Cat moved slowly from the bed back toward the presumed leader. "Do you know who I am?" Despite the fact that these entities claimed to be her protectors Cat asked her question from a considerably safe distance.

The lead Cardinal nodded ominously before answering Cat’s question. "You are the genetic offspring of the High Cardinal Queen; how may we be of service?" Cat turned her head back towards Cherish mouthed his response; she was admittedly impressed with the amount of discipline the Cardinals carried themselves with.

"That’s right; Cherish here has come into some information that will prove to be beneficial to me. I need you guys to accompany her on this uh…endeavor" she tried her hardest to repel the professionalism of the Cardinals; but her words lack conviction.

"Nice character work Angelina" Cherish interrupted sarcastically; criticizing Cat’s acting. "Let me get dressed and then we’ll be off. Cat you should probably get ready for school."

"School can suck it" Cat screamed purposely trying the patience of Cherish. "You better take your little ass in that bathroom and get ready for school." Cherish replied her voice just below the scream, the aggression she showed in that brief moment cause her to break out in laughter.

"Ok, Ok I’m going no need to yell!" Cat said with her usual sass complimented by placid smile.

From within the walls of the shower Cat could hear Cherish making an exit with the Cardinals, as the steamy water poured down her raven tendril-like hair and medium frame; her mind became tangled in a previous conversation she and Cherish shared.

Did her mother really have the connections needed to propel Catalina to the future she wanted? Despite the harsh opinions she displayed on earlier topics regarding her mother; she did give the notion a lot of thought.

All thoughts of trying to reconcile with her mother ended by the time she finished showering, there were other things worth thinking about; like how she’d deal with Martha’s intrusive nature. Wiping the steam from the mirror; Cat was immediately thrown back by the gloomy shadow being repelled in the mirror.

Instead of the more stationary appearance it appeared in previous encounters; this one was more sinister looking. "What do you want from me?" Cat screamed, watching as the reflections incandescent eyes slowly begin to simmer into a nefarious crimson tint.

The reflection said nothing; instead it gave a wide jaw grin before dissipating back to Cat’s reflection. "What the eff is wrong with me?" Her eyes immediately darted back towards her bedroom—more specifically her clothes chess.

Walking the distance from her bathroom to the chess, she fixed her eyes on a small plastic bag sticking from the top of the chess—the cocaine she purchased from Paco just days earlier. "I wonder…" she said, taking the contents from the drawer with a bit of curiosity.

Cherish arrived at the compound to see that the police had already cordoned the area off, the compound looked as if the corrupt Bogota police swept through the luxuriant estate looking for either drugs; or money—probably both.

"Alright, sweep this place clean. Look for anything of worth." She said, turning to the four Cardinals in tow. The thought of the police having confiscated what she was here to retrieve crossed her mind; but she knew Emilo—he’d have a stash. Placing her jittery hands within the pockets of her denim jacket, she begin looking for any indicators of a secret room or safe. It was weird standing in this room; back when it was still operational; this compound was a safe haven for illegal drugs, prostitution, human trafficking and the interest of corrupt government officials—many of which she was forced to entertain while in captivity.

Strolling through the expansive kitchen to Emilo’s personal office; she was surprised to find it mostly intact. Everything was intact; some of the appliances were still operating as if Emilo himself had recently used them. This was pretty concrete evidence the police weren’t interested in the least as to what Emilo actually had his hand in.

"Let’s see" She murmured activating his dormant computer, initially nothing caught her eye; just a bunch of receipts that didn’t identify a buyer, however a small folder in the top right corner labeled "Catalina" snagged her attention.

Clicking on the file, she gave a quick scan to certain passages; that is until she found an email from Emilo to a woman named Isabella Marisol, time stamped just a few hours before he was killed. What she was able to diagnose from the series of emails was that:

Emilo wanted to sell Catalina to Isabella Marisol; who Cherish could only guess was a member of the Red Cardinals. The deal had been agreed upon initially, but then Emilo requested more money; which angered Isabella. The letters mentioned the death of Paco; which made Han’s statement regarding his death make sense.

Emilo then sent a message saying he was going to sell Catalina to the U.S government to help aid them in thwarting the Cardinals; she could only assume that Emilo had no idea he was in fact speaking with a Cardinal leader.

The messaged ended concluding their negotiations on the account that Cherish and the Cardinals ultimately killed him. "Hey, are you guys done?" She spoke… but there was an absence of sound. Cherish begin to clutch her throat trying to force her vocal cords into making any type of noise—to no avail.

Turning back in the direction of the kitchen; her eyes fell upon an intoxicating black woman wearing a light brown see-through dress with long black leather boots. She stood about 5 foot 5 really petite frame, long black hair and enthralling pair of natural green eyes. "Emerald…" Cherish finally spat watching as the frail woman moved towards her.

"It’s Ashley to you…I got a couple of questions. This will be easy-going…depending on how you answer them"

Cherish stood apprehensively, she had no idea why Emerald would show here; but it didn’t appear that she came to have a friendly chat. Her threats wore thin on the ears of Cherish, from where she stood, she presumed Ashley to be the culprit behind her loss of voice; but she was also with powers and wouldn’t allow this woman to bully her.

"Who are you, really? What do you want?" Cherish asked doing her best to keep a tough exterior. Ashley took a step forward repelling a confident snare—one that indicated she was not going to be misled by Cherish’s gambit.

"My name is Ashley Emerald Mooreland, that’s all you get. What are YOU doing here?" She said taking another step. Cherish very slowly moved her hands from the innards of her pockets; before she could answer the four Cardinals appeared in a "Diamond" formation in front of her.

"Cardinals!" Ashley screamed, before dropping a smoke bomb to conceal herself. "What the hell is going on here?" Cherish screamed, throwing her hands up to push the contents of the smoke pellet away. As the smoke passed over the bronze skin beauty; she appeared clad in a middle-eastern assassin garb complete with a face veil.

"Braveheart!" one of the Cardinals yelled throwing himself into battle with the Emerald assassin. Cherish ducked for cover; but found her place of refuge no match for the boisterous wail of the African siren’s death wale.

Clutching her ears in pain; she sat completely oblivious to the action transpiring on the other side of the desk—action that didn’t last too long; Cherish looked up to see the demise of three of the Cardinals at the hand of Ashley.

"What the fck!" she gasped trying to run for cover; her efforts to escape were thwarted by a caltrop that snuggly wrapped around her knees causing her to fall to the ground. "I’m not one of them!!!" Cherish screamed trying to free from the binding weapon.

"My questions stands, who are you? And what are you doing with the Cardinals?" Ashley asked using her boisterous wail to inflict a rudimentary form of pain on Cherish’s ears. "My name is Cherish...I was one of Emilo’s sex slaves!" she confessed struggling to keep her ears free from the damaging sound.

Ashley stopped the forceful discharge of sound, but remained aggressive in her attempt to extract information. "What were you doing with the Cardinals?" The "Emerald Assassin" was by no-means stupid, she knew the telltale signs of a "protective liar"; she’d never get the information she needed by simply asking. Unsheathing her green dragon blade; she placed the hilt on the neck of the flailing woman. "What were you doing with the Cardinals?" She asked again; once again, Cherish’s attempt to answer was halted by the distracting presence of the fourth Cardinal. Appearing with typical Cardinal fashion the skilled combatant placed an adroit spin kick directly into the chest of Ashley sending her sailing back into the computer desk.

Landing with enough force to temporarily stun her; Ashley’s eyes darted toward the file Cherish left open on the computer. "Catalina…is here." She said, turning to with a confident smirk.

"Emerald…you once worked here for Emilo! I took your place once you escaped…Catalina has been here too!" She said, trying to appeal to Ashley’s memory.

"That was her?" Ashley replied in ignorance, remembering the other girls having mentioned a child amongst them. She’d never met Cherish; nor did she actually engage in any of the activities while "enslaved" here. Her mission then was to assassinate a key congressman that would be essential in starting the Registration Saga in the U.S. Though she succeeded someone rose to fill his shoes making her overall efforts futile; now her mission was to find out why the Cardinals had taken interest in the South American country….she’d just found out.

"That makes this a bit easy" She said, pulling herself of the edge of the computer desk. "Tell me where Catalina is?" Ashley said, standing across from the Red Clad Cardinal with Cherish lying still behind him.

"NO! I won’t let you hurt her!" Cherish wailed once more trying to free herself from the strict grip of the caltrop.

"I did ask nicely" Ashley said, throwing one of her black eggs into the eyes of the Cardinal temporarily subduing him for the moment. Leaping from the balls of her feet, The Emerald assassin went to deliver the death blow on the Cardinal only to be completely leveled by a disastrous blast of wind.

Ashley’s body tumbled a few times before rolling to an abrupt halt on the far side of the room. "Heh…" she grunted visibly impressed with Cherishes ability to project the wind. Ashley rose using the hilt of her blade for support, now back on her feet she rose to face a liberated Cherish.

Cherish knew there was no way she’d ever be able to survive a physical fight with Ashley; it was apparent with Ashley’s confidence that she knew it too. As the Emerald assassin moved forward; she couldn’t help but slowly move backwards trying to keep a comfortable amount of space between them.

Ashley’s hand slowly rose the rising wind suggest a powerful attack was imminent, a flurry of swift sonic energy pulse streamlined toward Cherish forcefully sending her body spiraling into the adjacent rooms. During this frantic assault Cherish could do nothing but protect her head from taking potentially fatal damage.

Ashley’s burst rip through the walls and even the hard metal appliances inside the kitchen. All around her bits of debris littered the air before falling to the floor either beside or on her. "Stop running!" Ashley screamed, aiming a blast from the next room, the concussive sonic energy ripped through the wall once again hitting Cherish—this time sending her body flailing through a lower level cabinet full of pots and pans.

Blood begin to discharge from various regions of her body, the aftermath of the vicious sonic energy blast left deep gashes on her arms and legs. It was clear to Ashley that this fight was a bit one-sided; she never intended to engage in a display of powers with the Windwaker; but it seemed only necessary to show the extent of her power to negate anymore wind gales.

"Look, I don’t want to hurt Catalina. I’m trying to keep her away from her mother." Ashley finally revealed coming to a halt a few paces away.

"If Ziccarra and the Cardinals get a hold of Catalina…she will be transformed into a weapon. It’s what she was created for" Cherish struggled to respond, so instead she gave a nod "As to say continue".

"When I met Ziccarra Liafador she was a well known Flamenco dancer and a scholar. Once her parents died, Kane used his mental control over her and made her a sex symbol...forced her to use drugs. Purposely deprived her of her insulin shots, he eventually drove her into a deep depression." Cherish hadn’t heard that part of the story, rather the part where Ziccarra broke the control and murdered a great deal of people in the Tibetan Plains.

"How does any of that relate to Catalina…?" Cherish gasp trying to rise to her feet. "Because Catalina is a genetic replica of Ziccarra…everything she experienced will pass on to Catalina. And Catalina will act upon those experiences"

Ashley’s explanation didn’t make a bit of sense to Cherish, Catalina didn’t exhibit any signs of aggression; but she did utilize cocaine and was exposed to the underbelly of the sex slave ring could Ashley be right?

"H-How do you know all of this…?" She asked having finally made it back to her feet, but only managed to stand with the support of a nearby wall.

"I found Kane Liafador’s notes at his villa in Belize; he’s been planning this for quite some time. Since you and Cat are so close I’d say you too skip town together; especially since Ziccarra knows you’re here" Ashley closed the distance between them with her hands extended; Cherish perceived this as an attack and sent another one of her wind gales plowing directly into Ashley.

The forceful burst of wind deposited the airborne Emerald Assassin on the outside of the compound. Rising to a knee, Ashley could feel Cherish once again on the offensive; preparing another one of her sonic generated attacks—she prepped to fire only to have her own energy backfire. The traitorous energy sent causes her body to spiral out of control into a gate on the fire side of the room.

It was her own power that damn near ended the fight for her; but she could only assume that cherish manipulated the wind around her attack and cause it to backfire. "She’s learning…" Ashley applauded, it didn’t take long for her to register that the injured Cherish had retreated.

Normally, she’d give pursuit; but her own injures were too grand to simply ignore; she’d have to remain stationary for her healing factor to kick in.

"The Cardinals are here because Catalina is here…" She assessed before trying to think about what her next move should be. Even though she defeated the four accompanying Cherish; she knew the Cardinals were here in bulk.

 

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The Catalan Countess Pt. 1

A long time ago.

The sound of steel clamors from the innermost chamber of an intricate rock formation; a premature flash of foreshadowing lightning saw two sons of Ramon sparring in a classic display of fencing. Kane stood on one side, his face clean shaven, his hair matching the dark depths of his immoral soul, his body rivaling the finely sculpted attributes of the God Atlas. He carried the demeanor of a militaristic elitist and modeled himself as a beacon of family standards and discipline, those that knew him intimately however; knew his surface features to be a façade for the sadistic personality that lay latent inside him.

On the other side stood Marcos, Kane’s slightly younger brother; though his profuse use of nicotine and other recreational drugs made him appear to be slightly older. Though born in Malaga like all of his siblings, he took up permanent refuge in Italy; as indicated by his Italian designer suits. He had a fabricated head full of grey hair, a slim build in contrast to her brother; but known for his ability to be annoyingly witty. Marcos was didn’t share the militaristic views of Kane; but was an Elitist none the less. His adoration for business, and Kane’s martial intellect made them two of the most influential men in the Mediterranean.

"Ahhh Kano…Your skills have improved much, and seemingly right under my own nose." Marcos applauded; removing the off-white helmet that somewhat blurred his vision. "But I did not travel the great sea to lose to you in a spar did I?"

"Heh…no my brother" Kane smirked sitting his foil against the side of the wall, before lighting a series of candles around the cave. "I suppose you did not" Sparring was a Liafador tradition; it was considered an insult amongst the men to not spar before a meeting of significant importance. Because the family was so vast and confrontational most of the individual family members did not speak nor spar unless called upon by the Patriarch.

Pouring two glasses of wine, Kane took a seat across from the Italian Liafador with a folder opened and slightly pushed to the center of the wooden table. Marcos didn’t reflect the same ecstatic look that Kane eventually dawned, he remained quiet and unmoved by anything in the folder largely; due to ignorance. The burning smell of Jasmine, along with the stress reliving sport of fencing kept his body at ease facilitating a conversational atmosphere.

"Kano, what am I looking at?" He asked. Marcos’ hands picked up a photo containing a double helix DNA strand. Crudely snatching the file back, the older Liafador positioned his hand on a specific part of the gene sequence highlighted in red. "This here is the genetic sequence of my new child; I’ve been working on it for some time…"

Kane’s instruction was ended by an exaggerated frustration sigh from Marcos; he’d heard this story at least three times before—it was getting old. "Kano, the last time I spoke with you; you said that you impregnated a Greek Woman…now almost seven months later you’re trying to CREATE another child. What is with this madness?"

"Heh" Kane chuckled again this time sitting back in his seat rubbing his immaculately shaven face. "Isis is her name—the child I mean, and Marcos, we’ve been using the women of this family wrong; it’s no doubt that our mother’s genes appear to be dominant, but think about the amount of influence we can have with Liafador Manchurian candidates. A beautiful woman can topple even the most powerful of nations." Kane’s explanation did very little to sway the opinion of Marcos, a man to stuck in his own misogynist ways.

"You are starting to sound like grandfather, besides does this family not have enough whores?!" Marcos hissed borderline screaming. "Mind your nerves brother; think about what you could achieve if young Zeon was to be the bodyguard of the prime minister?"

Marcos scoffed at the notion of his daughter being anything more than collateral. "Don’t impose your believes of my family" He screamed, pointing his index finger in Kane’s face. "Whose DNA is this exactly?" He asked, trying to force the conversation back to a cordial atmosphere.

"It’s mine of course…and Nana’s" Kane gave a sinister grin; one that undoubtedly sickened Marcos stomach. "That’s an abomination! You have disgraced this family! She is your sister!" He screamed throwing his chair back in anger.

"Ahhh you do care…" Kane remarked, throwing his hands up as if he were surrendering. "Relax, I didn’t knock boots with Nana…I extracted the DNA from her hair." Kane explained, watching Marcos storm toward the opening of the cave.

"I want nothing more to do with this conversation!" Kane slowly sauntered behind him explaining how he was able to produce a provisional child with his science; however in his anger Marcos had heard none of it. "Marcos…look." Kane whispered, causing the Italian to turn; right as Ziccarra’s blade met with his Adams apple. "Na-nana!" Marcos screamed fearful that his younger sister might end his life.

"She will not kill you. She’s under my control." Kane said waving his hand to call off Ziccarra’s would be attack. "You see brother; she’s got looks that rival Aphrodite, a voice that could influence Samson; and the power that could produce the head of any head of state. "

Nana—Ziccarra was their youngest sister and thought to be the most beautiful woman in all of Malaga. She had pacific blue eyes which were fixed with a latent mutation that made them appear teal during certain hours of the day. She stood about 5’9 with the body of a professional flamenco dancer with endless charcoal black hair and a vibrant smile known to paralyze parties from both sexes. As she stood, those features did not appear to be so vibrant; her mind had been controlled by Kane making her completely a slave to his homicidal tendencies.

"The Liafador women are a weapon."

"H-how are you controlling her?" Marcos responded as his body tremble he saw fit to take a safe step back. "It’s through a process someone taught me called…Indoctrination."

Marcos’ surprise soon subsided, fixing his coat his stern hazel eyes darted to his elegant younger sister; but only for a moment before returning to Kane. "I see you heard the voices too, but unlike me my brother you have embrace them. I will pray for your well-being. I have to be off" Marcos said, placing a placid kiss on the side of Ziccarra’s porcelain cheek. Her ignorance to this uncharacteristic display of affection; showed Marcos just how deep this mental control was.

"Why so soon?" Kane asked once again momentarily halting his brother’s exit. "There is a Moroccan woman claiming she is with my child. Not that I believe her, but I must keep Estella from finding out."

Kane chuckled, partially because he realized the hypocritical nature of Marcos’ revelation, and he always thought the concept of marriage to be a waste of time. "Handle your business my brother, until next time." He said, giving Marcos a respectful salute.

"I pray for your sake Ziccarra does not recover from this; because she will bring hell" Marcos warned with the incandescent moonlight shielding his exit. Kane pondered only for a moment, but dismissed the notion.

"Leave me Ziccarra; I have a lot work to do." His back turned toward his controlled sister. There was a lot of work to be done; though the DNA strand he produced allowed him to create what he called "The perfect child" there was still one last thing he needed to account for "The Liafador Curse".

All the Liafador women born after Kane’s mother (Sabella) where exposed to some form of genetic modifications; these modifications granted: beauty, Intellect and an increased sense of self-worth. The downside however was a mental deterioration that eventually begin to plague them, effecting judgment and producing erratic behavior.

Kane knew of only one current case, his Columbian half-sister Sofia; though it wasn’t exactly enough information to call a "curse" he hypothesized it was a side-effect of the modifications.

 

5 Years Later, Belize City, Belize

Kane’s appearance changed over the course of five years, he still had his amazing jet black hair, his face still clean shaven; however now he had a distinct scar over his neck where Ziccarra’s blade had struck him a few years prior. He failed to keep control over the Malagan Marchioness; the failed indoctrination enlightened her to everything he did over the course of five years, and marked him as a dead man. A period known as "The Great Schism" took place between the family, some members of the family split into a faction known as "The Brave hearts; a group of bounty hunters capitalized off corporate assassinations started by Kane’s parents—Sabella and Ramon Liafador.

While those still adamantly loyal to family joined a clandestine organization known as The Red Cardinals; a group that supposedly helped Jews escape Spanish persecution during the Inquisition. Before his death; Kane’s grandfather placed Ziccarra in charge of the remaining Cardinal sects, this move led to a series of conflicts between the Bravehearts and Cardinals which ultimately lead to Ziccarra killing all but two members.

 

Instead of facing the wrath of the Red Cardinal Queen, Kane fled with young Catalina to Belize; and watched from a safe distance as his younger sister, Ziccarra—assumed the role of "Matriarch" of his family. Since his exile, Kane spent most of his days meditating and tracking the movements of the Red Cardinal legions across the Tibetan plains. There were tons of control protocols in place, just in case Ziccarra had somehow tracked him to Belize.

"Ice cream papi, Ice cream!" his concentration was shattered by the jovial wail of his beautiful younger daughter. It came the same time every day; his young daughter would play with her toys until roughly eleven, and then they’d head out into the city for brunch and ice cream. "Alright let’s go."

The father and daughter duo walked the packed streets surveying the of their relative small city, every now and then he’d test her intellect just to be sure the modifications were still in effect.

"What’s the capital of Australia? He asked, allowing her to freely run across the street when given the light to walk. "It’s Sydney!" She screamed running into a flock of pigeons. "Good. What’s the capital of Canada?"

"That’s easy papi, its Ottawa did you forget?" Cat asked looking back with her hands on her hips giving him the five year old sass. "Ohhh you got me, I did forget. It’s a good thing I have you! What would I do without you?" Kane replied with a raspy gargle playing on his daughter’s sass. His voice typically went in and out, Ziccarra managed to damage his vocal cords in their last encounter.

"It’s ok papi, you can just get me two ice creams; and we’ll be even" he couldn’t help but release a full blown wail of laughter. "HA! You little hustler!"

Opening the door to their favorite little diner he watched as the energetic little Liafador ran to their favorite booth and immediately grabbed the crayons for a word puzzle. Kane moved to the counter to see whatever information he could receive from Priscilla the waitress.

"Anything to report?" the waitress closed the distance between them, to negate anyone else from hearing the information. "Just before you came, there was a man dressed in red in here asking questions…questions about you." She reported, waving back at Catalina who just happened to be boisterously screaming her name.

"What did he look like?" Priscilla leaned in again to answer Kane’s inquiry, but was halted by the presence of another costumer. "Hold on, be right back" She said moving to the other side of the diner. Pushing away from the counter Kane joined his daughter in the booth sharing a bit of her fries. "HEY!" she begin to protest.

"You know I had to eat the poison right" he smirked, before heading back to the counter to continue his rendezvous with Pricilla.

"Yeah he was a frail little man, looked Asian, balding a bit; but he had a golden chain around his neck, it kind of looked like a little cardinal bird."

"Ziccarra…" Kane whispered pulling away from the counter; he felt the mentioned man standing right behind him. "Han." Kane said eying the small man. "The Red Cardinal Queen, Ziccarra Liafador requests your presence meet her at these coordinates. Mr.Liafador please don’t try to run; I don’t think I need to remind you what the Cardinals will do to this town." Han turned to exit only to be stopped by Kane’s powerful hand.

"How’d she find me?" Han released a prickly chuckle before skillfully swiping Kane’s hand from his shoulder. "I hardly think that matters now." He said, placing his hat on his head before heading back out into the busy streets.

"Papi?" Cat’s voice broke his anger, but only for a moment. "Two ice creams please" He said, looking at Pricilla with the same coolness and ease he entered with. "Let’s go darling" he said, watching the young toddler get messy with both her ice cream cones.

Kane said nothing the entire walk home; in the simple stroll from the diner to his villa he counted at least fifty Red Cardinal guards eying him both near and far. Despite being heavily outnumbered, he still had somewhat of an upper hand. He had not engaged in combat since his last altercation with Ziccarra, but was confident in his abilities to defend his home.

Entering the villa he was greeted by Ziccarra’s Cardinal scout "Dynasty" He said, staring at the heavily tattooed, heavily pierced; redhead beauty. "Kane…" she whispered amorously, eying the young Cat cowering behind Kane’s leg.

"She has come to kill you." She warned, but she spawned nothing but a laugh from Kane. "M’dear you look hardly ready to engage in a fight." He said, eying her nearly exposed Amazonian frame. "You look as if you just came back from a Diddy video." He jested, eying her backside extended way past the limits of her shorts.

"I came to see you once more, I do not know if this will be the last time we get to see each other. I just wanted to be with you one more time" She whispered, slowly sauntering toward the former Liafador Patriarch.

"Heh, I see. Catalina." He commanded, taking his young daughter by the wrist and bringing her in front of him. Bending down to eye level he intimately kissed his daughter’s forehead before giving her a block of instructions. "Daddy has some grown people business to get to, I want you to go next door and ask Ms. Campos if you can play with Manuel." He saw the fire light into Cat’s eyes, she loved playing with Manuel; watching as she sped off with glee he rose to meet the Cardinal grunt with lust. She was his high school sweetheart, the one that loved him before the whispers of the machines begin to corrupt his head.

"Dynasty…there are scouts all around us, you will be killed when you return." He warned taking the warm busty Cardinal in arms. "I know, but I am ready to face the consequences of my actions." She whispered again, kissing down the shaft of Kane’s neck. "Wait…" He said, pushing away; reaching in the farthest reaches of his pockets he pulled out a small white pill and broke it down the middle. He very subtly feared for her life with no regard to his own—as she feared for his life with no regard to her own.

This ecstasy pill would allow them to forget the coming hours and the fears they would eventually bring. Popping all her buttons in route to ripping her blouse; the two fated lovers engaged each other without regard to any inanimate object in their path.

Catalina spent at least three hours away from the house, time the two lovers used in its entirety. As the young toddler strolled into her father’s room, she saw her father resting peacefully while the woman from before was drenched in…"ketchup?" Cat wondered trying to figure out why this woman didn’t get in trouble for having it all over the bed.

There was another woman standing stoically at the head of the bed just watching Kane rest peacefully, she hadn’t even acknowledge Catalina’s presence. Kane woke in a stupor seeing the blood pouring from Dynasty’s gut. "YOU!!!" He screamed, leaping from the bed only to have the psionic powers of ‘Isabella Marisol’ halt him where he stood.

"DADDY!" Cat screamed, alerting them all to the young girl’s presence. "Ahhh so this is her…she looks exactly like Ziccarra." Marisol remarked patting the catty young girl atop her head.

"Who are you…" Kane asked struggling to break free of the psionic power of Marisol. "Isabella…Marisol" Dynasty gurgled with a wasted last breath. "She’s partially correct" Marisol said, reducing Kane to his knees.

"My real name is Zedora, I’m the one who gave you the idea to create this little one" She said, pointing toward Catalina. Catalina begin to punch and claw at Zedora, but her psionic shield prevented her from feeling anything. "You’re late, Ziccarra is waiting for you" Zedora commanded shoving Catalina back a good bit.

"The whispers…those were you" Kane struggling finally piecing together the situation. "Correct, you thought you were making scientific breakthroughs on your own accord? I was helping you. Catalina will be influential sometime in the future, I just know it. Get your ass up, and meet Ziccarra like we told you" She said dissipating in a thick blue blur.

"She’s not a very nice magician" Cat said, rising to her feet dusting herself off. "CATALINA! GET OUT OF HERE!" her father erupted in an explosion of anger and sorrow. "I’m going I’m going no need to yell" she said, still ignorant to the entire situation.

An hour later.

After sobbing and plotting for a good bit of time Kane appeared in full combat suit ready to face his sister and a large assortment of Red Cardinals. As he entered their radius he could see the druid-like cronies standing with lit torches across the vast green pasture. Standing in the middle of a Cardinal "Ring of Fire" Kane’s eyes scanned the area and pin-pointed Zedora amongst them.

A moving figure at the back of the circular formation pushed forward, she was intoxicatingly beautiful, long black hair, pacific blue eyes, and she now had an athletic build; which was a distinct change from previous encounters.

"Ziccarra" He whispered, watching as one by one the Cardinals begin to bow in respect to their queen.

"Hmm." He jested, still standing firm In the face of this beautiful terror. Beauty filtered through each of her Iberian pores, yet she was known for being a barbaric murderer to those that crossed her. "The Modern Day Athena, the Warrior Queen, and my favorite Ziccarra the Impaler; You’ve always had a thing for the theatrics". He jested again watching as the red clad War Queen stopped just a few short inches in front of him.

"Even in the face of death you joke" Her voice was soft, not something someone would attribute to a warlord. "In this family, your real face is just a mask. We are the face of death" Kane replied, trying to gauge the level of control Zedora had on his sister.

"Ja, I like that" Z said, removing her sword from a Red Cardinal emblem pillow. "Kane, for your sins against the Red Cardinals and--most importantly; our family I sentence you do death. By order of The Liafador family Matriarch"

"I gotcha, but someone wants to meet you first" stepping out from behind her father’s hulking frame was Catalina. The timid little child placed her index finger in her mouth before smiling at Ziccarra with a wide grin.

Z couldn’t help it, she knew who this child was; and even though she did not give birth to her; she would never mentally deny that it was indeed her child. "Catalina…" Ziccarra said, dropping to her knees to greet the five year old.

There wasn’t a strand in Catalina’s DNA that wasn’t identical to Ziccarra’s, "She looks exactly like me" She said, astonished with the turn of events. "Are you my mommy?" Cat asked, standing just inches away from the Cardinal Queen.

"No, I am your aunt" Z replied, stroking the jet black hair of Catalina as if she were her mother. It was in her answer that Kane’s eyes darted toward Zedora. The machine matriarch was actively using her powers of influence over Ziccarra to forge her responses.

"Why would you bring her?" Ziccarra asked, picking the small child up; but not removing her eyes off Kane. "I wanted you to see her, and for her to see you. Who knows what’s going to happen to her one all this is done."

The face of the warrior queen remained unchanged; her ambitions overruled every one of her moral inhibitions. "My dear brother, just because I have no wish to kill you in front of the eyes of the little one; it does not mean I won’t." Ziccarra hissed placing the young child back on the ground so that she may run back to her father.

"For right now…you may go" Ziccarra said reluctantly; turning back in the direction she came. "My dear sister… you are ticking" Kane replied with a stern grin.

"Damnit!" Ziccarra screamed, snagging the small mine Catalina placed off her person before chucking it high into the air. "Catalina run!" Kane commanded, ducking for cover under the airborne eruption. "Damn it Kane you have forced my hand! After her, she is not to be harmed!" Ziccarra commanded.

On her command the flock of Cardinals gave chase to the small five year old girl through the surrounding pastures. Kane seized the opportunity, it was now him versus her; just the way he wanted. "She’ll attack close…I need to keep her off me" he noted, just like he predicted Ziccarra brought her Black Rose blade streamlining towards his chest. A quick side step and a flick of his wrist misdirected her blade; and gave him the opening he needed, bringing his right elbow across the top; he sent it smashing into the face of Ziccarra, causing the Warrior Queen to tumble back a good distance.

Dropping a small smoke grenade on the ground the Renegade Liafador hid himself amongst the smoke to conceal his strategic movements. He could see her standing firm with her blade, her elegant dress bellowing lightly in the small gale that push through the area.

Unsheathing his Katana the lightning count launched himself from the smoke shroud aiming for Ziccarra’s shoulder; a tactic that was ill-fated as the quick thinking of Ziccarra allowed her to evasive roll out of the way.

"I see that training with Faatina in Tibet has made you all the wiser." Kane applauded, continuing a series of berserk horizontal slashes. Ziccarra said nothing, instead she continued to block his relentless strikes until she saw an opening.

Dropping her free hand back to the slit in her dress; she retrieved a securely tucked dagger from her pantyhose, with a minute flick of the wrist she sent it sailing through the left leg of Kane—ending his vicious assault and temporarily giving her the edge.

Executing a striking, yet clever pirouette her blade drew blood diagonally across Kane’s chest. He almost immediately fell to the ground on his back still gasping for air.

"Go...head...Kill me" He whispered through the involuntary shaking of his body. "I must admit Kane that was a horrible display. I won’t even give you the honor of dying at my hand."

Ziccarra sheathed her blade with disgust and headed back in the direction of her camp. "Did we retrieve Catalina?" She asked, watching the remaining Cardinal members watched pulled guard on Kane. "No she got away… sewer system"

Ziccarra’s eyes went back to her downed brother, "Give him the bloody eagle, and let’s return to Malaga."

When he came too, Kane could feel his upper extremities’ tied Christ like on two adjacent trees.

"Heh…Ziccarra the impaler" he jested again, he couldn’t bring himself to fully laugh; Catalina was out there all on her own. It was his foolishness that brought her in this, had he just given up; his baby girl wouldn’t have been in the world by herself.

His gaze shifted from the grass to the vermillion boots of his lovely sister standing just inches away from him. Along with some of the most gruesome looking Cardinals, she bore the legendary mask of Cortez—a tool she didn’t bother to dispatch in their bout.

"Back in the times of our great ancestors, the generals in the Norse Pagan religion would do what is called a "Bloody Eagle" to opposing generals. It was supposed to send their enemies to Valhalla only if certain conditions were met." Ziccarra explained, watching as her executioners moved toward Kane.

"Now my dear brother, if you don’t make the slightest sound during this ordeal. You will have an honorable death. The two guard begin to break Kane’s ribs on both side, He clenched his teeth together; the pain burned deep within his chest.

A crimson glow crept across his face; he fought the urge to keep, at least until one of the executioners daggers split his back open. Blood cascade from all sides of his body along with those vital organs his ribcage would’ve provided protection for.

The deafening screams cause nearby birds to flood the skies with their presence, he could feel their hands inside his back grasping his lungs. "What the …fck! Did….you to me…" his sentence was broken by his own intake of oxygen. His lungs were outside his body expanding each time he took a breath; drip by drip; blood littered the small patch of grass underneath him.

The Cardinals circled the gruesome sight with their Queen in the middle; her hands extended outwards absorbing the praise from her subordinates. "As the Queen of the Cardinal Nation. I forgive you for your sins" She said, watching as the life left her renegade brother.

"What of Catalina…" one of the Cardinals asked, wondering what their queens’ plans for the young child were. "Find her, and when you do bring her to Malaga." Ziccarra commanded heading back to her tent.

Cat sat helplessly on the curb of a nearby bar with her head between her legs, and her hands playing with the strap of her navy blue Mary Janes. For hours people would walk up to her and ask what she was doing there, only those that asked in English were given a response. "I’m waiting on my daddy" is what she would say before going back to playing with her shoes; however now she was beginning to get hungry and tired. She wanted a glass of milk and her stuffed bunny, but it didn’t seem like any of that was going to happen.

Rising to her feet Cat readied herself to set off and find her father, before she was able to take a step; a black van pulled up right beside the sidewalk halting her movement. "Daddy…" She whispered, only to have three armed men jump out the back and converge on her location.

Running wasn’t an option, neither was fighting back. A tight grip secured her lithe limb before pushing her toward the back entrance of the van. As the door opened she was thrust unceremoniously inside. Her small frame landed coarsely on the feet of another captive.

It didn’t take long after landing in the van for the young child to begin a boisterous wail. Her presence startled the rest of the captives, particularly the female ones. "Caiente!" many of them screamed, but her ignorance to the Spanish Language prevented her from hearing the protest.

Swift kicks from both the left and right sought to stop the young toddler from crying , but they only succeeded in further agitating Cat. "Pearate!" A young woman screamed taking Cat in her arms; her eyes scanned the other captives with disgust as she tried to console Cat. She stood about 5’8, long black hair; her skin tone hinted a Hispanic background; but her high cheek bones suggest more indigenous origins.

"It will be ok" She said, bouncing the toddler on her knee to appease the bawling grief-stricken child. After a twelve hour drive stuffed in the back of a van, the captives were off-loaded inside a warehouse; where showers and food awaited them.

"Where are we?" Someone asked Cat wanted to know the same thing; she could tell she’d been taken from the area she knew due to the staleness of the air. "Bogota" another person answered recognizing the capital city of Columbia written on a nearby manhole.

"<SHOWER AND EAT NOW!>" they screamed in Spanish causing the teen to once again assume responsibility of Catalina. "Hey" she called bending down to eye level to meet the young girl. "My name is Cherish, what’s yours?"

Cat gave her a timid look before responding with a finger jammed in her mouth. "Catalina…" Her eyes shied away to the nude persons walking into the shower with little privacy. "Hey, hey; stay focused on me" Cherish instructed obstructing her view.

"Listen, we have to wash up and eat now, you like that?" Cat gave an expedient head nod before trying to look back at the captives showering.

"I know, your stomach was growling the whole way here" Cherish continued pulling Cat’s attention back to her. "Now this is what’s going to happen, I’m going to bath you, and then I’m going to bathe. While I’m bathing I want you to eat. Is that understood?"

"Yes ma’am" Cat replied, being lead to the shower area. It didn’t take Cherish too long to bathe Cat, or herself for that matter. Doing as she was instructed the young toddler ate the food she was provided and awaited the return of Cherish.

Despite the circumstances of their capture, most of the captives didn’t seem to mind the accommodations. A lot of them were taken from rough lives; some of them hadn’t eaten in days, for a select few of them this was salvation. For others, like Catalina; this was a terrifying time—her fragile mind had zero understanding of her current situation.

"So, little one what were you doing on the street corner? Where were your parents?" She didn’t know the answer to the latter of Cherishes questions; but the trust was building between the two—so it couldn’t hurt to tell could it?

"I was running from a buncha scary men in red." Cat replied watching as new armed gunmen entered the warehouse. "Scary men in red?" Cherish repeated, supplementary questions would have to wait; these new armed guards begin splitting the captives up, the women and Catalina in one line; and the men in another.

Following Cherish into another room the women were met by a husky Columbian man in his late forties with small patches of grey hair and, all the gold jewelry a woman could want.

"Ladies, Ladies" his voice was laced with a heavy accent; Cat thought it was funny, but she didn’t dare laugh especially since Cherish didn’t. "I have saved you from your current situations, I have job for you all" He said, pouring himself a glass of Cristal.

Judging from the gaze on Cherish’s face Cat could see the fat man was alluding to something she wasn’t ok with.

"We are like partners. If you take care of me ladies, I will take care of you. Now with that said, is there anyone that does not want job with me". Cat’s raise only because select people around them did, but her hand was immediately brought back down by Cherish, the perceptive teen knew a man wouldn’t go through the trouble of kidnapping people just to allow them to leave.

"Ahhh I thought so" he gave a not so subtle head nod, the guards escorted those not willing to partake in the Columbians plans into another room.

He waited patiently for the entirety of women to be escorted out; before addressing those that decided to stay. "You girls will not be disappointed" He said, taking note to Catalina standing between Cherish’s legs.

"Oh?" He grunted feeling the recoil from his drink; his eyes quickly dart to Cherish and then back down to Catalina. He wasn’t the smartest man, but he knew how to extract the truth when he needed to. The eyes of Cherish were misleading, he could tell that; but the eyes of Catalina told no tales. Dropping to his knees before Cat he asked a simple question.

"Is this your mami?" Cat immediately shook her head no; she could faintly feel Cherish exhaling expectantly. "I see." He turned around to one of the armed guards, and whispered something into his ear. "Yes sir." The guard replied storming in Catalina’s direction, about half way to her a thunderous eruption of gunfire resound throughout the adjacent room. Cat’s heart immediately begin to pound a certain anxiety of being separated from her temporary care provider caused her to fight in protest, as the guard once again gripped her tiny arm; she immediately begin to protest by calling for Cherish.

With the commanding presence of the Columbian pimp standing in front of her, Cherish didn’t dare to protest them taking Catalina, but she was ok with the idea that Cat wasn’t being taken into the room where gun fire was heard.

"Don’t you worry your pretty little face chika, if you do good work for daddy. You will see her again" he reassured with a menacing grin.

"Everyone is leaving me" Cat said, dragging her feet before breaking down in a full blown wail. The guard tried his hardest to pick drag the little girl, but even with the aggressive tugging he was not able to move the stubborn child.

<Fck this!"> He screamed aiming his fully automatic weapon in the ignorant child’s face like it meant anything to her.

"<WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?> A woman screamed from not too far off. The guard immediately retracts his weapon in shame; a frail older woman stalked the halls with her cane arriving to Catalina’s aid. "I told Emilo he needs better help".

The old granny pushed the gunmen back and helped Cat to her feet, "I suppose you are the child, they were bringing into to assist me" she said wiping Cat’s clothes down.

"Ahh Mama" Emilo called out walking with the line of remaining girls. Cherishes face lit up at the sight of Catalina, before entering the tunnel the women were instructed not to say anything; so instead of openly rejoining she kept her words to herself.

"Emilo, you need to do something about this guard" the old woman said, walking past with Catalina in tow. "Consider it done mama", his voice faded out the further down the tunnel they went, eventually the young girl flinched at the sound of a gunshot, followed by a body hitting the floor. "What’s your name child?"

"It’s Catalina…"

 

Five years later

"Ahhh Catalina it’s nice to see you" Don Emilo remarked with his legs crossed lighting his cigar. "Hello Daddy, It’s nice to see you too" She said, planting herself atop his crossed legs. "I have your money too" she said, removing his money from her bra. "Ahh looks like a busy night" He said, counting his money in full.

"It’s sickening how many people would pay for the services of a ten year old" A crusty old lady said, coming from the adjacent room. "I suppose not much more sickening than one that would offer the services of said ten year old" Cat’s eyes lit up at the sight of the old woman. "Abuelita!" She screamed, rushing to hug the warm old woman.

"How are you young child?" She asked stroking the straight black hair of Catalina."I’m fine; Cherish and I got an apartment on the west side with the money we’ve been making." She said taking the woman’s hands into her own.

"Six-thousand dollars…nice" Emilo grunted, handing Catalina one grand for her pay-off. "Child, what do you know of your mother?" the old woman asked much to the protest of Don Emilo. "I never met my mother; she was killed sometime after I was born." Cat explained, though she was a bit confused as to why she wanted to know, she generally had no problem explaining to "her" abuela anything.

"My father was killed by my aunt, on the night I was picked up by Emilo. Um...excuse me, Don Emilo" The tender old woman ponder to herself for a moment, Emilo could see something plagued his mother’s mind but didn’t exactly want to discuss what; with Catalina present. "Catalina a moment please" Emilo insisted rising to part with Catalina.

"Of course, I have things to do anyway" She said placing two kiss on both his cheeks before slipping back out into the Columbian morning.

"Ma why you bring up her family, she es whore; not a part of this family" Emilo protested taking a puff of his cigar. The tender old woman took a seat in Emilo’s chair before answering her son’s question. "Well mijo, that girl at such a young age is drop dead gorgeous; I have a hunch that she is a part of a family we are not equipped to deal with."

Emilo shrugged in his arrogance, he cared not for Catalina’s past, but for her ability to continue bringing in copious amounts of money. "Well…when they come they can pay two-fifty and hour for her like everyone else!" He screamed which transitioned into a panicky chuckle.

Cat walked the distance from Emilo’s compound to her supplier’s home in search of some powder. In her line of work, she’d met tons of clients that offered the mystic powder to her; she’d naturally grown accustom to it—in other words, she was addicted. Just a few steps from his home Cat ran into a busty Columbian woman and her blonde haired child. This woman was breathtaking, she had very distinct curves and eyebrows; and stood nearly 6 foot with the aid of her red bottoms.

"Oh excuse me" Cat said, opting to take the route around the woman, midway around her she could feel the woman’s eye’s burning through the side of her face. "Can I help you?" She asked with an aggressive overtone.

"No, jew look like mi hernana, but jewer much too young to be hur" the woman responded with a thick Colombian accent. Cat’s eyebrows rise a bit, not out of curiosity; but as if she was saying "Bitch-please". Walking up the tri-step to Paco’s home she could feel the woman still looking at her, but chose not to give the woman anymore of her time.

Instead of knocking, she waltzed right into the drug dealer’s home and made herself comfortable. "I can’t believe you leave the door open, you’re like the exact opposite of what a drug dealer is supposed to be." She teased, handing him a c-note for meager amount of coke.

"Ha! Or maybe it’s just my way of saying I’m not a drug dealer." Paco replied, cutting a small amount of powder into a bag for Cat, he gave her just a little bit more than she paid for because he liked her. "You better hope Don Emilo see’s it that way" She warned standing to retrieve her powder.

Paco was a close friend, he was one of the people kicking her trying to get her to shut up just five years prior. At fifteen years old, he gained favor of Don Emilo after getting rid of most of the competition in his neighborhood.

"I got to go; Cherish is probably waiting on me. Later love" She said, stashing the coke in her purse. Heading back up the block to her apartment, she caught a glimpse of a balding Asian man eying her from across the street.

"I’m so fucking done with the weirdoes today" she grunted dropping her purse on the ground in search of Cherish. "What the fuck is that?" Cat asked, watching as Cherish placed a crucifix above their living room wall.

"It’s the Lord God Jesus Christ" Cherish responded, stepping down off the step ladder. "I didn’t know you were religious." Cat said eying the crucifix with indifference. "Catholic to be exact, You did know I was religious, remember I tried like three times to get you to come to mass with me".

"Oh right, I seriously thought you were high all those times. Speaking of high" Cat’s luxuriant gaze swiftly shifts to her knock-off clutch bag. "I got a little something sweet from Paco". Strutting towards her purse, Cat removed the powder and turned back to see an apprehensive Cherish.

"What’s wrong?" Cat asked somewhat confused. "I thought we agreed you were much too young to be doing that stuff." The thought cause Cat to scoff, "Oh I forgot, I’m not too young to lay on my back and allow a man to dry hump me for ten minutes, but god forbid I snort a bit of coke…it’s too adult" She replied sardonically.

"I thought you were going to try and get a small acting gig?" Cherish asked, placing the screw-driver back in the toolbox.

"That’s easier said than done. Christ, you bring your little Jesus ornament into the house; now you want to be all holy. Less holy more whoring" Cat didn’t want anything to do with the conversation; if Cherish didn’t want any it just meant more for her.

"Don’t you insult God!" Cherish screamed, her face burning an ornate candy apple red. "Ok, so I guess we’re having this conversation. Cat said, placing her bag down.

"That man right there is the most glorified superhero in the history of fiction. Just like the idiots flying around currently, you think they give two fucks about what people like us are going through? Every superhero is too busy stopping the apparent threats, not giving a second look to street rat bitches like us and what we go through. If Jesus really did die for our sins, then he has blessed all the dicks we’ve sucked for the last five years."

Cherish said nothing, instead of engaging Catalina’s blasphemous with scripture; she instead chose to storm off to her room. "Fuck…" Cat hissed, realizing she managed to piss off her only real friend. Gazing at the crucifix Cat shook her head and poured a line.

She lay completely ignorant to the last three hours, and what exactly she did in that time period but it was early in the morning now, the thunderous pounding on her front door woke her from a deep yet meaningless slumber. Stumbling towards the door she opened it; only to be greeted by a frantic Paco.

"What the fuck do you want, I’m off" she hissed. Paco pushed his way in, to the dismay of Cat; and begin pacing around the front room. "Cat, I fucked up!" He screamed, still pacing back and forth.

His bruises suggest he’d been robbed, but Cat’s inability to show sympathy cause an ill-timed joke to escape her lips. "Well you practically left the door open" Paco turned with a serious visage; and went back to pacing.

"I went out to make a sell, and got jumped and robbed" she knew it would happen; it was only a matter of time. "Don Emilo’s not going to be happy" She said, folding her arms across her chest.

"I know he already sent his goons to shoot up my place." Paco replied frantically with his hands on his head. "SO WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU COME HERE?!" her irate wail undoubtedly woke Cherish from her sleep, and caused a few nearby dogs to begin barking.

"I-I didn’t have anywhere else to go" he cried, but his tears drew no response from the already livid Catalina.

"Cat, what’s going on?" Cherish asked descending the steps with sleep still in her eyes. "Genius here got robbed, Emilo’s trying to kill him and he came here!" Cat screamed again, her irate response drew another irate response from Cherish. "Why the fuck would you come here, now he’s going to think we’ve been helping you!"

Their hearts stopped at faint knock of the door, Cherish moved towards the door remaining light on her feet to prevent anyone from hearing her on the outside. "It’s some Asian man…" Cherish reported, causing Catalina to strut towards the door.

"That’s the asian guy I saw earlier today…he was watching me from across the street. What does he want?" Cat asked, trying to whisper. "I don’t know Cat; let me use my telepathy to find out?" Cherish responded sardonically.

"I can hear you ladies, I just want to speak with you; I do wish you hurry." Cat sighed and opened the door to the dismay of both Cherish and Paco. Four men dressed in all red burst through the door, followed by the Asian man.

"Ahhh there you are Paco." He said giving the frantic teen a hand wave. "Scary men dressed in red" Cherish whispered, remembering what a young Catalina told her years ago.

"These are the guys who robbed me!" Paco screamed, noting the small Cardinal bird on the hand of the Asian man. "Oh right." The small Asian man remembered, digging inside his trench coat he pulled out a small pistol and shot Paco in the head without hesitation.

The gunshot cause both Cherish and Catalina to scream, their bodies begin to involuntarily quiver in fear as the Asian man descended upon them.

"Ms. Liafador, my name is Han. I was a friend of your father" the Asian said, removing his hat in a display of cordiality. Cat looked at Cherish as if he was talking to her, but as he drew near it became clear he meant her.

"What’d you call me?" Cat asked a bit perplexed. "I called you Ms.Liafador, you know; your last name" Han explained, handing Cat a picture of her father.

"Wait…I remember you. You were in the diner the day my father died!" She said, lashing out at the man only to have Cherish pull her back.

"Yes, I forgot to mention I am also a friend of your mother." The revelation cause Cat to cease; she knew nothing about her mother, and up to this point the only thing she was told; was that they look exactly like one another.

"What about my mother?" she asked finally deciding to lower her guard. "She has enlisted me to help find you, and here you are." He said, handing her a small decorative pamphlet containing information on Ziccarra and the Red Cardinals.

"That’s not true, my mother died" Cat said turning to Cherish with her green eyes beginning to mist over in possible tears. "It’s a lie your father told you to conceal your mothers’ true identity. Your mother is the High Queen of the Red Cardinals Organization, Ms. Ziccarra Liafador."

"The Cardinals are a terrorist organization" Cherish added, causing a slight rise in Han’s temperament. "Hardly." Han rejected.

"Wait…Ziccarra Liafador; I met her…on the day my father was killed. She told she was my aunt; she then killed my father?" As she spoke it, Cat could feel herself getting overwhelmed by the information Han was putting down.

"Your father went against the Liafador Family rules when he created you, you were scientifically crafted containing the DNA of both Kane and Ziccarra Liafador respectively, and they are…brother and sister." Han revealed watching as Cat nearly broke down to tears.

"Whoa, let’s remember she’s still a child, an impressionable one at that; you don’t think there was a subtler way of dropping this Springer show bullshit on her?" Cherish intervened clutching Cat with a sisterly embrace.

"I could have sent it in a tweet" Han replied sardonically, showing signs of agitation with Cherish.

"I suppose you want me to come back with you." Cat said, wiping the tears from her face. "Negative, my mission was just to inform you of your lineage, and provide you with adequate protection should you need it." His hands motioned toward the four hood red sentries standing quietly in the room.

"Should you ever need them, they will come to aid you." He said, placing his hat on preparing to exit. "What did you kill Paco for?" Cherish asked throwing herself in front of Han.

"To send a message to Don Emilo, one I think he will receive soon enough." The Cardinals exited first, allowing Cherish to ask one more question on the behalf of the seemingly traumatized Catalina.

"How did you guys even find her?" Han released a placid smile, and motioned towards Cat. "A woman named Sofia informed us of a child that looked exactly like Ziccarra; naturally we looked further into it."

"The woman with the huge tits…" Cat whispered, realizing her expansive family seemed to have connections everywhere.

"Until next time m’dear." He said, exiting the apartment following in-tow behind the Cardinals carrying Paco’s body.

"Fuck…you got anymore of that powder?" Cherish jested trying to break the tension in the aftermath of Han’s departure. Cat didn’t need to say anything; Cherish could see that the information hurt her soul. Despite her seemingly grown nature; the small aspects of Catalina’s child mentality begin to shatter. It was evident in her inability to stop her legs from shaking. The young child opened her mouth many times to speak, but nothing ever came out.

Grinding mental fatigue plagued her brain, learning that she was nothing more than a science experiment and an assumed freak in her own mothers’ eyes brought the young child to the verge of tears. "Kitty?" Cherish called out, to no avail Cat didn’t care to share her feelings. "I’m going back to bed" She replied rising pass the concerned Cherish.

As she lay seemingly lifelessly in bed; an insatiable hatred descend upon her; a fire that ravage the innards of her body leaving an intense feeling of low self-worth, the faces of the cunts responsible for her current mood burned vividly in her mind.

Reaching underneath her mattress she retrieved a large kitchen knife, her actions were entirely motivated by her current mood; she hadn’t a clear thought. As the knife stretched across her upper extremities; could feel the tension and pressure being released in the form of a euphoric ecstasy. Blood drip down her wrist on both sides; yet there was very little pain, both the physical and mental pain eventually negated each other entirely.

The mid-morning begin to set in and the blood already begin to dry in her sheets, the pleasure she experienced just hours earlier; was not present. Her wrist burned; and she lacked the energy to willingly pull herself from the bed.

"hnnn" She grunted, the entire right side of her face dressed in an ornate red from her own blood. "Cher…" her weak and raspy voice didn’t carry past her front door. After numerous tries to alert Cherish; she eventually gave up, allowing herself to turn back over she embraced whatever fate was coming towards her.

"Kitty, I know you’re down, but I made some chocolate pudding to lift your spirits!" Cherish screamed joyfully outside her door. On suspicion that the young child might’ve actually left, Cherish entered the room just to be sure. "OH MY GOD! CATALINA!" She screamed, running to the aid of the incapacitated child.

Hours Later

Cat took a prolonged glance at the machine she was involuntarily hooked up to, she was thankful that Cherish managed to find her in time; but wouldn’t have minded just dying either. "It’s a very confusing time" She heard the doctor tell Cherish, Indeed it was; now that she survived an apparent suicide attempt Cat felt nothing from here on out would be the same.

"Well I just spent whatever little money I had to get you taken care of, so you’re birthday will be lack luster" Cherish started, running her hands across the glossy porcelain skin of Catalina. "Turning eleven can suck it" Cat whispered with a crusty tone.

"What were you thinking Kitty?" Cat watched as Cherish folded her arms, she couldn’t help but release a timid chuckle. "It just hurt ya know? I’ve been waiting to hear the exact details of my origins and…and"

"They weren’t what you expected" Cherish finished once again running her hands across Cat’s head. "Promise me you won’t try this again" Cat never said anything; she instead nodded her head in agreement. "I would honestly be more comfortable with you killing people, than killing yourself" Cherish jested again, pulling up a chair beside Cat.

"I watched you grow over the last five; almost six years and I’ve got a theory" Cherish started, taking Catalina’s hand within her own. "Five years? You must be some sort of expert" Cat replied sardonically.

"Well, I don’t know too many ten year olds with your….build; you look like a full blown teenager. The genetic modifications your father made must be the cause. It would also explain why you’re able to learn things so fast without once stepping foot inside a school."

It made sense, it was a theory Cat was comfortable accepting, she picked up complex concepts fast; and even at the age of 10—going on 11; she already had the body build of a teenage model. "Is that something you just thought of on the whim?" Cat asked with a slightly raised curious brow.

"Actually, I was thinking it’s probably time to start buying you tampons, because I’ll be damned if you’re going to use all mine" Cherish replied with a hearty laugh. Cat could do nothing but reciprocate the laughter; the thought of maturing into woman never really crossed her mind.

"I suppose you’ll have to actually teach me how to use one, and I must say if you thought the blood on my bed was icky; that was just from my wrist"

"OH MY GOD EW" Cherish interrupted, throwing her hands in front of her face to conceal her disgust in the form of laughter.

"You know, I’ve known you for five years; and I’ve never once asked you about where you come from. I mean you’re practically my mother, and I don’t know the slightest thing about you; other than your distaste for peanuts. " Cat said, placing her gaze back on the ceiling.

"I’m from Los Angeles, In the United States" Cherish responded almost as if she didn’t want to answer. "How’d you end up down here with me?"

A long exaggerated sigh escaped her lips. "Had I known you were going to ask me all this today, I would’ve stopped and got some vodka. My real name is Naweya, my family are descendents from Monamani Indian tribes in the great lakes areas. When I was 15, I ran away from the Rez to be with my boyfriend in Los Angeles. We got into a fight; I left and was picked up by Emilo."

Cat could tell that the story was really watered down, as if Cherish didn’t want to explain anymore; so for now Cat could only back off but she did have one more question. "So why Cherish?" She’d tried to figure it out since being told her real name; there was seemingly zero connection to Cherishes native origins.

"I was going to name my daughter Cherish, but…she didn’t make it" Cat’s eyes darted to Cherish only to fall on the sight of a woman torn by her own past. There was an eerie silence that descended upon them before Cat spoke again.

"Well, your boyfriend can suck it; he doesn’t know what a great woman you are, and a wonderful mother you turned out to be". She didn’t know the fate of Cherishes child, and it wasn’t her place to ask; but up to this point everyone she told her name to end up leaving her; "Cherish" didn’t—it felt good to know someone always had her back.

"Cat what did you want to do before this?" Cherish asked changing the conversation. "Well, I sort of wanted to be an actress; I still do actually, but we’re not really in the position to do what we want." Cat explained, sitting up in bed to take her medicine.

"Look, you’re done working for Emilo, come Monday morning; I’m enrolling you in school. It’s a performing arts school." Cherish sounded so sure, she spoke without the slightest hint of fear. "W-wait what? How do you plan on getting us out of work with Emilo?"

"It’s all in the works kitty trust me" Cherish reassured standing up to speak with Cat’s doctor. Walking into the hallway she turned her back towards Cat to meet the earnest looking doctor.

"What’s up doc? Can I take her home now?" She asked walking as his hands flipped through a stack of papers. "Yes, she’s free to go, but I wanted to bring your attention to something; Cat is in the early stages of a psychological illness known as Capgras Syndrome, we still know very little about it; but If you see any significant changes in her behavior please bring her back for a consultation." Cherish simply nodded before returning to her friend.

"Well get dressed kiddo we’re going home".

13 Comments

The Red Monarchy

Title: Red Bishop (shared with Mister Eh)

Name: Mister Oh

Alias: Payaso, Bad Joker, Freak Show

Country of Origin: unknown

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A member of the Lost Carnival, a branch of SMILE, a mysterious and massive crime conglomerate spreading worldwide and operating under many different aliases, Mister Oh is allied with the Hellfire Club as part of a growing alliance between villain groups. He is a bizarre genius, often working on projects that make either no sense or ones that few others would dare. He has a habit of adding "Oh?" to the end of his sentences. This leads many to believe that this is the only reason why "Mister Oh" is the name most commonly associated with him. His real name is unknown and will probably never be revealed. He tends to call people "dumbass" for no good reason. He shares this similarity with Mister Eh, who calls people "idiot" for no good reason. Mister Oh has a curious habit of making distasteful or rude jokes, shortly before exclaiming that they were bad.

His special ability within the SMILE organization is his unique power to change from a solid state to a gaseous one. This is his Gas Body, something that can either be extremely dangerous or part of Mister Oh's blatantly stupid humor.

Title: Red King

Name: Dark Vengeance (Malcolm Press)

Alias: Dark Detective, Gothic King, Monarch of Vengeance, Night Crusader, Caped Avenger, Mal.

Country of Origin: USA

One of the most feared vigilantes around the globe for his ruthlessness, by day he is the Gothic city Mayor and heir of the Press fortune. Dark Vengeance is aligning himself with the infamous Hellfire Club in order to take down the DHC, run by well known criminals and terrorist such as Darkchild, The Psyentist, and Xenon while only pretending to be in it for the sins that it has to offer as Malcolm Press .With his cowl on, he is merciless, calculating, and definitive about his moves and rarely shows any emotion besides fury. His analytic nature makes him a natural born strategist and has led him to be known around the sphere as "The World's Greatest Detective". The Dark Knight Detective's intelligence is approximately matched by his dexterous passion for the fighting arts, mastering all of the forms known to man and several extraterrestrial crafts. Though seemingly powerless, he possess an array of special abilities such as enhanced speed, strength, agility, stamina, and a super computer in his head which allows him to calculate the outcome of a battle before one punch is thrown. When the masks are off, he takes the mantle of a charming billionaire playboy who enjoys the vices that life has to offer without a care to the world, a persona which he often uses to infiltrate the upper class crime families.

Title: The Red Rook

Name: Vinicius Corvo

Alias: The Red Crow, The Assassin

Country of Origin: Italy

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Born in the midst of poverty and corruption, Vinicius Desiderio Corvo was damned from the start. The young Corvo turned to a life of thievery in order to help his family survive. Unfortunately for him, he would one day rob the wrong person, a high-ranking Camorra crime-boss who exacted his revenge by brutally murdering Corvo's family. When faced with the crime boss and his brood, Vinicius' anger took over and he manifested strong telekinetic powers. When the dust settled and his enemies had been torn apart by the force of his new powers, a mysterious figure appeared to Vinicius. This figure taught him the ways of the The Agressors, an ancient order that had once torn the galaxy asunder and whose philosophy was one of anger, vengeance, and hatred. Armed with his two red lightsabers and incredible power, Vinicius became one of the world's premier thiefs and assassins. As fate would have it, the Red Crow was contracted to hunt down and kill Ziccara Liafodor,the Red Queen of the Hellfire Club. However, after realizing the power that was associated with the Hellfire Club he instead joined the team under The Red Queen's tutelage and assassinated the one's who had originally contracted him, proving his loyalty to his new Red Queen.

Title: Red Dame

Name: Zeon Liafador

Alias: The White Cardinal, The Liafador Wildcard, The Italian Cardinal, Bella Morte

Country of Origin: Italy

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Zeon Liafador, daughter of Marcos and Estella Liafador, was born and raised in Italy, isolated from other members of the Liafador Family. Her father was the leader of the White Cardinals based in Puglia, Italy as well as the family winery that was located in Sicily Italy. When Zeon was born Marcos treated his daughter more of a Cardinal solider than his daughter, forcing her to train with the deadly warriors at the age of four, go on missions by the age of twelve, train Cardinals by the age of sixteen and finally become the White Cardinal Leader at the young age of twenty-one. However it wasn't until the age of twenty-three when Zeon finally began to work with her Aunt, Ziccarra, the Liafador Matriarch. The Italian Cardinal is obsessed in the success of The Family and is willing to do whatever it takes to see the family name flourish world wide. Unlike some of the other Liafador's, she has no super human abilities which also makes the Wildcard Cardinal even more dangerous as she focuses and trained herself on multiple forms of quick striking, fatal martial arts as well as a weapon specialist.

Title: The Red Knight

Name: Leonel Pettis

Alias: Thee Champion Jr. The Modern Man, Azure Son

Country of Origin: Neo-Spain (Reality M)

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As the adopted son of Ziccarra and Alexis Pettis, Leo's former life was overshadowed by his parents need for destruction. Having traveled to the CVNU with his new family; the “Azure Son” quickly adjusted to his new life by involving himself in world affairs. As a member of the Avalon company, as well as helping his mother and father; Leonel also joined the illustrious Hellfire Club as the Red Queen’s right hand man.

Title: Red Queen

Name: Ziccarra Liafador

Alias: La Malaguena, The Malagan Marchioness, The Goddess, The Modern Day Athena, Cardinal Goddess, Red Queen. Mistress Mirage

Country of Origin: Spain

Ziccarra was born as the youngest child to a wealthy family, having rose to power following an internal family war; La Malaguena as she was dubbed; sought to expand her family’s empire across the Spanish World. Having successfully invaded Tibet; she expand her Cardinal teachings to those in the rest of Asia, and used her influence to command a massive following, known as the Red Cardinals.

Her reputation as a fiery Spanish war tactician allowed her to successfully invade Venezuela and occupy its borders for a few weeks before being pushed out. Now the President of Spain, and a wife to the world’s most powerful man; Ziccarra uses her assets and resources to aid the White Queen, Valerie Huntington as the Hell Fire Club’s Red Queen.

Red Pawn (Vacated)

21 Comments

Red Goddess Timeline

Red Goddess timeline

2570 – Ziccarra Liafador is born to Sabella and Ramon Liafador in Malaga Spain. She is the youngest of four siblings.

2589- Ziccarra and childhood friend Isabella Marisol enroll in Malaga University. During this time she became prolific dancer, but chose to be an exotic dancer as a hobby. Ziccarra is diagnosed with diabetes

Ziccarra is subjected to the 3rd society’s indoctrination process by her indoctrinated brother Kane. This form of mental control was meant to have Ziccarra kill when Kane asked, she was also to carry a child that would benefit the coming 3rd society.

2596- Ramon Liafador creates the Brave heart order. This creates a schism in the Liafador Family as most had been loyal to the Red Cardinals.

2597- Kane Liafador joins the BH’s and forces Ziccarra to join. Kane successfully creates a “test tube” baby, and has chosen Ziccarra as its carrier. Thanks to the indoctrination Ziccarra gave birth to the child without knowledge of actually being pregnant. The child was named Catalina.

Ziccarra befriends Ashley Emerald Mooreland, and conducts braveheart missions as partners.

2600- Ramon and Sabella Liafador were killed by indoctrinated members of the Braveheart order, shortly after their deaths Ricardo Liafador (He grandfather) dies, and crowns Ziccarra the Liafador Family Matriarch.

2602 – Ziccarra enters the Liafador Family dungeon known as “the Pit” her experience shatters her indoctrination. Through extensive meditation techniques, Ziccarra crafts what are now known as The Cardinal Skills. She writes a total of 12 books called “The Cardinal Law”.

The Liafador Family winery enters a downward spiral and sales begin to plummet.

2603 – Ziccarra travels to Tibet teaching the Cardinal Law, her small following was met by stiff resistance lead by Faatina Knightfall. This brief period of conflict was known as the Cardinal-Tibetan conflict; which result in Ziccarra being defeated by the Cerise tactician.

2608 – Due to the Tibetan inability to pay Faatina, the Cerise tactician pulls out of Tibet allowing the Cardinal influence to expand. Faatina reveals to Ziccarra that they are “half-sisters” as she was the child of Sabella Liafador and Jayden Knightfall and instructs Ziccarra in land warfare.

Traveling from small village to small village using what she learned, Ziccarra was reluctantly shown the forbidden techniques of the infamous fighting style, in-exchange, and the lovely aristocrat began influencing the poor and the destitute through Machiavellian style sermons of dogmatic ritualization. Offering hope to those who had given up and heart to those who had lost it. Building an architectural masterpiece of discipline, loyalty, integrity, and faith from the mud huts and fish shanties of the region.

This unified congregation quickly rose to be a symbol of the La Malaguena's credence, her gifted influence constructing a tactically brilliant force of hand to hand elitism that would never give up, never surrender, and never betray their authoritarian leader. Intellectually motivated martial arts progressions of continual psychical and philosophical evolution engineering a secret army unlike the World has ever seen. Establishing one of several secret societies in Tibet, the Red Cardinal Queen brought together a diversified unification of ethnicity. The original ancestors of the Tibetan people as represented by the six red bands before the birth of the Red Cardinals were the Se, Mu, Dong, Tong, Dru and Ra. Other traditional ethnic groups with significant population or with the majority of the ethnic group reside in Tibet include Bai people, Blang, Bonan, Dongxiang, Han, Hui people, Lhoba, Lisu people, Miao, Mongols, Monguor (Tu people), Menba (Monpa), Mosuo, Nakhi, Qiang, Nu people, Pumi, Salar, and Yi people.

Taught to embrace death as a sacred honor the Tibetan Cardinals fought each confrontation with an instilled hope of death. They were to that; to be killed by an opponent of greater skills is the highest achievement a Cardinal can obtain. In fact, in the Tibetan Cardinal Religion to be killed by the La Malaguena is an honor reserved for the Gods. The mind proved useful as the Cardinal's greatest weapon. Training mind, body, and soul, daily, adhere to the strictest schedule of purifying the soul in search of combat perfected proficiency.

By the time she was finished in Tibet, she was known as Ziccarra the Impaler.

Following the Tibetan-Cardinal conflict Ziccarra holds a meeting in Tibet with the most affluent members of her family, and lays down her plan to return to Malaga, as well as laying the ground-work for invading Venezuela.

2610 – Ziccarra returns to Malaga with the full strength of the Red Cardinals, and slaughters the Braveheart order. Kane Liafador was forced into exile; leaving Ziccarra and the Cardinals as the masters of Malaga.

Ziccarra creates different sects of Cardinals and places a different member of her family in charge over them.

2611 – Ziccarra meets with Quintus Knightfall in New York City, disguised as her friend; Isabella Marisol. Killing her own butler in a push to frame Quintus (A mutant), she helped start the Civil War

The Malagan goddess returned to Malaga with an affectionate impression of Quintus. Throughout the year the two would meet on more than one occasion resulting in a romantic relationship between the two.

2612 – Catalina Liafador leads a Black Cardinal assault on NYC. The bout between Catalina and Ziccarra revealed that the rebel Cardinal was indeed Ziccarra’s daughter. Catalina was turned back by combined forces.

Ziccarra is pregnant with Isadora Lebeau.* Isadora was born to both Ziccarra and Quintus; however her last name comes from growing up with Charlemagne as her “father”

2613 – Ziccarra arranges to have Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez killed. After the murder of Chavez; Ziccarra launches a Cardinal invasion of Venezuela. Met by heavy resistance from different mercenary groups the Cardinal Queen won the conflict and set up show as the Venezuelan primer. Less than a month after becoming the leader of Venezuela, Ziccarra gave birth to her second child Isadora.

The stress of ruling a nation with a new born child cause Ziccarra to abandon the roll entirely, entrusting Isadora in the hands of Mercy Sheridan, Ziccarra moved to Mexico, and allowed a new regime to set up in Venezuela.

2614—After being flushed out of Mexico by Pyrogram in the late part of 2614, Ziccarra founded the Trinity Organization in Finland. The veil covering the new Nation of Gods and Earths comes down, revealing a lost civilization.

Cleopatra Thea discovers the mutant child Kari and begins preparations to eliminate the mutant X-gene in the white Race.

In a covert operation the Trinity recovers Kari.

The Hellfire club invades the Trinity compound and kidnaps Kari from the Trinity. Catalina (The Black Pawn) hatches a plan to finally kill her mother.

Mercy Sheridan and Ziccarra Liafador invade Eden (Southern Venezuela) to confront Catalina, Catalina tricked Kari into killing Ziccarra, shortly afterwards Mercy finished off Kari.

The death of Ziccarra became a national ordeal in Tibet, the Tibetans hailed her as a goddess which was grounds for her to ascend to godhood.

2615 – Thanks to the help of Quintus Knightfall, Ziccarra returns as “The Goddess”. The ensuing bout between Quintus and Ziccarra was the official end of their marriage

Liafador International founds Solace City

The S.H.A Squad is formed

Brahma Bull destroys Solace City

Ziccarra meets Alexis Pettis

Ziccarra helps Bishop and Alexis in Newark, New Jersey

2616 – Ziccarra enhanced by the powers of the relic stone destroys Newark; and fights Alexis. The wars of the Gods break out. Following the conflict Alexis confesses his love for Z.

2617- Isabella Marisol, Ziccarra’s childhood friend; reveals herself to be a sentient machine bent on bringing an end to Mutants and Humans.

Ziccarra is indoctrinated, and forced to attack Alexis. Alexis managed to break Ziccarra’s programming and Ziccarra reveals she is pregnant with her third child Maya.

The third society steals the consciousness of an unborn Maya and places her into a prepared body. Ziccarra gives birth to a stillborn.

The Matriarch Zedora enlist the help of Thomas Animus, the 3rd Society attacks Los Angeles and The Huntington academy.

Using her reality powers Maya traps the leaders of the 3rd society in a pocket dimension. Ziccarra stays to monitor the progression.

Maya accidentally creates a bridge to the dead world known as Reality M; Ziccarra and Alexis fight to the death against their tyrannical counterparts. Leonel Pettis and Kurt Pendragon are released into the NU.

Ziccarra becomes the Red Queen of the HFC

Ziccarra is elected President of the Spanish Government.

Ziccarra becomes pregnant with her 4th Child.

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The Red Monarchy: Interview with Ziccarra Liafador pt.1

Real Name: Ziccarra Isabella Liafador

Age: 44 (No longer ages)

Eye Color: Pacific Blue

Spouse: Thee Champion

Children: Maya Liafador, Catalina Liafador, Leo Pettis, Isadora Lebeau

Nationality: Spanish (Malaga)

Alias: The Red Queen, The Goddess, La Malaguena, The Malagan Marchioness. Mistress Mirage, The Cardinal Queen

John Wallace: Thank you for agreeing to meet with me on such short notice Mrs. Pettis, how are you?

Ziccarra: Tis no problem darling, today is actually a slow day for me. I am lovely by the way how are you?

John Wallace: I’m just happy to be alive ma’am, um- a few months ago I did an interview with your daughter Maya, about her rise to stardom in the modeling industry; how has that affected your daily life?

Ziccarra: (Laughing) I did not like it at first, I will admit it; but I could not tell her no. She would hate me forever but, It was awkward seeing her face on everything: Billboards, Magazines, Soda cans everything! But I guess I noticed a big difference when cooking dinner and she would call and tell me she was not going to make it. That happens more often than none, but I still make her a plate; and Leo usually eats it.

John Wallace: Who does she tend to lean toward more? You or your husband?

Ziccarra: Maya naturally fights me, as a matter of fact so does Catalina; but Maya leans more towards Alexis because he is a lot more…. (Ziccarra looks up as if she is searching for the right word) tolerant…does that work? Yes! Tolerant (Laughs) than I am. Maya is such a pure heart, almost to the point where it could be considered naivety; but that is a trait she gets from him. They click so well together, whereas Cat has a stronger bond with me than she does him. It just makes me remember that there are TWO of us giving command in our home.

John Wallace: Has he ever put his foot down with you?

Alexis and Ziccarra Pettis

Ziccarra (Laughs) ALWAYS! He tries to do it in the nicest way possible; and sometimes it is cute; but yes yes he does. It is really weird, because I am stubborn and a bit confrontational, but when he says no to me; I kind of want to hit him. “I can still kick his ass though, so I listen for now” (Laughs)

“Oh he is here!?” (Ziccarra turns around to see Alexis behind the lights, she immediately begins to burst into laughter with an ornate stain of embarrassment on her face. She temporarily leaves the interview to hug and kiss her esposo.)

John Wallace: You good! (Laughs)

Ziccarra: I did not expect him to show up; but please continue. (Ziccarra looks back and smiles at Alexis.)

John Wallace: Tell me about the Liafador Family

Ziccarra: Adios Mio, how much time do you have (Laughs). My family really rose to prominence in Spain somewhere around the time of the inquisition. They were the Original Red Cardinals; and they saved hundreds of persecuted people from the Spanish Crown. We have records of all the familes saved during that span; it tis amazing to see so many generations preserved. Somewhere down the line; we got into Wine; and has been sort of our business ever since. Because we had the wine business, we became a really wealthy family; and out influence in Malaga begin to grow.

Fast forward a couple hundred years, my abuelo was the patriarch of the entire winery; he restarted the Red Cardinals as a “gang” and they pretty much ran the city of Malaga. Needless to say they were A LOT different than the original Cardinals. They were pretty much gangsters, and they used every method possible to sell our wine.

My papi really brought the family back to its business roots, but he inadvertently created the Brave hearts to assist him. That brought him into conflict with my grandpa, which made family gatherings a bit…tense. (Laughs). I joined the brave hearts briefly but, inherited the Cardinals from my abuelo shortly after the death of my mom and dad. I was surprised my brother was not granted favor.

You have to understand there has never been a woman in charge in my family, and to spite my father; my abuelo placed me in charge of the Cardinals, he knew what I was capable of—he knew, and I have been running this show ever since then.

John Wallace: That sounds…confusing…like really. But what was your childhood like?

Ziccarra: Are these the hard questions? (Laughs), my childhood were eh, I was a spoiled child I literally got everything I wanted from my father; not so much my mother.

My father was a very patient man; he was able to see the good this world had to offer. He showed me all the good in people; he was really a people person, despite the theft, and the murders and the drugs; he never killed unless he deemed it necessary. We all knew when my father killed someone, because they would just stop appearing at our home. He reminded me of those 1940 gangsters that did their dirty deeds but still put the need of the family first. I think he is my biggest inspiration to this date, because he taught me how to remain calm…to a degree. He happens to be a lot like Alexis…minus the killings.

My mother was an asshole; she never really loved me, I was just an accessory to her. She told me I was beautiful because I was genetically altered to be this way. She used to cheat on my father with various patriarchs throughout Europe; and I would be in the room! She was a horrible human being. I remember I was Eight, and she left me in Paris; and told me If I was to be a Queen in this world, I would be able to find my way back home…Yes to Malaga…Spain. Eight years old. Now that she is a goddess she is not really that bad to be around, I mean I do not like her, but that is her faults not mine.

Shortly after their deaths, I had to take the reins of the family, and I was only 17, I dropped out of school and took a job as an exotic dancer. “Shanana” that was my name, do not ask why, but my best friend gave it to me. I danced almost every night, and I took business management classes during the day. Transitioning from a spoiled college student to an independent matriarch was hard, like I said women in my family were accessories and it is what I sought to change. Many of my family members defied my command at first…and they paid for it. No comment on that subject and matter (laughs)

Once I rose as the “Queen of the Cardinals, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to rule the world. (Laughs)

John Wallace: Wow…

Ziccarra: I know right, all that is why I tried to keep to myself; I do not have many friends, I am content living with my children and my husband. You know the things I created.

John Wallace: We’ll get to your marriage with the Champion shortly, but tell me about your marriage to Quintus Knightfall.

Ziccarra: I was right…these are the hard questions (laughs). Initially I thought Queentus and I were in love, and we were; but shortly after the birth of my daughter—It seemed like we had become more…of business partners than lovers. That was weird, because he was sort of my first love and my first heartbreak; all at the same time. When I ascended to godhood, he was the first person I met; and subsequently the first person I fought. I do not believe we have spoken since that day. I do still love Queetus, but only for the beautiful daughter he gave me.

John Wallace: So what went right when choosing Alexis?

Ziccarra: Well first off, he chose me (Ziccarra laughs and turns toward Alexis).

I did not fall in love with Alexis; I guess you can say I walked into it. I believe in destiny and fate, and I think we’re fated. If you believe in the parallel universe theory; then you should know in every universe we are together.

I think it works because we are both invested in it; there is no ulterior motive; we are not married for public status, or the pursuit of power. We just generally love one another. Do not get me wrong we argue and bicker like any other couple, but that is what makes us real.

John Wallace: Why did you invade Venezuela?

Ziccarra: I am not going to lie Mr. Wallace that was a really bad transition. I got hot and bothered talking about my husband, and now I have to explain Venezuela.

I invaded Venezuela because I saw a chance to complete part of my Abuelo’s legacy. He wanted a Spanish Empire united under the Liafador name, and he chose me to complete this plan. I realize now, for his plan to be completed I would have to invest way more time than I wanted to; so I scrapped it and Venezuela. Then I became an international criminal and…well that was not so pleasant.

John Wallace: What do you say to people who credit you for creating the Red Cardinal terrorist group?

Ziccarra: In the 1970’s the United States armed a group of ragtag radical Islamic extremist to combat communism. It succeeded, and almost 32 years later that same group was responsible for the largest attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor. To answer your question Mr. Wallace we create our own enemies, and the Cardinals are mine.

They are not the same group that brought me to godhood, they are no different than Brahma Bull; and when given the chance I will end them.

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Dear Alexis

Dear Alexis,

“I’m actually surprised they allow me to send and receive messages in this facility. I miss you; I really do. I’m not entirely sure what’s going to happen with me yet, none of these guards seem to know anything about a trial date. It looks like I will be here indefinitely, whomever got me placed here did their homework on me, or built this facility especially for me.

There are mental scramblers jamming my psionic power, I cannot recall how many floors there are in this place; nor do I remember its exact location. My strength is also being suppressed, punching anything inside my cell sends a volt of electricity searing back towards me.

Alexis, I do not think that President Stark knows of this place; the guards here do not wear a federal insignia, and the other prisoners here have taken a negative partiality to my presence. They all conspire around me, for their sakes I hope the guards do not let me out.

It seems like everything that has happened since I returned to America, has set me up for this moment. I felt like a pawn; on a celestial checkerboard. The gods want me dead, I fear whoever is in charge of this place is indoctrinated…or worse.

It tis all starting to make some sort of sense, the two people that can stop this…war have been divided. The president cares not of its arrival; and the world sleeps as the champions of the gods prepare for battle.

In case I do not survive this trial, in case we fail against the might of the old gods, I want you to know

When you hugged me, I melted like wax into the flawless mold of your skeleton. I became stronger, and could see my fate and purpose with clarity. I aimed to make you feel something. You make my heart beat itself against rib cage; trying arduously to be with you. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t adore you. Truth is, I adore you. Terrified that I might mess around and call you my king…

With love I entreat ye, Be safe Alexis

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Dear Isadora.

Dear Ms. Isadora Lebeau

You don’t know who I am; though I’ve held you in my arms, once maybe twice. We’ve met on one inglorious occasion, but who I am to you; and you me is no secret. I am your mother; and if you are ever given the chance to read this epistle, then you should be well aware of my demise.

Isadora I loved you more than you can ever imagine; as my first and only child, I exercised some extreme methods to keep you safe; but fate has found you. The life your father and I lived has befallen upon you, and even though we are not here to provide the guidance you need; understand that the greatest tool you have empowering you; is your mind.

You are not some ordinary woman to be taken advantage of, you are a knightfall; you WILL carry yourself with the grace and poise of Ellie. You are not some novice in the field of combat; you are a Liafador and will carry yourself with the ruthlessness of Zeon.

I respect what you have done with your life up to this point mija, if you choose to be with Charlemagne, then be with Charlemagne; but do no assist him because He commands it; assist him on your own free will.

I implore you to take the challenge I took; be a mother in a world that wants you dead. Remain vibrant in a room full of scavengers, be a Dinosaur on an Earth full of ants. The greatest of these challenges will be to be the little girl, your father and I hoped you’d grow up to be; strong and influential in a way that you saw fit.

Mercy is your voice of wisdom, no matter what you do; she shall be your spine; protect your spine; because it is your support.I hope to be reunited with you many years from now; until then I will watch your adventures and accolades from a far. I love you so much.

Love, Mommy.

"You will be the most feared child of them all"
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