Start of the Plan Ch. 01byMesmeri©
While the events in this story take place before 'Part of the Plan', I recommend reading that story first. I like to thank JHB for his help editing this story into a readable one.
Start of the the Plan
With a beat pumping through the headphones of her helmet, Sparkler weaved her motorcycle through the backstreets of her metropolis. 'Okay,' she thought with a mental snort, 'metropolis is way too generous a description for this town, but it's mine all the same.'
And the city considered their only superheroine theirs. So Sparkler didn't have to worry about speeding tickets as she rocketed through the streets in her burgundy uniform. And the neural interface in her helmet helped her to avoid accidents. Steering at the speed of thought could come quite in handy.
But patrolling Bay City was boring: nothing ever happened there. One superheroine and no super villains meant that the highlight of Sparkler's career had been stopping a bank robbery. Sure, she was only 23 and had been on the job for little more than a year, but Sparkler had expected to be called in by the League by now.
She wasn't an independent allied to the Leauge of Citizen Crime Fighters; she was an employee. That meant Sparkler was trained, paid and equipped by that organization, and in return her abilities were put to use when and where the League wanted. An arrangement that suited the superpowered orphan nicely as it meant she didn't have to try and fail at juggling two careers. She wasn't the heir of a billion-dollar company like some, and she saw no attraction in being Superbeggar.
An icon appeared on her visor. 'Robbery in progress at the warehouse on 254 Wickels Lane,' Sparkler read. That warehouse stored high-end electronic components and had decent security--which hadn't given a peep; she was getting the alert from her own sensor she had planted at every high-value target. That meant the thieves were good. This was promising to be more exciting than she had expected. 'Even if it isn't a super villain. And not too far from here.' That was the reason she didn't rev the engine and actually slowed down a little.
Her arrival wasn't flashy. There was no driving through the front door or even parking in sight. Instead she stepped off at the back of the building, making sure to point the nose of the bike, and the missile launcher in it, at the back wall of the warehouse. After taking a quick look around, she stored her helmet under the seat and pulled out a remote from her belt.
With one tap of a button, protective panels wrapped around the tires and covered the controls of the bike. Putting the remote back she took out her billy-club, twisted one end, causing a hook to pop out on the other, and with a whipping motion, launched the hooked end up and over the roof of the building.
Giving the line a few practiced experimental tugs, she smiled in satisfaction. Her power might give her nothing more than an endless supply of flashbangs; still, her years of training nicely made up for it. 'And my belt of tricks of course,' Sparkler amended. 'But those are only as good as the superhero that uses them.'
Another twist of the truncheon and the red-clad superheroine was sailing into the night sky.
Amanda had gotten cold, lying there on the ground waiting for the superpowered biker to arrive. And now she had to wait even longer for her to take off her helmet. The dark-red one-piece suit was actually pretty common, most starting superheroes wore it.
Seeing those blond, short locks appear from under the helmet only keyed up her anticipation. The small, black eye mask might have hid her real identity; it didn't hide the fact that it was Sparkler.
A pleasure-filled sigh escaped Amanda's lips as she realized she could carry out the rest of her instructions. She loved following instructions. And speaking of instructions, there was another she had to carry out.
It was the reason she had been given this assignment. She was a whiz with electronics and a systems engineer. She had built the device in her hand that was even now reading the information exchange between bike and remote.
The confirmation that she had gotten what she needed popped up on its small screen and sent a jolt of pleasure down her spine. She kept quiet, though, and waited until the superheroine was scrambling onto the roof before activating the communicator tied around her wrist.
"Mistress, Sparkler has arrived. She has just climbed onto the roof, and I have what I need."
"Excellent," a cultured voice purred in response. The woman didn't ask if Amanda had been spotted. She knew the hacker would have told her if Amanda thought she had been. "Proceed as instructed."
"Yes, mistress." Amanda didn't notice if the line was still open when she said it. All that mattered was the agreement. To know there were instructions to guide her forward.
She was filthy, dressed as a homeless person, and she wasn't getting a dime for doing this. But Amanda couldn't care less about any of that. The ghostfingers tapping her pussy with every step closer to the bike, the soft imagined caress of her breast as Amanda deactivated the bike's security systems and the non-existent tongue probing her damp sex while her fingers plied open Sparkler's helmet were all the reality the young woman wanted.
Sparkler put her scanner back after confirming that the security systems had been deactivated. 'At least the bad guys won't get alerted I'm about to crash their party,' the superheroine mused. 'But first, let's see the guest-list.'
Looking down through the dirty skylight, she noticed most of the lights were on and there were several people walking about. 'All women,' she noted, puzzled. 'No uniforms, so Bay City is still supervillainless.' For some reason, they always gave their minions uniforms. Sparkler didn't understand the reason behind it and she didn't really care, either.
'But their clothes aren't too bad. No tats or obvious weaponry on them and they seem to be from different backgrounds.' Which made it unlikely this was a gang. The five women were just too diverse in ethnicity, age, and clothes style. It looked like somebody had just grabbed some random women from the street and put them to work. 'Could be a disguise... or it could be Mesmeri,' she finished as the female criminal stepped into view.
The catsuit with her signature black-and-white spiral print covered her completely and, even if Sparkler hadn't recognized her, the way she walked told the superheroine this was the one in charge.
Nervous energy began to course through her, making her fingers tingle. 'My first supervillain! I'm going to bag my first supervillain. Okay, calm down. You have to get this right or this will be your first failure.' With a deep breath she pushed the excitement back, occupying her mind with a review of Mesmeri's file.
'She doesn't have any superpowers or martial arts training. Mesmeri is a mastermind-type who rarely even supervises one of her crimes. She's got a thing for mind control gizmos and women.' That explained the crew; they literally were plucked off the street.
'Been in the game for...ehm, 10 years or so?' Sparkler grimaced. Mesmeri was one of the smaller fish. The only reason she wasn't plain small fish was because she managed to elude capture so often. In 10 years, she had rarely seen the inside of a jail cell and never long enough to actually get a trial. 'But most of those times have been in the last few years; she's slipping,' the crime fighter reasoned.
With another handy tool from her belt, she carefully lifted a single pane of glass from the skylight. She secured the hook on her billystick so that it would detach if she yanked right.
After another quick survey to make sure she hadn't been spotted and to finalize her plan of attack, she jumped into the fray. The whir of the cable alerted the criminals when Sparkler was about halfway down, but that was alright; she'd counted on it.
She only held onto the baton with one hand, leaving the other free. Pointing it down and at the thieves, she didn't give them any warning or demand of surrender. A beam of intense, white light illuminated the people below her. Cries of shock and dismay filled the warehouse as the blinded women stumbled around while Sparkler smugly landed on the floor. The lenses in her mask protected her from her own attack.
'Got every single one of them, even Mesmeri,' she gloated. Not that she was going to take any chances. With her billystick still reeling in its hooked end, she dashed forward and knocked out two of the disoriented women. Another, a latina, wearing a pantsuit of all things, had recovered enough eyesight to notice the superheroine and sprang upon her.
Sparkler didn't feel any need to coddle the mesmerized henchwomen. She planted her metal billy club in the woman's stomach. Mesmeri's thief folded over it then slumped to the floor, vomiting as she went down.
'Four left, and their eyes have recovered. Until I flash them again,' she added with a smile. Two of them were still blinking but all four had now turned to face the crime fighter. One of those four was Mesmeri and she was the only one who didn't assume a combat stance. The other three actually looked like they'd had some martial arts training, but Sparkler was confident she could take them.
"Welcome Sparkler! Nice of you to drop in," Mesmeri quipped.
Sparkler felt a flash of annoyance. She'd gotten the drop on the supervillain, so the superhero was supposed to start the witty banter. "Hello Mesmeri. Seems age is catching up to you, 'cuz you're losing."
Mesmeri didn't seem fazed and Sparkler cursed that faceless outfit. It obscured a lot of tells. "You don't know until you try," the villainess calmly retorted. "Girls, this woman is threatening me." She didn't add anything more but she didn't have to.
Like berserkers, the three women stormed Sparkler. The lack of coordination between them made the superheroine's job a lot easier. She simply deflected the kick of one of her attackers into the body of another, tangling those two up. A quick succession of palm thrusts disabled the third, whom she then quickly used as a human shield to stop the needle Mesmeri had fired at her.
The woman's eyes fluttered and she sunk deeper into unconsciousness. Sparkler let go of the dead weight and brought her hands up to blind her remaining opponents when the sound of two people running echoed through the cavernous room.
"Hold it right there," a man behind Sparkler commanded. The sound of two guns being cocked punctuated the order. Turning her head slightly, she saw they wore blue uniforms.
'Security guards,' the crime fighter concluded. "Thank you for the assist but I have things well in hand. Why don't you call the police while I finish subduing them."
She had thought backup had arrived, so the security guards' next words came as quite the shock. "What are your orders, my Lady?" Sparkler could now feel the guns being aimed at her back.
"Fire on her if she moves without my say-so," Mesmeri ordered in that maddeningly unperturbed voice. A chorus of "Yes, my Lady" answered it.
'Stupid, stupid, stupid,' Sparkler berated herself. 'How did you think she would get the security systems deactivated, you dolt? She got to the guards and let them do it for her.' But there were only two; she could take them. She readied herself to move when Mesmeri's voice interrupted her.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you. Turn around and take a close look at the guards," the supervillain invited her.
Sparkler did so and grimaced at what she saw. Both men had tents in their trousers, but that wasn't what had made her grimace: it was the explosives strapped to each of their chests. And the wires which led from each guard's bomb to his right hand.
"As you can see, I have armed hostages. I am sure you could disarm them, but that will trigger the dead-man's switch. Even if you avoid the explosion yourself, even if you manage to take one out while keeping the bomb on him from going off, there is simply no way that you can prevent the other from shooting you as you keep pressure on that switch."
Sparkler gritted her teeth as a dozen plans were postulated, then discarded. 'Dammit, she's right. One of them is going to die even if I do everything right.'
"But there is a way you can save them both, a way that everyone can walk away from this..." the criminal's voice trailed off.
"Let you go, you mean?" The words tasted foul, and the first hints of humiliation began to color her thoughts. 'Instead of my first collared supervillain, this is going to be my first royal screw-up.' Getting innocent people killed, however, would be an even bigger screw-up. "But how could I possibly trust you?"
"Simple, you will hear my orders for the guards. You will closely listen as I order them to keep you here for an hour until, say, a watch beeps. Then they will disarm the bombs, lower their guns and forget they ever met me. Yes, I'm even throwing their free will into the pot. They'll be safe from me from then on. Well, as safe as anybody else." Her voice turned amused and Sparkler had to stamp hard on the burst of anger it triggered.
"Do we have a deal?"
To Be Continued