The following contains scenes of coarse language. Reader discretion advised.
Little Italy, New York City
Nasty slammed into the brick wall across from her favourite restaurant. She gasped for the breath knocked out of her. Shaking off the impact, she stood to her full height. "Just what the fuck do you think you're doing?" she demanded. "Do you fucking think that I'm just going to fucking let you fucking walk in and fuck with these people?" She took a step toward the man in the blue and white full bodysuit. Her right hand crackled with purple energy. "Fuck that noise."
The costumed man just shook his head. "Can't a guy go anywhere without running into a do-good altie in this city?" He raised his arm, pointing it at the seventeen year old girl. "Just stay down this time, okay?"
"Fuck that." Nasty broke into a charge, running straight at her opponent.
Green light built up along the costumed man's arm. "Fine. Find out why I'm called Hazard." He released the built-up energy.
Nasty dove into a roll on the asphalt, letting the green burst pass over her. She came up, her momentum letting her keep her speed, her fist cocked back. "Find out why I'm called Nasty."
Hazard stepped back, stumbling over a chair left on the sidewalk. "Let's not be hasty."
With three strides, Nasty was in front of Hazard. Not wasting a moment, she put her full strength behind her punch. Her fist caught Hazard on the shoulder. Purple energy exploded, sending the costumed crook backwards. He bounced off the wall behind him and fell to his knees. Nasty stomped to where he fell, her arm upraised for another strike, energy still glowing around her hand.
"You win, you win! I surrender! I give up!"
Nasty eyed him, looking for a trick. Only when Hazard put his hands on the top of his head did she step back. She unclenched her hand, letting the purple glow dissipate. In the distance, sirens echoed through the cavernous streets of New York. "Face down on the ground, asshole." Hazard did as he was told. Once her opponent was no longer watching her, Nasty shook her hand out, grimacing. 'Since when did they start armouring their god damned costumes?' she wondered.
Two police cruisers screeched to a stop near her. Nasty turned to watch, stepping further away from Hazard. She kept her hands up. "I can explain," she started.
One of the officers exiting his car shook his head on seeing the girl. "Well, look who it is. Should have known you'd be here, Nasty."
"Officer O'Malley, I have a really good reason for this."
O'Malley looked down at the blue and white clad figure. "For why this man still is in one piece?"
The owner of the cafe stepped out of his business. "Officer, arrest him! He trashed my restaurant!"
O'Malley looked over to the other police officers. "Can someone take his statement? And call in transport for this bozo."
Natasha looked at the two video feeds on her monitor. "Trust me on this. I know exactly how my counterpart acts. There was enough data available publicly there that the research wasn't difficult. That fool girl has no clue about keeping secret."
Vicki ran, trying to keep up with the rest of the Youth Brigade. She felt the seams on her homemade costume start to pull. Great. I just repaired this. Oh, screw this! Vicki leapt into the air. Before she reached the top of her arc, she diminished in size, wings growing from her back. The buildings around, already tall, loomed over her. Her teammates became giants from her point of view. But, with the help of her gossamer wings, she was more than able to keep up with the faster members of the Brigade.
Ahead of her, Kid Inscrutable, the team leader and creator, used her magic to carry her and two others of the Youth Brigade, Mystery Dude and Damage Magnet, over the stalled traffic. To their right, Flashbulb used her protonic abilities to edge into the lead. Vicki, known as the Brigade member Pixie, flew lower, weaving around lampposts with ease.
"Everyone knows the plan?" Kid Inscrutable asked.
"Yes, Sandra," Flashbulb said. "Distract them, get them to take us on mano y mano, and stop calling you by name when we get to the bank. Is that everything?"
"Ha ha." Kid Inscrutable concentrated briefly so she and her passengers could clear a semi trapped in an intersection. "Pixie, when we arrive, go down half a block to your right. The getaway driver is around there. Make sure he doesn't escape."
"On it," Pixie replied. Must be nice knowing stuff in advance. It'd help with my marks. Just keeping my grades good enough to get to go to the con was a pain and a half. All that work just to see the American Eagle. The sound of an alarm returned Vicki to the task at hand. She banked with the grace of a falcon, breaking away from the rest of the Brigade. Several cars idled along the sidewalk. Sure, can't make this easy for the school girl. Okay, if I were to escape from a bank robbery, what sort of car would I drive? Bad question. What sort of car would Mystery Dude drive? Okay, not much better.
Behind Pixie, Kid Inscrutable called, "Surrender now, criminals! The Youth Brigade has arrived!"
Pixie rolled her eyes. Sandra really needs to work on her speeches. Ahead of the diminutive heroine, a car roared to life. "Bingo!" Pixie beat her delicate wings harder, racing to catch the driver before he could leave. She spotted a light brown sedan edging out of its parking spot. Before it could muscle its way into traffic, Vicki landed on its hood. "Not so fast!" she squeaked.
Inside the car, the driver reached under the dashboard. The young man raised a revolver and pointed it at the young heroine. "Get off!" he shouted.
"Crap." Pixie dove to her left, her wings letting her glide over the car. The driver pulled the trigger several times. The roar of the gun deafened Vicki. She felt the bullets fly over her. The car lurched forward. Pixie threw herself into a power climb, avoiding being smacked by the side mirror as it passed by her. She angled down to grab the rear passenger door handle. "Pull over!"
The driver manhandled the car into traffic, pulling a U-turn. Tires squealed in protest. Vicki managed to keep her grip despite being thrown into the door by the manoeuvre. She pounded on the car as hard as her little hands could. "I said, pull over!" She shook her head. He can't hear me over all the other noise. If I could get full size again, maybe.
The car stopped, hard, a trail of rubber left by its tires. Unable to hold on, Pixie zipped past, tumbling in the air. She righted herself. The car and its driver was now bathed in alternating red and blue lights. The man driving bailed out of the vehicle. Vicki grinned.
As the police officers at the end of the block started shouting out warnings, the young super hero caught up to her quarry. "My name's Pixie," she introduced. "Yours is Arrested." She flew over the driver's head and held out her arms. Silver dust caught the rays of the light reflected by the mirrored windows on both sides of the canyon-like avenue and fell on the young man. He staggered, tripped over his own feet, fell. When the police caught up, the would-be crook snored.
"What about my counterpart?" Tori asked. "Everything you gave me about her tells me nothing of what she can do. Unless you're holding out on me, Natasha."
University of Toronto, residence, Toronto
Meredith arched a brunette eyebrow. "Keith, what are you doing this time?"
Her friend, the mad scientist, ran his right hand through his receding blond hair. On his left arm he wore a silver bracer with several blue LED readouts. "It's an upgrade."
"Upgrade." A dubious expression settled on Meredith's face. "Keith, the BIKINI was working fine."
"Not to my specs." He tapped a sequence one the bracer's touch pads. "There's supposed to be a feedback enhancer, letting you lift ten, maybe twenty times what you normally can." He looked over at his notebook. "It isn't working, but you haven't needed it."
Meredith sat down on Keith's bed, keeping an eye on him. "Would have been nice a few weeks ago against that tank suit. If I could have just smacked him harder, I might not have had so many awkward questions about an abusive boyfriend."
"You weren't supposed to get that close to him in the first place. I told you that." Keith returned his attention to the bracer. "Anyway, with this, you should be able to boost your strength twenty-five times for one or two minutes before the power requirements drain the batteries. If you keep it down to five to ten times normal, should be indefinite as compared to the other applications."
"As long as I don't rip my own shoulder off in the process."
"Can't happen. What I've done is set the ionic capacitors to --"
"Stop!" Meredith cut off any further explanation. "I'm in Architecture, not Electrical Engineering. Stuff the technobabble for now."
Keith removed the bracer. "Right one is already done. Are you ready to test them?"
Meredith stood up. "As always. Where's the rest of the BIKINI?"
"In the closet." Keith handed the armour piece to his friend as she ran past. "Just try not to break anything."
"It's not my fault the weird stuff happens when I'm in the suit."
"It doesn't matter," Omega said. "We'll be ready to meet them. At least there won't be others interfering. However, Natasha, Cleveland isn't the easiest place to break through. Why there?"
Natasha brushed a stray lock of red hair out of her face. "Simple, Omega. You said it yourself. There won't be others interfering. We don't need to deal with everyone and their twin once we do slip between the dimensions. Just ours."
"And from there, we can establish a new order there, correct, Natasha?" Tori added.
"As long as we stick to the plan. Omega, I'll see you in Cleveland in a few days, on schedule. If no one else has questions, we act normal until then." Natasha shut down the video windows and her own web cam and pushed away from her desk. "Tori?"
"Clear here, Natasha." The petite blonde joined the red head. "I don't trust him. The Canadians, they're too sneaky."
"He has what we need. Omega can breech the dimensional walls. He's also there for deniability. If the Canadians notice, he's in trouble, not us, not right away, and that gives us time to disappear."
"Cleveland? Wait, hang on." Nasty covered the mouthpiece. "Eric, want to go to a convention with me? It's in Cleveland next weekend."
Louise fixed her daughter with a stern glare. "Vicki, I recognized that scream of yours. What happened?"
"There has to be an easier way to do this," Meredith complained. She returned her visor's display to normal. "Anything on the police scanners?"