Flux Part 3
I regained control again with the girl called Jo that Violet, as my evil twin was now calling herself, had busted out of jail looking at me quizzically. The last few hours had been another nightmare where I had been aware but unable to control my body while Violet screwed up my life yet further. She had doomed me by running away from the police, there was no way I would be able to talk my way out of it now. I was a criminal on the run and no one would believe my story that I was being held hostage by some sort of weird evil twin who kept taking over my body. I barely believed it myself and I was the one being taken over. She had to have badly hurt that telepath and with her breakout I was certain no one would help me get rid of this evil troll living in my head.
"Who's waking up?" Jo asked.
'What should I say?' I wondered what would these people do when they found out I wasn't Violet the crazed psychopathic version of me they wanted. They were criminals and while Violet could wipe the floor with them I had no chance. I started backing away from them.
"What is it? What's wrong Violet?" Jo asked, who, like the rest of the group, was looking increasingly confused. I backed away more and they surrounded me.
"Your eyes are a different colour, what going on Vi?" she was starting to sound exasperated, with an edge of anger.
"I ... I'm not Violet ... I'm Jennifer," I stammered finding myself backed up against a wall.
"What!?" exclaimed Jo.
"Violet's sort of sleeping," I said trying to explain fighting back the tears. “She comes out makes me do things and ruins everything, I can't stop her.”
I slowly slid down the wall as they all stared at me. I started crying in earnest, damn Violet for doing this to me if only I could hurt her, hurt her like she hurt me. Taking my head in my hands I started wailing. The horror of what was happing to me just too overwhelming. I wanted to be home with my friends and family not surrounded by ruthless cut-throat thieves, I wanted mum to hold me. More than anything I wanted to cause Violet pain and she was somewhere in my head, so I began hitting my head against the wall behind me. The physical pain felt oddly good it was a distraction from the mental pain.
The group around me were looking at me with a combination of worry, confusion, and a touch of fear. As far as they were concerned I had just wiped the floor with their strongest member, now I was acting like I was unhinged. They slowly backed away not sure what to do.
At this point while Jo and the others where puzzling over what was going on Jeff, who had recovered from his fight with Violet, threw a chair at me. It hit me across the head knocking me down, blood spraying out of my mouth. I was on the floor woozy for a bit then I passed out.
I looked down at the unconscious form of the new girl. It was odd, earlier she seemed nigh on indestructible, but then she had started acting very strangely. Her whole posture and body language had changed, not to mention her eye colour, and she'd been knocked down by a fairly light chair.
"What the hell did you do that for?" Shouted Jo.
"She’s some nut job psychotic! You saw the way she beat me up unprovoked then started acting crazy. She probably would have killed us all and worn our organs as a hat!" Jeff answered, with indignation.
"You are such an idiot! Someone with her sort of powers would let us start hitting some real targets, give me a chance to make some real money. Who cares if she has a few screws loose? Plus, it's handy to have someone who's nuts around to take the fall if things go wrong," Jo said.
I really did wonder sometimes how I fell in with this lot. I knew in the end it came down to a matter of survival, that without them I wouldn't get very far. They were a pretty cut throat bunch though. Jo was all about Jo, what was good for her, what gained her power or leverage. She seemed nice enough but it was only if you had something she needed and she was manipulative as hell. If she thought she could get on better by turning on you, she would without a second thought.
Jeff was almost as bad. He was power hungry, though not anywhere near as clever as he thought, and nowhere near as manipulative as Jo. He also consistently failed to realise she was running things, using him as much as the rest of us. Ed and Dave were OK, a bit dim mostly just infatuated with Jo. I guess they had been lower echelon supers at school and when school ended, or they got kicked out, they found themselves with no-one to follow. They did what they were told by whoever they felt was in charge at the time. Jo used me for my powers pretending to be my friend. I had been out on the streets, in a pretty bad way with nowhere to go, some bad times haunting me. So having a friend who offered me some protection seemed ideal. By the time I had figured out the truth of it, I had nowhere else to go. So long as I was still useful I was kept around. I dreaded the day when she found a better telepath or illusionist and kicked me out.
I knelt down by Violet or whoever she really was, she was out cold. She was extremely lovely even covered in dirt and rumpled from the fight, with a figure to die for. I noticed she seemed to be wearing a school uniform, I wondered how old she was. I brushed aside some of her vivid violet hair finding a small cut where the chair had hit her. I touched her on the forehead, using my tactile telepathy to have a glance in her brain. What I saw was very confusing, like two minds smashed into one. She had been telling the truth when she said she wasn't Violet, she had two distinct personalities in there. They seemed to be similar like they were both cut from the same mould but their changes and time had caused them to diverge. I picked up the threads of what had happened to them from their thoughts learning a little of what they had been through. I felt the more aggressive personality start to stir at my intrusion so I backed off. Behind me the argument was still going.
"Look she's unstable and deadly. If we don't get rid of her now we may not get another chance. I say we kill her and bury her body in the woods," said Jeff.
"But look at her strength, she could rip an armoured car or a bank vault wide open," Answered Jo.
"But she's crazy!" shouted Jeff.
"She's not crazy," I said. "She was telling the truth."
At which point everyone turned and looked at me. I tried to explain it to them "She is two people in one body, twins if you will. Jennifer and Violet, when MORFS changed them, their original personality split into two copies. Jennifer lacks Violets strength and has become more withdrawn, whereas Violet is super strong and tough, with a fairly aggressive personality to match," I turned to Jeff and continued, "By the way I wouldn't want to be you when Violet wakes up."
"So they share a body, what do they do take a vote on who gets to do what? Can we convince this Jennifer chick to take a hike and leave Vi in charge?" asked a puzzled Jo still looking for her angle.
"I'm not sure, it seems to be a sort of fight between them, but neither one seems to be able to take full control permanently. They are still working it out, since from the little I could glean before Violet chased me out of their head, she really dislikes telepaths poking around in there, they have only started swapping today. I've also never encountered anything like this before, so I could be missing something."
"Ed stick her in one of the spare rooms, Ally when she comes round see if you can figure out more."
Ed walked over grabbing the still unconscious Jennifer/Violet and slung her over his shoulder like she was a sack of potatoes. I followed him as he wandered into the back where there were a series of small rooms. He lay her out in one of the spare ones, which was pretty much bare apart from an old mattress. I knelt down and examined her more closely, she had taken a fair crack to the head, and was bleeding from a small gash on her forehead.
I decided to get some first aid stuff to clean her up. When I returned a short while later, I could hear crying coming from the room.
I opened the door to find her curled up in a ball sobbing her eyes out. She jumped when she saw me and backed into a corner.
"Hey easy, there's no need to worry, I'm not going to hurt you," I said, trying to be as non threatening as possible. "I brought you some bandages for your head."
She seemed to calm down a little, and I began fixing up her cut.
"There all done. That was a nasty bump you took there. How do you feel now Jennifer?" I asked.
"A bit better," she replied.
"How is your sister doing?"
He face contorted into a mask or rage and she shouted out, "Like I care, I hate the bitch! She's ruining my life. You hear that Violet you stupid cow!" She burst into tears again. I patted her gently on the shoulder till she stopped crying.
"She can hear you at the moment then?"
"Yeah, she's locked away inside at the moment seeing, hearing, and feeling everything I do, but unable to move. At least that's how it is for me, she seems to be able to take control of me at will. I hate
it being a
passenger in my own body having to watch as she does terrible things, being
unable to stop her, even being blamed for what she has done once I regain
"Can you hear each other’s thoughts?"
"No, I can feel a bit of her emotions, but not any more than that. I think I heard her the first time we switched but nothing since then."
"Maybe I could help you. Use my telepathy to try and work out an arrangement, so you can live together more harmoniously."
"I'm not sure that would work. Besides I think she put the last telepath who messed about in our heads in hospital. That's half the reason we are in this mess."
"OK the offers open if either of you want my help. Are you going to stay and join the gang?"
"I don't want to be a criminal but she has made me one by association. I've got nowhere to go now," she began sobbing into her knees again.
I put my arm around her and tried to comfort her a little, " Hey there, there, it's not so bad here. So long as you are useful to Jo you get to stay. There's food, and a safe warm place to sleep that's out of the rain. Take it from me it's better than being on the streets."
"I don't have any powers or any criminal skills. I'm only useful to her in so much as I'm carrying around a psycho Barbie in my head."
I nodded sadly, there was no point sugar coating it, she was an inconvenience to Jo who wanted use of Violets powers. She had no interest in her weaker twin.
"Come on," I said. "Let's get you a cup of tea and something to eat."
She sniffed and wiped her eyes on her sleeve brightening a little, "Actually I am quite hungry, I seem to be ravenous all the time since my change."
I led her out to the small kitchen area for a cuppa.
I took Jennifer into the small kitchen and got her some tea. Serving her a plate of sandwiches I watched in amazement as this skinny girl demolished all of them. After she had munched her way through a couple of plates full of food and was still hungry, I was trying to find her something else vaguely edible when a furious Jo stormed into the kitchen.
"You're feeding her!" she said, with so much incredulity as if she had just found me painting the ceiling with marzipan. "Why are you wasting time with her, get Violet back and kick this useless hanger on to the curb," she poked her finger at the flinching Jennifer who looked close to tears again.
"I'm not sure that's possible. Besides they share the same stomach so feeding Jennifer is the same as keeping Violet fed," I reasoned, but I could tell she wasn't seeing things my way.
"Just get in her head and sort it out. And you!" She said jabbing a finger at Jennifer again. "You better cooperate. Or I'll see that Jeff makes things very uncomfortable for you."
She stormed off, I turned to Jennifer, "I'm sorry, I better try to do what she says, for both our sakes."
She looked at me with tears in her eyes, "Please, I don't want to hurt people anymore."
"Hey it's alright,” I said taking her by the shoulders. “Maybe I can help you two to sort out some sort of deal. Like it or not you are stuck with each other."
I gently took her hand and once again and tried to
slip into her crowded head. I saw more clearly now the twin nature of her
brain. I saw that the two minds where not completely separate two slim pathways
linking them together. The links were currently dormant, but I guessed that as
the two of them learned themselves better, they would be able to communicate. I
decided to give them a helping nudge to speed up the process. I gently helped
Jennifer's mind to activate the path to Violets. Then I tried to do the same
for Violet, on feeling my presence near her mind she stirred from her
, like an angry snake.
"Oh, no she's wak ... " Jennifer's voice trailed off in mid sentence.
I saw the tell tale shift of her eyes as Violet took over, their face contorting into anger. "Get out of my head! I felt you trying to kill me or something, what is it with you telepaths why can't you leave people alone!"
She sprang at me, I just barely managed to dodge out
of the way, "I was only trying to help. Besides, you are out now, which is
what Jo wanted. Why don't you go talk with her about what she wanted you for."
"Fine just stay out of my head in future or you'll regret it. It doesn't matter how much cry baby Jen may like you, it means nothing to me," she said stomping out of the room.
I sat down, relieved by her departure, and worried about what to do about poor Jennifer. I wasn't sure there was much I could do about helping her with her sister, but I could try and be a friend when she was around. I doubted any of the others would be friendly towards her. As far as they were concerned, she was dead weight.
I finished giving that silly meddler a piece of my
mind then went to find Jo. I just knew both this Ally chick, and that other
telepath, were going to try and lock me away permanently. Telepaths were like
that, messing with peoples' brains, always sure they were right. Spying on your
thoughts like some sort of perverts, using your innermost secrets against you.
I resolved that was the last one I had poking around in my head. I wasn't
helpless any more, their pitiful mind tricks wouldn't work on me.
Besides, two people in one head was already one too many. As I was wandering around the place not sure of the layout I came across a bathroom. I was a bit dirty from the fight and smashing through the police station so I went in to clean up. While I was washing my hands I took a look at my reflection. My gorgeous new face stared back, but there was something off about it.
`That's odd, it isn't copying my movements.`I thought.
It just stood there regarding me with violet eyes, looking pissed off. I brought my hand up to touch the mirror to check it was actually real. Suddenly, the image stuck its tongue out at me and raised a fist. I jumped back in shock, pushing the mirror a little too hard causing it to shatter. My normal reflection with currently wild, staring, blue eyes looked back at me from the shattered mirror.
'What the hell was that!' I thought quite shaken. The crazy telepath must have messed with my head. I was hallucinating or something.
I decided I better find Jo before I lost it. I found her sat in the main room, watching the telly.
She scowled at me and said, "Which one are you now?"
"Violet," I replied.
Her face brightened and in a flash she was once again the friendly girl I had met at the Jail. She patted the seat next to her, "You're just in time. They are talking about our daring escape."
As I was watching the TV, I noticed a reflection of myself in the screen. My reflection was sitting with her arms crossed looking daggers at me. I tried to ignore it.
The news were just on the part where they were showing the ripped up window we used to escape when my reflection said, *Great job idiot, we'll never get to go home now with the mess you made. I just want to go home to Mum and Dad and see my friends, but you've ruined things, they'll lock me in a cage when they catch you.*
I turned to Jo, "I think your telepath did something to me, I keep seeing things."
*Like she cares! She'll leave you in the gutter as soon as she is done with you. Weren't you even listing to Ally,* My reflection said.
"You shut the hell up," I shouted at her.
*So you can see and hear me! Finally I get to say what I think about you, you crazy bitch. Get the hell out of my body!* she shouted.
It was Jennifer I was seeing! The telepath must have done something so she could insert herself into my perceptions. Now I was going to have to listen to her whining all the time and not just when she was in control. "What do you mean your body? You stole it from me! Now pipe down you whiny cow!"
*Make me Bimbo!*
Jo was sat watching me with a fairly concerned expression, she had been slowly edging away from me.
"That Ally girl did something, now I keep seeing that useless parasite Jennifer," I said.
A look of fury crossed Jo's face. "ALLY!" She roared.
The girl came running in looking a bit worried. "What?" She asked.
"What did you do to Violet! I told you to get rid of that waste of space Jennifer," Jo shouted. "Don't make me think I'd be better off without you."
"I told you I couldn't do that. I found a link between their minds and I tried to help them use it, but Violet stopped me," she stammered, obviously fairly scared of Jo.
"Well whatever you did has got her hallucinating and talking to her reflection," said Jo.
"Well it must be Jennifer talking through the link. Influencing what Violet sees a bit, so she can make her presence felt."
I leapt to my feet and brandished a fist at Ally, "Undo it, NOW!" I shouted.
The girl jumped back and brought her hands up in a defensive gesture. "I can't it is a fundamental part of your minds, I didn't create the link I just helped Jennifer use it. Both of you would have figured it out eventually anyway," she said pleadingly.
"Grrahh!" I shouted picking up a small coffee table and hurling it against the wall smashing it into kindling. Letting some of my rage out felt good.
*Temper, temper,* A grinning Jennifer taunted from a reflective surface.
"Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP!" I shouted covering my ears.
Jennifer began laughing, *You idiot! That won't do any good, I'm on the inside.*
I couldn't take much more of this. Red fringed anger burnt in my mind and in my rage I took drastic measures. I spun around, clamping Ally's throat in one of my hands. She screamed and her fingers scrabbled against my vice like grip.
*Leave her alone you beast!* Jennifer screamed.
"You shut the hell up or I'll snap your little friend here's neck like a toothpick,” I threatened.
Jennifer's image regarded me from a reflection with hate and disgust. *I knew you were a monster, an evil sadistic bully just like Mark or Brian or Flint. If I didn't want to live so much I'd kill myself to stop you from hurting more people.*
She vanished, my normal reflection replacing her face a mask of rage glaring at me. That image and Jen's words chilled me, was she right had I become like the people that had made my life hell in school. Lost in thought it took the increasingly frantic scrabbling of the girl Ally to rouse me. Dropping her like a hot coal I stared at my hand as if it were something alien as my victim collapsed to the floor gasping for air. I looked at her terrified face and I felt sick inside, what was happening to me.
"Nice job Vi you showed her who's boss," said an almost gleeful Jo, it was worrying that she seemed to care so little for what I had done to her friend.
I shook my head to clear it and a bit of my previous calm returned. What did the little cry baby know anyway. Still doubts fluttered at the back of my mind, things hadn't been exactly going swimmingly so far. I had to admit it seemed that it was me making things worse. I didn't want to become like those bastards who had bullied me all those years.
I turned to sit back down again and in doing so moved towards Ally who was still collapsed on the floor. She frantically backed away from me running out of the room sobbing. I realised what I had done to her without really thinking about it. In my rage I had threatened to kill her. I didn't think I'd been willing to actually go through with it if Jen didn't back down. The fact that I had got to that point scared me. Was it a slippery slope I had put myself on first defending myself, then accidentally hitting someone through fear, now threatening to kill someone to get my way. What would the next step be? Would I end up a bully who revelled in causing others pain, who's solution to any problem was violence, the very sort of person I had hated before my change? It was a sobering thought.
I shook my head again to clear it
, and sit back
down next to Jo.
“So do you think Jennifer's gone for good?” she asked.
“No, she'll be back, I don't think there's any way to
be free of her. She will always have her time in control. It seems that I can
gain control only for so long, then she can reassert herself. So the longer I
hold her in, the stronger she gets, till she gains control. Of course the
reverse is true for her,” I answered. “It's still a bit new, so there may be
s out, or around the situation, maybe some sort of the
limitation I haven't found yet.”
“Hmm,” frowned Jo and continued with, “That's not so good. I can use you, but she has no useful skills, well that I know of,” I shook my head to confirm her suspicions. “What if we are out doing some crime, and she takes over just when we need you.”
“I don't know. I think that if I let her have the run of the body for a sufficient period before any action, I'll remain in control for long enough. Also if I am needed to get us out of whatever situation we are in, I doubt she'll want to take over, since she'd just be leaving herself in a dangerous situation, without my strength or toughness. It's in her own best interest to let me take care of things, she can start whining about it later when we’re safe.”
“Hmm makes sense. Is she going to be a problem otherwise? I don't want her blabbing to the cops.”
“Again it's not in her best interest. She turns us in she goes to prison with me, anything I do she gets equal share of the punishment. It's already happened that way once, so I hope she's got the message by now.”
“We have to be careful. The police take a dim view of MORFS criminals, usually smashing them with the biggest hammer they can find. They have specially trained teams to handle that sort of thing. The only way we can survive is by not letting them realise we exist. That also keeps us safer from some of the other groups out there. There are gangs of high powered MORFS out there who 'recruit' promising young MORFS kids for their teams. It usually involves some form of brainwashing or blackmail, we don't want to get on their radar either.”
“Most people have no idea that this sort of thing is going on all the time around them. The various agencies hush it up, some of them actively participate, targeting powerful MORFS kids taking them away, just so they have some chance of competing with the criminals.”
I shuddered suddenly feeling that everyone was out to get me.
Jen piped up with, *Look on the bright side, with the two of us in this stupid body they'll probably think we are too unstable to use and either ignore us or just kill us. It's only small time amateurs that will have anything to do with us,* she said with a heavy dose of sarcasm.
I ignored her, though her thought oddly comforted me.
“So what are we going to do first” I asked.
“I was thinking that we could knock over an armoured car. I've been thinking about it for a while, with the rest of our skills we could disable the tracking systems, disable the guards, and hide ourselves. But till now we have lacked anyone able to get into the van, which tends to be dead locked from the inside,” said Jo excitedly.
*Are you crazy, we are going to get thrown in jail for sure!* Shouted Jennifer.
“Shut up bitch!” I shouted. Jo looked at me angrily like I'd slapped her. “Sorry not you Jo, Jennifer's getting frisky again.”
Jo's face returned to a neutral expression and she nodded.
*Look Violet please, if you do this there is definitely no going back,* Jennifer's voice took on a pleading quality. *Up until now we could probably get away with post-MORFS breakdown or some such. But if you actively commit a crime like this we will never be able to claim we didn't know what we were doing.*
“Don't tell me what to do!” I said.
She went quiet again. I turned to Jo, “She just won't shut up”
She gave me a look then said, “Why don't you get some rest, I'll lock you in the room at the end, you can let Jennifer out, and she can whine to her heart’s content. You can rest up. Later tonight we're going on a supply run so we can pick you up some clothes etc.”
I nodded, “OK”
She walked me back to the room locking the door behind, I sat down on the bed releasing my hold on my body, allowing Jennifer to take the reins as I slipped back into depths.
Sure enough they locked me up in that empty room with nothing but a battered mattress for furniture. Leaving me to sit there with nothing in the near dark, the only light coming under the door from the corridor as there was no bulb in the light fitting. Was this what my life would be like from now on? Either a prisoner in my own body or an actual prisoner locked away in a room with nothing to do.
I punched the wall in anger at my situation but ended up crying out in agony as it really hurt, the ghost of a chuckle echoed through my brain.
I lay down on the only feature of the room, the old mattress and curled up into a ball crying at my fate. Eventually my tears dried up and I felt a bit better from having let all of that anguish out. Now I was just numb and tired from the days trials so I lay curled up and was soon asleep.
I woke suddenly. A blinding headache hit me the room seemed to flare brighter and I got a flash of something. Ally was standing over me looking slightly afraid, "Which one are you at the moment?" she asked. Just as it began the sensation was gone.
I curled up clutching my throbbing temples lying still trying to get rid of the pain. I heard the door opening and the sound of someone coming in. I opened my eyes to see Ally put a tray down with some more sandwiches on it and a glass of water. She looked up when I moved a momentary burst of fear on her face.
"Which one are you at the moment?" she asked worriedly.
"I'm Jen," I replied wondering if I imagined seeing her say that before or if I was losing it. Maybe it was just because Jo had said the same thing earlier, that had to be it.
"Oh, " she sounded relieved, "I thought it was you, the eyes give it away. I brought you something else to eat as I figured you were still hungry."
"Thank you," I was still ravenous, my stupid girl body seemed to need a lot to fuel it. I was betting it was somehow Violet’s fault.
As I tucked into the sandwiches Ally came and sat next to me. I was surprised how graceful her movements were even just sitting down, she seemed to flow from one position to the next. Her slender neck still had an angry hand outline where Violet had attacked her.
"I'm so sorry about what she did to you," I said trying not to burst into tears again.
"Oh there, there don't worry I know it wasn't your fault. I could hear, since she was touching me, what you did, backing off to stop her from hurting me more," she embraced me and gently stroked my hair, "Listen you seem like a nice person in a bad situation and you could use a friend. I'm going to try and be that friend as quite frankly I could use a friend too. I don't really have anyone here either."
"I'd like that," I said through my sobs.
"Don't be too offended if I'm not around too much when your sister’s out and about though, she seems not to like me."
I nodded and ate some more sandwiches feeling better for the food. As I was drinking the water Ally had brought the door flew open and Jo stood in the doorway glaring at us.
"What's going on what are you doing in here!" she shouted.
"I was just getting Jen some more food," Ally said jumping to her feet and making placating gestures.
"This door stays locked while Violet is asleep now get your arse out of there now!"
Ally touched my hand briefly and I heard *See you later Jen,* in my head. Then she grabbed the tray with the empty plate and glass and left.
Jo jabbed a finger at me, "And you stay in here and keep quiet or else!" Then she slammed the door and locked it.
I wondered what to do now, I was locked up in a dark room on my own, well as alone as I could get with a psycho barbie in the back of my head. I laid back down and tried to sleep some more. I dozed but couldn't really drift off
Sometime later I heard the door unlock again and Jo stood glaring at me.
"Violet it's time to go get some supplies, you coming?" she said.
With that I felt Violet surge out of the back of my head and grab control I was locked out again.
'how does she do that' I wondered.
"Sure," Violet said, "This outfit is getting a bit tired I could use some new threads."
Jo chuckled and led Violet out into the living room, waiting there were Ed and Dave.
"There's a local depot for one of the department store chains nearby. It's mostly automated with a small staff in the day to maintain things. At night the place is wide open, just a cheap camera system I can bypass easy. We should be able to get you a few outfits there and then fiddle the logs so no-one notices. Most of this stuff is from there," she said indicating the living room. "So long as we don't go mad we're golden."
"Cool," Violet said.
They made their way out the doorway which from the inside was an elaborate metal framed door with several bars and bolts as well as an intercom system and a electronic keypad lock.
Jo reached up to tap in the code but then hesitated and looked at Violet, "No offense Vi but to keep your little friend in doors I'd rather if she didn't know this combination."
"Good thinking!" Violet said and looked away.
*Great,* I projected at Violet, *Now if there's a fire or something we'll burn down here since we can't get out.*
"What's this we," mumbled Violet under her breath, "I can kick that door down in a jiffy it's just you who's trapped down here."
I grumbled internally at that even given its obvious toughness I suspected she was right, but I couldn't resist sending another shot back, *Well better hope it's not one of those times when you can't take me over then bitch*
I heard the door open and Violet turned back to head out with the others. They shut the door behind them and I heard the locks engaging again on the other side. It was smooth metal on this side only the speaker set into the wall no keyhole or keypad. I wondered how they got back in.
Violet must have thought the same as she said, "Hey how do you get back in?"
"We buzz someone to let us in," said Dave looking at Violet like she was a moron and sneaking glances at our chest when he thought we weren't looking. It was really odd to see that behaviour from this side.
"OK smart arse what if no one is in, what if everyone has to go out?" Violet said hands on hips glaring at him.
"We get Jeff to open it with his TK, he designed this door," Dave replied.
"Yeah which is why it's such a pain for anyone else to use! Damn fool that he is never thinks things through," spat Jo.
The group exited the outer door that was part of the camouflage hiding the real door. We went up through the abandoned building and out into an alleyway down the side. Parked out of sight was a beaten up old van that Ed unlocked and jumped into the driver’s seat, Jo took the passenger seat. Violet and Dave sat in the back on some bench seats which folded up for more transport room. Dave sat leering at us from the seat opposite us which made my skin crawl but Violet didn't seem to notice.
"Ok everyone buckle up," Ed shouted Violet clipped a lap belt round herself and got comfy.
It was annoying to have to always look where Violet wanted not being able to choose what I saw or did. To amuse myself I played with my ability to insert myself into her visual field. Before I had just fiddled with the reflections and imagined them being me and not her, which was pretty easy just my purple eyes instead of her blue ones. Then I imagined the reflections talking saying things I wanted her to hear and it wasn't until she reacted to the sound and the visuals that I realised she could see and hear what I was projecting at her. I mentally thanked Ally for giving me some small measure of control.
I tried to picture me sitting on the bench opposite
down from Dave just out of the corner of Violets eyes. At first nothing much
happened then gradually as I focussed I the shadows and lines blurred and
reshaped and my illusory body appeared in Violets vision. She looked around
seemingly not noticing the figment of my imagination. It took a lot of focus to
maintain it and also to make it seem real as if this imaginary figure was
actually in the van sitting on the bench I had to sort of move her as Violets
vision moved and the Van jerked about.
With every passing minute it was easier to do and soon I could maintain my illusory presence without much effort. I started to imagine virtual Jen doing things, just the everyday ticks and moves people did, brushing a stray hair out of her face shifting in the seat and so on. Virtual Jen was looking more and more real as I embellished my creation. So far Violet was either unaware of my efforts or just ignoring them. Eventually one of the little ticks I added must have tipped her off as she suddenly locked her eyes on my puppet.
She stared at the virtual me for a good while, then she said in an angry voice, "Stop doing that!"
"Stop doing what, I wasn't doing anything," said Dave looking guilty.
"I wasn't taking to you I was talking to her!" Violet spat back through gritted teeth while pointing at my virtual body.
Dave looked at the point next to him where Violet was pointing, "There's no one there," he said eying Violet worriedly.
"Maybe to you buddy! Cut that out Jen!" she shouted.
*Why? It's not like I've got anything better to do,* I said through my puppet.
"Stop it or you'll be sorry!"
*Oh come on Violet what are you going to do, beat someone up to get my obedience?* I paused then added in as cold a tone as I could manage, *There's no one in this Van I care about.*
Violet sort of grumbled and went quiet shooting my puppet hateful glances every now and then. After a while I started making it wave or pull faces or anything I could think of to amuse myself.
Eventually we pulled up somewhere and everyone piled out of the van. I thought about having my virtual Jen follow but didn't as I didn't really want to distract Violet when she was out committing crimes. I might get us both caught or worse get us or someone else hurt. I didn't want that on my conscience. While I supposed I was an accomplice to Violets crimes I wasn't exactly a willing one if she was caught I would go to prison no matter what I said anyway so it seemed the criminal justice system wasn't my friend.
It was pretty dark out, I had completely lost track of the time after what had happened today so I wasn't sure if it was really late or really early. The sky was clear and bright a fat moon hung in the sky it looked like a full moon or close to it. I briefly entertained the notion of making Violet hear a wolf howl but decided against it. I had to remember she was still the monster and if I wasn't careful she would hurt me through others and that would be Ally. I had a slight fear that Ally was in fact an even more manipulative person than Jo. That she was acting as my friend to control me, but I figured that was just paranoia. Given my situation it wasn't that surprising it was flaring up.
"Ok troops," whispered Jo causing Violet to snap out of her flunk and look at her, "This is the place, keep an eye out while I bypass the security. I’ll let us in by the access door over there where the guard won’t see us. There is a camera watching this door so give me a few seconds to loop it, when I move follow me over and cover me."
Jo stood there doing the same focus thing she had done during her and Violet’s escape. After a while she stood and jogged over to the nearby building, the rest of them followed her over to a small door set into the side of a nondescript warehouse. Jo put her hand on a small panel next to the door that seemed to be a swipe card slot and closed her eyes. A small light on the slot began flickering and pulsing as she did whatever it was she did to open things. There was a click and the door slowly opened.
"Alright inside!" Jo whispered and all of them piled in through the door.
I noticed that the little card reader slot was smoking slightly, I guess Jo wasn’t perhaps quite as skilled as she made out to be relying on brute force to disable things.
The gang all made their way into the building. Inside a load of huge stacks of all sorts of merchandise stretched away into the distance. Between each row automated robot trolleys raced along collecting and dropping off sealed boxes of various items. There was not a person in sight but a frenzy of activity and the machines danced about working nonstop.
"Dave keep an eye out for patrols, I'll use the
usual signal to let you know when we are ready. The rest of you the control
console is this way, follow me," Jo said louder now that the sound of
machines drowned out most of her words. Dave the blue haired skinny guy ran up
to a wall and in a slick fluid motion scrambled up it, he got up to some of the
service pipes then wormed his way into a duct and disappeared. He obviously was
going to be spying on any human guards the place kept.
Violet watched the duct for a bit longer then turned to follow Jo and Ed. They made their way down the tiny service corridor to a small room with a plain looking terminal which displayed a login screen. Jo touched it and the screen frizzed for a bit then a console came up with the title "Inventory system management".
She began tapping away, "We can tell the computer to get anything from the warehouse and deliver it to the maintenance bay over there," she said indicating the next room which was nothing more than just a big empty space that the robot trolleys could get to and drop stuff off.
"I've got the list," said Ed, "A new
Hi-Fi Sound station, X system
s movie player, toaster, blender," he
went on to list a load of other stuff while Jo tapped away at the machine,
Violet sat watching the screen as it indicated various items in various queues
being delivered or scheduled to be delivered by the automated system.
As time went by a procession of robot trolleys rushed
up to the maintenance bay and dropped off the various toys that Jo and the
other were after. It was mostly house ware or electronic goods. They were all
just petty thieves, it annoyed me to see them do this, someone was going to
lose their hard earned money because Jo had nicked a new telly.
"So Vi let's see what we can do for you," said Jo and pulled up a screen showing clothing selections, "Just pick stuff here and click the deliver to maintenance bay button here. Me and Ed will start loading the van while you pick out some stuff."
She vacated the worn coffee stained office chair and with Ed's help began carrying stuff out of the maintenance bay. Ed seemed to be using his power as the boxes he was carrying looked quite large and heavy but they just floated like they weighed nothing. Violet turned her attention back the screen and began examining the selection.
"Oh damn I don't know what my sizes are," she said under her breath.
I filled her in on the measurements I had memorised *Weren't you paying attention when we went shopping with mum!* I admonished.
"Well I wasn't quite awake then, I was more fuzzy not completely there," she said almost apologetically then in a sterner voice, "Why would you help me anyway I thought you hated me."
*I do! But I don't want to spend all my time with my body stuffed into ill fitting painful clothes that pinch.*
She grumbled again but went back to ordering clothes. She found a generlised look she liked then selected a variety of colours in the same style as well as a few packs of underwear, socks, and a few bras. She then looked at some bed ware and a pillow. Soon she was looking through all sorts of stuff getting a few bits and bobs to make life a bit more liveable. When she was done she went into the bay and waited for the automated trolleys to deliver and dump in the bay the various sealed packages containing the clothing she had selected.
"Hmm I need a bag," Violet said to herself an went back to the terminal to order a big sports bag.
She made her way back to the delivery area and began gathering the stuff she had picked out. When the bag turned up she took it out of its wrapper and began stuffing all the clothing and various supplies into it. When it was nearly full of clothing, bedding and miscellaneous other items Violet hefted it onto her shoulders like it weighed nothing. She picked up the remaining larger boxed items she had selected and a few other things that the others had ordered then headed out to the van. She dumped the stuff in the back then followed Jo and Ed back inside to get any remaining stuff.
They had cleared all but one box from the bay and Jo was clearing the logs on the computer to hide their dastardly crime, when there was a noise from up on the ceiling.
"Guys, there's a guard doing a sweep make yourselves scarce!" came Dave's voice.
"Ed!" spat Jo.
Ed grabbed her and levitated the two of them up to the ceiling. I felt a burst of annoyance from Violet I assume due to the other two just leaving her to sort out her own hiding place.
Violet looked around for a somewhere to hide. In the end her eyes fixed on the huge shelving units that made up the bulk of the warehouse. She ducked and jumped with all her might. I think we were both surprised when we went flying into the air like a rocket heading straight for the ceiling. Violet flung her arms out above her and managed to catch hold of one of the support beams stopping herself with only a small clang noise that was mostly drowned out by the sounds of the robots rushing back and forth. Her monstrous strength combined with our relatively light body meant she seemed almost able to fly at least in this confined space.
Violet hung there for a bit just catching her breath more from surprise than exertion. Before she could think about moving we could see a flashlight indicating the coming guard. Violet froze hanging from the beams just dangling high up for anyone to see.
The flashlight gradually got closer and Violet spun to look, hanging by only one hand again showing her terrifying strength. I took some comfort in the fact that she was not using it against someone else this time just applying it to keep us out of prison.
I could see the bobbing of the flashlight as the guard made his way through the warehouse. It cast odd shadows through the framework of the huge shelves and the machines that ran throughout the facility. Eventually the guard himself came into view as he made his way through the maze of utility access spaces. He strode along seemingly not paying attention swinging the flashlight about glancing around at the machines whirling away moving things to and fro.
He walked past where Jo and Ed were floating in one of the corners and on through the area under Violet. She froze trying not to move, if he only glanced up our body hanging in open space with its wave of purple hair would be clearly visible. He didn't spot us but kept moving checking the small room where the terminal we had used was.
He went through to the bay and the paused, "Hmmm" I heard and then the sound of him picking up something.
They had left the last box in the maintenance bay in their hurry to hide and now the guard had found it. He seemed to take forever examining the box then began looking around more intently the flashlight sweeping the room and I was sure we were going to get caught.
Then the guard chuckled under his breath, "He he well, waste not want not." and went off with the box under his arm. I guess he was stealing whatever it was too.
His footsteps receded and eventually faded to nothing. Violet hung there waiting for it to be safe.
Eventually Dave's voice rang out, "Ok the coast
Violet let go of the pipe and dropped like a stone, she touched down bending her knees on landing making only a little noise. Ed and Jo floated back to the floor.
"Time to make a run for it, whatever light fingers nicked we'll have to come back later for," she said and made for the door.
Dave scrambled down the wall and met us at the door and we all headed out Jo sealing the door behind us and reactivating the lock.
The van was now packed with stuff and it was a bit of a squeeze to get everyone in as they drove off and headed back to the secret hide out.
The entire MORFS Universe can be found at http://morfs.nowhere2go.org/