Monday, July 1, 2013

Quantum Dissolve: Chapter Sixteen. (Rise of The Streetsweepers)

JS awoke in the alleyway.
She was gone.
Someone had pulled his pants back up, fastened them up, refastened his utility belt,  closed up his coat, and cleaned him up.
He was really hoping it was her that did it, and not some wino.
Or worse.

He headed back home.
First, changing back to Dusty in his car, in the parking garage he'd left it in.
He tried to rotate the location around.

The apartment door was unlocked, he went into defensive mode.

He dug the wrist crossbow out of his duffle bag, and put it back on, and held it out in front of him.
He was beginning to regret his stance on no guns.
This was most cumborsome.

Someone was in his bathroom.
He heard the shower running.

He did a sweep of the apartment, just in case. Nothing.
Nothing else on top of the bathroom intruder, anyway.

He held the crossbow at the bathroom door, and waited.

Out she came, like she belonged there.

Irma, Chokecherry, naked, wrapped in a towel.

She saw the crossbow, and simply said "hot water's gone, better wait 15 minutes", while aiming her thumb back towards the bathroom.

Dusty growled "all right, what's this bullshit? You pulling a David Letterman stalker routine on me lady? Speak fast, I WILL kill you if you say the wrong thing".

Irma rolled her eyes.
"Look, if I wanted you dead, I'd've planted a bomb, and left. If I wanted you dead, and also the satisfaction of offing you personally, I'd've hid in a better spot to which to pounce. Or, better, sniped you from your window. And, if I wanted your identity outed, and Jade Shade destroyed, I could have blabbed your whereabouts to the FBI weeks ago".

Dusty lowered the crossbow.
"So, what's this bullshit about?".

"I told you last night, I want to be your partner. Consider this part two of the audition".

"And part one was?".

"Putting those assholes in body casts".

"And the...".

"Sex? That was fun".

Dusty's head was spinning.

"Look, I told you I...".

"Work alone", she said in a mockery of the Jade Shade voice "yeah, you said it enough times, cowboy, not buying it".

"How do you figure?".

"From a practical standpoint, the fact I'm even here proves you kind of stink at this. Or, at the least, you can't do it alone. Not for much longer until you get your ass killed. But, more to the point, I've looked through your junk. Phase 1 of your plan, get even with the people that hurt you. You've done that. Phase 2 is something bigger. It'll no doubt involve having a whole team. Well, here's your start. Oh, and keeping a superhero diary? Really stupid, by the way".

" have a point...but you didn't have to..".

"Damned near rape you, and break your secret identity? The hell I didn't. How else were you going to let someone in? A formal audition? How was one going to do that? Send in tapes? Like I said, you kind of stink at this. And if I didn't know better, you looked like you were on a suicide path".

Dusty slumped on the bed.

"...and if I say 'no'? Then what?".

"I'll be really sorry for you, but I'll keep your secrets, and you'll never see me again".

Dusty rolled it all around in his mind for awhile.

Irma got bored of waiting.
She dropped her towel.

They fucked again.
Without the mask in the way, they got to kiss this time.

Dusty and Irma lay in bed, covered in sweat, and the matter was settled.
Chokecherry would be Jade Shade's partner.

It felt right.
Like the day he saw the original mask in the store.
Like when he busted out of the suburbs hallucination.
Like the alleyway sex.

He wasn't going to fight that sense anymore.
So far, it was dead on target.

He held her close, and sighed, and stared into her strange violet eyes.
"Where have I seen eyes like that before?", he tried to recall.

" names. What are we called?", he said aloud at last.
The next two hours were spent bouncing ideas back and forth.
A lot of terrible ones.

"Cherrylime", based on a merging of their costume colors.

"Bogeyberry", based on a merging of their costume/naming themes.

And from Irma "The Creamdream-Dreamteam".
Dusty had no idea where she got that one from.

It was her absolute favorite, and it was a nightmare talking her away from it.

They finally settled on "The Streetsweepers".
Although Irma kept wanting to mumble "A.K.A The Creamdream-Dreamteam", onto the end of it.

As they began to fade off to sleep, Irma said "hey, I know, let's get married".

The next day, after a trip to the Justice Of The Peace, Irma was Irma Irwin.

It was fast, but Irma pointed out, "what were we going to do, go out on some boring coffee dates? We already know the one gigantic thing we have in common. Why bullshit ourselves?".

"Besides", she added "if it really doesn't work out, we can have a quickie divorce, superhero style. We'll kill each other", a big smile when she said that.

That night, they were back in costume, on JS's favorite rooftop.
Chokecherry kept calling him "Jadey".

Jade Shade had a morbid feeling that was going to stick.
"Oh well, it's that, or Creamdream-Dreamteam. The compromises begin", he thought to himself.

He smiled at her.
The mask hid it.

She smiled back anyway, assuming.

Gunshots at a bank.
They ran into action.

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