Delay

Posted: January 17, 2017 in Uncategorized

This was originally included as part of book 4. There’s a part 2 to it, and that’ll be posted next week.

 

Ivy let out a sigh, pulling out her flask and taking a drink. Yvette was leaning against a wall, looking to regain a bit of energy. Beast stood near them, but just barely. She was ready to collapse under the weight of her own metal limbs.

It had been another of those exhausting jobs. And in this case, “exhausting” meant “breaking into a compound to eliminate all 235 people within, including the main target”. Yvette had to go through the entire building, cleansing their DNA from every room. Beast didn’t have magic to help her with that and had to do things manually. Swinging those claws around took its toll after a while, after all.

As for Ivy, she had snapped a few necks with her mind, scanned the area to learn just how many people were in there in the first place, and had impaled many of these people with her sword. She was ready to drop, as well, but had wanted to inform someone close to her that they would be home soon.

This someone was Beast’s nephew Travis. Was she older than him? Yes. By just about ten years, give or take. But there was just something about the half-monkey that drew her to him. Maybe it was the hair, or the fact that he was one of the few guys to show an interest in her (and didn’t creep her out). Of course, she wasn’t that bad looking (and she knew it). But most people got creeped out by her ability to read minds.

Most minds of those that showed an interest in her seemed to be trying to undress her. But in Travis’ mind, she didn’t get that vibe. Instead, she could tell that he just wanted to find love. And while she would never admit it to her sister or their friend…or really, anyone (she had her pride, after all), she got a bit lonely from time to time.

Anyhow, in her telepathic missive to her boyfriend, she had learned something that would be a lot more worrisome…were he able to die and stay dead like any normal person. That something was that he and his friend Spencer had gotten on the bad side of an evil mage. The mage wanted to make Spencer suffer, and had taken Travis to accomplish this.

So the next order of business was to locate Trav and help both guys out. Beast was practically dead on her feet at that point, though, so it would fall to Ivy and Yvette to accomplish their goal.

Okay, so it was more Ivy’s goal than Yvette’s. But Yvette would go along with it, anyway, because her sister might have needed backup. Of the trio, Ivy was a bit more trouble-prone than the others. She may have had the higher kill count, but they’d also had to save her from a handful of targets over the years.

At least, Ivy was pretty sure Yvette would agree to go with her. She hadn’t informed them of the conversation just yet, nor had she told them that she contacted Spencer immediately after breaking off communication with Travis. Not yet, anyway.

“Okay…so, I just got in touch with Travis and Spencer. There’s kind of a situation, here,” she said.

Beast was the first to look at her.

“They…they didn’t run into you-know-who again, did they? Because if she’s out of prison, I swear, the death penalty’s gonna come to her so much earlier than intended…” Beast growled, tail lashing back and forth.

“No, no. Different asshole. Some magic user. He took Trav, has something against Spence, and that’s about all I really got. Anyway, Beast, you should probably rest up. ‘Vette, with me.”

Yvette sighed. “Shouldn’t I rest, and Beast go with you? You’re the one sleeping with him, and she’s family. He and I don’t talk that much.”

“But you’d be able to use healing spells if he’s been hurt. And I mean in a way he doesn’t heal from. Plus, there’s the whole stealth thing. I suck at that alone, and Beast…well, no offense, Beast, but you’re not the stealthiest thing on two legs.”

The cyborg would have taken more offense to that, were it not for the fact that it was true. And with a resigned sigh, Yvette agreed to go along with her sister.

Beast started toward home, the twins taking their own route. The pair had no idea exactly where to find Travis, but the first guess was that he was a half hour or so away. Likely in the woods somewhere.

For now, they were moving through one of the emptier parts of the city, not another soul in sight. But just because they didn’t see someone there, it didn’t mean they weren’t being followed.

Ivy was the first to pick up on it, as she paused and gripped Yvette’s shoulder.

‘Hey, ‘Vette…’ she began, sending another telepathic message. ‘You get the feeling someone’s stalking us?’

Yvette reached for her holster, ready to arm herself. Just in case. Ivy was likewise reaching for the sheath on her back.

“I don’t know who you are, but if you wanna live to see your next birthday, you sure as hell better show yourself. Now!” she called.

There was a pause, and then their pursuer stepped out of hiding. His dark brown hair was laced with strands of gray, and there were a few wrinkles beneath the man’s turquoise eyes.

“You two…your last name is Sangre, correct?” he asked.

The twins stepped closer together, staring him down.

“Yeah…and what business is it of yours?” Ivy demanded, hand still ready to draw her sword if provoked.

The man bowed his head somewhat.

“Well…I imagine you’d like to know a few things about your past, right?”

Okay…

Just who in the fuck was this, and what did he know about their history? How would he even know that they would have questions about that in the first place?

“What would you say if we said no to that?” Yvette asked.

“Yeah, we’re kinda in a hurry here, dude. So you might wanna get the hell outta our way,” said Ivy, voice firm.

“Please, just hear me out…”

The twins looked to each other, trying to decide if they should, in fact, listen to whatever this guy had to say or just push past him and get to work. Yvette was a bit more in favor of listening than her sister, of course., and Ivy could sense that.

“Make it quick,” the psychic sighed.

He brushed back a bit of his hair, noticing that Ivy was watching him suspiciously. But he didn’t point that out. Instead, he cleared his throat.

“Well, I know your parents, first off. Jasper and Pamela Sangre. And I know they both loved you very much.”

The twins exchanged looks again.

“You believe this guy, ‘Vette?”

“I’m…I’m not sure, to be honest. But let him keep going.”

She grumbled, but looked at the stranger.

“Continue.”

“Your mother was a beautiful woman. You both look so much like her. But she wasn’t perfect…”

Ivy rolled her eyes. This sounded like the kind of shit anyone might say about this. Was this guy looking for money? Or did he want to hire them?

Or was he some kind of deranged organ harvester, looking to give them a false sense of security? Honestly, with their lives, any of that was possible.

“Don’t tell me…” said Ivy, smirking slightly. “She wasn’t perfect because she had too much love to give to just her children. So she had to give them up to spread that love to the fuckin’ world, right?”

He bristled under that comment, wondering if he should continue.

“That’s…that’s not it. See, she had an addiction. She’d gotten really into heroin, you see. But none of it was free, of course. She needed to get some money together for it somehow. And so, she’d sold the most valuable thing she had…”

“…Wait one goddamn minute here,” Ivy replied. “If we really meant THAT fucking much to her, she wouldn’t have sold us in the first place…”

Her tone was even, but her entire body was shaking. Yvette was struggling to keep her composure, continually glancing to her sister.

“I-Ivy…you can read his mind, right? Is he lying? Please tell me he’s lying…”

Ivy just began to shake even more. Her one exposed eye was twitching, and she had started laughing. However, it wasn’t a genuine, joyful laugh, and she was very close to drawing her sword.

“Ivy, PLEASE tell me he’s lying…” Yvette repeated.

“He’s not,” she replied. “Are you, Jasper?”

The man shook his head. “No, I’m not. And I’m sorry.”

Yvette reached up to wipe a few tears from her eyes, trying to wrap her head around it. How could this happen? Their mother’s terrible decision had led to their childhood in that lab. She was indirectly responsible for the murders of 20 scientists…

“Where…where is our mother now?” Yvette asked, a clear tremor to her voice.

Jasper went silent for a moment, before he answered that one.

“Well…she managed to get clean a few years ago. Hasn’t gone back to it. But ultimately, she’s passed.”

“When?!” Yvette demanded.

“Last month. Complications with pneumonia.”

Ivy spoke up again. “So, I got a question… Where in the FUCK were you?!”

Jasper cleared his throat again. “Well, I was looking for the two of you over the span of years, and—“

“Where were you when she made the choice in the first place, Jasper? Why didn’t you try to stop her?!”

“She did it while I was at work. I’d tried to be patient with her habits for most of our marriage, but that? That was the last straw. We divorced after that, and I had tried to get some idea of where she’d sold you two. But anytime I tried checking a lab’s records, they were locked and I was unable to get anything of value until after a good twenty years. And by that point, I couldn’t figure out where to start searching. I’m sorry.”

And with that, the mirthless, bitter laughter returned.

“…So, you did nothing to stop her, and just think I’m gonna take some apology you pulled outta your ass? Do you have ANY idea what I went through in that lab?!”

She pulled up her bangs, showing a small scar on her forehead.

“I know, it ain’t that big. Probably doesn’t look like much at all. But that? That’s where they implanted a power inhibiter when I was about 12. Do you know why it was there?”

Jasper was silent, certain that any word he said might have dug him a bit further in the hole.

“The scientists at that lab kept pushing me, and pushing me, and trying to see just how strong my powers were. They insulted me and didn’t even give a fuck that I could hear them. They subjected me to tests that no kid should ever have to put up with. And then I fucking snapped. I snapped mentally, snapped the restraints, and snapped the necks of those assholes that couldn’t leave well enough alone. They wanted to execute me over that! And then you come out of nowhere, all ‘Hey. I’ve been stalking you. Wanna hear about your past? Yeah, I was complicit, but I’m sorry, and a hug is gonna make it all better! No hard feelings?’ and expect me to go with that?!”

Jasper winced at that particular tirade, and then looked at Yvette.

“Well…I forgive you,” she said.

Ivy rolled her eyes. That was easy for Yvette to say, sure. They didn’t do much of anything to her at the lab. No, Yvette had a cushier existence there than she had, and she couldn’t really help but feel a bit envious over it.

“I…I had no idea you went through all of th—“

“Again, don’t try and act all concerned now! Now, if you value your life, Jasper, you’ll get the fuck out of our way. See, before you got in our way, we were on the way to deal with a family emergency. Just that in and of itself makes me want to punch you in the balls. But finding out that you did nothing to keep your junkie bitch of a wife from pawning us off to a life of unwanted experiments? The fact that I’m not takin’ you out right here and now is a miracle. You can thank Yvette for that one.”

Jasper tried to give a further explanation, but as he opened his mouth, a tendril of telekinetic energy wrapped around him and hurled him into a wall.

With that, Ivy stormed out of the alley, with Yvette in tow.

“Hey!” Yvette called. “Was that really…well, right?” she asked.

“I didn’t kill him. He should be thankful for that,” Ivy replied, her tone colder than ice.

Yvette flinched, soon putting a hand on her sister’s shoulder.

“How about you? Are you okay?” she asked.

“Hm. I don’t want to think about it for now, alright?” the psychic replied. “Let’s just get a move-on.”

They continued their walk, Ivy’s mood improving steadily as the distance between them and Jasper grew. And as Ivy’s mood evened out, she scanned for the guys’ presence.

“Okay, they’re in the woods. This way!”

And so, they charged along, pausing when they saw the large orange dragon trying to kill their friends. Ivy drew her sword, Yvette stepping back to give her this one.

She could tell her sister wanted to take out a bit of rage.

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