“That’s not going to work you know?” Cookie said through the shop’s speakers. Her slightly artificial voice echoing off the dozens of armored suits lining the walls.
“Oh! Well by all means then, please show this humble genius how you would do it wise-byte!” a petite woman in overalls shot sarcastically at the ominous voice in the ceiling. Her brown eyes hidden behind a set of thick goggles, which currently displayed an augmented reality projection of her latest project.
“I would but I don’t have any arms ‘Genius’” spat Cookie from overhead. “What happened to building me a body?”
“I did build you one, it’s not my fault you won’t use it.” the petite woman countered with a shrug before returning back to her project.
“That rolling garbage can? Dar, that’s not a body, that’s your twisted sense of humour’s idea of a joke!” complained the voice.
“Hey!” Dar said pointing a screwdriver at the nearest camera, “R2D2 is a classical piece of sci-fi memorabilia, and I have a few more demanding projects than giving you a physical form to annoy me with.” She returned her focus to the arm piece she was working on and finished the final adjustments to a complex looking glass lens set up.
“Great, another suit of armor to go with your fifty other suits of armor!” Cookie said flashing the lights of the shop on and off in a tantrum.
Dar just lifted up the arm and positioned it pointing towards a slab of black opaque metal. “Yeah well watch this!” she put her hand towards the armour gauntlet she had just positioned. With a minor exertion her arm glowed a soft red and then gauntlet sprang to life. It fired a multi-coloured laser across the short distance to the slab of metal where it quickly began pulling it’s target apart as the metal evaporated away. “It works! Take that you silicone brained ….” Dar’s insult was cut short as a small bolt of blue lightning arced from the gauntlet to the desk and the laser fizzled out.
“See! I told you it wouldn’t work.” Cookie said triumphantly, “You forgot to calibrate the power regulator before you turned it on.”
“I wouldn’t have forgotten if you hadn’t distracted me.” Dar growled “And I don’t think you should talk right now missy, if you hadn’t distracted me then…”
“Shhh, look we’re on the news again!” Cookie interrupted as a holographic display appeared on the wall.
The artificially blonde newscaster grinned a fake smile at the camera as she said, “A local cryogenic research lab was attacked today by soldiers bearing the insignia of famed supervillain Illustrious who’s exact motives are currently unknown.” A photo of the armored mercenary wearing the supervillain’s sparkling glint insignia flashed on the screen. “The criminal organization headed by Illustrious has been quiet as of late and experts question this sudden re-emergence into the spotlight.”
The camera shifted to a man with dark skin and dark, meticulously styled, hair. “Fortunately, the supposed heist was interrupted by our very own Ray who had no trouble fouling their nefarious activities. Let’s watch shall we.”
The screen switched to a camera feed of a large armoured individual on the back of a motorbike came crashing through the glass front doors and sending two would be mercenaries guarding them sliding across the floor like bowling balls.
“Freeze scumbags!” a voice from the bike said. The armoured figure rolled their eyes so hard it was obvious even behind the full helmet.
They tapped at a small keyboard on their arm and speaker said, “Cookie, please refrain from antagonizing the opponents.”
Then standing to her full height the hero known as Ray raised her armored arms and played a booming pre-recorded message. “You have been suspected of criminal activity, surrender now and you will not be harmed. Should you choose to continue your current illegal activities I am authorized to use aggressive force to apprehend you. You have ten seconds to comply” As the message finished a variety of laser-based weapons extended from her arms and shoulders and began targeting every mercenary within range. A small holographic timer also appeared over her head counting down from ten.
Over sixty percent of them chose to lay down their weapons and put their hands on their heads. These were the more experienced soldiers based on their rank insignias. Some of the less experienced ones who hadn’t seen their superiors surrender lifted weapons and fired. A barrage of projectiles bounced harmlessly off the armour as the timer continued counting down.
The gunfire ceased as the timer reached zero and a variety of different coloured light beams sprang forth, vaporizing the ceiling and walls in places, and causing rubble to fall in a calculated pattern to trap those who hadn’t relinquished their weapons. Other beams blinded the enemy by hitting them square in the eye. But it was the dark blue beams which caused another five people to drop their weapons. As the blue weapons hit their compatriots the air began to freeze around them sealing them in a cold shell as the water in the air solidified.
“For those of you who surrendered, please make your way outside now keeping your hands on your heads” boomed another gender-neutral message from Ray’s armour. As one mercenary passed by, they drew a strange gun from their belt and went to fire it at point blank range. But as they pulled the trigger, nothing happened.
“What the heck?” the man said staring and repeatedly trying the trigger again. “What did you do?”
Behind her face visor, one could make out two pale red glowing irises. She reached up and typed on her arm again. “I regret to inform you that your weapon will no longer function. I control the technology here and I don’t appreciate your attempt on my life. Especially such an ill informed one at that.”
The man stood stunned until one of the more experience mercenaries behind him shoved him forward. It was at this time the man noticed several of his senior coworkers were snickering at him as they made their way towards the door. The man finally understood why they had surrendered and put his hands back on his head while marching towards the door. The man behind him who had shoved some sense into his dumber subordinate gave Ray a respectful nod as he followed the man out the door into the hands of the waiting police officers.
“Have to admit that he makes the hero job look easy wouldn’t you say Victoria?” the male reporter said before the screen shut off.
“So, the public still thinks you’re male huh?” Cookie chided, “Not going to correct them on that are you?”
“Why would I? The only people who need to know the truth, at least the fabricated one, are the authorities who deal with civil hero relations.” Dar shrugged as she went back to work on the clearly masculine looking suit of armour she was working on.
“I think the whole gender thing is just a big joke anyway. I mean what does the hormonal chemicals of your brain have to do with…” Cookie was interrupted by some notification in her system.
“What is it Cookie? Timmy fall down a well again?” Dar teased.
“Har, har.” Cookie replied sarcastically, “Aeon Cinder just sent you a message. It’s marked level five security. Would you like me to display it?”
Dar’s eyes went wide, “Yes, secure the shop and send it to my personal device only, then lock down all connections until I reactivate.”
The shop went dark as the notification appeared on her wrist computer. She opened the message and her eyes glowed red as she took full control of her computer to have it run a decryption program that would have normally slagged it’s processor in nanoseconds. It was short and simple.
‘Dar, I’ve found them. Both of them. Things are complicated though. MEET NOW!’
Dar deleted the message and purged the last five minutes of memory from all local systems before reactivating them. “Cookie, get the bike ready. Our AC has a lead on our real mission.”
“Ugh, I have a splitting processor.” whined Cookie, “What did you do to me?”
“Level five! Bike! Now!” commanded Dar as she donned the one suit of armour she hadn’t built entirely herself. This was a dark blue and yellow one that molded around her like liquid before solidifying into a near indestructible polymer. With a minor exertion of her power the computer on her wrist merged with the much more feminine modeled armour as bike rolled up.
“You know if you learned to drive, you wouldn’t need me to chauffeur you around so much.” Cookie suggested.
“Not now, and you know I’m afraid of driving since the accident. Now let’s go!” Dar yelled as they tore out the garage door. She honestly wasn’t sure when they would be back but it didn’t really matter to her. The shop was fun but compared to what she was used to, all those advanced suits of armour were nothing but toys.
Dedicated to my friend Darlyn who has helped me by reading and criticizing the schlop that I call writing.