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TEEN: [Non-Pokemon] Whispers and Mirages

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This is idea I had on a whim, so how close this comes to getting done before I get distracted with something else is... probably up in the air, but I figure I might as well share what I do write somewhere.

Summary: The villain Lucy Choi and hero Nadia Gallo work together to solve a mystery impacting both of them.
(I'll probably revise that at some point.)

CW: Language, some violence. More to be added as the story progresses probably.

Table of Contents:
Chapter 1
 
Chapter 1
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Chapter 1​
Lucy stepped quietly through the back entrance of the pawn shop. At least, she was sure it was quiet to anyone else, but in her ears, the sound of her shoes on the floor echoed loudly in her ears. But it was quieter than the typing of the cash register that she heard through a couple walls, so more likely than not, nobody else could hear her.
Lucy took out her phone from her vest’s inside pocket, checking her assignment one more time. ‘Petty theft and minor vandalism’. Her assignments were never anything worthwhile, but technically speaking, this was more interesting than her last one. ‘Pull the fire alarm in the movie theatre’, her ass. She did what she was told, but she didn’t have the vaguest clue why.

Lucy put her phone away and tiptoed into the main room. The first thing she noticed was Nadia– no, Miss Mirage, they were in mask– standing in the doorway. Miss Mirage was in her partially translucent state, but with her neon pink and green costume, that hardly mattered. The Heroes Association really needed to consider its costumes better. Giving a superhero with partial invisibility a costume that didn’t blend in anywhere would’ve been like if the VL had given Lucy earplugs as part of her costume.

Miss Mirage was looking out the front door, which meant she wouldn’t notice Lucy if she could get to the cash register while the shop owner–
Lucy heard a gust of wind from outside. It was followed by a weird buzzing sound, the one she’d come to associate with telekinesis, and that everyone said she was crazy when she described. Shit. Lucy ran past the the cashier, then backpedaled. She quickly knocked the register onto the floor and grabbed a small handful of bills from it. Miss Mirage turned around, having heard the cash register crash to the ground.

“Lu– Lady Whispers,” Miss Mirage said. “You’re late.” Lucy laughed, then paused. Wasn’t the HA normally reactive? How the hell did Nadia know where she’d be?

She shook the thought from her head. “There’s something going on out there,” Lucy said. “We should check it out. Nadia raised an eyebrow; she must not have seen anything. Maybe it was on another street? Lucy sighed and ran past Nadia, knocking her into the doorframe and probably breaking her focus. She would probably be completely opaque now, but Lucy didn’t look back to check. She did hear Nadia’s footsteps behind her, though, probably chasing after her.

Lucy followed the sounds of the wind and the telekinetic buzzing, stopping at a nearby crossroads. In the air there was a hero and villain. Captain Crackle and The Burning Baron. They were were some of the highest ranked supers around, with full face masks and voice modulators and multiple powers each.
The Burning Baron threw a barrage of fireballs at Crackle, which he stopped in front of him and swirled back at Baron. Baron dodged out of the way, propelling himself through the air. Crackle’s fingers light up with lightning, preparing to launch, and Baron wasn’t looking.

“Baron, watch out!” Lucy shouted. The Baron looked at Lucy for a moment, then back at Crackle. Baron waved a hand, and the smoke from the lightning swirled around Crackle’s eyes, allowing Baron to move out of the way.

Nadia elbowed Lucy’s arm. “You don’t really wanna be seen helping the villains in public, do you Luce?” she whispered. Lucy crossed her arms, then gestured at the Villains’ League logo on her costume. “Oh, right…” Nadia said, adjusting her own mask.
Lucy’s shout had attracted some of the crowd’s attention, and they were looking at her and Nadia. Some shouts came from various places, “What are you doing, hero?!”, “Go help the captain!!”, “Get in there!”, and similar requests. Nobody acknowledged Lucy, though.

“What are they saying?” Nadia whispered.

“They want you to go help Crackle,” Lucy answered. Nadia let out a sigh, then shoved through the crowd.

Nadia stood in front of the crowd and looked around a moment, probably realizing she had no idea what to do. Lucy quietly slipped out the back of the crowd and into a nearby alleyway, hoping to get a better view. By the time she look back at the fight, Nadia was hanging from The Burning Baron’s leg. For just a moment, though, as the fire flared up, forcing her to let go. Crackle took the opportunity of the Baron being distracted and launched another bolt of lightning at the Baron. This one hit.

Lucy grabbed a few rocks off the ground and tossed them at Crackle, staying hidden in the alleyway. It wasn’t much, but it distracted him long enough that the Baron could get into the air and leave. He’d be headed to VL headquarters.

Crackle landed on the ground and the crowd rushed over, shoving Nadia out of the way. Several took out cell phones and snapped pictures, while other begged him for autographs. “One at a time, one at a time,” Crackle said to them.

Nadia joined Lucy over in the alleyway, watching the chaos unfold.

“This is lame,” Lucy commented, crossing her arms and leaning against the wall. “Civs are way too easy, he didn’t even really win.”

“The Captain’s the most popular hero around,” Nadia argued. “And he basically did win. I mean, he chased The Burning Baron away, and nobody got hurt.”

Lucy sighed. “Except the Baron,” Lucy pointed out.

“Who cares about the Burning Baron?” Nadia said. “He’s just some villain.”

I’m just some villain,” Lucy corrected. “The Baron’s one of the top villains.” Lucy paused. “Speaking of ‘just some villain’, aren’t you supposed to be arresting me, Miss Mirage? I assume that’s what you were sent to do.”

Nadia shrugged. “I’ll tell the HA you got away in the chaos of the Captain fighting The Burning Baron. But you owe me one, Whispers.”

“I owe you like a dozen already,” Lucy said with a chuckle. “Call me if you need help with anything that’s not Calculus.”

“College is hell,” Nadia laughed. “Can’t wait for it be over.” Lucy nodded, and pulled herself onto the nearby fire escape, waving to Nadia.

Lucy followed the rooftops towards the college dorms. Nadia sure was something; Lucy was sure none of the other villains she knew had a relationship with their heroes like hers. Most would be shocked to hear her assigned hero knew her secret identity. Even moreso if they heard she knew Nadia’s and hadn’t killed her yet.
Lucy slid through her dorm room window. She went over to the fullbody mirror in the corner, examining how torn today’s battle had gotten her costume. Lucy spotted a small tear on her left calf, but it was hardly a big deal. It wouldn’t take very long for her to fix. Later though. She had homework to do.

She slipped off her mask and slid it into her nightstand’s drawer, then pulled some sweatpants and a hoodie on over her costume. Hiding her costume in her dorm was totally unnecessary, technically speaking. The VL covered her education through a shell company, and they were able to make sure the villains who’s tuition they covered were only in dorms with each other.

“Hey, Charlotte!” Lucy called out, stepping out of her room and into the common room. “I’ve got biology to do, can you help me out?”
Charlotte didn’t answer, so Lucy went over to her room and knocked. The door quietly creaked open, but nobody was there. That was… weird. Lucy had asked this morning, and the VL hadn’t given Charlotte an assignment for today.

Lucy flicked on the light. All the drawers of the dresser were hanging open, empty. The bedding was gone, the shelves were barren. The floor was spotless. It was as if Charlotte had never been there at all.

What in the hell? “Mina! Ren!” Lucy called out. “You two might wanna come look at this!” They didn’t respond either, and when Lucy knocked on their doors, she found basically the same thing. Empty rooms, that looked like nobody had ever lived in them.

Lucy took out her phone and dialed the VL. The phone rang for a moment.

“This is Enigma Enterprises helpline, who’s calling?” the receiver said.

“Lucy Choi,” Lucy said.

“How can I help you Ms. Choi?”

“Apex Legacy.”

Click. What the hell. Where was the ‘just a moment, Ms. Choi’, the ten minutes of sinister hold music, the ‘you have been redirected to the VL HQ’? Did she miss a code change? Lucy opened her phone’s calendar– no, it had only been a week, it should still be Apex Legacy.

Something was definitely wrong.
 
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