|Vivian, the New Villain
Author: fleurily PM
Another original character story. How did you guess----?Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Humor/Romance - Words: 3,201 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 2 - Published: 12-09-04 - id: 2165692
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Vivian flipped her brilliant red hair over her shoulder, discreetly checking to see if she had been followed to the auditorium. Certain that the coast was clear, she jumped up and clambered onto the ladder leading to the catwalk above. The armband on her right arm pinched uncomfortably as she pulled the ladder up behind her, and she rubbed her arm with her hand. As soon as she reached the solid floor of the catwalk, she pulled off her baggy sweatshirt and tied it around her waist. A red tank top with fraying sleeves and hem showed of the gold snake shaped armband curling gracefully around her tan bicep. As she stretched her arms above her head, a yawn snuck past her defenses. Shaking her head, she began to walk down the catwalk.
Cla-klang! Vivian whirled around to see the source of the noise, but she saw nothing. Laughing nervously, she turned away and continued to walk away. How stupid! She was just imagining it.
Vivian halted. In front of her, partially hidden by shadows, stood a boy with red hair and a black coat. Beside his head floated- a face? As this registered in her mind, something hit her from behind. Vivian sprawled face first onto the floor, barely managing to stops rolling into thin air. A sharp kick to her ribs rolled her onto her back, staring up at a girl dressed like a cat. Razor sharp claws tipped her gloves, and Vivian panicked as the girl reached for her throat. Blind instinct took over, and Vivian kicked out. The girl jumped to the side, but came too close to Vivian's head. In an instant she had sunk her teeth into the girl's ankle. Startled, the girl yelped before dropping like a stone.
Vivian stood, waiting for the girl to attack again. She was caught off guard when an arm wrapped around her neck. Jack Spicer pressed a cloth soaked with chloroform over her nose and mouth and began to count the seconds.
Five. Vivian pulled at the arm around her neck, trying to get loose. She held her breath, wary not to inhale.
Four. White knuckled hands gripped Jack's arm tightly. Vivian kicked and flailed as her lungs began to ache for air.
Three. Inhaling minutely, Vivian prepared to cry for help. Jack grimaced as her nails dug into his arm.
Two. Vivian screamed, using every bit of strength left in her body. The air left in her lungs drained into the cry for help. Jack's hand and the cloth over her mouth muffled the shout to the volume of an undertone.
One. A final, weak struggle from Vivian betrayed her exhaustion. She kicked feebly, barely strong enough to move her legs. Her vision clouded as she inhaled deeply, and her grip on Jack's arm weakened. Tears of frustration welled from her eyes, and as Jack lowered her to her knees Vivian grabbed his arm. Her eyes pleaded desperately with him. Her deep emerald gaze startled Jack. As the chloroform numbed her senses, Vivian slumped against him. Her eyes fluttered shut as she succumbed to the effects of the chloroform.
Jack lowered the girl to the catwalk floor, rubbing his arm where her nails had dug in. The spirit floated next to him, nagging.
"You shouldn't have let her bite Catnappé, especially if she was wearing the armband! Are there any more competent humans in this century than you?"
Jack sneered disgustedly at her. "Woman, is anything ever good enough for you? I got the girl, I got the Shen Gong Wu, and the girl got rid of Catnappé. What else do you want?"
"First make sure that the girl is who we need. And Catnappé is not going to be left here."
"No one suggested that she be left here. I was thinking a ditch on the side of a rarely used road."
"Catnappé will go to a hospital, and you will take the girl back to your basement."
"Jack! You are going to take the girl back to the lab whether you like it or not!"
Jack sulkily picked the girl up, resting her head on his shoulder and draping her arm over his shoulder.
As he was walking away he stopped, unnerved. The girl's canine teeth were sharp and mildly transparent, showing a little black venom left after her encounter with Catnappé. Shaking off his disorientation, Jack slid down the ladder and disappeared into the shadows of the auditorium.
Vivian came to in a shadowed room some hours later, lying on a cot in a corner. Machinery and scientific materials lay everywhere, and as she rolled off the cot and stood she noticed the boy who had drugged her earlier hunched over a workbench. She padded over and sat across from him, sliding a wrench and several pieces of equipment toward herself. The boy didn't even look up until she was almost finished constructing. He reached out as if to stop her, but paused to watch her. Vivian made a final adjustment before switching on her creation. A small figure shaped like a girl stood and danced, mechanically graceful and balanced. The boy reached out to touch it, but Vivian grabbed his wrist. The doll crouched and sprang, curling into a ball. An acid gel coated the sphere, hissing and devouring the surrounding steel. No evidence was left of the little robot but a hissing stain on the workbench. Vivian smiled and looked at the boy's dumbstruck expression.
"Vivian L'Strange, no relation to Emily." The boy laughed. "You actually got it."
"Jack Spicer, genius. By the way, nice shirt." Vivian blushed and smiled; they were wearing the same shirt, except Jack's had a dragon while Vivian's had a cobra.
"So this basement: is it a secret lab or what?"
"Find it suspicious?"
"No, actually I've always wanted a place like this. My high IQ causes many problems in the public school system, so they won't let me into the computer lab."
"'Problems' such as?"
"Hacking into the government files via internet. It wasn't even a big deal, just some financial- stuff."
Jack laughed, leaning back in his chair. "You stole cash from the government! That's great!"
Vivian sat on the edge of the table, facing Jack. "So what's the game? Drugging and kidnapping of civilians, secret laboratory in the basement, something must be up."
Jack stood, leaning closer to Vivian and lowering his voice. "World domination is only one game we play here, Vivian."
Vivian softly replied, "World domination is only one game I play, Spicer. There are so many I do it's hard to keep track."
Gingerly the two kissed, barely realizing what was going on until it happened. Vivian wrapped a hand in Jack's hair while resting the other on his shoulder. Jack wrapped an arm around her waist and pressed his hand between her shoulder blades. The two were so entangled when the spirit entered, accompanied by Catnappé. Caught off guard by the scene, the intruders were silent for a long moment before the spirit cleared her throat.
"Ah-hem." Jack jumped back and sat in his chair, red faced. Vivian brushed a hair from her face and grinned. Catnappé sneered at them, and the spirit looked between the two.
"So," the spirit ventured. "I suppose it's safe to assume that she's with us."
"If he kisses like that all the time, it's a sure thing." Vivian quipped.
Jack, still blushing, nodded. "I think that she's the perfect addition to the team."
"For flirting, if not much else." Catnappé murmured. "Have a go, little snake. I'm sure that soon enough expectations will rise." The girl haughtily left, leaving a disgusted Vivian and Jack behind. The spirit floated in front of Vivian's face.
"That armband you have gives you the characteristics of a snake. What we do is collect the Shen Gong Wu, items that bestow power upon their bearer. When you and another reach a Shen Gong Wu at the same time, one of you will challenge the other to a Xiao Lin Showdown. A showdown is a competition, and whoever wins receives all Shen Gong Wu in the possession of the loser."
"Are you making these names up or what?" Vivian asked.
"Exactly! See, I'm not the only one!" Jack threw his arms up.
The spirit, annoyed, turned to Jack. "I'm not surprised. The two of you think alike, and seem to get along very well together. At least, that was what I gathered from the little scene of cuddle buddies." Jack blushed again, crossing his arms. Vivian stood, walking over to Jack.
"Well since I am currently up for a new foster home, I could be a wonderful addition to the Spicer clan. That is where I need a little ghostly influence. A few papers, a record swipe to encourage along this little family affair. You up for it, Jack?" He nodded.
Suddenly the spirit stopped. "I sense a new Shen Gong Wu!"
Vivian turned to Jack. "Does she do this a lot?"
"It is the Dagger of Redemption! Vivian, Jack! Go to Alaska and get it!"
Jack handed Vivian a jacket before putting his own on. Vivian stared in disbelief at the spirit.
"Alaska? So we're going to freeze our butts off on the off chance that we might get the Shen Gong Wu?"
"If we get there first then it isn't an issue. C'mon, let's go." Vivian followed Jack out of the basement, glaring at Catnappé.
"Jump now!" Jack and Vivian jumped out of the helicopter, landing on the hard crust of snow with little noise. The two scanned the horizon, searching for any sign of their objective. Vivian had her hair pulled back into a ponytail, and she was wearing a long coat similar to Jack's. Her boots were high heeled and buckled, and her pants hugged her slim waist and thighs before widening into flares. A hand on her shoulder turned her attention to Jack, who pointed to a mass of ice in the distance. As the two trekked over the harsh terrain, a relentless sheet of snow began to beat down. Reaching their goal was only a short-lived victory; how were they to find the Dagger?
Vivian pulled a lighter from her pocket, clicking it repetitively to get the flame. Jack stared.
"Do you- is that for what I think it is?"
Vivian laughed, holding it up to illuminate the cavern. "No, I don't smoke. I'm a bit of a pyromaniac, just candles and paper clips."
"Yeah, those plastic covered suckers go up like that. What are really fun are flame rafts, when you pile newspapers on something that floats and spray it with hairspray. Then you just set them on the water and chuck a match on it. Talk about a light show! Hey, look at this." The focus of her attention was the tip of a dagger hilt, sticking out of the ceiling of ice.
Jack groaned. "How are we going to get that?"
Vivian smirked, pulling a pair of crampons and a spray bottle out of her coat. Attaching the crampons to her boots, she climbed the wall nearest to the dagger. Extending her arm to its full extent, she grabbed the handle of the weapon and swung out, dangling from the ceiling. With one hand she sprayed the contents of the bottle onto the lower half of her jeans before swinging up and pressing them to the ice above. After a moment she let go of the dagger and smiled down at Jack, firmly attached to the ceiling by her jeans.
"Silly Jack, Tricks are for chicks." He laughed in reply as Vivian pulled out her lighter and began to melt the ice surrounding the dagger. The ice melted quickly, but ran down to create an icy stalactite on the hilt of the weapon. Every so often Vivian chipped away at it, dropping shards of ice to the floor below. Finally, the dagger came loose. She held it out to Jack, but as it was about to leave her fingers a small girl with black hair snatched it. Vivian held on until the sheath slipped off into the girl's hand. With a yelp, Vivian crashed from the ceiling. Jack flinched as she face planted into the snow.
"C'mon, we have the dagger."
"We need the sheath!"
"That's cheap! I should get it. Do you know how long it took to get that thing out of there?" The last sentence was directed at the girl.
"New sidekick, Spicer? Not exactly top notch material."
"Shut up, Kimiko." Jack snarled.
Vivian growled, stepping forward. "Top notch material? At least I actually stand above four foot, Munchkin."
"Munchkin? Who do you think you are, Priss? My father-"
Vivian cut her off. "I'm not the priss, Munchkin. And that's Vivian to you."
Kimiko shoved Vivian, and Vivian pushed back, hard enough to send her sprawling to the ice. Observing the scene stood Jack and Ramundo.
"Catfight!" Ramundo declared. Jack nodded.
Kimiko stood, snarling at Vivian, "Fine! Let's take this up a notch. I challenge you to a Xiao Lin Showdown!"
"Name your game, Munchkin!"
"A competition of skill, an obstacle course of sorts across the glacier. Whoever reaches the dagger first wins." Kimiko put out a hand.
"Got it." Vivian grasped Kimiko's hand and shook.
The ground beneath their feet buckled, and Vivian jumped back to keep her balance. As she adjusted the gloves on her hands Kimiko stretched. The armband seemed to hum expectantly on Vivian's arm, and she smirked as adrenaline pumped through her veins. Winning was the only option, she thought as she raced up the glacier.
Kimiko was ahead by one obstacle, and as Vivian scaled a wall she cursed the cold over the chattering of her teeth. The next obstacle was a series of tunnels, ranging in size from a foot to six feet. The large ones were past a series of spikes and pits, which Kimiko was attempting to traverse. Vivian rubbed the armband and closed her eyes, the next moment finding herself serpentine and tiny, able to fit through the smallest of the tunnels with ease. She reached the other side and returned to human form, sizing up the next obstacle. A large axe swung back and forth over a bridge made of ice. Vivian slid toward it, but instead of going under she did a back handspring over the blade. Ahead she could see the Dagger on a pedestal of ice, glowing radiant gold. Kimiko was behind her, and as Vivian placed her hand on the Dagger a deep sense of triumph filled her. Jack ran up to her and picked her up, swinging her around. She laughed and hugged him, jumping up and down with excitement.
"I did it! I did it! I got the Shen Gong Wu!"
Jack laughed at her frolicking, pointing toward the horizon. Night had fallen while she had competed, and green lights flashed and waved in the sky.
Vivian gasped in wonder as she saw the phenomenon. She knew the explanation for the Aurora Borealis, but the sight was a different matter altogether.
"Look, Jack. They're dancing. Oh, how amazingly magnificent!"
As the helicopter came behind them, Jack leaned down and put his mouth close to Vivian's ear. "They're dancing just for you, Vivian. Just for you." She smiled as they climbed into the helicopter and sat down next to each other. Exhausted, Vivian leaned her head against Jack's shoulder. He put an arm around her and helped her lay down with her head in his lap. As she closed her eyes, Jack covered her with his coat. With one hand on Vivian's shoulder and the other on her hair, Jack dozed off above the Arctic tundra.
Vivian walked up the sidewalk to the menacing Foster Care center, which in Vivian's opinion was a rewording on "Orphanage Based on Hitler's Prison Camps Inducing Hard Labor Upon The Innocent." Most simply put as the Hitler Home. The door opened with a slam, and a stout woman stormed out, waving her arms.
"Where have you been all night you foolish girl! No wonder you were sent back from your last foster home, you mischievous-" She grabbed Vivian's arm and pulled her inside and up the stairs. "Who knows what you've been doing out there! Go to bed, and don't stay up talking. No reading, either." With a sigh, Vivian dragged herself down the hall and into her room. As she flipped on the light, horror filled her chest in unspeakable rage. Every shelf, every book, was gone, leaving only a bed with a lamp in the once library like atmosphere. Biting back a shriek of rage, she slid off the borrowed jacket, kicked off her shoes, and slipped into the cold bed. Years ago she would have cried herself to sleep, but all tears were gone now from her heart. All she could feel was a burning hatred in her heart before a sleepy image of Jack slid into her mind, and she could feel a hand on her shoulder as sleep enveloped her.
Three nights later, at four in the morning, a loud knock on the door to her room woke Vivian from a dream that had something to do with Michelangelo's architecture. Groaning, she rolled off the bed onto the floor before standing up.
"This better be good, I was almost to the part about Galileo's theory-" Opening the door, she almost fell back with shock. Standing there was Jack Spicer and his parents, along with the matron. Vivian regarded them with a blank expression before flipping on the light. "Let me brush my hair."
Minutes later the Spicers sat across from Vivian. Jack looked disgruntled, like he had been in a car for a long time.
"So, Vivian. Your file shows that you have an impressive IQ, and you have applied your skills to areas such as literature-"
"I like to read the translated scripts, like the Book of the Dead. Ancient Egypt is cool to read about, but I'm good at chemistry and quantum physics."
"Oh, Jack! She's like you." Jack's mother exclaimed. Jack's eyes were glazed over, and his mouth hung open. Vivian, nonplussed, took the act to the top.
"What I love most Mr. Spicer is archaeology and ancient civilizations." The man's eyes lit up and he grabbed the documents on the table.
"We'll have her!"
Nice to be bought.
As Vivian was about to leave, she turned to the matron. "I want all my books back now. Some of those were signed editions, and I know how many there were."
"This woman took your things?" Mrs. Spicer asked.
"Yes. Quite a few of them, in fact. I have a list.