-Still not convinced-
"Would you rather take a hit to your pride, or have your identity revealed?" Asked Lisa.
-You get away with a domino mask-
"Yes, but I take steps to change my appearance and body language, and we need to work twice as hard with your silence."
-But do we really need to do this?-
"Yes, trust me. You'll thank me in the long run. Besides, the vest already flattens out your chest."
I sighed and caved into the unwinnable argument. As much as it hurt my pride, it worked surprisingly well. With the baggy pants, sensible running shoes the bullet proof vest underneath the roomy black and white striped shirt and my hair hidden under the red beret, I looked like a boy. My height and the concealment of my meagre feminine traits added together to give the completely wrong impression for my gender and the mask just made it all the more convincing. That stupid male mime face. But really, what did I expect when I named myself after the most famous of mimes. At least I could take small comfort in knowing it was an extra layer of disguise that most wouldn't notice.
In addition to getting my costume sorted, I had obtained a stun gun and stashed it in a belt pouch. A 'just in case' option, even though my power would likely work much more effectively. I had the boss send me a bicycle horn, to use as a quick way to grab attention. While I could have found something less obnoxious, it fit the theme too well.
-Well, let's get going then.-
We made out way to the side door of the bank, rain drizzling down on us as we walked through the alley. Bitch's dogs were already pretty large, like small mutant flesh ponies. Not as large as they were when they were mauling Lung though, lest they not fit through the door.
I kept an eye on the alley entrance, while Tattletale blathered on about security codes and special procedures behind me. I probably could have been paying more attention to what she said, but I was too amped up and paranoid about ambush. The door made a little chime noise and opened, letting us make a quiet entry inside. Once through the door, the dogs started growing more while the rest of us systematically checked the rooms we passed.
Grue held up a hand then flooded one of the rooms with darkness, returning shortly after with a man in a suit, steered via twisted arm. Right about now, the security guards would be calling in a villain attack, which should be directed to the Wards if all went according to plan. Regent came out of another pushing an older employee ahead of him. Both looking fearful. Probably ten minutes tops before the heroes arrived to 'save the day'.
As we entered the main lobby, Grue filled the outskirts of the room with darkness, sealing off the view from the outside and isolating everyone in the bank while Angelica Judas and Brutus grew extra large in a moment, charging into the room, spraying bloody chunks everywhere and they increased to the size of cars.
"Down on the ground!" Shouted Grue, his voice a booming echo through the darkness around his mask. "Fifteen minutes of your cooperation, we'll be done and you can all go home safe. If you don't cooperate, the dogs will have new chew toys. Be quiet and still. Do not attempt to run or call for help, you'll only get someone hurt."
Tattletale, Grue and Bitch went over to the vault with Angelica, while Regent and I started zip cuffing the crowd. A girl with brown curly hair and freckles was glaring at us. I caught her eye and wagged my finger at her in case she was going to try something. She had the eyes of someone that needed watching. The vault was opened and Tattletale went over to the manager's office to monitor the security situation.
People were behaving fairly well, obviously terrified of the dogs. I was kind of feeling bad for helping scare the hell out of these people, but we hadn't harmed anyone and I wasn't planning on it. Angelica came out, laden with gym bags full of loot and Brutus was called in. I just stood there, leaning on nothing and keeping my eyes on people I thought might be a threat. That girl had stopped staring directly at me at lest.
Bored, I was tempted to start playing with an invisible bouncy ball, but was snapped out of it by Tattletale at the vault door.
"The white hats are here, and it doesn't look good."
We moved to the doors and peered out through gaps in the swirling darkness. outside stood a spread out line of six capes. I recognised five from their costumes after researching the wards. The sixth however was new to me. I tapped on Tattletale's shoulder and pointed at the muscled teen.
"Browbeat, a point blank telekinetic, don't let him hit you. He can also heal pretty fast." She explained quickly.
"So, why are there six out there when there were only supposed to be three or four?" Grue asked, quite pointedly.
"I'm guessing he just joined the Wards, probably to replace Shadow Stalker. Also there is a seventh on the roof." She replied.
"You really screwed the pooch here. If we get out of this, we're having a long chat."
"I can take them. Just let my dogs do their thing." Said Bitch, seemingly unconcerned.
"Nope, not risking killing anyone. We take the money, run for it like planned."
"Thats what they want." Said Tattletale shaking her head. "The way they're lined up, spread just enough to tempt us. The one on the roof would get in the way of the back. With Vista and outnumbering us, we'll have even more trouble fleeing."
"Fuck." Groaned Regent.
"Well we can't stay here, the Protectorate will eventually appear and we aren't likely to force them inside." Said Grue, pointing out the obvious.
"We have hostages." Bitch said, as if we had forgotten.
They all turned to look at me standing there with a bicycle horn in one hand, phone in the other.
-Expect us to run-
-Surprise attack them-
The doors slammed open and half of our hostages ran out of the bank
Aegis yelled out "Get down!" at the fleeing civilians just as another billowing cloud of pitch black enveloped them.
"Brutus, hurt!" Bitch told the dog at her side, pointing at Aegis past the darkness, and it leaped in to action, bounding toward the Wards leader.
Nestled behind a pillar and some residual darkness, Regent snapped out his arm, causing Kid Win to throw his aim and scatter shots meant for Brutus at Clockblocker's feet, causing him to dodge to the side. The dog's jaws missed Aegis by a few feet as the space warped around him. I had found my target.
Whirling my right arm around before making a skyward throwing gesture, I waited for a few seconds, following a non existant object into the air and down onto Vista. I could hear her surprised yelp as her arms snapped to her sides and I started hauling her up into the air. Grue assisted by creating a sphere around her, so she couldn't see anything.
The space warping around Aegis dropped, allowing the dogs teeth to snap around his arm and start shaking its massive head, tossing the hero around like a rag doll. I winced a bit as I saw blood flying around the place, but knew, at least intellectually, that he could take it. 'Tying off' the invisible rope I had lassoed Vista with on one of the pillars, I took in the scene. Kid Win was taking erratic turns as Regent continued to troll him.
Gallant was throwing his emotion blasts around the place, trying to hit one of us in between all the barriers of darkness that had sprung up. He eventually manage to clip Bitch. She apparently got very angry, screaming and pointing at him. Judas took this as an order and pounced, knocking the silver armoured ward against a nearby wall where he stopped moving. I hoped he was only unconscious.
"Be right back, Marceau." said Tattletale with a grin before running back to the office. She turned before I could attempt to complain. So instead I turned back to the fight.
Kid win opened up with a spray of fire, clipping Bitch and flooring her before he took a nose dive into the ground courtesy of Regent. Angelica stood over her master and growled at the approaching Browbeat. Before I could do anything, he punched the dog, sending in flying back several yards. He had a few seconds to look down at the groaning Bitch, before he found one of his legs pulled out from under him as I pulled, then sent him flying of to the side and skidding a few times across the road.
Stepping back to the pillar, I mimed checking on the 'rope' I had 'tied' earlier. I didn't want Vista coming loose anytime soon. The fight out front was rather distracting, so much so that I almost missed the movement behind me. That girl with the dagger eyes had wrangled her phone out of her pocket, despite the zip ties and had pressed a few buttons. As I moved over to sort it out, a crash came from further down the room as a familiar white and gold dressed figure slammed into the lobby. Glory Girl. Shit.
"Hey Sis," She said, looking at the girl at my feet, "You okay?"
Well that explained a lot. Well, not one to take the safe option apparently, I pushed her back down to the floor with one foot and squeezed my horn.
Her face quickly turned into a snarl as she flew at me. I had just enough time to drop the horn and put my hands up, shoulder width apart. The look on Glory Girl's face when she slammed into an invisible wall was well worth waking up this morning. My hands shook a little with the imaginary shockwave. As she dropped back, a little stunned. I moved my hands over my shoulder, took a grip and swung hard. I expected it to bounce off her. Instead, it sent her flying into the wall behind her, screaming in pain before hitting the wall with a dull thump.
"Vicky? What did you do to her?" The girl who I realised was Panacea asked, sounding both very surprised a worried. She had her head to the side so she could look at her sister, and catch me in her peripheral vision. I tapped at my phone.
-I thought she was invincible?-
"Not exactly invincible." said Tattletale as she walked back into the lobby with a vulpine grin on her face. "Some kind of shield effect that has to regenerate. Looks like it was taken out when she crashed into your wall. Ah Panacea. Didn't recognise you, did you do something with your hair?"
"Fucking psychos, let me heal her. She could be dying." Panacea pleaded.
"Oh don't worry, she's still breathing, she just got knocked out. Not used to pain I would guess. Anyway, time for us to head out. The Wards have been dealt with."
I stepped, off the healer, and kneeled down beside her as I typed out another message.
-She probably would have killed me.-
-Please wait a minute to heal her.-
-No hard feelings?-
My fingers made scissoring motions and the cuffs came apart as my other hand picked up my horn. As we left through the front door, I turned back towards the slowly rising girl.
Shrouded in darkness, we rode away from the pile of unconscious and or mauled heroes with around 40 grand in various denominations and bonds. All in all, a pretty good haul. Bitch was still wincing in pain as we rode, Gallant's blast and the laser pistol having bruised her good. Grue had been clipped by a stray punch from Aegis before two of the dogs ganged up to play tug of war. Otherwise, we got away pretty much unscathed.
I still didn't know how to feel about Glory Girl. On the one hand I had hurt her pretty bad, which I didn't think was even possible. On the other, she had seemed like an arrogant bitch much like Sophia. My perspective may have been a bit skewed though, seeing as I was holding her sister hostage at the time.
We split up as planned. Dismounting and changing out of costume while still under cover of darkness, then pretending to be confused civilians when the darkness passed by. Lisa and I along with Judas, just a couple of teenage girls walking a dog. No villains around, no sir.