Gen 13: Ripples

Ivana Baiul frowned as the door to her office exploded inward, the smoke pouring in as the security bots moved in. The best that International Operations onced produced they were big, mean, destroying machines, armored and full of muscle. Sadly it didn't help much, the teens tearing through them like so much tin foil.

"Those were expensive, you know," Ivana noted, the sleek black haired women frowning at the familiar teens and their allies.

Sarah Rainmaker and Roxy Spaulding were on point, followed by Natewith his psionic arms deployed, Voodoo Sadie and several other members of the infamous "Mongolian Barbeque horde" as they whimsically liked to call themselves.

"Are you planning on paying to replace them?" Ivana asked casually.

Roxy looked a little thrown off, but recovered valiantly. "This is a warning, Ivana," she said to her stiffly.

"Oh?" Ivana raised a black eyebrow.

"If you hurt our teammate," Sarah said, the Apache smiled coldly, "this level of damage will look minor."

Ivana's eyes widened just a bit, then narrowed. "I see," she said, a slight smile appearing on her face. "While such concern warms the bottom of my heart," she drawled, "I suspect Caitlin wouldn't be happy knowing you were interfering with her personal life."

"We'll just have to chance that," Roxy answered honestly. She added, "Caitlin's pretty innocent, and I don't want to see her get hurt by someone like you."

"Fair enough," Ivana surprised them by answering, "I don't want to hurt her, either."

"You know, she doesn't sound as uber evil as I thought she would," Leslie noted, the little blonde known as Trauma Queen handing back.

"That's her way of tricking you," Bobby Lane noted, "she acts all nice then unleashes her skanky uber evil on you."

"Skanky?"Leslie blinked.

"She slept with two of her subordinates, Bliss and Threshhold," Bobby revealed.

"Eeww," Leslie made a lace.

"And what are you doing hanging back there?" Sarah asked as Roxy talked to Ivana.

"Hey," Bobby held up his hands, "I'm just here for the moral support."

"Wimp," Sarah sighed.

"Alright," Roxy conceded as her talk with Ivana wound down, "we can't stop you from seeing Caitlin."

"How kind of you to concede that," Ivana drawled, looking at her nails.

"But you'd better not hurt her," Roxy said flatly, "or I'll use my gravity powers to crush you to a pulp." With that she turned around, leading the others out and walking right over the blasted ruins of the doors.

Ivana watched them go then relaxed, walking around her fancy desk and using the intercom to order another door, this time a armored one. Then she called up her security supplier to bawl them out over their bots, then quickly convinced them to send out replacements.

'I suppose I should have expected that,' Ivana admitted to herself as she watched human security guards take up temporary positions outside, 'Gen 13 knows me well enough to doubt I've changed my ways. I'll need to convince them with deeds, not just my word '

Outside the upper floor widow was San Diego, the home base of Gen 13 and recently that of Ivana herself. While she could quote coolly practical reasons why they were now based here, privately Ivana had to confess it was because she wanted to be near Caitlin.

'I'm becoming a softie,' Ivana hid a smile as she listened to the conversations out in the hall, expecting something more to happen.

"Miss, you can't...!" someone yelled.

"Oooww!" another yelped.

Weapons fired, there were more cries and sounds of distress then a security guard raced in, "You should run, ma'am! We can't hold her off."

THOOM! A outer set of doors crashed in and Caitlin Fairchild raced inside, hurrying over to Ivana's side. "They didn't hurt you, did they?"

Ivana laughed, "I'm fine. How did you find out what they were planning?"

Caitlin rolled her eyes, "I got it out of Grunge." A slight smile teased her lips, "I threatened to hide his porn unless he told me where everyone was going."

"Somehow that does not surprise me," Ivana laughed as she looked up at Caitlin. "You didn't hurt my security much?" she asked.

"Not too much," Caitlin said a slight smile, "I mostly just went over and around them when they tried to slow me down."

Ivana chuckled, "You mean you ran them over."

"Well, that too," Caitlin grinned back, glad to see such humor dancing in the eyes of her formerly serious lover.

Ivana looked up at the taller woman as she said, "I can't get much work done with no doors, so would you like to go have a late lunch with me?"

Caitlin took her and as they both headed past the bemused guards, "Yes, please. Where do you want to go? I'll treat."

"You don't have to..." Ivana frowned.

Caitlin winked, "If only to make up for my friends."

With a laugh Ivana nodded in agreement, the two walking to the elevator as they planned out their evening.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

"You told her we went to see Ivana?!" Sarah winced.

"I didn't have any choice," Grunge said, the brown haired young man frowning as he added softly, "she threatened to shred my porn if I didn't."

"Like she'd touch your porn," Bobby rolled his eyes.

Grunge looked defensive, "I couldn't take the chance."

"What's done is done," Nate said dryly as he carried several beer in for them all, "what we have to figure out is what she'll do know."

"Kick our asses?" Voodoo Doll Sadie joked, the slim blonde taking a seat by Bobby along with Leslie.

Sarah looked up to meet Sadie's eyes, something passing between them until she deliberately looked away. "No, she wouldn't do that," she said to them quietly, "but she will be upset with us."

"Hey, I'm not the one who blew the doors off," Roxy said with a shrug.

"Sorry," Bobby looked a bit sheepish, "I was just trying to disable the lock."

"You don't know your own strength," Leslie teased gently.

Bobby blushed, "Hey, yeah..."

Nate looked amused as he drank back some beer, "So, do you have any idea how you want to handle this?"

"We could always lie?" Grunge offered, "Maybe say you guys heard Ivana was going to be kidnapped and you rushed in to save her...?"

"Oh no, bad plan," Sarah said quickly.

"She's right," Roxy agreed, "Caitlin would be really upset by that."

Sadie burped, putting her beer down. "You two really care about her," she noticed.

"Not that way," Roxy swayed a bit, then hiccuped.

Nate gave Sadie a look, "Have you been transferring your drunkenness again?"

Sadie smirked, "Of course."

Sarah huccuped, then glowered drunkenly at Sadie. "You know," she said crossly, "this wasn't even that funny when we were dating."

"I'm hurt," Sadie winked.

"Any way you can take the drunkenness back?" Nate wondered.

"Sorry darling," Sadie laughed, "it's only one way." She reached for another beer, but Nate's glare made her pull back.

"Bobby, we're going to have to..." Nate looked around, not seeing him nearby, "Bobby?"

Grunge chuckled softly. "I think he and Leslie kinda slipped off awhile back," he informed them all mildly.

"Great," Sadie laughed, "looks like we three get to take care of the drunks."

"I am not drunk," Roxy firmly protested even as she began to gently list to the side, "I'm just a bit tipsy."

"Either way," Nate sighed, "let's go."

To be continued...

Notes: Nate and friends were introduced in Adam Warren's run as a semi-organized team in the southern California superhuman scene.