Er... hi there! Ok, I know. I missed my own deadline a little bit. Ok, a lot. Anyway, I'm really sorry, but things have been really hectic and crazy around here. Mostly good things. I entered a magic competition for one (and won! Yay me!) and the business seems to be showing signs of really picking up, which is fantastic for me. But it has left me struggling to find time for Ffn. Apologies to those of you that have left reviews or PM's recently that I haven't gotten around to replying to. I usually try to, but that has really not been happening lately and I'm sorry.
So I wasn't sure whether to bother mentioning this or not, but something else happened since we were last all here together... something to do with Fire? But don't worry everyone: because it actually didn't happen. Seriously, it just didn't happen. That wasn't really them. Sure, they may have looked like Naomi, Emily and Effy - they even had the same names - but that's where the resemblance ends. So it didn't happen. Okay?
IT DIDN'T HAPPEN.
Okay, back to this chapter, and its quite a sizeable one, by my standards. And peppered with super-hero references! Collect them all!
Right: Effy and Ultra Woman were trapped in a strange bunker, deep below the Fitch mansion. Naomi has just seen her spaceship, and is about to touch it...
"Is that…?" Breathed Effy, her words barely above a whisper. I nodded. We stared at each other for a second, both of us amazed by what was before us. Then with reverential awe, I slowly stepped closer. I reached forward, and placed my right hand onto the smooth surface of the craft…
…And nothing happened.
Frowning, I took my hand away. I blew on my fingertips, before trying again.
Still nothing happened. The thing didn't even squeak.
"Well that was dramatic" quipped Effy. My frown deepened.
"I just thought it might somehow… react to my presence. Maybe I've seen too many super-hero movies, but I was kind of expecting…"
"A hologram of Marlon Brando to appear and start dishing out parental advice?"
"Well… yeah." I sighed. "Even Russell Crowe would have been something!"
"I guess it's just a spaceship."
I nodded vaguely, as I moved around the craft to see it from all sides. It was surreal after all these years, to finally be looking at the ship that brought me to earth. I was staring at a solid piece of my own history.
"Naomi, I think we should get out of here" suggested Effy, an uncharacteristic note of concern in her voice.
"Yeah, sure" I muttered, still giving the spaceship my full attention.
I tore my eyes from the craft to look at my best friend.
"Effy, we're fine! A lock's not going to stop me - I can tear the door from its hinges whenever I want."
"They've locked us in?" She demanded with suspicion in her voice. I nodded. "Why, when they know how strong you are?" I shrugged and began looking around the room. Before leaving, I wanted to see if I could find out a bit more about this strange, hidden bunker. Jenna had far too many secrets for my liking – I wasn't going to pass up the chance to discover one or two of them. But Effy was still far from happy. "How did they get you down here?" She asked.
"I was upstairs when Cook found me. He told me that Naomi wanted to speak to me."
"And you believed him?" Asked Effy, her trademark smirk making a sudden reappearance.
"No of course not!" I answered. "I wanted to know why he was lying to me. He said Naomi was down here, so I followed him. Then he locked the door after me." Effy was now staring at me in amazement.
"And that didn't seem like a trap to you?" She asked with incredulity.
"I'm starting to think that you haven't seen enough super-hero movies! When the bad guy's henchman asks you to follow him, it always ends badly!"
"Effy, don't panic! I'm super-strong, I can break us out of here in a second!" I really didn't see what she was so concerned about. We could have a look around this place, then leave whenever we were ready.
"And they know that!" She insisted. "They know how strong you are, but they've still brought you down here! Doesn't that worry you?"
"I want to know what they're up to! I figured the best way to do that was to follow Cook down here." I cast my eyes around the room with more purpose, hoping to find something that might give me a clue to the Fitches intentions. A letter would be nice. Something along the lines of: 'Dear Ultra Woman. We have brought you here because…' Not that I was really expecting something like that, but it would be helpful.
"What's that?" Asked Effy. I looked to where she was pointing. In the centre of the room there was a sizeable open space, empty except for a small table. On the table was a postcard marked 'Ultra Woman'.
"Wow, there really is a letter" I breathed. I walked towards the table.
"Don't pick that up!" Snapped Effy in sudden alarm.
"It's addressed to me" I pointed out. "I want to know what it says." Effy huffed in annoyance.
"Okay, let me go through my 'it's a trap' theory one more time…"
Smirking at her over-cautiousness, I picked up the card.
"No!" Shouted Effy, making a dart forward to try and stop me. Ignoring her, I turned over the card and read it aloud.
"Dear Ultra Woman. Thank you for walking into my trap. Regards, Jenna." I grinned foolishly at Effy. "Well, that's nice and polite, isn't it?"
Suddenly, hidden machinery sprang into life. Huge steel bars shot up from the floor all around us. They slid right up to the ceiling, before locking into place with an ominous 'click'. We were surrounded – the occupants of a huge cage.
"What was that about a trap?" I asked Effy with a grin. She rolled her eyes at me. I still wasn't worried. Did Jenna really think that steel bars would contain someone with my strength? I laughed inwardly at her beginners mistake.
"Don't you think you should be breaking us out of here right about now?" Asked Effy, dryly. With a casual nod, I strolled to the side of the cage and took a bar into each hand.
Effy's head snapped round to face me.
"Hmm?" She demanded. "What does 'hmm' mean? And why haven't you prised those bars apart yet?"
"I just tried to" I answered quietly, the beginnings of panic trickling into my stomach. "They won't budge." Effy frowned at me.
"Naomi, this isn't the time to be kidding around, just break the fucking bars!"
"I'm not joking, Effy – I can't!" I tried hard to keep my mounting anxiety from straying into my voice. Effy gaped at me.
"What?" I could hear the slightest hint of alarm in that single word.
"They must be made of something really strong" I tried to rationalise. "Just… something that I've never come across before." Effy shook her head.
"No, don't you remember when you lost your strength before? You couldn't lift the pool table. Didn't you say that we're right underneath that room?"
Shit. Effy was right – whatever had sapped my strength that day must have been located down here all along.
"Check to see if you can lift something heavy" added my best friend. Frantically, I looked around the small cage, looking for something with a bit of weight. But besides us, the only other thing in there was the small table. Effy walked towards me and slid her arms around my shoulders.
"Effy, is this really the time to discover your 'touchy-feely' side?" I asked in surprise. "I mean, thanks for the reassuring hug, but…" Effy sighed, dramatically.
"Has all that lycra poisoned your brain?" she asked. "We're checking your strength here, you great daft Barbie doll! See if you can lift me up."
"Oh, right." I placed my hands onto her hips and tried my best to lift her. I managed, but it took a lot of effort to lift her only a few inches. "That's the best I can do" I told her as I set her back down.
"That's no more strength than the average human" muttered Effy. "What about your other powers? Can you still fly?" She stepped back from me and watched. I made an attempt to fly, but nothing happened. Summoning up all of my concentration, I tried again.
"There!" I exclaimed with relief. "I just flew, right? At least a little bit, anyway. I definitely felt myself lifting off the ground."
"You jumped, Naomi" explained Effy, sadly.
"A super, leap-tall-buildings-in-a-single-bound kind of jump?" I asked, hopefully. Effy shook her head.
"No, it was more like a constipated bunny-hop."
"Shit. What the fuck is going on?"
Just then, we heard the sound of the door opening, and two sets of feet coming down the stairs.
"Just play it cool" breathed Effy. "Don't let them see how worried we are." No sooner had she said that, than Jenna was stood before us on the other side of the bars – a look of triumph dancing in her eyes. Cook stood behind her, his face betraying no emotion.
"So, Ultra Woman!" Began Jenna, in obvious glee. "You've been trying to figure out what my plans are, but now I have you exactly where I want you. Isn't this ironic?"
"Er, no – not really" chipped in Effy. "It's not ironic – it's just a bit unfortunate, that's all." Jenna glowered at her, before turning back to face me.
"You've walked right into my carefully laid trap. How…" she cast an accusatory glance in Effy's direction. "…How unfortunate for you."
"Good grammar costs nothing, Mrs Fitch" muttered Effy. Secretly, I marvelled at how calm an exterior she was displaying. She was absolutely right of course: we had to hide our fears as best we could.
"Well, you've clearly gone to a lot of trouble to make us feel welcome" I answered, feigning a nonchalance that I really wasn't feeling.
"Oh yes - I've gone to a lot of trouble for this" answered Jenna, darkly. "How do you like your cage?" She asked, looking up at our surrounding bars. "You must be wondering how on earth I've managed to construct a cage that can actually hold the mighty Ultra Woman!" She was clearly enjoying her moment of conquest.
"You built them out of the rock you found, when you dug up Ultra Woman's spaceship" answered Effy, throwing in a disinterested yawn for good measure. Jenna's grin faltered somewhat. Effy had spoiled her little moment – she wanted to be the one to tell us that. But she quickly recovered her composure.
"Well their core is made from it" she explained. "We had a team of the finest scientists in the land examine that rock."
Cook spoke up for the first time.
"What, you mean JJ and his school chemistry kit?" He asked. Jenna's shoulders tensed at the interruption, but she carried on as if she hadn't heard it.
"And they concluded that it has the ability to sap all of your special powers." She stared at me, a devilish glint appearing in her eyes. "How are you feeling, Ultra Woman?"
I gave a casual shrug, and decided to follow Effy's lead.
"I'm feeling fine, thanks Jenna." I turned to my best friend. "Effy, how are you feeling?"
"Pretty bored, if you must now" she muttered. Jenna chuckled, not fooled by our words for a second.
"When you first appeared just over a year ago, I knew that you would threaten all of my carefully laid plans" she began, with the air of someone beginning a long story. Effy and I exchanged a worried glance: was she really going to do this? Jenna continued, unaware of our exchange. "So I started the task of learning everything about you that I could." God, yes – she was really going to do this. Jenna had us in mortal danger, and she was about to start monologuing. The audacity of the woman!
"I set my spies onto the task" explained Jenna. "I scoured the world looking for any clues about you. Eventually, with the help of my secret resources, I managed to find that!" She pointed dramatically towards my spaceship.
"Secret resources?" I snapped. "You had Cook buy it from eBay!" Jenna frowned with displeasure, not enjoying the fact that I knew her source.
"Well I still put all of this into action!" She snapped, before recalling her anger and assuming a gentler tone. "And I have you right where I want you."
"All because you're building a casino?" I asked, incredulous. Jenna chuckled, playing her role of pantomime villain to the hilt.
"You're not seeing the bigger picture, Ultra Woman." She marched around the outside of the cage, her heels clicking ominously against the hard stone floor. "The casino is just the beginning. There'll be restaurants, hotels, shopping malls. That one plot of land is just the first step. I'm going to turn Bristol into the Las Vegas of England!"
"I think the law might have something to say about that" answered Effy. "We have strict gaming laws in Britain, as well as rules to stop someone having a monopoly like that."
Jenna scoffed and placed a hand self-importantly against her chest.
"The law is not written for people like me!" She declared. "David has promised…" she paused in her tale to throw a questioning glance at me. "Have you met David Cameron?" She asked. I shook my head.
"No, I don't hang around with wankers." I had spurned many an invite to Downing Street over the past year. There was no way I was letting that prick parade me around at his side in front of a bunch of photographers. Jenna continued.
"Well he has assured me that silly little things like the law won't get in the way of my vision. Big things are going to happen in Bristol, Ultra Woman" she declared. "What a shame that you won't be around to see it."
"You're so proud of your little schemes, aren't you?" I asked, sarcastically.
"Life's a bitch, now so am I" answered Jenna with a sneer. I chuckled.
"You're pathetic! Parading around like you think you're some sort of evil genius. All you need now is a moustache to twirl."
Jenna's hand snapped instinctively to cover her top lip.
"I haven't had time to visit the salon recently" she muttered under her breath. Oops, touched a nerve there, obviously! She recovered her composure quickly, and peered inside the cage with a frown.
"Where's Naomi?" She demanded of Cook.
"Couldn't find her. Reckon she left ages ago."
"Well she wouldn't be able to stop us any…" Jenna paused mid-sentence, a sudden look of concentration on her face. "She's hardly stood still all night" she said slowly, as though working something out in her head. "And I've not seen either you or her together in the same room all evening." She stared back at me as she said this. I could practically see the light dawning in her eyes. I shared a panic-stricken, furtive glance with Effy. Shit: if Jenna knows my secret, then I'm really up to my neck in it. Jenna chuckled with an air of superiority. "It's all a lie, isn't it?" She said with certainty. I held my breath. Oh God – this is it. "You haven't forgiven her for stealing your girlfriend!"
I almost laughed out loud at Jenna's obtuseness.
"Damn you!" Snapped Effy. "We tried to keep that truth from you."
Jenna's lips twitched into a malicious smile.
"You can't keep secrets from me!" She mocked. "I'm far too analytical and clever to be taken in by you!"
We couldn't help ourselves at that: Effy and I sniggered like a couple of conspiratorial school-girls. It did nothing to help matters.
"Right!" Snapped Jenna. "We'll see if you find this a laughing matter!" She walked over to one of the cupboards in the room. "Cook, hold her" she barked. At her instruction, Cook moved swiftly towards the cage. He reached through the bars and grabbed hold of Effy. Caught by surprise, Effy was unable to do anything before finding her arms held firmly behind her in an improvised half-nelson.
"Hey!" I stepped threateningly towards him, forgetting for a moment about my loss of strength. Before I could do anything, my attention was distracted by Jenna. She was back at the cage, keying numbers into a keypad lock that I hadn't noticed before. The cage door swung open and Jenna stepped inside. I was a little perturbed by the manic glint in her eyes as she moved towards me. But things seemed to have tipped slightly in our favour. Even with only normal strength, I felt sure that I could take Jenna. I braced myself to give her a hefty shove, then…
Searing pain. White hot agony – like nothing I had ever felt before - coursed its way through my body. I collapsed in shock to the ground. Jenna stood over me, a tiny fragment of rock in her hand.
"Our scientists were right!" She said in delight. "These bars only have this stuff running through the middle of them. It's enough to take away your powers like that, but when you actually touch this stuff…" She crouched down and pressed the shard to my bare arm. Pain ripped through me once again. A scream tore itself from me, echoing back from the bare walls around us. My thoughts started to swim - I felt as though my grasp on the conscious world was slipping away. Noises mingled together incoherently: Effy was screaming something, Jenna was laughing with a high-pitched sound of pure rapture, Cook was shouting. I couldn't make sense of it as it all swirled together and began to fade away.
Then the agony ceased, and I was once more aware of my surroundings. A throbbing ache still burned across both of my arms. I stared down and saw an angry red burn mark on each of them, where Jenna must have pressed the rock against first one and then the other.
"Give me your knife!" She asked, as she thrust her hand towards Cook. Her voice was high with a manic energy. Cook was hesitant.
"I'm not sure…"
"Give me it!" She demanded forcibly. I saw Cook frown as he reached into his trouser pocket. Without letting go of Effy, he withdrew a large pen-knife, and tossed it on the ground beside Jenna. She snatched it up eagerly.
"Don't you fucking dare!" Shouted Effy, struggling uselessly against her captor.
Jenna opened the pen-knife with an almost reverential awe.
"I wonder if your skin is still impervious to blades?" She asked casually, as though simply musing about the next day's weather. She ran the tip of the blade lightly along my arm. She paused as she reached the burn-mark, before applying extra pressure to the knife. I winced as the tender skin felt the threat of the steel. Clearly enjoying her game, she moved the blade to my face. She ran it lightly against my cheeks, pressing a little firmer every now and then. Not enough to break the skin, just enough to let me know that she probably could do, if that was her wish. "I could tear up this pretty face of yours in a matter of seconds" she breathed. Anger and hatred bubbled up together in the pit of my stomach.
"Go fuck yourself, you cunting fuck-breath!" I snapped. An ugly frown tore across Jenna's face. She pulled back the knife and plunged it deep into my side. It sank into my now-mortal flesh with surprising ease. I screamed in pain as Jenna twisted the knife, revelling in my anguish. I felt myself slipping away again, drifting towards unconsciousness.
Just before I could black-out, there was a sudden scuffle. Effy broke free from Cook's hold on her, and crashed with full-force into Jenna. Jenna was taken completely by surprise, and ended up sprawled on the floor. Unfortunately, Effy also landed heavily. Of the two, Jenna was first to react. She quickly scampered out of the cage, slamming the door shut behind her. A tap on the key-pad, and the door was locked again.
Jenna rose swiftly to her feet, but she was clearly ruffled by Effy's attack.
"Your little friend won't be there next time to help you, Ultra Woman!" She spat, before turning away. "Deal with the brunette before I get back!" She snapped at Cook. He didn't answer her, but a look of shock crossed his face. As Jenna was already on her way back up the stairs, she didn't see it.
"God, are you okay?" Asked Effy, moving closer to me. She reached for the knife, which was still buried in my side. With a swift movement, she pulled it out of me and dropped it to the floor. She looked about her for the fragment of rock. When she found it, she picked it up and threw it through the bars to the far side of the room. "You okay?" Asked Effy again. I felt far from okay. I felt weak and helpless, like a baby that's been born too soon. My head was spinning, and my stomach was churning for all it was worth. But at least I didn't feel on the point of blacking out again, so I nodded. I shuffled myself up into a sitting position and looked down at the wound in my side. It was covered in blood. My blood, to be precise. This was a new experience for me.
"So this is what 'bleeding' feels like?" I asked. "I'm not sure I'm in favour of it." Effy peered down at where the blade had penetrated me. She picked up the knife and cut a strip of cloth from the bottom of my cape. She wadded it up and pressed it against the wound.
"Press firmly" she instructed me, before casting her eyes over the rest of me. "You'll live" was her prognosis. It had been a small blade, after all. Besides, we had more pressing concerns anyway.
We sat in silence for a while, both of us trying to get to grips with our situation.
"Cunting fuck-breath?" Asked Effy, after a few minutes.
"You called Jenna a cunting fuck-breath."
"I'll admit it wasn't my snappiest put-down, but I was in a lot of pain!" I argued. Effy smirked at me. "We need to get out of here" I told her.
"I don't think so, ladies."
We both turned to stare at Cook. He hadn't spoken since Jenna left the room, and I think we had both almost forgotten that he was there.
"Open this door, Cook" said Effy, pointing at the key-pad. Cook crossed his arms.
"No. I'm here to guard you, I'm not just gonna let you go!"
"Cook, we both know you're not a murderer" I insisted. In truth, I don't know Cook well enough to know that, I was just hoping it was the case. He looked shocked at my words.
"Who said anything about murder?" He demanded. I raised an eyebrow at him.
"Jenna just told you to 'deal with' Effy. What do you think she meant – drop her off at home with a party bag?" Cook frowned.
"She just meant…"
"And what do you think she's planning on doing to me now that she knows I can be hurt? She did that, Cook. She made me vulnerable, and I don't want to stick around here to be her little play-thing!" Cook looked abashed, and I could see that he had not been aware of Jenna's full intentions in advance. I suddenly remembered how Effy managed to slip free from him, and realised that he must have eased his grip on her arms. "Please Cook: help us!"
"But she's me boss, like. I can't just help you, I'd get the sack!"
"Cook please! I'll do anything!"
As his lips spread into a ready grin, I knew that I had said the wrong thing.
"Yeah?" He asked. Oh fuck.
"Well, I mean…"
Cook smirked at me.
"I wanna see some proper girl-on-girl action, you know what I mean?" He moved his finger, gesturing between Effy and myself. "All these fit lezzers around – you, Emily, Naomi – and the Cookie Monster never gets to see any of you getting it on!"
"Fuck off, Cook. I'm bleeding profusely here – the last thing on my mind is having sex with Effy" I snapped. "No offence" I added quickly to my best friend.
"Fair point" accepted Cook with a nod. "Just a bit of snogging then."
"You'd sell out your boss just to see two women kissing?" I asked in amazement.
"French kissing!" He insisted.
"No Cook! Effy's my best friend, I'm not going to snog her while you wank-off beside us!" Cook looked crestfallen.
"Well a titty-flash then!" He requested, brightening up at his own suggestion. I opened my mouth to tell him to fuck off again.
"Alright then." I stared in astonishment at Effy's answer. Cook's grin stretched the full width of his face.
"Yeah?" He asked, hardly able to believe his own luck. "Both tits, and I get to have a proper good stare at them." Effy shrugged her agreement.
"Only if I get to have a look at your cock" she added. Cook chuckled.
"Babe, you are on! You are in for a treat!" He reached for his zipper.
"Cook!" I said in alarm. That really is the last thing I need in my current state! If he gets his trouser-snake out, I'll be hurling partly-digested canapés across the floor in no time. "Get us out of here, first!"
"Right" he smirked, before turning and dashing up the stairs. "I'll just check Jenna's nowhere about." As he disappeared, I turned to my best friend.
"You're not actually going to show him your tits, are you?" I asked. She shrugged.
"Depends on if his dick is really nine inches, I suppose." I shook my head in disbelief at my friend's system of values.
"Coast's clear" said Cook, coming back down the stairs again.
"Right, what's the combination?" Effy stood with her fingers poised over the key-pad.
Effy and I exchanged frustrated looks.
"Then how are you planning on helping us?" I demanded. Cook grinned.
"There's a back way out of here. You can't go swanning out through the front door, can you?"
"We can't go swanning anywhere if we can't get this fucking cage open!" I snapped. Cook frowned.
Effy started typing into the key-pad, trying random combinations of numbers.
"It could take forever" I told her, glumly. Then a memory stirred, somewhere deep at the back of my mind. Something about a key-pad… "Wait, Emily told me once… they always use the same code. She told me when we went to the Fitches pool one night."
"What's the code?" Asked Effy expectantly.
"I don't remember." She rolled her eyes at me, and I suddenly felt defensive. "It's not my fault! She stripped naked and insisted that we go skinny-dipping five minutes later!" Cook opened his mouth. "No, I won't tell you any more details" I insisted. He closed his mouth again.
"Do you remember anything about the code?" Asked Effy. I shook my head. My brain still felt like it had the consistency of lumpy mashed potato. I tried desperately to remember what Emily had said about that code.
"The twins birthday!" I exclaimed, as the memory came back to me. "It's Emily and Katie's date of birth!"
"Great. What is it?"
"I don't know." Again, Effy rolled her eyes at me.
"You don't know your girlfriend's birthday?" She asked scornfully. "Ex girlfriend" she added quickly, for Cook's benefit.
"Look, let's escape first, then we can chat about what a shitty girlfriend I am, okay?"
"Cook, any idea when it is?" Asked Effy. Cook frowned, deep in thought.
"I know they've both had a birthday… sometime in the last 12 months, I'm sure."
"Thanks for the help" muttered Effy. I racked my brains for any further information that could help us.
"Okay, they're twenty five, right? I'm sure they're twenty five, so that gives us the year. Emily has a birthstone – it's green, so they were born in May. That narrows it down a lot."
"That's still thirty one combinations" stated Effy. "If you're right about the year."
I began to muse aloud, trying to work it out.
"Okay, May… that's Taurus or Gemini. Taurus: strong, reliable, patient… that's got to be Emily's sign, right?"
"Patient? Katie?" I nodded.
"Fair enough. So what's Gemini: inquisitive, intelligent, fun-loving, changeable…" I tried my hardest to remember everything mum taught me about star-signs. "Gemini's are good with their hands. Wait, that's it! Emily is really good with her ha…" I began to blush profusely, as I remembered that Cook was still in the room with us. "Okay, it's Gemini" I added hastily. "Start from the 21st of May and go from there."
Effy began typing numbers into the key-pad. Soon, the door swung open with a buzz.
"Twenty fifth of May" said Effy with a chuckle. I grinned happily. Finally, mum's home-schooling had paid off. All of that time spent learning signs of the zodiac and birth-stones – I never really thought that it would one day save my life.
"Let's get out of here" I muttered. With Effy's assistance, I got to my feet. She brought my arm across her shoulders and helped to support my weight. We made our slow, painful way out of the cage. "Where's this other exit?" I asked Cook.
"Over here." He led the way to one side of the room, and cleared some free-standing shelves from the wall. Behind them was a small panel, that opened with a press from Cook's hand. He stood up, hesitating before he moved out of the way. "Look, one of you's got to hit me."
"Gladly" I told him. "But can we escape first?"
"No, I mean I can't have Jenna thinking that I helped you escape. If you rough me up a bit, it'll look like you forced me to help you." I nodded, and raised my fist.
"Wait! Not the face, alright?"
"Okay." I stepped closer. Cook winced in anticipation.
"And not too hard, either."
"So you want me to rough you up... but only lightly?" I asked.
"It needs to be convincing, but not enough to do any lasting damage. Go for…"
"Oh for fucks sake!" Effy, getting bored of the discussion, picked up a nearby fire-extinguisher and lamped Cook around the head with it. He hit the ground instantly.
"I think you killed him" I told her, with admittedly only partial concern. Effy frowned, and leaned over for a closer look.
"No, he's breathing. Come on." Helping me to crouch down, Effy led the way through the hatch. The corridor opened out to full height on the other side. Ahead of us, it stretched on into darkness. We began to make our way along it. "Fuck, wait a second" insisted Effy. She propped me up against the wall and ran back the way we had come. I stared on in bewilderment as she climbed back into the room, and stood over Cook's unconscious body. She had her back to me. As I watched, she raised her top up, flashing her tits to the prostrate figure in front of her. Then she dropped her top back down, and was soon back with me in the corridor. I arched a questioning eyebrow at her.
"Well, a promise is a promise" she answered with a smirk. "Let's get out of here."
After following the tunnel for a while, it ended abruptly at a ladder. Looking up, we saw that there was an iron grid above us. We struggled our way slowly up the ladder, Effy helping me as best as she could. Once at the grid, Effy pushed and found that it swung upwards without difficulty. With a great deal of effort, we managed to climb out into fresh air. We found ourselves in a corner of the Fitches grounds, farthest away from the house. We snuck through a gap in the hedge, and started hobbling towards the main road. Once there, Effy quickly hailed us a taxi.
We clambered uneasily into the back, under the startled gaze of the driver. I guess it's not every day that Ultra Woman hails a cab. And he could clearly see that I was badly hurt.
"Fancy dress party" I mumbled. "It got a little rough."
"Yeah? What did you go as?" He asked, sarcastically. I looked down at my pink, blood-stained lycra.
"Bret 'The Hitman' Hart" I told him. I cast a glance at Effy, who as usual was dressed all in black. "And she's The Undertaker."
The driver chuckled, and turned back to face the front.
"Where to, ladies?"
"The hospital" answered Effy.
"No!" I insisted firmly, before directing him to a street that wasn't too far from our houses – just in case he thought I was the real Ultra Woman. I still had a secret identity to protect.
"You need the hospital" insisted Effy in a whisper. I shook my head.
"They won't be able to help. I'm not exactly from round here, am I?" Effy looked set to argue further, but I was adamant. "I'll be fine, okay? I just need to get some rest, and I'll be back to normal in a day or two." I just hoped that I was right about that, but there was no way of knowing for sure. I pushed that thought away though – it was too scary to contemplate.
The taxi began to move. As we sailed through the darkened streets of Bristol, Effy leaned closer to me.
"Remind me to write to Jenna and thank her for such a wonderful soiree."
"It was…. eventful."
Well I hope you liked that! Keep in mind that it is still first and foremost a comedy - that was always my intention, so that is why there was still some silliness, even when they are faced with mortal danger.
In other exciting news: so I am so amazingly chuffed that I will actually get to meet the fantastic and talented Miss Maraudeur next month! I really can't wait for that. Incidentally, she helped me loads to get this chapter done.
In case you haven't seen, she updated 'Educating Naomi' yesterday. You should go read that one now, if you haven't already. Off you go. Oh wait: drop me a review first, if you so feel like it, please!