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[personal profile] wonder_city
Wake Up, Little Sophie

When Nereid walked into the hospital room to see Sophie, Wire was sitting in the chair next to the bed, holding her head in her hands. Just as Nereid was quietly backing out of the room, Wire looked up. Her face was pale and grim with something Nereid thought might be rage, and it twitched around the edges when Wire saw her. However, Wire pulled all the pieces of her composure back together and said, "Nereid. No need to go; I'm done here." She rose, picking up her heavy armored costume jacket from the back of the chair. She wasn't wearing her costume otherwise, just hiking boots and flannel-lined jeans and a buttondown plaid flannel over a cream-colored waffle-weave long underwear shirt.

Nereid gestured, incoherently and helplessly. "I'm sorry to interrupt..."

"No interruption," Wire said, not looking at Nereid. "I mean, there's no one here to talk to, is there?"

Nereid felt her own mouth twitch with uncertainty, then took a deep breath, slowly shifting into the room. "I wanted to talk to you about that."

Wire went on, as if Nereid hadn't said anything at all: "I talked to Dr. Thomas today. She's exhausted the experts. She even talked to some Class 10 telepath I never heard of. Sophie's not in there. She's braindead." Wire paused, one arm in her jacket, and started to laugh bitterly. "Brainchild is now Braindead," she said, still laughing, and Nereid cringed back from the shattered glass edges of that laugh.

She waited for Wire to settle back into her accustomed silence, but she kept laughing and covered her face with one hand. Finally, impatience got the best of Nereid and she snapped, "Wire, I know she's missing. We know where she's gone."

Wire froze, then peered out from between her fingers. The one hazel eye Nereid could see looked wide and crazy, and Nereid found herself backed against a wall, holding her breath. Then Wire's hand dropped and she looked at Nereid with undisguised contempt. "You somehow know something that the world's experts couldn't figure out? That the Ultimate couldn't figure out?"

"That's what I'm trying to tell you," Nereid said, and hated herself for how tiny her voice had become.

Wire was suddenly standing very nearly nose-to-nose with her. "Now you listen to me, Miss Know-It-All-Now-I'm-Class-Fucking-Nine, and you listen to me closely, okay?" she hissed into Nereid's face. "The Ultimate, the Gold Stars, the Guardians, they all say it's just like Josh Feldstein, all right? And you know what? He was in a fucking coma for ten goddamn years. His wife and father had him to even more experts than Sophie's been to, and none of them know what the fuck happened to him. All we know is that he came back, tried to destroy the city, and vanished, okay? The Sophie I... we... knew is fucking GONE, Pacifica, that's what I'm telling you, you green little diner-spawned leech. GONE."

Nereid had lost the thread of the tirade somewhere in the middle, because she could see a shining brass and steel orb floating outside the window of Sophie's window. As she watched, long... tweezers, it looked like, extended from the orb and somehow pierced the window without breaking it. The tweezer ends opened slowly and mechanically, and the window appeared to move aside, billowing and draping like a curtain over the metal arms. By the time Wire realized Nereid wasn't paying attention and looked over her shoulder, there was a glistening crystalline hexagonal surface pressed into the aperture.

There was a ringing thud, and another, and then the crystal was kicked off, a foot visible in the opening, and the cover tumbled in a noisy bell-like clatter onto the tile floor. Music blasted out of the mouth of the orb, a dramatic pop-orchestral thing with a driving beat. The foot, shod in shining brass and crystal itself, slid out and down to the floor, dragging behind a body similarly covered, topped with brilliantly platinum-bleached hair. The face turned toward them, and the eyes of the mask were iridescently faceted, facets upon facets upon facets. The smooth brass, striped irregularly with black, encased a slim throat, painfully thin torso, gracefully awkward arms, and unimpressive bosom, all atop long, slender legs that appeared to be strangely insectile in design. The metallic legs clicked on the tile. The face turned toward them. One of the eye covers slid to the side, exposing a heavily-kohled human eye. Four small, translucent wings unfolded from the back and vibrated briefly.

After looking over Wire and Nereid, who were frozen in their close-as-lovers tete-a-tete, she turned her attention to the bed, and with long, exaggerated movements, she stalked over to the side of the bed. With a gesture, she turned the music down to what Nereid took to be "background soundtrack" level. In a clear voice, she declaimed, "Oh, Brainchild! So much ego, brought so very low. My unparalleled genius has come to your aid!" She threw her arms upward and her head back dramatically, drawing polite applause from the crowd of nurses, orderlies, and other passerby from the doorway. The wings buzzed.

Wire visibly dismissed the strange vision and looked back into Nereid's face. "So what," she said, her voice at a whisper, "do you think you could possibly add to the know-how of ten goddamn years?"

Nereid's gaze kept being drawn by the woman's antics next to the bed. Now she had opened Sophie's eyes and was peering deeply into them through the insect eyepieces, saying, "You never could ask for help, you little fool, you little beast. You went up against something you didn't understand, couldn't understand, and it took you down. But you know I'm always here for you, whether you ask or not..."

Wire shook Nereid by the shoulders and Nereid looked at her. To stave off another rant, Nereid blurted out, "She's in Faerie."

Wire blinked. "What?"

"Faerie," Nereid said. "You know, tinkling bells and glitter dust and jolly songs in the woods?"

Wire's eyes narrowed suspiciously. "How do you know this?"

Nereid sighed. She knew she had to explain, and also knew she'd better make it good, because she didn't want to do this alone. But that damned woman had climbed onto the bed and was straddling Sophie's body and holding some sort of contraption over her and was talking constantly, sometimes creepily reassuring, sometimes saying things like, "You brought me back to life, you taught me how to make my own legs so I could stand on them, you taught me the way of things, I've got to be able to help you somehow..."

Wire yelled, "GoGo, give it a goddamn REST already. We're TRYING to have a CONVERSATION over here."

The woman straightened up and hopped delicately down from the bed. Her narrow shoulders went back and her chin went up defiantly. "That is Lady GoGo to you, you ignoramus. Or maybe," she said, with the tiniest giggle, antennae slowly extruding from her mask, "today I am Queen GoGo."

"What. Ever." Wire turned back to Nereid. "How?" she said again.

Nereid swallowed hard. "We went to the Dream Party and..."

"'We'? Who's 'we'?" she snapped.

"X and I..."

"Oh, fuck me, that basketcase?" Wire rolled her eyes. "You're going to believe anything she said?"

Nereid almost said, "'She'? Who's 'she'?" but her mouth said something else instead: "It's not very nice to say that about X."

"I can talk about Ehhhhhx --" Wire illustrated her mocking tone with airquotes "-- however I want. I knew her before she went all mystical and cryptic and butch."

Nereid snarled, "Don't talk about X that way, and don't fucking use a pronoun for zir that zie doesn't want used."

Nereid had never realized she was capable of channeling Simon and Ivy quite that way, but she was pleased with the result. It took Wire aback so hard that the woman couldn't speak for a moment. Into that silence, Queen GoGo exclaimed, "Oh, Sophia, I had thought nothing was beyond my powers!" She threw herself across Sophie with a gasping sob. "That the one thing had to be the restoration of your incredible intellect...!"

This served to completely discompose Wire, who half-turned to remonstrate with the woman. Nereid seized that moment to grab her by the lapels of her flannel, and yanked Wire close enough that their noses did touch. "We went to Lucid's Dream Party," she said, her mouth curling into a sneer all on its own, "and reputable sources told us that Sophie had passed through a door that leads to Faerie. The Equestrian has agreed to take us, but X can't go because of zir responsibilities. I thought I'd ask you because I thought Sophie might just be important to you. But you have one, one fucking chance to say yes or no before I walk out that door and ask someone off the goddamn street, because they might be more useful than you."

Wire gaped at her. Actually. Gaped. Nereid had to fight to keep from grinning like a loon. Knowing the Canis family had some fabulous benefits.

Queen GoGo strode away from the bed, back to the portal in the window, music increasing volume with every step. She cast a longing look over her shoulder at the bed, then folded herself back into the orb. The crowd at the doorway clapped politely again. The giant tweezers closed and withdrew from the glass, leaving no mark, and the orb sailed straight up in the air. She left the crystal cover on the floor.

Wire finally said, sullenly, "All right. I'm in."

Nereid had thought she'd be relieved to have someone else going with her. She was often wrong in her life.


From the Author:
Happy New Year! I have finished out the year on episode #13, which pleases me mightily. I hope your 2011 is full of beauty and joy.

Again: I'm posting twice weekly during the month of December as a [fill in holiday here] gift for you all. If you like getting WCS twice weekly, then please comment on anything. :) If I get 50 comments over the course of December, I will post twice weekly all through January as well. If I get 75 comments, I'll post twice weekly through February. If, by the amazing work of you wonderful folks, I get more comments than that, I will come up with some even better reward.

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Date: 2011-01-03 09:06 pm (UTC)
kyleri: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kyleri
GoGo. Er, pardon, Lady GoGo.

*cackle* OMGLOVE.

Date: 2012-01-28 04:10 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] the_leaky_pen
Whoo! Go Nereid! Although I'm not sure having anyone resentful with you on the trip to Faerie is EVER a good idea.

Date: 2012-01-28 05:33 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
Sometimes it can be grounding!

... sometimes.

Date: 2012-05-10 02:12 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] the_leaky_pen
I'm of the opinion that as anything good can be twisted to malicious purpose in Faerie, anything that starts out ill cannot get better save with some incredible amounts of benevolent influence.

Date: 2013-01-11 03:45 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hmm, is Lady GoGo related in any way to a certain young lady with a Poker Face? ;)

No, no don't try to deny it; you *can't* deny that it's Poker Face.


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