Too Much Power in One City

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Science Fiction


A peek into a random day of three characters that you know absolutely nothing about. Involves: blood, swearing, weird magic, and science fiction-y themes.

Submitted: May 26, 2018

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Submitted: May 26, 2018

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“Wow, those things have a lot of blood…”

“I warned you.”

“Like a lot of blood…”

“Yep.”

“So much blood, Els.”

“Gallons of it.”

“No wonder they’re so eager to lose it.”

“It did seem like that, didn’t it?”

“I need to wash my hair, Els.”

“Yeah. Me too.”

“Yet I see you aren’t whisking us away to...I don’t know, some magical spa world?”

“Unfortunate, isn’t it?”

“Els my hair.”

“Relax.” Elsie came to a stop in the street, which had been abandoned a few days ago due to the local disaster they’d just solved (or made worse, who knew), and shook off the blood droplets from her hand. “Blech.” She carefully grabbed her gun and aimed at the fire hydrant a few feet away.

Bailey’s shoulders slumped. “Oh come on…”

“Sorry. But better than nothing.” Elsie shot a hole through the red metal, and water came spraying out the top, making a tall, elegant arch before splattering onto the pavement in the street. “..hm. That’s uh..still falling pretty heavy, huh?” Elsie tilted her head, having to raise her voice a bit to talk over the loud thundering on the pavement.

Bailey pouted.

Sighing, Elsie shot a few more holes until the stream wasn’t so intensely pressurized. “There.” She put her gun and cell phone aside, and Bailey followed suit. “Better hurry. They might shut off the water any moment now, really, since there’s no one here to use it, and waste of resources and all.”

Bailey nodded, and jumped into the spray.

Only for it to shut off a second later.

They gave a shriek and stamped the ground with one foot. Fucking darn it Elsie this is why you knock on wood when you say shit like that!”

Elsie snorted, folding her arms and sighing. “No use - you’re just my bad luck charm, Bailey.” Not getting to wash off the sticky goop covering her in head to toe didn’t bother Elsie too much - she’d gone weeks in worse filth. But Bailey still wasn’t used to such discomforts. It was kind of cute.

“I’m sticky! I smell! My hair is drenched in gross fat mutant slime blood and I can’t even get a street shower!” Bailey kicked repeatedly at the hydrant. Their tantrum wasn’t genuine, except for their frustration, but they enjoyed the way it made Elsie snicker.

“Pft. You’re such a baby.” Elsie teased, picking her stuff back up and putting it in her pockets and holster again. “One little discomfort like having to deal with being soaked in nasty goo blood and it’s just whine whine whinee..” She punched their shoulder lightly as she strode by, fully aware that Bailey was purposefully overreacting. “It’s not even-” Elsie turned her gaze back forward and immediately went into a defensive posture, one sticky hand going to her gun.

Bailey looked up from carefully sliding their phone back into their jean pocket. “What? Oh, hey, it’s a human person!” They pointed to the figure casually sauntering towards them, giving a wave. “Hey human person! We’re covered in blood! You should totally keep approaching with your defenses down!”

The stranger gave an amused snort, pulling down their purple jacket hood and shaking their short ponytail loose from the back of their shirt. “Hah. Not leaving anything up your sleeve, huh? Cool.”

“Wildcard.” Elsie greeted. Her tone wasn’t cold or warm, but it was on guard. “Didn’t expect to see you here. But ah, that’s sort of your thing isn’t it?”

“Relax, friend, I’m not here to give you any trouble.” Wildcard raised her hands, palms out and shoulders relaxed.

Elsie gave the small smile she always did before potentially shooting someone several times in the head. “Ah, but are you a liar today or a truth teller?”

“Heh.” Wildcard put her hands back in her jacket pockets, grinning. “Guess there’s probably some disadvantages for letting someone get to know me as well as you have, isn’t there?”

Bailey tilted their head, squinting one eye. “...so are you or are you not going to try and kill us. I’m getting sorta..” Bailey teetered their ick-covered hand. “..’lifelong nemesis’ kinda vibes from Elsie but also not?”

“Ohh, we can never tell.” Elsie rolled her eyes. “No one can ever know what Wildcard is going to do.” She waved her hands and made a very half-assed ‘wooOoooOoo..’ noise.

Snorting grossly, Bailey grinned widely at Wildcard, who was mimicking their expression almost exactly. “Hahaha! Oh that’s so fucking corny I love it!” Bailey held out their gross hand. “I’m Bailey!”

“Bailey, very nice to meet you, at the moment.” Wildcard responded politely, accepting their hand with an accompanying squirgsh noise. “You both look and smell absolutely terrible I might add.” She wiped her palm off on her jeans, the blueish goop blending in very well with the other multiple paint stains on the denim. “Trying to get a spray down were you?”

Elsie shrugged at the fire hydrant. “City finally got around to shutting down water and electricity and stuff I guess. Took them a long time if you ask me.”

“Shame.” Wildcard hummed, reaching into her back pocket. “Let me see if I can’t help you.”

Immediately Elsie’s gun came out and she yanked Bailey behind her. “Absolutely not. Put those away.”

Bailey gripped her shoulders and stood on their toes, peering over her shoulder with their chin tilted up high even though Elsie was half a foot shorter than them. “Oooh, pull it out, Wildcard. Whatever it is. Unless it’s that. In which case don’t. There’s children here.”

“Oh, come on now, Elsie.” Wildcard tisked. “I’m not going to hurt either of you. It’s pointless to hurt you, and I can tell Bailey is far too big a cornerstone to be pushing over.”

“You base your existence around being untrustworthy. So excuse me if I don’t trust you.” Elsie still kept her tone polite, and Bailey was reminded of how she spoke to dangerous wild animals rather than how she spoke to enemies or even annoyances. “It really is nothing personal.”

“Els you know I can get us out of any blast zone. Lemme see what Wildcard does. I wanna know. I have an urge to know stuff, Elsie. Especially when there’s two mysterious people being all mysteriously vague about their past encounters which each other. All mysteriously vague past danger like.”

Wildcard snorted. Elsie rolled her eyes and sighed, holstering her gun. “Fine. Try to pull anything, I’ll kill you, etcetera..”

“Of course.” Wildcard nodded, and she pulled out the item from her back pocket fully.

Bailey’s eyes went wide, gaze fixating on the shiny-backed cards like the ADHD poster child they were. “Oooo…Elsie. Elsie. It’s shiny.”

“Yes, they sure are Bailey. Shiny and potentially dangerous and/or dumb.”

“Oh, no need to be rude.” Wildcard pouted a little, turning the stack vertically and bracing her thumbs across the tops. “These cards have helped you out plenty of times before, you know.”

“Yeah. That’s why I don’t trust them.”

“‘For god’s sakes, play with me or eat me’, right?” Wildcard chuckled, the cards shifting around in her palms and fingers as she shuffled elaborately, much to the amusement of Bailey. “I hear that one a lot.”

“‘If you’re my friend, why do you bite me? If you’re my enemy, why do you play with me?’ is how the quote goes.” Elsie grumbled, shoulders rising a little as Wildcard finally selected one card, and then a second, from her hand. The rest immediately folded back up into a stack that showed much fewer cards than Elsie and Bailey had watched get shuffled.

“Ah, well. Paraphrasing.” Wildcard shrugged, examining the two cards in interest. “Let’s see how this goes.”

Bailey watched carefully as she dropped both cards on the ground, seeing that the cards looked the same on both sides up until the very moment they hit the ground. Then the sheen wiped away for a brief second, and both showed an image of what looked like a soap bar in a puddle before the cards evaporated into funnels of white bubbles and leapt at both Elsie and Bailey.

Elsie held still and closed her eyes. Bailey screeched and jumped around, swearing and spitting as bitter soap got into their mouth.

The effect was nevertheless the same on both of them by the time the last bubble popped - they were cleaner than they’d been in months. Bailey continued screeching, looking like they might start foaming some of their own bubbles at the mouth in a moment.

“..too fast for you?” Elsie guessed.

Fuck!” Was Bailey’s only response.

Wildcard shrugged, putting her deck back in her pocket. “Well. You two look much better. And it only took two cards! That leaves me with twenty for the rest of today. Not bad at all.”

“Twenty.” Elsie hissed, grimacing. “What the hell do you need twenty cards for?”

“No idea!” Wildcard smiled. “I guess I’ll find out. But it’s not for either of you. So that’s good, right? Nice bath aside.”

“Yeah.” Elsie grabbed Bailey when their skittering/jumping about put them within hoodie-snatching range. “We’re gonna go now. Good luck and/or I hope you die.”

Wildcard chuckled, nodding and stepping around them. “Likewise, Elsie. Though..I’m keeping the universe in balance, whatever I do, and you’re keeping time from splintering apart, aren’t you? Shouldn’t we both wish each other good luck, seeing as how we’re stuck in both fields?”

“You are, maybe.” Elsie pressed a button on her wrist strap before Bailey could flail themselves free, and the both of them disappeared in a flash of blue light.


© Copyright 2018 Anna Blue. All rights reserved.

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