Birth of the Undead – Multiple Identities, Interlude 2
Written by kshoo :: [Saturday, 19 August 2023 08:13] Last updated by :: [Saturday, 19 August 2023 16:24]
“I know you’re love to show-off, but even this is bordering on being ridiculous. You agree with me, don’t you Bruce?” Kara said exasperatedly as she observed Vampirella’s latest antics.
The raven-hair beauty had purposedly disregarded that comment, and continued to pose provocatively near the railings. Wearing a small top covering enough of her chest and little of her back, paired with a floor-level black skirt, Vampi seemed didn’t seem content to just ‘keep things simple’, unlike the light-blue coloured dress ensemble that Kara had turned up in.
Deep down inside, Bruce laughed, for he could tell despite everything no girl wants to be upstaged in a fashion show. Kara herself had caused more than a few patrons to give more than a cursory glance when she came towards him at the private section, her ensemble tasteful and yet teasingly revealing. But the raven-haired vampire literally turned heads with her own loud pairing, and as she shashayed past the tables Bruce could tell she was enjoying all the attention, purposedly taking a longer detour as she made her way towards the patio
A couple glasses of wine, and with the sun hanging lower, Vampi for whatever reason in her mind just proceeded to do a few poses along the rails overlooking the canal, seemingly with the intention of trying to take selfies with the river bank and the converted warehouses on the other bank as the backdrop. Even as her top hid minimally what lay beneath, the amount of cloth that she wore meant that her muscular back was all the evidence needed for anyone to view and appreciate. That, coupled with the casual invitation of what’s underneath her long skirt that seemingly fell partly open as she stretched and lifted her powerful legs strategically was enough to send many a heart racing all across the restaurant.
Not surprising that she was attracting glares that would be more akin to daggers from many partners as well.
An antic that was not lost on the Kryptonian young woman who could practically heard the gasps and frantic beatings of so many people as Vampi continued her pose.
“You can’t blame me for putting on a little show. It is a warm summer evening after all. Besides, with so many people around interested in buying me a drink and more, I thought I’d just put on a little teaser first, as motivation and encouragement to bring their A-Game to me. I do want to savour something… new, if that’s the right word for it.”
“Uggh… do you ever NOT think about your next meal ticket anywhere you go?” Kara rolled her eyes as she retorted to the raven-haired vixen.
“No. And you can’t blame me for it. Imagine getting a good drink plus a wonderful time in bed, with no concerns about STD whatsoever. I think that‘s as good a package as I could expect. You should think about doing it too sometime.” Vampi teased good humouredly and laughed a little seeing the blush become even more prominent on one of the most powerful, if slightly innocent, young superheroine.
“So tell us more about what happened the other day.” Bruce had patiently taken in the show, but given that he does have a business to run he quickly cut to the chase.
Given that both had been there for us to help and guide her through that rough patch of time a while ago, Kara thought of Vampirella and Bruce first about that particular sexual encounter. To seek opinion about what she might be facing. For obvious reason she wasn’t comfortable in getting get Kal involved, despite him so “deeply intimate” with her throughout that particular experience, if one could term it that. But when she saw Vampi’s frown and Bruce staring impassively back at her, it wasn’t a good sign of things.
“Based on what you said, it sounds like your mind was breached. Attacked, and perhaps manipulated.” Bruce’s comments wasn’t really unexpected, for the entire experience felt surreal, and felt very much like a dream. “Even so, it would need to be someone who has amazing telepathic powers in order to breakdown your own formidable mental defences to get in, like J'onn J'onzz. From your description though, it sounded like someone who might have not have that much experience in doing so, since you still found him out. It felt like he got lucky, this time.”
“Or it might have been a witch.” Vampirella remarked casually. “Magic is another potential method to do this, too. I’ve not met anyone with that kind of ability yet. Then again, the world is big out there. Who knows what kind of powers or abilities they truly have?”
“Is there a difference between those two? After all, we are talking about someone with abilities who can invade another person’s mind in any case.” Kara was slightly curious with where the discussion is going.
“One is due to his or her’s own physical or mental ability to do so, being a mutant or a person who happens to have honed his mind and abilities to be able to do so. Case in point again our friend the Martian Manhunter. The other relies heavily on their ability to cast and hold a spell, which demands all the right conditions and materials for it to work. Take away the conditions, and the spell breaks.” Bruce rubbed his chin as he thought about the implications. “Unless we are confident which one we are are talking about, it will be difficult to come up with a right solution to deal with the problem.”
“Is it bad?” Kara asked ruefully. This entire session seemed to be a bust.
“Not exactly. It’s just that it suggests that your mental defences are weak. ‘Untrained’ would be the better explanation, just like any other regular person. You do have the inner ability to withstand the mind-penetration powers to a certain extent, but with an experienced person it would still be easy get in. I’ve done it too, remember?” Kara winced at Vampi’s smirk, trying not to think about how she got there. “No matter, there must have been something that made you drop your guard. Something strong emotionally that caused you to be distracted at the very least.”
That much is true. Emotions from being sexually arousal for example, no thanks to her maturing body and all the hormonal inbalance at play.
“So what can I do then?”
“If you want, I can ask some of the witches for some wards. You can also check with your other ‘friends’ if they can come up with something better.” Bruce smiled at that remark, but just let that comment slide. “The other option is, of course, mental training. It’s a long and continuous process, but like your physical muscles your mind can be trained and honed. I can help, in fact both of us can, if you’re up for it.”
Kara shuddered slightly, thinking back to her time back at the Manor. “Gee thanks a lot guys. Give me a bit of time to think about it?” If it was THAT tough just to go through all the physical punishment and training, she wondered what other kinds of torture that Bruce might have in store to build her mental fortitude.
Maybe it would be a good time to dust off those philosophy books and even those on Buddhist meditation to try it on her own?
Bruce shrugged nonchalantly. “Suit yourself. In any case it takes one to know one. Normally if a mind probe or attack repeats, they tend to be in a similar manner. Once you are able to detect and grasp that pattern, normally that will help you to figure out what makes things tick, and also lead you to determine the right way to break free from that hold.” Kara was surprised with Bruce’s comments. It sounded like he does really had a lot of experience with this sort.
“So… what, I just wait? Try to overcome it with my own will and experience?”
“Unless you have something else more concrete to follow-up on, there’s really nothing much that either of us can do now. We could ask around, but again, there’s too many possibilities. However,” Vampi leaned over and looked into Kara’s blue eyes. “Just be a tad careful with what you do next, if it’s really a witch who was attempting this.”
“Because among the creatures there’s really no love lost among witches and vampires, given the constant jostling for power and influence on the creatures’ Congregation. The fact that both of them have been at each other’s throats for ages seemingly, and that the witches have always harboured a long grudge against the vampires for being hung out to dry at Salem and all… you get the idea. I might be an Adjudicator, but I am still closer to the vampires, being a Drakulon and all. There’s politics, and then there’s creature politics. Neither party will take things lightly if anything… unfortunate were to happen.”
So not helpful. Kara just sighed and went back to picking on the crab on her plate, her usual large appetite seemingly failing her today as she contemplated what to do next.
It wasn’t a coincidence that they met up in New York City for a change, knowing full well that the time and distance was not going to be a difference for all three. Bruce had wanted to stay on at the Big Apple for the weekend after his business meetings in the city, and unknowing to Vampirella and Supergirl it happened to do with ComiCon that was happening on that weekend itself.
While Wayne Enterprises does not have any direct dealings at all with the event that seems to draw in all walks of life across the country, one of the company’s subsidiary happened to be the major sponsor of the even, being the largest supplier of toys and diecast models for anything and everything related to pop culture.
Even though he really have any interest to seeing how others dress up in their replica costumes of the Batman, nevertheless the entire event had been a boon for business. While he didn’t want to admit it, some of the more interesting ideas that he had incorporated into his real armour and arsenal was actually inspired by some of the things that he saw during previous events.
As such, he found himself again walking pass security with the handy VVIP pass into the convention center that afternoon, and soon found himself engulfed in a sea of people decked in various colours, paraphernalia and what not.
Many played dress-up in various tv and comic characters, and even more came armed with their professional-looking video and photography equipment to take in the scene and the cosplayers. In fact, a cursory glance while doing his walk-past gave Bruce the impression that many of the so-called professional cosplayers would easily be able to give Diana, Zatanna, and even Kara a fair run for their money. Even Clark and himself too, such was the quality of their costume and their well-honed physiques.
Of course, there were bound to be many who failed miserably as well. He sighed inwardly a few times when he encountered that one middle-aged man who had tried to make the replica of an older version Batman costume work. With the man’s bulging beer-belly stretching the grey fabric seemingly to breaking point, it was all Bruce could do to not cringe or even laugh out loud.
As he walked past the area designated for artists and creative writers, he spotted a small booth just at the foot of the stairs the led the way up towards the VVIP rest area. It wasn’t so much that it looked out of place, appearing like a hastily assembled standee with some posters pasted on the headboard. He was actually taken in by the words ‘Beware the Arion invasion’ in bright red ink on white background.
Talk about eye-catching, though Bruce quickly realised that he seemed to be the only one who deigned to stop to look. The fact was not lost on the bespectacled, youngish men in a hawaiian t-shirt and khakis who immediately passed him a flyer with the menacing title “Arion invasion coming. Heed the warnings!”
“People must know that there are bigger things out there! Yes, the Justice League members are doing their part in helping Earth in all our disasters and all, but there are other warning signs that were still not taken seriously!” As the young man rambled on enthusiastically, the fact that the materials that he shared was so similar to what Kara and Vampi had shared with him much earlier was just too much of a conincidence.
“These Arions, they look just like us. Brutal though. Going about their business undercover, they excel in operating under the radar, influencing the rich and powerful towards their own goals and agenda. That’s why these days there are many more wars, more conflict, and all for what? Greed and personal gain. It’s all part of their plot to see us go against each other. All a ploy to soften us up by pitting different ideologies against each other, highlighting continously our different skin colour and our different beliefs. That way it will be easier for them to attack us when we are like sand, as we’ll be like ants for them to crush without a unified front.”
Despite his own misgivings, the man wasn’t really spouting all nonsense. He couldn’t help but probe a little. “How you do you know about all these? If they are operating in such secrecy, how would you know about all these things?”
“Ah, but you see there are many out there who risked their lives, to uncover and share these dark truths. At the very least the Internet remains a relatively safe heaven, where we even have the Dark Web as a last resort for those who want to make sure that the right information can be conveyed out into the open. You just need to know where and how to look for the clues and piece them together. However this entire situation might not last, for the powers that be are working quickly to quash and censor all these, even as we speak. We must all act fast, act united, before these get lost among the lies and deceit.”
“I guess you being here is actually as good as it gets, spreading the gospel so to speak. You must have gone on a limb to take up a booth here to do just that. After all, occupying space here isn’t cheap.” Bruce turned around upon hearing that melodic female voice behind him, and was immediately taken in by one of the most beautiful woman that he had ever seen.
Dressed in a tight, tasteful black dress that came midway over her thighs, showing off all her womanly curves in the right way, she stood at his height despite wearing only a rather short peep-toed heel to go with her dress colour of choice. Her blonde hair and the gold choker over her neck, together with the bright blue eyes constrasted perfectly with the dark getup that she was in.
It was like she was dressed for attending a high-society party, rather than attending a raucous event comprising all walks of life. Though for some reason it still felt weirdly appropriate for the occasion.
“Seems like quite a lot of conjecture here, even though with what’s happening on Earth for the past 30 years, I suppose it could give rise to new conspiracy theories everyday. Or rehash old ones.” Bruce was obviously referencing the World Wars in the olden days of years bygone. He proferred the flyer in his hand towards the blonde who politely declined.
“Mmm hmm. However, such thoughts and events don’t really appear out of thin air. There must be some basis for people to start exploiting in order for certain movements to take form. Humans in general are pretty forgetful, and history always have a penchant of rearing its ugly head when given the chance.”
“That’s true. But again with the yin there’s always the yang. There are always peoeple standing on two sides of the fence. I believe they will balance each other out. Whenever there is a calling, there will always be people who will stand up to the bad.”
The blonde just laugh. “Which is precisely the point. Each sees their side to be the ‘right’ point, not being able to realise that there are actually commonality between the two views. Compromises if need be, in order for everyone to move forward. Don’t you think that it’s dangerous the ‘evil side’ is actually on par in strength with the ‘good side’?”
It does. In fact it’s one of those things that will make the Dark Knight wake up in sweat at night.
“Now THAT is something I think I can agree to. But again, why do you say that whatever mentioned here… ’Arion Empire’… is something built on facts?”
“Well, look around you. All the comics books and fiction writers who churn out their materials must refer to something that happens everyday in order to create something that sounds plausible and believeable. Of course, for some it might be more factual than others, but still, there must be some reference that are able to connect with the audience for things to work. Else everything that we produce would be treated as hogwash and trash, don’t you think?”
“Maybe. The use of the term ‘Arions’ does sounds suspicious like the old days past when certain groups of people talked about a higher race. A supreme race that was supposed to be the dominant, the leading race while other are not. Now THAT is something I wouldn’t want us to have.”
“Sometimes all it takes is one person in position or power to believe in the cause in order to start things rolling. As it gathers enough wind the simple light will become a wildfire that will threaten to get out of control. Strong beliefs can be a double-edged sword. I myself will never underestimate that kind of power humans have when it comes to this.”
“I gather that you are someone who is equally interested in philosophy and history in addition to all the current genre surrounding us then.” Bruce gestured around before pointing towards the VVIP area upstairs. “Maybe we can continue our conversation elsewhere where there’s more privacy. We can then continue trading opinions over a glass of wine, if you have the time.”
The woman laughed pleasantly, and for some reason it made the normally unflappable Bruce Wayne slightly hot in the collar, and not in an entirely bad way.
“Not bad for a pickup line. I am flattered that the CEO of one of the biggest companies in the country would even think about spending time chatting with an unknown person like me. However I do have other engagements planned, so I will pass on this unique opportunity today.”
A mischeivous wink, and she turned away.
“I don’t remember getting your name?” Bruce tried again.
Smiling broadly the blonde tossed her mane slightly to the side before replying. “It’s Sara Lynn.” Within moments she walked into a passing crowd and was swallowed by the people.
“Well, I’ll be… Could that be Saralynn Best?” Bruce was suddenly reminded of the presence of the man in the Hawaiian t-shirt. “Oh wow, oh man she’s smoking HOT! And here I was thinking it might just be a pen name of some young-uns out there…”
“What? Who…” The CEO was noticeably confused.
“If I’m not wrong, she…” he whipped up his phone and scrolled to an article online “… is the self-published writer who wrote much about them Arions and Velorians. You know, the epic struggle between good and evil in a galatic scale between the two most powerful and beautiful races. Think a bunch of Supermen fighting it out for a piece of the galaxy pie. Or maybe just the Superwomen; men are just egoistic idiots looking for a good fuck. Supposedly science fiction, but from the way it was written it might have well been a historical document. If she was really the writer, all I can say is that this really blows my mind of what a writer looks like. She’s absolutely smokin’!”
Bruce just had one follow up to that.
“Where do I find out more about this?”