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Diosa – Chapter 9: "Vicious" (Part II)

Written by XionZeros :: [Sunday, 23 June 2024 04:25] Last updated by :: [Sunday, 30 June 2024 08:06]

Chapter Nine: “Vicious” (Part II)

A Majestic Departure

Heaven Industries' remaining soldiers exit out of the stairwells one-by-one into the parking garage to investigate the possible source of the explosion that shook the building to its core. By now, Kanashimi and her cohorts within the Sentry Corps had already departed. The only remains of her presence were the scorched earth and scattered debris that was left in her wake - along with the unconscious security guard at the exit gate that they would discover later.

The soldiers performed a full sweep of the area, finding nothing out of the ordinary. Visibility of the area was difficult, especially with the thick veil of smoke and dust. A few minutes had transpired and that very same veil was beginning to dissipate. That was when the "survivors'' made their move. The sound of a car engine roars as it comes to life with no other than Taurus at the wheel. He floors the gas pedal and guns the car straight for the nearest exit. The soldiers dive out of the way but couldn't keep up on foot to pursue this fleeing vehicle.

One of the soldiers radioed directly to Captain Yamato, "We have a possible suspect fleeing from the garage. We would like to request a team to pursue the vehicle."

Helena Dumond personally interrupts that message, "That request is denied. Pursuit will not be necessary."

"But ma'am..."

"You heard me. Return to your positions and resume normal operations," she snapped back.

Captain Yamato adds, "You heard the lady. Disregard and return to your positions."


Majestuosa moans and groans loudly in pain as she awakens in the backseat of her Corvette as Taurus sped onto the neighboring highway. She looks down at her body and is surprised that she's mostly unfettered, save for the minor bumps and bruises she received during their skirmish with Kanashimi, along with a few burns on her costume from the explosion that followed thereafter.

She then glanced at Taurus' attire from the mirrors and saw that his outfit was reduced down to his armored sleeve still decorating his left arm and his boxer briefs. A brief glimpse of his mind told her that he tackled her down during the explosion and shielded her body with his own to take the brunt of the explosion head on since she was so close to the point of impact. Her face reddened briefly at the sight of his selflessness in her mind's eye.

"Careful, Juliana. You might learn to fall for the guy if he keeps up with these heroics."

She composed herself before addressing Taurus verbally.

"You might want to slow down before we have more heat on our backs for that stunt you pulled back there."

Taurus replies, "No one is following us, so I think we're in the clear."

"Don't be so naive, Taurus. Our problems have only gotten exponentially worse."

"How so?" He asked, looking confused as he struggled to keep his eyes on the road.

"Our tussle back there with that ninja was the one of the main reasons why I knew it was going to be rather dicey to do business with Helena Dumond. Sure, the payment was more than generous for the work, but having to evade one of the UnSeen's agents isn't something I would want to do on a regular basis. I need to report this information to the Underw0rld immediately. They need to know that one of the Hitoshirenu was tailing us."

“The what now?” asked Taurus.

“The Hitoshirenu are what the rest of the rumor mill regard as the UnSeen. The Jaegers hunt for fame and profit. The Hitoshirenu eliminate targets for their own sense of maintaining justice and balance in the world. If they get paid for it, that’s just a consolation prize. Throughout history, their presence can be felt. And to say that we got their attention must mean that we have landed ourselves in the thick of something rather big. It’s still rather disturbing to me that I couldn’t get anything out of the minds of Dumond and her assistants. It was like a thick fog was blanketed over all of their thoughts and I couldn’t find my way within. Not even Cytherea’s mind is that well fortified.”

Taurus mused, “Do you think they’ve all had some sort of special training to protect themselves from psychic probes or wearing some special devices to interfere with your powers?”

Majestuosa shook her head, “No. It wasn’t that. I was able to easily infiltrate the minds of almost everyone else there in that building. Those three were the only exceptions. If they were using some sort of technology that blocked me out, I would have been at least privy of that much. Then again, my mother once mentioned that there’s some individuals who are so strong willed that they just won’t allow any outside intrusion into their minds, no matter how powerful the telepath is. Those individuals are rare and few though - until now. It just makes me be even more careful around her. An individual like that is extremely dangerous to be around, especially when I can’t read her thoughts and intentions.”

Taurus adds, "Not to mention that we can count our blessings after surviving an encounter with the legendary assassin, Kanashimi, no less and lived to tell about it..."

Majestuosa rubbed her temple, “Quite frankly, I wasn’t impressed. Legendary? Hmph. I think we were about to put an end to that legend before she played her trump card. Don’t worry. We’ll be ready for the rematch.”


“Of course there’s going to be a rematch. For one reason, she’s got a reputation to uphold. We saw her and lived to tell about it. Not many people outside of the Jaegers’ organization have lived to have accounts of her floating around social circles. Secondly, she was giving off so much bloodlust and the intent to kill that it was almost disorienting to me as a telepath. I couldn’t read her mind completely, but that degree of focus isn’t going to allow her to rest without finishing what she started with us.”

Taurus ponders, “I don’t think she was after us. If she was, she wouldn’t have waited so long to target us, especially when she followed us back to our hotel. She had to be after something else if she didn’t try to finish us off last night.”

Majestuosa’s eyes widened at the sudden revelation. “You might be onto something. You just might be more than just muscle and good looks after all…”

“Compliments are a rarity from you, so I’m going take that as a thank you for saving your ass back there.”

“Correction, my fine ass. Get it right, Taurus.

Like I was saying though… Kanashimi had numerous chances to pick her spots to strike, but chose now. It was as if we were getting in her way. She treated us more as an annoyance than a threat, given how she was fighting us. Then that hail mary play isn’t anything like the Kanashimi that I have heard so many rumors about. Maybe she had a job there like we did.”

“You could be right. You started taking jobs from Dumond when she started paying you more than the people who tried to hire you to steal from her. It’s just a matter of figuring out who has deep enough pockets to afford Kanashimi these days. I heard that her assassination rates have gone up astronomically - higher than the Jaegers’ rates actually.”

Majestuosa laughs, “Wouldn’t that be ironic if Little Miss Cash finds herself all out of cash if Kanashimi was able to collect at a higher rate than her on our bounties?”

Taurus joins her in laughter at the thought.

Campus Tour (Continued)

Lillian Moore’s campus tour continues throughout Elysium Bay University with Zabrina Sawyer, Ericka Chen, and Imani Jacobs leading her to the residential dining hall and cafeteria.

The inside of this building is decorated and set up like a lavish food court that one would find within the nearest mall or amusement park. Numerous restaurants and fast food chains are represented along with freshly made food from the university’s own cooks and chefs.

“Goodness. With so many options, how does the university ensure that they have enough cooks to cater to the student and faculty needs?”

Zabrina remarked, “You can easily see that Ericka’s not missing any meals so you can tell that this university isn’t having any shortages in that regard.”

Ericka ignored Zabrina’s comment at her expense and offered some insight, “Some of the culinary arts undergrad students, graduate students, and faculty have volunteered on occasion to practice their craft and share their recipes to the student body and faculty in the kitchens here as well.”

Zabrina remarks, “I’m sure that this would probably be the first and last time that you would be seen in this building. It wouldn’t be far-fetched to assume that your family has all of your meals flown in straight from Concordia, am I correct?”

Lillian giggles before responding, “Don’t be silly, Zabrina. My family’s private cooks have flown over to prepare all of my meals as needed. That was the first thing my parents did before I left the homeland. To be honest, I wouldn’t be opposed to partaking in the meals here.”

Imani chimes in, “Don’t let Zabrina dissuade you from having an open mind, honey. The hamburger patty melts here are to die for. I definitely make sure to swing by for at least two minimum on my cheat days from my diet. Ohhh and don’t forget to ask for the marinara sauce to dip it in. It’s just simply… divine.”

Zabrina scoffs, “I just thought that you would like to maintain a refined palette over the course of your stay, ‘tis all. Besides, you don’t have to settle for subpar food when you have a wealth of options at your disposal either, especially when your private cooks and servants traveled so far just to work for you here.”

At that moment, several fraternity brothers and jocks enter the cafeteria and immediately rush to get in line. Most of them are piling their plates up with spaghetti, pizza, and burgers while one of them takes the opportunity to stop and put his arm over Zabrina and Imani’s shoulders.

“Helllloooo, ladies. Looking good as always. Can I count on you two to come down for our keg party next weekend?”

Zabrina and Imani slowly brushed his arms off their shoulders and pondered the question nonchalantly.

“We might have our own plans that night. Don’t we, Zabby?” inquired Imani.

Zabrina nodded, “I don’t know, Devlin. Your parties tend to warrant a lot of unwanted attention for my tastes.”

Devlin Essex then notices the petite and innocent Lillian standing behind them and smirks, “How about you, good lookin’? Come down to my party and I’ll promise you that I’ll give you the full VIP experience.”

Lillian blushes deeply, stammering with her words, “I-I-I don’t know…”

Zabrina sighs, “Devlin, lay off on the freshman. I don’t think she’s ready for your idea of a good time.”

Devlin shrugs before taking a napkin and writing his phone number on it. He handed it to Lillian and patted her on the cheek.

“Whenever you cut the leash and want to cut loose a bit, gimme a call.”

Ericka comments after he walks away, “That guy always rubs me the bad way.”

“I’ve never had any complaints about how he’s rubbed me… Oops, did I say that out loud?” remarked Zabrina.

Imani burst out laughing while Ericka stood there with her mouth agape.

Zabrina shrugged, “What? Don’t stare at me like that, Ericka. It’s not my fault that you haven’t been touched by a man in this century. We’ve dated a few times, okay? He’s not bad in the sack. I’ll give him that much. Just don’t let him sink his teeth into you or you’re never going to be able to get rid of him.”

Lillian had been completely oblivious to that exchange as she stood swooning, staring at the napkin that Devlin gave her with his phone number scribbled onto it. Her mind seemed completely detached from her body as she retreated into the expanses of her imagination.

Devlin ran his hands along the expanse of her arms before resting on her petite shoulders. She instinctively leaned back into his touch. “This won’t do,” he said, looking down at her nondescript, childlike body.

Devlin isn’t a boy… He’s a man… A man with unique needs and wants. He doesn’t want a mere girl… Men like him crave a woman. You have seen how this Zabrina takes charge and assumes control…

She then saw herself with a body like Zabrina’s… or rather an exaggeration of the queen bee’s existing traits. Lillian moaned softly as she felt her breasts growing as they filled her blouse to nearly the breaking point with several buttons popping off. She arched her back as she felt her spine decompress and elongate, making her taller. She shook her hips hypnotically while they flared out with her glutes following suit, giving her an hourglass figure. Her heart-shaped rear was perched on top of two sensual pillars that could be best described as her legs that were a byproduct of her newly lengthened limbs. Devlin didn’t tower over her much longer as she could look over her shoulder and see him eye to eye. She felt her cheekbones rise and her lips pump into a sultry pout before settling into a mischievous smirk. There was no mistake… she WAS Zabrina - even more than the real Zabrina with the enhanced curves and dimensions - now in her mind’s eye. She was more than enough woman now to claim her prize.

She ran her fingers through her honey-colored hair that flowed over her shoulders and down her back. She spun around on her feet, now high-heeled feet to face a now stunned Devlin. She playfully shoved him into the lockers behind him and pressed her body against his own. Her large breasts were already straining the fabric that contained them in her thin shirt while the remaining three buttons were put to the test as she pressed her chest against Devlin’s own. He could feel her erect nipples through the thin fabric of her shirt, which clung to her perspiring flesh like a second skin. She ran her fingers over his chiseled chest before her questing hand slipped underneath his belt and boxer briefs. His eyes widened with shock and awe as she wrapped her fingers around his member. Her eyes illuminated with excitement and sinister glee as she felt it grow hard and rigid within her grasp. She squeezed her creamy thighs together as she felt her loins moisten in response. Their heads moved closer as their puckered lips sought the other. She ran her tongue over her rose-colored glossy lips in anticipation while Devlin bit his bottom lip. Their arousal grew stronger as their lips inched closer and closer until finally…

Zabrina snapped her fingers repeatedly in front of Lillian’s face to bring her out of her stupor.

“Excuse me, Your Highness. We need you to come back to Earth so we can continue our tour.”

And just like that, the clock struck midnight in Lillian’s mind’s eye and jerked back in reality and a lifetime away from her Cinderella story. Back to being plain… ordinary. Lillian’s cheeks burned with a redness with a hue close to the pigment of her own natural hair as those brief, yet vivid lust-filled, erotic images floated through the back of her mind.

She quickly pushed those mental images aside and apologized to her host, “I’m so sorry, Zabrina. I guess I lost my head in the clouds there for a moment there.”

Zabrina stood confused as Lillian couldn’t look her in the eyes at the moment. Eventually, the prima donna folded her arms, “A word of advice, Lillian. These boys that you find here not just at this university, correction, in this entire country, are like sharks. When they see any signs of weakness, they are going to prey on it as if it were blood in the water and eat you alive. Don’t make it look like you’re desperate for their attention and if you play your cards right, they will be eating out of your hands.”

Lillian’s ears perked up as she listened to Zabrina’s words intently.

“Follow my lead, my little Galatea, and I’ll mold you into an ideal queen modeled in my image.”

Confirming The Kill I

Helena Dumond casually walks past the front desk without having to stop and show her ID card like the other employees. She enters and navigates through the staff only restricted areas without any resistance and enters the lounge area where Diosa is waiting with Bliss and Bless.

Diosa immediately stood up from her seat upon Helena’s arrival, much to the chagrin of Bliss and Bless sitting next to her. “Is there something else going on that I could be of assistance with? That earthquake was rather… concerning. Are Pris and Oshun alright upstairs?”

Helena waved her hand in a dismissive manner, “No need to concern yourself with that. Your friends are just fine. The commotion downstairs was just the aftermath of some vandals thinking they made off with some goods.”

Diosa immediately interrupts, questioning the CEO’s logic in this situation, “Why not? I could race out there and catch them in a snap at my top speeds.”

Helena shook her head, “Heaven Industries has corporate espionage and piracy attempts on a daily basis. Every now and then, I let one of them win to think that they have gotten one over me when they haven’t taken anything important at all. I honestly wouldn’t have met Majestuosa and have a strong business relationship with her if I didn’t propose a better deal than whoever she was hired to steal company secrets from me for. I offer her a higher rate than my competition to reverse those dealings.”

Diosa remained silent but merely glared at Helena.

Helena continued, “Don’t give me that look as if you understand how cut throat the business world is. Try running a multi-billion dollar conglomerate without breaking a few eggs and playing nice and see how far that gets you. One day you’re going to realize that you have to break a few legs from the competition to get ahead in life.”

Diosa mumbles, “I pray that it never comes to that…”

Bliss and Bless added, “By the way, we have been informed that the helicopter is fueled up and ready to go. Captain Yamato has already prepped and debriefed his team on the mission. They are waiting for your arrival.”

Helena addressed Bliss and Bless after pivoting her body away from facing Diosa, “I want you two to hold down things here while Diosa and I resolve this matter. Time is of the essence.”

"If time is of the essence, why couldn't I fly us over there?" asks Diosa.

Helena stopped mid stride and spun back around to scold her, "After everything that's transpired today, don’t you think flying around the city in broad daylight would draw too much attention to yourself, not to mention my company as a whole? For Christ’s sake, you already saw the Sentry Corps' soldiers snooping around. It's only a matter of time before they get privy to what really went down here. And I can't continue to cover up your messes if you insist on continuing to leave the spoiled milk out on the counter all night."

Diosa interjected, "My messes? Let’s not forget that I didn’t ask to be brought here to begin with."

Helena raised her voice as she stepped forward, pointing a manicured finger firmly into Diosa’s chest.

"No. Allow me to remind you about who is completely in charge of this situation. I’m not going to allow a mere child tell me how to run my business. My clean-up crew didn’t just cover up the incident at my resort where you disposed of the Nemesis, but all of the collateral damage done to the city from your skirmish with my Child of Venus… Oh and what about that group of thugs that you and your friend were having a night out on the town playing with? Oh I wonder who paid those eye witnesses and few survivors off so they could get a convenient case of amnesia when the Sentry Corps’ officers and other law enforcement came around questioning everyone for more detailed accounts of what transpired. You were lucky with your run-in with Cytherea since she was already tampering with the minds of those in that venue to begin with."

At that moment, it dawned on Diosa then and there that she hasn't been too careful about remaining hidden from eye witnesses throughout the usage of her powers thus far. Diosa backed away from Helena, cowering away from this shift in her attitude and tone. Helena stepped forward to maintain her dominance and authority over this young woman.

Helena continues, "For the record, you were brought here for I could hopefully aid you in preventing these messes altogether. Unforeseen circumstances have landed us in our current conundrum. Fortunately, I have learned to improvise in my line work and unlike you, I can comprehend the grim reality that this isn’t a game for children. There wasn’t a single instance where I wasn’t in control of the situation here today. Not even those soldiers fooled me in the least. They clearly knew more about what they were leading on, despite the strong poker face that their commanding officer kept up. His men, however, were itching for some action. Until you grow up and take heed of the gravity of the situation that you have landed yourself into, you’re always going to finish last in the race called life, my dear."

Diosa gulped hard and found her voice again, "I recognized one of them actually. He saw me leaving with Hanney and Oshun that day… You’re right. I didn’t think much of it at all at the time. I was foolish not to consider the ramifications of being spotted leaving the scene of the crime."

Bliss and Bless glanced at each other silently behind Helena at the mention of Hanney’s name.

Helena relented, "Well, we're fortunate that Majestuosa was able to mask your presence from his mind or he might have given you away right then and there, even though I am a little surprised that he hasn't put two and two together already... Then again, for all of those advancements in technology, you can't upgrade the brains attached to that group of cyborgs. On top of that, those two younger officers weren’t enhanced like their superior. They were still entirely human."

Diosa chuckles at Helena's remark before inquiring with a question of her own, "Maybe he's doing an investigation of his own?"

Helena dismissed that notion. “Let’s not dwell on that. It’s not important at this very moment. I’m sure that I got the point across to those errand boys from the Sentry Corps. They merely wanted to take advantage of the situation to poke around my company since the calls from the neighboring buildings and eyewitness accounts of what transpired when that thing burst in here.”

Diosa asks, “What’s stopping every media and news outlet from storming this place to get to the bottom of what happened here today?”

Helena smirked, “To put it bluntly, money. The first thing I did before coming downstairs to address our ‘guests’ was to provide a PR statement and pay all of the news outlets looking to post the first headline or snoop around some hush money. As far as anyone is concerned, it was another random wildcard incident. The Sentry Corps can do their investigation or whatever they want to call it, but this ordeal will be water under the bridge for the time being unless I want it to be made into a bigger deal.”

Bliss and Bless chime in, “Heaven Industries isn’t different from any other corporation. We have our secrets and skeletons in our closets that we hide from the public eye. We’re no different than you, Ximena Vega. You don’t want the public to know that you’re parading around as a heroine, correct?”

Diosa blushed as she gestured at her statuesque amazonian appearance, “Yeah… I don’t think my family or anyone else is quite ready for all of this… quite yet. I’m still not used to it yet to be quite honest. I just want to go home, lay down on my comfy bed, and hopefully wake up from this crazy dream…”

Helena sternly stated, “You shouldn’t be afraid of what you are and what you’re doing right now. You have been given a gift. It’s your responsibility to make the best of it. The powers that you wield aren’t to be taken lightly. Keep your head out of the clouds and we might be able to resolve this matter sooner than later.”

Diosa frowned briefly, “Unfortunately, I can’t afford to do that until I free Pris from her nightmare first…”

Helena remarked, “Then I’m going to need you to continue carrying your weight until this matter is resolved. I don’t have the time to recall any of my Venuses from the field to join us.”

Diosa looked confused, “Wait, are you telling me that you don’t have a beeper or signal to shine in the night sky to bring them back home?”

Helena opened a hidden panel on the nearby wall and inputted her personal code into the console. A hidden wall opens up, revealing another elevator.

Helena sighed heavily, “While I find your attempts at humor cute, it doesn’t work like that. My Children of Venus have their own assignments to attend to. I won’t distract them with trivial matters like this. Let’s not keep Captain Yamato waiting.”

The group all step onto Helena’s personal elevator. Helena punches the keys with her manicured nails on the buttons and the doors shutting behind them with it on the course to the rooftop bay.

Diosa looked out of the glass of the elevator and gazed about at the view of the neighboring business district and the entire city in the distance. It was only now that she could see the aftermath from her battle with the ogre. She raised a hand over her mouth at the sight of the gaping holes in the neighboring buildings as her eyes welled up with tears.

Helena looked over her shoulder and sought to ease Diosa’s concerns with some comforting information, “There were no fatalities reported. Lots of people were wounded who were caught in the crossfire of the battle, but Heaven Industries are covering all of the medical expenses for those affected. It’s not your fault, Diosa. My men owe you their lives and the situation would have been a lot worse if you didn’t step in when you did.”

Diosa’s voice cracked, “But they still got hurt because of me…”

“Dry your tears. Think of how many would have been dead if you didn’t do anything… Not just today but all of the times that you decided to take action with those powers. You are going to quickly realize that the greatest tragedies occur in life when we fail to take action,” Helena adds in an austere tone.

Diosa’s mind immediately went back to the town littered with the corpses of those people slaughtered and mauled to death by the malevolent beast that she worked with the Child of Venus to purify.

“She’s right. I’m making a difference with these powers. It’s not much, but it’s something. It's a hell of a lot more than I can do for Pris or anyone else as just plain ol’ Ximena Vega.”

The elevator reached the rooftop floor shortly thereafter with Helena leading the group off the elevator. She is immediately greeted by Captain Yamato who salutes to Helena. The other soldiers standing in the hangar salute in unison to their arrival.

Helena flashed a smile as she stepped aside to allow Diosa to walk in front of her, “They aren’t only showing respect to me, Diosa. They are acknowledging you as well.”

Diosa stopped in place before scanning the entire room. She stood gobsmacked at the sight of all of the soldiers saluting her, “Who, me? Guys, really. All this isn’t necessary.”

She began to draw bated breaths as her anxiety grew. Can I really continue to deliver and perform at the level they expect me to? I’m not a trained soldier. I’m barely trained, period, at the technical know-how of these powers. Oshun gave me that crash course, but this is so much, so fast… The enhanced form of Ximena Vega felt her heartbeat accelerate to the point it was like a pounding drum that she could have sworn that she could hear in her eardrums if she stood here as the center of attention for much longer.

Helena sensed the young woman’s performance anxiety and raised a hand to signal to the soldiers to dismiss them to ease Diosa’s growing anxiety, “At ease, men. Our guest is being modest about her heroics. She agreed to continue lending us her strength for a little longer.”

Diosa added, “I’ll do my best to help you all out and not let you down.”

Captain Yamato rests a hand on her shoulder, “Everyone gets nervous out there. Performance anxiety just comes with the territory. Just keep doing what you do best, kid.”

Helena strode past them towards the helicopter while addressing her assistants once more while they stood back near the elevator.

“Bliss. Bless. You’re in charge until I get back. I expect this mess to be cleaned up by then. Understood?”

They spoke in unison like usual. “Yes, ma’am. Consider it done.”

Bliss and Bless exchanged each others’ dossiers and retreated back onto the elevator.

Helena climbed into the helicopter and buckled herself in.

“Enough dillydallying around you two. I would like to be back by the time the evening news comes on. Besides, tracking that thing under the veil of night isn’t beneficial to our cause. Let’s get going while we still have some sunlight left.”

Captain Yamato acknowledged Helena’s request and climbed into the helicopter next and helped Diosa get inside.

Once everyone was seated and buckled up, the helicopter took off and flew out of the hangar. Diosa couldn’t help but notice that this vehicle was a lot faster than it would have appeared to be. She took note of the change in Helena’s demeanor. She was looking out the window and gathering her thoughts to focus on the task at hand.

Helena spoke up and broke the silence between them.

"After this matter is resolved, I promise to free Oshun and help your friend as well - no strings attached. On top of that, I'll do something about getting you both back to Elysium State University too without issue. It is my alma mater after all and Heaven Industries is one of its biggest donors. I'm sure I could pull a few strings to excuse your absences."

Diosa’s eyes lit up with excitement, "Thank you for everything - for what you have already done and will do. I mean that from the bottom of my heart."

Helena smiles as she pats Diosa's thigh.

"Don't go thanking me too much. We're not out of the woods yet. Besides, it’s the least I can do for dragging you all the way out here."

Cashing In The Bounty

A few minutes ago… We find an individual standing on the rooftop of one of the surrounding buildings next to Heaven Industries.

"Controller, I have mah eyes on the prize," says a redheaded cowgirl watching the van speed out onto the neighboring highway from behind the scope of the sniper rifle that was provided by her employer for this assignment.

The voice over her earpiece responds, "Jaeger Designation & Rank: Confirmed. Calamity Cash, you have our authorization to bring in the target(s) - dead or alive."

"Wait, hold dat order, Controller... there's another bogey coming out of d’ere garage."

Calamity Cash continues to survey the scene as a Corvette drives right through the security gate, tearing it asunder. Taurus is at the driver's seat, flooring the gas and gunning the car down the roads and onto the neighboring highway as well. Majestuosa is seen lying unconscious in the backseat.

"Before I pluck these varmints off da road, I need to make sure my paperworks' still good. Controller, can you be a doll and check if mah contracts for Majestuosa and Taurus are still active?" she asks.

Controller replies, "Affirmative. You have authorization to engage the active bounties on the targets known as Majestuosa and Taurus. Your previous contract is still open."

Calamity smirks as lines up a shot, "Much obliged, Sugah. Ah gotta admit that Taurus is looking more nervous than a long tailed cat in a room full of rockin' chairs from the way how he's driving. Majestuosa lookin’ like she's in rough shape too. If Ah may add, dis d’ere fancy rifle you kind folks provided isn’t my usual cup of tea that Ah’m used to, but Ah can manage. "

Calamity's mind drifts back to the night of passion and hedonism she spent with them last night while she was under the influence of Cytherea's spell. The spell had her intoxicated with lust more than any drug and the duo took full advantage of her in this state - to all of their pleasures and desires. Calamity bit her lip, thinking back to those steamy moments, despite how wrong they were. She has been on Majestuosa's trail for a very long time and this was the golden opportunity that she needed to bring her in and close the book on this ordeal. The fact that Majestuosa left these memories in her mind instead of erasing them like she and Cytherea did everyone else who was in that nightclub made her blood boil. A part of her felt violated, but deep down she couldn't deny admitting to herself that she wanted to partake into more after hour activities with that sultry Latina and ebony Adonis.

Calamity shook her head and composed herself, "Focus, darlin'. Ah ain't evah let my feelings get in the middle of a job and Ah sure as hell won't start now."

She took the shot and blew out the back tire on the Corvette. The car spun out of Taurus' control and flew over the guard rail and down into the ravine below. From her position high up on the rooftop of one of the many buildings surrounding Heaven Industries, she couldn't make out the crash site.

"Controller, stand by. Ah need to relocate and confirm the termination of the targets at large."

Controller replies, "Affirmative. Standing by until your confirmation of the statuses of the targets.”

Calamity Cash detached the rifle from its tripod and took the time to disassemble the weapon before storing it into a nondescript duffle bag. Calamity stood up and slung the bag over her shoulder after donning her trench coat. She looked over her shoulder to glance back at the smoke coming up from the ravine in the distance.

“Let’s see who’s going to have the last laugh now…”

Confirming The Kill II

The helicopter pilot calls back to the Heaven Industries' CEO. "We have eyes on the target, ma'am."

Helena replies, "Good. That didn’t take long at all. Set us down a few clicks away and we'll approach on foot as a precaution. Keep the motor running in case we have to make a hasty exit."

The pilot nods, "Yes, ma'am."

Captain Yamato speaks up, “Are you sure those clankers aren’t following us? They seemed pretty adamant about wanting to perform their own investigation.”

Helena shook her head, “I think I gave the Sentry Corps boys the answers that they wanted to hear. It’s going to take them some time to decrypt those dummy files that they stole that I had on my private terminal too. My only concern is the one eagle-eyed officer who was obviously studying the telemetry of the damage and calculating the distance from the surrounding buildings. With that information, he could easily deduce where we’re going.”

Yamato adds, “Is that why you didn’t want us to pursue the suspect in the parking lot?”

“No, I suspected that something like that would happen, plus the vehicle description fit the vehicle that Majestuosa and her muscle arrived here in. At this stage, those two are harmless to my operations. What I wanted was to make the Sentry Corps officers who were with me upstairs think that they accomplished their mission. They immediately started engaged in their internal communications when that explosion occurred. They clearly knew something was going on and wanted to make a hasty exit. All of their talk about an investigation went out of the window at that point. That’s when I concluded that our cyber thief was working with them and gave them the exit window they so desired.”

Diosa is impressed by Helena’s deductive skills, “While we were dealing with that thing, you’ve been keeping track of someone hacking into your private files the entire time?”

Captain Yamato interjected, “There’s very little that Miss Dumond doesn’t have her hands in or doesn’t know about to be honest.”

“I don’t like to brag, but I was actively keeping up with our cyber thief’s attempts to dig deeper into Heaven Industries’ files while in constant communication with Bliss and Bless about that matter. I almost hacked into the Sentry Corps’ private communication line until that explosion occurred. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have been the wiser. They were convinced that it was natural ‘interference’ in our building. I can’t trust those men when they saw fit to have their own private conversation going on when they were supposed to be performing a professional investigation for our safety.”

Diosa remarked, “Sounds a little paranoid to me.”

Helena narrowed her eyes at Diosa’s remark, “I would rather be paranoid and cautious than naive when it comes to my line of work. Stick with me, and I could teach you a lot about all walks of life. To be frank, you’re going to get your first lesson once we land when I have a few choice words for that thing.”

Captain Yamato hands Helena a magnum while she strapped on a holster. Helena inspects the cylinder and makes sure the gun is loaded before securing it into the holster.

The helicopter sets down at least a half mile away from the sizable crater that the ogre that attacked Heaven Industries crashed landed into from Diosa's home run worthy strike. Diosa took a deep breath to compose herself. It wasn’t much, but Diosa gave herself some words of encouragement.

“C’mon, Ximena. You got this.”

Diosa removes her harness and stands up first. She addresses Helena directly with a simple plea, "Please have your men stay back a safe distance and let me investigate first in case that thing is still a threat to anyone."

Helena looks her in the eyes sternly and relents, "Okay, but I'm coming with you. I have my own share of questions for that thing."

Captain Yamato addressed his men, “We have our orders, men. Diosa and the CEO will investigate the scene first. Our unit will be on standby to deploy if needed.”

Diosa retreated into her thoughts as she exited the vehicle, “I can’t ignore this bad feeling that is welling up inside me the closer we get to this thing. Is it nervousness or something else?”

Crossed Wires

An unmarked van speeds down the highway with the Sentry Corps’ personnel onboard…

Kanashimi grows increasingly annoyed at the constant stares she has been receiving by both Nguyen and Tate as she sat Indian style in the back of the van. She performed various hand signs with her eyes closed slowly and methodically. The fluidity of her movements were almost hypnotic to the young soldiers looking on. Eventually, she spoke up to address Pollux’s subordinates.

“If you have any questions, I suggest you ask them now. I doubt the good doctor is going to allow you to maintain any visual data of my appearance on record. As a safety precaution of course…”

Tate and Nguyen exclaimed in unison, “WHAT!!??”

Pollux shook his head, “Settle down, boys. She’s being sarcastic.”

“You’re no fun.”

“What are you doing? Looks like a funky yoga technique,” asks Nguyen.

“That’s cute. I’m realigning my chi and chakra. In layman's terms since I’m sure you cannot comprehend what I am doing in a spiritual and physical sense, is healing my body from my injuries incurred in battle during this assignment. It’s an old technique, but helps kill the time for this ride back to Subsistence.”

“I hate to inform you, Kanashimi, but we’re not going straight back to base. We’re dropping you off at the docks so we can take a shuttle to follow-up on a lead in this case.”

“Oh really now?” This sudden revelation interests Kanashimi enough to open one eye as she addresses Pollux. “And under whose authority was this change of plans granted?”

“Dr. Maxwell and Casseiopia both signed off on it. Tate’s recorded telemetry and calculated trajectory in Dumond’s lab checked out. It aligns with the reports of seismic activity on the outskirts of the city right after the reports came in following the attack on her building.”

Tate adds, “Not to mention, we got a confirmation of a helicopter leaving Heaven Industries heading in that direction. They are definitely onto something and we want to know what it is that she was so adamant about hiding from us.”

Kanashimi informs them blatantly, “I saw the entire battle while I was logged into Dumond’s private terminal. They were fighting what I believe was an ogre. Surprising to say that I thought that race died off from this reality eons ago, but there it was standing in Dumond’s laboratory plain as day. That wasn’t even the most surprising thing about the ordeal. It was the demigoddess that came to their aid.”

Tate’s eyes lit up at the mention of the demigoddess, “How do you know she was a demigoddess?”

“Don’t be dense. You should know from your briefings and files on my abilities for this sortie that I can see chakra and divine energies everywhere as plain as day. Unlike all of you that rely on machines and your technology, I have spent my entire life practicing and learning the old ways of the world, including how to detect, track, and hunt divine beings. This woman’s energies weren’t as defined and potent as a purebred deity’s. That being said, she was powerful nonetheless. She overwhelmed the creature and sent it flying out of the building in order to protect Dumond and her men.”

“So she’s working with Helena Dumond??” asked Nguyen.

“No, I don’t think so. She seemed reluctant… hesitant at first to take action. As if she was unsure of what she should be doing… almost childlike and juvenile in a sense. I don’t know what to make of it. That demigoddess lacked the intent to kill. Definitely an oddity out of the immortals I have encountered in my line of work.”

Tate considered if he should reveal what he saw back on their previous assignment but hesitated. Instead, he posed a different hypothesis.

“Is there any chance of the demigoddess being a benevolent protector?”

“In my honest opinion, that’s too premature of an assessment to make from this little information. On top of that, the concepts of good and evil are such narrow-minded ways of thinking, especially for soldiers like yourself to limit the scope of your perspectives of not just the battlefield, but of life in general. Nothing is ever so black and white in absolutes. This demigoddess could be merely masking her intentions to gain their trust for some further deception, then again, I hear reports of the Jaegers crossing paths with divine beings that fall in the distinctions of actions that fall into the categories that could be interpreted as what you may regard as both good and evil, so anything is possible.”

Nguyen smirked as he threw a curveball of a question. “I got one for you, ninja lady. How in the hell did the Sentry Corps enlist someone with an extensive skill set like yours to our ranks? Your abilities would be more beneficial and align more with the Jaegers’ line of work.”

Kanashimi surprised all three of them by laughing out loud at his question.

“If you really want to know… I was assigned to kill Dr. Maxwell on one of my contracts. Things didn’t go according to plan and let’s just say that I owe a unique debt to him that saw me come into his employ to repay his generosity. As for the Jaegers, that’s a simple answer - I don’t hunt for mere sport.”

Pollux had his own question for the kunoichi.

“What was so important that the doctor sent you in to acquire it from Dumond’s files?”

Kanashimi sighed, “I have been tracking a different target for a very long time until a particular asset came into the equation that muddied the waters a bit. Regardless, following that trail led me straight into Dumond’s base of operations and my objectives were updated to take advantage of this unique opportunity. The previous target and assets were rendered expendable. The information that I copied from Dumond’s private personal terminal is heavily encrypted, but highly sought after since it contains extensive data on Dumond’s current projects and even past ones outside of the public eye. I would love to know what skeletons that woman keeps in her closet.”

Tate commented, “I wouldn’t be surprised if she has multiple closets full of skeletons to be quite honest. You don’t land into positions of power like hers without breaking a few eggs along the way.”

Nguyen remarked, “The business world is a cutthroat business. That just comes with the territory I’m afraid.”

“What we need to know is so important that she saw fit to hide from us tonight. An attack by a random wildcard looking for a big score or some rampaging monster is the norm these days, especially when the Jaegers made their exploits trendy in the eyes of the public. Instead, she lied about the ogre that was spotted scaling the side of her building by multiple eyewitnesses. Why did she feel the need to lie about that?”

Kanashimi offered her own insight, “I was able to monitor most of the battle via the surveillance cameras installed throughout the building. From what I was able to gather from reading their lips since the audio was scrambled was that orge was coming to collect on some sort of bargain she has made with whoever or whatever that thing calls its master. What’s really telling is from what little records I could decrypt in her files in terms of incidents she has made enormous efforts to erase records and accounts of by media coverage. First of an incident at one of her resorts in Costa de Leon concerning some young women being hospitalized by rampaging amazon, then another file of the city surveillance in Greenview…”

“Wait, Greenview? That was the same town that we investigated that massacre of the townspeople. What business did she have there?”

“Dumond somehow confiscated the town’s surveillance footage in its entirety. I am aware from your own reconnaissance in the area that there were no records of any what happened in that town following that incident. You three will find it intriguing to know that the same demigoddess that came to Dumond’s aid here is the same one that I saw in that footage fighting some sort of a beast with another demigoddess. So the question now is what connection does Dumond have to these divine beings?”

Tate swallowed hard and spoke up, “I..I saw her there too…”

Nguyen spun around with his mouth agape, “What are you talking about, man? You turned in your mission logs like I did and stated that you didn’t see anything out of the ordinary in our debriefing.”

Tate shook his head as he looked towards Pollux, “I’m sorry, but I edited and removed my own visual recording, thinking it was some sort of glitch or anomaly at the time. I thought it was nothing at the time as she was merely leaving the scene.”

“You know that withholding information is grounds enough for a court martial… BUT given your quick wit and analysis of the wreckage in Dumond’s lab, we wouldn’t have the lead that we have right now to investigate this case further, so I’m going to excuse this transgression… this time. When we return to Subsistence, we’re going to have a very long talk about withholding information from your superior officers though. Understood?”

Tate lowered his head, “Yessir.”

Nguyen spoke up, “So now what? Are we going to investigate this partnership between Dumond and these divine beings? Aren’t we stepping out of our territory with this though? She hasn’t done anything illegal so I don’t see what’s the problem.”

Pollux corrected his subordinate, “That’s the problem right there. Why does she keep bending the rules to keep this partnership or whatever this is she is entertaining a secret? What does she have to hide and doesn’t want us to know about? That’s what I want to get to the bottom of before we end up with more towns full of corpses.”

Kanashimi smiled, “Well said, corporal. I’ll deliver this drive to the doctor for his expertise in cracking this level of encryption to see what else that we can learn about Dumond and her organization. You might want to consider some backup if things get rather… complicated out there.”

Pollux nodded in agreement, “I’ll take your advice into consideration.”

Confirming The Kill III

Diosa walks slowly towards the ogre's body with Helena following closely behind. Diosa paused in her tracks briefly as she could hear his shallow breathing. Both of them could see that he was in no condition to continue the fight; this was made evident by the sight of his contorted limbs and the dislocated arm that just hung limp to his side while his fingers that were still attached and intact twitched involuntarily.

Diosa winced at the sight of the ogre’s current state as she thought, “Looks like we got lucky. This might be easier than I thought, even though I’m afraid that I might have put a little too much pepper on that home run swing I hit him with.”

Helena, on the other hand, did not react at all to the state of the ogre, but confidently strode past Diosa, surprising our heroine by her actions. Helena leaped up into the air and landed on the ogre's chest with a considerable amount of force, causing the creature to cough violently in pain from whatever internal injuries he had suffered from the battle. While Diosa was standing left questioning exactly how strong this woman was, Helena walked up his torso until she could plant her high-heeled foot on his throat while pressing the barrel of her magnum to his forehead.

She calmly addressed the creature, "I'm only going to ask you once. Where is Nina?"

The ogre coughs up blood and gags on it until Helena releases some of the pressure on his throat.

“Exactly how strong is she!!?? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised given she’s the one that the Children of Venus answer to but I don’t sense any divine energy at all from her. That’s a mystery that I will have to piece together sooner rather than later. Regardless, I might have to step in to rein Helena in if this gets out of hand or she gets dangerously close to crossing a line…”

Diosa's eyes widen at Helena's violent tendencies here, but continues to watch from a few meters away.

The ogre speaks up, "Your confidant is being held in our stronghold in this realm. The Master gave us the order to hold her there until our negotiations were settled. I was sent to force your hand to speed up your decision since she wasn't compliant in terms of providing us with the means to convince you to come to our way of thinking..."

Helena slaps him with her handgun and shoves it firmly into the base of his skull. It was evident that she was beginning to lose her composure as she rested her finger on the trigger.


Diosa’s senses perk up as her ears pick up the sound of buzzing nearby. She prepared to defend herself after feeling a powerful presence moving in their direction. Diosa’s eyes darted around their surroundings, searching for the source of their unexpected visitor.

Diosa called out to Helena, “Something’s not right. I’m sensing a strong presence coming this way. We need to leave here, right now.”

“I’m not leaving until I get answers,” responded Helena before slapping the ogre with the butt of her handgun again.

The ogre coughs again and opens his mouth to respond, but he's stung by what looks like an oversized wasp. Helena backs away from the ogre's body as he is swarmed by hundreds of them covering his body. Helena shoots at them to defend herself until Diosa steps in front of her and blasts them all with a burst of her divine energy erupting from her hands.

A loud buzzing sound could still be heard as a much larger creature swoops down and lobs the ogre's head off in one clean strike from what looked like sickle-like appendages.

Captain Yamato radios to Helena, “We heard gunfire. Do you need us to engage?”

“Maintain your positions and standby,” responds Helena as she removes the second handgun from her holster.

Helena shoots at this new hostile that has entered the battlefield, but it easily darts away and laughs. Diosa’s eyes have been following its movements the entire time since it has appeared in their vicinity.

The creature spoke as it hovered above Helena Dumond to taunt her further with its sporadic movements, "You disgusting humans kill my children and dare continue to disrespect me and my Master with your defiance. The only reason why you all still live right now is my Master's request to offer you a challenge..."

Diosa was the first to engage in conversation with this creature, "Who... or what... exactly are you? And why did you have to kill one of your own? You're both serving the same master, am I correct?"

The wasp slowly spun around to address Diosa and Helena properly while simultaneously giving them the opportunity to gaze at its full form. This demon wasn't nothing like the ogre she casually slain upon her arrival. She was best described as some sort of amalgamation of both woman and wasp that remained hovering in the air above them. Its body was decorated and better yet, protected with armor reminiscent of a shinobi from Japan’s Feudal Era and carried two sickle-like blades in her hands.

It finally spoke and addressed both Helena Dumond and Diosa at the same time, "I am the queen of the demon hell wasps, known as Saimyosho."

Saimyosho laughed behind the mask that concealed the bottom portion of her face before continuing, "As for his fate, a crippled soldier has no value in my master's army. No purpose in his mission of liberation... Bestowing death upon him is an honor..."

Helena raises her handgun to take aim once more.

"Then allow me to bestow that honor to you!"

Diosa urges her to relent by raising her hand to block the shot and inquires more information from their visitor.

"Where is Helena's confidant that you're holding prisoner? Is there any way to resolve this without anyone else getting hurt?"

Saimyosho laughs louder, "There will never be peace between our kind. The Jaegers already hunt us and their own for sport. And then foolish humans kill our children without a second thought out of fear. Both fail to realize that this world is rightfully ours, but our Master is a merciful ruler. Henceforth, that is why I have come to bargain on his behalf..."

Helena cocked the hammer of her magnum back with her thumb, ready to fire as she grew impatient.

“Bargain!!?? Nina’s life isn’t a poker chip!”

She circles around Diosa, cackling further, "Young demigoddess... you seem strong... formidable even. My Master believes that you could provide me with suitable sport if you choose to engage with me in combat. The bargain is simple - challenge me, slay me, and Dumond's associate goes free... If you fall, then all of you shall die."

Diosa doesn't hesitate to respond, "I accept your terms."

Helena is taken back that this young woman accepted this challenge without even a second thought.

Saimyosho grins, "So be it then... I implore you both to retreat back to your vehicle and follow a safe distance from my children and I. I won't be responsible for my children getting feisty with a few unwanted pests."

Diosa reaches toward Saimyosho, who swiftly moves out of her reach, "Why can't we do the fight here and get it over with!?"

“Calm down, child. Don’t be so hasty to rush to your demise. I want to savor my victory over one like you. I haven’t had suitable sport in quite some time. Besides, I wouldn’t be a gracious host if I didn’t invite you into my home for your final destination.”

Saimyosho motioned to leave but spoke once more, “One word of caution, I suggest you take note of what happens to anyone that is stung by my children and I…”

Helena is about to question the departing insect's words when Diosa looks back at the ogre's body and notices it is starting to quickly decompose.

“Look!” Diosa exclaimed to get Helena’s attention.

The entire corpse is starting to melt internally from the acidic properties of the hell wasps’ stingers.

While they watch the ogre’s corpse dissolve into a smoking pool of bile, Saimyosho and her children fly away, getting a head start on their journey back to their base of operations that they called their home.

“Shit, shit, SHIT. I screwed up… I can’t put this many lives at risk of that being their fates. I have to take Saimyosho out NOW!” thought Diosa as she raised an energized hand towards the fleeing Saimyosho and took aim.

Helena shook her head in disbelief after what they both saw transpire to the ogre’s corpse. Helena then became the sane and rational one for once in this ordeal and lowered Diosa’s energized hand, "You kill her now and we'll never find out where Nina is being held, especially with our best lead dead. We don’t know if she’s really leading us to where she’s being held or a trap. I would be more inclined to believe that it’s the latter.”

Diosa grit her teeth and complied with Helena’s request. Her eyes stayed fixated on the swedering pool that was once the ogre’s corpse.

Helena radios over her coms, "I want the R&D team out here ASAP. We're going to need to engineer an antidote to whatever kind of demonic poison this is as a safety precaution. I need a clean-up team to purge this site while the rest of us bring Nina home."

Bliss and Bless respond, "Yes, ma'am. ETA in 10 minutes."

Helena turned back to Diosa, "Just when I thought I had you figured out, you continue to surprise me. You didn't have to agree to take on that thing by yourself."

Diosa looked at Helena and shook her head, "In all due respect, Miss Dumond, but it's my responsibility here to help. I can read you like a book right now. It's written all over your face. Whoever this Nina person is making you act irrational and reckless. She's someone more than just your associate and confidant that these demons are referring to, am I correct?"

Helena's eyes dart away briefly before she sighs, "Nina... Nina Desmonde is... my best friend. I trust her with everything. She was with me when I had nothing... accepts me at my best and my worst. I don't know what I would do if any harm came to her because of me..."

Diosa cuts her off, "Just like you, I want to do everything in my power to save my best friend. That's why I won't hesitate to lend my power to assist you in doing so for your friend. Even if Pris' life wasn't at stake, I would still try to do something to help you with these powers."

Helena leads the way back to the helicopter with a faint smile.

"Thank you for that. C'mon. Let's get going. I don't think our gracious host isn't going to wait for us all day."

Diosa looked back at the evaporating remains of the ogre once more and thought to herself, “Hang on a little longer, Pris. I’m going to do what I can to save her best friend for I can hopefully lend my power to work the same magic for us.”

We Have Not Come To Terms

Since they were already in the dining hall, Zabrina, Ericka, Imani, and Lillian opted to stop for a gourmet pizza to snack on in the middle of their campus tour since they weren’t really in any rush.

Zabrina and Lillian delicately ate their pizza with a fork and knife while Ericka looked confused at their methods. Imani shrugged and simply folded her sizable slice in half and consumed it that way.

Lillian states, “My goodness. This is some of the best pizza that I have ever had in my entire life. I must speak to the cooks so they can pass the recipe to my chefs.”

Zabrina asks, “You don’t have a gopher for that type of work?”

Lillian giggles, “Don’t be silly, Zabrina, I don’t have any pets.”

Zabrina clarifies herself, “I meant a go-fer. Go for this, go for that. I have Ericka to take care of menial tasks like that for me.”

“Oh, you mean like a servant?”

“Exactly. The difference being that Ericka actually takes joy in doing those trivial matters while I partake in the more important things in life, such as planning for the future. I suppose I could offer her a similar role whenever I take over the family business.”

“That is rather benevolent of you, rewarding your subjects like that.”

“You have seen how the commonwealth here throws themselves at my feet at every opportunity. It’s merely my way of giving back to my loyal subjects who prove themselves most useful to me.”

“I can see why so many people see you as a role model here.”

Ericka immediately shot Zabrina an irritated glance.

Once finished with her share of the pizza, Lillian dabbed her napkin at the corners of her mouth and stood up from her seat, completely oblivious to the tension building between Ericka and Zabrina.

“Excuse me, ladies. I’m going to freshen up in the lavatory… err bathroom.”

Imani, who sensed the mood going sour, stood up as well. “I’ll show you where it is.”

As soon as Lillian and Imani left the table, Ericka questioned her sorority sister in arms.

“What the fuck was that about? I don’t help you because I’m expected to serve underneath you. I thought our friendship meant more than that.”

Zabrina rolled her eyes and sucked her teeth.

“Ericka, don’t act like I haven’t given you anything. You being allowed in my mere presence is a blessing that not many on this campus are granted. Riding on my coattails has set you for life and you know it, yet you spat in my face and bit the hand that fed you by accepting that internship position with Tan Industries.”

Ericka looked confused, “I thought you were happy for me earlier? What’s with this change of heart?”

Zabrina snapped back, “Excuse me? Why should I be enamored with the notion of you landing an internship with another company - one of my family’s biggest business rivals no less? Working for me could have been the head start to your future.”

“I don’t blame you for not caring but I actually want to make it on my own. In all due respect, Zabby, I thought you would respect me more for making a name for myself instead of having to rely and depend on you.”

Zabrina pokes Ericka forcefully in the chest, “Allow me to remind you of one simple fact. You were nothing before we met and the only relevancy you have around this campus is because of our sisterhood. You are NOTHING without me and don’t you EVER forget that. So enjoy your internship and remember that once that this little campus tour is over, you won’t have a place in this sorority anymore.”

Ericka is left reeling from the verbal assault from Zabrina as she attempts to save face.

“Wait, what!!?? You’re overreacting to this. I didn’t accept the internship to spite you in any way. I wasn’t going to give away any secrets or anything like that. You know I’m not that type of person. I just thought adding your family’s name on the application would be the cherry on top to get it noticed. Was it careless? Sure, but I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth like some people, so can you blame me for wanting an edge over the competition?”

Zabrina shrugs, “At least I taught you something worthwhile that you managed to apply for your own benefit… The problem lies with the fact that you used that very lesson to exploit our relationship for your benefit and no one else’s.”

Ericka fired back, “Where do you get off assuming that I’m the only one who is using our association to my benefit? You can’t accuse me for doing that when Imani’s doing the exact same thing! C’mon, Zabrina, you need to chill the fuck out and let this go.”

Zabrina snaps back at Ericka, “I’m not letting ANYTHING go, Ericka. You’re fine with being the living embodiment of a welcome mat and a flight of stairs any other day of the week, but you took my kindness as a weakness and used to land yourself that internship by association. I’m nobody’s fool, Ericka. I already knew that you conveniently mentioned in your submission that you were working closely with a member of the Sawyer family. Were you really that dense that you could put that in your application and they wouldn’t call me to confirm that? And for the record, Imani doesn’t need me to make something of herself. Her athletics have always spoken for her. Her association with me is just another feather in her already prestigious cap. Look at the sorry state of you… One look at you and anyone can tell that you’re nothing more than a charity case by association with me. Either that or an Asian Barney Rubble in drag.”

Ericka’s mouth hangs open agape at Zabrina’s words as she’s rendered speechless. Zabrina twisted the knife further as she continued.

“Allow me to spell this out and make this crystal clear for you. I’m not allowing anyone nor anything to think they can walk a mile in my shoes, let alone think that there’s a bitch badder than me. It’s not the president, the staff, nor the faculty that runs this university… it’s me and every single person on this campus knows it. I have run this place since the first day I stepped foot on this campus and my reign isn’t ending anytime soon. Not you, some pampered princess, nor some musclebound amazon is going to change that either. Yes, I have been born with a silver spoon in my mouth and I relish in the fact that I can use it to feast in the bowl of ambrosia of riches in this world. I didn’t selfishly keep it to myself. I shared those fruits of my labors with this sorority, especially to the two of you when I didn’t have to squander any resources on anyone. Low and behold, I find my philanthropy has been unappreciated. You fucked up the second you decided to bite the hand that feeds you and thought that you were going to get away with it, Ericka.”

Ericka pleaded her case once more, “Please, Zabby. Give me another chance! I can make it up to you! Just tell me what you want!”

Zabrina shook her head while sipping slowly from her tall glass of fruit punch. She removed the straw from the glass and poured its remaining contents over Ericka’s head.

“Really? Is this how low you’re going to sink? Look at yourself. Begging for table scraps just like the dog you are. Unfortunately for you, Ericka, you’re all washed up… in more ways than one.”

Ericka looked mortified at the sight of her outfit and hair coated with the punch, staining her fashionable clothing and flesh. Ericka’s eyes welled up with tears, but she didn't want to give Zabrina the final satisfaction of seeing her breakdown. Instead, she stood up from the table and stormed off the nearest exit.

Imani and Lillian emerge from the restroom to see the back of Ericka’s head as she’s exiting the cafeteria.

Imani turns back towards Zabrina who waves innocently with a wicked smirk painted on her lips.

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