Chapter 1 - First encounter
Two dark shadows struggled with the vegetation as they sneaked through the outskirts of a suburban area. The bushes thinned as their destination grew closer. Stumbling they entered the large backyard of a gently lit two story house.
The larger of the two silhouettes took the lead and, slightly crouched, swiftly moved towards the veranda. The sound of shattered glass echoed across the lawn and the door was soon after unlocked from the inside. The smaller silhouette followed across the lawn and while entering the dark room continued trying to pull detritus from the bushes stuck in the long dark hair.
"Daniel could you help me with this twig, I can’t get it out."
He reached for the woman’s hair. "I guess long hair isn’t ideal for burglars…" he sighed as Alice glared at him icily.
It hadn’t always been like this…far from it. This house wasn’t unlike the one they had lived happily in only a few months ago. More precisely 8 months ago, when the stock market crashed. They both lost their jobs - first, Daniel had lost his management position at the local law firm. The following week Alice had been relieved of her duties as a nurse at the biggest hospital in Dystropia Bay. As a result, they begun defaulting on their loans. The market crash also hit the banks hard. Trying to stay alive they did not waste any time foreclosing Daniel and Alice’s dream house. It happened so fast, it felt like they were living their suburban dream one day and homeless the next. Neither had any living relatives and when the harsh times came friend after friend turned their backs. Either they were in a similar situation or pretended to not know them.
Taking whatever jobs they could, they had managed to stay afloat, but as the months went by it got increasingly tougher. A month ago there had been a ray of hope with a job ad which they wholeheartedly committed to. The last few months struggle had caused Daniels appearance to suffer greatly, he certainly wasn’t suitable to go for an interview at a big law firm. Daniel had managed to get a loan to rent himself a suit and get his hair cut. Alice had been a bit reluctant against taking a loan, but she still fully supported him on his choice as it was crucial to be presentable to the big firm that was now hiring. Even though it was a rather small loan the money had been enough to also rent an apartment with clean running water and food for the whole month, which was an upgrade from the rat hole they had lived in to that point. The interview had gone excellent but with a thousand other applicants he had sadly missed the opening.
Not everyone would give a loan to someone in their situation. Only available had been high interest, a month to pay it back, and from people you would not want to pay late. As the month neared its end, Daniel and Alice considered their options. Among them were leaving the city, prostitution or burglary. Leaving the city and prostitution had been ruled out.
The two burglars tip toed upstairs as they hadn’t found anything interesting on the ground floor. There was a big flat-screen TV but it would have been too bulky to carry. The stairs led up to a hallway running the length of the house. Closest to the stairs was a bathroom which Daniel entered and immediately began looking through the cabinets. Alice walked along the corridor looking into the rooms as she passed. The first two she didn’t bother to enter as they mostly looked like storage rooms. Reaching the end of the corridor she opened the last door, slowly revealing a big bedroom.
A huge king-sized bed was located to the right, seemingly only made for one occupant. At the far wall stood a big dresser, with lots of drawers that even framed a tall mirror. Alice sat down and started to look through them. The third drawer down revealed a beautifully decorated box. She carefully opened the box. She didn’t know if she imagined, but there was almost a faint glow that emitted from the old necklace within. She couldn’t restrain herself from trying on the beautiful old necklace. Holding her hair to the side, she admired her new look in the mirror. The necklace looked prefect on her.
Despite the rough months her former beauty could still be seen. Her long dark hair framed the unvarnished face. Even without make-up her full lips were a prominent feature. Along with her high cheekbones and dark amber eyes, she had the power to seduce any man she ever wanted. But she wasn’t that kind of girl.
The ragged clothes she wore did not do her body justice. Closing in on 30, she had lost the athletic body she had during her early twenties, built by an early life full of sporting. But she was still in good condition from her hectic nurse job, something not even the last months harsh life had been able to alter.
While staring at her reflection, Alice began to daydream - dreaming of a better life, brighter circumstances, the way it was before. She snapped out of her reverie abruptly, nearly falling off the stool, startled by Daniel’s "Come here quickly" from down the hall.
She quickly shut the box and placed it back in its drawer. After a quick jog down the hallway she stuck her head into the open doorway. "What is it honey? "
Daniel sat on the toilet lid with a drawer on his knees, in his hand he was holding a small white jar. "For your allergies, I think these pills are really expensive."
Alice smiled and walked into the bathroom, planting a kiss on his forehead. "You silly goof, I found something much better. The bedroom is full of beautiful jewellery."
She held her hair away from her neck and showed the old necklace. "Do you think it suits me? "
The answer was far from the expected. A forceful "FREEZE" ripped through the bathroom. Both Daniel and Alice slowly turned towards the doorway. Their surprised gazes were met by two gun barrels. They were caught.
The big man told his partner "Rosetta, keep your gun on them, I’ll get the cuffs."
The woman nodded without taking her eyes from the two thieves. Alice was frozen stiff, staring down the barrel. Staring death in the face.
Alice and Daniel were led, or rather pushed, by the officers down the stairs and towards the front door. Both officers were physically bigger than their detainees and emphasized the point as often as they could. Daniel walked defeated, staring at his own feet whilst the realization that they were caught slowly started to dawn on Alice. They were forced outside and ordered to sit on the front porch. The male police officer picked up his radio to call in the arrest. He walked over the lawn "Dispatch? This is Jeff Vries call number 578, I got 2 detainees that needs a transport down town."
When the answer came he was far enough from the others that they only heard static. After a short conversation he came closer again. He turned to Rosetta, "Looks like we have to wait a while for a car to take these two to jail."
It wasn’t long before Jeff walked restless around the lawn while Rosetta stood at the top of the front porch keeping an eye on the detainees. Suddenly, a new voice broke the silence. "Everything under control, officers? "
All four of them looked for the source of the question. Out of the shadows a female figure emerged. She wore a tight white spandex leotard with yellow fiery motive that showed every curve of her magnificent figure, leaving little to the imagination. Her bright long hair was tied in a ponytail. The upper part of her heavenly face was covered by a white mask, hiding her identity. Jeff answered, "What gives us the honour of your presences, Meteora? "
Meteora was Dystropia Bay’s own superhero. She had emerged about six months ago, when she was needed the most. Dystropia Bay had been a nice city to live in before the stock market crash. Since then the amount of desperate people had sky-rocketed. Desperate people lead to desperate actions. Robberies had never been as high as then, It looked bad, a city in dissolution. When things looked the worst a hope had emerged. A blonde heroine appeared and took on the role of the city’s guardian. She had cleaned up the streets with her super strength and speed. Since then the crimes in the city was back to an acceptable level. Thieves that tried their luck still existed and since the economy was in bad shape desperate people sometimes had no other choice.
Jeff had not been able to keep himself from admiring Meteora’s figure from the ground up. His eyes had wandered over her white knee high boots which continued to long beautiful legs, seemingly endless thanks to the high cut leotard. His gaze had continued over her flat abdomen but he was stuck staring at Meteoras big, gravity defying chest. Jeff returned to reality, a little ashamed, when Meteora answered Jeff’s inquiry. "Calm night, I was in the neighbour hood and heard the silent alarm."
Jeff managed to collect himself and continued, "As you can see, everything is under control. Just two burglars. We don’t even think they had time to steal anything."
Meteora looked over the two thieves on the porch. With a nod towards Alice, she said, "Looks like a pretty expensive necklace for a thief."
"Yeah you are probably right, we will get that to evidence and check with the owners of the house later."
Meteora shifted her focus and stared towards the city, seemingly looking at nothing in particular. Jeff tried to see what she stared at, without success.
"I have to leave, I’m needed elsewhere"
Before Jeff had returned his gaze on the heroine a cool breeze swept through his hair, and she was gone. The only evidence of her appearance was her heavenly smell still lingering. Seconds later the police radio jumped alive. "Bank robbery on second street, all available units respond."
Alice’s desperation grew with each passing second. She filled with panic and eventually reached her limit. Alice choked out between sobs, "I can’t go to jail. How could we be so stupid, this was doomed to fail! " Before anyone realized it, she was running, running as fast she could with cuffed hands. Jeff wasn’t slow to react and chased after her. Despite his large build he got up to speed fast. It wasn’t long until he had caught up. He tackled her into the grass. Alice had the wind knocked out of her by the impact.
While she laid there struggling to breathe he grabbed her leg and started to drag her along the lawn towards the other two.
When he was close enough he let go, Alice lay on her stomach still struggling to breathe. He put a knee on her back and grabbed her by her hair. Pulling back her head he yelled, "Where the fuck were you going? "
Only short shallow breaths were heard as a response. Her legs and arms started to shake.
"What the fuck? " Jeff said as he let go of Alice and stood up with disgust.
Daniel helplessly watched the brutality, but now stirred to life. "She is having a seizure! " He stood up and walked swiftly towards Jeff and pointed towards his left jack pocket - well as much he could with his hands cuffed behind his back.
Jeff hadn’t heard Daniel, he was too concentrated on the convulsing Alice. When Daniel was close Jeff saw him in the corner of his eye, he instinctively drew his baton. Daniel continued, "Here in my pocket I have her med…" Daniel didn’t have time to finish the sentence before Jeff’s baton connected with his jaw. Daniel was unconscious before he hit the ground.
Rosetta spoke up for the first time, a small trace of panic could be heard in her high pitched voice. "That was pretty uncalled for."
Jeff answered angrily. "It could have been avoided if you just kept an eye on him, we can’t have him running around too."
"I think he tried to help the girl, he pointed to one of his pockets."
Jeff bent over the knocked out Daniel and checked his right pocket. Nothing, he turned Daniel over and stuck his hand down the left. His hand emerged with a white jar. "Probably this." He looked closely on the label. "Asthma medicine."
"How many do you think she needs, two? "
"I don’t know, just give her some! "
"Right I’ll give her two."
He turned Alice to her back and forced two pills down her throat. After he thought she had swallowed them he returned her to a side position.
"Lets hope that helps. I would hate to do the paperwork if she ends up in the hospital, or even worse in the morgue"
Alice’s breathing almost immediately loosened up together with her seizure. She began taking long deep breaths, refilling her depleted body. But her breathing kept changing from deep breaths to shorter zestful breaths, almost moans. Jeff said with a smile, "I wouldn’t mind one of those pills myself, they sound fun."
He took a closer look on the jar, to check what was really in them. He hadn’t time to look long until he got distracted by Rosetta pointing out that Alice now was standing. He slightly smiled and said, "Looks like these pills work wonders."
He spotted that she was holding her head, the cuffs dangling off her right wrist. Jeff dropped the pill-jar on the lawn as he moved closer, slowly and slightly curious, "How did you get out of those? "
Alice didn’t respond and still seemed groggy. He grabbed her arm and tried to twist it into a police hold behind her back. She didn’t budge an inch. As he looked closer at the cuffs he saw that they had been thorn apart. His eyes widened in fear, the only reaction he had time for before Alice screamed, "LET GO OF ME! " while she shoved him away. He was propelled through the air across the lawn towards the neighbours driveway. His body hit the side of a parked van making a big dent and shaking the big car before he sagged into a barely living heap.