Robin and Ennien Ashbrook : firstname.lastname@example.org Tha a'chumhachd sgriosail aig a'mhiosail seo air thoisich air ur buadh bhochd a thuigsinn! ...mise cuideachd, gu fior.. -- Malanochs (Mallanox)
Center Neptune: spots.ab.ca 5050
I Don't Believe It
The Eagle reeled from the blow to his gut, but shackled and at gunpoint, he had no way to retaliate. He steeled himself against further blows. Already the leering guards were winding up...
"Alright, alright, that's enough!" a female voice barked, "If he's too punch-drunk to answer questions, it'll be YOUR heads Katze-sama tapdances on, not his." Ken turned, expecting to see the captain of Galactor's women assassins.
The woman he faced resembled that other woman in that a) she was White, b) she had green eyes, c) she had a similar set about her jaw. That was where the resemblance ended, however: This woman, though still tall compared the women Ken had met, was quite a bit shorter than the onna taicho, petite by White standards. Her hair was almost as black as Jun's, her skin much whiter, almost corpse-white. A bare blush of pink was the only indication that the woman wasn't actually a zombie. Where the onna taicho's face was set in a permanent smug smirk, this woman's face could have been made of stone, so dour was her expression. The eyes of the woman captain sparkled with danger -- this woman's might have been liquid nitrogen. She seemed familiar to Ken, although he could not place her from any of his previous encounters with Galactor's women.
"I said," she repeated in a soft voice, as a guard took a last slug at Ken, "That's enough." She rubbed her fingertips against her palm; the action caused the men to jump back in alarm. "Now," the woman continued, "You're to bring him to Cat-sama's office at once." She held out her hand, silently demanding that the Eagle's confiscated weapons be surrendered to her. The guards reluctantly did so, then began to herd Ken out.
Ken stood glowering in impotent fury at Katze, still shackled, still at gunpoint. Katze looked him up and down, then his face took on an expression of puzzlement.
"What happened to his wings?" he asked the nearest guard.
"Your pet bitch took them," Ken snarled. The black-haired woman had simply walked up to him, unfastened them, and carted them away.
"'Pet bitch'?" Katze mouthed, clearly baffled.
"He means Ms. Maragorm, Katze-sama," said an underling, "She said she'd give them back."
This did not have the effect of enlightening Katze. He simply grew even more baffled, "What would she want with the Eagle's wings?" There were shrugs all around, then the intercomm beeped, attracting Katze's attention.
"Was there a project on the itinerary I missed, Katze-sama, sir?"
"Well, the west satellite dish.."
"What about the west satellite dish?"
"Was there a reason you wanted it?"
Katze gave the intercomm a dirty look, "What are you babbling about??"
"Well I assumed it was you who wanted it, since it was Ms. Maragorm who collected it..."
Katze shut off the intercomm. A satellite dish? The Eagle's wings? What could she want them for? He looked up to see a large, burly man walk past carrying an instrument pack, "Brace!"
"Brace, have you any idea what Kai is doing?"
Brace looked at him with an innocent expression. Clearly he *did* know.
"And what have you got there, Brace?"
"It's an altimeter."
"An altimet....." Realization dawned on Katze's features. Wings, satellite dish, altimeter.... oh lord.
"She's gone to the south face, hasn't she?"
Brace nodded brightly.
"I don't believe it.." Katze muttered, staring out over the white expanse of snow. Ken blinked in the strong sunlight. His eyes were still adjusting, as he'd been blindfolded to be brought out here. He, too, looked out over the snow at the steep hill, a lone figure in thunder grey trudging up the slope, dragging a large dish behind her. There were moguls on the slope.
"Sliding down the hill?" Ken asked Katze in an undertone. Katze nodded, "I think I know what she wants with your wings."
"Care to share?"
Katze shook his head, "Just watch. I don't believe this.." he sighed again.
Sure enough, having reached the top of the slope, the figure pushed the dish down and leaped into it. It gathered speed, hurtling down at a dizzying rate, then hit the mogul. The dish rocketed into the air, sending its occupant flying. She arced, peaked.. then landed with a "DOOF!" in the snow. A black head popped up.
Brace looked up from the altimeter he had aimed at the woman, "10.7 by 7.1, Cirean!" he called. The figure gave what appeared to be a thumbs up, then crawled up out of the snow. She trudged down the slope to retrieve the dish.
Katze looked at Ken, "That mogul does that to everybody. It's quite popular."
"And my wings are.."
"She's trying to get back in the dish."
"I don't believe this...."
Back at the top of the slope, the grey-suited woman paused to fasten Ken's wings about her throat. He being taller and broader than she, she looked ridiculous, like a mobile tent. Then she shoved the dish down the slope and jumped in.
This time, when the dish flung her out, she spread her arms gracefully, wings spread wide, catching the updrafts and soaring out over the snow. What looked silly on the ground looked etherial in the air; a pegasus, a white-winged angel.. a harpy, Ken thought sourly. The wings lent her the power she needed to catch up to the dish and land squarely within.
"I don't believe it!" Katze and Brace chorussed, then cheered.
Her impact spun the dish around, adding impetus to its motion, sending it sliding farther and faster down the slope, over the moran, up over the pylon wall, across the helipad, across the VIP parking lot, coming to an abrupt, crashing halt...... in the side of Katze's car.
"MY CAR!!!!" Katze screamed, "KAI!! Look what you did to *my car*!!!" Ken howled with laughter. They watched the upended dish right itself, revealing the small woman. "Sorry!" a thin voice reached them.
"Sorry?!? You total my car and all you can say is 'sorry'?? I just had it repainted!! Kai, give me ONE good reason why I shouldn't shoot you right now!?!?!?"
Brace, still shaking with laughter, called out the revised figures, with much greater height and distance. The woman arrived then, covered in snow, grinning triumphantly.
"Here's your wings back," she said, handing them over to Ken. She looked up at Katze, grinning, "Oops!"
"And I wanted to bring the Eliminator today.."
"I sorry. I spring for repairs. I didn't know it would go that far.." she blushed, giggling.
"I don't believe you did that..."
The woman just giggled, reaching up to daub at a bleeding cut over her eye. Katze noticed, then was full of recriminations, sponging at the blood with his cape.
"I didn't know it would go that far," she snickered again, craning her neck to gaze out at the wrecked satellite dish.
"You killed the dish, too."
"I noticed that."
"Have you had your fun for the day?"
"Are you going to go get some work done now?"
"AFTER you visit sickbay and make sure you haven't done yourself any hidden injuries with that stunt?"
"I thought you were going to shoot her?" The Eagle was puzzled by Katze's abrupt concern for the bleeding little woman.
She grinned, "I'm too good in bedOOF!!" Katze retracted his elbow and the woman giggled again. She beamed up at the Galactor with big bright eyes, "You're so cute when you scowl."
Katze threw up his hands, "She thinks she's clever! Why do I put up with this woman who thinks she's clever!"
"Cuz I'm the only competant person you've got in this mess."
Katze stalked off, muttering curses. The little woman skipped merrily after him, occasionally tweaking his cloak. Ken watched them as he pinned his wings back at his throat. The only competant person in Galactor, hmmm? When he got back to base, he was going to have a little chat with Nambu-hakase.....