End of a Dream, Part Three: Strange Encounters

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The setting sun cast its rays across the city, turning the sky a brilliant mixture of purples and reds as it sank towards the hills to the west. Standing on the rooftop, her arms leaning easily on the rim of the building, Nadia watched it sink gradually downwards, following its path in her mind.

“Nice view.” The voice came from behind her. Stiffening, Nadia dropping into a fighting stance as she spun around. The woman standing on the roof ignored it completely, black wings flickering out of existance as their frames folded back into her suit. “How did you get up here, anyway?”

“Roof exit. Simple.” Nadia's eyes narrowed. The girl she was facing had blond hair, tied back in a ponytail. Short, but not amazingly short. And, most damningly, she was wearing the Blackfly armor that Rex Mundi had stolen – although admittedly without a helmet. “Kind of dangerous to fly around bareheaded, isn't it?” Her mind raced as she quipped, glancing around. Whatever Mundi wanted, she wasn't going to…

To her surprise, the stranger simply shrugged, walking past Nadia to look at the sun. “What can I say? I like taking stupid risks.” She mimicked Nadia's earlier position, then turned to look at her. “Didn't think I'd run into you here, though.”

“Really.” Nadia kept her voice level. The other woman nodded cheerfully.

“Really. Sort of thought you'd be kicking up hell or something. Not… I dunno, slinking around like a lost puppy.” Grimacing abruptly, she turned away from the sun, leaning against the wall. “Kind of sad. That armor fit you like a glove.”

“Ok, who are you, and what do you want?” Nadia crossed her arms. “I know you work for Mundi…”

“Not what this is about.” The woman waved a hand languidly. “Rex doesn't know… well, okay, probably he does know I'm here, but he didn't send me. He's busy looking into how we got blindsided so fast.” She grinned. “Don't tell him I said that.”

Raising an eyebrow, Nadia stood as still as a statue. “Mm-hm.”

“What?” The woman smiled again. “You don't believe me? Look at it this way. I could toss you off the roof, but I haven't. And I won't.” She stuck out a hand. “Lucy.”

Nadia didn't move. After a few moments, Lucy retracted her hand. “Right, then. I'm feeling a sudden chill.” She sighed. “Look, I'm serious. We didn't have anything to do with that Dragonfly thing. Our Dragonfly suit is still locked down, and we wouldn't work with a loose cannon like that guy.”

“And I'm supposed to believe you because…?”

“Believe what you want.” With a shrug, Lucy stepped up to the edge of the roof, wings opening behind her. “I just happened to be in the neighbourhood, thought I'd say hi. Forget it.” There was a deeply bitter twist to the last statement. Nadia hesitated a moment, then, mentally cursing herself, spoke up.

“Wait.” Lucy paused, looking back, and Nadia continued. “I don't know anything about you, except that you work for a man that I absolutely distrust. But I shouldn't act like a jerk about it. I apologize for not trusting you.”

Lucy smiled wrly. “Ah, I guess you're right.” Turning back, she flopped crosslegged on the rim of the building, a position that seemed dangerously precarious. “You really don't have a reason to trust me, do you?”

“Not really. I mean, this is the first time we've met.” Nadia frowned thoughtfully, looking at the other woman. “Isn't it?”

“Yes.” The response came very quickly. Realizing this, Lucy smiled again. “I've just got one of those faces. Truth be told, I just wanted to see the hype. I mean, you're the girl that talked Hazard out of his crazy plans.”

“But not out of yours.” Nadia quirked an eyebrow, but there was a faint smile under it.

“Our plans have a purpose, Mayfly.” Lucy cracked her neck. “Oh, it's a bit greedy, maybe. We want to be the special ones, the ones that everyone looks at with awe. We don't want to hurt anyone we don't have to getting there. Some people aren't so cautious.” She looked straight at Nadia. “This is a bit of information for you, and this Rex Mundi does want you to know. There's a group called the Oligarchs, led by a few old-time villains. Clockwork and Warzone, old enemies of Rex and of the Justicars both. He thinks their fingerprints are all over this, and he doesn't want to be upstaged.” She grinned again, standing. “Use the info however you like.”

“I will, thank you.” Nadia paused. “But I'm not Mayfly anymore.”

“Pssh, you're not going let a little setback like this stop you.” Lucy's voice was full of certainty. “Besides, I want to see you fly.”

“Thanks… I think.” Nadia grinned. “I'm still going to report seeing you to the SEA.”

“Let 'em come. We're ready. Are they?” Lucy's smile turned wicked. “When you get your wings back, I'm going to see how they fly. Until then.” She stepped backwards off the roof, twisting as she fell into a graceful dive. Nadia rushed to the building's rim in time to see Lucy brush her wings across the ground as she arced outwards, then fly up and towards the horizon. She shook her head.

“I know I've met her somewhere before…” She sighed, and turned to go call Moonbeam and tell her about what happened.

Several blocks away, Lucy landed on a buttress, in the shadow of a building. She closed her eyes, sinking to the ground.

“You can't see the sunset from this angle.” Lucy didn't open her eyes at Hazard's voice.

“I hate sunsets anyway.” She shrugged, eyes still closed. “What do you want?”

“That was dumb. And dangerous.” Lucy finally opened her eyes. Hazard was hovering in the air in front of her, arms crossed. “I was supposed to approach her.”

“I live dangerously.” Shooting Hazard a middle finger, Lucy stood. “Are we leaving or what?”

“We're leaving. But we're also talking about this.”

“Shove it up your ass, Haz.” Spreading her wings, Lucy took to the air. “You're not my father.”

“And thank god for that.” Muttering the comment under his breath, Hazard sighed and followed.


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