Karla Thurman and her photographer had arrived on campus, preparing for an interview with one of the professors in the labs.
She was a top journalist at the Angel Bay Times. Previously to her that distinction would’ve been considered damning by faint praise, but she had spent enough time working at the paper to appreciate her experience and the value it provided to the community, even if newspapers as a whole were dying a slow death due to the Internet, a death she was trying to push back at least a little bit while she was working in the business. But as a journalist, she aspired for greater things, which made her feel a little guilty about the notion of leaving the Times behind, but staying on a local paper her whole life was not something she felt she could do.
Her red hair went down to the middle of her back and was properly groomed and kept tidy and bound. Her brown eyes brightened with purpose when she was on the job, and her immaculately-presented black suit, pants and shoes adorned her curvy body. She cut no corners in her presentation as a journalist.
Her photographer, on the other hand, could not be more of a contrast if he tried - not in a bad way, he was just distinctly casual, simply wearing a black shirt, a brown jacket, and an admittedly nice pair of jeans and shoes. Donovan Amner had short but shaggy blond hair, green eyes and a distinct layer of stubble across his jaw. The man’s posture was constantly relaxed, even when he was taking shots. Karla wished he looked more professional but she couldn’t deny his talent for photography, including finding the right angles, and his casual nature seemed to be helpful in getting subjects to position themselves and act as he asked of them.
“Thank you for your time, Professor, this has been very illuminating,” Karla said, getting up and shaking hands with the interviewee. She was here to do stories on research projects going on here at the university. She was an alumnus herself, and stepping onto the campus brought about no shortage of nostalgia, though she swiftly brushed it aside. She had a job to do, after all. Well, maybe she’d let nostalgia colour things just a little bit. This was going to be a piece celebrating the university’s achievements, after all, the readers weren’t looking for something dry and ‘completely objective’. Knowing your audience was one of the most important parts of writing of any kind, and journalism was no exception. Complete objectivity was one of the myths of journalism, no matter how much anyone tried - after all, journalists were human, and some subjects simply couldn’t be covered objectively.
“Of course, Miss Thurman, it’s been great to have you here,” the Professor smiled, before moving to talk to his post-grad students.
Karla turned to Donavan, allowing herself to relax just a little bit. Someone would escort them out and towards their next destination in short order. “How’re the shots so far, Don?”
“Looking pretty good, I’d say we’ve got too many good pics to easily choose from, our editor is gonna have a hell of a time,” Don chuckled as he showed the photos to her on his camera, flicking through them digitally. “You stoked so far?”
“Well, visiting the university is as exciting as it gets in this town, I suppose. All the big network journalists are hogging the big news story around here, which is annoying. Something exciting finally happens, I break the story and suddenly the networks and big papers come swarming in like vultures,” Karla replied, with some bitterness. She knew she shouldn’t be feeling so annoyed about it, they were just doing their job, but she knew it was only natural to feel at least a little bit bitter and frustrated when your story gets hijacked by the bigger fish. The best she could do was not kick up a fuss about it, that was just simply unprofessional.
“Not a lot of material to work with for me, so I don’t really care. Hard to photograph people who have disappeared,” Don shrugged. “I feel you, though. I’m sure you’ll have your big break sooner or later.”
In hindsight, this is what Karla realized people called ‘jinxing it’. Because over the whir of machines in the room, she began to hear raised voices coming in from outside, and the faint sounds of… What was that, crashing? She frowned, heading towards the door with some caution, “Don, do you hear that?”
Donavan’s composure did an immediately one-eighty as he followed her towards the door, “yeah, I hear it too. What the hell-”
Suddenly, people began running through the corridor outside, with a substantial amount of panic, running from something. A male student tripped, and as he tried to get back onto his feet, he looked back and screamed as something slammed into his face. Karla had never seen it before, it was like a black, organic mass that looked vaguely like some kind of malleable silk. The young man in the corridor was trying to tear the substance away, but it merely expanded, muffling his screams as it latched on to his body and began covering his entire head.
Karla also noticed that Donavan was taking pictures. She was too frozen in shock to reprimand him for his choice of priorities. Then again, she recalled that the glass windows here were reinforced, and the doors required key-card access to open, so it was probably best to stay in here rather than try and leave and risk getting caught up in whatever chaos was happening outside, so perhaps Donavan taking this opportunity may not have been such a bad idea after all, at least for the time being.
She barely registered the fact that the lights suddenly went out, along with power to every electronic device around them.
The Professor and the students rushed over to see what was happening. The poor fellow outside in the corridor was being covered up entirely by the black mass, until his screams were silenced. He looked like he was in some sort of cocoon. Karla didn’t want to think about what exactly happened to him.
Her train of thought was immediately interrupted by two figures entering her vision in the corridor outside. They were mostly black, but they seemed to have ‘outlines’ of colour around them. They looked like people, but their skin looked vaguely like the silk-like substance. They wore strange armour, over what Karla realized were fairly normal clothes. Now that she thought about it, the colour outlines seemed to indicate what colors would’ve been normally there for the their hair and clothes. When their red eyes made contact with hers, it sent a chill down her spine.
Then she realized that something was emerging from the cocoon. A figure was growing, forming from the black mass, until it stood up straight, opening its red eyes. It was a facsimile of the student who had been wrapped up by the cocoon, also black, with outlines and covered in exotic armour.
Then it hit her like a truck. Was this what had happened to the missing people over the last few weeks?
Her train of thought was swiftly broken by the three figures in the corridor suddenly forming strange bladed weapons from their bodies, and started hammering them against the glass. Everyone stepped away, though Donavan kept taking photos.
“Professor, I can’t get any mobile internet reception! The wi-fi isn’t working either!” One of the students spoke up in a panic, holding her phone.
“I’ve been trying to call the cops, but no luck!” Another student spoke up.
“Try one of the computers hooked up to an Ethernet connection,” the Professor ordered, though one look at him made it clear he was understandably rattled as well. “What in God’s name is happening out there?!”
“That’s no good either, all the computers are dead!” Another student said, desperately trying to turn on one of the computers.
Karla’s mind was racing a thousand kilometers an hour. Someone had somehow shut down local mobile phone reception and also cut the power to the entire building. This was an entirely premeditated attack, likely planned to prevent anyone from calling for help from the outside. If this was indeed connected to the disappearances, then her main conclusion was that whatever was behind this was kidnapping and cocooning people individually until they had the numbers to perform a plan like this.
And then she realized that the number of missing persons may have been under-reported. Who knows how many people were snatched and nobody realized it? And now this entire university would expand their numbers exponentially, unless help arrived that could somehow stop it.
“Well,” Donavan gulped, “if we somehow make it out of this alive, Karla, looks like you’ve got your scoop. At least you won’t be beaten to the punch by some kid on social media.”
Karla nodded, watching the glass starting to crack. All they could do, was wait, and hope for some kind of rescue.
Estella stretched as she left the lecture theater with the rest of her class. She had one last class for the day, then she’d meet up with her sisters to head home together.
That train of thought was swiftly interrupted when she heard the sounds of screaming. And it was getting louder.
People were running past, and the source of their terror came into sight swiftly. The strange, black, humanlike monsters and the floating black masses seemingly consuming people in cocoons alarmed Estella quickly, and it didn’t take her much to start sprinting away from the incoming tide of danger. The first thing on her mind was attempting to rendezvous with her sisters so they could escape together.
However, there was a small problem with that plan, in that the direction she went was also blocked off by another wave of the black monsters, blocking her way to the biology and engineering sections. She cursed to herself, heading the only safe direction she could see, towards the humanities.
“Es!” She heard Jay’s voice as she rushed up beside her, keeping pace with her as they ran, “any idea what’s happening?! Aside from people getting-”
“Hell no! I gotta find my sisters! But those things are blocking the way,” Estella replied, as they turned a corner, only to see more monsters in the way. “Damn it, they’re everywhere…”
“Going after your sisters will just get us caught, Es,” Jay said, stepping back as he looked for another route. “It sucks, but the best we can do is run and call for help. You got any mobile reception? My phone’s not working.”
Estella took out her phone, and noticed it had no reception either. “No dice.”
She noticed a pole had fallen, apparently cut down into multiple pieces by one of the weapons used by these creatures. She grabbed one of the pieces, and used it to swiftly bat away two incoming black floating masses as they shot at her and Jay. However, she realized that more creatures had arrived, surrounding them. “Crap, we’re cut off!”
Jay picked up another piece of the pole, his back to her as he held out his makeshift weapon defensively. She could feel him trembling. “Best we can do is to just… I dunno… rush ‘em in one direction and hope we break through.”
“Yeah. Not going out without a fight,” Estella nodded. “On three. One, two-”
Her count was interrupted by something crashing into the ground only a meter away from them, the force knocking them both to the ground. Estella groaned as she got back up onto her feet, but then realized that something was now keeping the incoming monsters at bay, a translucent dome of blue hexagons which the humanoid creatures tried to attack with futility.
The smoke cleared around the object that had crashed in front of them. It was some kind of large, capsule-shaped pod, which automatically opened before her, steam billowing out.
Inside, was a large sword, nearly as long as she was tall. And it was a beautiful sword indeed, with multiple gorgeous rubies on the guard, grip and a trio in a triangle formation right above the guard itself. The guard was a mixture of gold and silver, in intricate patterns and extending into a sweeping basket guard that looked like wings. Along the length of the sword were five runic symbols that she didn’t recognise as belonging to any culture she was familiar with, and the blade bulged out slightly just past the middle towards the point. Wrapped around the grip were multiple pieces of paper with more runic symbols, but also English text.
Jay scrambled to his feet, groaning, “the hell…? Is… Is that a sword?”
Against her better judgment, Estella stepped forward to take the grip in both hands, and pulled the sword from the capsule. The entire thing was surprisingly light, as if it was a simple short sword, though she was still aware of the weight of the length of the blade at large. “What the hell is this…?”
Then she gasped, as the text and symbols on the papers glowed, and the ink seemed to literally go into her arm. A whole set of knowledge seemed to enter her head all at once, but she needed a bit of time to process the whole lot of it.
“Language, young lady,” a masculine voice reprimanded her. It was coming from the sword. “But to answer your question, I am Galowye. I am an Arcane Arm, an ancient weapon forged to battle all that is foul and wicked. And I have chosen you as my Arcane Knight. Estella Kendrick, are you willing to use me to fight injustice and evil?”
Estella blinked… And then grinned widely, her body suddenly covered in light, “I would be crazy to say no to that.”
She felt like some kind of armour was covering her from head to toe, and while she briefly had seen a helmet appearing over her head, it disappeared just as quickly. Quick touch tests indicated what appeared to be her outfit was actually some kind of illusion of some kind of purple battle-dress with a red ribbon right above her chest, and another ribbon replacing her ponytail band. Pieces of armour were layered around her cape, on her boots, arms and chest, though she noted her chest exposed quite a bit of skin. Not that she minded, it was stylish.
“Hmph. Don’t quite approve of the glamour your mind subconsciously gave you, but as long as the actual armour works fine, it’s a minor problem that won’t hinder you in combat,” Galowye said. “You’re not helmeted, but you will appear to be masked to those who you haven’t shown your identity to, and nobody will be able to recognize any identifying features. Anyone who tries to dispel the illusion or see with true sight will just see the armour underneath. Your voice will also be unrecognisable.”
“Sweet,” she said, gripping the sword in a stance she thought was probably about right, despite her lack of training. “It’ll stop those things from cocooning me, right?”
“I believe these creatures are magical in origin, so yes,” Galowye replied. “As long as you have a decent supply of mana left, that should not be an issue. I’d teach you more, but just my edge will suffice for dealing with these creatures at this present time. I’ll teach you basic runes as we go along. Dispatch these curs, post-haste. Don’t worry about your friend, the barrier will keep out all hostiles.”
“Roger that,” Estella said, glancing back at her ex. “Jay, stay in the barrier for now. I’m gonna start clearing this place out.”
Jay looked utterly flabbergasted, but Estella speaking to him snapped him out of it, and he nodded to her. “Uh, right.”
Estella nodded back, and swung Galowye through the barrier. The blade passed through, surprising the hostile creatures on the other side and cutting through them. As she stepped out into the open, a couple of the black masses collided with her, but Galowye glowed, causing the masses to screech and hiss as they suddenly were set alight, forcing them to decouple from her armour but still very much on fire.
The remaining humanoid soldiers hissed as they began to attack with their bladed weapons.
Estella just grinned, and began to swing her blade.
Jay watched as his ex-girlfriend began systemically carving a bloodless swathe through the black monsters. Her sword had a longer reach than theirs did, and while her lack of training was obvious, she still had enough martial instinct to be able to dance around them and use Galowye’s reach to her advantage. As each monster fell, they burned with a blue flame before disappearing entirely.
Jay just wished Estella didn’t look so absolutely shameless doing it. Sure, she looked absolutely beautiful, and if what the sword said was right she was fully protected from head to toe, but surely she could use an illusion that looked at least a bit more modest. He had seen plenty of her body in the bedroom, he didn’t need to see it in public like this.
Then again, even her regular outfits weren’t terribly modest. Estella always did like showing off…
But in short order, she was done with this group, and Estella winked to him as she rushed off, probably to cut down the next group she could find, or go find her sisters, whichever came first.
“So. I guess my ex-girlfriend is a magical girl superheroine with a huge sword now,” Jay muttered to himself, as he decided to just stay put.
Anja was in something of a nasty bind right now. She and Sonia were on one of the upper floors of the biology labs, with no way down that wasn’t a sheer drop or covered by the invading monsters. And they were trying to sneak around the building while their peers were fleeing in terror and getting cocooned.
“So, uh… Any ideas on how we’re gonna get out of this one?” Sonia asked her friend in hushed tones as they hid behind a table, the sounds of the chaos roaring in the corridors outside.
“Hell if I know. Guess we keep sneaking and hope for an opening,” Anja replied, as she took a peek out towards the lab doors. However, the monsters were coming in, and they seemed to be focused on the table they were hiding behind. “Aw, shit. They know where we are.”
“Guess we can just grab some chairs and throw them, that might work?” Sonia gulped. Then she looked up, and her eyes widened. “Oh, shit. Anja, look out!”
Anja looked up just in time for something red and purple to land right on her face, spilling out onto her body.
Her brief moment of panic gave way when she realized that a masculine voice was suddenly talking in her head. “Hey, don’t freak out, I’m not with them. If you wanna get outta here alive, lemme help you.”
“You do realize how gross this is, right?” Anja asked, realizing her mouth hadn’t even moved or made a sound.
“Yeah, yeah, but I’m your only chance to get out of this mess without getting caught by these mooks,” the voice responded, as she felt the mass cover her entire body. “Besides, with my help, you can do some cool shit. You can kick me out later if you change your mind. I’m a symbiote, you see, I need a willing host to really kick some ass.”
“Alright, fine, but you better not be bullshitting me.”
She was not exactly prepared for what came next, but it wasn’t as unpleasant as she expected, feeling him enter via her orifices and pores. She also felt something cover her body, and watched with amazement as something new formed over her skin and clothes. When it was over, she looked over herself. It was some kind of skin-tight ‘suit’, which covered her entire body. It felt completely flexible, and yet solid simultaneously. It was a mixture of purple, red and cream colours, with blue eye-visors, but her field of vision was borderline perfect, having awareness of every possible direction, as if she had eyes everywhere. It was kinda spiky and menacing, like something a comic-book anti-hero would wear. With a mere thought, a fleshy, sharp blade formed from her arm. “This is dooooopppeee.”
“Anja what the actual fuck,” Sonia said, looking very freaked out when Anja turned to look at her.
“Oh, sorry. Alright, whoever you are, let’s give this a test drive,” Anja said, standing up, and caught one of the floating masses as it flew right at her. The symbiote bonded to her suddenly swallowed up the mass, causing it to screech as it was consumed and broken down. One of the monstrous soldiers rushed at her with a blade, but she decapitated it with a swing of her own arm-blade. Another of the soldiers began to approach, but she extended her other arm, and a spike extended out from her hand, spearing it right through the skull. As she retracted the spike, it became flexible. “Okay, see, you could’ve lead off with this, but yeah, now I’m buying what you’re selling. Got a name?”
“Dunno. My creators called me ‘Project Prometheus’, so I guess ‘Prometheus’ will do,” the symbiote said.
“Works for me.”
Sonia was utterly awestruck by Anja utterly destroying all the enemies in her way. The symbiote on her body seemed to grant her superhuman strength and speed, as well as being able to reshape itself freely to allow its host to attack however she pleased. To be frank, Sonia could not be more jealous.
She was also unable to ignore the fact that the suit was skin-tight and showed off Anja’s ample figure in spite of the intimidating-looking design of the suit itself. And man, did Anja have a great body. Sonia realized oogling her friend was probably not a great idea in a situation like this, however, and decided to focus on keeping an eye out for more incoming monsters. Unfortunately, Anja having a great ass was not making it easier.
Once the room and the outside corridor was clear, Sonia came out of hiding, to find Anja ripping open the cocoons. Much to her astonishment, the people inside were alive and quite healthy, but completely unconscious, and when the cocoons themselves sustained enough damage they also burned away, but left their previous occupants completely unharmed. “What the hell was that, Anja?!”
“Dunno, but the symbiote is our friend now, I guess. Best not to look the gift horse in the mouth,” Anja said, flexing a bit as she looked herself over. “But now we have a way to fight back. I'm gonna wipe every single one of these things off the face of this campus."
“You’re seriously gonna fight all of them by yourself?” Sonia asked incredulously. Even with these cool powers, could Anja really do that?
“If I gotta. Someone’s gonna stop these monsters from cocooning and carting away all these innocent people. I bet they’re probably behind all those people disappearing,” Anja replied. "Stay in here, I’ll clear out the building.”
“Uh, sure,” Sonia nodded, as she watched Anja head down the corridor. It took about a minute for her to realize that her best friend was now a nineties comic book heroine. Or something like that.
Natalia and Florrie were in one of the engineering labs, and they were desperately trying to barricade a door to keep the invading horde out. When the attack began, they had been alone and about to leave, but once their professor had gotten nabbed, they decided leaving was a bad idea. A worse idea was trying to climb out the window, which had a rather nasty drop.
“This is something out of a bad sci-fi movie and I am totally not here for it!” Florrie gasped, panting in sheer panic as she helped shove empty tables and chairs up against the door. “Oh God I’m gonna die-”
“Florrie, calm down, we’ll figure a way out of this! I hope…” Natalia gulped. Truth be told, she was barely more composed than her best friend. This was a living nightmare, and to say it was beyond terrifying was an understatement. What could she possibly do to fight back against something like this? Without reception they couldn’t call anyone for help. They were just sitting ducks.
She jumped in panic as a blade ripped through the door, followed by another. Black masses were starting to squeeze through. It was only a matter of time, now.
“You two, get down, now!” Spoke a masculine voice from behind them.
Natalia didn’t question this nor waste any time doing as ordered, nor did Florrie, as they dropped to the floor. Natalia felt something hot shoot over her head, along with a sound best described as a pulse. When she looked up to see what it was, she realized someone was firing some kind of laser or plasma gun at the black masses and through the door, frying the incoming attackers.
When the shots died down, Natalia looked towards the window. Hanging just outside it via a cable from above was someone in futuristic-looking tactical gear and a fancy-looking rifle. And he didn’t look human, either, though she wasn’t entirely sure why until he he rappelled down into the room, and removed his helmet. Now that Natalia got a better look at him, she realised he was short, only about a meter tall, and he heavily resembled a pangolin. He had long pointed ears, claws that were clearly as dexterous as fingers, and a long tail that had three prongs at the end. He spoke up in surprisingly perfect English, “you ladies alright?”
“I guess?! Are you an alien?!” Sonia responded, clearly jittery. Natalia wasn’t sure that what she was seeing was actually real, either.
“By your definition, I guess so,” the pangolin-like alien said, walking over towards them. “Special Captain Tharen Valitar, formerly Threesian Special Forces. I wish I wasn’t the only one who came down to deal with this mess, but things have gone up shit creek without a paddle at the worst possible time.”
“Uh… Nice to meet you, Captain,” Natalia replied, getting up onto her feet shakily, trying desperately to calm her nerves. “What’s going on here?!”
“Full explanation comes later, but the long and short of it is that we’re pretty sure that we’re basically dealing with a super-villain trying to take over the planet,” Tharen said, taking something off of his back and putting it in front of Natalia. It was some kind of circular, small platform with indicators of where to stand. “You’re Natalia Kendrick, right? I’ve been ordered to give you this. Your sisters will have gotten their stuff by now, you’re next. Please, don’t ask questions and just get on it - if you want to save this university and everyone in it, do what I say.”
“Uh, alright,” Natalia said, getting on the platform, deciding that the guy who just saved their lives probably was operating at some level of good faith, and frankly, she had few options regardless.
Suddenly, a thin, multi-linked mechanical arm extended out from the platform, pressing something against her neck. She felt something shoot into her skin, and when the arm removed the object in question, she was able to get a look at it. It was some kind of advanced jet injection module that didn’t require a needle. The sight of it distracted her from more arms that emerged, holding her in place by the arms, legs and neck as it began to perform more injections across her body. Her head felt strange, as if something was growing inside of it.
“Installation complete. Apologies for the discomfort, Miss Kendrick. I am your Neural Intelligence Assistant, or NIA for short.” It was a feminine voice in her head, vaguely robotic in cadence.
Natalia panted, her mind suddenly clearer than before, and she noticed there were user interface elements in her vision, like something that would be on a computer screen. “What’s happening to me…?!”
“Explanations will come shortly. For now, you must equip yourself urgently.”
Natalia’s body felt strange, as something was gradually constructed around her body, and she felt her clothes disappear (with the exception of her undergarments) as the arms worked up her body, though she had no idea how. Before long, something formed around her face, but quickly seemed to disappear, leaving her vision clear, but she felt like she was wearing something around her head. A holographic mirror formed, showing what she was now wearing.
“What the hell is this?!” Natalia had a skin-tight suit with a sci-fi aesthetic, with blues and dark greys, hatched patterns and layered, flexible armour plating. Polished metal adorned her shoulders, the backs of her arms and as part of her helmet, sweeping to the side like her hair. Her helmet had a blue gemstone on the forehead and insectoid eyes. She looked like a heroine out of a Japanese action TV show (‘tokusatsu’ and/or ‘sentai’). She found herself watching as a zap of energy emerged from her chest, and before she realised it, she was holding in her hands some kind of one-handed futuristic rifle that she immediately realised could project a beam blade, and her augmented reality user interface showed exactly where she was aiming, removing the need for any kind of sight on the weapon itself or a traditional laser sight. Her voice was also distorted when going through the helmet. “Uh. This is the coolest thing ever?!”
“Holy crap, Nat!” Florrie said, now on her feet and examining Natalia’s new suit from various angles. “What is that suit even made of? Some kind of advanced carbon-fiber or something? And the storage for the gun is probably either teleportation or some kind of matter compression…”
“No time for geeking out, we’ve got work to do,” Tharen said authoritatively, putting on his helmet and tearing away the barricade with impressive strength for someone of his size. “Shortstack, you stay here. Natalia, you’re with me, we’re gonna systemically clear out this building, free the people being cocooned and then move on to the rest of the campus. Hopefully we should be able to rendezvous with your sisters soon enough.”
“Shortstack?!” Florrie blurted indignantly with a huff.
“Uh, sir yes sir!” Natalia said, as the platform powered down and disappeared into her chest in a zap of light. She flung open the door, and she and Tharen started shooting down the corridor.
Florrie was just staring in pure astonishment as she watched the alien soldier and her best friend start tearing through enemies down the corridor, and start sweeping through rooms as they went. From what she could tell, their aim was basically spot-on, which she figured was likely due to targeting systems in their heads-up-displays.
As the pair disappeared and she continued hear plasma fire in the distance, Florrie could only think to herself… “My best friend is a sci-fi tokusatsu heroine. Holy shit.”
Karla was frozen in sheer terror as she watched those things finally break through the reinforced glass of the lab windows. She was dutifully speaking into her recorder what was happening as she witnessed it, and the monsters coming after them. Donavan was taking photos. It was only a matter of time before they’d be cocooned as well. The floating black masses were gathering at the window, preparing to slip through. She decided to end the recording there. “They’re about to break through. I only hope is that someone finds this recording and be able to warn the whole state if not the country of what’s going on.”
“Well, guess this is it,” Donavan gulped.
Karla nodded in agreement, and braced for the end. She could not allow herself to avert her gaze or close her eyes.
However, the monsters beyond the window stopped, and turned their attention to something else that Karla couldn’t see. She could hear noise down the corridor, like some kind of scuffle.
Then someone charged down the corridor. Fully covered in a red and purple outfit out of some kind of 90s kids action show or a comic book, the new challenger barrelled into the small horde, inexplicably extending blades from out of her arms, in a swirling ballet of death that ripped the monsters apart, in a bloodless mess of body parts that swiftly burned away with blue flames.
The masses that formed the cocoons tried to break through the gap in the window, but they were pierced through by the stranger’s blades. “Not so fast, you little shits.”
Karla blinked. The woman’s voice sounded like some kind of organic version of vocal distortion used to make it impossible to identify - definitely female, but other than it was indistinct. “Uh, Don, you’re getting this, right?”
“As if I wouldn’t be,” Donavan snorted in clear bemusement as he continued taking pictures with rather renewed enthusiasm. “Wonder what she looks like under that suit. Those are some amazing tits.”
That drew Karla’s attention to the suited woman’s chest area. Despite his crass statement, it was not inaccurate. But she decided to refocus on continuing to speak into the recorder about the sudden twist in events.
Shortly after, the suited woman finished off the last monster, ripped open nearby cocoons, and turned to the window, causing Karla to wince. However, she just knocked on the glass. “Hey. You folks okay in there?”
“Uh, yes, we are, thank you. You saved our lives,” Karla said. “Who are you?”
“Can’t say right now, gotta go help save the rest of the campus. Stay here and try to seal up the window if you can,” the woman said, as she broke into a furious dash down the corridor.
However, Karla had already made up her mind, and looked at the room’s remaining occupants, who all looked utterly stupefied by all of this, focusing on Donavan. “We’re going to follow her.”
“You do realize that’s dangerous, right?” Donavan asked with some concern.
“We are in the middle of the biggest news story of the century, like hell am I sitting around when we could be seeing an actual superhero in action,” Karla replied, utterly resolute.
Donavan just smirked, holding up his camera. “Figured you’d say that. I’m right behind you.”