The Domina hops over the edge of the half sphere, and perches herself daintily upon the chair before reaching out to grab the extended handles. All she has to do is spark her self up and at least my plan will go into effect. After everything happens I'm honestly not sure how the hell I can get away from Pan and Aureus. They're both a lot stronger than I am. There's probably no way I could convince them to step back five feet each to give me a running start.
"I'll engage the top of the dome, Sarah. After that, Valerie, just like in every test run, start to fill the enclosure with your mist. Once that's done, then it's just up to you. Spark up a storm, Sarah!" Emerald's voice is so encouraging. She sounds like she's just cheering on a friend and not an evil plot.
If The Domina wants to keep this from Valerie I can see her pulling it off. There are even reasons for why. Emerald knows. I have no doubt in my mind that she knows exactly what is going on.
Valerie and Sarah both nod before Emerald steps a short ways back from the half sphere, and extends her hands. I don't know how to describe it, but suddenly a dome that appears made out of a hollowed out emerald begins to grow over The Domina to complete the sphere. The facets spend several moments seeming to shift and change. Very quickly, the process finishes and the sphere is complete with The Domina visible inside.
Green looks good shining over silver skin. If I ever get myself some silver skin I'll need to keep that in mind. It might be handy to know.
"Dome is complete. I'm beginning pre-initialization cooling sequences. Ember, verify proper alignment of the amplification grid and begin coordinating with the terra base's receiver." Valerie's hands rest atop the emerald of the dome. The inside view begins to obscure as it fills with Valerie's mist.
It looks so beautiful. Nothing about that makes it seem any less threatening, but it is at least beautiful. Moths would never flock to a flame that wasn't beautiful after all. This flame is just going to have the lovely effect of burning all of the pretty moths on the blue planet below. As soon as The Domina starts to spark up, I should know if my plan worked. If it didn't, then plan B is going to start looking better and better.
One thing I know that I'm going to need no matter what is a person at my back. Aureus is far too strong and robotized to consider. Pandora . . . Pandora's mind seemed to wither at her body being touched. All I needed to do before was just fuck her and I had her complete and total obedience. Before the plan goes off, successful or not, I need to start ensuring I can get out of here.
My arms are free to move but I don't have a lot of mobility. Luckily for me I don't think I'll need it. Pandora is standing so close to me . . . I rest my hand on the inside of her calve and begin to move my fingers slowly along the curve of her leg as gently as I can.
"Receiver is prepared, and initial energy output is proceeding as anticipated. As long as there aren't any fluctuations, the first power transfer will begin in five minutes. Guidance protocols all engaged and at one hundred percent. We just need to wait for the energy to accumulate, now." Ember's voice is so proud, so full of glowing bliss at being so near achieving her goddess's goals.
I can't let that happen . . . Pandora just barely whimpers as my fingers reach her thigh. Her hand on my shoulder begins to quake. Taking that as a sign I trace a small spiral slowly higher and higher along the inner curve of Pan's thigh. She whines out and begins to quiver. Her hand on my shoulder grasps tighter.
She isn't resisting at all. Good. If Mind Bore or Ember or anyone had taken two looks into Pandora's mind they would have made her react to this in another way, but instead she starts to try and grind down to my fingers as I trace right beside the cloth covering her crotch. I can already feel the damp warmth emanating from under the thin fabric.
Valerie's voice distracts me only faintly as I very slowly slide my finger along the growing wet spot on Pandora's panties. "Ember, check those energy levels again, something . . . something is wrong, I can feel it! The empathic link my mist can give me is just . . . not telling me anything like it should be . . .!"
"Energy production levels are dipping . . . Come on Sarah, pump out the juice, you were giving out ten times this before in the trial runs!" Ember actually sounds worried. It's a shame her dream is about to be squashed.
It must be working.
Pandora lets out a faint cry as I start to wiggle my finger into her, grinding the soaking cloth into the needy pearl beneath. I don't turn to watch her, but my peripheral vision is enough to see her knees bending as she starts to mewl and rub herself hard into my finger that soon turns into two and then three.
As long as Ember didn't burn away the helplessness already literally fucked into Pandora then I have a chance. The earth has a chance . . . Everything is actually falling into place.
"What do you mean, dipping?! What are you feeling?! The chamber is still aligned properly, but the currents . . . They're not arching properly. She's not focusing the energy, it's just . . . I don't know how to describe it. It's like she's just emanating it instead of channeling it . . ." Emerald's voice sounds so frantic, I can only imagine how much she has at stake in this.
"Amethyst, your mist is conductive even if it also eases the strain so that Sarah doesn't . . . over heat . . . while sparking, but could it be that somehow it's just absorbing the sparks and keeping them . . . out of the tanks?" Ember sounds like she's grasping for an explanation, and she should be. The inside of the dome looks like a nebula, full of mist looking so much like smoke full of sparks and lightning, energy arcing from one side of the dome to another, with the entire mist cloud pulsating.
Meanwhile, my fingers have pulled at Pan's panties enough to stroke her directly. She's shaking like a leaf in a hurricane, and it's only getting better by the moment. I pinch as delicately as can be at the very end of her clit and Pandora lets out a choked squeal.
If her voice hadn't broken, all eyes would have been on her. I just need a little longer. She's soaking my fingers to the bone. Just a moment longer . . .
The cloud of mist isn't just pulsing anymore, its staying bright, and I can hear the loud confused moan from inside. It's wonderfully familiar. I've heard it so many times, but none of those times was I actually wishing for it. It always used to mean that I'd failed.
This time it means I actually pulled it off. "All I can feel is . . . confusion and bliss . . .! Oh no! She's not actually sparking anymore, but she was sparking, the mist is actually just pulling it out of her . . . It's going to overload the dome, it's not being drawn into the amplifiers at all!" Valerie sounds so frantic and it tugs at a deep part of my pity, but not as deep as my fingers are inside of Pandora's wet pussy.
"What do you mean?! The sphere was constructed to absorb the sparks fed into the . . . wait a minute . . . you mean all of that energy is just building up, and witho . . . Sarah let go of the channeling rods! All of that energy is just . . . building up . . ." No words could describe Emerald's voice adequately.
It's a sweet mixture of absolute confusion and bewilderment while at the same time sheer terror. "How could this even happen?! We ran a thousand tests. Your mist can make her head spin but we tested how much to use and where to stop, she should be making fun of it not being enough, not buckling in there . . . just . . . how?! There should be no . . . no way . . ."
"The answer is very simple actually." I thrust my fingers as deep into Pandora's cunt as I can and she lets out a loud helpless squeal. Quick as I can I duck from under Aureus's hand and rise to my feet from behind Pandora as my fingers pump hard and fast inside of her. "She flew too close to the sun with wings made of wax."
"Mistress!" Pandora's voice projects out of her throat like a volcanic eruption. I've never been more thankful to know how to touch a woman. "Want to obey Mistress!"
I've also never before forgotten how good it can be to be a scatterbrain. I had Doc Tasty procure more for me than just a slick suit. If I'd pulled it out before now, like say when Pan was initially fried, I wouldn't have that other part of her science project now. "Then obey your Mistress . . . burn away the machines inhabiting the gold girl beside us."
"What the hell is going on here?! We need to get Sarah out of the Dome, she's being fried in there .. . The mist is acting like a magnet, drawing out her sparks, and covering her with them, she can't take this level of mist or sparks for much longer, I can't begin to estimate the neurological damage! Her synapses are being overloaded!" Valerie's voice is so pleading for help, for anyone, from anyone, but sadly, that is exactly what I want to happen.
Pandora's hands raise up to grab Aureus's forehead. Aureus tries to push her away, but the flames are already starting to burn into her. I would have thought that flames that didn't burn skin or cloth would be virtually useless. From the way Aureus is shuddering I'm going to have to bet that it's clearing out that mechanical infestation rather well.
Ember aims her hands out at us, but I reach to the back of my belt and pull out my last surprise from the biggest pouch I have. Deftly I push off of the floor to move out from behind Pandora and aim the small silver gun in my hands right at Ember. "I would say put your hands up, but I have the feeling it wouldn't matter."
Her eyes pulse the same color of her own flames as behind me Aureus begins to whimper in a voice sounding both furious and emotionally crushed. "A gun?! You style yourself as a heroine and yet you use a gun?! Your clensing will please Pyria greatly."
My lips curl into a crooked grin as I shake my head slowly. "Sorry. I'm afraid you're wrong." I squeeze the gun hard, and the trigger makes a satisfying sound right before the sharp popping sound clears it away. "Bad guys use bullets. Heroines can have guns. I don't want to kill you. Turn your mind into goo behind your eyes? Oh yes. Yes please."
"N . . . nnn . . . o . . . oooo . . ." Ember's voice is barely a whisper after the dart stabs itself into her shoulder. I was aiming for the middle of her chest, but apparently I'm not a very good shot. The flames that were starting to form in her hands disappear in a puff of pink energy.
Slowly Ember falls to her knees and begins to shudder, crying out as she grabs at the dart to throw it away, but the chamber is already empty of the green fluid that filled it only a few seconds before.
"Yes, little Ember . . . Just relax. You can already feel your grip on your sense of self, of your self control . . . Feel the flame of your mind snuffed out by my lovely little shot . . . Doctor Raine isn't the only doctor who can make your eyes cross in all sorts of fun ways . . ." My victim just groans before falling flat onto the floor, writhing, and I take the time to reload my gun with another dart.
Valerie is frantically clicking away on a computer console, but Emerald is just frozen still. Even with the odds stacked against me . . . I somehow pulled it off. My whole body is humming and feels just so warm and charged. All we have to do now is round up the bad guys and get the hell off of this tin can.
The emerald dome surrounding The Domina begins to fluctuate as Emerald raises her hands above her head and waves them in a defenseless gesture. "Just put the gun down, Patina! You've already sabotaged the generator . . . With what you've done to Sarah we'll never be able to make it work now. Just put the gun away, and we can all leave the station. No one needs to know what happened here. You can go free! I won't tell the police anything about this!"
"Of course you wouldn't, since you're in league with The Domina. I think we can drop the pretenses now, can't we?" Aureus finally stops groaning, and stands beside me, shaking her head and seeming only disoriented not possessed. "Valerie, I know you're not a part of this . . . Believe me."
"A part of what?!" Valerie slams on the dome and it shatters apart into thousands of tiny specs of light. "I just need to save her . . . I don't care about the generator any more, I just care about my Sarah!"
There just isn't the time for explanations. I'm sure the three of us can take out Mourning Frost and Emerald, but Mind Bore might have other surprises in store for us and I am not about to pretend that this is going to be easy. Transportation was always something I was afraid of. What if there's something rigged up to make all of the transports explode if the spear is disabled or fails to fire?
The trip home would be cut a little short but I don't know if the remains of our bodies would really care one way or another.
Emerald smirks and huffs, dropping her hands. "Fine. You've turned the head of the project to mush, and who knows what you've done to my associate . . . The Spear will no longer be firing. Let's all just go our separate ways. My investment is already ruined, do you need to ruin the rest of my life too?"
Valerie starts to cry as she tries to grab The Domina out of the sphere. There can't be anything left inside of her head to pull out of there . . . and even if there was it wouldn't be on my side. I shouldn't want to help her. It's just not her fault that she got caught up in all of this. It's The Domina's fault. It's my alternate self's fault. She shouldn't have to pay for that.
"I'm not ruining your life, Katya. Before I came after the Project, I was taking down small criminals, helping them find their way to the police . . . and do you know what I taught all of them?" I aim this time a little bit more carefully. She's ready for me to fire, she might actually try to dodge.
"What was that?"
"Redemption brings unequalled pleasure and bliss. So think of this as a time out in the corner. You've been a bad girl, but I'm going to give you a second chance." I squeeze the gun again, and the dart flies into her chest. It probably still hurts, but just like Ember she manages to tear it out right after all of the drug is already coursing through her system. Each heartbeat is infecting her more by the moment with that serum that will in just a couple of moments melt all decision making abilities right out of her head.
She lands on the ground far from Ember, but their positioning looks so much the same. Both of them are sprawled out with their limbs akimbo, shuddering ever so faintly as they feel better and better under the influence of a much stronger version of a drug I sampled myself before I left Midas.
The Lady's stash was all premium stuff but that wasn't her specialty.
Mind Bore and Mourning Frost are still out there somewhere on the station. I still need to get Alyssa the hell out of here too. The enslaved workers will likely take quite a few trips . . . one thought at a time.
Pandora whimpers and grinds herself tenderly against me, her voice a porn star version of her natural one. "How can Pandora obey Mistress . . .?"
There's probably a lot left in Pandora's head that no one would have thought to pull out of there. After all, she's a vampire. She probably would start to restore her mind automatically unless something kept it down. So, I can help by giving that a little bit of a shove. "Have your mind find the old Pandora, the one before Ember burned her away . . . and bring her back for me, okay?"
Pandora nods and I leave her to it. That's one situation turning out better than I could have hoped for. Aureus turns to me with an expression I can only describe as half asleep and very softly whimpers as she tears a pair of ear buds away before reaching down and throwing away the cylinder they're plugged in to. "I'm okay too, before you get to asking . . . Goddess . . . I can't believe just how . . . Good it felt, to just . . . To feel Mind Bore turn me into some sort of . . . robot . . . slave . . . thing . . ."
"I've been there, I know the feeling, remember?" I grin and give Aureus a tight bug before turning and walking over to Valerie and The Domina. "There are other things to worry about right now . . . and Valerie, we aren't your enemies. Please, hear me out-"
"-Hear what out?!" Tears pour down Valerie's face and the only things I can conjure up to distract myself from how torn she looks are thoughts of how helpless Ember and Emerald are right now, and how I just saved the world. Thoughts like that. "Sarah . . . Sarah! Speak to me, say something, say anything! Sarah . . ."
Valerie is kneeling on the floor, clutching The Domina as tight against herself as she can. The Domina isn't responding at all. She's not even making sounds like a toddler might. She looks fine otherwise, and I'm sure she still has a pulse . . .
The problem is that behind her eyes no one is home.
Carefully I start to step closer and Valerie screams out at me. Not with any words, just a brutal ferocious sound. "Stay away from her you monster! I . . . I don't know what's going on, but you . . . You . . . This is your fault! I always thought there was something peculiar about Chandra and Katya, but I didn't care! I was doing all of this to advance medical research, to help treat the adverse effects of long term space inhabitation . . . This experiment was just to Generate a new level of energy! There was nothing evil about it!"
"Look, that isn't true . . . That isn't true at all! There's no time to explain! Doctor Raine, Amethyst, whatever you want to call yourself, we need to get out of here. Mourning Frost is still out there somewhere. I have no clue what Mind Bore might still have waiting for us . . ." Again I try and get closer to her, but she just glares at me and makes a sound so much like a hiss that I stop before coming much closer at all.
"Mourning Frost?! Mind Bore?! I don't know who any of these people are that you keep talking about . . . All I know is that . . . That she's breathing . . . I can feel her heart beating, but she can't respond. I need to get her to my sickbay, immediately!" More impressively than it should seem Valerie lifts her up, and runs at the door full speed.
Adrenalin can make people capable of super human feats. I don't know if she was already capable of something like that, but she doesn't even need to pause as she runs at the door to trigger the controls. It's a fluid motion, and then she's gone from view.
I could try chasing after her but I don't see the point. There are more important things to get done and it's not like she's going to escape or anything stupid like that. She needs time to cool down before she'll trust me enough for me to explain the truth about The Argentum Project, or The Domina. If I told her right now she'd be far more likely to tear me apart than listen.
Pandora finally shakes her head and starts to look actually focused. Aureus is still looking dazed but otherwise all right. The team is back together and we don't have overwhelming odds stacked against us.
A girl could get used to this feeling.
"Okay . . . We'll have time to talk about this later, but for now, we need to get moving. I know that they look out of it for now, but I have no clue what their metabolisms are like and we don't have time to condition them. Each of you grab one of them up. We need to find Alyssa. After we find Alyssa, it's just a matter of stopping the last two project heads . . . and then catching up with Valerie. Do either of you have any questions or comments before we get started with the clean up job?"
I look to Pandora, then Aureus, and then back to Pandora.
"No . . . but after all of this is over . . . Can we all go out for ice cream?" Aureus sounds so pitifully young when she says that.
Smiling I give her a big hug and then nod. "I promise. Any ice cream for you Pandora?"
Pandora very slowly shakes her head, running her fingers through her hair and then rubbing her temples in very long and slow strokes. "No, but I swear chica, that you are nothing but trouble. You saved all of mi familia though so . . . thank you, Patina."
"Don't worry about it. It's what being a heroine means. Now . . . We have an innocent woman and two super villains to nab. Let's get started."
This place is a goddess blighted maze, but we manage to find Alyssa easily enough. She even followed us without having to be tranced or grabbed and carried around or anything like that. I was relieved, because even if carrying around a mostly nude Alyssa would not be a chore I need to have my hands free.
My gun is reloaded, but I haven't seen anyone worthy of firing it on. That's kind of the point of a gun like this.
"We've checked every room on the station. Mind Bore and Mourning Frost just aren't on it. The robotics lab was empty, and even the slaves we asked said that Mourning Frost had left her section. They must have hopped a shuttle out of here." Aureus's voice is apologetic, but I can sense that a lot of her tone is craving one thing: getting the hell out of here.
I can't say I blame her.
Pandora looks around for a moment and sighs. "Sorry, Patina . . . but I'm going to have to agree with Goldy on this one. Let's just go find that doctor and get the hell out of here."
Saying no at this point would just be idiocy. So it wasn't a perfect catch - I did save the world. That is far better than having caught everyone but with the spear still having fired. "You're right. Well, luckily we've been around this damned place so many times that I think I'm actually starting to remember where places are. The sickbay should be just down this way . . . let's go."
Part of the reason I don't want to leave without Mourning Frost is that she's one of the women who had Aureus turned into a statue. Not capturing her is failing Aureus . . . but I think she can understand that it's not by choice. I'd have her trussed from the ceiling in an instant if I could.
The walk to Valerie's hospital away from earth isn't all that far at all. Inside is a sad sight, and I put up my hand for the girls to wait outside. I slide the gun back into the pouch, and walk inside. "Valerie . . ."
"Don't . . . Don't say anything . . ." Valerie is standing over The Domina on an examination table. Her chest is still rising and falling, but her eyes are open mindlessly wide. I'm sure that Valerie's precious Sarah hasn't said a single thing worth hearing since the accident. I'm not sure if she ever will again. It is my fault. The Icarus Powder combined with that much stimuli, the mist, her own sparks . . .
If Yanuka were watching, I wonder if she would find this even or fitting. The Domina used Yanta, and now she's ended up much the same. It actually makes me feel guilty.
Valerie's face is tearstained in the most heart wrenching way. Her eyes are red, and her hands are shaking. "She . . . She was my world, Patina. I found her, drugged out of her mind, a heart condition I'd never even imagined possible, and nursed her back to health . . . she left . . . came back . . . and then brought me to here, a place where we could live out our dreams and be happy. Now she's gone."
"No, Valerie . . . That's not the truth." With a sigh I let my hair down and carefully push all of the strands out of my face. "I'm the woman you found that day, Valerie. I'm the woman with an extra chamber in her heart. She has one too, but there's a spark in it. Mine is just a health risk."
"But then . . . but how . . . ?!" The look in her eyes is one of horror and confusion, but not disbelief. "Those eyes . . . Your hair, your face . . ." Valerie looks down to The Domina and then back up at me. "You look nearly identical, you sound identical, you act . . . What are you, good and evil twins . . .?"
Sighing I shake my head again and reach down to squeeze the Domina's closest hand. "No. We're the same exact person, Valerie. She's just me without any hope, consumed by loss . . . and she loved you very much."
I can't bring myself to say anything more to her. Nothing I did was wrong, but she needs more time. She can't find out everything right now, like this. That would just be cruel and uncaring of me to expect her to be ready for that so soon. Slowly I turn away from her and stare at the floor.
Maybe she'll never be ready to listen. "If you want, we can all go back down together on the shuttle. We need to take Katya and Chandra to the authorities . . . They'll want to talk with you too."
Valerie nods very softly. "All right . . . let's go."