Circling the little blue van, Skye nodded to herself. Maybe I could strike a deal, she thought to herself. The van didn’t look very expensive, it was a little broken down and probably wouldn’t run if you took it too far but Skye loved it. The brunette moved swiftly to the small garage to the back of the van. She knocked on the little door and a voice came through, “come on in doll.” Skye pushed open the little white door.
“Hey, I saw you’re for sale sign on the van-“
“You’re actually interested in that piece of junk?” Asked the husky man. His voice was raspy and the air was filled with the scent of years old cigarette smoke. Other than that he seemed pretty friendly.
“Well, uh-yeah” replied Skye timidly, feeling a bit embarrassed that she had fallen in love with the charm of the vehicle. The balding man looked her up and down.
“I dunno, you don’t look old enough to drive.” He scratched is chin.
“I am! I swear, here,” Skye jumped into action as she pulled out an ID from her purse. She handed it to him (I say handed it, it was more like she was throwing a bomb at him).
“Chill doll.” He said with a chuckle. He stared into the ID, being sure to check over the date of birth. “Yeah okay, she’s yours.” Skye looked at him, wide eyed as he handed back the ID card.
“You're just going to give me her?”
“Yeah, she don’t have any use to me. Plus you don’t look to be in great shape kid.” Skye nodded her head. Her jeans were ripped (no hipsters not that kind of ripped), a grey vest top hung loosely from her shoulders and the red converse shoes were tattered. And her too-small denim jacket didn’t scream wealth.
The man walked over to a cabinet behind where he stood and pulled open a drawer. Skye examined his movements. The husky man pulled out a key with a yellow smiley face on it.
“Here doll,” he said throwing the key in Skye’s direction. “Off you go, she’s got half a tank of gas.” Skye caught the keys clumsily, her bag falling off her shoulder as she fumbled. She looked awkward as she picked it back up.
“Thank you!” Said Skye after regaining herself. A smile reached across her face.
“It’s all good doll, I’ve been in your position.” I looked past Skye to the door. “I wish someone had been there to help me.” He looked down. Skye didn’t know what to do.
“Well Imma head out, thanks so much!” Said Skye again, the man shook himself from his daydream.
“Uh-yeah, sure, see yah doll.” With that Skye headed back through the door, closing it behind her.
Taking in the sunlight, Skye moved over to the van. She breathed in the air around it and clicked the button, the van made the usual beep noise and a head popped up from the other side. Skye had been so enchanted with her freebee that she didn’t notice the very pale girl stood at the front of it.
“Are you the one selling this vehicle?” Asked the young girl, her British accent drifted rhythmically in Skye’s direction. Skye looked her up and down. This girl couldn’t have been older than Skye, her sapphire blue eyes to young to be much older than 20. Skye eventually decided to answer the mystery girl.
“No actually,” a wave of disappointment rushed over the girls face. She stepped to the side of the van to reveal herself further. A black dress waving around her knee high boots and her straight black hair joined the hem. Every item of clothing and her hair matched perfectly. “I just bought it.” The pale girl exhaled heavily.
“Well, first come-first serve, right?” She gave a faint smile.
“Yeah…” They stood there quietly for a moment. “Well Imma go.” Said Skye for the second time. The British girl nodded before turning away. She didn’t say another word, just turned on her heal and went. Skye looked confused for a moment before opening the door to her new van and jumping inside. Slamming the door behind her, she looked to the direction of the stranger. But she wasn’t there. Could she walk that fast? Wondered Skye as she stared at the near empty street. The closest turn was at least 10 minutes away.
Skye jammed the key into the ignition, and turned it. The engine hummed to life and Skye smiled. “Off I go.” Stepping her foot down she rolled her way out of the driveway.
The British girl stood on top of a tall, brick building. “I liked that van.” She said to herself. Her skater-skirt dress blew in the wind, her hair travelling with it. She looked to the direction of the strange, bronze skinned girl. She had rolled down the same street that she herself had taken.
Maggie, the pale girl’s name, had disappeared between the narrow path between two building. She didn’t want the girl to follow her. People had a bad habit of following Maggie and the bronze skinned girl seemed nice. Maggie didn’t want her to get hurt by following her as she wasn’t planning a sunny walk through the park. Her day was more along the lines of vigilante than teenage girl. Maggie dipped her head over the side of the building again to make sure that the blue van was out of sight. Once she was positive that the other girl was far enough away she tucked her head back in.
“Well, if I don’t do this now I never will.” Said Maggie, pushing her hair back over her shoulder. She stood perfectly still as her dress stopped wavering in the wind. As she stood still, so did the fabric and her hair. Suddenly the dress began to tighten around Maggie’s body, conforming to her shape. Maggie’s face winced in the fear of pain. Her dress had now turned from a knee length, polyester skirt into a spandex like body suit.
The morph suit was pitch black like a clouded night sky. The legs faded into the leather boots, the only things not have changed, and the sleeves had grown to cover the entirety of her arms. You could no longer see the portion of her chest that you could with the dress, the suit travelled up her chest to wrap around her neck. Her hair had also changed on its own from a simple flowing waterfall of hair into a tight, strict ponytail. Around Maggie’s waist was a belt made of leather, the belt had two holsters big enough to carry a 9mm pistol each.
Maggie’s face was in a scrunched up state, the changing of her clothes didn’t hurt particularly, but she was always weary of the pain it could cause. She wasn’t born this way. When she was sure that the change was complete she rubbed her hands over her stomach. “Where did I leave my guns?” As smart as Maggie was, she wasn’t one for remembering vital stuff. She can tell you that William Morgan was the first person to translate the Bible for English to Welsh but she couldn’t remember where she hid her guns.
Oh dear God, what if a kid got a hold of them? The panicked thought rushed through her head. Looking around the building top she spotted a Wal-Mart plastic bag. She instantly ran over to the shopper, her hair not daring to waft about like a human’s. When she reached the bag she held her breath, sure as hell they were in there. Maggie let herself breathe again. “At least it wasn’t a dog.” She said heavily, remembering the Mexico incident where she had to chase around a large dog which decided her gun made the perfect chew toy.
Fitting the guns into their holders, Maggie stood up straight. She now needed to get from the top of this building and into the town without being noticed. “Maybe this wasn’t the best place to get changed.” Maggie stroked the top of her hair feeling the smoothness of it. Closing her eyes, she let a long coat form over her body suit and weapons. She now looked like she was just wearing leggings and a coat. Not her style but she couldn’t go marching through the streets in a body suit with weapons. The police would get to her before she could get to her own target. Happy with her appearance she proceeded to the fire escape and climbed down the stairs. She was looking forward to what was about to happen.
“SHE’S MY CHERRY PIE!” Skye sang along with the old van radio. It faded in and out between static but Skye never missed an opportunity to sing badly out of tune to rocking songs. Eventually she pulled into a gas station that had abandoned building either side of it. The station itself didn’t look like it would be there for much longer either. Never-the-less Skye pulled up to one of the gas pumps, she turned off the radio and moved her way out of the van. It was a smoother drive than she had expected.
Trailing to the other side she pulled out the cork that plugged the hole leading to the gas tank. The cover was long lost. She took out a corded pump and led it to the hole. She pressed down on the leaver being very careful not to go over twenty dollars. She laughed at the little money she had to spend. When the reader reached $19.98 she released the leaver. Keeping everything in its original spot she then moved to the shop so she could pay.
Skye entered the shop and the smell of petrol was everywhere, it was stronger in here than out there. The desk that the shop keeper stood behind was facing the door, the young man behind the desk looked up from his game of angry birds to see Skye walk in. She rejected to show any kind of sign that she didn’t like the shop as being polite was key to her cheap survival. She walked up to the desk with her purse firmly in her hand. As she moved closer she noticed a little hula girl on a stand. She and three others were busy dancing. Skye stopped to look at them, picking up the one with blue flowers around her neck, Skye continued to the desk.
“Sweet, aren’t they.” He smiled, his teeth shone bright with manner. Skye nodded her head as she opened her purse. “That’ll be $23.50 please.” Skye handed him two ten dollar bills and a five dollar bill. As the young man exchanged her notes for coins, Skye looked him up and down. He was much to clean to work somewhere like this. “That’s one dollar and ten cents change.” His teeth lit up his face again. Pouring the change into her purse she grabbed the hula girl and moved towards the door. “Have a nice day!” Yelled the young male after her as Skye pushed open the door. She got back into her van and placed the hula girl on the dash board. As she put her key back into the ignition a yellow cab pulled up next to the abandoned building that she was facing. Skye watched for a minute as two legs doused in black fabric swung out of the open doorway of the cab. Soon the rest of the body followed. Skye knew this girl. It was the British girl. But she looked very different.
Maggie was in a hurry. She wanted this over and done with. When the cab pulled up to the building Maggie reached into her boot and pulled out ten dollars. The ride from the other building to this old gas station wasn’t far but the cab saved some time. “Keep the change.” She said without letting the driver, whom she originally believed to be a man but turned out to be a bearded lady, tell her the price of the fare. Snapping the belt off, Maggie opened the cab door and swung out her legs. She didn’t bother to check her surroundings. (You know I said Maggie was clever, well it was more book smart, as in encyclopaedia smart). She moved up to the door as the cab moved away.
Maggie was determined to finish what she was there to do. She was completely oblivious to prying eyes. She was now arms length from the door. It was a steal door with bolts but this is where Maggie’s intelligence kicked in. Examining the door Maggie spotted a key hole. She turned her back to the gas station as two of her nails extended into long picks. She stuck them into the key hole and wiggled them around until she heard a click. Smiling, Maggie moved back her previous position, nails retracting back to theirs. Eyes were still prying.
The door was one that opened inwards. “Time for a dramatic entrance.” She smirked. All of a sudden her black coat had shed to reveal her body suit. More fabric went over her mouth and nose and formed a stiff black pyramid that extended out as far as her nose. Quickly she kicked down the door and ran in. The only light was available to Maggie was in the door way that she had come in from.
The end of the corridor turned into a T shape. At the end of each arm was a room. Each room was occupied with four S.H.I.E.L.D agents. Four S.H.I.E.L.D agents that hadn’t bothered to set up cameras outside and were in for a nasty surprise.
Skye watched wide-eyed at the empty space. Had she seen that? She whipped her head around quickly to see if anyone else was in the gas station. No one. Shaking her head Skye denied that it had just happened. “I’m going crazy!” She refused to except it. That regular looking British chick just turned into-a, into- a, into a what? Skye turned the key in the ignition and rolled her van forward. It gave a little jerk but Skye didn’t concern herself with it. If the doors not open then it didn’t really happen. Skye reassured herself. (I don’t know how reassuring thinking you’re crazy is but whatever floats her boat).
Her van crept up to the old building. Skye didn’t want to look. It was open. Naturally her first instinct was to go into the old, abandoned looking building after the girl that just turned into a vigilante. Don’t you just love young people? Skye slammed the van door and tiptoed up to the corridor that resembled that of a horror films. Skye took a large gulp and poked her head into the shade of the building. Skye could hear groans and thumping coming from the left of her. Please don’t say I’ve walked in on some weird sex thing. She begged as she walked further in, her body now in keeping with her head. When Skye was halfway down the corridor two loud bangs ran out. They were definitely gun shots. Skye didn’t waste any time in getting out of there. As soon as she was out of the corridor the agents from the right side ran over to the left.
Skye had reached her van and was now in the driver’s seat rearing to go. But something held her back. What if she’s in trouble? Thought Skye, the British girl coming to her mind. She started the engine yet again and waited, peering into the corridor. A body flew past the deep end of the corridor. Skye jumped up at the sight. Seeing into the corridor was becoming increasingly harder as the sky above became darker. Soon a dark figure emerged from the end of the long hallway. Escaping the dark, the British girl showed her face. Skye’s eyes widened, the girl all in black was limping and looked to be covered in some black goo.
Maggie limped down the corridor as her mask peeled away from her face. Soon she appeared in the darkening night sky. Still limping and blood dripping from her she noticed the little blue van. It was the bronze skinned girl. They looked at each other for a moment. The girl in the van then reached over and opened the passenger side door. “Get in.” Maggie looked her over again. Making sure it was the same girl she’d met previously. Maggie then hobbled over to the van and hopped up onto the seat. She closed the door and the other girl started to drive away.
They sat in silence for a moment as they drove onto the road. “I’m Skye.” Said the brunette, glancing over to Maggie.
“I’m Maggie Smith.” She replied looking on to the road. “Or as the British media like to call me, Nightress.” She looked over to Skye again. Now Maggie was bleeding heavily from her arm. She winced as droplets of her black blood fell onto the floor.
“What are you covered in?” Asked Skye, her eyes straying to the different cuts on Maggie’s body.
“My blood.” Replied Maggie calmly.
“Uh, this may sound like a weird question but-“
“But why is it black?” Maggie interrupted.
“Yeah.” Skye looked concerned. Maggie let out a laugh.
“Well as you may have guessed I’m not exactly human.” Maggie looked at Skye as her body suit turned into a simple vest top and jeans. The guns were now in her lap and the deep cuts on her arms were visible. Skye glanced over and noticed the change. The van swerved as she lost her concentration.
“How the hell did you change so fast?” Skye had regained control of her van and was now driving smoothly.
“Did you seriously not just hear me?” Maggie looked annoyed. Skye looked awkwardly to the road.
“Yes darling?” Asked Maggie trying to make her voice sound more friendly as she felt that her past tone was harsh.
“What are you and what happened in there?” Skye’s awkward look changed to a worried one. Maggie sighed deeply.
“I’m going to tell you something now Skye.” Skye nodded to show that she was listening. She didn’t know where she was going but she kept driving taking any and all turns. “I’m not human-well-I was, but I was taken from my home when I was two. I don’t know why but they chose me.” Maggie looked on to the road.
“But Skye.” She stopped facing the road and turned to the stranger. Skye nodded to the sound of her name.
“Before I tell you anything else you need to know that there are people that are going to come after me and now you. Scary men in dark suits.” Skye nodded again.
“They’re called the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement Logistics Division.” Maggie looked up to the roof of the van. “Or S.H.I.E.L.D for short.”
“They come after people like me, powered people, they feel threatened.” Maggie looked at Skye again. “And because your helping me they’ll come after you.”
“What?” Skye spoke at last, her voice more of a whisper.
“You’re helping me Skye, they don’t like people like me.” Maggie turned on her seat to face her. Her once opened wound was replaced by black stitching.
“So when you were in there you were getting rid of?” Questioned Skye.
“Eight of their agents.”
“Did you kill them?” Skye was now pulling away from the road into a car-park outside a convenience shop.
“No, I don’t kill. I would never sink to their level.” Her voice lost its tune and her eyes darkened.
They sat there in silence. No one went passed. It was just them in the darkened car-park. “I want to help you.” Skye cut the silence. Maggie’s eyes began to glow with hope. “I know what it feels like to be an outcast.” The two girls looked to each other. A smile grew on each of their faces.
(You remember the lack of intelligence we talked about with Maggie? You well she never thought to warn Skye of the complications of wanting to help people like Maggie).
“There’s one thing I need to ask of you Skye.” The rhythm of Maggie’s voice returned with the new found friendship. “Even if one day I’m gone, always help powered people.”
“Always.” Skye nodded.
“It’s not just a one-time thing, we’re like glitter. Once we’re on you we never leave.” Both Sky and Maggie giggled.
This was the real reason Skye knew.