From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
A Botched Procedure
Vacant eyes, bloodshot and staring. Angry, accusing, arresting gaze. Gore and fluid stuck to her skin, caked into the cracks and lines of her hands. Would never wash out. Never…never…
Her face sank forward into the fingers of her outstretched palms. A pink sort of rain began to fall- a mingling of tears with the blood staining her cheeks. She could taste the tangy mixture on her lips. It was metallic, ugly, somehow sad.
Somehow…somehow, she had to get rid of the taste.
Leona was no stranger to blood, even the taste of it. But not this way. Never this way. She had wanted to help. The girl had come to her sobbing. Would have been disowned if…if her parents knew. And now they never would. It wasn’t as though the butcher who had accidentally killed their daughter was going to send a sympathy card. She couldn’t have taken their accusing stares….
It slowly occurred to her that it was guilt that she was tasting on her lips.
Trembling, she climbed to her feet in the makeshift clinic, eyes averted from the half-naked corpse still cooling on the operating table. Her fingers traced the wall, bracing her as she slunk towards the small desk in the corner. Her eyes were on one thing- the almost-full bottle of Jack Daniel’s that weighed down a small stack of papers. She grabbed it and promptly fell back to her knees. Horrible sobs echoed between long pulls and gulps of the strong liquor. Just one bottle wasn’t enough to inebriate the young mutant, but…maybe was enough to clear her conscience. Even as false and as temporary as that would be.
The bottle was halfway to her lips again when the phone on the desk rang.
She ignored it. She took a drink.
It rang again. She ignored it. She took another drink.
It rang a third time. The answering machine picked it up. She took another drink.
“Leo? Pick up. I need you to help me pull off a job. I’m bound to get shot again, you get me? Call.” The machine beeped.
Bottle in hand, Leona rose and wiped the tears off on her sleeve. She took the phone with her as she left to get ready for Kiearra’s heist.
She could dispose of the body later.
When Things Go Wrong...
"Leo!" Kiearra's voice was a shriek of warning and Leo managed to spin around just in time to catch the angry mobster about to smack her with the butt of his gun. Dropping the loot, she grabbed his wrist and gave it a twist, continuing to twist until she heard the satisfying crack and subsequent scream of pain. She took the gun and tossed it to Kiearra, who could actually use it. Leona couldn't fire a gun to save her life. She nodded breathless thanks to her friend and scooped the money-laden briefcases back up into her hands again.
"Get the cash to the car, Leo. I got the rest of these assholes. Just be ready to fix me when I get in."
Pack mule, meatshield, doctor. That was Leona's lot in life.
But did she mind it?
No, not really.
She took off for the car, which was idling nearby. The driver they'd conned into helping was half-asleep at the wheel when Leo tossed the cases into the backseat and slid inside.
"Stay awake!," She barked, "Key's gonna dive in soon and we need to- Oh fuck! Stay here!"
Kiearra had been gunned down. Leona growled and leapt from the car. The two men standing over the smaller woman suddenly found themselves at the mercy of the 6-foot mutant. Her tail uncoiled and thrashed angrilly behind her, adding to the appearance of the feirce creature she presented. As they stared, they suddenly found themselves growing weaker. A sick yellow glow surrounded them. They grew weaker and sank to the ground. Clumps of their hair began to loosen and fall from their heads.
A green glow enveloped Leo's body and spread to Kiearra's, who screamed out at the sudden fire of radiation shooting through her bullet wounds. The shock of the painful healing left her unconscious. Leona side-stepped the infected and slowly withering men to scoop up her friend and turn back towards the get-away car....
Which was no longer there. Sirens howled in the distance. Leona cursed and ducked into a nearby alleyway. She hugged Kiearra and quickly appologized to her before lifting the lid of a dumpster and dropping her inside.
"You'll thank me later, Boss."
The sirens were coming closer. Taking a deep breath, Leona stepped from the alleyway to meet them head-on.