Justice Wing

⎇001JW Becoming Leather: Greenhorn #4

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Becoming Leather - Greenhorn

“Good attitude, kid! Tell you what! You lie down and put your hands on your head, and before we pack you up for the PATER team I’ll sign an autograph. Maybe even get a pic or two with you. That’s a deal, right?”

“Oh, man I’m tempted, but c’mon.” Leather crouched a bit. “I’m faster than I look. You can’t seriously think you can hit me with those arrows — I can dodge bullets at this range!”

“I’ll try to remember that if I’m ever packing bullets.”

The alternate universe coded ⎇001JW is home to parahuman heroes and villains, but their greatest heroes, the legendary Justice Wing, are facing a crisis of public confidence. This is Justice Wing In Nadir.
Against the backdrop of these rising tensions, the Archvillain Anchor meets a young, highly enthusiastic and highly inexperienced villain named Leather one February. He recruits her as a greenhorn for Anchor’s Marines, a mercenary group where she can learn the tricks of the villainous trade. In April, as her training continues, Leather and Anchor’s Marines are contracted by the mysterious Beguile and the legendary mob boss Chattergun Calhoun to steal an SD card from a safe deposit box stored at the Caledonian Trust and Reserve in Las Bendiciones, California. A plan is developed, but of all of Anchor’s Marine’s, the only one who doesn’t like it is the greenhorn Leather herself…

Becoming Leather

Greenhorn #4



Leather grinned. That enthusiastic cheer always made Leather feel good. The boys — and they were all boys — down in fabrication and support appreciated Leather’s frequent visits, and Leather appreciated their appreciation. She’d spent years hiding what she could do, with the knock-on effect of hiding how she looked. Suddenly having guys notice her? That was like cake. No, better — cake made Leather feel sick to her stomach.

“Hey guys!” She looked around. “Richie? What’cha doing?”

Richie was about twenty, kind of gawky, but had a good smile and good hair. “Prepping to fabricate badges for Bandolier and Incendijoe,” he said. “They’re kinda cool — they’re metal, but the backings have RFID tags that stick out in the pocket you clip the badge onto, so that the metal doesn’t block the signal.”

“Seriously? Huh.” She grinned, looking over his shoulder and leaning into his chair slightly. She felt him tremble a touch and his scent… well, intensified. Nervous, attracted. Nice.

“Seriously. This place is hardcore. But it’s not ready for the likes of you guys.”

“Who would be? And ’scuse. I’m actually here to study the map.”

“Sure thing — back station’s clear.”

Leather nodded, walking through the room with maybe a bit more sway to her hips. She felt the fabrication team’s heads ‘click’ in her direction as she walked. She could so get used to that.

She slid into the chair and logged into the workstation. The floor plans — an on-screen wireframe that approximated Refraction’s hologram from the briefing — were easy to find, and the software let her rotate and examine them. It included the wiring schematics, the security systems, the HVAC controls and shafts… everything a villain might need.


Leather suppressed annoyance. Hearing the fabrication team cheer Multiplette the same way they’d cheered for her was a bit galling. Still, what could you do? She kept examining the floorplans.

“So here you are,” Multiplette said, leaning against the desk next to Leather’s workstation. Posing, really, and not for Leather’s benefit.

“Yup,” Leather said. “Here I certainly am.”

“Doing your homework, I see,” the duplicator said, smiling a bit poisonously. “You must have been the life of the party back in high school.”

“I was the hit of drama club, and that’s no lie,” Leather said, absently. She had never been in any drama club — the closest she ever came was when she was training alongside the local university Gymnastics team, and they included her in some of their extracurriculars. But then, the lie was convenient and besides, Leather’s older sister had been a drama type for a while, so Leather could fake it.

“Oh, I imagine so. Well. I’m here to tell you we’re going to do a dry run in sims in ninety minutes, and it just won’t be the same without your cheerful presence chaffing up the vault.”

“Then I guess I’ll be there in ninety minutes,” Leather muttered.

“Level 4. Be in your field gear.” Multiplette pushed up to walk out.

“You were right,” Leather said.

Multiplette paused. “What?”

“At the briefing. You were right.” Leather looked at Multiplette. “We didn’t need to know what was on the SD card. Knowing that doesn’t help us — it just makes for a potential security risk if any of us get caught. And I really didn’t expect them to tell us when I asked.”

Multiplette looked at Leather for a long moment. “I know I was right,” she said, a little more quietly and not particularly happily. “And I got my head bitten off by fucking Chattergun Calhoun for it.”

“Yeah.” Leather glanced back at the floorplan. “You don’t wonder why?

Multiplette snorted. “Kid, there’s always three or four agendas going on, and that’s just the people in charge. You already know I have my own little projects, completely apart from the mission. I’m not the only one. If anything? I assume the only three people involved who don’t have their own shit going on are you, Incendijoe, and Malie. And Malie doesn’t give a shit.”

“I figured.” Leather looked at Multiplette, then shrugged. “You were right. I thought someone should say it.”

“…sure,” Multiplette said, then started walking away. “Eighty-seven minutes, kid. Late isn’t a great idea.”

Leather turned, watching her go. Her sway was practiced. She wasn’t as graceful as Leather — because no shit of course she wasn’t — but she was way more experienced and it showed. But even though she smiled and waved to the boys, she was clearly a bit distracted now.

Well, so was Leather.

Leather turned back to the station, before closing it down. She swung up, and walked back to the other side of the room. She slid against Richie’s chair again. “Hey Richiiiiiie,” she said. “You guys can fabricate, like, anything, right?”

Richie blinked, looking up at Leather. The model of the badge was still on his display, she noticed. “Yeah?” he said. “Well, no. Mundane stuff, sure.”

“What if it’s… y’know — expensive? Like gold?”

Richie shrugged. “We have a pretty extensive backstock.”

“So if I asked nicely… could you make me a couple things?” She slid down, crouching next to him, leaning forward. She knew the smell of her shampoo would hit his nostrils pretty fast at this angle. “Pleeeease?”

Richie blinked, and shivered. “…what would I get?” he asked, voice cracking slightly.

“My thanks and my smile.” Leather grinned a bit more. “But it’s a pretty great smile.”

Richie swallowed. “…what did you have in mind?”

Anchor was right. It was good to make friends.

Leather had no idea what the Transport was made out of. Its design owed a lot to a V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, but with two main and two secondary jet style turbines instead of rotors or props. The outer skin of the transport was some kind of flat black material which had seemed slick to the touch. The Transport was almost completely silent in operation, with only a slight whistle and vibration betraying the turbines were in operation. Was it all electric, somehow? Who knew? Also, it didn’t seem to have an actual pilot, for whatever that was worth.

Leather was buckled into one of the jumpseats, as were the rest of Anchor’s Marine’s. She was murmuring to herself. “Deploy through gate, take point off ‘Plet’s forward body. Sync up with Refraction, hit vault. Go right, deploying transfer tote and start cracking boxes third row up going from right to left. Crack five, empty into tote, then down one, crack five going left, empty into tote, seal tote and deploy next. Up two and go ten right to left, down one go five to last opened–”

“Leather, you’re all kinds of cool but if you don’t shut up I’m running my boathook through your face.” Boatswain was half-smiling as she said it, but clearly was legitimately annoyed.

“Thank God,” Serrate muttered on the other side of the Transport. “She was driving me nuts.

“I find it refreshing that one of our number chooses to spend their time before a drop reviewing her part in the plan,” Eldernight said. “Especially given the number of times one or more of us may have forgotten what they were meant to be doing.”

“That wasn’t my fault,” Serrate snapped. “Rodent jumped me. I had to defend myself.”

“Yeah, don’t go down that path, ‘Rate,” Boatswain said. “What’s the word from the inside?”

“Band and Joe are in position and they’ve got their party favors set up,” Multiplette said. “Fract and I are in position and have the security system prepped.” The team had arrived in Las Bendiciones the day before. Bandolier and Incendijoe had gotten inside earlier in the day, in their disguises, so they could set up for the assault. Multiplette and Refraction were inserted by Eldernight homing on a sigil that Bandolier had slipped into an IDF closet. And, since Multiplette had one mind for all sixteen of her current bodies, she could act as secure communications from the inside.

Malie rumbled. “Thirty seconds,” she said. “Combat on me.”

Boatswain, Serrate, and eight Multiplettes unbuckled. Those Multiplettes were armed with heavy weaponry. The other six Multiplettes were rigged for thievery. There was one on the ground, and there was one ’somewhere else’ in an undisclosed location. That also meant Multiplette could act as the lookout — or ’Steve,’ as the others kept calling it — for the operation.

Eldernight unbuckled as well, handing small bundles to Leather, Malie, Boatswain, and one of the thief-Multiplettes. The totes, each recallable to a sigil he kept elsewhere, were designed to be deployed on the ground, filled, and sealed pending that recall.

A different thief-Multiplette looked at Leather. “Get ready,” she said. “And keep up.”

Leather nodded, feeling the Transport shift in the air, heading for the ground. A display showed the front camera — the distinctive, hooked C shape of the Caledonian Trust and Reserve as seen from above, even as they circled. They were coming in hot, setting to hit ground running right in the courtyard formed inside that ‘C’ shape. Leather noticed that there were even extensions on either end that almost formed serifs.

“I wonder what you call the curves on a letter C like that,” Leather murmured.

“That’s the dumbest question I ever heard,” Serrate muttered. “It’s not even a real letter. It just looks like it.”

“Lines on a letterform are called strokes,” the closest Thief-Multiplette murmured back. “The letter C’s a single curved open stroke. The open space formed in the middle’s called a counter. Most people start the letter at the top, so the top’s the instroke and the bottom’s the outstroke. If that really was a C, the wedges at the top and bottom would be serifs.”

Leather blinked, and looked at that Multiplette. “Really?”

That Multiplette shrugged, looking a bit embarrassed. “I was a designer at a type foundry before secondary parahuman expression.” She glanced back at Leather. “I said you were a nerd. I never said you were the only one.”

“No, that’s… actually pretty cool,” Leather said, watching the building get closer and closer on the monitor. “Better than me.”

“High school student?”

“Athlete. Not in a cool sport.”

Multiplette nodded again, curtly. She then glanced back at Leather. “Stay back two paces on the right side of my right front body and try to keep about four feet behind,” she said. “Let my outer bodies stay between you and everything else. They’re expendable, and if any cameras stay live let them autofocus on me. Adds to your mystery and makes biometrics harder.”

Leather paused, then nodded. “Right. Thanks.”

“Ten seconds,” Malie growled.

“Just don’t fuck up.” Multiplette snapped, facing forward, and reaching up to hook onto a brace, as did the other thieves. Leather did the same on her own brace. The combat teams ahead of them were leaning forward, sliding their feet into blocks on the floor of the transport, facing the rear of the Transport.

On the monitor, there were sudden flashes and several windows bursting outward — Bandolier’s and Incendijoe’s handiwork. With her enhanced hearing, Leather could barely pick out the ’thumps’ of explosions a moment later as the sound reached them. That was followed by a blast of wind as the back hatch snapped open–

The Transport hit ground, hurling the combat team forward. Malie turned it into a leap, roaring as she spread her arms wide, angling to hit the cracked front glass facade of the building. The combat-Multiplettes — four behind Malie, four behind Serrate and Boatswain — each fired energy rifles they were carrying even as the impact threw them high in the air. They were set to wide angle, blowing more of the facade in.

Leather strained with the impact, but the brace held for both her and the Multiplettes. “On zero!” Eldernight snapped behind them. “Five… four… three…”

Leather saw the two combat teams storm the building. She tensed, letting go of the brace.

“…one… zero!” There was a reddish ripple, and Eldernight’s spell triggered, locking onto the sigil that Refraction and Multiplette’s seventh body had set up inside the building on the eighth floor and opening what looked like a hazy, rippling projection of that destination.

The Multiplettes and Leather surged through the projection — it felt like pins-and-needles all over Leather’s skin even as they hit—

They were inside, on the eighth floor. One side was open — part of a wide open lobby that extended up fifteen floors as part of the building’s design, with a red painted guard rail on that side. The rest was carpeted with a reception desk, a broad circular metal vault — currently open — screaming employees, and three security goons to the left who were shrieking as a sudden flying wedge of swimsuit-clad blondes stormed their position.

Leather hit the carpeted floor in a roll that brought her up into a handspring, pushing hard with her left to throw herself in the direction of those guards. She twisted and spun in the air, splitting her legs at the last second and hitting the ground in the middle of the pack before twisting, letting her legs helicopter around, knocking all three a good ten feet or more out of her way. She let the twist bring her down then pushed off, flipping in the air and landing behind the wedge of running Multiplettes — two paces right and four feet behind the right-front Multiplette. Right on target.

Leather and the six Multiplettes were running straight for the open vault, of course. It had started to swing closed, but that’s when Refraction kicked out of a stairwell, flying up into the air, glowing with white light and throwing a flying crystal drone into the air. Coherent light fired out of the crystal drone and danced over the sensors on the inner section of the door — they were safety interlocks, designed to only let the heavy bolts lock in place when they were in position. A second drone flew around and began to fire a more powerful beam, welding the hinges of the vault to keep it open.

The seventh and last Multiplette followed Refraction out of the stairwell, firing a few shots off behind the group. Two of the six peeled off to guard the door while the last four ran into the vault. Leather followed — the Multiplettes breaking off to hit the safety deposit boxes on the right hand wall of the vault, and Leather hitting the boxes on the left hand side.

Leather pulled one of the collapsable totes off where she’d hooked the carry-all to her belt loop, snapping it open and throwing it down. It expanded wide and deep, Eldernight’s glowing red sigil on the inside reaffirming its readiness. Leather pulled out her multitools and slid them into the two locks on the first box — third row from the bottom, all the way on the right hand side of the room.

The locks weren’t quite the same as the practice lockboxes, but that didn’t slow Leather down. She popped the lock and pulled the box out. Looked like sealed envelopes and a parcel. She scooped them out and tossed them in the tote, leaving the box pulled open. She hit the second even faster, then the third, then the fourth, then dropped down one and hit that one, working her way back to the right hand side. When she finished that block of four, she moved up two rows, taking a half-second to pop open a second tote. She could hear more yelling downstairs and sounds of combat, including a couple of explosions — it sounded like Incendijoe had joined the fun.

There were suddenly new noises from below. Angrier shouting, followed by a crack like a thunderclap. Leather didn’t let it distract her as she moved out to the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth boxes on this row, popping out a third tote—

“Oh fuck,” all four Multiplettes snapped on their side of the vault. Leather turned—

With all the adrenalin of the mission churning through Leather’s body it didn’t take much to kick her perceptions into high, slowing the world down. As a result, she could actually see the arrow fly into the vault — see its yellow fiberglass shaft, see the bulb-head on the end… see its flight without being able to push towards it fast enough to keep it from hitting the far wall—

The bulb burst into a concussion charge, looking almost like a warp in space as it blew everything in the vault backwards, catapulting Leather and the Multiplettes into the air. She saw the Multiplettes suddenly glow and burst like soap bubbles made of energy even as Leather tumbled helplessly backwards…

Leather hit the carpeted floor outside the vault, flipping backwards into a smooth series of somersaults, getting to her feet about nine feet away from the guard rail, the open space of the lobby behind her. There was no sign of any Multiplettes, and Refraction was gone too, though there were pieces of his crystal drones on the floor. That didn’t mean Leather was alone. Oh no. There was someone else.

He wore yellow and black paneled ballistic cloth. He was barrel chested, sporting black hair and a stylized mustache and a yellow domino mask over his face. He was holding a bow in one hand, nocking a pack of four arrows to the bowstring with the other. Leather recognized him, of course. He was probably the most famous archer in America.

“Oh my God,” Leather squealed, sounding for all the world like a dazzled teen at a boy band concert. “You’re Broadhead!

The archer drew the bow back, and moving it in front of him, all four arrows — each with some sort of sphere on them — pointing at Leather. “I am! And you’re a criminal of discriminating taste! I can appreciate that!”

“Are you — is Justice Wing here?” Leather was almost bouncing with excitement. “I mean — sure, I figured we’d run into each other sometime but really? You’re all here right now?

Broadhead’s smile quirked a bit more. “Justice Wing’s here — but all of us? There’s like forty of us these days. I don’t think this building’s rated for that kind of parahuman occupancy. I’m not paying another OSHA fine, missy!”

Leather snickered. “This is — I gotta say, this is just… wow!

“Good attitude, kid! Tell you what! You lie down and put your hands on your head, and before we pack you up for the PATER team I’ll sign an autograph. Maybe even get a pic or two with you. That’s a deal, right?”

“Oh, man I’m tempted, but c’mon.” Leather crouched a bit. “I’m faster than I look. You can’t seriously think you can hit me with those arrows — I can dodge bullets at this range!”

“I’ll try to remember that if I’m ever packing bullets.” He smiled a bit more. “Last chance — you don’t want to miss this one-time deal, kid!”

Instead of answering, Leather threw herself forward, the world slowing down as she kicked up and began to curl into an attack—

Broadhead twisted his hand, the limbs of the bow splitting apart like a flower opening up, still connected to the riser that he was holding with his hand, the cams separating too — each one apparently having their own string all coming together in the middle, like the bow was splitting into three different bows connected in the middle — almost like a flower blooming in time-lapse. The two ‘outer’ bows each had two of the four arrows knocked to them, the third string hooked by his index finger behind them. By the time Leather realized what was happening, Broadhead had let fly with the two outer strings, the four arrows snapping out not directly at her but at forty-five degree angles to each other, two left, two right, with a mesh deploying between and spreading wide in the middle—

Leather was stunned, trying to twist around but she was already mid-jump. There was no way to get over them—

The mesh nailed Leather, electrical discharge flooding her senses as the impact knocked her off the edge of the balcony. She twisted, snapping wires and spinning around, only to realize with a shock that she was literally eight stories in the air with nowhere to kick off! The taser-shock had screwed with her senses, too — she wasn’t sure which way was even up!

The floor hit her like a sledgehammer. Or she hit the floor like one. Either way it hurt like fuck. Fortunately she’d angled just right so no bones were broken.

With a hiss, Leather backflipped up, landing on her feet and shaking her head. She heard a roar as Malie tore through the room, the shark-girl shaking her head back and forth almost insanely, before throwing herself down and slamming the side of her head into the floor again and again. Overhead, Leather saw the copper-haired Thunder Lass fly past twenty feet above the floor, pulling reddish electricity out of the walls to sheet over Boatswain. About thirty feet away an Asian woman in a black pleather suit with a diamond-shaped keyhole at her bust was floating in the air and flickering with silver light. That light twisted out into a silver circle encircling one of the transfer totes. The sigil on the tote turned red, meaning Eldernight was trying to teleport it back to the Transport.

The Asian woman’s hand burned with silver fire and she pulled at the air, her circle flaring in kind and yanking Eldernight into the room in a burst of red and silver fire, straight through his own transfer spell. He stumbled but before he could recover he caught a face-full of silver firelight.

“Nice, Lambence!” Thunder Lass shouted, even as she wheeled around in the air to face Bandolier, who was running from the stairwell, firing mini-missiles at the hero—

“Hey! Junior!”

Leather whipped her head around. A woman with a warm, almost terra-cotta skin tone and dark lustrous hair was standing there in a combat stance. She wore silver scale mail armor on her torso — the scales made to look like silver feathers, overlapping to give her freedom of movement, with curled shoulder pauldrons of black metal, shaped like black feathers curling up to the sides, a black ‘feather’ pattern demicape behind her. Her arms were bare except for elaborate silver bracers. Her legs were in sheer ballistic tights with a mesh of silver wire over them that looked for all the world like fishnet stockings, sliding down into black suede boots. She had a silver mask with feather-style decorations over her eyes, and she was smiling. “You look lonely, little girl. Won’t anyone dance with you?”

“Holy shit,” Leather said, almost breathlessly. “Greyfalcon.”

Greyfalcon, smiling warmly, holding the gold first place cup up to the top of the podium — handing it to Leather herself, though Leather was distracted by the light playing off the metal feather pattern of her mask—

“Have we met?” Greyfalcon asked, even as she ran forward, arm curling back for a punch. “I hate to forget a face!”

“I guess not,” Leather said, backflipping back to get more distance, then springing up into a high attack of her own. “So let me introduce—”

“Hey kid! You like pinball?!”

Broadhead’s voice startled Leather, but she didn’t have time to look before one of his arrows hit the ground in front of Leather, exploding with a shaped charge that knocked her back, just in time for a second to hit the ground behind her, bursting and knocking her forward, right into a third bursting arrow that knocked her back again, right into a fourth burst behind her that tossed her almost helplessly forward, any semblance of a combat strategy blown out of her mind—

Broadhead’s last burst knocked Leather straight into Greyfalcon’s high kick. The hero’s boot heel clocked Leather in the chin, setting her up for Greyfalcon to spin, hitting Leather’s shoulder with a roundhouse kick that threw her to the side.

“Now you know how the pinball feels!” Broadhead shouted down as he nocked another arrow — he was repelling down a line attached to his quiver, letting him shoot even as he slid towards the ground.

Leather began giggling even as she rolled to her feet. “S-seriously?” she asked—

Greyfalcon swung, but Leather ducked down to parry with a forearm. There were three more hits, but Leather managed to block. “Please,” Greyfalcon snapped, driving forward with her assault. “Don’t encourage him.”

“I can’t help it!” Leather shouted, blurring into speed as she did a legsweep that failed to connect. Greyfalcon was slower — Leather didn’t think she was parahuman — but she’d anticipated Leather’s move. “It’s like he’s the worst insult comic! He goes from bad straight through to awesome!”

“You say that,” Greyfalcon said, spinning down to drop an elbow into Leather’s side before the villain could regain her feet, then rolled back up to her own feet into a crouch. “But a cute crook laughing at his jokes? He’ll crow about this for days! Have a heart, already!”

Leather made it to her feet, dropping back into a crouch of her own. She was dizzy — she healed fast, sure, but she’d fallen eight stories after being hit with a taser and then blown into a kick. She needed time to recover. “I’m a bad guy,” Leather half-wheezed. “I don’t think I’m allowed to have a heart!”

“Everyone has a heart, Junior,” Greyfalcon snapped. Leather realized she sounded British — like Northern Britain, or maybe Scotland. “It’s how you use it that counts.”

Leather didn’t answer. She just threw herself forward at speed — the world slowing again. If she could nail Justice Wing’s martial artist before the woman could see her move, even just into the armored stomach, she could knock her away and give Leather a chance to—

Leather had no idea how Greyfalcon managed to cross her bracers into a block. All she did know was that she managed it, meaning Leather’s fist hit them instead, and that impact triggered a sudden concussive blast that both reflected Leather’s fist back and threw the villain ass-over-teakettle. Leather hit the ground on her back but managed to roll up to her feet—

Leather got a glimpse of the bottom of Greyfalcon’s boot-heel just before it hit her midsection, nailing her squarely and slamming her back not just into the wall behind her but through it, clipping a stud as she crashed through the drywall into a heap. Before Leather could react any further, an arrow flew through the hole she’d just made with her body, hitting her square in the chest. It burst into a massive taser charge even as a net surged out to bag-Leather up, but Leather had no idea if it worked or not, the world dissolving into darkness and ending Leather’s first-ever fight with Justice Wing pretty definitively.

Leather had been dazed as the PATER team collected her, grabbing her remaining thief-tools and her leftover transfer totes. They’d loaded her into a heavy wagon, sitting her down in a fold-out mounted chair and locking down a brace, snapping bands over her hands and around her calves. A collar fitted out as well.

By the time her head cleared and her healing had made the pain and dizziness pull back into a general sense of ‘fuck the world,’ the wagon’s back door had sealed and they were on the road. Looking around, Leather saw everyone was there, their gear stripped off. Eldernight, Boatswain, Refraction, Bandolier, Incendijoe, Serrate, Malie — even a Multiplette. And her, of course.

Malie was still shaking her head, growling.

“What happened to her?” Incendijoe asked.

Boatswain snorted. “Micronought shrank down and literally flew into her fucking ear and started fucking around. Can you imagine? Sadistic fuck.”

“Fuck that,” Serrate growled. “I was halfway to cutting Doc Muon’s damn throat when one of your fucking bombs took me out, Joe! When we get out of here, I swear to fuck—

“Anyone see who got Eldernight?” Bandolier asked from across the way. “How’d he get yanked in with us? He was back in the Transport.”

“I admit my own curiosity,” Eldernight said, sounding pained.

“She was called Lambence,” Leather muttered. “Asian. Cute. Floating and glowing silver.”

“Seriously?” Bandolier asked. “Fuck. I know her. Ex-Protector. One of their D-list. Thought she’d retired after the Protectors folded.”

“Whatever,” Refraction snapped. “Hey Leather, what the fuck?

“Don’t start with me,” Leather muttered.

“Don’t fucking tell me what to do! You practically came when you saw Broadhead! Fangirling the shit out of—”

“Your spy-eye was supposed to catch him,” Multiplette said, quietly. “You missed it, Fract. Leather annoys the shit out of me too, but don’t fucking bag on her for going wide-eyed when you missed a fucking six-three carnie reject in yellow fucking spandex come charging in.”

“Who the fuck cares,” Incendijoe snapped. “Leather didn’t get a single fucking punch in before fucking Greyfalcon laid her out. How useless is that?”

“She’s thief, not combat,” Serrate growled. “I’m combat. I’d have taken Greyfalcon down only you fucking blew me up, asshole!

“All of you shut the fuck up,” Malie hissed.

The silence was palpable.

“Thanks,” Bandolier said. “Anyone got the time? Plet?”

“Eight seconds to,” Plet murmured. “Everyone clench sphincters.”

Leather dropped her head and closed her eyes.

A sudden blast rocked the wagon, causing it to skid. Four more shots rang out over the armor. Behind them there was a clang as something attached to the door, followed by a suction sound and a tearing of metal as it fell away. Three Multiplettes ran in, all in black combat armor, and began cutting Anchor’s Marines free. “Transport down in six seconds,” one of them hissed. “Thunder Lass and Asian Burny Lightshow Babe on inbound — we can’t be here when they get here!

“Hit the Transport and get the fuck out,” Malie roared, throwing herself out the back and slamming into a PATER guard who’d managed to react a little better than his friends.

Leather felt her bonds come free. She didn’t move to attack. She just ran for the drop point, where the Transport was rippling into view, door open and waiting.

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1 thought on “⎇001JW Becoming Leather: Greenhorn #4”

  1. ‘Plet, we know you were in the D&D club back in high school. This thing you’re doing? It’s called the circle of violence and it won’t score any points on the mean girls in your school.

    Honestly, she’s wrong. Leather has her own thing going on here too. I think she’s right about Incendijoe though.

    I’m pretty sure you could have just requested a couple of personal items from the fabrication team. Still, always good to give them a reason to move you to the front of the queue.

    ….Is the lack of women in the fab lab simply a reflection of the relative imbalance in the engineering professions or something else?

    Good job Rodent

    Nice to see them bonding a little. I mean, they’re never going to be friends, but…

    Stay classy Broadhead.

    (Granted, after that other story, I have to wonder if part of why he acts like such an asshole is to keep anyone from getting close and getting killed. I mean, I’m betting he’s actually a jerk too, but there are levels of jerkishness.)

    I like Thunder Lass. However, given the way sharks can sense electricity, I imagine Malie does not.

    When the shark speaks, you listen.

    Well, that could have gone better for them. No matter which them you’re talking about.

    I do have to wonder if someone tipped off Justice Wing though. Beguile, you wouldn’t happen to know anything about that would you?

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