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Category: Bonus Material

Bonus: You’re Going To Kill Her

Sabrina waited until Rachel left, smiling with just the right mixture of innocent and vacancy to not arouse the girl’s suspicions. At least, she hoped that’s what she was doing. She never had been any good at subterfuge. It helped that Rachel had seemed distracted, barely paying attention to her.

“How can you trust her?” Sabrina asked, as Zoe entered the room. The woman tensed at the question, her eyes darting to a corner of the room. Why? Was that guilt?

Zoe laid a hand on her shoulder, walking with her, taking her to another room. Zoe’s room. She hesitated at the doorway. Zoe just kept walking, and Sabrina decided that was invitation enough. She followed Zoe into the room.

A monitor replayed footage of the aftermath of Rachel’s surgery. Sabrina was distracted, watching as Rachel’s condition visibly improved. In the space of only an hour, she’d gone from looking almost certainly dead, to almost entirely healthy. Sabrina knew it was partially due to an infusion of Zoe’s blood. What she didn’t know was why Zoe was helping her.

She felt bad for Rachel, in a way. She knew what Charlie had done, why Rachel was so scared, and there was no way she could’ve left her to fend for herself, not with Charlie looking to kill her. That didn’t mean she trusted her, not by a long shot.

“I don’t,” Zoe said, the faintest trace of bemusement crossing her face. “I don’t need to trust her.”

“I don’t understand,” Sabrina said, looking away from the footage of the unconscious girl whose breathing was so shallow it was almost imperceptible. “You know she’s planning something, right? She has an agenda.”

“Of course she does. That’s what makes her useful. She’ll work hard for me, give me what I need, to try and convince me she’s worth taking the risk on. Then she’ll try to betray me.”

Zoe said it so calmly, so casually, Sabrina almost wondered if the woman knew what the word betray even meant. Then again, she knew Zoe was beyond intelligent, and cunning to boot. Zoe must have known something she didn’t.

“And when she does?”

“Then I betray her,” Zoe said easily. “She was foolish. Her entire skeleton is attached to a mechanical endoskeleton with an internal control mechanism. All I need to do is activate it, and she can’t do a thing. I gain complete control of her body, and she’s powerless to stop me.”

“That’s terrifying,” Sabrina said, taking a step back.

From the day Rachel had arrived, she knew the two of them were playing head games with one another, lying to each other’s faces, disguising their true motives. She played nice, played innocent, because she didn’t want to get caught in it, knew she didn’t have the same deceptive streak that would allow her to play those same games.

If she was being honest with herself, she didn’t really trust either of them. They were both up to something, more than they were letting on. She did her best not to think about it. In the end, it didn’t matter. There was nothing she could do to stop either of them, not in her present state. Possibly not ever.

Let them play their games, she told herself. It would deal with one problem for her, most likely. As long as one of them took out the other, that was one less threat to the city walking around.

Ideally, Zoe would take out Rachel, and then go home, taking out two threats in one go. If it came down to it, she knew who she’d side with. In the meantime, all she could do was try and protect as many people as she could, try and accelerate Zoe’s departure, and try to become as strong as possible, because if she was going to stop Charlie, or Gabriel, or the Celestial, she needed every tool possible at her disposal.

“There’s not a lot left that can scare me,” Zoe said softly. “Mason scares me. Damien scares me.” She paused, but didn’t bother to provide context for either of those names. Sabrina didn’t bother to ask. “Rachel scares me. Not as she is now, but the potential she possesses. I’ve never seen a power like hers, don’t know what its limits are. I suspect, if left unchecked, she could become unstoppable. I don’t want to leave this world at risk of that. Worse still, she knows enough about my machine, could reconstruct it, could one day threaten my world.”

“You’re going to kill her,” Sabrina realised. “No matter what she does, even if she doesn’t betray you.”

“Yes,” Zoe said.

Sabrina took another step back, pausing in the doorway. It wasn’t like she didn’t agree with Zoe. She had the same fears, would probably do the same thing, at least in principle. She didn’t have the same cruel streak, but Rachel was definitely a threat that would need to be dealt with.

What worried her was what Zoe was going to do to her. She knew better than to assume she was safe, that Zoe wasn’t thinking about her in the same way.

Sabrina didn’t think of herself as powerful, didn’t feel powerful, but she know how her power would look to someone like Zoe. Was Zoe going to try and kill her as well? Something worse?

She needed help, an ally of some kind, someone she could trust.

If only someone like that existed.

Interlude #2

None of the soldiers ever expected to be fighting a war in the middle of Melbourne. Some of them had grown up here, pretty much all of them had at least visited. It was a city full of people, full of life. Now, it was a city full of violence.

They outnumbered the street thugs on the other side of the river, and they were better equipped. Slowly but surely, they were gaining ground, pushing the gang further back. If they could take this ground and hold it, it would be the first major victory they’d had since arriving.

Most of the street gangs were exactly that, collections of thugs, criminals and anarchists who just wanted to rebel against the system, or take advantage of the chaos to raid and loot. They were poorly armed and had no idea what they were doing. For the most part, they avoided the army.

The Stars were different. Nobody was quite sure where they were getting their weapons from, and they were organised, coordinated and efficient, almost like a paramilitary organisation. They fought strategically, and weren’t afraid of a fight. More often than not, they won.

Burst of gunfire and flashes of light broke up what would have otherwise been a dark and quiet night. While one soldier laid down covering fire, another dashed to a better position, staying low. The plan was working. They were pushing the Stars back.

A woman appeared, stepping out of the shadows, walking purposefully towards the unit’s captain. He noticed her, turned, raised his gun. She seemed undeterred.

“Hold!” he barked, clearly expecting the order to stop her tracks. When it didn’t, he added “Don’t move!” which proved to be just as effective.

He threatened to shoot her if she didn’t stop. She said nothing, and kept moving. That was all the warning he was willing to give. Her body language was too purposeful to be an innocent civilian. He opened fire.

She vanished in a burst of smoke, materialising again behind him. He didn’t even have the chance to turn around before her knife cut open his throat, a brutal cut that would have taken more strength than a woman of her stature should have been able to muster. As he collapsed to the ground, unable to breathe, unable to speak, he saw her vanish again.

She killed four more soldiers that way, silent and efficient, completely without mercy. That was enough to turn the tide of the battle, but she didn’t stop. Another soldier died. A voice in the darkness tutted, stealing her attention.

“I know they’re only human, but even I think that’s cruel,” he said, the light of the streetlamps glinting in his amber eyes. She glared as he dropped down from atop the arch of the bridge, landing gracefully and silently as a cat.

He approached her with a lazy, arrogant smile on his face, his hands resting casually in his pockets. She flicked the knife around in her hand a few times, her entire body tense, ready for a fight.

“I must confess, it’s an unusual sight, you getting involved in a minor skirmish like this,” he said, the two of them seemingly oblivious now to the fight that continued around them. “The territory can’t be that important, so what are you really doing here?”

She glowered at him, her eyes scanning the area, looking for a way out. In a one-on-one fight, she knew who had the upper hand.

“It’s obviously meant to send a message,” he continued, unperturbed by her lack of response. “But to who? The military? The other gangs? Are they supposed to think this territory is more important than it really is? Perhaps you’re trying to draw attention away from something else. Or maybe, you just wanted to get some fresh air, slit a few throats. Hmm?”

She took a step back, trying desperately to visualise a safe place. Blinking more than a few metres was risky, but being around him was even riskier.

“I have a theory. Your partner, or boss, or minion, or whatever. The Celestial. They’re not just clever, though that’s clearly what they want everyone to think. No, they have access to information they shouldn’t be able to have. They control half this city with a gang of maybe five dozen. They’re consistently one step ahead of the military, usually more. Now, other than me, I can think of two other people clever enough to be able to get that information without anyone knowing, and my dear sister is clearly working to her own agenda here. Which means somehow, you’ve found Haylie before me.”

Adrenaline flooded her system. He couldn’t suspect that, couldn’t know. If he found them, and he would find them, it was all over. Even together, they didn’t stand a chance against him, not directly.

She watched his eyes scan her, taking in every minute shift in her body language, every micro expression. She’d already given too much away.

It was too late to try and bluff. He’d see through that anyway. The only option she had was to divert his attention. She needed to offer him something more attractive than Haylie.

She contemplated ways to turn that to her advantage. Despite assurances to the contrary, she was completely convinced Charlie needed to be stopped. They couldn’t do it, but maybe Gabriel could.

For the first time in a very long time, a smile appeared on her face. Gabriel frowned, not expecting her sudden change.

She began to vanish, her body beginning to break apart. He moved almost too quickly to be seen, closing the distance between them, his hand gripping her wrist, anchoring her in place. She let fear creep into her eyes, which wasn’t hard. Part of her was terrified of just how fast he was, and how strong, even if it was exactly what she’d planned on happening.

“If you know where she is, and you’re keeping her from me,” he began, his voice a whispered threat, “believe me when I tell you there is no force on this earth that can protect you from me.”

She dropped her knife, using her free hand to reach into a pocket, and pull out a phone. He watched, curiously, as she navigated through photos, until she pulled up one in particular, and showed it to him.

He dropped her arm, staring at the photo. A vicious snarl escaped his lips.

“Impossible,” he said in a low, guttural voice.

Without saying another word, he disappeared into the darkness, moving like an animal. She reached down, picked up her knife, and vanished in a wisp of black smoke.

Character Visual Reference Guide

In case you were wondering what some of the main characters look like! (Or want to do fan art… hint hint)

Sabrina Labelle

Age: 17

Height: 5’8″ (172cm)

Ethnicity: Mixed (European + Mauritian)

Body type: Chubby

Hair: Medium length, curly, dark brown

Rachel Fierro

Age: 18

Height: 5’4″ (162cm)

Ethnicity: Spanish

Body type: Athletic

Hair: Long, wavy, black

Charlie Farrow

Age: 18

Height: 5’5″ (165cm)

Ethnicity: European

Body type: Athletic + chubby

Hair: Short, straight, brown

Zoe/Specimen ‘Z’

Age: ??? (looks mid-20s)

Height: 6’2″ (187cm)

Ethnicity: European

Body type: Slender

Hair: Short, straight, blonde

Gabriel/Specimen ‘G’

Age: ??? (looks mid-20s)

Height: 6’2″ (187cm)

Ethnicity: European

Body type: Slender

Hair: Short, straight, brown

Ami

Age: ??? (looks maybe 18)

Height: 5’3″ (160cm)

Ethnicity: Asian

Body type: Slender

Hair: Medium-length, straight, black

Bonus – Status Report 01

From the files of The Celestial

Currently known entities…

Miss Melbourne

Currently not operating under any public identity. Real name Sabrina Labelle, legally Seth Labelle. Origin: Human, local. Source of powers unknown.

Known abilities:

  • Can shapeshift into a form with massively increased physical strength, speed and resilience.

Specimen Z

Avoids public contact. Also known as Zoe, last name unknown. Origin: Inhuman, extradimensional. Source of powers unknown.

Known abilities:

  • Superhuman strength, speed and resilience.
  • Releases airborne toxin which triggers the transformation into the Infected.
  • Possible immortal?

Specimen G

Operating in public as the Archangel, possibly based on his other known name, Gabriel. Origin: Inhuman, extradimensional. Source of powers unknown.

Known abilities:

  • Superhuman strength, speed and resilience.
  • Releases airborne toxin which triggers the transformation into the Infected.
  • Possible immortal?

The Vigilante

Real identity: [note: in the files this name has been deleted and replaced with a sequence of slurs]. Origin: Human, local? Source of powers unknown.

Known abilities:

  • Immortal. We’ve tried just about everything.
  • Superhuman strength and speed.
  • ???

Miss Murder

Real identity: [deleted at her request]. Origin: Human, local. Source of powers: Specimen W. No longer viable.

Known abilities:

  • Short range teleportation.
  • Minor regeneration.

Specimen W

Real identity: Wendy? Unconfirmed. Origin: Inhuman, extradimensional. Source of powers unknown. Currently MIA.

Known abilities:

  • Superhuman strength, speed and resilience.
  • Temporary replication of abilities in human subjects.

Needs investigation:

  • ‘Ami’ – evidently in possession of telekinetic abilities. Suspect [name deleted] knows more and is keeping it from me.
  • Rachel – abilities unconfirmed, but she’s too tied into everything else to ignore.
  • ‘Her’ – We still don’t have enough data on Her yet. Body recovered, but progress is slow. Secrecy is still of the utmost importance. She could be the key to everything.

Bonus – She Watches

Sabrina approaches the unconscious body of Zoe, oblivious to the smoke and flame and sparking wires. Others in the crowd cry out, but nobody steps forward to help her. All they do is watch, and pass judgement.

The Vigilante watches.

Sabrina steps on a shard of glass and mirror, the edge of it cutting cleanly through her flesh. She stumbles, but doesn’t notice. Her focus is on Zoe.

The Vigilante watches.

Sabrina stares at Zoe, her eyes full of wonder. Zoe is reflected in Sabrina’s eyes.

Zoe moves.

Sabrina stares.

Zoe is powerful, elegant, graceful. Feminine and beautiful and terrible and deadly.

Sabrina covets that existence.

Something inside of her reaches out.

Power surges through her.

Sabrina passes out, overwhelmed.

Zoe picks her up.

The Vigilante watches.

Bonus – She’ll Change Everything

Intercepted transmission to "The Celestial"

We… we found her. The one you’re looking for. But there’s a problem. She’s not what you were expecting. I don’t know how to describe it.

She’s not dead, exactly. At least, we don’t think she is. But she’s definitely not conscious. And probably not human. Not that any of them are human.

Right now we’re trying to figure out how to recover her. First guy that touched her is a pile of ash. Acceptable loss, but it does pose an interesting challenge.

You were right, though. This one is definitely the cornerstone. She’ll change everything.

And you found her first.

Prepare the labs. We’re bringing her in.

Haylie is coming home.

Bonus – A Conversation In An Alley

From the files of "The Celestial", recorded 27 hours after "Impact Day":

???: Gabriel. You know you can’t be out here.

‘Gabriel’: Trust me, I’d rather not be. But I need to find her.

???: Why, because she’s dangerous? You’re just as much of a danger right now, and you know it.

G: I’m avoiding civilians.

???: It will still spread.

G: Ami, I can’t let her slip away again. We finally had her.

‘Ami’: You need to let it go. We can find your sister after we’ve figured out where Haylie and-

G: No. I will find her. I have to.

A: Alone?

G: If need be.

A: And you’re willing to doom a whole new city to the affliction to do it?

G: What choice do I have?

A: Work with me. Help me find the others. Help me figure out where we are, and how to get home. Then we can find Zoe again.

G: I can’t. I’m sorry.

A: You two really are as bad as each other.

G: You know what she’s capable of, Ami.

A: Yeah, and I know what you’re capable of. What about Alice? Don’t you want to get back to her?

G: Ami, don’t.

A: Fine. Enjoy your rampage. Infect an entire city. I’m going to find Haylie. I hope you and Zoe rot together.

Celestial's notes:

Find Haylie. The others are too dangerous to engage right now. Haylie could change everything.

Bonus – Interview With A Hero, Part 1

Exerpt from Veronica's famous interview with Miss Melbourne, 2 years after Impact Day.

V: So what made you decide to do the whole ‘hero’ thing?

MM: That’s an interesting choice of words.

V: You don’t think of yourself as a hero?

MM: I was more referring to the word ‘decide’.

V: You don’t think you had a choice?

MM: It’s strange that you think I did.

V: Well, you could always just walk away, live a normal life, use your powers for personal gain, any number of things.

MM: I don’t think that’s true. I mean, sure, theoretically that would be possible. But honestly, it was never an option.

V: What makes you say that?

MM: Well, look at what I am. Who I am. And look at the state of the city. Think about all of the people who live here. How could I, being what I am, not do something about that?

V: Well, you weren’t the only superhuman in the city, and none of them really stepped up like you did.

MM: No, I suppose they didn’t.

V: And now you’re the only one left.

MM: Apparently.

V: Apparently? You think there are still others out there?

MM: I know there are.

V: Is there a sidekick or hero team up in your future, then?

MM: I don’t think so. I would love that, but… it’s not simple, watching over a city. It’s a lot like raising a child, you know?

V: I don’t think I follow.

MM: Everyone has a different idea of what the right thing to do is, what the best way to go about these things is. Teaming up sounds good in theory, but as soon as you disagree…

V: Is that what happened with you and the Vigilante?

MM: No.

V: Can you tell us what did happen there, then?

MM: I… It’s a long story.

Bonus – SHIT YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE WHAT JUST HAPPENED

Blog post recovered from 7 months prior to "Impact Day" found using key words. All data points that could be used for personal identification have been removed.

Guys. GUYS.

Holy crap.

Okay, so. You know the rumours, right? The vigilante. Apparently our city is so overrun by gang activity, one person has taken it upon themselves to clean up the streets, or whatever. You know, fight crime, restore peace and justice, punish people in the name of the moon, whatever. And you’re rolling your eyes, I know you are, because I did too.

You GUYS.

I saw him except it isn’t a him it’s totally a her and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. Okay no that’s a bit drastic. BUT I totally did see her and THAT’S NOT ALL.

So, I was walking home from running to the shops, because dammit I need donuts at 11:30 at night, okay? And lo and behold, thugs emerge. Well, they weren’t really bothering me, I think they were robbing a house or a car or something. I was too busy walking the other way, but, BUT.

She appeared out of nowhere. Or like, literally jumped down from the roof, it was hella dramatic. She had this long billowy coat (that seemed ill advised but hey I’m no crime fighting expert) and this creepy mask that looked like a, I dunno, a hockey mask? But with weird glowing eyes. And these thugs, they all pull out guns, like that’s normal, and start shooting, so she’s gotta have some kinda reputation among them. Which I guess is pretty cool.

Thing is, she didn’t do any fancy kung-fu shit and dodge the bullets. This isn’t The Matrix. She just got shot. Like, a hundred times.

Then she got up.

She got the fuck up.

Like, I saw the bullets hit her. There’s no way she didn’t get shot up. So how did she stand up again?

I’m telling you, real live, legit superhero. They’re real, and for some weird fucking reason, they’re in Melbourne.

Suck it, New York.

Wait this probably means we’re getting the next earth-ending event, too. Fuck.

BRB moving to Canada.