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The Dastardly Daughter

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Warning:

There is sexual assualt, not detailed, but it happens and is heavily discussed. There is also a fair bit of violence.

A Whateley Academy Adventure

The Dastardly Daughter

by

Domoviye

 

 Official Dastardly Daughter

 

Liverpool, England
December, 2004,
Wednesday

Ten year old Pippa very carefully slit the math textbook right at the binding, removing the back page. Using a tiny paintbrush stolen from art class, she applied some clear glue to specially prepared page that came from her math book. Breathing shallowly to not spoil anything she attached the new page in place of the old one, careful to make sure the seam wouldn't be seen without taking the book apart.

Smiling at her work, she blew on the glue to make it dry quickly. Christopher was going to pay for pushing her down and stealing her pocket money last week. The new page had a cheat sheet in his writing that matched the test they had on Monday. She just had to leave it on the teachers desk opened up and get out without being seen. Then he'd get caught cheating, and she'd have her revenge.

“Well, what's this?” Christopher said. “If it isn't the squirt messing around with my stuff. Let's see what you've got there.”

The bully and his three friends spread out not letting her run past them. Backing up into the corner, Pippa glared up at them, wishing she was taller. This was going to hurt, and there wasn't a thing she could do about it. She wasn't going to call for help, even if someone heard her, the teacher would see the math book and she'd get punished.

Christopher had looked at his math book as he went past and his face turned red. “You were trying to make it look like I was cheating,” he said in his thick Liverpool accent.

Spitting on him, she said, “Meffy biff, you're just soft shite needing four of ya to beat up a girl.”

The brown haired bully had looked angry before, now he was furious. His friends grabbed her arms, holding her in place as he made a fist. Bracing herself for the punch, she helplessly watched his knuckles head towards her face. There was pain and then everything went black.

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December, 2004
Friday

Pippa breathed through her mouth, her nose was still badly plugged and swollen from being broken, and her face ached with bruises. She really shouldn't be at the council flat, but this was the best chance to get back at Christopher who needed to be punished. She hadn't told anyone about who had punched her and knocked her out cold. Still everyone knew, the gobshites had been telling everyone what they did, and she had been laughed at all day yesterday.

There was no way she could let him get away with that.

She'd managed to get into the building through a broken door, and she knew what flat Christopher lived at. Shutting off the fuses, she took her knife and started slicing into the wires, stripping away the protective coverings. Once she thought hey were good enough, she took some old rags she'd soaked in alcohol and then dried off, and placed them around the wires.

When she was done, she turned the fuses back on, and took off running.

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Later that day, she heard sirens and saw on the telly that Christopher's flat and the entire building had gone up in flames. Smiling to herself, Pippa wondered if the gobshite would bother her again.

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Liverpool, England
Friday, November 9th, 2007
After School

The dart flew through the air, smacking into the picture currently stuck on the dartboard. Pippa smiled, she'd gotten dear old dad right in the nose. Picking up another dart, she let it fly and frowned when it missed completely. “I'm rubbish at darts,” she said to herself.

Getting up she pulled the darts out of the picture, glaring at the sperm donor who had scampered off back to Berlin when she was six, leaving her and her mum skint. She wished he was there to really throw darts at.

Her stomach growled noisily, reminding her it was suppertime. But all that was at home were some old sausages and beans. “I need some scran that don't taste like shite.”

Pulling her smart phone she'd nicked from some rich old bitch on the bus, and some money she'd picked up here and there around the city, Pippa took a minute to look at herself in the mirror. Her crooked nose didn't look as bad as it usually did. If she didn't know any better, she'd say it was straightening out. A bit of red lipstick made her lips pop against her pale skin. Brushing her hair, she wondered why it looked a little red at the front.

“I hope I'm not becoming a soulless ginger,” she muttered.

Slipping a small pocket knife into her pocket, she was as ready to go as she'd ever be, so the thirteen-year-old headed out into the wet, cold streets of the skint side of Liverpool. Shivering, she wrapped her jacket more tightly around herself and hurried down to a cheap restaurant that had a good curry.

Taking her usual seat in the corner where she could watch the tables and protect her back, Pippa ordered her curry and rice, and pulled out her phone. She turned on a cartoon series she'd been watching for years, Wacky Races. It was good, stupid fun, and she liked seeing Dick Dastardly and Muttley trying to cheat. If the good guys weren't contractually obligated to win, he'd kick their arses every time.

As she waited, her finger was drawing things on the greasy table. Watching Dastardly driving his mean machine, she tried to figure out how it would work. The rockets on the back were utterly impractical one big one would work much better. The overall shape could be smoothed out to reduce drag even more, and the big spiky fin on top while looking cool, needed to go, it would make the car hard to handle with a strong wind.

The food came, snapping her out of her thoughts. Shaking her head, she started eating, putting the odd idea aside. She'd been getting more and more thoughts like that over the last month, and it was starting to become annoying. Not paying attention to what was going on around her could get dangerous.

A little later Pippa was enjoying her show, picking at what was left of supper, when a cute lad came in and headed her way. He looked to be sixteen or so, with nice clothes, and a confident grin. She was immediately on her guard. And she frowned when the wanker sat down across from her.

“Hey, Pippa right?” the boy said.

“Maybe. Who's asking?” Her hand tightened on her fork, just in case she needed to use it.

“I'm Richard,” he said, grinning charmingly. “I've seen you around a lot, thought you were cute, so I asked around. You're a little wild, so you should be boss to hang with.”

Rolling her eyes, Pippa snorted. “You want me to be your Judy? You're a proper meff.”

Grabbing his heart like he'd been shot, Richard grinned even more. “Nah, I don't think you're ready to be my girl. But there's a party tomorrow night with me friends and some others. Thought you might like to go, have some bevvy, a little zoot, see what happens.”

He saw her look of distrust and pulled a bag of marijuana out of his coat. “Want to go have a bifter? We can go do some chin wagging, and you can see I'm harmless.”

Looking him up and down again, she nodded. He looked harmless, and it had been a while since she'd managed to snag some weed. “Sure. My mum's at work, let's go to my place. It's Baltic outside.”

Putting her hood up and her hands in pockets to protect them from the cold rain, she led Richard down the block to her home, talking the entire way. Actually he did most of the talking, she still didn't completely trust him. Going inside the block of flats, she ignored the graffiti, cigarette butts, and litter that covered the floor and stairs leading up to her flat. Pippa was so used to it, she didn't even notice, and it wasn't like any other place in her neighbourhood was any better.

“You wanna drink?” she asked, tossing her coat onto the rack.

“Ya got any pop?” he asked, taking a seat on the couch and pulling out the weed.

Getting a bottle of the off-brand fizzy stuff that was all her mum could afford, Pippa filled two glasses and took a seat beside her new friend. She wasn't used to many people wanting to talk to her, her reputation wasn't exactly good, even for her school. Playing pranks, sometimes painful ones, on the kids that pissed her off made most of her classmates avoid her.

Richard had the joint ready and lit, taking a puff he handed it over to her. Putting it to her mouth she breathed in a little bit of the smoke and held it, letting the calm feeling slowly overtake her.

“If you come to the party tomorrow, you're gonna need some nice clothes,” he said. “I can buy you something that's real sound. Not the little kids shit you wear.”

“Are you messin'?” she asked, getting annoyed, despite her growing high.

“Nah, nah. I got splosh.” To prove it Richard pulled out a thick wad of bills, more than Pippa had ever seen outside of the telly.

“Where the hell did you get that?”

He shook the baggy of weed. “I sell this at school. Good money to be had so long as I'm careful. If you're me queen, I'll share it.”

“Boss,” she said, thinking of everything she could buy with that much cash. “You're not expecting to shag are ya? I'll send you to the ozzy, if you try.”

Laughing, he shook his head. “You're safe with me. I won't do nothing you don't want.”

Her eyes went back to the money. It was an awful lot. And she would like something nice to wear. She was the smallest girl in her class, and they laughed behind her back about being a little kid. If she had a nice dress, and a boyfriend like Richard, they wouldn't make fun of her. “If I go, I want to bring my friend.”

“Sure, the more the merrier. I'll even buy her some clobber too.”

Taking another puff of the joint, Pippa thought about the party and Richard. She'd just met him, but he seemed nice. And if he did anything she didn't want, she could stab him. “All right. I'll go.”

Richard put an arm over her shoulder, grinning really cutely. “Boss! You'll have a real fun time.”

Leaning into him, Pippa felt her heart beat a little faster and couldn't resist smiling. This was nice, and she deserved things to go her way for a change.

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Saturday, November 10th, 2007

“Come on Lily, it' will be real sound,” Pippa said to the one girl she could really call a friend.

The girl chewed on her long blonde hair. “I'm not sure. It seems sketchy, don't it. We don't know these lads.”

“Richard was nice, he shared his bifter with me. And if you come 'ed, you can get a nice dress. You keep complaining about your antwacky clothes,” Pippa said, pulling out her big guns.

“These la's are OK? They're not proper west or nothing bad?” Lily asked.

“Nah, they seem boss. And if they're blert, we can leave together. I'll watch you're back. And there will be bevy, we can drink a little and not worry about getting caught.”

“OK, I'll go, but only 'cause we're gonna see your bloke early. You keep dixie for me, and I'll keep dixie for you. Something seems eee, we get out quick.”

Pippa squealed happily, wrapping her arms around her friend. “Yes! This is gonna be sound! Let's go meet Richard.”

Walking hand in hand the pair giggled and talked about what they should wear, and kept talking on the bus, and were still going strong when they hit Church St. Checking her messages Pippa led Lily to a clothing store neither of them could afford on their own where Richard was waiting for them. His face lit up when he saw the pair, making Pippa's cheeks heat up and her heart race.

“Richard, this is Lily, she's coming to the party with us,” Pippa said.

“Hey, nice to meet ya,” Richard said, grinning which made him look really handsome.

Lily blushed and mumbled a hello.

“Come along, ladies. You can't go to the party looking like that, now can ya?” He opened the door to the store for them.

Grinning at being treated like proper ladies, Pippa and Lily rushed inside. The next little while was a flurry of checking out dresses, skirts, pants and shirts that they couldn't dream of buying, and making not always polite comments about how they'd look. Taking the best ones they rushed to the change room to try them on.

Pippa put on a little black dress, and stockings, which actually managed to make it look like she had something up top. Everything she had made her look totally flat. Grinning, she strutted out of the change room like an actress. Lily was already out looking boss in a tight white blouse and black jeans.

“Your dress is real sound,” Lily said, looking her up and down.

“She's right,” Richard said, looking her up and down in a way that made Pippa's knees go weak and her heart race.

“Thanks. I don't look like a proper blert?” she asked.

“No! You look great,” Lily insisted.

“You look right boss yourself.”

Richard put a hand on her back, making her blush and push out her chest. “Why don't you both try on the other things? See what looks best.”

“OK,” she said breathlessly.

Going back to the change room, she took a few moments to let her heart stop racing. She couldn't act like a meff, she had to be cool for Richard, and prove she wasn't some little girl. Changing into her next choice, black pants, and a black long sleeve crop top tied in front to make it look like it could come undone with just a tug, and once more made it look like she actually had cleavage. Posing in the mirror, she thought it was pretty nice, but the black dress was nicer.

Lily and Richard were waiting for her. She hugged Lily who had a tight white dress on, that hugged the larger girls curves and looked really good on her. Posing together, they looked at Richard to see what he thought.

“That dress Lily is boss. I'm buying it for you. Pippa, not bad, but the black dress was better. Lets get that one,” Richard said.

“What about the other clothes?” Pippa asked, wanting to try on all of them. This was the first time she'd ever had the chance to dress up, usually she went clothes shopping with her mum and just tried on whatever was cheapest to see if it would fit. She'd been having fun.

“We need to get a bite, and then go to the party. And you both look really good.” He stepped up and gave her a kiss on the cheek. “I can't wait to show off my Judy to all my mates.”

She melted from the kiss, clothes forgotten. Cheeks burning and her heart beating fast, she could just nod and say, “OK.”

Going back into the change room she put on her old, faded clothes and came out with the black dress and stockings, handing them to her boyfriend. She wanted to squeal with glee, she had a boyfriend! And not some skint blert, but a cute older boy who had money to treat her nice.

She and Lily held each other as they followed Richard to the counter and giggled as he bought the outfits. He even talked the saleslady into letting them use the change room to change into the outfits before they left. Rushing back to get out of their manky clothes, she strutted out of the change room like she was a posh rich girl. When Lily did the same thing they both burst out laughing.

“Ladies, lets go get some scran,” Richard said. He handed them their coats, then put an arm over each of their shoulders.

Blushing, Pippa squeezed in close, not caring how cold her legs were with only the thin stockings covering them. She was in love, and felt nice and warm all over. Richard was saying something about a nice restaurant, she just nodded along, anything he wanted to do was fine with her. Getting on the busy bus, she sat on his lap so they could all sit down. When he kissed her cheek and squeezed her tight, she giggled and shyly kissed him back.

Pippa had never had any boy interested in her. With her crooked nose, that had only recently grown straight, and her small size, no one was interested in kissing her. Her history of pranking and revenge on anyone who got her pissed off, kept anyone who knew her from getting too close, in case they got on her bad side. So even though she hadn't planned on doing anything more with Richard than getting some weed, she had fallen hard. And it felt so good being the pretty girl who got the attention for a change.

They got off at a decent restaurant, not a fancy one. Her mum would take her to one like it for her birthday if they had the money. So when Richard held the door open for them, she practically skipped inside already thinking about the nice food she could get. Sitting down with her leg touching Richard's she couldn't stop smiling.

“Order anything you want, ladies,” Richard said.

Grinning, Pippa hopped up and gave her boyfriend a kiss on the cheek. She and Lily started going over the menu. Even when she came to a restaurant like this for her birthday, she couldn't order anything she wanted. After a lot of back and forth with Lily, she decided on a Cornish pastry, that from the picture was full of meat and veges and looked really tasty.

Sipping her pop, she listened intently as Richard told them about some funny things he and his friends had done, that weren't strictly legal. When he got to the part about having to hide in a dumpster to avoid some pigs, Pippa had to laugh. Then it was her turn to say how she'd had to hop into a dustbin at school to not get caught after stealing a math test from her teacher's desk.

Lily laughed at both of them. “Am I the only one here who hasn't had to run from teachers or the bizzies?”

“Yes,” Pippa said. “You're the good girl. That's why I always have you keep dixie when I need to do something fun. No one thinks you'll do anything bad.”

“You're a miff,” Lily said, rolling her eyes. “I can't remember how many times I've had to watch your back and make up some story so you weren't caught.”

“And I love you for it, Lily.”

The banter kept going as they ate. Richard and Pippa sharing some of their adventures, and Lily telling them how she kept Pippa safe when things went off the rails. Pippa couldn't remember when she'd had such a fun time, that didn't involve punishing some blert who'd gotten on her bad side.

Eventually they left for the party. Usually Pippa would feel a little uncomfortable about going to a party with people she didn't know, but she felt safe with Richard. On the bus ride she even let him kiss her on the lips a few times, which made her shiver with delight.

Going to the flat where music was playing, she could smell marijuana even before the door opened. Inside the smell of weed and alcohol was almost overpowering. Some pop music was blaring from the stereo and teens were sitting, drinking, smoking, and making out on the couch, chairs and the floor. Most of the girls looked pissed, laughing as they drank and made out with their boyfriends.

Pippa shared a nervous glance with Lily, then Richard was urging them inside, and introducing them to everyone. He didn't really give them a chance to relax or say much, it was just a blur of faces, names, greetings, and laughing as they were handed bottles of bevy and joints. Caught up in the moment and not wanting to embarrass Richard, she drank the bevy and choked, whatever it was in the bottle it was a lot stronger than beer. Lily was coughing as well from her drink.

The room burst into laughter. Not wanting to seem like a weak little girl, she took another drink and didn't choke this time. Richard patted her on the back and said something she couldn't quite make out over the noise. Then he was leading her and Lily to a spot on the floor.

Sitting down, she and Lily smoked their weed and drank as people talked around them. They were the youngest people there, and had no idea what they were supposed to do. They just nodded along when people talked to them and tried to look like should be there. They watched as things got hotter, with the couples getting on, and hands went under shirts and skirts. A few pairs went to different rooms and the sound of sex sometimes overpowered the music.

Her head was spinning from the strong alcohol, and she felt weak and relaxed from the weed. Lily looked like she felt, and some lad was sitting next to the blonde girl, whispering in her ear, kissing her cheek, making her giggle.

“Hey, Lily,” Pippa started to say. Something felt wrong and she had a sudden urge to leave.

Then Richard was kissing her. Whatever she'd been thinking vanished at the feel of his lips on hers. A hand was touching her breast and her heart raced so fast it felt like it would explode. She melted in his arms, feeling safe and happy.

She saw Lily being lifted up, limply carried in a pair of arms out of the room. Richard was still kissing her, his hands roaming across her body, making her tingle. She tried to push him away. “No,” she slurred. “Lily. Go.” It was hard to think.

Then Richard was lifting her up, making her head spin even more. His hand went up her dress to her crotch.

“No,” she moaned. Even with the alcohol and weed she started to panic. She didn't want this. She had to get Lily and go.

Richard dropped her on a messy bed. Looking around for help, she saw some lad and lass having sex right beside them. Hands lifted up her dress and grabbed her knickers.

Adrenaline started surging through her. Her knickers came off and the panic grew. The haze started burning away. Richard grabbed her ankles and shoved her legs up.

The angry girl who would set fire to an apartment for revenge, came roaring to life. Reaching up, she grabbed Richards shirt and she lunged upwards. Her teeth met his cheek and she bit down as hard as she could.

Her former boyfriend screamed, blood spurting from his face. He lurched back, falling to the ground, she landed on top of him, still biting and clawing. People came running. Someone grabbed her and managed to pull them apart. She wasn't thinking, her head was still spinning, and everything was instinctive. Biting, clawing, and kicking, she attacked whoever and whatever was close enough to hurt. People were bellowing and yelling for help. She shrieked like a banshee until someone threw her to the floor.

Scrabbling to her feet, she ran into the hallway. Some distant voice in her mind was shouting to get Lily. Bouncing off of walls, she tried to look into the other room. A big naked man loomed over her. He grabbed her arm, and started to lift her up. Pippa grabbed him back and bit his wrist, blood jetted into her mouth. The man screamed and tossed her into the hallway wall.

Slipping to the ground, she heard running feet. More of the lads were coming at her. Even in her half dazed and raging state, Pippa realized if she stayed she was going to die. Scrambling on all fours, she headed for the door. Someone grabbed her dress, she kept going, tearing the skirt. Reaching the door, she opened it and ran for her life.

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Sunday, November 11th, 2007
Early morning

Pippa woke up to the smell of vomit and piss.

Moaning she rubbed her head. It felt worse then when she'd had her nose broken. Every part of her hurt. Blearily she looked at her arms, they were covered in bruises and puke. Her dress was ripped and ruined, stained with half digested food and she realized she didn't have any panties on. Her stockings were wet and torn from running without shoes on.

Slowly memories of the night came back to her. Richard trying to rape her, Lily being taken away limp and lifeless, getting grabbed, biting and the taste of blood. She started crying. She hadn't cried in years, not since her dad abandoned her when she was six. She didn't cry, she got revenge.

But she cried now. How could she be such a blert? How could she let herself act like some stupid bitch and walk into an obvious trap. And what had happened to Lily?

That thought made her stop crying.

She'd brought Lily to the party. Anything that happened to her only friend was her fault.

If they hurt Lily, she was going to do a lot more than just burn down their flat. Snarling, she looked around, trying to figure out where she was. It looked like a storeroom for an apartment. There were tools and equipment for doing repairs. How had she gotten inside? These places were always locked. Getting to her feet, she limped on aching feet to the door, and saw that the lock had been taken apart somehow.

Clutching her aching head, Pippa wondered exactly where she was, and how she'd get home. She'd lost her bag at the party, it had her bus pass, money and phone in it. And what if she ran into Richard or his friends? She felt like shit, and she couldn't fight a kitten.

Her eyes went to the tools, pictures formed in her mind.

Going to the table, she grabbed some of the tools and spare parts. Following the diagrams in her head, she got to work.

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Several hours later, somewhat clean from using a sink in the tool room, wearing hastily hemmed and fitted coveralls, with the the extra fabric turned into thick soled slippers. Pippa left the basement her weapon slipped into hidden pocket on her sleeve. Her stomach roiled, whether from the last of her hangover or from not having anything to eat in over twelve hours, she didn't know.

Getting to the street, she saw that she was actually just a few blocks from her government flat. The walk would suck, her feet were already soaked from the cold puddles and light rain. The thick fabric acting as soles kept her bruised and cut up feet from getting worse, it did nothing to keep the damp out.

As she got close to her home, some people she knew saw her. They looked like they were about to say something, then they saw her face. The curious and worried expressions fell away and they gave her plenty of space. Her temper was somewhat legendary among those who knew her, and while no one could prove it, it was widely suspected she had burned down an apartment flat after having her nose broken.

The expression on her face at that moment made all of her previous angry moments look like a mild annoyance. The fire in her eyes would make the devil himself back away.

Getting inside her flat, her mum came running over.

“Pippa, your home!” the prematurely grey haired woman said, hugging her tight and sobbing. “I was so worried, I called the police. Where were you? What on earth are you wearing?”

Pippa allowed her anger to fade for a moment, so she could hug her mother. Breathing a little more easily now that she was safe. Then she pulled away, saying “I need to have a shower.”

Her mum didn't let go. “Where were you? I was worried. I rang Lily's mother and Lily was gone to. What is going on? Are you hurt?”

Pushing her mum, Pippa was surprised when she actually managed to break free. “I'm fine,” she said, heading to her room. She ignored her mum shouting after her.

As she stripped out of the impromptu clothes and got her robe, Pippa too a moment to look at the weapon she made. It was a plastic tube with electrical tape around one end for a handle. A bunch of batteries were shoved into it, connected by copper wires. There were some other bits, and two nails sticking out the end. All she needed to do was stab someone with it, and they'd get a nasty electrical jolt. She already knew how to improve it with a bit more time and materials. It would do for now.

Putting on her bathrobe, she went to have a shower. In the living room her mum was talking to the police letting them know she'd come home and seemed all right. Closing the door, Pippa turned on the water and stood under the water for several long minutes, just letting it run over her. The heat soothed her muscles and helped clear the last of the fog from her mind.

As she washed her body, she discovered a lot of bruises. Mostly around her arms but also her ankles where Richard had been holding her, on her back probably from being thrown into a wall, a nasty welt on her stomach that looked like it was from a fist. When had that happened?

The water ran cold before she felt clean. Getting out, she dried off and put her bathrobe on, then started heading for the kitchen to get something to eat. Pausing, she went to her room and got a pen and notebook, her brain was giving her more pictures and ideas, almost too many to think about properly.

“Pippa,” her mum said. “Lily still isn't home. Do you know where she is?”

She tried to remember exactly where the party had been. But between the alcohol and being so focused on Richard, she couldn't remember. She didn't even know Richards last name. How could she have been so stupid? Lily could be dead and it was all her fault.

“No,” Pippa finally said.

“Do you need something? I called in sick today, anything you need, I'll get you.”

“Can I have some breakfast,” she asked.

“Yeah, sure.”

While her mum got busy in the kitchen, Pippa sat down at the table and started drawing. She'd never been very good at it before, but over the last few weeks it had gotten easier for her. At least as long as it was something mechanical. Usually she'd draw something she saw in a cartoon, like Dick Dasterdly's mean machine. Now she was purposefully making a 'gun' to fire nails, ball bearings, or other things really fast.

“Here you go,” her mum said, snapping her out of her creative fugue.

“Thanks,” she said, not looking up from her work. The pictures in her mind were coming together, showing her how to make the spring loader. She could use a small motor to pull the spring back, and when it released a nail should go fast enough to pierce a car door. She shovelled the eggs and sausages into her mouth without even looking at them.

When she was done, she went to her room to get all of her money. She would need supplies. She'd also need new shoes, her good pair had been left at the party, all she had left were her old ones that were too small. Slipping her electrical weapon into her bag, she felt ready to face the world.

Going to the door, her mum stopped her.

“Pippa, we need to talk,” her mum said.

Sighing she went to sit at the table, her mum sat down opposite of her. “What?”

Her mum let out a deep breath. “I know you're angry at the world. You have been since your dad left us. And I know about most of the things you do, including the talk about how you burned down that apartment when you were ten. I have tried to be a good mother for you, but with working so much, it's a poor job. Please, talk to me.”

“There's nothing to talk about.” Pippa got up from the table, put on her shoes and left, leaving her mum alone.

She kept her eyes open for Richard, Lily or anyone she didn't know that might be looking for her. She'd been fooled once, anyone who tried to do it again was going to suffer. She made it to a nearby charity shop with no problem, and spent a half hour picking out old donated junk, toasters, lamps, electric toys, anything cheap with wires, springs and other things. She also found a little tool kit which was one of the most expensive things in the store. Topping it all off was a pair of shoes that fit.

Carrying it all home was easier than it should be. She was sweating carrying the multiple bags, and her hands were numb by the time she made it inside, but she should have dropped them halfway back. Pushing that thought aside, she ignored her mum's questions and went straight to her room. Sitting at the tiny desk, Pippa began taking the junk apart, separating it all into wires, screws, electronics, motors, gears, and miscellaneous.

“Pippa, what is going on?” her mum asked.

“I'm working,” she replied.

“On what?”

“A school project.”

Her mum sighed. “I'm not an idiot.”

“I just have some sound ideas I need to work on.”

Another sigh. “Lily is home.”

Pippa spun around in her chair. “Is she OK?!”

“Her mum said she was sick and went straight to bed. What happened?”

Her hand tightened painfully around the old screwdriver. The anger that was always simmering in the back of her soul came roaring to life. Richard and everyone at that party would pay. Pictures of death machines and weapons that would make people scream for hours before dying rose and fell in her mind.

A hard slap to the cheek snapped her out of her thoughts. Startled she looked at her mum who seemed scared. Flexing her cramped hand, she realized the screwdriver was stuck in the wooden arm of her chair.

“Pippa! Focus on me,” her mum said. “Something happened to you and Lily, and if you won't tell me, I need you to think. The only reason you didn't go to jail for burning down that apartment, was that they didn't think a ten year old was smart enough to do it. But they kept a close eye on you. If you do something stupid and violent now, they won't let that happen again.”

That got through to her. For all her anger, Pippa was smart enough to realize she wasn't invincible, far from it. She had to be smart to get away with most of her schemes because she was so small and weak.

Arms embraced her. “Pippa, please don't do anything that will make them take you away from me. I know I'm at work all the time, and you probably don't think I care. But I'm doing everything I can to keep you fed and healthy, because you're all I have left. Don't leave me like your father did.”

She hugged her mother back. “I- I promise I won't leave you like that.”

“Will you tell me what happened?”

“No.”

“Pippa, please, for once in your life, accept some help,” her mum pleaded.

Her face hardened. If they went to the police she wouldn't be able to get at Richard or the rest. Prison was too nice for them, if they even went. There was only one way to deal with them for hurting Lily. “I'm sorry Mum. I have to deal with this on my own.”

It seemed like something left her mum, she sagged and became smaller. “All right. Just please, think about this.”

“I will,” she said. “I need some time to think.”

Her mum left, reluctantly and slowly.

Sitting at her desk, staring at the pile of parts, Pippa started really thinking for the first time in the last two days. Something was not normal. She should not have been able to fight her way out of the apartment last night. Her against who knew how many much larger lads, she should have been knocked down, beaten and raped after biting Richard.

Rubbing the hole in the chair arm where she'd shoved the screwdriver through the old wood, she realized that wasn't something she could have done a few weeks ago. She didn't have super strength, but she was clearly stronger than she had any right to be.

And what about the images in her mind? And the shock weapon she'd made out of spare parts and some batteries? She knew a bit about wiring and fixing old furniture. This was much more than that. There was only one answer, she was the right age for it.

“I'm a mutant.”

Leaning back in her chair, Pippa thought about what she could do. Her nose had straightened out and she was tougher than she should be. So she was one of those pretty mutants. She was making weapons, so she was a mad scientist. Looking at her notebook and the piles of parts that covered her desk, she was probably more mad scientist than a pretty.

“Huh. This is a show,” she muttered to herself. Her powers had probably saved her last night, and they'd let her get her revenge. But using powers would get a lot of attention, the bizzies were one thing, they could just throw her in prison. The MCO were a different matter.

She could try to keep it all a secret. If they didn't know she was a mutant, the MCO wouldn't come around. Looking at her designs, she realized that wasn't likely to work. Her ideas weren't exactly quiet. And it was a crime to not report that she was a mutant.

Something her mum said came back to her. The police hadn't done more than suspect her burning down the apartment because of her age. What if she made it impossible to believe she was dangerous?

She couldn't pull off cute and innocent. No one would believe that. What if she went the opposite way? So obviously cartoonish villainy that no one thought she was competent enough to be dangerous to anyone but herself?

“Dick Dastardly... a bad guy, but so bad at it, no one cared.” She let her mind wander a bit, thinking about the character and the name. “Dastardly, dastardly, dastardly. The Dastardly Daughter.”

Snickering, Pippa grinned. Looking in the mirror, she worked on the grin, making it a mischievous grin, she was clearly plotting something not good. But she was so cute, no one would think she was planning to commit murder, she was just going to steal some cookies, or put a tack on a teachers chair.

“Heh, heh, heh, heh,” she snickered, trying to get it just right.

Looking at the mirror, she grinned. “Hello world, I'm The Dastardly Daughter. Heh heh heh.”

Leaving her room, she found her mum cleaning the kitchen and looking worried. “Mum, I need you to call the MCO and set me up for power testing. I think I'm a mutant.”

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Pippa had what was left of her money in her bag, along with her electro-weapon. If she was going to be The Dastardly Daughter she needed to look the part. Heading for another charity shop that was better for clothes, she once more kept her eye out Richard or anyone else who might want to hurt her. Rubbing her gloved hands together, she decided that buying a new pair of gloves was essential. Her old woolen ones were so threadbare it was like she didn't have any on.

A car came to a stop beside her. Richard and a man stepped out. Her former boyfriend looked pretty bad, with a thick bandage covering his cheek, and claw marks all over his face. He looked furious.

“YOU FUCKING WANK STAIN!” Pippa shouted at him, reaching behind her for her bag. “You massive fuck knuckle! I'm gonna kill you!”

Before she could get her weapon, the man slugged her in the jaw, knocking her to the ground. It was all she could do to keep a hold of her bag as they threw her in the car. Then they were driving away, as she drooled blood and spit onto the nice seat.

“This is the little slag that beat up you all up?” the man said, poking her hard in the side.

“You didn't see the little bitch go crazy. Omar almost bled out before we got him to the ozzie and wrist stitched up,” Richard said.

“We'll teach her a lesson. And she'll learn it or we'll make her mother suffer.” A hand grabbed her arse and squeezed hard enough to make her whimper in pain. “You hear that slag? You're gonna be a good girl or we'll set your mother on fire after we rape her. And that friend of yours, Lily. We'll make her hurt too. She screamed last night. We'll do worse if you don't behave.”

She stayed limp and face down. If they saw her face at that moment, they'd kill her if they had any sense of self preservation. They kept talking to each other, something about a party and her being the guest of honour. Pippa let them talk, only shifting a little to let her bag slide to the car floor. Very slowly she unzipped it and reached inside pulling out her her electro-weapon.

Flicking a switch it started to hum.

“What are you doing, slag?” Richard demanded.

From her position lying curled up half on the seat, she couldn't hit Richard easily. She did her best, pushing it underhanded as hard as she could into his shin. The two nails hit and dug into his skin. The pressure pushed the nails back activating the batteries. Electricity surged into Richard making him spasm and flail. His fist hit the side window shattering it, his knees slammed into the driver seat, causing the driver to curse and the car to swerve wildly.

Yanking the nails out of Richard, she used her small size to roll over and jam the weapon into the driver's arm. The electrical burst caused him to wildly spin the wheel and hit the gas. The car swerved again, there was a bounce and they slammed into something hard. Pippa in her spot on the floor pressed against the back of one seat and the front of another one was shaken but unbroken. Richard was slumped in his seat. And he was smoking.

Shaking her head, Pippa saw the driver was dead and smoking as well. People were coming up, shouting for help. Moving as quickly as possible, she got to her knees and started searching Richard's pockets for his phone. She found his wallet and his phone by the time people managed to get the doors open and help her out.

Ignoring the questions about if she was all right, Pippa pointed back at the car. “You have to help my brother!”

The onlookers turned back to the car and moved in to see if the arse wipe was OK. Shaking off the hands of the woman who was still badgering her with questions, Pippa took off running, keeping a tight hold of her bag and electro-weapon. It was easy to get lost in the crowd of onlookers and dart down an alley.

When she was well away from everything. Pippa stopped and emptied the wallet of almost a hundred pounds, the wallet went into a nearby skip bin. Then she looked at the phone, it needed a code to work, and she had no idea how to figure it out. Frowning, she put it into her bag, there were people she knew who could open it. She'd sold them stolen phones sometimes.

Going to a bus stop, she tried to stay inconspicuous until she got close to the charity shop she wanted. She now had more money to spend and she was going to use it, becoming the laughable Dastardly Daughter was more important than ever now.

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MCO Liverpool Office,
Monday, November 12th, 2007
Morning

The Dastardly Daughter smoothed her purple trench coat and grinned up at the MCO agent. The purple bucket hat didn't quite match the coat, but it was the best she could manage and it at least looked a bit like a helmet. The ski-goggles worked well enough as driving goggles to go with the image. She was wearing a red turtleneck sweater dress under the coat, and it looked really good with the black tights and ankle boots. Her red gloves were a real find and matched the image she wanted perfectly. The only problem with her look was the fat lip she had from getting punched yesterday. At least she hadn't lost any teeth.

She didn't look exactly like Dick Dastardly, but it was easy to see her inspirition.

“Dastardly Daughter?” The MCO agent said, not looking impressed with her name choice.

“Heh heh heh. That's me,” she snickered.

The agent rubbed his temples, and muttered something like, “It's too early in the week for this.”

Her mum gave him a sympathetic look, then turned to her. “Pippa, please behave.”

“Of course, mum. Heh heh heh,” she replied.

Then she and the agent went into the back to get her tested. It was hard to keep the cocky grin going. She'd spent most of yesterday evening, last night, and the bus ride to the MCO worrying that the bizzies were going to come break down the door and throw her in the nick. Watching the telly last night, and they were looking for a young girl with black hair. So she made sure to have her ginger bangs hanging down under her hat.

She put on the tight suit and did all the boring tests that didn't do anything except show what she didn't have. After lifting weights she turned to the agent. “So how did I do? Don't think I have super strength.”

“You're stronger than most girls your size, Dastardly. I'd say an Exemplar 1,” the agent said, looking over his notes.

“Drat! I was hoping it was at least a three,” she said, trying to avoid her usual Scouse accent and sound more like Dick Dastardly.

“You may become a 2 once you get a bit older, but don't count on it.”

The next test was what she was waiting for, this would make or break her image. Sitting down at a table full of spare parts and a variety of tools, Dastardly took her time to picture in her mind what she wanted to make. She thought about Wacky Races and the impossible machines they used there. She snickered as an image came, it was simple, and easy to sabotage.

Getting to work, she quickly had a basic body of a robotic dog with big sharp teeth. Inside was a mess of gears, chains and an engine, all controlled by a remote control, and powered by two triple A batteries. Snickering again, she turned it on and made it walk on the table.

The MCO agent nodded in approval and checked the time, it had taken her half an hour to make the robot. “Interesting. Why did you make this?”

“I need a Mut-L-E. This is just Dash 1, but I was short on time. Give me a bit more time and better stuff and I'll have a proper Mut-L-E to act as my helper,” she said, grinning and snickering.

The agent facepalmed.

As she made the robot turn in a circle, a gear that she hadn't placed properly slipped. Her devise whirred, banged and lurched forward, landing on it's head with a thud. Something hit the engine, there was a roar, followed by a small explosion and smoke rose from Mut-L-E Dash 1.

Throwing her controller down, Dastardly stomped her feet. “NO! You stupid thing! How dare you break and humiliate me!” Her foot came down on the controller smashing it to pieces. “THIS ISN'T FAIR!”

There was no way she could fake tears. So instead she let out some of the anger she was holding onto as tightly as possible, turning it into a childish tantrum, and focusing on the devise. The MCO agent just stood back and wrote something on his notepad, not trying to stop her, even as she threw the robot across the room.

Finally she 'calmed down' and just glared at the broken, still smoking robot, with her arms crossed. She hoped she hadn't gone too far. She was supposed to be cartoonishly incompetent and angry, not scary angry.

“Are you done?” the agent asked.

Snorting, she nodded. “Yes.”

“All right. Lets go onto the next test, identifying and taking apart various items. Try not to break them.”

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By the end of the tests, Dastardly was snickering and cheerful again. She made sure to cheer up within a few minutes of her tantrum, gloating about how easy a complicated engine was to take apart and how she could make something much better than it. When she had her costume back on, wearing her goggles to hide her face, she was ready with the most cartoonish grin possible.

While she looked at her MID, which listed her as an Exemplar 1, Devisor 3, her mum was talking to the agent, who was handing her pamphlet.

“You may want to get her checked out for Diedrick's,” the agent said.

“What's that?” her mum asked.

“A mental disorder common in devisors. The tantrum she had when her devise broke was pretty classic Diedricks.”

Her mum rubbed the bridge of her nose. “Thank you, I'll see what I can do.”

Following her mum out of the MCO office, she kept grinning. Then her mum turned on her. “Pippa, what the hell are playing at? Dastardly Daughter, a temper tantrum, all this snickering and looking like that stupid character from your cartoons, what are you planning?”

“What you don't know you can't tell the bizzies,” she replied, using her stock answer when she didn't want to tell her mum something.

“Please, just try to be safe.”

Losing the grin, she nodded. “I will mum. Lets get back home, I want to meet Lily when she gets back from school.”

They rode the bus in silence, but her mum wouldn't let go of her hand until they made it to their stop. With a quick kiss on the cheek, Pippa rushed off to meet Lily, there was just enough time to catch her if she was walking normally.

She saw her blonde friend in the distance, walking slowly and gingerly, head down. Running up to Lily, tears in her eyes, Pippa threw her arms wide to hug her. She never expected the hard slap to the cheek that knocked her to the ground.

“Don't come near me, you fucking bitch!” her normally quiet friend shouted, kicking her hard in the side.

“Lily! I'm sorry! I didn't know they were going to do that! I swear,” Pippa said, crying hard.

She got another kick in the hip this time. Lily spit on her, sobbing. “Did they pay you to bring me there, you slag? You ruined my life! Just leave me alone!”

With one last kick, Lily hurried away crying as she tried to run.

Getting to her feet, Pippa wiped her eyes, then tried to wipe the slush and dirt from her coat. She was shaking from rage. Not at Lily. She deserved everything Lily had done. She was furious at the men at the party, and the ones who were Richard's friends.

She was going to kill them all.

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That Night

Pippa knelt beside the car with a tube and a cheap Jerry can. Taking one last look around, she slide the tube into the tank and sucked on the end until a bit of petrol filled her mouth. Spitting it out, she put the tube into the can and let it fill up. Once it was full, she put the cap back on and hurried off.

She'd need more petrol before long, but this was good for now. Her first devise didn't need much, it was battery powered after all. The petrol was just for the weapon.

Going back to her apartment flat, she put the can in a dusty corner of the maintenance room. Picking the lock had proven to be child's play, and people seldom went in there. If they did, it wouldn't be seen as unusual.

Locking the door, she made her way up to her flat. She was tired and tomorrow would be a very busy day.

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Liverpool, MCO
Tuesday, November 13th, 2007
Noon

Agent Waters stood up to greet the police detective, hiding his annoyance at being disturbed on what was supposed to be his lunch break. “Hello Detective Harris, how can I help you?”

“Agent Waters, I'm hoping you can help me deal with a nasty incident on Sunday. A double murder, likely done by a mutant or someone with an unnatural weapon.” He handed over a file.

Opening it up were pictures of two well cooked males, a man and a teenager sitting in a car. Two more photos showed what looked to be puncture marks surrounded by charred flesh. Well Waters was no longer hungry. “Any witnesses?”

“Several. The car swerved out of control, sped up and slammed into a wall on a fairly busy street, it was a miracle no one was hit. A young girl was pulled out of the wreck and disappeared in the confusion. Dark hair, maybe ten or twelve years old, wearing old clothes and a beat up schoolbag. Some people claim she was holding a metal pipe.”

“A small girl...” He turned and went to his computer, opening a file for Dastardly Daughter. “A thirteen year old girl, on the small side came in yesterday for powers testing. She was odd, and a devisor.”

“Dastardly Daughter?” Detective Harris said, looking at him with disbelief.

“She was dressed up like an old cartoon character Dick Dastardly. Snickered just like him, and she has a temper.” He opened up a video of her rather disastrous attempt at making a devise, and let the detective watch as she played with her robot dog, and then threw a tantrum when it broke.

“Is that normal for a mutant?” Detective Harris asked, as she threw the defective robot against a wall.

“She could have Diedrick's, a mental illness common in gadgeteers and devisors which causes emotional outbursts and delusions, or she could be a particularly high strung teen girl.”

Nodding, Detective Harris asked, “Can you tell me her name?”

“We aren't allowed to ask their name, but her first name is Pippa. Her mother called her that, and there's nothing against us writing that down.”

“Do you think she could have done this with one of her creations?”

Agent Waters paused, trying to think of the best way to answer. “If that dog was her best devise, no. It would have failed fairly quickly. Still she could have purposefully downplayed her powers. We try to prevent that, but when it comes to creating machines it is possible to seem worse than they really are. And her IQ test put her at a genius level, not uncommon for a devisor, or exemplar, so she could possibly fake it. So yes she might be responsible for the murders.”

“All right. If you can email me a picture of her face, I'll see if there's any reports about Pippa that match the girl. And I'll start filling out the paperwork to get you officially added into the loop.”

Smiling, Waters nodded, his fairly boring week suddenly looked a lot more interesting. “Good, I'll go talk to my boss and clear my schedule.”

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After School

Pippa handed over the last of her money to the scruffy looking man, and he handed her Richard's phone. It was open and usable, with a completely new password that she'd made up. Putting it into an inside pocket of her dress, she left the run down flat, heading for home. She'd need to look over all of the arse-wipes contacts and messages, figure out who was in on his rapes and then kill them.

Walking up to the front door, two men got out of a car and came towards her, one of them she knew, Agent Waters, the MCO agent she'd dealt with. Instantly she made herself grin, letting Dastardly Daughter take over.

“Pippa Minx Mischke?” the unknown man asked.

“Who want's to know? Heh heh heh,” she said.

“I'm Detective Harris, this is MCO Agent Waters, we'd like to ask you a few questions,” the bizzie said.

“Ask away. I'm not answering.” She snickered at them, using it to hide her nervousness.

Agent Waters spoke up. “We just want to know why two men attacked you on Sunday.”

She played dumb and mute, and shrugged her shoulders.

Detective Harris took the lead. “We know you aren't exactly an innocent young lass. We have a file at the station about how you're suspected of arson to get revenge on a classmate who broke your nose.”

“I've been a good girl. You've got nothing on me bizzie,” she said.

“Let me see your bag.”

Snorting and making a sour face, she handed it over.

Detective Harris opened it up and saw her schoolbooks, notebooks, pens, and a few sweets. Going through all the pouches, he didn't see what he wanted or expected. “Let me see your coat.”

“Hell I have! Sod off, it's Baltic out here, you want me to freeze?” she snapped.

“I have reason to suspect you have a weapon. I can search you here or at the station,” the detective said.

“Damn blert. Want me to freeze to death,” she grumbled taking off her purple trench coat. She wrapped her arms around her, putting her hands in her armpits to stay warm. Even in her red sweater dress, it was cold.

The two men looked over her coat feeling the hem, searching the pockets, looking for any secret pockets without much luck. After several minutes they finally handed it back to her. She quickly put it on.

“You're the first devisor I've met who hasn't had something on them,” Agent Waters said.

“Yeah, well Mut-L-E Dash 2 caught fire this morning. And I was going to school. They don't like me bringing things like that to class,” she said. “You done geggin’ in. Or are you going to keep talking until I freeze to death?”

“Where were you on Sunday?” Detective Harris asked.

She just glared at him, rubbing her hands together to keep warm.

“Go home, Pippa. But remember, if people are after you, telling us is your best chance at staying alive.”

Snorting in disgust, she turned and walked inside. Only when she was safely inside her flat did she sigh and lean against the door. “That was too close.”

Taking off her jacket, she unhooked the chargers attached to her gloves, Having to keep her electro-weapon in her bag made it take too long to take out. So she had modified her gloves to let out an electrical charge if she made a fist and hit someone hard enough. It wasn't perfect, but as she'd just proven, it was easy hide. Going to her room, she took the phone out of the inside pocket she's sewn into her sweater dress, along with a small knife, a screwdriver and a lighter. Then she took off the arm bands which held the batteries and wires that powered her electro-gloves.

She was going to have to hide most of her things in the maintenance room. If the bizzies searched her room, she couldn't have them find her notes or her weapons. Only silly breakable devises could be kept in her room. She let out a long stream of curses.

There was nothing to be done about it. Getting her notebook, she turned on Richard's phone, tapped in her password and started going through his messages. Her nose wrinkled at the minging conversations he had with his lads. When she saw what he called her, she wished she hadn't killed him so quickly.

Writing down names and locations, Pippa smiled at the thought of the vengeance she would have. They were going to burn.

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Before Midnight

Sitting on his couch watching a bad movie, Omar scratched at the bandage on his wrist. The doctors had said he would have a nasty scar when it healed. Who knew a little slag could bite so hard. And then Richard and Khan were killed trying to grab her. Things weren't supposed to go like that. The slags all learned their place the first time and were easy to control afterwards.

What had gone wrong with that little bitch?

There was a knock on his door. Frowning, wondering who it could be at that hour, he went to open it. He wasn't too worried about the late night, he was huge, no one except hysterical girls wanted to risk fighting him. Opening the door, he didn't see anyone at first.

Then a fist hit his stomach and he was paralyzed, it felt like every nerve in his body had caught fire. A tiny masked figure dressed in black with dark red gloves was pulling their hand back, sparks flew from their knuckles, and he was falling backwards. Crashing to the floor, he couldn't do anything to slow his fall, he grunted as he bounced.

The door closed, and the tiny person, who he realized was a girl, stepped inside with a large bag on her shoulder. She reached into the bag and wrapped some wires loosely around his neck. There was a click and a faint clicking sound. The girl left him lying there to search the house. He heard her trashing the place, throwing things around.

Omar was suddenly a lot less interested in what she was doing. The wire was tightening around his neck, and he still couldn't move. It was getting uncomfortably tight. He struggled to move, his fingers scrabbled against the floor and he could flex his toes, but that was it. Every other part of him was paralyzed. The wire started to cut into his skin, making it hard to breathe.

And then the girl was holding his phone. She grabbed his hand, placed the phone in front of his face and raised his hand to it, so he could tap the numbers. “Unlock your phone, and you get to live,” she said.

Struggling to breath and concentrate through his growing panic, Omar typed in his password and opened his phone for her. She dropped his arm. He gasped trying to beg her to let him breathe. He could kind of move his arms and tried to reach his neck.

The girl made a fist and punched him in the stomach again. Electricity surged through him, paralyzing him once more. Unable to move, he could only plead with his eyes as the wire crushed his throat. Finally the wires stopped and began to reverse, loosening as he choked and gagged, his skin turning blue, and everything turned black, with the girl still watching him.

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Dastardly Daughter watched the man die. She had thought it would affect her more, this wasn't self defense like with Richard and the man. This was cold blooded murder. She didn't feel happy about it, or upset. Unwrapping the constrictor all she felt was cold.

Shrugging, she sat on his couch and typed a message for a group of his friends, inviting them over for some fun with a virgin girl. She knew the group from reading Richard's messages, they would all get a ride with the same lad and come together. It was perfect for her.

The phone beeped, they'd be there soon.

Going to her bag, she pulled out one of her devises, it had a Jerry can attached to it's back, a tube led to a pump she'd created, which had pipe and a lighter. The devise could spin in place to hit different targets. A cheap camera phone was hooked up to it, the lens at the base of the pipe and it faced the door. Turning it on, Dastardly Daughter hurried out. She would have loved to watch the fire, but the further away she was when it happened, the better.

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Peter knocked and opened the door to Omar's flat. He and his friends couldn't wait to break in a new bitch. Their laughter stopped when they saw Omar on his back, his tongue sticking out of his mouth, his face an unnatural blue. Rushing in, they circled the large man, asking each other what happened and trying to figure out what they should do.

They heard a click.

Looking over Peter saw the flame from a lighter on some odd metal thing. Then a gout of thick, sticky flaming goo covered them. Shrieking, they tried to get away as the pipe moved to coat all of them in devised napalm.

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Friday, November 16th, 2007
Late evening

Dastardly Daughter hopped into the cab, laughing drunkenly. Her miniskirt riding up to show off her knickers, her winter coat open revealing her tiny tube top. “Take me to the Liverpool Lads, I'm gonna have some fun tonight!”

The driver headed off towards the new night club. She watched the buildings and roads go past, and noticed immediately when the driver took a wrong turn. Laughing, she reached into her coat and got ready. They pulled into a dark alley and came to a stop.

“Hey, where are we? This isn't the club,” she slurred.

The driver got out and opened the back door. “This isn't a taxi, you dumb bit-.”

He stopped talking, staring down at a metal shaft sticking out of his stomach. Dastardly smirked, her gloved hands placing another sharpened piece of rebar into her little mechanical crossbow, the miniature engine already pulling back the wire. He collapsed to his knees.

“You wouldn't believe how hard it was finding your jarg taxi, Camara. I know all about you, get girls who are bladdered, then if they're young maybe share them with your friends.” She reached for his phone in the front seat. “I'm not all cruel, you give me the password to your phone, and I'll go away. You might be able to reach the ozzie before you bleed out. What do you say, deal?”

He managed to say the code, and she tapped it in. “Sound mate! Thanks.” She raised the devised crossbow and shot him in the chest.

Looking through his contacts list, she sent a few messages to names she'd found on Omar and Richard's phones. This was going to be a busy night.

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Saturday, November 17th, 2007
Early Morning

Pippa rubbed her eyes, staggering to the door as someone hammered on it. She'd only gotten home at five in the morning, and it was only eight in the morning. Her mum would be home soon. Leaning against the door frame she shouted, “What is it?”

“Police, we have warrant to search your home. Open the door now.”

She remembered that voice, Detective Harris. Suddenly quite a bit more awake, she opened the door. “Let me see the warrant.”

He handed over the warrant and everything seemed to be in order. Not that she'd seen many warrants before. Yawning, she stepped aside to let the detective, several other bizzies and MCO Agent Waters inside.

“Where is your room?” Agent Waters demanded.

“This way,” she said, walking to her not very clean room. Wires, gears, toy motors and other things covered every available surface. On her desk were several small robots in the shape of dogs, people, cats, and other things. They were all in various stages of completion, some showed clear signs of having caught fire.

“What are you looking for?” she asked.

“Are these all your devises?” the MCO agent asked.

“Yes, I'm working on Mut-L-E Dash 3.” She winced as the coppers went through everything in her room, even lifting her mattress and taking the sheets off. Pippa wasn't worried that they'd find anything, everything was hidden in the maintenance room downstairs. If they knew about that, there wasn't much she could do anyways and they wouldn't be wasting time searching her room.

Detective Harris came in. “Where were you last night?”

“Working on Mut-L-E Dash 3, he's going to be boss,” she said, managing to pull off her soon to be trademark snicker.

Agent Waters picked up her shock-gloves dash 2, feeling the wires inside. “What can these do?”

Yawning, she pointed at the wrist bands. “Hook the charger to them and squeeze the battery. They heat up. Really good for cold days.” She wasn't worried he'd find the electrical shocks in the gloves, you had to actually put them on, make a fist and punch something to make the shock work.

She spent the next several minutes explaining her devises. Normally she wouldn't say anything to the bizzies, but Dastardly Daughter would want to gloat about her devises. She just had to keep it to the safe stuff. And almost everything in her room was safe, or were mostly safe.

She heard her mum come home, and start demanding to know what was going on. Detective Harris left to talk to her, Pippa tried to listen in.

“Ma'am, your daughter is a suspect in several murders over the last week,” the detective said.

“This is ridiculous, my daughter would never do anything like that!” her mum shouted.

“Ma'am just stand aside while we keep looking. If we don't find anything then you're daughter can rest easy.”

She couldn't listen to the rest of the conversation, Agent Waters was asking another question. “What?” she asked.

“I said, what does this do?” he picked up a devise in the shape of a dog with thick metal teeth and a hinged jaw.

“Put it down, twist the tail to the right. The mouth will open up and then you put a piece of metal or plastic in it's mouth and it will cut it all neat and tidy. G'wed, try it out.”

They searched for over an hour and didn't find anything other than some generally faulty and broken devises, none of which could really work well as weapons. As they questioned her, she kept her answers short and basic, when she answered at all. Only with the devises did she let herself natter, going into a lot of detail and excitedly telling them how boss they'd be when they finally worked. When they were satisfied that there was nothing to be found in her home, they left with a warning that they would be watching her.

“Pippa what is going on? They think you murdered ten people,” her mum demanded.

Yawning and rubbing her temples as a headache from lack of sleep made itself known, she shrugged. “Just because I'm a mutant and a devisor, they think I did something bad.”

“Did you?”

“I haven't hurt any people all month,” she said with utmost sincerity. The rapists weren't people after all. “I'm going back to bed, I was up late working on Mut-L-E.”

Frowning they fixed up her bed with clean sheets, and Pippa happily got under the blankets. Her Mum gave her a kiss, and closed the door.

With a happy smile, Dastardly Daughter fell asleep.

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“Do you believe her?” Agent Waters asked, after he and Detective Harris were safely on the road.

Detective Harris snorted. “No. She already has a file and talking to her teachers, she is a vicious little lass. Most kids her age would be scared having their room searched, and demanding their parents or answering everything hoping we would be nice. She avoided talking about anything except her devises.”

Waters nodded. “So we need to find out how these murders are connected to her and each other. All we know is that she uses devises, and she took out one group of friends. Even the ages aren't consistent, sixteen years old to fifty-seven. And despite what some politicians are saying, she isn't going after just Southern Asians, they just happen to make up the majority of her victims.”

“It's too bad all the victims phones have been destroyed or disappeared. I have some people looking at getting the messages or tracking who they talked to, but it's not going to be quick. And people are not happy about how long it's taking.”

“The MCO is getting a lot of calls as well from concerned parties. They seem to think we should just be able to snap our fingers and find the criminal with all the evidence we need to throw them in jail for life.” Waters sighed. “Supervillains are easier to deal with. At least they do things in public, so we know who they are.”

“So we keep an eye on her and wait for a slip up,” Detective Harris said.

“I hate stakeouts,” Waters said.

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Saturday, November 17th, 2007
Maintenance Room
Late Evening

Pippa sat on the stool drawing in her secret notebook. The bizzies were too close for comfort, and unless they were total idiots, they'd be watching her. Her usual method of going after the wank stains was going to get her caught. Now she had to get clever.

Luckily her work at the decoy devises was about to come in handy.

Grinning, she worked out the basic design of a flat devise with several small legs and a simple drill in front of it. One of the cameras from the phones she had stolen would work well enough to let her guide it.

It was going to take a while, but they'd all pay.

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Monday, December 3rd, 2007
After School

Dastardly Daughter skipped along the slushy sidewalk, her ginger bangs hidden under her hat, so only her dark hair was really visible. In her old winter coat and hood, she didn't stick out too much, and her small size made her easy to ignore.

She passed by a laundromat and dry cleaner, and went into the stationary store right beside it. She'd become a regular customer at the store, using it to pick up graph paper, notebooks, pens and pencils to help with her designs. The saleslady saw her come in and smiled, then went back to stocking shelves. With practised casualness she went to the wall separating the stationary store and the laundromat.

From her reinforced inside pocket, she took out a devise that was the size of both her hands, but very flat, and surprisingly heavy. Turning it on, she placed it behind the shelf, and walked away to do some shopping.

The simple device began scratching at the wall. It was soft enough that with the music playing it was impossible to hear. It would take at least all night to break through the weak wall, at which point it would, if Dastardly had positioned it properly, be hidden behind some chairs. Then it was just a matter of waiting for the devise to hear the minger talking and it would target his voice. After that the fuck knuckle, cum stain would die. 

That evening, Dastardly daughter visited five more stores and restaurants, leaving her devises hidden, or slowly working their way to their final destination.

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Tuesday, December 4th, 2007
Mid-Morning

Mr. Kamran, owner of Perfect Fit Tailors, was a nervous man. He'd been looking over his shoulder for several weeks, ever since someone had viciously murdered several of his friends and business associates. He was starting to breathe a little more easily since no one had died in the last two weeks, but he was still worried, since the police had proven useless.

His phone rang, and he saw it was one of his regular customers asking about a suit. As he talked something started to click, almost like claws on the floor. Still talking, he began wandering around his shop trying to figure out what animal had made it inside. He hoped it wasn't a rat, the filthy creatures were always a pest.

“I'm going to have to let you go, something has come up,” he said, as the clicking got closer. Hanging up, he listened closely, and the clicking was definitely coming from behind a shelf full of fabric.

Grabbing a broom he went to the shelf and looked behind it, at the small dark crack between it and the wall. A metal rod appeared gripping the side of the shelf and pulled. A flat crablike metal robot came out, a small camera lense and what looked like a speaker was on the front of it.

Mr Kamran screamed and shouted for help, backing away keeping the broom in front of him. The thing hunched its legs up then sprang impossibly fast towards him, snapping the broom handle in half. It hit his chest with a bone breaking crunch and began whirring, clinging to his shirt even as he fell.

The whirring kept getting louder, as Mr. Kamran struggled to move with his ribcage shattered.

Then the devise exploded and Mr. Kamran stopped caring about anything.

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Late Afternoon

“How many people have died so far?” Agent Waters asked, as soon as he got to Detective Harris' desk.

“Seven. Five of them from explosions. Two from being hit by something heavy that crushed their chests and then hit a third man and exploded. The only thing left is a lot of scrap metal. There were several surviving witnesses to one of the attacks, they said it was a metal crab that could fly, it ignored everyone else, focusing solely on the restaurant delivery driver,” Detective Harris said.

“So Dastardly Daughter has become more careful about her attacks. That's worrisome.”

Detective Harris allowed himself a small smile. “One positive thing, we at least have their cell phones. The lab is looking through them now to find out if there's some connection between all of them.”

“And I suppose Pippa was in school while this all happened.”

The detective nodded. “We're questioning people who might have seen her in the last few days, using her most recent photos from the testing, and while a few thought they might have seen her, none of it's enough to get a warrant for her arrest.”

“We're still bringing her in for questioning though,” Waters said.

“She's already been picked up from her school and should be here soon. I thought you'd want to be with me when we question her,” the detective said.

“Thanks. My boss is not happy at how long this case is taking to deal with.”

They were waiting in the interrogation room when Dastardly Daughter arrived along with her mother who was in an Asda uniform. Neither of them looked happy.

“Pippa, Ms. Mischke, you were both informed why you're here, correct?” Detective Harris asked.

“Yes,” Ms. Mischke said, “but I don't see how you can think my daughter could do all of this. She's thirteen years old. And I know her school record isn't the best, but she's never attacked anyone.”

Pippa just watched them, her eyes hidden by her red bangs, not showing any emotion as she sat there in her Dastardly Daughter outfit.

“On November 11th, two men were killed in what looks like self-defence. A small girl fled a car crash which was caused when she used a weapon, likely a devise, to electrocute the driver and a passenger. The very next day, a small girl got tested as a devisor. It's an interesting coincidence,” Detective Harris said.

Waters watched Pippa's mother's eyes go wide and turn to look at the young emotionless girl. It was only a second or two before the woman turned back to them acting normally. But it was enough to confirm his suspicions. Something had happened to Pippa, and she was out for blood.

“I think Pippa should have a solicitor,” Ms. Mischke said.

Waters looked at Harris and sighed. They'd hoped they would be able to get a little bit further before a lawyer was called for. This was going to be a long day.

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Pippa's Flat
Late Evening

Pippa was glad to be home. She'd barely said anything during the hours long interrogation, and her mum had said only a little bit more, usually only after long talks with the solicitor. She hadn't known it could be so nerve wracking to just sit silently and keep a straight face.

Taking off her boots, she watched her mum go to the old threadbare couch sit down and start sobbing with her face in her hands. Biting her lip, Pippa wondered what she should do. She was not used to dealing with people crying, unless she had caused it. “Um... Mum...”

“Did you do it?” her mum asked.

“What?”

“Did you do all of that. Murder seventeen people.”

“No. I didn't murder them.” They had come after her, and they'd keep coming after her. She was defending herself, that wasn't murder.

Her mum looked up, tears staining her face. “What happened last month, when you were gone all night?”

She snarled, remembering that night. How Lily had gotten raped and hurt. Pippa had thought that killing Richard and the rest would make her feel better. It hadn't worked, she saw red thinking about what had happened, how she'd let her guard down once and it had cost her only friend so much. She had to kill them all.

“Pippa, if you don't tell me what's going on, I can't help you. For once in your life, let someone help you! PLEASE!” her mum begged.

Turning around, she put on her Dastardly Daughter outfit and left. She couldn't handle things. It was like she was going to explode. Her mum couldn't see her like this. She would deal with things on her own, just like she always did. When other people helped her, they just got hurt. If her mum got hurt, it would break her.

As her mum pleaded with her to come back, she ran away.

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Agent Waters had just gotten home and was sitting on his couch with a drink after a long day when his phone rang, checking the caller, he sighed, it was Detective Harris. What bad news would he have now? “Hello, Harris.”

“We found the link between the murders,” the detective said.

Sitting up, suddenly wide awake, he asked, “What is it?”

“They're part of a grooming gang. Their texts prove it all.”

“What? A grooming gang?” He knew he'd heard the word before but he couldn't quite place it.

“They get girls and young ladies, use alcohol, drugs, gifts and force, and rape them, some they'll pass around and turn into prostitutes,” Harris said, sounding like he wanted to vomit.

Waters stomach roiled. “They had that in their texts.”

“Yes, most weren't that obvious, they used euphemisms and slang, but others were speaking plainly. They didn't all have the same contacts, it looks like Richard, Omar, Peter, and the other teens were the ones who usually found the girls, the older men got them afterwards. But it's easy to see how they connect together.”

“And Pippa was one of the girls they got or tried to get?”

“Looks like it. There was a message from November 11th, about a girl who went berserk and got away. Richard and the older man Williams, were supposed to get her and make sure she didn't say anything. There was some talk about what happened to them, and then they started getting scared about who was killing their people. Some of the wealthier men left the country to return home,” Harris said.

“So she's the reason Richard had that nasty bite on his cheek, and Omar had to have his wrist stitched back up.” He sighed, this was suddenly a lot bigger than just a murderous mutant. “So what do we do? Grooming gangs are out of my jurisdiction, and I need to see the texts to decide if the MCO can go after Pippa.”

“I've handed it up to my superiors. There is something we can look into though. One of the texts mentioned a blonde girl who came with the berserk one. How much do you want to bet she's Lily Robinson, the girl we were told is Pippa's only friend, who refused to talk to us?”

Waters nodded. “If we tell her what we know, we might get her to tell us about what exactly happened to Pippa, and her. When do you want to do it?”

“It's still early enough she'll be awake. We can go talk to her now, I have her address from her school records.”

Getting up to put on his shoes, Water said, “Where is it, I'll meet you there?”

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Pippa walked along the dimly lit street, head down, her mind in a very dark place. Nothing she did seemed to help her calm down. Being angry was a part of life for her, but it was usually in the back of her head where she could control it. Now it took everything she had not to just scream and hit someone for breathing too loud.

Her hands kept going into fists, activating the shockers in her gloves. All she had to do was punch someone and they'd go down. It felt good to have that type of power. After years of being tiny and weak, the power was addictive.

Her teeth and jaw hurt. Pippa tried to loosen her jaw, to stop grinding her teeth. It wasn't easy, she was on edge, wanting to do something, anything.

She could make some power armour, the image of it popped into her head. There were plenty of fuzzy bits, she'd need to work those out as she made it. But the frame, the individual motors for each joint, it would be easy to do. Then she'd just need to figure out how to power it up. With that she could do anything she wanted. Kill all the bellend knob jockeys. Rob a bank and actually have some money for a change. Just break something so she might feel better.

A car sped up behind her. Turning to look she saw a cricket bat and a car racing towards her. She threw herself to the side and instead of hitting her right on the back, it hit her shoulder, flipping her forward to land face first, barely conscious on sidewalk. Moaning and whimpering in pain, she couldn't move when someone grabbed her and threw her into a van. Screaming as her shoulder hit the ground, the back of the van closed and they drove away.

Hands roughly stripped her naked, making her scream as her injured shoulder was yanked and pulled. Her kidnappers threw everything, including her gloves and the wrist band chargers into a pile well away from her. They used zip ties to bind her hands, and then stepped well back.

Curling up into a ball to protect her shoulder, she whimpered and cried. Any movement made her shoulder feel like it was on fire, and her face was bruised from landing on it. Since no one was hurting her, she just laid there trying to make the pain go away.

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“She's gone?” Agent Waters asked.

“Yeah,” the drunken woman said. “Lily went out with some friends, a while ago.”

“Do you know who her friends are or where they went?” Detective Harris asked.

The woman, supposedly Lily's mother, took a sip from her bottle. “No. They said they needed her and she went. They were going to feed her. Saves me some work.”

“What did they look like?”

She shrugged. “Some teenagers. Looked like OK lads.”

Realizing they weren't getting anything out of the pissed excuse of a human. Waters and Harris left, without so much as a goodbye. Harris was on his phone when the reached the stairs, calling the station, telling whoever was on the other end to look through the texts to find locations where they may take girls.

Waters had his own phone out and dialed a number. “Ms. Mischke, this is Agent Waters. I need to talk to Pippa, her friend Lily is in danger and she may be able to give us information to help her.”

“Pippa left half an hour ago,” Ms. Mischke said, from her voice it was clear she was crying.

“Do you know where she went?”

“No, she just left. What is going on? Pippa is in trouble but she won't tell me anything.”

“I'm sorry but I don't have time to tell you right now. If Pippa comes home, call me immediately.” He hung up and got in the car with Harris. “Do you have any good news?”

Harris grabbed a file from the backseat and handed half of the papers in it to him. “One of the phones for the dead men got a message, said something about getting a package to a warehouse tonight, they'd need the blonde. Look through those, see if you can find an address or anything about a warehouse.”

Looking at the pile of printed out texts, Waters suddenly realized what the expression a needle in a haystack was like. But two girls were in danger. Even if one of them was potentially a mutant murderer, he didn't want to think what this grooming gang would do to her. And if Lily was mixed up in this, he needed to do whatever he could to get her out. He joined the MCO to keep people safe, while this was out of his purview he wouldn't forgive himself if he didn't do everything he could to help.

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The van came to a stop, the back door opened up, and Pippa was thrown out onto the hard concrete floor. She yelled, covering her head as best she could with her wrists bound, she hit and rolled, coming to a stop holding her shoulder. Her entire left arm numb and useless.

Someone poured liquid on her. For a moment she thought it was water, then she smelled the petrol and tasted it. She tried to get away, someone kicked her back to the ground as they emptied a whole can on her.

“Girl if you try any mutant tricks, we light you on fire,” a man said.

Crouching down, crying in pain, holding her shoulder which she was certain was broken, Pippa glared at the group of teens and men who surrounded her. Three of them had lighters, the other three had cricket bats and pry bars, they looked eager to use them. Behind them were pallets of food all secure and ready to be shipped elsewhere.

“Your mum's a fucking fat cunt and all she hoped was that the cum would dribble down her arsehole, but instead you came along 9 months later and she can't remember your Dad's name,” she swore at the man who threatened her.

The man actually lit his lighter, then let the flame die. Instead he said, “Bring out the slag.”

A door opened and Lily came out wearing a tiny miniskirt and crop top, she looked at the ground and moved listlessly. A man walked beside her, his hand on her back, keeping her moving. Pippa saw red.

“You fucking bastards! I'm going to kill all of you!” she shrieked. If she had a button that would destroy the world, she'd hammer it just to see the men die. Only the pain in her shoulder and side kept her from charging them.

The man with Lily slapped her head. “Is this your friend?”

Lily looked up, seemingly noticing her for the first time. “Yeah, that's Pippa,” she said in a monotone.

“She was with you at the party?”

The blonde nodded.

“Is she always this violent?”

Another nod.

The man placed a knife against Lily's throat. For the first time the girl showed some emotion, a flicker of fear and she tried to back away, only to be held in place. Pippa bit her tongue hard enough to make it bleed, she couldn't risk getting Lily killed.

The apparent leader who had threatened to burn her spoke again. “We want to kill you Pippa. But you're apparently a devisor. And I know a few people who would be very interested in you. So you get to live. But if you do anything wrong, we hurt your friend. Every outburst, she loses a knuckle from her finger. You manage to kill someone, she loses a hand. Understand?”

She spit at him, but didn't do anything else.

“And if you have some power we don't know about, and try to escape, we burn you to death.”

Her body shook from rage. If there wasn't a knife to Lily's throat, she'd force them to burn her alive and grab the leader just to bring him to hell with her. Behind her someone took all of her clothes out of the van, making sure to give her plenty of space.

The leader motioned to the van. “Get back inside. You'll be there for a few hours. We're going to surround it in petrol and we are ready to burn it with you inside if necessary. But remember we have Lily, and we will hurt her if you force us to.”

Painfully and slowly, Pippa got to her feet and crawled into the back. She was too furious to care that she was naked. Her mind was already creating weapons of death and destruction. If only she had some tools and supplies.

They closed the doors and she heard petrol being poured all around the van. The fume were making her head spin, and her skin itched as it dried on her. Trying to push the weird feelings aside, she looked at the zip tie around her wrists. It was a simple problem, she wanted it off. Her brain focused on the plastic, how it was locked, and the most effective way to break it. The solution was simple.

Biting the end of the zip tie, she tightened them until they were cutting into her skin. Gritting her teeth, she tightened her stomach, ignored the pain in her shoulders, brought her arms up with her elbows spread and brought her arms down as fast and hard as she could ramming her wrists into her stomach. The plastic snapped and Pippa almost bit through her tongue to keep from screaming in agony.

Falling to the ground she held her shoulder, crying in pain.

Forcing herself to breathe normally, she waited for the worst of the pain to pass away. Then on hands and knees, she crawled without using her left arm, to the front of the van. Looking over everything she let her mind wander. She needed a weapon or a distraction of some kind. Slowly her mind started putting things together.

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Agent Waters and Detective Harris watched a warehouse that was rented by an import company. It had been mentioned a few times by name in some of the texts, and it was the only location they had which might be where they had Lily and Pippa. Looking at the number of cars in the parking lot, it seemed like their hunch had paid off. But there was one big problem.

“How long until we have a warrant and backup?” Waters asked.

“At this hour, with only text messages and hunches, if we get the warrant in an hour I'll be gobsmacked. We might have one in two or three hours, but I'm not hopeful. So what we're doing is waiting and watching. The moment we see something suspicious, like one or two young girls with older men, we run in with probable cause while calling in backup.”

Sighing, Waters shook his head. “Usually dealing with mutants is easier. Most of them if they're going to break the law wear colourful costumes and make it bloody obvious what they're doing.”

Harris gave him a small smile. “Welcome to the normal world, where things aren't so black and white.”

They sat back and watched the warehouse, hoping that nothing bad was actually happening, fearing that someone was going to die while they waited. And then people were running out of the warehouse followed by thick black smoke.

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Dastardly Daughter thought about her plan. It was very simple and very dangerous. Using the cigarette lighter and a small utility blade that she'd found under the seat, she'd managed to slice off a seat belt and the buckle, giving her a simple weapon. She used the blade to cut the fabric of the seats making a blanket for herself to act as a bit of protection from any immediate flame.

She also used the padding in the seat to wipe her skin as carefully as possible. Her skin was blotchy and itchy from the gas, and she thought she could still smell it on her, but that could be because of the petrol surrounding the van. It would make her feel a lot better if she knew if she was still flammable, but her brain couldn't give her the answer to that.

Peeking out the window she saw the lads that were supposed to be watching the van standing well back, leaning on a wall talking to each other. She couldn't blame them wanting to get away from the smell.

Pushing the cigarette lighter in, she waited for it to pop out. When it did she quietly opened the door on the opposite side of the lads and dropped it into the pool of petrol, slamming the door shut before it hit the ground.

There was loud whomph and flames roared up past the window as the petrol vapour caught fire. There were shouts of panic and running feet. Pippa ignored them. Wrapping herself in the seat cover, and holding the seat belt in her hand, she opened the door again and jumped out over the flames.

Her legs burned but she didn't catch fire. Running, using the flames and the van for cover, she made it to one of the pallets and ducked down. There was panic with people yelling to put out the fire, others saying they needed to get her out of the van, and someone even shouted to call 999.

It wouldn't be long before they realize she was missing. She looked around for an exit or hallway to circle around and rescue Lily. Smoke was rapidly filling the large room.

A teenager ran around the van. What he planned on doing, Pippa had no idea, but he had a cricket bat. She could use that. He was looking at the van and shouting about the door which she could barely hear over the roar of flames in the enclosed space. Using the distraction, she bull rushed him tackling his knees. She screamed as her shoulder once more erupted in pure agony, almost blacking out from pain as they fell.

Rage and adrenaline were a hell of a drug, and she got to her knees. Using the seatbelt wrapped in her hand and her exemplar 1 strength, she hit him in the temple again and again until he dropped the bat to protect his head. Rolling off of him, she grabbed the weapon and brought it down on his head.

People were running outside trying to get away from the heat, smoke and flames. She ran past them, staying low. If someone got too close, she hit them in the legs and kept going. Reaching the door where they'd taken Lily, she went through finding a hallway and a row of offices.

A man was looking out a door, his eyes wide, not sure what was going on or what he should do. Then he saw her and stepped into the hallway holding a knife. She ran at him, shrieking and swinging the cricket bat. He sidestepped it and drove the knife into her stomach.

Pain paralyzed her, and her legs went numb. Falling to her knees, she placed her hands on her stomach wanting to pull the knife out. Her brain told her that would be a bad idea. She looked up to see the man staring down at her in horror, he was saying something, she couldn't make it out. It seemed like she was underwater.

And then thunder roared and the man's shirt turned red. He stood there for a moment before falling to the ground, a look of disbelief on his face. Two men came rushing over, she recognized them. Agent Waters picked her up. He was speaking to her, but she couldn't hear what he was saying, she couldn't really hear anything except her heartbeat. Detective Harris was there too, he had Lily by the hand and was leading them out of the smoke filled hallway.

They made it outside and Agent Waters put her on the ground. She was shivering, everything was so cold. He took off his coat and wrapped her in it, then wrapped his sweater around the knife. Lily was standing close by crying into Detective Harris' chest.

Pippa tried to say something, but she felt so weak and her body didn't want to work. Closing her eyes, she let the world fade away.

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MCO Liverpool Office,
December 28th, 2007

Dastardly Daughter walked into the MCO office with a little bit of worry. Not that she'd let anyone see her being scared. Her image with Agent Waters was completely blown, but everyone else would still see her as incompetent and cartoonish. Adjusting her hat, she grinned and refused to hold her mum's hand.

Agent Waters came out to greet them. “Thanks for coming, Dastardly, Ms. Mischke. If you'll follow me to the visitors office.

They went into a fairly basic office with chairs, a desk and a clock. The one thing it had going for it was that it was private. She took a seat, only wincing a little as her still healing guts let her know she wasn't exactly the picture of health.

“I've got two pieces of good news for you both,” Agent Waters said allowing himself a small smile. “First the police are not charging Dastardly Daughter with the murders of the grooming gang. All the evidence is circumstantial, and there are no good witnesses to the attacks. So as long as that remains the case, while you are a person of interest, it won't go beyond that. However Dastardly I would recommend you keep your nose very clean for the next several years. And since the police have arrested everyone involved in your kidnapping, and are digging deep to find everyone involved in part thanks to the media uproar, you can rest assured that justice is being done.”

Dastardly Daughter nodded. She wasn't exactly happy about how everything turned out, but nearly dying and spending a week in the critical care unit, and then celebrating Christmas in the ozzie had given her a chance to cool off. At least to what she usually considered calm.

“Now to help you get out of sight and keep out of trouble, we have received confirmation of your acceptance to Whateley Academy. You'll be leaving on January 6th, spending the night in Boston and arriving at the school the following morning for the first day of Winter Term.” He handed over a large envelope to her mum. “Everything including the tickets is in there.”

This time Dastardly did reach out to hold her mum's hand. Going all the way to the US was a lot farther than she thought she'd ever go. Still, as Agent Waters had stressed while she was lying in the ozzie having her guts sewn back together, the school was really good, with some boss classes for devisors. More importantly it would get her out of the city until things calmed down.

“So everything is sound and everyone is made up?” she asked.

Agent Waters stopped to work out what she said, then nodded. “Yes everything is good and everyone important is happy. Don't make a mess that we'll have to clean up.”

She snickered. “Don't worry, I won't make a show.”

“Right. Please don't let me see you ever again,” Waters said, showing them the door.

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Whateley Academy
Shortly before lunch

January 7th, 2008

Dastardly Daughter wrapped her purple winter coat even more tightly around herself and was grateful her shock gloves had inbuilt heaters. “Gah, this is absolutely Baltic,” she said as she and the other new students made their way to yet another old building.

“Damn, is that English?” an angry elf girl asked.

“Yeah it is,” she retorted. “It's proper Scouse English.”

“Sounds like you're speaking with marbles in your mouth.”

“Why you got a cob on, elfy? You've been frowning all morning.”

“Cob on? You sound wack?” the elf girl said. To Dastardly it sounded like she was cutting off half of her words before finishing them.

“Wack? We made English, I'm speaking proper. You're the one who's all west.”

“West? Now I know you're shitting me, there's no way that made any sense.”

Dastardly started laughing, only wincing a little from the pain in her stomach. “You're an OK lass. I'm Dastardly Daughter, from Liverpool.”

The elf held out her hand. “Miss Abyss, straight outta Detroit.”

Shaking the hand, she said, “I'm in junior high, in Whitman cottage I think, what about you?”

“Freshman in Poe. We probably won't be sharing no classes, but you seem a'right. So if you want to hang I'm up for it.”

“I think I understood that. It's sound. Maybe I can teach you proper English,” she said and snickered.

“Them's fighting words. Don't you get up in my case about how I speak when you sound like a drunk who can't open her mouth,” Miss Abyss said.

Dastardly smiled, she was going to have fun with this girl.

 

The End
Read 1836 times Last modified on Wednesday, 24 April 2024 01:46
Dan Formerly Domoviye

Check out some of my original stories on Royal Road.

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