Six Years Later...
"AMANDA HURRY UP!" Charles called down the hallway. He shook his head and sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger. When there was no answer, he gave a slight growl of a noise and walked out of the kitchen, crossing the apartment to stop at his daughter's room. He lifted his hand to knock and finally get her out of bed like he had been trying to do for the last ten minutes.
The door flew open and the sixteen year old stood there in deep purple coloured, knee high flat boots, a black skirt that just covered the school regulation length, a light purple t-shirt and a black vest over top that ran high up on her back and draped at the front, almost reaching the length of the skirt. Her dark blonde hair was curly with streaks of blue throughout it. There was red shadow on her eyes and she smiled at the bewildered expression on her dad's face.
The colour combination was a little odd but it had seemed to be a statement that Amanda been making for the last six years. Always purple and blue, always some sort of red tone on her eyes, something she managed to do right without making it look like there was something wrong. It was her style and fairly unique at her school as she was the only one that really had anything stable in her wardrobe.
"How do you do that?" Charles asked.
"It all just sort of comes together." Amanda replied, shrugging. She walked around him and headed to the kitchen to grab a pop tart or something simple.
"I don't like that skirt." Charles pointed out.
"You're not supposed to." Amanda reminded. Charles really couldn't help but grin. He considered himself fairly blessed with his daughter as she was. Over the last six years, with his divorce to her mother finalized and the birth of her half brother, things settled down fairly quickly. By the time Paul had turned two, Claire had remarried to the boy's father. Two years later, they were getting divorced and Amanda was making demands to get to live with Charles, something Claire had conceded too without much fuss, given the state of things at home.
Since then, Amanda had integrated smoothly into her father's every day life, having dinner with her mother and half brother once a week or spending a weekend with them, sometimes going over just to babysit while Claire was busy. Being ten years older than Paul, Amanda had stated to Charles that she felt issues with connecting to him. The age and gender gap led to reasonable excuses but lately Amanda had been telling her father that Paul was often found talking to his reflection, something that baffled everyone. Charles honestly couldn't figure out why it sounded familiar to him.
"I need money for lunch." Amanda stated, turning on her father with a pop tart in one hand and the other held out.
"Why?" Charles questioned.
"Because there's no time to make one and I don't have a job and we haven't gone grocery shopping this week yet because you were working overtime over the weekend and I don't..." Amanda listed off, finally stopping when Charles reached for his wallet. She smiled happily and kissed his cheek when he handed over a few bills. "Thanks daddy, I'll have dinner ready when you get home."
"That's what you said yesterday." Charles reminded her.
"Well I didn't realize that you would be home before me." Amanda defended. Charles just smiled, something that caused his teenage daughter to shake her head at. "Okay, I'm off to hear from my friends about how ridiculously good looking my father is."
"What?" Charles asked.
"Dude, it feels like you just...don't age." Amanda pointed out, stuffing the money into her wallet then sticking her wallet into her backpack. She took the ends of her vest and tied them up under her chest, letting it drape down the middle. "You're almost forty and you look like you're barely thirty."
"I still have four years until I'm forty." Charles shot back, rolling his eyes. Amanda stuck the pop tart in her mouth and reached down to brush off her boot before she mumbled a farewell and headed out. Charles sighed and picked up his coffee mug, downing the last of the warm liquid before rinsing the cup in the sink.
He walked out of the kitchen and grabbed his tie off the chair. As he pulled it on, he glanced over at the shelves he had installed in the wall at Amanda's insistence. One held trophies she had won in swimming, soccer and volleyball, another held a sculpture she had made of a creature that looked human save for the beak, what seemed to be gills in it's necks, and the talons for fingertips. As bizarre as the creature had seemed to be, she had created it in a way that it actually had the potential to make you believe it was gentle.
And then there was the third shelf that held the most unusual thing. On one hand, it was just a dagger, nothing unusual about that. But on the other hand, Charles had been in possession of it for six years and could not for the life of himself remember how or when he got it. All he knew was that anytime he or Amanda held it, the blade glowed dimly. Several of her friends had handled the dagger but it didn't have the same affect with them, nor did they seem to see the glow. Father and daughter had decided to not mention it to people after the first time it had been said.
Charles knew there was something unnaturally special about that dagger and he knew that he should know what it was and what it was meant for. But God help him, he just couldn't bring it up.
He splashed water on his face in the men's room at work. Rubbing his hands over the skin, he sighed and shook his head.
The moment had been strange.
There had been an argument going on when he got to work, a large man, probably some criminal that had been brought in, was yelling at several cops. Charles had looked around at everyone and then his eyes fell on the large man. He blinked and for a single second, he saw the man being taller than what he was, a spiky spine protruding up his back, his whole being just in tints of green. Next second, he was just a tall man again, now taking a swing at one of the officers. He had been electrocuted by three separate tasers before he finally went down.
But that single second had been enough to send the doctor into the rest room for a personal talk down.
"Get a grip Charlie." Charles muttered to himself, holding the rim of the sink. He took a deep breath and sighed. "You just watched too many things with monsters." He nodded to himself and laughed slightly. "Maybe you need a vaca-..." He paused as he lifted his head to look at his reflection.
Only he didn't see his reflection.
Or the reflection of the stalls.
Or really any reflection at all.
What he saw was some sort of worm hole that spiralled towards the middle. His eyes widened and he stepped back rapidly, bumping into the door of the stall and throwing it inwards, causing him to fall back and just barely miss hitting his head off the toilet.
He blinked once.
Then suddenly, right where he had once stood, there was a woman. Knee high, black leather boots, dark blue jeans that rested low on her hips and a thigh holstered knife were all that Charles noticed at first but then his eyes drifted up.
Up past the strip of purple skin at her belly.
Up past the black fishnet gloves that went to her elbows.
Up past the tank top with various colour tones to look like a sun set.
Up past the...
Charles blinked, his eyes shooting up to the woman's face now. Her purple face. Surrounded by waves of blue hair and, oh dear lord, those were some red eyes. She looked mildly confused, those red eyes roaming over her surroundings with an expression of lost familiarity. The recognition seemed to dawn on her and she suddenly looked at Charles, a mild relief, overcome by worry showing.
"Oh boy." She muttered.
"Who are you?" Oh look at that, his voice did work.
She looked momentarily surprised and put out, disappointed maybe? But then she shook her head and hurried out of the room, leaving Charles sprawled on the floor, looking completely stunned and lost. He regained his wits after a few seconds and scrambled to his feet. He rushed out of the room, following the sounds of clicking that her boots caused on the stone floor.
"Wait...don't I..." Charles called out. He rounded the corner into the office space and paused at the new sight before him.
A young woman with auburn hair, pale skin and green eyes, dressed just as the purple woman, stood before his colleagues with the large man seated and still unconscious nearby. She was making gestures to him as she held out what looked to be a badge of some sort and explained something to the officers. Charles stared, completely uncertain of the things happening around him. The woman kept flickering, looking human one second and then purple the next.
And no one noticed.
No one cared.
And Charles was now officially certain he was losing his mind as he looked at the large man who was flickering as well between normal and green.
"We can't release this man into your custody until he answers questions, ma'am." One of the officers declared loud enough for Charles to hear. The doctor paused and moved slowly closer, his eyes not leaving the woman.
"Well that's not your decision to make." The woman stated simply.
"You must be new." The officer laughed. "Young and not knowing any better."
"You'd be surprised." The woman pointed out crossing her arms. "This man is an enemy of the state, not of your city. He's to come with me."
"How about we call your boss to confirm this?" The officer suggested. There was a twitch at the woman's eye before she shrugged and held out a phone. The officer paused for a moment before taking the device.
"It's in the contact list under Boss." The woman pointed out with a slight snark in her tone. "Do you need me to dial for you?" The officer glared and held the phone to his head. The woman looked around, eyes landing on Charles and a frown crossing her face before she quickly turned away. He blinked, unsure how to react to such a thing. What had he possibly done to get this sort of reaction from her?
No one saw the man start to come to.
No one but Charles.
He opened his mouth, ready to shout his warning, but his voice didn't come in time as the man let out a ground shaking roar. The scene changed so fast. Officers were scattered over desks and floor as they were thrown aside and the man suddenly held the woman against a wall by her neck. He roared in her face and she blinked, looking thoroughly unimpressed. Her hands clasped around his hand and her legs lifted up, knees bending. As soon as they touched her chest, she suddenly extended outward, feet slamming into the middle of the green man's chest. Several snapping noises echoed out the moment her feet connected and the man flew backwards to crash into a desk.
Charles stared, stunned and amazed, at the fact that the small purple woman had done this to a monstrous green man. The man's fingers all broken, bent at bizarre angles, and he lay sprawled on the desk, blinking to try and regain himself. The woman was clearly having none of it as she bolted through the space. She slammed a closed fist down into the man's temple to effectively render him unconscious.
"Just need to make things hard for everyone." The woman muttered with a deep sigh. She stuck her hand into her pocket and withdrew what looked like a small hand held mirror. Swirling her finger over the glass, Charles could see a vortex appearing within. He blinked, stunned, and watched as the vortex stretched out of the mirror and encased the green man. Seconds later it retracted, leaving no traces of a large man behind.
The purple woman never looked his way but Charles knew that she had to know he was there. No one like her could possibly not know. But he stayed silent, watchful, as she scattered a glittering dust around the office, repairing the damages. When the mirror came out again and she pointed it at one of the officers, the doctor knew he had to step up then.
"What are you doing?" Charles asked, closing the distance between them and grabbing her arm. She flinched and pulled away from him, a slight flash of fear crossing her face. "You can't do to them what you did to that...that...person."
"I wasn't going to." The woman assured him. "This thing does more than that." To prove her point, she tapped over the glass and a dazzling light shone out of it, aimed downward at the unconscious officer. Charles was worried but intrigued, watching as she went between all the people and reflected the light over them. "It'll wipe the incident from their minds. They won't know this ever happened. It's better for them this way."
"It doesn't hurt them?" Charles asked carefully. The woman shook her head and she began moving each officer back to their seats and setting them up. The doctor had to wonder for a moment how she could possibly change the security footage on this incident or even, for that matter, what the cameras caught.
Would the cameras have picked up on the giant green man battling the small purple woman or would it just have shown a tall man getting thrown backwards by a woman half his size? Either way, he would have wanted to view the footage. He settled for just watching the purple woman move around the office. She remained as purple now, there was no more flickering. It was unsettling. The purple skin, blue hair, pointed ears and red eyes. The eyes did it the most for he always thought red eyed creatures were some sort of evil. Somehow though, her eyes didn't scare him. They gazed upon him with warmth and a bit of sadness, as if she were expecting something from him but fearing it at the same time.
"I know you." Charles stated suddenly, causing the woman to pause. She slowly looked at him and sighed, the sadness in her gaze increasing.
"I'm sorry." The woman spoke softly. She made her way over to him. "I don't want to do this again but I have to. You can't know. You shouldn't know."
"Know what?" Charles asked. He blinked when the dazzling light from her mirror shone in his eyes.