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In Pursuit of Eve
by: Rebecca McQuarrie
“The juiciest plum isn’t on that stand; she’s standing in front of it.”
Eve let out a sigh, almost afraid to turn around. “Hello Sonic,” she replied, recognizing the voice and rolling her eyes. Steeling herself, she turned to face her wannabe flatterer, a fellow hero who went by the name of SonicSnowplow.
“Are you stalking me,” she asked, before he could say anything else.
“No,” he replied, slightly taken aback. “Why would you think that?”
“Well, Paragon is a big place. What are the odds that you would show up in the same grocery store, at the same time as me? Especially having just met you yesterday, and rather firmly turning your offers down. All of them. Numerous times.”
“Point taken,” responded Sonic, “but, honestly, I’m not stalking you. I had no idea that we live in the same neighborhood. I guess this city isn’t as big as you think. What’s a girl like you doing living in Kings Row anyway?”
“It’s affordable. Now if you’ll excuse me…”
Before she could finish, the opening measures of ‘Dancing Queen’ streamed from Sonic’s cell phone. Flushing with embarrassment, he quickly hit the ignore button.
Raising an eyebrow, Eve asked “Aren’t you going to answer that?”
“Oh, um, right. Just a sec,” he said as he turned away to answer the phone. Even though his back was turned, Eve couldn’t help but overhear Sonic’s end of the conversation as he was only a few feet away.
“What do you mean, ‘missing’?”
“Who all do we have?”
“Where am I supposed to find…” At that, Sonic turned and eyed up Eve. “Never mind, I have it covered. I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
Hanging up the phone, he turned his full attention to Eve. “Do you have any plans after you’re done here,” he asked.
“Look, I told you yesterday, I’m…flattered, but I’m not interested in going out with you,” stated Eve. At this point her arms were crossed and her eyes were flashing with barely contained irritation.
“Ok. I get it. You don’t want to see me socially. How about professionally? That was Stormborn, you met him yesterday. He just received a mission and is looking for a few extra bodies. I’m going head to the base if you’d care to join me.”
Eve thought about the offer for a few moments. “I could use the extra cash,” she said glancing at her grocery cart. “And it would be nice to see everyone again. Will Zoe be there?”
“I’m not sure. The base is pretty small, so we don’t spend a lot of time there to prevent it from getting overcrowded. You haven’t met Termon yet, but that boy can heat up a room. Step on his foot one time and a month later your eyebrows finally start to grow back in.”
“Ok, I’ll go, on one condition. You need to lay off. I mean it. No more slick compliments or propositions.”
“Darling,” he drawled, “that’s like asking a bird not to sing. When I’m around a beauty like you…”
The sound of Eve clearing her throat stopped him mid-sentence.
“You’re right,” Sonic sighed, “I do that an awful lot don’t I? I promise I’ll try to restrain myself.” Gesturing towards the door he continued, “Shall we?”
“Just give me a minute to arrange for delivery and we can be on our way.”
“So, what do you think,” asked Sonic. They had just completed the tour of the S.P.E.L.L. base and were waiting for the rest of the team to show up.
“It’s…cozy. I like it,” answered Eve with a smile. Coming from a small town, the immense size of some of the buildings in Paragon still daunted her. “I like the trees. They make it feel more open and airy.”
“Thanks. I thought they would be a nice touch.”
At the sound of the new voice, Eve and Sonic both turned to the door. Standing there was a bronzed-skinned redhead who looked much too petite to have such a large stone mallet slung over her shoulder.
“Indigo Eve, I’d like to introduce you to Puddle Jumper, one of our illustrious captains.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you Eve,” the captain said, “There’s been a little bit of buzz about you around here since yesterday. You must have made quite an impression.”
“I’m not sure if I should be honored by that or horrified,” responded Eve with a nervous laugh. “You have a really nice base here Captain Puddle Jumper.”
“Please, call me PJ. The only reason I have the title is because I’ve been around longer than some of the others, and that just means I’m old,” she said with a laugh. “Make yourself at home. Storm should be here shortly and then we can head out.”
“PJ is not only a great captain, she’s also one of the best tankers around,” stated Sonic proudly. “So, what are we up against? Storm said there are some missing business men. Sounds like Thorns or some of Vahzilok’s boys to me.”
“I don’t know,” challenged Eve, “The clockwork have been getting pretty nasty about that lately, so have the Lost. Their numbers are getting bigger all the time.”
“How about we place a bet,” asked Sonic. “If I’m right, you spend the evening with me at Pocket D. If you’re right….”
“If I’m right, you have to perform a karaoke song of my choice, dressed in a tutu, Mr. ‘Dancing Queen’,” she replied.
“You’re on,” agreed Sonic. “You had better go shopping for a new outfit since I’m never wrong.”
“I will,” Eve said, “But I’ll be buying your tutu.”
“Tutu,” asked Storm as he walked into the room. “Did I miss something?”
Laughing PJ said “We were discussing your birthday present. Now you’ve ruined the surprise. Are we ready to go?”
“Yeah,” he replied, “but, seriously, did I hear you say tutu?”
Sonic grabbed him by the arm and headed towards the exit. “I’ll explain on the way,” he said.
Upon entering the abandoned building, the team was greeted by an empty room connected to an empty hallway. While they stood there formulating their game plan, a single Abomination came lumbering around the corner.
“I’ll pick you up at eight,” crowed Sonic triumphantly.
All Eve could do was sigh.
TO PART 2 OF DARKNESS ARISE >