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Jane With Cinnamon
The second figure, a woman with pigtails somewhat inappropriate for her age, sniggered. "Aww, Toccy! Ya has no sense of atmosphere, ya know that?" Faster Pussycat's accent grated on Toc Darkoné's nerves in the best of scenarios; now it was near insufferable.
Darkoné shook his head. "Nevermind. What I want to talk about is your girl's...new friend. The one who should be dead already."
Pussycat leaned impossibly far back in her chair. "Cinnamon and Janey have names, ya know."
"I disapproved of you taking on Cinnamon from the beginning; her actions are impossible to predict. And now you just let her bring a...civilian into the heart of the Syndicate?" Darkoné had given numerous lectures of similar points to Pussycat in the past; they rarely seemed to have much effect.
Pussycat sighed at Darkoné's stupidity. "First, Cinnamon ain't all that hard to handle; keep her happy and breakin' stuff and she'll do whatever ya want her to. And second, have ya even talked to Janey?" She paused, but knew the answer. "Didja even wonder what she was doin' in the Watermark? She was tryin' to kill Haiku too. Janey's an assassin, and a good one too, to get that high up! You shoulda heard who she got through." Pussycat wore a triumphant smirk.
The third person at the table, a large man wearing a tuxedo, leaned forward. This was the Lord, a man who had risen to the top echelons of the Syndicate as a figurehead leader to give the illusion the Syndicate was now nothing but a joke; it had worked with astonishing success. "Why didn't you share this information before, Pussycat?" asked the Lord.
"What woulda been the fun in that, Cane-o?" responded Pussycat immediately.
Darkoné leaned on the table, thinking. "Pussycat, didn't you say your...Cinnamon has become attached to this...Jane in the past weeks?"
Pussycat wore a very self-satisfied smirk. "Yep, and you know how Cinnamon can grow on ya." He didn't. "They're really close now."
"So what you're saying," said Darkoné, "is that we have two very deadly young women with us..."
"Who are extremely easy to manipulate," finished the Lord.
"You betcha," laughed Pussycat. "Plus, with Janey around, I don't have to stay with Cinnamon." Darkoné smiled. He and Pussycat had views on how to run the organization that were near-irreconcilable, but he could not deny she was privy to some excellent ideas. And he when he worked with her ideas...
Jane paused, unsure she had heard correctly. "What?" she asked.
"A gun," repeated Cinnamon, pantomiming pulling a trigger. "You have one, so I want one too." She smiled.
"Cinnamon," said Jane, "You can turn your body into any material you want to. You can become lead," She stressed. "Why do you want a gun? Besides, you couldn't take it with you when infiltrating buildings."
As if to confirm Jane's statement, Cinnamon (though not the blouse or short dress she wore) was now colored the black of lead. She tilted her head to one side. "Well, yeah, but...I just want one..." Her lips clinked quietly as she spoke. "Like you."
Jane looked down at her gun, supposedly the same one from the Watermark; Cinnamon said she had recovered the pieces and had someone in the Syndicate rebuild it.
Jane looked at Cinnamon, who now was already back into flesh form. A half-smile surfaced on Jane's lips. "I don't see why not. Go ask Faster Pussycat or someone; I'm sure they have another one."
"Yay!" Cinnamon cheered, then dashed off. Jane smiled after her.
Cinnamon looked up at Jane, yelled a jovial, "Let's go!" and immediately turned transparent. Without another word, she dove through the glass door of the bank, hitting the ground with a somersault. She turned, unlocked the door, and then dove through the second door, tumbling again. The second door was locked with a deadbolt; Cinnamon's arm turned steely gray as she reached into the door and toyed with the lock for a second before the door clicked open.
Jane picked up the clothes and holster Cinnamon had left behind on her first dive and entered the bank behind her. Cinnamon was now only clad in the short-sleeved neoprene/spandex catsuit that was evidentially the only thing she could take with her; she couldn't even wear makeup. Joining Cinnamon in the bank lobby, Jane asked joshingly, "Does the rolling help?"
"Yep!" answered Cinnamon, then she dashed through the lobby to the vault door. She pushed her arms against the door, passing through it; this took considerably more effort than it did to pass through the glass.
Jane strode across the bank, following. By the time she reached the vault, its massive door was already opening. Cinnamon opened it enough for Jane to slip inside. "That one was tricky," Cinnamon said in faux complaint, wiping sweat off her forehead. "I hate those multi-layered doors..."
The money was mostly out in the open or in the most obvious cabinets; this was obviously a mob bank. The partners pushed the vast majority of money into the bags Jane had brought. The cash would be thoroughly investigated when they returned; for marks from both the KPD and SLJ, as well as for counterfeiting.
The girls hopped out of the vault, bags slung over their back. "You know," mused Jane, "I'm surprised no alarms have gone off, at least motion-sensor alarms. I--" Jane was interrupted by a horrible moan. Cinnamon and Jane turned to see a zombie lurch over one of the desk and advance toward them.
A man with a long coat, slicked back dark hair, and glowing red eyes looked down upon the women as he floated above the exit. "Greetings, wenches. I thought I sensed a presence. I am the...guard here. You may call me Atherton, for the short time you can call me anything." His grin grew wider, displaying a pair of very lethal-looking fangs. "Kill them, my servants."
They dropped their bags. "Maybe it was a good idea to bring your gun," said Jane, and threw Cinnamon her clothes while blowing a hole in the nearest zombie with her own gun.
"Nah, I don't need it," responded Cinnamon happily. She looked down at the marble floor, grinned, then flourished, suddenly turning clear. Linoleum.
"Cheap bastards," said Jane with a smirk, despite herself. Cinnamon, after getting over her slight confusion, flourished slightly again and became true marble this time, immediately punching the head off a oncoming corpse. The fight was over quickly; Jane disabled the zombies with only a few shots each, and Cinnamon took the creatures out with simple flails of her arms, crushing the skulls of fallen with grace. And when a zombie almost attacked Jane when she paused to reload, Cinnamon whipped out her handgun and shot it in the side, distracting it long enough for Jane to trip it then send a bullet through its brain. One of the last zombies grabbed Cinnamon...and promptly broke its jaw on her stone neck.
Jane charged towards Atherton, fury in her eyes. The vampire fired again, but his shot was poor; it zoomed over Jane's left shoulder, and she did not break stride. Before Atherton could line up another shot, Jane was upon him, wrenching the shotgun from his hands and then smashing the handle of the rifle into his face. "You..." Atherton growled. "I am an immortal, and you shall be--"
"Hey, stupid!" came a voice from behind Atherton. He turned and his bloodshot eyes went wide as Cinnamon finished lifting herself out of the floor Cinnamon grinned, a she was abruptly metallic, her skin and hair reflecting the moonlight. "Heehee. You looked." She then thrust a fist forward, through Atherton. Her hand found egress in his backside, and Jane realized what Cinnamon now was--silver, the catch-all undeadbane.
Atherton roared, then simply growled as he transformed into a pile of dust. Cinnamon blinked, then grinned with slight sheepishness. "I wasn't sure silver worked on vampires, even if I did punch through his heart..."
Jane frowned slightly. "Are you sure he's dead?"
Cinnamon, now flesh again, her wounds gone in the transformations--stone could not bleed--kicked the pile of dust over. "Yep, looks like it."
"Y'know, Jane," said Cinnamon, "we need to come up with a team name for us being partners, like Spice Gi--okay, not that, but still. Like, umm... Cinnamon and Sugar!"
"No, Cinnamon," said Jane with a sigh that didn't show dissatisfaction.
"Okay, how bout J 'n' C?"
"Don't be silly."
"Or Earth--" she gestured to herself, "and Fire! Or--or--or..."
"Cinnamon," said Jane, "I don't know why you think I'm someone special...I'm just a plain woman."
"That's it! Plain Jane and Cinnamon!"
Jane even laughed at that. She smiled down at Cinnamon, and the warmth seized her heart again. She gasped slightly, hoping this wasn't the time her heart would finally--
Jane tripped over a crevice in the sidewalk, and fell, landing on her palms and one knee. "Ouch," she gasped not having felt such pain in some time, then bent her leg to watch her knee. Cinnamon joined her on the ground. A nicely-sized scrape was on Jane's knee, a small trail of blood flowing down her leg. Jane wactched, then stared. The scrape remained, the dark crimson blood visible, a small amount of grit and dirt visible in the wound. Jane lifted her hands and saw two injuries on each of them where her hands had hit, the skin scraped off by the friction, painful and dirty.
Jane stared at her injuries for over a minute, perhaps, she had lost track of time, her face showing nothing but astonishment. How...how was it even possible? Nothing, nothing had changed, except...
Jane turned to Cinnamon slowly. Cinnamon showed only concern. "Is something wrong, Jane?" she asked.
Jane suddenly wrapped her arms around Cinnamon in a hug, holding her closely and clenching her shoulders. "Nothing's wrong..." she breathed, "nothing at all." Jane began to cry, tears emerging from her tawny eyes and sliding down her cheeks then soaking into Cinnamon's clothes. Cinnamon listened to her sob for a second, then returned the hug gently. She didn't understand, but she knew that much.
In only a minute Jane had run out of tears, and she stood, wiping her face with her arm. "Let's go get a snack," she murmured. Cinnamon stood, looked up and agreed, "Yeah."
The picture was of a moderately handsome man with hair in five directions. His eyes showed knowledge and pain, but also hope. A small piece of armor was slung over his left shoulder. "Not...not really," said Jane, taking a nervous sip of her painfully hot coffee.
"Ohhh, I gotcha," said Cinnamon happily. "You like him, but he doesn't even know you exist. Don't worry, Jane, I'll make sure--" She stopped, then studied the picture again, her hand on her chin in a parody of contemplation. "This--" she said, "This is one of those Sentinel geeks, isn't he? Yeah, I remember him from that one news story..." She looked up. "You like a Sentinel?!"
Jane's heart was suddenly full of fear, fear for the first time in...forever, it seemed. But Cinnamon looked up and gave Jane a determined smile and a thumbs-up. "Alright then! We'll just have to grab him and show him how much you like him! Then you'll have him!" A huge grin. "We can do that easy, right?"
Jane had the sudden taste of gunpowder in her mouth. She shook it off and smiled warmly. "Yeah. We can get through it."