Tuesday, January 22, 2013

GZ Legends 32: Tiara of the Mind Pt 1


The mansions of Miami house powerful and influential people. Moving among them are the stinking rich and overly pampered. Ricci Hutchins was just such a person on all counts. Ricci carried herself like a diplomat, but under the surface was all venom. To look at her, you would never see a reddish brown hair out of place. She had a long gray streak in her bangs that she felt dignified her even more. Her beautiful hazel eyes could bring down any man. They could also pierce the soul if Ricci was challenged or angered.

 Behind her back, colleagues joked she had an ego the size of the moon. They were right, but such jokes often lost people their jobs. Many of those people didn’t even work for Ricci. Whenever something didn’t go Ricci’s way, she dumped obscene amounts of money into making it her way. In reality, behind her beauty, Elyse was dark and cruel. When the darkness overtook the Earth, she took it personally, as if it affected no one else but her. That made her a perfect candidate for the Tiara of the Mind.

 Even the Strykeforce Guard and the curators of the museum didn’t know how the Tiara chose its wearers. They always assumed them innocent victims until putting it on. However the Tiara was particularly attracted to female greed and avarice. Ricci found it on her doormat. It did have a little help from Stormy, the man in the top hat, but it was attracted to her very much. Ricci’s eyes were wide with awe as she lifted it from the doorstep. The flawless gems and exquisite precious metalwork were unlike anything she ever experienced. The Tiara shined of platinum and gold, despite the world’s darkness.

“This must be worth hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions,” she gasped. She ran to a mirror in her living room and set it upon her head. Instantly her mind flooded with its psychic power, momentarily taking her breath away.

 “Chesworth!” she called to her butler.

            “I wonder what that bitch wants now,” she heard and spun to face him.

            “What did you just say?”

            “Nothing, Madame, how may I serve you? You female fiend from hell,” His lips didn’t move for the second part.

            She put a hand to the side of her head, “Oh my, I can hear your thoughts, Chesworth.”

            “Oh good, she’s going insane.”

            “What? You, you, GET OUT OF HERE!” She screamed.

            Chesworth gave a shout of terror as his body moved without his control. He dashed out the door and down the front walk as fast as he could go. He didn’t stop for the gate, the sidewalk or even the street. That’s where the car hit him. Ricci couldn’t believe it. Not that Chesworth was dead, but more how powerful she had just become. She shut the door and didn’t bother with calling the police. She had more important things to do.

 In the following days, Ricci built her own empire out of the City of Miami.  She discovered she could only control men, but that was fine with her. She soon had everyman of Miami’s law enforcement as her personal guards. She made slaves of any service personnel who came near and even made a special pet out of the Mayor. Scantily clad men lined up to give her whatever she desired. The most attractive were kept the closest with silver trays of food and drink. Those she deemed less attractive, like the Mayor who was a sort of overweight man, were also scantily clad. But they had to wear diaper type clothing and jester’s caps. She enjoyed making them perform at her whim. Her cruelty had new outlets and she expressed them in ways she never imagined before.

“Good morning, Fat Slob,” she said to the Mayor.

“Good morning, my Queen,” he droned.

“I have a special command for you today. Ask to hear it.”

“May I hear your new command, my Queen?”

“Yes you may! I command you to be fully aware of my control over you in every detail.”

The man’s face turned red, his eyes grew wide and his lips began to tremble.

“Aw, do you want to cry? Go on, cry.”

The Mayor burst into sobs while Ricci laughed.

“Alright, enough, stop crying, I command it. But remain aware of my control, that part is hilarious!”

In his mind he screamed with no other recourse.

All around the property the police held barricades to keep away the women who didn’t like their men being stolen. Every man in Miami now obeyed Ricci, and the city ceased to function. She walked out on her porch to check on two of her prize guards. They had on strange uniforms that she didn’t recognize. Ricci didn’t know who they worked for but their powers, she felt, would protect her well.

“Now what will I do next?” she pondered. “Why stop at Miami? I could take over the world.” She went back inside to ponder the idea.

*****
The portal let Dreamseer, Nightfall, Redeagle, Atomizer, Sandstorm and Kyte out only a few blocks away. Much like Chicago, streets were deserted. Time was getting difficult to track without the sun, but Sandstorm knew it was daytime. Before they set out, Sandstorm insisted that his team get at least 8 hours of sleep. When they went through Traveler’s portal is was 11 AM.

Sandstorm’s trained eye caught movement from windows of the houses around them. People were peeking out their curtains, but so far no one came outside.

            “It’s important that she not see any of you four guys, or she’ll take control of you,” Dreamseer said.

            “I’ll go as air, Kyte can do his thing up in the darkness so we can stay out of sight,” Sandstorm offered.

            “Atomizer and I will hold back and run in, hopefully as a surprise,” Redeagle said.

            “Just make your first shot count. She already has the whole city. She may even sense you after a while, so we may not have much time.” Dreamseer continued.

            “Hey! Hey you!” a red haired woman hissed from a household doorway. “What are you doing? Get in here!”

            They went into the woman’s home where three other women gasped at the sight of them, especially the men.

            “Are you really under your own control?” one of the women asked.

            “For now,” Redeagle answered, “Can you tell us about what’s been happening?”

            “None of us really understands how she’s doing it other than some crazed power or black magic. All we know is that she’s controlling every male over 16 years old. Forcing them to bring all the riches of Miami to her by the truckload. She’s taken over a whole block of  mansions and houses to store it all. She’s insane,” another woman explained.

            “Who is she?” Sandstorm asked.

            “Her name is Ricci Hutchins and she’s a nasty rich woman a couple blocks north. You can’t miss her with her house surrounded by the Miami police department as her personal guards,” the woman of the house said with disdain.

            “Well, we had an idea of where to find her. I guess that will make her obvious,” Redeagle said.

            “Are you going to stop her and get our men back?” the woman asked.

            “We’ll do our best,” Nightfall said, “And we’ll try very hard not to hurt any of them in the process.”

            “If you get too close and you’re a woman, you’ll be shot on sight.”

            “Then we need an approach that can’t be seen,” Sandstorm said, “I think I have an idea for just that.”

            One of the women couldn’t contain her curiosity any longer, she pointed to Kyte and asked, “I’m sorry, but is he an angel? And why can’t we see his face and stuff? What’s all over him?”

            “I am the Kyte, named after a bird of prey. My power causes me to be encased in shadows always. I can control these shadows, reach out and grasp things with them or attack my enemies. Or your enemies. Do you want to see my face?”

            “Yes, I would feel better.”

            The shadows around his face drew back and revealed his rugged features. He had black hair drawn back into a pony tail and long side burns. His square jaw was tight but he smiled slightly with a glitter to his steely eyes. He then brought the shadows back over his face, because it was time to go.

            “You have a nice face,” the woman said with a tear, “You remind me of my husband.”

            “Your husband will return,” Kyte said in his deep monotone, “Sandstorm, what is your idea?”

            “We’ll need the use of your back yard,” Sandstorm said to the woman who invited them in. She led them out to her dark back yard and another woman brought out a couple of flashlights. “Okay, now I need to see where this barricade is. I’ll be right back.” He dissolved into air as he often did, much to the amazement of the women.

            “How did he do that?”

            “He’s an elemental,” Nightfall said, “A very powerful elemental.”

            Sandstorm reappeared. “Okay, it really is only a couple blocks from here. I’m sorry, but I’m about to ruin your back yard. Only temporarily though, I promise.” He held his hands out toward the earth before she could respond. At his command the ground yawned open wide and a tunnel formed. “I’ve managed not to break any pipes as far as I can tell. We’ll just have to be careful and work our way around them.”

            The woman held a hand over her mouth, she could only stare.

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