|Molly Hayes (sleepylilbadass) wrote in utr_logs,
@ 2009-03-26 16:30:00
|ahsoka tano, molly hayes, purifier plot, timey wimey plot
Molly and Ahsoka Save the World, Part Two
Who: Ahsoka Tano and Molly Hayes
What: Time traveling and saving the world. Explaining away a few plots.
When: The distant future (the year 2000!) of 2020, and the distant past of mid-January 2009. Relates to Purifier Plot and Timey Wimey Plot.
Warnings: Ludicrously long. Also lesbians.
Ahsoka's stolen hoodie was a bit uncomfortable, and covering her montrals threw her space perception off a little. Still, Molly was probably right; different colored skin, even orange with white stripes, wasn't uncommon enough in New York to take note. Head-tails and horns were.
Molly had also helped herself to Rahne's winter coat since she hadn't had the chance to buy her own yet. Sneaking out of X-Factor had been a breeze with everyone otherwise distracted with baby Rahne. “How much money do you have?”
“Hm?” Ahsoka was walking behind Molly as best she could. Once they turned the corner and were no longer being assaulted by the wind, she stopped. “What'd you say?”
“How much money do you have? Or did you have? In 2009?”
“I don't know. We can stop at an ATM. Why?”
“We need coats. It's hella cold.” Molly reached into her pocket and pulled out what money she had. “I have... seventy dollars.”
“I think I have a little more than that.” Anakin used to pay Ahsoka part of his paycheck every week until Jamie started paying her himself. She didn't spend a lot of it.
“Good. Here.” Molly took off the coat and put it on Ahsoka. “Take it, you're freezing.”
Ahsoka tried to hand it back, but Molly dodged out of her way. “Come on. I have a jacket, you don't have anything!”
“I have thick skin! Besides, you're going to buy me a coat next Old Navy or Gap or whatever that we pass. A pretty one.”
Ahsoka rolled her eyes, but wrapped the coat around her. “Fine, but if you get pneumonia, Princess, I'm not taking care of you.”
The next store was preceded by the next ATM. Ahsoka felt a little guilty stealing from her past self, but it was, broadly speaking, her money. After she punched in her PIN, she heard a snort from Molly. “What?” Ahsoka demanded.
“Nothing.” She let out another giggle.
“You can't lie to a Jedi Knight.”
“Your PIN number. 7656? Your code is SOLO?”
If Ahsoka's skin had been lighter in tone, she would have blushed. “Shut up. I was fourteen.” Molly was still smiling. “Look, let's just go to the store, we'll buy some coats, then we can track down this Simon guy.”
“I will cut you.”
It was only the fact that they were in such a hurry that got Ahsoka and Molly in and out of the Urban Outfitters so quickly; Molly was the type of girl that liked to try on everything twice, and Ahsoka enjoyed shopping for its resemblance to the hunt. The two of them were a threat to any store with brightly-colored merchandise, but they were in a hurry. They escaped with a change of clothes and a new coat each, plus a new hoodie for Ahsoka. If these clothes were left behind at the end of the week when things would (probably) return to normal, little Ahsoka would be very confused.
The cold was somewhat more manageable now, happily. The first Richard Simon was two blocks away, and while walking against the wind was still unpleasant, it made Ahsoka less inclined to wish for death.
They were in a rather nice part of Midtown. Ahsoka knew that most people would feel intimidated upon entering Richard Simon's building, but Ahsoka had never really acquired much of a New York sensibility about this kind of thing. She was uncomfortable, but a Jedi always knew her place. Right now, her place was on the handle end of a lightsaber, with the business end pointing at Simon's neck, and she just had to get there.
The doorman looked up when they entered and stared at Ahsoka. It was clear that in all his years of turning away people with the wrong skin tone, he'd never had to deal with an orange person before. “May I... help you?”
Ahsoka and Molly exchanged glances. The Jedi spoke first. “We're here to see Richard Simon,” she said in a determined, if polite, tone.
“Uh-huh.” The way he said it suggested that the actual meaning was Nuh-uh. “Your names are?”
Ahsoka waved her hand. “You don't need to know our names.”
“I don't need to know your names,” the doorman agreed.
“We can just go inside.”
“Just head on inside.”
“You'll let us surprise him.”
“He doesn't need to know.”
The doorman gave a friendly wave as Ahsoka and Molly walked over to the elevator. “It never stops being weird, seeing you do that to people,” said Molly, pressing the button.
Ahsoka cocked an eyebrow, or rather, the hairless expanse of white skin where an eyebrow would be. “You do the same thing!”
“I break their brains. You just talk them around your way. It's much more subtle.” The elevator bell rang as it reached the ground floor. When the doors opened, Molly added, “Want to make out in the elevator?”
When they emerged on the fifteenth floor, clothes slightly messy and both of them out of breath, Molly and Ahsoka looked around. “Which way are we going?” Molly asked.
Ahsoka checked her paper. “Richard A. Simon, 15F.” She looked down the hall. “That way.”
15F had a festive holiday wreath that the owner had not gotten around to taking down yet. It was enough to cast doubt as Molly knocked on the door. “Do supervillains celebrate Christmas?”
Ahsoka shrugged. “The Grinch stole it, once.”
“So did Doctor Doom, but I don't think that counts. Then again, maybe he wasn't as big a dick ten years ago.” Molly knocked again, louder.
“He was a big enough dick to have a criminal record.”
“Yeah. The dick.” Molly started pounding on the door now. “Hey! Open up in there!”
Molly's eyes started to glow as she prepared to knock the door down, but Ahsoka put herself between her and the door. “We don't know this guy is evil. We can't just break down doors.”
Her glow fizzled out. “What do you want to do, then?” Ahsoka closed her eyes and waved her hand at the door. There were a couple of clicks as the locks came undone. “Show-off.”
Molly wasn't sure what she'd been expected from an evil lair, but this wasn't it. It had a lot of strange furniture, the type of modern thing that rich people bought because it had the highest price tag in the store. It didn't look very comfortable, anyway. The room as a whole looked like something that had fallen out of a magazine without any consideration for how people's spines actually bended. “What are we looking for?”
“I'm not sure,” said Ahsoka, who was poking through a bookshelf. “Hate literature. A computer. Pictures. Some sign that this is a Purifier's place.”
“In my experience, Purifiers keep plastic on couches and pray a lot.” Molly lifted up the couch to see if he'd hidden anything under there. “My experiences may not be typical.”
“Well, I guess that answers your question. Look for a worn carpet patch and a couch cover. Huh.” Ahsoka took a book off the shelf and started flipping through it.
Molly had started investigating the kitchen by this point. She poked her head out into the living room. “Did you find something?”
“Nothing incriminating. I have this book back home. It's about an alien living on Earth. Don't humans have a habit of burning books they don't like? Seems this would make the cut for most Purifiers.” She opened the front cover. “He even had it signed.”
“I guess this isn't him, then.” Molly put down the refrigerator and dusted herself off. “Let's go check out the next one on the list.”
“I don't know...” Ahsoka put the book back into place. “This one felt... right. I can't place it.”
Molly shrugged. “Hope. Come on, like we were really going to find the right one on the first go? We've still got nine more to go, and one of them will almost definitely want to kill us. Cheer up!”
“Well, since you put it that way.” After being sure everything was where it should be, Ahsoka and Molly left. Ahsoka put the apartment's locks back in order. Molly watched. As they walked to the elevator, Ahsoka said, “You know, one of us should probably point out that it would make more sense to split up.”
“Yeah.” Molly took the list and read through it. “On the other hand, I don't wanna.”
“As long as we're being sensible about it.”
There were nine Richard Simons left on the list. Eight Richard Simons later, it was late, they were tired, and suddenly the survival of the mutant race seemed less important than a shower, a meal that didn't come from a cart, and sleep. Three of the Richard Simons had been home, and very clearly not the one they'd been looking for. Two of them had not matched the physical description, according to the neighbors. One of them, by all accounts, actually was a mutant. One of them was still in pre-school, and the last had simply not filled out a change of address form, and lived in Milwaukee.
They'd saved this one for last because it was closest to X-Factor, and Molly had thought that if they had to go all the way down to the ninth on the list, they'd want to get home soon after. This didn't stop her from complaining as they approached his building, though. “No chance you know any forbidden Jedi massage techniques, do you, Soka?”
“If I did, I'd teach them to you, so you could use them on me.” Ahsoka stretched as she walked. There was a loud crack as she did so. “Ow.”
“Sounds like you need one. Is this it?”
Ahsoka checked the address. “Yes. On both counts.” This apartment building didn't have a doorman, nor a Jedi-proof door, so they just walked in. Molly read the list of names over Ahsoka's shoulder. “Second floor, apartment seven.” Loathe as she was to take the stairs, it was faster than waiting for the elevator, and Ahsoka going ahead of her meant that she had a nice view.
Molly's legs were threatening mutiny against the rest of her body by the time she reached the second floor. Apartment 207 was directly across from the stairwell, however, so she was able to suppress the rebellion. Ahsoka was already knocking on the door by the time Molly dragged herself up.
There was a muffled noise from the other side of the door, then a man appeared that was very clearly not Simon, or at least not Simon the Purifier. “Hello, sir,” said Ahsoka. “We're looking for Richard Simon.”
“You found him.” This man was Simon's opposite in as many ways as was possible while still being the same species. The Purifier was short and slim, while this man practically filled the hallway without even standing in it. The Purifier had neat curly hair and a clean face; this man was shaggy and had a beard so thick it probably had its own ecosystem.
“We must have the wrong Richard Simon, thank you for your—”
“Excuse me,” Molly interrupted. “Do you know anything about the Purifiers?”
Richard Simon looked a bit thrown off. “Do they play for Washington?”
“Never mind,” Ahsoka said. “Come on, Moll—”
“We're both mutants, you know.”
“I'm not a—”
“Shh.” Molly looked at the man again. “Does that bother you?”
“Not particularly.” His smile seemed pretty genuine, save perhaps for the fact that it was surrounded by his face, which he couldn't really help.
“We're also dating.” By this point, Ahsoka wasn't even objecting, just rubbing the bridge of her nose.
“Oh, really? How long?”
“A few years.”
“Well, congratulations. Can I get back to my game, now?”
Molly sighed. “Sure. Have a nice evening, sorry to bother you.” The door closed. “He seemed nice!”
Ahsoka rolled her eyes. “There is something wrong with you.”
“I thought for sure he would know something. I mean, this puts us back at square one, you know?”
“Not yet. There's still the first Richard Simon, the one in Midtown.” Molly's face fell like the Berlin Wall. “But we can wait til tomorrow.” She breathed a sigh of relief. “We have to get Rahne back her clothes, anyway.”
“We'll put it in Anakin's room. She won't say anything. She probably still thinks that no one knows what they're doing.”
After sneaking back into X-Factor and making off with some leftover Chinese food from the refrigerator, Ahsoka and Molly did their best to relax. It wasn't too difficult; eventually, mission after mission after mission resulted in getting so used to urgency that it ceased to be urgent. There were just long periods of rest followed by brief periods of excitement. Eventually Molly managed to fall asleep, which helped Ahsoka relax; the rhythm of Molly's snoring had become a comforting rhythm over the past ten years.
Ahsoka was staring at the plans for the genebomb that had been on the flash drive. They were complex, but she could follow them. Hidden in the blueprints was a small symbol that Ahsoka eventually recognized as a very stylized RS—odds were good that this guy had been the one to design the blueprints. Meaning that he was the only one who knew how it worked. No wonder he'd been the one with time travel access.
“What are you doing?”
Ahsoka turned around to see Molly sitting up in bed, looking bleary-eyed at her. “Go back to sleep, I'll be there in a few minutes.”
“Not what I asked.” Molly crawled across the bed and peered over Ahsoka's shoulder. “Plans?”
“Yeah. It's a weird design.” She tapped the screen. “Look right there.”
Molly stared, looking for what came so easily to Ahsoka. “Don't see it.”
“Here. The bomb targets people with the mutant gene, right? But that means that there's a large part dedicated just to understanding what the mutant gene is.”
“Okay.” Molly had her face buried in Ahsoka's shoulder. “What does that mean for us?”
“I don't know yet. But it seemed like a good idea to have an idea for what to do once we find him.”
“Are you suggesting I didn't have a plan? I had a plan!” Her mock-offended tone would have been more effective had she not yawned in the middle of it.
Ahsoka poked Molly in the forehead. “'Break him' is not a plan. It's arguably the opposite of a plan.”
“Whatever.” Molly sat up and stretched. “Come to bed.”
“In a bit.” Ahsoka focused on her computer again. She heard Molly sigh and springs groan as her weight shifted, then Ahsoka was suddenly being lifted by a pair of very strong arms. “Or now.”
As Molly set her down on the bed, she said, “Saving the world is easier with a good night's sleep. Well known fact.” She kissed Ahsoka on the shoulder. “Good night.”
“Night.” Molly was soon snoring, and the sound soon had Ahsoka following after.
The next morning, Ahsoka woke early and dragged Molly out of bed, something she almost had to do literally. The first Richard Simon was unlikely to leave for work before they got there to see him, but they tried to hurry anyway. Part of this hurrying meant showering together, on the grounds that it should save time. It did very much the opposite.
Once they dressed and slipped unnoticed out of X-Factor, they made up the lost time with a cab ride, running through more of little Ahsoka's hard earned Jedi money. She would have to make it up to herself somehow. She'd buy herself some ice cream when she got home.
Ahsoka pulled up her hood before entering the building. The same doorman was standing guard, but he was distracted easily enough with a wave of Ahsoka's hand. “It's half past seven,” she said. Her cell phone belonging to a company that didn't exist yet, its only function was as a pocket watch. “If he's not there, we're going to wait for him this time. He's our only lead, and I don't want to miss out on him. Nothing will get us out of this guy's apartment.”
They reached the fifteenth floor and found a very familiar looking man waiting for the elevator. He saw Ahsoka and smiled. “Hey, I didn't know there were any mutants living here. Going down?”
“...huh?” said Ahsoka eloquently.
“Are you... Richard Simon?” Molly asked disbelievingly as he got into the elevator.
“One of them! Have we met?” The smile remained on his face.
“Well, I'm lost,” said Molly.
“What... what do you know about the Purifiers?” asked Ahsoka, not quite believing that she was thinking straight.
“Do they play for Washington?”
“No. They're an anti-mutant hate group.” On any given day, she could usually find three people to glare at her for walking down the street. This week, she was running into every good and decent person in New York City. It was a pain in the ass.
“Hm.” Richard Simon watched the floors tick away on the elevator panel. “Sounds like something my brother would know about. Dick got into a lot of trouble that way.”
Molly had looked as if she was about to put her head through the wall until he said that. “Dick? As in, Richard?” That was the familiarity. He looked a few years younger (as he would) and had longer hair and a neatly-trimmed goatee, but aside from that, he was almost identical.
“Yeah, weird, isn't it? Both of us were named for our dad. Haven't talked to Dick in a while, though. He got involved with some bad people, folks kicked him out. Shame, he had to drop out of MIT.”
“That's who we're looking for!” There was a special kind of excitement in Ahsoka's voice that one only has when tracking down a genocidal hate criminal. “Do you have his address?”
“No, I'm sorry.” The elevator opened on the ground floor and he walked out. Just before he reached the door, he paused. “If it helps, he was working at a small computer company in the Bronx. Think it's called... Pomegranate? Pineapple? Some fruit with a P.”
Papaya Computers, Ltd. was a small computer company in the Bronx and there were quite a few people standing outside it. None of them looked too happy about it. Molly picked one at random and tapped him on the shoulder. “What's going on?”
He looked as if his first answer would normally be “What's it to you?” but he was temporarily ignoring that impulse. “Eh, some guy locked himself in there. Got the only key. I called a locksmith, but they're going to be a few hours. This, on top of everything else... one of my best guys called in sick today, says he's twelve. Another's his own grandpa. I don't even know.”
“Who's in there?”
“Dick Simon. Dick Simon who's getting fired once I get this door open.” Molly and Ahsoka exchanged a look. “Y'know what? Fuck it. HEY EVERYBODY! GO HOME! COME BACK TOMORROW. NO ONE TURN TWELVE, I GOT NO BOX ON THE PAPERWORK FOR THAT!”
Once her ears stopped ringing, Molly walked over to Ahsoka. “Guess that means we're in the right place. Think it's a coincidence?”
“I think it's a good thing we got here when we did.” The employees started to disperse, some walking to the subway, others to their cars. Soon it was just Molly and Ahsoka and a locked door. A wave of Ahsoka's hand later, it was Molly and Ahsoka and an unlocked door. “Isn't my way better than punching?”
“No. When I open doors, they stay open.” Molly didn't see anything she wouldn't expect to see. In fact, it was pretty boring; the most interesting sight was Ahsoka removing her hood. “Once again, this guy fails to live up to the codes set forth by supervillains before him. It's disappointing, is what it is.”
Ahsoka and Molly swept the room carefully, looking for cameras, microphones, bombs, or anything that might hasten their deaths. There was nothing dangerous but a half-eaten tuna melt in a cubicle. “He must be somewhere. That guy said he was locked in, not locked out. And I'd be willing to bet he's almost done doing whatever he came here to do.”
“What makes you say that?”
“If he's doing something here, he probably wants it to stay secret. And it's not going to stay secret for long if they bust in here with a locksmith and the police.” Molly and Ahsoka tried to think, but Ahsoka was faster. “And if I were going to do something in secret, I would do it somewhere no one else had reason to go to. I bet there's a basement here somewhere.”
As it happened, there was. Molly “opened” the door, then carefully placed the door next to the now permanently open doorway. “See? My way works better.”
“Bravo.” Ahsoka led the way downstairs. It turned out not to lead to a basement, but a loading dock, and a rather large one. It would have been larger still if not for much of the back of the room being occupied by a massive genebomb.
Molly let out a whistle. “Wow. I know it wants to kill me, but I'm still impressed.” The bomb loomed like an angry giant. The handheld devices that Ahsoka and Molly had seen before could wipe out a block—this looked like it could handle the planet. “I think I should have read those plans of yours.”
“Indeed you should have.” The new voice came from the door leading outside. Simon, Simon the Purifier, was standing there with a revolver. “I noticed you got rid of my workmates. I should thank you for sparing me the effort.”
Molly was only occasionally wary of guns, having been shot at more or less continuously since she was eleven. But it was hard to be afraid of much with Ahsoka around. The worst he could do was miss. Still, she decided to play along. “What makes you think we haven't got you right where we want you?” she exclaimed, her voice loaded with fake bravado.
“Hard to say. Perhaps it's the fact that I have a gun pointed at your head, or the fact that there's no one else in this building who could help you. Or the fact that my brother called me to report that a 'cute orange girl' came looking for me, hoping this meant that I had put aside my 'racist' leanings. I managed to put it together that it was you, even though he didn't mention the horns.”
“I told you,” said Ahsoka quietly.
Molly shrugged. “Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.”
“Excuse me. I have a gun. Eyes forward. You might be interested to know that the device behind you is deadly not only to the genejoke—” he indicated Molly— “but also you, young lady. And all those like you. With every sample of DNA we acquire, we will be able to target that subset of your demonic breed. And soon, humanity will once more be left to its own devices.”
“Then why are you still alive?” Ahsoka demanded. If she would have had any hair, she would be bristling. It was probably the genejoke comment, Molly thought. “I read your plans. You should be dead by the time this... thing is operational.”
“I have rethought my plans. I have decided that I am too indispensable. After all, only I know the intricacies of this device. The others know how to use it, but not how it works. And I intend to keep it that way.” Molly assumed Thou Shalt Not Suffer A Mutant To Live extended to Thou Shalt Not Suffer A Human To Live Either If Killing Him Makes Killing Mutants Easier.
“You can't have built this alone,” said Molly. “It's huge, and you've only been here as long as we have.”
“Hm. Quite right. I suppose you're not a total loss, for a mutant. No, I did have help. Help that will presumably be retrieving the bomb at some point today. Why else would I have a hangar for my office? Do you really think anyone could be that egotistical?”
“You think God talks to you.”
Simon ignored her and cocked the gun. “Now, who to kill first? Ah, I know. Eeny, meeny, miney... mutant.”
It was the wrong choice to make.
Ahsoka ignited her lightsaber and attacked. Simon fired twice; she vaporized each bullet without any apparent effort. By the time he tried to squeeze the trigger again, his hand was no longer attached to his arm. He started to scream; Ahsoka brought her lightsaber hilt down on his temple and he collapsed, unconscious.
Molly walked over and poked him with her toe. “What did you need me for, again?”
Ahsoka extinguished her lightsaber. “Heavy lifting. Move him. And this.” She moved the hand onto his chest, leaving the gun behind. She kicked it into the shadows. “I need to sabotage this thing.”
“Why don't we just break it? I can break it. Believe me, I can break anything.”
Ahsoka was already standing at the machine, pondering how to deal with its inner workings. “You'd run the risk of having it go off. And I've become attached to you. Besides, if this thing is destroyed, they'll just come up with another plan. We know that time will fix itself at the end of the week, so we won't be here to stop them. If it's sabotaged, they'll put all their effort into this one for months.” Months... something in Ahsoka's mind clicked. “Besides, I think I know what I need to do.”
“Okay, if you say so.” Molly picked up Simon and carried him over to the far wall. “How long do you think this'll take?”
“I don't know. Why?”
“Lefty here said that he had more Purifiers coming to take it away. And I love you, Soka, but...”
“I know.” Ahsoka was a Togruta and proud of it, but it could be a pain sometimes.
“I could just beat them up.”
“No, they have to take it. They can't suspect anything if this is going to work.”
Ahsoka circled the machine until she found a panel she could open. She kicked it a few times before it popped off. “Ugh. I knew we should have told Anakin about this.” She crawled inside and started to work.
Three trucks from shipping companies that were almost certainly fake pulled up. One of them was even named Purity Limited. Molly knocked on the edge of the machine. “We've got Purifiers. Hurry up.”
Ahsoka stuck out an orange hand with her thumb up.
As Molly waited, her eyes fell on the unconscious body of Richard Simon. “Shit!” She hurried over to him and threw him over her shoulder, then ran him across the room to the stairwell and all but threw him inside. She let out a sigh of relief—prematurely, as it happened, because his hand was still on the other side of the room. She ran back over and picked it up, then ran it over to the stairwell with a chant of, “This is gross, this is gross, this is gross...”
Molly closed the door on the unconscious man and straightened her clothes, remembering at the last second to tuck away the X-shaped Mutant Pride symbol she wore around her neck.
The drivers of each of the trucks came in. A short guy was joking with a surprisingly pretty girl as they entered. A very tall, very thin black man seemed to be the ranking Purifier here, since the others looked to him before they opened the doors to their trailers. He nodded and they slid open, almost in unison, revealing more than a dozen men in each hold.
Molly glanced back at the machine and saw Ahsoka's backside sticking out a little bit. She was still working. “Damn,” she muttered. She tried to think quickly. “Wait!”
“Hmm?” The leader turned around. “Where's Brother Simon?”
“He asked me to meet you. I'm Marilyn Yorkes.” It was her favorite pseudonym when she had to lie to people. “I was just finishing my part of the genebomb. Your people are part of the union, right? Otherwise, I'm afraid I'll have to ask you to okay it with them.”
They stared for a moment, then the woman broke into laughter. The rest of them followed soon after. “We should scan this one for being funnier than any human should be!” she said to the short man.
The tall man sobered first. “Everything ready for us? What's that?” He indicated the open panel.
Molly turned around quickly. “Oh-I-just-forgot-to-close-after-I-was-d
Over the next fifteen minutes, the movers tore apart the machine piece by piece. She noticed that they were all marked, probably so they could be put back together by someone who didn't really know what they were doing. The drivers were mostly watching and directing. Molly, forcing herself to play the part of the gracious host, went over to them.
They noticed her and gave a polite smile, which she only just returned. “Did he ever tell you how it worked?” asked the tall one.
“No, I'm afraid not,” Molly replied.
“It's actually fascinating. It targets the mutant gene and then changes it so it's not compatible with the human body—or,” he corrected himself with a chuckle, “the facsimile these demons have for themselves. They basically fall apart. It's apparently quite a sight to see.” He sighed. “But I suppose we'll all be seeing it soon enough, God willing.”
“Yeah. Yeah, God willing.” Molly's hands formed themselves into fists without her realizing it.
“The best part is, the more information we enter, the more it will target. Soon we will be able to eliminate those so-called metahumans and Jedi and even the pretenders that call themselves gods.” He sighed again, as if the joy was too much to take. “Brilliant design. Where is Brother Simon, anyway? I'd like to shake his hand.”
“Oh, his hand has had about all the shaking it can take. He's... resting. So much excitement.”
“I understand. I should finish loading my truck.” She wondered if it was possible to break his head open without giving away the fact that she was a mutant. Probably not. “Just think: I'll be able to tell my children that I saved the world for them.” It was a lucky thing he happened to be looking away just then, because her eyes started to glow fiercely and she had to force them back to normal.
“I'll get out of your hair.” Her teeth were clenched, but he didn't seem to notice. “God go with you,” she added, for good measure.
“And with you, Sister.”
They were all packed up in a few minutes; apparently Simon had built the thing to be modular enough for easy transport. It made Molly want to throw up to think about it. When the last Purifier truck drove away, Molly knocked on the closet door. “It's safe.”
Ahsoka emerged, clearly as disturbed as she was. “You did better than I would have,” she said.
“That's a lie and you know it. I almost ripped his head off.” She ran her fingers through her hair and exhaled. “At least you got done before they got here.”
“It wasn't that hard.”
“What did you do, anyway?”
“Remember what he said about targeting genes and turning it into something else? I took out the targeting information and switched the genetic reprogramming to the mutant gene information stored on the bomb.”
Molly ran that through her head a few times. “You're turning everyone into a mutant?” Her memory caught up with her. “You did it?”
She couldn't tell if Ahsoka looked proud or embarrassed. “I didn't have much choice. That was the only way to sabotage it without it hurting someone.”
Molly blinked. “I'm impressed.”
“You should be. Now, as for Simon...”
“I threw him in there.” Molly indicated the stairwell. “He lost a hand, and I wasn't very gentle with him, so he's probably not doing great.”
“We'll get Simon and take him back to X-Factor. The timestream will just have to deal with it; we can't watch him alone.” Ahsoka opened the door and looked down. “Oh no.”
Simon wasn't where they'd left him. His hand was, which was possibly more disturbing. It was pointing upstairs as if he'd positioned it that way. “Gross!” Molly kicked it. “Is he leading us into a trap or misdirecting us?”
Ahsoka closed her eyes as she did when she was using the Force, but seemed to have no success. “I don't know.”
“We'll split up then. I'll stay down here, you go looking upstairs. Be careful.”
Ahsoka grinned like the predator she was. “You be careful. I'm a Jedi.”
As she disappeared up the stairs, Molly added, “That attitude's going to get you into trouble someday!” She returned to the loading dock. A few crates were still stacked haphazardly around the room, as if no one had used it for a while—which was probably the case, come to think of it, otherwise it would have been difficult for Simon to get his work done. There were so many places to hide, though.
Molly decided to deal with the most important thing first, however: the gun. Ahsoka had kicked it into the shadows of a large box. Molly tossed it effortlessly out of the way.
The gun was gone. “Shit.” That wasn't enough. “Double shit!” Better.
“This is just not my day.”
The voice was breathless and furious, and most importantly, directly behind her. Molly turned around very slowly to find Simon standing there, his gun pointing directly at Molly's head. “Triple shit.” The idea of attacking him occurred to her, but he'd pull the trigger before her mind control took hold, and she wasn't resistant enough to damage to take a bullet to the head at two paces.
Simon was sweating, pale, and probably in danger of going into shock, but his grip on the gun was steady. He blinked and licked his lips. “Not my day at all. First, my damned father lives—”
“That's a bad day for you, is it?” The fake bravado returned, but more to convince herself than to convince him. “No wonder he kicked you out.”
“I. Am. TALKING!” He cocked the gun and pointed it again. “Yes. He and I did not get along. But my father was supposed to die today. Do you think I picked this week out of a hat? No. My bleeding-heart brother talked him around to writing me back into the will. I would buy this company and use it as a front while acquiring DNA for you and your f-f-f-freak friends. Once you were all dead, there would be no more need for the Purifiers. My life would be guaranteed, and I would be the savior of humanity. And now it's ruined. The old m-m-man lived. By all accounts he's thirty now, in the prime of his life, making amends for all his mistakes. Ha. Ha. Except for those against me, of course.” The gun wavered slightly, but it was still pointing at Molly's head. “They have my bomb now. I'm willing to bet your alien friend did something, so I suppose my life is still necessary until I can fix it. Oh, but the price of my death will be worth it. My only regret is that I will not be able to see you people washed away in a river of your own blood. Ha. At least I will get to see one of you die.” He smiled a demented, nauseous kind of smile. Molly wanted to look away, but couldn't bring herself to. “Goodbye, genejoke.”
The look of sick triumph changed very suddenly. The smell of burned flesh assailed Molly's nose as Simon fell to the ground, a perfectly circular hole burned through his chest. Ahsoka extinguished her lightsaber and looked down at his body. “Watch your language.”
Molly almost collapsed to the ground with him. She noticed a few wet spots on the ground, then brought her fingers to her face to discover she was crying. “How stupid,” she gasped. “How many times have people tried to kill me? My own parents did. I wasn't... I wasn't scared.” Her voice was steady, but her eyes didn't stop.
“I was.” Ahsoka took Molly's hand and pulled her over.
“Me too.” She wrapped her arms around Ahsoka and closed her eyes. “Thank goodness you're so attached to me.”
“Well, attachment, Jedi aren't allowed that. Let's just say I'm used to having you around.” She smiled and started to lean in when the world dissolved around them.
Very suddenly, Ahsoka found herself with her lightsaber against the throat of a man she'd just stabbed through the heart. The wound was still there, in fact; he slumped over and fell to the ground. “What just happened?” asked Ahsoka.
“I think we're back home. This is the same building the Purifiers were in. We're back to the future. Where's Michael J. Fox?”
Ahsoka usually ignored the references she didn't understand, and this was no different. “Why?” Then she answered herself, “Because it was his time travel device. It was tied to him. That's probably why we both had such vague memories of the time we spent that week and why we just woke up at home at the end of it, because the trip was different for us.”
“We were only there for half a week, tops. Why'd it take so long to get back to normal?”
“I dunno. Time travel's weird, everyone knows that.”
“There they are!” The shouts came from down the hall. “Get them!”
Ahsoka raised an eyebrow, then nodded in recognition. “That's right, we were in a battle for our lives.”
“What else is new?” Molly picked up the former Mr. Richard Simon and threw him as hard as she could. It (or he) knocked down a few of the Purifiers, with another few stumbling over their fallen brothers. “Well, that was the grossest thing I've ever done. We should run.”
Ahsoka rushed through the nearest door, which led to another hallway. “None of these doors are exits. Why are none of these doors exits? Why do Purifiers hate leaving places?”
Molly opened a door at random. There was a kitchen inside. “This probably isn't a way out either.” Another door was a bathroom. “Useful. Keep this one in mind, we might be coming back here.”
Ahsoka used her lightsaber to weld the door shut. “That bought us a minute.” The Purifiers started pounding from the outside. “Or less.”
“Hey, this is a thing.” Molly had found some kind of control room. There were monitors and computers everywhere. “It says all the cells are empty.”
“Well, that's good.” Ahsoka looked around the room. On the far wall was a drab gray button underneath a sign that said Self-Destruct: In Event Of Invasion. “This can't be that easy, can it?”
Molly glanced at it, then stared. “I wouldn't imagine, but... maybe. Press it.”
“I'm not going to press it. It has to be a trap. What kind of idiot would leave a button out in the open with a sign like Initiate Purifier Base Self Destruct?”
An alarm started blaring suddenly. “Voice Command Authorized. Purifier Base Self Destruct Initiated. Time to Destruction Sixty Seconds. Have a Nice Day.”
“Huh. Didn't see that coming,” said Molly. “Remember when I said we should run? Let's do more of that.”
Ahsoka and Molly ran through the hall, a few Purifiers here and there mostly ignoring them. Killing mutants was all well and good, but they wanted to go on to enjoy the brave new world. “Forget this. I have a better way.” Ahsoka picked a convenient wall, turned on her lightsaber, and cut a hole through it. It led, unsurprisingly, to a hallway, but there was a small window at the end of this one. She and Ahsoka ran to the end of the hall and opened the window, broadly speaking.
The lightsaber-cut hole led outside, but the ground wasn't close enough to be safe, and they had to get away fast. “Any ideas?”
“Good news. You know that superstrength I have? It extends to my legs.” Molly picked up Ahsoka and backed up a bit, then ran to the newly-made door. At the last possible second, she leapt with all the strength she had, flying hundreds of feet up and away from the building.
As they landed on the highest level of a parking garage some distance away, the Purifier's building collapsed. For all of their innumerable faults, Purifiers did know how to make a wire a self-destruct sequence. There were exciting-looking explosions all around, but the building itself didn't go anywhere; all of the rubble stayed centered, ideally on quite a few of the Purifiers.
Molly practically fell to the ground, exhausted. “I've had my action movie quota for the year.”
Ahsoka sat down next to the collapsed Molly. “Well, Princess, we've just crippled the Purifiers, earned a big pile of money for a hazardous mission, escaped with our lives, and traveled through time. How do you want to celebrate?”
Molly looked over at Ahsoka and didn't try to hide what was going through her mind. “Sex. Then? More sex. After that, I'm thinking about sex. Maybe some pie, but I want sex either before, after, or during, if possible. Eventually our bodies will tell us that we've had enough. That, that dear Soka, is when we ignore our bodies. We power through. We, in fact, continue to sex.”
“Of course. Think we should go home first?”
“Sure, if you want to be boring.” Molly managed to get up to her hands and knees, then all but jumped on top of Ahsoka. Ahsoka, being a Jedi, saw it coming. Ahsoka, being a girl in love, didn't do anything about it.
After a minute, Ahsoka's phone rang. She groaned. She answered, “This better be important, Jamie, I'm kissing Molly.”
“Okay, go tell Jamie I'm kissing Molly, then call me back.”
Anakin dutifully ignored her. “I saw an explosion on the news. This'll be you, I expect.”
“A little bit.”
“Well done. When are you going to be home? Jamie's already planning a party.”
Molly was making frantic gestures. Ahsoka had no idea what they were meant to mean, but she knew what she would be gesturing. “A few hours. You know, crosstown traffic, finding a cab at... three in the afternoon, on a sunny day in May, it's a nightmare. Ahem.”
“Uh-huh. Just make sure you don't come home in each other's clothes again.”
“Thank you, Master.”
“I will, Master.”
“Bye, Master!” said Molly.
“Molly says bye.”
There was a party to get to. There were hands to be shaken, drinks to be had, and reports to be filled out. Saving the world was easy, but the aftermath was a pain. But for a while, even with sirens screaming and lights flashing and dust settling, there were Molly's arms and peace and an entire world to ignore.