Out of Body
US Angel found herself in crushing darkness, bones broken, unable to breath, juices in the belly of the snake beginning to burn her flesh. The previous 48 hours flashed through her mind from abduction and transport by the Barbarian to delivery to these maniacal fanatics that called themselves the Order of the Serpent.
The xenophobic and severely unwashed masses about the pit shouted ethnic epithets, the whole thing on tape after all, as a sort of defiant gesture to those who would dare to defy them. Unbeknownst to them, there was something in black sneaking up behind the cultist film crew...and just as the going was getting good...the red light on the camera stops, lights start to fizzle and pop.
US Angel had done her best to break free when she realized she was to be sacrificed to a giant snake, even sending a fanatic with a knife to his doom inside the belly of the beast before her, but in the end the Barbarian's boot had sent her into the pit to join him. Now she felt herself broken and being digested while the fanatics chanted, "Down with the USA" all around the edges of the pit.
A bit of confusion circled around the cultists, but this thing was practically in the can anyway. Many of the group started to mill about impatiently as someone rushed to get the auxiliary power on. The blackness skitters off in the back of the crowd, some of the crew stumbling over it as they peer down into the pit, noting that their sacred snake was...feeling somewhat queasy.
US Angel seemed as good as dead as a bulge in the coils of the giant serpent. Surely there could be no escape from the crushing muscular gullet and the burning digestive juices. That's when by pure chance her hand found the knife of the fanatic swallowed before her. Desperately she grasped the handle and frantically began slashing. The snake began to writhe, coils whipping about as it went belly up. Angel crawled forth through a bloody slit in the scaly skin, flopping to her back in exhaustion, naked and glistening with slick fluids, hair matted to her head, chest heaving as she tried to breathe.
Needless to say, the emergence from the naked slimy heroine from the belly of the snake brought the shouting masses into a prolonged, shocked silence. There was a small cough though. The sense of hate turned to one of awe for some of the younger members, who start giving silent chants as a doorway started to slide open at the bottom of the pit.
US Angel could barely get lift her head to look to the sound of the rising door, knuckles whitening as they clenched the knife in her hand. But she reached down deep, summoning all of her willpower to get to her feet and meet whatever challenge might be next. She stood there naked and defiant, managing to sputter a hoarse epithet to her crowd of captors. "Eat me, you pathetic pigs!"
What filed through the door were five robed high-ranking elders, AK-47s in tow. They weren't so much pissed that this heathen American survived this ordeal, or the fact that she had killed the holiest of their serpents. No, it was the fact that her triumph was leading to a crisis of faith in their cult, and that schism could turn deadly as the cultists on top cheered and praised the "Naga".
US Angel saw the robed men and their automatic weapons. She reacted instinctively with action. She threw the knife in her hand at the closest elder and rushed him. If the knife struck home she intended to take his weapon as he fell and turn it on the others.
The knife slammed into the elder's forehead, the heroine able to grab the gun out of the air before he fell dead to the bloodied pit floor. The others fired as best they could in the closed confines as Callie trades shots. Two stagger back, well perforated, as the two other spray the lead at center of mass, hoping to cut the heretic in two.
US Angel jiggled all over from the recoil of the weapon as she spun to cut down the robed men, getting two of them before she herself was hit by the fusillade of returning fire. The gun was knocked from her hands and she was driven back as if by rapid vicious punches, red spots erupting across her glistening naked form. Angel wished the bullets to pass on through her body without harm; and pass through they did, but doing great harm, ripping through vital organs. She had a brief sensation of being outside her body watching as it staggered backwards against the wall of the pit, pinned there until the fusillade ended and she slumped to the ground, dead.
Callie's body slumped down, all started to fade to red, then a bright white as the two cultists slowly approached the heroine. Then, a bunch of ungodly screeching and squealing as the outraged cultists cried blasphemy on the god killers, some jumping down into the pits, tearing and clawing at the elders with bloody fury, a holy war erupting right there in that cauldron of death.
US Angel had suffered damage beyond that which even her artificial regeneration matrix could repair. And so she just laid there on the sand on her side, her plumb rump awkwardly up in the air, her breasts like her head lolled to the sand where a pool of blood was forming. Thus she was unaware that she had started a local revolution in this god-forsaken place.
Probably she would have been unaware too of the two blackish tentacles that snuck out from the doorway, hooking around her body, dragging it slowly, slowly, slowly to the pit doorway, and into the darkness. Hard to say what might be happening there, but soon the doorway shut amidst cries of vengeance, blood-curdling death screams and the faint sounds of sirens in the distance.
US Angel was an inert mass of shapely flesh, riddled with bullet holes and broken bones, covered with a nasty film of sticky fluids including her own blood and that of the serpent, both caked with sand from the pit floor. In short the dead heroine was a mess as her broken form was dragged away into the darkness.
The black mass that pulled her in also started to engulf her again. Only this time, her head was sticking out as everything from the neck down got massaged and worked down by the goo. The hours stretched by as the black blob just caressed, slowly fishing out the slugs from the body, starting to give off an internal...glowing?
It seemed like days that she was flittering out of dreamstate and just a bright white. More of those images of past adventures flashing before her eyes as the black opaque cocoon started to work a static charge about her nipples, giving a test jolt to her heart. True, this goes against all theorems of Earth medicine to bring back those from the casque of death, but Callie's friend...wasn't certainly from earth. Another jolt, trying to get her natural abilities to restart at least.
US Angel was kept warm and blood circulating by the enveloping mass. She dreamed of heaven and hell and of a chaotic struggle between the two which threatened to pull her apart, specifically of being drawn and quartered by the four horsemen of the apocalypse. As consciousness began to return she again had that sensation of being outside her body, watching as it was repaired by the tar being. Angel found it odd to observe the seething mass in the shape of her own naked flesh even as at the same time she experienced the oddly familiar alien caress on her flesh, seeping into every nook and cranny, flowing along every curvaceous contour. She awoke with a sudden puzzled start. "Cangly? Ohmygawd, Cangly!"
The black mass felt like lead on her, making sure she didn't jump up suddenly. A familiar chittering broke the silence, a tentacle stroking at her forehead. "Don't move too fast, boss. You had more holes drilled into you than a pegboard. Take deep breaths now."
US Angel took her first breath and choked, sputtering as she struggled to understand that she was alive. She was still healing to be sure, but alive. Big brown eyes blinked. "But Cangly... I... like I thought I was dead... you know... I had the strangest sensation of like being outside my body... what did you do?"
The blob formed some eyestalks, close to her cleavage, so they could see eye to eye as he feels her body start to regenerate. "Uh, would you believe CPR?" It slightly looks away. It was silent now. The local police had come and gone, carrying off the bloody remains of the combatants long ago.
US Angel swallowed hard, finding it hard to recall what had happened, distracted by the odd sensations still occurring inside and all over her skin, tingling like fresh oil after a bath. "Like seriously? That's all? I guess my regen matrix is like even better than I thought... how did I... you... we... get here?"
"Uh, well, it's kinda hazy for me to be honest. What matters now is that you need to lie down low for a few days, unless you're in the mind to be attracting more of those snake fiends down on ya." The blob neglects to mention the only reason it was here was because it was worried sick for her former co-star.
US Angel blinks. "Snake fiends? Like what are you talking about? I'm..." She got a suddenly troubled expression, nibbling at her own lip. "It's like right there on the tip of my tongue and stuff... but I can't remember!" She began to cry, tears rolling down her cheeks.
The black goo feels lighter, allowing Callie to sit up as it pools about her lap, uncovering her top for a bit as it wraps its tentacles about her in a nice hug. "Near-death experiences are hell on the short-term memory. It comes back after a while. No need to rush. What's important is we get going. You...know any contacts around here?"
US Angel shook her head as she was hugged, her firm boobs flattening out against the blob. "Like where is here... was I like abducted by aliens again or something... is this another episode of Space Fox?" Her eyes swept to the darkness to hide her confusion. "You know I thought the show had been cancelled... like did the fiends return for me anyway?"
Cangelosi just stared at her. It'd be so easy to have her think this was still a continuation of their disastrous pilot show...but he was a blob with morals. Though...she did look so hot with that hood and that leotard so tight against her...it chuffed, sounding like a cleared throat and just jiggled. "If I said that they DID return, will you and I be friends again and fight off the menaces like old days?"
US Angel narrowed her eyes and covered her exposed breasts with her hands. "What do you mean by... old days? That was just like a couple of weeks ago wasn't it?" Her heart rate was up and she was trying to inch away from him now on her bare bottom.
There were some noises. Sounds like cleaners were finally getting around to hosing people down. Cangelosi muttered and chittered. "You'll stick out like a sore thumb here, boss. Local folks aren't too wild about the Americans here. Gonna have to give you a disguise..."
US Angel began to cry again as she realized how lost she was, unable to recall where she was or how she got here, or even her own name. Still she knew the blob and that he had helped her before. She stood up and wiped her eyes. "What sort of disguise?"
The blob crawls up her again, taking the form of a burka over the heroine's body, hiding her nude body, providing slits for her own eyes. Seemed like a proper get-up. Just then, the doors open, two Arabian gentlemen peeking in, a bit startled to see a woman in this place.
US Angel bowed her head, watching carefully, having no idea who these men were or what to say. Instead she simply nodded and started to shuffle past the two men that just entered, hoping it would be considered rude for them to stop and unhood her.
Callie's assertions are right, as the two step aside. Hell, they just finished cleaning up the largest gutted snake they had ever seen. The sudden appearance of a woman in a burka was not really going to phase them. Cangelosi whispered in her ear as they went up the stairs, past the police tape, into the darkened streets.
US Angel listened quietly as the blob explained that they were in a tribal region of Anarchistan far from any sort of CHANCE or CHANGE presence. The air was warm and she began to sweat beneath the living burka as she whispered, "So what day is this?"
Callie is led down the tight alleyways, past the milling markets and shopfronts, barely getting a look from the others as Cangly keeps whispering in her ear. “Uh...Sunday, I think. You went missing ten days ago and it took you four days for you to get healed up..."
US Angel wanders aimlessly while trying to look like she knows where she's going. "So like mid April then?" She nods and just keeps walking past the open market and storefronts. "So like what do we do next? Is anybody else looking for me? Belle? The Danger Dolls? I mean I AM SHOCK champion!"
The blob hems and haws a little, allowing her to lean against a door to catch her breath. "Uh...actually...if I'm remembering this right...everyone thinks you're...dead..."
US Angel blinked as Cangly gave her the good news, her eyes going to a television in a local shop they were passing. The picture was a bit fuzzy, but people were gathered about watching a replay of footage of Angel being eaten by a giant snake. "Authorities in Empire City have confirmed that US Angel is dead..." But she is even more shocked by the dateline on the screen. "But Cangly... isn't it like 2010?"
"Well, remember that me bringing you back from the dead was gonna do hell to your short term memory? It's gonna come back, boss. Honest..." Cangelosi sounded genuinely concerned. Maybe she needed a place to lie down, clear her head somewhere. It then had an idea. "I think there's a safehouse around the corner here...near one of the embassies."
US Angel made a face. "They like actually have embassies here? Then let's find the Empire one and stuff... I want to go home!" She froze in place, eyes glued to the television. "Not only is US Angel confirmed dead but her teammates Blue Belle, Chickfighter and Serendipity are also missing and presumed dead according to Danger Deb team captain Lavender Lass." Callie sank to her knees.
The blob chuffed, cradling Callie as best it can. "Callie...we...we gotta keep moving, okay? The most important thing right now is YOU aren't dead, okay? And you know the other girls. They gone through tougher scrapes...hell, they'll probably laugh this up once you're all retired and such..."
US Angel got to her feet, sobbing as she padded her way along the dirty street, numbly following Cangly's directions, everything swirling about her. "Callie? Callie! That's my name! Calliope Sacramento!"
The blob squealed. "See? SEE? Told ya...now...next door to the right...go up the stairs. There should be a nice room waiting for us, boss...and probably a new set of clothes..." The two kept going passed a few more locals, who did nothing more than stare at them oddly as they passed.
US Angel followed her burka's suggestion and entered the room at the top of the stairs. She looked around. Not much. A bed. A nightstand. A closet. She went to the closet to check for clothes. "Like I think you can get your seething tentacles off me now, Cangly... not that I'm not like appreciative..."
Cangly slips off the moment she locks the door to the outside world, forming into a cute, compact, familiar blob shape. "No offense taken, boss. I remember you weren't the touchy-feely type..."
US Angel nods to the blob as she searches for something she likes in the closest and then realizes it's basically another burka. "At least there's underwear..." She scowls at Cangly as she puts on the undies, struggling with the bra clasp. "I'm still kinda stiff... could you like help me with this?"
The blob hops up on the bed, tentacles quite adept in clasping the bra. It should have. It's had experience tearing off plenty of undergarments in its previous jobs. "No worry about me trying to take a snuggle to you, boss. I'll be on the lookout. You get as much sleep as you can, eh?"
US Angel nods and lies down on the bed in only bra and panties. "Sounds like a plan... then we have to find a way out of here and back to Empire City... I like can't believe I've lost a whole year of my life... I hope you're right about it coming back to me and stuff..." She is so tired that she is out almost as soon as her sweaty body stretches out.
The covers are pulled over Callie's body, then the blob walks over to the window, keeping silent vigil...waiting...hoping...
Cangly is not only ready to proceed, but by the time Callie awakens, he's gotten some cereal waiting for her on the table, along with a small box marked DDSTV STUDIO PROPERTY stamped upon it.
US Angel sighs and rolls over before actually awakening, wrestling with her blanket, knuckles white as they clench. "Oh Possum... how could you... I..." Her eyes flutter open, her limbs extend and stretch. She groans as newly healed muscles protest a bit. She looks around and suddenly remembers where she is. "Cangly?"
The blob was looking out the window. The first call to prayers was still continuing as it glanced back to Callie on the bed. "Morning, boss. I...erm...scrounged what I can up for you. Hope you didn't mind."
US Angel wraps the blanket about her as she gets up and makes her way over to the cereal, bare feet padding across the floor. She nods and begins to eat the cereal ravenously, asking with her mouth full, "So... mmm... what's... mmhhmm... like... in the box?"
Cangly hopped off the chair, scooting over. "Miss Susan gave me permission to borrow some things from the studio just in case you ran into more trouble than usual." It slid the lid back, revealing her Space Fox uniform and, more importantly, her ray gauntlets.
US Angel blinked and looked from the blob to the costume and back to the blob as his words registered. "Susan? Are you saying she's alright then, Cangly... I mean like that news report on the TV we saw..." She dropped the blanket and began pulling the costume out of the box.
"All I know is that Belle went missing after defeating a monster and getting shot, but she would have given me permission if she had been able. I'm...just as worried as you are." It bounced nervously as Callie examined the leotard.
US Angel removed the bra and panties she had been wearing before stepping into and pulling on the thin stretchy white leotard. She looked over at Cangly with a grin as she tugged and wriggled until every bit seemed to fall into place. "Still fits like a glove..." She picked up the guantlets and put them on her wrists, then the belt around her waist. "So are we going to fly home now?"
Cangly hopped over to the door, stretching, looking through the keyhole. "There's a small UN refugee camp on the outskirts of town. Four times a day, a helicopter lands over there to deliver supplies. That seems like the fastest way out of this dump."
US Angel blinked. "Didn't you bring the cape and cowl?"
The blob looked at her in shock, then chitters shamefully. "Actually...I thought we can travel faster if we stuck together..." It slides up her back, forming into her distinctive cowl and cape, albeit a bit thicker.
US Angel scowled a bit as the black blob flowed about her face and shoulders, caressing as it formed to the shape of her features, then extended down behind her back. "But like if you'd brought the real deal we could have just flown home on our own... the flight capabilities are in the cape!"
Cangly chittered, sadly. "I-I'm sorry, boss. I thought the gauntlets would be the more important thing. Gave you something powerful to fight back with..." As they spoke, the morning prayers ended, and life seemed to start to wake about them...
US Angel sighed. "So there's UN base outside of town then... like do you know the way? Cause at this point I'm really ready to kick some ass if anyone like tries to stop me!"
"Of course I know. It's how I was able to sneak into this country in the first place. Never wanted to stray too far from it just in case I..." The blob went silent as it seemed to pick something up. Boots running along the cobbled road that led to the safe house.
US Angel slipped on her footies. "What is it, Cangly?"
"Sounds like the local militia. I heard stories they were in cahoots with your serpent friends." The rushed footsteps came to a sudden stop, slow clops up the stairs, approaching the door.
US Angel nodded, seemingly to herself since she was wearing her companion. "Maybe we should like go out the window then..." She padded to the window, threw it open and leapt out into space, spreading her arms and by extension the glide wings of her leotard.
Good timing too, because by the time she jumped, the door was being kicked in, two camouflaged soldiers rushing in with rifles raised. The blob kept aerodynamic, billowing as it provided for a smooth landing onto the street below, the rest of the militia gasping at the pure immodesty of Callie's get-up.
US Angel used the extra second of men gaping at her form-fitting white leotard to her advantage. She raised one guantlet at the window and fired a blast even as the other gauntlet sought out the nearest militia type in the street.
The energy blast seared through a group of soldiers, then expanded into a particle explosion, sending bodies and weapons flying through the air. The two who charged into the room were now looking down from the window, training their rifles, firing quick bursts at her caped back, the blob giving a screech as they thudded into its blackness.
US Angel winced on Cangly's behalf as the cape got shot. She checked the gauntlet that she fired at the window and fired again as she began to run. "Are you okay, Cangly? Which way?"
"L-left...through the t-trocadero..." The soldiers tried their best not to get zapped, but it was obvious that they were intimidated by the fact that their quarry was better armed than they were. Shocked citizens looked out their windows, shopkeepers paused in their haggling, just watching as Callie parted the crowds like Moses parted water.
US Angel ran as fast as her stout little legs would carry her, living cape fluttering behind. She had the firepower and the militia had the numbers although more and more they chose diving for cover rather than facing her guantlets as she left a trail of destruction through the trocadero.
She could hear some vehicles approaching. Seemed the militia called for some proper support. Two jeeps, each with a .50 caliber machine gun in back, screeched to a halt in front of her as she passed through the arches, into the main square. "There's a c-construction site on the east side of the square...we'll need to c-cut through it..."
US Angel just kept running even as the blasts from the machine guns marched across the pavement toward her. She raised a gauntlet and fired at one jeep, then cartwheeled into a flip aimed to take her over the fence and into the construction zone. Cangly fluttered behind as she tucked into a ball, spinning boobs over buns.
Cangly eeeped, fluttering as the heroine vaulted through the rain of heavy machine gun fire, kicking up a cloud of dust and pulverised masonry as she slid under tables, skirted past scaffoldings, screaming workers running for cover as sizable amounts of plastic sheeting hanging from low girders started to obscure her vision.
US Angel became lost in the maze of plastic sheeting, girders and scaffoldings as the cloud of debris in the air made it hard to see much of anything. A stray bullet knocked her on her ass. She began to crawl on hands and knees. "Any ideas, Cangly?"
The blob chittered a bit as some of the bolder soldiers charged in with guns blazing, causing a bit more havoc than previously determined. "Erm...the back entrance...that's where most of the trucks were parked. How's your driving, boss?"
US Angel screamed as she was hit again and driven flat to the ground. "Ungh. Leg." A guantlet was raised and more blasts fired. Two soldiers went down and the rest scattered. She crawled on toward the parking lot. "I don't like have a car, but how hard can it be?"
A flesh wound...for a change. Still, rifle bullets hurt like a bitch as she crawled into the cab of one of the larger vehicles. The blob slid a little, forming small eyestalks on her shoulder. I dunno...you ever operated a stick shift before?
US Angel gapes at this question for an instant before a light dawns. "Cangly! What has my sex life... oh wait... you mean this like thing on the floor of the truck... well no." She screams as bullets ting along the side of the vehicle. "What do I do?"
The cape starts to sprout separate tentacles, one sliding down one of her legs to place pressure on the clutch pedal, another going to the stick, a few more acting as shields to her forearms and head. Just press on the gas pedal as hard as you can and steer! I'll do the rest!
US Angel stomped it as instructed and with a sudden lurch the vehicle shot forward just as the windows exploded from the gunfire. She pointed a gauntlet out the window and fired back, spraying energy blasts wildly, the tower under construction collapsing into rubble behind them.
The truck weaved back and forth, and it was a chase, Callie soon being tailed by a few more of the technical jeeps, wracking the vehicle with gunfire as her companion gave frantic directions. "LEFT! LEFT PAST THE PARK! THEN JOIN THE TRAFFIC AND MAKE YOUR WAY TO THE FREEWAY!"
US Angel put the pedal to the metal and steered through traffic like a runaway train, sideswiping vehicles and honking her horn at pedestrians, finally making it onto the main highway and heading east out of the city. "This place is like bigger and has more traffic and roads than I thought..."
"Well, you know, with all of the anti-western sentiment about this place, there are some more folks in power who have gotten pragmatic and are unwilling to impede progress just because the religious imams got a centuries-old stick up their a-EXIT UP THERE! PAST THAT BILLBOARD!" The blob wildly gesticulates amid the gunfire.
US Angel cranked the wheel and the truck veers sideways, sending the jeep pulling along side careening off the road and through the billboard proclaiming, "US Angel Must Die! This message from the Order of the Serpent," even before the truck sputtered down the ramp. "Is it much farther?"
"Yeah! Look!" A cargo helicopter flies past the window just as Callie says that. The truck takes another shellacking, the tires blown, the heroine driving on the rims, kicking up large sparks as the behemoth vehicle makes a drift towards the ditch.
US Angel gasped as the truck careened into the ditch at high speed, then screamed as gunfire finds the gas tank and it exploded beneath her. She and Cangly were blown through the open space of the shattered window, riding a fireball into the air. She spread her arms to deploy her glide wings, contorting her nubile sweaty body in the tight white leotard to try to reach the running board of the helicopter.
Cangly rode the blast wave, the two slightly singed and bruised as they strained, tentacles also helping to attach to the skid, helping her up into the opened cabin, the startled pursuers watching as the accursed American (and media coup) escaped from their clutches. But it was not over yet...seems one of the militia had the foresight to get a Stinger missile.
US Angel climbed into the chopper, turned and spotted the missile being aimed. She pointed. "Cangly, we can't let these UN people die on account of us! We must dive out and meet that missile head-on!" She crouched in the doorway and prepared to leap, blood streaming down her powerful thigh.
"Are you CRAZY? I ain't losing you again, boss! You got people who care for you!" The cowl unwrapped from Callie's body, reforming into the black blob, sitting on her shoulders as the missile launched, weaving back and forth, back and forth. Cangelosi JUMPED, falling down, aiming to intercept the missile mid-air...
US Angel gasped. "Nooooooooo..." She reached out a hand toward Cangly as he jumped, remembering her gauntlets as she did so. She fired frantically at the approaching missile hoping to detonate it before it reached Cangly.
The zaps snapped off one of the fins, making it wiggle, then just before it could hit, the blob wrapped itself around the warhead, clanking into the cabin, still clutched about the missile until the fuel ran out and the explosive detonated with a long hiiiiiiiissssssss... then... pop. Cangelosi nommed down the rest of the rocket, absorbing it as Callie just...stared at it.
US Angel waited for them all to die, but somehow that never happened. She slumped and began to cry.
Cangelosi just slid over, pressing to her side, a tendril about her waist, letting her cry, all of those emotions spilling out as the helicopter crew, not even sure WHAT they just saw happen, flew on to a neutral state...
“Well you like saved my life and stuff more than once these past two days, Cangly. Thanks. I wonder if they'll let us go home now...”
Cangly cooed at the thanks, just snuggling against her. "Yeah...home sounds nice."