Have I ever told you that I am the best sneaker ever! Because I totes am.
Sneak, sneak, sneak, I went as I moved past the rows of beds filled with sleeping women, and I didn't even hum my theme tune or anything.
And it's a really great theme tune. It goes, "Na na, na na naa."
Oops, wait, there I went. I looked around. No one heard; everyone still slept. Still best sneaker ever! Go team Awesome Girl!
That's me by the way, Awesome Girl. Okay, technically I'm Henchgirl Number Thirty Two but that's just until everyone notices my intrinsic awesomeness and I get promoted to sidekick with a proper back story and everything. And I've got a brilliant one all worked out; it's even better than my theme tune.
It involves aliens, orphans and being raised by sharks. How cool is that? No played out wolves for this girl.
I reached the dormitory door. There was a sign on it. It read, 'All Henchgirls must be in bed by 9pm. No exceptions!'
Well, that clearly didn't apply to me. After all I was the amazing Awesome Girl, and despite what everyone else might currently think, I was no mere henchgirl.
Just as I was congratulating myself on my awesome logic, I noticed the second sign. It read, 'This includes you, Henchgirl Number Thirty Two.'
Perhaps it meant a different Henchgirl Number Thirty Two?
I noticed the third sign. 'There is only one Henchgirl Number Thirty Two.'
Oh, screw it. I ripped all three signs off the door and set them on the floor, face down. The perfect crime! I could just say they fell off and that I never saw them. Awesome Girl: mistress of sneaking, defeater of signs, pull-er-off-er of escapes.
Cackling to myself, I fled the dormitory filled with sleeping henchgirls, and moved into the corridor outside.
So I suppose I should explain a bit about where I am. I'm in the top secret, super hidden base of Mistress Nightshade, evil genius extraordinaire.
The other henchgirls and I are her army of loyal minions. Well, loyalish. Fairly loyal? Okay, it is a good day if we are only on the take from one rival super-villain, international spy ring or criminal syndicate. But have you seen our pay and benefits package? We barely get dental! We do get uniforms, though.
I, like all the henchgirls, wore the standard minion costume. Well technically all the other henchgirls were currently wearing their regulation issue nighties and fuzzy slippers, it being bed time and all, but in general I mean.
It is a pretty good uniform, truth be told — sort of steampunky and cut to show off my amazing bod. Certainly like a bajillion times better than the bug body-suits the Queen Bee makes her minions wear or the soooooo out of date disco suits Eighties Queen foists on her staff.
It consisted of black thigh high boots with good stomping heels covered in shining metal buckles, a short leather skirt, a vest that left my stomach bare, a tool belt hung with all our special toys and a set of goggles with some cool heads up displays.
Which I totally do not use to watch porn while on duty, no matter what that disciplinary report said. Just because it has titties and cocks doesn't mean it's not art, people!
Anyway, the uniform was good for many things, including cunning plans.
The hallways were abandoned this late at night; Mistress Nightshade was very strict when it came to bed times. That made sneaking easier. Even someone not as amazing as me could probably manage it.
I prowled all silent like along the halls, heading for the central control hub. I had a plan, you see. Indeed it was no ordinary plan. It was a cunning plan, devised by the razor sharp mind of that oh-so-sexy, oh-so-smart and oh-so-amazing villianness (not quite yet) known as Awesome Girl.
I'd sneak in, power-up Mistress Nightshade's back door connection to the Nerdvana Network and by morning the name Awesome Girl would be trending big time, catapulting me straight to sidekick status.
Don't know what the Nerdvana Network is? That's the biz term for the Mockingbird tweeters — those ubiquitous digital shrines and wi-fi hubs. You know, those black and red tents that give you free wi-fi if you tweet hashtag #MockingbirdIsGreat, or whatever the current meme is, a few times. I doubt I'd get the divinity by popular acclamation deal Mockingbird has going on, but it would certainly do wonders for my rep and who knew, perhaps I would soon be shouting go Goddess Awesome Girl.
The first real problem happened when I reached the control hub's main door. It was the big, mean grandpappy of doors — hulking, covered in thick black armour and, worst of all, with a large frowny face front and centre. How is a peppy go getter like me meant to get up to mischief with that kind of negativity getting me down? It's called employee motivation, people!
Luckily, I, in my infinite wisdom, knew there was a second way in. A few weeks back, while Mistress Nightshade was babbling on about 'vital briefing' this and 'important role' that, I grew so bored I read the health and safety posters. As such I knew there was an emergency exit from the control hub.
Humming my theme song under my breath, I scurried down the corridor and slipped through a service door into the industrial guts of the building.
I know; I know. Ew, nude old building. Say no to GILF porn.
From there it was only a short hop to the fire access stairway and an even shorter run down a flight of stairs to the fire door. I forced it open with my all access Minion's Friend (TM) multi-tool and darted inside. Needless to say, I did it like a boss.
This late at night, the control hub was abandoned. Two stories of computer monitors, projectors, smart tables and holo-screens snored the electronic buzz of sleeping machines. The screens were black, the only lights lethargic diodes.
Now which one was the Nerdvana back door again ... No idea. Oh well.
I moved to the nearest control panel and started pushing buttons at random until I got a reaction. Lights flickered and the main screen burst to life.
'Awesome Girl Is Awesome, ' I typed.
'Password Incorrect. 2 Attempts Remaining.'
Nuts. Well, not everyone can use a password as amazing as mine, and if they did, it wouldn't make a very good password any more would it. Logic, bitches.
Maybe 'Awesome Girl Is Very Awesome'? But, no, too obvious. Perhaps, 'Awesome Girl Has An Amazing Butt'? Also true but Mistress Nightshade always seemed more a tit woman to me...
Really, now that I thought about it and I know this might be hard to believe, but just perhaps and despite how incredibly amazing I am, Mistress Nightshade had chosen a password that wasn't about me.
Slowly I typed, 'Big Mean Boss'.
'Password incorrect. Counter measures engaged.'
No fair! I had one guess left.
A metallic arm unfolded from the ceiling and grabbed for me. I let loose a fearsome battle cry that was in no way like a girlish shriek and dove for cover under the nearest desk. I almost made it too but the claw snagged my ankle and pulled me kicking and screaming out. It hoisted me up and left me hanging suspended in the air.
Damn stupid cheating uppity robots. Never should have given them the vote. Well, it might have me trapped but not for long.
I drew my raygun from my toy belt and pointed it at the joint where the arm emerged from the ceiling. But first ... I pulled down my goggles and flicked the switch for eye protection mode. The world darkened. Eye safety kids; remember, only play with lasers if you're as awesome as me! Or, you know, if your laser is like really, really cool because lets face it, lasers are pretty damn fun. You are all pow-pow and your enemies are all 'ah we're burning, we're burning!' And your all like 'bow down before me puny mortals for I have a laser-gun'.
Zap! I squeezed the trigger and the miniature pulse laser spat photonic death. The claw melted into super-heated gunk and I smashed into the floor head first.
Ow, Ow, Ow. I rubbed my head until the dozen tiny birds stopped spamming popular hashtags at me. Problem averted. Go team Awesome Girl!
The main door clunked as the immense servo motors pulled it open. I gulped, scrabbled to my feet and turned.
From one floor above, Mistress Nightshade glared down at me. Oh a-not-very-nice-word-indeed. The metal toe of her boot clicked like a clock against the floor.
So, yeah, I was busted big time. Under Mistress Nightshade's piercing gaze, all I could do was quail in my big stomping shoes, which I felt almost ready to disappear into.
"Henchgirl Number Thirty Two," she said in a voice that felt like a cracking whip. I'm fairly sure Mistress Nightshade's secret identity is an English governess in some rich nob's house.
"Yes, miss," I sort of whispered.
"What," she said, ruby-red lips pursing, "is the meaning of this?"
"Don't know, miss."
"You don't know?" She shook her head. "You don't know why you are in the central control hub, after lights out, standing before a locked computer and surrounded by the smouldering remains of a security arm."
She paused, green eyes narrowing. "Do you know what it looks like to me?"
I didn't answer.
"To me," she continued. "It looks like you are out of bed, again, and once more up to your infernal mischief-making. What exactly do you think it will take to teach you proper behaviour? More fines? More demerits? Do you want to go back to working at McDonalds?"
I mumbled something.
"What was that?" Her voice felt like a slap.
"I'm a kinaesthetic learner, miss."
"Henchgirl Number Thirty Two," she said. "Despite what you apparently think, kinaesthetic learning is not a licence for rule breaking, but perhaps you are right. If you learn from tactile experience, perhaps that is the correct way to teach you. Follow."
Under Mistress Nightshade's watchful gaze, I trudged up the hub's internal staircase and followed her out the door. She led me to a small room near her quarters that I had never been to before. The bolts holding the door shut swooshed back at her approach, which was just totally unfair. Didn't even need to use a multi-tool.
In we went, this time with Mistress Nightshade following. She prodded me until I stood in the centre of the room. Above, light panels swelled to life. I looked up and noticed a security arm hole, currently irised closed. Because that wasn't worrying at all.
"Hands in the air," said Mistress Nightshade.
I gulped but under her piercing green eyes I had no choice.
Up my arms went and down came the security arm. It made a mechanical swishing sound and the rubbery, claw like grip snapped closed around my wrists. It hummed and drew me up, not very far but enough that my heels no longer quite touched the ground. I balanced on the balls of my feet.
Mistress Nightshade stood before me, so tall and majestic. She was taller than me at just under six feet in her heels, but she had the kind of presence that always let her be the tallest in the room, no matter the actual heights of the people involved, you know? Her hair was straight, black and long, her face aristocrat sharp, and her make-up perfect. Only her nose was slightly out of place, being a cute button thing. She lacked my scrumdiliumcious curves, with small breasts and narrow hips, but she made it work for her.
"Now," said Mistress Nightshade and a breathy note entered her normally whip-crack voice. Her high-heeled boots clacked as she walked a circle around me. "What are we going to do with you..."
Click, click, click. I stretched my neck to follow her but the security arm made that impossible. Her eyes drilled sharp into the back of my head and I shivered.
I felt a presence at my back and then she was there. She reached around me, arms tickling my sides, and her hands closed on my breasts. She squeezed down, just for a moment, but I moaned and squirmed a little. Then she was gone.
Click, click, click.
She came back into my field of view and stripped me. Off came my boots, socks, skirt and under-things. Down went all my toys, such as my raygun and all access Minion's Friend (TM) multi-tool. Where my bondage prevented the removal of my vest and goggles, she produced a knife and sliced them away. Shredded cloth fell like confetti around me. All too soon I was completely naked. I shivered in the iron grip of the security arm. Trapped as I was, escape was impossible.
Next she walked over a blank section of wall and brushed it with the back of one alabaster hand. A hidden drawer swooshed out. My eyes opened wide. It was filled with whips. Her fingers moved along the instruments, toying with the bamboo shafts of canes, the thin wood of switches and the leather grips of long terrifying things. Finally she came to rest on the ribbed rubber grip of a short riding crop.