In the Shadows
Authors Note: Nemesis was the Greek goddess of Retribution.
Shauna was not normally so stupid as to walk through these streets at this time of night, but she had been forced to work late dancing at her stripper job, and she was in a great hurry to get home. Her two daughters were being watched by Grandma, but Shauna hated to put such a burden on her mother. If only she could get home soon, all would be right with her world. She was carrying almost $450 in tips—that was why she had stayed late. Such bounty was rare in her life, and the rent was due. Well, she had enough for this month, just barely, and next month would just have to take care of itself.
Suddenly, from the shadow of an alley, an arm shot out and grabbed Shauna by the upper arm and snatched her into the darkness. Someone else grabbed her from the other side, and the two assaulters pulled her deeper into the alley. They dragged her around to the back of a building where a dim light bulb gave off just enough light that forms could barely be made out. In that dim light, Shauna's chocolate skin made her almost invisible.
Unfortunately for Shauna, almost invisible was not good enough. A third person grabbed her purse and dumped it on the ground. Her money was in a roll held tightly by a rubber band, so it was easy to see as it rolled along the pavement. "Dammit, Bros, look what the Bitch had on her!"
"Hurry up, Sharpy, I got a hard on that would sink a battleship."
"Take it easy, Squeaky; I ain't finished with her purse, yet."
"Well, Fish and me ain't gonna wait fer you. Fish, you hold her while I cut her clothes off."
A commanding female voice was suddenly heard coming from just outside the ring of light from the miniscule bulb. "Boys, you have trespassed on my territory, and Nemesis doesn't allow that! Turn the poor girl loose and return her money and other stuff if you want to live. I have very little patience with scum like you, so get with it!"
Nothing could be seen of the person doing the talking, but she had the cultured voice and tones of an educated White woman. Unfortunately for them, that was not going to scare the 19th Street Blasters. Well, they would live long enough to regret that!
"White Bitch, come out where we can see you, and you'll get your cunt reamed."
"Now, now, boys, I take that as a rejection, and I have never reacted well to rejection." A figure seemed to explode from the edge of light. Sharpy happened to be the closest of the three gang-bangers, and he was the first one to feel the wrath of Nemesis. In this case, he was speared in the left kidney by a "stick." It was a hardwood dowel 24 inches long and one inch in diameter. The blow was strong enough to rupture the kidney, though he did not know that—all Sharpy knew was that he had a monster pain in his back.
The force of the blow spun Sharpy around, and, when he was in the ideal position, he was hit in the solar plexus with the end of the stick. That knocked out what little breath the thug had left, and he fell to the ground, wracked with pain and unable to breathe. Nemesis had other fish to fry, so she kicked Sharpy in the throat with her heel and crushed his windpipe. He was never going to catch his breath, now!
Nemesis did not pause, but went after Squeaky next. Two quick slaps on the upper arms with the stick broke both of them and left him helpless as he dropped his knife. A quick jab to the crotch with the stick was enough to rupture his bladder and make him fall to the ground. Two sharp taps on his knees shattered them both, and Fish was the only one left of the trio.
He had seen what had happened to his companions and began to gibber and drool in fright. Unfortunately for him, Fish was holding on to Shauna's upper arms with a grip that was going to leave bruises visible on even her dark skin. Fish was tall and Shauna was sagging in his grip, so his entire face was open to Nemesis's attack. She jabbed him in the nose with her stick and shoved it back into his brain. That was enough to kill him, and Nemesis thought Note to self: go easy on the nose jabs. They are too easily killing blows. This twerp didn't suffer enough, dammit!
Fish collapsed and pulled Shauna down on top of him. Shauna was also frightened, but she felt a little better now that she was rescued from these thugs who obviously had robbery and rape in mind, if not murder. Nevertheless, Shauna couldn't seem to move, and it was Nemesis who gathered up her things and returned them to her purse.
That done, Nemesis shook Shauna by the shoulder to get her attention. That was when Shauna took a good look at her rescuer. All she could see was a complete body suit and hood of a dull black color. There was nothing glossy anywhere to reflect light. The only openings in the outfit were two eye-holes. The mesh of the weave of the suit was open enough for breathing, hearing, and talking; therefore, no other holes were necessary, or, at least, not obvious.
Nemesis said, "Girl! Girl! Get hold of yourself! You are OK, now. Here's your purse. Now go home and stay out of these streets at night. You ought to know better."
"I ... I do know better. I just need to get home to my kids."
"OK, I'll keep an eye on you until you get to a better neighborhood. Now, get going. I still have a lot of work to do, tonight."
"Thank you for rescuing me. What's your name. I'm Shauna Wilson."
"I call myself Nemesis. Now get going, dammit!"
"Yes, Ma'am, I'm going!" Shauna scurried out to the street and practically ran home, which was only two blocks away. Telling her to stay out of this rundown neighborhood was an exercise in futility.
Nemesis trailed her from a safe distance until Shauna entered her building. "That girl is tougher than most, but she sure better learn where it's safe to walk!"
Nemesis jumped for the bottom rung of a fire escape and climbed to the roof. She was patrolling this neighborhood of the city tonight, but she did not often get around here, so there were a lot of muggings and rapes that went on when she was not around. Since the muggers and rapists did not know that Nemesis was patrolling this area, she was getting a lot of business. As was her usual practice, she did not call 911 for the most recent trio she had encountered. Two were dead already, and, one was headed in that direction. She wanted him dead, so she was not going to call for help for him. She did leave her signature calling card where the cops and newshounds could find it so that no one else would be blamed for the murders.
She was running along the edge of a roof as she looked for more prey. She did not care if she was spotted, so she stayed close enough to the edge of the roof so that she could see down into the streets and alleys. Ah, there was another rape just ahead. It was certain that she was too late to prevent any rapes, but she could prevent some, and she could punish the rapists, all four of them.
Two men were holding an Asian woman to the ground while one was raping her, and another was closing up his pants. Nemesis was three stories up at this time, so she could not get down to attack with her stick, so she resorted to her gun. She had a custom modified Glock G22 in .40 caliber. The weapon was modified to have a laser sight set for 10 meters, and a special folding stock that could be used to fit Nemesis's shoulder when she wanted a steadier shot.
In this case, the distance was perfect for the G22's sight, so she did not need the shoulder stock, though she did use both hands to hold the weapon. She was using a special style of hollow-point bullet, so she knew that she could shoot the rapist and the bullet would expand too much to go all the way through his body. Therefore, she could shoot him without danger to the rape victim. Nemesis had that much confidence in her shooting ability.
Nemesis's first shot was into the back of the active rapist exactly between his shoulder blades. His spinal cord was cut, and it was safe to ignore him as she turned to the other rapists. The second man shot was the one who had just finished. He was gut shot so that he would feel the maximum of pain. Nemesis's bullets were guaranteed to do so much damage that no surgeon would be able to put him back on the street.
The other two men who were holding the victim were shot low in the torso so that they would take some time to die, but they were not going to survive those meat-grinder bullets that Nemesis used. She made a thorough scan of the vicinity to be sure that she was not ignoring a potential trouble point before she went down the fire escape in some sort of record time.
Nemesis ran to the rape victim to make sure that she would survive. The woman was definitely in need of medical attention, so Nemesis called 911 for EMS (Emergency Medical Service) and for cops to look after the dead. She got the woman to relax and explained why she was not going to stay with her. The rape victim was coherent enough to understand that Nemesis would be arrested for murder if the cops caught her, so she thanked Nemesis for the rescue and settled down to wait for the medical help to show up. Nemesis gave the woman one of her cards and returned to the building roof to watch over the woman until EMS arrived.
Nemesis again began to patrol the buildings at rooftop level, but she didn't see anything that needed her attention. By now, it was pushing 4:00 AM, so she decided to head home. She had to travel two miles to pick up her SUV, and she was somewhat annoyed that she had to park it where it wouldn't be stripped or vandalized so far away from the neighborhood where she was working. Oh, well, if she was that worried, she would have worked out some way to take public transportation.
Nemesis lived in a private home that would have surprised her fans. It was actually a palatial mansion denoting generations of money. There was a security fence around the property, and it was protected by electrical fencing as well as razor-wire. It was possible to break in, but the average crook would not think that it would be worth the effort. Besides, she had several very mean-looking dogs that regularly patrolled the property while she was not in residence. Woe unto the fool who tried to enter while she was home.
Nemesis, aka Jane Foster, drove into the garage and parked. She went through a connecting doorway to reach the kitchen. From there, she went upstairs and shed her uniform. That was pitched into the laundry basket along with her underwear. She took a quick shower and hit the bed. Jane was asleep by the time she was fully in the bed. She had a knack for that, and that probably had something to do with the fact that she never needed more than four hours of sleep in a night, no matter how active she had been.
The next morning, there was a knock on her bedroom door, and Hester, the cook, housekeeper, and mother-type came in. "OK, Dear, it's is time for you to be up and about. I have an outfit laid out for you in your dressing room. Remember, you have a 10:00 AM appointment with the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Foster Enterprises, your main holding company. You have two hours to get there. Breakfast will be ready by the time you are dressed."
Jane mumbled her thanks and rolled over as if to go back to sleep. A sharp smack on the ass with Hester's open hand got her attention, and she crawled out of bed. Hester laughed and headed back to the kitchen.
Jane made a quick pass through the shower, etc., and stood, nude, in front of the mirrors so that she could examine her entire body. She stood 5'-9" tall, and all of it was muscle except her breasts and a few other delectable places. She was built like the proverbial brick chicken house, and her face was one that most women would have died for, if given the choice. She had beautiful black hair and dark brown eyes. Jane was sexually active, but she made no big deal out of it. She took her Pills regularly, and was serviced by three boyfriends, all of whom knew the other two.
The boyfriends lived at her house so that they were handy when she wanted one—it was sort of like a male harem, but they were all employed in various parts of her vast research and manufacturing holdings. All three men knew of her alter-ego as Nemesis, but all were intensely loyal. For example, Phil was employed as an engineering manager in the research and development operation that invented her uniform. The uniform was not made of cloth, but of a unique alloy of titanium, and the "fabric" was actually chains of links like mail, though it looked like cloth. The uniform was a experiment to try to make a suitable armor for police. It's one failing was that, though it would stop any solid bullet from penetrating, the armor would still deflect enough to allow flesh to be damaged and bones to be broken.
That was still a problem with a proper solution awaiting development. Currently, the most likely prospect appeared to be a magnetic field induced within the fabric that was turned on and off by impact sensors. The current problem was that it ran the batteries down so fast that they had to be replaced every day. That was no problem for Nemesis, but it was too expensive for the average police department. As one of the perks of being the owner of the place, Jane had specified that she be the model for the first uniform. Therefore, there was a manikin of her at the lab to be used for the fitting experiments.
Phil had teased Jane about having a dildo installed permanently within the suit, but Jane rejected that after some thought. She was worried that it might become distracting.
Jane found that the uniform was so comfortable that she regularly wore it under her street clothes. The legs of the uniform looked like they were part of her normal clothes, so she was protected at all times and ready to jump into action if it became necessary. Even though the uniforms were ungodly expensive, she had 10 of them which she rotated through each day, just as if they were any other part of a favorite wardrobe.
She managed to live through the boring meeting with the CEO and CFO (Chief Financial Officer), signing papers when necessary, and doing whatever was necessary to keep Foster Enterprises making money no matter what happened to the rest of the economy. Foster Enterprises was so thoroughly diversified that she had a finger in every pot, and Jane was the richest woman in the world, though that was not public knowledge.
All of her employees were loyal to the company. There was no outsourcing in the common sense, but Foster Enterprises had plants all over the world, and work was shifted around as logic, not momentary economic advantage, dictated. Foster Enterprises had never had a general lay-off in any plant anywhere, and the wages and benefits were almost impossible to match with any other employer. Thus, Foster Enterprises employed a significant portion of the working population, but that was not enough for Jane.
She became Nemesis because of what had happened to her younger sister. Mary had been kidnapped when she was 14, but she had been raped and tortured before she was murdered, even though the ransom had been paid. Jane never really recovered from the emotional trauma, and vowed to do what she could to stop that sort of thing. She spent 11 years preparing herself with martial arts training and body building before she was ready to act on her own, but Nemesis was born one night with a plan in mind.
Jane decided that Nemesis would always remain a personal operation, though she did set up a security and investigative branch of Foster Enterprises to aid the authorities and individuals who were the victims of kidnapping. Her major business was in Latin America and Italy where kidnapping had become a cottage-industry, but her company would operate anywhere in the world if it was hired to do so.
Jane was out to stop all forms of bullying, from simple intimidation to murder, no matter what the age of the victim or of the perpetrator. She only wished that Nemesis could do more in schools, but there just were not enough hours in a day to do that, too. She did what she could and hoped for the best!
Nemesis (Jane Foster)—heroine
Hester—cook, housekeeper, friend
Phil—a member of Jane's harem, R&D engineering manager