Out of the Shadows, into the Dark

Ayla Day yawned as she stared at the door of her cell rather bored with the state of things. From the sound of things, there was something going down in the maximum security sections of Zig.  She groaned a little and thumped her head against the brick wall and shifted positions on the lumpy excuse for a cot.

Ayla didn’t have any powers and besides the fact modeled an orange jumpsuit that came courtesy of her current residency in the medium security women’s wing of the prison, no one who had known the woman before she had first encountered Maximus Magnus would have thought her the type to do the things she was in for.

She had been a normal girl trying to make it through life, though her life was nothing like what she had originally imagined it to be.  She’d given up with school after Nesrin, her sister,  had out of nowhere started making something of herself. Their parents had turned a 180 on her. All of a sudden she wasn’t getting the attention she thought she deserved… and Nesrin… the little prissy bitch, was getting it instead. Ayla didn’t get it… what was the big ass deal about Nesrin’s paintings, and Nesrin’s art gallery, Nesrin’s belt that gave her superpowers… and most of all Nesrin’s fucking freak of a husband.     The guy had been terminally ill when she had met him, couldn’t even take care of himself very well… and Nesrin has saved him… the fucking weakling, and then the weakling did something clever… and cured himself…  and the pair of them moved back to Paragon and were doing their fucking intellectual thing.

In all honesty, Ayla had never liked school, never had liked thinking about numbers or business or science. In her opinion it as mostly a load of crap, that was how she ended up working a dead end job on the teller line at a small bank in Kings Row.  She hadn’t given a crap about the dead end part until the day Max walked into it and essentially tore the place apart. Ayla hadn’t been able to take her eyes off of him… he was an absolute beast, his skin was red as if it was permanently sunburned, he had hard, unbelievably large muscles, horns like a bull, and in one glance of him ripping off the door of the vault made Ayla realize how futile and useless her current path was, something inside her ignited , and she found herself grabbing one of the other tellers by the hair and cracking her skull open after the whore had hit the alarms.  After that, she didn’t think much, just moved; what looked like the lone surviving security guard was looking for an opportunity to gun the beast down…. That just wasn’t gonna fly; but he wasn’t paying attention to Ayla at all… just Max. She took him down from behind and grabbed his piece, and shot a few of the guards that were still breathing.  Her heart had raced as she did it, and realized that she had in fact killed four people within the course of a few minutes. The thought had left her head as soon as she realized he was stalking towards her, he dropped the bag of cash and grabbed her wrists, pinned her against a wall and kissed her violently.  She felt him get hard against her, and felt her own arousal rising.  Then… sirens, and he pulled out of the kiss.  She breathed hard and stared into his eyes for a few seconds, before managing to rasp out some words.

“Go… they hit the alarm… there’ll be Longbow… there’s a door from the breakroom that goes to the ally.”

He had picked up the bag of cash, and disappeared out of the door… she had told him to meet her in the ally… but he hadn’t been there… so he was in and out of her life just like that.  The newspaper the next day had given Ayla his name, though she was reading it from jail, denied bail in the snap of a finger her sister wouldn’t bother to lift to help her.  So the court date had come and gone, and Ayla was looking at murder and assault charges… the cop she took the gun from and the bitch that hit the alarm survived. That made Ayla want to spit; her attitude got her some sort of nonsense life sentence. Again… Ayla didn’t care, she’d killed a few people, aided with the escape of a felon… and it had made her feel more alive than she had… ever… and the kiss… well… she was pretty sure if she ever saw the guy again… she’d let him take her.

The sound of the door of her cell being ripped off brought her thoughts back to the here and now.  Her eyes met his and she swallowed. He… had come for her, she hadn’t expected that; especially since by this time she’d been in for a year and a half. Her gaze was fixed, she didn’t know what to say, he made it easy on her though.

“Heh. There you are… been tearin’ this place down looking for you.” His voice was deep, low and booming, she hadn’t heard him speak before.

“Huh? Is that what was going on?” Obviously there was something else going down, noise was still coming from the max security areas.

“Well, I just happened to bust in when Arachnos was pulling a recruiting job.”

Ah. That explained it. Heh. Of course, she didn’t really know what to say in response to that. Apparently he picked up on that.

“Let’s get out of here, than I have a proposition for you.”

“I had been under the impression that you didn’t want or take help from any one… I mean….”

“Of course I would help you… it’s the least we…errrr.. I could do…”

“You and who?”

“Let’s talk about that when we get out of here… I have an arrangement with the pilot.”

“Right… lead on big guy.”

She followed him, there was no issue at first… until they got across to the yard. Ayla could take care of herself mostly, but not against a yard of gangbanging metas that probably hadn’t seen a woman in ages.  She glanced at Max and tried to keep close.  Then he stopped suddenly and pulled out a pair of simple leather bracers and handed them to her.

“Here… these will help you… they will, as it were… allow you to better deal with these bastards…”

Ayla glanced at them and then him at the bracers… they didn’t look like anything special.  She shrugged and put them on, and suddenly felt the power start to run through them… and suddenly knew how exactly it was they were supposed to be used.  She turned towards the nearest outcast and eyed him appraisingly… and then the gauntlets again before willing the energy to explode upon him, and he fell. Ayla looked again down at the gauntlets, and then up at Max in only partial disbelief.  Holy shit.

“Heh. Told you.”

They made their way though the yard of the prison and one rescue of the idiot pilot later and Ayla soon found herself sitting across from her… “savior” in the chopper  on their way to Mercy Island in silence.  They didn’t talk much until Ayla had seen the inside of a shower and burned the orange jumpsuit.

Max was waiting for her when she emerged from the run down hotel’s bathroom and she knew his eyes were taking every curve of her in the skintight short shorts and a shirt that barely qualified as it left the insides of her breasts and abdomen exposed.  She pretended she hadn’t noticed where his eyes were.

“You look a hell of a lot different from the last time I saw you.” He near whispered when he finally spoke, she felt him looking at her legs. “Yeah, a HELL of a lot different…”

She wasn’t sure what to say to that… she’d been in prison for a year, it was get in shape or be someone’s bitch… she didn’t want to say that though. “Well yeah, did you think I’d keep wearing a suit once I got fired? Heh.”

“Heh, well, too bad it’s not.. . never mind, later…”

“Too bad it’s not what?” Ayla pushed… she had a feeling she knew where this was going… but she wanted to hear him say it.

“Too bad the suit was not on my living room floor, that’s what.” Ayla swore for a minute that his cheeks had gone a deeper red. “There… I said it…” He seemed a bit frustrated… but at least she knew that he wanted what she wanted now.

“Mhm well… at least maybe the shorts will be on your living room floor later.”  She grinned at him evilly and they walked out of the hotel.  It was time to ask… “OK. So what’s the deal Max?” She looked at him expectantly, fairly sure that the answer was more than he had a sudden need to break her out of prison to fuck her.

“Well…” he finally started. “It’s simple. Those gauntlets? They’re yours… if you want ‘em.  But they come with a cost, the cost being helping  us bring havoc and destruction to this place. In return, you get wealth, power… and more.”

Ayla looked at the gauntlets again, and then back at Max. He had said “us”… like he had said “we” before. There was something up… she doubted he would tell her now, but wouldn’t hurt to probe a little.  She turned her gaze back to him. “Not a surprise there… but you gonna tell me what the cost happens to be besides that?”

“Sure. The rest of the cost is simple… but I don’t think yer ready for it yet. It’s nothing big, but it will mean getting back at those that hurt you. Like… your sister.”  He smirked at the remark, seemingly pleased with himself.

Ayla’s eyes narrowed. “How do you know about that?” she said it a little more forcefully then she meant to.

“Oh, I know about you Ayla… I know everything. Why wouldn’t I?” A shiver went up her spine as he said her name… he treated it like it was some sort of precious morsel for his lips and vocal cords to emit. “You helped me, and now, I am helping you… I can lead you to greatness.”

She had made up her mind the moment before he had ripped her cell door open, but she almost felt like hesitating now. “Considering I don’t know jack about you…” she began.

He laughed then. It felt like a dark intoxicating cloud she didn’t mind getting lost in. “Let’s discuss this over dinner… A more…” He paused and ran his fingers down her shoulder. “…intimate setting. I will explain everything.”

Her eyes went wide and she tensed as he touched her and realized what he was getting at. “You come with this deal then?”

“Me? Well, let’s just say that if you choose to accept, then our paths will be intertwined for a loooong time.”

Ayla closed her eyes for a moment, and as she did, she felt something stir within her as he let his power curl around her.

“Yea.” She said finally, opening her eyes. “Let’s go have dinner… and then dessert.”

He smiled then… a real smile.  “Yes… lets.”


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