The trio ran down the street, Star in the lead, Fabi bringing up the rear. Nothing seemed to be chasing them yet, but they wanted to get as much of a head start as they could. Eventually, Fabi said 'Here. We stop here for a bit, while nothing's chasing us," and though Ember frowned a little, they followed her lead. She hoped she they wouldn't be following her lead in everything, that Star or Ember would pipe up with some sort of plan, but no such luck. Fabi sighed. "Okay, as far as fighting Mevolent goes..." she trailed off.
"We should go to him, not wait for him to come to us," Ember said.
"That's all well enough, but there are THREE of us, for goodness sake," Star pointed out.
Fabi considered. "There have got to be more people out there, fighting him. What's been happening in the universe? I've been preoccupied by getting shot and escaping clones."
Star frowned slightly. "I just got here. I think Armethia Telna and Marnie Chameleon were tortured, but then, my sources got your story completely wrong, so I have absolutely no idea."
"Wait... Marnie Chameleon...Maralie Charm?" Fabi felt something inside her crumple. "Oh my gosh...I..."
"Maralie Lily Charm is still alive." Ember's voice was firm, she was certain (or good at faking it).
Fabi gave her a grateful look. "We have to find her! I need to apologize, for.." she trailed off, not wanting to tell them what she was going to apologize for. She hated apologizing, and could barely bring herself to do it. "We're going to find her," Fabi decided. She glared, expecting one of them to argue.
"We need all the help we can get," Star said, "So, where do we start?"
Fabi looked around. "Her and Kessie's house is this way. She's usually in this general area..." They started in the direction of the spire, stopping short as Fabi said, "Here."
It was a T-Shirt shop, with a large and flashy sign advertising 'The right direction is One Direction! Get your T-shirts here!" Fabi headed straight for the rack near the window, with black "I Heart 1D' hoodies.
Ember scowled. "I hate One Direction. One day, one fantastic day, I will cut off their arms and devour the souls of those they love right in front of their crying faces. Then I will kill them slowly and painfully."
"Umm, Ember? I wouldn't..." Fabi was cut off by a commotion under the rack of hoodies.
"DON'T YOU DARE, YOU LITTLE PURPLE-HUED MALTWORM!!!!!!!!" Maralie Lily Charm jumped out and tried to bite off Ember's nose. Ember stumbled back, landing awkwardly on a pile of various Keep Calm T-shirts
Her hands began to glow, and Fabi and Star intervened simultaneously.
"Stop it, guys. We really can't afford to..."
"How about we deal with Mevolent first and settle our personal disagreements later?"
Yes, 1Derful indeed," Fabi agreed. "Mara, I'm sorry about my...outburst yesterday. I'm not really going to abandon the fight. This is Star, and this is Ember, and we're going to make Mevolent pay. Want to come?"
Mara nodded. "Okey-dokey. I'll get Jesy and we can go make Mevolent sorry! Baaaad Mevolent. No messing with Mara's friends." She teleported to get her pony.
They stopped at a creepy-looking moss-covered building. "I need to grab something here," Fabi said.
"Jesy and I can keep watch," Mara decided, not liking the look of the creepy house. "Don't die without us."
"Okay," Fabi agreed. "This should be quick, and I know what I'm doing...I think, so you two can stay here as well, if you want."
"Uhh... I don't think you should go in there alone,"
Fabi had memorized the key long ago, and easily melted another one out of a pair of nail clippers. She unlocked the door, and out of habit, used her magic to deflect the anvil that came tumbling down at her head.
Star jumped and nearly fell backwards as the anvil crashed to the ground. "What kind of place is this?"
"Wow," said Ember appreciatively, "This place is so cool!"
"You would like it," Fabi muttered. "You and Effie will either get along perfectly, or kill each other on sight."
"So, this Effie person does disguises?" Star asked.
"Among other things," said a voice from behind them. "Be careful of that coat rack, will you? It's trapped. Not all traps are made with metal, Fabienne." Effie laughed at Fabi's shocked expression as she stepped away from it hurriedly. "That one specifically is made with fabric, so it blends into the overcoat. It's impressive, isn't it?"
Ember examined the coat and nodded appreciatively. "I should totally get one of these for headquarters!"
Effie smiled. "I'm glad you appreciate my handiwork. My name is Effrancia Devastine, but you can call me Effie, or Eff." She gave Fabi a look that said 'remember it this time.' Fabi nodded slightly.
Star looked up at the ceiling and frowned. "Are anvils the latest style in ceiling lamp or something?"
Effie laughed. "Not at all. They're merely a...security protocol. As long as you don't try to steal anything or open any doors I don't want you to open, you'll be fine." She turned to Fabi. "So I presume you're here for a disguise, am I right?"
Fabi nodded. "Just me. And I have the payment for last time as well." She pulled a small purse out of her pocket and handed it over. Effie weighed it in her palm and smiled.
"Right this way. Your friends can come or stay there, carefully."
Star and Ember looked at each other. "We'll come," Star decided, clearly nervous about traps. Ember just shrugged.
"Okay then!" Effie said brightly, leading them into a dimly-lit hallway.
"Is your usual studio already occupied?" Fabi asked. "Sorry if we came at a bad time..."
"Not at all!" Effie replied, patting Fabi on the shoulder. "It's the windows. They leak cold air...Unbearable at this time of winter."
"So how's life? I heard you're already knee-deep in this Mevolent business. I'm honestly not sure if I want to get involved, but since you're a friend and all, I'll help you out. Just don't tell Mevolent your new look came from me, okay?"
Effie opened the door to a room that looked like it belonged backstage at a theater. Wigs and
make-up cases were everywhere, along with fake noses and scars and mustaches. Fabi smiled,
thinking how ridiculous she would look with a mustache, or maybe purple spiked hair. She laughed.
Effie grinned. "I've added to my collection since you were here last, Fabigail." She pulled open a drawer, and selected a wig with brown ringlets. "Let's try this one on you..."
"I look different," was all Fabi could say.
Picture captions: The first one is pretty much what Fabi looks like...her hair is a bit longer though, also I have no control over the eye color. Blue-grey, if you were wondering. The second is her in disguise. Strangely enough, I had spare time to play with Glitch avatars, so why not make Fabi?
I have purple and white sneakers like that irl. XD
"That's the point, isn't it?" asked Star, who had been fidgeting and biting the skin around her fingernails.
Fabi nodded. "Yeah."
"Don't worry, you'll be able to go back to your natural look easy as anvils after you've kicked Mevolent to pieces," said Effie.
Star frowned. "Anvils are evil. They even rhyme!"
Fabi smiled slightly, her mind already moving on to other things."You should come with us, Eff."
"Naah, I can't. I've got a business to run, and besides, I don't want to choose the wrong side."
"Okay... I guess we'll be going then. Let me know if you change your mind."
Effie's face hardened. "Oh, Fabi. You won't be going anywhere."
Fabi wondered how many friends she had left. First Death, now Eff, and possibly Aretha, if she was Armethia Telna. She thought of Mara, outside with her pony, and hoped she would be okay.
Ember glared, and tried to eat Effie's soul, but nothing happened. Fabi made a half-hearted attempt to form the pins in her hair into the awesome ninja sword again, knowing that it wouldn't work, that the room was bound.
"Eff, I thought..."
"What? You thought we were friends? I'm friends with nobody, I'm a spy. You of all people should know that, Fabulous." She ducked under Star's ninja sword, waving her hand and making it turn into a pansy. "You'll never get out, or didn't you notice me locking the door?"
"It's still--" Fabi tried to say, but she was interrupted by Effie.
"Yes, it's still betrayal. I'm not afraid of doing things like that! Don't any of you dare say otherwise!" Eff glared at nothing in particular. Fabi frowned. This was the downside of hanging out with the insane.
"WHAT is she doing to my super-awesome ninja sword???" Star demanded as the weapon in her hand switched to a banana, then an ostrich, then an anvil, then a silk robe.
"Star, it's an illusion! It's still a sword!" Fabi said it a fraction of a second too late. Eff pulled a string, sending a smaller anvil into the back of Star's head, knocking her out. Great. Mevolent wanted them alive.
Ember pulled out a creepy-looking syringe and said. "Don't worry, Fabi. When our leaders hear about this, they'll make her pay."
"Lord Vader, I should have known. Only you would be so bold. The Imperial Senate will not sit still for this. When they hear you've attacked a diplomatic--" Effie flickered, replaced by an image of the Sith lord himself.
"WHAT?" Ember demanded. "I am NOT watching Star Wars!" She stabbed the syringe into Effie's arm.
"Don't be so surprised, your highness. You weren't on any mercy mission this time--ow!" Darth Vader disappeared, and Effie was back. "Mevolent will not be stopped," she said in a monotone. Her arm began to turn a sickly yellow, and she thrashed. "Fabigail, I'm--Join him now, before it's too late. Join us, and all your previous misdeeds will be forgiven. Mevolent is impressed by the way you've avoided death so far. He wants to--I-I can stop it. Key... irid anvil. Fabulous... I couldn't..." She thrashed again.
"Ember, what did you DO to her?"
Ember looked shocked. "It was just supposed to make her calm down. I guess it..."
"Mevolent doesn't want me to calm down. He wants me to be mad, to kill you and capture Fabigail," Eff's voice sounded monotonous again, and she was turning yellow-green all over. "It's harder to control an insane mind than most people realize, and Mevolent sub-contracted the task to one of his less powerful cronies." She laughed bitterly. "In a moment or so, I'll go crazy again and kill you, nothing personal."
"I'm afraid you won't be doing that." Ember pulled out another syringe and brandished it menacingly, before realizing it was empty. "Fabi, what's an irid anvil?"
Fabi looked at the ceiling, this one also rigged. "I think the key is somewhere on that." She pointed to a black anvil that was sparkling slightly. "It's iridescent...I think."
Eff nodded emphatically. "Yep, that's--Fabienne S., Mevolent is going to crush you. Don't worry."
Fabi looked away from her friend-ish's eerily neon face. The fact that Eff hadn't completely betrayed her made things almost worse. She couldn't magically sense the trigger wire that connected to the irid anvil, but she could see it if she looked closely. "Ember, against the wall, help Star. I'm not sure where this thing is going to land."
Ember pulled Star over to the wall. "I knew it," Star muttered. "Her name starts with E."
"I think she may have a concussion," Ember noted, leaning the babbling Star against the wall.
"Potatoes...Apples of the earth. Apple crisps..."
"I think you may be right," Fabi agreed, cutting the wire, and sending the irid anvil plummeting to the ground.