Mischief Managed

Whitman Hall, Friday morning, Oct 12th, 2007

As soon as the alarm clock went off, Melissa Chambers practically leapt from her bed, full of energy and ready to face the day.

“Good morning,” she cheerfully called out to her roommate, who merely groaned in response.

Maxine slowly sat up in bed and glared at Melissa, before brushing her long magenta hair out of her face. Maxine was a petite girl, who could have been mistaken as being a year or two younger than her actual age of thirteen. And with her slight frame, delicate features, and pointed ears, she easily could have passed as one of the elves on campus. However, as Maxine was quick to remind Melissa, whenever she pointed this out, she wasn’t an elf, just a girl with some minor GSD.

“Have you been drinking devisor coffee again?” Maxine asked with a look of disapproval.

“Nope,” Melissa responded with a grin. “I only did that once…”

“Once was more than enough,” Maxine pointed out with a scowl. “You were bouncing off the walls…”

“I was not,” Melissa protested defensively.

“Okay,” Maxine corrected, giving Melissa a flat look. “You were running back and forth through them.”

Melissa couldn’t argue with that, so just shrugged and stuck her tongue out at Maxine instead. “I hope they have waffles for breakfast,” she said as she began getting ready for her morning shower. “I love waffles, especially with lots of strawberries and whipped cream. My dad makes awesome waffles, and pancakes, and French toast, and…”

Maxine groaned and let out a loud yawn, before asking, “Are you sure you haven’t had any coffee?”

“Pretty sure,” Melissa responded with a laugh.

With another groan, along with a sigh, Maxine muttered, “Morning people are the lowest form of life.”

“Are all elves this grumpy in the morning?” Melissa teased, earning another glare from Maxine.

“I…am…not…an…elf,” Maxine stated firmly.

“Okay then,” Melissa responded with a look of mock innocence. “Are all Vulcans this grumpy?”

A short time later, Melissa had finished with her shower, and quickly got dressed for her classes. Maxine was a bit slower, but Melissa waited for her roommate to finish up anyway. They weren’t close friends. In fact, Melissa didn’t think that Maxine really had any other friends besides her. However, they were roommates, and as far as Melissa was concerned, that was close enough.

Melissa nearly skipped out the door as they left Whitman and started towards Crystal Hall for breakfast. Maxine gave her several dirty looks, but didn’t bother saying anything.

“I can’t wait till tomorrow,” Melissa said, though when Maxine didn’t responded, she reminded her, “You know... That trip to Berlin… That’s gonna be awesome…”

“It might be nice to pick up a few things,” Maxine grudgingly admitted. “And nicer to get out of this place for awhile.”

“It’s gonna be awesome,” Melissa assured her. “And I’m gonna pick up souvenir’s for everyone…”

Maxine gave her a wry look. “We’re just going into town…not on vacation.”

Once they reached the Crystal Hall and loaded up on breakfast, Melissa quickly led the way towards the table she usually shared with her friends. To her delight, two of them were already there.

Trixie was a petite black girl, with her hair pulled back into twin pig tails. Sitting beside her was Jenny, AKA Fairy Girl, who was a cute blonde girl with pink ribbons in her hair. Both of them were in Dickenson, so they’d probably come over together, the same way that Melissa had come with Maxine.

“Hey,” Melissa exclaimed, hopping into her chair and immediately hearing a loud sound from beneath her, as though she’d just let out the noisiest fart she’d ever had. At the same time, a foul smell suddenly filled the air.

Melissa jumped in surprise and teleported a couple feet away. Then she looked at the table, where Jenny was giggling, and Trixie was laughing so hard that she was falling out of her seat.

“Gotcha,” Trixie exclaimed.

“No way,” Melissa blurted out, looking into her seat and exclaiming, “A whoopee cushion…” She quickly picked up the item and stared at it in surprise. “You made an invisible whoopee cushion?”

“It’s only transparent,” Trixie responded with a broad grin. “If it was really invisible, you wouldn’t be able to see it…”

“Details, details,” Melissa said with a grin. She checked her seat, than sat down again. “I didn’t see it, so it’s still cool… And wow, it stinks. Did you put stink bomb stuff inside it?”

Trixie’s eyes lit up with excitement. “Oh yeah, but just a little…”

“Do you mind if I borrow this?” Melissa asked eagerly.

Trixie hesitated a moment, admitting, “I wanted to see if I could catch a couple other people…but go ahead. But I want it back by dinner.”

“Please don’t encourage her,” Maxine said with a roll of her eyes.

“Which one is the bad influence?” Jenny asked with a grin.

“She is,” Melissa and Trixie simultaneously exclaimed, pointing at each other.

After this, Melissa began to eat her breakfast, while chatting with her friends. Trixie was talking so much, that she barely ate anything at all. Jenny seemed to alternate between eating, and fiddling with her magic wand, which actually had a star on top. Only Maxine focused entirely on her meal, and didn’t bother talking.

“Did you hear about this girl named Jobe?” Jenny asked excitedly. “She’s a devisor who can turn people into drow…which are dark elves.”

“I’ve seen a couple of them around,” Melissa said. “They look kind of cool…”

“And kind of scary,” Trixie added.

“Well,” Jenny continued with a grin, “I was thinking…”

“Never a safe thing,” Maxine pointed out, not bothering to look up from her plate.

Jenny glared at Maxine for a moment, then continued, “As I was saying… If Jobe can turn people into drow, then I bet she can turn people into regular elves too…like that Fey girl.”

“And you’re going to ask Jobe to turn you into an elf?” Maxine asked, giving Jenny a flat look. “And you really think that asking a devisor…who happens to be the daughter of Gizmatic…to turn you into another species…is a good idea?”

“She is called Fairy Girl,” Melissa pointed out with a grin. “You know she’s a little obsessed…”

“You should just join Wondercute and call it good,” Trixie said. “I hear that they’re all into that fairy princess stuff…”

When they were finished eating breakfast, Mischief waved goodbye to her friends, then hurried to her first class of the day. As far as Melissa was concerned, her first class was definitely her favorite. After all, that was the art class she had with Imp.

Melissa raced into the classroom, not even bothering to use the door. Instead, she simply turned intangible and ran through the wall. Then, she teleported right to her desk and took her seat. A couple of the other students gave her odd looks, as if they weren’t already used to her doing that. However, Imp just watched with an amused look on her face.

“Good morning, everybody,” Imp announced from the front of the classroom, where she stood with her tail swishing back and forth. She was looking straight at Melissa, but gave nods of acknowledgement to a couple of the other students too.

Monkeywrench sat down beside Melissa, with a broad grin on his face. A moment later, he set what looked like a couple of bananas down onto his desk. Melissa looked at them curiously, wondering if they really were bananas, or some of his devises. Monkeywrench liked making things that looked like bananas, mostly to mess with people, since he had GSD that made him look a lot like a monkey.

“What are those for?” Melissa asked him curiously.

“Lunch,” Monkeywrench responded with a chuckle. “At least this one is. This one is just my banana phone.”

“Just don’t mix it up with your banana gun,” Mischief pointed out.

Then, Melissa turned her attention back to the Imp, who walked over to chat with another student, a girl named Alicia. Apparently, Imp had saved Alicia’s life last year, and at the same time, Alicia had even met Melissa’s dad. Melissa wanted to talk to Alicia about that, but wasn’t sure if she was supposed to. After all, it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to run around telling everyone that her dad was the hero Superhawk.

After a few seconds of watching Imp and Alicia talk, Melissa saw her opportunity and grinned. Imp wasn’t paying attention, so Melissa quickly teleported to Imp’s desk, dropped the transparent whoopee cushion onto the chair, then teleported back to her own seat.

“What was that?” Monkeywrench quietly asked Melissa, who just giggled.

“Just wait and see,” she whispered back.

A minute later, Imp returned to her desk and sat down. Suddenly, everyone in the classroom could hear the whoopee cushion going off, making it sound like the Imp had just let a huge fart. Nearly everyone started to laugh at that.

“Excuse me,” Imp announced with laugh of her own. “I guess that extra-large bean burrito I had for breakfast isn’t agreeing with me…” That earned more laugher from around the class.

“Classic,” Monkeywrench told Melissa with a nod of approval.

As Melissa expected, the Imp wasn’t offended by the joke, and actually seemed to appreciate it. In fact, she even made a few more fart jokes of her own during the rest of the class. There was a good reason that Imp was Melissa’s very favorite teacher of all time. Imp was awesome.

Once class ended and everyone else began to leave, Melissa went up to the front of the class, where Imp was waiting with the whoopee cushion. “I expect you’ll be wanting this back,” Imp commented with a faint smirk.

“Yeah,” Melissa responded with a self-conscious grin. “I borrowed it from Trixie, after she used it on me at breakfast. Isn’t it awesome? I mean, an invisible whoopee cushion…”

“Not quite invisible,” Imp pointed out with a chuckle. “But it looks like it’s made out of clear plastic…” Then she took a cautious sniff and added, “And it has a certain…appropriate aroma.”

Melissa nodded enthusiastically as she accepted the whoopee cushion and stuffed it into her backpack. “But now, I’ve gotta come up with something good for Trixie. Yesterday, she got me with a new joy buzzer that zapped me good, so if I don’t get her back, I’m gonna look like an easy mark or something.”

Imp stared at her for a moment with a faint smirk, before abruptly announcing, “Oh, that reminds me…”

“What does?” Melissa asked in confusion.

Instead of answering, Imp went to her desk and opened one of the drawers. A few seconds later, she pulled out a small metal container and held it out. “Itching powder,” she explained with a broad grin. Her tail swished back and forth, distracting Melissa for a moment. “Unfortunately, it just expired, so I have to throw it out.” And with that, she casually dropped the container right into the small garbage can beside her desk. “Too bad. This is some great stuff, and I’d been thinking of using it on Barney…”

“Oh, that stinks,” Melissa said in disappointment. She hated to see good practical joke materials being wasted like that.

“Yep,” Imp responded with a grin. “But what are you gonna do?” Then, she mused, “Now, where did I put that lesson plan…?”

As soon as the Imp turned her back and began digging through her desk drawer, Melissa looked into the garbage can and began to grin mischievously. She quickly glanced at Imp, then snatched up the can of itching powder, before the eccentric teacher could see her.

“I’ve gotta get going,” Melissa blurted out as she rushed towards the door. “See you later…” If she’d looked back, she would have noticed the Imp was watching her with a mischievous grin of her own.

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Friday late morning, Oct 12th, 2007

Melissa rocked back and forth on her feet, humming to herself as she impatiently waited for her target to arrive. Then, Melissa saw Maxine, walking towards Crystal Hall for lunch, and began to grin.

“ROOMIE,” Melissa cried out as she teleported, and appeared right beside Maxine.

“Don’t do that,” Maxine snapped, glaring at Melissa.

“Sorry,” Melissa responded with a grin. “I didn’t mean to scare you…”

“You didn’t scare me,” Maxine quickly responded.

“You jumped,” Melissa smirked.

Maxine gave her a flat look. “I was…startled. And it’s never a good idea to startle someone with powers. You never know what they might do in response.”

Melissa nodded at that, then quickly asked, “Have you seen Trixie yet?”

“No,” Maxine answered, giving Melissa a curious look. “What did you do this time?”

“I got her with itching powder after second period,” Melissa bragged. Then she giggled, remembering how she’d been invisible and really sneaky when she did it, so that Trixie wouldn’t even notice her. “I can’t wait to see her at lunch, because I wanna see if she’s all itchy and stuff…”

Maxine just shook her head. “I don’t understand why you two waste so much time with these jokes….”

“Well, duh,” Melissa responded with a roll of her eyes. “They’re fun.”

Just as Melissa was about to brag about how she’d snuck up on Trixie, her roommate scowled and said, “Your fan club is following you again.”

Melissa glanced to where Maxine was gesturing, and immediately saw Geist. The nosey blonde girl was crouched down, out in the open, as if she was hiding down behind something. Melissa had dealt with the other girl enough to realize that this meant Geist was using her powers. She was probably hiding down behind that bush, but was using her power to project her image away from her. The very sight of that image was enough to make Melissa giggle.

“Wow,” Melissa announced with a grin. “I’ve got my very own paparazzi. I feel like I’m a movie star or something…”

Since Melissa had a pretty good idea of where the real Geist was hiding, mostly because it was the only hiding space close to her image, she decided that this would be a great time to have some fun. With that, Melissa reached into her backpack and pulled out the small can of itching powder. She winked at Maxine, then teleported. She couldn’t quite reach where Geist actually was, but she could teleport to halfway there, then teleport again. She appeared a short distance behind the bush, and immediately tossed a handful of itching powder in front of her.

“HEY,” Geist exclaimed, suddenly turning visible, and snapping around to glare at Melissa.

Melissa stuck her tongue out at the other girl, then teleported away, giggling loudly as she did so. A few seconds later, she was standing beside Maxine again.

“I hope you got that out of your system,” Maxine said.

“Yep,” Melissa responded cheerfully. “For now.”

“Good,” Maxine said, fixing Melissa with a flat look and adding, “Of course, you know that if I find any of that in my bed or dresser, you WILL regret it.”

“I wouldn’t do that to you,” Melissa said, frowning since she now had to forget about her plans for that night. “Imp told me that you don’t poop where you eat. Well, she didn’t use the word poop when she said it, but…”

Maxine snorted. “And my dad always said that if you can’t say anything smart, you should keep your mouth shut so you don’t sound like an idiot.”

“Are you telling me to shut up?” Melissa asked, giving her roommate a look of mock hurt.

“Why yes, I am,” Maxine replied with a faint smile, which earned her a raspberry from Melissa.

Suddenly, Maxine stopped, though Melissa didn’t realize why until she looked around and realized that there was a boy standing a short distance in front of them. She immediately recognized Doug, or Broadsword as he liked to be called, because they had a couple classes together. He was kind of short compared to the other boys in their class, but he looked really athletic, like he spent a lot of time working out in the gym.

However, the most noticeable thing about Doug, wasn’t his height or athletic build, but the huge sword he was casually holding onto. The massive broadsword had to be seven feet long, two feet longer than Doug was tall, and the blade itself was a foot wide at the hilt. It looked like it might have come straight out of some anime or video game. However, in spite of how enormous the sword was, and how heavy it looked, Doug was holding it as though it was made out of cardboard instead of steel.

Melissa might have been surprised at the sight of Doug, holding that sword with a single hand, though part of the blade was slung over his shoulder, if she hadn’t known about his powers. Doug was a warper, who could do weird things with gravity and momentum, for himself and things he touched.

“Heya, ladies,” Doug greeted them with a cocky grin.

“Is it me,” Maxine asked wryly, “or is this a bit cliché?”

“That’s a big cliché,” Mischief pointed out with a grin. “Someone is overcompensating. A LOT.”

“Hey,” Doug said, “I just wanted to see if you girls wanted to eat lunch with me and my crew.”

Maxine frowned. “Blocking our path, with a large weapon as a threat, isn’t a polite way to ask.”

“Oh, you mean this little thing?” Doug asked with a smirk, swinging the sword as though it weighted nothing.

“I prefer hammers,” Maxine mused to herself.

Melissa gave Maxine a curious look. “I woulda thought you’d be more into knives or something.” Then her eyes lit up and she giggled. “Or one of those elf swords from Lord of the Rings. Those are so cool looking, and I bet you’d look awesome with one of those…”

Doug repositioned himself in front of them, holding the massive sword out to the side, making it even more difficult to get around him. Then he smirked, silently daring them to get past him.

Melissa just giggled, considering how easy it would be for her to go through the boy. She could teleport, or simply walk through him, and there was nothing he could do. Then, she thought about how she could have some fun with this.

However, before Melissa could do anything, Maxine calmly asked, “Do you know what happens when someone with a large metal weapon like yours, faces off against a ferrokinetic like me?”

“What’s that?” Doug asked.

Doug continued to smirk, and Melissa really wanted to wipe it off his face. She thought about the itching powder and began to grin evilly.

“Simple,” Maxine stated, beginning to grin evilly. “Your weapon becomes my weapon.”

A moment later, the massive sword was yanked out of Doug’s hands and floated up into the air. No one was touching the sword as it hovered there, the blade pointing straight at Doug. His eyes widened in sudden fear.

“You can’t do that,” Doug blurted out, giving the sword a look of betrayal.

A second later, the sword suddenly shifted position so that the blade was pointing at the ground. Then, it drove straight down, embedding itself all the way up to the hilt.

“Wow, that was totally awesome,” Melissa exclaimed, bouncing in delight. “I didn’t know you could do that.” She ran up to the sword and asked, “Is this like that sword, where if I pull it out, I can be queen…?”

Instead of answering, Maxine simply began walking around Doug, musing, “I wonder what Crystal Hall has for lunch today…”

“Hamburgers,” Melissa exclaimed enthusiastically. “Or corndogs. I love corndogs…”

Then Melissa paused, catching sight of Geist walking towards Crystal Hall in the distance. She was scratching frantically at her arms, which made Melissa begin to giggle

“Oh yeah,” Melissa told her roommate. “I can’t wait to see Trixie. This is gonna be awesome…”

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Saturday late morning, Oct 13th, 2007

Melissa was nearly bouncing with excitement as she climbed onto the bus. It wasn’t a very big bus, and there were only a dozen other students gathered around to get on too, though most of them looked nearly as excited as she was. Or at least, all of the other freshmen did.

When Melissa had been told that there was going to be a trip to Berlin, she’d immediately signed up. After all, there weren’t many seats available, and she hadn’t wanted to miss out.

Melissa adjusted her jacket a little as she waited to get to her seat. That jacket was one of her most prized possessions, and had a lot of pockets which held her ‘bag of tricks’, as she liked to call her collection of fun and useful items. It was currently unzipped and open, which she thought looked cool.

“What’s your shirt say?” Vulpine asked Melissa. It took her a moment to realize that the other girl was speaking to her.

With a grin, Melissa pulled her jacket open to give Vulpine a better look. She glanced down, grinning at the sight of her shirt, which was one of her favorites. It was a black t-shirt, with a picture of a map, and the words ‘I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.’ Imp had given it to her.

Vulpine chuckled in appreciation, then said, “That’s a cool jacket too. Red leather…”

“Yeah,” Melissa grinned in agreement, not bothering to point out that it was actually made of specially treated kevra, not leather. “My aunt gave it me to me for my birthday. Isn’t it awesome? I really love this jacket, though I wonder what Aunt Brandy is gonna give me for Christmas. She always gives good presents…”

Behind Melissa, Maxine rolled her eyes. “Can you go thirty seconds without talking?”

Melissa paused at that, made a show of looking at the watch on her wrist, even though she wasn’t actually wearing a watch. Then she cheerfully responded, “Nope.”

“Of course not,” Maxine muttered with a shake of her head. “I’ve been rooming with you long enough, that I don’t know why I even bothered asking…”

After sticking her tongue out at Maxine in response, Melissa grinned mischievously and asked, “So, do you know what Santa is giving me for Christmas?”

“A lump of coal,” Maxine answered flatly. Then, after giving Melissa another look, she added, “A big one…”

Once everyone was on the bus and seated, one boy, who Melissa thought was a sophomore, stood up and made a show of looking around the bus, glancing at each of the students. Then, he nodded his satisfaction and sat down.

Rapier, a cute boy whom Melissa shared a couple classes with, asked the first one, “What was that for?”

“I was just checking to make sure there weren’t any Kimbas on here,” the first boy answered.

“Kimbas?” Rapier asked in confusion.

The first boy nodded at that, and with a serious expression, said, “I wouldn’t go if any of them were here. I mean, those kids are cursed or something. They can’t even take a trip to the bathroom without getting in trouble…”

Melissa listened in on the conversation and grinned, deciding that she was going to have to find out more about these Kimbas. They sounded like they might be fun, or at least, interesting. Maybe Imp would know more about them.

Before Melissa could ask anyone about these Kimbas, an older girl stepped onto the bus. She was petite, with fine features, much like Maxine, though unlike Melissa’s roommate, this girl didn’t have the pointed ears. However, what she did have was long blue-black hair, and some odd eyes, that reminded Melissa of a kaleidoscope.

“Hello,” the girl announced loud enough for everyone to hear. “I’m Cascade, and I’m going to be one of your senior escorts on this trip. Dash will be your other escort.” She gestured to a boy who’d come onto the bus right behind her, giving him a look of faint disapproval.

Dash merely nodded and gave a friendly smile. “Hey.”

“When we get to Berlin,” Cascade continued, “we will split into two groups for a little shopping. Dash will be leading one, and I’ll be leading the other. Whichever one of us you go with, make sure that you don’t get too far away. And as a reminder, don’t go using your powers in public, or do anything that might draw attention to us or Whateley. If you do, Mrs. Carson might very well skin you alive…”

“Or give you some seriously detention,” Dash added. “Trust me, Carson can get really creative with her detentions, and you don’t want to be on the receiving end of one.”

A minute later, the bus began to move, and they were on their way off campus. Melissa bounced excitedly in her seat as she watched the scenery pass outside the bus window. Finally, unable to contain herself, she told Maxine, “I wish Imp was coming as our chaperone, because she’d be a lot of fun…”

“But who’d chaperone her?” Maxine asked with a faint smirk. “From what I’ve heard, keeping her out of trouble would be a full time job.”

“Maybe,” Melissa agreed with a grin. “But she’s a lot of fun, and always has the best ideas.” Then with a sigh, Melissa seemed to deflate just a little. “I asked if she was gonna come to Berlin with us, but she said that she’s gotta go on a business trip to Boston this weekend, which would probably be a lotta fun too.”

Maxine gave Melissa a curious look. “Now, what kind of business could a supervillain and art thief have in Boston?”

With a shrug, Melissa answered, “I don’t know, but I bet it’s exciting…” Then she paused for a moment before adding. “My dad told me that he’s gonna be in Boston this weekend for work too, so it would be really funny if they ran into teach other. I wish I woulda told Imp about my dad going there too, because she might have been able to go find him…”

“And I wish I would have picked a different seat,” Maxine said with a roll of her eyes. “I should have known that I wouldn’t get any peace and quiet if I sat next to you…”

“Just one of the benefits of being my roomie,” Melissa responded with a giggle.

When they arrived in Berlin a short time later, Dash stood up and said, “Okay everyone, we’re splitting into two groups. I’m heading down this way to start,” he pointed in one direction, “and Cascade will be heading in that direction…” He pointed down the street in the opposite direction.

Cascade added, “Everyone pick your group, and make sure to stay pretty close to either Dash or myself…”

“I don’t know where any of the stores are,” Melissa complained. “So who should we go with?”

“I don’t know about you, but I’m going with Dash,” Maxine answered. “I can see a few stores in that direction that I’d like to check out, and there’s something I’d like to talk to him about too…”

“Then I’ll go with you,” Melissa stated, since she didn’t have any specific destination in mind. All she knew was that she wanted to look around Berlin while she had the opportunity, and she wanted to buy presents for a few people. “This is gonna be so much fun. Way better than being stuck at school all weekend. I mean, why can’t we go out shopping like this every weekend…?”

Maxine rolled her eyes and muttered, “I shouldn’t have mentioned my plans.”

Nearly an hour later, Melissa and Maxine were looking through a small clothing shop, along with a couple other students. Dash was hanging out in the video game shop next door, close enough to count as still escorting all of them.

“Look at this,” Melissa exclaimed, holding up a t-shirt for her roommate to see. There was an image on the front, of a brown cartoon bird, who was standing there with his hands on his hips. She began to giggle, saying, “Dad is gonna love this…”

“Your dad is a fan of Looney Tunes?” Maxine asked, immediately recognizing the bird who caused Foghorn Leghorn so much trouble.

Melissa just grinned. “I can’t wait to see the look on his face when I give it to him. Or see Imp’s face when she hears about this… Or see the look on her face, when she sees my dad wearing this…” She giggled at that.

Maxine shook her head. “You are a strange girl.”

“I know you are, but what am I?” Melissa responded, sticking her tongue out at Maxine.

Once Melissa went to the register and paid for the shirt, she slipped it into the shopping bag that contained several of her previous purchases. She mentally counted off what she’d already bought, who she’d bought the presents for, and how much money she had left. Unfortunately, she knew that she was running low on cash.

“I wonder if Dad would send me more money, if I called him up and begged really nice,” Melissa mused to herself. It was too bad that she couldn’t give the puppy dog eyes over the phone, because that always helped when she had to ask her dad for something.

Then, Melissa looked up and watched another girl come out of the same clothing shop that she had. Vulpine was wearing a long overcoat, which hid her three fox tails. If it hadn’t been for that coat, those tails probably would have made her stand out a little too much, and she probably wouldn’t have been allowed to come on the trip.

“What did you get?” Melissa asked the other girl.

“Just a shirt,” Vulpine answered. She reached into her bag and pulled out the shirt, revealing that it had a picture of a Pokemon on the front, which looked like a cute little fox with several tails. “It’s a Vulpix,” Vulpine answered self-consciously. “I thought it was appropriate…”

“Cool,” Melissa exclaimed with a grin. Then she opened her jacket to reveal the front of her Harry Potter shirt, and proudly announced, “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good…”

Vulpine laughed at that while Maxine commented, “Don’t encourage her.”

Suddenly, a loud voice yelled out, “THERE YOU ARE!”

Melissa snapped around and immediately saw the source of the voice, a man who was wearing a long red coat, that was very old fashioned in style. And though Melissa couldn’t make out much about the costume he was wearing beneath the jacket, she could tell that it was grey, though there were knee high red boots, and a pair of red gloves. The top half of his face was covered with a metallic gold mask.

“Redcoat,” Dash exclaimed from a short distance away. He’d just come out of a shop and was staring at the costumed man with a look of surprise. “What are you doing here?”

“Dash,” Redcoat responded in a cold tone. “I thought that we needed to have a little…discussion. Last June, you came to me for assistance with a job. I gave you that assistance, and all the resources you required, in exchange for a favor. Yet when I attempted to call in that favor…you refused to take my phone calls…”

“I can explain,” Dash blurted out, nervously backing up. “The job was a bust…”

“That isn’t my concern,” Redcoat stated. “My concern is that you owe me a favor, and refused to honor it…”

Dash glared at Redcoat. “So, what? You’re here to kill me?”

“No,” Redcoat responded with a sneer. “Merely to leave you bruised and a little broken…as a reminder to fulfil your obligations…”

“Is he a supervillain?” Melissa asked excitedly, watching Redcoat in fascination. “I wonder if Imp knows him…”

Maxine just scowled deeply. “Ambushing a Whateley student…this close to campus. He’s either an amateur or an idiot. Probably both.”

“Ohmygod, this is so cool,” Melissa squealed in delight, earning a glare from Maxine.

Just then, Melissa realized that more people had come to join them. There were a dozen men, all of them wearing bright red uniforms, along with bandannas that covered the lower part of their faces. Each of these men was armed with what appeared to be some kind of machine gun. Melissa didn’t know enough about guns to be sure.

“My men will keep anyone from interfering,” Redcoat announced. “And you from escaping.”

Melissa noticed that the armed men were already chasing away any civilian witnesses, and several of them were coming towards her and her friends. They looked serious, and for a moment, Melissa became afraid, at least until she remembered that she could turn intangible. However, her friends couldn’t, so she was still worried for them.

A moment later, another voice called out, “I can’t just stand here and watch you hurt him…”

“Rapier,” Melissa gasped, recognizing the boy who’d come forward.

Rapier was in a couple of Melissa’s classes, and she’d seen him on the bus to Berlin. However, she was surprised to see him step forward, as if ready to fight Redcoat. He pulled the sleeves of his shirt back, revealing that he wore a pair of metal bands along his forearms. And then, as Melissa watched, each of these metal bands melted and flowed up into his hands, where they took new shapes. In one hand, he held a rapier sword, while in the other, he held a smaller blade, that Melissa had once heard him call a main gauche.

“Oh no,” Vulpine exclaimed with a worried look. “They told us to not let anyone see us using our powers while we were in Berlin. We’re all gonna get in trouble now…”

“Cleaning Hawthorne isn’t so bad,” Melissa said with a grin. “Some of the people there are really nice, especially Amy, since she likes to share food. And…”

“Shut up,” Maxine snapped. “For once…”

Melissa teleported behind the armed goons who’d been coming towards her and her friends, and who’d gotten too close. As soon as she was behind them, she kicked one in the butt, then giggled as she turned invisible and ran away.

“What the hell…?” one of the men demanded, swinging his gun in her direction.

“We were warned that Dash might have friends,” one of the other man said. “Don’t hurt the kids too bad…”

“Did you hear that,” Melissa called out. “They aren’t allowed to hurt us…”

Vulpine took advantage of Melissa’s distraction to turn and run, though she reached into her coat pocket and pulled out some sheets of paper. Melissa had seen her using those sheets of paper before. Vulpine was a magic user, and she used those spell slips to do her magic. As Melissa watched, Vulpine slapped one of the spells slips onto the side of a wall, then ran further down and stuck one onto a light post.

Though Melissa was curious about what Vulpine was doing, she was more interested in her roommate, who just stood where she was, glaring up at the armed men. However, Melissa didn’t have the opportunity to pay too much attention to her, as another of the armed men came straight at her, looking like he was going to shoot.

“Neener neener neener,” Melissa called out, teleporting a short distance away and sticking her tongue out at him. “I bet you can’t hit the broad side of a barn. Of course, I don’t see any barns around here. Maybe we should go find one, so you have something to shoot at…”

“Shut up, kid,” the man snarled, firing a shot, which hit the wall behind Melissa.

“That was NOT nice,” Melissa exclaimed, getting worried and even a little angry. “You might shoot someone, and then how would you feel?”

Melissa gave a nervous glance towards Maxine, who continued to stand there with a calm expression, even though the armed men were nearly in her face. Then, Maxine smiled, though it wasn’t a nice smile.

“Do you know what happens when you use metal weapons against a ferrokinetic?” Maxine asked the men. Before they could answer, she stated, “Your weapons become mine…”

As soon as Maxine said those words, the guns ripped right out of the hands holding them, and floated up into the air. The men jumped back in surprise, though the guns came right to Maxine, who could have reached out to touch them. A second later, the barrels began to crumble and dissolve, as all the metal in the weapons turned to sand. The metal sand floated in front of Maxine, then began to reform, taking the shape of several knives.

“Put the weapons down,” one man exclaimed, and though Melissa couldn’t see his expression because of his bandanna, he sounded worried.

“Red shirts,” Maxine announced in contempt. “You’re literally wearing red shirts, as if you’re nothing more than disposable minions, who are expected to get killed for no good reason. Don’t you have any sense of professional pride? And what about your families? Are you going to let yourselves get killed for someone like him, and abandon your families?”

“We’d really rather not be killed, kid,” one of the men said carefully, though his eyes lingered on the knives floating in front of Maxine.

“Then go,” Maxine told them. “Get out of here. And whatever you do, don’t let your employers put you in red shirts again. You’re better than that.”

“Um…thank you,” the man said, before he turned and ran. The others, who’d been disarmed, immediately followed.

“That was totally awesome,” Melissa squealed in delight. She teleported to her roommate’s side and gave the other girl a quick hug. “But what about those guys…” She gestured to the other armed henchmen.

“They’re out of my range,” Maxine grudgingly admitted. “My powers are really strong within ten feet of me, but after that, they get weaker pretty fast.”

“Well, that sucks,” Melissa said. “And it explains why you let those guys get so close before doing anything,”

Melissa quickly looked around to see how everyone else was doing, and noticed that most of her other classmates were in hiding. Vulpine slapped another spell slip onto the side of a parked car, then transformed into a three tailed fox and ran, darting underneath another parked car and hiding.

Rapier was still facing Redcoat, which impressed Melissa. Not only was that boy totally cute, but he was really brave too. Unfortunately, he didn’t seem to be doing well.

Redcoat had pulled a large pistol out from the inside of his coat, and was pointing it at Dash, who stood there frozen. Melissa noted that the gun looked strange, and seemed to be made of the same gold metal as his mask, which made her wonder if it might be a devise or something. At the same time, Redcoat’s coat, had actually stretched out at the bottom to become even longer and more flowing, and was fighting Rapier. The coat snapped at Melissa’s classmate, who was slashing uselessly at it with his sword and main gauche.

“Can you get his gun?” Melissa asked, trying to think of what to do.

“Out of my range,” Maxine responded, then crossed her arms. “And I’m not going to risk getting closer.”

“Then I guess I’ll have to do it,” Melissa responded with a grin.

“What?” Maxine asked, but Melissa had already teleported.

Melissa appeared right in front of Redcoat, who jumped in surprise at her sudden appearance. She didn’t hesitate to grab the gun right out of his hand, and then throw it.

“Wow,” I love the color of your coat,” Melissa exclaimed with a grin. “Do you like mine? My aunt made it for me, and it’s really really cool…”

Redcoat tried to backhand Melissa, though his hand went through her as though she wasn’t there. “Go away, girl,” he snarled. “I have no desire to hurt you…”

“And I have no desire to be hurt,” Melissa responded with a giggle.

The villain reached into his coat and pulled out another gun made of gold metal, though it was so big that Melissa wondered how it could possibly have fit without any bulges. Before she could ask, Redcoat fired the gun, though not at her.

“HEY,” Rapier exclaimed as a flash of golden light hit him. He was thrown back, and Melissa gasped in horror. However, instead of being killed, glowing golden strands wrapped around the boy, tying him up.

“I don’t kill children,” Redcoat announced, turning his attention back to Dash, who stood there with a smirk. “And what is so funny, Dash?”

Dash continued to smirk. “Oh, nothing.”

“Do you know Imp?” Melissa abruptly asked, suddenly teleporting to one side of Redcoat, trying to distract him from Dash. “I mean, you’re a supervillain, and Imp is a supervillain, so I bet you guys know each other…”

“No, I don’t know the Imp,” Redcoat answered, snapping around to shoot at Melissa with his strange gun. She teleported before he could fire another shot, and appeared several feet away. “But I have heard of her. Now, sit still girl, and stay out of my way until I’m done with this boy.”

Melissa paused to consider that for a moment, then shook her head. “Naw. That’s boring. This is a lot more fun.”

With that, Melissa reached into her jacket pocket for the stink bomb that Trixie had given her a couple days earlier. Unfortunately, it was gone. Melissa pouted as she remembered that she’d left it in her room, sitting on top of her dresser.

“That stinks,” Melissa grumbled, then realized the unintentional pun and giggled. “That’s okay,” she announced with a mischievous grin. “I have another idea…”

Melissa turned invisible, and then held back a giggle as Redcoat looked around to see where she went. Unable to resist, she jumped up in front of him, turning visible again and shouting, “BOO!” Redcoat jumped back in surprise, which made Mischief laugh in delight.

“Stop teasing the supervillain,” Maxine called out. “I can’t believe I even have to tell you that.”

“But it’s fun,” Melissa whined.

“Mischief,” Dash called out to her. “Get out of here. I’ve got this.” He made a show of cracking his knuckles, while watching Redcoat with a cocky grin. “You freshies distracted him long enough for me to charge my power.”

With that, Dash moved so fast that he was a blur. An instant later, he was beside Redcoat, who he picked up as though he weighed nothing.

“Now, this is a different game,” Dash said.

Redcoat’s coat suddenly wrapped around Dash, then flung him back, giving the villain a chance to return to his feet and draw another gun from his coat. He fired at Dash, who dodged to the side and easily avoided it.

“You’re making this look too easy,” Dash taunted him.

Several of the armed henchmen rushed in to help Redcoat, but Melissa teleported to one of them and tripped him so that he fell flat on his face. Before he could get back up, she grabbed his gun and threw it away.

“No interfering,” Maxine said, using her power to yank the guns from the hands of two more henchmen. When another of them turned to aim his gun at her, the knives that were floating in front of her suddenly flew at him, hitting him in the shoulder and leg. He went down with a scream of pain, while Maxine calmly repeated, “No interfering.”

“Ouch,” Vulpine said, back in human form and peeking out from behind a parked car. “That’s nasty.”

“But no worse than he deserved,” Rapier commented, though he was still tied up on the ground.

“I told you to get back,” Dash called out. “I’m supposed to be looking after you kids…”

Dash charged Redcoat again at blinding speed, and before Melissa realized it, Redcoat had been thrown back into a wall. Dash immediately ran up to him and lifted him up, holding him against the wall.

“If you have a problem with me,” Dash said, “that’s one thing. But you shouldn’t have brought them into it…”

“Perhaps not,” Redcoat responded. His coat came to life again and lashed out at Dash, throwing him back again. “It certainly wasn’t my intention, but this was the only opportunity I found for our little discussion.”

With that, Redcoat stood up, brushed something off his coat, and then calmly pulled something out from inside of it. It was a gold metal sphere, about the size of a baseball.

“This obviously hasn’t gone the way I intended,” Redcoat said. “But I believe that you understand my message. The next time I call, I expect you to pick up the phone. If you don’t, then the next time, I won’t come to remind you. The next time, I will spread the word that you don’t honor your obligations. Your reputation as a professional will be ended, before your career even begins.”

Dash lowered his eyes for several long seconds before saying, “I’ll answer.” Then with a grimace, he added, “I pay my debts.”

“Then our discussion is over,” Redcoat said, pressing a button on the side of the golden sphere. Suddenly, there was a flash of light, and he was gone, as were all his henchmen.

“Damn,” Dash exclaimed, suddenly looking worried. “We need to get everyone and get out of her ASAP.” He paused for a moment, then added, “And we need to call campus security…”

“I just called them,” Cascade called out as she ran over. “They’re on their way, but we should get going first.”

“Carson is going to kill us,” Dash snarled. “She’s gonna kill me.”

Cascade nodded agreement. “Probably. This was WAY too public. I bet the video is already up online…”

“Actually,” Vulpine said, looking a little self-conscious. “I already took care of that.”

“How’d you do that?” Melissa asked curiously. “Are you like a hacker or something? I thought you did magic, but hacking would be really cool too…”

“Um…I put up some spells when this started,” Vulpine answered, pointing to the dozen spell slips that she’d stuck on various surfaces surrounding them. “Half of them are spells to mess with cameras, so all they get is a big blur at best.” She puffed up, looking rather proud of herself. “My grandpa taught me that one.”

“And the other half?” Cascade asked curiously.

Vulpine grinned. “They blur the short term memories of people who aren’t directly involved. Grandpa taught me that one too.”

“At least that might keep Carson from outright killing us,” Dash said.

“Everyone get on the bus,” Cascade called out, before telling Dash, “My group is already there waiting for us.”

Dash nodded at that, then grumbled, “And while we have to worry about Carson, security, and these local yahoos, Redcoat is probably chilling back home, and already forgetting about all this…”

“Oh, Little Red Riding Coat won’t be forgetting about this anytime soon,” Melissa said with a giggle.

“What do you mean?” Maxine asked, giving her a suspicious look. “What did you do?”

Melissa grinned as she proudly held up an empty metal can, which had previously been half full of itching powder. “He’s gonna be scratching himself for DAYS,” she gloated. “And I bet it’ll take a LONG time to get it all out of his coat…”

Maxine let out a sigh and shook her head. “Only you would think it was a good idea to prank a supervillain, when you should be running away.”

“It wasn’t just a good idea,” Melissa answered with a giggle. “It was a GREAT idea.”

Then, as they hurried back towards the bus, Maxine moved in beside Dash and quietly said, “I know this isn’t the best time, but how do I go about joining that campus club you belong to?”

--------------------

Whitman Hall, Saturday late afternoon, Oct 13th, 2007

Melissa walked into her dorm room, tossed her coat over the back of the chair, then flopped back onto her bed, with her arms spread wide.

“This has been a long day,” Melissa said, letting out a long sigh of relief. After everything that had happened, she was almost entirely out of energy, and just wanted to collapse in bed for a few hours.

“You can say that again,” Maxine commented as she stepped into the room, though she quickly added, “But don’t.”

“Aw, you’re no fun,” Melissa teased, not bothering to sit up.

The whole thing with Redcoat and his henchmen had been exciting, fun, and admittedly, even a little scary. However, what had really tired Melissa out, was dealing with security and Mrs. Carson after they got back to school. Not only did they have to answer a lot of questions about what had happened, they’d also been yelled at for fighting Redcoat in a public place, and risking the school’s secret.

“Mrs. Carson is a lot scarier than Redcoat,” Melissa admitted.

Maxine hesitated for a moment before nodding her agreement. “Definitely. And imagine how much worse it would have been, if Vulpine hadn’t covered our tracks. Those spells of hers were really useful.”

“I wonder if she’ll give me some,” Melissa mused with a grin, considering all the fun she could have with that kind of magic.

“I can only imagine the trouble you’d get into,” Maxine commented with a shake of her head. Melissa just snickered.

Half an hour later, Melissa sat up in bed and announced, “I’m hungry. Let’s go get dinner…”

“Not today,” Maxine told her. “I was just about to go and talk to a couple people about joining their club…”

“Which club is that?” Melissa asked curiously. When Maxine didn’t answer, Melissa began to guess. “The Gearheads? No, you don’t have a car, and don’t seem to like cars very much, so you wouldn’t go for that club. But maybe Wondercute. I mean, you’re a super cute little elf…”

“I am NOT an elf,” Maxine stated firmly, before muttering, “I don’t know why I even bother…”

“Well, I’ve got people to see too,” Melissa said as she cheerfully hopped off the bed and grabbed her backpack. “I bought presents for a couple people while I was in Berlin, and I’ve gotta find them so I can give them to them…” Then she paused for a moment before giving Maxine a mischievous look. “And I even got you something…”

With that, Melissa handed her a pin, which had a picture of a Keebler elf, with the words ‘ELF PRIDE’ written on it. “You shouldn’t have,” Maxine responded flatly. “I mean that. You really shouldn’t have wasted your money…”

Melissa just laughed at her reaction, then finished putting the rest of her gifts into the backpack. “I’ll see you later,” Melissa told her roommate, before she skipped out of the room, not even bothering to open the door before walking through it.

She was halfway to Crystal Hall, when she heard someone call out, “Mischief…”

Melissa looked over and saw Broadsword…Doug. His sword was floating four feet in the air, parallel to the ground. Doug was standing on the flat of the massive blade, riding it like a surfboard.

“I heard you fought a supervillain today,” Doug said, flashing a grin.

“Yeah,” Melissa agreed with a grin of her own, before bragging, “But I’ve met scarier.” Then she deflated a little and admitted, “And I’ve met one hero, who was WAY scarier than any villain I’ve met…”

Doug laughed at that. “Well, you hang around with that supervillain art teacher, so you might have a skewed perspective.”

“Imps great,” Melissa exclaimed defensively.

Holding out his hands in surrender, Doug said, “Well, the villain thing today was pretty cool.” He gave her a thumb’s up, then flew away, riding on his sword.

“Well, that’s kind of cool,” Melissa said, wishing she could ride a sword like that. It looked like a lot of fun.

Melissa was about to continue heading towards Crystal Hall, when she suddenly noticed one of the people on her list, and remembered what she’d been about to do before running into Doug.

“Monkeywrench,” she called out, waving her hand excitedly for attention. “Hey…”

“All hail the Queen of Mischief,” Monkeywrench responded, making a joking bow to Melissa. “I heard you got into some trouble in Berlin.”

“Oh yeah,” Melissa responded cheerfully. “We got attacked by a supervillain and all his henchmen. It was really exciting and kinda fun, so I can’t wait to tell Imp all about it…”

“Aw, man,” Monkeywrench groaned. “And I missed all the fun. Figures.”

Melissa nodded enthusiastically. “Yeah. Little Red Riding Coat showed up, and he was really mad at Dash for some reason, and then these guys in red shirts and guns show up everywhere…” She paused at that. “Oh yeah, I got you a present…”

With that, Melissa dug into her backpack and pulled out the item she’d bought for Monkeywrench. A moment later, she proudly held out a tie, that was covered with pictures of bananas.

“Awesome,” Monkeywrench said with a grin. He took the tie and held it up against himself to see how it would look. “This is great. Thanks…”

“Glad you like it,” Melissa responded. “I was gonna try to find something really really cool for Imp, but the bad guys all showed up before I could…”

Monkeywrench nodded at that, then noticed Melissa’s shirt and laughed. “Now THAT is the perfect shirt for you…”

Melissa looked down at her shirt, noting the map and the words, ‘I solemnly swear I am up to no good.’ With a giggle, she admitted, “I think it’s my favorite shirt now…”

“Well, you’re very good at getting in trouble,” Monkeywrench pointed out.

“And I always have it completely and totally under control,” Melissa bragged, before deflating just a little and admitting, “Except when I don’t. But I’m really good at managing it… See…” And with that, she turned around to let Monkeywrench read the back of her shirt, which simply had the words ‘Mischief Managed’ written across it.

“Oh yeah,” Monkeywrench said with an even broader grin. That is definitely the perfect shirt for you…”

Melissa was about to say something else, when she suddenly saw another person whom she’d bought a present for. Danny Franks, the super cute kitty boy from Wondercute, was walking towards Crystal Hall.

“I’ve gotta go,” Melissa quickly told her furry friend. “I’ll see you later…”

A moment later, Melissa teleported, appearing right beside Danny, who jumped in surprise and immediately turned a little furry. Melissa’s eyes gleamed in delight, as she thought this was absolutely cute and adorable.

“Mischief,” Danny blurted out, looking just a little nervous.

Melissa responded with a grin. “That’s my name. Don’t wear it out…” Then, before Danny could say anything, she announced, “I bought you a present today when I was in Berlin…”

“A present?” Danny asked, suddenly looking more curious than anything.

“You’re totally gonna love this,” Melissa told him before reaching into her backpack. After a second of digging, she pulled out the gift, a large pink collar, with gleaming rhinestones all around it. Then, there was a heart shaped name tag that dangled from it, engraved with the name ‘DANNY’. “Isn’t this totally KEWT?”

“NO,” Danny gasped, scrambling backwards as though Melissa was holding a venomous snake. “If my sister sees that, I’ll never hear the end of it...” Then he turned and ran.

For several seconds, Melissa just watched Danny run away, feeling a little confused. Didn’t he like the present she got him? Then, she giggled and began to smile mischievously.

“If kitty boy wants to play tag,” Melissa announced, “that’s fine with me…” And with that, she began to chase after him, holding up the coller and calling out, “You’re gonna look so cute and adorable in this…”

THE END



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