"I… I can't get in!" hissed Maike, banging her fist on the desk. Her laptop and the screen of the computer she was trying to hack bounced into the air.
"Wow, calm down first. Well, then it's well protected, that didn't stop you before." Jade said with her arms folded behind her head, spinning boredly in her office chair.
"Jade, look around! This is a toddler's room! How can the computer be better protected than my own!"
Jade let her eyes wander around the bedroom. Red light shone down on her from the overhead lamp, revealing a bed covered in Pokémon bedding and a shelf holding tons of figurines and costumes from the show.
"Well the person who lives here is just a nerd and not a kid."
"Come on, you can be a smartass somewhere else! See if you can find any clues on how to bypass the security system," Maike said, shooing Jade out of the bedroom with a wave of her hand. Jade stood up with an amused smile. She was glad to get some distance from Maike, she had become obnoxious in the last few days. Jade suspected that it had something to do with a friend of hers who was in custody. However, she didn't hold out much hope of being helpful to Maike in such a situation.
"Sure I'll see what I can find," Jade replied, rolling her eyes. She entered the living room. A television stood in front of a cozy sofa and several Pokéballs were lined up in front of it.
"Nothing to see, it's just a normal living room!"
"Then look somewhere else!"
"Already on it," Jade said and went into the kitchen. Maybe she found some password or something stuck to the fridge.
"Mmh no password but cell phone numbers?" Jade thought out loud and pulled a piece of paper from a magnet. She noticed a photo of two young women. One of them had brown shoulder length hair, the other long pink. Both looked very happy, especially the brown haired one who was literally beaming with joy.
"Could a phone number help you?" asked Jade.
"JADE HOW THE HELL IS A PHONE NUMBER GOING TO HELP ME ANY FURTHER!" shouted Maike and Jade flinched in surprise.
"Well, if you can't crack the system, maybe the one who set it up can?"
Silence, then an annoyed groan.
"Give it to me already!"
Jade bit her tongue to prevent asking what the magic word was, went back into the bedroom and handed Maike the piece of paper. She typed the numbers into her computer and two dots appeared on a map of Leon City. The dots were moving toward Falenplaza.
"Can you go get them? I really can't get in otherwise," stressed Maike, crossing her arms in front of her chest.
"Sure, I always have my chloroform with me," joked Jade, shrugging her shoulders.
"It's fine, but can't we just wait until they get back?" asked Jade, pulling her black leather jacket over her spandex catsuit and adjusting her faux leather pants.
"No, I want to get this over with as soon as possible. The client will pay more if we get this done by tomorrow morning."
Jade rolled her eyes again and walked down the hall.
"See you in a bit," she said, closing the front door behind her.
"Why do you have to be so damn talented," Maike muttered, turning to her laptop to send the phones' locations to Jade.
Jade drove through the gray streets of Leon City to the edge of the problem neighborhood. Maike's cell phone search had led her this far. A white van parked in front of an apartment building and the pink-haired woman Jade had seen in the photo stood next to the front door. She seemed to be waiting for someone. Jade parked her car some distance away and decided to watch her for now. According to the cell phone finder, both phones were nearby. Jade guessed the brown-haired woman was in the van.
"Heh, this van would be amazing for getting both of them back to Maike." Jade chuckled, imagining the two women bound and gagged in the back of the van. Jade shook her head and reminded herself to stay alert. A short time later, her patience was rewarded as a blonde woman appeared in the front doorway and Jade frowned as she recognized Chloe.
"Don't tell me they know each other too," Jade muttered, calling Maike on her speakerphone.
"What is it?" asked Maike.
"I just saw… Chloe get handcuffed by the pink-haired girl and get into her van."
"I think the pink-haired one is my target, but what are we going to do about Chloe?"
"Who was that again?"
"The girl who almost drowned during our last break-in? Honestly now, how could you have forgotten her so quickly?"
Jade heard Maike breathe in and out loudly as if to calm herself down before speaking up again.
"I don't give a shit Jade, just bring me the girl. If she has handcuffs on, so much the better! Then she might even like what you're doing to her, right?" asked Maike indignantly and just hung up.
Jade exhaled in annoyance and watched the pink-haired girl, who now got into the van and drove off. Jade started her own car and followed her at a distance.
Jade shook her head as they left Leon City via the east bridge, having collected Ava as well. Why was the pink-haired one, late at night, loading up her friends and driving out of town. Jade would have understood if they went to a club or partied at one of theirs, but they seemed to have other plans as she parked at a rest area by the Cursed Forest. Not wanting to draw attention, Jade had driven past them first, but watched intently as the women gathered in the parking lot and talked to each other. Jade looped around and pulled back into the parking lot, just in time to see the now six people march into the forest.
"What are you up to?" wondered Jade, calling Maike again.
"Yeah?" squealed Maike's irritated voice from Jade's phone.
"Hey, I just wanted to say that I tracked them to the forest. They seem to be up to something and they're going into it."
"Jade, why are you calling me for this? I can see where you are!" said Maike, getting louder with each word.
"I'm just saying there's six of them right now! I just need a little more time!" replied Jade, walking towards the forest path.
"The main thing is that you come .." Maike fell silent.
"What?" asked Jade, ducking into the shade of the trees.
"The signal is gone…" Maike mumbled, lost in thought, and Jade heard her typing something on her laptop.
"Did they turn off their cell phones?" asked Jade, creeping further towards the trail where she could spy a cone of light between the trees some distance away.
"Both at the same time? Rather unlikely. Maybe the trees are interfering with the reception? Mmmh, you might be on your own in the forest. Call me when you get out."
"So now you're worried about me."
"See you later Jade!" said Maike firmly and hung up.
"What's wrong with her?" Jade muttered and crept along the forest path, trailing the glow of the flashlight. She heard her targets talking and laughing. Jade was beginning to doubt she could catch either of them alone, but perhaps there was an opportunity under cover of darkness.
What are they doing in the woods anyway? Are the ladies on a camping trip? Jade thought about it and carefully climbed over a branch on the ground. She looked up again and paused, the cone of light had disappeared and with it the women.
"Shit, shit, shit!" cursed Jade softly and walked a little faster until she arrived at the spot where she suspected she had last seen the women. No one was to be heard or seen.
"Where the hell are they! They were just here!"
Jade fished her phone out of her pocket and turned on the flashlight to scan the ground for tracks. She saw distinct footprints in the dirt and even spiky prints from high heels that passed between two bushes and then suddenly disappeared. Jade frowned and followed them, she ducked under a branch and suddenly felt a slight resistance, as if she would run against a sheet that was hung up to dry. She pushed against it and stumbled forward as the resistance suddenly disappeared. Jade just managed to keep from falling and glanced back, there was nothing to indicate that something had blocked her path and she shook her head in confusion. She turned forward again and her breath was caught in her throat. In front of her was an antique villa standing in the middle of a clearing. More houses were built around it and quickly Jade stumbled back. She again felt an invisible force behind her, but she did not dare to break through it again. She quickly looked around and found some bushes to take shelter behind. Something was very wrong here. How could this little village just appear out of nowhere?
I have to tell Maike! Jade thought and pulled out her phone. But the screen of her phone didn't respond to her finger, instead it flickered and showed half a dozen error messages.
"What's going on?" she asked anxiously, looking up. She saw the women enter a cabin except for two of them. The blonde had what appeared to be a black latex catsuit, shining on her despite the dim moonlight, and the other, black-haired, had a bathing suit and latex on her arms and legs as well.
"Is that Cait?" she asked in surprise, quickly covering her mouth as the blonde peered in her direction. Fortunately, she didn't seem to have spotted Jade and continued talking to Caitlyn until a redheaded woman came out of the main house and walked over to them. The blonde exchanged a few words with her and stopped next to the door until Caitlyn and the redhead entered the house. She could see how the blonde seemed to be deep in thought and Jade ducked deeper into the bushes as the woman once again let her gaze wander over them.
Come on, get the hell lost! Jade thought until the woman tilted her head briefly and then disappeared into the main house. Jade didn't dare to come out of hiding, though, and continued to wait. Something was clearly not right here and she would do the hell and be careless. It was dark because the moon did not give much light, but the mansion threw treacherous rays from its large windows onto the clearing.
If Jade sneaked now to the hut where her targets were, she would undoubtedly be seen from the mansion.
"I guess I'll have to wait until Blondi goes to sleep," Jade muttered, taking off her jacket to sit on it. She wrapped her arms, hidden under her spandex suit, around her legs and rested her chin on her knees. She let her mind wander, thinking about what she had gotten herself into. Maike would probably yell at her again if she took too much time, and would never believe her that they had entered a miraculous clearing through an Invisible Barrier. The women didn't seem to care or notice. The women… Jade thought of Caitlyn. Was she friends with the others? What was she doing here?
After what seemed like an eternity, Jade admonished herself and clapped her hands against her cheeks to refocus on her task.
"Jade, concentrate!" she said, and as if on cue, the lights in the mansion went out and Jade sat up.
"Let's see what my ladies are up to," Jade muttered and crept across the lawn to the house where her targets had disappeared. The house had no windows on the front, but on its side so Jade had a clear view of a row of bedrooms. None of them were open, though, and she found her way back to the front door.
"It can't be that easy, can it?" she asked, reaching for the doorknob and pushing on the door. Nothing happened.
"Good thing I brought my master key," Jade muttered, and was about to pull her hand back to get her lockpick out, but her hand wouldn't budge. Puzzled, she pulled harder, but her right hand was stuck.
"Oh, come on, what is it now?!" she muttered angrily, grabbing her wrist. She pulled STRONG with both hands and slowly felt it begin to loosen.
"Come on just a little… bit!" she pressed out through clenched teeth and braced one of her feet against the door. All at once she flew backward and slid across the grass. Relieved, Jade exhaled but froze as she looked at her hand. Something flesh-colored and slimy had engulfed her right hand and was slowly sucking its way up her arm. Horrified, she followed the slimy tube with her eyes and finally looked up at the door. Her breathing stopped when she saw fist-sized eyes on the door, glaring darkly at her. Frozen in place, Jade watched as the wooden door parted in the middle to reveal its fleshy teeth. Tentacles wriggled inside it and seemed to want to reach for her.
"No..," Jade muttered and crawled back, her face contorted in fear, until she felt a tug on her right arm.
"No!" she screamed, trying to free her arm with her left, but it was futile as another tube formed from the first and engulfed her left hand too.
"Let go of me you monster! Help, somebody!" her screams echoed unheard in the clearing and the Mimic slowly pulled her towards it. Jade dug her heels into the ground, but this did not slow the monster down. The flesh-colored tubes took complete possession of her arms and lifted her up, leaving her feet kicking uselessly above the ground.
"Please don't, anyone…help!" she sobbed as smaller tentacles from the maw grabbed her legs and wrapped around her body. Jade could have sworn that the monster smiled spitefully at her as she was pulled further and further towards it until finally the fleshy teeth began to close behind her. She was pressed against the inside of the mimic and more tentacles wrapped around her limbs. Her screams became muffled moans as a tentacle slid into her mouth and tears escaped from the corners of her eyes. She felt her catsuit absorb the mimic's slime and begin to dissolve. Her naked skin was being squeezed and massaged by the fleshy walls of the mimic as if it were chewing on her.
So that was it. Jade thought and sobbed as her eyes slowly went black. The last image she saw in her mind was her and Caitlyn sitting arm in arm on a park bench. They watched the sun set. Then darkness enveloped her.
"Don't you think we should get her out of there soon?" murmured Rilliana worriedly as the burglar's silhouette stopped twitching.
"Naaah give her two, three more minutes," Trisha said and got a reproachful look from her friend.
"What, it's her own fault!" the catgirl defended herself, raising her hands to indicate that it was out of her hands.
"Yeah right, you do realize that people nowadays think all this stuff is just made up fantasies? She must be scared to death!" Rebuked the elf to her friend.
"You've become such a killjoy," Trisha said with a smile, shaking her head.
"Sure, only took me 700 years," Rilliana laughed and gave her friend a kiss on the cheek. She raised her hand towards the mimic and the monster's teeth began to open. A naked redheaded woman covered from top to bottom with slime was revealed. The Mimic spat her out unceremoniously and the thief slithered five steps across the ground, right at the feet of the Blonde Elf and the Black Haired Catgirl Shifter. The Mimic folded back up and within a few seconds it reappeared as a normal door.
"Kinda jealous you learned magic," murmured Trisha, bending down to pick up the thief.
"Of course, it only took me…" began Rilliana, but Trisha interrupted her.
"Only took 700 years! By the way, you don't deserve any credit for that statement."
"I was actually going to…" said Rilliana, but interrupted herself this time as the Mimic door opened and Celine stepped out of the guest house into the open.
"What are you two doing here making a racket? I thought you'd be with our neighbors by now?" she asked, frowning and looking at the slimy woman in Trisha's arms.
"Your protection spell doesn't seem to be up to par yet, after it was destroyed the other day. This one here squeezed through and tried to break into the guest house." Trisha explained, grabbing the unconscious thief to keep her from slipping out of her hands. In the process, her head fell back and Rilliana saw the thief's face for the first time.
Celine and Trisha looked at Rilliana in surprise.
"You know her?" asked Celine.
"Yes… I met her through Caitlyn; the last time I saw her, they were a couple."
"THIS, Caitlyn?" asked Celine, pointing behind her to the guest house. Rilliana nodded.
Jade, breathing heavily, opened her eyes but saw nothing but darkness. She felt that she was wearing a blindfold and her hands and feet were pulled with ropes to the four sides of a soft bed.
"It was just a nightmare." She murmured in relief. She fumbled with her fingers for her emergency release method, but felt into emptiness. Jade clicked her tongue disapprovingly and cleared her throat.
"Maike? Hey Maike, could you please come to my room? I'm stuck!" she called and her voice echoed off the walls.
"Wait, why is my voice echoing…"
"Who is Maike?" asked a female voice very close to Jade's ear and she flinched.
"Who… who are you?" asked Jade fearfully, pulling at her bonds but to no avail.
"The sister of the one whose property you trespassed on," the voice replied and Jade felt the woman stroking her bare belly.
"Well um I'm insanely sorry about that, but there must be some mistake, I was supposed to meet my friends here and I got here a little late." Jade lied. Goosebumps ran down her spine as she felt the touch on her skin.
"You know… lying won't help you here. I'd recommend you stick to the truth, and then you and I can become best friends real quick."
"So, did you just lie?"
Jade fell silent, biting her tongue. She had taken the bait too soon.
"I actually just want to understand who you are. Lie to me and I'll feed you to the Mimic again."
Jade's mouth dropped open.
"That… that was REAL! I DIDN'T DREAM THAT?!?" she asked panicking and the woman chuckled softly.
"No you didn't, you guys seem to have forgotten some stuff."
Jade didn't understand, what did the woman mean by that?
"What are you going to do with me?"
The stranger skipped the question and continued to play with Jade's belly, getting dangerously close to her belly button.
"Who is this Maike?"
"My roommate," Jade answered truthfully.
"Really? She seems to be a little more to you than that, though, doesn't she? Why else would you call her for help when you're in a jam. I assume you practice bondage and Maike helps you out from time to time, am I right?"
Jade was silent and winced as the woman's fingers pinched her left nipple hard. Jade pulled against the restraints and inhaled sharply.
"Are you kidding me? You know I'm into bondage and you're still pinching my nipples? Bitch I went to sleep with nipple clamps. I'm into that shit!"
"Hooo? I told you we can be good friends, if you tell the truth. What's your name dear?"
This time the woman's hands clamped around both nipples and Jade winced in pleasure and pain.
"I know your name is Jade, a friend of yours told me your name after a very intense conversation."
Jade wrenched her eyes open in panic under the blindfold as fear for Caitlyn enveloped her heart.
"What have you done to Caitlyn!" she cried angrily, pulling against the ropes with renewed strength, but to no avail."
"Oh you know Caitlyn? Well, that's something. I wasn't talking about her though, don't worry. Caitlyn is sleeping peacefully in the guest house with her friends."
Again, a decoy, and this time she had swallowed it whole, but why had Jade reacted that way? Caitlyn was just a girl she had happened to encounter on her assignments.
"Do you know a girl named Rilliana?"
"Never heard of her."
A second voice came from Jade's other side, "Never heard of her? I taught you to drive!"
Irritated, Jade turned her head to the side.
"Sorry, you must be mistaken. Maike taught me." muttered Jade, half expecting to be grabbed by her nipple by the other woman.
"Take off her blindfold."
"It's no use like this, if she truly isn't Jade, we'll just give her this."
The first woman bent over Jade and she lifted her head so she could better reach the knot behind her head. Jade blinked several times as the light in the room blinded her, until she made out the two women and stared open-mouthed at the strange females before her. One had blond hair with pointed ears sticking out of it and the other had black hair with cat ears sprouting from it. Jade also saw that the cat girl had a tail that wagged nervously behind her. To crown it all, both wore latex suits that fit them like a second skin.
"All right, I'm still dreaming," Jade muttered, squinting her eyes tightly shut. She opened one of them a crack, but both women were still standing in front of her, frowning down at her.
"The ears and tail are fake right? Not real? Are you cosplayers or something?" stuttered Jade as a last resort, but she remembered that she almost became the evening snack of a mimic and that an elf and a catgirl didn't seem so far-fetched after that.
"Where the hell did I end up!" she yelled with a mixture of anger and fear, but the two women next to her continued to look at her unimpressed.
"At C&T, if that means anything to you." the catgirl replied, sitting back in her chair. Jade looked around the room. It looked more like a jail cell or dungeon than a processing facility for clothing and latex products.
"Don't fuck with me! WHERE AM I!"
"Who do you think the cat and the elf on the crest logo are?" the catgirl asked, extending one of her claws from her index finger and coming dangerously close to Jade's belly button again. Her finger passed over Jade's skin and a white trail appeared behind it. Jade tensed as the claw brushed across her belly and her breath caught as she shuddered at the touch.
"Please don't do that, that… Haaaa, it's driving me crazy!" gasped Jade, pinching her thighs together.
"Hee, nooo. You better answer my friend's questions, I'll keep doing this," whispered The Catgirl seductively, licking her lips.
Jade's gaze wandered to Elf.
"Please I can't do it like this…oh god! HAAAA!" Jade closed her eyes as the catgirl's finger finally found her belly button and gently caressed it.
"Trish, come on, cut the crap," laughed the elf but immediately put on a sterner face.
"You really don't remember me, do you?" she asked, and Jade shook her head.
"What about Caitlyn? You've been with her ever since I've known you."
Jade tilted her head and opened her mouth slightly.
"I think I'd remember if I'd been with Caitlyn," Jade said, looking to the mythical creatures in turn.
"But you know her?"
"I've met her several times… at my work."
"I think someone wants to be fed to the Mimic again." the catgirl threatened, and Jade paled.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa! I wasn't lying!"
"Then tell us everything and I swear tomorrow you'll wake up in the parking lot unharmed and this will be all just a dream to you," the elf said, stroking Jade's arm sympathetically.
"How am I supposed to forget all this, please? Do you have some magic remedy that makes people forget unpleasant experiences?" Jade asked irritably, blinking briefly as she remembered that Maike was doing exactly the same thing. The elf reached behind her and picked up a small glass from the floor. A silvery liquid floated back and forth in it, which looked incredibly familiar to Jade.
"Where did you get this?" asked Jade, looking up at the elf. The elf narrowed her eyes into slits.
"I invented it, so the better question would be, how did you know about it?"
"You made it? But Maike said…" Jade suddenly had a cruel thought and she swallowed hard, "Who else did you tell?"
"An old friend of ours… Caitlyn's mum to be exact. Her name is Terra."
Jade closed her eyes to collect herself and then looked the elf straight in the eye.
"When was the last time you heard of this Terra?"
The elf and the catgirl had left Jade alone in the cell and locked it. At least they had loosened her bonds and placed a new spandex catsuit on the bed which she immediately put on. She saw that the suit was indeed from C&T, but Jade had nothing for joy at the moment. She rested her chin on her knees and closed her eyes. The two women said they were trying to reach Terra and something about guests they had to get out of costumes.
"Maike what did you do…am I even me anymore?" muttered Jade, looking up as she heard the elf's footsteps coming closer.
"Were you able to call her?" Jade asked and stood up, but the elf shook her head.
"The number is no longer in service. I will leave with Trisha in the morning to find Terra. I thank you for your help and apologize for the mimic. Here, this will help you forget," said the elf, handing her the glass with the silver liquid. Jade, however, made no move to accept it.
"Were we good friends?" began Jade, not taking her eyes off the glass.
"Yes… I had visited Caitlyn and her mother many times after they moved. You were in the same class at school and Cait often took you home. We became friends and after you two became a couple, I even revealed to you what I really was."
"Then I don't want to drink that," Jade said, taking a step back, "I want my life back. I want to know you, and I know I want to be with Caitlyn! My body screams for her every time I see her!" explained Jade, looking at Rilliana out of sad eyes.
"Can be arranged." Rilliana murmured with a smile and lowered her glass.
"I'm going to take Trisha to see some old friends of mine. They might have an idea on how to restore your memories, but in return I want you to find out what Maike did to Caitlyn's mother."
"Anything you want. I would have done that anyway… was that a test?"
"Maybe a little," Rilliana said, unlocking the cell door.
"Can I go see Caitlyn? She needs to know too, right?"
Rilliana hesitated to answer.
"Yes… but for her own safety, I still want to keep her in the dark. Not only because it will be quite a shock to her that her memories have been erased, but also that her mother has been kidnapped, as well as… some other things," the elf said, rubbing one of her pointed ears, "You understand that I can't let you see her?"
"Mhhm yes I see," Jade mumbled, trying to put the encounter with the Mimic out of her mind.
"I have another problem. Maike expects me to bring this pink haired girl to her. Should I cancel the mission or…?"
"That's why you're here? Hee, you had quite a job on your hands there. I think we could stage her kidnapping… I don't want this Maike to get suspicious."
Jade stepped out of the cell and Rilliana put her hand on her shoulder.
"Terra is a good friend, but so are you. I don't want you to do anything stupid all right?"
"Count on me, Rilliana."
Jade walked with Rilliana back to the guesthouse and the elf opened the door with a touch of magic. Jade still couldn't believe that magical beings actually existed in the world and lived secretly among humans, but here she was. Among elves, mimics, mages and catgirls. Jade shook her head and made a wide circle around the door. In front of her, cuddled together on several mattresses, were five women.
"Everyone's here. They look so peaceful," Jade murmured, examining the latex catsuits each of the girls wore.
"Wait, I'll make sure they don't wake up so easily," Rilliana whispered, raising her hand. A dark blue mist billowed from her hand and settled on the sleeping women. Slowly she breathed in the mist and Jade thought she could see a slight smile on her lips.
"What will you say when they wake up and Summer is gone?" asked Jade, walking over to the pink-haired one to carefully pluck her from the midst of the girls.
"The spell should hold until you get back here with Summer. Unless we try to wake them up we should be fine," Rilliana said, handing Jade ropes and a ball gag, "Supposed to look real, right? And hopefully you won't forget to give Summer some of the forgetting potion too, I'd hate to have to explain to the police what happened here."
"Believe me, neither do I," Jade said, shaking her head and began tying up the sleeping Summer for the trip. She linked Summer's hands in front of her chest and spun a net on her body that kept her hands from looking for knots. The red rope colored adorably off Summer's catsuit and Rilliana watched in awe as Jade wrapped Summer.
"I guess this isn't the first time you've done this?" asked Rilliana with amusement.
"Haha no, I've always had a knack for it for some reason," Jade muttered, carefully popping the ballgag into Summer's mouth.
"I wonder where from?" Jade looked up and saw the elf smiling gently down at her.
"Of course, Caitlyn had asked you to tie her up and you came to me with it. I taught you a few things, but to be honest, you were a natural." the elf said, placing a hand on Jade's shoulder.
"Wow that's so unbelievably creepy I don't remember that," Jade said, crossing Summer's legs and then tying her up with the rest of the rope. She stood up and looked down at the sleeping beauty. Her body had become a work of art and her hands and arms were hidden under a spider web shaped webbing. Her legs were tied together at her ankles and above and below her knees. She appeared peaceful and breathed in and out easily. Under the gag, Jade thought she could see a smile.
"Here we go then," Jade said, hoisting Summer into her arms. Rilliana held the door open for her and the three of them walked out of the clearing and down to the parking lot where Jade, carefully placed Summer in the passenger seat. She retrieved a soft blanket from the trunk, wrapped Summer up to under her nose and buckled her in.
"I'll be back before dawn!" said Jade, wanting to hug Rilliana but hesitating.
"Take care of yourself and our best customer," Rilliana replied and wrapped Jade in her arms. Jade stood stiffly in Rilliana's embrace at first until she loosened up and rested her head on Rilliana's shoulder, returning the hug lightly.
"That feels familiar," Jade murmured and Rilliana squeezed her a little tighter.
"If I don't hear from you, I'll rescue you from Maike and we'll find another way out," Rilliana whispered.
"Couldn't you just use your magic to force Maike to tell us where Terra is?"
Rilliana released the hug and Jade looked at her, confused. Had she said something wrong?
"I don't want to take that step anymore… at some point you've seen enough sorrow, you know?" the elf said, smiling gently. In her eyes Jade could see that she had been through a lot. More than her young appearance would suggest.
Jade nodded hesitantly and turned to leave.
"Jade?" asked Rilliana.
"Come back safe."
Jade nodded to her confidently and got into the car.
Jade drove back to town, thinking about what she had just experienced. She was so lost in thought that she almost missed a passerby sprinting around a corner and running across the street without looking around. Jade hit the brakes hard and her car came to a stop just in time.
"'ASSHOLE!" she cursed loudly and pressed the horn. The person gave her the finger and continued to run across the street without giving her a glance.
Jade heard Summer start to stir.
"Oh shit," Jade muttered and turned a corner into a dark side alley.
"Hmmpf? HEEMMPPPFFF!" started Summer screaming into her gag, trying to free herself from the blanket. A difficult endeavor due to her restraint and seatbelt.
"Hey, hey calm down please, this is important." Jade tried to reason with her but Summer didn't even think about giving in and wriggled as if her life depended on it.
"Summer please! I'm trying to save Cait's mom here!"
Instantly, Summer held still and tilted her head to the side. Jade got the impression she wanted to talk and leaned in to untie the gag.
"Who are you, how do you know my name, and what happened to Cait's mum?" Summer hissed, glaring daggers at Jade.
"My name is Jade and I am… was Caitlyn's girlfriend… It's complicated right now. Rilliana told me your name when we were trying to come up with a plan to save Caitlyn's mom," Jade explained, hoping Summer would cooperate.
"What about Terra?" asked Summer, narrowing her eyes to slits.
"You know her name?" asked Jade in surprise.
"You don't? I was friends with Caitlyn before she moved away, but when she came back she never said a word about a Jade."
"I told you it was complicated, okay? My partner kidnapped Terra and I want to fix it! I'm just asking you to do exactly what Maike asks you to do, all right?" declared Jade.
"Pff you're the lousiest liar and kidnapper I've ever heard of. You can do that nicely on your own." said Summer, turning her head away.
"Summer please I just want to get back together with Caitlyn and the only way I can do that is if I convince Maike that I'm on her side and I can stop her."
Summer looked back at Jade.
"And why did you have to kidnap me from my latex harem to do that?"
"Maike needs something from your PC."
Summer started giggling.
"HA! Have fun getting in there."
"Maike already had to find out."
"You guys are…" Summer puffed in annoyance, "Are the others okay at least?"
"They're sleeping peacefully in C&T's care."
"I swear to you, if anything happened to Tea or any of the others…"
"They are fine and before they wake up you will be with them again. Please I need your help here" Jade promised and looked pleadingly at Summer.
"Fine, drive me home, but I doubt you really want what's on my PC."
"Doesn't matter. Maike just wants the data for a client."
"Heh. I can guess who, I didn't think that little pervert would send a hacker after me. That Maike will bite herself in the ass when she finds out what she was hired for. Go on now and I hope for your sake you'll bring me back afterwards. I don't want my harem to worry about me!"
Jade rolled her eyes.
"I will, Summer, don't worry."
An hour later, the three women sat in front of Summer's computer, watching tons of videos and pictures being copied onto Maike's hard drive. Summer grinned from ear to ear, trying in vain to stifle her laughter, while Jade sat next to her, her head reddening, looking to the side in embarrassment. Maike's foot bounced up and down nervously and her fingers drummed around on Summer's desk.
"It's good money, it's good money, it's good money, it's good money." she repeated like a mantra while images of one latex Pokémon after another transferred.
"Is that… are those all from your girlfriend?" asked Jade.
"Yup!" said Summer happily.
"Can I take a look at those…"
"Jade? Shut up, I don't want to hear any more about you two!" hissed Maike as a half-hour video was transmitted showing a person in a latex suit cleaning the apartment.