Episode 2: Debriefing at SASSLab

Carrie Nation was in Sojourner’s Truth’s face in the main conference room of SASSLab, where the Society for American Solutions and Sensibilia was headquartered. “What were you thinking, Truth?!?”

Sojourner was not one to be intimidated by anybody, even if she was a really tall white lady with a booming voice who carried an axe. With her finger in Carrie’s face, she exclaimed, “You got to get ’em where they are! People ain’t gonna pay no attention to the League of Historical Women.” She spat the last word out like she’d taken a bite out of a stink bug. Just then, Stanton came on the intercom. This was what the women had been waiting for.

“It’s too late now, Carrie. What’s done is done. The League of Historical…Bitches, it is. I’m not exactly happy about it either, but we had just one shot at branding. Truth may have a point. This name may appeal to the young in ways that our original idea might not have.”

At that, the room erupted into chaos. Amid Truth and Nation’s verbal brawling, and Eleanor Roosevelt’s soft tut-tutting, Anne Bonny was silent. Annie Oakley grinned and shrugged her shoulders, flopping into a massive leather chair at the head of the table. She laid her revolver on the table and kicked her legs onto the table along with it. Marie Curie paced the room, wringing her hands, trying not to touch anybody.

“Bitches!” Stanton’s voice boomed. The room finally fell silent. “Well, there’s that,” she remarked to herself, chuckling, and filed the data away for later. Bitches was a verbal silencer. “As you well know, we’ve got work to do. Tell me how it went.”

“It was just as you said, Stanton. They were vampire squid,” Carrie remarked dryly. “I ended up killing four of ’em myself.”

“Soledun O’Murphy didn’t even put up a fight,” said Sojourner, obviously disappointed.

“Well, she didn’t see it coming,” said Eleanor. “I took control of that newsroom pretty quietly.”

“And you were able to disable communications at Ghouldmen Suchs, Madame?”

“No problem,” remarked Curie. “And I killed one. And a half. Anne took care of the other half.” Anne flashed her a grin.

“Very good,” Stanton remarked. “Very good, indeed. Already the stock market is dropping on news.”

“And that helps how?” shot back Annie. “The monster part is obvious enough, and reason enough, too. But how does a dropping stock market help our cause?”

” I want to know, too,” piped Marie Curie, finally taking a seat.

“Okay,” said Stanton. “Good question. You ladies learned during your training about all the monsters that inhabit the centers of power in this once-great country. You learned about the zombies of Academia and the wereweirds of Hollywood, as well as the alien vampire squid and the media golems you fought yesterday.”

The ladies nodded, paying intense attention to the intercom. Sojourner stood sentinel behind Marie Curie and Eleanor Roosevelt, her hands clasped behind her back.

“All of these areas of power are connected by the vampire squid, who are the top of the monster of food chain. And they feed off greed. As you could see from your weapons and bullets, silver and gold are deadly to them. This is the reason, in fact, that we have paper money today.”

“But wait. We had paper money back in my time,” said Carrie. “I remember when it was introduced during the Civil War. Are you saying that vampire squid were around back then?”

“Yes, I am, Carrie. They’ve been around since before America existed. They were introduced to America in the 1850s by Alois Suchs, who brought some from his native land. There he’d learned how to please them, and in return they made him a rich and powerful man. Now his name is on everything, from Ghouldmen Suchs to MicroSuchs to This Suchs! Studios.

Carrie could not wrap her mind around this. “You mean, while I was smashing up bars and organizing women to sweep the streets for reform, these monsters were taking control of our country?” She slumped on the table, burying her face in her folded arms.

Eleanor began softly, “Well, I knew.”

“How?” asked Annie Oakley, defiantly. Continue reading

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V. 1, Episode 1: Assault on Ghouldmen Suchs

Floyd Blankenfiend was the first to lose his head. He’d first lost his hand when he tried to reach for the panic button under the conference room table, but Annie Oakley had made short work of that. Before he could reach the button, she’d leveled her Smith & Wesson revolver–modified in the League’s labs to shoot armor piercing silver bullets–and shot right through his hand, leg, and the floor. He’d have been fine if at that moment his face hadn’t split open into a mass of slimy tentacles with a toothy proboscis sticking out.

“I knew they were aliens!” shouted Carrie Nation, at which point she flung one of her axes across the room, taking his entire head clean off. The rest of the board then knew these strangely-clad women meant business, and they sat fiddling their fingers upon the bloody table, waiting for whatever was to come next. Or perhaps they were biding their time.

“Carrie!” Marie screamed as Floyd’s head gushed blood on the floor. “Now you’ve gone and done it. I didn’t even get a chance to read him his crimes!”

“You can read ’em to the rest of these carpetbaggers,” Carrie shot back. “Men haven’t changed in over a hundred years. Always drunk on somethin’.”

“Greed,” said Annie.

“And power,” piped Anne Bonny. “Same as always.”

“Well,” Marie retorted, “Stanton said we’re supposed to tell them why we’re killing them.”

At that point their eyes went wild and John Whineman made a run for the door, but Bonny was there to eviscerate him as he tried. She slipped her stiletto right into his gut and ripped it with all her might. His eyes locked onto her’s as he slid to the floor. She couldn’t help but give him a well-heeled boot to the face.

Nine of the other 10 other member of Ghouldmen Suchs Board of Directors erupted into the vampire squid they were as Carrie yelled, “Stanton’s not here! Go!”

Garret Con had a particularly gruesome snarl to his proboscis as he went after Marie Curie. She dispatched him quickly with a stream of white light. She barely had time to recover before Devorah Spartan, who, coincidentally, was also the president of NOW New York, was upon her. They tumbled end over end on the conference table, struggling to gain control of one another. Spartan’s body began to softly glow.

Meanwhile, Oakley had leveled her semiautomatic shotgun and was firing silver slugs. The first shot felled Nadesh Nitsmal and his body flashed into ash. James Johnson, the oldest board member, came flying toward her through Nadesh’s ashes, but she shot him just as quickly, leaving another pile of ash.

Bonny was a spinning flash of leather and steel, dancing through the room, felling the lead director and the lead auditor with two of the five knives she was wielding. Spartan was on top of Marie on the tabletop and was just about to bite into her face when Anne drove a third knife straight though the back of her head, pinning her dead to the table. Marie, grinned. “Thanks. That was close,” she said, slithering from underneath the body. Spartan’s body was already beginning to crumble from the force of Marie’s radioactive touches.

At the opposite end of the room, the CFO and two directors were stalking Carrie. She was standing legs a part, the axes she held in each hand folded into the material of her long black skirt. Chin down, she was glaring as the directors circled her, membranes dripping, proboscises snapping. At 6 feet tall, she towered above them.

They all lunged at once, and Carrie twirled in a flourish that sent her skirt spinning. Her arms rose and she looked like a black bud flowering axes. The force sent the three heads of the directors’ flying across the room. One landed on the window with a thud, leaving a Rorschach smack of blood as it bounced. Another landed at Annie’s feet, while a third knocked a coat rack to the floor. It had happened so fast that the head that landed at Annie’s feet gave one final snap of its teeth as it lay there. She smacked it like a golf ball with the butt of her long gun.

The women looked around at the room. Headless bodies and ashes lay everywhere, and blood soaked into every piece of fabric, including their clothes. The blue Berber carpet was now purple-splotched and the blinds covering the windows looked like they had been painted by Jackson Pollock himself. Anne Bonny drew them open. Along the window, she had begun stacking the heads in a line. Who she expected to see them from the 42nd floor of Ghouldmen Suchs Tower was unknown, but the curve of the room gave the whole thing a particularly garish look. They had made a mess, and short work of the entire board of directors of, except for one.

The only human member, Bernadette Bern, had long since fled the room. At that very moment, she was running across the lobby of the building, her cell phone jammed into her ear. She was screaming. As she passed a matrix of television sets showing every news channel in the world, they simultaneously flashed to the same image. It was Soledun O’Murphy on the Central News Network. Continue reading