Nicole woke up past noon. She got out of bed, put on a robe, and started to head to the shower. As she walked, she passed Robert’s room, and the door was wide open. Inside, Rob was stretched out in bed, with an ice pack on his head. “The hell happened to you?” Nic asked. “Crashed the car,” Rob muttered. “The roads are backward.” Nic began to walk out of the room when he asked: “What are you up to today?” Nic replied, “I was just gonna spend a day out on the town with Laura before we get back to business.” Robert perked up and took off the ice pack before saying “Cool. Mind if I come along?” “Actually” Nicole started “It’s just me and Laura today. Sorry, bud. You need to rest anyway.” Rob replied “Oh. Well, have fun then.” Nicole then closed the door and continued on her way to get ready.
Later that day, Robert was sitting down with Sam between her sparring sessions. “Have you noticed anything different about Nicole?” Sam asked, “Like the fact that she’s been a lot nicer since we got here?” “No, not that,” Rob replied. “More like the fact that she’s hanging out a lot more with Laura, and they’ve gotten really close.” Sam thought for a second and replied “It’s been a long time since they’ve seen each other. I would think they’re trying to reconnect.” Robert sighed in relief and said, “Yeah, that’s probably why.” He got up and started walking away when Sam spoke: “That or she’s gay.” Rob froze in his tracks and turned around. “You think that’s it?” he asked. Sam replied “Yeah that’s probably it. I mean I’ve seen how they look at each other. She’s def got a crush on her.” “That’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever said Sam,” Rob said. “How can you even tell?” Sam spoke “It’s not that hard. Hell, I used to date this other chick before I got with Wade. But that just makes it easier.” Robert’s face went pale at the thought. Sam continued “I mean who could blame her, Laura is an absolute babe. With that slender build, blue eyes, gorgeous brown hair.” Before Rob could say anything else, Sam said “The only way to know for sure is to let her come out to you. It may take some time but eventually, she’ll come around to you. Just give Nic time.”
Meanwhile, in Downtown London, Nicole and Laura were having a fun time. They rode the London Eye twice, visited Big Ben, and drove past Buckingham Palace. “There’s one more place I want to show you,” Laura said. She drove her turquoise Aston Martin up to a coffee shop near the Thames. “This here is the best café in all of London. The coffee here is insane!” The two went inside and stood at the counter, and Laura ordered two of their signature coffees. After they sat down in a booth, five teenagers wearing grey hoodies also walked in. One of them was wearing a ballcap and sunglasses. When he looked around, they noticed Laura with Nic. “Hol’ up.” He said. “I thought our terms were clear Lorry. If you showed up in these parts again there was gonna be a problem.” Laura didn’t look up but replied “Piss off Darwin. I’m just here with a friend.” Darwin saw Nic sitting across from her, and his entire attitude changed. “Well, what’s a fit dame like you doing with a lying whore like her?” Darwin removed his glasses to reveal his bright green eyes. Nic looked him directly in the eyes and said “I know what you’re doing here. I’m not playing your games. I’m with her… well not ‘with her’ but you get what I’m saying.” Darwin looked at Laura and said “Ah, so you’re a lying whore and a fag now. What do you know.” Nicole put down her drink and said “Look, bro. I don’t know what your problem is with Laura. We’ve had a hell of a week and just want to cool off and drink these expressos and eat these… what are these exactly?” Darwin answered, “Those are called scones love.” “Oh, thanks,” Nicole replied. “So like I was saying, if you’d let this go just once, let us have our drinks and…scones, we’ll be out of your hair and you’ll never have to worry about us coming back again.”
Darwin sat down in a chair and said “That’s not how things work around here love. You should go before things get nasty.” Nic stepped out of the booth and started to walk to the doors. Before stepping out, she said, “I was really hoping I wouldn’t have to do this, but my patience is really wearing thin.” She pulled a thin capsule from her hair, and her ponytail came undone. She then locked the doors. Darwin then drew a gun on Laura and said: “Unlock that door or she gets it.” Nic pulled the cap off of the capsule to reveal a tiny needle. She swung around and through the needle directly into Darwin’s right shoulder. Wincing in pain, Darwin tried to raise his arm, but it wouldn’t move. “What did you do to me, you bitch?” He yelled. “Just a little bit of justice served,” Nic said coldly. Within seconds, Darwin fell to the floor, unable to move. His entourage picked him up as he yelled: “Somebody kill this bitch!” One of the other men lunged at Nicole. She raised her hand and tried to throw another dart, but nothing came out of the capsule. “This is what I get when I let Rob borrow my darts.” She thought to herself. The first guy threw a punch, but Nic grabbed his fist and twisted his arm behind his back. In an instant, the guy was thrown onto a table, unconscious. The remaining three then got pinned her to the floor and pulled butterfly knives. “We didn’t want to do this, but you let us no choice.” Just before they could stab her, one was smashed over the head with a chair. “Let her go!” Laura yelled. Her eyes were glowing ice blue and all the drinks in the café were starting to float out of their cups. She raised her hand, and all the liquids flowed through the air and created a massive bubble at her fingertips. Laura then sent the bubble and engulfed one of the thugs by the head. Darwin got back up and backed away in fear. “You’re a bloody meta!” Nic then grabbed a thug’s arm and slammed him onto a table. The remaining thug was backing away, and Darwin was back on his feet going for the door. “What’s wrong love? We too much for you now?” “This isn’t over! You’ll get what’s coming soon! The world doesn’t want you metas anymore!!!” Darwin yelled as he limped out the door. Laura then let all the water spill onto the floor, freeing the last thug. Coughing, he ran out the door screaming. Examining the damage, Nic said, “Oh my god this is gonna be a pain.” She then pulled out a business card and wrote sorry on the back. “There. Francisco should be able to cover this. We should go before someone comes back.”
The two left the café and started to walk around and talked “That was amazing!!!” Nicole yelled. “I had no idea you finally got the hang of your powers! That was crazy! Last time we were together you could barely reverse the flow and now… You’ve really come along!” “Thanks,” Laura replied, blushing. “It means a lot to hear that coming from you.” “So how is it that Sapphire has powers similar to yours?” Nicole asked. Laura replied “I thought you would’ve figured it out by now. I’m the original Sapphire. His powers were based on mine!” She was glad that Nic was in awe of her new abilities. “So you guys are supposed to leave tomorrow night right?” Laura asked. “Yep,” Nic said. “We’ll be splitting up though to cover more ground. Why?” Laura paused for a second, and said: “I want to come with you.” “No way. It’s too dangerous. We’re on the run from terrorists, I can’t risk anybody else getting involved.” Nic replied. “But I want to help. I’m not learning any more here. If I come, I can learn from you guys and get better. I want to make a difference with the Elites… I want to make a difference with you.” The two sat down on a bench and Nicole said “Look, we’ve got a lot of stuff going on. The last thing I want is for anybody else to be hurt. For your sake and mine, I can’t let you come. You’re safer here than anywhere else.” Laura pouted and groaned “Fiiine. I’ll stay here. But there has to be something I can do to help out.” Nic replied, “Actually there is.” She pulled one of the new communicators from her bag. “You can plug this up to your computer and monitor our communications. This will help us keep in touch no matter how far away we are.” “Thank you.” Laura said, “It really means a lot to me.” Their hands were about to touch when they heard a loud bang. Nicole looked up to see smoke coming from near the river. “Something’s wrong.” She said as she got up and started running towards the explosion. “Wait! We should call Jayson first!” Laura yelled, but Nicole ignored her and kept running. Groaning, Laura sprinted after Nic, and when she caught up, Nic said “It would take too long for them to get here. We have to try to help!” Just in case, Laura hit the distress button on her new communicator as they ran closer and closer to the flames.
When they reached the plaza where the explosion went off, it was silent. No sirens, no flashing lights, no spectators. “Something isn’t right,” Nicole said. Suddenly, two vans pulled in on the other side of the plaza. A man stepped out of the first van, wearing full armor and a bulletproof mask. He was carrying a minigun and had a grenade launcher on his back. Oh hell, Nicole thought to herself. “It’s a trap!” Nicole yelled as she grabbed Laura. A barrage of bullets was fired in their direction as Nicole hid behind a pillar, and Laura slid underneath a truck. The man then dropped the minigun and grabbed the grenade launcher. He aimed it directly at the truck. “RUN!” Nicole yelled to Laura as a loud bang went off. Laura got from underneath the truck just as the blast hit. The truck flipped over onto its side, and Laura hid behind it. Nicole stepped out from behind the pillar and ran to hide behind the truck as well. The remaining men in the vans stepped out with automatic rifles and fired at the truck. “Ok ‘Miss I Wanna Make a Difference With You’ how do you suppose we get out of this one?” Laura looked at her friend and said “Are you serious? You’re asking me how to get out of this one?!” Nicole replied “Yeah we deal with this sort of stuff on a daily basis. Got any ideas?” Laura looked around and saw that there was a manhole about a hundred feet away along the street. “There has to be water underneath that manhole. If it leads to the river I can get enough water to take them. Otherwise, we can escape. I just need a distraction so I can get away.” Nicole said, “I can do that.” She then pulled out a pair of wrist flamethrowers from her bag, as well as a sword hilt. She swung the hilt and a long red blade rose out. “You’ll have to hurry. I’m not sure how long I can hold them off without my powers.” Nicole then leaped from behind the truck and shot off a pair of small flames. The flames caught the attention of the armored soldier, as he fired another barrage of bullets and the other men followed. Nic then ran and hid behind another pillar. As they kept shooting, the pillar got thinner and thinner, until Ruby then got from behind the pillar and started deflecting the bullets with her sword. She leaped through the air at the other soldiers, using her mighty blade to slash at them. As the soldiers fell to the ground, the armored one kept shooting at her, but she kept blocking the bullets with her sword. When the minigun ran out of bullets, Nic lunged at the armored soldier and tried to strangle him from behind. The soldier then fell backward, crushing her. When she refused to let go, he grabbed Nic and tossed her to the ground. He grabbed the grenade launcher and fired it directly at her. Before the grenade hit, Nic shot another tiny fireball and detonated the bomb before it hit her. The impact still tossed her through a window and tossed the soldier into a wall. Back on her feet, she jumped back through the window and kept beating the soldier. The soldier quickly came too and pinned her to the floor by the throat. “This has gone on for too long.” The soldier said. He had a thick Russian accent. The explosion had also torn his sleeve, revealing a robotic arm underneath. His cyborg arm then started glowing blue and pulsing electricity. Just before Nicole could be electrocuted, a massive wave of water ran through the plaza, causing the soldier to lose his grip as he got pulled away with the current. As the water settled, the soldier got back up. When he did, he aimed a pistol at Nicole, but before he could pull the trigger, another wave hit the soldier and froze instantly. The plaza went silent, and Nicole was breathing heavily. Suddenly the grate in front of her sprang open, and Laura climbed out. “It leads to the river.” She said sharply. Nicole pulled her out the rest of the way. “We should probably try getting this thing out of here,” Nicole said, struggling to get a good grip on the hunk of ice. Seconds later, a small helicopter flew in and landed in the center of the plaza. The Elites jumped out in full uniform and examined the damage. “We got your message, Laura. What happened?” Bluestone asked. “Nic said “We beat you guys to it. You gotta be quicker than that. We could use some help getting this ice block out of here.”