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[personal profile] lb_lee
Hey everybody, here's the other winner from the poll for the past couple months! It was sponsored by dreamer_marie, who is awesome! Heads up, my crowdfunding money has gone down, so we'll be switching to a monthly story poll for one $30 story for now. Now, on with the story!

The Gynecologist
Universe: Battle the Universe
Word Count: 1200
Summary: Lorry's system can handle a lot of things, but now it's their biggest challenge yet: a doctor's appointment.
Notes: This story takes place after A Break From People and Zombie's Birthday.  I apologize for the abruptness of this story; the word count bar really tied my hands here.  I hope to write a story about exactly what Kara and the Zombie did, but... *spreads hands*

It was the Thanksgiving holidays, when most supervillains had better things to do than create havoc. Half the Law and Justice team were out, the All-Seeing Eye among them. Tank happily took the opportunity to share front time and talk aloud amongst themselves. TJ chatted with Gammabeast, who never seemed to notice voice changes. Kara took on errands that had fallen by the wayside.

“We're going to the gynecologist next week,” she announced, flipping through the calendar. “We haven't been checked since before.”

“That long?” Lucinda cried, appalled.

Lorry at least had the grace to look uncomfortable. “Do we have to?”

“Yes.”

Whatever her deficiencies as a person, Kara's organizational skills were beyond reproach. The clinic was discrete and used to superheroes with unusual physiology—apparently she'd gotten the name from TJ, who'd gotten it from Gammabeast—and she'd already cleared the insurance paperwork. There was no way for Lorry to wiggle out of it, and Lucinda was not pleased to see him trying. Finally, he caved—but only on the concession that he would not have anything to do with the appointment.

“I'll go,” Kara said with a smile. Her eyes were dark whirlpools in her face. “I know our medical history.”

“No,” Lucinda said. Kara had earned some trust over the years, but her past history as system terrorist loomed large. “I'll go, with the Zombie and TJ.”

Kara scowled, and headspace rippled. She stalked off, as fluidly as she could manage in leg braces. “Fine. Try and get it done without me.”

Lucinda sucked her teeth and watched Kara go. She was not thrilled about this set-up. She was the newest, weakest fronter, the Zombie couldn't talk, and TJ had a deathly fear of doctors for reasons no one would share. But she still found it preferable to dealing with Kara.

The appointment went badly from the start. TJ started getting twitchy and white-eyed the moment the Zombie walked into the clinic.

“The smell...” zie said, wringing zer hands. “I forgot about the smell...”

“It's okay,” Lucinda said. “Don't think about that. Just focus on navigating the Zombie.”

“Yeah. Uh huh. Okay. Oh, you're on! Receptionist!”

Lucinda tried to take control of the body. Nothing happened.

She tried again. Nothing.

“TJ! Your anxiety is locking me out!”

“I'm sorry! If I could magically become un-scared, I would!”

Lucinda heard a chuckle behind her, and found Kara smirking in a corner.

Lucinda scowled.

“Don't mind me,” Kara said. “Just watching you work.”

Meanwhile, in frontspace, the Zombie stared placidly at the receptionist, patiently awaiting further orders. It'd been a few seconds now, just long enough for the receptionist to start looking uncomfortable.

“Do you have an appointment?” she ventured.

The Zombie just stared.

Lucinda turned back to the control panel, trying to keep an eye on Kara. “Insurance card!” she bellowed. “Give her our insurance card!” That, at least, would have their information.

Unbothered by the growing aggravation of everyone around it, not to mention the line behind it, the Zombie dug Lorry's wallet out of the back pocket and found the cards. TJ was able to tell it which were for insurance, but they had three different cards, and here zie faltered.

“Hero Health!” Lucinda barked, feeling like the world's worst puppeteer. “Give her Hero Health!”

The Zombie just stood there.

“The blue one!” TJ contributed.

That seemed to work. The Zombie handed over the blue card, and bless her, the receptionist ran with it. She handed them a stack of papers and a pen, and the Zombie went to sit down and chew on the cap.

“Zombie, stop that. TJ, you're going to have to fill it out, since I'm locked out.”

“But I'm not going to front for the doctor, right?” TJ's voice held an edge of panic. “You promised--”

“Yes, I did promise, and I'm going to keep that promise,” Lucinda said, trying to keep her voice calm. “All you have to do is fill out the papers. Please.”

“Okay. Okay. What's a social security number?”

They went through Lorry's bloated wallet, but of all the cards and bits of paper in it, not one of them had their social security number on it. This only seemed to make TJ more and more anxious, making the front lock worse.

“I'm sorry,” zie kept saying, “I'm sorry I'm sorry...”

Lucinda sighed and turned to Kara. “All right,” she said. “What's our social security number?”

Kara smiled and gave it to her.

It took ten minutes for the doctor to arrive, and by that point, TJ was succumbing to panic. Lucinda gave fronting one last try, then said, “screw it. It's okay, TJ, Zombie and I will handle this.”

TJ bolted off the front and fled into headspace with a whimper. Lucinda was not thrilled at being stuck with Zombie and Kara, but at least with the panic gone, Lucinda could front enough to answer the doctor's questions, though it resembled a bad B movie performance. The exam itself was the easiest part. The Zombie just lay like a corpse on the table while the doctor went for the speculum.

Kara suddenly stiffened. “Something's wrong.”

Lucinda rolled her eyes. “Sure it is.”

“No, I mean it, something--”

And then the Zombie began to growl. The doctor turned around, but he didn't have a speculum; he had a hypodermic needle. And his face had changed.

Kara burst out of her skin like a popped balloon, slamming Lucinda back and cramming herself into the Zombie like smoke into a bottle. The Zombie lurched, and its growl turned into a warning roar. And then headspace dissolved and everything went black.

...

Lucinda woke with a throbbing headache with the Zombie making soothing buzzing noises above her. Headspace had reinstated itself, and Kara was feigning humanity again—though her performance seemed even worse than usual. She was flopped in the corner, eyes dull, apparently unable to get up.

“Clinic's been supervillained. I am giving Gammabeast hell when we see it again, it was supposed to be fine.” Kara seemed angrier about her intel being wrong than anything. “I'm trying to regain trust, and they ruined everything… that was my responsibility. I'm sorry.”

Lucinda gave Kara a wary look, then paused to check frontspace and body status with the Zombie. They were back in their quarters at HQ, and everything seemed as it should be. Their hands were bruised, and they obviously hadn't gotten the exam, but they'd only lost an hour, and things seemed okay. The Zombie seemed placid, and Lucinda decided that Kara had actually for once done exactly what she should've.

Lucinda returned to the control room. Kara was still down, but seemed to be making some attempt at getting up, or at least sitting in a more human position. Lucinda considered helping her, or thanking her, then decided Kara didn't want the former and already knew the latter.

“Does this mean we might get outed?” she asked instead.

And Kara, who was always so certain of everything, said, “I don't know.”

No wonder it had been so long since their last appointment. Lucinda sat with Kara until she could get up again, and they talked a little, but did not come to anything certain or reassuring.

Date: 2015-08-28 10:48 pm (UTC)
clare_dragonfly: woman with green feathery wings, text: stories last longer: but only by becoming only stories (Default)
From: [personal profile] clare_dragonfly
Wow. That's really scary and intense. I like seeing more of Kara (and all of them!).
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