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This section really seemed to fly by in the writing of it.
Chapter 4 - Open Your Eyes
Just when I thought my day couldn't get any weirder, I find out my roommate is Batgirl. Which is really weird, because he was a guy the last time I saw him. Even with everything I had already seen that day, I still was incredulous.
"Damnit, stop making this sound like a conversation in a comicbook written by Brian Bendis, yes!"
I looked back from where we'd come, and didn't see anything following us, and leaned against the wall of the tunnel. The walkways between hotels hung over the streets, and converged in a central area, and the upper halves were made of a rib-like structure of dark metal curving overhead. Inbetween each was a curved piece of glass, leaving the tubes open to the sunlight during the day.
Leaning against one rib, I looked up into the sky. Everything seemed normal at first, although I could see a few helicopters, in the otherwise empty sky. At least, they were helicopters until I saw one blast the other with flames. It somehow managed to stay in the air, and flew away. The other object flew down, closer to the hotels, and landed on the Hilton. I could see as it drew closer that it was indeed not a helicopter, but a dragon. If someone hadn't already done so, the people in the helicopter would make the outside world aware that something had gone terribly wrong in downtown Boston.
"Here there be dragons," I said, watching the creature take up a perch on the edge of the roof of the Hilton's middle tower, watching everything below.
"Here there be what now," asked the girl claiming to be Chris.
I pointed out through the glass, and she let out a shocked gasp when she saw the purple, scaled beast sitting there and watching. Puffs of smoke could just be seen wafting out of its nostrils from this distance.
"Yeah, I know the feeling." Watching the girl, I couldn't tell it used to be a man, if what she said was true that is. As impractical as heels may have been for a superheroine costume, she moved about in them with ease, and every motion she made was more fluid than most any guy I'd spent time with.
"Ok, let's assume for the moment that you are Christopher James Bennet." I straightened up some, but still half-sat upon the edge of the concrete wall that made a ledge against the glass.
"I don't have to assume, I know who I am."
"Oh really? That would be a first with everyone else I've met in costume." I wanted to believe her, and if there ever was a time to have faith in such a claim, this was it, but it was still pushing the edges of credibility for me.
"It's a struggle, I keep having this voice in the back of my head, screaming that she's Barbara Gordon, and I've trapped her in her own body. I don't know how, I don't know what's going on. I just know that I was looking for you, to see your face when you saw the costume, there was this bright light, and when I could see, well, there was some differences. To put it mildly." She'd pulled her cape around herself, trying to hide inside the voluminous fabric.
I considered what she said for a moment, keeping an eye down the hall to make sure we weren't being followed, then spoke, "Ok, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt for now. If some guy can gain an extra foot in height and lose his ability to speak English when he's turned into an alien hunting machine, I can roll with this, for now. But I want you to tell me something only Chris would know."
I could tell it wasn't an easy task for her - him? I'll stick with her, for convenience sake - to try and search through her own memories with another personality fighting for control, but she soon spoke, "You secretly love to watch Sabrina the Teenage Witch, you once stuck your finger in a light socket just because you were told not to, you hate anime, but you proudly own a copy of Akira, which I can't stand but I love anime."
Shrugging, I said, "Well, Chris could have told you any of those things. I don't see why I should believe you."
The girl punched me in the shoulder, "You jerk! If you were just going to say that, it didn't matter what I said!"
I couldn't help but laugh, "I know, but I wanted to see what you would come up with. I guess I believe you. Come on, before anything else finds us and wants to eat us."
In spite of the heels, she still kept up with me at a brisk run as we came out into the central area where all the tubes met, and emptied into a triangular room with a glass ceiling. Plants lined the walls, and in the center was a stairway that led downwards to a mall and food court.
I spied a cup of coffee still steaming sitting on one of the chairs that was placed around the stairway for people to rest and take in the view. Picking the cup up, I gave it a sniff, and could identify the smell of hazelnuts. With no one around, and it still being piping hot fresh, I was sorely tempted to take it and drink it. I sure needed the boost of energy it would give, by then.
Batgirl, Chris, or whomever she turned out to be, took the cup out of my hand, as I made a grabbing motion at the receeding container. "You know, for all you know, that could have once been someone who was wearing a coffee cup costume not more than an hour or two ago."
"Ok, ew. Good point."
I looked back and forth between the two other tunnels, trying to remember which one went to the Herriott. The place was like a rat maze when a person wasn't trying to run from zombies and supervillains.
"Left," said Chris.
"I said, left. The hotel is that way." She pointed past me to the hallway closest to us.
"You get lost in this place as easily as I do. How come you're so sure, all of a sudden?"
She smiled, and I had a moment of being a little weirded out that my friend may have been transformed into a very attractive girl, wearing a skintight costume. "You forget your own handbooks. Batgirl has a photographic memory. Whatever these changes are, they do have an upside."
Giving a shrug, I headed in the direction she pointed. If she was wrong, it was a simple enough matter to backtrack. Barring Stormtroopers or Klingons, I guess.
Just inside the walkway were a pile of large blocks, scattered around the floor. We stepped over them, and Batgirl wrapped her cape around her arm as she did. I stopped once we were past and looked back at them, looking over the strange shapes they made, and the colours. Something about them seemed familiar, and I was certain I remembered seeing costumes like that earlier, but I couldn't place just what they were.
Just then, a shot fired off, and Batgirl grabbed me, pulling me to the ground. I ended up covered in cape, and threw it back to see what or who had fired at us. I could see just out of the hallway leading to the Hilton a COBRA soldier in a blue uniform with a red stylised cobra head imprinted on his chest. His face was mostly covered by a matching red mask, and blue helmet, and besides I was more interested in the rifle pointed at us.
Chris reached into her utility belt, and pulled out another batarang, throwing it with pinpoint accuracy at our assailaint, hitting him right in the hand clutching the trigger. Another shot went off as he clenched his hand, but then he dropped the gun to the floor.
He ran back down the hallway, and I could see him meet up with others dressed in similar costumes, all coming down the hall, and unfortunately they were armed as well.
I had my doubts that Chris had enough gadgets in her belt to take care of all of them, and then I saw the blocks literally in front of my face.
Leaping back onto my feet, I grabbed the nearest shape, a block that looked like it was made up of smaller blocks, in a two by two grid, and placed it on the ground. Batgirl followed my lead and grabbed another shaped like an L. It wasn't long before we had almost all of them arranged and blocking off most of the corridor.
I pointed at the last one on the ground. "There, that long one, should just about fit in the side there, and block off the wall path all the way. It won't hold them for long, but it'll buy us a few seconds, and we can lose them in the hotel, then."
Chris picked up the piece in her gloved hands, and fit it into the space left, and it was a perfect fit. The moment it was in place, however, the rows of blocks all disappeared, and I gave my forehead a loud smack.
"Tetris blocks," I shouted. "This is just getting ridiculous now."
Seeing the advancing COBRA troops, with no sight of their commander, a Baroness, or a Destro, and being thankful for that, it was my turn to grab Chris' hand and pull her down the hallway. "Forget trying to stall them, run!"
She didn't make any protests, and followed. None of them fired after us, at least, and I surmised they were just as stunned by the disappearing blockade as we were. I gave the briefest glance back as we exited into the eastern Herriott plaza tower, recognising the building once I was inside it. I saw some of the soldiers looking around the spot where we'd built our wall of Tetris blocks, trying to figure it out. It looked like they'd serve to stall them even without being there.
We ducked through the marbled halls of the Herriott tower, and into the hallways leading back to the main hotel, leaving all our troubles far behind us.
As we came around a corner nearing the last hall until we reached the hotel lobby itself, we came face to face with a barrel of a gun. This was becoming a habit I didn't much care for.
Behind the gun was a stark white face, with an impossibly large grin, nearly splitting his face in half, and lips painted a bright red. Tufts of green hair stuck out from underneath a purple hat, and his thin, lanky arms were bare, sticking out of a Hawaiian shirt.
When he saw the woman at my side, the barrel of the gun moved right at her, and his smile somehow became even bigger. He let out a crazed laugh that echoed through the empty hallway.
"Hello, Batgirl. I guess the joke's on you."