The Legion Encounters – Part I

Pizza Night With The Girls

A Legion of Lawndale Heroes 'Mini', by Brother Grimace

(Note: This fic, which takes place a week after the events of LLH 13:9, is part of the 'Judith Strikes!' shared world continuity.)

Daria Morgendorffer sipped at her glass of ice water, and watched a very familiar female form appear in her Legion Tower apartment where the blue flash of light appeared a bare moment before.

"Hello," she said, causing the young woman in the catsuit and red cloak to stop in surprise. "Looking for something?"

The woman turned around, lifting her cloak to reveal her face as she turned, and Daria found herself facing Judith – her doppelganger. "Before you make any threats or do anything stupid – look around you," Daria said, pointing towards the kitchen.

Judith turned to see an attractive, dusky-skinned young woman slightly older than her at the breakfast nook, a French fry in her right hand, and a tall, leggy redhead who stood next to her as she nibbled on a barbecue chicken wing.

The young woman, dressed in a night-black version of the USAES Elite Academy uniform the redhead wore (with a braided silver-and-white cord off her left shoulder - a prominent gold thread entwined inside the cord), gave Judith a gaze designed to freeze over large bodies of water. "Nice to meet you - in person," she said, her French-accented voice holding absolutely no measure of pleasure in her tone. "Sorry about nearly parting your hair with the plasma rifle last time."

"That's Amorette Molyneux – and the redhead's Julia Carlyle," Daria said, as Judith gave the French-Canadian beauty a scowl – and at that moment, a tall, leggy girl with short blonde hair and the same uniform as Julia came through the front door. "That's Kelly Springer. They're friends of mine –and they're here to make sure you behave while we talk."

"A telepath? Please," Judith scoffed, hate in her voice as she looked Daria over closely – and gave Amorette a glare of equal hatred. "Look, you snot-nosed bitch, I know how to deal with telepaths. Wanna see?"

Judith's eyes went wide as she reached into her cloak, but had her hand jerked back as someone grasped her left shoulder, spun her around – and her field of vision suddenly focused on the razor-sharp javelin held in Zoey Robertson's rock-steady right hand, the point barely an inch away from her baby-brown left eye.

"The Powers That Be made it clear – we can't end you," the tall, honey-skinned beauty hissed, her sea-green eyes fixed on Judith in the manner of a predator with prey in its grasp. "You make a move that's not right, though – and I'll take one of those eyes of yours. Try to put your paw in that cloak again, bitch, and you'll be minus one paw."

For the first time since her trip to that Earth with the Lloigor, Judith felt a touch of fear; she recognized the resonance javelin in Zoey's grasp for what it was – even more deadly than you realize at the moment, Robertson - I've seen one of your javelins seriously injure even those Planeswalkers – and decided not to struggle... especially after glancing over and seeing the tiny 'Mona Lisa' smile on the Legionnaire Daria Morgendorffer's face.

"Daria, you need some more of that scented liquid soap – oh," a perky redhead that could only be Quinn Morgendorffer said, looking Judith over. "She's here already – hey, she DOES look just like you! Oh, darn, and so's the pizza! Can we at least put the pizza away before we have to fight her?"

The sound of clinking bottles followed by a refrigerator closing, heralded the appearance of a superbly fit young woman with short brown hair holding a six-pack of Ultra-Cola. "We won't have to fight her, Quinn," Maryann Lyter said, filching a thick pork sparerib from Julia's plate of barbeque goodies as she headed into the living room and put the cold soda on the table. "We just have to make sure that she behaves. She's here for a pickup."

"You got that right, Quinn," Jane Lane responded, walking into the apartment, Stacy Rowe and Sandi Griffin walking in behind her. "If she thinks she's doing anything else besides that, she's wrong."

Zoey stepped back as Jane leaned over Judith's right shoulder and cackled in her ear. "We'll get you, my pretty – and your little cloak, too!"

Judith gasped, and then scowled, as Jane pulled away and then smacked Judith's cat-suited bottom. "Mmm – firm," she rumbled in a husky tone, smirking as Kelly gasped and the Legionnaires shook their heads in unison. "Evil girl's been working out. Compared to her, Dar, you've got 'buns of gold'... they may be twenty-four karat, but they're still a little too - malleable, y'know?"

"Momma said not to play with your food," Sandi spoke in a toneless voice; as she did, it seemed as if the temperature dropped a full thirty degreed inside the apartment.

Using her peripheral vision to sweep the room, Judith's eyes swept the room, and she noted that of the young women in the room, only three – Zoey, Amorette and Sandi – never took their eyes off her. They're the ones with red braids - the executioners, the young woman thought, assessing the three of them. In this reality, brainy nerd-girl Sandra Griffin's an ass-kicker; between those three, I'll never get what I need and get out while fighting all of them – and why didn't my temporal portal work? Why didn't all of the Kevins come through, and cause the distraction they were supposed to?

"She's wondering why the portals she created in the spaces that were to become Legion MTAC and the cafeteria a thousand years ago didn't manifest as they were supposed to," Daria spoke up, getting a slice of pizza from one of the boxes. "That locket she has keeps me from getting a lot from her, but her surface thoughts are blasting all over the place."

"Especially how much she wants to kill you slowly with a lot of sharp pieces of metal, and smear you all over the apartment," Amorette spoke as she sat down next to Daria and helped herself to a slice. "Knowing what we know about you, I can almost understand why you're so disturbed – but murder is a no-no... and I'm not thrilled about you trying to flash-fry one of my people."

The confused look on Judith's face made Amorette sigh. "You'll see, soon enough. Oh, yes – sorry about the plasma burns," she continued, before biting into her slice. "I didn't know then what I know now."

Judith was very careful in her movements – especially since Zoey held her javelin in a manner that suggested that she could slice her open in a heartbeat, and the girl in the USAES uniform (like Julia's, with a black skirt and a scarlet uniform shirt) held the weapon in a rock-steady grip.

"Sorry about the distractions – well, if they had worked," she said, shrugging as she slid into the chair Daria pointed her to. "Would you mind telling me where – and when – my, well, for lack of a better word, minions – went?"

"The Novaya Zemlya island territory – October 30, 1961," Daria said, her eyes filled with ice as she spoke. "You could always try to... pop in, and find them. I wouldn't, though. It was unseasonably hot that day. Lots of cloud cover, too."

The way a small smile went across Sandi's face at Daria's words almost made Judith shudder.

Glancing away from her (and noting how the fingers of Sandi's fingers right hand kept caressing the collapsed PFT baton on her lap), Judith nodded as she turned back to Daria, a smile of grudging respect on her lips. "Nice," she said. "Most people would have gone for Pompeii, or the Mariana Trench – but you've got style. How'd you manage it?"

"Ancient Chinese secret," Jane purred, running the tip of her index finger around the edge of Judith's right ear, and smiling as Daria's temporal counterpart shifted uncomfortably in her seat. "Oh, and speaking of secrets – Daria, why don't you introduce Judith here to your new boarders?"

Daria turned to her sister. "Quinn – could you open the bedroom door-?"

Quinn nodded; seconds later, the air was filled with cries of MEW! MEW! MEW! MEW MEW! as two small kittens sprang through the opened door and dashed into the living room, crying out at the tops of their voices!

"Say hello to Sissy," Daria said, as a tiny tortoise-shell blur bounded about the room with amazing agility and energy, happy to be out and even happier that she had loads of people to give her treats. "She's a little fireball, isn't she?"

If I had my way, she would be, Judith thought quite loudly, quite aware of how her cloak had begun quivering frantically for the briefest of moments and then, went completely slack as Daria picked up the other kitten – a black kitten with a white snout and white front paws, who had gone straight for Daria and rubbed against her ankles.

"This little lady is Bump," Daria said, smiling as the kitten nuzzled the palm of my hand. "Oh, and if you ever think another even remotely unpleasant thing about my cats again - I'll have Sandi or Zoey take your big toes off."

Judith blinked hard as Sandi's smile widened fractionally.

"I'm sorry," Judith said, as Julia picked Sissy up and set her on the counter, where the kitten quieted herself as she eagerly began drinking from a saucer that Julia had poured some of her glass of milk into. "Force of habit."

Daria shook her head, and took a small plastic bag from a thigh pocket of her Legion uniform – a barrier specimen pouch, used to transport bio-samples and evidence from the field, with two small sealed tubes inside. "Here's what you came for."

Judith caught the package Daria tossed her. "I don't suppose you want to tell me why getting samples from a bottle of water that I drank from is so important, do you?" Daria asked.

"Or that I drank from," Julia growled, her plate of ribs almost gone as she spoke through the paper towel she wiped her mouth with. "I'm not even from here. Why would you care about me?"

"We all have our secrets," Judith smiled, turning to Julia. "By the way - love your music. The Bechdel Album is the best. I'd love to meet the guy who fucked your world up. Oh, that's right. I will."

Judith turned back to Daria. "Speaking of which – where's Danny and Evie?"

The room was silent. "That's right," she said, looking around at the confused faces – especially Daria, who suddenly realized that she couldn't read even Judith's surface thoughts any longer. "Didn't you hear me earlier when I said that I know how to deal with telepaths? You only get from me what I want you to."

Quinn spoke up. "Who's 'Danny' and 'Evie'?"

For the first time since her arrival, Judith looked directly at Quinn, and the perky redhead felt as if she was being violated just by the way the woman's gaze touched her. "You'll find out soon enough – 'Sis'," Judith said, her gaze swiveling back to Daria. "Can I go now – or do you need to show me more of your 'statement of force'?'

"That's not the main reason why we're here," Julia said, walking out of the kitchen (after placing Sissy and her saucer on the floor) and stopping as she stood just behind Daria.

Judith laughed. "So you're a 'messenger owl' instead of a 'songbird' here? Cool."

"Two messages," Daria spoke up. "The first one – well, I'm supposed to read this to you."

Daria took a slip of paper from a pocket and began to read. "At the end of all that is, one snowflake can make a difference."

The vulgar snort of derision that rolled from Judith was almost enough for Zoey to slice the woman's left ear off. "Ooh – getting cosmic advice from the back of the Good Time restaurant again?" she snapped.

Despite whatever shielding she was using, the momentarily shock at having let something slip as Judith mentioned the restaurant caught the attention of both Daria and Amorette – neither of whom reacted in any way. "I'm not finished," Daria said. "It also reads, 'At the end - remember that flight is not as important as freedom'."

Judith simply yawned. "Now can I go?"

Julia spoke once again. "Before you do – look around the room. Take a good look."

The woman did so; she looked around and then, took another look, taking the time to notice everything – and everyone – in the room. "So?" she asked. "It's a room, and all of you. What am I looking for?"

Julia's expression was colder than anyone there had ever seen it before. "That's the message for you - from David Allen," she said, her voice able to cleave worlds. "He said, 'Look around you - one more time. What you're looking at... that's why."

The Legionnaires and the members of The Alliance watched as Judith rose from her chair; her cloak reacted instantly, moving to let a part of itself roll over her head to cloak all but her lower face. "Pray we never meet again," Judith said, putting the package inside her cloak.

Even with Judith standing over her, Daria looked down her nose at the woman. "Get out of my house."

There was a flash of blue light, and Judith was gone. "Well, that was pleasant!" Jane piped up, grabbing a slice of pizza. "Nice of her to stop by, don't you think?"

Amorette turned to face Jane, her eyes wide. "I can't believe that a sociopathic serial killer dropped in here – and you're cracking jokes, and quoting lines from Animal House!" she cried out, her voice sultry even with urgency and disbelief flowing through it. "That woman's serious about slaughtering your best friend!"

"You're right," Zoey said, reaching in for a slice.

"She's right," Maryann echoed, pushing past Amorette's legs to get to another pizza box and open it. "We gotta do something."

"Absolutely," Stacy spoke up, for the first time since she came in the room.

Jane swallowed her first bite and chimed right back in. "You know what we gotta do?"

The four young women spoke in unison. "Toga party."

The leader of the Phantom Eagles leaned back in near shock as the others began enjoying the pizza. "I don't believe this," she said, as Julia took an offered slice from the box Maryann held out to her, while Daria fed Bump pieces of sausage from her slice and Sissy, now crying out for attention at the top of her tiny voice, bounded from person to person begging for snacks. "This is totally not how we do things!"

"You should lighten up, Amorette," Julia said, smiling at her, "and grab some more pizza. These girls are worse than guys. Oh, yeah – when you get back, ask Sherrie if you can read her notes on the Legion. She makes some good points that you should remember, if you're going to work with them."

"Like what?" Amorette asked, as Sissy leaped over her feet to get to the dangled chunk of sausage Maryann held just over her furry head.

"How the Legionnaires not only don't 'operate inside or outside the box' – she doubts that they know that there IS 'a box'!" Julia replied. "Why don't you ask one of the Legionnaires for a tour, or a check ride on one of the planes?"

Amorette looked at Julia with disbelief. "Aren't you a Legionnaire?"

Julia's face lit up. "Hey, that's right – I am a Legionnaire! Would you like a ride on one of our planes, little girl?"

Daria ducked, and Bump meowed in protest, as Julia barely dodged the throw pillow Amorette tossed in her direction; as she lifted her head, Quinn leaned in close to her.

"Daria," Quinn said, "do we have to worry about you and that – other you – anymore?"

"No," was the answer. "Something tells me that she's never coming back."

Quinn's face still held a questioning look. "What is it, Quinn?"

"Who are those people she was talking about, Daria?" she asked. "She acted like we should know who they are, or that we'll find out who they are – as if that's going to be a bad thing."

Daria looked down to see that Bump had cleaned almost all of the sausage and ground beef from her slice of pizza. "I'm talking to you, and our new chief overlord has taken her tribute for the day," she said, smiling as she stroked the kitten's round tummy. "We'll find out who they are when we're meant to, Quinn. Whether it's good or bad, we'll find out the future when it gets here. Don't worry about it until then."

"Hey, you little bandit! Give that back!"

Jane's outburst caught the Morgendorffer sister's attention; Sissy had stolen a large chunk of tuna off her slice of sushi pizza, and had easily dodged Jane's attempts to catch her as she ran underneath the table to enjoy her spoils. "Morgendorffer! Your buck-wild daughter's stealing from me again!"

"You leave my little girl alone, or I'll let her pee in your sock drawer!" Daria shot back, trying hard not to laugh at the way Jane looked as she tried to get the kitten from beneath the table, blissfully uncaring about the way the others in the room looked at her.

"I've already caught her in my room – and my drawers – and they sneak into my bed late at night, when I'm trying to – sleep!" Jane said, as the room exploded with laughter. "It's not funny! A girl could have a heart attack if a squealing kitten just jumps onto your bed out of nowhere!"

Even Amorette couldn't stop a smile from appearing on her face as Bump climbed off Daria's lap – with no one attempting to stop her – and started to eat from the slice of sushi pizza Jane left on the tabletop as she tried in vain to capture Sissy.