Decker State College, Malibu, California
Nearly a week had passed since Kat had ended up with a life-like statue instead of a twin sister; Julie had been frozen in an endless moment by the magical time-stop camera, with no clear way to restore her aside from waiting for her entrapping image to be recovered. Trapped under floorboards, the enchanted picture that kept Julie Vaughn and Rachel Xanders from being alive was out of Kat's grasp until the scheduled building remodeling resulted in the floor being torn up. The good news Kat had received was the project should begin in early April, just a few weeks away, but having to hide Julie's disappearance from people was already proving difficult. More than once Kat had been tempted to just tear up the boards herself but knew it could be problematic, especially since she couldn't be certain exactly where the photo was. She didnÕt want to risk damaging it; that would beÉ bad. The reality was that Kat was happy that Tucker Holmes was watching over her immobilized sister and Rachel during this time, but Kat did miss even seeing Julie's face.
Resigned to waiting, Kat was now on her dorm-room bed, reclined while looking at pictures on her laptop of she and her sister together. It was a nice enough Friday but with soccer practice already done and no game on for this week, there being only a few left leading up to the multiple-state championship tournament in early April. Kat was worried Julie would miss the tournament and, even though she wasn't a player, Kat valued having her sister cheering her on with the rest of the girls.
Kat was dressed down, having showered not long ago, thus when there was a knock at the door; she quickly called for the person outside to wait while she pulled on some orange shorts and a black T-shirt. Kat then made a hasty ponytail with her hair, which was a bit unkempt thanks to a lack of attention after her shower. Dressed, though certainly not at her best, Kat opened the door to find Mel Donavan, the Lady Raptors' star goalkeeper, standing there.
"Hate to bug you so soon after morning practice, but Gabby and I just discovered something you should see," revealed Mel, who was looking quite good in spite of having been at the same eight in the morning two-hour practice that Kat had. Mel's short blond hair was gelled with spikes in the back and a sweep across the left side of her head; she wore an orange vest over a white tank-top with jeans over her legs, black fingerless gloves also on her hands. Not only did Mel look like she wanted to dress as she did but there were no signs that she'd had a big workout not just over an hour ago.
"What's the problem?" asked Kat, trying to shake off how much Mel looked like an anime character at the moment.
"Just come and look," insisted Mel, dragging Kat out of the dorm room as the soccer captain grabbed her keys from a hanger.
* * *
The Lady Raptors had been forced to fund-raise to get their second bus working properly for the current season and it had been costly. Kat had teamed up with her sister and Tucker Holmes to create a calendar for a company back in the fall to raise the money. Still, once the tour buses were up and working both the Raptors and the cheerleaders took pride in them, the latter groupÕs passion was a bit surprising but given the giant school logo and soccer ball-carrying raptor on the side it did make sense. The investment in the buses made it that much harder for Kat to look at them now, vandalized, with toilet paper swathed all around them, the rotten remains of thrown eggs dried on the windows, and 'RAPTORS SUCK' spray-painted in blue on the side of each bus.
Gabrielle Ward, the person in charge of maintaining the buses as well as one of the drivers, was practically in tears as Mel and Kat approached her inside the garage. Gabby was nearly forty and a very charming woman, yet almost seeming like a clichˇ heavyset African-American female from movies and TV shows, given how sassy she could be. Seeing Gabby in her white and orange uniform with tears running down her cheeks, her hair up in a tight bun, made Kat just want to hug the poor woman.
"Blue paint; gotta be the Sharks," pointed out Mel as they reached Gabby, the Irish girl putting her arm around the older woman's shoulders. The Malibu State College Lady Sharks were the Raptors' biggest rivals, given they were on the other side of town and thus sometimes frequented the same establishments. Being a stone's throw away from rival teams made things hard on the players and pranks were common, but this attack on the team buses was new and, given Gabby's reaction, had gone too far for Kat's taste.
"I got this," declared Kat, pulling out her cell phone. Gabby wasn't the only one that was going to react badly to the busesÕ condition, and given Kat's own feelings she knew it needed to be taken care of right away. Kat's magic camera could freeze people, but not time, but luckily she knew someone who could do both.
"Tucker, it's Kat," greeted Kat over the phone as Gabby finally stopped bawling while Mel began to circle and mutter. "I need you to come up to the stadium garage on campus right away, and I mean instantly." Kat had barely finished hanging up her phone before her message had an effect, a fairly average looking brown-haired man was instantaneously standing in front of her with a magic wand in his hands. Tucker Holmes, Julie's boyfriend, and his magic wand that could stop time.
"When you say instantly, I get it," remarked Tucker with a wink, indicating around them. Not only had Tucker arrived there instantly in KatÕs impression, thanks to his stopping time, but time was still frozen as both Mel and Gabby remained motionless like waxworks, the latter wiping her eyes with a rag while Mel had her arms crossed and was glaring at the spray-painted message. Furthermore the buses were now lacking toilet paper around them, the vandalizing items now in a big pile nearby.
"Nice, I was about to ask if you could just stop time so I could clean this fast," commented Kat, glancing around approvingly. The pair then shared a quick hug, a gesture for their shared love for Julie, granted one was platonic and the other was romantic. "I take it you aren't sure how to remove the spray-paint?"
"Not a clue," admitted Tucker. "Paint thinner? DonÕt want to take off your school artwork too."
"We have a special sprayer in the tool room that can take care of it," explained Kat, indicating for Tucker to follow her. "Removes fresh paint only. They use on wall graffiti. Our buses have been like this for a while so they'll be fine."
"Fair enough," nodded Tucker as he followed. "This is no problem by the way, I was taking care of some Anime Club stuff over in the library even though I only had one class earlier this morning." Kat tried not to smirk, knowing Tucker had felt the need to justify his presence since Kat hadn't properly thanked him for helping yet.
"Thank you for coming," offered Kat as they walked into the tool area and quickly found what they were looking for. "I should warn you, it sounds like they're going to get to the remodeling earlier than expected, but it might just miss your birthday," she informed him. Tucker's birthday was early in April, not long before the soccer finals, and it seemed like the first chance for the pair to find the picture that had left Julie frozen stiff wouldn't come until between those two events.
"It's fine, I just really hope itÕs under there," sighed Tucker, shaking his head. "I did search some more, you know. Unless something ridiculous happened, like a bird flying in and taking the picture, that has to be where it has to be." Kat chuckled a bit as she loaded the sprayer with the special paint-remover formula, amused at the idea but – under that – actually worried that something so far-fetched might have happened. The reality was the pair were placing their bets on a freak chance, but Kat was certain the enchanted picture had been produced so it had to be in the office area somewhere.
"The real trick is going to be getting Rachel back into the swing of things; I mean Julie knows everything, so while it will be rough losing so much of the calendar she can handle it," noted Kat as the pair returned to the bus, Tucker unfreezing the appropriate stuff to ensure the paint removal apparatus would work.
"Well Julie, we can just stop time and leave Julie active so she can catch up on her class work, we are between mid-terms in finals but this is a month's worth of missing information," noted Tucker, scratching the back of his head. "In RachelÕs case, we might have to somehow convince the school board she was abducted or something, but I don't see that plan working." Tucker let out a breath, appearing to not enjoy thinking about the future in such a way. "Times like this I wish my wand could actually manipulate minds, you know?"
"I feel the same way about the camera," agreed Kat as the blue paint began to drip off from the side of the bus after being sprayed, Tucker having a rag ready for when Kat was done spritzing. "I mean, we have this fantastic magic at our disposal, yet all we want is more. Human nature, isn't it?"
"Yeah," chuckled Tucker, noting the humor. "So did some girls from Malibu do this? Seems like their handiwork, at least from what you've told me in the past..."
"Has to be, but I'm going to check the security tape," revealed Kat as she stopped the sprayer; Tucker moved in to wipe up the liquefied paint. "I got one installed after someone left some adult magazines in here earlier in the semester."
"A porn prank, really?" sniffed Tucker as he cleaned up the dripping mess on the first bus. "Must have been Rachel. She's the idiot that wanted to steal that mannequin from the museum after all..."
"Ha, yeah," laughed Kat, remembering the incident at the Fetishist Wax Museum, the place her boyfriend Chris Picket worked at. Rachel had wanted to steal a lifelike figure from the place and Kat, along with Julie and Ayane Nakamura, had pulled a prank on her and the other cheerleaders using the camera. Recalling the incident, gears then started turning in Kat's head.
"Are you interested in helping me with a little revenge plot?" asked Kat as she and Tucker moved on to the second bus.
"Honestly Kat, I'd prefer I didn't get involved, as much fun as it sounds," replied Tucker as they reached the bus and Kat got to work. "After Julie and Rachel stayed frozen I've kind of gotten uneasy about things... Ask me again in a week or two; I might be game, but right now..."
"I understand, but this... this is really not what I needed today," cut-off Kat, indicating with a nod the paint she was removing. "It'll be fine, but I've got a little plan brewing that can work without you. You want to hear it?"
"Better not, but I'll wish you good luck all the same," offered Tucker as Kat finished spraying and he got to work with the rag. "So what do you want me to do about Mel and Gabby?" he asked, looking over at the two time-stopped women.
"Gabby could use a nap, maybe put her to sleep in her office," suggested Kat as the she watched her sister's boyfriend wipe up the paint. "Mel, she's going to help me, so leave her be. I just need to flesh out my plan..."
"Works for me; you can just head to your room or whatever with Mel while I deal with Gabby and head back to the library," offered Tucker. "By the time we're both where we need to be and I unfreeze time there shouldn't be an issue any more..."
* * *
Kat had carried MelÕs stiffened body over her shoulder the entire way back to her dorm, formulating a plan as she went. Upon returning to her room, Kat had laid Mel down on Julie's bed with the Irish girl retaining her angry, arm-crossed pose. Kat had then proceeded to start going over a list of people she'd had written down of players from the Lady Sharks team as well as putting down what she knew about the museum and which Malibu dorm Deidre Howard, the team captain, was currently housed in. By the time Mel sat up in surprise Kat had already written out a great deal of her plan.
"What happened?" asked Mel, not so much confused as just curious, given that she'd started to get used to being frozen and waking up in odd places. Mel was not aware of Tucker's wand, but she did know about the camera.
"I used the camera to freeze you and Gabby, cleaned up the buses before anyone else noticed, grabbed the footage from the security camera and starting forming a revenge plan before deciding to unfreeze you," revealed Kat. Before leaving with Mel, Kat and Tucker had watched the footage and confirmed that Deidre Howard, along with her closest friends Olivia Daniels and Harper Whyte were behind the vandalism. Wanting to deal with the incident personally, Kat had then deleted the footage since Gabby was aware of the security camera.
"Don't see why you needed to freeze me, but hey, whatever works," shrugged Mel, shifting around so she was sitting on the edge of Julie's bed. "So what have you found out?"
"Turns out we're psychics, as it was definitely the Sharks," confirmed Kat, sketching away as she talked. "I've got a plan for payback, and I think you'll like it."
"Hit me," said Mel with a grin. Since Julie had been frozen Mel had been Kat's closest confidant and the pair were starting to get on the same wavelength mentally.
"We take Chrissy's truck and the camera, then raid Deidre's dorm, taking as many players living in there as we can find," began Kat, holding up diagrams and a list of names, the last of which was from the last time the Raptors and Sharks had played one another. "By take, I mean freeze of course."
"Of course," nodded Mel, so far continuing to grin, though it had faltered initially when the term 'take' had been used.
"We then sneak those girls into the Fetishist Wax Museum and put them on display, of course in the proper costumes or birthday suits, and unfreeze them in the early morning," concluded Kat. "By early I'm thinking five in the morning, which is before too many people are out but by the time they figure out where they are and get back to school it'll nearly be time for their morning practice."
"Plus, the museum isn't that far from their school, but far enough that walking would be a pain," noted Mel, nodding. "I'm guessing we do this in the evening when more people are winding down?"
"Yeah, it'll ensure they're in their rooms as well as their sleep-wear, meaning they'll blend right in with the exhibit dedicated to that kind of thing," confirmed Kat. "It also means they probably won't have their phones or any money on them, though I'm not about to search them for those either way. How easy it is for us to get out of there we'll leave up to random chance, along with who exactly we prank. The big thing is itÕs whoever is also in Deidre's dorm building."
"That works; means we can do it tonight if we organized quickly," observed Mel, leaning back. "So how do we get them into the museum? Chris?"
"I can get his keys," confirmed Kat. "We just freeze whoever is there until we can get things done. That shouldn't take long."
"So we really just need to get those girls and Chrissy's truck," proclaimed Mel, nodding to herself.
"Yeah, so lets get to it," declared Kat, jumping up. The two blondes exchanged a quick high-five before readying the magic camera, eager to get some payback.
* * *
"Hey Kat, Mel, what's-" offered Ayane Nakamura, the blonde Japanese forward of the Lady Raptors, who was cut off by a bright flash that froze her solid. Ayane had been holding the door open with her left hand on the side of it, her right hand on her hip and her lips open while slightly rounded. Ayane's had her hair in a pair of Swedish ponytails for some reason and she was wearing a light blue halter top along with dark green formal shorts, having yellow Crocs on her feet.
"Really, not even a hello anymore?" remarked Britney Summers, who looked up from the couch in the sitting room to see the motionless figure of Ayane by the door. Brit's hair was wrapped up in a pink towel and she was wearing a matching robe as well as slippers, the student newspaper in her hands.
"Sorry, its just we needed your help but Ayane would probably mess things up," explained Kat as she entered, the camera in front of her chest. Mel meanwhile quickly closed the door, which left Ayane posed like some sort of ballet-inspired mannequin. The Irish girl merely nodded at Brit before wrapping her arms around Ayane's waist and dragging the girl down the apartment's hallway.
"What do you need?" asked Brit, shrugging off what had just transpired and apparently glad not to have been caught by the flash.
"We're planning on pulling a prank on the Malibu Sharks and we need a few things; weÕll also require you to store some frozen people for a few hours," revealed Kat, coming in and sitting down in one of the lounge chairs near Brit's couch. "Didn't want Ayane to get any funny ideas. Think you can live with your roommate as a statue for a little while?"
"Sometimes I almost prefer her that way," chuckled Brit, waving Kat off. "It's no problem, neither of us have anything going on. I was maybe going to hit a bar much later, but its probably too soon for that."
"Yeah, as in, two in the afternoon too soon," pointed out Mel, returning from having moved Ayane. "Where do you think you are, my country?"
"If I did I'd have eaten something with potatoes in it by now," sniffed Brit, with Kat just trying to hold back rolling her eyes. Brit was about to say something else, having swung her feet around to be sitting upright, but Kat then froze another teammate of hers. Britney sat with her right hand holding the crumpled newspaper while her left arm was raised, her index finger extended and her head turned slightly to the left as that was where Mel currently was. Brit's lips were parted and seeming to curl at the edges, as if smiling.
"I get freezing Ayane to make sure she won't mess with Chris, but why freeze Brit too?" asked Mel, pulling off Brit's towel to reveal fairly dry blonde hair that spilled out all over the place.
"So she won't mess with Ayane or Chrissy," revealed Kat, putting the camera aside with the two photos. Working together Mel and Kat were able to stand Brit upright and carry her horizontally into her bedroom, Ayane having been moved to her own room.
After the closing the two bedroom doors, Kat and Mel returned to the living room, Mel picking up the TV remote. "Think they get any of the good channels?" inquired Mel.
"Chris will be here in a minute, no time for that," insisted Kat, picking up the Polaroid photos and moving them into the kitchen, Mel putting down the remote in favor of the camera. "Now remember, be quick."
Sure enough a few moments later there was a knock at the door; Kat answered it, revealing her boyfriend Chris Picket. Chris was wearing a white baseball hat with the college logo embroidered on it in orange thread and sported a short-sleeved white plaid shirt, tan shorts on below them. "Hey Kat, so what's the plan for today?" greeted Chris, stepping inside. "Ayane joining us? Are we watching something here?"
"She's just getting ready, go have a seat," offered Kat, sending her boyfriend over to the living room. Chris had just reached the outcropping to the kitchen when the camera flashed, freezing him in mid-step. Kat let out a breath while Mel leaned into view from around the corner, holding up a new photo.
"And to think you were worried he'd be too curious," chuckled as she ducked back out of sight. Kat quickly approached her boyfriend and fished through his pockets for his keys, pleased to see his security access key was amongst them on the ring. Before Kat could do much else, there was a second knock at the door, this one unexpected, as Chrissy wasn't due for a few more minutes.
"Here, gimme the camera," offered Kat, swapping the keys for the magical device with Mel. Going to the door Kat saw it was Payson Quinn, a blonde-haired girl with light brown eyes. Payson was also a member of the Lady Raptors A-squad, one of the only two who had been a returning member that year from Diane King's final season. Payson was dressed down in jeans and a black T-shirt with 'HUSTLER' written on the chest in pink, her hair combed straight and out of her face.
"Kat?" remarked Payson in surprise, seeing her team captain's face when the door was opened. "Brit not around?"
"She just stepped out for a moment, I'm watching the place while Ayane finishes her post-shower rituals," lied Kat, the camera hidden behind the door. "What's up?"
"Oh, Brit has my set of Paragons Season 2, I was hoping to get it back," revealed Payson, trying to glance past Kat. "Why don't I just come in and look for it, she probably left it on her DVD shelf." Payson began to practically force the door and Kat elected to not resist, instead quickly freezing her fellow player as the door opened and the motionless Chris came into view. PaysonÕs rigid body nearly fell into Kat but she was caught and quickly dragged inside, the door closing behind her.
"Here, take her first and hide her in the bathroom," suggested Kat, awkwardly handing Payson off to Mel. The shifting around had caused Payson to end up with both of her arms bent at the elbow, her right raised higher than her left with both having their hands and fingers curved inwards, a half-smile on her face. Mel quickly dragged Payson down the hall while Kat put the photo of the latest frozen player with the others in the kitchen.
"Sorry about this," Kat then whispered to Chris despite the fact he could not hear her, returning to him and dragging him, by the sides of his feet, into the kitchen, then leaning him against the counter. Kat gently touched her boyfriend's frozen cheek and considered kissing him when there was yet another knock at the door. Letting out a sigh, Kat went to go have a look, her camera once again held behind the door.
"Kat, Chrissy told me you wanted to see here and I know about what happened this morning," declared Veronica Parker, assistant coach of the Lady Raptors, who was standing with Chrissy Pak. Veronica, who'd graduated last year, was wearing her school track jacket and shorts, a white T-shirt under the open jacket, her brown hair back in a ponytail and her hands on her hips. Chrissy meanwhile had her red hair back in a braid, her hair currently having grown out, and was wearing a blue Anime T-shirt with the logo for Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny on it.
"What do you mean?" asked Kat, feigning ignorance.
"Gabby was sleeping at her desk but she'd told Veronica here about the vandalism," revealed Chrissy. "You planning some kind of revenge plot?"
"Not at all," lied Kat. "Come in and join us, we're just trying to decide if we want to report them or not." Veronica and Chrissy exchanged a glance but then shrugged, entering the apartment as Kat opened the door wider. Chris was in the kitchen and thus, at least for the moment, out of view, but Kat had a very small window of time to keep it that way. No sooner than did the pair fully enter the apartment did Kat take another photo as she closed the door, freezing Veronica and Chrissy with their backs to her.
"Cripes, you might just want to lock the door," suggested Mel, having returned from moving Payson at seeing Veronica and Chrissy both frozen in mid-stride. Veronica's arms crossed while Chrissy was rubbing the back of her neck with her right hand, her left raised with her keys dangling from her index finger. While Kat ducked into the kitchen to stash the latest photo, Mel casually snatched up Chrissy's keys and then leaned the immobilized half-Korean sideways so that she could be dragged by her shoulders into the bathroom.
Returning to Veronica with the camera sitting in the kitchen, Kat got to work with Veronica. "Sorry about this, I know how hard it can be with you as a coach," offered Kat, dragging her friend by her waist to the couch and then carefully laying her down on her back. Veronica had a bit of a scowl on her face and her left leg was forward so Kat lowered it, putting her down flat with her arms almost clenched across her chest.
"Okay, we good?" asked Mel, returning to Kat as she finished posing Veronica comfortably.
"Yeah, lets go get us some Sharks," confirmed Kat, nodding.
Malibu State College, Malibu, California
The Empire Building was a decent-looking dorm, in a nice paved area of the school with some trees outside. Kat had visited the place once before when she'd come by with Brit to drop something off to her sister and liked its set up, being different than hers back at DSC. The dorm featured special room groupings called ŌpodsÕ which consisted of one common-room, with a full kitchen and two full bathrooms, being shared between five people who each had their own smaller rooms attached. The main exception to this idea were the resident adviser rooms, which each had private rooms with half-kitchens and full bathrooms.
"She's in room 100 right?" asked Mel, examining the intercom outside of the building. Keys were needed to get inside after public hours, but luckily the building manager was also the Lady Sharks assistant coach Mei Lueng, who like Veronica Parker was an alumnus who'd come back to teach. While no one in Deidre's pod would fall for the trick Kat and Mel had devised to get inside, there was a good chance with Mei. After getting a nod from Kat Mel dialed the number.
"Hello?" greeted a woman with a vague Mandarin accent over the intercom.
"Photo Club, Miss Lueng; we were hoping to get some photos of the dorm for the next recruitment package?" offered Kat, speaking instead of Mel since the latter's distinctive accent might give her away. While Mel wasn't the only Irish woman around, someone with her accent was significantly rarer than Kat's, thus it was less suspicious.
"I guess it is the time of year to think about that huh?" noted Mei, sounding a bit tired even though it was only seven in the evening. "Alright, come on in." There was a buzzing sound and sure enough the front door unlocked, causing Kat to share a grin with Mel. The two girls quickly entered, glad that, due to student protest, there were no security cameras in the building save the administration office, stairs and elevators.
While the duo could have just headed straight for Deidre's pod, given she was rooming with some other players, Kat and Mel wanted to make sure Mei was dealt with so the headed to room 100 first. Kat knocked, the camera raised up while she was glancing down the hall, thus making Mei unable to recognize her through the peephole.
"Hi, are you two with-" began Mei when the door opened, then was immediately cut off by the camera flash that froze her solid in mid-question. Mei was in her mid-twenties, having only graduated a couple to a few years ago. Kat recalled she'd immigrated from Hong Kong, or possibly Shanghai, in her youth, explaining why her accent wasn't that pronounced. Mei's dark hair was partially covered by a Lady Sharks baseball cap, the rest of it brushing her shoulders and the back of her neck, while her mouth remained partially open with her tongue forward, about to say the word "the." Mei's hat wasn't the only thing showing off her school spirit as she was wearing a blue and white T-shirt with the team logo in the middle, dark green jogging pants on her legs with her feet barefoot and her toenails partially painted black.
"Toe nails," pointed out Mel as she quickly slipped into Mei's room by opening the door wider, then dragging the suspended woman backwards by her slim waist while Kat followed her in.
"Polish is over on the table," pointed out Kat as the door closed behind them, revealing a small but functional dorm-like room. There was a small island in the tiled kitchen area next to a small living room, a coffee table in front of the lone coach holding the item Kat had spotted. There was a hallway past the kitchen, which Kat figured led to the bathroom and bedroom. Mei, who'd been leaning around the door with the her left hand holding the knob, was stood up in her kitchen with her hand now holding nothing but empty air.
"Bingo; key rack," spotted Kat, seeing several hooks along the side of a kitchen cabinet. Sure enough one key was labeled 'Master', meaning it would give the pair access to every room in the dorm.
"Want to just leave her or bring her along?" asked Mel, indicating Mei.
"I doubt she was involved, lets just leave her here but frozen so she won't notice her keys are gone," decided Kat, snatching up the key and quickly heading out of the apartment-like room. Mel followed close behind and Kat made sure to lock the door when both of them were out.
"Bingo, 114," indicated Kat a minute later, the pair having managed to get down the hall without incident. Room 114 was one Deidre Howard shared with Olivia Daniels, Harper Whyte, Brea Montgomery and Yumi Motochika. All five were on the Sharks A-squad and since three of the five in the room were definitely involved neither Kat nor Mel had any issue with freezing everyone in there. Reaching the door, Kat handed the camera to Mel so she could stand guard while she listened through the door, putting her ear near the knob.
"... that one creepy girl..." Kat could make out, the voice sounding like Olivia. "She... art... paint on her door!" Kat heard laughter after picking up parts of the statement, per position not perfect to hear everything. Kat's hope was to possibly hear some kind of confession, but luck wasn't on her side so she'd have to make do. Standing up, Kat carefully turned the master key in the door's lock; managing to open it without hearing the muffled laughs and chatter inside the pod stop. Once the lock was open Kat's next task was to quietly open the door, something she nearly failed at but, again, no one seemed to notice.
Peering inside Kat could see there were seven girls inside, not just five, and lucky for her they were gathered in one spot: around the dining table. Deidre had her back to Kat but she could tell it was her, the pale blonde's hair hanging loose while she was wearing a teal t-shirt, her legs sporting gray plaid pajama pants. Next to Deidre, also with her back to Kat, was Olivia, the brunette's hair also loose while she was sporting a pink long-sleeved shirt with matching pajama bottoms, the outfits spelling out for Kat that the girls were having a PJ party. Across from Deidre, and most likely to spot Kat, was Tracy Summers, Brit's older sister who didn't dye her family-given brown hair, which was cut very short at the back but long at the front, framing her blue eyes. Tracy was just wearing a neon green halter-top and what looked like teal panties. Next to Tracy was Malie Kealoha, a Hawaiian native who possessed extremely long black hair that was tied back in a ponytail while she was wearing a red halter top and what appeared to be a leopard-print sarong around her legs. Standing behind Tracy and Malie was Harper, the tall blonde having streaks of green in her hair this week and wearing a short-sleeved white-with-black-stripes blouse on top with pink heart-covered white pajama bottoms below. Hovering away from the table and near the fridge with a vodka cooler in her hand was Yumi, who currently sported a fire-engine red faux hawk while wearing a white zipper-equipped hoodie along with blue shorts. Finally over by the sink was Brea, the African-American's short hair swinging free with what appeared to only be a purple robe on.
"You really should-" laughed Olivia, being cut off as Kat, having taken the camera from Mel, quickly snapped three photos in rapid succession as she panned from side to side, only really needing one but wanting three in case she missed a person. The room went instantly silent as Kat smirked, entering with Mel not far behind.
"Seven Sharks, on ice," chuckled Mel, surveying the motionless scene with Kat. Deidre, it seemed, was half asleep, leaning against the wall with her head and her eyes half-open, a nearly empty orange cooler in her right hand. Olivia's mouth was wide open and she was looking up, her eyes closed and her arms raised due to how she'd been laughing when frozen. Tracy seemed a bit sunk in her chair, her own face looking blank as she continued to stare at her own empty cooler. Malie, funnily enough, had just fumbled her own cooler when Kat had frozen everyone and was now leaning over the side of her chair with both hands reaching out at the fallen and leaking bottle. Harper was actually eating what looked like ramen noodles from a cup, her left hand holding it while her right buried chop sticks inside it, a smile on her face as she looked at Olivia. Yumi was frozen in mid-sip, orange vodka now dripping down the side of her lips as her eyes were clenched and her right arm held her chest, clearly trying to hold back laughter. Brea had water running into an empty cooler bottle but was looking over her shoulder at Olivia, grinning like the rest who were paying attention while cold water lapped across her fingers.
"Pull the truck around by their window, I'll pass them through one at a time," ordered Kat, passing Mel the vehicleÕs keys.
"You got it, this is going to be awesome," laughed Mel, heading out the door. Alone with seven of her nemeses, Kat elected to stop the running water before doing anything else, letting the spilled drinks soak into the roomÕs carpet.
"Good thing you're all drinking; makes this easier to forget in the morning," noted Kat, knowing full-well some people who'd never managed to remember what they'd done after getting really drunk. Kat even proceeded to spill a couple more of the drinks, Deidre getting a lap full of orange cooler and Yumi practically getting soaked in it. Harper's noodles were also scattered over the floor before Kat returned to Deidre. Kat stared at her former friend, then moved down next to her and put her arm around the frozen girlÕs shoulders.
"We never got to talk," sighed Kat, looking at her former friend as she sat there, frozen and intoxicated. "I'm sorry your mom picked me to be MVP back in high school over you. I was sure you'd get that; I wanted you to get it. Your grades... that was you." Kat felt a couple of tears start to form, remembering the good times she'd had with Deidre back in East Providence. Thanks to a lack of an MVP title and poor grades, Deidre's scholarship to Decker State College had instead gone to Kat, leaving Deidre out in the cold. Deidre had bounced back though and after a year of raising her grades had gotten a scholarship to Malibu, and thus their rivalry had truly begun. On graduation day, Deidre had flat out called Kat a traitor, permanently scarring their friendship. Kat had tried to reach out but this year in particular the last of the love had died.
"I regret nothing," sniffed Kat, wiping away her tears as she propped Deidre up, then proceeding to do the same with the rest of the players. Faces weren't molded, there was no need to yet, but they were all stood at attention since it was easier to fit them out the window that way, though all of the girls did have toned figures thanks to being athletes.
As Kat finished posing Olivia properly, Mel knocked on the window, having managed to pull Chrissy's truck up to only a few feet away from the pod's main window, thanks to a parking lot being right there. Kat opened the window and the pair got to work, Kat tipping each girl head first out the window for Mel to drag out while Kat then lifted their feet, soon resulting in seven mannequin-like soccer players in their pajamas standing just a couple of feet away from the truck.
"Get loading, I'll return the master key and meet you in a minute," Kat told Mel when the job was done.
Fetishist Wax Museum, Malibu, California
The museum was quiet when Kat and Mel approached in Chrissy's truck, visiting hours long since over as the attraction closed at seven. Kat was used to visiting the place by now, with Chris working quite a few night shifts. Kat also knew how the security cameras worked and that no one checked the live feeds unless a motion alarm went off, but those only applied to windows right now since there was staff in the building. With no one watching the footage of what was going on outside, Kat had no trouble getting to the outside door that accessed the security office; Mel was waiting behind in the truck for Kat to text her. Given there was some security in the museum, if Kat got caught it would only be her, not Mel, on the line.
Using Chris's key, Kat unlocked the door and, unlike with the dorm pod, quickly opened the door, firing off multiple flashes in an instant. Kat soon had six new photos and three of them contained the current posted guard, one Kat recognized. Mallory Blancard, a tough yet sexy-looking blonde who was nearly thirty, caught while glancing up from a sandwich she'd been eating. Mallory, clad in a dark-gray security uniform minus a hat so her long hair could be let out, had her feet up on the desk and was holding her sandwich with both hands, her cheeks clearly full and her eyes showing confusion more than surprise. "Sorry Mallory," offered Kat as she quickly entered, closing the door and accessing the internal security network. Mallory was in the way so Kat spun the blonde away, leaving her resting her feet on empty air and, without proper balance, soon falling to the floor before topping out of the chair completely.
"Sorry again," muttered Kat, feeling better for saying it even if Mallory couldn't hear her. Looking at the cameras and security logs, two things she'd learned from spending time with Chris, it was clear Mallory would be the only guard until midnight, at which point Carla would show up. Thankfully it was barely eight, so that gave Kat and Mel more than enough time to put the Sharks into a display and leave, though there were still other employees to deal with. A quick check of the logs showed that only two people besides Mallory were still in the building: its owner Merilyn Kent and a sculptor named Elise Alexander. Kat didn't know Elise personally but knew the girl went to Decker State College and was most likely in the same art program as Ayane.
"Not a problem," noted Kat, spotting Elise and Merilyn via the monitors, downstairs in the sleep-fetish room. Deciding to leave Mallory on the floor for now, her sandwich luckily not dripping anything and seemingly undamaged, Kat headed for the stairs.
"I know you're only the apprentice sculptor, but your work has been very impressive," remarked an older woman's voice as Kat headed towards the target room, noting it belonged to Merilyn. "People are starting to be unsure which mannequins are ones we designed and which ones we got by donation or purchase."
"Thank you," replied Elise, Kat now in position to get a look at the pair but wanting to be closer before freezing them. Elise had dark hair that was short and wispy, the tips touching her shoulders. Elise was wearing a black T-shirt and equally black jeans, the latter torn at the knees. From the way Elise had spoken Kat picked up a hint of a lisp, most likely a tongue piercing, and a nose ring that was visible from where the soccer player was standing. Merilyn meanwhile was a decently tall redhead that Kat was certain, even though she was straight, would be a cover-model for any magazine containing MILF content. Merilyn had her hair up in a librarian-style bun and was wearing a red blazer with a black knee-length skirt, her arms currently crossed.
"I want to commission you to make a statue of Erika Stone," revealed Merilyn, beaming. "Consider it a personal request, and like I said I will be paying you quite well for this. Erika has a birthday coming up and I think she'd really enjoy it." Kat suddenly felt the urge to congratulate Elise, even if she didn't know the girl, but instead froze her and Marilyn on the spot.
"I'm really sorry, but you'll both be moving again soon!" called out Kat. Elise had her hands in her pockets and looked taken aback while Merilyn was grinning ear to tear, her arms still crossed. The fact that she'd just turned the owner of a wax museum into a living mannequin wasn't lost on Kat and she did chuckle slightly as she ran back upstairs to text Mel and unlock the main doors, making sure to disable the alarms.
"Check it out," Kat told Mel upon opening the door a few minutes later, having managed to find a large trolley.
"Awesome," clapped Mel, the pair then getting to work moving the soccer players. All seven had been transported on their backs in the back of the truck and were carefully lifted out one at a time, Mel handling the heads from inside the back while Kat was on the ground working with the feet, standing each girl up on the trolley. The Sharks wobbled a bit, but Kat figured Mel could ride the trolley too and hold the frozen soccer players in place. Sure enough, after they were done unloading, that was exactly what happened, Kat wheeling the trolley into the room where Merilyn and Elise were posed in place.
"Should we move them?" asked Mel, indicating the artist and the owner.
"No, where we're putting them it should be fine," replied Kat, helping Mel unload Deidre. While the sleep-fetish room was one of the most populated in the museum, some mannequins being chloroformed and such, while others were posed as if asleep and many were in pajamas, Kat and Mel were able to find a good spot for the Sharks that was more or less on their own. Deidre was placed first, her tired look kept the same while her arms were loosely crossed, making it look more like she was shivering slightly. Olivia was next, posed to lean against Deidre's left shoulder with her mouth closed as well as her eyes, her arms hanging loose and useless. Tracy and Brea were posed together, Brea holding Tracy from the waist up while the Summers-girl's legs were sprawled on the ground, making it looks like Brea had somehow just knocked Tracy out. Malie was tucked into a ball on her left side with her hands forming a pillow. Finally Harper and Yumi were put down on the ground back to back, both slumped over with their knees up. Kat looked at the static grouping for several seconds before reaching in to tear DierdreÕs pajama top away, leaving her once-friend posed topless.
"Perfect," breathed Mel, stepping back to take a look at their work while resting an elbow on Kat's shoulder. "So when do you want to wake them up?"
"I'm going to be up all night making this up to Chris so I'll probably stop in around five to un-freeze Carla so they can get out without a problem," revealed Kat, nodding to herself. "Be sure to run morning practice without me tomorrow, huh?"
"Not a problem," nodded Mel. "So you're really good with this? I mean, I know its kind of late to protest now that we've done it, but we did just turn seven girls into fetish mannequins for the night as a prank. This could mess them up."
"I've had it with Deidre's crap, and it's nice to use the camera for good..." insisted Kat, shaking off Mel and moving to walk away.
"Good?" asked Mel, confused by the remark.
"I..." began Kat, wanting to tell someone about what had really happened to Julie and Rachel. "Look, Mel, lets head back. On the way we should talk..."
* * *
"I'd be honored to do it," replied Elise, Merilyn happy to see the young artist was willing to do something a bit more challenging. The museum's original mannequins didn't all look as good as the ones that were bought or donated, but Elise was quickly proving to be quite possibly more talented than the main sculptor.
"Excellent, I'll get you what you'll need to get started by the end of next week," declared Merilyn, then she glanced around the room again. For a moment something seemed off, Merilyn could swear there were more waxworks in the diorama now than there had been that morning, but she quickly shrugged it off, finding it hard to keep track in the sleep-fetish room given how easy it was to put any old statue into pajamas and make it relevant to the room.