Scene Forty One
In which we meet the most dangerous person in this story
Charlotte had never seen Miss Alpha at rest. It stood to reason that somewhere there must be a little apartment where she spent her sleeping hours, but Charlotte had never seen it. She also had never seen Miss Alpha off guard, it didn’t work like that; you never went to visit Miss Alpha, you talked to the closest bat, and then she decided if she wanted to see you.
This time it looked like Charlotte was in luck. The cave seemed to billow out as thousands of bats made their way to the exit and collapsed into a human form. “Hello, Miss Epsilon” the figure said.
Charlotte resisted the urge to bow, “Thank you for seeing me” she said, like her mother had taught her, “It is always my honor.”
Miss Alpha did a little girl twist, “Thanks, Miss Epsilon” she said, with a slight lisp. Charlotte was sure it was an act. “Can I help?” She asked.
Charlotte was relived; as incredibly terrifying as Miss Alpha was, she always got straight to the point. “I need to change my appearance” she said
“Oooo” said Miss Alpha, “Why does a pretty lady like you want to do that?”
As much as Charlotte wanted to lie, she thought better of it. After you had been around a while you started to hear, stories, about people who had lied to Miss Alpha, “I need to go undercover” she said, “And the man I’m meant to be meeting for the first time invited me to dinner last time we met” she continued, feeling that this wasn’t something she could really hide.
“Ooooo, Ok!” said Miss Alpha, pointing her palm at Charlotte. There was no preamble; Charlotte felt her body changing shape. Every atom in her body started to bubble and wave, and then wrench Itself into an entirely new position. It wasn’t entirely pleasant.
“But it’s just for a day or two” said Miss Alpha, “So call me before it goes away”. Then she exploded into a cloud of bats, and was gone.
Charlotte lay on the rock of the cave mouth, gasping breath into unfamiliar lungs, and she realized the position she was now in. The mission’s success depended on Miss Alpha’s goodwill; if she chose to stop helping then no-one else could change her into this form again, and she would have to forfeit all the work she had done with Tony Tony, and no-one else could go back in because it would look too suspicious.
Charlotte had been prepared for mind control, but this was something different; she was entirely in Miss Alpha’s power.