Sorry for the late update. I was very off track, a little distracted to be honest. Apologies to all the readers.

Chapter 2: Aftershock

The four trapped within the field watched in horror as the gas permeated the city. Becky's grip tightened on the back of her friend's costumes, causing Eileen to look up. The look on the alien girl's face-

Eileen gritted her teeth, and slapped away her leader's hand, releasing herself from Becky's grip. Startled, Becky dropped her, and Debutante fell towards the forcefield. Swiftly, the girl grew, causing the energy field to be damaged, and it shattered.

Jolt rushed to her friend, who shrank down, but retained her green skin color. Maria sighed, and flew over to Wordgirl.

"Boss! What do we do?" she asked, a bit frantic. But the girl stared at the mess beneath her, and was just- just stuck, even as the Intellect's ship flew away. Huggy chirped worriedly, and gently patted his friend's face. The young woman was shell shocked, shaken by this failure.

"Wordgirl! Wordgirl! Becky!" Eileen tried yelling for her attention, to no avail. However, to the shock of the monkey and former prima donna, Maria gave Wordgirl an electrified slap to the face, sending the girl whirling, with Eileen catching Huggy when he came flying off. Becky forcibly stopped herself, but she held her cheek. "Ow…"

Maria struggled, but held Eileen and Huggy in one hand, before flying forward, and grabbing Wordgirl by her uniform. "Becky, you're our leader…" Maria began, "It may hurt, but you need to keep your cool, if only to help the people down there!"

Becky stared into the other girl's angry eyes, noticing the pain in them. Maria shook her head. "Becky, if we can't count on you, who else can we trust here?! Snap out of it!"

These words snapped Becky out of her stupor, and the girl clapped her face. "Your right, Maria. Sorry," the leader apologized.

Wordgirl breathed in deeply, and exhaled. She surveyed at the situation. "Maria, she started, causing the girl to snap to attention, "fly in a circle around the entire circumference of the gas. With your speed, it'll trap it. I'll take Huggy and Eileen, put them down somewhere safe. Then I'll come back and help you."

Eileen looked up at her leader. "Becky, what are are you saying?! We don't know what that stuff does! What if it could kill people? It's an alien gas to us, literally!"

Becky looked at Eileen. "I know that. But out of all of us, Jolt has the smallest chance of being affected. She's made of electricity, so she could be safe. But," Becky started, turning her attention back to Maria, "keep an energy shell around yourself to be safe, okay? Long as you can."

Jolt licked her lips. She breathed in and out. She shook her head, and smiled warmly. "Now I remember why I agreed to join this team- you're the craziest person I know, Wordgirl."

Becky's mouth dropped, surprised. But before she could say anything, Jolt tossed her friends into the air, and kicked off towards the gas.

Becky scoffed as she caught Eileen and Huggy. "Show-off." And as fast as she could, she flew for the coast, and dropped off her friends. "I'll be back for you guys in a bit." She then flew back, and circulated the gas cloud. The girl held her breath, cautious. She had no idea if the gas would affect her.

Steadily, the gas rose, and dispersed. Wordgirl, with her hands on her knees, in midair, panted, exhausted. She looked up, and saw Jolt tending to some of the airborne gas, and figured that the other girl could handle it while she tended to the city. But WOW! She'd never pushed herself that far before. But, stressing herself, she looked down at the city to see a terrifying sight.

Cars were everywhere, people were lying on the ground, their bodies lightly convulsing. But by the odd coincidence, the sight that really got to her was on a bench- Scoops and Violet were on it, Scoops collapsed over the top Violet's head leaning on him. They weren't moving.

Wordgirl flew over to them, ignoring her fatigue, in a blind panic. She stopped right in front of them in midair, before gently setting down. She gently touched Violet's face, and felt for her pulse. When she found it, she sighed in relief- but stopped as she notice what looked like black veins in her face, running to her brain. She turned to look at Scoops, and sure enough, he had the same marks.

Wordgirl struggled to do so, but she checked the people on the street, further away from her friends. Some had the marks, others did not. "Weird…" the Lexiconian said aloud. She turned and saw something else- something that she found odd. Like with Scoops and Violet, her blood ran cold, when she saw Tobey, lying face down on the ground, his mother on her side, near him.

Wordgirl removed her helmet, and flipped the boy over. His face was covered almost entirely in the black veins, Becky noticed. She looked back at Violet, and realized that her best friend had more than Scoops, but less than Tobey. She looked back at the boy. What did it mean? What was happening to her friends? To Tobey?

She looked at Claire McCallister, at her face. The older woman had no veins, but she had turned pale. Becky felt for her pulse, he hand shaking. She let out a relieved sigh when she found it on her mother's coworker.

The alien girl shook her head, and put her helmet back on. She'd have to think on this later. For now, the hospitals in the city were going to be working overtime.


10 hours later...

Wordgirl paced vigorously inside the hospital, outside of Violet and Scoops hospital rooms. She'd instructed Eileen and Maria to return to the ship, just to keep an eye out for the Intellect, but she remained at the hospital, to keep an eye on the victims.

Huggy squeaked and grabbed her cape. The alien girl looked at her partner incredulously. "Calm down? My friends are…are... I don't even know! They could be dying, they could have a zombie disease, or… or…"

Huggy shrieked, suddenly strict. Becky, startled, looked at the simian. She sighed defeatedly. "I know. You're right. Freaking out isn't helping. Sorry."

Just then, a doctor in a hazmat suit approached her. "Wordgirl! What did you say happened to these people?"

The alien girl stared at him for a moment, before scoffing. "I told you, some guy in a ship turned on this weird gas, and they a passed out!" The doctor opened his mouth, but Wordgirl cut him off. "What are you even doing here?! GO HELP THEM!:"

The doctor stared at her as she panted, winded from her screaming, while keeping her shriek under control. The doctor shook his head, snapping himself out of it, and tried again. "No, I came because I think you need to see this! Follow me!"


As they ran (Wordgirl and Huggy actually flew alongside the doctor- they had no idea where he was taking them.), the doctor spoke.

"One of my coworkers came across something with one of the patients you brought in- a Theodore McCallister III! The doctor assigned to him just came in to check on him, and she's screaming bloody murder! Room W343! I-"

Wordgirl stopped listening there, and blasted ahead, all the while contacting her teammates. "Girls, get to the hospital! Breaks over! Something's happening!"

All the while, Becky found herself… confused. Why was she so worried about Tobey? If it were Violet, or Scoops, she'd understand… but...

With little grace, she burst into the room, and look around- only to be horrified by what she saw.

On the bed, a chrysalis-like thing was laying where Tobey should have been. The girl fell to her knees, and Huggy got off her back, and surveyed the scene. The monkey patted her on the back as she began to cry.

However, everything went quiet when they heard the cracking of the shell.