1. Welcome to The Absolutely Crazy Matriarchy: Chapter 5.5 – The Fire and the Fury. In the last chapter, which was really an interruption, the Simselves received a strange prophecy that made SimFire run off on her own to a confrontation that sounds suspiciously like a trap. On with the story! Please bear in mind that this chapter was designed for the Exchange. I’ve done my best, but there may be some formatting errors and picture quality issues.
2. Fire looked down at the address on the piece of paper in her hands. Then up at the large building before her. Then at the letterbox. Then at the piece of paper again. Surely this wasn't the right place. It was too... obvious. Then again, it had largely escaped her notice for many years. There was something strange about it.
3. Ostentatious much? sighed Fire as she walked in. She felt a tug at the weak bond she still shared with RealFire - she was in distress. Clearly she was watching this happen and attempting to stop it. Not that it can be stopped, muttered Fire.
4. The hallway was grim and dark, with no lighting or windows. It practically screamed "Evil genius within! Do not enter if you want an excitement-free life!“ The nagging feeling that she'd been set up got stronger.
5. Upstairs, at the end of another ominous corridor, a glass door led to what was probably a study. A familiar voice came from within. "Please, come in, Fire dear. I've been expecting you.“ Definitely a setup, thought Fire. Oh well.
6. "Hello, Fire. Welcome to my home. I hope you like my decor.“ Actually, I find it a little too grim for my tastes. "Oh well. Down to business then.“ Business?
7. Fury stood up. "The business of destroying you and this Legacy, dear.“ I'm not afraid of you, Fury. I know who you are. "Oh? And who am I, then?“ You're me, aren't you? Fury chuckled. "Someone's done her homework." She tugged off her beret and glasses, shook her hair free, and wiped at her makeup.
8. It was like looking into a mirror. A warped, scowling, mirror. How did this happen? asked Fire. "Well, when a Simself is created, it creates a dimensional paradox. Sometimes, errors occur. Files are deleted or replicated or corrupted. I am a corrupted version of yourself, containing only malice, terrifying intellect, and excellent taste in fashion. I am a you-shaped evil genius caricature.“ That's something to be proud of, Fire said, voice dripping sarcasm. "Of course it is."
9. Is that why you want to destroy the Chandlers? snapped Fire. "Partially. Within everyone exists a desire to destroy what they create. Sometimes it's more obvious. I embody that desire. And I fully intend to follow through with it.“ Fury smirked at Fire. "Let me tell you a story that concerns your precious Chandlers. Right from the very beginning."
10. "The evil genius gene that appeared in generation two was not a random occurrence. I spent years researching genetics until I was able to synthesize a gene that would warp the mind of those who expressed it.“ Like Susan and Daniel. "Precisely, Fire dear."
11. "I thought it was perfect. A gene that I could introduce to the gene pool via the founding father.“ But Pao and Holly were before our time! "Time is not quite linear here. As you've noticed, some age and die, others live forever. Like yourself as compared to the Chandlers.“ I'm meant to be immortal, though. “ All right, that was a bad example. It would have been better to refer to Zoey, or dear Daniel. But you get the drift. Anyway, time here is easy to manipulate. When I got the hang of it, it was child's play to take the serum to the past, and to Pao."
12. "It was simple enough to pour the serum into his drink so that his children would express the trait, and use a little mind control to send him home with Holly. However, I did not count on two things. The gene turned out to be tricky to pass on, and was thus bred out quickly. Also, human emotions had the ability to subsume the gene's effects. Therefore, Daniel and Susan repressed the gene.“ What about Stella? And Veronica? "Stella's alien DNA strengthened the gene, allowing it to function normally. However, her own dominant personality led to errors. I hit the jackpot with Veronica - her unique combination of human and alien DNA and her personality led to a cool, objective agent with her eye on the prize. Albeit a little too excited about the job."
13. “ However much success I have had with those two, I have had no success with plan A. I've had to resort to plan B. I'm going to kill you, and Corinna, and have done with it. You cannot escape this room. So why not make this easier on me, and curl into a ball and whimper while you still can?“ When one takes it all, the other will fall Which way will it side?
15. I'm not going to surrender to a pathetic, half-baked, fashionably-challenged evil genius like you! Fire slapped Fury hard across the face. "You're digging your own grave, Fire."
16. Which way will it side? Fury glared at Fire. "So. It comes to this.“ Yes. But I will be the one to walk out of this room. The two threw each other twin glares of hatred. "So sure. I will enjoy killing you, Fire. You and the other Simselves. Most of all, I will enjoy killing Corinna and the brats she's carrying."
18. The fight raged. Both of them fought as dirty as they could. There was too much at stake to play nicely. Hair was pulled, long nails dug furrows into flesh, elbows were jabbed into eyes. Fire fought hard. For the Chandlers. For RealFire. For Spike and the other Simselves who would all be in danger if she lost.
19. Fury had rage and insanity on her side. Fire had logic, a cool head, and righteous anger. It was a fair fight, and it raged for some time as the two were locked in a violent stalemate.
20. However, Fire finally broke the deadlock by flipping Fury out of the melee onto the floor. Fury hit with a sickening thud. Fire stood triumphant over Fury. She had chosen. Fury whimpered in pain. Her nose was broken, she was badly concussed and in no shape to keep fighting.
21. Where is Corinna, Fury? Fury sighed. "Downstairs, but good luck getting to her.“ And the fourth wall? "I can't remove that. You'll have to do it yourself.“ I didn't think so. Now get out of my sight before I decide to be less merciful. With a last dirty look at her doppelganger, Fury raced out and to her helicopter. Fire didn't try to stop her.
22. About five minutes later... Spike sprinted up the stairs. He'd found Fire's file of information and had deciphered the riddle to discover that Fire believe that a cataclysmic showdown was the only way to stop things. He hoped he wasn't too late.
23. "Fire, luv? Where are... ooof!“ Spikey! How did you know where I was? Fire leaped into her husband's arms with enthusiasm. "Well, you will leave your filing cabinet unlocked when you disappear into thin air...“ Did you pick the lock again? "Maybe."
24. "Don't ever do that again, pet. You look like hell.“ Thanks so much, darling. And let's hope I won't have to. "Where's the one you came to fight? Fury?“ Gone for good, I hope. Now, we have to find Corinna. She's here somewhere. "Lead the way, pet."
25. Okay, there's definitely a room in there. No doors or windows, though. How do we get in? Spike sighed. He loved his wife, but she could be remarkably dense sometimes. "Fire, doesn't that sun thing look out of place to you?“ Yeah. Fire reached out and twisted the golden ornament. A tremendous groaning noise made her leap backwards in shock.
26. A section of the wall had slid into the ground, revealing a tiny cell. Inside was Corinna, looking miserable. She looked up in shock, then cried out happily. "Fire! You came! I knew you would! Whoa, you look..."
27. Fire interrupted Rin's relieved babbling. Rin! I'm so glad to see you safe. We have to get out of here. "Why, is there a self-destruct thingamajig about to explode us?“ ...No. It's just creepy in here. "Oh."
28. Back at the Chandler house, there was a joyful (and tearful, though Bella would never admit it) reunion. "Sorry, Mum.“ "What are you sorry about, Rin? Was it your fault that some Simself with anger management issues kidnapped you and nearly killed you?“ "Well... not really.“ "Then stop blaming yourself, honey. I'm just so glad you're safe.“ "So am I, Mum."
29. Rin wasted no time in heading upstairs to her infant son. "I'm sorry I had to leave you like that, Justin. I'd never leave you willingly.“ Justin gurgled at his mother. Rin smiled happily, glad to be home and safe with her family.
30. The house seemed to radiate happiness once more. Rin was home, safe, and pregnant with (hopefully) the next heir. Back at Simself HQ, however...
31. "You really do look awful, luv.“ You should see the other girl. Anyway, do you think we worried the others by running off like that? "Probably. Let's face the music, pet.“ Hand in hand, they walked through the doors of Simself HQ.
32. ...only to run into their friends as they prepared to come after them. "Fire! Spike! Where... WHOA! What happened to you, Fire?“ An evil genius with anger issues and good martial arts training. Spike chuckled. "The other one's worse off."
33. Fire looked around at her friends who had been prepared to come storming in to save her from her own stupidity and bravado, and felt ashamed. For not confiding in them, for starters. Er. Um. Sorry for all that, guys. It was kind of something I thought I had to handle on my own. Gaara smiled. "We read the file, Fire, and we see why you thought that.“ "Even though it was completely irresponsible and stupid," Lark pointed out. Fire looked at the floor.
34. Lark sighed and stepped forward, hugging Fire. "Don't do that again, Fire. Seriously, you scared us half to death.“ You weren't the only scared one, Lark.
35. But trust me, I won't be doing that again any time soon. I think I've gotten rid of her. "Good. Now, go clean yourself up before Cee sees you and starts mothering you.“ Good idea.
36. "Fire?" Gaara asked. "Do we still have a fourth wall?“ Yeah. Fury couldn't change it, and I can't either. We'll need to try something else. "I'll get started.“ Great. Lark, Spike, you two should join him. You've got the best technological knowledge of all of us. Remus, you, Lucy, Cee and Jeremy should hit the books. See if we missed anything the first time. I'm going to clean up.
37. She couldn't do much about the black eye, but she could bandage the cheek that Fury had raked with her nails and stem the bleeding. She still ached all over from the various kicks and punches she had suffered. The bruises would fade, but somehow Fire knew that she'd always have scars from that fight. Scars well earned. The Legacy was safe.
38. Settling down at her computer, she logged on to the network and started searching; for anything. A clue, a loophole, anything at all. Because it wasn't over. Not until that wall was gone. And until that happened, there was work to be done.
39. Several hours later... Fury stared at herself in the mirror. The cow had really done a number on her. She had a broken nose, a terrific shiner, and a nasty cut over her right eye from a combination of her adversary's wedding ring and strong left hook. With a sigh, she ran hot water from the sink and cleaned herself up, wincing and swearing when it stung in her cuts or when she bumped her tender nose. Then she picked up the scissors and a bottle of hair dye.
40. She still looked like a mess, with her black eye and her bandaged nose. So she'd have to lie low for a while to preserve her disguise. It would be worth it. When she'd fled the house, she'd conducted a little business. The house was now owned by a certain 'Fiona Samson', the false identity she would assume once her wounds had healed. Though, she thought, fingering the large cut over her eye, they may leave scars.
41. She completed the transformation with a wardrobe change, donning clothes she'd otherwise never go near. But drastic measures were necessary, and since the simpering Fire had left her alive, she had another chance to destroy the Chandlers.
42. Despite the fact that she'd been beaten half to death, despite the fact her face was temporarily ruined and despite the fact that she had to hide behind a false, blonde mask, she was content.