The metal door creaked from the strain as two sets of thick, ridged metal fingers prized through the minute gaps between it and the frame, pulling hard enough for the walls to warp a little. Ruby stood and there on a long red leather coat. Two revolvers were drawn from the pockets and aimed at the doorway as it finally burst off, revealing the attackers.
They walked towards them, towering above Jim and Ruby as their arms began to shift and click into place.
Jim felt as if he had walked onto the set of one of those weird Japanese films - killer robots? Are you having a fucking laugh? Ruby wasn't laughing. She unleashed a torrent of bullets at them, the shells bouncing onto the floor as the machine men stumbled backwards, their circuits torn apart by the hot lead piercing their casing.
"Stay behind me, James - don't get caught. We'll be at the lair in about fifteen minutes, so hang tight - okay?" She glimpsed back to see Jim desperately scrabbling beneath a table, muttering something about having lost a dim son and cheap corn - or at least, it sounded like that.
Her train of thought was distracted by the sharp blade passing through her stomach.
Jim grimaced, and felt a tear roll down his cheek. He didn't have a clue what was going on, but she seemed nice enough - not somebody he wanted dead, anyway. She seemed at least a bit sane.
Her eyes flashed open, and a wicked grin appeared on her face as she drew the guns up again and blasted the head of the metallic attacker clean off with two shots. She heaved the blade from her gut, and leapt into the fray.
For a few seconds, Jim was certain that all he could see was a multitude of sparks and a red blur - and then all was quiet, with the bloodless Ruby stood smiling over heaps of battered steel and circuits. She moved back over to Jim, and hoisted him from beneath the table and back into his seat.
"Okay, what the fuck was that?"
"What?" she replied, before a slight look of realisation dawned on her face. "Oh. The stabbing thing."
"Yes, the fucking thing with you getting stabbed and not even bleeding, let alone dying. What the hell have you gotten me into?" Argent's eyes fluttered open, and a slight smile appeared on his face.
"Ah. We're here."
"Emmy, what are you doing?"
"Dissecting a dragon, what does it look like?" She looked over her shoulder, blowing an errant stand of dark hair from her face with a cheery grin. She wore a long green trench coat, and was carefully gliding a scalpel up the chest of a massive... a fucking dragon. Jim could feel the slight lightness beginning to take away his rational mind.
He looked around the 'lair' - a great, cavernous expanse of marble and granite, filled with bizarre looking technology crafted from the same strange gold of the "Sacred Amy" and skeletons of animals that didn't seem possible to exist.
He didn't want all this, did he? He wanted home and comfort and porn and cheap Chinese food and TV - and then he saw her.
She was draped in a flowing golden dress, her hair long and flowing and dark blonde. She was sauntering over with a severed arm in her hand, but he didn't care. She came close, and smiled at him with a gentle look. She opened her mouth...
"WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN?"
Jim blinked a few times, and saw her stood there in a golden leather jacket, with cop perish hair and bright blazing amber eyes. She reached out and slapped Doc.
"What the hell is going on? I'm trying to get work done, and..." She stopped a second, and took a glance at Jim. "He's mortal." Jim took a wary step back, bumping into a Tesla coil as he did so. "Oh, wonderful. A mortal. Ruby, get some tea. This is going to be a long night."
Jim sipped nervously at his teacup. The four others faced him, each now int their colours of choice. The woman in gold was the first to speak.
"Now, James Blake, I want you to feel at ease. I am Aurelia, and this," she said gesturing to the woman in the green coat with the dragon blood splatters down her front, "is Emerald. You've already met Ruby and Argent." The two nodded and smiled. Jim flashed a weak smile back.
"So none of you can die?" he murmured. Aurelia corrected herself, straightening up.
"Immortality is never that simple, James," she sighed. "But I suppose that now would be a good time to get all the explanations out of the way before any more... mishaps."