“Don’t overdo it,” Marianna said as she stepped up next to her.
Was that really the first thing Marianna was going to say to her? Couldn’t she be a little bit more encouraging? “I know that. Besides, once upon a time, you weren’t ready, either.”
Marianna frowned at her as she remembered Blaze’s words to the both of them before this mission. Marianna wasn’t a big fan of having a second girl on the team all the sudden. This led to Blaze reminding her of two things: there was no I in team, and Bree would need time to adjust – just like Marianna did when she first started. “Touche,” she muttered. “Now, the first thing we should do is-”
“Jump in and kick that thing’s ass?”
“No. We should come up with a plan.”
“How about this for a plan,” then Bree pointed to the large creature as it continued its destruction below. “Kill the thing before it pins some girl down and traumatizes her for life.”
Marianna remembered the distressed look on Bree’s face when she’d been attacked. It was clear her determination stemmed from that moment. She could sympathize, but running in without a plan was foolish, at best, and deadly if things took a turn for the worst. “Listen, I get it, but-”
“I’m going in,” then without missing a beat, Bree jumped off the building.
Despite her anxiousness to jump into the fray, free falling from a building wasn’t the smartest thing to cross off of her to do list. Bree let out a loud scream that echoed around her, as if to remind her of how incredibly stupid this was. The thoughts in her head were working overtime as she desperately tried to remember what came next. They’d talked about this before they left. Blaze had given her something but Bree’s heart was pounding too fast for her to remember what it was. All she could do was scream until her voice got hoarse, loose strands of her hair flying into her face and-
Bree reached into her hair and clasped onto the green bow that Blaze had given her before they left. As she fell, she squeezed her eyes shut and remembered watching Marianna transform at the mall. She remembered her bracelet snapping apart and a purple energy emitting from the pieces. Something like that would happen right now, right? Blaze had said as much, anyway, after giving one of those the power is inside of you speeches. The words had sounded so cheesy at the time, but as Bree held onto the bow in her hair, she swore she could feel something bubbling up inside her chest. It was a warm energy, something that was eager to come out and show that terrible monster what she could do. She wished with every fiber of her being that she could’ve felt something like this with her own attack. All she’d felt that day was a cold sense of fear that left her shaking and crying until Marianna had come to her rescue. She was definitely thankful for Marianna’s presence, but Bree wished that she could’ve protected herself. No, it was more than that. She wished she could’ve shown that thing why no truly meant no.
“Cosmic Green,” Bree whispered, her voice low and deadly serious. She had been falling at a dangerously high speed, but as the power welled up inside of her, it felt like she was floating. It was hot and angry, ready to burst, ready to annihilate whoever dared to put their hands on her without her consent. “Press Start!”
Just like Marianna’s bracelet, Bree’s hair bow shattered with the pieces swirling around her. The pieces digitized into several bits, looking like they came out of an old video game. Retro. The word was retro, that’s what Ella would say. Bree closed her eyes as she fell through the bits of green.
This was it.
This was really happening.
Bree’s hair tie broke as her hair flowed around her, the brown shifting into a shimmering green. Her clothes dissolved away as the power washed over her, creating a new look.
Not just a new look: a new Bree.
Also check out this companion piece that goes with this scene by Sakura Mochi Panda! This art (and other pieces of art) will be featured in the first book!