“Don’t overdo it,” Marianna said, standing next to her.
“Ma’am, if I may interject… I don’t think this is a good idea.”
Bree’s eyes widened when Marianna walked over to join them. Where had she even come from? Had she been listening to their conversation the entire time?
“Marianna. You knew when you came to me that I would recreate the group.”
“I understand, but… I’m not sure if she’s ready.”
“Once upon a time, you weren’t ready, either,” Blaze said.
Bree frowned at the girl next to her. She could understand her concerns, but she didn’t have to like them. They had only met a handful of times, and Marianna certainly couldn’t blame her for freaking out over being attacked. “I know that. Besides, once upon a time, you weren’t ready, either.”
Marianna frowned back at her. “Touche,” she muttered. “Now, we should-”
“Jump in and kick that thing’s ass?”
“No. We should come up with a plan.”
Bree frowned. “How about this for a plan: kill the monster before it pins some girl down and traumatizes her for life?”
So that explained how Bree said yes so quickly. “Listen, I get it, but-”
“I’m going in,” then without missing a beat, Bree lept off the building.
Despite her anxiousness to jump into the fray, free falling from a building was extremely terrifying. Bree let out a loud scream that echoed around her, as if to remind her of how incredibly stupid this was.
Bree held her hand out as Blaze placed a green bow into the palm of her hand. “What is this?”
“It’s what you use to transform.”
Bree acted on pure instinct. She reached into her hair and clasped onto the bow, willing it to do something, anything!
“And how exactly does that work? Do I say some magic words or something?”
Blaze smiled. “Just trust in the power inside of you. It’ll come.”
It 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 Kev instead of the 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 just like Trey had wished he could’ve punched the guy just one time, Bree wished that she could’ve protected herself and shown him why no truly meant no.
“Cosmic Green,” Bree whispered, her voice low and deadly serious. She was 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 suddenly 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 dove into the bits of green. This was it. This was really happening. Bree’s hair broke free of the bun it had been in, her brown locks changing into 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! Keep an eye out for the finished product for BOTH of these prints.