Who the Cowgirls Do
Join Date: Apr 2005
Shrike Corp All Access
Shrike Corp – All Access by Karen Millard
Editor’s note: In the interest of full disclosure, we feel it important to note to our readers that the Paragon Picayune and our sister publication, Paragon Time, are both owned by VMV Communications, a division of Valorian Enterprises.
When I was first informed that my request for an interview with the elusive Remianen Valorian would be granted, I must admit to being a bit stunned. What further puzzled me were the stipulations he requested. He wanted us to be the first to get an inside look into the inner workings of what may be Paragon City’s most promising superteam.
Prior to my departure for the Valorian compound, I received a phone call from Remianen himself. He said he and “the girls” were looking forward to meeting and talking to me. This, from a man many have called the modern day, late life Howard Hughes. The surprises didn’t cease there, however. I was driven to the airport where I boarded a customized Gulfstream G150 jet (the pilot beamed as he ran off the aircraft’s specs) and settled in. The flight attendant informed me that the flight would only be a couple of hours and handed me a leather bound book. When I opened it, I found that it listed the various beverages available on the flight. The wine list alone would make a sommelier burst with envious rage. Being somewhat unfamiliar with all the various types of wines, I decide to go with the safe bet and select a vintage ’99 Roederer Cristal champagne. The attendant returns moments later with the most beautiful tall tulip glass I had ever seen, filled with what I found to be liquid heaven.
Shortly thereafter, I dozed off to be gently awakened by the attendant who informed me that we were landing soon. I glanced outside my window upon our final approach to find what I can only describe as a city in and of itself. However, there was no sense of clutter amongst the buildings, with what seemed like a profusion of parks and greenery interspersed amongst the structures. In the very center of the “city” stood what must have been the tallest cathedral I have ever seen. Gothic in design, it was seemingly constructed of pure, white marble.
Exiting the aircraft upon landing, I was directed to the terminal. Upon stepping inside, I was struck once again with wonder. Constructed of what appeared to be a glass/crystal hybrid material, it gave a full, unobstructed view of the sky. My minor case of jet lag was washed away by the smell of rose, orchid, chrysanthemum, menthol, jasmine, myrrh, all intermingling with the scent of aspen and cypress. Lost in my reverie, I heard a welcoming voice with a soothing tone. I could hear the voice but could not discern where it came from. I opened my eyes and standing before me was a man who exuded warmth. Extending his hand, he said, “Welcome, Ms Millard. I am Remianen. And no doubt behind me stand several of my sisters, waiting to step in should you be a doppelganger of some sort, intent on assassinating me.” He smirked at that and threw a look of mock annoyance over his shoulder. I looked past him, until now held transfixed by this most unusual man, and true to his word, a group of heroines in full regalia cast watchful gazes in all directions.
“Come,” said Remianen, “let’s head inside. I’m sure you have many questions that need to be answered.” With that, he turned and strode toward the group of heroines, who smiled at our approach.
Exiting the terminal, I walked out to find the streets paved with what appeared to be rubber, much like schoolyard playgrounds. Making a mental note to inquire about this, we walked into a courtyard where I noticed an odd sounding bird call. Before I could inquire about this, Remianen turned to me and said, “It’s the mating call of the loggerhead shrike you hear. Rough and harsh to some, I find it beautiful in its uniqueness.” Apparently having reached our destination, we walked into a nondescript building and the wonders continued.
Stepping into an entryway made of the blackest marble (“It’s actually obsidian,” corrected Remianen), we walked into what appeared to be the largest sitting room I had ever seen. With an immense sectional sofa featured prominently in the center of the room, I saw that the room was partially occupied already. As the other girls hurried to find places to sit, I found the central table and prepared to set up my gear. Making note of how the girls acted around each other, I was surprised to find that this group of heroes often called a family, actually seemed to be just that.
“Damn Peedy, move your big ass over some!”
“MY big ass? Swifty, you have so much junk in your trunk, I’m expecting to see Fred Sanford show up any minute now.”
Laughter filled the room, which led me to look around a bit more. The ceiling was vaulted so far, I could barely see where it ended. I made yet another mental note to ask about that. All set up, I looked up at Remianen who was just taking his seat.
“Ready?” he inquired, “well then, let the questions begin.”
“Wait, aren’t you going to have counsel present?” I asked.
“Oh but I do,” he smirked, “don’t I, girls?”
A round of nods circled the room.
“Okay then,” I said “here we go.”
- Elec² Brute