Check-In: Melissa Dust is a short story written by Helena Harper (t∣b∣c) focusing on Melissa Dust, serving as a introduction to the character's new status quo after the events of Misfits - Deadeye. Canonically, it takes place after Rendered NULL and focuses on Rachel Harel and Sakeena Kamel performing a "check in" with their ally Melissa Dust, realizing how much she's changed and how much she is hiding. The story was given approval by the characters' original author, Ambro (t∣b∣c), prior to publication.
Melissa overlooks the porch of her home in upstate New York, a coffee mug on top of the wooden banister that wraps around the porch. She hears the door bell ring in the distance and sighs as she grabs her coffee mug and heads over.
- Melissa: Hello?
Melissa opens the door to see Sakeena and Rachel outside the door. In the background, the faint sound of water running through pipes can be heard as someone unknown to us is taking a shower.
- Melissa: Mm. You two look familiar.
- Rachel: We're Rachel and Sakeena, from uh, I guess the Fantendo Firehouse. Nice to meet you, I suppose. May we come in?
- Melissa: Mm. Well, come in, I suppose.
Rachel and Sakeena walk into the small house. Firball scurries up to a bowl in the kitchen area as Melissa sets down her mug.
- Melissa: What's this actually about?
- Sakeena: Check ins. We kind of wanted to keep tabs on our allies, in case something bad was going to happen… and likely will. You know.
- Melissa: Oh, don't wrap me up in this!
Melissa sighs as she leans against the kitchen island, gritting her teeth.
- Melissa: Enough of this! I'm done!
Melissa looks at Rachel and Sakeena as she sighs somewhat agressively.
- Melissa: I don't want to deal with Misfits problems anymore. That's not any of my damn business anymore. Those guys either survive without us or they don't. It's not our issue and it's not like there's a million heroes that spring up every damn day in this world now.
Melissa picks up Firball.
- Melissa: You're welcome to stay for a bit but none of us in this house are going anywhere.
- Sakeena: I mean, shit, good thing there's nothing going on then…
Melissa pets Firball as she sits down in the living room.
- Melissa: I'm living here to do one thing and that's to settle down. Maybe start a family, I don't know. That hasn't been… going well.
Whirring can be heard in the distance.
- Melissa: That's Aran, working on another cyborg arm…
Melissa keeps petting Firball as Rachel and Sakeena sit down on the couch.
- Rachel: You sound agitated.
- Melissa: I am, a little. Whatever we're doing isn't working. I sit down and test and there hasn't been positive results since I started. Which you know, I don't really mind that much but I can't tell if the problem is him or me.
Melissa looks down at her stomach and then gets up.
- Melissa: Can I offer you two anything to drink?
- Sakeena: I guess some water.
- Rachel: I guess some wine wouldn't hurt.
Sakeena glances at Rachel, who just shrugs. Melissa goes into the kitchen and fills a glass with tap water and uncorks a bottle of wine and pours it into a glass, coming back with the two drinks.
- Melissa: Enough of my frustrations though.
Melissa hands the drinks to Rachel and Sakeena as she sits back on the couch, Firball curling up in Melissa's lap.
- Melissa: What's been up with your group lately? Still fighting NULL or whatever?
- Rachel: Nah, uh… we kind of adopted her, I guess.
Melissa nods as Rachel sips some wine.
- Melissa: Glad that worked out, then.
Melissa lays back.
- Melissa: I tried to make it work with like, a balance of work and the low, suburban life but I just wasn't happy. So yeah, I'm here now.
Melissa pulls out a bong from the ottoman in the center of the living room. Both Sakeena and Rachel are taken aback by this.
- Melissa: What?
- Sakeena: I didn't know you smoke weed.
- Melissa: Hell yeah!
- Rachel: Can you maybe not do it right now…
Melissa ignores Rachel, lighting the bong and taking a quick hit off the top before exhaling out some smoke.
- Rachel: A'ight…
- Melissa: Ay, I just needed a quick hit.
Melissa sets the bong down and lays her head back as Firball goes back into the kitchen.
- Sakeena: Well, you know, we don't have to bother you further if you don't want us to.
- Melissa: Aw, come on…
Sakeena notices the pipes have stopped silently squealing in the background.
- Sakeena: Mm, fine, we'll stay for a little longer.
- Melissa: I was being sorta sarcastic, but whatever.
Rachel hears someone come down the stairs before suddenly stopping. She sips some more of the wine.
- Rachel: I'm gonna go pour some wine into this, if that's fine by you.
- Melissa: Yeah, go ahead.
Rachel looks to Sakeena and points to the stairs. Sakeena nods.
- Sakeena: You have many visitors?
- Melissa: Eh, just whoever strikes my fancy, I guess. Technically Firball's a visitor, Birnstone owns him, but he likes me better I think.
Sakeena gets up from the couch as she chugs the whole water before spitting some out from drinking too fast.
- Sakeena: Oh wow, whoops, excuse me…
Sakeena heads towards the kitchen seemingly but then makes a sharp turn towards the stairs, where she spots a red skinned alien woman with blue hair wearing a blue exercise bra and a pair of red shorts.
- Sakeena (under her breath): That's Brooke…
Brooke swings a knife towards Sakeena but Sakeena manages to bend it with her powers and uses it to cuff her into the stairs.
- Melissa: Wait a minute, what are you doing up stairs?
Melissa gets up as Brooke kicks Sakeena in the chest, but Sakeena shoulders the blow and uses some metal to keep her cuffed.
- Rachel: Melissa, Sakeena's kind of the explorative type, she doesn't really like to not know things…
Melissa walks up the stairs to see the scene up stairs, with Sakeena resisting Brooke's kicks and grimacing as she does.
- Melissa: You weren't here for a check in, were you?
Melissa slams Sakeena's head into the wall of the stairs with some crylian-controlled dust, which briefly knocks the wind out of Sakeena as she tumbles a bit. Rachel runs over to the bottom of the staircase.
- Rachel: Yeah well, I don't think you would have let us in if we told you what we were actually doing.
- Brooke: Who's shitty idea was it to send you two after me? FANT?
- Melissa: Eh, probably.
- Rachel: The fuck is Brooke doing in your home? Why are you actually like it's so casual to house a terrorist?
- Melissa: Brooke needed somewhere to go.
A metal scrap pierces Melissa in the shoulder, causing her to wince.
- Sakeena: You better explain yourself fast.
Melissa grunts as she pushes the metal object out of her shoulder with dust and glances at the two.
- Melissa: Brooke's fucked up and yes, she killed some people, but she was traumatically fucked with for years by the world at large. She needed somewhere to stay and what was I supposed to do, not help her recover?
- Brooke: Hrgh…
Brooke snaps off the other cuff on the stairs and stands up.
- Melissa: Can we chill out and talk about this for a minute instead of fighting?
Sakeena groans as she gets up.
- Sakeena: Fucking fine, but don't bitch slap me with dust.
Sakeena blinks one eye in and out.
The four of them sit on the couch as Firball continues to eat from his bowl, blissfully unaware of the ongoings.
- Melissa: I came to Brooke. I tracked her down and I told her she was safe here. The place is pretty off the grid and I figured things would be fine. I tried to help her break from the mindset of hate and violence and while it's not completely undone, she has kind of… healed in some small way I guess.
Melissa wraps her arm around Brooke's shoulder, who briefly winces before calmly relaxing.
- Melissa: She hated that before.
Rachel stares at Melissa and Brooke before sighing.
- Rachel: Well, now what are we going to do? Pretend to ignore this?
- Brooke: It'd be a big favor for us.
- Melissa: Like it or not, this is the more effective way of healing for her. She knows me, I'm sympathetic to her, but I also have a strong enough will to tell her where she's wrong.
Brooke takes a long sigh.
- Brooke: Of course, if you want to push forward with the violence, I'd be happy to…
Melissa shakes her head.
- Melissa: Just… it's not your problem to deal with, nor F.A.N.T's. I understand you probably traveled quite a bit away-
- Sakeena: Actually no, we just teleported-
- Rachel: Right. Well, I guess I can understand considering NULL.
Rachel takes a deep breath.
- Rachel: Just understand if anything more about Brooke comes out, we know exactly who to contact.
- Melissa: Just a question, but does F.A.N.T know about NULL?
- Rachel: Mm… no… not exactly.
- Melissa: Let's just keep our little secrets, okay?
Melissa extends out a hand and Rachel shakes on it. She and Sakeena leave afterwards.
- Melissa: Sorry about that, Brooke.
- Brooke: It's fine. Did… you take my tanktop?
- Melissa: By accident.
Melissa winks to Brooke who just kind of shakes her head as Melissa grabs her bong.
- Melissa: Hey, if you want, you're always free to take a hit off this thing.
- Brooke: I'd… rather not for now, thanks.
Brooke goes to pet Firball in the kitchen as Aran steps out.
- Aran: She's still here?
- Melissa: Hey, if you want an open marriage, you gotta respect my choices too.
- Melissa: You done with your new robot arm?
- Aran: Yeah.
Aran moves the fingers up and down like pistons. Melissa's eyes lull.
- Melissa: Well, let me see how it works.
- Aran: Well, see, it can push in and out at a increasingly fast speed, able to clock someone with punch-like power just from the finger-tips…
- Melissa: Upstairs, dummy.
- Aran: Oh…
Aran laughs as Melissa holds his hand and they go up stairs.
References to Past Works
- Misfits - Deadeye - Melissa's new living situation is based off some of her final dialogue in the story, including the one about starting a family, which hasn't been going too well as it is revealed in this story. Additionally, Brooke, who left the story on a somewhat lose end, is revealed to be in Melissa's care as she attempts to help Brooke break away from her world view.
- Fantendo Sports Resort - Melissa's top from this game is seen on Brooke in the story and is referenced in the art work as well.
- Rendered NULL - NULL attacking the Misfits headquarters in this story is referenced as well as Rachel's decision to essentially adopt NULL, which is likened to the decision that Melissa made to house Brooke.
- This is so far the only Phase 3 story written by Helena Harper (t∣b∣c) to not introduce a new character.
- However, in early drafts, Brooke did not exist in her current role but rather a new character would have taken her role to show Melissa's open marriage concept, being a pot-smoking woman who Melissa had a one-night stand with.
- Almost all elements introduced in this story have been previously brought up in previous chats with Ambro, namely the Melissa and Aran being separated from the Misfits entirely, smoking pot, and having a somewhat open marriage.
- Birnstone owning Firball is a concept introduced by Sroo (t∣b∣c) and was added late in the draft as it was believed that Melissa still owned Firball.
- Brooke's fate and Melissa's relationship with her was introduced by the author as a way to direct Brooke's story, which the original author had no intended direction for the character after Deadeye. This was built off the way Melissa acts in the final acts of Deadeye and as well as how they had previously known each in the past.
- This story also establishes that Brooke has a dislike for being touched on the shoulder- which would have likely been a result due to the trauma that the Joyce family put on her and in one of the flashbacks in Deadeye has a mystery Joyce putting their hand on Brooke's shoulder. Melissa Dust is also noted for not liking to be touched on the shoulders, thus giving them both a mutual dislike.