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   Chapter 31

Damsel[ed] No Rescue Required By m i c h e l l e p a k Characters: 12281

Updated: 2017-12-12 12:04


Gats.

Swords don“t stop bullets. Swords just don“t stop bullets. I feel my heart beat through my ribs. I mean, I know life doesn“t stop for saying goodbye, or for dating or graduating. Life stops for stopping. But as a bullet whizzes by my face, I feel myself tearing. Powers are things, people are immortal, after all. Why can“t I be immortal, then? Why can“t I be a real super? The questions blur the corners of my mind. But then it comes to me. Nine lives. I“m a cat. I jerk the sword to the side, flicking the blade. It explodes in blue flames. An aura. My mind tears in a thousand different directions. Speed. Strength. Use the sword, the woman said, use the sword.

I flip, slashing at the blurs in the air. Ping. It“s the only sound I hear. Ping. Ping. Ping. I put my trust in the sword, in Jupiter. My heart clenches in my chest. Faster, I think, faster, faster, faster. I let myself twirl, tumble, fly, the sword up to protect my face. The aura flows from the blade, trickling up my arms in a flurry of cold, like ice curling up my arms. The world swishes around me. Slows down. I feel my heart in my throat. I raise the sword and attack. So this is how it feels to be Heaven, to be a superhero. I launch myself into the air and slice at the blurs with the back of the blade. The world is still moving, the bullets still fly, but I“m faster now. I flip back and block hard with furious, sloppy strokes, just praying I keep the gunfire from hitting the escaping guards. Sarah grabs a knob, struggles with a door. She pseudo-swears under her breath and rips the brass knob off the door.

It explodes open and she drags Ivy through. I hit the ground, gasping for air. My shoulders and arms ache, heavy like they“re filled with cement. I can hardly keep them up, my lungs burning like crackling embers stuff them. I could scream. Just keep going, I tell myself, just keep it up. You have to escape. The women race in front, me trying to back them up with the sword, them trying to forge the best path while Sarah dispatches the few people that get in her way. Sweat drips down my brow, my skin hot and clammy. The cat ears twitch like mad, so fast they feel like flutters. I“m cutting them off, I think almost out of nowhere, no matter what Angel says about infection. I hate them like I hate the darkness in my soul and they“re going away.

We slide through the hall. White walls. White floor. I hear a long sigh. "No one ever learns in this place, do they?" My blade hits the ground, my arms filled with sharp, stabbing pain.

I can do this. I“m supposed to be able to handle situations like this, and yet, I don“t know what, exactly, it is I can do to do this. Owl leans against a wall, the expression on her face bored, her mouth drawn into a thin line and her dull working eye flicking to the floor every so often. She sizes me up, Sarah and Ivy crouched in fighting positions and ready to spring. It“s a losing battle. "What do you think you“re doing?" she asks.

This is for escape, I think, and for Angel and Hev and even the guards. I draw in a shaky breath, lift the sword, and lunge.

Owl holds up her arm. The guards race past. She doesn“t even look up. My sword connects cleanly with her wrist. Slices right through like a katana to butter and I see it all in a flash. Blood, twitching fingers, a severed brown hand on the floor. the sideways glance from an amused Owl. I“m about to lose my Hershey bar all over the floor.

She blinks. Smiles coyly, the type of smile that takes a whole second or two to develop on her face. "You“re a determined little one."

"I cut off your hand!" I scream. I“m done. I quit. That should“ve put her out of comm

he“s after, not doomsday."

"Isn“t that the same thing?" The page“s voice cracks. "This is the one place where supers can live without..." She waves her hands, tossing her glossy bangs out of her eyes. Fallout shakes his head, a pang in his chest.

"Not anymore."

"What do you mean?"

Fallout flips through the binder she set down for him, skimming the reports with a student“s apathy. He feels his jaw tighten. "Are you blind?" he asks, but it only comes out a whisper. He can“t find the energy to shout. Fallout may be young for an immortal, but he“s old for a regular man and awfully tired.

"Oh," the page adds, glaring up at him. "Your son."

Fallout runs his fingers through his hair. His sons. Of course. Poison has been a real pain lately, a moody figure acting behind his back and attacking the other boy without any permission. Normally, that“s just a kid being a kid thing, but it“s different for Poison, a budding supervillain with powers that can cause serious damage if misused. And the project one, Fallout and Owl“s shared child. Part killer, part mush, if what he“s seen and heard doesn“t deceive Fallout. "Oh, man, oh, man." He huffs out of his nose. "Which one? What are they doing? Oh, yeash, why can“t a man just have two normal kids?"

The page rolls her eyes again, but a wry grin spreads across his face. "I think every dad says that."

"I don“t know any dads with two teenage boys who seduce the opposite sex and throw things with their minds," Fallout says with a long sigh. "And they hate each other, which I guess is understandable. I know they hate me."

The page opens her mouth to negate him, but then she shrugs. She may be many things, thinks Fallout with a small grin, but she“s no liar. "What can you do? Anyway, I got a text from Ceres."

Ceres is the only young man with a bit of sense of in his head, the only one Fallout can trust, even if the boy was once a superhero. "Yeah?"

The page glances at the ceiling, struggling with names.

"Katris, Poison, and Angel, Luce, well, they“re kind of in a conflict, down at the market between Old Newport and Starlight. Ceres is in trouble."

Fallout curses under his breath, adjusting the collar of his jacket as he paces around his desk. "Alright, then. Let“s go."

He has to step in, that he knows, but he“s curious. Which of his boys will win? His wings rise, the feathers prickling.

One thing he knows for sure, they both have hell to pay.

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