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   Chapter 11

Damsel[ed] Some Rescue Required By m i c h e l l e p a k Characters: 10346

Updated: 2017-12-05 12:05


Poison.

Sneaking into supervillain headquarters is hell after midnight. You have to watch for the snipers on the roof and the little red lights that sweep over the fortress“s sides going deet deet deet every few seconds. The building frowns on the opposite side of the street, a twinge of algae gleaming under a lamp post“s glow. A copy of Super Weekly trembles in my hands. The pages are darker than usual, the articles mostly about the supervillain population growing and how the government is mad and yada yada yada. I want to rip it to shreds. Stupid Luce! Stupid Juniper and her stupid squeaky husband!

I huff, focusing on the dreary pages. Dad hates it when I go out alone. He even attached electrified bars to my windows to "protect" me. I shiver.

The night is cold. The wind, brisk. I don“t want to go home. There“s no place in the whole world I hate more, but I don“t have anywhere else to go. Basically, I“m screwed.

Crappy little police cars buzz up and down the city street. Pathetic. Galaxy could get wherever they“re going in a tenth of the time. I smile at the rusty nail by my shoe and give it a good kick. Too bad for them she“s out of commission. Forever. I almost crack out a “muahahaha,“ but Dad says to use those sparingly, lest I become one of those cursed “hand-wringers“ he hates so much. The breeze whacks a few early blooms off the garden trees that spring from the sidewalk and I frown up at an eighth floor window.

The light“s on; a series of lit up rectangles broken up by shadowy bars. Ceres is a genius. Crazy, but a genius. Surely he“ll have found a new way to short-circuit the electricity by now.

When the street is finally empty, I snap out my wings, flashes of white shining under the full moon.

When Dad dumped me and Ceres into the same room, Ceres asked me why I“d never just taken off. I had the whole world if I wanted it. I could go anywhere, if I dared. I remember smacking him and reminding him food wasn“t free. Besides crime, I had nothing. He shrugged and whapped me back so hard I slammed into a wall forty feet away.

I coast, resting on my upward momentum. There really isn“t a better feeling than flying, especially when people are shooting at you.

"Hey! Ceres! Hey!" I study the building“s west side. With a shriek, my window“s bars peel away and an upturned thumb slides out of the yellow square.

"Down here kitty Kat!"

"It“s not Kat," I say, wind stinging my cheeks. Ceres probably can“t even hear me, but I say what I usually say anyway. "It“s Katris." I“ve gone by dozens of fake names. Robin, Jared, Colt, Bella, Rupert, Cliff. Dad didn“t name me, either my dead mom or one of my many dead uncles did, and man, they must“ve been crazy.

"Katris. What does that even mean?" Ceres asks for the thirty-thousandth time.

"Dunno." I sigh. No one calls me that anyway. “Catalyst“ and “Katris“ sound too similar, and Dad says “Katris“ is too prissy anyway. I mean, I like it. But no one seems to care what I like. "Coming in for a landing!"

I slam through the window, landing hard on the polished floor. The impact

e heavy layer of clothing as I try to explain my case from a logical point of view that will win his approval. "If I can make her like me, if I can make her a friend instead of an enemy, maybe Dad will respect my powers. Maybe he won“t cast me off. But then there“s Luce, and if Dad gets to him first, then I“m out. For good."

"If, if, if, maybe, maybe, maybe." Ceres sighs. "Why don“t you just kill Luce then?"

I open a fresh Google doc on my computer. "I think that window of opportunity has closed up. His powers are growing stronger, and soon enough he“ll be immortal like you, me, Dad, Owl, Jacob, Juniper, Rain or Storm or something, Cat--"

He holds up his hand. "Good God, I got it. Just...let me think, huh?" He stretches on the floor, hands clasped behind his head.

"Well, we need to move fast," I say, staring at the blank page. My head“s still swimming. Snare will take action within the week, and Syndicate is gaining territory. The entire supervillian community is on edge. We can“t afford any more mistakes.

"We?" He huffs. "I ain“t helping you with any of this. Your dad told me to keep an eye on you."

"You“re a prisoner." He is; sort of. I mean, Dad technically told me to watch him and Ceres is technically being held against his will. But he seems content to stay here, locked away playing video games, reading, and training in the basics of assassination.

I leave the door open a lot. I always hope he“ll run away, but he never does.

Ceres laughs drily. "Don“t lie to yourself, Kitty Katris. If I“m a prisoner, then so are you. A puppet, more like it."

"Yeah, well, one day I“ll be the puppeteer." And I will. When Galaxy“s mine, when Luce is dealt with, when Catsby is shut up where he belongs, Dad will hand over the reins, I“ll take care of Syndicate, and all the wrongs in the universe will be righted.

Ceres stands up. "Uh-huh. I think I have a plan, but we have to strike soon. Now, if we can."

***

Hey guys, apologies for such a late update! Life“s been a bit crazy, but hopefully this won“t happen again!

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