MoboReader> Adventure > Damsel[ed] Some Rescue Required

   Chapter 20

Damsel[ed] Some Rescue Required By m i c h e l l e p a k Characters: 11844

Updated: 2017-12-12 12:04


Jaylin.

I know depressing. I lived depressing. And watching Galaxy, the greatest living hero, burst into sobs and stab a surrender note into the floor with a cheap glitter pen, is, well, somewhat depressing.

But mostly interesting.

Like, really, interesting.

This is the stuff philosophers eat up, the slow and cruel death of the human spirit, and I can’t help crouching by her, glancing down at the places where her tears blur the purple glitter pen. Toby makes an uncomfortable sound. He sounds like a confused bear. Kind of looks one too, so muscley and hulking. I mean, the dude’s chiseled. You can see all the lines his muscles form from under his shirt. Galaxy/Heaven used to look like that, a looming figure you shrunk away from if you wanted to live. I remember when Fallout’s guys were so scared of her, when she busted bank robbery after bank robbery, sting after sting. I remember pouring over pictures of her in Super Weekly, wanting to be just like her.

Or, you know, destroy her. I may have been twelve, but I was already helping with smaller operations, trying to get in good with the big boss.

In a way, I did destroy her. Her and Angelos and by extension, Gatsby.

And it doesn’t feel bad. It did, before, but now, it feels just like it should. Every supervillain likes to see their nemesis in a pathetic puddle at their feet. Call me peculiar, but I kind of see the appeal.

Almost sixteen years of villainy can really do that someone. Sure, I liked Angelos. Sure, I didn’t want to hurt him and his cute little brigade. And sure, maybe I’ll change, but when you’re taught to be cruel, taught only people who take what they want will ever have what they desire, that’s how you act. A calculated attack. Brutal. Aggressive. Swift.

The louder the hero’s cries get, the harder I have to hide a grin. I’ll get Angel back, so I’m not that worried about him, not at the moment. I’m thinking more about the opportunity at hand.

“Heaven.” Toby edges toward his sister like one edges toward a crab with a knife in its claw. “It’ll be okay, okay?” His eyes are huge. I guess Galaxy/Heaven doesn’t break down that much. I slide my arm over her shoulder and squeeze.

“They’ll be fine,” I coo.

“Don’t touch me,” she says softly. “You caused all this, Cat. Are you happy now you drove the guy you like into the hands of a psychopath!”

I roll my eyes. Testy, testy.

Toby fixes me with a grumpy look, and I cup my hands into a heart. It’s easy to trick people, especially when you have a nice smile. “Give me a minute with her, you know, girl to girl. We’ll figure something out.” Toby glances at the smashed-up phone, the one I broke. Heaven’s still trembling, the tears still coming down, silently now. Her brother hesitates. “I don’t trust you.”

“Well, your sister can protect herself, can’t she?”

He sighs and looks at the door. “We need to call the Fibbs.”

“And the police?” Heaven asks quietly.

“And the police,” Toby says, humoring her in a gentle, even tone. “Sure. They can help, probably.”

And we all know that’s bullshit. We all know the police can’t handle supers. They could find a lair and barge in, but some supers are impervious to bullets, some can control minds, and most can twist metal bars and crush skulls like aluminum cans. We’re something like natural disasters, and it’s only smart for them to not walk into the eye of the storm. “You wanna come with me, or stay here with Jaylin? Or should I take her instead?”

I lean into Galaxy’s ear. “I can help you save your f

her skin as it fluffs up its dainty little wings. The white, fluffy feathers remind her of that of Fallout’s first son, the one with the big blue eyes and attitude problems. She gently contemplates his murder as she gently tugs at the blade she keeps in her boot. She still hasn“t punished Rose, the henchman that rebelled against her, but she plans to make the punishment brutal. A scared flock is an obedient flock, and she can’t have anything go wrong, not when so much is at stake. More than territory, more than money, more than revenge (though revenge, she decides, is pretty sweet). She can take back what rightfully belongs to her, to her people and her followers.

This is what she thinks about when she approaches the infirmary. The guards know to keep their distance. She doesn’t need their protection. So, as she weaves through the junk cars, skimming her fingers over her dagger, she has to wave a few over. Though she left the boy for five or six hours to cool down, she doesn’t want anything to go wrong.

And when she eases the infirmary’s door open, she isn’t surprised to see him still strapped up, chunks of mattress torn out and fluff dumped on the floor and at his feet like snow.

Owl steps through the doorway, carefully skimming her fingers over the dagger. She expects him to scream insults at her, but he only lifts his head and croaks out a groan. The color in his eyes is dull, his complexion sallow. He looks like he’s aged years, the bags under his eyes, the paleness in his face. He strains a little, but not much.

“Hello, Gatsby.”

The boy doesn’t even twitch.

“How are you feeling?” She walks up and smiles, peeling away the straps. His body falls limp in her hands, no strength in it at all. She wonders if the wound got infected. It would make sense why he looks so ill, why a once so aggressive creature could become so docile. No response. She prods him, watching his sleepy eyes flutter open and fall shut again. The guards shrug at her, and she hoists him over her shoulder, the last time she plans to. “Faking your death here won’t get you out, you know,” she adds. He just gives another shaky moan. The job will be finished much faster than she imagined, and she wonders if the boy’s friends will even recognize him.

***

It“s almost one a.m, so I“ll edit this again tomorow. Hope to talk to you in the morning!

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