MoboReader> Adeventure > Damsel[ed] Some Rescue Required

   Chapter 23

Damsel[ed] Some Rescue Required By m i c h e l l e p a k Characters: 13848

Updated: 2017-12-12 12:05


When you“re a superhero, you can only respond to screaming two ways: brace yourself to do some serious first aid and bracing yourself to knock a bruiser out. My body tenses to spring, but Cat grabs my arm and yanks me back. I bite into my cheek to hold back a sound of pain. Cat snaps around, and when she looks at me, her brown eyes are expressionless and cool. "Heaven, I know you were Galaxy and all—"

"Were?" Heat rises into my face. "Were!" I“m still a superhero, no matter what she says. No matter what anyone says. My powers will come back, I“ll pick up a new suit, and I“ll fight these supervillains off. That“s what I“m meant to do.

Cat sighs and grips my elbow. She“s my same size, but my powers take a lot of energy and eat away all the fat and leave me with a lot of lean muscle. She may be a villain and I may be powerless, but she can“t hold me back, not if I put some elbow grease into my escape.

The sound is louder now. I shoot off, but it seems I miscalculated. Apparently, Jaylin can hold me back, and she does a pretty good job of it. Her fingers dig into my flesh, and with a sharp jerk, she sends me stumbling back. I can hardly keep on my feet when she clouts me over the side of my head. Normally, hits like that don“t hurt much, but I“m aching something terrible and the blow nearly sends me to my knees.

Instead, I suck in a sharp breath and hobble back, her manicured nails nearly drawing blood. "We“re getting Angel and Kitten back, and that“s that. Understood? You. Are. Done. Playing. Hero!"

I grind my teeth. My head is still throbbing. It wasn“t a glancing blow or a playful, "golly, Heaven, if you take another fry I“ll knock your lights out," from Gats.

She“s really threatening me. Another shrill scream pierces the air, and it cuts me like an executioner“s blade. Cat says it again. "No." She grips me so hard my I can actually see bruises welling up around the places she presses her fingers.

I hang my head. I can“t fight her, not with brute strength like I usually do. I don“t know what“s happening to me, why I“m so weak. It can“t be the obsidian. Cat was the last person affected by it, so, logically, she“d be weaker than I am.

And yet, here we are.

"You win," I say, and her eyes light up and her lips quirk into a smirk. They always do. She just loves it when I give in.

I snap my hand away and copy the usual snotty “humph“ she gives. The screams are muffled now. Cat rolls her eyes and steps toward the driver“s side. In that moment, Sweat glistening on my brow, I decide all supervillains or the same. She may think I“m an "uncomplicated brute"—most villains I“ve come in contact with have said something along those lines about me—but she is no different. What a villain wants is control. What a hero wants is freedom. And because of that, we will never get along.

"Hey!" The moment she looks away, I run. Every step, every breath, every thought hurts. But the pain“s okay. I can deal with pain. What I can“t deal with is someone getting hurt because I didn“t do anything to stop it.

There are trees here and the air smells fresh like flowers and fruit. This is where Starlight gets less "city" and more "Suburban Dream." It“s pretty. Were I not slapping through the woodland in search of a screamer, my chest would swell up with pride.

What can I say? Us Starlighters are very proud of our homes, and the news-people like to blab about our history all the time. Toby used to fall asleep to the old radio programs about Nebula and her sidekick, Taurus, the leaders of the golden-age heroes. I would curl up on the floor and listen to the superhero stories, eyes squeezed shut trying to copy Toby“s sleep.

Starlight City, the first city of supers.

Starlight City, the first city state.

Starlight City, the best education systems, the least murders per capita, the best architecture, and of course, the nicest roads in the country. It“s all over the brochures, on the keychains, and plastered on the capes of the complementary Nebula and Galaxy stuffies (and yes, having a stuffed doll made in your likeness is just as creepy and awesome as it sound

ains on the Pavement.“ Answer: I don“t want to dirty my weapon. Henchman is such a funky stench, you know?"

And as the group blisters, red-faced and raring to beat in her skull, Blue Eyes is cool. Relaxed. "Who are you?"

She chews the collar of her sweater in the side of her mouth, dirty pipe now resting in her hands. Slap. Slap. Slap. It takes all my self-control not to pull back

I“m thinking of the woman who took Gats, and the pain in my side feels fresh like someone jack-knifed it.

"Hmmm." She chews the fibers a little more. I think of a violent, sweater-chewing goat. "Funny you should ask. If you must know, I“m connected to the big boys, Fallout and Poison."

The leader “s lips curl, his shoulders and hands twitching as if he has to visibly restrain himself from beating the tar out of her. "You work with Snare?"

"The one and only." She spits out her collar. The girl shoots me a wide-eyed glance. I shake my head.

"She“s alright," I whisper.

The leader man growls. "I could break you and your dumb organization!" And he looks like he“ll really do it. Cat shrugs and smashes the PVC pipe on the ground. With a sharp and sudden “crack,“ it breaks in two even, jagged pieces, and even I know it isn“t supposed to break like that.

"Yeah?" She raises the broken pieces. "Wanna try?"

The man pauses, and when he speaks his words are short and clipped. "My hands are tied, but know this: the first battle comes and I shred you." He points at me and the girl. "Those ones especially." And then he shrugs, and if someone could shrug violently, he would be doing so. His shoulders seize. He looks like he“s preparing to punch her.

"Go ahead," I say flatly. "Fight me." I“m tired of this fighting stuff. I want to save my friends and let that be that.

The man doesn“t respond. He tosses his head back and stomps off, bringing his tag-along gang with him.

"Wimps," Cat mutters under her breath. Without a second of warning, she throws a pipe-half at my head. I hardly duck in time, a shot of pain through my side at the sudden movement.

"Hey!" The girl calls, trying to be brave. Telling by her silver caps she is a would-be superhero. I rub the side of my face.

Cat licks her fingers like she had particularly frosty cupcakes and narrows her eyes. She quakes with rage and I think I should be scared. "Question!" she barks. "What“s the difference between you and a stab victim?"

I glare. Her eyes smolder and I swear there are flames in those things. I stiffen and lean on my toes to make myself taller. "Don“t speak in riddles," I try, but she waves a free hand and stalks up. I stay perfectly still. With the broken edge of her grimy pipe pointed at my throat, she continues.

"A stab victim has a chance at living."

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