MoboReader> Adventure > Damsel[ed] Some Rescue Required

   Chapter 44

Damsel[ed] Some Rescue Required By m i c h e l l e p a k Characters: 15933

Updated: 2017-12-12 12:04


Gatsby.

For a commander of a small supervillain army that will follow her every whim if so ordered, Owl works hard and alone. She leaves to change into her armor: a polished red super-suit that shines in the light. After meeting with a handful of her followers and making phone call after phone call, Owl makes photocopies. Lots of them. I watch her fingers move, mesmerized as she writes a name on each copy she prints. She scores each map and fills the page with essay-long notes. When I talk to her, she pretends I never spoke. When I inch toward the door, she tugs her lasso and flips the chair on its side. "I should“ve left you in your cage," she grumbles, never looking up from her writing.

"You should“ve left me at home," I shoot back, and I feel pretty slick even though the comeback makes no sense. Owl torments me further by rummaging through her drawers for a stapler, leaving me alone with my thoughts.

I decide very quickly that villainy is boring. After guards take her plans, Owl yawns and stretches, her armor creaking from time spent sitting. She finally looks at me. Straightening her patch, she gives me a polite nod and flashes a silver key between her thumb and index finger.

"Was that so hard?" she asks.

I blink. "What?" My tongue feels like sandpaper and I want to ask her for water, but I don“t want to show another weakness. She could use my thirst against me like she did my hunger, and though I know it isn“t going away, I“m pushing it to the side as best I can.

"Staying quiet."

I shrug and try to smile. To charm her. But I know she can see through the cracks in my facade and I“m sick of the charade anyway. I rub my bleary eyes. "I don“t know, lady. I thought villains were supposed to do cool stuff. I watched you use a copy machine for forty minutes. What was there to even talk about?"

She shrugs back and hands me a root-beer flavored Dum Dum scavenged from who knows where to shut me up. "Follow me," she says with a wave of two fingers, so I stick the lollipop in my mouth and shadow her as she glides out of the room.

The complex opens up into a guarded parking garage of broken car parts, the place where I was shot. She gave me a pair of boots, and they click as we walk on the dusty concrete. She leads through one of the doors that takes up the outer walls of the garage, an atrium. The walls are painted a midnight blue, folding chairs spread in countless rows. Each chair has a pillow in it, all matching white. The air itself is crisp, a smell between roses and fresh linen. I have no doubt Owl was in her earlier, a can of Glade in her hand, fluffing pillows and making everything just so. There“s even a stage with a projector, a small thing pounded out of oak that looks so small it“s more of a podium than a stage. It only fits one person, and the message is clear: Owl is the leader, and she stands alone.

My skin prickles as people file in. The atmosphere crackles anticipation, the whispers of supervillains eerie in a way I can“t pinpoint. A smooth wooden banister curves from the doorway down the room. As I watch the costumed people file in, Owl leads me to the banister and snaps something cold around my wrist. I yelp and drag my feet to pull away. She rolls her eyes and slaps the other metal band to my free wrist, the chain between the cuffs looped over the banister. "Hey!" I yank and yank, but the villain slips down toward her stage before I can even yell at her for handcuffing to me the rail. I grunt to myself and chomp into the Dum-Dum. Today“ll be long. I plop on the floor and cross my legs, hands drawn up over my head. At least I“ll try to make myself comfortable.

A portrait of a young woman dangles on the wall. Her ponytail flopped over her shoulder, her chin tilted down just so. Her smile is small and proud, a twinkle captured and her handsome brown eyes. There“s something very familiar about her, like I“ve seen her or a piece of her somewhere before. If I tilt my head a little, she actually looks kind of like Jaylin. Pink flowers wreath the frame in a crown of fresh petals. Owl raises her eyes to the portrait and kneels before it. The followers hush.

They“re costumed, but not in the bright colors and swooping capes I expect from masked menaces. They actually look kind of cool. Their masks add shadow and severeness to their faces in a sophisticated sort of way that makes them look like they“re at a midnight masquerade ball. Silken black shirts cling to their every muscle and curve and baggy fatigues hang belted low at the hip. Never has crime looked so fashionable.

My wrists hangs from the cuffs, my face strained and the cat ears twitching. I raise my head and touch the torn parts of the one she slashed. To my horror, the flesh has grown bac

eers.

I lean my head against the wall to sleep when she uncuffs me. I rub my wrists, just so she san see how sore they made me. "Well?"

The villain snatches me by the wrist, squeezing so hard she triples the soreness factor. "Ow, ow, ow!" I cry. "What“s that for?" She drags me out of the room and I spit out my lollipop stick. It cracks when it hits the ground and rolls.

"The sooner we get this over with, the better," she says with a soft a snort. The complex is drab and white. Boring as her office. Boring as Owl. At least, Owl on the surface. My heels drag on the ground and I struggle to keep up with her superhuman pace. She isn“t running, but her strides are so choppy and brisk I“m left gasping. "Oh, you“re too delicate for this, aren“t you?"

"Huh? What do you—" The villain doesn“t let me finish my sentence. She spins on her heel and snaps me flailing into her arms. "Hey, hey, I didn“t sign up for this!" I gasp and kick and cry, a sudden sort of panic seizing me. This killer supervillian is acting weird. That“s a bad, bad thing. And it“s scary, the way she tears past her subjects and races through her own complex. One of my kicks catches her thigh and she slings me over her shoulder. My fingers ball and I throw punches as the walls blur by and by. As I cuss and fight and beg, my voice breaks back down into a series of croaks and mrows. My heart slams in my throat. As I look back at the thinning hallway, I hear a door smack open. Owl sighs and bounds up a set of stairs. I hear her boots clink and watch the metal steps whoosh by. My head falls against her armor, the plates cool against my skin. Flights go by. I stop screaming bloody murder and kicking her. I“m exhausted and I almost slip into another sleep. Don“t judge me. I“m a freaking cat. It“s what we do, I guess. That and get kidnapped, though I think that pertains more to me than other cats.

The villain bursts through another door when she finally stops. She levels her breath and I feel the chill of night air against my skin. I cringe, my face still shoved into her armor. "The stars are quite pretty here," Owl muses, the tips of her hair brushing my neck when she leans back. It almost tickles, but I“m not in a laughing mood.

The firsts words I can get out are, "We“re on a rooftop? W-Why are we on a rooftop?" I lift my head and catch a glimpse of the star dusting everyone in this city is so fanatical. I look for a moon, remembering that Heaven and Angelos and maybe even my parents all look at the same one, but tonight, there is no moon.

"Well, where else do you expect me to lift off?"

"You fly?" I squeak.

"Beats driving." She shrugs carefully so I don“t tumble over her shoulder. I bury a yelp and grip the edges of her armor, the plates cutting the edges of my fingertips.

At least I get to see Angelos and Heaven again, though I doubt they“d want to see me if they know everything I told and everything I agreed to do. They aren“t going down without a fight. Them or the mayor or the police or even the army, maybe.

I shake my head and squeeze my eyes shut. As Owl rockets into the air, I brace myself for the battle ahead.

To be edited in morning.

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