Xanor sat in his prison cell. A power dampener rested along his neck, but the way he had remodeled his face held. No one would ever know who he was, and his family would be forever safe. That was all that mattered.
When the Chaos Generator had been destroyed, it was like a fog had lifted. Something had always pushed him, edged him closer to aggression than he would have liked. Attacking the entire city? That wasn’t what he had wanted to do. But there was a wave of deep-rooted anger that pushed him that way that was now suddenly gone.
He had his theories on why that was, probably due to losing most of the reserves of his Chaos Energy, but at the end now it didn’t matter. The city was in their hands. In the hands of teenagers. The thought was a daunting one, but maybe it would be better in their hands than his. Just look at the destruction he had wrought.
Xanor would ultimately never know. But he had seen the resolution in Jet’s eyes. He had faith.
“Well, well, how the mighty have fallen,” came a voice from outside his cell.
The voice was too poisonous to be a guard, Xanor realized. He turned his head to see Marath, leaning in on his cell with one arm pressed against it. In the darkness of night, Marath’s green eyes gleamed.
“How...how did you get in here?” Xanor asked.
“Oh please,” Marath responded. “We both know that wouldn’t be challenging for me. But you, taken down by a few teenagers. So much for being the ultimate power in the city?”
“I kept you at bay for long enough didn’t I?” Xanor shot back.
Marath tilted his head in response.
“Fair. But I don’t know if you understand how you did so,” Marath cryptically said. “And I’ll keep it that way for now.”
Xanor squinted at Marath. Even though most of his cruel intentions were gone, one question burned in his mind.
“Why...why didn’t you kill the teens? Why kill Paladin instead?” Xanor asked.
Marath grinned, and it sent chills down Xanor’s spine.
“Because I knew Paladin would never dethrone you. But the boy could. He just needed the right push. And I needed you out of the way for what comes next,” Marath responded.
“You couldn’t have possibly planned for all this…” Xanor said, the words getting stuck in his throat.
“I plan for everything,” Marath quickly responded. “And now that the gangs have no supervillain to answer to, now that there is a power vacuum in the city, what comes next…”
Marath began to walk away as he spoke, his voice starting to trail. Xanor involuntarily jumped to his feet and ran to the bars. He almost slammed into them, looking for Marath. Marath was nowhere to be seen, but Xanor could somehow still hear his voice, no louder than a whisper.
“...what comes next will be chaos.”
End of Book One