Chapter 21: A Super Villain's motive
“Wanna know how I got these scars?”
~ Jack Napier (The Joker)
Perhaps it wasn’t the worst day ever. I mean – besides the fact that my best friend just found out I had been lying to him our entire friendship, I was fine.
(Note the sarcasm.)
As we made our way down the hall, Ian wouldn’t stop giving me dirty looks. I couldn’t look him in the eye for fear of his full expression.
I betrayed him. I lied to him. I deceived him.
I would be mad with me too.
When you’ve been searching your whole life for the identity of a super like Captain Impossible, you take it as a personal insult when your best friend had known his identity since they were seven – way before the news released it. Especially after you find out the fact that he not only knows who White Lightning is, but is actually the spandex clad savior himself.
I would understand if Ian never talked to me ever again.
Heather, on the other hand, was star-struck. Back before I was really friends with her, she would give me the same stare. I was the all-American-boy at Eldredge, so most everyone knew the legend of the popular nice kid in junior year. Heather, despite being the First Daughter, was quite the loner. When she came up to ask me out for coffee all that time ago, it was the first she’d ever spoken to me. Even after that she would look at me like a deer in the headlights occasionally. Recently she was growing on the group, becoming more comfortable with us. And now all that was broken, because we were back to where we were before.
Heather was looking at me like I was a celebrity, which I kind of was. It made me a bit uncomfortable, especially since the twins next to her were giving me opposite looks.
But even with my trashed friendships, we still had one more villain to deal with.
I was banking everything on the fact that the two hadn’t destroyed each other. When Aden and I had left to follow Dylan, they were fighting ferociously on an equal stance. Despite Elise’s inexperience, they had been evenly matched.
I really hoped Andromeda wouldn’t overpower Elise before we got back.
We reached the auditorium first.
“Alright, time to go, guys.” I said, gesturing to the back door to the stage. Hopefully the administrators inside wouldn’t notice that they hadn’t already been there.
Heather walked into the auditorium with no argument. She looked back at me one more time before disappearing behind the door.
It was my best friend and his sister who I was more concerned about.
“No.” Mary said defiantly – acting like her old self in the most inconvenient of times.
“Yeah.” Ian agreed. “I’m not leaving.”
I sighed and ran my hand through my hair. I would not endanger my friends anymore today. If earlier was any proof, they weren’t safe near me.
“You have to leave. Andromeda is still somewhere in the school fighting with Delinquent. Aden and I have to go help her, now. We don’t need you two dying on my watch.”
Ian looked up and pressed his lips together before speaking, “Delinquent is Elise, isn’t she?”
I grounded my teeth together. Of course Ian would figure it out. Now I had to explain to my girlfriend why her friends weren’t talking to the either of us.
“Does it really matter right now, Ian? There is a super villain inside the school trying to kill me. I would rather her not take down my friends along the way.”
Ian crossed his arms. “I’m not going in that auditorium. All those kids in there will want to ask what I saw out here. You know what I saw? I saw my best friend almost kill Dylan Danvers with lightning powers. I saw an imposter where my best friend should’ve been standing, because I know the real Olly would’ve trusted me with a secret like that. I saw my best friend with the freshmen – who he only just met – treating him like a friend he’s known for years, especially considering it only took him days to tell the freshmen about who he was when he couldn’t even tell me after knowing me for years. So, no, I don’t really want to go in there right now, White Lightning. If I do, you might regret that decision.”
I groaned, frustrated. Ian might’ve been mad at me now, but I still needed him to be safe. I was not going to get him in danger just because he was being insufferable. “Ian, you have to listen to me. You’ll be safer in there. I need you two to be safe. You know what it would do to me if you two got hurt because of me?”
Ian scoffed. “Yeah, that didn’t seem to be that big of a problem for you when we got kidnapped. I mean – you are a superhero! You could’ve kicked those guys’ asses with your eyes closed. Instead, you let us get kidnapped and put us both in a situation where we could’ve died.”
“Yes, but they weren’t going to kill us. If they showed any signs that they were – I would’ve used my powers then.”
Ian chuckled darkly. “Yeah, because when ten guys in ski masks beat you down and inject you with a mystery substance, they aren’t trying to kill you.”
I was about to retort, but a flash of purple smoke in the hallway caught our attention.
Elise and Andromeda were suddenly there, viciously fighting. Andromeda had a scrape on her arm and Elise had blood on her chin, but otherwise they both looked fine.
She teleported them further down the hall and used the chance to jab Andromeda in the stomach, But she was expecting the move. Andromeda dodged it and threw Elise back into the wall using her telekinesis. Elise hadn’t reacted fast enough, and she flew straight through the wall and back into the cafeteria.
I ran after her immediately, not thinking at all.
When I reached her side, I propped her up in my arms. She was groaning and gripping her side, but otherwise she looked fine. I was lucky that Andromeda hadn’t used her full force.
“Oh, it looks like Olly has brought his friends.” Andromeda sneered, walking towards Elise and me at a slow pace. Ian and Mary were both inside the cafeteria now, both scared by the super villain in their presence.
Aden stood in her way. “Step down, Andromeda. It’s three against one now.”
I was surprised at his tone of voice. He seemed stronger, more in control. Maybe with his worst enemy taken down, Aden was becoming confident in his abilities.
She laughed. “Sure, but I think we all know you’re all no match for me.”
She was mostly right. Though she had been fighting Elise for a while now, she barely looked drained, while Elise looked beat. In fact, Andromeda looked better than before she started fighting. We needed another strategy.
“Why are you even fighting us, Andromeda?” I questioned. “The Obstructer hates all supers, even the villains. As soon as you get rid of us, he’ll probably kill you. Supers of both sorts have been going missing all around the country, even the ones who didn’t put on the mask. Do you want to tell me that The Obstructer wasn’t behind those disappearances? What’s the point of even killing us? The Obstructer will get rid of you the moment you do.”
She scoffed and crossed her arms. “Do you really think so little of me? I always have an escape plan.”
“That doesn’t explain why you’re still trying to kill us. What could it possibly do for you?”
She narrowed her eyes and spoke with a voice full of venom, “I will be ridding the world of three more self-proclaimed heroes. You are all the same. You say you want to save the world, but at the same time you’re destroying it. You would rather save each other than some innocent citizens.”
“You’re wrong. Not all heroes are like that.”
She chuckled. “Yes, you would say that, wouldn’t you? You would defend your kin with your last dying breath, but you don’t know what you’re defending.” She paused. “I hail from Empire City, the self-proclaimed Super Capital of the country. You can’t walk through downtown without at least one super sighting. I guess it was just my luck that a super villain interrupted my day downtown.
“My father – a wonderful man – was walking with me. We had done nothing immediately wrong. Maybe that was why it was such a surprise when the super villain, Raven, came swooping in. He had been running from The Marvel and Sonic, the glorious superhero couple that everyone in the damn world loved. Then they fought, right there in the square. Civilians were getting injured on the sidelines, and countless properties destroyed, all because those heroes couldn’t leave Raven alone. And then it happened.
“Raven had captured Sonic in one hand, a random citizen in the other – my dad. Raven told The Marvel to choose who he wanted to save. When The Marvel would choose, Raven said he would leave. There must’ve been other options, other ways to save both of them, like the heroes in the comics always did. But, no. The Marvel chose Sonic, and my dad’s neck was snapped right in front of me. Maybe The Marvel didn’t think Raven would actually kill either, or maybe he was just so fucking love-struck by that vixen, but it didn’t matter. My father was murdered because Sonic lived.
“From that day on, I planned to avenge his death. I terrorized poor little Sonic, because when she died the score would finally be settled. And then, imagine my surprise when I found out that she left The Marvel for her ex. I mean – a guy gets someone murdered – my father – in her name, and she leaves him for a different model.
“Maybe that death ate at her conscious, and she couldn’t be with The Marvel anymore, or maybe she finally wised up. “
“Of course, she always did wonder how I always knew where she was going to be. I guess she was just too idiotic to see that one of her best friends was dating the girl whose fathers she caused the death of. But, I can’t blame Calico. It wasn’t her fault. Maybe in a different life.
“So, don’t you see why I need to do this? You heroes are nothing but bad news. You might say now that you’d find another way. But, given a choice, you will always choose to save your own skin. You’re all cowards.”
I was in shock. I knew back in Empire City Andromeda had terrorized Sonic, but I never knew that this was the reason why. The ‘accident’ that had originally splintered Sonic’s and The Marvel’s relationship had been the same accident that triggered Andromeda’s villain streak against Sonic. She had used Calico back in Empire City as her energy source, draining her and getting insider information about Sonic at the same time. Andromeda had actually seemed sincere when she said it hadn’t been Calico’s fault. Maybe for her power to work, she had to get really close to her victim, like, like-like close. Whoever she was draining now for power was either someone with a crush on her, or currently dating her.
“Andromeda.” Elsie said, slowly getting up from her position. “Yes, those supers did a wrong thing, but we aren’t them. We’re just trying to help a city with these powers we’ve been given.”
Andromeda scoffed. “Then, you’re no better than they were. It’s just the same story playing out over and over again. A boy super upgrades from sidekick to hero, falls for girl, girl turns into super, they start dating, they start wrecking the city, and then they break it off because it got “too hard” and it turns out they weren’t meant for each other in the first place. Trust me, a super can never keep a relationship for long.”
I got mad. Andromeda had been through a lot, but she had no idea what she was talking about. I was not about to repeat The Marvel’s mistakes. I knew what I was doing, and I knew that if you really loved someone, it didn’t matter if you both were supers, you could make it through anything together.
“That’s where you are wrong. I’m smart enough not to repeat his mistakes. I’m a hero, and that means I save people, no matter the consequences.”
Andromeda smirked. “Fine. I’ll have a fun time killing you.”
And then she charged.