Chapter 3: Delinquents are good?
“People of this city will die because something I did. I started this. You have to let me stop it.”
~ Kara Danvers (Supergirl)
“You can stop suffocating me now, mother.”
Sharon Storm responded by hugging me even tighter. I might’ve been a super, but I did not have resilience against pain, or indestructibility.
“You are hurting me mother.” I squeezed out.
She buried her head in my neck and did something between a sob and a sigh. “I just don’t want to let go, Boo. What if I never get to see my baby again? I couldn’t help but to think that the last time I saw you would be when we fought this morning. I didn’t want my baby boo to die thinking I hated him.”
My mother was a bit of a Remedist, though I usually blamed that on her boyfriend, and my boss, Chad Hunter.
We had a fight about politics, if you could believe it or not. She thought that the super codex was a good thing for society. That way we could keep track of villains like Andromeda, who had kidnapped my girlfriend the night before. I argued that villains wouldn’t just willingly give their name up to the authorities. I mean – villains don’t get caught for a reason.
I also reminded her that the policy the Remedist wanted to enact where supers have to wear dog tags to show that they are supers sounded a bit too familiar. Hitler made the Jews where yellow stars. He also made them a scape goat for all of Germany’s problems, kind of like how Richard Head, the spokesman and leader of the Remedist Party, was doing with the supers.
Not all supers were bad.
I ended up storming out without saying goodbye. There weren’t exactly rooms to hide in at our apartment. Mom’s bedroom was separate, though small. The bathroom was connected to her bedroom and the kitchen and living room were kind of one and the same. We weren’t exactly what you would call rich.
“It’s okay, mom, really.” I assured her, hoping to disentangle myself from her grip.
She finally let me go, her face wet from tears and her mascara running. I was sure there was a huge dark splotch on my white school shirt where she had been crying.
Detective Pearson walked up to us and gestured for us to follow him back into his office. He was probably going to ask questions about the kidnapping, but I knew my mom was never going to leave my side.
“Alright, son,” he started, closing the door behind us and siting down his chair, “what do you remember about the initial kidnapping and afterwards?”
I shrugged. “Not much. The men must’ve stopped Ian’s car somehow, I don’t know how. They ripped open the door and wrenched us out. Black bags were pulled over our heads, our arms tied behind our backs, and a needle stuck in my neck. I assumed it was supposed to knock us out, because the next thing I knew, I woke up next to Ian in the back of that warehouse. About ten minutes later, Delinquent showed up and kicked ass. She untied us and disappeared as soon as you all showed up. There was nothing really to it.”
“And she didn’t say exactly how she found you?” he urged.
I was dumbfounded. How had she found us?
He sighed and leaned back in his chair. “We got a tip about your location from an anonymous caller claiming to be Delinquent. We would’ve ignored it if it hadn’t been for the fact that the warehouse she claimed you were in was owned by Victor Rodriguez, a known Remedist activist against the Democratic Party and the Secretary of State, Miss Sarah Thompson, herself. What we want to know is how she knew where you two were. Our best analysts couldn’t trace the ransom call, and we had absolutely no solid leads.”
“You think I know how she found us?” I asked incredulously. “Trust me, I don’t. Besides, Ian was the main target of the kidnapping, not me.”
He tilted his head in confusion. “What makes you say that?”
I scoffed. “I’m dirt poor. How could we pay a ransom?”
My mom hit my arm. “Honey, don’t say things like that. We get by perfectly fine.”
“Yes, we get by, but we don’t have gold reserves like Ian’s family.” I deadpanned.
My mom pouted at my words, but didn’t argue, Even she knew that we were dead beat poor, even if she didn’t want to admit it.
“Well, you’ll be glad to know that Mrs. Thompson offered to pay the ransom for you as well if it came to it. She knew how much you meant to Ian.”
I smiled at the thought. Mrs. Thompson could be a control freak sometimes, like her daughter, but she was caring too.
Mary had come with her parents to the station to see Ian, so when we were finally let out of the Detectives office, she came barging at me at full speed.
“Olly!” she pulled me into a tight hug. “I can believe it! You’re okay! I mean – this must be such a shock for you. First your boss dies and then not only a few weeks later you get kidnapped. Are you feeling alright? You must be so exhausted.”
I grimaced, “I’ll be alright,” which was enough for her to let me go.
My old boss was Daniel Jackson. He used to own the Comic Book Store and the apartment complex that my mom and I lived in. When he died, Chad Hunter took over ownership of both.
Daniel Jackson had also been the notorious superhero, Captain Impossible. He’d been my boss in more ways than just at the store. I was also his sidekick. His murder was ordered by some villain by the name of The Obstructer. The Obstructer tried to murder me as well, but I got out of it. He had a vendetta against supers for some reason and was taking it out on us.
Back at school on the day before the funeral, I had lied to Mary, saying I was going out of town and wouldn’t be at the funeral for my boss. It would be kind of hard to be White Lightning and Oliver Storm at the same time. Mary and Ian had to go for political reasons, with their mom being the Secretary of State and all.
Afterwards she confronted me on the lie, knowing that I hadn’t gone out of town. I thought she knew about my secret identity – that she had figured it out, but it turned out she just thought I wasn’t letting myself grieve for Daniel’s death.
Mary was the one friend who I thought would never figure out who I was. She wasn’t stupid, just very stubborn and ignorant at times. She could never see me as the same guy she fangirls over at lunch.
“I can’t believe it!” Mary exclaimed. “First Elise gets kidnapped and saved by White Lightning, and then you two get kidnapped and saved by Delinquent! What’s with villains and kidnapping my friends? And what’s with the supers saving them?”
“Well, technically the guys who kidnapped Ian and I were just regular old bad guys, not super villains.” I corrected.
She popped her hip, crossed her arms, and stared me down. “I called them villains, not super villains. Why can’t there be regular old villains in this world anymore? Why does every bad guy have to be super, huh? Kidnapping is still a villainy deed.”
She smiled back, obviously satisfied.
“Well, then. Let’s go see Ian. I think he’ll end up shooting himself if he has to listen to my mother’s political talk any longer.” Mary said, taking my arm.
I looked out at the police station with mixed emotions. Oliver and Ian were inside, just passed the double doors. I could walk in, hug and chide them like I knew my best friend Mary was doing right about now, but I couldn’t. I wasn’t supposed to know that they’d been found yet. I shouldn’t even be here.
But I was.
Besides, I doubted I would be very welcome inside the police station. Half the officers still thought of me as a villain – another teenage delinquent.
Yes, you heard right. Give yourself a pat on the back if you figured it out before hand, because I definitely won’t.
In my all black costume I wore as Delinquent, including the black-haired curly wig, I wouldn’t be welcomed as a friend, only a stranger.
I recently upgraded my costume, going from black jeans and a dark hoodie to a spandex costume worthy of any hero. It came with a utility belt and a mask that was more form fitting to my face. I found that I could move easier with it, and teleportation seemed smoother. I would thank whoever made it, but I didn’t know who. All I knew was that I was on patrol today (I had sneaked out from my confinement in my house) when a super appeared behind me.
This super was Hermes, and he wasn’t exactly a hero. He worked for a fashion enterprise that made its money from selling superhero-grade suits to supers who wanted them. They sold to heroes and villains alike, and their orders were untraceable. Hermes could fly, but that was pretty much it. He was mainly their delivery guy, hence the name Hermes.
“I have a delivery.” He had greeted, scaring me shitless.
“Who are you?” I asked, ready to teleport away in a split second.
“Hermes. I’m here to deliver a super suit to Delinquent. You are her, right?”
I squinted my eyes at him, even though it was still light out. “I haven’t ordered a super suit from anybody.”
He shrugged. “Look, I don’t care. Be happy someone else bought this for you, it’s high grade. Who knows? All sorts of people invest in supers, good and bad.”
I signed off on the clipboard, grabbing the box and teleporting back to my room before he could try anything.
The first thing I did was teleport the box away from my house, just in case there was a tracker imbedded in it. The next thing I did was wash the suit, so any electrical devices that might have been on it would be destroyed. Otherwise, the suit seemed fine. Whoever had bought it for me had even got me a replacement wig for the one I owned.
Even though I was happy for the gift, I was still wary. Someone out there bought me a new super suit, and they obviously would want something in return.
I had heard about the kidnapping when I got home. Apparently it was all over the news. Olly was the guy I’d liked since forever, and my boyfriend now. I wanted to do anything I could to find him.
It had been time to use the one thing I had going for me, the little piece of information I had figured out last night. The police would be looking for White Lightning’s help to save the day, but he wouldn’t be around because he was Oliver, one of the kidnap victims.
I had found it out when he saved me from Andromeda. He kissed me, probably an influx of emotion from saving his girlfriend from a deadly experience, and a spark of electricity traveled between us. When he kissed me as Oliver Storm for the first time, that same spark happened. I guessed now that it was a response from his powers. I’d also kissed him one time before that, but it was when we were both in masks. I felt more confident somehow, not being Elise Howerton anymore, but Delinquent, bad ass super. That same spark flew between us, but I didn’t remember it until now because I had been too busy with the fact that I had kissed White Lightning. Mary would’ve been so jealous.
But, knowing he was White Lightning, I knew about his watch. Captain Impossible use to communicate with him through the device, and since he still wore it, I knew he must have at least one other person on his team to communicate with.
And I would’ve bet my life that it was Eric, the other employee at the Comic Book Store.
All it took was a bit of sleuthing to find the entrance. They left the storage room unlocked, and it only took a couple of minutes to find the button to open the secret door down to their basement lair. Eric hadn’t been down there but the World of Warcraft game on pause told me he had been recently. All it took was a bit of searching through their folders on the computer to find the one tracking Oliver’s position. It wasn’t protected very well, probably because they didn’t think anyone would be able to break in here.
I called the cops immediately afterwards, leaving them a tip about where he was before teleporting near there myself. A quick glance around the perimeter and I found a window. I had counted the men I would have to take down before teleporting in. With my new weapons, defeating those guys had been a piece of cake.
I sighed and teleported back to my room. I could see Oliver and Ian at school on Monday.
But the question still remained. If I could figure out his identity, how long would it be until he figured out mine?