Chapter 7: My girlfriend is a super
“I have lived most of my life surrounded my enemies. I will be grateful to die among my friends.”
When Aden came to me reporting his strange abilities since his accident, I knew what it meant. I had expected it to happen.
The green solution in the Paramount Pharmaceuticals truck that had covered Aden after the accident mixed with the blood on his shirt and entered his bloodstream through the wounds all over him. Direct contact with the same substance that gave countless other teenagers powers, including Delinquent, made it almost a certainty that Aden would develop powers.
I knew this, so I told him to come to me if anything strange happened. If not me, he would’ve gone to someone like his best friend or his parents, which wasn’t good.
Telling his friend might result in them going out and trying to do dangerous things with his newfound powers. It was more common than you’d think. A new super and his friend will go try and rob a bank or seek vengeance on a bully. Usually the friend seduces the super into helping them with crime.
Telling his parents would’ve probably been catastrophic. I knew who Aden’s father was. Adrian Dashner owned Dash Corp, a multimedia empire that controlled most of the online newspapers and just about every news sharing outpost. His agents constantly badgered me after Captain Impossible’s death for an interview. They even almost followed me home once. If he told his father, Adrian Dashner would’ve set him up as another newspaper story.
If he came to me, I could help him. I knew what it felt like to wake up one day with strange powers. I knew what it felt like to suddenly feel like a stranger in your own body. I knew what it felt like to be in his position.
I also knew that I needed to help him if he had gotten powers from the accident. If Daniel hadn’t helped me after I got my powers, who knows what would’ve happened? Maybe I wouldn’t have stopped hanging out with the rough neighborhood kids. Maybe they would’ve helped me turn in the wrong direction. Maybe I would’ve been a super villain instead of a superhero.
I didn’t want that to happen to Aden.
As long as he was a good human being, like I knew him to be, Aden could be my sidekick. Great heroes have sidekicks so that they could teach them all they knew and help them become heroes in their own rights. Golden Eagle taught Marvel before he became a great hero, and Captain Impossible taught me.
(Though Golden Eagle is now in a mental hospital and Captain Impossible is no longer with us.)
(I guess that shows the usual fate of heroes with sidekicks)
Super strength wasn’t the power I expected from Aden. Normally the powers matched the personality at least a little bit. But I couldn’t imagine Aden, the freshmen nerd who got pushed around by sophomore jerks, as a super strong man to be feared.
But I could work with that. At least it was a power that could be dealt with. If he had teleportation or shrinking, it would be a bit harder. Those were powers that could go haywire easily and I couldn’t really train someone how to control that.
And, if someone was to be your sidekick, they needed to know your identity.
(I will not lie, I had fun scaring Aden as White Lightning.)
Also, now that he knew who I was, it was kind of hard for me to not let him be my sidekick. As my sidekick, I could assure that he wouldn’t tell anyone of who I was.
I was about to give him the whole ‘If you tell anyone who I am, or who you are, serious harm will come to you’ speech when Delinquent appeared.
I didn’t know much about her powers, but I knew she had to have been to a place before to teleport there. It was a limitation most supers who teleported had. If you didn’t know where you were going, you would be in serious trouble. Who knows where you could end up? You might even leave a part of yourself behind.
So I knew Delinquent had somehow been here before, which was not a promising development.
I knew Delinquent really didn’t want to be thought of as a villain anymore, but it was hard to shake that persona of her, especially since she probably broke into the Man Cave sometime before now.
“Delinquent, what are you doing here?”
She grinned. “Oh, aren’t you happy to see me, Oliver?”
I reached up to my face only to remember that my mask was off when I revealed to Aden my identity. But, even so, she didn’t seem surprised about who I was. She already knew, didn’t she?
“Um, is she supposed to be here?” Aden asked questioningly.
Delinquent laughed. “Not really, but when I saw Olly over here drive you away from school, I figured he knew something more about what you were. I also figured that the accident gave you powers. Sorry about that by the way. I’m glad you turned out alright. More than alright actually.”
Delinquent had gotten her powers from the pills Paramount Pharmaceutical provided for kids with ADD and ADHD, so she had a huge vendetta against them. She was attacking their truck, which caused it to swerve before it crashed in the middle of the street, harming Aden.
“If you had your suspicions about my powers, why didn’t you also come to me?” Aden asked.
“Well, I already saw Olly taking care of that for me. Besides, I don’t really know you very well underneath this mask, unlike Olly.”
I narrowed my eyes at her. There were only a few people in this world who called me Olly. And the way she said it, it was familiar.
All if a sudden, Eric came rushing down the stairs, out of breath. “The sensors indicated a third life form in the Man Cave. It could be . . . oh.” Eric stilled as he noticed our companion.
Delinquent chuckled. “It looks like you were a little too late.”
“How did you get into the Man Cave the first time?” I wondered aloud.
She shrugged. “It was a good guess that your operations were in the place Daniel Jackson used to own. It only took a quick search of your storage room to find the button that revealed the passage into your lair. It was the day you were kidnapped by those people after your friend, Ian Thompson. If I hadn’t provided them with your location from your GPS in your watch, you two might’ve been killed. I also saved you, might I add, because of the fact that I broke in. But, do you thank me? No.”
“But how did you know Oliver was White Lightning in the first place?” Eric asked. “You only would’ve known White Lightning’s location from that. You had to have found out somewhere else that they were the same person.”
Yeah, how had she known who I was?
She sighed. “When you kissed me. The electrical surge that happens when you experience high levels of emotion. A literal spark flew between us. Plus, Andromeda already told me that I knew you in real life. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out.”
“Wait,” Aden exclaimed, “You kissed Delinquent?”
“That’s beside the point.” I answered.
“Uh, I want to know when this happened as well.” Eric offered.
I ignored them both.
“But I never kissed you as Oliver Storm only White Lightning.”
She sighed again. “Actually, you did.”
She reached up to the edge of her scalp and pulled. She took off her black frizzy hair, which I had expected was a wig for a while. She revealed straight blonde hair. Next she took off her mask.
I would’ve fallen had it not been for the table behind me. It wasn’t possible. She couldn’t have been her.
“Woah, isn’t that the girl you saved on Thursday?” Aden asked.
Elise Howerton was Delinquent.
My girlfriend was a super.
“Elise.” I breathed.
She took a hesitant step forward. “I only just found out. When you kissed me after you saved me, I put the pieces together. I think it’s only fair that you know who I am too.”
“Isn’t she your girlfriend?” Aden questioned.
“Yes. Yes she is.”
Elise pulled at her sleeves uncertainty, a gesture so familiar with the shy girl I thought I knew. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you, Olly. At first I thought you wouldn’t understand, but then I figured out that you were White Lightning, and I . . . well, I was flabbergasted. My boyfriend was a superhero. But he still thought of me as a villain, no matter how hard I tried.
“So, when I saw you today, with Aden, I knew you would be okay with who I am. You are helping Aden out with his powers after all, so why not me? Why wouldn’t you understand if I told you who I was?”
I took a deep breath. “It’s just going to take a little while to get used to. My girlfriend is Delinquent.”
“It’s hard for you? What about me?” Aden exclaimed. “I just found out that I’m super strong, Oliver Storm is White Lightning, and Elise Howerton is Delinquent. I’m freaking out over here too!”
Eric shrugged. “I think I was kind of expecting it. When does anything ever seem simple in this town?”
“You are Delinquent?” I ask uncertaintly.
“And you can teleport?”
“And you’ve known who I am for half a week and you did nothing?”
“You didn’t even tell Mary?”
Elise laughed out loud at that. “Please. I know she’s my best friend and all, but Mary has a blabbermouth. She would freak and tell everyone. Plus, Ian might not take too kindly to the news. I mean – you are his best friend and you never told him that you’re White Lightning.”
I agreed. If Ian ever found out, he would be furious.
“Wow, you’re both supers and didn’t even know. I think that’s a romantic comedy if I ever saw one myself.” Eric commented. “Imagine if you two had never told each other. You could’ve been old and married before either of you ever knew.”
“Not helping.” I scolded Eric.
“So, Aden,” Elsie addressed him for once, “I never got to introduce myself. Elsie Howerton, also Delinquent.”
“Yeah, I’ve figured that out.”
She blushed in embarrassment. “I only wanted to formally introduce myself, Aden. I mean – if you are to be Olly’s sidekick, we’ll be seeing a lot of each other.”
Aden blinked. “Oh, yeah. I forgot about that.” He paused. “Wait. If I’m a super, does that mean I can have my own costume and name and stuff?” he asked like an excited kid at a candy store.
He grinned. “That is so cool. Does this mean I get too make up my own super name? And design my own costume?”
I shrugged. “Well, you can design your own costume. I’m sure there are countless companies out there who would love to design White Lightning’s new sidekick’s costume. But, usually the media names the super. Some super villains come self-titled, like Andromeda and Nemesis, but most supers leave it to the media.
“What if they choose something stupid?” Aden argued.
I laughed. “Trust me. If they want you to keep saving the city, they’ll name you something great.”
He seemed satisfied with my answer.
“So,” Delinquent offered, “I guess we’re a crime stopping trio.”
“Ahem!” Eric intruded. “Does everyone forget about the powerless guy at home base?”
Elise smiled slyly. “Fine, I guess we can include you.”
I smiled. I had a sidekick, my girlfriend was Delinquent and I wasn’t freaking out too much, plus, Andromeda hadn’t been seen since she kidnapped Elise. Things were turning out pretty good.
Let’s hope that they stay that way.