Velocity

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Season II Chapter 6: Black Night

Romaine’s POV

I’ve been walking around with thorns in my side for days. For those observant they would’ve realized that I’ve been favoring my left side.

Now I have to deal with school. I hate Mondays, especially without coffee. Dondre was kind enough to help me home the other night, Donte wasn’t doing too good even after I left. We had to send an message to her saying he’d be sleeping over at my house; hopefully his mom doesn’t confirm with mine.

I didn’t have time to drop by the lab like I usually do and get to wish Dondre good luck on his first day of school. I went through the day nauseated and lightheaded.

~~~~~~~

Going over to the lab took me about twice as long; limping for so far and up a slope really wasn’t what I needed after such a long day.

“I figured out the problem.” Cassandra greeted me as I entered the lab, “I miscalculated the the amount of iron cells needed to fuel the chest plate. As a result you’ve been deprived of too much iron and your body’s malfunctioning.”

“K, just how do I fix it?” I tried to hurry her

“I’ve designed this serum that should provide you with enough iron cells and rich red blood cells.” She presented as rather large syringe with a red fluid in it

After giving me the shot I felt live flowing through my body, as the impediment in my side faded away.

“You couldn’t have made that two days ago?” I said

“Well sorry if I was busy taking care of your cousin and all the other work that I have to do. I know you must be really angry.” Clear sarcasm was in her tone, which didn’t help with my mood.

“Look I’m not going to get into an argument with you ok? I need to talk to you”

“What is it?” She scoffed

“I don’t want to be the one playing this card and all, but I don’t think that everything’s right with Dondre.”

“What do you mean..?”

“I mean like, the other day, I might just be overthinking this...but, he himself said that the shockwaves travel faster than the speed of sound. When Shockwave fired his first attack at us, Dondre removed his hand from off of me before it hit and so fast that I didn’t even notice.”

“Don’t you think you’re being a bit naive? Dondre has some form of sense and intelligence, unlike your other friend. It’s not unlikely that Dondre would’ve reacted purely out of instincts and removed his hand.”

“Yeah but...”

“Look you’re not the fastest out there. Get over yourself. If Dondre has faster reflexes than you then so what?”

“You’re right” I muttered before walking off

“I’m back!” Donte bellowed melodically as he came out of the elevator.

“Are you ok?” I asked, rushing over to him.

“Yeah I’m fine, no worries.” He responded

“Well ok then. You up for some training?” I offered, feeling the urge to run

“Always!” He said

~~~~~~~

When I had my fill of running it was time to head home. As I walked pass Cassandra the air filled with discomfort. I can’t bother honestly; everytime we seem to take a step forward we take three steps back.

Going up to the ground floor Dondre was watching the television. He hadn’t been in the lab all afternoon, guess school was long for him.

He offered to walk home with me and talk, saying he “could see that I was bothered”.

After I explained to him my perspective of the whole situation with Cassandra, his suggestion took me by surprise.

“You should ask her out man.” He said to me

“What?!” My voice was as loud and high pitched as possible without it coming out as a shout, “I can’t do that.”

“Yeah..ask her out. If she says yes she likes you, if she says no then ask her why. Simple”

“You always make love look so easy.”

“I mean, it kinda is with you two. If you two just stopped being stubborn you’d get together over a hundred times faster than they bring out a new iphone.”

“Yeah well she obviously isn’t the outdoorsy type.”

“Just ask her at the right time.”

“If you say so.”

When we came to a stop in front of my house, I still felt pestered.

“There’s still something I need to ask you..” I said, turning to face him

“I know I’m probably just being stupid but...two days ago..fighting Shockwave.. how did you know how to perform a speed punch like that..I hadn’t taught you that yet...”

“Oh” he chuckled, “So that’s what that move was called? Well all I did was channel all my force into the punch. I couldn’t let him go unscathed after what he did to you two.”

Looking into his eyes I could tell that he was telling me the truth, he’s my bestfriend after all, I’d know. Plus he has a tell for lying; his left eye usually twitches when he does.

“Yeah...yeah sorry for doubting you man.”

“No worries I’d do the same to you.”

I waved him off as I made my way to the front door. This might just be the latest I’ve ever reached home. The moon was up and brimming, stars starting come out. I thought my mom’d be mad, but she was understanding, as always.

I marched into the house, ready to get cursed or scolded on being out so late. I saw my mom in the couch watching TV as I closed to door behind me.

“Hey mom..” I started, “I’m really sorry I was out so late.”

“Hey Rom.” She said, taking a sip of her tea, “Yeah it’s fine I know you’ve been studying very hard for the past few months; I see it in your grades”

“Yeah..” I almost felt bad for lying to her like this

While she thinks I’m off working hard I’m busy saving the city, fighting a speed devil, and falling into a love complex.

“What are you watching?” I asked as I walked by towards the stairs

“Real Housewives” she responded

I strayed up the stairs and into my room, throwing myself into bed. I wanted nothing else, but the ability to sleep.

-“Romaine. We’ve got a problem.“- Cassandra said from over the comms

I groaned before moving my already drowsy limbs to answer.

“What is it?”

-“I’m picking up signals of high voltage electricity moving at mock speeds in your area. I’ll give you one guess.“-

“Dondre decided to use his speed to go home?”

-“Nope. Black Zero.“-

I jumped out of bed, racing out of the house without a second thought, hopefully fast enough for my mom to just experience a gust of wind and not see anything.

Out in the middle of the street, I was face to face with the devil himself.

“You made a big mistake coming here!” I shouted

"It is you who has made the mistake. And you will pay.” He responded

All I had on were my friction resistant sneakers, which if I got into a chase wouldn’t last long. I had to be smart.

“Where’s Dondre?”

"I’ve already returned the fool to where he belongs. I’ll be sure he doesn’t escape this time."

“What do you need with him? I thought all you wanted was my speed!”

"Naive child. My motivations are far beyond your feeble thinking."

“Die!” I went charging straight for him

I don’t care about what I said right now. He has Dondre again and I can’t let him go through any more torture.

He pushed me down like a was just a fly to swat.

"I will destroy you, and everyone you love. I will take your speed and kill everyone you know right before your eyes. Then I will have the pleasure of killing you twice for what you did to me!!"

He grabbed me by the collar and dragged me all the way through the city and into a woodsy area. It all went by so quickly that I couldn’t tell where we went; so I wouldn’t be able to find my way there if anything.

He beat me senselessly with multiple electricity charged punches. I could see and quite literally feel the rage and anger coming off of him but I couldn’t tell why.

“Who~” “hurt~” “you~” I asked him, interrupted by punches to the gut and face

"You did. And for that you will pay"

“I’ve never met you before.”

"Spare me your insolent trash. You will know who I am when the time comes."

I saw a light blue flash of lightning come up to me.

“I came as soon as I could!” Donte shouted, “Are you ok?”

When Donte turned to face Black Zero it was as if he had frozen in fear. He didn’t move for a while as he started into the face of evil. Donte then started trembling, his body shaking intensely as his knees gave way. It was almost as if he had been reliving a traumatic moment.

Black Zero laughed before giving Donte a knee in the gut and throwing him over on the ground.

"Until we meet again, Velocity."

He ran off leaving me helpless and Donte moaning. As he evidently struggled to get up I feared that this would cost us our secret identities. He came over to me and started to help me up.

“You shouldn’t be hear” I muttered

“Don’t worry, ” he said, “my mom’s asleep.”

“What about you sister?”

He paused before responding, “she’s asleep too.”

As he continued to help me up another flash of lightning came up, this time yellow.

“Oh my god man I’m sorry I couldn’t be here sooner.” Dondre said, “He was gone long enough for me to escape.”

“We gotta get him outta here.” Donte said, as the two worked together to carry me back to the lab

~~~~~~~

Waking up, my face was much less swollen, although I don’t know why every encounter with a villain has to end with one of us in bed. Seems quite tedious if you ask me.

I sped out of bed and into the main room, obviously interrupting a conversation between Dondre and Cassandra.

“I’ve gotta get home. My mom’s gonna notice I’m gone.” I panicked before speeding out

Running home my mind was all over the place. Who is Black Zero? What did I do to him? How could I possibly defeat him? Did my mom notice I was gone? If so, how do I reverse this? Which Real Housewives was mom watching?

As I said, all over the place.

When I ran in the couch and saw the couch was empty I kept moving and went up the stairs. Stopping in my bedroom I saw my mom sitting on my bed tears in her eyes.

When I subsequently slowed down my pace my mother jumped at the sudden appearance of her son, which she probably presumed ran away, right before her eyes.

The fear in her eyes struck me, as I had never seen anyone so afraid of someone close to them, let alone their own son. My head started to spin, and time slowed down.

I ran back to the lab and explained everything to Cassandra, after not too long she came back with an EpiPen looking object.

“This is a memory inhibitor. One dose of this should wipe her mind clean of the previous five minutes.” She said

“Hold up. You want me to drug my mother?!”

“You’re acting like you expected there to be any other way to make her forget something.”

“Ugh. Fine”

I grabbed the inhibitor and ran back home, injecting my mother and putting her back in the couch. When I came to a stop her eyes wavered and her body swayed until she was passed out.

This had better work...

~~~~~~~

Walking up in the morning my mom told me the news about an attack in the area. She told me that it wasn’t safe to go outside and that I’d have to stay inside for the day. And that starting school tomorrow, I’d have to go straight to school and come straight home. I texted Cassandra to relay the message that I wouldn’t be around for a while.

I know she’s just trying to protect me and all, but oh brother.

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