….. Posted by uc beverly…..
… EPISODE TWO…
I freeze as the ball of energy, or whatever he’s building between his hands, gets larger and brace myself for impact.
There’s nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide.
But just as Matchstick lets loose with whatever badass concoction he’s cooked up, Dark-and-Scowly hurls himself at me, full force.
We go down in a tangle of limbs as a firebomb blasts right past where I’d been standing.
“Hey! Get off me!” I shove at him as hard as I can, but he’s immovable.
Maybe because he’s about six inches taller and fifty pounds heavier than me.
But, again, that’s never stopped me before.
I stand up to heroes twice his size all the time. Supers might think I’m weak, but I’m not.
Sometimes, being underestimated can be a real advantage.
I start to knee him in the dick for the second time tonight, but he’s ready for me.
His hand clamps above my knee and holds me in place.
“Will you relax?” he demands, his voice a lot darker and surlier than it was before I took my shot at the family jewels. “I’m trying to protect you here.”
Wrong thing to say, dude.
“As if I need a villain to take care of me? I don’t think so.”
I buck and roll against him, all to no avail.
This guy is strong, really strong. I’m not getting up until he decides to let me up.
Which just pisses me off more. Everyone around me is always insisting I’m helpless, telling me that being powerless makes me vulnerable.
The last thing I need is a villain providing a real-life demonstration.
I think about biting him, but decide against it. He is a villain after all. And a hot-looking one at that. God only knows where he’s been.
Still, I need him off me. Now. I can’t think, can’t breathe.
Long-buried memories well up inside me, making me panic. Making me want to scream.
I fight the anxiety, bury the dread. I can freak out later. Right now, I need to focus on how the hell I’m going to get out of this.
“Draven, what the hell is going on here?” A third guy comes careening around the corner and into the lab.
Great. Three villian scumbags in the lab. This night is only getting better.
Like the other two, this one is dressed all in black, but somehow he doesn’t look nearly as menacing as they do.
Maybe it’s the look of abject horror on his face. Or maybe it’s the way his dark brown hair is molded into a fairly spectacular fauxhawk.
It’s hard to take a guy seriously when he looks like a punk-rock rooster—even if he is a villain.
“Nitro’s lost his mind, obviously,” Draven, a.k.a. Dark-and-Scowly, answers. “He started firing energy balls at innocent people.”
Holy shit. This is Nitro?
Badass supervillain and second only to his brother, Quake, in the destruction he causes? Nitro is in my mother’s lab?
What am I going to do? He’s deadly. He could level this whole building with a single blast.
No wonder the lab looks like a nuclear bomb just went off. In a way, it did.
I can’t suppress a little shudder. Dark-and-Scowly, otherwise known as Draven, looks down with blue eyes that seem way too steady and way too knowledgeable, and for the first time since he tackled me, his grip loosens a little bit.
He pushes up to his knees and drags his hands through his hair.
Air flows into my lungs a little more easily.
“Oi, that was just a wee blast,” Nitro answers. “It wouldn’t have killed her. Just stunned her.”
“And that makes it okay?” I snap.
Draven reaches for me like he wants to clamp his palm over my mouth, but I shoot him a glance that says I’m rethinking my decision about biting him, and he just shakes his head.
“Are you serious?” Fauxhawk demands. “You really think this is what we need to be doing right now? When my brother has been missing for three days?”
“She was going for her cell phone.” Nitro looks thoroughly disgruntled now. “Deacon obviously isn’t in this lab, and we need time to search the rest of the building. What was I supposed to do?”
“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe let me take care of her?” Draven says. “I had it handled.”
Nitro’s yellow eyes narrow. “Did you? ’Cuz it looked to me like you were just making a bigger mess.”
“I’ll take care of her,” Draven reiterates. “Wasn’t that what we agreed on?” He climbs to his feet and I start to follow, but he puts his hand on the top of my head and shoves me back down.
Which only makes me angrier. I’m not big on being manhandled.
In fact, I’m not big on being any kind of handled.
“Hey!” I complain, pushing against him as hard as I can. He doesn’t budge.
“If you want to get out of this without being roasted alive, you need to stay down,” he growls at me. “His control’s never the best when he’s this upset.”
Draven’s gaze is trained on Nitro, so I can’t really gauge if he’s telling the truth, but he seems to be trying to protect me.
That must be another trick, though. Villains don’t help people like that.
Ignoring his dubious warning, I twist out of Draven’s grip and scramble to my knees. At least now I can see what’s going on. And maybe I can formulate a plan.
“Well, that’s a little rude,” Nitro interjects, obviously offended. “I never talk shit about your powers.”
“Because Draven never loses control of his powers,” Fauxhawk tells him, as he gestures to the burned and broken lab. “Do I need to remind you of what happened two weeks ago?”
“Wow. Set a few things on fire and suddenly everyone’s a critic.”
“Me!” Fauxhawk shouts. “You set me on fire!”
“I said I was sorry!”
“Like that makes it better? You burned off half my hair.”
“Stop being such a drama queen, Dante.” Nitro rolls his eyes. “It’s growing back, isn’t it?”
“Jesus,” Draven says, looking like he’s one step away from pulling out his own hair. “Can we focus, please? We don’t have long before someone finds out about this mess.”
“That’s what I’m saying.” Nitro raises his hands and starts to build another energy ball. “I was taking care of things, until you went all hero on us.”
“Screw you!” Draven lunges at Nitro.
I seize the opportunity and jump to my feet. But the villains weren’t as distracted as I thought.
Before I can make a dash for my phone, Dante intercepts me, wrapping a hand around my wrist in an iron grip.
He raises his other hand in the air, like someone who’s refereed a lot of arguments between these two. “Can we just do something with her so we can keep looking?”
Pulling me behind him, Dante drags me toward the vault.
But once he gets there, he freezes, and for a long moment, I can’t figure out what’s come over him. But then I see it—a shiny titanium watch with a bright red face lying on the floor.
He drops my wrist and bends to pick up the watch. Then he squeezes it tight in his hand.
“Deacon was here.” His voice breaks as he shows the watch to his friends. “We need to find him before it’s too late.”
The bickering stops instantly. Rage vibrates in the air.
“What if it’s already too late?” Nitro snarls. “What if—”
“It’s not. It can’t be.” But Draven sounds more angry than comforting as he voices the reassurances.
“So where do we start looking for a secret level?” Dante demands. “This place is huge.”
“Why don’t we ask her?” Nitro nods at me with narrowed eyes, like he wouldn’t mind trying to set me on fire this time. “She seems to know her way around pretty well. Tell us how to get to the secret level, little bird.”
“Are you insane? We don’t need a secret level,” I retort. “We’re not villains.”
Besides, like I would help them find it if it did exist.
“Didn’t expect her to tell the truth, did you?” Dante glares at me. “She’s a hero-worshipper.”
Now, it’s my turn to glare. “Hero-worshipper” is really vile, really insulting slang in the super world, so bad that few people even say it.
As an ordinary living among superheroes, I hear it more than most, and the fact that this obnoxious, fauxhawk-sporting villain is the one lobbing it at me pisses me off more than I can say.
My heel connects with his instep before I can think better of it.
While Dante howls in pain, I back away. There are too many villains between me and the exit, but even a little distance makes me feel safer.
“I’ll make her talk,” Nitro says, and this time the energy ball he’s building between his hands glows an icy blue. I don’t know why, but it looks a million times scarier than the red-hot one he lobbed at me earlier.
And when he pulls his hand back as if to throw it at me, I duck behind the nearest lab table.
Sometimes discretion really is the better part of valor.
Still, I’m not backing down. Not this time. Not to these guys.
I glance around frantically for something I can use as a weapon.
I’m in a bioengineering lab, for God’s sake. Just about everything in here can maim, poison, or kill.
Surely, I can find something within reach that will take these jerks down. Or at least incapacitate them long enough for me to call for help.
“Stop, Nitro.” Draven’s voice is low and urgent, with an unmistakable note of command. “Torturing her won’t do any good.”
He moves deliberately, self-assured as he places himself between his buddies and me.
“It’s what heroes do to us,” Nitro argues. “Torture us, experiment on us. Kill us. They have Deacon. Why the hell should we care what happens to one little hero-worshipper?”
Is he serious? Heroes aren’t the ones with a history of torture and murder. He should take a closer look in the mirror.
“Let me talk to her, see what she knows,” Draven says. “You guys look for clues about the secret level before the cavalry arrives.”
Nitro’s sneer turns cocky. “Thanks to you, the cavalry’s not coming. You made the guards believe they’re on vacation.”
“Someone’s going to hear the alarms eventually,” Dante says.
“This place is wired into the SHPD precinct. Once they figure out there’s a problem, they’ll be here in less than ten minutes.”
How does he know that? How does he know any of that?
How did they even get in here? And, for that matter, how did they even know this place existed?
The Elite Superhero Lab is a top secret facility.
Our existence isn’t known to most heroes, let alone villains.
And our police protocols aren’t exactly common knowledge. So how can these guys have so much inside information?
This is much bigger than just a simple break-in.
As the three of them argue about the best course of action, I inch toward the nearest lab table. They’re so absorbed in their discussion that they don’t even notice me scooting that way.
Finally. A weapon. I grab the fire extinguisher with both hands, pull the pin, and leap into the aisle, brandishing it in front of me.
Dante yells in alarm, but it’s too late. I depress the lever and watch as it shoots white goo all over Nitro and his energy ball.
One problem solved, at least for now.
For a second, no one moves. Then Draven turns to stare at me, his eyes wide and incredulous.
Nitro takes a little longer to recover—probably because he has to take time to spit potassium bicarbonate out of his mouth. Then he lets out a roar that shakes everything that’s not nailed down and fires a small and lethal-looking fireball straight at me.
“No! Don’t!” Draven yells, diving in front of me and knocking me to the ground again. Only this time I feel him tense against me as the fireball rips along his back, setting his black T-shirt on fire and burning the skin beneath it.
To his credit, he doesn’t make a sound. But his eyes clench shut and it’s clear he’s in a lot of pain.
Since Draven’s in no position to argue, I wiggle my way out from under him and give him a good blast with the fire extinguisher as well.
The fire dies out immediately, but blisters are already rising on his back and arm.
Guilt tears through me. I try to tell myself that it’s all his fault.
He’s a villain, after all. But I know the truth. Draven might be ill-equipped to play hero, but he did his best to save me.
The thought boggles my mind—a villain trying to save anyone but himself?— though I have no time to worry about it. Not with Nitro and Dante screaming at each other like crazy people.
“Shit!” Dante yells. “Now you’re setting Draven on fire?”
“I’m sorry! I can barely see. She got that crap all over me.”
Nitro lets out another yell, and a second fireball comes whizzing past us. “Shite, watch out!”
“Get down!” Draven snaps, uses his uninjured arm to tug me back to the floor.
But I’m done hiding.
“Hey, dragon breath!” I shout as I shake off Draven’s grip. Leaping to my feet, I shoot another blast of potassium bicarbonate straight at Nitro’s face.
This time I keep my finger on the lever, covering his eyes, nose, and mouth with the nasty stuff. Then, while he’s trying to wipe it away, I chuck the fire extinguisher at his head as hard as I can.
I’ve got great aim—it’s the closest thing I can claim to a superpower—and I hit him square in the forehead with the butt of the red canister.
He stumbles for a second, banging into lab tables, then lands flat on his face.
If he weren’t a villain, he’d be out cold. Even so, I can practically see the little birdies circling his head.
Dante’s laughing his ass off at this point, which is totally not what I’d expect from a guy like him. Plus there’s something that looks an awful lot like respect in his eyes as he looks back and forth between Nitro and me.
The same can’t be said of Draven, who’s back on his feet despite his injury.
“Do you ever listen?” he demands.
“Only if a person actually has something useful to say.”
Draven shakes his head but doesn’t reply as he crouches next to Nitro.
I get my first good look at his back and I wince. Whatever Nitro fired at him must have burned like hell.
His skin is a mess.
I’m still stunned that he intercepted the fireball that was meant for me. No one’s ever done anything like that for me before.
I’m grateful, even if it’s just part of some weird villain plot to get me to trust him.
As if that’s even a possibility.
Draven wipes the potassium bicarbonate off Nitro’s face, then slaps at his cheeks. Nitro’s out cold; Draven’s distracted; and Dante’s laughing too hard to put up much of a fight.
I make a beeline for the phone. One call, and every hero in the vicinity will descend on the lab in a flash.
For once, I can save the day.
Dante plants himself in my path. “Don’t get any ideas.”
I pretend not to know what he’s talking about as I change course and circle the table to stand next to Draven, as if that was my intention all along.
“You need a doctor,” I say, crouching to get a better look at Draven’s back.
Not that I would normally care about a villain one way or another, but he did save my life tonight. Twice.
“Do you have a death wish?” Draven demands, his intense gaze seeming to look right through me. “When he wakes up, he’s not going to be in control.”
I blink, breaking the connection between us. Gorgeous or not, protector or not, I have to remember that those bright, arctic blue eyes belong to a villain.
“Like he was before?” I ask with a snort.
“She’s got you there,” Dante says, but he isn’t paying much attention to us.
Instead, he’s examining the watch in his hand.
If I didn’t know better, I’d think the sheen in his eyes was from tears, not the strobe lights of the lab’s alarm system.
I close my eyes, shake my head. Who are these guys? They seem more helpless than heartless, more Three Stooges than criminal masterminds.
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Villains hurt me.
They aren’t supposed to protect ordinaries. They aren’t supposed to care about me. They aren’t supposed to care about anything but themselves. Where are the bad-to-the-bone, hell-bent-on-destruction anarchists the League is always talking about?
Nitro finally stirs and groans, but before anyone can say anything, the alarm cuts off abruptly.
A loud, digital voice blasts through the intercom above us. “This is the Superhero Police Department. An alarm is going off in your laboratory and we have been unable to reach security. Is there a problem?”
For a second, all of us freeze. Then Draven turns to me with wide, warning eyes. “Don’t you dare—”
I don’t give myself a chance to think. These guys are villains, and I can’t—I won’t—have any sympathy for them.
“Yes!” I scream. “Send help! There are villains in the lab!”
“Damn it!” Dante lunges for me. “Shut up.
But it’s too late. The computerized voice says, “The police have been dispatched. Help is on its way.”
“Damn it!” Dante yells again. He bends down and pulls a still-groggy Nitro to his feet. “We have to go.”
“Get him out of here!” Draven tells him. “I’ll deal with her.”
“We should take her with us. Use her as leverage to get Deacon back.”
A shiver of terror runs down my spine. Heroes don’t negotiate with villains. I can’t let them kidnap me, can’t let them—
“No.” Draven’s voice, clear and calm and cold, cuts through my panic. “That would make us no better than them. We don’t do that.”
“Maybe we should start. The heroes—”
“We don’t have time for this,” Draven says. “Take Nitro and get the hell out of here. I’ll make sure she can’t say anything about us.”
Dante looks like he wants to argue, but time is ticking away and he knows it.
With one last angry scowl at me, one I return with more than a little fury of my own, he throws Nitro over his shoulder in a fireman’s carry and makes a run for the exit
The door bangs shut behind him, and I brace myself for the worst. This is it. This is the moment when Draven proves he’s a true villain.
But all he does is look straight into my eyes and say, “I’m sorry.”
At first I think he’s talking about the break-in, the mess, Nitro’s attempted murder of me.
All things he should apologize for. But his eyes have gone as cold and empty as the shards of glass that litter the floor. And I know.
He’s about to wipe every trace of him and his friends from my memory.
Well, he can try.
I don’t fight him. Instead, I ask the question that’s been burning inside me. “You’re a villain. Why stop Nitro from hurting me? Why not let Dante kidnap me?”
Long seconds tick away as silence stretches between us, taut as a circus high wire. But I want to know the answers. I want to know what would make a villain risk himself to save me. I can’t remember anyone outside of family ever putting me first. I can’t believe it was a villain who did.
I’ve decided he’s not going to reply when he finally whispers, “Can’t a bad guy do a good thing?”
I pause for a moment. “I’ve never seen it happen.”
“Yeah.” He looks away and swallows. “Me neither.”
When he turns back to me, his eyes glow laser bright and I know this is it, the moment when he’s going to try to make me forget everything that’s happened. Nitro. Dante. The lab explosion. Him.
For a moment, just a moment, I think about asking him not to. But I know how futile that would be, and how stupid. “Villain” and “criminal” are pretty much synonymous.
He can’t leave a witness who can identify him and his buddies. And I can’t reveal my greatest secret, not when it’s the only protection I have. So I keep my eyes open and let him do his thing.
He takes both of my hands in one of his, and I let him. Force myself to do nothing as he pulls out a bandana—black, of course—and wraps it around my clasped hands before winding it around the faucet on the nearest lab table. He does this twice, pulling it as tightly as he can before tying it off.
“I’m sorry,” he says again. “Someone will find you soon.” I manage a blank stare.
“You went to the vending machine to get your chocolate. You heard an explosion. When you came back, a masked burglar was in the lab. He tied you up, then ran.”
He steps back, places my long-forgotten chocolate bar on the table, and then walks out without a backward glance as the alarm, sirens and all, starts back up again.
He’s got every confidence that I won’t remember a thing about tonight.
About him and his friends and what they were looking for.
But that’s not how it works. Not with me. As I watch him turn the corner, it’s not remembering him that I’m worried about.
It’s forgetting him.
Am gonna explain the novel now
The 3 guys that came into the lab are villains
Dante, nitro and draven
They are looking for their brother decoan who was kidnapped by the hero’s and managed to stummble into Kenna
Nitro as the name implies has fire ability that’s why he’s shotting fire balls and he has high temper
Dante has a fawhawk hair that means his hair is up in the middle thats why kenna calls him that and draven is the person that she first met and now his special ability is to wipe memory and he wants to wipe her memory so she won’t recao their faces but it didn’t work on her
We re gonna find out y very soon
Any more questions