“So I hear you’re interested in retirement.”

Hercules watched the young super villainess as she crossed the abandoned factory floor, without touching the ground. She was a work of art, or at least her power armor was. None of that cobbled together crap, that lesser scientist made due with. No, this had been manufactured to perfection. It wasn’t black, black was a color, this was light absorption. Making it painful to look directly at, because you couldn’t see it, you could see were it was suppose to be. It looked flat, it would look flat from any direction. When it came to scientists Prysim was in a class of her own.

“Yes m’am, you are correct.”

“How were you planing on doing it?”

“Fake my death, non extradition country, private island.”

“You really think that would work?”

“I’m a thug m’am, not many people would even care all that much. Certainly not enough to confirm that I’m really dead.”

“You really have it lucky then. My only real option for retirement is Mag Mel.”

“I can’t speak to that m’am.”

“Polite one aren’t you?”

“To you m’am? Naturally.”

“Here’s my deal Hercules. One last job for me, shouldn’t take more than a year, two max. Then you retire, I’ll fake your death, give you a new name, your island, clean money. All on one condition.”


“Absolute confidentiality.”

“You have a deal m’am, I’m yours.”

“Good, now lets get out of this factory, it’s creepy.”

Hercules almost couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Prysim was removing her power armor in front of him. She didn’t look like much without it, kind of skinny if fit. Pale, not ethnically so, the kind of pale one got from spending too much time in doors under florescent lights. She had long dark hair that was kept under control by being bound into a tight braid. She was about as young as the community thought she was, but it was still disconcerting to see. She was also naked under the armor since it truly was skin tight. He would have looked away but the room had been designed for putting on and taking off armor, so the walls were mirrored.

“You look uncomfortable.”

“If I was a father I would be very unhappy about my daughter being naked in a room with someone like me.”

“Now that’s an interesting concept Hercules. Who is someone like you?”

“A villain, a criminal, a thug for the highest bidder, small time. Heroes are happy to see me because it means nothing bigger is going on.”

“Funny, that’s not what your file says.”

“It doesn’t?”

“No, sure you commit crimes, but you are also considered one of the best brawlers around. The reason you always loose your fights is because people of similar strength to you, aren’t allowed to fight you anymore. You’ve beaten people who should theoretically be able to no sell anything you can throw at them. Yet the heroes are still happy to see you, do you know why?”

“Not really m’am.”

“Because you’re a decent person, when on a job you don’t hurt civilians, you never take hostages, you fight fairly, you uphold your agreements. You could walk away from the life and not a single hero would come looking for you.”

“Are you saying I don’t need to work with you?”

“The heroes won’t bother you, the government would certainly come knocking. Besides we made an agreement. I could take a nap on the floor right here, naked as the day I was born, and you wouldn’t lay a hand on me, unless it was to put your coat over me. Am I wrong?”

“No m’am.”

“Good, because that’s why I hired you.”

“To watch over you when you sleep?”

“I’m going to make you tuck me in first.”

“You are an odd one m’am.”

“I’m insane, and don’t you forget it.”

“I won’t m’am.”

“Good, now do you know what a main line is, or how to insert an I.V.?”

Jessica was hating school all over again. It fucking sucked, the people sucked, the teachers sucked, the damn building sucked. One good earthquake would flatten the place, the administration had ignored her warnings about that, idiots. She had almost been enjoying it again with Alecia, before she disappeared a month ago. Sure she was supposedly in hiding incase a psychotic super villain came for her. But nothing had happened, well nothing after The mare, and that was more an attack of opportunity than anything. Hell no one was even considering bothering Keanan now that he had Fey’s explicit protection. Of course Fey had been missing ever since the horse thing. Finding out Keanan was an elemental threw everyone for a loop, there were only two elemental ultra class threats, and neither of them seemed likely to be Keanan’s mother. The kid was still a complete mystery, but he was so innocent that no one suspected him of being duplicitous.

Alecia had called, left a voice mail. As far as Jessica could tell she hadn’t called anyone else. It was short and cryptic, just that she was back on the planet for a short time and was fine. She was just picking up allies for a project. It was a bit of a worrying thought that when she should be hiding she was instead working on something big. Keanan had been happy to hear that, she had apparently left something of an impression in the ten minutes they had known each other. She couldn’t wait for that bell to ring, it was PE so she had study hall. Ares had called the day before asking for a favor. She liked Ares, she still wouldn’t let a guy touch her, but at least with Ares she would’t break into cold sweats. Probably because he was Alecia’s father, and he seemed so very sane. That was odd, about the whole family really, most people with that much power were insane. Sometimes just a little bit, sometime a lot, but Ares and Uriel were two of the most well adjusted people she had ever met. Alecia had too much fun with her pranks, but was also otherwise sane. Three people from the same family? That was statistically highly unlikely.

0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33


    1. Wrestling term. When a wrestler does a move, and the opponent doesn’t react, at all. That’s no selling. It’s a way of saying “Wow, that guys tough”

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