“That was impressive, unnecessarily brutal, showy, and a massive overestimation of the necessary firepower but impressive none the less,” Owl said. She was seated in a command chair in a room located through the first door Prysim entered after returning to the castle. The room was in exactly the same place as three other rooms she had been in; it was just a matter of time before her mapping software went on strike.

It was a super-villain style command chair, black leather, intimating and a lot less comfortable than it looked. It came with a wall of fourteen monitors, all displaying completely useless raw data. The only monitors that showed anything useful were the three in front of the chair.

“Your one to talk, besides it, was a test,” Prysim replied. “I can’t go into the main fight without testing my weapons.”

“Those weren’t weapons; that was the equivalent of using a warp drive to blow up a planet.”

“I have built in lasers; warp drives don’t come with lasers.”

“I’ve seen ones that do, and I’ll admit the lenses are weapon systems,” Owl acknowledged. “The rest of that rig, however, was a work of art, not a sword.”

“Can’t it be both?” Prysim asked, but continued before Owl could answer. “Isn’t art a pursuit for perfection, so isn’t something that does its job perfectly a work of art? What could be more beautiful than the singular pursuit of perfection?”

“Are you trying to get philosophical on me to deflect from the topic; because you’ve never taken a philosophy class in your life.”

“Answer the question.”

“Yes, a single-minded pursuit of perfection of a single thing can be considered art. A handgun is as much art as a painting, depending on your point of view. However, a beautiful handgun is not from my perspective since ornamentation detracts from its purpose. A work of art is something that is made to be beautiful, or not depending on the piece.”

“So the question is, why would you create a weapon with so many components that detract from that purpose? Unless it isn’t a weapon, those wings of yours are art. Why do you insist they are weapons?”

“Because super villains don’t make art,” Prysim said.

“Hitler was an artist.”

“Did you just compare me to Hitler?”

“We are currently on our way to wipe out an alien invasion fleet, which I think you might be responsible for,” Owl said. “But, you’re right that was a bad comparison, besides I crucified Hitler.”

“Kick-ass, is there a point to all this?” Prysim asked.

“Fuck if I know, I just get a kick out of asking questions based on vague philosophy and the occasional troll logic,” Owl said. “It helps with the whole crazy fairy thing, but you do have a habit of going over the top, and not self-analyzing.”

“You sound like my school counselor,” Prysim complained.

“I am your school counselor.”

“Mr. Harrison?”

Gaslight surveyed the city below her, a month ago she couldn’t even hover; now height wasn’t an issue. The lights below her glowed illuminating a city that never fully slept. Each building over five stories was topped by the triple colored lights indicating the top.

The brightest areas were where the clubs would be, and other forms of night activities. The areas with a slight reddish glow indicated slightly less wholesome entertainment, for a price.

The docks never slept, but were mostly automated and thus not well lit. She could only see the forms of the machinery as it moved in the dark. The financial district was devoid of life; the only lights in those skyscrapers were because of the janitors.

All of it was fed by a circulatory system of roads, the streetlights clearly mapping them out. The heavily trafficked streets were those connecting the red-light and nightlife districts to the residential ones.

She had once heard that when studying ants it was helpful treat a colony as a single organism. It was an interesting idea to her, looking down like this she had to wonder; could a city be treated in a similar manner?

Probably not, she told herself. There were a lot of logical reasons for that answer she could provide, but she was no expert on it. Hell, she would only be in seventh grade this year if she hadn’t spent so much of it in the hospital or taking over a neighborhood. At this rate, she was going to have to retake it.

When it came down to it her answer was no for the same reason people denied evolution; she didn’t like the implications. That was worrisome on its own for more reasons than one.

It was a un-informed opinion, something most kids her age had because they simply didn’t have enough experience. For them, that was ok, but not for her. Her opinions mattered, not so much right now just city-wide, but in a year or two they would matter internationally.

Policies would be made because of her opinions because a couple of months ago she couldn’t fly, and now she could. She had pushed herself too hard, broken herself and been forced to heal.

Someone else might have been crippled by what she had done, but not her apparently; it just made her stronger. She could feel every gust of wind that moved through her territory, feel every insect, and see herself.

She could see every scar, every blemish, everything that should not have been part of her but was. She couldn’t fix herself yet, she wasn’t that strong, yet; but she would be soon.

Gaslight knew she didn’t have the willpower to stop herself, and she would get it wrong. Soon she would have the power but not the skill.

“Alecia come back, I need to change my answer.” She said to the sky before turning.

Gaslight descended slowly turning as she did so to face the tower. Every light was on, every road leading to it. It was both the physical and metaphorical heart of the city. It was probably on purpose; heroes liked grand statements like that. Usually, they managed to be more subtle than the villains about it, usually.

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  1. Ok I’m back for real this time, and it’s good to be writing. RA will be on Monday, and lets see if I can finish them both without taking another break. Again sorry about that.

    1. Not yet, I don’t even know if they have all the runways open yet. It will be a while before anyone not qualified as hell can even be useful.

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