Alecia threw wide the front door to the Marsh residence. “I’M BACK BITC… oh” Alecia cut off taking in the scene before her.
Her mother and son were nowhere to be seen. Her father and Jessica, however, were seated across from each other at the kitchen table. Between them was a bottle of whiskey, a very old bottle. They each had a glass.
Her father had once told her that there were only three times he would drink. Before a heading into a battle, he would have half a glass of wine when it was over he would finish it. At a retirement party, which he had confided in her was usually the cheap stuff, heroes could drink like no one else. Finally when something bad happened, he would bring out this bottle.
“Oh, Jessica.” Alecia ran forward and embraced her, Jessica returned the embrace. “What happened?”
Jessica didn’t answer, and as the silence stretched on her father chose to answer. “Gaslight has been suspended for use of deadly force against a minor, pending an investigation. Due to the extreme nature of her powers she has also been added to the list of ultra dangerous individuals. Because of her addition to the list she is to be incarcerated for the duration of the investigation.”
“Fuck, who’d she kill?” Alecia asked looking at her father.
“We don’t know, no fingerprints in the system. Facial recognition is” he trailed off “not an option. We’re trying DNA next. Gaslight knows, but won’t say who it is.”
“How are you keeping her in a cell?”
“We aren’t, she is on a plane going near supersonic speeds. It will only be an effective method for the next eighty-seven days.” He stopped talking agin, looking at Jessica concerned. “After that other measures will have to be employed.”
He didn’t have to say more. If someone on the ultra list had been found to have killed a minor and not be extremely justified, it would be a death sentence. As far as she knew Gaslight wasn’t the kind of person to do something like that. So what had changed?
Also where were Keanan, and the other one? “Jessica what happened?”
Jessica spoke in a slow and halting voice. “I took out the magic users no problem, they had shields, punched right through them, went outside to help Gaslight. I couldn’t get to her, some a field of some kind, couldn’t see inside, couldn’t hear. Then is disappeared.”
Jessica stopped talking and looked up at Alicia. Her eyes were glistening on the verge of tears. “The boy was on the ground, run through with a sword. She stood over him with a machete and started cutting.” Jessica gave a loud sob, “she was laughing.”
“Shh,” Alecia tried to quiet Jessica, who was now clutching her shirt crying. It didn’t help much. She looked over at her father for help, but his face was impassive. Whatever she could handle this as she picked up Jessica and carried her up to her room.
It was several hours later, and well past midnight when Alecia came back down. Her father hadn’t moved from his seat, the two full glasses still in front of him. It didn’t feel right to think of him as her father right now, the look on his face was that of Ares.
She sat down across from him, the silence stretching into minutes until he took a drink. “You’re back, are you going to disappear again soon?”
“No, I’ll be around for a while this time.”
“Is she ok?”
“Cried herself to sleep. How bad is it?”
“It’s bad, none of the fight was recorded, just the aftermath and it wasn’t pretty. She isn’t talking, so we have no explanation.”
“To my knowledge there is only one person she hates enough to kill them.”
“Have you been reading our files again Alecia?” He tried to sound scolding, but his heart wasn’t into it. “Yeah, but that’s not what happened here.”
“I suppose it isn’t.” Alecia looked down at the glass in front of her filled with an amber liquid and took her a drink. “This stuff is horrible you know.”
He chuckled “It’s an acquired taste.”
“My teammates don’t let me drink anymore, so I’ve never had the chance to acquire it. Not that it matters anymore, ” she swirled the liquid in its glass. “Can’t get drunk, can’t get high, I can’t even enjoy the taste of food anymore.”
“Everything I ever wanted or not, that might be a lie. I don’t know. I grew up watching you and mom save the world. The two of you were too good for me, every battle I could possibly fight you two had already fought, and most of them you had won.”
“What did you do Alecia?”
“I fucked up, bad. I did something that should have been great and turned it to ashes in my mouth.” She looked up to see her father with a look of quiet horror on his face. “Oh relax, the consequences are to me personally, besides it comes with some great perks. That isn’t the problem; the problem is the escalation.”
He finished his glass,k but didn’t interrupt forcing her to continue talking.
“It’s never been this bad before, never this irreversible.” She took another sip and scowled in revulsion of the drink. “I made arrangements to deal with the invasion; we might even get some new allies out of it.”
“You’re changing the subject.”
“I made mistakes too, some of my greater ones have been more recent. It’s mostly a matter of scale, how much we can fuck up with a single misstep.”
“Oh I know, you let Prysim goad you too much, Jack was mishandled, even Jessica should have been recruited sooner than she was. Now we have Gaslight, depending on what happens she’s going to be a fuck up on a colossal scale. None of that is irreversible. So what did you do?”
“Does mom know?”
“Not yet, she is worse at reading people than you are.”
“What are you going to do?”
“What are you doing to do?”
“I don’t know yet, but it’s going to be epic.”