It had rained here earlier, wherever “here” was. JB could smell it in the air when the car door opened. He unfolded his cane and stepped out, and sure enough, he stepped in a puddle. Water splashed onto the bottom of his expensive new pants and dampened his socks. He was probably going to make squelching sounds when he walked now.
“Here,” Eddy grunted, taking his arm. Others were getting out of the car, too, their splashing footsteps all around. Eddy guided him up a step onto a sidewalk, and they started walking.
“Do you, uh, know who we’re taking you to?” Eddy asked in a low voice.
“Blueblood,” JB answered. He’d known for days.
“And you know about him?”
JB shrugged. “He’s a supervillain. Can kill people by touching them. And he’s actually blue or something.”
“I’m talking about the important stuff.”
“The fact that he can kill me just by touching me isn’t important?” Continue reading
Dave didn’t get it. Had the Illusionist decided to help Lightblade after all? Or had she been in on it from the start? Figure it out later, he told himself. Lightblade had only been a few yards ahead of him. Dave moved cautiously forward, hands extended like he was trying to find Death.
“How could you?”
The Illusionist’s voice came from somewhere ahead and to the right. If Dave moved fast, he might be able to reach her.
“Yuna…” That was Lightblade’s voice, and he sounded uncomfortable.
Oh. Oh. Dave stopped. The Illusionist hadn’t cast this blackness to trap Dave; she’d cast it to trap Lightblade.
“What have you done?” she demanded. “Carl is dead, Mitch. So is that reporter. And you’re behind it?”
“That’s not… I didn’t want that to happen.”
“Then what did you want?” Her voice was getting closer to Lightblade’s. “What was worth betraying everything you ever taught me?” Continue reading
Dave barreled down the stairs. Lightblade’s footsteps pounded ahead of him, but the man himself was just out of view. Dave had to catch him soon, before he got outside and into a car and vanished like Death. There. He caught a glimpse of the man’s gaudy uniform on the next flight down. Dave pushed himself to go faster. He was younger, stronger. There was no reason he couldn’t catch him.
The stairwell vanished, replaced by something…well, Dave had never done drugs, but he imagined this was what an acid trip looked like. The sky above was a pulsing swirl of neon colors, and he stood in a hilly grove of twelve-foot tall mushrooms. Everything was hazy and swayed in a way that was going to make him nauseous.
He tripped, missing the next step because he couldn’t see it. When he finished falling and hit the wall hidden by the illusion, he found himself lying in a field of flowers with cartoon smiley faces in their centers. Dave focused on the feeling of the hard floor under his hand, even though it looked like he was lying on green grass.
“What do you think you’re doing?”
The Illusionist must have been walking down the stairs in real life, but it looked as if she walked down a rainbow. The girl got an A plus for creativity.
“He’s getting away!” Dave got unsteadily to his feet.
“Leave him alone. What’s wrong with you? Are you brainwashed or something?” Continue reading
What a mess.
Val had really thought it was over. Now Agent Lee had gone back to trying to find Death by groping. One agent was wounded, and the other was holding onto his gun so tightly that his knuckles were white. And Dave was too busy covering the photographer with his big, manly body to do anything useful.
One of the reporters who’d been hiding under her desk made a dash for the stairs, and Val considered following her. Whatever plan they’d had was trashed, and this time, she didn’t want to hang around and wait for the building to blow up. But what if Death got away? The plan hadn’t been for Death to get away. And if he killed the photographer first, the DSA might not be able to find the evidence to take down the Kurodas.
That wasn’t acceptable. Val had to get involved.
Agent Lee’s back was to her, which made now the perfect time to act. Staying low to the floor, Val crept towards the stolen gun Death had dropped. With his eyes closed, hopefully he wouldn’t realize what she was about to do.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Continue reading