A short story
The superheroes’ and villains' real names have been concealed for security purposes.
Once I was rushed into the old parking garage, I disappeared behind the cement columns. A burst of pale green light filled my eyes as I transformed.
“Reverser, what’s the alert?” I said into my earpiece.
“47th and Blossom. A girl has been seen alone in an alleyway. It looks like a gang member is trying to-,” He says into my earpiece.
“Got it, on my way,” I reply.
Climbing the stairs to the familiar rooftop, my adrenaline burst with each jump and each rooftop landing beneath my feet. I grabbed two of my knives and stabbed one into the wall, then the next knife. One by one I climbed up a building, landing with a thud. All my senses were alert while I roam on top of building nearby the abandoned alleyway.
A girl whimpered with every step the towering man took near her. He grinned at her while he grabbed her by her hair. She let out a shrill shriek and bit the man on his arm. He roared and slapped her. Hard.
I winced at the hard slap and allocated a hidden way in. As I crept near the dark alley, I kicked a small rock near his foot. It got his attention and I sprang into action.
As I connected to my powers, my eyes glowed green and the man cursed. He must have heard about me.
He whispers, ”Please, please, I didn’t do anything to her. I- I didn’t- Please Terra! Ple-”
His pleas were cut short. I chained him down on the ground with a small flick of my wrist. Vines snaked around his plump torso and wrapped around his mouth, silencing his screams for mercy.
An hour later I sat in pajamas with my hair wrapped in a towel, rubbing water on my knives. The girl was safe at home with no memory of the attack, courtesy of my ally, Reverser. Reverser was his alter ego and he has the ability to mess with people’s mind. He prefers “manipulate the hypothalamus”. Ever since he almost killed someone in an attack a year ago, he hasn’t used his powers to harm. My mind thought about what life would be without my powers. This conversation with my head has been a constant struggle and relief. I finished cleaning my weapons and set them in the headquarter armory.
“Hey Terra,” Reverser say as he walks in. “We got another alert and it’s serious this time,” concern clear on his face as he speaks.
“And assault isn’t serious?” I joke. The frown on his face blurs my smile. “What happened?” I ask.
“There’s another earth element. She’s a- Well she’s a villain.” He blurts. My eyebrows knitted in confusion.
“That’s not possible,” I say, “I am the only one.”
“Not really,” he says while showing me a picture on his tablet. A girl stands next to a wrecked bus stop with vines and rocks crushing the entire structure. She smirks in the image, as if she wants to be seen. To be caught. “She committed two murders and one serious injury so far,” He continues. “Ace explained to me that each elemental power has an opposite. While we don’t know where the other elementals are, we know where your oppopsite is. It’s her,” Reverser explains as he goes through the history of the elementals. We are superheroes who are not born with our powers like Reverser. We are blessed with our powers. Every ten generations, the world sees another team of good elementals, usually known as elementals, and bad elementals, usually known as Anti’s. The problem is, we don’t know where the other good elementals are. If this girl finds the other Anti’s...
“It doesn’t matter. We will find her and lock her up. This isn’t any different from any of the other villains,” I state confident.
“But Terra, she has powers. She has your powers,” he says, looking towards me for any sort of reaction. I don’t dare give him one.
“Track her based on her frequency. Supers vibrate-” I say only to be cut off by him.
“At a different frequency I know. I’m on it,” He walks out of the room, pausing at the door to look at me and say, “I know you’re scared.” He walks out of the room, not waiting for a reply.
I don’t have one. I am scared.
I walk out of the room, leaving Terra to think about her decision to not form a plan. As I watch the news in the central quad of headquarters, I see the murder news again. Terra would never try, but I am fairly sure the intensity of her power can subdue and knock out an opponent. Not kill. Not like her. They are calling her Kataki. By they, I mean every major news network in the northern half of New York City.
“Reverser, hello?” a voice asks. I realize I have been blanking for the last thirty seconds. “Wow, that is the first time you have ever blanked,” the tall figure says.
“Hey Ace, what so you need?” I say to Terra and my mentor. Ace has been the father figure in our lives ever since we got powers.
“You and Terra. Training room in five,” he says while munching on his bag of Lay’s Chips. “Ooh are those Oreos? You know, if you eat them I’m gonna push you extra hard to burn the calories.” he says, pointing to the blue packet next to my hand.
“Have at it,” I say, tossing them to him. He walks out of the room and towards the training room, eyeing the oreos like a million dollars. He may not look like much but with a sword, the man is a god.
He was a soldier in the military only to be struck with debri from a falling satellite. The satellite company made him rich in exchange for his secrecy on their satellite safety failure, hence he made The Superhero Headquarters.
I tell Terra and meet both her and Ace in the training room. He stands with two bo staffs and I already know and dread today’s training exercise.
“Today you are going to be sparring without your powers and with your bo staffs.” Ace announces from the far side of the room. He hands us both a staff and Terra twirls her’s with ease. I find my balance point and get into position. “Ready. Spar” Ace yells.
Terra lashes out at me with her bo immediately, but I am ready for her. I dodge her attack and flips her staff up and knock it out of her hands. Ace looks at me with a pleased expression. It’s more of a frown but that’s as good as I can get. She flips and grabs her staff. I strike at her only to be knocked over by a kick. She gets ready to strike again but I roll out of the way. She strikes her staff and it lands an inch away from my face. I breathe a sigh of relief and flip up so I am standing.
“Focus,” I murmur to myself. I prepare myself to run at her. And I go. I run at her, flip my staff which knocks her to the ground and her staff out of her hand. Suddenly, I am on top of her with my staff against her neck.
She smiles and our eyes connect. My grip slightly falters and she kicks me. Suddenly she is on top of me with her staff at my neck. I breathe intermittently as she grins and gets off of me.
“Dang Terra,” Ace exclaims. “I didn’t even see your foot,” he continues to praise her as I walk to the edge of the room for some water. Terra jumps off the bench she is at and runs to my side.
“What happened? You were about to win and I know you saw my foot,” she says looking confused. It’s true that I’m better with a staff than her but, damn, her smile draws me away from this miserable world and to a place of pure joy.
“Nothing, got distracted,” I say, making sure she is oblivious to my admiration. “Hey, I have to run to the quad to see how the tracking is going.” I state as her face goes hard at the sound of her evil twin.
“Yeah, I want her found by tomorrow morning. I’m gonna go get dinner from the market and I’ll get you something.” She says. She is out of the door before I can respond.
I walk over to the quad and my eyes go wide at the red blinking light at the satellite screen. It’s her. Kataki. She is at the marketplace. The same market where Terra is going.
I walk into the bustling marketplace with the familiar smell of fried snacks and the yelling of prices and sales. The “New York Pizza” has been replicated so many times, it should be a category of its own.
My eyes catch a green blur of motion in the distance and my walking turns to jogging. I hear screams and I am sprinting through the streets. “It can’t be her,” I murmur to myself. If she was so close by, Reverser would’ve tracked her by now.
I come into the clearing where I saw the light and I am greeted by bodies. 3 bodies lying on the floor with a knife stuck in each one of them. On the floor someone has written “I’m waiting Terra.” The girl. The one with my powers. Onlookers gasp at the sight and call the police on there phones. Some run away. I stare. I stare until the message is burned in my mind. Until I can’t unsee it and I can use it. To catch her. To catch Kataki.
“Reverser! She was in the marketplace. She killed three people. Where is she? How did she do this under the radar?” I question into my earpiece.
“I know. I just saw her location. I don’t know how she is blocking the signal. It’s like she is blocking her frequency. Terra, listen to me, come to HQ and we can make a plan. Don’t go after her alone.” Reverser replies into my ear.
“Too late now. I’ll be back in the morning.” I say into my mic as I jump from the top of the nearest building to the next, flashing green as I transform. Following only my instinct.
Two hours pass and I find nothing until a man walks by. He stares at the bodies and doesn’t even blink. He looks both ways and begins to drag the bodies into the car. The bodies that were my evidence.
“Hey, you” I yell, “Stop touching those.” He drops them and runs. He knows something. I chase after him and corner him in an alleyway. “What are you doing with those. Where is Kataki?” I yell. All of my frustration with this villian pours out when I punch him after no response. Punch after punch, blood pours out of his nose and onto my gloves.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t. She paid me to take away the bodies. I meant no harm,” he pleads after I threaten him with my knives.
“Where is she?” I ask.
“I met her in the bar, north of 67th street.” He says, sinking to his knees as soon as I let go of his shirt.
Before he can open his eyes, I’m gone.
“Screw you Terra,” I yell in anger as she cuts the phone on me. She even cut navigational services. As I walk through the hallways of headquarters I think of ways she can get herself killed. It’s funny to think how vulnerable she is out of the training room.
“Where is she?” Ace says, sitting tensely near the quad.
“I have no idea,” I reply.
Hours go by with no response from her. I give up and scour the city once, only to come back empty handed. I have no way of finding her. Ace retires to bed at his displeasure and my convincing. I sit at the quad with my file on Kataki. I think of how I failed to track her. How did she block the satellite's signal. It should find all supers.
An idea occurs to me. I can’t find Terra, unless I track her. With the Kataki tracker. I load the program onto the system again and run it. While it loads, I look through the file again. My stomach grumbles because of the lack of consumption I’ve been doing, but I have my priorities.
I scour the city once more. Terra I hope you’re safe.
My feet land hard on the bar roof. The thump of the music’s bass beat leaks outside the guarded doors. I open the trap door and fall the second floor beneath it. Inside, I take of my mask and knives, stashing them inside my dress pocket. People watch me descend down the stairs to the main floor and bar.
Drinks fall from the floor in a careless manner. Girls scream as certain songs come on and jump on the lit up dance floor. So much to look forward to, isn’t it?
As I sit down at the bar and watch people dance and yell, I am reminded of how much I have disappointed Reverser. He deserves a better partner than me, who deserts him every day to go fight crime. I could use his abilities to identify Kataki now.
A flash of green glows from upstairs. It blends in with the colors of the bar except for it’s pale white hue. The color of a Super transformation.
I run up the stairs again, attracting more attention then I am comfortable with. I follow the brunette who emerges from the light all the way to the end of the hallway. She opens the door near the sidewall and disappears inside. I follow her, taking out two of my knives. Darkness envelops the room as I follow her deeper.
I feel a kick at my side and my hands being bound together. The lights flicker on. She stands in front of me with her arms on her hips. She is taller than I thought. Standing at about 5’8 with dark brown hair which falls to her hips. The feature that sets me off is her eyes. Her eyes are a piercing green color. Like a dark forest.
“So you’re Terra?” She says, “You’re not that scary without your knives.” She dangles my knives at an arm length distance. I grunt and call upon my powers.
“You are going to pay for those deaths” I spit at her, my magic slowing unbinding my hands.
“I don’t think so,” she says confidently. Her hands rise with hundreds of little dust particles forming in the air. My power frees my just in time to wash them all away. She kicks at me and I vine her feet together. She breaks the bonds and forms air circulating all around me. I lose my footing and fall to the ground. She takes a moment to use my knives and pin me. I form rocks around her feet but it’s too late. Her foot collides with my cheek. My vision blurs as I see a knife sticking out of my calf.I scream in agony. As I black out, I see Reverser punching Kataki and making her lose consciousness.
Then it is dark.
The program loaded just in time for me to find Terra and Kataki at a bar. Ten minutes later, I am carrying an unconscious and heavily injured Terra up the stairs to the med room in HQ.
“What the hell happened to her?” Ace asks as I laid her down on the operating table.
“I found her and Kataki fighting in a bar. She took away Terra’s knives and almost killed her. To be honest, I was close to killing Kataki for what she did. What she almost did.
“Hey boy, look over here, at the screens,” Ace says, once again ignoring my name. “It’s Kataki. She’s on the news,” he says. I look up this time.
“...Terra and her ally will show up in exactly two hours. I think they know what the consequences will be,” Kataki says. Her hands gesture towards the civilians sitting behind her, whimpering. A picture of the local bank insides and the screens go black.
We continue to wrap and try to heal Terra. She started to stir in about half an hour. Immediately, she shot up and cringed at the pain from her leg.
“Terra, lay your butt back on that table,” Ace yells from the couch. She grudgingly conceded.
While she had been passed out, we had been coming up with an entrance plan. The entire area of the bank is on top of a system of sewers. We could empty the hostages through there and distract her, if the sewers weren’t overflowing. If only there was presumed to be alone.
“I don’t think Terra will like this,” Ace mutters as he draws her entrance.
“Well she will be dead if we don’t go on with this plan,” I say.
“A’ight then,” Ace agree and silently, Ace and I come up with a plan.
Reverser and I make our way to the bank. I limp alongside him as every 10 seconds he asks me if I am alright.
“Focus on the mission,” Is my response every time.
As we walk near the brush of greenery in the nearby park, Reverser informs me of the plan. He leaves me to goes the other direction, towards the back end of the bank, to complete his side of the mission. Before he crosses the street, he turns.
“Hey, good luck. Don’t be stupid.” He says, concern flashing in his eyes.
“I won’t. I promise.” I reply. The promise being something deeper between the two of us. A feeling lingers in me as I walk away.
The entrance to the bank nears. My eyes prowl the surrounding area. Other than police cars and concerned family members, the cement parking lot is clear. I emerge into the clearing, ready for a battle. The police swarm me, asking about my plan. I tell them to stay away from the building and be ready to get the hostages to safety once they appear. I open my knives and into the bank I go.
I didn’t realize I had been holding my breath until I am in the middle of the building. The video had been shot one floor down. I make my way down the stairs, pausing when Kataki’s iconic green suit comes into view.
“Terra, so glad your could make it,” Kataki exclaims, the sarcasm leaking out of her voice. “Now,” she continues, “If you could be a dear and put on the chains.” She gestures toward the chains lying on the floor. “All your weapons in the box,” she says, smiling.
I walk towards the box and drop all of my weapons. Once I hear the clang of my knives hit the box, my head snaps up. Reverser was supposed to break in.
Kataki must see the concern on my face. Hey head whips around the room, she must expect a fight too.
“Where is your partner?” Kataki demands, “I will follow up on my promise. She grins as she points at the innocent civilians cowering behind her.
“ I- I don’t know where he is,” my voice cracks. My confidence drains into the chains snapping onto my wrists. He was supposed to be here. He promised. Now I’m going to die.
“Oh, did he leave you. No offense, I always thought he was above you.” She says with a malicious grin. “I mean, you always wind up in trouble and he always winds up with clean up duty. No wonder he left. I’ve heard there is plenty of crime up north,” She mocks me as I begin to seek lies in her words. I come back empty handed. He has always helped me. I sag onto my knees with the realizations pecking at my skull.
I stare into the cold eyes of my captor as she picks up her knives. Suddenly there is a burst of shrapnel from behind me.
As I walk away from the park, my soul aches at the risk I’m putting Terra in. She is counting on me.
I run behind the bank once I hear Terra’s signal. I should be inside fighting with her. Instead I trick her, and hopefully, Kataki. I make my way up the stairs to the upstairs entrance. I stop in my tracks when a blue haired boy spots me. Kataki found another Anti.
The air circles around his hands as he touches into his powers. His eyes glow like Terra’s but instead of a pale green it turns a sickly yellow. A spear settles into his hand. My bo staff suddenly feels like a toothpick.
I muster the courage and crawl near the door, staying near the wall. Five more steps until the door. Three more steps.
I was hindering close when the Anti turns around. His sneer grows as I arm myself with my bow. “Why hello there, I’m Cyclone. It’s great to finally meet you.” He says with a bow. His voice hints towards English descent.
“Sorry, can’t stay very long,”I say launching into attack. He catches fist after fist.
“No wonder Terra always beats you,” he says, “Ace speaks highly of her.” I pause. Ace. He was a mole. He knew this plan would fail and he was the one who sabotaged the tracker. He was the reason Terra was ambushed.
Rage floods through me. My powers burn in my core as I rip into Cyclone’s mind. The familiar, usually unwanted, lust of my power courses through me. Cyclone screams as I push feelings of torture through his mind. Within ten seconds he lay on the floor, conciousless.
I did it. I used my powers. Now that they were free, they weren’t hiding again. Ten minutes off schedhule, I burst through the bank. I saw Terra on her knees in chains. She looked up at me in disbelief and then anger.
That jerk. He arrives blowing all form of suprise he ever had. He jumps down from the top floor and spins his bo.
“You should have ran when you could,” Kataki hisses at him.
“Then I would have never gotten the oppurtunity to blow up part of the bank. Or kick your sorry ass.”
“Don’t be so sure. Just remember what happens to the civilians when you step one more foot. If not for them, at least for this train wreck you left behind.” She points at me. Reverser’s eyes flash with fear which he covers with humor.
“Train wreck? I only see one right in front of me,” He says with a smirk. His hands glow with red wisps as he twists into Kataki’s mind. He is using his powers.
Kataki screams in anguish. She lashes out with her vines and drops the key to the chains in ignorance. I dive for them and unlock myself as fast as I can.
Meanwhile, Reverser writhers in pain as vines snake around his body. His hold on Kataki weakens with his uneven breathing. I push onto my feet and concentrate on getting the vines off. Slowly, they loosen their hold and he is free. Kataki faces me. Her insults swarm around me as I summon the earth power. Boulders rise from the ground. They bend around Kataki forming a cage. Water and air swarm like bees around the Her yells echo through them. The boulders seal and I collapse on the ground.
Author Notes: There is no ending so far. I will try to find one:)