Reboot 5.4/1.4

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Five Years Ago

“And this,” Missile said, the steel doors swinging wide open at his approach. “This is my office. Impressive, don’t you think?” He looked down at her, smiling.

“Um…” The room was empty. No chairs to sit in, no table to put coffee on. Empty, and white, very white. Too white, it kind of hurt her eyes if she stared at it. It wasn’t the room’s fault though, her eyes were pretty sensitive.

“You’re not impressed, huh?”

Cameron didn’t say anything, he might get angry if she told him the truth and he might get angry if she lied and he could tell. Dad got angry if she lied and he could tell.

Missile strode into the room and waved his arms in a sweeping gesture. Holographic screens and people popped into existence as his arms moved past. The screens rotated so Missile could see all of them no matter where he stood in the room. Cameron didn’t recognize any of the people but she was new here. Some moved their hands and lips as if they were talking but no sound was coming out. Recordings? Video footage? The room was crowded by the time he let his arms drop. He turned his head to look at her. “Impressed now?”

It was pretty cool, Cameron had to admit. She nodded.

Satisfied, he gestured for her to come closer. She did, careful to step around a row of guns hovering in the air. He rested his hand on her shoulder. “Tell me, Cameron, what do you know about science? About technology?”

Cameron didn’t know how to answer. There were a lot of different ways to respond and she couldn’t tell which one he wanted to hear. “I learned some stuff at school,” she mumbled.

“I always found school to be a waste, moved far too slow for me,” Missile said, stroking his chin. “You’ll never learn what’s important there. You’ll never learn to love science. You’ll never learn to crave more knowledge, to want to learn, to understand the world we live in. Take superpowers, for example. We don’t know the precise mechanics involved in why some are granted powers and not others. That’s a mystery worth investigating, don’t you think?”

Oh, this was an easy one. She nodded enthusiastically.

“Right!” He grinned. “If a child understands, grown men and women have no excuse. But, alas, most governments have agreed to not delve too deep into the subject, afraid of any one country having an army of superhumans at their beck and call.”

“Did they actually not um, delve too deep?” Cameron asked uncertain. She’d look really dumb if that didn’t mean what she thought it meant.

“Now that is a good question. I have no evidence one way or the other but I think they’re still studying it, despite what they said. It is a very interesting subject, I haven’t been able to stay away from it either. There’s just so much potential there.”

Missile said something similar earlier, she remembered. “To make a perfect world?”

“Yes, exactly. I think I’ll like having you around, Cameron.”

She tried to smile at him. It wasn’t like she had a lot of options. Dad owed them money and the only way he had of paying them was through her, having her use her powers to help them. Like how she helped him sometimes, when he tricked people. Some kids delivered newspapers, she committed crimes.

That was just how life was. People had to do things they didn’t want to do if they wanted to survive. Dad said stuff like that all the time.

“Come on,” Missile said, giving her a gentle push toward the door. “I’ll show you where we’re doing research on teleportation then I’ll take you to the room you’ll be staying in. Can you imagine a world you never have to sit in a car again? Think of all the time we’ll save!”

Cameron saw it in the corner of her eye. It floated, almost indistinguishable from the area it occupied. Experience and better eyesight than most let her identify it immediately.

She turned the chair until she faced it head on. It made the wall a touch darker than it ought to be. A shadow, almost. “Dad?”

It didn’t answer. She knew it couldn’t speak but it could have nodded or something. Any acknowledgement would do. Its presence here at the Automatons’ lab made her nervous. Dad never checked up on her when he knew she was working. He would only risk angering the Automatons by snooping around their lab if he was in life-threatening danger. He had powers too but his weren’t as good as hers.

“Do you need me to come home?” she asked. “I was just doing some homework on the computer, I can go at anytime.”

Nothing. It remained eerily motionless.

“Are you here or is this your power doing its own thing again?”

Not even a twitch.

“Goddamn it, Dad. Do you always have to make things harder than they need – “

It disappeared, the space it was in returned to its regular color.

That… That couldn’t be good. She grabbed her coat off the back of the chair. She shoved the laptop she was using into her bag and ran out of the little office they let her borrow if nobody else needed it.

There were a whole lot of people who might want to hurt Dad. Enemies from when he stole and conned people out of their money. He didn’t need to do that anymore with the income she brought in from working for the Automatons. They were nice enough to offer after she worked off the debt Dad owed to them.

Off the top of her head, Cameron couldn’t think of anybody in particular who was motivated to track down Dad years after the fact. Or maybe someone just got lucky and thought there was no better time than the present to get their revenge.

As far as dads go, he sucked but he stuck by her and did the best he could after Mom left when she was a little kid.

She couldn’t go through that again. She couldn’t lose another parent.

Cameron took out her phone and called him. It rang and rang and rang but nobody picked up. She sent a text, in case he was busy and couldn’t answer. She got the feeling he wouldn’t reply.

The house was a mess, different than their usual mess. It looked like somebody tossed the place. “Dad!” she yelled as she walked into each room in search of him. No response.

No Dad.

She didn’t know what to do. If she knew who was after him she could try and hunt them down, ask the Automatons for help. They found her useful but they wouldn’t go out of their way to lend a hand unless she was willing to get into debt with them again. Cameron did another check of the house, searching for any clues they might have left behind. Praying her dad would give her a call or a text and yell at her for bothering him when he was out having a drink with his friends.

Blood. God, why didn’t she notice the blood sooner? There was faint traces of it on the carpet in the living room. Tiny red droplets. It was a lighter shade of red. A half-hearted attempt to clean the mess up?

Forget getting into debt. She needed the Automatons’ help and she didn’t care if they wanted to do the same painful shit they did back then. Who knew how much time Dad had if… if he was even alive at all?

Someone tapped her on the shoulder. She spun to face them, arm already swinging. Her fist went right through it, as easily as a hot knife through wet snow.

It was Dad’s ghost thing, his power. It was darker than it was before, seemingly made out of smoke like substance.

She exhaled, relieved. He was still alive, at least. “Dad – ” She stopped. It was moving, picking up a pen and loose sheet of paper off the ground. Its handwriting was atrocious but readable.

“The Automatons have me, I don’t have a lot of time left. I’m sorry,” Cameron read, quiet.

It nodded its head.

This didn’t make sense. Why would they do this to her dad? She hadn’t done anything to piss them off and neither did –

Or did he?

She remembered hearing Dad and Missile get into a screaming match from the other side of the door. Dad had wanted to talk to Missile privately for a moment on one of the rare occasions he came to pick her up. Her hearing wasn’t as good as her eyesight but she had heard the word ‘money’ thrown around a couple times.

It was in character for him to ask for more money. Spending too much was what got them involved with the Automatons in the first place. Maybe he threatened to get her to stop working for them.

They never did figure out how to make a working teleporter and she refused to let them do experiments on her after she earned enough money to make up for the money Dad borrowed plus interest. It was really smart if she thought about it. She just was on her way to beg them to help her, so desperate she would do anything to get her dad back.

They could have done this hoping she would come to them immediately and didn’t account for Dad sending her a message through his power before they had time to do whatever they were going to do to him. There was a very good chance they didn’t know he could use his power while unconscious, most couldn’t.

She kicked the nearest object – the coffee table – and sent it flying. Her foot stung from the impact. She hit it, again and again.

Why did he always have to fucking do this to her? What they had wasn’t so fucking bad, why couldn’t he leave it alone?

Goddamn it, Dad.

Fuck the Automatons, fuck them and their fucking perfect world. They were a bunch of deluded assholes if they thought they were going to make a perfect world.

How fucking perfect could a world be if people had to suffer to make it?

She stopped. There wasn’t much of a table left to kick. It was a piece of crap Dad found lying on the side of the road. Her sock felt wet.

The pulsing pain in her foot was nice in its own twisted way. Now her outsides matched her insides.

She gave the table one last, good kick.

It watched, silent, unmoving.

The gun.

She hopped to Dad’s room. Dad kept a gun in the house, for obvious reasons.

Those assholes probably thought they were so fucking smart. They thought they could play her like that?

She took the gun out of the wooden box he put it in and checked to see if it was loaded. It was, more than enough bullets to kill the man responsible. Enough to kill some of his friends too, the ones he got to help him.

She passed her dad’s power on her way out the door. It followed, hovering in the air behind her.

Cameron was going to assume that meant he approved.

She teleported the rest of the way there. No way could she walk fast enough on her injured foot.

The great thing about teleportation was there wasn’t anywhere she couldn’t go.

She teleported a huge chunk of the wall off the lab so she could see inside and teleport in. Drones were deployed but she teleported past them, tearing out sections of the roof to find more places to move to.

She went up. That was where Missile’s office was.

Anybody she saw on her way there, she shot, keeping in mind the number of bullets left. Cameron didn’t feel a thing. No, that wasn’t true. There was the anger, the rage, always simmering in the background. Always waiting to come out, to explode.

The office was empty. Missile, the coward, had to have escaped the second the drones were sent out. Pulling on a fucking jetpack and flying off.

She fell to the ground, the sharp pain in her back took away her strength to stand.

Drones. Right.

She turned and shot at the cubed shaped drone. It wobbled but didn’t fall. More of them were coming, flying as fast as they could toward the office.

Cameron teleported a piece of the wall on top of the drone. That made it fall.

Cold night air flowed into the room through the freshly made hole.

She left, disappearing before the other drones could attack.

Cameron winced as she landed on her injured foot outside the building. “Fuck,” she breathed.

It made her feel a little better.

Everything wasn’t good, far from it, but it was a little better.

What more could she hope for at this point?

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The Long Way Home – B

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Felix did end up getting more girls to entertain them. A good mixture of brunettes and blondes. They kept him up late which meant he was snoring like a baby when David woke up early. His spirit messed up yesterday by attacking and being forced to retreat. Now Gladwell knew there were people aware she was here and they wanted her dead or gone. She would be more prepared for them when having the element of surprise was an advantage they needed against someone as strong as her.

Some people just had all the luck.

David didn’t need luck, he’d make his own. Bitch was going to pay for making him look like a fool in front of the rookie.

This time he wouldn’t let his spirit do the work for him, this was a job only he could do. He summoned his spirit but seized control immediately. Most of his attention was on it and its body but he could still move his own body, was still aware of it and what was happening there just not to the same extent he had normally. He had his spirit go through the walls and grab him a cup of coffee. If he fell asleep or someone disturbed him and he lost his concentration then control of his spirit went back to it. David couldn’t afford to make a mistake here, his pride wouldn’t allow it.

He swallowed mouthfuls of coffee before he let his spirit leave the apartment. If Gladwell was smart, she would have found a new place to stay while she was in town, somewhere people wouldn’t expect her to stay at. No abandoned warehouses or sketchy motels. He decided to recheck every location on the list anyway. If she was smart, she wouldn’t be there but people like Gladwell got arrogant. Too used to being top of the food chain.

David lost track of time, it wasn’t like his spirit wore a watch. As expected, she wasn’t hiding in any of the locations on the list or maybe she was just out for awhile, doing business. He flew around Avocet, using his spirit’s unique way of perceiving the world to search for Gladwell. Yesterday’s fight had let him get a good look at Gladwell’s mist. Every power’s mist was different from the mist surrounding everything and the mist of other powers. That was just how it was. David didn’t care about the whys.

Felix had woken up while David was searching and made some noise in the kitchen before returning to his room. The kid was smart enough to keep to himself and not disturb David.

He felt his stomach growl. Well, considering all the work he had done, he deserved a break. His spirit could manage for a few minutes. He released control of his spirit and went to the kitchen to make himself a sandwich. Nothing too fancy, he didn’t have the time or patience to sit around and cook a good meal. His wife had usually done most of the cooking but he had been forced to learn after she left him and their daughter.

Ten minutes to make then eat the sandwich, go to the washroom, and some stretching. David returned to his room and made himself comfortable before he tuned back into what his spirit was doing.

It had been productive while he rested, continuing the search. The search was so boring David felt like dropping down to his knees and thanking the universe when he spotted bright flashing mists. Powers fighting each other. Had to be Gladwell, barring one exception the city was too peaceful for it to be anything else.

Gladwell was soaring through the air chasing after a ship, the size of two vans stuck together with glowing blue lines running across it and coated with mist. Inventor made. The ship had been damaged and was struggling to stay in the air as Gladwell pelted it with more energy blasts. The people in the ship owed him one. David swooped down and slammed into Gladwell. He didn’t give her an opportunity to get her bearings. He dug his fingers into her skin, ripped through it. One of her hands sliced through his fingers when he moved to do it again, the other cut off his spirit’s shadowy arm from the elbow down.

He flew backwards to give himself some space and she let him.

The ship was falling to the ground, too much damage done to it. David didn’t know who exactly was in there but chances were high that they were superhumans and he could use their help. His spirit wasn’t at one hundred percent. They needed his help more than he did theirs. It felt alright when he thought about it like that.

David went over and gave them a hand, helping to slow their descent by pushing it up. It opened fire on Gladwell, preventing her from stopping him. Whoever was aiming was frighteningly accurate, David noted, even when Gladwell became invisible. Huh, they had someone capable of seeing through invisibility like he was. That tended to be rare.

Gladwell managed to get a few blasts out but a forcefield soaked up most of the damage. Where the hell was that when they were getting pummeled?

Once he had gotten the ship safely on the ground, he charged at Gladwell. She had grown, nearly five times as bigger as she was before. She bisected him with a wave of her arm.

Fuck, he hated people with more than one goddamn power.

He felt so cold as his spirit fell to the ground. The two separate pieces were pulled together and his spirit was back on its feet. David let his spirit have control, he needed to go get Felix. He rushed out of his room and barged into Felix’s, uncaring. “I got Gladwell, fighting her right now. You need to get your ass over there.”

Felix looked up from the bowl of popcorn resting on his stomach as he laid down on his bed. “Where?” David had already pulled out his cell phone and punched in the location. Felix wasn’t a native to Avocet like he was, he’d need directions. He tossed the phone onto the bed. Felix grabbed it and left, pausing to grab a mask.

David returned to his room and took control again.

It took him a second to figure out what had happened. The people inside the ship had gotten out and were doing as much damage to the giant Gladwell as they could. Superheroes. He recognized Violet Knight and Ionic, the third one was new. Violet Knight was the most recent successor of the Color Knight identity. What made him notable enough for David to remember him was that he was a superhero, while the previous two knights – the Orange and Red Knights – were villains. Dangerous ones, too.

He was on the ground again, waiting as his body healed enough for him to fight again. Gladwell had chopped his spirit into itty bitty pieces.

Another embarrassment. What if Felix had been there to see his spirit get dominated like that? It stoked the anger inside of him and it didn’t take much to set him off. He could feel it building under his skin, demanding release, retribution for what she had done to his pride.

He rose and hit the back of Gladwell’s knee like a torpedo. For a moment, he lost awareness of what he was doing, could only feel the slickness of his fingers as they were coated with blood.

A merging between him and his spirit. He was still there, still inside his spirit’s body yet it was his spirit in control. It was savage, brutal, more animal than man. It cared only for violence, no strategy, no finesse. It was this that made him dangerous, one of the best enforcers in their group.

Gladwell lit up, covered herself in flames, and he caught fire too. He didn’t stop even as he could feel his real body shake from the cold. He did as much damage as he could, literally ripping heaps of flesh off of her. The only thing that stopped him was another bisection. His spirit fell from the sky and he saw a second Gladwell, smaller than the other one, floating in the air behind where he had been. Duplication.

He laughed manically, the sound only reached his real ears. His spirit was incapable of speech.

Fucking power thieves.

The other Gladwell chased after him, ready to take him apart. David didn’t know how much more his spirit could handle, it had sustained a lot of damage from the flames but he couldn’t retreat, not with Felix on the way, not with those heroes watching. She landed beside him. She raised her left hand above her head, like an executioner’s blade.

The third hero, the one he didn’t recognize, materialized above Gladwell, a sword in her hands. It was pointed downwards. Gravity did the rest, plunged the sword into her chest. It didn’t make it all the way through. The hero vanished before Gladwell could turn around and return the favor. The hero reappeared to Gladwell’s left and took a swing. She blocked it but the hero disappeared again the second she did. A teleporting hero came from another angle, and managed to stab Gladwell in the back again. It went all the way through, right where the heart was.

“Nice try, sweetheart but I’ve moved the location of my heart,” Gladwell said, smiling.

The hero disappeared, not making a sound but taking the sword with her.

It gave him enough time for his spirit’s body to pull together.

He leaped up from the ground and grabbed Gladwell’s head, ignoring her hands cutting into him. He squeezed as hard as he could, until he felt her skull collapse between his hands. For good measure, he ripped off her arms and legs. They came off as easily as the limbs of a barbie doll. It would have been harder to do if this Gladwell was still alive.

“You helped us not crash, I bought you time to recover. We’re even.” He spun around and the hero was standing behind him. The voice made him think it was a girl. “I don’t owe you anything else.”

He shrugged. Didn’t matter, he didn’t plan on needing her help again.

She vanished again. David looked around and found her beside her companions. The sword had remained deadly sharp even in her hands.

The giant Gladwell had shrunk back down to her regular size. Her and another copy were flying through the air avoiding small round balls shooting blue beams. Not just those balls, there was something else up there. A bolt of lightning was shooting through the air in straight lines, chasing after the Gladwells, trying to turn them into burned crisps. Small cracks sounded as the lightning changed direction. Felix, in his lightning form.

Felix got a few good hits in before the bolt hit the ground in front of David, reforming into his human shape. He had to shift back into his human form after a minute, unless he wanted to be trapped in his lightning form forever. He flashed David a grin then changed forms again, continuing the fight.

He wasn’t going to let Felix have all the fun and credit. He took to the air and slammed into the closest Gladwell while she was distracted.

The Gladwells glanced at each other then split up, flying in opposite directions. Divide and conquer, wasn’t a bad strategy to use in this situation. Felix moved to the ground and changed forms. David shook his head, he seemed to get the message and stayed put. She had more stamina than he did, chasing after her would be stupid. At least this way he could say she ran away from them.

Those balls came down to surround Ionic. She kept her distance but she was looking at them. David landed beside Felix, to give them more presence. He doubted they’d start a fight, but some heroes played dirty. They could use this opportunity to take him and Felix down, to make up for the fact they didn’t manage to capture Gladwell. It’d be a real feather in their cap too, if they got Felix in jail. Felix was new but he’d made a splash a few days ago back in LA.

“Thanks for the help,” Ionic said. “We appreciate it, regardless of whatever motive you may have for hunting Gladwell.”

Hard to tell if she was really sincere with a device altering her voice or if she was just being polite, secretly angry a criminal had to come to her rescue.

“Not a problem, not a problem,” Felix said. “We’ll be leaving then, got things to do. You know how it is.”

“Of course. We’ll let you go regardless but would you mind answering a question for me?”

Felix turned to him, looking to him for instruction. Wouldn’t hurt to listen to the question, especially if they were going to end up staying here for awhile, could earn them some goodwill. David nodded.

Ionic took that as a cue to continue. “Are you here in Avocet for Gladwell? A grudge?”

“Yeah,” Felix said. “That’s all we want. We won’t be causing you any trouble, if that’s what you want to know.”

“Fair enough. Thanks again for the help.”

David nodded at the three superheroes as Felix transformed and headed off in the direction of their apartment. David left in a different direction. He didn’t want to give them any clues on where they might be staying. Heroes were never to be trusted.

The teleporting girl watched him go.

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The Long Way Home – A

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Most hated working with rookies, but they were idiots, unable to recognize the perks that went with it. David wasn’t an idiot. He sat down and enjoyed the sight of some very beautiful women with a very beautiful lack of clothes prance around their apartment.

There was a certain power that came with being a part of an organization like theirs, made them confident, bold, daring. When someone asked if they needed anything at all, they didn’t hesitate to answer. Some would scoff at the lack of professionalism and tell the rookie off, get them to do it on their own time, not when they have a mission to accomplish. David liked to kick back, grab a beer, and indulge in whatever fun the rookie planned. There wasn’t a point to this life they were living if they couldn’t enjoy themselves.

This rookie, Felix, preferred the simple pleasures, women and cars. All of this was on their gracious host’s dime, of course. It was the least they could do, considering David and Felix were only here at their request. Avocet City was having some troubles – completely unsurprisingly to anyone who paid a lick of attention to Avocet – and it changed from being the kind of trouble criminals like them thrived in to being the kind of trouble they hated and needed to deal with. Avocet survived because it was a lucky city; its villains were, mostly, committed to keeping it peaceful. It was a tourist hotspot and that meant a lot of cash flowing into the city, and the pockets of its villains.

The setup was good for the local SAA branch, the criminals, and the tourists coming to gawk at fancy inventor made shit but the nobodies on the fringes suffered. If they ever got too uppity, made too much noise, they’d get taken care of before they knew what hit them. David knew from experience. He used to live in this dump, the places carefully hidden and kept away from tourists, and he didn’t have a lot of options when he lost his job when the factory closed down to make room for another fucking tourist attraction. He borrowed money from the Russian mob to feed his family and when he couldn’t pay, they gave him a choice. Leave Avocet and work off his debt in another city or have his corpse dumped into the river.

Best decision he ever made in his damn life.

Mostly.

Sometimes, very late at night, it was the worst thing he had ever done and would ever do.

The women left after Felix and David got their money’s worth. He grabbed a beer from the fridge and tossed one to Felix, who sat on the couch, a manila envelope in his hands.

“That from the kid Park has looking after us?” David asked as he popped open his can. Park – their host and a business partner of their boss – ordered a waiter from one of the restaurants he owned to attend to their every want and need while they were in the city working on this situation.

“Yeah,” Felix said. “They’ve got Gladwell’s hideout narrowed down already, wants us to check them out and fight her if she’s there.”

Answering an unspoken need, his spirit stepped out of his body. It looked like him, if he was a featureless mass of black smoke shaped like a human. Despite what it looked like, it was as solid as a truck if it wanted to be. It strode forward and read the paper in Felix’s hands over his shoulder. Then it was off, phasing through the walls, to hunt down Gladwell.

It acted on its own most of the time, doing whatever David wanted to be done, even if he wasn’t aware of that want. He could sense it, feel it doing something but the details were fuzzy. Years of experience let him take over or see from its perspective if he concentrated. It was the reason why he got picked for the job. Gladwell needed to make a physical connection to use her crazy ass ability and she couldn’t do that if he was safely hidden in this apartment, far away from the fight.

Felix got chosen for a similar reason.

“You can relax, enjoy your beer. It’ll do the searching for us while we relax,” David said, grinning.

Felix returned the grin. “Maybe I should get some more girls. Brunettes, this time.”

“Later. After my spirit is done with the list.”

Felix shrugged. That was one of the other perks of working with rookies. A lot of the time, when working with more experienced people, David tended to butt heads. He liked being in control, being the leader. He was good at it, despite what people might think. So many dismissed him because of where he came from but he’d show them, someday when he saw the perfect opportunity. He’d show them. Behind this skull of his was one hell of an intellect.

He downed the rest of his beer. “I’m going on a walk. Don’t trash the place until I get back.”

David grabbed his jacket from off the other couch and left. If he was in town on business, he might as well check things out, see if anything changed in the years he’d been gone. Maybe he was looking for someone. It didn’t matter if it had, he couldn’t, wouldn’t come back, stay here. There was still the matter of all the money he owed to the man he was working for and he wasn’t sure he could handle it, all the awful memories he made here.

But if he stayed, maybe he’d get a chance to fix what he had done. A chance to find his daughter and make things right, be a family again if she was willing. He hated leaving her, just like his wife had done after she found out about the affair, but what choice did he have? She would understand, wouldn’t she?

She was better off without him. He wasn’t a good man or a good father, too little patience, too much anger. How could someone who knew fuck all about – and experienced just as little – good parenting grow up to be a good parent?

He stopped in his tracks, brought out of his thoughts by a sudden sensation. Wasn’t pain, but a chill. Shit, guess his spirit found Gladwell. David took a deep breath and concentrated, shifting his attention over to his spirit, not enough to take over just enough to see what the hell was going on over there.

It was Gladwell alright, sharp blade-like hands carving chunks out of his spirit. Every smoky pound of flesh grew back within seconds of being chopped off but there was a limit to how much it could endure before having to retreat. Didn’t help that in the moments before the spirit healed itself, it was less solid than it usually was, dealt less damage. His spirit was mindlessly punching Gladwell. It wasn’t doing much good, Gladwell’s wounds were repaired as easily as his spirit’s.

His spirit saw the world differently. It could easily see the mist invisible to most. The mist surrounded everything, grew a little bit denser every day, and was especially thick around powers. With it, he saw through invisibility and illusions as if they weren’t even there. Whenever someone was using their powers, the mist around them would flare.

When the mist around Gladwell flared, brighter than most, he – and by extension the spirit – knew to hightail it out of there. This was a fishing trip, meant to figure out where Gladwell was hiding, he didn’t need to stay and fight til his spirit couldn’t anymore. It flew away from Gladwell. Not fast enough. A beam of energy, very concentrated mist, ripped through the lower half of his spirit. It didn’t feel pain. It kept going, phasing through the wall and headed straight for him.

Fuck, he was going to make Gladwell pay for the damage done on his spirit. The damn thing would take hours to get back into fighting shape, days to fully recover.

David hated to lose even if it was up against a badass like Gladwell.

He returned his focus back to his own body and grabbed his phone out of his jacket pocket. He dialed Felix’s number. The kid picked up promptly. “Something wrong, D?”

“I found Gladwell but the asshole wreaked my spirit. I did some damage to that motherfucker. We’re going to wait until tomorrow to launch our actual attack and drive her out of town. Put her into the ground if we can,” David said.

“Cool with me, I was about to watch a movie,” Felix replied. “Gonna be a pain in the ass tracking her down tomorrow.”

David’s eyebrow twitched. “You let me handle that, Felix. Won’t even be a problem.”

“Sure, sure. Call me before you get into a fight with her, so we can kick her ass and get this job done, alright?”

“I was testing her, seeing if she was as tough as everyone says she is. We weren’t planning on taking the bitch out today anyway,” David said, defensive.

“Yeah, of course. Gonna start that movie, see ya later D, when you get back.” Felix hung up.

David frowned as he stuffed his phone back into his jacket. Damn, damn, damn. Now the rookie was going to think he was weak and David couldn’t stand the thought.

He was going to fucking devastate Gladwell tomorrow.

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