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Winter Revenge

by on December 26, 2011

It was harder than it seemed, being invisible. It did not work in rain, or in snow, or fog, or mist, or pretty much any weather other than clear bright sunshine. Even when one could really truly not be seen, it didn’t do any good against a telepathic villain, or someone with reasonably adequate thermal-imaging equipment, or anyone who had a decent sense of hearing. Still, once in a while, being invisible could be a bit useful, Trina admitted to herself as she crept into the warehouse behind Thunderdomestic.  All she had to do was make sure no one else bumped into her and realized she was there (also harder than it looked). But Trina had to take the risk. When every villain in the city got together in one place, especially since a bunch of them had somehow busted out of prison the night before, something very bad was about to go down.

Audrey, can you hear me? she thought. The Phenomenal Four didn’t use communicators much, not since they had a ‘pather. Trina worried about this sometimes; she had always liked her privacy, and she wondered what Audrey picked up along the way while ‘pathing into Trina’s mind. But, on the other hand, Audrey had never betrayed a confidence. Trina believed she could trust her, and she did not trust very many people. She’d had much too hard a life for that.

I can, Audrey ‘pathed back. Do be careful. We know so little about what is happening here.

Which is why I am here, my friend, Trina thought. She had a flash of worry about Rosalie, but Natalie was looking after her that day. Rosalie and Maddie had always played well together, and even little Patrick had said that Rosalie wasn’t “icky”, which was how the toddler classified most girls. Trina smiled; who knew? Maybe, one day, in the future…but she had no time for that line of thinking now. With a sigh, Trina made her way after Thunderdomestic into the cavernous interior of the warehouse.

She was surprised to see how full it was. Villains usually didn’t have mass gatherings like this, for rather obvious reasons. But now she could see virtually everyone on the city’s “most-wanted” list. Thunderdomestic, crossing her powerful arms and glaring death at anyone who so much as looked askance at her,  Admiral Zombie Lady holding court to a selection of bored villains on how she was thinking of promoting herself to Marshal Zombie Lady, Commander Cockroach making nervous little motions with his antennae, the Malevolent Med-Student making snide comments to the always-spacey Candystriper, Lady Wagnerian in a particularly hideous Christmas sweater…and these were just the heavy hitters. There was a wide assortment of the city’s minor villains, like the Rogue Jaywalker, Warthog Man, or Spoiler Girl, plus a milling crowd of minions. Trina dodged several of these as she made her way to one wall, where she hopped up on a sturdy crate so she could see above the crowd. No one seemed to know why they were there, and the collective mood was beginning to turn ugly. Considering the sheer amount of conventional weaponry present in the room, let alone the assortment of deadly superpowers, and Trina wondered who would be stupid enough to call all those psychopaths together and then keep them waiting.

The next moment she found out. On the far wall to her left a door burst open, and someone she had never seen before came through. He was tall, powerfully built, and clad in standard villain attire, complete with boots and a long blue cape. What caught Trina’s attention though wasn’t his cape, or his neatly combed pale-blond hair, no, it was his eyes. She couldn’t make out any color or life in them at all. And then she began to worry very much.

“I’m so glad you all could make it!” he announced, as if he were a motivational speaker talking to stressed-out college students. “I’m sure you’re all wondering why I’ve called you here; well, I’ll explain that in just a moment.”

“I really think you should explain it now, please,” Lady Wagnerian said in her usual deceptive politeness.

“Yeah, start talkin’, dingo,” Warthog Man rumbled.”First off, like, who the hell are you?”

The new arrival gave a very artificial sort of smile. “Oh dear, I neglected to introduce myself. My name is Glacieron. Now, before I explain my plan and why I’ve asked you here, I would like you all to listen to a song.” He produced a remote control from his pocket and aimed it at a pair of speakers no one had noticed before.  Tinny and static-y though it was, the assembled villains and minions could hear the sentimental strains of The Christmas Shoes well enough.  “Sir, I wanna buy these shoes, for my mama, please, it’s Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size…”

When the song was over, both Trina and Glacieron looked over the crowd. To her surprise, but not his, almost everyone seemed emotionally affected. Admiral Zombie Lady was sniffling into a tissue, Warthog Man was scuffling his boots and wiping a hand across his eyes, even Thunderdomestic looked moved. Glacieron smiled again. “You,” he said, pointing to Admiral Zombie Lady. “You liked the song, yes? Tell me why.”

“Well,” she began, still fumbling with the tissue, “it’s just so..I mean….the little kid’s trying to buy shoes for his mom, and she’s dying and all, and…man, if I was there I’d’ve sent in my zombie hordes and got the mom a whole barrel of shoes, y’ know?”

“Exactly,” Glacieron said, and any trace of pleasantness in his voice vanished entirely. “And that is why you lose. That is why you never defeat the people with whom you fight. Because you are pathetic. You all think being a villain is about wearing a dramatic costume and making monologues and making grandiose plans that never work, and even then you don’t really try; instead you meekly surrender to the hero. If you fight at all, you hesitate, you talk, you let them talk, and so, you lose. You’re not truly evil; you’re only in it for the fun and games. But now I have come, and I do not intend to play. I am going to win.”

“Oh yeah?” Thunderdomestic burst out, breaking the shocked silence. “And just who do you think you are, punk? What makes you think you can freakin’ come in here and lecture us about how we ain’t your kinda villain, huh?”

“The reason why I can come in here and lecture you,” Glacieron replied, without a hint of what was coming, “is because I’m willing to do this.” With that, two white-blue beams slashed from his eyes. Thunderdomestic lurched to the side, and the beams should have missed her, but they didn’t, they snapped off to the right and struck her head-on. She froze, literally, as ice enveloped her. Then the ice exploded in a flash and a thunderclap, splintering into tiny shards. Trina’s mouth fell open. He had just killed someone on his own side. No one ever did that. Not in Edison City. And not Thunderdomestic, one of the toughest villains around. Audrey, did you get that? she ‘pathed frantically.

She had to strain to catch Audrey’s reply as guns leveled and villains powered up. You have to get away from there, abort the mission, it is too-” But Trina lost the rest of it as Glacieron’s eyes blazed again. Energy beams cris-crossed in the air with his own rays, but he hardly seemed affected, shrugging the blasts off as if they were nothing. The others weren’t so durable. One by one they fell in shattering ice, their pieces spraying through the air. Some of the minions tried to get away, but Glacieron sent a beam that froze the doors solid, and then he cut them down. It was over in seconds. Nearly every villain and every minion lay dead. Nearly, but not all. Lady Wagnerian, the Malevolent Med-Student, and Candystriper stood untouched amidst the carnage, bewildered by their survival.

Glacieron looked towards them, and all at once he was smiling again. “Now you’re all wondering why I didn’t blast you to wintry bits,” he said. “Well, first off, I think you’re more professional than these idiots. That one, there, Hydrogenated Guy, I doubt he even knew what the word meant. But you, no, you three have style. You have intelligence. And also, you didn’t cry during the song.”

“Right,” Lady Wagnerian said, her voice a little shaky (she had bits of frozen Thunderdomestic on her arm, which would have been enough to unnerve anyone), “yes, I certainly wouldn’t have helped the boy out. I would have stolen the shoes from him and sold them on the black market.”

“He was probably lying anyway,” the Malevolent Med-Student ventured. “Even if he wasn’t, that was a Christmas song. No one who is really evil cries during a Christmas song.”

“Totally,” Candystriper giggled. She didn’t even seem to have registered what had happened; she appeared to be intensely contemplating her bellybutton again.

Glacieron sensibly ignored her. “That is why I spared you three. And that is why I shall now explain to you what I intend to do. I am going to make this world mine. I had almost ruled another world, but I was cheated out of it by a bunch of stupid sentimental idiots. I’m not going to do that again. This world shall kneel before me!”

The Malevolent Med-Student considered making a “Kneel before Zod” reference, but decided against it. It wasn’t very clever to mock a guy who had just wiped out most of the city’s supervillains. Besides, the scariest thing about Glacieron was that he wasn’t being ironic or melodramatic at all. He was completely serious. He meant it. And the Malevolent Med-Student decided he really wanted to watch Glacieron fulfill his promise. Neither he nor Lady Wagnerian doubted he could do it, not now.

Trina didn’t doubt either. Audrey was screaming something in the back of her mind, warning her to abort, evacuate, now now now, but Trina had closed her off. She had to know what Glacieron was going to do, and so she listened as he started to explain. And then he glanced her way.  She tensed, knowing he couldn’t see her, positively assuring herself of that, and indeed he couldn’t….but what he did see was that bits of ice had splattered across most of the warehouse wall. There was one spot they’d missed. Glacieron’s eyes shone white. “I think we have an intruder here,” he said casually.

Trina could’ve tried to surrender to the other villains, maybe, and they probably would have accepted it and tried to get her secrets out of her. She knew Glacieron wouldn’t take her surrender, though. So she ran, fast as she could, but Glacieron opened up with his eye-beams and she wasn’t quite fast enough and oh Rosal-

Miles away, Audrey felt the shock of it. Then she couldn’t feel anything. She closed her eyes and ‘pathed Trina’s name as hard as she could. Nothing.  Not even a flicker of thought.  And even as her own emotions crashed in on her like a wave before a storm, Audrey knew she had to tell the others. But…what could she say?

Note: this story was written with Prompt 49 of the Chrysalis Experiment. Stay tuned for the epic conclusion, which should follow sometime this week. Thanks for reading!

  1. Great title and cool piece!

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