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With a sharp intake of breath, Cas’s dream-like memories are replaced with searing, dizzying consciousness. As she tries to open her eyes, she squints at the artificial brightness of fluorescent lights. As her pupils adjust to the glare, she sees the metallic sheen on every surface of the small room. It seemed to be solid steel box of a room with no window and no discernable door. She tries to sit up, but she is unable to move. She lifts her head to look down at her body. Her arms and legs are cuffed with wide, metal restraints, and her hips are strapped down by bright silver chains. She tries to struggle against her restraints, but she is greeted with electric shocks coursing through the metal link and biting her skin. She lets out a small yelp of pain, and all her muscles go rigid.
“Easy there. We don’t want to kill her unless we have to.”
“Sorry, I just can’t help it. She ****** me off so much.”
She hears the two voices behind her; the first cool, low suave, the other haughty and emotionally-gruff, and both hauntingly familiar. Trying to be as still as possible, to avoid another electrical assault, she tilts her head back to catch a glimpse of the two figures standing behind her.
She immediately recognized the sky-blue visage of Mr. Electric, his whole body and face tense with anger. The figure next to him took longer to place. He wore a green unitard, with black gloves and boots. Cas figured that this was her bathroom attacker, but his mask pricked something in the back of her subconscious. His voice was also eerily familiar, and he had not spoken while he was in her apartment.
“Ms. Oikeus, I am glad you have finally awoken.” The green shrouded man crossed over to the side of the cold, metal table where she lay. She could more clearly see his silver-gray hair, his crinkled, smiling eyes, and his lips curled up into a sneer. “I know you must have a nasty headache right about now, but I knew that you wouldn’t willing come with me, so I had to incapacitate you. It is imperative that you listen to me, so I don’t regret it.”
Suddenly, the realization hit her. She had only heard this man speak one time before, and it was years ago on her childhood television set. His hair was gray now instead of a dark brunette, but his eyes were still the same. This man was the Green Giant.
Trying to sound calm, Cas attempts to speak with a flat tone. “Why did you bring me here? What is it you want to talk about?”
Mr. Electric storms over to the opposite side of the table, his anger wafting over her, making her feel surrounded. Fuming, he grunts through his teeth, “You have certainly done enough talking today. So, shut up and just listen.”
“Quiet, Greg.” Though his voice was cool and smooth, there is an underlying threat that makes Mr. ‘Greg’ Electric bite his tongue[SM1] . Such generic name revealed so casually makes Cas bite her lip to keep herself from smiling. Soon they both return their gaze to her. The Green Giant gently places his hand on her arm, and any nervous amusement turns to flinching dread. “I need to make sure that you won’t leave as I offer you some advice.”
“What kind of advice could you give me? And since you feel the need to trap me so I’ll listen to you, does it seem likely that I’ll listen to your advice?”
“Because it will benefit you, me, and the whole city.” The coolness in his voice was turning into a sharp edge, and the grip on her arm was slowly getting tighter. She bites the inside of her cheek, to choke back any protest. She quietly looks up at him, waiting for him to speak. He leans over her until his green mask fills her vision.
“When you call us the bad guys, we can’t help but feel a little nasty about it and lash out to defend ourselves. We do so much for this city; we take on such a responsibility to protect the people who can’t defend themselves. You are making that a hard job to do. So many of the heroes I’ve taught are now serving time or parole because of you.”
“I would be more than happy to let you do your job if it didn’t result in you all dangerously breaking the law.”
Mr. Electric slams his hands down on the table, and immediately Cas’s body is absorbing his electricity, and she lets out a shaking scream. It mercifully only lasts for a second, but still, her vision clouds with pain.
Mr. Giant leans in and hisses into Cas’s ear, “Please shut up and just listen. It will be less painful for you.”
Fighting back her tears as her back and legs burn from the electrical heat of the table, she indignantly seethes between clenched teeth, “You want me to shut up, so you don’t have to kill me. You will try to silence me anyway you can. Either I will obey you and shut up on my own, or you will silence me yourself”. She turns her head towards Mr. Giant, piercing his heated gaze with her crackling eyes. “I’m not going to shut up. Because if you let me live, I promise you that you will face me in a court of law.” Using all her core strength, she sits up slightly, raising her face closer to the Green Giant’s face. She says with a snarl, “And if you try to kill me, I will scream at the top of my lungs, I will fight until my last breath, I will write your names in my blood. I will not let you get away with this. I will not let you be this city’s sole judges, jury, and executioners any longer.”
A massive fist came crashing down on her abdomen, and she let out an animal-like howl. She saw the Giant’s fist grow to five times its usual size, and he raised his arm to strike her again. She closed her eyes to blind herself of the impending blow, and with a clenched fist, she lets out a battle-ready cry. Straining against her metal bonds, they slowly begin to bend out of shape. Both Mr. Electric and The Green Giant pause in bafflement as the metal starts to whine and crack, attempting to hold her in place. All the sudden, she pauses in her struggle as she feels a cold water droplet falls on her cheek. She opens her eyes, gasps with surprise, and smirks.
Mr. Giant and Mr. Electric follow her gaze up to the metal ceiling, where they see a familiar man with a scar covering half of his face and an orange jumpsuit hanging from the overhead lighting. Before they can take a sharp intake of breath, Mr. Cyclone jumps down onto the table, with a foot on either side of Cas’s torso. Water shoots out of both his hands, slamming Mr. Electric and the Green Giant against opposite walls. They fall to the floor with a thud, as Mr. Cyclone hops off the table and walks straight towards Mr. Electric. Cas again strains against the metal cuffs on her arms and legs, and they give way with a loud snap. Her eyes crackling like a tv screen full of static, she grasped the metal belt holding her hips to the table and pulled it apart as if it were stale taffy. Mr. Cyclone grabs the winded Greg by the scruff of his cape and pulls him up to his feet. Mr. Electric’s hands sparked as he charged up a blow to incapacitate the surprise visitor, but his now-freed captive leaps from the table with a flying side kick. Her foot hitting him squarely between his eyes, knocking him out cold. As he fell with a thud and groan, both escaped prisoners whipped around to face The Green Giant, who stared at them with eyes and mouth agape. As they charge towards him, he finally comes to his senses. His jaw set with a determined scowl, his whole body began to expand, filling up the small room. Seeing him pull back his hand to load up for an enormous punch, both Mr. Cyclone and Cas jump out of the way. The Giant’s fist goes straight through the metal wall. He steps toward the wall and pries the hole open until it is wide enough for him to slip through. As he passed through the newly made an exit, Mr. Cyclone and Cas watch in shock as he suddenly drops out of sight. The rising sun’s soft light spills into the room and bathes their faces as they rush to hole and look down. The Green Giant is nowhere to be seen, even though they are several stories up.
“Damn it!” Mr. Cyclone curses under his breath. He moves closer to the edge to climb down after the disappearing giant, but Cas places a hand on his shoulder.
“Hold on, Jeff. It’s no use chasing him down now.” She glances over her shoulder to where Mr. Electric is still slumped down on the floor. “We have to make sure he is taken into custody.”
Anger flares up in Jeff’s eyes as he continues to look out over the city, his eyes scanning for any sign of the green fiend. Cas’s hand shakes his shoulder, and his gaze turns to focus on her.
“Don’t worry, he won’t get away with this.”
Cyclone’s eyes lose some of their heat as he steps away from the broken wall, crosses to the metal table, and sits, somewhat deflated. Cas reaches into her pajama pants’ pocket and pulls out her cell phone, chuckling at her captors’ stupidity, and dials 9-1-1.
“Hello, I seem to be in the seventh or eighth floor of the Skylark building downtown. I’m locked in a metal room, so I don’t know what apartment number it is, but feel free to use the giant hole in the side of the building as a point of reference.” She pauses for a few seconds to hear the dispatchers response, then continues. “Yes, I was kidnapped last night. One of my captors is here, incapacitated, but the other has escaped. Yes, I will be able to give a description to police when they arrive. Oh! Also…” she says smiling as she turns to look at Jeff, “make sure they have room and back up to pick up an escaped convict with water powers.”
He opens his mouth in protest, but she holds up her hand to silence him; he backs down with a scowl, muttering under his breath, “Goody-two-shoes ********
After a brief pause, she laughs at the dispatcher’s question. “Oh no, he isn’t one of my kidnappers, he actually helped me out. But I was at his trial yesterday, and I know he isn’t supposed to be out and about for another five or so years.” Without another word, she hangs up and sits down with the pouting super villain on the metal table. “Sorry bud, you know how I work. Fair is fair.”
He stands up and stalks over to the hole, and again examines the height. “I can make it.” He looks back at Cas and shrugs. “You know how I work. I got to at least make them work for their justice.”
“I figured. I let you have a head start this once. After all, you came all this way just to help me out.”
He sits down on the edge of the gaping entrance into the air and positions his hands so that his palms are facing the street below. Scooting off the edge, his hand shoots out a cascade of water, that gently holds him up as he descends. Cas walks over to the precipise and looks down at him, smiling.
“You should come over to have dinner with Maddie and me sometime. You know, in about five or six years when you get out.”
Cyclone couldn’t help but chuckle and shake his head.
“I will have to take you up on that offer, Ms. Static Crusher.”
“That’s Caslida Oikeus to you!” she shouts as he reaches the ground with a light thud. Hearing the police sirens coming up the street, he charges off in the opposite direction. Cas watches him as he goes, keeping track of his each and every turn, her eyes snapping and crackling as she processes through the night’s events, what she would tell the police, and how she could finally find justice for the Green Giant. Even in her pajamas, her firm, confident stance reflected the power that she claims in the courtroom, where she chooses to fight her battles for justice.
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