Career Choices

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic


Classes, Homework, Exams, Oh and your friends danging you over a pit of molten lava. You know, typical college stuff.

Submitted: September 19, 2018

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Submitted: September 19, 2018

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Career Choices

 

“It took me ages to get my hair this long. If this lava so much as singes it, I will mutilate all three of you." I snarled.

 

They flinch.

 

Good. The jerks.

 

Rachel, sorry, her Cape-Name was Blade-Matrix now, at least should have known better. She's been listening to me gripe about how slow my hair grows for years. Just because we weren’t roommates anymore didn't give her an excuse.

 

"Also, questions.” I continued, “One. How on earth are you guys keeping this lava active and contained? We're in a dorm basment. Second, how the blazes did you manage to turn the basment of a Hero-Academy dorm into an Evil-LairTM? "

 

Dangling upside down over a pit of lave tends to give one a headache. Also having to stare up into florescent lights didn’t help.

 

"And, why the blazes am I suspended over a pit of lava in the first place?" I snapped.

 

I was grumpy, so sue me.  

 

There was clacking as they shuffled.

 

Was that a tin roofing sheet?

 

Were they seriously using a tin roofing sheet as a lid for their lava pit?

 

There was clanking as one of them stepped forward. And then almost face planted as the jagged spike coming off his boot caught wrong. 

 

“You are now the captive of The…,” Richard, and I knew it was him buried in his ridiculous new Gear-Knight armor, hesitated and turned back to the others.

 

“The Syndicate of Dastardly Vengeance?” Rachel supplied.

 

“Seriously you guys?” I snorted, “You decide to run off and become villains the month befor the Hero-License Exams and that’s the best name you can come up with?”

 

Alex, who I had been trying very hard to ignore, jumped to their defense. “It’s a work in progress! We haven’t actually finalized anything yet.”  We locked eyes. The flush on his cheeks contrasted nicely with his new gold outfit. Almost simultaneously we both jerked our heads away.  I could almost feel Rachel face palming as she muttered under her breath and if I felt my face heat up... That was obviously just the proximity to the lava.

 

Rachel had obviously decided that enough was enough because she stepped forward to take control of the situation and addressed me “Silent-Silver,” she said, adopting what I assumed was supposed to be her Evil VoiceTM, “You have been brought here because the Syndicate has an offer for you. We have decided…”

 

“Does this offer involve me not dangling over lava?” I interrupted, “ ‘Cause unlike some people, I have a Theoretical Civilian-Management test to study for.”

 

Miffed, Rachel opened her mouth only to be cut off again as Richard blurted out, “We want you to join us!”

 

With a CRASH the doors flew across the room to fall and crush the storage boxes that had been piled in the corner.

 

Shadows sprung up around the pillars as the bright sun poured in from the destroyed doorway, forcing me to squint.  Two large silhouettes stepped forward, blocking the light.

 

“Shit” Rachel whispered, followed by the shing of her unsheathed saber.  It was accompanied by the low hum of Richard’s innumerable laser blasters powering on and the sudden un-noise that meant Alex’s shadows had come out to play.

 

Gruff throaty laughter bounced off the concrete as school guards lumbered down the clanking stairs; I was honestly surprised they didn’t break under the weight of the gorillas.

 

“Boss was right, tail one rat and it’ll lead you back to the den.” one sneered, revealing yellow teeth.

 

“You scum are all under arrest by the authority of the Council of Hero-Regulation. Come quietly and they might go easy on you.” Grunt Number-2 drolled, boredom written on his face.

 

“Yah, how ‘bout no.” Richard punctuated his muttering with a quick succession of laser bolts. That seemed to be the signal because the room broke into chaos.  Grunt Number-1’s power must have been magma because it started pouring off him.

 

Well great, it’s not like I didn’t already have enough melty rock to deal with.

 

How’s that not breaking the floor?

 

Probably the same thing that keeps this blasted lava pit contained.

 

Rachel danced in and out of my line of sight, putting her speed meta-gene to good work as she skipped over magma streams and lashed out in arks of steel.  The grunts would yelp whenever she landed a blow and then spin to face the empty air she had already vacated. I couldn’t help but giggle.

 

No, Wait, Bad. Villain attacks are not a source of amusement.

 

Craning my head back I caught sight of Richard using his technopathic ability to surround himself with a swarm of Laser Blasters; laying down cover fire. Grunt Number-2 seemed to be countering with…

 

I can’t tell if it’s snot or saliva.

 

Honestly, don’t want to know.

 

But it keeps exploding. 

 

I could tell Richard had his hands full blowing the foul projectiles away where the resulting bang wouldn’t hit, well Alex, seeing as Rachel could dodge almost effortlessly. 

 

Twisting in my binds I saw Alex being driven into defense by a steady stream of Magma balls; courtesy of Grunt Number-1 who, for some reason, had made Golden-Midnight his sole focus.Magma-Dude was obviously getting frustrated as each magma-ball was drawn into the pocket dimension created by Alex’s shadows tendrils

 

 “Glad the higher ups finally saw sense,” he snarled. “Filthy demons like you shouldn’t exist in the first place!”

 

My blood boiled.  How dare they…

 

“Liz, up! NOW!”  Rachel yelled and years of muscle memory pulled me up into a crunch.  There was a gag inducing splat and a glob of grossness slid down the computer screen next to me.

 

The following explosion sent shards of glass and hardware shrapnel flying.  Curling up tighter I desperately tried to protect my vitals.

 

A cry of pain was followed by the tinkling of falling fragments.

 

Nothing hurt.

 

 The rot of burned flesh invaded the air and instinctively I dropped back down. Richard’s armor had a hole blown through it: wire sparking and illuminating the wound.

 

Enough was enough. 

 

“What the blazes kinda lousy rescue is this!” I snarled, “Last I checked the villain isn’t supposed to have to protect the damsel in distress!” 

 

Rachel snickered.

 

Reassessing previous sentence.

 

“Oh dear,” Grunt 1 giggled, “The unnoticed one got caught in the crossfire and was slain by the vicious demons.” 

 

“Or, more accurately, we found Silent-Silver conspiring with the traitors. Any action taken in the line of duty was therefore necessary.” Grunt 2 drawled. 

 

Wait, what?

 

My eyes widened in realization

 

Paralyzed, I watched Asshole Nuber-2 prepared to spit another glob.

 

Like Hell!” Alex’s snarl was punctuated by a shadow whip shooting into my line of sight and flinging the Guard into an adjacent pillar.  Jerking my head to his side of the room I realized this had left him open to Magma-brains attack and Alex had to flip out of the way.

 

Screw this.

 

Sorry tummy, we’ll add more crunches to our work out, promise.

 

If anyone is interested, trying to do a toe-touch upside-down sucks.

 

Palming one of the daggers in my boot on the way up, it was the work of moments to slice the chaffing ropes. 

 

Now I just need to flip so I land on something that isn’t molten-hot and melty.

 

A savage grin pulls at my cheeks. I’d show them unnoticed

 

With a thought I activated my power and slid out of the conscious awareness. Skipping over lava streams I returned my boot knife and drew my combat blades from their hip holsters.

 

You know, not disarming me might not have been an oversight after all.

 

Phlegm-grunt let out a satisfying scream as I severed the tendon in his right arm.  He whirls about, eyes passing right over me. 

 

I smirked.

 

The best part of fighting with Rachel is that everyone assumed she had super speeded away so my attacks didn’t weaken my ability to go unnoticed.  

 

Except Rachel was a villain and I wasn’t supposed to enjoy fighting with villains.  Heck, I was supposed to be fighting supervillains. Technical I should try and capture “The Syndicate of Dastardly Vengeance”.

 

Ok, we needed a better name for them.

 

Except the Academy guards were monsters who were apparently tailing me to find my friends.

 

Which was way creepy.

 

 And they called me a rat.

 

Oh and plus the trying to kill me part.

 

So, obviously, the grunts are the main bad guys.

 

I’m sure there’s a provisional rule in some guide book somewhere about working with villains to subdue the greater threat and all that.

 

Obviously the grunts had either stolen their uniforms or were operating under some extremist views. Either way they needed to be brought in.

 

Right?

 

Whatever, the adrenalin high was getting too intense to think through anyways. 

 

Everything I saw was tinged red from the magma glow, punctuated by the occasional flash of orange-

 

 (who makes orange laser blasts Richard?)

 

-which highlighted Rachel’s purple ensemble.

 

Shit, she’s starting to stand out more as a target.

 

 Dry air rushed past my face as Rachel and I made a simultaneous lunge for the Gross-Glob-Goon.  Blade-Matrix slashed high to drive her saber though his shoulder, me low to the backs of his knees.

 

Angered scream morphed into an anguished cry and he fell face down into his partner’s handy work.

 

It almost smelled like a barbeque.

 

If you had a horrendously foul marinade.

 

Like, from 3-year-old unwashed gym socks and the upchuck of trying to force someone to eat them.

 

My suit was clinging to me now, as the lava-gorilla turned more and more of the room into a no go zone. 

 

Searching out Alex found him relegated to playing defensive cleanup; desperately trying to absorbed as much magma as he could into his shadows so Rachel and The Gear-Knight didn’t lose a couple of feet.

 

Literally.

 

Golden-Midnight’s acrobatics display would’ve been awesome if it didn’t mean Alex was out of energy for personal defenses and was relying on pure dexterity to keep from being part of the barbeque. 

 

A thunking snap followed by shattered projectiles from Richard’s hit on a Magma-Ball forced me to dive into an aerial.

 

Anything that hit the Goon seemed to sizzle out in the molten rock that surrounded his form. 

 

Great, we’re useless.

 

Rachel could get in close for a hit but her saber was built to withstand her high speeds, it would just melt the heat.  My daggers weren’t much better.  Designed to be silent and have….

 

OK, I guess technically the feature was modeled after old timey poison releases, but it was for sedatives and stuff to bring people in safely!

 

 Besides, even if I could find a hole in the magma-armor to try and pierce through, my dagger would just melt inside the guy.  Which would work but it would also most likely kill him and since Goon Number-2 already didn’t have a face…

 

Yah, would not look good at the exams next week.

 

There was a Yelp and Golden-Midnight went down. 

 

Shit, Alex must have run out of stamina because his shadows were fading fast and the heat was climbing back to oppressive levels.

 

The Fake-Guard looked like a madman, covered in dripping Magma, giggling as he muttered to himself.  “…should have killed you when they found you, but no, no we need a weapon we can use it. Make it serve us. Well shows how much they know. I knew it would turn out like this.  Demons and monsters, that’s all your kind is!  I knew it but did they listen, no, no. well now they can see I was right. I’ll bring back their remains and I’ll be a real Hero!  The Slayer!  Yes, that sounds good.  He who slayed the power stealing beast! Yes, yes they’ll see.” His grin was wild and his pupils were ragged. Soft sizzling plops filled the paralyzed room as the beast cornered Alex.  “All I have to do is bring them you!” he cackled. 

 

He raises a dripping fist.

 

The world fuzzes out.

 

……………………………………………………………

 

There’s screaming.

 

Pain pulses in my arm. My hand’s gone numb.

 

Apparently I moved without thinking; going unnoticed even by the molten rock that had taken over the storage room. 

 

I could see the hilt of my blade embedded in the Villains forehead. 

 

Hey look, it did melt.

 

Shame. That was a gift from my Mom.

 

Oh cool, my hands wrapped in shadows.

 

That’s good, at least it’s not numb because I lost it.

 

That would suck.

 

A lot.

 

Faint buzzing fills the air.  I think it’s talking but it might also be whatever Richard invented to do clean up.

 

“I Refuse to be a part of ‘The Syndicate of Dastardly Vengeance’.” I mumble into someone’s chest, “We’re coming up with a better name.”

 

That’s the smell of burnt hair isn’t it?

 

The jerks.

 

“And you better have a way to fix my hair.” It was supposed to be a growl but I’m exhausted and someone’s playing with said hair.

 

“Whatever you say boss.” Came a laughing reply.

 

Ok, everyone’s ok.

 

That’s always a good thing.

 

“Good, because I don’t actually feel like mutilating you today.”


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