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Chapter 2 (v.1) - 2. believe in the enemy you know

Submitted: May 15, 2019

Reads: 10

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Submitted: May 15, 2019



I'm no troubled woman. There are no records that state that I am a danger to myself and those around me, so why in all that is righteous and just, am I enemy number one? I wasn't the one that tried to take my own soul. As I explained countless times to the detectives, I am a Normal, I don't have the ability to take souls. Nor am I convinced that Robyn is the one that saved me, I saw who saved me, and Robyn has better fashionable taste than that.

Robyn and Everett wanted me to keep this to myself, screw that. There is no way I would ever be able to let that slide, he belongs on the war wall. Whoever he is, I am also keeping tabs on him. I even have a witness, it took me a moment to register the background his file represented, according to it, he was a psychology professor, at a college I went to and a class that I took before I took a leap year. Professor Crane is someone who is extremely on my radar now.

When uber mysterious baddie of the week killed and devoured Norman's soul, he hadn't a single ounce of remorse, but when it came to me. He cried blood. What could that possibly mean? What makes nearly taking my soul so hard for him to endure?

That man that saved me. He went by the name of Legend. What does the Odrium Forces do when I gave them the description of him? They laughed and ruled it on the mild concussion that I had. Saying no one can be too sure what is seen or heard coming from me.

It's unnecessary but understandable. Letting the one witness to my incident go, on the grounds that I am my mother's daughter, I have the genes of increasing madness. I felt the opposite of invisible and it's not welcoming.

From the digital copy that I have on my phone, no one else fits the description I created last night of this 'Legend'. As a way to contain me, my punishment had been to look after Lucille Blackwell. Reed's daughter, talkative/super smart, and has the lung capacity of a singer with how much she can speak. It isn't an issue for me to do this. When Luce had been younger, Mom and Reed both agreed that I would become temporary caregiver to give her father some breathing time.

Organize his meetings, maybe I don't know, fix the city as he promised that he would. All suggestions of course.

Finding the reassurance in his heart that I would keep his daughter safe and sound, after my 'freak out' is as pathetic as my patience. I know for certain that Professor Sylvester knows something, anything that connects that beast and me the other night. He watched the event and what reported it? Headlines marking the fall of the Woods. There was no one in my family, partially my father, that would care of my well being that much, what's his angle?

Few people pay little attention to me, to know about me, Everett made that painfully clear when my face was replaced by a rescue dog. There was no word on that thing's records and if there were; gone by now. I wish I knew someone that could resurface old information without being detected. The Council of Nine may have something to do with that, politically attuned bastards. It's their job to correct the mistakes of Odrium and fairly judge, they aren't old crows anymore.

Robyn's no good too, after I jumped started the poor charmer's heart, he's been upgrade mode. Checking every cough or sneeze I made and even coming into the apartment, to see everything isn't out of the ordinary and how settled I am. I'm observing a thirteen year smart girl, I am as settled as I can be.

I'm still having afterthoughts with my run in with Legend.

Lucille Blackwell is spiritually devoted to all art forms of quizzes and blabbering about recent timelines, events, parties. She's an informative cookie. We've known each other for awhile, since Luce was six and getting over her shy phrase, enough to blabber on like this and make me question, why ten year old me thought watching over her would be great? She had been on something.

I might make it sound like Luce is a pain in the ass, it's the opposite. I'm the one who's the pain in the ass in the relationship. She can do so much better than a temporary guardian like me, we hardly have anything in common and we were glued together without a chance to breathe. How is that fair for either of us?

Despite my inner struggles, I couldn't leave her behind. I'm never going to.

Apparently, Mom and Reed went way back, I'm talking high school way back and she did a favor for him and he offered his daughter as consolation prize, so he wouldn't be indebted with my family.

Hovering over her shoulder, I read an article that causes me to unplug the computer from its outlet, making her gasp and turn facing me. Hello! I should be the one shocked, how can she seriously be reading an article about Professor Sylvester? Right in front of me? When her father is the Mayor, she could be in trouble and I could be trialed for disobeying the law.

Someone hadn't listened and ran with the story. She doesn't know about the arrest or my involvement in it, so how can she know of this?

Knowing or not knowing; I'm at risk with her snooping. Not only is it utterly stupid, but it's also stupidly dangerous.

"No need to spazz out, I saw the browser open and got curious, why do you have his old lesson plan out anyway?"

"Oh there's a need, I am the right amount of spaz that this requires. Don't you have some high school prep homework to do? That's what must concern you, not what illegal troubles I could face"

"It's tectonic plates Ashley! Super boring, no one cares about earthquakes since Dad had the Council of Nine make it so. You have no clue how boring rereading magazines are," She has one point. It is boring, we've checked her homework, discussed the mood on school, and she mumbled about her new time table being a freshman and all, the school considering transferring her to AP classes. A huge yawn fest.

Having her research Professor Sylvester is a major no, an unspoken rule that shouldn't be addressed. I would never subject Lucille to pain in any way, I made that promise to Reed and Mom, swore it high and low, there was no reason to risk her ass because mine was being watched twenty-four seven...not on school days. I mention with a head nod for Lucille to check for any guards, if I was going to get her to stop being bored. We're going to have lose the hounds. She turns her head to me, shooting me a thumbs up, I sigh tossing her school bag to her, knowing that her house key would be inside. The only way she would be able to get back in, undetected.

I take her hand and she draws me up against the wall, when Robyn passes us by and the two of us went on, going down the long corridor that led to a tunnel, a tunnel where Heroes hid away from Divined. The Grand Exile was a brutal hell. I turn the knob around, hearing the click and glancing around the bridge, taking her hand once more and finally giving this girl a piece of what being a Normal looks like. A place where being who you.

Doesn't make you the enemy.

Speaking of the enemy, my hands are itchy to break down Robyn Dane and see what's beyond that damn sunny deposition, it cracked an inch when I was threatened by Everett, now I'm given the silent treatment for something I didn't even do, he's one fucking hard nut to crack and I'm wondering if he's worth the effort to crack it.

In fact, his record is super preppy boy clean, suspicious as hell and usually I wouldn't give a shit, but the dude DEFENDED me, as if it was the most natural thing he's ever done in his life. Not a single soul has ever done that for me, I mean Lucille would, but she's a teenager and has troubles aside from me to worry about. Be in mind, I don't know the first personal thing about Robyn nor do I think he knows one about me, we aren't companions that chit chat about nonsense, we are riding buddies. Designed by Everett to make sure I don't lose my head and convince someone to jump off the cliff; it's a cheat day, I think I can get dark.

"Kidnapping teens, little Ash?"

"Just the one Earl and she's a handful, a flat cheesecake for me and a banana scone for her, thank you," I told the waiter who pats my shoulder, after taking my order, I shrug off my jacket and spare the room a glance. More Villains than Normals here today, hope that's alright. Each one of them were sizing me up, damn how many people know I got jumped?

Thank God for me, mostly the older ones were giving me 'this wench isn't one of us' look, the younger looking ones were either one the deck or playing with the old fashioned arcade games which Lucille went to explore, the oval lightening flickering back and forth under her. I wasn't nervous about the setting, the owner was a service man with a shotgun with all of our names on it if they decided to act and attack. This was a fine establishment, no discrimination and a homey atmosphere, burnt grease lingering below, the free breeze Earl thought would give the place some flare, the oval tables were as gold and white as the lighting above it and some of the chairs had missing legs or were being sat upon by regulars.

Turning away, I took a bite of my cake and gazed up at the TV, there is Robyn, there was that sunny fake smile I was wondering so adamely about, remembering his constrained expression versus the deposition of a freaking sugar plum fairy was a frightening comparison, unless he has multiple personalities I don't know about, it would fit in perfectly with the company I keep. I'm literally hanging out at a diner that is housing Villains with a thirteen year old girl, as my brunch mate. Do people say brunch mate nowadays? If I have to ask, then it's probably a no.

Let a girl know what's up.

I turn my body back around to check on said girl and nothing. Nada. If this was some scare the other adult trick, she was going to get her ass handed to her. Lucille Blackwell was gone.

Cupboards, tight corners, near the scary looking man that kept fussing over how the Pacman was rigged; I can honestly say to the best of my abilities that I searched high and low for Lucille Blackwell and she is nowhere to be found, even Earl hesitated when I told him not to make a missing person's call, the last thing I need right now is to explain to Reed how I took my eyes off his daughter for five seconds and she was gone.

Lucille wasn't the rebellious type, those types had motives to piss another person off and she tells me where she goes, making sure that we were in seeing distance. Crowds annoy her just about as much as it annoys the hell out of me, she was missing and it was all on my watch. What a fantastic temporary guardian I am ladies and gents.

Right now, someone somewhere is probably thinking: Ashley calm down, doesn't she have a cell phone for you to call her? Oh right! Haven't thought of that one, but I have! Reed thinks its moral and above the times to give his daughter a cellphone, Odrium is on hellish waters these days. It had been my idea to let her stop thinking for a moment and be a kid and it's on my head if she becomes some Villain's plaything.

Would they kidnap the Mayor's daughter for ransom? Would she find a way to buy me some time until I found a way to find her?

"She always come back?"

"Yes Earl, but it's been sixteen hours"

"Aware of the time little Ash, well aware. Here's the deal I got for you, I'm closing up soon and these guys are leaving, I got their faces and their principals. That should be good enough for you, I'll even ask them nicely if they saw something strange tonight. Or the young miss could come back and I don't have to do any of that," He lightly smiles, patting my hand and walks around the long counter to bring a beer to one customer. Damn if Earl isn't a convincing Normal, we non-magic folk gotta stick together, the only reason I don't suspect him...he's the only one working tonight and doesn't gain anything by kidnapping Luce.

I sound like a broken record and I know it, but Odrium has been turning their heads to situations like this, way too much. The Heroes of old time have been missing, a year after Mom was sent to the Island, the anniversary of the Grand Exile...the day many Villains perished and others disappeared, went into hiding. Reed had ordered the destruction of those indirectly involved, to keep the peace, why wouldn't Villains go after his daughter, whether she was involved in his choices or not? It's for leverage. As that thought passes through me, my shoulder bumps into a man's waist band as I started getting out of my seat. I quickly mumble an apology looking upward to apologize.

Damn rubber spandex guy! His red hair is swept back from his face and I am floored with how well he is dressed for the nighttime. His pants creased when he sat down in front of me, bringing me back down in my chair, both his hands on my shoulders. Nearly forgot where I was, weirdo is about to be framed up if he keeps delaying me.

Could he be? There are no records of him anywhere in Odrium, so that's suspicious, if that were true, why would take the time to save me?

"Please don't throw a punch Ashley, it wouldn't do you any good," His voice is too gentle, how am I supposed to deck him with a super gentle yet rough voice? Stop it! Focus.

"Maybe not, but it might make me happy-"

"I know where Lucille is," Legend says, slipping out of his chair and mentioning for me to follow, but do I? This could be a trap, I hardly knew him and though I may be grateful for him saving my life, who's to say he won't end Luce's? Cursing under my breath, I slip on my jacket and follow him out into the night.

In a bunker. Some Villains kidnapped Lucille for a revenge fantasy and smuggled her in a bunker? The mold smell radiated off of the building, making me gag once or twice, noticing the cracked door, Legend holds out his hand behind him and I grasp, being pulled inside, before the slamming door behind us, can take me out. We both sigh, I tap on my flashlight icon, scanning the area with it.

Children from young to old, adults whispering in cracked ceilings and walls, crept around shadows of the walls everywhere my light points. They were taunting me, attempting to get me to back off. If the rancheted smell isn't making me leave, nothing else will. The diminess and slept corners of the building is kinda of keeping me locked on edge.

The moon had been helpful, the only light shining outside, guiding our feet to keep straight. I had to think that Legend is still here, except no one isn't holding my hand anymore. I breathe a cold hiss, shifting a little behind me, but still walking and found no one. The red haired bastard abandoned me in this weird den.

I pause finding another patch of light, drawing my phone down, glancing around to where it could be. A boy, around the same age as Lucille, sat in a loose sweatshirt in front of a computer screen, his glasses to the bridge of his nose, he blinks and the screen transforms into a digital version of me dropping down into a blackhole. Little shit. Guess what happened next...below my feet, the ground started to crumble and I found myself falling backwards, the boy watching me from the corner of his eye. I yelp, tossing my phone to wherever and holding onto the edge of a stable looking post. My arms would be feeling like led soon.

Then a hand reached out, manicured and long, yanking me out of my disaster and letting my fall to their high heeled feet. The man hole closes up. Sweat dripped from either side of my forehead, that same hand belonged to a browned eyed long haired beauty, the beauty lifted me off the floor by my hoodie. If I weren't still shook from what happened, I would've socked her for manhandling me.

"Lookie here what else I found," Gruff and in charge, a voice that could command in an army with these shadows to strike us next, his holding Legend up by his shirt, from my bastard companion expression, clearly he saw this coming, "Took the Council of Nine weeks to get me to stop forming riots, I can be a reasonable leader and I can be a bastard one. It depends solely on the answers you both give me." He releases Legend, stepping near me, crouching down and lifting my chin up.

"Let's do this all civilian like and nobody gonna get roughed up," Beg to differ buddy, your guard dog is manhandling me and the kid made a rude digitized gesture to me.

Two men came out, dragging a mattress, Lucille is tied up and sitting on it. No bruises or tears. She's alright...until we figure out a way to get out of this. Legend steps to the man, tapping his shoulder, the man pauses, patting my head with his other hand and letting my face go, straightening up and gazing up at him.


"What is your name?"

"You first kid."

Legend smiles.

"I stopped being a child the moment my people enslaved its own planet to kill each other overnight. We don't have Councils, we don't play nice. If I am being completely honest here, I grow tired of the formalities, so I ask again, what is your name?" Legend graciously asks, gazing over the crowd and something rolls off of the girl.

Her eyes our focused on Legend and her boss, but purple string attached to needles aimed towards the two of us and Lucille, she is clearly ready for something to pop off. Hopefully it isn't my head.


"Bennett, regal name. Fortress like, I'm Legend, a Hero whose lost the respect of the people and about to lose my sunny disposition. Release Lucille"

"Why exactly would I ever want to do that?"

"Same as how none of these children are yours, you are a man of sheer negotiations, practical. We both want balance within the city of Odrium, idiot Villains making rookie moves isn't going to solve the big issue. We need a new leader," That's when he stops walking and stands over me. Bennett stops staring at Legend and moves his gaze over to the girl holding out to me.

"Untie the girl," With a sigh, the girl shoves me away, shoes clicking on the floor as she chuckles, walking over to Lucille and doing as her boss instructed.

I don't find anything remotely funny, what does he mean by being from another planet and Odrium having another leader? We have the Council of Nine and the Odrium Police, what other leaders are there? Am I missing something majorly important. Lucille begins to get up, but the girl takes her wrist and stops her.

"Slow down little chicka, not out of the woods yet. See that handsome lug, that's my brother, Jackson," The boy turns his head away from the screen, when he hears her voice, "Keep trust fund comfortable, I'm interested in this new leader business as well." She kisses the boy's head, walking right out of the same door we came through, Bennett mentions for us to follow with a flick of his wrist, I look after Lucille to see if she was really alright.

They might have not killed us...yet. I couldn't be too sure that they would off me and her separately, the guy seemed to be intrigued with the idea of something coming along to balance the world of Odrium, but why would Legend stop by me when he said that? Making it painfully obvious I was about to get myself into something I don't think I can handle.

Outside of the bunker, the girl (Bennett mumbled a Jas, so I suppose that's short for Jasmine), Jasmine leans on the walls of the place as the look out and started chewing on a piece of gum. Needles disappearing somewhere as well as the purple string, she produced. Bennett crossed his arms and cleared his throat, all of our gazes turn to Legend.

"Said something about that role of yours?"

"Yes. The role, we want peace, that is the goal yes? What better peace than having an Ambassador that can nurture all of that? A medium between Heroes and Villains, being their advocate, our advocate. Figure out why Odrium is sucking itself dry, I have the perfect candidate. Ashley Wood," I had busied myself staring up at the glitching sign above our heads and tuned with the words: Ambassador, Heroes and Villains, and medium.

Then my name coming out of his mouth, maybe he should put his costume back on, he's sounded too far out of his comfort zone to recommend me as anything, let alone peacekeeper between these people. I tried my damn-st to never directly be involved in any criminal work or Hero worshiping, I'm the offspring of the hottest one around. Testing the waters is not how I stayed out of hiding. How dare he offer something up that I can't do?

I began to laugh hysterically. Me? Helping? I've never HELPED anyone, I turned my back on a little girl and frantically try to rewrite my mistakes. Balance isn't something I am an expert at, I keep the peace in myself, before I ever do it for someone else.

Did he forget a few minutes ago, that I got nearly sucked into a giant hole or that Jasmine had needles at the ready to prick me? Right. He wasn't the one attacked. My laughter died down and I am done. He should've left me to have my soul taken, if this is what he thought up for me.

Returning Lucille back to the manor, in time for lights out, was a whirlwind experience on its own. She didn't seem shaken up and she said goodnight to me, so I guess I wasn't on her shit list at least.

I took the long way home to gather what has occurred in last twenty hours: Babysat Lucille half of the day, took her to the diner, frantically looked for her everywhere, got help from Legend, found a strange bunker and the end result was being in league with Bennett's bunker.

Apparently Jackson would be meeting up with me later in the week and I had to prepare myself for any messages from Bennett, a smirk warning from Jasmine. Now I was walking alongside the man that made the sentence to ruin my life even further, we walked down the subway steps as Legend sighed.

"I don't see what the issue is," He mumbled, but I heard it. I rounded on him in an instant, pushing him, but he didn't budge.

"I almost died the other day! Invisibility keeps me ground okay. And you just scrapped that right out of my life, which by the way, you had no business doing. Offer yourself up, give them more money to stop, but not in a million years will I ever be okay with someone pinning something on me," I snap, shoving my hands in my pockets, turning my heel and walking away, except he has longer legs than me and he caught up.

"Greatness has been in you, since you were born Ashley, fighting it doesn't make it go away. You aren't an unknown face and I would never pressure you into this, I simply saw your true nature screaming inside of you. It would be a shame if the work you secretly do, would disappear and no one were to be helped from it," I fight an eye roll, what does he know? Wait, is he talking about what I think he is talking about, if so I might need to board up the watchtower.

When I put the apartment keys in the bowl, my phone that had survived two attack attempts, buzzed a text alert. I tap on the screen.

On that outdated crap you call a computer, to say: I know you beat yourself up over everything and none of what happened this past week and today is your fault, my curiosity is a snitch and I should have known they would have wanted more than a simple chat.

Beyond all that, I'm okay Ash. No injuries. Jackson said he was developing a game for me, he's not so bad when you get passed the monotone bizarre way he approaches people. Jasmine... I'm trying to get a ring of her and I got nothing, for now, but we both know my memory is a powerful thing.

I know you wanted me nowhere near anything connected to Professor Sylvester, but I had to make sure that he was the same person that taught that one class you were in; super confirmed. One of the staff said that he had requested to be fired after an incident, but unfortunately, I couldn't get anything on that. Sorry Ashley.

There's this link that directly shows the footage of his interview Jackson sent me, it's coded, so I corrected it and now you can show the guys.

Night, Luce.

Told this damned girl not to get involved and she does the opposite of what I ask of her, I breathe through my nose, turning off my phone and gazing into the mirror, huffing the curled bang from my head. Something is unravelled inside of Odrium and Legend knows I'm just the girl to figure out.


"This doesn't change anything, I'm not doing it." Lie.


End of Chapter Questions

Do you think Ashley shouldn't have trusted Legend?

What are your opinions of Bennett and his group?

Opinions about Ashley possibly being the Ambassador of Heroes and Villains?

Do you think Lucille is Normal or otherwise?

Impression of Lucille?

Has your thoughts on Ashley's mother Faye changed?

Whose power is the coolest of the ones you've seen so far?

Favorite character yet?

What do you think happened to Faye?

How do you think Bennett sees Ashley?

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