Evan and Kirk were facing off against each other in the training dojo, an enlarged room that Kenji had originally built as part of the house. The size of the room enabled the team to practice their fighting technique, but for now, the two were using it to take their minds off of the funeral.

“The rules are simple.” began Kirk, who twirled his bamboo staff in a nonchalant manner. “The first one to get three hits on the other person is the winner.”

Evan nodded in agreement and took his place, but then rushed Kirk, his metallic spines coming out of him.

“Alright, stick boy. Let’s see how well the voices in your head do against this!” Evan challenged as he swiped at Kirk with the enlarged spine protruding from his forearm.

Kirk sidestepped the blow, as well as most of the successive strikes that Evan took at him. Due to his ability of foresight, he knew when things were about to happen to him, and could almost always avoid it. If he didn’t avoid the hit altogether, he was able to block Evan with his staff.

Kirk swung his quarterstaff at Evan, whose reflexes were just as sharp as Kirk’s but for a different reason. He had been given a treatment of nanites, tiny machines, that had not only healed him of his disease, but also had boosted his nerve conductivity, making his reflexes five times faster than a normal human’s.

The pair seemed almost at a standoff, both being hand-to-hand fighters as well as having ultrafast reaction times. Almost every hit was blocked, ducked or missed completely. Nonetheless, both young men had managed to score two hits each on his opponent. Frustrated, Evan ran back, then rushed his opponent, leaping into the air.

Kirk regarded him for a second before vanishing into thin air. He immediately reappeared a couple of feet away. Stunned by this maneuver, Evan was unable to stop himself from crashing into the padded walls. Kirk walked up to him and tapped him on the head with his staff.

“I win.” he grinned.

“You cheated!” Evan protested, and struggled to his feet.

“No I didn’t.” Kirk said as he went upstairs to raid the fridge. “There’s nothing in our rules about not teleporting. Besides, I didn’t think it would work.”

“That’s still not fair.” Evan complained, following him. “I didn’t know you could do it! How can I prepare for something if I don’t know it’s coming?”

Kirk gave him a spare-me look as he opened the large refridgerator. “That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.” He tossed him a soda. “Do you think the bad guys are gonna give you that courtesy?”

“Still. I might have a counter move for it.”

“Sure you do.” Kirk drank his soda down quickly and grabbed another.

The doorbell rang, and Evan went answer it. At the door was a very attractive woman, about thirty, black hair pulled back into a braid. She gave Evan an unusual look.

“Is Sara here?” she asked.

“Um, no. She’s shopping at Regent’s. She should be back later today. Do you want to leave a message?”

She smiled at him, one that seemed more reptilian than human. He began to feel ill at ease around this woman. “That won’t be necessary. I need to see her in person.” she turned to leave.

“By the way, it’s good to see you again, Spyke.” she said over her shoulder.

Evan slammed the door and locked the locks, almost frantic. He ran through the house, closing drapes and checking locks on all windows and doors.

“What’s going on? What’s the matter with you?” Kirk demanded.

“It’s him, but he’s a she!” he babbled.

“Evan! What on earth are you doing?” Jon asked, coming out of his room.

“We’ve got a big problem.” Evan said.

“What’s that?” Jon asked, an irritated expression on his face.

“Thomas is back.”

The annoyance gave way to one of fear.

“That is really nice, but I won’t be able to wear it until after the baby, Sara.” Xandria put the red dress back onto the rack.

“Well, get it and wear it when the time comes.”

Xandria winced slightly. “If I had any doubts about this baby being JD’s, they’re gone now. This kid keeps squirming around and kicking me!” she sighed deeply. “I’ll be glad when he’s out.”

“You know it’s a he?”

“I’m speaking in general terms, Sara. Do I know the sex of the baby? Yes. Am I telling anyone? No. It’s going to be a surprise.”

“Fine.” she resumed looking at the clothes. “Keep your surprise.”

“So, you and Edward, huh?” Xandria asked suddenly, looking at her friend over the rack of clothes.

“Excuse me?”

“You and Edward. You seriously didn’t think you were fooling anyone, did you?”

“We, um, I, uh…” Sara trailed off.

“Relax, will you? Personally, I’m glad to see you’ve gotten yourself into a serious relationship again. Jon will be a little weirded out by it, but that’s him.”

“Excuse me, but we’re running a special on makeup today. Attend our demonstration and receive a complimentary gift.” said a saleswoman, emerging from the racks of clothes.

“Oh, thank you.” Sara said.

“Are you two models? You’re both so tall! Oh, and you’re pregnant! When are you due?” The saleswoman gushed, and pushed her long black braid behind her shoulder.

“Next month.” Xandria replied.

“May I?” the woman asked, her hand out.

“Sure, go ahead.” the blonde answered somewhat tiredly. “Rub it for good luck.”

The woman placed her hand on Xandria’s belly. The baby began to kick furiously.

“Wow. Feels like you have a soccer team in there.”

“Yeah.” Xandria agreed. She looked for a seat. The baby had never done that before.

Sara’s phone suddenly buzzed in her purse. She fished it out and looked at it. Seeing it was Evan, she answered it.


“Sara! We got a problem! Death’s Hand is back!”

“That’s impossible. He’s gone, remember?”

“No! He’s back! Only now he’s a she! Is there anybody near you with black hair in a braid?”

Sara scanned the store. The only one she had seen like that was the saleswoman they had just spoken to, but the woman had vanished in the crowd. “How do you know it was him?”

“She called me Spyke, and only Death’s Hand called me that.”

“Sara!” Xandria called out, panic in her voice. “Something’s wrong!”

Sara spotted the saleswoman, who looked back at Sara, and her eyes narrowed in a diabolical smile.

Sara slapped a teleportation tag onto Xandria, sending her to Chiron Medical Center. Turning back to the saleswoman, whose eyes never left Sara, she began walking towards her, unsheathing her claws.

The saleswoman suddenly shot off a wave of darkness towards Sara, which knocked everything out of it’s way; glass counters, racks of clothes, and even customers. People ran in panic from the scene, screaming loudly. Other people could be heard in the distance calling for help almost immediately.

Sara activated her shadowy armor, which absorbed any damage that the flying items might have inflicted. She leapt at the woman and tackled her, but received kick to her midsection which flipped her over her opponent and sent her flying through the air.

Quickly righting herself, she gracefully landed on one of the counters. Claws still pointed at the woman, she gave her a “nice try” smile.

“Do I still call you Death’s Hand? Or have you chosen something less creative this time around?” Sara taunted.

Another blast of darkness came in her direction, which she nimbly dodged.

“You may call me Lady Persephone for now, Ms. Shaughnessy!” she called out between her deadly dark beams. “I certainly hope you missed me! I’ve been wanting to see you again for some time now!”

“Pity. I always felt if I never saw you again, it would be too soon!” Sara retorted, and then attacked. She made a herculean jump across the large room toward her adversary, striking her across her face with a savage hit. The blow sent Persephone flying over one display and crashing onto another. She lay dazed for a few seconds. The delay gave Sara plenty of time to get to her. Grabbing Persephone, she tossed her up into the air. Jumping up, Sara delivered a wicked downward slash, which increased the dark lady’s falling speed. She crashed onto another display, but was back on her feet before Sara landed beside her.

The moment Sara’s feet hit the floor, Persephone swept them out from under her, making her fall back. Her head hit the floor with an audible smacking noise. Sara shook it off, and lunged, driving her claws deep into Persephone’s legs. Persephone retaliated with a shadow-cloaked uppercut that sent Sara crashing onto a perfume display.

“As much as I’d like to blast you apart, I don’t think anything would please me as much doing the job with my bare hands!” she challenged, hands still wrapped in shadow.

“That’s rich!” Sara snarled, running up to her. “I’d like to see you try!”

By now a crowd had gathered at a safe distance, watching the superpowered catfight. The two women went back and forth in their combat; one would gain the upper hand, and then the tide would turn and favor the other. The ladies’ department of Regent’s was soon reduced to piles of wrecked displays, broken glass, and reeked with the scent of hundreds of broken perfume bottles.

Sara finally got the advantage, first with a few well-placed hits, and then, grabbing Persephone by the collar, by flat-out punching her. Grabbing the woman’s arm, she twisted it behind her and slammed her face down onto one of the few counters that had not been destroyed or damaged.

“Alright, both of you! Stop it!” an officer ordered, his gun drawn. Sara looked in his direction. About a dozen of Paragon City’s finest were standing there, along with three superheroes.

Persephone looked up at Sara. “Another time, then.” she taunted, and then turned as insubstantial as shadow. Sara shook her head in disbelief, and then saw that the police still had their guns trained on her.

“What?” she asked them.

“Come with us, please.” the lead officer said in a neutral tone.

“Am I under arrest?”

“Let’s not make a scene.”

“It’s a little late for that, isn’t it?” she quipped.

“Just come quietly.”

Sara retracted her claws and walked behind the officers. She knew she had done nothing wrong; she was defending herself against an enemy. She looked back at the now-trashed ladies’ department. The crowd of people were still staring at the tall redhead being led away by the police.

Outside, Sara was put into the back of a patrol car and driven away. She could see the supers flying alongside, ensuring that she would not get far if she tried to escape. Sara slumped down in the seat, not wanting to be seen, feeling even worse than when she had gone shopping this afternoon.
Review this story
Review this story
Stories # - L | M - Z | Authors