Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"Never Special," Encounter, pt. 2, 380 words

They've already got a video of him, transmitted from the police helicopter chasing him. It's shaky, but zooms in easily to his face as he descends the steps of the bank, his minions already piling into their van. He sports a gas mask identical to a hundred other villainous masterminds, and pauses to survey the scene before him as police cars pull in around the bank. Casually, confidently, disdainfully, he reaches up and yanks his gas mask off.

The face beneath the mask drops a leaden weight into my stomach.

Oh God. Oh dear God.

He yells something, inaudible from the police helicopter's position, but I can tell what he says half from how his lips move, and half from who he is.

"My name is Nefarious," he bellows silently from the TV screen, and laughs. He says something else, but I don't catch it. It doesn't matter. Something appropriately villainous.

Where are the heroes, I wonder, fretting. Where are they? Why hasn't anyone come to stop— Oh no. It's Friday, the 3rd. CapeCon, a hero convention and trade show, is in its second day down in Cape Cod. Everyone I know with powers, everyone, is there. It's so close by they can't resist going, because it's the biggest convention every year. The only reason I'm not there is because I don't have the sick days to waste. I was going to get a day pass for tomorrow.

Nobody really talks about it, but Grey City is basically empty of heroes during the daytime during CapeCon. I doubt anyone could get back here inside half an hour, and by that time Nefarious will probably have gotten away. A teleporter could get back in time, maybe, but I've never heard of one able to take on a gang on his own.

You're brilliant, Nefarious, I think, feeling sick. You're either brilliant, or so lucky you should be playing the lottery, if you ended up planning your heist for today by chance alone. Did I tell him when CapeCon would happen? I can't remember. I know we talked about it once before, but I just can't remember if I told him when it would be. And now I'm the only one anywhere nearby.

"Dr. Higgins," I call out. "I need to go."

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