(Small TW: mentions of blood)
(A/N: Connected with my other story, "Vigilante.")
The fist cracked down on her jaw hard and sent her flying across the pavement. After rolling, and coming to a stop, Lisa was left laying there dazed with her vision scattered and the world spinning around her.
Lisa pulled down her mask to catch her breath and spit out the blood that had formed in her mouth but kept her head lowered so the bystanders wouldn’t see her face. “Dang it, Carter, where the heck are you?” she muttered.
Lisa put the navy blue mask back on, adjusted her black hood, and slowly got to her feet. She was greeted by her current opponent stomping toward her: he was a bulky man who was three times her height and had broad shoulders that looked to be a foot long each.
This brute had been genetically modified to have inhuman strength, and could easily lift 2 tons if so wanted, and with fists the size of her head, Lisa wouldn’t be surprised if he could make a skyscraper come crumbling down with one punch.
Lisa raised her hands and spread her legs in a fighting stance that resembled karate, and she narrowed her blue and grey-tinted eyes before breaking into a sprint toward her opponent.
The raging brute gave out a roar and swung another attack at the young girl, who managed to dodge by sliding under her legs.
Once on the other side, Lisa landed a solid kick to the man’s legs causing him to yell out in pain. In retaliation, however, the brute grabbed Lisa’s still-extended leg and lifted her upside down in front of his face.
Her eyes met his hazel orbs, and Lisa immediately knew what the brute planned to do next. She mentally apologized to her enemy, before reaching for his wrist and focusing her energy.
Right when the brute was about to slam her down on the road, heat washed through Lisa’s body, and a blue, almost white light coursed into her hands. In a sudden flash, electricity zapped out from Lisa’s fingertips and traveled into the brute’s body.
The brute shouted out in pain, dropped Lisa, and began to convulse as he withered to the ground.
Lise took a step back and watched as the man finally ceased convulsing, and went unconscious. For a second, a bit of horror and dread rose up in her body as she thought she had killed him, but was immediately relieved when she saw his chest rising and lowering in labored but steady breaths.
The moment of relaxation was quickly ruined when Lisa saw the police coming toward her. Fishing out a smoke bomb from her belt pouch, Lisa threw it on the ground, and hastily left the scene before the smoke died down.
Now a few blocks away, Lisa sat on top of an apartment building, letting the cool autumn air blow over.
She had taken off her mask and hoodie and was letting her short, black and purple highlighted, bob-cut hair get fluffed by the breeze. Though she desperately wanted to enjoy this rare moment of tranquility, her brain wouldn’t allow it.
“I could have killed him.” Lisa thought to herself, looking down at her fingertips; the tips appeared to be covered in soot, a side effect of her electricity, but it would go away within an hour. “B...but I didn’t,” she tried reassuring herself.
Before her mind could get any deeper in thought, Lisa flopped on the roof’s surface, pointed her eyes to the sky, and watched the fluffy, white clouds float on above her.
Lisa grasped onto her bandana that she used as a mask, and rubbed the cloth in between two of her fingers, a nervous habit she had found herself doing more recently. She then closed her, eyes exhausted from the drawn-out fight, but a shadow fell over her and blocked out the sunlight.
Lisa opened one eye a crack and was greeted by a broad-shouldered man, who appeared to be a few years older than her and wore a hood, and his mask hanging down on his neck. He had piercing green eyes that had a hint of fatigue in them, but that didn’t stop him from smiling.
“Hey, kiddo,” he started, once he saw Lisa open her eye. “Saw the whole thing on the news, and might I just say you did a great job.”
Lisa glared at him, and without warning, she threw the bandana in the guy’s face, before rolling out from his shadow and sitting up. “You’re a jerk, Carter! You know that?” she exclaimed, crossing her arms in front of her chest. “The least you could have done was let me know that you weren’t going to be there.”
Carter took the bandana into his hand, and sighed, “I’m sorry, Lisa. I tried to make an excuse to leave work, but my boss wasn’t having any of it. By the time he did let me leave, the fight was already done. I’m not allowed to have my phone on me while working either.”
There was a moment of pause; Lisa couldn’t call him out because she knew how hard it was to make up a valid excuse if an unexpected threat showed up and she was in the middle of school. “So you saw the news? You saw me get pummeled?” she asked, trying to change the subject.
Carter sat down next to her, and responded, “You did not get pummeled. Yeah, you got punched by the brute, and grabbed by the leg, but that was not a pummel. Trust me, I’ve had my fair share.”
The young man read his friend’s expression, and continued, “Hey, you know if I thought you were in grave danger I would have left work without hesitation not caring if I were to get fired, right? I trust that you can handle yourself. You’ve proven it over these first few weeks.”
Lisa glanced over at Carter. “You really have that much trust in me, even though I nearly killed you when we first met?”
Carter raised his eyebrow, “Lisa, I forgave you for that in like the first few minutes,” He paused for a second, before saying, “Is there something on your mind?”
Lisa sighed, knowing she was caught, and replied, “I nearly killed that guy with my electric powers. It reminded me of when I was being experimented on and that psycho-scientist used me to torture people for years until you showed up. For the split second I thought that brute was dead, I swear I could hear that scientist saying, ‘Look at what you did,’ in my ear. I want to help you save people, but how do I keep my powers in check so I don’t get any more blood on my hands?”
Carter processed all of Lisa’s words, before leaning forward and perching his elbows on his knees. “I’m not the best person to go to, since I don’t have powers myself, but I have been in a situation where I was about to kill someone because they had killed my sister.”
Lisa perked up; she knew the story of how his sister died but didn’t know what became of the guy that had killed her.
“I tracked him down by interrogating anyone connected to him. I never killed those people, but my hands were covered in blood at the end of each interrogation. I guess I was saving the kill for the guy himself. Through it all there was a small voice in my head that told me that it wasn’t what my sister would have wanted, but it got so much louder the moment I had the blade out ready to kill…and it stopped me from making what could have the most horrible mistake of my life.”
Lisa watched Carter’s expression soften as he dove deeper into the story, and when he finished he looked over at her, his green eyes meeting her blue-grey ones. “The day I met you, I didn’t meet a killer. I met a girl who was just like me, angry at the world and scared of herself because of the blood she had shed.”
He put a gentle hand on her shoulder, and finished with, “Lisa, you have developed so much in the short time you’ve been at this, and I’m proud of you.”
A rare smile crept onto Lisa’s face, and she sniffed and wiped a tear from her eye. “Alright, shut up. You’re making me sympathetic,” she said, playfully whacking Carter’s hand away. “What about my powers?”
“You’ll get better at them the more you grow, but if you want your mind at ease, I actually have two friends with powers. It’s not Electrokinesis but it’s something. I think it’s time you meet them anyway.” Carter suggested.
Lisa nodded in agreement, and then a realization hit her. “By the way, Carter. I never said thank you for saving me when we met.”
Carter smiled, “You don’t have to, but no problem.”
Police sirens sounded in the distance, and seemed to be going somewhere fast. “Well,” Carter stood up and pulled his mask on. “That’s our cue. You ready, kiddo?”
Lisa stood beside him, tied her bandana on her face, and threw her hood over her head, filled with renewed confidence that everything was going to turn out okay. “Let’s go!”