Previously on Blessed Inversion SWAT…
Having escaped death at the hands of his former student, the Inhibitor Mentalist, Steven Kessler returns home. While investigating into Acel-Corp, he runs into some unexpected opposition in the form of a pyrokinetic Inversion…
For the only security they had to stop me, this Inversion wasn’t much of a threat. If I were slower maybe but now it’s just a joke. One hit would probably be all it took to take me out. But between my agility, danger sense, and her inability at foresight that wasn’t gonna happen. Her flames lit up the dark rooftop as they soared through the air and scorched the ground. All it did was make it easier for me to see. I slide under one of her streams of fire and shoot my webs at her. She’s a quick thinker I’ll give her that. When I finally decided to use my webs she lit her body like a match. Melting them before they could reach her. I needed her conscious so just tearing up the floor and throwing it at her was off the table.
“Stop moving!” she shouts like it’d mean anything to me. I remain silent.
I have a risky idea but it wasn’t like I got here playing safe. “You couldn’t hit me if I did.” I taunt her and leap onto the neon Acel-Corp sign. “Come on, give it your best shot.” I taunt again and gesture her to come at me. If she’s like most pyrokinetic Inversions she’ll fall for it.
“With pleasure!” she shouts summoning a sun-like orb of fire above her head.
This put me in an awkward position. Do I go through with my plan and risk it destroying sign and harming civilians below? Or do I move now, not risk their lives, but put myself out in the open. The choice is easy when your power lets you be two places at once. I bet everything on the Khonshu Band. I have Guardian Aranea fly solo, leaping from the sign high into the air. Her attention was so focused on it, she didn’t see the man drop down below. It was a high drop but nothing I couldn’t handle. She launches her attack at Guardian Aranea and while she’s distracted I fire the taser from the Khonshu Band. She screams and collapses to the ground. Her flames fade allowing Guardian Aranea to web her from above before it lands and returns to me. “Look at that, two minutes.” I normally don’t gloat but I made an exception this time. Now the interrogation. I didn’t have time to play nice or risk her flaming up again. I grab her and hold her over the edge of the building before she can get her senses back. “Time to talk, piss me off and you die. Try to use your powers and guess what? You die. Now, who do you work for?”
“I’m not telling you anything SWAT.” she says defiantly.
“If you know who I am then you know I’m not playing around with my threats.” I pull off her mask and look into her orange eyes. Her hair was short and red. Both likely side effects of her abilities. “Tell me who you work for.” I ask once more while loosening my grip. She doesn’t even flinch.
“If I tell you then I’m just gonna get killed anyway.”
“Tell me who you work for and it won’t come to that.”
“Why should I trust you? You can drop me right after I answer you!”
“True, I could do that. But I have a feeling if I didn’t do this you’d just try to burn me alive.” I know what she’s playing at and I don’t bite.
“So this puts us at a stalemate doesn’t it?” she smirks.
“No.” I hold the Khonshu Band up to her face and scan it. First time I got to test it in the field. In theory, it scans the face and records it. Then it can be run against public records to find a match. “You just became expendable.” I stand up while keeping my grip. “Any last words?”
“Yeah, I set off the silent alarm when you came here. Good luck with that.”
“Shit.” I think to myself. I was careless and didn’t consider she’d set it off herself. She was too dangerous to bring back RajTEK and I wasn’t armed to deal with police.
I leave her with a parting gift. I drop her and leap off the building alongside her. She screams, I smile, and I fire off one of my specialty webs. One that’d create a parachute for her so she wouldn’t fall to her untimely death. They already knew I was onto them which means I’m on the right track. If I’m lucky they’ll think she squealed. I spread my arms and glide through the air. Tonight wasn’t a full bust but it wasn’t nearly as good as I’d hope. I’ll have to come back later and more prepared. I return to my car and put my clothes back on after banishing Guardian Aranea. I head up the stairs to my apartment and its quiet. I check Gabe’s room and he’s sound asleep. I follow his example and head to my room to sleep. I wouldn’t be going after Acel-Corp for at least a few days so I could enjoy relaxing.
The next morning I’m woken up by a knocking on my door. “Yeah? I grumble half-asleep.” Gabe peeks his head in.
“Can we go out today dad?”
“Ugh.” I groan. You never get used to late night vigilantism. I sit up and rub my head. “Had something in mind?”
“There’s that new sci-fi movie Xeno-Force. It came out a few days ago but I had school.”
“Isn’t that rated R?” I ask.
“Nope, PG-13.” he responds.
“Alright, just give me a minute.”
It takes me about thirty minutes for both of us to finish getting ready and dressed. “Want food here or stop by a place before the movie?”
“Could we wait and see what Mikey wants?” Gabe asks.
“Michael is gonna be there?” I ask knowing he plans to loophole his brother in.
“Well, I wanted to ask if we could go together.”
“Of course, just call so he can get ready.”
In about three minutes we leave the house and in 15 more we’re at his mother’s. RajTEK paid good but her job as a dentist paid better. She could easily maintain the three-bedroom house she owned. I park outside and Michael runs out to meet us. The only way to tell him apart from his brother was the lack of a hoodie and goggles. Following behind him was his mother…Elle had short red hair she kept tidy with a headband. A classic look that was feminine and professional. Even on her day off like now. Shoulda known she was coming if Michael came.
“Hi, dad!” Michael says excitedly as he sits next to Gabe in the backseat.
“Longtime no see sport. How ya been?” I ask.
“Good, I’m gonna do soccer this year. My gym teacher thinks I have potential.”
“That’s great, did you have anything like that Gabe?”
“No…” he replies lowly.
“Nothing wrong with that.” I had more to say but go quiet when Elle gets in the passenger seat. “Elle.”
“Hello, Steven.” There was no warmth in her voice.
This ride to the movie theater was uneasy. Gabe and Michael talked throughout the ride. The most Elle and I did was exchange half-glances. After getting the tickets we let the boys play in the arcade till it started. Letting us have a talk.
“Were you ever planning on calling?” she gets to the point immediately.
“When I had time.” I half lie to her. I did plan to tell her but only when it was safe for her to know.
“Was this before or after you let Gabriel leave on his own?” she grills me. I knew Gabe didn’t like staying with her but I didn’t think he’d lie and use me as an excuse to run away. She didn’t say anything about my supposed death* so that saves one explanation. For once a cover-up worked in my favor. Wish I knew they didn’t even bother to call and tell my family sooner though…
*Check out Blessed Inversion Inhibitors Chapter 2 for more details!
“I had an NDA, the only person I could tell I was back was him.” I lied again to protect him.
“Uh-huh, and that’s why you’re at the movies now?” she digs into me again. I don’t blame her and take it.
“You know it’s not like that.”
“When it comes to you I really don’t.”
“Look, I’m sorry but I don’t know what to tell you.”
“The truth for once.”
“You’ve never believed me in the past. Why start now?”
“Hey dad, when does the movie start again?” Gabe runs over to interrupt us. It wasn’t hard to see what he was trying to do.
I glance at the Khonshu Band as if it could tell time. “I think we should be getting our seats.”
Thanks to Gabe I was able to avoid another awkward conversation with Elle. But now I’ll have to deal with her on top of Acel-Corp. The stress was getting to me. The whole time we were in the movie theater my danger sense was going off. I know I’m not her biggest fan but this was a bit much. Even so, I kept my eye on my surroundings and the Khonshu Band. Nothing stood out to me so I blamed it on my paranoia. For once I was going to enjoy my time with my kids. Never know when the next opportunity to have us all together would be.