Author: Harper Kingsley
World: Heroes & Villains
Genre: mm superhero
Word count: 8750
Note: Set during part three of Allies & Enemies.
Includes excerpts of upcoming stories. First two chapters of Allies & Enemies, the first two chapters of The Panic Pure, and the opening of Normal Again.
Summary: Warrick should stay safe in their little cabin in the woods, but sometimes that whole superhero thing gets away from him.
He’d given up that life. He wasn’t that guy anymore. He’d made promises and commitments. But that was all in the past tense. He was in the moment, in the now, and there was the thunder red of rage-rage-rage burning across Vereint’s brain.
All this time, Warrick had been so great about following the rules. So why did he have to f*** up now?
Vereint had come back to an empty cabin, a TV still showing GNN, and a note. Warrick had seen something that called for Blue Ice, so he’d gone off to handle it.
Vereint’s panic as he chased after Warrick had gradually turned to burning anger. Didn’t Warrick understand what putting himself in danger did to him? The sense of helplessness and suffocating worry that he felt?
Vereint wanted to scream in Warrick’s face, but he knew he would end up on his knees begging him to never leave him. And that patheticness only made him angrier. Never in his life had there been anyone to bring him so low as Warrick could.
By the time he reached the warehouse, he was mostly in control. Then he broke the lock and slid open the door. It felt like the moment froze in front of him, the air going heavy and still.
Warrick was dead.
There was blood everywhere in a butterfly spray, and at the center the torn cocoon. Flesh splayed open in pink and white ridges of muscle and tendon. Eye sockets blackened and exposed amongst the brain matter. Warrick’s face was pasty and still, his shattered lips still parted around where his teeth had been kicked out.
Vereint sucked in a hissing breath and his hands clenched into claw shapes at his sides. He was going mad. The world was a riot of bright reds and softer pinks and the glistening lengths of intestine. The image before him soaked itself into his brain. Becoming the truth of his existence.
Then he noticed that the Blue Ice uniform was wrong. It was one Vereint knew for sure had been ruined in a fight with Behemoth. He’d thrown it away himself, which had been a real hardship. It had been his favorite.
Just that quick he knew someone was messing with his brain.
It was as though someone had snapped a new lens on a camera, everything coming into focus. He could still see the mind fuckery of the illusion, but it was hollow and thin, all the emotional impact removed.
There were two men in black three-piece suits standing next to a card table. They were laughing and joking, placing bets on how long he would freak out.
As his mind started working again, Vereint’s eyes were drawn to the vibrating silver device on the table. He’d only ever heard about them, but he was sure that it was a Psiren. It produced sound waves focused to some frequency that could force the human brain to experience different emotions. The feelings drawn up were so strong that some people experienced correlating hallucinations.
Vereint tried to make his body convey terror and grief and was glad of the ski mask he’d pulled on before leaving. He’d never been that great of an actor, which was why he usually let Warrick do the lying for the both of them.
His eyes slid to the back of the room where he’d spotted the glint of a blade pressed tight against the real Warrick’s throat. His jaw clenched tight with fear and anger.
Warrick wasn’t moving, was flopped limply, but Vereint could see the minute quiver of his breaths. He was pulled across the over-sized lap of a man that had to be a good fifteen hundred pounds.
Vereint recognized the man as Jericho Slim, sometimes called the Knife Man because he could do horrible nightmare things with a blade. He could draw them out of his flesh like gall stones. He would gag and a blade would come out from between his lips or sometimes it would just be slivers. It was said he could spit his Needle Darts faster than a viper and he could hit a target up to two hundred feet away.
Even though he was sure he was faster than Jericho Slim, Vereint didn’t want to risk the guy getting lucky. It was better to play it safe and maneuver the situation to keep Warrick alive. Because a single scratch from one of Jericho Slim’s bioblades and Warrick would rot from the wound like it was the bite of a Gila monster; it was a horrible way to die.
After what he figured had to be a good five minutes of shivering, shaking, and quavering garbled cries, Vereint let himself sag to the floor with a low moan. From what he knew, an improperly used Psiren could cause catatonia in people that had experienced severe psychological trauma.
He was worried about Warrick. With his history and not possessing Vereint’s natural protections, things were worse for Warrick. Being hit with the effects of a Psiren could give him permanent brain damage.
Vereint was certain he was going to be killing some people today.