Today’s villain is someone who’s trying really, really hard…
“Hot Mess”. It’s a good name for a pyrokinetic. It’s a better name for someone in her mental state. At first she hated it, but it’s growing on her.
Her mundane story ended the day the drunken frat boys chased her off the road and her car caught fire. The wreck burned through the night. Her latent mutation awoke, regenerating her body, causing it to adapt and change. The only path to survival was to dominate the flame, take control of it, and that’s just what her powers did. A motorist on the way to work finally saw the charred car and frantically called in a report to EMS. She’d have survived either way, of course. Her powers saw to that. What the fire fighters could have done - if those assholes had called 911 and owned up to what they did - was to spare her hours of torment, an experience that drove her to the edge of sanity.
Her villainous mentor had found her before she could take revenge on the boys. He had tracers throughout the news, informants in police and emergency services, ways of spotting potential new recruits like her. He’d stopped her, talked her down, showed her how best to humiliate and destroy them without taking life. Then he’d given her a voice-mail phone number and gone on his way. He’d continued to pay for therapy sessions. It took the edge off, but still…
He was waiting for her to prove herself. Then she’d graduate, and he’d take her in as a full protege. A life of luxury and ease could be hers, if she could make that one big score. It wasn’t just about money, though. Anyone could rob a few banks. She needed to make a splash.
She needed a hero.
Kid Kelvin. Ice powers, famous father, mostly incompetent teammates (as long as she didn’t get punched by Superchica - her teacher did his research). He would be perfect. All she had to do was show up, start some fires, grab some attention (and some loot), and he’d be sure to show up. And then! And then, she could get payback. Sure, he wasn’t one of the jocks who’d burned her. But he was close enough.
Fires started - check. Police cowed - check. Civilians screaming - check. Sprinkler system disabled - check. Emergency exits still open, so nobody dies - check. The ceiling blew itself off. Perfect. And in flew…
She got away, and tried again. Underground club, scions of the wealthy blowing their cash on drinks and dancing. Hostage situation - check. Ransom letter - check. Hired thugs holding guns to the noses of a bunch of kids, begging for their lives - check. Confused and boozy crowd making things difficult for the police - check. FIRE EVERYWHERE - check! Wall goes down, here comes the fight, finally he–
Back at her base, Hot Mess seethed. What would it take to get this jerkoff to show up? What was he doing? Did he just not actually do heroic stuff? What was his god damn problem? Honestly.
Okay. Okay. Breathe. The henchmen brought in a bunch of ice cream, now melt it, that always calms you down. Okay, good, now go rant at the trust-fund kid you managed to abscond with, whose parents haven’t bothered to pay ransom for just yet. Yeah, that was a good twenty minutes. Okay, you got a little teary-eyed and emotional, but he was halfway to pissing his pants when you scorched his Happy Meal there, so he’s not gonna tell anyone.
Just one more job, he’ll bite this time for sure. We’re gonna do this right. Psych yourself up. Make a plan. You can do this. You’re better than this. Remember what your therapist said. “This cash situation is a little awkward, if the police start asking questions.” No, before that. “I really can’t give advice. You should ask a friend for that.”
Friends. Right. He has to have some.
Okay. Hmm. Where does Kid Kelvin hang out? Gardner Academy. Well, getting in there wouldn’t be hard. Does he have any extracurriculars? Maybe I can find him there. Or maybe I can plan one more, something really big…
This time for sure.
author: Bill G.