So I was now responsible for leading and training Carter and Raina. Great.
It had turned out that Eve was a lesbian and she was now going out with Olivia. Fantastic.
And there were a bunch of clowns who’d become super villains, terrorizing the city. Interesting.
None of those things were anywhere near as important as finding Smog and avenging Erica.
According to Carter, Smog was giving us four months to become more vigorous so we could fight again, hopefully with better chances. I couldn’t wait that long. He had to die now.
I didn’t have any way of taking him on currently, but if I could get Raina to buy me some anti-Demigod gear, I knew I could beat him. After all, as strong as he was, Olivia was still able to hurt him with the stuff.
It has to be me. Chewie said. I have to be the one to avenge Erica.
Come on Chewie. We all want to kill Smog, but you heard what Bro said. Dot responded. Only anti-Demigod metal can hurt him, and if I recall correctly, only Kayla and Zelda are equipped to use bullets made of it.
That’s fucking shit. I can kill anything, right Bro?
I shook my head.
“Sorry Chewie. Dot is right,” I said. “But don’t worry. Kayla, Zelda, and I will be sure to get a shot in for each and every one of you. For Erica!”
All of my sisters started cheering.
I really did like having friends like Carter and Eve, but Carolina, Zelda, and everyone else. They were my family.
Uh, I’m not fighting anyone. Kayla said.
Come on Chica, don’t be like that. Carolina said. Think about what Erica would want.
I don’t care what she’d want. She’s the dumb bitch who got herself killed.
Frustrated, I picked up Kayla.
“Listen to me. Erica was your big sister and you will show her respect,” I said in a stern tone. “Understood?”
Kayla had always been something of a spoiled brat. I think it had to do with the fact that she’d originally been used by a corrupt king in Salanda. After I killed him along with a good chunk of his army, I’d brought Kayla into the family.
Don’t worry Bro. I’ve got you covered. Zelda said.
I put Kayla back on her shelf and picked up Zelda.
“I knew I could count on you, Zel,” I said. “Now then, how about we head over to the shooting range and get some practice? I don’t think you and I have gone on a mission alone since that time with the mummy at Mt. Rushmore.”
Yeah. That was…Zelda was cut off by a knock on my door.
I opened the door and saw Eve, all made up.
“Hey. What’s up?” I asked.
“Well, you spend every night in your room, talking to yourself, and I’m cool with that, but I was wondering if you wanted to come hang out with us.”
“Us?” I asked, not sure who she was referring to.
“Yeah, Olivia’s here.”
That figured. I’d gotten over Eve and was happy to have her as a friend, but I didn’t like her with Olivia. Not only had she killed Punchline, but according to Carter, she was a merciless killer who’d taken the lives of many. And unlike me, she’d killed innocent people. There was no way in Hell I was going to let her hurt any of my new friends.
“Oh,” I said. “Well if you guys are on a date, I wouldn’t want to intrude.”
That’s right. Tonight, it’s all about us. Zelda said.
“It’s fine,” Eve said, continuing to smile. “We’re just watching a movie. Come on, they’ll be sandwiches.”
Bro. Zelda said in a tone that could be described as anger with a hint of nervousness.
“What kind of sandwiches?” I asked.
Oh you are not serious. Zelda said.
“We brought in ham for me and roast beef for Olivia. You’re welcome to whichever you want,” Eve answered.
I popped my lips.
“Just one sec,” I said, quickly shutting my door.
Come on, you don’t have time for this. Zelda said. What about avenging Erica?
I was sure to whisper since Eve was still probably a at the door.
“Of course that’s our top priority, but until I see Raina tomorrow and ask for some money, there’s nothing we can really do. OK?”
Fine. Zelda mumbled.
I set her down on the shelf and kissed her handle before going into the main room.
Upon entering, I saw Eve comfortably seated Indian style on Olivia’s lap. For the first time, I was seeing Olivia outside of her weird chauffeur uniform. Instead, she was wearing a black crop top, brown cargo pants, and military boots.
“You decided to join us,” Olivia said, stating it as a fact rather than expressing an opinion about my presence. While that was kind of rude, my attention was focused on something else.
“What the Hell happened to your voice?” I asked Olivia, who’d just spoken in a pretty real sounding Russian accent.
“Oh yeah, I forgot you didn’t know about that,” Eve said. “Liv’s Russian.”
Olivia whispered in Eve’s, but I couldn’t hear what she said.
“If you’re Russian, why do you always use a Swedish accent?”
Olivia stretched her arms as she said “Mr. Davenport is very, I suppose you could say, American. He doesn’t want his daughter knowing that she’s always with a Communist.”
“Does this asshole actually think that all Russians are Communists?” I asked. Frankly, considering Raina’s dad was pretty much the definitive image of the rich, white, Capitalist, I wouldn’t be surprised if the answer was yes. More likely than not, he was also probably racist.
“I asked that too,” Eve said. “Turns out Liv actually is a Communist.”
“Do you have a problem with this?” Olivia asked, clearly trying to scare me.
“Olivia, according to this country, I’m a terrorist because I deal with the crime that every body else allows to happen.”
“I thought everybody thinks you’re a terrorist because you blew up an orphanage,” Eve said.
I bit my lip instead of vocally responding. Between telling Carter and Raina and more recently Eve, I was getting really sick of explaining myself there.
I continued. “ And half the time, it’s because some rich guy is behind the crime and uses his money to keep people from looking into it. So yeah, I’m not a Commie, but I’ve got no problem with you being one.”
“Okay,” Olivia said, taking a bite of her roast beef sandwich. “A simple no would have sufficed.”
It was bad enough that she was probably up to something, but her smug attitude just made it worse. Everyone else thought she was just unemotional, but I could see the truth.
Sitting down on a chair next to the couch the others were sitting on, I noticed Olivia putting her fingers through Eve’s hair.
“Pardon me for wondering, but you two seem pretty close for people who only met less than a week ago.”
Eve did her by this point familiar giggle.
“That’s a bit of old fashioned thinking,” Eve said. “We just like each other. That’s all.”
“I see,” I said, still not quite getting it. I mean, fucking the night you meet someone? I got that. But actually being really close to someone immediately? That was kind of weird.
“How old are you anyway?” Eve asked.
I’d started out my relationship with Eve by lying to her. Since then, I’d come clean clean about most things. I had to decide if I wanted to admit that I only had memories of the last 14 years, or if I should lie.
“I dunno,” I answered.
“How do you not know?” Eve asked.
“Fourteen years ago, I woke up naked in a pile of rubble and ash with no memories of anything in my life beforehand. So, all I really know is that I’m older than 14.”
“Quite a bit older I’d say,” Eve joked, apparently taking this pretty easily.
“Eve, please get off for a moment,” Olivia requested.
Had I said something wrong?
“You said that you lost your memory 14 years ago. Where were you when you woke up?” Olivia asked.
“Um, it was here in Bluejay. I don’t exactly remember where.”
“What are thinking about, Babe?” Eve asked, having moved over on the couch.
“14 years ago is when I was put in prison. It’s when my family was taken away from me, and it’s when all of the heroes disappeared.”
“My drunkard of a dad disappeared then too. Where are you going with this?”
I wanted to know that too.
“Malcolm, do you think you have any connection to the super heroes?”Olivia asked.
“Hell no!” I shouted. “Those guys just put bad guys in jail. That’s not my style at all. Besides, I don’t got any super powers.”
“While that is true, Raina has mentioned to me that you’re quite the fighter. Better than most. Though whether that’s still true given your lack of an arm, I don’t know.”
“Yeah, I am a great fighter. Better than you. Doesn’t mean shit.” I was pretty sure I was starting to sound angry.
“Look, Olivia, you’re clearly thinking something. Just tell us.” Eve spoke up.
“Very well,” she said, clearly not wanting to upset Eve. “Nearly every American super hero who was active at the time fought in World War III. If you were a super hero back then, it means I have to kill you.”
“Say what now!?”
“America winning World War III is the reason my mom had to become a super villain in Bluejay. This led to her eventually having her head cut off by Bladeburst.” She tilted her head. “If you played any part in America’s victory, I will shoot you where you sit.”
Before I could answer, Eve pulled on Olivia’s perfectly groomed hair.
“Eve,” Olivia said, sounding more annoyed than anything.
“You’re not killing anyone in my apartment,” Eve declared. “And just in general, you’re not killing Malcolm. He’s a friend, and whatever you’re thinking he might have done in the past, do you really think that the Malcolm we know would have fought in a battle because some politician told him to?”
Eve really did get me. More so than anyone else I’d ever met. Maybe she really could be the person who’d understand about my sisters.
“I suppose not,” Olivia answered putting an arm around Eve. “My apologies Malcolm.”
“It’s cool,” I said, not really meaning it. If she ever wanted to go, I’d be more than happy to kick her ass.
Eve picked up and started drinking from a water bottle, while Olivia resumed eating her sandwich.
Deciding to eat, myself, I took one of the ham sandwiches. It was actually pretty good, though the bread was a bit soggy.
On the one hand, if I told Eve about my sisters and she was okay with it, everything would be great and we could all hang out together. On the other hand, she might think I’m crazy and kick me out of her apartment. I’d lose a great friend, and I’d have to go back to living above a bowling alley.
I’d made up my mind. I knew what I had to do.
“So, since all the serious talk is done, do you guys wanna watch a movie?” I asked, having decided to not bring up my sisters.