“Officer,” I said to Joey, his gun still aimed at me. “I think there’s been a misunderstanding.”
He shook his head at me, his large blonde mustache curved from the frown on his face.
Joey was not someone who was easy to put in a bad mood, but he looked positively enraged. In the months I’d known the guy, there was only one occasion where he’d come even close to being angry. He and Shay had both come back to the apartment in a really bad mood, apparently having something to do with detectives Woodsol and Bugby being huge jackasses. Much to Shay’s dismay, Joey had ended up getting drunk and sleeping on the couch.
“No misunderstanding at all,” Joey responded. “You’re being put under arrest for aiding and conspiring with a known super villain and mass murderer.”
There were a few options at my disposal here. The most obvious approach would just be to fire a small electric blast at Joey, knocking him to the ground, and making a run for it. There were a few things that could go wrong with that plan though. For one, there were police downstairs who were likely positioned to take me down in case I made a run for it. More importantly though, it was possible that I could accidentally put to much power into my attack, sending Joey off the roof the building.
That left two different routes I could take. I could try to convince him as Lightning Bee that Raina really was trying to redeem herself, and by extension, get him to accept that I was still the same crime fighter I’d bee for months.
Or I could just tell him who I was.
Putting my hands up, I decided to go with the former of those plans. Enough people knew my identity as it was, and especially in this case, if he found out my identity and still thought I belonged in jail, Shay could get wrapped up in all of this too. At least if he brought me in not knowing who I was, no one else would get hurt, since for some reason I still hadn’t figured out, no one could tell who I was just by looking at me.
“Officer McKnight, I’m not going to resist arrest,” I said.
“Smart move. You’re a lot of things, but I don’t think bullet proof is one of them. Now keep your hands up, and turn around!”
It wasn’t clear to me why he wanted me to keep my arms raised. I’d only put them up as a gesture. News footage of me had made it clear I could shoot lightning out of a number of parts of my body.
“Officer, I will allow you to cuff me and read me my rights without any fight at all, just so long as your hear me out. OK?”
“Ha!” he spat. “This is Bluejay City, super hero capital of the world. The police of this city do not negotiate with criminals.”
Damn it. Why was he being so difficult? I was beginning to see Shay’s problem with him.
Slowly, I started making my way towards him.
“Hey, hey! Stay where you are!” he shouted.
“Please just listen,” I pleaded, continuing to move closer to Joey. As I approached him, I was able to see that his hands were trembling. “I think we have a lot in common.”
“You don’t even know me,” he said, unknowingly incorrect.
I hadn’t actually had a chance to think this plan through. If I told him things that Lightning Bee should have no idea about, that would only make him less trusting.
Then it hit me.
“But I do know you,” I said. “You are a police officer, and the nephew of Darling, the greatest super heroine of all time.” His grumpy, but nervous facial expression didn’t change. “I think we both believe in the same things that the Guardianship and most of the other heroes did. Kindness, equality, generosity.”
“Where are you going with this?” he asked as I noticed that the safety on his gun was still on. At least I was pretty sure it was. I really didn’t know anything about guns except for what Shay, and more recently, Malcolm had told me.
“I am a super hero. Admittedly, no where near as skilled as the old heroes, but a hero nonetheless. And so is R…” I caught myself. “So is Queen.”
“Bullshit,” Joey said. “You know a good friend of mine and my boss were at that party.” He thought of Shay as a good friend? Not sure what Shay will think of that. “They tried their best to protect the people there, and they did one Hell of a job, but hundreds of innocent people still died. And you were there too. To everyone there, it looked like you were fighting Queen. But you both disappeared from the scene, and the next thing anyone knew, you two were working together!”
His expression had finally changed.
He looked hurt.
“Joey, I…” I started, apologetically.
“I believed in you!” he shouted. “I thought that a true hero had finally arisen after 14 years of nothing but the world going to Hell. But I was wrong.”
“Officer, what have Queen and I been doing since we began working together?” I asked, knowing the answer myself.
“If I had to guess,” he said, still emotional. “I’d say taking out all the competition, so that you two could be the only villains in the city.”
I was fully aware that the police would be suspicious of me when I teamed up with Raina after everything she’d done. But that had been the conclusion they’d come to. That was dumb, even by my standards.
A small part of me wanted to be cynical towards him, point out how stupid they’d been, but I really wasn’t someone to judge, it would be pretty rude, and just in general, it wasn’t the right way to go about this.
“Officer,” I was probably saying that too much, but cops who you weren’t friendly with deserved to be referred to as officer. “I didn’t join up with Queen. She joined up with me.” Joey’s look of pain was mixed now with skepticism. “The night of the party, we talked. She never wanted to kill anyone. Phaser was an accident and after that, she was traumatized. She felt that she needed to keep killing. But I snapped her out of it! She decided to do the right thing, and attempt to make up for what she’d done by becoming a super hero. Since then, I’ve grown close to her, and I’d happily call her my best friend. We protect this city from the villains who want to harm others, and we will never turn our backs on our duty.” With that, I’d said my peace. “Please believe me.”
Joey bit his lip.
“I want to, but. But…But she still killed all those people! She isn’t exempt from the law, and by extension, neither are you! Besides, just a few days ago, our sensors picked up two Medians and a Demigod attacking people, and news footage showed you, Queen, and some old guy with a gun there. How do you explain that?”
“We were there fighting villains!” I shouted, really getting frustrated at having to defend myself for this. “The news crew just wasn’t around to see them.”
“Really?” He asked, now sounding hopeful.
“Yeah,” I said, smiling. “We didn’t catch them, but we will next time. That’s a promise.”
His hands continued to shake, and sweat was covering his face.
“I believe you,” he said, lowering his weapon. “But you’re still under arrest!”
Unexpectedly, he through down his weapon, charged towards me and threw a punch.
I successfully jumped out of the way of his incoming fist, but I wasn’t sure what to do next.
It would be so easy now just to grab his arm and discharge enough volts to immobilize him, but I couldn’t. King Power would never use his strength against an innocent, and I wasn’t about to use my power on one either.
But that shouldn’t be too much of a problem, I thought to myself. It was just Joey.
Joey then landed a right hook at my jaw and a left jab at my stomach, making me fall over.
I could have sworn most of Joey’s body mass was fat. He also wasn’t a Demigod. So how was he so tough?
“Didn’t expect that, huh?” Joey asked. “Yeah, people who know me think I’m just some fat ass. Even my partner. From the fact that you didn’t try too hard to dodge, I’m guessing you thought so too.” Still staring down at me, he pulled out his anti-Demigod handcuffs. “Yeah, it’s nothing but fat in my stomach and legs. But I’ve been boxing since I was a kid.” He nodded, grabbing me and putting me in the cuffs. “I do believe that you’re a hero. But you still broke the law.”
Joey pulled me to my feet.
Creating some electricity in my hands, I found that my powers still worked, despite the cuffs. But I refused to shock him.
There was only one option left.
“Joey!” I shouted, holding out the last syllable of his name. “Stop!”
“There’s nothing I can do, Lightning Bee. I’m a cop. I have to enforce the law.”
Taking a deep breath, I said, “Joey, it’s me. Carter”
Shay was gonna kill me.
He took a few steps back, his eyes widening.
“Yeah Joey. It’s me.”
“But…what? How?” He asked, rightfully confused.
“Officer McKnight, what is your status up there?” I heard a cop say over Joey’s radio.
Not taking his eyes off of me, Joey picked up his radio.
“The plan worked perfectly, sir. Lightning Bee is in the anti-Demigod handcuffs and I am currently in the process of reading him his rights.”
“Roger that,” his superior responded.
Joey turned off his radio.
“Carter, you’ve got two minutes to explain to me what the Hell is going on.”