“You know boys, I’m trying to do something great,” I said to the crime lords sitting around me. “But you guys run all of the racketeering, robberies, drugs, and prostitution in this city. And I do have to commend you. Bringing back crime to a city where there used to be none? Excellent.”
Of course, I was the one who’d brought super villains back into existence, but I couldn’t mention that. As far as the world was concerned, Raina Davenport was Fencer, and Queen was dead.
Puffing on a cigar, I looked around the table and saw all of the well dressed criminals glaring at me skeptically. I’d quit smoking cigarettes some time ago, but Olivia had recommended to me smoking a cigar at this meeting. I wasn’t sure what effect it was having on the crime bosses, but it certainly tasted great.
Everyone else in the room was a man, and they all wore clearly expensive suits. In contrast, I wore a long sleeve, sexy black dress which nicely showed off my legs and my breasts. This had been my idea. Rich or poor, white or black, no straight man was immune to the sight of a sexy woman.
“Unfortunately,” I continued. “I want complete control over all organized crime in Bluejay City. And I get what I want.” Their looks of skepticism turned to mild anger. “So, out of the generosity of my heart, I’m giving you all the chance to turn over all of your resources, connections, and assets to me, and become my lieutenants,” I finished, a strong smile on my face.
While I’d let Hope and the boys keep their secret lair, I’d purchased a relatively small skyscraper from which to run my operations. It was going to be awhile before I finished refurbishing the building, but I’d made sure that the boardroom we were in looked exactly how I wanted it to.
The boardroom table I’d selected was made of exotic cherry wood, and I’d had a button installed underneath at the head of the table, which when pressed, activated a wireless com system. The chairs of everyone else in the room were made of brown leather with a mahogany frame. In contrast, my chair was made of black and white faux fur. Matching it, hanging on the wall, was an actual white tiger pelt.
Sure white tigers were endangered, but that doesn’t really get your way when your family is worth more than every nation in the world.
One of the men, Andrew Price, slammed his hands down on the table.
“Ignoring the fact that you have nothing over us, you’re a fucking 14 year old girl. Do I even have to say anything else?”
He started to stand up, but before he could gather his things, I spoke.
“I may not have anything over you, but I have more cash than all of you put together. Work for me, and I guarantee all of your fortunes will double in size within a year.”
“By doing what?” Another man, Deonte Williams, asked. “Giving food and clothes away? How does that make money?”
Short sighted fool.
I smiled at him, leaving my true thoughts of him in my head.
“Is that how you all feel? That my plans are worthless?”
The response to my question was nods and grumbles all around.
I puffed on my cigar again, disappointed that I was going to have to go with plan b.
As the crime bosses began to gather their things, I spoke.
“Before you all go, let me show my appreciation for you all humoring me by coming out here.” I pressed the button under table. “Olivia, come bring our guests some tea,” I said in a sweet voice. Most of the men looked to still be on their way out so I said, “Oh please stay. My assistant’s tea is to die for.”
Laying back in my seat, I put out my cigar and covered my ears with my hands.
Olivia burst through the doors to the board room, uzi submachine gun in hand, and started firing.
Several of the crime lords reached for their own guns, but none of them were fast enough to pull them out before Olivia shot them down.
As blood was spilled and limbs were blown off, I couldn’t help but giggle. Not with sadistic glee at the brutal and gory deaths of those who’d defy me, but at my own mental state. Just a few months ago, I would have been terrified by this level of violence. During my time as a villain, I would have enjoyed the sight currently before me. And prior to becoming Fencer, killing this many people would have made me feel nothing but self loathing.
But now, I felt nothing. Their deaths meant nothing to me. And I owed it all to Olivia.
With all of the crime lords very clearly dead, a panting Olivia ceased firing, and we stared at each other.
The battle against Smog had left me pretty worn out, so I spent a few hours recuperating in my new team’s lair. Harrison and Casey were sort of obnoxious with how loudly they were playing video games and wrestling, but making out with Sammy certainly helped distract me from them, as well as the pain I was still in. He really was an incredible kisser.
At around seven, I had what was likely the cheapest dinner I’d ever eaten, consisting of Casey’s “Bacon dogs with extra Casey”, and orange juice that hadn’t been freshly squeezed. It was pretty horrendous, but they were my friends now, so I kept my mouth shut.
If I’d been nicer to my old friends, they might not have all turned their backs on me.
After dinner, Sammy offered to drive me home since I wasn’t in any condition to drive myself. I declined his offer and just opted to call Olivia. We may not have been on speaking terms lately, but much as I was growing to like him, there was no way in Hell I was trusting Sammy behind the wheel of my lambo.
Around a half hour later, Olivia arrived, having apparently walked to the pawn shop.
“You’re still in your uniform,” I said. “I thought I gave you the day off.”
“I changed after getting your call,” she responded, walking over to Sammy and I. The others were still downstairs.
“So you’re Raina’s driver?” Sammy asked. “Nice to meet ya,” he said, extending his arm for a fist bump.
Olivia coldly stared at him.
“No,” she said before turning her head back to me. “Shall we go Raina?
Olivia went over to hold the door open for me as I kissed Sammy goodbye.
Even though I was sitting next to Olivia, it wasn’t until five minutes into the drive that Olivia broke the silence.
“What did I do wrong?”
“What did I do wrong?” Olivia repeated. “Why haven’t you been talking to me?”
I didn’t know how to answer the question, so my only response was to wrap my arms around myself.
“You know you can tell me anything,” she said.
Damn her. She was actually sounding friendly. Trying to get me to open up no doubt. Well fine. If she wanted to hear what I had to say, she’d hear it.
“You’re a fucking psycho!” I screamed. “And your advice to me, when I was scared and depressed, was to be a psycho too! Damn it this world needs people to save it, and with all of the wealth and power I have, I should be one of them. Forget the terrible things I’ve done. Helping the struggling people in this city is what I should have been doing all my life.” I started crying, the tears almost instantly falling off my seat onto my leather seat. “So fuck only looking out for myself and those I care about, I’m going to help everyone, starting with the Negative District.” I paused. “You’re fired Olivia.”
Olivia stopped the car.
“Not gonna even take me home?” I asked. “I guess I get that,” I said, opening the door.
Before I could get out, Olivia grabbed my arm.
“You’re right,” she said. “I’m not sure if psycho is the correct word, but there is something wrong with me. Despite knowing this, I’ve done my best to guide you.” She let go of my arm, but I didn’t walk away. “I accept you firing me.” She paused. “But maybe we could just be friends.”
Turning to her, I saw Olivia take her chauffeur cap off and throw it into the street.
“I…” I started.
“Because I’d really like us to be,” she said. “And since you’re friends with someone as crazy as Malcolm, I only hope you’ll accept me as a friend too.”
I’d grown accustomed to Olivia being around. But ever since she came into my life, I’d caused nothing but pain and suffering to those around me. Maybe I really did need to remove her from my life completely.
Then again, I couldn’t just shift the blame for everything I’d done to her. She’d only done what I’d told her to. Not to mention, her job or not, she’d never been anything but kind to me.
“Why would you want to be friends with me?” I asked.
“Because I really do care about you,” she answered. She wasn’t trying to save her job, which meant she was really be truthful. “And because you and the others are really fun to be around,” she said more casually.
She’d always been there for me. And even if her morals were loose, I was also now ready to kill, if it was for the greater good. Looking at her face, it was completely genuine.
Jumping back into the car, I wrapped my arms around her.
“I love you Olivia.”
She wrapped her massive arms around me.
“I love you too Raina.”
“Sorry for the mess Raina,” Olivia said. “I got kind of into it.”
“Don’t worry. We have people on payroll to clean up messes like these.”
“That’s good.” Olivia stared down at her watch. “Well, have a good time with Carter tonight and keep me updated on the progress of the takeover.”
“No problem,” I responded. “Have fun in Greece.”
With all of crime lords dead, things could progress smoothly. If I was correct, my fortune, along with the heads of their former bosses, would put whomever were now in charge in line.
Olivia departed, leaving me alone in the boardroom with a bunch of corpses and severed limbs.
I pressed the com button.
In a soft voice I said, “Sophie, clean up.”
Noticing Carter at the bus stop we’d agreed to meet up at, I pulled over by the side of the street.
My old friends and I used to often ponder what it would be like to take the bus somewhere. Of course there was no way in Hell I’d ever actually try it. Public transport was way gross.
“Get in bitch,” I said to Carter.
As Carter hopped into my lambo, I stared up at the night sky. It was a pretty beautiful night, with a gorgeous full moon as the highlight of it. Just like every night had been for the last couple weeks, it was pretty chilly. As such, I’d added stockings, a leopard fur trench coat, and black calfskin gloves to my killer ensemble.
“Well, your turn to pick dinner,” Carter said. “What are you feeling?”
Carter was stretching his arms and flopping them all over the place. This wouldn’t have been a bad sight if it weren’t for the fact that Carter’s arms were really flabby.
“I’ll answer in a second,” I said. “What’s wrong with you?”
“Ah, nothing,” he groaned. “It’s just cleaning your pool proved to be a challenge.” Carter moaned in discomfort. “And it made me kind of sore.”
“You see, this is why I’m kinda okay with you not going public with your identity,” I said, starting up the car again. “It wouldn’t be very good publicity if people found out that the same guy protecting the city from super villains also got sore from cleaning a pool.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Carter said, resting his head on his hands. “Now where do you wanna go eat?”
“Hm,” I said, a gust of wind blowing my short platinum hair back. “Pizza?”
“Really?!” He asked with glee.
“Totally,” I answered. “There’s this place called Caviale Formaggio that my ex, Daniel, and I used to love. That would make it weird to go there with Sammy, so I say we go enjoy ourselves.”
“Sounds good to me. I’ve never had a pizza I didn’t like.”
“Raina, what in the name of God is this?” Carter asked, responding in horror to the display case in the restaurant.
“Pizza,” I said, stating the obvious.”Duh.”
“It has the shape of pizza yeah, but what’s with the black and orange goo spread across all of the slices?”
“Caviar of course,” I answered. “What kind of pizza have you been eating?”
“Pepperoni, BBQ chicken, anchovies! What even is caviar?”
“It’s fish eggs and it’s really tasty. There’s beluga caviar, ossetra caviar, sterlet caviar…”
Before I could finish the list, I noticed that Carter had wandered off to the end of the display case, now standing across from one of the chefs.
“I demand to know what kind of screwed up pizzeria this is!”
“Oh no,” I whispered, face palming.
“Excuse me?” the chef asked.
“Why don’t you sell any real pizza here?!”
Several patrons were giving Carter and I looks of disapproval, and the Italian chef just looked pissed.
Carter was causing a scene, but it could have been worse. If I’d brought Sammy here, he probably would have already managed to break the display case, get the chef to punch him in the face, and unlike Carter, he likely would have been shocked by the revelation that fish lay eggs.
“Sir, this is the highest rated pizzeria in the state,” the chef said. “Now kindly order something or leave.”
“Ahem,” I said, strutting over to Carter.
“Ms. Davenport!” the chef exclaimed, sounding scared of me.
Hearing that, I suddenly remembered him.
“This gentleman here is my friend.” I giggled a little on the inside from referring to Carter as a gentleman. “I believe you should show him a bit more respect.”
The chef, whose name I think was Antonio, took a deep breath.
With a clearly forced smile on his face, he told Carter,”Any kind of pizza you want. It’s yours.”
“Hmm,” Carter said, thinking. “Just a pepperoni slice please.”
“We don’t have any…”
I cut him off with the same glare I used to use to strike fear into those I bullied.
“No problem,” the chef said, walking away from us.
“Thank you!” Carter shouted, completely ignorant as to what had actually just occurred.
In the past, I’d never really done much for my friends. They did things for me, I never helped them. Helping out Carter though? It felt really good.
“Oh my god,” Antonio said, rushing back over to us. “Ms. Davenport, what would you like?”
“A beluga caviar slice please,” I said, wearing a coy smile.
Again, he rushed off, this time nearly tripping on himself.
“You know he seemed kind of scared of you,” Carter said. “Have you two met?”
OMG, I remembered this guy’s deal now!
“You know how I’m super bitchy, right?”
“Not the words I’d use, but yeah,” he answered stretching his arms again.
“Well, back when I was an evil bitch as opposed to just an everyday bitch, I came here with Daniel, and that chef, Antonio, got some of Daniel’s sterlet mixed in with my beluga?”
“So,” I said with emphasis, not appreciating being interrupted. “I had Daniel take him out back, beat the shit out of him, and throw him in a dumpster.”
“Blah,” Carter moaned. “Raina, you’ve got to apologize for doing crap like that.”
“He was being rude to you!” I shouted, my hands on my hips.
“That still doesn’t make it right. When he comes back with our food, please apologize to him.”
“But he was being rude,” I pleaded.
“Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
I sighed, signifying that I’d listen. This wasn’t worth a fight.
While we waited for the chef to return, Carter and I sat down in a vacant booth. Only about a minute later, two giddy pre-teen girls walked up to us, one fat and the other incredibly nerdy looking.
“Can we help you?” Carter asked earnestly, and not in the rude way most people did.
“Um,” the nerdy girl said. “Are you Fencer?”
I gave the same smile I always gave for the paparazzi.
“Why yes I am,” I said. “Let me guess. You kids want autographs to show off to your friends.”
They both nodded excitedly and held out notepads.
Carter looked overjoyed to see me being nice to these kids, so I decided to screw with him a little.
“Alright, one for you,” I said as I signed the nerdy girl’s notepad. I turned my head to the overweight girl. “Sorry, no autographs for fatties.”
“What?” she whined.
“Raina!” Carter screamed.
Multicolored tears started dripping from the girl’s eyes.
“Just kidding,” I said, signing her notepad.
The two girls thanked me and went back to their booth.
“Was that really necessary?” Carter asked.
“Being a good person doesn’t mean you can’t be mean every once in awhile.” Carter’s face showed he disagreed. “Plus, this city is pretty much wrapped around my finger. The opinions of some little shits don’t matter.”
Before Carter could respond, the chef said, “Excuse me,” from behind the counter.
Carter nodded at me.
My last attempt at an apology to someone I’d bullied hadn’t gone too well. I wonder what Angie thought of me now that I was a public super hero.
“Hi again,” I said picking up the plates where our dinner rested. “I just want to say Antonio, I’m really sorry for what I did to you the last time we saw each other, and for being rude to you before. You don’t need to be afraid of me.”
Huh. Saying that all out loud actually felt pretty nice.
“My name is Mark,” he grumbled. “Enjoy your meal,” he said, getting back to work.
As I sat down with our food, Carter spoke.
“Sorry that didn’t go as planned. I know this isn’t your first apology that didn’t go as planned.” No shit. “But you did a lot of bad stuff. You have to show people that you’ve changed, and guess what, that means not being mean to people.”
I shook my head at him.
“How are you so dense about the world, and yet you get people so well?” I asked.
“It’s a gift.”
We just smiled at each other, looking into each other’s eyes for a little while before I broke the silence.
“Lets dig in.”
At the exact moment we bit into our pizza, something big, red, and winged crashed through the restaurant’s window.
Floating in the air, flapping its wings, it screeched as everyone else in the pizzeria started running off, panicking.
It was about eight feet tall, scaly, and it had a hawk like beak. It also didn’t have feet, just a tail coming out of its stomach. There were a crap ton of really small teeth in its mouth, and whereas the rest of its body was blood red, its eyes were pure black.
Looking back over at Carter, he was shaking and was surrounded by electricity, some of it even flying off of him.
We both stood up as I asked, “What the Hell is that thing?”
Carter swallowed before he answered.
“Either Perses escaped his prison and got a new form or…”
He stopped, electricity firing out of his belly button into the walls.
“Or what?!” I asked, shouting so he could hear me over the creature’s noises.
“Or based on the graphic novels I’ve read…I think that’s a demon.”