The rain was heavy, oppressive. It felt like it was going to crush me, pressing down on me, pinning me in place. I closed my eyes, slowed my breathing, and transformed.
All of a sudden, the rain barely registered in my senses. I felt almost nothing, and I could see through it like it wasn’t there at all. The cold retreated, and I felt powerful again.
I also had no idea what I was doing.
At a loss, I started to run. My legs coiled and uncoiled like springs, catapulting me through the streets, with no direction or destination in mind. It felt exhilarating. Before I knew it, I was halfway across the city.
With no idea where I was.
“What the hell am I doing?” I asked myself, forgetting momentarily what happened when I talked to myself out loud.
“Cracking bad guys’ skulls?” Envy answered, though I had no idea where from.
“It’s rainy, honey,” she said. “Check the puddles.”
I looked down and saw her looking back up at me, rippling and warping as rain drops collided with the gathering pool of water.
“Anything with a reflection, huh?”
“Pretty much,” she said. “Go north.”
“Because that’s where the thugs are,” she said, and I could almost hear the trailing ‘duh’ at the end of it.
“How do you know?” I asked.
“I can see them from a window,” she replied, shrugging.
“You have got to be kidding me,” I muttered, not sure whether to believe her. Given everything else, I had no reason to suspect she was lying.
“I might be,” she said, smirking. “Can’t hurt to try though, right? Not like you’ve got a better lead.”
“North it is.”
Without anything more specific than that, I started to run again. Within a matter of seconds, my instincts were screaming at me to stop, and without thinking, I leapt up on top of a nearby roof.
Adrenaline surging through me, I walked up to the edge of the roof, peering down. Sure enough, there were a bunch of suspicious-looking people standing around, holding guns and moving boxes.
“Wow, you were right,” I said, assuming Envy was still around somewhere.
“You’ll get used to it,” she said sweetly.
“So, now what? Just… knock them out?”
Movies made it look so easy, but I was pretty sure if I punched someone hard enough to stop them from moving, they wouldn’t just wake up a few hours later and be fine.
“Not talking to yourself is probably a good start,” a familiar, distorted voice said. I turned around to find the Vigilante standing behind me, their arms folded.
“Yeah,” they said. “This is basically what I do. You’re welcome to watch, though.”
“No, wait. I should do this. I have actual-”
“I know what you can do,” they said, cutting me off harshly. “Trust me, you’re not what these people need.”
“Trust me, I’ll be fine.”
Before I could protest further, they leapt off the roof, landing right in the middle of the gathered thugs. It took the thugs less than three seconds to open fire on the Vigilante, almost like they were expecting to be attacked.
In those three seconds, the Vigilante had already taken down two of them, disabling one with what looked like a taser and another with a baton strike right to the solar plexus.
The Vigilante threaded a rope out from a sleeve, moving at least as quickly as I could. They practically danced between the thugs, disarming them and binding their wrists and ankles. Within a couple of minutes, they’d disabled the entire lot of them.
I dropped down to the ground, staring at them. They were piling up the boxes the thugs had been moving.
“You, you’re one of them,” I said.
“No more than you,” they replied, not stopping what they were doing.
“How?” I asked.
“It’s a long story,” they said, shrugging. When all of the boxes were stacked up, they pulled a small, metallic orb from inside their coat. It took me a second to realise it was a grenade.
They pulled the pin, and shoved the grenade into the centre mass of the boxes. Neither of us bothered to move away.
I hardly felt the explosion, even from a metre away. The Vigilante seemed just as unfazed, the wild fluttering of their coat the only sign they felt the blast at all.
“We both have somewhere we need to be,” they said.
“Wait-” I called out, but they’d already taken off, disappearing into an alley.
“Don’t bother,” Envy said, talking to me from some shattered glass on the ground. The explosion must have blown out a window. “You’ll never catch her.”
I was about to protest that when my brain realised what she’d said.
“How do you know they’re a she?” I asked.
“Because I know who she is,” Envy said, shrugging.
“What? Who?” I demanded.
“Someone incredibly dangerous,” she said. “Someone you need to stay away from.”
“No,” I said, taking a step in the direction of the alley the Vigilante had disappeared down. “No more vague threats. Tell me who she is, or I’m chasing her.”
“Then chase her,” Envy said. “You won’t catch her. I can’t tell you who she is, Sabrina. I’m sorry.”
“You can tell me she’s dangerous, and that I should stay away from her, but not her name?”
“It’s complicated,” Envy said, sounding distressed for the first time since I’d met her. “I can see her, not like you can, but… She’s like me, only more. She belongs here. She has power here. She could destroy me, if she ever figures out who she really is.”
“You sound really scared,” I said. “I’m sorry. I won’t follow her.”
“It’s getting late, anyway. If you don’t get home soon, your parents will know you were out all night.”
“I could not feel less like a superhero right now,” I grumbled.