The Sears Tower. It’s a trap. I knew it was a trap. YOU knew it was a trap. Admiral Ackbar knew it was a trap.
I went anyway.
Boost’s family was fine and she offered to come with me. I declined her offer. She needed to be with her family because who knew if this was just a play to leave them vulnerable? Villains aren’t exactly known for their clarity of thinking. They are known for convoluted plots to mentally and emotionally torture their enemies.
So no Boost.
No Stephanie, either. Oh, she cussed up a storm when I told her to stay away from the meet, but I wasn’t about to bring a rookie into her first trap. She could stumble into her own on her own. Boost offered to keep an eye on her. I accepted.
Stephanie told me, “Be careful.”
I’m in the wrong line of work for that.
At the appointed hour I swooped down on my Diavel. I didn’t bother to recon the place. If they can teleport through magic or whatever, I wasn’t going to see anything until they wanted me to anyway. I hopped off my bike and sent it off. The Tower loomed over me, a symbol of humanity’s pride and a city’s inferiority complex. It lit up the sky and looked from the ground like a giant finger pointed at the Gods, as if to say, “Look at Us. We are mighty!”
The presence of powered humans only dented the arrogance of humanity. I shudder to think what would happen when that arrogance is completely stripped away. Would we survive it? Could we survive it?
On the other hand, maybe that stripping of the blinders is what we need to advance again as a species.
Several cars passed by. I stared up at the Tower, waiting.
“What are you doing here?” a familiar voice that dripped with disdain asked.
Lisa’s father. Everything clicked. I rushed him, grabbed him by his shirt and jammed him against a wall. “Why did you set me up?” I yelled. “How did you lie to me?”
I admit, I almost killed him I was so angry.
He yelled at me at the same time. “Where’s my daughter? What have you done with her?” It took several repetitions before what he said penetrated my thick skull.
I let him down and took a step back, but ready in case he tried something. He took a moment to straighten his shirt and collect himself. His eyes were icy as he regarded me.
I figured I’d break the ice, so to speak. “A woman was murdered. Two women actually. Torrie Mallor was killed by a spell and her mother was killed by Ice Diamond.”
Brannigan’s face grew paler and paler as I talked. He stumbled and went to the ground on one knee. If I didn’t know better, I would have sworn he was praying.
“There was a message left for me by the killer to meet here at this time. Then you show up.” I moved in closer, invading his bubble. My arms crossed. I knew he wasn’t behind the killings, but he hadn’t told me everything, and I was getting tired of being jerked around.
A soft sob and moan escaped his lips. He sniffled and said, “I received a note from Lisa’s kidnappers to meet here about their demands.”
He looked up at me, his eyes burdened with unshed tears. “Torrie’s dead?”
I could feel myself soften a bit. “Yes. I’m sorry.” It confused me why this man would care so much about his daughter’s friend. Maybe he felt more than I gave him credit for.
I opened my mouth to say something else, but started to choke. I couldn’t breathe.
I was suffocating from a lack of air.
The last sight I saw was Aeromancer with his goons standing next to Ice Diamond, Lisa’s father laid out at their feet.
We were both set up.
Where’s Billy Dee Williams when you need him?
Until next time,