Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Knight Dragon vs. the Power Outage | Heroes & Villains [1.5]

“Ben?” Roger called as he stepped into the command center from the alley. He moved down the metal staircase, his footsteps echoing through the dark room, only the emergency lights still on. Roger found Ben messing with the computer wiring, sitting on the floor beneath his desk. “Ben, I got your call. What’s going on?”
“A villain,” Ben muttered, his voice slightly muffled from under the desk. “Well, she’s not really a villain. Well, I don’t think. She’s just angry, but I don’t think she’s a villain.”
“Well, who is she?” Roger asked.
“Melanie Bolton,” Ben replied, his focus still on the wires. “She can control electric currents. That’s why the power’s out across the city.  She’s attacking Bakersfield though and we need to stop her.”
“Why is she attacking Bakersfield?” Roger asked. Ben didn’t reply, trying to get something working through the emergency power box. Roger watched him. He and Ben had known each other since they were kids. Roger knew Ben better than anyone, probably even better than he knew his fiance. And Roger knew Ben was trying to avoid something.
“Ben, why is she attacking Bakersfield?” Roger repeated.
“It’s a personal issue,” Ben muttered.
“Personal how?” Roger prodded.  Ben let out a sigh and moved out from under the desk, moving to his feet. He leaned against the desk, grabbing the edge in his fists, his knuckles turning white.
“I was, uh, dating Melanie. Sort of. It was only two dates, I didn’t think much of it. It was only two dates. Then I went on another date with a different girl who happened to be Melanie’s sister.” Ben winced. Roger stared at Ben a moment, holding back a smile.
“Right, this is clearly a personal issue.” Roger agreed.

“She’s attacking Bakersfield looking for me.” Ben groaned. “Roger, I don’t think she’s a villain and she doesn’t deserve to go to jail. We need to convince her to stop before things get out of hand. But somehow her electric shock busted my communication system. I think yours is working, but we won’t be able to talk in the field unless we get it fixed.”
“That sounds like an Ellie issue.”
“We are not calling Ellie.” Ben snapped. Roger frowned watching as Ben bit down on his lower lip and turned away from Roger. Ben began to type mindlessly on the keyboard as if the computer might turn back on.
“Right,” Roger said slowly. “Because calling the woman who designed and set up our communication system when it’s not working would be a terrible idea.”
“Roger,” Ben groaned.
“Ben, why aren’t we calling Ellie? She’s good with technology, I’m pretty sure she would have a better idea on how we can stop someone who controls electricity.”
“I just don’t want to work with Ellie on this one,” Ben replied. Roger couldn’t help but laugh. He folded his arms across his chest and stared at Ben, waiting for an answer. Ben chewed on the inside of his cheek for a moment.
“Ellie thinks I’m a player.” Ben sighed. Roger laughed again and Ben glared at him.
“Ben, I hate to break this to you, but the whole city thinks that. Considering you haven’t known Ellie that long I don’t think she’s had enough time to realize that whole rumor isn’t entirely true.”
“But I don’t want her to think that.” Ben frowned. Roger looked over Ben skeptically.
“So you don’t want her to come help us because you think it will confirm to her that she’s right?” Roger asked. Ben closed his eyes and sighed. “Ben, I’ve known you my whole life, and I’ll always be the first to defend you. I know that your reputation isn’t true. You had a difficult time after graduation and the press went with it. But you can’t just pretend that what’s happening now doesn’t exist.”
“I made a mistake,” Ben said. “I didn’t know that they were sisters! And I didn’t know that I was dating someone! Two dates does not make a serious relationship!”
“It did in my case.” Roger shrugged. Ben glared towards him.
“We’re not calling Ellie. Besides, she’s a civilian, she’s not supposed to be involved with superpowers, she could get hurt.”
“I’m pretty sure you took her to a morgue two weeks ago on a case.” Roger pointed out. Ben cringed.
“I think that only further proves my case. She could have gotten seriously hurt or even killed. I made her face her worst fear. She was out from work for two days recovering from that. I’m not going to put her through that again.”
“So you’re not going to involve Ellie on any more cases?” Roger asked. Ben hesitated.
“We are not supposed to anyways,” Ben replied. “If we need new technology she’s our go-to, but other than that I don’t want to risk putting her in danger again.”
“Right. Well, because I’m a romantic I’m going to pretend you don’t want to work with her because you’re too jealous of her boyfriend.” Roger said. Ben glared at him. “Anyways, let’s figure out a way to stop this crazy ex-girlfriend on our own.”
“We have to keep her out of jail,” Ben said. “She’s not a bad person. She’s not a villain.”

“Ready?” Ben breathed.
“Don’t like the idea of not being able to communicate out there, but sure. We’ll do our best.” Roger said. “You know you’ll have to pull Ellie into this eventually to get your thing fixed.”
“Not today.” Ben grimaced. “Let’s go.”
They stepped out of the command room and onto the street. Ben’s body ignited into flames and he hovered above the ground. Roger took off running a block away and straight up the side of another building, giving him a view of what would happen at the top of Bakersfield, and not too far away to intervene if needed.
Ben flew up to the top of Bakersfield, the largest skyscraper in Apple Creek. Melanie stood on top, her whole body buzzing with blue flashes of electric currents, her short blond hair standing up in the static. Ben took a moment before engaging. He had done this. He had caused her to take power away from Apple Creek. She was a good person. Beautiful, smart, and energetic. One of his favorite dates recently. Ben wasn’t entirely sure why he had moved on so quickly. In this moment he hated himself for the decision to date someone else. But it was too late now. Too late to change the way things were. Maybe he was wrong about himself. Maybe Ellie was right to think the rumors were true. Maybe they were. Maybe he was only kidding himself.
“Melanie Bolton,” Ben shouted. She whipped around to face him.
“How do you know my name?” She asked, sounding fearful.
“I just do. Please, I know you aren’t a villain, don’t do this.” Ben said. Melanie scowled.
“You don’t know. You don’t understand.” Melanie shouted back at him. Ben bit down on the side of his tongue, trying to think of how to communicate with her. He couldn’t let her know who he really was, but he had to keep her from doing anything that would get her arrested. Despite what he had done to her, he knew he had to protect her.
“I know you’re hurt and angry,” Ben said. “That’s no reason to do this. You took out the power in the majority of the city. You have to stop.”
“You don’t get it!” Melanie yelled raising her arms. The static surrounding her crackled and stretched into streaks of lightning. She shot them towards Ben, not giving him time to react. The lightning hit him and Ben’s whole body seized up in a stiff, aching pain. His muscles spasmed and lost control. The flames disappeared from his body and he began to fall, unable to move temporarily. Ben’s heart pounded as he tried to shake the tingling numbness from his limbs as his body continued to plummet downward to the street.
Ben closed his eyes, waiting for his body to react to his mind’s commands. He could hear the cars on the busy street growing louder beneath him. He began to wiggle his fingers, finding them aching. He couldn’t produce fire, that would take too much energy. His body felt more tired than he had ever felt it before. Everything hurt. Everything was too tired to move and his body was more than ready to just fall asleep.
“Ben!” Shouted Roger’s voice in his earpiece. Ben’s body reacted immediately at the sound of his voice. Flames shot out from beneath his feet, shooting out towards a semi beneath him. His body began to float upwards, not putting much effort into his flight.
“Speedster, can you hear me?” Ben asked as he turned his mic on.
“Yeah.” Roger’s voice was breathless. “Are you okay?”
“She must have inadvertently fixed the short in my headset.” Ben thought aloud.
“Great. Are you okay, though?”
“I’m fine,” Ben replied. “I think. Still a little numb.”
“What’s your plan now?”
“I still need to talk to her. Don't engage, we can’t make it seem we’re ganging up on her.” Ben said, taking more control over his flight, heading back to the top of the skyscraper.
“Are you sure that’s the best idea? You were just electrocuted.”
“We have to help her, Roger,” Ben said. He slowed as he neared her. She wasn’t facing him. She was shooting electricity down towards Bakersfield, the lights throughout the building flashing and popping into darkness.
Again, regrets came over him as he caught sight of her. Ben hated the reputation he had gained in Apple Creek. It was one time, one simple mistake right after high school, fueled by adolescent anger and heartbreak. The press loved his family and they took the story and never let anyone forget. There were days he almost believed it himself, when he believed he actually was a player, a man who jumped from women to women, never satisfied, a cheater.
His reputation wasn’t him, though. He wasn’t the person Apple Creek believed him to be. Anger and heartbreak caused him to get his reputation, the same emotions that brought Melanie up onto Bakersfield. Everyone felt those emotions in their lives. But it was Ben’s reaction to them that gave him a reputation. He wouldn’t let that happen to Melanie. He had to make her understand that she wasn’t a bad person, she didn’t deserve to ruin her life over this.
“Melanie,” Ben shouted. She turned to him, holding out her arms again. Ben raised his own hands in surrender. “Please, don’t hit me again. I know what you’re going through, I’ve been there before.”
“How do you know what I’m going through?” Melanie asked, sounding slightly scared.
“Melanie, not everyone you like is going to feel the same way as you do.” Ben sighed. “People make their own decisions and we can’t force them to feel the same way we do. I’ve been in your position, I know what it feels like. It’s maddening to have feelings for someone and for them not to feel the same way or for them to be with someone else. But we have to just let them go. Because people will make their own decisions.”
“You and I have powers,” Melanie spoke up. “We can force them.” Ben winced.
“That would make us villains,” Ben replied. “And I don’t believe you’re a villain. I think you’re a good person. I think you’re just confused and upset.” Melanie’s expression changed from anger to surprise. Ben could see her muscles relaxing slightly. He was breaking her down.
“Melanie, you don’t have to be a villain. You don’t have to do this.”
“Benjamin Baker is one of the worst people in the city,” Melanie replied. Ben sighed.
“I’m not going to disagree with you,” Ben said. “But he doesn’t deserve to die, does he? He doesn’t have powers, he won’t survive electrocution the way I can. You can’t hurt him, or this building, or the city. He’s not worth it.” Melanie stared at him, her expression unreadable.
“How do you know I’m not a villain?” Melanie asked, her voice softer than before.
“When you fight them enough you start to recognize who’s really a villain and who is just upset,” Ben replied. “Please, don’t do this. You can walk away now.”
“And if I don’t?” Melanie challenged. Ben hesitated, drawing in a deep breath.
“Then I will have to arrest you,” Ben said, his voice cold. Melanie’s mouth fell open. “You don’t have to be a villain.” Ben continued. Melanie stared at him blankly, thinking over his words. Ben remained still, hovering in the empty air above the street. His body still ached and was growing more tired, he wasn’t sure how much longer he could keep up his powers with his energy this low.
“I’m not a villain,” Melanie stated. Ben raised an eyebrow. The static surrounding her body crackled and disappeared from her body. Ben flew over to her and landed beside her, stumbling slightly as he hit the ground, his legs weak. Melanie continued to stare at him.
“Thank you.” She whispered. Ben smiled weakly.
“I’m a hero, it’s what I do,” Ben replied. He swiftly scooped her up into his arms and flames shot out from beneath his feet. He flew her down to the street just in front of Bakersfield. As they landed, Roger ran and appeared beside them.
“Are you both alright?” Roger asked.
“Speedster, take her home before anyone sees her here,” Ben said, fighting back a yawn. Roger nodded and took Melanie into his arms, running off. Ben ignited and flew shakily towards the alley. He made his way into the command center, practically falling down the stairs. He stumbled into the small spare room and fell onto the small cot. Ben felt his body finally reacting to the pain, his limbs shaking. He closed his eyes and let his mind wander. The alley door opened and Roger sped down the stairs and knelt by Ben’s side.
“Are you doing okay?” Roger asked. “Need me to call Lionel?”
“I’ll be fine,” Ben sighed, opening his eyes. “Just need some sleep is all.” Roger looked over his best friend skeptically. They had been doing this together for almost two years, but it never got easier when one of them got hurt. They had been friends since they were toddlers. Neither of them wanted to see the other in pain.
“So,” Roger mused. “Was there a specific person you were talking about?”
“You know, about having feelings for someone who doesn’t feel the same way?”
“Jemma,” Ben answered. Roger’s body stiffened.
“Oh. Right. Jemma.” Ben sighed and nodded, closing his eyes again. “I’ve almost forgotten about Jemma.” Roger continued.

“I never have,” Ben said sadly before yawning and rolling over, drifting off to sleep to dream about the girl that got away.

I know this is going to sound terrible, but I'm not the biggest fan of this story. This was the hardest one to write... basically had to force myself to do it. So if you're not a huge fan, I'm sorry, I'm not either, and it takes all my energy to pretend I don't care that I didn't put only my best work on here. I'm excited for the next story, though. Ellie is a #bossbabe in the next one. Unfortunately, there will be a two week break before that story is posted. I wrote stories for specific holidays and in order for those to be posted when they're supposed to I have to put off #superssaturday for two weeks. But it will return 12/10/16 with an awesome story.

We are past the halfway point of this current section of stories, which is insane. If you think of it like a TV show and each story as an episode, we just finished the fifth episode and there are ten this season. The next round/season of stories will be posted whenever I get them finished, but I won't know for sure until a few months into 2017. That's crazy. During these hiatus times, please share these stories with your friends and family so they can enjoy them as well.

1 comment:

  1. I love this! Great character development!


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