Chapter 1

Friday, December 21st 2012, 6:17 PM

Blake Wallens sat in the dark living room with his cellphone pressed against his ear, squeezing it in a white knuckled grip as he spoke in a quietly furious voice. "Goddamnit, Carla! I told you five times already, you are NOT going to the party with Amanda!"

"But daddy! EVERYONE is gonna be there! I have to go! This meteor shower party is gonna be the coolest thing!" His oldest daughter, a full six minutes older than her twin, whined into his ear again and Blake fought hard not to slam the phone into the nearest wall.

"Carla, I'll be home in about an hour and if you aren't there I WILL show up at this party and carry you to the car in front of all your friends," he stated in his best 'I mean business' dad voice, completely ignoring her startled and horrified squawk of protest. "I gotta get back to work sweetie, please don't make me hunt you down tonight. I love you. Tell Abbie I love her too."

There was a long suffering sigh tinged with anger and frustration, but finally she spoke again. "We love you too, dad. Be safe. Bye."

"Perfect timing Bman!" Jimmy Addleson whispered as headlights illuminated the curtains for several minutes. Blake stayed seated while Jimmy and the new guy, whose name he couldn't remember, moved into position as all three pulled ski masks over their faces. A moment later keys rattled in the door and a woman walked in followed by a man carrying a little boy in his arms. Blake closed his eyes, and waited for the lights to come on, before opening them again and lifting his 9mm. The woman started to scream but Jimmy's hand strangled the sound almost before it started.

"Hello, Thomas Parker, you owe someone a large amount of money." Blake stated in a deep and menacing baritone several octaves lower than his actual voice, and watched as realization settled on Thomas Parker's face. "My friend there will escort you to your son's room where you will put him to bed very carefully while we sit here politely and keep your wife company."

By the time Thomas and the new guy returned, Blake and Jimmy had Catherine Parker handcuffed and gagged on the floor, and had replaced the couch and tables with a ten by ten sheet of thick plastic with a kitchen chair in the middle. New guy placed Thomas in the chair then knelt beside Catherine, his 9mm pressed against her back right where her heart should be. Blake took a canvas tool bag from the couch and set it on the small table Jimmy brought for him. He opened it and pulled out hammers, pliers and several icepick like tools.

"Thomas, I'm not going to say who you owe money to because you and I both know who he is." Blake paused, looking pointedly at the terrified man until Thomas nodded agreement. "Good, that saves time with the pleading and trying to say we have the wrong guy. Do not try to bribe us, because you do not have enough money to make us turn on our employer. Personally I would be fine just letting you know that we can do this and leave it at that, but our employer says he wants breakage. I will give you the choice. Which bones are the most important to you?"

"Ummm ... I ... uh ... need my right arm for work." Thomas gasped, trying not to start crying.

"Okay, I'll tell you what. I'll take the fourth and fifth metacarpals then the ulna and radius of your left arm." Using a felt tip pen, Blake marked each bone with a single dot as he named it. "How does that sound to you, Thomas?"

He couldn't hold it in anymore and the tears started pouring down his cheeks, and try as he might he couldn't get his voice to work, so he simply nodded to the man in the ski mask. Before he could react something was stuffed in his mouth and he heard a crack like breaking two twigs at once as the man broke his arm. A split second later the pain hit him and he tried to scream and vomit at the same time. He had never felt anything quite like it and quickly decided he never wanted to feel it again. He didn't even feel the two bones break in his hand. The two men waited till he stopped trying to scream then lifted him out of the chair and carried him to the bottom of the stairs. The talker knelt down beside him while the other two began straightening up the living room.

"Alright, Thomas, you did good here." Blake patted him on the right shoulder and turned just enough to see Catherine where she lay on the floor. "You too, Catherine. And now we leave and you call an ambulance and tell them he fell down the stairs. Do not call the cops or the next time we visit there'll be one body bag and two missing persons. You are a very attractive woman, Catherine. Selling you would almost cover what Thomas owes. Do you understand?"

Terror seized her followed by shame as her bladder emptied at the thought of being sold and what might happen to her son. She couldn't stop staring at the big man who did all the talking, and broke Tom's arm and hand. His eyes looked warm and expressive. She nodded, though it was a little jerky, and the talker nodded back. Five minutes later there was no sign the three men had been in her home.

Wednesday, April 15th 2015, 1:20 PM

"Can you hear me okay?" The voice sounded perfect, like the young man was standing right beside him rather than on top of the five story office building across the street.

"Loud and clear, are we good?" he replied, keeping his head down, face hidden by his floppy hat and body wrapped in several layers of old castoff clothes.

"We're ready to rock the house!" Came the excited affirmative. Shaking his head he walked into the bank. He ripped the hat off and tapped the smallest button on the control stick in his hand causing two simultaneous firecracker like explosions under his clothes. Almost instantly a shockwave blasted out of the man, shredding the tattered clothes off of him and knocking everyone within thirty feet to the ground. He now stood in a black and silver suit. A large metal box was strapped to his back with wires and tubes running to several strange metal disks on his torso. Seconds later an irritated snarl sounded in his ear. "Fuck! Someone hit the alarm!"

"Ladies and gentlemen, for those of you who don't know, I am Blastwave and this is a robbery." His voice was a deep and booming baritone, and as he spoke he walked confidently toward the vault door. "I am here for the cash in the vault. I neither need nor want your personal valuables, so stay down and I won't be forced to hurt you."

"Cops are seven minutes out, Wave."

Nodding slightly he walked right into the vault, grabbing the janitor's cart from the nearby closet as he went, emptied everything out of it and started dumping bricks of fives, tens and twenties into it. The sudden clang of the vault door slamming shut startled Blastwave. "Rail, what the hell is going on out there?"

"Nothing, why?" came the slightly confused reply.

"Something just closed the vault on me." Blastwave growled, eyeing the vault door angrily. He was stronger than pretty much every pure human and more than a few supers, but he wasn't strong enough to rip the vault door open and that meant he was going to have to blast his way out. He just hoped it didn't destroy all the money. "Rail, I'm gonna trigger three."

"Gotcha, that should ... shit! Blast, there's a super here herding the civvies out! He's moving too fast to make out ... bitch! It's Speedfreak!"

"Gal is probably around somewhere, Rail. Those two are joined at the hip." He sighed long and deep; of the supers to show up Gal was one of the few that could easily subdue him. Speedfreak wasn't a problem since she couldn't actually hurt him, but Gal's gravity control was impressive and sometimes unpredictable. Resigning himself for the fight to come, Blastwave took a deep breath then triggered the third largest button on his control stick. Six explosions slammed into his body with the force of six sticks of dynamite. He felt it in the same way you would feel a fly land on you. The shockwave that rippled out of his body crushed the shelves all around him flat against walls, which were now warped, as it ripped the vault door right off its hinges, flinging it fifteen feet into the room beyond. And then he saw her, standing a dozen feet away. At about six feet tall, she was long and lean-looking under the armored midnight blue full body suit she wore. Her short, blood red hair was spiked and angry looking.

"GAWD!Iknewitwasyouthesecondwegotthecallyouaresuchadickandwe'regonnakickyourasssssssssssss!" The words flew out of her like they were trying to keep up with her hyperspeed. It was one of the major downsides of the speed based powers. Usually every aspect of the person is ramped up comparable to their superspeed. Another was the fact all speed based supers have a tell; they can't just go from standing still to Mach 4, since it tends to liquefy internal organs. Blastwave watched as Speedfreak's feet shifted back and forth like a boxer on meth and he triggered the third button again, just as she blurred into motion. She was lifted from her feet as the shockwave threw her through the plate glass windows of the bank.

"Oh shit! That was freaking AWESOME! Hahahaha!" Blastwave shook his head as he ran for the entrance. He assumed Railgun's overzealous dislike of Speedfreak was due to the fact that he couldn't hit her with the projectiles from which he took his name. Regardless, Blastwave was running before he cleared the shattered windows. Speedfreak was sitting up and shaking her head slowly, but he doubted that she would regain her senses before he could get out of sight. He turned a corner and almost ran smack into the one super he didn't want to see; Gal. Floating, she was about ten feet tall, though Blastwave figured her at around five feet eight with just a few curves. The instant she saw him his body simply dropped flat to the ground as the gravity around him increased by several magnitudes. Now lying on his stomach he could just see her floating five feet off the ground. He looked up and realized that her suit was more like a really long white, silver and pale blue dress and under that dress were surprisingly short legs wearing blue and silver Reebok's. Farther up those short legs was a pair of panties that looked like a Twister mat.

With her gravitational powers clamping him down, Blastwave was only saved from death by his indestructible bones; his rib cage protecting his lungs was the only reason he was able to draw enough breath to start laughing. Gal cocked her head at him, regarding him through the silvery bug eyed goggles that were assumed to cover alien eyes. 'Gal is an alien' was the story, backed up by the pearl colored skin, the silver, black and dark blue hair, the fact she never spoke and those strange and unnerving goggles. But Blastwave's view showed legs that were tan and muscled like a gymnast.

"Whatthehelldoyouthinkyou'relaughingatasshole?" Speedfreak was suddenly there, almost blocking his view of Gal.

"I ... love ... Twis ... ter!" Even though his ribs kept his lungs from being crushed, it was still difficult to talk.

"Whatthehellareyoutalkingabout?" The confusion on Gal's face was reflected in Speedfreak's eyes.

"Right ... finger ... red!" he gasped. Speedfreak's confusion deepened and for a second Gal looked completely baffled, then her face flared bright red under the now obvious paint as she clamped her legs together to hide the red dot positioned directly over her mons, and suddenly gravity was back to normal. Springing to his feet, he screamed "COVERFIRE!" and triggered the second button. Four explosions, each with the force of a single stick of dynamite, pounded his skin. The resulting shockwave flipped Gal backward fifty feet and slammed Speedfreak into the brick wall behind her. Turning on the balls of his feet, Blastwave dashed back out of the alley just as chunks of metal began raining down at over three thousand meters per second, ripping basketball sized chunks out of the pavement and surrounding buildings. He could hear Speedfreak's high-speed cursing as she tried, and failed, to dodge the shrapnel raining down. He could also hear Railgun's high pitched laughter as he pelted the object of his hatred. It made Blastwave think of the Coyote and the Roadrunner. "I'm glad you're having fun, Rail, but you better beat feet before Gal decides to come looking for you!"

"Shit! Okay, I'm following from up high and I've got sensors maxed so if Gal ... DUCK!" Railgun's sudden scream was warning enough for Blastwave as he shifted his headlong dash into a sideways lunge that put him through a store window, in time to avoid a Honda Civic that went flying through the space he had just occupied. The car wouldn't hurt him, actually it couldn't, but it might have slowed him down long enough for Gal to get close enough to use her powers. "Shit, Speedfreak is gonna be on you in seconds and I think Gal figured out which roof I'm on!"

"Okay, get out of here before she crushes you like a beer can, I'm gonna try a dash and disappear and I'll catch up with you tonight," he panted, as he shoved past stunned and screaming customers of the comic store, dashing for the rear door. He was barely through the emergency exit before it blasted open again and Speedfreak tackled him. The impact worked in his favor; her super-fast truck like tackle triggered his shockwave ability and blasted her back through the steel emergency exit door. Grabbing the dumpster that pancaked against the opposite wall from the wave, he wedged it as best he could in the exit before dashing for the street. Pulling a long coat from under the large metal backpack, Blastwave quickly put it on and willed his face to change. Anyone who met him as Blastwave wondered where he had found such an intricate mask. None realized that the flat black surface with circles in white and silver radiating from the center of his face was in fact his actual face, another aspect of his abilities. Not only did it allow him to change his face, it made his eyes completely white and allowed him to repeat the dark color and circle pattern across his body, as well as remove every distinguishing feature.

By the time he turned the corner he looked like anyone else, maybe a little bulkier than your average person, but not so much that he drew unnecessary attention. He was almost lost in the crowd when people stopped moving and stared at the screaming super who was zipping at super speeds all over the street and sidewalk, looking for anyone that might have seen the notorious super criminal, Blastwave. Grinning as he hailed a cab, Blake Wallens never even glanced at Speedfreak.

Wednesday, 4:27 PM

Three hours later, Blake was just finishing his second count of the money when his partner in crime came into their basement hideout through the sewer entrance, and went straight to the hazmat shower that they set up for just that reason. "B, I really hate those bitches!"

"It could have been worse, Allen." Blake laughed, separating the cash into two piles on the table.

"Oh yeah, how you figure that?" Allen Terrick, also known as Railgun, grumbled as he scrubbed at the stink of sewage while throwing his soiled clothes into the trash.

"We got the money, got away and only had to deal with Gal and Speedfreak." Blake pointed out as he lounged on the broken down, old couch. "I hate Pacifier, goddamn glue balls take forever to get off my skin, and no other crooks or villains tried to snake our score."

"Okay, you have some very valid points." Allen grumbled as he toweled himself dry, then pulled on shorts and a t-shirt before sitting across from Blake and eyeing his stack of cash.

"Besides, it was worth seeing Gal's panties!" Blake grinned at his young friend's surprise. "I would bet my half that the story of her being an alien is straight cover bullshit."

"That's what the Twister thing was about?" Allen laughed and shook his head full of shaggy blonde hair. "That's awesome! So what's the take?"

"Almost two eighty." Blake smiled. Nearly one hundred and forty thousand dollars each would easily hold them over for months. "I've got about two mil stashed, you?"

Allen was barely five foot six, and probably a hundred and ten pounds soaking wet, so when he blushed and hunched in on himself, as he was doing, it made him look like a naughty twelve year old. "With this, about three hundred grand."

"Damn, really?" Blake was more than a little surprised, Allen was literally a genius and had shown a lot of restraint and self-discipline as he slowly entered Blake's criminal world.

"My equipment isn't cheap, you know! And I have to buy it in pieces so it doesn't get traced and THAT costs like twice as much." Allen's voice had taken on a petulant whine and he folded in tight on himself.

"Allen, it's cool. I know some guys that deal in high tech, maybe we can price check your gear and see if you can get a better deal somewhere." Blake sighed, wishing the genius MIT dropout was older and more mature. "Until then we can start casing a new bank."

"Cool!" and that fast Allen's pout was gone as he pushed his cash to the side and grabbed the city map from the box under the table to spread it out on top. Blake wondered, not for the first time, if the kid liked the adrenaline and excitement more than the money.

Wednesday, 5:15 PM

Maggie Andeton did her best to hide the slight limp as she yanked the library door open and hustled inside. She loved the huge old library with its musty old book smell and dark wood and deep comfy chairs and..."Go do your studying, girls, I'm gonna find something to read." ... him. She slowed when she heard him talking to the twins, just kind of soaking up the sound of his deep, mellow voice. The first time she saw him she thought he was some creep stalking the two girls. She even followed him into one of the aisles with her Mace primed and ready, then one of the twins walked right up to him.

"Can you reach the top shelf?" she asked, pointing at the book. The girl had dark eyes and long black hair pulled into a ponytail and was maybe five foot six, several inches taller than Maggie, but he was at least six foot three and big with light brown hair and green eyes.

It wasn't far of a stretch for him and he handed the girl the book with a grin and said "Here you go, sweetie."

"Thanks dad," she replied, and kissed him on the cheek before wandering off, flipping through the book. Maggie pretended to be looking for a book while trying to hide her embarrassment. She was almost out of the aisle when he said. "Excuse me, miss?"

Turning slowly she tried to look as confused as possible. "Yes?"

"I thought you should know if you intend to Mace someone you should do it out in the open. That way you can get away if they try to run at you." He said it with a grin and his eyes sparkled with good humor. Her face instantly flushed and she shoved the can back in her purse.

"I'm sorry I thought, I don't know what I thought but I've never seen you here and I have seen them and I am so embarrassed..." Maggie rambled and blushed more the longer she rambled.

"No worries, it actually makes me feel good that a total stranger is watching out for my girls." He smiled again, a genuine smile and her heart fluttered a little bit. Extending his hand, she put her much smaller one in his and they shook. "I'm Blake."

"Maggie," she replied, slowly smiling as her embarrassment faded. They sat down away from the twins, who would stare at them for several minutes before whispering and giggling, and chatted quietly about various books they were reading or intended to read. That was two months ago. Now she felt like the stalker because she spent all her free time at the library waiting to see if he would show up. When he did, more often than not, she simply hid in the aisles watching him through the books, feeling like a fool for not talking to him. Today she watched him read for about twenty minutes before deciding to just leave and not come back the next day. With a sigh she turned to leave and had to stifle a scream. Her best friend and roommate, with her short hair a poison green mess, was standing right behind her grinning ear to ear.

"Whatcha doin' roomy?" Vickie Parsons leaned down from her five foot ten height and looked through the hole Maggie had made, and then she slowly turned to stare at Maggie with a leer. "Or should I ask WHO ya doin'?"

"It's not like that!" Maggie mumbled as she pushed past Vickie and headed for the exit. Vickie's longer legs had her walking beside Maggie long before she reached the doors.

"Damn, girl, it should be like that! He's more than kinda fine!" Vickie kept right on leering and decided to block the door. "Come on, go talk to him, get his number, get his name!"

"His name is Blake!" Maggie exclaimed, having become frustrated with Vickie her voice was a little louder than it should have been.

"Hey, my name is Blake and you're ... Maggie, right?" Maggie wanted to sink through the floor or maybe punch Vickie in the mouth to wipe that insane grin off her face. Turning slowly, and hoping her blush wasn't too bad, she pasted on the best smile she could muster.

"Yeah, hi again, how are you?" Her voice sounded strange to her own ears, like the sound a cat would make if you strangled it.

"Good, good, especially since no one has tried to mace me recently." He grinned nice and wide, showing slightly crooked white teeth.

"Excuse me, did you say Mace?!" Vickie leaned forward, moving into his personal space. Maggie felt like kicking her roommate as she saw him, very quickly and subtly, take in her tall, toned body and his grin seemed to be just a little bit wider.

"Maggie was going to Mace me the first time we met." He laughed a little as he said it. Simultaneous sudden and dramatic sighs from behind him drew his full attention for a moment before he turned back to the two roommates. "Well, it seems the ball and chain demand food, but it was nice meeting you..."

"Oh! I'm Vickie!" she exclaimed, sticking her hand out to shake his.

"Vickie, it was a pleasure, and Maggie I hope we can chat again sometime," he said, fixing her with his smiling eyes and all she could do was swallow and nod. She stood beside Vickie and the two women watched Blake and his twin daughters leave.

"Wow, Maggie, you sure know how to pick a crush!" Vickie uttered sotto voce. It was the quietest Maggie had heard her since the day of the accident three years before. "Are you actually going to, like, ask him out?"

Heaving a sigh, Maggie hung her head and mumbled, "Not likely."

"What if he asks you out?" Vickie pushed.

"He's not going to ask me out," she grumbled as she limped slowly down the sidewalk in the opposite direction Blake had gone.

"Ah, so I can totally ask him out, right?" Vickie's grin edged very close to psychotic.

"You would really ask him out?!" Maggie glared at her best friend since grade school, then shook her head. "What am I saying, of course you would..."

"Hey, if you don't want me to, you know I would never ask him out." Vickie stopped walking, and just stood there looking upset.

"I don't mind, really!" Maggie sighed, or started to before Vickie kissed her full on the mouth.

"You really are the best," she exclaimed, then turned and dashed down the sidewalk after Blake. Maggie had no doubt she would catch up to him, and then he would be another notch on Vickie's headboard; it had been like that even before the accident. Maggie decided a mint chocolate chip cone would make things a little better.

Wednesday, 7:50 PM

May Landrell sat in the corner of her room with the lights off and everything pitch black, hoping beyond hope that her brother Paul would think she had run away. She watched as his shadow moved across the bottom of her door and away, only to return a moment later. "It's time to go, now get dressed and get out here."

"Okay, Paul." She didn't want to say anything, but she didn't have a choice. Paul never raised his voice, never screamed at her. He just told her to do something and no matter what it was she did it. She was his toy and he played with her just like the dolls she had played with. But that wasn't quite true, since she would never have done the things Paul did. Whenever he told her to do something it was like his voice was louder than everything else, like it had more meaning than anything else.

Dressed in the outfit he had specially made, May felt even more like a plaything. It was a leather body suit that covered her completely from head to toe, with two eye holes and several holes to breathe through her nose. It was so tight she could wear nothing under it, even if Paul hadn't expressly forbid her from wearing underwear years ago. It had big heavy rings all over it, running down the arms, legs and along the spine. And the zippers, one over her mouth, an almost full circle around each breast and the one that ran from the small of her back up to her neck.

Obviously that was to zip it closed, but the second zipper was strictly for opening the bottom. May had thought it was so she could easily use the bathroom, and it did work for that, but that wasn't why Paul wanted it there and she had discovered that fairly soon after the first time he made her wear it.

Finally "dressed", May made her way into the living room where Paul waited impatiently in his black on black suit and full face mask. Even the stone on the top of his cane was black. "You look lovely, Prey."

She bowed her head, knowing that when he called her by that name she wasn't supposed to talk anymore. Only he could talk because he was the Predator. Turning his back on her, Paul the Predator strode confidently to the garage with May following meekly behind him right up to the trunk of the car. Without a word he opened the trunk and May crawled in and curled up just like she was told to dozens of times. She had no idea where they were going, but she knew only two things happened when he made her be Prey, neither of which she wanted to think about. She actually slept for a time, waking when he shut the engine off and she waited patiently for him to pop the trunk. Once in the open she didn't recognize the neighborhood, or the half dozen apartment buildings around them, and it didn't matter if she did. Clipping a leash on the big ring at her throat, Paul walked straight for the nearest building and through the doors, then up four flights of stairs.

May was sure this was a gang hideout; all the men looked mean and had guns. Paul ignored them as he walked right up to a door and knocked. It opened slowly and Paul suddenly shouted, "No one move!" Just like that everyone stopped. Some started to shake their heads, trying to shrug off whatever Paul had done to them, but they would never get the chance. The second Paul spoke, May knew what she would be doing that night. Paul turned to her. All she could see was his mask, but his voice was clear. "Kill them all, Prey."

The words surged into her and she was moving before she could even consider questioning the order; not that she would question Paul, not since she got out of the hospital the one and only time she asked why. She knew what to do, knew too well, and it sickened her as she lunged for the closest man trying to move. With a dainty looking backhand, the gangbanger's head disintegrated in a spray of blood, bone and brain. That pushed more from the group to fight harder against the control, but the woman in the blood covered leather was faster than she should be. Her tiny leather clad fist ripped through a man's chest and then she gripped the edges of the hole and literally tore him in two. While his sister killed, Paul calmly wandered around the room gathering cash, drugs and anything that might be of value. Looking at the dismembered and disfigured corpses, Paul admired his work and had to adjust the steadily growing bulge in his slacks.

It took less than ten minutes for May to kill every person on the fourth floor and another ten to finish looting. May wasn't even breathing hard as they walked back to the car, but Paul was panting like he'd been running a marathon and May knew what would come next. At the car, he threw the bag of money and drugs in the trunk, then shoved May face down and unzipped her body suit to expose her naked rear and sex to the open air. May held perfectly still as she listened to his zipper, then watched his pants fall to the ground a moment before he rammed himself into her as hard and fast as he could. He finished in five strokes, crying out as he filled her, and then shoved her fully in the trunk. Just before the lid closed she could see the blood covering his legs. And then it was dark once more, until her brother was ready to use her again. There, in the dark, where he couldn't see, hear or order her not to, May Landrell sobbed until she fell unconscious.

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