I was torn between what to do. Derek made a stupid decision again, the Hunting Party and the National Hero Network were fighting and we all had the looming threat of an incontinent power or whatever those injections would do to us. Micheal looked at Maxine for a moment, then looked at Derek who along with the twins was being pounded on by a guy in a green spandex and facemask. It was very odd having to look at Derek for some reason. He had no motion at all. It was like stop-motion, but at one frame per second.
Micheal ran after Derek. “Ryan, get Maxine and Ellen into the mall! Hurry!”
I took Ellen by her left hand and dragged her over to Maxine. I took a breath, then grabbed Maxine’s right hand. Nothing. I let out a breath of relief.
“Maxine,” I said. “I’m escorting you to the mall, okay. Don’t worry, me and Ellen are here.”
I could barely hear Maxine. She’d been crying the whole time. “Okay.”
We trudged slowly away from the fighting. We all heard a whirring noise followed by an explosion, and I squeezed Maxine and Ellen’s hands. Practically nobody was around, apart from one or two bystanders trying to get a view of the fighting from a massive distance. I sat Maxine on a bench in the mall and put my hands on her shoulders.
“Maxine, what’s happening to you?” I asked calmly. I was slightly shaken, but I didn’t want Ellen to notice it. Maxine moved her head away. I asked again, firmer.
“I looked at Ricky and everyone forgot.” she said. Who the hell is Ricky?
“Ricky?” I asked.
“You won’t remember. Everyone forgot who he is.” I could barely hear her mumbling.
I tried to think. Ricky. Who was Ricky? Then I remembered. The extra syringe. Why Micheal had to get a chair at the cafe. Why I enjoyed English class yesterday.
“I’ll believe you. It may sound shallow, but I’ll believe you.” I said softly, holding her firmly.
I patted her on her shoulders, and turned to Ellen. She wasn’t crying anymore, she just looked ahead. I knelt down so I could be at eye level with her. She glanced at me, and looked at the floor.
She looked up.
“It’ll be okay. Micheal will bring back Derek, and we’ll all take turns kicking him for being an ass, got it?”
“My mom is probably scared.”
I smiled a little. “Your mom only got Micheal’s call, and she doesn’t know how to contact him. She won’t know, ok?”
She let out a small sigh. “Ok.”
The explosions were getting louder.
I could tell where Micheal was because his glowing was ridiculous. We couldn’t even look in the direction he’d come from his glow was that bright.
“Christ Micheal, That shit hurts you know?”
“Deal with it. That bitch broke the syringes while I was getting Derek,” he said, dropping what I could only assume was Derek in the floor of the mall. “Goddamn moron.”
I looked around and could see small clusters of people staring from behind banisters and isles. A camera flashed somewhere.
“So everything’s permanent.” I guessed.
I combed my right hand through my hair. “Shit.”
“I saw Ricky. He was panicked as hell and the National Hero Network took him and that clone of him.” Micheal said, after a pause.
I looked surprised. How did he remember Ricky? “Huh? How’d you remember Ricky?”
“I don’t know. For a moment I sorta remembered about Ricky, and there was two of him for some odd reason. I just took him with me. How did we forget about him anyway?”
“Maxine’s power.” I said.
“Ah. How’d I remember, then?” he asked.
“I Dunno.” I didn’t really have a clue, and Micheal could come up with any better solution than I would.
“What about the Network?” I asked him.
“Hold on a second. What happened with Maxine again?” Micheal was already in one of his moods. It was hard holding a conversation, as he was blinding me even while I faced the opposite way from him. I pitied Derek, who was lying at his feet.
“I took her and Ellen here and talked with her.” I replied.
“Ellen and you don’t know what your powers are, right?”
“Assuming we got them.” I said.
“So, did anything happen when you got here?”
“Anything at all? Like did you breath on her or touch her or anything, or Ellen?”
“You don’t need to pressure him.” Ellen interrupted. It wouldn’t have been of any use, Micheal wouldn’t have stopped anyway.
I sniggered at Micheal’s comment. Some days I swear he knows exactly what he is saying. “One: I’m not a beast. Two: I calmed her down with a pat on the back, she needed one after what happened.”
The light suddenly faded away. “I see.” I jumped when I saw Micheal with both of his hands on my shoulders from behind me. One of the cameras held by the people hiding in the mall flashed again, taking another photo. It was getting annoying being gawked at.
I pushed him back. “Micheal! Watch it with the space.” He lit up again and I fell over while covering my eyes. Ellen laughed, and Maxine joined in. I took Micheal’s offered hand and dusted myself off. Micheal put his hand on my shoulder again. I moved to take it off but he shook his head.
“No can do, buddy. It seems Ryan is the lucky bastard of the day.” I caught on quickly. I had power nullification. I took a firm hold of Micheal’s left hand with my right and we slowly walked over to Maxine. I placed my arm around her shoulder, and after a countdown of three seconds, Micheal pulled off the bag over her head.
Maxine suddenly began to protest. “Hey! What are you doi-“
“Shut up and listen,” I interrupted her quickly. “I seem to undo what you do, and turn the worlds dumbest lightbulb into something that is as bright as he is stupid.” I felt the dope slap before it hit me. “Ow. Anyway, hold on to me while the mask is off okay?”
Maxine nodded and I sat down next to her on the bench. Derek blinked from lying prone to standing. He hasn’t said a thing since the injection. Ellen looked over and sat on the ground in front of me, Maxine and Micheal with her legs crossed.
“What do we do now?” she asked everyone. I had no answer. The silence was bitter.
Micheal broke it first. “I don’t know about you but I don’t want to go to a cape asylum.”
Maxine nodded. Derek blinked next to us. Still, like a statue. I had an idea.
“Derek, touch me.” I said.
His face blinked into a quizzical look. “Trust me.” I insisted.
He blinked his left arm onto me, and began to move.
“Jesus fucking Christ.” he sighed.
Derek breathed out a second sigh of relief and rubbed his face with his other hand. “I’m sorry guys, but this is the worst thing ever. It’s like everything keeps skipping like in a CD.” I nodded in agreement.
“You could hear us, right?”
“Yeah. Can I suggest we get revenge on that bitch?”
Micheal and Ellen and I smiled. “Sure. But first of all, who has a suggestion for leaving town?”