Andi can see the future, and it doesn’t look good. Another superpowered human is determined to either rule the Earth or destroy it. A crucial moment is fast approaching when he’ll try to kidnap a child whose powers will be key in his plans, unless Andi and her own team of superheroes can get to the child first.
With the fate of the world in the balance, Andi puts her own life on the line—without realizing she’s also risking her heart.
Short Story—5800 words
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Another blast hits the side of the limo, pushing it sideways on the street. The little girl screams. Her parents are wrapped around her protectively, as if their bodies could shield her from the explosions outside. They’ll die to protect her. So will I.
I hope it doesn’t come to that.
My heart is pounding in my chest, railing against the tight new constraint like a second—much more solid—rib cage. I adjust the collar of my shirt.
Everything has gone exactly according to plan. From stealing the ID of the aide who was supposed to be with them, piling on makeup and dying my hair just to be sure no one will recognize me aside from my team, and making it into the limo. I’ve heard every word from the family’s mouths before a dozen times over in my visions.
It’s harder to hear the screams in person. To feel their fear in the small cabin.
The less I interact, the better. The less chance they’ll remember my voice, my mannerisms, anything about me. Except for the girl—I want her to remember me. When the time comes, I need her to remember.
I kneel on the floor in front of her. She peeks out from her mother’s arms, reaches for my hand. She can sense that we’re the same, even though her powers are dormant, growing just as she is.
I squeeze her hand tight, let her see my eyes, will her to remember me. Someday, I’m going to need her on my side.
“It’s going to be okay,” I say. “I promise. Do you believe me?”
She nods quickly, brown curls bobbing around her soft cheeks. I see an overlay of the future. A svelte teenager with close-cropped hair and a green costume with an emerald mask. She’s laughing. I can’t tell if the sound is pleasant or maniacal.
I’m taking a chance, making another choice. I say a prayer that it’s a good one—that Fate is feeling kind. I pray I’m not dooming others to spare this one.
The sounds outside go quiet. The door opens, torn from its hinges. Atlas tosses it aside.
“Sorry about the traffic,” he says. “I hope you won’t hold it against this fine city, Ambassador.”
The family steps onto the street, huddled together. Atlas is well-known, well-loved. They trust him. I start to count in my head.
The girl ducks down, surprising her parents. She slips from their reaching hands to dart back toward the limo, to the special toy she dropped.