Age of Mackenzie
Written by Glaazius :: [Thursday, 22 September 2022 19:23] Last updated by :: [Saturday, 24 September 2022 10:08]
United Nations Security Council Chamber New York – Present time.
Joseph J. Philip – as he was known while not wearing the suit of his alter ego – scrolled absentmindedly through news headlines showing increasingly disturbing reports on his phone. At the same time, the cacophony in the hall rose to shouting-matches.
Luckily, he was one of the few accredited journalists with permission to attend this emergency summit. His alter ego – Captain Incredible – did receive an invitation for the meeting, despite the nagging suspicion of the public that he was either dead or missing. Joseph peeked over his phone when the voice of one of his teammates – one of the few still alive – drew his attention.
It was Silver Snake, and unlike Joseph, he showed up in the suit of his alter ego. Ricky T. was his real name. He winked at his friend and leader – whose wish he respected to remain incognito – between spoken words when he noticed him watching.
Joseph saw him standing up from his chair to soothe the heated discussion between the representatives of China and France. Kenia mixed in, and two other countries of Europe followed suit.
"Order! Order!" The security council's President bellowed as he tried in vain to call everyone to a more manageable calmness. He stood up from his chair. "We will getnowhereif we cannot conduct ourselves with a modicum of decorum!"
Things were getting pretty hairy. The world was in peril. And not by the fangs of mother nature, due to an invasion of highly evolved extraterrestrial beings from space, or by the threat of nuclear tensions between a few powerhouses.
No, a single person appeared guilty of spreading havoc on the planet. An 18-year-old girl named Mackenzie Pace. She showed up on the radar a few weeks ago when she singlehandedly destroyed eight ancient monuments scattered around the globe – four of them crafted by Roman hands - on three different continents in the space of an hour.
Footages taken by ordinary citizens with their phones went viral whereby the girl emerged out of nowhere in the sky to unleash her wrath upon ancient old structures and people alike. These images gave Joseph plenty of information about her capabilities. Flight? Check. Laser eyes? Check. Super strength? Check. Telekinesis? Check. The girl could also unleash energetic orbs from her fingertips – each as explosively powerful as a T12-cloudmaker.
Within a few days of destroying monuments worldwide, the young lady began targeting random buildings, particularly those bustling with people. The casualties amounted to over a thick, fat five-digit number.
An urgent appeal from the public of nations around the world urged the authorities to do something about it.
But the girl was just too damn fast to intercept and too damn unpredictable to anticipate her moves. It was up to The Incredible Five to deal with this mobile disaster machine. Some people could take a good picture of the girl every now and then. So, it was not long before the girl was identified when a few classmates recognized her. Her town of origin was some nondescript place called Clear Lake, where she was a senior student at its local high school.
All intelligence agencies in the country thoroughly researched her life and origin. The girl was a foster child whereby it was registered that both of her biological parents died during a car accident when she was still an infant.
Next to that, she was a blank sheet. She had no criminal record whatsoever. There was also no trace of superpowers. Mackenzie Pace was your average girl next door who just happened to live a run-of-the-mill life in a small-town community. No cheerleading captain, no excelling in academic courses, not the most coveted girl at school, not even some nasty reputation for elbowing others out of the way for personal gain.
Nope, Mackenzie Pace was nothing more than a timid, well-mannered girl with a soft temper, according to the people who know her.
But now she has superpowers and was going rogue. The girl was also considerably more beautiful than she used to be. Before her ascension, the girl was definitely not ugly, quite cute actually, but no high-flyer on the field of looks. Now, however, she looked like an earthbound angel blessed with celestial beauty. An advertisement for the joys of youthful vitality and the perfection of a woman's form, flawless – yes, a Goddess even.
The image of Mackenzie Pace was displayed on a large screen in the meeting hall for everyone to see. It was an action picture taken right before she lay waste to an entire city while arrogantly flaunting her assets during an afternoon breeze. Mackenzie hovered in the air, her voluminous wind-tousled, sparkling blond hair draping sensually around slender shoulders while framing a fresh, proud face that radiated an air of superiority and delight.
The girl's bosom was moderate-sized yet very noticeable, firm and luscious. An athletically trained – looking lean and strong yet feminine – abdomen peeked from under the hem of a tight-fitting sleeveless black crop top. Below that hung a simple piece of raffled denim shorts stuffed with an eye-catching, firm butt and long, sensual legs protruding beneath the waist. Her feet were clasped in a pair of adorable pink sneakers.
All known personal details – like gender, age, citizenship, etc. – were displayed on the left side of the girl's image with radiant white text. On the right side, information about her powers and possible origin (mutant) beamed brightly from the screen. Much was known already. The girl was very creative when unleashing her wrath upon citizens around the globe and their infrastructure.
So, it gave a lot away about her capabilities. They still groped in the dark about many things, though. No one knew the full arsenal of her powers as well as its limits.
She was too fast to get caught, so no one knew if she was vulnerable to a mere bullet. Until three days ago, that is.
After weeks of playing a cat-and-mouse game, three members of The Incredible Five were finally able to corner her. She'd just toppled various randomly chosen office towers in Singapore when they confronted her.
The fight that followed was swift and brutal. It left two members presumably dead, for their bodies were never found. The third one – StarStream, the fastest woman on the planet up until Mackenzie's arrival – was able to get away. Her injuries were so severe that she sank away into a comatose state before she was able to tell the tale. The military showed up shortly after that, and that battle was even shorter than the warming-up phase during Mackenzie's fight against members of The Incredible Five.
That army was no more, and neither was Singapore and its nearly 6 million inhabitants after Mackenzie's parting gift – a never-seen-before explosion that vastly dwarfed the sheer amount of destructive energy unleashed during the 50Mt hydrogen Tsar Bomba detonation in the sixties.
A vast smoldering wasteland was all that was left where once a thriving society stood. Its detonation flash was seen in the sky by settlements on the south coast of Vietnam, more than 1000 km away from the explosion's epicenter. Seismic devices showed insane numbers. And it did not stop there.
The next day, Mackenzie continued her rampage – targeting ancient monuments, preferably Roman ones – and structures around the globe.
No one knew why Captain Incredible refrained from showing up on the scene since the start of Mackenzie's rampage.
People were afraid, desperate. They needed someone who could end this madness. They needed him, Captain Incredible – if he was still alive. The major part of the public believed Joseph to be dead. And secretly, he was glad about that.
A bellow yanked Joseph out of his moment of contemplation. He looked up as the UN president tried in vain to maintain order as a cacophony of utterances flew back and forth between different delegates.
"I believe it to be wise at the moment tonotflare Mackenzie's temper any further by ruling out the option of diplomacy. No head of state has invited her to discuss non-violent options in this matter. We, the people of Japan, would like to make this gesture by honoring her with a private audience to our emperor."
The delegate of Spain stood up, flashing his finger. "Your country does not have this authority! This issue matters to us all!"
"A private audience would not suffice in this case." Canada's delegate chimed in. "All members of our senate have anonymously agreed to make Canada Mackenzie's new home by granting her citizenship with unlimited perks."
"That's chicken feed!" India's delegate chortled. "It is our wish to offer the girl an open hand and exalt her to the status of India's new sovereign."
A wave of outraged chorus reverberated throughout the council's hall.
"Preposterous! India's a superpower. It will disrupt the global balance severely!" A voice shouted from somewhere.
"Have you idiots lost all of your heads in your own asses!" The icy voice of the France delegate whipped everyone to silence. "That wench is a homicidal maniac! A terrorist!" His finger trembled while pointing at the screen displaying Mackenzie. "The only option we have left here, gentlemen, is to strike with hard force!" He slammed a fist in his open hand.
"Now that's my language there!" Ghana's delegate chimed in. "Individually, no nation stands a chance against Mackenzie's onslaught. Global unity is insurmountable at this moment. Every nation should assemble their most elite forces so we can neutralize her in one massive unified assault."
"That would lead only to more unnecessary casualties. I say we start discussing nuclear armament alliances instead." Israel's delegate said.
Then comments were being shouted back and forth.
"What about Captain Incredible?"
"And his crew?"
"Also, dead. Or out of commission. At least the ones who matter." Some delegates gave Silver Snake an askance glance. "We stand alone in this worldwide crisis, gentlemen. And we need to act swift and decisive here if we wish to have tomorrow."
"Istronglyadvise my fellow delegates to hush the volume of their voices for the sake of not only our safety but for the safety of our people and families too."
"Don't be paranoid! We're talking about a girl here! A high school brat!"
"A girl capable of perceiving any word of conspiracy through impregnable walls and knows how to blast whole cities into oblivion. You have a death wish, mister?"
"Enough!" The President slammed his hand on the table, compelling everyone to silence. "This wench is anything but a bedtime story hero for our children so they can sleep in peace on one ear. I see it as our duty to–"
An eardrum-cutting shriek escaped from the mouth of a woman sitting right next to the President's chair. All that was left of him was a smoldering pile of ash on his seat when his body received the full brunt of a luminously bright red beam coming out of nothing.
The woman's scream – sounding like a suckling piglet – continued untiringly, cutting painfully through the hall. Then, she too, ended up as a pile of smoldering ash when another red beam blasted her in the chest.
"You're welcome, all."
Joseph gulped.That voice! It's her! She's here!
"Uwaaargh!" Mackenzie yawned lazily as she stretched her arms while sitting cross-legged on the table right in front of France's flabbergasted delegate. Every eye in the room gaped at her in consternation, at the most dangerous person on the planet. The representative of India, whose name was Ishaan – and who sat right next to the delegate of France – could not help but let his eyes lust over Mackenzie's bare thighs when the fabric of her dress crawled upwards as she stretched her body. Ishaan flinched and pushed out a small yelp when Mackenzie spun her head, swishing her graceful hair. She smiled mischievously at him – making him sweat even more than he already did. "I saw that old man," she said playfully before giving a wink and pinching his nose.
"What are you doing here, miss? This is a closed meeting." a deep and authoritative voice snapped. It compelled everyone in the room to tear their attention away from Mackenzie to see who was speaking. Even Mackenzie turned her head in annoyance. It was the same delegate that urged the use of nukes earlier. He did not look afraid, not intimidated by the smoldering pile of ash on the floor a few meters away from him. And Mackenzie seemed to like that Joseph noticed. The teen girl was used to people being afraid of her, so running in on a person who wasn't should be interesting.
"I know. That's why I opened it," Mackenzie smiled. "A horde of thrill-seeking journalists should be barging through that door right about… now!" Startling gasps waved through the meeting hall when Mackenzie's eyes lit up before two beams of red laser light shot out, pulverizing the main entrance. The superpowered teen chuckled with delight.
"Preposterous!" Israel's delegate stood up with a fiery glare.
Mackenzie looked back at him, bored, before her expression churned into a look of curiosity when she noticed his country's name tag. "Say, aren't you that Peretz guy? Grandson of Helmuth the butcher of Treblinka? You were all over the news some time ago, weren't you? Well, beforemyentrance into the world, of course. How on earth can a nation housing such a sheer number of Jews allow a descendant of such a monster to represent their country?"
"Security! Remove this wench at once!" Noam Peretz bellowed.
Mackenzie's youthful lips merely smiled – making her comely countenance look even more stunning – when no guard attempted to carry out this order.
"I don't think anyone is going to come," she whispered before giving him a wry smile.
Captain Incredible observed it all with great curiosity. Credits definitely had to go to Noam Peretz for remaining adamant in his firm stance while the rest of his colleagues were shitting in their pants while facing this global threat.
"What is it you want, Miss?" Noam said.
"Well, isn't that obvious?!" Mackenzie spread her arms all theatrically. "To be a superhero, of course! To receive privileges, mere citizens can only dream of and to be loved and adored by children whose existence I'm not even aware of. Nowthatwould make mereallyhappy!"
"A superhero?" Noam did not even try to conceal the sarcasm in his voice.
"Mmm." Mackenzie nodded as she gazed dreamily at her own image shown on the large screen on the wall. Her stunning face churned – leaving it incredibly attractive still – when she saw something she did not like.
"Just, wow! I had areallybad hair there, didn't I?" Mackenzie placed a hand against her chin while scrutinizing her own image. "I mean, check out those strands dangling from my forehead. They look like dried straw," she said with a rueful chuckle.
Noam snorted. "This picture was taken just before you annihilated Singapore and its 6 millioninnocentinhabitants, including the one who took this picture."
"Yeah, I know." Mackenzie said dreamily, "I can only imagine what they were all thinking of my coiffure."
"I believe these people hadother urgentmatters to worry about than your hairdo, miss."
"Serious? Like what?" Mackenzie said, frankly surprised.
"Are you really that light-minded, girl?!" Noam snapped. He was surprised by his own audacity.
Mackenzie's eyes darkened.
While thinking frantically about his following words, Noam glanced at some of his colleagues for help he did not get before aiming his attention toward Mackenzie again. For three seconds, he could not help but sink away in the beauty of Mackenzie's mesmerizing eyes holding him in their grasp before speaking again.
He cleared his throat. "S-so you like to be a superhero, right?" Noam chooses the tactic of hopping back to a previous subject. It seemed to work because Mackenzie's expression softened. "Do you know what a superhero does, miss?"
Mackenzie's radiant grey eyes took one last glance at her own image. She shook her head before zeroing in on Noam. "I have a vague notion, yes."
Noam nodded as to prod Mackenzie to continue.
"A superhero is strong and powerful and looks prettier than the rest, of course." Mackenzie giggled like a school girl. "She can do extraordinary things and is mostly used by shady governments to–"
"Save lives, miss!" Noam interrupted. "A superhero saves lives!"
"Yes, of course. I wanted to say that if you would have let me finish talking." Mackenzie said, slightly irked. "A superhero saves lives."
"Andyou, miss." Noam pierced his index finger in Mackenzie's direction.
Don't finish that sentence!Joseph thought.
"...you take them!"
Screams erupted in the meeting hall when Noam's body combusted. The living torch danced around like a hardcore punk on steroids while screeching his lungs out. While everyone in the room gaped at the involuntary freak show with shocked faces – making sure to keep their distance – one guy ran up to Noam and landed a flying kick against his chest, making him stumble to the ground. "Roll! God damnit! Roll!" he screamed.
Mackenzie watched it all with delight and chuckled when she saw the other guy's leg catching flame also. He was able to flap it out with his hand. Then he tore a blanket away from a table and ran up to Noam, but the latter had already pushed out his final scream. All there was left was a smoldering, lifeless carcass – spreading an odorous cocktail throughout the hall smelling like fatty pork on the grill mixed with a metallic, coppery whiff and a scrape of sulfur on top of it.
"God! You people sure know how to bore a girl, that's for sure." Mackenzie's voice broke the shocked silence that followed the horrendous event. She looked around, eyeing the horrified faces gaping at her before turning back her attention to Ishaan, who flinched when he felt caught again ogling Mackenzie's legs.
"Tell me, snake charmer, how long do meetings like this usually last?"
Ishaan pried a finger under his tight-fitting collar before stammering. "A-about 8 hours is not uncommon, miss. Depending on how fast different states come into agreement with each other."
"8 hours!" Mackenzie's eyes bulged. "And all this time, it goes about me, I guess?"
Ishaan gulped as it took all of his self-control to look this girl – who had the physical appearance of a Goddess – in the eyes instead of lusting shamelessly over the luscious curves of her bosom and ass before answering: "T-that's right, Goddess. I-I mean, Mackenzie! I mean, miss!!!"
Mackenzie smiled like a mother comforting her child before caressing Snake Charmer's balding, sweaty head. "You poor, poor man. Ugh!" She rubbed her hand clean on his blouse before snatching away a pen resting in the guy's chest pocket.
It was dead silent as all eyes in the room followed Mackenzie. She leaped gracefully off the desk to saunter towards the sizeable radiant screen on the wall – rotating the pen playfully between her fingers.
For a moment, she'd admired her own grinning image floating in the sky, looking down upon a city that did not exist anymore. Then someone rasped his throat.
Mackenzie spun on her heels – revealing more skin on her upper legs as her dress fluttered through the air. It was Snake Charmer. She gave him a somewhat impatient look, prodding him to talk. Mackenzie did not like to be interrupted, especially not while admiring her own divine image.
"G-Goddess, uhm, M-Miss Pace, the humble people from India would like you to know that they have nothing less than the best intentions for your w-well-being."
"My well-being?" Mackenzie chuckled. "Are you suggesting something's wrong with my health, mister?"
Ishaan's eyes bulged like a freshman who had just ignited the dismay of a senior. "No! No no no, please, that is not what I meant, Miss Pace." He waved his hands defensively. "I-I mean that we, as a country, are willing to m-make certain monetary concessions as a price for…"
Mackenzie's eyebrows arched to urge him to finish his sentence. "as a price for?..."
"...as a price f-for your approval of our existence."
"Certainmonetary concessions, mmm?" Mackenzie sensually sauntered over to Snake Charmer while still fiddling with the pen. Ishaan started to tremble like wetland reed during an autumn storm as the godlike youth walked up to him.
"Y-yes," he stammered.
"Explain," Mackenzie commanded as she slammed her hands on Snake Charmer's desk – cracking it lightly – while looking down upon him.
"W-we can make you a majority shareholder of one of our pharmaceutical companies."
"Only one?" Mackenzie turned around and sauntered off towards the middle point again – making it impossible for everyone to not look at her tight, wiggling butt.
"Or two!… o-or several even! Whatever your wish is, miss Pace." Snake charmer beamed two rows of crooked, brown-tainted teeth.
Mackenzie looked over her shoulder, surprised, as she saw the delegate of France standing up. "We will give you a free grab from our state coffer as often as you like, miss Pace. And on top of that, we will privilege you by granting you citizenship of our beautiful country."
Hypocrite! That's the same guy that suggested a united front merely a moment ago.Joseph's nostrils flared.
"We will let you marry our crown prince!" Another delegate shouted.
And the floodgate was open now as many more chimed in from all sides.
"We will give youallof our riches!"
"We will make you Queen!"
"We exalt you to sovereign!"
"We will build statues of you!"
"We already are!"
That caught Mackenzie's attention. Her eyes zeroed in on Russia's delegate. "You! Say that again!" She pointed a finger.
The beefy Russian delegate smiled, pleased with himself, satisfied that he got the full attention of the world's most powerful person. "I'm happy to inform you, Miss Pace, that some of our finest sculptors are working on building a statue of you in our Capitol as we speak."
She knows you're lying, idiot! If you know that I can sense a lie, then it would be wise to assume that she can sense it too.Joseph thought with frustration while watching the scenery from the back.
Mackenzie walked eagerly up to Russia's delegate, giving no notion about her knowledge of the lie. Another delegate opened his mouth, ready to flood Mackenzie's ears with fine promises. The poor man did not get the change, though, for the pen Mackenzie stole earlier from Ishaan flung from her hand, swooshing through the air before flying straight through his left eye, piercing the backside of his skull. His body keeled over, slumping on the floor.
Mackenzie placed her hands on Russia’s delegate's desk and looked down upon him. "What's your country's religion? What God do your people worship?"
Russia's delegate – whose name was Rodion – arched a bushy brow while looking up from his desk at the youthful girl looming over him. The question surprised him. "We believe in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, of course, miss. Next to a minority of several other beliefs, our most widely professed faith is Russian orthodoxy. Why do you want to know, miss?"
"Discard them. All of them," Mackenzie said bluntly.
Rodion eyed Mackenzie suspiciously for a moment before he broke out in laughter. The latter started laughing too, encouraging Rodion to laugh even louder. Other delegates looked at each other in uncertainty before deciding to join the laughing fit.
"I'm not kidding here," Mackenzie's laughing face flashed to a severe dead glare, silencing everyone. "You say your country is already building statues in my resemblance, so why not go all out? Discard all of your religions and start putting your faith in me. Love me. Worship me. That's the price for my protection."
"I… uuuh…" Rodion stammered, tongue-tied.
Mackenzie closed her eyes and shook her head.
"Where is she going?!" Someone called out when Mackenzie blasted upwards, breaking through the roof, becoming a rapidly disappearing dot in the sky.
Unlike citizens of many other major cities in the world, the Russians living in Moscow never had to cower before Mackenzie.
They knew her, though. They knew what the girl looked like and what she was capable of, so panic exploded immediately in the streets below when she honored them with a visit. As Mackenzie floated above the Capitol – the wind whipping her hair and skirt – she snorted while glancing down upon the turmoil spreading like an oil leak in the city below.
They look like filthy ants.She pondered in disgust.
As the citizens of Moscow ran about in panic, hunched over as they pulled loved ones with them under the roaring wailings of civil defense sirens, they all had one thing in common: They all bear the hope of surviving this. However, they did not know that their country's representative had doomed them all with his bold tongue. Mackenzie was here to slam a major score by annihilating the entire city, and she wanted to do it swiftly.
After a short moment of savoring in the sound of screams and terror Mackenzie found it high time to get to business. She brought her slender hand up, aimed it at the Kremlin with a sardonic smile, and commanded the cosmos to supply her with amply sufficient destructive energy to blast the whole Capitol to oblivion. And the cosmos obeyed.
Mackenzie's eyes contracted as a radiant, white orb conjured in her hand, becoming swiftly bigger and more potent by the second.
Joseph watched it all from a safe distance with great awe. He had followed her immediately when she crashed through the roof.
How on earth can that youth be so strong!he thought in despair as he felt her energy building up to a monstrous stage.
His eyes fluttered when a thick, white beam shot away from the dot in the sky, blasting towards Moscow down below. He braced for the worst.
Joseph averted his head as Mackenzie’s attack gave birth to a sheer brilliant light, inflating in an instance, devouring Moscow in its entirety. He watched, fascinated as his own hand appeared to be x-rayed by the explosion's flash. He found it interesting that he could see his own bones and veins without using his powers.
About 25 seconds later, the detonation's blast slammed in Joseph's face like a Maglev train on a windless day. It even compelled the most prominent superhero the planet has ever known to place one foot behind the other to stabilize his stance.
The scorching heat – that would be lethal to a mere mortal – greeted Joseph's skin, bathing him in nothing more than a pleasant tropical evening breeze. His suit – consisting mainly of Kevlar and Nomex – was put to the test under these extreme thermal forces. They'd withstand it, leaving only some black burn marks on the edges.
The earth beneath his feet rumbled fiercely as the earsplitting explosion cracked his ears open as if Thor's hammer had slammed the land with full force, indicating that this attack was many times more devastating than the one unleashed on Singapore.
In the distance, Joseph saw many fissures forming in the ground. One of them came crackling towards him, samurai-slicing the earth open. He gaped at one of them as it ended right in front of his feet.
When all was done, there was nothing left but a smoldering, many-acre-deep crater with a thick mushroom cloud drifting upwards, mingling with packs of white clouds in the sky above it.
Roughly 12 million people perished that day, just like that.
Rodion yelped when a woman and three children were hurled in front of his feet. A young girl with a curtain wrapped around her body and disheveled blond hair came soaring down through the hole in the roof of the Council chamber.
"What is this?!" Mackenzie demanded while pointing at Rodion's family, shivering on the ground.
"M-mercy, miss," Rodion answered meekly.
"You're damn right, It's mercy!" Mackenzie said, eyeing all other delegates also. "Its because I’m kind, you hear me? I’m kind!”
For a swift moment, Joseph thought he could discern agony brewing in the girl’s eyes, upwelling tears even.
Before anyone could say anything, Mackenzie vanished into the sky, but not before cracking another hole in the Council chamber's roof.
The next day the news headlines were flooded with horrible stories and images of the annihilation of Moscow.
Moscow and Singapore swabbed off the map. Which city is next?
Is Mackenzie bombing the world to a new ice age and oceanic catastrophe?
The world is in dire need of help. Captain Incredible, where are you?!
And in line with these headlines, the global public was also treated on footages of anarchistic sceneries of ordinary Russians protesting against their government who – in their worldly wisdom – decided to restrict the practice of any known religion. Choosing to do it anyway would irrevocably lead to the death penalty or a life sentence if the judge felt compassionate.
The interim President was now not the highest authority in Russia anymore – Mackenzie Pace was, for she was exalted to the country's sovereign. Every law passed, and every code created from this point forward had to have the consent of the super-powered teen. Her reign had to be acknowledged and celebrated. And ignoring this fact could result in the harshest consequences for the Russian people.
Pebbles creaked beneath Joseph's boots as he walked up to an oval-shaped tombstone embellished with strands of moss on the edges. It's been far too long since the last time he was here. He crouched down and placed a freshly bought bouquet of flowers right in front of it.
"You were wrong. I do not regret anything. Not even now." Joseph said, speaking to an invisible spirit whose presence he could feel.
A surge of sadness welled up in his chest as he read the name etched in the stone of the sorceress he still loved.
Frewin Le Blanc
Where magic ceases to intrigue, I begin
Joseph looked over his shoulder and saw a group of people walking their way in his direction. It was high time to go. With his nails, he scratched away some moss before sauntering off, exiting the cemetery.
He entered a shadowed alley and looked about, ensuring no one saw him. Then he vanished in a blink, running faster than the human eye could perceive.
Unknowing to Joseph, his flashy feet ran over a cobbled path, and a few meters beneath that same path was a gloomy basement belonging to a 19th-century manor house that served as an orphanage.
A young lady was sitting in a chair there, dimly lit by the vague, orange hue of a 25-watt light bowl dangling above her head. She sat gawking in horror at her own hand that was covered in someone else's blood, staining her dazzling white dress. At her feet, in a puddle of blood, gore and bowels, lay the lifeless body of a burly bloke named Steve, the orphanage's janitor, whose last act it was while alive was trying to rape this very same girl. Now he lay there with a yawning gap in his stomach hollowed out all the way to the other side of his body - after the slender arm of the terrified teen girl punched straight through it, perforating it, making the light shine through.