Some Kind of Wonderful Part-23
Some Kind of Wonderful-
Part Twenty Three
Author's Note: So I might have mentioned that deadline I set for myself, well I'm hell bent to get this story done before it. So here's Ch. 23, one of my personal favorites by far. I'd like to thank djkauf for the wonderful editing and DC Comics for the wonderful characters.
Chapter Twenty Three:
All I could do was stare in shock for several seconds. Amy, Amy was a Meta.
She walked around the room, nudging the piles of ash with her foot. I looked from her to the pile on the floor in front of me, the one that used to be Ballesteros. I was too numb to say anything at the moment. There was only one thought coursing through my brain though: why wasn’t I a pile as well? I knew the blast affected me because it threw me across the room and I could feel the heat from it but I was still intact. I looked down to be sure. My clothes were a little singed and I was covered in a little black soot but other than that, I was a whole person. I ran my hands over myself to be sure, hoping I didn’t run into a pile of black that would crumble in my fingers. When I was done, I sighed in relief.
Amy walked over and stood in front of me. “Are you ok?” she asked, sticking her arm out for me.
I nodded numbly, a little reluctant to take her hand. “You’re not going to…”
She laughed. “I can turn it on and off.”
I smiled and she pulled me to my feet. Realization dawned on me after the numbness was gone. My grandma. I pushed past her and ran for the door. When I got onto the front lawn I saw two black SUVs but grandma was nowhere in sight. I looked at the road; saw the black screech marks of tires. I also saw Amy’s jeep, the side of it smashed in. It looked like she was trying to block whoever it was that drove off.
I felt a hand on my shoulder and jumped. “I tried cutting them off,” said Amy with a sigh. “But trying to stop an SUV with a jeep is not a very bright idea.”
“They’ll take her to Chicago: I said sadly.
Amy sighed. “They’ve got a head start but we’ll catch them.”
I nodded and other things started to come to me, like reality. The last I’d seen of Amy was back at school in the cafeteria with Cissie. I turned to her, searching her face. There was something different about her. She was the same girl that I’d become friends with but she had a harder look in her eyes. Looking into those eyes of hers, I saw an experience and an age that I hadn’t before. It was like the Amy I knew was a façade and this was the real person.
“I don’t understand,” I finally said and she nodded.
“I’m sorry I haven’t been completely honest with you Cassie,” she said with a sigh. “I work for the DEO”
That kinda floored me. “You what?”
She held up her hands as if I was going to hit her. I wanted to but I held back. Looking at her---this girl who was my “friend”---I couldn’t help but feel a bit angry. I felt betrayed too. Was our friendship all an act? She’d been lying to me and I trusted her. She was my friend and she was a spy too. I balled up my first, ready to pound the snot out of her. I would have too if I didn’t need her help.
“I know you’re angry but it was the only way,” she said quickly. “Do you remember Faraday telling you about American Dream?” I nodded but I had only been paying half attention then. “Well, I’m just like her. I used to be a thirty five year old Air Force Captain named Nathaniel Adam. Around the same time, the military created American Dream they asked for other volunteers. I put my name in, they ran the tests and found out I had the metagene too.”
“So you chose this?”
She nodded. “I would have done anything to serve my country. In hindsight, if I had known it would turn me into a teenage girl I think I might have reconsidered but you have to go with the hand that you’re dealt.”
This was incredible. It pissed me off that she’d been lying but I suppose I couldn’t be too angry with her. She was just like Jay and Kate; she was there to make sure I was all right. It was a little sneaky on Faraday’s end but in the end, Amy was just like me. But something else didn’t fit. All the girls at school knew her; she’d been there for years.
“When did they put you in the school?”
She smiled. “The day before you.”
I shook my head. “That doesn’t make any sense. People knew you, they talked about. You’re on the basketball team.”
She smiled. “We have a very good psychic working for us.”
Thinking about that made me shudder. If the DEO had someone who could make people believe whatever they wanted. I shuddered again. “You’re not going to whatever on me, are you?”
She shook her head. “Don’t worry you’re quite safe.”
We talked for a few more minutes on the front lawn and the police sirens wailed in the distant. As much as I would have loved to stay around, I knew the two of us needed to bail. She knew it too. We looked around; some of the neighbors were starting to come out of their houses. We looked at each other and realized we had to scatter. I hated leaving things like this but I didn’t want to be around to explain things to the police. We started for Amy’s Jeep when I stopped. There was a nagging feeling in my stomach. The further I got from the house; it started to tug on me. I thought maybe it was apprehension about leaving but it was more that.
“We can’t stay here,” said Amy from the Jeep. ‘I don’t have credentials.”
I nodded and looked at the house. “I need to get something,” I said without thinking too much.
Before she could say anything I ran back into the house. I’m not sure why but I knew that there was something I was forgetting. I looked around the living room, at all the carnage left there. No, I’m not talking about bodies. I’m talking about all the furniture I smashed to hell to save grandma. I felt kinda bad about wrecking her house but it couldn’t be helped. I felt particularly bad about destroying grandpa’s favorite chair. He and I used to sit in there and read when I was younger. Looking at the damaged chair lying there, I felt a pang of loss and a swell of anger. Just because Ballesteros was dead now that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to avenge grandpa’s murder.
I shifted my gaze up the stairs. What I needed was up there.
I angrily ran up the steps and went right to my room. The door was open, kicked by one of Ballesteros thugs no doubt. I ran inside, wondering if they ransacked my room. But everything was where it should be, everything including what I was looking for. After my dream, I didn’t think much about the golden tiara but to keep it out of my mind I put it on the top shelf of my closet. The closet door was open when I came into the room; I usually left it that way in the morning. I ran over to it and took the wooden box off the shelf. I’m not sure why it was so important but I knew I was supposed to take it with me.
I opened the box and my hands trembled over the golden headpiece. When I lifted it out of the box, I knew it was the right time. I’m not sure why I never put it on until now but something told me it was only to be worn when I was ready to wear it. Now was that time. I took a deep breath and put it on my head. I felt a surge or energy that lasted for a few seconds and then was gone. I didn’t feel any different but something inside of me told me I was almost complete. I’m not sure why but it felt like there was something missing, something important.
I tried not to think about it as I ran out of my room and back down the stairs.
"You went inside for your pretty princess crown?” asked Amy when I got into her Jeep.
I ignored her. She laughed and then started the engine. I was actually surprised that her beat up old jeep actually started. The whole left side was smashed in but still the engine turned on and we took off down the road. Ok, we didn’t actually take off. It was slow going; the Jeep was just in a pretty bad smash up so it was kinda sluggish. I was grateful that she tried to save my grandma---that she saved me---but I was still a little unsure about her. She seemed like a capable person and her power was awesome but I hated the fact that she’d been lying to me this whole time. I thought I knew who Amy was and now I find out she’s a completely different person.
I think she sensed some of my apprehension. “I’m not a bad person, you know,” she said with a laugh. “When I was first given my assignment to befriend you and shadow you around, I was kinda apprehensive about it. I haven’t been in high school in years and frankly, I wasn’t jumping at the chance to go back in. But after I read your file and saw what you could do, I was kinda proud. It was like I was making a difference again. You’ve got this fantastic gift and you shouldn’t let anyone tell you to keep it all to yourself.”
I smiled. “Yours is pretty awesome too.”
She shook her head. “Mine is extremely dangerous. That wasn’t fire back there, that was radiation.”
I don’t think I liked the sound of that. “I’m not going to get cancer now am I?”
She laughed. “Ballesteros and his men got the brunt of the blast. I made sure to shield you from most of it. You might have gotten a little of it but nothing too serious.”
I nodded, that was a relief. “Does this mean I should call you Captain Atom, now?”
We both shared a laugh. “I think Amy is just fine.”
We didn’t say much after that. I turned to the window and watched the scenery as we drove by. I’m not sure how long it took me to realize it but it dawned on me that we weren’t going toward Chicago. I sat up straight in my seat, looking around. “What the hell are you doing? You’re going in the wrong direction.”
Amy sighed. “I have my orders.”
“Fuck your orders.”
She laughed. “I wish I could but Cameron was very insistent. She said if things go bad then I was to extract you and move you to a more secure location.”
“They have my grandmother! They have Connor; they might even have Cameron and her team!”
Anger swelled up inside of me. I’m not sure what I was going to do but there was no way I was going to let this person stop me. I turned and punched my door clear off, sending it flying down the street. Amy swerved the Jeep, shocked at what I just did. I grabbed the dashboard, sinking my hands into it. “Turn this damn thing around or I’m going to rip apart what’s left of it one piece at a time.”
“You’re out of your damn mind.”
“And you’re a fool if you think I’m going to sit around and let those people win.”
“You’re crazy. There’s only two of us.”
“You just nuked half an army in my living room.”
She bit her lip. “We have no idea what we’re going into. Those guys could have just been the first wave. They could have a lot more and innocents too. They have hostages; we have no chance of succeeding.”
I was dead set. “We have me.”
“You?” she said, shocked. “You might be strong, Cas but there’s still only two of us.”
I nodded then got an idea. “There could be more.”
She looked confused but I whipped out the cell. I quickly dialed a number but I got nothing but voice mail. I cursed but left a message anyway. “I know you’re there and I know you’re scared but I need you. Something bad has happened, something I can’t handle on my own. You’re the only other person I can think of that might be able to help. If you get this message, I need you to meet as at the Bana-Mighdall Spa in Chicago.”
I clicked off the cell, sighing.
“What was that about?” asked Amy.
“Even with backup, we’ll stand no chance.”
“We can do this, I know we can.”
Amy groaned and slowed the Jeep. She glared at me and sighed. “Ok, but you owe me a new door.”
She made a quick U-turn, spinning the Jeep in the opposite direction.
No matter how fast we drove, we didn’t get to Chicago any faster. When we finally got into the city, I used the cell again and tried calling my mother. Yeah, I know she’s not my favorite person at the moment but I still care about her. When I didn’t get an answer, I tried her office at the college. But the department secretary told me she was in class. I sighed in relief after that, knowing Mom was ok. I left a voice message on Donna’s phone, knowing she was probably with Mom. I tried Connor’s number again, both his cell and his home phone. I didn’t get a response from either, which still made me feel really bad. I thought about making a detour to his apartment but I knew we didn’t have time for that.
After my phone calls, I wasn’t feeling any better. I was feeling even worse when we pulled up outside the Spa. We parked a few buildings away so as not to draw attention. But I was certain they knew I was coming. We got out of the car together. Amy went to the back of the Jeep and took out a black duffel. She dropped it on the sidewalk and opened it up, pulling out a black tactical vest that she slipped on and a sub machine gun. I frowned at the gun. There might be more bad guy soldiers here but there were a lot of innocents, too.
“You plan on shooting people?”
“We don’t know what we’re up against.”
I shook my head. “These girls aren’t the enemy, the woman in charge is. They’re innocents, brainwashed or whatever.”
I held out my hand and she reluctantly put the gun in it. I twisted the gun into a mangled mash, causing her to stare in shock. I smirked, putting the mass back into the duffel and duffel back into the Jeep. Amy grumbled a bit about her gun but she knew I was right. After that, the two of us slowly walked toward the entrance. I’m not sure what I was expecting but I shocked when we finally walked inside. Everything looked the same except the lobby was deserted of course. I looked up at the bronze Minotaur statue; it looked more menacing if that was even possible.
Amy looked at it and shuddered. “That thing kinda gives me the creeps.”
I nodded. “C’mon, there’s an elevator back through those doors.”
I led the way, pushing my way through the door into the main room. I guess I wasn’t surprised by what was waiting for us. The room was empty, save for the usual exercise equipment. I’m not sure if I was expecting a welcoming committee but I was certain there was no way Crossan would just let the two of us waltz in here like nothing. I think Amy felt something was off too because as soon as we walked further into the room, her body changed. Before I thought, it was a silver glow but now I saw it was actually some kind of metal. It was like her skin changed into it, making her look like a walking metal statue. It was kinda cool, especially when her eyes glowed that wicked blue again.
As if on cue, I heard the ding from across the room. We both looked and the elevator doors opened. Two women stepped out, dressed like extras from a bad 1930’s Dinosaur movie. They were actually wearing loincloths and body paint, holding metal poles. I wanted to laugh until I looked at their faces. One of them I recognized as the girl who sat at the front desk---Charis---. The other had a familiar face too though it was anything but friendly at the moment.
Both Amy and I gasped but I spoke. “Kate?”
Kate Spencer didn’t respond, it was like she didn’t know us or that name anymore. I cursed, she was brainwashed like the rest.
The two of them walked into the room, spinning their poles with expert ease. Amy stepped forward to meet the challenge, her hands glowing blue. I put an arm across her chest, holding her back. There was no way I was going to let her fry Kate, brainwashed or not.
“She might be on their side but that’s still Kate,” I said and she sighed.
“Can you subdue them without hurting them too badly?” she asked as the glow disappeared from her hands.
I nodded. “I think so.”
I stepped forward to meet the challenge, Kate and Charis smiled smugly. Then they came at me, a lot faster than I anticipated. They spun their poles, Kate went for my left knee, and Charis hit me in my back. I was down on the mats before I even knew what hit me. I cursed, realizing this wasn’t going to be as easy as I originally thought. They came again but I jumped to my feet and blocked their rapid blows with my bracelets, staggering from the repeated onslaught. It was clear that both Kate and Charis were juiced up on Crossan’s special Ambrosia pills. I was right in my assessment; the pills did seem to make whoever ate them much stronger and faster than before.
Their onslaught drove me back. I was on the defensive, afraid of what might happen if I actually laid a hand on one of them. After putting on the tiara, I somehow felt more confident in my abilities. It didn’t make me any stronger but it made me more sure of myself. I’m not really sure how to describe it but I felt like I could take on any foe and survive. I also felt that taking this repeated barrage of theirs was doing nothing. I could stand here all day, letting them try their hardest to land another blow on me. But I knew that if I didn’t act quickly then I would be here all day.
They backed me up into a rack of weights. My back pressed against several bars. I acted quickly. I shoved the girls back, pulling one of the bars from behind me and spinning it around in front. They came again and I parried their poles with one of my own. They were still pretty fast but now that I had a similar weapon to match theirs, they didn’t stand much of a chance. I gave Charis a glancing blow to the shoulder, she screamed out in pain. I took an aggressive step forward, gently head butting her. She fell backwards, her pole flying free. When she hit the mat, I knew she was done.
I spun on Kate. “Listen to me, Kate” I said as I blocked her blows. “This isn’t you; you’re Kate Spencer, not some crazy Amazon chick.”
She scoffed. “I am Alkyone of the Bana-Mighdall and you are a traitor, my Sister.”
I groaned, give me a break. I snapped my pole up, smacking her wrist. She staggered back and then did a couple of back flips, trying to distance herself from me. I had to hand it to her; whoever this Ozawa character was, he trained her well. She spun her pole in her good hand, preparing for another assault no doubt. I groaned, tiring of this game. I’m not sure what made me think of it but reached up to my head and pulled off my tiara. Something inside of me told me to throw it and that’s what I did. It coursed through the air like a boomerang, aiming right for Kate. It sliced her pole in half, surprising both her and me. Then it came back to me, I caught it and threw it again. I didn’t throw it as hard so when I hit her in the forehead with it, it didn’t cut her so much as it threw her onto her back. It came back to me; I caught it and put it on my head.
“Holy shit” said Amy as she came running up behind me. “I’ll never make fun of the tiara again.”
I laughed as the two of us walked over to where Kate lay. She was on her back, panting but still conscious. She looked at us and there was anger in her eyes. “You cannot win; the Mistress has summoned the Goddess. She has come and she will destroy both of you.”
I rolled my eyes. Amy sent a quick punch to Kate’s face, knocking her out cold.
“Was that necessary?” I asked as Amy flipped Kate over and handcuffed her.
“No” she said “but she was starting to piss me off. What was that crap about the Goddess?”
I shook my head. “Nothing. These girls believe that they have a Goddess protecting them. It’s kinda stupid actually.”
“Sounds stupid” said Amy as the two of us walked toward the elevator.
We shared a laugh as we reached the elevator. I pushed the call button and we waited. I knew from the past that it was going to take a few seconds for the elevator to come up which was kinda annoying. While we waited, I thought I heard something. It sounded like a scraping sound. I looked at Amy but she didn’t seem to hear it. So I shrugged it off. But a few seconds later, I heard it again but it was louder and seemed to be coming from behind us. Amy heard it too and both of us turned around. As soon as we did, there was loud crashing sound as the whole of the far wall erupted into a shower of plaster and brick.
Standing in the large hole, smoke issuing from its nostrils, was the large bronze Minotaur statue from the lobby. My mouth dropped open, Amy’s too. Both of us stared in shocked awe at the statue come to life. I wasn’t sure what to make of it. My mind told me that what I saw couldn’t be true and yet it was standing right there, glaring at us with red glowing eyes.
“What were you saying about their Goddess being stupid?”
I shook my head. “I take it back.”
The Minotaur raised his hands over his head and roared. Then it grabbed a large section of the crumpled wall and threw it at us. I pushed Amy to the left and dodged to the right. The large piece of brick slammed into the wall next to the elevator, right where the two of us had been standing. Luckily, we were out of the way in time. When I rolled to my feet, the damn thing decided to charge. It had its head down and its horns pointed, going straight for Amy. She was still on the ground, dazed from me pushing her. She was rubbing her neck, trying to get her bearings. She’d never make it in time. I took a deep breath and ran at the Minotaur.
When it got to the half point in the room, there was a loud shatter from above. A red streak dropped into the room, slamming feet first into the back of the statue. It happened so fast I’m not sure what I’d just seen. I saw a flap of leathery wings and that was all at first. When I looked harder, I saw the red streak for what it really was and smiled. Eddie was now on the Minotaur’s back, his hands pressed on its shoulders. I could see the metal heat up under his touch.
He looked at me for a second. “Do what you gotta do, I’ll handle this guy.”
I couldn’t help but smile. “What happened to hiding in the dark?”
“Too clichéd for a demon.”
I had to laugh at that. The Minotaur thrashed and stumbled, trying to throw Eddie off its back. But Eddie was holding firm, his clawed feet digging into the bronze, keeping him on. I ran over to Amy and helped her to her feet. As soon as I did, I saw her wince. I felt bad about pushing her, not realizing I did any damage. But it was clear that I did, she was cradling her arm to her chest.
“Shit, I’m sorry.”
She shook her head. “It wasn’t you; I got clipped with one of those bricks.”
I sighed, glad that I didn’t hurt her. “Are you going to be all right?”
She nodded. “I’ll stay here and keep Devil Boy company.”
Just as she said that, Eddie shouted and the Minotaur bucked him off his back. I saw Eddie hit the mat hard. Amy groaned and got to her feet, her good hand glowing blue. She didn’t wait for me and charged into the fire, shooting a stream of blue light into the statue’s face. I bit my lip as I heard the elevator ding behind me. I hated leaving my friends but I needed to stop Crossan. I took one final look at the battle here and then ran into the elevator.
When I got off the elevator and walked into the main room down below, I got the reception I thought I was going to get above. Most of the girls were there, dressed in similar fashion to Kate and Charis. They were all armed too, wielding various improvised weapons. They were trying to look threatening but they failed miserably. For some reason they still looked like a bunch of LARPers, trying too hard to impress their insane benefactor. I scanned their faces, trying to see if there was a single one of them that wasn’t like the others. But no matter how many faces I looked at, they all had the same glassy eyes and blank stares. I cursed under my breath, wondering how Crossan could do such a thing to innocents.
I stepped out of the elevator, wondering who was going to make the first move. So far, they’d been putting up a pretty capable defense. If I wasn’t me, it probably would have stopped me. But as it was, I think I could take this group. They might have had me outnumbered thirty to one but I wasn’t a normal person. I’m not sure if I’d call myself a Meta but I definitely wasn’t human. I’d actually been thinking about my powers lately and I actually did some research of Meta's on the Internet. Jade and Terra and American Dream, they were all different than me. None of them mentioned communing with a Goddess and none of them had mystical animals helping them. It got me thinking; maybe I’m not really like them after all. The government classified me in the same group as them but something inside of me told me that we weren’t the same.
The crowd parted as I walked through it. I had one destination in mind, the raised platform. I could see Crossan’s little dais there and the bust of her fake Goddess. Before I thought, it was a bunch of crap but now I was pretty certain it was something else. I’m not sure which Goddess it was but whoever it was, they had real power. I mean that damn statue came to life and attacked us. Whoever did that had to be someone with real skill. If not a Goddess then who?
When I reached the platform and walked up the steps, I looked closer at the bust. No matter how much I tried, I just couldn’t place the face. It looked nothing like any of the statues of the Gods I’d ever seen. For one there was a sorta sneer on this woman’s face and her features were too precise. I’m not sure who carved it but I think they were trying too hard to make it look impressive. I turned from the bust and looked at the group gathered. They were now staring up at me, anger flaring from all their faces. I felt sorry for them, wondering how many of them were screaming inside of their heads, trying to fight back at whatever was controlling them.
“This is madness,” I said into the microphone. “You’re not yourselves, you’re being controlled.”
No one said anything. I didn’t expect them to. I scanned the faces and saw a few familiar ones looking up at me. I singled out Akila and Karna. I pointed to them.
“You two are smart people; don’t you see you’re being controlled against your will?”
Karna scoffed. “You have no right to stand up there and speak to us.”
Akila added. “You betrayed us. You started this war.”
I scoffed. “The was no betrayal and there’s no war. Crossan is using you, manipulating you.”
There were a lot of angry murmurs.
“You expect us to believe that,” said a new voice.
The crowd turned in its direction. I turned with them. It was Artemis; she was standing in one of the doorways, the one leading off to Crossan’s office. She wasn’t dressed like the others though. She was wearing some kind of armor; it was silver and covered only parts of her body. On her back was a quiver and in her hand was a bow. My eyes went to her wrists though and what I saw made me gasp. It was the vambraces from my grandma’s box, the ones that Ballesteros thought were useless. Why was she wearing them if they were nothing? Artemis walked toward the platform, the ground parted for her as they did me. They were chanting something too. It was soft but it wasn’t that hard to make out. It was a name, a strange one. I think they were calling her “Shim'Tar”. What the hell is a Shim’tar?
When Artemis reached the platform, she held up her clenched fist and the crowd fell silent. She looked up at me and glared. “Only Queen Antiope may stand on that platform.”
I rolled my eyes. “Listen to you, look at yourself. You’re being used. Crossan isn’t a Queen, she’s just a nut.”
Artemis glared at me. “Antiope is a great Queen and you insult us by besmirching her name.”
“This is crazy, you’re crazy, she’s crazy.”
Artemis roared with anger. “You will not insult our Queen.”
I laughed. “She’s not a Queen.”
“Come down here and say that, Infidel, come down here and face me.”
I rolled my eyes. This was getting ridiculous. I sighed and walked down the steps. I walked over to Artemis, not expecting to fight. She on the other hand, she had other plans. As soon as I got close enough, she threw the first punch. It connected with my face and was so hard that it knocked me off my feet. I landed on my ass; the whole side of my head was throbbing. I looked up at her, stunned. She looked down at me smirking. I slowly got to my feet and she threw another punch, to my gut. I staggered backward, shocked at the strength and power of it. The crowd cheered, calling out “Shim’Tar.” I straightened up, staggering.
I stared her down. There had to be something giving her this strength. I searched her with my eyes and finally locked on the vambraces. It had to be, it was the only thing. I’m not sure how I knew but I knew they weren’t meant for her. I spit blood from my mouth. “Those things on your wrist.”
She raised her wrists so that the crowd could see. “They are from my Queen, a gift from the Goddess.”
I took a deep breath. “They don’t belong to you.”
I charged her as she was flaunting her new jewelry to the crowd. I caught her off guard, slamming full force into her chest. We plowed through the people around us, knocking them away. I put all my strength into the drive, aiming her toward the wall. But at the second before impact, she slammed her elbow into my back, causing me to lose my footing. She wrapped her arms around my waist and spun me, sending me flying. I hit the wall instead. It was at such a force, that I broke straight through into the hallway beyond.
I hit the ground hard, my whole body exploded with pain. I looked up and Artemis stepped through the whole, brushing dust off her shoulder. I tried to push myself to my feet but she drove her foot into my back, pressing me back to the ground.
“You threw the fight before” she said, anger in her voice. “You don’t think I knew that. The Queen wanted to pit me against the best, she thought it was Dalma but Dalma turned out to be a joke. But you, you’re the real deal, aren’t you?”
She flipped me over with her foot. Then she reached down and grabbed me by the front of the shirt, lifting me up in the air. There was something in her eyes, like a fire. They were glassy as well but it was more than that. It was almost as if I could see her--- the real Artemis–inside, screaming for help. It pissed me off that Crossan could use my friend like this. Anger swelled inside of me, an anger ten times I’d ever felt before.
“I admit it, I threw the fight,” I said, glaring at her. “But I didn’t want to be the Champion of a false Queen because I’m the Champion of a Goddess.”
Artemis looked smug, pulled me in and laughed. “Where’s your Goddess now?”
She threw me but not before I grabbed her wrists, taking the vambraces with me. They slid off quite easily actually, which surprised me. I think it surprised her a bit too. The look on her face as I flew through the air and smashed through the wall was priceless. I crashed into a shelf in some kind of storage room, the contents of which toppled over me. It hurt like hell but at least I achieved what I wanted to do. I knew if I got her angry enough she’d picked me up, allowing me to get close to those vambraces of hers. I looked down at them in my hands and smiled. I was tired of these games, tired of Crossan and her brainwashed lackeys. I was tired of super powered drugs and fake Goddesses. But most of all I was tired of running from all this crap, from denying this and that. OK, so if Hera wanted an Amazon, a true Amazon, I was going to give it to her.
I slipped the vambraces on my wrist and felt a surge of power flow through me.
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