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31. Storm

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Davy followed Olivia up the stairs, doing his best to keep up with her. Davy was not a superhero, but if he were, he would be tempted to call long stairways his kryptonite. “So you’ve fought Mother Martyr before?” he asked.

“A few times,” Olivia answered. “Usually over really petty stuff. She’s like a wacky nun lady who hates everything fun. Like one time, she stole all the Christmas decorations from city hall, because ‘holiday festivities are a sin’ or some junk like that. Once I found her, it only took one or two gut punches to take her out and get the decorations back.” She laughed to herself. “She’s a crazy lady.”

This put Davy’s mind slightly at ease. He wasn’t sure if he could handle a full-fledged supervillain. Then he remembered that just tonight, in the span of a few hours, he had already successfully taken on Narwhal Jones, the Runnin’ Gunner, and the Librarian. Davy actually felt kind of cool.

“Still though,” Olivia continued. “This freaky storm machine thing? This is new, and I don’t like it.”

Davy felt some of his trepidation return. “We can still handle it, right?” he asked.

Olivia smiled. “You bet,” she answered. “With my superpowers and your golf club, we’re an unstoppable justice machine!”

Davy wasn’t sure that his golf club really contributed as much to the justice machine as Olivia’s superpowers, but he was willing to take the compliment. He was feeling pumped and ready for action as the two of them finally reached the top of the stairwell and went through the door leading to the roof.

The strange structure was literally breaking through the roof of the building. Piles of plaster and rubble that used to be part of the roof lay strewn around the antenna. Davy and Olivia began examining the structure to see if there was any sign on how to turn it off. Davy looked up and saw the storm clouds were even darker and more ominous than before. They likely did not have a whole lot of time.

Though he had seen it several times from a distance, Davy was taken aback at how strange the structure looked up close. It was made of metal, but not like any kind he was familiar with. It was inky black, darker than anything he had ever seen, even darker than that room with the foot monster. At the same time, it was also somehow excessively shiny. Davy could see his own reflection on the side of the structure, which seemed to be in direct contradiction to how dark the structure was. Davy had a troubling feeling that nothing about this structure was from this world.

Davy continued circling the structure. There was nothing that looked like a control panel in sight. Though, as he continued circling, he finally saw a shadow in front of him. Though, she was facing away from him, Davy could see the black habit and veil and reached the conclusion that this was Mother Martyr.

Davy blanked out on what to do. Should he introduce himself to the supervillain? “Hi,” he said sheepishly. “I’m Davy.”

Davy immediately realized how stupid this was as Mother Martyr turned around to face him. “Who?” she replied with a steely glare. “No matter,” she continued. “You cannot stop me now. Feel free to face your salvation.” She turned away from him and looked up at the sky, arms outstretched.

Davy felt that this was disappointingly anticlimactic. He stood there for a second, then decided to find Olivia. He walked back where he came from around the structure and found her still looking around.

“I found Mother Martyr,” he said. “She just around the structure. It looks like she’s by herself.”

“Sweet,” Olivia responded. “Let’s take her out then shut this thing down.” The two of them went back around the structure until Mother Martyr was back in sight.

“Mother Martyr!” Olivia shouted in her exaggeratedly heroic voice. “Shut down this infernal machine or prepare to face the gut punch of justice!”

Mother Martyr shouted back as she turned around again. “I already told you that you cannot stop me—” She stopped at the sight of Olivia. “Well, if it isn’t the Night Retcher,” she cackled. She looked at Davy again with a look of confusion. “Who’s your friend?” she asked with a condescending sneer.

“His name is Davy, and he has a golf club!” Olivia yelled indignantly. “Now shut off this device!”

“Never!” Mother Martyr screamed. “The reptile from another world bestowed this task to me! I will save this world and rid it of all its filth!” She took a step towards Olivia. “Starting with you.”

Olivia looked to Davy with a smirk. “Reptile from another world?” she said. “It’s like I said. She’s a crazy lady.”

Olivia looked back to Mother Martyr and held up her left hand. “Okay lady, we have you the chance to make things right. Now it’s time for the gut punch!”

With that, she shot out her left arm like a rubber band like she had done several times before. Only this time, just before her fist reached its target, Mother Martyr calmly raised both of her hands up, palms facing forward. Suddenly, lightning bolts erupted out of her hands and struck Olivia’s arm. Her arm immediately snapped back to its normal length as Olivia shot up into the air. Olivia landed crumpled on the roof as Mother Martyr zapped her again. Olivia’s body contracted at the shock; she was seemingly unable to move.

Mother Martyr began walking towards her. “You disgusting, filthy monster,” she said. You are an affront to this world. You may look human, but I’ve seen what you can do. Humanity may be wretched, but you are so, so much worse. You abomination, foul beast of eyes and teeth. My work tonight will be all the richer thanks to the fact that I will personally ensure that you will no longer be a part of this world. A world in which you do not truly belong.”

Davy helped Olivia get to her feet, but Mother Martyr immediately zapped her a third time. Crumpled on the floor again, Olivia managed to give Davy a strained grin.

“So the lightning, that’s new,” she said through gritted teeth. “Looks there’s a slight possibility I may have underestimated the crazy lady.” She grimaced as she tried to take a deep breath. “I don’t blame you if you want to get out of here. Find Steve and Vulcan. Try to get some kind of city-wide evacuation plan going. When they ask you what happened here, tell them I died in a really awesome way. Maybe with some explosions.”

Davy shook his head. It was probably the dumbest course of action, but he wasn’t going to run. “Sorry,” he said. “After all we’ve been through, I’m not leaving you behind.”

Davy began wondering what having several thousand volts of electricity coursing through his body was going to feel like, but then realized this was not the most helpful line of thinking for his current situation. He looked at Mother Martyr who was still walking towards them. With a sigh, he raised the golf club in front his chest and charged towards her, screaming.

He raised the golf club, ready to strike, but as he approached, Mother Martyr–without breaking her gaze on Olivia–extended her right arm and effortlessly grabbed him by the throat. In one swift movement, Mother Martyr tossed Davy behind him. Davy landed face down on the roof, scraping the side of his head on the dust and plaster below him.

“Go home, child,” she said, her eyes still fixed on Olivia. “This is not your battle.

Davy watched Mother Martyr as he struggled to roll over on his back and sit up. He felt the rain begin to fall on his face as he did so. The Mother finally reached Olivia, who had just managed to stand up again. Olivia tried to throw out a punch, but Mother Martyr zapped her again.

And then again.

And then again.

As Davy slowly got to his feet, he saw Mother Martyr pick up the Night Retcher by the throat and walk to the edge of the roof. Olivia tried in vain to fight back, but in another moment, Mother Martyr was standing on the edge of the building. Davy picked up the golf club next to him, and began to run towards Mother Martyr, but he knew that he wasn’t going to get to her quickly enough.

Mother Martyr looked at Olivia and smiled. “And thus, the world has been cleansed of this blight.”

The color drained from Davy’s face as he saw Mother Martyr drop Olivia off the side of the building.


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