Origin Story: Part 13
“That’s right! You’re dealing with Americans now! And there are only two things we know: violence and winning!”
It was the sound of footsteps that woke Madeline. It took Madeline a moment to remember where she was: on the ground of some cave, spooning with Harvey for warmth. Harvey took his arms from around her to face whoever had entered the cave. “It’s not what it looks like,” Harvey said. “We did not have sexual relations. I never even confirmed she’s heterosexual.”
Madeline turned to see two figures with rifles standing over them in the cave. For a moment, Madeline thought they were soldiers for a moment, but she quickly recognized them as Nadia and Andrei. “Oh, hey,” Madeline tried with a smile, not getting the friendliest vibe from their expressions (or the fact that they were armed).
“Farmer Andrik said he saw you head into the woods,” Andrei said.
“Oh, is he a member of the resistance?” Madeline asked.
They ignored the question and just stared at Madeline and Harvey.
“So do you think you could take me someplace I could use a phone or something?” Madeline said. “A lot of bad stuff is going on, and I could really use some help.”
Nadia frowned. “You come here, cause chaos in my country, and you want me to help you?”
“Why does she need help?” Andrei said. “She kill invincible Fly-Over; should be able to take on anyone.”
“I didn’t do that!” Madeline pleaded. “I just...” She felt a wave of tears begin to overtake her, and she had to fight hard to keep them down.
Harvey put an arm around Madeline and faced Nadia and Andrei. “You were apparently looking for us, and you found us. What do you want?”
Nadia sighed. “Come with us.”
Nadia and Andrei led them to a nearby village where the streets looked nearly empty. They went inside a pub crowded with men, women, and children. They took little notice of the new group entering, their frightened faces preoccupied with other things. Some were watching a TV hanging on the wall. On it was a news program that was showing images of Fly-Over. A British voice was speaking, and it seemed to be a UK news program.
“Once again, Fly-Over was murdered by Madeline Larson, a.k.a. the Pink Princess. Many are calling her a supervillain, and she is considered to be extremely dangerous as the full extent of her powers is unknown.”
“Are you very dangerous, Pinkie?” Nadia asked.
“No,” Madeline moaned, transfixed by the news program telling her how much her life was ruined.
There was a still image of Madeline and Harvey from when Madeline confronted the farmer. “She is even said to have a henchman, Harvey Miller, the superhero formerly known as Jingo though many are now calling him ‘the Pinko.’”
“Oh, come on,” Harvey growled. “Why wouldn’t they assume you’re working for me?”
“That’s what’s upsetting you?” Madeline asked, glaring at him.
Harvey was quiet a moment. “Well, I guess it’s bad either way.”
“This just in,” said the news anchor. “Madeline Larson has now posted another statement on Facebook.”
“No, I did not!” Madeline grumbled.
“It reads: ‘Sorry I had to kill Fly-Over. Poop emoji. But he got in the way. Woman shrugging emoji. And I’ll kill anyone else who gets in my way. Winking face with tongue emoji. Nail polish emoji. Smiling face with horns emoji. Grinning cat emoji.”
“Who is framing me and why?” Madeline exclaimed. This got the attention of some of the people in the pub. “I’m being framed, by the way,” she told them. They quickly lost interest in her.
On the TV were Madeline’s parents. Madeline’s heart broke to see the worry on their faces. “Just please come home,” Madeline’s mother pleaded through tears.
The reporter then talked to Madeline’s sister. “What do you think about your older sister killing Fly-Over,” she asked Stacy.
“I’m sure she had a good reason for killing him and anyone else,” Stacy answered. “Maybe you should all stay out of her way.”
“No!” Madeline exclaimed at the TV. “You’re supposed to say, ‘My sister would never do such a thing.’” Madeline turned to Nadia and Andrei. “You have to help get me home. I need to fix this.”
“Oh, are you in trouble?” Nadia said, but even in Madeline’s panicked state, she couldn’t help but notice the sarcasm in Nadia’s voice.
Harvey nudged Madeline and motioned to the people all gathered in the pub. It was then Madeline realized how scared everyone looked there. “What’s going on?”
“After the death of Baron Strytle,” Andrei said, “General Dorokhin wants to make an example of any resistance. His military is on its way to completely raze this town.”
“Oh no!” Madeline exclaimed. “Is anyone coming to help?”
“Who?” Nadia asked bitterly. “Is internal matter — our problem. Plus, rich countries have problems of their own. How is fight against climate going?”
“Well, my parents just installed some solar panels on their house,” Madeline replied and then thought for a moment. “That was sarcasm again. You don’t care.”
“I don’t care.”
“We have guns and people here who can fight,” Andrei told Madeline and Harvey. “But they are scared. But we are thinking they will have bravery if they know superheroes will fight alongside them. That is why we find you.”
“Wait, what are you saying?” Madeline asked.
“They want us to help fight an army,” Harvey said.
“But I’ve just barely begun to figure out how to use my powers,” Madeline told Nadia and Andrei.
“Good time to learn,” Nadia answered.
“She’s just going to get killed out there,” Harvey stated.
“Which is bad because she’s special,” Nadia retorted. “What do you think is going to happen to everyone here?” Nadia faced Madeline. “Are you a superhero?”
Madeline hesitated. Finally, she answered with a barely audible, “Yes.”
Nadia turned to face all the people in the pub. She said some things in their native tongue. A little girl bundled in brown clothes came up to Madeline and tugged on Madeline’s coat and looked up at her hopefully. “Superhero?”
Madeline pushed away all her fear and tried her best to smile confidently as she nodded at the girl. Madeline held out her hand and made a pink heart with her forcefield. It was her best one yet and everyone there looked on with wonder. Madeline then looked back at Harvey, who was not hiding his concern.
“Army almost here,” Andrei told them.
“When it arrives, you two take out the tank,” Nadia ordered them.
Madeline nodded and only afterward processed what was said. “I’m doing what now?”
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Frank Talk to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.