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Heroes World - Chapter 15

K.S. Vs. American X.
Billy hasn’t been this anxious in years. The feeling of fear and confusion is something foreign to her. She has strenuously rid herself of any limiting emotions. Repeatedly facing death while crime fighting toughens you up. Yet, the knot in her stomach reminds her of how human she really is when she brings the sky-limo to an abrupt stop in front of the Sibley Memorial hospital.

Lennox is the first out, racing inside the hospital. Billy isn’t far behind, dipping around corners. Lennox barges through a couple of police officers and hospital staff that have surrounded a room. What he finds breaks his heart.

At first, Billy ignored the alerts, being more interested in screening their next criminal victims while waiting for the Senator to wrap up a meeting. Even when her data-mech Ratchet insisted, an incident at the Palisades-Galleria mall didn’t interest her.

She thumbs through the police files of the incident then realizes the intensity; there were over eleven people dead at the mall. Screen-grabs of the ‘juiced-up’ suspect get her up and moving.

"Tubb?!" She says, and then orders Ratchet to ready their vehicle.

Billy interrupts the senator's meeting, knowing that the two of them must intervene. By this time, the other dignitaries have been alerted to the massacre at the mall. Billy fills Lennox in on the details then he gets a call. Some rookie cop breaks the news to him, urging the senator to get to the hospital.

Lennox rushes to his daughter’s bedside. Tubes and other medical equipment cover her small frame. Nicole Lennox is a fighter just like her dad; she managed to live through the whole ordeal. However, the little girl’s condition has taken a turn for the worse. Her weakening heartbeat begins to pick up as Noah holds her little hand. He lowers his head in sorrow, deeply praying.

Then the rhythmic beep of the heart monitor changes to a steady ring as she begins to fade. The doctors rush in, trying to resuscitate her, but there efforts go unrewarded.

The doctors leave the room having done all they can and Lennox returns to his child’s bedside. Billy covers her mouth slowly falling to the floor overwhelmed in grief. For all the talents and abilities that she and Lennox possess, they are powerless against what has happened to Nicole.

Lennox is slow to his feet when the staff tells them the condition of his wife Natalie. She is being operated on down the hallway and is not doing well. As Billy checks in on Natalie, the gravity of it all begins to hit her. The doctors tell a laundry list of injuries that she received; two dozen lacerations, broken bones, and punctured lungs. However, the worst is the head trauma that has put her in a coma.

The heroic duo has been hit hard. Tubb killed thirteen people not including Nicole, and has severely injured Natalie. The media is in frenzy, scrambling to comprehend what has taken place in the nation's capitol. Police has cordoned off a floor for the sake of the Senator’s privacy.

It is almost mourning now and Lennox stoically sits in silence in his wife’s room. Billy has been stewing; her grief is now turning into anger.

"He can't get away with this." She says finally rising to her feet, breaking the hours long silence.

She slowly heads towards the door, almost waiting for approval from Noah. Moments pass and he remains silent, he doesn’t move a muscle as Billy exits.

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A late night drizzle covers the south side of DC. About two hours from the White house sits the Brookdale Junior academy hall and this is where K.S. finds herself. During the day, this daycare center is brimming with the innocent youth of our nation's capitol. However this night, another massacre has taken place. Our heroine stomps towards the front entrance of the hall. The freezing rain has little effect on Billy as she marches towards the door.

Billy has always known about Tubb’s followers, mostly fanatic degenerates and Gothic pretenders. When he escaped from prison a couple months ago, she and Lennox were aware. At the time they were too busy with other matters, things that she now knows wasn’t that important.

Tubb's group is small, twelve at the most; a mixture of college kids and drugged fueled juveniles. Some of them were at the mall, helping Tubb escape after. One of his followers is a paralegal, which co-owns this daycare. Public records show it hasn’t been open in weeks, making it a perfect place for Tubb to hide.

Billy hasn’t changed her clothes since the hospital, almost forty-two hours ago. Usually, K.S. would never go into a battle without a thorough plan, but plans do not concern her tonight. She has left all of her weapons and gadgets from her arsenal. Only armed with her Shino-katana straight blade. She is fuming in a rage; this is a mission to end American X once and for all. This is personal, no tricks, she will battle Tubb ‘face to face’.

She can tell that there are multiple people here from the sky-cars parked, but there is very little movement inside. She approaches the front doors and is surprised to see that it isn’t locked. She marches through, not caring if it is a trap. She will topple anyone in her way. However that thought soon passes upon viewing the interior lobby area. Although it is dark, she can see Tubb's followers. Their bodies are sprawled about, dismembered parts and severed limbs are scattered over the lobby. Not a trace of sorrow runs through the heroine, she merely steps around the dead in her search for Tubb.

At the rear of the lobby, near a staircase sits a large study. Before Billy even steps inside, she knows that who she is looking for is here.

"Hello, welcome to Brookdale Academy daycare center. We are closed right now, since I killed the staff, but I suggest you to come back tomorrow." American X says with a smile.

Tubb stands besides a fireplace along the far wall of the study, holding a blood-soaked stuffed animal. He observes the fire somewhat serene, holding the masked giraffe of one of his victims.

"What took you so long?" He says to the sword-wielding woman before him.

"I was trying to decide how I should kill you." K.S. responds charging.

The battle begins with Tubb leaping over K.S.’s slashing blade, but the hero turns with her slash, extending her leg in a kick that sends him trashing into a nearby couch. Tubb topples, then regains himself a second too late.

Billy moves in a blur of strikes, turning and twisting her body. Every time Tubb tries to cut his mysterious attacker, he is cut himself if not punched. Billy is in a rage, all she can see is the face of Nicole Lennox and how this man took this young girl's life.

Tubb roars, tackling Billy. Her blade falls as the two hit the ground. Tubb giggles with his eye glowing, eager to end the fight. He thrust his forearm across her neck, choking her.

"Whatcha gonna do now Lil ninja-sword girl?! Wait… I… know you! You took my eye!!" He spews giving her an idea.

Billy claws at his face, sinking her fingers into his bad eye. Tubb rears back in pain and she takes the opportunity to free herself. Billy crawls backward being wakened from her blind rage, realizing another mistake like that will cost her life. After a quick scan of her surroundings, she runs to the fireplace. She then grabs a nearby fire extinguisher, shooting the contents into the pit. Tubb is back on his feet as the study fills with smoke. He yells as his vision is now limited, barely able to see anything.

"I will kill you!" He screams repeatedly, followed by an eerie laugh.

Billy cannot see much either; she lowers to a crouch running her hands on the ground searching for her sword. A couple of minutes pass while the two helplessly search for each other. Tubb quiets down, perfectly silent, waiting for the moment to attack.

Billy finally runs her fingers across the hilt of her weapon as the smoke thins just enough to see American X’s glowing eye. He charges before she can fully grab her weapon to strike back. Tubb gets on top of her. He clutches her neck catching her gaze causing her body go limp. She panics unable to move.

Her hand drops but her sword remains still, lodged in Tubb's stomach.

He gags backing away, struggling to pull the blade out. His paralytic vision lifts, allowing Billy to move again as he staggers back. Billy rises up, then puts every ounce of energy she has in a thrusting kick to the killer’s kneecap making him fall with a painful yelp.

This time, Billy mounts him. She interlocks her fingers and hammers downward onto his face. Over and over she pounds him only pausing to say, "This is for Nicole," each blow sprouting a frothy mess.

‘It's my fault’ she repeats to herself.

The minutes pass, and Tubb’s body is still. Billy wails in a painful cry, her hands aching from the slaughter. The beat down may have lasted a couple of seconds, or maybe many minutes but either way Billy is exhausted, her body covered in sweat.

"You… deserved it, I should have … you deserved it…" Billy mutters over her tears, trying to justify what she has just done.

She is caught off-guard by the inner turmoil that she feels, sickened by her own actions. The part of her that knows what she did was the right thing to do is like a loud voice among a stadium roar that is condemning her for it. She holds her mouth, fighting back the urge to vomit, then forcibly removes her hand when she remembers the blood on it.

"Get up." She repeats, willing herself back to the present.

The sun is rising and with that, a clear picture of what has taken place here. Even though Tubb killed his followers it won't appear that way to the authorities. Billy stands eyeing the room, with her nerves rising to a panic as she realizes the treasure troth of forensic evidence that will link her to this place.

Billy slows her breathing, stilling her nerves, searching for a solution. The cackling flames from the fireplace present her with the only option. She runs through the daycare, grabbing every fire accelerant available. Paint thinner and turpentine is all that she can gather. Once in, the small flames quickly become a blaze. Billy grabs her blade and exits.

Outside her loyal mech Ratchet has brought her sky-bike. She climbs on, then leaves the scene, having done what she set out to do but feeling horrible about it.
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Published: 4/30/2014
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