Chapter 18:

Stop the Ride


Most times Drew talked to his father, it was over the phone.

He lived in his own private suite in Berrytown, not far from where Kiddie usually worked, if he was in town- but far enough for the two to grow apart a little.

It was the safest place in all the land they owned. The only spot where any of the staff were armed. And it was where Kiddie had decided to keep his son, in the event anybody ever went after him. A great many sacrifices to be made, in terms of their relationship- a level of safety that cost quite a lot. Whether they knew it or not, it had hurt them both dearly.

But that price, and those all those sacrifices… weren’t nearly enough.

After passing by the premises a few times, Action flew straight through the boy’s window at the highest floor, quite disappointed not to see him tucked into his bed or on his computer. But jumping out to the courtyard to walk past the trail of guards she’d already disabled, she wasn’t halted in the slightest. The two hostages squirmed in her surely-enhanced grip, choking on the collars of their shirts. As Frankie stared down at the printed image of Percy Phytoplankton, covered in her own spit, she wasn’t sure whether to be grateful or terrified that Katie was nowhere near her.

Action stepped into the front door of the building, killing a doorman on the way. She held Parker to her rotten face, with one question for him:

“Where’s your boy?”

“I’ll never tell you…”

“You’re only prolonging the inevitable here. Unless… do you still have more backup on the way? You don’t seriously believe another park owner is going to help you, do you? Because nobody else is gonna be tough enough to take a girl like me, that’s for damn sure.” She cackled. “You know, it’s been too long since I’ve gotten to say all this villain shit. Did a job in Australia a few years ago, that was fun- but it wasn’t nearly so personal. Mmmm, the emotion in this one. I can’t get enough.”

“You’re sick…”

“Tell me about it! Oh, I love it… kid, you got any insults for me? What was your name?”

“I’m Frankie… and like I said, you’re a bitch…”

“Ooh, a bitch! How PG-13 of you. I like it. Not so stuck up as this guy’s tropey ramblings. At least you’re original! Really now, girl- I would’ve let you live if you hadn’t hit my poor little face like that. Take you under my wing, that sort of thing?” Action conversed as she checked every door in the building.

“You won’t find him… you can’t…” Parker spoke, a bit of fire still left in him.

“Sure I will. Because I can do this.” Bored enough of checking the normal way already, Action raised her arm and stuck it to the wall.


The structure fell, opening a pointless hole.

“Once I raze this whole building to the ground, I’ll find him eventually!”

Parker grinned.

“Oh? What’s that?” Action stuck her head down to him. “Is it possible… that won’t be enough? I know he’s here, Parker, my intel doesn’t lie… but I do admit it’s possible he could be hiding. And if I were to hide my- ugh, son somewhere my arch-nemesis wouldn’t think to look, it would be… ooh, goodie!”

Without warning Action ran across the red-carpeted floors of the large building, dismantling the ground beneath her with an outstretched, shaking hand.

“DISMANTLE! DISMANTLE! DISMANTLE~!” She carried on and on, despair finally reaching Parker. Frankie watched as the ground below her crumbled over and over again before she spotted something in the rubble- a small corner of a room?

“AHA! There we are, boy…” Action threw her hands downward once more, opening a pit to reveal a previously-well furnished hideout now covered in soot and fallen building materials. The boy huddled in the corner was, without a doubt, Drew Parker.

“Nice to meet you, Drew. Or should I say… we meet again?”

“D-dad? What’s going on?”

“I’m sorry, son… there’s a lot… I never gathered the bravery to tell you…”


Action leapt down into the room, throwing the disabled Kiddie to the ground. “Go ahead and say any last words you have to daddy while you watch me kill this girl “Frankie” here- then it’ll be one of your turns… who did I say would watch who die again? The son watching his father go, or the father his son… yes, I think that second one’s much more tragic, don’t you~?”

Frankie no longer struggled in the grasp of the villain. As she looked directly into her dark, unfeeling mask, she ceased to fear. She realized that, like it or not- this is where she died.

Frankie thought that wasn’t so bad, really.

None of this felt real. Just a terrible collage of violence to end off her trivial, uneventful life. One she didn’t care for, one she had no purpose for. It was going to be okay that she died. Katie was going to move on. Her parents wouldn’t even know. And really, the world would probably be better without her.

Yeah… I’d like to die, she thought.

I want this to end.

I want Katie to live, no matter what- because that’s different.

But me?

I’m done here.

So leave me be…

Then, she heard the national anthem from above her.

Frankie was pissed off for some reason.


God, Frankie kind of hated America.

It was the root cause of this strange, annoying world.

Yeah, she decided.

America sucks.

Above her, the President of the United States stepped up to the opening.