Chapter 82:



In spite of his grand entrance, few were able to hold their attention on Bozo once his employees entered the fray. He was free to launch his attack without resistance, grabbing two transfixed villains twice his size and smacking their heads together midair. He flew wildly through the enclosed arena like a mad hornet, banging his head on displays and products as he screamed through the pain, rushing from target to target and dispatching each one easily with his immense strength.

“Come on… come on… Where are they… where’s the one who made a fool outta me…”

Head shooting all around to find a way out, the only thing Spider saw were his comrades wailing as a blue ball of death bounced around the room. Katsuhiko blocked his only route of escape, approaching him from the open doorframe. His dull katana skidded silently across the ground, suppressed by gunshots and confused cries. The smug bastard chuckled. It was becoming abundantly clear to Spider that the only way any of them were getting out of this place was in handcuffs or full body casts.

The second he raised his sword over the boy’s head, he’d already given up. Hyperventilating, however, he failed to surrender. The tactician seemed apathetic to his raised hands. He tightened his grip on the blade and swung back.


The blade fell to the ground. As the cracking blast from across the room repeated, he howled in pain, curling up into a ball on the ground as he made a feeble attempt to drag himself away with his other hand, clutching his newfound bleeding bruises.

Spider looked over to the masked girl behind her cover. Frankie held the stolen rifle amateurishly, her sister looking over her shoulder as she confirmed her hit. Still panicking, unable to give his thanks, the grateful fool shot the lady a thumbs-up in the midst of the battle.

Arsene felt eager to seize the deathly-loaded revolver in his jacket and win this playfight already. Clutching his shirt behind a tall shelf, he’d lost sight of Kyrie minutes ago. He couldn’t have them taking her. Anything but that. It was already clear that his dream was one with a dire cost- this would have happened no matter what. He should’ve known that. But he still didn’t want to lose his friend over it.

Even in the furious skirmish however, not a single one of his legionaries had opened fire, so far as he could tell. Those lying on the ground were crying, not silent. It was certainly an ugly sight to behold, but one void of death. He couldn’t be the one to change that. Kyrie’d never forgive him if he was.

He took the silver thing from his suit. Breaking the cylinder, he spilled the cases onto the ground. Clicking the weapon shut, he breathed a hopeful sigh. Maybe, just maybe, he and Kyrie would make it out of here. And then they could just go on living without ever, ever pulling something like this again.

The CEO rounded the corner to stare right at the ringleader’s dire face.

“Nice hat.” Bozo joked, grounded as he remained still. “I’ll state the obvious… you. You’re the leader, right?”

Hatter removed his head accessory, longingly caressing its brim in his hands. He looked back to his adversary through his mask.

“Yes, I’m the one responsible.” He sorrowfully smiled. “I suppose this ends here. But we won’t be coming quietly. My comrades are brave… and they are strong. I respect them… a lot, the things they’ve done for me. It’s… almost incredible, the fear they manage to overcome.”

“Are you afraid, evildoer?”

“Very much so. It has been a… long, hard month. Every second of excitement was paid for by hours of anxiety. Guess I should’ve just ridden a coaster, huh… the line’s not half as bad of a wait.”

“Yeah… well, see you in the reboot.”

Frankie rounded the opposite corner. Pumping her whole magazine towards the superhero, witnessing most of her rubber barbs strike true between her eyelids begging to shut. Bozo collapsed to the ground, bleeding from his nose.

“Hatter, I-I came to ask-“ she panicked, grip shifting on the heavy thing as she approached her leader. “Do you- have a plan? I, I… What do we do? What the hell do we do?”

Katie looked over her shoulder past their boss. Of course he had no answer, she could see that much- but her gaze was focused on something else.


“What is it?

“Bozo, he’s-“

The short crusader twitched, itching his wounds as he rose to his costumed feet. His unfaltering muscles pulsed, shaking off the pain as his anger shot up like Missile Man flying towards the highest point of the sky and straight into space.

“It’s you… “

This is what Action must’ve felt like, she thought to herself. Being stared down by Gesus Washington, seconds before her demise.

“You’re the masked assailant who humiliated me in front of my people!”

“Please, no-!” Frankie dropped her empty gun to the ground, nearly fainting.

Bozo threw his fist towards the villain, and again rose to the air with renewed determination.

Steward McOy