Chapter 83:



Just don’t let your mask slip, Frankie thought to herself. It’s all going to be alright, so long as that doesn’t happen.

Katie desperately tugged on her shoulder to pull her away at the last second. No, she quickly realized. It’s not going to be alright.

She fell to the ground, narrowly dodging the megaton punch Bozo had just flew straight up to her face to deliver. Floating above the girls, he looked down with vengeance in his eyes. They had milliseconds to scurry a few feet away before he crashed into the ground, almost crushing them.


The girls had no intention of listening to the crazed crusader. Running back onto the open battlefield, they clamored for any stable cover, or, even better, a safe route of escape. But they were surprised to find themselves immediately surrounded by the fifteen members of the marketing team, some weak and hurting, but all headed towards them as they gave up whatever fight they were previously engaged in to stop the girls. Bozo was soon to follow, leaving Arsene alone for the time being.

The ringleader’s hands shook as he swivelled his hat back on his masked head. Right in front of him, he could see that the holes and exits were now completely unguarded. If there was ever a time to escape- it was now. And with Bozo and his lackeys occupied, it would be a nigh-guaranteed escape.

All that kept him frozen was the sacrifice his member had just made to save him.

Frankie, she who was most critical of his plans, who didn’t quite his capacity to do the wrong thing for the right reason- she put herself in danger so that he could be standing here now, still free as a bird.

That wasn’t the kind of thing he could ignore.

Arsene Hatter decided he ought to return the favor. The mastermind fell to his knees and began picking across the ground.

Nobody else made an attempt to save the sisters. It was a hopeless and thorny cage- with the members of the marketing team assembled with their leader in tow, they didn’t stand a chance. Nobody could possibly afford to take them all on, even if they struck in unison. Kyrie forced herself to stay still as she watched the recruits cower with Bozo landing right in front of them. How he hadn’t exploded with anger yet, she didn’t know. Maybe he had even worse plans for them than simply beating them to a pulp.

“N-no… Frankie, you… you gotta get outta there… what the hell are you doing?” Spider found himself shivering in a way he seldom did, even on these dangerous missions. He couldn’t explain what these feelings were, only that they tore at him far more than the strikes of the enemy. He would’ve done anything in that moment to save the ones who effortlessly got him out of a jam of despair not even a minute ago- but he couldn’t. There wasn’t even a thing he could do to help them.

Unlike the villain’s leader.

The first gunshot to ring out in this new era of silence was raised to the roof, before the metal thing was turned straight towards the youngest and most vulnerable employee’s head. Bozo looked back in fear, his unstoppable persona finally broken.

“Don’t you remember…” Arsene steeled himself for the mind-shatteringly tense confrontation he was entering. “…we’re called villains for a reason?”

Bozo quickly ordered Julie not to raise her pistol at the man. She couldn’t anyway. Looking down the barrel of his revolver, the tip of his ammunition wasn’t like the one they used. Like the pistol itself, it seemed to glisten.

“This is a lead .357 magnum round. If I pull this trigger, it will enter her skull and kill her instantly.” His gloved hand shook around the gun’s handle, but his conviction kept it steady. “If you don’t let my minions go this instant, I will fire on your ally and end her pitiful life as a so-called “ally of justice.”

Bozo’s sweat dripped off his tight blue suit.

“So…” The nefarious Arsene Hatter continued. “Make your choice, Coaster Bozo.”

“Boss!” Kent called out. The hero raised his hand to him.

“No!” Bozo shouted. “Don’t. Move. Any of you. I’m looking at you, Denny. And not a word out of your mouth, Wilton.”

Bozo parted Go and Inio to make way for the released villains.


“It must be done. This is the only way.”

Old man Go shook his head. Frankie too was unnerved as she was lead safely out from beside him. After everything she’d stood for… the threat of violence was the only thing keeping her safe right now.

Frankie and Katie stood motionless by the store counter. The restrained owner looked up at them, not recognizing the two behind their masks. All she saw were two more terrorists.

“I did… what you asked. Now point that filthy thing away from her.” Bozo ordered coldly, voice bubbling with disgust.

“Heh.” Arsene grimly chuckled. “And whyever would a villain keep his promise?”

Bozo’s eyes shot with desperate anger.

Julie fell to the ground as Arsene fired. She held her head, trembling as she swore to herself she could feel the blood oozing from her brain. But as she realized the man had missed, Bozo was already hurtling towards him.


His intention was to simply punch the gun out of his grasp, but he ended up breaking both the weapon and the hand holding it. He supposed he didn’t mind this.

Arsene made a last ditch effort to run, crying out as the red from his hand filled his glove and spilled out onto the debris-covered floor as he retreated. With Bozo hurrying after him, the fifteen warriors were left alone to restrain Frankie and Katie.

Pope Evaristus
Steward McOy
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