Chapter 5

I think I lose consciousness but that isn't exactly what happens.   The room goes completely black but it's not because I'm unconscious.  It's the same feeling that I felt during the race.  It's almost as though nothing exists in that darkness but I know something is there.  Something in the distance.  Something I can reach out to and feel, touch.  Something that I can relate to.  I see something.  I see that fish in the tank that I saw before: the piranha.  The small piranha is so small but it's bigger than life as it swims across the darkness close to me.

It offers itself to me somehow.  I don't know how.  It's not like I can talk to this piranha to really understand but sometimes you don't need that moment.  Nothing changes.  My body doesn't change.  Not that I'm aware of at least, but inside I feel different.  I feel like I AM that Piranha.  And like that Piranha I can survive underwater.  I can breathe underwater.

I'm looking back at my father.  His eyes are staring at me with complete wonder.

He presses a button and the tank empties.

The tube I was stocked in opens and its Motions that walks over to me to hand me a towel to dry off as though he was expecting all of this to happen.

"Impressive," Motions states.

And when he reaches to hand me that towel for some reason I still feel like that piranha.

And I bite him.

I bite into his skin hard as fuck drawing blood and Motions screams out in pain jumping back dramatically.  He looks over at me and I can see the look of worry on his face.

"He just bit me.  He just bit me like a fucking animal."

I feel like I'm out of it at that moment when I snap out of it and just look at him.  "FUCK!"

Suddenly, the blood that I needed so much seems to disgust me.  I find myself spitting aggressively into the towel attempting to get Motions' blood out of my mouth.

"Animal mimicry is your power," my father explains, "Just like I thought. "

"I don't even know what that means."

My father looks annoyed, "You have the power to mimic the abilities, traits and behavior of animals.  It's different from metahumans like Mistress Morph who can change into animals or Kingdom Kid who can manipulate the animals.  This ability allows the user to mimic animalistic traits while still in their original form."

"How'd you know I had that power."

"I pay attention to you more than you know.  I saw how you jumped.  The way you jumped.  It was animal mimicry.  It had to be."

"What if you were wrong?"

My father doesn't answer that.  The truth is I would be dead if he was wrong.  He sits there looking at me with this confidence as though he was not wrong but it hurts.  It hurts knowing my father was willing to risk my life over a fucking theory.

"Animous has that power.  You know how that turned out..." Motions states.

"What does he mean by that?"

"Nothing," my father states clearly looking annoyed suddenly, "Motions, do you have an update on the plan."

"It's underway."

"Good. Thank you for delivering that message in person."

Motions nods.  And then he leaves.  It's almost like this has been done before.  He leaves out a different entrance than the one that I entered in.  There must be another way out of the house or something.

It's beyond awkward after he leaves.

"What was he doing here?" I ask, "What plan?"

My father constricts.  He looks annoyed.  I remember being younger and always feeling as though there was something villainous about my father.  This glint underneath his eyes.  But now when I look at him it's the opposite.  I see all villain with only a glimpse of my father.  The silent, strict man who cared more about my track career than anything.  This was never about track though.  This was all preparation.  He was training me.

My father was up to something.  Something I knew would not be good.  It scared the hell out of me.  I've never had the comfort that some people feel with their parents.  That feeling that my parent wouldn't hurt me.  I never felt that.  Now drenched in water coming so close to drowning my worst fears had become true.

My father would kill me if necessary.

If a man would kill his own son for his goals, then what limits existed in his world?

"Motions works for me."

I knew what that meant.

"So, Supervillains aren't dead?"

"Far from it," he states, "We've hidden out in secrecy.  The Host of Heroes has become too powerful.  Too strong.  The age of Peace is over now.  Vicious Vigor is back."

I don't think he was talking about himself.  I see how my father looks at me.  He has all this hope in his eyes now that he has confirmed I indeed was a metahuman.

"I've seen what those superheroes can do.  I'm not as strong as them."

He turns away from me, "Remember when you were young.  We never had a dog.  Never had a cat.  No matter how much you begged or pleaded, I kept animals away.  I thought pets were weakness."

I remember.  I thought my father was so cruel.  William Ward had this golden retriever and I would have sacrificed anything to have that connection as a kid.  My father had no reason not to want me to have a pet.  I was a responsible kid.  I was good in school.  I did what I was told.  No one had allergies.  I would have loved and cared for anything he got me.  Hell, at one point I even begged for a turtle.  But my father killed those dreams.  It wasn't a reason.  He never comforted me after.  It was just a firm, cruel, "No."  the kind of answer that doesn't really calculate to a kid with hopes and dreams.

All those memories and all those disappointments come back to me at that moment.

"I remember..." I state weakly almost like that kid again struggling to find a reason behind it all, "You wouldn't even take me to the zoo."

"Pets are a weakness," he states, "But these animals that you wanted so much.  These animals will make you the most powerful superhuman in the world.  And it's time to show them.  Time to show them what you can do.  It's time to go to the zoo.  4f"


The Hall of Heroes is having something called the Caucus.  That's what my father said it was called.  For some reason, I wondered how a man who had separated himself and gone into hiding would know about something like this, but then again this was my father.  Vicious Vigor.  He tells me that this is a huge celebration where all the metahumans arrived at the Hall of Heroes to party and display their abilities.  He didn't exactly say it in those words though.  He said, "This is where the pussies get to together to pretend like they aren't a bunch of powerless bitches."  I knew my father enough to translate at this point.

Arches have been set up on the floating strips outside of the Hall of Heroes making the area look like a dome when I arrive.  The lights make the place look so alive.  I can hear the music.  I can hear the festivities.  I can hear that this is a big issue happening.

I see White Frost, Sunbeam and the others.

I hear them.

It's Power Up who I see elbow Ultrasound and say in a thick hard way, "Holy shit...Cam is flying."

I land.

It's been a week since I've seen them or heard from any of them.  A week ago, I had no idea what I was doing and now I knew enough to fly up here.

I land among the superheroes.  Power Up and Ultrasound run over.  I don't think it's every day that someone without a mask crashes a Hero party.  The looks on their faces say it all.

"When the hell did you learn to do that?" Ultrasound asks.

"He taught me..." I state.

I point up to the sky.  Overhead there is an eagle.  It soars past me through the sky.  Sunbeam and the other older superheroes are close enough to hear what I say.  They are paying real close attention to everything that I state.

"What the fuck you talkin' bout?" Ultrasound asks with a raised eyebrow.

"Animal mimicry," someone states.

I turn and see White Frost.  He is dressed in his skin tight superhero costume.  The last time I saw him I was sure I would never see him again.  I was sure I wasn't who he thought I was.  But I was back and I was different.  Our eyes connect slowly and it's almost like everyone disappears out of that room.  Regardless of how impressed other people were by my flight I was only concerned about his reaction.

And it's hard to read.

"Yeah," I state.

"I have no idea what that means," Ultrasound states.

"Cause you're a fuckin' dummy," Power Up teases.

White Frost seems like the mature one when he crosses his arms and looks me up and down, "Cam has the power to fly like a bird, he can have the strength of an ant, he can jump like a grasshopper, he can run like a cheetah."

"Just like that?" Ultrasound asks me.

I shrug, "Well I can't control it completely.  The animals choose if they want to teach me their skills.  And a lot of the time it seems like they know that I really need it.  It's almost like it comes in a time of...I don't know...a time of..."

"Desperation?" White Frost asks, "That's how most of our powers start."

I nod.  It's so weird.  It's almost like White Frost is finishing my sentences for me.

"Holy shit.  That's a lot of power," Power Up states, "Limitless..."

"Every power has a limit," White Frost states, "Remember what happened to Animous."

I don't know what he means by that.  It seems more like a warning than anything.  I remember what Motions had brought up before.  He had brought up someone named Animous, as well.  I remember how concerned my father was with bringing up this person.  Whoever this person was had a similar power to mine.   I wondered what happened to this metahuman.

White Frost stating what he says seems to be heavy.  Once again, I'm the one who is left in the dark.  My father could have told me who Animous was, but he didn't. He wanted to keep this a secret.  I want to ask now but this was my moment.  This was my moment that I proved to these people I belonged with them.  The last thing I wanted to do was sound ignorant by asking questions.

So, I stay silent.

And sure, enough I see someone reach out to me and shake my hand.

It's Sunbeam.

"You are amazing," Sunbeam states, "A power like yours can be used for great things.  Maybe I underestimated you."

"What are you saying?" I ask.

Sunbeam looks at the other older heroes.  They all look at one another.  Without saying a word, it just feels different.  How they look at me is different.  It's almost like they have a new-found respect for me or something.  It's almost like I'm not just some wannabe anymore.  They recognize me.  They see me.

"Fem Fatale, would you do the honors?"

I turn.  I see the woman known as Fem Fatale.   She is one of the original members when Sunbeam formed his own team.  I knew she was one of the most popular heroes.  She was middle aged, but still quite beautiful.  She literally seemed to define MILF with her short schoolgirl skirt and the flirtatious blush on her high cheek bones.

I watch how she walks over to me.  It's the first time I've seen her.  I wonder what honors Sunbeam wants her to do but I'm amazed when she squints at me.  I've heard so much about her.

"He looks strangely familiar," Fem Fatale states.

My heart skips a beat when she says it.  Not many people think I look like my father but I was his son after all.  I'm scared at that moment.  I know this woman has been around forever.

"I get that a lot," I try to smile.

She doesn't seem like she's in the smiling mood, "Who"

"Camron Bennett."

She keeps looking at me hard, "You look so fucking familiar."

There is an awkwardness.  There is a look of suspicion on her face.  I swallow my spit.  I watch as she looks at my throat.  It's almost like she sees the spit go down.  Her face changes again.  The suspicion becomes almost threatening.  It's scary how she looks at me.  It's scary how her face just toughens up at that moment.  Does she remember how my father looks?  Does she see the resemblance?  Was this woman onto me?

Luckily Sunbeam doesn't seem to give her the chance to stare at me so long, "You must have fucked him or something.  You know how you love chasing schoolboys."

This causes a moment of levity.  It breaks Fem Fatale's extreme focus on me at least for the moment.  It breaks it long enough for her to punch Sunbeam in the arm making Sunbeam yelp in pain.  I can see she must have a lot of respect to be able to punch the leader of the Host of Heroes and get away with it.  By the looks of how Sunbeam throws his arms up lets me know that he doesn't want his joke to go by as any more than that.  They respected this Fem Fatale lady and I had a reason to fear her.

"He's not my type.  I know a gay boy when I see one," she states bluntly.

My face gets red with embarrassment.  It's even weird because I don't deny it or anything like that.  White Frost is looking away from me.  I wonder if he caught onto the fact that this older lady just outed me against my will.

I can see Sunbeam is a little uncomfortable because he switches the topic quickly, "Fem...can you please just do the honors..."

Fem Fatale looks over at me, "Sunbeam wants me to formally invite you to become a member of the host of heroes.  The new team being led by his son, White Frost, just to be sure."

Finally, after embarrassing myself I found some sort of redemption somehow.  I had not slept or done anything for the past week.   My father drilled imprinting of birds into me.  He wanted me to learn how to do this.  He wanted me to get the reaction that I was getting right now.

Everything was going per plan.

But the only problem was it wasn't my plan.  It was Vicious Vigor's plan.

"Yes," I state, "I'll join."

Cheers break out at that moment.  I look over to White Frost.  After all he had done to get me to join his team I would think he would be happy at me finally accepting and becoming a member.  That's not the reaction he gives me though.  White Frost doesn't smile.  He doesn't clap like the others.  He just grunts a little bit, turns and walks away.


The party is something that I've never seen before.  The others keep wanting to know more about my powers but the truth is I don't have much to tell them.  I don't know much about it either.  Sometimes I can mimic an animal for hours or sometimes I can mimic an animal for a few minutes.  Sooner or later though the imprint goes away until I interact with that animal again.  I wonder if that's what White Frost meant by limit.  I'm not sure.  Truth is he's not around me to ask him either.

He's on the other side of the room.  I can't stop staring at his tight suit and how his muscles just peak through.  I can't stop looking at how his bicep pop in the white.  His bubble butt is perched up like he's done a million squats in the past week.  He can easily win a bodybuilding contest if he participated.  He's that fucking toned.

"We've missed you man," Ultrasound adds in.

I turn around and see that he's brought me something to drink.   I smile when I take it.

"I've missed you guys as well," I state, "Just weird being here..."

"You are going to need a name soon.  You're going to need a costume.  Any ideas?"

I knew what my father wanted my name to be.  He wanted it to be Vicious Vigor.  I've always done what my father asked.  It was my destiny.  I was Vicious Vigor whether I wanted to be or not.  But until then I would need a name.  I would need an alias.  There were so many things that came into being a superhero.  There were so many things that I wasn't prepared for.

"I haven't had much time to think," I admit.

Ultrasound smiles, "You're here for a reason.  When I was, young I wanted to be a rapper.  I grew up around hardcore niggas.  The worst kind of people to be around.  I sold drugs.  I macked on bitches.  I did all that.  But then I got the calling.  Same as you.  You can't fight your destiny."

He sounds so sure of himself.  I knew what my destiny was though.  And I wondered if he would be giving the same advice if he had a clue.

There was one person around here who did have a clue what my destiny was though.

"Have you seen Mister Motions anywhere?" I ask.

"Motions?" he asks pausing for a minute, "He must be inside.  Damn.  It would have been nice if you shut him up with all the trash he's been talking about you."

"He was talking trash about me?" I ask.

"He wouldn't let it go. White Frost literally had threatened to beat his ass if he wouldn't stop," Ultrasound states

I pause for a second.  I look across the room.  White Frost is talking to his father Sunbeam.  I watch how Sunbeam puts his hand around his son.  I watch how he gives him a toast.  The last time I saw Sunbeam he looked like he wanted to strangle White Frost.  During getting that sort of reaction from his dad, Frost looks over at me.  His eyes and my eyes connect like they did earlier.

I smile.

I'm hoping to break the ice between us.  Literally in the case of White Frost.  That doesn't work though.  He just turns away from me not returning the gesture.

I wonder if Ultrasound notices, because he leans in and states, "He's a hardass."

"I embarrassed him.  I should have realized I had the power to mimic animals so I didn't embarrass him last time."

"I don't think that's what has him pissed off," Ultrasound states.

I look over.  Ultrasound is blunt.  He's a lot blunter than the other Superheroes.  He has this real urban realness to him that I can appreciate.  So, when he leans over and tells me what he tells me I have no choice but to really believe him.

"It's the other thing...isn't it?"

"He's really upset about us all fraternizing," Ultrasound states, "Why do you think I'm standing this far away from you?  Power Up is so terrified that he is keeping his distance altogether.  The guy was pissed that we fucked.  We aren't the first superheroes to fuck.  I'm sure.  Fem Fatale has slept with all the guys on Sunbeam's team and half of the females.  Sunbeam never gave her any grief.  We fuck one guy and all hell breaks loose."

Sure enough Power Up has been keeping his distance.  Maybe he's found someone else to talk to himself about because in the corner I see him talking to none other than Fem Fatale himself.  I might be imagining it when I see the lady slide her arm right across his crotch area mid-conversation.  Either way he's staying far away from me.  And Ultrasound may be giving me company but he's making sure that no one perceives it as anymore.  He literally is standing with a patio lawn chair between us.

Then I see why.  Every few seconds White Frost looks over at me.  He looks over to see what I'm doing.  And I look at him.

"Maybe I should go to talk to him."

"Maybe you should," Ultrasound states before smiling, "But on the down low, I did want to let you know...if you ever wanted to mimic a and you can definitely go at it.  No one must know.  Not Power Up and especially not Frost."

"You're hitting on me again."

"It's not just that," Ultrasound states, "When we did what we did, I have to admit I kind of got jealous."

"You?  Jealous?"

Ultrasound is a tough guy.  He is one of those manly men who grew up in a bad part of town and lived a hard life.  He was rugged.  He was a thug.  And he was fine as fuck.  He wasn't the type to show his emotions or his insecurities.  I could see that much from what I knew about him.

Ultrasound licks his lips, "What if I told you I wanted you all for myself?  What if I told you I didn't like Power Up touching you.  What if I didn't want it to be a threesome.  What if I just wanted it to be a twosome over and over.  Just us..."

That's when he does it.  He drops his guard.  He leans over to touch me.  In a, past life, I would have jumped at the chance that someone like Ultrasound wanted to be with me but now I know that isn't the case.  I've already caused enough drama with the superheroes.  That's the last thing I needed was emotions attached.

I'm about to turn Ultrasound down but I don't get the chance.

"Have you seen Motions?" someone interrupts.

It's White Frost.  Literally a second ago I could have sworn that he was on the other side of the room.   That is no longer the case though.  I wonder how he got here so fast.  I wonder if he developed super speed as a secondary power, but then I look down at the ground and see a sheet of ice on the floor.  It causes Peter Palsy to trip and tumble into the bar where a bunch of other superheroes are chatting.  It's clear that White Frost literally slid his ass over here.

Ultrasound stops in his tracks from advancing towards me.

"Hey boss.  I was just telling Cam about how I haven't seen him for a little bit."

Ultrasound tries his best to produce a smile.  He isn't a natural smiler though like Power Up.  Every time I've seen him he's looked real tough.  He has a handsome smile though, but White Frost doesn't seem to believe a fucking word of it even with the smile.

"Well maybe you should stop trying to hit on our team member and go find Motions.  I want to formally let him know that Cam is the fifth member of the team."

Ultrasound nods, "Yes sir."

With that he turns and walks away without saying another word.  That's when there is silence.  Silence and awkwardness.  I'm staring at the ground.  I can feel White Frost looking at me but I can't bring it on myself to lift my head and see his face.

I think of something to say.  Anything.  But my mouth just closes.

It's like this for 2 minutes.  Then it's like that for 5 minutes.

We're just standing there...

Finally, he opens, "My dad is real excited you are on the team.  I was literally in the doghouse for a while but it seems like your little display today saved me.  I just wanted to come over here to thank you."

"I'm glad," I state, "... that your father is excited I'm on the team."

I want to say more but I don't.  I'm disappointed he isn't telling me that he's happy I joined the team finally. I just shove my hands in my pockets.  He smells so good.  I always imagined that the superheroes would smell like sweat or something because they were so active.  That isn't the case with him.  Not now at least.  White Frost smells so goddam good.

"We start training tomorrow.  I know you have classes but..."

"I'm prepared to take a leave of absence from school."

"Good.  Just till you get in the swing of things.  I'm sure you're going to be a great addition.  The others are real excited too.  Well I'm sure it's because Power Up wants to fuck you and Ultrasound wants to marry you..."

"About that..."

"It's OK, I wanted to apologize.  I think I overreacted," he responds, "You weren't a member of the team when it happened and even if you were, you're a grown ass man who's single.  I shouldn't have reacted in the way that I did.  If you do choose to be with Ultrasound or..."

"I'm not..."

He turns his face.  I've said something that caught his attention.

"Wait, you aren't interested in him?" he asks.

"No.  Not Power Up either," I state, before shoving my hands back in my pocket and staring at the floor, "I'm glad you're not mad anymore.  It was just sort of a mistake that I regret.  I shouldn't have crossed that line."

"It's not always bad to cross that line," he comments, "If it doesn't interfere with things."

It's an odd comment.  A comment that I don't want to let go.

"So hypothetically, if you found someone that...I don't know.  You found attractive.  Would you take it there with that person."


"You know? Wherever there is.  Maybe sex...but possibly, or ...more than sex.  Would you take it THERE?  If it doesn't interfere with our job of course."

"Hypothetically speaking?"

"Yeah, pure hypothetical."

He nods, "Yeah I would."

I lift my eyes.  Our eyes connect.  He's looking at me dead in my face and I'm looking at him.  I could kiss this guy right now.

"You would?" I ask.

"I did it before," he admits out of nowhere.

"Excuse me?"

"I did it before.  Or at least I tried to.   We were going to run off and elope.  We had all these plans to be together.  Things didn't work out the way we wanted."

My mouth gets dry.

Suddenly, I'm feeling pain in my chest.

"You're talking about Motions, aren't you?"

"I can't believe I told you that.  We kept it on the down low for a long time.  No one really knows how deep our relationship got, except him.  Which is why I'm surprised he's back..."

Mister Motions.  I just feel this anger in me for this guy.  This guy worked for my father and he was back.  I wondered if he came back to infiltrate the Host of Heroes or if he came back specifically because he had some unfinished business with White Frost.  Either way I feel all this jealousy and animosity towards this fucking guy every time I find out something about him.

What was Mister Motions true intentions?  Why the fuck did this guy rub me the wrong way so badly?

"Maybe we should change the subject," I state.

"I hope I didn't say anything wrong," White Frost reacts.

"No.  Just prefer to drop it.  The job is the most important thing, right?"

White Frost opens his mouth looking like he doesn't want to drop it but he does, "Training is going to begin soon.  I think you should talk to Animous.  He's the only other superhero to have the ability to mimic animals.  You would be able to learn so much from him and all of the...mistakes he made..."

"Wait he's around still?"

"Of course.  Well kind of.  The poor guy lost his mind.  Some day's he's completely normal.  Other days he thinks he's a monkey or a dog or a cat.  It's kind of sad..."

"How is that possible?"

"I don't know what he did.  Maybe we should talk to him and find out.  If anyone can help you control your power it would be him."

"Where is he?"

"Follow me," he states.

White Frost offers me his hand.  It doesn't go unnoticed.  It's an intimate way of leading someone somewhere but I take it.

I guess Animous is being held in the Hall of heroes.  We walk into the great hall.  Everyone's outside on the terrace so we have a little bit of privacy.  You would think he would let go of my hand when we walk into the hall but he doesn't.  Maybe he forgets.  He keeps looking ahead.  He has such a brave face.  I can't stop looking at him.  I can't believe I'm here holding hands with White Frost of all people.

When a drunk superhero stumbles past us, White Frost grabs me in a protective way, pulling me close, real close to him.  Close enough that I can feel his chest up against my chest.

"Sorry," the superhero stutters into the darkness.

"These parties get crazy.  Everyone gets so wasted.  Hopefully there are no armed robberies tonight or terrorist plots, because we'd be fucked," he jokes.

He's real close when he says it.

"I'm sure White Frost would save the day."

"I'm not who you think I am."

"Bullshit," I stated, "I used to be obsessed with you.  You are one of the strongest superheroes alive.  I remember watching you on television and wondering who the hot guy in the cold suit was.  They said you were a new superhero.  The youngest one yet.  Everyone was scared to death when that lone wolf shooter opened fire at that baseball game.  You were the first one to react, zooming in and stopping his bullets.  Freezing him in a pane of ice.   I remember seeing you at the Macy's parade flying overhead and attempting to catch all the white particle frost that a fell overhead with my tongue."

"Wow..." he states.

Suddenly I realize that I just revealed myself as one of his groupies.

"I...followed you before this," I state, trying to play it off, "Just a little."

"It's not that," he responds before smiling and blushing a little bit, "It's just I don't know if you realize you called me hot."

There is a pause.  We're in this hallway.  He's still holding my hand, but we aren't walking side by side.  We are facing each other.  Our eyes glimpse at once another.  It's so quiet in this hallway I can hear his heartbeat.  I enjoy it.  Mine is beating as well.  It's beating right out of my fucking chest.  I've never felt so eager to be around anyone in my life.  I've never felt so eager to know anyone.

"I mean you are hot," I state, "Look at you."

"I can't look at me," he states, "Because I think I spend way too much time looking at you instead."

"What does that mean?"

"It means maybe I had too much to drink," he states smiling so wide that I see his white sparkly teeth and swear I see a layer of frost across it, "And I'm talking a little way more than I should.  And I think I'm lost...these hallways always get to me."

We have been walking in for a while and I swear we passed the same hallway twice.

"Yeah seems like we're lost."

"In more ways than one," he responds.

I watch as his hand crawls up my back.  I feel how our hands interact with one another.  He looks at me.  I look at him.  It feels so right.  That's the only way to describe it.   I let him slide his hands up my back.  All the while I'm touching his arm slowly.

"Maybe you can help me with that.  Maybe I'm tired of saving.  Maybe I want to be saved for once."

I smile, "Well you know I just became a superhero so..."

I lean in.  I'm going for it and I swear he's going for it too.  Our bodies are pressed up against one another. For someone who has the supernatural ability to produce frost, his body is so warm.  All except his breath.  His breath is so cool.  Our lips are about touch.  I'm about to finally get that first kiss from White Frost when we are interrupted.

A scream.  It comes out of nowhere.

"What was that?" he asks.

"I swear I heard someone screaming for help."

"Stay here," he responds.

"I can come.  I can help."

"I can't risk it right now.  You haven't been able to control your powers yet.  Stay here.  I'll be back..."

With that White Frost steps back. His body is engulfed in frost particles.  The particles lift him up into the sky and within seconds he's streaming through the air leaving me cold.  It's so cold when he leaves that I can actually see my breath.

And I'm so scared wondering if he's OK.  I'm wondering if something is wrong.

"There you are..." a voice states.

I turn and see someone almost come out of the shadows.  It's Mister Motions.  Mister Motions looks at me.  His pretty face is all contorted like he's up to something.  His eyes pierce through me in a way that makes White Frost temperature drop seem like a trip to Tahiti.  I shiver when I see him look at me.  I feel so uncomfortable at that moment.

"Someone screamed," I state, "White Frost heard it and went running off."

"I know," he responds, "Sucks doesn't it."

That's when I see him look at me.  He keeps encircling me.  He doesn't seem to be the least bit interested in the scream that occurred a few seconds ago that caused White Frost to run out.  Mister Motions doesn't even seem a little bit scared.

"It was you...wasn't it?" I ask.

"No, it was you," he tells me.

"What the fuck are you talking about?"

"Your father wanted me to deliver a message to the superheroes.  A message from you."

Just at that moment it seems like raucous down the hallway.  Other superheroes are appearing and running through the hall.  I leave Mister Motions as he stands there staring at me with this knowing face.  I know he did something.  I just didn't know what.

The other superheroes have crowded around one of the distant hallways by the entrance.  It's White Frost who is the first responder.  I approach White Frost but I can see something has him a bit shaken.

"I couldn't save him.  I couldn't save him."

"Who is he?" I ask.

"Animous," White Frost states.

I look down at the body.  The person is dead.  The person is dead in the worst way too.  Guts are literally spilling out of his stomach.  This man named Animous was murdered.  I look in the distance.  I can see past all the arriving superheroes and I see Mister Motions.  He's standing there with his arms crossed with a cocky smile on his face.

Sunbeam arrives.  He takes the body away from his shaken son and he examines something.  He reveals it to the rest of us.  Animous has something carved on his chest.

It's a sign.  A symbol.

It reads: VV

That's when Sunbeam draws his conclusion, "Vicious Vigor is alive..."

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