Frank gently held Kya’s shoulders until she regained her balance. He stared into her eyes with a concerned expression.
“Well, that was my memories. Everything I know about Amelia after she obtained her first five Supers.”
“Why should I believe you?” Kya asked, her voice ragged.
“What reason do I have to lie?”
Kya looked around the alley. It looked the same as it had in the flashbacks – if that’s what they were. Frank was wearing the same suit he had been when she first met him at his booth in the back of the tavern. More than anything, the fact that he could hear her and touch her made her believe that they were back in the present. She pushed his hands off of her and stood on her own merit.
“You gave her five Supers all at once!”
“I told her not to. I told her it would be a lot to handle, and that it could make her go crazy. Especially the telepathy. I could show you that too.”
“No! You knew she’d go crazy and you gave her five supers all at once anyway?” Kya’s voice was shrill and reminded her a bit of her mother, but she didn’t care.
“I only knew it might. She might have been okay. Some people have a strong enough sense of self and pick Supers so complimentary to their own personality that it all just works perfectly.”
“Did you think Amelia’s powers were complimentary to her personality?”
“How was I to know? I didn’t know her any better than I know you.” Frank’s tone took on a defensive tone.
“Then why did you give her five Supers all at once?”
“So?” Frank raised his eyebrows and stared at Kya. “So, I run a business. Money talks. She insisted it was all or nothing. Even Robin Hood has to have money to run his business.”
“So you’re Robin Hood, now?” Kya asked with a sarcastic laugh.
“What would have happened if you’d given her Will first.”
“Now, sweetie, it’s not good to dwell on ‘what if’s’” Frank said, staring down the alley past Kya.
“Why didn’t you give her Will first?”
“She didn’t want it.” He said, still not looking at Kya, but folding his arms across his chest. “She didn’t even want to hear about it. I don’t blame her. It’s not a spectacular power. Not many people would take it as one of their five. It doesn’t show as a power.” Frank tapped three of the fingers on his right hand and a look a of joy spread across his face. “Heck, I can count on one hand how many people have taken Will since I started doing this.”
“So what happened to Amelia after she hit you?”
“I don’t know.”
“How can you not know?”
“Do you know where she is? You’re her friend.”
“Don’t you throw that in my face. I didn’t give her Supers!” Kya fumed. “You gave her a sixth Super that might have killed her!”
“You saw – You heard. I offered to extract one or more of her Supers.”
“For ten times the price of a sixth! If she could have afforded that much for an extraction why wouldn’t she have gone to a real clinic in the first place? Plus, we have all seen how well that Myles kid dealt with an extraction! Who would voluntarily pay for that!”
Frank stood, stone faced and stared at Kya as she yelled. His arms still crossed in front of his chest. “Are you done?” He asked.
“No!” Kya yelled. “You took money from an innocent girl and then left her for dead.”
“That is not…” Frank’s eyes were wide, and his tone was firm.
“Lies!” Kya yelled. “You don’t care about the wellbeing of your clients! Money talks. You said it yourself!” As she said the last words, her hands seemed to act on their own accord and she shoved Frank hard against the wall behind him. She heard him exhale as his back slammed into it, generating a very dull thud.
As if by reflex, Frank punched Kya in the stomach. The wind knocked out of her, her vision became spotty. She doubled over, unable to suck in any air. Panic quickly set in as she gasped and wheezed, but before she blacked out, she saw a look of shock on Frank’s face before he turned and ran away.
Kya heard soft footsteps approaching and forced open her eyes to see a shadowed figure coming towards her. As he exited out into the diffused light of the dim alleyway, she noticed that the man approaching her wore the strangest clothing she had ever seen.
From head to toe, he was covered in various dark grey fabrics. Blackened leather bound his torso, while a silkier material was wrapped around his arms and legs. A woolen hood arched over his head, and shadowed the majority of his face. A thin scarf, wrapped loosely around the neck, covered up the remainder, from his chin to just below the bridge of his nose. While the materials were all different, Kya noticed that the dark grey colour was nearly uniform. The clothing suited the man, and most of it was relatively form fitting and showed off his physique. She also couldn’t help but notice that they were endowed with a great deal of detailed stitching, button work and clasps and she couldn’t think of a single store that sold anything even close to the outfit of the figure in front of her.
A gloved hand reached down towards Kya, and there was a slight sheen to it. The material that had covered his arms twisted down, separated and wrapping each, individual finger, it covered his entire hand.
“Here,” A gentle voice came out from under the hood. “Let me help you up.”
Kya hesitated for a moment, uneasy about trusting a person that she could not see.
“Please,” He continued. “I only want to help.”
“Why?” Kya rasped. It hurt her chest to speak.
“When the world is full of such evil, it’s rebellious to be good.” The man said, and from his light tone, Kya imagined he was smiling. “I saw what happened to you.” His voice becoming more serious again. “You’re not the first I have seen hurt here. But you are the first I have heard ask questions.” He offered her his hand again. “Please, let me help you.”
Kya took the man’s hand and he helped her up. Her body ached from the hit she had received from Frank, and it was difficult for her to straighten up. She took as deep of a breath as she could muster, and exhaled quickly when it felt like her rib was cutting into her lung. She couldn’t help but let it out in an unintentional sob. “My best friend is probably dead! Frank… That Frank…” She wept.
“Shhh.” The man soothed as he gently rubbed her back. “I know. I know.”