Sky High Fan Fiction ❯ Maroon Heart ❯ Mr. Jackal ( Chapter 3 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
I don’t think it was a good idea to tell him. After all, all the tough guys at school have a way of telling each other things. My ex-boyfriend wasn’t about to be friendly about me getting “another boyfriend” so soon. Besides, I had to see if he was a nice guy first. A friend lasts forever, a boyfriend only lasts so long.

The bus touched down in a clearing. The trees loomed high over them. The branches were quite high up on slender trees and reached for the sun and let their dead leaves fall at their feet, ignoring them. The rich brown dirt was crawling with tracks from animals and critters running around their feet.

“Hey, c’mon, don’t gawk at the trees. The thing that’ll probably strike you is that we’ll probably run into a bear or something out here. Oh, and don’t bother screaming, starting a fire, or breaking trees. Those will draw out the bears and villains in this area.”

The five stopped dead and watched Candice keep walking. She stopped and turned around when she realized she was the only one walking. “What?”

“Did you say ‘villains’ as in seriously, no joke?” Will asked, slowly following Candice to the point where she’d stopped. “As in badly going to kill us if they find us villains?”

“Oh, yes.” Candice smiled. “We’re here to get something from one of the villains. It’s called the Maroon Heart. It’s supposed to be a small locket made of rose gold and is about the size of a fifty-cent piece. It’s a rarity and Principal Powers thinks it’s a good idea to test your team spirit.” Candice set down her pack and crossed her arms. “If you have a problem, we can just sit around and wait for Ron.”

Warren looked around and so did Leyla. Leyla judged that it was too much for her and that she wanted nothing more than to move. The trees were saying that there was something dangerous coming.

“Someone’s coming.” Candice smiled as she said this. “If you guys want to believe me and stay alive for three hours, you have to be able to think on your feet. Test one; can you deal with a hostage. Go hide yourselves.” She waved them away and tossed her pack at Leyla. “All the materials you need for the mission are in there. Good luck, scaredy-cats.” She turned around and took off in a direction.

Within seconds, there was an explosion that rocked the five down to their feet. They quickly found shelter together under a down log that was covered by dirt and had a wall of roots for them to lean on. After a second or two, Candice lunged over their heads with something in her hands.

She turned in mid jump and threw it. It was a spear made of ice. With that momentum, she flung herself back around and landed with her feet firmly on a root of a huge tree that was probably a very old Willow. She laughed and then raised her hand. “Hey! This way! C’mon, you old coot!” A bomb came at her from the other side of her make-shift vault and she jumped high, turning as she did so and was in the air much longer than anyone could jump. She landed in the exact same spot. “Nice aim, blind-man!” Candice turned back to the willow and threw her arms out, as if she wore a target on her back for this guy to hit.

The man vaulted over them and charged right at Candice, obvious signs that he’d been speared in the arm and had let a few zoom passed, barely scraping his arm. He wore a long, black, leather trench coat with several pieces ripped out of the end and black gloves. His hair was a flaring red with yellow streaks. He produced a bomb out of thin air and threw it at Candice.

“I won’t lose to a hero-in-training!” he screamed when she just laughed and the bomb fell short.

“I don’t see you trying so hard, Mr. Jackal!”

“I swear on my life, you’re the worst person they could pick to be my rival.” He produced another bomb. “But then again, you shouldn’t treat dear ol’ dad this way, should you?!”

The five of them looked at each other and all whispered “Did he just say ‘dad’?!”

“Ah, well, as they say, can’t chose your family, Mr. Jackal! I certainly would’ve chosen better parents than you and Miss Kinetic. Besides, I’m having fun! Fun is what separates us from you.” She stuck out her tongue.

“Say that to my face, you cold-hearted girl!”

“I believe I just did!!” Candice waved her hand as if she was waving away a nasty odor under her nose.

Warren stood up. He wanted to help now. His hands were ablaze and he walked up behind this man named ‘Mr. Jackal’ and grabbed the back of his coat.

“That’s enough.” Warren turned and slammed Jackal back into the willow that was growing and moving.

When Warren looked at Jackal, he saw Candice’s bright amber eyes looking back at him from the face of a cold-hearted man. It took him a moment to regain his strength to fight back. He lit his fist into a fireball and was about to strike him when Jackal rolled away and threw his hand out.

A wave of something black swept forward. It was a liquid that proved to be gasoline dyed black. Warren didn’t have time to put out his fireball!

Candice jumped in between and threw her hands forward. Like an invisible wall, the gas hit it and splattered in all directions. Candice’s left hand dropped to her side, limp and sore-looking, and she gripped her elbow, still standing there.

“Well, that was close. Be aware he can manipulate water quite easily.” Candice smiled at the five warriors she was supposed to be watching. “Anticipation of moves saves you quite easily. If he controls water, what do we know absorbs or destroys water? In the meantime, you fight to stall time.” Candice raised her limp hand and flattened the palm of her hand as another wave of black gas headed for them.

Jackal sneered. “How pleasant. You’re all going to die in a forest. Die and be taken down, to the earth! You’ll all disappear.” He pulled his hands into his body and tucked his legs up, under his chin. He floated for just a moment before ejecting his limbs out and liquid from the willow’s roots nearest him sprung up and out.

Candice’s flat palm became a fist and she held the other hand out behind her. The wind picked up around her as the water began to suck towards her. Slowly, almost as if she had them going two directions, the water spun up, around her arms. It was like a magnificent dance of water.

“Hurry! What destroys water? What can absorb that?” Candice flicked her wrists and she had the water back, deep in the earth. “If you don’t know, then I’ll show you!”

Leyla beat her to it and made the roots of the willow rise and capture the water that Candice had let fall. She willed the willow to take back it’s water.

Candice stood stock-still, like she was being hunted by wild lions and was afraid that if she moved, she’d get mauled. “We have a tree-hugger.... I find that quite remarkable. In the long run, it’s best to not withhold too much information when you think it’s necessary for your own needs.”

Candice didn’t see Jackal behind her. He raised his fist and slammed it on the back of her neck and her pupils dilated rather than shrank. Her body reacted by means of a slice across his gut with water. The momentum sent her to her knees and she touched the willow.

“Sorry,” she whispered before lifting her arm and drawing out majority of it’s water. The water began to move and flow, as if it truly was alive and she brought her hands up and then down and then out. The water was solidifying with each movement until it looked like crystal.

The five heroes stood in awe at her workings. This must’ve been her power. With a rush of wind, the water was sucked into a very, VERY small space. It went from about twenty-feet tall to the size of a golf ball. She aimed with her hands and struck the small orb.

Water and wind blasted through Jackal’s feeble water fence. Candice was slid back a couple of feet, but she still stood. The same couldn’t be said about Jackal, he went flying back, far out of sight.

Candice brought the water up around her and slammed it back into the willow that was begging for liquids. She flinched and touched her now bleeding left arm and waved off any help they offered.

“This is an injury that’s long and old. You can’t really look at it anyways. There’s too much blood.”

Candice signaled for them to grab her pack. “Let’s go. Now that Mr. Jackal is out of the way, we can nab his maroon heart.”

They followed her up a small hill, still in awe at her raw power that could just come out of nowhere, it seemed. Warren was more taken with how un-human she could be when she truly put her mind to it. It wasn’t that it was “awe-inspiring”, it was more like he thought she would probably end up a super villain. Her powers and her cold demeanor could’ve easily fooled him....

Ah, back then, when I’d known what being naïve was, I thought I was very naïve. Back in the days of childhood, we could be silly and stupid. Out in the real world, at my age, you have to know what you’re doing. Of course, I knew then that I’d have to prove to them I was a hero. And off to hero-proving-class I was. And I did it all for him.