In the predawn hours, Kelly ran her customary fifteen miles. As she turned the corner, she sprinted for the front door of her apartment building. Once passed it, she stopped running and walked. Huffing and puffing Kelly reached the far corner, then turned around and walked back to the door. The silence of the city washed over her and a gentle breeze cooled her body. When she reached the door this time, her breathing returned to normal. Sweat poured down her face and neck, staining the battleship gray shirt dark.
“I may have gained weight, but I’m still in shape,” she muttered as she trudged the three flights of stairs. “That accident when I was twelve gave me special abilities, but I still have to workout to stay in shape.”
After her shower, she dressed and grabbed her protein shake. As the shaker bottle touched her lips, her computer emitted a loud steady beep.
“I set the scope of my trouble alarm to only the important things,” Kelly said as she lifted the lid of her laptop. “Great Ceaser’s ghost!” The messages on her screen displayed sixteen robberies in progress. “That is all four major banks, plus three of their branches each.”
Touching a finger to a message the screen switched to the camera of the branch bank. It showed five heavily armed men moving through the small building to the vault. They placed a series of devices on the steel door and stepped back.
“Amethystia,” SYMON’s mechanical voice shouted. “There are sixteen felony bank robberies in progress at this moment.”
“MMmmmmunghwha?” Vivian slid her feet over the edge of her bed and sat up. “How’sat pobile?”
“The men are all dressed identically,” to robotic voice said. “This appears to be a co-ordinated attack. Now is your chance. Cobalt has to respond to at least one.”
“Right!” Vivian stood and touched a small spot on her neck. Her clothing, mussed and wrinkled, morphed to her super suit as she rubbed the sleep from her eyes. “I need a stimulant or something.”
“Your coffee dispenser is set to deploy a mug in two seconds,” SYMON said. “Be careful, it is hot.”
Grabbing the cup under the spout, Vivian pursed her lips and blew a cooling breath over the surface of the dark, steaming liquid. A thin layer of frost appeared, and she tipped it to her lips. The cooled beverage poured into her mouth, then down her throat.
“Ugh!” Vivian grimaced as she drained the cup. “That stuff is terrible.”
“Tradition dictates that you should add sweeteners and other items to adjust the flavor,” SYMON said.
“Whatever,” Vivian responded and moved to the skylight. With three quick tugs on the chain, she opened the horizontal window and jumped. “Where’s the closest robbery?”
“One point three miles northwest of here,” SYMON answered. “Cameras indicate that Cobalt has responded to one as well.”
“Which one?” Vivian’s tone brightened as her eyes went wide.
“At the moment, that is irrelevant.” The band that held SYMON turned purple. “Please continue on to the closest destination.”
“Fine.” Vivian rolled her eyes as she fisted her hands and darted for her designated destination.
Scimitar affixed the domino mask over his eyes. Flexing his fingers, he yanked on the door to Hagger Chemical and Composites. “Are you sure this is the last stage?”
“Positive,” the voice of Prophet said. “With all the other equipment you have, this will be the ammunition to take out Cobalt once and for all.”
“That’s well and good,” the dark-clad figure said. “Amethystia needs to go down, too.”
“I am aware of your fixation on the young woman,” Prophet said.
“It’s not a fix-”
“Whatever it is,” Prophet interrupted. “The same weapon will also hinder Amethystia to the point that you can do what you do best.”
Scimitar’s right fist glowed a dull silver color. A narrow beam extended and widened as it progressed. “Excellent!” Scimitar punctuated his word with a swipe across the electric locking mechanism of the door. Sparks flew, and the door shifted as the lock disengaged.
Cobalt landed outside the demolished doors. She saw the small lights each man wore on their forehead. “These guys don’t look like amateurs.”
Dashing in, she grabbed the first man and lifted him from the ground.
“Cobalt’s here,” he shouted. “My love will conquer all.” The man raised a pistol and pointed it at Cobalt’s face.
With her free hand, Kelly crunched the device. Her maneuver mangled the fingers holding the weapon.
The man didn’t scream. He just grabbed the hand holding him and kicked. The steel toed boots bounced off Cobalt’s abdomen with hollow thumps.
Cobalt flicked the debris of the weapon to the ground. She spotted the other four men encircling her. Sending in a rapid slap, the man she held suspended closed his eyes. Cobalt let him fall to the ground in a heap.
The next man charged with a battle cry. “My love will conquer all.” He swung a knife in a series of deadly arcs. When he set for a backhand strike, Cobalt blocked his arm at the elbow. A quick jab dropped the man where he stood. She took the knife as he fell.
With blurring speed, Cobalt flicked the knife at the foot of the next man. A crisp thunk, and the knife pinned the foot to the tiled floor. “My love will conquer all,” the man screamed as his progress was halted. He dropped his knife and fumbled for the pistol at his side.
The next man ululated and followed with the same words. His knife melted as the red beams that shot from Cobalt’s eyes connected. “Come one guys,” she said. “This is ridiculous.” She punched the man in the forehead as he punched her. The man dropped after a quick flip.
Turning to the last man, she cocked her head. “Your love is not that strong.”
“How dare you,” he screamed. Like the rest before throwing himself at the superhero, he uttered the same phrase. Cobalt treated him like the first but held back on the power of her slap. It dazed the man and put him on the floor.
Moving to the man pinned to the floor, she grabbed him by the shoulders. His face was the color of chalk and the red veins in his eyes looked like spiderwebs. “This isn’t right.” She slapped the man unconscious.