Delta’s fist connected with the lantern-jawed thug. The force of the blow spun the tough around and made his knees fold, laying him flat on the dirt covered cement floor. She turned her head in different directions, ensuring no one else was in the room. The lower portion of a bruise poked out from beneath her mask and spread dark purple over her cheek.
Reaching to the spot on her face, she said, “Crap!” She winced from the effort. “I have enough trouble outside of uniform looking like Tammy Birch. This isn’t going to help.”
A noise pulled her attention across the open room. “Allen.” She stepped toward the sound and picked up her pace. Tiny dust clouds puffed behind her as she ran through the door on the far wall.
Cresting the door, she slowed as she stepped into the narrow hall. There were no lights and no windows. “Dark is an understatement,” Delta said and touched the corner of her mask as she moved the length of the hall. Recessed doors and crappy graffiti played with the light enhancement of the lenses in her mask. Pausing, she tilted her head forward.
Another sound came from up ahead and to the right. “That should do it,” she said and dashed toward the door.
Flowing with her steps, Delta kicked the door open and darted forward. Nothing happened.
With a loud thunking sound, two bright light sprang to life in front of her. “Shit.” Throwing her hands over her eyes, she tapped her mask and deactivated the light enhancement lenses. Blue, red, and white dots swam in her vision as she held her fist, ready for anything.
“It seems, the lady of difference,” a deep voice said. “Is prone to making mistakes.”
“Dammit, Slag,” Delta shouted back. “Just let the kid go. This is between you and me.”
“I agree,” Slag’s voice oozed across the room from another direction, making Delta jerk both her fists and her head in the direction. “It is between you and me. However, young Mr. Birch here, owes me money. Money for his habit.”
Delta’s hands lowered, but she brought them up with a snap. “What?” Her eyes made out the shadows, and she focused on the shorter one.
“Ahhh,” Slag’s voice sounded closer. “So it is true,” he said. “You do know Allen then. Another chink in your armor.”
Delta let out a low curse. “I’m gonna put an end to your business.” Her jaws flexed as her masked face aimed at the large man wearing a long dark coat. “You will do hard time in the Hynge.”
“That is a possibility,” Slag said, raising a finger. “In fact, I simply surrender.” Reaching over he turned a dial on a control panel, dimming the lights to a less painful glare. “Take me in.” He held his hands out in front of him. “Your choices are simple. Take me in and hope I don’t let it slip that your brother is addicted to Urge and that I know who you are. Or kill me and ensure that your secret is safe and sound. A man in my situation can make that decision, Tammy.”
Behind her mask, Delta rolled her eyes to the struggling figure on the chair. She saw the ropes holding him in place. Sweat and dirt-covered his face. An eye was swollen shut. “Allen,” she whispered.
“You’re taking incredibly too long to make a decision, young Tammy,” Slag said with a raised eyebrow and a heavy sigh. “It’s —”
Her power built up and propelled her forward, clearing the fifteen feet in the blink of an eye. A hand cocked back drove forward with a single finger extended. The feral howl escaped her small mouth as the finger buried deep into the eye socket of the tall man. Flinging her hand back, she tossed the item behind her. “I have another choice,” her whisper growled into Slag’s ear.
With gritted teeth, Slag stifled his howl of pain. A gloved hand clutched at the side of his head and covered his now empty eye socket. Both of his knees lowered him to the dirty floor, where he supported himself with his free hand.
“I can leave you a warning that I will do what it takes to protect my family from the likes of you,” she said and turned toward the seated form of Allen. “As for you,” she said, breaking the ropes constraining his shoulders. “You will work hard to overcome this addiction.” Taking the younger man by the arms, she pulled him to his feet. “Mom and Dad would be disappointed.”
Allen staggered and turned to face his sister. “Shut up,” he spat. “You and your sanctimonious ways. I’ve had enough of your—”
Delta’s glove covered hand slapped the stubble spattered face of Allen, making it take a violent turn and stopping the words he was saying. “My way, or the highway. Remember, I control the money, house, and cars.”
Allen looked at his sister with widening eyes. Slowly, he shook his head. “No. No, you can’t. I need a place to live. Money. Mom and Dad wouldn’t want—”
“Mom and Dad wouldn’t want a lot of things,” she said as a smirk danced on her lips. “I may be a hero on the side. But, I’m the worst villain in your life.”