“What do you mean, ‘I’m a bad guy now’?” Captain Strong gave Waxwork a confused grumble. They stood to one side of a narrow hallway; she pulled him aside as he headed to the league’s semi-annual party. It was his first one and he was excited to get to know some of the more attractive heroes.
“Remember when I said, ‘we’re basically a club that hangs out and sometimes has brawls with another club’?” Waxwork asked. Captain Strong nodded, but the confused expression remained.
“Timesweeper’s thing in the park?” he asked. “What does that do with you deciding to go Villain?” Waxwork rolled her firm, dull, waxen eyes.
“The real secret is, it’s the same club; and, Timesweeper runs both the hero and villain leagues. I didn’t decide to go rogue. Timesweeper gave me a promotion,” she smiled.
“How is being evil a promotion?” Captain Strong asked. Waxwork giggled and shook her head.
“I’m not evil!” She said. “They aren’t either. We’re mostly just having fun and entertaining everyone with some superhero action. It gives the average person someone to cheer for. Timesweeper runs both sides, which means investors on both sides. He makes sure to pay anyone on the Villain team extra to make up for the major decline in public perception. Twice a year we get together and talk about shuffling the teams around to keep things interesting. Heroes get to go rogue, Villains turn good, all that dramatic stuff like in wrestling.
“Oh,” Captain Strong nodded. He didn’t quite grasp the details, but he trusted Waxwork more than anyone else in the league. In his short time as part of the team he was impressed by how often she took an extra moment with him if it looked like he needed it. He assumed he would miss her; but, didn’t want to say it. If the villains and heroes were that friendly he’d probably still have opportunities to chat with her. “Well, good luck,” he said.
“There’s more,” Waxwork grinned. “Since I was second in command here, Timesweeper plans to set me up as the head villain. That means my heel turn has to be extra bad.”
“Okay…,” Captain Strong nodded but continued to listen.
“I have to…,” Waxwork gestured air quotes “…kill a hero.”
“Uhh.. but it’s all fake, right?”
“Technically… not exactly,” she said. And she continued when Captain Strong’s eyes went wide. “It needs to be real to look real, but Timesweeper can undo anything that gets done. So, you’ll be fine,” she patted him on the shoulder.
“ME!?” Captain Strong took a step back. “Why me?!?” he whined.
“I talked Timesweeper into letting me bring a sidekick. Or I guess Henchman,” she chuckled. “I kill Captain Strong and go rogue. And once I’m head of the villains, I hire a brand new super-strong villain with what I hope is an awesome name.”
“I can change my name!?” Captain Strong asked. “Let’s go!” He was so excited he hooked his arm around Waxwork’s and started walking toward the party again. She let him lead her along but continued the conversation.
“Don’t forget, you’re a villain now. I expect an appropriately fear-inducing name before I let you join.”
“You got it, Boss,” Captain Strong chuckled.