“GET TO THE SCHOOL!” Cora yelled backward over her shoulder. She strained with all her effort to keep the small crowd of skeletons at bay while the civilians fled. The skeletons struggled to get by Cora without acknowledging her as a threat. It seemed they considered her little more than a tree or fence to go around. Cora guessed her ability was to thank for whatever camouflage made her invisible to them.
Over the years she learned a good amount about her abilities. It worried her that the best power she could manifest in the situation was invisibility. Cora’s power gave her the ability to survive any situation. Her first thought was to try and master the individual skills that manifested; but, that proved impossible. Eventually, she learned to focus on the core ability. She learned to manifest offensive survival skills.
She tried to activate an offensive power to fight the skeletons that began raining on the city, but she only succeeded in hiding from them. As one was about to strike her down it paused in confusion. Then, it refocused its attention elsewhere and moved on. Now she was trying to corral a small group of them.
“Well that explains it,” Cora heard a woman’s voice at the same time she noticed the skeletons weren’t wriggling to get past her anymore. She glanced up and noticed all skulls had their eye sockets trained on her. Cora jumped back from them, then whirled around to see where the voice came from.
A tall pale woman, made taller by a pair of bone-white horns, stood in front of Cora and stared. She was flanked by skeletons on both sides; all of them stared at Cora. She was positive her ability to be invisible to them was still active.
“Who are you?” Cora asked. “Why are you attacking the city?” She felt a tingling in her chest; now her temporary ability was gone. Cora immediately filled her mind with hopeful, violent thoughts. “She’s in charge, or close to it. I can beat her. I have to beat her to survive,” She expected the woman to threaten her life very soon and wanted to be ready. The woman smiled and laughed at Cora.
“City? My name is Ballisea, little Corazón. This entire Earth is mine now. But, you may leave; what kind of Earth would you like to flee to?”
“I’m not fleeing,” Cora said. She balled her fists tight. “I’m surviving!” It was a dangerous gamble; Cora hoped her powers would activate when Ballisea tried to defend herself. Ballisea didn’t so much as flinch at Cora’s tackle; no powers were activated. Cora flew through Ballisea as if the woman wasn’t even there. She landed on the blacktop road behind Ballisea and got some scrapes for her troubles. Cora’s ability was useless for minor injuries.
“You obviously haven’t heard my name before,” Ballisea sighed as she looked down on Cora. “The only way to survive me is to run,” Ballisea grinned. “Or, if I let you go. I’ve changed my mind about that, by the way,” she said. Cora successfully picked herself up from the floor and stood ready to face Ballisea. If nothing else, she finally threatened Cora properly. “Goodbye, Corazón,” Ballisea said. A black dot appeared on Cora’s neck; then, it instantly spread into a horizontal, dinner-plate sized portal that radiated from Cora’s neck.
Cora felt a tingling sensation around her neck, then, nothing. She lost all awareness of her neck; the hole moved upward intent on swallowing Cora’s head. Ballisea’s grin disappeared when the hole disappeared but Cora’s head still remained attached. Cora suddenly became aware of her neck again.
“God damn Corazónes,” Ballisea grumbled to herself. “Just leave,” Ballisea said. A black hole opened under Cora’s feet, but she remained standing, still seemingly on firm ground. Ballisea closed her eyes and took in a deep breath. She exhaled slowly, then opened her eyes.
“I don’t even want this Earth anymore,” Ballisea said. Cora noticed the skeletons behind her walking into black portals and disappearing. She risked a glance upward and confirmed the portals were gone from the sky.
“But, I do have a reputation to maintain,” Ballisea said. A wide, horizontal portal appeared next to her; a towering, pale woman with bright red hair fell out of the portal. She landed on her feet and stood taller than Ballisea’s horns. “I can’t let it be known that I was annoyed into giving up on an Earth,” she shrugged. “Shatter it,” Ballisea said. The redhead nodded then raised her fist into the air.
Before Cora could think about acting, the woman brought her fist down on street hard. The ground started shaking immediately and Cora no longer wondered what Ballisea wanted shattered. She watched Ballisea and the tall woman disappear into portals as the earth shook and cracked around her. Cora started to wonder if she’s survive without an Earth.