Stone Flushed

“Gaia, I come in peace…,” Firebolt held his hands up when Gale Stone opened the door. She sighed, then stood aside to let him in.

“I know; call me Gale,” she replied. Gaia was the most powerful supervillain in the world, with hair and clothes made up of tangled roots. Gale was the brown-haired soccer-mom that opened the door. Firebolt relaxed his hands and walked into her house.

“Thank you,” he said. She closed the door behind him, then turned around.

“What do you want?” she asked. Firebolt tilted his head in confusion.

“You said you already knew?” he asked. Gale rolled her eyes.

“I said I knew you were here in peace. Just because I can know everything doesn’t mean I bother checking up on any of you idiots,” she said. “But, when you’re standing on my doorstep mumbling, ‘I hope she doesn’t kill me, I hope she doesn’t kill me,’ it’s kind of a different situation,” she smiled. Firebolt nodded.

“Spex said you might be able to help us with a problem the league is having.” Gaia’s smile disappeared as soon as she heard the name. Firebolt was surprised when he identified her new expression as concern.

“Is he okay?” she asked. “Why didn’t he come himself?” Firebolt shrugged.

“Just because he’s your son-in-law doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t kill him; that was his excuse anyway.” Gale’s concern disappeared and she giggled.

“I do have quite the reputation don’t I,” she asked. “Well, get on with it. Why are you here?”

“I, and several other league members, are being blackmailed with our secret identities,” Firebolt said. “This new villain, The Stalker, follows us around; he’s invisible, intangible, and can teleport. The only way we’ve been able to spot him is with the psychics in the league. But we can’t contain him.”

“Well the only way to capture someone like that…,” Gale began. She took a deliberate, slow look around her living room. “…is to catch them by SURPRISE!” When she said ‘surprise’ a thick green vine sprouted out of the hardwood floor. It speared forward and impaled itself in the drywall.

A lean, pale, frightened man appeared for just a moment before he flashed out of existence again.

“You missed?” Firebolt asked, and shook his head. “He was here in your living room and you missed?”

“Next time the league wants to ask me for a favor, don’t hold a meeting about it. I’m sure this idiot stalker thought he’d try and blackmail me for my secret identity too.”

“How’d you know about the meeting?” Firebolt asked. Gale rolled her eyes. “I told you, I can know everything; if I’m curious enough.”

“Then,… how’d you miss?” FIrebolt chuckled. He felt a bit braver knowing Gaia was a terrible shot. Gale smiled and opened the door for him again.

“You’re asking the wrong question. It’s now about how I missed, it’s about why,” she said. “I read his mind, he can only use one of his powers at a time. And he’s only a short-range teleporter.” Gale nodded out the door. The same lean man stood on her front lawn with golden vines pierced through his arms and legs, and one wrapped around his mouth. He wriggled in pain as blood leaked out of his wounds. “He can’t use his powers as long as those are in him; I just didn’t want a bloody mess in my house.”

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