Change of Heart Ch. 01

Amateur

Nightshade prowled back and forth across the room. She just needed a few more minutes and her toxins would be ready. The main water purifier of Central City was mostly unguarded, and it hadn’t been difficult to dispatch the few security officers wandering about. Soon her signature brainwashing venom would infect the city’s entire water supply, bringing anyone who drank from their tap under her thrall.

There were plenty of supervillains around, but none had the notorious reputation Nightshade possessed. A black latex outfit hugged her generous curves, and her dominatrix style boots were a clear sign to her enemies. She wore a dark cowl with purple streaks to conceal her identity while showing off her venomous nature. Her ensemble was completed by her most iconic weapon: a series of metal talons on her fingertips, each dripping with a dangerous venom. There were a number of capsules on her wristbands that were specially designed to reapply her poison.

An explosion from outside shook the floor. Nightshade stumbled in place, quickly regaining her balance and entering a battle stance. The wall had exploded inwards, and from the resulting dust cloud, a silhouette walked forward. Nightshade didn’t need to see who it was to know exactly who had interrupted her schemes.

“Miss Magic,” she spat out in an angry tone. The superhero walked in, strutting about in with an air of confidence, completely undeterred by the danger before her. Miss Magic’s outfit was made of the same typical spandex that most heroes wore, but outfitted and designed to resemble a stage magician. The black and white pattern over her body was accented by a small domino mask and a billowing cape behind her. A top hat rested on her blonde curls, giving the do-gooder a clean and professional yet vaguely enticing look.

Nightshade and Miss Magic had been at each other’s throats for years. Everytime Nightshade was on the brink of success with her diabolical plans, the meddlesome mage inevitably showed up to throw a wrench in things. Not that she won their battles every time. Despite all of the times Nightshade found herself beaten and forced to retreat, she emerged victorious about as often.

One time she’d even been able to capture the hero, trying her with a series of magic restricting chains and bringing her back to her own lair. She had infected Miss Magic with her enthralling toxin, and was only a few minutes away from having her be a permanent slave to her whims. Sadly the rest of her heroic friends had shown up to rescue her, but Nightshade never forgot how close she’d been to victory. How it felt to have her rival in such close proximity, completely at her own mercy. Ever since that day there had been an undeniable tension between them.

Tension of hatred, of course. The only reason Nightshade spent most of her waking hours thinking about Miss Magic was because of how much she hated her, and wanted to win their battle once and for all.

“Your plans end here, Nightshade. In the name of the good and the righteous, abidinpaşa escort I will stop you!” Miss Magic brandished her wand in a threatening manner. Nightshade laughed, crouching down and getting ready to pounce.

“We’ll have to see about that, little miss goody-two shoes. This time I’ll stop you, once and for all!” She lunged at the hero, claws raking forward, trying to land the first strike. The mage waved her wand and disappeared in a flash of light, reappearing across the room. She began an incantation and hurled a ball of light towards her opponent, but Nightshade was able to slip past without getting hit.

While Nightshade was doing her best to win, her ultimate motive was to stall. Miss Magic didn’t know about the device running behind the water pumps. It was mixing her enthralling toxins to the perfect concentration, and in five more minutes, it would release into the water supply. The entire city would be under her command within days. By that point, it wouldn’t matter if she was defeated here, so long as her plan succeeded.

“Is that really all you can manage,” the villain taunted, counting down the seconds in her mind. The more she could keep Miss Magic talking the better. “I expected better from my arch-nemesis. You’re going to make me look bad in front of the other villains.”

Miss Magic spun her wand in a circle, creating a glowing sigil. “Don’t think I’ll be letting you off easy, Nightshade.” The sigil expanded, and the air began humming with energy. “I know there’s still good in your heart. But since you refuse to listen, you’ve left me no choice but to fight. I’m putting an end to your wicked schemes.” A sword of pure energy burst from the sigil, flying towards Nightshade at a furious speed. The villain backflipped out of the way, only to see another coming at her. She jumped and tumbled around as the barrage of swords came flying at her, dodging each one by little more than a hair.

Although her actions appeared to be abstract, Nightshade’s movements were anything but. Every one of her dodges was calculated to bring her towards an advantageous position. Even though she wore rather tall heels, not once did the villain stumble or slip on her feet, her incredible dexterity and reflexes on full display. Once the flurry of magical swords had stopped, Nightshade was standing atop a shelving unit, poised and ready to strike. She had a direct line of attack to her opponent.

“What, you still think you can make a hero out of me? Pitiful. You’d be so much stronger if you weren’t still clinging to hope. As it stands, you can’t even protect yourself, let alone this city.” By the time Miss Magic realized the position she was in, it was too late. Her eyes widened as she began a teleportation spell, but Nightshade lunged directly at her, springboarding off the edge of her platform and firing herself like a missile. She raked her claws forward to strike at the perfect time, reaching just as Miss Magic poofed herself away from the danger.

The aktepe escort heroine rematerialized out of harm’s way, but there was a slash across her gloves. One of her arms had been nicked by the claws of Nightshade. The villain cackled at seeing her opponent’s injury. “Well, that was a good show, but I’m afraid you won’t be able to fight for much longer.” She spread her fingers out, making a show of displaying all of her metallic tips. “That particular one was a paralyzing agent. You should be finding it difficult to move that arm, and the rest of your body will follow soon.”

The hero covered the wound and pressed down on it, but the strain was showing on her face. Her teeth were grit in determination while beads of sweat were dripping down her forehead. But she still managed to keep a confident pose, her top hat perfectly balanced despite their sparring. “Ngh, you know I’d normally say ’tis but a scratch’ for something like this. But thanks to your particular fighting style, a scratch can become a problem very fast. You should change up your techniques to something easier for banter.”

Despite their back-and-forth insults, Nightshade kept her mind on the device counting down in the corner. If she could defeat her nemesis and infect the city, it would be her most successful night in years. “Would you like to admit defeat and come quietly? I’ve been eager to get my most potent enthralling agent into you. Now will you be a good girl and come over here, or do we have to do things the hard way?”

Instead of showing panic, Miss Magic took a deep breath and closed her eyes. A blue glow came from the tip of her wand, covering her arm, and rippling across the rest of her body. When she looked up her arm was back to normal, and her eyes were filled with a fresh determination. “This purification spell will keep me safe. Your poisons won’t work on me for the rest of this spell. I’m going to end this here, and bring you to justice!”

Nightshade laughed at her opponent. “You must be truly desperate here. We both know how that spell of yours works, and it’s a double edged sword if I’ve ever seen one.” The villain began dipping her talons into the capsules around her wrists, applying a fresh coat of venom to each finger. “It only protects you for a few minutes. Then not only will you be vulnerable, you’ll feel the effects of each toxin in your body, magnified tenfold!”

Miss Magic raised her wand, completely unfazed. “It’ll be more than enough time for me to bring you down. Get ready!”

Although things were getting risky, Nightshade was ecstatic at the turn of events. The countdown was almost finished, and by the time Miss Magic’s spell wore off, it would be too late to protect the city. “Then I’ll just have to pump you to the brim with every single poison in my arsenal. Once your spell wears off you’ll be begging for mercy!” It was time for their grand finale. Nightshade let out a maniacal laugh, pouncing forward, getting ready to strike as hard and as fast akyurt escort as possible. Miss Magic was preparing her own spell, a powerful energy bolt gathering at the tip of her wand.

Before either of them could attack, a simple ringtone pierced the tension. Nightshade blinked, a surprised look on her face as she stopped in place. She looked around before honing in on the source. Miss Magic simply groaned and reached into her pocket. “Sorry, I have to take this,” she explained with an apologetic tone. The hero pulled out a sophisticated looking cellphone and began scrolling through it.

As confused as she was, Nightshade wasn’t about to let this opportunity go to waste. “You really think you have time for that? I’ll make sure you regret such a mistake.” She jumped forward to attack, but Miss Magic simply held up a palm, not even looking up. Immediately Nightshade slammed into a set of ethereal bars, completely unbending against the impact. She looked around and realized she was trapped in a spectral cage on all sides. “Wha… what is the meaning of this? Explain your trap at once!”

Miss Magic finally looked up. There was a slightly embarrassed expression on her face, with none of the fierce glare from before. “I’m really sorry about this Nightshade. This is my phone for the Righteous Legion, and they only call me in emergencies. Something came up that unfortunately qualifies. Apparently the Void Kraken is headed to our solar system, and they want all hands on deck to turn it away.”

Nightshade was stunned. Void Kraken? The star eating behemoth from beyond the Milky Way? “I… but… why are they calling you?” None of this made any sense. Nightshade wasn’t hurting for confidence, but she understood that intergalactic abominations were out of her combat range. And they should be far out of Miss Magic’s as well. “But those sorts of threats are usually handled by the big guns, like Primal Force and Sunburst. You know, the ones strong enough to deal with space monsters. It’s not like you’re going to do much against the Void Kraken.”

Miss Magic let out a deep sigh. The blue glow around her faded, but instead of being hit with a magnitude of the poison from earlier, she looked no worse for the wear. “Look, I enjoy fighting you. Our little spars are a good way to wind down and relax.” She snapped her fingers, and there was a burst of sparks from the corner of the room. Nightshade saw her intoxication device, almost at the end of its countdown, transform into a harmless bouquet of flowers. Miss Magic didn’t even appear to be paying attention to it. “Anyway, I’m really sorry but I have to go deal with this. I’ll be back in a week or so when Earth is safe again.”

Nightshade was struggling to wrap her head around what she was seeing. “Are you trying to say this whole time we’ve been fighting each other, the years of back and forth battles, you’ve never even gone all out?”

The hero chuckled at her rival’s protests. “Oh, hardly. If I really wanted to I could make it so you never wanted to commit a crime again. But I have no interest in doing that. Like I said, I enjoy our fights. Hopefully we can properly finish this one next time.” And with that, Miss Magic vanished in a brilliant flash of light, leaving Nightshade alone with her thoughts and the growing sounds of sirens.

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