Chapter 22

Heroes

As Stella walked through the front entrance of Dawn City Prison, she received several odd glances. She supposed it's not everyday people here would see a blonde haired young girl wearing a light blue jacket and purple scarf walk in.

The man working at the front desk dropped his pen, looked up at Stella curiously and asked, "What brings you here, young lady?"

"I'm here to see Deimos Morgan," answered Stella quietly.

The man raised his eyebrow. "No one's come to visit him yet. Are you family?"

"No," Stella replied looking down at her hands. "I'm a fri… I just… I just need to talk to him."

"Very well." The man at the desk waved his hand to signal another guard. "Paul, why don't you take this young woman to see Deimos Morgan."

Paul motioned to Stella for her to follow him. Never in her life had Stella seen such a depressing place. As they walked by the other cells, she observed prisoners lying on small beds, staring at the ceiling. One man stood gazing hopelessly out the tiny window with bars.

Stella felt as though they walked for miles by the time they reached Deimos's cell. His was located in the maximum-security section of the prison. Paul showed Stella though two sets of steel made doors before they finally reached the room with his cell.

As Stella followed Paul down the steps of this room, she observed one corner of the room contained the jail cell with Deimos. Instead of bars, these cells had glass. Across the cells, was a small desk covered with various papers.

Deimos, who sat on a small chair against the wall of this cell, looked up at Stella and the guard as they walked in. His empty expression did not change much, but Stella could tell that he was not expecting to see her.

Stella turned Paul. "Can I have some privacy, please?"

Reluctantly, Paul nodded and walked back up the steps, closing the door behind him, leaving Stella and Deimos alone.

Deimos returned his gaze to the ground and asked softly, "Why did you come, Stella?"

Fumbling her fingers, Stella stepped nervously towards the cell and muttered, "There's something I want to ask you."

"Really?" Deimos responded with uncertainty. "And what would that be?"

Stella breathed heavily. "That elixir you drank made you the most powerful being. I know power can corrupt people. I guess what I'm asking is did it change the way you thought? Did it make you do things that you normally wouldn't do?"

"You mean did it make me try to kill you?" He offered.

Stella shook her head. "We both know you never intended to actually kill me."

"No," Deimos said with a doleful sigh. "But I did know how much you feared snakes and I used that against you."

"I figured that," Stella admitted. "But was that you doing that, or the elixir?"

"I wish I could say I knew for certain," Deimos went on, sadly. "All I know is I was determined to prove myself and, at the time, was willing to take any means necessary." He paused and added more softly, "For what its worth, I'm glad my plan failed and you're okay now."

"That helps a little," Stella mumbled and then started to turn. "I guess I should probably go now."

Stella turned around and began to walk up the steps towards the door, before Deimos stood up and called, "Stella, wait."

Stella turned to look back down at him.

"All my life, I felt as though I was invisible, both in my family and then working under Madame Vicious," Deimos explained gazing directly at Stella. "You are the first person to ever notice me and see me for who I am. I won't forget that."

Stella managed a brief smile and nodded but only said, "Goodbye, Deimos."

xXx

Stella, where have you been?" Jacob demanded when Stella arrived to the city park. "You almost missed Annie's award."

"There was just something I needed to do," Stella answered not going into detail. She then commented, "Its so nice to see the sunlight."

The afternoon was quite beautiful. The sun shined gloriously on the trees and grass of Dawn City Park, making them shine in deep green. At the center of the park, was a large wooden stage, where Diana stood waiting to announce the award. The citizens gathered around the stage anxiously wanting to cheer for their new hero.

Diana then announced, "And the award for saving Dawn City from the tyrant, Dr. Armageddon, goes to… Madame Vicious!"

The people roared in applause as Annie walked up on the stage to accept her award.

"You might want to consider changing your stage name," Diana whispered to Annie with a grin as she put the metal around her neck.

Annie smiled and waved at the people. She then took the microphone to thank the people in person. Annie explained to them how she had once vowed to take over Dawn City, but has now discovered that it is her duty to protect the city. Upon hearing this, the people cheered even louder with more enthusiasm.

Once Annie left the stage, she found Bradley sitting alone behind it, holding a small brown bag. When he looked up to her, he smiled.

"Well, I believe a congratulations is in order!" He said with a grin. "It appears as though you are Dawn City's true hero."

Annie was going to thank him but then looked at the bag, curiously, "What's in there?"

"This is mercury. Dawn City no longer needs Jetman anymore," he explained. "They have you, now. Annie, you are now Dawn City's new hero."

"You're not really going to…" Annie began with shock then thought of something. "Wait a minute. That's really aluminum, isn't it? You're just messing with me."

Bradley sighed as he shook his head and showed her the inside of the bag. "No, Annie. This time it really is mercury."

"You're giving up your powers? But why?"

"Annie, you've always wanted more than anything to be special, the only one with these abilities. I've always just wanted to be normal. Now, we can both get what we want. After all, Dawn City only needs one super hero."

Annie stared at him, speechless as Bradley started to put his hand in the bag.

"Bradley, wait!" Annie cried out suddenly. "Don't do it."

Bradley stopped and looked right at her. "Why not? Isn't this what you really always wanted?"

"I don't want to do this alone," Annie mumbled in one breath.

"What was that, Annie? I didn't quite catch what you said."

Annie looked at him directly now. "I don't want to do this alone, okay? I need your help. Is that what you want to hear?"

Bradley only grinned at her. "You don't need my help. You're more than capable. You've proven that."

"I said I don't want to be alone," Annie insisted, snatching the bag. "I'd rather us protect the city together, as a team." When he did not respond, she threw the bag on the ground. "Just keep your powers, okay?"

"As long as that's what you really want." Bradley leaned over and kissed her softly on the lips. "Well, it looks like it will be you and me protecting Dawn City together."

"That's right." Annie smiled wrapping her arms around him. "Together."

The End