The fiends, they know when you’re weak. It’s like blood in the water, like a slow limp in the jungle. The rules in Capedom are no different than that in the wild. Eat or be eaten, kill or be killed. And if you get sliced, if you start to sway, if you give anybody a reason, you’re done for.
To Alpha Black, this wasn’t supposition. This was fact. She’d been in the game a long time, long enough to know real rules from the mindless chatter. And as the blows kept raining down on her by Therm-mite and then Smoker T—young buck fiends who were probably sucking on Gerber back when Alpha Black was ball busting Dredspot—she couldn’t help but think about how those who thought they were exceptions to the rule became statistics of the game.
In a flash that was probably the beginning of a concussion, she saw the strangest things, like the one-day too-old milk back in her fridge, like bread with a hint of mold on its side. Still edible but past its prime, soon to be completely spoiled because nothing hides itself from the elements forever.
Everything has an expiration date.
“Keep the broad still, T. I can’t get a good hit!”
Broad? Black refocused. What was she, some chick in a Billy Dee flick? She dropped her weight and spun into a kick, sending Therm-mite to his backside. The move was enough to also throw off Smoker T’s attack, routing what should have been a jarring blow to Black’s skull into her shoulder instead.
Through Smoker T’s smoke, Black tried to grasp her surroundings. Nothing. She reached down and felt rigid steel. Rebar, maybe? They’d been near construction when the fight started, and perhaps that would save her life.
Black gripped it and got ready to pounce. Smoker T’s powers allowed her to shift the spectrum of light that made its way through her smog. It was an effective strategy—black smoke, then white, then purple, blue, and green—and completely disorienting, not giving prey enough time to adjust her vision. But like any power, there was a drawback, as between every shift Smoker’s outline became just…so…visible…
Alpha Black swung. Smoker T fell. Therm-mite grunted from behind, ready for another attack.
“Kill that leatherface witch, Derek!” Smoker screamed in pain.
“Leatherface? Heifer please,” Alpha Black said, trying to throw her voice for an advantage in the now orange-ish haze. Leatherface? That hurt. Black’s ability to control the density of her skin in different spots of her body had taken a toll over the years, but Smoker was one to talk. “Let she with dirty tracks be the last to throw stones, okay bae?”
Just as she expected, they pounced at the sound of her voice. Good. It wasn’t hard to find Smoker’s weave, either.
Grabbing it, Black sent the girl’s face into her knee, ending that part of the threat. But she’d given away her position, and she knew what was coming next.
Knowing didn’t make a damn bit of difference. Therm-mite’s hand gripped her shoulder, and with a slithering, chittering sound she heard, then felt, them. Insects. Dozens of them. His bugs oozed from him to her.
Modified termites. The hot, creepy little turds made their way across her shoulder, down the breast of her Synthdex suit. There were too many already across her body, rendering her power useless in blocking their effects.
“Aarg!” she screamed as they began they began to pop and die in bursts of heat.
“Sista, I’ve been a fan of yours for a long time. What you did to The Trump…stone cold,” Therm-mite said, his voice the kind of calm, deep bass you’d expect from a more experienced fiend. Seductive enough to throw her off-guard. “ But I gotta take you down. Good for my rep.” If his powers weren’t so damn disgusting, Black might’ve tried to Cougar him over to the good side.
But she’d had enough. With Smoker T out, the haze was beginning to lift. Alpha Black could see just enough to make one final play.
“Ohhhhhhh!” Thermmite groaned as Black sent a heel to his groin. A sucker move, yeah, but they’d sucker’d her into the fight, and what’s fair was fair. An elbow to his temple finished him off.
“Ewwwww…” As Nyka Black, code name Alpha Black, frantically brushed off the suddenly confused, but still glowing and translucent bugs from her body–spitting one out of her mouth–she came to a decision that was a long time coming.
She was done with this crap.
She was done being a Cape.