Authors: R.J. Ross
THE DISTORT ARC
CAPE HIGH BOOKS 1-4
R. J. Ross
Super Villain Dad
Copyright © 2013 by R. J. Ross
All Rights Reserved
Copyright © 2013 by R. J. Ross
All Rights Reserved
Copyright © 2013 by R. J. Ross
All Rights Reserved
Don't Know Jack
Copyright © 2014 by R. J. Ross
All Rights Reserved
Cover design by CoverYourDreams.net
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Amazon and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination and are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
This one, like all the Arc books to come, is dedicated to my readers, especially those of you that hate cliffhangers. Also to my best friend, Leslie, my mom, Diane, my sister-in-law, Erica, and my Aunt Carol, all who have supported me and encouraged me to write in general and to write this series in particular.
~Other works by R.J. Ross~
Belle and the Dragon's Curse * Sundance's Syn * Missing: Witch * Destiny Thread
The Winstead Files Series
Courting the Beast * Snow White, Snow White * The Sleeper * Stiltskin
Arcadia Gamers Series
Croc Skins * Coyote Falls
Seasons of the Fae Series
Raven's Return * Death of a Dryad
Cape High Series
Super Villain Dad * America's Grandson * Hello Kitty * Don't Know Jack
R. J. Ross
I can hear my brother breathing next to me. It's a familiar sound, but it's getting on my nerves. "Stop breathing," I hiss, shoving his shoulder.
"I can't stop breathing--if I stop breathing I'll die," Sunny whispers back. "And if you keep talking, he's going to notice us!"
"You're talking more than I am!"
You're probably wondering why we're trying to be so quiet. Well there's a reason. A really BIG reason. He's standing over there--no--to your right--no, THROUGH the fence. Yes, on the other side of the big, nasty looking security fence that is literally shaking because of electric jolts. Yes, him. He's pretty scary looking, right? He's got to be six five, and he's got the face of a serial murderer. It's all sharp and needing shaved. And that whole skin tight prison body suit thing--it's really not fashionable at all, I admit. What? Why's he got a streak of white in his hair? Well, see, that's why we're here.
He's a super villain.
So why is an innocent little freshman like me and her annoying twin brother sneaking peeks at him through a prison fence? Well...
He's our father. At least, that's what we think.
"How good do you think his hearing is?" I breathe as the tall man turns, looking at the fence curiously.
"Good enough," the man, Technico, says. I swear I have a heart attack. "I suggest you two idiots run before the prison guards come looking for whoever tripped the wire."
"Wire?" Sunny asks me, his face looking remarkably pale. Just as I'm about to reply, a loud wailing noise filled the air. Sunny grabs my arm and runs for it, dragging me behind him at an astonishing rate. I’m not focused on that, though. I can still hear people shouting above the sound of the alarm, feet pounding on the dirt, tree branches cracking as they force their way through. Cars. They’re chasing us in cars. "We're going to die!" I say, still being dragged.
"Not yet," Sunny replies, heading out onto a parking lot. When had we reached civilization? I didn't even notice! But now I'm being dragged into a Hy-Vee and shoved down a random aisle, towards the back of the store. "Safe," Sunny breathes out, leaning against a display of cans.
"Are you sure?" I ask, peeking around the corner of the aisle.
"Yeah, they won't come in here. People will think there was a break-out."
I stare at the door, expecting black clad super guards to burst into the building, demanding that we come out with our hands up, but nothing happens. Sunny sits down on the cold tile floor, taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly. "I don't see it," he says finally.
"The resemblance. I don't think you're right, Zoe. We can't be related to that guy."
"Sun. He had a white streak in his hair."
"One JUST like yours?" I said.
"I bet lots of supers have white streaks. It's practically a requirement, right?" Sunny said, shoving at his bangs in a self conscious manner. It wouldn't have been so bad if our hair wasn't black. Me, I got lucky. My white is the hair underneath. As long as I wear it down (and there isn't a breeze), it looks normal. Sunny, though, Sunny is stuck with a white streak where everyone can see it. And no matter how often we dye, it just shows up again whenever we accidentally use our powers.
Powers. Yes. I said powers. But don't go thinking they're like cool and amazing things to have. Last time I tried to turn on the TV? It exploded. Literally. You get to see all these cool codes flashing over the screen for five seconds and then BAM! Plastic parts everywhere. And Sunny? Plants try to strangle him if he gets too close. He'll be walking down a path and all of a sudden a dandelion is wrapped tight around his ankle and he's face-planted on the ground. It's even worse if he gets close to something with thorns. So see why the hair dye thing got too expensive quick? Yeah. It sucks.
"I'm just saying," Sunny is saying, making me cross my arms over my chest, "what if it's not even related to--y'know, who we might be related to? The hair thing. Maybe it's just one of those 'Oh, you got super powers, so you gotta look like a skunk' sort of things! Seriously, Zoe, you read some of the stuff that Technico has done! He's in the Cape Cells for a reason! He definitely isn't father material! Why don't we just--just go see if anything's happened online yet."
"So you're scared of him?" I ask. "You chicken."
"I'm not a chicken! But I'm not a moron, either. Look, it was fine when you just wanted to SEE him--but we almost got caught! What do you think people would do to us if they found us lurking around a prison? We're not like normal kids, you know--"
"Exactly, Sun! We're NOT like normal kids! We're super kids!" I jerk as I realize that a woman with a baby in her cart is just staring at us. For a moment both my brother and I stare at her, mouths hanging open--then I grab Sunny's arm and drag him down the aisle, as if I hadn't just completely outted us in public. I am such a moron.
"Good job," Sunny muttered as we reached the freezer aisles.
"No, seriously, want me to get on the mic and announce it to the entire store? It'd be a lot faster!"
"I said shut it! Look, who else in the supers has my sort of powers?" I asked him, turning to look him in the eyes. "He's it. He's the only one. And if he's our only chance at getting out of the foster home I'm going to take it."
"One problem. Even if he IS our dad--and I'm not saying he is--he's still in Cape Cells."
"So it's useless," Sunny says. "How would a super villain get out of there? Time off his sentence for good behavior?" He shakes his head, amused by a joke that I really don't think is funny. "Forget about it, Zoe. We're on our own. Just--just wait three years and we'll be out, right? Or maybe someone will come and adopt us, or something."
"It could happen?"
"Okay, fine. It won't happen. But neither will--that," he said, motioning towards the exit. "So give up already."
"You're a chicken, Sunny. An absolute coward."
"I'm just realistic."
Nico moves closer to the fence, a curious expression on his face. "Don't do it," a voice warns him, making him look back. His guard--an ex-Hall member named Harold, stands there, looking bored. "Boy, you know as well as I do that the moment you even touch the fence they'll shove your date back another ten years."
"True," Nico says. "I'm bored of being outside,” he declares, already heading for the door that leads back into the prison.
"Are you ready for tomorrow?" Harold asks, following him.
"I've got the questions memorized," Nico says.
"It's not the questions I'm worried about."
"The answers are easy enough," Nico says. "What's wrong, Harry? Don't trust me?"
"I've got bigger fish to keep an eye on," Harold says. "Getting you out of my hair will be a relief."
"What hair? You're bald, Harry."
The foster home that we live in is horrible. There's so many kids that you never have a moment of peace--and all of them hate us. Well no, not us. Me. See, I told you about our powers, right? What I didn't tell you was that they only started two weeks ago. That's why the foster home's television is gone now. Yeah, that's how it started. I pushed the ON button and the remote control and the television blew up. Yeah. You don't make many friends when you blow up their television.
So I really don't want to go in. I stare at the building for a long moment, shoving my hands into my pockets and looking at Sunny. "I'd rather have been tossed into the Cape Cells," I tell him bluntly.
"Yeah, I know," he says. "But we have computer time in ten minutes, and I want to check the net."
"I hate computer time," I mutter. They won't even let me have my own computer time, all they do is let me sit in the corner as Sunny plays on the old, beat up looking computer that's slower than dirt.
"Yeah, but I need to see if the Hall ever replied to our email," Sunny says. "They have to have gotten it by now!"
"Yeah, and they probably deleted it as a joke or a scam," I grumble, slowly heading up the front steps of the building. "I bet they get a million emails a day of kids saying they've got abilities. 'Look, I'm just like Mega--I can do a pushup!'" I mock.
"Hey, I went along with your prison scheme, you can at least give this a chance," Sunny says, ignoring the kids lounging on the front room's couch and heading for the tiny office room towards the back. I can't really ignore them, especially when a ball of paper bounces off the back of my head.
I turn, my eyes falling on the biggest boy sitting on the couch. "You got a problem, Jack?" I demand.
"Yeah, I got a problem. You." Jack has more piercings than skin, and it's rumored that he has tattoos--although how he afforded them, I've got no idea. He's the guy you catch smoking in the boy's bathroom all the time, or kicking kids when they're down. I hate him.
"You are such a--"
"Zoe, come on," Sunny says, grabbing my arm and tugging. "It's time."
"Yeah, Zoo-ee," Jack taunts. "Run off with your brother. But stay away from the computer! It's bad enough that you killed the TV."
I glare at him as my brother drags me away. I don't trust Jack. I'm pretty sure he's stolen things from the house and from the younger kids, but whenever I talk to the foster parents, I’m positive that they think I'm lying to get attention. Like I WANT their attention.
We reach the office and I head to the couch in the corner, flopping down on it. "I hate him," I mutter.
"I know, I know," Sunny says, grabbing the old, creaky computer chair and sitting down. He types one handed, picking at each of the letters as if not quite certain where they are. It's frustrating to me. Before my powers came in, I was great on the keyboard. I was great with computers. Now, though...
"Hey Zoe, I've got an email," Sunny says in a surprised tone that makes me glance up. "It's a reply! I've got a reply!"
"Don't just stare at it, read it!" I command, jerking upright and fighting the urge to go read over his shoulder. I don't dare. There's a chance that just looking at the screen will blow it up, and if the TV is an indicator, we won't be getting a new computer. Ever.
"I know, I know, give me a second--" Sunny's mouth moves as he clicks the mouse a few times, then he stopped. "It's our email to the Hall... but it's not the Hall responding," he says after a second. He looks a bit uncomfortable. "It looks like someone caught our email before it got to them."
"What? Who? Can people DO that?" I ask, getting to my feet.
"It looks like they can... and did. I’m not sure this is a good thing," Sunny says, clearly worried. Sunny doesn’t usually do worried for no good reason, so now I’m getting worried.
"Who is it?" I demand. "Read the email already!"
"Hello, Sunny and Zoe," he read. "I'm interested in meeting you. My name is Max--but you might know me better as Maximum. I'm a teenage super just like you."
"Max... Max..." I repeated, trying to think of where I had heard that name. "Oh crap. No--absolutely no," I say. "You're kidding, right?” I want to look, so I grab hold of the couch armrest to keep from getting up. "Why is a teenage super villain reading our emails to the Hall?" I ask. "And how does he know our names? You sent it under an alias, right?"
"Yeah... I did," Sunny says. "But he goes on. 'I know you're waiting for the Hall, but the Hall won't reply to this. They think its a joke. I know better. I'd like to meet you both, so why don't we meet at Kindle Park tomorrow at four. I'll be wearing a red t-shirt and black jeans.'"
"Kindle--that's just two blocks away from here," I say. "He knows where we live?" Maximum might be a teenager, probably seventeen or eighteen, but he's seriously dangerous. He's got these freaky gravity powers. His first caper was at the super bowl last year, when he lifted two full buses over the stadium and still had both hands free to talk on the mic. Of course he was stopped--but barely.
"I... I think he might," Sunny said quietly. "I mean, he knows our names, he seems like he believes us about the powers--Zoe, I--I think we're screwed."
"What's he going to do with us if he gets us?" I ask. "I mean, will he kill us, or something? We're like, prospective enemies or rivals, or something--"
"How would I know?" Sunny demands. "But if he is, it's not like we've got the power to fight back! He's like, seriously above our level! What would we do, blow up his smartphone? Wave tree branches at him?"
"The Hall," I say. "Let's go to the Hall--they'll have to believe us if we show them what we can do--print the email, okay? We'll take it with us. They'll have to take us in or protect us--"
"Yeah, good ide--" Sunny stops abruptly, staring at the screen and going so pale that he looks like he's going to faint. "It--it's not there."