“I don’t know what you thought you were going to achieve, Doctor Null,” Shadowstryke snarled as she dropped down from the rafters into the warehouse that the villain had commandeered as his newest lair, “but whatever it was, you were sorely deluded. Sabre City’s top superhero isn’t going to be beaten by some glorified flashlight. My will is too strong to resist your…” Her voice trailed off into silence for a moment as the beam of his Null Cannon swept over her, impacting her psychic barrier and leaving her slightly shaken despite her boasts. “Your, um, power,” she finished, rallying from the mental blow.
“I’m sorry,” Doctor Null said, scratching his chin in feigned confusion. “Your what is too strong to resist me?” His piercing eyes gave the game away, though, glaring back at her with naked avarice as he readied his Null Cannon for another blast. She knew he collected powerful women like her, hollowing out their minds with his psionic weaponry before recruiting them to the ranks of his myrmidons. But while he might have defeated some formidable physical adversaries, he’d never faced an enemy as skilled in the psychic arts as Shadowstryke.
She prepared to launch herself into a deadly strike on the mental and physical planes at once. “Don’t play coy,” she said. “You know my wuhh….” The light swept over her as she spoke, hitting her mind with a pinpoint strike that almost slipped through her defenses for a moment. “My, um. My…” She felt like there was something she’d forgotten–no. Something erased, in that moment of contact that the Null Cannon made with her mind. She saw his eyes light up in triumph, but she refused to let him see any sign of weakness. “My power. It’s too strong for you to just erase.”
“Your… power?” he said, still with that same mocking pose of bewilderment. “Do you have some sort of super power you’re planning to use against me?” He chuckled. “If you do, you’d best start now, before I empty you out into an obedient slave.”
Shadowstryke glared at him angrily. “Of course I have a p–” The Null Cannon’s beam swept across her face again, filling her eyes with blinding white light that seemed almost like a solid wall of blankness in her mind. She felt her mental defenses crumble against the onslaught for a moment, unprepared for the sheer force of it against her compliant mind, but she rallied. “I have. Um. Skills. Abilities you’re not prepared for. I’m going to defeat you, Doctor Null.”
“Oh, of course you are. Of course you are.” His voice was condescending, as though he was simply humoring the tantrum of a child. “Because you’re one of those, um… oh, I feel so silly. Who did you say you were again? Sabre City’s top…?” She saw him ready his Null Cannon as he spoke, but she was confident she could resist. She had too much… too much… her mind seemed to slip back into blank emptiness for a moment, as though wandering off the edge of a mental map.
She shook her head as if to clear it. “I’m Sabre City’s top–” The light swept over her again, playing back and forth across her eyes and filling them with pure, empty white. She struggled against it, but she seemed to be defenseless against the blankness that smothered her thoughts. The word she was grasping for crumbled into mental silence, and she desperately wished she had some sort of psychic barrier to fend off Doctor Null’s assault, but… she had nothing. She was powerless. Helpless. “Top… um…?” she stammered, the confusion yawning up like a terrifying abyss in the center of her mind.
“Top slave,” Doctor Null said gently, his words pouring into the blankness in her mind. “You’re the very best slave in the whole city. That’s why I’m here. To claim you as mine.” He took her hand, and gently guided her to her knees. It felt so warm there, so comfortable. Like it was the only life she’d ever known.
“I’m the… very best slave,” Shadowstryke murmured. A smile spread across her face as the words took root. She couldn’t think how she’d ever forgotten.
(Like this flash fiction? Want to see more? Visit www.patreon.com/Jukebox to find out how!)
This is so nicely engineered. I love how the Null Cannon flashes across her eyes precisely as Shadowstryke’s about to say the word that gets deleted from her mind. It’s a hot inversion of supervillains getting “caught monologuing.” Here, it’s the heroine’s bravado that brings her to her knees before her new Master. Another triumph from @jukeboxemcsa