"Liz, this guy bothering you?"
I snapped out of my mind, realizing me and my friends - Jenna and Kate - had almost made it back to my apartments. We had cut the jog short, due to Jenna not being used to it. Her own fault for skipping out so much to party with Jeff. How could she stand that guy?
"No," I said. "He's just a jerk is all. Nothing I can't handle."
Kate grinned in that I-see-all way. A nice change from her usual blank stare. "Sure he isn't bothering you the right way?"
Jenna nudged my side. "Come on, you might be secretly the submissive type. Might like all those orders."
I groaned. "As long as he pays his rent and leaves me alone, I couldn't care less about him."
"Suuuure," Kate said, looking at her phone. Jenna opened the door for us and we entered my apartment building. "Jenna, you need to work on your endurance. You're holding us back."
Jenna laughed and pushed her blonde hair back, leaning on Kate. "Nah, I'll just get you to take care of me when I get worn out."
Kate pushed her away. "Still straight," she defended. "And taken."
"Lucky Corin..." Jenna looked at me, innocence in her eyes.
"Straight as well," I said before she could even try. Jenna always was an odd one. Couldn't tell if it was all an act or she really did like girls. "Anyway, I have to get back and shower. Last free day and I plan to abuse it."
"Meet at the coffee shop?" Kate asked, almost dragging Jenna away. For someone who wimped out on the jog, she was surprisingly adamant about coming with me.
"Yeah, I'll be there at one if nothing keeps me."
I waved at my friends and headed towards my apartment, hoping I would get a lot more time without Kieran. I had finished my studying and recovered from my fight with Machinas almost completely - only a small bruise was left on my back - in the last few days. I just hoped no more Gravity Girl business would interrupt my day. Even a hero needed time to enjoy themselves.
I entered the apartment - Yes! Kieran wasn't home! - and quickly showered and turned on the news, getting dressed while I listened. Some weather anomaly at city hall. Odd, was that...
My phone rang, a number I didn't recognize popping up. I answered. "How can I help?"
"This is Chief Felix Bond of the SCPD," an oddly high pitched voice said over the phone. "About five minutes ago, Machinas took over City Hall with an unknown device and threatened to do the same to the rest of the city, unless you show up in an hours time."
I sighed. Jeez, this guy wanted revenge today of all days? But, I couldn't ignore this. That much of a weather difference out of season could cause wrecks, delays, panic, and so much more. That is, if he wasn't bluffing. Best not to find out.
"On my way." I hung up before he could talk any more. I hated talking to the Chief.
I changed into my loose clothing, heading to a nearby hiding spot and changing into Gravity Girl. I didn't like using my local spots, but in emergencies there was little I could do to avoid it. This time I would take in Machinas so he couldn't ruin any more of my days.
It was my last free day, today, too!
I fell into the sky and across town, heading towards Sky City's most notable building, if you ignored the literal dozens of better ones. I found it just a few minutes later - benefits of being able to head in a straight line at around 120mph. Go me! - covered in snow and ice. Like someone had decided town hall was now in December without the rest of the city.
People crowded around the building, but were being herded back by police. Thanks to the snow still falling, the actual building was hard to make out. Why did it have to be white? But, at least the people would see me confront him this time. They needed something after that bank robbery probably unnerving a good bit of the city.
Let's get this over with, though. Kate would be waiting on me if I took to long.
I fell towards the building, stopping and floating in zero gravity. Heroine, call out your nemesis. That's how it always went. "I know you're there, Machinas!" I shouted, loud enough for the people and Machinas both to hear, should the later still be here. "Show yourself!"
A figure walked out from the front entrance of the snowy building. "I'm right here, Gravity Girl."
I fell right in front of him, hitting the ground hard and sending snow to my sides. "I thought you would quit after I destroyed your toys," I said, standing defiantly for the onlookers. "How many times do I have to take you down?"
"I never quit, Gravity Girl," he sneered, "and I will never stop fighting you until my final breath. If you think you've beaten me, I will rise up and crush you, again and again."
"For what purpose?" I asked him, changing the gravity in front of me to send him towards the building. "Why do you fight me?"
He landed nearly flawlessly on the side of the building. He was getting too used to my powers. Not good. "Better question: Why do they love you? Why do they worship at your feet?" He pulled a pistol, which reminded me of the rofle the bank robber used. Stun gun? I could stop bullets, not electricity. Better play it safe. "You are no better than me."
I changed my own gravity to shoot upward, barely dodging the blasts. I made sure they didn't hit anyone, though I didn't have to worry about fatal casualties with Machinas, oddly enough. Gravity was returned to normal and I fell back down, along with Machinas. We now faced each other once more. His helmet mocked me. I don't know how, but I knew it did.
"Because," I said, to answer his questions, "unlike you, I'm trying to make their lives easier the best I can!" I jumped and shot myself forward with Gravity, fist clenched to punch. "I'm nothing like you!"
Machinas dodged at the last second, letting me continue on. Using my arms to flip, I landed on the buildings wall, looking 'up' at Machinas. "You want to know why I do this?" He bent down and grabbed a handful of snow, packing it around a device he got from his belt. "I do this because its fun. These people?" He gestured toward the onlookers a good distance away. "They are nothing but collateral damage." Machinas threw the snowball at me. "Catch it or it will explode!"
Crap! I grabbed a nearby window, sending the direction of gravity towards the sky. Everything fell in my immediate area, the snowball and most of the snow included. After a few seconds, an explosion went off in the air. How much had he lost to warrant throwing a bomb at me?
"So, fun is a good reason to make others miserable?"
Machinas looked around, raising his arms. "Who's miserable?"
"Those freezing inside!" I shouted, grabbing several of the rocks used for landscaping from the ground. My powers were somehow easier to control right now. I was going to sleep so much in class, though... Focus! I charged through the air, dragging the rocks in the air with me. "And the ones terrified of your devices!"
Machinas looked disappointed as he ducked under me. As I pass, I send all but one of the rocks into the air, straight up, then came to a stop and rolled to the side to avoid two more blasts of electricity.
"Hold still, would you?"
I send myself into the air to avoid several more shots. "Tell me where the devices are!"
"Why should I?"
I smiled as the landscaping rocks started falling around Machinas, now devoid of my powers influence. "For retribution to some of your villainy!" I shouted, seeing my chance. My last remaining rock shot towards Machinas...
...And a sickening crack met my ears as the last rock shot into the back of Machinas' helmet.
For a second - a split second - I was worried that I had killed him. My heart started beating rapidly. Would that make me a murderer? No, I was defending the city, and myself.
Luckily, I didn't have to think on it too long, as Machinas landed on his knees and chuckled, his speaker now crackling from damage. "You'll never find them all."
Machinas fell, face first, into the snow of his own making. Ironic.
It didn't take long to find the device on town hall - Machinas was bold and liked to be on top, so it was easy to guess the device was on top of the building. I took it and put it in a pouch on my belt, switching it off beforehand.
When I returned to the scene, Machinas was surrounded by several officers of the SCPD and George. I didn't have time to deal with them, though. Especially not George and his motor mouth.
"Take him in," I told them, "I'll go after the devices."
I never did find them. I hated the loss, but I had to call the police and let them know they needed to be on the lookout for weather abnormalities. I didn't bother coming by to even see who Machinas was, either. God, this was frustrating!
"Guess I'll wait for George to get the answers out of him..." I said, falling back towards home. That hadn't taken long, luckily and I had done all I could. Plus, Machinas was in custody. That wasn't a total loss, right?