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A Bad Idea 149

“I don’t kill, if that’s what you mean,” The Galactic Man said.

“You don’t remember?” her voice dropped to a dark whisper.

“I don’t kill humans,” he said, “so no. I don’t remember.”

“You were fighting The Maraud–.”

He interrupted her, “They’re still alive.”

“Do you think my mom was a Marauder?”

He didn’t say anything.

“Ricochet,” Anne said. “One of The Marauders was shooting at you, so you puffed your chest out like the ‘great hero’ you are. The bullets ricocheted off your chest, and one of them killed my mom.”

The Galactic Man put on the most sympathetic face he could, a face he’d put on in situations similar to these. Give ‘em kindness and someone to hate. That was the trick in these situations, he knew.

“I’m sorry that happened to your mother, Anne,” Galactic Man said. His voice grew a little softer, a little less angry. “It was an accident, the sort of thing that never should have happened. But as long as supervillains are out there, the accidents will keep on happening. Do you see?”

He reached his hand out to grab Anne’s but she pulled away.

“Don’t you dare,” she said.

“Do you understand why I do the things I do?” he asked.

“You could’ve dodged the bullet,” Anne said. “The Marauders weren’t going to kill my mother.”

“It’s easy to look back and second guess–”

“It’s easy to look back and see that you were wrong,” Anne said. “Get out of my room.”

Galactic Man got up and sighed. He looked Anne in the eyes. Wanted to ask her again, wanted to know if she’d tried to kill David.

But it didn’t matter, not really. If she had tried to kill him, the truth would come out.

It always did.

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