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A Worse Idea 147

“What do you want?” Anne asked, leaning back in the hardback office chair.

Jennifer leaned forward. “The same thing you want.”

Anne shook her head, letting out an exasperated laugh. “What do I want?”

“You’ve thought a lot about how to defeat superheroes, haven’t you?”

“Supervillains.” Anne’s palms were sweaty.

“Is that true?”

Anne shrugged.

“Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between superheroes and supervillains, don’t you think?” Jennifer asked.

Anne leaned in. Jennifer smiled, leaning back.

“You have to work with them all the time,” Anne said.

“The whole world does. Doesn’t mean I always like it.”

Anne blinked. She was so tired. Didn’t feel sharp enough to match wits with Jennifer. Or anybody. Her head throbbed.

“What do you…” Anne forgot her question, only to remember it again. “What do you want me to do?”

“I want justice for your mother.”

Anne closed her eyes. Don’t cry, she thought to herself. Don’t cry. Don’t cry. Do not cry.

“What does that–”

“Of course, I want more than that. I want a safer world to live in. And I want justice for all the people whose deaths he’s been responsible for — advertently or inadvertently.”

“What are you saying?” Anne asked.

Jennifer leaned in again, her elbows on the desk, her face just an inch away from Anne’s. Anne smelled like shit and tears, but Jennifer pretended not to notice. Her dealings with the criminal element made the sad smells easier to handle.

“I’m putting a team together,” Jennifer said, voice hushed, “I want you to kill Galactic Man.”

Anne’s lips curled into a smile. Suddenly, everything made sense.

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