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A Terrible Idea 20

“Me? Kill you?” Jennifer’s smile was fake. Truly, she was terrified. “Where would you get an idea like that?”

“Unlike you, I have friends, not assets.” He leaned forward, his massive shoulders intimidating. He clasped his hands, putting both his arms on her desk. “Are you going to play innocent? Because let’s be honest, Jennifer. That never was a good look on you.”

She leaned back in her chair. “You’re a mad dog, Galactic. You did a lot of good for this world over the years, but ever since your son passed away… You need to go.”

“You can’t kill me.”

“I have to,” Jennifer said. “Alaska was the point of no return. You see that, don’t you?”

“If I saw things your way, I imagine I would have killed many more.”

The accusation didn’t phase Jennifer. She knew the people she’d killed. More important, she knew why she’d killed them. Hers was the way of justice, and that’s where her strength came from.

“You know you’re not going to sway my conviction. I see what needs to be done, and I’m going to do that. That begs the question.” She leaned forward, so that she and Galactic Man were mere inches apart from each other. “What are you doing here, Galactic?”

Deep down, she wondered if he was going to kill her. She’d planned for the possibility, which was why she kept a small vial of Bugface’s blood in the pocket of her pants (one of the biggest reasons she loved pants — their practicality).

Still, his super speed made her doubt herself. She didn’t feel the sort of insecurity that comes from just not believing in yourself. She felt the sort of insecurity that came when you were matched against someone who’d been given so many goddamn gifts.

Gifts he’d squandered, every time he took a life he didn’t need to.

Galactic Man shifted his weight, so that more of it was weighing down on Jennifer’s desk. It was a damn strong desk, designed to withstand beings with super strength. But Galactic Man’s super strength was uncategorizable.

Jennifer moved so that her legs were no longer under the desk.

“I understand we’re at war, Jennifer. But I want to make something very clear to you: my family’s off-limits.”

“Of course.” Jennifer’s response was automatic.

More of Galactic Man’s weight pushed against the desk. “I don’t think you understand just how serious I am. If my daugher is harmed, I’m ready to destroy the United States of America.” The desk broke. “If she’s killed, I’ll destroy the world.”

He got up, making his way towards her now-empty doorway.

“If my daughter dies, it’s more than just your life on the line. I’m the apocalypse, if you play this the wrong way.”

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