Hard Boiled – Episode One: A New Day 1.121

Capin slowly started to close on Psyche and Super Ego. “You have no idea… and what took you so long anyway?”

Psyche looked from Capin to Bluewolf and back again. They were both breathing heavily, but she wasn’t a match for either, much less both. At least, not physically. Super-Ego seemed to be a bit worried as well, her eyes darting feverishly between the two costumed men.

“It’s over,” Bluewolf said, taking a half-step forward. Mistress Psyche simply began to laugh. It didn’t frighten Bluewolf, not in the least, but it did give him momentary pause. He cast a sidelong glance to Capin.

The dapper detective took a step to his left, widening the distance between Bluewolf and him. “She ages people… but it seems to take time,” Capin said as Psyche laughed. He figuring that, if nothing else, it was a warning.

“Neat trick.”

It’s not my only trick, Capin heard. It was Psyche’s voice, but she was still laughing. The tuxedoed hero took another step to his left. He looked at Bluewolf, but if he’d heard her voice, he wasn’t showing it. Then it sunk in, he understood.

“Apparently, she’s also a t– AAAUGH!” Capin grabbed his head instinctively as the pain burst through his skull. Before he knew what had happened, he had taken a knee. He had been trained to resist mental domination and torture, but all of the monks in Tibet couldn’t have prepared him for all the neurons in the pain center of his brain firing simultaneously.

Bluewolf growled as he began to move. “I’m not sure what you’re doing,” he said as he lunged forward, “but it’s about to st–UHN.” His reaction wasn’t as violently emotive as Capin’s, Bluewolf was practiced at hiding his pain, but the blast of torment still stalled his progress.

“The car,” Psyche said with a smile as she stepped towards the two heroes. Super-Ego disappeared from the room through the same door she’d used to enter. Bluewolf and Capin both fought the pain, quite valiantly, but the most they could do was resist enough to hear her voice echoing in their minds.

She stepped between them and raised her hands, palms outstretched. “I have one more trick,” she said with a chuckle. “And this one is a real brain-twister.” Pale green energy erupted from her hands like lightning, encircling both of the men. There was no pain, no more than she’d already been dealing out anyway, and Capin and Bluewolf both continued to resist. Mystically empowered, Bluewolf had a slight edge toward recovery.

Fighting the pain, he reached out for her. Moving his arm felt like pure Hell, as if his entire body was on fire, but he pressed on. He paused, however, when he realized that his silver gauntlet and blue glove had been replaced with a black sleeve and silver-gray glove. The energy ceased, and with it the pain.

Still stunned and somewhat confused, Bluewolf dove for Psyche nonetheless. She leapt sideways, deftly dodging his lunge. Something was wrong… his speed and agility, while considerable, weren’t quite up to par. That was when he felt the pressure on his neck. Something had grabbed him from behind and was choking him… tossing him to one side. It was Capin’s cape… but why?

Bluewolf hit an operating table, and he hit it hard. The legs gave way and the stainless steel hit the floor with an ear-shattering rattle. He heard his own voice scream out, “Too loud! Too loud!” but he was certain he hadn’t uttered the words. He looked over to see himself kneeling on the ground, clutching his ears. And it finally hit him… he looked down to see himself, tuxedo-clad, the cape strapped to his shoulders fighting him furious, trying to defend the now-invaded body of its master.

He saw Psyche exit through the same door the young woman with glasses had used a moment before. As she left, she turned and blew them both a goodbye kiss. Disappearing into the darkness, all he heard was the chilling echo of her laugh. He wanted to chase after her, bring her to justice… but as a sudden pain in his shoulder reminded him… he was already fighting for his life.

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