Daughter of a Hero: Part 2
I parked the truck and got out, prompting my daughter, Vicky, to do the same. I opened the cover on the bed and pulled out the three quarter staves, the stun guns, the flash grenades, and all of the other tools of the trade I had brought.
“Pick out everything you think you need.”
We both equipped ourselves. I loaded up my utility belt with the grenades and other tools, then grabbed a quarterstaff and walked off to the large field we had drove to. It was actually a place the police of Knoxville used on occasion to teach their K-9 Units and sometimes run drills for various things. Others rented the area out as well, but those were all cleared through the KPD. I had sole access to this area for the next five hours, though I doubted I needed that long. Being Lasher, a local ‘hero,’ had its advantages.
I looked back at Vicky. She was moving to her own side, far away from me. Good, she was keeping in mind my range. But…
I sighed. I didn’t want her to follow in my footsteps. Her power had developed early, though, and she had grandiose ideas of saving people. She was always a gentle soul so I had thought I might be able to break her of the desire by forcing her to train day in and day out, pushing her to the limit. Vicky managed to meet my demands, however. She knew if she wanted to stop, it would mean I would not support her as a hero. After all, if she was going to risk her life, I was going to make certain she had the highest chances of survival.
So she had persevered.
And now she was going to be heading to Ravenhold, the greatest hero academy in the world made by the Raven himself. So today I would be testing my daughter to see how far she’s come. I had the ambulance on speed dial, just in case.
“Are you ready?” I shouted across the field. The wind blew slightly from the north. Interesting.
“Yes, sir!” She shouted back.
I pulled my stun gun and shot in her direction, not expecting to hit her at this range, then broke into a sprint towards her. My range was thirty yards and eighteen inches, plus or minus a half inch. I had to cross only-
The luminescent form of Vicky’s soul – Oversoul, she called it – appeared to my side and swung. I grabbed the fist and tossed the form to the side. It was an odd feeling, like pulling something through water more than lifting someone, but it vanished once in the air and reappeared to my other side. Good, she wasn’t wasting time summoning it behind me and risking me closing the gap before it could hit me, nor putting it in my path to face the full impact of an attack from my quarterstaff or fist. But…
I smacked Oversoul with my quarterstaff, and ran past it. “Why are you holding back!?”
Vicky came into my range and I attached a point on her rear and then on the ground behind her, knocking her to the ground. I didn’t let up, though. I placed point after point on her, locking her on the ground. Oversoul appeared a few times, but I weaved my way to Vicky’s side in no time. I could not actually use my power on Oversoul, for some reason, but it wasn’t an issue.
“This is weak for you, Vicky.”
She smiled up at me with determination and then I found myself looking at Oversoul on the ground instead of my daughter. When did…? I jerked to the side as a quarterstaff moved through the air, intent for my head. My staff swung unconsciously towards Vicky, who was now behind me, but something ripped it from my grasp. I placed a point on Vicky, sending her staff to hit her head, and moved away from Oversoul.
Vicky switched places with Oversoul again, standing ready for more.
“So, you can trade places instantly, now. Good work.”
She smiled. “It still takes a bit out of me, but yeah.”
I readied my staff and grabbed one of my grenades. “It seems to make my power ineffective, too. This will be useful going forward. But I’m still disappointed. I know you have more. There’s no one around, so give me all you have.”
Vicky nodded and I tossed my flashbang off to the side and lashed it to her. The grenade changed direction in the air and shot towards her. Oversoul appeared and caught the bomb. Both me and my daughter looked away and covered our ears as the bomb went off, but I had started running as well.
I opened my eyes and Vicky was close. My power reached out to her, locking her body up and nearly sending her to the ground before Oversoul took her place. I instinctively swung my quarterstaff behind me. It met resistance, making me turn and face my daughter and her Oversoul.
I could have just worn her out by forcing her to switch places with her phantom ally, but that would not be a real test. I needed to see more.
Nearly an hour later we sat in the tailgate of my truck, drinking beers and catching our breath – Vicky more than myself, of course. Still, I had seen a lot and I was confident she would be fine so long as she avoided confronting brick types and any mind control capes.
“You did good today,” I told her, finishing my beer.
Vicky took a swig of her own and gave me a soft smile. “Thanks, though I still didn’t win.”
Some people had criticized me when I let Vicky start drinking two years ago at the age of 14. It’s not like I wanted her to drink, but I needed to see how her powers react to alcohol. If her Oversoul started going out of control, we would need to fix it early. Drinking was an eventuality for any teenagers, after all. I didn’t want Ravenhold calling me saying she destroyed her dorm…
So, I often drank with her once a month. So far the only oddities was her Oversoul dancing in some… odd fashion… and when she passed out, it would carry her to her bed. The latter was useful, but I was slightly worried her power might try to cross the ocean.
“Powers are never stronger or weaker, Vicky. My power can be used at a distance without needing to make physical contact. It’s saved me many a time against opponents that have seemingly superior abilities.”
“Like with Killer King, right?”
Killer King – which was a stupid name – had been a small time villain who had near-unbreakable skin and some super strength. He had gotten away more than once until finally I placed points on his entire body, binding him to himself tighter than he could fight. It was a strain, but nothing I wasn’t able to handle.
“Yes, like with him.” I pulled another beer and popped the cap. “So, next week you head to Ravenhold.”
“Yeah…” She said. Vicky looked too much like her mother. It didn’t matter if she had been assigned male at birth – things like gender were meaningless outside of reproductive capabilities – Vicky was the spitting image of her mother, although her African heritage was less apparent. Maybe that was why I felt this coming loss more than I thought I would.
“Hide what you can of your abilities. Take care that no one knows what you can fully do. Especially the size alteration and that last stunt you pulled.”
“Why? Shouldn’t I try to practice those more and more?”
“Yes, but don’t let any of the teachers or students know. The less they know, the less your future enemies know. It gives you a trump card.” I still had another of my own that I was saving. “Being unpredictable makes the smart ones cautious and the idiots unaware.”
“One last thing.” I stood up and looked at Vicky. She looked at me as well. “You’ve done well the last eight years. I think you’ll do fine as a hero.”