Joining the Ranks of Heroes
It was done. He had just signed up to become a member of the Guild of Heroes; something he'd dreamt of doing since he was very young. Today was his sixteenth birthday, and he was finally old enough to join. He loved helping people, and by joining the Guild of Heroes, he would be able to help even more. From now on, he would be known as Kalosyni.
He was used to donating blood, working at soup kitchens, raising money for world hunger charities by selling lemonade, and various other things, but the Guild of Heroes had a ton of charities he'd never even seen before. Most of them involved the use of superpowers. He was encouraged to choose which charities and volunteering activities he liked best before choosing his powers because of the need of certain powers in certain fields. He saw that there was a shortage of heroes working in one field: transport of food and medical supplies. This field needed heroes with flight, superspeed, and other such transportation powers. Kalosyni chose flight for this task.
The Guild of Heroes also wanted him to take an attacking power to help him fight off supervillains when they pulled their various schemes. For this, he chose a green energy ray power.
Joining the Guild of Heroes would also make it easier for him to do all his other favorite good deeds as well. There were several blood donating stations around the headquarters, and most headquarters themselves also served as soup kitchens.
The next day, Kalosyni was allowed to work. He stood in a line of heroes waiting to receive the backpack for transporting. His job was to transport the pack to Zambia, as it contained important medical supplies severely needed in the area. On his wrist was a digital watch with GPS that would help him find his way. He watched as, one by one, the other heroes in the line before him received their packages and sped off. The heroes with superspeed could run on top of the waters of oceans, and the heroes with flight could simply fly over them.
Finally, he was next in line, and an adult male superhero, dressed all in blue handed him a backpack. Kalosyni put the backpack on quickly. The adult superhero saluted him, and said, "Be safe, and Godspeed." Kalosyni nodded and took to the skies, flying as quickly as he could at a fairly high height.
The flight was long and mostly uneventful, in spite of how much fun Kalosyni was having by flying through the skies. However, he soon started to feel as though he was being watched. He didn't stop his flight, wanting to get the supplies to the people who needed them as quickly as possible. He looked around to see if, perhaps, he was being observed, but didn't see anyone. He shook his head and thought, "Maybe I'm just imagining things..."
Kalosyni finally landed in the area in need of the supplies, and the citizens could not have been more grateful. There had been disease and violence that threatened the well-being of the people, and most could not avoid injury and illness. The supplies would bring the whole village back to good health. The look in the people's eyes and their happy smiles deeply moved Kalosyni. He was over joyed to help these good people so much. It almost hurt him to leave, but he had other deliveries to make. He waved goodbye to the villagers, and they waved back with tears of joy and gratitude in their eyes. Then, he started to head back to the base.
That day, he made a total of ten deliveries. With each delivery, the citizens expressed great appreciation that warmed Kalosyni's heart. That night, he gazed at the nightsky from his bedroom window and thought, "This....is what I live for."
Kalosyni had just finished making deliveries for the second day in a row. As happy as he was about his work, he was not at ease today. He'd had the same feeling of being watched that he'd had the day prior. He stood at the heroes base, looking around cautiously.
No one else appeared to be around, so it was safe for what he called a "paranoid moment." Looking around, he said aloud, "Is someone there?"
To his right, he heard a light chuckling. He quickly looked to the area and saw a tall tree with massive branches. "Up here," called a voice.
Kalosyni quickly looked up and saw a boy that appeared to be roughly his age dressed all in black with a red band tied around his arm, identifying him as a member of the Guild of Villains. Kalosyni cried in surprise and took a step back, a green energy aura quickly surrounding him.
But the young villain put his hands up and said, "Now, now, take it easy. I'm not here to fight."
Kalosyni narrowed his eyes. "Yeah, sure you aren't..."
"Oh, come now, do you really think I'm foolish enough to pick a fight with a hero at a Guild of Heroes base? That building is teeming with powerful heroes who would jump to your aid at the drop of a hat." Kalosyni's energy aura slowly faded. "I only want to speak with you, Kalosyni." He jumped down from the tree, bending his knees upon the landing, and stood up straight.
Kalosyni's eyes widened. "How do you know my name?"
"I've been studying you since you joined the Guild of Heroes yesterday. You're quite the interesting person. Though, there is a major concern I have."
"A concern?" Kalosyni raised an eyebrow.
"Yes. You obviously love doing good deeds and helping people as much as possible. That's all well and good; I have no problem with that. But...do you ever let your inner villain come out to play?"
"My inner villain?" Kalosyni inquired with heavy skepticism.
"Yes, indeed. Your inner villain. Everyone has one."
"I....sincerely question that theory."
The villain raised his eyebrows. "Oh?"
"Yeah. An 'inner villain' sounds like a made-up thing."
The villain chuckled and shook his head. "Oh, Kalosyni. You have much to learn."
The door on the building behind the two began to open, and the villain's eyes widened. He turned around, his head turned to the left, looking at Kalosyni. "I'll be off now, but this discussion isn't over. We'll meet again, Kalosyni." He turned his head forward and began to walk away.
"Wait!" Kalosyni called after. "Who are you?"
The villain stopped walking. "My name is Kako. Remember it well, as I will be the one to set your inner villain free." Then, the villain continued walking on, and disappeared into the forest.
Kalosyni turned around to see a large group of heroes exiting the building, talking amongst themselves. He looked back to the woods, and wondered where Kako was going. Then, he merely shook his head, and decided to return home.
"An inner villain?" Kalosyni thought as he lied on his couch in his living room. "Even if such a thing really did exist, why would I ever want to let it out?" Kalosyni shook his head. "Come on...I should know that villains who try to convert folks to the dark side only desire the power that the people have. They don't give a damn about the actual people or what they want. But....I'm not that powerful. I'm just a damn novice. So why would Kako target me?" He rolled over onto his side. "Well...then again, I have heard that there are some converter villains that try to bring people to the dark side purely because they think the dark side is wonderful and want others to experience the same joy. Villains like that....are odd..."
The next day, Kalosyni was at the grind yet again, delivering packages, and even worked at the base's soup kitchen once he was done. He was astonished at the number of people coming in for a meal. He wasn't aware of how large the homeless population in the area was. He was later told that this was why the base had been built here. To help these people as much as they could. Once again, the Guild of Heroes impressed him.
When it was time to go, Kalosyni stood outside the base, resting up before his flight home. That's when he saw a peculiar arrow drawn in the dirt roughly four feet away from him. He followed the arrow, and went into the forest where it was pointing to. Sure enough, there stood Kako, leaning his back against a tree, smiling at Kalosyni with his arms crossed.
Kalosyni glared and sighed angrily. "What do you want?"
"I already told you. I want to set your inner villain free."
Kalosyni shook his head. "I'm pretty sure I don't have one."
Kako's smirk widened. "Everyone has one, Kal."
"Do you mean a dark side? Because I do let that part of me run rampant."
Kako's eyes widened. "Oh? Is that a fact? Tell me how you let your dark side run free."
"I beat the living hell out of people who've done really bad things."
Kako frowned. "Oh, that's not enough. It's no good if you're only hurting people who deserve it." He smiled again. "I suppose an inner villain is different from what most people deem to be a 'dark side'. The inner villain delights in simply being bad. It doesn't care who it hurts....but it may take a special joy in harassing good people, given how much it loves bad behavior."
"I don't have anything like that. I have a dark side, but it's not like that."
"You do have an inner villain, Kalosyni. As I said before, everyone has one."
Kalosyni crossed his arms. "I think some people may have an inner villain, but no....definitely not everyone."
"The inner villain is a natural thing that exists within the brain of every person."
"It doesn't sound natural at all to me," Kalosyni retorted. "It sounds like it's something that's obtained after a person undergoes something bad. Like abuse or neglect."
"Oh, I assure you, it's quite natural, Kal. Haven't you ever wondered why some people can be so bad? It's because of their inner villain. I hate to tell you this, but the human race isn't as good as you think it is. We all have natural desires to torment others."
"That's not true," Kalosyni stated, getting angry.
"I'm afraid it is, Kal."
Kalosyni's fist became surrounded by green light, and he threw a punch at Kako. "Shut up!"
However, before the punch could make contact, Kako vanished in a dark purple light. Kalosyni's fist hit the tree Kako had been leaning against. Kalosyni sighed with irritation, and the light vanished from his fist. He turned, and walked back to the base.
"Trust me, Kal. Villain Converters think that everyone secretly desires to be evil. Pay it no mind," the man said.
Kalosyni scratched the back of his ear, still a little wary about Kako's plans for him. He had come to the social center at the base, looking for someone to tell about his recent encounters and what direction he should take. He'd found an experienced, adult superhero by the name of the Signal. Kalosyni said, "What do you think he intends to do?"
"I think he'll just keep trying to convince you that evil is more fun. Eventually, after he realizes that you won't be converted, he'll leave you alone and move onto someone else. Although, that's really just a guess. Every converter is different. For now, I think he's going to play games with you. Be prepared for it. If you need any assistance, just use your digital radio to call in reinforcements. Any available heroes will be there in a heartbeat," Signal responded.
Kalosyni nodded. "Alright. Thanks for the advice."
"No problem. If this unit had more heroes, we could just jump this guy and deport him, but, unfortunately, that isn't the case. So, this task has fallen to you. We really hate leaving villains to brand new heroes, but everyone else here already has their own villains and such to deal with. It's a very hectic time right now. Terribly sorry about this inconvenience, but can you handle Kako?"
"I'll give it my all," Kalosyni responded.
The Signal nodded. "I thank you. And, like I said, we will try to provide as much backup as possible."
"Alright. I guess I'm off to the soup kitchen now. Thanks for everything, Signal."
"Sure thing, Kalosyni."
Kalosyni began to walk off to the soup kitchen area of the base, getting himself ready to serve the hungry.
Roughly an hour passed, and Kalosyni was watching the people eat, happy to help out. Then, his watch started vibrating. He looked at it, a curious expression on his face.
He was utterly stunned to see Kako's grinning face on the screen of his watch. "Hello, Kal."
"What the hell?! How did you-?!"
"I hacked into your watch's mainframe. Or rather, the tech expert did. So, Kal, how are things?"
Kalosyni glared angrily. "What do you want, Kako?"
"Sheesh. Always so quick to get right down to business. But since you insist, I'll tell you precisely what I want. I'm currently inside a bank that I have held up. I already put the coordinates into your watch. I suggest you hurry if you want to stop me from stealing all the cash. Ta-ta." His image disappeared, and the watch's screen showed the coordinates to the bank.
Kalosyni ran out of the base and took to the skies, flying right towards the location.
He flew into a large, open window of the building, obviously left open by Kako. Kalosyni landed on the floor, and surrounded himself with an energy aura. Kako whirled around, a large smirk on his face. "Hello, Kal. Unfortunately for you, this is a trap."
A large net dropped over Kalosyni, but he quickly sliced up the net with his energy ray powers. Then, he ran towards Kako, his fist drawn back, ready to strike him. He threw his punch, but Kako raised a small barrier to block the attack. "Yes, I figured that net wouldn't work, so I prepared another one." He snapped his fingers, and purple, glowing net fell over Kalosyni.
Kalosyni attempted to use his powers, but found that he couldn't. Kako laughed evilly. "That net negates your powers, Kal!" However, Kalosyni quickly held up a switch blade that he pulled out of his pocket. He, then, began to cut through the net. Kako's eyes widened, and the smirk left his face. Then, grumbling, he pulled a small, pink pellet out from behind his cape, and threw it at the ground. A thick, pink gas began to fill up the room, and Kalosyni quickly found himself losing consciousness...
When he came to, he found himself sitting in a plush armchair in a fairly large room. He looked around the room, trying to figure out where he was.
Then, a voice rang out. "Ah, you're awake." And, like a phantom, Kako appeared, standing in front of Kalosyni.
"You..." Kalosyni growled, glaring at him. He sprung to his feet, raised up his hand to Kako's face, and attempted to shoot an energy wave....but nothing happened. A bewildered expression overcame Kalosyni's face. "What?"
"Have a look at your left pinkie," Kako declared.
Kalosyni looked at his right-hand pinkie, as instructed, and found a thin, glowing purple band around the middle of it.
"That's a power binder. You can't use your powers while that's on you," Kako told him.
Kalosyni tried to pull the band off, but to no avail.
Kako laughed a little, and said, "That won't do you any good. Power binders only come off with the use of special tools. They also dissipate with time, but there's roughly twenty-four hours left on that one. So, you are going to be my prisoner for a while whether you like it or not."
Kalosyni glared angrily at Kako.
"Now, before you start throwing punches, allow me to summarize what has happened to you. You heard from me that I was about to steal all of the money from the bank. You knew there was a possibility that it could be a trap, but you had to come anyway, lest any innocent people actually were in danger. Can you see how much being a hero cripples you?"
Kalosyni crossed his arms. "No. I don't. Unfortunate incidences are not enough to convince me that being a hero is any less awesome than I think it is."
"Oh? You think being a hero is awesome?"
Kalosyni smiled. "I sure do. It's the best kind of existence."
Kako's eyes widened in shock. "Oh, really now? How so?"
"Doing good things for good people, and doing bad things to bad people...what could be better than that?"
Kako raised an eyebrow. "Hmm....alright, but.....do you actually think that being a hero is more fun than being a villain?"
"I think being a hero is a thousand times more fun than being a villain."
Kako took a step back in surprise, though the smile remained on his face. "Really? That is a very rare opinion. In fact, I don't think I've ever met anyone who thought that way."
Kalosyni frowned with a grimace. "So now will you leave me alone?"
Kako laughed and shook his head. "Oh, no. You're not getting off the hook that easily."
Kalosyni tightened his hands into fists, glaring at Kako. "Damn it..."
"Being a hero is clearly ecstasy for you. But....don't you ever get tired of it?"
Kako narrowed his eyes. "Come now, Kalosyni, be honest. Think about it for a moment. You've never gotten bored with the same thing all the time? You've never wanted to even try something different?"
"Doing something different doesn't necessarily mean turning to villainy."
"Ah, but villainy is the best thing you can do to recharge your hero batteries, so to speak. Because of how different it is."
Kalosyni's glare deepened. "I don't want to hurt anybody."
Kako shook his head. "You don't have to hurt people to be a villain, Kal."
"I don't want to be a villain!"
"But you do get tired of the same thing all the time!"
Kalosyni fell silent for a moment, not sure what to say.
Kako continued, "Now, it's apparent that it takes you a very, very long time to tire of being a hero, but it does still happen. What do you do when it happens, Kalosyni?"
Kalosyni's eyes shifted around the room. He didn't know how to answer.
"Well?" Kako pressed.
"I....just.....do something else for a little while...."
"Well, I can assure you that being a villain for a little while will be far more enjoyable. This is because it will truly allow your inner hero to rest."
Kalosyni clenched his teeth and stared at Kako with a confused, and somewhat defeated expression.
"Ah, it appears I've gotten through to you. I knew you'd see things my way eventually. You see, Kalosyni, I'm just trying to help you. I want to provide you with some relief whenever the hero life leaves you jaded. I promise, you can easily go back to being a hero once you rekindle your interest in it. I can help you with everything. We'll set up a villain persona for you. No one will be able to recognize you! And we'll craft a flawless alibi for you when you're out on missions of villainy."
Kalosyni remained silent, not sure what to say.
"I assure you, Kal, this is what you need. Unless your inner villain is somehow removed, you're going to grow tired of being a hero, and anything less than villainy will not be sufficient enough to completely refuel your enthusiasm."
Kalosyni, still, found himself unable to speak.
"Now, then, if you're on board, shall we get started?"
Confused, Kalosyni asked, "With what?"
"Putting together your villain persona, of course!" Kako pulled out a remote control and pressed a button on it. The door behind him opened, and Kako stepped out of the way, allowing Kalosyni to see the room.
Kalosyni, slowly, started to walk towards the open door. Kako followed close behind.
When they entered the room, Kalosyni could see that it had glass walls and a glass ceiling. There were various costumes and weapons hanging on the walls. "Look around you, Kalosyni," Kako stated with glee. "Costumes, weapons, and more! Choose anything you like!"
Kalosyni walked up to a sword-like weapon, and, carefully, placed his hand on the blade.
"You like? That's a special chinese sword. You could use it for many things."
Kalosyni removed his hand from the blade, and absent-mindedly walked up to a gun that resembled a bazooka.
"That's a tear gas launcher. It can hinder the efforts of many a crime fighter."
Kalosyni took the weapon off the wall, and held it in his hands.
"Ah! Are you fond of that one? Is that the weapon for you?" Kako asked, excitedly.
Kalosyni turned around to face Kako, the weapon in his hands. Kako was smiling at him, happy to see Kalosyni had made a selection.
Then, Kalosyni raised the weapon above his head and threw it at the glass wall behind Kako, forcing Kako to drop to the floor to avoid being struck by the weapon. Kalosyni ran and jumped out of the opening in the wall. "No! Kalosyni!" Kako shouted.
But Kalosyni took flight, and hovered outside of Kako's base a fair distance away. While Kako was speaking about the chinese blade, Kalosyni discreetly used the sword to cut the power binder off of his finger. Kako ran to the opening in the wall, and stared at Kalosyni. "How? How can you...?" Then, Kako saw the sliced power binder on the floor, picked it up, and understood. He looked at Kalosyni, hovering outside. "Please, Kal! Listen to reason!"
"I won't become a villain! Ever!!"
"You can't run away from your inner villain forever!"
"Go to hell!!"
Kalosyni, then, began to fly away as quickly as he could, using the navigator on his watch to guide him back to the hero base.
Back at the hero base, Kalosyni decided to stay the night, which was permitted. He was too tired to make another flight home. Restlessly, he paced back and forth in one of the guest rooms he was in. "What am I gonna' do?" he thought. "Kako's going to keep coming after me, trying to get me to join the dark side. And...I..."
Kalosyni stopped pacing, placed his hand on the window before him, and stared at the night sky. "I hate....hate to admit it, but...Kako was right....I love being a hero, but even wonderful things get boring after a while....and I have felt that apathy before." His hand clenched into a fist. "That damnable loss of interest....in something I love so dearly....."
He took his hand off the window, and turned away from it. "And the worst part is that Kako knows I have these bouts of indifference....and he's going to use that to try to manipulate my feelings...I absolutely will not become a villain, but.....what if Kako tries to force me? Or what if he tricks me somehow into doing something?"
Kalosyni sighed with sadness. "And.....should I be doing something about these apathy spells? Something....more?" He shook his head. "No.....what else can be done, anyway? Kako made it sound like making a villain persona was the only adequate thing to do, and I refuse to do that, so.....nothing else can be done." Kalosyni paused his thoughts for a moment as he, suddenly, had an idea. Then, he laughed a little, and thought, "Maybe I'll get a video game that lets me play as a bad guy or something...that might work."
A small ripple of relief entered him, and he thought, "Yes....but something definitely has to be done about Kako...how can I get him to leave me alone?" Then, he thought of what Signal had said. That Kako would depart once he realized that Kalosyni was steadfast in his refusal to be a villain. "I hope he's right..." Kalosyni thought.
The next two days went by without any disturbances from Kako. Kalosyni transported numerous supplies to other nations, and frequently worked at the soup kitchen. Everything had settled down considerably, and Kalosyni was enjoying the calm.
Unfortunately, however, this was not to last. On the third day, Kalosyni was unpakcing a large load of supplies for a small village in Uganda with the help of some other heroes when he spotted Kako crouching on a branch in a tree in the village. He was watching Kalosyni with a serious expression, and didn't even flinch when he realized that Kalosyni had spotted him. He looked Kalosyni right in the eyes.
Kalosyni glared angrily at him. "What's he doing here? He's not seriously planning on pulling something when I have all these other heroes with me, is he?" Then, Kalosyni's eyes widened as he had a terrible thought. "What if he's here to sabotage the supplies?" He, immediately, turned to the other heroes and alerted them of his presence, shouting, "Look!"
The other heroes saw Kako in the tree, and simultaneously fired rays of energy at him. Before any of the beams could strike him, Kako disappeared in a cloud of black smoke. Kalosyni and the others searched the perimeter for him, but found that he was gone. "I don't understand," Kalosyni thought. "What was he doing? He was just watching me? Why?" Kalosyni sighed, shook his head, and returned to the other heroes.
As the flying heroes were heading back to the hero base, one of them asked, "What do you think he wanted, Kal?"
Kalosyni shook his head. "I don't know. I thought he might've been there to ruin our errand, but he didn't do anything."
One of the female heroes in the group looked to Kalosyni and said, "Maybe he's trying to study you?"
Kalosyni shrugged. "He's not going to find out much more about me than he already knows." He laughed a little. "I'm kind of a simpleton."
He and the other heroes laughed good-naturedly, but Kalosyni couldn't put his mind fully at ease. He couldn't help wondering if the recent appearance of Kako meant that another ordeal was in store for him soon.
That night, he was resting at home, playing a hand-held game. His parents were home, which was slightly uncommon, as it was a week night. On week nights, they were usually working until midnight. But tonight they had gotten the rest of the night off, due to lack of patients. They were currently sitting in the living room on the couch, watching television. Kalosyni was sitting on a chair in the living room as he played his game.
Then, his watch began to blink. He raised up his wrist, and looked at the watch intently. Then, Kako appeared on the screen, smirking at him. "Hello, Kalosyni."
Kalosyni's face turned pale, and his parents noticed right away. His mother asked, "What's wrong, dear?"
He looked up at her and said, "Um....my archenemy is talking to me on my watch."
His parents were both reasonably worried, and somewhat confused.
"Yeah, uh....he can do that."
"Is there someone else there, Kal?" Kako chimed in.
"Shut up," he told Kako, glancing at the watch.
"You have an archenemy now?" his father asked. "Well, what does he want?"
Kalosyni looked at Kako. "What do you want, Kako?"
"I just want to talk. Who else is with you?"
"None of your damn business."
Kako laughed a little. "Relax, Kal. I don't mean you or your friends and loved ones any harm."
"What were you doing spying on me today?"
"Just that. Spying."
"You weren't trying to mess up our operation?"
"Heavens, no. You think me so low as to mess with people who are in that much trouble? Come now, Kalosyni, you make it sound as though I'm some kind of monster."
"But why were you spying? What were you hoping to find out?"
"Well, it doesn't hurt to learn more about you. Every little piece of information helps."
Kalosyni didn't respond, and simply stared at Kako with a blank expression.
Kako continued, "So, anyway, how are you this evening?"
"Tired as hell."
Kako raised his eyebrows slightly in concern. "Is that so? I'm sorry to hear that."
Getting irritated, Kalosyni said, "Get to the point, Kako. What do you really want to talk about?"
Kako shook his head, the smile still on his face. "Always right down to business. Well, if you insist, I would like to know if you've thought things over after we last spoke. I know I got through to you that day, Kal. You understood that I was right."
"I'm not becoming a villain, Kako."
"There you go with that again. You need to give your inner villain some time to breathe, Kal."
"Look, I've decided that I'll just get a video game that lets me play as a bad guy."
Kalosyni's mother turned to his father. "They make those now?"
"Oh yeah, there are a ton of them," he responded.
Kako laughed a little, and responded, "That's clever, Kalosyni, but that won't be good enough."
Kalosyni glared at him. "I don't care that it's not good enough, I only care that it's good!"
"That kind of mentality is going to keep you miserable during the times you become disenchanted with being a hero!"
"I'm not miserable during those times!"
"You're certainly not happy! And I can assure you that pretending to be a villain won't help much more than whatever you've been doing during the apathy times!" Kako paused and rubbed his forehead a little. Then, he stopped and said, "Listen, Kal, you don't have to do anything really awful. I understand your aversion to that. You can run around performing simple misdemeanors if you want! But you have to be a real miscreant in order to combat these apathy spells."
"No, I don't," Kalosyni responded casually, and took off his watch. He began to walk to a desk on the other side of the room.
"Wait! What're you-?" Kako called out.
Kalosyni opened up a drawer on the desk.
"Don't you put me in that drawer!"
Kalosyni dropped the watch in the drawer, and closed it.
"Oh, you're a jerk," he heard Kako say.
The next day, Kalosyni was busy as usual with his good deeds. The night prior, he'd put his watch back on after Kako had "departed" from it. As he was on his way back to the hero base from India after delivering supplies, his watch started to blink once again. He stopped his flight and hovered over the sea. He looked at his watch, which displayed text on the screen that read: "Bank robbery in progress, press blue button to teleport there." Kalosyni thought, "Well, I guess it's time for some real fighting."
He teleported to the location, and saw dozens of armed men dressed all in black with ski masks on. "Well, damn," Kalosyni thought. Before any of them saw him, he surrounded himself with an energy barrier to protect him from bullets that would, inevitably, be fired. Then, he raised his hands up and shot a large ray of energy at a large group of them. The group toppled easily, and the others turned and began to fire their guns at him. That's when Kalosyni noticed that they were stun guns, as they were firing small beams of energy instead of bullets. "Hmm...they don't want anyone to get hurt...wonder who's in charge of this operation?" he thought. He continuously fired beams of energy at the henchmen until they all appeared to be down for the count. Slowly, Kalosyni cancelled the barrier around him, and looked around.
Then, he heard an all-too-familiar voice, "Kal! So good of you to come!"
Kalosyni whirled around and saw Kako right behind him. He glared angrily. "You again?"
Kako folded his hands behind his back, and said, "That's right. I set this up to lure you out. I knew you would be in the area to receive that transmission on your watch. Now then, Kal, you'll be coming with me."
"Like hell," Kalosyni responded, and threw a punch at Kako.
Kako moved back a little, avoiding the swing. Kalosyni raised his hands up and fired a ray of energy at Kako, which was easily blocked by a thin, purple barrier that Kako raised. Kako threw a small pellet at the ground, and pink smoke-like gas began to envelop the area.
However, Kalosyni, quickly, pulled the collar of his shirt over his mouth and nose to keep the gas out of his lungs. He fired another energy ray in the direction he'd seen Kako last, as his vision was obscured by the thick gas. He heard a cry of pain and assumed his attack had made contact. He began to walk towards the area, and the smoke, slowly, began to dissipate, clearing his vision somewhat. He saw Kako on the ground, looking up at him in surprise. Kalosyni raised his hand and fired a ray of energy down at Kako, who responded by firing a ray of his own. The two beams collided, generating a very small explosion that threw both Kako and Kalosyni back a fair distance. They both got to their feet as quickly as they could. They had a short stare-down, and then, Kako smirked and began to fire multiple small rays from his hands at Kalosyni. Kalosyni raised a barrier in front of him that blocked the rays.
Then, Kako shot one large ray of energy that went right around Kalosyni's barrier and hit him in the backside, causing him to yell in pain, and drop to one knee. "How'd you like that one?" Kako taunted. "I can direct some of my rays and control their paths."
Kalosyni, slowly, stood up, still in pain from the attack, and glared at Kako. He lowered his barrier, raised his hands up, and fired a powerful ray of energy at Kako. When he grew too tired to keep firing, he cancelled his attack, and waited for the dust to settle to see if Kako was still standing after the hit.
Then, his eyes widened in shock as he saw that Kako was standing with a large barrier around him that had shielded him from the attack. "That....was my strongest attack," Kalosyni thought. "His barrier shouldn't have been able to protect him from it."
Kako lowered his barrier and said, "Getting weary, are we? I can tell this battle will be over shortly." Kako raised his hands over his head, and a pitch black sphere began to form above him.
Kalosyni, quickly, raised a barrier around him, and stood, gearing up for the attack. The black sphere grew to roughly the size of a large beach ball, and Kako fired it at Kalosyni. The sphere was stopped by the barrier, but not completely halted. Kalosyni felt its force as it pushed violently against the barrier, threatening to shatter it completely. He stood his ground, his hands against the barrier, trying his hardest to keep his barrier up. Slowly, the black sphere began to slow down, and the pressure against the barrier lightened.
That's when Kalosyni got an idea. "It's a long shot, but I might be able to do it," he thought. He began to bend his barrier, wrapping it around the black sphere. The black sphere became enveloped by the green light, and slowed down considerably. Kalosyni secreted more energy force from his hands into the sphere, and more green light enveloped it. Finally, the black sphere was stopped. Then, Kalosyni raised the enveloped sphere over his head, and with all his power, forcefully threw it back at Kako.
Kako's eyes widened in shock, and he raised a barrier as quickly as he could. However, the enveloped sphere went right through the barrier, shattering it, and hitting Kako head on.
Kalosyni dropped to his knees, gasping for breath. The tactic he'd used had taken quite a lot out of him. He could see that Kako was on the ground, unable to move much. He smiled, realizing that he had won. Slowly, he got to his feet, and walked over to Kako, glaring down at him. "I beat you, Kako," he declared, calmly.
'Indeed...you have," Kako responded. "This time. But don't assume that this will discourage me. You need to let your inner villain out, Kal."
"For God's sake, Kako!" Kalosyni exclaimed. "Why can't you just stop?! People can't change unless they want to change, and I don't want to change!"
Kako smiled. "I'll get you to understand one day."
Kalosyni shook his head, staring down at Kako with a bewildered expression. Even after being defeated, Kako wouldn't give up.
Then, they could hear police sirens, and saw the cars and a large truck coming towards them. "Ah, here they come," Kako stated. "Been a while since I've seen the teenage supervillain detention facility. Maybe I'll bump into some old friends."
The cars and truck stopped and dozens of police officers came out and started getting the knocked out henchmen into the large truck. Two other policemen separated from the main group and started to approach Kalosyni and Kako. After speaking to Kalosyni for a while and thanking him, they got Kako into one of the police cars. Kako smirked at Kalosyni, and said, "Be seeing you, Kal."
The large police unit drove off with Kako and his henchmen. Kalosyni took off, flying back to the hero base. When he arrived and walked through the doors, everyone in the main lobby clapped and cheered for him. His eyes widened in shock. "What the...?" he muttered.
The Signal walked up to him, smiling, and said, "We just got word of what went down at the National Bank. You've done some really great work today!"
Most of the other young heroes mobbed Kalosyni, patting his back, telling him he was "the man." Kalosyni smiled sheepishly and rubbed the back of his head with his hand, quite embarassed.
A party was thrown in the base that evening for the capture of Kako, as well as other various good deeds that had been successfully completed by the heroes. Kalosyni and the other heroes celebrated their good fortune.
That night, Kalosyni went home and went straight to bed. He was exhausted from the day's events, and was relieved to finally get some rest. He fell asleep quickly, and started to have a very vivid dream...
He was standing in a warehouse filled with glassware sitting atop large tables. A bat sat upon the floor next to his feet. Not in control of himself, he picked up the bat and started swinging it around, destroying countless jars, vases, and other such items that sat on the tables. Broken glass flew everywhere, and the sound of glass shattering rang throughout the whole warehouse. He continued destroying tons of glassware until every last item had been smashed to bits.
He looked around at the carnage, and suddenly, started to hear clapping. He looked up, and saw Kako standing at a fair distance, smirking at him. Angry, he wanted to run towards him, and attack him with the bat, but found himself unable to do so, just as he was unable to stop himself from destroying the glassware.
"You're in a dream, Kal. A dream that I'm in control of," Kako declared. "I can feel how angry you are at seeing me here. But just try to relax and hear what I have to say." He walked closer. "You just did something quite bad here. You destroyed a ton of glass items. Not by your own freewill, but you still did it. Now, let me ask you something...was that so bad?"
Kalosyni found he was given control of his vocal cords then, and shouted, "What if all this glassware had belonged to somebody?! Of course it felt bad!"
"But you didn't hurt anybody," Kako countered.
"You don't have to physically damage someone to hurt them!"
"What if it was old glassware that nobody cares about?"
"If you can't prove that, then it doesn't matter."
Kako shook his head and sighed. "You are a really tough cookie." He walked a bit closer. "But, come now, Kalosyni. Didn't it feel even just a little awesome to smash all that glass? Haven't you ever wanted to do something like that?"
"Maybe, but it would be a lot better if the owners of the glassware deserved to have their stuff wrecked."
"Hmmm.....it seems like you're only okay with doing destructive things to deserving people....you've never wanted to mess with someone just for fun?"
"It's always better if they deserve it."
Kako scratched his forehead briefly, and said, "Wow....you are steadfast." He lowered his hand from his forehead, and said, "And I hate to admit it, but you have a very good point. Most people would think it more fun to hurt someone who deserves it." He crossed his arms, smirking. "But I'll get you to see that being naughty just for fun isn't so bad. We have all night."
Kalosyni wanted to yell in protest, but found he was, once again, unable to speak.
"Now, then, why don't we go rob a bank?" Kako stated, and snapped his fingers.
Their environment proceeded to change, and they, soon, stood within the vault of a bank. "Look around you, Kalosyni! Boundless amounts of wealth! It would be quite bad of you to steal any of it, but do you really think you'd be hurting anyone by doing so?"
"Yes," Kalosyni answered immediately, having been given back control of his voice.
Kako raised his hand up, patiently. "Hold on there, Kal. This money belongs to a very rich family. What if you only took a little? I doubt they would be very alarmed."
"Don't care. Not doing it."
Kako raised his eyebrows a bit. "But don't you see, Kal? In this scenario, you get to be bad without hurting people. It's just what you wanted!"
"Kako, I'm not becoming a criminal!" Kalosyni yelled, his anger building.
"But no one will even know!"
"I'll know! I have a conscience that would never let me sleep at night if I did what you're suggesting!"
Kako's smirk widened, and he said, "Well, we'll have to do something about that conscience of yours, won't we? It may take a little while, but I'm sure we can take its edge off."
"How the hell do you plan to do that?"
"Through talking. Conversation."
"You really think that talking to me about my conscience will lessen its effect?"
"Yes. I've got a lot of good points to make about why you shouldn't always listen to your conscience, and..." he chuckled a little, "you're a captive audience."
Kalosyni angrily raised his fist, eager to strike Kako, but found that he was unable to move any further.
"Easy there, Kal. I control this dream, remember? There's really no point in trying to get aggressive, now is there?"
In pure frustration, Kalosyni screamed at the top of his lungs, an angry glare on his face.
Kako's eyes widened, and the smirk left his face.
Kalosyni continued screaming, until he found his vision fading...
Kalosyni awakened in his bed, still yelling in anger. He quickly stopped shouting, and started taking deep breaths, He looked at the door to his room, hoping he hadn't awakened his parents. His breathing started to slow as he caught his breath. He looked out the window across his room at the bright blue sky, and decided that today he would make a special errand.
At roughly noon, Kalosyni sat inside the Greenheights Juvenile Supervillain Detention Facility. It was a fairly large building, composed mostly of brick and stone. He had requested to see Kako, knowing that he had been taken there, and was now sitting in front of a large plexiglass window.
Finally, Kako stepped out into the room on the other side of the plexiglass. He was wearing on orange jumpsuit as was the rule for all the inmates. He looked a bit tired up until he saw Kalosyni. His eyes widened and he smiled broadly. Apparently, they hadn't told him that Kalosyni was the one who wanted to see him.
He sat down across from Kalosyni, and they both picked up the phones on their ends. Kako smirked and said, "Hello there, Kal!" He narrowed his eyes. "Did you have pleasant dreams?"
Seething, Kalosyni inquired, "How the hell did you do that? How did you force your way into my dreams?"
"With my powers."
"What? Didn't they put a power binder on you?"
"Of course," Kako responded, and raised his right hand, showing the purple power binder on his pinkie. He half-smiled and said, "The power binders they have here are terrible. And it doesn't even matter if they hear me say that, because they don't have the money to buy better ones." He lowered his hand.
Kalosyni found himself at a loss for words as he stared at Kako with a sad expression on his face.
"What's the matter, Kal?"
"You're in prison....and you're still able to do this..."
"Well, of course. Can't get rid of me that easy." He winked at Kalosyni.
"Please. Just leave me alone."
"Not going to happen, Kal. You need to get in touch with your inner villain. I know you're upset right now, but try to relax and listen. This is what's best for you. If you continue to neglect your inner villain, your apathy spells are going to get worse and worse. Currently, when you get them, you only feel quite bored. Pretty soon, you'll feel empty during those times. You won't be depressed, but virtually nothing will be of interest to you. They'll be...emptiness spells."
"You don't know that," Kalosyni retorted, becoming angry.
"Yes, I do. I've seen it happen. Many times. I don't want to see it happen to you."
"I won't become a criminal, Kako. Isn't there anything else we can do?"
Kako shook his head. "I'm afraid not."
Kalosyni sighed and shook his head. Then, after a short pause, he said, "Then I'm willing to suffer through the emptiness spells. I've felt empty before. It sucks, but it's far from the worst thing in the world."
"Apathy spells last a week at most. Are you really willing to suffer emptiness for a whole week?"
Kalosyni's eyes shifted around the room for a moment. Then, he returned his gaze to Kako with steely conviction, and said, "Yes. I am. I would absolutely rather do that than become a villain."
Kako did not respond, and merely stared at him.
"Now will you leave me alone?" Kalosyni demanded.
Kako smirked and said, "Of course not. You think I'm just going to sit back and allow you to make yourself miserable? I'll admit, you've been rather steadfast in your refusal of wrongdoing, but I'm not simply going to yield to that. You're becoming a villain, Kal. Whether you want to or not." His smirk widened.
Brimming with anger, Kalosyni shouted, "You stay out of my life!" He slammed the phone down and stormed out of the building.
The Only Way
Kalosyni was sitting at his desk in his room with his head down, buried in his arms. He was on the verge of tears as he raked his brain for ideas on what to do about Kako. He couldn't stand it anymore. He was convinced that if he didn't stop Kako he would lose his mind.
His laptop was on in front of him, a cursor blinking on a search engine page. Absent mindedly, he raised his head, and typed in: "inner villain." He didn't know what he would get, and sincerely questioned the reliability of the internet.
Numerous sites came up, most of them advertising humorous books and graphic novels. But, then, towards the bottom, Kalosyni saw a link from neuroscience.com. Curious, he clicked on it, wanting to see what the inner villain had to do with neuroscience.
A large diagram of a human brain appeared on the computer screen, and a section of the frontal lobe was highlighted yellow and labeled "the inner villain."
Kalosyni raised an eyebrow, and thought, "Well, surely they can't be talking about the same thing."
He scrolled down a little to see the article better, and started to read it:
"The inner villain is the part of a person that desires performing deeds of ill will for the sake of malice..."
His eyes widened, and he raised his head more. "Oh my God," he said aloud.
He continued reading:
"Despite popular belief, the inner villain is a physical part of the human mind, much like the inner hero is. It is located within the frontal lobe of the brain, positioned right above a person's left eyebrow..."
"It's a physical part of the brain?!" Kalosyni exclaimed. He rubbed his forehead above his left eyebrow. "That's so weird..." he thought.
Quickly, he opened another tab and typed into the search engine: "inner villain removal."
A number of links appeared on his screen, most of them leading to forums. He clicked on the link from superherolife.net. He was taken to the top of a forum titled "Inner Villain Removal." The first post read:
"Yeah, I got mine taken out, and it was the best investment of my life."
The second post read:
"I don't understand....it's gone. I never meant to. It was an accident."
Kalosyni's eyes lit up at these remarks. "It can be done," he thought. "The inner villain can be taken out."
Then, he suddenly remembered something that Kako had said to him:
"Unless your inner villain is somehow removed..."
Kalosyni's eyes widened. "He wasn't speaking figuratively, he was speaking literally," he thought with amazement. "He knew it was a physical part of the brain..."
Kalosyni stood outside the Guild of Heroes base where he usually worked, breathing heavily. He had sprinted there as fast as he could. He walked inside and saw the Signal sitting at one of the tables in the main hall, filling out paperwork. He looked up, saw Kalosyni, and stood up, smiling. "Kal, I know you love helping people, but today's your day off. You do have to rest sometimes, you know."
"No, I..." Kalosyni started, still struggling to catch his breath. "I have a question. Do you know how to remove an inner villain?"
The Signal's eyes widened. "How to....remove one?" He raised an eyebrow. "Why do you want to know how to do that?"
"I need to get rid of mine."
The Signal frowned, and scratched his forehead lightly with his fingers, thinking for a moment. Then, he lowered his hand from his forehead, and said, "Kal, I really don't know if that's the best thing to do."
Kalosyni's eyes widened. "What? Why not?"
"Well, doesn't it seem a bit extreme?"
Kalosyni raised an eyebrow. "What's gonna' happen if I do remove it?"
The Signal's eyes shifted around a bit, as he thought about it. "Not.....much, but....." He returned his gaze to Kalosyni, and said, "I guess the worst of it is that your eyes will turn yellow."
Kalosyni touched his cheek, right underneath his right eye, and said, "My eyes....yellow?"
"Yes. But like I said, that's really the only negative part."
"What else will happen?"
"Well....you will lose any and all desire to do bad for the sake of doing bad, but....you're a good person, so that impulse is extremely weak already. Thus....you probably won't notice any difference there."
"Okay. Is there anything else that will happen?"
"No, but....you will never again be able to derive joy out of certain kinds of....simple mischief. Is that really okay?"
"Yes, that's fine. I don't care."
"Why do you want to get rid of your inner villain so badly, though?"
"Because Kako isn't going to leave me alone until I either become a part time villain, or I rip my inner villain right out!"
The Signal's expression became somewhat stern. "Kako's still trying to convert you?"
"Yes. He's driving me crazy! He hacks into my watch, he sets up traps for me.....he's even found a way to invade my dreams. And even after I've beaten him, he still finds a way to get to me! He's hell-bent on turning me into a villain, because he thinks it'll help me somehow! But....if I tear out my inner villain, he won't have anything to appeal to anymore." He covered his eyes with his hands, tears streaming down his face. "If I don't get rid of it.....then he'll never stop." He removed his hand from his eyes. "Ever!"
The Signal bore a sad expression on his face as he looked upon the desperate Kalosyni. He thought for a moment, and then, said, "When you lose your inner villain, you'll never be able to get it back." He walked forward, and placed a hand on Kalosyni's shoulder. "Kalosyni. Are you sure that you really want this?"
Kalosyni thought it over for a minute. Then, he clenched his hand into a fist, and declared, "Yes."
The Signal nodded. "Alright."
The Signal proceeded to lead Kalosyni into a laboratory in the building; a room that Kal had never seen before. He looked around in awe at the size of the room, and was quite impressed with the multitude of different chemicals. The Signal filled a small jar with a clear liquid and screwed the lid on tightly. "What's that?" Kalosyni asked.
"Morphine," the Signal replied.
Kalosyni's eyes widened.
"You will have to inject it into your veins when the time is right," he continued. He picked up a clean syringe, and wrapped it in a small towel. He placed the wrapped up syringe on top of the jar, and pushed it towards Kalosyni. "You'll need these later. Put them in a backpack."
"I...left mine at home," Kalosyni responded with dismay.
"That's alright, you can come back with it later. But right now, we need to single out your inner villain with telekinesis."
Kalosyni raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean?"
"If we don't partially separate your inner villain from the rest of your brain, you may wind up removing other parts of your brain with it."
Kalosyni grimaced. "Oh. Didn't think of that."
"Leave the morphine for now, and come with me," the Signal said, and walked out of the room, Kalosyni following. They made their way to the second floor to a fairly large room. At the far corner sat a young woman, appearing to be roughly Kalosyni's age, with long blond hair. She was at a computer, typing something quite fast.
As Kalosyni and the Signal approached, she looked up from the computer, and smiled at them.
The Signal smiled at her and said, "Psi, this is Kalosyni. He wants to remove his inner villain, and needs it separated from the rest of his brain."
She nodded, stood up, and said, "Gotcha." She walked up to Kalosyni, and said, "Don't worry, I've done this before. It doesn't even hurt." She, gently, placed her fingertips on the sides of Kalosyni's forehead, with her right hand thumb pressing down slightly just over Kalosyni's left eyebrow.
Kalosyni peered into Psi's deep green eyes, thinking of how beautiful they were. He blushed slightly.
She noticed this, and she giggled a little, blushing a bit as well.
Kalosyni felt some movement in his head, but felt no pain. Psi released his head, and said, "There. You're good to go."
Kalosyni rubbed his forehead with his left hand fingers, smiled, and said, 'Thanks."
The Signal smiled and said, "Yes, thank you very much, Psi."
"Sure, it's not trouble," she replied.
"Now, if you'll excuse us, I have to instruct him on what to do next. We sincerely thank you for your time." The Signal began to walk back to the door, motioning for Kalosyni to follow him.
Kalosyni followed, but looked back at Psi as he went. Psi smiled at him, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. Kalosyni smiled back, deciding that he would try to visit her again.
The Signal led Kalosyni back into the main room. "Now, there are many ways to get rid of one's inner villain. The easiest way I know of, unfortunately, requires the aid of a supervillain."
Kalosyni's eyes widened. "A supervillain?"
"Yes, but he's something of a...neutral character, you see. He never harms innocent people, so the Guild of Heroes considers him a low threat. Also, he is typically willing to aid anyone who will compensate him. His name is Serpent, and he possesses a unique power. Kalosyni, he can make your forehead....permeable. You will be able to reach in and pull out your inner villain."
"However," the Signal continued, "before you do that, inject yourself with the morphine. Otherwise, you're in for a terrible amount of pain."
"Alright. Now....where do I find Serpent?"
"Serpent is usually in the Boulder Domain. It's a large cave that has been made into a sort of refuge for villains with more benign intentions. Some of them don't even associate with the Guild of Villains." The Signal told hold of Kalosyni's wrist and typed the coordinates into his watch. "There. The watch will lead you there." He released Kalosyni's wrist. Then, he continued, "Go there, find out what Serpent wants as compensation, and then, come back here. We'll see if we have whatever he wants here. Then, I'll give you the compensation and the morphine, and you go back. When he 'opens' your forehead, so to speak, reach in, and pull your inner villain out. Do you understand?"
Kalosyni nodded. "Yes."
The Signal nodded. "Alright. Go, now, to the Boulder Domain. The villains shouldn't meet you with any hostility; they're quite apathetic towards heroes in general. Just ask for Serpent, and they should guide you to him."
Kalosyni nodded again. "Alright."
"Good luck, Kalosyni."
Kalosyni smiled. "Thank you." Then, he turned and walked out of the building, ready for the new adventure that would claim his inner villain.
Kalosyni took to the skies and began to fly towards the Boulder Domain, using his watch as a guide.
Then, his watch began to blink red, and after it stopped, Kako appeared on the screen, glaring at Kalosyni. "Kal? What are you doing?"
"None of your damn business," Kalosyni responded coldly.
"I know what you're planning to do!"
Kalosyni glared at Kako. "How? How do you know what I'm up to?"
"A certain friend of mine in the converter field said he was surveying the number of people who were looking up the word 'inner villain' on the internet. He said that, today, one of the people who typed that in also typed in 'inner villain removal'. And I knew immediately that it must have been you. You were in the area of the people who did this, and you, probably, think you have a reason to remove your inner villain."
"I do have a reason. It's you!"
Kako's expression softened. "Kal, listen to me. This isn't the way."
Kalosyni stopped flying, and hovered in the air, glaring fiercely at Kako. "If my inner villain needs something that I can't give it, than this is the way!"
Kako's eyes shifted around, and he said, "You don't....have to give your inner villain what it wants."
"You seem to think I do!!"
"Well, yes, Kal! It would be better for you if you gave your inner villain what it wanted! But....nothing truly horrible will happen if you don't."
"Then why can't you just leave me alone?!"
"Because you would be happier during your apathy spells if you gave into your inner villain! I just....want to help you."
"I will never be happy as a real villain!"
"You don't know that, Kal! You've never really tried being a villain!"
"And I'm not about to! I'm doing this because I know that you're going to force me to become one!"
"Would that really be so awful, Kal?!"
"Yes, it would! Don't you understand?! I don't want to hurt innocent people! I don't want the authorities after me! I don't want to become a fugitive from the law!!"
"I told you we would work all of that out!"
"There's no way you can, Kako!!"
Kako was rendered momentarily speechless by Kalosyni's tone and conviction. It was true; there was really nothing he could do to permanently fix the problems that becoming a villain created. There was a lot he could do to help, but nothing he could do to eradicate the troubles.
Finally, he said, "Look, Kal. You're right. There's no way to avert all of the complications involved with being a villain. But I promise you, we will sort everything out to the best of our abilities."
Kalosyni latched onto his watch with his other hand, pulling the screen closer to his face. "Kako! Are you going to force me to become a villain?!"
Kako paused for a moment, studying Kal. Then, finally, he responded, "Yes."
"Then I have to do this, damn you!!" Kalosyni bellowed, slamming his fist down on his watch. Tears began to stream down his face as his frustration continued to build. Repeatedly, he slammed his fist down on his watch, trying to make the image of Kako disappear.
Finally, he started to calm down, taking deep breaths. He raised his watch up to his face, his wrist sore from being pounded on, and saw that the screen had gone black. "Great," he thought. "I broke it...."
Thinking quickly, he remembered the direction the watch had been pointing to, and began to fly in the same direction. He figured he would just keep flying back in the other direction to get back to the base.
Several minutes passed, and he soon saw an open cave sitting on a small island. "Is that it?" he thought. He landed on the shore of the small island, a bit tired from the flight. Slowly, he began to stumble into the open cave.
A large number of people sat around a large, oval table in the front of the cave. Many of them were holding cards in their hands. They looked up at Kalosyni as he entered. They could see the tear stains on his face, and his tired demeanor, so many of them gave him confused glances.
"Serpent," he choked out. "I'm looking for Serpent..."
One of the male figures at the table smiled at Kalosyni and said, "Ah, you're here for him. He's in the back, watching television."
Kalosyni nodded. "Thank you." He began to walk to the back of the cave, and noticed that the cave appeared to have different "rooms". He went into the room at the very back, and saw a young man, roughly his age, with black hair, and dressed all in red. He was lying on a small bed, watching a small, portable television that was placed on a table in front of the bed. There was a hole in the wall of the room, allowing much sunlight into the room.
Kalosyni walked in a little further, staring at Serpent.
Serpent looked up at him, and gave a surprised yelp. "Startled me!"
"I'm sorry," Kalosyni muttered.
Serpent sat up on the bed, stretched, and then stood up. He studied Kalosyni for a moment. "Ah, you're one of those do-gooder hero folks. Lemme' guess, you need my help with something?"
Kalosyni nodded, remembering why he came, and said, "Y-yes. I need to remove my inner villain."
Serpent frowned and sighed with discontent. "I remember the days when people came to me for migraine troubles."
Kalosyni gave a sympathetic look to Serpent, but said nothing.
"Why you want it gone anyway?"
Kalosyni sighed and said, "Because if I don't get rid of it, some idiot's gonna' force me to become a villain."
Serpent raised an eyebrow. "He....could still force you to become a villain after you remove that mass of brain puss. I don't think it will make any difference."
"No, this guy won't. He's a converter villain that's trying to make me give into what my inner villain wants."
Serpent's expression turned sour. "Gah! A converter?! Those idiots drive everyone crazy!"
Kalosyni smiled and laughed a little at Serpent's reaction.
Serpent smiled. "I thought maybe you'd just gotten yours infected or something."
Kalosyni raised an eyebrow. "Infected?"
"Yes. Sometimes, a person's inner villain becomes infected when they deem villain life to be miserably depressing. Sometimes, when that happens, the inner villain will disintegrate by itself. It'll turn completely to blood, and ooze out of the ears."
Serpent nodded. "Yeah. That's how people usually lose their inner villains. You, my friend, have a very unique situation. Very few converters actually try to force people to become villains..."
Remembering the compensation, Kalosyni asked, "Oh, what do you want in return?"
"Hmm? Oh, yes, I ask for payment most of the time. Hmm.....you're just a kid, so I doubt you'll be able to get me very much..." After thinking for a moment, Serpent smiled, and said, "How about a bottle of soda?"
Kalosyni's expression reflected confusion. "A....bottle of soda?"
"Uh...sure. Any particular kind you want?"
"No, no. Just, one with lots of sugar!"
Kalosyni smiled, nodded, and said, "Sure! I'll be back with it later! It....may be a little shaken...."
"That's alright, I'm not going to drink it right away anyway."
"Okay. I'll be back!"
Kalosyni began to run back towards the entrance to the cave. He took care not to crash into the table in the front of the cave, making his way around it carefully. Then, he left the cave, and took to the skies, flying back towards the hero base.
It took several minutes to get there, and when he did, he stopped in the sky, and turned towards the direction of his house. Then, he began to fly there.
Getting to his house was another long journey. When he reached his destination, he came into his house, and collapsed onto the floor of his living room, gasping for breah for a few minutes. Then, he got up, snatched his bookbag off the couch, and ran into the kitchen. He opened up the fridge and looked at a few soda bottle labels, trying to see which one had the most sugar. He snatched up the one with the greatest number of sugar grams, and stuffed it into his bookbag.
Deeming that he now had everything he needed, he sprinted out the door, took to the skies, and headed for the hero base once again.
He made it to the base and staggered inside, tired from his long flights.
The Signal stood up from the table he was sitting at, and walked up to Kalosyni. "Ah, good, you have your backpack. Now, what did Serpent ask for?"
"Oh, I already got it from my house. He wanted a bottle of soda."
The Signal stared at Kalosyni for a moment, quite confused. Then, he smiled, and said, "Well, I'm glad his demands were so manageable." The Signal turned and walked to the table he was sitting at, and picked up the syringe and jar of morphine that he had brought out. He stuck the syringe into the jar, and drew out enough morphine from the jar to fill the syringe. Then, he placed a small, clear cap on the tip of the needle.
Then, he walked back over to Kalosyni, handing him the syringe. "Put this in your bookbag. It has a sterile tip on it right now that you'll need to remove. And when the time comes, inject yourself with all of it."
Kalosyni nodded, pulled his backpack off, holding it in his hand, opened it, and put the syringe in his bookbag. He zipped the bag back up, put it back on his back, and said, "So this is it?"
The Signal nodded solemnly. "Yes. Go to Serpent and give him his, uh...soda. Then, inject yourself with the morphine. When Serpent makes your forehead passable, reach in, and pull your inner villain out of your head."
"Right. Okay, I guess I'm off, then."
Kalosyni ran out of the building, looking back at the Signal, waving as he went.
He ran outside the base, and took the skies, heading back in the direction of Boulder Domain. He flew as fast as he could, not wanting to waste any time.
A few minutes passed, and Kalosyni was getting closer to his destination. Then, something wrapped around his ankle and pulled him down to a small island on the ground. He yelled in minor pain, and looked down, seeing that a rope had been lassoed around his ankle. Despite the rope around his ankle, he stood up, and looked behind him.
There stood Kako, staring at him solemnly, holding the end of the rope.
"How did you get out of the prison?!" Kalosyni demanded.
"A few friends of mine came and busted me out," Kako responded.
Kalosyni glared angrily at Kako. "Leave me alone, Kako!! You're the one who pushed me to do this!!" he yelled at the top of his lungs.
Kako shook his head. "You need to give into your inner villain, Kal. Not get rid of it."
"You don't decide what I do," Kalosyni responded. Then, he help us his hand, and fired a powerful ray of energy at Kako, who narrowly dodged it by leaning out of the way.
Kako raised both hands, dropping the other end of the rope, and fired a powerful blast of dark energy at Kalosyni. This wave struck Kalosyni directly, sending him flying backwards a short distance. He landed on his back, but didn't hear anything in his bookbag break. He breathed a quiet sigh of relief, and took his backpack off, pushing it to the side a bit. Then, he untied the rope from around his ankle, and stood up, ready to fight Kako.
Several dark blobs appeared around Kako, and one by one, they began to fly at Kalosyni.
Kalosyni barely had enough time to react as he generated a transparent, light green barrier in front of him. The dark blobs crashed into his barrier, one after the other, and a large crack began to form on it. "No..." Kalosyni thought. He focused all of his energy into holding up his shield, but he knew it could only take so much.
Kako generated more dark blobs, and they continued to pelt Kalosyni's shield, causing the crack to grow larger.
Then, Kalosyni got an idea. He placed his hands on his barrier, and used it as a magnifier, focusing a huge wave of green energy through it, directed at Kako.
The wave tore through the dark blobs, disintegrating them quickly. Kako was struck by the enormous ray, and thrown backwards quite a distance, landing on his back.
Kalosyni dropped his barrier, and stood, breathing a bit heavily.
Kako got to his feet, looking quite weary, staring at Kalosyni.
Kalosyni ran straight towards him, and delivered a punch to Kako's cheek that made Kako stagger backwards a bit, holding his cheek with his hand, groaning in pain.
Kako raised his hand up, about to shoot another dark ray, but Kalosyni gripped Kako's wrist fiercely, and pushed it away. He raised his other hand, and fired a ray of energy point blank at Kako, who was hit by the blast, yelling in pain.
Kalosyni released his wrist, and Kako fell to the ground, barely conscious. Still brimming with anger, Kalosyni kicked Kako in the side for good measure, causing Kako to shout in pain, and roll over onto his side, his arms around his stomach.
Kalosyni settled down a bit, and glared down at Kako. "You can't stop me." Then, he ran back to his bookbag, slung it over his back, and took off, heading to the Boulder Domain once again.
Several minutes passed, and the island where Boulder Domain sat was getting closer. Kalosyni had looked behind him several times during his flight, trying to see if Kako was following him. He couldn't see any trace of him, but didn't want to get complacent.
Finally, he landed on the island and began to walk into the Boulder Domain cave.
The people at the table in the front looked up at him, and some smiled. They were no longer playing cards, but appeared to have some type of board game set up. The board had a large pile of money sitting in the center of it; they appeared to be gambling. One of the folks at the table smiled up at Kalosyni, and said, "Ah, you again. Looking for Serpent? He's in the back, still. He rather likes that little room of his."
Kalosyni nodded. "Thank you." Then, he began to make his way to the back, paranoid that Kako might be following him.
He came to the back room to find Serpent lying on his bed, reading superhero comic books. Kalosyni couldn't help but gawk at the sight.
Serpent looked up at him, smiling. "Oh, hello again."
"You're a villain....yet, you're reading superhero comics?"
"Yeah....so?" Serpent responded shamelessly.
Kalosyni smiled, laughed a little, and shrugged. "Well, okay." Then, he remembered his gift to Serpent. "Oh! I got the soda." He knelt down, taking off his backpack and unzipping it.
Serpent sat up on his bed, beaming. "Did you now?"
Kalosyni pulled the bottle out of his bookbag and handed it to Serpent.
Serpent's eyes lit up at the sight of the bottle. "Oooh! Yes! This is a good brand!" He took the bottle from Kalosyni.
"It, uh...might not be very cold anymore..."
"That's alright. Just as long as it has lots of sugar...."
Kalosyni laughed a little. "Yeah, this one had the most sugar of all my other sodas."
Serpent put the bottle down beside his bed, and said, "Well, I thank you kindly for this gift." He stood up from the bed. "Now, you'll be wanting that inner villain removed, correct?"
Kalosyni smiled and nodded. "Yeah!"
Serpent frowned slightly, staring down at Kalosyni. "Surely you brought some medicine to take beforehand?"
"Oh! Right, the morphine! Thanks for reminding me!" Kalosyni exclaimed, mentally damning himself for nearly forgetting. He pulled out the syringe of morphine, and stood up. He held his arm out in front of him, and rolled up his short sleeve. He took the small, plastic cap off the tip of the needle, and began to look for a vein in his arm. A confused expression crossed his face. "Uh.....uhhmm....damn it, I've donated blood a ton of times, so I know the general location of the veins....but I...can't see them..."
"No, no. You're doing it wrong," Serpent explained, picking up a strip of cloth from the table his television sat on. He began to wrap the cloth tightly around Kalosyni's upper arm, just above the elbow. Then, he flicked Kalosyni's elbow a few times, and pressed his finger down on a section of his elbow. "Right there. Stick the needle right above where my finger is."
Kalosyni gently placed the needle on his skin in the area Serpent had directed. "Right here?"
Kalosyni pierced his skin with the needle, wincing and clenching his teeth at the pain.
"Don't worry, the worst part's over. Now, inject the medicine."
Kalosyni pushed down on the pump of the syringe with his thumb, injecting the morphine into his vein. Then, he pulled the syringe out.
Serpent, quickly, unwrapped his upper arm, and proceeded to wrap his elbow up to prevent any bleeding. He tied the cloth in the small knot, and patted it.
Kalosyni wavered slightly, feeling a bit odd. He smiled broadly and looked around. "You know, this cave is really pretty amazing. Did you carve out these inner rooms yourselves?"
Serpent laughed warmly. "Ah, good, the morphine's working."
Kalosyni smiled at Serpent. "Yeah, I guess so."
Serpent's smile widened. "Well, don't get too loopy on me. We still have to take out that small mass of brain."
Kalosyni nodded, still smiling. "Yeah, I haven't forgotten."
Serpent nodded. "Okay. Are you ready?"
Kalosyni nodded. "Yes."
"Alright. When I put my finger to the side of your forehead, it will be permeable for roughly thirty seconds. In those thirty seconds, you must rip out your inner villain. If you fail, we'll have to try again. Understood?"
"Okay. Here we go..." Serpent placed his finger on the side of Kalosyni's forehead. After a moment, Kalosyni had an odd sensation of cold within his head. "Alright! Pull it out!"
Kalosyni reached into his head, and took hold of his inner villain.
Then, they heard shouting from the front of the cave. "Hey! You can't just waltz in here without a reason! State your business!"
"Leave me be! I have to stop him!"
Soon enough, Kako muscled his way to the entrance of Serpent's room, with three others trying to hold him back. His eyes were wide, and he looked to Kalosyni as though he were about to shed tears. "Kalosyni! You don't have to do this!" he yelled.
Kalosyni glared fiercely at him. "Yes. I. Do." He gripped his inner villain tightly and pulled on it as hard as he could. The mass came right out, and he held it in his blood-stained hand as more blood began to drip down from his open forehead onto his face. He smiled. "I did it..." he thought as he began to lose consciousness.
"Kal!!" Kako bellowed, pulling away from the three others, running to Kalosyni's side.
Kalosyni fell to the floor, still holding his severed inner villain in his hand.
"The blood! We have to stop the bleeding!" Kako shouted, kneeling down to Kalosyni, looking into his face with eyes full of fear.
Kalosyni mustered a small laugh, as Kako had just proven himself wrong. Something Kako had stated a while back...
"The human race isn't as good as you think it is...."
By running to his side, trying to aid him, he had proven that mankind was just as good and tenderhearted as Kalosyni thought. In fact, perhaps it was even more benevolent than he had initially concluded. Kako's actions confirmed that....
Kalosyni slowly blacked out, with Kako kneeling by his side, his hand on Kal's shoulder....
Kalosyni awakened in a hospital bed, with Kako sitting in a chair beside him, sleeping. He sat up, and looked around, still feeling a little hazy. He noticed that the blood on his hand was gone, and figured it had been cleansed.
He touched the left side of his forehead with his left hand. "It's gone," he thought. "It's finally over." He knew that, now, he would never have to try to appease the demands of his inner villain. When his inner hero grew tired, he could simply turn to any other activity to give it an ideal rest. It's true that when one tires completely of a certain concept, the best thing to do is embrace the opposite concept for a while. But now that his inner villain was gone, Kalosyni didn't have to do that. He didn't have to embrace any aspect of villainy. He was......free.
Kako stirred in his chair, and slowly awakened. He yawned, and turned to Kalosyni. His eyes widened a bit when he looked Kal in the eyes. "Your eyes....they're yellow."
"They are?" Kalosyni thought, a bit confused. Then, he remembered that the Signal had told him that his eyes would change colors. He smiled, nodded, and said, "Oh, yeah. The Signal said they would turn yellow."
"I don't know. When the inner villain is removed, the eyes turn yellow for some reason." He touched his forehead again. "It's really gone...."
Kako's expression softened somewhat, and he said, "Yes. It is.....I guess you've beaten me, Kalosyni. Your refusal of villainy is quite impressive. I......will no longer be trying to convert you."
Kalosyni grinned, and he raised a fist into the air. "Yes!"
Kako laughed warmly. Then, he stated, "But! Don't think this means you've seen the last of me. Things were all too boring before I met you. I've rather enjoyed our adventures, Kal, and I don't wish to see them end. Perhaps....we could be arch-adversaries?"
Kalosyni thought it over for a bit. Then, he smiled, shrugged, and said, "Sure, I guess so."
Kako's smile widened, and he said, "Great. And...." He sat back in the chair, smirking at Kalosyni. "When your inner hero gets tired, I may still try to get ya' to play those games you were talking about. You know, the ones where you can play as a villain? I can't get you to embrace the art of doing bad for the sake of bad, but....perhaps I can still get you to open up a little bit to other aspects of villainy. Like self-indulgence."
Kalosyni grinned, and playfully threw one of the pillows on his bed at Kako. "Aw, get outta' town!"
Kako laughed amiably, and caught the pillow before it hit him.
Kalosyni sat up a little straighter, and said, "So, uh....you're probably pretty upset that I ripped out my inner villain...aren't you?"
Kako grimaced slightly. "Yes, but.....I'll get over it..."
After a brief period of silence, Kalosyni asked, "Hey, are you the one who brought me here?"
Kako nodded. "Yes. Serpent assured me that you passing out was normal, and that you were going to be just fine. But...I saw all that blood, and I kind of paniced."
"Well, thanks for trying to help me. I really appreciate it."
"Hey, no problem. I can't have my arch-adversary dying on me, now can I?"
Kalosyni and Kako both laughed a little.
A few hours later, Kalosyni was discharged from the hospital, and returned home to inform his very-worried parents of his clean bill of health. They hugged him tightly, ecstatic that he was alright after his ordeal. They cooked him a feast for dinner, but they all soon found that even the three of them together couldn't finish the whole thing.
The next day, Kalosyni returned to the hero base and described his adventure to the Signal, as well as many other heroes who were present. They applauded his courage and conviction. He humbly shook it off, however, declaring that many others would have done the same. The other heroes disagreed as a small group of Kalosyni's peers picked him up and began to sing "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow". Kalosyni laughed, embarrasedly, with his hand over his eyes.
Later, he was flying to poverty-stricken village in Asia with a package of supplies. The Signal had tried to convince him to take the day off, but Kalosyni insisted that he was fine, and wanted to continue his work.
He landed in the village, and placed the package down on the ground, as grateful villagers began to gather round. Kalosyni opened the package, and began to hand out supplies to the people. The people thanked him in their own language, smiling with the utmost appreciation as he gave the items to them. Their smiles warmed his heart to the highest degree. Being a hero never felt so good.