Priscilla the Great: Too Little Too Late

By Sybil Nelson
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Chapter One


Marco's left fist connected with my right eye. I saw stars. Literally, I saw stars. And it wasn't the kind of stars I saw a couple of hours ago the last time Marco touched me. That time he had his lips against mine and I saw the kind of stars that make you ridiculously happy and make all your girlfriends crazy jealous. The kind of stars that say, "that's right, I'm frenching a hot French boy." Nope, definitely not those kind of stars. These were the "oh snap I'm gonna get killed by a human robot" kind of stars.

I did a back flip out of the way trying to buy some time before I would actually have to fight him back. I didn't want to hurt him. I knew he wouldn't try to kill me on purpose. This was all because of Colonel Selliwood. The real Marco cared about me and would do anything for me. He told me that himself. I didn't want to do any permanent damage to him. But if he kept bashing my face in I'd have no choice.

I stole a glance at Tai pounding away at the computer trying to figure out how to undo whatever had been done to Marco.

"How's it going over there, Tai?" I asked, faking calmness as I dodged a roundhouse kick from the super powered metal maniac who used to be my super powered crush.

"I'm doing the best I can," she said in a shaky voice. I sure hoped she didn't start crying. That was so not what we needed right now. I knew Tai could handle this. She had to. I mean, what's the point of having a genius best friend if she can't hack into a few computers and undo a little mind control programming from evil villains?

"I don't know how long I can hold him off, Tai. He's -" I didn't get to finish my thought as Marco landed a right hook to the side of my face. My mouth filled with the metalic taste of blood. This is not usually how I tasted metal when I was around Marco.

I spit a mouthful of blood on the floor. Yes, I spit. I know that's gross but swallowing a mouthful of blood is grosser (is that a word?).

Oh, I was so tired of bleeding. I mean I've been kicked, punched, stabbed, and shot. And that's just tonight! That's it. He was going down. I didn't care how cute or how good of a kisser he was. I reared back and landed a punch to his gut. I cried out in pain. Tears instantly welled up in my eyes. "Holy hot chocolate! That hurt!" Marco in metal form was indestructible. I think I just broke my hand on his stomach.

I looked into his cold blank eyes. He gave no reaction to my pain. If I was fighting Xi she would at least laugh at me. This was like fighting an emotionless robot. It was kind of scary.

"You okay, Priss?" Tai called over to me.

I threw a blast of fire with my fingers into Robot Marco's face to give myself a second to get away. Now it was his turn to scream in pain. Huh? So even in metal form he could still feel pain. I'd have to use that.

"I'm fine," I yelled to Tai after I hid behind a lab table. Well, that was a lie. I totally was not fine. I stared at the bent and bloody fingers of my left hand. So much for that manicure.

Marco’s metal feet clanged against the tiles of the huge laboratory we were in. Whatever Colonel Selliwood had done to him it obviously affected his common sense. He should've found me ten seconds ago since there wasn’t much to hide behind in here. There was a glass pentagon shaped cubicle in the center of the room where Tai worked on the computer. He should have been able to look straight through it and see me but instead he was still turning around in circles with a determinedly blank yet slightly confused expression on his face. His confusion might be my only hope. Fighting him hand to hand would be plain stupid, unless I was ready to break every bone in my body.

Leaping out from my hiding place, I jumped on a table and started blasting him with my fire power. His screams of pain brought tears to my eyes. I didn't want to hurt him but I had no choice. He marched blindly toward the source of the fire so I flipped out of the way and started blasting him from another angle. He fell to one knee still crying out in agony. I thought I had him beat so I stopped shooting. A second later, however, he disappeared. He used his super speed to get away. Now it was my turn to spin around in confused circles. Where did he go? Well, that question was painfully answered as soon as I felt his metal fingers around my neck.

I gasped as I tried to scratch, hit, and kick my way free. Nothing worked. He was squeezing the life out of me. I started blasting his face with fire, but I had so little oxygen in my lungs the stream was weak and started to fade.

I saw spots. The room dimmed to black. My life started flashing before me. Don't laugh, it did.

I saw myself at six years old pouring milk in Kyle's hair because a commercial said "It does a body good" and I thought his body could use some good.

I saw myself in third grade aka The Era of Unfortunate Hair, meeting Tai for the first time right after I punched Kyle in stomach for picking on said unfortunate hair.

I saw myself standing on my front porch last November after escaping the Selliwood Institute when Kyle asked me to the River Day dance.

Then I saw myself on our farm in Missouri having my first kiss on my thirteenth birthday. Once again, it was with Kyle.

Why was it that all my memories involved Kyle? I mean, I was a genetically enhanced superhero who defeated evil villains every time I turned around yet all I could think of was my first boyfriend while I was being choked to death by my second boyfriend.

For some reason, thinking about Kyle gave me a boost of energy. I really wanted to see him again one day even though he currently hated my guts because of, well, Marco. I focused that energy into my fingers and sent flames into both of Marco's ears. He released my neck and clutched the sides of his head.

I ran away and hid again while gasping for air and rubbing my sore neck.

"Uh, Priss, we got company," Tai said.

"What do you mean?" My voice was barely a whisper so she probably didn't hear me. Thankfully, she continued.

"It's Ian. He's coming this way and, uh, I don't think he likes us very much anymore."

"What's your point? He's never liked us!"

"Uh, my point is he looks about as deadly as Marco right now. And he's leading the others right to us!"

I shook my head in disbelief. There was no way I could defeat all of them by myself. How did I get into this? More importantly, how the heck was I gonna get out of it?

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