Los Paradiso | 02:31AM
L I S A M A R I E W A L K E R
Interacting with: Claire “Noctis” Quinn (@Superboy)
Lisa’s emotions were high, her anger a hot, fierce thing, animal and passionate, pulsating waves of rage rising in her chest like the sways on the sea, beating through her arms and legs, sending shivers of uncontrollable excitement shooting through her limbs. Never in her short life had she ever felt like this before. Not when she was a little girl, confused and angry at the world because of her parents’ divorce, thinking it was all her fault for being ‘broken’
. Not when those criminals were beating her within an inch of her life. There was a roaring in her ears, loud and rolling, echoey, like when you hold a shell to your ear and pretend to hear the ocean. It was so loud that it seemed to block out everything else. The pattering of rain on the streets around them. The continuous wailing of the alarm from the shop the bad-guys had broken into. The very thoughts in her head. It was so deafening that if she had the ability to think straight, she might have wondered if she would ever be able to hear anything above that roaring ever again.
Despite all that, Lisa heard the stranger’s words with crystal clarity, her utterances cutting through the fugue in Lisa’s head like a hot knife through butter. At first it almost seemed like the other woman was confused, as if something Fury said had managed to shake that iron-conviction she seemed to have. If that was the case, then the woman’s indecision lasted mere moments before her fiery self-assuredness came rocketing back to the fore, as she snarled at Fury to get off the streets, as condescending as ever, before spinning on her heels, wordlessly dismissing the aspiring vigilante.
Lisa screwed her eyes tight, fighting the tears of frustration that were threatening to spill down her cheeks. She hated that this stranger had pegged her as a weakling, and disregarded her as of no consequence. She hated the fact that she might be right to even more. “What’s the point of fighting the darkness and cruelty of the world, if you let it make you dark and cruel in the process!”
She cried, desperate with the childish notion that if she got the last word in then she might somehow win
, whatever that would mean here. “Better to die with my morals intact, than end up like them! Or you!”
But she might as well have been screaming at someone on the other side of the planet, because the gunwoman was long past listening to her. Having the last word didn’t do anything for Lisa’s argument, nor did it feel nearly as fulfilling as it seemed like it should have. It just felt like she was screaming in street during a rainstorm, a lesson in futility that she was sure she didn’t need right not.
She crunched her fists up tight, feeling the ache in her knuckles, and wondered just what it was she had accomplished tonight. Just what good
had she done? Wait, what was that? That sound in the distance? Sounded almost like …
Lisa cocked her ear towards the noise, straining to hear over the hammering rain and the high-pitched squealing of the alarm. Wooo-waa, wooo-waaa, woo-wa-wa-wa-wa.
Her gut fell. It was distant, but getting closer. The sirens of a police cruiser were almost un-mistakable, especially for someone who’d watched as many buddy cop movies and procedural crime dramas as her. She couldn’t be caught here. Vigilantism was still illegal in the city, and if they caught Lisa on the scene they’d throw her straight into lockup, no matter how good her intentions. She had to get out of here, and quick. She took a few faltering steps before some unidentified compulsion forced her to a halt, her attention moving to focus on the unmoving body slumped upon the wet ground. Hopefully they’ll be able to …
Able to what? Find the killer? Stop her before she struck again? The killer was right there, in front of Lisa, but getting further away by the moment, walking away casually and slwoly though she hadn’t seemed to have heard the sirens yet. Fury was supposed to be a vigilante, a hero, the last defence between the innocent of this city, and the ones who would hurt them. Shouldn’t she be doing her best to take the shooter down, and hand deliver her to the police? That’s what the hero did with the murderer, right?
But then, why did the stranger kill? To save Lisa, who she thought was about to be killed by all those violent thugs. That’s what she said. She thought she had been helping, just like Lisa had thought
she was helping. Who was to say which one of them was the hero here, and which one was the idiot. The masked stranger had killed, yes, but maybe she was right. Maybe a fight was no place for morals. Maybe Lisa just was too inexperienced to know the rules about such things. Maybe it was all beyond her.
The sirens were getting closer by the moment, and any second now those police cruisers would come screeching onto the scene. Lisa had to be lone gone before they arrived, but before she moved she had to decided what to do about the gunman. Let her go, or stop her now. Her guts squirmed, and her stomach churned. What was the right decision here? Was there a right decision here? Where’s the black and white in this? Why’s it all grey?
A groan creaked from Fury’s battered lips, but one that spoke of moral indecision rather than physical pain. She still hadn’t made up her mind over what the right thing to do was when she started to move towards the stranger. The sirens were so loud now that the gunwoman had obviously heard them, but perhaps she just didn’t care, as she was still ambling towards the alley mouth as slowly and as confidently as she had been beforehand. Lisa crashed into the back of the masked figure, and only in that moment of contact did she decide upon what action she was going to take. She part-pushed, part-shoved and part-dragged the gunwoman into the alleyway, then deeper into the shadowy confines, safe from the prying eyes of the law.
The woman had
saved her life, or at least she thought she had. That had to count for something, Lisa decided. Her actions were misguided and brutal, and wrong on so many levels, but she had to see the good in them. She’d made a choice to help a person she’d never met before, and for that she deserved a chance. Well, a second one to be more precise. Maybe next time she wouldn’t be so quick to pull the trigger, to end a life. Maybe next time she’d think about the last person she saved
, and think twice about the morality of her actions. And maybe I’ll figure out what’s causing these storms and save the city.
Truth be told, Lisa wasn’t sure if she’d made the right choice, but it was too late to second guess now. She’s have to live with her decision, like it or not. She turned to the mysterious stranger. “Next time I see you …”
She began, but then didn’t know how to finish. She’d meant to come out with some kind of raspy ultimatum, the kind to make the woman rethink her life choices, but on second thought that just seemed like it would end up sounding empty. Lisa just didn’t have the energy, or the vitriol, to make any kind of threat. “I don’t want there to be a next time.”
She finished instead, unable to keep the exhaustion and hurt from her voice. With a sigh, she turned her back to the stranger, wanting nothing more in that moment than a mug of hot coco and her mom to kiss her forehead and to tell her it was ‘all going to be alright’
. She began the long walk home. Welcome to the hero-business Fury.
She wondered when the world started feeling so hollow.