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Hidden Intents

Chapter Four – A Deadly Meal

City of Heroes and City of Villains fiction


By Eli J. Litzelman



            “What will you accomplish?”  Archer of Ramesses said into his communicator.


            “I have a plan.  Just be there,” RoboZon replied.


            “I shall.”  The Egyptian hung up.


            RoboZon put the phone down and observed himself in the mirror.  He was wearing a white button-up shirt and deep black slacks.  It was the nicest clothes he had worn in probably over a year, but somehow it did not seem good enough.  Suddenly, he looked down.  His hands were shaking.  Sighing, he could not remember a time when he was this nervous.  Squaring his jaw, he gathered his courage.  He then reached down, picked the phone back up, and called Banished in Silence.


            The phone rang.  It rang twice.  By the third ring, Carl was on the verge of sweating.  “Hello,” her voice sounded over the line.  Carl froze.  “Hello?” she repeated.


            Finally, Carl swallowed the gigantic lump in his throat and spoke.  “Hi, Katie.”


            “Oh, hey Carl.”


            Trying to speak without choking, Carl said, “Hey, I was wondering if you were doing anything tonight.  Maybe, we could have dinner or something.”


            Katie paused for a second, which caused Carl to twitch.  She then replied, “Sure, how does six o’ clock sound?”


            Carl tried hard, with some success, not to squeak when he responded.  “How does ‘Little Italy’ sound?”


            “That sounds good.”


            “Ok, I’ll see you then.”




            Dropping the phone, RoboZon fell to his knees and gasped for breath.  He then raised his hands in the air in celebration.






            RoboZon arrived early.  He got a table for two near the back and sat down.  Walking up to the table, a waitress with a green apron asked how he was doing as she poured him a glass of water.  He responded that he was just fine before sipping the water to calm his nerves.


            The waitress later came back with bread, but Carl ignored it.  Staring at the menu, he tried to decide what to get.  He wanted something that was not messy; nevertheless, he wanted something that actually tasted good.  What about the pasta?” he thought as he turned to that section.  Just then, he caught Katie’s image out of the corner of his eye.  Instinctively, he stood up and, with much effort, kept his jaw from dropping.  He suddenly wished he was wearing something nicer.


            A deep navy dress draped her slender form.  The front hung low and created an oval that came back just below her shoulder blades.  Her short black hair was pulled back and hung down just below her ears.  Dark glasses covered her eyes, which constantly pulsed with negative energy.


            Carl rounded the table and, with a flourish, pulled out her chair.  Unleashing a dazzling smile, she tucked her dress under her and sat down.  He then walked back around the table.  “I’m having a little trouble deciding what to get.”


            Smirking a little, she replied, “What are you in the mood for?”


            “Well, I was thinking about having some pasta.”


            “In that case, I suggest the Fettucini Alfredo; I hear it’s quite good.”


            “Sounds good to me.”


            Just then the waitress walked back in.  “Are you ready to order?”


            Katie spoke first.  “I’ll have the Chicken Milano.”


            “Alright, and what would you like, sir?”


            Carl paused for a second before saying, “The Fettu… Fettu…”


            Then Katie broke in, “Fettucini Alfredo.”


            Carl smiled.  “Thanks.”


            The waitress smiled and said, “Very good; your food will be ready shortly.”


            Before long, their meals were prepared and they were eating. The talk diminished as the food arrived but soon picked back up again.  Carl tried to pay attention, but he had a massive itch on the center his back.  He dared not try to scratch it.  He then looked up and had an idea.  “Do you mind if I try some of yours?”


            “No, go ahead.”


            Carl reached over and plucked a bit out with his fork before placing it in his mouth.  “Not bad,” he said as he chewed.  He was lying.  Prior to taking the bite he already knew that he would not like it, but since he was being hunted he decided it would be a good idea to check for poison.  It was safe.  He also knew when he leaned forward he would rub the section of his back that itched against the back of the chair.  Score,” he thought.


Katie gave him a strange look.  “Why are you smiling?”


            “No reason.”


            She knew he was lying, but she did not mind.  Then, she caught herself smiling and knew that Carl knew she knew that he was lying.


            Carl noted the awkward silence, but staring at her smile, he did not care.  The room went silent.  From the way the edges of her mouth curved up just slightly to the very small dimples in her cheeks, he loved every second of it.  For a brief moment, he thought he caught a glint in her eye, even through the dark glasses.  He then heard a faint noise to his right and, regretfully, knew the meal was over.


            A dart.  A projectile.  A weapon.  A lethal weapon.  It was hollow.  Filled with a deadly poison, it would pour its contents into the target at the instant of impact.  As soon as it was released and the air caught the dark feather on the end, it was joined by another.


            Two targets:  one oblivious, the other poised.


            Two targets.  Two projectiles.  Two fatalities.


            RoboZon leaped into the air.  His suit, which he had kept invisible throughout the meal, suddenly appeared over his dinner apparel.  He dove forward and snatched a poisoned dart out of the air an inch from Banished in Silence’s head.  The other arrow he caught between his feet at the opposite end of the table.  Throwing both ends of his body together in a “U” shape, he released the darts and sent them back to one of their owners.


            The first projectile hit its possessor in the stomach, the second just under his cheek bone.  Leaping from a ceiling beam, the second assassin landed on the table the same instant that RoboZon completed his spin and landed.  Patrons started screaming and running for the nearest exit.


            Being a Ninja, the killer was robed in black from head to toe and carried two katanas crossed on his back.  A headband identified him as a Joinin.  Preferring speed over power, he arced his foot up toward the side of RoboZon’s head.  Sinking to avoid the blow, the hero slammed out with his foot and kicked the Ninja in the groin.  The dark assailant doubled over and RoboZon finished him by crashing an elbow down into the back of his head and snapping his neck. 


Another enemy flew through the air.  Before RoboZon could respond, however, the villain was struck in the chest with a bolt of dark energy and fell to the ground.  Banished in Silence had joined the fight.  Just as she was smiling from her small triumph, however, she was hit in the head so hard she flew back a few feet before landing.  Banmotsudo, a dark figure in shredded clothing, stood over her.  The attacker held his bladed staff over his head in preparation to strike.  RoboZon suddenly flew in and kicked the unique weapon out of the way.  Banmotsudo let the staff swing in an arc and simply brought up the other end to attack.  Sidestepping, RoboZon avoided the approaching blade and turned to kick, but was parried.  Seeing the obvious disadvantage of not having a weapon against such a master, he dove backwards and kicked the table behind him with such force it knocked the top clear off the legs.  Before the legs even had a chance to collapse to the ground, RoboZon picked one up in each hand and reentered the fight.


As RoboZon charged forward, Banmotsudo thrust a blade toward the hero’s chest.  The metallic warrior snapped out his arm and pushed the staff out of the way with one table leg.  The assassin then swung the weapon sideways, but RoboZon deflected the blow with the other table leg.  Leaping backwards, he let go of both legs, grabbed his enemy’s weapon, and kicked Banmotsudo in the chest with both of his feet.  Once he had taken the staff from the assassin he spun and lashed out.  He felt pressure and saw blood, but did not see what he hit until he landed. 


Banmotsudo had a deep gash from his chin all the way up to his left ear.  Just as RoboZon was charging in for the kill, he felt something slam into him and he tumbled forward.  He tried to stand but could not move.  He then saw what was happening:  He was trapped in a net.  Looking over at Banished in Silence, he saw that she was still knocked out cold.


Banmotsudo grinned and his now visible teeth were covered in blood.  He pulled a small blade from beneath his sleeve and prepared to give a fatal blow.  Before it could be delivered, however, a dark figure emerged from the shadows.


Ninjado re-sheathed his bow and said in a deep voice just loud enough to be heard, “Leave him alive.”


Banmotsudo sneered but reluctantly bowed to his master.  He then flipped the knife over in his hand and knocked RoboZon out with the butt of it.


Ninjado waved a hand in the air and several more Ninjas dropped to the ground and picked the hostages up.  “Take them into the sewers.  I shall follow close behind.”  

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