Today’s Friday Flash Fic prompt had me blinking for a bit, but then I remembered my story “Lesser Evil” from The Lavender Menace: Tales of Queer Villainy, and decided to go the super villain route. Tristan Edwards, known as Psilence, was a joy to write: a telepath who cam make people think and do whatever he wants, and who has at best a loose sense of morality, but a streak of vengeance a mile wide. By the end of “Necessary Evils,” it’s obvious he’d have to amend his methods, and go for more subtle approaches to taking down the people he feels are worth destroying.
It occurred to Tristan that of the three of them, he was the one that looked least like a threat. Even mostly naked, he was the one who likely wouldn’t earn a second glance. He wasn’t unattractive, was in decent enough shape, but compared to the other two? Well.
“You’re smiling,” Lewis said.
“Just thinking.” Lewis was a wall of a man. His metahuman body channeled any form of energy—even just sunlight—and it gave him a wrestler’s physique. Given his shaved head and thick beard, anyone encountering Lewis tended to give him a wide berth, even out of his armor.
In front of them was the young man they’d brought home last night. Like them, he was in his underwear, and while they weren’t unarmed—by their very nature, they couldn’t be—he held a bow. He drew back, and launched an arrow across the field at a target. Bullseye.
“Well done,” Lewis said.
Oskar smiled. “Thank you.”
Tristan reached into the archer’s mind through pathways he’d created throughout their athletic evening before. Oskar’s mind welcomed him. The Norwegian glanced at him, and the eye contact only strengthened the link.
“Now,” Tristan said. “Show us what you’ll do at the opening, if you don’t mind?” He stressed the last four words.
Beside him, Lewis chuckled. Oskar paid no attention.
“Ja,” Oskar picked up another arrow. He drew, just like before, lining up the shot…
He pivoted and shot the arrow into the dummy set up at the sideline, one man among four. It struck in the eye. Lethal. Oskar sank to his knees, dropped his bow, raised both hands, and waited quietly. They’d probably still shoot him, but it gave him a chance to survive. Oskar’s mind might not be particularly challenging, but it would still be a terrible waste of a lovely, lovely body.
“Perfect, Oskar.” Tristan eyed the dummy, then tapped Oskar on the shoulder.
Oskar blinked, and rose, smiling.
“That didn’t take long,” Lewis said.
“Some minds are more malleable than others.” Tristan glanced at Lewis, and saw the way Lewis was looking at the archer. Ah. Of course. He reached out telepathically.
“Oskar,” Tristan said, “If you don’t mind, go back to the bedroom, strip, and tell Lewis here the kinkiest things you’ve never told anyone you’d like to try.”
Oskar bit his lip. “Even role-playing stuff?”
“Definitely,” Lewis said. “Definitely that.”
“Ja,” Oskar said again, and left the two outside.
“I love working with you.” Lewis’s voice rumbled.
Lewis gestured at the dummies. An arc of blue-white plasma lashed from his palm, and the dummy pierced by Oskar’s arrow all but exploded under the assault. The dummies to either side were blackened and scorched.
“Though I miss taking out the trash myself.”
“Baby, you’re too hot right now. But even NAMDA can’t screen every performer and athlete for telepathic programming. Besides,” Tristan nodded to one of the scorched dummies. “You just killed the Democrat nominee, too.”
“Let’s go inside. There’s something else I’d like to hit.” He winked, and started back for the house. Tristan watched him walk, enjoying the play of muscles in the large man’s back. Aleph. At one point, he’d been the biggest threat on NAMDA’s radar. He probably still was, technically. But partnered with Psilence, he’d become a sniper rifle instead of a nuclear bomb.
“Lewis?” Tristan called.
Lewis turned. It was obvious from his boxers that he was more than ready for what waited for them in the bedroom.
“Leave some for me,” Tristan said, and without even a pang of regret, he added, “if you don’t mind.”