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The Villain

Chapter One

'I  remember the back of your head, the tip of your tongue...'

The music reverberated in the night, the drums of the techno-rock song sending ripples through the silence. Diana Quill sat on the artificial grass outside the club, her arms a cradling X under her head. She was trying her luck at counting the stars. All the stars that made up the wide sea above her. She wondered what the wind felt like, what it would be like to breathe in actual air and not everyone's recycled farts pumped into the life support.

She'd never been outside the dome. She'd never seen a flower bloom in natural conditions, never touched real sand and never seen a beach, never heard a seagull. She'd never seen what life is really like outside Legacy Station, never left the Moon; so many real things she'd never experienced. She had never really lived.

'Maybe I just don't believe, maybe you're the same as me...'

'Your mom is going to kill you in exact...10 seconds.' Yace said, a cheeky smile plastered on her face, ear to ear. She passed her cigarette to Diana, then blew the smoke out in little circles, puckering her lips so that the shapes would form out perfectly. She sat down next to her friend, holding her knees to her chest.

'Meh...'Diana said, savouring the flavoured burn of the cigarette 'If she won't allow me to go out there' she said, pointing with precise vagueness towards the sky 'she might as well suffer me staying out late. And doing this' she continued, blowing out the smoke as if it were part of her worries.

Yace giggled, then laid down next to Diana, her head in the opposite direction from her friend's.

'Your mom's a historian, her curiosities lie in the past, she's got no interest in what the space holds for us.'

'But I want to know!' Diana growled, punching the grass, small fake tufts flying aimlessly. For a moment there, she was surprised by her own emotional outburst, then released a heavy sigh. 'I need to know' she continued, in a defeated voice.

Yace remained silent. She knew that Diana's exasperation with leaving the Legacy was only partly fuelled by curiosity and a sense of adventure. Her father was up there. Somewhere out there, in the great unknown, in the vacuum of space, trapped between planets, longing to come home. He was a test pilot for the Earth's military. All he did to become such a haunting entity in Diana's life was to take off one day, more than seventeen years ago. He was never heard from since. Diana was only a blob of a baby; all she'd ever seen of her father were a few photos her mother saved. She never forgave him for taking that mission, but Diana's absolutes were of a different nature. She needed answers, whereas her mother made peace with the thought that the cold, dark Infinite had done him in.

'Are we still meeting tomorrow?' Yace asked, trying to lighten up the mood.

Diana let out the cigarette smoke in a thin trail, through the corner of her mouth. She looked like one the rascals in her cartoonish magazines. She kept looking at the sky like she was waiting for it to answer to her most stringent question. 'Where is he?' She did that often.

'Di' Yace insisted, tapping her foot.

'Yeah, I'm not going to let stupid Bane try and take my title' Diana said, then got up, returned the cigarette to Yace, and headed down towards the building. 'You know me, I never back down from a fight.'

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