The first lieutenant on my list from Lil’ Loco was called Muerte. I can barely hide my amusement that the banger who is called Death will die by my hand. I wonder what that makes me? Will the real Death please stand up?

I hadn’t bothered to try to convince Dianna to let me take care of this alone. I understood her need for revenge. It’s an all-consuming flame that would burn everything you held close. I was hoping to stop that from happening. But first, I had to keep her alive. Maybe one day we could laugh about all of this. Probably not.

I waited for the guard to finish his rounds and take a break. Luckily, Muerte’s men were a bunch of drunk, loudmouth buffoons. Once he left his post to hit the tequila bottle again, I silently scaled the one-story building and got into position. Looking over, I saw that Dianna was following the plan and hadn’t done anything stupid. I closed my eyes and centered myself. My breath steadied, and I went to that place where only killers could go. The place where you were turned to ice, and you stopped caring about preserving human life. Usually, killers either disassociated or found far too much pleasure in the killing. Mine was a mixture of the two, but I tried to lean more toward not being a complete psycho.


With a loud smash, I broke through the ceiling and landed in the middle of the large room where Muerte was sitting on his throne. Slowly, I looked up and made eye contact. The guards raised their weapons. I attributed their delayed reaction to the sudden hole in the ceiling. Pieces of debris littered the once meticulously clean room.

I didn’t worry about more of the goons coming in because Dianna was taking care of the two guards. I hadn’t specified that we needed them alive, so I had no idea how she was going to dispatch them. Maybe they would be alive and cuffed, or maybe they would resemble swiss cheese. Either way, I didn’t care.

Before the guns were trained on me, Muerte raised his hand.

“Boys, is that any way to treat an honored guest? Surely we can do better when we have a goddess visiting,” he said in the best Spanglish I have heard from these morons thus far. I wasn’t amused.

He clicks his tongue across his teeth and makes a vulgar gesture.

“That’s right, gringa. I know who you are.”

“You don’t know shit.” I glared at him.

“Oh, but I do. The great Athena, Goddess of Warcraft and Wisdom. It’s not very wise of you to barge in here uninvited. If you wanted my churro, all you had to do is ask.” He cupped his crotch and blew me a kiss.

“I’m not interested in your mini-churro. Bite-size isn’t enough for me. You need a bigger cooker, Muerte.” I let out a laugh and stood straight. Brushing the debris off of my pantsuit, I walked up to the one who calls himself death. I thought I would have to go cold for this, but anger ignited within me and took over. The heat burned bright, and I cocked my head back and laughed.

When I returned my gaze to Muerte, he had paled. He swallowed so hard that it was audible to everyone in the room. He must have seen the monster that I could be, and now he couldn’t look away. I almost felt sorry for him…no, I didn’t. I didn’t give a fuck.

Smiling, I pulled out my two favorite boys and aimed them at two of his guards. I didn’t need to look to know where to shoot. I had done this so many times that it was almost automatic. Firing both shots, the men fell to the floor. What was left of their heads made a wet sound when they hit the floor. I ran to the right side and slid on the floor to catch two more of his men that were attempting to get a jump on me. 

Standing up again, I straightened my hair and walked toward my prey. The closer I got, the larger his eyes got. He knew this was the end.

“Wait, gringa, I have information you want. I tell you anything you want to know.” His English broke, and he started speaking in Spanish. Pity for him that I knew that too.

“Dónde está el rey?” I asked. He shook his head, pleading to my better nature. Right now, I didn’t have one. I swore to Dianna that I would find those responsible for her father’s death, and a goddess always kept her word.

He begged as I teleported from across the room, appearing right beside him. He let out a very un-manly squeal as I laid a hand on his shoulder and squeezed hard enough to crush bone. If I were to let him live, it would never heal properly. I was betting that he wouldn’t live long enough for it to matter. 

I smiled as I balled up my fist and hit him in the face. He was knocked unconscious instantly and fell to the floor. I picked him up with ease and slung him over my shoulder, and walked outside to meet Dianna.

Dianna was standing behind two men. She had bound and gagged them. 

“Oh, you let yours live?” I asked rhetorically. She peered behind me at the destruction I’d left behind.

“I see you didn’t.” She arched her eyebrow.

“What? Going to arrest me?”

“Somehow, I don’t think that would work. Who is your friend?”

“This would be the big, bad Mr. Death. Scared? Me either.”

We shared an awkward laugh as we huddled together, and I teleported us all back to my interrogation room. 

As soon as we materialized, Dianna grabbed her mouth.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah, but motion sickness, or I guess it would be teleportation sickness.”

I had seen the reaction in many mortals. Teleporting could be an acquired taste. Some never got used to it.

“Why don’t you go get something to eat and a glass of water. It should help.” I motioned toward the door that led upstairs.

“Good idea. Just don’t start without me, okay?”

“I wouldn’t dream of it.”

She left the room, and I got the men separated and ready for our questions. I would keep my word and wait for Dianna to return. After that, I made no promises.

Athena (Rainbow Brubaker)
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