002 Drugged-out Punky Brewster.

Life sucks.

Seventeen-year-old Gaia Moore was having a grand old time walking around the chess tables at Washington Square Park. As a matter of fact, she almost couldn’t wait to call up Tatiana and have her come and join in. It was becoming a very mindless activity that was just perfect for the moment.

Stopping for a second to gather her thoughts, Gaia sat down on a park bench. She was utterly dismayed of the past events. First of all, she had just found out that George Niven, a good friend of her father and her most trusted (okay, at this point it would be more like ‘least trusted’) confidant, had sold her to the lions. He was a twenty-first century Benedict Arnold, pure and simple. Not only that, but he had lied to her about the intentions of Natasha, her father’s so-called “girlfriend.”

And all this to help him. Gaia’s eyes narrowed. The thought of her scumbag uncle was almost enough to make her puke. He had been after her since what seemed like the beginning of time. Of course, to add to his debauchery for her and his diabolical contrivances to murder her sanity, he had also gotten Mr. Faithful over there on Perry Street to lie to her in the first place. Gee… Do I smell Family Feud?

“Come back you dirty kid!”

Gaia looked up, her observant eyes seeking out any disturbance in the darkness. Gone were her woes about George and Loki. Well, at least for the moment. What she did see caused the usual adrenaline rush to course through her now electrified body.

A young girl was in the hairy-fisted clutches of three fiends, who were all in black and wearing ‘cuz-I’m-a-thug expressions. She looked like a homeless girl from the throes of the darkness, too slender to be eating regularly. Or even better yet, a really unlucky child star who had too much of the highlife. A drugged-out Punky Brewster or something.

“Let me go!” the girl exclaimed, sounding like a victim from one of those Lifetime movies. She wiggled and writhed her way a couple of inches—typical victim behavior. Gaia stood, ready spring out like rock on a slingshot and attack.

“Shut up, kid,” said the ringleader (his black outfit seemed more affluent than the other two so Gaia guessed this was so). He pointed a burly finger in the girl’s tearstained, dirt-ridden face. “I thought I told you to keep your mouth shut before I kill you.”

The girl gave the guy a look that stopped Gaia in her tracks. She had seen that look before. It was the look of defiance that separated the dim-witted, bloodcurdling-scream-from-Jason-movie victims from the brave or either stupid ones. And from what Gaia could tell, she must be very brave.

Either that or dumber than a mug.

“You won’t kill me!” she declared boldly. “You don’t kill people in my family—they kill you!” With that she opened her mouth and clamped her pearly white teeth down on the man’s awaiting finger. A sickening crunch followed and Gaia winced as the man screamed in pain.

“You little—” he growled and raised a hand to slap her around, face contorted with hate, anger, and bad-guy malice.

Now it was on.

That seemed to be Gaia’s cue to intervene. She leapt up from the park bench as if she had just found out it was quarantined for smallpox and rushed forward. The assailants looked up at Gaia, the “leader” regarding her with a smug look that just looked as if it would go really good with her rock hard fist.

“Something you wanted, girlie?” The tone was patronizing. Such manly charm. And the use of the word ‘girlie.’ It almost made her want to go start a feminist rally and beat macho Neanderthals over the head with billy clubs. Almost.

“Yeah,” Gaia replied. “I wanted to tell you that this is my park. And I don’t appreciate you knocking off little kids around here.”

“Your park huh? I don’t see your name on it. Unless it’s Washington Square.”

Gaia stepped forward, expression deadly serious. Gee. This one’s a smart aleck. “Believe me, it’s here. You just didn’t look hard enough.”

He rolled his eyes. “Don’t waste my time, girlie. Now get out of here and go back to your fingernail polish or whatever it is you teenagers do these days. I’m trying to conduct my business here.”

Gaia chuckled. “Well, I’m the boss. And any business that ain’t my business better be my business or else.”

“Or else what?” Gaia didn’t answer so he grabbed her shirt and pulled her forward. “Now you shut up and go on some where before you’ll be thinking bullets.”

At this point, Gaia should have been quaking in fear. After all, this man, who looked like he had just stepped out of the ring with some WWF super beefcake, was about to throttle her and who knew what kind of artillery he had packed under that regulation black suit of his. But of course little Gaia was bereft of the fear gene so it didn’t come. Big whoopee. Instead she leaned into his face, therefore surprising him and making him let her go.

“Why don’t you make me?” she hissed.

With lightning quick speed, she lashed out with a kick that could have taken someone’s head off. Her foot hit the man in his upraised hand and he growled-this time in frustration and pain once again. He spun toward Gaia ready to beat her up. Gaia, of course wasn’t going to stand for that. She responded with a punch to the cheek, followed by a knee to the groin.

He fell to the ground courtesy of Gaia’s TKO. The two men holding Miss Crest Toothpaste 2002 went on alert, which meant that their grip on their captive was loosened for a moment. Gaia was about to unleash a combination of kicks and punches to subdue the men when the girl did something that almost made her lose her surprise-attack advantage.

The girl suddenly went into a fighting stance. She first kneed the captor on her right in the stomach. He doubled over in pain, looking as if he had a case of surprise appendicitis. She then turned to the left one and kicked him in the side with a final left-cross-right-hook-combo to his jaw for pain and suffering. Turning and seeing that the first one was recovering, she grabbed his hand, pulled it behind his back in an immobilizing half nelson, then bent it so hard that it broke like glass under her slender, dangerous fingers.

Gaia’s eyes widened. Whoa. She just broke that man’s wrist as if it were mere plastic. Just who was this girl anyway?

She finished them both off with a kick to their temples. They rolled over on their sides, down for the count like their so-called leader.

Gaia took a moment to comprehend all this. Okay, here it is for the record. Young girl trapped by three guys. Fearless stranger runs up to save the day. Young girl gets free. Young girl beats captors like they stole something. Young girl kicks tree. Gaia suddenly frowned now, staring at the dark-haired girl. Young girl kicks tree?

At the moment the former victim was kicking the stuffing out of a nearby tree, in house shoes no less. In gasping breaths she growled something that Gaia couldn’t recognize. It took a moment for her to realize that she was speaking an eclectic mix of Japanese and Spanish. This girl just had to be crazy or something. After all, you just don’t go kicking trees after you just opened up a major can of whoopass on some bad guys. It just wasn’t in the rules of supergirl freaks. Now, a trash can maybe, but definitely not a tree. And in two languages! Gee, this one was a great find.

“Baka! Tu eres una baka!” She kicked at the tree again. “Baka! No tienes el disque y—”

“Um, excuse me,” Gaia began. The girl paused. She turned slowly to face Gaia as if her brain suddenly resumed cerebral activity. “What, may I ask, are you doing?”



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