Anger fills me as I land the final, decisive blow. My opponent collapses to the ground in a heap.
It isn’t fair.
“They shouldn’t have sent you,” I breathe as I scoop her up and carry her inside.
She groans as her broken bones shift. I lay her out carefully on the dining room table and get to work setting limbs. It’s tiring work, and she loses consciousness a few times during the process, but I know they won’t bother.
She isn’t even a real person to them. She’s a symbol. They’re so enamored with the idea of an unlikely hero that they forget what it is that makes said hero unlikely in the first place.
I look her over. She’s small and probably not out of her teens yet. My stomach turns as I realize she’s the oldest they’ve ever sent. She’s been brainwashed into being their champion.
They never liked how I came into power. It wasn’t illegal, but it may not have been honest or conventional, but, at the time, most people were fine with it. They might not like it, but that doesn’t give them the right to send children to fight me.
Lambs to the slaughter, that’s all I see now.
My phone rings as I turn off the light and ease the hall door shut to give her some privacy. I answer it.
“Bloodfury, you haven’t heard the last of us,” they howl.
“If that’s the case, face me yourself.” I don’t mean to shout, and the volume of my own voice catches me off guard.
“Man needs a champion.”
“Then send an adult. I’m sick of fighting children.”
“Then give up!”
“I have the right to defend myself. You send these children to my home, armed and out of their minds with false righteous anger, and expect me to remain passive?”
The line goes dead and I sigh.
I was selected by and for the people. I haven’t been recalled, not in any official way that matters, and until I am, I will not yield.
I think all started as a joke somewhere. Someone said I must be some kind of super villain because of my name. I can’t help that my parents named me Hildy Bloodfury, just like I can’t help that I’m larger and stronger than most grown men.
It was all just fringe nonsense in the beginning, but now it’s gotten mainstream traction. Everyone is too preoccupied with the idea that a real-life super villain has come into power to go through the proper channels to dethrone me.
Maybe I should resign.
I crack open the dining room door and check on the poor girl. She doesn’t look good. I’ll have to start deprogramming her in the morning. She can join the others in the cellar.
She’ll be the newest recruit in my little army. You know, just in case.