Masks: Ordinary Champions
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by Hayden Thorne
Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Suspense/Thriller
Description: Book Three of the Masks series follows Eric's adventures as a newly-transformed supervillain sidekick. Taking advantage of Eric's relationship with Peter, the Devil's Trill uses him for a shield against the superheroes. In the meantime, new villains and a new, covert vigilante-like group appear, with a young hero with chameleon powers attempting to infiltrate the Trill's hideout and help Eric. Eric struggles with his conscience and schemes to turn the tables on the Trill, but his powers deteriorate. He grows more and more unstable and unsafe while the Trill's henchmen appear to grow stronger and stronger, as though they were also subjected to the same manipulation that's been used on Eric. As the Trill fights both the heroes and tries to assert his dominance over the new villains, Eric realizes that he doesn't have much time left to set things right on his own, even if it costs him his life.
eBook Publisher: Torquere Press/Prizm Books, 2009 http://www.prizmbooks.com
eBookwise Release Date: July 2009
14 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [281 KB]
Reading time: 177-248 min.
Something downright sucky had happened in my past life, and I was paying for every miserable scrap of it now. How did my life stink? Let me count the ways. On second thought, scratch that. It would only depress me even more. To sum up, on top of the quagmire of angst in which I found myself, I was still required to do my homework.
Talk about rubbing salt into one's wounds.
A few days following the Trill's release--once I was acclimated to my new situation, that is--I was ordered to do my homework. While I certainly enjoyed a pretty exotic environment for mundane school stuff--seriously, who else could boast of being surrounded by faux Italian frescoes, violin solos softly filling the background, while snarling his way through proofs?--it still bit hard that I was actually required to carry on with my education.
I mean, who'd ever heard of supervillains doing schoolwork? Not me! But there I was, completely caged in by my "guardian," commanded to carry on with my studies because "Villainy demands high standards." Sheesh. I'd bet my allowance that, had I been eighteen and not sixteen, I'd be treated with more dignity than that. All right, so I might be told to take out the trash on occasion, but I'd rather do that than my stupid homework.
I felt as though I were going through Miss Froufrou Charming's Finishing School for Young Villains. I was sure that it wouldn't be long before they'd make me walk around with a book on my head while zapping targets with energy blasts. The downside to it--one of several downsides, really--was that I still sucked at Geometry and Chemistry. My superpowers couldn't save me. When bad karma rains, it pours.
The Trill's library gave me more reason to stop and stare, maybe daydream every two minutes. Gorgeous and lushly decorated, it even had a distinct smell of history, most likely because of the old, old pieces of furniture that were crammed in it. The walls were wallpapered in gold and red filigree patterns, which all matched the furniture color. The ceiling was also elaborately detailed with pastoral scenes from each season of the year; I found out later on that they weren't paintings but custom made wallpapers meant to look like frescoes. Still no signs of gay boys anywhere in those scenes, of course, and I made a mental note to file a discrimination complaint against the Trill over his decorating choices. Antique candelabras gave me the illumination I needed, finishing off the strange quasi-historical-Venetian feel of the room.
I must admit to being a little bummed out that the Trill's new headquarters weren't under the opera house anymore. I really could've reveled in the whole Phantom of the Opera mystique. No thanks to Magnifiman, the Trill was forced to take shelter in the abandoned--and, until now, sealed off--southern tunnels of Vintage City's subway system. Gutted by a fire decades ago, then further compromised by an earthquake, the tunnels were declared too dangerous and certainly too expensive to repair, given the extent of the damage from both calamities. They were therefore sealed up, with the railway rerouted permanently.
The Trill's thugs couldn't be found while he was locked up in the asylum, but I quickly discovered that it was because they were busy fixing up their boss' new hideout. Of course, the nagging question I had was whether those guys actually knew what they were doing, choosing a major safety hazard for their new lair. Part B of that question involved the Trill himself and why he settled on a major safety hazard for his headquarters. I never bothered to ask why. At that point, I'd long accepted that genetically manipulated musicians were total nut jobs who couldn't give you a straight answer if their lives depended on it.
Being sheltered in a pretty dangerous location was another petal on my bad karma rosebud. At any rate, I was there--the new kid in the middle of his training.
Of course, I never expected Geometry and Chemistry to be part of that.