Maddening (Cursed Superheroes Book 2)

By: Jessica Sorensen

Chapter 1


Leader





“Sir, I have news about the portal,” my intern says as he steps into my office.

I lean back in the chair, overlapping my hands. “From your tone, I’m guessing it’s not good news.”

He nervously edges further into my office, adjusting the stack of manila folders he’s carrying. “I’m afraid not.” He sets the folders down on my desk beside stacks of research data papers I still need to read through. “It looks like not one portal is opening, but three.”

A nervous edge creeps up inside me, but I maintain a professionally calm demeanor. “Three you say?” I ask and he nods. “And how did you obtain this knowledge?”

“From my paranormal airwaves data.” He fumbles to retrieve a map from one of the folders, along with a paranormal airwaves measuring device, which is known around the facility as a PAM. Then he opens the map, which ends up being the map of the city, and spreads it across my desk. “My PAM has been showing frequent spikes in high-frequency paranormal airwaves, here, here, and here.” He points to three small, hand drawn circles on the map. “At first I thought perhaps it was from an underground paranormal lair or club. So I sent a few agents to scope out the areas, and they reported that no lairs or clubs were located at any of these places.” He sets his PAM down in front of me to show me the airwave measuring charts, which are unsettlingly high.

In fact…

“These are the highest frequencies I’ve ever seen,” I mutter as I assess the data. “Are you sure these are correct?”

He nods nervously. “I’ve checked them six times.”

My nervous edge turns into a troubling uneasiness, but I’ve always been great at appearing calm even in the midst of chaos—something I can thank my past for. “Well, then, I think you’re right. Three portals are going to open underneath the city. But we have no idea when, or what, will come out two of them. Or what dimensions they’ll lead to.”

“I’m not sure I’m following you, sir,” he says. “I thought portals led to the paranormal dimension?”

I shake my head, trying not to be frustrated. But interns drive me crazy sometimes. “Not all portals lead to the paranormal dimension. There’s the Underworld portal. The Afterlife. The Wasteland. And those are just a few of them.” I tap the largest circle on the map. “The only reason we know where this one leads to is because I, along with five of my best researching specialists, have spent over six months researching the area, measuring data, and sorting through historical artifacts.” And forming my own team of paranormals to protect the area when the portal opens, but he can’t know about that. Only my closest colleagues can; otherwise we risk people and creatures finding out what we’re doing.

And I don’t want anyone knowing until the time is right. Until my team is trained and ready to fight. And so far, I only have one member of the team. A half Grim Reaper, who can barely control her soul thirst, let alone take on an army of deadly paranormal creatures.

“Thanks for the information,” I tell my intern. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to make some phone calls.”

Nodding, he leaves my office and closes the door.

I pick up my phone and call the person in charge of my next project, the one for recruiting a Maddening. He answers after four rings, sounding very irritated, but that’s Maddening’s for you.

“What do you want?” Caspian asks dryly. “Wait, let me guess. You’re checking in. Again.”

“Sorry, but I need to make sure everything is going according to plan—she’s changing tonight, after all.” I use a polite tone only because Maddenings are one of the few paranormal creatures that unsettle me deeply.

Their touch doesn’t kill or steal your soul. No, these creatures are worse than death. One touch can drive a person’s mind to the brink of insanity and keep them locked there forever.

“I’m standing in front of her place right now,” Caspian replies with a hint of irritation. “And like I’ve said a hundred times, I’ll call you when I have her. But it doesn’t do any good—or make the process any quicker—for you to call me every damn hour.”

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