A light drizzle diffused the blood and effluents oozing from the ruin of a man, crumpled in a trash-strewn Go City alley. Limbs and torso lay in a fallen heap, an occasional puff of vapor near some broken teeth and a weak mewling sound indicating the shattered hulk still lived. Sizzles and ozone flowed from a lithe figure crouched sumo-like above the pummeled body.

Great bursts of steam boiled off Shego's hands and shoulders, and her raven hair was plastered to her face with exertion and rain. She stood fixed above the ruined goon, her chest heaving, otherwise motionless. Rainwater drooling from leaky gutters and Shego's panting were the only other sounds in the deserted ghetto.

Her hands stayed poised over the heap as if grasping a hidden ball, fingers splayed wide, every muscle taut, every tendon and sinew in her body stretched to the limit. Slowly, the young woman's deep breaths slowed, the gasps less labored, and her form straightened. Tiny rivulets of misty rain cascaded around her almond-shaped eyes and across the hard line of her mouth to drip unnoticed off her sharp chin. The face was beautiful, but the expression was terrifying. Bright green eyes stared down.

Oh my God, that was incredible!

Stepping away from the mangled henchman, loose teeth crunching unnoticed beneath her boots, she backed up against a sooty brick wall and let her shoulders rest against the grimy brick. Her legs surprised her by shaking. The release from the last five minutes was the most intense, the most surprisingly sensual experience she'd ever had. Eyes closing, Shego relived the last few minutes, and the deep satisfaction she felt at seeing the fear, then terror, in the goon's eyes before she pummeled him with blow after blow, long after he'd surrendered completely. The physical and emotional release of nearly driving the life from this henchman of a low-level villain filled Shego from boots to eyebrows, and her fingertips felt alive with an electricity altogether different than her usual plasma glow. Every inch of her skin felt hypersensitive, and the waterproof black-and-green outfit slid against her body with breathtaking sensuality.

Her brothers would be here soon. The idiots would swoop in, as usual, expecting her to have made the collar for them so they could swipe glory and headlines. They had no idea what she was capable of, what she could - and would - do. Their narrow worldview couldn't encompass the kind of ecstasy she'd just experienced. Better not to be here when they finally stumbled into the alley.

Pushing herself upright on slightly wobbly legs, Shego peeked around the corner and made sure nobody was near. With her newly-bolstered self-confidence, she strode out into the side street, never looking back.

Shego grinned to herself. It was an incredible 18th birthday present. Wind whipped and snapped her long wet hair as she hopped onto her motorcycle and sped down I-290, out of the city.

Tightly gripping the handlebars, Shego lay close to the tank as her modified Suzuki crotch-rocket swished past other morning traffic as if they were standing still. She was in no danger of being stopped by a cop - they were accustomed to seeing her zoom around the city, usually in hot pursuit of some bad guy or other. They knew her aggressive yet skilled riding wouldn't be a danger to the citizens of Go City.

Speed and the thrill of threading heavy traffic always made Shego feel more alive, helped bleed the pent-up tension from her athletic body, but now even this usually visceral entertainment palled in comparison to what she'd just done. She used the time on the road to mull over what to do next.

She couldn't go back to that stupid island tower, that was for sure. After seeing the gory puddle she'd left back in the alley, Hego and Mego would want answers. After puking their guts up first, Shego thought with satisfaction. Wusses. It wasn't as if this would be a complete surprise to them, even a moron as dense as Hego should be able to notice the increasingly violent glee with which his sister attacked the "bad guys".

But she was certain they wouldn't let it go. They'd never understand. And she didn't feel like wasting her breath.

So time for her to go. She go. Apropos, she thought. The thrill of publicity and attention she received as a hero had waned long ago. Hego, and especially Mego, seemed to live for the thrill of the flashbulbs and video camera, where even their dumbest comments (and there were a LOT of those) garnered front page ink. After the first year of hero-ing, Shego stuck to the background, even forgoing the idiotic mask the rest of Team Go affected. She was always in character.

Which took a toll, she admitted to herself as she wound around nearly-stationary traffic. Boys were intimidated by her athleticism, her sarcasm, her brains, and not least her penchant for punching holes in cement walls when annoyed. The whole "hero" schtick didn't help either, putting her on a pedestal that few males her age had the stones to approach. Which was probably why she decided to take up gymnastics and judo. The straining and physical exertion were a release from the always-building tension. It continually took longer to dissipate the energy her young body produced, took more physical effort to calm the knots in her shoulders, the spasmodic clenching of her powerful hands. She'd pushed herself harder and harder, becoming an expert in physical movement and combat, and it worked - to a point. Dangerous, speed-filled pursuits had helped too. Lately, though, those releases had been less effective, less powerful. Nothing she did completely relaxed her anymore.

Except the vicious pummeling of that goon.

He'd deserved it, she knew. He was of the "stealing-candy-from-a-baby" class of beetle-browed petty criminal, without the brains or ambition to do anything except what some slick underworld boss ordered. Messing him up had been a favor for the gene pool. Nothing about her attack generated any pity within Shego, which surprised her a little. She felt no remorse. Just deep satisfaction. She knew she'd do the same again, and gladly.

The freeway split, and she took I-88 at random, continuing west. The wind and rain had chilled her, so she brought up a flaming plasma fairing to keep her dry and warm. Blurred suburbs flowed past, eventually changing to boring farmland and genteel estates. Shego had no idea where she'd end up, but right now, riding felt like the right thing to do. She had no other personal possessions that would cause her to return. Go City had seen the last of Shego.

She sped on with the sun rising at her back.