Supernova (Renegades, #3)

Supernova (Renegades, #3)

Marissa Meyer



About Supernova

The breathtaking conclusion to the superhero Renegades trilogy from the New York Time-bestselling author of The Lunar Chronicles.

All’s fair in love and anarchy ...

Nova and Adrian are fighting to keep their identities and superpowers secret.

While the battle rages on between their alter egos and their allies, there is a darker threat shrouding Gatlon City. Nova and Adrian must brave lies and betrayal to protect those they love. Unless they can bridge the divide between heroes and villains, they stand to lose everything. Including each other.

Bursting with intrigue, action and thrilling plot twists, Supernova will leave readers on the very edge until the final, shocking secrets are revealed.





For Uncle Bob, who helped me be myself.





CAST of CHARACTERS



THE RENEGADES

SKETCH—ADRIAN EVERHART

Can bring his drawings and artwork to life MONARCH—DANNA BELL

Transforms into a swarm of monarch butterflies RED ASSASSIN—RUBY TUCKER

When wounded, her blood crystallizes into weaponry; signature weapon is a grappling hook formed from a bloodstone SMOKESCREEN—OSCAR SILVA

Summons smoke and vapor at will THE BANDIT—MAX EVERHART

Absorbs the power of any prodigy in his midst; has spent most of his young life in quarantine WONDER—CALLUM TREADWELL

Eternally optimistic; can alter the perception of others by filling them with a sense of awe FROSTBITE—GENISSA CLARK

Creates weapons of ice from water molecules in the air THE ANARCHISTS

NIGHTMARE—NOVA ARTINO

Never sleeps, and can put others to sleep with her touch ACE ANARCHY—ALEC ARTINO

Leader of the Anarchists and the world’s most feared villain; was once the most powerful telekinetic in history; also Nova’s uncle PHOBIA—NAME UNKNOWN

Transforms his body and scythe into the embodiment of various fears THE PUPPETEER—WINSTON PRATT

Turns children into mindless puppets who do his bidding QUEEN BEE—HONEY HARPER

Exerts control over all bees, hornets, and wasps CYANIDE—LEROY FLINN

Generates acidic poisons through his skin; also a talented chemist THE RENEGADE COUNCIL

CAPTAIN CHROMIUM—HUGH EVERHART

Has superstrength and can generate chromium weaponry; he is allegedly invincible THE DREAD WARDEN—SIMON WESTWOOD

Can turn invisible

TSUNAMI—KASUMI HASEGAWA

Generates and manipulates water THUNDERBIRD—TAMAYA RAE

Generates thunder and lightning; can fly BLACKLIGHT—EVANDER WADE

Creates and manipulates light and darkness





CHAPTER ONE




EVERYONE HAS A nightmare.

Nova was pretty sure her worst nightmare was walking back into Renegade Headquarters, wearing her Renegade-issued patrol uniform, less than twenty-four hours after her alter ego had infiltrated the building, stolen the most dangerous weapon of all time, stripped three Renegades of their powers using her stolen batch of the substance known as Agent N, started a fight that destroyed most of the building’s lobby, and witnessed Max Everhart nearly bleed to death amid the shattered glass of his demolished quarantine.

It wasn’t only surreal that she was returning to the wreckage in the first place, it was that she was doing so willingly. Nova had believed she would never come back here again. After months of working as a spy in the Renegades’ midst, she had successfully stolen Ace Anarchy’s helmet. She had what she needed to give Ace his power back, and together they would watch this organization crumble.

But things never went according to plan, and she hadn’t known that while she was fighting for her life in this very lobby, a masked vigilante known as the Sentinel had discovered and arrested Ace Anarchy—the leader of the Anarchists and the uncle who had raised her.

Sweet rot, she hated the Sentinel. He was always around at the most inconvenient times, striking his ridiculous comic-book poses and spouting absurd catchphrases like “I’m not your enemy” and “You can trust me.”

Except, no one fully trusted the Sentinel, as far as she could tell. Vigilantism didn’t fit with the Renegade code, and despite his attempts to seize criminals and aid the Renegades, his stunts had often made the organization seem incompetent and ineffective. Perhaps the only thing Nova liked about the vigilante was his uncanny ability to get on the Council’s nerves. Meanwhile, his determination to hunt down Nightmare and his capture of Ace Anarchy hadn’t made him any friends among the villain set, either. The only people who appreciated the Sentinel’s efforts were Adrian, who seemed to have a rebellious appreciation for the guy, and the public, who saw him as a true hero, one who believed in justice and answered to nobody but himself. That reputation was solidified with his capture of Ace Anarchy.

Though she knew nothing was ever easy, Ace’s arrest had almost been enough to make Nova throw her hands in the air and succumb to the inevitable. Anarchists and prodigies like them would go on being hated, villainized, and oppressed for all eternity. She was almost ready to give up.

Almost.

That had been hours ago, and now Nova was back, because … where else could she go? As far as anyone here knew, she was still Nova McLain, alias Insomnia, a Renegade through and through. Her secrets remained the best leverage she had, and now that her enemies had Ace, she knew she would need every bit of it.

Nova hadn’t realized the full extent of the destruction wrought upon Renegade Headquarters until she found herself moving shakily through the rubble. She was surrounded by Renegades, but no one was paying her any attention. Even the Council members were combing through the remains of the glass quarantine that had fallen from the second story and shattered the tiled marble of the main lobby. From where she stood, she could see Captain Chromium holding the glass clock tower that had once topped the courthouse from Max’s miniature Gatlon City.

Now it was destroyed. All of it was destroyed.

The signs of battle were everywhere. Steel beams bent at odd angles. Wires dangling from the ceiling where chandeliers had been pulled from their sockets. The information desk mangled on one side. Plaster and tables and chairs and tile and glass—so much glass from where the quarantine had fallen. The glittering shards were almost mesmerizing, the way they caught the light streaming in through the front doors.

And there was blood.

Most of it was dried in a puddle where Max had fallen. Where Frostbite had driven a spear right through him.

Nova tore her eyes from the spot and saw Adrian picking his way toward her. His shoulders were hunched and there was none of the usual grace to his demeanor. He had a shadow over his features, one that served as a reminder that Max, who was as close to a brother as Adrian would ever have, was in the hospital. The doctors had put him in a coma to stabilize his vital signs, but they weren’t filling anyone’s head with false optimism. He was hanging by a thread. There was only one saving grace—that Max had, in the last moments of the battle, managed to absorb all of Frostbite’s ability. He had taken in her control of ice and used it to stanch his own bleeding, to freeze over his own wound.

It might have saved his life.

Then again, it might not.

Nova swallowed the lump in her throat as Adrian drew closer. His dark expression was about more than Max. He was full of a new burning hatred, like nothing Nova had ever witnessed before … at least not on calm, cheerful Adrian.

A burning hatred for Nightmare, who he was convinced had been the one who attacked Max. No one had seen it happen other than Frostbite and her comrades, and they weren’t about to correct anyone’s mistaken beliefs. Nightmare was too easy a target to put the blame on.

And Nova, whose secret identity remained, miraculously, unknown, couldn’t exactly clear her alter ego’s name, no matter how she yearned to defend herself whenever she saw Adrian’s eyes smolder with restrained hostility.

“When you said Nightmare had infiltrated headquarters,” Nova said, once Adrian was close enough, “this isn’t what I pictured.”

Lying through her teeth, as usual. She was always lying these days. She hardly even realized she was doing it anymore.

“Yeah, it’s pretty bad.” Adrian’s focus was distant as he scanned the destruction. “They found the Silver Spear over there. We think Nightmare got it from the vault and used it to steal the helmet. And…” His voice caught and he coughed to clear it. “We’re pretty sure it was the weapon she used on Max, too. There was blood on it. They’re going to run tests.”

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