Posted March 12, 2021 at 12:00 pm

In the 15 years following the Falls of '85, the US struggled to keep pace with the advent of supervillains. It wasn't a US-only problem but the issue was much worse there than anywhere else. Growing up Desirae Phillips didn't idolize villains but she appreciated their style and their ability to do and take what they want. It was the opposite of how she was raised. She was taught to be appreciative of what she had even if it's less than others. This was a particularly hard pill to swallow since her parents and both of her siblings all had powers. She was the dud of the family and she was told that she had to be happy about it. Or at least that's what she heard anyway. 

Desirae wasn't the dud. She just developed powers much later than the average advie. When she was 22 she discovered she had the ability to excite the molecules inside objects. She also met Basil Yu, the man of her dreams. Soon they were married and not too long after they had a baby girl, Amy. At first, this felt like everything she could've ever wanted. But for some reason she still seemed dissatisfied.

Maybe it was because they still lived in a small cramped apartment. Maybe it was because even with two incomes it was still hard to make ends meet. Maybe it's was because of things like being denied a raise at work. And she wasn't the only one. Basil was also passed over for a promotion at the museum.

Desirae tried to push Basil to be more assertive. He deserved that promotion. Basil, being an incredibly easygoing guy, simply shrugged it off. He figured he'd get the next one. They had a roof over their heads, a beautiful daughter, and each other. They should appreciate what they have. 

But Desirae couldn't let it lie. Why shouldn't they have more? Why can't they have it all? Why couldn't she just take what she wanted? And then it dawned on her. There was nothing stopping her from doing it just like the bad old days. She put together a makeshift costume and got to work.

Desirae always planned ahead. She monitored police scanners and only struck when nearby heroes were occupied with other emergencies. She started off by knocking over check cashing places and payday loan lenders. There was now more money to go around. She told Basil she had really fought for that raise. She eventually moved up to banks. She invested in a new costume. She wanted to be flashier, more flamboyant. She'd blow out the front walls of places she robbed as she left. If she's going to be a villain why not have fun with it? She even gave herself a name, Devastatrix. 

She couldn't leave her costume at home. Basil might've found it. So she usually kept it on her. She would lock it in her desk at work. This turned out to be a bad idea. Her boss discovered the costume when he had her desk inspected having hit upon the idea that Devastatrix's powers were remarkably similar to Desirae's. 

Desirae was confronted by her boss. He had already called the police and he's going to make sure she doesn't try anything under his watch. Desirae was livid. How dare he violate her privacy on some stupid hunch. So what if it was correct. The rage boiled inside her and before she really thought about it she made him explode.

Desirae was shocked. This is further than she'd ever thought she'd go. It was much easier than she'd believed it would be. Maybe she could've stopped there. But that would mean losing Basil and Amy. This was a murder and she was an advie. She'd go to a hypermax for sure. If she fought maybe she'd have a chance. She had enough money. She'd convince Basil to leave the country with her. Maybe go to Sanctonia. No extradition. It was a long shot but it was still a shot. She had to take it. It was the only way to keep what she had. The whole world was going to see her trying to hang onto the life she had built. If they were going to take her down she wasn't going to make it easy.

The resulting rampage was breaking news. Basil caught it on TV. He did the only thing he could: he called her. It was a heartfelt conversation. He was able to talk her down. Desirae realized she had gone too far and if anything this wasn't what she wanted. She was apprehended by the authorities and taken to a power-cancelling jail. 

Desirae stood trial and was sentenced to no less than 25 years in a hypermax prison. She and Basil split up amicably. They still loved each other but there was no way they could make something like this work. He would still bring Amy by to visit. (Just as an aside, prison reform has made great strides in many areas in the SH universe. Outside visits are allowed to higher security prisons and life sentences don't actually mean the rest of someone's life anymore.)

Desirae lost a lot. But her actions did have something of an effect that she never would've considered. Basil pushed for a promotion and got it.