Past the halfway point in the story and still going strong. Some of the context might be lost as I’m not posting chapters in order. This just gives a feel of what I’ve been pouring into this.
Feel free to drop feedback on how you all would like to see this story be released when it’s completed. I’m leaning towards a month or two of revisions and web-publishing.
Chapter 11 — Enter Medica
Ray shifted his priorities to communicating with the NOPD. With Cirrimus’ threat to free Earthshaker and having Slipstream free and ready to fight, Ray could do little to fight them with his current personnel. Of the three of them, Macro Man provided their only heavy firepower and Slipstream made him effectively useless.
Bayou Jack, their new recruit, ensured them he’d continue to lend his aid. His peculiar
The police had no choice but to brace for the worst, but Mr. Kringle advised military support was out of the question. Ray knew why. Cirrimus created the two monsters rampaging the city and if what he learned from Mech could be believed.
And it doesn’t look like he needs permission.
Russ landed next to ray, snapping him out of his consideration. Russ’ super speed,
“Best landing yet.” Ray said, forcing a smile.
Russ dusted himself off. “So you want the good news? Or the bad?”
“Let’s start with the bad.”
“It’s only a matter of time before evil you pulls the Thing out of the well. On the upside, he doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to resume their little rampage.”
Any relief had been suppressed by the deep gash in his pride. “It doesn’t mean he’ll stay that way for long.”
“Count your blessings, Mac.”
Bayou Jack walked over to them, planting his pitchfork handle down against the ground. “What should we do now, Boss?”
“I– I don’t know.” Ray glanced away. “We can’t attack them head on. So I assume this means we need to lead them away from the city. We could always keep an eye on them and stay close until then.”
“Sounds solid,” Russ said, “there’s a place that makes great lattes on the corner. I dunno if they have superhero discounts though.”
“The section of town is abandoned.” Ray said, frowning.
“Self serve discount? We can just leave the money with a pleasant note.”
“Mac,” Dave said, “I hacked into a camera feed where that Cirrimus guy is located. He’s heading south east. Probably towards Jackson Square.”
“That’s not good.” Russ said, sighing. “They’re probably planning to build a super death ray there. It’s central.”
“Micron. Too many comic books.” Ray halved his eyes.
“We’re superheroes and you’re discounting my brilliant intel.”
An energy report appeared in the HUD of Ray’s mask, dave went on to explain. “There’s no changes in power output from any of them. My guess is, they’re resting.”
“Or meeting reinforcements.” Ray said, “ I say we do the same.”
“Yeah about that.” Dave’s voice grew hesitant. “ You might have someone showing up soon.”
Joyce. Ray raised a hand to his brow. “You mean Medica. Don’t you.”
“Yeah. She saw the footage of the fighting and demand I give her something to wear.”
“Whoa really?” Russ butted in. “She’s coming here in tights?”
Ray gave him a firm stare.
“N–Not that I’m excited about that or anything.”
“But thanks. She should be a big help and I can’t exactly blame her. I’m going to go talk to that Cirrimus guy. We need answers.”
“Hold up, Mac. You can’t do that.”
“Micron. If he wanted to kill me, or fight me. He would have done so already.” Ray narrowed his eyes back at him. “I’d rather you come with me, but if you want to hang back. I don’t blame you.”
“What about me?” Jack said.
“I need you to stay close, but if something goes wrong, I’m counting on you to cover our escape. If the animals start helping us, and the enemy knows where you are, they’ll focus on taking you out.”
“Makes sense I guess,” Jack said, sighing. “But lemme give ya this.”
Jack slipped a whistle in Ray’s hand.
“Blow this and Rusty’ll come runnin.” Jack hurried away without explaining.
Russ went to Ray’s side and they headed towards Jackson Square. The streets of New Orleans without the hustle and bustle of the tourists and colorful locals felt like a graveyard. The unlight lightposts and colorful signs that lined the streets were dampened by the dust kicked up by Earthshaker’s rampage. Parked cars had been smashed, and bits of glass decorated the streets from shattered storefronts.
The balconies over the main drag of Bourbon street were typically filled with people. Seeing them barren made Ray’s heart sink. Some insisted on sticking around, but they holed up inside their shops and homes as they passed.
“Ra– er– Macro Man.” Joyce’s voice came to his ears. “Meet me at the center of Bourbon street. I have an idea.”
“Sure.” Ray ground to a halt, leaning against a street post, tossing around possibilities in his head. How could he fight something he couldn’t touch?
Minutes later, Joyce came driving the Form’s Spider. She hopped out, donned in the same green and blue Mac wore. In fact it was his very costume.
“Wow.” Russ said, rubbing his chin. “You look great.”
“I don’t have time for flattery.” Joyce straightened,planting a hand on her hip. “I just had D– The Form– fit your spare costume to me.”
“I’ll let the trademark infringement slide.” Ray said, smiling.
“You should only have one ‘M’ for starters.” Micron said. “You should’ve borrowed my design.”
“Look. You want help or not? I think I know how I can make you a match for those two monsters. I’ll explain quickly.” She reached over to a lamp dangling off a shop, placed her hand, and twisted it off.”
“Hey. You have super strength too? I guess we should just call you Macro Woman. We could just turn the other ‘M’ over.”
“No. I don’t. It’s adrenaline. Everyone has superpowers in a way.” She held out the glass bulb. “I can strengthen your powers, or at least I think I can. If I can give myself super strength in a short burst, much like someone lifting a car to save a loved one, imagine what I could do to you?”
“I think I understand.” Ray’s eyes lit up. “I might not be able to stop Cirrimus. But with this, I can stop his cronies.”
“Exactly. And–” Joyce twisted her face into a frown.
Ray raised a brow.
“–nothing. That’s between you and the Form. Let’s go confront this, together.”
“Right. Medica. Micron. Let’s do this.”
Dave confirmed Cirrimus and his cronies at the Jackson Square thanks to a mixture of police reports and surveillance footage. All three of the perps were easy to spot, and made no move to hide. They settled in front of the gates to the park, open wide from the typical day festivites of New Orleans. Cirrimus waited at the center of the park with Earthshaker and Slipstream sitting before them. Two other figures waited as well.
“Great. Looks like they’re out to call Captain Planet.” Russ said, “How much you wanna bet that’s Fire and Wind?”
Ray ignored Russ, pushing down the main walkway of the park. He settled to a stop several feet from the small gathering of people, Cirrimus fixed his eyes on Ray.
Cirrimus pulled a hand from his cape, gesturing to them. “I wondered if you would come. It saves me the trouble of tracking you down.”
“What are you trying to accomplish?” Ray said.
“I am only trying to help. Humans stopped moving forward some years ago, instead forming a reliance on technology rather than the power within.”
“Stopped moving forward?” Joyce said, stepping forward. “You mean evolving?”
“Yes. You can put it that way. No one understands that as you do, Miss– Medica. Yes. That is what you are called.”
“You’re right about that. Leave now. Because I can already tell, you can’t do anything to hurt us directly.” Joyce jabbed an accusing finger at him. “That’s why you’re sending your cronies after us. It goes both ways. We can’t hurt you, and the other way around is true.”
Ray glanced over at her. I suspected that too.
“It’s true.” Cirrimus said. He lowered his arm, letting his cape cover his shoulders once more. “But I need to know if you’re worth keeping around. I don’t like leaving half finished projects lying around.”
“Half-finished?” Ray glanced to Russ and to Joyce. Both of them shook their heads, confused.
“Was it you that did that to Keri?”
Cirrimus nodded. “Yes, but she isn’t the first. That would be you.”
“But I’m not a machine.”
“True. I did not have the knowledge I do now. I could only plant the seed.”
The seed? “Enough. What matters is you need to stop hurting innocent people.
“Hurting?” Cirrimus smiled a slithering grin. “I’ve enlightened four people. Many more will follow. I simply had to find four willing subjects.”
The two other figures stood, turned towards Ray to reveal a brands on their faces.
The woman, a slim redhaired caucasian woman, wore a red brand, surround her eyes with tears of red along her cheeks. She held out her hands to invoke flame burning away the sleeves of her blouse. The man had olive colored skin and raven hair. His mark, framed his eyes in blue ink and formed a hawk like beak under his nose. The air about him stirred.
“See?” Russ said, annoyed. “ You laughed, but here we are face to face with the God damned planeteers.”
The other two did not have the look of madness in their eyes. the fire and wind settled to nothingness and they looked at Ray with questioning eyes.
“You chose this…?” Ray said, frowning.
“Yeah.” The man said, resting a hand at his hip. “Lord Chaos told us the truth. All humans are bound to end up like this. So we might as well get a jump start.”
“Right,” the woman said, “For your information. Lord Chaos didn’t hurt anyone. Feel free to check to police reports. The only injured were from those trampled by the people around them. He’s the one in the right you know. You’re just a dog on a leash held by the government.”
“Bullshit,” Ray said, “Flexing his hands into fists. IF you don’t mean any harm, then just give yourself up and explain yourselves.”
“Not an option,” The man said, “I’m Yusef Papas, but you can call me Cyclone. This lovely lady over here is Carolyn Bipps: Firebird. I know you’ve already met Fanny and Fredrick Filcher, but when we’re all together? You don’t stand a chance.”
Slipstream and Earthshaker stood, narrowing their eyes at them.
Russ backpedaled. “This is bad Mac.”
Joyce punched her fist into her glove. “But it’s not getting any better, either. Guess it’s time for a bit of teamwork of our own.”