Day four (When I wrote this post, all of them are pre-cued to auto post at noon) of NaNoWriMo. Just past 10,000 words. A bit too much build up for my tastes, but I’ll look at that for the revisions. There’s some big stuff going down soon if my outline is to believed. 🙂
Chapter Five — Evil Dr. Doolittle
Dave was at the mansion when they returned, loaded to the bear with scanning equipment. Rusty hefted the sleeping Gator and Heron into the house and carried it down to the lab.
The whole gang was there and in uniform, except for Joyce– she couldn’t get away from the hospital. It had been months since Russ had seen everyone dressed for war, the patrol duties were spread out thin, with just enough exposure to show they were all still in business.
Ray, or rather Macro Man– their fearless leader, waved Russ over to talk. Ray’s costume sported the same chest plate over tights look Micron had except he had a green and blue motif to his black and red. He wore a slim cut domino mask over his eyes–you know the ones the ninja turtles wear. It left his curly Caesar-cut hair to poke out the top.
Kirin and Samantha bickered back and forth. Ray needed backup, as usual. He stepped away, taking Russ at the shoulder. In uniform Macro Man was close to twice Micron’s height, he stooped to speak candidly.
“I heard your transmission; you said you saw John Seiser?”
“He calls himself Negator. I think it’s weird though, he called me Micron, doesn’t he know who we are?”
“Doesn’t surprise me. Cirrimus holds a lot of sway with him. I think it’s his idea to keep our identities under wraps. Good thing too, he could blackmail us easily. It’s just not his style.”
Russ sighed. “That doesn’t fill me with confidence, Mac. So what’s up with Kirin and Vuhdis? They arguing over something?”
Ray nodded. “Kirin seems to suspect this is the work of Voodoo. She’s no accusing Sam, but it’s getting ugly.”
Sam modeled her hero uniform after traditional voodoo praying robes, stylized to be much lighter– I.E. skimpy. She ended up showing the most skin of any of the Macro Corp. Against Dave’s protests, Samantha refused to use the synthetic straang fiber uniforms, as she claimed they tampered with her magic. She covered her chin and mouth with a simple veil, relying on her magic to hide her eyes with an ethereal glow.
Kirin insisted on a simple hemp sheaf for her uniform, so there must have been some truth to the interference. She wore a similar veil, along-side a silver tiara, one of the few pieces of jewelry she owned. Ray managed to convince them to wear communication devices to keep in touch with the others. It was made into a choker for Vuhdis and a headband for Kirin, in case they were struck unconscious to protect their identity.
“Let me handle this.” Russ stepped between them and cleared his throat. “Look, whatever Negaturd did to those animals it doesn’t have anything to do with Voodoo. He did show he’s got some tricks up his sleeve, though.”
“Oh, so you’re the expert now?” Samantha said.
“Negator has found a way to steal my thunder, who’s to say he’s not doing the same with voodoo stuff?”
“Impossible,” Sam said. “This ain’t some cheap hero trick. This is magic. It’s not a muscle you can flex.”
Russ scowled. “Cheap hero trick?”
“Oh, I’m sorry.” A smirk creased her mouth cover. “Did I insult your random mutation? Some people had to train their whole damn lives to get their gift, chump.”
“But there’s proof!” Kirin said. “Voodoo is the only thing that can do such a thing.”
Samantha nodded. “But if there was another with half the power you’d need to do such a thing, I would have sensed them. It’s gotta be something else.”
“I already TOLD you. Negator did something to those animals. I have proof too, Jack can convince a damn cockroach to help us. Just wait till Dave gets to the bottom of it.”
Kirin and Samantha exchanged a wary glance, huffed and looked away from each other.
“I know dark magic when I see it,” Kirin said. “This stinks of it.”
“You sure the stink ain’t right under your nose, Fairy? Everyone that’s anyone knows you spirits are nothin’ but trouble. Wouldn’t surprise me if this was your fault.”
“Ladies. Please,” Russ said. “Just let Dave do his thing.”
Ray nodded from the distance. Russ could see his silent appreciation from a mile away. Nothing new there, Ray always relied on him.
Dave, or rather The Form, came up from the lab a few minutes later. In costume he sported a black and white sleeveless suit with a stylized ‘F’ on the front. He didn’t wear a mask, instead opting for a pair if sunglasses and a red scarf around his neck.
“So I have good news and bad news. Which do you want first?”
“Good.” Russ said, stepping forward. “I could always use a pick me up to soften the blow.”
“The animals are fine. No traces of rabies or other incurable conditions.”
Russ’ heart sank. He couldn’t help see that as bad news.
“As for the bad? These animals are untouched. There’s no reason they should have attacked Micron or Jack. Physically they’re in sound body and mind, no brain damage, signs of drugs or anything similar.”
“I could have told you that,” Samantha said. “The only thing me and the fairy and I agree on? These animals are missing a part of their soul.”
Everyone fell silent.
Samantha rolled her eyes. “Why don’t you explain tinkerbell.”
“Hey now,” Russ said, “let’s not stoop to name calling.”
“Why not? She don’t have a name like the rest of us and the rules say we shouldn’t call each other by name in costume.”
“Hmm. Good point. Anyway, carry on,” Russ said.
Kirin gestured into the air. A warm breeze pushed through the foyer, gathered in the center of the room and took shape of a bird. “All living things are made of two parts, the body and soul. We all know what happens with injury. However, if even a part of the soul falls away, the body falls into discord.”
Russ rubbed his chin. “So Negator stole a part of their soul? Can we put it back?”
Kirin nodded. “I can. It’s not hard when we’re dealing with animals. They are very close to nature, so it’s easy to ‘grow it back.”
“Problem solved then. We patch up the gator and bird, then you two can help us track down Negator. Between the two of you, you should be able to take him out right?”
“I can do it myself,” Sam said. “The fairy can do the patchwork, I’ll hunt down Seiser. I got a score to settle with that bastard anyway.”
Mech stepped forward. “I can help too. He’s not exactly on my favorite person list. He did try to make me go insane after all.”
Ray raised a hand. “What are the risks? Micron said something about him moving as fast as he does. If that’s the case, won’t he just hurt you before you get a chance to contain him? I can see how I’d be useless, but you two are the only weapons we have against him. If something happens–”
“We’ll be fine, Boss.” Mech winked back at him. “Sam and I can protect ourselves from his tricks. Don’t underestimate the blood of Marie Lavaeu. Besides, animals and people are two different things. He caught us off guard last year, it won’t happen again.”
“All right,” Ray said. “Then what’s the deal with the crimes in the city? You think he’s responsible for those too?”
“Already on it,” Dave said. “I’ll look for similar signals as the one in the bayous from the sky.”
Ray fiddled with the panel on his arm guard, likely setting up patrol routes for the night. Russ had no complaints. The correlation was too strong to ignore and having the Macro Corp. visible and scouting in light of the sharp increase in crime was the best call.
“Alright, I sent out the routes. Let’s cut this short quick. We can’t let the fundraiserget cancelled on a fluke. Any questions?”
Everyone looked at their wrist panels. No objections. No one tended to argue with Ray on such things. If there was one thing he had down pat, it was organization.
Everyone filed out, Ray stopped Kari and Sam with a calm point. “You two, be careful. If you need backup don’t be afraid to hail us. We can get Medica out to you quick if you need backup.”
“Don’t worry Boss, we got this.” Kari cocked her gun to accentuate her point. “I got a special surprise for Negator. Don’t you worry.”
Ray saw her off with a thumbs up and just like that, Russ was alone with Ray.
“Just like old times,” Russ said. “Macro Man and Micron. Remember when we didn’t even HAVE a team?”
Ray smirked. “Yeah, reminds me. We need to hire a secretary.”
Russ waved him to follow. They’d want to take the T-bird. “Oh I have a few ideas for our Druidic co-worker’s name. How about… Plant Gal?”
“Hmm. I dunno. Sort of obvious don’t you think?”
“Yeah. Too ‘DC’. Mistress Tree?”
“Sounds dangerously promiscuous.”
Russ scrunched up his nose. “Oh like you could do better?”
“No. For the love of god, why does every name you come up with sound like a bad business pun?”
“Well, we have a theme. Why not run with it.
“The Leaf thing could work though– Leaf Lass? Second thought– nah. Unfortunate rhyme in that one.”
They settled into their ‘work car’ a souped up 67’ Ford Thunderbird modded out to match the superhero theme. Russ drove, naturally, since Ray couldn’t drive a damn go cart to save his life.
The feds had kindly set up an underground tunnel system giving them an as-the-crow-flies route downtown. They cleverly disguised it as tunnels uses in the underground railroad, anyone that came cross it would find a road to nowhere and the entire thing was monitored by camera systems.
Matt and Jay cruised ahead in their own ride, a black mustang with enough horsepower to start their own damn ranch and then some. Dave left his custom spider at home, since he took the chopper– a Bell 430, a sleeker beefed up ‘Airwolf’ with a few surprises added.
Kari and Sam kept to foot, considering Ray’s lady friend could make… adjustments… in a pinch it was probably for the best.
Russ loved the feel of the T-bird’s prototype engine. It was a car he could have fun racing under the right conditions of course. Like him, it was slave to the road and the limitations of its surroundings.
“Man, I love this car,” Russ said.
Ray smirked, aiming a sideways glance to him. “More than the invincible mobile?”
“Nah, but close. For different reasons too. Sometimes, going slow hits the spot. Today– just isn’t one of those days.
He punched the throttle full speed and burst out of the tunnel and into the fresh New Orleans air. They had nothing but open road for at least three miles to the Crescent City Connection over the Mississippi river. If they hit traffic? The IM-mark two had a trick or two up its mechanical sleeve– no worries there. Dave cruised past overhead, full thruster mode. Russ let him go, after all the chopper had all the scanning equipment.
He sat back, enjoyed the leisurely hundred mile per hour cruise to the heart of the Big Easy, confident he and his friends could handle whatever Cirrimus could dish out. That’s what having a team meant.
They blazed past a police cruiser on the way, they chirped with their siren– cheering them on no doubt– but they barely heard it. People were lucky to catch a glimpse of the “MACRO” license plate. Finally, after a year of glorified security detail, it was time to show the public what the Macro Corp. could do.