“Where does he work?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” Vaughn said. “Something medical.”
We started talking about the fight again for another thirty minutes or so. Somehow the conversation turned to Lee, and I reminded people that he wanted all of us there the next day and ideally every practice thereafter.
“And that’s why I need to go,” Jaclyn said. “If I want to have time for that, I can’t stay here all night.”
Continue reading Hysteria: Part 10
Sean looked over the oncoming crowd a little nervously, and asked me, “What are we supposed to do now?”
“No idea,” I said.
Then I turned on the loudspeaker.
They were halfway across the lawn, and the growing darkness gave the group a “Night of the Living Dead” feel. Not that they were really zombies, but a crowd of people walking toward you isn’t a normal situation.
Continue reading Hysteria: Part 9
Payback screamed and fell over, his body outlined in electricity.
The air smelled of ozone, and smoke.
When the lightning stopped, I could see Payback more clearly. His chest still moved, but he wasn’t doing much more than that. His right arm looked uncomfortably red and blistered.
From behind me Vaughn shouted, “I got him, right?”
Continue reading Hysteria: Part 8
I raised my left arm, fist pointed upward, shielding my chest. My right arm hung near my waist, ready to punch.
I didn’t punch Skewer.
Pushing down on two buttons on my right palm, I blasted him with the sonics.
Continue reading Hysteria: Part 7
Punching yourself in the face isn’t a great tactic in most fights, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.
The ice fell off my helmet and hit the floor. I swung back out onto the bumper behind the only remaining door, and tried to get a second to think.
I could blast away with the sonics, distract everybody, fly into the middle of them and start punching, but I didn’t like my odds. Besides Keith’s uncle didn’t deserve to have his ears bleed from the noise.
Then the solution struck me. I’d lean out, blast one of the rear tires with the sonics, and they’d have to stop. If they didn’t, I’d blast the other tire.
Continue reading Hysteria: Part 6
We sent everybody a yellow and changed into our costumes.
Haley left in her grandfather’s car. Cassie left on her father’s motorcycle. I left after both of them because changing into the Rocket suit takes time.
I flew out of the tunnel that opens over the lake, flipped over in the air, and aimed in the direction of the warehouse, listening to police band radio over my helmet.
Continue reading Hysteria: Part 5
We didn’t break into the house, though we did think about it.
“No,” Daniel said. “We don’t have any justification for it. Sean’s mom and little sister are home anyway, and they don’t know anything.”
We left and went home.
* * *
I ended up going through the whole story with Lee after practice. It wasn’t an official team practice. I happened to know that he was going to be at the studio and rode there after school.
Continue reading Hysteria: Part 4
By the time we got there, there were four of us. Vaughn met us in the air. Jaclyn met us at the house.
The house didn’t stick out normally. A white, two story house in a subdivision full of modern, two story homes of almost exactly the same design (basically a rectangle), it didn’t have much of a chance of looking ominous. The lawn had been mowed, the bushes clipped. The trees still looked bare of leaves, but, if the rest of the yard was any indication, not because the owner had neglected anything.
Tonight the house stuck out. The front door hung by two of the three hinges. The windows in its upper half had been shattered. Its metal body bent inward.
Continue reading Hysteria: Part 3
Outside of shock, I didn’t have much of a reaction.
When I hung up, I turned to Daniel, who had undoubtedly been listening to both sides of the conversation, and asked, “So now what?”
“We go to the hospital. This is going to be big.”
Continue reading Hysteria: Part 2
The next day we stepped out of school and into a media circus.
Sometime between last night and that afternoon, the reporter’s story had been taken up by the Associated Press and a video of Keith’s transformation had gone viral. Reporters stood at the bottom of the steps. Vans with satellite uplinks parked alongside the sidewalk. Photographers and cameramen stood waiting.
Continue reading Hysteria: Part 1