They came toward me even though the Rocket suit had risen one hundred feet above the ground. Many weren’t more than shapes with legs—squares, triangles, rectangles, but those were some of the smaller creatures. The larger ones shouldn’t have seemed ominous at all, but they were big, and they shouldn’t have been flying.
But I still haven’t said what they were, have I?
I was being attacked by infrastructure—stoplights, telephone poles, city buses, trains, rails, roads, power lines, police cars, firetrucks, and more, some of it mixed together, not all of it from our time. Continue reading Under 30: Part 30
Marcus had managed to resist, but I didn’t know exactly how.
If Daniel had been there, he could have told me. Better, he could have helped. Well, maybe. A telepathic link might have opened him up to Evil Beatnik’s influence.
Obviously Marcus had had more control of his body than Evil Beatnik had, and a considerably weirder physiology. That couldn’t hurt. Continue reading Under 30: Part 29
Evil Beatnik didn’t have an easy time of it.
Marcus started to twist toward me, but one leg shrunk, and he fell over. He began to push himself away from the ground, but it wasn’t simple. Long spikes had grown out of Marcus’ legs, sticking themselves into the ground.
I couldn’t see it to know for sure, but judging from the way Marcus’ legs and body shrank, I suspected I couldn’t see half of what Marcus had sunk into the ground. Continue reading Under 30: Part 28
Evil Beatnik said, “Yeah?”
He snapped his fingers, and the music stopped. Then he let out a breath, and gulped in another. Losing the music wasn’t the end of the world. It had served its purpose. The way he’d snuffed it so easily bothered me more.
Then I guessed how. In the reports Jaclyn’s grandfather mentioned that he could make things happen, and the more probable it was, the easier. He’d described fighting Evil Beatnik as fighting someone with the power of Murphy’s law—anything that could go wrong would. Continue reading Under 30: Part 27
The rhythm of Bongo Boy’s clicking drew me in, but not entirely—not nearly as strongly as he had with drums.
I could think—barely—I half wanted to stand there, quietly waiting for orders.
I pointed my right arm at him, set the sonics to choose the most resonant frequency for the wood, and narrowcast a big pulse of sound as he brought the two shards together with a wooden click. Continue reading Under 30: Part 26
“Yeah, right,” Vaughn said. “Cause we’re going to let you guys run away, and keep on robbing banks, and protesting with monkeys. That’s totally brilliant.”
Unless Evil Beatnik planned to use magic to tell Justice Fist to stop, I didn’t know how he’d do it. I supposed he could use a cellphone if he didn’t care about the rain. That said, in this case, the rain would destroy Mr. Beacham’s cellphone, and Evil Beatnik probably didn’t care.
Continue reading Under 30: Part 25
“Next up is uh… ‘Copacobana’. I wasn’t sure whether to put it or ‘Mandy’ on the list. I checked, and they both sounded equally awful.”
Jaclyn barely let me stop before she responded. “I think I heard ‘Copacobana’ once, but nevermind, let’s get to stage two. Rocket, you’re on.”
Me? Yes, me. Why? Not because of my powers of persausion. It was because I had a built-in PA system.
“Right, I’ll move in.” Continue reading Under 30: Part 24
Half an hour later Vaughn and I were flying away from the Parks and Recreation Department. The city had two ways to get at the speakers in Riverside Park—inside the park or through the system that allowed someone to address the entire downtown.
We wanted to pump our own music into the park, but we didn’t want to go there to set it up. Thus, our visit to Parks and Recreation.
We flew up to three hundred feet. I could see the Black River, News 10’s helicopter, Riverside Park, and all the people. Shouting and singing carried across the distance along with a hint of a drumbeat. Continue reading Under 30: Part 23
“Nick,” Jaclyn said, “call him back. They can take those devices you made.”
I knew what she meant—the devices I’d made that cancelled out the tones in Julie’s voice that allowed her power to work.
I called up the phone program on the computer, clicked to redial the Marvelous X, and got the receptionist.
As she said,”Hello, Michigan Heroes Alliance, how may I help you?” the picture on the wall screen changed. News 10 pointed their camera up away from the crowd, and above the river. Something gray flew toward them from the east. Continue reading Under 30: Part 22
“Doing about it?” Jaclyn said. “We were working on a plan to stop them, but we can go to the riot.”
The Marvelous X shook his head. “Please don’t. We’ve reason to believe a villain named Evil Beatnik is involved. You’ve likely never heard of him because he hasn’t been seen in years, but he can influence young people. We’ve organized a number of heroes that are too old for him to control. They’ll take care of him soon enough.”
“You’re sure about that?” Continue reading Under 30: Part 21