The chaperone backed away from the table as Logan, now considerably furrier, looked at him as if he were the snack.
A brush cut, blond guy I’d seen talking to Logan said, “Logan? Hey! Are you in there? Leave the guy alone.”
Joshua. That was the guy’s name.
He pushed his way around the table, standing between Logan and the chaperone. If Joshua hoped to intimidate Logan, I couldn’t see how it would work. The guy stood only a few inches taller than Haley, and she was only five feet tall.
He pulled a flask out of an inside pocket in his tuxedo jacket and chugged a few swallows.
“I don’t really want to do this, but I will if you try to hurt anybody.”
Logan grunted and reached toward the chaperone with his claw.
Joshua burst into flame, and Logan snatched his arm back to his chest, making a noise somewhere between a snarl and squeal of pain.
Logan backed up a few steps, moving toward us, but not turning around.
I slid my hand into my pocket and pulled out an electronic device that used to be a PSP (Playstation Portable).
“The roachbots?” Haley said in a low voice.
I had the car on standby, but I didn’t want to blow a hole in the wall of the gym unless I had to.
I nodded as we backed away from Logan, the sounds of our footsteps covered by shouts and screams as people noticed what was happening.
I clicked a few buttons, bringing the roachbots out of their own standby mode. It justified the bother of sneaking them in here in the first place.
Joshua, meanwhile, kept on talking in a soothing voice despite the flames surrounding his body.
Curiously, his tuxedo appeared to be unharmed.
“Logan,” he began, “nothing’s happened yet. Why don’t you just sit down someplace and turn back?”
Still next to the table, Melanie, sounding like she was concentrating on something else said, “Logan, I see fire and water and blood.”
Logan made a low moan that reminded me of Chewbacca more than anything else.
On the bright side, maybe Haley and I wouldn’t have to do anything. Joshua seemed to be talking him down.
Unfortunately, I’d left out the possibility that our school’s local superheroes would become involved. By that I don’t mean the League, I’m referring to Sean and friends.
Sean, Dayton, and Jody walked out of the crowd on the dance floor, accompanied by Shannon, the barista at Solid Grounds, and her cousin Julie, the girl who’d emailed practically the whole school with pictures of Haley and I on a date.
Sean walked up with the rest just behind him, reminding me of a Western. “I don’t know where you came from, monster, but you better not hurt anybody here.”
He looked over the shredded, ripped clothing on Logan’s changed body.
Logan turned toward Sean and screamed. Or maybe he roared. Something like that.
At the same time, Joshua leaned forward, put his hand on the table with the punchbowl, and, shouted, “It’s not a monster, it’s Logan!”
Unfortunately, Joshua must have forgotten that he was on fire. Thick, white paper had covered the top of the table and some kind of ruffled cloth went around it, hiding the legs.
The paper and cloth both started burning.
Logan leaped in the air, passing over Haley and I, and bounded toward Sean, claws outstretched, and mouth open. Wooden boards broke where he landed, but he barely noticed.
I started thinking about what I’d have to do to get the roachbots between Logan and Sean when suddenly it didn’t matter. With a great clanking noise, folding chairs flew across the gym, and aimed themselves at Logan.
It wasn’t the new chairs either.
Sean had grabbed the really old, all metal chairs that they kept in the back of the gym for emergencies.
I don’t know how many Sean sent at Logan, but it was impressive — a dark cloud of chairs that blocked the ceiling lights.
Logan jumped out of the way, twisting in the air to avoid them, knocking chairs out of the air with his arms.
I didn’t get to follow exactly whether Logan made it to them because of one other detail. Haley and I were standing behind him. That meant the chairs that missed Logan flew directly at us.
I barely registered the chairs flying at me before Haley grabbed my waist and jumped. She didn’t jump far, just ten feet avoided most of the barrage.
Joshua didn’t get as lucky. Chairs hit the table, the punch bowl, and him, knocking him over. The table turned on its side and the punchbowl shattered.
Then the gym’s sprinkler system went on. Water fell everywhere while the fire alarm started beeping.
People began to run for the doors.
Between the chairs and the water, Joshua’s flames had gone out and the chaperone pulled him to his feet and started carrying him out. The man stopped only as he noticed Haley and I.
“Are you playing video games? Don’t just stand there, get out!”
We looked at each other, and I was just about to ask Haley if she wanted to at least pretend to leave, but I got distracted.
I’d just noticed what Logan had been doing in the meantime.
Sean lay on the floor, his pants ripped, long, bloody claw marks on his right leg. A pile of folding chairs lay around him.
Julie and Shannon tried to pull him up while Logan and Dayton traded blows nearby. Dayton seemed to be fast enough to dodge Logan’s claws, but not strong enough to really hurt him.
Jody seemed to have the same problem only more quickly.
Leaning forward to hide the PSP from the falling water, I aimed the roachbots toward Logan.
Around the edges of the gym, fog began to form.