Not far from where the others were stuck to the street, Daniel, Haley, and Marcus were fighting Water and doing about as well as they would fighting a puddle.
Haley stood in the middle of the road, directly in front of the elemental. Marcus stood just behind her, having shifted into a vaguely demonic shape complete with batwings and wide blades instead of hands. Daniel stood on the sidewalk.
Haley slashed the humanoid’s middle, leaving ripples, but no wound. She ducked a punch then flipped backward, allowing Daniel to take a shot.
Daniel concentrated and a hole appeared in Water’s chest, water splashing out on both sides and… then splashing back in and filling the hole.
Travis began to shout, “Good one,” as the hole appeared, but stopped as everything came back together. Cassie shouted, “Nice try!”
I ran down the street toward them, trying to think of what exactly I would do when I got there.
The elemental must have interpreted my run as the beginning of an attack and jumped into the air (over Jaclyn who tried to grab his legs), landing directly in front of me and hitting me with a large liquid fist.
I fell backwards, smacking the street with my butt.
He pulled his arm back for another blow, but never hit me.
With a flap of his wings, Marcus landed behind him and chopped off his arm near the shoulder. It lost its shape as it fell, splashing on the street.
Water began to turn around.
Marcus chopped off his other arm.
The elemental stopped moving, turning into a shapeless watery blob, and absorbing the liquid that had been cut off.
Then it flowed into the nearest storm drain.
“Got him on the run,” Marcus said, changing into a snake-like shape even as he dove after it.
“Marcus!” Haley ran to the storm drain and peered through the grate. “They’re gone,” she said.
“I’m sure Marcus will be okay,” I said, pushing myself up.
“I hope so,” she said. “I could barely hurt it at all.”
From the street, Travis shouted, “Hey, Mystic! Future Knight’s got to know how to get us out of this crap. Can you pull it out of his head?”
Two minutes later we’d gotten everybody out. Daniel floated the pistol that fired the sticky stuff out of the living room of the house I’d thrown it into. Then he flew off to collect Tomahawk’s body.
The pistol turned out to have another setting that dissolved the stuff. A quick spray and the mounds of coiled white strings became pockmarked. Then the little pocks turned to visible holes. The holes grew until only little rings of white blobs remained.
“I feel heroic,” Jaclyn said as the last of it disappeared. “I got to stand around and watch everyone else fight.”
“How did you get caught?” I let the pistol fall down to my side.
“I knocked out Red Bolt again and Future Knight got me from behind. Yeah, I know… I got to do something, but after that I was useless.”
“Travis and I were both trying to fight Water,” Cassie said. “Did you see how fast he was? I think he broke five of my ribs in one punch. I was going to try my sword on him and then Future Knight shot us from behind too.”
Travis had a black eye. “Who would think we’d get hurt fighting a walking pond?”
He stopped, closed his eyes for a moment, sniffed the air.
“We’d better get out of here before the police come. I’ve been hearing sirens in the distance the whole time. In fact — hey, what’s that?”
“It sounds like a truck,” Haley said. “Wait… No not quite. They’re making it a little harder to hear.”
She gestured toward a group of people gathering on one of the lawns.
I, of course, couldn’t hear the people or any other noise.
“Do you have a direction?” I asked. “I could fly that way and look around.”
Haley put her finger to her lips. “Shh.”
I walked a little way away from them and turned the radio inside my helmet to police band.
Haley looked at me and made a face.
“Sorry.” I turned it down as low as I could.
“(crackle)… the important thing is to protect Mayor Bouman. Nothing else matters. They’re after him… (crackle) … I’m at the house now. The fire’s out. No sign of the Hangmen. When did you say the Guard would be here?”
The noise of a massive engine overwhelmed everything else. I recognized the sound even before it came around the corner.
Well, that was my name for it. He called it the Rhinomobile. I’d never quite decided whether he’d modified a tank or dump truck when he created it.
If you were to imagine a huge lump of gray metal, put it on treads and add a couple of turrets, you’d basically have the Larrymobile. It contained sleeping quarters, a workroom for fixing his armor, and space for a lot of fuel, equipment, and ammunition.
Fuel and ammunition are a great combination.
The door opened and Larry jumped out in the Rhino suit, bulky gray armor that matched his ride.
“Hey, kids! I got here as soon as I could. I was in Lansing on business when the League distress call started going and I’m like ‘Damn, never thought I’d see that again,’ so I suited up. I’d have been here faster but I had to off-road to get past the National Guard.”