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.
Given the music list I’d created, the chance that someone at Parks and Recreation would turn it off was high.
Sadly we’d never gotten to the last bit, an hour long loop of Monty Python’s spam song (”Spam, spam, spam. Spam, spam, spam. Marvelous spam. Wonderful spam…” repeated again and again).
Parks and Rec would likely have turned that off without any supernatural push.
“Leave Mr. Beacham alone. Just let him go, and disappear.”
“Or what? You’ll punch him? No. I say why don’t you let me walk away. I’ll be done with him soon enough.”
“Like I’m going to let you kill him.”
“I didn’t say kill him. I said I’d be done with him. I get bored. No big deal. He’ll be good as new when I’m gone.”
I didn’t believe him. I tried to think of what to do next. If I were following the original League’s procedures, it would be seperate him from his followers, and then reveal his identity publically.
“Tell you what,” Evil Beatnik said. “You want me out of him? I could go into you.”
Maybe it was his influence, but that almost sounded like a good idea. With the Rocket suit, he’d have to separate himself from his followers. Unfortunately if Jaclyn or Marcus revealed who he was possessing, they’d be revealing me.
Plus, I doubted that Daniel’s work inside my head did much against magical possession.
I’d have punched him then except my armor probably wouldn’t have protected me either.
Running through options in my head, I felt like I had to be taking longer than I ought to, but it wasn’t easy. Knock Mr. Beacham’s body unconscious, and Evil Beatnik would move to his second choice—whoever that would be.
If I blasted him with the sonics, he’d still control Mr. Beacham, but I’d blow Mr. Beacham’s eardrums.
Evil Beatnik must have noticed my indecision because he acted.
Mr. Beacham fell to the ground, and his black beret landed in the grass. He shook his head, and picked up the hat in his ringless hand, staring at it.
Near the hill, Mr. Madness ran toward me, pointed his gas gun, and fired.
A cloud of greenish gas surrounded my head, and who knew what it could do, but it didn’t matter. My grandfather faced Dr. Madness in the 50’s and 60’s, and Mr. Madness didn’t seem to have much in the way of new technology.
The filtration system worked. I didn’t even smell anything.
Alone that wouldn’t have been much of an attack, but then I began to feel a compulsion to take off my helmet. It was stuffy. It felt like I’d been in there for hours. I could smell my own breath, and my sweat. Even with the new displays I’d put into the helmet, it still felt like I’d stuffed my head into a tin can.
Maybe I would have opened my helmet then, but I didn’t. I got distracted.
A large, grayish rock sat on the far side of hill, right next to the path between the park and Grand Lake University’s buildings. It had been on the other side of the path the last time I’d looked.
As the gas surrounded me, it grew legs, and ran across the grass. Reaching me, it shifted form, becoming Marcus—a grayish, rock-like form of Marcus that had no nose or mouth.
He molded himself over the gas gun. New holes appeared in his body, spraying the gas out in all directions. Mr. Madness tried to pull the gun away, but he didn’t seem to be able to move it at all, or to stop firing either.
Marcus had absorbed most of the gun.
Mr. Madness screamed through his mask. “Goddammit, let go!”
Even if I hadn’t guessed where Evil Beatnik had gone, I recognized the frustration, and even if I couldn’t place exactly what the difference was, something in the way he moved his body seemed off.
Around us, Vaughn, and all of the Ice Twins’ group coughed, and wobbled on their feet. Sitting on the hill, Destruction Boy said, “I see pink, pOLka doT flOWers.”
Marcus stretched his left arm forward, pulling Mr. Madness’ gas mask away from his face.
Mr. Madness began to cough, and this time I saw it happen—the ring turned into a silvery gas, and reformed on Marcus’ right ring finger.