Breaking & Entering: Part 2

“Don’t move, or we’ll shoot!” Some kind of gun hung under each forearm of the lead guy—just like they’d hung under the forearms of Grandpa’s armor during World War 2.

On the one hand that could be a fanboy thing—Rook had said he’d admired Grandpa. On the other, it could just be more convenient.

The robot birds hovered near the top of hall, staying between us and them.

Filtering out the wings’ flapping, the Rocket suit’s newly enhanced ability to amplify sound turned noise into speech.

A tenor voice with a Midwestern accent said, “Teenaged girls? I’m shaking in my boots.”

A lower voice said, “Remember the briefing? The black girl’s a speedster.”

An echo hinted that they were talking to each other through the radio even though I picked it up through their helmets.

Jaclyn held up her hands, managing to tap on her communicator quickly enough that I never saw it.

“Any time now,” she said quietly. To them, she said, “Sure, we won’t be any trouble.”

So if I didn’t come up with a plan, she’d do something. I wished she would. I hadn’t asked for this to be my thing. Jaclyn would have been better at it. If we were to vote on who should be field leader I would have voted for her. She was smart, level headed, and the whole speed thing gave her extra time to think things through.

That was my first thought, and then my second was that I was wasting time. What were we doing here? Rescuing Cassie. To do it, we needed these guys out of the way, and even if they didn’t know it, we had superior firepower here.

The lead guy in power armor said, “Stand against the wall. Everyone hold up your hands.”

Over the radio, he said, “Shoot them as soon as they all turn around.”

The tenor said, “Are you crazy? They’re kids.”

The deeper voice said, “They broke through the roof, and that’s the Rocket behind them.”

“He’s got to be a kid too.”

Izzy had to have heard that. Her hearing blew the suit’s away.

She adjusted her stance as if preparing to move.

No one was going to wait if I didn’t say something now. “I’ll take the bird bots, you two take out the armored guys.”

I targeted the cloud of birdbots, chose EMP roachbots and pressed the button to release them, letting the suit’s computer calculate the optimal number of roachbots.

I didn’t even see Jaclyn leave. She left a purple and brown blur, hitting the first guy in Rook style armor almost as I realized she’d moved. Izzy moved at least as quickly, taking flight to become a bluish blur but with her long black hair stretched out behind her head.

Almost at the same moment the roachbots exploded, generating an EMP that caused black smoke to billow out of the bird bots. The bots fell—all twenty-five of them.

I checked the helmet’s readouts. I’d released 15 roachbots. It wasn’t a bad ratio, but more than I’d expected to lose this early. They must have spread out as Jaclyn and Izzy went past.

Hearing a crash, I stopped thinking about the bots, and looked down the hall.

The big metal door on the far end of the cell block was gone, and four men in smashed armor lay on the ground.

I leaned over and gave the rocket pack some thrust. Even if they didn’t need the help, I had to catch up.

I shot through the door, brought myself upright, and landed.

Izzy and Jaclyn had taken out three more of them. As I landed, Jaclyn ripped a chunk of electronics out of one suit, and crushed it in her hand.

“Hey Rocket, that’s the last of them—for now at least. I’ve been ripping this chunk out whenever I get the chance. I’m not sure what it does, but it looks important. I’d bet they can’t use their suits without it, and I’m betting they can’t even stand without working suits.”

I looked at the crumpled metal case mingled with bits of circuit board. “I’d have to see it in less pieces to know for sure.”

“Right. Got a new plan?”

“It’s the same as the old one—play 20 questions with the gun to find her.”

Izzy frowned. “Let’s get looking then. The sooner we get done, the less people we have to hit.”

Jaclyn shook her head. “If they’re anything like their boss, they deserve it.”

I pulled the gun out. “Is Captain Commando close?”

Sparkles.

“Can you talk to her?”

Sparkles.

“Tell her that we’re by the prison block. If she can get back here, we can get her out.”

Two sets of sparkles.

“No? She can’t get back here?”

Two more sets of sparkles.

“She won’t? Why?”

It didn’t respond, which was annoying. To be fair, I hadn’t asked a yes or no question, and given what I knew about its personality, I decided to count myself lucky it hadn’t shot me out of irritation.

That didn’t make me feel better though. Cassie always had a mind of her own, but this was one of those times where it was a huge pain in the butt.

Rook’s voice came over the base’s intercom. “Members of the New Heroes League. Welcome to my humble home. I’d have met you in person, but someone shot me in the leg recently, and I’m a little high on painkillers, so I’m directing our defense from the control room. Right now I’m trying to decide whether I should use the nerve gas, or… What? I’ve got to talk to my staff. Back in a bit.”

16 thoughts on “Breaking & Entering: Part 2”

  1. Nukes and now nerve gas? Next door to the US? Rook’s lucky it’s only some superheroes passing by. It could be much, much uglier.

    Typo: “I’d have to see it less pieces to know for sure.” needs an “in” before “less”

  2. are you kidding the supervillain chat trope is one of my favourites. “and now back to your regularly scheduled jail break” also was it simultaneously broadcast telepathically. tha twould be cool. t thats hwo i would broadcast all my information in this universe.

  3. The ‘Smug Villain Chat’ is even better when the villain in question is high, a fanboy, and accidentally giving away important information (though it could be a double blind). Now they know there’s Nerve Gas that can be deployed in their area, and where (if not the exact location) Rook is- also that he’s commanding remotely, and doesn’t have the sort of powers or tech to heal rapidly.

  4. I wonder what is so important that rook had to interrupt his little chat? Did someone inform him that Cassie has escaped and is making a break for it? Did someone inform him that Cassie has escaped and is headed his way looking for payback? Did someone inform him that Cassie has escaped and gotten a hold of some abominator tech weapon that they were studying and is currently burning holes in his base? And what about Naomi?
    🙂
    Looking forward to the next chapter.

  5. I wonder if the staff he’s going to talk to is an actual Abominator staff, as in the long piece of wood you use to walk, beat people up, cast spells, and make dirty jokes about. Speaking of dirty jokes:

    “I’ve got to talk to my staff. Back in a bit.” Rook looked down at his lap. “Aww, little guy, what’s got you upset, huh? Come on out and play a bit. I’ll let you slapfight with the girl we captured, would you like that?” Rook sighed. “Damn it, I’ll just buy the pills.”

    Then again, you have to wonder what’s so important with his staff that he’s interrupting his attempt to nerve gas the heroes. If this is just about Casual Friday, that staff is screwed.

    Then again, he did say he was a little high right now from some painkillers.

    Whoa…imagine the sort of things Rook can build a bong out of. I think I discovered a new potential superweapon…

  6. Psycho Gecko at talking to “his” staff disturbing. At casual fridays I could so see the nine /syndicate l having a corporate blog. if you ever get bored of writing LON write that. i would die laughing. if you like evil villains in corporations read “How To Succeed In Evil” (has two books) not the author just his biggest fan)

  7. SilasCova: Given that Syndicate L is directly supporting supervillains and other criminals by providing transportation services, they’re a little like Evil Inc. They’re not quite the same in that they don’t cover anywhere near the same variety of activities though.

    Captain Mystic: I can imagine writing something like that as a post between major storylines. It might be fun.

    PG: Now, where is my brain bleach?

    Notto: Better yet, does Nick know Morse code, and could he teach the gun? Alas, not from memory, but he knows it exists.

    Bill/Captain Mystic/Anvildude/Christopher: Rook *could* be using medical marijuana, have the munchies, and want a staff member to get him some Doritos…

    Anonymous: Not a problem. I’m always grateful to finish a chapter…

    AVR: Thanks for the typo. I’ll fix that.

  8. I’ve read the first book of How to Succeed in Evil. I liked it. And writing as some beleaguered guy trying to organize a base full of minions and evil schemes for whoever is in charge, or someone having to organize how an evil corporation’s legal and illegal activities mesh together might actually be fun.

    I didn’t think the idea of a man talking to his staff would be all that disturbing. I know there’s one comedic song out there, “Dear Penis,”…

    “Dear Penis, I don’t think I like you anymore. You used to watch me shave, now all you do is stare at the floor.”

  9. It’s not that disturbing. It’s funny to imagine it being so though.

    Personally, (though I’m not sure I want to start a “songs about the penis” thread) I was always amused by King Missile’s song “Detachable Penis.”

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