Punching yourself in the face isn’t a great tactic in most fights, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.
The ice fell off my helmet and hit the floor. I swung back out onto the bumper behind the only remaining door, and tried to get a second to think.
I could blast away with the sonics, distract everybody, fly into the middle of them and start punching, but I didn’t like my odds. Besides Keith’s uncle didn’t deserve to have his ears bleed from the noise.
Then the solution struck me. I’d lean out, blast one of the rear tires with the sonics, and they’d have to stop. If they didn’t, I’d blast the other tire.
I began to lean out, still hanging onto the door handle, when the whole van leaned sideways, and then, almost instantly leveled out and rose eight feet in the air. I barely stayed on.
Moving at roughly the same speed, it crossed the right lane, the curb, and into the lawn of another business — Radotron Industries. Spotlights lit the sign, making it visible enough that anyone could find it in the twilight. I had no idea why anyone would want to, but I wasn’t really thinking about it just at that moment.
I leaned over and looked down, recognizing the blur of Jaclyn’s legs in her purple costume moving below the car.
I jumped off as she dropped the van on the lawn. Tires popped with the impact, but it rolled forward until it got stuck in the bushes in front of the building’s entrance.
She turned her head toward me as I landed on the grass.
“Rocket? When did you get here?”
“Before you did. I was hanging on the back of the van when you picked it up.”
“Really? I didn’t even notice. That’s hilarious.”
She laughed loudly as Spike kicked the door out of the side of the van and stepped out.
“So you think that’s funny, do you?” He crossed the distance between the van and us in three big steps. Pulling his arm back to strike, he said, “You think this is funny?”
Jaclyn stepped to the side and he missed. Her hands blurred. The first punch stopped him where he stood. The second sent him into the air like a baseball.
Radotron had a long, brown, brick building with a sloped roof. Spike hit it where the roof and wall met, smashing a body shaped hole into the overhang, exposing the steel frames, and knocking down a pile of bricks and shingles. The gutter crumpled at his impact and fell.
He dropped to the ground with the debris, looking dazed.
“I wasn’t laughing at you,” Jaclyn said, “but you’re making me think I should.”
Behind me I heard the roar of engines. I didn’t even need to turn to know that Cassie and Haley were driving across the lawn to join us. Haley had activated the spikes for extra traction, and the car churned up soil in its wake.
Radotron Industries’ landscaping crew were going to love us.
Cassie shouted, “Got ’em?” and jumped off the motorcycle.
I shook my head. “There’s still three more in the van plus the guy they kidnapped.”
“Fire up the sonics and order them out.”
Behind me, Haley stepped out of Night Wolf’s car, and, ran around the front. “They’re trying to sneak out the passenger side!”
I jumped sideways ten feet, landing behind her as the other metal skinned guy stepped back into the van and quickly shut the door.
“Huh,” I said. “A cowardly supervillian?”
Turning up the volume on my speakers, I addressed the van. “Attention. The police are coming here soon. All of you exit the driver’s side door, holding your hands above your heads. Then lean up against the van.”
It worked for the police, right?
Haley and I moved back to the same side of the van as Jaclyn and Cassie while they got out.
As Skewer stepped onto the ground, Spike got up at stood next to him. Cold Cash and Payback stood behind them.
Keith’s uncle came out with Payback.
Their formation reminded me of an offensive line in football. That’s the moment that I realized that we’d lost control of the situation. That or maybe we’d never had control.
Payback looked us over. “I heard about you kids. Girl’s night out, right?”
What, was I invisible?
Holding Keith’s uncle up by his bicep, he said, “Here’s the situation. You trashed our ride. You’re going to let us borrow yours or I’ll break this guy’s arm. Got it?”
Cassie rolled her eyes. “I’ve got a better idea. Why don’ t you surrender now and you won’t have to live knowing a bunch of girls –”
“And one guy,” I said.
” — beat you up.”
Payback smirked. “Cash?”
The big man pointed his arm at us and covered Cassie, Jaclyn and me in ice up to the waist.
Haley had jumped to the roof of the van.
Jaclyn and I only had to flex our legs and the ice shattered. Cassie couldn’t move hers at all, and started battering the ice with her fists.
I’d have helped her except that Spike and Skewer jumped the distance between us. Spike went for Jaclyn. Skewer landed in front of me. I suppose I should have been comforted by the fact that Skewer was skinnier and less muscular than his brother.
Unfortunately, the way each of his hands molded into a sharp blade didn’t comfort me at all.