All posts by Jim Zoetewey

In the Public Eye: Part 46

I stood.

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.
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In the Public Eye: Part 45

Only as I passed over the house did I realize that we didn’t have much of a plan. I was going to attack Future Knight and they were going to do what to the water elemental guy?

Too late to stop now.

In the streetlights’ illumination, I could see Travis, Jaclyn, and Cassie standing in the street. All of them were up to their knees in white stuff that reminded me of shaving cream or possibly meringue.
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In the Public Eye: Part 44

My grandfather’s property (and that of all the neighbors on his side of the block) went up to the edge of Veterans Memorial Park. I followed the chain link fence that separated private property from city property.

I slowed down as I got closer to where I’d seen the shot. No point in running into somebody’s line of fire.

Three houses away from my grandfather’s house, I heard Daniel in my head.

Nick. Stop.

I stopped.
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In the Public Eye: Part 43

It took less than a second for him to fly under me, flip around to face me and grab my throat with both hands.

His face told me everything I needed to know about his intentions. Screaming incoherently at me, he squeezed the armor around my neck. It didn’t break, but I could feel it move under his fingers. Cords of muscle visible in his forearms, he strained his arms to put as much force into the squeeze as he could.

For that moment, my armor held.
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In the Public Eye: Part 42

Kids don’t really know adults. What I remembered of Jaclyn’s grandfather from the picnics was a man who spent a lot more time laughing, telling funny stories, and coaxing me into racing Jaclyn. I think I only ever won one race. He gave me a forty-nine foot head start out of fifty feet and even then it was a near thing.

As a crimefighter though, he had the old school, “fight the criminals, and run from the cops” approach.
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In the Public Eye: Part 41

As I ran toward the table in the middle of the main room, I wondered just what else putting HQ on high security did. What if it sent an alert to other hero groups? I didn’t feel like explaining all this to Guardian or the Midwest Defenders.

Glancing at the screen, I saw Travis, Haley, Marcus and Cassie crouched at the forest entrance, in costume and looking nervous.
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In the Public Eye: Part 40

Wind blew out of the tunnel, rattling parts in their boxes and tools hanging the walls. In the middle of it, I could see the hazy shape of the girl. I wondered what effect the sonics would have on her. Would sound do nothing or would it disrupt whatever connected her to herself in that form?

I didn’t want to kill her, so I decided not to think about it. She was Daniel’s problem.

“She’s kind of… dispersed mentally,” he said, “but I can do this –“

The hazy form flattened as it hit an invisible wall, face, glasses and the back of her skull interpenetrating each other. She dissolved into a colored gas, reforming a few feet away as cloudy version of herself.
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In the Public Eye: Part 39

I punched the distress call.

Above us, scattered lights began to blink slowly red.

I looked up. “I didn’t know that happened.”

“Me neither,” Daniel said. “It looks like we’ve got a lot of dead bulbs.”

With that we got another round of phone calls — except we got one less. In addition to Vaughn, Jaclyn didn’t call back.
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In the Public Eye: Part 38

Having watched the recording, I understood why the mayor had slipped under everybody’s radar for so long. We had video right here of him planting commands into the brains of an entire team of heroes while simultaneously having almost no evidence of it.

The fact that everybody had stopped and started talking on his cue pointed in that direction, but not inarguably. It was purely circumstantial evidence.
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In the Public Eye: Part 37

Sitting on my bed later, I tried to think through my next move.

I didn’t for a minute intend to seriously consider anything Magnus thought he had to offer. It sounded like he wasn’t going to be any help in a fight and I couldn’t see how cutting off access to the mayor’s money would do any good. I would have blown him off immediately except that I had been freaked out by the fact that he’d called me on my cell phone.

Not that I still wasn’t a little freaked out by that.
Continue reading In the Public Eye: Part 37