The rhythm of Bongo Boy’s clicking drew me in, but not entirely—not nearly as strongly as he had with drums.
I could think—barely—I half wanted to stand there, quietly waiting for orders.
I pointed my right arm at him, set the sonics to choose the most resonant frequency for the wood, and narrowcast a big pulse of sound as he brought the two shards together with a wooden click. Continue reading Under 30: Part 26
“Yeah, right,” Vaughn said. “Cause we’re going to let you guys run away, and keep on robbing banks, and protesting with monkeys. That’s totally brilliant.”
Unless Evil Beatnik planned to use magic to tell Justice Fist to stop, I didn’t know how he’d do it. I supposed he could use a cellphone if he didn’t care about the rain. That said, in this case, the rain would destroy Mr. Beacham’s cellphone, and Evil Beatnik probably didn’t care.
Continue reading Under 30: Part 25
“Doing about it?” Jaclyn said. “We were working on a plan to stop them, but we can go to the riot.”
The Marvelous X shook his head. “Please don’t. We’ve reason to believe a villain named Evil Beatnik is involved. You’ve likely never heard of him because he hasn’t been seen in years, but he can influence young people. We’ve organized a number of heroes that are too old for him to control. They’ll take care of him soon enough.”
“You’re sure about that?” Continue reading Under 30: Part 21
And he didn’t just remind me of Mr. Beacham, this was Mr. Beacham—with 100% more beatnik.
I adjusted the picture, scrolling away from the monkey on the balcony and back toward Mr. Beacham, and his hangers on.
Having recognized him, I knew who the woman with him was—Mr. Beacham’s girlfriend. She’d visited the school once. Was she with him because she thought he was Evil Beatnik, was Evil Beatnik controlling her, or did she somehow like Evil Beatnik? Had they… uh… I put the thought out of my mind, but it opened up a lot of relationship questions.
Could Haley and I survive something like that? I liked to think we would, but you never knew. Worse, the deeper we got into this whole superheroism thing, the better chance we had to find out.
So I put that thought out of my mind too.
Continue reading Under 30: Part 20
Evil Beatnik walked in. I’d never seen him in that body, but I knew it instantly. He wore a black beret, black jeans, and a black turtleneck. Scruffy hair on his chin (and above his upper lip) hinted that he must be growing a goatee.
Oh, and he wore a silver ring on his right hand.
Except for pictures from the late 60’s and the 70’s, he’d always looked like that—even if he did possess different people each time.
I wondered who he was. He looked familiar, but I couldn’t place him. Continue reading Under 30: Part 19
Dixie didn’t stay to talk after that. She dived over the ledge, flew down two floors to rescue Destruction Boy, and left through the hole on the third floor.
As her feet left the ledge, I activated the roachbots I’d released earlier. They had a chance to catch her.
Jaclyn appeared out of the stairwell, and leaned over the edge of the walkway, watching them go.
Continue reading Under 30: Part 17
Sunday night, Marcus and I placed roachbots around the city, and sat back to wait for something exciting to happen.
It didn’t. We went home around two the in morning, having discovered that people really did sneak in after the beach officially closed to drink. They also got discovered by rangers, and then ticketed and fined by the police.
It seemed distinctly less fun than the stories I’d heard.
Continue reading Under 30: Part 13
The sole good point about Sean calling to gloat was that I could at least be sure that he didn’t expect me to call back. Lucas, I felt fairly sure, did.
Clicking on the icon that distorted my voice to match how the Rocket sounded in person, I set the voice mail program to dial. I felt sure Lucas would catch that this was an official call—which was good considering he’d probably inherited his grandfather’s resistance to mental tampering.
Daniel had put in our version of the Block on each Justice Fist member back when we all fought Prime and the Cabal’s private army. He’d told me to assume Lucas didn’t have one.
Continue reading Under 30: Part 12
I wore the full Rocket armor. Pulling the stealth suit out of my closet at home would have been faster, but according to Grandpa and the reports, Dixie Superman had been tough. Flying into a fight with Dixie Supergirl in less than full gear sounded stupid.
And how much did I want to bet that more of her group was in the crowd?
After running to HQ, plus five minutes worth of pulling the armor on, and a twenty second flight to Grand Lake State Park (with Marcus gliding behind me, shifted into the form of a pair of wings), we were too late.
Not completely too late because she wasn’t gone, but it would have been better if we’d all arrived and attacked simultaneously.
Continue reading Under 30: Part 11
After Vaughn and Jaclyn sat down, we started to make a plan.
“At least we know how it’s been done before,” Jaclyn said. “Once we stop his followers and reveal who he’s possessing, he disappears. Hey, do you think we might be able to take the ring if we’re wearing gloves?”
“I don’t know,” I said, “it’s magic. Who knows what the rules are? When one of the Hangmen lassoed me with his noose, it didn’t paralyze me like it was supposed to, but with Evil Beatnik, it might go the other way. The original League surrounded the ring with concrete and bulletproof glass for a reason.” Continue reading Under 30: Part 10