“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.
Assuming he knew what cellphones were. The guy had been kept in HQ since the late 70’s or early 80’s.
Anyway, he’d probably agree to call them back, but not do it. What would be the point? He gained power with chaos, and knocking out electricity would cause a lot of chaos.
I called everybody but Vaughn. He was talking. Quietly, I told them what White had said.
“I’ll go to the power plant,” Jaclyn said. “You keep on following the plan.”
Rachel said, “I’ll go with you.”
Marcus’ voice came over the helmet’s speakers, “So it’s just the guys left?”
“And me,” Kayla said.
“But you’re not here.”
“But I’m helping.”
“We’re going,” Jaclyn said. “Good luck.”
“You too,” I said.
I thought they had a pretty good chance even in a straight fight. Between Jaclyn’s strength, speed and general toughness, and Rachel’s invisibility, intagibility and taser gloves, they had options.
And they might not have to fight. We weren’t going to if we could avoid it.
I glanced off to the left of the hill. The Michigan Heroes Alliance group stood there, all of them immobile and covered with sticky goo, next to their flyer.
From the way Future Knight strained his armored arms and legs, I guessed that Julie’s commands had worn off. Not that it did them any good. Too bad Psy-Kick could hear thoughts, but couldn’t actually mentally attack anybody. Then he might be useful.
Well, for more than glaring at me anyhow.
Anyway, attacking mentally wasn’t the idea. Emotionally? That was actually part of the plan.
I hoped it would work, because past experience showed that Dixie Supergirl alone could smash us.
Vaughn’s conversation with White, Blue, and the rest of their gang, had, of course continued even though I wasn’t paying attention.
“No,” Vaughn said, “the way I see it you guys should surrender right now.”
White held a raygun in her right hand. She pointed it at Vaughn in a way that I could only describe as relaxed. Judging from the icicle hanging from the muzzle, it probably encased whatever it hit in ice. “Oh, and why is that?”
“Because we’re the good guys. In the end, no matter how tough the villain is, or how outnumbered we are, we have to win. Plus, if the other side includes attractive women, they have to fall in love with us by the end. It’s traditional, you know?”
Her mask covered most of her face, but not the lower half. She smiled, and the darkened sky and rain made it harder to tell, but her cheeks seemed a little flushed.
Had he been flirting with her the whole time? I’d have been worried that Evil Beatnik was influencing him again, but it wasn’t any different from any other time I’d seen him with a girl.
On the other hand, the rainfall had slowed.
White said, “Sure, but who says it has to be with you?” She nodded toward me. “On YouTube, he’s the one with the technological extension.”
Next to her, her sister “Blue” (in the costume with more blue) said, “Oh, gross.”
Mr. Madness and Dixie Supergirl laughed. Destruction Boy eyed the Rocket suit’s crotch.
I turned my head toward Vaughn. “YouTube? That movie is on YouTube?”
“Not all of it. Just the scene with the Rocket and Princess Orgasmika doing it. It got millions of views. How did you think I heard about the movie?”
“I don’t know. Porn detection powers?”
I must not have sounded as annoyed as I felt because Vaughn and the others all laughed. “Good one.”
So at that moment I had a decision to make. By then I was supposed to be convincing the Ice Twins group that Evil Beatnik was in fact evil. Kayla had found news reports about the Ice Twins’ parents and Destruction Boy’s grandparents discovering them gone. She had them cued up back at HQ for me to broadcast through the suit’s speakers.
It didn’t feel right though. Strange as it sounded, it felt like between Vaughn’s flirting, and even the horrible video jokes, we’d all bonded a little.
I couldn’t drop parental guilt on people out of nowhere like that.
As I decided not to, the music changed from MacArthur Park to a song I’d found on a list in some UK magazine. It was called “Cheeky Girls,” or maybe that was the name of the band? The lyrics seemed to be four sentences. “We are cheeky girls. You are cheeky boys. Touch my bum. This is life.”
The Ice Twins’ crew listened in disbelief, and Dixie Supergirl started laughing hard.
In between gasps, she managed to say, “This song is so stupid. Where did you find this?”
“I don’t remember exactly—” I began, except a scream interrupted me.
Evil Beatnik let go of Mr. Beacham’s girlfriend’s hand, striding toward us. His face had turned bright red, and I could see the veins in neck. I didn’t know for sure why he was angry, but I thought it might be the sort of anger you get when people you’re controlling get tasered, or bludgeoned with lightning fast fists.
Behind him, Bongo Boy picked up two shards of his drums, and tapped them together like drumsticks.