Uncontrolled Substances: Part 12

The water didn’t help at all.

Both Grandpa’s design and my redesign assumed that the flying bots would be operating outside and made them water resistant, but they were still small. Getting hit knocked them to one side or another, making the swarm move more slowly because of the constant course adjustments.

That meant that they didn’t instantly leave the steel beams near the ceiling of the gym where I’d sent them earlier. It also meant that that Logan, Dayton, and Jody fought longer than they might have after I summoned the roachbots.

That gave Jody time to try some different attacks — a lot of them, actually, thanks to his speed.

Though he moved too quickly for me to see details, he appeared to be punching Logan at first. After giving that up, he grabbed a chair (or so I guessed from the new, larger, and chair shaped blur), but Logan grabbed it away somehow, throwing it halfway across the gym.

When Jody tried to grab Logan’s leg and yank him off balance, he sacrificed his major advantage (mobility), and Logan caught Jody’s shoulder, claws sinking through the tuxedo’s jacket.

Jody screamed.

Logan threw him aside, causing him to tumble into the middle of the dance floor.

Jody managed to touch his hands to the floor, one at time as he flipped, gaining control of the momentum, and finally ending up with his feet on the floor. He ran for few steps, slowing himself down, then turned around and stopped. Pulling open his jacket, he looked at the front of his shirt, checking for damage.

It wasn’t soaked with blood, but blood seeped around the holes Logan’s claws had made.

While part of my mind noted that Jody’s speed ability must work differently from Jaclyn’s, my hands directed three of the flying roachbots into Logan’s face and set their self-destructs to explode.

One of these days I would have to work weaponry into the bots’ design.

The explosions caused Logan to back away from Dayton, howling and waving his arms wildly in the air. Unfortunately, Dayton chose that moment to attack, guessing that Logan would be distracted, and taking a punch directly to the solar plexus.

He fell forward to the floor, gasping for breath.

Logan bent down, mouth open, extending wider than I thought possible. I could only think that he intended to eat him, possibly to swallow him whole. Dayton tried to move. He started pulling himself up with his hands, but not quickly enough.

Next to him, Julie screamed, but not an uncontrolled scream. It had a queer tone to it that I could feel in my stomach. Though it had no words at first, it resolved into, “Stop!”

Logan stopped just inches from ripping open Dayton’s stomach, but he wasn’t the only one. Everyone near them stopped.

Honestly, I wanted to stop. Something in me needed to follow her order, and stand there forever.

I ignored it, and took a step forward, mostly just to see if I could.

Haley said, “Not her, too.”

I could only agree. I didn’t know what Julie had intended by passing along the picture of Haley and I together, but it felt hostile.

On the other hand, if she stopped Logan now, I couldn’t complain.

Motionless at first, with one claw on Dayton’s arm, Logan shook his head a few times and stared at Julie. Apparently, he didn’t have much mind to control at the moment. That, or she wasn’t very good at it yet.

Julie started to run, but her red dress didn’t have much give around the legs. She could walk, but couldn’t get much of a stride.

He rose, and made it to her in one step. Logan’s clawed hand went toward her throat, presumably to rip it out.

It didn’t make it.

Cassie’s staff got in the way. She’d taken off her dress at some point during the melee and stood there in the costume she’d hidden. The grenades had been taped to the back of her lower legs.

Then she kicked him in his solar plexus.

It didn’t take him out, but as he gasped for breath, she put her leg back on the floor and hit Logan in the face with the staff.

He backed away, still trying to find his breath.

She stepped toward him, aiming her staff at his right leg.

He stepped backward again, dodging it, then turned around and ran.

Toward us.

Cassie followed him.

Behind her, the fog expanded, causing Sean and his group to disappear into mist. Vaughn flew out of it after her, mask and costume on, tuxedo shed, wearing his utility belt, and carrying Cassie’s.

Strangely enough, this was mostly according to plan, though “plan” sounded better than the reality. What Cassie and I had worked out over the phone had been a set of tactical guidelines that could be summarized as “Get the civilians out of the action, and herd the problem toward each other.”

Not knowing what the problem would be made it hard to come up with details.

I set the rest of the roachbots in to dive bomb Logan while I pulled out my own copy of Cassie’s staff out of my pocket, extended it, and put away the PSP.

The bots hit Logan in the back. He yelped as they exploded.

Jumping away, he aimed at the only obvious target — us.

His leap probably would have allowed him to land on top of us except for the gust of wind that caught him mid way, blowing him over our heads, and slamming him into the wall behind us.

Vaughn appeared to be following another one of our tactical guidelines. As Cassie put it, that would be, “No fucking lightning bolts in the gym.”

Logan fell twenty feet, but still wasn’t down for the count.

He pulled himself up off the floor , growled, and threw what was left of the burned, smashed food table out the way.

I readied my staff, waiting for his attack.

Haley kicked off her shoes, allowing her hands and feet to turn into claws. Her teeth extended into fangs.

Logan leapt at us again, landing directly in front of us thanks to another gust of wind that forced him down sooner than he planned.

I got him in the head with the staff, but I don’t know how much good it did.

Haley grabbed his right arm with her right hand and injected poison straight into his neck with her left.

He struggled for a few seconds as it took effect, but between Cassie, Haley and I, we held him down.

Eventually he went limp.

7 thoughts on “Uncontrolled Substances: Part 12”

  1. And that concludes today’s lesson on how REAL superheroes take out bad guys.

    (And today’s other lesson on how to write a thrilling conclusion. Well done, Jim)

  2. Very good action, and the new “team” of “heroes” certainly don’t compare well to the Rocket’s pals.

    I just hope no one saw Nick and Haley get involved, eh? 😉

    (thanks for your comment over on my site, JZ, it was appreciated.)

  3. Bill: Thanks. I’m glad it worked for you. On my end, I find myself thinking more about the process of creating it than anything else.

    G.S.: Well, it was foggy and Logan wasn’t exactly in his right mind, so they’re likely safe. As for Sean… He and his friends have no teacher and didn’t plan for the possibility.

    That being said, it would be interesting to write about them as main characters some time. It’s not likely to happen though.

    As for what I wrote on your site, no problem. I’ve had a four close relatives die in the last few years. That’s never easy.

  4. It’s always the difference of why someone is doing the hero work. The Legion of Nothing are heroes, they’re plan involved saving the civilians first.

    Sean and his friends think that hero work is just beating up bad guys, and as such they cause more problems since they don’t understand what their goals during an event should be. Also they were working as individuals and not as a team.

    MVH (Most valuable hero) goes to Vaughn.

  5. @Pangoria – I was all set to argue the point about the MVH going to Vaughn, because I think he’s a bit of an arrogant, irresponsible prick.

    But, in this instance, you are absolutely right. Vaughn and his RESTRAINED use of his powers turned the tide and quickly took a situation that was headed for the toilet and helped neutralize it fairly easily.

  6. Well I hope that no one saw Nick and Haley, both of them forgot to change. Then again they didn’t have a lot of time either.

  7. “The grenades had been taped to the back of her lower legs.”

    Okay, that makes more sense. 😛

    As for people seeing Haley and Nick, I’m pretty sure that’s what the fog was for.

    Speaking of fog, it occurs to me that if the team is going to rely on it a lot, Nick is going to have to make some kind of thermal-vision goggles or something for team members who might be affected by it. Nick’s probably fine in full armour, and Haley probably has animal senses to help out, but Cassie, Jaquelin and even Vaughn may end up lost in the fog at the wrong time.


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