Under 30: Part 26

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.

With any luck the most resonant frequency wouldn’t be the same as Bongo Boy’s ribs, or incompatible with his pacemaker if he had one.

And if he did have a pacemaker, I prayed Vaughn wouldn’t zap him.

As the drum shards touched, the larger one exploded into smaller shards, and splinters. Bongo Boy shouted, dropped the other shard, and shook his bloody hand, shouting curses.

I didn’t want to look at it.

One bad thing about inheriting my grandfather’s rogues gallery was that between Man-Machine and Bongo Boy, I spent too much time hurting senior citizens.

On the bright side, my head felt clearer.


Evil Beatnik saw it happen.

He glanced back at Bongo Boy’s hand, and seemed to get angrier, shouting, “Get him!”

“Him,” of course being me, and people being commanded? Everybody but me.

The Ice Twins brought their ice-rays up, but not quickly. Near them, Dixie Supergirl had stopped laughing about the song, and had her fists clenched, her eyes closed. Destruction Boy struggled to push himself up to a sitting position. Remembering his last blast at me, I decided that bonding or no, guilt trips sounded like a great idea.

“HQ,” I said into the comm, “I’m ready.”

“1… 2… 3…” Kayla said, and I sent her call to the main speakers. A woman’s voice said, “I don’t know what happened to them. They disappeared. I don’t where. I don’t know if they were kidnapped, or if… if…” The woman gave an uncontrolled wail. “Candace, and Cassidy, if you’re out there somewhere call me, please!”

The Ice Twins ice-rays dropped. White shook her head.

Behind them, Destruction Boy managed to sit up.

An old man cleared his throat, voice magnified by my sonics he said, “I did my best by him. After his dad left him with us, his grandmother and I raised him like a son. Scott, come home, or call for help. Call the police if you have to, son. It’ll be okay.”

Destruction Boy looked around, confused.

Teaching Kayla how to splice together news footage had been worth my time.

I tried to think of my next step. She’d edited the voices together with the idea that we’d use them to help persaude the Ice Twins’ group to split up and go home. We didn’t expect to use them with Evil Beatnik right there.

He didn’t even try to sound like a hipster. “Don’t listen to him. It’s a trick! Hurt him.”

“Rocket… Can’t help.”

Vaughn had his eyes closed, and turned his head away from me—probably to avoid joining Evil Beatnik.

And I tried to think of the next step. We were supposed to get him alone. Since he had people around him, revealing his identity could go very, very wrong. And where was Marcus? He was supposed to have come in less visibly than Vaughn and I, and he’d sounded like he was here over the comm.

I tried to talk to him directly. “Shift?”

“Here. Need help?”

“I don’t know.”

For all Evil Beatnik’s shouting, I didn’t yet. They weren’t attacking. Not even the monkeys were attacking. Except for the one on Bongo Boy’s shoulder, they were acting like monkeys—sniffing each other, chasing each other, and climbing the trees.

One had managed to get the wrapper off a Snickers bar.

Evil Beatnik snarled, and began to walk toward me.

“Well, daddy-o, it seems like you have a problem.”


“This body I’m wearing? You like him, and I don’t. He’s a square, but he thinks he isn’t. He wanted to change the world, but now he’s got a comfortable life. I think he needs to learn better, but if I don’t get the chance to show him, I may have to kill him. What do you think about that?”

“I’m against it.”

14 thoughts on “Under 30: Part 26”

  1. Hello, welcome to World Conquest News, your usual host, Dr. Haterageous and his sidekick, Prettily Kitty Lee, are otherwise occupied tonight, I’m Psycho Gecko, filling in.

    Tonight, the top story is the death of Blooperman, the superhero best known for causing villains to act dumb and screw up, brought about by everyone’s favorite Israeli supervillain, The Golden Hemerrhoid. You gotta love this guy, folks, otherwise you’ll need surgery.

    The DOW is up 500 points in part due to manipulation by Loathe Corp., while the Nasdaq is down following the mass theft of AmericaBank’s board of directors by Malevolent Mask.

    Michigan’s “Dude, What’s Going On?” protests were broken up tonight due to odd weather and local superhero The Rocket trolling the crowd with bad music.

    In other news, no word yet on the mysterious supervillain who has been masterminding the spontaneous, simultaneous thefts of the word’s monkeys. We caught up to superspeedster primate Go-Rilla *cuts to a clip showing a large darkbrown/blackish streak racing along a corridor until a section of the ceiling folds in, enclosing him and spraying noxious gas.* But unfortunately, he was unavaible for comment. *The trap lifts up to reveal an unconcious gorilla with winged red tennis shoes on* On a completely unrelated note, infamous chef Barutok the Unclean of Neptune is offering a special on the new bushmeat surprise line of meals at his restaurant.

    This is just coming in, but it appears that Dr. Haterageous and Prettily Kitty Lee were both apprehended in their attempt to steal from Caesar’s Palace. Correction, they were attempting steal an actual Caesar’s palace using time travel, my bad. This does not bode well for the Mad Doctor of Malevolence and his younger, hotter henchwoman who appeals to the furry demographic between ages 13 and 59. No one knows for sure how the authorities were tipped off to the pair’s robbery, but one thing is for certain, I’ll see you right here again this Thursday, taking over this lucrative crime slot while they’re away.

    Good night and remember: soon we will rule the world! Mwahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahaa

  2. Love the stories, but the web page isn’t fit for purpose. Definitely need to combine each older story into a single self contained entries and clear the links the stories to the right.

  3. beating up on seniour citizens, ranom snickers bar?, and what will happen to the world’s coolest teacher Beacham?

  4. Mycroft: Ick.

    PG: “Michigan’s ‘Dude, What’s Going On?’ protests?” For some reason this cracks me up.

    Mark: Thanks for reading. I’ve planned out a redesign. Removing most of the crap in the sidebar is definitely part of the plan. I’m not planning to consolidate stories into single posts for a variety of reasons (it would mess with the comments for one, but also some chapters would make for a massively long page).

    Unfortunately due to having 1) a full time job as a web developer 2) a freelance web development business on the side 3) two kids and a wife (who prefers not to be ignored) and 4) interests in bass guitar and long distance running, I find I don’t have as much time as I want. Thus, the redesign goes slowly.

    It’ll happen, and it’ll be better, but not soon.

    Captain Mystic: Beating up on senior citizens is a major hazard of being a legacy hero. All the vengeful bad guys are old.

    I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often in comics, but their writers may have better taste than I do.

  5. Mycroft, don’t tase him, bro!

    And I’m with Jim, we need to protect our comments sections! After all, some people say they make the story more enjoyable. I’m sure once they get passed my ranting and bad jokes, that is even true.

  6. But without ranting and bad jokes, there’s not much left of the internet. Except porn, I suppose. There’d still be plenty of that.

  7. @Gecko
    Since poor ol’ beatnik’s been out of circulation for a while, imagine the shocked look on his face when he gets tased…..especially if nick zaps the ring, rather than the meatshield wearing it 😛

  8. well i dont believe any of us is immature enough to comment with l.o.n. porn i mean our noble author… o wait

  9. The thing I fid apropos is that Evil Beatnik gives up on the “beatnik” when he’s frustrated and just goes with the “evil.” He stops all the hipster pretense and gets on with the truth of his chaotic self — Nick really pissed him off, eh?

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