Under 30: Part 28

Evil Beatnik didn’t have an easy time of it.

Marcus started to twist toward me, but one leg shrunk, and he fell over. He began to push himself away from the ground, but it wasn’t simple. Long spikes had grown out of Marcus’ legs, sticking themselves into the ground.

I couldn’t see it to know for sure, but judging from the way Marcus’ legs and body shrank, I suspected I couldn’t see half of what Marcus had sunk into the ground.

Marcus growled something I couldn’t understand as he pushed up, and fell back down. Not that he sounded at all like Marcus, of course.

The spikes began to retract into his feet, and Marcus stood, his features turning into Evil Beatnik’s—as much as they could. When Marcus used his powers, his skin turned from light brown to the same gray Haley and Travis’ claws had when they transformed. At that point Marcus had turned all gray, creating the impression of a beret, turtleneck shirt, and pants out of Marcus’ body.

I racked my brain to think of something that I could do about it, but nothing came to mind. Hitting Marcus didn’t do much good, and anyway, it wasn’t Marcus I wanted to hit.

I didn’t know what to do.

When we’d practised, Daniel had the best chance of taking Marcus out. Between telepathic attacks, and straight out telekinesis, he could take Marcus out of a fight.

The rest of us had a harder time.

Sonics would hurt him, but he could also shapeshift away from having ears.

Not that I went through that in a completely rational way at that moment. At that moment, my thoughts were closer to “Crap. Crap. Crap.”

That and thinking how incredibly inconvenient it was that the original team (and thus ours) hadn’t included anybody who knew anything about magic.

Well, other than Lee, and he didn’t seem to be nearly as into understanding sorcery as he was into dismembering sorcerors.

And anyway, he wasn’t there.

What happened next could be considered a reminder that waiting sometimes does solve problems.

Marcus’ right hand disappeared while his forearm bulged. Evil Beatnik’s ring fell to the grass. It turned into a silvery mist again, and floated toward him except Marcus turned into a ball.

A big ball.

I wouldn’t have put it past Evil Beatnik to have the ring stretch to fit, but it would have had to stretch to hula hoop size. Maybe the ring had a hard limit to its ability to stretch, or maybe Evil Beatnik didn’t want to try again on Marcus.

Either way, he didn’t.

The silvery circle hovered above the grass.

Meanwhile, the Ice Twins’ whole crew—including Mr. Madness—lay on the ground in a haze, muttering and sometimes pointing at shapes in the clouds. Mr. Beacham and his girlfriend lay near them.

Bongo Boy sat, hand still bleeding, surrounded by monkeys, and coughing a little. I guessed he must have been gassed too.

That’s when I noticed that whether or not he’d intended it, Marcus had been brilliant. We had to isolate Evil Beatnik, and in stopping Mr. Madness, he’d sprayed the man’s madness gas everywhere. No one eligible to be possessed could think clearly enough to be useful, and even if Bongo Boy could, he was over thirty by at least forty years.

The time had come. I could call Kayla, and reveal Evil Beatnik over the TV.

At least in theory.

Theory came in because as I decided to call her, I realized that Evil Beatnik had one rational person under the age of thirty available who hadn’t just bested him in a contest of will.

Yeah, that’d be me.

I felt cold metal on the ring finger of my right hand.

“HQ,” I began, and then found I couldn’t speak any more.

My body felt strange—good in a way, but not right.

Evil Beatnik’s voice spoke in my head. “This is better. Much better. A normal body. Well, Nick, here we are, together at last. I’m trying to decide where we should start. City Hall? The power plant? Or maybe we should rob a jewelry store? What do you think? Anything that you’ve always wanted to do?”

19 thoughts on “Under 30: Part 28”

  1. Maybe Nick has some deep-seated urge to go makeout with his girlfriend in space.

    Come down to it, Nick doesn’t really seem to have many things he wants to do except take things apart and build things. This leaves me with a few ideas.

    1. Beatnik will grow frustrated as Nick grabs some junk and starts making something he always wanted to make.
    1A. This something could be the porno attachment.
    1B. He could go sue the porno makers.
    1C. He tinkers with the suit to fix the filtration system that somehow let in Beatnik that never managed to before.
    2. He beats the crap out of Sean
    3. Tells Psi-Kick how ridiculous he thinks his name is.
    4. Brown note. Everybody
    5. Naughty things with all our young female superheroines except his sister.

  2. But it’s not better beatnik old pal…..Nick isn’t “cool” or “hip” or particularly rebellious……
    Which means it’s unlikely that you can actually DO anything with him, sooo……

    “Sure Beatnik, i’ve always wanted to hand you over to the police”
    Or, as is more likely, this also happened to the original rocket, thus Beatnik’s presence in the suit triggers a built in defence mechanism. (Internal tasers/suit locking solid so nick can’t move/sedative gas/all of the above).


  3. this is an example of how waiting for your problems to solve themselves works… i could see it coming right from that momnt. Nick is slightly doomed but he has definitely been in worse situations than this one.

  4. Now all Nick has to do is overpower and subsume Evil Beatnik’s consciousness, craft the ring into the armour and become a mechamagical monstrosity with strange probabilistic powers, using the sound system to provide a groovy soundtrack.

    I still feel bad for Bongo Boy though. Really can’t see an old man playing the bongos with his monkeys as really a bad guy.

  5. lets just hope Evil doesn’t Beat Nick. (oh come on Jim you practically wrote that pun u cant blame me)

  6. Wow I didn’t know Captain Mystic was a super villain. :p Looking forward to finding out how he gets out of this one Jim. 🙂

  7. Supervillains are real. They’re the guys who use child soldiers and rape in Africa and who gun down police officers just so they can pass an addictive, potentially poisonous substance to people. They sit on company boards and decide how much a human life is worth, favoring the price that gets them the most profit. They trade stocks with no concern for the houses and property they’re actually passing around. They rule over countries and torture and lie to everyone they have power over for no other reason than they can. They build bombs to blow up offices or hospitals because they don’t agree with the politics that determine a service provided within. They preach that you face either eternal happiness or eternal torment depending on how much you push for a group of people to not be treated as human.

    Some people just wear masks and fight superheroes for a little bit of insured cash from banks instead.

  8. @Gecko
    “Supervillains are real…..They rule over countries and torture and lie to everyone they have power over for no other reason than they can.”

    Hmm, yes i agree completely, lies & torture.
    Abu Ghraib……..
    Monica Lewinsky

    But that’s the way these terrorist police states work. 😛

  9. I’m really liking the way Marcus got to show off his skills here — with such a large cast it can be hard to give each one screen time and this is the most impressive Marcus has been — camouflaged as a rock, then out-smarting Evil Beatnik with shape-shifting.

    However, it does leave Nick in a tight spot.

  10. Mazzon: You know, I think Iron Man actually did something like that in the comics.

    Mycroft/PG: All this talk about what Nick really, really wants reminds of the Spice Girls (and how the irritating music list somehow missed anything of theirs).

    Captain Mystic: Beat Nik? That hurts.

    Thomas: Possession is kind of a pain.

    Gavin: I haven’t done as much with Marcus as I’d like. Almost all of the characters could carry their own story if I just let them do it, but circumstances (number of characters and writing in first person) limit how far I can go to follow what other characters are doing. But yeah, Marcus could be more impressive than he gets to be much of the time.

  11. Supervillains do exist. The beauty of life is….superheroes exist as well.

    >>I still feel bad for Bongo Boy though. Really can’t see an old man playing the bongos with his monkeys as really a bad guy.<<

    Me neither. Truth be told, I see Beatnik as more an annoying large ham, similar to Diddy, than an out-and-out villain.

  12. I imagine the original League (once they were all over 30) regarding him as a perpetual annoyance instead of a big threat.

    Evil Beatnik doesn’t go at this with the goal of hurting people nearly as much as he just wants to feed. That said, if hurting people will let him feed off the chaos that results, he’s got no problem with it.

  13. BUSH: One of the major theaters against al Qaeda turns out to have been Iraq. This is where al Qaeda said they were going to take their stand. This is where al Qaeda was hoping to take–

    RADDATZ: But not until after the U.S. invaded.

    BUSH: Yeah, that’s right. So what? The point is that al Qaeda said they’re going to take a stand. Well, first of all in the post-9/11 environment Saddam Hussein posed a threat. And then upon removal, al Qaeda decides to take a stand

    Gaddaffi/Quadaffii: “We believe America is practicing all kinds of terrorism against Libya. Even the accusation that we are involved in terrorism is in itself an act of terrorism.”

    Rupert Murdoch: “Can we change the world? No, but hell, we can all try.” and “The greatest thing to come out of this [the war in Iraq] for the world economy, if you could put it that way, would be $20 a barrel for oil. That’s bigger than any tax cut in any country.”

    Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs: “Look, I worry about these things, and I wonder how we slipped up and how are we behaving,” he says. “But I have a sense of who we are that’s inconsistent with what I perceive theirs to be. I’m not saying the world is crazy and we’re right, but I hope that’s the case.”

    Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army: “Yes, we are fighting for Ten Commandments,” and “Is it bad? It is not against human rights. And that commandment was not given by Joseph. It was not given by LRA. No, that commandment was given by God.”

    Ted Haggard: “How much is your sin going to cost me?”

    To summarize… “Ok, we killed a bunch of people, so what? Accusing us of being terrorists shows that you’re the real terrorist. We’re out to change the world. I think the best part of that war was the increase in the price of oil. I know the world thinks I’m insane, but I’m hoping I’m right and they’re the crazy ones. No matter what bad thing I do, it’s merely following the will of the supreme deity anyway, specifically his list of 10 things you can be put to death for. Now, how much is your sin going to cost me?”

    Granted, they’re talking in different situations, at different times, about different things, but they ARE talking.

  14. if we can go on off topic comments i am going to advertise for another online celebrity author Patrick McClean who has this book about an evil eficiency consultant called “How to Succeed In Evil” that is funny and dark and poignant. And he is coming out with a sequel soon yeah!

  15. Has anyone read “Soon I Will Be Invincible”? It’s a good read and takes an interesting stance on why most super-geniuses are evil.

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