Next to me, Amy muttered, “I didn’t prepare any spells to handle that. Red Hex?” Her voice raised as she said Samita’s codename.
Samita shook her head. “Not directly. Troll and I both wear rings that I bound to spirits of probability. They protect us from getting hurt, and of course I enchanted our costumes. I might be able to repurpose something…”
She frowned, and opened one of the leather pouches on her belt, sticking her arm inside, and pulling things out to examine. This wouldn’t have been anything to remark about except that she’d stick her arm in all the way to the elbow while the pouch was at most four inches deep.
Weirder, she’d take objects out of the pouch that were wider than the pouch—a white, porcelain basin, for example.
After examining it, she put it back in.
I knew better than to ask about it. We didn’t have time, and even if she wanted to talk about how it worked, it was magic. All the same, maybe I could convince her to let me examine it sometime?
Tara watched as the balls rolled round the arena. “I think,” she began, stopping, but then continuing as all of us turned to listen, “that the balls will be less of a threat to us physically, but if they contain any iron or if Moonglider’s wind is strong enough, they’ll be able to redirect the balls at us.”
Rod shrugged. “I’m pretty sure I can do some redirecting of my own.”
Tara frowned. “Only if you can touch them. They’ll be able to do it remotely. That’s in addition to them having two high speed flyers while we have one, and that we may have to fight them blindfolded.”
We had thought through how to handle Stephanie’s devices in a straight fight, but since Lee hadn’t mentioned that we’d be facing balls and playing capture the flag, this was all new.
“Not exactly blindfolded,” Amy said, “and I can fly quickly even if it’s not as quickly.”
She’d modified her supernatural sight spell so we could use it while closing our eyes. I didn’t personally need it. I’d modified my helmet to filter out Stephanie’s devices.
“I know,” Tara said, holding up a hand. “Give me a moment to think.”
Tara closed her eyes, clenching her fists. Then all at once she opened them. “Troll, Red Hex, and I will be on defense. Bloodmaiden and the Rocket will be on offense.”
Rod frowned, eyes narrowing within the diamond mask. When not a troll, his trench coat, mask and hat made me think of a 1930’s pulp hero. “Why? Putting the Rocket and I on offense worked great last time.”
She met his eyes. “Do trolls have a weakness for iron like the rest of the fey?”
He threw up his hand while shaking his head. “Right. Magnet shithead will take me out in a second. I guess I’ll have to trust to the Brothers Improbable.”
The ring gleamed on his right hand.
Before I could ask what that meant Samita said, “The bound spirits are brothers.”
“Which works great,” Rod said, “except when they try to one up each other.”
Tara held up both her hands. “We don’t have time to talk. Here’s the plan—”
She barely managed to get through it before the announcer said, “Athletes, please take the field. We’ll begin in two minutes.”
They’d given us ten last time, but I supposed that we’d all already warmed up.
We left our seats to the cheers of the crowd, walking onto the field at the same time as team one. People shouted the Power’s name along with “The Rocket” and even “Ronin” because apparently Tara had decided to take on her dead father’s codename.
Amid all the screaming an alert appeared in my HUD.
[Escalation beginning. Regime metahumans have escaped the presidential palace with several guards using previously unknown powers. As per my most recent research report, the regime invested in a power juice program.]
I wanted to scream. This was all falling apart at the worst time.
The report from this morning—one I hadn’t yet read, and that the Coffeeshop Illuminati certainly didn’t have. I messaged Hal, “If I haven’t already told you to, update everyone in the League as well as everyone outside who’s helping us on this—including Dr. Nation, and give everyone all the reports.”
It flashed off, and I stood next to the rest of the team in front of the flag.
The balls, both gray and made of stone rolled around the outside making a noise that reminded me of a bowling alley. I supposed that we’d be the pins.
Lee walked on to the field and spoke into a microphone. “The rules for this match will be the same as any other except that the stone balls you see rolling around the field will make things more exciting. Interfering with them in any way is completely allowed, but Agent Lim requests that you don’t kill anybody with them.
“We’ve moved the healers closer to the field to improve their response time.”
12 thoughts on “Demo: Part 17”
And here’s an update…
Vote at Top Web Fiction if you feel the urge. Last I looked, the place had slipped a little.
In other news, I’m only fifty pages away (and a bit of rewriting) from sending the book 2 to get proofread.
“nterfering with them is any way”
*in* any way? 🙂
Thanks. It’s now fixed.
I really hate people like those that are in the coffee shop Illuminati… always acting before they really know what’s happening.
“I knew better than to ask about it. We didn’t have time, and even if she wanted to talk about how it worked, it was magic. All the same, maybe I could convince her to let me examine it sometime?”
I’m getting this mental image of Nick’s head snapping towards Samita as she pulls a kitchen sink (white porcelain basin – I caught that Jim!) out of her purse. He says nothing, but just stares. Occasionally twitching, but manfully saying nothing.
That was almost more of an Easter egg than a joke, but I’m glad it amused you.
Knowing that many people whose first language isn’t English do read Legion, it might be worth noting that sometimes people say that something includes “everything but the kitchen sink” in order to express that an object or offer contains a lot of things.
Samita’s bag includes the kitchen sink. While not obvious, it amused me.
When I read that, the “white porcelain basin”, I pictured a toilet for some reason, not a sink.
That would be funny too.
Probably because modern kitchen sinks are very rarely actually white or porcelain. Toilets on the other hand almost always are both.
Needless to say I also read it as her pulling a toilet of het bag of holding.
Heh, porcelain-coated sinks used to be very common a few decades ago.
Also, while technically, a ‘basin’ could be a toilet, in household terms, when you talk about a basin, it’s generally a sink or a cooking bowl.
Google the following keywords and look at the image results:
ceramic basin -house
Jim, the funny thing is, I could actually see it being a toilet. Imagine the sorts of grungy places where female superheroes might end up. I could easily see Samita walking to where she’s been told the restroom is in some horribly decrepit neighborhood, and saying “Not only no, but Hell, no.” before pulling her emergency toilet out of her purse.
Which is why I specifically mentioned modern kitchen sinks. Though you’re absolutely right about the basin distinction. I guess ‘white’ and ‘porcelain’ predisposed me to thinking toilet over kitchen sink, even if a toilet is indeed only a basin if you interpret the term fairly liberally.
I guess a bathroom sink would actually fit best here in that case. Unlike kitchen sinks, they are still almost always white and porcelain. And definitely basins.