Hysteria: Part 5

We sent everybody a yellow and changed into our costumes.

Haley left in her grandfather’s car. Cassie left on her father’s motorcycle. I left after both of them because changing into the Rocket suit takes time.

I flew out of the tunnel that opens over the lake, flipped over in the air, and aimed in the direction of the warehouse, listening to police band radio over my helmet.

Chemical Supplies, Inc.’s building must have been on the edge of town in the 1970’s or 80’s when they put it up, but now 138th Street held a series of offices, warehouses, and factories — the new kind as opposed to the ones downtown. Bland white buildings sat in the middle of a sea of grass, one next to the other on both sides of the street.

They weren’t all white, but the majority seemed to be white, beige or a light brown. In short, something boring.

I arrived before anyone else. Haley and Cassie had to follow streets.

Crossing the city in less than a minute, I arrived at Chemical Supplies, Inc. just as a policeman called for assistance with a high speed chase over police band.

A white delivery van had left the parking lot, moving past the factory’s sign with a police car in pursuit.

The sign said “CSI.”

They must get some interesting prank calls.

I followed the cars, giving a couple clicks to my palm which sent everyone a second yellow and set me as the default location to follow if you wanted to find the action.

I dove, moving to a level just above the streets and power lines.

It was a totally classic superhero scene. I knew that this happened in LA and New York all the time, but the whole “car chase through the city streets” thing hadn’t happened to me before. Well, the Executioner had been close, but really that had been a car chase through the countryside which didn’t quite have the same feel.

Arguably, this didn’t either in that this was a car chase through a bunch of boring buildings on the edge of the suburbs, but, you know, you take what you can get.

Anyway, you could argue that this actually added to the scene. 138th Street was long and straight with the Grand Lake airport at the far end — which honestly is almost the only reason to use the road unless you’ve got business at one of the buildings on it.

It only had stoplights at major roads, so the person driving the van took advantage of the situation to really move, cutting in front of other cars, hitting at at least seventy on a road that normally ran at 45 miles/hour.

Cars swerved to avoid accidents. The police car weaved through after it, barely avoiding other cars.

So obviously I had to do something.

Heroes in comics or on TV always seemed to know how to handle this, but I had no idea. I’d never trained in how to stop a car.

All my ideas seemed to have obvious bad points. For example, dropping in front of the van and digging my feet into the road opened up the possibility of stopping them so suddenly that any cars behind them would crash into the back, giving everyone inside whiplash or worse.

Aiming myself like a missile at their engine had similar flaws.

Landing behind the van and grabbing the rear bumper might just rip their bumper off without stopping them — assuming I could get a good hold.

Punching through the roof from above seemed like the best choice, but I didn’t have magnetic boots to help keep me on, something I mentally added to my growing list of future armor tweaks.

What would Batman do, I wondered? Probably cover the windshield with his cape and assume the other drivers could take care of themselves.

I didn’t have cape, and anyway, fictional superheroes probably weren’t the best role models when there were real ones around.

Still wouldn’t it be cool to have a bracelet with WWBD on it?

Then I had another idea.

I accelerated straight for the rear of the van. It had just run a red light, barely missing a semi truck, and I had to shoot upward to miss the truck myself.

Once I got over the trailer, I accelerated again, this time slamming into the back of the van and breaking through the right back window with my fist as I tried to find the back bumper with my feet.

That went well except that the right door began to fall out. Apparently I’d hit it hard enough to break its hinges.

I grabbed the handle of the left door and moved sideways, letting the right door fall to the ground, hoping it didn’t cause an accident.

Then I stepped into the back of the van, or at any rate tried to.

Barrels, drums, and plastic buckets filled the rear entrance, blocking my way.

The two guys in the front seat were both shiny metal. Though he didn’t look spikey just at that moment, one of them had to be Spike, meaning the other one had to be Skewer. The guy with a mullet in a white costume seemed likely to be Cold Cash, leaving the muscular guy in the tank top to be Payback.

That came to four, of course, not five. The fifth guy had blood on his face and duct tape wrapped around his hands — Keith’s uncle.

I should have guessed that the van would be full of chemicals, but now I had to get past them.

None of them had hazard symbols. I’d just decided to start throwing them out the back when the world suddenly went white and cold.

Cold Cash had encased my helmet in ice.

12 thoughts on “Hysteria: Part 5”

  1. Stormy: I’m betting the years of fanatical training don’t hurt either… Batman probably spent time practicing how he’d stop a moving car.

  2. Everything’s easy when you’re prepared for it.
    I wonder if the Rocket gear includes one of those scrape thingies you use to get ice off your windshield.

  3. @Mazzon: (Like, say, Ironman’s) =P

    I think now’s a good time to hit those sonics, to hell with the chemicals. All the people in that small, metalled-off place … perfect, ain’t it?

  4. Yep time to remodel the armor with some mods. Well the sonics wouldn’t have done much but break the glass, but that might have been worth while as they might have slowed down some.

    It was Spike and his gang, oh well I wonder why they need the chemicals.

  5. Damn!!!!! This serial gets better and better all the freakin’ time!

    “Arguably, this didn’t either in that this was a car chase through a bunch of boring buildings on the edge of the suburbs, but, you know, you take what you can get.” – A quote of Win, if I say so myself.

    Jim, I love how we get to hear Nick scroll through possibilities and realize he really has no idea what to do.

    I always said Nick’s concern for others would endanger him. It seems it has now.

  6. Mazzon: It would be hilarious if Nick had to use a hand scraper to get the ice off.

    Eli: That would hurt.

    Daymon: It will be interesting to see which mods Nick actually gets to.

    Bill: I try to keep the series true to the fact that Nick’s encountering a lot of these standard situations for first time. I think that in many cases they’re a lot harder to get through than they sometimes come off as in comics and on TV.

  7. 1) WWBD actually makes sense in a lot of way: Batman has to be more resourceful than other powered heroes, and he kicks so much ass!

    2) The “car chase” reminded me of playing Iron Man on the Wii earlier in the summer — it’s a lot of fun for flying and then wrecking helicopters/tanks/soldiers.

    The boss fights leave something to be desired however — basically your standard “wait for the shield to come off, shoot the bad guy with your repulsors, wait for the shield to come back on, dodge, wait for the shield to come off…” lather rinse repeat.

    I would crash the truck just to buy the others time to arrive.

  8. I believe:
    I didn’t have cape,
    should be:
    I didn’t have a cape,

    The fun keeps coming.
    Thanks for a fun ride.

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