Hysteria: Part 7

I raised my left arm, fist pointed upward, shielding my chest. My right arm hung near my waist, ready to punch.

I didn’t punch Skewer.

Pushing down on two buttons on my right palm, I blasted him with the sonics.

As his blades changed back into hands, and he tried to cover his ears, I punched him in the stomach . It wasn’t a particularly fair tactic, but Lee had liked the idea when I first mentioned it to him so I’d practiced it along with my other combinations.

I didn’t pull my punch either.

Skewer flew backwards towards Payback — which would have been impressive if I’d intended to do it.

It also wasn’t as good a thing as it sounds.

According to the paper I’d read while researching the group, Payback created a force field that absorbed kinetic energy — which he could then choose to release. In short, I’d effectively just charged him up.

Neither Skewer nor Payback went down. Skewer slowed as if landing on a giant cushion, not quite hitting Payback.

Then I heard a noise that sounded like a small cannon firing, or maybe a large burp. Either way, Skewer flew back at me just as fast as he’d flown away.

Fastball specials seem a lot cooler when you’re not on the receiving end.

Skewer hit me, knocking me over, but not really getting much use out of it at first because he kept on rolling.

Unfortunately he stopped himself just a few feet past me, and leapt at me before I managed to move.

Transformed back into blades, his hands hit the middle of the Rocket suit’s chest. I felt the impact, but not much.

He stopped, frowning.

I began to raise my arms, ready to give him another taste of the sonics when Cassie said, “Hey, over here.”

Her legs still surrounded by ice, she held up a flash grenade, giving it just the smallest of throws.

It blew up in Skewer’s face. My helmet filtered it, but he screamed as it went off, and kept on shouting as Cassie pulled a small, metal tube off her utility belt, pointed it at him, and extended it instantly to quarterstaff length, hitting him in the head.

He fell over, blindly rolling into the ice surrounding Cassie’s legs as he tried to push himself up.

I aimed the sonics at the ice, and watched cracks appear across the side facing me. Cassie hit Skewer in the head a second time, and then brought down the staff, shattering the ice.

He shouted, and fell to the ground, but still didn’t fall unconscious.

Just past Cassie, I could see Jaclyn, but couldn’t see Spike at all. Judging from how Jaclyn seemed to be looking toward the top of Radotron Industries’ roof, it didn’t take much to guess that she’d knocked him further away this time.

I wondered where Haley was, but didn’t have time to think about it.

Cold Cash had just frozen Cassie, Jaclyn, and I again, catching Skewer along with us.

Meanwhile Cold Cash shouted, “Hey brother, sorry ’bout that,” — presumably to Skewer.

We had to do something about that guy.

Well, both of them actually.

As Skewer remolded his body, cracking the ice around himself, I shattered Cassie’s ice a second time with the sonics.

Jaclyn shrugged off her own, running toward Cold Cash and Payback.

Skewer stood up, and Cassie hit him full in the face with the staff again.

When he slashed toward her with his hand/blade, I punched him in the back of the head as hard as I could.

That time, he hit the ground and didn’t get up.

I felt a moment of sickness in my stomach as I realized that I’d left a hand sized dent in his skull, but then the metal molded itself back into a more normal shape.

I felt suddenly better except for worrying that he might not be unconscious after all.

When he still didn’t get up, I turned toward the building.

Haley stood over Cold Cash’s body, but didn’t look triumphant about the win. I guessed that she must have used poison, something she seemed unnecessarily sensitive about.

Jaclyn stood in front of Payback, pounding him with her fists, but not doing any visible damage.

I couldn’t think of a good way to warn her that Payback was just absorbing everything except by shouting, “Accelerando, stop. He’s–”

Too late.

With a big booming noise, he shot enough concussive force at her to send her upward into the air, out over the lawn, and into the street. She hit one of the police cars that must have just shown up.

Then he turned toward Haley, but she jumped up, flipping backwards to land on the roof of the building.

He blasted again, caving in the front wall. Bricks flew inward and the roof sagged.

Haley jumped off and landed on the grass.

I gave the rocketpack some fuel and shot over there, landing between the two of them.

I couldn’t punch him without adding to his available power. Sound being basically concussive force, I couldn’t use the sonics either, but my armor could probably take anything he could dish out.

“Rocket,” I heard from just behind me, “I can take care of myself.”

I didn’t say anything. I tried to think of something I could do.

Then I heard the sound of roaring wind and Vaughn shouting, “Hey motherfucker, eat lightning!”

Jagged white lines filled my field of vision, and the sound of thunder buffeted my ears.

Lightning would definitely work.

24 thoughts on “Hysteria: Part 7”

  1. Just found your site. Very good story so far. It’s lacking sex though, and a little more revision and corrections, but nothing major. Overall very legible, accessible and intelligent superhero fiction.

    Are you thinking of turning this into a novel at any point?

  2. Thanks. I’d like to make the revision and corrections. Feel free to note them as you read. As for sex… I tend to put sex in if it’s important to the story. Bearing in mind that the main character isn’t anywhere near experienced in that area, it could be a while before it becomes important to the story…

    I don’t currently have any intention of submitting it to traditional publishers (since they don’t take submissions that have been posted online previously), but I do intend to make money off it.

    There are a few things I have to do to make that possible. I’m working on them.

    1. Lord of the Flies definitely had some implied sex, although you really have to read between the lines and it’s mostly symbolic.

  3. Interesting I guess for some readers you need to have that sexual ingredient tossed in for them to sweeten there pot.

  4. Hmm, I didn’t like Hamlet or Lord of the Flies, or Dickens. I’m not saying you have to write a sex scene, and obviously they’re kinda young to flirt effectively. But, that’s what I mean. You have a story where a teenager has a home to himself. The number of times he could have had sex is staggering, and we already know he thinks about it.

    Even if his girlfriend isn’t ready, during the Three series it really felt like something WOULD have happened.

    I’m not saying you need to write out the scene, and maybe you can attribute it to his “genius”, and if the others just aren’t doing anything then they’re not.

    I’m just saying, if it were me writing, there’d of been alot more awkward “but we just got started” scenes….

    @Everyone else: Thank you for the warm welcome. I feel warm and fuzzy. 😀

  5. Good fight. The bad guys didn’t go down easy, and a nudge could have made it go the other way. The teamwork on both sides was surprising and thought provoking. Very well written.

  6. @Jim – pangoria won’t be the last. Nod and smile, and keep on keepin’ on.

    @pangoria – welcome. It takes all tastes, and if it’s just missing yours, you might have a good reason. No worries mate; that’s how new authors are born, so go write your ideas down and make a story out of them.

  7. Other big option is createspace, if you want print on demand.

    Print on demand is nice since it’s less money upfront, but you get less in the long run.

    Otherwise you pay for the prints, and do a run of like 500 and hope you can sell them all.

  8. I remember that LON once linked to a Novelr article on publishing on demand. I think it would be perfect for this superhero serial.

  9. On the self-publishing front, what I’ve noticed a lot of recently is publication based on pre-orders. An author (such as the Foglios doing Girl Genius, or David Willis with ShortPacked!) collects pre-orders for a book, does all the prep work for the book (which only costs time), and then has it printed once the pre-order count reaches a certain level (presumably slightly higher than the break-even point). Seems like a pretty good idea for anyone who knows they probably have enough fans who’d want to pay for the stuff to make it worth the effort.


  10. On the writing front, I just want to say how much I like Nick’s “voice”.

    “I couldn’t punch him without adding to his available power. Sound being basically concussive force, I couldn’t use the sonics either, but my armor could probably take anything he could dish out.”

    “I didn’t say anything. I tried to think of something I could do.”

    “Then I heard the sound of roaring wind and Vaughn shouting, “Hey motherfucker, eat lightning!””

    “Lightning would definitely work.”

    See, I like that.


  11. @Pangoria: ‘If it were me writing.’ But you’re not. I’d prefer it if Jim does this his way, to be honest, because the story he’s shaped in Legion has been compelling enough on its own, without sex. That’s a polite version of: we’re not here to read you.

  12. About books: I’d like to offer printed versions. Before I do it, I’m planning to revise things (what I’ve posted online is a good first draft, but there are things that need to be fixed). I’d also like to include some illustrations. I’d probably go with POD, and the way Hg described doing it sounds like a good idea.

    Sex: I’ve never ruled it out. I even know which of the characters have had sex, which haven’t, and why. There’s actually a storyline (that may or may not appear) in which it becomes relevant to the plot.

    Anyway, a key point in deciding the sexual content of the story is how much Nick notices going on. Figure it would be different if Daniel were the narrator. He knows what everybody’s doing.

    In any case, it’s a worthwhile point to bring up. Teenagers do have sex. Sex will appear when it becomes relevant to the plot (though possibly just in the background).

    In the meantime, I hope the discussion doesn’t get heated. That would suck.

  13. @Eli James: I’m not saying to put in sex as a selling point, I’m saying that it’s really really weird to have a bunch of teenagers that are going behind their parents back, and they’re not having sex.

    I know that the story is compelling enough without it, I read the whole thing in two days, and fell in love with it. I’m not trying to change what he’s writing about, I’m simply pointing out something that was bugging me and pulled me out of the narrative.

    @Parahacker: The only reason I even found this place IS because I’m writing my own stuff, and I was trying to see what others were doing (and I’m glad to know that I haven’t seen someone doing what I’m planning).

    @Jim: Yeah it makes sense that Nick wouldn’t know all the details of things, and there’s really no reason for him to know most of the time.

  14. I think that’s exactly why it never bothered me — Nick never struck me as the voyeuristic type. It would be a different story if, say, Vaughn was the narrator.

    Certain details in any story will either suit or not suit the narrative style. Over on “Diggory,” that was an important lesson I took away from the poll on sexuality in writing — it had never been a major component of Diggory’s style, so why would that suddenly change? So the place where sex entered the story, it was handled as “classy” as I could. Because that’s how he would narrate something like that.

    Nick would probably use some kind of physics analogy. 😉 Possibly chemistry. And then he’d get mixed up about what he was thinking about — it might actually be funny.

  15. We have had disagreements in the past over the story’s direction. But they’ve always been civil. We need to remember that…..

    1) We recognize that while someone may not like an aspect of the story, they DID choose to read it AND comment on it. One more fan is ALWAYS a good thing.

    2) Pangoria’s comment wasn’t something immature or ignorant like “Jim, cool story, but where are the naked girls with nipples hanging out”. It was more like “Jim, cool story, but I question the realism of a story about teens that don’t even talk about tampons or the like..” And his/her point is valid.

    3) Pangoria established that he DOES like the story and even discussed ways for Jim to broaden his fanbase. A troll won’t do that.

    and most important 4) We understand it’s JIM’S STORY. First and last. We all know that Jim will write LON as he always has, there’s no threat in someone leaving their opinion.

  16. @Everyone: understood. =)

    @Pangoria: I apologize, I did not realize the angle you were taking from your first comment. Thanks for clarifying in your third.

    @Jim: Write on – I don’t like the idea that Sean has powers, and if Spike and Skewer are working for him …

  17. I know I’m a little late to the party but well said Bill. Also, uh, I remember quite a bit of sexual content in Hamlet. Just saying.

  18. I feel it should be mentioned that he isn’t in a place to comment on unnecessary sensitivity when he is particularly squeamish about hitting people a little too hard.

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