Thanks to the Rocket suit’s enhanced vision, I could see South Beach Surfer’s eyes widen as I aimed myself in her direction. She’d been in too many fights not to guess what I was planning.
If only I knew. The smartest choice would be to aim the laser at her and just burn her. Her probably armored “wetsuit” might help a little, but I’d likely send her to an emergency room. If it turned out that she was mind-controlled or that her perception of the League had been subtly altered, she wouldn’t deserve it.
She might not deserve being punched unconscious either, but at least that wouldn’t be permanent—though that depended on how hard I hit.
She was also experienced enough to recover from her surprise that I’d gotten out of the center of her winds. Her eyes narrowed as she stared at me, changing the wind’s direction.
That might have been a problem at one point, but I’d spent years training to fight in storms. Knowing that changing direction wasn’t instantaneous, I shot upward with as much force as I could manage without blacking out. Given that the suit now included alien tech, that meant more than three hundred miles per hour. The straight shot upward turned to an arc that aimed me at South Beach Surfer only now from above without in any way slowing down.
Though I wasn’t close to them, I couldn’t help but notice Mime stop firing, stare, and aim the imaginary gun upward at me. With any luck, the imaginary bullets would disappear before they hit anything. If someone died from Mime’s misses, I didn’t know what I’d do.
Behind Mime, Major Justice stared for a moment, and only as I neared South Beach Surfer, he dove deeper into the podjet to do something I couldn’t see.
I was too busy to find out more because I’d decided what to do. Lethal means and methods that could be deflected by the wind were out, but I had other options.
As I came within ten feet of her, she aimed a gust of wind at me, but not enough and I’d known that as I went in. When you’re dependent on the wind to keep you up, you have the wind right there and available for use, but you don’t want to use so much of it that you’re no longer in the air.
I blew right through it. It pushed me a little bit away, but I continued to follow the half plan that I’d come up with while barreling toward her—which started with a blast through the wind. That was followed up with readjusting my direction so that as I flew behind her I could grab her—which I did.
That worked only because like Vaughn she didn’t have much in terms of physical powers. She tried to pull away with a little more power than a normal human should, but that might have been her costume. Anyway, she didn’t have tons of force to work with and I did. As I flew behind her, I grabbed her right arm with my right and put my left arm around her front.
While being able to absorb data quickly enough that I could see speedsters didn’t help me much by itself, it helped with the timing. As I put my left arm around her front, I aimed it up at her head and fired off a goobot.
One nice feature of the goo is that the polymer it was made of separated into threads distant enough from each other that even if it covered someone’s mouth and nose, they’d be able to breathe through it.
I was counting on that—that and another feature. Even if it covered someone’s entire face, they wouldn’t be able to see through it—which was inconvenient if you wanted to aim wind at people. Hopefully, she didn’t have some kind of “wind sense.”
The goobot exploded, coating every part of her face except for her hair.
She shouted, saying nothing I could understand and adding a buzzing noise from the goo.
It was probably for the best that I couldn’t hear her. The only person in their group who hadn’t said something annoying to me was Mime.
I wondered what my chances were of gluing all of their mouths shut.
“Rocket,” Amy said over the comm. “I’m behind the factory to your left. What’s your plan?”
“I was trying to talk them down—“
“By gluing their mouths shut?”
“It’s not working,” I said.
“I can tell,” she replied. “I’ll go for Mime.”
Major Justice’s icon blinked and I let his voice through, “What are you doing? Holding her captive? I expected better of you. Don’t think this will make us stop. Mime!”
Exactly what Mime was outlining in the air with his hands wasn’t clear to me, but he seemed to be moving his hands a lot. That didn’t bode well.
Out of the corner of my eye, Amy rose into the air, all glowing red gems and black armor, her red hair waving in the wind. In one hand, she held a spear made of dark, pitted metal that in retrospect brought to mind Elric’s sword Stormbringer.
She threw it toward Mime.