I Think Some Of These People Became Superheroes Just Because They Thought Up A Cool Name For Themselves.

Posted: July 8, 2012 in Allosaurus, sci fi
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Part six of what I think is going to be  called Allosaurus. Here’s last week’s installment.

Three of them, this time. This was a first.

Cowards, clearly.

Couldn’t face Fran all by themselves.

The biggest one actually pulled out a gun. Some kind of Sig Sauer pistol with the aftermarket kit that turned it into a snub-nose rifle. Fran saw the muzzle flash.

Then

Things

Moved

Very

Very

Very

slowly.

Fran saw the rounds moving towards her, spinning. It was always a mesmerizing sight. A slow-motion conga line of bullets. She batted at them like so many errant mosquitoes. They would ricochet off the gauntlets and embed themselves in nearby buildings and cars. It was the dis-entangler doing its thing. Fran was getting more and more accustomed to it now; the way it would kick in at the merest thought, instinctively doing her bidding. A new body-part that could freeze-frame reality. She calmly sauntered over to the shooter, and snatched the gun from her hands. The power assisted gauntlets made short work of crushing it like so much tin. The world snapped back into regular time. Big girl’s eyes were wide like saucers as Fran lifted her by the throat and tossed her aside.

The skinny one had a lead pipe. He swung at the back of Fran’s knees, and Fran went down with a grunt. The pipe came down towards Fran’s head. Somehow, she rolled out of the way.

Pay attention, Fran cursed herself. She popped up, legs unsteady. The pipe swung at her again, missing her head but slamming into her chest. The vest was bullet-proof, but not actually impact resistant. Fran fought to continue breathing, to maintain consciousness. Something flew out from Fran’s wrist. The taser-whip. It wrapped around the skinny one and shocked him good. He fell, twitching. The lead pipe rolled to the side. There was a pounding, rhythmic noise in Fran’s ears that she eventually recognized as her own heartbeat. A pinkish, reddish fog began to creep in at the edges of her vision. Somehow, she turned to face the last one.

Young. Real young. A kid. He had a knife. He was shaking. Yelling something. Fran couldn’t quite make it out. Everything ached. She lurched at the kid with an animal snarl. The knife flashed. Fran broke the hand, drove an elbow (whose, she had no idea) into the kid’s nose. He went down; bloody, snoring.

Fran looked around. Here was the big one, the one with the gun. Flopping about, having a seizure. Definite head trauma, possibly permanent brain damage. Here was the skinny one, teeth chattering, fists clenched, eyes bulging. Fran switched the whip off and he lay still. Here was the kid, almost sleeping peacefully. Fran felt the vomit rising in her throat. She fought it back down. Not now, dammit. Not now.

The three thugs had tried to jump a frail, tiny woman. She stood still, hardly daring to breathe, clutching an expensive purse to her chest. She gulped, as though she hadn’t dared to breathe for a while. She looked from Fran, to the attackers, then back to Fran. She didn’t say a word. Eyes riveted on Fran, she walked over to the nearest one, the skinny one with the lead pipe. She let go of the purse, and it fell to the ground with a soft thump. She looked down.

Her foot seemed to jerk, all by itself, and kick the skinny one in the side.

“The hell are you doing?” Fran hissed. “Get outta here!”

The tiny woman didn’t seem to hear her. Her foot lashed out again, this time viciously. The skinny one groaned.

Fran gathered her strength and pushed the woman back. “I said get the fuck outta here, Frannie!”

The woman was startled. “What’d you call me?”

“I said get out of here, lady! What’s your problem?”

The woman looked at Fran. Her eyes were like little flints, like little coals, like little embers. “No,” she began. “You said, ‘get the fuck outta here, Frannie.’ Who the hell’s ‘Frannie’?”

Flustered, Fran was speechless. Her mouth opened, then slowly closed again. Sirens began to wail, grow louder. “Just, just go,” she finally mumbled. Fran quickly shuffled off into the shadows.

Trying very hard not to black out, now, Fran leaned against her bike. There was a first aid kit under the seat. She could maybe wrap some bandages around her chest. No. That would have to wait till she got home. Not taking off the vest. Not out here. Get the hypodermic out instead, give her self an injection of ibuprofen for the pain.

“It’s called projection.”

Fran immediately went into an attack position. Goggle-enhanced eyes scanned the hidden nooks and  doorways in the alley. “Who are you?” she growled.

“When you ascribe your mental issues to someone else. Projection.” The voice was coming from above. Fran looked up. She saw a man balancing himself on top of an eight-foot high chain link fence, arms sticking out as he paced back and forth. He was masked; one of those Mexican wrestler type things in deep red with black and green accents. With a deft shifting of his weight, he was suddenly balanced upside down, on one hand. Now she could see the rest of his costume. Same red, black and green motif over lightweight armor. Looked like he had a shield on his back.

“What do you want?” Fran’s left hand readied the taser-whip. The armored fence-hopper pushed; with a flip he was standing in front of her. He reached a hand out to her.

Fran reflexively grabbed the hand and tossed him towards a dumpster.

And just as reflexively, the armored man kicked his leg out, rolled, and was back on his feet. “Hey! Chill, girl!” He held his hands out towards her, palms up. “I’m on your side. Un-armed. I come in peace, and all that. I was just trying to compliment you on taking on those big and bads. You’re one of them Commando Girls, right?”

Fran said nothing. Stayed in attack position.

“Look,” he tried again. “I’m sorry. Didn’t mean to scare you. I watch people a lot. Never seen anybody fight like that. What’s that, Krav Maga? Capoeira? Pretty bad-ass.”

“Who are you?” Fran asked, not moving one inch from her stance.

“Seriously?” he asked. “You don’t know who I am? I’m in the papers, baby. Kinda famous. Not as famous as the Bug Man, of course, but I’m definitely more well known than, say, Kid Kaos or one of those lightweights.” He bowed. “Mr. Vanglorious, at your service.”

“Never heard of you.”

“Really? Never? Damn.” Vanglorious looked as crestfallen as one can manage while wearing a mask that conceals sixty percent of one’s face. “Here, I was thinking that I’m pretty much the greatest man alive. – Could you drop the stance for a second, or relax or something? I feel like I’m about to get jumped.”

“You might.” Barely, almost imperceptibly, Fran eased up. Just the tiniest bit. “What do you want, Mr. Vanglorious?”

“You called that one woman ‘Frannie’. I just think that’s a little … interesting. She obviously didn’t know you. She looked about the same height as you.” He put a hand to his chin. “Same build, too.”

“Do you have a point?” Fran asked.

Vanglorious shrugged. “Like I said, I watch people sometimes. Somebody could make a lot out of that little slip of the tongue.” He turned to walk away. “You should get your ribs looked at. I’ll be in touch, Commando Girl.” With a couple quick jumps (fence! fire escape! roof!) he was gone again.

Fran was alone in the alley. She looked at her watch. Almost four in the morning. Cheryl would still be pretending to sleep when she got home. She shook her head. I can’t keep doing this to her. The drugs were beginning to kick in. She hopped on her bike, started it up, and aimed toward the apartment.

Commando Girls. Where’d these people get that stupid name?  

words  © Christopher Ward. All rights reserved. “Mr. Vanglorious” courtesy of Darrin R. Ford. 

Allosaurus continues next time in Shards.

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Comments
  1. […] Part seven of Allosaurus. Continued from last week. […]

  2. […] Allosaurus continues next time in I Think Some Of These People Became Superheroes Just Because They Thought Up A Cool Name For Themse… […]

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