Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Showcase: Road Rage!


Sirens blared and lights flashed in New York City as two kidnappers ran from the law.

                “Your timing sucks!” shouted the rough faced thug in the back seat. He struggled with a four year old girl they had just taken. “I told you this wasn’t right!”

                “Shut up and make that kid shut up too!” the weasley looking driver shouted back, “I’m trying to think!”

The idea seemed easy. All they had to do was take the Congressman’s daughter and demand a ransom.  Through stupidity, faulty planning or both, they did it in front of a lot of police out on the street. 

                “We’re gonna get caught, man!”

                “Shut up!”

They approached an overpass at high speed, weaving through traffic. Drivers watched in shock as they tried to find routes to get out of the way.

                “We have to lose these cops, man! This is a wash!” the backseat thug called out.

                “Oh yeah? Fine! Give them the kid!”

                “What?”

                “Toss her out the door! That’ll slow ‘em down!”

The thug pushed open the door and the girl screamed in terror. She clawed and clutched with all her might as the thug pressed her small body out the car door.

                “Don’t worry kid, you might actually survive,” the thug said with a final push.

Her body floated out into the air with the 90 mile per hour asphalt reaching up for her. On such a small body, the effect would be like a sanding belt on gelatin. Such a small child has no concept of death, only fear. She didn’t have time to process in her mind what was about to happen as her life paused for a critical moment. She saw the heartless face of the man that threw her and it appeared to be the last thing she would ever see. She didn’t have time to feel the arms that suddenly wrapped around her. She didn’t even have time to realize she was saved.

From the moment he heard the frantic transmissions to the time he arrived were literally a single occurrence. He wished he had heard sooner. He could have spared the little girl the horror of being tossed out of a speeding vehicle. At his speed, the world stands still. It stands still enough to bypass high speed traffic. It stands still enough to pluck a child from the grinding maw of death. A fraction of her heartbeat later, Electrode, the nuclear electric man, placed her in her father’s arms and sped away. 

                “Hey!” the backseat thug yelled, “The kid just disappeared!”

                “What? What do you mean?” 

Traffic slowed and they sped out across the overpass alone.

                “She can’t just disappear!”

                “Oh, man,” the thug pointed out in front of them.

The driver tried to veer and evade but it was too late. The dark funnel snatched their car spinning into the air. The screamed and g-forces pressed them. Wind deafened them and they couldn’t see anything. Suddenly, the wind stopped and the car dropped to the overpass with a crash. Windows shattered and the axle broke. 

A man’s body materialized a few yards away from them. He was tall, rugged and square jawed. He was Sandstorm, the elemental shape changer. Sandstorm scowled at the two men as they scrambled out of the wreck. The driver staggered to his feet and pulled out a small revolver. He aimed it at Sandstorm and squeezed the trigger several times. Only a noisy clicking resulted. 

“Missing something?”  Electrode appeared with a fist right under the driver’s nose. He opened that fist and dropped six bullets at the criminal’s feet.  Arcs of electricity danced between Electrode’s eyes.

“Power down, they’re finished,” Sandstorm called to his friend.

“So you creeps thought you’d just toss her out on the street, huh? Throw her out of a speeding car?” Electrode’s fist began to glow.

“Scott!” Sandstorm shouted his friend’s real name to get his attention as police moved in to take the thugs away.

“Okay, okay!” Electrode stepped back, remembering he is also an officer of the law with rules to follow.  As federal agents, he knew he couldn’t play judge and jury, but it was most tempting. 

Sandstorm and Electrode are part of the Parahuman Activity Commission (PAC), created by the FBI.  Every day, they use their amazing powers to protect and serve against super powered threats. For them this was just another day. Who knows what will come next?
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