Fiction Fragment Friday
I decided I wanted to write something about my Superhero character Ricochet this week. As someone who cannot sing I have always enjoyed having him sing his own theme songs, but do not see him as being particularly creative. That was all I had going into this story. He had a song stuck in his head and didn’t know why.
“Ricochet, bouncing here and there and everywhere. I am the Ricochet.” As I bounced around the city on patrol I hit the button on my communicator to call the man who was my friend, tech support, and president of the Ricochet fan-club. “Lester, how do I have the theme for Gummy Bears stuck in my head when I’ve never even seen the show?”
“Oh, sorry that might be my fault. You know how you passed out on the couch last night holding your half-eaten burrito against your chest?”
“I’m not sure how the burrito part is worth mentioning but yeah.”
“It’s not I just thought it was adorable. I took pictures if you want to see I can text them to you.”
I landed on a roof and walked over to the ledge surveying the town below. Things had been strangely quiet on patrol lately and I was starting to get stir crazy waiting for something to happen. “I think I’ll pass. Please don’t upload those to the website. Could you please get back to why I have the theme for a cartoon I have never seen in my head?”
“Oh, yeah right, sorry. I watched a marathon while you were sleeping. You must have heard it in your sleep.”
I looked down and saw three armed men in some sort of high-tech armor hop out of a van and rush the front door of C&D Laboratories. The van seemed to let out a sigh and lifted a bit when they jumped out so I had to assume the armor was heavy. Their guns looked to be some sort of lasers. I heard Lester’s voice in my head correcting me that they would be particle riffles and the laser is just for aiming. We have had that conversation enough times that I think it was finally starting to sink in. Thinking about Lester I pulled out my phone and took some quick pictures of the trio as they entered the building. “I’m sending you some pics. Do these guys look familiar? I’d really like to know who I’m about to be punching.” With that I leapt from the building doing a somersault and landing perfectly if I do say so myself and I do since I’m telling this story, in front of the lab.
“Sorry Ric I ran the pictures through the computer and there are no hits. They must be new.”
“Well then I guess it’s time to meet the neighbors. Ricochet out.” I hit the button to turn off the communicator. I needed to focus and that was hard enough as it is. See when I use my powers, they do something to me. Kinda like the ultimate sugar rush I get hyper and scatterbrained. In some ways, it’s kinda like I’m drunk. Lately I’ve been trying to remind myself to think things through before acting because I’ve jumped in one too many times and made a mess of things. Sometimes it feels like all I can do is make a mess of things. It had been two weeks since I had hit anyone though and I needed some action. With all that in mind I yanked open the door and said, “Hey honey I’m home. What’s for dinner?” Then I dove out of the way as three particle riffles turned towards me and destroying the front door. I glanced outside and saw their getaway van explode as the blasts hit it. If anyone asks, I totally did that on purpose, and it wasn’t in any way a happy accident.
“You just made a big mistake hero.”
I bounced around the lobby dodging the blasts as they pretty much destroyed everything. “You know that really isn’t surprising. I kinda make a lot of mistakes, but at-least I look good doing it. I mean come on grey. Couldn’t you even spray paint your armor? A little splash of color or a logo or something?” I dove towards the guy that seemed to be their leader and hit him in the chest with both feet sending him flying across the lobby. Jumping around wasn’t just a way to dodge the guns and annoy them. The more kinetic energy I absorb the stronger I get. Bouncing helps me do that. Getting hit really hard does it much faster but isn’t nearly as much fun. Plus, these guys were using guns that don’t really generate kinetic energy. I did a backflip and landed between the other two immediately dropping to the ground under their blasts. As I expected they shot each other trying to hit me and went flying backwards. I was relieved to see that their armor seemed to have taken the blasts.
I picked up one of the guns and snapped it in two over my knee. The releasing energy tossed me through the air spinning until I slammed into the wall leaving a Ricochet shaped dent in it. Pulling myself up I let out a groan of pain, but on the positive side I absorbed a ton of kinetic energy from the impact. Glancing over at the scared receptionist hiding behind her desk I said, “Uhm, I meant to do that.” She shook her head, and I knew I was not filling her with confidence. Before I could reply the guy that I had kicked wrapped both arms around me from behind and started to squeeze. If he had done this moments earlier he might have broken my ribs, but I was stronger after the explosion and my arms were pushing back giving me a bit of breathing room. I couldn’t quite break the grip though.
“Really the hug is sweet, but I just don’t feel the same way about you.” I pulled my head forward and then slammed it back against him. The pain from hitting his helmet was intense, but it was also more kinetic energy, and I felt the rush deaden the pain. More than once, I have been surprised by how hurt I am after a fight because with the adrenaline flowing I don’t feel the pain. The head butt didn’t do any damage to him, but it did catch him off guard enough for me to slip free. I dropped to the ground and kicked out sweeping his legs out from under him. The linoleum floor cracked under the impact of his fall. I moved not giving him a moment to regroup and pulled off his helmet. My fist stopped an inch from the teenage face in front of me. I have punched plenty of teenage gangbangers in my time, but I always feel horrible doing it. Instead, I reached down and pulled what I assumed was the power pack off of the armor. Since he stopped struggling, I assumed I was correct.
I could hear sirens approaching so it was time to head out. I found myself conflicted. On one hand I got to fight and was riding the high that my powers provided. On the other hand, I had to fight teenagers again. Someone needs to reach out and help these kids before they become cannon fodder for villains. That isn’t really something I’m qualified for though. I’m just the guy that punches the bad guys. Most days that is enough. As I leapt onto the roof across the street, I had to admit that today was not one of those days.
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