Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Night Before - 2



As a registered cape, Blink's official file in the Pentagon catalogued him as a Level H Temporal Displacement Projectionist (Form-Based), with advanced phasal control and unusually stable bioelectrical field maintenance.

In layman's terms, Blink ran really, really fast. He could run a mile in seconds - even dodge bullets at a sprint. Without the right anti-speed technology and a week's worth of preparation, few powers could hope to touch him. Most literally never saw him coming. As far as meta-abilities went, Blink was one of the most powerful human beings on the planet. After his death, people would call him one of the most important superheroes in history. After the summer of 1984, many would call him a god.

In the early hours of June 19th, 1971, Blink was waiting on the side of a dimly lit road in Metro City. What little movement there was on the street - the occasional drop of water from the awnings, the rustling of what few leaves remained on the pavement's sole tree - was slowed to the smoothest crawl, like watching the moon cross the sky. He'd started to find it more comfortable down here, at the lower phases of the temporal shift.

It was with a wince that Blink decelerated his personal field to greet the man in black who had dropped from the sky.

"Sorry to keep you waiting," said the Skull. "Who are we knocking out tonight?"

"The nutter with boomerangs and Captain Plasma. Apparently, Plasma's got himself a powered tin can," Blink replied, his words still too fast for the untrained ear to disassemble. "If the cops are worried enough to call in a cape for those two, something must be up."

"Worried enough to call in an unregistered vigilante, too?"

"Worried enough they won't shoot you on sight when I take you as backup," Blink said. "Hopefully."


"Strewth, bunch of bloody capes here already, mate," said Boomerang Kid. He nodded at the pair stepping through the police blockade, sending the miniature boomerangs attached to his slouch hat in place of corks into a swaying dance.

"I do not require your illiterate commentary," said Captain Plasma as he scanned the street in front of the bank from within his unwieldy helmet. "I was aware of their presence well before you were."

Boomerang Kid rolled his eyes. He was still somewhat chafed that Plasma had gotten to wear the power armour. Admittedly, the selection of new boomerangs that hung from his back was an impressive consolation prize.

"Let's just get this bloody ore back to the lab - oh fer Chrissake, not these tossers again."

The Skull and Blink stood at the bottom of the large flight of steps that led to the bank's entrance. Blink blurred subtly from spot to spot as the Skull stepped forward and spread his arms.

"Good evening, gentlemen, I'm sure you're familiar with the process we'll be going through tonight," he said. "Though I have to ask, Plasma, what on earth have you gotten yourself trapped in?"

"Enough with the bloody talk, mate, me and the Sheila've got a date to attend," said the Kid, a long, metallic boomerang held above his head.

"Oh, wow," said the Skull. "He's actually using boomerangs. Yeah, I think I've got this one." He'd thought of Boomerang when he fitted one of the night's new gadgets to his arm.

A dart arrowed through the air, too fast for anyone but Blink to see it. As the silver boomerang swung towards the Skull, a crystal maze of frost climbed from one end to the other. In a second, the weapon was encased in thick, heavy ice.

It kept flying.

Two loud crunches echoed down the street - the first as the boomerang slammed into the Skull's shoulder, shattering the sheathe of ice - the second as he hit the ground.

"Geo-magnetic gyroscopes, vintage 1998," yelled Boomerang Kid, the device returning to his hand as he spoke. "Nothing'll stop one of these bastards when they're in the air. Bloody marvellous, mate."

"Yeah," said Blink, "no, you really had that one, Skull. I'll take the Aussie, you handle Tin Man."

"Jesus. Right," said the Skull, his breath forced heavily with each word. "Just leave the boomerang thing out when you write your report."

Blink blurred out of sight as Boomerang Kid dove from the staircase, two more boomerangs clasped in each hand. The Skull had almost returned to his feet when a metal fist connected with his abdomen. The force of the blow sent him hurtling back, skidding to all fours.

"Things have changed a little since last time we met, Skull," said Captain Plasma, withdrawing the suit's lengthy right arm with a mechanical purr. "I really think I've found my calling."

"I don't care if you've been shopping in the 22nd century," Skull said, one hand steadied on the pavement. "That is the last time I'm getting dropped tonight."

Plasma launched himself at the Skull, speeding towards him as if on tracks. Skull braced himself low and caught the hit head-on; his boots scraped hard against asphalt before he felt himself gaining traction. Leaning low, he shoved Captain Plasma back, nearly toppling the armored villain. Without missing a beat, the Skull stepped forward and began leveling hit after hit at him.

It took three blows before the Skull came to two deeply concerning realisations. The suit Plasma was wearing had barely taken a dent, and worse, the Skull's hands hurt. The Skull could punch hard - really hard. A non-power like Plasma had never stood up to that sort of force, no matter what they were wearing.

"An amazing piece of technology, is it not?" Plasma said, adjusting his gauntlets at he turned his body towards the Skull. "The future is truly an inspiring period."

"Maybe," said the Skull, "but if you can't turn your neck, I'm going to guess they still haven't figured how to make a flexible suit of power armour."

The Skull pounded his legs into the ground with all the superhuman strength he could muster. Before Plasma could react, The Skull had whirled over the suit's helmet and wrapped his arms around the plated torso. Captain Plasma swiped at the Skull, but his arms fell short of landing any damaging blow.

"Rather cliché," Plasma said, "and of little consequence. Allow me, if you will, to demonstrate the means of your destruction."

An engine began to whine in the depths of Captain Plasma's contraption, and a light sputtered to life on each armoured hand and foot. Thick spears of flame belched forth from the thrusters hidden in each - with a roar, the pair were catapulted into the air, rapidly gaining altitude. By the time the Skull had adjusted his grip to grab one of the myriad pipes lining the suit's back, the city was sprawled below them. The Skull flexed his right wrist and a wave of frost began to spread from his glove over the tubing that fed the thrusters.

Over the sound of the jets Plasma heard a distinct crystal ringing, followed by a sharp crack. The propulsion outlets wavered and crackled to a stop, the metal suit coming to a silent halt high above the skyline. Captain Plasma lurched forward as he felt the Skull kick off into the air.

"You fool!" screamed Plasma over the wind that whipped past them. "You've doomed yourself, but I'll almost certainly survive the fall! Once again, you've failed to out-think Captain Plasma!"

The Skull grinned as he tumbled back, pulling the ripchord secreted at his waist.

"... God damn it," muttered Captain Plasma as he plummeted to earth, the familiar visage of a skull blooming across the parachute above.




  1. And Plasma really going to hurt after that fall. I wonder how many times the Skull has been up that high, must have been a lot to put a parachute into his suit.

  2. I see the proliferation of powered suits we see in canon is a recent thing.

    Also, Kid Boomerang continues to amaze.