Chapter 9: Motivation, Mysteries, and Melting
The man pretending to be a doctor smirked as he waited for me to explain how I’d figured out who he was. “It’s not that hard. Your mask didn’t cover that chin. Put together with the fact that Animator isn’t here to help and my suit is still attached to me, that means this isn’t a real hospital. Plus this place smells like old paint and dust.” It was a smell I was so familiar with because of helping Frank in the theatre at school.
“Well done,” he said as he dramatically clapped. His facial expression and tone made it clear that it wasn’t a compliment. “Now. Tell me what you can about those abominations.”
“You know more than I do. They melt in water and have tech inside.” I wanted to see where this went.
“And the storm?”
I’m not sure why I lied there. I was worried for Mel. I hoped she was okay and took comfort in the fact that my suit was still on me. It meant that Mel was alive. “I did that. Sorry I got a little over zealous. You understand that right?”
His eyes flashed with anger but he just smiled smugly. He stayed that way, almost preternaturally still as I tried to figure out how to get out of the restraints.
The mechanical sound next to me reminded me that I was attached to an intravenous drip. I sent a small electric bolt through my body and into the machine. The fizzing noise and the smoke rising from the top were satisfying.
The Puppeteer was still standing watching me, but it felt less like he was watching and more like a blank eyed stare from a video game character.
“Why gold?” I asked and he seemed to wake up.
“I really don’t need anything but the dance we’ve been doing. Villain versus hero, good versus bad, we dance you and I and it’s wondrous.”
“You don’t care for the gold or money?”
“I’d only make an army of golden children. Goldilocks with lazers.” He shrugged and smirked and it looked completely wrong on his face. Like a bad actor or maybe a bad mask.
The thing about restraints is that there isn’t a material on earth that doesn’t melt eventually. Tungsten melts at 5410 Celsius and boils at 5930 Celsius. A lightning bolt at full force can heat the air around it at temperatures hotter than the sun itself; that’s in the high 20,000 Celsius. They weren’t using tungsten.
“So all you want is to fight us with more and more ridiculous puppets?”
“No. I like the dance. I live for the dance. But I have a bigger goal—”
I didn’t let him finish. A concentrated blast of electricity around my wrists and ankles at the restraints was enough to make them evaporate. The room was filled with a black smoke and the smell of burning tires.
It was as good a smoke screen as I could have expected. I jumped up out of the bed and landed on my feet. The world tilted sideways and and then so did I. The floor was kind enough to catch me… specifically my face. I tasted blood and tried again to stand up. The world shifted a little again and I realized what was going on.
“You drugged me?”
“I’m evil not stupid,” he said through coughs. The room was clearing of smoke but my mind and equilibrium were still terrible.
I’m not sure what gave me the idea but I figured that if the heat from my lightning could melt the rubber, maybe it could burn the drugs out of my body.
“Seeing as you’re not stupid, I think you might want to leave the room, maybe the building.” It sounded cooler in my head but I blame the drugs. At least it wasn’t a pun, Mel would be disappointed.
I started building the lightning inside of me but it wasn’t enough; I was tired and had already used a lot of my strength on the restraints. I started to worry that I wouldn’t be able to do it. I looked around and found nothing to help me but I felt electricity buzzing in the walls. I reached with my mind or powers towards it and felt a rush of relief as I drained the energy.
The Puppeteer was still standing there with a disinterest look on his face. “Get out of here!” I screamed and he didn’t even flinch.
I knew that he wasn’t going to move and I tried to redirect my energy and heat. Finally I literally burst with energy. My last thought before it happened was that this could burn my insides along with the drug. It was too late to worry about it at that point.
I was drugged, tired, recovering from burns, and being the focal point for a supernatural storm and I still managed to save the man in front of me when I exploded. The room behind me and in a large arc was destroyed and on fire. Thankfully the room had been a set built to look like a hospital and not a real one. Another thing I hadn’t considered.
Feeling better and still crackling with energy I stood up and said, “This ends now.” Forming a sword with low energy I hoped it would be enough to knock him out not kill him.
“I’m sorry but it really doesn’t. You’re showing some incredible control. I’m impressed. I’ll have to up my game… After I take out the imposter.” He pulled out a gun.
I kicked the gun out of his hand and he jumped at me like he thought he had a knife in his hands. He impaled himself on my sword; it should have just been enough to disrupt his heart, but instead it burnt a hole through his shirt and sand started to fall out of the wound.
The Puppeteer spoke through his puppet, “You didn’t think I’d make it that easy for you? Did you, Sam?”
Read Chapter 10 (October 2020)
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