Origins #4 Max

“You know Harry, when I turned fifteen, Uncle Mike took me parachuting, and although I’d never admit it to him, I was terrified. Even though we had two parachutes and Power was accompanying us. There still wasn’t enough layers of protection between me and the ground than I would have liked.” I nervously glanced around the inside of the plane, and the steel door keeping my pursuers away. From the creaking noises it made, and the dent that was growing bigger and bigger by the second, it wouldn’t last long.

His reply crackled over the communications device.“Are you implying something, Max?”

“I’m just saying that I wish you had put in bigger wings that’s all. Hell, a parachute or a cape glider would have been nice.”

“Max, the suit wasn’t built as a flying tank, like mine. You wanted your movements uninhibited, and you also protection and maneuverability in the air. I had to make sacrifices. Now jump out the goddamn plane little bro or you’re gonna get shot.”

“I thought the suit was bulletproof?”

“Yes, but those guys are shooting really big bullets. Now man up and jump.”

I sighed and activated the jetpack, sorry, “Propulsion Pack” on my suit. I heard a loud whining whirring sound, and two Buzz Lightyear looking wings popped out of the slim trapezoid shape covering my back. I reached out to touch them, but I was nearly knocked off my feet when an explosion knocked the door from its hinges.

Against every instinct programmed into my brain, I jumped through the wall and shouted, “Full power to the Jetpack, NOW!”

BEEP BEEP

A small alert came over the display. Command not recognized. Try again.   

“FUCK! HARRY WHY WON’T IT WORK?”

“It’s a propulsion pack. The suit has no idea what a jetpack is, say thrusters or pro-”

“ACTIVATE THRUSTERS! STABILIZE FLIGHT PATH! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GET ME OUT OF HERE!”

Command accepted

My descent slowed to a stop, and I got a good look at my pursuers. The first was a 9-foot tall dragon-man with red scales wearing the remains of a tank top and sweatpants. He was followed by two men in horribly designed matching green and blue costumes. I knew the green one was Thunder, who had the amazing power of flying decently fast. The other looked like his partner Lightning, an electrokinetic who powered his own jetp-propulsion pack. Despite their questionable choices in names and fashion, they were excellent shots. Two hundred feet away from me, and I could feel small caliber bullets denting my armor. WARNING blared from the speakers next to my ears. I checked the suit’s HUD and saw that I, in fact, was being shot. “Thanks. I didn’t know.” You’re welcome the suit replied. Huh. The suit spoke. Unfortunately, Dragon-man didn’t give two shits about my new discovery, and dove, spewing fire all over the place. I panicked and shouted “MANUAL FLIGHT ACTIVATE”

        “Jesus Max, you don’t have to shout all the time. The suit can hear you whisper. Anyways while you were freaking out over a little fall, I researched who you’re up against. Two mercs, by the names of-”

“Thunder and Lightning, I know them,” I said as I weaved between fireballs and gunfire. “Who’s the Dragon dude? 
 “His name is Draak, and he’s a Dutch drug dealer and enforcer with ties to EZ.”
    EZ is the name of an organized supervillain gang that primarily was composed of European immigrants, hence the name EZ for Eurozone. When they first started they wanted to be called “The Organization,” but since like eight other groups had that name, Power’s dad just called them EZ and it stuck. 

“He can lift approximately twenty seven tons over his head, with thirty tons of durability. That’s good news for you. He’s  nowhere near as tough as most other bricks. Bad news, he’s immune to fire, and can breathe hot enough to melt right through a solid steel beam. He can take down buildings with his breath. The suit is very heat resistant and can survive a few seconds of contact but don’t push it.”

Harry began to say something else but before he could finish Battery strafed me and I heard alot of beeping noises coming from the speaker. “Gotta go. It’s Maximum time”
“You motherfucker.”

I ignored him, raised my arms, activated the forearm mounted HIGEPS guns and sprayed bright orange spheres at Lightning. The pellets exploded like paintballs, except they left a goo that hardened, prevented movement, tasered the target, released a sedative, and a chemical that feels like pepper spray when it touches bare skin. In short, don’t get shot by one. He started writhing in the air and shouting something. I couldn’t hear him, but previous encounters with HIGEPS lead me to believe it went something like:
“FUCK!! OH GOD IT FUCKING BURNS!!”
    Lightning managed to raise his left hand in my direction and a bolt of lightning connected with my left wing.
BEEP BEEP BEEP
Propulsion pack Offline
Gliding mode activated
        Harry cleared his throat over the radio. “Well, That sucks. I don’t think you can run from these guys anymore. I’d recommend firing everything you have to stall them. I’m on my way. Well, I’M not but you know what I mean.”

I gritted my teeth and emptied my first magazine of HIGEPS into Lightning’s joints, locking them into place. He struggled and writhed in pain, but the goo held, and he lost control and spiraled towards the ground. Thunder screamed and flew to Lightning so fast he became a bright green blur. He pulled Lightning’s ripcord and then launched himself as me, screaming like a madman and firing every weapon he had on him, discarding them as they went empty. I calmly raised my left arm and shot him in the dick. 

It was surprisingly effective. Not only did the impact incapacitate him, the taser charge worked, and the goo clogged his legs together. Thunder convulsed and dropped his gun. Tucking my arms to my sides and my legs together I dived after the now limp mercenary and looked for his ripcord. Which was missing. Idiot probably thought he didn’t need one because he could fly.

WARNING 1000 FEET FROM GROUND

Great. I hefted him over my shoulder. 

    “Slow fall”

Just as I slowed down to a survivable speed, what felt like a meteor slammed into my back. Despite the incredibly loud winds, I could still hear a booming voice with a slight accent scream into my ear.

“NEED THESE TO FLY?”

And Drakk ripped off my wings.

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