Iron Will

February 19, 2020 - 4 min read

This is interesting! I’m being chased by a villain. Two villains, specifically. There’s Madhesive, the glue-goon, and Blaster of Paris, the super-mouthy guy with an accent I can’t make out.

I think they’re after a bounty on me.

Or they’re bored.

Where are we? Oh yes, downtown. Specifically, the rooftops. I came up here to enjoy the sights. I also wanted to think about where I’m at. I don’t mean geographically, I already know that! I mean emotionally. But still, it was interesting getting up here. I fashioned kind of a cable hook thingie and used it to glide up the elevator cable, which is metal, you know? Then I opened the door and was on the roof, and you know what? I should probably concentrate on the villains.

There’s a bunch of HVAC - heating, ventilation, air conditioning - units up here. They’re made of metal. There’s antennas, aerials, all kinds of metal. I grab some as Madhesive and Blaster come out of the roof access door and start shooting.

There’s another building right next door, with only about 10 meters of height difference and maybe a 5-meter alleyway gap. I can make this. I shape some of the metal as I go, forming springs. I leap into them, affixing them to my shoes as I do. And I jump, and drop. The springs take most of the shock. You can’t just drop straight down, so I know they’re going to have to follow my way.

I throw some of the spare metal behind me, shaped into caltrops. They’re like jacks, you know? Those old toys? But they have points, really sharp ones, and stand upright because of their shape. It’ll hurt twice as bad as stepping on Legos if you come down on one of these.

Madhesive comes prepared. He shoots a long spray of glue from the rooftop I just left, coating the ground I just trapped with caltrops. I mean, good move, but it cost him and his partner a bit of time. That was all I needed anyway.

I’m at the roof access door on this building before they catch up with me, though I have to duck under Blaster of Paris’s energy blast. Also he calls me some kind of weird French insult, I dunno man, I don’t speak your language. Maybe I should learn, so I can make fun of him?

Right, focus. I vault the railing on the stairs, using my powers to slow my fall. Fifteenth floor? Perfect. Through the door, fuse the knob. Okay, where am I? Some kind of office building. I’m a kid, nobody else here is. Right, who am I? Intern. Some folks are looking at me funny. I give my best thumbs-up and start walking.

There’s a blast from above, and the building shakes, and a few seconds later the fire alarm goes off. Oh! Good thinking! That must be Madhesive. The batty French plasma guy used his powers, but he doesn’t seem very sharp from what I remember. Okay, what’s the play here? Trigger a fire alarm. That means everyone has to evacuate in an orderly fashion. Anyone who stays in the building is going to attract Security’s attention. And anyone who evacuates has to stand around until they give you the all-clear to go back to work. So my choice is make a break for it (and attract attention) or stick with the crowd (giving them time to get a fix on me again).

Time to turn the tables. Superheroes won’t show up for an ordinary building fire, but they will show up for a supervillain attack… nobody knows those two are here, yet. But that doesn’t matter.

I spot the sign for office supplies. You know what’s a part of office supplies? Paperclips. Staples. With a few seconds of concentration, I vacuum up their entire supply of metal, weaving it into a comfortable chainmail undershirt, and hold onto the rest as a big ball of ammunition.

Time to make a grand entrance. There’s a conference room nearby. Who’s in there? Fantastic! It’s the quarterly finance report! These guys are important, and they have a videoconference going on with Singapore! Someone’s going to call the adult heroes for this.

They’re filing out for the fire alarm, so I pull a chainmail mask over my face, brandish two metal blades, and give my best maniacal monologue. “I’ve rigged your building to explode, ladies and gentlemen! My associates Madhesive and Blaster of Paris are ready to take hostages if any of you try to leave. And now that I have your attention…”

I glance through the crowd of frightened or annoyed suits and spot one junior executive guiltily holding a telephone. Oh, he made the call? Perfect. I should make an example of him anyway. I throw a knife - I know it’ll miss, but still - and curse loudly.

On my phone, the alert comes in that superheroes have been dispatched to this location. They’ll be on the lookout for the two villains I named, then ask who their accomplice is. Unlike those two standouts, I can blend in if I want.

Behind me, the executives are congratulating themselves on their narrow escape. I think I’m due some congratulations too, for mine.

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