Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Knight Dragon vs. the Sandstorm - Heroes & Villains [1.3]

Roger ran through the streets of the city, his body only a gray blur as he moved. His power was speed. He could run a mile in five seconds. Roger always joked though that his real power was controlling his speed. It was what helped him excel in track in high school and college with no one ever figuring out about his powers. It all lead to his current career as the track coach at the very same high school he had attended as a teenager. He was a legend there and proud of it. Roger came to an abrupt halt right beside Ben in his Knight Dragon suit. The suburban street around them was scattered with sand piles. Ben glanced over at him, seeing Roger’s new suit for the first time. Roger’s suit was a light gray with a thin black line down the sides. The fabric hugged his lean frame. He wore a hood and mask, shielding his identity.
“Nice suit,” Ben said, his voice distorted from the mic Ellie had put in his own suit. Roger looked down at himself.
“That girl you found is pretty talented,” Roger asked, his voice also distorted. “We should bring her around more often.” Roger winked. Ben rolled his eyes.
“You still think I have a crush on her, that’s the only reason you want her around.” Ben retorted. Roger grinned.
“I’m a hopeless romantic, what can I say?” Roger said with a shrug.
“Well, she apparently has a boyfriend,” Ben said sourly. Roger’s smile widened.
“And you’re so irritated by this, why?” Roger asked.  Ben cleared his throat.
“So the villain we’re facing tonight is named ‘Sandy’ Burton. Nickname, that's not his actual name.” Ben said, ignoring Roger’s question. “He takes the dust and dirt around him and can control it, turn it into different objects or just create a mess, which is why we were called in. He’s currently attacking his ex-girlfriend’s house and he’s put quite a few people in danger already.”
“How’s the girlfriend?” Roger asked, switching effortlessly into a controlled and concentrated superhero, his teasing smile vanishing.
“Soon to be drowning in sand.” Ben winced. “Our objective is to get anyone in danger out of there and take Sandy into custody.” Roger nodded.

“I’ll go find the girlfriend,” Roger said taking off. Ben barely blinked and Roger was gone, just a blur darting towards the building. Ben proceeded to crack his knuckles as Sandy came into view in the window of his ex’s home. Flames erupted from beneath Ben’s feet and propelled him into the air, flying low towards the home. Ben brought his arms in front of his face and broke through the window, the flames disappearing as he rolled into the living room of the home. Sandy looked towards him with surprise.
“Why’d they send you?” Sandy asked.
“What do you mean?” Ben asked, his eyes narrowing.
“I’m just thinking about camping.” Sandy shrugged. “When you want to put out your campfire you just pour some dirt over it.” Ben rolled his eyes.
“I’m not a campfire.” Ben lunged forward, his entire body igniting into flames. Ben tackled Sandy to the ground, Sandy fighting back and rolling on top of Ben. Sand began swirling around them, falling hard over Ben’s face. Ben turned his head, squeezing his eyes shut. He had already gotten too much sand in his mouth and eyes. With his eyes still closed, Ben lifted his legs up and kicked Sandy off of him, both of them struggling to their feet.
Roger appeared suddenly at Ben’s side.
“I got the girl out,” Roger said. Sandy scowled.
“Why?” Sandy breathed. “You know what she did? Know what she deserves?”
“Not really,” Ben spoke up. Ben stepped towards Sandy again, and Sandy stumbled backward against the wall.
“She deserves this.” Sandy continued. “She broke my heart!”
“Everyone goes through heartbreak,” Ben replied. “This isn’t the proper way to react to it.” Sandy lifted his arms and the dirt began to circle around them. All at once a wave of dirt crept over Ben’s body, knocking him to the rug. Ben lowered his head towards the ground, trying to keep as much dirt out of his face as he could. The sand began to build around him, the pile beneath him growing, his body sinking down into it. He was being buried.
Ben’s mind was racing, trying to find a way out. His whole body ignited into flames, but the temperature wasn’t hot enough to make much of a difference. Ben began trying to climb through the sand, holding his breath and squinting his eyes. He couldn’t tell which way was up, didn’t know if he was making any difference. Ben’s heartbeat started to quicken as he continued to fight against the sand.
The sand seemed to tighten around him and he felt himself being pulled backward. Ben squeezed his eyes closed and held his breath. His body was lifted and pushed away by the sand. He wished he could open his eyes and see what was happening but the sand was everywhere. Ben began to move his arms as if swimming through it. All at once it disappeared and only air surrounded him. Ben dropped. He fell freely, too quick to react. He hit the ground and let out a groan. He opened his eyes and glanced around, finding himself in the middle of the street.
Ben pushed himself to his feet and glanced around for Roger or Sandy.
“Speedster?” Ben said into his microphone.
“I’m alright,” Roger replied, coughing. Sandy exited the house and raised his arms again. The sand scattered across the street began to swirl into a tornado, Ben standing in the center. He lowered his head and began to rub at his stinging eyes. He kept his mouth closed and breathed as sparingly as he could, each breath bringing sand into his throat. Ben snuck a peek, but there was nothing to see. The sand was everywhere. Ben began to move forward, trying to escape the sand tornado, but it seemed as if no matter how much he moved, the sand always followed him.
“I can’t see anything!” Ben shouted, coughing to get the sand out of his mouth.
“Me neither.” Roger’s voice came over his earpiece. Ben fought to keep his eyes open, but they were burning. The sand fell suddenly, the weight knocking Ben to the ground. He grunted as he hit the pavement. The sand lifted once more and began swirling around again. Ben began thinking hard, trying to figure out what to do. He grinned and lifted his hand to his neck and he pressed a small button below his ear. A thin clear visor slid over his face. It was a smoke guard Ellie had installed, despite Ben never instructing her to do so. He had trapped some sand inside, but he no longer had to deal with getting any more sand in his mouth or eyes. He was finally able to open his eyes without any issues.
“Thank you, Ellie,” Ben whispered.
“You’re welcome.” Ellie’s voice came over his earpiece. Ben frowned immediately. “Hope you don’t mind, I was finishing up the setup in your lair and overheard you both on the intercom system.”
“We have an intercom system?” Roger asked.
“Anything you say into your microphones is recorded and played aloud in the lair,” Ellie replied. “But that’s not important right now. Mr. Baker, turn to your left and hold out your hand.” Ben was still frowning but followed her request. “Just a little bit further to the left.”
“Can you see us?” Ben asked.
“Yes,” Ellie replied. “You’re lucky you are in an area filled with paranoid people with security cameras. Unlucky for them, access to those security cameras is way too easy to get. Mr. Baker, if you shoot a fireball forward you’ll hit the sand guy right in the stomach. Roger if you run directly behind you about thirty feet you’ll run right into his back.”
Ben held up his palm and a fireball formed in his hand. He shot it forward and watched the light as it flew right into Sandy’s stomach, just as Ellie had said. Sandy groaned and fell forward, all the sand collapsing to the ground around them. Roger’s gray blur ran directly at Sandy and knocked him completely to the ground. In less than a second Roger was kneeling over him, pinning Sandy’s arms behind his back. Roger glanced up at Ben with a look of awe on his face. Ben jogged over, feeling just as surprised at how easy it had been. Sandy looked up at Ben.
“You would have done it too if you dated her.” He growled, struggling against Roger’s knee in his back.
“Somehow I doubt that,” Ben said, reaching into one of the pockets of his utility belt. Ben tossed Roger some handcuffs and Roger grabbed hold of Sandy’s wrists and cuffed them behind his back.
“Are you two legally allowed to make arrests?” Ellie’s voice came over the earpiece. Ben smiled and reached up to retract the smoke guard. “Since you guys are superheroes shouldn’t you be making some cheesy remark? Like ‘now you know what it’s like to be sandbagged.’”
“Ellie,” Ben chuckled. “That was just awful.”
“I’ll brush up on my puns for next time.”

Ben and Roger walked into the command center beneath Bakersfield through the hidden door in a back alleyway. They found Ellie kneeling under the main desk, messing with some wires. She glanced towards them as they walked in.
“Hey,” She said timidly. “I’m sorry if I intruded. I just overheard you and figured I could help.”
“Ellie,” Ben sat on the edge of the desk. “Roger and I have never had anyone else in the field with us. It’s recommended that people without powers do not help with cases. The police don’t want any innocent civilians involved.” Ellie frowned slightly.
“Well, I am sorry I just cut in without any permission,” Ellie said slowly. “I just figured since I heard you were both in trouble and I could see…” Ben shook his head and Ellie hesitated.
“Let me finish,” Ben said. “Roger and I want you to join our team and help us from in here on cases.” Ellie’s eyebrows lifted.
“But you just said…”
“We’ve never been huge sticklers on rules.” Roger interrupted. “We wouldn’t have been able to do what we did tonight without you. We needed you out there.” Ellie bit her lower lip.
“Thank you.” She blushed.
“So, do you want to help us out?” Ben asked. “We wouldn’t need you for every case, just certain instances.”
“Well, I’m in,” Ellie said with a nod. Ben smiled.
“Good. You seem like a valuable asset to have.” Ben nodded.
“Oh yes, you’ll soon learn I’m basically capable of doing anything.” Ellie grinned.
“I’m counting on that.” Ben returned the smile.

A huge thank you to my mystery reader who suggested the idea for Roger's job. It was submitted anonymously and they had no idea how perfect it was. Fast runner = track coach? Thank you to whoever you are, you hit the jackpot with that idea.

Oh man, I'm so excited for next week's story!! It was by far my favorite one to write and my favorite to read as well. Next week is going to be awesome!

This past week I posted a lot of random facts about the series on my Twitter account. So go and check those out if you're interested. Again, please share this series with all your friends, family, acquaintances, nemesis's, coworkers, strangers, and pets. Because they'll all love it and you'll get cool points for sharing it with them.

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