Blink’s earlier adventures:
Blink’s First Adventure | 2 | 3 | 4
Superhero Summer Camp (this one): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
“Here you go,” said Warmonger, sliding a Choco-Peanut Explosion onto the table and taking the seat across from him. There was a little card next to the dish. “Twitter contacts. Both sides keep in touch, it can save everyone a lot of hassle. Do you have a Twitter ID yet?”
“Yeah. Blinkss14. No dots or underscores.”
Warmonger jotted it down. “Yeah. I’ll pass it around. You know to run your online stuff through an anonymizer, right? I wouldn’t put it past the Zero to listen in on your stuff. Just something to keep in mind. Anyway, even if you’re in the inactive bucket, you should keep up with what’s going on.”
“Makes sense. That looks good,” said Stevie, eying the banana split. “I might have to try that some time.”
“Tons of calories, kid, just like yours. But in our line of work—on either side—we burn a lot of calories. I guess if you’re inactive, though, you’ll have to watch your intake.” Warmonger stopped. “Hey, I just thought of something. Why were you in the vault that night DeVine broke in there? He’s pretty pissed about that, so I’d steer clear of him for a while, by the way. Ballsy move, asking for his John Hancock, though.” He raised an eyebrow. “Were you thinking about grabbing a little loot for yourself?”
Stevie sighed. “Yeah, I was thinking about it. But I wasn’t sure. I thought maybe the bad guys got the money, and we needed some. I used to think maybe the good guys got the girls, but I’m not so sure about that now. If you can’t tell anyone you’re a superhero, how are you gonna get the girls anyway?”
Warmonger stifled a huge laugh, nearly choking on his banana split. “I’m okay,” he wheezed after a minute. “I haven’t had that good a laugh in a long time. Yeah, you got it partly right about us, though. When we score, we score big, but we got expenses just like everyone else. Jaguar was flat broke for a while. He’s doing better now, but they were starting to foreclose his house at one point. Your one-percenter pals get the government to fund your side, but they’re cutting funding. Cutting their own throats is what they’re doing, but if the enemy is helping you out, just stay outta the way, you know?” He looked at Stevie. “What’cha thinking about?”
“You know, we wouldn’t be talking right now, none of this would have even happened, if Ultra Woman just took the credit for stopping DeVine. I told her to not mention me and say she made the stop herself.”
“Haha! Ultra Woman has two big weaknesses. One, she gets pissed off really easy, which helps me big-time in a fight. She’s working on her temper, which is why you don’t see much of her lately, but it’s still easy. Two, whatever a guy tells her to do, she’ll do the exact opposite. Even if what he tells her makes sense. When you get to know a super, know their weakness, you’re already ahead of the game. It’s newbies like you and Miss Siles that are the most dangerous, because we don’t know what your weaknesses are, yet. No intel. Me and Jaguar ran into her that night we… hey, what’s up?”
Stevie just pointed at the TV, and Warmonger turned. They had interrupted the sitcom with the Breaking News graphic, and Montana Rack was on the screen.
“…in the last few minutes,” Montana was saying, looking shocked. “I had been invited here to Zero Point, to interview the elusive Blink and several others, but—”
“Oh, crap,” Stevie groaned, realizing what had been nagging at him since he took off. “I forgot all about that stupid interview!”
“Looks like… what the hell?” Warmonger muttered. Channel Fourteen had cut to an aerial shot. “Those are ABAs!”
“What are ABAs?”
“Autonomous Battlefield Androids. Battle-bots, in other words. They walk around and shoot up whatever they’re programmed to go after. Looks like two dozen. Someone’s going after Zero, big-time.”
“…jammed, but it isn’t affecting our satellite uplink,” Montana was saying. “We’ll stay on the air as long as possible, until this situation is resolved. For Channel Fourteen On the Scene, I’m Montana Rack.”
Villain and superhero-trainee looked at each other for a long moment. “Is that you?” Stevie asked, and Warmonger felt the youth’s anger building again.
“No! No! I don’t have that kind of firepower! Settle down, kid. I don’t need ABAs. I don’t have nothing against Zero, either. Matter of fact, I might switch sides for the evening, just to have a crack at those things. Let me make a few phone calls. Hey, where are you going?”
“Bathroom.” Stevie spooned up a mouthful of Choco-Peanut Explosion, regretting how much he was leaving on the table, and dashed for the men’s room. The stall was open, and he pushed the door closed without latching it. The Simulation Room, he thought, focusing his power. I so wanna be there now.
Warmonger frowned for a second, then jumped to his feet. The kid took his gear. “Kid! Wait!” Warmonger burst into the bathroom, but it was empty.