Blink’s First Adventure | 2 | 3 | 4
Superhero Summer Camp (this one): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14
“I can walk now,” Blink protested.
“Gotta keep moving,” Captain Heroic replied. “Maybe we’ll buy ourselves some time…”
Behind them, they heard two sharp clanks, the limpet mines’ strong magnets catching a bot by the ankles. A few seconds later, the mines detonated.
“About time I got one!” Captain Heroic laughed, setting Blink down. “Nixi. One or two?”
“One,” Nixi replied. “Unfortunately.”
“Can you run now, Blink? We still got one more after us.”
“Maybe we should lay down some more mines,” said Blink, still short of breath.
“I put all four down. I figured we’d have a better chance of nailing one.”
“The last one’s still coming,” said Nixi. “You need to keep moving. Maybe it’ll turn back.”
“Roger.” They got moving. Nixi used the display to point them toward the road. Behind them, the ABA kept coming, picking its way through the trees that slowed its pursuit. Blink picked up the pace as his wind came back, but the battle-bot continued to gain on them.
“If we had another decoy…” Captain Heroic muttered.
“Any chance you got a lighter?” Blink asked.
“Hey, yeah. I had it in case Nixi’s remotes didn’t work. You got something in mind?”
“Yeah.” Blink pulled off his hoodie and hung it on a tree branch. “Light it up.”
“Nice improvisation. Good to know some of what I’ve been teaching stuck.” Captain Heroic held the lighter to the cotton-polyester garment until it caught fire. It blazed up, and they hustled away, veering toward the road.
“That worked,” Nixi told them. “For now, at least. It’s at the hoodie, but it’s just standing there and shooting it. I think it’s going to wait for your decoy to finish burning up, then it’ll come for you again.”
“Let it,” said Captain Heroic. “We’re at the road.” They crawled under the hedge, then crossed the road and crawled through on the other side. “That should slow it down.” They doubled back, jogging a little faster now. Behind them, they heard the ABA crash through the hedge. They picked up the pace.
Then Captain Heroic fell with a strangled cry.
“What?” Blink rasped. “Are you okay?”
“Crap. It’s my ankle. Keep going.”
“No way. I ain’t leaving you here.” Blink grabbed an arm and hauled the old hero to his good foot. “I’ll pop us back to the staging area.”
“You can’t! You’re already worn out. You don’t know what it will do to you.”
“Even if I pass out or something, that’s better than letting you get shot up.” Blink wrapped his arms around Captain Heroic and hoisted him. The staging area, he thought. I need to be there now.
Nothing happened. The bot drew closer. “Oh crap,” Blink breathed.
“Go! Run for it!” Captain Heroic insisted. Nixi and Zero echoed the sentiment in his headset.
“We’re not dead yet.” Blink looked at the approaching ABA in the display. “Hey. Maybe it’ll get confused if I move off.” He edged away from Captain Heroic, watching for any reaction. The bot slowed for a moment, turning toward Blink, then back to Captain Heroic, then continued toward the fallen superhero.
“No, you idiot! This way!” Blink picked up a rock and threw it at the battle-bot. He heard the missile clang off its armor, and threw two more. Again, the ABA stopped, as if assessing the situation, then turned back to Captain Heroic.
It’s over, the old superhero thought, watching the ABA loom larger in his display. I had a good run, though. It raised an arm, tipped with a machine gun—
Twin beams of energy stabbed down at the android, hurling it backwards. It slammed into a tree, then attempted to return fire. But as it shot, the energy beams blasted it again, vaporizing the bullets and melting the ABA’s armor. It ground to a halt in a shower of sparks.
Blink looked up, and saw a woman riding a sparkling rainbow. A golden cape billowed behind her. “The League of Devis!” he crowed. “Just in time!”
“Are there any more of those?” the Devi called down, her accent reminding Blink of Sarika’s.
“The rest are at the conference center,” Captain Heroic replied, pointing the way.
“Then I will join my fellows there. Be well!” She flew away.
“That was too close,” Blink muttered, helping Captain Heroic up again.
“You’d better get used to the phrase ‘in the nick of time,’ my friend. You’ll be hearing it a lot when you’re on active status.” Captain Heroic threw an arm around Blink’s shoulders. “Good thing I put you through all that conditioning, you can hold me up. Let’s get back to the staging area. The Devis can finish off the rest of the bots.”
“What about Warmonger?” Blink asked, then they heard the Jeep rev up. It crunched into the hedge as Warmonger turned it around on the narrow lane, then zoomed away.
“I guess he’s okay,” Captain Heroic winced as he forgot to stay off his bad ankle, and put some more weight on Blink.
“Warmonger tweeted you again,” Nixi told them. “He says, ‘I ran out of juice and the stupid hammer broke. Cavalry’s here anyway. See ya in the funny papers.’ Whatever that means.”
“Get on back here, you two,” said Professor Zero. “I’m sure Montana Rack wants that interview more than ever.”
to be continued…