Switch Sides

“Get the lead out Shield Bearer. There isn’t much time.” Aegis slid down the line he anchored in place. His sidekick, Shield Bearer, followed.

Both executed identical, and perfect, landing rolls on the roof of Quentin Tech rising to their feet with running strides.

The double doors from the maintenance area exploded open. Aegis and Shield Bearer skidded to a halt, then shifted to ready stances and put one hand on their equipment belt. Aegis peered one way and Shield Bearer the other.

Boom! The roof under their feet shook. Boom! The roof shook again, this time with more force.

“Well, well, well. The information I received was accurate.” The metallic, electric, amplified voice rolled over the roof. “Perhaps the other information will be, too.” The metal form leaned into the silver moonlight. Aegis extended a hand with a jerk. The small sphere cleared the distance between the metal man and the two heroes.

A flat black fist encompassed the bullet causing it to pop. Brilliant light escaped between thick fingers, dulling the effect of the sudden light.

“Typical.” The electronic voice chuckled. “You are so predictable. Aegis does not kill and does not even carry a lethal weapon.” The electronic voice snorted. “This is why you have never taken over Quentin Tech, Richard Grant.”

Aegis shifted again from a defensive posture to that of surprise. “Once again, it seems that my information is accurate. I have you outclassed and outmatched, Richard. Just give it up. Make it easier on yourself for once.”

The armored man pointed a hand at the feet of Aegis and let the constraint foam cover the hero from floor to waist.

Both Aegises’ hands went to his belt. A sharp instrument sliced into the foam at the same instant a device connected to the chest of the metal man. The device emitted a single beep, and then the metal flashed with spider-webs of lightning.

Shield Bearer moved away from Aegis and closer to the sparkling armored man that was now prone. Like his partner, his hand went for his equipment belt pulling a device from it. The item expanded in his hand and he placed it over his mouth and nose.

The foam encasing Aegis spewed smoke, filling the area with a noxious, thick cloud. Aegis moved a well-practiced hand to his belt. However, the tremor set in as soon as he touched his device. It spread from his face, down his neck, and then to his arms. After his body twitched, he slumped forward at the waist and stopped all movement.

“What did he hit me with?” The voice was muffled, but audible. “You didn’t mention he made a way to disable my equipment.”

“I didn’t say a lot of things.” Shield Bearer leaned over the metal man while removing his breathing. “Besides, he didn’t make it. I did.”


“I made it. Why is that so hard to understand?”

Shield Bearer moved over to Aegis. A quick movement and a red light ignited on Aegis’ belt. “You see Quentin, I have been a sidekick for several years.” Shield Bearer moved back to the metal encased man. “I have learned many things directly from Rich, here. I learned a lot more by just watching and keeping my mouth shut. For example, you are powerless at the moment and can not open that tin can.”

Shield Bearer pulled at a metal plate, making a gap the width of a little finger. “I have also learned, like you have, that you have to make your destiny.” Shield Bearer pulled a device similar to what Aegis pulled to cut the foam. With a rapid thrust, the armored man jerked. “The last thing I learned is make sure your secret is a secret.”


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