Special Delivery – The Corpse

Jason stepped from the dark van with his bag slung over his shoulder and walked to the scene. Doctor Reymark signaled the two officers to let Jason through.

“Excellent! Jason, you know the drill. First blush.” Doctor Reymark stood back, letting Jason view the area immediately around the prone form.

“Hmmm…Discolored skin,” Jason said kneeling on the road. With a snap, he put on a rubber glove and pushed at the corpse’s cheek with a tongue depressor. “Rigor hasn’t set in,” Jason called out. “These look like scars.” He ran the wooden probe over the face. Flicking the device through the hair, Jason added, “He dies his hair this putrid color.”

Doctor Reymark inhaled a whisper when Jason reached for the arm of the corpse. Jason fumbled in his bag for something and pulled out a hemostat. With a scissor motion, Jason gripped the cuff of the sleeve and pulled the fabric back.

“That would have been an experience.” Jason looked at the device strapped on the corpse’s arm. “This seems to be multipurpose.” He ran the wooden probe over different levers and under some straps. “Is that a tube?” Jason tugged on the flexible pipe and saw the lapel flower move. “A squirting flower. Really?”

Doctor Reymark laughed. “It is one of his trademarks. So, any guesses as to cause of death?”

“There’s bruising on the face, neck and arms.” Jason moved the collar back. “This one here,” he traced the mark from the jaw, over the neck. “Broke the collar bone. It also looks like his nose is broken.”

“You’re better than this, Jason.” Doctor Reymark rocked back on his heels.

With a heavy sigh, Jason moved to the waist of the corpse and spread the shirttails out. “This is a puncture wound.” Jason pulled out a penlight and shined it on the pale skin. “It looks like a bite, possibly an insect or something. But this right here is too uniform.” Using the tip of the hemostat, Jason touched the two small holes. A black circle on the outer edges was evident once he pointed it out. “This was caused by a device. The punctures have been cauterized by heat, and thusly it burned the skin. It was done pre-mortem, so he was alive.”

Detective Morris stepped over to Doctor Remark. “You mean to tell me that those two iddy-bitty holes are what killed him? Really? You know who this is?”

“Yes.” Doctor Reymark looked at the detective. “To all three of your questions.”

Detective Morris tilted his head. “So that means that-”

“Nope,” Jason answered, standing from the corpse. “He’s accounted for.”

Detective Morris turned to the younger man. “Then it would be-”

Doctor Reymark interrupted, “That is for you to prove.”

Detective Morris pulled out a notebook and flipped several pages. “He lives in-”

“Another town several hours away.” Jason pulled a body bag from the satchel at his hip.

Morris ran a hand through his thin hair. “What about the girl?”

“She’s in prison.” Doctor Reymark waggled his eyebrows.

“Not her,” Detective Morris said waving a hand at the corpse. “The other one.”

“Oh.” Doctor Reymark put a finger to his chin.

“It’s possible.” Jason signaled for two EMTs to help him lift the corpse into the body bag. “However, who is she?”

“That we don’t know.” Detective Morris closed his notebook. “But we do know that to date, none of them have ever killed.”

Doctor Reymark moved out of the way of the gurney. “Do we know that, Detective?”

Jason moved for the dark van he arrived in and opened the back door. The two EMTs put the gurney into the back and locked the wheels in place.

As the dark van drove off, Detective Morris muttered, “Not sure if I would call killing that guy a crime. Funny, sure. A crime?”

Rogue Telekinetic – Red Sports Car

The small red sports car darted from one lane to the next. With the top down the driver and passenger were visible. Their heads tossed back and laughter on their face. With the heavy traffic, the car did the impossible, it sped up. The small red sports car drove over the line splitting two lanes.

Two kids dove back to the sidewalk, ditching their soda cups. The small red sports car dashed through the intersection and under the red traffic light. It swerved into the oncoming traffic lane, even though no traffic was on the original side.

“This will not end well,” Jack Davis said stepping out of the restaurant. He was in time to see the small red sports car careen through a turn and slow to a stop behind the semi-truck tuning onto the Interstate.

The small red sports car let out several exasperated high-pitched beeps. The driver shouted and waved his fist. Twice the driver looked behind him to see another car coming alongside him, blocking a lane change.

Jack walked passed his car, out of the parking lot, and down the sidewalk towards the small red sports car. In his mind he pictured the car a mere inch off the ground. He felt the power build, then released it.

Approaching the passenger side of the car, Jack said in a loud voice, “Nice car.” The passenger and driver turned to look at him. “It seems fast.”

“It is,” said the big shouldered driver. “At least when I can get on the Interstate.”

“Aren’t you worried about tickets?” Jack looked at the driver. “I mean the insurance on this thing has to be high to begin with.”

“Never been caught,” the large man said with a nod and a grin. “Never will.” He knocked the car out of gear and revved the car.

“I see,” Jack said. “What about you, young lady? Someone as beautiful as you must be worried about an accident. The damage it would cause?”

Worry flashed across the pretty young woman’s face. A hand waved it away, but her eyes never changed. She did a double take towards the driver.

The large truck cleared the corner and proceeded up the entrance ramp.

“About damn time.” The driver shifted the lever and stomped on the gas pedal. The car revved as before only at a higher pitch. And it didn’t go anywhere.

“Hmmm,” Jack said looking at the car. “Seems something is wrong.”

“I just got this hunk a junk,” the man shouted over the roar of his engine. “What the-“ The driver looked at his feet. “The gas is stuck.”

Shouting, Jack said, “Fortunate for you. Imagine if it stuck while you nearly killed those kids back there.” Jack tossed a hand in the direction. The woman and man turned to see the kids crossing the street.

“They look fine to me,” the man said.

“Except for the scrapes and cuts,” Jack added. “And they ditched their drinks.”

“So what.” The driver pounded on the steering wheel. “Go, you piece of sh-“

“Do you kiss your Mother with that potty mouth?” Jack turned to the woman. “Does he kiss you with that potty mouth?” The woman turned a deep red and turned to the driver.

“Shut up!” The man swore. “I’ll get it fixed.” He pulled on a lever and pop sounded from the hood and it lifted an inch. Next he pulled on the door, but it didn’t budge. “No! The door’s stuck.”

The engine revved louder, and the hood slammed shut.

“Personally, I would recommend you use manners and class over false bravado and insecurity.” Jack pulled on the passenger side door, holding it open for the woman. “As for you, make better choices.” A shout exited the driver, and he squirmed in his seat. He pulled his hands, but they were stuck to the steering wheel.

The woman stood from the car and walked away from the small red sports car.

“You know how you said you’ve never been caught?” Jack said, closing the door.

“Yeah.” The driver clenched his hands on the steering wheel.

“First time for everything.” The sounds of sirens sounded. Jack let the car drop to the pavement.

The tires on the small sports car squealed as the driver was thrown back into his seat. A loud scream and the car turned onto the entrance ramp. Two police cars blocked his escape.

Jack shook his head and walked back to his car.

Part-Time Job

“Anderson,” Jack Abernathy’s rough voice called. “How’s the Stein project coming?”
“I can finish my part by the end of the week,” David Anderson said looking up from his laptop. “The numbers are entered and the scripts are in place. Waiting on the graphics to finish loading.”

“What’s left after that?” Jack moved into David’s cube.

Touching the button on his cellphone to silent the buzzing, David pointed to his screen. “The check-list says link checking, then stress testing on the server. We’re a little behind on the configuration, but it should only be a day or two.”

“We’re gonna meet that deadline.” Jack’s hand clamped down on David’s shoulder, making the youn man flinch. “You have my permission for over-time. Get to here by tomorrow evening.” Jack tapped a sausage finger on the checklist on the screen, leaving a smear over updating all machines remotely. The task’s original planned date was the day after tomorrow.

“Uh…” David turned his head to look at Jack.

“No excuses.” Jack pivoted on his heels and left David’s cube. It didn’t take him long to be around the corner and out of David’s sight.

“Crap,” David muttered under his breath. He flipped his phone over and entered his passcode. The number 8 appeared next to his text icon. David touched the icon. Scrolling to the last message he touched reply. A few finger taps and he sent the response stating he would be late. His eyes darted to the time in the top corner of his phone. It blinked to 7:18pm.

11:30 rolled around and David dashed from his car into the building. He touched the secret spot, sliding the door open and walked in. David’s uniform fit perfectly. The bright yellow crescent moon contrasted with the midnight blue of the rest of his outfit.

“You’re late!” Graves voice growled across the small room. “Again!”

“Yeah, I know,” David sighed. “It’s just that-”

“You know.” Graves pounded on the table top. “You realize I had to call for help from Wave Rider. Wave Rider. He’s barely a hero. So what he can talk to fish and breathe underwater.”

“Wow.” David stopped walking and looked at the grey clad superhero in front of him. “Wave Rider. Doesn’t he also have super strength?”

“That’s besides the point.” Graves spun and faced David. “I expect my sidekick to be here on time and not full of excuses.” A stiff finger poked David in the chest on his emblem. “You’re fired.”

“What?” David stepped back. “You can’t fire me. You don’t even pay me. This isn’t a job.” David held his hands, palms up and spread. “What about keeping my secret identity? You always stress that. I was doing that.”

“It doesn’t matter,” Graves said. “I can’t rely on you. You should have worked something out.”

“I have to pay my rent some how.” David’s voice picked up in pitch and speed. “I also need to buy food, repair my uniform, and the gym. Plus, there’s the martial art lessons you insisted I take. You don’t even reimburse me for that, but it’s required.”

“This again?” Graves made a rude noise. “By the time I was your age I had earning a million dollars.”

David clenched his jaws and fist. “Yeah. But you inherited five billion just by being born. What a cheapskate.”

“And this one, too.” Graves put both hands on his hips and cocked his head to the side.
“If you paid me forty-five grand a year,” David said pointing a finger at Graves. “I could quit my day job and be the perfect sidekick.”

“They only pay you forty-five?” Graves’ eyebrows shot up. “That’s a pittance.”
“Yeah,” David answered. “Ironically, I work for a subsidiary of Sampson Industries. In other words, you pay me that pittance.”

Graves looked at David and shook his head. “I have to stand by my word or it means nothing. Clean out your desk and leave your keys.”

“I don’t have a desk,” David said, walking to the door he came in. “I never had keys.” As he passed the hidden door, he banged his fist on the jamb.

“I’ll give you a great reference,” Graves shouted as the door slid shut.

“Fuck this,” David said as he slammed his car door closed. “I’ll at least get some sleep and be ready for tomorrow.” He drove off.

When the weekend hit, David was ready for it. Having spent well over fifty hours a week he wanted to relax. He slept in on Saturday. During the afternoon, he wandered the mall and other places. Normally, he would be training or some other activity that Graves would have him do. Since he was fired, he made the best of it.

When the evening kicked off, David went to a movie. It had been awhile since he had seen a first run, so he treated himself. After a few hours, he left and walked through the dark parking lot to his car. A sound pulled his attention, and he watched as two people descended from the sky. One with a rope, the other flying.

“I’ve beaten you Graves,” the flying man said.

“Not…,” Graves groaned out. “Yet.” The form of Graves clutched his midsection and spit a glob of something from his mouth. “You hit like a girl.”

“Your funeral.” the flying man darted straight for Graves, a clenched fist leading the way.

“Holy shit,” muttered David. “I better do something.” He looked for his car and found it two spots away. “Wait. I don’t have my uniform in there.” Standing there he watched the fist connect with Graves. “Plus I was fired.” Graves trajectory carried him over several cars and crashing into a light pole. “Plus, that guys a dick.”

“That wasn’t so hard.” The flying man hovered over to where Graves lay on the cement. “Let’s see who you really are.” He reached down and pulled the mask off, ripping the cowl off the cape. Staring at the prone figure, the flying man pocket his trophy. “Huh. I don’t recognize you. But someone will.” The flying man jumped into the sky and disappeared.

Standing over Graves, David looked at the unconscious body. “Yeah. He’s a dick.” David got in his car and dove off.

Special Delivery – Edie

Edwina Gibson walked through the cube farm. Her blond hair floating just above the five foot walls that separated desks. She diverted her eyes whenever she passed someone and would only lift a hand to wave if anyone said “hi Edie” to her. A sigh escaped her lips as she stepped into her cube.

“I keep leaving a sticky for him.” Edie pulled the chair out, spinning it so she could sit. Flexing her knees, she hopped onto the chair. Her feet didn’t touch the floor. Next, she pulled the lever to adjust the height. The chair didn’t move. Keeping the lever up, she bounced in place until her feet were flat. “Karl, please just lower the seat.”

Pulling herself to the desk, she pressed the button to lower the entire surface. The process took all of ten-seconds. Edie unlocked her set of drawers and pulled out a canister of wipes. Plucking one, she started with the keyboard. Once she finished, she tapped the keyboard and logged in.

During the few minutes it took for her email to load, Edie pulled another wipe and ran it over the desk surface. She moved to the drawers, the shelf, and finally the monitors. As she tossed the wipe into the trash, her email finished and three clients appeared on her monitor. “Garbage, Predestinate, and Valor. Not a shabby group.”

She took a few moments to put each client in their own quadrant of her monitor, leaving one blank. Turning her attention to her email, she read yesterday’s messages and ended with today’s. Clicking on a few different folders, she did the same thing.

Valor fell off her monitor first. Edie acknowledged the message when Valor left his mission. Predestinate exited her mission a few moments later. Again, Edie acknowledged the message.

Folding her hands on the desk, she stared at the health monitor. Garbage’s vitals took up the entire screen. Edie moved her mouse pointer and clicked on the picture.

The unmasked face needed a shave and buck-teeth stuck out over his bottom lip. Edie stared at the scar that ran over an eye on the screen. Stifling a shutter, she pulled up the basic sheet of Garbage.

“Strength, high rated toughness, and decent speed.” Edie looked at the face again. Her face wrinkled. “He should be able to get through whatever he’s into.”

BEEP BEEP BEEP!

Edie locked eyes on the picture on her screen. A message blinked below it. GARBAGE BELOW THRESHOLD.

“Oh, man!” Edie stood and tapped her mouse. “EMT first class Edwina Gibson retrieving Garbage.” She tapped her wrist panel and the vital screen transferred. Taking rapid steps she exited her cube, the row, and turned on the main walkway.

“Uh, EMT Gibson,” the voice in her earbud said. “You are cleared to transfer client.”

“That’s a negative, Control.” Edie moved to the open double doors and stepped on the flight deck. “I got this.” Under her breath, she said, “Even if his name is Garbage.”

Edie jogged the last few steps then strode over the ledge. Instead of falling she stepped onto an orange ball the size of an oven. Hovering in place for a split second, Edie faced the direction she needed.  The ball moved then picked up speed. It moved out of the way of taller buildings and other objects.

As the fifth minute ticked by, the ball shrank carrying Edie to the concrete surface. She stepped from the ball and it disappeared. A glance at her wrist panel gave her the next direction. Following it, she found a large dumpster. “He better not be in there.”

BEEP!

Edie looked at her panel again. Garbage’s vitals dropped. Edie pulled her leather gloves from her pouch and put them on. She used the makeshift ladder welded into the dumpster’s frame. Reaching for the edge, she worked her way to the top of the dumpster, dangling her feet inside.

“Garbage?” Her head poked over the ledge. “Oh, God it’s disgusting.” She felt her stomach churn and her throat tighten. “No.” Edie hoisted herself over the ledge and into the refuse below. “They don’t pay me enough for this.”

A moan sounded. She turned her head in the direction. “Garbage?”

“You’re in a dumpster,” a voice outside said. “Where else does garbage belong.” The voice sounded metallic, and muffled. “This appears to be a two-for-one special.” A high-pitched giggle followed.

“Wait!” Edie jumped, but the refuse below her feet didn’t allow for much height. “I’m an EMT.”

“What?” The voice went louder. “I can’t hear you. The lid is closed.” The high-pitched giggle sounded again, then the lid crashed down.

“NO!” Edie pounded on the sides.

A loud metallic clang echoed inside the dumpster.

“Ta-ta,” the strange voice said. Fading running footsteps came next, then quiet.

“Great!” Edie turned on the flashlight at her belt. Reaching one foot forward, she moved aside various boxes and other gunk. She repeated this process and made her way across the width of the dumpster.

Taking a finger, she poked at her earbud. “Control,” she said, her voice bouncing in the metal box. “Control, this is EMT Gibson. Please respond.” Static answered. “Now, I am trapped.”

“Flix likes to do that.” A mound of trash moved. “Ugh.”

Edie spun in place and pointed her light at the moving junk. “Garbage?”

“Yeah,” the costumed man said, wincing at the light in his face. “You must be one of them EMT people that I pay for.”

“EMT First Class Gibson.” Edie straightened her posture and smoothed her uniform. “You’re conscious, so this shouldn’t be too difficult. How hurt are you?”

“Near a long, slow, and agonizing death,” Garbage said, pushing off the rubbish to his knees.

Edie’s eyes went wide. Scanning the man in front of her, she said, “I don’t see any wounds.”

“Carbon fiber.” Garbage pivoted to face her. He pointed to a large clump of black on his chest. “It’s like an allergic reaction, with the side effect of making me weaker than a baby.”

Edie moved closer to Garbage. She reached her hands for the clump and worked her fingers behind it.

“Unless you’re stronger than you look, that ain’t gonna cut it.” Garbage stuck an arm out and braced himself against the side of the dumpster. “Do you have a cutting device? Laser or something?”

“Yes,” Edie said. Her hand flew to her belt and found the pen shaped device. “It should cut through most things. The charge is limited to twenty-seconds.”

“Twenty-seconds?” Garbage took the offered device. “I guess to keep it from being used a weapon.”

“That’s what they said during orientation.” Edie moved closer to Garbage and watched.

“This is gonna hurt.” Pointing the device at his chest, Garbage touched the button. A bright blue beam shot out and cut into the black hunk. Smoke floated up and the smell of burning chemicals mixed with meat followed.

“AHHHHHHH!”

“It’s grafted to you.” Edie examined the area. There wasn’t any blood, but she saw the burn marks on both the item and Garbage. “If we could get the lid off, we could get you out of here.”

“Well, I’m useless in that area.” The big man stood and his shoulders touched the lid. Flexing his knees, he put his hands on the lid and pushed. Nothing. Sweat poured down his face and his breathing rasped. “I haven’t been this week since before I was exposed.”

“You weren’t born this way?” Edie looked at the hulking figure. “What happened?”

“I worked for sanitation,” Garbage said. “A company dumped some type of stuff in the landfill. I was sent to clear it up and call in the correct team to clear it out. An hour after I arrived on the scene, I was knocked out. A month later and I woke up in the hospital, looking like this.”

“So that’s why you call yourself Garbage.” Edie looked at the man before him. “I thought it was because-”

“My face and attire?” Garbage let out a coughing laugh. “No sweetheart. The teeth and scar are mine. My abilities are enhanced when I run through sewers, landfills, and other junk. That’s why I smell this way. Plus, my body burns up waste and turns it into power that I use to beat bad guys.”

“Well, use this stuff.” Edie kicked at the junk around her legs and knees.

Garbage poked at the chunk on his chest. “Can’t.”

Edie sighed. “I can do something, but it might not work.”

“Anything is better than nothing,” Garbage plopped down on his rump, and leaned on the wall. “What’s the worst that could happen?”

“We get crushed.” Edie said into her chest.

“Faster than suffocating.”

Edie’s eyes cut to Garbage. His eyes were closed and his breathing slowed.

“Here goes everything.” Edie shuffled to the center of the box. She extended both arms to the unoccupied side. After a deep breath, she straightened her fingers.

Colorful, softball-sized spheres appeared. They filled the wall and cascaded down like an avalanche. More spheres came into existence, these bigger by half. Again, they flowed down the mountain of color they made. More and more spheres appeared. A minute flew by and the sphere pile reached the lid.

“What can they do?” Garbage lifted his head and watched the balls take up space.

“I can fly and carry with them.” Edie stepped back.

“They don’t explode or anything?”

“Nope.” Screwing up her eyes, the balls appeared at a faster rate. Edie stepped further and further back. Then her back touched the wall. “Oh, man. I’m going smell like garbage for a month.”

“Huh.” Garbage looked at the petite woman.

“Sorry.”

Garbage waved it off.

The balls passed the halfway mark and would soon be on top of them. Edie grunted when the balls forced her hands back.

“Keep going,” Garbage sat with his back to the wall and the spheres piled on his lap.

Edie produced more spheres. Soon she stood with her hands by her side and the balls pressing in on her.

A muffled, “more” came from Garbage. “More. Something’ll break.”

“Yeah, us.” Edie kept bringing the spheres.

A loud metallic creak echoed in the dumpster.

Edie screamed as more balls appeared.

Another creak followed by a loud pop.

Then a boom.

Light poured in through the translucent spheres, bathing the dark in different colored lights.

“You did it!” Garbage pushed some of the balls off him. “We’re gonna make it.”

“Better than that.” Edie waved a hand, and the spheres dispersed, faster than they appeared. “We’re out of here.” She pointed at Garbage and a dark blue light encased him. Edie pointed at the ground and an orange ball appeared. Next, it enlarged under her feet. Both spheres lifted out of the dumpster and carried them to the cement outside.

“NO!” The strange voice from before said. “You’re supposed to be dead and take this EMT with you.” Flix slinked forward. He moved to grab Edie.

“Get away from me, you creep!” Without conscious though, Edie extended a hand. A black sphere exited her palm. No light flowed through the ball as it cleared the short distance between the two people. It connected with the chin of Flix and knocked him on his back.

Scrambling to get to his feet, Flix fidgeted with something on his belt.

“Watch out!” Garbage reached a hand out.

Edie brought both hands together and a grey sphere encased the projectile Flix threw. A loud, high-pitched, beep sounded. Then the it accelerated. Edie directed the sphere up.

BOOM!

Several feet up it exploded. The people below safe.

“Damn!” Flix lunged for Edie.

With a flick of her wrist, Edie sent a large sphere at Flix. His body fit inside and held him in place. Banging came from inside, but Edie turned the skin of the sphere opaque.

Touching her earbud, Edie said, “EMT First Class Gibson requesting emergency transport for Garbage and some trash.”

Garbage’s face broke into a loud laugh.

“Come again, EMT,” the voice in her ear said. “You need emergency transport for trash?”

“Send the cops. They need to restrain Flix. I have him detained.” Edie moved to Garbage. She touched the sphere that carried him out of the dumpster. It disappeared. “An ambulance should be here shortly.”

“Yeah, I’m not going anywhere.” Garbage looked up at her. “For a small chick, you pack a punch.”

“You’re not so bad for Garbage,” she smiled at him.

Edie walked from the elevator and towards her workstation. “Karl, you could have at least wiped the keyboard down when you spill on it.” She shook the plastic keyboard over the trash can. Bits and pieces of discarded something or other fell to the receptacale. Next, she pulled a moistened wipe and cleaned it. The rest of her routine was abandoned as she logged in. The desk lowered as she held the button and she bounced to put the chair at her height.

Edie watched her monitor and scanned emails. Occasionally a client’s vitals appeared, and she tracked them, but mostly it was a quiet shift. The dinner break message appeared on her screen. With a flick of the mouse she dismissed it and logged out of her station. Retracing her steps from the beginning of her shift, she made her way to the elevator. Inside, she pressed the L button.

When the doors opened before her stood a tall man with a broad chest and big shoulders. “Perfect timing.” She stepped from the metal box with a wide smile on her face.

“Yup,” the man said. “Never keep a lady waiting.” The man extended a large hand.

Edie put her small hand in it and both walked to the door.

Special Delivery – The Newbie

Kurt Jeffries leaned over his keyboard. He entered in the username and password form the paper HR gave him. Next, he followed several prompts. Finally, the left screen filled with the email program and the right showed the client-monitoring tool. A face with name tag showed. Lancer’s vitals showed next to the picture.

“Cool.” A smile splashed across Kurt’s face.

“Are you Kurt?” A middle-aged woman pushed a cart into the opening of the cube.

“Yeah,” Kurt stood, looking at the cart.

“Here’s your wrist panel and forcefield belt,” the woman tapped the items. “You need to sync the panel up first.”

Kurt put the panel on his arm and tapped the screen. Text flew across the surface then flashed the same vitals on his monitor.

“Good.” The woman picked up the belt. Her nasal tone picked up in volume. “The tech guys said they couldn’t get it to stretch, so be careful using it.”

Kurt nodded once, placing the belt around his waist.

“Good luck.” The woman waved and pushed her cart through the maze of cubes.

“So far, so good.” Kurt lowered himself to the chair and stared at the monitors. Email chimed and he read the message.

BE-DEEP!

The vitals monitor showed another client.

BATTALION ON MISSION

An ugly face with dark glasses appeared next to the name Battalion. Vitals beeped and scrolled across.

“Oh, man!” Kurt shifted closer to the big screen. “How cool is that? Battalion! I need to get a pic.” Kurt pulled his cellphone out and aimed the camera at the screen.

“I would not do that,” a voice said over the cube wall.

Kurt turned his head. A dark face with pointed ears and lavender eyes looking at him over his cube wall.

“Oh my God!” Kurt’s eyes went wide and his mouth opened. “You’re-”

“Raphael Collins.” A spiky toothed smile showed on the dark face. The dark face disappeared. It reappeared attached to a body a second later in the opening of Kurt’s cube. “I am a teleporter.” He extended a hand towards the slack jawed Kurt.

One of Kurt’s hands drifted up and connected with Raphael’s. Their clasped hands bobbed a few times.

“What is your name?” Raphael let Kurt’s hand go.

“Umm.” Kurt tilted his head. A thin black line flipped back and forth behind Raphael. “Kurt. My name is Kurt Jeffries. Is that a tail?”

“Yes,” Raphael turned his head, looking where Kurt pointed. “I am human. My ability altered my appearance, but I am human.”

“Oh,” Kurt blurted. Color creeped across his cheeks and he swallowed hard. Standing Kurt smiled and looked Raphael in the eyes. “I’m sorry. I’ve never seen anyone that looked like you.”

“I figured,” Raphael smiled. “Maybe we can do lunch and get to know each other better.”

“Yeah,” Kurt nodded. “I would like that.”

BEEP BEEP BEEP!

“Transfer patient procedure.” The sound came from Kurt’s computer. “Priority alert. EMT Jeffries respond.”

“Whoa!” Raphael backed out of the cube. “You should respond to that. Click the button and talk.”

“Right!” Kurt leaned over the mouse and clicked the big red button. “This is EMT Jeffereies. I acknowledge the alert.” He clicked the next button to transfer the display to his wrist panel. “Raphael, where is the launch pad?”

Raphael stepped out of the way and pointed towards a set of double doors with his tail. Kurt paused in the cube door. He nodded then dashed away.

Stepping through the double doors, Kurt let the wind wash over him. Closing his eyes, he centered his thoughts.

Kurt’s torso flattened, then his arms and legs and finally his head. Leaning forward he fell over the edge, riding the wind currents.

“EMT Jeffries enroute.” He flexed his arms and torso to drift in the desired direction. More than once, he dived to gain speed. Kurt aimed for the ground when his wrist panel sounded indicating he was closer.

Shifting to normal, Kurt landed and checked the map on this panel. According to the numbers he was a hundred yards away. Looking around the storage area, he spotted several cement barriers. On the other side, a collection of orange barrels. In one corner were three rows of large green dumpsters. The fence containing everything had circles of razors on top.

Kurt Glanced at his wrist panel. A quick double tap, and it zoomed in. The red indicators appeared next to the dumpsters. He moved towards them and his blue indicator followed. Decrementing number appeared on one corner.

“Almost,” Kurt moved his head as he walked behind a dumpster. The first prone form showed as he stepped into the gap between the dumpsters. “Bronze. I’m EMT Jeffries.” Kurt glanced at the panel on his arm. Bronze’s vitals displayed. “Oh, man. You’re unconscious. It says you’re breathing, but you might have internal damage.”

A heavy, raspy whisper said, “Shit.”

Kurt jumped, then turned to the sound. Another prone form lay around the corner.

“They sent a newbie,” the face of the body turned to the side.

A new red dot appeared on Kurt’s display. It read EMT Davis. His vitals also appeared on the screen.

“You’re wounded, too.” Kurt moved closer to Davis. “What happened?”

“They were caught off guard.”

Kurt turned towards the new voice. A man clad in dark with a motorcycle helmet stood there. The costume looked like police style armor, only scarier. Knee high boots with spikes on the toes added to the menacing sight. The two pistols with muzzles like twin pit bulls pointed at Kurt, and completed the vision.

“Ambush. My specialty,” the dark man said.

A scream exited Kurt’s trembling mouth at the sight. One hand smacked into the belt at his waist and the other extended in the direction of the scary man. A snap hiss sounded and the translucent grey haze of the forcefield covered Kurt. It stopped at the elbow of his extended arm. The warning from earlier rang in his ears.

At the end of the extended arm, Kurt’s hand expanded to the size of refrigerator door. His skin pressed against the dumpster on either side, sealing the bad man on the other side.

“The forcefield doesn’t cover my-”

The rapid staccato sound of gun fire sounded. Kurt’s over-sized hand relayed the sensation of a million needle pricks. It also told him the bullets bounced.

“What the fuck,” the rough, filtered voice of Ambush followed on the tail of last gun shot.

“I’m bullet proof!” Kurt pulled in his hand and arm. The forcefield encased the appendage with a buzz. Balling his other fist, he sent a punch in the direction of the confused villain. When his arm reached full extension, the forcefield halted further progression of his attack.

Ambush leaned back, then straightened. “Forcefields contain, too.” His metallic chuckle sent a shiver over Kurt. Pushing off hard, Ambush lurched through narrow gap.

Kurt flinched back. One hand tapped at his belt while the other flung forward. His softball sized fist connected with the hard helmet and rocked Ambush’s head back. Kurt’s second hand followed suit and Ambush’s advance was halted.

EMT Davis raised his head. “Damn.”

Bronze moaned and moved his head. “Whasshapning..eng?”

“Newb’s winning,” EMT Davis chuckled.

Kurt flailed his arms, sending his fists at different angles that Ambush struggled to block.

It started with one, then two. The next five landed on his torso, helmet, shoulder, and hips. One of Ambush’s arms feebly intercepted the next attack. The one after that, however, nailed him in the chest. Ambush staggered back a step. The next eight fists forced the dark clad man several more paces. He found himself a step past the dumpsters after three blows landed in quick succession. He fell where he stood.

Kurt pulled both his arms back. He draped them over the ends of the dumpsters on either side. His shoulders heaved and he hung his head, gulping air.

Ambush staggered to his feet. In a wide stance, he aimed one of the pistols down the alley of dumpsters. The armor he wore moved as the breathed. “Nothing personal kid. Just a job.” His head tilted to one side and he lined the pistol with his target.

Kurt’s fingers clamped onto the corners of the dumpsters. He extended a leg behind him. It zipped the distance of the dumpsters and past the gap and connected with the fence.

“Whoa!” EMT Davis said, eyeing the leg.

“Isatafoot?” Bronze muttered.

“FORE!” Kurt shifted his hip, sending his extended leg forward. His leg darted over the distance. It looped-de-looped. On the completion of the first loop, Ambush shifted his head up. Kurt’s leg complete four more loops before connecting with the apex of Ambush’s legs.

Both pistols fell to the ground. Ambush’s knees slammed together with a clattering of armor plate and his gloved hands darted to his groin. His head hung and a high-pitched coughing howl escaped the helmeted head.

The form of Ambush jerked into the air, sailing in a perfect arc. It landed with a thump on the other side of the fence and slid several yards before stopping.

“This is EMT Jeffries,” Kurt huffed as he touched his earbud. “I have Bronze and EMT Davis. Ready for transport.”

“Understood, EMT,” the voice said over the earbud. “Your path is cleared for Ladies of Mercy.”

“Acknowledged.” Kurt turned and looked at the two prone bodies. “Gentlemen, here we go.”

Kurt fished two items out of his belt. Placing one on the chest of each person, he then pressed the single button. “I’m not all that strong. This is an anti-gravity field generator.” He extended his arms and flattened his enlarged hands. Scoopping both patients at the same time, Kurt lengthened his legs. His firs step cleared the fence and onto the road. After several steps he sped up his pace and extended each leg a few more yards.

Kurt reached Ladies of Mercy hospital. In the emergency entrance, he laid both on a gurney and processed the paperwork.

“Jeffries,” EMT Davis called. Kurt looked at his co-worker. “Thanks.” Davis lifted a thumb as medical staff wheeled him away.

Kurt Jeffries walked into Special Delivery the next day. He moved to his desk and typed his username and password. Different supers appeared on his screen, but none required him to transport them to a medical facility.

The lunch warning alarm displayed on his monitor. Kurt tapped with the mouse, then stood.

“Excuse me,” a woman’s voice said as he left his cube. “Are you Kurt Jeffries?” The woman held an envelope in one hand.

“Uh, yes.” Kurt shifted to face the woman. “What can I do for you?”

“Take this,” the woman’s pearly white smile flashed. Her emerald eyes sparkled as she handed the envelope to Kurt.

Kurt opened the proffered envelope. Inside he saw a check for $200,000. In the memo field was typed, FOR THE CAPTURE OF AMBUSH.

Kurt’s eyes went to the size of dinner plates and he leaned forward as his mouth fell open.

“Oh, call me,” the woman gave a finger wave as she turned to leave.

Turning the envelope over, Kurt saw a phone number with Melanie under it.

The Bounty Hunter

The man walked over the path to the front door. His short sleeve button down held the creases he put on them with an iron. The dark belt hid the line where his shirt was  tucked into his kakis. On his feet, he wore loafers with white socks. The full pocket protector and horn-rimmed glasses completed his uniform. It was the same uniform he wore everyday for the past three years.

Raising his hand, the man rapped on the door of the poorly maintained house. A high-pitched bark and shuffling noise came from the other side. The man knocked again.

The door flew inward. A shirtless man with grimy jeans and greasy hair stood barefoot in the door. “Yeah!” He drank beer from a can in his hand.

The outside man raised his head. “Are you-”

“I don’t want any!” The shirtless man swung an arm, and the door moved.

“Good. I’m not selling anything,” the shorter man said. “Are you Fernando Gomes?”

The shirtless man stopped the door. “What of it?”

“My name is Skip,” the well-dressed man said. “And I am here to inform you that you missed your court date from three days ago.”

“Really?” Fernando turned to the inside of the house. “Mateo, come here. Check this out.”

A large man with a beachball sized gut and thick arms stepped into the door. “What’s this?”

“This is Skip,” Fernando said with a laugh dancing on his lips. “He reminded me that I missed my court date.”

“I’m also here to take you in to reschedule,” Skip said, pushing his glasses up on his nose.

Fernando busted out a laughing and Mateo snorted.

“Man, get out of here,” Fernando said. “You might get hurt if you keep talking like that. Go back to your computer job or something.” He snaked an arm out and slammed the door.

Skip stepped forward and put a hand on the door before it closed. “By law, I can come in there and drag you out of your abode.”

Again both men laughed.

Fernando nodded towards Mateo. Mateo stepped forward and slapped Skip’s arm.

Skip’s arm didn’t move and Mateo pulled his hand back shaking it.

“Damn man,” Mateo looked at Skip. “What the hell?”

Fernando glanced at Mateo then moved his eyes to Skip. “You ain’t coming here, vato.”

“As I said,” Skip locked eyes with Fernando. “The law is on my side on this.” He lifted a foot to step over the threshold.

Fernando stepped back as Mateo squared up with Skip. A large watermelon sized fist careened for Skip’s head.

Impact happened.

Skip didn’t budge. His head wasn’t rocked back and no bruises or blood appeared on his face. The only thing damaged were his glasses.

“I hate it when people do that,” Skip said around the fist in his face.

Mateo bellowed and pulled his fist back. He clutched it to his chest with his free hand and flexed his knees. Mateo’s ashen face dripped sweet and his lips flopped. Both eyes lost their water.

Skip blinked. “Now I get to defend myself.” With an easy stride, he kicked the big shin of Mateo. A loud crack sounded.

Mateo’s eyes rolled, and he fell, blocking the door way.

“Shit!” Fernando backpedaled into a wall.

“So, are you willing to come with me?” Skip stepped over Mateo’s body and stood within arms reach of Fernando.

“Fuck you!” Fernando darted into the living room. He bent over a small end table and rummaged in a drawer for something.

“I understand your predicament.” Skip walked into the living room. He stayed at the archway and waited. “If you go to jail, you won’t be free. But if you are free, you’ll just do more of the same. You could do your time and turn your life around. Many have done it and succeed. I feel you can, too.” Skip smiled and nodded his head.

Fernando pulled out pistol and aimed it at Skip. “I ain’t going anywhere.” Fernando sneered as the gun steadied.

The revolver barked.

Fernando’s sneer evaporated as he watched the bullet fall from Skip’s forehead. There wasn’t so much as a smudge on the skin.

Skip walked forward while Fernando screamed in place.

“It would have been easier if you had just complied.” Skip reached out and gripped Fernando by the arm. In a smooth motion he pulled. “It’s people like you that keep me employed. And very well I might add.” Fernando flew from his feet and plowed into the shag carpeting of the living room. His shoulder knocked the nightstand over.

Skip stepped over Mateo, who had passed out. He dragged Fernando over the lump and out the front door. Fernando dropped the revolver and flailed his open hand to grab the door jamb.

Skip felt the resistance and jerk Fernando’s arm. The sucking pop sounded and Fernando screamed louder. He let go of the door jamb and clutched his shoulder.

“Honestly,” Skip said. “You should have learned at this point. Just comply and it will be easier.” Skip continued dragging Fernando over the front lawn, the sidewalk, then the road.

Eventually, Skip stopped at a large white van. He opened the back and hoisted Fernando through an open door.

“You guys be quiet now.” Skip closed the door and moved for the driver’s door.

Fernando looked around and floundered for a seat.

“New meat rides on the floor,” a low voice growled. “Besides, if there’s a problem he’ll stop the van. One of us is gonna get hurt.”

“Yeah,” a nasally voice added. “Only worse than we are now.”

Fernando’s eyes slowly adjusted to the dark. He made out seven burly bodies, five of which sat on the benches. The other two didn’t move and laid on the floor next to him.

Fernando’s voice cracked. “Where are we going?”

“To jail,” another voice answered.

“But that guy,” Fernando countered. “He’s…he’s-”

“A bounty hunter,” a higher pitched voice answered. “This is what he does.”

Rogue Telekinetic – The Phone

Jack Davis walked down the wide sidewalk. It wasn’t unusual to see people bent over their smart phones as they walked. It was unusual to see more people than average doing it.

The ages ranged from kids to adults. Two kids nearby shouted and had smiles on their faces. A group clustered together, facing in different direction. A young man jumped and his eyes lit up as he did a fist pump.

“I don’t get it,” Jack shook his head. “I have one of those things and never found anything close to interesting on it.”

Out of the corner of his eye, Jack saw a kid walk across the grass, then the sidewalk. The kid’s feet touched the curb. Jack’s eyes darted towards the mini-van rolling through the intersection.

“Dammit,” Jack spat. Screwing up his eyes, Jack pictured a wall in front of the kid. The kid stopped moving, his arms folded to his chest, and a hollow thump sounded.

The mini-van zoomed inches in front of the kid, grabbing his attention. In his surprise, the kid jumped back. He looked at his phone, then the mini-van. The kid’s eyes went wide, and his mouth went small. Reaching a hand towards the street, the kid felt the resistance that stopped him.

“Whoops,” Jack muttered and turned his power off.

The kid stumbled and looked around. After checking that traffic eased, he crossed the street. Once across the street, the kid assumed his previous posture of hunched shoulders and thumbs on phone. He brushed against a vending machine and kept going.

“Hmmm,” Jack said. “You would think that would have sparked change.”

Jack walked a few more paces, then heard screeching tires. Turning, Jack saw two kids, a compact car, and two phones smashed on the asphalt.

“Well, there you have it,” Jack said with a head shake.

Seeing a bench, Jack moved for it and sat down. With a few sideway glances, Jack erected a wall on the same path he did before. Next, he pictured another wall extending from the first. Jack repeated this in his head until a complete square formed around the open park. Once the walls were up, he focused on making the walls thicker and taller. When he had this pictured in his head, five minutes had passed.

The test came within seconds of Jack finishing it. Three people approached one wall while five approached another. All eight people had the same posture and the same actions.

First one bumped into the wall, then another. The sudden stop pulled heads up from their phones. It wasn’t long before a few more people approached the walls and were stopped. With ten people stymied, more people looked up from their phones to see what happened.

Several minutes later more people put their phones to their ears and talked. They waved their arms at the street and looked at street signs. Some approached the walls though they could not see them. Their hands showed them where it was.

The whoop of a police siren caused traffic to stop and pedestrians to cluster. Two police officers stepped from their cruiser and approached.

“What do we have here,” questioned the older officer.

Several people waved arms and others shouted to be let out of the prison. One or two even pounded on the invisible wall.

Jack Davis removed the wall in his mind and the invisible wall vanished.

“Look here,” the cop said. “I sat here and watched several of ya nearly kill yourself by walking out into traffic. You got your heads buried so far into your phones you don’t know what the hell you’re doing.”

The people in the open park quieted and looked around. People backed away from the curbs and most put their phone in their pocket.

The cop spoke up, “Now, it looks like whatever that was saved a lot of lives, if not injuries. Be thankful. More important, be mindful of what you’re doing.”

The cop then turned and sat in his cruiser. As the other cop drove past Jack, the older cop nodded at him. Jack smiled and waved back.