The medicine ball flew past him, the wind from its passing tickling the hair on his sideburns as he dodged out of the way. Tucking into a roll, Fantastic Fred came up on one knee, hand already reaching for his net gun. He looked up just in time to see the medicine ball, at the end of its ricochet off the smokestack behind him, nail Councillor Meade in the shoulder, and send him tumbling — right off the edge of the factory roof, hurtling for the parking lot six stories below.
Well, Meade would have hurtled to the asphalt, if he hadn’t had the wherewithall to claw frantically at the edge of the roof as he passed it. He didn’t have a good grip, but his scrabbling arrested his fall long enough for Fred to do something Fantastic.
Diving for the Councillor, Fred fired his net gun in front of him. The nylon webbing splayed out across the roof top, tangling on one side on a small vent pipe, and draping itself over Meade on the other. The impact of the net startled Meade, enough that he lost his grip, and went over the edge.
Fortunately, Fred was already there, sliding head-first along the net. With both hands, he grabbed hold of Meade’s jacket, while he pointed the toes of his feet up to hook them into the net’s webbing. Immediately after he felt the jacket in his grip, he twisted, causing the net to wrap around his feet in a tight tangle.
Right after that, he let out a Fantastic yell, and flexed his shoulders to keep his arms from dislocating from their sockets.
Meade, at the same time, had let out his own scream, less manly, more terrified.
As they bounced to a stop against the factory’s wall, Fred took a moment to reflect.
“Man,” he thought, “that really hurt.”