by Hydrargentium

Smackhammer pounded across the tarmac, stomping his feet into the asphalt with each step. Augmented by his energy field, his boots left elephantine imprints, impressions the size of hubcaps, crazed and cracked. Each contact accelerated him and pushed him higher, farther, until he was covering twenty metres per stride. Swinging his hammer up to the sky, he launched himself in a huge arc, covering the last two hundred metres in a single leap.

Coming down on top of the old control tower, he let out a roar that spread and echoed across the open field, rattling what windows were still intact in the time-wracked terminal. With his hammer held high above his head, he swung at the wall, the hammer head glowing a dull, angry orange. On impact, the energy released in a massive shockwave, steel beams in the tower ringing from the blow, even as the structure collapsed around him. Plummeting through the interior, dust obscuring his sight and debris bouncing off him, he hit the ground with bent knees, and dove into a tumbling roll that saw him burst through the far wall. Flinging his arms out, hammer gripped tightly in one hand, he flopped to a stop on his back, the hammer’s head buried in the pavement. The asphalt was melted into a thick slag around him.

He looked up just in time to see the last wall of the control tower cave in on itself with a screech of metal and a final billow of pulverized drywall. His chest heaved as he panted from the exertion.

“What the hell was that?!”

Smackhammer rested his head back on the cooling tar, and rolled his eyes up to the figure hovering over him. The other hero’s face was inscrutable behind a dark blue mask, but Smackhammer could make out the eyes behind the pale blue tinted lenses. The eyes showed, not anger, but frustration.

He shrugged. “Just letting off some steam.”

The air around them started to churn and spin, whipping up sand and leaves.

“Yeah, and I have to clean it up.”

The blue figure, arms crossed on his chest, rose into the sky, at the centre of the now-raging dust devil. Smackhammer amplified his voice to be heard over the howling of the wind.

“It’s good for you! You need the practice!”