100 Words A Day by Hydrargentium

Well, at least 100 words — best served random….

Tag: Smackhammer

His first instinct was to yell, “GET YOUR HANDS OFF ME!!”, but he couldn’t figure out a way to do that without escalating the situation. Instead, he just paused, and she let go of his shoulder, and stepped in front of him. It was only afterwards that he realized she was trying to block his way.

Like that would’ve helped her cause.

She ranted for a bit, and he looked her straight in the eye the whole time, while thinking about how to calm her down and still get his point across. His train of thought stopped dead in its tracks when she accused him of trying to stare her down.

“Black Sapphire, I’m not trying to ‘stare you down’.” Smackhammer bent his knees, squatting down six inches to bring his gaze to her level. “Does this make you feel less intimidated?”

It was ridiculous, and he hoped that would puncture her indignation. It seemed to have some kind of effect; he could see part of the anger flicker and peel away from her mouth and her eyes.

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!”

“Man, I feel like I just got run over by a truck.”

Tar looked up from his book to see Smackhammer slumping his way through the maze of tables. From his posture, he did look beat up, but his costume and armour showed no signs of distress.

“Tough supervillain?” Tar asked as Smackhammer settled heavily into a reinforced chair.

Smackhammer just shook his head, staring at the scratched tabletop.

“Psychic assault?”

“Huh.” Smackhammer shrugged, a rueful grin twisting his lips. “Something like that.”

Tar set his book on the table, face down and open to the current page, and waited for more. Eventually, it came.

“Had a girl just tell me she wanted to slow it down. Just be friends for a while.”

Tar grimaced. “Ouch?”

“I guess. Hard to say.” Smackhammer shook his head like he wasn’t sure, one way or the other. “I think she probably actually meant it, but I know the cliches.”

Sighing, Tar tried to console. “Well, I suppose-”

“It’s just that I wasn’t really expecting it. That’s what drove the truck.”

In the aftermath, I found myself leaning against the wall next to the tall one, the one with the long, dark hair. She was fiddling with her goggles, some kind of high-tech affair, probably with range finding and a bunch of other HUD stuff. I was staring half-blankly at the first-responders, watching them do the clean-up, but mostly going over things in my head: how the adjustment to my gloves had thrown off my timing, how I seemed to have completely forgotten how to fight in a crowd, and how maybe I should tone down the fancier moves I’d practiced until I had them better. And how wired up I’d been — if I was going to do this again, I was going to have to remember to relax.

“You were pretty good in there.”

Snap. I was back to the here and now. I tilted my head toward her so I could be heard over the sirens and heavy equipment without having to shout so much.

“You think so?”

If you could cross-reference my grin with the picture in the dictionary next to the word ‘sardonic’, you’d find it a pretty close match.

“Sure. I really liked what you did with the low energy pulses. I’m going to have to try some of that myself.”

I shook my head. “Mm. I’m not so pleased. A lot of things that did not go the way I wanted them to.”

I looked away, eyeing a big mech suit as it began clearing debris from the road. When I looked back at her, she was still paying attention to me.

“I haven’t been in active in public, out on the street like this, in about fifteen years.”

Her eyes actually widened, surprisingly vivid despite the specs.

“Wow. That’s great! That’s so neat that you could come out!”