Excerpt: The Legion of Nothing by Jim Zoetewey
He looked down at the gun and then back up at me. Then he started shouting. “You broke my gun. I’ll kill you!”
He went on in that vein for a while.
I had no idea what to do. I had options. The most obvious was threatening him or punching him, but I didn’t want to. When I was in costume, I could punch through walls—and people. I knew I had to do something though. In the moment, however, it was hard to think just what that should be.
As some bullies at school had found, I was not all that great with witty repartee under pressure either.
I decided to ignore him. I turned to check on the guy with the truck. He’d shut his car door and stood next to the vehicle, having found what he was looking for or just given up.
From behind me I heard, “Hey, you’re not listening to me. Listen to me, damn you! I’m going to sue you. You and this guy, too. He trashed my car. You trashed my gun. That’s private property. Did you hear me? Private property.”
I turned around, increasing the volume on the built-in PA as high as it could go. As in, up to eleven.
Now before I go on, I should mention that I’ve always had mixed feelings about the suit’s sonic systems. First of all, because they could have permanent side effects—like deafness. Second, because I had always seen them as the result of forty years worth of feature creep. Back in World War II, Grandpa decided the suit needed a PA. Then he decided it might be useful if the PA could modify a person’s voice. Then he noticed that he could break glass with the PA and wondered how far he could take that.
Since the early 70’s, in addition to the PA, each arm of the suit has been given ‘weaponized’ speakers that could focus concentrated sound on an object, sometimes shattering it (even if it wasn’t glass).
Not that I was using anything more than the PA, but the PA was bad enough.
“Will. You. SHUT. UP,” I said.
I assumed he heard me from the way he put his hands to his ears and how his face whitened.
Not only did he hear me, but so did the crowd (which went dead silent), people several blocks away, and, for all I knew, people inside the International Space Station.
Lowering the volume to something bearable, I turned back to the guy with the truck. “You may as well find your registration, because I think I hear the police.”
He didn’t say anything. He just nodded.
“Well anyway,” I said to the crowd, “have a nice night everybody.”
I started the rockets and blasted into the night sky just as the police cars arrived.
****Jim Zoetewey grew up in Holland, Michigan, near where L Frank Baum wrote The Wizard of Oz and other books in that series. Admittedly, Baum moved away more than sixty years before Jim was even born, but it's still kind of cool. He's a web developer, a religion and sociology major, and the author of the superhero series The Legion of Nothing. He's also not sure why he's writing this in the third person, but he's never seen an author bio written in first person and doesn't want to rock the boat.
The prizes are the following:
Grand prize: Kindle + e-copy of LON for kindle
2nd: Hard copy of LON, LON tshirt
3rd: e-book bundle of LON and the Antithesis by Terra Whiteman (5 gift packs)