Crucible 5.10: Malcolm

“So, do either of you know why one of those guys is dressed as an ice cream man?” I asked Raina and Carter as we approached the gas station.


“Yeah,” Carter answered. “He’s an ice villain Fencer and I have fought before.” He turned to me as we stopped running. “You know he had the nerve to not even come up with a villain name?”


“Yes, that was clearly the jewel thief’s biggest crime,” Raina quipped.


Raina had gotten a call on her hotline that a Panda corp gas station was being robbed by two supervillains. One of them was a rather ugly man dressed as an ice cream man; I was never going to understand costumes. The other one was dressed head to toe in brown and silver armor, the suit having a very medieval look. He was also carrying a fairly large ax seemingly effortlessly.


Of course, while I was always more than happy to bash some skulls, I didn’t really care about any of this. It’s just that the sooner we dealt with these asses, the sooner I could go visit Shay.


Maybe having a crush on my friend’s sister wasn’t the best thing to happen, but I couldn’t control how I felt. Plus, all of my sisters had agreed that there was nothing wrong with it.


Except for Kayla. She still hated me showing attention towards anyone but her.


“Oh come on!” the ice villain shouted, bags of money in his hands. “Lightning Bee, it’s a gas station! Can’t you let this slide?”


Raina stepped forward.


“So long as Bluejay City has super heroes, no crime will be allowed to transpire.”

Fencer threw off her helmet and popped out her sword. She then completed her act by flipping her hair, smiling, and turning to the cameras that were watching us.


Bro, it really seems like she cares more about being a celebrity than fighting bad guys, Dot said.


That may be true Sis, but she’s still pretty hot, Chewie added.

“Quiet,” I said to her. “She might hear you.”


I’m surprisingly okay with that.


“Fencer is right,” Carter said. “The two of you are going to jail, and this time “Snowcone”, you’re going to stay there.


See, this is why it was better to kill dangerous criminals. That way, a clerical error wouldn’t result in them ending back up on the streets.


“Did you just name me?” Snowcone asked.


“Yeah,” Carter said. “I wasn’t too sure about it though. Do you like it?”


Snowcone dropped his bags of money.


“I really don’t like you.”


The three of us scattered as Snowcone fired freeze blasts out of his hands, icing over the landscape behind us, and creating small ice platforms.


“Decker, what’s the gameplan?” Raina asked, as softly as she could. I was the team’s leader, but as far as the general public was concerned, Fencer was in charge.


I took a moment to think about the scenario. People with ice powers were notorious for having power like a Demigod without any of the physical advantages. This mean a few bullets could put him down for the count. In contrast, the rubber bullets Carter requested I use likely wouldn’t be able to get through the other man’s armor. And taking into account the facts that the others had fought Snowcone before, and we didn’t know what the man in armor was capable of…


“Fencer, let’s take down Snowcone. Bee, that guy is wearing metal armor. Shock him up!”


“Right,” both of the kids said.


As Raina ran towards Snowcone from a 45 degree angle, I pulled out Dot and Chewie, and fired at him.


“Wait, are those guns?” Snowcone asked, just before I shot him. When the bullets made contact with his chest, he reacted in as undignified a way as possible.


“Dear lord!” he said as he hunched over. “I thought putting on a costume meant I didn’t have to deal with guns,” he whined.


“Oh don’t be such a baby,” Raina mocked. “And seriously? Robbing a gas station? DId Lightning Bee and Queen really scare you off from places actually worth robbing?”


“Don’t judge me. I have bills to…” Fencer cut Snowcone off by jumping into the air and hitting him with a spinning back kick.”


Jogging over to Fencer, I asked, “Did that seriously take him down?”


“Yup,” Fencer answered. “He’s a huge pussy,” she whispered.


The news crew got closer to us, and I was within range to hear what the female reporter was saying.


“And just like that, the magnificent Fencer and Decker have defeated known ice villain Percival Howey. However, it seems that Lightning Bee is struggling against Percival’s new associate, who Channel 14 has coined, “Brown Ax.”


Hearing her, Raina and I turned around to see Brown Ax holding Carter with the blade of his weapon against Carter’s neck.


God damn it Carter, I thought while Dot and Chewie said it.


“Lightning Bee, he’s wearing metal armor,” Raina said. “How did you lose?”


“Well you see…” Carter started.


“That is irrelevant,” Brown Ax said. “If you wish for your teammate to survive, you will surrender, and allow both myself and my companion to escape with our money.”


“EEEEEEEEEE!” Carter squealed, generating electricity all around him.


I had to admit, I was pretty curious as to what his armor was made of that it didn’t conduct Carter’s lightning.

“Guys, would it be okay for me to ask him what his armor’s made of?” I whispered to my sisters.


Nah, just kill him, Chewie said.


I think it’d be an excellent learning experience, Dot answered in contrast.


I nodded, deciding to go with Dot’s advice. Not wanting to go straight for the kill though? Odd feeling.


“Fencer, Bee mentioned you have limited teleportation, right?”


“Yeah. Why?”


“I’m waiting,” Brown Ax growled, cutting slightly into Carter’s throat. Bee’s eyes squinted from the pain, but thankfully, he was able to keep his no doubt girlish screams on the inside.


“Get behind him,” I whispered to Raina. “I’ll keep him distracted, so you can use a flip on him, and get Bee out of harm’s way.”


“On it,” Raina said, disappearing.


“Where did she go?” Brown Ax asked, getting closer to me.


I had to make this feel casual. If he stayed on edge, he may be able to see Fencer coming.


“Oh, you know, she’s just a kid,” I started. “Probably just got scared and ran away.”


“How stupid do you think I am?” he asked, walking over to his stolen money. “I know perfectly well that she’s the one who took out Queen. She isn’t just gonna run.”


“Whatever you want to believe,” I said, raising my arm. “Say, what’s that armor made of? I’m not familiar with any metal that isn’t affected by electricity.”


“There isn’t any,” he responded. It was so annoying when people were purposely vague.


I’m not sure where exactly Fencer had teleported to, but she was now a few feet behind Brown Ax.


Before I could ask a follow up question, Carter, whose neck seemed to have mostly healed, said something.


“If you don’t mind me asking, why did you decide to become a supervillain?”


“It’s what I was born to do.”


Again with the vagueness. Back in my day, villains were straight with people.


Wait, what the Hell was I even thinking? “Back in my day?” Yeah, as if I actually remembered anything from when I wasn’t old.


Fencer reached Brown Ax and grabbed his shoulder as the first part of a flip, but before she could proceed, his head turned around 180 degrees and hit her with lasers from his eyes, blasting her back into a car.


“Fencer!” I shouted out of worry.


Brown Ax then took Carter and threw him up in the air. I shot at Ax with Dot and Chewie, but to no avail. As Carter came back down, the armor clad villain hit Carter with the blunt end of his ax, sending him flying into a different car than Raina had been. From where I was standing, they both appeared to be unconscious.


“You just saw that everyone,” the reporter said to the camera. “Bluejay City’s greatest heroes are being defeated by this new villain one by one, and now only Decker stands against him.”


He’d managed to take out Carter and Raina with one hit each. Unless Smog had been holding back in his previous encounters with us, which was a thought that may actually make going to the bathroom easier for me, Ax was stronger than him.


I couldn’t win.


With that thought in my mind, I gripped Dot and Chewie tightly.


You’re not giving up, are you Bro? Dot asked.


Of course he isn’t! Bro never gives up. Chewie said.

A couple months ago, yeah, I would have rushed right up to take this asshole down, with reckless abandon. But Erica…


…I couldn’t let any more of my sisters die.


Brown Ax put his weapon in a sheath on his back. Then, with one hand he picked up all of the money that Snowcone had been carrying, and with the other, he grabbed Snowcone by his shirt’s collar, and began dragging him off.


“Wait,” I said.


Ax turned his head around 180 degrees to look at me.


“Are you a demon?” I asked.


“No,” he answered.


“You a human?” If demons were real, then who knows what else he could be.


He gave an answer I really wasn’t hoping for.




“Well okay then,” I said, throwing down Dot and Chewie. “Then I can’t just let you get away.”


Bro, what are you doing?, Chewie asked.


I smiled.


“Making sure you guys don’t get hurt,” I said. “Now then, Brown Ax. Get set to get decked!”


Running towards Brown Ax, I heard the TV reporter say, “Did you get that? Tell me you got that.”If this dumb bitch knew what was good for her, she and her crew would be out of here.


Ax fired his eye lasers at me, but I was able to sidestep them. To throw off his aim, I did a dive roll towards him, allowing me to avoid his next attack. Now within range, I leaped up and uppercutted him.


It hurt like Hell, but it solidified a theory I had. The sound that was made when I hit him…the same sound you got when you hit something hollow.


He could turn his head around, he had incredible strength, and he could shoot lasers from his eyes, an overall odd power set, and he was immune to electricity.


“You were telling the truth,” I said, hopping back. “You’re not a human or a demon. You’re a machine.”


“Very perceptive,” Brown Ax said.


“Not gonna lie,” I said. “I’m kinda curious as to who could make not only a weaponized robot with artificial intelligence, but make it immune to electricity. Someone with super intelligence, right?”


“My creator is the smartest woman in the world. For this mission, I was designed to counter all three of your abilities.”


And that’s just what I was hoping he’d say.


“Tell me,” I said with a smile, backing up. “What do you know about me?”


He stood silent for a moment before answering.


“You are Decker. Super hero. Expert martial artist and marksman. Handicapped.”


“Yeah, that’s all pretty much true,” I said, backing up even further. “But do you know what knowledge about me you don’t have?”


“What?” Brown Ax asked.


I cackled loudly, pulling a stick of TNT out of my underwear.


“I’m fucking crazy!” I shouted, lighting the stick’s fuse with my lighter, and chucking it at the machine just before it went off so Brown Ax didn’t have the opportunity to blast it with his lasers.


And just as I’d hoped the TNT went off, and blew Brown Ax into a million pieces, metal and circuitry flying everywhere.


Snowcone, who was right by Brown Ax, got sent into the air as well, but aside from some burns, he looked to be alright.


I took a deep breath, glad that this fight was over.


On my way back over to my sisters, the news people came over to me.


“Mr. Decker,” the female reporter said. “Kat Roberts, Channel 14. Do you think foiling this robbery and defeating an evil robot will quell rumors that you’re your team’s weak link, or do you think the public will continue to be frightened by your weaponry?”


I leaned into the microphones surrounding me.


“No,” I said, deciding to be vague myself. The super hero celebrity thing was Raina’s gig. Me? I just wanted to check on my sisters, Carter, and Raina, and then head over to see the coolest person I knew.
Hopefully, there’d be peaches.

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