Insomania

Previous Entry here. An ongoing continuation of continuations.

 

“I can’t sleep,” said Evan.

“Why not?” asked James.

“Because I think you’re friend up there is eating through the ropes again,” said Evan. James unplugged his stun gun from the wall socket and shot the Zilorean Death Worm, knocking it out.

It had taken over three hours; three hours of running, hiding, shooting and screaming, but eventually the three of them had managed to trap the creature in a makeshift net that they’d kludged from one of James’ net-bola guns. Squatting in a vacant loft near Pioneer Square, they had strung the creature up so that it hung ever so precariously from the ceiling.

Exhausted, Evan, James and Mallory decided to rest for a bit until they could figure out what their next move was. They slept in shifts because they worried the Death Worm would wriggle through its restraints and eat them all. Naturally, this made sleep difficult for them. Well, except for Mallory. She was out like a light, sleeping in her marble form, though she didn’t need to breathe so it looked like she was lying dead on the floor.

“How does she do it?” James asked.

“Seriously. She’s sleeping like a rock,” said Evan.

“Heh heh. Rock,” said James.

They were silent for a spell. Nothing but the sound of a light drizzle hitting the windows and the subtle creaking of the rope restraints as the Death Worm swung back and forth to keep them company.

“God, look at him. What the hell did Martin do to himself?” Evan asked.

“Dunno. Looks like a quick job though. Cheap, not very well tested. Something only a desperate person would consider,” said James.

“Must have been to get something called a Death Worm stuck in you,” said Evan.

“This kind of thing is happening more and more lately. Superpowers are so easy to get now if you know where to go, who to talk to,” said James.

“Superpowered gangs are making a comeback too,” said Evan.

“I heard. You seen Chicago lately?” James asked.

“Shyeah. Could you imagine if we’d gotten our start there?” asked Evan.

“Yikes. We would have been so dead,” said James.

“Except for Mal. She would have been fine,” said Evan.

“Smarter than both of us combined,” said James.

“Aren’t you technically a genius?” asked Evan.

“She’s still smarter than me. I’m basically a kid trapped in a twenty-one-year-old body,” said James.

“Could you imagine if that were literally the case?” asked Evan.

“Ha ha, yeah. I used to think that would have been the coolest thing but now that I’m actually on this side of the equation it sounds terrifying,” said James.

“Didn’t that happen to what’s his face? That kid who was struck by lightning and became an adult with superpowers a year or two ago?” Evan asked.

“Oh, you mean Spectacular Man?” James replied.

“Yeah! What’s that guy up to these days?” Evan asked.

“He’s dead.”

“Oh.”

Silence again. About an hour’s worth.

“How’s the wrist?” James finally asked.

“Hurts. Wish I had an ice pack or something,” said Evan.

“Whoever put this bounty on our heads is so getting punched,” said James.

“Why stop there? They need to get punched, slapped, kicked, bitten, and farted on,” said Evan.

“Woop, there he goes again,” said James, shooting the Death Worm as it twitched to life. “This is so not my wheelhouse. This whole… assassin/bounty hunter thing. I do science and the weird and mysterious, not mercenaries. It’s just too real for me.”

“Tell me about it,” said Evan.

“Wait, you deal with gritty, grimy street-level crooks and thugs don’t you?” James asked.

“Yeah, but most of the time they aren’t powered or specifically targeting me for monetary gain. This is way more high speed than what I usually deal with,” said Evan.

“What about Mallory? What’s she been up to lately?” James asked.

“Corruption, corporate mostly,” she said.

“Whoa! Didn’t know you were awake,” said James.

“Have been for a minute or two. Anyway, corporations have been getting away with a lot lately. I don’t know why, but the last big economic crash seems to have emboldened them. Guys like Mr. Smoke aren’t as uncommon as they used to be,” said Mallory.

“What the hell. It’s bad enough that they dump industrial waste into poor neighborhoods but genetic experimentation? That’s, like, against the Geneva Convention,” said Evan.

“There are a lot of things corporations do that are against the Geneva Convention,” said Mallory.

“That’s depressing. Here we are trying to do good things and make a difference and yet most of the time all we do is help police state enthusiasts keep minorities down,” said Evan.

“You gotta go anti-corporate. Most of the guys you end up taking down are white and pasty as hell,” said Mallory.

“I’ll consider it,” said Evan.

“How’s it going on the search?” Mallory asked.

“Let me see,” James said, slipping his super helmet on. “Still running. Martin lived pretty deep in the dark net. Guy didn’t even use bit coins. It’s all pseudo-crypto currency as far as the eye can see.”

“Both of these jackalopes knew us in way or another, or at least fought us before. I wonder if that’s deliberate,” said Evan.

“Getting paid for revenge is motive enough,” said Mallory.

“I don’t know. My gut keeps telling me there’s more to it than that. This feels personal. Especially that creepy forum where they were trying to figure out who we were,” said Evan.

“Luckily that one hasn’t gotten much traffic,” said James.

“That’s good,” said Evan.

The first rays of morning began to pierce the overcast sky.

“So tired, yet so not able to sleep,” said James.

“We should get moving soon and find another place to lay low,” said Evan.

“Okay, just give me a sec to stun the Death Worm Formally Known As Martin,” said James. He aimed and fired. The stun gun made a clicking sound. “Uh oh.”

“What uh oh? What’s wrong?” Mallory asked.

“I’m out of juice. I forgot to plug it back in earlier,” said James.

“You have got to be kidding me,” Evan said as the sound of snapping jaws and stretching tendons filled the room.

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