Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Thrillseeker, Part 1

                Wayne nervously brushed the pink fringe out of his eyes. He really needed a haircut. But he also really needed to focus on what he was doing here. He looked at all the people staring back at him, regretting his hasty acceptance of his new position as the volunteer leader. He did have the most experience, he supposed—most of the people in the room were first-time volunteers—but always with the heavy lifting. He barely had any idea what he was doing as a leader or organizer.
                “So, uh, thank you for getting here on time,” he said awkwardly, “I’m Wayne Ko and I’m—“
                “Mighty Mite,” said a voice from the doorway.
                “Huh?” said Wayne in surprise, turning to the door. He saw a tall, muscular woman with a smooth sheet of blonde hair that fell almost to her waist. She was dressed in a ridiculous red, white, and blue jumpsuit with white gloves, leather boots with a short heel, and a sturdy helmet with blue and red stars.
                Or at least, that’s who everybody else saw. Wayne himself mostly saw the heel of her boot as she entered the room with a flying kick to his jaw.

                Wayne grunted and staggered back, but he didn’t fall. He glared at the woman, who grinned back at him. “Heya kid!” she said as if it were just a friendly introduction, “I’m Thrillseeker! You’ve hear of me, I’m sure.” She twirled and aimed another kick at Wayne, but he dodged and rolled to the side.
                “What the Hell!?” demanded a man from the group. He struggled for a moment to get up out of the school desk far too small for him and approached Thrillseeker. “Who the Hell are you starting a fight with a kid half your size? Leave him alone and take me on if you want a fight, bitch!”
                Thrillseeker looked perplexed for a moment, then grinned wickedly. “Is this dude for real? Sugar, why don’t you just sit back down and watch the show?”
                “George, get back!” agreed a young woman with red hair, reaching out to grab her friend, “she hurt Wayne!”
                “And that’s why I’m taking her down!” he roared, leaping at Thrillseeker.
                “Well okay then!” she said brightly. She stepped back, easily avoiding George’s lunge. She clipped him on the shoulder, stopping him in his tracks, and followed up with a mighty kick to his gut that launched him over three rows of desks.
                “George!” shouted the redhead, running after him while Thrillseeker cackled with glee.
                “Sweetie, you think I was joking when I called him ‘Mighty Mite’? Not like the li’l guy has a secret identity or nothin’!”
                “There was no reason to do that!” shouted Wayne angrily, moving slowly around his foe and analyzing her stance.
                “What, I was gonna let him hit me? I’m not a gentle giant like you.” Her face split into a ridiculous grin again and she howled with laughter: “I guess you’re more like a gentle gnome, though, huh?”
                Mighty Mite suddenly sprang into the air, catching almost everybody in the room by surprise. He flipped over Thrillseeker’s head, but as he came down behind her she had already turned on the spot. Her foot shot up as he came down, missing him by inches. And then it slammed back down with incredible force in a vicious axe kick, driving him into the floor so hard that the room shook and he bounced twice.
                “Aw, Shortstack, you may be strong enough to throw your own body around, but you’re light enough that I can do it too!”
                “That’s… that’s nothing…” said Mighty Mite, wincing as he pushed himself up off the floor, “compared to how I can toss you around.”
                He took a moment to clear his head as Thrillseeker watched, grinning, then he charged at her, throwing a wild haymaker.
                “Heh, nice try Pipsqueak!” she crowed, imitating his move and flipping over his own head, “but that only works if you can actually hit me!” She landed behind him and shoved him forward, adding just enough force to his already barely-controlled strength that she smashed into the blackboard. It cracked as his fist plunged through it and straight into the wall. “And we already know I can both hit and hurt you.”
                Thrillseeker hit Mighty Mite with several more jabs before he managed to pull his arm loose without doing further damage to the school wall, although they seemed more intended to rile him up than to do any real harm. He turned and faced her, taking a deep breath and raising his arms defensively. He had heard of her. She was perhaps not really a villain, but she was a braggart who did nothing but show off. She found these challenges for herself, frequently picking fights with the strongest superheroes around. And sometimes villains, but she was more careful with them since they were far more likely to deliver brutal attacks that could cripple or kill. For all of her boasts, she liked to fight people who she knew would hold back against her.
                But that didn’t change the fact that she did have the skills to back up the bravado, despite having no powers of her own. She was right, after all. She had managed to hurt him, which was something that most people couldn’t do. He was going to have to be careful and focus if he wanted to win this fight.
                He threw a few tentative jabs of his own, to keep her on guard. He scanned the people in the room. Thrillseeker was all about showmanship, he knew there had to be a camera around. Unfortunately, none of them had fled the room. Other than George and his friend, they all seemed rooted in their seats, staring at the fight. None of them immediately stood out—and he knew he didn’t have time to look them over carefully without giving Thrillseeker an opening.

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