[MISC] Thunderclap #2 - Little Steps

rickhindle at gmail.com rickhindle at gmail.com
Sat Oct 14 20:39:57 PDT 2006

[cover shows Thunderclap surrounded by a number of supervillains; our
intrepid hero is saying "Bring It"]

#2 - Little Steps
by Rick Hindle

	The First Bank of Pinnacle City sat  at the foot of the Tide Street
Bridge on the Old Town side.  Built of brick and mortar, the
three-story building had survived multiple wars and multiple attempts
by superhumans to destroy it.  Over the years, the bank's management
had continually reinforced the brick facade with cutting edge
technology.  It had resulted in a nearly three foot thick brick wall on
all sides, with nearly indestructible Redinium layered within.
	In all tested theories, the bank would withstand anything thrown at
it.  Except maybe for a sustained concussive blast that equaled three
atomic bombs.
	He laughed as he walked amongst the ruins of the bank.  The vault's
door hung on its lower hinge.  Bodies were strewn everywhere from the
force of the blast.  Later on, a crime scene investigator with fifteen
years of experience would admit it was the most gruesome site he had
ever encountered.
	"Well, there's always a first time for everything," the man said
gleefully as he read a sign over the teller's counter that boasted that
the First Bank had never been robbed.
	"Are you sure today's the day?" a voice asked from behind him.
Turning quickly, the superhuman known as Powerhammer raised one of his
powerful gauntlets.
	He recognized the other person.  Tall, strong, wearing a black suit
with red trim.  No cape, but a simple theatrical mask on his face.
What gave it all away was the small lightning bolt over the heart.  He
had blond hair, but no eyes, it seemed - they were covered by
something in the mask.  "I thought you were dead," Powerhammer
	"Not today," Thunderclap replied.  He walked forward, slowly,
menacingly.  The man behind the mask was hoping that Powerhammer would
surrender just with this walk.  The petty criminals that he had stopped
over last couple of weeks took one look at him and ran.
	Not today.
	Powerhammer did not add a witty response, nor did he pause as he
unleashed a burst of energy from his right gauntlet.  Thunderclap
dodged the blast, which whipped through the giant hole in the wall and
destroyed a car on the street.
	"You move quickly," Powerhammer said with a wry smile.
	"Maybe you should work on that trick," Thunderclap responded
before clapping his two large hands together.  The burst of energy that
was put forth surprised Thunderclap.  However, it was not for the
reasons he was hoping for.
	It was a pitiful burst that fell well short of Powerhammer. "Work on
what trick?" the supervillain responded.  He walked forward with
care.  "I take leaks that have more power then that."
	Powerhammer now stood face to face with Thunderclap.  The villain
feinted with his right side and threw a gauntlet-assisted punch that
landed squarely on Thunderclap's head.  Our hero's head snapped to the
left, the rest of his body followed.  The punch was so strong that
Thunderclap was actually lifted off of the ground.
	Powerhammer chuckled and then turned back to the vault.  "I'm in the
money," he quietly sang to himself.
	Stacks of bills sat quietly in the vault, awaiting his greedy fingers.
 "Money, money, mon-ey," he now sang at the top of his longs.
	With a wide smile on his face, Powerhammer picked up a bank bag and
began to fill it with bills.  "Money, so they say..." a voice said
in Powerhammer's ear.
	He stopped, dropping the money bag.  He was standing straight up now,
his eyes wide with fear.
	"...Is the root of all evil today," Thunderclap finished.  He
grabbed Powerhammer by the left shoulder and wheeled him around.
Before the bank robber could defend himself, Thunderclap punched him
hard in the face.  He fell over quickly.
	"That's a trick you should learn," our hero said.  The sounds of a
group of policemen rushing into the building came up behind him.
	"Freeze!" a cop shouted.  Thunderclap followed their orders -
never once had he heard his father ever fighting with cops.  "Let's
see your hands.  All right, turn around slowly.  That's it.  Come on,
nice and...holy-"
	The cop's jaw hit the floor.  Thunderclap gave a slight smile, the
left corner of his mouth slowly inching up.
	"But you're-" the cop was stammering.
	"Thunderclap," came the simple reply.
	"Delano, what's the-" Captain Mike Cesar had been with the
Pinnacle City Police Department for twenty-two years.  He had done
clear up work on superhuman battles for most of the time.  That's why,
when an opening had come up in the Superhuman Crime Bureau, he had
quickly been snatched up.  Cesar stopped short, however, when he saw
	"Wait a second, you're dead," Cesar told the hero.
	Thunderclap's smile did not drop.  "Not today, I'm not."
	"Not today, what type of...what?" Cesar was dumbstruck.  He was so
sure that Thunderclap was dead.  Heck, Cesar reminded himself, he had
seen the ambulance with Thunderclap pull away after the battle with
Rosaria.  But now, only three and a half weeks later, he was
Thunderclap.  In the flesh.
	"Don't worry, Chief, I'm still here," Thunderclap stated as he
walked forward, past Cesar and his officers and smoothly flew out of
the opening in the bank.
	"Can you believe that?" Delano asked Cesar.
	The captain chewed the inside of his lower lip. "Not for a
second," without missing a beat, he looked around. "What are you
guys standing around for.  Get a containment unit in here.  I want
those gloves off of Powerhammer and him into central booking.  Let's
go.  Now, now, now!"

* * *

	I still don't know when Tommy walked into my apartment.  It was a day
of big mistakes on my part - how I handled Powerhammer and how my
best friend discovered that I was a superhero.
	In the hours that followed my return to my place in Tanner Heights, I
sat in my 'suit', just icing my face.  I ran through every move, every
punch multiple times, trying to figure out what I could have done
differently.  Obviously, the fact that the move that gave name to
Thunderclap, didn't work.
	I pondered that question, more then anything else.  Dad had used that
move so many times that I had it ingrained in my head how to accomplish
it.  It was simple, wasn't it?  All I had to do was bring my hands
together really hard and the subsequent impact would create a burst of
energy that could knock someone over.
	But why wasn't it working?  I had the ability to fly like him, I knew
I was getting stronger.  Heck, a normal person would've been knocked
out cold by Powerhammer's punch.  But why couldn't I do everything that
Dad could do?
	The phone rang.  It was Mom.  We'd talked a few times in the last
couple of weeks, but I'd been trying to avoid her for various reasons
while I began to work out the kinks of being Thunderclap.
	"Did you see the news?" she asked.
	"You know that stuff depresses me," I replied.  I knew what she
was going to ask.
	"There's a new guy calling himself Thunderclap out there," she
informed me. "He's almost like a copy of your father."
	"What?  Are you kidding me?"
	Mom was silent for a moment. "I wonder if the Clone King ever copied
your father?"
	"The Clone King, Mom?" She was definitely going back now.  I
remembered hearing stories about Dad fighting the Clone King when I was
a little kid.
	"Yeah.  A mad geneticist who tried to take over the United Nations
by kidnapping and cloning some of the leaders."
	"I should see if your father wrote anything in his diaries about
	"Dad kept diaries?"  This could be good.  Maybe Dad left some
hints to his abilities in these diaries.
	"Oh yes," Mom responded, "I can't believe he never showed you.
There's a bunch of them, just filled with his observations and
	My jaw was just hanging open at this point. "How far do they go
	Mom considered the question for a moment. "Oh, pretty far back, if I
recall.  He's probably got stuff about his first experiences as
	"Is it all right if I came over and looked through them?"
	"Of course you can, sweetheart.  I think it would be good for
	"So do I, Mom.  I'll be over tomorrow and we'll look through them.
That cool?"
	"Sounds good.  I'll see you tomorrow Clay."
	"Bye, Mom.  Love you."
	"Aww.  I love you -" Tommy said as he walked into the room.
	I hung up on Mom before she could respond.
	"Tommy," I said plainly.  My heart was pounding, my mouth went
	"Tommy, stop.  I can explain," I told him.  How could I explain
	"You're...no way..."
	I walked over and closed the door.  He was still staring at me.  His
big brown eyes wide.
	"Dude, you're Thunderclap!" he finally exclaimed.  "This is
freakin' awesome."
	"Dude, Tommy," I said, putting my hands onto his shoulders,
"Listen, you can't tell anybody.  Not even Suzie.  Anyone.
	"But you're Thunderclap, bro."
	"Yeah, and that's why you can't tell anyone.  If anyone who hates
Thunderclap found out you know me, they'll come after you."
	Tommy sobered up.  "Really?"
	"Damn."  He looked at the ground.  "But you're Thunderclap."
	"Yeah.  I am."
	He smiled.  A big, broad, almost childlike smile.  "Sweet."
	"Sweet," I responded, but almost immediately, I regretted it.

* * * Fin * * *

Author's Notes: I do apologize a bit for the way I changed the
point-of-view from third to first person, but I decided that it was
necessary - I have a bit of a problem writing a good action scene from
the first person (something I do need to work on).

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