8FOLD/PREVIEW: Excerpt from Cal Plus Raidne # 1
hollandspiele2 at gmail.com
Sat Jul 3 15:04:15 PDT 2021
PREVIEW: CAL PLUS RAIDNE
I am hard at work at the next batch of 8FOLD stories, but it's gonna
be a while before anything is ready to post. That said, I thought I'd
share a very short little action sequence I wrote this morning, which
will feature in the first issue of Cal Morgan's ongoing, CAL PLUS
------- ME AND MY MUTUALS ------------------
Cal Morgan, THE MIGHTY INCH, age 18. They/them.
It's me! Only an inch tall! So tiny! Good at punching! So mighty! I'm
pretty okay, mostly.
Raidne, age N/A. She/her.
A.I. that lives in my suit! She's funny, and smart, and sexy, and 101%
awesome. Plus she's in love with me for some reason! I don't get it
either, but I'll take it!
Lily Green, THE LIVING UWU, age 26. She/her.
Marxist catgirl (but not that kind of catgirl). Extremely online.
Makes you feel kinda warm and fuzzy all over.
Lola Brodeur, DUST DEVIL, age 23. She/her.
Cyborg who does cyclone stuff. Human head on a super-spindly body with
like these thin metal tubes for limbs. Kinda weirds me out to be
honest, but Raidne pointed out that that's really ableist of me so I'm
trying to work on that.
Peter Sampson, FAHRENHEIT MAN, age 33. He/him.
Oh look at me, I'm Fahrenheit Man, I'm a big dork who is on fire all
the time, and also my wife is a rock star who hit Cal with a shrink
ray and ruined their life, what, no, I'm not bitter what are you
Work is a welcome distraction. Today, Cal and Raidne are leading a
squad – Lily, Lola, and Peter – against the Palette Pack. Cal's team
intercepts the monochromatic marauders as they're scurrying through a
hole they blew in the Lighthouse.
"Three against three," muses Red Phantom as he readies one of his
terror blasts (fists crackling with crimson light and shadow). "You
should've brought more."
"Five of us, jackass," Cal mutters under their breath. But only
their own team can hear it. "Lola, Peter, from above. Lily, keep them
occupied while I circle around."
With both hands, Lily hoists her ban-hammer over her head, bringing
it down to the earth with a tremendous crack. Though Cal is several
yards away, the impact is enough that it sends them sprawling in the
dirt. "Trying to walk here," Cal grumbles.
"Sowwy," says Lily.
Lily's hammer had also sent Yellow Streak tumbling. This gives Lola
an opening; the French cyborg tornado-twists toward the fallen
speedster. But just before Lola can close the distance, Blue Shield
protects his brother with a makeshift barrier of rubble.
Telekinetically, he helps Yellow Streak to his feet, then passes
him the stolen tech. "Get moving, baby brother," Blue Shield says
gruffly. "Me and Red can handle this."
Cal pipes in to Peter's earpiece. "Don't let him leave the party.
But remember, we have to take him out last."
Fahrenheit Man nods, deftly avoiding Red Phantom's terror blasts
while drawing a circle of flame around Yellow Streak. Streak's top
speed is only about sixty miles an hour – a slowpoke compared to other
"Trapped here, guys," Yellow Streak calls out.
Blue Shield uproots an oak with his mind, throwing it at Lily (Lola
scoops her up just in time). "Just run through it."
"Run through it! It's like a thousand degrees!"
"Couple thousand, actually," says Peter. "Wouldn't recommend it."
"Didn't ask you," barks Blue Shield. He uproots another tree,
knocking Lola out of the sky.
"Um," says Lily in freefall.
"Peter," says Cal.
"On it," says Peter as he catches Lily.
Yellow Streak is still trapped. "If you move fast enough, you won't
get burned," says Blue Shield. "Now go!"
"Enough of this," says Red Phantom, casually terror-blasting his
brother in the back. Crippled by eldritch dread, Yellow Streak falls
to the ground, unconscious. His suit dips to gray.
Which means of course that his brothers' suits take on secondary
colors. Green Shield stares at his brother's body, horrified.
"He'll live," says Orange Phantom. "Shield, pick up the baton,
finish the race."
Green Shield uses his brother's speed to make a beeline for the
circle of flames, while his own telekinesis deflects Peter's fireballs
and Lily's glitter bombs. Orange Phantom, now with a speedster's
reflexes and metabolism, unleashes a series of now orange-hued terror
blasts. Lily barely manages to dodge, but Peter isn't so lucky.
One speedster is dangerous, but two is something else entirely.
This is why Cal wanted to take him out first. "Lola, you on your feet
"More or less." She dips into the circle of flame and out again,
retrieving the parcel.
"Not so fast," says Green Shield. He points with his fingers at
Lola's mechanical body. Her graceful, sinuous flight becomes heavy and
lilting as he attempts to telekinetically bring her to the ground. It
takes everything she has to fight it.
"You're tenacious, I'll give you that," he admits through gritted
teeth. "But now I'm giving you my full attention."
He can do this because his brother's blasts force Lily to keep her
distance. Not for long, though; Cal has finally reached Orange
Phantom. "Time for the ankle-biter." They stick a paralydisc on each
of his meaty calves. "Ready, hon?"
"Of course, darling," says Raidne as she turns them on. The
electric shock is enough to quietly knock him out.
The struggle with Lola is so fierce that Brown Shield doesn't
notice his costume's change of color, nor the terror crackle now
coursing through his own veins, nor the Marxist catgirl who is
sneaking up behind him with a ginormous hammer. Bonk!
COPYRIGHT 2021 AMABEL HOLLAND.
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