Here’s my effort to get to the second day goal and stay on track. Everything’s a bit raw. I had an idea as well to write up a Freedom Squad Roll Call to insert at the beginning of the novel to help my reader keep track of things. I’m going to keep writing through the day, but I hope everyone’s doing well with the writing.
One thing that I like to tell myself is that Nanowrimo is won not on the days when I’m inspired and the words flow easily, but on the tough days when I only get 100 words done. So, if you are participating, remember that no matter who stuck you may feel at the moment, every little bit does help.
Good luck to all!
“Am I allowed to curse if I’m a member of Freedom Squad?” said Ion as he stared out of the cockpit of the Freedom Flyer into a scene of carnage.
Smoke poured from the super-powered wing of the jail and several massive walls had collapsed into a mountain of rubble. The scene resembled a bomb explosion.
“Ion, land us safely,” said Rigel. “We do what we can to contain the super-villains, but our first priority is saving lives. If any of you have to make a choice between a villain and a life, you save a life. Am I understood?”
“No worries,” answered Nightstar, who didn’t sound like he was trying to mock her. “But I see an old friend.”
A woman ran out of the rubble, her body gleaming as if it were made of gold, which of course, in her case, it was.
“That’s Golden Glory,” said Protector.
“Meet me on the ground,” said Nightstar, who whirled his blade and vanished.
“Wait!” shouted Rigel. “Nightstar!”
“He can’t hear you but you could mentally…” Ion stopped talking as he glanced over at Rigel. She didn’t appear to be in the mood to take advice. “I’m landing the Freedom Flyer.”
Meanwhile, Golden Glory, the former model and now maiden of metal, could see nothing ahead of her but freedom. She ran as fast as she could, wishing that she had superspeed to go with her near-invulnerability and super strength.
A crack of red and yellow appeared in the air in front of her. “Oh no…” she said. “Not him.”
Nightstar stood in front of her. “Remember me? I think the last time we saw each other you were helping Promethea and/or Dr. Inferno torture me. But, I’m the forgiving sort, so if you’d like to surrender now, I’ll make sure that you find a nice new cell where they serve three meals a day.”
“I have super-strength. Bullets bounce off of me. What are you going to do with your laser sword?”
Nightstar thrust his sword into her chest. She gasped and collapsed to her knees, eyes wide.
“It’s actually a psychic blade,” he explained, “it doesn’t do any physical harm. It does short-circuit minds fairly well. Basically, you go to…”
Golden Glory fell face first on the ground, unconscious.
“… sleep,” Nightstar finished.
“Look, a hero,” came a shout.
A bald man floated in the air toward Nightstar. An enormous lumbering, slavering semi-human creature built like an overzealous mess of claymation followed him.
“Okay,” said Nightstar, “I recognize Monstrosity there from the crime files, and you, based on your costume, must be… hmm, oh yes, the guy I’m putting back in prison next.”
“Fool!” sneered the floating man, “I am Super-Ego, the Master of the Mind!”
An invisible force clamped Nightstar’s arms to his sides, and he couldn’t expand his ribcage to breathe. His psychic blade flickered and vanished as pain disrupted his concentration. He wondered why he had been so stupid to rush off by himself like a rookie. It wasn’t like he needed to impress anyone.
“Rawrr!” snarled Monstrosity as he charged at Nightstar.
Nightstar closed his eyes behind his mirrorshades. This was going to hurt.
“Rawrupp??” shouted Monstrosity.
Nightstar opened his eyes in time to see the large humanoid flying through the air to smash into Super-Ego. Both men crashed to earth, but Monstrosity flew upward into the air again, hovering above Super-Ego before the super-villain discarded the creature with a gesture.
“He may be Nightstar, but he’s a member of Freedom Squad,” said Rigel.
She landed between Nightstar and Super-Ego, her cape billowing behind her as the stars on her blue costume nearly seemed to glow. The invisible force that had pinned Nightstar’s arms was gone.
“I am Super-Ego, Master of the Mind. You have made a terrible mistake,” he said to Rigel, “Freedom Squad? I’ve never heard of you. Out of my way, little girl, and I will let you live.”
Rigel and Super-Ego had locked gazes, and though Nightstar couldn’t see anything, he knew that a war was raging between the two. He took a breath. He wasn’t going to let Rigel lose that war. He re-ignited his psychic blade.
Monstrosity stood with a roar, but Rockslide was now rumbling toward the creature. Stone clashed with flesh as the two powerhouses rained blow after blow upon each other. The ground trembled.
A charge filled the air. A bolt of lightning struck Super-Ego then crossed with an arc to Monstrosity. The self-proclaimed Master of the Mind collapsed. Monstrosity roared louder as Rockslide continued to pound him.
“Well,” Ion said, running up to Nightstar, “Batting .500 isn’t bad, right?”
Rockslide and Monstrosity traded yet more seismic blows. Nightstar thought he felt another set of tremors that couldn’t be explained by either Rockslide or Monstrosity.
Mental commands echoed from Rigel. “Nightstar, Ion, there are people trapped under those walls. I’m going to help them. Nightstar, help Rockslide. Ion, Protector needs you through the broken wall to our left. I’ll join as soon as I can.”
With that, Rigel flew into the air, carried aloft by her own telekinesis. She landed near a huge wall, reached out with her right hand and slowly the mass of concrete, reinforced with titanium steel and who knew what else, rose into the air.
“Okay, maybe I am trying to impress someone,” muttered Nightstar.
“What was that?” asked Ion.
“Nothing,” said Nightstar, “Go help Protector.”
Ion raced off. He was certainly fast, but he didn’t have the speed to compete with a real speedster like Sprynt of the super-powered mercenary organization Wildside. He was started to get worried. There were a lot of villains imprisoned here. He paused as he entered the corridor through the very thick, but very shattered wall and pulled out his communicator, activating its cell phone feature. He vaguely wondered what was powerful enough to shatter a wall that thick.
“Is this Wildside, Inc.? How much do you charge to stop for a full scale super-prison break?” Ion asked.
“I’m sorry, sir, who are you with?” came a voice on the other line.
“Don’t try and stop me, hero,” shouted a woman.
Ion hung up the communicator. It had seemed like a decent idea to hire help, and a speedster like Sprynt might have made it here in time to assist. Of course, the woman who had shouted at him probably had ruined her chance to escape. He could hear a loud clanging sound coming from the opposite end of the corridor.
“Who are you?” Ion asked. “I’m Ion of Freedom Squad, by the way. I’m probably the most powerful superhero that you’ve never heard of and I can move at lightspeed.”
The woman had a guard trapped in a headlock and based on the way the man’s eyes were rolled back in his head and the white foam at his mouth, Ion guessed that she had some type of toxic touch. Still, her eyes widened. “You move at lightspeed?” she said with more than a hint of fear.
She looked at her hostage, and Ion could see her weighing her options of reacting faster than someone who could move at lightspeed. He decided to blast her in the legs. She stiffened and fell as if she had been hit with a super-powered taser. Which made sense to Ion, as he kinda was a super-powered taser.
“Oh, by the way, just for fact-checking purposes, I can’t really move at lightspeed, but my electrical bolts do,” Ion said to the unconscious villainess. She looked like she was okay, unconscious, but okay. Ion decided that he wasn’t going to chance touching her.
Ion checked on the guard. “Can you speak?”
“Unh,” moaned the man.
Ion checked the guard’s belt and retrieved a set of neutralizer cuffs. He quickly and carefully clamped them on the woman. Another guard, a short middle-aged black woman, ran up. “I’ll help him. You’ve got to get down there.” She pointed in the direction of the clanging.
“What’s going on?” Ion asked.
“It’s Uberdude, the eco-terrorist surfer. He’s mentally unstable from the chemicals that gave him his superpowers. He’s the third strongest prisoner in the facility, and he’s loose. Even the heavy energy beams can’t stop him.”
“So, where’s Protector?”
“That’s who’s stopping him.”
“Protector?” asked Ion.
“Did you get concussed? Yes, Protector, and I bet he’s going to need your help,” she said.
Ion stood and activated his communicator. “This is Ion, I may need some reinforcements in a minute. Protector’s taking on some guy called Uberdude. Just wanted everyone to know.”
Outside, Nightstar’s psychic blade had given Rockslide the upper hand on Monstrosity, and the enormous mutant lay barely moving on the ground. In the meantime, both heroes had encountered more than their fair share of potential escapees. Without their costumes, Nightstar had no idea who he was fighting, but the shock of the psychic blade wasn’t going to kill anyone, so he gave all of them an equal opportunity to be struck down.
Rigel heard Ion’s message, and for the moment, she thought she had rescued everyone trapped in the rubble. Several guards rushed past her. Based on the number of flashing red and blue lights and police now on the scene, it seemed the authorities were establishing control.
“Rigel,” came a woman’s voice over her communicator. “This is Agent Stacy King of Homeland Security’s Ultra Division. Where do you need reinforcements?”
Rigel answered. “I’m not sure. It’s a bit chaotic. Something about a lot of super-villains escaping. My team is doing everything we can, but I’d say any reinforcements would be appreciated.”
Cori looked over and saw Rockslide backing almost a dozen prisoners up against one of the prison’s still standing walls. For his part, Nightstar was engaging three prisoners, one of whom was wreathed in glowing green lights. The glowing green prisoner threw a globe of energy at Nightstar, but he blocked it with his psychic blade, discharging it with a popping noise. Unfortunately, one of the other prisoners performed an impressive flying kick at him from the opposite side, knocking Nightstar to the ground. The third prisoner decided to make a run for it.
“Oh, I don’t think so,” said Rigel under her breath. She was tired, having used most of her energy to lift walls and battle with Super-Ego, but she wasn’t about to have her team go down. She fired a mental bolt at the martial artist, sending him to sleep almost as quickly as Nightstar’s blade would have. She then gestured and telekinetically grabbed the green globe guy, lifting him up into the air before dropping him. She gave him a slight mid-fall adjustment to make sure he wouldn’t break his neck. The escaping prisoner ran into a group of police, stopped and raised his hands.
Nightstar started getting to his feet. She projected her thoughts, “Nightstar, how are you?”
He thought back, “I’ll be fine once my eyes decide they want to work again.”
She started running toward the section where Protector and Ion were. “I’m going to help the others.”
It didn’t take long to reach them. Rigel saw Ion standing behind Protector while a unshaven man with shoulder-length blond locks wearily punched Protector’s shield. Ion fired an electrical bolt.
“Dude,” said the unshaven man, “your shock treatment can’t hurt me. I told you. I’m Uberdude. But will you guys please drop the shield. I won’t even hit you any. I just want to get out and be free. You know, I was trying to save the grass and the trees and get rid of microplastic in the oceans. The world would, like, be so much better without factories and stuff.”
“Don’t drop the shield,” said Ion to Protector. “My electrical blasts are barely tickling this guy.”
“Don’t worry,” said Protector, “I wasn’t going to.” He then spoke to Uberdude, “Sir, I’m going to ask you to surrender again.”
Uberdude bent over to take a few breaths. He seemed to have exhausted himself beating on Protector’s shield. “Like, can we have a time-out here?” Uberdude asked, “I need a moment.”
Rigel concentrated and released a telepathic blast. Uberdude staggered and then fell over.
“What happened?” said Ion.
Rigel walked up behind them, trying to keep from shaking. She barely had anything left. “His mind wasn’t as strong as his body.”
Ion shrugged. “Well, when you say it like that, it seems pretty obvious.”