“Time to get what you deserve,” the Earth Group punk says to Amy as he holds her in his grip, so strong she can’t possibly escape.
He raises his broken glass bottle and gets ready to strike her dead.
But– he forgot one thing.
He forgot that I exist. He forgot, or maybe never knew, that I’m Morgan Harding, a superpowered hero who kicks ass and saves people.
And he forgot a lot more than that the moment my fist rocketed into his nose, knocking him out instantly and sending him careening onto the asphalt.
As soon as his grip on her is loose, Amy begins bolting away– but not before I grab her wrist and begin pulling her along with me. “Let’s get out of this,” I say.
“Let go of–” she cuts herself off and runs with me.
With the other punks in quick pursuit, we don’t have any option other than to flee. There’s only two ways we can go– down the road, or up it–so not much freedom of choice here. As long as my speed keeps up, there’s no way they’ll be able to catch up on us, other than–
In front of us, a glass bottle crashes onto the ground and explodes into fire. A molotov cocktail. And, probably more of them. We stop in our tracks and turn around to face the four conscious punks. They all have molotov cocktails at their belts, and weapons in their grips.
“Now you’re dead,” one of them says.
I let go of Amy. “No, none of us are dying tonight. But a few of us are going to have a fun ambulance ride ahead of us.”
“Yeah, we’re gonna beat you up!” Amy shouts.
“Tough talk for a two-timing bitch,” a punk says. “I don’t know why you shacked up with the Holos, Morgan Harding, but it’s the last mistake you ever made.”
“Morgan Harding…? Who’s that?” I ask.
The punks stop and look at each other. “Wait, that is Harding, right?” one asks.
“Yeah, don’t you remember, from the end of the gang war? Look, there’s the mole right there.”
I put my hand over my face. “You must be thinking about my cousin. My name is Tracy Silver. I have nothing to do with that weirdo.”
“Are you mocking us?” one asks.
“Morgan, you’re being really stupid in the middle of a life-and-death situation,” Amy says. “Why don’t you stop being an idiot and knock them all out?”
“Okay, okay, fine.” I groan and crack my knuckles. “Y’all about ready?”
“Just shut up already!”
“No can do.”
I step into the middle of them, right where all four of them could kill me if they wanted. They have assorted weapons on-hand, like switchblades, crowbars, PVC pipes, and chain whips. That kind of thing. If they really wanted to strike, they could. But now that I’m so close to all of them, there’s not much they can do without hurting each other. They’re holding back bigtime
“This isn’t the best way to kill me,” I say. “Why don’t you guys stop warming up and give me a real challenge?”
One punk stabs his knife at me, but I duck. I bob and weave like I’m a boxer in the world’s most rigged pay-per-view match, every movement just a second away from disaster. How long’s this gonna go? How long are they gonna keep this up?
I don’t even have to throw a punch, make a lunge, anything– they’re too stupid to spread themselves out, and I’m too fast to get hit.
And finally, the camel’s back breaks when the guy with the PVC pipe misses me and hits the guy with the knife, knocking the weapon out of his hand, and, in shock, stumbling back for one terrifying moment– one moment I take advantage of. “Whoops, messed up,” I tell them.
I leap into the air, kick one punk in the chest, pull my leg in, then kick the other. Both fall down. I land.
The other two drop their weapons and back off.
“You… you’re going to pay for this…!” one of the two yells.
“I doubt that. So, are we ready to negotiate now?” I ask.
I look to Amy, who– Hey, where’s she going?
Amy’s running away, going past the dying embers of the molotov cocktail explosion and away from the scene of the fight entirely. But I zoom by and catch up with her, grabbing her arm and pulling her back.
Her immediate reaction is, “C’mon! I didn’t know they were going to go that hard, alright!”
“I think you have some explaining to do, Amy,” I say.
The two remaining thugs start advancing again.
“Oh, come on, I thought we were done with this fight,” I say. “You were going to do that thing where you run away and it shows off how badass I am. You even dropped your weapons!”
“Come on, I’m taunting you. Surely you can taunt me back.”
Instead of replying with anything, they both attack me and I get a couple fists to my face. I have to duck to avoid getting completely pummeled–nobody wants that–and then I slide backwards and behind them.
An elbow to your face–
Then an elbow to your face–
Another elbow since you didn’t fall down–
And there we have it. A bunch of Earth Group gang members unconscious on the ground in the middle of Druid Hills.
Amy’s still there. I think the chaos of the moment shocked her too much to try and run away again. In fact, she’s practically in a daze right now. And for good reason.
These guys were trying to kill us. Flat-out murder.
This was no negotiation. This was a set-up. For me, mostly. But it looks like it may be true for the both of us.