A Life in Transition 2
I've never been an aggressive person; never really understood the point of it. Life comes and goes no matter how intense you are and forcing outcomes always leads to sloppy results. To be fair, my lifestyle tends to prompt confrontation, and in some cases I'm directly responsible for causing it, but I don't go out of my way to hassle people. I don't shove my product up my clients noses, I don't murder the cops that are just doing their jobs, and I don't hurt the people I disagree with. That being said, I've never been known to walk away from a fight either, especially when the opponent refuses to leave me any reasonable alternatives.
I hate the feeling of being cornered, but that's where I was now. Maybe this vigilante had good intentions. Maybe he was trying to clean up the streets to protect his community. Maybe he even had love ones that he cared about. The problem with the word "maybe" is that it doesn't say much. I know I have people who depend on me and I can't help them behind bars. Tonight this fool was in my way, and he wouldn't step aside. He made it clear that only one of us was making it home tonight, and if it came down between me and him...I'd choose myself every time.
Off the bat I knew there was no time to mess around. The taskers were on their way and my ribs were killing me. If I moved around too much I could puncture a lung, if I didn't move enough I'd be on my ass and in cuffs. It was time to get creative.
I dipped my hands into the cosmic ring and dressed my hands in layers, like a deadly slick of cake. First came the space rocks that armored my fists. The next was the gases that rose in between the cracks. After that I cased the gas with another layer of comets. Finally, I ignited the gas with my pyrokinesis as soon as my fists left the ring, and viola, volcanic boxing gloves.
I could swear I saw Wind Duster gulp when I pulled out the gloves, but he mustered the nerves to charge at me. The wind behind his dash made him accelerate like a bullet train. It was very brave but also very dumb.
"Child's play!" I said aloud, whipping the cosmic ring at him like a giant tail.
"Isn't it?!" He agreed. Just then he sideflipped over of the ring's path an blasted an aeroball (like a fireball, but with wind instead) forward, knocking one of my legs from under me. My body bounce as I blasted the pavement to regain my balance, only to receive a boot to the face whilst I arose. Smug bastard.
Fortunately, this wasn't the first time I've been hit in the face. I rolled back to recover from the kick as he moved in with a heavy haymaker. The blue boy scout wasn't the best fighter, but the wind added weight to his strikes. I caught the power hook with one of my gloves and gut punched him with the other.
He winced in pain, partially from the body uppercut but mainly from the burns on his hand. I swept his feet from under him with the cosmic ring and prepared to finish him with a final punch. Before I could knock him out a powerful wind yanked me forward. I tripped over his kneeling body and faceplanted a few yards away.
"This isn't over yet, Splosion man!" I hear him yell out.
"Sweet burn. It almost matches the one on your hand." I retort. My trash talking could've be better, but hearing him growl let me know that I was getting to him.
He walked a few steps forward as I dusted myself off. "I wonder what the CBeeTeeFees will do with you once they get here." Wind Duster said in a cocky tone. I don't think he expected this to be so easy... but he was right. Fighting even with him wouldn't be enough if I wanted to ditch the taskers. I needed a win, badly.
I can hear the Sirens getting closer and noticed him clutch his ears. For a second it looked like he was mumbling to himself. Were the noises getting to him or was he did he know what really happened to carriers when they got caught? It couldn't be! No one who knew that would send other carriers back to that place.
I also noticed some tissue paper sticking out from his shirt, to add abs to his costume. This guy was f*ck'n mental!
In the following seconds it was like fate just cut me a break. I'm not sure what caused it to catch my attention... maybe desperation? But I noticed a small flicker of flame from the explosion I caused earlier, and my drug-filled bookbag next to my feet. Worth a shot... I thought, in a moment where bad ideas seemed to be the best ones left. I threw the small flame through the air at the costume idiot's seeping waist to catch him by surprise as I dug through my bag.
I patted my face with a hand full of stardust, inhaling the alien narcotic, while Duster desperately shook off the flames. It was a very risky move especially with stardust. Most carriers powers are typically linked to their nervous system. Stimulants like cocaine can boost the speed and strength of there powers, depressants like alcohol slowed or limit their powers, but Stardust could do either. Part of the reason my product is in such high demand is that each dose could vary in effects, like a drug Neapolitan. I could almost feel my heart burst and my pupils dilated. It was definitely a stimulant.
"JESUS CHRIST!!!" Wind Duster yelled, while applying the childhood lesson of stop, drop, and roll to fan out his blue arts and crafts project. As I ran forward, I began blasting at his rolling body, but as the smoke cleared all that remained was a single square of TP.
He teleported behind but his gasp for air gave away his position as I coiled my cosmic ring around his arms.
"Sh*t!" He cussed in shock as I reeled him in.
"This time I won't miss!" I grunted, before I lit him up with painful combos. The drugs made my gloves feel light as I continued to deliver vicious strikes. After about 30 punches I realized that I would have killed him if he wasn't a carrier. The layers of his costume were torched and was now only held together by a thin layer of threads.
"How's that for child's play!" I sneered, before I turned around. As I turned I saw a bright green light trace me, before turning red. It was a Goddamn CBTF Tracer! Crap! I forgot about them.
"FREEZE AND PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR! YOU'RE UNDER ARREST!"
"F*ck off!" I snickered. My cosmic ring smashed against the tasker and exploded his tracer. I could feel the adrenaline wearing off and knew I was about to experience withdrawals.
Think Nate, think! I used the flames from the explosion to slip through the tasker's battle suit. He screamed as the heat slowly cooked him in his armor, the burning alone wouldn't kill him but it would keep him out of commission long enough for me to escape.
I reached into my bag taking a drop of stardust out and sprinkled it over the wounded vigilante's face. Wind Duster coughed before jumping up. "What the hell did you do?"
"I just saved your life." Suddenly his wounds began to slowly heal. " We have to leave, now!"
"What's wrong?" I inquired.
"Lot's of CBTF officers sprinting, we need to get out of here!"
"I just said that!" Just how hard did I hit this guy?
He clutched my arm and teleported. When my eyelids fluttered open we both recognized the area as Niswander.
"I've never gone that far before." The blue hero muttered.
I instantly ran for my apartment.
"Where do you think going?"
I stopped running for a second, then turned around. "Home. Don't chase after me, we both know how that ends." I smirked before fleeing the area.
I continued sprinting for my loft but I could feel the drugs wearing me down. Stardust was highly addictive and made detox a nightmare for carriers. My ribs had begun to ache again as my sprinted decelerated into a drunken shuffle. I could feel the urge to use, but I knew what Yun would do to me if I dipped into his product any more than I already had.
My eyes were heavier as I managed to walk to my floor. I could tell I was close to the door but I bounced off each of my neighbors' doors. I fumbled with my keys until the lock twisted open but by then I was already at my limit. I remember feeling dizzy as I fell on the door. As I crashed to the floor I one terrifying realization crossed my mind as my final memory of the night. I had forgotten to pay off Yun.