Chapter 123

                “Look, you’ve heard people say stuff like ‘your whole body is a weapon’ right?”

                “Sure,” Roy replied.

                “Well, for pretty much everyone else, that’s horseshit,” Hank told him. “The human body is a big ole sack of tender organs and blood, barely protected by a skeleton that breaks at the slightest bit of force. There’s a reason people fight using specific limbs, and Supers with ranged abilities avoid even coming near their opponents: the human body is not a weapon. It’s the thing you’re trying to keep from getting wrecked by weapons.”

                “You said that was for everyone else.”

                “Pretty much everyone else, don’t get cocky.” Hank let out a protracted sigh to demonstrate his disapproval. “For people like you, the Supers who have enhanced endurance and strength at a high enough level, the saying holds a bit of truth. Since you’re hard to hurt and can hit like a truck, your entire body really can be thought of as a weapon.”

                “We covered this in Close Combat,” Roy said. “Knees, elbows, head, forearms, all of the body can be used as a weapon.”

                “See, you keep saying you understand, then telling me things that make it clear you don’t,” Hank snapped. “What you just listed to me was a bunch of body parts. I’m not telling you the parts are a weapon; I’m saying you are a weapon. One you’ve got fuck-all idea how to properly use, but I guess that’s what I’m supposed to fix.”

                “I… don’t think I get it,” Roy finally admitted. He was trying to follow Hank’s reasoning, he really was; it just refused to make any sense in his head.

                “You will soon,” Hank assured him. It was nice to see the egomaniac show a bit of humility on occasion. That, more than the understanding, was what Hank had been waiting for. “Come on, we’re going to go to bulls’ pens.”

                “Oh come on, I’m sorry I’m going slow but they ain’t due to be shoveled for hours.”

                “We’re not going for that, yet. I just want you to watch something with me. While I’m showing you all this, you need to keep one word constantly in mind.”

                “What’s that?” Roy asked.


*             *             *

                Standing on the roof, knowing there were Sims waiting below, Roy took a moment to collect his thoughts. This maneuver would take quick reflexes and split second action. He wouldn’t have another chance; this was his only shot of taking out the cluster in a surprise attack. If he got lucky, he might even be able to grab a guard or two before they scattered, but there was just no way he was getting out of this with low collateral damage. Strongmen didn’t work that way. This was the best he could do with his ability, and he was at peace with that.

                Or, at least, he would be if it worked.

                Taking a firm grip on his bat with his left hand and filling his lungs with a deep breath of air, Roy slowly spread his legs out and went into a crouched position. After checking the ceiling above him one last time, he pushed off of the roof with a generous amount of strength, what he hoped would be enough to close the distance without slamming him into the overhead concrete.

                His guess was good, but not perfect. Roy approached the ceiling too quickly, the dark barrier growing rapidly in his vision. If he struck before he got into position, he would tumble back to the roof in a ruckus and give away his location. He hurriedly rose through the air, desperately willing his body to listen to the panicked signals going to his brain.

                Had it not been for his constant training with Chad, being flipped and flung about, Roy wouldn’t have made it. All that practice had gotten him just a little bit more accustomed to maneuvering his body while in midair, and as a crash seemed unavoidable his reflexes finally kicked in. Roy did a half summersault forward and grinned from ear to ear as he felt the soles of his feet crash roughly into the concrete ceiling. This would certainly leave an imprint, but he didn’t care. Especially considering he’d already expected to leave a crater.

                As Roy’s legs contracted, the force of the jump finally dissipating, he looked below to make sure his target was still in sight. Not that it really mattered; at this point it would be impossible to make serious corrections. No, from here on out he was just going to have to play the cards as they fell.

                When Roy pushed off the ceiling, his second jump in a matter of instants, he didn’t use some of his strength, or a fair bit amount of his strength, or even a lot of his strength. Roy rocketed himself down toward the building with every ounce of power he could muster. The concrete under his feet shattered, sending fractures along the ceiling as he blasted back down toward the building, moving so quickly he barely had time to put his arms up in front of his face.

                The Roy shaped missile exploded through the roof, tore through the building’s flimsy protection, and slammed down into the hard stone floor of the central room, bringing down debris with him. A thin cloud of broken concrete dust filled the air, partially blinding the five already confused Sims that were rapidly trying to figure out what had just happened. One of the red-light Sims headed toward the smoky impact site, crackles of green electricity already rippling across its black metallic body.

                Quick as this one was, it didn’t manage to avoid the sudden rush of a dust-colored young man as he barreled out of the cloud. It did manage to let off as few blasts, easily enough to take any human and most Supers. Unfortunately for it, Roy Daniels was not most Supers. Those electricity coated arms were quickly snapped, along with its legs, and pulled around behind its back. It was still operational though, so it was able to watch as Roy fully emerged from the dirty cloud, now dented bat still in hand, and greeted the remainder of the Sims in the room.

                “I’m not sure if robots are capable of shitting themselves, but if so then now’s a great time to start.”

                With that warning delivered, he charged.