Wednesday 23 October 2013

Power Squad!: From Henchforth

Now, your life does not absolutely depend on it, but I suggest you read the first installment of Power Squad! by clicking here.
If you have already, then jump right in!

NOBODY MOVE! This is a stick up!!”
The customers inside the bank took one nonchalant look at Chanda and then continued about their business. Chanda was baffled. Surely the mask he had crafted by cutting eye-holes into the oversized head-sock his grandma had given him last Christmas was menacing. It may have been bright and multi-coloured, but everyone knew that masks were meant to be menacing, didn’t they?
“I said, NOBODY MOVE!! This is a friggin’ stick—”
“Allo, boyi, this isn’t the time or the place for that nonsense.”
Chanda looked back to put a face to the voice that had interrupted him. The large security guard before him towered about 7 nephilim feet over him.
 His muscles bulged and stretched the fabric of his uniform shirt so tightly that if one of his buttons shot free, it could have taken somebody’s eye out. He was clutching a baton in his huge right hand and kept smacking it against his left palm in an intimidating gesture.
Chanda swallowed.
“Do you know how many masked maniacs we get here every day?” the guard continued. “And they at least have the decency to come with a real gun. Even the most bat-eyed customer here can spot that silly kindergarten paint on your BB gun.”
If Chanda hadn’t been frantically blinking and tearing up because of a stray strand of wool caught in his eye from his badly cut head-sock, he would have been looking down at his plastic gun in shame. It was a pretty pathetic paint job he had done, but he had to make do with half a can of black spray paint.
“This is one of the roughest parts of town, super villains bank here and every once in a while they try to start something.  Even the customers don’t take shit.”
“See that sweet old lady over there?” the guard said nodding his head in the direction of a prune skinned old woman standing at the ‘Customer Service’ counter. She looked like she had lived at least a century.
“Why, just last week that very same lady took down Doctor what’s-his-face and his ├╝ber lazertron gun or whatever because he cut in line and tried to hold up the place.”
Chanda’s eyes twitched and blinked some more.
“So you see son,” the guard said almost empathetically, “if you’re going to rob THIS bank, come with some serious artillery and don’t leave your nuts at home. Now get out of here before I shove this baton down your throat.”

To say Chanda’s caper had failed terribly would be an understatement.  Forget bruised, his ego had been scraped with sandpaper and beaten with a standard issue security guard baton. He sat down on the ground outside the bank with his back against the wall and began to reassess his values. He started to listen to that inner voice that proceeds to beat down your self esteem after you have just received an emotionally scathing verbal thrashing.
 What were you thinking? The voice asked. You couldn’t have pulled that off if you had the devil himself's face for a mask, and a bazooka for a gun! Get real, you can’t make it out here. Grams told you to stay with her. But no, you had to go and move to the big city, didn’t you? You had to become a man. Tell me Chanda, do you feel like a man now? Are you blazing your own trail like you thought you would?
 Leaving everything he knew and coming to the big city was a tough decision for him. His Grandma had tried to convince him otherwise, but she realised it was something he felt he had to do.
“You go ahead and leave good ‘ol granny all on her lonesome,” she had said trying to make him feel a little guilt, “I’ll be fine. I just hope you will too. I’ve heard funny stories about the city. Flying men and scantily clad women are the norm according to the television. But I trust this desire of yours to move is embedded deep in your bones now. Just remember you’ll always have a home here,” she said, and then whispered, “As long as I’m alive.”
 Chanda asked his Grandma to dismiss that kind of talk and assured her she would probably even outlive him. He promised he would visit her often and even send some money every now and then, and then he hugged her.
 Heading back home seemed like a great plan right about then. Grams would probably poke fun at him and be a little cynical, but she’d definitely be glad to see him. She would probably prepare his favourite mash and ribs too. His stomach growled in agreement.
But this was not the time to be feeling sorry for himself, no! This was not the time to tuck in his tail, lick his wounds and cower in fear! It was the time to take action! A time to be proactive! He got up and dusted his rear end. He was going back to the drawing board.
 If luck and coincidence had a love-child, it would happen to manifest itself in the form of a marital squabble that broke out right across from where Chanda was standing. Of course this was no ordinary fight between spouses. Being the town that it was, two super villains were bound to break into a heated confrontation in the street. He would never have guessed that it would be between a married couple.
The two villains had been arguing violently from inside their car and had halted traffic in the process. You could see arms flailing and finger pointing from outside the car windows. When the argument had gotten intense, they both stepped out of their vehicle and began to hurl vulgar unmentionables at each other. But unmentionables were not all they would hurl.
The lady opened the back door of their vehicle, pulled out an M1 bazooka and began to load it with a round. Her significant other guessed she meant business and fidgeted with his watch before it suddenly morphed and wrapped him in a suit of battle armour.
Divorce proceedings would not be necessary between the two, as they simultaneously blasted each other into oblivion within seconds. Their bodies became nothing but plies of human mincemeat with traces of nanobots and metal alloys. The lady villain’s bazooka remained intact. Chanda saw an opportunity.
He quickly ran toward the scene of the violent marriage annulment and picked up the heavy bazooka. It had a camouflage finish and looked like it could take out the hide of any tank. He then proceeded to the car of the now deceased couple to see if there were more rocket rounds. He found only one. It sat right under a diablo mask. How’s that for the devil’s face?
Chanda had to move quickly before the fuzz arrived on the scene, but he contemplated getting a little practice before he could return to the bank. This was no time to practice his marksmanship though, he only had one round. And besides, who could possibly miss their target if they were toting a friggin’ bazooka?
How’s this for serious artillery? Chanda thought as he remembered the words of the security guard. We’ll see who really left their nuts at home when I come knocking at your stupid bank door with this baby!
One or two people fled from Chanda’s path as they saw him walking across the street and struggling a little to lift the canon he’d just commandeered, but it was not unusual for someone to be flaunting heavy duty weaponry and wearing a devil’s mask in this town. It was not unusual at all.
Chanda stood a few meters away from the bank’s entrance and waited for his security guard friend to notice him from inside the glass doors. When they had locked eyes, he brought his bazooka up and flung its length onto his shoulder, mustered up the best Scarface impression he could and roared, “SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND!”
The rocket fired from the bazooka spiralled in a corkscrew motion and propelled itself toward the glass doors. The sinister shark head painted on the front end of the rocket made it look like it would chomp right through the glass and shatter it into a million pieces. But as fate would have it, luck had filed for a paternity test on that love-child it had with coincidence and it turned out that child did not belong to luck.
The security guard flashed a smirk as the rocket ricocheted off the glass doors with a ‘thump’, leaving only the faintest trace of a scratch. People would not usually flee from a madman with a bazooka in this town, but they sure as hell fled from a rocket fired from a bazooka. The missile flew wildly and spiralled out of control leaving a trail of smoke while missing a number of passersby and hissing toward Chanda with its menacing shark-toothed grin. He ran for his life.
The rocket exploded on impact and sent him flying across the pavement along the busy street. He landed with his head in between his arms and scraped his elbows as he slid across the ground. The bruises running down his forearms stung a little, but Chanda had expected to be in much more pain if he had been hit by a missile. But the missile hadn’t hit him.
When he got up to see what had happened, he found Captain Justice—the town’s self appointed super champion of justice, and leader of the Power Squad—floating above him. He had taken the impact and detonated the explosion from the rocket.
“You must be new around here son,” said Captain Justice, “everybody knows that those bank doors have reinforced fibreglass. Not even Doctor what-do-you-call-him’s mega lazertron gun or whatever could penetrate those doors.”
Chanda stood there in silence, sweating profusely under his mask.
“Now, regardless of whether you are new here or not, you do know that what you were trying to do is illegal, and you will have to face the full extent of the law?”
Chanda nodded. Perhaps he should have stayed back home with Grams. He had ruined his clothes, he would probably face criminal charges and worst of all, a superhero was carrying him by the scruff of his shirt and delivering him to a police car.
The large security guard slapped some handcuffs on his wrists as Captain Justice removed his mask. That self-esteem-beating inner voice began to speak again as he sat in the back of the police car but was suddenly interrupted by another voice coming from outside the car window.
“Hey, wait!” said the voice. Chanda looked outside.
A man in a perfectly fitting tailor made suit was doing an awkward trot up to the police car window.
“Hi kid,” the clean cut man said. “Looks like you’re in a bit of a fix aren’t you?”
“You think?” sneered Chanda.
“Do you need a job, kid?”
“Well, if you had come thirty minutes earlier, I might have said yes. But now it’s looking like I’m going away for a long time.”
“Not if I can get you legal representation,” said the man.
“Look, I don’t have any money and I don’t think I can afford to—”
“If you promise to work for the organisation I represent, I could get you out of this jam without any difficulty. You won’t even have to pay for a thing.”
Chanda knotted his brow, “Are you the illuminati?”
“Haha, hardly kid. But I would like a devil like you to work with us; we need people with your... tenacity.”
He thought about what the man was saying and weighed his options. What did he have to lose? “Can I at least think about it? I don’t even know what it is your organisation is into.”
“Ha ha, sure kid. Give me a call when you’re in and I’ll explain everything.”
And with that, the clean cut man handed Chanda a business card and left. It read:




Wicked art by my cousin Mutale, alias Styles. He came through and saved me with this one!

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  1. Really liked this short story! It was funny, captivating and gripping! I want more!

    1. That just made my day! Glad you enjoyed it. Will be posting the next installment soon