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[Fiction] Amped - Brief interruption on an otherwise slow day. [Submitted for cannon]

David 'Dr. Troll' Smith

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Amped watched the bullet move and considered what he should do about it. It was a hot, cloudless day. They’d messed up with that. At night he might not have seen it coming.

Retrospectively, the whole situation was obviously a trap. The mysterious phone call telling him that he needed to go out into the desert to the oil storage unit to find the missing kids. The big red “X” painted in the ground. The real question was were the kids actually here, or was this just someone taking advantage of him looking? It was possible the kids were taken by who ever fired the gun, but if so, were they alive? And who was doing this? COMA?

The bullet had moved a couple more inches during the time it took him to consider. It was huge for a bullet and was making those ripples in the air that meant it was breaking the sound barrier. The general idea was for him to not hear it coming, but he’d seen movement reflected off of the oil tank and had looked that way.

He couldn’t see the shooter although he did note the path the bullet was taking so he could back track. Catching the bullet was a bit iffy, momentum was a funny thing at these speeds, he might think it wasn’t moving only to come back latter to find out he was wrong. Normally he’d just step aside but if he did the bullet would hit the tank, which would no doubt go up in a proper movie style explosion and fire. If the kids were here, then he’d have killed them as sure as if he’d pulled the trigger himself.

Maybe THAT was the purpose of this. He zooms off to deal with the shooter, the kids die, and he feels guilty? Maybe this is on camera somewhere too so the press gets a chance to rip on him as well? The bullet had moved a few more inches. It was time to act. Amped walked up to the bullet and altered it’s age with the intention of turning it into dust. It didn’t budge.

He looked at it in disbelieve for a long time. Maybe even long enough for the bullet to move a full inch. He looked closer and noted it was made of some metal he didn’t recognize off hand. Depleted uranium maybe. Uranium decays over millions of years, so making it older wasn’t really going to do much. Was this an accident or did someone plan this?

The bullet itself was huge, this thing must have come from a cannon. Maybe something built to go through tanks, he’d look it up later. But if he couldn’t destroy it, he could certainly change it’s course so it went somewhere less explosive.

There. A right angle turn means it can eventually go bury itself in the ground.

Amped then jogged back towards where the bullet must have come. After a bit he heard the gunshot from the bullet he’d already dealt with. A few steps more and he noticed the trip wire and another beyond that. He was in a mine field, this was a trap… but not much of one. He walked past the wire but put a rock right above it to trigger when it fell. Several more steps and he looked back and noticed it was starting to explode.

The sniper was in a camouflaged dug out hole in the sand. Even the gun was painted the same color as the sand. Someone had spent some time on this one. The shooter looked barely old enough to shave, was really heavyset, sweating hard, and wearing bulky clothes.

Amped walked up to him and considered slowing down enough to talk. He still needed to find out if this guy actually knew anything about the kids, and he needed to know who he worked for. This was more and more looking like COMA….

WAIT!!!!! Heavyset with bulky clothes? On a hot day? What was wrong with this?

Amped looked at the shooter very closely and noticed the real trap. The shooter was wired. One spark and he’d blow up, killing both of them. If he slowed down to talk it would be a sure thing. A trap within a trap within a trap, and maybe others here as well. The first several had been to set him up for this one.

Well, this was a problem.

Amped reached out with his power and tried to halt time for the explosive clothes but not the sniper. He must have done something wrong because he still exploded. Amped then searched for the kids in the field and around the tank. They weren’t there.

From the time he’d noticed the bullet to the man blowing himself up maybe 3 seconds passed, but it had been a really, really long 3 seconds. In a way he almost felt grateful, someone had planned something for him at his own speed.

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