The warehouse is dark, but with the goggles I’m able to see as clearly as ever. There’s music playing. It keeps the others out, the subliminal commands hidden in the frequencies, the commands that alter the minds of those that hear it. They can’t come in. Noise canceling devices don’t work. He does something with vibrations and frequencies. They told me, but I didn’t really catch it all.

But I can’t hear it. I can only feel it. I follow the vibrations through the building. I know the sound will lead me to him. As soon as I step in the room, he knows I’m there.

The music throws me back a bit. The force is more than I expect. I’m largely immune to the soft mind control of this Music Man’s powers, because I can’t hear the frequencies– the ones he uses to manipulate others, to plant suggestions into people’s minds. But I’m not immune to the physical manifestation of his power, the part of his power that allows him to change the speed of the vibrations and amplify them into a kinetic force. Slew tried to warn me, and I knew it was coming, but this isn’t really the kind of thing you can prepare for. A week ago I didn’t know any of this was even possible.

I feel the vibrations in the air, and I know another blow is coming. This time I’m a little bit more ready. I brace myself. I’m able to focus my energy and conjure a wall of  energy. The force field buffers Music Man’s attack, and this time I manage to hold my ground a little more.

“Good,” he says. I hear Slew in my mind through the telepathic link. “You did better that time.” Communication devices wouldn’t work in this situation. Even if they wouldn’t be knocked out by Music Man’s power, whoever was on he other end would be susceptible. It’s not like I’d be able to hear anyway. But I guess that’s why I’m here. Maybe things happen for a reason.

“You’re right,” I think back. “He’s getting stronger.” For the past week, this maniac has been terrorizing the city. Manipulating people out of their money and belongings, convincing people to do whatever he wants, killing the ones that get in his way.

As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure he’s going to kill me. And I’m beginning to think that my new superpower is a lame consolation for not being able to hear. Especially, if it gets me killed.

I see a set up of a speakers and screens behind him. We were right. This is where his base is, where he’s hacked into systems all over the city blasting his altered music.

He comes at me again and I get my shield up just in time. This time I try projecting it back at him. But I can’t really control my power yet, and my attack falters. It buys me just enough time to, clumsily, dodge the oncoming attack. Another attack comes quickly, and I dodge again. I put my shield up and head straight for the source…

My mind must wander for a moment, because the next thing I know I’m sent flying. I use my force field to soften the blow as I land in the corner on the other side of the room. The attack was powerful, but it must have drained Music Man some. I can see it in is face.

“You can’t stop me,” he shouts towards me. I glance around and notice an old iron pipe.

“I know you can read my lips. And your vision is excellent. I noticed the other day when we fought. But just because you can’t hear my music, doesn’t mean anything.”

He turns away from me, no longer worried. And I’m up the second he does. I need to cut the power. I grab the pipes, one in each hand. He hears me coming, but I’m ready. I’ve been gathering my energy, focusing it, ever since I landed. The moment he turns around, I throw my force, sending him backwards. By the time he starts to rise, I’m there. With a swing, I knock him out.

I reach into my jacket and pull out the collapsible debilitator cuff. It will prevent him from using his powers once he comes to–Slew’s design. I lock it on his wrist.

Then I smash.

 

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8 thoughts on “What the Music Man Can Do

  1. I like how we as readers are finding out her capabilities as “i” does. It automatically won me over. The “lame consolation” line told me a lot about her outlook on the situation at hand. Would love to know more about Slew’s role.

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    1. Thank you! I’m glad you liked it. It’s funny what you said about Slew because after I finished the story I was thinking that I’d love to explore Slew’s character some more. I just might have to!

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  2. I agree with Laissez Faire–I really enjoyed how you pushed the prompt, making the music into a physical–abusable–force.

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