The Crime Fighters

The Crime Fighters in:


And Some Have Greatness Thrust Upon Them


Chapter 9

You can call me Silver Bolt

The red haired villain crept along the corridors under the pyramid, cursing to himself. "Damn!" He yelled, slamming his fist into a stone wall. "So close! So close!!!"

Then he stopped, and looked down at his arms. The lightning played over them, arcing up and down his body in a field of shimmering blue. "But I've got one of the powers. . . and they're real!" He grinned, widely, as he brought his hand up. He concentrated, and the electricity gathered, building into a ball in his palm. "They're real!"

The ball dissipated as he released his hold on it. "To give the power of Air to a dog, instead of me!" He could not keep the frustration out of his voice.

"But. . . is he a dog, any more? He's the only one of the three of them that ran to his object. And I could see the way he was studying me, sizing me up. If he really does have the power to change his shape at will. . . what is he capable of?"

"I should have stuck around long enough to be sure. . ." He glanced back down the passage. "But no. There were three of them, and only one of me. I can't risk letting them overpower me, not now, when I'm so close."

"If I'm lucky, the tall one didn't stop to read the heiroglyphs. He'll be coming after me, so I don't have to go looking for him. It's his friend that I'll have to track down. If I heard correctly, he's gone off on his own. So he won't know how his powers work, either."

"Unless. . ." he paused, thinking, "Unless they can use their powers instinctively. . . like the dog. . ."

He pulled out his notebook and looked through it. "There was something about a. . . neutralization chamber. . . If I can slow down the taller one and his dog. . . It'll give me time to track down their friend. . ."

He apparently found what he was looking for, because Stan set off down the passage. He followed a couple of turns, checking his notes occasionally, until he came to a door. "I am the Bearer of Fire!" He said to it, in Egyptian. "Open to me!"

The stone door rumbled as it slid open. The red haired man chuckled as he studied the contents of the room. "Yes. . . yes, it's just as I had hoped. This will work out perfectly."

The light increased in the chamber beyond the doorway. The villain in black stood, watching, the electricity playing over his body casting a blue tint to the light, and making it flash erratically.

Richard and Scott continued down the corridor, following their adversary's trail. Scott sniffed the ground as they came to an intersection, and then nodded in one direction. "That way."

They continued on a little further. "Is. . . strange. . . know things. . ."

"What things?"

"Any. . . things. More than 'find'. Know who after, why."

"It should make it easier to track him."

"Is. Can think where. . ."

Scott's words were interrupted as the floor gave way underneath them. They were falling into a pit, cut straight down into the stone. There didn't seem to be any bottom.

Scott spread his wings, and the wind rushing through them caught him. But then he noticed Richard plummetting away from him. He leaned forward, diving to catch up with his master, and sank his teeth into his cloak. Then he began to flap his wings again. Rather than rising out of the pit, however, they just coasted forward and slammed into the wall.

"Wings. . . not. . . work. . ." Scott said. He flapped them as hard as he could, but it wasn't doing anything but spinning them around. Richard had managed to grab onto the stone and was sliding down it, which was slowing them, but they weren't stopping.

It was hard to see what was happening in the darkness. Richard felt Scott's grip on him shifting, and then claws dug into his shoulders. Suddenly, their descent seemed to slow even further. Barely, Richard could see that Scott had spread his wings out straight, and the drag was slowing them down. At that moment, unfortunately, they hit the floor, and Richard cried out as the loose rubble cut into his skin.

They were at the bottom. Their flashlight was lying nearby, so Richard picked it up and shone it around the shaft. There was no way out. "Well, at least we're alive," he said.

There was a squawking noise from beside him. Richard jumped as he pointed the light at it, and saw a huge brown hawk sitting next to him.

The hawk started, as it saw itself in the light and looked down at its chest and wings. Suddenly, its body seemed to melt, and it was once again a winged wolf. Scott looked up at him. "That. . . how I slowed down. . ." he said, as if just now realizing it.

"You can. . . change your shape. . . that's how you're able to talk!"

"Yes. . ." The wolf seemed to be thinking about it.

"Can you change into something that can climb out of here?"

The wolf shape-shifted into an enourmous, monstrous-looking spider. Richard dropped his flashlight. The spider screeched, then turned back into Scott. "I scared you!" He said. "I sorry!"

"It's all right. . . It's probably too much of a climb anyway." Richard retrieved his flashlight, and shone it up the shaft. "You don't seem to be able to change size, so I doubt you can even lift your own weight, much less mine."

Scott concentrated. He turned into a gigantic mouse, then a huge bird. It chirped for a few moments, then apparently found its voice. "Can't. . . change size." He remained as a bird, studying himself.

"But maybe you can turn into something that can dig us a way out. . . through solid stone? Hm. . ." Richard put a hand to the wall, thinking.

The bird-Scott extended its wings. "How come not fly?"

"Why can't you fly out? Not enough room." He shone the light around the shaft. "You need to be able to get up to speed to fly, as big as you are. Like an albatross or a crane. You certainly can't hover or fly straight up."

Scott sighed, returning to wolf form. "Dumb power. . ."

There was a moment of silence. "What about you?" The dog asked.

Richard looked down at the mists rising off of his body. "We still don't know what my power is. It died out a few minutes after Robert left, but we found out that touching the jade dragon brings it back. And I can move it around, make it go where I want it. But what does it do?"

Scott closed his eyes, tightly. "Okay. . . is mist like fog. Fog make you not see."

"So I can hide in a fog? Great power. . ."

"But fog is cold. . . you not cold." He grimaced as he thought even harder. "Fog. . . cold water. Ice. Fog. . . harden to ice."

"Hey. . . that's pretty good! The three states of matter! You may be getting smarter!"

Scott opened his eyes and looked at him, considering it. "Can change at will. Become anything. Become smarter?"

Richard grinned. "Sounds like it."

"Okay. Can control mist, right? Make go round and round? Make go round and round in small place. All lots."

"We've got to work on your language skills. . ." Richard commented. Then he brought up his hands. A ball of emerald smoke built up in his hands, becoming darker and darker. Finally, Richard glanced down at Scott, then gestured away from himself.

The ball of mist slammed into the wall of the pit, shattering it. Both Richard and the dog were forced to turn away from the impact, as they were showered with shards of stone. When they looked back, Richard gave a low whistle. A hole the size of a man's head had been blasted into the rock.

"Don't know my own strength. . ."

"Is big hole. More than fog can do."

"Or maybe it was a telekinetic blast, and the mist was just so I could see what it was doing. . ."


"Moving things with your mind. It's not exactly proven science, but some folks are said to have the ability to move things with their mind."

Scott thought for a moment. "Changing shape is power of. . . mind. My body turns into. . . what mind sees."

"You are getting smarter. But how do we get out of here?" Richard looked down at his hands. "If keep blowing holes in the wall, all I'll do is collapse it on top of us."

"Wait. If can. . . if you can blow a hole in rock, can't you pick you up?"

Richard's eyes widened as he thought about it. "I. . . don't know. It's kind of like picking yourself up by your own bootstraps. . ."

"But your mists float! They float in the air. Maybe they carry you?"

Richard closed his eyes. The mists swirled around him, building up into a thick cloud. He slowly started to rise off the ground, but then pitched forward, flailing his arms. The cloud dissipated, and Richard stumbled as he fell back onto his feet. "It's like. . . balancing on a ball or something."

"Tell mist hold you. Not let fall."

"I'll try it. . ." Richard rose into the air again, the smoke spiraling around him like a whirlwind. It remained thick for a few moments, but then settled down, as if learning the best way to support Richard's weight. He hovered in the air, still swaying slightly, but seemingly in control of himself.

Scott barked, happily. "Can you pick up me, too?"

"I'll see." Richard extended his arms, pointing them at the dog. The mists shot forth, wrapping around the shaggy creature, and then he, too, was rising off the ground.

"It works!" Scott repeated. "We fly!"

"It's not as. . . easy as it looks. . ." Richard kept one hand pointed at the dog, directing the tendril of green that connected them. "I have to. . . concentrate on both of us." They rose upward, engulfed in the cloud of mist. After a few moments, they had reached the top of the pit, and Richard cautiously set them down on the ground.

"Wow. . ." Richard exhaled, but then grinned. "I can't believe I was just flying! I sure am glad you came along. . ."

"I with you, even if rude man not. . ."

"Robert? He's just like that. Don't take it personally."

Scott looked at the floor. "He not like me."

"You'd be surprised. . . you know, Robert only picks on people if he likes them." He looked back down the way they had come. "He's scared right now. . . and he's got a right to be. But he'll be back."

At the entrance to the dig, Robert was just climbing up the rope to the surface. He paused a moment to catch his breath. "Maybe I spoke too soon about not flyin'. . ."

He shook his head. "No!" he told himself. "That Stan fellow wants these dumb powers, he can have 'em! I got no time for this. . ."

Angrily, he threw his flashlight across the tent. It ripped through the cloth and smashed into something beyond it. The crash was followed by a loud hissing sound. Robert ducked outside to find a huge hole in the truck's radiator. The flashlight had bounced and landed in front of the truck, in pieces.

"Dammit! What is happening to me! Can't I turn this fool thing off!"

At a sound to his right, Robert turned and spotted a police officer, crouched behind one of the tents. He had drawn his gun. "Hold on, man, don't shoot!" He called out, raising his hands. "I'm one o' the good guys!"

Michelle had been hiding behind the tent as well, and she darted around the policeman as she ran to Robert's side. "Are you all right?"

"Just fine. You brought the cops?"

She nodded. "What's going on? Did you find the objects?"

Robert scowled. "Don't even talk to me about them things. Stan's got one, though, so we'd better be ready for him."

As least the sun was up. Robert put a hand up to shield his eyes. It looked to be about six or seven in the morning. The sun had only just come up, while they had been in that labyrith. It didn't seem like they'd been in there that long. . .

"What about Richard?" Michelle was looking at the pit.

"He stayed behind. . . but don't you worry, he's just fine! He's got them super powers now, and he's probably havin' a grand old time. Him an' that dog. . . there's a talkin' dog, now. Can you believe that?"

Michelle studied him for a few minutes. Then she shook her head. "Maybe you should go help Richard. . ."

"Look, Richard'll be just fine. Pyramids and Pharoahs and stuff, he loves this stuff! Always lived in a fantasy world, anyway. He's the big dreamer, always talking about evidence and investigation and forensic science and all that. He never was interested in the everyday stuff. . ."

Robert walked over to the policemen, over by the tent. There were about five of them, Eqyptian officers. "We gotta perp inside the dig. You understand me? He's got some kind of electric powers, so he's gonna be tough."

When the men blinked at him, confused, he gestured to Michelle. "You tell 'em what I said. Tell 'em I'll help."

"This is the way you take down criminals." He pulled out his gun, checked to make sure it was still loaded. "Not with some freaky powers. With the law. By the book."

Michelle quickly spoke to the Egyptian, as he had pointed his own weapon at Robert, having spotted the gun. Robert held the gun up by its barrel, showing that he wasn't going to fire it, until the policeman lowered his gun. Michelle explained what was going on to them, and the men seemed to understand.

"It's gonna get freaky. I'm sure they think I'm nuts or something, but we'll find out what this Stan can do soon enough. . ."

"Robert. . ." Michelle moved back to stand beside him, put a hand on his shoulder. "What's wrong? These powers. . . you clearly believe they're real. So why don't you use them?" She looked him over.

"I don't believe in no superpowers. I don't believe in no prophesies. Your Hacky-Natton got the wrong man."

"Robert, whether you were meant all along to have these powers, or just fell into them because I connected you with the prophesy, it doesn't matter. Richard needs you. And if these powers are anything like what the stela described, we're all going to need you. The Crime Fighters fought off an army." She gestured at the policemen. "You think a handful of cops are going to be enough?"

"Oh, I think we're a little better off than a bunch of guys in loin cloths carryin' little tin swords. They may be scary to ancient Egyptians, but I'll bet these powers can't stop a bullet. . ."

"You forget," came a voice from behind them. Robert whirled, to see Stan on top of a sand dune nearby, blue lightning still arcing across his body. "The technology of the world's armies may have increased, but electricity is also more common."

"As the modern world has developed, using more and more power, the background radiation emitted by it has increased as well. Where my predecessor might have had to wait for a storm to draw on his full power, I can pull it from the power lines you're using to light this dig. . ."

Stan pointed his arm at one of the policemen's vehicles. There was a crash of thunder as lightning jumped from his arm to the car, and then it exploded, its gas tank ignited by the shock.

"Don't panic!" Robert called out. "He's just showing off!"

He and a few of the Egyptian officers fired at the brightly glowing figure, but he just put up a hand, and the bullets were stopped by a flickering blue field. "You wanted to know if I could stop a bullet?"

"Keep firing! One might get through!" Robert and the other men kept up the barrage, but Stan just put up both hands, wrapping the field around an area in front of him. The bullets bounced off of it, harmlessly.

Robert ran out of ammo and reloaded. "You can't win, Stan! Eventually we'll find something that will stop you!"

The dark haired villain just chuckled. "You just don't get it, do you? Guns can't hurt me. There's only one way you can hurt me, and you're going to have to do it sooner or later."

"The Hell I am!" Robert emptied another eight shots from his revolver into Stan's force field. The officers were starting to regroup, and one of them had gotten a shotgun from another car. There was a loud roar as he fired the shotgun, but the shot just smashed into the field, in a hail of blue sparks, and disintegrated.

"Robert. . . please. . ." Michelle put a hand on his shoulder.

As Robert fired off another round, however, Stan jerked back. "Got 'im!" Robert yelled. The tall man put a hand to his chest, as the gunfire died down. There was blood there, not much, but it was right over his heart. He put his hand over the wound again, and sparks danced back and forth between his hand and his chest. Then suddenly, the bullet popped out into the air. It floated forward, suspended in a field of blue energy, and then dropped to the ground.

Stan laughed. "I knew it! Even a direct hit cannot kill me! These powers are unbelievable! I can do anything!!!"

He raised his arms in the air, and a cascade of lightning bolts arced from his body to another of the police cars. He gestured with his arms, higher, and the vehicle rose into the sky, sparks flying off of it, the paint burning and blackening on the car's surface. Then he flung it into another patrol car. Both exploded, sending Robert and the others diving for cover.

"Stan!" Robert called out, crouched down behind a tent. He pulled Michelle a little closer to him. "Give it up! You're just making it harder on yourself!"

The dark haired man laughed again. "My name isn't Stan Smith, you know! That's just an alias! So is Steve Stanford! But I know your name. . . Robert!"

Some of the policemen had not moved fast enough, and Stan blasted them. They were thrown backwards, knocked back by the force of the shock, and badly burned. The field of lightning stayed there, holding onto their weapons, until they exploded and melted. Stan then waved a hand, and what was left of the guns was tossed aside.

"He was. . . testing himself. . ." Robert growled, watching the red haired villain toy with the policemen, and their weapons. "Testing his powers." Stan picked up another police car and swung it around in the air, before tossing it into the tent they were hiding behind. Robert was forced to retreat, pulling Michelle in front of him as he threw himself to the ground, shielding her body with his own.

"Do you want to know what to call me, Robert? I've thought of a name. . ." Michelle looked up at Robert. He was scowling, his hands clenched tightly around his pistol.

"You can call me. . . Silver Bolt!!!"

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