The Crime Fighters

The Crime Fighters in:


And Some Have Greatness Thrust Upon Them


Chapter 14

Go back to your dream

"Well, well, well," Silver Bolt said, as he approached Blue Diamond. "You turned out to be less trouble than I thought. I guess instinct only goes so far. And yours is the most interesting power of the four. I'll bet you have no idea how it works."

He studied his fallen opponent for a few moments. "I can see how you ended up with the power of Water, though. You certainly put your emotions, your anger, into every punch." He rubbed his jaw. "Emotions, instinct, unpredictability. . . yes, you are definately the obvious choice. . ."

"Anyway. . . let's get you and your friends together, and then I can work on clearing the Power Chamber. It should really be no problem. . ."

He reached out and grabbed Blue Diamond's hand, to throw him over his shoulder. The man's eyes snapped open. "Surprise!" he said.

With a massive punch, Blue Diamond sent the red haired villain flying through the air. He followed, his speed making a muffled boom as he took off, and smashed his fists into Silver Bolt's body. The impact drove Silver Bolt into the sand, and again Blue Diamond followed, pummeling him with blows that made the sand erupt into clouds around them.

Silver Bolt was driven further and further into the ground, until finally he hit bedrock. The electricity that enveloped his body did its best to protect him, flashing with light with every blow that Blue Diamond landed. Even so, Silver Bolt cried out in pain, and blood sprayed from a cut on his face, before the electricity cauterized it.

Finally, Silver Bolt countered with a punch of his own. As Blue Diamond ducked, he transformed into lightning. The blast went straight up, past Blue Diamond, and landed several yards away on the sand. Silver Bolt reformed, crouched in a combat stance, as Blue Diamond was coming right at him.

"I should have known. You shouldn't have been that weakened from going through a sheild. Stupid of me."

Blue Diamond struck out at him with a fierce set of punches, which Silver Bolt dodged. He counter attacked with lightning strikes, at close range, but Blue Diamond wasn't letting him get out of range. They circled each other, darting back and forth, both moving so fast they almost seemed to be flashes of energy.

"I realized that as long as you stayed in the air you'd keep up the hit and run tactics. I figured I'd play dead and lure you into range."

"As I said, there's nothing predictable about you." Silver Bolt blocked Blue Diamond's punches with one arm, then extended his other behind him. Blue Diamond glanced back just in time to see the broken telephone pole coming at him. He dodged aside, then leaped upward to cut off Silver Bolt as he tried to teleport away. He deflected the lightning strike with a backhanded blow, and Silver Bolt crashed into the sand.

"Not bad," Silver Bolt commented, rolling back to his feet. He dodged as Blue Diamond came at him.

"I figured it out when I forced through your shield. I can deflect anything, even energy, can't I?"

Silver Bolt laughed. "You'd be surprised at what you can do. But I'm not going to give it away. . ."

"That's why you've been using shields against me, not lightning strikes. They don't hurt me as much the other guys."

"There is one trick I haven't tried yet." Silver Bolt made a punching motion, and Blue Diamond sailed backwards. The punch hadn't hit him, but it still felt like he hit a brick wall. Or was hit by one.

"You hit me with a force field," he said, with a grin. He leaped at Silver Bolt again, who punched at him, but Blue Diamond swerved. He felt the wind rush past him to his left. "But your force fields are small, easier to dodge. It takes more electricity to create them, doesn't it?"

"It's a wall of air, ionized, enclosed in a magnetic bottle. Probably something my Egyptian predecessor wouldn't have even thought of. Your buddy Element Dog could blend with it, so I had to switch back to an electrical field to try and knock him out."

He extended a hand, palm out. "You, however, will not be so lucky."

Blue Diamond hit an invisible wall. He dodged sideways, only to find another one beside him. Silver Bolt brought his fingers together, closing his hand into a fist. Blue Diamond felt a pressure behind him, and then on all sides.

"Unlike your friend, you can't pass through solid matter." Blue Diamond strained at the field, trying to break free, but he was pinned. Silver Bolt held him in midair, sparks beginning to flow between them, as he increased the power to his field. He closed his fist tighter.

Blue Diamond cried out in desperation, as the field closed in on him, crushing him. Somehow, his body was resisting the force, protecting itself from the pressure, but the pain was incredible. His arms were pinned against his chest, unable to move. And he could feel his body weakening, as the pain grew greater. Sooner or later, his power would give out. And it would be all over.

A single thought occured to him. There was no telling whether it would work, but. . . he let go, letting his body relax, letting the field close in on him as he gathered all his strength for one, last, desperate gamble.

Blue Diamond exploded with light and sound, a blast of energy so intense that it shook the ground, and kicked up a massive cloud of sand. Silver Bolt screamed in pain as he felt the energy rip through his shield. There was a second explosion, as the air was turned into a giant fireball, sheets of lightning fanning out in all directions as the released electricity sought out the nearest ground.

And as Silver Bolt's eyes cleared, from this roiling inferno of fire and sand came Blue Diamond, snarling as he slammed his fist into Silver Bolt's face. He struck again and again, sending the red haired villain reeling, until he was on the very verge of passing out.

Throwing his arms away from his body, and with a roar of pain and fury, Silver Bolt flashed with light, creating an intense flash so bright that Blue Diamond had to look away. Gathering all the power of that white hot flash, he blasted Blue Diamond with it, at point blank range, the discharge so great that the crack of sound from it shattered the windows of the car Michelle was hiding in.

Silver Bolt stood, as if dazed, breathing heavily. Blue Diamond lay on the ground at his feet. "You surprised me, Blue Diamond. The most dangerous ability is the one you don't know about."

Blue Diamond groaned, and tried to sit up. "Ah, but there's something that you don't know, too." Silver Bolt said. He paused a moment, while he took a few more deep breaths. "Using your energy like that, firing it all off at once, it uses it all up. Without that energy, that energy that makes you more than just an ordinary human, you are helpless. You don't have any power left to attack with."

"Oh, you're still far more than an ordinary human, and those punches still hurt a great deal." He wiped a bit of blood from his mouth. "Plus, my power's almost exhausted, too. I don't dare try and blast you again."

"But I should have enough power to use another weapon." He gestured at the fallen telephone pole, and his lightning flickered forth, dancing over the surface of the wood. It slowly rose into the air.

"This should be enough to do it. Maybe not kill you, but hurt you pretty bad. You don't have enough power left to completely stop it."

Blue Diamond strained to pull himself up again, then collapsed onto the sand. He looked up at the floating pole, gritting his teeth.

"But you still have a chance to save yourself. I don't need you to be conscious. I don't even need you to be alive, but it would still be easier with your help. I have to clear the Power Chamber, get you all into the right place, make sure you don't escape again. . ."

"It would be so much easier if I had your cooperation. If you can't talk your friends into joining you, at least you can make sure that they come out of this alive. You have no choice."

"Go back to your dream, Robert. Go back and be a policeman, like your father. What do you say?"

Blue Diamond forced himself up onto one arm. "My. . . father. . . was a hero. . ."

". . . And you can go to Hell."

"Wrong answer." He brought the telephone pole down on Blue Diamond, smashing it into pieces.

Silver Bolt stared at him for a moment. Even exhausted, his power had protected him to the last. He was covered in cuts and bruises, and his clothes had been ripped by the splinters of wood, but the pole had shattered rather than penetrate Blue Diamond's skin. Idly, he wondered if it was even possible to kill him in this form.

He half turned, to walk away. . . and then gasped in astonishment.

Element Dog dropped on him from above, changing form even as he slammed into him. He could hear chunks of something falling around his feet, and then steam erupted all around him. "How?!" Was all he managed to say, and then intense pain shot through his body.

Silver Bolt cried out as his power grounded. Sparks leapt from his body to the sand, flashing with intense light, and then the field went dead. He fell to the ground, the force of Element Dog's impact sending him tumbling across the sand towards the fallen power lines.

He had only enough strength to lift his head, and watch as Element Dog reformed. There were chunks of ice, where he had stood, and the cloud of steam condensed around it, melting back into the winged wolf. He was unconcious, laying still on the sand, knocked out by the shock.

"Clever. . ." Silver Bolt managed to mutter. "Ice. . . and steam. . . clever. . ." And then he, too passed out.

Blue Diamond blinked his eyes, putting up a hand to shade them from the sun. Michelle was leaning over him, worried. "Are you all right?" she asked.

He looked down at himself. He was sore, and felt like he'd been chewed up by a garbage disposal, but nothing seemed broken. He pushed the largest of the pieces of wood off of himself.

"Where's. . . Silver Bolt?"

"We've got him covered," Michelle said, gesturing at one of the Egyptian policemen. He stood over Silver Bolt's body, holding a gun on him. "He doesn't seem to have any powers any more. I would guess whatever Element Dog did shut them off. Even so, I hope he doesn't wake up any time soon."

Blue Diamond sat up. He put a hand to his side. Apparently he was wrong about nothing being broken. He collapsed back onto the sand. "I don't. . . seem to be able to move. Tired. . ."

"Maybe this will help." She gestured at one of the men, and he walked over to join them. He was carrying something, the blue diamond.

The moment he touched the gem, a discharge of energy ran up his arm, and Blue Diamond sat up. "Hey. . . that does feel better!"

He looked down at himself. The cuts slowly began to heal themselves over. "I figured as much," Michelle was saying. "I heard Stan call you Blue Diamond, and figured you got the name from your object."

Blue Diamond looked at the Egyptian. "Don't worry. I haven't said anything about your true identity to any of them. Hopefully they didn't overhear Silver Bolt when he said it."

To his right, Element Dog was starting to stir. Jade Dragon had fallen some distance away, but apparently the policemen had brought him over, as well, because he was lying nearby. "You'd better see to them, too. The mutt gets the bottle, and Jade Dragon gets the. . . well, the dragon."

"What about Silver Bolt?"

"He's got his on him. Say, how did you find them, anyway? I thought we hid 'em away pretty good."

"Well, you've been out for the better part of an hour. Knowing about the legend, I sent the Lieutenant back to look for them. He found them where you hid them, near the dig."

"You'd better get Lightning Lad's away from him. If it can recharge him like mine did me. . ."

"Good idea. What is it?"

"An amulet. He's wearing it on the front of his costume."

"I'll tell him. We haven't been able to get too close to him, though. He fell near some power lines. I was hoping. . ."

"Power lines?!" Blue Diamond leaped to his feet. "Look out! Don't let him touch them!!!"

But it was too late. As Silver Bolt's guard turned to look back at Blue Diamond, the red haired villain suddenly sprang to life. Scrabbling forward in the sand, he reached out and grabbed at the power line. There was a loud crack, and then he was gone, a flash of lightning vanishing in the distance.

Blue Diamond skidded to a halt. "I'll never be able to catch him. . ."

"I'm sorry. . . I didn't realize. . ."

"It's all right. You couldn't have known. He must have been waiting for a chance to touch that power line and recharge himself."

He stared off into the distance, in the direction Silver Bolt had fled. "There's nothing anyone could have done to stop him. . ."

Jade Dragon had come limping up behind him. "At least we're all okay. He had the advantage, this time. I guess knowing more about his powers than we do, he was able to hold us off, even outnumbered three to one."

"Next time, he won't be so lucky."

"Next time. . ." Michelle studied him. "So are you planning on going after him?"

Jade Dragon shook his head. "I wouldn't know where to begin. Besides, he'll come looking for us. I'd rather fight him on home turf, where we've got the advantage."

"So you're planning on going back to America, then?"

"I don't care what Lightning Head said," Blue Diamond said, somewhat angrily. "Powers or no powers, I'm gonna be a cop, like my dad. If I have to keep my powers a secret to do it, I will."

"I think we should definately keep our identities a secret," Jade Dragon agreed. He looked down as Element Dog walked up and stood by his side. "I've got to assume there's a reason why we look so different, like this."

There was a moment of silence, and then Michelle added. "I was kind of hoping you'd want to. . . stay with me. . ."

Jade Dragon looked startled, then glanced at Blue Diamond. Then he turned to Element Dog. "Let's. . . uh. . . walk over here for a minute."

"What?" The dog looked at him.

"Just come on."

Blue Diamond stared at the two as they walked away, then cleared his throat. He couldn't meet Michelle's eyes.

"It's all right. It's that important to you, isn't it?"

He nodded his head. "Those Egyptians chose well," Michelle told him. "Your father would be proud of you."

"What are you planning on doing?" he asked.

"There's still work to do here. The Objects aren't the only artifacts Akenaton left behind. And maybe I can find out more about how your powers work."

"I'm sure that'd help." He glanced at Jade Dragon.

"If I find anything, I'll let you know."

Blue Diamond looked back at her. He stared at her for a moment, as if deciding whether to say something. Michelle smiled at him. She stepped forward, and kissed him.

"I can't give up my dream, either. I belong here, or wherever fate takes me, exporing the past. But we'll see each other again. And someday. . . who knows?"

She stroked a strand of black hair away from his face. "So, you think you can do anything about getting us back into town?"

He grinned at her. "What, you want me to pick up the car and fly back with it?"

"Maybe." She grinned too, but her smile faded. "We still have wounded to take care of. We need to get them to a hospital."

"Hey, J.D!" Blue Diamond called out. "Think we can carry a car back to town? Or do you have another idea?"

"J.D?" Jade Dragon asked, raising an eyebrow.

"What the Hell you expect me to call you, 'Mister Dragon'?"

The taller man looked down at Element Dog. "You can heal yourself, right? And blend with other things. Think you can heal someone else?"

"Don't know. Can try."

Michelle led them over to the car, where a couple of the officers had been laid on some tarps in the sand. Their burns had been bandaged, but both were unconscious. The Lieutenant joined them.

Element Dog studied one of the men. "When absorb. . . go into. . . maybe if I touch. . ." He placed a paw on the Egyptian's chest. There was a pause, and then Element Dog's foot began to melt, and sank into the man's skin.

The Lieutenant seemed shocked, but Michelle reassured him. Jade Dragon looked at them, then back at the dog. "Are you all right?"

"Fighting," Element Dog said. "Not let me in."

"But he's unconscious."

"Not as easy as before. Fight back. He wake up."

Sure enough, the man's eyes opened, and he began to struggle. Element Dog grimaced in pain, as his movements wrenched his arm, and the point where it blended into the man's body. Michelle began to talk to the man, to calm him down, and he settled down.

"Very hard now. Don't fight back. . ." The dog's expression grew pained. "Help me. . ."

Michelle continued to soothe the man, reassuring him by talking to him in Egyptian. After a few moments, he seemed to relax, and so did Element Dog. Almost immediately, the burns on his skin began to fade away. The man's breathing became easier, and he relaxed even more, a look of relief spreading across his face. As Element Dog's paw withdrew from his chest, the man muttered something, and patted the dog on the head.

"You're welcome," Element Dog said, and he wagged his tail. "That not easy, but feel good. . ."

"I guess living things must be harder to blend with," Jade Dragon said. "That makes sense. But well done. Now we know you can heal others, as well as yourself."

"I do other now?" Element Dog stepped over to the other Egyptian, and with Michelle's help, healed him as he had the first. Again, his paw melted into the man's body, melding the two of them together.

"What does that feel like?" Jade Dragon wondered. Behind him, Blue Diamond was watching, just as fascinated by the impossible scene.

"Hurts. Like when hurt, myself. Shocking."

Jade Dragon groaned. Behind him, Blue Diamond made a face, too. "Did I say something wrong?"

"That was a pun, Element Dog. A word that has two meanings. Shocking also means surprising, or unusual. Like what you're doing right now." He grinned.

"So. . . is bad?"

"No, no, it's a joke. It's funny."

"Then why not laugh? You groan."

Jade Dragon shrugged. "I don't know. That's just the way to respond to a pun. Maybe it's because it's wordplay, you know, wit."

"Ah. . . I see." the shaggy creature thought for a moment. And then, with a mischeivous twinkle in his eye, he added, "From now on, I have to end every adventure with one."


[Previous] Copyright 2002, Richard Ryley [Main]