Action Figures - Issue Two: Black Magic Women by Michael Bailey

Action Figures - Issue Two: Black Magic Women by Michael Bailey

Author:Michael Bailey [Bailey, Michael]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Innsmouth Look Publishing
Published: 2014-03-27T07:00:00+00:00

The first few pick-ups are surprisingly easy. We hit the State Street area, a long row of brick buildings — businesses, mostly, a lot of them with upper-floor apartments. People have barricaded themselves in their apartments and on rooftops. The crazies (sorry: the affected civilians) can’t get to them, but for us it’s simply a matter of assisting people onto the Pelican, then flying them out to a staging area the staties set up at their highway blockade, on the safe side of the Newburyport/Newbury line. An occasional piece of flying debris pings off the side of the Pelican, but we avoid any direct engagement.

As we start moving outward, to the surrounding blocks, the affected get smart. They set trash on fire before throwing it, and they aim for the civilians rather than the Pelican. Sara does her best to deflect the worst of the assault, and Matt drops flash-bang grenades to keep the mob disoriented, but that only buys them seconds at a time; the mania gripping these people, it’s granting them an almost superhuman resilience.

As nerve-wracking as things are for my friends closer to the ground, it’s terrifying for me to see it all play out. I feel helpless, useless as I watch hordes of the affected surge through the streets, like blood flowing through the angular veins of Newburyport, and zero in on the Pelican. Each time the Pelican returns, Mindforce picks a new target, well away from its previous spot, to grant the teams extra time to make their next pick-up. The affected home in on it, swarm, attack. The Pelican leaves, returns, picks up civilians while dodging flaming garbage, over and over. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The process is tedious. It’s harrowing. It’s exhausting.

The explosion definitely wakes me up.

“What the hell?” Concorde says over the comm system. “God, please don’t tell me that was a gas main.”

It’s Astrid who responds. “I found him! I found the —”

The rest is drowned out by a second, smaller blast. It came from the wharf area to the north.

“Enigma?” Concorde says. “Enigma? Astrid!”

“I’m not doing any good up here,” I say. “I’m going.”

“...Be careful.”


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