“Mom ain’t here now, is she?” Malcolm stared up at the man.
“That’s not funny and you know it.” Green clad man’s chest moved in and out as he breathed. “I did what I could.”
“Which was lacking, as always.” Malcolm sneered as he slid his hands back on his arm rests.
“Just like when we were kids. You had to be the best.”
“Didn’t have to be, just was.” Malcolm leaned forward. “I worked at it. It wasn’t easy.”
“Well, ladeedah. Poor little crippled man had a hard life.”
“You put me in this chair when you did what you did.”
The green costumed man cleared the distance between them in half an eye-blink.
A blur of green punches rained down on Malcolm, as he met each one with an arm. His other hand moving to unbuckle him from the seat. The opening was but a thought, but Malcolm took it and nailed a punch to green costume’s mid section. Green clad man doubled over and staggered back several paces.
Malcolm yanked on his arm rests. The devices extended with one end encircling his forearms, and a grip in each hand. Malcolm poked at the ground as he tottered a few steps.
“Well now,” the green man said. “You aren’t relegated strictly to that chair.”
“Never have been,” Malcolm replied. “You would know this if you hung around.” Malcolm shifted so that he had one crutch forward and one back. He splayed his legs, as best as he could.
“Do they work?” The green man pointed at Malcolm’s legs.
“I can move them, but not walk on them.” Malcolm looked at the green man in the goggles. “Everything else still functions. Thanks for not taking that from me.”
“I take it the gymnastics helped with the moving?” The green man looked at the ground around both of them and hunched his shoulders.
“You bet. In more ways then one.”
“Good.” The green man dashed to get around Malcolm.
Malcolm manipulated to intercede.
The green man juked the other direction, but Malcolm cut him off.
“I gotta get Vanguard Malcolm.”
“I gotta get Vanguard out of here Mitchell.”
“Don’t make me do this.”
“Like before? Did I make you do that, too?”
Mitchell kicked at Malcolm. Malcolm intercepted with a crutch. Mitchell adjusted his target and swept both crutches out.
Malcolm dove for the ground, and rolled with the impact and erected himself with his crutches again.
“You’ve gotten faster,” Mitchell said. “Impressive.”
“You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” Malcolm tottered forward and splayed his legs.
Mitchell sent out a punch that was nothing more than a blur.
Malcolm windmilled a leg, deflecting the punch. His other leg followed and clipped Mitchell on the side of the head. A quick flick of his crutch and Malcolm tagged Mitchell in the lower leg. Mitchell attempted a counter, but was blocked by Malcolm’s other crutch. Malcolm followed through with three more hits, two with legs and one with a crutch.
“Shit!” Mitchell staggered back, spitting blood from his mouth. “What the hell was that?”
“Thomas Flair.” Malcolm winked and smirked. “I did warn you.”
Mitchell darted forward, leading with his head.
Malcolm planted both crutches and swung both feet up.
The crack of the connection resonated in the warehouse.
Malcolm continued with his flip, pulling one crutch around with him. Mitchell went over backwards as well, completing three revolutions and landed on his face.
Malcolm leaned down and checked on his brother. He found a pulse and rolled the man over. Mitchell had a fat lip and a broken nose.
“Sorry, bro. But, duty calls.”
Malcolm moved back to his wheelchair and put his crutches back to the armrests.
A quick check on Vanguard showed he was still in the same condition. Malcolm turned for the stairs he used to get to the second floor. A few slow pumps and he was moving steady.
“Not so fast, Malcolm.”
Dam it! I forgot about the metabolism.
Malcolm turned to see Mitchell get to his feet.
“I can’t out fight you, but I can make it so you can’t get out.” Mitchell tossed a small device past Malcolm. It bounced once, then exploded. The stairs disappeared in the blink of an eye.
“Dam it, Mitchell!” Malcolm turned again and put more into his wheels. Heading for a wall, Malcolm pushed one of the side levers down five clicks and the other side to one click. Malcolm put three more pumps into his wheels, gaining speed quickly. He then slammed the release for the skids. Both hit the floor at the same time. Instead of launching directly into the air, the wheelchair canted as it left the floor. Malcolm leaned, adding to the torque to turn his wheelchair sideways, and pumped the wheels.
Both tires bit into the wall and Malcolm careened into an arc towards the first floor.
“That is impressive, Malcolm.” Mitchell kept his voice so that only he could hear. “You always did think faster than anyone I knew.”
Malcolm slammed his back into the seat, causing it to lurch to the floor and horizontal. A steady flow of arm circles and Malcolm pushed for the opening he made earlier.
The wheelchair flew over the dock and towards the gap.
The thap-thaps were the only noise that gave Mitchell’s location away.
“I told you Malcolm, I need to get Vanguard.” Mitchell’s legs and arms were a green blur as he ran beside Malcolm.
“And I told you Mitchell, I am taking him to a hospital.” Malcolm moved a hand to grab something in the seat area.
“You are going to have to stop me, Mac.”
“I know, Mitch.” Malcolm pumped his wheels and leaned forward. “I am sorry, but this is going to hurt. A lot.”
Malcolm pushed the levers on both sides of his chair to the fullest, twelve clicks. He then slammed both hands on the release buttons. The wheelchair launched into the air. Malcolm twisted and flung his left hand out. The device he had zoomed towards Mitchell.
The device expanded into two small spheres with a thin cable connecting them. It entwined first one leg then the other. Mitchell legs stopped moving, his arms shot out behind him, and his torso crashed into the dock. The force was enough that Mitchell bounced, first over the gap, then again, and finally slid to a stop.
Malcolm’s wheelchair slammed into the ground and bounced a few times, but didn’t overturn.
“Note to self, never do that again with a patient on board.” Malcolm turned to check on his passenger. Aside from some jostling, Vanguard was still stable.
The journey to the hospital wasn’t far. Malcolm skidded to a stop in the ambulance area where attendants and doctors scrambled to get Vanguard into the ER.
Malcolm rolled into the deployment pad. A few technicians checked in on him and he let them know he did not need assistance.
In the elevator, Malcolm pressed the seven button and rode it in silence. At his desk, Malcolm filled out his report, leaving the interaction with Mitchell out of it.
I can’t keep doing this Mitch.
Submitting the report, Malcolm went to the break room to eat his lunch. As he finished eating, his cellphone chirped.
Thanks for not ratting me out to the cops. I was hired to deal with Vanguard today, it wasn’t personal. I know this is something you don’t understand, or at least condone. I also hope you understand why I am how I am. Living in your shadow and all that.
Thanks again, and I hope to see you on Thanksgiving.
Malcolm shook his head.
You idiot. There never was a shadow. We are twins. You are the older one by seven minutes. Dumb ass.