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Maid of Steel – Blow Up!

Kelly let out a loud and heavy sigh. With her face turned towards the sky she rolled her eyes and said, “I don’t have time for this.” Refocusing on the woman in front of her she put her hands on her hips. “Look, so far you have proven that you have Harbor City’s best interest at heart. Due to what is happening at the moment, I have little choice but to trust you.”

Vivian’s face morphed into a wide smile and dinner plates for eyes. Her hands clapped, and she hopped up and down. “You can trust me. You can trust me.”

“Let’s go,” Kelly said and took to the air.

“Yes!” Vivian did a fist pump, then followed.

“I’m ready,” Scimitar said out loud to nobody.

“Good,” Prophet’s voice said in Scimitar’s ear. “Just wait for them to show and then when they least expect it, shoot ‘em.”

“I know the plan.” Scimitar shook his head. “I can’t wait to get this over with and get you outta my ear. Like a damn gnat.”

“If you pull this off,” Prophet said. “Both of our problems will go away.”

“Not soon enough.”

Both women landed outside the last bank, and the doors burst open. Five dark clad men charged forward shouting the same battle cry, “My love will conquer all!”

“Sidewalk,” shouted Kelly and bent down.

“Got it,” replied Vivian and imitated the senior hero.

Both women gripped the edges and yanked it up in a whipping motion. The subsequent wave catapulted all five men and in random directions. One landed headfirst into a nearby designated parking sign and didn’t move. Another flailed back and connected with the low roof covering the sidewalk. He also didn’t move. The last three landed sprawled in the nearly vacant parking lot and scrambled to their feet.

“That was slick,” Vivian said. “Keeps the numbers down.”

Kelly pushed off the curb and zoomed at the cluster of men. Leaning with an open hand, she shoved her palm at the first man. This produced a cascading effect, and he connected with the second man and both went flying further back into a parked van.

Vivian took the hint and floated towards the last man standing and punched him in the jaw, knocking him out.

“That should do it,” Vivian said with a smile on her face.

“All banks are secure,” SYMON said. “The police have their suspects in custody.”

“Great,” Vivian said. Her eyes scanned the immediate area. “Now all we have to do is figure out the distraction part.”

“There is a forty-five percent chance the distraction was to cover up the theft at Hagger Chemical.” SYMON cycled through several colors. “A break-in was reported one point seven five hours ago.”

“Do you know who broke in?” Vivian held SYMON level with her head.

“What was stolen,” Kelly interrupted. “The who doesn’t matter so much.”

“A man wearing a domino mask,” SYMON said. A hologram of Scimitar hovered over the bracelet as it spoke. “He used a power blade that extended from his hand to disable the security measures.” The hologram disappeared and a video of the same man cutting a locking mechanism displayed.

“That guy looks like he means business,” Kelly said. “You wouldn’t happen to have a name, would you?” Kelly looked at the gray bracelet.

“SYMON!” Vivian held her arm out as if it offended her. “How did this happen?” Her other hand went to her face and her eyes spread wide.

“What?” Kelly stepped towards Vivian. “Who is that?”

“It’s Scimitar,” Vivian said straightening. “He’s from my time and he’s probably here to kill me.”

“Why?” Kelly arched an eyebrow at the new information. “What did you do to him?”

“Nothing,” Vivian said, tears forming in her eyes. “My parents are supposed to testify in the tribunal that will put him in stasis.”

“Is that why you traveled to this time?” Kelly put a hand on Vivian’s shoulder. “Like witness protection.”

“Exactly,” SYMON said. “The enforcers sent Vivian, Amethystia, here to protect her and her parents. If Scimitar is here, it means only one thing.”

“He knows where I am,” Vivian said, the tears streaming over her cheeks and off her chin. “He also knows where my parents are.”

“Amethystia!” Kelly shook the shoulder she held. “He can’t take out both of us?”

“Assuming we know where he is?” Vivian sniffled and dried her face with the back of her gloved hand. “SYMON, find potential locations of Scimitar.”

The orange bracelet glowed. “There are three likely locations. One is on the other side of the city getting other equipment. But there have been no reported robberies.” SYMON paused a second. “The second would be trying to find one of his ancestors to influence them of some nefarious crime. However, the closest ancestor of him is over three hundred miles away.” SYMON’s color changed to bright pink. “The last location would be—”

“Right here.” Scimitar walked across the empty parking lot towards the two women. His power extended past his left hand. Two silver straps went around his body. The upper strap wound under his arm while the lower encircled his waist. “Nothing like the present to deal with your future.”

Both women shifted to face the advancing brute. Kelly glowed a light crimson as she activated her protective powers. Vivian touched the buckle of her belt and a violet glow covered her body.

“What’s he got on his back?” Kelly asked with a looked at Vivian.

“I don’t know,” Vivian answered. “I’ve never seen it before.”

“There are an increased amount of Delta particles emanating from Scimitar,” SYMON said loud enough to be heard by both women. “This means he has found a way to enhance his already formidable powers.”

“A SYMON unit.” Scimitar flashed a greasy smile at Vivian. “That explains a lot. Like how you know about the current timeline.” He jumped into the air and swung his blade in a downward arc as he touched the faded asphalt. A dark crack zig-zagged across the open space and under Vivian’s feet. The gap spread wide enough to hold a large luxury car.

As Vivian fell, she activated her flight suit and hovered just over the dark scar on the ground. “He’s psychotic!”

As the crack traveled the last few feet, Kelly launched from a standing position to horizontal in the blink of an eye. Fisting her hand, she zoomed through the four yards separating her and Scimitar. The crack of her fist connecting with jawbone echoed in her ears. Scimitar’s head jerked to the left, then righted itself to face Kelly as she flew past him a few feet.

“Better get this out of the way now,” he said as he punched Kelly in passing. “Prophet wants you out, and he provided me the means, so I hafta uphold my end o’ the agreement.”

The punch was well aimed and timed to connect with Kelly’s nose. She reeled from the blow and staggered to ground. The protective barrier kept Scimitar from breaking her nose or skin. With small white dots dancing in her eyes, Kelly used her hands to get to her feet. “I felt that.”

“Good,” Scimitar said with a chuckle. “Cause I didn’t feel a thing.”

“Amethystia,” SYMON shouted. “You need to get out of here.”

“What?” Vivian took floated away from the crack and landed on the paved parking lot. “Why?”

“Scimitar has a molecular augmentation device rigged on his back,” SYMON said. “That cylinder thing is synced to his system. See the green lights?”

“Yeah,” Vivian answered. “How do we stop him?”

“We don’t,” SYMON answered. “No one in recorded history ever has. The wearer usually just explodes.”

“That’s not that big of a deal,” Vivian said and shrugged. “We just have to wait for time.”

SYMON shouted, “the explosion will cover—”

Scimitar barreled towards Vivian, forcing her to dart to a side and roll to her feet. “Damn, that was close.”

“The explosion will cover thirty plus miles,” SYMON repeated.

“What did that thing say about an explosion,” Kelly shouted as she refocused on the villain they were fighting.

“The device I’m wearing will explode in under one minute,” Scimitar said, a sneer spoiling his handsome looks. “Even if you beat me, you don’t have time to do anything.”

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