Chapter 15:



Frankie needed to throw up. She was now very grateful that Katie wasn’t conscious for this. As she heard the wail of sirens start to approach, she considered whether or not she would be safe soon. With no concrete answer, she grabbed some snacks from the shelf and dragged her sister into the bathroom.

Just outside, the forces of this park’s past clashed. The nostalgia and trauma of a generation stood across from each other on the blood-soaked road, steeling themselves for their next attack.

“Tell me you’ve had more tricks installed since we first met, Parker.” Action gleamed at the man’s amateur fighting stance.

Kiddie spit out a loose tooth as he gripped his outwardly ordinary fists together. He knew he no longer had any time left to put up with the terrorist’s remarks- stalling wasn’t gonna cut it. If he wanted time for his backup to arrive, he was gonna have to fight for it with his own abilities.

“I’ll give you a head start.” She offered, eyeing up his body. “I’ll let you in on something, though- me, I haven’t changed even a little since you last saw me. My nanobots are all I need. With the experience I’ve garnered since then… honey, I’m a killing machine.”

With his fingers already tucked into tight fists, Parker knew he needed only to exert the slightest bit more force to activate the machine skeleton below his knuckles. And so he shot himself forward, charging up to action as he strafed from side to side like an angry bee. At any point, Action could dismantle him with her own trickery. But something told Parker that wouldn’t happen.

“A boxer, eh? Rare to see that kind of self-improvement in a man your age.” The woman dodged his first strike, a hook from his right. She grabbed his extended arm in motion, many more taunts already prepared. “I could turn this arm to useless mush right now, you know.”

With no hesitation, Parker sent his other fist directly towards Action’s smug face. Like clockwork, her other hand gripped it midair, what she considered the best insult she’d pulled off yet. With both his hands under her control, the poor old man had been rendered unable to fight, determined as he may be.

So Action thought.

Unlike the twisted predator, Kiddie didn’t take this opportunity to call out his attack. His fist tightened in an instant, triggering the  systems installed inside it. From within his mechanical wrist, the rail actuated with the kinetic force held inside it ever since it was first inserted, ever since it was purchased with the very wish that this day would never arrive. 

Two tiny iron bars burst through the skin of his palm and broke directly through his still-locked fingers, carrying all the way through Action’s hand as they shot out many feet away to the ground behind them- locking into place as the contraption pinned itself to the concrete.

Jerking his elbow back in the chaos of the act, the rail system hitched and began its procedure. The whirr of a tiny engine within his skin could be heard as the the rail extending from Parker’s hand pulled the two of them all the way to its destination behind them. With Action scraping against the ground at high speed, Parker forced her head as close to the pavement as he could before they collided with the arrival point, disconnecting the rail and freeing Kiddie’s hand in the process. However, even now, Action still held tenaciously onto his right arm.

“You got better… guess this arm’ll be useless scrap instead of just flesh when I dismantle it, huh?”

Parker reeled back in horror, activating the rail trick inside his other fist as quick as he could. The rail shot into the concrete just a few inches below, pinning himself to the ground before detaching. A small movement, but just enough to escape Action’s grasp. He panicked, scurrying his strained legs to get away. Clever as he was, though, the man was now entirely defenseless.

“Cute trick.” Action stood, letting him run for just a moment. “But you really should’ve used it to get away, you know.”

Parker knew he was finished by now. He only hoped his son might make it out of this alive.

“Silly Parker… tricks are for speed!”

Action had two triggers for her trickery, as most did: one, to simply call upon them- “dismantle.” The other was a swift motion of her arms.

Action swung them downward, her nanobots dismantling the air below her, flying towards her prey. She quickly latched onto him, crawling on his back like a heavy spider as he crashed painfully into the ground.

“Now I’m going to take apart every last piece of you that won’t leave you dead. You and I are gonna go pay your little son a visit.”

Parker despised that he wasn’t able to save his guests on his own. He prayed that at least his own cries for help would be heard, after theirs lead only to disappointment. The cops would arrive any moment now. But beyond that… he wasn’t sure any of the other calls he made would warrant so much as someone picking up. Calls he made to people like him. Calls he made in hope someone else would understand the situation he was in. He knew in his heart that it was a childish idea.

At the end of the day… every other park owner in the country would directly benefit once he wasn’t in the picture anymore. His death would mean only the disappearance of a competitor to them. Nothing less… nothing more.

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