Chapter 2: A Night in the Life of Thrill Rider
Running down the pathway as fast as I can, barely dodging the onslaught of bullets following me, I jump to the ground and cover my head.
The bullets flying right past my head, I dust off the bits of woods that fell on me before pushing myself up. Slamming my back against the shelves filled with boxes, I peek around the corner.
“Six guys,” I say to myself. “Each armed with fully-automatic assault rifles. Wait, six guys?”
Counting the armed thugs, I count six again.
“Six,” I say again, looking all over. “Wait, where are Wolf and Baran?”
“I’m right here,” Mr. Wolf answers, a cold piece of metal begins gently place against the back of my neck. “So you’re Thrill Rider, uh? Are you ready to die?”
“Hmm,” I reply, thinking it over. “No, not ready. There are still so many things I want to do before I die: get superpowers, kiss a girl, break a world record for eating the most tater tots.”
“Wait, what,” Mr. Wolf says, “World record for eating the most tater tots?”
Bumping his hand out of the way with my elbow, Mr. Wolf misses my head. Turning around, I hit him in the knee, forcing him to the ground. Finishing him with a straight punch to the head, I grab his gun as he is falling. Dropping the clip and ejecting the bullet in the chamber, I toss the gun aside.
“Yes,” I say, pointing a finger at an unconscious Mr. Wolf. “A world record for eating the most tater tots. I like tater tots and I think I can do it. Anyway, that you’re accounted for, where is Baran?”
“I am right here,” Baran starts, his voice ringing throughout the warehouse. “Come on out Thrill Rider!”
Peeking around the shelf, I see Baran and reminding six guards, each holding their assault rifles by the barrel.
“You know you’re holding those things behind right,” I ask, taking out my pair of batons before thinking back to how I got here in the first place.
5-‘ish’ Hours Ago
“Oh boy,” Brian says, holding up a small slice of meat-eater pizza. “I have missed this. I have really missed this.”
Taking a bite of it, he cries a little before putting it down.
“Is that a tear of joy or is the pizza too hot,” Ash jokes, laughing as we watch Brian take a sip of his soda.
After a boring first day of greeting and figuring out seating assignments, the three of us headed to our favorite hangout place: Rocky’s New York Pizza. A small pizza joint with a few old-school arcade games near the front door, the three of us arrived here and split up. Ash grabbed a table near the window while Brian and I ordered the pizza, we only had to wait for a few minutes before the pizza arrived.
“Tear of joy,” Brian replies, breathing in and out before opening his mouth wide open. “Tear of joy.”
“I think I’m going to wait,” I whisper, sprinkling parmesan cheese onto my slice.
Fanning himself and finally swallowing his bite, Brian then looks at Ash and me.
“What,” Ash asks, laughing. “What are you looking at us like that?”
“I just miss you guys,” Brian says. “I mean, I was gone for two whole months in another state. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy my time with my grandma but I couldn’t help but think it would have been a whole lot more if you guys could join me.”
“Well sorry,” I start, “But as far as I know, my family members are mostly in Canada and Kansas. I don’t think I have any in Nevada.”
“What I’m talking about is, did you guys miss me?”
“Of course we missed you, you big moron,” Ash says, punching Brian in his arm. “You’re one of us. Have been since the fifth grade.”
“Then why didn’t either of you two call me the whole time?”
Our eyes going wide, we look at each other before looking at Brian.
“I mean, I had my cell phone with me the whole time. I was hoping one or both of you were called just to see how I was doing but nothing. If I didn’t know any better, I would say you guys forgot about me.”
“Oh god,” Ash starts, “I am so sorry Brian. I swear I didn’t forget about you. I was just busy.”
“Same here,” I say, thinking back to my summer vacation. Between hanging out with Ash and just starting as Thrill Rider, I was also busy hunting for supplies, reinforcing my base, and killing zombies.
“No, no, no,” Brian says, putting up his hands. “It’s fine! I was just, no. It’s fine.”
Taking another bite of his pizza, he instantly lets it fall back out. Taking a sip of his soda again, I lend toward Ash.
“I think I’m going to wait for a bit longer.”
Pushing her soda toward Brian, the three of us quickly finished the small pizza and went our separate ways. Waving and saying bye to each other, I head home while Brian and Ash go whatever it is they’re going.
Entering my parents’ home, I shoot a quick wave at my little brothers before stepping into my room. Besides the usual desk and chair where I do my homework, my bed where I sleep, and the window, what made my room stand out is the posters and action figures of DC and Marvel characters. Covering all four walls are posters featuring such as Black Widow and Hawk Eyes, Supergirl and Woman, and even a few with the Joker and Lex Luthor. On the shelves hanging above my desk are figurines; Venom, Scarlet Witch, the Atom, Black Lightning, and so many more.
Checking the time, I drop into bed and sleep for about two hours before waking up and getting ready. Stretching and cracking my bones, I open my closet for my ‘night-time suit’. Stuffing it into my backpack, I run out of the house and grab my bike. Riding into the night, I prepare to change as soon as I am far enough away.
“And then after a few hours of riding with nothing going on,” I say to myself, replaying the timeline in my head. “I suddenly found myself stopping an illegal arms deal between a gang of nobodies and a wanted Russia trafficker. Hmm, I wonder if this is the kind of thing that happens to Spider-man. I mean, before he started busting supervillains like Green Goblin and Dr. Octopus, join S.H.I.E.L.D, and started saving the world on the daily.”
“Thrill Rider,” Mr. Albert Baran screams, this time, firing a round into the ceiling.
With dual batons in my hands, I walk out from cover and find myself face-to-face with Baran and the six reminding thugs, each still holding the rifles by the barrels.
“You caused me this deal and one before,” Baran screeches, “I have had enough of you! My men and I will break all the bones in your body before killing you!”
Snapping his fingers, two out of the six thugs charge toward me. Raising their guns into the air, I dodge out of the way of the first thug before blocking the second thug’s attack with crossed batons. Kicking out his leg and falling to the ground, I swing a right hook and knock him out.
Hearing the second, first, thug scream as he lunges at me, I turn around and raise my leg. Stomping him in the chest, I stop him and hit him across the face with both my batons. Falling, I look at others.
“Two down,” I start, “Five to go. Who’s next?”
Snapping his finger again, two more thugs charge toward me. Running up to me, they swing their weapons but I duck under it.
“Haha,” I say, pointing at them. “You miss--”
A third thug hitting me from behind, I fall to the ground, screaming and dropping my batons. Looking up, I see a third or fifth, thug raises the butt of his rifle high above his head. Slamming it down, I manage to grab it before it can hit me! Pulling it toward me, and the thug too, I then push back on it, the handle of the rifle hitting the thug and knocking him to the ground.
Getting up, I turn to see the two from before running toward me. Thinking fast, I grab and hold up the rifle, using it as a shield to block the two. Pushing them away, I copy them and use the butt of the rifle to knock them both out. Falling down, I see the fallen thug get up. The last thug joining him, I back away.