(This is part two of my dignity-robbing battle with Yiff, the furry supervillain. You may want to check out part one first.)
So I’m trying to catch my breath and clear my head when I notice the cop car on the other side of Waterfront Park is burning. I’d let it burn except there’s a cop trapped underneath it, and as a superhero I have to do something about shit like that.
Okay, pull it together. Assess the situation: Yiff is still walking around in circles retching and holding his throat where I zapped him with a Ramblerang, so I figure I’ve got a few seconds of leeway. There are cops with guns and bullhorns on the edge of the park, wisely hiding behind cars. Helicopters thrum overhead. The KORN 4 news van has been joined by a crew from KLUB – there’s that weasel reporter Jim Crain with his windbreaker. I hate that guy. A fire truck and ambulance are rolling up, lights flashing. The cop under the car is yelling for help.
Do I rescue the cop or press the attack?
I need some elbow room, so I rip up a park bench – the bolts that anchor it to the plaza pop easily – and I smack Yiff with it. Pow! He flies back about twenty yards into the Bon Marche, crashing into one of their display windows, bowling over mannequins dressed in the latest fall fashion.
That was satisfying. Really, if you ever get a chance to hit somebody with a park bench, you should. Only hit bad guys, kids.
I run over to the burning cop car which is smashed at a crazy angle against a building at the edge of the plaza. The exposed undercarriage is on fire – the gas tanks are going to go. Trapped under the car, a bloody ECPD officer. Gasoline pools around him on the concrete. It’s a bad scene.
Throwing a glance over my shoulder, I see Yiff thrashing around in the Bon Marche window display. What’s he doing? A couple of firefighters are running up. One’s got a backboard, the other’s got a fire extinguisher. They both have moustaches. What is it with firefighters and moustaches? I heard that it’s to keep snot from dripping into their mouths when they’re fighting a fire. That’s what I hear.
Sorry, back to the scene.
One of the firefighters bends down and starts talking to the cop, checking him out, while the second one shoots the car with extinguisher. I stand there like an idiot, not knowing what to do. Do I pull the car off him?
Yiff is making dolphin sounds, tearing apart the mannequins. What a freak.
The firefighter’s extinguisher runs out of juice, and the car is still on fire. Jesus, is that all those things have in them?
Yiff is humping a headless mannequin in a turtleneck sweater. It’s only a matter of time before he turns his attention back my way.
“Guys, do you want me to pull this car off him or what?”
The firefighter with the useless extinguisher looks kind of startled. “You can do that?”
Doesn’t this guy read the papers? I make an exasperated 13 year old girl noise. “Yeah, dude, I’m the fucking Velvet Marauder.”
He looks to his buddy to make the call. “Will?”
Will looks up from the cop, who looks bad, bleeding from his nose. “Yeah, lift it straight up off him, okay? Straight up.”
I grab the undercarriage, which is sizzling hot. I can hear Yiff screaming behind me somewhere. “Okay, clear back, clear back!”
The cop car groans and creaks as I lift it. My gauntlets crumple the undercarriage, digging into the hot steel. I lift it straight up, using my legs. It’s fucking heavy, and awkward as hell.
When I figure I’ve cleared the cop I take a couple steps back. Whoosh – I hear it burst into flames. Time to get rid of it.
I pivot, stagger forward a few steps, and throw the cop car about twenty feet. It crashes into a big cement planter. The gas tank finally goes, and the entire car is engulfed in flames. The red and blue cop lights are still flashing.
Through the heat waves and the oily smoke I see Yiff on the other side of the park, stepping down out of the Bon Marche display window with a mannequin arm in his hand. He looks around with his big bear head and his glossy black eyes. Looking for something to hump, no doubt.
The firefighters are working on transferring the fallen cop to the backboard. A couple more paramedics are running forward, hunched low like they were in a war zone. They kind of are I guess. I catch a glimpse of white bone sticking through a red tear in the cop’s leg. Damn, that’s for real.
Okay, where is Yiff? I lost him in the smoke. I trot forward into the park, scanning for him…
…and that’s when I get hit by the car. Yiff picks up a Toyota Prius parked at the edge of the park and throws it at me.
I clearly recall thinking that I like the Prius, I’m all for alternate fuel sources and low emissions and the environment and shit like that. You kind of have to be in Evergreen City, or they throw you out. Anyway, I think to myself, “I like those, but I wish they came in different colors.” And then the car hits me.
Now, it’s not a big car, the Prius, so I don’t want to make a big deal out of it. It’s not like he threw a Ford Explorer at me or anything. So, no, it’s not a big car, but let me just say that getting hit with a car- any car – hurts like a bitch.
The car hits me and I fold like a map. I collapse under its weight – the hood lands on my face – and just get smeared across the plaza until I run into a big cement planter.
I pass out, I’m sure. The Prius is sort of a woman’s car, don’t you think? The colors, the design, even the name – sounds like an energy bar. It’s a feminine brand. I think Toyota should do a hybrid car in safety yellow, with black rubber bumpers. Sort of a mini-Tonka car. I’d buy one of those.
That’s what I think about in my dream state with this hybrid car on top of me.
Yiff makes weird keening noises as he approaches. He grabs the Prius and flips it off of me with a grunt.
I look up and see this big freaky superhuman guy in a dirty bear costume looming over me, panting. I do the first thing that comes to mind: I kick him in the crotch.
The impact lifts Yiff off his feet. He lands a few yards away, doubled over, caterwauling like a wounded yak.
“Okay, weirdo,” I say as I rise to my feet, shaky. I’m worried I have a concussion, and my shoulder doesn’t feel right, but my whole body is sort of numb and tingly so I can’t tell if I’m hurt bad or not. I step forward and grab Yiff by an ear. “Time to –“
Yiff backhands me. I fly back about sixty feet and skid right into the side of the KORN news van, narrowly missing the camera guy.
I look up at the blinding lights of the news camera. I grin up into the lens. “Hey, how you guys doing? Nice night, huh?” Smooth, huh? That will play well.
Yiff is howling. He’s picked up the Prius again and is holding it over his head. Gasoline is dripping down on him. He’s looking around for somewhere to throw it. The firefighters are carrying the cop out of the park on the backboard, moving as fast as they dare go. Yiff spots them.
“Hey!” I yell. I fire off a Ramblerang. Miss. “Hey, freakshow! Over here!”
The KORN cameraman is not psyched about this. “Hey man, what are you doing?”
I ignore him. “Hey, Huggy Bear! What’s going on? Is it pon farr or something?” God, I’m a geek. The firefighters are almost out of range.
The cameraman is still filming, but he’s edging away from me. “Shut up, dude! Can’t you see he’s got a car?”
“I guess somebody forgot to spay or neuter their giant bear, huh? Why don’t you put the hybrid automobile down and we’ll go find you one of those big FAO Schwartz teddy bears and you can hump that, okay?”
Yiff screams and throws the car. I go flat and feel it rush over my head, then it slams into the news van like a meteor. Don’t worry, the cameraman got out of the way. The firefighters clear the cop off the battlefield.
I’m up on my feet. “Missed!”
The KORN van is demolished, completely caved in with the Prius sticking out of it, smoking. I feel bad for a second – I’ll bet there’s a lot of expensive gear in that van. You know what, though? They voluntarily came here, they knew the risks. Besides, every company has superhuman insurance these days.
Yiff charges, head down. I jump directly up – about fifteen feet – and he plows under me and into the wrecked van. Crunch.
The trunk of the Prius has popped open and I spot a couple highway flares. On an impulse I grab them.
With an inhuman sound, Yiff tears free of the van. He whirls around, insane with rage. He spots me. Lunges.
Tomoe nage, the circle throw, is a judo move in which the defender grabs the attacker’s arm and lapel (or fur), falling back, while using a leg to catapult the attacker over you. I call it the Captain Kirk throw, because in damn near every episode of classic Star Trek where he got in a fight, Kirk was always busting some tomoe nage on somebody, flipping them through the air. I use tomoe nage on Yiff, and throw him clear across Waterfront Park. He lands near the promenade, crashing against the cement guard rail.
Press the attack. I sprint across the plaza, lighting one of the road flares. You saw that coming didn’t you? Using a bench as a springboard I launch myself into the air, into a high arc that brings me down right on Yiff.
I stab him in the chest with the burning flare. His gas-soaked teddy bear outfit goes up like a torch.
He doesn’t scream. He just bats me aside with another backhand. Smack! I hit another concrete planter. Who put all these fucking planters in the park anyway? Whatever happened to open space, why do we have to clutter our parks with these things? I mean, they hurt.
Yiff is just standing there, burning. He looks around, as if he’s dazed. Looks at one of his burning paws.
I stand up. He sees me, staggers toward me, fire rolling off of him. He smells like gas and piss. I kick him.
Yiff reels back over the cement guard rail, burning and smoking, crashing into the Bay forty feet below.
I run to the edge of the promenade. Yiff is floating face down in the waves. He landed on barely submerged rocks along the shore. I guess I better go get him.
Footsteps run up behind me. Cops, and a camera crew. They all run to the guard rail and look over.
One of the cops looks over at me. “You better get out of here,” he says, not unkindly.
I’m panting, dazed, hurt. It takes a second to register. Every cop in Evergreen City is advancing across the Park. Right. Time to go.
With what I hope seems like a jaunty salute, I trot off. I can hear the reporters calling after me. Some cop yells “freeze.” I jump up on to a roof and I’m gone.
About ten minutes later the pain kicks in. I barely make it to my car.