(Excerpt from Chapter One of “The Machinist Book Two: Benevolence”)
A wave of atomic energy blasted from Rampart’s eyes and incinerated the dozen undead in front of him. The superhero hovered a foot off of the ground, surveying the city block ahead.
“Clear,” he announced. “For now.”
Rampart brushed flecks of flambéed zombie off of his red and gold costume and noticed the small shreds where the ghouls had torn at him. He tsk’d under his breath.
One of the S.T.R.I.K.E. scientists behind the hero spoke up, his voice muffled by his hazmat suit. “You need to leave one or two for us to study, Rampart.”
“Complain to Hawke,” replied the human nuclear reactor as he lashed out at a distant gaggle of zombies with a pair of radioactive blasts from his hands. “My team’s principal goal here is containment.”
“And we’re here to synthesize a cure,” said a female scientist as she stepped ahead of the hero and scooped up a handful of black dust in her glove. The small pile glowed and sputtered as air moved over it. “But we can’t do much of anything with this.”
A trio of military helicopters thundered overhead past the science team and their superpowered escort. Rampart turned back and pointed a glowing finger in front of the woman’s protective mask. Her Geiger counter clicked wildly as the hero hissed at her, “I’m not taking any chances. I’ve lost too many good people this month.”
“And what about these people, what about their families?” The woman retorted, unfazed by the hero’s threatening gesture. “I’m not going to be the one to tell their kids we blew up Daddy when we could’ve cured him.”
The woman stared the hero down. If that made him blink, she couldn’t tell through the glowing orange aura his eyes emanated.
Rampart turned back and started hovering forward again, sneering. “These freaks probably ate their kids first.”
Copyright 2013 Alexander Maisey.