(Continued, rough draft so errors will abound. comments still welcome)
People assume that if you have a Southern accent you must have grown on a farm. The truth of the matter is while I have family with farms, I am hardly an expert on poultry. Chicken coops stink, I know that much, so after I grasped the immensity of this things size, I then became illuminated to the intensity of the stench that wafted from it as feathers flew.
"Oh," I made a face after getting the big man back inside a building, "You are one foul fowl. Now let's calm down, and not eat anyone okay? Nice rooster, good rooster, rather rank rooster" I continued in a voice I hoped sounded soothing while still getting the attention of the Brobdingnagian bird.
Not respecting my extensive vocabulary, the damn thing kicked me a good sixty feet in the air and smashed me through the window of a second-floor apartment. There was the shattering of glass, a woman's scream, and I looked up to see an open bathroom door and a woman desperately reaching for a towel.
I averted my eyes from her and apologized, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, giant chicken!" I pointed to the window!
"That is no excuse! Chanel 3 always said heroes were menaces and I always thought they were too rough on you guys, but I'm starting to have serious," Her eyes drifted to follow where I was pointing "It's a giant chicken!" Her eyes widened as an angry avian approached.
"What I said!" I reminded, "Get back in the bathroom, close the door, and lay low."
"The size of that pecker is huge," She gaped.
I was being so good right now, I thought before saying "Bathroom, lay low. Thanks."
And I leapt from the window projecting myself with superstrong legs to punch the chicken right in the head! I hoped to line up the trajectory, so it fell on the street and not the buildings. I didn't quite get the English on it right, and the thing staggered back into a street light!
This thing wasn't just big and strong, it could take a punch that would go through steel!
And yes, I'm aware some animal lovers would be appalled that I just risked what might have been a killing blow on a chicken. To which I ask if you've ever eaten out of a bucket? If you have, then you have no moral high ground.
"Cock-a-doodle-do!" I said and made scratching motions as I tried to lead it away. An area with warehouses would be best. Some of those are empty half the year. It's why villains often squat there. I needed to get this thing away from the heavier populated area.
Apparently megachicken did not like my scratching the ground, miming a rooster. In fact he really, really, looked quite pissed.
"Buh-Ka!" it bellowed and charged.
"And here we go," I said breaking into a full run of my own. In the past I've often lamented my lack of mobility compared to some other heroes who can run at superspeed, fly, or even teleport. To compensate for this, I've been practicing my sprinting. Unlike my swimming speed I won't be breaking any records for that.
Have you ever tried outrunning a fifty-foot tall anything? Talk about a wide stride, that damn chicken was on me much faster than I intended. I'd barely gotten another quarter of a block. From the window of another building I could see someone using their phone to record me. Well, if I had any dignity in this before, and I'm not sure how I could. Fish Guy runs from Fowl Giant- Film at Eleven.
I leaped, hoping to get some more distance. Superstrength in the legs means you can really hop when you have to; but the damn thing caught me in mid air! One moment I was hitting Olympic high jump levels of altitude, and then SNAP there was pain.
A lot of pain.
The beck hadn't just clamped down on me, it was actually cutting through the skin of the right leg it had trapped and was squeezing harder. What the hell had empowered this thing? I could only imagine what the spurs would do.
If I wasn't hurting and embarrassed both, I might have had the presence of mind to joke about getting a leg up in the world, and certainly threats about eleven secret herbs and spices in the fowl's future would surely have flowed. As it was, I wasn't on top of my quip game.
Heck, I didn't even think to call the giant rooster 'Chicken not so little'
"Let go!" I said and reared my free leg up and plowed it in the side of the face with the force of a wrecking ball. And when it didn't work the first time, I did it again, and again.
Third time being the charm the chicken cried out in pain and dropped me. The bird was really at the multiple shots to its head.
And I? I plummeted to the ground from nearly fifty in the air, slamming into the street below with all the grace of a bean bag with dreams of flight. I rolled to my feet feeling more than a bit tender. I needed to keep pulling this thing away from the populated areas. Protecting innocents is priority one for the New Samaritans.
Even if those innocents are idiots.
The news van's lights caught Megachicken's attention right away. That, combined with the movement, really drew its attention away from me. And that was something nobody could afford.
Megachicken charged towards this new target and the driver of the van got a panicked look in his face and tried to turn despite the reporter screaming in his ear that they couldn't leave without the story- Smart Driver.
I needed its attention again. And to save whatever members of the fourth estate that didn't have the sense to stay away from Poultry that could quite literally bite their heads off. Seizing the bent streetlamp, I tore it all the way out and whipped it around with what I hoped was a challenging bellow and throw it like a drunken Scottish American on steroids at a highland games contest. It struck the back of the chicken where it bent and warped before sliding off the dirty feathers of the beast.
I don't know how much the throw hurt it, if at all, but it did cast one baleful eye my way and the chicken chase was on again. I was going slower than before, of course. A wounded leg will do that to you, but at least we were almost at the warehouses and, praise the lord, the news crew wasn't closing in again.
They can be taught.
I also noticed the chicken was shaken a little, maybe not as quick as it was before after all. That was gratifying. When I kick something in the head, it keeps the old ego bolstered to know said kick is having an effect. That said, it was still gaining again. Possibly because I was challenging it.
"Hey, Buhkaw!" I said over shoulder and held up my hands over my head in what I hoped looked like a bristling comb mimicry.
"BuhKaw!" Megachicken thundered back. No, he did not like this challenge at all. I made another jump, well, hop, towards the warehouse avoiding falling under another talon lash. One more jump and we were in the warehouse parking lot. Not a car was in sight, no lights in the building were on.
I was safe to cut loose and then some.
I turned around and this time when the damn bird tried to kick me, I ran under its legs and took a shot at the right drumstick while the left was upraised. Tough this thing was, but it still needed support and balance. So Roostersaurus came a tumbling down.
I nearly got pinned underneath it. Wouldn't that be a hoot? But I had room to move now. I could cut loose, and let me tell you something, aching leg or not? It felt good!
Another leap, another punch to the creature's head and this it felt! Only feathers were really masking the massive bruises I was now inflicting on this thing. It began to stand up, I tore feathers on my way to prevent myself from falling. They were slick, stinky, and gross and I was going to need a shower after this. I gave him a belly shot on my way down and it staggered again even as I landed.
"That's right, big guy, I've been going easy on you up till now," I grabbed a leg, braced, and exerted myself. I was about to lift something heavier than a post office building. I should know, I had a basis for comparison.
I lifted megachicken up off its feet! And was already to flip it on its back again!
What happened next, I did not expect. I should have, but I didn't.
There was an intense rush of wind, a foul-smelling torrent of air, accompanied by sounds akin to muffled thunder, and I? I was rising off the ground. There was a good reason for that. The now panicking chicken was trying to fly! I don't know if whatever had increased its wing size had made it possible, but by the Spirit of the Colonel himself, the damn thing was taking off.
And taking me with it.
This is my life.
"Oh, come on!" I called out as we took to the air together. We were going up, up, and over the warehouse I had worked so hard to lead it to. Then we began to go down again. I don't know. Maybe the chicken got tired. Maybe the forces of science finally noticed and said: This is just too much. No. Just no.
So here we were about to nest on a warehouse.
There was no way that roof was going to hold her weight. I guess it wouldn't be superheroing if there wasn't some property damage. Still, I winced as I dropped down to the warehouse, not because my leg was pounding already and landing from that height stung, but because I knew what was happening next.
Well, I thought I knew what was happening next.
Yes, Megachicken fell down on the warehouse roof. Yes, the roof began almost immediately to buckle and break under it. It flapped furiously and fell through. I could see all that happening.
What I didn't see coming was the woman levitating over the chicken, and then suddenly plummeting down like a human cannonball. Once it began, I had quite the show.
There was a horrendous crack, and I think said lady gave the rooster a concussion. Its huge eyes widened, and then it went out. The costumed woman slid rapidly at first, then suddenly slowed and drifted through the air like a ghost towards me. Just as quickly she dropped before me, grabbed me to bring my head down, and decided she wanted to steal a good chunk of the oxygen in my lungs as she laid one hell of a kiss on me.
"Hi," She said when she parted.
I grinned down at her, "Nice costume."
What wasn't to like? The costume was green and red, with a few gold touches to break things up. Her emerald top had a V cut edged in gold which showed a tasteful and appealing flash of cleavage but not anything you'd worry about coming part at the first time she got knocked end over end. The red leggings under a gold belt also worked out nicely and, as she wasn't stupid, the boots did not have high heels. It was form fitting and functional, and she even had gloves of gold and green to keep those pesky finger prints from betraying her. The Mask went down to bottom of the nose level.
"Thanks I," She made a face at something, "What's that smell?"
"That would be the giant chicken you just clambered all over," I said, "And that I was fighting before that." I started to pull her in for another kiss, but she was having none of it.
"No, no, sorry, not until we've both had a shower or bath, ugh," a firm shake of the head no.
"Are you telling I can't kiss or touch you again because of filthy fifty foot tall rooster?" I raised a brow.
"that's what I'm saying," Ariana nodded. Ariana is not a tall woman, and she's pretty, so much to her annoyance sometimes every little thing she does is adorable. Combine that with what I said and, I couldn't help what slipped out of my mouth next.
"Gives a whole new definition to cock-blocked" I grinned.
She groaned "Okay, you just blocked yourself, I'll decide how long."
I grinned at that "Now, you're being mean, miss…" A thought occurred to me, "Wait, what's your superhero name? I mean, I hope you already picked one?"
"I sure did," She grinned, "Say hello to the newest member of the New Samaritans, Valorosa!" Ariana, that is, Valorosa, struck an exaggerated heroic pose.
"Valarosa? I-" Then the metaphorical lightbulb came on over my head. I had learned some more Spanish words since dating Ariana "Wait, isn't that Spanish for Valorous?"
"Si," She dimpled, "Your Spanish is really coming along. Though to be fair that is an easy one. Valorosa is indeed the feminine form of Valorous. I kind of stole his name. It’s a good one, and that jerk certainly didn't deserve it."
"Kind of?" I raised a brow, "Does Arctic Fox know about this?"
"Know about it?" Valorosa replied, "Who do you think suggested it?"
"Of course, she did," I said, shook my head, and began to chuckle. Trust the men girl for justice to get a bit of her own back. You know, normally I don't believe in stealing a superhero's name, but in the end? Valorous had been no hero. He had broken Ariana's arm, in fact, and might have killed her if he felt he had to for his "mission". There are a lot of things I regret in this life. Beating the holy snot out of Valorous and taking his amplifier tech off him? Not even close. And the more I remembered, the more I wanted to punch him again. I could only imagine how rightfully ticked Arctic Fox felt.
Yeah, Valorous didn't deserve that name.
The Authorities began to come in, firemen, police, and animal control. Exactly what they were going to do with a fifty-foot-tall chicken? I don't know. But the news tonight was going to be interesting.
Valorosa was frowning her chocolate eyes intent. I followed the gaze and realized she was looking at the wounds on my leg.
"I'll heal up in the shower" I promised.
"Mmph," She said, "Another reason for you to take one."
"Wash my back?" I grinned broadly.
"Eww, no," Then a slip of a smile escaped, "But once you've got the first layer off, I might let you wash mine? Would that be too daunting a task for the mighty Eel?"
"It's a tough job," my grin widened, "But a man's got to do what a man's got to do."
"My hero" She said dramatically.
We left before the press could be allowed closer by the Authorities. Ariana believed, and I had to agree, that fighting a fifty-foot-tall rooster should not be your first act on record as a superhero. The media would get the word on Valorosa another day.
The shower was wonderful, thank you, and obviously for reasons that went well beyond getting clean or even regeneration. Ariana likes to complain I rushed the first kiss between us all because we defeated a bad guy together. But she kissed back! About two months into our relationship, we got serious, as in, all the way serious. It was a more mature relationship than I'd been in in, well, perhaps ever, and rather than getting scared about where this was going, I found myself kind of thoughtful about that very thing.
Then again, I've been burned by romance as much as anyone else. Don't rush things, Caleb.
We had gone to the base, so Mabel chiming in on the wall did not surprise me, "Hey there you two, I'm assuming it's two?"
Ariana blush prettily at that, and said "Yes, and you know that. Is the team back from their diplomatic meeting?"
"Yes, and speaking of meetings," Mabel hinted, "There's one up in the next ten minutes. All Sammies expected."
"We'll be there," I assured "Thanks, Mabel."
The light that was active whenever Mabel was 'in' a room went off, and I smiled at Ariana, "Lot can be done in ten minutes."
"yes," She agreed, "But can it be done well? Let's get dressed. What we can do? We can get fully dressed in clean clothes," A light pat and it looked like that was the plan despite my hopes. Oh well, can't blame a guy for trying for a round two right?
What could I say, I'm flesh and blood, young and male, and I maybe in love with her. This is a combination that leads to romantic poetry or at least bawdy hip hop. But here I was hiking on clothes and making sure I was respectable enough for our little group talk.
The base was built into an old mall. At first I was surprised, but after I got over that, I started to realize how brilliant that was. A lot of old malls are dying, but the size is huge, and for those that were closed, they have an area of parking space nowhere near a house or private business. In short, innocents won't be endangered unless we have guests, and most folks don't know about the place.
Add to that super tech and this is a really nice set up. And the rooms here are so much nicer than my apartment it is hard not using this place as my main residence instead of the secondary one.
The others were waiting in what had once been a food court. Everyone was there, though not everyone was in costume. Lady Obsidian, for example, was dressed in her usual professional classy casual combo. The oldest member of our team, Doctor Vivian Vernon was also our leader. She'd been at this longer than any of us.
But even she could be surprised.
"A fifty-foot-tall chicken is all over the news, the square cube law has been repealed so often I think it's merely a guideline now" She sighed.