Four of them. Each strong, big, angry. I felt bad for ‘em.
Dental surgery worth a damn wouldn’t be invented for the next few decades.
“Hello there,” I said, and they moved in closer. Four burly men, one little female me. I usually preferred just two. This was more ambitious than usual.
“What are you doing here?” one of them said in a voice like he had eaten nails.
“I am here, to do a little cleaning.”
“This ain’t the place for that—”
I punched him—just a general punch—and it made the air ripple as he flew across the floor and impacted the wall with a jolt. He gasped and spat out spit and blood.
“Funny, I say it is.” I popped my neck. “So, I know how this usually goes: you all freak out and run away—that’s what I would honestly prefer. I only need him. Or—”
I ducked down hard as one of the others darted to grab me. Rather than bend at the knees, I tilted forward all the way and slammed my palms on the concrete.
“That was what I expected,” I said, and lifted my legs off the ground. Spinning into a kick. The front of my foot hit the guy, and he jolted, his cheekbones going crunch.
A quick tuck and move and I was right back to standing.
“That proof enough? I want him, let me take him?”
The two remaining stood a few feet back, looking wary, but were armed with brass knuckles.
“What did he do?” one of them asked.
I flexed, and my forearms glowed. They showed streams of numbers; a ton of symbols spiraling and moving in a sequence I barely even understood.
“He hasn’t yet. But, he hit my daughter.”
Electricity crackled along my knuckles.
“With a truck.”
The two of them flinched, but, the target, the one I had slammed into the wall, was now holding a gun, lifting it with great effort. His finger tightened, and I leaped straight up, my head hitting the ceiling and sending a painful jolt into my bones.
But the bullet zipped along past, and I landed with a little smile on my lips.
“Okay, that was fun.” I ran forward. “But you’ll have to try a bit harder than that.”
He moved his barrel toward me before my outstretching foot smacked his hand and made the gun fly off to the side. Rather than ride the motion all the way, I reversed and swung back my foot—my heel—at his head.
This child murderer, or, rather, one who would soon be a child murderer, got it right to the side of his temple. Blood squirted out from his mouth and he collapsed to the ground. His skull was not shaped right anymore.
“Didn’t see that coming, did you?” I shouted. “Maybe look before you barrel down a pedestrian road, huh!?”
Then the paradox caught up with me.