Skid Style Part 5

Ms. Menendez stepped closer to Skid, who stood a whole head taller. “Yeah, I suppose you could take it like that.” She shrugged, then adjusted her jacket and web belt. “I’m sure you might think crooks would come back to the scene of the crime to rob it again since it was so easy the first time. Trust me. They’re going to go look elsewhere. Too much attention down here for them to be comfortable with a second try. You’re not inconspicuous in that costume. A super like yourself is bad news for bad guys. Since you’ve decided to stake this place out, they won’t come back. There’s plenty of other docks to lift stuff from.”

Skid felt his heart sink a little. He’d hoped to catch them in the act here. He looked around the parking lot and back to the warehouse once more. “I guess you might be right. Maybe they know I’m out here looking for trouble.” He looked at Ms Menendez, who bent over and slowly maneuvered herself back into her car. She put her seat belt back on and closed the door. The car started with a soft roar. She smiled at Skid, then said, “I know it ain’t easy bein’ a super. Just let me say I like you out here. It makes my job a little easier.” “I think I’ll stick around then. See what happens. I’m fast enough to cover the whole yard.” Ms Menendez chuckled. “Yeah, you do that.”

Skid grinned, then sped off to the south, and made a quick stop-and-go circuit of the quiet docks short of the new modern cement piers. He took a quick look around, then sped off the dock to the pile of crates waiting for pickup in the morning. A quick glance showed no activity at the near end. He carfe gauged the distance for a few moments, then looked around for any potential witnesses. Satisfied he was alone, he concentrated, then accelerated. His speed, his actual top speed was in the mach numbers. He been tested on a treadmill, and burned it out with little effort. The top listed speed before it tore itself apart and nearly launched him into a wall, was three hundred fifty miles an hour. That had been the only test as well, despite the scientists repeated entreaties to ‘come back for more tests’. You’d think once was enough. It sure was for me.

With his first step, the world blurred around him. He might achieve mach, but his eyes were still normal, and still operated at roughly sixteen images per second. This seems like a lot, but in truth, much of the brain’s attempts at following things, such as a ninety-mile-an-hour baseball are as much estimation as actual tracking. After closing to a certain distance, the ball itself blurs out of focus due to the change of position. It was this way for Charlie. As he ran, the sharpest part of his vision was straight ahead, and only at a distance away from him. The faster he ran, the tighter the tunnel vision, and the further away from him things blurred out of focus.

It didn’t stop him from tyring to experiment, like now. But it produced some spectacular results, not all of them good. Like the time he ran down Plum avenue, and burst all the windows on the houses due to the air pressure. The sonic boom had the neighborhood convinced they were under alien invasion. The second time was while learning to judge distance. The brick wall had shattered under impact, so he didn’t, but the bruises were vivid, taking weeks to completely fade.

He started decelerating immediately after his first step, skidding to a stop way down near the end of the pier. Wood chips and chunks bounded past him, bouncing along the pier, until they came to the end, and disappeared, falling with tiny splashes into the water. He looked the last ten feet to the end of the pier, and it’s flimsy wooden fence. From there it was a good twenty feet to the rocky water. I wonder if I’d skip across the water at that speed? He heard a gasp behind him and turned.