Chapter 7

Quake adjusted the towel around his waist and plonked himself on a chair in the control room to play back any recent activity on the monitors. He shook his head with a smile as he watched Bounce freak a few pedestrians, then switched off the recording.

He spun around in the chair with a childish ‘whee!’ before sighing at the empty room. There was no one home. He was bored. Not just now, but with everything. His last mission had been to stop a dangerously fast police pursuit before anyone got seriously hurt. The police chopper had dropped him in front of the getaway vehicle, where he'd opened the ground with a quick tremor. It took all of five seconds. The speeding car raced by, all four tires blowing out as they hit the crack in the road. It skidded to a halt and the police were waiting to nab the bad guys.

Bad guys? Ha! What’s the world coming to? He thought. Whatever happened to the good old days of crazed villains with super powers of their own? They seemed so far and few between that there weren’t enough to go around any more.

Bored, bored, bored! Perhaps he should have stayed in Egypt. At least he could pass the time shaking the ground lose for archaeologists!

He absentmindedly fondled his chest hair as he sauntered over to the laundry shoot and peered in. “You okay down there? Did they feed you today?” he shouted into the blackness. The only response was the echo of his own voice.

He grinned and sighed, leaning back against the wall. An angelic figure appeared in the doorway. Quake jumped.

“Bounce!” he exclaimed, looking around for anyone with him. “How did you find this place?”

Bounce smiled and stepped into the room.

“You here alone?” Bounce asked, ignoring the question put to him.

“Are you?”

Bounce nodded. “I’ve come to kidnap you,” he grinned.

“Is that so?” Quake smiled and pushed Bounce back against the wall, pinning him by the wrists. “I think you have some explaining to do.”

“Oh, I have more to do that that,” Bounce chuckled, breathing in the freshly bathed scent of Quake’s flesh. His arms suddenly turned to rubber and slid through the grip, wrapping around Quake’s forearms like a pair of snakes. He remembered Seduction’s words: “You have a gift. Think outside the playground and learn to use it.”

“What the..?!” Quake frowned, taking a few steps back as he tried to pull his arms free.

“I’m not a kid any more,” Quake grinned. “I’ve been taught by the best.” A flick of his shoulders sent a Mexican Wave shooting down his rubbery arms. As it snapped across Quake's arms, Quake lost his footing, dropping to his knees. A look of surprise covered his face.

Quickly, Quake sent a tremor back up his own arms as he rose to his feet, but the rubbery skin absorbed the shock. Bounce stretched his body up and out in a terrifying blanket of rubber that loomed over the Mediterranean champion. His sudden height lifted Quake’s arms into the air, leaving him dangling on his toes.

Quake tried for another tremor, harder this time, cracking open the floor of the control room and sending furniture jumping into the air. But still Bounce held on, wobbling with the impact but otherwise unaffected. He stepped forward to engulf Quake with his body. Quake kicked out, but the rubbery wall just absorbed that too.

Disbelief filled Quake’s mind. None of them had ever though of Bounce as anything more than a thrill-seeking prankster. 

What the Hell is going on?! he thought.

Bounce’s chest smothered Quake's face now, cutting off his oxygen supply as the cocoon sealed around him.  Quake thrashed about, and they rebounded from the wall, but in his leathery state, Bounce’s was immune from the beating.

The duo fell to the floor, rolling around in the dust and fallen plaster until suddenly there was stillness. A moment later, Bounce retracted his skin, returning it to its normal state. He was lying on top of Quake. He lay there for a moment, enjoying the course fur of the unconscious man scratching against him. Then he sat up and looked down at Quake, stroking the finely trimmed beard.

Seduction had been right. All those years of playing around; never once realising his potential! One week ago, the fear of facing Quake would have sent Bounce fleeing in terror. And now here he was, the new champion, feeling stronger and prouder than ever, sitting on top of his prize.

Under Seduction’s rule, they would be unstoppable, and he, Bounce, would be leading the charge.

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