Decker: Chapter 04

Decker: Chapter 04

A Chapter by Paul Mundane

Dear Hero Diary:

My dad used to say poo-gas when things smelt bad; especially if he made the smell.  He got it from one of his cartoons I think.  I used to find it hilarious when I was a kid. 

It’s not so funny now.

Decker floated carefully down the hole.  She wrapped her scarf tight around her body, and held the ends so they wouldn’t touch anything.  She stayed dead center in the ladder-well, and avoided the walls like they were electric.  The hole went down a good dozen feet before opening into a wide tunnel below the streets.

Grudgingly, Decker had to accept that it wasn’t as bad as she’d expected.  She’d pictured the sewer to be a tight tunnel, dripping with brown goop.  She’d expected a torrent of dark water and sludge.  She’d expected rats and centipedes and roaches in the millions.

Instead, the tunnel was actually quite wide.  Wide enough for her to fly through the center with little fear of brushing against the walls or ceiling.  There was a dark stained creek running between two raised walk ways, but it wasn’t the rushing river of sludge Decker had expected.  There was little threat of anyone ever drowning in it without a lot of help.  The walls of the tunnel were dry, and covered with graffiti.  There was a smell, sure, but that wasn’t terrible once you got used to it.  There were a few bugs, and the occasional rodent, but Decker didn’t care so long as they weren’t a swarm.  She wasn’t actually that squeamish; she simply didn’t want to drag her new clothes through a sewer.

Decker flew slowly along the tunnel.  She listened to the noises ahead.  The two boys weren’t even trying for quiet.  They splashed occasionally, talked loudly, and laughed about their escape.  Decker may not have been that great a detective, but these boys downright sucked at being stealthy.

There was something else; just below the din of the boys was a steady thumping noise.  It had the erratic heartbeat sound of techno, and Decker wondered if one of the boys had his music on.  The sound seemed to vibrate through the walls of the tunnel.

Ok, so I’m over the whole ‘this smell will stick to my clothes’.  Mostly because it’s not that bad.  It’s musty down here, but it’s not really poo-gas, you know?  In fact, this tunnel is  pretty clean.  Surprisingly dry.  I mean, there’s litter, and work materials, and I’d really rather not step in that water, but it’s not terrible.  And you know what?  It’s well lit in here.  I mean, full florescent light set-up.  That’s pretty weird for a sewer, right? 

You know what?  I’m thinking that it’s not the sewer at all.  I think something is most definitely up.   Have I stumbled on some super secret underground complex?  I wonder if anyone else knows this is here?

“Well, those boys knew it about this,” Decker commented out-loud.  It didn’t seem likely that they’d just stumbled on this while trying to get away from her.  She looked at the graffiti along the walls.  There was a noticeable arrow motif to the art, all pointing in the direction the boys had run.  The phrase FUN ZONE popped up amongst the drawings in regular intervals. 

Evidently those boys are going to a place called Fun Zone, somewhere in this mysterious tunnel.  Decker smiled, and continued to follow the arrows.  This feels right.  It feels super heroic.  I never would have thought chasing a bunch of underage muggers would lead to a secret lair under the city, but it is so super hero.  Decker thought on it.  Well, ok, right now it’s really sorta Scooby-Doo, but you know what Diary?  I’ll take it!

Decker was shaken from her thoughts as the steady beats grew distinctively loud, like someone had cranked the volume.  It was only for a moment, but it was noticeable.  Even when it quieted off, the thumping in the walls was still louder than it had been when Decker had first noticed it.  She was getting closer to the source.  Decker followed the tunnel until it opened up to a large subway platform.  The sound was still muffled, but it was most certainly music. 

Decker hovered, head tilted slightly.  A tile mosaic declared this platform to be Regal Park Station.  Two things went through Decker’s mind.  The first being that she had ended up in Regal Park anyways, despite her attempts to avoid the area.  The second thought being that Regal Park didn’t have a subway station.

That’s why the sewer didn’t seem like a sewer.  It wasn’t a sewer at all.  Decker rolled her eyes at her terrible mental sentence structure.  It’s a subway station, and the tunnel was a subway tunnel.  An abandoned subway station.  I wonder if this is even on the maps.  This is awesome!

The platform looked old.  The tiles were cracked, and stained with years of graffiti and dust.  There was a set of turnstiles leading to a newer looking steel wall, and a set of double doors.  Unlike the old tile and dusty marble; the doors were oak with red velvet trim.  The words FUN ZONE were printed boldly above them.  A large muscular man stood in front of the doors, looking very much the part of a bouncer. 

A few kids milled about the platform in tight groups.  They were smoking, or chatting, or drinking.  Most of them were far too young for two of the three.  None of them were the boys Decker had followed here.  The platform kids scattered when they saw Decker fly from the tunnel.

Unlike the kids, the man at the turnstile wasn’t moved by Decker’s appearance.  At best, he was mildly interested.  The man was at least seven foot tall, and made out of impossible amounts of muscle.  His tight black tee shirt the word BIG printed in white block letters.  Big stared at Decker from behind mirrored shades.  “You got business here, little lady?” he called over.

Decker floated slightly closer to the man.  “I’m uh,” Decker swallowed her anxiety at the size of Big.  She put her hands on her hips, and started again.  “I’m after a pair of boys that came down here after mugging a guy.”  She offered a hopeful smile.  “You haven’t seen them by chance, have you?”

Big nodded, and thrust a thumb at the doors behind him.  “Yeah.  Couple of guys went in recently.  Said they were being chased by some sort of super hero.” 

“That’s me,” Decker stated with as much importance as she could muster.  “I’m Decker.  I’m some sort of super hero.”  Decker winced at the end bit.  She probably could have done better on introduction.

Big shrugged.  “You don’t look like much to me.”

Decker looked at the big man.  “Well, you don’t look like much to me,” she lied.

Big chuckled.  “Guess I don’t huh?  Not to some big time hero.”  He sauntered over to her, his muscles shifting menacingly under his tight shirt.  “That as it is,” he continued, “I don’t think you have any business here, so you should probably get on your way.”

Decker hovered backwards warily at first, but then stopped and held her ground.  Super heroes didn’t back down.  “I have business here,” she insisted.  “Those boys stole something.”

“And now it’s gone,” Big finished.  “That’s how it goes sometimes.  Whatever they took is gone.  And it’s time for you to be gone too.”

“I came down here to get back what they took,” Decker insisted.  She scowled at Big.  “I’m not going anywhere until I get it back.”

“Yeah well, sorry to hear that.”  Big looked Decker over.  “Bit of a shame,” he said.  “You seem like a cute kid.” 

Big swung a meaty fist out, and caught Decker in the side of the head.  Already flying, Decker was thrown backwards by the force of the blow.  She twisted in the air, and recovered her inertia several feet away from Big.  Despite the show, his fist hadn’t actually reached her face.  Big stared at his hand.  Punching at the girl had been like trying to force his hand through taffy.

“The hell?”

“Force field,” Decker announced proudly.  She rolled her eyes.  “Well, ok, more of an inertial barrier I guess?  It’s like a force field, only it slows things down when they come at me.”

“Is that a fact?”  Big reached down, and effortlessly tore the triple arm guard from the turnstile.  “Guess I’ll have to try harder then.”

Big hurled the guard Frisbee-style at Decker.  She stared at the incoming projectile wide eyed, only just flying out of its path.  Decker looked back at the guard, imbedded deep in the far wall of the tunnel.  She was too distracted to see Big’s follow up, and was wide open when he drove a leaping full arm punch into the small of her back. 

Decker slammed into the far wall; her inertial barrier keeping her from being turned to paste.  She bounced off of it, into the waiting arms of Big.  He caught her up, and gorilla threw her back at the platform. 

Decker hit the platform hard.  Her barrier kept her from being hurt, but the sudden stop still knocked the wind out of her.  She was still catching her breath when Big brought his boot down at her.

Decker yelped, and rolled from under Big’s foot.  The platform tiles shattered as he stomped down where she’d been a second ago.  Decker pushed off the ground, trying to get into the air again.  Big backhanded her across the cheek as she tried to lift off.  He wrapped his huge arms around her while she was stunned, and began to squeeze.

“Your inertia thing can’t help you against this type of thing, can it?” he stated.  “Slow me down all you want, you’re still going get squished.”

He was right.  Big’s arms were slowly pushing in through Decker’s barrier.  She was already feeling the squeeze: it was getting hard to catch her breath.  Decker wriggled as much as she could, and concentrated on flying upward.  She popped from his bear hug suddenly, like a bar of soap squeezed too hard.   

Big shook his head in annoyance.  “You’re slippery, kid, I’ll give you that.  But if that’s all you got, we both know how this’ll end.”

Decker’s breathing was ragged, and her heart felt like it was stuck in her throat.  Still, she couldn’t let that one slide.  “Lucky for me,” she forced, “that’s not all I’ve got.”  Super hero banter: part of the job.

Decker thrust her hands forward in a full hadoken.  Unlike when she fired at the boy topside, she didn’t hold back against Big.  Her hair stood on end, and her eyes lit the tunnel as she unleashed her powers in a wide bolt of pure kinetic energy.  The blast caught Big in the chest, and flung him backwards.  He smashed the large oak doors off their hinges as he flew through them.  Decker followed close behind.

Decker stopped just beyond the doors.  The flashes of colored light in the darkness played havoc on her vision, and the thump-thump of forever techno rattled her teeth.  She could see kids dancing on several levels of catwalks.  There was a small scattering of arcade games, and a full sized half pipe on the main floor.  A small booth just inside the door was crammed with TVs and radios and computers.  Bins of cell phones and varied I-paraphernalia sat on shelves against the walls.  Frank’s wallet was maybe one of the hundred wallets thrown to the far corner of the booth.

Decker blinked as she took it all in.  Big was getting up slowly, but Decker was still distracted by the underground rave she’d uncovered.  “I’m not sure what I was expecting,” she admitted.

© 2013 Paul Mundane

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Added on May 4, 2013
Last Updated on May 4, 2013


Paul Mundane
Paul Mundane

Hanoi, Vietnam

Hello. My name is Laura. It is my pen name actually. I love writing so much and I hope to start my first book soon in the next month. Thanks! more..