Folks, as usual, I’ve got shit to do that isn’t interesting and y’all want funtimes, so rather than me bore you with all that, I’m handing off storyteller duties to the radio. It’s a lot like being a bad parent. But at least some of these stories are interesting, from time to time.
“Alrighty folks, that song there was the tribute to the greatest song in the world, and a great segue into tonight’s story of felonious fun. If you’re just joining us, I’m Medley, sitting in tonight for Rebel Rebel, who is out under FBI surveillance. She’ll be back as soon as the heat is off.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock or in the middle of nowhere, you’ve noticed the popularity in our profession nowadays. I’m sure we’ve all seen the new metal, the stuff they’re calling thunderbolt ore. I hear “thunderbolt iron” is a nickname for meteoric iron. When metal fell from the skies, ancient peoples made spearheads, swords, and talismans out of it. Talismans or talismen?
Potato, potato, I don’t care. But for some time, ever since shortly after a bunch of our guys and the good guys joined forces to blow up that asteroid trying to hit the Earth, people have been finding something new that’s believed to be from that asteroid. Some new alloy of deep space metals with new properties. Listeners might have seen those in action. We’re already seeing some of these villains invited into the fold, or other villains enhancing their abilities with this metal.
This is a story submitted by one of our newfound thunderbolt friends. No, that’s a horrible phrase. “Thunderbolt Friends” sounds like a kid’s show. I’m sure we’ll come up with something.
Here’s the story submitted to us under the name “Heavy Metal”
I found my first hunk of thunderbolt metal on a hike through these woods near the suburb where I live. It wasn’t like I expected from movies or TV. There wasn’t a huge crater or a cave it created. One day, there was that big clay ditch area, the next there was a bubbly, dark green thing sticking out of the clay. I’ve seen Joe Dirt, so I didn’t automatically assume this was a meteorite. It was a little bigger than a basketball with a melty-looking point on the end that was sticking out. As far as I knew, it was an airplane shit dump. I wasn’t going to touch it.
It was a curiosity until I mentioned it to a friend of mine, Frank, who dabbled in Society for Creative Anachronism. He likes blacksmithing, and we came up with an idea to break the bits up into nice-looking necklaces and sell them to people at the next Ren Faire. We were going to call it meteor metal, or maybe joke and say it was supposed to be orichalcum.
It was a whole to-do getting that big hunk and we used gloves. Frank was looking at it odd, but he said he’d spend a couple days messing with it and tell me if anyone had peanuts. He called me back during dinner the next day and told me we’d found something unusual. All he told me is he found something incredible and I should come over. I told him to let me finish my burger first and he had a deal.
“I broke off a segment and noticed this was definitely metal. Thought it was too awesome to waste on Ren Faire people unless we charged out the ass for it. I worked some of it into a rough ring and I wanted to make another part from that into a knife.”
He explained all this to me in one go as he walked me to his garage. He had the block of metal up on a bench near his workspace. Laying nearby was a ring that he’d ground down, smoothed, and polished. The knife looked like something from the stone age, with a simple cloth wrap around a jagged bit of metal that formed a very rough blade. He hadn’t even gone as far as making it into an old caveman chipped stone knife.
“Watch this,” Frank said. He put on the ring and held his hand out. The knife lifted up off the table and floated to his hand. It wasn’t like how a string would raise it up. I waved my hand over both, checking the ceiling for anything that helped him do that.
“Holy fuck,” I said.
“Here, you try!” He pulled the ring off and handed it to me, then set the knife down.
“How do I do this?” I asked. I thought of the knife flying up and it did. Simple. Easy. I thought of it embedding in the wall nearby and it did that too.
Frank wasn’t even mad. He jumped and smiled at me. “Yeah!”
Curious, I turned and tried to lift the whole rest of the misshapen chunk on the workbench. Nothing happened. “Why didn’t that do it?”
“I don’t know,” Frank said, throwing up his hands. “I tried it to. This is cool shit, but we need to figure out how it works.”
“This is, we could do stuff with this. Fuck selling this in a booth, man, we could be rich,” I said.
“We can’t be the only one with this metal,” Frank reminded me. “There’s got to be more though.”
“What made you break off just this section into these two pieces?” I asked him.
He shrugged. “I guess the cleavage of the metal. That was one section.”
“You should experiment. We need to do something with this,” I told him.
Now, it might seem weird to most that our first thought for doing something about this was making money and committing crimes. Money’s good. Fuck, we can use money. Frank seems to enjoy his hobbies and he spent a lot of money on that equipment, but my life’s shit. I started going on hikes because I was morbidly curious about the best spot out there to shoot myself in the fucking head. I hate my life. Give me a lot of money and everything changes.
One of our first thoughts was a sword, but that was a lot. That was a big thing, and we didn’t think we had enough metal. So we went looking. Found as much as we could, checking that area and asking questions. With a little inspiration and some materials off Etsy, we managed something for me to take out. All the risk for me. Half the money for Frank since he helped build it.
It was a suit. We built it to slip kevlar plates into, but most of it was lined in enough of the metal to let me fly. The first draft was rough and mostly black because that’s the stuff we got. It ended up looking like motocross gear, but here’s the secret: this metal’s really strong and really sharp.
I practiced. I tested what I could lift. I got good. I even robbed a couple of convenience stores first before I tried something worth the suit and took a bunch of jewelry. That wasn’t so fun because Frank and I realized we didn’t know anybody we could sell it to, so after that we settled on electronics or cash. Getting rich like that wasn’t as easy as I thought, but it still amounted to hundreds of dollars a day without needing to work.
I wasn’t the only guy in the city doing this and they showed me more. I saw the videos of this one guy with some sort of green pads painted to match the color of the sword he held. He had a hoodie on and the hood up. He had a bracer on his main hand too, unusual because that’s an archery thing, but I noticed the color of the bracer matched his sword. He walked up to the ATMs outside this one bank and chopped right through them. Made me wonder if I could do that with the knife. He had a friend to bag up the money, but I could just fly it out of there.
Then one of those new cop robots walked up and he cut it up too.
The knife’s blade wasn’t long enough to through an ATM as quickly, but it got me through to the cash box. I wasn’t the only one inspired by the example. Others came out, getting more daring. I don’t think anybody else had focused on a flying suit, but Frank was still working out something bigger with the main chunk of metal we found. He said he needed better tools to cold-work it, which is when you work the metal without heating it up. We had both worried at first that heating it might destroy its special properties, but that sword had us reconsidering that.
In retrospect, I think they were trying to lure us out. Someone made the connection between the newbies and the metal and put out an article in the news about the discovery of a hunk about the size of the one I found. A troupe of Girl Scouts discovered it and it was being turned over to a local metallurgy lab, Anvil Industries. Up until the plant let us go, we used to service them some.
Getting in was easy. I floated in and cut through the glass. Most of these alarms are really for entrances and exits only. I figured I would work my way down the four-story building, but I spotted the elevator’s floor indicator moving. I ducked into an office nearby. They were all offices that I’d seen so far. Glancing out, I saw raven-haired Latina in an old-fashioned emerald-colored 60s-looking housewife dress. She looked hot but was grouching like a motherfucker. “Move it!”
“I am moving it. Don’t hurt me!” said a guy in a button-down and slacks. “We put it over here.”
He walked her over to a door and swiped his keycard, messing it up the first time due to nervousness. He opened the door and flipped on the light.
“Holy hell, who are you?” he asked. He ducked and whizzed himself when a metal dart flew by his head and stabbed into the wall on the opposite side.
“This is my meteor!” a voice inside called. I turned to the window in the office I was in and started cutting, the jumped out. I came around to around that side of the room and found lit-up tinted windows, too obscured for me to see anything but the light. I waited at the edge and carefully cut a hole in.
“Look out below that way!” someone called out. I looked up and there was some long-haired guy wearing a bedsheet on top of a spear. I covered my face as his spear smashed through the line of windows near him and he went skidding into the room, cut up along his arms.
Things were open enough for me to see the situation. There was the meteorite strapped to a heavy metal table. Next to that was a man in an athletic top and loose pants with a bunch of thunderbolt darts floating around him. Half aimed at the woman and the other half aimed at the guy in the sheets. The woman in the dress stood near the hostage she took. Toga guy was rubbing at his arms, getting blood all over the sheets that I realized were supposed to be a toga.
He looked around at the others. “Hi, I’m Zeus.”
“Bullshit,” the woman said. “You almost ended up Eunuch Man.”
Zeus, which is one hell of a name for some random-ass guy in bedsheets to claim as a supervillain name, held up his hands. “I sense a lot of hostility here from the three of you. But not you, you’re just scared.” He spoke that last part to the hostage.
The guy with the darts didn’t put them away. “There’s no harm in telling you the name I picked out. I’m Gauge.”
“Mist,” said the woman. “Not ‘Miss,’ but Mist, like fog.”
“Awesome sauce. What about you?” Zeus was calling outside.
“How hard did you hit your head?” Gauge asked.
Down below, I heard shouting and guns cocking. I looked down and saw that in the short time all this had been happening, SWAT were spreading out with Enforcers in front of them. They might have put one in me if I hadn’t noticed them that early. I stopped hovering near the broken window and swung myself into the room.
“Hey guys, I’m,” I didn’t really have a name, so I grasped, trying to come up with something. “…the Green Falcon.”
At least I didn’t say Hornet.
“Lame,” Zeus said. Mist scoffed at that one. Gauge shrugged.
I held up my hands to show I was unarmed before realizing I still held my knife. “The building’s surrounded. Cops and Enforcers galore.”
Outside the room, we heard the elevator ding.
That’s all we’ve got for you this time, folks, but Outlaw X would like to remind you to tune in next time for the conclusion of this story. Will the Green Falcon survive? Will Zeus realize he sounds like a jackass? What’s that Mist woman got going on? The answer to these questions and more are in the next episode of Outlaw X Presents. This is Medley hoping to see you next time, and happy criming.”