This is the second part of the story started here: Captain Blaze. It is meant to show how the Point of View changes everything.
Emily Henson was a good woman. I could always trust her to keep me informed when something big was going down, and from the way she sounded over the phone, I had a feeling this was big.
"Hollow, is that you?" she asked as he shone a flashlight around the parking deck. I could see how much she was shaking.
"You're sure you weren't followed, Em?" I asked as I stepped into the light.
She let out a sigh of relief. "Yeah, I'm pretty sure. Listen, I can't stay long. Something big is going down." She stepped closer to me, turning the flashlight off and plunging us both into the dim light that came form the street. "It's this contract we've been working on. It's supposed to be a hydrocarbon detector, you know, for oil. But it doesn't add up, The military is interested. I know they might be able to use some but... the other day I was digging around and found out what's in them. Hollow, it's weapons-grade plutonium. And a lot of it – far more than we'd need to detect hydrocarbons."
I looked around. The sunglasses I wore to cover my face weren't normal sunglasses. They offered me a view of the world unhindered by shadows. Thankfully, I didn't see anyone hiding in the dark. "You think they're going to make them into weapons?"
"No," she said, shaking her head. "I found out today that the military is shipping these overseas. But they're not going to where the oil is; they're going to Korea. Hollow Point, I think General Hauser is planning to sell these under the table. Selling plutonium is regulated, but these detectors aren't. I think they're trying to make a profit off of a weapon. They might even want to start a war with this stuff. They're shipping it tomorrow at the docks, 115. I… I didn't know who else to turn to."
"Don't worry. You came to the right man. I'll take care of it."
It wasn't hard taking out the guards. I'm sure they were expecting an attack, but they certainly weren't expecting me. Finding the cargo container wasn't hard, either. General Hauser was never good at subtlety. I'd donned my newest suit, an exoskeleton filled with nifty gadgets, and it was a good thing, too. As soon as I'd finished cutting a hole into the side of the container, a light shone on me and I heard a familiar, self-righteous voice.
"Hands up! Step away from the cargo."
I rolled my eyes. "Captain Blaze…" I said between my teeth. The last thing I needed was for hot-head to get in my way.
"Hollow Point. You're in over your head this time. Come quietly, and maybe the DA will go easy on you."
"Blaze, back off. You don't know what you're doing, and I don't have time to explain. I need to take this back to where it belongs," I said as I rushed into the container. All I saw was a box on a pedestal, but my suit was giving me readouts that I'd never seen before. This had to be it.
There was a deafening impact and soon part of the roof was being torn away. Blaze's fingers reached through the holes and I felt the container start to lift.
"Are you crazy, Blaze!?" I called out and grabbed the box. It heaved as my suit adjusted to its incredible weight. The pedestal shifted and began to beep. A countdown. A short countdown.
I'd never run so fast in my life. It didn’t hurt that my suit was built for speed. My body practically flew out of the container, ripping my trench coat right off. "Get out of there, Blaze. This isn't about who wins!" I called out, but I never slowed down.
There was nothing that could catch me, at least that's what I thought. But after I passed by a corner, something went wrong. A blockade of cars. Then another. I felt like I was being herded, forced to move down narrower and narrower roads to keep from collided with things. When I'd finally found the room to slow down, my suit failed.
"An EM Pulse?" I asked no one in particular as the box fell to the ground. I collapsed under the weight of my exoskeleton. A small crowd had gathered around the intersection I was lying in, but none of the onlookers dared to get close to me. Then he arrived.
"Darn it, Blaze! Let me go! These things aren't what you think. They're dangerous and I can't let them fall into the wrong hands!"
"Save it Hollow," Captain said with that all-too-familiar look of smug justice on his face. I watched helplessly as he picked the box up. He was talking, but I was too busy getting out of my exoskeleton to listen.
"What's this?" he asked. I looked up and saw the lid had been removed and Blaze was reaching into it.
"No! Get out of there! It's too…nngg.. dangerous!" I managed to wiggle myself free and ran up to him. I grabbed the lid, which lay on the ground nearby, and rammed my body against his, pushing him away from the box. The lid slid into place, but it was too late.
Captain Blaze was holding a small sphere. This was no hydrocarbon detector. My goggles flashed into life and the exoskeleton behind me twitched. The only thing I could see through the goggles was a radioactivity warning the like of which I'd never seen before. This wasn't even plutonium. It was much worse. The words "FATAL DOSE" appeared before my eyes, then the goggles died again.
"Does that look like an instrument for detecting oil to you, Blaze?" He shook his head.
"I've never seen one, but I don't think this… it burns."
The ball fell to the ground with a thud. "It's bad, Blaze. Whatever this is, I think it's already killed us."
Blaze looked at me in horror. Suddenly the power turned back on in my suit. It thrashed about for just a moment. I walked over to it and started put it back on, wiggling my body into it.
"What are you doing?" Blaze asked.
"I'm going to put this thing back in the box and bury the box where it can't hurt anyone."
He stood up and winced as he picked the ball up and put it back in the box. I could see that it had left his hands burnt. "I'll do it," he said. Then he flew off. I couldn't have stopped him, the idiot. If he was taking it to the military, I wouldn't be able to catch up to him. But instead, I watched as he streaked brightly across the sky and splashed into the ocean. He never came up.
Now I'm stuck here in this hospice, dying slowly and painfully. The doctors tell me there's nothing they can do. They try to make me comfortable. But I am captured by the thought that, even in his death, that man was denying me. I would die in steps, as a villain.