Climbing out of his car in the auto body shop he operates out of, Zach Thomas expects to be alone. Instead Mr. Nowak who builds all of his tech is working on some new piece of technology. He turns to smile at Zach. When he climbs out of the car and Nowak sees how soaked he is though he turns red. “Tell me you didn’t fall into water in that thing.”
“Ya, went right off the pier. So that was fun. You’re going to have your hands full fixing everything.”
“You think!” He snatches the helmet from Zach and looks it over. He tosses it on a work bench and puts his head in his hands. “I tried to waterproof but something like this is hard to waterproof from the inside. It can get rained on but you can’t soak it through. Do you have any idea how much you’re going to pay to fix all of this?”
“Good thing I’m a billionaire.” His eyes stay down. He’s usually not here this late and he wanted to be alone. He can’t look at anyone right now. He continues stripping out of his gear. When he pulls off the pants his knee’s bright red but there’s no bleeding or serious damage.
“Your money. You think it’s all money. That’s not the only problem though. Fixing something like this takes time. More than an hour or two. Time I spend on this is time I don’t get so spend on your new gear.”
“My current gear is fine except you need to figure something out with ventilation. I was dying in the heat today.”
Nowak takes a deep breath and closes his eyes before responding. “I can’t do anything about the weather but I’ll see what I can figure out. Hard to put cooling systems into a pair of pants but I’ll work on it once I the main suit’s back up and running. This was terrific work but I can do so much better. Your car still needs so many upgrades.”
Zach opens a locker in the corner where he stores a spare set of clothes and begins dressing. “Can you call Beth? I need a ride.”
“Not going home?” Zach usually would walk from the shop, it’s only a few minutes away and he likes the exercise. He’s been trying to get in better shape and while his activity should help in time, being off his feet for months put him behind.
“I need to go to the hospital.”
For the first time since Zach came in, Nowak stops working. “What’s going on? Is your knee okay? I can call Lorelei.”
“That’s not going to help considering she’s at the hospital. I’m fine. Her cousin got caught in the water when one of the electric grenades went off. One of the guys we were fighting got ahold of one and threw it in.”
Nowak goes quiet for a moment before saying, “Is he going to be okay?”
“Not sure. He’s in bad shape. I need to find out more though. Kind of my fault.”
Steadying himself on a table, Nowak takes a deep breath. ”Being a vigilante’s dangerous, he knew what he was doing. Don’t put this on yourself. Do you want me to come with you?”
“I have it. Just need a ride.”