Hitbox Vol. 2 Commitment Shock Part 8

Walking in the door of Nowak Productions, the auto body shop he operates out of, Zach Thomas can feel the weight of the last night on him. He spent the entire night running around the city, climbing buildings, looking for the man who almost killed his fellow vigilante Sami. Morning didn’t end his hunt. It’s going on noon and the only reason he’s finally stopping is that he needs to reach his lunch meeting on time. Mr. Nowak found him a lead and he tracked the man down but he lost him in the New York night. Going back to the apartment he knows the man was staying at wasn’t any use. He found the door wide open and the apartment empty, the woman who was living with him having cleared out in a hurry.

The lights are on despite the early hour and a closer look finds Mr. Nowak slumped over a work bench in the back. He’s snoring loudly, apparently having spent the night here. Zach makes his way over to the man and puts a hand on his shoulder. When he doesn’t wake, Zach shakes him for a moment.

Nowak stirs. Rubbing his eyes as he pulls himself off the desk, Nowak reaches for his glasses. “Hey kid, welcome back. You had me worried, never heard from you after you went out last night. Did the equipment hold up?”

Zach tosses his helmet on the table in front of Nowak. “Depends on what you mean by hold up. I didn’t catch the guy and the heat vision would have helped but I knew that wasn’t an option going in. It was better than nothing.”

“What happened?”

Zach explains the events of last night as he climbs out of the rest of his suit. Nowak found one of the wedding dresses stolen during the same attack Sami was injured in and he tracked it to an apartment building. He waited for the attacker to show up which they finally did but they reached the roof and were able to easily lose him as they leapt between buildings. Zach tried to follow but he’s not a big jumper at the best of times and with his knee injured this isn’t the best of times. Soon the man was gone, flying between buildings like they were riding a bike.

Nowak looks him over, his eyes lingering on Zach’s center. “So you were jumping from roof to roof?”

“I mean, I jumped from one roof to another. I couldn’t keep up though. Thought about using the winch but that’s not fast enough and this guy was flying.”

“You’re lucky to be alive.”

He messed up. Letting the man get to the roof was his biggest mistake. The second the thief reached the roof the chase was over. If he can get this guy in close quarters he should be able to take him down. He’s fast and moves well but he doesn’t have any sort of armor or anything that would protect him from Zach’s shock baton. “Do you have any other leads on the dresses?”

Shaking his head, Nowak stumbles to his computer. “I haven’t been looking, was hoping you’d take the guy down last night and we could stop obsessing. Not sure where to look now. Guy’s going to need to sell the dresses still but they likely won’t go back to the online ads. They probably know that’s how you tracked them down.”

Fighting out of his pants, they catch on his knee and he cringes. After last night he feels even further from 100%. “Keep an eye on the classifieds anyway. They may not have figured out I’m the reason they were found. Look for any places buying wedding dresses too, especially any who might be willing to play loose with ID.”

“Fine. Lorelei gets out of the hospital today by the way.”

“Okay.”

“She wants to meet with you, check on your knee. I told her how much it’s bothering you still; she was concerned.”

Reaching into a locker, Zach pulls out a pair of khaki pants and a shirt. “She has more important things to worry about at the moment. Besides, I’m meeting Linus for lunch.”

Nowak hands him a hair brush. Looking at himself in the mirror he realizes why. Helmet hair. Nowak says, “Fine, but you still need to take care of yourself. She said she’ll come by your place tonight. She wants to look you over.”

Pulling a light jacket over his shirt, mostly for looks considering how warm today is, Zach walks toward the exit. “Tell her she doesn’t need to. She has way more important things to worry about and I’m fine.”

Stepping between Zach and the exit, Nowak puts a hand up to stop him. “That’s nice and all but let her make that call. She’s worried about you. Let her stop by, take a look. You can’t help them if you mess your knee up worse and can’t go out.”

Shaking his head, Zach sighs and walks around the man. “I’m not her boss but let her know it isn’t necessary. I’m alright.”

He walks out onto the New York street, slamming the door behind him. He locks the shop and makes his way toward lunch.

Part 7

Part 9

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