Water and glass shower the dance floor. Needle scratches vinyl. Hattori Hanzo seizes control of my body and I land with the grace of a ninja. Mary, who has no dead ninja in her head, thuds with the grace of a turkey carcass dropped from the Level Two parapet of Westfield Horton Plaza.
“Kill them!” someone yells.
“Don’t kill them!” I yell back, figuring that’s got to be worth a try.
Panic ensues. Screaming people run and duck for cover. Shots are fired. A bullet ricochets off a larger-than-life phosphorescent wallpaper image of Caleb’s crotch. I seize control of my body from Hanzo, grab Mary, and drag her behind a nearby couch.
I chance a peek. Real life Caleb Montana is near the front door, exchanging shots with two Nostradamus agents behind a life-sized statue of Caleb in his quarterback uniform, one arm cocked back preparing to pass the football, and the other stretched out in front, pointing.
I round on Mary, who flings her wet hair back like a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. Water sprays my visor.
“Cut me loose.”
“Right, right,” I say, feeling around on my utility belt. Jeez, I’ve never tried to locate anything without someone helping me from the Collective Unconscious. There are a lot of things here. I pull a tiny ball out—it grows into a switchblade-shaped object. Seems promising. I flick it on. Blue flame blows out from the end.
“Come on, quit fooling round.”
“Don’t rush me! Do you have any idea how stressful this is?”
“Come on,” she says, her voice husky.
“There’s like, fifty thousand things on this belt, and they all look the same.”
“Just calm down.”
“You never see Batman having this problem is all I’m saying.”