The Power of Pathways

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The Power of Pathways

Which Way Did He Go? Which Way Did He Go?

Archie Lipton was sitting at his favorite coffee house and reading the latest novel by Dan Peyton.

“Geez...How unrealistic,: Archie mused as he read. “Wizards and dragons and such...just can’t see it happening here.  Now that one series he had about heroes, now that I could sink my teeth into! But it is a good read, nonetheless!”

He suddenly looked at his BADGE wrist-com as he felt the silent vibrating alert signal.

“Hmmm....Three cons escaped from Purgatory, but the authorities have no idea where they have gone.  Primula, Game Boy, and Gentleman Rex escaped this morning and have gone into hiding somewhere near Neo-Utopia.  All heroes and agents should be on the lookout, of course.”

Standing up, Archie put his book in his jacket pocket, gathered the remains of his blueberry muffin and caramel macchiato venti, disposing of them in the proper trash receptacle as he left the coffee house.  Turning right outside the door, he walked exactly 37 steps and took a left into a nondescript alley. 25 steps and another left brought him to a secluded alcove in the alley. Making sure he was unobserved, Archie touched a button on his wrist-com and his jacket, t-shirt, jeans, and tennis shoes were immediately shunted to a pocket dimension and his hero costume was revealed underneath.

“Okay, let’s see....” Archie’s eyes began to glow, emitting a rich golden light.  This allowed him to see all the possible pathways to his desired destination. “I need to find those escaped cons and return them to Purgatory...but what is the best path?  What will get me there with the greatest chance of capturing all three?”

Of the myriad golden strands he saw before him, one began to pulse more brightly than the others.

“Ah!  Let’s go this way!”

Taking a firm grip on the pulsating strand, Archie was whisked away at an incredible speed. He traveled unseen along hallways, alleys sidewalks, roads, expressways, and even a dirt trail, aware of the path he took, but not physically interacting with it.  He arrived at a remote chateau in a lovely wood. However, despite the bucolic location, the eardrum shattering noise of a full on electric guitar solo rent the air and emanated from the chateau.

Archie winced at the sound as he fully materialized at the location.  He knew this was not his final destination as the golden strand he was gripping did not fade away.

“I must need something here.”  Archie tentatively knocked on the door.  With no response except the guitar solo reaching another crescendo, Archie knocked much more firmly.   He was about to knock a third time when the door was violently flung open, even with the music still echoing in the area.

“What the hell do you want?  Can’t you see I’m practicing here?” yelled the tall, muscular wild-haired man holding an electric guitar.

“Oh, um hi...You’re Chromatic  Death, aren’t you?” Archie stammered as he looked up and the imposing hero.

“Yeah? So?  I’m trying to practice here!  If you don’t get out of here Imma gonna squash you like the bug you are!

“Oh, well, my name is Archie...I mean Pathfinder and I was looking for those three escaped cons from Purgatory.  There supposed to be near Neo-Utopia, and...”

Chromatic Death glared at Archie. “And you think they are hiding out at an Avengers safe house out in the middle of nowhere about a thousand miles from Neo-Utopia?  You’re new at this hero gig, aren’t you?” He replied with all the derision and disgust he could muster, which was an amazing amount!

“No, sir,” answered Archie. “But my power brought me here first, so it must think I need something here before arriving at where the villains are holed up.  Whenever it does this, whatever I need glows gold to me....”

Chromatic Death has heard way weirder things, so accepted this at face value. “So what here is glowing gold, kid?”

“Um, you sir,” replied Archie, and before Chromatic Death could say another word, Archie grabbed his wrist and they shot out of the glade in a streak of golden light.

“Whoa, Nelly!  You could have at least let me put a shirt on!” grumbled Chromatic Death.

Suddenly, Archie and Chromatic Death appeared in an abandoned house on the outskirts of Neo-Utopia.  They were in a large living room and right in front of them were the three convicts sitting at a table in the dining room, discussing their next move.  Game boy saw them first and reached for his remote control.  Chromatic Death was faster.

Chromatic strummed a seemingly gentle chord, but streaks of pure power struck the remote control as well as Primula’s power gloves and boots, which instantly burned out their electronics. Chromatic Death’s follow up chord was a pure sonic attack and instantly rendered the three criminals unconscious.

“Is that all you need? Can I go back to practicing now?” asked Chromatic Death in a bored voice.

“Um. sure, I uh...”  but before Archie could say anything else, Chromatic Death played a guitar by Glenn Frey and disappeared.

Archie tied up the criminals and chose a path to Purgatory.  Hopefully there wouldn't be any side stops.
"Just think what I could accomplish if I didn't have all these 80's song lyrics in my head!"
ID: 11004