The SUV swerved back and forth through the slushy snow on the street below, headed in Kensei's direction. From her rooftop vantage, she saw a black-clad figure clinging to the hood. She hesitated for a moment, still not entirely comfortable with using her grapple gun. But people were getting hurt below, so she shot her hook to hit a nearby telephone pole and swung down to intercept the vehicle.
As she plummeted toward the oncoming vehicle, she realized that she didn't have physics on her side. If she hit the car head on, she'd be squished like a bug. She pulled her legs up and barely missed the top of the SUV. Her relief was short lived as she soon realized she was going to hit the telephone pole she had latched on to.
She aimed for a clear spot of sidewalk and let go, hitting the ground running as she resumed chasing after the SUV on foot. It had been slowed by plowing through a smaller car, but it was still going much faster than Kensei could run.
Once she realized that, she focused her attention on the spirit of the SUV and yelled out, "Yamete!" Stop!
The engine stalled out, and the SUV coasted to a stop. Kensei hurried to catch up with the slowed vehicle.
The man who had been holding on to the hood hopped off and strode over to the driver's door. He wore what appeared to be SWAT gear with a motorcycle helmet. Kensei had encountered this other superhero, known as Traffic Enforcer, a few times. He had an obsession with unsafe driving.
Traffic Enforcer punched through the driver's side window, dragged the driver out of the car, and threw him into an icy puddle forming in a pothole.
"Talking on your cell phone without a hands-free device while driving is a crime," Traffic Enforcer growled before kicking the driver.
Kensei arrived about the time Traffic Enforcer had gotten a few kicks in and called out, "Whoa, slow down!"
The helmeted vigilante stopped and stared at Kensei, his expression unreadable through his tinted visor.
Kensei gestured back toward the swath of destruction left in the wake of the SUV. In addition to wrecked cars, she could also see the spirit of the street crouched down, bleeding black blood through multiple cuts in its asphalt skin, and sobbing hysterically. The occasional snowflake drifted through the spirit's insubstantial form. In the distance, sirens wailed.
"This was about not using a hands-free device?" Kensei asked. "I thought this was, like, drug dealers or something."
The man on the ground tried to crawl away, but Traffic Enforcer put his boot on the man's neck and pushed him down. In his gravelly voice, he said, "Hundreds of thousands of people are injured every year due to distracted driving."
"You probably killed a few more just because this guy freaked out when you landed on his hood!"
Traffic Enforcer tilted his gaze to look past Kensei, then turned his attention back to her. He stomped on the man on the ground, causing the driver to cry out in pain. "I'm sending a message."
"I'm going to ask you nicely to let him go."
Traffic Enforcer did not respond.
Kensei drew her family sword, Kamigoroshi, and levelled it at the vigilante. "Let him go."
Again, Traffic Enforcer did nothing.
She was about to say something else when the spirit of the neighborhood, Karl, appeared next to her. In this instance, Karl looked like an older Indian woman in a sari. "Something bad is happening."
Not turning her attention away from Traffic Enforcer, she mentally said, I'm still dealing with the last bad something you told me about.
"This is worse!"
Traffic Enforcer shifted his attention away from Kensei and looked past her again, slowly pulling his foot off of his victim. At the same time, her sword said, "Furimuku." Turn around.
She turned to see a car heading toward them, its headlights glowing a baleful red. Even from a block away, she could feel rage and hatred radiating from it.
"What is that?" Kensei asked.
"A demon," Karl said, just as Traffic Enforcer said, "1987 Yugo GV."
The Yugo's engine revved and its tires spun out in the pooled water before it found traction and charged in their direction. Kensei turned and grabbed the SUV driver, helping him to his feet and out of the road. She felt the breeze of the passing Yugo as it roared past her, slamming into the SUV.
She turned back to the Yugo just as it backed up and maneuvered to face her. The front end was crumpled, and one of the headlights was crushed and darkened. But as she watched, the car slowly regenerated the damage until it was whole.
"That's not weird at all." She aimed her sword at the car and called out, "I'm going to need you to step out of your car!"
At that moment, Traffic Enforcer jumped onto the hood and struck the windshield with a police baton. The car reared up on its hind wheels and bucked the vigilante off.
Kensei charged at the Yugo while it was distracted, and shoved her blade into the front grill. Metal screamed on metal as the car thrashed and pulled the katana from Kensei's hand. The sword slid across the asphalt as the Yugo reversed gears and hurried away from the scene.