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Posted: 06/23/2014 in Press
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“What the fuck,”  said Derek.  “What the fuck was that about?”

I had no patience.

“What happened was Ellen joined that fucking bitch and her fucking posse, D!”  I snapped back at him.  Ellen joined the Hunting Party. Why?  Why the fuck would she do that?  My head was racing.

“Ryan, calm down,”  said Derek, interrupting my thoughts.  “I get it, I know how you feel.  Please think before you act.”

“Why?  Why the fuck should I?”

“You’ll get yourself killed, or worse.”

I took a moment to think.  Derek was right, there was nothing I could do.  It would take a month to heal my arm properly, and even then my powers are useless in certain situations.  I haven’t even one a single fight.

“Fine,”  I said, still bitter.  I took a second to exhale.  “Fuck.”

The door opened slowly after what felt like an eternal silence.  It wasn’t Maxine and any medical staff, but Event Horizon.  She stood there, looking as concerned as she could.

“I heard about the news,”  she said.  “I know you two and the other one were close.”

“Yeah,”  sighed Derek.  He got up to leave.

“I was going to visit today to see about your arm, Ry.  I guess these things happen.”

I looked at her, much calmer than before.  I took a moment to realize she was still in costume.  A pink mask over her head, with a green triangle on the center of it, covering her nose and her top lip.  Odd choice.  Derek closed the door behind him.

“I’m actually not good at this, and I feel I’ve come too early, but I’m there for you and your friends.  Maxwell is there too,”  she said.  “Don’t let this be about yourselves, Ry.   You, Unpe- Maxine and Derek are pert of the team now.  You are part of my team.  I want to see you at your best or at least make sure you feel better than before you joined.”

It was awkward, slow, she tripped up once and there was a hint of selfishness to it, but I needed it.

“Thanks.  I’ll tell the others when I see them.”

She got up to leave and ran into Maxine.  There was a nurse with her.

“He broke his arm again,”  the nurse said to Event Horizon.

“I see.  I’ll talk to you later, ”  she said to Maxine, walking out the room.

 

***

 

It’s been a week since my accident.  I’m healing faster than usual, and I’m up and about now.

“Hey you three, what’s up?”

It was Pivot.  Event Horizon was behind her.  She was relatively normal as far as most brain type supers went.  Her specialty was on making machines with a central component, that both allowed for easy rebuilding but also left her creations with a glowing weakness;  everything is built around a single, central component.

She wore a slightly modified labcoat.  A single steel wire held it together, and allowed it to provide maneuverability and protection.

“Not much,”  replied Maxine, eating a sandwich from the cafeteria.  Derek was already finished and I was busy enjoying a surprisingly not terrible soup.

“We need to talk,”  Pivot said, pausing for a moment.  “Not about what happened, it’s more about the actives thing before the bank heist incident.”

“Oh, that,”  I said.  “What was it about again?”

“Druggie’s formula and powers.”

“Really?”  I said.  I wasn’t in the mood for it.

“You’ll need to hear this, so listen up,”  said Event Horizon, reading my expression.  She and Pivot sat down next to either side of Derek.

“I figure you know the gist of what Druggie does, right?”  asked Pivot.

“Chemical based hero, creates tons of powerful formulas and drugs,”  said Maxine.

“Yeah.  Anyway, you all got injected with his ‘Awakening’ formula.  This is different, and it works off of regular awakenings.”

Derek shifted to slightly, a little worried.  I’d be concerned about this too if I was in his shoes.  Or Maxine’s.

“Awakenings are caused moments of extremity.  Winning a Drag Race, being in a fight, surviving a disaster… all of those can cause a power to erupt,”  lectured Pivot.  “Druggie’s formula forces this, causing a random ambient power.  There is a passive effect and an active.  You guys need to know about your ‘actives’ and how to use them.”

This actually isn’t as bad as I thought.  Derek relaxed a little.

“It’s easier if we learn about these powers and stuff in a controlled environment than in the middle of a fight or something, right?”  asked Maxine.

“Yeah,”  replied Event Horizon.  “That’s why we are telling you now.  You know us, there isn’t much going on at this very moment and you guys may be out of action for a while anyway.”

“Figures,”  Derek said, looking up at Event Horizon as she walked over to Pivot.

“We’ll do this in the training room,”  said Event Horizon, standing from her seat.  “Gunsmith has to watch over us, for supervision purposes.”

Pivot got up from her seat.  “You all coming?  No time like right now.”

We all looked at each other and got up at the same time.  We all finished our meals anyway.

“Okay,”  I said.  “I think it’s unanimous.”

Event Horizon walked off.  “I’ll go get Gunsmith, you guys follow Pivot.”

Pivot led the way as Maxine walked next to her, with me and Derek close behind them.  I noticed that Pivot’s labcoat was a little larger than she was, reaching down to her ankles.

“Hey Pivot,”  said Maxine.

“Yeah?”  Pivot continued walking down the hall.

“So why were there only four of you guys before we joined?”

Pivot took a moment to think.

“One guy moved to another group, the other guy cou-”  she began, before stopping abruptly.  “yeah, sometimes people leave the team.”

“Oh,”  said Maxine, trying to segway the bitter feeling in the air.  “let’s talk about something else.  What’s up with the guys we fought a week ago?”

“The North side Rioters?”

“Yeah, them!”  Maxine exclaimed.

“They all sorta awakened during a riot that happened last year.  We didn’t catch up to them and by the time we knew about them they’d already been causing crimes.”

“I see,”  I said.

“It’s a combination of bad luck and opportunity for them, really.”  Pivot stated.  “They were mostly poor kids before the riot, then they got hit by the worst of it and became looters, then muggers, then…  well, this,”  she gestured to the air.

“Oh, we’re here.  let’s wait for Gunsmith and Event Horizon.”

 

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Today, I learned two horrific facts; I’ve never broken my arm before and it hurts when you do.  I nearly passed out, looking as the tire rolled away, smeared with blood.  I took one look at my arm and threw up onto the pavement instantly.  I could see bone.  White, broken shards of bone.

“I shall pick up this car,”  said Tiny Tyrant, lifting a car in a way that ignored all laws of torque and stress.  “And beat this plebeian to death!”

I learned that pulling myself out of the roughly me shaped indentation of the side of a car is also painful.  Not as painful as being thrown into it with a flying tire, but still painful.  Tiny Tyrant charged at me, swinging.  I dodged the car as she suddenly lost her balance.  I guess she couldn’t wield her car anymore due to my aura.  The car landed, bouncing a little once it his the ground as Tiny Tyrant stumbled forwards, bringing her face into the rear end.  I heard a satisfying clunk as she dented the car and fell over unconscious with a broken nose.

I took a second to get my strength and look around.  Plasmic was tagged.  Maxwell was out of the running.  Servant and Tiny Tyrant were down.  That leaves the person Event Horizon was chasing.

He ran over to where I was.  I remembered that I had a stun baton, and Tiny Tyrant must have knocked it out of my hands when she threw the tire at me.  He grabbed the Baton and turned to Event Horizon, shocking her stomach with a well timed strike.  She fell down, clutching her stomach.

I slowly stumbled over to her, stumbling in my own pain.  She was more hurt than Servant was when I struck him.  Stun batons shouldn’t do that kind of damage.

“Hey, are you okay?”  I managed to ask, the adrenaline in my body beginning to fade.

She was still shaking.  I took a few steps closer and was floored with pain as an arc of electricity lashed out from Event Horizon and struck me.

 

***

I woke up in a stretcher an hour later, and got the jist of the result of the fight from Stacker.  Apparently only Plasmic was arrested, as their leader – or what was closest to a leader for them – managed to free Servant and escape with Tiny Tyrant.  I’ll be out of the running for a while, due to the fact my arm was nearly torn clean off.  It wouldn’t be that much of a problem, but no healer can really help me due to the nature of my incontinence.

The medical bed in the NHN building was rather relaxing, with its dull, sterile colouring and the mind dulling droning coming from machines everywhere.  But that peace was only before Derek came in with Maxine behind him.  She still wore the goggles given to her.

“Hey Ryan,”  he began, showing a basket of fruits and chocolates.  “Maxine got this from the gift shop.”

“Thanks,”  I said to the both of them.

Maxine had a somewhat smug look on her face.  This’ll be terrible, I thought.  She looked around and saw the television, and walked over for the remote laying on top of it.

“You should see the news,”  she said turning the television on.

“Derek, get that damn thing off her!”  I quickly roared.

Maxine giggled, holding the remote high above her as Derek jumped, trying to reach for the remote.  He gave up quickly and shrugged.

“No use, just hope it isn’t as embarrassing as you think,”  he joked, sitting on the bed.

The TV turned on.  Oklahoma City News Network.  OCNN, as it’s abbreviation was called.  Breaking News blared up before a petite blonde presenter showed up.

“Footage of the recent skirmish between the National Heroes Network’s Oklahoma City junior group and the North Side Rioters has recently been released.  Be advised;  what you will see may shock you,”  she said.

The screen cut to a clip of Tiny Tyrant tearing a tire off a car and throwing it, taken from a helicopter.  All three of us flinched as it hit me with a crunch.

“Recent controversy has hit the Oklahoma Juniors Group as they have nearly doubled their active roster, inviting three new capes into their group,”

Footage of the mall.  Me, Derek, Maxine and Micheal all huddled up.  Ellen.

“Unperson, Latency, Beacon, Plural, Trauma and Blocker are the newest recorded Incontinent metahumans created by the string of attacks caused by the Hunting Party,”

Her statement floored me.  Blocker?  Trauma?  What the fuck did Ellen do?  I looked over and it floored Maxine a little too.  She didn’t expect this to be our introduction into the world of metahumans, if you could call it that.  It was more of a public condemnation.

The news piece continued.

“Nearly all of these young uncontrolled capes have joined the NHN.  However, the public has shown disapproval,”

The screen cut to interviews, fast paced, they all nearly said the same thing.

“Why should we be allowing people like Biohazard run about!?”  asked the fat man with glasses.

“I’m scared.  Those people are scary.  Not like Undertow and Vector,”  the nervous girl spat out.

“It’s not much of a choice, ain’t it?  Like, you got them and you got those mean dudes, right?  I’d choose them though.  They seem good,”  endorsed the thin man with a beard.

“Their names creep me out, man.  Unperson?  Who the fuck names themselves after a book on fascism?”  ranted another man.  Derek choked on a chortle.

The screen turned back to the reporter.

“Critics say that these new capes could all be villainous citing the recent events where Trauma, AKA Ellen White killed her parents, and later escaped from NHN custody with the assistance of The Hunting Party.  She was last seen in Malcolmtown, Missouri.”

The screen cut to Ellen.  People where around Ellen.  I knew them.  Fractal.  Druggie.  Sacrifice.  Pain uddenly shot through my broken arm and I screamed out.  Maxine and Derek turned as I grabbed my cast with my free hand, holding it.

“I’ll get help, stay here,”  said Maxine, running out the room.

Derek helped hold my cast in place before he flinched back, his palm covered in blood.  We both took a second and figured out what happened;  I broke my own arm in anger.

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Event Horizon, as far as I could tell, was the leader of the whole team for the Oklahoma City Group.  We were driving to the bank being robbed by the North Side Rioters, and everyone apart from Pivot was being debriefed by Event Horizon.

“Normally, we’d have Maxwell and one of Pivot’s toys run in and wreck face,”  she began.  “However we got three newbies who can actually take out fighters easy.”

She wrote down a small sentence on her arm;  Unperson is hiding Latency.

“Unperson, do your thing to Latency.  Latency, tag as many people as you can.  Ryan, you’ll be in the front.  How far does your field go?”  Her orders were quickfire.  She knew what to do.

“Three meters I think.”  I replied.

“Stay ten meters away from us, try and get in the midst of them.  Also, choose a callsign for god’s sake.  Pivot’s going easy this time because of that fight with Killstreak last week.  I’ll be in the front with Maxwell.  Stacker, stack Latency.”

“Hey, what’s that do?”  asked Latency.

“It’s a luck thing,”  said Stacker.  “If you do well, it like carries over… bu-”

“If you fuck up it’ll get bad quickly,”  shot Maxwell.  “I’ve been stacked plenty of times. You’ll feel it on you.”

“Speaking of which,”  interjected Pivot from the driver’s seat,  “You guys know what your actives are right?”

“Actives?”  Unperson asked.

“I see,”  said Pivot coyly.  “We’ll talk about this later.”

We got out the van with Maxwell, Event Horizon and myself standing in the front, everyone else at the back.  We were facing the bank, a few blocks away.  It was go time.

Maxwell and Event horizon ran ahead, meeting two of the robbers who had come out of the bank.  They both wore hockey masks and paint smeared clothes.  One of them, wearing a red painted mask and blue denim dungarees shot out a glowing something, knocking Maxwell back into the road.  I walked up to the group from the side.  He turned to me and shot another ball.  It disappeared five meters away from me.

“The fuck?”  he said.

“Plasmic, I’ll deal with this bitch,”  said the other, hopping and jumping away from Event Horizon with finesse.  He muttered something unintelligible as she chased him with relentless fury, closing the distance more and more each second.  Deep down I felt as though there was no esc-

Suddenly, I was on fire.  I panicked and put out the flames as hard as I can, tossing my shield and performing a stop drop and roll.  Awareness based power nullification.  How annoying.

I got up and saw the next fireball.  It vanished right before my eyes.  I picked up my riot shield and held it before me.  Maxwell was charging who I think was called Plasmic and Event Horizon had gotten deathly close.  As much as she was able to close the gap, he was way to tricky to catch.  What the hell was his power?

I heard screaming from within the bank.  It looped.  Somebody stood out, a cape in a morph suit.  He surrendered.  Unperson suddenly tapped me on the shoulder from behind and I remembered it was Latency as I turned around in surprise.  She gave a thumbs up and Latency ran to where Plasmic and Maxwell were, tagging them both.  Maxwell was freezing the air around Plasmic. Plasmic was charging a shot.  Plasmic was charging a shot.  Plasmic was charging a shot.

The last remaining robber ducked from under one of Event Horizon’s grabs and ran for Latency.  I charged after him.

“Latency, look out!”  I yelled.  He reached him and…

He did a backflip over Latency.  I reached Latency too quickly to stop and everyone went back to normal.  Shit, I thought to myself, turning to face Plasmic as he fired another shot that dissipated in my aura.  Latency ran back into the building as Maxwell struck Plasmic in the back of the head, knocking him out and onto the ground.

The second robber struck my in the gut from nowhere.  I felt all the wind in me leave and I nearly threw up.  Then I saw more of the North Side Rioters.

A young girl stood in a finely laced dress, wearing a mask normally worn in a masquerade ball.  Beside her, a taller man wearing a formless mask and a formal suit.

“Servant, throw Maxwell into that building over there.”  the young girl spoke.

the young man dashed over to Maxwell with insane speed and grabbed Maxwell’s arm.  Maxwell instinctively froze his formal suit and arm with his powers as the Servant threw Maxwell across the street.  His frostbitten fingers and frozen sleeves still clung to Maxwell as he crashed through the window panes of a bakery.

“Servant, your lack of clothing and fingers are disgusting.  How will you serve me with no hands?”

The servant boy kneeled in front of the girl.  “Yes, my lady.  Forgive me, my lady.”

“Grow your fingers and clothing back, now!”  she fumed theatrically, like a small child throwing a tantrum.  His fingers and bones popped and cracked disgustingly as his hands regrew, the frostbitten flesh disappearing slowly.

She pointed at me.  “Blast that man in the riot gear with your eye lasers!”

He turned and his eyes began glowing.  I charged him, closing the distance as he fired of a shot that did nothing.  I eventually reached him and tackled him to the ground with a bask of my shield.

“Fight back! Fight back!”

The servant boy scrambled to get back up on his feet as I remembered about my stun baton.  I unsheathed it, kicking the assailant in the stomach.  He didn’t even scream as the shock pulsed through his back, knocking him out with spasms.

I turned around and Event Horizon had caught the villain she’d been chasing the whole fight.  He was already in cuffs.  She looked over to me and her face turned white.

“Ryan, Servant isn’t the one with the powers!  You have to stop Tiny Tyrant!”

I pondered exactly what sort of name Tiny Tyrant was, when the flying car tire smacked me into the parked car next to me.

 

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I stood there side by side with Latency and Unperson.  They are still known to me as Derek and Maxine.  Ricky – or Plural as he is now calling himself – is in the New York Juniors team along with Micheal, who rechristened himself Beacon.  Ellen was taken from us, the only casualty of the attack on Norfolk.

We were waiting, overhearing Gunsmith talk into the camera.

“…e here at the NHN will finally introduce the three new members to the Oklahoma City’s very own National Heroes Network Junior Group!  Unperson, Latency and Ryan!”

We walked onto the stage from the left.  Both I and Unperson were heavily armored.  Unperson’s mask was a face-plate covering her eyes but still giving her sight.  The Goggles she wore earlier worked by making her see through an instant camera feed.  It wasn’t efficient, but the technical guy behind it made an improved version for her.

I wore clothing suspiciously similar to riot gear.  It was painted white, to my approval.  The facemask was clear as I didn’t feel the need to hide my face.  They all knew who I was anyway.

Derek was the only one of us not adorned with bullet proofing of any sort.  I guess he felt he didn’t need it, due to his ability to not get shot.  As much as his bravery entertained me, watching him go out in a silver morph suit was rather embarrassing.  Seriously, what the fuck.

It was a small press release, mainly to justify the sudden growth of the Oklahoma City Juniors.  They are now seven members on this team, making out group the fifth largest NHN Junior Group in the USA.  Unperson and I waved.

The crowd was justifiably nervous.  When people are asked about Incontinents, they don’t think about potential superheroes.

They think of Biohazard, who turned his hometown into a desolate wasteland where even rocks are rotting away.  They think of Japan, a country that was turned into a jungle state where every animal has sentience.  President Inugami is currently trying to reapply Japan for the UN at the moment, but he’s having issues. Apparently there is new legislation about UN memberships, and ‘nations who have undergone severe demographic, military and/or governmental restructuring due to the influence of superpowers are no longer allowed access to the UN’.  I can see why, with all the Kingmaker states and the one or two islands run my maniacs with hypnotism and god knows what else.  They think about Nightmare.

I decided to finally break the silence.  “Hello, I’m Ryan.  The girl to my left is Unperson,”  I said, gesturing.  “And the person to my right is Latency.”

“We’ll ask any questions the best we can as members of the NHN Junior Group first, and as individuals second,” I finished, stepping back.

The first hand shot up, a petite girl.  I pointed to her and she immediately looked at her question on the notepad.  “Why are you called Ryan?”

“It’s my name,”  I said.  “You know me anyway,”  A second person raised their hand once I was done with her, and I pointed at them.

“Do you think you’ll be a good addition to the Oklahoma team?”

This was a question we were all prepared for.  A big thing that recently has been making the rounds is the idea of team synergy.  We’d been told about our companions from Gunsmith;  Pivot, Event Horizon, Stacker and Maxwell.  We also were told about the current Oklahoma situation.

Unperson answered this question.  “Yes.  Both us and the NHN believe we are capable and suited to working in Oklahoma city with the current team situated there.”

Gunsmith walked up and gestured us off before any more questions occurred. It was time to meet the Oklahoma Juniors.

 

***

 

“So you three are the new guys, huh?”  asked a green hooded figure in the Junior Group living quarters.  It looked less like a dormitory and more like a storage closet, with boxes everywhere.  Me, Unperson and Latency were standing at the door with our luggage;  some clothes and toiletries.

A blue skinned figure  walked out from where I assumed the toilets were, wearing a bathrobe.  “Quiet, Stacker,”  he said.

“I’m Maxwell, nice to meet you.”  he stuck out a hand and it tuned to normal, surprising him slightly.  He took a step back, reeling his hand away.

“Sorry,”  I shrugged.  “Can’t really turn it off.”

“It’s okay, I’m almost in the same boat.”

Latency walked out of my radius and turned to his glitchy, lagging self.  Stacker raised an eyebrow.

“Shit, you guys really are Incontinents,”  he smirked.

“And?” asked Unperson.  Latency Blinked into a glare at Stacker.

“Never seen one apart from Maxwell, but he’s not like you guys.”

“Not ‘like us’ how?”  I asked.  I was having my patience wear thin and having my curiosity piqued at the same time.

“Well, for a start, Maxwell is a hero along the lines of ‘Internally Incontinent’ which means his powers don’t really affect others.  His skin tuns blue, but he has other powers,”  began Stacker.  “Most thinking types are also like that, Powers are always working, but they don’t affect others like yours do unless they act on it.”

“I see,”  I said.  I’ve been cursing my lack of knowledge in super-culture for a while.  Hell, I feel like I’m going to be cursing a lack of knowledge in everything for years to come.

“Well, looks like the newbies are here,”  said a young girl as she walked in from behind.  She held out a hand to me.  “I’m Pivot.”

“Ryan,” I responded.

“Huh?  No alias?”  she cocked her head.

“It’s not like I can hide my identity,”  I smiled at her, shaking her hand.

“I see.”

She sat down on one of the several couches scattered around the room.  Maxwell had already went to his room to dry off.  Latency and Unperson both looked for their rooms to change.

The alarms blared just as Unperson found her room.

“A metahuman robbery at West Bank is being conducted by the north side rioters. NHN Juniors Group has been assigned to deal with the threat.”

Pivot ran to her room to get her stuff.  Maxwell walked out of his, and whom I could only guess was Event Horizon walked out of hers.

“Okay newbies,”  said Event Horizon.  “Time to shine.”

 

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