Posts Tagged ‘Glutton’

“What’s this all about?”  I had to ask.  It was confusing, seeing what felt like the Hunting Party play a game right in front of me.  Sacrifice and Taker had no concept of tension, apparently.  Event Horizon struggled to get up.

Taker turned to me, explaining away.

“Well, I thought we weren’t having any fun.  So I thought that maybe we should just deal with whatever powered capes we encounter one by one, starting with our dear leader, Sacrifice.”

He smiled a little, placing an arm on Event Horizon’s shoulder.  She looked dazed, like her energy was drained from holding Merly’s ball bearings while he struggled to move them.

“Make no mistake, You and her will not be involved in this game, right Sacrifice?”

Sacrifice was staring down Merly as he listened, curious.

“Yes.  I,”  She began, hesitating.  “Yes.  That’s what I decided.”

Merly cocked his head.  “A duel? in the middle of a war?”

“There are more of us than there are of you,”  replied Sacrifice, tense.

She was right.  Even if he attacked us, there was Bloodwitch, Fractal, Glutton and Ellen to deal with.  If it comes down to it, Even me and Event Horizon would end up fighting.  He can’t beat us all.

“Very well, a duel it is,”  said Merly, revving up his bike.

An instant later, he vanished, replaced by several floating ball bearings.  Sacrifice leapt backwards as they smashed into the ground around where she stood, nearly throwing her off balance.  the Rest of the Hunting party quickly backed away, with Bloodwitch grabbing me and Taker pulling on Event Horizon.

“Seems he has a lot of strength in his telekinesis,”  mumbled Bloodwitch, staring on.  “What do you think?”

I couldn’t care about this.  “Don’t treat me like a friend,”  I whispered harshly.

Merly came back into view behind Sacrifice, charging at her on his bike.  She dived out the way into the pot hole Merly created in the road.

“Dammit,”  Sacrifice, muttered, picking herself up.

Several ball bearings had removed and lifted one of the back doors for the van.  They floated along the sky, carrying the door in the air.  Sacrifice didn’t notice, She was busy avoiding falling over as more ball bearings burrowed and destroyed the ground below.

“How many do you think he’s using? I counted twenty balls,”  said Bloodwitch, again.

“I don’t want to talk,”  I said again, sternly.

“Hey, that’s unfair.  All I have for company are old coots and Trauma,”  she joked, acting as if everything was normal.

“Her name is Ellen,”  I growled, baring my teeth.

Sacrifice struggled to get a decent hit in, being led around with the ground breaking up constantly.  Merly had stopped using his motorbike or the cloaking ability he had.

“Don’t think I didn’t read up on you.  I know what you can do.  I’ll notice if you use your powers on me,”  I said, continuing my quiet rant.

Bloodwitch giggled, holding the red scarf around her neck to her mouth.

“I’d tell you the truth, but I’d have to kill you,”  she smiled.

The door fell.  Sacrifice didn’t even notice it as she dived backwards into its trajectory.  A satisfying thud and crunching filled the air.  I had a moment of joy, distracted by Bloodwitch’s threat.

“Yes!”  I shouted on instinct.  “You killed her, thank you!”

Merly looked at me, confused.  “You are not with her?”

“No, fuck her,”  I replied, smiling.  “Sh-”

She was alive.  Sacrifice got up, smiling deeply, clothed only in dirt, her own blood and the dried blood of the sheep’s head she wore.  She wore a deep cut from her chest to her pelvis, Rib bones showing and intestines clearly severed.

“There was a reason I hunted Bloodwitch down for three years,”  she said deeply, staring at me.  She was angry at me.  She was angry that I thought she’d die so easily, that I’d be free of her.  She was livid.  Bloodwitch squeezed my arm hard as her name was said, and I quickly glanced at her.

She was crying tears of pride.

“Do you want to see why, Ryan?  I’ll show you my secrets.”  she said, almost smiling.  Blood continued to pour from the gash in her body.

She raised her arm, and buried it in her chest.  I nearly threw up at the sight.  She mover her hand about, then took it out, forcing the other inside.  “Now then,”  she said, taking out her blood soaked hands.  “Let’s get fully prepared.”

She washed her feet in blood.  Even Merly was appalled.

“Dear God woman, what are you doing?”  he asked in horror.

“Setting the stage,”  Sacrifice responded.

She placed her feet down after ensuring they were totally caked in blood, and she leapt from my focus to about a foot away from Merly in a single bound.  Merly panicked and tried to accelerate on his bike, but Sacrifice was quicker.

“Not so fast.”

She grabbed the rear of it and squeezed, bending and crushing the seating with her bare hands.

“Don’t damage it,”  interrupted Bloodwitch.

“I’m trying,”  Sacrifice replied, frustrated.

Merly got off his bike and made a run for it, ball bearings tearing up the ground behind him.  Sacrifice seemed to ignore them, closing the distance in seconds.

Merly became invisible again.

“Dammit, I hate doing this,”  Said sacrifice, sticking her hand into her wounds yet again.  She poured the blood she cupped onto her face.  Her eyes, her nose, her mouth was all covered.  She removed her mask to make sure her ears were covered too.  I noticed she had short black hair.

“If you can’t tell, this is the reason she calls herself Sacrifice,”  said Bloodwitch.  “Any blood empowers her.  Drinking blood cures poisons, bathing in it restores youth and heals wounds.  Her legs move faster, her arms get stronger,”  she described, smiling with pride.  “She chose me because I can help her.  I’m not like the others, I’m necessary.”

This bitch is crazier than Sacrifice is, and she’s fondling her guts in public.

“I think that’s enough,”  said Sacrifice, rubbing her stomach and chest along her scars.  The gash appeared to begin healing, visibly dissapearing.

Sacrifice took a few seconds to look at the members of the Hunting Party.  Event Horizon was pale.  Her powers; my powers were nothing compared to that.

She turned around and grabbed the air, Holding it with both hands.  It took me a second to realize what happened.  She caught Merly while he was invisible.

“I win,”  she said, as blood gushed onto her chest and the sound of Merly’s skull being crushed filled the air.

Merly was still invisible, a silhouette of red.  She let go and he fell down, limp.  She did a small stretch, and knelt down, rummaging through his clothes.  She suddenly appeared as normal, but still dead.

“Anyone want the thing he was using for invisibility?”  she asked.  “Our guests exempt.”

Glutton raised his hand.  “I’ll take it.”

She tossed to Glutton while walking back to us, who caught it easily enough.

Sacrifice killed Merly easily.  How could I kill her?

“My boss,”  said Taker, rubbing his hands.  “I think that’s one for one, right?”

“One for One?”  repeated Sacrifice.

“Well, isn’t Jawbreaker down for the count?”

Sacrifice righted the overturned van.

“He’ll be okay,”  she said, pointing at the unconscious villain laying in his seat.

“Glutton, you drive.  I’ll put Jawbreaker with you, right Taker?”

Taker smiled.  “I’m thinking of having the young boy with us.  You can have Jawbreaker and Glutton.”

Sacrifice paused.  “I’m the leader of this group,”  she said quietly, almost to herself.  “We can’t have the two hostages working together.”

Taker smiled again, licked his lips and turned away.  “Right,”  he said, walking to the other van.  “I’m just a subordinate.”

The silence was apparent.

“Taker, take your group and go ahead.  I’ll need to do some repairs.”

Taker walked off, with Glutton following him, carrying Jawbreaker over his shoulder.  Druggie dragged Event Horizon behind him.  She didn’t resist, much.

The van drove off as Sacrifice knelt down, leaving only me, her, Ellen, Bloodwitch and Glutton in the road.

“Ryan,”  she said calmly.  “I’m going to have to have a private conversation.”

“I’m not tal-”

“You’ll fucking do it,”  she fumed.  “You’ll fucking listen to me and do as I say or I’ll swear I’ll turn your fucking friend here into a human fucking Pretzel and I’ll make you watch it.  Do you understand?”

I said nothing.  She got up and grabbed my arm, still wet with blood.  “Everyone else, keep watch,”  she barked.  Everyone but us moved away from the van, away from earshot.

In one swift motion she tossed me into the back of the van, and pinned me down, her hands tightly squeezing my arms.

“Stop struggling,”  she murmured.

“Get off me,”  I snapped back, writhing as hard as I can.  She squeezed so tight on me I was afraid she would break my arms.

“Listen to me,”  she said, harsher.  Sacrifice still dripped with blood.  Some dropped from her nose onto my face.  I turned away.

“If you wanted me to do what you say,”  I said, calmer now,  “You shouldn’t have kidnapped me.”

“You walked into that trap easy,”  she nearly laughed.  “you honestly deserve-”

“I meant the first time,”  I cut in, with a harsher tone.  “You ruined everything.”

I hate her.  Get off me and die.  Stop threatening Ellen, stop ruining lives, stop nearly dying and getting my hopes up.  Just stop.

“I don’t care,”  she said.  “This is more important.”

I tried to adjust myself, but she held me down with all her weight.

“Did you notice anything with Taker?”  she asked, after a lengthy pause.

“What?”  I said, shocked.

“Did Taker look suspicious to yo-”

I cut her off, laughing.

“Let me fin-”

I laughed harder, facing her.

“Taker usurped you, right?”  I said, stating what I realized all too late.  “The big bad wolf got her pack stolen from her?”

She slapped me across the face, hard.

“You and I are in real danger here,”  she whispered.  “That girl of yours in the van with him is in even more.”

That got my attention.

“What the hell are you talking about?”

Sacrifice eased up.

“Taker, myself and many others lie about our powers.  It’s a common thing.”

“Cut to the chase.”  I said, impatient.  I earned another slap, harder.  I nearly started crying.

“I’m still in control, kid,”  she said, pausing.

Glutton opened the back door.

“You done with him? We need to catch up, boss.”

Sacrifice turned back to me.  “We’ll continue this later.”

 

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The trip made me feel miserable.  The drugs took their sweet time wearing off, and during the whole time they did I had to sit there, looking at the Hunting Party.  Bloodwitch, Sacrifice, Jawbreaker and Ellen were the only ones in the van with me.

Bloodwitch was in the back, leaning over into the passenger seat.  Sacrifice was busy reading a book, occasionally glancing at me, to see If I was trying anything funny.  Jawbreaker was driving, and Ellen sat in the passenger seat, looking out the window.

I had to do something.  I thought about my powers.  I took my sweet time and read up on their powers whenever I could.  I read everything I could about them.  The NHN Database, fan forums, Wikis and everywhere else.  I was convinced I could beat them.

Honestly, I was a fool.  I was younger and weaker than all of them except Bloodwitch and Ellen, and I didn’t want to fight Ellen at all.

The bleeding stopped a while ago, and I’d wiped everything off my face with the sleeve of my suit.  My helmet and my Shield lay next to me, freely sliding along the floor of the van as it took turn after turn.

A faint whizzing sound filled the air, distracting us all.

“Everyone get down!”  yelled Jawbreaker, Swerving the van.

A bullet penetrated the front window explosively.  Sacrifice toppled over, the shot just missing her.  When the van landed on its side and skidded uncomfortably along the road, stopping after several long seconds.

Sacrifice picked herself up first, along with Ellen.

“Wow, you look great up there,”  she laughed at me as I dangled from the side of the van in my bindings.  “A chandelier.”

“Let me down,”  I said sternly.  She gave a look and I added “Please.”

“One second.  Friends before foes,”  she replied.  “Jawbreaker, Bloodwitch!”

“JB is KO’d,”  replied Bloodwitch, checking up on Jawbreaker.  The airbags were deflating, slowly.

“Good, take this one down from here,”  said Sacrifice as Ellen opened the door.

“Truama, dearie?  You stay as a hostage.  I’ll need you.”

Bloodwitch roughly unbound me and let me fall too the floor.

“Up,”  she ordered.  I got up quickly, grabbing my helmet and shield.

I looked around and the sun hurt.  Another van was on the road, parked perfectly.  The rest of the Hunting Party was here, I assumed.

Sacrifice was quick to action.  “We have company, Guys! Get out!”

Fractal had already teleported Kumo, Glutton, Taker and Druggie out of the van, along with Event Horizon, who was in handcuffs.  She caught a glimpse of me, and her face told me what I didn’t want to know.

She followed me and got caught.  I turned away.

“Well, now we are all here,”  began Sacrifice,  “We should be taking cover, although it may not help at all.”

She turned to the tipped over van as another thud rumbled through it.  A ball bearing less than a centimetre in diameter stopped inches away from her mask.

“Ryan, use your powers,”  she ordered me.  I didn’t comply.

“No,” I murmured, “I don’t ne-”

“Your friends will die here,”  She interrupted as she turned her head.

She looked at me.  She looked deep into me.  The Ball bearing was so close.  If only it started moving again.

“Start thinking, now!”

I hate her.  I hate her so much it hurts.  I hate how she’s using them; using me.  Still, I have to do this.

“Fine,”  I said.  “It only attacked the van, and isn’t going for you.”

The ball bearing quickly darted towards me, striking my facemask that is attached to me helmet.  I fell backwards, stumbling.

“Ryan, no!”  shouted Event Horizon.  Nobody else moved, not even Ellen.

“Sounds like its owner was mad at hearing that,”  said Sacrifice.  “You think its owner is hiding or nearby?”

I didn’t care, blood dripped from a shard of plastic in my cheek.

“Fuck, don’t as-”

Sacrifice ran over and kicked me in the stomach.  “Answer me!”  she shouted.

This was a game to her.  Another way for her to assert her dominance.  She knew exactly what was going on.  I hate her so much.

“I think they are hiding or something!”  I shouted in response to her interrogations.

“Good, good,”  she replied, smiling.

I got up as she walked over to Event Horizon.  The ball bearing floated aggressively between her and Sacrifice.

“You were the team leader for the Juniors, weren’t you,”  she smiled, stroking EH’s hair back gently.

“I still am,”  she replied.  “Don’t touch me.”

“Lock that ball down.”

“Why should I?”  asked Event Horizon with a smug but scared look.

“Well, if you don’t I’ll just give a pledge to Texas here and now, and in about two hour-”

Event Horizon reacted before she could finish.

“Okay!”  she said, panicked at the thought of Sacrifice’s threat.  “I’ll do it!”

The ball bearing stopped moving.  Event Horizon winced a little.  Sacrifice walked away, into the open.

“It’s pulling hard,”  she complained.

“Suck it up, dearie,”  smiled Sacrifice.  She turned around to face us and yelled directly into the sky, arms outstretched and her body showing.

“Show yourself!  You can do it!”

No response.

“We’ll fight honestly!  Come on!”

Still no response.  Event Horizon’s foot dragged a little along the ground, prompting Bloodwitch to snigger.

“Fractal, get everyone but the leader in the van and dri-”  She was cut short with a loud fizzing sound behind her.

A young man with long, flowing golden hair stood right behind her, holding a motorcycle helmet in one hand with hos bike between his legs.

“I figured you’d have to show yourself if Event Horizon held onto your toy,”  gloated Sacrifice.  “Get lost or I’ll kill you.”

The young man smiled.  Event Horizon dropped to her knees in exhaustion as the ball bearing she held with her power fell to the ground.

“Don’t expect the King’s guard to be so pathetic,”  he smirked, sticking one hand into his pocket and placing his helmet on with the other.

Sacrifice was about to move, but Taker took control of the situation, much to my surprise.

“Sacrifice, don’t do that,”  he pleaded gently.  “It’s not fun that way.”

I looked at them and noticed that everyone was staring at Sacrifice, waiting.  Were they judging her?

Even Ellen did so.  I looked at Event Horizon as she groaned.  Our assailant huffed.

“War is not fun.  Protecting our King is a privilege.”  he stated with pride.

“Fine,”  said Sacrifice, after such a long stare down against what was the entirety of the Hunting Party.  “We’ll do it the fun way.”

She turned around, bowing.  “I bid you welcome, I am Sac-”

“Dear god woman! Put on some clothes!”  Interrupted the man, shocked.

“Who the fuck are you anyway?”  I finally asked, annoyed.  Just fucking kill her, or get out the way and let somebody else kill her.

He gave pause and looked at me, glad to be distracted from Sacrifice’s bosom.  Sacrifice gave me a nasty look.

“Why,”  said the man in full theatrics.  “I am a member of the king’s guard, Merly.”

 

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Quiet.  Silent.  Everything was Nothing and she was alone with her thoughts.  Who would want to talk to you?  It’s all your fault.  You’re going to cause nothing but misery, forever.  It’s all your fault.  You deserve this.

Ellen’s mind raced, and it could only hurt her.  She was not allowed to talk to anyone, not after what she did.  The guards were blocked from even seeing her, she was that horrific.  Confined to a nearly impossible degree, with gags, blindfolds, chains, cuffs and straight-jackets all supported with a complex metal contraption suspending her in place.  All that was was all her thoughts; all her thoughts were all that was.  She waited and hoped for the occasional jolt of the van as it took her to the city kept her awake. Anything to make the Ellen in her mind go away, or be distracted for a moment.

You don’t deserve to live. You killed them.

Ellen couldn’t escape her own thoughts for even a single second.  It hurt.

Did it feel good?  Having her die because you didn’t want to hear me for just a little longer?

A thousand accusations, a thousand spiteful words pierced her with precision that proved to her it was her own mind doing this.  Her very soul was trying to drive her insane.

She loved you, and you said those filthy, evil words.

It was working.

And guess what?  You get to go free.  I’m sure Uncle Jonathon will be proud.

A violent jolt of the van changed her mind for a second.

Oh my.  It appears you’ve caused even more death.

Metal tearing, shouting, screaming, gunshots.  Nothing.

They had kids.  Both of them.

More metal being torn, louder, more pronounced.

And now it’s your turn.  You’ll spread misery forever, without fail.  You disgust me.

“This her?”  a ragged voice asked.

“Yeah, this is the one,”  answered what sounded like a young girl’s.  “Taker, take out the bits we don’t need once I’ve tapped her.”

Pain.

 

***

 

Ellen woke up to find herself alone.

No voice.  It was gone.  She got up and realized he was free.  She was free, and there wasn’t that constant voice in her head telling her how horrible she was every second she wasn’t near Ryan, and she could move and walk and speak and-

“So you took out her will to die?”

Ellen shot around and saw them. Seven Humanoid figures and a giant spider.  She’s seen weirder teams of capes before.  Unlike Ryan she actually bothered with reading cape news and gossip, rather than instinctively sneering and going for the remote.  She recognized them already.  The Hunting Party.  She was back in the clutches of the hunting party.

Sacrifice, Druggie, Fractal, Glutton and Jawbreaker stood in a group.  They were finished off by three of their other members whom the news reported as visiting Asia at the time they attacked Norfolk.  Taker, Bloodwitch and Kumo.

 

“Why are you here?”  she asked.  Or more correctly, that is what she meant to ask.  What she actually said was “Ahh, Munroe.  You think you can save this little girl, too?”

A brief moment of horror crossed Ellen’s face as Bloodwitch slapped her across the face, sending her across the room.

“Taker, she told you to take out all the bits we don’t need,”  Bloodwitch snarled at Taker, her veins visibly popping from her powers.

“Now now, I was only having a joke.  It’s not like you’d kill yourself anyway,”  replied Taker, adjusting his glasses.  “Though if you let me take something of similar value, I’d give you back your death…”

“Back off, you fucking creep,”  Bloodwitch replied, a spear of blood shooting out of her arm and touching Taker’s neck.

Glutton suddenly jumped and bit down on the blood spear, breaking it.  He shot a look at both of them and resumed eating his burger.

“Enough,”  ordered Sacrifice calmly.  “We have many experiments to run in the future.  Taker?  Take these things,” she handed Taker a note of paper.  He smiled while looking at the list and walked over to Ellen, who just managed to stand up.  Ellen turned to run and began to look for a door or a window.

“It’s no use, dear.”  said Taker, slowly walking towards her.  “I took away the exits.”

“Clara, help me!”  Ellen cried.  Bloodwitch clenched her fist and looked away.  “Don’t let it happen!  Don’t just stand there watching again!”

Taker got even closer.  Ellen tried to make another run for it but she froze.  She suddenly fell to her knees and put her hands behind her head.  Bloodwitch was using her powers on her.

Ellen panicked, struggling to speak.  “Clara, please!  I didn’t mean it! You said you’d prote-”

“You aren’t her!”  shouted Bloodwitch, visibly angered.  Ellen shut up, reduced to sobbing.

Taker reached her, and placed his and on her head.

“Loyalty to your friends, family and everyone else bar us.”

A surge of blood rushed through Ellen’s head.

“Please, Danny… It wasn’t their fault,”  she whispered to Taker.

“Your ability to use your power on us.”

Another surge of blood.

Ellen could actually say what she wanted to.  “Please, stop this.”

“Your ability to betray us or rebel against us in any form.”

Another surge of blood, heavier than the last.

“And finally, your will to leave us.”

It was done.  As the last pulses of blood ran through her head and she heard the tinnitus slowly pass by.  Even her thoughts changed.  Ellen was still scared, still frightened, but now she feels no need to escape, to try and run away.  She looked up at Taker as he took his hand away.

“Why?”

“We always take a new member from each experiment,”  smiled Sacrifice.  Ellen remembered a small detail about her; she used to be a well known metahuman researcher.  Her experiments have come to this?  Awful.

“It’s a way to keep on having fun.”

“I see.”  Ellen wasn’t disagreeing.  Only loyalty to the Hunting Party remained.  It pained her to admit so, just a little.

Sacrifice walked closer to her, wearing a bull’s head instead of the goat she last saw.  She placed her hand on Ellen’s shoulder.

“You are now Trauma,”  she said gently.  Ellen got up, allowed to move again.  Sacrifice turned to the rest of the Hunting Party. She clapped her hands and spun around in a mischievous manner.

“Who wants to see the current situation of Texas?” she asked.

Kumo was the first to reply.

“Why go Texas?”   the spider hissed.

“Because, Kumo, I want to study the Effects of Druggie’s formula on a Kingmaker victim.  The King of Texas is conveniently nearby, and he’s going to open up soon anyway.  Kingmakers need to wage wars and Texas hasn’t had one in 15 years,”  she replied.

Kumo didn’t respond.

 

Alliance walked into the meeting room of the New York National Heroes Network Debriefing Room.  He looked over at his fellow agents and at down in his chair.

Array stood up and turned on his projector.  “As you all know I and Hindsight have been following the Hunting Party for the last month,”  He said, pointing at his masked colleague.  “They’ve hit Norfolk an hour ago.”

Undertow clenched her fists.  “Why didn’t we hear about this now?”

“I suspect that somebody is allied with their cause.  It’s most likely Agent Jameson, but that isn’t important.”  He said.  “Six teenagers were kidnapped.  We all know their usual MO.  Expect these kids to be highly incontinent with their powers.”  Array handed 6 folders, one to each person in the room who isn’t himself.

“Myself and Hindsight have already written down the best course of action.  I expect you to follow this to the letter, as usual.”

Alliance, Undertow, Vortex, Queen, Water Strider and Agent Mulch opened the folders and read them.

Agent Mulch was the first to protest.  “What the fuck do you mean, only capture the cloning ability user!?”  he said.

Hindsight smirked a little under his mask.  “I’ll assure you that if you go after anybody but the twins, you will die.  This is the only option.”

Agent Mulch snorted.  “If they are dangerous at all, then any loss to prevent another fucking Buffalo City event is perfectly fine.”

Undertow looked at the agent with bared teeth.  She let up after Water Strider but his hand on her shoulder to calm her.

“I assure you,” said Array. “They are all perfectly harmless to normal people.  I do note that they will cause damage only if somebody with powers tries to attack them, however.”  He put his hands up in the air.  “I’d like to catch them all, really.  I hear a professor in Ethiopia came up with a cure to Druggie’s super serum.”

Undertow finally spoke.  “I’m not going to fucking allow you to experiment on minors.”

Array smiled.  “I have full permissions, and you are assuming I’m going to create some godzilla thingy.  Besides, I need their permission to perform any experimental treatment, both from the doctor and the children.”

Undertow looked at Agent Mulch.  “Come on.  Don’t let him.”

Mulch sighed.  “I have to agree with Undertow here.  This stuff is an unproved science, and I don’t think the risks of what could happen outweigh the benefits.” Array opened his mouth to speak but was interrupted.  ” …and before you go to cry about it, I’m not going to allow it this time because Hindsight says it’s okay.  His duration for his ability to see the future is short a majority of the time, and the problems may be long term.”

Alliance stood up.  “We should go.”  Undertow, Water Strider, Vortex and Queen followed suit and left the meeting room.

While they walked down the halls, Vortex was the first to break the silence.  “So when is the honeymoon, newlyweds?”  he asked Undertow and Water Strider.

Water Strider gave him a look and smirked.  “I’m not telling you.  God knows what prank you’d try and pull.”

Vortex shot his hands up in fake surrender.  “I’m not like that all the time, it was only once!”

“You teleported Undertow’s bra onto alliance.”  Queen interjected.  Undertow put her head down slightly.

“At least they fit him,”  said Vortex.  “God know what would happen if Alliance had bigger boobs than Undertow.”

Undertow put her hands over her mouth to stop laughing and hide her embarrassment.  Queen decided to smack him over the back of the head instead.

“Thanks, Queen.”  said Water Strider.

They reached the roof and huddled in a circle. Alliance, Undertow, Water Strider, Vortex and Queen held hands.

Vortex smiled, giddy at the upcoming fight.  “Here we go!”

Thunder struck the roof of the New York building, and they disappeared.

 

***

 

The National Heroes Network stood in front of the Hunting Party.  Sacrifice, Fractal, Glutton and Jawbreaker stood in a circle around 7 teenagers.  One was glowing brightly.  One had a mask over her face.  Two were identical.

Sacrifice was holding several syringes in her hands.  Alliance knew that colour.  It was Druggie’s self destruction formula.

“Don’t let her inject anybody with that formula!”  he ordered.  “Attack the Hunting Party, we’ll deal with the kids later!”

He turned to face the hostages and the Hunting Party.  “Nobody Move!”

Sacrifice yelled something.  Nearly everyone charged into the fight.  Fractal appeared right in front of Undertow’s face.  She waved her hand and he was flung into a building with a crash as the window was broken.  He suddenly appeared behind her and touched her back.  She disappeared.

Vortex teleported himself and Queen in front of Sacrifice.  She tried to stab at them with her syringes, and Queen dodged back.  “Squeeze your hands.”  Queen said.  Sacrifice crushed the syringes in her hands, and leaped forwards to punch Queen.

“Kneel.”  Sacrifice stumbled, missing her punch.

“Kneel.”  Sacrifice stumbled again, almost flipping over.

“Kne-”  Queen was struck in the face with a plank of wood before she could finish.  Fractal then teleported behind Vortex holding the wooden weapon but suddenly shot up into the air and hovered there, floating at the height of a small building.

“Got him!”  yelled Water Strider.  Undertow raced back into the fray riding a small puddle at break-neck speed down the empty road.  She crashed into one of the teenagers who hadn’t run away.  There were two of them, looking the exact same.  How did she not see him?

The two teenagers were yelling at the same time, to a third who was eerily still.  “Derek, listen to me!  The syringes are gone!  We have to go back to the others!”

The still boy pressed on, refusing to listen to his comrade.  Undertow felt a thud as  he hit her.  She tried to punch back, and went right through him.  Water Strider charged into the fray, kicking and punching all three teenagers, somehow hitting the still boy.

“Stop, I’m trying to help!”  Said both twins at the same time.  Water Strider stopped attacking.

“On your hands and knees then!”  he ordered.  The twins acted at the same time.

A glow became brighter and brighter.  “What the hell is that?”  asked Vortex, shielding his eyes.

It began to fade, dimming slowly.  “One of the kids.”  said Alliance as he walked towards the group from his fight.  He looked beaten up.

“Jawbreaker and Glutton got away, as predicted by Hindsight.”  he said.

Alliance looked at Sacrifice as Fractal blinked in and out of existence, taking her with him.  Undertow kicked some dirt into the air and screamed at the sky.

“That was a waste of time!  Fuck!”

Alliance looked at her sternly.  “We stopped a potential disaster, and according to Hindsight’s report, we have a source of useful information from the cloning boy.”

Undertow shot Alliance an angry look.  He was always so calm and by the book, which aggravated her to no end.  Even Vortex couldn’t get him riled up, and that guy has tried many times.  Alliance stood firm in his opinion, and Undertow conceded defeat.

“Okay.  I understand.”  she didn’t.

Alliance picked up the twins by the arms.  “Kid, your name.  And don’t give me any callsign stuff, you are not wearing a mask.”

The twins took a second to think, then explained in unison.  “I’m Richard, but everyone calls me Ricky.”

Alliance relaxed a little.  “What do you know about the other hostages, Ricky?”

“I know them all.  They’re my friends, sir.”

“Really?  You know their names?” Alliance inquired skeptically.

” Micheal Scott, Maxine McKinnon, Ellen White, Ryan Anderson and Derek Smith.  They’re good kids sir.  It isn’t our fault this happened.”

“I know son,”  said Alliance.  “It was just bad luck, really.”

Queen and Water Strider walked up beside Alliance.

“You’ve been injected with a serum from Druggie,”  explained Queen.  “We’d like to run some tests, to get an idea of what will happen to you and your friends.”

Ricky nodded slowly.  “Okay.  I understand.”