"Hey, we didn't do any of this, honest!" yelled Zaps.
"I SAID PUT BRIARSTONE DOWN! NOW!" Magenta yelled at me, ignoring Zaps.
"I am complying," I quickly placed the green suited hero, 'Briarstone', down on the street.
"Now back away and get on the ground!"
I slowly backed up, moving closer to Zaps who was looking rather twitchy. He looked back and forth between the van and Magenta before getting to his knees. I was glad he did not decide to start a fight; this was a bad situation to get caught in, but it really hadn't been our fault, and the two heroes, Avos and 'Briarstone', could confirm that once they recovered. Trying to resist arrest at this point would only-
A shockwave burst from one of the apartment windows and hit Magenta dead center. Her forcefield flared, dispersing the blast and leaving her unharmed. The vampire had attacked her!
"More hostiles in the building! Move in!"
"Um, that was the-"
Before I could finish speaking, I was slammed in my midsection by a flying tackle. It propelled me across the street and into a parked car. I wasn't exactly sure how Suprex managed to sneak up on me, especially considering his costume was even more gaudy than normal. It was still pants, cape, and mask, but the colors had been switched around to mostly red, blue, and orange, and there were multi-colored glass gemstones set into a flame pattern around his mask.
"Ah fuck this!" yelled Zaps from outside my line of sight, followed by the crackling of two bolts, "Pebbles get out of here! We'll catch up!"
Well, I guess we were fighting then.
Suprex was still grappling my midsection, so I punched him in the face. My fist connected and his head rocked back, a little blood leaking from a split lip. That was odd, I was sure he had super strength.
"Interesting way to say hello mi amigo," said Suprex, spitting a little blood to the side. "Allow me to introduce myself."
"I already kno-"
He grabbed the front of my suit in a fist, and with both hands quickly lifted me over his head (definitely a strength power), before trying to toss me. My limbs bent down and latched onto the road, but the concrete crumbled under my fingers, and he launched me straight up into the air. Two stories, three, four... seven! Way too high!
Even with super strength, the angle was all wrong for the forces exerted. With the method he used to throw me, he would need to be ridiculously strong to throw my current weight this high, but I'd managed to hurt him with a simple punch. How exactly did his super strength work? Was it perhaps some form of telekinesis?
I reached the apex of my flight and began to fall, flailing and twisting to try and readjust my position. At this height, I was going to sustain damage regardless of how I landed, but it really depended on whether the durability and spring-like qualities of foldable muscle could compensate for the increased weight of foldable muscle. I was reasonably certain I could cushion the fall enough that I'd only break my arms and legs, and more or less certain that my core would survive the impact regardless of the damage my body sustained. I would need to thank Adder for her lesson on weight again. Above a certain weight threshold, a falling body would follow fluid dynamics, rather than just safely crumpling.
I fell, stretching my limbs out to their maximum extension below me to try and absorb as much of the coming impact as I could. The ground rose to meet me quickly, twenty more meters, ten more meters, five meters, but-
Just as I was about to hit the ground, Suprex lept at me from the side, intercepting my fall. I tried to bring one arm up to block, but he dodged, he twisted, phased through, I missed... huh?
ERROR! ERROR! ERROR!
Suprex's arm hit me just under the neck, in what I recognized as a 'clothesline' maneuver. Instantly I was hit to the side, all of my momentum transferred ninety degrees into a completely perpendicular direction-
-and I was blown across the street, through a window, and then through a concrete wall, finally coming to a stop embedded in someone's stand-alone plastic wardrobe.
Damage to left arm: fractured support bone, 10% muscle mass overstrained.
Damage to left leg: torn ligament, skin abrasions.
Damage to torso: 3 broken ribs, broken collar bone, musculature bruising...
The list of damaged organs and parts went on and on, but amazingly, I was still within acceptable combat condition. I'd fallen seven stories and then been thrown through a concrete wall, and yet all of the damage done was minor. Foldable muscle or no foldable muscle, I should have been a pile of half-liquified meat with chitin shards floating in it, but I'd be able to heal this damage in less than a minute. Still, dealing with Suprex's power was confusing! I did not want to continue such an unpredictable fight at all.
I extricated myself from the wardrobe, and headed for a door leading further into the apartment building. Zaps was just going to have to find his own way back, I wasn't risking myself in such an unpredictable situation.
"Oh? Still on your feet amigo?" asked Suprex, interrupting my getaway. He was standing in the hole my flight created in the wall. "Thought I tapped you a bit harder than that. Ready for round two?"
"I'm not fighting you!"
"Feel free to tap out whenever you want pequeño cráneo. I've got a free ticket to Panama with your name on it ready for you."
"...I don't want to go to Panama."
I threw some detritus from the broken wardrobe at Suprex and fled out of the room, my traction claws carving divots in the carpet. Through two more doors I found the main hallway for the building's ground floor, and started searching for one of the exits. I got about forty feet when a door on my left swung open violently, and Suprex came charging through with a shoulder charge. He smashed into me, and I bounced against the hallway wall.
"Actually, now that I think about it, you never did give me your name," mused Suprex, "I watched Trebla's little video, but your name was mysteriously absent from it. A good debut, but you forgot to announce your name at the end! Don't you know a luchador should announce their name loud, and proud, so the audience can cheer their name!?"
I spat a slug at his face (which he blocked by catching it), then swiped with a claw to create distance before continuing my run down the hall. I didn't get more than twenty feet when Suprex came crashing through a door on my right, feet first.
His feet connected on my side with such force that I was sent flying through another wall, where I landed on the couch in some civilian's living room.
That hit from Suprex should have broken my spine on impact, but neither the attack nor my flight through a concrete wall left me with any injuries above a severe bruise.
"You use such dirty tactics señor Tofu. Spitting and clawing. You'd make a good rudo in the ring."
"How did you get ahead of me?"
"...You know, your banter really needs some work."
"I only just started practicing today," and it wasn't exactly at the top of my priorities right now.
What was troubling me now, was how Suprex kept getting ahead of me. Did he also have multiple powers? But his wiki entry hadn't made any mention of teleportation or super speed, only a mention for his shows of strength, and that what he did have was called 'Ultimate Kayfabe' by his fans. Researching kayfabe had brought me down an endless linked chain of articles on different topics like acting, wrestling, and memes and stories I didn't understand. The best idea I had was that he had a multi-faceted power based upon the concept of 'not breaking character in a wrestling match'. This... somehow related to defying physics?
Whatever his power, it seemed running was no good. I took a combat stance.
"Oh? Are you ready to fight me then?"
"I don't understand how your super strength works. Please keep that in mind so that I don't accidentally kill you."
"Ha! So you do know how to banter!"
I ignored him and started throwing basic punches in the way that Adder taught me. Of the things I'd tried so far, my first punch was the only thing that had phased him even a little. Perhaps that was a clue. I started with jabs and feints from a distance to test him, as I wasn't willing to close in. Most of what he'd done so far had been grabs, and flashy moves I recognized from a few fighting arcade games and pictures in articles about 'pro wrestling', articles that I'd quickly disregarded as being useless to my combat advancement. Obviously I would have to go back and research pro wrestling in-depth. He was managing to dodge my punches while using what looked like ridiculously exaggerated motions, that nevertheless worked.
"What's this? The big scary monster practices boxing?"
"You aren't supposed to call people names. It's mean."
"Ah," he coughed, "Well then, excuse my poor choice of w- oof"
My punch connected, I'd managed to hit him in the stomach. The hit should have done nothing based on his displayed level of super strength, but he acted as if he took a punch from someone of equal strength.
*Cough* "Heh, that's quite the punch you have there niño."
"Please stop calling me names."
"...That wasn't an insult."
"Oh. I don't know spanish yet. I still need to finish reading my way through the english dictionary."
"Well you'll have plenty of time to learn in a cell."
He rushed forwards, and blocked one of my punches by sweeping his left arm up with deceptive strength. Then he tried to sweep a foot out from under me, but was far too slow to-
My foot slipped out from under me as he kicked my leg, my traction claws somehow failing to find any purchase. Then he grabbed my sides under my arms and started to pull me forwards. I stabilized myself by grabbing the floor with a free han-
My fingers slipped, and he pulled me forwards towards himself, before dropping and rolling backwards with me still in his grip.
I flipped over him, the force of his throw causing me to somersault forward and slam into the wall behind him while upside down. Again, only minor broken bones and bruises, but he kept thwarting my attempts at normal combat with his power.
Suprex rolled to his feet and approached me. I didn't bother righting myself, and started kicking with my feet instead. He dodged using his overly exaggerated style again, avoiding my kicks by centimeters.
So I extended knives.
I felt the blades connect, scoring multiple gouges along his torso, neck, face, and arm. Suprex burst into motion and swept both his arms up, catching both my legs and shoving them up and away so violently that my feet hit the ceiling. He backed off while breathing heavily, and clutching at his new wounds. I took the opportunity to right myself.
"Still with the dirty tricks, eh Tofu?"
"You cheat too."
"How dare you even suggest the notion."
"Then why are most of your wounds missing?" Most of the gouges I'd just carved were gone, only a cut on his cheek, a cut on his forearm, and a thin cut across one of his pectoral muscles was left.
"Because a hero can't quit before evil is vanquished."
He took a fighting pose with legs spread and both fists on the ground. Then he sprang forward unnaturally fast, and started hitting me with arm thrusts. Each hit felt unstoppable, unerringly landing on my torso and doing more damage than any of his other supernatural displays of strength.
ERROR! ERROR! ERROR!
I stopped trying to dodge or block the arm thrusts, and instead curled my arms around to his back before wrapping them around his torso. My knives and tendrils extended, and I attempted to stab him, choke him, and even dissolve him with micro units. Something had to get through his power.
He roared as he attacked, not even trying to break my hold, and instead his arm thrusts picked up more speed, slamming into me like he was a machine. The wall behind me began to crack from the force (his attacks should have been punching through my torso by this point), and with one final thrust that vibrated my organs in their casings, the wall gave way, and I was hurled out into the apartment building's main lobby.
Which made no sense, since we'd been fighting next to a hallway.
"Understandable. My techniques are not for the likes of lesser men to comprehend."
"No, I meant your power. And wasn't that a sumo technique? I thought you did lucha libre."
He shrugged, "Wrestling is wrestling."
Annoying, even his fighting style was inconsistent. I wasn't sure how to deal with a power that only allowed damage if you followed the user's own esoteric rules. Technically such a power should make its user unbeatable.
But Trebla had beaten him.
Both Trebla and I approached problems with logic, and a plan. True, he had a battlesuit, but physical strength didn't seem to be a reliable factor in this fight. Maybe lasers or force fields would make the difference? But I didn't have any of those available to me right now. Trebla was also human, where I was not, but if Trebla's solution relied on a human element, then Human.exe should be able to provide that, shouldn't it? The only other difference between us, perhaps the main difference, was that I was a minion, and he was a Villain.
And villains liked to banter. In Trebla's case, with a script.
"I believe it's about time we wrapped this up niño. It's been fun, but I have many more evil doers that need my attention today."
"Fool! I have not even begun to use a random percentage of my true power."
"...Did I hit your head a bit too hard there niño?"
"No, my helmet is really good. I'm referring to the fact that your predictions of winning are based upon false information about my overall combat ability. Even though it looks like you're winning, you're actually going to lose because I still have my secret move."
"¡Ay, caramba! I broke him."
"You've broken me multiple times. But I am not yet defeated due to a hidden reservoir of strength that was yet to be revealed."
I got to my feet, while being careful not to aggravate the wounds Suprex had just given me. My micro units healed the essential stuff, but I left all the superficial ones, making sure to display the injuries prominently. Not all of Suprex's wounds had healed, and there had to be a reason for that.
"Now I will demonstrate my secret move that I spent an entire week working on."
I took a combat stance and approached him.
I aimed a straight punch at his torso, extending my arm as if to take advantage of my variable range. He moved to block it, but at the last second I flexed the muscles in my arm and my punch curved upwards to hit him full in the face. His head whipped back at the blow.
"Secret punch! Secret punch!"
My punches were landing! Not at the same level of strength as when I hit vampires, or practiced on concrete, but they were still landing. No impossible turnabouts. No errors. I continued pummeling him, and while some of the punches were deflected, the fight now seemed far more even. In fact, I was starting to push him back.
And then he caught my next two punches in his palms, holding my fists in a vice grip. Trying to pull my hands away caused more errors.
"It's not exactly a secret punch if I know it's coming, now is it? Olé!" Suprex twisted my arms in a circle and yanked, pulling me in with a motion that sent me flipping over his head.
"SUPERSECRETSPECIALKICK!" I contorted in midair, bringing the heel of my foot down in a hammer kick. It came down on his shoulder, causing no errors, but sent him sliding across the floor in a way that seemed rather dramatic (and not quite right for the angle). As he came to a stop, he rolled to his feet, favoring his newly injured shoulder.
"A good hit," Suprex admitted, "Seems I've been taking you too lightly. I'll have to pull out all the stops."
"Does that mean you have a secret move too?"
He grinned, "No tricks pequeño cráneo. Only eleven years of experience in the ring."
Well that hardly seemed fair. Still...
"That makes me the underdog, which means you have no hope of winning according to two hundred and twenty-seven separate media sources."
"Ha! Let's put that theory to the test, eh greenhorn?"
I started punching him again, but this time he deflected the majority of the punches, closing in rapidly (I guess the effectiveness does drop if the punch is not a secret), so I tried to surprise him with a "Secret kick!" It almost looked like my roundhouse kick would hit him, but he jumped over it while striking a pose, his power compensating for the inefficiency of it. Trying to follow up with a swipe while he was in the air failed when he slapped the underside of my wrist, sending my arm high. His feet hit the floor and kicked off again.
He spun as he came flying at me. It looked more impressive than functional, but came at me far too fast to dodge. His elbow came around and slammed into me, driving me to the floor with him atop me. We went rolling across the floor of the lobby, both of us trying to pin the other while yelling the names of our special moves while we slammed into furniture left and right. A wooden coffee table some civilian had set up in the lobby for ambience shattered, its attending chairs scattered to the corners of the room.
"El escorpión de la muerte!"
"Último vuelo de la golondrina de verano!"
The two of us slammed into the front door of the lobby, somehow knocking the reinforced door off its hinges. It fell outwards, revealing the street where we originally started fighting. From my pinned position I could make out the general destruction, which looked worse than before. The situation bothered me. Not because of the property damage though.
Because I was pinned!
I tried to struggle, but my arms were trapped behind my back! It shouldn't have been possible! Somehow he'd twisted my arms in just the right way to make the joints lock, the muscles twisted around and around chitin bones that were already bent to their limit. I tried to dissolve some of the tangled mass with micro units and-
"You said you didn't have any secret moves!"
"That wasn't a secret move."
"It sounded like one."
"A long name doesn't make a move secret, or special. Neither does adding 'super' in front of every kick and punch by the way."
"It works in video games..."
He rolled his eyes, "What makes a move special is that you put your whole heart into it. You would do well to remember that."
My whole heart?
"...Okay. Super awesome amazing marvelous wonderful impressive..."
"What did I just say?"
"...superb superior first-rate brilliant unbelievable..."
"Niño? Look, it was a good fight for a greenhorn, but you're only going to make things harder on yourself."
"...PERFECT SUBLIME PEERLESS EXQUISITE SPLENDID..."
"Niño- Tofu. I'm not kidding! We're in a lockdown. I'm willing to take it easy on you this time since you're a kid, but the legal penalties if you don't desist-"
"...MEGA COOL MONOLOGUE THAT BUYS TIME ULTIMATE HEART DISTRACTION ATTACK!"
My suit opened, my back burst, and my ribcage shattered as my main heart escaped its confines supported by dozens of flexible tendrils to attack his face.
The assemblage slapped against his skull and latched on, and I made sure that the beating heart covered his vision. His hands left the pin to try and get it off, and suddenly my arms could move again, as if there had never been a problem at all. I quickly reversed all my limbs so that my back became my front, before extending an arm and grabbing some nearby furniture.
"AND A CHAIR!"
I slammed the wooden chair into the side of his head. It shattered into dozens of pieces, but also sent him careening off of me. He hit the floor with a thump and didn't move. Oops. I quickly checked to see if he was still breathing.
...He was, and his heartbeat was steady. I hadn't expected my attack to knock him out, just to get him off me. I knew chairs had some kind of significance to pro wrestling, considering how often they featured in video clips, but apparently they were some kind of anti-kayfabe weapon? Suprex had taken that hit hard, reacting much like a normal human would have, and it didn't seem like he was going to wake up any time soon.
...Unless he suddenly woke up when I least expected it. That happened a lot in movies.
I eyed Suprex warily, and rushed to get all my organs back into place. This had been a resource intensive fight. The extra energy I stockpiled from the fight with the vampires was already used up, and I was burning into my reserves. Only about a few days worth so far, but still, it added up. At least it was worth it.
The thought filled me with elation. I managed to solve the mystery of Suprex's stupid esoteric power by using logic, and correctly interpreting human culture references. The last time I had solved such an abstract problem was back when I escaped from the lab, and the victory this time felt just as rewarding. Satisfaction, happiness, pride... and the strangest urge to lift my fist to the sky in victory? Maybe with some of Trebla's camera drones watching? Or a cheering crowd? That didn't seem right...
Resetting brain chemistry.
...There we go. Suprex's power must have some slight side-effects. What I really wanted was to get out of here. Now. There was a super brawl happening outside, and while this fight with Suprex might have been safe with his power preventing lethal blows, I didn't want to get into any more fights with supers while unprepared. Of course, what I wanted was unrelated to reality outside of Suprex's sphere of influence.
The lobby darkened as a figure blocked the broken entranceway, his seven-foot tall frame practically eclipsing the view of the street outside, made all the more impressive when you realized he was still in his human form.
"...uh, Hello Brick."
He didn't bother to respond, merely giving the room a cursory scan as he entered. His eyes fell on Suprex at my feet, before snapping to glare at me.
"Yes. Just unconscious."
"Then I'll make this easy on you."
He cocked his head from side to side, causing his neck to pop.
"Attacking a hero with malevolent intent is a five year minimum sentence. Interfering with a lockdown operation is a felony, as is destruction of Fortress City infrastructure for that matter. Kill a hero during lockdown and you're in a prison cell for life guaranteed, if they don't send you down to Panama as cannon fodder. Kill Suprex and I'll make sure you never get that far though, so I recommend not trying to take him hostage."
Then he started to pop his knuckles.
"Feel free to try and run though."
Ah. That was why people didn't like it when I popped my joints. It was the sound of a predator limbering up.
I dug traction claws into the carpet and launched myself away, heading for the main hallway.
Behind me, Brick shifted into his own combat form and damaged the floor with his weight. He was large and rock-like, his skin now an amalgamation of various shades of gray. It looked like someone had taken cement and asphalt and mixed them into a sloppy humanoid mold. If he held still, he would be indistinguishable from a statue made of pieces of unpolished, interlocking stones.
But that illusion was shattered when he broke into a sprint. He could move. Every one of his steps covered a dozen feet, his arms and legs pumping in a perfect runner's form. His head sometimes hit the ceiling and carved shallow divots, but that did not slow him in the least. I stayed ahead of him despite this. Four legs was still better than two, and I ran using all four limbs. With my traction claws digging into the thin carpet, I was able to apply the full force of my modified limbs into each step, each footfall practically launching me forward as muscle and chitin-bone flexed and then snapped back into place. I had designed my limbs with escape in mind as well as combat, and unlike Suprex, Brick's power couldn't disregard physics in order to catch me.
Of course, he could just use regular physical interactions.
I threw myself out of the way in the nick of time, as a chunk of concrete Brick tore off a wall came zooming past my legs like a discus. It tore down the hall, shattering into shards as it skid off the walls and floor. Brick gained three dozen feet in an instant.
"People live in this building!"
"Scanned and cleared bonehead! I can play with you all I want!"
Damn. He had no reason to hold back.
I kept running, and soon ran out of straight hallway to run down. The hallway turned to the right at the upcoming corner, and rather than slow to turn I kicked off the walls to try and maintain what speed I could around the corner.
Brick ran through the corner.
"You're breaking infrastructure!"
"Infrastructure applies to critical utilities, and destruction due to criminal activity!" *crack *BAM* Another piece of building narrowly missed me. "So don't quote the law at me, asshole!"
"You shouldn't call people names!"
I was staying ahead, but Brick had good aim, and with every piece of rubble he threw I was forced to slow just a bit more to avoid getting hit. He was timing the projectiles for whenever it might slow me down around a corner or block my access to an exit. I was basically running in a giant circle around the ground floor of the building.
But I wasn't stuck just yet. Coming up was one of the holes Suprex and I made in the building. If I could get outside, I'd have free room to both run and dodge, and Brick wouldn't be able to catch up to me. I just needed to get there.
I burned resources to increase my processing speed, and refresh muscle cells. Traction claws landed in the best positions I could calculate as I tried to eke out as much speed as possible to get there ahead of Brick. Efficiency and precision were key.
As I was running, I'd been slowly edging to the left side of the hallway. When Brick threw his next projectile, I dodged to the right overly far so that I could touch the wall with my back feet, then use it as a springboard to leap to the left faster than normal, passing right through the door to the civilian apartment that Suprex originally hit me into. I passed back through the rooms, remembering the placement of objects and furniture and using that knowledge to continue running at top speed without tripping or stumbling. With a last burst of speed, I shot out through the hole in the wall.
Right as a purple forcefield came down on me like a hammer, snapping my spine and smashing me into the concrete. Damnit. I'd been caught just like the vampires they flushed out of buildings. This was... embarrassing.
"Gotcha you little cockroach!" exclaimed Magenta, as the forcefield around her hands quickly extended, creating two large, glove-like extensions that grabbed my torso. I struggled and punched at the field, but was disappointed to find her forcefield easily held up against my upgraded punches despite being stretched thin to cocoon me. I was quickly engulfed up to my head.
"You aren't supposed to use slurs Magenta."
"I-That's not what I meant!"
"Calm down Magenta. He's just trying to rattle you," said Brick, leisurely emerging from the building, "What's the sitrep?"
"Er, Hydrox recovered Suprex and Briarstone, but Avos is still missing. Ferrosa has Zaps in custody, but the rest of the minions are still on the run, and we couldn't find whoever had the shockwave power. We have a call out for any available speedsters to try and intercept the van."
"That shockwave wasn't from one of ours, it was a vampire," I interjected.
"Oh please. Tell me another," replied Magenta.
"A powered vampire engaged us just before you showed up, while displaying anomalous properties. It's highly likely that the anomalous vampire is the cause of the swarms, which means they will continue until it is destroyed. I'm willing to give you valuable combat intelligence for several concessions."
"Like we'd really believe that load of tripe. You'd say anything to save your own hide you..."
Magenta's words trailed off as Brick raised his palm for silence, and favored me with a calculating stare.
"Central hasn't been able to determine the cause of the vampire swarms yet," said Brick, "If you have real intelligence, you're obligated to inform us by law."
"And I'm willing to provide that intelligence for concessions."
"You aren't in a position to bargain."
"Yes I am. The swarms present a large threat to civilians in particular, and my information will increase the odds of ending this lockdown safely and quickly by a respectable margin."
Brick frowned and crossed his arms, staring at me while he considered in silence. Finally, he spoke.
"...Say I believed you. What do you want?"
"For you to let me go."
"Ah. Then can you make Magenta stop squeezing me so tight?"
"No. I'd rather you not be able to pull off another disappearing act."
"But she's breaking the eggs in my pocket."
"...Why would you..." he stopped and shook his head, "Forget it. Magenta, get him to lock up. Make sure they know about his powerset. And if eggs means what I think it means, add a count of illegal trafficking of organics to the report."
She grinned, "Sure thing."
Brick lifted his hand to his ear, "Central, this is Brick. Be advised, current lockdown threat is possibly due to a singular powered vam-" *thunk*
Brick didn't get to finish his sentence, as a blurred form collided with him and sent him flying down the road, crashing over and through parked cars. Where Brick had just been standing was another super I'd never seen before, although I severely doubted this was another hero. Disregarding the attack on Brick, he was also dragging an unconscious Ferrosa by a metal ankle.
"Whew, look at him go. Durable sonofabitch ain't he?" said the man, speaking past a large cigar he was smoking. He was wearing a sleeveless black tactical vest that clashed terribly with a pair of normal, tan khaki shorts. On his head was a silver combat helmet, with the faceplate permanently removed (likely to allow for his sunglasses and cigar), and the letters HH carved into the temple. He scratched at his thin beard as he turned to Magenta and I.
"Well hello there sweet cheeks. Don't believe I've met you before. I see you've got one of my boys there. Mind letting him go?" he held up Ferrosa, "I'll trade you."
Magenta didn't seem to know how to react, surprised by the sudden displacement and replacement of her leader by the hostile super. After a moment, she startled into motion, transferring control of the forcefield holding me to her left hand as she reached to free Ferrosa with the other. The new arrival threw Ferrosa up over Magenta's head, surprising her, and then promptly disappeared with a loud pop of moving air-
-before slamming into Magenta so quickly it looked like Imp's teleportation.
The force of the blow warped her forcefield, causing it to withdraw from me in order to consolidate and protect her. She was sent reeling as it rippled like water, her flight path looping crazily as her ability to fly fought with the raw force transferred to her, eventually crashing her into the wall of the apartment building while Ferrosa and I both fell to the floor with tiny thuds.
"Goddamn, she's also a toughy," said the cowl, "Nice to see E13's still making them like they used to. If I knew we had new recruits like this I woulda' stopped by sooner."
"What, you're still here rookie? Your feet should have been beating a tune the moment they hit pavement! MARCH BONEHEAD!"
I followed his order and ran.
"You aren't going anywhere!" yelled Magenta, extricating herself from the wall and flying to block off my escape.
"MAGENTA! Leave him! I need you here!" shouted Brick, as he loped back up the street. He yelled into his comm, "Central I've got eyes on Warhead, I need anti-kinetic powers here asap! Ferrosa is down, multiple minions fleeing the scene!... Yes, Warhead!...Well apparently not!"
Ah, well that explained things a little. Warhead was the name of the Hellion's Henchmen cowl who got sent down to Panama, the one Cindy told me about. What he was doing in Fortress City was a mystery, but I wasn't about to question his help.
Brick's voice faded as I fled down the street. I was out of range for Brick or even Magenta to catch up now, but judging by Brick's concern over Warhead, there would soon be more heroes arriving on the scene.
Which the first one did, ahead of me. It was Hydrox, and he was riding a miniature wave of water that rolled down the street.
"Hey! Stop right ther-"
Glass and debris exploded out of a second story window between us, preceding the powered vampire, who walked into the newly made aperture with a dead human in its grip. The missing hero Avos.
It tossed the corpse of Avos into the street. Then eyed Hydrox and myself, as well as the super brawl behind me, while bits of debris began to circle around it. If I was keeping track correctly, it now had an ultrasonic blast, an automatic projectile deflector, super strength, possible regeneration, telekinesis, and was flight capable.
"...What the hell is that?!" asked Hydrox, in the brief moment of calm.
"...That's your job," I answered, not stopping. I dodged around his mini wave and continued down the street.
"Try not to get bit!"
Hydrox and the rest could deal with it. As for me, three super fights was more than enough for one day.