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Sunday, 20th April. 48 Hours.

The original plan was for Quest to spend the rest of the day trying to subvert more the facility defences. The more of the facility we managed to gain control over, the more likely we would succeed. That had been the idea anyway, she had immediately run into a problem.

My computer just wasn't good enough for Quest to accomplish everything she needed, this was why Quest and I were currently planning Operation: Steal a Bunch of Computers. A cooler name was pending, but the main idea was sound, we would go to the nearest Best Buy and steal a bunch of computers.

Incredible, I know.

I asked Size Queen if she wanted to help us and she told me in no uncertain terms that she would not be tarnishing her professional reputation by stealing from fucking Best Buy of all places. I tried talking Gaston into making her help us, mostly just too piss her off at this point. The bastard had instead given her the day off because she had done such a great job last night.

Quest and I left my apartment building around ten, heading for a bus stop. We ended up having to take one that was much farther away than my normal choice, as there was a bunch of roads closed off and no vehicles were allowed through. Something about one of the maintenance tunnels collapsing and needing maintenance, the irony of it all.

We had decided that we were not going to bother with stealth this time, this was simply going to be a quick raid, get in and get out. Whatever we took wouldn't have anything to do with String Theory's plan, so being seen by anyone didn't really matter in the long run. We were just going to wander in, kick everyone out and take what we needed.

Quick and efficient, Gaston gave us his blessing.

Eventually, we did find a bus into town and we boarded without issue. We both dressed in plain clothes, while our costumes were tucked away in a pair of backpacks. Quest had a white cough mask covering her face, so I still hadn’t managed to get a full look at her face yet much to my dismay. I didn't bother covering my face at all, I was quite sure she already knew exactly what I looked like, having had access to my computer since we hired her. I didn’t think she would attempt to sell me out, she seemed far too nice to do something like that.

We got off the bus in the middle of downtown and strangely enough there was even more foot traffic than normal. I overheard some people talking about some kind of fundraiser on the bus, so I guess that was the reason.

Quest and I made a strange sight walking through the city together. I had always been tall, and my height had come from my mother, she had been one of the tallest women I'd ever seen, approaching seven foot. I had a vague memory of her handing dad something off a high shelf, who had only been five and a half foot on his best days, the difference between them had been large.

The difference between Quest and I was probably worse. At fifteen years old, I was already taller than ninety percent of most adults, and I didn’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing down. Whereas my mother had looked like a normal woman scaled up to a bizarrely tall height, I was absurdly skinny with long gangly limbs. I looked like a stick creature wearing clothes if I was being honest. I practically swam in my hoody and it made my arms look even thinner.

I was taller than most men, with the face of a boy meaning that I stood out and not in a good way. At school I tended to hunch into myself upon entering rooms, trying to bring myself down to a normal height. I felt a bit more comfortable in the city, the crowds were made up more of fully grown adults, some of which were even taller than myself, although it was becoming less common as I got older.

Quest, on the other hand, was several inches under five foot and dressed in a long-sleeved black top and a skirt. I couldn’t help but think that we looked ridiculous walking next to each other. I was a boy as tall as a man, and she was a woman with the height of a child.

We slipped into an alleyway only a couple of blocks from Best Buy and then took turns changing into our costumes behind a dumpster. A feral cat hissed at us for disturbing its resting place, so I gave it the finger. It wandered away with its tail flicking smugly, pussy.

Once we were ready, I turned and knelt, before offering my back to her. Quest hesitated for a long moment, obviously uncomfortable with the idea of physically touching somebody she had only known for a little while. She overcame her discomfort after a moment and hooked her arms around my neck.

I secured her to my back with wires and then flung us upwards over the roof below dragging us through the air above over the street. We crossed a city block at a truly frightening speed, at least Quest seemed to think so, as she was currently gripping my hoody tightly and making a strangled noise of terror.

I swung us around another corner at top speed and Best Buy came into view, the blue and yellow building stood out prominently. I wrapped us in an orb of wires, hiding us both from sight before bringing us in low, we swung across the street before smashing straight through the glass frontage with a shower of debris.

People shouted in terror as we shattered the glass and someone immediately set off an alarm, that began blaring at full volume. I brought us to a sudden stop in the middle of the room before sending wires out to each corner of the building, others swept across every available surface searching for and destroying all the cameras. Quiet had mapped them out for me in advance, giving me the approximate locations of each.

Once the cameras had been dealt with, I started using my wires to stand people up and dropped them gently outside of the front doors, while others immediately began running out on their own. Initiative, that's what I liked to see. Once they were all outside, I started covering the windows as best I could with what was available in the store, mostly shelves and boxes. I also made sure to cover the hole in the front of the store with wires.

Once we were finally alone, I let the orb unravel and placed Quest gently onto a quickly growing platform. Quest stepped forward and the platform grew downwards into a staircase made of cables. With each step she took, it grew closer to the ground like a million snakes slithering over each other, I could have placed her on the floor sure, but this was much cooler.

It had been less than a minute since we entered Best Buy, Quest was amongst the laptops, picking out what she wanted before stacking them gently into one of the canvas bags that were left over from the bank job. When she moved on to other things, I stopped paying attention to her and started looking over the building again, searching for anyone who might have hidden inside the store. I went to the back of the store and checked the rear entrance as well, but there was nobody outside, just a camera that I quickly destroyed.

I returned to the front of the store a moment later and glanced through one of the partially covered windows. Aegis, Triumph, and Vista stood side by side on the sidewalk.

Fuck.


I alerted Quest and she abandoned the massive canvas bag immediately, quickly pulling her backpack off. I watched as she ripped open the closest boxes and started stuffing the laptops into her backpack.

As far as the heroes knew, I was currently alone so I would be providing an opening for Quest to escape and she would make her way back to my apartment alone. They couldn't try and capture her if they weren't even aware that she existed in the first place.

I lifted the massive canvas bag filled with computers, leaving the store without anything would be very suspicious. We had considered the possibility that we might run into a hero during the raid, but their response time was truly insane. We had barely been here for two minutes total, and they were already outside in full gear. They had to have been patrolling nearby to get here so quickly, it made no sense otherwise. I let my train of thought trail off as I realised that they weren’t moving from their place outside.

They were just waiting there, talking quietly to each other, a little bit too far away to make out any of their words. What were they waiting for I wondered? Backup? Was I about to have half the Protectorate down my throat?

Quest drew my attention with a wave from across the store before heading for the back, I motioned for her to stop.

"Wait, I think they are waiting for backup," I said quickly, "Change back, hide, wait two minutes, then leave out the back. I'll draw them off."

Quest hesitated for a moment before running to the back of the store and starting to change back into her civilian clothes, stuffing the lab coat and mask into her backpack. I watched as Quest ripped her black sweater off and then started on her jeans.

A good man would have turned away, but I was born for greatness.

Once she was hidden from sight I turned back to the front of the store, I took a deep breath and then exhaled, psyching myself up for the imminent fight. Which was when Glory Girl came straight through the roof of the building, scaring the absolute shit out of me. She landed on the ground with a crash only a couple of feet away from me, she was grinning.

"Urchin. I've come to accept your unconditional surrender." Glory Girl said confidently, placing a fist on her hip, her other hand was offered palm up in my direction.

"I'll be honest, I was expecting Laserdream," I told her easily. It was a total lie, I wasn’t expecting anyone, I just thought it sounded cool.

Glory Girl continued to hold her hand out towards me, what did she want me to do exactly, give her a low-five? Kiss her knuckles?

"Laserdream is outside with Shielder, so are the Wards, you will not be fighting your way out of this one." Glory Girl bared her teeth in a smile. "You should come peacefully." But her face doesn't match her words at all, she totally wants to fight.

Once more unto the breach, I look her straight in the eyes.

"Peace was never an option," I tell her coolly, before yanking her leg out from under her and then flinging her straight through the wall next to the hole I'd made earlier.

Glory Girl tumbles through the air on a direct collision course for the Wards, Aegis casually steps in front of Vista and braces his arms for impact. Glory Girl suddenly stops on a dime, still upside down, the smile on her face is terrifying.

Uh oh.

I slowly float forward through the hole with the bag of computers hovering behind me, projecting nothing but confidence. Glory Girl slowly tilts until she is standing in the air in front of the wards with her arms crossed. In the air to my left are Laserdream and Shielder. The entire Wards roster and the young New Waves members, the only person missing is Panacea. I point this out immediately, doing my best to waste as much time as possible, ensuring that Quest will be able to get away unnoticed.

"No Panacea, huh? Is she too scared to face me?" I say confidently, looking around as if she might pop out from behind something.

"Shut up!" A voice shouts from down the stairs behind them. "I'm not scared of you!"

I stare at them in disbelief.

"Why on earth would you bring Panacea to an ambush?" I ask bewildered.

As far as I was aware, Panacea had exactly zero combat ability, unless she could touch you.

"Um. This isn't an ambush." Shielder said hesitantly as he joined the conversation.

I blinked up at him.

"Dude, I'm pretty sure this is the definition of an ambush," I said gently, waving a hand at the heroes lined up in front of me.

Shielder scratches the back of his head nervously before pointing down the street, I looked over to where he indicated, and it takes me a moment to realise what exactly I was looking at.

There was a stage set up on the street with vehicles everywhere, large, white with a purple strip's diagonally down the sides, the letters ‘PRT’ were stencilled into the sides, a small cylinder on the top of each one with green and white flashing lights. A large crowd of people were gathered behind a metal waist high gate, and even more spilled out onto the street in the distance. Above the stage was a massive banner, 'Brockton Bay's Youthful Hero Fundraiser!' was written in big bold letters.

Oh.

"Oh!" I said surprised, "Never mind then, I'll let you get back to it. Don't mind me."

I casually toss the bag of computers to Shielder, who did his best to catch it but missed. It crashed onto the ground in front of him with a crunch, he looked around with a horrified expression on his face like someone might chastise him. I turned to leave in the opposite direction but Laserdream floated down in front of me to block my way.

"Nope." Laserdream said confidently. "Are you going to give up this time?" I opened my mouth to reply and she immediately blasted me backwards into the wall.

"Hey! That's my trick!" I squawk indignantly, before sending wires everywhere. "Who's really the thief here?!"

"You!" At least three different people say at once before I'm attacked from all sides.

Glory Girl dashed right up and kicked me in the chest, and I was sent bouncing across the concrete from the force. I sent out a bunch of wires to reach the building across the street but somehow they fell short of grasping the edge, the building somehow was suddenly twice as far away as it had been and before I could stretch them out further Triumph sent me flying back towards Glory Girl with one of his powerful shouts.

I was getting pummelled and even with my armour protecting me, it fucking hurt. I managed to wrap a wire around Triumph's leg as I tumbled uncontrollably away from him, and he ended up being yanked along for the ride. Serves you right asshole!

Triumph reached out and caught Aegis's hand as he flew past, which pulled the wire taunt and I was yanked to a sudden stop in mid-air. Glory Girl’s foot whirled past my face, inches from my nose and my hair was swept backwards from the force of it. I lengthened the wire tethering me to Triumph and tackled Glory Girl from behind as her roundhouse kick sent her almost full circle.

It felt like tackling a car, but I managed to get her in a bear hug from behind, before she could overwhelm my grip, I covered us both in thousands of wires, building another massive orb with us trapped in the centre. Glory Girl struggled but I just moved the wires along with her, so they didn't break.

I lifted the entire mess straight upwards into the air in an instant. The plan that I had come up with was simple, get into the air at all costs and away from anyone who couldn't fly. This was just how I'd managed to accomplish it. Not my best effort I'll admit but, we have lift off. I pushed myself out of the orb and closed the opening trying to keep Glory Girl inside.

It wouldn't last long, the gap I'd created to get free was enough for her to turn around and she started tearing her way out. I immediately thickened each of the wires into cables and started putting more of them in between us doing my best to slow her down, but fuck she was strong.

I barely had a moment to take in the situation, the orb floated next to me and Triumph was dangling from it by the cable still attached to his leg, Aegis was throwing a punch at my face-. I was sent flying backwards my world absolutely rocked for a second from the solid hit.

Goddammit, the sneaky little bitch got me again.

I lost control of the orb as my vision blacked for a second, and it started to fall out of the sky. My vision cleared a moment later and I barely managed to catch it before Triumph went splat on the concrete below. I could see that Glory Girl had dug most of her torso free of the wire and was now trying to rip her legs out of the clingy mess. I started wrapping wires around her face to try and slow her down, and she went ballistic.

Laserdream arrived a moment later and immediately started towards Glory Girl. Shielder was on his way upwards, much slowly in the air then his sister. Vista and Panacea had both been left far behind on the ground, unable to fly. Shielder looked to be angling to get underneath Triumph and once he got a hold of Triumph, they would both be a nonfactor. This would leave me only fighting Aegis, Laserdream and Glory Girl. I could do this; I just needed to get out of their line of sight, and I had an idea.

I stopped trying to contain Glory Girl and immediately shot away in the opposite direction from them all. Aegis was hot on my tail, doing his best to follow me but he was slower than me by large margin. Laserdream passed him by in seconds and rapidly started to close in on me, Glory Girl finally freed herself and joined the chase. Glory Girl apparently couldn't fly as fast as Laserdream, but I slotted her in as around twice as fast as Aegis.

I started building more giant orbs as I fled, first two, then four, finally six huge orbs of wires were orbiting closely around me. I moved them into a line between me and the heroes before sliding inside the third one. I tensed my telekinetic muscles and tossed them in different directions, while leaving one to fall straight downwards.

Laserdream went for the furthest one first, taking off and shooting a blast at another. I managed to pull it out of the way of her blast before it hit and she immediately switched targets to the one that had dodged, jebaited. Aegis went after the two I lobbed towards the ocean, no way in hell would I be going in those ones. Glory girl went straight down for the one I'd dropped on the ground. Jokes on them all I was in the one that I had lobbed back towards Vista. Why would I be in that one you ask?

Because who in their right mind would try and escape towards the enemy, me motherfucker that's who.

Vista was still standing with Panacea, near the front of the building, and her eyes snapped up when the orb came into sight. Vista quickly raised her hand and tried to distort the balls shape, and it worked up until her power reached me before abruptly failing, unable to effect living matter. I immediately wrapped them both up in orbs of their own, leaving plenty of room to breathe, before I sped away at street level weaving between alleyways as fast as I could manage.

Aegis immediately stopped chasing his two orbs and started heading back to Vista and Panacea. Vista no doubt told him what had happened over their radio. New Wave evidently wasn't wearing any because they chased and blew up the other orbs before flying back and meeting up with the others.

I could feel Vista doing weird things to my wires and I let the both. It was far too late to for any of them to catch me, I was already on a bus headed out of downtown.

Full Frontals 2, Ward's New Wave Coalition 0.


When I opened the door and stepped inside, I was greeted by the worried faces of Quest and Gaston, Size Queen just yawned.

Bitch.

"Oh thank god," Quest said relieved, fisting her hand in her shirt.

I felt a pang of something flash through my chest and quickly pushed it away. They were watching the news on the TV, 'Breaking News!' scrolled along the bottom in red. It was covering the superpowered battle that just took place at the fundraiser. It was looping through the same three scenes repeatedly. The first scene was of Laserdream blasting me into the wall at the start of the fight, the second was Glory Girl booting me into Triumph and getting blasted by his shout. The third scene was Glory Girl’s missed roundhouse kick whizzing past my nose, while Aegis had his hand clasped with Triumphs.

Glory Girl is lucky she wore tights under that skirt.

"How did you get away from them?" Quest asked quietly, "The video only shows up until the moment you leave Best Buy."

"I used my massively superior brain to defeat them all of course." I bragged, joining them at the table.

Gaston had made lunch; he truly was the best boss.

"How did you actually get away though?" Gaston asked with interest and I looked at him curiously, I had better give him something, he was the boss after all.

"I made a bunch of giant balls and tossed them everywhere," I said easily, "I was hiding in one of them, easiest thing in the world."

I kept my voice casual, as if I hadn't been desperately fighting to escape.

"Oh!" Quest said impressed while even Size Queen let out an appreciative hum.

"And if there's one thing I've got," I continued, sensing an opportunity. "It's giant balls."

Gaston just sighed.

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About the author

Elbowsnapper

Bio: I’m a fantasy author from Australia, and if I were to describe my work in a single sentence it would be; Realism contained within an unrealistic backdrop. I aim to put out high-quality, original, long-form written content that will entertain, and engage you. Expect dark themes, characters making costly mistakes, and unreliable narrators.

My standard process starts by releasing draft chapters to my Patreon, and then to everybody else online. Once the story is completed, I convert it into a more conventional eBook. I also routinely go back and revise, edit and enhance my older work as I improve as a writer.

I now have a website that has links to all of my original works to date.

https://www.elbowsnapper.com/

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