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Threat Level: N/A
Destructiveness: N/A
Killability: N/A
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Might: F
Survivability: E
Recovery: D
Mobility: F
Spark: D
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Powers: Enhanced Sight and Hearing, Sonic Blasts, Durable Arms, Metabolic Regeneration
Classification: Projector/Stalker

VILLAIN ACTIVITY WITHIN 100M.
EVACUATE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY.

VILLAIN TEAM, FREAKS, DETECTED IN YOUR DIRECT VICINITY.
The League and Metropolitan Police recommend surrender. Any escape attempt can prove fatal.

Danny minimised the screens and focused on the scene in front of him. The speedster lay on the pavement, entangled with Roach and the team’s Fabricator. A woman wearing a puffy-collared purple jacket and glossy black tights stood next to them, eyes wide with surprise. Her brows slowly furrowed as she looked between the speedster and Danny.

“I’m so sorry,” Danny said. “We didn’t see you—”

“Mindpunch, we’ve got trouble!” The woman yelled before exploding into a cloud of smoke. By the time it cleared, Danny struggled to remember who he’d seen standing in its place. In fact, he couldn’t tell whether he’d seen anyone at all or just imagined something in its place.

A familiar hooded boy came running around the corner. The air appeared to ripple around his extremities. He ran faster than an ordinary human, but lacked the speed to match a speedster. The pavement cracked under his feet with every step. Danny had seen the boy in action, and was sure he didn’t have it in him to sustain any of his hits.

The speedster wriggled her limbs so fast they looked like Jelly. She unentangled herself from the two fallen supers and ran, leaving her insulated delivery bag behind. Danny didn’t stick around either. He mounted his bicycle and pedalled with all of his might, taking off towards home.

“After him, Malfunction!” A female voice said from above and a shard of pink light shot past Danny’s head. He ignored it, leaning forward on the bicycle, trying to adopt a more aerodynamic form as he picked up speed.

Danny caught Malfunction, the armoured member of the Freaks, take off on a pair of jet-powered roller-blades. He paid no attention to her and focused on weaving through traffic.

“Mindpunch demands you stand and fight!” The young man behind him yelled. He landed next to Danny, forming a crater in the ground and releasing a shock wave of invisible energy. The force almost knocked Danny off his bicycle, but he caught himself on a parked car, righting himself and pushing onwards.

The young villain continued to follow him, switching between running and erratic jumps. Mindpunch’s landings were awkward, and he often stumbled, leading Danny to assume he had poor control over his powers. When turning the corner, the eye in his backpack spotted another pursuer. Instead of following him on the street, Roach ran along the walls, moving on all four limbs. Danny got a clearer idea of what lay under the villain’s hood.

Chitin covered half of the villain’s face. One eye was a mass of black that covered most of the chitinous section of his face, too. The name Roach suddenly made sense to Danny. Parts of his physiology resembled a cockroach, and he had incredible regenerative powers. Just as Danny thought he had an idea of what his opponents could do, a trio of spikes shot past his face and planted them in the car door to his left. They were as thick as two of his fingers and longer than his hand.

The next barrage of spikes came much sooner than Danny had hoped. One grazed his right forearm. Another pinged off the bicycle’s handle. Danny felt a sting low on his right thigh, too. The wound didn’t feel deep and Danny didn’t slow. Information was the most important tool on the battlefield when fighting enemy supers, and he had none on his opponents. If Roach’s power set gave him ranged options, there was a chance Mindpunch had a couple up his sleeve, too.

Behind Danny, he heard screams as Mindpunch’s erratic jumps and movements caused damage. Cars crumpled under his landings and concrete shattered. Danny was sure that with adequate combat training and better use of his powers Mindpunch could become a formidable threat. He guessed the League officials would categorise him as a Tactile Telekinetic.

The official records only listed a handful of individuals with such powers. They belonged to the Mind category and were extraordinarily powerful telekinetics. However, they lacked finesse and control. Instead of flinging projectiles at enemies or flying, they used telekinesis at close range, at most, an inch or two from their bodies. It had taken Danny a while to place the power, but he saw it now—the name explained it , too. He reinforced his punches with his mind, encasing them in telekinetic barriers and then enhancing his movements to increase the force behind them. It gave Mindpunch incredible offensive and defensive capabilities. However, the increased mobility surprised Danny.

I need to lose them.

Having grown up in the Highbury and Islington area, Danny knew the major streets like the back of his hand. After the past few evenings of playing delivery boy, he’d learned more about the backstreets, too. Unfortunately, Roach proved himself as a major problem to Danny’s escape plan. By running all the roofs and nearby buildings’ walls, he didn’t have to deal with obstacles of traffic and had the high ground, too. It let him keep a close eye on Danny as he dodged behind buses, vans, and other nearby vehicles.

Then Danny saw an opportunity: a derelict building held up by nothing but scaffolding. Nothing but thin plywood protected the entranceways. Danny rode past the gateless entrance and ensured he had adequate cover. The eye in his backpack assured him a bus stop. The overgrown garden and the couple of trees they contained provided adequate shielding from curious eyes.

Danny hadn’t tried it before, but it was as good a time as any to try. He held his left palm out in front of him and only half opened the palm mouth. While fighting the rakshas, he had launched sonic blasts without hesitation, but if he wanted to make it in the League, Danny needed to learn how to moderate power. Heroes that killed or crippled villains, henchmen, or civilians while on duty rarely lasted long. Danny would need to disable foes without killing them. He needed to learn back.

The muscles inside the arm’s hollow canal coiled. It hurt as the passage shrank, getting narrower. Then he let the hand-mouth shout. Instead of a booming tuba, it sounded like a screeching trumpet. The sound wasn’t nearly as loud, but he felt the pitch in his teeth and bones. Air and sound didn’t explode out of the orifice. Instead, he felt a compressed bullet shoot forth from it. The projectile didn’t go far, travelling no further than a couple of feet. It exploded less than an inch from the plywood wall. The damage was less than Danny expected. It sent giant cracks through the barrier but didn’t break it. However, when the bicycle’s front wheel struck the surface it gave way.

Danny’s left arm throbbed and ached as he gripped the handlebars desperately, struggling to get the vehicle back under control. Dust rained from the ceiling, and fragments of plaster chipped off the crumbling walls. He heard the clicking of Roach’s limbs on the flagstones outside and the boom of Mindpunch landing followed. They were behind him just as he had predicted. Danny pedalled through the lounge and down the hallway behind it. His heart pounded as he looked for an exit. Discarded scaffolding pipes, wooden planks, and bags of cement blocked his view, forcing Danny to slow to get closer looks.

“He’s in here!” Roach’s voice echoed through the decrepit building.

“I’m going to turn him into paste!” Mindpunch yelled after him.

“Take it easy, mate,” Roach said. “If you’re not careful, this palace will come down our heads.”

“So what? I can barrier all of it and you can just unsquish yourself.”

“It still hurts.”

The pair continued to converse and argue, sounding no different from school children. Their voices and Mindpunch’s appearance suggested they were still in highschool. Danny took advantage of their distraction and continued to look for a backdoor.

There it is!

Duct tape kept the door in its frame. Danny’s left arm still throbbed from the exertion that came with suppressing the sonic blast. He peeled the bindings as fast as his hands would allow. In his rush, Danny failed to keep a hold of the door. It snapped down the middle under its own weight before collapsing inwards.

“He’s in the back!” Mindpunch yelled, and the walls trembled. Flecks of paint and dust rained from the ceiling. Danny pushed the bicycle through and pushed it over the stone fence into the alley behind it.

Before fleeting, he turned his attention on the scaffolding. A swift punch with his right knocked out one support. A follow up blow removed another. The metal piping groaned and squealed under its own weight. Wooden planks acting as platforms had long rotted after prolonged exposure to British weather. Several bags and tools came running down with them. Since the noise provided adequate cover, he struck the scaffolding with a sonic blast, speeding up the process.

Panicked shouts from the pursuing villains sounded behind Danny. Chunks of the building peeled away from the structure along with the scaffolding. He didn’t wait to watch the building crumble. Danny hopped the fence into the alley, mounted his bicycle and fled the noisy scene.

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J Pal

  • London

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