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A note from J Pal

I'd like to thank Warwalker, MusicMan and Diarmadhi.
Their lovely reviews put a smile on my face and helped Essence Eater get closer to RR's top 500!

Threat Level: E
Destructiveness: E
Killability: D
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Might: F
Survivability: E
Recovery: D
Mobility: E
Spark: D
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Powers: Enhanced Sight and Hearing, Sonic Blasts, Durable Arms, Metabolic Regeneration, Desert Jackal’s Reflexes
Classification: Bruiser/Stalker

“Have we isolated an entry point?” Danny asked Beta through the HoloLens.

“The first sensors to go off were in my repair and diagnosis room,” the young Fabricator replied.

“He doesn’t have the clearance to access the area,” Becca said.

“Do you honestly want to worry about that now? Seriously?” Danny pushed Omicron. The inflated blue man had gotten himself stuck in the narrow stairwell connecting to the basement level above them. “This doesn’t give me much confidence in your security department, you realise? It’s got me considering the sixty-day cancellation clause.”

“No need to be dramatic, Rev.” Even though it was a temporary alias, tingle pulsed down Danny’s spine on hearing Becca speak the name. “It’s where we keep the tech our other clients damaged on the field. I’m more concerned about you discovering their identities—”

“Do you want the Freaks to discover the details instead? Do you want them to carry stuff out of here and reveal everything to the world outside?”

“No.” Becca sighed. “Beta, give him full clearance. Rev, I want to ensure you understand the primary objective. We need to repel them, find out how they got in here, and why they're here. Capture is next on the priority list but not essential if repelling them is an option. You're in no way to use lethal force. If any of them die because of your actions, your hero career will end before it can even start.”

“Yes, ma’am." Danny's heart fulltered on hearing Becca call him by his new alias. He switched off the HoloLens' comms and focused on the matter at hand. "Just reverse or deflate, Omicron!” Danny growled, pulling the giant blue man by the waistband.

“If I deflate, I’ll be no good for five minutes.”

“That’s fine—”

“No!” Omicron protested. “I have to help.”

“Then just let me get ahead of you!”

Omicron failed to reverse down the stairs but hunched his back, creating a small space between his shoulders and the ceiling. Danny crawled over him and raced to the floor above. The door resisted at first, but then the overhead light flickered and something inside clicked. Nothing but chaos awaited him beyond.

Giant rats filled the floor. A couple or them stood on their hind legs, coming up this chest. Much to his horror, they had belts filled with tools and a couple of them carried crude weapons. Most had ordinary metal pipes, while a couple had fashioned them into spears by flattening the tops and sharpening them.

Running among them, he saw a small man and almost mistook him for another rat. His face was more rat than human. If not for his eyes, Danny would’ve written him off as another in the swarm. Instead of paws, his hairy limbs ended in hands and feet, and he wore clothes too.

As soon as their eyes met, the man pointed at him and shrieked. The rats ceased their assault on the walls and power outlets and turned on Danny. They raced towards him, moving on two legs or all four limbs, weapons ready to bash or skewer him. After directing his eyes to stay close to the ceiling, Danny matched their charge. He skidded to a stop just before reaching the first rats, thrust his palms forward, and unleashed a sonic blast from each of them.

The thundering boom echoed down the corridor, and the shock waves threw the first of the rats backwards. His palm mouths picked up the sound of shattering bone, despite the loud squeaks and screeches that followed.

“No!” The rat man shrieked in a high-pitched voice. He leapt off the ground and clung to the ceiling with all four limbs. “Kill him!” He yelled, pointing at Danny. “Swarm him. Stab him. Make him bleed!”

Danny had hoped his initial attack would terrify the rats and force them to flee, but the creatures obeyed their leader. The critters closest to their leader grew. Spikes pierced through their skin along the spine and muscles bulged. He heard their high-pitched sounds grow deeper and sharp claws scratched the tiled floor as they came at him.

Of course he’s a Master.

Regular training had strengthened the muscles inside Danny’s arms. According to his latest count, he could fire twelve sonic blasts from each arm. However, while testing the gloves and brainstorming names, he had used several sonic blasts. Danny struggled to remember how many.

Unwilling to leave himself drained and defenceless, Danny resolved to only use sonic blasts in emergencies. He punched the closest rat in the face and felt its snout shatter under the force. One thrust its spear at him, but its movements appeared ridiculously slow. It reminded him of running at the bottom of a swimming pool. However, when Danny parried the blow with his right forearm, he moved at normal speed.

Altered time perception?

A half-inch step proved sufficient to dodge the spear’s follow up thrust. When Danny caught the weapon, time resumed its normal pace. He yanked the weapon out of his opponent’s hand and stabbed it into the monster rat’s face. Then he moved onto the next opponent.

Desert Jackal’s Reflexes! Fuck yeah!

Initially, Rin’s essence had disappointed Danny. The minor speed boost felt insufficient when compared to the opponent he had to beat for it. He moved faster than before, but it didn’t match Rin. Now, after feeling the flow of time change for a couple of seconds, he finally understood how she moved the way she did.

A metal pipe bounced off Danny’s shoulder. The strength behind it barely reached human levels, but the blow still hurt. Much to his disappointment, time hadn’t slowed again. The Asuran Veda didn’t give him exact details of how the new power functioned. He would need to discover the parameters himself. Danny spun, using the momentum to enhance his forearm’s swing. The blow struck the rat’s neck, and he felt several bones break under the face.

Training in the dojo had taught Danny to takedown a single sparring partner who often had greater reach, power, and toughness. A handful of times, he had fought faster foes as well. It was his first time facing multiple opponents. Several sharpened pipe-spears thrust into his back, legs, arms. Thanks to his costume’s fabric, none of them successfully penetrated it. However, they still hurt.

Time slowed again. The bigger rats with spikes and finger-long claws had finally reached him. The closest of them swung at Danny, moving far faster than he expected. Despite him moving faster, Danny knew he couldn't sidestep the blow in time. Instead, Danny settled for blocking the attack with his left forearm.

The claws shredded his new coat’s sleeve and raked his forearm. They shredded his skin but dug no deeper. A grunt escaped Danny’s lips. The voice modulator made it deeper and rougher. Since his perception of time hadn’t returned to normal yet, Danny was sure he could get an attack off before the monster rat’s follow up attack. He stepped into the creature’s range and punched its snout with all of his might.

Danny heard a crack, but the monster’s snout didn’t cave in like with the other specimens. Time resumed its normal speed, and the rat spun, striking his stomach with a hard, bony tail. The chest armour held, flexing under the blow. The spikes failed to penetrate, and the air didn’t rush out of his lungs. However, the attack ripped him off his feet, and he stumbled into the nearby wall. Then the swarm of rats was upon him. They covered Danny, thrusting blunt or sharpened weapons and gnawing at his extremities.

Dual sonic blasts set him free. Bones broke, and the critters went flying. Blood and bodily fluids sprayed him and the nearby walls. None of the fallen rats rose again. Some groaned and twitched, but the rest lay motionless. Some of them thrashed, shrieking as they shrank to forearm length.

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A note from J Pal

If you're enjoying the story please Rate/Review. The greater the following, more attention this story gets from me!

For the rest of the month I'll drop a post every day. The schedule will change from the 1st of July. The number of chapters readers get a week is in your hands!

If you'd like to chat about Essence Eater or my other projects, considering joining my Discord.


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J Pal

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