Auditions II. Zeta II

He leaped at me, screaming, “DIE!”  I switched to lightning, and jabbed at his chest as he flew past me.

“I’ll pass, thanks.  If I died, I couldn’t have fun kicking your ass!”  He turned around, in mid air.  With a thud, his feet hit the ground, and he became wreathed in lightning.  I laughed.  “Oh yeah.  Great idea. Fight lightning with lightning.  That’ll work.” He opened his mouth, stretching it inhumanly, like a snake, and let loose a torrent of power against me.  I didn’t even bother dodging. I let it fizzle against my chest, then rushed forward with my fingers crackling.  But, before I hit him, as I had expected, he switched powers.  What I didn’t expect was for him to grab me by the head and lift me.  You see Legion said he was a power switcher like me.  That means he can switch between various (usually simple) powers, and that he has a companion like my serval, who, by the way, calls himself Khan.  I called him an egomaniac (Khan means king), and he pointed out that he’s just a reflection of my personality.  That isn’t the usual for power switchers, though.  Companions just happen for power switchers, each in a different way, with different capabilities. Mine was particularly obnoxious, denying the fact that he was my companion.  He claims to be my jailer.  I had to find out what his companion was if I had a hope of beating him.  However, I was getting nowhere fast while he was grabbing my head.  I switched to fire and started turning up the heat.  He didn’t flinch. I swore.  Fucking Super Strength.  I started physically struggling, but to no avail.  After that, I blacked out for a minute.  I felt an impossibly powerful pain in my stomach, but after that…  next thing I knew, I was puking my guts out next to the wall of the arena, and Legion was still in the middle. My entire body hurt like I had gotten hit by a bus, and I couldn’t move one of my legs. Then, I saw a slight disturbance in the air, and I was thrown up by my neck and pressed against the wall.  I could feel the heat slipping out of my body, so I did the only thing I could.  I turned my flame on to the max, regardless what it would do to my air supply.  I was barely surviving, at that point.  It was all I could to do keep myself from hypothermia.  Legion leisurely floated over to me.  Telekinesis, I realized.  He looked at me with amusement, the same way a little kid looks at an ant that’s scrabbling at the glass wall of an ant farm.

“Go ahead,” He said. “While you’re struggling, let me give you a little science lesson.” I croaked. He smiled patronizingly, “Do you know what cold is?  It’s the absorption of energy!”  I grunted, getting tired from the constant output and lack of oxygen.  “So, if you pour enough heat into something cold, it becomes hot!  But…   What if all the heat is stored?” He winked, “Of course, this has only been possible since the superpowers came along, but you know that.  Then, the cold thing remains cold until the storage area is full.  When that happens?  All the heat and energy is released in one burst!  Do you know what that means, you pitiful excuse for a hero? It explodes.”  He grinned as my eyes widened in realization.  I slowly let my fire die, and looked at the wall I was being pushed against.  It wasn’t blue anymore.  It was a deep, blood red.  The same color as the crystal that had smacked me in the chin.  The same crystal that had exploded.  “Oh, fu-.”  My vision went black, as if covered by a blindfold in the middle of the night, in a dark, windowless room.  I couldn’t see any of what happened, but I heard it, and god, I felt it.  The earth shook, and it felt like my eardrums would shatter.  The earth under me spun, and I fell.  A few minutes later, I tried to stand up, my vision still black.  It didn’t work.  I fell back to my knees, and a jolt of pain shot through the one I could move.  When I did, though, the black retreated, and showed me…  Khan, licking his crotch in front of me, on what looked like snow. On a second glance, I realized it was the white remnants of the explosion covering the ground.  Thousands, no, millions of little white crystals.  Legion was nowhere in sight.  I looked at Khan again, and flipped him off.  “What.. Where…  What the hell was that, and where the fuck have you been for the past week?”  He didn’t answer for a minute.  He just continued making these disgusting slurping sounds, as he cleaned his privates.  I coughed.  He looked up.  Opened his mouth.  Closed it, and went back to his nuts.  I glared at him, and tried our thought channel for fifth time that day.  You see, this was about two weeks after the school fire.  A week ago, he had just disappeared.  He didn’t show up, he didn’t answer my thoughts… I had just gotten used to life with him, and then he was gone.  I didn’t know where.

/Man, I’m a dick,/ I thought.

/Hey.  That’s me you’re talking about. /

/I know!  Where the fuck have you been?/

/…/

/What?  Why can’t you tell me where you’ve been?/

/I’ve been…. elsewhere. /

/GRAHH.  THAT DOESN’T-  Nevermind.  Fine.  How am I still alive?/

/That’s easy.  I lent you your seventh power.  Just to save your life, mind you.  You still only have fire and lightning at will.  I just didn’t want you dying, so I stretched the rules./

/You can do that?/

/No,/ I heard back, the sarcasm practically dripping off of his thoughts.

Next thing I knew, I was in the hospital, with Rune standing over me.  He helped me pick a name, and acted as the liaison to the SVRA to get the team set up.  He was following Legion, and was rather impressed that I survived the encounter.  Turns out, Legion is the reason there haven’t been any heroes in Connecticut yet.  Legion works for a gang called “The Court.”  I had heard of them, of course, but I didn’t know just how powerful they were.  They’re one of two gangs in the entire state.  They hire metahumans to kill all wannabe heroes, and crush other gangs.  Rune said that nobody knew much about them, but New York SVRA agents had died trying to find out. He was trying to gather information, and saw Legion dispatched on a mission.  He saw the whole thing, but had to take cover when the crystal turned red.  I asked him what I had done to survive, but he wouldn’t say.  I wouldn’t figure out what happened for a long time.

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