Auditions II. Apollo II

…riding to our first battle.  Zeta was telling us about Legion.  To be honest, I zoned out.  I had already read Legion’s file, and wasn’t worried.  He was the typical wreck shit up, then flee when the going gets bad villain.  The only thing to worry about was his healing factor.  According to the SVRA files, the amount of demonic power in his body had started to change it.  It said he had an extremely powerful healing factor, super strength, speed, and a few… cosmetic changes.  Namely, he’d started to grow horns.  I nearly cracked up when I read it.  His healing factor, on the other hand, is nothing to laugh about.  He’s a power switcher, and if he has those all the time…  since then, we’ve run into him, and he only gets stronger.  Eventually, he’ll probably be able to take on every metahuman in the world.  After all, he is, actually Hell itself.  Of course, I had no idea of how powerful he could become back then.   I thought he was just another villain.  I’m sure the others were freaking out a bit, but I was fine.  I’ve taken down A-class powers before.  I snapped out of the dose when I heard my name.  Zeta was saying the plan, “…You’ll go on the roof.  Use your bow or a gun to hit him in the limbs.  Don’t bother aiming for his head, he doesn’t need it and it’ll grow back.  Dagny,” He said, looking at a pretty blond girl with a drama mask, “you’ll go with Apollo and set up a mental link with us all.  If you can, try to use your telekinesis to reduce the amount of dust in the air.  Everest, you’ll be in close quarter combat with him.  Luna, you’ll protect Exile and Rune.  Exile and Rune will try to set up an exorcism circle and a ring of fire.  I’ll go where I’m needed.  I haven’t unlocked my third power yet, so I’ll only be using fire and lightning attacks.  Any questions?”  My sister raised her hand.  “Yes?”  She cleared her throat and said,

“Um, my constructs do pretty well against demonic energy, should I move to close combat?”  At that point, the van stopped.  Zeta raised his hands as if blessing us, and said,

“Let’s get the Motherfucker!”  We piled out of the van with our weapons at the ready.

We must have made quite a sight.  Too bad there was nobody there.  Legion was long gone.  It was obvious he had been there, though.  The ground in front of us was a giant crater, and there were cracks running up the sides of the surrounding buildings.  I let out a sigh.

“Very…Anticlimactic,” I said.  Exile, the magical prodigy, grunted in agreement.  Zeta surveyed the area, then bent down and ran a finger on the ground.

“No crystals,” He said, but didn’t elaborate further.  “Alright then,” he continued, “Form pairs.  Check out the area.  See if he left any clues.  Dagny and…Everest, go see if anyone saw him.  Disperse.”  He walked off with Rune to the edge of the crater.  Without saying anything, Exile and I walked to one of the cracked buildings. I whistled as I looked at the crack, then glanced sideways at Exile.

“So…  What do you think of Zeta?” I asked while recalling the little that was in her file. Magic prodigy, 16 years old, sensible and responsible.  I nodded approvingly.  We could get along well.  She smiled a little before responding.

“Well, I’ve known him for a few years now.  He’s pretty unpredictable, but decently smart and I think he’ll do as a leader.”  Or… maybe not so well.  I stared at her.

“Are you fucking serious?  He’s a thrill seeker!”  I was all but shouting at her.  She stopped smiling, and stood up.  She put a hand against my chest, and murmured something.  Sweating, I spoke. “Sorry?  I didn’t quite catch that.  What did you say?”  She shook her head.

“Just some latin.”  I gulped.  Latin=Spells.  Spells from a master mage=bad.

“Oh.  Well, that…  that sounds fine.”  She smiled in self-satisfaction and turned away.

“I thought so.  Now, let’s see if we can find anything about Legion.”  She walked off towards the nearest building, and I followed, shaking my head in confusion.

All of a sudden, Zeta called us over to the truck.  He was holding a walkie-talkie, and swearing profusely.

“Get back in the fucking van!” he screamed, “There’s a powerful super villain at the Police Station!  Legion was fucking distracting us!”

Our journey to the police station was tense and silent.  Zeta had no idea what to expect, and was trying to think of a plan with no information on the enemy.  He was brooding.  The others in the van were clearly nervous.  Exile was the only one doing anything.  She had her eyes closed and was muttering softly, creating a small glow around herself.  After a bit, Zeta stood up, cleared his throat, and started to say, “Okay, so-” He was cut off when something large hit the side of the van, denting it and throwing us forward. There was a muffled scream from up front that was suddenly cut short, and we realized something had just killed the driver.  I rushed towards the back, trying to open it, but something was blocking it from the outside.  Exile pushed me aside, then put her hands on the door, about to burn through it.  She didn’t need to.  Faster than even I could react, something bright tore through the side of the van, striking Zeta in the chest.  In front of our eyes, he started convulsing, then fell, a hole in the center of his chest.  The van smelled of ozone.  I had enough time to speak two words before the van fell apart like a coke can in a meat grinder.

“Oh, shit,” I said.  We fell out of the van and scattered.  I drew my bow, and got ready to fire, as soon as I figured out what to fire at.  I didn’t even get off a single arrow.  A guy shrouded in darkness, with two black katanas and a mask clearly visible landed in front of me and cut my bow in half.  I drew my foil to protect myself.  Though his face was covered, I thought he smiled.  He lashed out with a fast attack, but I countered easily.

“You picked a sword fight with the wrong fucking hero, asshole,” I spat.  He launched a fury of quick slices, but I stepped back and parried his last stroke, lunging for a simple riposte.  I thought I had him, but he moved faster than I thought he could, and my blade went harmlessly into the shadows.  I pulled it back as quickly as I could, but not soon enough. He dropped his blade and scored a deep cut on my overextended sword arm.  I grunted and jumped back, clutching my wounded arm and gritting my teeth against the pain.  I expected him to finish me off with whatever he had killed Zeta with, but he simply waited. I swore a little bit and forced the pain down.  I hoisted my sword again, knowing that I couldn’t win.  It wasn’t that he was much better  than me.  In fact, I probably had a slight advantage in speed and strength.  It was a question of weaponry.  One small, flimsy sword can’t stand up to two katanas.  Despite my knowledge of it’s futility, I feinted, expecting him to try to block.  Instead, without moving his body, he brought one of his blades down onto mine, snapping it like a twig.  Right then, I swore an oath to myself to never again be caught without a good weapon.  As I tried to recover, he turned his blade and swiped it right onto my arm again.  I collapsed in pain.  Except this time, it was different.  There was a sharp, bitter coldness to it.  I couldn’t move my head to look at it, but I could feel it.  Ice had formed where he had hit me, and it was slowly spreading.  If I had been able to move, I could have saved myself, but I felt like I was dying.  Later, when the paramedics came, they told me that I had lost as much blood as a person could lose without dying.  The ice forming over the wounds probably saved my life.  If he had been Zeta, or even fully comprehensive, he would have finished me off.  Instead, he looked around, then started walking towards the rest of the team, which had formed a tight group of three.  Rune and Dagny, I noticed, were missing.  And of course… Zeta.  Everest was in front, with his density raised so high the cement underneath him was bending.  Behind him was Luna in her full suit of armour.  Exile was in the very back with her eyes closed.  As the assailant walked towards them, two tendrils of shadow reached out and around Everest.  They raised off the ground, becoming solid somehow grabbing Luna around the chest and lifting her.  The shadows tossed her away.  As Luna went flying away from me, the shadows covered her armour, and it… just dissapeared.  With no protection, she hit a wall and crumpled like a marionette with its strings cut… by a car crash test.  I knew she was okay, obviously.  I was only crying because my arm hurt.  Honest.  With that, there were three combat ready fighters left.  Exile and Everest were still together, and Rune was missing.  I couldn’t find Dagny, either, but I thought I saw a flash of blonde earlier.  The shadowfiend didn’t even bother with dramatics.  He just jumped into the air, stayed there, and beckoned to Everest.  The idiot raised his density and crouched, then jumped, lowering his density to get some extra height.  I closed my eyes, knowing what would happen next.  Everest jumped straight into an outstretched foot, and with his weakened everything, instantly fell unconscious and collapsed at base of the column.  And then there was one less. Two, I think it’s safe to say.  Rune actually had left, but there was help about to come from an unexpected corner.  The shadowfiend (I’m getting to hate that name, but that’s what it was) fell back to the street, and his shadow spread towards the cut up and slashed van.  It became solid again, and like what it did to Luna, grabbed the truck around the middle and tossed it.  Straight up.  It flew out of sight, then landed with an impossibly loud thud.  It was hardly recognizable as an automobile anymore.  I felt sick, and threw up a little when I thought of what Zeta’s body must have looked like at that point.  Exile was looking a little green too, and I knew she was thinking of the same thing as me.  However, she quickly regained her resolve, made a complicated gesture, and a giant scorpion appeared in front of her.  It wasn’t really giant, like, monster movie big.  I say giant because it was much, much larger than a normal scorpion.  It was actually about the size of a german shepherd.

“This demon has the power of corruption, “ Exile said, her voice not even quavering, “Everything it touches will rot and decay.  Have fun, you little shit.”  At that, she turned and ran.   I thought she was chickening out, but she was just trying to get some space.  As soon as she had a few feet between her and the scorpion, she made a triangle with her hands, pointed it at the shadowfiend, and waited.  She didn’t have to wait long.  Her scorpion of corruption didn’t have time to do much other than make a few scuttling sounds before the shadowfiend gestured with his blade and froze it into a block of ice.  At that, Exile said, “Pyramidem igni.” and let loose an immense cone of bright blue flames, only to meet a sudden wall of ice.  She kept trying to melt through it, but from her angle she couldn’t see that the shadowfiend was constantly replenishing it.  Eventually, she fell to her knees, unable to continue.  As soon as she let up on the flames, the shadowfiend relaxed, and the entire wall melted instantly into a puddle of steaming water.  He had taken out the entire team in a matter of minutes.  All that was left was Dagny, and if she had half a brain, she wouldn’t have shown.  But, I saw her peeking her head out from behind a building.  If the shadowfiend hadn’t been hit by something falling from the sky, she probably would have leaped out and gotten herself killed.  But, she was saved by the bell…  ish.  It was actually the horn.  The steering wheel of the van had come out of nowhere and knocked the shadowfiend off his feet.  At that, I started to smile.  I had an idea of what was about to happen.  I guessed right.  Zeta fell from the sky, landing in the classic superhero pose.  “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” There was a pause.  “Are you scared yet?”

(Hey, long update today.  Not necessarily unusually long, but longer than they’ve been so far.  Eventually, we hope, they’ll all be much longer.  But, for now…  And hey, I know we’ve been less active lately.  That’s because of school.  However, there is a chance to change that.  Discharge and I can make another wager if someone comments with an idea (something creative, please), and we are willing to add new stuff.  If you ask for it.  I’ll be taking care of the timeline soon, so bear with the complications for now.  We’re sorta jumping around a few weeks.  That’ll be fixed soon.  Like, one week, soon. -Zeta)

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2 thoughts on “Auditions II. Apollo II

  1. Pingback: Auditions II. Apollo III | There Are No Heroes

  2. Okay, I was undecided about this story until I read that last line.

    Awesome. I suspect that I’ll be snickering about that for a while.

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