Sunday, August 28, 2011

Self-Taught Superheroes, Part Seven

Things got a little bit crazy about then.

No, not crazy. The other thing. Crazier.

Because when the blue-skinned girl did something that I think you'd have to be a telepath to understand, it wasn't just Captain Light that got back up. It was everyone. She undid whatever Mister Meme did to their minds, and she healed their physical injuries, and she even untied them telekinetically. And suddenly it wasn't a handful of desperate superheroes against a horde of supervillains, it was our team against their team. And we have a big team.

You do not know "crazy" until you've been in a really big full-scale super-on-super melee. You're switching off opponents every few seconds because one of their guys comes at you from behind while you're fighting another one of their guys and just when you're starting to have trouble fighting two enemies at a time, then one of your teammates breaks free of their fight and knocks one of your opponent halfway across the room, where they promptly get up and just start whaling on whoever happens to be closest. And then you put your guy down and look around for someone to fight just in time to see some guy that you thought your best friend knocked out getting up for more.

And everyone's going nuts with their powers. I'm just fast and agile, but Stormcrow was literally the eye of a hurricane. An actual hurricane in the middle of our conference room. And while our conference room is big, a hurricane makes it seem a lot smaller. Freezing rain was pouring onto every flat surface, people were slipping and sliding, lightning bolts were zapping out all over the place--it was a lot more comfortable for us than for the bad guys, because Stormcrow has really good control of her powers, but I was still soaked to the skin for the second time today.

And vines were tangling around supervillains and smacking them into walls, and Neutrino Man had caused some sort of a minor runaway nuclear reaction in the corner that was flash-boiling the freezing rain into radioactive steam that was choking a bunch of bad guys (he swears blind that it's quick-dissipating and has no long-term side effects. This. Worries. Me.) And laser blasts flew through the air and projectile darts launched at people and got swept up in the hurricane and wound up hitting entirely other people and anyone who wasn't otherwise occupied was kicking or punching or stabbing or hovering in the middle of the room thinking really hard...

And in the center of it all, Regent and Captain Light were duking it out. Regent launched a punch that would have knocked my head clean off its shoulders and halfway down the hall, and Captain Light didn't even flinch. The impact sounded like another thunderclap in the din, but Captain Light just smiled.

Then he punched back. The whole room lit up with a blinding flash as Captain Light's energy field interacted with Regent's force field in a way that neither one of them expected. Regent went backwards into the wall hard enough to embed itself in it, and Captain Light...didn't move. But his whole costume was covered in soot and it smoldered in places until the rain put it out.

"Enough of this," Regent said. He pried himself out of the wall and touched his left wrist with his right. A door opened in the air. "You have forced my hand further, Captain. When next we meet, I will have to take stronger measures to carve this cancerous notion out of the world I am destined to rule."

Captain Light started towards him, but Silver Rage blocked his path. The statue's grip prevented him from flying further. "Destiny is just what we make it," he said, fighting to free himself in time to stop Regent's escape. "You might be powerful, but that doesn't make you better than anybody else."

Regent chuckled. It was a soft sound, but it somehow carried over the wall of noise. "You don't know anything, do you? I am Regent, one of the Lost Monarchs of the Shadow Histories, and I will reclaim what is mine. And next time, I will not be so merciful." And with that, he stepped through the door and vanished.

After that, it was just a matter of mop-up. A lot of mop-up, but mop-up nonetheless. We beat the bad guys that didn't make a run for it when they saw their leader vanish, we dumped them in the hands of local law enforcement, I had something like a gallon of Purplesaurus Rex Kool-Aid (ever since I got my powers, I have been absolutely addicted to sugary drinks. At least they're cheap.) And then I realized just how tired I was, and I practically collapsed onto my bed to sleep.

And I dreamed about how it all started...



BillytheWHP said...

Wow, that was like those massive WWE free-for-alls, but COOLER! (I know. Cooler than WWE. Gee whiz, that sure is high praise, isn't it? I mean, what's cooler than a bunch of thirty years olds pretending to fight each other, dousing themselves with fake blood and cheesy names. Hey! It's just like comic books. Sorry, this one-off joke has gotten excessively long. On a more serious note...)

I'm kind of super-excited to hear more about the Shadow Histories and the Lost Monarchs contained within. Also, do I see the coming of the origin for our fine feathered protagonist? That'd be pretty cool.

One final note: I can't help but wonder what that little piece of information is that Mr. Meme kept from the heroes. Could he have gotten them out of their psychological state, or was he powerless to do so?

John Seavey said...

He could have, yes. I didn't elaborate on it too much, because I kind of feel like things like that seem sillier when you try to put them into detail, but it was a sort of "Anti-Life Equation" sort of deal, a collection of concepts that inexorably led the thinker deeper into despair until death seemed to be the only option. The missing element that unbalanced the equation was a small, simple happiness that seemed meaningless, but made all the difference in the world.

But I don't know that you could spell something like that out in words. said...

It will not work in fact, that is exactly what I think.