Chapter 18 – Freedom Squad Nanowrimo
Defiance turned his head toward the mayor.
Telepathically, Rigel contacted Matt, “Get the mayor inside the base, now.”
Defiance flew over to the mayor. “You are the one who did this to me! You can’t hide anymore!” he shouted.
The mayor’s eyes widened. He looked utterly terrified for a split-second, but then, there was a blur or a shadow, and the mayor was gone. Only a few singed grasses on the lawn indicated what had happened.
“That was Velocity,” whispered Rigel.
Defiance screamed incoherently and slammed a fist into the ground, shattering concrete and throwing everyone off their feet. “Where is he?” he said, turning to glare at Future Soldier/Nightstar. “I’ll tear you and your team apart if you don’t turn him over.”
Barrage flew about ten feet into the air and aimed her armor’s weapons at Future Soldier. “Give me the word, Defiance,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to prove that my battlesuit is better than Future Soldier’s tech.”
Golem stepped toward the false Destroyers and smashed a heavy fist against his chest. Pyroclast was behind him, flames spurting from cracks in his rocky body. Death Queen sauntered ahead of the two giants, four moaning zombies shuffling behind her.
“Maybe we should talk,” Death Queen said, “Possibly form an alliance. If you turn over the mayor, you might find it profitable to work with us.” She ran a hand down the front of her nearly nonexistent costume as she smiled at Future Soldier.
Everyone had returned to their feet, and it seemed like both sides were waiting for Nightstar to react. Cori telepathically contacted Ion. “I’m wondering,” she mentally asked as she looked up at Barrage, “was there a particular reason that you practiced doing a localized EMP?”
“She’s right there,” thought Ion.
“What are you waiting for? Let’s go,” thought Rigel.
“G’Day,” said Rigel, psychically commanding her costume to transform. “I’m terribly sorry, but you are all under arrest.”
Ion discarded the Hornet helmet and ran beneath Barrage. In the next breath, there was a pop and sparks flew from Barrage’s armor. She fell out of the sky and into Ion’s arms.
“Caught you,” he said with a grin.
Snowfall flash-froze the Pulsar suit and dramatically shattered his way out of it, while Solaria engulfed herself in an inferno, reducing the Chillfrost garb, which couldn’t handle the heat the way her own costume could, to ash.
Nightstar tossed aside the rifle and drew his psychic blade, however, unlike the others, he didn’t have any particularly good way to escape his costume.
“Velocity, it’s time,” thought Rigel. She ordered her gloves to pull back from her hands as she relaxed.
She felt a burst of heat and a sudden rush of wind, and in the next moment, she was pressed against Defiance. His expression was one of complete confusion. Before he could recover, she put her hands on his cheeks and made psychic contact.
She could see playing cards everywhere. “Don’t worry about the battle outside,” she thought, “I’m going to help you win the one that really matters, the one inside.”
Snowfall covered the ground under Golem’s feet with a layer of ice, but this time he added walls, creating something like a set of icy skateboarding ramps. “That should slow you down.” The large construct slipped and fell, and Snowfall raised his hands. An icy rain started falling out of the sky.
“Sorry,” said Snowfall, “not quite cold enough for snow. You’ll have to settle for freezing rain. That stuff coats everything.”
Pyroclast bellowed and stomped toward the ice. Before he could reach the ice barriers, Nightstar stepped out of a yellow and red rift in the air. “I remember you from when you helped Promethea kidnap me. Let me introduce you to my psychic blade.”
Nightstar lunged, thrusting the blade into the volcanic super-villain. Pyroclast shuddered as psychic energy rippled through him. Nightstar deftly withdrew his blade as Pyroclast collapsed. “Good,” said Nightstar, taking a moment to remove the helmet. He wondered if he should help Cori. In the middle of the chaos, she stood still with her eyes glowing as she held Defiance’s face in her hands.
Solaria blazed in front of Death Queen. “Are necromancers afraid of the sun?” she asked.
“My dark sorcery will drain your very life essence,” Death Queen hissed. She started to gesture, and her undead minions advanced forward.
Before she could finish gesturing, there was a rush of air and Death Queen shrieked. Solaria blinked, and a man in a black costume with flames on his gloves, boots and across his chest had tied up Death Queen in her own black cape. “Hi, I’m Velocity, Rigel’s secret weapon. I’m a member of Freedom Squad.”
“Do we have a Secret Freedom Squad now?” asked Solaria. “Well, thanks. Let me get rid of those zombies for you.”
Flames burst from Solaria’s hands, igniting the shambling corpses and quickly reducing them to ash. “No charge for the cremation service,” she said.
Velocity stared at her. “Remind me to stay on your good side.”
“Don’t worry, but I think we should make sure Death Queen is unconscious,” said Solaria.
“I can’t hit a woman,” said Velocity. He stood over the now-helpless Death Queen as she looked up at him.
Solaria put a hand on her hip. “What? You don’t think super-villainesses can be dangerous?”
“No, I just have never… look, she’s tied up. I’m new.”
Solaria rolled her eyes. She surrounded Death Queen in wreath of flame.
“What are you doing?” asked Velocity.
“Oxygen deprivation,” stated Solaria.
Death Queen gasped and collapsed.
“Unconscious,” said Solaria. “Now, where’s Snowfall?”
Snowfall was standing next to what appeared to be a small iceberg that had formed on the lawn in front of Freedom Squad Headquarters.
“Did we win?” asked Solaria.
“Almost,” said Ion, who was holding a half-armored unhelmeted Barrage. “Just shows what the element of surprise coupled with some pre-planning can do.”
“Before you send me to jail,” Barrage, now revealed as a bright-eyed brunette, said to Ion, “Did I mention that not only do you make me laugh, but you are kinda cute? What if you let my systems power back up and just gave me a head start?”
There was another electrical pulse and the air smelled like ozone. Ion smiled. “Nice try at stalling to see if your systems came back online. Don’t worry, I won’t let that happen. If you have good behavior, maybe I’ll show up and visit you in prison.”
“You were cuter before you knew how to short out my battlesuit,” she muttered.
Homeland Security and the Megalopolis Police had entered the lawn. They were quickly working to make arrests.
Stacy King reached Nightstar. “Where is the mayor?”
“He’s inside with Starlight. He’s safe. Sorry for the deception.”
“It’s okay,” she said. “Rigel left me with some sort of delayed suggestion and let me know what was happening.”
“Good,” said Nightstar. “So far, the plan worked.”
“What do you mean, so far?”
Nightstar indicated where Rigel stood motionless with her hands on the face of a seemingly-frozen Defiance. Rockslide loomed over them both, ready to do whatever he needed to do to keep Rigel safe.
“That’s where the real battle is taking place,” Nightstar said, adjusting his mirrorshades.
Posted on November 27, 2013, in Freedom Squad, HeroNet Files, NaNoWriMo and tagged Defiance, Freedom Squad, Harry Heckel, Ion, Nanowrimo Novel, Nightstar, Rigel, Superhero Nanowrimo. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.