Nanowrimo – FS Vigilance Chapter 4
Still going on Nanowrimo…
It felt like Nightstar and Rigel had waited for an eternity when the rest of the team reached the Freedom Flyer. Cori wondered when Velocity was going to be back. Protector, Solaria and Snowfall climbed inside.
Solaria had a towel and her red bodysuit was literally steaming.
“I was in the pool,” she said. “I can’t believe we had an alert now.”
“It actually makes the scenario more realistic,” said Protector.
Solaria rolled her eyes.
“I could try to freeze-dry you,” offered Snowfall. Despite the suggestion, the blue and white clad superhero looked as if he had no idea what to do to help his flame-powered girlfriend.
Solaria glared at him as she rubbed her hair with the towel. He shrugged.
Rockslide rumbled into the Freedom Flyer, and a blue streak flashed past him as Ion raced up to the pilot’s seat.
“Everyone make sure you’re strapped in,” said Ion. “This is your pilot speaking. Roof opening and we are on our way to deal with battlesuit types. Let’s all hope that they don’t like electricity.”
A moment later, the Freedom Flyer soared between the skyscrapers of Superior City. Perhaps 20 seconds had passed, when the team arrived at the intersection facing the Diamond Exchange. The streets had already been blocked off, and citizens were running in all directions. Some were heading toward the devastation, trying to get pictures with their phones. Others, more intelligently, were fleeing for their lives.
“Ion, see if you can land in the middle of the intersection,” said Rigel. “I want to make sure that the Freedom Flyer doesn’t get shot down. If we lose another one, the Mayor will kill us.”
“You know, no matter what I do, the Freedom Flyer isn’t going to make it. They never do.”
“Don’t even joke about that,” said Rigel. Despite what she said, she thought Ion was probably right. Freedom Flyers have a remarkable ability to get destroyed and crash. “Nightstar, assess the situation.”
“We’ve got some police setting up barricades, and I’ve already seen a few of the battlesuit types. It looks like they have camo patterns – maybe they are some type of experimental military hardware. If so, we need to watch out for heavy weapons. Protector, head out with Snowfall. Provide him some cover while he tries to create an ice to try and contain any flying debris or block any stray shots. Ion, race out there and see if these guys short-circuit. Rigel and Solaria, take to the skies. We may have some try to escape.”
Rockslide crashed and rumbled.
Nightstar grinned as he adjusted his mirrorshades. “Don’t worry, big guy. You and I are going to be their surprise. We’re going in.” With that, Nightstar ignited his psychic blade which burned yellow with red edging and slashed a portal. “Head through.”
Rockslide seemed to smile himself as he lumbered through the portal. Nightstar followed and vanished right behind him.
Everyone followed their directions. Protector and Snowfall went out the front of the Freedom Flyer. One of the battlesuits immediately opened fire on Protector with some kind of gatling laser. Each beam that struck Protector’s golden shield reflected back into his attacker. Smoke burst from the suit and it collapsed.
Ion ran past them. He tapped the built-in communicator in his mask. “I have a new plan. Let the bad guys all attack Protector with their lasers. You should see what he did to the first one who tried that.”
With his electrically-enhanced metabolism, Ion raced through the shattered walls of the exchange. “Okay, team, they definitely have some heavy ordinance and… hey!”
Ion’s reflexes barely allowed him to duck in time as a battlesuit flew over his head. He looked up and saw Rockslide standing over two dented armored forms while several others blasted him with lasers or fired bullets into the earth elemental to no apparent effect.
“Ion again – new plan, let Nightstar teleport Rockslide into the middle of them. Save me one!” Ion fired an electrical bolt into an armored opponent holding a bag filled with diamonds. The battlesuit wearer shook and fell to the ground with a loud clang. “Rigel, are there people inside these things?”
Outside, Rigel hovered in the air with Solaria. She bit her lip. After this morning, she didn’t want to use her telepathy, but Ion was right. They needed to know.
She reached out and sensed minds inside each of the battlesuits. Surface thoughts struck her, even as she tried to block them out. She didn’t want to read anyone’s thoughts, but these couldn’t be denied.
They were shouts for help.
Rigel tapped her communicator. “Everyone, be careful with them. We have a hostage situation. The people inside the suits are trapped.”
“Okay, not the best news,” responded Ion, “but at least we don’t have to add the Battlesuit Brigade to our Rogues’ Gallery. “
“That explains why they don’t have the best grasp of tactics,” said Nightstar. “Ion, if they are being controlled remotely, can you try to generate some electrical interference?”
“No problem, Nightstar. I’ve been dying to try this. Rigel, you may want to switch us to the telepathic links because I’m going to mess up the communicators.”
No…no…not after this morning.
Before she could protest, a loud crackle burst over her communicator.
“Rigel, don’t worry about it,” said Solaria from beside her. “I can tell by that look on your face what you are thinking.”
Suddenly, two battlesuits rocketed out of the Diamond Exchange. “Those are ours. I can’t set up mental links if we are chasing them.”
“I’ve got this,” said Solaria.
Rigel hesitated, but she couldn’t let Solaria follow them alone. She reached her mind out to Nightstar and made contact.
Solaria and I are chasing two escapees. I’ll try to establish contact with everyone, but it’s going to be hard. Use the communicators as soon as they come back on. Oh, did it work?
Not exactly, thought Nightstar back to her. They seem to have some kind of preprogrammed reactions. Don’t worry though. We should have everything under control.
Outside the building, Snowfall had formed walls of ice formed in a semi-circle around the building facade. “Can I go inside and freeze a few?”
“Definitely,” said Protector.
A woman clambered out from the alley beside the building. Her black dress was torn. Her eyes flew to Protector. “Help! I need help. I was in there. My friend is hurt. Please! Save her.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll help.” said Protector as he ran over. An loud blast sounded from inside the Diamond Exchange.
“Actually,” said Snowfall, “I’m the paramedic. It sounds like the others could use you. I’ve got this.”
“But…” the woman started in protest. “He’s the Protector.”
Snowfall’s frustration showed on his face.
Protector wanted to help her, but Snowfall could and probably should handle this. “Ma’am, this is Snowfall. He’s a member of Freedom Squad, just like I am. I’ll join you once I make sure that everything’s resolved inside.”
“Thanks,” said Snowfall quietly as Protector ran inside.
The woman’s eyes angrily followed Protector.
“Trust me, I can help. Show me where she is.”
The woman nodded, fear replacing the anger. “Come on.”
Although he hadn’t meant for her to physically show him, Snowfall followed her as she climbed over debris in the alley. Dust and smoke filled the air.
“I really hoped Protector would come.”
“I’m actually better at paramedics than he is.”
“Ow!” she shouted and fell. “My ankle.”
“I’m right here. Let’s make sure you can stand.” Snowfall felt something seismic. He hoped it was Rockslide.
“You really do know something about medicine?”
She swung a fist into his neck. Snowfall felt a sting.
The woman gracefully stood, even as Snowfall felt himself fall. In a voice far colder than any ice he could create, she said, “That was a syringe, and the poison that’s running through your system should kill you in a minute or two, maybe faster. You may not be Protector, but he’ll blame himself. I was only supposed to humiliate him, but I thought going for the kill would be much more exciting. I guess you got me to obey orders. Thanks.”
Snowfall’s world swirled, and he began to convulse. For the briefest moment, he thought of Solaria. He needed to live. He felt cold, terribly cold, far colder than he had ever felt before.
The woman gestured and shadows whirled around her. She looked down at Snowfall. His body was covered in ice crystals. “That’s a dramatic way to make an exit. I wish you could see mine.” she commented before vanishing into the darkness.