"Very well then... But this isn't how it ends" Wither said, taking Knight's left hand.
Like the school teacher, the flesh of Knights left hand was illuminated in a dim black glow and he yelped in pain as the skin became leathery and withered to the touch. Wither let go, saving the hand from being destroyed, leaving some very limited dexterity but with it weak and numb. Looking over the heroes shoulder, he saw they were becoming excited. Knight's mask had basically fallen to pieces. Ripping a piece of fabric from his robe, he handed it to Knight discreetly.
"Don't let them see your face. I don't want them spoiling my fun" He whispered before turning and running past.
The crowd of reporters and police parted as he ran through them. It wasn't long before he was several blocks away, lost among a maze of alleys.
Pandemonius was panting, his breath came in ragged intervals. He was beaten.
He saw the grasping red come to get him, normally he could have dodged it easily. But he had neither the will nor the energy to. He stood still and closed his eyes, waiting for the constriction he knew would occur.
"If you're not going to kill me then at least tell me what you're doing here."
Hush approached him, the images dying in her head, regaining her sight and composure with the constriction still strong. She slowly moved him to her car using the binds to levitate him into the large trunk of the Rolls Royce, not severing the binds. She spoke softly to him before closing the trunk.
"Do not worry. I can assure you that i won't do anything more. You just rest now."
She then went to the driver's seat, driving back to the Corporation, wondering how the others were doing in their pursuits.
Sjors sped foward when something exploded near his face. He recieved a face full of shrapnel and swerved off course. He desperately flapped with his wings to stay airborn. Explosives? No, she wasn't carrying them. He felt at the left side of his face and saw that his hand had coloured red. He started to resent his own "Non lethal violence" orders for a second.
Okay, rushing won't work, and I'm not partial to hand-to-hand with an exploding girl.
Zero arrived at the science lab just in time to see a scientist go running out. Zero reached into his backpack and grabbed his flask. He quickly checked it. it was 3/4 full with water. "Water, key to all life, saved me multiple times" He thought to himself, and then he went into the building. There he met up with a man wearing what appear to be some kind of suit.
"Who are you supposed to be?" Zero asked. The man turned to him. Not wanting to waste his chance, he quickly summoned to him all the toxins in the air. He didn't feel anything around him move. He looked around, and then realised the trap. "A sterile enviroment? Fuck" he thought, and his hands slowly clenched into fists. He was no brawler, but if he could lead the villian outside his power could take effect.
"I'll give you one thing Spark..you are persistent" Tempest called out as he skillfully reloaded his pistols.
"Too bad it won't save you today!"
Tempest counted till three inside his head, took a deep breath and listened to his surroundings. The wind outside had died down. The only sound to be heard was the fire engines approaching the harbor and the gentle sound of the water lapping against the concrete barriers. However, ever so slightly through the ambient noise Tempest could make out the labored movement of feet. "He's on the move!. Risking a quick glance from cover Tempest noticed that his nemesis was nowhere in sight, which led him to believe that either Spark had retreated or was trying to redeploy himself.
"There is no way he would leave a fight!. A hero is too noble for that. No..he's up to something". Tempest leaned against the concrete wall to plan his next move, it was then when a sinking feeling hit him. The Transformer! he muttered. He's heading to recharge himself!.
As if to confirm his suspicions the sound of a door falling off it's hinges came from the within the warehouse. Spark was inside searching for a power outlet.
"Oh no you don't!" Tempest yelled. "Surrender now or I'll empty the room and then your lungs of the very air you breath!" He did not wait for a response and opted a show of strength as an example.
Tempest paused for a tactical analysis. He was not far from the main entrance to the warehouse, in range to use his powers. He instantly closed his eyes and channeled his energy into his palms. With enough kinetic force gathered, he focused his attention on the warehouse and began to command the atmospheric molecules that lingered within. With a sweeping gesture from his hands he commanded the air to form a vacuum seal around the building, preventing any inflow of oxygen and creating a pressure seal around the structure. In essence it was like draping the building in invisible cellophane. This done, Tempest surged his stored energy to draw out the very air in the room, gradually emptying it of it's oxygen. He was venting the atmosphere out of the warehouse.
It would be a lengthy process considering the volume of the building but the effects would be undeniable. A gradual loss of consciousness and the eventual asphyxiation if the vacuum was maintained for a sustained duration. Tempest clenched his jaw at the strain required to maintain such a high level of concentration, all the while creating a pressure deferential that would be nonlethal to it's single occupant. He could hear the warehouse windows rattle and the metallic roof and walls quiver under the venting atmosphere. He only hoped that he wouldn't have to do this for very long before Spark made his move.
Spark cursed his weakened muscles as he laboured to remove the plaster to get at the wires. 'Bloody chloroform,' he thought as he delivered a kick that finally put a hole in the plaster. As he took a deep breath for another kick he choked on the lack of air.
'That guy must be doing this,' his brain desperately told him. In a frenzy, he sent another kick at the plaster, if he could just get to the wires he could transform, a lack of air would be no problem. The kick staved the plaster deeper in, another weaker one drove it further. Spark gratefully collapsed as the burden of standing became too much. He punched his hand through the hole, feeling for wires as the pain in his chest became excruciating.
He found one and pulled it towards himself as his vision blurred, his hands clawing at the rubber sheath, too weak to rip the wire apart. Unable to expose the electricity, Spark slowly slipped out of consciousness and his vision blacked out.
"Wait a second..." Mens-Mentis had a sudden, and quick realization. She lowered her weapon slightly, lowering her hostility level and stared at this strange person, adding up evidence from his appearance and equipment. "Are you supposed to be a Supervillain?"
"Welcome to my parlour, I guess your Zero then?" Vasily asks bumping the emergency shut button.
The door squeaks shut as the vacuum seal completes.
"Me? You can call me White Death if you so choose...and this may be your coffin if I get...carried away," he cackles behind his mask.
The small key pops out the emergency lock next to him and he takes it, "this shall determine who lives here..." he slips the key into the inside of his suit and cracks his neck.
"But for now? I shall make you experience pain that will make you wish I killed you instead," he growls partially menacingly, part mockingly.
"Let's see if your toxin thing's your only trick," he hisses launching himself at Zero, both fists clenched as the nano machines kick in and strengthen his muscles.
Knight covered his face as the reporters slowly made their way toward him. He didn't have enough time to stick around, and he felt that the reporters would mob him at any second. Suddenly breaking into a standing sprint with the little energy he had left, Knight vaulted himself over the nearest fence.
How could I be so careless? That guy beat the crap outta' me...
Snap looked on as she saw Sjors hover above the ground, his face covered in blood. She took a few steps back until she realized that she was near the edge of the building.
Dammit.. I cornered myself like an idiot. He'll easily be able to push me off of the roof.
Glancing back at Sjors she spoke.
"What do you want?"
Schrodinger stared. She couldn't tell at first glance? And this was supposed to be someone intelligent according to the file he was given.
Still, they should be easier to trick in that case. Let's try this...
"Um... yeah. I was heading to that party too, but my arm malfunctioned and it's hard to control this thing. Why, who are you going as?"
"...Oh, no-one, just as a go to hell." She chuckled at her joke. "So, villain, tell me what the hell you are doing with a hydraulic expendable limb, or I shall throw you in the slammer, or the Grand Canyon."
"I like to take my party costumes seriously. I've got several costumes, and this is my second hydraulic limb. I had a third, but it rusted up when someone left it out in the rain."
Lying is so easy, Schrodinger thought. I wonder if she's actually buying into this, or if I'm going to need to try something else.
"Be quiet, and stop messing around." Mens-Mentis began to slowly walk towards this strange person, keeping her weapon up, and glancing at that arm...
"So... Tell me who you are, why you are her, what you are really planning with that arm, and why I should be talking to you."
"It's the entire hero VS villain escapade. Nothing really personal, lady."
He lowered himself to the roof and watched the female hero. She was looking around, noticing that she'd been cornered. He could push her off the roof in an instant if he wasn't cautious for that entire exploding thing.
He only needed to distract her.
"How long have you been in this hero-thing actually?" He said while noticing a sturdy looking piece of wood.
Hmm... maybe irritating her isn't the way forward. Then again, she cant exactly shoot me for it... or can she? What do the police do with superheroes like that?
Schrodinger considered. She had the gun still, which kept him at a disadvantage, but she was closer to him now, so it was less of a disadvantage. And I should be able to rid her of that advantage...
"My name is Schrodinger's Trap. I am here because I have been told to attack you. My arm is to be used for this..." Schrodinger smashed his arm against the wall again, throwing a cloud of dust in her direction. He lunged forwards within the cloud, holding out his arm in preparation to strike.
Zero listenned to the villian's speech. Thinking clearly despite the panic, he knew his best shot would be to either A: Get the villian to reck his own suit or B: get him to create his exit for him. Zero listenned to what he had to say. Then, laughin under his mask, Zero replied to his threats. "White Death? Thats the best you could think of? The Grim Reaper doesn't even wear White! And what is with your suit? Did you boyfriend make it for you, or is that shitty paint job your own work?" Zero exclaimed, hoping this would piss him off.
The car rumbled along the road. Pandemonius had long since freed himself of the binding aura that had had him tied up. All he was doing now was conserving his energy in the boot of the car, drifting in and out of sleep.
Does she not realise that allowing me rest would just make me stronger? He thought to himself as the car kept moving. He couldn't talk out loud for risk of alerting Hush that he was awake.
Nothing else to do but wait I guess...
He began planning what his first move would be when she opened the trunk of the car. I don't like hurting women...But in this case I'll make an exception. A punch to the face should surprise her enough.
He smiled at his own plan.
"Whoa...!" Mens-Mentis's vision blurred, she had barely any time to react, but she was fast enough to jump backwards around a metre, and stare at this villain.
"Now I am confused... Listen, we don't have to end this in blood, we can be reasonable here buddy."
Hush parked on the top of the multistory carpark, a street or so away from where The Corporation stood. The drive had lasted almost an hour and it seemed she was the first back. She considered what she should do while she got out of the car to check on her detainee.
She opened the boot of the car and looked in. He seemed to be asleep or unconscious. Pleased, she reached to close the trunk, only for something she didn't foresee happening.
Missed. But I'm close enough now to stop that gun from being an advantage.
"Unfortunately for you, we cant yet. I have my instructions on the matter."
Schrodinger lashed out, and clamped down on the end of the gun with his metallic arm. He grinned, and lunged forwards, his other arm outstretched and aimed at her neck.
Pandemonius felt the car come to a stop. He decided that faking sleep would be the best approach in order to surprise his captor. He felt the door opening and the closing, and heard the familiar sound of footsteps. The only indication that anyone was there was the slight sound and the rush of fresh air into the trunk.
I can breathe again! He thought, being almost grateful. However his happiness was shortlived as he could feel the fresh light into the space begin to diminish. Seizing the opportunity he lunged out, tackling Hush to the ground before punching her in the face a few times, almost certainly dazing her.
"I don't like hitting women! But you asked for that!"
She was bewildered by the sudden attack, moving her arms to block her face. Hush tried to spring back into action still light headed from the punches, instead rolling out of harm's way momentarily.
"...Such a gentleman...chivalrous..." She muttered still calmly, wiping away a small trickle of blood that came from her mouth.
She moved her leg into a crouch as she pulled her arm back throwing a quick but slightly strong force blast, to distract him while she gained her application again.
It wasn't long before Nicholas was sat in a coffee shop, watching his victory over Knight on the news broadcast on a small TV mounted on the wall. The breaking news had been running none stop since he'd arrived on every channel. He'd changed back into his regular attire as soon as he could and apart from some severe bruises he was no worse for wear.
Wish I could say the same for him Nicholas thought to himself as he sipped his latte.
On the tv screen was a constant loop of him crippling the hero's hand and leaving shortly before Knight departed, no doubt to go and lick his wounds. He'd been true to his word and not harmed any of the children. The footage was then replaced with a female reporter. Several people requested the sound was turned up and it was, allowing the shop to hear the rest of her sentence.
"-only one question. Who is this latest villain and have the heroes of our fair city finally met their match? I'm Hannah Kent for Channel 5 News"
Snap looked at Sjors and took a step forward.
I have to try and get away from the edge. Dammit all.
"Only a few weeks", Snap said answering Sjors. " How about you? How long have you been beating up kids for their school money?" Snap said sarcastically.
The strain was coming to the point where Tempest himself was risking collapse. He gritted his teeth as he counted down the seconds; Half a minute should be enough, he decided. As the zero second approached the villain felt the natural barrier of exertion become overpowering, he let his hands fall to his sides in pain, abruptly ending the control over the winds. The air around the harbor suddenly rushed back into the warehouse to fill the void that was being created.
Tempest dropped to his knees in an ironic attempt to catch his own breath and in between deep gulps of air he looked towards the warehouse for any movement by Spark...there was none!. Getting to his feet the villain slowly and cautiously made his way towards the main entrance of the building with guns in hand. He executed a SWAT-turn from the doorframe to catch anyone off guard, but all he saw a collapsed costume. Spark was unconscious near a wall socket, an unexposed wire in his hands. Tempest smiled as he approached the hero. A rough boot to the ribcage of the victim revealed that he was out cold.
Working quickly Tempest pulled out a length of nylon cord and rapidly bound Spark's hands and feet. He also placed a gag around the victim's mask preventing him from making too much racket should he regain consciousness. This done he got up to tower before his fallen nemesis, "Close..but no cigar my friend. I won't kill you because that would be the easy way out, no, I want you to understand that villainy is here to stay and that heroes like you are powerless to stop the destructive nature of mankind. The sooner you learn that lesson the better the chances are for avoiding another encounter between us" he said calmly at the motionless form.
Tempest then silently swapped the rubber bullet cartridge for his pistols with the standard 19mm AP rounds and fired three bullets into the transformer outside. A shower of sparks erupted from the power source as the conduits were crippled, plunging the surrounding area into darkness. "You'll have to get your juice from elsewhere kiddo. I'm sure the walk will do you good!" with one final look and smile at Spark, Tempest turned and left the building quickly blending into the darkness and vanishing into the night.
Mens-Mentis felt the hand grasp her around her neck, fortunately she didn't have any need to breath, nor did she feel any pain.
"You maniacal cur, I'll make sure you pay with your life for this transgression against my honour, and any sense of courage," She was angry enough to the point she was using long words, she slowly began to aim her foot, and then kicked towards his crotch.
Schrodinger's cloak was able to absorb most of the impact, but he still winced with pain and released her. He glared at her, stepping backwards and noting with satisfaction that his arm had caused heavy damage to the gun, and it wouldn't be firing properly for a while.
He lowered his hood, revealing his mask underneath. He grinned at her. "Courage? One who uses a gun complains of her opponents lacking courage? How pathetic."
He decided to play the role of the defender. She had sworn a death threat to him, and it was far easier to be the defender then the attacker. He raised his metallic arm, ready to block and take further control.
"Good point," Mens-Mentis grinned as she pulled out her machete from the jacket, ready to strike down the insolent brat, "Now, Schrodinger, you will find that you are the one who will be dubbed pathetic..." But she took some pity on the boy, and subtlety lied, "It will be such a shame to dispatch such a worthy adversary, we could just leave it here, and you can leave this... job."
Schrodinger considered the offer. He had the advantage here, with his opponent's weapon clearly not able to stand up to his arm, and this could be considered a victory. On the other hand, maybe he was thinking about this in the wrong way. A victory wouldn't necessarily have to be immobilising his opponent physically.
He glanced at the building behind her.
Schrodinger lowered his arm. He turned, and started to walk towards the other end of the alley.
He was no fool. He couldn't tell if Mens-Mentis was making a sincere offer or not, but either way he had a plan to ensure a different kind of victory. He listened carefully, ready to defend if she tried to attack him from behind. If she wasn't going to, then he would force her movements...
Snap looked over the edge of the building and to her amazement saw a fire escape.
Has that been there the entire time?!?
Looking around Snap saw a small pile of rubble. In an instant she picked it up and threw it at Sjors. He moved away from the rubble just in time to avoid any direct damage. But the rubble wasn't meant to hurt him, it was meant to distract him. When the rubble exploded it made a cloud of smoke, and it was just enough for Snap to make her exit through the fire escape.
Once the smoke cleared Sjors noticed Snap was no longer there.
"Son of a bitch.." He muttered to himself.
"I'm glad you've seen this the right way..." said Mens-Mentis, glaring at her retreating opponent, she was shocked he had even listened to her, but she was glad, she hadn't been performing very well today, she couldn't think straight, and she had a strange feeling in her head. The last thing she needed was a huge battle with a supervillain.
So you would think she should have been happy, as she leant against the building behind her, and watched Schrodinger slowly slink away.
But all she felt was unease, and a huge amount of suspicion at this strange person, whom she was feeling a strange sort of attachment towards, she never really met anyone who could single-handedly construct a hydraulic limb.
She sighed, as she continued to stare at him.
"Ha! That aura bullshit won't work on me a 2nd time!" He rolled backwards, pummeling Hush with horrifying mental images. He ran forward and then pummeled her in the abdomen as she was crouching before rolling backwards, being prepared to go on the defensive.
"Didn't you hear? Chivalry is dead."
Pandemonius smiled, his eyes glowed.
Winded slightly from the punch combined the mental images, Hush struggled to control herself as she slumped against the ground. She raised her head, closing her eyes whilst trying to block away the thoughts again.
"...doesn't mean we can't pretend, right?"
She raised both of her hands, using the bind to throw two vans from either side to crush him. She moved onto another few, throwing them, while she got to her feet.