""I do hope this isn't some rash move against the hero organization. I had hoped we were making progress."?"
"Crick, arrest her. We don't need to play along anymore, and this facade has grown tiresome."
"Already on it," The Crick said as he approached Ms.Fukao with handcuffs, "The hero organization wasn't the worst idea, sadly you're kinda crazy. "Mad and power hungry" apparently. Not my words, but now we've got the evidence to back them up-" The crick stopped and stared at the information being to his suit's display. The Crick scanned the screen and from behind his helmet, his brow furrowed.
"Um...Unicorn? This...doesn't look like evidence of anything wrong...this isn't anything. Unicorn, please tell me you plugged in wrong USB and are now about to put in the correct one..."
Mina tried to hide her shock at Specter's revelation. "How is it that he spoke with the dead; that shouldn't be possible with... no matter." Mina thought, her face blas?. Shaking her head free of the aberrant thoughts for the moment; she still had tasks to do. Focusing, she tried to spread the spell through The Crick's connection to his base computer. She couldn't alter most of the files Theodore had taken - only those of audio and visual natures which were exceptionally few - but she could hope to prevent the display of the evidence for a time. Unfortunately the spell was still new to her and therefore finicky at best. For now, it took all her limited magic just to maintain and spread the spell.
"Um...Unicorn? This...doesn't look like evidence of anything wrong...this isn't anything. Unicorn, please tell me you plugged in wrong USB and are now about to put in the correct one..." The Crick said, bringing an involuntary sigh of relief to Mina. "Oh dear? Is there something wrong? Surely you wouldn't be making these acquisitions without solid evidence; Specter's unsubstantiated claims aside."
"Oh dear? Is there something wrong? Surely you wouldn't be making these acquisitions without solid evidence; Specter's unsubstantiated claims aside."
He pinned Mina further down, if she could shake her head, he was giving her too much freedom. Intimidatingly, he spoke, his determination clear in his voice.
"I don't care if there's something wrong with the data. I can bring a witness," the Specter said. "A witness in person, one who would be able to repeat everything Theodore says. It would be... interesting, to say the least, but I can assure you, this man would not lie to benefit someone like me. Nor Theodore. However, I would make a deal with the devil, if it meant we can bring you to justice." It would mean giving away his identity, but it would be worth it.
Looking over at Crick, continued. "Regardless of what's happening to the original proof, asking Theodore will bring us to the truth, I'm sure of it. So don't hesitate, we have this chance to crush her and this alone." As he said crush, he realised that maybe he was pushing her a bit too hard onto the ground, and eased his telekinesis, though only somewhat. Any objects around her had already been thrown to the side, the only chance she had to get free would be for the Specter to let her go.
And that's not happening.
Even if Crick got confused or unsure.
"I... I need to think about this, I won't kick you out... but I haven't decided what else to do just yet."
He looked at Tom, having hoped for something more. It was unfair, it wasn't Tom's job to make him feel better, and he understood the other being unsure, even if it might end up in him being thrown in jail.
Perhaps I have to leave, then.
He was going to give it more of a thought, when Tom's next statement forced a horrid reaction out of him.
"If you say you're sorry you need to show it though, I shouldn't have overlooked your actions before now, if you keep trying to be a villain I'll be forced to treat you the same as any other."
At Tom's hardened voice, Tim felt something in him shut up, something vital. Tom's tone had triggered something defensive in him, and he chuckled, tears still running from his eyes. It felt unreal, all of a sudden, and he stepped away from the other, as he laughed. It just... it was all too much for him, and he didn't know how to react in a way that didn't feel forced. Sickeningly forced.
"Hah, no," Tim said. "You don't get it. I don't care if I'd have to stop being a villain, I don't care if you should have overlooked my actions, but I'm crying, and shaking, and I've apologised, and I don't know what you want me to do to prove I'm sorry. Charity? Become a hero? What does that matter, when I've killed someone? And if you can't see that I'm sorry... I don't get it, the same way you don't get me." He dried his tears, a smile on his face that seemed anything but cheerful.
"I get something else now, though. I've killed someone, and... and what you want me to do is "prove " that I'm sorry. As if I can prove that in any way other than my fear and sadness and shame, and desperation, and... What should I do, kill myself? You know I can't do that, if I'm not brave enough to kill someone straight up, I'm certainly not going to be brave enough to pay for my mistake with my own life. But, you know. I get the point, and I'm sorry, but I can't spend every second and every ounce of energy of proving something you should've already have gotten. Sorry bro." He shrugged, still with that insincere grin.
"I was going to go get my stuff, but you know what? Keep them. The password to the laptop is "NEO", If you check under the couch, there's a stack of cash there, should at least be a couple of Ks, donate it to the man's family or buy comics or anything, really. I don't care what you do with it. It was nice knowing you though." With that, he walked off. If he heard Tom follow him, he would run, and though he doubted he'd be able to run much quicker than the other, he'd at least be in front of the other, and not forced to talk.
Ah, this is so messed up.
He felt his eyes tear up again, more guilt mixing into the very wrong sense of amusement.
How do you prove you're sorry apart from being sorry anyhow?
"If you want me to leave I'll understand, I know how to look after myself so you needn't worry."
He looked at her, tilting his head. He understood her worries, but it didn't seem like there was much to worry about. Unless whoever was after her was resourceful and plotting, though. "Do you have a tracking device on you? Do they somehow know your genetic setup, and are capable of tracking it through the walls? Did someone follow you, perhaps?" He looked at her, waiting for an answer before continuing.
"Do they know you've talked to me, and do they know who I am? Where I live? Do they think you'd go here? If not, I don't see any reason to worry. Besides, I have powers as well, if you need to be protected, I'm very useful for that kind of thing." He stretched.
"Anyhow, I'm tired and hungry. Do you want something to eat? I think I have a pizza in the fridge. Or I could just order something, though if you want to keep a low profile you'll have to hide when the delivery comes." Sirius saw no reason to worry about them perhaps maybe being found at some point, perhaps it would happen, perhaps not. But right now he was hungry.
"There's only one USB, and how are you not seeing ...." Karen started, the stopped, as this look of revelation crossing her face. "Where's Mina right now." Karen asked. She had an idea what was going on, why Crick couldn't 'see' the data.
While she waited for Crick to reply, this, sullen look settled over. Mina was an old friend, and the only one that was happy to hear she was back, but this data, and, he possible screwing with the investigation, she had to admit maybe, time had not been as kind to Mina as she'd thought.
There's only one USB, and how are you not seeing ....Where's Mina right now."
She's with us, Specter has her restrained. Is something weird happening, cause I feel like something weird's happening?" The Crick said, looking between Ms.fukao and the Specter.
"Regardless of what's happening to the original proof, asking Theodore will bring us to the truth, I'm sure of it. So don't hesitate, we have this chance to crush her and this alone."
"Okay, just...as long as Theodore says things we can prove without a shadow of a doubt, I think we'll have a chance. Assuming if they even let us try this. We'd essentially be doing a seance in court."
"I was going to go get my stuff, but you know what? Keep them. The password to the laptop is "NEO", If you check under the couch, there's a stack of cash there, should at least be a couple of Ks, donate it to the man's family or buy comics or anything, really. I don't care what you do with it. It was nice knowing you though."
"Tim, wait," Tom said, but Tim was gone before he could stop him. When he tried to follow his brother ran.
I should have said something different, I... He returned to the apartment and slumped down, sitting on the floor. His brother had run off, distraught over having done something horrible. He still had to face whether or not he should try to bring him in, but at the moment his heart wasn't in any thoughts along those lines.
It's not that I didn't believe he was sorry, but its not enough to just say you are, not after something like that. Maybe he'd just used the wrong words, maybe it was impossible to really convince Tim to work towards redeeming himself, maybe Tim was just determined to be a villain no matter who got hurt. No, I don't believe that.
Still there was a pit in his stomach he couldn't shake, so he sat there trying to think of how he could have said things differently; how things could possibly made right when a man was dead.
"Anyhow, I'm tired and hungry. Do you want something to eat? I think I have a pizza in the fridge. Or I could just order something, though if you want to keep a low profile you'll have to hide when the delivery comes."
She was taken aback by his cavalier attitude towards her worries, no not cavalier simply uncaring. Was he being more logical than her? No, he has no idea how powerful the people I'm worried about are. Still, I won't talk him out of helping me...
"Pizza would be fine," she said "I suppose I could use something to eat."
Being paranoid was giving her quite an appetite after all, just about anything to eat would be welcome.
Mina's head was forced to the ground by Specter's telekinetic force. A moment later, the power weakened though not enough to allow a person to stand back up. Through it all, Mina could only laugh in frustration.
"So you're going to arrest me without a warrant OR evidence?" Mina said with a chortle. "You're very brave, I'll give you that. Or foolish." Whatever humor Mina had was gone.
"I believe this game of yours has gone on long enough. I think this has nothing to do with some trumped up charges you can't even name. I bet even now Crick you have some home-made supercomputer putting together false evidence to link me to all the little crimes you were never good enough to solve. Is that why you visited my office? To get the data you need to link them to me?" Mina argued; still without moving.
"I think you're all just angry. Angry that your irresponsible days of protecting this city are under threat by me and this is the only thing you can do to keep your cushy jobs as heroes; the only way to keep your glory and your adoration and your freedom to use and abuse your powers however you see fit. This little discussion is over-" Mina said, before smiling widely "-I believe we've heard enough. Mr. Thomas, if you would be. so. kind."
At that, the superhuman task force - consisting of the city's finest officers- arrived. Monologuing wasn't really her style, but she to admit that she understood why all those villains loved it so much. You got to blow off steam AND let your henchmen get into position. It was a shame she didn't get to do it more often but hey...
That's the sacrifice of being a real hero.
"I think you're all just angry. Angry that your irresponsible days of protecting this city are under threat by me and this is the only thing you can do to keep your cushy jobs as heroes; the only way to keep your glory and your adoration and your freedom to use and abuse your powers however you see fit. This little discussion is over -I believe we've heard enough. Mr. Thomas, if you would be. so. kind."
Frederick had to bite his currently ghost lips as he saw the police officers entering. These were officers he knew, people he had worked alongside as a state prosecutor and then a judge. And it felt bitter, knowing that they were actually protecting the person who had caused all of this to happen. Because he was sure that it was everything, not only Theodore's death, but the events that had caused the city to believe this was necessary. Psyclone, the bombs, heck, the very bomb that had exploded in the police station. That had to be the worst part, these people were defending the person who had murdered their colleagues.
"How depressing," Frederick started, because he was going to talk as Frederick. Not the Specter, not some hero, but as Frederick Rolls, the judge. "The moment someone buys you a bit of new equipment, a way to do away with the helplessness you've felt, you become a personal army? The police officers of this city, nothing more than guardians of the very person responsible for the death and injury of your colleagues. No, not your, our. The people we have been working alongside with for years. How dare you? No really, I wish you could see how fucked up and appalling this is," he stepped down onto the ground, becoming human again. He had no mask on, though he wondered how many would be able to recognise him.
"I'm Frederick Rolls, and I'm a judge. I've worked as a judge for 5, and I've worked within the justice system, for the state, since I was a paralegal at age 23. I don't know if this gives me any authority, but just, you know. Listen, for a moment. Because this is all sorts of wrong. Mina Fukao funded Psyclone, she gave him the means to do what he did. She is responsible for the bombs that went off in the police station, that killed not only police officers or assistants, but prosecutors and paralegals. She funded the lunatic who almost blew up the entire city, an incident people such as myself and Crick risked our lives to stop."
He pointed at Crick, happy that he actually moved his hand as opposed to something with his mind -that would really not be good right now-, though Crick would be able to feel a little nudge.
"This kid has risked his life so many times, faced people with guns and knives and with powers, to protect others. And that's dangerous, because angry people with weapons, be they powers or tools are lethal, are dangerous, I will give you that much. Heck, had this been a legit idea, not one funded by a damned murderer out to "save the world" in whatever deluded manner that is, I might have supported it, because I know the dangers of letting people with powers run around like headless chickens. Instead, I'm facing police officers who want to protect a single person, our city's finest officers reduced to mercenaries. You're not only threatening me, but this fine young man who has done nothing but to save lives and spend his life making a difference. And all he get is weapons pointed at him by the people he has aided the most. Truly depressing." He sighed and closed his mouth, hoping they would see some sense. His expression was tired and serious. He didn't want to attack a whole bunch of police officers, but he feared it could be the case. Worst case he'd have to disappear.
I told them my name though.
Nonetheless, they would bring Mina to justice. And when they did, these officers would be tried for aiding a criminal and for taking bribes.
It didn't take long before Tim regretted running away. Not only had he given most of his money to Tom, as well his computer -he kinda hoped Tom had the sense to not click "culture movies"- but he now had no place to sleep. He wondered if his parents had shut down his reserve emergency credit card, but had a feeling he knew the answer already. So much for taking care of him in an emergency.
So, what now? Do I just... go home?
In some ways, it was tempting. Throw the towel in and surrender, use the last 50 dollars or so in his pockets to get on a bus and get home. Would it even be surrendering? He'd killed someone and clearly could not just shrug it off. Tim stopped and sat down at a bench, he was tired. Besides, he could hear sirens, and though they were likely not looking for him, they could be looking for his alter ego. Tim closed his eyes, he needed a little time to relax.
Then he heard someone call out to him. "So there's our little runaway. Or are you the other one?" For a brief moment he felt his heart stop, until he recognized the voice.
"Come on, seriously?" He turned around, and a man in his late thirties were hanging halfway out of a rather expensive car. "What are you doing here?" He'd never have expected to find Christian Moore here.
"So we do have our young master Merridy," the other said, sarcastically. "Come over here, I have some stuff from your parents, some messages and such," his father's business partner said and opened the door to the passenger seat. Tim had no qualms about entering the car, Moore had driven him back and forth from different events more often than his father had. Besides, he couldn't help but feel like it would be a better place to hide, should someone somehow have managed to identify him in some manner.
Now that's being paranoid.
"Firstly, from your mother, hand me your credit card," the other said, and Tim did so, reluctantly. The other broke it in two. "There you go. Your father asked me to hand you this," he got a bag with a piece of cake in it, some sort of chocolate cake covered in chocolate frosting and berries. It looked dry.
"We can get a soda, I mean, it's pretty dry, and we both know Jack doesn't do this kind of thing very well," Christian Moore said. "Planning, I mean. A trait he must have passed of to his moron kid. Sure, you seem to have figured it out with your school, but really, a month off university, without telling your parents? What kind of stupid plan do you have this time?" the other asked, and Tim just shrugged.
"I felt overworked." Moore shrugged.
"Well, whatever vacation you've had doesn't seem to have helped you much, seeing as you look like someone hit a puppy with a truck. Besides, did you really think Jack and Alice would let you stick around once shit went down like this? I mean, just 10 minutes ago or so some spiky freak murdered a cop. I'm just here to help my sister and her kids pack their stuff and leave, but the moment I mentioned I was headed this way your parents asked me to talk some sense into you. So here we are. My sister is out of the state, but I've been stuck here trying to look for an individual in a city, calling your phone, but you've not answered."
"I'm not leaving yet," Tim said, and crossed his arms. Christian gave him a bit of a nudge.
"Give me... I dunno, give me 10 minutes. I'll even go buy you something you can actually eat. If I've somehow not made it clear why this is a stupid thing to be doing and that you need to go home before your parents pay someone to kidnap you, you can just walk. I'll even tell Jack I never found you. Okay?" Tim sighed.
Part of him wanted to just go along with the other already.
Why do I have to be so stubborn?
"Pizza would be fine, I suppose I could use something to eat."
"Good," Sirius said, and got up, starting to go through his fridge -the freezer part-, and taking out an instant pizza. "It's not luxury, but it's something. Do you want something to drink, by the way? I'm probably going to get some soda personally, since I've had a bit to drink already. You can have a can too, I only have coke though. That or milk, orange juice, or, well, I do have some ale if you want it. All the way from Scotland, even, though you can't drink too many of those. I've heard alcohol is supposed to be good for calming down," he added, and put the oven on. It was a fairly new one, so he didn't think it'd take long for it to be warm enough.
Whichever drink she asked for, he prepared some for both of them, putting his own can in front of the chair, while letting her have the couch. Then he turned on the tv, and handed her the controller. "Here you go," he told her, she could choose what to watch. He was ready to listen to her talk, though if she wasn't, there was no need to pressuring her.
I wonder what she's feeling right now.
The thought of opening the connection between the two was tempting, if only because he was a little curious. And rather bored, feeling like he lacked something. Emptiness again.
She doesn't know she's not closed it off though. And it would be rude to do so.
He sighed, loudly, and went to put the pizza inside. Sometimes he wondered if doing something that would be considered rude would be more fun than just following what social norms he had been taught as a child.
"Put me on Speaker Crick." Karen said as Specter, or rather Judge Roll chewed out the officers for forgetting their oaths to server and protect.
"You might be-able to hand wave the data away Mina. Say it's been falsified, so why don't I just get Theodor instead, have him tell us what happened." Karen said, through Cricks helm after he complied. "You and I both know there are ways to pull spirits back from the other side, if only for a short while." Karen said, her tone a mix of sadness and anger.
"But regardless of how you potentially talk your way out of this, I know what you've done Mina. I know all to well how your powers work to not know how your messing with Crick's suit, and there's no way, you or anyone like us that's had our powers for such a long time would just 'switch' out to something else or abandon them." Karen said, as the computer picked out the data from the list that was the evidence of wrong doing.
The Crick simply stood there as Unicorn and Specter-er Judge Rolls made there cases. He looked at the police, decked in gear that would probably give Crick a run for his money. He looked at Mina, the total embodiment of corporate professionalism and a look of cool determination. Either she really believed in her plan or she really thought it was the right thing, The crick thought
He looked at Frederick Rolls, The Specter, speaking up on behalf of himself, The Crick, and all of Neutropolis. The Crick had become a hero slightly earlier than the Specter and had been at it for a year or 2 longer, but watching Frederick Rolls make his case made The Crick realize something: He was infinitely outclassed by the man. The Crick tried to rely on honesty and emotion as opposed to cold logic when dealing with people. Frederick Rolls seemed to be a master of both. Terry Chrysler was told he had the power to be a hero. Fredrick Rolls had always been a hero, regardless of whether he had the power or the costumes.
He listened to Unicorn, old friend of his parents and new friend to The Crick. Her voice transmitted through his suit but she might as well been in the room. She'd been through the ringer, seen things he couldn't even imagine, fought things he didn't even want to imagine...and yet here she was. Here. Walking among people as a person. Living her life as...her life. Fighting the good fight. For the living and the dead. He remembered watching her along side his parents in the early days, before he knew what his parents could do. Before he knew what him or his brother could potentially do. She'd been on of the many heroes who had had inspired him to aim for the sun. Legs or no legs.
And then there he was. Terry Chrysler. The Crick. "The hero with a hundred hops who never stops." An announcer had called him that a charity once for disabled kids. He...hadn't really liked the little tagline that much. It was a bit cheesy. But the kids had loved it as he leapt onto stage, the parents were glad and thankful, and even some of the security there to keep an eye on things seemed slightly impressed. People liked him. He knew that. He always stopped to help no matter what. From muggers to flat tires. He stopped to help. To them his friendly face was simply his helmet. A character they could connect with but didn't really know. It was nice, it felt good, it WAS good...but it was strangely lonely. It was part of the reason he'd wanted to get heroes together, to team up and protect like the heroes of old. But he also wanted friends. He was so busy as The Crick that Terry Chrysler was simply an obligation and less of an identity. He had many acquaintances but few friends. He worked with the heroes and liked them, but still felt like there was a wall there.
The only time he felt whole was...family barbecues. His mom's side and dad's side came together, hung out, had fun. Everyone knew who everyone's identity was. They knew Terry as Terry Chrysler and The Crick. His parents hadn't even told anyone on either side of the family, they simply...knew. But other people didn't. After everything with Pscylone and the media all likely manipulated by Miss Fukao, heroes were frowned upon and most of the others had gone into hiding, been arrested, or fled the city. The Crick hadn't been too surprised, honestly. But when people turned on him he was..scared and confused. He felt selfish thinking he had more public "pull" then other heroes, but he'd worked hard to be good to people. Because that's what heroes do and that's what people should do. Do good.
But as he stood there, he finally understood. None of the disabled kids at that charity knew he was disabled. None of his acquaintances knew why he was gone for so long and never got enough time to know him. None of the heroes truyly knew he wasn't a robot, or a half-cricket, half-man hybrid. They knew he was one of them but they didn't know. You can trust anyone who has earned your trust. Up until Psyclone, The Crick had known that and lived that. But if people aren't sure anymore, then they just can't. they can't trust a mask. They can't forgive a mask.
But they can forgive a person. Maybe not all of them. But enough.
The Crick quickly took off his helmet before he had a moment to reconsider. He looked around the faces in the room. The young brown skinned man in front of them took a few breaths. He'd been running around so much as The Crick he hadn't had time to cut or wash his hair, so it was curly and slightly unkempt. Aside from that, his helmets AC had kept him from looking like a sweaty mess. He grinned slightly and he inhaled deeply.
"Probably not as dramatic since Judge Rolls here already took of his mask," The Crick joked, trying to ignore the screaming in his head. "But despite how things look, we're not here for drama. We're here for justice. And I genuinely believe part of you fine officers are too. I've been working with an Officer Wilson Wilkins, his own investigation team, and even Detective X himself to gather information on what's been going on in this city. And I believe...no, I know, that the massive amount of information acquired by the late Theodore Loveless will tie our information together and complete our investigations. So even if you don't want to take the words of A LITERAL MURDER VICTIM seriously, then we'll just have to do things the good ole fashioned way."
He looked at Miss Fukao.
"You're not gonna get what you want. You're just not. We have everything we need to throw you away. Including the man you helped kill. You can manipulate my suit, but you can't manipulate the truth. And I dare you to try something as bold as that in court. Please. Make my day. I'm here for the truth. And I'm here to help."
He looked back up at the police in their new gear.
"My name is Terry Chrysler. I've been shot at, stabbed, crushed, and nearly set ablaze by every wannabe pyrokinetic in our lovely city. All for the sake of Neutropolis. And I'd gladly do it a thousand times over. Testifying to that in court, all I know and have done to take a crazy corporate super villain down, who has ruined and taken the lives of people all around throughout Necropolis? That's the easiest choice I've had to make in awhile. And...and I think we have actual probable cause."
The Crick said, as his mind cleared and his hearing opened up.
"Whatever the hell that noise is downstairs."
As Judge Rolls revealed himself and spoke, some of the police faltered. Of course they recognized the man and his reputation. A few who had worked with him before - and knew of his past - even seemed to have a flash of understanding as they recognized how the Specter must have been formed. If Judge Rolls - an incorruptible man of the law - was trying to arrest Mina, than they knew the pair at least had a good reason. A few lowered their weapons, unable to arrest that kind of symbol of the law they believed in. For most of them however, this was simply a matter of stopping an altercation between two heroes and an innocent, law-abiding citizen. As such, many kept their weapons raised; merely trying to stop the fighting as was their job and the law. The implication he presented that they were somehow corrupt strengthened their resolve.
The Crick's speech moved them more, cutting away the edge of Specter's speech. A handful more lowered their weapons. However, it was the Unicorn's speech that really changed things. Not with the police, but with Mina.
With Karen's words, Mina's face finally cracked. Pure rage appeared on her face as images of the old days flashed through her mind. Of all the times they had stood together. Of the good times when they finally defeated the "big bad". Of Karen leaving to save more. Of her so-called-friends falling apart. Of Karen's words back then about "teaming up and saving more". And now, here she was, after abandoning them all to her little holy world far away, talking of how it was she who was betrayed. Why couldn't Karen see; this was HOW they'd all save the world together just like she wanted so long ago?
Mina was 110% done. If they couldn't see what needed to be done, than so be it.
With a touch of her want, her magic was dismissed. Her superhuman form vanished. A second later, she touched it again to re-summon her power; this time all of it. Not her magic, but the fruits of her labor. Her suit and her arsenal. From there it was a simple matter to stand up. The Specter's telekinesis was strong, but her suit was strong too. Standing, Mina smiled.
"Oh Karen; you know damned well Theodore isn't coming back to this world; ghost or no ghost. Soul's we purify don't get to come back. Still, it'd be best if you hurry over before your new friends share his fate; though I suppose that is your MO."
And with that, she unleashed a blast of flames from her wand; out to all in the room but especially the nearest target; Specter. It was time to collapse this little Schrodinger's Cat reject from alive and dead to just plain old ordinary dead. After all, it was the entire purpose of her powers to cleanse undead like him from this earth.
Terry looked between the officers, his helmet held at his side, and most of their guns now held at their sides. They were listening. They wanted to understand. The officers could see it: Something about this was very very wrong. And to Terry, the fact they noticed that was the most right thing he'd seen all year. But then one of the officers looked past Terry, and so, once again, the Crick turned around to see something very very wrong.
"Oh Karen; you know damned well Theodore isn't coming back to this world; ghost or no ghost. Soul's we purify don't get to come back. Still, it'd be best if you hurry over before your new friends share his fate; though I suppose that is your MO."
Terry only had a moment recognize the suit and the faint glow emanating from Mina Fukao's wand, before he leapt to towards the ceiling as the room was engulfed in flame. He watched the officers stumble, their new suits doing little to stop the flame. The Crick couldn't make out the Specter through the madness. The officers were attempting to pull back but Mina wasn't going to give them an inch.
"You aren't killing any more innocents!" He set his fiddlers to a low wave sound with heavy bass. 2 dozen sets deployed and flew past Mina, attempting to put out the fires using a combination of sound and small on-board fire suppressors The Crick hadn't finished fully testing. He even had a few of the fiddlers slam into the buildings sprinklers to try and trigger them. He spent his fiddler reserves but he needed to give the officers an opening. They had to live. They just had to.
"Demand: Send 'Jiminy' to current location!" The Crick yelled into his suits computer as it transmitted to his bases computer. "Unicorn we need back up now now now!"
He let out a guteral groan, stared down at Mina Fukao, and plopped his helmet back on his head. He equipped his stun batons, readied his microwave emiters, called back a small cluster of fiddlers, and revved up the jump jets on the back of his suit. He even had his on-board fire extinguisher at the ready. He tensed his stomach and his core. He felt his thigh muscles tightening. Everything below that was metal and carbon fiber, but the mechanical legs groaned slightly as they felt the full amount of force being applied to them He jumped away from the ceiling and plummeted towards Mina Fukao at full speed.
"Fuck your overblown company, fuck your magical bullshit, and fuck you!" He said with every fiber of his being.
From within the base, 'Jiminy' the heavy armor suit The Crick had used to beat Psyclone into submission rocketed out of the base and towards the building. Unicorn and Rias felt the structure shake from the launch.
Frederick listened to Unicorn and Crick plead their cases alongside him, Unicorn talking directly to Mina -so they were friends, huh- while Crick spoke to the police officers. All in all, it seemed effective, Crick's friendly way more so than Frederick's annoyed one. Unicorn managed to really unsettle Mina though, and it seemed like the woman
"Oh Karen; you know damned well Theodore isn't coming back to this world; ghost or no ghost. Soul's we purify don't get to come back. Still, it'd be best if you hurry over before your new friends share his fate; though I suppose that is your MO."
Is that true? Because Oakfield talked to him, right?
Yes, he was sure, he had felt the other's presence. Which meant that if they were going to talk to Theodore, he'd have to make some sort of deal with Gabriel. Of course, he didn't get a lot of time to think about it, as suddenly a blast of fire came his way. His first instinct was to make it go through him, but since he'd not left his body behind, the fire would hurt him. That was why he went down through the floor, into safety. It gave him a moment to think, and a choice.
Do I go for her, or try to gather the police officers?
Honestly, he knew he couldn't do much against her, he was a ghost, and his powers were better used further away. Besides, he thought the officers might need a little pep talk just about now, whether it was about them leaving, or about them getting the point. Moving over to spot where they would be standing, he went back up, hoping the fire hadn't gotten that far.
"I hope you guys are equipped to deal with this," he started, speaking aloud as he flew up amongst the officers. "Because this should be clear by now, she's not some helpless citizen, and she's ready to kill all of us. Either help us or get to safety. Just know that I'll gladly surrender if you just, you know, arrest her first."
Mina scowled. For at least the moment, she had driven The Specter from the battle which was good, but the Crick was almost certainly going to become a real threat very soon if his talk about "Jiminy" meant what she thought it might. The Unicorn was also likely on her way and the Specter wouldn't be gone for long. The police would also be interfering at some point at this rate.
For the moment, the best option was to strike them down one by one. To do that unfortunately, she needed a change of the battlefield. Fortunately, she had everything she needed to do just that. As for the first target... well, The Crick had just offered himself up. With a smirk, she called up another spell; an explosion. However, rather than aiming the blast at The Crick or The Specter, she aimed the blast down to take out the floor.
To be more specific, several floors. Just enough to carve her way to a certain scientist and his very expensive and very useful little experiment into dimensional rifts. It would make a fine club.
Ms.Fukao's transformation had shocked and surprise them. No wait. The transformation surprised them. Them flames on the other hand shocked them. But most of all they realized something.
They were grade A idiots. The stood there as the flames whipped around them and The The Crick's gizmos did their best to to help hold them back.
It took the Specter-er, Judge Rolls addressed them, to get the rest of the officers organized.
"Because this should be clear by now, she's not some helpless citizen, and she's ready to kill all of us. Either help us or get to safety. Just know that I'll gladly surrender if you just, you know, arrest her first."
They watched as The Crick dived towards Mina, all his gear at the ready.
The officer was out of breath, the heat surrounding them, and he had to focus. His speech came out but fell apart near the end of his sentence.
"With all due respect I think today we're be better suited paperwor-" The world exploded. Or more accurately the floor beneath them did. And that office, Officer Jefferson, on the force for 6 years, happily married with 2 kids, a boy and a girl, and a cat named Tyco, had a horrific thought as he fell .
My last words involved paperwork.
The Crick watched his view of Miss Fukao scramble in the explosion and found himself now fall downwards and backwards. He flipped and stared straight down. He watched as the floors fell in on themselves. Watched whoever was unlucky enough to be on those floors fell with the debris. But he could heard the churning debris as it seemingly...vaporized? As it hit whatever was below.
The Crick's brain was working on overdrive. He knew he could leap across the debris and save himself. Maybe at the expense of a rough landing.
He finally looked around at the tumbling figures and he knew.
He couldn't save the officers.
The bird and the bug
The two of them rushed up the stairs at blistering speed. She was slightly ahead of him, she had more control on her feet than he
did in the air. He heard the sound of the falling rubble alongside the sound that had guided him.
"Door on the le-!"The He yelled as she darted to the
They burst through the door and pushed past the men and women in lab coats.
She took note as she dashed by them. They stared in mild confusion and panic as the debris above them began to fall onto and INTO whatever the tiny dot of white light was in the center of the room. No matter, she made her way to the stream of debris, not hesitating because she knew he was behind her. She pumped her legs harder and harder.
He took note of the equipment as he flew by, a whizz and a hum guiding him along. These had produced the frequency that had pierced his ears, a frequency so high even the Crick hadn't heard the machine powering up until it was fully operating, whatever it was. He watched as the debris fell into the the small white spec of light that resided at the center of the machine, noted the other sections of the ceilings, and steeled himself. He didn't hesitate as he through himself forward, towards ground, and landed, doing a perfect rockstar slide he hadn't done since he was at least 22.
He leaned back and in hailed. He didn't hesitate for a second. He knew she was in front of him. That's where she wanted to be.
The end of his purple overcoat flapped wildly behind him as a loud, cascading echo filled the air. The green and orange figure had leapt upwards and was propelled by the soundwave below her.The sound also held the debris in the air, human and rubble alike. She maintained her momentum and speed, leaping across the hanging debris, grabbing officers and give them superhuman pushes over to the areas of the floors that hadn't collapsed. She kept moving, and dashed past him, grabbing and pushing officer and office employee alike.
The Crick stared at her in disbelief.
"M-Mom?!?" He yelled out. She didn't stop moving for a second.
"Boy listen, my knees hurt and I haven't had to move this fast in a long time." She said, still navigating the rubble with seemingly no effort. "So keep moving and cover me, I'm not sure how much longer your father can keep this up."
The Magnificent Mockingjay and the Daring Dashhopper were on the scene.
Karen didn't hear Crick asking for her for her get there ASAP, she was already already heading back out and up after Mina's threat, leaving Rias to just sit there.
Rias wasn't really that upset about it, but as Karen left, she could hear some of what was going on of the coms Crick had left open, presumably assuming Karen was still there.
As Karen hit the surface and took flight she couldn't help but wonder what happened to Mina to make her do things like hiring murders and lunatics to hurt people to further her ends. Was it before she 'died' or after, or was it when every one else abandoned her.
Ether way she figured the rest of the team abandoning her probably had a large part to play in this, maybe even her taking off to go do the 'hero' thing alone did to. Ether way, Mina was her friend, she needed to be there to stop her.
"Ooooooooooh boy. Oh boy. Oooh man," The Mockingjay thought as he held the note that held a series of debris and civilians suspended in mid air. He could feel his vocal cords straining as he project his voice towards the debris, the ground beneath him shouldering and cracking slightly.Even with the at the frequency he was emitting, he still had to pump an immense amount of force into the sound itself.
He drew extra sound from the area around him, pointed it upward, and had it match the note he was making. A cold line of sweat rolled down his face. A trick that made things only slightly easier on his pipes, but every little bit helped.
He could control sound completely and fully, but he always needed a sound to work with. Theoretically, a clap or sounds in the area around him could suffice for certain needs. But he needed to be quick on his feet and the best tool he had at the ready was his voice. Having hollow bones made it easier for him to lift carry himself through the air on soundwaves. They didn't help him hold up the upper floors of a what was essentially a skyscraper. And that's when it hit him
"I've never had to do something like this before"
He'd taken down doomsday machines and buildings with with a single shout, and he'd had to catch plenty of people, even deflect debris. But he'd never had to this!
"Wait, the 'Rat Raid of 74'" He remembered, yes. "The Raticator used his armies of giant mutated rates to pull an assault on a series of high rise apartments and lofts belonging to wealthy bachelors. I'd been late to the scene, I'd really only just gotten a hang of flying and didn't account for the winds around the city. I finally got a hang of it, and circled the building, watching as people panicked, rats filling every floor. It was still their 'early days' as a team. Vivian Vine was using the buildings plants to lure them with food and pheromones or just wrap them up.
Detective X just sorta grabbed whatever was on-hand and swatted them away before disappearing. I think he decided to flood some of the toilets and sinks to drown them out. And then Dashhopper, Dash, had somehow ended up...slipping. I couldn't believe it. I had been trying to figure out whether or not I should just break a window and fly in and...she'd come tumbling through a window, falling rapidly towards the ground. Must have been hard to find traction when the floors were covered in rodents.
And then something in my brain just clicked. I let myself fall towards the Earth and then snapped my fingers, catching the sound, enhancing it, and turning it into pure thrusting force. I flew past her, realizing I couldn't simply slow down and catch her without hurting her and myself.
I created a pillow of sound to land myself and looked around at the civilians, reporters, and police huddled near the base of the building. The glass panes fell ahead of Dashhopper and I thought near light speed. I could catch her and shield myself from the falling glass, but not everyone around me. I could crush the glass with a note and hold it in the air, but Dash would simply fall through a cloud of dust and class. I glanced back and forth and weighed those two options for a nanosecond before choosing the option all decent heroes choose: the third. I don't know how but I found it, the range of notes I had to hold to simply stop everything. She adapted quickly, pushing herself off larger panes of glass and dashing back up the building. The cops moved the civilians back and he dropped the glass. I flew up, joined the fight, and found a frequency that imitated the one The Raticator used on his pets.
After that day, I never hesitated to act. Ever.
I later met up with Dashhopper. We'd met a few times before but only during one crisis or another, never having time to chat. I asked her what she thought of my work. She looked at me and smiled a smile I couldn't help but fall in love with. Her voice was genuinely the most beautiful sound I'd ever heard. I woke myself up later that night, involuntarily projecting the words she had said to me. She had simply said I was...
He came back, and found himself surrounded by strange men in lab coats, a single dot of light in front of him, and at least 2 or 3 floors worth of debris above him. Jason Chryslerinian. Jay Chrysler. Mockingjay. He was a 50-something year old Caucasian male with graying hair, as well as a minor, firm yet noticeable "dad gut". He was nowhere near as young as he used to be. This was the same as before...
But he had a wife, a daring and beautiful women he sometimes still thought was far too good for him. And together they had two capable, amazing sons. One of them was above him, facing an insane threat. His wife was with their son, trying to save everyone around them.
He got up from his knees, his joints cracking, the floor buckled beneath him, and yet he stood proud. He didn't know if he truly could do this forever, but he would if he had to. And he'd enjoy every minute of it.
"Okay old bird, lets be magnificent"
A good chunk of the officers had been saved by Dashhopper, some were helping others in the officers or trying to give Crick suppressing fire against Mina Fukao. But one of them, Jefferson, had immediately sprinted to the lower floors when he realized he was dead. He looked around at the scientist who had pulled back, trying to maintain the equipment. The officer stared at the Mockingjay in awe, before noticing the single white point in the air. He looked around and quickly grabbed an older German-looking man. It didn't take much to see that he was the head of these scientist.
"Alright I don't know what the hell that is, but given what just happened upstairs with Miss Fukao, I don't think I like it. Shut it down now!" He said, loudly and firmly to Dr. Schwertner.
It seemed Mina had scared them. For as much as they had wanted to stay in Specter and Crick's way, Mina acting up suddenly had them scared.
It must be because we're heroes. They may say we're dangerous, but they trust those of us who have protected them in the past, they trust us not to harm them.
Right now, he wished it had worked the other way around.
"With all due respect, I think today we're be better suited paperwor-"
Just as the man spoke, the floor gave in. Or rather, it got utterly destroyed. The policemen tried to head for the door, to get somewhere the floor hadn't gotten destroyed, but it didn't seem like it would go well. Frederick's mind went blank as he felt like panicking. Would they all just die? What could he do? He couldn't keep the floor up, it was too late now, and there was so many people, and his control was... it was... well, it was better than anything. If he couldn't keep people from falling, then he could at least keep the remainder of the debris from burying them. It felt like he had taken forever to decide, yet barely a second had passed. He heard something in Crick's comm as he passed the youth, and the news were surprising.
"So keep moving and cover me, I'm not sure how much longer your father can keep this up."
"I'll help out," Specter said as he passed Crick, heading down. In his mind swirled questions about why exactly Crick's parents were there, but he decided not to think about it, it was better for him to just stop thinking right now. Acting on instinct. A soundwave seemed to be the only thing keeping the debris up, it certainly wasn't telekinesis like his were. It took a lot of work for him to control his own abilities, but when it was debris, and not people. His powers paired with the others almost propelled them back up, but he started concentrating on it, and soon it seemed to stabilise.
"You can let go if you want to," he told the man in purple -a decent color in Frederick's opinion- as he kept it up. "I can keep it up. Or... perhaps, I could crush it, make it smaller." He shook his head. "No, no, I'll just keep it up for now. Go do whatever you guys need to do."
He could feel his eyes watering slightly as he pumped the sound against the debris, but a moment later he felt the load lighten itself as if a giant invisible hand was helping him holding in a place. A second later, the Specter descended towards him.
"You can let go if you want to. Or... perhaps, I could crush it, make it smaller." The Specter shook his head. "No, no, I'll just keep it up for now. Go do whatever you guys need to do."
Mockingjay let go and inhaled deeply. He let out a controlled a breath and looked over the Specter. Mockingjay had heard the sound from this machine, the sound of his son's voice, and had gotten a call of from a 'Richard Xavier'-known to few as Oliver Bass-known to even fewer as Detective X. He knew something complicated was happening around him, his son, and the heroes of this city. Enough to warrant getting back in costume. But he still had questions.
Questions he knew he could ask later. No time to hesitate. He looked at the Specter.
"Sharp thinking 'Phantom'. Once we have the civilians cleared out, see if you can blast that debris back up into the floor it came from and I'll see what I can do." He held his arm out, snapped his fingers next to the Specter's head and nodded.
"Consider this a two-way radio."
A thick yet soft whompwhompwhomp could be heard as Mockingjay lifted himself with soundwaves. It turned into a continuous hum as he rocketed upwards and towards the upper floors.
When Karen finally arrived on the scene she found it to be fairly chaotic. The building was partially crumbling, with some one, probably Specter keeping it from totally caving in, fortunately this also gave her a way in near the action since things breaking inside also broke a few windows.
So that's just what Karen did, she flew in through one of the holes in the side of the building, hit the floor, and darted up though the debris field where she saw Crick, and Dash Hopper?! plucking armored officers from the suspended rubble, she also past Mocking Jay on the way up. "Aren't you two getting a little old for this?" Karen snarked, giving the pair a wink and small salute as she passed, interestingly, while Karen's horn and wings where still visible, her armor was gone, and she was, for the moment at least, in her street clothes.
Karen didn't stop though, if 'Dashie' and 'MJ' where here there was no need to, joking a side she held little doubt they where still more then fit to handle a rescue operation. "MINA!" Karen shouted as she cleared the hole and came face to face with her old friend. "I'm sorry for not being around to stop you from going this far off the edge, but as your oldest friend, I will stop you, not for the city, or the world, but for your own good. Like I said early, I've seen that data, the crimes you've committed, and the good you've done." Karen said, making emphasis of that, in Karen's mind, she hadn't abandoned her like the rest of the team had. "I will not see one of the few who actually took it upon them selves to attack the sources of the problems we deal with, some one who as a child stood against that which grown men would flee from go out as just another 'villain', so I'm going to stop you, and I'm going to help you get back on the right track." Karen said, as light formed in her hand and on her arm, that then solidified into a pair physical objects, like her armor does, a long sword and buckler shield with a whip on the end that ended in a spike at the tip, similar to what she had as 'Leviathan', though slightly different in a few design details. Weapons in hand she lunged at her friend with every intent of 'saving her' from the dark path she'd some how ended up on.
Mina entered the collapsing lab where Dr. Schwertner was working on his gate. The scientists and engineers were running about trying to save themselves or their equipment. No doubt Dr. Schwertner was among them, but she didn't really have the time to deal with the project lead. She just needed his work.
She didn't really know how the thing worked, but she knew enough about what it was made of from the expense reports to know it was the most dence, energy rich thing in the building. Therefore; on or off, it would make a very painful bludgeon. As she made it to the device however, she was interrupted.
"MINA!" Unicorn/Leviathan/Karen yelled. "I'm sorry for not being around to stop you from going this far off the edge, but as your oldest friend, I will stop you, not for the city, or the world, but for your own good. Like I said early, I've seen that data, the crimes you've committed, and the good you've done." she said. As she did, Mina took the opportunity to summon her own powers; specifically her wand in one hand and the ice gun in the other.
"I will not see one of the few who actually took it upon them selves to attack the sources of the problems we deal with, some one who as a child stood against that which grown men would flee from go out as just another 'villain', so I'm going to stop you, and I'm going to help you get back on the right track." she finished, drawing her weapons.
Mina snarled. "So now you've arrived to teach me the error of my ways? Pitiful. You - the one who abandoned this world for years - have no right to judge anyone Karen. I've only done what was necessary. Because, while you've been learning powers in some distant paradise, I've learned the truth of this world; that there's not enough love or kindness or money in the world to stop all the evil. Only an absolute, unassailable, system of power can do what is needed. And if a little suffering is the cost to end it forever, than so be it. This was to be the answer; a place where those born, given, earned, or otherwise gained power can have a chance to do good regardless of their circumstances. It was to dis-incentivize evil, empower good, and deal with what evil remained. But so be it. If you cannot accept it by choice, than you shall by force."
With that Mina fired a blast of ice across the room directly at Karen; holding her wand in reserve to defend herself as needed with her force barrier spell.
"I abandoned nothing!!" Karen snapped back, stopping to swinging her sword and split the ice blast in two with her Golden Crescent attack "I didn't know time flowed differently there till I got back here, besides, It's not I don't know all that already, while you where busy building your 'ivory tower' I was still fighting in the trenches, remember?! I confronted that evil head on seen time and again how corrupt the system is, experienced first hand just how fickle the people really are." Karen said, as she moved in to pull Mina away from the device she was after was, resuming her charge and driving her blade, now glowing with her power, into Mina's barrier to distract her from the device by effectively trying to force her way through it.
"Ether way, those are the words of some one who's been doing this to long, you've become so blinded by what you can't change, you've lost sight of what you can. When was the last time you took the time to just 'be Mina'? Or have you spent this whole time trying to fix the worlds problems." Karen questioned while still trying to break through the barrier.
The Crick and the family
The Crick and Dash-Hopper grabbed the last of the civilians and ushered them off the fractured floors. The two of them found the remnants of a ledge and sat against it, catching their breath. A few moments later, a hum rose towards them, and Mockingjay grabbed a few pieces of rebar jutting out of the wall. He hung from them like he was leaning on a ladder.
They all looked out as Unicorn and Mina Fukao raged against each other.
"I may be an older woman, but I'm an 'abnormally strong' older woman. But this is her fight, we should stay out of it." The Crick's mother said, watching the flow of the fight and biting her lip.
"No time to wait, we weren't there for her all those years ago but we can be there for her now." His father said through gritted teeth.
"Regardless of what we do, I'd like to feel a bit more durable so close to this fight."
The Crick looked up as a large mechanical figure burst through the ceiling. "Jiminy" had arrived. The suit crashed into a corner of the wall opposite them. The Crick clamored over to it, climbed into it and pulled himself out of the wall. He clamored back over, the heavy suit leaving craters in the wall as he clawed his way back over to his parents. Dash-Hopper watched as the gears turned in Mockingjay's head.
"What are you thinkin' Jay?"
"Right now your friend, The Phantom, is holding up all that debris. I told him to be blast the debris back into the room once we had the civilians out. I left myself a 'line' to him, so I could tell him when..."
"He goes by 'The Specter' but I see what you're getting at...if we can pull this off, we can throw Fukao off balance enough for Unicorn to get an opening. I'll try and get behind Ms.Fukao. Mom, dad you-"
The two of them were already off. Dash-Hopper pumped her legs,flanked Mina, and began kicking whatever debris she could find towards Mina Fukao. She wanted to stay out of the direct fight but couldn't stand leaving Karen on her own. Dash-Hopper, Sarah Chrysler, knew she had to help her friend and owed Karen a cook dinner at her place once this was all over. Mockingjay went high, flying directly above Mina with a constant hum. As he positioned himself, he spoke directly to the Specter through his 'line'. The Sepcter was two floors below them but heard Mockingjay's voice as if it was right next to him.
"Phant-er, Specter, get ready to blast the debris back into the room. I'll say when."
He focused on Ms.Fukao. He wanted to annoy her, but not get in Karen's way, at least for now. "Okay...how'd this go again. Inhale. Count to 3. Reach crescendo. Think of rainy afternoons alone." He wasn't going for concussive force. And he wasn't going for 'continuous' earsplitting noise. He was going for something else. Something tough. Infrasound.
HHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmm- The sound started high but fizzled out. It went unnoticed by normal ears.. But it was still there. Hopefully that barrier wasn't sound proof. And hopefully even with that fancy suit, Ms.Fukao could still suffer dizziness and nausea.
The Crick flanked quickly and waited for his moment.
"It's not luxury, but it's something. Do you want something to drink, by the way? I'm probably going to get some soda personally, since I've had a bit to drink already. You can have a can too, I only have coke though. That or milk, orange juice, or, well, I do have some ale if you want it. All the way from Scotland, even, though you can't drink too many of those. I've heard alcohol is supposed to be good for calming down,"
There was a long pause before she replied, her thoughts felt slow as she extended her powers into the surroundings once again letting her powers feel their way around the environment before reporting back to her. Still safe. She relaxed somewhat, but reminded herself to keep up her guard.
"Ale huh?" she said "yeah... yeah I could use a drink."
She slumped back into the couch while Sirius brought out the food and drink. It wasn't much but she dug into it voraciously, pausing afterwards to consider the possibility of it being drugged before discarding that as unwarranted paranoia. Sirius seemed to be waiting for her to speak.
"What do you do here all day?" she asked, glancing around "its a big place to have all to yourself."
Tom was only able to sit back and dwell on what had happened for so long. He needed to do something, find Tim and help him. Or maybe help whoever Tim might accost, though he didn't like to consider that possibility. He flicked on the police scanner he kept in his room and was soon made aware of another disaster in the making however.
I've gotta move.
He was out the door and into the street, then as soon as he found space to envelope himself in his goo he was on the rooftops springing across with growing and receding limbs. He sacrificed thickness of armor for speed and reach, and surged along as quick as he could. Just hope I can get there in time to make a difference.
Frederick wasn't too concerned about what was going on above him. Perhaps he should have, but, truth to be told, he was struggling. Holding up the debris was difficult enough, but there was just so many pieces, and it was all too chaotic for him, the pieces threatening to shoot up past the ceiling once he lost his concentration for a single moment. He knew that he was the only one keeping it up now, which meant he had to concentrate even harder on it.
"Phant-er, Specter, get ready to blast the debris back into the room. I'll say when."
He was a bit startled when he heard the voice right next to him, and the debris vibrated for the brief moment it took for him to regain control.
"Got it," he said, though he wondered if the other could hear him. Regardless, he closed his eyes again. He had to keep his powers calm, and from experience he knew it'd just get more and more difficult the more he had to wait.
Tim had been quiet when Moore spoke, barely paying attention as he finished his burger and soda. It was a somewhat expensive restaurant, but Tim had insisted on getting the burger as opposed to something a bit more fancy. At first he hadn't touched the food -his appetite wasn't too great after having killed a cop, after all- but Christian Moore had insisted, and eventually Tim had given into extreme hunger that followed after using his powers. The other kept talking as Tim ate, but he couldn't actually pay attention, every time he tried to get his attention back on track, it jumped right back to the dying cop, to Tom's expression and words, to his worries.
"Do you follow, Tim?" Tim gave him a brief nod, and kept on ignoring Christian, staring out the window. Something was going on, something big, yet he couldn't bring himself to care.
I'm really just a murderer, am I not?
He still couldn't decide what to do, wallow in self-pity or try to convince himself this meant he was actually some sort of main character in some play.
If so it has to be some sort of tragedy.
"Tim? Hello, is there anyone there? I mean, god, I knew your mind was a bit empty, but you're really out of it, aren't you?"
"Shut up," Tim replied, eyes not leaving the window. "I don't care about what you have to say. Just leave, or whatever." The other wrinkled his nose and sighed.
"I didn't want to do this Tim, but you leave me no choice." Christian Moore reached forward and grabbed Tim's ear. Tossing a large bill -was that a hundred dollars?- he dragged Tim out of there. People certainly watched, but they looked away once they met Tim's eyes and he growled as he struggled against the older man. "Let go of me, you fucking--- ouch, what the hell?! I--- just stop it you don't get anything!" Once they were outside, Christian Moore let go of his ear, but he still held onto Tim.
"Then tell me, instead of acting like a brat." For a moment, Tim wanted to do so. But he couldn't.
"I'ts not that easy! I-I-I can't. I wouldn't ever be able to... you'd not... I can't tell you. I can't tell anyone." He looked at his feet, why was his feelings conflicting so much? Why was he almost crying again?
I have to remain calm.
"Listen to me, Tim. We're leaving, now. Both of us. And when we get back home, I'm going to tell your mother the truth."
"Th-the t-t-truth?" Tim looked at him with big eyes. "What truth?"
"I've not decided yet. Come on now, you're broke and you're tired, just come with me." Tim followed him and entered the car, Moore closing the door behind him like he did when Tim was a child. Then they drove, away, back home. For now, at least.
"What do you do here all day? Its a big place to have all to yourself."
"You think so?" Sirius asked, and looked around. It was just a flat, though he supposed it might be a bit big for a student. He didn't know for sure, he'd never really been in a student-flat. "Is it really big? Back home me and my dad have a mansion to ourselves, so I'm used to it being bigger..." he trailed off, perhaps it was a bit rude to talk about this with someone who likely didn't have as much money. He finished the coke and decided to have some ale himself. It tasted like home, familiar, a strong taste he'd not quite gotten from the American beer.
"I mostly sketch and paint, honestly," Sirius said after some consideration. "It's like a personal studio for my work. Apart from that, I suppose I watch tv here, sleep, and do some morning and evening exercises. I don't really need a lot of stimulation, and I don't really know anyone here either." He looked at her with an apologetic expression, mostly because he wasn't more exciting than that. "How about you? What do you like doing?"
"I didn't know time flowed differently there till I got back here, besides, It's not I don't know all that already, while you where busy building your 'ivory tower' I was still fighting in the trenches, remember?! I confronted that evil head on seen time and again how corrupt the system is, experienced first hand just how fickle the people really are. Ether way, those are the words of some one who's been doing this to long, you've become so blinded by what you can't change, you've lost sight of what you can. When was the last time you took the time to just 'be Mina'? Or have you spent this whole time trying to fix the worlds problems."
Mina spat. "You confronted evil head on and lost. No amount of superhuman strength and speed an endurance was going to stop the evils of this world; only a systemic change to give everyone a chance to be a hero while empowering good was going to work. If that's the "ivory tower" you dislike so much, than what's your answer? To hide away in some distant plane learning powerful magic so you can die... again. You say I'm blinded by what I can't change; I say you're too weak to do what is needed to make the real changes needed."
As Mina spoke, she reacted to Karen's onslaught by giving ground where needed but always keeping close to the device. Her barrier held firm against the strange magic Karen had acquired, but even Mina knew her magic was too orderly and too well known by Karen for it to really hold up in the long term. Still, she had a plan and that would do. "Yes I've made sacrifices to build my system... and damned straight one of them was my time to make the world a better place. It's what real heroes do or have you forgotten that in your little paradise?"
Mina kept giving ground. She needed to finish Karen quickly now. Clearly The Crick's secret weapon was already up and ready and who knew when the Specter would arrive. Slipping back one final time to just barely within arms reach of the portal, she dropped the barrier spell allowing Karen to close... and launched an explosion at the base of the portal itself to free it. Grabbing hold of it with her enhanced strength, she pivoted and swung the device at Karen. "If you've forgotten it, you should just go back to your little paradise and let the adults deal with the real problems!"
And with a blast of electrical energy from the suit, she turned the device on.
And that was when her world went fuzzy. God damned crickets. Mina tried to right herself but couldn't quite see straight. She'd enhanced her sense through the suit so the nauseating effect was even more awful. With Karen hopefully dealt with for the moment at least, she drew her wand and gun and began blasting at the Cricks... all 9 of them. "Why won't any of you see!"
The Crick only watched in abject horror as Mina somehow hauled the large device and swung it at Karen. The Crick couldn't see what happened to Karen, only that a second later Mina started firing wildly. He saw his mother dodge a couple of shots before seemingly getting hit and spiraling into a pile of rubble. His dad let out a loud screech before a series of blast forced him out of the air.
The Crick had official had enough.
"No!" He yelled as he leapt forward in his heavy armor. He could hear Mina yelling loudly as she fired sporadically.
"Why won't any of you see!"
The Crick came up from behind her in his armor and wrapped his arms around her. His suit's hands then connected and locked together. He leaned in close to Mina Fukao.
"Because the blind aren't exactly good at leading anyone anywhere, Ms.Fukao. Now Dad!"
Mockingjay had landed next to Dash-Hopper, she had been grazed by a shot or two and slammed into rubble. He had gotten singed but had forced himself to stay conscious for her sake. His son's voice brought him back to where he was and what he had to do.
"SPECTER NOW!" He yelled through his "line."
Frederick was sure that beads of ghost-sweat were somehow running down his face, even though he couldn't actually feel anything like that. What he could feel, however was a draining, exhausting attempt to keep everything under control, his head pounding and whole spectral body burning. Why was it always keeping it from becoming too much that made him so tired? Why was his ability to limit it, to control it, to keep it from overflowing and causing a mess, the thing he struggled with?
And now it's even worse.
It had gotten more powerful since he'd come back to his body all wrong, that was certainly true. His ability to use it when still in his body had grown too, to a frightening degree. However, he just couldn't seem to gain ahold of it like he should, it was more difficult now than it had ever been.
Especially in my body.
He felt his control slip further, the debris making waves as he held his head, keeping his eyes closed to try to just... focus, dammit.
"Oh thank god," he said. "I wish you'd said those words sooner," he opened his eyes, and let his powers run loose, pieces of debris flying up towards the others at a frightening speed. He wondered if this was okay, that the others would be able to move out of the way. Or not, depending on what the goal was.
"Ugh, my head is pounding. Should I stop it before it reaches the roof or...?" he asked aloud, hoping the bird-themed hero would take care of it.
Karen just barely missed getting hit by what ever was in the middle of the device, but was tagged with the metal ring part of it and was put through a wall, and with out her armor on it knocked cold.
meanwhile, all the electrical on that floor started to sputter or power down, with a few exceptions like Cricks suit. 'What' was happening wouldn't have been hard to figure out. Hovering out side the window, glowing a bright red, was a very pissed off looking Rias, and once Specter had finished his attack she threw 6 'crystals' into the ruined building, all of which reformed into the Knights she'd created earlier.