Calvin flew toward us in the air in a leap that had to be getting extra force from the wind behind him, and he wasn’t alone.
Cindy and Paula jumped after him.
It didn’t work out as well as any of them would have expected.
A beam of iridescent light hit Calvin in the air, surrounding him with sparkles that kept on glowing as he flew toward us.
Cindy and Paula’s leaps didn’t allow them to close the distance between either. Wind blew them sideways. People along that side of the athletic field scattered.
I didn’t have time to follow what happened to them. I’d been trying to aim at Gifford. If I’d been fast enough, I might have shot him before he’d broken Daniel’s hold on the group’s heavies.
As I’d aimed at him, the suit felt surprisingly heavy, and I realized that I was being pulled toward the ground despite the Rocket suit’s strength. I struggled to recover my balance, but as I found it, and tried to target Gifford despite my suddenly heavy body, I heard Daniel’s voice in my head.
Nick, turn left, and fire… Now.
I did, realizing only after I’d fired that the blur passing on my left had slowed, resolving into a person–Sofia, their speedster. At almost the same time I realized what had happened.
I’d fired the paintbot with the exact right timing to have her pass me, and ignore the paintbot, not realizing that unlike normal bullets, my bots turned corners.
However quickly she ran, it accelerated fast enough to hit her, exploding in a pinkish red splotch across her back.
Knowing she was out of the fight, I checked the field for opponents. Calvin had hit the ground, and was standing in the middle of the field, still glowing.
Paula, her hair flying everywhere, and Cindy, who had pulled her body into a ball, were both still in the air. Blown unpredictably around in the air as if the winds couldn’t decide which direction to go, neither of them looked particularly happy.
As I scanned the air for Gifford, the same beam that had hit Calvin hit Paula. Ignoring it, I found Gifford hovering high above the field with a sour expression on his face.
Below him, Jaclyn stood next to Keon’s armor. She’d run through whatever heaviness we’d experienced and tapped him, knocking him out of the fight.
As I aimed at Gifford, she pulled a grenade off her belt. I fired off more paintbots at about the same time she threw the grenade.
I couldn’t say for sure who fired first because I was only aware of her out of the corner of my eye.
Wind whirled around Gifford with enough strength that it probably offered real protection against normal bullets. My paintbots went along with the air currents, turning inward until they hit.
Jaclyn’s grenade simply powered through and exploded.
Our utility belts held several different grenades, and she’d used the new one–the one that exploded into sticky goo. Tactically it wasn’t a great choice for hitting a flyer that wasn’t near other people or buildings, but it was a great choice for proving that you could hit someone.
For example, she could have killed him with a rock, but this merely exploded into sticky grey strands that covered his legs and chest.
Gunther spoke into his communicator, and our comms said, “It’s over. Everyone to the bleachers.”
It had taken less than a minute.
After Jaclyn sprayed the strands and they dissolved, everyone sat in the bleachers. Gunther waved us over too.
It wasn’t bad. It felt good to sit, and bleachers were one of the few places I could sit that weren’t uncomfortable because the rocket pack got in the way.
Gunther stood in front of the bleachers. “So, what did you get out of that?”
A first year girl raised her hand. “Don’t fight the Heroes League.”
Gunther flashed a grin at her. “Not bad, but go a little deeper. Why don’t you want to fight the Heroes League? And don’t answer, let someone else get a turn.”
Gifford raised his hand, and Gunther nodded. “It wasn’t fair at all. They’ve been doing this longer, and they’ve got all kinds of stuff. You matched it up with powers, but we weren’t facing powers. We were facing powers plus stuff.”
Gunther laughed. “Exactly. It’s not supposed to be fair. They’ve been training with me for two years now. They made a few mistakes, but basically they did the right thing when fighting you. They had the means to take you out from a distance, and they used it. Closing in to fight with those three,” he aimed his finger at Calvin, Paula and Cindy, “is stupid. They’re too hard to damage, so you can’t hurt them. If you manage to hurt them, they regenerate.”
“Nope,” Gunther continued. “It’s not fair at all.”