I glanced over toward the side of the arena, seeing healers I knew (Alex in his longcoat and “chainmail”), costumed healers I didn’t know, and paramedics.
They all watched from behind the force shield–which was sensible.
Out of the corner of my eye, I checked the stands where the politicians were and noticed that more of them were on their phones than I would have expected, and the rest were talking about something.
I had a feeling I knew what, and wondered exactly what they were hearing. The heroes in attendance appeared to be distracted too.
I felt the smallest connection, and Daniel’s voice was in my head, but distinctly fuzzier than normal. They’re getting the first hint that something’s going on–no idea of who’s involved. I guess that the US has people there. I’m not sure of whether they’re supporting the regime or its overthrow. The VIP’s bleachers have buzzers.
Buzzers were slang for the devices that scattered telepathic white noise over an area.
Daniel finished with Good luck. Haley says good luck too.
I barely had time to thank him before the announcer’s voice again blanketed the field. “For our last demonstration of the day, we have a great mixture of legacies and newcomers to the world of superheroes. We have the Rocket, an heir of the Heroes’ League and a founder of the New Heroes League, Bloodmaiden, visiting royalty with a heroic legacy-”
Amy laughed out loud. “I think that’s the first I’ve ever heard it described that positively by someone my family doesn’t own.”
The announcer continued like that for everyone, making it sound like we’d stepped out of legends, and finished with, “All of them veterans of the Hrnnna attack!”
That led to the biggest cheer of all. I wasn’t sure what to think of that.
“Contestants get into positions. The game starts when I say go.”
Tara tapped Amy’s shoulder. “Are you ready?”
Amy eyed her and turned her attention back to the other side of the arena where team one stood in front of their flag. “To cast two spells in rapid succession? Always.”
Tara frowned, but looked past Amy, toward me. “Don’t wait–”
The announcer’s voice interrupted her. “Three!”
Tara’s voice became louder, “–for anything. Go straight toward–”
In a deeper voice, the announcer said, “Two!”
“–them.” Tara said, turning toward Samita and Rod.
I didn’t hear what she said to them, but knowing what they were supposed to do, I could guess.
“Oooonne!” The announcer drew the word out unnecessarily, barely leaving a moment between it and the next word,
As Amy said two words in a deep gutteral tone that seemed deeply wrong to me, I gave the Rocket suit thrust, and shot into the sky, blocking off my view of the world with a dark background, seeing only what the suit’s sonar and radar could put on my HUD.
It wasn’t all bad. It felt like fighting in a black and white movie except that nearby objects were white with gray detail. Farther away objects were gray, but stood out against the inky blackness around them.
Gordon glowed white against the blackness of the sky, flying with his cape outstretched. Below him, Slugger ran toward the flagpole, bounding twenty feet with each step.
Behind them, Sean, Stephanie and Blue Mask stood next to the flagpole.
That was an interesting choice, indicating that they’d decided to move people around too.
Aiming the Rocket suit towad Gordon, I decided to add my own contribution to the chaos. All the teams so far had sent the fastest people toward the flag, ignoring the other groups in the hope that they’d grab the flag and win.
Tara had decided that it was time to change that up.
Gordon realized that I was aiming at him almost instantly, and I felt winds pushing me away. I’d been sparring with Vaughn for years by then though.
I let winds push me to the right, and away from Gordon, but at the same time I could see the wind in my HUD. I twisted, and dove under the strongest part of the blast. As I came up under him, the direction of the wind changed, aiming toward me, making me think of the neck of a dragon.
I fired off a barrage of goobots. With the wind working against them, they didn’t all hit, but there were ten of them. The bots exploded and gooey strands came at him from all directions but above.
They wouldn’t take him out but he’d have a hard time grabbing any flag.