Whatever else could be said of Kid Biohack, his reflexes were freakish. I came out of my dive roughly twenty feet behind him, close enough to see the guy he was chasing with my helmet’s composite night vision.
The stride of Kid Biohack’s target was amazing. He was taking twenty feet at a step, and not because of exceptionally long legs. It was all strength. That was how Jaclyn ran. He simply wasn’t as fast. More interesting, Kid Biohack was keeping up the same way.
Everything changed the moment Kid Biohack registered the sound of the rocket pack. He glanced backward and only instants later leapt forward, landing on the other guy, smacking something into the guy’s face, and letting go. Then he twisted and leapt at me.
I’d pressed the setting for a quick landing, so I was an easy target. That setting aimed me upward while lowering the rockets’ force, putting me upright while slowing me enough that I could stay upright if I hit the ground running.
He hit me in the stomach with his shoulder, and tried to grab me, but the force of my momentum knocked him backward and threw me face first toward the ground. In a move that showed years of training was actually worth something, I converted my unintentional dive into a roll that brought me up to my feet and facing Kid Biohack.
Cool as that may have been, Kid Biohack had used the same space in time to roll backwards to his feet in time to step sideways, twist, and flank me.
Before I could move to either avoid him or use my arms to block, he’d blurred, punching me in my side, the punch throwing me into a car. It was a seriously old and rusty Lincoln Town car. The window shattered while the metal of the door dented.
I felt it and wished I had the pods ready for their real purpose.
I wasn’t hurt, but the stealth suit was sending out alerts as it repaired itself. Unfortunately, it had considerably less material to work with than the regular Rocket suit did.
I needed to end this fight quickly or I’d lose it.
Fortunately, Vaughn appeared to have come to the same realization. He rained lightning down on the road where Kid Biohack stood. I say the road because that’s mostly what he hit. Shattered bits of asphalt flew everywhere, some of them hitting my armor, but not doing any damage.
A sizable chunk crashed through the window of a late model Mustang. Another hit Kid Biohack in the back even as he made an amazing leap over that Mustang to avoid the lightning.
The stone ripped his costume, but he didn’t seem to notice it. He landed on the other side of the car, turning around, picking up the car, and throwing it at Vaughn.
I felt my jaw drop. He was working with much more strength than I’d realized.
Worse, with one leap, he’d closed the distance between the two of us again, leaping over a car to face me in the street.
I opened up on him with the sonics, keeping the focus of the weapons on him, and hoping that by the time their area of effect widened they’d be too weak to damage anything else.
That hurt him, and he went down to his knees. Behind me, something thumped the ground amid the sound of wind. I assumed that Vaughn had put down the car. The 360-degree view from my helmet’s HUD confirmed that.
Turning on the suit’s PA, I shouted for him to, “Stand down! We don’t want to fight you. We’re the Heroes’ League!”
From either side of me, people cheered. They looked through windows, peered around the corners of houses and from behind bushes and trees. It shouldn’t have been a surprise either. I’d seen the parties from above before I’d flew down to street level.
Kid Biohack didn’t say anything, just set his jaw and ran at me, either not caring what I’d said or deaf from the sonics. I could understand not recognizing me. The stealth suit was currently all black. It surprised me that he hadn’t recognized Vaughn though. Famous, or infamous because of his grandfather, Vaughn was anything but anonymous.
The lightning bolts had to be a big clue.
It wasn’t one Kid Biohack chose to recognize, though and closed the distance between us before Vaughn could get off a shot. His punches sent me sliding backwards down the street as I tried to get my head together enough to come up with a next step.
My distractions weren’t cured by Travis, Haley’s and Camille’s accounts going green in my HUD, meaning that they’d popped on their own brand new ceramic suits.
I got my wits about me enough to try to throw him, and did manage to get my arm on his and began to redirect his momentum toward the ground, but he was too fast. I didn’t get a good grip.
As I let go, he moved past me, stumbling, but not falling. He turned before I could aim the sonics, pulling back his fist to deliver a punch.
He didn’t get a chance to deliver that punch. A huge arm appeared out of the darkness, grabbing Kid Biohack’s arm. It wasn’t just any arm either. It was muscular and ended in a grayish hand with long, white claws.
Another arm appeared along with it, this one grabbing Kid Biohack’s throat, and lifting him in the air. Covered in a grey costume that had a wolf’s head on its chest, Travis, the second Night Wolf, and Haley’s older brother, stood next to me.
I hadn’t given much thought to how much more intimidating Haley’s powers were when the owner was nearly seven feet tall and built like a football player.
I, for one, was intimidated at that moment, and so was Kid Biohack. His feet were nearly a foot off the ground by then, and something liquid was dripping off one of them.
He had my sympathies. In a similar situation, I might have pissed myself too.