Harvest: Part 11

Out of the corner of my eye, I watched The Thing That Eats in all of its bodies. None of them said anything as they stood by the rock, but they watched it.

I felt certain they had a reason, and said, “How do you want to handle it? Straight out attack or something softer?”

Lying with her armored back to the shingled roof, Amy glanced up toward the roof’s peak. “Do you have an idea?”

I shook my head. “Only that we shouldn’t wait too long, but I’m willing to come up with something if you can think of a reason to go in soft. I mean, if Storm King’s on the vampires, that leaves the two of us against four of them.”

Amy sat up and moved into a crouching position. “Why? Are you nervous?” To judge from her grin, she wasn’t.

Vaughn laughed and got to his feet too.

I got up and crouched next to her, keeping my head below the roof’s peak and out of view. “Not any more than normal. I just like tilting the odds as far in my favor as possible.”

Holding her spear in her right hand, Amy smiled. “Let’s go. I’ve got more than one thousand years of battle experience telling me we don’t have much time.”

I checked my spybots. Between when we’d started talking and that moment, Jillian had begun to glow. OK. Scratch that. She always glowed when she had her powers working, but as I looked the glow had become new and weird.

She’d had a soft red glow around her, matching the one Latoya wore at all times, but as I watched the soft glow grew edges. Still bound to Latoya by the hardened remains of goobots, she’d edged up to the man with the shields—Hank Haseman.

Hank Haseman’s shields were all clear and glowed white if they glowed at all.

When Jillian touched them, clear, triangular shields surrounded her body. The red energy intensified and extended a couple inches from the edges, cutting through the hardened goo around her, freeing her from Latoya.

“Shit,” Vaughn muttered, staring at the comm mounted on his wrist. “Did she just combine two people’s powers?”

“Looks like it,” I said, wondering if that only worked because Latoya, Jillian and Hank were all part of the same creature.

Magic made everything weird.

“Ready?” Amy tapped the roof.

“Ready,” I said, and jumped into the air, angling myself so that the rockets on my back shot me downward. As long as I was at it, I fired off a string of boombots.

It wasn’t as if they could actually hurt any of The Thing’s possessed helpers.

That said, I was careful. I aimed the bots so that they aimed upward when the shaped charge exploded, keeping the main force of the explosions away from the rock.

At the time, I only saw four simultaneous explosions, but the slow motion replay was better. The four of them stood in a semi-circle around the rock, unable to fully surround it because the ward generated out of the other side.

The first bullet hit Latoya Thing on the bottom side of her bulbous head, throwing her upward—which shouldn’t have been a big deal since she could fly, but she was close enough the the edge of the ward that she didn’t get control soon enough to avoid hitting the boundary.

White light exploded from nowhere as she did and The Thing’s toothy mouth screamed.

The second boombot hit Jillian, throwing her into Hank Haseman who’d taken a boombot at almost the same time. Sparks flew from their shields as they collided. Both of their Thing heads stared, eyes wide, jaws wobbling as they bounced away from each other.

Andronicus Thing took the hit better than any of the others, falling backward and getting up almost as soon as he went down.

It was kind of anti-climactic, but it did the job. I needed to get everyone out of Amy’s way and then keep them off her. We’d done exercises a little like this in training even if they weren’t exactly the same. Lee hadn’t ever had us fight people possessed by giant heads, after all.

It didn’t matter though. Amy came in directly behind me or as close to it as she could. Even as Andronicus Thing came back to his feet in full fighting form, Amy landed, spear stabbing him in the gut.

It didn’t penetrate which was unsurprising given that Andronicus was a Cabal veteran, but despite that it did penetrate a little, and Andronicus Thing howled. Whether it was a trick of the Rocket suit’s HUD or not, a dark cloud escaped from its side. Stranger, the cloud contained images of people, some in modern clothes, others in robes. I didn’t recognize any of them.

Whatever it was, Amy gave The Thing That Eats no time to recover, stabbing it again, but not as deeply as I suspected that she wanted to. She barely broke skin.

Meanwhile, clouds began to form above us, and though they couldn’t know what was coming, the vampires on the other side of the shield chattered in alarm.

If that weren’t enough, Jillian and Hank had recovered enough that they’d begun to run toward me. Latoya wasn’t. Hitting the shield must have taken more out of her.

I decided I could use that.

11 thoughts on “Harvest: Part 11”

  1. “It didn’t penetrate fair which” FAR?
    “At the time all I only saw” time all I saw?
    “needed to get ever-yone” (hyphen in wrong place? but disappeared when I pasted it here) – several others like this too.
    “I didn’t matter though” I -> It?

  2. So, caught up once again well he story continues to be great as ever so many things happening and so many things to comment on:

    – The Magical suicide squad, interesting that the council would send one of those and somehow unexpectedly smart on their part as murderes, misfits and other types criminals are not only expendable but know what they are doing(well the high profile ones anyway)and the roster makes sense…almost: Reliquary is logical as he has been described as a misfit but still seems to have his moral and his obsession with collecting magical…stuff(yeah because I am sure magical creatures and spells also work for him as opposed as just artifacts)the guy must be knowledgeable and competent in pretty much anything magical. Vengence is well Vengence nothing more is neeeded on that one, The Necromancer is most likely here because she practises a forbidden form of magic along with the fact that she probably killed quite a lot of people given which specific magic she uses, the grafitti Knight is a poor schmuck that got suckered in wearing a cursed suit(whch for some reason I am convinced comes from another reality and was perhaps even made by a magically oriented Vandersloot Rocket analog because time DOES flow differently from one reality to another so even if the suit is very old it could still fit and even if it is not I still say it comes from another universe)but what is Amothel doing with them, if anything she seems to be the hero type so I do not see her being put on the squad, perhaps the Jon Snow syndrome and she volontered to be alongside utcasts and cuthroats because she is just that heroic, I dunno.

    – Necromancy here is interesting not only because it is an offshoot of bloodmagic but because of how it seems to work: the practitioner seems to be able to call upon the souls who died in their area and use them both as ghosts or give them bodies not even needing the soul’s corpses which is powerful but also harkens to the magic’s roots: Bloodmagic which can extract the essence of someone through blood in order to use, more often than not killing said person, necromancy seems to be capable of doing that with long dead people through another medium than blood, the question is can a Necromancer pull the same stunt as Amy and take on the power of certain souls upon herself ? Now she did not do it in the fight here but then being already possed my make taking on another soul’s power impossible as she already contains more than one being(herself and the thing) hope we will get to see more about that form of magic as I am very curious about it.

    – Still on the council and Reliquary I remember Nick mentioning that the league had a bunch of magical items coming from various mystical villains, some of them ought to be very powerful like say the Evil Beatnik ring, so hasn’t the Council risen a fuss about it(of course they might just be unaware of the league having those kinds of items)or Relequary tried to aquired one or more of those Artifacts ,? Heh given the revelation about Kayla I wonder if she will start to use thos things like she used the Burrito gun…would be a step up IMHO though it might also be more dangerous.

    – The vampires, I do not recall but what powers and weaknesses are we talking about for the Legionverse vampires as opposed to Bloodworld ones ? Do they have the traditional weakass weaknesses(sunlight etc…which make them not scary at all in a superhero universe but eh) or not ? And what of their physical stats and of course their own brand of Bloodmagic(we saw a bit of it in Bloodmaiden but still I am curious given that there seem to be quite a few of them there)just hope the old one who helped Andronicus to come is not there because something tells me that would be lots of trouble as in”I am an old ass Vampire who studied Legionverse!Bloodmagic for thousands of years and I can bring your wards down just like that”bad.

    – On a tangent do that Cabal have powerful Teleporters(read with the general reserves package plus Chancy style or Brooke style teleportation or another form at that level).

    – Seeing Kid Biohack going around as a Blur and all again I was wondering about something: can he, or others of his family, just accelerate their perception through correct use of their power in order to have more time to think thngs through because this could be a good help(Okay Kid Biohack is not the sharpest knife in the drawer but it could still help him to make less stupid decisions)as a side note it is interesting that the True also use a chemical base to d their thing…Oh and question is Dreadnought a relative of Kid Biohack ?(I mean his family and himself seem to be capable of reaching very high levels if they train properly)I also wonder how that power would mix with the True’s set, now we won’t get to see that as I doubt he has any chance with Tara but eh…Perhaps Courtney can study the both of them and copy their chemicals and relevant organs/muscles/Bone/nerve structures for us(okay me still…) to get the answer.

    – Jillian seems rather terrifying with the ability to copy more than one power at once an combine them, if the Jillian thing gets next Alden on the top of the other two…yeah. This is especially terrifying when you think about the fact that she is merely using power juice as opposed to have been through the Machine(it has too many names) and no I do not think she do that because of the thing but that it simply is her power and that she just didn’t think of trying a combo before.

    Anyway cannot wait for more and to see where this all goes.

    1. Thanks. I’m glad to know people are enjoying it. I’ve noticed that comments slow down at the end of a story arc and it’s understandable, but It always leaves me wondering if I’m doing something wrong.

      As for your questions, I’ll answer them later today. I suspect it might take a little while.

      1. Well I cannot speak for everyone but I have friends who read stories and never even post a single comment on them even when they enjoy them(whom I recommended your story by the way and they love it too, though most of them are far from caught up with it, hell one of them is still at the Demo arc)so I do not think you need to worrya bout doing something wrong because of a lack of comment, hell at times I read but do not comment because of a lack of time.

        As for my questions well thanks in advance for taking the time to answer them, hope it’s not too much of a bother. I tend to be rather…enthusiastic with those on the story I like.

    2. Here are few of my thoughts…

      On the Magical Suicide Squad: I hadn’t thought of it in precisely that way, but it kind of is. I just thought, “Well, who would you send into a situation where there was a reasonable chance that everyone would die?” Expendable but competent people plus the odd straight out hero to keep everyone on task.

      I did think of Graffiti Knight as being in magical powered armor though. If it’s origins ever become important to the story, we’ll find out more.

      On Necromancy: I don’t have specific plans to do more with this, but at the same time I do have plans to do more with Amy. Necromancy will tend to show up in that situation. That said, with Amy, the whole Bloodmaiden magical construct was created by multiple wizards. A bunch of necromancers might be able to do something similar (or possibly already have).

      On the League’s magical artifact collection: the North American Wizards’ Council knows of a few artifacts, but not the extent of it. Also, they believe most of them to be broken.

      As for Kayla, I’ve occasionally thought that if she were to ever become a superhero, she’d probably call herself Archive (or something similar) and use magical and technological devices from the League’s collection.

      On Vampires: I’m imagining fairly standard vampires–in part because I like the idea of superheroes being able to take down standard horror villains easily. And you’re correct, the vampire that sent Andronicus here is not involved. Going up against him would be worth another book.

      The Cabal: They don’t currently have powerful teleporters.

      Kid Biohack: His perception alters with his speed. As for the effect of mixing his abilities with the True’s? I’m not sure right now, but it would be scary if it worked. As for Dreadnaught being his relative, I hadn’t thought about it, but it would make a lot of sense. Not a near relative for sure, but perhaps a distant cousin.

      Jillian’s power: It only works on powers that manipulate energy, but there’s no reason you can’t combine them if you’re willing to experiment. Of course, there might be unexpected side effects…

      1. Well again thank you for taking the time to answer my questions now:

        On the magical suicide squad: I think you basically had the thought process of the guy who came up with the Suicide Squad in the first place, which is one which makes sense when you think about it.

        Also now that I think about it Amothel being in that team makes sense, not just to keep everyone on task(which is certainly how they sold it to her)but because she is TOO straight heroic and thus probably causes roblems to some members of the council and all their affiliated institutions, putting her on the squad not only keeps her busy thus preventing her to stick her nose where they don’t her to but also maximises the chnaces of her dying in the field so a win win situation for them.

        Interesting, curious to see thos Bloodmaiden enemies and the stories they’ll feature in. Now on magic constructs à la Bloodmaiden made by Necromancers I do think they could make those but I somehow do not think they WOULD as I see them more of the type of trying to prolong their own independant existences by becoming thigs analogous to Liches…Scratch that they could create things like that containing the souls of their enemies forcing those to share their experiences and knowledge and perhaps even powers with them. By the way might King of Storm’s cloak have something to do with necromancy or bloodmagic ? because given how it seems to work…

        Makes sense on the league’s collection, and Kayla using those things and some tech well why not by the by I really think she should get trained in basics of magic if only because even a low magical potential could be exploited by some mystical villains at least with some training she woud be able to defend herself somewhat.

        Okay, Legionverse!Vampires are regular ones with some Bloodmagic as opposed to Bloodworld!Vampires who seem to be something else altogether, and damn I knew that vampire sorcerer must have benn powerful by I was not expecting someone powerful enough to warrant his own book, in retrospect I should have as it makes a great amount of sense.

        Ah so they lack such a person…guess that’s a good news for their enemies because someone with the regular Cabal reserves powerset with high nd teleportation on top would be something terrifying to fight.

        Hmmm…so he can’t just think faster, a pity oh well his power is very good as it is. Also yes mixing these abilities with the true’s would be very very dangerous as it would give them the possibility to have exactly the stats required for whatever situations they are in, scary thought.

        As for Dreadnought being from the same family as Kid Biohack well the way I see it she would be one of the original Ultimate Man or Woman’s children who was born with the powers and trained with them since birth with her parents’ help and took another name because she wanted to make her own legacy or because there was already another Ultimate Woman(either the original, or one of her elder sisters).While Kid Biohack of something of a Nephew from an unpowered cousin/sibling which only got th powers later in life and is basically a newbie with them to the point that when ramped up he doesn’t even reach what Dreadnought now is without ramping up(because I would imagine that someone who had these powers since birth and used/was trained in them from the beginning would have monstrous base stats since you mentioned those grow with practice)also I am still pretty sure that there are things that can be done with those powers that Kid Biohack can’t do due to lack of skill or has not even thought of. By the way when did the first Ultimate Man(or Woman)appear? Is that family’s legacy as old as the league’s ?

        Like Courtney’s power: t comes without the owner’s manual and mistakes with it can have dire consequences as I am sure some side effects of combining powers can be rather Dire, and I’ll say that again that power is scary for the simple fact that it is already this strong with mere power juice I shudder to think what she would be capable of if she went through the machine.

        And once again thank you for your time and answers.

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