“You know what I’m saying,” C said. “You’ll have to kill them. There’s no way around it. Do what you need to do.”
There were two gates. One now stood where a street deadended into a small park in the middle of downtown. Though there were trees and grass in the park, an open air amphitheater filled most of it. Five levels of seats faced a concrete stage. The banner hanging above the stage proclaimed “Sponsored by Rhino Breweries.”
The gate glowed bluish-white, but this one was wider than the gate in the alley. Twenty dinos could walk through at once and they were stepping through—except for the ones that flew. When the first gate opened it had been obvious that there was more than one species of sapient dino, but it was more obvious now. I could see at least three—small ones with wings, larger ones without wings (about five feet tall), but also much larger, close to twelve feet tall.
All of them, to my eye, were very nearly the same species. They looked close enough to the velociraptors that appeared in movies except that feathers covered their bodies and the winged ones’ feet were more like fingers than claws.
How to describe the battle? Chaos, but managed chaos.
Supers try not to scare normal people. Since the Second World War, superheroes have been careful to hold back, to capture rather than kill, to respect laws when they can. Battles where supers have to go all out show supers’ full potential, giving super-hating groups like True Humanity everything they need to stoke the fears of anyone who isn’t sure where they fit in a world where humans can challenge gods.
This battle was no exception. It was the kind of fight that gave public relations firms nightmares.
The Power, Gravity Star, and Captain Commando had set themselves up near the gateway. The Power stood on the roof of the Grand Lake Art Museum, a blocky, concrete building. Gravity Star stood on the roof of an ornate stone building that had once been a bank.
Captain Commando stood next to a red, white and blue motorcycle that looked exactly like the first Captain Commando’s motorcycle. For all I know, it may have been the same one. Her sword hung sheathed on her back as she aimed a purple gun with silver sparkles at the dinos. It looked like something that might have appeared in a girl’s toy set—if Barbie used 50s style sci-fi ray guns.
And if girls’ toy sets did come with guns like that, they’d have been sued.
The dinos ran out of the gateway, not caring what could happen to them on the side, roaring, screeching, screaming. As they did, anything metal flew into the air. Some of them tried to hang on, but they couldn’t hang on long, letting go when they realized the weapons couldn’t stop them or the strap that held the gun to their bodies broke.
At the same time, many of them stumbled or fell over as gravity increased unexpectedly. In the middle of that Captain Commando fired the sparkly gun. Anything its bright, yellow beam hit burned.
Burnt bodies halfway down the block testified that she’d been using the gun successfully. The unburned, bludgeoned bodies among them hinted that the Power had been doing more than taking guns away.
That wasn’t the end of it. Because of their sheer numbers, many dinos made it through, but those that did faced lightning from not one person, but two. Red Legacy threw lightning from his hands. Red Hex threw lightning with her staff.
The gate had been disappearing and reappearing before we left the League’s headquarters and before they’d arrived. Hundreds of dinos must have arrived. Some had scattered into the city, but a many colored crowd had come to free the gate. If the dinosaurs hadn’t have been murderous, they’d have been beautiful. Their feathers were all the colors of the rainbow.
Talons outstretched they charged, ready to swarm Captain Commando and then the roof, but it wasn’t that simple. I’d never seen a troll before I’d visited Grand Lake. Big nosed with tusklike teeth and a muscled body twice the size of a normal human, it crushed the smaller dinosaurs under its feet, smashed the bigger dinos with the blow from its hands.
Next to Troll stood Gunther, one short sword in either hand. Wherever he went, he left a trail of blood and not just a trail—pools. Once in a while, he paused to shout at Fourpoint, the man who could mimic movements or Blur, the short speedster.
The odds seemed long, but I could believe they’d win this fight—at least for now.
The crowd of dinos went for half a block. I could make this easier. Checking the HUD for my teammates and not finding any, I spoke into the comm, “Taking a shot at the crowd east of the park. Stay back!”
I let go of my flight and started to fall, feeling the energy build. The glowing sheath around me glowed ever brighter as I dropped, but as I got closer to the ground, I let the energy go, throwing me upward as a blast of energy hit below.
My shields glowed a little less as I slowed to hover. I’d burned at least three-fourths of them to cinders. It was a good shot and it hadn’t hit any of us. Relief washed over me.
I wondered how the team fighting at the other gate was doing. It wouldn’t be hard to find out.
Meanwhile, dinos continued to pour out of our gate only to be met with a cloud of metal shards.