Transitions: Part 8

Minutes later, I was running through the plan with Jaclyn and the Probationers. Jaclyn had heard all of what we had in the process of keeping the rest of the team involved, but she was listening in as she ran to Indiana.

Not only couldn’t I see her face, but I only saw one of the Probationers as he sat in the jet they were flying. All I could see of the Atoner was his red and white costume, the metallic gray of his exoskeleton, and the gadgets that hung from it. His helmet covered his face, giving a hint of light brown skin and dark, black hair.

Even though Grandpa had helped train him, all I knew about the man was that he’d killed his team while under mind control and changed his name to the Atoner afterward.

“That’s it,” I said, ending the briefing. “As long as you wait to get close until after we fire and then deal with the mechs and the True first, we’ll all be okay to enter the office.”

The Atoner nodded, his red helmet reflecting the light of the screen. “You’re sure that there aren’t more hostiles in the office building?”

I shook my helmet, “No, but we haven’t detected any. That said, we know there’s some kind of Abominator energy generator in the office building’s basement. So they might have Abominator artifacts and people capable of using them. Join us as soon as the warehouse is under control, and if you can scan the office building, let us know what you see.”

With a nod, he said, “Got it. We’ll let you know when we’re close. Out.”

The screen went black and Jaclyn said, “This is going to be fun. We still don’t know who’s on the Probationers yet.”

“True,” I checked the screens and looked out the window, seeing nothing out of place at either building or the cornfield around them. “Lim said to use them and the Atoner seemed confident. Anyway, I passed them a temporary code. They’ll show as friendlies in your HUD.”

“Sounds great,” Jaclyn said. “I’m looking forward to going into a fight that might include Dominators with a guy who killed his team while mind-controlled.”

“Good point,” I said, “but I did pass on specs for a basic anti-voice buzzer to Isaac and he passed it on to them a while back.”

“Nice,” she said, “but I still don’t like the idea of working with random supervillains. Oh, and by the way, I’m about 100 miles out from you now. I should be there in ten minutes.”

“Great,” I said, and then we all sat there waiting, running through the plan in our heads, and listening to the comm.

Vaughn’s icon flashed and he said, “Crap. I knew we should have come along.”

Text appeared next to Haley’s icon, “I would have skipped class if I knew you were going to do this.”

Other team members’ icons turned from yellow to green, indicating they were now active.

As I texted back, “Sorry,” Kayla’s voice filled the channel, “Everybody who isn’t actively helping needs to shut up or get off the channel. We’re going to have enough going on trying to include the Probationers.”

“Go Control!” Cassie texted.

Ignoring her, Kayla continued, “I’ve set up a new channel for the team members onsite and the Probationers. The rest of you can listen in, but unless you’ve got something important, keep it off the mission channel, okay?”

In the next moment, most of the group’s icons faded out, leaving only Kayla, Cassie, Izzy, Daniel, Yoselin, Jaclyn, and myself. In the moment after that five more icons appeared. The Atoner’s had his name next to it. None of the others did. Hopefully, they’d tell Kayla soon. I didn’t want to have to address anyone with, “Hey, third icon from the bottom…”

The Atoner’s voice came over the comm, “We’re about a mile out from you, hovering low behind a hill, but we’re ready at any time.”

“Me too,” Jaclyn said. “Blue and I are coordinating our first sweep through the warehouse.”

In my helmet’s 360 degree view, I could see Izzy standing up and stopping next to the door. She gave a thumbs up.

“Alright,” I opened the door, “Blue can give us targeting information and after I’m done firing, it’s all yours. That means the Probationers can move in too.”

Izzy floated out the door and it shut behind her. Invisible thanks to chameleon mode, I couldn’t see her, but her location showed in my HUD on the jet’s screens.

“Got it,” Daniel projected her view of the warehouse into my mind. The implant superimposed it over my vision, showing me what I wanted to see. There weren’t more than ten people in the mech’s side of the warehouse, all of them servicing two mechs that stood next to each other.

“Firing now,” I said, and opened the main gun up, aiming the beam and turning the jet so that I could swing the beam across the lower level of the warehouse. Of course, it wasn’t simple. I also had to pause firing to avoid hitting the support beams that held the structure up.

The result was everything a Hollywood scriptwriter might have hoped for. The jet’s main beam could penetrate armor and force fields. I’d even destroyed a battleship with it once. The warehouse wasn’t anywhere near as tough.

The bright white beam crossed the lower level, burning through the wall. Inside the warehouse, mechs melted, exploded, and shattered. The human-shaped figures ran toward the corner of the building, a spot I hadn’t planned to shoot anyway since it would take down the warehouse.

Half of the warehouse now leaked black smoke through the holes in its melted and shattered walls. Fire alarms rang out, beeping at a volume we could hear through the jet’s armor.

Izzy flew in, a blue blur. Jaclyn ran from wherever she’d been waiting, jumping into the air and flying half a block to land in front of the smoking walls.

Well, we’d started it now.

As that thought went through my head, new names appeared next to the Probationer’s icons—Ape Nasty, Mistress Madness, Dr. Transylvania, and Lone Eagle. Noticing the last name, I remembered Morgan Spitz-White, the woman in the Eagle suit that I’d fought in Rook’s lair and interrogated before fighting The Thing That Eats.

She wouldn’t tell us about the deal her lawyers made with the government back then. I should have guessed.

11 thoughts on “Transitions: Part 8”

    1. Since you mentioned a recurring reference, I have been wondering when we would get to meet someone whose power is talking to fish. You said Nick hoped that Sean would have such a limited power, and I think Nick has had this hope elsewhere, but the power has never appeared.

  1. This arc is going to be very interesting.
    Usually heroes are reactive not proactive on villains. So how this goes down in the press will be fascinating.

  2. Great chapter and fun to see Nick knows someone on the team.

    Found one typo, I think you used the wrong roo here:

    “There weren’t more than ten people in the mech’s side of the warehouse, all of them servicing too mechs that stood next to each other”

    I think it should be:

    “There weren’t more than ten people in the mech’s side of the warehouse, all of them servicing two mechs that stood next to each other”

    1. It is 600 miles per hour.

      I’ll grant you that speedsters in some comics can hit the speed of light, but so far I don’t have a speedster that can go anywhere near that fast.

        1. That’s actually a very good reason for her to do that. In fact, that’s exactly why she’s going that fast. It certainly isn’t because I took a guess at what seemed like a reasonable speed…

  3. Doing the math for the side-effects of a ‘non phasing’ speedster breaking mach at ground level is a pain, (not to mention what they would do to road surfaces…with every step!)
    such a speedster would be more akin to an ongoing destructive event.

    though there are some fun things you can do special-effects-wise, like jesus-lizarding across the great lakes.

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