Harry knew something was wrong from the start. No one was guarding the outdoors, and Drakks info sounded iffy. Why would one of the most valuable formulas in the world be held here, in a lightly guarded warehouse, instead of like, anywhere else? There was some merit to the idea that EZ were idiots, which was a hypothesis supported by past evidence, but no one was that stupid. He continued to mull the idea over, while looking back the lights of Roosevelt City.
He still couldn’t believe that this massive, New Hampshire sized landmass off the coast of California was manmade. It really put his “genius” inventions to shame didn’t it? “Hey Max,” Harry said over the communicator. “How’s it going?” No answer. “Max?” Silence. “Maaaaaaax.” Nothing. “MAX! ANSWER GODDAMNIT!” He didn’t. Harry activated the teleporter built into the drone and teleported fifty feet closer to the ground, activating his propulsion engines in the shoes, which rocketed him to the ground at supersonic speeds. The Phalanx drone smashed through the roof and the second floor, before sticking the landing on the concrete of the main storage area. He flipped on the speakers and shouted “MAXIMUM!”
The only reply was his echo. He began to shout again, but a but of lightning crashed against the drones force field, illuminating the cavernous, dark, wet, and nearly warehouse for the briefest of moments revealing five men and six women in a circle around him. A few of the sat on the wooden crates stacked haphazardly around the place, but most of them stood. Shields are at 98% the HUD read. Harry flipped the night vision switch and hit the loudspeaker, ” Where. Is. Maximum.”
A few of the people laughed. A massive man, who appeared to be more demon than human stopped laughing just long enough to say, ” I thought at least three Paragons would be here. It’s just this guy? No one else?”
Harry narrowed his eyes. This was a setup from the beginning. “No one else.”
“Well I guess I can tell you since your not gonna be able to do anything about it. Gamma has him.”
Meg Stone, a.k.a. Amygdala, woke up in a cold sweat. She was having a peaceful dream, when the most powerful wave of emotion she had ever witnessed seeped through the walls of her mind. It was red, red like anger, or rage, but those words couldn’t describe it. The black of fear mixed with dark green disgust and grey failure floated in the sea of red, like little spots on a Dalmatian of emotion. It felt like the raw hate for life she felt when an animal was eaten by a predator, except billions of times stronger.
A slaughterhouse would have been a mere drop in the ocean that was this red. It drowned out the usual chatter she heard coming from her teammates, covering the world in a dark blood red that made life itself seem like an unforgivable sin. She frantically probed out with her mind attempting to find the source of the red, and to her surprise it was coming from a few rooms down. Harry’s room. Meg jumped out of bed, and kicked open the door to find Harry plugged into the neural interface that allowed him to control the Phalanx drones, a dark black sun in the red void that was his room. < HARRY> she shouted mentally. <WHATS GOING ON?>
His words, wreathed in dark, so dark, almost brown red came through as a deafening roar, even though he only was whispering. <Gamma took Max. Call for a search.>
Meg, now exuding a similar aura of red nodded, and mentally contacted every super she could reach.
His hand trembling with white hot rage, Harry hit the communication button connecting him with his superiors. He left the loudspeakers on so the men and women around him could hear.
“Phalanx reporting in. Maximum is MIA, most likely captured by the EZ assassin Gamma. Activate the Phalanx operation, and give the unmanned armor full permission to do whatever is necessary to rescue Maximum. I will stay here to investigate the ten corpses I see strewn across the warehouse.”
Harry looked around, struggling to control himself and formulate a plan. His brother was probably gone forever now, but he’d be damned if it made him dumb. His Phalanx drones was designed to fight gangs of supers, and this one didn’t seem like anything special. The drone was incredibly versatile, and was listed as a Class 6 threat, which meant he could comfortably take out a team of fifteen Class Fives, each of them able to decimate the better part of an army. He was confident his current load out of a teleporter, hard light, projecter, shield, laser and force beams, and a few hellfire misses could take them.
The villians looked around at each-other nervously.
“Did he say corpses?”
“Is he going to…”
Harry interrupted them.
“Yes. Ten of you. I’ll leave one alive, on the condition that they tell me where my bro-t-teammate is.”
A black man with a German accent stepped forward.
“You’re bluffing. You can’t kill us all intentionally. That’s illegal. Besides you couldn’t even take us.”
Harry responded by creating a portal in front of the drone’s fist that opened behind the head of man who had just spoken, and launching a full force haymaker through it. The blow connected with a sick crunching noise and launched the villain across the floor, landing at the drones feet. A glistening trail of blood was left behind him. Harry activated the hard light projector, creating a giant sky blue blade around his right arm and stabbed it through the fallen man’s back, killing him instantly. He withdrew his blade, but not fast enough to avoid a woman with short blond hair and a manlike face flying through the air at him, fists extended.
She crashed through a hard light projection he created and tackled the drone with the force of a high speed train, cracking his shields visibly. Armor shields are at 65% the HUD chirped. Harry grunted in pain, the neural feedback system translating damage in the suit into pain he could feel, then covered her ears with his palms and fired anti tank grade lasers through her skull.
She died instantly.
Her friends attacked, not even giving him time to push for the limp body off of the drones chest. The man leading the charge had grown several yards in height and width, and was shrugging off every palm blast Harry sent his way. Alright then, Harry thought. Time to bring out the big guns. The “T” shape in the front of his Spartan helmet glowed an even brighter shade of red, before launching a massive force beam, able to punch a battleship in half, directly into the giant’s chest, sending him flying backwards and bowling through his allies. It still wasn’t enough.
The tide of villians reached him, and he felt his shield steadily deplete from the barrage of punches, energy beam, fire and electricity they were sending his way. In a few seconds he would be overwhelmed. Good thing he wasn’t there anymore. In a flash of purple he disappeared, and reappeared right behind a green haired woman who was firing electricity wreathed plasma blasts. She never even saw who snapped her neck. Harry raised his palms and began firing indiscriminately into the backs of the crowd of supervillians before him, killing what looked to be two. Harry prepared to fire his force blast again, but a titanic fist smashed into him from behind, sending him flying over the villians heads and nearly emptying his shield reserves. The blue field surrounding his armor was more crack than energy now.
When he landed, he came face to face with a man clad in incredibly over complicated black armor wielding an impossibly huge war hammer.
The armored man slammed the hammer down onto the drone, shattering the shield and forever teaching Harry how it felt to be in the receiving end of whack a mole. He forced the hammer off of him with a blast of hard light, and swung a right cross as hard as he could, his fist crushing the man’s helmet. Instead of flying backward or losing his head like he should of, the man only fell backwards. His armor must weigh tons, Harry thought, as he curb stomped the man repeatedly. After the man’s neck was suitably crushed, Harry turned around to face the rest of the villians, and picked up the massive war hammer left by its now dead owner. The remaing five stood twenty feet from him, the giant and demon man shielding a wounded woman with white hair. Harry smirked and beckoned to them with his free hand.
“Come get some.”
A screaming blond man charged, firing red lasers out of his hands, eyes, and mouth, but he was splattered like a bug against the windshield of the car sized hammer Harry swung, roaring in his blind rage. Panting, he looked up and saw the giant standing a few yards in front of him, steam coming out of his open mouth. Harry swung the hammer with both hands in a devastating swing amped by his propulsion boots, but the giant caught it with one hand. He laughed and crushed the massive bloodstained hammer like a giant tin can.
Harry tried to back away and build a hard light wall, but the giant kicked through the blue shield as if it were paper and punted Harry through the roof. Harry cursed. The internal gyroscope and hard light projecter had been crushed by the kick, which from the looks of it, caved the armor’s chest plates in. This was all his fault. He got his brother killed, and now he was going to let them get away with it.
He was Harry King. He did not fail, and now, he did not have mercy.
Harry shook the tears out of his eyes and created a portal behind him that led directly back to the hole he flew out of, turning his movement away from the fight into speed he could use as an attack. He blasted the giant man with his force beam, and boosted by his boots and the fall, the drone punched through the man’s giant head, splattering brain, bone, and blood all over the warehouse, now lit by assorted fires caused by both him and the EZ villians he fought. Harry pulled himself from the blood soaked crater he landed in and fired a missle at two villains who were standing close to the corpse behind him, drowning one in napalm. The other leapt from the flames only to be met with a force blast that took her head off. That left the demon and the girl.
He turned to them and began limping forward, favoring the hip that wasn’t crushed by the giant’s kick. The demon backed away, stuttering, “Y-Y-your a monster!”
Harry laughed. It was cold, without a trace of mirth, or even life for that matter.
“Monster? You want to talk monsters?”
Harry boosted forward and shoulder checked the demon into the ground, shattering the concrete even more. The demon hit back when they landed, tearing half of the suits face off. He tried breathing fire, but the flames just washed over the blood soaked beseker on top of him.
“You didn’t just condem a child to die.”
He head butted the demon, breaking off one of his horns and denting the already destroyed helmet.
“You gave him to sadistic FUCK who gets off on torture!”
Harry tried to punch the demon again, but the wild punch was caught by the man, who crushed the fist.
“You took him away from me. HE WAS ALL I HAD LEFT!”
The demon ripped off the arm, and kicked Harry off of him. He tried to use the arm as a club to beat Harry with, but Harry caught it and wrenched the limb out of his hands, before striking the demon in the face hard enough to draw blood.
Harry slammed it into the demon again, breaking his nose and forcing him to his knees.
Harry swung it as hard as he could, bringing the demon to the floor.
He swung again. CRACK
And again. CRUNCH
Harry turned his attention away from the demon-like corpse and toward the pixieish white haired girl who was frantically limping away. She picked up the pace when she saw the blood soaked death machine striding purposefully toward her, but she tripped and fell. Harry picked her up by the throat and whispered “Where. Is. My. Brother?” She screamed. “I don’t know! I honestly don’t know. They implanted a thousand false memories into me. I can’t give you the answer, please. Just let me live.”
Harry fought the urge to throttle the girl and put her down. “Listen close and listen well,” he growled, “you were knocked unconscious by an explosion, and I found you. You have no idea how and why your friends died. You say anything to the contrary, and I swear to god your death will be painful.”
She nodded, with tears in her big eyes. He turned to walk away, but she said, “Wait, Maximum is your brother?”
Shit, Harry thought. He whipped around, picked the girl up and snapped her neck with his remaining hand.
Her body fell, lifeless. And with her so did his anger. His baby brother Max, the bright eyed boy he knew was gone. He would never marry, never have kids, and never get that drivers license he kept putting off. His dreams were gone, and so was him. Max was gone, and it was Harry’s fault. Max was dead, and no amount of corpses could change that. He fell to his knees and a wail of rage, grief and guilt escaped his lips, followed by muffled sobs and the sound of him hitting the drones head against the floor over, and over, and over desperately trying to make the pain go away.
It didn’t work.
Half an hour later, Harry composed himself, set the suit to self destruct to wipe away all the evidence, and called dispatch.
“Suit compromised. Had to self destruct. Area secure.”