“Ya not focusin Maxie. You better not be watching movies up in that fancy tin can of yas!”
I winced as Chúchúlain bellowed in his heavy accent, and rolled to my feet. Shields are at 75% the hud chirped. I shook my head and fired a missile at the hulking demigod before me. He laughed as the fire rolled around him, but it was the distraction I needed. The jump boost activated and I vaulted over his head and flicked the invisibility on. Chúchúlain waved the smoke away and looked around, confused. He frowned before he shrugged and Stomped. The shockwave launched me into the air, and disrupted my cloaking device. It shattered the room, blowing huge chunks of the concrete floor ten feet into the air. I crashed into the wall hard enough to force the air out of my lungs with a painful cough, and slid down the wall. I groaned in growing pain. I didn’t know that organs could ache.
I forced myself up, and fired a barrage of missiles at the ground beneath Chúlúlain’s feet. In theory that should be enough to knock him down. My missiles were about as effective as water balloons, but he could still be tripped like a normal person. In practice, he punted the missiles away, and kicked me so hard that his iron boots exploded. I went even deeper into the wall. He grabbed my arm, and I tried to squeeze myself deeper into my new and safe concrete cocoon but he pulled so hard the metal on my wrist stretched.
He held me up by one arm, and I hung there staring into his ginormous green eyes.
“CHECKMATE” I growled. He raised an eyebrow, confused. “Whaddya mean? I’ve got y-”
The triangular jaw slid open and I bathed his head in blue plasma. He dropped me, and ran around the ruined landscape clawing at his head, screaming in rage. “MY HAIR!!” he roared as he slammed his face into the ground furiously. The entire room shook with each impact, and I scrambled away into the safety of the hallway.
I flung the door open to John, aka Power, his sister Isabella, aka Bellator, Harry, and Meg, all grinning evilly. Harry and Isabella were on the verge of laughing, while Meg and John tried to hide under stern expressions. Giggling, Bella cupped her hands around her mouth, and shouted, “How’s the face ChooChoo?” He turned around, and we saw his face was completely blackened, and also one hundred percent bald.
One eyelid was shut, and the other was glowing red threatening to burst out of its socket.
He blinked the light away, and snarled out an answer. “HOO HOO. It’s Gaelic, and pronounced HOOHOOLAIN, ya twatbiscuit, and yoo know that.” He sighed. “It fucking hurts Bella.”
“Aw you poor baby. Why are you whining about your hair then?”
“Because burns go away in hours, but it takes months for my fucking hair to come back. I swear to everything I hold dear Max, if dueling were still legal I’d have your other hand.”John frowned. “Not funny.”
“It was a little funny,” Chúchúlain growled, but he dropped the issue, and after a few minutes of silence Meg cleared her throat. “I’m not the expert, but that suit was showing mid level five durability and strength. The weapons hit higher than a five, but his speed seems to be lacking. It’s an upper middle five then?” Harry shrugged. “I’ll send the specs and the video to city hall, and they’ll legally finalize it but yea, looks spot on Meg.” Harry opened his mouth to say something else, but he was drowned out by a deafening buzzing noise.
“CHURRRRRRRRRRRRRR” a deep raspy voice rumbled from around the corner, and Battle Scorpion charged down the hallway before skidding to a stop inches away from Bella. They looked at each other for a few seconds, and Battle awkwardly inched away.
In one gigantic claw he held a flyer, which he waved around frantically, buzzing with excitement. Meg snatched it from him and said, “He says, speaking of city hall, is it ok for Max go to the ceremony in a few days? Uh, he followed that by thinking ‘Please??’ a few hundred times. Ok Battle that’s enough, I heard you.”
Battle’s foot and a half wide ant like head swung toward me, eyes glistening in excitement. No one knew what or who he was. Some said alien, others said genetic or radioactive experiment gone wrong, and a third faction were adamant on his status as a hyper evolved ant, despite him being warm blooded, his having of a scorpion tail, and his green coloration. Five years ago he just burst out of the ground in the Phillipines and head butted a supervillain to death, before blasting the legs off the cyborg Ironknight like paper with his breath weapon. The Paragons had found him, barely three feet tall, covered in the blood of an invading Samjoko militia, and to Meg’s surprise they could talk telepathically. She took him back to base, won him citizenship, and helped the Metahuman Response Agency’s nannies raise the overgrown bug.
I stepped out of the suit and scratched the back of my head. “I dunno big guy. I’m still afraid I’m going to turn my eyes on randomly and fry an old lady on the sidewalk.”
He nodded, dejectedly, and we walked back to the break room, letting the practice room fix itself around the newly bald and distressed Demigod.
Truth was, I had perfect control over my eyes. I just had bigger fish to fry. According to Hotfoot, that was the day I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone about where the base was and how to get to it. It didn’t seem like a coincidence that both events were happening on the same day. Maybe Hotfoot had good intentions, maybe he was planning something deadly. Either way it didn’t matter.
I had to go back.