When AI's Attack
by Brad Patten, Charlie Ball, Robert Buchanan and John Guilfoyle
Wedge rechecked the message for the tenth time, it was a message from
Meet me in Central park New York, New York at one.
Wedge was a bit unnerved by the email, it had been delivered from a
secret account that only Wedge and Tween even knew about. The message
had come from a fictitious email account from a Richard Isaac Wantmore.
The email had also been sent several hours ago, from a server in Europe
that Tween had hacked six months ago. The time stamp left little time
for planning, as the deadline was only an hour away.
To make matters even more bizarre the remaining funds that had been
hidden under this fictions name been withdrawn from the bank in
Philadelphia. Wedge had no intention of letting Tween into the bubble
until he could be examined, this could be a Mindshadow trick. Wedge
made two calls, one to Alex and other to Tom. After a short delay,
Wedge contacted Tom. Alex said he would be on his way, after a short
Now all he had to do was transport Tom to New York city. While he
waited he rechecked the modifications to the base.
Alex had, after a great deal of deliberation, decided to call and ask
Sarah out to lunch. He somehow knew she was in town, but it was more
feeling than fact.
She hadn’t spoken to him recently, not since he and Tommy
Champion had, with the help of the Blue Ensign, rescued her from the
ravages of an inhuman (and inhumanly powerful) telepath… or perhaps,
rescued was not the right word. Enacted damage control was more to the
In her psionically induced madness, she had believed Alex had
done… terrible things to her. Things he could not bring himself to
think about. They had shared some time together before he had to return
to New York and that was the last time they had really spoken. He
wasn’t certain if she still had any feelings for him and the
uncertainty gnawed at him.
He had almost decided not to call, but Alex decided that knowledge was
better than ignorance and he placed the call. After a short and
somewhat awkward conversation, they arranged to meet for lunch.
As Alex got ready, he noticed a slightly unusual watch that had been
given to him by an even more unusual individual – a somewhat
mushroom-shaped, be-tentacled, artificial life form name Wedge. In
addition to the normal time-keeping functions, it also functioned as a
signal device in the event that the individual in question should need
to contact him.
It had been activated several times in the recent past. Alex
decided to leave it on his dresser for the moment, not out of a desire
to avoid speaking to Wedge but more to avoid having his time with Sarah
When the time came to leave, he headed out the door, the watch still on
A few moments after he locked the door, the watch was surrounded
by a tiny storm of glowing dust motes and promptly vanished with a
small musical flourish…
"I don't know, Alex," Sarah said wearily. Dark circles rimmed the
girl's eyes as she looked over her menu at her friend. "Things just
haven't been... right... since that whole thing at the Musselman gym. I
feel sick about what happened with you and Tom, too."
“Please don’t worry about that,” said Alex, concern coloring his voice.
“After all was said and done, there wasn’t really any lasting damage…”
Alex paused slightly and, in an attempt to lighten the mood, smiled and
added, “… unless you count bruised egos. How have you been?”
“I… suppose I’m getting by okay. I’m keeping busy. I haven’t
really talked to anyone, though. It’s not the kind of thing they have
a12-step program for, you know? It’s just that, sometimes, I feel like
I want to start breaking things… but if I did, I don’t know that I
“I’m sorry, Sarah. I wish I could help. If there’s anyth–” An
insistent beeping noise was sounding from Alex’s wrist. Alex looked at
it in disbelief.
“How did – ? I could have sworn I left this watch on my dresser…”
“What? The watch? What’s the big deal, it’s just an alarm.”
“It isn’t actually. I mean, it’s a watch, but it’s a little more than
an alarm… it was a gift from an… unusual acquaintance. It’s sort of a
beeper that he gave me in case he needed to get in touch with me or
vice versa. He’s a nice enough chap, but his timing leaves a great deal
to be desired.
Alex touched the small, recessed stud on the side of the watch.
“Hello, Alex. I’m glad you remembered your watch. Tween will be in
Central Park at 1:00 PM. Will you be able to assist?”
“Wedge. This is an unbelievably bad time. Couldn’t this wait a
little while longer?”
“I’m sorry, but it was unavoidable. I have arranged for
additional help, but I believe having you there might make things a bit
easier. Perhaps if you …”
“Hold on, Wedge. I’m not alone. I was having lunch with a friend
of mine named Sarah. She has quite enough on her plate at the moment
without my dragging her into brawl in Central Park…”
Sarah had been watching the conversation unfold with curiosity plain on
her face, but had refrained from interrupting... until now.
“Alex, if there’s something I can help with, I’ll be happy for the
distraction. What is it he needs help with?”
Alex looked at Sarah, then back at the watch, then at the
unfinished meal, and finally back at Sarah. Sighing, he replied, “Wedge
needs help subduing his creator, a gentleman by the name of Tween. It
would seem that Tween had been under the influence of a powerful
mentalist and Wedge needs to be able to determine if Tween is free from
that influence. There’s a bit more to it, but that is the essence of
“Okay, then. Let’s go, it’s almost one o’clock now…”
Sarah got up and Alex signaled the waiter for the check. As Sarah
headed for the ladies room, Alex spoke into the watch. “All right,
Wedge, we’ll be there momentarily. Perhaps after this is all over, we
might have a chat about privacy, with special emphasis on your timing…”
The wind whipped through his blond hair, the windows down, hands
gripping the steering wheel loosely. It was unseasonably warm for San
Francisco, and Tom Black was thoroughly taking advantage of it. He
drove down highway 80, the music from the radio turned up a little
louder than it should be. The speedometer read 78 miles per hour.
He drummed the wheel lightly with his thumbs in time to the music.
Arthur sat on the seat next to him, nervously holding the "Jesus" bar
and flexing his leg on an invisible brake pedal in front of him as they
passed car after car on their way to work at InVision. We've taken to
carpooling to work together the last few days, which is fine with me
because I get to drive his Lexus every other day.
"Relax Arthur" I say confidentally taking my eyes off the road long
enough to flash a smile at him.
"Relax? Yeah, right." He replys to me. He's been really freaked out
since the incident at the club the other night. I decide to take this
opportunity to talk about it with him.
"Still fixated on the club?" I ask
"Yeah, he says, that really freaked me out Tom. I mean, that girl,
Theresa or whatever her name was, pretty much exploded."
"Well, she didn't really explode, that thing seemed to be inside
of her, it tore it's way out of her" My words offer little comfort to
Arthur and he just sits there quietly. He reaches over and turns off
the music. "Don't like Lenny Kravitz?" I ask trying to lighten up the
"It's not funny Tom, that could have been you, or me!" he snaps.
I sit there quietly for a moment letting him simmer and allowing myself
to imagine for a minute that it possibly could have happened to me.
"Look Arthur, I know it could have been one of us." my voice softens
"But there's nothing we can do about it is there? Trust me, no ones
more freaked out about this than I am, I was right there when it
happened. Christ, I was holding her fucking hand!" I say. The wind
whips across the highway a little harder and pushes the car, I adjust
the wheel to compensate.
I sigh and run a hand through my hair. "There are just certain
things you have to accept. I don't like it either, but dwelling on them
isn't going to change them." I continue "Look, maybe we can do a little
nosing around about it on the net today, see if anyone knows what the
"Yeah, ok." He says "I just feel so fucking helpless."
"Me too." I respond "Let's just turn the radio up and try to lose
ourselves in the music instead of this ok?"
"Yeah, maybe thats a good idea" He says with an uneasy smile.
I reach over and turn the radio back on and we continue the rest
of the way in relative silence.
I pull into the Invision lot at about 7:55. "See?" I say to
Arthur as we hop out of the car "I told you I could make it in 15
minutes." Arthur just shakes his head and holds the door for me. "Fine,
you get to take credit for the fat pills!" he says, tossing me the box
of Krispy Kremes.
It's Monday morning. The only thing worse than the fact that it's
Monday is the fact that every Monday morning, we have a staff meeting
to discuss "the vision of InVision". Some schmuck in marketing probably
got overpaid for coming up with that crappy concept, I'd like to show
him a vision! Eight o'clock sharp, we all plod into the conference room
and pretend to care about what's happening in the industry and get an
attempt to brown-nose our superiors. Fuck that. I stop by my desk long
enough to power up my computer and check my e-mail. The clock on my
computer reads 8:04. I smile and head to the meeting.
I love wandering into those things a few minutes late. It pisses
Shrek off, but all is forgiven and the infraction forgotten by the
offering of gluttonous sweets a.k.a. donuts - or fat pills as Arthur
likes to call them.
I push open the conference room door and all eyes turn toward me.
I shield my face with the box of donuts as I close the door behind me.
I can almost hear the salivary glands kick in as I turn to take my
"Sorry I'm Late" I offer falsely "Had to get a morning pick-me-up." As
the words leave my lips, Wedges communicator watch on my wrist begins
to beep. I freeze momentarily and drop the donuts onto the conference
table they land with a dramatic PLOP! I grab at my wrist trying to shut
off the beeping unsuccessfully. "Um, excuse me for a moment." I stammer
"I left the Orange Juice at my desk." Arthur looks at me puzzled from
his seat across the table as I open the door and exit the room heading
for my desk. I reach my cube and fumble at the watch for a second until
it stops beeping and the green "Com" light lights up.
"WHAT!" I whisper in a semi-annoyed voice while trying to figure out
where the hell I'm going to get orange juice for the meeting.
"I require your assistance at one o'clock today, per our agreement",
the voice on the other end of the watch said.
"One?" I ask "I can't do one o'clock. Wedge, I know you have the luxury
of sitting around on that little island of yours being tended to by
little spider things in some weird place I'll never quite understand,
but I have a job. I can't just toddle off at one! I'm sorry, but can it
wait 'til the weekend? or how about six o'clock tonight?" God I'm such
a dork! Actually, I think the term is 'Wage Slave'.
"One o'clock. Per our agreement, I will transport you to New York in 30
minutes, so that you may assist me in rendering Tween unconscious."
"Listen Wedge, I told you, I can't just leave this place." I feel
like shit turning him down like this, but I continue "I'm sorry, but
unless a miracle happens and my boss gets an attack of the Teletubbies
and decides it's a better idea for us all to go outside and roll around
in the grass singing like idiots, I simply can't help you until later.
I'm actually in the middle of a meeting, and I have to get back to it
and figure out how I'm going to explain a missing carton of orange
juice - don't ask. Contact me later today and I'll be happy to head on
out and clock your friend tonight ok?"
My only response is a slight clicking from the communicator as the link
"Wedge?" I say into the device on my wrist. *silence*
I shrug and say to myself "Fine squidboy, be that way." It's too bad
though, I was looking forward to the workout.
I head to the break room on my way back to the meeting and grab a
pitcher from the cupboard there. I look around quickly and risk using
my abilities to fill the pitcher with cold O.J. Smiling at my juice,
but still feeling slightly bad about letting Wedge down, I head back
into the meeting.
I walk into the room and everyone is either lounging back in
their chair or tapping a pen on the table. "Sorry" I offer as I enter
the room for the second time. "Juice's here" I set the pitcher down on
the table with a smile and Arthur looks at me with a puzzled
expression. Before I can take my seat, there a grating shrieking sound
that erupts from the hallway as the fire alarm begins to go off.
Shrek stands at the end of the table saying "OK everyone, looks like
the meetings over for today thanks to Mr. Black and the alarms." He
shoots a disapproving glance my way as we file out of the office to
await the "all's clear" from the fire department.
Tom and the rest of Invision were standing around across the street
when the watch beeped once, and a count down timer started from sixty
counting down. It was 15 minutes till nine and almost a half hour since
Wedge had first contacted Tom.
'What the fuck?' I thought looking at my wrist and the countdown. It's
kinda ominous, Not knowing wedge very well, for all I know I have 15
minutes and then he's gonna blow my wrist off with the watch. I step
away from the crowd outside of InVision and press the side of the watch
to call Wedge.
"Wedge!" I whisper into the watch for the second time this
morning. "What the hell is going on?"
"Tom I really need your help, I can accommodate your disappearance if
you can duck out. The count down is the absolute minimum time I need to
get you in place. If you do not want to help, then I will terminate all
contact with you and your associate."
Man, for a robot, he sure has a way of making you feel like shit. I
feel my softer side beginning to show "Accommodate how?" I hear myself
ask in a wary voice. "
"Tom, there is a saying optical data transfers a thousand times more
data than voice or text. There is little time, I need your help Tom."
The watch beeps again as the countdown continues from 30 seconds.
"A picture says a thousand words? What's that have to do with
anything?" I ask.
Before I can get an answer from Wedge, I feel as if my whole body
is squeezed through a pinhole, there is no pain, just a semi familiar
disorientation for a moment and the next thing I know, Im standing on a
familiar white sandy beach. However this time there is no glow of a
fake sun to greet me, the sky is a soft deep purple and the sand
reflects a soft glow from several moonlike objects in the sky. I could
seriously get used to a place like this.
I'm interrupted in my silent reverie as the watch on my wrist beeps
twice and Wedge tells me "Come to the dome, I am looking for Tween now.
Alex will be with you in the park shortly, it seems that he was on a
date, so his girl friend may show up. He says her name is Knock Out."
If I didn't know better, I'd say Wedge sounded a little annoyed.
I take one last look around before wandering off into the nearby forest
to find the dome. Before I take a step, there is a movement in the
undergrowth and a black panther erupts from the foliage. It leaps
soundlessly onto the sand and pauses for a moment seemingly watching
me. Then it speaks in a soft female purr, "This way." It says as it
turns and pads onto a trail heading to the center of the island.
"Beam me up!" I mutter to myself. This place is gorgeous, but it gets
weirder every time I come here. 'Talking Panthers? Whats next' I ponder
'I'm hoping for geisha girls' Lu Di says in my mind. I ignore him,
unsure of whether to tell him to shut up, or to agree with him.
The giant cat continues ahead of me as I follow it toward the
middle of the island. I'm surrounded by wild palm trees, thick ferns
and a myriad of exotic plant life that seem to knowingly stop at the
edge of the path, and the ever present uncanny silence of the
extradimensional garden of Eden. The cat and I approach what appears to
be the dome, but it is unlike I remember it from my brief stay here
before. Instead of the dome being crystal like I remember, its encased
in some sort of shinny polished metal Flanking the entry to the dome on
either side of the door are two more panther guards. They sit at alert
attention and eye me warily as I approach.
"Verified" the one on the right intones. I also notice that its claws
are made of a shinny metal and look real sharp.
The door iris's open , I don't think it did that before. Inside there
is another panther guard making four total that I have seen. The device
that was in the center of the room is still encased in some kind of
energy curtain. There also appears to be a stairway leading down that
was not there before.
"Thank you Tom, I have sent Chameleon to stand in for you." Wedge
intoned as he descends from the ceiling.
“I will transport you close to Tween, he seems to have company. I
will monitor events and once he is distracted I will power up the
device Arthur and myself have constructed. It should render him
I feel the sickening pull of my internals through a pinhole again
as I move through Wedges portal - I don't think I'll ever get used to
that feeling - but a moment later I am standing in a grassy park in the
big apple. The noonday sun stings my eyes a bit as they adjust to the
sudden brightness in sharp contrast to the nighttime of Wedges island.
I look around me, it's a typical park, could be anywhere except for the
dramatic backdrop of the New York City skyline standing majestically
behind it. Trees and paths and lovers sitting on park benches, trying
to get a fix of one another before returning to work for the rest of
the day, surround me.
"Well, I aint here for the scenery" Spirit Shout told himself as
he bulked up and encircled himself in chi energy.
His eyes scan the area and quickly came to rest on a man sitting on a
park bench with a woman not unlike the others dotting the area. Not
unlike the others except that the man sitting on this particular bench
bore a striking resemblance to the man Wedge called Tween.
A moment of uncertainty griped Spirit Shout as he tried to figure out
the best way to begin the "formalities". With mentally shrug, he
decided to take the bull by the horns: Sometimes the direct approach is
the best way. He walked to the bench where the two sitting talking
quietly to one another and upon reaching them he looked at the man and
said ,"Excuse me, are you Carl Terrence?"
"Who want's to know?" Carl replied looking warily at the newcomer who
interrupted him mid sentence with Susan.
"That's good enough for me; Believe me, this is for your own
good" Spirit Shout answered. Moving with incredible speed, he delivered
a punch to the seated Carl that impacted his jaw hard enough to send
him over the top of the bench, breaking one of the backrest slats as
his trailing foot catches it on his way over.
Carl careened through the air for several feet and slammed into the
ground in a spray of dirt and grass with his jaw cocked sloppily.
The woman who had been talking to Carl , stood up and lifted her hands.
She then generated a bright flash of light right in Spirt shouts face.
"Asshole!, What did he ever do to you?"
The light from the womans hands struck Spirit Shout in the chest
causing him to blink in the brilliance of the flash but little more
than an after burn is left in his vision.
"Who are you?" Spirit shout says to her, blinking the flash away,
"Queen Polaroid? No wait! The Central Park Flasher!"
The woman said nothing in reply, nervous in light of her powers
ineffectiveness. A second passed and Spirit Shout continued, "Well,
whoever you are, I can’t have you doing that again." He smiled as a set
of chains appeared attached on the one side to the park bench, and on
the other around the woman’s wrists. "Stay put now." He says.
Momentarily distracted Spirit Shout failed to notice the black shape
screaming past him at a high rate of speed. The impact from Tween's
extended arm sent Spirit Shout back a few dozen yards and plowed up a
large amount of grass.
'damn that hurt' thought spirit shout, as he grass skated
backward toward a park bench. That guy hits a lot harder than he looks,
and he looks mean, a solid black metallic mass with ominous green eyes
glowing out of their sockets. Spirit Shout shuddered momentarily as he
was reminded of the demon from the nightclub. Shaking off the pain in
his chest, he replied "That the best you got bug boy?"
"Sucker punch me will you," Tween said drawing the katana from behind
his back. Crouching into a back stance, he lands on the ground near
Spirit Shout. "So who do you work for?"
"Let's just say it's an interested third party." Tom replied and
then added "Glad to see you think you know how to handle one of those,
because I sure as hell do!" he reached out into the air with both hands
as a blade sprung upward from his grip and a Katana formed in his hands.
"Bring it you oversized cockroach." Spirit Shout said.
Tween moved into an on guard stance as if it was second nature. He gave
a brief salute to Spirit Shout with the blade, almost saying "See you
in the afterlife". Then without warning, his body sprung to life, he
leapt at Spirit Shout moving with an incredible speed. He closed the
short distance between them and let loose with a flurry of blows aimed
at destroying Tom. A voice built in the back of his mind quietly at
first, but growing louder with each stroke of the sword. 'kill him' it
Tom, reeled from the ferocity and speed of the blows Tween unleashed at
him. It was obvious he wasn't playing around. His own body reacted in
an almost unconscious manner and he was able to block the sword as it
stung a path of certain death with each strike toward Tom. He dodged to
the left saying "Not bad bug boy, but I'm better." He brought his sword
upward striking Tween under the arm with his own Katana. The blade cut
into Tweens armor, but even as he withdrew the sword, he could see the
wound was superficial, and the black coating covering Tween had already
begun to repair the damage.
"Shit" he said "What the hell are you anyway bug boy?" Spirit
shout ducked and avoided a blow that might have removed his head from
his body, countering, he brought the katana in an upward arc trying to
slash Tween across his stomach. He was rewarded with a loud clanging
sound as Tween brought his own sword down impossibly fast and broke the
blade on Spirit Shouts weapon.
"Oh fuck!" Tom said and instinctively teleported about 15 feet away.
"Now that's not fair." he said from a vantage point about 30 degrees
Tween whirled around, and narrowed his eyes at Spirit Shout. As he
advanced on Tom, a new blade sprung from Spirit Shouts hands, this a
little thicker - more of a straight blade in the fashion of a tai-chi
sword. "Let's see how you react to a different sword strategy big man!"
Again, the two men collided in a shower of sparks as their swords
danced edge to edge.
The swords continued to impact one on another, The straight sword
holding up a little better, but each time Tween brought his sword into
Tom’s, sparks would fly as bits of metal were hacked from the blade.
Tom was the better swordsman, but even the few blows he was able to
land didn’t seem to slow the black metallic man, and he could tell that
this sword too was doomed to break under the hammering blows.
A glancing blow off of the edge of Tween’s sword sent the straight
blade fatally gliding toward his stomach, but at the last minute, he
was able to dodge aside, moving with a preternatural quickness.
“Enough of this,” Tween said after dodging the blow. Taking a step
back, a green electrical energy erupted from the blade and slammed into
Spirit Shouts chest, shredding some of his costume as well as knocking
him onto his back slightly dazed. In an instant, Tween was upon him,
the blade making a deadly arc toward Tom’s head.
No! Stop Carl Thought.
Yes, he must be punished!
Another voice answered.
He has been beaten, I don’t want to
kill him! Carl fought with the new voice in his head, a voice
desperately trying to take control, to force his hand to end the life
of this sword-wielding thug.
No. thought Carl, this was an all too familiar feeling, was this
another one of Mindshadow’s little games he thought? It felt
different…ancient…alluring he wanted to give in. How easy it would be
to simply drive the blade into this foolish meta, how easy to end this
pathetic wretchs life.Yes…
No dammit! My will is my own!
Carl screamed in his mind. The ancient entity retreated slightly into a
corner of his mind as if stunned from the onslaught of the Carl’s rage.
Carl’s blade continued to drive its way downward toward the dazed
Spirit Shout. He fought the impulses, his eyes squeezing tight in his
concentration. Tweens hand started to shake his grip tightened and the
blade stopped, still trembling in his hand the blade a mere millimeters
from Toms left eye.
Tom’s slightly dazed, regained his composure as he lay there looking up
the blade of an ancient sword, a sword that he could now see glowing
with a faint red haze of magic, he knew the haze would be invisible to
most, but not to his vision, and he wondered briefly why it wasn’t
visible before. The haze seemed to envelop his antagonist as well.
Tweens eyes met Spirit Shouts as if pleading for him to escape.
"The hell with this!" Spirit Shout said from his prone position. He
moved his hands and let out a blast of chi energy directly into Tweens
still shaking form, the blast caught Carl squarely in the chest and
lifted him off his feet, throwing him backwards into a distant bronze
statue of a rider on a horse. He impacted with a crunch, and the sword
left his grip, pin wheeling through the air, it landed with a loud
CRACK as it sliced into a tree. There was a snapping sound as the tree
crashed down from the point of impact.
Tween was dazed only for a moment. The meta he had been fighting
had used some kind of energy blast. It stung like hell, but the nanites
in his body quickly repaired any damage it had done. Tween's head was
clearer now, and he couldn't remember why he wanted to kill this meta;
It went against the very core of his being to take a life. It must be
something Mindshadow did he thought to himself.
Tween stood up, and turned towards his attacker just in time to
catch a kick to the stomach. The impact while mainly absorbed by the
nano coating still imparted some energy, as it again knocked him onto
"That's right big man" Spirit Shout taunted "Let's do this
mano-a-mano." He raised his fists in a mock boxing stance.
A cold rage started to coalesce in Carl's mind. Again he shifted
to a standing position hovering over the ground. The Green glow changed
from deep green to a dull angry red. The blue and black meta stood
there like a boxer, egging him on. Tween smiled under his nano coating
and unleashed another electrical discharge. The lightning didn't appear
to have the same impact as it did when he focused the energies through
the sword. The electricity surrounded the meta, but it didn't seem to
harm him, or slow him.
"Fine, fight like a sissy." Tom baited as he teleported behind Tween "I
can fight dirty too." he whispered in Tween's ear as he delivered a
strike to a spot that seemed like where Tween's kidney should be. The
impact from the strike actually hurt Tom's hand a little bit, but it
didn't seem to faze Tween, and an elbow met Tom that Tween threw as he
whirled around to face his attacker. The elbow hit Tom in the jaw, and
knocked him back a few feet 'I won't be doing that again' Tom thought
as he shook his head to clear it.
Tween rushed Tom and knocked him to the ground rearing back to
deliver a punch. At the last moment Tom teleported away and Tween's
strike met the concrete where Tom's head had been the instant before.
The ground split from the impact and pieces of stone flew.
"Ouch!" Tom said "That looks like it hurt."
A slight sucking noise came from near Tween's now crouched form. The
air crackled and the smell of ozone became apparent as a pale green
ribbon coalesced and opened in the air. As Tween turned to the sound of
the Meta’s voice and unleashed his electricity at him. The bolt was
deflected an instant before it struck, arcing off to blast through a
“I think that’s quite enough of that, Tween.” The voice, British
if you could trust the accent, belonged to an extremely tall young man,
right arm outstretched. Standing next to him was one of the most
beautiful young ladies the pair had ever seen.
“I’m certain that we can find a less populated area to work out
whatever difference of opinion...”
Tween turned to the new voice, his eyes now glowing a deeper red. “Stay
out of this Alex, I don’t want you or Knockout to get hurt.” There was
a tension in his voice that hadn’t been there before, as if he was on
the edge of madness. As Tween turned his attentions back to the blue
and black spandex meta, he caught the side kick to the face, his head
jerked back but he didn’t move. The energy from the kick dissipated
across the shielding the nanobots were putting out.
With a break in the action, Tom teleported about 12 feet away to
observe the newcomers. The tall guy looked to be a stiff Brit, maybe an
aussie. Hell, I can never tell those guys apart. The Girl I knew right
away from Arthur’s files or maybe it was from the poster he kept
in the bathroom for something I really didn’t want to know about. It
was Knockout and in the flesh, she was much better looking than any
picture could ever do her justice. He choked back making any comments
aloud to her though, she seemed to be with the tall guy and right now,
my hands are too full to deal with a pissed off boyfriend.
"Finally, the Cavalry shows up." Tom said, "What took you so
“Traffic,” replied Alex dryly.
Though his voice didn’t give it away, the fact that his eyes hadn’t
left Tween was enough to show that he was being cautious. Before Tween
could attack again, he said, “I’m told that you’d disappeared, Tween,
and not under pleasant circumstances. Are you certain you won’t
reconsider taking this elsewhere? You really aren’t looking well. Kind
of tired, actually. Perhaps a nice lie down is in order…”
Alex didn’t actually expect his words to convince him, but he was
hoping the cadence of his words and the carefully controlled tone of
his voice would be sufficient to lull him, perhaps even mesmerize him.
For a moment it seemed to work… but only for a moment.
“No!” Tween shouted frantically. “Not again!”
Tween launched an attack that would in all likelihood have flattened
Alex into a large British not to mention bloody pancake were it not for
quick movement and a vicious right cross, all highlighted by a cascade
of blonde hair. Tween sailed back a good twenty feet before plowing a
furrow into the ground.
“I don’t think so,” said Knock-out simply. For the first time today,
Alex saw something akin to confidence in the way Sarah stood.
Apparently having a foe she could actually fight was doing her some
Tween stood up in a fluid graceful motion. The glow from his eyes
grew brighter as he spoke. “So your puppets, sent to bring be back. You
wont find me taken that easy.”
Tween tried to keep the three of them in his sight but as Knock-out
moved one way and the blue spandexes one the other way, in a flanking
move. Tween glared at Alex, “I thought you were different, I see I was
wrong. A ribbon of electricity arced from Tween and expanded out to hit
everything in his sight.
The energy danced around Knockout but she gritted her teeth and
moved in. Maestro stood in a clear circle as the electricity washed
over a barrier in front of him. Tom to weathered the electrical storm
as his chi shields deflected the energy away. As quickly as it started
it stopped, a blacked arc spread out from where Tween was standing.
“Tween that is quite enough, we are not….Her or her minions, Please
stop and we can discuss this”, Alex said again trying to defuse Tweens
Tween snarled at Alex, and let loose with a focused electrical
stream. It impacted on the shields around Alex, obscuring him for a
moment it appeared that it was having no effect but little by little
Alex was forced back and the shield collapsed. The energy wave
continued to pour over Alex.
“NO!” Knock-out screamed as she closed with Tween and connected
with another right cross, stopping the energy streamer and putting
Tween on his back from the impact.
Alex stood knees bent his arms crossed in front of him, wisps of steam
and smoke rose from the cloth on his arms.
“I believe I said that was enough.” Alex said uncrossing his
hands and standing to his full height.
Tween found himself suspended in mid air, about 10 feet away from
Knock-out. He noted that Alex’s voice had taken on a deeper tone and
his eyes were now reminiscent of the night sky. Though he had not
shouted, there was no mistaking the menace in his voice. Before Tween
could break free of the force that held him, Spirit Shout and Knockout
each delivered a punch to the nanite-covered man.
This is Tarra Walters with an MNN exclusive. This afternoon in New York
Central park the meta’s Sarah Steiner, better known as Knock-out, and
Great Britain’s Duke of Gloucester, Alexander St. John-Smythe. With the
help of Spirit Shout, another meta believed to be a San Francisco
local, they subdued an unknown, black-clad meta. Here is what MNN
correspondent Kasady Rodriguez captured on film.
[A close up of Alex, his eyes are filled with what appears to be stars,
the black meta is held in mid air as Knock-out and Spirit Shout deliver
attacks on the black meta.
The camera pans back to see Tween lying unmoving and Knock-out
and the other Meta standing over him. There is a distortion and two
black panthers appear, Knock-out and Alex tense, but relax when Alex
speaks into his watch.
The next thing to appear is a large black mushroom with many tentacles
emerges from the distortion. It moves to the black meta and gently
picks it up and then shuffles back through the distortion. The two
panthers follow after. And then, after Alex speaks briefly to the other
two, he, Knock-out, and Spirit Shout follow.
The destruction left behind is severe.]
“And there you have it. Is Great Britain’s newest Duke in league with
some alien invaders? Is this somehow connected to the incident at the
Musselman Gym last month? Who or what is the black metas? Why is Spirit
Shout in New York?”
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