17

To be perfectly honest going on patrol was usually something of a waste of time. The chances of just running into a super powered crime in progress was infinitesimally small. Since their team  was sponsored by the Heroes League, and they didn’t have the right training they weren’t allowed to interfere with non-powered crime. They could even arrest a mugger if they watched it go down. Something Jessica would have been able to do as a civilian, or even as Koi before Ares had strong-armed her into the Heroes league. She wasn’t even entirely certain how she had become a member. One day she was talking to Ares about Alecia’s office then he was inviting her on a patrol to continue the conversation. Then boom youth member, Keanan shows up and suddenly she’s getting responsibility and stuff. Now instead of hunting drug submarines on the weekends she was escorting her team. Shatter flying above like some kind of pink sign announcing their presence. Cinder, who had just gotten his license driving himself and Gaslight in a league car, and her running alongside of it. The car could go faster than her, on a straight road with no traffic, not so much here in the warehouse district with all of it’s twisty turns.

Anyways, patrol was boring, and a publicity stunt, Ares had admitted as much the first time he sent the team on one. They had been pulled off of the support roll for finding the medical intern after Prysim’s little revelation. The team had taken it well, possibly. Cinder had called Prysim ‘badass as fuck’, and was bugging Shatter for her autograph. The revelation hadn’t changed how Gaslight was treating Shatter, but something about her conversation with Prysim was bugging her. She had given a full transcript of course, and there wasn’t anything in it that should have been bugging her. But Gaslight was suspected of having a sensitivity to emotions that she wouldn’t admit to. Shatter seemed happy to have seen his mom, but he still adamantly wanted to be a hero.

There wasn’t much that could make this patrol interesting, Shatter getting hit with a shoulder mounted surface to air rocket was one of them. It was a big explosion, very flashy, before Shatter was completely consumed by the fireball, Koi saw him break. Military type hardware indicates not a whole lot, maybe a lack of artillery type abilities among the attacker, maybe. 

“Gaslight, find wherever Shatter landed and protect him. Cinder keep moving, keep Gaslight safe, I’m going to find whoever shot that.”

“Roger.”

“Understood.”

“I’m ok actually, that didn’t hurt much.”

“New plan, Gaslight comb the area for the attacker, Cinder keep her safe and moving. Shatter join me.”

“Roger boss.”

“On my way.”

Text flashed across her visor, a message from Gaslight. Since everything she said could be heard within her territory she couldn’t talk wile using her powers without potentially giving away intel.

Shooter found, headed your direction on a motorcycle. Carrying shotgun, can’t ID.”

“Got it, search the area for co-conspirators.”

Shatter arrived, looking different. He was bigger, in a manner of speaking. His main body was in three different pieces, she could see through the gaps. His head had been broken into only two pieces. His arm’s were undamaged, but all of his finger was been broken in various ways. None of this seemed to inconvenience him, or even worry him. She had gotten use to Shatter being in separate parts, and held together by magic. This was the, just with more parts, that were suppose to be connected physically. She could see his insides, he looked like what she imagined a pearl might if cut in half. A bunch of layers, as it turned out only his outside one was pink, the rest were varying shades of off white, some browns, and a few shiny silvers.

“What’s the round black bit?”

“My brain.”

“I’t cut in half.”

“I have spares.”

“Good to know, your attacker is arriving.”

Koi and Shatter tuned to look at the motorcycle as it arrived. The rider was in kaki shorts and a tuxedo jacket, wearing a pink helmet with a cat on it. On his back was a shotgun, that could double as an anti-aircraft weapon it was so overbuilt. He pulled off his helmet and revealed his something of a normal face, short hair, dark eyes, tan. The facial recognition software built into her visor recognized him immediately. It automatically sent code red messages to everyone. Literally everyone in the entire city with a hero communicator got a message. Jack was back.

Jack was a serial killer, rapist, bomber, bio-terrorist, and a shit ton of other stuff. He had appeared in the Middle East eight years ago after a botched assassination while working for the Chinese empire. Since he fucked up they disavowed him, and any control they had once had over him. Since then he became a thrill killer escalating over the years. No known powers, but somehow he always got away. Always no exceptions, Jack gets away. Six years ago his ability to escape any situation was recognized as a superpower, and he was placed on the ultra list, a kill at will target. Unlike Prysim who was on the ultra list because she could potentially kill a city of people and had poor impulse control, he was on the list because he had killed a city full of people.   

“What are you here for Jack?”

“Well you see that’s a funny story, I tried to hire an associate to make me this big fucking bomb. And do you know what she did?”

“No idea, but I’m sure you want to tell me.”

“You’re right I do. That bitch carved my eyes out.”

“You seem to have both of your eyes, and that doesn’t explain why you’re here.”

“I got better, anyways I heard that she squeezed a kid out of her tight little cunt, and just had to see for myself.”

“So you shot a guy who can only be minority inconvenienced by a rocket, with a rocket. In a stupid misguided attempt at revenge.”

“Of course not, I would have fucked her pussy raw given the chance. This is about the principle of the matter.”

As he spoke he cocked his shotgun in a menacing but completely unnecessary way, it was automatic. He took two steps forward leveling the gun at Koi, and promptly tripped and landed on his face. Even as he fell a portion of the wall of one of the warehouse to his left exploded inwards. Jack jumped up, and retreated down the street away from Koi and Shatter, he hadn’t lasted this long by being stupid. Koi really wanted to chase him down and put her hand through his spine, but somehow it wouldn’t work. Instead she and Shatter also retreated, the big leagues we on their way, and could handle Jack.

Found the shooters, it’s Thread and Needle with a big-ass rifle. They’re packing up to go.

Thread and Needle had shown up at the same time as Prysim as her henchmen. They mostly did their own things these days, but were always suspiciously well equipped. They both had the bodies of her high school’s star quarterback. They were also known to be fiercely loyal to Prysim. No potential threat right now, they were looking after Shatter on Prysim’s behalf.

“Ignore them Gaslight, Cinder go back to HQ fast as possible.”  She heard the sounds of dogs howling. “Fey is on scene, me and Shatter will be flying back as well.” 

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