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Sctellou’s legs wobbled with each consecutive jump. He landed hard on an office complex. His legs fell out from under him. He rolled, smacking his head and on the roof. He stopped on his knees and looked out. The lights from the stadium blasted the nighttime around it away. It was a beacon, a beacon he had to reach soon.
He lifted his hand. It visibly shook. It was a weight on his body. He tensed his muscle, made a fist and punched the roofing. His hand went through. Dust and chunks of concrete laid around the hole. He never took his eyes off the stadium.
He rose to his feet. He flexed his stomach, fighting his core, keeping him balanced. He shook his body out. The world spun. He focused his energy until the world became a solid vision. He knelt and leaped to the next building.
He coughed. Green blood trickled down his body, leaving a trail behind him. Each step on the rooftops was heavier and heavier. It was hard to wipe the blood off his cheek. He planned on going to Dr. Dracex as soon as he got back to see what the old man did to him. He landed and felt his stomach. It resonated with a solid full pain through his abdomen. He felt the stop. All that was there was a bruise. He adjusted his focus back to the stadium.
He sprung off the final rooftop and curled his tail along a floodlight and surveyed the field. There was a player on second and third base, with a full outfield team. A new player went up to bat. His walk-up music blasted out the speakers next to Sctellou. He could feel the music drilling into his head. He knew it was the time. It had to be. He sprung off the pole.
He flew and landed in the outfield. The players turned to him and took no time to run away when the grass and dust cleared. Sctellou cleaned himself off and casually stepped forward. The players ran off the field and back to their respective dugouts. The stands booed and started tossing food, toys, and baseballs at him. They did nothing. He reached the pitchers mound and saw the stadium around him. “Where is your hero?” he called out.
“I’m right here lizard brain!” Desmond called out.
Kyane stood up and ran to the hallway.
Desmond stood up, adjusted his cast, jumped over the railing to the top of the dugout, and from the dugout to the field. “I’m this city’s hero, homie! So, go home.” He strutted up to Sctellou. His body wouldn’t stop shaking. He could feel the massive power washing over him.
Sctellou scanned him over. “You look worthy but are not the champion I wish. I wish for the one who slew Herreas.”
“I’m more than enough for you.” Desmond addressed the crowd. “Don’t leave your seats. The fun is about to start!” He looked down. Harry was giving him a hard shake of his head. As if he was trying to implant how bad the idea was into his breakthrough force of alone. Desmond didn’t get the message. He strode up to Sctellou. He felt like a dwarf. He wondered if this was what everyone else felt around him.
Sctellou cocked his head. “Hmm. What is that black thing on your arm?”
“It’s to keep all my power back. If I hit too hard it’ll, like, blow you to bits.”
“Fascinating. Let me see.” He grabbed the cast and began squeezing it. Desmond ground his teeth to dust to bare it. The plastic and fluff began to bury itself in Desmond’s arm. Sctellou began pulling and yanking the cast. Desmond fell to the ground and screamed. “It seems physically attached to you. That won’t do at all.” He lifted the arm up. Desmond yelped. “I think I can cut your hand off but then you’ll lose the power.” A blood vessel popped in his body. He rose Desmond above him. Desmond screamed. “You lied.”
Kyane wanted to block the screams of her boyfriend out of her mind. She wanted to run, but she didn’t. She stood strong cause she knew he would. She took a breath and cleared her mind and aligned the faces. The belt began emitting a blue grid onto her body. The vibration spread with it. The clumps of black metal poured out of the stones and b-lined to the spaces on the grid. The pieces expanded to fix the grid space. Each piece smacked against her body, then snapped together like a puzzle. It was overall painless except for two pieces smacking her butt, and the breastplate mashing onto her chest. A tickle carried up her neck as metal extended from the back, and chest plate, covering her neck. The final pieces of metal snapped together with blue glass in the middle forming a helmet with a visor. The helmet snapped onto her skin. The outfit was complete.
“What can I do for you, Kyane?” D13 said.
“Just get me ready for this, Die.” She shook her body and clapped her hands. “Make sure all systems are going. I want to go out and kick butt for sure. Do this thing quickly.”
“I will do my best. Should I prepare your own walkout music for your appearance?”
“I love that idea, Die.”
Dieous ran out of the hallway, darted over the fence and boosted up to the top of the sportscaster’s box. He zoomed in on Desmond being strung up by Sctellou. He grabbed a piece of the roofing and crushed it into pieces.
“You know,” Sctellou said from the field, “I still have yet to kill one of your species. I wonder if you dark types feel different to kill.” He rose his claws and started tearing small rips into Desmond’s shirt. Desmond tried not to wet himself.
“Now, Die,” Kyane said.
“You know,” Dieous’s pitch-shifted voice boomed through the stadium. He rose. His blue lights cut the black around him. “I am also a dark type. Why don’t you try on me first?” D13 moved an MP3 file through the same track. Make a Move by Icon for Hire followed. Dieous activated the engines and boosted off the roof and landed on home plate. “I’m the one that you want.”
Jamie got his phone out and ran over. He had to fight the crowds of people already gathering with phones ready to record.
Desmond winked at Dieous before he was tossed aside. He rolled and took refuge in the dugout.
“You are quite impressive,” Sctellou said. He walked over to his foe. “You have taken out many, many of my people. That includes some of the toughest soldiers in our army. I am giddy to find out what you are like.”
“Thanks for the compliment. I’m sorry I didn’t hear the same about you.” Dieous lifted her foot, then slammed him in the chest. Sctellou inched backward but felt nothing. Dieous froze for an instant before following it up with a second kick, and a third. She set out for a fourth only for his foot to be stopped by Sctellou’s hand. Sctellou twisted Dieous around, spinning her like a barrel before chopping her down on the back sending Dieous crashing to the ground.
“I wish I had fought more of your kind. You seem like you could be really invigorating for me!” He placed his hand to her chest. He couldn’t stop the shaking. He had to finish his fight soon. The kicks may not have done physical damage, but he could feel the upcoming toll. He quickly wrapped Dieous in his tail and repeatedly battered her on the ground. “Do you give up?”
“I was planning on it… until I felt how weak your moves are.”
“Weak, hmm.” Sctellou rose Dieous, holding them face-to-face. He punched her in the face. Dieous’s face whipped to the side. Specks of metal flakes floated to the ground. He punched again, and again, and again. Dieous’s head snapped side-to-side with each hit. More specks floated to the ground. “How was that? Were those weak?”
“What’s the damage?” Kyane asked.
D13 brought up a segmented image of the head plate on the HUD. He highlighted the damage sections in red. There was isolated damage along the cheeks, but none outside of that. “There is just damage around the cheeks.”
“Not bad then?”
“No. Which I find odd because he is supposed to be incredibly strong but is doing less damage than a raptor.”
“He may not hit hard, but he is hard to get through like the others.” The word other unlocked a memory. “I got it! Activate the engines.”
“Engines lighting up.”
“Well?” Sctellou said. He shook Dieous. “What do you say? Maybe you are more hurt than you let on.”
“No.” Dieous lifted her legs to her chest, stuck her feet out. The engines kicked on. Blue flames crisped Sctellou’s flesh. Dieous kicked forward, out of the hold, flipped and landed back on his feet. Sctellou staggered backward in pain. He gripped his cooked abdomen. “I was coming up with a plan.” Dieous activated the taser. D13 rewired the current to her hands. The metal around her hands opened to reveal blue static energy around them. She blasted forward, slamming Sctellou in the chest and sending them both back to the outfield. She clocked him in the face with her blitzed hands.
Sctellou took each hit after hit. The pain was nothing, just nips, stings. But the strings started to build a wall of hurt with help from the cooked chest and previous fight. He felt his vision fade. He was losing. He couldn’t. “You pest!” He swung his tail full force. It knocked into Dieous’s side and sent him careening into a padded wall. “I have no time to deal with someone like you. I have bigger plans to finish.”
Dieous stood up and raised her arms back to a fighting stance. “Make time. Cause I’m still here.” Her hands sparked, and slowly faded back to the solid black.
Sctellou smiled. “Not for long.” He jumped to the wall, off the wall, and sent himself rocketing toward Dieous. He met the warrior with an outstretched claw. Dieous returned the claw with two open palms. Before Sctellou could process what happened he felt his claw hit the air, a slam to the side and hit into the wall. He looked up from the hit.
Dieous bounced side to side with fists ready. “I might actually be able to make my date at this rate.” He threw a punch. Sctellou took the hit, pulled his arm back, then sent him flying with a hit from his elbow. Dieous got up near second base.
“Why did that hit hurt so much?” Kyane said. “Everything else did like nothing.”
D13 brought up a graph and readouts of the suit. “Using the tasers as you did not only lowered energy like firing them but destroyed the metal around the hand. That metal had to be constantly remade by taking metal from the rest of the suit. At this rate, we will be out in a matter of minutes.”
“I think it is time we remove the limiter then.”
Sctellou charged at Dieous. He moved across the field in seconds.
“I’m not sure if that is the best idea, Kyane.”
“No time to argue. Just do it!” Kyane said.
D13 brought up a zoomed-in image of the chip at the base of her neck. It opened in the middle. The brainwaves rushed through the body with no regard. Kyane could feel the heavy metal around her body, yet it felt like a weight was lifted off her body. Along the armor, small slats opened, and blue lights ran from the belt, up the chest, down the legs, to the diamond gauntlets and out to the fingers. The same overlay points that Herreas had appeared on Sctellou’s body.
“This was the form you used to slay Herreas. It is attractive but will not help you end this.”
“I’m interested to see.”
Sctellou whipped his tail out. Dieous avoided the hit, jumped in close, and backhanded the foe in the burnt spot. She quickly flipped around and fired off multiple kicks to the same spot. Sctellou went for a bite/slash combo. Dieous blocked the slashes with her arms, then delivered a headbutt, cracking Sctellou’s head. He danced away with his skull in his hand.
Dieous pulled her hands back. The uproarious noise and cheering from the crowd felt strong. The wind built up more and more as she clapped her hands. An air bubble expanded between her palms. She slapped her hands against Sctellou’s chest. The bubble exploded out around them. She brought her arms back, then quickly fired off his barrage of punches to the burn wound. The hits bounced and lumped back like a normal hit. Indents began to form and deepen in Sctellou’s chest and could do nothing to stop it. She reared his arm back for a final punch but froze, looked to Desmond, and extended her hand out. Desmond nodded, lifted a bat out of its bag and tossed it. Dieous caught it, spun it over to the correct side, and pointed at the outfield. She slowly pulled back… then let go with a full swing. The bat twisted backward with the hit.
Sctellou’s body jerked back and flew into the air. It whistles over the scoreboard and into the field behind it. His body destabilized in a large explosion of green electricity.
Dieous turned back to the crowd. She lifted the dented bat into the air. The crowd exploded in uproarious cheers and applause. It instantly turned into a blunt force weapon of yells and woo-hoos. He pointed the bat to Desmond and Jamie above him and returned the nod. Desmond snuck a blow-kiss. Jamie typed away on his phone.
Kyane smiled wide and planned her escape. “Thanks for the help,” she whispered.
Mr. Ayer was in stunned awe at the reaction to the fight. He nodded and clapped. The cheer moved into a fevered white noise to his ears. He looked at the people next to him. They were taking pictures and screaming. He checked his phone. This was important. He needed to tell someone.
He scooted passed them and ducked into the nearest men’s room. He pushed in each stall door, clearing them before he took out his phone. Line on the other end rang. He could feel his body heaving and sweating in time with the consecutive rings. He rolled his sleeves up to reveal hairy arms. The voice on the other end picked up.
“Yes, it’s me. Did you see that? Yes. This changes everything.” His voice was gruff and angry. His skin began bubbling up into pustules before popping into scales. The scales interlaced themselves down his arms and to his hands. His nails jerked outwards into jet-black daggers. His eyes morphed for green into swirls of yellow. The pupils changed from soft circles to harsh ovals. “This was not in the plan, but I did account for a possibility like this. Send the remaining ones to me. I will take care of them now. No, sending a new infiltration team won’t work. Just send the eleven remaining specials to me. I promise that this is not the end yet, General Dracorex.” He hung up the phone, then crushed it in his clawed hand.