Helaron 24 Helaron's Saga 24: Final Boss (1)
"Hel, where are you going?"
"To get my other goddamned sword. We can't let this guy get away."
Longtooth nodded. "I'll find the Captain and meet you up there."
Not if I got to River first, he wouldn't. I sped up. Nobody but Longtooth would be able to see him, surely nobody else should be heading for him. But I needed to make some headway before he found the Captain. There was no way I could beat him for speed.
My missing sword fell from the sky to dig into the loose earth at my feet. From above, CYBR's voice said, "You really gonna walk up this thing on foot?"
"You here to give me a lift?"
"That'd be advisable, unless you want our adversary to get away." She looked up the mountain. "But I don't think that's a problem. He's waiting for us."
I picked up my sword and let her lift me into the sky. Her skin and clothing had fallen away entirely now, leaving just metal. Without the fleshy mask, her face was expressionless.
"I thought you want
Helaron 23 Helaron's Saga 23: Landslide
A landslide right off a cliff.
I'd survived worse. On pure reflex I drove my sword into the sturdiest part of the cliffside I could see as I fell. My shoulders twanged in pain, but I held on, even under the force of all the falling dirt, and tried not to breathe in more dust than I had to. If I was going to die in an enemy trap I was going to do it with my swords, dammit, not as some fleshy bag of unarmed broken bones at the bottom of a mountain. Although at this rate I'd just be a fleshy bag of armed broken bones, which isn't that much better.
I instinctively kept a hold of my sword as the pressure changed to pull me away from the cliff, but let go once I realised who was pulling me away. From the Captain's arms, I surveyed the chaos below as people tried to keep their footing or tried not to be crushed.
"Guy getting buried," I said, pointing. The Captain dropped me on a flat bit of rock and went for him. Around me, fliers, villain and hero alike,
Helaron 22 Helaron's Saga 22: running out of chapter names
What the hell do you say to a robot holding the corpse of her friend?
Nothing, as far as I could tell. We'd lost two of our number. It had been a long time since I'd lost a teammate. Even though both of the dead were villains, I couldn't help feeling that I'd failed them. I hadn't even been there to see my nemesis die.
We'd fallen behind the rest of the group as we lingered to watch Midnight's little death scene, but CYBR had increased her pace to catch them up. I jogged after her.
"CYBR? We'll get River for this. I'll kill him with my own swords."
"No," CYBR said calmly. "I will kill him."
"I will be the one to defeat him," Clockwork said from behind us.
"That man took my nemesis "
"He took my best friend. I will make him pay for tha
Helaron 21 Helaron's Saga 21: Dramatic Pause
Dr River was going to die.
Not even I was prepared for the scream of animal rage that tore its way from my throat.
Everybody backed away, quickly, except the Captain, who put his arms around me. And I couldn't stop myself from sobbing, sobbing like some little fucking kid, into that man's shoulder. He wasn't my original Captain, but he was a good one, and he was there.
The Count had only been there at all because he hadn't wanted to head for the exit by himself after we'd found him. I should have escorted him out then. He was my responsibility. He was my nemesis. I'd spent years of my life chasing him, fighting him; we understood each other in the way that only two people constantly struggling for their lives and freedom against each other can.
He was mine to defeat. Mine to capture and, if necessary, kill. And Dr River had taken him from me. Well then, Dr River would just have to take his place.
This man was too dangerous to capture. I would
Helaron 20 Helaron's Saga 20: Revelations
Midnight was staring at Clockwork. I'd sort of forgotten that he was there.
"How?" he asked.
Clockwork smiled. "It's not hard to figure out, 'Midnight'. Your skin tipped me off quite quickly, and you do seem to know a rather a lot. Your ladyfriend knows; why are you surprised I know as well? I've seen this sort of work before."
"Don't look so scared. I believe you're on our side. We should be set here; we need to get away from the explosion area and notify those on the other side. Anybody carrying a still-functional radio?"
"I'm sure Seer is keeping an eye on us and can warn the others, but that's not the issue here. Who is he? Who's Midnight?"
"I'm nobody!" Midnight snapped as he climbed to his feet. CYBR helped him up.
"It's probably better to tell her," Clockwork said reasonably. "It could hardly make her more suspicious."
"Midnight," Clockwork continued, "is a minion of Ross River."
"The name of our enemy here
Helaron 19 Helaron's Saga 19: The Cavalry
"The basic problem with this design," Clockwork said from above us as the spider-thing stopped shooting and began to sway, "is that the whole plan is based on not allowing anybody to get on top. It assumes that it can keep enemies below even after falling out of the ceiling and it assumed that no attack can originate from above. For that purpose, a simple weaponised ceiling would have been better. But I guess people like us are prey to dramatic urges; I've lost more than one clockwork army to flaws left for aesthetic reasons."
CYBR and I ducked out of the way as the spider-thing crashed to the floor. Clockwork strode off the top on four long, spindly metal legs; legs I recognised from the prototype robots we'd fought just outside the room where we'd left him. "Everybody okay?"
"Not... really." Midnight shakily stood, replaced the gem on his weapon and sheathed it. The handle, I noticed, was covered in blood. "The others are behind the cave-in."
Helaron 18 Helaron's Saga 18: Boss Fight
Upon reflection, I really should have expected the giant robot spider. The earlier things had had spidery legs, after all. But this one's spread legs were as wide as the room and its underbelly, a traditional weak spot on most of the giant monsters I've had to fight, was caked in armour plating and various artillery. This wasn't fighting a monster, it was fighting a mobile weapons unit above you.
I took my swords to the legs, but man were they dense. They probably had Forcinor's fields on them or something. CYBR's bullets were having no luck doing any damage to the creature's body. She activated her rockets and tried to rise on top of it, but it merely shifted its body to block her path. Midnight had taken the stupid gem off the top of his wand and was aiming the head of it at the robot. Whatever he was doing wasn't working.
"We have to get on top of it!" I said to CYBR.
"I know, but how?"
I thought about that. I couldn't fly. I could jump... but
Helaron 17 Helaron's Saga 17: Contrived Setup
To find and destroy the villain, we'd have to work together. It wasn't something that came naturally to most of those present; it wasn't something that came naturally to me, either, but since joining the Squad it was a skill that I'd honed and developed. It occurred to me that nobody on the Squad was naturally much of a team player except the Captain. Seer was good with people in general but not specifically teams, Mirror made a brilliant second in command from a tactical standpoint but the last few months had shown that she fell apart without a real team player to back up her authority, and Longtooth, beyond his loyalty to the Captain, didn't behave like he was in a team at all. With a chill, I realised that determination in finding our Captain had been the only thing holding us together; what if we'd found him dead? We would have disbanded within the week.
With a bigger chill, I realised that in that situation, I would've ful
Helaron 16 Helaron's Saga 16: The Captain
"Captain? Are you alright?"
We all knew better than to loom directly over him while he woke up. That was a good way to get reflexively punched. He looked carefully about, pulled the mask off his face and sat up. He blinked at us. "Where are we? Is it safe to take this needle out of my arm?"
"It should be safe," Midnight said as he walked past, trying to get to as many waking people as possible. The Captain stared after him.
"Who is he? Where are we?"
Mirror closed her eyes and took a deep breath in the manner of one about to recite a long, memorised explanation. Longtooth beat her to it.
"You were abducted, followed by a bunch of other superpowered people. We're here to rescue you. You ok?"
"I think so." He climbed out of the pod and rubbed his thighs. "How long ago?"
"A bit over four months."
"Haven't found him. Throne room is empty."
"Empty? He fled before the final confrontation?"
I shrugged. "We did bring quite a few people."