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Helaron 10 Helaron's Saga 10: Old Enemies
"Just to confirm, could anybody hear sound from behind that door earlier?" CYBR asked.
CYBR's two kicks were aimed at the warped wall where one would expect the door hinges to join. The door collapsed under the assault. It struck me that the android must be extremely heavy. Clockwork headed for the doorway; there was a blur of motion, a cry...
"Ugh." Rubbing his head, Clockwork adjusted the way he knelt on the floor to take weight off his injured leg and glared at the man whom I was holding in a headlock. "You... you know that you can't actually knock somebody out by hitting them on the head, right? I mean, not reliably. It can work but it's hard to predict the time or damage. A more likely result is concussion."
"Yeah, see, that's why experienced fighters use headlocks," I added, jiggling my elbow around the man's neck for emphasis. "Hitting them just makes them angry in the short term, and is dangerous in the long term. It
Helaron 9 Helaron's Saga 9: A Simple Door
It shouldn't be hard to open a simple fucking door.
The logistic problems were rather more complicated than one would expect, however. We weren't sure how long Forcinor's shield would be down after Polaron's blast but it would probably only be a couple of seconds, and it was risky for CYBR to stand too close to him. Yet she was the only one strong enough to kick a steel door in. She insisted that she had shielding for that sort of thing, but Polaron reasoned that her mechanic was Veldron, and Polaron knew from experience that careful timing and positioning could overcome Veldron's robots. That was puzzling; judging by the way she protected and followed him, I had assumed that CYBR was Midnight's robot, probably a guard. But maybe Veldron had built her to keep an eye out for him. I wasn't really familiar with Veldron's work.
In the end, Clockwork asked if anyone had a spare battery. Midnight wordlessly took a metal cylinder out of the handle of h
Helaron 8 Helaron's Saga 8: Cyborgs
I like fighting robots. It's a little trickier to work out where their vulnerable spots are, but once you have, you can "kill" them without guilt. But the things that lurched at us from both sides of the corridor... I did not like those.
They were cyborgs, I suppose. Metal and plastic met flesh in a disconcerting construct. They were quadrupedal and about nine feet tall, balancing on spindly steel insect legs. They looked like a cyberpunk nightmarish depiction of centaurs, their ridiculous spidery bodies topped with torsos containing extremely long arms and disconcertingly humanlike hands. Their heads were (to my relief) covered with huge metal helmets. There were six of them coming from either end of the corridor.
Before they got anywhere near us, Polaron took off, flying down the tunnel back the way we came. I ran after him. The others, I noticed, didn't, instead turning to run toward the six coming from the other end of the corridor.
Helaron 7 Helaron's Saga 7: Origins
I remember my first lair infiltration.
It wasn't a lair, as such. It was more a den. I was sixteen then, and my unusual talents were only just beginning to manifest; I'd been coming home from a nice party when I'd felt the prickle of danger. The normal thing to do would be to clutch my bag tighter and hurry along, but that's when I heard a frightened scream. What could I do?
They were lurking out the back of an abandoned building. I didn't know that they were drug dealers then. I just knew that they were four men who were clearly smoking something, and they were manhandling a woman.
I didn't kill any of them. I just broke arms and noses, mostly. A knee, I think. I offered to walk the terrified woman home, but she just wanted to get away from me. Upon reflection I can understand that it must have been pretty scary. I called emergency services for the scumbags, but got out of there before I had to answer any inconvenient questions.
I didn't turn myself
Helaron 6 Helaron's Saga 6: Booby Trap
Polaron was next.
He ducked around everybody else, leapt into the air, and flew for it. A couple of us cried out, but there was no way we were following him.
No beeping. No fire.
One by one, we moved along the corridor, ready to run at any moment.
"Lights," Midnight noted absently. "Good to know."
Next there would be a fork. I knew this before we got there. Not because of prescience, but because of experience. I automatically turned right as Midnight turned left.
"I think left is the fastest way to find our targets," Midnight said.
I shook my head. My spine was tingling. "Superpower. The significant stuff is right."
Midnight raised an eyebrow. "How reliable is your sense? I believe it's been fooled before."
"And what are you basing your estimation on? I do this for a living, you know."
"Against the Count, mostly. The Count favours right-heavy dungeons. There's no reason to believe that this man does the same."
"Why don't we just split up?" Clockwor
Helaron 5 Helaron's Saga 5: Like a Hero
It was Clockwork who radioed it in. The fliers were fast, but as Midnight and I were searching on either side of Clockwork, we were both there in time to see CYBR drag a metal pod out of a river with disconcertingly superhuman strength.
It was a metal egg that looked large enough to hold a couple of people. Midnight proved this estimation correct when he pried a small metal panel off the side and dug around until the top opened, revealing two seats and a lot of controls. Without discussion, Clockwork climbed inside, muttering "there has to be an autopilot or something". After a couple of minutes, he got it to hover about half a metre off the ground.
"It flies like a superhero," CYBR said suddenly.
"I'm not sure how it works, but about 80% of flying superhumans use the same method of flight. I have a detector for it," she added, tapping her temple, "and it's going crazy right now."
I frowned. "You're a cyborg?"
"Android," she replied reluct
Helaron 4 Helaron's saga 4: Setting Out
We prepared for the mission the same way we prepared for any other. Infiltrating an unknown base to face unknown adversaries was routine for us. Instincts honed by experience gave us an edge for that sort of thing. We were in our element.
What was scary was how routine it had become to prepare for such things without the Captain. We hadn't done all that much thwarting of supervillainy since he'd been gone, but after more than four months, we couldn't help but settle into a new system, one where the Captain-shaped hole filled in by slowly eroding sides until it was almost like he wasn't meant to be there. (Four months! Had it really been that long?)
But he was meant to be there. He had to be. I couldn't outlast two captains on this team, the concept was ridiculous. We had to get him back.
Food, water, medical, radios. Torches. Spare batteries. Rope, lockpicks, hidden knives and other tidbits for sudden turns of events. We each took care of our own
Helaron 3 Helaron's Saga 3: Pop Culture
He looked every bit as impressive as he had all those years ago, issuing commands from a giant flying wooden boat. He was older now, moved more hesitantly. He moved with the care of an older gentleman, but he had always moved carefully. Grey peppered his moustache and hair now, but the hairstyle had not changed, nor the tattered suit. The only major change, apart from age, was the handsome new cane he wielded.
Clockwork had been a high-class villain back in what the rest of the Squad would call 'the old days', the years after the League of Shadows fell apart. He had been one of the greats before simply fading off the map. We had known that he wasn't dead. Snatches of information from captured villains had made it clear that he was alive and working; he'd just stopped being a supervillain. But here he was, his appearance his very presence a declaration that a supervillain never fades, not until death. He merely put that per
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