I shook my head, doubts and idle thoughts banished.
Guinevere. She was what was keeping their bargain Ultras and enhanced mortals fighting with my killers, keeping them in this fight at all. She was what was prolonging this madness. Even if King Arthur managed to make another wave, without her gift they’d be lambs to the slaughter. My Posse could fend for itself, or die if it came to that. My focus had to be on Guinevere.
I suited action to words, storming back into the melee, shoving aside a few of my own troops to get at the enemy.
The first thing to do was get rid of ‘living’. The enhanced senses were nice, but I needed my death touch back. Guin had Ultra Tough 2, which meant the only thing I had that might touch her was my blending. I needed to get my hands on her, take something from her that she could not live without.
I had my chance immediately, as an enormous brute with pushed his way through a pair of combatants and smashed his fists down at me.
I took a step back in spite of myself, nearly tripping for the dozenth time today as his punch shot past. There was no reason, in an Ultra fight, to assume that a big guy’s punch was any stronger than the smallest waif’s, and in fact it was often best to assume the opposite, but I’d dodged anyway.
I powered forward to compensate, stepping into his reach and launching an open handed slap. If people were too stupid to cover their faces in an Ultra fight then I wouldn’t turn down the opportunity to use my touch based gift.
He turned his head to take the blow, raising a shoulder slightly, but I still made contact, and I let ‘living’ go the instant I could.
He staggered back, eyes wide and staring. He didn’t collapse or anything, but he was plainly not in a good way. I darted past him before he could get used to the doubled senses, hoping one of my followers would take him down.
Immediately behind him, naturally, were more of the Ar Harbour assholes, a trio of whom decided to tackle me all at once. I couldn’t get my legs down in time to jump aside, and they caught me good, knocking me into the back of the big guy and sending us all down to the ground in a squirming heap.
I was extraordinarily sensitive to the peril I was in. Close quarters with three foes, no idea about their gifts. I didn’t have Ultra Strength, couldn’t just rise up and toss them off.
Instead I squirmed and writhed, hands reaching frantically about, searching for exposed skin. I caught an ungloved hand, stole ‘moves’ from a form that suddenly stiffened, and used my suddenly greater celerity to contort that hand onto an unguarded face.
It was my foe’s turn to go into a frenzy then, as the new ‘moves’ clashed with whatever they’d previously had, it disrupted things enough that I could heave myself to my knees, then up to my feet, only an arm hooked around my knee impeding me.
My survival was most likely due to the nature of my enemy. These weren’t Ultras, not really, just vessels for King Arthur’s gift. They had a little strength, but not enough to hurt me. They had no touch based gifts. I hadn’t been in quite as much danger as I’d thought.
Wasting time with that thought earned me another trip to Ground City, as the arm around my knee wrapped my other and turned my attempt to leave the tangle into a headlong tumble.
I curled my stomach, bringing my arms back to wrestle with the person who’d grabbed onto me, when my head was rocked to the side by a thunderous kick from someone standing above us. My ears rang and my vision flashed white for a second as I shot through the air, torn free of the hands that gripped me by the enormous impact.
My flight was interrupted by at least one other person, and I tumbled down once again to the ground atop them, then immediately caught fire.
Guin could see me again, which meant that I should be able to see her, which I could try to do as soon as I was not on fire. I groped around, dragging the person I’d slammed into atop me, trying to use her to block my enemy’s line of sight.
That didn’t seem to help at all, as I found us both lifted into the air, her screams and thrashing a jarring, distracting cherry on top of the world of pain that was being burned.
I tried to use my gift on the fire itself, got nowhere, it didn’t give me any meta tags that I could distinguish, or maybe I was in too much pain to notice. I writhed about, got a hand onto the side where the grip seemed slightly less strong, touched my hand to the bit of asbestos I’d tucked away for such opportunities.
I took ‘fireproof’ instantly, and could see for the first time in at least ten seconds as the halo of flames around me fell away. By sheerest coincidence I was facing in the direction of Guinevere, and I marked her location among the throng even as I started falling.
She’d lifted me about ten feet up, and only my sudden drop saved me from an incoming Ultra gift of some kind, blue energy that shot by overhead with a crackling power that made me very grateful it hadn’t hit me.
I landed on my feet this time, finally, and immediately headed towards Guinevere, who had only seemed to be about twenty feet off. I had pushed through a pair of my allies, and wonder of wonders they didn’t attack me.
I caught sight of her up ahead, she’d been tripped up by a brawl between one of theirs and one of mine, and she was using her flames to sort things out. It had slowed her for a moment, and I got to within a few steps of her before being balked once again.
Flames surged around me, despite my gift’s defenses. They did not burn, but jerked me back, shoving me away from Guinevere just when my hand was about to fall upon her.
It took me a second, and a strange difference in the way that I was being tugged, to realize what she was doing. She’d set afire my clothing, rather than my unburnable flesh, and she was using it as handles on me, hauling me back by my pants and shirt. The bitch!
My first, immediate instinct was to strip down, but I’d be utterly vulnerable as I tried it, and I had no particular reason to believe that my strength was greater than her gift’s anyway, she might well be able to hold things on me until they were completely consumed. Instead, I lashed out with a gift that I’d hitherto disregarded.
“Kill her!” I shrieked, pointing as well as I could with a hand blessedly flee of any confining clothing. “NOW!”
There was a lot of shouting going on, enough that I’d given up on doing squad level stuff, but I’d put a lot of time into basic obedience drills, and those few who were close enough to hear my voice and recognize it obeyed instantly. Blessedly, one of them had a blasting gift.
Guinevere stopped hauling on me for a moment as the beam closed in, setting herself afire instead, presumably trying to drag herself out of the way, but the timing didn’t work out. It took her in the upper chest, spent her sprawling down into the ranks of her allies.
I shot towards the spot where she’d fallen, weaving around a furious enemy with a chainsaw, of all things. If I could get her before she…
She was ash and char from the waste to shoulder, eyes wide and staring. The flames which consumed her now were entirely natural.
I made a note to look back over our ranks, see who the fuck we had who could take out someone that Ultra Tough in one shot and make sure never to turn my back on them again.
Naturally, the instant I made this resolution I got shot in the back, but good. A silver-red line ran through me and through the next girl ahead of me, coated instantly in a gusher of blood.
I tried to fall and twist away, but the line clung, searing and penetrating. Only a desperate kick and thrash combination broke the line of effect, letting me away into a frantic roll.
I came to my feet with a shudder and a howl of pain, eyes already tracking my assailant.
It wasn’t hard to find her. The overall scrum was ending, in my favor, but there was a knot of enemies still fighting hard, back around where Builder and Owner were supposed to have been. Ar Harbour’s actual Ultras and some Union assholes were at the heart of it. It was one of them who had tagged me, judging by the silver wires lashing out from her outstretched hand into the Ultras pressing in on her little group.
I took a step towards her, stopped as a shudder of agony ran up my side. This was not a light or incidental wound. I needed to take stock a second, figure out my next move.
Actions, choose one or write in.
- Go after the Union Leader who just impaled me. Will probably be one on one, I’m confident I can take her despite my injury, I am VERY good at murder.
- Go intervene in the Lancelot/Smasher fight, if that’s still raging (HOW is that still raging??). Will probably result in a 2 on 2 as the Union leader follows.
- Go after King Arthur, leaving Smasher to fight 1 v 2 if the Union Leader doesn’t pursue me. May be in time to stop whatever she is up to, likely the creation of another fucking army.