When the Chips Are Down 1.5

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Well. Maybe he wasn’t completely insane but that didn’t change what she had to do here. Keep him occupied for a few minutes while Ionic set stuff up. Easy peasy.

She teleported a table this time, positioning it next to his head instead of his legs. This time, she didn’t stop and wait, she teleported every piece of heavy looking furniture stuck to the wall within her line of sight, one at a time. She only managed to whack him with four tables and a chair when the attraction effect on the wall wore off, every object pinned to the wall fell to the ground in a loud clatter. No chairs or anything above her, fortunately, just paper bags, straws, and plastic cups. She shut off her perception power. It’d do her no good if it started distracting her when she lost control of it.

Cameron felt that pull again, dragging her forward, closer to Blondie and Little Blondie. Then, it really pulled, but from a different direction. One was dragging her forward, the other forced her up, both with the same dizzying speed it had earlier. It didn’t last long.

It hurt all over, like someone ran her over with a bulldozer. She knew she should be doing something, but she couldn’t hear herself think over her pounding head.

“Hey, kid, you alright?”

That voice, she recognized it. Comms? To talk you had to… tap. Right, tap the helmet. She tapped her fingers against the helmet four – five? – times.

“Kid, hey. Hey! Over here, look to your right and up.”

She did. This guy she’d seen before, on the news, sometimes even flying high in the sky over the city on a patrol. When talking about Avocet’s superheroes, he was the guy at the heart of the discussion. He was Droid, the city’s most promising star. Suited up in a slick costume, a white trench coat over grey knight armor, he was against the ceiling, looking down at the food court, arms at his side. “Are you alright?” he asked.

“Shit,” Cameron said. “Damn. That fucking hurt.”

How far was the range on this guy’s power? It was good enough to drag all tables and chairs to the wall, so safe to assume nowhere in the food court was a good place to teleport to, unless she wanted to ram into the wall again when his power took hold of her. From this angle, up at the part of the wall that met the ceiling, she could only see the left half of the food court. Her head was starting to feel a little better, or maybe she was just getting used to it, but she could think.

Blondie was over by the wall, his hands on a table and chair. He stepped back as they flew through the air, little furniture missiles. Cameron teleported, stumbling when she appeared beside Blondie. She looked behind her, then teleported again, putting some distance between them. Definitely wouldn’t be pleasant if he was capable of using his power on other superhumans. When she didn’t feel the pull of his power at her new location, she drew the stun gun, aimed, and fired. With each pull of the trigger, a ball of red energy came out of the barrel. They knocked him back, tore up his clothes even more. He slapped the floor, and the blasts changed their trajectories mid-flight, diving at the spot he touched.

He was still smiling, staying where he stood. Toying with her, seeing what she could come up with.

“You guys done yet?” Cameron said.

“Almost, just need him to get into position. If you could get him out of the food court and to the clothing store to your left, the pink one, that would be great,” Violet Knight answered.

“Any chance you could teleport me off this roof? I could help with the luring.”

“Doesn’t work so well with other powers,” Cameron admitted. Superhumans seemed to have a natural resistance against other powers. Most people were either incapable of applying their powers directly to another superhuman or the effect was severely diminished. A telekinetic wouldn’t be able to lift a superhuman, a telepath wouldn’t be able to read a superhuman’s mind, a teleporter couldn’t teleport other superhumans.  A pyrokinetic couldn’t make someone burst into flames but they could set fire to the objects around a superhuman, and the fire would still burn them.

“Damn. Just gotta wait for it to wear off, I suppose.” 

“Get him here, now,” Ionic ordered.

How did they expect her to do that? Nothing she had done so far did more than a paper cut to the guy. He was there, smirking, fully aware that he didn’t have a scratch on him despite fighting against multiple heroes. Could she use that, his confidence? He thought he was strong, invincible, he didn’t look at all worried about any tricks she might pull. Taunt him, get him angry enough to chase after her if she runs? A little simple, but hey, Creed always said simple plans are better.

“You think you’re tough? I can see her, you know, that girl. Is she your sister? Because I have to say, it’s pretty hard to be all scary and intimidating when you have your cute little sister by your side. I mean, she’s got pigtails man, that’s the opposite of scary,” Cameron said, loud enough so he’d hear.

He flinched, body language changing from tough, confident to… he looked like a trapped animal. “You see her?” He sounded hopeful.

That definitely wasn’t the reaction she wanted, or needed. “Yes,” she said. Wait, no, she could still do this, this might work just as well as the ‘getting him angry’ plan. “Who is she?”

“You have to listen to me! She’s a monster and no one even believes she exists, except the people she wants to know about her,” he yelled, wild and desperate. “Please, you have to-”

Cameron sprinted to the pink clothing store.

“Wait! Come back here!”

She risked a glance back, he was chasing her and he was fast when he wanted to be. Much faster than her when she was running but she was closer to the store than he was. She nearly crashed into a mannequin as she barged into the store. He came in a second after her, and he did crash into the mannequin at the front of the store, knocking it right to the ground.

He ignored it, stabbing a finger in her direction. “Hey! Listen to me! This might just be the most important thing I can do before I go away. Might make this whole thing worth it.”

“Ionic? Now would be a great time for your plan,” Cameron whispered. Louder, she said, “Well, I’m listening now. What the hell are you talking about?”

“I made a mistake and I’m not the only one paying for it. I didn’t want this to happen, you have to believe me, I’m not – I wouldn’t do something like this. She’s doing it, this is all her fault, god, I didn’t want this to happen. Jesus Christ, no one knows what they’re up against,” he rambled, she could barely hear him.

“Ionic, where the hell are you,” she muttered.

“She’s after all of us and I can’t stop her, maybe none of us can. But we have to try or it’ll be worse, be a lot worse. Goddamn it, you have to fucking try, understand? Jesus, I don’t even know how much I have left and the fact she’s letting me tell you this isn’t a good sign. She wouldn’t have let me if she thought you might be able to do anything. Fuck. I don’t know what to do, if there’s anything I can do.”

Cameron blinked. Droid was right, this guy was missing a few screws. “What is any of that even supposed to mean? I can’t really do anything if you don’t tell me clearly. Who is she?”

A purple blur came down from the ceiling. Gleaming metal, then a spray of blood.

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