Chapter 46

                Elemental Fury was caught off guard, but recovered quickly. They’d seen too much action to let one thing going sideways break their focus. Unfortunately for them, Titan was no rookie either, and he knew how to capitalize on small windows of opportunity when they appeared. At this point, it all came down to dealing with the threats in order of their importance, and the top spot on his list was set long before he’d even managed to punch free of the tornado.

                Bracing his feet against the cracked wall he’d slammed against, Titan shoved off, firing himself through the room as speeds only Spring could have matched, and that was assuming she was dumb enough to get in front of several hundred pounds of super-strong Hero, which she wasn’t. He cleared half the cell in one bound, landing only a few feet from his target. The sound of crackling energy and rumbling steps filled the air as Birdsman’s summons and Granite tried to stop him, but neither was quite fast enough.

                “You’re down,” Titan said as his mighty hand wrapped around the mask-hidden skull of Misdirection, who was still pulling herself off the ground after his rubble assault. In assessments like this, most Heroes were willing to play by the honor system, acknowledging a situation where they would have been knocked out or killed and removing themselves from the fight. It was proper etiquette, and saved on accidental injuries, but Titan still kept his grip until he heard Misdirection’s agreement.

                “Looks like you got me.” Misdirection finished pulling herself up and began jogging back toward the protection offered by the clear barrier. “But the others won’t be so easy.”

                A streak of avian-shaped electricity descended from the air as soon as Misdirection was clear, grabbing onto to Titan’s face and attacking with all its might. Damage wise, the technique was a waste of time, but it did succeed in obscuring Titan’s vision and hearing, which he assumed was the real point. They’d had a backup plan to keep him off-balance in case Misdirection was taken down; Titan’s respect for this team was growing by the minute.

                Granite slammed into his back, sending Titan sailing across the room, electric bird still pecking and slashing at his face. Despite the crackle of lighting, he heard the wind whipping through the room as Gale prepared for another attack. Getting out of her tornados was doable, he’d already proved that theory, but it would give the rest of the team time to regroup. That was something he couldn’t afford, not at this juncture, so Titan steeled his resolve. It was time to do some damage.

                He grabbed the summoned creature in front of him, ignoring the shrill screech that tore from its beak. Like he’s explained to Hexcellent only weeks before, for something to be able to touch you, you had to be able to touch it. Bouncing around the room like a pinball during the defensive phase hadn’t been fun, but it had given him the chance to verify that these creatures were making contact with him; they weren’t just bird-shaped energy. They had a physical presence, and while he was barred from countering during that part of the exam, no such restriction existed anymore.

                It took a lot more effort than he was expecting, but Titan managed to keep a grip on Lightning Falcon and tear it in half. They was a boom and a burning crackle that washed over him as he landed, so loud it nearly drowned out the painful yelp that Birdsman let break through his lips. Summoners had it better than a lot of Supers in that they didn’t have to get their own hands dirty; however, their power still had a risk. Destroying one of their summons caused a mental feedback that hurt like hell, it could even knock the weaker ones out entirely. Birdsman wasn’t quite that frail; he shook off the pain and focused on the other two circling birds, planning his next attack.

                Bad as he was, Birdsman wasn’t the next target in Titan’s list of priorities. That honor fell to Spring, the super-speed Hero who’d tried to wrap him up like an early Christmas present to her team. Her attacks wouldn’t do anything to Titan, but she wasn’t functioning as offense in this battle. No, she’d clearly been given the same task as Misdirection: field control. Just because wrapping him had failed didn’t mean she didn’t have other tricks up her sleeve. In fact, after reading up on her reputation, Titan would have been genuinely offended if that was all she brought to the party.

                Granite had reoriented from his charge and was barreling toward Titan, just as Gale unleashed a blast of wind that would no doubt take him off his feet and send him hard into a wall. The attacks were good, clean and focused in a way that theoretically left him nowhere to go but back, which was a delay at best. In fact, it was how polished the maneuver was that tipped Titan to what they were trying. At this point in the battle, things should have been more chaotic. Any tactic that clean was rehearsed, which meant the real goal wasn’t to hit him with either, it was to pressure him into making the move they wanted. Titan had no idea what was waiting for him if he stepped back; he just knew it wouldn’t be fun.

                At the last moment, Titan made his choice, breaking left, away from Gale’s attack and right into the massive stone monster know as Granite’s crushing path. The Hero’s rocky eyes widened as he realized Titan had caught on to their plan, but no amount of realization was going to stop the momentum of a charging creature whose weight was in the tons. He tried to defend, but it was already too late. Titan slammed his fingers into Granite’s chest and flipped the stone monster over his shoulder, right onto the spot where he would have stepped if he dodged their attacks.

                No sooner had Granite hit than he was knocked a few feet upward by an explosion that coated his back and the floor in green goop. He tried to free himself, but whatever the substance was, it seemed to be difficult to break free from.

                “If it had been you, that would have been enough force to stick you to the ceiling,” Spring said, suddenly behind him. “Pretty smart, realizing it was a trap. Course, you did leave yourself open during that throw.”

                Titan barely had time to register the explosion that came from a small device stuck to his back before it sent him stumbling headfirst into a far wall. In the brief time he spent with his head smashed against the concrete, he felt hands moving impossibly fast, placing more charges against his body.

                “This is for tearing my capture sash. Mending that thing is a bitch.”

                This time Titan barely even heard the explosion, his ears were filled up too quickly with the green goop as it cascaded over him. One of these bombs had been enough to lift Granite’s massive body off the ground and stick him to the floor. The five that Spring had stuck on Titan drove him half a foot deep into the wall and coated his back from head to toe in the stuff.

                Even for someone like him, it was a less than ideal situation.