Chapter 47

                Titan couldn’t hear what they were saying on the other side of his gooey tomb, but it was no doubt either Gale re-explaining the one minute rule to those watching, or maybe her adding an addendum about it being for his own good, lest he suffocate. He testing the goop carefully and found it stronger than he was expecting. It was well-designed; a material that was both flexible and tough. Spring used them as if she weren’t concerned about the supply, so these were probably either made in house by some retired team member or purchased from a free-lance tech-genius. One of the countless benefits of having a legacy team and a budget.

                Of course, even if it were the most powerful binding goop in the world it still had a fault: it could be indestructible, but the material it bonded with almost certainly wasn’t. If they’d caught him in mid-air with this stuff, it very well could have been a different story, but they’d trapped Titan against a solid wall, and that gave him leverage. He began pulling himself backward, keenly aware of the resistance that the goop was imposing. It was strong stuff, no doubt about it. Pity the same couldn’t be said for the concrete it was fastened too. When he’d gotten far enough away to move his arms, Titan pressed them carefully against the surface in front of him and gave an open-palmed shove.

                A tremendous cracking sound filled the air as Titan tore himself free from the wall, even though he brought a considerable chunk of it with him. Spring was nearby, glaring at him with a mix of shock and annoyance, Birdsman seemed focused on keeping his summons ready to act, and Gale was flat-out glowering at him. That last expression told him he’d made it before time was up, though he doubted it was by a lot. Titan didn’t waste a second now that he was free. What he had at the moment was just a hunch, but it was better than nothing in a situation like this. He charged through the room, goop on his back and concrete stuck all over him, on a path straight for Birdsman.

                “Cocky.” Birdsman made a quick motion, and as he did Plasma Hawk soared through the air, putting itself between Titan and his target, then lashing out with a beam of energy. Titan barely had seconds to act in, only the fact that he’d been counting the interruption let him move in time. He quickly twirled around on his heel, a move more graceful than many would have suspect the large man of pulling off, and turned his goop covered back to Plasma Hawk and pulling in his left arm to his chest just as its beam hit.

                The bad news was that the rest of Titan’s shirt was effectively decimated in the hit, and the force of it caused him to stumble forward, but the upside was well worth the trade-off. That burning hot plasma had seared right through the green material coating his back, scorching it off into liquid and, what almost certainly had to be toxic, green mist.

                “You’re smarter than I was expecting,” Spring said. “Most of your type just know how to smash and get punched.”

                “I’ve picked up few little critical thinking skill during my years as a Hero,” Titan shot back. “Using an enemy’s assets against them is a good one, but my personal favorite has always been field advantage.” At that, Titan lifted his leg and slammed it down, striking on of the many half-melted sections from his earlier battle with Birdsman. The weakened concrete fractured, splintering off several feet in three directions. His next attack sent more tremors out, widening the already broken gaps and creating four new ones.

                “Cute, trying to make it hard for me to run. Don’t think we’ll just let you do what you want, though.”

                Spring had barely gotten the words out before the column of wind struck Titan from the side, hurling him against the far wall. This time, he twisted in mid-air, making sure his back slammed into the concrete. This meant he was face to face with Spring as she tried to catch him from behind once more. Unlike Granite, she was more than capable of redirecting her speed, and swerved off to the side rather than be caught by a clumsy grab from the giant man.

                Normally, being backed into a wall was a bad thing, but at the moment it was actually one of the better places Titan could find himself. Gale wouldn’t be able to batter him about so easily with a solid surface right behind him, and Spring was smart enough to avoid getting close enough to be caught. That only left Birdsman to attack, which would be an annoyance at best. Sadly, this situation also meant Titan had almost no ability to bring them down either, since moving away would destroy his defensive advantage. Were he the type of person to worry about defense, that might have actually worried him, too.

                Bracing his feet against the wall, Titan shot himself forward, replicating his attack from only moments earlier as he barreled toward Birdsman. The old summoner wasn’t the most important threat to stop at the moment, but he’d have to go down eventually. Taking him out would leave Elemental Fury with only two pieces on the board, unless Granite pulled himself free, and Titan was confident he could bring them both down given enough time. It would be easier without those damn bird distractions, though.

                Plasma Hawk darted into Titan’s path again, but this time the charging Hero didn’t bother to turn, or dodge, or avoid the creature in any way. He kept right on going, taking beam of energy that shot from its beak head on, his chest smashing into the avian-energy creature only seconds later. As it swiped at him, Titan grabbed Plasma Hawk in his right hand and squeezed as hard as he could. This one was smaller than Lightning Falcon, and he just barely managed to get its body engulfed between his fingers. As it turned out: barely was still enough.

                A wave of heat washed over Titan as the summon was crushed into non-existence, and Birdsman let out a grunt as he staggered back. A small bit of blood trickled down from the older man’s nose, falling to the broke floor as the he tried to keep from swaying on his feet. With enough time, he might have been able to get Fire Eagle in place as defense, but Titan showed zero sign of slowing down. There was no time for anyone to act. Anyone, save for a person with super-speed.

                Spring appeared on his left, keeping pace as she reared back with what appeared to be another bomb. She thrust forward, her coordination incredible given the speed she was moving at. Just like few people could throw a well-aimed punch while sprinting, super-speeders also had to slow down to attack a foe. Their slow was still fast, it was just in the range of humans. That was most super-speeders, anyway. As Spring’s hand drew closer, Titan realized he wouldn’t be able to grab her, no matter how quickly he moved. It was all he could to flip his arm around, but flip it he did, and as Spring’s hand smashed against him, Titan’s face lit up in a victorious grin.

                “What the hell!” Spring pulled against the green goop that was binding her hand, and the bomb still clutched in it, to his arm. “This got burned off!”

                “I kept a little safe. Thought it might come in handy.” Titan jerked to a stop, feet sliding against and cracking the already shattered concrete, then grabbed Spring’s head in his hands as he’d done with Misdirection. “By the by, you’re out.”

                “You dick,” Spring muttered. She reached down and undid the fastening on the yellow glove that clothed her hand, leaving it and the bomb still on Titan’s forearm but releasing her hand from its imprisonment. Then she was gone, zipped over behind the safety barrier and leaving no impediment between Titan and Birdsman.

                “Do I need to do the theatrics?” Titan asked

                “No, you’ve clearly got me. I can still concede when I’m bested,” Birdsman admitted. “Good show, Titan. Nice to see you haven’t lost your touch. Next time we should play on a bigger stage, though. I think my fourth bird might just have changed the outcome of this assessment.”

                “Well, it isn’t over yet,” Titan said. He looked into the air, where Gale was hovering as she waited for Birdsman to get clear. She was one of the biggest threats on the field, but he’d purposely saved her for last. In a small cell like this, with teammates around, she wouldn’t really be able to cut loose. Now that it was just the two of them on the field, he hoped Gale would finally come at him full force.

                No matter how it went, he was settling this matter for good.