Chapter 56

               “Team, I need everyone’s positions, now.” Titan tapped his left earpiece as he ran, wedging it back into place. Unlike his Hero one, this radio hadn’t been tweaked and updated by every tech-genius to have to worn one in the last several decades, and as such it didn’t quite sit nestled in his ear with the same ease.

                “Little busy.” Zone’s voice sounded like a forced whisper, as though he under tremendous physical strain.

                “As Hero Liaison I am informing you that we have a hostile situation with multiple rogue Supers, and I need to assess if your position is safe or not. Now sound off, and hurry up with it.” Were there more time, Titan might have bothered with diplomacy, but time wasn’t extending him such luxuries. He had skulls to crack, and it would be a lot easier to fight if he knew his people were clear.

                “Holy shit,” Hexcellent muttered in his ear. “Um, yeah, Galvanize and I are on the overpass, right now he’s pulling people free while Huggles cuts off the back of their car. We’re about halfway between the barricade and the part that’s just open air where BB is evacuating people.”

                “Confirmed,” Galvanize grunted, clearly occupied with his rescue effort.

                “I’m lowering my second batch of people to the ground now,” Bubble Bubble chimed in. “Once we land, I’m sending them west, where police and ambulances are waiting on standby.”

                “That’s all fine, the disturbance is to the north east, and I plan to make sure it stays out there,” Titan told them. “But you should be ready to move if-”

                “Hang on, you said it’s to the north east?” Bubble Bubble asked. “North east of where the collapsed portion of the overpass is?”


                “That’s not good. We had a kid in the first batch of rescues get confused and run off in that direction. Zone went to retrieve her, and he hasn’t come back yet.”

                Titan realized he hadn’t heard anything from Zone since what he’d taken to be a snide comment. When he replayed the words in his head, he wondered if perhaps there had been furtiveness in Zone’s whisper, as if their missing teammate were trying to speak without calling attention to himself. Then he remembered that Zone, like all the other PEERS, wore a damn costume, which an angry criminal wouldn’t realize wasn’t on an actual Hero.

                “Zone,” he called into the earpiece, picking up his pace. “Zone, if you are near the conflict, I need to know. That spot is about to get very hot, very fast, and every Hero dropping in is expecting civilians to be out. Give me some sort of sign, even if it risks you being discovered.”

                “We’re here.” This time the words were so thin that Titan wouldn’t have heard them at all, if he weren’t specifically listening for them. He bounded across a street, already he could faintly make out the sounds of fighting going on. It had been a rough situation before. Now, it was downright horrid.

                “Understood,” Titan said. He stopped his charge a block away from the coordinates Dispatch had provided. Once he was in, things would be sheer chaos, which meant all plans needed to be laid out before he entered the fray. “When you say ‘we’ I assume that means you have the child with you. You should see me in less than an minute, and I’m pretty sure that everyone there is going to care a lot more about me than you. If you can get clear, do it, and let me know as you go. If you can’t, then get to me. I’ll keep you safe.”

                There was no response this time, not that Titan was particularly surprised. Whatever was happening a mere block away was enough to keep Zone, one of the team’s most mobile members, completely pinned down. It was certainly a shitshow, and since Titan couldn’t suppress it fast enough to get people clear, he’d just slap himself into the center of the storm.

                With a mighty burst of power from his legs, Titan leapt up onto the roof of the nearest building, carefully controlling his landing to avoid anything more serious than a few damaged shingles. He’d barely set down before he was in the sky again, heading for higher ground. As the air whistled by him, he spoke, trusting his communicator to pick up the words.

                “Dispatch, this is Titan. I’m about to begin engagement, but there’s a civilian and a member of my team pinned down somewhere in it. If there are any other Heroes in the area, please let them know.”

                “We’ve got two more in route; I’ll brief them on the situation. At current, you will be the first to arrive,” Dispatch informed him.

                “Well then, at least I get to make my entrance as showy as I want.” He landed on the third building, a four story number composed of lifeless grey brick. It was an apartment complex, one in which he imagined all the residents were locking their doors and calling the cops. From its roof, he could see the fight going on below. The brawl had probably started in the alleyway, where a few people were still scrapping and others lay in puddles of blood, then spilled into the street as things grew more frantic. Titan saw one man hurling bolts of grey energy, another taking gun-fire without so much as a wince, and a third zipping about in a blur. Two others were shifted into quasi-animal forms that looked like a bear and a boar, respectively. The others probably had some abilities as well, but Titan couldn’t loaf around and wait to see what they were. He needed to get a handle on this situation, and fast.

                The whistling sound reached a few of the more attentive criminal’s ears first. It came less than a second before impact, however, which meant even if the bullet-proof thug had taken the time to look up at the noise; it was unlikely that he would have had time to dodge. As it was, he didn’t even see the several hundred pound mass that landed on his shoulders, shattering the bones that had born countless attempts at injury as easily as if he were made of dry spaghetti. The thug did let out a strangled cry from the ground, which was heard by almost no one, as all attention was on the massive man who had just come dropping out of the air and taken out the toughest person left in either gang. This mystery man took two steps forward and spoke in a booming voice that echoed through the streets like a bomb’s aftershock.

                “My name is Titan, yes that Titan, and the next person who moves to do anything besides get on the ground is will be broken.”

                For a moment, the gangs looked at one another, uncertain of what to do. They had, after all, been fighting each other. Eventually, survival instinct manifested, and all present realized that the Hero was easily the greater threat. Every last one of them charged, and Titan readied himself to make good on his word.