“What in the hell did he just do!” Globe was yelling now, distraught at the site of Shimmerpath being tackled and her portal vanishing.
“Welcome to dealing with Nick,” Vince muttered. “He won’t hurt… okay he won’t seriously hurt a Hero. I’ve got no idea what he’s planning, but I doubt it’s something we’d approve of. We should get to him as fast as we-”
Everyone felt it, like a mini-earthquake rippling across the land. The Heroes, students, and Globe all exchanged brief glances. They didn’t know what it was, but they knew it was coming their direction. Wordlessly, they all started to run, tearing across the battlefield as fast as they could, hurrying to get past the trees and snare a glimpse of what was approaching.
Bigger this time, louder too, they could feel the wave of noise wash over them as they bolted. The guards across the battlefield were noticing as well, as were the other Heroes still fighting. Confusion spread as no one knew who, or what, was coming. Vince caught sight of Roy, Chad, Titan, and Dean Blaine all coming out of a building and tried to sprint in their direction, only for his head to swim as the injury and pain made themselves known. He waved to them, getting their attention. They waved back at first, before expressions of horror and surprise overtook them.
“Vince, what the fuck happened to your arm?” Roy said.
“Is that… Globe?” Chad was already stepping forward, but the mighty hand of Titan grabbed him by the shoulder.
“Trust me, you want to hear everything before making any rash choices. And you aren’t the one who needs to deal with him.” Titan nodded to Dean Blaine who leapt forward as soon as Globe drew near, grabbing him by the wrist.
“Globe, on behalf of the Department of Variant Human Affairs I am officially powering you down and taking you into custody.”
For his part, Globe didn’t struggle or fight back, though he did keep looking in the direction of the noise. “You’re a little behind, Zero, I already turned myself in. That was before one of your kids, Nick Campbell, attacked Shimmerpath as she was moving Charles somewhere he couldn’t hurt us. I would very much like to make sure she’s okay, once we deal with whatever this next threat is.”
Their teeth clicked from the force of the landing, and just over the hill they saw something for a brief moment. To everyone’s surprise, Titan was smiling as the noise drew closer. “I wouldn’t worry about that. Given how hard this place was to reach, plus the potential need for crowd control, I spoke to some old colleagues at Sizemore, ran it through Dean Jackson via Dispatch, and reactivated an old Temporarily Authorized Hero Asset I’ve worked with before. Someone who could cover a lot of ground while hauling in reinforcements. She might even be able to help cow our enemies into submission, or make the job easier if they still refuse to quit.”
This time, they saw it moving as it leapt, no, hopped over the hill, finally allowing them a proper view. Even those who had seen the footage of Titan’s fight in Brewster weren’t fully prepared for the giant rabbit that landed heavily on the edge of the battlefield. It was shorter this time, yet still massive, and it had traded the old spiked armor for something silver and shiny, complete with a helmet that the ears could poke through. Riding atop it were the familiar costumes of The Gentle Hammers alongside several other Brewster Heroes, as well as a woman wearing a gray mask and a dark ensemble.
“What’s up, fuckers?” Her scream carried down from the shoulder of the rabbit, a terrible and vulgar Bugs Bunny impression that really didn’t feel appropriate for the situation. That was the benefit of commanding a giant rabbit, though, there was always an audience whether they liked it or not.
“Hot holy damn, that bunny looks way cooler in person.” Roy glanced over to his father. “You make some weird friends. Awesome, but weird.”
“Oh, you haven’t seen anything yet.” Titan touched his earpiece quickly, not wasting any more time. “Dispatch, put me through to all the Hero comms in the area, I’ve got a message to pass along.” He paused, waiting for confirmation, then continued. “Attention Heroes, this is Titan. First off, the rabbit and the people on it are with us, so make sure to treat them that way. Secondly, we have captured and neutralized the criminal known as Globe, he is no longer a priority. Our new goal is to end this fighting as quickly and safely as possible, while securing the bunker and all the remaining information inside. Repeat, you no longer need to worry about Globe, so put your full force into dealing with the remaining guards as required. Hexcellent, that goes for you and Hopcules as well. Just make sure to avoid anyone in a white uniform or a costume.”
From atop her rabbit Hexcellent yelled back down, on top of using the temporary comm she’d been given. “I’ll do my best, but stay out of the damn way. It’s a big fucking bunny, I can’t always control where I swing it.”
“Well, with that matter settled, our next priority should be to recover Charles Adair, Shimmerpath, and Nick Campbell,” Dean Blaine said. His helmet tilted slightly down, looking at Vince’s injury once more. “All of which we can do after meeting with Graham, turning over Globe, and getting Hallow to fix Vince’s arm.”
“Don’t worry about me, our friends come first.” Vince tried to tuck the stump behind his back, wincing from the pain of movement, but there wasn’t enough left to shove out of sight. Even if it had worked, the way Vince was swaying on his feet betrayed how hard the injury was hitting him, much as he tried to hide it.
A quick finger flicked him on the back of the ear, so fast that by the time Vince turned around Globe’s hand was almost back at his side. “Staying healthy is part of being a Hero too. Injuries slow you down, and the people counting on you might pay for those extra seconds.”
“So you’ll be getting healed too?” Vince countered.
“Big difference. I’m a criminal, remember? And besides, you lost yours in a fight to keep us all safe. My best friend took mine, because I was too stupid to realize what was happening.” For the first time, Globe turned to Chad, who was glaring at him yet had resisted making a move. “When this is over, come see me in prison. I’ll answer any questions you have about your dad, what happened that day, any of it. I owe you so much more than that, but I’m afraid the truth is the best I have to offer.”
“It would be a nice change of pace,” Chad replied. “I am beginning to suspect that I haven’t dealt with the truth for a very long time.”
An explosion came from nearby, the cause impossible to track but a good reminder that they weren’t safe just yet. Titan grabbed Globe in one hand and Vince in the other, tucking both under his arms. “I’ll get these two to Graham and Casper. The rest of you meet us there.” With a powerful leap, Titan soared into the air, passing by Hexcellent and the dismounting Heroes, many of whom paused to give quick waves before Hopcules unceremoniously squashed a guard that foolishly opened fire on the towering rabbit.
Roy let out a sharp whistle as he watched the massive foot come down hard. “Now that’s what I call a good pet.”
Hey everyone, Drew here. Just popping by to make a quick announcement. For those who have been asking, I'm going to be doing a holiday meetup in Dallas this year. It is extremely relaxed, and if you're in the area feel free to swing through. Information can be found on the entry in the Events page, or by clicking here.