Longer Chapter than usual, again. Maybe longer chapters are usual now? Who knows!
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Apoc Now – Chapter 31
“Hi, Leia right? I’m John, John Delmar. I’m afraid I can’t let you take that man.”
The librarian Super, a woman who had brutally defeated every enemy that had appeared, an enemy that David looked at as an unsurpassable wall, a woman whose level of strength was yet undefeated stopped and stared at the Super in front of her.
“You think you can match me?” Leia said quietly, staring at the man in front of her.
In the time that the American Super and the European Super had been talking, David had quietly asked Terry to speed up his vision and perception. He knew that one of the abilities the A.I. could offer was increased perception, among other things, and decided to start using all of the powers he had available. The world suddenly slowed down, everything and everyone moving in slow motion. It felt like time itself had slowed to a crawl. He stared around in amazement as debris fell at an extremely slow pace. He focused his attention on the pair of Supers in front of him.
The other Super started to respond to what Leia had said, but before he could say anything, Leia’s body suddenly blurred as she struck forward, propelling herself off the ground at an inhumanely fast speed. The ground where she had been standing exploded, large cracks appearing in the rubble strewn floor. The air around Leia seemed to take on a ferocious tinge.
Even in David’s extremely slowed world vision, his perception making him feel like he was covered in a slow moving molasses, Leia moved extremely quickly. She covered the distance between herself and the other Super in an instant, dropping Thavius and his glowing body behind her on the ground.
Leia struck out with a palm strike, her arm moving at a breakneck speed. David could clearly see the muscles in her arms expand and ripple, an enormous wave of power bunching up and flowing through her attack. Thanks to his increased perception, David could watch her palm lash forward, aiming to cave in the other Supers chest.
However, before her palm strike could reach John, the man suddenly responded, whipping his arm up and deflecting her strike. A faint red glow covered John’s hand as he deflected her blow, creating a burning smell in the air. Leia’s palm slammed past John and into the debris behind him, the force inherent in her strike creating a small hole as it hit, rapidly expanding. Before the impetus of her blow even finished forming a crater in the debris from the House of Soviets, Leia twisted around and launched a vicious leg sweep at the other Super, once again cracking the ground beneath her due to the extreme violence in her movement.
Instead of deflecting or dodging the attack, the other Super simply ducked down at an incredibly fast speed. Leia’s leg just barely missed the man, the force of her kick creating a knife of wind that sliced into part of the not yet destroyed House of Soviets, cutting a third of the great mansion in twain. The force from Leia’s initial palm strike finished blasting through the debris on the opposite side, showering the caved in section with debris as the eastern side of the House of Soviets collapsed.
The next ten seconds were filled with kick after kick, punch after punch. Each attack John would dodge with mere millimeters in between him and death. David saw a small smile on his face as the man continued slipping between Leia’s incredibly powerful blows.
The rest of the House of Soviets began to collapse, completely annihilated by the two battling Supers. Enormous waves of force poured out of Leia’s fists, mighty attacks that did nothing but disturb the surroundings as she failed to land so much as a scratch on John. Fortunately for David and his team the two Supers continued their fight outside the collapsing building, avoiding rekilling David or his team mates. From the corner of his eye, David saw Shin suddenly respawn, an enraged look on his face.
Leia suddenly came to a pause, stopping her attack against John. She was breathing heavily, having exerted an enormous amount of force in trying to land a blow on him. It irritated her to no end how the Super before her managed to dodge every attack she threw.
She stared at the man angrily, coming to a realization. Leia had come here rather unprepared, not taking any of the weaponry or armor that had been specifically designed for her powers. Without her custom System gear, she wasn’t nearly as strong as she would be at her maximum level. The opponent she was against now was someone she could not win against at the moment. After fighting him for as many exchanges as she had, she knew that she would lose if the fight continued.
“Very well. He’s yours.” Leia turned around from the wreckage of the House of Soviets and left immediately. Once she came to the conclusion that she would lose, she instantly made the decision to surrender the Special Crate rather than risk herself. While the Crate was important, it was only worth 50,000 points, though the researchers back at base might argue otherwise.
The researchers at the American Department of Supers Research Lab had made a number of discoveries, one of which related to why Leia had been willing to assist in the capture of the so called “Special Crate.”
Leia was a firm believer in not starting conflicts with others, and this translated into her not wanting to start a conflict with another nation unless absolutely unavoidable. Therefore, normally she would never condone sending agents into another nation simply to seize something worth a mere 50,000 points.
However, her opinion had greatly changed just a week ago.
The Department of Supers was still a newly formed department. The basis for this Department, however, was created by the military, the FBI, and the CIA, as a joint operative Department. Supers were incredibly powerful and it was in the best interest of the country that they be regulated and, if need be, disposed of.
As part of the basis for forming this department, several research facilities had been commandeered and outfitted for testing the new System and everything in relation to it. From testing Supers different abilities to balancing and trying to recreate the futuristic weapon technology and more, the researchers in the Department worked on everything.
In the course of their research, they had discovered an anomaly. One of the researchers had decided to test out Lottery Slots, seeing if they could be used for a variety of purposes and whether or not using many in a row affected the chances. Therefore, this specific researcher started buying several Slots.
After the researcher bought his fifth Lottery Slot, however, something changed. When he tried to buy a sixth slot, intending to stock up using the allotted points for his experimentation, he found that the Lottery Slot purchase option was greyed out.
After a full week of attempts, including multiple test subjects and spending nearly 10,000 points on Slots, the Department of Supers came to the conclusion that humans could only buy 5 Lottery Slots. After that, they could no longer purchase Lottery Slots from the System. They could still use Slots people traded them, but they could not buy them directly from the System.
Thus, seeing that Lottery Slots were now a finite resource with an ever dwindling potential supply, the Department of Supers had made the capture of the Monthly Scattering Crates one of its more important priorities. This information, along with the other Supers opinions, had greatly factored into Leia’s decision to make a run for the Special Crate. While going for another nation's Crates could be construed as an Act of War, going for the Special Crate should be relatively fair game.
Leia did not anticipate that, however, that when she went for the Special Crate, she would be sealed off from escaping the nearby location. Leia had gone into the fight intending to capture the Crate and leave immediately, using the Home Teleport Tablet provided by the Department’s Tech staff. Because of this, she didn’t bother taking the time to grab her custom armor and weapons, designed just for her power and use, thinking that speed would be the deciding factor in whoever got the Special Crate first.
Even then, however, Leia still would have been fine if it wasn’t for the European Super she encountered, a man named John Delmar. Leia burned his name and image into her mind, mentally adding him to a list as she exited the mansion, headed towards where Zane and The Rake were still fighting.
In the time that John and Leia had been fighting and talking, David had quickly grabbed the rest of his team and reformed, having Terry return his perception of time back to normal. He broke one of Stacy’s Life Orbs, quickly healing her paralyzed body. Stacy had leapt up with a quiet scream, fear present in her eyes as she regained the ability to move.
After Shin respawned, he had ran over to where Thavius laid, checking his pulse. Shin gave David a thumbs up as he ran up to where Thavius was.
“He’s still alive, just unconscious. Should we-”
Not giving Shin time to finish speaking, David shattered one of Thavius’s Life Orbs, fully healing the man. Thavius sat up, looking around blearily. He suddenly scrambled to his feet, sensing the tension in air.
“No time to talk! Give ownership of the Special Crate to Shin! NOW!” David violently motioned at Thavius, waving over at Shin.
Thavius nodded and instantly turned to face Shin. For a split second, nothing happened. A moment later, however, a small beam of light shot from Thavius and was absorbed into Shin, disappearing. Immediately, the trail of light that led into the sky transferred itself from Thavius to Shin.
David quickly said,
“Shin, teleport us randomly into the forest and then warp yourself into one of the corners. Whenever you see a Super getting ANYWHERE near you, warp away immediately! Do NOT try to fight against him. We will find a way to contact you after the fight is over.”
Shin nodded, yelling his agreement and jumped forward, grabbing a hold of Thavius and David. Stacy grabbed on to David’s back, shaking slightly as she looked around.
Just before the world disappeared, David saw the extremely powerful Super that had fought against Leia suddenly drop down, walking towards them with a smile.
The world shifted around David. He looked around at an unfamiliar copse of trees, still holding on to Thavius and Shin. He felt Stacy grab at his back tightly.
Shin jumped off them and instantly disappeared, the trail of light flinging through the sky to land at one of the corners of the giant wall. David took a few deep breaths, calming himself.
David heard an enormous explosion sound off a split second before a huge shockwave slammed into him, blasting him off his feat. Without a second thought David brought out his Life Orbs, using them to steady himself, as well as Thavius and Stacy who had also been knocked down. The trees around David shook in the wake of the powerful wave of force, several of the smaller ones knocked down.
“What was that?!” Thaivus yelled out, a dark aura suddenly covering the man as he prepared his Necromancer magic, in the case of an enemy appearing. A Steel Aura quickly covered Stacy, indicating her own preparedness. She seemed much more nervous than usual, David observed, guessing that her being paralyzed had bruised her confidence.
Just as David was about to respond, he saw something flickering out of the corner of his eye. He turned, facing towards the ruins of the House of Soviets. They were about 3 kilometers away from the ancient House, close to the giant System wall.
The shockwave had been caused by an enormous explosion of fire that had been spawned at the House of Soviets area. The entire building had been annihilated by the enormous ball of flame, obliterating the remains of the great edifice. In the wake of this enormous explosion, a huge amount of flaming debris had flown out, spreading across the air in a great, deathly arc.
This enormous rain of fire was now descending, with a large portion of the flaming debris headed right towards David and his team.
“Shit! Get behind me!” David screamed out, barely having time to talk. With a mental command, David formed a large wall of his Life Orbs, nearly a hundred of the Orbs floating out to provide a protective shield. David set back against the Orbs, making room for Thavius and Stacy as they scrambled into the cover. Thanks to his A.I., David was able to fully manipulate and create the large shield wall, controlling over 100 Orbs at once.
The flaming debris crashed down, decimating the forest in front of it. Enormous swaths of greenery exploded into flames as the burning bits of magma landed, creating new and larger fires. David felt several large balls of fire slam into his Life Orb wall and bounce off, deflected by the near impenetrable Orbs.
The heat, however, was something that David’s Orbs couldn’t block. Stacy and Thavius screamed out as the temperature around them rose to the extreme. Huge blocks of magma and molten metal had been flung across the forest, creating a huge conflagration. Thavius and Stacy were wearing regular clothing, unlike the Glass Plate that David wore. The pair were immediately covered in small burns, their skin turning a bright red.
Seeing the desperate state of his companions, David did the only thing he could think of.
Now that the rain of debris had settled down, there was no more danger of flaming rubble flying through the air. David dropped his Life Orb wall and had his Orbs swarm around Thavius and Stacy, lifting them into the air. He flew up as well, supported on a single pair of Orbs.
David floated just above the sea of rapidly spreading flames, moving as fast as he could to one of the corners. He wanted to lay low and avoid attention, but didn’t want his teammates to have to suffer. The spreading fire beneath him crackled loudly, kindled onward by the spreading magma.
David made it to the northeast corner, carefully carrying his charges. There was a small rocky clearing in this corner, a place that seemed to be relatively free of fire. He set his teammates down and sat down to wait, preparing himself to defend against any other Supers.
The House of Soviets currently no longer existed. A large blob of slowly spreading magma currently occupied the space where it had been, creating large and vast roiling flames. The melted rock and flame seemed to begin cooling, slowing down.
John Delmar sat a top the roiling flames and burning ball of magma, an irritated look in his eyes.
He had been just about to seize the owner of the Special Crate and subsequently increase his prestige with the Supers Union he was currently infiltrating. He sighed loudly as he considered his options.
After seeing the owner of the Special Crate leap locations several times, including the past few seconds as Shin danced around in the air, avoiding the flaming debris and lava, John came to the conclusion that the owner of the Crate could Teleport. Even with his vastly increased speed as a Demi-God, John knew he wouldn’t be able to keep up with someone that could Teleport, even in this confined space only 10 kilometers wide. He gave a mental shrug, contemplating what he should do.
As John sat there thinking, an enormous wave of ice suddenly burst covered part of the forest directly in front of John. John looked down curiously, watching as a 300-meter wide circle of ice formed, instantly freezing the magma and fires in the area.
The Rake burst into the air, an enormous spike of ice holding him upward like a giant glacier. The Rake looked around with wild eyes, spotting John sitting calmly atop the quickly cooling gigantic ball of magma. Small flakes of ice fell around the man like rain.
“You did this?” The Rake said, staring at John coldly. The Super seemed to be looking at John in a new light.
John nodded, “Yes, I was trying to capture the Special Crate owner. Unfortunately, the man that captured it has the power to Teleport. We won’t be able to seize it in time.” There were only a few minutes left until the Crate would be fully seized.
The Rake gave a frustrated sigh, looking around for Zane. His opponent had taken the opportunity to retreat during the massive explosion of magma, causing the fight between The Rake and Zane to end in a tie.
The Rake threw a few half hearted spears of ice in the direction of the Special Crate owner, watching as the trail of light flew across the area several times, disappearing and reappearing several kilometers away each time.
A few minutes passed. The Rake went off to look for the other Captains that had joined them, not finding much success. John remained atop the nearly solid ball of magma, siting on the rapidly hardening outer layer.
The trail of light in the sky suddenly disappeared, quickly followed by the large walls and ceiling vanishing. The outside light suddenly burst in as the System’s artificial walls dissipated, once again allowing free travel.
David heaved a sigh of relief and lifted up his injured companions using his Orbs. Both Thavius and Stacy had suffered several light burns, but nothing that couldn’t be cured with some of the futuristic technology that the System had. He decided that it would be wiser to preserve the Life Orbs that they had remaining, keeping them ready in case of a dire situation.
David took off his Glass Plate helmet, deciding to keep the rest of the armor on till he was fully secure back at home. He bent over and sat down for a moment, catching his breath, as the adrenaline in his body made him shake. David hadn’t gotten used to the whole dying and respawning ability he had, and each death made him feel like it might be his last. He rubbed at his Titan Slayer necklace, double checking that it was still there.
Four small blue screens suddenly appeared, spawning in front of David as the barriers collapsed.
Purchase Successful – Jiron Armor (14/50) added to Stored Inventory.
Purchase Successful – Jiron Armor (15/50) added to Stored Inventory.
Purchase Successful – Jiron Armor (16/50) added to Stored Inventory.
Purchase Successful – Jiron Armor (17/50) added to Stored Inventory.
David stared at the screen indications, remembering his purchase of the Armors as if it had happened ages ago. The events that had occurred in the past few hours had been extremely harried and hectic, making it feel like an eternity.
David whipped open his phone and began texting Shin his location, ready to get his team and himself out of here.
His A.I. suddenly flashed an alert, warning him. David barely had time to look up, startled, before a 14.5 mm armor-piercing bullet moving at over a thousand meters per second blasted through his skull, instantly killing him.