The Red Hook grain terminal was a series of factory buildings and shipping containers along a crumbling, concrete shore that lead to murky dock waters. Over half a century old, the old grain terminal had its roots in the nineteen-twenties during the New York State Barge when the Erie Canal got expanded and New York city needed to catch up, so they built a new terminal on Red Hook’s water front. One that bombed commercially after all the pomp and excitement of those decades passed and then it gradually decayed to its current state of slowly crumbling ground floors and entire sections slowly falling into the bay to lay dormant at its murky depths. A few companies had looked at the place with ideas of revitalization, but no real head way had been made and the place had become a moderately popular place for young Super experimenting with their powers despite the sparse security patrol.
And today the eerier atmosphere of the mildly ancient terminal was broken by a golden shard that seemingly appeared between two shipping containers. Several costume figures shimmered into view a second later, one of them hulking in form, all with powers at the ready.
“All clear.” The one in all black body-armor said, the shadows around him twitching unnaturally.
At that the whole of them rushed out from behind the containers and onto the concrete expanse nearer to the bay water and found a sight that put their hearts at ease.
“Oh, hey guys!” Gadreel called, waving her hand, arm full extended while balancing on one foot. The air around her body warping as usual while she used her power. Obsidian Wraith stood only a few feet away, still in her crystalline form and flying above a group of groaning, docile figure in rain coats. “I’m surprised you made it before the containment techs.”
Just then two shapes streaked through the sky, the red streak slightly ahead of the violet one, then both soared straight down and landed next to the recently arrived group.
“Must suck to be a speedster but always late to the action, Simikiel.” Samshiel said as both he and his mentor started walking around the group to guard the side.
“Fuck off, Samshiel.” Simikiel responded in a lighthearted tone as she and her mentor did the same for the opposite side. The shorter woman then looked around the wrecked area; craters, collapsed wall of a building, wrecked shipping containers and all. Then she inclined her head towards Gadreel. “It looks like things got a little out of hand.”
“It wasn’t that bad. Just that these guys were using one really annoying power and some goo.” Gadreel said, waving in the general direction of the blue-eyed man on the ground. He was glaring daggers at Obsidian Wraith, almost as sharp as the literal violet shards in his knee caps.
Shane had an idea and moved forward, stepping to within a few yards of the criminals before extending one of their shadows towards himself and solidified it. All of them flinched, but he paid them no mind as he stepped onto the solid blade of darkness and mentally commanded it to lift him into the air so that he could get a bird’s eye-view of the battle field, taking note of all the impact craters and a torn in half shipping container.
It wasn’t hard to put the pieces together from there.
“Telekinetic?” Styx questioned as he lowered himself to the ground and de-solidified the shadow, allowing it slip from his control.
Gadreel showed her teeth in a grin at that. “Good guess; Velocity manipulation and summoner actually. The goo was the only real problem.”
“Fuag you!” This slurred snarl came from one of the gang members that had been lying on their side, her voice pegging her as female, silvery hair spilling out of her hood, protecting her from the rain that had turned from a downpour to a light drizzle. She turned over onto her back and glared up at Gadreel with an impressive amount of hate in her equally silver eyes. “Fuck you, traitor.” She said more clearly, and with more venom. “I’m the strongest fucking Summoner in the White Boars, no way my minions didn’t hurt you.”
“First off all; ‘Minions’? Get over yourself. Second of all; Use your eyes. You barely managed to tear my costume.” Gadreel responded, unphased by the glare, and gestured at the numerous lines of lightly parted fabric along her forearms and torso.
“Thanks for letting us know there’s more than one summoner in the gang though.” Spectrum said, mentally filling that little nugget of information away for later. The girl turned to him, a sneer on her face, though she did turn her gaze away just shy of making direct eye contact. The movement made her grimace and revealed a slightly bloodied cloth tied around her neck. “Geez, we might need to get a healer for that. What happened, Wraith?”
Obsidian Wraith just shrugged her shoulders as the sound of sirens and tires on the rough concrete approached and heralded the arrival of the DVA containment units. “Wasn’t us. Her neck got a pretty shallow cut when she took a tumble in one of the craters. Gadreel used her stupid bandana to staunch the bleeding just in case though.”
The silver haired woman opened her mouth again, only to let out a shuddering gasp, along with the rest of the criminals on the ground, as Terram’s gaze turned from placidly reflective to the orange hue of his baleful gaze. They were all robbed of their stamina and placed into near total exhaustion just as the first DVA van rolled up and men and women in overalls with bulky briefcases poured out.
Only after carefully watching the gang members start be rounded up did Gadreel and Obisidan Wraith gave their honest assessments on the fight. Spectrum had stepped away and was talking to an agent that jotted down notes on who was injured, how badly, and pointed out the damaged Super tech off to the side, angled to avoid getting wet from the barely-there rain.
“Ok, so, I’m pretty sure I nearly died in that fight.” Gadreel admitted. They’d all moved several meters away from the criminals, just to reduce the possibility of being overheard even further.
“Shit, really?” Samshiel said.
“Don’t exaggerate.” Obsidian Wraith admonished, body of crystal becoming less uniform in shape along side her lowering nerves. “She could have nearly died, very different. She got tagged with the goop we mentioned and it started growing and spreading. It was stretchy and sticky enough that she couldn’t rip it apart and I doubt I could have cut it. So, instead of just hoping it was air permeable and wouldn’t suffocate her, I grabbed the guy shooting the stuff. We found a syringe on him that harden the goo, and got her free.”
“That seems… dicey.” Styx said hesitantly.
“Yeah, but I would have probably tried something else if he didn’t have anything.” Gadreel said.
“Like what?” Simikiel asked.
“I don’t know.” Gadreel replied, putting a finger to her lips. “Probably driven my self into the ground like a railroad spike, maybe to stop the goo from spreading further.”
Her “plan” reminded Shane of the fast-and-lose strategy his wild sister, Angela, used when she got into a tight position when fighting. They didn’t sound like what someone would call sophisticated battle strategies but effectiveness superseded elegance when your life was on the line.
“So, it was just as close as the fight me and Spectrum had today. I don’t know if I could have cut down those people if my gambit didn’t work and they opened fire on us.” Styx said.
All of the interns temporarily lapsed into complete silence at that, knowing that “cut down those people” meant killing civilians. Something not even Amy was sure she could do if forced into a position where it was deemed necessary for the “greater good”.
“You sound like you’ve got a point to get to.” Obsidian Wraith prompted, fine to continue the conversation while the other interns mulled things over.
“Yeah.” Styx breathed. “You know how these little ambushes managed to at least exhaust us, if not completely put us on the back foot, even when fighting along side our mentors? Well, Pulp and her evidence all but confirmed these were just probing strikes to put stress on us. So it’s only natural to assume that a full on assault will be an order of magnitude worse with what will be their strongest members. And I don’t exactly trust that summoner to have an objective enough view of herself to believe that she was their strongest summoner considering she was, in all likelihood, used as calculated loss.”
Obsidian Wraith nodded at that and went back to watching the DVA agents finish rounding up the gang members, along with the rest of her team. All of them taking notice of the silver-haired woman who was getting the cut on her neck mended by one of the agents with a healing ability. The man in overalls and pressed a hand to her neck that made the wound glow black, before hardening over with scab-like tissue.
All of them aware of the fact that such quick treatment for already downed and wounded criminals might not be possible during the real attack where there would doubtless be several more Supers in play.