Greg, Amy, and Vanessa reflected silently on Shane’s display as they settled down to watch all four of their Mentors. After his initial show of power they hadn’t expected such a versatile, yet brief, showing from him.
Shane de-solidified and let all the shadows flow back to their origins, but his eyes still retained their inky hue. “I’ll just run you through all the relevant aspects of my power first.”, suddenly his own shadow lifted from the ground and made a few quick slicing motions through the air.
“All of my shadow constructs start off bladed; I haven’t been able to change that no matter how much I concentrate or train. But once they become solid I can manipulate them into more versatile forms.”, the blade suddenly stretched and thickened into a tendril. The tip then broadened into a hammer and slammed into the concrete floor, causing cracks to spider-web in every direction. Another shift, and the shadow was a large clawed hand, albeit a flat one, and scooped out two chunks of concrete—tossing them up and juggling them. “My influence isn’t dependent on sight and the range has been increasing ever since I first developed my power. From my little demo at the start, you already know I don’t have any trouble with multi-tasking.”
“Can you take on aspects of shadows or turn into one? And I have to assume that you have some auxiliary abilities considering those eyes of yours.”, it was obvious from his tone that Jack was asking for the benefit of everyone else rather than himself.
“Sorry but no, I’m more of a mid-tier energy or material manipulator; if you can even call solid-shadows a type of material or energy. I can remotely control and shape them, but that’s about it.”, Shane admits with a shrug, his shadow stretching into the exaggerated shape of a man and mimicking him. “Honestly, the most impressive aspects of my power is its precision, range, and damage output.” He pointed his finger toward the east wall and a hairline thick length of shadow shot towards the wall but stopped just a few inches short before curling back to him in a corkscrewing motion. “I’m precise enough that I can paralyze someone by severing their lower spinal cord and my shadows can cut through most any natural material, even mid-level strongmen. And when appropriate…”, A shadow from a nearby weight bench flashed forward and suspended itself in front of Shane, he hopped on and let it carry him around the room. “I can use them to give myself a little extra mobility.”
“And your creepy abyss eyes?”, Jack was genuinely impressed by his Intern’s showing, but still couldn’t resist just a little ribbing.
“I can use them to see through darkness but it’s not traditional night vision, everything just looks grayed-out.”,Shane ignored Jack’s comment about his eyes and decided it was time to wrap up his presentation. “And I can ‘sense’ shadows before and after I make them solid—using them to feel around my environment. It’s admittedly not very precise, but invaluable when sneaking around without knowing where an enemy is.”
And that had been the end of it. He’d shown off a few attacks and a made a small vortex that could act as a shield, but nothing too lengthy. Jack had told all of them to stay on the bleachers soon afterwards. Instructing them to tell each other about their respective Mentor’s abilities.
They squared off in four different corners, making an uneven square, and readied their powers. Hugh’s shift was just as eye-catching as Elizabeth blurring into a flowing violet statue, mainly because he grew to the size of a small giant. His features blurred, skin turning an ashen grey and stretching over his increasingly bony and large form. It took all of three seconds before it was done and he was a little under one story tall with two giant reflective and ovoid eyes with no mouth. The skin was taut and unerringly smooth, hands disproportionately large.
The other two’s preparations were decidedly more discrete. Rikki simply floated a foot off the ground and had a few chunks of concrete levitate around her. Jack clenched his fists, a translucent rainbow aura emanating from his entire body briefly before twin spheres of orange energy appeared around his hands.
Elizabeth moved first—bounding across the area and aiming a tackle at Rikki, but the animator deftly darted to the side before grabbing her teammate by the ankle and tossing her toward the charging Hugh. “Obsidian-Wrath primarily serves the role of a Flying-Strongman, all of her physical abilities are at least on par with mine.”, Vanessa commented as Elizabeth reoriented herself mid-flight and slammed into the towering figure of Hugh head-on, pushing him back despite their vast difference in size. “And she can shoot out some of the shards that make up her body, using them as a ranged attack. But can’t really manipulate them beyond that.”
Twin thin beams of sparkling white energy blasted from Hugh’s alien eyes and slammed into Elizabeth. She’d brought both arms up to block the energy and braced herself but was still gradually pushed back from the apparent force. “Aside from the basic strength and toughness from his shifted form, Terram basically has ‘eye powers’“, Greg said just as Hugh cut his attack off and leapt into the air, avoiding a blast of orange energy from Jack. The other ball of orange energy careening towards, but avoided by, Rikki. “He can do that eye-beam thing, his trademark Baleful Gaze, and heal most injuries with a glance.”, Instead of falling, Hugh’s costume tightened around him and he remained suspended in the air before slamming back down into the ground with surprising force. Rikki was stopped, however, as she avoided two more blasts from Jack while Elizabeth simply knocked away the one aimed at her.
“The Crusader is an animator, not a telekinetic like most people think. She has really exceptional control and range, and can animate any object within said range. This obviously includes other people’s clothes and her own armor”, Amy didn’t get to finished before Jack blasted himself into the air with twin burst of orange energy from his feet, firing off another shot at Rikki before spinning in mid-air to shoot two at Elizabeth and landing in a crouch. Both volleys were dodged and blocked respectively.
“It makes her astonishingly effective at crowd control and let’s her do some obviously otherwise impossible physical feats, not to mention the completely 360 degrees flight.” Hugh’s eyes took on an inky-black hue as he gazed at Jack and Elizabeth, there was no other flashy affect, but both Heroes were suddenly brought to their knees, gasping for breath. The only one spared being the airborne Rikki who slammed directly into the back of Hugh’s head from above. His gaze turned back to its normal reflective sheen as he recovered from the hit, but not fast enough.
Jack blasted two more volleys at both Hugh and Elizabeth, but these appeared over the palms of his hands and looked more volatile, pulsing before their explosive impact. The concussive force knocked them both clear across the room. Barely taking the time to confirm his shots had hit, he blasted himself in the air again, angling himself towards Rikki. The armored Hero quickly moved out of his path, but Jack wasn’t aiming for a clear shot. Instead the rainbow aura around him became a crackling yellow before exploding outward in every direction. Rikki convulsed in the air as she was caught in the blast, rapidly losing altitude before Jack changed his trajectory with a small orange blast and intercepted her. Both landing safely after a relatively subdued burst of orange from Jack’s feet.
“And that’s Spectrum’s specialty; finding an opponent’s weakness is only a matter of time with how much of a versatile Blaster he is. He can make them detonate early to give himself a boost, emit from his whole body for an area blast, and use his hands to line up precision shots.”, Shane said as Jack and the rest of the Heroes dusted themselves off and started to un-shift or deactivate their powers.”Unfortunately, due to the nature of his powers, what he can do is fairly public knowledge: Fire, Kinetic, Electricity, Ice, Rot, Erosion, and the last is just plain old Light.”
“Alright kiddies, the fun part is over. It’s time for you to meet Steve.”, Jack called to them. He had scarcely finished his sentence before the gym entrance swung open to reveal a fairly unremarkable man.
He pointlessly tried to flatten the wrinkles of his flannel shirt and khakis as he made his way toward the Interns, dress shoes occasionally squeaking against the mostly smooth floor.
“Hello there. You can call me Steve, and I’ll be acting as your tour guide for this fine establishment.”