FPL HOME * Characters * Current Battles * FPL Forums * Player Utilities
He and Sureshot were inside the hull looking for some equipment they needed for a much larger plan in the future. Arsenic was serving as lookout on the bridge. Meanwhile Foxtrot and I waited on the docks doing nothing.
I could have stopped them then, but for what? breaking onto a barge? Besides I was instructed to sit back and watch and that's what I was gonna' do. I was scribbling notes in my journal being careful not to let anyone see what they said.
"Do you really have Red Eyes?" the question startled me. I turned to Foxtrot who was staring into my visor. I lifted it to reveal two blue eyes. She seemed let down, like she had just found out that Santa Claus wasn't real
"Then why take the name?"
"Because my visor is red"
"That doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Besides its more pink than red"
"Pink eyes doesn't sound as good. Besides, "Foxtrot", isn't exactly an average name either."
She looked away, off across the bay. Her toes dipped into the water making ripples across the glassy calm.
"Marie...My name is Marie"
I paused a moment
I broke one of Guardian's rules. But what hurt could it do, it will let her trust me. Besides it wasn't even my real name.
"Marcus and Marie, sounds good together don't they? Almost like we were people just like everyone else" I never got the chance to reply, Arsenic did it for me.
"Four guards coming this way armed and pissed. You two can deal with that can't you?"
We ran down the pier as the four men rushed at us on foot. Foxtrot was amazing; she moved with the grace of a cat and took out all of the guards on her own. As young as she was, she could move, and the brass knuckles didn't hinder her either.
"Still expecting someone older?" she asked with a chirp. I smiled, then heard an unmistakable click. It was the sound of a gun lever being pulled back. One of the guards hadn't gone down; he aimed at Foxtrot and let out a dark grin. I never moved so fast in my life.
All I heard was the semi-auto gun blasts, riddling away at me. I could feel nothing but taps at my torso and arms. After a few seconds the clip ran out and he and I both seemed surprised. My suit took all the rounds, my arms covered my face, and Foxtrot stood sheltered behind me. I ran with a burst and smashed his head into the wooden floor. He went out cold.
"Wow thanks," Foxtrot replied in a cheeky grin. She stepped forward and put her arms around me. She was too close and I began to blush uncontrollably.
"I guess I'll have to pay you back some time" She said. I tried to be cold.
"I was just saving a teammate, that's all" It didn't work. It came out stuttered and rushed. She leaned forward and could tell I was lying.
"Whatever you say hot stuff"
"We have a problem"
I lifted my visor and saw Sureshot staring off into the night sky. The way he said it you would think we could be running out of gas, or that he accidentally ran over a few ducks; however the truth was worse.
We were being followed by two flying vigilantes. I could recognize them as Nightdove and Miss Marvelous even from this distance. The mere fact that they were here meant that they didn't know I was undercover. If the Circle learned I was a rat, it would most likely end with Sureshot firing a slug into the back of my head. They were gaining and I looked around for a plan until one finally presented itself.
"There. Down the sewage tunnel, it will hem them in"
The boat swerved violently, nearly making us all lose our footing. The only exception was Sureshot who seemed to always be balanced. We entered the dank and shadowy tunnel; I thought the smell alone might be enough to repel our pursuers. I was wrong. They both followed, flying feet above the green water. Sureshot stepped forward and aimed his pistol towards them
"That's not gonna work," I said, getting no response.
He fired down the dark sewage tunnel and true to his name hit his targets each time. The bullets bounced off the two; it would take more than lead to stop them.
"You got a better idea?" he asked after seeing that his bullets were failing.
I reached down to my belt and pulled out a small disk. It was the size of a Frisbee and was tapered to a sharp edge. I spun the disk out of my hands and it whirling towards Miss Marvelous. It hit her shoulder with a clank, then exploded. The boom sent her into a wall and engulfed the heroine in flame. Nightdove came after us even faster after that. Every bomb I threw spun over or under her, as we raced down the tube. I decided to finish it. I pulled out two more bombs and threw them straight upward. They latched to the ceiling. As Nightdove approached they detonated stopping her in her tracks. The ceiling of the tunnel collapsed blocking any would be followers from entering.
"Not bad, hot stuff" yelled Foxtrot over the humming motor and waves, "Too bad it will take days to get this smell out of my nostrils"
"Where to next?" I asked. Sureshot turned to me.
"Back to the Home Office, we got to burn some time until everything else is ready"
I clutched a disk and set up my throw. Two cardboard cut outs popped up one behind the other. I aimed for the second one. I tossed the disk and it made a prolonged arch. It swung around the shoulder of the first target and struck the second between the eyes.
"Nice shot, but where's the boom?" The voice startled me into nearly throwing another disk. When Foxtrot saw this she laughed at me. I relaxed and placed the disk down.
"I turned off the detonators, no point wasting disks in a practice session"
"Ohhh, do you really need practice, you seem to have it under control". She walked forward and stood by me. She picked up the fallen disk in her hands.
"It's harder than it looks" I replied. She nodded
"Mind if I try?" She asked. I gestured my arm towards the cut-outs. She picked up the disk and threw it over hand like she would a baseball. The disk flew downwards and bounced across the floor and eventually rolled towards the target, hitting its foot. I couldn't help but chuckle.
"Don't laugh" she whined. I couldn't help it. Foxtrot began to pout. I saw this was bothering her so I stepped forward to help.
"I'm sorry, here, your using to much of your wrist. You have to step into it with your whole body."
I stepped behind her and cradled the outside of her throwing arm. Her back spooned into my chest, with my head just above her shoulder. I could feel her soft skin against my arm, the smell of her dark hair in my nose. My heart began to pound so heavily I was afraid she might hear it. We both clutched the disk, her fingers under mine. We leaned back as one, and then threw the disk in a cannon-like shot into the first target. It slammed into its neck taking off the cardboard head.
"Not bad, soon you'll be up to ricochet shots"
"Are they the hardest?"
"Yeah" I responded softly.
Her fingers intertwined with mine making a seemingly unbreakable net. She turned to face me and was merely inches from my face. We leaned forward, neither of us aware we were doing it. I began to stare deeply into her dark eyes. I didn't think about my cover, or about Dawn, or about anything else that would have told me this was a mistake. We kissed. When it ended I was shocked, and saddened. It was too short; happiness always is.
Foxtrot and I were quiet during the whole trip; neither of us wanted the others to know. Arsenic stopped the van in front of an affluent neighborhood. Banks, businesses, and ritzy apartments lined the streets; any one of them could be the target. One such building was the massive Uptown Tower which dominated the skyline.
"What's the plan?" I asked. I didn't fear being suspected at this point. Had I waited any longer they would suspect me for being too calm.
"First we haul the EMP to the roof, then set it onto a timer. Then run like hell down to the wharfs."
"If we're going to the wharfs, then why did we need this thing?" I said, kicking the hunk of metal. "In fact why didn't we get it last time we were there?"
Sursehot sighed as if he was slightly annoyed.
"The EMP takes out all electronics within a certain radius, including that of planes. At 9:52 a personal jet will fly low, directly over this spot. The EMP will take out all of its functions rendering it nothing more than a falling piece of iron. My calculations say it should crash near the wharfs."
I wanted to stop him, but what choice did I have. All the way up the elevator I just prayed that something might go wrong and we could turn back. Once on the roof, Panzer pushed the titanic machine outside. As Sureshot was putting on the timer, I heard a familiar voice.
"You've gone far enough you four" Dawn said. Her costume shone in the city light. Next to her hovered Nightdove and a somewhat wounded Miss. Marvelous. Part of me was relieved by their presence, another distressed. Foxtrot stepped forward.
"Apparently someone never taught you to count, cuz there are actually five of us believe it or not."
"I know what I said" replied Dawn. She then looked directly at me, putting me on the spot, as if to give me some cue. Everyone turned towards me. I had to do it.
I removed three disk bombs and threw them forward. Dawn soon realized that things had changed. The explosions hit Nightdove and her, but Marvelous avoided the boom. She slammed forward and aimed a punch right at my head. Foxtrot pushed me aside and took the blow instead. It threw her off the roof into a plummeting fall.
"MARIE!!" I yelled as terror filled my voice. No less than a second after she had fallen did I jump after her.
The wind whipped around us both. I could see her unconscious face in a dull pallor. I grabbed her arm in one hand and a small gun on my waist in the other. I fired and a grappling hook attached to a thin, but strong, metal line propelled out. The hook got stuck onto the terrace of another building. My momentum stopped in a painful jerk, soon followed by an even more painful slam into the wall of the savior building. I lifted Foxtrot safely over my shoulder and used the excess wire to attach her to my belt. I climbed the wire up the outside of the building. After three stories I reached the top and lifted her over the edge. I pulled myself over with a grunt, then looked into her face.
"Come on wake up, wake up......Please Marie". Her slowly opening eyes were the last thing I saw. A sharp pain stung the back of my neck. Then a warm sensation, followed by pure black unconsciousness.
"TALK" she yelled, as she shoved her foot into my chin. The room whizzed by me as the chair jumped off the ground, landing with a smack. She was getting annoyed by my silence. Even as the pain coursed through every pat of my frame I still wouldn't break. I was bleeding all over. Her stilettos began to crush my windpipe.
"That's enough Arsenic" said a calm male voice. Only one person that could be. My chair was lifted upright and I was brought face to face with Sureshot.
"I gave him everything I have, poison, truth serum, a severe beating; he just won't break" said the demonical Arsenic. Sureshot nodded and she left the room. We sat in silence for a second or two.
"You're not going to tell me anything are you?"
I nodded my head no. I would speak but it was becoming more and more physically difficult. He seemed to accept that.
"Well that's okay; I admire your strength of mind. Very few people have that now a days.... The fact is we don't really need you to say anything; we found your journal. It told us....everything"
I choked out a few words
"Then why keep beating me?"
He looked deeply at me and showed me the only emotion I've ever seen from him. He grabbed the back of my head and looked deeply into my swollen eyes
"Because......You broke my little sister's heart"
He bit down on his lip. I could feel his anger. He was a step away from shooting me dead. But he didn't. He stood up and walked out the door. As he left she came in,
"Save it!" Foxtrot yelled. She was calm, but I could tell by her face that she had been crying. Her lip quivered as she spoke to me.
"How could you treat me like this? After all we had?" her eyes pleaded with me to give some kind of answer.
"You don't understand"
"Oh don't I!" as she said this she ripped out my journal and began to read the first page
": Just joined the outfit and have earned everyone's faith. Have no idea what they are planning but will be sure to stay patient. I have learned lots and can begin to pick up on their strengths and weaknesses just by watching them. One of them in particular may be useful. She is lonely and outgoing; if I can gain her trust"...... "I can figure out what's going on"
"Marie you don't understand" I managed to stutter "I wasn't doing this to hurt you... I wasn't even thinking about you". She threw the journal at my head
"Thanks Marcus, that makes me feel so much better. You weren't thinking about me, just about the stupid mission. You broke my heart. Why? So you could get inside my head? So you could act like the hero and take us out" I had nothing to say.
"Probably not even your real name is it. Huh...you're a real piece of work; whoever you are"
I spat out a single sentence as she turned to leave,
"Marie... I'm sorry"
She didn't even look back at me, but I could hear the sound of her tears, the sound of what I've done. She opened the door but looked through her pocket before leaving. She found a shining key on a ring. She tossed it onto the floor next to me.
"Goodbye Marcus...I never want to see you ever again" with that she left.
The wall shuddered with a thud. An explosion had gone off outside. I checked my suits stats. It had protected me from most of the beating but I was still in dire straights. My lip and right eye were swollen, I struggled to breathe, and I think my arm was dislocated when I slammed into the building earlier. Even with all the punishment the suit had been pumped only to 55% storage rating. Another explosion shook the building as I stood gaining my breath. I instinctively knew what was happening. They had followed us back. I would have to hurry if I was going to make it. I ran towards the explosion and prayed I wouldn't be too late.
I went through the target range, and found that all of my disks were missing. Sureshot must have taken them once we got back. That meant I only had one more weapon left at my disposal; Guardian's secret gift. As I clasped the door out of the arsenal another boom rocked the building. Hold on Marie.
I ran and ran until my legs burned. I jumped out a window and found what I expected. The Sinless Circle had been defeated. Steel Guardian stood in a grassy field amassed in the unconscious bodies of his enemies, Sureshot, Arsenic, and Panzer. Foxtrot stood alone retreating slowly. Her knuckles were bleeding. Punching the metal titan wouldn't do anything. I heard three shots rang out in the night
"Leave her alone! You ugly fucker!" Sureshot fired with a single hand.
He could barely stand, and could aim even less. The shots clanked against the super-steel armor in a wild fashion. The titan of Justice brought his two gigantic iron arms together in a clap. A shockwave issued forth which threw Sureshot back like a rag doll. His body skipped along the ground until it was motionless.
"NOOOO" screamed the bloody and tear drenched Foxtrot. I saw Guardian raise his hands to prepare a final knockout. He sent another shockwave rippling across the ground throwing dirt and debris in its wake. The wave came to Foxtrot and she shuddered. The boom passed by her nearly blowing her off the ground, but she was unharmed. I stood in front of her guarding her with my body. The armor absorbed the blow, protecting us both from certain doom. She looked up to find me standing over her in a futile attempt to reprove myself.
"Marcus what are you doing?" Foxtrot asked.
I couldn't think off a good answer so I did something I had never done with her before, I told the truth.
"I'm risking everything I have, to protect something I set out to destroy. I'm following in the footsteps of someone I once loved but then learned to despise.... I finally realize why he did it"
"I don't understand Marcus"
"My name's not Marcus, its James... Listen I've never been honest with you before so if I don't make it I want you to read the last page of my journal. That will tell you the truth."
She looked at me with tears in her eyes. She didn't know whether to hate me or to love me
"Kid! Get out of the way!!" screamed Steel Guardian. He clapped again sending a second larger wave my direction. I was blown back but I had to protect her.
"Go! GET OUT! Save your brother, go!" I yelled.
She turned away and began to run up towards Steel Guardian. He swung a punch but she quickly dodged, and ran to her brother's side.
"YO! Metal freak! Don't worry about her, you got to deal with me" I yelled.
Sure, I still found it hard to breathe, I still couldn't see straight, and I only had one weapon left, but I felt better than I ever had in my entire life. I got back on my feet and stared into my opponents black empty eyes
"You can't win kid. I helped design that suit, I know everything about it. In fact I'd bet without it you wouldn't even be standing right now. Just give up and we can forget this whole thing"
"Not gonna happen."
"Fine" he said, "you want to go out like a traitor just like your old man, not my problem"
I checked my visor to see the power storage. The last two blasts had been totally absorbed. 99 fucking percent.
"Time to see what your little toy does at full power" I shot back. He cringed at the thought.
"You're bluffing. You could never get full power. Even if you did, it would kill you in your state." I smiled
"We'll see... ARMOR, NOVA MODE, 99% RELAESE" the suit did its job and I was surrounded by my ultimate weapon, a pure energy armor.
I charged at Guardian like a tank. Bolts and sparks of energy flew off me. I glowed in the night air. I had become a supernova incarnate. He raised his arms and blasted an enormous shock wave. A Tsunami strength blast flew against me. It destroyed the walls behind me. I was like a mountain in the face of the shockwave; I was a thunderbolt when I stuck guardian. My glowing fist embedded itself into his armor like it was tin foil. The knock from my strike sent the two ton giant feet into the air. He landed onto his knees and slid back. I charged again propelling my fist forward. I wasn't thinking, only screaming.
He parried my thrust with a punch of his own. Our fists clashed straight on. His armor vs. my energy field. It was no contest; the steel around his fist buckled and bent sending cracks all the way down his arm. In his other hand he swatted me into a far wall. He quickly stood and let out another tidal wave of force that crumbled the Home Office. He stared into the debris.
"Is that the best you can do, ya little punk.... I knew you wasn't at full power... Just like your old man, a liar and a traitor"
He walked closer to the pile of smoking rubble. Steel Guardian began to think highly of himself. But a light shone through the debris.
"AAAAAGHHH!!!" the mountain of debris flew off as I sent my own shockwave out. My energy field sent off the waves of debris as I leaped out into the air. I fell like a shining comet onto Guardian. With both my hands raised high above my head I knocked him to the ground. The mammoth warrior crashed down in less than a second, causing a crater to be smashed into existence where he fell. I kneeled over him and began to pummel him deeper and deeper into the ground. With each strike the crater grew bigger.
"NEVER... EVER... SPEAK... ABOUT... MY FATHER... AGAIN ... YOU WORTHLESS....PIECE OF.... SHIT!"
On that final curse I let out the remainder of my energy point blank into his chest. The armor broke like glass. My arms drooped to my side. The glow surrounding me faded dimmer and dimmer. I removed guardian's face mask. He was alive but unconscious. His glory of being one of the toughest Sentinels ever was over; his legendary armor was shattered. Everything was dark now. The light that once enveloped me was gone, replaced by darkness and silence.
I stood up, and then quickly fell back down. Nova mode had pushed my body to the brim when I was already broken. I stared at the night sky like I used to with my dad on warm nights. My eyes became heavier and heavier. The world faded to black....
"O.K that's it, I give up." I said sitting up slowly. My body ached all over
"Come on, you did a lot better that time" My opponent responded.
"How was that any different from the last twenty attempts?"
"It was good, just try to avoid the part where I toss you around like a little schoolgirl" She stated leering over me with a wide grin.
"Thanks for the criticism Foxtrot, but I'm done. We've been practicing every day for two weeks and it always ends with me on my back. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result."
"You told me you wanted to learn hand to hand so that when the Sentinels come looking for you, you will always be ready. You'll never be ready if you quit just because you're getting beaten by a girl; granted a girl half your size who isn't tying that hard."
I slowly stood up and faced her. I was somewhat dizzy but I managed to find balance.
"Layoff all right, you've been doing this a lot longer than I have. Besides...there is no way you are half my size"
"I heard that!" she yelled. I could feel my legs go out from under me as her sweep kick sent me crashing back to the ground. Foxtrot stood over me gleaming with arrogance.
"Never make fun of a girl's weight; especially when she can kick your butt" she said. I would have responded but I couldn't put a sentence together. I was trying to sit up knowing she would inevitably throw me down again.