Heroes and Villains XV - Endgame
"Hey, you can't go alone!"
It was Cypher.
CYPHER: You have any idea how much danger you're in already?
MINDSWEEPER: I don't understand
C: You narrowly escaped Hollowheart. That was an assassination attempt. The Golden Child saved you. You can't wander the land any more. You're coming with me.
M: Where are we going?
C: To meet some old friends.
The purpose of our journey became clear as we began to approach a large isolated tower. The stronghold of the Council of Superheroes.
M: How do we know we won't be attacked as we approach?
C: They can't risk it. Any attack coming from that building would be seen as an act of war. Just as my friend here will tell you…
It was Anchor.
ANCHOR: Military use of superheroes would lead to a civil war. Well, less a war, more… outright genocide.
M: Is that what he wants?
C: I can't be certain, but my only hope, our only hope, is that part of his mind is missing. The mistake he made with Hollowheart is a good sign.
Two clicks came from somewhere behind me. I saw Anchor limber up a little, then rock back and forth slightly. Cypher was mumbling into a mouthpiece I hadn't initially spotted.
Anchor was a lot faster than I anticipated. I barely saw the punch, but I did see the wall crack, then crumble. A bright white exterior gave way to shattered black bricks.
M: Won't that raise the alarm?
C: We've got a contingency plan.
I'd never seen her before, but she was beautiful.
UNBEARABLE CUTENESS GIRL: I am NOT doing that EVER again!
angstboy wasn't far behind her. He held a barely visible baseball bat which flashed red and was dripping with blood. He was also wearing a tutu.
a: Being used as a decoy is too degrading?
UCG: No. You almost got blood on my dress you… you… aghhhhh…
C: Calm down. Are the security forces neutralised?
a: As many as we could get to. There may be a couple more heavyweights inside.
C: Thank you. Stay close, make sure the human stays alive.
M: You're taking me hostage?
C: No, shit-for-brains, just shut up and write all this stuff down.
I saw angstboy smile for the first time.
C: Enough, Darren, I need you to stay angry.
He nodded, and the smile disappeared.
C: We go left.
M: How do you know which way to go?
C: Measure Man told me. I preferred him as Accurist.
a: Yeah, the new name sucks.
C: As does his new attitude.
C: I didn't give him the choice. Gave him some spiel about how he was letting down the cause while I read his mind. I now have the blueprints for every inch of this building. There was one problem though…
"FLOOR PLANS DON'T INCLUDE STAFF MEMBERS!"
I saw the wings just after I heard the booming voice.
C: It's Michael, you idiot. The Sword of Christ. Where's Daddy?
ARCHANGEL MICHAEL: GIVE ME CYPHER AND THE REST OF YOU MAY LIVE!
C: Stand back...
The rest of the group moved back as Michael advanced, flaming sword in hand. Cypher spoke, her words barely audible at first, then rising in volume and number until she seemed to be an entire choir of voices. Speaking in tongues neither impressed nor intimidated the angel, and he rose his sword high, flames dancing around him, as he seemed to enter an execution stance.
His eyes slipped from his target. Unbearable Cuteness Girl was crying.
UCG: It's over. It's over. It's over.
A laugh from Michael. A laugh that could not have come from an angel, but something altogether more… demonic. No. It hadn't been his laugh. It was Cypher. It echoed around the room until it was joined by a growl, also demonic. Not Cypher, and certainly not Michael. I heard the sword drop and hit the floor. As I opened my eyes again I saw the flames extinguished, along with Michael's smile.
AM: No… you can't… it's against the rules…
C: God has gone. He won't save you now. CERBERUS! DRAG THE BASTARD TO HELL!
So much blood. Another one down.
The tower was quiet all the way to the top.
C: So… this is what remains of the Council. Bullhead and the Unfinished Man, right at the top of the tower.
UNFINISHED MAN: Quite the little convoy you have here…
C: The mighty Bullhead. Chief among superheroes. The ultimate. Impossible to corrupt, they said. Bullshit.
BULLHEAD: Shut your mouth. Now.
C: We're not under Council jurisdiction. Not now. Not any more.
I did not expect speed at the top of a tower. As Anchor charged, a knife flew from Bullhead's hand and sliced Cypher's throat open.
As Bullhead raised Anchor above his horns, time shifted again, and Cypher seemed to fall in slow-motion.
B: No power now asshole. Evens the score a little, doesn't it?
I noticed Unbearable Cuteness Girl whisper to angstboy, and he put his bat down carefully.
As I began to close my eyes to pray for a quick death, I noticed Bullhead's arms were beginning to buckle.
A: Not as such. I'm stronger than when you last saw me. I can channel my power through you. You can lift a man, but not a planet…
Fear swallowed Bullhead as he realised he was going to die. Cypher rose, picked up Bullhead's crushed remains and threw them at the Unfinished Man.
C: You stupid, arrogant prick. You know I can't die. What did you expect would happen?
Before he had a chance to respond, Anchor had lifted him.
A: No speech for you. Shame, really. Tends to add a bit of drama. Well, never mind, fuckface. Time to die!
Raised high, he was brought down fast onto Anchor's knee. It snapped him into two pieces. Anchor began to continue snapping the pieces into smaller segments.
A: Now he's finished. So am I. There's nothing left for me here. I'm just going to be used by them again and again. I'm never going to get to have a real life. Goodbye.
He stepped to the edge, and slipped backwards from the tower. It was so fast, none of us were able to react quick enough.
Cypher waled to the edge and peered over.
C: He's gone. He's gone.