Greys 10-II

I Aten't Dead

The girl didn’t seem to have noticed the other man. She whistled tunelessly to herself as she continued to pocket the money. For a thief, the thought crossed my mind, she has rather poor situational awareness.

Still, I wasn’t going to let her get killed. I stepped out from behind the wall, moving to get between them, just as the man reared back his glowing fist. The girl’s head snapped up towards me as I covered the steps between us and the man pushed his arm forward. It was a sideways motion, not quite a punch as much as a flick, but when it reached the end of its swing, his arm stayed in place. His hand, though, did not.

His wrist stretched like putty as his fist shot forward, propelled by the momentum of the flick. It barreled towards the girl, and by extension, me, and I raised my arms in front of me as I turned my power in the opposite direction. Think dense thoughts, think dense thoughts, think dense-

I was standing back on the rooftop, fully visible again. I had a moment of confusion, before it hit me. Whatever that glow was, it had destroyed my smoke clone, and now the girl was in there alone with the Disciple.

I almost began to run towards the edge of the roof, before I remembered that it would kill me.  I stopped, scrunched my eyes shut and concentrated. Clone, step back, switch perspectives, go. The whole process took me about ten seconds, which was ten seconds too long as far as I was concerned. I was not going to let someone die on my watch, darn it. I tried to ignore the thoughts saying that there was a decent chance she was dead already.
Instead of just dropping off like I had last time, I sprinted all the way up to the edge and leaped out, going intangible as soon as my feet left the ground. 

With a lot less mass to move, the push sent my flying almost horizontally towards the building. I hit the wall in between the second and third floors, fingers digging into the depressions in the brickwork and holding me there. I was still solid enough to grab a hold, but light enough that it was a breeze to clamber up the wall to above the window. I curled my legs up to my body, placing my feet in between my hands, then pushed out. As I swung back in towards the window, right before I hit it, I went all the way intangible. I passed through the window cleanly, and as soon as my eyes passed the glass, I went back to being solid, and landed in a slightly ungainly crouch. I'd waste time basking in the warm glow of how cool that was later; the room I'd landed in didn’t have line-of-sight to where the girl and the Disciple had been. I could hear indeterminate noises; hopefully that meant she wasn’t dead yet.

I launched straight into a sprint, rounding the corner with the bookshelf propped up against it. I wanted to go dense, but my common sense was telling me that it had a decent chance of collapsing the floor underneath me, especially while running. I hadn’t been thinking when I'd done it earlier.

I rounded another corner, skidding slightly, and the noises resolved themselves into clarity. It didn’t make them any less weird, but they were clearer.

She was still alive, thank goodness. She was also holding her own against the guy who had taken me down in one hit. I felt an irrational pang of irritation at that, but quashed it. Now was not the time.

The Disciple was swinging his fists around on the end of his putty-like arms like flails, with a surprising amount of control and speed. He kept them spinning at his side, lashing out with one while keeping the other in reserve. When he missed, chunks of whatever he hit instead went flying all over the place. I shuddered to think what it would do to human flesh.

Thankfully, I wasn’t getting a live demonstration. The girl was clearly on the back foot, scrambling away from the Disciple as fast as she could. Her sunglasses had slipped down her face to reveal panicked eyes, but she was still managing to hold up. In the space between the two of them, in the path of his fists, small, perfectly reflective mirrors were appearing. When a fist connected with one, it shattered into fragments that disappeared before they hit the ground, but the fist stopped dead, and the glow around it disappeared for a second. Barely even realizing I was doing it, I mentally assigned the girl the name ‘Mirror’. I mean, I couldn’t just keep calling her the gender noun.

The Disciple was also ranting at the top of his lungs, something about ‘street filth' and ‘f***ing with us' and other nasty stuff. I tuned it out.

How to handle this? He'd already demonstrated that he could knock me out with one hit, so charging in was out. Plus, I think a punch at full density would turn him into jelly, and no. Just no.

The problem was, I didn’t know whether that punch had destroyed my clone because it was just strong enough, or because of some form of power interaction. Some powers could mess with each other or cancel each other out, seemingly at random, as Mirror and the Disciple were now demonstrating. If it was the former, I could go intangible and get in close that way, but if it was the latter, it would destroy the clone anyway. And the only way of finding out was to get hit, which was just - no thanks.

No, I was going to be smarter about this. I tried focusing on my mass, going for a fine adjustment rather than a toggle. I'd managed to go just slighter denser than intangible, so I should have been able to do the same from normal mass with ease, right?

Apparently not. It felt like grabbing at a bar of soap on a rope, swinging back and forth as it popped out of my grasp. The floor splintered under me as I went too dense for a brief moment. Whoopsie-daisy. Thankfully, I didn’t tear my way down to the ground level.

I managed to place it after a second, denser than average, but not enough to destroy the floor. Just enough to give me some extra strength. Physics were my new best friend.

I picked up an oak drawer from where it lay next to me, and threw it as hard as I could, directly at the Disciple. My aim was a little off, and it only clipped him on the shoulder, but there was still enough force behind it to spin him around completely. He screamed as he dropped to the ground, one of his hands spinning off to bury itself in the wall. I didn’t know how long that would keep him down, so I grabbed another drawer and held it at the ready.

The girl turned to stare at me, wide-eyed. “What are you waiting for?” I yelled at her. “Run!”

She held the deer in the headlights look for a second, then moved. But instead of running, she came and stood behind me. Like, directly behind me. As if I was a barricade.

“What are you doing?” I asked, trying to look at her while also keeping my eye on the Disciple. “Do you want to stay here with him?”

She pushed her sunglasses back up over her eyes. “Do you? Why aren’t you running?” Her voice was calm, but there were definite tremors in it

He was groaning now, pushing himself upwards. “Did you not see the costume? Superhero here. Besides, he might have information I need.”

“You don’t look like a superhero, you look like a cheap cosplayer. Besides, you're not a hero. They just added Stump, they're not going to get someone else so soon.”

He was getting onto his feet now, glaring at me and Mirror. “Is now the time for this? Really?”

“Sorry, sorry. My mouth runs on when I get nervous, it's a bit of an issue-”

He growled and began to move towards us, so I threw the second drawer. It flew straight this time, straight for his center of mass, but he just punched straight through it, pulverizing it into splinters. He kept walking towards us, spinning his arms again.

“Was that your only plan?” Mirror asked nervously from behind me.

“No, I've got another one,” I replied. “Run.”



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