Hive 18-VII

If You Strike Me Down.

Five fingers. Four and a thumb, I guess. Black glove, green lines going down from each finger, meeting up in the center then running down the length of the forearm before splitting out into a ring that marked the end of the glove. Below that, a dull, dark green material, surprisingly thick and chunky. It only went for about an inch before hitting the end, where it had torn in a very violent manner, leaving strands going every which way. The fingertips of the gloves actually had small blades attached to them, I noticed. Interesting. They couldn't be very effective on their own, or if you knew they were there, so they were probably for surprise hits. That would be very consistent with Green Cloak’s character; I could very easily see her putting someone's eyes out with them.

Or, you know. Past tense.

Porter was saying something. The others were pointing various things at me. Yelling things. Green Cloak wasn't, obviously. She'd fallen on her backside, using her cloak to wrap the bloody stump at her elbow and put pressure on it. Her eyes were wide, panicked and strained and pupils dilated, and her chest heaved with desperate breaths. The look in her eyes was… something. I don't know. Whatever.

Something pinged off my forehead, rocking my head back a little. It fell past my eye, and hit the ground with a metallic ping. A crumpled-up piece of metal, I could see immediately, and my mind filled in the blanks.

That is a bullet. Someone is shooting at me. Someone shot me, and it did nothing. The impact had carried a tiny amount of pain with it, like when you stick your head out the window going 80 miles an hour and get hit by a raindrop. Other than that, though, I barely felt a thing. A few more impacts, a few more pings, and I looked up to see one of Porter’s men shooting at me. A small pistol, with some sort of extra bit on the end. It must have been a silencer, because there were only soft cracks as opposed to deafening ones.

As if on cue, Combat Gear finished unslinging a rifle from his back, and fired it at me. The noise was deafening, and I clamped my hands over ears as I was pelted with what felt like a shower of high-velocity gravel. None of the individual hits hurt too badly, but there were a lot of them. Just before my power felt like it was about to reach a tipping point, though, the impacts disappeared. The noise continued, though, and I looked up to see the flat plane of a mirror in front of me. Looking back at the ledge above revealed Kai, leaning over the edge, one hand outstretched and face contorted in a pained grimace. “F***ing move!” she yelled at me. “I can't keep this- Ah!”

The mirror shattered, and the woman with the nimbuses of power around her arms stood on the other side. On the plus side, the bullets had stopped to avoid hitting her. Conversely, she was only a few feet away, and I didn't like the way the light was bending and distorting around them.

Oh, right. I should run, I guess.

“Oh, for- are you trying to get us killed?! No, don't answer that; I'm taking this one.”

Yes, I needed to run, you stupid idiot, Hannah. I dashed to the side, towards where I instinctively knew my real body was, the ground cracking and shattering under my feet as I moved. I could see the woman moving towards me in my peripheral vision (Porter had backed away; I'm guessing he had decided he couldn't handle me, and the woman was for dealing with heavy hitters), but she was still in the firing line. I had a few seconds, so I switched back to normal weight and roughly shoved my real self off the edge of the concrete into the sewage. In the same way I knew where I was, I could feel my lungs expanding and contracting normally, so I'd not landed face down and asphyxiated. Hopefully, it had happened quickly enough that none of them would figure out what I'd done. Green Cloak’s group, I wasn't worried about, they were a bunch of thickskulled morons, but Porter was sharp; his team too. I'd need to keep them distracted and lead them away.

A rush of air, and I jerked my head to the side just in time to avoid getting pulverized by… Nimbus, I guess, it was the word I kept using anyway. Where it hit the concrete, that section vanished into nothing, leaving no remnant behind. Thankfully, it was only around her hands, because if it had surrounded her legs too, my entire head would have been erased when she kneed me in the head.

Everything went kind of spinny for a moment, and when my vision returned, she was standing over me, one arm raised to deliver a finishing blow. Son of a… I ghosted and rolled to the side, through her leg, just as the blow came down, then went solid and jumped to my feet. Immediately, a churning beam of orange-red swept up across the ground towards me from Metalface, and as I hastily dodged that by throwing myself to the side again, I felt the same bar of soap effect I'd felt back in the tunnels when fighting the blurry woman. Sure enough, she was feeling and clutching her head again.

Suddenly, the wiry man, Schaus, was standing in front of me, blurring as he moved. I could barely keep track of him as he ran around me, and it was like the bullets all over again as his fists pummeled me from every direction. After a few moments of me trying to curl my body around my vitals, he flickered into place a few feet away, shaking his hands and grimacing. Instinctively, I lunged towards him, swinging an arm and-

A bloody arm, dripping a crimson stain onto the concrete

I stumbled, nearly falling on my face as I tried to cancel my own momentum. Then Nimbus was there again, and I was back to desperately scrambling away from those matter-erasing fists. What a completely bull power. So completely bull. One swing caught the edge of my scarf as it trailed behind my movements, and it disappeared, leaving it about half a foot shorter. Not the scarf, you butt! Strangely, she stopped pursuing me, and I managed to get a few steps away, wary of whatever had caused her to stop attacking. I jerked my head around, expecting a surprise attack, but nothing appeared. Instead, Nimbus slammed her hands together, and-

Oh you have to be f-

A hurtling mass of concrete, everything she'd erased, slammed into my core, sending me flying backwards and into the wall, where I left a sizeable crater before dropping down into the sewage half-pipe below. I groaned as I landed, bent double. If I hadn't been dense, it would've torn me in half.

It was very clear that there was no way I made any headway there, so instead of trying to climb back up, I turned to my left, away from my real body. And for the second time in two days, I found myself running through calf-deep sewage.

This time, though, I wasn't running into danger. I was running for my life

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