Mage Among Superheroes 196

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We stomped up to the front of the Uptown, and obviously the bouncers reached for their radios. But Lady Recollection stopped them as she held out her warrant. “Before you report to your superiors, you might want to take a look at this warrant. Because what you say will be the difference between two people working a job, and third degree supervillainy. Or second degree, depending on what you do. So you can properly announce agents of the crown, or hope your contracts pay for good lawyers.”

The two of them lowered their hands that were about to trigger their headsets. One took the warrant, reading it. “So we just gotta say Crown Forces are here with a combined search and arrest warrant…?”

“And if you could remind them that fleeing from arrest bumps up the degree of supervillainy by a level.” Did it? People sure did that fleeing and fighting thing a lot though. Then again, supervillainy got people put away for a long time regardless of which country they were in. And I couldn’t say if the laws were different here in that regard.

“Alright,” said the one taking the lead. He watched our reactions as he reached to activate his radio. “Mister Elliott. Crown Forces are here with a warrant for search of the Uptown, and possible arrests. They wanted me to remind you that resisting ups the charges.” He dropped his hand and looked at us.

I could vaguely hear a response. “… idiot! … delay … paycheck!”

The man just shuffled to the side, pushing his compatriot with him. “So we just go or…?”

“Talk to those fellows with suits over there,” Lady Recollection said. “They’ll take care of everything.”

The proactive bouncer sighed, taking off his headset that was still yelling at him, and began to walk away.

“Now then, we must be swift,” Lady Recollection said. “And while I would love to go in and make the announcement, I must admit that I am rather fragile.”

Sir Kalman was about to step forward through the door, but Current tapped him on the shoulder. Then she reached out her hand towards the club. The sounds inside all came to a sudden halt, replaced by her voice as she spoke, echoing from all of the speakers inside. “This is Crown Forces. Everyone is to make an orderly exit from the premises and subject yourself to questioning regarding the illegal trafficking of extradimensional persons. As a friendly reminder, the building is surrounded.”

“… So they just come out peacefully now?” I asked.

“Oh no. This is the part where they break down the doors and flee while those involved go for their secret tunnels.”

“I feel like we should have tried to find their secret tunnels first.”

Current shrugged.

While we had been busy with that, Agent Smoke had already begun to enshroud the outside of the building with his incapacitating gasses. That meant he caught those who made initial sprints for the outside, swiftly dropping them so that nobody had to attempt to bring them down in a more crude fashion. Like with some less lethal rubber bullets and the like. Meanwhile, those who actually tried to be orderly wouldn’t reach the outside for some time.

On our end, I Hasted Sir Kalman, with Midnight applying the same to the two of us. Nobody had run for the front door, and when a knight in shining armor stepped through anyone who had been considering that option backed away. 

And then a chorus of gunshots rang out as from the club floor and balcony above came a hail of bullets. And with each, the corresponding sound of ricochets off of Sir Kalman’s armor. That was a problem for everything around him, but it was mostly just the Uptown’s fancy entryway anyway. 

As he drew attention, charging forward with his shield out in front of him, I stepped in to pick out my targets. I doubted that even Sir Kalman could sustain an infinite amount of gunfire. Sadly I wouldn’t be able to get both the upper and lower levels of people shooting at us, but I could pick either one. Upper seemed like it was the best bet, as there were both fewer civilians around and they would be harder for other people to deal with. Plus, there were two supers up there.

Lightning crackled in my hands, stretching through the room. It looked almost slow, with Haste. It was nowhere near the actual speed of a lightning strike. Instead, it was tendrils of lightning that latched onto the first individual, jumping from enemy to enemy form left to right as Chain Lightning sought out my enemies. It was unfortunate that the supers were in a better position so I couldn’t target them directly, because in the short time it took to propagate to them one of them created a sort of barrier around them. It didn’t fully stop the lightning, but it deflected enough that they continued standing.

On the lower level, Sir Kalman circled around the central stage. He could have gone directly over it, but there were presumably innocent workers there, crouching down to try to stay safe. Perhaps even some of the people we were here for.

Sir Kalman had pushed through anything in his way until he collided with a brick wall. Or rather, an individual somewhat built like one. Until that point Sir Kalman hadn’t drawn his weapon, but he drew it out and slashed towards the man’s neck, light shining off of his weapon. His blade struck and… bounced off. Oof. Had to be careful about those heavies. 

“Well, looks like that’s my job,” Dart said as she passed by me. “Hopefully we’ll get a distraction in a moment here.”

And we certainly did.

“Hey!” A loud voice cut through the sounds of everything, only for everyone’s eyes to turn to Lustre on the stage, dangling off the side of one of the metal poles. His gaze was directed towards the remaining guards below. “Might I have your attention?”

Bullets ripped through the air, including some that went through him. But he somehow managed to spin his way up the pole as that happened, drawing fire away from Sir Kalman and the crowds and everything else.

Everything was happening quickly, even with my increased processing speed from Haste, so before I could ready another Chain Lightning the second super above responded with a weird green and purple bolt of her own. It slammed directly into me, piercing right through my Force Armor without harming it. How did that happen? What was going on? Right, I was going to… lightning, yeah. I needed to zap Sir Kalman. Or the guy fighting him?

I began to gather mana. I was going to use it for something… like… like… I felt a mental tug from Midnight. He had darted off through the crowd with a purpose, but we were still connected. And that single tug directed my thoughts just enough to cast Mental Freedom instead of Chain Lightning at a literally random target. 

It still too a moment to shake off the confusion, during which I felt a trail of power pointing towards my head. And then a rifle slug hit me in the forehead. My head snapped back, and I was glad that we had forewarning about the battle. The bullet cracked through my mask and impacted my skull. Well, just in front of it. Stoneskin was a must for anything where there was going to be this much shooting.

If we didn’t already know better, I would have begun to suspect this was too much high powered security for a normal club. Or even one where important people came to hang out. But of course I did know better. 

I also knew I was chewing through my mana too quickly. I could do one more Chain Lightning, or a couple smaller things. But I also had my staff and gun. The staff could dispel one thing. I thought about the tough guy trading blows with Sir Kalman, but Dart was theoretically going to solve that. 

The area was pretty well cleared out of civilians now, and I sheltered against a pillar as I targeted some of the regular guards on the ground floor. They must be paid very well to bother. Then again, that was what the crime was for.

I was vaguely aware of Current wrestling with some other super with similar powers, presumably for control over some sort of electrical crap. The lady that confused me was firing her powers at Lustre now, who was either dodging the beams or… getting hit by all of them. It was honestly difficult to tell, because he was spinning up and down the pole in the middle of the room regardless. It was wild to see blood flowing back into his body. But fortunately Mental Freedom kept him from actually distracting me. So maybe he was confused and not directing his power properly, for that to be necessary.

Ducking and weaving from cover to cover, I took quick shots wherever I could as I made my way towards the stairs, and the two supers upstairs. The one who had shot me continued to manipulate air currents to bombard me and I knew I couldn’t simply conserve my mana.

But I also didn’t necessarily need a big spell to take her out. I took a shot at her, mostly for distraction, while I gathered a tiny amount of mana. Just a couple points. My bullet was tossed aside by the winds around her- and the lady with the confuse rays- but my actual attack was aimed towards the floor. It didn’t quite go as plan, as Grease was caught by her wind powers as well. But it did still cause a distraction as the pair were suddenly surrounded by flying goop. 

Another ray of confusion came for me, but I was both shielded against it and ready for the effects. It only caused a momentary dizziness. Meanwhile, I used the last burst of speed from my Haste to duck behind a very fancy couch. I doubted it would do much to stop bullets, but it would make me harder to aim at. 

I raised my staff above the lip, immediately having it shot at several times. But it wasn’t a full sized target, and whatever went into the ‘bonsai Yggdrasil’ was tough. So when the bullets stopped for a moment, I was ready with a spell. I still made certain to peek around the edge of the couch instead of over. Then Sonic Lance shot for the gut of the windy woman. Her barrier of air did… precisely nothing to stop it. Alright, maybe it was a little. Powers were weird like that. But air was a carrier of sonic vibrations, not a barrier against it. The woman was blasted backwards, the confusing lady behind her dodging to the side.

With my staff in hand, I charged forward. I took a few shots at her with my gun, but nobody would engage in a battle of superpowers without at least the equivalent of a bullet resistant vest. I ducked out of the way of her rays, not because I necessarily needed to but out of caution. The effect might build up. Then I was right next to her, and thrust my staff forward into her gut, activating the magic and power suppressing ability using the stored mana. 

On the level below, the big guy who had been facing off with Sir Kalman was twitching on the ground, a weird greenish film on his face. 

Lustre was hanging upside down with his knees wrapped around the pole, halfway between levels… and he slowly spun down until he rested upon the stage. 

Fighting had stopped, and we were beginning to secure the supers with our provided restraints. But there was something still missing, namely a Mister Elliott. But I could sense Midnight on the chase of someone, so hopefully there were others succeeding in that area.

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