Alright then, here's the next chapter. Enjoy!
“Jesus Christ! Are you alright?!” I ask Dragon Tycoon Z.
“I th-think I’ll live,” he coughs, “There are more important matters at hand, though.”
“You’re right, Dragon. We need to figure out who our captors are working for,” Halberd says, “Electrix, are you getting any matches on your internal databanks?”
“No. The uniforms don’t bring up any hits, and there really isn’t much to go off of other than that,” the technomancer replies.
“Have you tried looking into any underground databases?” Halberd asks, “Maybe they’re part of an out of town crime syndicate? Check A.M.O.K.’s files.”
“I would, Halberd, but I don’t know how much I can use my powers without these bombs going off,” Electrix groans, “It looks like we’ll just have to wait and see how this plays out.”
“Um, excuse me sir?” I try to get Halberd’s attention.
“Yes, son? What is it?” Halberd turns to me, and gives me a look as if he’s noticing me for the first time since he was dragged into this room.
“Yeah, my name’s Fastforward. I’m pretty new to the business, and I’ve just suffered some major head trauma, so I’m more than a little confused right now. And seeing as how you’re considered the best of the best in our little town, I assume that you’re more aware of what’s going on right now than I am. So anybody care to tell me what the hell is happening?” I spout out.
“Jesus. You’ve got some mouth on you, don’tcha, kid.” Comet grumbles.
“Comet! Don’t be rude. He’s obviously very distraught right now. Give him a break.” Solstice shushes the star-powered superhero.
“Solstice is right. You do deserve to know what’s going on,” Halberd says to me, “Unfortunately, we have no idea. We’ve never seen these men in our lives.”
“Yeah, I figured about as much. We’re screwed, aren’t we?” I sigh.
“Screwed? Us? We’re the Crucible! We’ve taken down people worse than these chumps for years. We’re gonna be fine!” Dragon Tycoon says, with surprising ferocity for a man who had just been shot.
“Well, you guys are the Crucible. I’m just a guy who can run real fast. I’m as good as dead.” I groan.
“Son, there’s no need to talk like that,” Halberd says, his eyes piercing into my very soul, “I promise you, no matter what, you are getting out of here alive. I swear it.”
“Wow. If you ever have to quit the hero business, you’ve got quite a future in motivational speaking ahead of you,” I joke, easing up a little bit.
“And you in stand-up comedy. Either that or telemarketing,” Halberd cracks a joke, something that I didn’t know was even possible, “Hold on. It sounds like our captors are coming back.”
Sure enough, there comes a sound of footsteps, followed by the return of the two hooded assailants. They carry what looks like a large set of television recording equipment through the wooden double-doors. Following them is an enormous man cloaked in red robes. He has an ancient, carved ivory mask covering his face. He exudes power and arrogance, but also an overpowering charisma, like a cult leader or a prophet. The guards begin setting up the cameras and microphones in front of us. Their master barely seems to take notice of us as he turns to face the cameras. He gives a signal to his men, and the cameras roll.
“Good evening, Redrock Ridge! I am Sovereign Sin. This is the Crucible,” he motions towards us, “And tonight…they die.”
As that last word leaves his mouth, he pulls a pistol from beneath his robes, and fires a single shot in our direction. It hits Halberd between the eyes, and with a shower of blood, the Crucible’s leader falls dead in front of me.
End Part Three