Portal – Chapter 21

Justice surveyed the situation. He had defeated two Enhanced already but they were hardly worth his effort. He knew his fight with Lady Justice would be epic, but he hoped at least one of the other recruits would provide a challenge. Trauma’s sneaking around annoyed him more than anything, the life disks did not matter. Judge and Jury told him that the JTF was evaluating the mental toughness of the recruits and their ability to face unknown situations in this exercise. They wanted to break a recruit now before wasting time and taxpayer money on them.

The music playing over the speaker was loud, making it difficult to hear much outside the immediate area. His parents never mentioned the JTF using distractions like this.

As Justice continued to search for the remaining Enhanced, Lady Justice floated in the room in front of him. He was not sure if she was here to fight or help. In the enclosed areas of the BIT, she had to know he had the advantage.

“I see you’ve been busy, Justice. Let’s find the others, and get this over with,” said Lady Justice confidently.

“Finally come to terms with our arrangement? Good. I’ll go up,” replied Justice as he began to walk towards the stairs, “ and you come down and we’ll squash them in the middle.”

“Got it,” she replied.

Lady Justice turned to fly to the front stairwell when a large hand grabbed her ankle preventing her from moving. She looked down and Justice was holding her with a hard look on his face.

“What are you doing,?” she asked angrily.

“Alaina never calls me Justice when she’s mad at me, Solid.” Justice’s face turned from angry to pleased. Solid Copy had serious balls to shift into Lady Justice and use her against him. He already knew Solid Copy was a Shifter, but he did not know he could mimic powers. Perhaps this class was not completely hopeless after all. This is the fight he hoped for, except for Larson’s date with destiny. He was going to get the beating his mouth earned.

“What are…,” Lady Justice began as Justice used his tried and true tactic and tossed her hard across the room. Before Lady Justice impacted the far wall, her form shifted to Justice and he went through easily.

The real Justice was impressed by Solid Copy’s power but not amused that he took his form. When the drywall dust started to clear, Justice could find no sign of Solid Copy. He stepped in the room through the new doorway Justice-Solid Copy made.

Solid Copy remained perfectly still as Justice walked in the room. He had shifted to a 16-year-old Hispanic girl’s form that he knew from San Francisco to use her power of invisibility. It would not last long, time and proximity severely degraded his power. Justice walked right by him still searching for his double. As he turned to look in the doorway on the other end of the room, Solid switched forms again to Turbulence and launched himself at Justice. Just before he made contact, Solid shifted again to Justice and hit the real Justice in the back knocking him forward against the far wall. Justice’s momentum crushed the drywall, cracked the  reinforced wall behind it, and snapped the support beams in half. Part of the floor above started leaning down.

“I could get used to this,” Solid Copy said in Justice’s voice, laughing. “You are the most powerful form I’ve ever used and your girlfriend is pretty hot.”

Solid move up and pummeled Justice as he attempted to turn over his wedged body. As Solid Copy reached for Justice’s life disk, Justice speed-enhanced his turn and hit Justice-Solid Copy with a reverse rabbit punch in the side of the head. Solid Copy was knocked down to one knee but not seriously hurt. Justice was a classic Tank and he could take a lot of punishment.

The real Justice speed moved to the offensive against his clone, his body and his arms blurring with each attack. Solid Copy had mimicked his form but was not perfect. He had Justice’s strength but not his speed. The enhanced reaction time and additional force from the faster punches allowed Justice to do far more damage to Solid Copy than he was receiving. Justice noticed that Solid Copy was starting to succumb to exhaustion after several dozen hits, his clone Justice body was not a good match for the dual-powered real Justice.

Solid Copy fell to his knees, his body stiff from shifting to many forms and from the physical punishment Justice was delivering. He knew this strategy was risky, but his options were limited. He could only mimic powers one at a time. He would love to have faced Justice as Judge but he had never met the man. He knew he had lost this battle but he would find a combination that would win in the end. He always did.

Justice used a double ax-handle punch on Solid Copy’s back to knock him forward, flat on his stomach. He reached down and grabbed the life disk and easily pulled it free. Solid Copy did not resist as he shifted back to his true form.

Justice knew Solid Copy was a real Enhanced worthy of the name. He was not as skilled as him, but then who was, but he had skill and could be useful to Team Justice. For the first time all day, Justice thought the training might actually be useful.

“And the home of the brave,” continued a computerized version of Net’s voice singing with guitar.