Portal – Chapter 37

Lady Justice banked and flew towards a hovering Turbulence, who had removed her helmet. As she lifted her visor, she noticed Mari was bleeding down her right cheek. But how? She was bulletproof like most Enhanced at Category 3. She had seen her records after she became Team Leader.

Turbulence fumbled with the zipper of her emergency first-aid kit in the belt pouch to find gauze. Lady Justice floated to her and helped pull it out.

“Here, let me help,” she said softly, trying to calm down Turbulence who was wide-eyed in panic.  The wound was not deep and trickled small red drops. “What happened?”

“I messed up. The round hit me under the helmet and ricocheted. My head was up so I could see him. Alaina, I’m not bulletproof! They’ll kick me out of the program.”

“What? How? You were tested when you applied.” Lady Justice was not sure what to do. Her most powerful Flyer had a weakness most Category 3 Enhanced did not. Even a Category 2 like Scimitar was strong enough to shrug off a single bullet strike.

“I faked it. I cheated. I slipped simunitions in the range pistol while I distracted him. You know, the training rounds that mundanes use to shoot each other?”

Lady Justice was confused. How did a JTF agent lose track of his weapon during testing?

The skin on Turbulence’s face not covered in her blood was now turning red. “When we made out on the interview table, he took his gun belt off. I swapped the magazines.”

“You made out with your interviewer?” Lady Justice curled her lips in mock disgust. “That was really stupid. What if he had one in the chamber?”

Turbulence blushed even brighter red. “I wasn’t thinking, okay. I just want to be a bad-ass chica, like Valkyrie, like you. And he was cute.”

Lady Justice smiled. Some of the Agents were put together very nicely, but they could not compare to Scott’s gravitas. Everyone noticed the mighty Justice, the son of Judge and Jury. It was a little annoying. And Michael…she dismissed those images, refocusing on the current problem.

“I’m no bad-ass. I just destroy things. I can’t even fly very well.” she  admitted, her earlier anger fading, knowing that Turbulence had carried a greater burden.

“You’ll get better.” Turbulence knew Lady Justice lacked the style of a true Flyer but she was extremely dangerous anyways. “I’ll always bleed when I get shot.” Turbulence pulled the blood-covered gauze away from her face to show Lady Justice. The bleeding had stopped.

Their sisterhood moment was interrupted when a bullet struck Lady Justice in the back. Even if she did not have on her Harris fiber suit, she was bulletproof. The colony Flyer was making another pass, firing his pistols rapidly at her. Turbulence dropped altitude to avoid the bullets, Lady Justice did not move, except to extend her arm and finger.

The Flyer was laughing. He had shot the first JTF Flyer in the face and made her bleed, now he was going to do the same to the other one. She obliged him greatly by floating in place as he lined up his shot. Why was she pointing at him?

The lightning bolt struck the colony Flyer between the eyes, his brain shutting down immediately from the overload. His muscles locked up in contractions but he never felt it nor did he feel his body tumble out of control and crash in the forest with a shattered leg and pelvis. When he woke up several hours later, he was in handcuffs and in serious pain.

“That’s one down,” yelled Lady Justice to Turbulence below her. “Let’s go find the Air Elementalist.”

Turbulence flew off and Lady Justice turned to follow. As she twisted, a hand appeared from thin air and grabbed her throat, holding her tightly.

“Oh my,” the Air Elementalist taunted, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Lightning Elementalist before. The JTF isn’t as stupid as they seem. Tell me, bitch,  can you use your power when you can’t  breathe?” The Air Elementalist smiled in Lady Justice’s face, his hot breath blowing over her nose. “ I can’t hear you.”

Lady Justice tried to bring up her arm but her brain started to panic. His grip on her throat was preventing her from breathing in new air but he was also using his power to pull the air out. Her entire body felt like it was shutting down as her lungs felt like they were on fire from the lack of oxygen.

“Lady Justice. Lady Justice.” Was someone calling her? She  was disoriented as the Air Elementalist continued to drain the life out of her. “Alaina! Pay attention, chica.” Turbulence was calling her on her EComm. “I’m coming around. Make him let go!”

Turbulence did a wide arc to turn around and increase speed. She aimed directly for the Air Elementalist, her approach in full-view of him as he gripped Lady Justice and choked her. She knew she had one shot, by the time she could slow down and turn around again, Lady Justice would be dead from asphyxiation.

The Elementalist laughed. “Your friend thinks she can save you.” He smiled widely, his jagged teeth clacking in anticipation. He had watched this JTF Flyer as she chased his useless partner. She created an interesting effect in the air behind her. He wanted to learn more about it  before he killed her.

While he was distracted watching Turbulence, Lady Justice tried desperately to use her power. She remembered how he dissipated each time she tried to electrocute him and focused her power on creating a smaller bolt, just enough to jump from her hand to his hand, the one squeezing her throat. She pushed as hard as she could as a bright light flashed just beneath her peripheral vision. His defensive powers immediately activated, his hand dissipating and his prey dropping. She was wounded and would not run far. No, he was focused on another victim quickly approaching.

Lady Justice felt the sudden drop, the grip on her neck gone when the Air Elementalist’s hand  dissipated. She remembered his name now, Jet Stream, a Category 3 Air Elementalist wanted all across the Midwest for property destruction and murder. And he was going to add her to his kill record.

Turbulence  heard the wind call her again. She smiled as she watched Lady Justice fall. She would not like what was about to happen. Just before she collided with Jet Stream, she increased altitude and broke the sound barrier just over his head.

Jet Stream was expecting the Flyer to go right through him, not use a power, and definitely not a power like that. The concussive force prevented dissipation and rocketed him straight down, his body spinning wildly end over end, out of control. He lost consciousness when he impacted the ground.

Lady Justice tumbled a few times from the unexpected explosion before crashing hard on her side. She placed her hand on her chest, trying to breathe normally after Jet Stream’s demonstration of power. She rested her head down on the ground and sniffed the outdoor air, enjoying the smell of the trees and flowers. It was much simpler than thinking about Jet Stream trying to murder her.

Turbulence landed next to her, extending a hand to help her stand up. She made a final plea before Lady Justice turned her in.

“I still heal at the accelerated rate. In an hour, you won’t see a thing.”

Lady Justice laughed in disbelief. Turbulence had just taken out one of the most dangerous criminals in the Midwest and she was worried about getting kicked out of the JTF? There is no way she was going to give up a Flyer that could take on someone like Jet Stream. She was likely going to lose Mari to Dart  after graduation if she read his departing correctly. Border surveillance would be more flying and less gunfighting than where most of the recruits were headed, Enhanced law enforcement.

“Just keep your helmet on and visor down,” Lady Justice demanded. “I see nothing. I know nothing.”

Turbulence breathed a sigh of relief. “Our friend crashed over here,” she said pointing to a field nearby.

“Oh, no,” Lady Justice said suddenly, remembering more from his criminal file. “If that’s Jet Stream, where’s his sister?”