Paradox – Chapter 20

“No!” yelled Eagle as she finished her dive-bomb and landed on Terrorvolt, knocking him backwards and forcing the minigun to fire wildly in the air. Eagle used her claws to camp down on the armor, her Enhanced strength digging in the steel plates.

“Get off me, you stupid bird bitch!” Terrrorvolt demanded as he tried to hammer punch Eagle off the shoulder area of his armor. “He’s getting away.”

“Metall wants him alive, Terrorvolt,” Eagle said as she struggled to stay on as the metal armor bucked underneath her. “He’ll kill you for betraying him. He’ll kill all of us if we let that happen.”

The minigun suddenly turned around on the gimbal and release a hail of bullets. Eagle dropped behind the Terrorvolt as the rounds roared next to her. Terrorvolt fell backwards at his smaller opponent who rolled to the side at the last moment to avoid the crushing behemoth. She immediately became ran away and went airborne before Terrorvolt could sit up and the minigun could track her again.

“All units, Terrorvolt has betrayed us and should be considered hostile. Shoot him on sight.”

“Never did like that condescending prick,” Nighthawk answered. “Just tell us where you need us.”

“I’ve spotted the target running through the forest towards the road and Red squad. We’ll pinch him and capture. Copy that, Red leader?” No one answered. “Red leader, you better answer the call you God damn worthless mundane or I’m going to cut your balls off.”

Screaming Eagle noticed the flashes and sounds of gunfire coming from the road. The car she spotted earlier was unmoving but still glowed dimly in her vision from the heat. She counted three different people shooting at an unknown target.

“Any Reds, report! What the hell is going on?” Screaming Eagle demanded as she continued to track Michael. He continued to weave between the trees but had not spotted her.

“He killed Jack,” one of the mundanes screamed over the sound of more gunfire. “We’re moving in on him now! Ahhhh…..” The radio suddenly went silent.

“Useless humans,” said Eagle. “Hawk, bring the helo to my position. It’s time to get Metall what he paid for.”

“On the way.”

Screaming Eagle dove and folded her wings around her. The air rushed around her as she focused her attention on the ten million dollar prize that cost so much already.

“He may want you alive”, Eagle muttered, “but he didn’t say unharmed.”

* * *

Michael could feel the adrenaline pumping through his body as he ran towards the road, too afraid to look back and see Terrorvolt’s minigun spitting lead at him. He could hear gunfire echoing between the trees, a different sound than Terrorvolt minigun, but he was unsure which direction it was coming from. If he could get to the road, at least he could portal jump and get away from off it faster.

The gunfire continued to get louder as he ran so it was likely coming in front. But firearms, even automatics like he heard now, he was trained to handle, but Enhanced weaponry was difficult to counter even by other Enhanced. Enhanced weaponsmiths had their own individual specialities base on their powers and their own method to their destruction. He touched his shoulder again and felt the wet stickiness from Terrorvault’s weapon. The wound was painful but he was lucky. The round only zipped through the meaty parts of his shoulder and did not hit any of the bones. But his luck would only last if he could keep away from that lunatic until he could even the playing field a little more.

A gunshot cracked off to his left in the forest when Michael turned his attention to the fight in front of him. He never saw the death from above attack from Screaming Eagle. They tumbled with Eagle clamped down to his clothes and flipping him over several times. When they stopped, Michael screamed as one of the talons curled into the bullet exit wound and dug into his muscle tissue. He looked up to see the face of woman staring at him as she continued to tear into his wounded shoulder.

“Stay away from me,” Michael shouted. “You’re not taking me to Herr Metall.”

The bird lady laughed. “I see Terrorvolt has a big mouth as well as a traitor’s heart,” Eagle said as she looked up. The sound of the helicopters blades grew louder.

“I’m not going anywhere with you,” Michael assured her as he increased the mass of his hand and created his portals. The first appeared a few inches away from the closed fist that he cocke back as far as possible. The other portal appeared a few inches from the side of Eagle’s face.

Eagle saw movement to the right but as she turned, Michael’s fist caught her squarely in the jaw with a sickening crack and bell-ringing strike. Her grip on his wound loosened and she tumbled out control through the air. She hit ground hard and rolled with the impact. Her legs wobbled beneath her as she tried to stand.

“I told you, I’m not going anywhere,” Michael said as he retracted his fist and closed the portals. A shot of pain rocketed down his body but stood up anyways. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go.”

The bloody Screaming Eagle laughed as Michael started to turn. “You’re not going anywhere, boy.” Her lower beak, cracked and pointed at an odd angle, clicked every time she spoke.

Michael ignored her as he created his first portal and looked for a location to place the mate, but he never did. A small whistle from Screaming Eagle turned into a sonic blast that enveloped Michael, disorienting him and breaking his concentration. The portal dissipated as he stumbled and collapsed on his back, his eyes staring up through the trees to the stars above. They sparkled very pretty in the spring air. He wished that could have shared the view with Alaina.

The laughing clicked started again. “You don’t think Herr Metall would send me all this way to fetch you without planning for every contingency, did you? Terrorvolt was the muscle, Hot Rod the speed, and I’m the cleanup. You are strong, Michael, but experience will beat you every time.”

Michael heard the words but had difficulty comprehending them under the influence of Eagle’s sonic scream, his sense of balance disrupted and his eyesight blurry. He could barely make out a helicopter hovering overhead. From the side of it, a pulley with a basket attached lowered down to the ground.

“Target is pacified,” Eagle said in pain as she touched the broken piece of her beak. She doubted she would have withstood a second punch. Michael was far more powerful than she believed. Once he learned mastery over his abilities, she feared what he might become. “Let’s get him strapped in and get out of this shit hole.”