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Vincent Macleod: Agent of T.R.A.C.E.

By Derek Smith All Rights Reserved ©

Action / Adventure

Chapter 12

Several hours passed before the Icarus reached its destination. Instead of discussing strategy for the impending battle, Matt and Adam yammered on about videogames and comics while Justin remained focused on their flight path. Vincent spent the time pacing up and down the hold but finally returned to the co-pilot chair where he found Justin looking very distressed.

“I have a bad feeling about this,” Justin admitted as Vincent sat down. “I’ve heard the stories, but we have no idea what we are going up against here. There is just no telling how powerful Morticide actually is.”

“You knew the risks when you got onto the plane.”

Justin clenched his hands and took a deep breath. “Idiot! We’re here not just because we’re your friends, but because we are supposed to be a team and would follow you anywhere you asked us to. Foolishly chasing after someone like Morticide amounts to suicide and we will not just let you throw your life away!” He felt better for getting it out. But he wasn’t quite finished. His voice lower, he said, “You should have told us about Alexis.”

Matt joined them, standing between the chairs and pointed out the cockpit window. “If you girls could quit arguing for ten seconds, I think it would be best if we turned on our cloaking unless you would like everyone to know we are coming.”

The coastline of a remote island formed in the distance. Justin adjusted switches on the upper console and turned back to Adam who was strapped in tightly to his chair. “Could you please provide us with some cover?”

A green haze surrounded Adam as he focused his power, and in the blink of an eye the Icarus had vanished from human sight. Adam grinned. “David Copperfield ain’t got nothing on me!”

The plane rounded the island and Vincent checked the navigational map. “The map shows nothing around here but water. How can this island exist?”

Suddenly, a loud siren began to go off inside the cockpit. Justin turned to the radar and his face dropped. “Guys, I am seeing several large missile turrets on the ground and they are preparing to fire at us!”

Vincent looked stunned as he got up from his chair and approached the control panel. “I don’t understand. Adam has the jet cloaked. How are they able to get a lock on us?”

“They may not be able to physically see the Icarus, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t letting off a massive heat signature,” Matt replied.

The siren changed from the pulsating warning to a steady ring as several missiles were visibly seen firing from the ground towards the Icarus. Justin looked down at the panel as the missiles grew closer to the plane. “I’m firing off flares to avert the missiles.”

Justin slammed his hand down on the panel, releasing the heated flares into the atmosphere. Only a small handful of the missiles were destroyed, leaving a cluster still on course with its target. He focused his telepathic abilities on some of the missiles as they quickly approached but it was not enough to avert their path. He opened his eyes, fearful. “Everyone, brace for impact!”

The Icarus shook violently as each missile collided with the plane. A giant crater blew through the jet’s hull, instantly dismantling it in half. Matt and Adam were sucked out of the plane with the debris. The air pressure proved too much for Vincent as he lost the grip he had on a nearby seat belt and followed his friends’ exit from the aircraft.

Tumbling through the air, Vincent panicked as an unfamiliar noise grew increasingly louder behind him. He strained to turn his head over his shoulder and saw one of the jet turbines quickly approaching. His synthesuit hardened in order to protect Vincent and he managed to tuck in his head as he was quickly sucked into the turbine. The rotors smacked his suit, smashing him against the casing before exploding into a ball of fire and spitting him out the other side.

Vincent was dazed, his ears ringing as he plummeted towards the ground. The synthesuit had done what it could to protect him but now struggled to repair Vincent’s decimated body. His quick thinking spared his head from major damage and the familiar ping of his communicator broke through the ringing.

“Vincent, can you hear me?” came Matt’s voice.

Vincent gave his head a shake and replied. “Matt, are you alright?”

“All of our suits have deployed the chutes, but the blast must have damaged Adam’s suit. I can’t get through to his communicator, but I can see him descending onto the island.”

Vincent switched his communicator over to Justin. “Justin, are you close to Adam at all?”

Justin was extremely panicked. “I am still in the cockpit. My safety harness is strapped to the chair, I’m stuck and can’t eject from the plane!”

Vincent knew he was Justin’s only hope for survival as he maneuvered his body into position, aiming for the cockpit of the rapidly dropping plane. Unfortunately, he was not falling fast enough and was running out of time. He needed more speed. He looked down and saw the battered debris of the jet turbine falling just next to him. He quickly unleashed a tether from his arm and pulled himself over to the turbine.

Justin came back over Vincent’s communicator. “Any suggestions you might have I would be open to, Vince!”

Vincent placed a hand on the turbine, uploading its schematics to his suit. With a push of his legs, Vincent moved away from the turbine and back toward his target. Small miniature turbines spawned on the sides of Vincent’s legs, thrusting him towards the falling cockpit.

Despite his efforts, it was not enough to catch up. He thought for a brief second before replying to his friend. “Justin, I need you to focus your telepathy on turning the cockpit so that the nose is pointed towards the ground.”

Justin paused for a moment. “You want me to have a front row seat for my death?”

“Just do it!” Vincent shouted.

Fearful as he was, Justin focused his power on the falling hull and slowly turned the cockpit around. Vincent pushed his suit to use the turbines hoping to gain as much distance as possible. He commanded his HUD to magnify his eye lens fifty times so he could get a clear view of Justin in the chair. With his target in sight, Vincent charged an Eco blast at the base of the chair and knocked it out of the plane.

“I’m still stuck to the chair, Einstein!”

With his suit still making repairs, Vincent pushed it to allocate more power to the turbines, slightly increasing their size and praying it would help him reach Justin in time. Thankfully, it worked as he reached out to grab the back of the chair but they were running out of time. Vincent grabbed his friend under his arms and retracted the turbines in order to generate two blades from his forearms. The jagged blades made quick work of the harness, releasing Justin from its clutches.

Justin shouted, “Even if we open our chutes, we are going to face a ton of damage. We are falling too fast!”

Vincent pushed his friend upwards and grabbed onto his ankles, forming a seal with his suit around them. “Just pull it open. I have an idea!”

Justin activated his parachute as it quickly jilted the boys. The ground was fast approaching as Justin began to panic. “We are falling too fast! We need to slow down!”

With the blades secured away, Vincent was able to regenerate the turbines, causing an upward thrust to attempt to slow the boys down. As they came closer to the ground it became apparent that Vincent’s idea worked and had slowed the boys down enough to land safely on the ground. “I can’t believe that worked, you crazy son of a bitch!” Justin yelled.

The boys crashing onto the surface of the unidentified island and spotted Matt waiting for them close by. Justin removed his parachute from his armor he could see Vincent staring out into the ocean at the debris of the Icarus. “How are we ever going to get home?” he quietly muttered.

Matt had rushed over and pulled Vincent to his feet. “We don’t have time to worry about that. The Elites obviously know we’re here. More importantly, Adam’s communicator isn’t responding at all. He landed somewhere on the west side of the island.”

“I can’t believe I almost got everyone killed,” Vincent said quietly. “I hope Adam’s alright.”

Justin surveyed the island. “I told you I had a bad feeling about this from the beginning. We have so little information about this place we are walking into this blind.”

The island appeared to be a large tropical paradise filled with tall trees, pools of water, with a large waterfall spilling over one side of the island surrounded by columned rock formations. The boys made their way across the vast island, eventually reaching a sanded beach area.

Vincent looked around as he pointed towards one of the trees. “There’s Adam’s parachute. The strings have been cut.”

Justin looked around the beach and noticed a set of footprints headed towards a plethora of trees. “I only see one set of footprints. I am guessing that Adam hadn’t been found by anyone when he left this area.”

Vincent sighed, slightly relieved. “Well, let’s continue in that direction. Hopefully we can find him before he gets into any trouble.”

They trekked through the tree line until they spotted a hidden clearing. Vincent saw a large oval shaped steel building that fed into the island before disappearing into the ground. Vincent pointed towards the structure. “We should make our way towards that entrance. We can’t see anymore footprints and Adam could be inside”

Justin restrained himself. “I don’t think that they are just going to let us walk right through the front door, Vince.”

Vincent knew they did not have the time to stand around and debate all day as he kept moving towards the metal structure. The boys continued pushing branch after branch out of their way trying to keep up with him.

Matt noticed Vincent had chosen not to wear his full HUD, opting instead to keep his head uncovered minus the clear visor over his eyes. “Vince, what about your HUD?”

“I’m not hiding my face. Not today. This is personal. I want my father to look into my eyes when I put him out of his misery.”

Finally, Vincent and the boys reached the edge of the clearing in front of the large metal structure. Vincent scanned the area to see that it was an entrance into one of the mountain formations in the island. Standing outside of the door were two large Spartan robots. These ones were different from the Spartans that the boys had met up with in New York. The massive Spartans stood an impressive nine feet tall with two large tanks mounted to the backs of their arms. Leading out of the tanks were two long cables that linked with their wrists on both arms.

Justin looked at Vincent. “It’s clear these Spartans are equipped with more than just the basics. Those tanks on their arms look like fuel for what I assume are flamethrowers on their arms.”

Matt raised his hand towards the Spartans as he began to charge an Eco blast inside his hand. “If those tanks contain fuel, then get ready for one big campfire!”

Vincent grabbed Matt’s arm and lowered it to the ground. “Are you insane? We can’t give up the only advantage that we have right now. The Elites don’t know we’re here. Stealth is key, and I think we need to stick with the element of surprise.”

Matt extracted his swords from his armor as he smiled. “As long as I get to wreck some Spartans, it’s all good to me.” He quickly moved back into the brush to flank the Spartans.

“Matt, get back here!” Vincent whispered loudly, but Matt had vanished into the trees.

Vincent looked back over at Justin and shrugged his shoulders. “So what are we supposed to do now?”

Justin nodded to the side and pointed his index finger at the Spartans. Matt had already made his way on top of the metal doorway into the mountain. Gripping his katanas, he lunged towards the Spartans. Within seconds the blades came crashing down, slashing through the processing units in their heads. Both Spartans fell to the ground as Matt retrieved his blades and motioned for the boys to move forward.

Vincent and Justin moved past the disfigured Spartans sprawled on the ground, careful to avoid the sparks shooting out of them as they proceeded to the large steel door. A digital keypad to the left hand side of the door was the only thing standing in their way now. Vincent moved forward, prepared to use his technopath abilities. As his hand neared the keypad, the door suddenly shot open.

Justin looked over at Vincent. “Well, that was easy.”

Surprised, Vincent looked back at Justin and Matt. “I don’t understand. I didn’t do anything. The door just opened by itself.”

Matt began to walk through the door. “Well, if they’re just going to open the front door for us, we shouldn’t keep them waiting.”

Justin cautiously walked through the doorway and began to lecture Matt. “You know as well as I do that the door didn’t open on its own. We need to be careful and take this slow. We don’t know what’s waiting around the corner.”

Matt stopped in front of a closed steel door and shrugged his shoulders. “Come on, Justin. Those Spartans are a joke. They’ve never really posed any kind of threat to us. What could they possibly throw at us that we couldn’t handle?”

No sooner had he said the words when the steel door shot open and a large katana blade swung down from the ceiling towards Matt. Using his razor sharp combat skills, Matt stopped the blade just in time with his short swords to find Jynx on the other end, prepared for battle.

“You just had to open your big mouth, didn’t you?” Justin yelled out.

Jynx held her ground against Matt and looked back over her shoulder at Justin. Her red eyes glowed as she turned around and charged him. Matt threw one of his swords out, calling for Justin’s attention. He caught it just as Jynx made her first strike and blocked it. The robotic woman was too fast for both boys. They continued on the defensive as each strike between the two served only to stop an attack from Jynx. Vincent stood with his hand raised, ready to dispose of Jynx with an Eco blast, but the distance between her and his friends put them at risk of being hit.

Continuing to defend against Jynx, they slowly moved into the corridor from which Jynx had emerged. Matt dodged an attack, moving his hand forward and shooting an Eco blast at the door’s control panel. The panel destroyed, the door began to slide shut. Vincent ran towards the door only to find there was not enough room to get inside before it closed.

Matt looked through the narrowing crack and shouted, “We can handle this, Vince. Do what you came to here for; finish this so we can get the hell out of here!”

As the door slammed shut, Matt looked over at Jynx who had stopped to size up her targets. He nodded to Justin and the boys advanced on the enemy. “Let’s dance, robo bitch!” he yelled.

The boy’s sword fighting skills were quick and impressive, but the cyber engineering of Jynx’s body allowed her to move faster, countering every one of his attacks. When Jynx turned her attention to Justin, Matt saw his opportunity. He threw his hand forward and shot an Eco blast at his opponent, tearing through her shoulder and severing the arm of their cybernetic foe. Jynx glared at Justin while sparks emitted from her damaged arm, she lunged forward and knocked him down with an aerial scissor kick. She stood up in a threatening manner and sized up Matt.

Matt pointed the tip of his blade to the floor and lifted Jynx’s severed arm like a trophy as he laughed. “I can see how you took Justin down so easily, but I’m the best in the business. Try as hard as you want, you’ll never be able to beat me! Why don’t we just call it a day and I won’t have to cut you into scrap metal.” Holding Jynx’s severed arm by its hand, he offered it to her. “Here lady, let me give you a hand!”

Jynx had heard enough from the smug TRACE agent. She flew towards him and slid on her knees along the floor. As her shoulder came into contact with the ends of the severed arm, small wires shot out and bonding it to the empty socket. Jynx smiled a sinister grin as she balled up her re-acquired fist and sent Matt flying across the room with an uppercut.

Matt hugged his stomach as stood up and saw Jynx rotate her reassembled shoulder. “Well, that’s just not fair at all.”

#

Alone and without any form of support, Vincent ran down one of many hallways inside the large structure. As he reached the end, he found himself in front of a large circular window which curved to reveal the inner workings of the mountain fortress. The Elites had hollowed out the inside like a pumpkin, creating level after circular level all the way to the bottom of the mountain. It stopped at a large pool of water that housed a large sleek black boat with a path leading into the wall of the hideout.

Where am I supposed to go? This is like finding a needle in a haystack!

Just when Vincent was about to give up, he caught a glimpse of a familiar face on one of the lower floors. Thomas Giest, dressed in his combat armor, was currently being escorted by a small unit of Spartans. Vincent saw this as his chance to set things right for losing him in New York.

Forming a razor sharp claw on his right index finger, Vincent placed it against the glass and carved a circle large enough for his to fit through while using the suction cup he formed with his other hand to keep the glass from falling. He placed the cut glass carefully on the floor beside him, climbed into the opening and waited for the right moment to strike.

Vincent gripped the sides of his hole and waited until the Spartans were positioned directly below him before lunging for them. Once he reached the ground, Vincent unleashed an Eco blast that knocked all four Spartans to the ground. Vincent turned around to see Thomas Giest staring at him in shock.

“Vincent! How on earth did you find this place?”

Vincent quickly looked around for any units closing in on them. “I’ll explain later. I’m going to get you out of here but we don’t have much time. Have you seen much of this facility since they brought you here?”

Giest smiled his narcissistic smile as he replied. “Oh, indeed I have.”

Vincent nodded. “Do you know where they keep Morticide? I’m not leaving here until I finish this.”

“He is not far from here in the stasis pod you put him in when you were born. I can take you to him.”

They quickly moved around the circular level to a large set of steel doors where Thomas placed his hand on the verification pad. The doors opened revealing a large dark room and Vincent turned to Thomas. “How are you able to open the doors here?”

Giest replied, “This whole facility was built on my technology. They took me prisoner to help them finish building the place, so I have access throughout every major level.”

Vincent peered into the darkness and hesitantly entered the room. A bad feeling washed over him. “I don’t see any stasis pod here, Giest. Are you sure we are in the right place?”

“Oh believe me, Vincent, we are definitely in the right place.”

Fear engulfed him and his stomach churned. Vincent realized that he had walked into a trap as that familiar feeling he had experienced the first time he met Giest hit him. Thomas unleashed his power and like the flick of a switch, Vincent felt the Eco in his veins stop as he fell to one knee. “Why, Giest? My grandfather trusted you!”

Thomas sneered as he approached Vincent. “Trusted me? Curt could not wait to get his hands on my company. All those years I worked with TRACE, only to be treated like a leper by everyone else because of my powers. Mocked, maimed, and cast out, I found my true calling. Your grandfather stood silently and watched as I was pushed to the brink of treason. I started a weapons supply corporation so that we could construct our army right under TRACE’s nose. Not only that, it would buy us the time we needed to set everything in motion, to stage my abduction and lure you here so that I could offer you to my master. I can feel your power flowing, Vincent. It is truly remarkable, and yet you understand a mere fraction of its true potential. It really is too bad that I was not there the day my master came for you. You were too powerful even from birth for him to absorb your Eco. I am going to enjoy dispensing all of my power and drain you enough for Morticide to kill you once and for all.”

In that moment, Vincent realized that his impatience and disregard for his grandfather’s warnings had not only placed his life in immediate jeopardy but also that of his friends. He sat on his heels, crippled by Giest’s power. “Oh God,” he whispered.

Cold steel fingers wrapped tightly around Vincent’s neck, clenching it as Vincent was lifted off the floor and turned to face his nemesis. There stood Jack Bishop - no, Morticide - eyes burning so bright it was as though tongues of flame could singe his brow. His mouth twisted into a sinister grin as he held the boy who had defeated him so many years ago inches from his face.

“God isn’t here today!”

Vincent struggled to get free to no avail. Between Giest’s power and his father’s deadly grip, Vincent was unable to fight.

A side door opened as a shadowy figure walked through the door. As the figure moved forward, it turned out to be Jynx dragging Justin and Matt behind her, defeated and retrained by inhibitor collars. Jynx threw both the boys and their weapons to the ground before Morticide. Vincent felt the cold grip of his father’s onyx armor loosen as he dropped Vincent at and walked over toward Jynx’s offerings.

“And what do you suggest I do with your friends here, Vincent? They are far too weak to be of any use to me. Maybe I’ll drain them the way you drained me so many years ago.”

Morticide moved over towards Matt and picked him up by the neck of his armor. “Tell me, you insolent spec, are you prepared to die for Vincent?”

Matt lifted his head and spit squarely in Morticide’s face. The volatile villain laughed aloud as he began to drain the last of Matt’s Eco. Matt had never felt pain like this before and his anguished screams echoed throughout the room.

Vincent lay on his side and weakly pleaded for his friend. “Stop! Please stop! Please don’t kill him!”

Morticide tossed Matt to the floor like a ragdoll and moved back to Vincent. “No matter who I drain power from, it never stops feeling good. But don’t worry, Vincent, I’m not going to kill him, not yet anyways. Perhaps I will allow him to live long enough to watch you die.”

Morticide walked over to Vincent, his long chestnut hair flowing with each step, and pulled the boy to his knees as he knelt down next him. “This power was not meant for you. Do you honestly believe that any of these people actually care about you? You’re a disease, Vincent.. You exist solely as a host for a power that is rightfully mine. And as soon as I drain it from your cold, lifeless body, I will show the world what power truly is!”

The father placed his hands on the son’s shoulders and drained the boy of what little Eco he had left. His pain was unbearable, so much so that Vincent’s synthesuit began to deteriorate. Vincent screamed as though a billion tiny shards of glass sliced his skin.

Wisps of red and blue Eco rose like steam around Morticide. He removed his hands from his son and stared at his hands before looking at Jynx and Giest. “This power is fascinating! It holds the strength of a million men!”

Morticide walked over towards Matt and Justin, picked one of Matt’s swords off of the floor and moved back towards Vincent. The boy was nearly dead, struggling to stay on his knees and fighting to stay alive. Morticide took one swipe with the blade, lightly slicing Vincent’s chest. Even such a light cut was too much for Vincent who screamed as he lay at the mercy of his father.

“I have drained enough of the Blue Eco that I have no further use of you. You’re so weak you couldn’t even heal a cat scratch! You have served your purpose, son, but I’m afraid that I cannot take any chances in letting you live any longer.”

It seemed as though this was the end of the line. He watched his biological father lift the blade above his head and closed his eyes as the blade was brought down towards him. Suddenly, he felt himself being pushed back and witnessed a bright green blast shoot Morticide, causing him to fall backwards onto the floor. Something warm splashed against the side of his face. Vincent wiped at it as he opened his eyes to see Matt’s sword levitating in thin air, the tip of the blade covered in blood, the same blood now smeared on his right hand.

He watched in horror as a heart materialized in front of him, its beating slowly coming to an end. The silhouette of a body began to emerge and Vincent instinctively knew who it was. As Adam’s cloaking dissipated, his limp body fell forward and Vincent reached out to catch him as he cried, “NO!”

Vincent mustered every last bit of energy he had in him to pull himself over to Morticide. Vincent placed his hand on the foot of the onyx armor and summoned every last ounce he had to drain the twisted man of his energy. Giest lunged toward his master while charging an attack when a large blast was heard from beyond the doorway. Giest turned to see Curt and his strike team had breached the fortress and were making their way towards the open room.

Morticide collapsed and now lay helpless on the floor as Vincent kept his focus on him. With what little strength he had left, Morticide called out to his disciples. “There is nothing you can do for me. Our plans will not fail if you leave now!”

Giest and Jynx took those words as a final command and ran through the doorway, closing it behind them as they fled the fortress.

Draining Morticide hastened Vincent’s own recovery and eventually he was able to return to his feet. He stood over his nemesis only to see that his true identity was mistaken. An old man with a half burned face now occupied the black armor lying defenseless on the floor before Vincent.

“Eric Bishop!” Matt gasped. “That’s impossible!”

Stunned by this revelation, Vincent was shocked to learn the man whom he had held responsible the entire time for his entire situation with TRACE was none other than his paternal grandfather. But there was no time to wonder what had bEcome of Jack now. He needed to heal Adam.

Vincent lifted his body off of the floor and removed the blade from Adam’s armor. Adam was too weak to scream as he coughed up blood. Vincent placed his hand over top of Adam’s wound and focused his energy on healing his friend, but there was simply too much damage for Vincent fix.

Adam smiled at his friend. “Just look at all the blood on my armor. My mom is going to kill me! Try as hard as you might, you just can’t get blood stains out of anything.”

He let out half of a chuckle at his friend’s bitter assessment of his condition. “Just hang in there, Adam. We’re going to get you the help you need.”

For the first time in his life, Adam gave his friend a serious look. “I told you you would get yourself killed. There’s too much damage, Vince. This was a one way ticket for me.”

Tears began to run down Vincent’s face as he held his friend. “You can’t die! There has to be a medical bay in this facility, we can get you help. You’re going to be okay.”

Adam smiled with what little energy he had left. “I wasn’t going to let your kid grow up without a father. You just make sure you take good care of it for me, buddy.” His eyes slowly closed, never to open again.

Vincent shook his friend’s limp body, tears pouring down his face. “Adam! ADAM! NO!”

A second blast came from the doorway, Curt and his strike team breaching the room to find Vincent and his friends in peril. Strike team agents rushed to remove the inhibitor collars from Justin and Matt as Curt rushed over to his grandson. Approaching Vincent, he saw what this fight cost his team. He placed his hand on Vincent’s shoulder. “I’m sorry, Vincent. We tried to get here as fast as we could.”

“It was Eric, not Jack,” he said through the tears.

Curt was confused. “What was Eric?”

Vincent pointed behind him. “Morticide. Morticide is Eric Bishop!”

“Are you sure you saw what you saw?” Curt asked.

Vincent looked confused as he turned around. “Of course, he’s right there...”

As he turned away from his friend, Vincent was shocked to see that in the time he was tending to Adam, Morticide had escaped. “It was him,” Vincent insisted. “His face was so burned…”

Curt placed his hand on his radio as he replied. “Strike Team, be on the lookout for Eric Bishop, also known as Morticide. He is considered extremely dangerous.”

There was a moment of radio static before a reply came back. “Colonel, we are under heavy fire from Spartan soldiers. Morticide was last seen making his way to the docking bay and boarding a Leviathan.”

Vincent laid Adam down on the ground and found the inhibitor collar from Barricade resting in his hands. He stood tall and began to charge his Eco. Standing over his fallen comrade, pure uninhibited rage spiked his Eco beyond anything anyone had ever seen. The room began to shake from the magnitude and intensity of Vincent’s power as he howled with berserk rage.

Vincent sprinted toward the sealed bay doors that led to the circular isles of the fortress as his grandfather shouted out after him. “Stop, you can’t go after him. We need him alive to find out what has happened to Jack. That’s an order!”

Angry and devastated, Vincent unleashed a large Eco blast that blew the door half open. As he approached the mangled door, Vincent used his telekinetic ability to grab what was left of the door and blew it off its hinges to the side, clearing an opening for him. “He killed my best friend. I’m not going to let him get away!”

Vincent ran towards the circular railing and leapt over the top. He plummeted towards the pool of water below, floating past the plasma blasts exchanged by the strike team and Spartans, when he noticed Morticide making an attempt to escape aboard a long black boat he assumed was the Leviathan. As Vincent continued his fall, he used his synthesuit to generate the hoverblades that he had copied from Matt. Vincent’s power continued to grow as he neared the water below him and the synthesuit worked quickly to repair itself. His hoverblades fully constructed, he began moving his feet against the walls to build up speed.

Water shot up to either side of his body as he skated along the top with his hoverblades. His speed continued to build as he pushed hard in pursuit of his grandfather. The blue smoke that had engulfed Vincent’s body was so intense it seemed as though a large blue fireball was shooting across the water as Vincent burst through the narrowing gap on the side of the cave where the Leviathan exited from not a moment sooner.

*Eric’s eyes widened as he turned to see his grandson closing in on him. He steered the Leviathan towards a series of rock columns that surrounded the island in hopes of outmaneuvering Vincent. The boat weaved in and out as Vincent made sharp turns, creating thrusters in his gloved hands to give him stability. Once Vincent had gotten close enough to Morticide, he finally let loose some of his charged energy hurling a large Eco blast shot at the Leviathan.

Morticide easily dodged the attack, and turned his head to laughed at Vincent. “You missed me!”

Vincent angrily muttered. “I got you right where I want you, you son of a bitch!”

The blast had shot right through one of the stone columns, causing it to topple into the water where it crashed into the front of the Leviathan, smashing it and sending Morticide into the air. Vincent increased his speed and caught his grandfather just as the older man was about to collide with the water, slipping the inhibitor collar around his neck. The power resonating from the collar was too much for Morticide who was still in the process of recovering from his altercation with Vincent. He begged for mercy as Vincent charged towards one of the columns.

“This is for Adam!” he yelled as he bashed Morticide through the first column by his back. Vincent continued forward turning Morticide around to smash his face through the next column. “And this is for my mother!”

Between the pain of the inhibitor collar and the beating he was being dealt by Vincent, blood gushed from every hole and several gashes on Morticide’s face. He could barely keep his eyes open. He had a flicker of clarity as he was able to see Vincent’s pulsing blue eyes moments before being smashed into the side of a mountain.

“AND THAT WAS FOR ME!” Vincent hollered.

Having expended all of his power, Vincent and Eric fell to the shoreline. The boy reached for a broken tree limb and poked his grandfather’s limp body. Satisfied that the old man was in no shape to retaliate, he placed his head back on the ground, panting as the roar of a jet engine approached. When the silhouette of a jet similar to the Icarus hovered above him blocking out the sun, Vincent allowed himself the right to pass out.

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