You Can't Win!
“You can’t win!” CLU yelled at her as she continued to strike down his attacks, fire against science, equally matched. “You’re not a hero. You’re not special. You’re not different. You’re a freak! And I will prove to the world how dangerous you are.” He continued to rain down blows both physical and mental.
“I poisoned you first because I knew I could break you. I found your weak spots and I exploited them. You’re supposed to be their leader, the strongest of them all but look at you now. I took your health, your powers and your confidence. And when this is all done, I will take your little 'family' too.”
He spat the words at her like venom and Jordan had to do everything in her power to block him out. He was giving voice to all the doubts she’d had about herself in the past week. Why did she have these powers? Was she really just a freak? What if she wasn’t strong enough to stop him? How many people would suffer when she failed? Who would protect her family?
CLU took advantage of her distracted state and got close enough to slash at her with the scythe-like blade protruding from his armor. She barely had time to pull back before she felt the edged weapon tear her shirt open and scrape across her skin! She clutched her hand to the new wound but was relieved when it came away with minimal blood.
“You can’t keep this up…” he taunted her.
He could see the bags under her eyes, the exhaustion creeping in every time there was a lull in the fight, and her labored breathing. She was giving everything she had just to stay afloat. CLU was just playing with her. Soon he would end this with a well-timed attack, bringing her back under his control. But for now… he was so enjoying this!
“I’m going to end this soon and when I do, you’ll wish you had taken my initial offer.”
He formed a large hand out of the nanites and backhanded her from the sky! Her body flew backwards skidding to a stop on a nearby rooftop. She struggled to raise herself as CLU bared down on her. Her mouth filled with blood, her side was screaming, her back ached, her ears were ringing and her confidence was shattered. He had won.
“I’m not going to sell you. That would be too easy; plus I wouldn’t want someone trying to use you against me. I am going to make you hunt down every one of your little friends, one by one. I’ll make sure your sister is last. And when you’re both infected I’ll let you finish the little fight you started so many days ago…”
Jordan stared at him in shock! “How did you know…”she began before he cut her off with a nanite attack she was barely able to dodge.
“About the time travel? I’ve known about Legends’ talent for quite sometime now. My little friends apparently protect me from the effects. It was a little disorienting at first, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. But once I put it all together, I knew it wasn’t too late for my plan. The world needs to see how dangerous people like you are and that science is the only true savior.”
“No. We’re not dangerous, you are! I won’t let you hurt anyone else.” Jordan had pulled herself to her feet, fists glowing with power anticipating the next attack.
CLU had to admit, he was impressed she hadn’t given up yet but the game was growing tiresome. He moved forward and was surprised when Jordan sidestepped his attack and lashed out with the last thing he expected. Lasers shot from her eyes, striking him in the chest, disintegrating the nanites there and exposing his torso to the full brunt of her attack! He was thrown off the roof and would have struck the ground below if not for some quick thinking. Wings sprang from the back of his suit, pulling him sharply upwards, back towards Jordan in a rage!
On the roof, Jordan squeezed her eyes shut in an effort to quell the migraine steadily building. She had only one trick left but she didn’t think she had the strength to pull it off. She knew she had to gather her strength quickly because if that move didn’t finish CLU off he would be livid when he came back.
“HOW DARE YOU?!”
Her head snapped up to see him hovering before her, held aloft by glittering, veiny wings. They beat the air mercilessly, whipping the gravel around her into a brutal sandstorm. His eyes shone with unadulterated hatred. His armor looked even more menacing. When he spoke again, his words dripped in disgust.
“I tried to give you a choice! Tried to be civil but you and your little friends can’t be reasoned with.” He held his arm up to show her the blade he had produced there. “There comes a time when a commodity is no longer worth the risk…”
With that statement he angled his body towards her, blade extended and began hurtling forward, propelled by his giant robotic wings. Jordan’s eyes went wide! There was no way she could block such a powerful attack. Her only chance was to dodge but that felt like an impossibility as she was rooted to her spot in fear. There were scarcely seconds left to decide when a pair of strong arms tackled her! The collision threw her and the other person across the roof in a heap, narrowly escaping CLU’s attack. She raised her head to see her savior.
“Legend?!” He smiled at her before rolling onto his back and firing a salvo of rounds into CLU’s retreating back! The villain roared with anger at both the counterattack and his near miss of Jordan. Legend pulled them both to their feet and she noticed his bloody side with shock.
“Like you aren’t?” he remarked before grabbing her hand, leading her to the edge of the roof. “Jump!”
She did so without hesitation, trusting the man she had come to know so well in such a short amount of time. As she fell, she sensed a presence above her and then she was sweeping gently upward. Jordan tilted her head back to look into Mayan’s smiling face.
“Got ya!” Rico told her as he soared through the city streets on feathery wings with Jordan tucked securely under one arm. Despite the tension between them, she couldn’t deny how happy she was to see him.
“We need to help Legend!” She yelled up at him so he could hear her over the rushing air. Rico shook his head, lips set in a tight line.
“I’m supposed to get you to safety!”
He gave a frustrated sigh before he nodded, swooping back towards where they started. As they neared they could see Legend tag-teaming CLU with another individual moving almost too fast for the human eye to track. Quickstrike! She and Legend were making an effective team as she was striking at their adversary with her katanas while Legend continued to fire into his suit, speeding up his rounds for maximum penetration. CLU was trying without success to smash Quickstrike but she was gone before he could register where she had been and Legend’s ammo was punching fist-sized holes in his armor.
“Tell them to get clear!” Jordan yelled up to Rico since she didn’t have her comm on. He relayed the message and Emiko disappeared in a flash. Legend ran for the edge of the roof but before Rico could reach him, CLU lashed out pitching him over the side. “No!”
Rico tried to dive for him but couldn’t complete the maneuver quickly enough with Jordan’s added weight. In the alley below, Vasquez heard Jordan’s scream and looked up in time to see Legend freefalling towards her. She had to cushion his fall! With no time to waste, she shoved a dumpster full of cardboard toward his position. Seconds later he hit the dumpster with a loud thump! She scrambled up the side of it, looking for him. A hand shot up, grabbing the side of the dumpster, startling the detective.
“Holy!” She jumped back in shock. Legend pulled himself up to lean over the side of the dumpster. He grinned at Vasquez.
“I knew you liked me.” He quipped as he let her help him out of the dumpster.
“I can’t believe that worked!” She seemed genuinely surprised. Legend burst her bubble.
“Oh that. It didn’t work.” He stated flatly. “Time powers, remember? I just kept jumping back to slow my fall.” Vasquez stared at him opened mouth then punched him in the chest… hard.
“Ow! Hello? Injured! I just got stabbed and thrown of a building. A little sympathy would be appreciated.”
“If your powers are so awesome, why didn’t you just go back to before you were stabbed?” She asked in annoyance.
“Because I couldn’t be sure I’d make it in time to save Nona.” Vasquez clamped her mouth shut, embarrassed by his sudden heroism. He took the opportunity to tap his comm. “Rico, I’m okay. What’s the plan?”
Rico responded immediately, glad Legend was in one piece. He relayed the message to Legend and the others via the comm. Jordan wanted to draw all CLU’s creatures to one building, then collapse it on top of them. She would use her powers to weaken the creatures and distract CLU until the demolition could begin.
“Draw the creatures…” Legend repeated. “That shouldn’t be too hard…” He told Vasquez but stopped talking when he heard a low growl from his left. One of CLU’s beasts was blocking the entrance to the alley. “Not hard at all…”