Part 4: Burnout
By Michael Moore
Reaper led the way through the piles of junk,
having lost sufficient energy to teleport by this
time, they crept near to the ground. Scarlet mumbled
beneath her breath, but her companion took no notice.
He scanned the surrounding area constantly, hoping to
catch some random disturbance made by Clockwork.
"I can't believe what I've got myself into. I
just wanted to my job, not rummage in," Scarlet was
cut off in midsentence as Reaper held up his hand.
"What?" she hissed through clenched teeth. 'He never
says anything!' she though angrily. He was staring at
an ancient car, too run down to identify.
Before he could say anything to stop her, Scarlet
rushed over the mountain of scrap metal and lifted the
car. Several excited clicking noises erupted inside
of the vehicle, and a blast of electricity hit her
She grinned, because it had barely tickled. The
clicking became more frantic, and arcs of electricity
began issuing from the window, all connecting with the
target, all failing to damage her. Scarlet yawned and
chucked the Clockwork's new ride some fifty feet.
"Figure those were the ones that took the
Professor's plans?" she asked as Reaper stalked up
from his hiding place.
He scowled and replied, "First, he's a Doctor,
not a Professor. Second, if they were, the plans are
probably disentegrated now." She could only say,
"Huh?" before the car exploded. Apparently the little
machines hadn't been aiming at her. "And third,"
Reaper continued, "The Clockwork we're following
could've gone in deeper than this. They should've
headed straight for the King."
Scarlet scowled. "Know-it-all." she mumbled as
he took up the lead again. Now however, since their
position had no doubt been given away, they walked in
the open and Reaper blasted everything that moved with
a powerful dark energy.
Unfortunately, even as the hours waned on, they
didn't run into many more Clockwork. And when they
did, it was only a few Sprockets led by a Cog. The
poor machines were tossed and blasted without a second
thought. Eventually, as the morning sun crept up over
the far away skyscrapers, they turned back, their
"We'll have to come back with a larger force to
sweep the area." Reaper said as they entered
Independence Port. Scarlet nodded and yawned. She
hadn't been able to sleep for two days now.
"Hey, do you think that Doctor will have
something to knock me out?" she asked as they passed a
warehouse. She shuddered, remembering a terrible
mission that had occured in a warehouse.
Even as she was contemplating this, a voice
reached them from on top of the building. "Now why go
see a doctor? I can knock you out without medicine,
little heroes! True, you might not wake up, but
that's only a side effect!" The voice was like a mad
cackle, very raspy despite its vigor.
Reaper and Scarlet stopped moving and tried to
look at the source of the voice, but unfortunately
whoever it was had wisely chosen to stand in front of
the rising sun. As they shielded their eyes, the
voice called down again, "If you want to see me so
bad, then come on in! It's a special playroom just
for heroes like you. The kind that don't know their
place in this city."
With that the person leapt down and ran inside
the run down warehouse. The two heroes silently
agreed. This guy was nuts.
White Hellion folded his arms, waiting patiently
for the heroes to take his bait. Soon they would try
to catch the madman, and meet their deaths. It was
He had to wait longer than he had anticipated.
But still, the two black costumed heroes walked
inside, letting their eyes adjust to the sudden
darkness of the warehouse since the windows were
covered in rags.
"Welcome, my friends." he said, letting his voice
echo from his position on top of a tower of crates.
"This is my favorite place to meet my patients. Your
crates and gravestones have already been selected for
you." He motioned with his right hand to two large
coffins on the wall with the words, 'Here lies the
worthless hero, _____.' spray painted in red letters
in their interiors.
The black one with the red triangle on his chest
stepped forward and raised his left arm with his palm
flat. "I'll give you to the count of three." he said.
White laughed, and taunted his opponnent. "So
you finally finished kindergarten? Good, now you can
learn to subtract. Two minus two equals zero
competition for me."
Without warning, Reaper fired a thin, fast moving
beam of light at White Hellion's head. But the
Hellion was faster. He focused his energy and time
seemed to slow. True, the light was still moving
pretty fast, but not fast enough to hit him.
He jumped from his crate and ignited his fists.
Running straight at them, he began pummeling Reaper
with flurries of fiery punches. The Hellion forgot
about Scarlet however. She brought her fist back and
delivered a solid blow to the assailant's arm. Even
though he was moving fast, he was thrown sideways by
the force of the blow.
Reaper moaned and regained his balance. As the
White Hellion charged again, this time wielding a
flame sword, Reaper brought both of his hands forward
and let loose a huge burst of energy that sent the
Hellion flying again.
"What's wrong? Can't bring on the treatment,
Doc? What about your promise to knock us out?"
But the White Hellion didn't respond. He just
lay on the concrete floor, still. Reaper was just
about to check to see if he was dead when Scarlet
threw one of the coffins at the body. "Hey!" Reaper
yelled even as the coffin burst into ash.
The White Hellion stood up, chuckling. "Round
two. The needle wasn't sterilized." He was
surrounded by flames that licked and burnt everything
around him. Scarlet let out a small gasp. Reaper
scowled, as was his way.
As he charged with his enhanced speed, Scarlet
stomped her foot, sending a shockwave through the
building and craking several of the support beams.
The White Hellion jumped over the attack and sent a
ray of fire in front of him to tackle Reaper sooner.
Reaper kneeled and placed his hands on the
floor, like a sprinter would before a race. When the
Hellion was within feet of his position, Reaper
teleported onto a nearby stack of crates. The Hellion
skidded to the side and turned toward Scarlet to
continue his charge.
But for some reason he wasn't moving nearly as
fast as he should have been. He looked frantically at
Reaper, who was point at the spot where he had
originally been before teleporting. As he turned his
head, the Hellion could already feel the dark energy
snaring at his feet, making his movements sluggish.
He had to maintain his super speed to move
quickly at all, and he had to keep his blaze up so
that Scarlet couldn't get near enough to hit him. He
was running out of energy fast, and now Reaper took
the chance to fire weak blasts of dark energy while
his foe was subdued.
Something had to give, and soon it did. Scarlet
had gotten tired of watching the boys play. She let
out a mighty yell and jumped into the blaze that
protected the White Hellion. He gasped and began
crying for his life. She smirked, grabbed him by his
collar, and flung him into the nearest steel pillar,
which in turn broke.
"Do you just live to throw things?" Reaper asked
as he teleported down from the crates. Scarlet
laughed and smacked him on the back, causing him to
almost lose his balance for the second time in ten
He didn't laugh, but smiled in that weird way he
can with only his eyes. Their merriment was cut short
however by a loud sound of breaking metal. They
turned and saw the other pillars collapsing. "You
just had to send a shockwave to destroy the other
support beams!" Reaper now cried over the falling
rubble as they teleported out of the warehouse.
"Yeah!" Scarlet yelled back. "I thought it
would throw him off balance! Do you think your idea
was any better?"
"Yes, because my idea worked!"
"I'm going to have to . . ." she said as she
swung at him. He was gone before the words had left
her mouth. "Why you!" She tried again. And again.
Every time she tried to hit Reaper he would simply
teleport himself a few inches away from where he had
Of course, eventually they stopped doing this
because of their anger, and kept on for fun. They
smiled as Scarlet tried unsuccessfully to land a blow
on Reaper. "Hold on." she stopped. "What about him?
Should we stop sparring and get that weirdo outta
there?" Scarlet asked.
Reaper shook his head. "There's no way we could
lift all of that, oh." he stopped as she glared at
him. "I meant that we should leave this to the
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"That's the one this thing is pointing to." the
small, well dressed man said inside the long black car
parked nearby. He adjusted his sunglasses as he
stared at the tracker the agent from HELM had given
"Shouldn't we neutalize the target?" the bulky
man and equally well dressed man asked from the
driver's seat. The little man shook his head.
"There's two of them. We only want to get the
"But they're both in black." the driver
The thin man groaned and threw his head back
against his headrest. "I really am the brains of the
operation, aren't I." the driver just looked at him
stupidly. "Yes. Why does God hate me?"
After about an hour after the heroes had left,
the two men drove away to report to their employer in