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Ecalsneerg

He Fights Meta Than You [IC]

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The quiet afternoon in Midtown was shattered when someone hurled a car through the front doors of the Goodman Building. The man turned around and, growing to 10 feet tall and becoming a bald, red-skinned monster, wrenched a parking meter from the ground.

"WHERE'S THE ATOM FAMILY?" he shouted upwards, bowling over a security guard and crushing his legs with the meter. "BRING THEM OUT, NOW!"

Growing to 30' tall, he quickly started punching through chunks of buildings, looming menacingly over the police as they drew up.

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"I'm sorry, the superhero team you are trying to contact is unavailable," came a shout from up above. Greatcoat billowing behind him, Jack of all Blades swung into the scene on his newly minted grappling hook, retracting the line to tumble past the giant alien's head. He'd been out testing the gadget amidst the taller buildings of the city when the Meta-Grue had started raising a fuss. His free hand already held a crackling electrical blade pulled from the city's power grid on the way down. Alright, let's see if your ready for prime time, Jack, he thought to himself. Aloud he continued, "If you'd like to get your butt kicked please wait for the tone. Beeeep." Sound effect still of his lips, the swashbuckler swiped at the villain.

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"Gah!" cried the Meta-Grue as Jack scratched his flesh. "Little insect!" The giant suddenly started shrinking rapidly, stopping as a 8' tall wall of muscle as his hands turned into bone-shod boxing gloves. "YOU AREN'T AN ATOM!" The giant lunged and swung a massive fist towards Jack's head.

The swashbuckler easily ducked under the crushing blow.

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The Pitchoo sped towards Midtown, Geckoman flicking switches and pressing buttons. <> "Awesome." Jesus, who the Hell is fighting the Meta-Grue alone? That's cajones.

The turrets started spitting electrical blasts of energy at the Meta-Grue as Geckoman swooped his airship in. The shots went wide as the massive alien lunged at Jack, missing by a good couple of feet. "DAMMIT!"

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Jack had to push himself to avoid the shapeshifting alien's boney knuckles, but he managed to step around the crushing blow and make it look easy. Ball lightning flew past, but the swashbuckler couldn't afford to take his eyes off of the Meta-Grue to see the source. "Technically, I'm several atoms," he pointed out conversationally as he backflipped into a better position. "It's science!" Another swipe of his sword struck the villain smartly.

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"Gah! Shut up and bring me the Atom family!" He was apparently rather annoyed. Once again the meta-Grue staggered back from Jack's blade. "I'll show you science!" Like a shot, the alien flew up into the air and from his hands blasted a gout of glowing green energy towards his enemy, missing by bare inches.

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Geckoman looped the Pitchoo around in mid-air as the Meta-Grue flew upwards. "HE FLIES!?" He opened fire once more. Nearly every shot was on target, but the Meta-Grue just held up a hand and a glowing force-field stopped any harm being inflicted. "And makes force fields? Well, crap."

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He flies?! Jack thought as he avoided the deadly beam by the slimmest of margins. More ball lightning crashed against the Meta-Grue's force field, and the swashbuckler turned to see an impractical looking craft floating nearby. ...huh. Well, alright then. Against this powerful and unpredictable foe, he'd take whatever help he could get.

"Hey, gruesome! Some of us are actually hoping to pass on our genes here!" Had the fight taken place just a few weeks earlier, Jack might not have been able to deal with an airborne opponent such as this. That was before he'd finally gotten the Doc to set him up with a grappling hook. Dios, I love this thing. The line shot past the Grue to attach to a nearby building, and the swordsman followed it up, adding the momentum to his strike with a maddening grin. "Ha, gruesome. I didn't even do that on purpose."

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The sword smashed into the Grue's chest, but thick muscles rippled and the attack only slightly hurt him. "Stop talking! Your joking only delays your inevitable demise!"

Geckoman kept flying onwards, accelerating until he was nearly completely gone from sight.

The Meta-Grue snarled as the airship fled, and returned his attention fully to Jack. "You're alone now, stinging fly. Want a taste of your own medicine?" The huge creature suddenly shrunk into near-nothingness, then summoned up a radioactive blast as strong as before. Although, unfortunately, not as accurate as before as it smashed into the concrete below.

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Letting his grappling hook take him neatly around the radioactive blast, Jack smirked in the general direction of the shrunken alien. "Wouldn't a taste of my own medicine involve actually, y'know, hitting me?" Continuing in his lazy arc, the swordsman suddenly reversed his grip on the grappling hook and slashed with his electrical sword, more to keep the Meta-Grue off balance than anything else. Jack as getting more confident, but he had to remember there was a reason his opponent was well feared.

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The blow struck the tiny alien in the chest, sending him spiralling back through the air with a high-pitched "Eeeeeeeeee!" The Meta-Grue managed to marshall itself some distance away, hovering and readying to resume combat with Jack.

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<> announced the computer, as Geckoman slammed the acclerator lever into full speed, rocketting into 1,000 MPH. Lifting the nose at precisely the right moment, he crashed into the Meta-Grue, sending the alien reeling into the pavement at a high speed with a massive crack. However, despite all the punishment, it still rolled over onto its back, tiny teeth clenched in anger.

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Jack winced involuntarily as the airship treated the Meta-Grue like a windshield treats a bug on the Interstate. "Thanks for the assist, goggles!" he called as he flipped gracefully back down to street level to stand above the alien menace. "This has just got to be an embarrassing day for you, huh? Seriously, I am never gonna stop telling this story." With an infuriating smirk, the swashbuckler battered the shrunken villain with a swift cross cut.

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The energy slashed through the alien, sending him rolling as he involuntarily returned to his normal size. The airship swung down and landed near the prone form, a teenager in green spandex coming down the exit ramp. "Hey. Roadkill. Awesome."

"Yo, sword guy, that was awesome," grinned Geckoman, extending a hand. "I'm Geckoman."

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Jack scratched the back of his head with one hand, bemused. "Huh. For a cosmic big-bad, you kinda went out like a little punk there, huh?" he addressed the unconscious Meta-Grue. Turning to Geckoman, he shook the youth's hand. "Jack of all Blades. Most people just call me Jack, 'cause, y'know, economy of syllables. Plus it's faster to text." The swashbuckler had an admitted general dislike of teenaged heroes, simply feeling that it was too much responsibility for someone so young, but this kid thought Jack was awesome, so he clearly had a good head on his shoulders.

A though occurred to him and he gave the green-suited teen a broad grin. "Oh, man, tell me you've got a camera on that, uh, thing," he said, nodding to the oddly shaped airship. Stepping over to the fallen alien, Jack placed one booted foot atop the Meta-Grue's chest, holding his energy sword aloft with one hand and placing the other jauntily on his hip. "Seriously, this is like a 'never pay for a drink again' quality story," he continued, before evaluating Geckoman contemplatively. "Or, I guess, milkshakes, in your case? Root beer floats? Are you old enough for coffee?" The fencer paused for a moment then snapped his fingers. "You will be able to ask any girl you want to the prom."

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"Camera? Um... hold on..." said Geckoman, reaching into the pockets on his belt. "Handcuffs... flashlight... tuna sandwich... meow mix... furry handcuffs... aaaand... CAMERA!" He held it aloft triumphantly, while hastily throwing the furry handcuffs over his shoulder into the Pitchoo. Umm... OK, I can't explain that one.

"Wait... asking girls to prom? Dude, secret identity. I can't be all like 'I'm Geckoman! Want to go to prom?' Would totally wreck my day. I mean, imagine if the girl turned out to be a supervillain? This town's messed up, stuff like that might happen..."

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Jack regarded the airship dubiously. "Are you even old enough for a driver's license?" he asked dryly. When Geckoman expressed reluctance to his identity, the swordsman cocked his head to the side. "Huh. Thought you teen hero types were pretty loose with the names-and-faces stuff. Good to hear at least one of you takes the time to think things through." He nodded with approval. Many of the the swashbuckler's peers showed an annoying lack of regard for such things; it was hard to believe that he was considered the odd one for not giving his real name out at the drop of a hat.

"Regardless, put that thing on a timer and set it on your... floaty... thing," Jack instructed, resuming his pose atop the unconscious Meta-Grue. "Then get over here for this; you can stick it a scrapbook, show your gecko-grandkids someday."

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"Well, who wants vengeful supervillains spilling your coffee? The good stuff ain't cheap," said Geckoman. "And somehow I doubt driving license laws apply to something which only I can fly. Really... I'm the only one qualified to call myself qualified."

He set up his camera and put the timer on, walking to strike a heroic pose beside Jack. "Say 'Meta-Cheeeeese!'"

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Jack held the pose until the camera flashed. "Freakin' A," he grinned broadly once the picture was taken. Reaching into a pocket inside his greatcoat, he produced a white business card with a single embossed capital letter 'I' centered on it and presented it to Geckoman. "Here. Do me a favour and send a copy of that to the contact info on there." He seemed to pause for a oment in consideration before adding, "And if you ever get into a jam, something you can't call in the Terrific Teen Team of whatever for, give that number a call."

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"Um, thanks," said Geckoman, tucking the card into his back pocket. "But I doubt I need it. Young Freedom have enough members than I can get a field team when I want one, which is pretty... terrific."

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Jack shrugged. "Sure, I hear good things," he agreed amicably. "Can't hurt, though. Sometimes there's stuff you just don't want your friends involved in." If he was being completely honest, the swordsman didn't have much respect for teen heroes in general. Well, not so much 'not respect' as 'think they're a lousy idea'. He could understand their motivations, but saw them as a liability more than anything else. Even so, there was no reason to actively insult Geckoman or his team to his face. If anything, Jack was attempting to treat the goggle-wearing hero as an adult.

Turning to look at the fallen Meta-Grue, he rubbed the back of his head. "So... what do you think we should do with him? You'd think the Atoms would have shown by now."

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"I don't know. Thing is, it's the Atoms. For all we know, they're on the moon or something," pondered Geckoman. "Although, I guess we could wait for the cops to show up, after the last lot had to retreat, STAR Squad should show up eventually."

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"Ugh, cosmic stuff," Jack grimaced. I'll tell you what, my crew's got a place we can stick Chuckles here in the meantime. Just gotta make a call. You see a payphone around here anywhere?" Being the son of a beast cop, the swordsman had a largely unfounded view of the STAR Squad as glory hounds. Granted, actually being a superhero was exponentially worse, but his gut reaction was still to trust the holding cells in the Underground over the Squad's facilities.

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Geckoman reached into his utility belt yet again, and fumbled around. "Payphone?" He produced a green cell phone. "I'd carry one of these. Or a commlink. Preferably both. Feel free to use it." He held it out to Jack. He questions our competence, and he doesn't even carry a means of communication? Don't he know a girl shouldn't go out alone without her cell?

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Jack gave Geckoman a smirk as he took the cellphone. "We've got something a little different in place," he replied, flipping it open and holding it up to his ear. The teenager couldn't help but notice that the swordsman didn't bother to dial first. "Vince, need a pickup." He paused for a moment, listening, then grinned. "I know, right? Freaking Meta-Grue. Right; lates." Jack tossed the phone back to the young hero and shrugged. "Probably coulda just said it out loud, but the speaker lets him talk back," he explained. With all of the cameras and various other electronic devices around Freedom, there were very few places Vince couldn't monitor the Interceptors. Ultimately, it rendered commlinks largely obsolete and a needless security risk. Going without a direct means of contact also played to Jack's independent nature; the AI could reach him in an emergency, but beyond that he preferred to stay off the grid as much as possible. Besides, who could afford a cellphone plan at the monthly rates they charged these days? Highway robbery, is what it was.

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