“Dylan?” Dylan heard the ring of Kaytlin’s voice through the dark hole in the ventilation shaft. But he was a bit busy. Something cold and slimy had slid up and around his body just after Kaytlin decided to drop into the room below. The rope like thing lapped at his cheek as it wrapped strongly around his neck. Dylan blindly grasped for the creature. He pulled and raked his nails against the binds around his neck, gasping for air. He heard a snicker from the corner. Someone was in there with him.
Kaytlin opened her mouth to tell Dylan it would take them just two more turns to get where they needed to be. But the alarms cut her off. The alarms were coming from beneath them and echoing through the vents. Clapping her hands over her sensitive ears, a scream ripped through Kaytlin. The sound was so loud she couldn’t think straight. Curling into the fetal position and holding her hands over her ears, she tried to block out the noise as much as possible. But she couldn’t escape it and she couldn’t fight it.
The alarm sounds were overridden by the sound of an explosion. Kayt didn’t scream this time, but that was because her ears were ringing. She could see Dylan talking when she finally uncurled her body, wincing at the way her muscles had all clenched. But even though her mind was telling her Dylan was talking, she couldn’t hear him. Horrified, Kayt looked around like a caged animal. She was always calm and collected, but- her ears popped, and she could hear Dylan saying there were supers here. At least the alarms had stopped, though. The alarms. Lydia!
Eyes wide, Kaytlin immediately ducked into a roll, ignoring the cuts and scrapes she received. She stopped once she was where she wanted to be and crouched in the vent. Bracing herself on the top of the vent and pushing herself down while throwing all her weight down, Kayt crashed through the vents and the ceiling. Coughing, she looked up to check that Dylan was following her when she sensed something behind her. Whipping around and elbowing her attacker in the throat, Kaytlin took advantage of the momentarily sputtering opponent to get her gun out. “Dylan stay up there!”
She surveyed the person through the dust falling around them quietly. A pattern that almost looked like cheetah print coated one arm and part of the man’s face. His eyes were cat slits and glowing green. He hissed a challenge at her and Kayt could feel herself responding without thinking about it. In times of high adrenaline, she had the tendency to be a lot more cat like.
Slipping her gun away quickly, Kayt threw herself into a front flip. She would have been able to kick her opponent, but he seemingly vanished from the spot. Landing on her feet and twisting on the spot to locate the man Kayt searched for him. He was now behind her and laughing.
The cheetah print was explained at least. His laugh was getting closer when his form blurred this time. Saved by her own instincts, Kaytlin threw up an arm to block a blow. Their exchange consisted of Kaytlin just blocking blows coming at her in the quickest succession she’d ever faced. Frustrated at being on defense, she snarled and threw all her weight behind one of the blocks, forcing the man backwards and throwing him off balance. Hurrying to take advantage of the moment, Kaytlin whipped out one of her knives and drove it into his knee.
The man tried to speed away, but his now useless leg prevented that. Smirking, Kayt flipped over him, kicking out his bad knee mercilessly. The man groaned in pain, too distracted by it to notice the woman behind him. Before he could react she dislocated his arm to prevent anymore offensive and while he was distracted with the new pain quickly snapped his neck.
Breathing heavily, she turned a bit reluctantly to look for Dylan. Kaytlin shouldn’t care what he was going to think, but she did. How would he react to her actually killing a man? Hopefully he’d stayed in the vents and hadn’t seen. “Dylan?” She asked hesitantly, shaking some of the dust from her hair.
"Shit", he gasped out as more binds surrounded him. His arms were locked together and his legs bound. He had to get out of there. Dylan was never really great at using his full powers. That’s why he usually concentrated them into a weapon, like his swords. He wasn’t like Frankie who could look at something and make it catch on fire, or Josh who could ignite his entire body, or even his little sister Ardea who could produce fire from her hands. But there was one thing all the Flames siblings could do that was both destructive and defensive. They could go boom. He didn’t need a big one, just a small little wave of heat. The lack of oxygen would help that. The smaller the oxygen the smaller the flame. He would just need to concentrate. This was a defensive mechanism all pyrokentics unleashed when out of options. It left them weak and it was highly unstable but it usually worked. That must have been the explosion they had heard earlier with Ardea.
He needed to be half dead. It’s what triggered it. The Last Hope they called it. Dylan struggled more, the slithering binds contacted tighter. A warm feeling spread through his stomach and into his boots, through his arms reaching his fingertips and up into his head. The smell of sizzling flesh wafted through the vents, it was worse than the smell before. The snickering subside into screeches of pain. The tentacle like creatures retracted. The metal underneath them gave way.
"SHIT!", Dylan repeated as they both came crashing into the room below. He scrambled onto his feet pulling out his swords and finally getting a good look at his attacker. "It’s fucking seasick slender man", he commented. The man was a sickly green color from head to toe and he could say head to toe because the man was also only wearing a black speedo. Long tentacles protruded from the man’s back and slid through the air around him. He had no eyes but a mouth that was smiling and showing pointed yellow teeth. "I got this." Dylan warned the girl behind him. "Who wants sushi?" Dylan’s swords burst into flames and he lunged. Though he had been weakened by the small trigger in the shaft he was still quite talented with his techniques. The man screeched every time Dylan cut off one of the tentacles that struck at him. Soon he had the man by the throat with his sword. "What should we do with him?" He panted.
Strong arms wrapped around Ardea’s thin frame, causing her to flinch. She had been staring at the charred ground. At the pile of ruble and ashes that might have been the man that had attacked her. Realizing it was Easton she sank into the hug. The familiarity of him let her know that he was alright. That she didn’t hurt him too. She wanted to speak to hug him back but she was still paralyzed from the power surge. She just stood there. Then the yelling happened. She couldn’t bare to look Easton in the eyes. Not now. She had been stupid. She had been wrong. Even when he kissed her lips passionately she could only feebly attempt to back.
"Uh huh. Okay." He nodded his head and let out a laugh. As the couple walked down the hall, the boy noticed his girlfriend keep checking for other guards, and he decided to do the same. He didn’t see anyone though, so he thought the coast was clear-for that hallway at least. Until the alarm started sounding. He tried to lower the sound, but it didn’t work. Then, all of a sudden metal doors started coming down all the entrances. It was a good thing Ardea grabbed his hand to run because Easton hadn’t had a clue what to do. Something large and blue caught his eye, and he almost screamed when he saw it. But in the midst of it all, he somehow got himself to focus. He wasn’t sure what to do, but he knew he had to protect Ardea.
As they started running down the hall to the entrance, hand in hand, Easton decided on a plan, a plan he thought Ardea would pick up on. They would run as fast as they could to get through the door, and if it was too late for Easton to pass through then he’d slide her through and deal with whatever was gaining on them. But apparently, the fire controller had a different idea. “What?” Easton was confused. What was she talking about? But as he felt himself being pushed ahead, he suddenly realized what she was trying to do. “ARDEA STOP!” He tried, trying to slow down, but she didn’t listen. He was flown onto the ground and pushed through the little opening that was left. “ARDEA!” He yelled, wide eyed and an arm outstretched for his girlfriend. But it was too late. The last thing he saw before the metal door slammed onto the ground was a pair of large, light blue legs slam into his girlfriend’s petite ones.
"NO! ARDEA! NO!" Easton screamed, getting up and banging his fists on the metal door. It hurt, and would definitely leave bruises in the morning, but it didn’t matter. Nothing mattered but Ardea. He had to get to her. He had to. What if something happened to her? It would be all his fault. He was her boyfriend, he was supposed to be there to protect her. If something happened, he wouldn’t be able to live with himself. He continued to bang on the door. "ARDEA!!" Easton didn’t know what was happening on the other side. He obviously couldn’t see, but he couldn’t hear either. She could be dead by now. The boy slid to his knees and ran his hands through his hair, pulling it. His breathing was heavy, face hot, and eyes shut tight. He racked his brain on what to do, on all the things he learned in the few short months he’d been at Sky High. What to do, what do I do?! He thought to himself. With everything going through his mind, he almost didn’t hear the footsteps behind him. Hell, if he wasn’t a sound controller he probably wouldn’t have heard them. He looked back just in time to miss being shot in the back by a taser. Quickly, Easton ducked and rolled out of the way. Okay, he had to focus for real now. He got a good look at the guard before having to jump out of the way again. It was a woman this time, about in her mid-thirties. She had a short, black bob, and a bit of a stomach. She wasn’t fat, just had some flubber…like she just had a baby. Also, her eyes glowed golden. That was about all Easton could observe before having to jump again. Only this time, he noticed something else. The woman didn’t have a taser, sparks were coming from her finger tips. The sound controller realized something….this lady guard was a super too.
He paused, holding his hands up. “Wait! Lady!” He said, caution in his voice. “Stop! I’m like you! I’m a super too!” But she apparently didn’t care, for she shot at him again, and this time she got him. Easton screamed in pain, dropping to the ground. The electricity ran though his body, making him jump and flinch, like he was having a seizure. In his sixteen years of life, Easton had never, ever felt so much pain.
When it finally suspended, Easton took a few breaths and looked at this woman. He used up all the energy he could and stood up. His dark hair fell in his face. While he was being electrocuted, he thought of an idea that would hopefully do some damage. He just had to pray that he was right about this woman having a baby. He closed his eyes and focused on the woman, and focused on Ardea and how he needed this to work. He opened his eyes, and looked relived to see the look on the woman’s face. Her eyes weren’t gold anymore, but a normal light blue. She looked scared and in agony. Her eyes were wide, her mouth agape, and her hands covering her ears. If what Easton was doing was working, which he assumed so, then this mother was hearing the screams of her child. Loud, painful screams. Loud enough to make a person go insane. Suddenly, Easton heard a loud boom, and then there was extreme heat. He ducked into the nearest corner and covered his face.
When the heat went away, Easton assumed it was safe to look up. The shock lady was gone, and the metal door that was there before was melting, revealing an opening into the room his girlfriend was in. Getting up as fast as he could, to it. He was surprised by what he saw. Ardea stood slumped, alone on the other side, no sign of big blue man. Dodging charred rubble, Easton ran to the girl. He slid his arms around her and engulfed her in a hug. Her skin was warm, warmer than usual. She breathed heavy, and just lied there in his arms. Easton breathed heavy too, but mostly because he was so relieved that she was alive. He cupped one hand to the back of her head, and rested his head on top of hers. After he caught his breath, he slowly stepped away and grabbed her shoulders. “Ardea. Flames.” He spoke harshly and looked her in her eyes. He wanted her to understand this. “Don’t you ever, ever pull something like that again. You nearly got yourself killed. We’re supposed to be a team! I’m supposed to protect you!” He was almost yelling. He’d never spoken so sternly in his life. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “Now come here.” He said, pulling her into a kiss. Easton lifted her chin, kissing her lips gently. Words couldn’t describe how relieved he was. He proceeded to kiss her, even more passionately now, like it was the last time they would ever see each other. After what just happened, Easton felt like he needed to.
He trailed his lips up her jaw line, gently kissing her still warm skin. Then, he whispered in her ear. “I am so, so glad you’re okay.” Finally pulling away, the boy smiled. “Oh, and you are so hot when you’re badass.” He added, with a wink, going back to the same old playful Easton he normally was.
Ardea’s knees buckled under her and she slumped into Easton’s grasp her half conscious eyes rolling back into her head. In a couple of seconds she popped back onto her feet, the color draining from her face. “I…” She croaked out. “I’m fine.” She coughed to get her voice back to normal. “We need to go.” She wobbled forward using the wall to steady herself. She couldn’t let Easton know that she couldn’t function, he would try to stop her and get her to leave before the mission was finished.
She turned back to him, a smile playing on her lips, “Are you coming?” There was a hint of playfulness in her voice, coaxing the boy to follow her. They needed to get out of there before Ardea had a break down. She could do that later in the quiet of her dorm room. Or with her family over Summer. She could look back at this and scream how she killed a man. How she obliterated him. She shook her head getting the thoughts out.
Recalling that Swamp Thing was one of the villains Dylan had fought, Kaytlin’s next question was what he was doing up his ass. “And why do you know what that smells like?” She asked, rounding another corner. Rolling her eyes as they continued to crawl forward, Kaytlin scoffed. “You can’t even smell the half of it.” With her power, the stench was almost overwhelming and Kaytlin was doing her best to breathe through her mouth. The smell really was awful. Although telling the people about health violations was certainly out of the question. “We’re on a time sensitive mission, we can’t stop and have an idle chat about how terrible the vents smell.”
Pausing in the crawling, Kayt turned her head to look over her shoulder when Dylan complimented her on her suit…and asked about how difficult it was to remove. She could see his smug smile clear as day with her glowing eyes, so she turned back around and continued moving forward. “Well, Catwoman is somewhat of an idol in my family. Besides, It’s harder to cut and easier for me to move in.” Kaytlin debated whether or not to actually answer his question before turning another corner. “And no, it’s not very difficult. It’s two pieces, even though it doesn’t look like it. And there’s a zipper.” Not that Kayt was going to tell him where that zipper was.
Dylan fought the urge to make another joke. “It was an analogy… or a figure of speech…. or whatever.” He pressed on following the girl. Every couple of seconds he would curse under his breath about his swords getting hooked on something or pressing into his back. Sneaky wasn’t his forte. In Dylan’s mind the only plan of attack was attack. Burst in guns ablaze… or well swords ablaze. Then again he wasn’t one to think plans through. “How long is this gonna t-“
Alarm noises bared underneath them. The sound echoed throughout the ventilating system. “Holy shit!” Dylan yelled clasping his hands around his ears. “I thought you said you knew what you were doing?!” Not even a minute later there was an explosion sound somewhere in the building. This was going all wrong. The alarms died down. The only time he’s heard an explosion like that was when Josh had lost his temper in a bar fight… “Ardea!” Dylan’s eyes widened almost knowing that this had something to do with his little sister. “Kayt we have to check on them….” There was crackling noise in his ear, the communications were back on. “Ardea what was that?” He prayed his sister would answer. If anything happened to her he wouldn’t be able to live with himself.
A seemingly less cheery sounding voice answered his prayers. “Thank god, she’s alright.” They had a brief discussion on the happenings. “You too…” Dylan pressed the button again. “We may have a slight problem…” The man put on his, here’s some bad news face. “They’re using super humans as guards….”
Ardea what was that?!?
It was nothing. Just a little mishap.
That didn’t sound like a mishap.
Trust me, everything’s fine.
Did you get hurt?
No I’m fine. Just finish the mission, Dylan.
There’s supers here.
What do you mean?
I mean they’re using people with powers as guards. Be careful.
I’ll tell Kaytlin. And you too.
Ryan Reynoldsvs. Jimmy Fallon
Dylan Flames v.s. his friend
Before Easton could even respond, Ardea’s lips were on his. It took a moment for his brain to digest what was happening. It was time to go, this was a good luck kiss. He took in the short moment while he could and then followed his girlfriend toward a large building. When he saw the ID scanner and door he stopped, wondering how the heck they were supposed to get in. Ardea answered as if she was reading his mind and threw a fireball at it without any thought. Easton smiled. Nice, he thought.He ran in behind the redhead, only to be surprised with a security guard right in the doorway. The guard and Easton kind of stopped, surprised by each other. The only one who didn’t stop was Ardea, who gracefully whipped past and continued down a different hall. Easton was left to fight his first battle.
The guard moved first, grabbing his walkie talkie. “Oh, sh-,” Easton had to think quickly. Before the guard had the chance to say anything, Easton used his mind to muffle the sound of his voice. The guard tried to speak, but nothing came out. “Sweet,” Easton said to himself, then went at the guard. Unfortunately, the guard didn’t spend as much time puzzled about this voice as Easton thought, and dodged the boy’s oncoming punch. Then, wIth a quick movement, the guard pulled out a gun from his belt. Easton panicked for half a second, screaming “NO!” The screamed came out louder than intended, much louder than intended. It was so loud that the guard dropped his gun to cover his ears. It turned out that Easton did learn a few things at Sky High, and his new instincts proved that to him.
After standing in a bit of a shock at what just happened, the sound controller threw another punch at the guard. The guard came back quick though, stopping the fist with his own hand, and twisting his arm around. Easton shrieked, wriggling out of his grip. From there, the two went at it. Both were throwing punches, most of which Easton managed to dodge, unlike the guard. The boy never felt better; he was starting to feel like a real hero. Somehow, the guard used his leg to trip Easton, and he went tumbling. The guard flew himself on top of him, but he could punch his face, Easton rolled away, leaving the guard to punch the floor instead. The guard yelled in pain, and Easton knew this would be the time to beat him, while he was vulnerable. He focused on every loud sound he could think of, and focused on the man. Doing this would make the guard hear all the loud sounds Easton was thinking of, louder than anything possible, and only he would hear. And it worked; the guard crouched down, holding his ears as tight as he could. While distracted, Easton grabbed his chest and slammed his body and head to the ground, knocking him out cold.
"Yes!" Easton said, pulling his arm down. Just then, Ardea popped her head back into the hall. “Check it out! I just murdered this guy.” He said smiling, gesturing to the body. “I mean, I didn’t actually murder him… I just kicked his ass… you know what I mean.” The boy joined his girlfriend and gave her a quick kiss. “Come on, babe, let’s…” As Easton turned, ready to keep going, he saw all the bodies on the ground. “Go.” He finished. He looked at the red head, somewhat of a pout on his face. He looked back at his one victim, then at all the guards Ardea beat, then back at Ardea. “They probably go easier on girls. Especially adorable ones.”
"Of course, sweety." Ardea pat Easton’s shoulder. "You did great." The red head smiled up at him. Sometimes she forgot that she was actually a little rougher contrary to her very petite exterior. "You forget I grew up with three older brothers." She turned and started walking, turning her head every so often to make sure no one was going to sneak up on them through any of the other halls that connected to the main one. "You can say they weren’t very easy going on me, and don’t let them tell you they were. I was put in a headlock every time I walked down the stairs."
Suddenly there was this blaring noise from above. Small light fixtures dropped from the ceiling, blinking red. Confusion was the first that crossed the small girl’s mind. “What…” Metal doors began sliding down over the entrances around the hall. If they didn’t speed up now their entrance would be blocked. “Go run!” Ardea grabbed Easton’s hand and yanked him through the alarm sound. “What is going on?!” She screamed into the ear piece’s microphone. No response. The opening was slowly closing. They could make it if… Something caught her eye. Something big lumbering through the only open doorway. It was another guard, but this one was different. His skin was almost a pale blue tint. He was barreling towards them. There was no way both Easton and Ardea could make it if that thing caught up to them. She had to do something drastic, and Easton wasn’t going to like it. In fact Ardea ran through all the possible outcomes of the plan, it wasn’t going to be pretty if she made it or not.
"Don’t hate me." She forced a smile using all of her might to push Easton in front of her and to the ground, then kicked him through the small opening before a pair of cold rough hands wrapped around her neck and pushed her against the now closed metal plate. The man lifted her up so her feet were dangling three feet from the floor. Ardea struggled to claw at his flash but it was hard as ice. She couldn’t even get a decent heat started with very little oxygen slipping into her lungs. little dots began to float around her vision. She needed to get away from the wall, Easton was still on the other side.
Ardea kicked the man in the crotch area and his grip loosened. It really just made him angry, He flung the girl across the hall. She landed hard on her side. She pushed up, taking in deep gasps of air. It approached her. His pale eyes boring into her. Quickly she flicked a fire ball at his face. He puffed up his cheeks and blew out a breath of frost, turning the flames into icicles instantly. It dawned on Ardea that this man was a super. He had powers. And the evil government people were using him to hurt others.
"Stop." She yelled, the alarms still blaring like a reminder that the rest of her friends were probably in as much danger as her. She didn’t even know what was behind the door Easton went through. "I can help you." She dodged at his lunge. "I’m like you. You don’t have to-"
He grabbed her throat again and slammed her head against the wall. That was the thing that started it off. It was like someone dropped a match on an overturned gasoline truck. It started from her chest, the burning sensation. Then it spread throughout her body like a wildfire. Her fingertips began to glow this golden orange. Flames engulfed her body. Then the man, it circled around them for a few seconds before expanding. A sphere of heat filled the hall. Then there was a noise, like an explosion. Everything just turned into a white hot fury with a boom.
Ardea found herself slumped over in the middle of the wreckage, the man no longer holding her. The man was gone. There were no marks on her besides the slight bruising. Her limbs felt heavy. The walls were charred but not crumbling which meant most of the building was fireproof. The metal panels melting into the black floor. She grabbed her head and took in a breath. This was one of the outcomes she had thought about earlier, but she had only guessed that this would happen. She hoped Easton was ok. He could open the door now, but what would he say? Would he hate her? Or be disgusted by her because of the power she had radiated.