“We’re not having you mind controlled again if I can help it.” Sandstorm said.
The two men walked over to Hypnotist’s body and before their eyes, he shimmered and vanished.
“Teleportation!” Scott said. “That’s cheap.”
“Must be their escape route.” Sandstorm said. “Well, never mind that. Let’s find everyone else who’s holed up in here.
A loud thump came from behind a pair of double doors. Sandstorm walked over to the doors slowly, scrutinizing them up and down. From past experience he learned to expect traps of all sorts. It didn’t appear there were any wires or switches around the frame or between the doors. He looked over to Electrode who nodded to signal readiness. Sandstorm reached out and put his hand on the doorknob. After a second, he turned the knob and yanked the door open. The group of service people inside the small room practically fell over each other backwards in terror.
“Whoa. Easy, folks. We aren’t going to hurt you. We’re here to help.”
“That guy put us in here.” Said a young man in a janitor’s uniform. “He said, if we came out, he’d make us strangle each other.”
“He’s gone.” Electrode offered. “You’ll be safe now.”
“You should still stay here.” Sandstorm said sternly. “There’s fighting going on and we don’t want you to get hurt. Someone will come for you when it’s all clear.”
“We should go see who we can help.” Electrode said.
Sandstorm nodded and regarded the small crew of people one more time. “Are any of you hurt?”
No one was injured. Sandstorm and Electrode left the room to head for the sounds of combat echoing through the building.
Out on the back property, Serpent stood over Blacktide. He had a sword blade in the ground on either side of the hero’s neck. The shadowy Death snakes shifted anxiously around Serpent’s wrists, neck and just under his coat.
“Maybe I should just let my pets have you? I know they love the taste of human life.” Serpent smiled exposing fangs and his forked tongue.
Blacktide looked over to his right hand and felt an odd sensation course through him. He rubbed his fingers across his palm and looked up to his opponent with a smile.
“A smile? What are you smiling for, boy?”
“Impossible! Nothing survives the bite of my pets!”
Nyhtwulf flew past Serpent and slapped him to the ground on the way.
“I was a servant to Death himself. For my service I carry his blessing. Your pets will never harm me again. I am now immune!” Nyhtwulf landed on the other side of Serpent and growled showing his own assortment of sharp teeth. While facing Nyhtwulf, Serpent didn’t see Blacktide move into position. A blast of heat caught the small monster in the back. Serpent fell to one knee with a scream of pain, lashed out at Nyhtwulf with a sword and then disappeared.
Nyhtwulf stood unhurt as he was intangible when the sword was swung at him. He looked to his partner. “He was teleported away.”
“Coward.” Blacktide said. “Guess we win that one after all. I thought you were gone.”
“They only stunned me. It won’t happen again.”
“Is everyone okay here?” Electrode said as he sped into the area.
“Nice of you to join us.” Blacktide said with mock disdain.
“What?” Electrode held his hands up in surprise.
“Could have used you about 3 minutes ago.”
“But I was…”
“Save it. We got work to do.”
Nyhtwulf patted Electrode on the shoulder. “He is joking.”
“Joking? He doesn’t sound like he’s joking.”
Blacktide turned and shrugged. “Maybe you’re just slowing down.”
“I am not slowing down! I’ll have you know I can get us Chinese food fresh from China in 3 seconds flat! Hey, don’t walk away!”
Blacktide walked into the building with a wry smile. Maybe there was more to this team gig after all.
Far out in front of the White House property, Redeagle and Atomizer stood with soldiers, watching the showdown from a distance.
“I hate sitting on the bench.” Atomizer grimaced.
“Sandstorm said they may have backup waiting to move in. It’s our job to intercept that. If not, we lead the troops in on the signal.”
“Look. We aren’t benched; but I know how you feel. I’m 7 feet tall, strong enough to toss a truck. I can shoot the head off a cockroach at 50 yards with ridiculous ease. Even with that, I just don’t compare to the kind of power on the rest of our team. Even with you, I’m not that powerful.”
“Yeah, but what could we possibly do out here?” Redeagle gestured at the vast grounds of the Nation’s Capitol.
“Plenty! You can shoot anything that moves because you see in the dark better than anyone. I have lots of room to cut loose with explosions to toss bad guys all over the place and… uh wait a second.”
“Starting to see why we’re out here now?”
“I hate it when you do that.”