[Contains scenes of violence and strong language. Nasty is being let loose, so reader discretion advised.]
Parking lot, Hank Cheetas, Cleveland, evening
Nasty brushed off her jeans, keeping her double in view. "Nice shot. There's no fucking way in hell you're going to get that lucky again."
Natasha's breath came in ragged gasps. "We beat you once." Her arm charged up.
"We're ready for you this time." Nasty ran in. Natasha's purple blast caught her on the shoulder. Pain exploded, but Nasty kept moving. She came in low, ramming with her uninjured side, forcing the wind out of Natasha. "And I've been hurt worse than that."
Wheezing, Natasha stumbled back from the hit. Her arm recreated the purple sheath, though. "You," she panted, "are becoming a pest." She brought her arm around.
Nasty ducked under her double's arm and forced Natasha around. Before she could stop, Natasha fired, hitting Omega in the arm. "Nice fucking shot, Tex."
"Would you stop swearing!" The purple sheath returned, this time on both of Natasha's arms. She pulled Nasty into a bear hug. "How does that feel?" The energy discharged repeatedly into Nasty, making her skin feel like it was on fire. Natasha squeezed. "Try to escape this!"
Nasty felt her knees starting to buckle. The edges of her vision were turning purple, then black. She charged up her own fist, letting the energy flare. She shifted, the small change renewing the burning pain along where she was held in Natasha's grasp. Ignoring the hurt, she touched her tormentor. The energy in her hand flashed. Natasha's scream rang in her ear, then she fell to the ground on her knees, free of being held. "Never count me out, bitch." She got to her feet, her knees wobbly, her legs shaking, and turned around.
Natasha held a now energy-less hand over a blackened spot on her red blouse. "Would somebody help me over here!"
Parking lot, Hank Cheetas, Cleveland, evening
Meredith bracketed her ionic fire around Omega, pinning him one place. His arm tracked her movements, though as she flitted, he couldn't maintain a lock. "Come on, big boy," Meredith taunted. "Let's see your overcompensation at work." She arced over her target, forcing him to spin around to follow her. Before he could get his arm in line with her, she stitched a path in the parking lot's asphalt, sending pieces of broken pavement bouncing off Omega's power armour.
"That flimsy excuse for a battle suit won't withstand my full power. I haven't even begun to unleash my full potential."
Meredith took a snap shot at Omega's head. She missed, but forced him to duck. "Dude, you'll have to unleash something soon. You're making me look bad. Normally, the robotic expendables get a few shots off at me early before I turn them into scrap. You're not even getting close to me."
"Enough of your mindless prattle!" An orange flame erupted from Omega's back, propelling him up toward his annoyance.
"That's more like it!" Meredith twisted in the air, getting herself in position to fly properly. "Come and get me! To make this interesting, let me just say this: Your counterpart here? He designed my suit. He rejected the design you're wearing." She kicked in her ionic jets.
"Alpha, this is Keith. Let's not give away all my secrets, okay?"
"Trust me, Keith, I'm playing into his weakness." She glanced behind her. Omega's bulk blocked the view of the fighting on the ground.
"Taunting him is playing into his weakness?"
"Keith, you'd be laughing at half the things he's saying. You don't have an ego. He does." She looked back again. "About to get busy, got to go." Meredith flipped over on her back. "Hey, you managed to get it up. Oh, sorry, I mean, get up." She flashed a smile. "I'm not that impressed. Sure, you have size, but do you know what to do with it?"
A port opened on Omega's shoulder. A bank of small tubes emerged and locked on Meredith. "You'll wish that you had never mouthed off to me. Do you have any idea of the influence, the resources, the raw power I have access to?" Miniature rockets fired from the tubes, twisting and turning as they streaked at Meredith.
Explosions erupted along the length of Meredith's body. Her force field's blue deepened as it protected her from the impacts. "Oh, nice try. Ever think of working with fireworks. Those explosions were pretty. No? Oh, and I bet you can't do this." She cut the ionic jets and let herself fall. "Ta!" Meredith angled herself to return to the fights below.
Omega let out a growl. He banked around, his arc wide. His sensors locked on Meredith again. The micro-missile launcher retracted into the bulk of his armour. On his right arm, machine gun ports opened. As soon as he had his target lock confirmed, he opened fire.
Meredith felt the first burst from Omega's machine gun as her force field compensated to keep her safe. She twisted, trying to break out of his line of fire. His second burst only had a few bullets hit her; the rest struck either the ground or a blue sedan, blowing out its tires. "Hey, Keith, did your original design have guns in it?"
"You're kidding, right? My armours were meant for defense, not offense."
"Thought so. Would you call ammunition a weak point?"
"If it's not protected, yeah."
"Thanks!" Meredith veered away from the restaurant, turning tighter than Omega could. His shots as she passed under him went wild, carving a line in the parking lot and through several more cars. "Hey, ugly! Where did you learn to shoot, the Imperial Marksmanship Academy? Come and get me!" She levelled out and increased her speed. Playing with the controls for her ionic blasts, she reduced the diameter of the beam.
Bullets whined over her head. She turned over on her back. Omega had fallen in behind her, trying to line up a shot. Meredith turned on her targeting crosshairs with a tap of a button on her visor. "Keith, can you make this thing a little more accurate, like being able to light up when my aim on his gun is dead on?"
"Hang on. Alpha, what do you have in mind?"
"I'm about to make things interesting up here." The crosshairs flickered briefly, then the thickness of its lines reduced to almost non-existent. "Perfect!"
"You cannot run forever, Alpha," Omega called. "Your power source is limited. A force field cannot hold up to collapsed titanium."
"Dude, I don't need to run from you. It just makes things fun." Meredith moved her right arm, her left hand on the ionic blast's firing stud. She made small adjustments based on the data she got from the targeting device. Small arrows appeared, helping her get her arm in place. The crosshairs changed from red to green. Meredith fired.
The beam struck true, cutting through one of Omega's machine gun barrels and piercing deep into the arm. Meredith saw a small flash of yellow and turned off her own beam. More flares occurred in the arm. Omega angled away. "I guess collapsed titanium isn't so good when your ammo starts cooking off, is it?"
Parking lot, Hank Cheetas, Cleveland, evening
Vicki flew around her double, avoiding the giant's arms and hands. She punched and kicked with every pass she made close to Tori; none of her attempts appeared to affect her counterpart. At the same time, Tori kept missing her, just missing as Vicki slipped behind the giantess. Great, stalemate. There has to be a way to hurt her without hurting me. She flew up mere centimetres away from Tori's back. At least she can't get me here. Tori craned her neck, trying to find the diminutive heroine. A lock of the giant's hair swept past Vicki. Now, there's an idea.
As Tori turned her head the other way, Vicki snagged a handful of the giant's hair. She wrapped the lock tightly around her tiny hand, then flew straight up. The strands of hair straightened, then went taut. With all her strength, Vicki tugged. Tori screamed, deafening the winged girl. Vicki felt several hairs come loose.
"You fucking little bitch!" Tori turned around, pulling Vicki with her. "I'm going to fucking kill you! I'll fucking stomp on you like a fucking insect!"
"Yeah, yeah. You haven't done it yet."
"Show yourself!" Tori twisted her head this way and that.
Vicki let herself get flung off. She tumbled through the air several feet before she recovered. "Well? Come and get me!"
Tori stomped a step toward Vicki, crushing a sign beneath her foot. She held up a beefy fist, cocking it. She thrust it forward.
Vicki beat her wings faster, gaining several feet in altitude and letting Tori's hand pass through the space she had just occupied. "Missed!" Tori opened her hand and started waving it, trying to swat the winged girl. Each time the giant's hand came close, Vicki called out "Missed!"
"I wasn't trying to hit you that time!"
"How was I supposed to tell? You kept missing!"
Tori roared with frustration. "Stand still!"
"Hell, no. If you can't hit me, you should go after someone easier, like your momma."
I can't believe I got away with that. Vicki watched as Tori turned away and stepped toward the crowd that had gathered to watch the fight. Oh, great. She started chasing her giant double.
"I'm okay!" Nasty got to her feet, reeling. She put a hand down on the table to steady herself. "I'm just peachy!"
Omega tapped his helmet. "Who dares interfere?"
Vicki saw who Tori noticed. "Daddy?" She bore down on the giant. "No! Leave him alone!"