Episode 82: Breaking Point
The ground trembled under the heroes´ feet, the dome shook greatly and a terrible screech started to be heard from the dome´s inside. Ace Bunny backed away instinctively, stopping his steps. "Indeed." He said with a straight tone, focused on the moving dome. "There´s another one."
The top of the dome broke all of a sudden, a gigantic, scaly and green snake came out from the inside, then flew onto the sky. Five rugged, black and metallic ring shaped devices covered the monster´s long body. The snake turned and then flew down, facing the five heroes while flying towards them. Derek Dune was sitting down at the workstation, which was embedded to the snake´s head. "You know what they say!" Derek shouted while guiding the snake with the keyboard. "If you want something to be done right...do it yourself!"
Ace gasped. "Doc!" He looked at his sides, finding out Tech was already heading to the jet with the help of his jetpack, which was what Ace wanted to command. The snake flew low in order to charge at them. Ace activated his jetpack and flew upwards, evading the snake´s head, Duck just teleported to a safe spot while Rev ran to the right in order to avoid the attack and Slam had used his tornado to get away from the beast. The four heroes regrouped while the snake flew away, clearly heading towards the city center.
"What now?" Duck said with true worry.
Ace was breathing rather rapidly, seeing the monster leaving, already getting lost in sight, having reached the city´s insides. "I have...no freaking idea." Tech landed the jet right before them, then the four heroes entered it rushedly and Tech took off towards the center of Acmetropolis. Ace headed to the cockpit, standing behind Tech. "Any diagnosis on this thing?"
Tech was focused on the front window, flying between the skyscrapers and the tall industrial buildings. "Saw those...rings on its body?"
"Yes, what´s with them?" Ace asked.
"The beast flies thanks to those things, they´re gravitational nullifiers." Tech answered. "If we destroy them, that snake will fall and therefore, it will be easier for us to kill it."
"It seemed like if Derek was controlling it." Ace commented.
"Yes, I also noticed that. Those machines on its head must be connected to the brain, and Derek is guiding the monster with them." Tech looked briefly at his boss before refocusing on the front view. "Maybe I should try to reach the head and take over, you know, to control the beast myself, and then I´ll see what to do."
Ace wanted to ask Tech why was him the one who should control the beast, but given Tech´s genius and skills on complex computational systems, he didn´t bother to ask. "That makes sense."
"Of course it does." Tech couldn´t control his cocky personality, as usual. "Then you and the others can destroy the rings."
Ace nodded at Tech´s proposition. "And gain all the advantage."
"Exactly." Tech said with a cocky smile and tone.
Derek and the snake were already wreaking havoc in the city, as Derek made the snake to throw fire from its mouth continuously, burning the buildings until they carbonized while also crashing into them, cracking and destroying them with ease. The citizens ran terrified while glaring at the grisly monster, avoiding the huge falling chunks of concrete, which were already making great damage to the streets, the vehicles and the people. The number of wounded and dead increased continually, the majority of them consequence to the falling debris. The emergency services started to show up after a while, helping the gravely wounded, many of them permanently.
Ace could see this through the cockpit´s windows, clenching his fists while gasping with fury. Tech knew Ace was starting to feel a great, heartbreaking anxiety. "Don´t worry, boss. We´ll defeat them, once and for all, I promise."
After a couple of minutes, Tech landed the jet over a tall building. Rev, Duck and Slam got off the vehicle first. "Come on." Ace said with hurry, he and Tech were still in the cockpit.
"Ace." Tech said, making Ace to turn, then he hugged him. "We´re gonna stop this, you understand?" Ace was at the edge of tears, but he held them firmly.
"Sure." Ace expressed with concur, looking at him with a straight yet thankful look, listening to the destruction around.
Tech nodded while stroking his shoulder fraternally. "Alright." He smirked at him warmly.
The snake flew low between the streets, burning everything in its path, vehicles, establishments, urban infrastructure and people, whose efforts to escape and run from the intense breath of fire were in vain. The five Loonatics were flying downwards with their jetpacks, towards the events. "It is our chance, I´ll go ahead!" Tech said while looking at Ace. "You do the rest!" Tech flew faster towards the snake.
"This could´ve been your salvation, Acmetropolis! This beauty, this majesty!" Derek pressed the keyboard with expertise, precision and rapidness, until Tech reached him all of a sudden, with his feet aiming at his face, managing to kick his snout strongly while he deactivated his jetpack and landed carefully over the snake´s head.
"Gah!" Derek expressed while standing up effortfully, still attached to the workstation by the strip, Tech tried to punch him but Derek shielded himself with the chair that was laying over the piece of floor that covered the snake´s head, blocking Tech´s punch. Tech pushed the chair away from Derek´s grasp with a strong kick, making Derek to growl and gasp. The cougar then pressed a key on the keyboard and the snake started to fly upwards, straightly towards the sky. Derek was being held by the strap and the carabiner, but Tech had fallen briefly. Derek was laughing victoriously, until his eyes widened when seeing Tech flying with his jetpack right at his side.
"You´re gonna need more than that..." Tech manipulated the carabiner and opened it, releasing Derek from the strap, making him to fall. "...to get rid of me." He immediately flew towards Derek to prevent him from crashing into the ground.
Meanwhile, Ace, Duck, Rev and Slam where dealing with the rings that surrounded the beast, which was now acting on its will. While the gigantic snake turned, shook, swirled and twisted between the buildings and the streets, changing its altitude constantly, Ace shot his laser vision at one of the five rings, occasionally stopping to see if he was doing any damage to it, thing that wasn´t happening, to his frustration. "Dang it!" Ace exclaimed, stopping his attack definitely, looking at his comrades, who were also flying with their jetpacks around the beast, doing what they could to destroy the rings, unsuccessfully, as he noted.
Duck threw his burning, glowing orbs at the rings untiringly, gasping and screaming with desperation. "What are these things made of?!"
"It could be a mix of tungsten and kevlar but I´m not sure!" Rev was punching and kicking one of the rings with the aid of his superspeed, thing that let him theorize on the rings´ possible materials.
Slam was punching one of the rings as well, his knuckles were already aching but he didn´t want to stop, screaming and growling with rage as he wasn´t even scratching the hard surface of the ring. His knuckles were already bleeding as the cloth of his gloves was breaking, revealing his lightly bleeding scrapes. He stopped punching with a long groan of pain and a gasp of rage.
Ace sighed. "It´s useless." He gasped when the flying snake suddenly moved fast towards another direction, hovering and turning while screaming fiercely, destroying the lower part of a tower with its tail. The top of the tower was a fancy, glossy looking restaurant. The large agglomeration that was there screamed for their lives as the tower fell down slowly, everyone there tried to hold from the closest thing they had around them, others just began to slid across the floor until reaching the glass covered railing.
"Oh shoot..." Ace suddenly lost all sight of the snake, even if he could hear its screams and growls, and the destruction it was causing, but right now he wanted to save all of the people at the tower´s top. "Guys! We gotta save ´em, come on!" Ace said while pointing at the falling tower, which was falling faster. He accelerated towards there, flying with his gaze focused on the people.
"Aye, aye, pal!" Rev responded while following him. Slam and Duck then flew towards the top of the tower as well.
The tower started to collapse even faster, Ace rapidly reached the top and took two people, taking their hands with no previous warning. Slam managed to take four, carrying them with both arms. Ace gasped after landing over the street, gently leaving the two citizens there.
"My daughter is still up there!" The desperate cry of the middle aged deer made Ace to look up.
"Please!..." The wife of the deer pleaded in tears while hugging her husband. They both were of the same species.
"Don´t worry, we´ll save her..." Ace had no confidence on his statement, he accelerated back towards the tower, committed to save all of the people there, even if he had no idea on how to do so, and the time was running, the inclination of the tower had reached a critical point. The people started to fall to their deaths, screams and sudden silences were heard continuously, as well as screams of terror on the streets. "Shoot!" Ace exclaimed with a lump in the throat.
Slam was already carrying his third group of four people, flying down to get them to safety. Duck was teleporting rapidly from the falling tower to the street, taking all the people he could. Rev used his superspeed to run across the restaurant´s floor, which was so inclined that he technically was running over a wall, taking two people on each trip, running down the tower until reaching the ground of the street, and so on.
The tower finally fell down completely, making thunderous noises, opening huge craters over the concrete and destroying some smaller, nearby buildings. The corpses covered all the ground around, and the injured were countless. Ace and the others landed over the ground while seeing the devastating scene, avoiding the dead bodies while they walked and observed. Ace gasped when seeing the two deer he had saved crying over the corpse of their little daughter, hugging her and crying with a deep sorrow. He took some rushed steps towards them. "Oh no..." Duck said, he and the others stopped walking, seeing how Ace approached the couple. Ace stopped walking about two meters behind them, suffering by the heartbreaking scene, looking at the girl´s purple dress stained with blood and debris, also noticing her broken antler. He got on his knees while covering his face with both hands, crying bitterly, feeling defeated, depressed, angry and furious. It was impossible for him to fight against the sadness, he sobbed loudly, all of the exterior noises appeared to have been muted as he could only focus on his crying. Slam tried to walk towards him but Duck stopped him by grabbing his arm for a moment, deciding to go himself, to Slam and Rev´s confusion. He approached his comrade and got on one knee next to him, placing a hand on his shoulder. "The fight is no over, man." Duck said with a rather straight tone.
Ace kept crying. "I know..." Ace tried to lower down the tone of his sadness, with no success. "Just...give me a moment..." He gasped. "I can´t go, not right now...I don´t feel...w..." He threw up all of a sudden, getting both hands over the ground, still crying. "I´ll be fine..." Ace let out another bitter gasp. "Go ahead...I´ll join you, I..." He sobbed. "...I promise."
Duck looked over his shoulder, seeing the worried faces of their comrades. He sighed and patted Ace´s back then met with Rev and Slam. "Come on, guys." He gestured away.
"Wait what´s wrong is he okay?" Rev inquired.
"No, he is not." Duck replied, giving another glare at Ace, who was on the same position. He looked back at Rev and Slam. "He´s dealing with that again. I think we should let him...you know..." Duck sighed. "...take it all out, man."
Slam growled with worry and intrigue.
"I thought he had got rid of that, he's been battling it for a long time." Rev commented. A noisy sound of destruction was heard afterwards.
"Well..." Duck was now looking at the snake, which could be seen flying between a set of tall buildings several blocks away. "...he has a battle of his own now." He glanced at Slam and Rev with a straight face. "Ours is there." He pointed at the snake.