The tinkertech armband on Harry Potter's wrist chafed at his skin, even as it chirped out the bad news. "Carapacitator down, CD-5. Krieg down, CD-5. WCM deceased, CD-5. Iron Falcon down, CD-5. Saurian down, CD-5…" He was unused to the abstract nature of some tinkertech items, but time and time again, they've proven quite useful, even to a wizard like him.
Rain came down in sheets, limiting his visibility to just the block around him. The capes at his side, heroes and villains alike, jostled into him as they braced against the wind and rain that buffeted the entire city of Brockton Bay. Even as the first casualties were announced, Harry could see a monstrous form emerging from the bay in the distance.
There was a collective gasp from the assembled capes as they saw it as well. It was a grotesque, misshapen figure. Nearly fifty feet tall, it dwarfed every cape in the city and the ground shook as it lumbered up the beach and into the city. It shattered the glass in many windows just from walking by, further exposing the buildings to the torrential downpour that followed in its footsteps.
The building they had just been evacuated from collapsed behind them, and with not a moment to spare. The battle hadn't even begun, yet there had already been casualties. That never boded well, and going by the beast's past, that would only be the start.
Shambling steadily into the city, Harry got an even closer view as it approached. For all of its height, it was shaped like an inverted teardrop and was oddly muscular. Its arms were extremely long, practically dragging on the ground as it moved, and was seemingly at home on either two or four feet, on land or in water. Trailing behind him was as serpentine prehensile tail that was longer than than it was tall, and could move with such whip-like speed as to sever a man in half.
It was the herald of the End of Days, Leviathan. An Endbringer, one of three. It had some of the cunning of its sister, as well as the raw strength of its brother, making it a deadly hybrid with a body count already in the millions for the fifteen years it's been warring with the planet. And between the rest of the Endbringers, it was a war the monsters were winning. Upon seeing one stroll into the city, it wasn't hard to see why.
Harry steeled himself as his armband chirped once more. All the capes who had managed to show up to the attack in time thanks to a preemptive warning had one on their arms. They were a relatively new piece of Tinkertech, made by Dragon. "Stick the plan!" the voice commanded. "Stick with your groups, and take up defensive positions. Await for the command to attack -"
The group Harry was with split off, everyone going into their predetermined roles. Even in the face of unimaginable danger, none of them turned their back. This is what heroes signed up for, and this is why villains were tolerated at all. Every cape was needed, and dozens had answered the call to arms from across the planet.
Placing a hand upon his chest, Harry activated the flight spell enchanted into his armor. He was a wizard, not a cape, so using a spell that gave him flight was not quite the same thing as being naturally able to fly. It was a bit more unwieldy.
He concentrated on the spell and slowly lifted into the air. He didn't have anywhere near the intrinsic control that a cape with a flying power would have, but having any flight at all was way better than not having any. The enchantment being on his chest armor meant that his hands and feet were free to do what he needed to do.
Flying higher into the air, Harry spotted the other aerial capes through the heavy rain. They were gaining altitude and making their way to one of the rooftops. Harry followed closely behind, doing his best to keep steady as he flew through the air. He had to be mindful of the weather itself, as a sudden burst of wind could knock him into the side of a building.
His armband chirped once more, but he could barely hear what it said through the whistling wind and the rain pounding down all around him. An impervious charm ensured that he'd at least stay dry, but it did nothing for the sheer volume of the noise around him. Glass shattering, cars crashing, and the buffeting wind made it hard to hear himself think,
In the air in front of him, Harry met up with the other fliers just as they started to land on one of the buildings. There were a few other stragglers slowly making their way over as well, as not everyone had the same flying speed. Harry was amongst the slowest, but he wasn't the actual slowest. He had to be careful with his speed, as his physical body simply wasn't built for flying unlike a cape whose power molded to them, though it wasn't a consistent rule. His magical certainly helped even the playing field, but it wasn't a direct replacement.
Standing on the ledge of the building and peering down at the city below was a man dressed in a skintight blue costume with a sort of electric style design all over it. He had the look of a hero, dashing good looks with wavy brown hair and a strong jaw, because he was the quintessential hero. He was Legend, the leader of the Protectorate, and the man sending the commands over the armbands and overseeing the defense of the city.
"Get ready!" Legend called out. Harry heard the voice in the air, as well as through his armband.
Surging down the road, Leviathan slammed into the line of defenders who hadn't yet manage to completely prepare. Limbs flew and the water flowed red and it wasn't pretty.
The armband announced the results of Leviathan's attack. "Sham down, CD-5. Acoustic deceased, CD-5. Harsh Mistress down, CD-5. Resolute deceased, CD-5. Woebegone down, CD-5…"
"Let's go," Legend called out to the group of assembled fliers. His timing was perfect as the slowest flier had barely arrived as he took off from the rooftop. "We're going to strafe Leviathan a bit. Try and hamper him so the guys on the ground have some extra time to set up. Your armband will ping when it is your turn. The goal is to spread our firepower out. Leviathan can recover much quicker than you'd expect, so we have to not give him that time."
Legend soared forward, and he was fast. Faster than pretty much any other cape on the battlefield short of the teleporters. Lasers flew from his outstretched hand as he dive-bombed Leviathan. Not a single one of them missed, going so far as to actually change direction in mid-air to slam into the Endbringer.
Leviathan rocked back from the hits, hunching down onto the ground as Legend continued flying away, to give space for the other fliers behind him. For as powerful as Legend was, widely considered the pre-eminent flying artillery on the planet, Leviathan shrugged off the attack fairly easily even as its skin was practically glowing from the hits. It got its center of gravity back underneath him in moments, just as the next cape flew in.
Flicking a hand, the Endbringer send an arc of water up at Legend who, even with his immense speed, only just dodged it, although he managed to send a few lasers around the water in retaliation. The quick back-and-forth gave enough time to the defenders on the ground to close in.
The second flier closed in moments later, and Harry was waiting for his cue. With so many capes in the area, they had to be extra careful. Leviathan was already building a body count, and friendly fire was the last thing anyone wanted.
It was extraordinarily difficult to keep Leviathan pinned down. The second flying cape used some sort of energy blast that had little visible effect, barely even annoying Leviathan, though it did give the opportunity for some of the remaining ground capes a chance to close in and restrain his movements.
Leviathan shifted his weight and crashed forward, breaking through the nearby capes instantly. Harry winced as the armband announced the lasted casualties.
"Fierceling deceased, CD-5. Adamant down, CD-5."
The capes on the ground had it tough. The ones who could go head to head with Leviathan had to have a certain subset of powers that would let them take a hit. And they also had to be brave enough to face down an Endbringer in melee range. The survival rate in such a situation was quite low.
Surging forward, Leviathan rushed through the loose formation and raced down the road. In his wake, he left an image of water, shaped like his form. He was a huge monster, and he left tons of water. Many of the capes on the ground had to grab hold of whatever they could to stop themselves from being washed away, which also left them open to attack.
The capes on the ground, for their part, were quick to react and managed to regroup enough to stop Leviathan from getting too far away, but then, Harry's armband pinged.
Urging his flight enchantment forward, in seconds Harry was above Leviathan, a spell already on his lips. Time seemed to slowed down around him as he focused, waiting for an opening. A moment later, he released the spell. A bolt of lighting formed in the clouds above, and just as quickly, it arced down, zapping the Endbringer. Its legs blew out from underneath it, sending a massive torrent of water into the air as it crashed down onto the crumbling and flooded road..
A second and third bolt of lighting slammed down into the monster, further burying it into the ground and further cracking the road beneath him. Just as quickly as it happened, Harry was already flying out of the area and out of range of possible retribution. The next fliers were already coming in behind him just as some long-distance attackers on the rooftops took that moment to unload into the immobile Leviathan.
Seconds passed as the combatants on the ground also got their licks in. It was quite an interesting visual to see several different brutes hammering onto the much larger monster with their fists, all trying to keep his attention while those capable of serious damage took careful aim.
There were probably twenty or so long-range attackers firing from the rooftops. Those were the capes that had a distance attack but had no means of flight. It was a perilous position to be in, as by-and-large they did not have the durability of the melee combatants, but they were also trapped on top of a rooftop and it was a long fall down should they get knocked off..
Even as Harry prepared his next spell, he saw a cape on the rooftop get split in half with a jet of water and topple of the side of the building into the ground below, nearly indistinguishable from the plethora of trash that floated in the roiling waters.
Timing was everything, and Leviathan suddenly crashed forwards, blowing out water from underneath himself and plowing the nearby capes back from the surprise assault. Leviathan made it halfway down the flooded block in mere seconds before Harry called forth another lightbolt, knocking Leviathan once more into the ground.
Harry seemed to have the monster's attention, though the other capes were quick to adapt and were closing in on it. Not everything was apparent as it seemed though, as Leviathan quickly dispatched a few capes in the same span of time it took to launch of blade of water at Harry, who deftly dodged off to the side.
Chubster down, CD-5. Good Neighbor deceased, CD-5. Hallow deceased, CD-5.
Harry wasn't the fastest flier, but he was quite agile, even if he didn't have as much control over his flight as he would on a broom. He was quite at home in the air, but nothing really beat the feeling of having two feet on solid ground. In such circumstances though, he much safer in the air, though he was an easier target. Dodging a blade of water that would slice him in half wasn't too different than dodging a bludger, as both were likely to mess up his day.
In a quick strike, Alexandria, the second of the Triumvirate, rocketed forward through an opening. She had been around since the beginning, and had fought in more Endbringer fights than anyone else alive, and it showed.
Leviathan's focus immediately snapped to her and a wall of water rose up to met her. With a practice motion, Alexandra swung her hands like a bat, shattering the wall of water with the force of a bomb exploding, and continued straight on into Leviathan's face.
The monster rocked back from the hit, almost as if its head was made of elastic, and just as quickly, Alexandria was in close, wrapping her arms around its neck. The capes on the ground immediately began to fill out in a circle around Leviathan, filling in the gaps to hedge him him.
Harry conjured a starstorm as the other ranged attackers, both those flying and on the room, took aim. The spell wasn't as dramatic as it sounded, as each "star" was merely small small conjured ball of hardened rock.
With a gesture, the "stars" glowed briefly before smashing down into the Endbringer. They sunk deep into the monsters flesh and disappeared entirely from view, leaving behind rough shaped holes that smoked from the heat. Despite the visual, Leviathan showed no reaction at all from the attack. It didn't even give an indication that it was going to retaliate, as already the next cape unloaded their arsenal into him.
It was Dragon, perhaps the world's most renowned Tinker. Part of that was due to their sheer versatility, and the other part of that was due to all other more renown Tinkers getting killed. The Triumvirate had once numbered four, with the aptly named "Hero" being a Tinker of extraordinary talent. Hero had gotten killed long before Harry's time as a cape, over a decade ago, and it hadn't even been an Endbringer that had brought his end.
Dragon was a very impressive Tinker though, whose specialty had been widely speculated on. Harry tended to agree with the consensus, in that it was some sort of propulsion specialization, as she always had a different sort of craft of power suit everywhere she went.
Her current "craft" was near enough to a literal flying artillery, with multiple armored shells. A multitude of rockets soared outwards from the first shell, only for that shell to be discarded once Leviathan latched onto her with a claw. It ripped that armor shell off, revealing the next layer which had some sort of plasma-thrower, which blasted Leviathan directly in the face.
It was then that Harry noticed that Leviathan seemed to have Alexandria in it's grip, and was in the process of attempting to drown her. Dragon's was blowing through her payload in an attempt to save the Triumvirate cape.
Another layer of armor was torn off, and Dragon's craft was just slightly smaller now, and another payload of missiles was launched, impacting into Leviathan. Harry couldn't help but wonder how much Dragon actually had packed into that craft, as it seemed crazily dangerous.
A massive rocket exploded against Leviathan's face, causing everyone, including Harry to flinch back. And just like that, there was an opening and Alexandria managed to extract herself from the water and fly away, even as Dragon was already laying into Leviathan with another round of rockets. Their fire seemed to linger against Leviathan's skin, almost like napalm, but Harry knew it was likely some sort of special Tinker tech. It was almost magical, what some of them could do with technology.
With Alexandria free and clear, the capes redouble their effort and Harry conjured another starstorm, this time channelling the effect until a large furrow was carved into the monster's hide. Whatever momentum they had, they had to take advantage of. It would have been a terrible loss to lose Alexandria against Leviathan, as the nickname "The Hero Killer" was claimed by its deadlier brother, Behemoth, but they could not underestimate any of them.
All around Harry was evidence that it was unwise to underestimate Leviathan. There were dozens of bodies floating around, some cape, some not. The city had evacuation procedures and Endbringer shelters for this exact scenario, yet the water still flowed crimson, and his armband still chirped out the names of the unfortunate capes who had tried to make a difference..
A trio of fliers came in low, and Harry only barely stopped his starstorm as the lead cape, a viking-themed man weilding a massive battle axe, darted in and chopped into Leviathan's hide, taking off a good chunk of flesh. He was battered away just as quickly, but not before the two other flying capes grabbed hold of the chuck of flesh and peeled it back, creating one of the deepest wounds yet.
Leviathan appeared to be more annoyed than hurt at what was apparently just a superficial wound, and he batted the two flying capes away with an afterthought. They crumpled on impact against the side of building and fell into the water, motionless.
Hew down, CD-5. Strapping Lad down, CD-5. Intrepid down, CD-5.
The capes started staggering their attacks to try and keep Leviathan off balance, and it seemed to be working decently. There was enough pressure by the heavy hitters that Leviathan was having trouble keeping his ground, and wasn't getting that much offensive in, and what little he was getting in was being controlled.
Where there had once been Legend, Alexandria, and Legend, Narwhal was now at the forefront, erecting dozens of razor-like forcefields in front of her. Narwhal was to the Canadian cape scene to what the Triumvirate was to the Americans'. She wasn't as strong as them, not by half, but she had fought in nearly as many Endbringer fights, and she was one of the rare capes who had had a second trigger event.
Narwhal had gone from being simply a cape capable of creating very powerful force fields, to one capable of creating those force fields inside other people. She put that ability to good use as she sent her razor-thin projections forward, slicing deeply into Leviathan, deeper than anything yet.
Other capes joined in on the offensive, sending their collective firepower down onto the Endbringer. Harry redoubled on his starstorm, punching into the monster just as deeply as Narwhal's force fields.
Ichor poured from the wounds freely, and it really looked like they were starting to do actual damage. But, it was all a ruse, as seconds later, their armbands chirped out a warning.
Harry looked down at it and swore. A giant red exclamation mark. Tsunami.
Narwhal immediately changed focus, putting up defensive barriers instead of continuing with the attack. Others followed suit, and there was a bit of frantic shouting and what little protection the could put up to try and lock Leviathan in place, they tried.
Harry, for his part took off speeding towards the coastline, as fast as he could go. Transversing the city by air didn't take long, but he didn't know the area at all.
The tsunami was huge. Easily big enough to make it up the beach and into the city. That was bad. And it would get worse. Leviathan's tsunamis only got larger as the fight dragged on, and as far as Leviathan fights went, this was only the beginning. Either Leviathan would get driven off eventually, or the city would be renamed from Brockton Bay to Lake Brockton.
Harry had worked with Eidolon before in such a situation. Though, granted, not every situation was the same, but what was the same was how critical every second was. Eidolon was already moving across the coastline, pointing his hand at the tsunami.
He was having an effect, but it wasn't enough, and it wasn't quick enough. Visually, the wave was shrinking, but the wave was so big that it was barely noticeable. Seconds passed as it went from thirty feet, to twenty-nine feet, to twenty-eight feet. Eidolon was powerful, extremely powerful, perhaps the most powerful cape on the planet. Harry wouldn't argue against it, but no one was as strong as a force of nature, not even himself.
Harry added his power to the mix. The quickest solution, perhaps, was to turn what water he could, into ice. But that could go wrong on so many levels. Had, in the past. Not him, but a Tinker with an ice machine. The ice had ended up killing more capes than the Endbringer had, which should be considered no less than a catastrophic failure. Harry wouldn't chance it. Not unless there was literally no other option.
Instead, Harry raised both of his hands outwards and pushed. He had gotten into debates over the merits of using a staff versus a wand, and how a wand was best used for delicate work. This was anything but. This was just power.
The power to move mountains… perhaps not. But it was enough to give them an edge. He targeted the section of the tsunami that was closest to where the capes was fighting. He hated having to make that kind of choice, as much of the city would be hit by the full brunt of the wave, but focusing on where the other capes were fighting gave them a better chance of having the city actually still standing when it was over.
Harry's cape whipped up behind him as he exerted himself. It was like boring into concrete, using his mind, but slowly and surely, his magic punched through the tsunami, knocking a good chunk of height away. Moments later, the nearby water surged downwards to make up for the loss of momentum, but it was a good start.
By the time the tsunami made it ashore, that part of it was only a few feet high, and as it surged inwards, it was only enough to sweep people off their feet if they were still on the road, but not enough to crush them outright. It was like a flash flood, rather than utter destruction. Still dangerous, but manageable. Harry couldn't say the same about other parts of the city. Eidolon had done his best, but it was turmoil down on the streets.
Eidolon flew back into the action, now that the immediate danger had passed. There was still a lot of water on the battlefield, but it could have been much worse. Very few casualties came by on the armband, and even less deaths, but Harry didn't pay it any mind.
Despite the relatively low impact of the tsunami, the battlefield was still a mess. It was still flooded, and even a few inches of water could sweep someone off their feet. It was still very treacherous, and it made it hard for defenders to regroup. Harry didn't even see where Leviathan was.
Harry followed Eidolon back to where the fighting had been, and Eidolon immediately branched off with another cape called Myrddin, to work on damage control.
Myrddin was a bit hokey. Just the name alone was enough to cause Harry to roll his eyes. Myrddin was quite powerful, to be sure, but the whole wizarding look with a robe and a staff and the name… it was funny. He was also definitely not a wizard. It was one of the first leads Harry had followed upon finding himself in a strange parallel universe, but Myrddin was a cape just like everyone else. He had no magic at all. Harry hadn't found anyone here who did, not yet.
Myrddin wave his staff around, and in conjunction with Eidolon, the water in the streets began to dissipate into the air, forming a ball of vapor as it did so. Slowly, the water level began to go down.
In what felt like slow motion, Leviathan emerged from the top of building and leaped off, landing in a group of heroes that hadn't quite recovered from the water, and about half a block away from where Myrddin and Eidolon were working. Leviathan dispatched several of the capes before some hasty shields went up. They only lasted for a few seconds as Leviathan continued to rampaged through the city, unhindered, and striking at any cape that got close enough.
Just as Leviathan turned to go after Myrddin, the robed hero launched the extremely condensed ball of vapor at the beast. It slammed into it with far more force than anyone had expected, practically exploding as it impacted. It slammed Leviathan with enough force to knocked it backwards, off its feet, and into a building. It was enough that it took a few precious moments for Leviathan to recover and get back on its feet. It was enough time for the defenders to regroup once more.
Every second mattered.
Someone shouted something, and capes got to work immediately. The buildings around Leviathan seemed to warp, some sort of spatial power. The armband chirped. "Please evacuate the rooftops. They may come down imminently."
Shields went up, trying to hem Leviathan in before it could recover completely. Harry's armband chirped again, flashing red at the rooftops in question. Without waiting for clarification, Harry flew towards to rooftop, picked up the nearest cape, who, judging by costume was a local Ward, and flew him away, to another spot that the armband was pinging, this time in green. It wasn't as fast as the others, or as dignified, but it worked.
Harry didn't wait for thanks and immediately went back to go collect a second cape, but when he got there, everyone was gone. That was good, and bad. The bad part meant that there were a lot of casualties. He wasn't designated as a mover, but Dragon knew enough about him that he could act with one in a pinch. So, that he was pinged meant that they were low on movers, as well as low on defenders in general. Both not good signs, but there was nothing to do but keep moving forward.
Leviathan was well and truly locked in with layers upon layers of shields and force fields. The Endbringer thrashed backwards and forwards, breaking through a set of barriers only for another to go up immediately afterwards. They weren't stopping his progress, only impeding it. Leviathan would break free, and they were only delaying the inevitable.
At this point, that's what they were all doing. Delaying. They were buying enough time in hopes that Scion would come, or perhaps doing enough incremental damaged that added up enough to where Leviathan would retreat. Harry didn't think they were close to that. Not by half.
Harry did what he could, extruding stone out of the ground and into a wall. It wouldn't do much, but in conjunction with the others, every little bit helped. Not even five seconds after Harry had started making it, it got taken out with a heavy hit from a claw, and no sooner after it had been destroyed, Harry was already making another.
A shout went out, indecipherable in the wind from where Harry hovered, and a moment later, the entire building collapsed on top of Leviathan.
"Bastion deceased, CD-5," the armband called out. That was another good cape, gone.
"Forward, now," A different voice called out over the armband. Armsmaster's. He was the leader of the Brockton Bay division of the Protectorate. "We can't let him recover!"
Every cape in fighting condition, and even some who weren't, rushed forward to do what they could. But, for every cape that moved, there was one that couldn't. There were bodies everywhere. Not all capes, not even mostly capes, but enough to be noticeable. The water had a very noticeable tinge to it.
Harry joined in again. It was impossible to get any offense in while everyone was forting up, so Harry contributed what little he could. The issue was that the monster was just far too large to cage. He could conjure an own cage and make it unbreakable, but to make a cage large enough for Leviathan… it would never work. And it was something he had thought about before. Even ignoring his size, something being unbreakable was never a guaranteeable statement when a cape was involved, and Leviathan broke all sorts of rules.
Still, Harry did what he could, slowly morphing the rubble strewn over the beast into one interwoven mesh, making it much harder to shift. Leviathan was big, but in the face of a building, he was dwarfed. Still, it wouldn't stop him. They could still only stall, and if on the off chance the correct set of powers happened to intersect in a manner in which to be effective, they would do all they can to exploit that.
True to form, even with a truly gigantic building and a bunch of forcefields hemming him in, the weight shifted, and Leviathan clawed his way out despite the defender's best efforts. A building may have weighed thousands of tons, but Leviathan wasn't classified as a Brute nine for nothing.
The only cape with a higher brute rating was Behemoth. Even so, Harry didn't feel like the rating alone truly told how very dangerous the monster was. If anything, it undersold the fact.
They simply didn't have enough defensive power here. And wouldn't be in the future, with the loss of Bastion.
Leviathan breached through the building in a shower of debris, sending it at all of the defenders. Rebar, plywood and steel beams rocketed into the defenders, and Harry was powerless to stop it, and it wasn't for lack of trying.
It was frustrating for him. To have such power, yet still be utterly helpless to save people when it mattered. It almost felt like the time when he was a sixth year at Hogwarts and trying to fight Snape.
Harry would never give up though. That would never happen. Leviathan cleared the defenses and was racing down the street, and Harry was one of the few that was in a good enough position to follow, so he did.
Legend was right there as well, along with a few other fliers, most of them dressed in similar white garb. They all began strafing Leviathan, hoping that anything would be enough to slow him down for even a second. Harry joined in, sending gouts of flame down at Leviathan's back which served a dual purpose of both distracting him, as well as evaporating a decent amount of water. As they turned a corner, Harry spotted Eidolon working his power, teleporting a dozen people or more away from the scene.
Around the corner were capes who had managed to adapt and head the Endbringer off. At one end of the street was an unknown cape conjuring a ball of intense heat in her hands. It was growing slightly as she concentrated, and it was apparent that she would need some more time to get it bigger.
Leviathan charged into a group of defenders, knocking them away in pieces, and in the process, an image made of water surged where he had been, deluging the street. Harry was in there quickly, and with a swift, wide motion, he captured the water in a scintillating tornado. The water spout soaked up the water image and pulled it up into the air, where Harry used some intense fire to vaporize the water.
That, he could deal with, given the right timing. There was a huge difference between an ocean, and a couple tons of water.
Harry drifted off to the side as the image of water slowly dwindled to nothing, giving room to the other fliers who were in the air. A cape on the roof in front of him, dressed in some sort of stylized military gear, hefted a rocket launched and shot a round at the Leviathan. It exploded against him, mostly harmless.
Harry knew who she was, if only vaguely. She'd been to a few Endbringer fights, and was Armsmaster's second in command, Miss Militia. What he did know was that she could conjure weapons and ammo, so he was kind of perplexed when she pulled a shell with a blinking light out of her vest and loaded it into the tube. A moment later, a shower of bright sparks exploded against Leviathan, and part of his shoulder seemed to crystallize.
Some sort of Tinkertech, then. She loaded another round, and this one lazily lobbed out and bounced on the ground twice before exploding. The air seemed to shimmer and freeze in place, and the water that went in did not come out.
Whatever that was, seemed to get Leviathan's attention. He pulled himself away of the effect and immediate turned his attention to Miss Militia. Before she could even load another round, a spear of water was aimed in her direction, and she didn't even have a chance. It slammed into her, knocking her straight off the building and into the building behind her, where she then fell about six stories into the street below.
"Miss Militia down, CD-6."
As soon as the armband had called out she was down, not dead, Harry plunged towards the ground. She hadn't been more than twenty feet from him when she had got hit. He was the only one who had seen where she had fallen, and with how much water there was on the ground, there was no one else. She would drown beneath the water if she didn't succumb to her wounds first.
Harry splashed down next to her limp body and pulled her above the water. To his surprise, she sputtered and her right eye weakly opened. She coughed twice and spoke in a soft wheeze.. "Tell… tell Armsmaster that it was a pleasure to serve under him…"
Her eyes closed, but Harry wasn't having any of that. Her body was wrecked. Likely a broken back and a punctured rib, several other broken bones and blunt trauma… nothing he could heal in the field. So, he took out his wand, and with a careful swish, a golden aura enveloped her. She was alive, essentially petrified. Harry had first seen the spell used by Dumbledore about fifteen years ago, and it had never failed him.
With her in no danger of dying within the next few minutes, Harry pressed the button on his armband. "Hospital?" he asked into it quickly.
A second later, a location started blinking red on his armband. Immediately, Harry grabbed Miss Militia and flew towards towards the sector where the blinking light was. It was the only guidance Harry had as he had never been to Brockton Bay before, but luckily, the place was pretty easy find. It was large, with hospital-like signery on the side, so quite conspicuous.
The PRT members outside in defensive positions was a giveaway as well.
Harry swifty descended with the hero still frozen in his arms. As soon as he landed, one of the PRT members quickly radioed for a gourney, and a moment later, one was brought out by a handful of attendants. They moved as fast as anyone, looking extremely worn and harried, but they moved with purpose.
Harry gently set her down on the gourney, undoing his spell in the process, and took off back to the fight. There was no time to rest, and Miss Militia would at least now have a chance of survival.
The trip hadn't lasted more than a handful of minutes, but it had been costly. The armband announced a casualty about once every ten seconds, and in the two minutes it took, quite a few capes had perished.
Harry arrived back at the fight just in time to see Legend sniped out of the air by a jet of water, similar to what had happened to Miss Militia. He tumbled out of the air, but Harry was already there. He raised his hand and a gust of wind picked up, grabbing Legend out of the air. The leader of the Protectorate gathered his wits and reorientated himself, but not before Leviathan target another cape, grabbing him and smashing him on the edge of the roof.
Shielder deceased, CD-6.
A series of screams followed immediately after that announcement, but Leviathan continued his rampage, sending another cape into a building. It was the cape conjuring a super intense ball of fire, which winked out.
Sundancer down, CD-6.
Leviathan did not let up at all, as he summoned a maelstrom of water around him. It washed some of the capes near him away, though it did not kill any of them outright. However, the loose footing allowed Leviathan to catch a few of them by surprise.
Harry rushed downed and again created a tornado to try and relocate the water as he had done before, but he wasn't quick enough. Leviathan surged up through the water and was on Harry in a flash. Before he could even dodge, Leviathan whipped his tail and hit Harry solidly.
He arched through the air, like a homerun baseball, and he could not right himself in time. He must have flown well over two hundred feet before slamming through a window and into an apartment, and crumpled onto the ground ass over teakettle.
Harry winced and stayed still for a moment. Then, he slowly gathered himself up off of the ground and balanced himself. He wiped blood from under his nose and grimaced. It would take more than that to kill him, but he was not invulnerable.
He shook himself and stretched before taking back to the air. He had to be more careful. That was a good hit, and a better one might keep him from getting up altogether.
The fight was still going on fiercely, and again, multiple capes had died in the minute he had been out of action. Currently though, Leviathan was frozen mid leap. Not frozen like ice, frozen, as in stopped in time. Harry wouldn't have thought it was possible, but there it was. Harry didn't even know there was a time-control cape at the battle, though he knew they existed to some degree.
"Everyone listen," a voice came through his armband. It was Armsmaster again. "Leviathan is currently frozen in time," he said. "But it is not permanent. We have a few minutes, maybe as much as ten, but don't plan on it."
Armsmaster was near Leviathan, as were several other of the top capes. Eidolon, Chevallier, Myrddin. Alexandria still hadn't returned to the field, though Legend was up near Harry.
"We've taken heavy losses," Armsmaster continued. "He's intentionally gone after most of our defensive capes, but he is hurt. We just don't have the resources to continue. We don't have enough capes who can take a hit from him, so the original plan is no longer an option. Our goal is no longer to defeat Leviathan, but to control how much damage he does."
Armsmaster paused a moment to share a word with Eidolon before continuing. "We're going to spread out. Once Leviathan is free, he's likely going to look to leave, and it won't be clean. We've shown him a new trick today, and he's going to need time to heal what we have done. So, spread out, and keep him from hitting the more populated areas of the city."
Armsmaster stopped once more to talk with Eidolon again. "Eidolon is going to leave in a moment to go minimize the damage from the next wave, which will be coming shortly. In a moment, I will be sorting all of you, grouping us as effectively as possible. There's still hope yet that we might hurt this son of a bitch."
Armsmaster paused one final time, before adding, "And hopefully, Scion notices that there's an Endbringer roaming around here before we're all dead."
A moment later Harry's armband pinged, and Eidolon was speaking directly to him. "Enigma, I want you to come with me. We must focus all we can on stopping the next wave. We must trust that those in the city will be able to hold their ground."
Eidolon lifted up into the air and Harry followed behind as best as he could. The cape name Enigma was one that Eidolon had given to him years ago, but for all the fights they had been in together, they never really worked together all that often. Part of that was due to the armbands being a relatively new innovation, and another part was how little prep time there usually was. Most times when Harry went to a fight, the Endbringer was already there and attacking. That made coordination difficult at the best of times.
The amount of damage to the city was remarkable. Harry had definitely seen worse, but this felt like complete and utter destruction. There were parts of the city that were untouched, and dozens of skyscrapers had weathered the storm so far, but it was chilling, seeing all the debri piled up along the beach. There were cars in the ocean, and boats in the city.
The bay was roiling, and that was not a good sign. The tsunami wasn't there yet, but Harry could see the water slowly receding once more. In this distance, he could just barely see a line of water in the distance. Such was the problem of Leviathan's hydrokinesis power. It worked on a macro scale.
Harry had more time than last time, but he still wasn't sure if it would be enough. Regardless, Harry got to work. His plan needed a little bit more finesse, so as Eidolon went out to combat the wave itself, Harry started to conjure a windstorm.
It took a minute, maybe two, but he managed to get the speed of the wind up to galeforce and going in a vaguely counterflow situation, so as to smooth out the water itself. It helped a bit, and as he held the spell, the effect kept ramping up.
Harry couldn't get the whole bay, not even close, but he could get enough. The parts he could reach would just equalize with the part he was affecting, essentially neutralizing the oncoming wave with Eidolon's direct support.
The armband made a warning sound, followed by a flashing red exclamation mark, and suddenly, the wave was coming in. Leviathan's second wave was usually around fifty percent stronger than the first, but with a little teamwork, it was came through at about half strength. Still large and dangerous, and big enough to get up into the city, but it was manageable. Just barely.
With a sigh of relief, Harry flew back to the fight while Eidolon rejoined with Myrddin, to try the same trick they did earlier. There was still plenty of water on the battleground without the wave dumping the entire ocean into the city. Too much water.
Harry got back into the fight and watched as Armsmaster and another cape did their best to hem Leviathan in. The other cape was wearing metal armor, and seemed to be able to draw metal from other objects, making large sculptures out of them, or in this instance, thick girders to try and restrict Leviathan's movement. It was working, though only slightly. Armsmaster, for his part, was doing a good job of distracting Leviathan, and was able to get in and harry the Endbringer with his halber and somehow get out of striking range just in time.
On further inspection, there was a lot of metal and rubble around, presumably from when Leviathan broke free of the time stop and whatever cage had been constructed around him. He was just too large to contain effectively by physical means.
Behind Armsmaster and the other cape were an assortment of others, carefully staggered. Just by looking at them, it was easy to tell what kind of capes they were. One man stood about seven feet tall and built like a statue, and two others, sisters, perhaps twins, were growing at a noticeable rate and were nearly as tall as Leviathan. A few others were there as well. It was obvious they were all brutes of some sort, and Harry hoped they were durable enough to take a hit.
On the buildings and in the air around them were the long ranged attackers, what few there were left. They took the shots that they could while both being safe, and only when their shot was safe. There was too few capes left to risk friendly fire.
Armsmaster dropped back for a moment and a few other capes stepped forward to fill the gap. The twin giants and a bulky guy capable of flying. They harangued Leviathan from different sides while the other cape kept trying to cage Leviathan in with the remains of metal laying around.
There was not much Harry could do in this situation, except to wait for a shot. The giants were as tall as Leviathan, which made it hard to get a clear line of site. They were doing a good job of keep Leviathan hemmed in, unable to run back into the city. It was clear they've had plenty of practice fighting together, and it showed.
But… Leviathan jumped up into the air, onto the building, and then leaped right down onto one of the twin giants, pinning her to the ground. The other giant roared and anger and tried to pull him off, only to get knocked aside by the monster's prehensile tail. She was flung backwards into a building and could not get back up quickly enough. Leviathan then spent the next second eviscerating the giant on the ground, and all the capes around him could not stop it from happening.
Fenja deceased, CC-6
Leviathan took a ton of punishment as he destroyed the giant. A flying tinker was shooting laser from a floating at him and Legend was unloading as well. And another cape was unleashing a massive beam of light onto Leviathan, which seemed to do a lot of damage, just not enough. It was also bright enough that Harry couldn't even watch, almost like some sort of ion cannon.
The Endbringer jumped off the pulpy remains of Fenja and again leaped into the air, only to be tackled aside by the flying brute. Harry began to conjure another lightning storm in hopes of being able to keep Leviathan out of the air. It was risky, to be sure, but he was well-practiced with the spell.
Again, Leviathan jumped into the air. Most of the brutes were ground based, so it only made sense to go over them if possible. Harry chose that moment to strike, and a bolt of lightning slammed into the Endbringer, simultaneously with a massive beam of light, knocking the monster back down onto the ground.
Leviathan shrugged off the hit quickly enough and sent another brute through a building the process, and once more jumped, and once more got hit by another combination attack.
This time, Leviathan fell onto a lattice of upwards facing metal spikes, like punji sticks. They were cruel and crude, and thick, with barbs sticking out. A lesser monster would have been impaled, but Leviathan mostly crushed the spikes with his sheer bulk. A few of them cut into him, but only minorly. Whatever Leviathan's deeper hide was made of, it wasn't going to get punched by a simple blade.
Harry took that brief window and struck out. Leviathan, although not impaled, was still tangled up in all that metal. There was no real solid ground, at least not for the moment, so that was as good as it was going to get. He unloaded with his wand, flash of green curses, killing curses, splashed against the monster's body.
Hatred and anger Harry had in spades. It wasn't but a few minutes ago where he had been knocked across the sky and into a building. Harry wanted that beast dead more than anything else in the world, it and its two siblings. Leviathan alone had a civilian kill count in the tens of millions. Kyoshu and Newfoundland were simply gone because of the monster, and Harry would prefer to not add another location to that tally. Summoning up the willpower for the Killing Curse in this situation was far too easy.
The spells splashed across Leviathan's hide, like small green bolts of electricity dancing, and it seemed to crystallize what small portion of it that they touch. And Harry hit him a good dozen or more times, and the monster's skin was just crackling off where ever it was hit, but it really did not seem like it was having any more than a superficial effect. It wasn't even enough to get Leviathan's attention, as a moment later the beast freed himself from the jumble of metal, and had the metal-shaping cape in his claw as he did so. He squeezed, and the cape fell apart in two pieces.
Kaiser deceased, CC-6
Harry wasn't' surprised by the Killing Curse's ineffectiveness. It was hardly the first time that he had used it on an Endbringer. Oh, it would have been great, one simple spell and the scariest monster on the planet was simply dead. The problem was that. It was a monster. It wasn't human. It wasn't really even alive. Perhaps it had been at some time, but now, it was something else altogether, something that the Killing Curse had no effect against. And the Killing Curse worked on everything. Dragons, Basilisks, Nundu… and it worked on capes. He learned that the hard way, the unintentionally hard way. It's why he was extra careful now when he tried it, as the image of a flying cape accidentally getting in the way of the curse only to get snuffed out in an instant would be one that stuck with him for a long time to come.
Leviathan broke into a run, and what few defenders there were left did not seem to be enough. Legend, Armsmaster, and the other brutes that were still could not seem to pull his attention at all. The flying brute even slammed Leviathan into a building, only for the endbringer to practically ignore it completely.
The flying brute came for a second time, more from the front, and this time, Leviathan simply hopped up into the air, and came down straight on top of the cape. It wasn't pretty.
Aegis deceased, CC-6
Surging forwards, Leviathan's water image washed the remains of the fallen cape away, as well as causing all the others on the ground to lose their footing, at least briefly. Then, he was free of the defense, and into the city. A couple of the flying blasters stayed on him, firing as they could, and a few of the roof attackers managed to keep up on the roof, but Leviathan was fast. Far faster than he had any right to be, running along the water.
Harry pulled out all the stops, which was unfortunately few. Streams of Fiendfyre flowed from his wand and attached themselves to Leviathan's back, clinging to him even as the monster tried to wash himself off with another image. It burned into Leviathan's flesh, eating away at it slowly, and unaffected by the water. Small fiendish creatures could be seen dancing in the flames as cursed fire slowly roasted the monster.
Slowly, being the key part. Harry's hold over the spell was already faltering, though he managed to keep it up even as Leviathan made it three blocks deeper into the city. It was having an effect, and Leviathan outer flesh was all gone, and the flames were eating into the harder underflesh.
Eventually, the flames hit a point where they were eating away at that too, except Leviathan's regeneration rate was able to keep up with it. With a frustrated sigh, Harry cancelled the spell and charged forward to get closer in range. Legend had a good bead on him, so Harry just had to follow him.
Somehow, Armsmaster was suddenly there in front of Leviathan. Leviathan threw a wave of water at the tinker, but he jumped over it with ease. Leviathan tried to run by, and let go another image, and this time, Armsmaster shot something at the water which froze it in place and jumped over that as well. He did a parkour hop right over the Endbringer.
The tinker faced down the Endbringer and pulled out his second halberd and ignited it, for lack of a better term. There was a fuzzy aura around it, and when he touched it to Leviathan, it sliced into the hide like butter, far deeper than anything had before.
Dodging to the side just in time, Armsmaster attacked the tail, doing a cartwheel and nearly severing it in the process. That got Leviathan's full attention, but still, Armsmaster was too fast, and he targeted Leviathan's leg and carved a good chunk out of it,
Armsmaster popped back out of range momentarily, and deployed a grappling hook onto the facade of the building to get over a water image, before slamming his halberd down on the beast's tail once more. The tail fell off completely, twiched on the ground, and fell still. He spared only a single glance at the tail before continuing his assault and his attempt to get at the front leg.
Leviathan appeared to be frantic, spasming and rampaging at an attempt to catch Armsmaster, who always seemed to be just one step ahead, though just barely. He was having trouble getting back in close though, and Legend seemed to realize it at the same time. He strafed the monster, sending a plethora of razor thing lasers into the Endbringers hide. Yet, for all of his potency, he might as well have been giving the monster paper cuts. Leviathan all but ignored the Protectorate Leader, keeping his entire focus on Armsmaster.
Harry took the initiative to try something new, and waved his wand in an intricate spire. A sudden sudden boom echoed out, followed by an ear-splitting screeching sound. Leviathan was physically slammed into the ground from the sound. Some of the wounds along Leviathan's body seemed to curl up and smoke from the sonic screech, and the cuts that Legend had inflicted suddenly began to ooze a thick ichor.
Harry didn't buy it for a moment, and neither did Armsmaster, who darted in quickly and chopped at Leviathan's leg. It wasn't quite off all the way, reminding Harry a bit of a certain Gryffindor ghost, but it was almost gone. Another hit and it would be.
Leviathan actually backed away from Armsmaster, and Armsmaster pressed his advantage. Leviathan was practically a tripod. Other ranged attackers hemmed him in from the air, preventing him from moving too much.
Seconds later, just as Armsmaster was lunging forward about to strike a final blow to the appendage, Leviathan swerved sideways and caught the edge of the blade. It stuck, not penetrating, and then Leviathan grabbed Armamster and squeezed. Smoke poured out of his armor, and in one final motion, Leviathan pulled the tinker's arm straight off, halberd still in the hand's grasp, and discarded it to the side and then threw Armsmaster down to the ground like a piece of garbage.
Armsmaster down, CC-7
Everyone rushed forward in that instant, including a few capes that Harry hadn't seen battling much before. They were truly running low on defenders. A pair of flying capes swooped in and picked up Armsmaster off the ground as gouts of black darkness tried to obscure the Endbringer's vision while another was creating decoys made out of bugs, which Leviathan was actually spending a few seconds dismantling.
Armsmaster's extra-sharp halberd was picked up by another cape as Leviathan rushed down the road. Every cape was unloading into him, including Harry, but even with three and a quarter legs and no tail, he seemed completely unhindered. It was becoming readily apparent that none of the damage they had done this far had had any effect at all, and he used that to bait Armsmaster into making a critical mistake.
Suddenly, his armband spoke up. "Leviathan seems to have a target in mind," the voice said. Eidolon's this time.
Water rose up out of the sewers and his water image towered above the nearby buildings, and suddenly, he was just gone. Out of site. Harry flew up higher to get a better view.
It was a sad view. Beneath him were about thirty or forty capes surrounded by an obliterated city. There were thousands of cars flooded and flipped, and just as many buildings were shattered. Most concerning, however, was the distinct lack of an Endbringer.
Minutes ticked by as those caps more apt to discovered search high and low. It was surprising how a creature as large as Leviathan could hide. Somehow it did, but not for long.
Legend's voice came over the Armband. "Leviathan is targeting one of the shelters. All available capes, we need you to converge at the location being marked."
The armband pinged another location, and all of the capes moved there en masse, what little of them were left. As they got near to the location, Leviathan burst forth from under the ground, ambushing an unfortunate cape who had been at the wrong place at the right time. The shelter was just under a block away, so Harry went around the Endbringer while it was momentarily distracted in order to reinforce it.
Endbringer shelters were quite strong, but they weren't meant to survive an Endbringer directly. They were just meant to give a chance of survival from just being in the same state as one. There were hundreds of thousands of civilians, so for a city that took the initiative, it took a lot of money to build the necessary amount of shelters. Hundreds, if not thousands of shelters. It would be impossible to make every one of them strong enough to take a direct attack.
With a little help though, it might be possible to at least buy enough time to deter the monster. Several capes took incapacitating hits in an effort to keep Leviathan distracted, but Harry took the opening for what it was, and reached the entrance to the shelter with a few hundred feet to spare.
From what Harry could tell just by looking at where it was situated, it was one of the larger shelters. The was a damaged shopping mall nearby, as well as a plethora of fast food restaurants and there was a parking garage right above it. If Leviathan got into the shelter, it would be a massacre.
Harry flew in and landed right in front of the entrance and did not hesitate. Under his wand's ministrations, the ground around him slowly morphed up in front of the door. The entire stairwell essentially turned into solid ground, so Leviathan would have to quite literally dig his way through solid rock just to get to the reinforced bulwark.
Leviathan made it to the shelter just as Harry finished, and he had just enough time to fly back up into the air. There were capes scattered all around, some still fighting, but a bunch also on the ground, though not all dead. As soon as Leviathan got to where Harry had sealed off the entrance, he juked to the right, sending a cape made completely of metal, with a metal sword formed out of his hand, straight through a building. That cape was durable, but he was slow.
Leviathan raced down the next block, and it was anyone's guess as to where he was going now. Harry left his transfiguration in place, knowing that it would slowly revert back by itself in under an hour. But he had more important things to worry about, such as catching backup up to the Endbringer, who was fast. In a straight line, there was few that could keep up and stop on a dime like it could.
Harry went to pursue, but he didn't make it more than a block before his armband alerted him once more. Another wave alert with a red exclamation mark. Number three.
Harry swore under his breath and disengaged immediately. He rocketed towards the shore as fast as he could, with Eidolon doing the same, though he was off across the city doing something else. Probably stopping the city from collapsing on itself. He only spared a single glance backwards at Leviathan. It was tossing what looked like enlarged dogs to the side, slashing them in half with a single claw as he did so. He then slammed into the ground, forming a crater, before doing it again and again.
The fight was still going on, and there were still enough heavy hitters to where it wasn't over yet. Legend was still going, as was that cape who could fire massive columns of light. Although they weren't strong enough to actually damage Leviathan, they were knocking him around and staggering him a bit. There were others too, even some who had returned to the fight after being injured and healed up at the hospital. Harry had vaguely heard something about a local cape healer during the briefing.
Harry made it to the shore, along with Eidolon, but they didn't have as much time as they did previously. Was something interfering with the warning system, or had Harry just spent too much time flying? He didn't have time to contemplate that.
The water was already pulling out into the bay and he could see the tidal wave in the distance. Waves could move astonishingly fast, so Harry had to act just as fast. There just wasn't that many options, so he settled for raising pillars out of the bay.
They were thick, perhaps ten feet long and five feet wide, but each one took a critical few seconds to pull up. They would act as breakers, or simply break. And given that this was the third wave… well, Harry didn't want to dwell on the alternative, so he pulled up as many of them as he could in the time he had.
Harry had ten or so in total made when the wave struck. They barreled into them, and Harry wished he had managed more. Eidolon's ability to shrink the wave helped a bit, but it wasn't an ordinary wave, it was a wave generated by hydrokinesis. While the wave broke upon the pillars, it was still thousands of gallons of water surging into the bay, up the broken beach, and into the ruined city.
For the third time, Eidolon regrouped with Myrddin to run damage control, but it almost seemed hopeless. The center of the city was all but ruined, and Leviathan was still rampaging around inside of a deep crater, which was quickly filling up with water. He seemed to be fighting some sort of monstrous looking creature. It wasn't anywhere near the size of Leviathan, but it was bigger then the dog-like creatures he had seen fighting it a few minutes ago.
Harry flew in as fast as he could, but it wasn't fast enough, and in moments, Leviathan was lording over a puddle of gore while other capes still tried to fire down at it, what few there were left. He seemed to be ignoring everything thrown at him, and Harry instantly knew that that was a bad sign. Was the endbringer focusing on its powers?
Suddenly, there was a glowing light in the sky, and Scion was there. He wore a pure white costume, and his hair and skin were both a golden color, nearly too bright to look at, but Harry managed. There was no warning whatsoever, one minute he wasn't there, and a next he was, though Harry knew he was just flying extremely fast. Faster than sound.
He hovered in the air not more than a hundred feet away from Harry, and Harry was distinctly uncomfortable in the capes presence. There was just something off about him… perhaps the unrestrained power, or maybe it was just how… different he came off. Almost inhuman, as if he were an alien wearing the face of a human, but had no idea how humans acted.
Scion surveyed the scene in moments, and immediately fired a golden beam at Leviathan. That one was too bright, brighter than the sun, and Leviathan was running off like a scalded cat, racing for the water. Scion flew after him, shooting him several more times, but Leviathan made it to the water and was simply gone.
Scion did not follow, and instead returned the the massive crater that was there and fire a different, but still golden beam into it. And just like that, the storm was over, the water was calm, and the bay was smooth. He did not even pause to marvel at his handiwork before he was already flying out of the city.
It was over, and Leviathan was gone, but looking upon the ruined city, it did not feel like a victory.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is mostly just a writing exercise, maybe an experiment, with me trying out a few different things and concepts. The intent is to make a oneshot that can stand alone as a one shot, or if I'm bored and really want to continue a localized post-apocalyptic crossover with a potential HP/Miss Militia pairing, I could do that too. A few notes about the story - yes, Harry can apparate. He just doesn't want to give away all of his abilities, and he doesn't want to be pigeonholed to just be a teleporter like Strider. So he'd definitely have some sort of high Trump rating with a few subsets in probably mover and blaster, since that's what the public sees the most. The numbers don't really matter since they're not really consistent or indicative across the different power types - they don't give the full story. Also, if you've read my other stuff, you know I don't like the trope of just having an OP Harry coming into the new universe and completely steamrolling everything because lolmagic. That doesn't make for much of a story, no matter how much someone tries to twist it into thinking that that is the only logical outcome.