Like a Bunch of Other People
"This is not going to work."
"This is TOTALLY going to work," Reisen insisted, her indignation causing the wind on the rooftop to stir. "You rob banks for a living, how are you getting cold feet on a heist?"
"I'm not good at sneaky ambushes, everything I do gives off light," Fullbright complained. "Why can't we just have Amorphous drop a blob in the roadway and cut them off?" She jerked a thumb at the good doctor, sitting nearby with a grumpy expression and fiddling around with one of his blobs like it was silly putty. Monsterk4t, who was holding up a pair of binoculars to his face-mask in a position where his "eyes" would not have been able to see through them, gave a few shrill tweets in response.
"Exactly, and if Darrow reroutes after a botched heist they're not going to slip up again," Reisen said, giving the mute DJ supervillain a slight smile. "It's not like you two won't be helping, we WILL need to fight them off. Maybe through a slaughterhouse like in the game or something."
"...game?" Fullbright repeated. "Reisen please don't tell me you got this idea from a video game or something..."
"Here they come!" the robotic ninja Typhoon announced, suddenly springing to life from his meditative stance. "Ready your blades!"
Reisen and Fullbright put their gripes aside and dove into cover as the caravan turned around the corner and down the side street, a pair of Humvees leading a few trucks down the alley.
"My source has told me it's the blue triangle with the goods in it, friends," Dr. Amorphous reminded them. "Those fools will pay for what they did to me..."
"I see it," Reisen said, putting a hand to her headset. "It's coming up...steady...steady...NOW!"
The convoy's peaceful trundle through the backalley was interrupted by the sound of scrunching metal as a bulldozer burst from a locked warehouse gate. The Humvees barely slammed on their breaks before the loaded slammed into the side of the truck with the goods, lifting it into the air and carrying it right on through, the four-armed tarantula girl laughing maniacally the entire time.
"Well I'm glad Fangs is having fun," Fullbright remarked. "Let's go guys, after that bulldozer!"
A sudden burst of wind scattered the armed guards trying to dismount from the trucks as the villains descended on the convoy. Reisen stayed airborne throwing guards left and right as Typhoon flipped and spun his way through the crowd below her, landing killing blows on the guard Reisen flung with perfect precision. Amorphous' blobs went to work swallowing up the boots and guns of his hated enemies as MonsterK4t launched an acoustic blast that flipped one of the Humvee's over.
"Let's move team!" Fullbright shouted, manifesting a sword and shield of light and hewing her way through the goons. "Time to get our payday!" Reisen stifled a laugh as the villains fought their way through and chased after the runaway Fangs. MonsterK4t was still flipping cars with his sonic blasts when his friends were pushing through, and as he brought up the rear, he couldn't help but pause at the sight of the cubes scattered along the ground. Figuring they must have been in the truck that just got bulldozed, the mute villain stepped back as the strange cubes began to glow...
"See Caliber makes me think that you use guns," Terra commented, slurping the last bit of milkshake out of her cup before tossing it in the nearby trashcan."It's synonymous with stature too, Ter,"
Maddy Fen Ming insisted. "Not a common synonym admittedly but it's appropriate for something that's both big AND small."
"Still better then Valencium," Aleks said, finishing off their own milkshake as the trio meandered down the street. "I at least know what a Caliber is.""Oh come on, I panicked and it was the first thing I thought of!"
Maddy whined jokingly. "Superhero names are hard to come up with."
"Only cause you're too smart for your own good," Terra observed. "Seriously, that's a good name for your alter ego, but it needs something punchy, like...the incredible Caliber!" Maddy grinned and said nothing, trying to hide her reddening cheeks by taking a drink of her shake."I'm not THAT incredible, Ter..."
"Hey, I think it's pretty amazing you can do all that size change stuff," Aleks said. "I just hope I get to see you in action like Terra did."
And right at that moment, the barrier that the group crossed in front of exploded, and a cargo truck being carried by a bulldozer careened through, the driver cackling madly. Aleks took one look at the crazy procession and chucked the rest of their shake into the trash as well.
"Well, me and my big mouth."
"Come on Aleks, let's see where that bulldozer went," Terra piped up, grabbing her friend by the arm and tugging them along behind her. "You want to change and meet us there, Mads?""Er, sure, sounds good."
Moments later, Caliber emerged from the nearby alley and chased after the rampaging machine. She didn't have long to run however, and found the vehicle smashed halfway through a road divider, its wheels lifted off the ground and its engine smoking badly.
"Hey, it's a superhero! The Incredible Caliber!" Terra shouted excitedly from the nearby bush next to Aleks. Rolling her eyes, Caliber crossed over and yanked the door open, jumping back with a yelp as a giant hairy lady with four arms tumbled out.
"Whoooah..." Fangs said woozily. "That was wicked fun!"
Caliber crossed her arms impatiently. "Can I ask what you think you're doing, er, fuzzy woman?"
"She's helping us, of course."
Caliber turned around and had to restrain another yelp as a whole band of villains surrounded her threateningly, weapons and powers on display.
"That truck right there is our haul," the ringleader said, pointing a blade made of light at her. "A corrupted corporate treasure to be better serving the people."
"And REVENGE!" cried a deranged looking scientist.
"So I suggest you back down before we beat worse then the barbarians in Civilization 6," a woman floating on the air demanded of her.
"Hey, I know that reference!" the bush shouted before someone punched them.
"It is four versus one, tomodachi
," a robotic ninja stated. "It is best if you stand down.""I'm a lot more dangerous then I look,"
Caliber said, cracking a smile and preparing to change size. Before she could grow, however, a sixth team member ran up to the group, a character wearing some sort of electronic DJ headgear resembling a cat, who unleashed a series of beeps and whistles.
"Huh...what about a genie, Monsterk4t?" the ringleader said. "Wait...genie..."
"Uh, guys," the fuzzy woman suddenly spoke up. "What are all these cubes doing?"
All of them turned to look at the truck, which at this point had caught fire, its cargo of strange rainbow colored cubes spilling onto the ground, all vibrating and glowing brighter by the second.
"...wait, I remember something like that from the news," the girl floating in the air said. "Something about..."
"A game genie?!""Tawagoto!""TAKE COVER!!!"
Everyone ran for cover as the truck exploded in a fireball, a fireball that erupted into a rain of multicolored pixels and cubes. Soon a mob of pixelated bad guys began marching out of the rainbow fireball, with additional enemies bursting to life as the cubes thrown into the air hit the ground.
"It's Game Genie cubes!" Fullbright shouted over the din. "Darrow was trying to make their own Game Genie cubes!"
"Why couldn't it have been gold or something like that?" Reisen griped.
"No time to argue, we gotta fight our way out of here!""Hey, but aren't you supposed to be arrested or something?"
Caliber interrupted the villain conversation. Before she got an answer, laser blasts raked the ground near her as a group of giant robot wasps flew into view. Moving quickly, Caliber grew a couple stories and swatted the robots out of the air, catching one and scattering the other two.
"Yeesh," Fangs said, wrestling with a couple of Hammer Bros nearby. "I'm glad we didn't have to fight HER." Tensing her back muscles, fangs lifted up the two koopas and performed a suplex, pix-elating both of them.
"This is preferable, for these beings are truly worthy of my skills!" Typhoon cried out, slicing through a couple goons from the Ninja Gaiden games. Fullbright rolled her eyes before spotting a tossed sawblade fly towards her, just barely deflecting it with a beam of light.
"I'm gonna floss my teeth... with your face!" Fullbright turned to spot a bunch of shirtless lunatics in white masks charging out of the fire in all directions. The concise villain group soon found themselves scattered and separated, and the pixelated mob was harder to fight through then the corporate goons by a long shot.
Reisen flew through the streets, blasting away at goombas and robots before feeling something catch her behind the legs, falling to the ground, she soon found herself surrounded by viking-looking soldiers in blue cloaks and leather helmets.
"No flying away for you, Imperial scum!" one of the soldiers said.
"Skyrim belongs to the Nords!"
"Oh this is a treat," Reisen grumbled, blowing back the soldiers and flying back to her feet again. "Time to send you back to Sovvernguard or wherever you nuts like to g-"
Reisen turned around in time to see a giant of a man raising an axe over her head. Bracing for a hopeless dodge, the man suddenly roared in pain as a sword slashed across his chest and he collapsed to the ground. Reisen glanced at her savior, a swordswoman with an equally blue hairdo.
"This doesn't look like Ylisse at all," Lucina remarked, brandishing her blade at the Stormcloak soldiers. "Seems like you could still use a hand, though."
"Yeah, save my butt there princess," Reisen said, floating into the air again. "Want to wake your blade on these goons with me?"
Meanwhile, Caliber was exchanging blows with a Metal Gear at her giant size and had just downed one when something hit her in the head like a lead-lined fist. Just barely staying on her feet, she easily spotted a German Panzer IV tank trundling along the road, more realistic then the other pixelated monsters but just as fictional.
"Surrender, dummkopf!" came a comedic accented voice from within. "Stupid Amerikana and their fancy size changing technology!" Before Caliber could protest that she wasn't American at all, another shell rocketed past her from the opposite direction, exploding the German tank into a shower of pixelated flames. Caliber turned her head and spotted a T-34 roll up and come to a stop next to her.
"Tada!" came a voice from inside as Terra popped out of the top of the tank, inexplicably sporting a Russian military uniform. "Hey Caliber! I think that there must be some World War 2 shooters programmed into those cubes. Check what we found!""We?"
At that, the front hatch opened up and Aleks stuck their head out, sadly lacking the same uniform as Terra. "I think it's probably from Company of Heroes 2, actually," Aleks commented. "Since every shooter is about the Western Front and the Americans nowadays.""You sh-houldn't be in there!"
Caliber stammered at them. "You could get hurt!"
"Hey, I can handle this just fine. Not going to stand by and let you have all the fun!" And with a wink, Terra descended back into the tank, which trundled off to find more Nazis to run over. Feeling it was pointless to argue, Caliber turned back to the fight with the Metal Gears, only for something massive and heavy to swing right into her, smashing her into the nearby building. Catching her breath, Caliber realized the heavy thing was in fact a massive anchor, being swung by a familiar figure in a diving suit just as big as she was."Nautilus!?"
Kaliber asked."BEWARE THE DEPTHS!!!""Yep, definitely Nautilus."
Dodging under the second anchor blow with some creative shrinking, she was about to prepare for her next counter attack when the giant sea monster suddenly lurched as something flew out of the sky and slammed into him, knocking him into the building just as hard as he had flung Caliber into one. Nautilus recovered and attempted to counterattack, but the newcomer charged her eyebeams in response."Not this time, crazy anchor man!"
Voyager fired her Psi-Beam right into the center of the monster's visor, causing it to roar in pain before it exploded into a shower of pixelated debris. The space alien heroine pumped her fist in celebration and made to fly off."It's Nautilus, by the way,"
Caliber found herself saying."Hm?""Oh, the crazy anchor man. He's named Nautilus.""Oooh, I think I get it, thanks!"
Voyager pondered the giant superheroine for a moment. "Hey, wait a moment, I know you! You are the lady who can change sizes! You fought that strange rock robot!""Er, yeah, that's me. Caliber."
"A pleasure to meet you, Caliber!" Voyager said cheerily. "Here to help clean up the pixel monsters too?""Well, I was in the area..."
And so the two heroes went to work, fighting their way back towards the explosion and getting rid of the pixelated monsters, at least the ones attacking the city again. By the time the pair of them started working the police had arrived in force, and the rest of the fighting was fairly easy. Caliber handled the big guns while Voyager kept things clear of the small monsters. Soon enough, the mini-crisis was over and the scene had finally calmed down."A job well done!"
Voyager said proudly, dusting off her uniform. "We should do this again sometime, have a proper team-up. Are you local too, Caliber?""Sorta, yeah,"
the now normal-sized caliber said, feeling a little shy in Voyager's presence. "I'm just glad to help any way I can, really.""Me too!"
Voyager said cheerily. "It was nice to work with you, Miss Caliber!"
The size-changing heroine meekly smiled, which vanished as a news camera went off nearby. "Ugh, do they have to...?"
Voyager shrugged. "You get used to it, sometimes."
Before they could respond, a piercing shriek erupted from the crowd as one of the white-masked men sprang forward, a grenade in each hand.
"Drop-kick your babies!" the psycho shrieked. "I AM IMMORTAL!" The words barely left his mouth before a blast knocked him backwards and out of harms way, before he exploded into pixelated goo.
"Lucky me I brought my shotgun," Jordan Fletcher shouted over the crowd, cocking the gun and stowing it on her back. "I heard about what happened and hurried over. Someone told me Darrow was involved, so I wanted to be sure.""Well, I'm glad you came,"
Caliber said, looking noticeably paler. "I don't want to know if those grenades were real or not.""This was still fun, though!"
Voyager announced. "I do hope we can do this again sometime!"
"And hopefully for a long time afterwards!" Jordan said with a laugh."Haha, yeah,"
Caliber said, spotting Terra and Aleks waving at her from nearby. Terra still had the officers hat on. "Hopefully for a long time."
Voyager offered a handshake to the size-changing heroine, who accepted it. The cameras went wild.
"Oh I so do enjoy a happy ending!"
Sitting in Maddy's loft apartment, watching the scene unfold on her fancy TV Screen, Primetime leaned back on the sofa and unfolding his arms. Snapping his fingers, the TV set turned off on its own and the strange tv host alien leapt to his feet straightening his tie. Finding it satisfactory, he leaned over to scratch Maddy's cat Kaiser behind the ears, who either didn't notice or didn't care about the smiling alien creature in his owner's house.
"Course you were a bit late on the anniversary, but I suppose better late then never, eh?" Primetime snickered. "Ah, well. I'm sure if you would talk back, you wouldn't stop meowing about how wonderful all of these people and characters are, and how grateful you are to be a part of this. So chatty!"
Swirling his hand around a bit, he produced a shot glass, already filled with liquor. Walking over to the glass walls of the loft looking over the city, he raised a glass to the world outside.
"Here's to you, friends. Five incredible years, and many more to go!"