One Psionic Headache
Location: Pacific Point, CA
One Month Later…
While he did leave Gajana and Firefox in a condition that was of great concern, The Wanderer had pulled through it and had almost returned to normal. The mutant had kept a low profile since then as the revelation that he was from the future had made those who had heard him declare it skeptical of him as a person itself. While it didn’t concern him that people might not believe his word on his origin, but the view that he could be ‘insane’ was something that did. With that, he kept it from everyone else that he did come across and kept his presence unknown. This was despite the fact that he was one of the heroes in Pacific Point that helped with the enraged metahumans that had appeared out of nowhere in the city. While there had been a few questions about where one of the heroes, Voyager, had been a month ago, the news of her being in Lost Haven to fight the Hounds of Humanity was enough to answer them. But the news about him had been made, his disappearance also making the pages of the news, kept appearing in one form or another.
If I am declared a hero by the people my ancestors grouped with, then so be it.
The Wanderer had wandered the streets, trying to avoid the eyes of onlookers as he continued to nurse the almost-healed injuries from the month before. The time he took off was good for his recovery, the strength of his psionics returning to 100% afterwards. In fact, the mutant had noticed that there was a larger capacity within him than before and that reflected in the strength of his psionics. Not only he noticed it, but the control he had before the time jump had returned to him. Now he was able to control the full extent of his psionics with the right amount of power. With the Hounds of Humanity also being no more, his focus had turned away from them and slowly return to figuring out the calamity that was to happen that cause the apocalypse in his time. Meanwhile, he slowly began to work in the city helping those in need from the crimes that he thought were abhorrent to have in this society.
From the corner of his eyes, he sees a disturbance in a grocery shop in the street. Two men had began the proceedings of robbing the store, a gun in one guy’s hand and a baseball bat in another. Sighing, The Wanderer crossed the road towards the store, his eyes fixated on the two men. With the same confident strides as when he faced the metahumans, he walked into the store. After a few shouts and sounds of a scuffle, both the robbers were hurled out of the window. From inside, a voice calmly came out of the door. ”Call the police. I’ll keep them under wraps. Look after their weapons as the police will need them to send these guys down.” With that, he walked out and began walking towards the thrown men, slowly getting up in a daze.
“Useless idiots,” grumbled an unseen man overlooking the commotion in front of the store from the rooftop of the post office. “Can’t even bait the right muties out.” Grumbling, he heaved the massive silver case lying next to him onto its side and began punching in the password, allowing the crate to open with a hiss.
“The Hounds may be down,” the man said solemnly, taking a moment to admire his precious cargo. “But humanity is not going to fall to these abominations. No, not while I have anything to say about it.” Adjusting the black armband with the homemade logo, the man removed the long tube of a rocket launcher from the case; evidence from a Hounds armory that was misplaced by the Pacific Point police department before he was unceremoniously fired by said police department for “losing” evidence.
“I wanted the growing girl, or one of those animal freak shows,” the man mused, loading in a deadly payload and hoisting the whole setup onto his shoulder. “I guess this one will have to do.” Putting his eye to the viewpiece, he placed the back of Wanderer’s head right in the crosshairs, but was stymied when his view began to drift up and to the left from a sudden weight on the back end of the launcher.
“Wha….who the ...?” the man spluttered as his view began to dance back and forth. Turning his head around, he glanced up at the alien heroine Voyager, pushing the back end of the launcher back and forth with one finger playfully. Looking up, the alien caught the would-be killer’s gaze and smiled cheerily.
”I was wondering how long it would take you to notice,” Voyager said. ”I was not overly annoying, I hope.”
Answering with a violent swear, the man swung Voyager off the end of the launcher, turning it towards her and slamming on the trigger, filled with glee at the prospect of taking this popular freak with him in a blaze of glory. Voyager lurched backwards as the rocket sprung from the weapon with a blaze, but the explosion did not come. Staring in disbelief, the man’s jaw dropped as he saw the rocket he fired suspended in a hazy purple energy field between both of Voyager’s hands.
”Ooh, it works!” Voyager said excitedly as the flaming tail of the rocket went out. ”You said it disarms if the tail goes out, right?”
“Yeah, it’s a safety feature, in case it flies into the sky and stuff like that,” Jordan Fletcher remarked on the other end of Voyager’s communicator, breezing through the specs of the would-be terrorist’s weapon.
”Then that means…” Voyager said, trailing off as she turned her attention back to the rocket. Clenching her fingers slightly, the rocket began to pucker and distort, crushing itself into a misshapen lump of metal. The terrorist mumbled nonsense words under his breath as Voyager released her grip and the busted rocket fell to the ground with a soft ‘plink’.
”Those things are dangerous, you know!” Voyager scolded the terrorist wannabe, dusting off her superhero suit, updated with silver garnish to match the purple. This was the final straw for the terrorist, and with a primal scream of rage, he tried to swing the launcher around to clobber her and promptly lost his balance and caught his heel on the edge of the roof. Feeling his life flash before his eyes, the terrorist felt himself topple over the side before what felt like a cloud of static caught him, slowing in midair. Looking around in a panic, he recognized the same purple haze that stopped the rocket now holding him like a cloud.
”Hey, that is dangerous too!” Voyager called out, poking over the edge with her hands out in front of her, concentration evident in her voice.
“PUT ME DOWN YOU MUTIE FREAK!!!!”
The man screamed as the cloud suddenly gave way and he began falling, only to stop again as he landed face-first in a bush.
”Now you stay there and -unf- think about what you did!” Voyager called out, grunting as she picked up the rocket launcher, figuring out that best way to disable it was breaking off important looking chunks. ”Or...something like that. Just sit there!”
As the two men finally came to their senses, the mutant had reached them. Grabbing the pair of them, The Wanderer extended his arms. In one, violent motion, he whipped them towards each other. The resulting impact that the two men faced was enough to send them unconscious. Satisfied with the result, he threw the two men back towards the convenience store, the pair of them collapsing into a heap when they stopped.
Sensing that his job here was done, The Wanderer began to walk away from the scene. The only thing that stopped him was a yell from behind. He turned to where he thought he heard the sound from and managed to catch a glimpse of a man starting to fall from the top of the building to the bushes below. While there wasn’t much he could do for the fallen man, his steeled gaze focused on the person on the rooftop. While it had faded from view, the mutant’s psionic eye noticed a disturbance in the air above where the man had fallen into the bushes. It can’t be psionics, can it? he thought, wondering on the thought. While he knew he was still looking for the one called Voyager, the figure up on the rooftop didn’t act like a hero.
The only conclusion he had: a new threat had arrived and he had to deal with it.
In his mind, the thought of him facing a possible person with psionic potential had been realized when he watched them take something off of a tube that he recognized as a rocket launcher. With civilians around, he knew he had to act quickly before any damage could be done. He raised his right arm up into the air, his right hand in the direction of the figure on the rooftop.
”Don’t think I’d let you use that here, you bastard!” he called out to figure, his eyes steeling in preparation of what was to come next. Without much concentration, he allowed the purple flames of his psionics envelop his body. A moment later, a beam shot out of his raised hand, the beam surging towards the figure with speed right as his opponent looked up.
Voyager barely had time to throw up a PsiBarrier in front of her eyes before the beam collided with her, producing an almighty bang and, oddly enough, a mauve cloud of dissipated entry. Thrown backwards by the blast but remaining upright, Voyager steeled herself and kicked off the ground into the air.
”I am made of tougher stuff then that!” she declared triumphantly. ”But if you seek to play the proverbial “hard ball”…!” Determined to stop what must be the ringleader of these bandits, Voyager tilted forward and flew right at her assailant, chucking PsiBlasts with each hand.
Just as I had feared, The Wanderer thought. While the dust kicked up from the impact had blinded his normal eye of its vision, the psionics the figure used was clear as day in the other eye. The purple mist created turbulence in the psionic energy throughout the area, the mist itself appearing as a lighter shade of purple in his psionic eye. This isn’t going to go down as easy as I thought.
With him now knowing that he was fighting someone else who was capable of using psionics, he knew he had to end this fight quickly. That would be a challenge, though, as it was apparent shortly afterwards that the figure was capable of flight using psychic energy. As they declared themselves to be tough, her voice betraying her gender, she began flying through the air towards him, firing balls of energy at him. With him watching what his opponent was doing, only one word escaped his lips in a mutter.
With his right hand now lowered, he raised his left to create a barrier. While he would normally cast a dome-shaped wall to protect himself, he created a concave wall. With that, the blasts of psionic energy from her would destroy themselves safely without harming any observers of the fight. But the destruction of the blasts also would act as a catalyst for what he planned next.
As the first of the blasts exploded safely against the barrier, The Wanderer clenched his left fist. The barrier seemed to have disappeared in a concussive wave of an explosion. The leftover remnants of the blasts’ explosion re-exploded and kicked up the dust and smoke forward back at the figure.
As she charged into the smoke, a declaration was said to her. ”Don’t get cocky! You have no idea on the full extent of psionics!” His voice sounded scarily close, despite appearing far away prior to the explosion. Before she knew what was happening, The Wanderer shot beside her, purple flames enveloping his entire body. As soon as the smoke formed, he engaged his aura and surged forward on his legs. His right hand clasped her right shoulder and his left grasping the uniform on her right hip. With his strength imbued with his enhanced psionics, he whipped his body around. He released his grip on her. The momentum of her flight with his added strength sent her flying towards the ground with force.
Once gravity had brought him back to the ground, The Wanderer’s body skidded along the tarmac on his left hand and knees as he watches for movement of his opponent. His right hand was poised ready to attack in case they tried to get back up.
Voyager wasn’t downed, mostly thanks to some well-timed Psibarriers and her inhuman physiology, but she was certainly rattled. Shaking her head to reorient herself, she leapt to her feet in one elegant, agile movement, wobbling slightly as she recovered from the body slam.
”Oof...well at least I am awake and alert now...if rather bruised.” Brushing her tentacle hair aside, she lowered into a fighting stance only to stop short at the sight of her opponent, more out of surprise then anything else.
In all honesty, The Wanderer had wanted the last attack to have worked and not wanted to resort to further violence. However, as soon as she got back onto her feet, he sighed. ”If only you had stayed down,” he muttered to himself. While his aura was still on, he summoned his trusted psionic weapon: his psionic blade. With the same sudden speed as before, he launched himself forward, the blade forming an arc to attack the mysterious figure.
”Hey, do we not know each other from somewhere?” Voyager pondered, just barely dodging the shimmering blade. ”Wait...yes, that strange dream! With the space dragon and the wolf!”
As he watched as the person he was fighting dodged his attacks, the sudden change in tactics from all out assault had puzzled him. If she said she was ‘made of tougher stuff’, then why is she all of a sudden dodging? he thought. If someone wanted to prove that they were tough, at least from his experience, they’d be going all out to prove that point. So why? Why change tactics all of a sudden.
As his attack missed, The Wanderer planted the blade into the tarmac, allowing him to skid in a near-circle to face her again. ”What’s the matter, figuring out that you’re biting off more than you can chew?” he barked, raising his right hand. In another change in tactic, he stopped using his psionic aura around him. If she’s not going to attack, then I can focus on other abilities. ”If you’re not going fight me, I’ll go on ahead and beat the living tar out of you. Then you’ll give me the answers to how you know about the Psionic Nexus, cooperatively or not.”
”The Psionic What?” Voyager asked, more then a little indignant. “The only Nexus I know about is the weird ribbon thingy from Star Trek Generations, and that was just a heaven-thingy, or something.”
As soon as she raised questions about the identity of the Psionic Nexus, The Wanderer had hesitated. She doesn’t know about it being the entity behind the psionic energy? First the dodging, now this? With her sudden referencing of something relating to a Nexus, he was beginning to question who this woman was. The conclusion in mind was either a very talkative bad guy, like The Officer, or someone who had caught his attention at the wrong place at the wrong time.
”I’m just trying to help and you are trying to interrogate me? That’s just...aaah!”
Without so much as a warning, Voyager charged forward and jumped at him, the Wanderer flinching at her sudden charge, getting ready to fight in close quarters when it came to it. A distraction technique aimed to lower my guard? his initial thoughts were. As he was ready to counter the move, he couldn’t hold his surprise when the woman had grappled him. Then, the all too familiar sounds of gunfire exploded in his ears from behind, Voyager wincing as the bullets bounced off the PsiBarrier protecting her arms and the Wanderer’s upper back.
“Mutie freaks!” the rocket launcher man screamed at the two of them, firing wildly with an undiscovered revolver, his face bleeding and raw from his fall into the bushes. “Scum-sucking parasites! Inhuman pieces of sh-”
”Watch your mouth!” Voyager cut off, her eyes turning a gleaming shade of solid violet, before firing off a PsiBeam. The angry radical yelped in pain as the beam annihilated the gun in his hand, seconds before he was body-slammed to the ground by one of the nearby officers.
“I’LL KILL YOU VOYAGER!!!” the man screamed as he was unceremoniously cuffed by the officer. “YOU AND THE REST OF YOUR FUCKING FREAK SHOW!!! THEY’LL BUILD STATUES OF ME FOR SAVING HUMANITY FROM YOUR KIND!!!”
”It will be nice when they do not show up anymore,” Voyager said with a sigh, still clinging around Wanderer’s neck.
The mutant’s head turned to see who was firing at them. He recognized the man was thrown off of the roof a moment earlier. In that split second, the pieces fit together. So he was the one who was about to use the rocket launcher and not her? This entire time, his assumptions of the woman, alien-like in appearance, was wrong.
Before he had a chance to think about teleporting and disabling the threat, the woman managed to destroy the revolver in hand. As the authorities took the man down, he paid very close attention to what the man was saying. His eyes widened when he learnt the identity of the woman that had her arms around his shoulders. All this time, I’ve been fighting Voyager? It wasn’t something that he was expecting, his search for her lasting a month since being told to find her. The Wanderer turned his attention back to Voyager.
”So…” she said, grinning sheepishly .”We were fighting, yes?”
A chuckle escaped his lips. ”We were fighting,” he replied. A moment later, the sound of the psionic blade disappeared as it vanished. ”But seeing as I now know who you are, I no longer need to.” Placing both hands underneath her arm, he removed her from around his shoulders and placed her on the ground. His eyes and body then turned to focus on the three men being led away by the police. ”I take it that those guys were former members of the Hounds?”
”It is hard to say,” Voyager said, dusting herself off. ”Probably just admirers. He is not the first guy I caught in the last month who screamed about muties.”
”To be honest, whether he’s an admirer or not, I wouldn’t blame him. With those Hound bastards using devices that changed regular metahumans into tough berserkers that rampaged through the city, I bet there will be a handful of people who think they are dangerous. Just glad that they were dealt with while you were fighting them in the other city.”
”Yeah, I wanted to stay and help but the Finger of God was definitely more of a priority,” Voyager mused, a bit of guilt in her voice as she took in the appearance of the Wanderer. Even a month after that vision his face had not faded from her memory. Whoever he was, he had to be important to whatever gave her that vision.
”So..uh...you mentioned something about a Nexus?”