Wards: Protean, the Protectorate's Strongest Part II
And just like that the biggest battle, or at least the most important battle, of the Wards' young careers began. None of the teens were willing to back down to Protean's request that he be left alone to leave in peace, each one taking immediate action against the former trainer, former senior, former friend. Even though it was five on one the fight was sure to be highly taxing, as evidenced by Protean's initial demonstration. How could you fight someone who could conceivably do anything at any moment? Remotely, that was Tulpa's strategy as she manifested her projection from a suitably safe distance. The alien-like creature took a form suitable for direct confrontation, opting to absorb Protean's initial punch head on and anchoring itself to the floor. The claw had already retracted a safe distance before the projection's static field erupted outward, truly an incomprehensible speed.
The tulpa launched a counter attack, whilst Tiger Lily opted to run by Protean to reach the lobby, Mastar decided to hurl globs of tar at Protean's claws, and Messiah took a more support role than she usually stuck to, by emitting a bright blinding light. By the same merit as Tulpa, Margrave took to a "fight from further back" approach, unleashing a barrage of public brand safe rubber ammunition. He, and the rest of the Wards, were about to learn that lethal force would be necessary to have even a hope of incapacitating a high ranking brute like Protean.
"Predictable," the enemy quipped as he reacted to the five way assault. While his eyes certainly shut, incapable of operating under the conditions set by Messiah, he seemed to have zero trouble continuing to sense his opponents and operate efficiently. Perhaps it was those antennae he had sprouted, or some other animal organs that provided extra senses that were not so easily visible. The globs of tar wound up missing completely as he maneuvered himself into a new battle position, the black sticky stuff plastering onto the walls and floor around him. His claws opened up, revealing some strange orifice in the center: one pointed at the tulpa and one at the doorway Tiger Lily was trying to escape through. Spider silk shot out from both openings like a fire hose, blocking off the doorway with thick sticky webbing while the projection suddenly found itself entangled. The silk smoked a bit, heating up from the energy field, but otherwise acted as a strong insulator, and an efficient capturing tool. Meanwhile, the Margrave's rubber bullets bounced harmlessly off Protean's skin, leaving nary a mark.
"I taught you kids better than that," he continued, his left claw morphing before their eyes. Elongating, thinning out, stretching out toward Tiger Lily. It solidified into a king cobra, complete with eyes, tongue, and fangs, darting through the air directly for the young Ward."Appropriate force, Wards. These tactics work on lesser paras. I'm made of tougher stuff!!" Just then a number of sharp, pointed quills grew out from his main body, which fired outward with impressive force in nearly every direction. Tiger Lily was safe, probably because he did not want to risk hitting his own cobra arm, as was Margrave and Tulpa due to their distance, but the rest of the Wards as well as Tulpa's creation could not say the same.
"Now now, just what is it that you hope to accomplish?" the green clad tinker chided Thunderbolt, pausing his menacing advance for but a moment. "It is not as though you are impeding me in any manner. If your goal is to annoy me, then you have vastly overestimated your importance to my life."
Regardless of Thunderbolt's actual intentions, forcing Dr. Dean to stop for that lecture did buy his comrades a few precious seconds with which to reorganize themselves, mostly in having Alloy reconnect with Whimsy and Chatterbox. If this tinker could somehow still affect Whimsy despite the use of her power, then it stood to reason that the reverse would be equally true, at least that's the thought process that they had of the situation. It was more an act of desperation, but in all reality what other options did they have? Alloy made contact with the youngest member of the crew and thus fell under the influence of Whimsy power to "ignore" things. Then the lightning flew.
"What's this?" the maniac tilted his head at the display, his reaction time overall quite slow. The analysis of his helmet fed him information that was crucial, but he remained too slow to act upon it. If he had one weakness above all others (setting aside his pride), it seemed to be that he was not used to having to fight, and thus his reaction time left much to be desired. Only a single finger extended out toward a button on his suit by the time the lightning phased straight through Thunderbolt, and surged directly into Dean. "AAAAARRRRGGGHHH!!!"
The force of the convulsions threw the man tinker back, a good several feet away from Thunderbolt. He lay in a pile of upending chairs, smoke rising up from his green cloak, which had caught aflame. No longer was he translucent, but a solid tangible mass. The tactic had worked perfectly, and Headhunter could even target him now.
"Ugh," he grunted, standing up as he discarded his green cloak and hood. What remained was unmistakably a suit of power armor, slimmer than most others built by combat tinkers, but no less a technological marvel. "I have underestimated you. Impressive." The tinker pressed a button on his belt, the same one that he had gone for before, when suddenly he completely vanished from sight. Was this some form of invisibility or cloaking? No, if it were then Headhunter would still be able to target him, but only received static at the moment. But that left another concern, a more immediately pressing one. In Dr. Dean's place was a small green orb with a red LED, which was flashing faster and faster. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beepbeepbeepbeepbeepbeepbeepbeepbeepbeep.