The Crime Fighters in:
And Some Have Greatness Thrust Upon Them
Michelle steered the frantically bouncing vehicle down the road, ignoring the complaints of her passengers. They were pretty crowded, and at least two of the policemen were badly burned, but the car was the only vehicle Silver Bolt had left them. The police cars were all burned beyond any hope of repair, and Robert had wrecked the radiator on the truck. Fortunately, Michelle had found the villain's own car, hidden a few yards from the dig.
She found herself wondering, not for the first time, what exactly she was going to do once she got back to town. She, at least, knew more about the origin of these powers than the police did, but she didn't know if that would help her. Maybe more powerful weapons, and armored vehicles like tanks might be able to stop Silver Bolt, but then again maybe they couldn't.
"Robert. . ." she muttered. "Please be okay."
She cried out as lightning struck the road in front of her. The car skidded as she swerved to one side, and slid sideways. The man in black was standing there, the back of the car swinging around to strike him. There was a whiff of ozone, as Silver Bolt crossed his arms in front of him, and the car slammed into a glittering field of blue. Michelle was thrown around in her seat as the car reversed direction, spinning to a halt in the sand. Silver Bolt stood there, unmoving, as if the car that had hit him weighed no more than a feather.
"Everyone okay?" She called out, to the policemen. Most of them managed to nod. Several of them would probably need a doctor soon. But at least everyone seemed all right for now.
Two of the men, the Lieutenant in charge, and one of his less injured officers, drew their guns. "We will draw him away," the Lieutenant said, in Egyptian.
Michelle shook her head. "It's me he's after. It'd be better if I go with you."
Silver Bolt still stood there, watching. His force field was gone, but the sparks still leaped up to surround his body. He seemed to be summoning the lightning from the earth itself. He was behind them, and towards the passenger side of the car, so Michelle edged out on the driver's side. The Lieutenant and his officer followed her, their guns at the ready.
"Nice to meet you again, Miss Bertrand!" Silver Bolt called out. "Why don't you come out where I can see you better?"
Michelle put a finger to her mouth. "We've got to delay him until. . . um, until my friend gets here," she said. "Keep him talking."
"If he's here, what makes you think your friend is coming?" He held up his gun. "Why don't you try to distract him. I'll circle around the car and try and get a shot at him at point blank range. If he can't concentrate to form that force field. . ."
"No! It's too dangerous!" Michelle took a deep breath. "My friend will be here. . . I know he will."
She paused a moment, then spoke up. "What do you want?" She asked, in English.
"Your friend doesn't want to cooperate," Silver Bolt told her. "If you talk him into helping me, I'll spare his life. I promise."
"Your promise doesn't mean anything to me!" Michelle snapped. "You killed my father!"
"Do you know how many fathers I have killed?"
Michelle said nothing. "That's in the past. I can't undo it. But you do have the chance to save the life of your boyfriend. If you help me, I won't have to kill him. I won't have to kill anyone."
"Why don't I believe you?"
"I don't know. I could have killed those policemen at any time. They were, after all, trying to kill me. And they knew the risks. But I knew they couldn't hurt me. So I spared them. And I spared you."
"You call that 'sparing' them?! Just burning them, instead of killing them?"
"They'll be fine, with a little hospital care. Believe me, I know exactly what the human body can take. But they'll never get to that hospital if you don't help me. . ."
"That's blackmail. . ."
"Call it what you like. I have the power to save them. All you have to do is help me."
"Forget it! The powers of the Crime Fighters were meant to be used for good. You've stolen them! I'm sure not going to help you steal the rest of them."
Silver Bolt just laughed. "Oh, give me a break. Do you really think this is the result of some mystical prophecy? If I hadn't stumbled across the Power Chamber, or your father hadn't, someone else would have. And do you really think the original Crime Fighters were some sort of heroes for truth and justice? They were religious bigots, for heaven's sake! Ancient Egypt's version of the Inquisition!"
"I've as much right to these powers as anyone else. More, in fact, since I've seen what power can do to people. You believe in heroes. But there's no such thing."
"My father was a hero," Michelle said. "At least, to me. And I don't think power would have changed him."
"That's just as bad. Do you really think that a handful of archeologists, would have had what it takes to take on the Mob? Or political corruption? Or war?"
Michelle stared at him for a moment. "Is that the way you see yourself? A god to straighten out our world? An avenging angel?"
There was a long silence. "All I want is to be left alone," he finally said.
He looked up at a sound from above. "Ah. Your protector has arrived."
Blue Diamond was rocketing towards them, a streak of blue high above the desert sands. Jade Dragon followed close behind, a tendril of green extending from him to Element Dog, helping the winged canine keep up. As they neared, however, Element Dog dived out of Jade's Dragon's mist, shooting forward to catch up with Blue Diamond. They settled onto the sand side by side, the dog's golden wings fluttering as he landed.
"We fight together," the dog stated. "Strong together."
"You go low, I'll go high," Blue Diamond answered.
Jade Dragon landed in front of both of them. "Not yet. Let me handle this."
"Let Miss Betrand and the others go."
"Go where?" Silver Bolt said, with a smile. "Even assuming that my car survived that crash, we're in the middle of the desert. It's several miles to the nearest town."
"What do you want, Silver Bolt?" He glanced at Michelle. "Our cooperation, in exchange for the hostages?"
Silver Bolt laughed. "I'm not going to be able to fight very well if I'm holding hostages, now am I? Miss Bertrand has served her purpose. She got you here."
"So you don't mind if I make sure that they are safe."
"Not at all."
"Miss Bertrand," Jade Dragon called out to her. "You and the police officers take shelter inside the car. It should be solid enough to protect you."
"Are. . . are you sure we'll be safe?" She looked at Silver Bolt.
"I have no intention of attacking you again, Miss Bertrand," Silver Bolt told her. "This is between myself, your friend, and his two allies." He grinned at Jade Dragon. "Of course, if one of them tries to run away. . ."
Michelle quickly gathered up the two police officers, and they joined the other Egyptians in the car. As soon as they were out of sight, Silver Bolt spoke again. "As I said, Mister Jade Dragon, you do not even have to be conscious for this. Obviously I would be wasting my time to try and bargain with you, but I will give you one last chance to cooperate. It will be a lot easier on all of us."
"You sound pretty confident for a guy who is outnumbered three to one."
"Yes, but I know the extent of my powers, and you don't. Personally, I think we're evenly matched, but I'm willing to take the chance that I can beat you. You two are good, but you're also inexperienced. This may be my best chance to take you on."
"Or you can take what you've got, and leave, now," Jade Dragon countered. "That offer works both ways."
Silver Bolt laughed. "You have no intention of letting me go. If you do let me go now, you will track me down and try again once you've learned how to use your powers. No, this is the time, and this is the place. The time for talk is over."
Jade Dragon glanced back and Blue Diamond, and his friend answered with a smirk. He gestured off to the right, to Element Dog. They circled around Silver Bolt, Jade Dragon moving around behind him, while the other two took up positions to his right and left.
The red haired villain eyed his three opponents as they surrounded him. He crouched into a battle stance, relaxed, but ready. As one, Jade Dragon and Blue Diamond charged him, the dog reacting a moment later.
Silver Bolt moved in block Jade Dragon's charge, catching him across the head with a blow that left the taller man sprawled on the ground. He then twisted around, ducking a swing by Blue Diamond, and brought his leg around in a roundhouse kick. Blue Diamond blocked the attack, however, drawing back for a punch of his own that Silver Bolt barely avoided.
The battle seemed evenly matched, but then Element Dog came up from behind. He leaped, grabbing the man's arm, and pulling him off balance. Blue Diamond took advantage of the opening, landing two solid blows. The impact knocked Silver Bolt across the sand, sparks dancing over the location on his side where Blue Diamond's fist had struck.
"Forgot the dog. . ." Silver Bolt put a hand to his side. The field had apparently absorbed most of the damage, but he still grimaced a little. The two men were racing at him again, but he gathered a massive blast of energy and released it in a sheet of electicity towards them. Blue Diamond somehow manage to dodge the strike, but Jade Dragon was caught by the side of it, and spun back down to the sand again.
"Ugn," Jade Dragon muttered, getting back to his feet. "I never did like that martial arts training. . ."
Silver Bolt was no longer concentrating on him, however. He was releasing bolt after bolt of blinding energy towards Blue Diamond, each flash accompanied by a crash of sound. Somehow, though, Blue Diamond was managing to dodge each attack, darting back and forth as he raced towards his opponent. Silver Bolt glanced around at a sound from behind him, and spotted Element Dog coming at him as well, snarling.
As Blue Diamond and the dog reached him, however, Silver Bolt erupted with light. An arc of electricity shot up from the sand, and crashed back down several feet away. Silver Bolt attacked from behind, blasting Blue Diamond with a shock that threw him to the ground. He then directed another blast at Element Dog, but the winged wolf danced sideways, nimbly dodging the blow before leaping at Silver Bolt's throat.
Silver Bolt caught charge with his hands, delivering a shock directly to the dog's muzzle. Element Dog yelped in pain, rolling across the ground as he landed. As Silver Bolt turned to continue the attack, however, a massive blow struck him from behind, and he was thrown through the air.
He rolled back to his feet just in time to see a ball of green mist flying at him. He deflected the ball with a force shield. He then directed a blast of his own back at Jade Dragon, who formed a shield of his own. It took him a few moments to form it, a swirling disk of green in front of his outstretched hands, but then the lightning crackled across the surface of the barrier.
"Not bad, Jade Dragon. You are learning."
"Thanks. What do you think of this?" His hands still outstretched, Jade Dragon built up another cloud of vapor. Then he released it in a blast towards Silver Bolt. The jet of green mist slammed into Silver Bolt's force field, pushing him back slightly. When the mist cleared, Silver Bolt seemed to be breathing harder.
"That packs a whallop," Silver Bolt agreed.
"Then let's see if you can take another."
But Silver Bolt was not standing still. Element Dog had caught up with him, and he leaped aside to dodge the dog's attack. He released a blast of energy at point blank range, and the dog yelped again as his body was tossed around. He was caught for a few moments, trapped in the electrical field, but then he managed to twist free.
Element Dog darted away, stopping a couple of yards from Silver Bolt. His fur seemed a little singed, but then the damage faded away. He looked up as Blue Diamond approached.
"I thought you said we were going to fight together."
"You too slow."
"Hmph. I'll show you slow." He charged at Silver Bolt, who again teleported away. Blue Diamond was ready, however, and bounded back, shooting towards his opponent like a missle. Silver Bolt barely had time to put up his shield, and then Blue Diamond was pounding on it, again and again, driving Silver Bolt backwards. Each impact created a crash of sound that seemed to shake the very ground under their feet.
Element Dog darted in from the side, grabbing Silver Bolt's arm and pulling it down from in front of his body. The sheild seemed to weaken, and Blue Diamond smashed through it, punching Silver Bolt across the roadway. The red haired villain plowed into the asphalt, kicking up debris as he was driven into the ground.
He shook his head as he got to his feet. "Now that packs a whal--"
Blue Diamond was coming at him again, and he dodged to one side. The stocky little pugilist kept up the assault, his blows making Silver Bolt's field flash as he blocked them. Element Dog darted in and out, snapping at his legs and arms, not giving him time to dodge his attacks.
Silver Bolt's demeanor was becoming more and more serious, however, his counter attacks coming more often and with more power. He managed to catch Element Dog as the wolf creature was charging in at him, and flung him back across to the other side of the road. Then he gathered a massive charge in his arm just before directing it in a punch into Blue Diamond's stomach. He, too, was flung through the air, turning at the last minute to land on his feet.
Another ball of green mist shot at him, and Silver Bolt leaped over it, jumping unbelievably high into the air. When he landed, he directed a two handed blast at Jade Dragon, who again only barely managed to deflect in time. Silver Bolt kept up the barrage, the sparks licking around the edge of Jade Dragon's shield.
He was forced to stop, however, as Blue Diamond came back at him. Silver Bolt put up a force field, and Blue Diamond bounced off of it. He rolled in midair, landing on his feet, and then leaped back at Silver Bolt's field. He began to pound at it, again driving Silver Bolt backwards.
Element Dog, meanwhile, walked a little closer to Jade Dragon. "You too slow," he said.
"Too much time use power. Think too long. Must think fast. No, not think, do."
Jade Dragon looked down at his hands. "I see. You're saying I'm working too hard at controlling my mists. Taking too long to generate an attack."
"He get fast now. No more play. Rude man not think. You see, he do."
Blue Diamond was still pounding away at the field. Silver Bolt was starting to look strained. "I go fight now." Element Dog charged back into the fray.
Jade Dragon watched them for a moment, waiting for an opening. "He's right," he said to himself. "He almost got me, that last time. It took too long for the shield to form. But how can I speed it up?"
"Maybe if I keep part of my attention on the shield if I need it." He was encouraged to see his mists start to gather in front of him, as if preparing. "Yeah, that's it. I don't need to think about gathering my power if I've already gathered it. Have it gathered and ready for attack. . ." Jade Dragon took a deep breath, concentrating, and then turned his attention to the battle raging in front of him.
Silver Bolt had begun darting around the battle field, putting enough distance between himself and his enemies to build up a good charge when counter attacking them. As he leaped back and turned to face Blue Diamond's charge, Jade Dragon extended a hand, and directed a blast of green mist at him. It wasn't as powerful as his built up attack from before, but it caught Silver Bolt off guard.
The attack had felt natural, like an extension of his own body. He reached out again. Silver Bolt was ready for it now, but as he brought up his arms to protect his chest, Jade Dragon diverted the mists downwards. He caught Silver Bolt around the foot. He could almost feel the contact as the mists touched his body. He pulled, and Silver Bolt was thrown down.
Silver Bolt rolled back to his feet, dodging as Blue Diamond punched at him. He leaped to the side, directing a bolt of silver white energy towards Jade Dragon, while still in midair. The shield seemed to form automatically, almost before Jade Dragon thought about it, and the blast was deflected easily.
"Ah-hah! You are learning!" Silver Bolt laughed. He directed a two handed blast at Jade Dragon, who leaped aside, and fired another tendril of green back at him. Silver Bolt countered by making a peculiar pitching motion, and a ball of electricity came towards him. Jade Dragon countered with a shield, but as the ball neared, it tried to dart around him. Somehow, he managed to bring his shield around, and the ball was bounced harmlessly away.
Blue Diamond suddenly extended both of his arms, palms out. A beam of pure white light shot forth, striking Silver Bolt square. Jade Dragon was a little bit startled, but still managed to recover fast enough to continue his own attack. Suddenly there were blasts of green, white and silver darting between the three men, as they ducked and dodged each other's counter attacks.
The air was filled with sound, crashes of thunder from Silver Bolt's lightning, and screams of energy from Blue Diamond's beams. Even Jade Dragon's mists were making an eerie, whistling moan, like the winds of a sandstorm. And then, suddenly, the battlefield fell shockingly silent. Element Dog had stopped his attack when the other three had begun firing at each other, and now the three men stood still, as well.
"Well, so much for round one." Silver Bolt commented.
"We gettin' to be too much for ya?"
Silver Bolt looked at him. "I expected as much from you, Blue Diamond. You, and the dog both, have demonstrated remarkable insight into your powers. I was afraid there might be an instinctive component to it, and it seems I was right. Or maybe it's just that you're fast learners."
"It's not too late to give up," Jade Dragon added.
"Now, you know better than that."
Blue Diamond laughed. "So. . . let's get started with round two. . ."
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