Allspades’s scream echoed in the distorted space. Even as loud as it must have been, when it reached Unimportant’s ears it was hollow and lifeless, as if it had echoed one more time than he should have been able to hear before it reached his ears. He didn’t know if that made it better or worse than if he heard it in the real world.
He’d tried to get close to Trump more than once, but he couldn’t reach him. The barrier that had kept him from the Ambrosia was back. At first, he’d was forced to stay a few dozen steps from Trump. He’d gotten closer since, but he still hadn’t been able to get close enough to hit him with the stun baton.
He’d had time before. For all the damage Trump could do, he’d mostly been stuck on the defensive. As far and as hard as he could throw the others, none of them had been hurt too badly. Now, he’d figured out how to hurt them for real with his new powers.
As if he could read Unimportant’s mind, Trump started to laugh. It was quiet, but even with the muted sound of the Between, his laughter seemed to overtake all other sounds.
The barrier fell back a few feet, and Unimportant got a little closer. Trump paused. He didn’t turn to look at Unimportant, but his head cocked to the side like he’d heard something in the distance. Unimportant froze, but Trump started walking towards Allspades. He was saying something, but Unimportant tuned him out.
Six feet. That was the limit of how close he could get, and if he got any closer Trump would probably figure out he was there.
It was still too far to hit him with the baton. Unimportant pulled his backpack off and dug inside. He gently moved the chloroform to the side. His bolt cutters weren’t any help either. Rag, water, zip ties, alarm clock, duct tape, flashlight, cell phone-
Duct tape. He could work with duct tape.
Unimportant pulled out his stun-baton and flipped it open. The switch to turn it on wasn’t supposed to stay on if he let go of it. Copious amounts of duct tape fixed that.
Unimportant gripped the handle and turned towards Trump. Six feet. Missing this would be the worst way to fail to save the city.
Unimportant drew back and tossed the baton at Trump’s back. It spun in the air. He could hear the way its echo changed the moment it switched from in the Between to the real world; it was the same time that Trump stopped talking.
Trump whipped around with his hand already raising. But it was too late.
The baton slammed into him. The scream that filled the Between this time was much more pleasant.
Trump was hit.
Allspades couldn’t move his arm, and he’d resorted to chewing his cheek to keep from screaming. There was blood flowing into his mouth but he barley noticed.
This might be the only chance he gets.
What little of the glow he could still muster gathered at his feet and launched him forward. He wouldn’t be able to get his feet under him for a second leap, but he didn’t have the strength for a second lunge.
The glow shifted to his good shoulder. For a moment, he looked at Trump through the light of the glow and he saw something dark and shining crawling over him. Then he slammed into Trump.
Both of them hit the ground. Allsapdes rolled over and off of Trump. His second bounce landed on his bad shoulder and his vision went white.
Trump was down, but not out.
Burnout dropped from the sky and planted a knee in his back. It was a heavy blow, but damage wasn’t the point.
Burnout’s armor melted off of him and molded to Trump’s prone form, forming bands around his limbs. The bindings bolted Trump to the floor, but they’d only be able to last as long as Burnout could stay near Trump.
Trump had recovered enough to struggle.
Burnout dug his knee into Trump’s spine and gripped the bands closest tho Turmp’s shoulders.
Trump couldn’t focus the blast enough to do damage, but Burnout still felt himself being lifted off of his back. His grip on the bands held firm, but his legs lifted off the ground until they were pointing straight into the sky.
Trump gave another cry and Burnout’s grip wore out. He was launched into the sky and the bands disappeared.
Burnout was out of the way.
All of the roots Hawthorne had grown throughout the battle burst from the ground beneath Trump. Trump had managed to break her connection to them when he hit them earlier, but she’d found what was left beneath the ground. They wrapped around him, twisting and knotting themselves until he was completely immobilized.
The buildings around the cocoon started to shake.
One of the roots began to rapidly sprout flowers. A thick musky overly sweet scent filled the air, but it would be a hundred times stronger in the cocoon.
The buildings grew quieter and the ground stopped vibrating.
Hawthorne limped to the cocoon. What little reserve of power she’d built up after the zeppelin was gone and her outfit stopped helping her walk. Her leg collapsed beneath her.
Unimportant caught her. He wrapper her arm around his shoulder and helped her keep walking.
Burnout slowly approached from above. He couldn’t fly any more, but he’d gotten enough lift to keep from crashing into the ground. He had to land on all fours, but he was able to get to his feet and join them on her other side.
Allspades came around the far side of the cocoon. His right arm hung limply at his side, and there was a long strip torn from the bottom of his shirt. He’d stuffed it in the hole in his shoulder to stop the bleeding.
The four of them stared at the cocoon.
People began wandering out of the buildings. A few stared at the cocoon, but most looked up and down the street.
There was a small figure in red and white at the far end of the street, but the crowd passed between him and Hawthorne and he was gone by the time they were gone.