Chapter 106: Beneath the Surface

Will snapped his fingers and the man went flying into the wall.

Will had been worried that the mercenary Allspades and Unimportant had captured was more loyal to, or afraid of, Trump than he’d be able to work through. Apparently, being stuck in a trunk for a couple of hours wasn’t enough to get him talking, but it looked like he’d reached his limit.

“Where’s your mage? No one could do this if they weren’t in the city.”

“We hired an earth mover to dig some tunnels near the center of the city. The mage is meditating in the center of them. They’re under the-”

“I know.”

Will gripped the man’s shirt and pulled him to his feet.

“You have ten minutes to get out of my sight.”

He didn’t waste any time in running down the block. Will watched him until he turned the corner. He wouldn’t be coming back anytime soon.

The key was still in the jeep.

Five minutes.

It would take Will at least five minutes to reach the tunnels. And then they’d have all the heroes they needed to take down Trump.

They would be able to hold out that long.

They had to be able to hold out that long.


Trump’s focus was on Hawthorne. She’d dug her staff into the ground and was trying to hold onto it, but Allspades could see her grip slipping.

Allspades decided to try one of her tricks. He grabbed as much of the glow as he could and shoved it into the ground.

He could feel it digging, but without being able to see it, he could only guess at how close to Trump he’d gotten.

He glanced at Hawthorne just in time to see her lose her grip on her staff and fly backwards. Trump’s head slowly swiveled towards him. He had to be closer enough.

The glow erupted from the ground a few feet behind Trump. His eyes had time to widen slightly before it slammed into this back and sent him into Allspades’s outstretched arm. There was a satisfying gasp of air that was quickly covered up by the wind rushing past Allsapades as he was thrown straight up into the air

As he rose above the battleground, Allspades got his first breath of fresh air since the fight ahd started. The dust cleared from his lungs, but the clean air let him feel the way the dirt and sweat had coated him like a second layer of skin. He flexed his fingers and felt it cracking.

At the peak of his flight, Allspades flipped over. The area around their fight looked ready to collapse. The foundations of the buildings Trump had thrown were half flooded from the broken pipes; the ground around them was quickly turning to swamp. The buildings that were still standing weren’t much better. Trump had thrown the three of them into them hard enough that A few of them were starting to tilt. Broken glass littered the street and the ground at Trumps feet was constantly swirling with dust.

Burnout was on the offensive again. He had gotten close enough to singe Turmp’s shirt with his sword, but he couldn’t hold out against Trup’s push long enough to do more damage.

Hawhtorne was back on her feet, but it didn’t look like she could take much more of this. Trump’s attention was already on her; he wasn’t going to let her get close enough to her staff to reist his push again.

Allspades’s fist tightened. The glow spread out behind him. There was nothing for it to push off of, but he felt his course change just enough.

Allspades dove headfirst to the ground, with his arms at his side and his legs straight behind him. The glow receded to the very edge of his skin, and he shot straight for Trump.

Trump had just raised his hand towards Hawthorne when he paused and looked up at Allspades. He tried to change targets, but wasn’t fast enough to stop Allspades’s descent.

For the second time in as many minutes, Allspades hit Trump, ramming him with his shoulder. This time, the two of them slammed into the ground together. Trump only bounced once, but Allspades kept going, skipping along the street like a rock in the water until he slammed into the next building.

More dust fell on top of him. It filled his lungs and made it impossible to breath without his lungs trying to turn themselves inside out to force the dirt out. He pulled himself to his feet, hacking all the way.

He stumbled his way out of the building. Trump was still on the ground, but Hawthorne and Burnout were nowhere to be seen. The sun was glaring at him; bouncing off the shattered glass and making it impossible to keep his eyes focused on Trump.

There was a brief movement from Trump on the floor.

“Let’s try something new.”

The back of Allspades’s shoulder exploded. A marble sized glob of blood shot out from it and slammed into the wall behind him. Then the pain came.

Allspades screamed.


They had all left.  The ground wasn’t shaking as much and enough of them thought they’d be safer at home that nobody was willing to stay. He’d stayed quiet the whole time. None of them had even looked for the kid pretending to be a hero.

Red Racer skittered out from the space between the shelves. The guns had found him there. He had to keep moving; It was the only way to avoid the guns.

He watched his feet slowly take one step after the other. He didn’t know where he was going, but there was a strange comfort in knowing that he was still moving.

He felt the guns fading to the back of his mind, but they stayed there like an that lived beneath his skin so he couldn’t scratch it.

And then he heard the scream.

The guns were right behind him.

He ran.

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