Even without the binoculars, he could see the glow around Allspades from a few blocks away. The white figure jumped off the roof and dove headfirst into one of the flesh creatures. He vanished from sight as the creature swallowed him whole.
Will gripped the balcony railing until his knuckles turned white. Eclipse was forcing them to kill. He never used the same trick twice, but mutating people like this was something completely new. The heroes were as good as dead as soon as they were fused together, but most of the others weren’t going to be able to handle killing what was left. More than one hero had already been brought to their knees after the bodies reformed.
Cracks appeared in the creature and white light poured out of it. It grew brighter until the creature vanished.
One of the monsters had been under constant bombardment for the last five minutes, and it still wasn’t stopping. These things weren’t smart enough to stop fighting before they died. Each of them had half a dozen minds without a brain cell to speak of. It might have been possible to stop them with a barrier or a cage, but they would just attack it until they bashed themselves into pieces or they wall gave out. Even if they could be contained, there was no guarantee stopping Eclipse would change them back.
The light vanished. Will yanked the binoculars back over his eyes. Allspades had dropped to one knee. He was surrounded by half a dozen bodies but he ignored them and struggled to his feet. He was used to bodies. For once, his history was an advantage.
Hawthorne had done almost as well. She’d frozen when she first saw the bodies hanging from her trees, but she’d avoided Eclipse’s next attack and went straight back to the fight.
Will couldn’t help the light smile tugging at his lips.
Will shouldn’t be here. He should be down in the basement shelter with his neighbors. Instead he was up here, trying to figure out the best way to fight these things.
“You’re not a hero anymore. You’re not even in the same room.”
Saying it out loud didn’t help. The words floated in the air around him, but they felt lifeless. No matter how hard he fought, a part of him wanted to be out there. The sight of Eclipse stoked the rage he’d kept buried for the last three years. But he was done being a hero. Even the kids didn’t need him anymore. He wasn’t going to give up his new life for an old grudge.
A blue comet darted across the sky again and Will focused his sights on the new distraction. Burnout was one of the few heroes who could stay in the sky long enough to attack Eclipse directly. So far they had barely managed to distract him, but eventually he would take enough damage to flee.
Will scanned the streets. He caught himself doing it every few minutes, searching for a tiny red and white blur, but he hadn’t seen it yet. Maybe they’d told him to stay away from the fight. Maybe he’d actually listened.
Miss Mirror was flying too, but she didn’t get anywhere near Eclipse. She couldn’t; he’d have killed well before she could get close enough to punch him. She was stuck getting people away from His attacks and away from the monters’ groping tentacles.
The pillars were rarely hitting heroes anymore. The sliders must have figured out what to look for. But there were still enough of the monsters around to keep everyone busy.
“That’s exactly what he’s looking for.”
Will shifted his gaze up to Eclipse. This couldn’t be all he was planning. It was too simple, too overt. There was something else coming. He focused on Eclipse’s face and watched as closely as he could. His eyes were half lidded and his lips were pressed thin. He turned back and forth until he was looking in Will’s direction. And then he was looking at Will. His lips curved upwards and he raised a single hand.
“What are you planning, Barber?”
Eclipse’s fingers danced in the air, and one of the monsters vanished.
“So they’re more than a distraction.”
Of course they were. They were too big, too complicated, to be just a distraction. If they’d managed to kill them all fast enough, then they could have stopped the plan before it got going.
Will tore his gaze away from Eclipse’s. If anyone down there realized what Eclipse had done, they weren’t spending the time to think about it. Everyone who had been fighting it had split off to fight the others.
Or maybe he had spoken too soon. Hawthorne had left her fight and was talking with nobody. Unimportant must have figured out what was going on. For the second time that day, Hawthorne sprouted wings.
He followed her trail up to Burnout and any flyer she could get on the way. Maybe they would be able to stop it.
Will looked back to Allspades. He had moved in on another of the monsters, but it didn’t look like he would be able to dive in like he had the last one. Will couldn’t tell if he was too tired for it or if he just couldn’t get close enough.
Will scanned the streets again. There were still too many monsters left. If Eclipse unleashed whatever he had locked away, they’d be too divided to handle it.
Will almost looked back at Eclipse before he froze. He panned along the ground quickly. He didn’t want to think he’d seen it, but the way his heart had frozen was all the proof he needed.
A red and white blur was racing towards the battle. A trail of dust followed behind it, growing wider and longer with every step. It moved too fast for him to make out any details, but Will could imagine the goofy grin behind the visor.
Red Racer was coming to fight.