The Bad Guy Wins in This One - Chapter Thirty (Booster)

Booster Choi could scarcely believe his eyes. Patrick was literally bubbling over with flame. Booster wasn’t sure if it was just because he was trying to contain the power within him or if Black Rain had planned this all along to try and take out almost the entirety of Blue Skies in one shot. He suspected the latter and did not plan on those double crossing bastards getting him killed by someone he’d boosted.

He boosted Emilia off-handedly, but she wasn’t the one whose powers he needed to enhance to contain this. Yves, I need to get to Yves. Most of the audience was still in shock, unsure of what was happening. Booster knew acting too quickly might give him away, but his life was on the line. He didn’t much like the idea of playing hero, but if Patrick exploded there was no telling how large the explosion would be. He couldn’t just run off and hope he escaped the blast zone.

The only problem was he’d sat halfway across the room to give the boys more time to escape before he could boost Yves. Now Yves was dangerously close to Patrick, trying to use his abilities to control and dampen Patrick’s flames. Unboosted though, he didn’t stand a chance. A stray bolt of fire shot out of Patrick and incinerated several abandoned chairs in the front row.

Booster ran towards Yves, pausing only a moment to give a quick boost to Johanna Johnson. “Cool him off!” he shouted at her. He didn’t stop long enough to see the confused look on her face give way to focus as she drew upon her ice powers. He somewhat regretted his decision though as hot steam shot forth from Patrick where her freezing abilities hit him. He had a hard time avoiding it and he could feel his skin blister as he passed Patrick.

But finally he was at Yves, boosting him for all he was worth. Patrick could go borderline nuclear now and his abilities would be contained. Booster allowed himself a slight sigh of relief, thinking the worst was over.

That was when the windows shattered. The chatter of machine gun fire was overwhelming. He looked out and, seeing double, wondered if he was drunk before realizing May had come to assist her friends. There were two helicopters, both with a copy of her manning a fifty caliber machine gun. The crowd was now screaming, the confusion turning to sheer panic. Though as far as Booster could tell, she was firing far too high to have actually hit any of them. Interesting, trying to avoid casualties even though they’re not her people, or is she just worried that she would hit her teammates?

That’s when Steve sat up. Booster didn’t even see him heal, but the hole in his head was gone and he seemed plenty alert despite the brain matter splattered on the ground behind him. Booster saw him take in the situation and give a jerk of his hand. Johanna’s aim faltered and shot into the ground for a second before returning towards Patrick and Booster wondered what he just witnessed. He thought Steve’s only ability was healing. Then again, he’d also been told Patrick’s only power was super strength. Who the hell are these people really?

But then Steve was on his feet and running towards the windows. He didn’t get more than a couple of steps when a blade came down, severing his arm. Emilia had formed metal into a rough machete and hurled it at him.

Steve barely seemed to register it as his arm regrew almost instantly and he kept running. Emilia went for a less violent method this time and pulled rebar out of a wall column, binding it around him. Fortunately for Steve, Emilia was about to get a distraction. Unfortunately for everyone else in the room, the distraction was the most horrifying thing yet.

Steve’s arm began to regrow a body. By the time Booster even noticed, it was halfway complete. Oh hell, I should have seen that coming. Boost a healer, what was I thinking? The look of horror on Steve’s face would have been almost comical if Booster weren’t sure he was wearing a similar expression on his own. The naked new being struggled upward, raw new skin surrounding dead looking eyes. Booster didn’t know if he believed in souls, but he was certain that if they existed that God did not endow this monster with one.

He thought it was finished growing, but realized he was wrong when the nails of the being continued to shoot forth into sharpened claws and hair jutted backwards in waves off its head. Booster found it a little absurd that one of the things which stood out to him the most was that the hair and eye color were both different than Steve’s, as was its general facial structure.

It gave a guttural cry and launched itself at the crowd.

“The fuck are you?” Booster heard Johanna say as she turned a hand towards it, freezing it in its tracks. It stayed frozen all of two seconds when it burst into fire. But the fire was doused almost instantly as ice began to spread from the creature. Booster knew from the fear on Johanna’s face that this wasn’t her doing. It neutralized her ability then copied it instantly. Is this Steve’s real power? How the hell didn’t Black Rain know this? Though he once again realized they may have known this could happen and didn’t feel like sharing. Goddamn assholes!

“Emilia, forget Steve and stop that thing or we’re all dead!” he shouted. He saw Kokila reach out an arm before he could stop her and her powers crushed the creature’s head like a grape. The remainder of its body had scarcely had time to drop to its knees and the head was reforming. He heard a whimper and wondered if it came from him. He was seriously wondering if he’d pissed himself yet.

The creature laughed nastily and Booster was pretty sure the disgusting grimace on its face was its best attempt at a smile. It waved a hand and there were a few agonizing howls as arms and legs were crushed by its new ability.

“Don’t use your powers on it!” he shouted out. “It’s copying anything you use directly.” He saw its attention shift towards the sound of his voice and quickly positioned Patrick between the two of them. He hoped Kokila’s power required line of sight or he was a dead man.

At that moment soldiers from the ground floor finally arrived to help, pouring out of the elevators with assault rifles. They professionally assessed the situation and quickly took positions to attack the monster, firing their assault rifles at it. The bullets ripped it to shreds, but it started reforming quickly, ice spreading rapidly towards the soldiers.

Steve apparently decided it was time to bail as well. Whether Emilia had let up on her powers or not to start surrounding the creature with metal, Booster was unsure. But several rounds of a fifty caliber slammed into the restraints she’d been using to hold Steve and he threw himself towards the window again, bullet holes healing instantly.

“Oh no you don’t,” Diego said, hurling himself towards the escaping boy. Booster saw Steve jump out the window, Diego quick on his heels. He turned back towards the bits of body trying to reform itself again. I get not wanting Steve to escape, but I feel like we have bigger problems.