"Myself, I think the afternoon's been pretty much shot. I'm Aegis." She offers a hand automatically. "Any idea what all of this" she gestures around at the wreckage "was about?"
Union parallels the young woman's flight path as she descends, admiring her handling of the situation and noting that her systems modulate her voice as well *I wonder what she sounds like normally?* His scanners trace epehermal paths across her armor, feeling power sources and propulsion methods *I also wonder what she's using to stay airborneshe certainly isn't using electromagnetics, I can't hear rockets of any sort... She couldn't have working anti-gravity, could she?*
He takes her hand when she offers it, noting her masculine handshake and the strength behind itobviously much more enhanced than his own. "I'm called Union." Following Aegis' gesture, he looks over the strewn rubble and combat-smashed streets. The doctor and the young telekinetic were standing over Captain America, and Union couldn't see the winged figure through the smoke and rubble.
"What was this about? I wish to heave that I knew. As far as the afternoon is concerned lets see what we can't do to get it into shape."
Union turns to the nearest emergency worker, a policeman "Officer, this is Aegis, and I'm Union. Is there anywhere in particular we can do the most good?"
The young policeman *He hardly looks old enough to shave, Union thinks* goggles at the two armor clad figures, but recovers well enough. "Where do you want to start? This place is a mess..." he cocks his head to one side, then turns halfway to the other emergency cars "Hey Sarge! We got a couple Super-Heroes here that want to help out!"
"Dooley, what the Sam-hill are you yelling about!" comes from behind an ambulance. A red faced man with a two way police radio and a bull-like build stomps around the vehicle, then stares at the two armored figures. Somewhat faster on the uptake than his patrolman, the Sergeant immediately sees that neither of the pairs' feet are touching the ground. He crosses himself, then steps forward. "Super heroes? Well, if you want to help out, get over there!"
He points around the ambulance. Union and Aegis both float up for a better view, revealing the three car pile up, both blocking some emergency vehicles and spilling gas into the street. From the ground, the Sergeant shouts "There are kids trapped in therecan you do something about that!?"
"Sargent, we can sure try!" Union states, already in motion. "Looks like we get to spend the afternoon clearing up this mess, Aegis. What can you do besides flywe may need it?"
*Well, apparently I'm good at shooting my mouth off at the wrong time,* she thinks wryly, but out loud says, "Oh, a couple things. For starters I can get some of that out of the way, I think. Hold on." She hovers for a moment, observing how the cars are balanced; one appears to have hit a lamp-post, was slammed into almost head-on by a second, topped by a third that seems to have flipped over. She can hear frightened whimpers from somewhere inside the tangle of metal. There.
"Do you guys need any help?" the bandanna masked youth asks simply. "Did I hear something about kids?"
Union looks up from the tangle of cars to see the telekinetic flying over to their location, summoned, apparently, by the sergeant's bullhorn shout. "All we can get, son, all we can get. Can you hear them, Aegis?"
"Yeah, they're in there... can either of you lift a car without jerking it around much? I can do it from the air, I'd just hate for the axle to snap or something," Aegis explains. "What we need is to lift that top one from underneath, then set it down nice and easy."
"Hold on, before we do anything else..." Union's electrical powers spread out from the armor, which glows with an incandescent yellow. *Have to get this set up rightthere are the car's electrical systems. Close off the batteries, shut down the power flow through the wiring. We can't risk a spark that would turn this into a fireball...* sweat breaks out on Adrian's forehead in concentration, knowing that an error here could doom the innocents trapped inside. Once the system is shut down, he uses his magentics to slowly bend aside the overlap points of the twisted metal to prevent any sparks in moving. After a few seconds, he's sure enough of himself to continue.
"OKI've shut down and blocked off the cars electrical systems so they won't spark a fire, but we need to make sure we move this wreckage without lighting up that spilled gas. Umm, kid, whatever your name is, use that glow of ours to get the top car straight up, slowly and carefully, then, like the lady said, set it down."
Unbeknownst to Union a crowd of bystanders and stunned emergency workers are watching, enraptured and collectively holding their breath, watching the impossible rescue attempt take place.
"Good thinking, Union." She flies over the pileup, getting into position and glances at the bandana-decked newcomer. "Ready when you are. Get it down safely and I can open it up, since the jaws of life seem to be occupied elsewhere. Sargent, we could maybe use a doctor if there's one around?" she addresses the uniformed man. Given the way the metal has crumpled, it'll be a miracle if no one in the car is injured.
"Okay," Emerald mutters to himself. Green tendrils of energy surround the car in question, then with a slight grinding of metal on metal the top car rises slowly, hovers to one side for a moment, then lands a few yards away from him. Emerald looks to see if he can see anyone inside of the car. "All yours!" he shouts to the floating woman.
It is the work of a moment to rip the crumpled metal apart; it gives a rending screech that draws the momentary attention of everyone in the area, then parts to reveal two terrified children crouched in a pocket and a womančunconscious, or so Aegis hopesčin the driver's seat. She backs off as a white-coated man runs over to the scene; two more follow more slowly, with a stretcher.
"Good," she says to no one in particular, landing beside the two men. She glances at the bandana-masked man, then around at the waterfront. "Good work. God, what a mess. I'm going by Aegis. That's an interesting ability you have there."
"What he did with the car is nothingyou should have seen the trick with the ladle!" Adrian's moodhighly depressed a few minutes agohad swung back to mild elation through a combination of fatigue and the glory of this one minor, critical victory. He was smiling broadly under the helmet, and while he can see the devastation around himincluding the rescue people red-tagging the bodies in the other two carsthe sound of two crying children in the hands of the Emergency Nurse makes all the difference in the world.
He looks at the emergency workers with a questioning slant to his head, and their leader shakes his headthere's nothing more they can do here. "We should check and see how the young Captain America and the others are doing..." Adrian turns and starts leading the others back to the docks, where he last saw the other superhumans.
"You were over there, son" Union says to the masked youth "Do you know if he's going to be alright? By the way, What SHOULD we call you, young man? I can't keep calling you Son and Kid all the time. I can only assume it won't be your real name, but if you plan to keep this up, you're going to need a better mask than that!"
He also turns to Aegis "If you don't mind, I'd like to look inside your armor sometime..."
"Er" Bethany parses out his meaning after a confused moment. "Ah. I'll see if something can arranged," she replies with a bit of a chuckle. Tony will probably want to meet this guy, and perhaps the others as well. It occurs to her that he has probably heard radio reports on the waterfront business by now. Well, that will let him know she's still alive and the suit hasn't been ruined, at least; he can wait a few more minutes to find out exactly how the unauthorized field test had gone. "You're not too shabby in that department yourself. How did you affect the wiring in that car from a distance?"
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© 1999 Mark L. Chance et al