Revenge of the ULTRAs (The Last Hero Book 4) (6 page)

BOOK: Revenge of the ULTRAs (The Last Hero Book 4)
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13

I
struggled
against the electromagnetic resistance suffocating my powers as the crowd of newly-powered humans marched toward me.

I couldn’t take my eyes off them. Watching them walk toward me was one of the scariest things I’d ever witnessed. These were supposed to be the people who respected me. These were the people I’d worked so hard to protect ever since I’d discovered my ULTRA abilities.

And now they were coming for me and getting ready to capture me so Adam could take my powers away.

I listened to the sounds of panic behind me. All of the Resistance were on their knees now, their skin sparkling with the electromagnetic energy crackling across it. They were all down, they were all wounded. They had no chance of fighting free of that neutralizing energy. I was the only one who was powerful enough to, and even I couldn’t make it right now.

They were still looking at me with terrified eyes like I was the answer. Like somehow, I had the solution.

But the harsh reality was, I was just as trapped as the rest of them.

I was just as screwed as the rest of them.

I looked back to the front of the Resistance and saw Roadrunner curled up in the fetal position.

She was alive. She’d shifted since Adam took her powers away and redistributed them to a watching crowd. But she was clearly in pain, both physically and mentally. She looked like she wanted the ground to open up beneath her and take her far, far away from here. And I couldn’t help feeling total guilt for the position she was in; for what my recklessness had done to so many ULTRAs I cared so much about.

“We can’t just give up.”

I heard Stone’s voice, but I didn’t know where exactly it came from. He sounded frightened. Uncharacteristically frightened. That scared me even more.

“Kyle. Don’t you dare give up. You brought this on. You fix it.”

I rolled over and saw Adam’s cronies a few feet away from me. I heard what Stone was saying, but how the hell was I supposed to fight free?

Then I saw Adam right in the middle of the crowd, holding hands with joyous looking people. They were falling to their knees before him like he was some kind of messiah.

I knew right then that he was the key. Even if I didn’t deal with all these newly converted ULTRAs, if I took down Adam, then at least it’d be like a Band-Aid on a wound. I could think about tidying up this mess. The Resistance could still stand, and it could fight back against those who were going wayward with their powers.

It wouldn’t be easy. But it was our duty to protect the world, whether the world wanted it or not.

I forced myself to my feet. My head throbbed with pain. I tried to shift myself across the room to the middle of that crowd, but still, the electromagnetic energy gripped me tighter as more of those bullets hit me.

I took a deep breath and tensed my fists.

I thought of everything that made me angry.

Seeing Adam take Roadrunner’s powers away.

Seeing my sister, Cassie, on the floor, struggling to break free.

Seeing myself taking my anger out on all those humans that had been attacking me, Damon and Avi.

I couldn’t just give up. I couldn’t just—

More electromagnetic bullets hit me.

I started to fall down to my knees but managed to rebalance myself. I took some more steadying breaths, then lifted my head and focused on Adam, trying to drag myself towards him to take him down, no matter how ugly it’d be.

I was Kyle Peters.

I was Glacies.

I could defeat him.

I could—

More electromagnetic bullets hit me, and this time, I really did collapse.

I rolled onto my back, the shouts and cries of my fellow ULTRAs filling the room as Adam took more of their abilities away and redistributed them.

And then I heard the screams stop, and I saw Adam standing right above me.

He peered down at me with that face that would annoyingly be the gossip of every girl, and he smiled. “How does it feel?”

I was too weak to respond.

He reached down and moved his hand towards my chest. I could feel an energy radiating from it. Like a magnet pulling something out from the center of my body, towards him.

“This is what happens when our politicians and our ‘heroes’ elect themselves,” Adam said. “I’m sorry I have to do this. But I’ll make sure I make good use of your powers.”

I tried to hold my powers back.

I tried to keep everything from bubbling over the surface.

Then I felt tightness right in the middle of my chest, and as I knew my powers were being snatched away from my body, I screamed.

14

I
screamed
out as my powers were wrenched from my body.

I squeezed my eyes shut. I couldn’t see a thing other than flashing lights behind my eyelids. I could taste the metallic tang of blood. All around me, I heard my scream echoing and the shouts of others as they were rounded up by Adam’s newly-powered cronies. My nose was blocked, presumably with blood, so I couldn’t breathe very well. My entire body writhed in pain as I felt the power emerging from every inch of it, burning in its intensity.

In a horrifying flash of realization, I saw exactly what was going to happen here. Adam was going to take my powers away.

I couldn’t let him do that.

I bit down hard on my bottom lip and tried to clutch back at the powers rising from my body. It took everything—concentration, resistance, agony. And the more I pushed to try and stop my powers being taken away, the more slippery they became.

This was it.

I was becoming Kyle Peters again.

I was going to be a normal kid again.

For a split second, I reveled in that fantasy. After all, a normal life was what I really wanted, wasn’t it? Ever since I’d been “gifted” my abilities, I’d moaned on and on about how much I wanted to just live my life as a teenager again, like everyone else.

It should’ve been a happy moment. But I knew there was nothing positive to come from this.

I needed my powers. The world needed me.

Whether they realized it or not, I was here for their benefit.

I forced my eyes open, as painful as it was.

I saw a fiery, simmering glow rising above me. It was still clinging to my body, like glue, falling away in places. I knew that it was my abilities.

Adam had his hands above me. He was lifting those powers closer. I saw right then the look in his eyes that told me everything I needed to know. He might’ve been masquerading as a man of the people—a messiah—but he was just another power-hungry asshole like the rest of them.

He was looking at my abilities, and he was pretty much salivating.

I had no doubt he planned to keep my abilities to himself.

I looked back. The Resistance were all surrounded now. Roadrunner was still on her knees looking totally broken. Acid, whose powers you can probably figure out in no time, was flat out on his back. So many other members of the Resistance were down, and looking weak.

I tried to fight back against Adam, but the grip he had on my powers was intense and tight. The more I pushed, the stronger Adam seemed to get.

But Roadrunner.

The Resistance.

Cassie.

It might take it out of me if I fought back. Hell, it might render my powers completely useless.

But I wasn’t giving up.

I had to fight.

Otherwise, the Resistance would fall.

I held my breath and looked back up at Adam. “You’re not taking them away that easily.”

I put every ounce of focus onto all of my love, and all of my anger.

Then I let out a cry.

I wasn’t sure it was working at first. I didn’t know if I was getting anywhere.

Not until I saw the light slam back into my body, felt it wind me right in the stomach.

Not until Adam tumbled back.

I stood up, then. The electromagnetic grip on me had loosened.

I looked back at the Resistance. I saw the rocks spreading across Stone’s skin, and the flames on Ember’s hands.

I knew right then that they were free of their electromagnetic powers.

But only for now.

I teleported over to them and stood with them. I put my arm around Cassie.

“You okay?” she asked.

“I’m okay. It’s just—”

“We need to fight these idiots,” Stone said, his voice booming. He was fully covered in rocks now.

Opposite, I saw the electromagnetic energy charging from the guns of Adam’s people.

Behind them, I saw Adam getting back to his feet.

“We can’t,” I said.

Stone turned and glared at me. “What?”

I looked down at Roadrunner as she kneeled there. I looked at the rest of the Resistance, too. So many of them were down. So many of them were wounded.

And those electromagnetic weapons were so, so close to being back to charge.

“We can’t fight,” I said.

“Of course we can goddamned fight.”

“If we fight, we risk losing. And if we lose, we lose our powers. We lose… we lose who we are. What we are.”

I heard Adam chuckle. He was standing right by the open wall at the opposite side of Mr. Parsons’ old office. Outside, on the grounds, which had totally been overthrown, masses of people stayed and watched. “See, you are weak, really. When your powers are at risk, you are weak. Because what are you without your powers, really? You are just normal people. You aren’t special snowflakes. Which is why it’s time for someone else to police the world. Someone that the people really believe in.”

I was about to argue when I heard the chants from outside. They made my skin crawl.

“Adam!”

“Adam!”

“Adam!”

I looked around at the Resistance. I wanted to fight. I wanted to take down Adam and restore order.

But then I looked at Roadrunner, at the stupor she was in, the grief she was in, and I didn’t want to become that.

“Well, tough,” Stone said, cracking his fists. “If you want my powers, you’re gonna have to pull ’em from me yourself.”

Adam’s smile twitched. “Maybe I will.”

He nodded at the people in front of him.

They pulled their electromagnetic triggers.

I felt time slow down then. Or rather, I unconsciously slowed it down myself.

I ran to Stone.

Then I grabbed Cassie, then Ember, then Vortex.

I grabbed a few other Resistance members too, got them all as close together as possible as the electromagnetic bullets hurtled towards us.

I turned around and started to run for Roadrunner when I realized the bullets were too close.

If I went for Roadrunner, the electromagnetic bullets would hit the Resistance, and everything would be over.

If I didn’t…

I swallowed a lump in my throat. I felt a tear building in my eye.

“Sorry,” I muttered. “Sorry.”

Then I stepped up to the group of Resistance I’d managed to bundle together, and I teleported us outside the building, my powers still too weak right now to fully teleport any further.

There was only one thing we could do right now.

Run.

15

W
hen I teleported
as many of the Resistance as I possibly could away from the White House, we didn’t get as far as I’d have liked.

I landed on my right side, my face smacking against the concrete. I winced and rolled over. My head stung, and that taste of blood that’d filled my mouth just moments ago was stronger than before now.

I looked around. We were just around the back of the White House. Shit. I’d tried to teleport us to the other side of the world and this is as far as we’d got.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

I turned around and saw Stone opposite me. His voice was booming. Beside him, Cassie, Ember, Vortex, and some of the other Resistance members I was less familiar with. They didn’t look impressed. Mostly, they looked confused.

“We can’t fight them,” I said.

“Bullshit we can’t fight them,” Stone said. “They attacked us. They—they did something to Roadrunner. We have to go back for her.”

I looked up at the building. It’d gone surprisingly quiet inside, which made me wonder if anyone knew we were actually out here. On the street at the other side of the building, I could still hear the crowd chanting Adam’s name. “I want to go back. But—”

“But what?” Stone barked. He walked toward me. “You’re too chickenshit to go back in there?”

“You have to look at what’s happening, Stone,” I shouted, my impatience getting the better of me. “Adam can take powers away. He took Roadrunner’s powers away. He almost took mine away. If he takes all our powers away, then there is no Resistance left.”

“So what do you propose we do, genius? Sit around and wait for him to catch us? Leave Roadrunner in there to…”

He didn’t finish what he was saying. I knew what he was implying, though.

“Look,” I said, taking a few deep breaths to compose myself—and hopefully compose the others. “We need a plan. A proper plan. But we can’t fight back if we don’t have our powers. It’s as simple as that.”

Stone shook his head, but he didn’t seem to have an argument this time.

“Kyle’s right.”

Vortex stepped forward.

“I don’t want to agree with him, but I believe he’s right.”

“I agree,” Ember said.

I wasn’t expecting that. Ember usually sided with Stone on these things. So to have his support made me feel a lot more positive that we were making the right move.

“Walking away isn’t the right answer. But we aren’t walking away for good. Just for now. And then we’ll be back. We’ll take him down. Together.”

I nodded, then looked at Cassie.

She stared into my eyes. I got the feeling she wanted to say something. Hell, I got the strangest feeling she wanted to
disagree
. That was the thing with Cassie. She had the same powers as Daniel and me. She just didn’t believe in herself as much. All those years in suspended animation had eaten away at her, made her rusty. I believed in her. But she just didn’t believe in herself.

And sometimes, that stopped her believing in me.

“Cassie?”

She opened her mouth.

Then a massive explosion rocked this side of the White House.

We flew back. I felt my footing falling but bounced off the ground and into the air, regaining my composure.

“What the hell was that?” Stone said.

We hovered together opposite the source of the explosion.

I didn’t have to answer Stone for him to see what’d caused it.

Adam’s followers were hovering outside the building. Some of them were holding those electromagnetic guns.

And they were getting ready to fire.

I wanted to shoot us away but I saw there was no time to dodge them. I’d have to take some of them down, make it easier for us to escape.

I jolted forward through the air and landed beneath the guy furthest to the left. I swung him around by his ankle, throwing him into his friend.

Three of them fired at me.

I pushed back against the bullets and threw them through the gaping hole in the wall. I saw more of Adam’s followers emerging, and some of those electromagnetic bullets hit them.

Before I knew it, there was an electromagnetic firework display. And I knew it was only a matter of time before I was caught in the crosshairs.

“We have to drop back!” I called.

I fought off a few more of Adam’s followers, but it wasn’t easy. I saw more of them emerge, and that’s what scared me. The faces. I recognized them from the street below. Some of them had electricity crawling up their hands. Others were jolting through the air, just like Roadrunner had.

They weren’t just the first wave of Adam’s cronies.

They were the people from the street.

People with powers.

And now they were using those powers to fight against us.

I dodged the punch of a woman, and then I felt her foot connect with my face. I didn’t want to fight back, so I dropped further back, alongside the Resistance. With my refreshed powers, I created an invisible shield between them and us. But it wouldn’t be enough. It wouldn’t hold them off forever.

“What do we do?” Ember asked.

I felt a bitter taste fill my mouth as more and more newly converted people appeared from the hole in the building.

I felt my skin crawl when Adam appeared, Roadrunner’s limp body in his arms, a wry smile across his face.

“Roadrunner!” Stone shouted.

He started to bounce forward when I grabbed his arm.

“We do the only thing we can do right now,” I said, as the electromagnetic bullets and the attack of Adam’s followers burned through the shield.

Stone looked at me. He shook his head. “No. You don’t take us away. You don’t give the hell in. Not now. Not when he’s got—”

“It’s the only thing we’ve got,” I said.

I closed my eyes.

Held my breath.

Then I focused all my energy on teleporting the whole lot of us away through a wormhole.

This time, we would appear on the other side of the world.

This time, we really were running away.

Only Roadrunner wasn’t running with us.

BOOK: Revenge of the ULTRAs (The Last Hero Book 4)
8.4Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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