By HumanX 1 Comments
This fiction will be rated FR21 just incase. Beware sexual content and stuff like that. Readers discretion is advised.
Many of the characters seen are HumanX adaptations of characters from the various DC Comics animated series. HumanX holds no rights to characters such as Red X and Johnny Rancid (he only tweaked them for this story).
Let's get to the story already
Christmas time has come to Oscura city. The fresh, long anticipated snowfall, which was absent during Christmas Eve, rains down on the city and greets the holidays. Most people are at home right now, opening presents and sharing good times with family and friends while lovers exchange sweet moments under mistletoe.
"So why the hell am I crawling through a sewer with you people!?" Charlotte cries as we all wander through the smelly tunnels lining the underbelly of Oscura city.
"I told you." Romulus explains for the thirteenth time. "Red X said this was the easiest way to get close to the enemy without using up too much power or giving away our position."
"So it's your fault!" She knocks me with her elbow and I flail my arms to avoid being knocked into the sewer water.
"Come on Charlotte! Stop it!" I try to keep from falling as she attempts to push me in. "That water's not sanitary! Have mercy here!"
"You're going to owe me some new shampoo! It's going to take something heavy-duty to get this stench out!" She almost has me off balance.
"I can do one better." I tell her with a cheerful smile under my helmet. "I'll just wash you off mysel-Please stop trying to push me in."
"I'll drown you, ya bloody pervert!" She tries even harder to get me in.
"Have a little mercy on the guy." Johnny picks Charlotte up and without her hands clenching my throat I loose balance and almost fall in. luckily I extend one of my shuriken and prop myself up in time.
"Thanks Johnny." I say as he picks me up away from the sewer water. Straightening up my cape I begin to explain. "How many times do I have to explain. Due to the complex and intricate sewer system of Oscura, you can make it to any point in the city undetected by simply travelling underground. It's not well known nowadays but a long time ago the sewers where once an underground railroad used to transport and sometimes be a home for immigrants and criminals who couldn't live among the other people at the time. It was like an ancient criminals guild which worked to save peoples lives and hep give people a second chance at life. A whole bunch of it was sealed off when it was transformed into our modern sewage system. I found it one day while I was researching the landscape of the city."
"Do you even know where we're going? And how can you tell where the enemy will be?" Charlotte asks.
"Because I destroyed the Depraved hideout in the slums and we cleared out the Rose Avenue church the day before yesterday." I explain it to her again. "The only one left-"
"Is where we're heading right now!" Romulus interrupts me. "It's the only place they have left to run too! It's a docking port I think."
"So, what is our plan of attack again?" Yvette asks.
"Are you two serious!?" Romulus and I both ask at the same time. "We already went over this at the apartment! It's not that complicated!"
"To be honest I'm lost on it too." El Dorado speaks up.
"Me too." Johnny and Pandora raise their hands.
"Sorry." Mary says with a shamed look on her face. "I feel dumb."
"It's not even complicated." I grumble before regaining my energy and pumping my fist into the air. "Fine! Then I'll explain my master plan once more! To understand our plan you need to know how xenothium infection works. We all know that a person who is infected with or high on xenothium related drugs or radiation gains super powers. Well, there are levels of power and infections. The further a person is infected the more powerful their powers become but the higher the risk of death as a result. The first level is the basic does which takes up ninety percent of the enemy army. This is when a person is just taking the drugs for a sudden power boost and the effects are usually temporary. The powers manifested from this are almost always a simple increase in basic human characteristics such as super strength and speed or enhanced senses. In comparison to us, people with either superpowers, advanced technology or martial arts mastery to such a high degree, they're ants. Simply put, they will swarm us and try to take us down with overwhelming numbers but any one of us could easily take them down."
"They're just like pawns in chess. The bare minimum." Romulus backs my explanation up with a quick one of his own.
"The second level is when a person under the influence gains a super power outside of these. It could be a new power entirely, like flight, or just a continuation of one of their older powers. For instance a guy man develop far greater super strength than he had before and that will be his power. In this stage all their older powers from stage one are lost unless they are involved in the new mutation. In stage three this power is usually given a massive boost and takes on a physical form. That guy from around chapter one or two who lead that clown group to assassinate me was an example of this. His manifestation gave him a lot of defence but it turned his body to stone. Some people may develop compound eyes or unnatural skin colours. Stage three doesn't always manifest though. Some people will just skip ahead but continue with the power boost, even gaining new powers alongside their old ones. People in these two stages are a little more trouble since their powers are less predictable but they're overall abilities don't reach far past your everyday metahuman."
"They're pretty much the same as stage one, just different abilities, so none of us should have any trouble."
"The fourth is when they gain an incredible boost in overall power. This is a stage most people die before reaching. At this stage the xenothium particles have lined their cellular structure and taken permanent residence. At this point if you had the base mutations from before they will take full form and your body will become that of a monster. You gain full access to your abilities but many people loose their minds in the process. Animal senses which would involve enhanced canines and hair growth would be able to develop to a full body wolf transformation. A person like that guy I was talking about would have his entire body become stone and loose all mobility. If you're lucky enough to continue living on after this stage manifests then you will probably loose your mind. Those who don't end up with incredibly versatile abilities, such as a person who in stage three could create fire ball entering this stage and having control over heat in general. There is a twenty four percent chance of making it to this stage and living, a twelve percent chance of loosing your mind during the transformation and a ten percent chance of making it through with your mind and life in tact."
"That's what I had before Alex's cure." Romulus tells them.
"I have it too." Yvette tells us. "My ability over electricity is at the point where I qualify as a fourth level."
"That's right." Romulus congratulates her on her perceptiveness. "In fact, many of you have reached a level of ability where you qualify for this. In other words level four is our general power level. Mr. Pandora, Johnny Rancid, Baby Doll, Charlotte and Hotwire. Because of your skills or super powers you have the ability to go toe to toe with level fours."
"The next stage is where El Dorado and Romulus are set." I continue explaining. "It is also the last recorded level I've seen. Anyone who's come close to beyond this has died. This is when the infected person gains full control over their powers which at this point have reached their pinnacle. The beasts who lost control before regain their consciousness or simply become something of ultimate beasts. Those who retained control find that their power is enhanced to its limits. Control over fire can mean control over the powers of the sun itself. Regeneration at this point could mean ni-immortality. That Agent guy from before was around this level, though he wasn't much of a match for me since his powers where something I was used to."
"In other words; Justice League's top five. Anyone at this level could easily take on one or two of the top Justice League members, regardless of their battle experience. If they had super strength and speed they could match Superman and the Flash. If they had energy control they could take down a Green Lantern."
"And you two fall under this?" Charlotte asks us. "Are you monsters or something?"
"Something like that." Romulus chuckles. "After taking Alex's cure I underwent another mutation which pushed me to a much higher level of power than before. Now I qualify for fifth level abilities."
"No wonder you guys have been able to take on the Depraved yourselves." Charlotte smiles.
"What about Alex?" Mary asks.
"Perceptive." Romulus smiles back at her. "You caught on to our little secret. You see Alex here, by his skill alone, is easily a match for the fifth level at its highest. That means that he himself is stronger than the highest level of Xenothium transformation."
"So, you're saying he's stronger than the Justice League?" Johnny asks with a disappointed look. "That's just like you."
"Moving on." I decide to continue. "That was just a little lesson on the levels of xenothium infections. As for our plan it involves which of those levels we'll be facing. It's clear that the main boss will be at least at level five. He needs that power to control all those underneath him. But after consulting with Romulus and comparing his knowledge with the average level of those assassins who came after us in the past we figured the average level of a Depraved soldier was somewhere around stage two and three. He should have a few stage four's around but they would be used as generals or if they'd lost their minds, war beasts. Even though I say that, most who have lost their minds might have been killed for safety reasons. Either way, keeping that in mind we should have much more firepower in our little group than they do. The thing is that even though surviving level four is uncommon it is not unheard of. With concentrated and monitored doses a level four can be attained. The margin of failure is so high I'd have to concentrate to get it right."
"So what you're saying is that you could do it?" Charlotte asks me.
"Naturally." I smirk confidently as my genius is once again revealed. "That's how I cured Romulus. By mixing a few wolf related agents with a couple of my own chemical concoctions and purified xenothium I pushed his infection to level five since that was necessary to rewrite his DNA so it wouldn't become mush. In short, to cure him of the xenothium poisoning I had to push it further with my own pure xenothium and let his regenerative abilities take care of the rest. But anyway, if he does have level four's waiting for us they will be problematic. That's why we need to cut his forces down with a surprise attack and organize ourselves into groups. Now that you understand that I can tell you about my plan." I pause for a period of silence to build the drama. "Since Romulus and I are by far the most powerful of our groups we will run in the centre and you people will take care of the small fries as we move further into the base. As we go in further there will no doubt be higher levels of enemies. If we are to meet up with any of these who would cause our plan to slow down or allow the enemy more time to regroup from our attack then we will leave an appropriate member behind to take care of them then rendezvous with us further on. Eventually Romulus and I will face against Crispin who I'm sure will not be that hard to defeat with us if he is a level five."
"So your idea is a head on attack?" Charlotte grumbles. "And if anything goes wrong you're using us a shield so you don't have to waste your time?"
"That's one way of putting it." Romulus grins awkwardly. "Even if t does make me and Red X look bad it's still the best plan we could come up with using such a small number of people."
Actually, that's not true. I could think up a thousand more plans which don't involve this one, but each of them would require my using lethal force in front of Charlotte and having a repeat of the Agent incident is not something I would like to do right now. The problem is that the data used to formulate this plan is all speculative. If we are wrong about the enemies base power level or even their numbers we could be looking at a complete failure. I'd say our chances for victory in this situation are about seventy percent. The rest of it is left aside for error. The biggest error I can see would be Crispin. A level five has an incredible range of power. He could be manipulating these followers through a special power he gained but from what I know about him from out last encounter he enjoys letting people work for him of their own freewill. He thinks he's opening their eyes. He doesn't seem like the kind of person to just take over a person's mind and control them, so that leaves the animal tactic of the strongest being the leader. That would mean his strength should at least rival Romulus at his peak right now. If I have Romulus by my side he shouldn't be a problem. If everything goes according to my plan the the success rate increases by ten percent. If it doesn't it could drop to near zero. This could end up being really fun.
We make our way to the sewer hatch closest to the base and make our way up a nearby building. When we reach the roof we scope out the situation.
The final base is a club owned by Crispin himself and set up on the outskirts of town. It's a ways from the city so no one will hear our battle. He chose this place for that reason. The Depraved are a disease. A disease which shows it's symptoms right away is easily identified and cured before it can kill off the person it has infected. Out here the disease is well hidden and shouldn't show signs of its presence until it is too late. Crispin's seemingly laid back attitude is hiding a tactical mind. But as things are now he has the place set up like a fortress. Every kind of person your could find in Oscura, from street punks to grown human trash, are swarming the area around Crispin's final base. It almost looks like half the city is there waiting for us. All of them have to be high on xenothium drugs or long time users who've retained permanent effects. He's built himself a little army.
"Crowd control." Romulus looks back at El Dorado and Johnny. "I think we should send in Johnny to take down the gatekeepers."
"Send El Dorado." I stop him from letting Johnny go down there. "Johnny would be overwhelmed by the numbers and from what you've told me about El Dorado he should be able to handle this."
Johnny feels like he should object but lets El Dorado take his place anyway.
"Even though we're switching Johnny for El Dorado the plan is still the same. Keep moving no matter what. We don't stop until we get to the head and slit its throat." Romulus reminds us. "These people aren't trained soldiers or anything. They're just kids and adults who've lost their way. They wont know what to do without Crispin giving them orders."
El Dorado stands up and slams his fists together. "My friends. Let us kick some a**." He leaps from the top of the building and falls towards the crowd. He lands with grace but not subtlety. As soon as he hits the ground he is attacked with a flurry of energy based attacks and fireballs. The countless enemies swarm him and an explosion engulfs his body. Everything is quiet for a second as the smoke clear but El Dorado is not in the centre of the devastation like he should be. In an instant his scarlet cape appear as if out of nowhere and wraps around several Depraved members only to teleport them into the sky and toss them away so they either pass out or are too injured from the fall to continue fighting. One of the members lights his arm on fire and attacks using his pyro abilities but El Dorado grabs the arm, splintering the bones under his incredible grip and tosses him away, ducking under the next ones punch and slamming his own fist into him so hard that it cracks the man's metallic skin. Another one tries to fire a laser at him while a beast like man attacks from behind. El Dorado takes the blast into his cape and unleashes it on the beat man.
"No one knows how to fight in this country." El Dorado sighs. "Perhaps it would have been more fun if I where to come alone, yes? But then I would not have had fun with my new friends." He swings off of one guys neck and his feet collides with another two and he uses one mans crystal body to reflect another laser blast at its user. "I hope the other will have more fun than I am."
As El Dorado causes a riot out front none of the enemies notice that the rest of us have already snuck in.
"With him out there we can move on." I push everyone on ahead.
Two muscly men stand and guard the main entrance to the inner clubroom.
Charlotte and Yvette walk up to them as if it where nothing and smile at them flirtatiously.
"Excuse me." Charlotte bats her eyes. "We're lost. Would you mind helping us out a little?"
"We're here to see Crispin." Yvette puts a finger to her lips and a small spark fires off from them. "We wont be any trouble."
Crispin's club is as it usually is, filled to its corners with sweat and blood. Bodies sway and grins as glowing orange xenothium runs down the throats and through the veins of all who dare enter this hellish scene. As these demons dance to the rhythm of the chaos they create depiction of hellfire and death are portrayed on the walls and the room fills with the howls of the lost souls who take refuge here. His own personal hell.
The music is interrupted as the smoke covered bodies of the guards are thrown like rag dolls through the club doors. They crush a few partying Depraved as they land hard on the sweat covered floor.
"Some men." Yvette sighs. "Bat your eyes once and they turn into les animaux. Trop Mauvais."
The Depraved turn their attentions to the two girls. Teeth gnash and widened eyes close in as the steam covered bodies of these demons close in their prey.
"I think they want to play." Yvette licks her sparking lips.
"Why don't we let the boys have some of the action." Charlotte steps back as Johnny and Pandora walk into the crowd.
Pandora unleashes millions of energy boxes from his hands and they collide with the Depraved members as Johnny's fists crush the rest.
"So these are levels one and two?" Johnny asks. "They're nothing."
"But in a group like this they feel like they're something." Pandora sighs as he uses his boxes to clear up the unconscious or incredibly wounded bodies into another room and lock them away. "Just look at this filth. What the hell where they doing here?"
"Any form of sin imaginable I'm afraid." Romulus smells the air. "And it seems we're not alone yet."
"Perceptive as always." A blonde man claps as he watches us from above. He finishes off a glass filled with some sort of cocktail drink and sets it down on the table beside him. "Anthony. Have you returned to us only to die?"
The man stands up and floats down to us. His eyes are sharp and pale green. A sick yellowish green which holds no feeling or warmth to it. He has piercing all over his ears and rings covering his fingers. His white coat is covered in dangling tassels and the bottom of his shoes are metal.
"Phillip Magnum." Romulus informs us without taking his eyes away from the enemy. "He liked to be called Ferromagnum. He was one of the Depraved members who made sure I was where I had to be when I couldn't control my powers."
"And now you've come home to me." Ferromagnum smiles with all the charm of an aristocrat. "But I'm afraid this will not be a happy reunion."
"No, it wont." Romulus gets ready but Johnny stops him.
"Remember the plan. We need you and X to stay out of the fights until the end."
Yvette steps forward and looks at Ferromagnum with a confident eyebrow cocked. She spins around to face us and flashes a peace sign. "I'll take care of this baiseur myself. You guys go on ahead."
"You sure?" Mary asks.
"That's the plan isn't it?" Yvette asks. "He's a higher level than the others so I take care of him on my own and regroup with you later."
"Good luck." Romulus and the rest of us start to move on.
We break through a wall Romulus knows is a secret entryway to a subterranean base hidden under this one.
"Are you sure it was a good idea to leave Hotwire behind?" Mary calls up to Romulus.
"Don't sell her short." Romulus calls back. "She's a level three on the infections list and she chooses her battle well. She wouldn't have bothered to volunteer to stay behind if she didn't think she could win."
"I dunno." Charlotte adds in. "She seems a little hot headed to me."
"Trust Romulus." I tell them. "This is his team member we're talking about. He should know her weaknesses better than us."
"It's easy for you to say." Romulus smiles at me. "You can tell what she was thinking can't you?"
"I make it my business to know what goes through the minds of women." I grin confidently under my helmet. "It's just another reason why I'm awesome."
Back outside El Dorado has pretty much cleared away the low level watchmen and gets ready to head in.
"I should catch up to the others." He roles his arms to work out the kinks in his muscles.
Just as he's about to go inside he has to dive into his cape to avoid being crushed by the falling body of a woman from the sky. When she hits the ground it explode like it was hit with the impact of a comet. The woman stands up when El Dorado reappears from his teleportation. If I knew a babe with slap-happies that big I'd've thought up a plan where I was the one staying out front. Seriously, that chicks melons are the size of party balloons. And somehow she squeezed them into a halter top.
"It seems my reunion will have to wait." El Dorado gets ready for a fight.
Alex: "Well, we've infiltrated the base and started the last stand. Hey, why's the next episode called chapter 17 too?"
Charlotte: "Because the final battle is going to be pretty long HumanX decided to split it up into sections. This one was just the intro so people will know where everyone stands."
Alex: "That's all great but why does El Dorado get to fight the basoomas girl! I WANT TOO!"
Johnny: "I'm sure it's for the best."
Alex: "Hear me HumanX! If I don't bonk some bitties soon I will explode!" Trips and falls into Charlotte's boobs. "Not what I was looking for."
Charlotte: "Get off."
Romulus: "Is this really what you guys waste your time with?"
Charlotte: "This is supposed to be a preview of the next chapter but we actually just end up talking about stupid things."
Romulus: "If that's all then I guess I can do it. In the next chapter sparks fly as Yvette unleashes her full potential. El Dorado meets a challenge he cannot overcome and the rest of our team falls into a dangerous trap. Next Red X Oscura chapter 17, in the case of Hotwire and El Dorado."
Johnny: "Wow. You where abel to wrap it up without wasting time on stupid comments. I'm impressed."
Alex: "I want cha chas."