And who says TV Tropes isn't a complete time sync.


Peering down to the street below with a growing scowl I accidentally inhaled a bit of dust, and sneezing into my arm I let out an explosive- "Ah-tchew!"

I also let the asian ganbangers I'd been stalking know that they had unwanted company. Sometimes I hate my power.

Sighing, I stood up from the edge of the rooftop that had been concealing me and mentally flicked through my mental rolodex until I had the selection I wanted. Then, likely in awe of the magnificence that was myself, a few of them raised their guns in my direction. They were mostly pistols admittedly, but it was still a challenge… damnit, it was doing it again.


Stepping off the edge of the building, I briefly looked over the assorted thugs and angled myself toward the largest one of the bunch. A big, but not big-big, man with a vaguely familiar looking Dragon mask and colourful tattoos covering his upper body. He'd do.

Flashing forward, I was suddenly kicking off the face of a thug. Then, as I accelerated forward again I stuck my foot out and spun half a rotation and on the last half of it the top of my foot was smashing into the side of the masked man's chest.

He went flying into the side of a warehouse the group had been gathering outside of, the sheet metal buckling and tearing as he smashed through it and into the buildings interior.

My body acting against my will I raised my arms and spread my feet as I took on the VICTORY POSE. Man that was sure a pain, but I guess it meant that I'd beaten the strongest of the group… right?

The thugs around me took a collective step back as I lowered my arms to my sides and looked around at them. Then most of them fled.

"Well, I guess I did beat the strongest of the bunch, who woulda thought that actually works... Huh, guess you learn something everyday."

The street was suddenly lit up red and orange, and what few of the thugs were still around me suddenly turned around and fled as a low growling started up behind me.

I turned toward the sound, expecting to see some rabid dog or something but instead I saw the warehouse I had smashed the masked man into up in flames. There was also a Dragon-Masked-Man that was now rather larger, and not to mention much more skaley, than he had been a minute earlier tearing his way out of the now too small hole he had made.

"Ah," I muttered as pieces of information clicked together and I remembered where I'd seen that mask before. It belonged to Lung, leader of the ABB… hm.


The heat and intensity of the flames coming off the warehouse kicked up several notches as he pointed a taloned finger at me.

My index thrumming with excitement, It helpfully shuffled forward one of my selection and I activated the INVINCIBLE HERO. Unfortunately, QUIPS activated along with it but beggars can't be choosers.

"Whelp, there goes the neighborhood."


Accelerating to speeds far beyond the speed limit I swerved around a fire truck that had parked itself in the middle of the street and sped into the chaotic hell of fire and destruction that the docks had become.

"Colin, please. Just wait for backup to catch up. The level of destruction that the two of them are doing-" Dragon, trying, in her own way, to help. But it wasn't the right type of help I needed.

"Can't, whoever Lung is fighting is being driven back. If the fight gets out of the docks we won't be able to contain the damage to unpopulated areas."

"...There's no arguing with you is there."

I didn't bother to respond as I weaved past a pothole and pressed my thumb to the boost, while making a mental note that incorporating it into the grip could be potentially beneficial.

"Fine," she bit out in frustration. "Extrapolating from the path they're taking, if you take a right on Brooks you'll be able to intercept them in point five point four Kilometers."

"Thank you," she cared, in her own way, and I knew I wasnt the… most comfortable person to be around at times, as Assault repeatedly needled me about. But at least she was able to understand me.

"Thank me by not getting burned up and getting out before you get over your head- Update: Dauntless enroute, ETA Four minutes and Velocity just reported back in. From what he saw Lung is currently at level three... and there's another thing, while passing by Velocity said he felt something, like he was stronger and he says it was easier to run. A Trump-Shaker power on the part of whoever is fighting Lung perhaps, but if so keep mindful of your limits- keep your head on straight and if Lung reaches level five you get out of there."

"But-" I tried to argue that technically, the suit I was wearing had the potential to survive Lung up to level seven. It just hadn't been tested yet, just like the sedative I hoped would be able to put Lung down. She wouldn't hear it though.

"No Colin, you get out. The thermal shielding is still imperfect and the dampeners still aren't ready. No arguments."

"... Fine." I reluctantly acquiesced, her tone brokering no disagreement.

A neon green arrow appeared in my visors heads-up-display at the center of an intersection coming up. A few seconds later I turned right on it and I saw an explosion of flame light up the night sky a block to the left and I almost missed the waypoint arrow in the middle of the street that designated the intercept point.

Slowing to a complete stop took less than five seconds, thanks to the inertial dampeners I'd recently installed, and I was able to dismount the bike and send it away in time for a slight figure to smash through the brick front of the warehouse I'd stopped in front of.

Tumbling through the air in a shower of rubble they came down in a three point crouch, digging dug furrows into the decaying asphalt of the street with their landing. Definitely a Brute aspect then. From the within the warehouse the cape had emerged from a red glow illuminated the street and a window shaking roar shook the air.

In that brief time I unclamped and unfolded my halberd from my back and took in the cape, absently making sure my suits camera and sensor suite was transmitting everything I was seeing and sending it back to base.

Slowly, they stood up from there landing and I examined them; an analysis subroutine in my visor activating and aiding the process. They were female, a young teen most likely; judging by her lack of development in the hip and chest area. Wards age most likely, but that could come later. Tall for her presumed age; five-five, maybe five-eight. A side effect of her trigger maybe? She was wearing a black, shortsleeve shirt that her long dark hair hung down to the middle of; with simple blue jeans and sneakers to complete the ensemble.

Also of note was there there wasn't a single burn or blemish visible on her, despite having just crashed through a wall and torn of the street. Definitely evidence toward the possibility of a Breaker or Shaker aspect to her power; a personal shield such as Glory Girl's perhaps.

Finally rising to her full height she cracked her neck with an audible pop and looked to me, a slightly too wide mouth showing teeth bared in a vicious grin with the light of the fires across the street reflecting off a pair of aviator sunglasses. Unhelpfully, a behaviour analysis subroutine popped up warning about the probability of the cape being of questionable sanity.

"So," she mused nonchalantly as the warehouse she had come from exploded in flame and lung came bursting forth; fully scaled, over two meters tall and an aura of flame covering him. "-you're' the SIDEKICK are you? I mean, you've got the FASHIONABLY LATE part down right but you could have probably gotten here a bit earlier y'know. Just sayin'."

A flash of motion and fire from the peripheral sent up instinctual warning bells and I leapt back, away from an onrushing Lung that slammed into the young came. But her feet blurred, she twisted and suddenly lung with thrown back in a textbook throw.

The Alexandria-esk feat was nearly surprising enough that I almost didn't notice that I had jumped back much farther than my suit should have been capable of. And I almost missed the near intangible shiver that went through my body at the words SIDEKICK and FASHIONABLY LATE.


While on the outside I was grinning like a complete loon, on the inside I was blushing like a fire hydrant. Armsmaster! I had designated Armsmaster of all people as SIDEKICK. I'd probably die of shame when this was all over. But, on the upside to him showing up a new selection had been pulled up for me to use and I immediately activated MULTI-MELEE MASTER.

And, as a flood of knowledge entered my mind and body, I reached out as I dodged Lung and hooked my arm around a metal street light; ripping it out of the ground with a heave and twist of my body. Lung came about for another charge and I brought nearly unwieldy length of metal around in a spin that caught the enraged Dragon-Man in the ribs.

For the second time that night I made him fly. Speeding away from me Lung smashed into the burning rubble of the warehouse that he had punched me through.

Twirling the pole like it was a simple baton and not a several hundred pound length of metal; I rested it on my shoulder as it shifted, compressed and shrunk down to the size of a somewhat larger and thicker than what could possibly be normal staff. Heh. I loved my powers.

Looking over Armsmaster I grinned as the flames around the warehouse exploded into a column of flame and an shadow rose up from within it.

"You better get ready SIDEKICK, because this is round two."

Hoh boy, i've had this one on the books for a long time and man i'm damn glad with how it came out on the first draft.

Also, the underlined portions were links that lead to TV Tropes but... yyyeeaaah.

Never Back Down by Nine Lashes