My heart dropped into my stomach upon hearing that low whine slowly build into a crescendo before falling back. Rushing downstairs to the living room. "Not here, not here, not here!" I repeated as though a prayer to ward off evil. I turned our old TV on, it gave a sharp chirp and a small whistle as cathode ray tube warmed up.
"-ectorate capes have been called up working with local emergency response forces to evacuate coastlines and low lying areas along the North Eastern seaboard." The presenter stated solemnly reading from his teleprompter. A crawl of text rolled slowly along the bottom of the screen. 'This is not a drill. Please proceed in a orderly manner to designated shelter locations, remember standard evacuation procedures.'
An Endbringer was heading here, and from the varied information coming from the presenter it was Leviathan. The monster responsible for killing millions and sinking entire islands was coming to add Brockton Bay to the list of underwater cities, right next to Nagasaki and Atlantis.
A bit of light-headedness hit me as the back of my knees bumped into the coffee table causing me to inadvertently sit on it with a thump. It took me a moment to realize that I was hyperventilating a bit. Taking a slow deep breath I tried to calm myself as my thoughts zipped through my head faster than Alexandria. Preplanned evacuations routes, as well as what Dad and I could or couldn't bring flashed to the front of my mind. Dad was still at work so he would have to go to a different evacuation shelter than the one I would be going to. Except I wasn't going to the evacuation site.
I was a cape, it was my duty to defend the city, but I was a cape that had never gone out yet. It was like some cosmic joke that Taylor Hebert, would get powers but not be able to use them; not up until the end that is. My stomach clenched as I curled up into a ball and hugged my legs, tears coming to my eyes as my emotions warred withing me. It took me a few minutes to finally make my choice as I stood up, sniffed a few times and wiped the tears away. If there was ever a time to toughen up and finally become a hero it was now.
Stepping into the middle of the room I prepared myself for my debut. "The power of the Planet Saturn, Transform!" I called out, raising my hand. Imminently a dark purple light sprang up around me, illuminating the living room in a light-show complete with sparkles. My comfortable baggy cloths disappeared leaving me clothed in opaque purple light. My weapon materialized in my hand first, before the rest of my built in costume appeared on my body. Knee-high boots, elbow length elegant gloves and a ridiculous pleated, ribboned mini-skirt shimmered into existence before finally a jeweled diadem fixed itself on my forehead.
After the transformation was complete I still instinctively tried to cover myself up. I was so very glad no one was around to witness that, since I was certain that the purple light left very little to the imagination. It wasn't completely bad, ever since the locker puberty seemed to have caught up and fill out my figure a bit. I still wore my comfy hoody and jeans so nobody at school had really noticed. Still I wouldn't have to suffer my first cape appearance with gangly arms, knobbly knees and the lack of feminine figure that I had feared I would be cursed with. That didn't mean I was by any means comfortable.
Patting myself down I gave myself a last once-over before heading to the backdoor, making sure my glaive didn't bang on the way out. Looking up to the gentle curve of the blade of my pole-arm, The Silence Glaive. I thought it was a very pretty weapon, but it was a little disconcerting that I was holding what was essentially a dooms-day device. Armsmaster might have a very nice halberd, complete with literally all of the cutting edge gadgets, but it couldn't hold a candle to my weapon.
Stepping out into the light rain I was pleasantly surprised to discover something new about my powers, an in built water repellent. The rain splattered and streamed off my clothes and hair leaving my curls and costume crisp and dry. Still didn't make up for the fact my powers seemed to be allergic to any additions I wanted, so no mask. That's one of the very good reasons I hadn't gone out before, whenever I tried to wear a mask it just felt wrong and my powers would eventually start to act weird. In truth all my powers were weird not just my costume. There was the whole embarrassing magical girl thing I had going on, my glowy transformation sequence could have come straight out of an Earth Aleph anime. From the stuff I had found on PHO about The PRT's power ratings I didn't know if that made me some sort of changer or what. Some side benefits of my moe-metamorphosis was some low brute and mover ratings. I was definitely a decent bit tougher, stronger and faster than normal me. But it wasn't enough for me to risk running around without the safety of a secret identity. I was tougher sure, but I doubt I was really bullet proof. I could comfortably lift 400 pounds, but I wasn't going to be chucking cars around anytime soon. Sadly I didn't get my childhood dream power of flight, but being able to effortlessly jump 30 feet into the air was extremely fun.
Using that gravity bending power, I leapt away bouncing off rooftops and over streets."There is no spoon." I laughed to myself as I tried to figure out where all the parahumans would be gathering. I was having so much fun using my powers that I almost forgot the gravity of my situation. It didn't take long for me spot a group of civilians being lead into an Endbringer shelter. Angling my jump I landed near a pair of police officers that were waving people along a yellow police cordon. Several of the civilians and one of the cops gave a surprised jolt as the heels of my boots made a sharp clack as I landed.
I hope I didn't look as ridiculous as I felt, as my colorful appearance attracted a lot of attention from everyone nearby. I didn't bother suppressing the sigh as several phones appeared and began to click pictures of me, reminding me exactly why I hadn't gone out with my inability to wear a mask.
"Um-, do you know where the hero's are gathering?" I asked the policeman that I had surprised, trying to shrink into myself as his partner continued to wave people toward the shelter.
Reaching through the window of his squad car he quickly handed me a piece of paper. Setting my glaive against my shoulder I quickly read the header of 'Parahuman Response.' "This is close to Arcadia, between it and the boardwalk, right?" I asked in a raised voice.
The policemen simply nodded as I folded up the paper and grabbed my weapon, readying myself to head out. "Good luck." He stated before turned away.
"Thank you." I responded as my stomach gave another flip. I took a few steps to gain speed before jumping off to the roof of a nearby building, probably flashing anyone that was looking as I left. I tried to reassure myself that it didn't really count because it was more a frilly leotard with a skirt, still didn't help my love-hate relationship with my powers.
I wasn't crazy fast, but hopping along rooftops allowed me to avoid any crowds or traffic jams made by the idiots that weren't supposed to be driving cars to shelters. I did get lost for a bit but eventually came to the building the paper had described. The big parking lot had several armored PRT trucks positioned around it gave it away. Also eye catching was Dragon's green armored suit near the building looking towards the ocean. Although, from a conversation with Greg that I faintly recall, based on size; he would argue that it should be called a mech rather than a suit. Landing in the parking lot I ran towards the building as with a flash of lightning a heavy sheet of rain picked up. I almost stumbled as the long neck of Dragon's armor swung around to look at me.
"A bit late." Her pleasant voice called down to me. "But we should still have a bit more time before he arrives, the others are inside going over the plan."
"T-thanks." I stuttered, failing to keep my composure in front of the world's greatest tinker. "Should I just head in?"
Nodding her mechanical head she said. "You may still be able to get the general idea, you don't look familiar though."
"O-oh I'm Saturn, its my first time out." I mutter lamely, fearing I sounded as stupid as I felt confessing my inexperience. I didn't stick around to get a response fearing I would somehow get banned, because a beginner would only get in the way.
Quickly making my way inside I could hear the an indistinct voice from farther in the exact words muffled by the noise of the new downpour. Following the sound of the voice I came to a large room that honestly looked like a cosplay convention. My breath hitched as I saw all the big names, Legend was flanked by Alexandria and Eidolon. All the local hero's were there, and I spotted a lot of the local villains scattered amongst some out of town heroes. I still found it a bit odd to see the capes of Empire Eighty-Eight in their costumes after their secret identities were revealed on the news not too long ago. It seemed ironic that everything had just calmed down from the bombings and gang war just to be attacked by an Endbringer.
I could finally clearly understand the words as Legend spoke to the gathered capes. "If we let him slip past our defensive lines, precious time will be wasted chasing him, getting him in another situation where we can contain his movements." I discretely slid into the back of the room.
"Our second priority is that we need to find ways to hurt him. If you cannot, if your attacks are deflected or prove otherwise useless, work to support those who can. It is vain to hope to kill him, but he can be whittled down enough that he will flee back to the ocean, and if we hurt him enough, it may delay the time before he is capable of making another attack elsewhere." Legend explained, pausing as a flash of lightning and a very loud crash of thunder shook the building. My guts were still tying themselves in knots, but it seemed now would be the best time to interrupt and explain my simple plan.
"Excuse me, Legend I have a way to kill Leviathan." I called with a raised hand, almost instantly regretting it as almost every head in the room swiveled around to look at me. Pushing through the wall of my own uncertainty I continued. "I haven't been a cape for long and I haven't gone out because my main power isn't PR friendly. But anyways, I have the ability to bring guaranteed death to my target. I-"
"Do you think this is some game girl?" Eidolon cut me off his obviously annoyed voice ringing out of his glowing green hood. "You aren't the first cape that thought they had a silver bullet for these monsters. Its never worked before, and I doubt you will be any different so either be quiet or leave."
Indignation battled with embarrassment inside me, indignation won. I was so stressed that I didn't care that I was in a room with some of the most powerful people on the planet, a part of me kinda snapped.
"Fine! I'll go, but when I start just stay out of my way!" I stormed out uncaring of the muttering that followed me. I wasn't far away when Legend cleared his voice and continued his briefing. I was so disgruntled as I stomped away, didn't he know what I was going to have to sacrifice to save everyone? I just made it to the outer doors when more rational thoughts broke through my emotions, I guess they didn't know the details. I didn't get the chance to explain before Eidolon interrupted.
Slowly stepping outside into the rain I glanced toward the coast trying to think of a good place to wait for the monster I was to slay. I barely started my journey before the sound of whirring of servos caught my attention. "Did you really mean what you said in there? You think you can kill Leviathan."
Looking over I saw Dragon's huge mech had turned towards me, and she seemed to be examining me carefully. "I know I can." I answered, and knew it was true. I wasn't sure exactly how I knew even though I had never used my true power, but I knew what it could do.
"My power is a little terrifying, it's one of the reasons this is my first time out." I gave Dragon a bit of a resigned smile. "Once activated I bring Death to my target. It doesn't matter what, it could be a person, a city, a planet or an entire solar system. I guess, I sorta become the personification of Death and nothing will stop me from destroying my target."
I wish I could see Dragon's face to get an idea on whether she believed me or not, I knew it sounded ridiculous. "Hmm. I see, does this happen instantaneously, or is there some rule or condition that needs to be met?"
I couldn't tell if she was just humoring me, but I continue anyway. "Um- It depends on how strong or big my target is, like a person would probably die in seconds. A planet should take an hour or so, Depending on how tough Leviathan is I think it should only take a few minutes. All I need is to see my target or have a really really good idea about them. It's scary that since I know about life on earth I could kill it, but I don't know enough about Leviathan to target him right now."
"That does sound like a terrifying power." Dragon agreed. "If you only need line of sight how about I get you on top a building near the bay, it should give you the best chance of seeing Leviathan early."
"Uh yeah, that sounds good; thank you." I nodded, surprised as a hatch opened up on the side of her suit. Inside was a small bay that could snugly fit several people, and from the packs with red crosses on them I guessed Dragon used this for medical evacuation. Stepping into the compartment I saw belts and fasteners that would likely be used to secure any wounded if Dragon were to be flying around at high speeds. The hatch closed as I felt, and heard a rumbling and high pitched whine as Dragon took flight.
"I noticed that your hair and outfit exhibit hydrophobic properties. Did you tinker your clothes or spray something on in advance of this fight?" Dragon's voice flowed out of a tiny speaker.
"No." I answered tucking a lock of my hair behind my ear as the inertia of flight shifted. "Some sort of built in changer ability, these cloths are part of my powers; no mask. Which is another reason this is my first time out."
"That's an interesting quandary, and you couldn't simply add a mask on top of the changed state?" Dragon asked.
"A mask always felt odd, and that feeling eventually grew until my powers started to act weird."
"Hmm, try putting this on." Dragon said as a small door near the medical supplies popped open revealing a dozen high tech wrist band looking things. "I designed these to help organize capes, put it on and see if you get the same odd feeling."
As I tightened the tinker-tech over my glove I only half listened to Dragon's explanation to how it worked and what the buttons did. "It doesn't feel odd at all, nothing like a mask." I said after confirming my name for the armband.
"Perhaps a striker effect with any foreign object on your skin. I would like to help you after this is all done. You are correct that your powers might scare off many in the PRT, but I could see you doing well in the Guild."
"Yeah- sure thanks." I muttered uselessly, Dragon didn't know the cost to use my power.
"Alright, I'll let you out here." She said, as the hatched opened up allowing the wind and noise to flow in. I hopped out onto a five story flat roofed building that had a great view of the bay. "I have to get back to the meeting I'm needed to help organize the front line fighters. I truly hope you are correct about your power."
As Dragon few off leaving the roof in a wash of hot air, I paused; the rain splattering off my outfit. Now that I was alone again my emotions began to boil up inside me. I could still leave, I didn't have to do this. Just take off the armband and run, I could let the more experienced heroes handle it. I was only 15, I hadn't even kissed a boy yet. Warm tears mixed with rain as I thought of all the things I still wanted to do. Why should I be the one to fight off the walking natural disaster?
I knew the answers. Because I could stop the monster before he ruined half the city. Because not even the Triumvirate had been able to really stop him before. Even the good days, Endbringer attacks had deaths in the tens of thousands, and I could prevent that. Taking a deep breath I steeled myself again.
As I waited I saw something odd, the waters of the bay were pulling back. I saw new algae covered rocks revealed by the lower water, there was even a small boat half sunk into the sand. I payed enough attention in science class to know what was going to be coming soon, looking out to the ocean I saw the horizon bulge.
"Tidal wave incoming!" I yelled into my wristband after pressing the left button. The wave moved very quickly, until it was funneled into the bay where it slowed and grew in height. The wave only seemed to be getting taller and I was a little concerned that the building I stood on wouldn't be high enough. As the wave approached I noticed that I wasn't alone anymore, as groups of heroes teleported to surrounding rooftops and flyers dotted the sky.
"Shielders and anyone that can reduce the waves damage get on it." My wristband barked, and an array of colorful powers flew out or popped into existence in the bay slowing the water down. The remains of the wave battered its way through and onto land, knocking over power lines and tousling cars. The building I was on shook ominously as the water slapped into its side, I was again wishing I was somewhere else.
"Leviathan spotted, still in the bay: AC-4!" Another voice piped out of my wristband, and I glanced the GPS map to get an idea where the beast was. Looking out I saw the Endbringer slowly rising out of the bay his coloration making him difficult to spot. It was his four glowing eyes that were easiest to see, his form rising up until he was only knee deep in the bay.
"Blasters ready! We'll hit him hard while there's no danger of collateral damage!" Legend's voice signaled to everyone, right as I slammed my finger on the left button.
"Hard override!" My heart pounded in my chest, feeling like I was standing one foot over the edge of a precipice. "Wait please! I'm about to activate! I'll try to keep collateral damage to a minimum, but I can take care of him!"
Time seemed to slow for a bit as I felt like I was at the top of the high-dive at the public pool. You're scared of jumping, but the kids behind you won't wait for you to psyche yourself up. So letting my power fill me I stepped off into that abyss. Instead of falling my feet left the roof as I floated upward. I didn't get the time to admire that I could sorta fly before the wristband spoke out again.
"Is this that girl from before!?" Eidolon's angry voice called out as I spun my weapon in a seemingly practiced twirl ending with my glaive standing against my left side. My right hand curled up around my head to grip near the blade and my left arm was straight down pulling the polarm close.
"Death Reborn!" My voice called out and seemed to echo loudly across the entire bay, as I brought my blade down. Long purple ribbons of energy spun around the head of my Silence Glaive until I brought it up pointing it toward the sky. "REVOLUTION!"
A pillar of bright purple energy sprung up around me, rising until it hit tearing a hole in the dark storm clouds above. It was a rush, as my power filled me with overwhelming strength. I didn't even feel a sense of dread that I had feared, instead clarity filled my mind, there was only one thing left to do. Bring death to my enemy. The pillar of light cut off wrapping around me in the shape of long purple streamers of death energy. Looking down at Leviathan my body seemed to move on its own rocketing down toward the beast. I briefly wondered if I broke the sound barrier when I registered the crack of noise, before I was directly before the beast. Swinging my blade down I cut to the hilt, scoring a line from Leviathan's shoulder to the middle of his chest. The Endbringer jolted into action like my attack came as a surprise, and we began our dance of death.
"Holy-Shit!" Assault yelled incredulously, looking down from the rooftop that many heroes were gathering on. It was probably less than a minute since the girl has started with her purple light show and now she was solo-ing the Endbringer in melee combat. The girl in the frilly purple mini-skirt looked comically small beside the 30 foot monster but by the looks of it she was as she said she would 'taking care of' Leviathan.
"Should we help her?" Legend wondered aloud, as the girl let go of her weapon spinning it around her neck before cartwheeling over Leviathan's arm and slashing the giant limb as it passed under her. She looked to be untouchable as she bounced around, using the monster's own limbs as platforms to launch additional attacks. Her weapon was always in motion, each block was shifting into an attack. Even standing in the water where the second Endbringer should be the strongest didn't help the beast. The streams and blasts of his afterimage were always countered by a seemingly casual twirl. However, each spin and attack was coupled with a loud crack of sound and a violent ripple of the surrounding waters.
"Help her, why should we?!" Assault glanced back at Legend before throwing his arm out gesturing toward the fight. "She's kicking his ass!"
"All capes, hold position!" Dragon's voice called through everyone's armband. "Unless Saturn's situation changes do not engage. Be ready but do not interfere!"
In a whine of jet engines Dragon's huge suit landed heavily on an unoccupied corner. Soon after Alexandria swooped down doing her best to keep her eye's on the fight. "Dragon you spoke to her, do you have any more more details on her powers?" The female member of the Triumvirate asked as she watch Saturn run up Leviathan's arm to deliver a long slash across his face.
"I can't tell you much more than she mentioned at the briefing." Dragon said, keeping all of her sensors trained on the battle. "Most concerning is the level of power she told me she was capable of. She claimed that once activated, her power brings death to target, explaining that destruction of a planet is within her capabilities. In her words she becomes unstoppable, a personification of death. From what I can speculate from the little time I spoke with her, Saturn is terrified of her powers. She tried to hide it but stress indicators in her vocal patterns and posture were clear to me."
Slowly more and more capes were gathering on the rooftop trying to figure out what to do and who this new cape was that was slicing Leviathan to shreds.
"That girl has the most incredible magical power I have ever felt!" Myrddin gasped, although most ignored his insight. "I never knew necromancy could feel so pleasant."
"Does she have a fuck-ton of skill, or is she a precog?" Glory Girl wondered aloud. "She hasn't been hit once."
"Unknown." Dragon answered, "Pattern analyzers can't determine if she is reacting to the future or her combat style is creating a near perfect zone to defend and attack."
"She just isn't doing enough damage." Brandish stated. "The size difference is too big, her spear thing is cutting into him but the proportions of the cuts are small in comparison."
A collective gasp sounded from the capes as a geyser of water erupted just below Saturn. In a impossible show of grace the girl kept her feet beneath her, riding the geyser to Leviathan's eye level. Almost contemptuously Saturn batted the beast's claws away as he tried to attack her in the seemingly vulnerable position. Then bringing the thicker back haft of her weapon around she slammed it down on top of his head with such force a visible shock-wave spread out in a widening circle on the water.
Leviathan disappeared, the blow forcing him under the surface of the water, the bay roaring from the displaced water. Then as though it took gravity a bit to caught up, Saturn slowly began to fall until she gracefully swan dove into the water with hardly a splash. Many of the capes started, concerned about losing sight of the fighters but uncertain what to do. A few seconds later the waters where the two disappeared into began to roil and bubble.
"A-are they fighting underwater!?" Lady Photon gasped. "Wouldn't Leviathan have a huge advantage there?!"
"I believe Saturn has entered a breaker state." Armsmaster stated. "From my calculations no known materials possesses the tensile strength to handle the kinetic energy delivered in the last strike. Her weapon should have bent or shattered."
"That girl is terrifying!" Shielder exclaimed. "Do you think she can actually do it? Can she really kill an Endbringer?"
Suddenly the roiling sea seemed to explode like a depth charge detonating. The water shifted as Leviathan's form shot out of the water angled toward the docks. With a sharp crunch the beast hit one of the ship graveyard's derelict vessels that had been dragged deeper into the bay by the initial tidal wave. Saturn surfaced soon after standing on the water's surface she flourished her weapon with a swift flick. Leviathan was embedded comically into the side of the rusted ship as the two stared at each other form across the water. The Endbringer was missing an arm and a deep purple ribbon of energy seemed to wrap around his chest, looking exactly like the glowing ribbons trailing from Saturn. With a short crouch Saturn shot forward her footsteps creating a trail of splashes as she zipped forward, the odd streams of energy trailing behind her.
In response the sea between them sprang to life, whips, blades, and balls of water moved to intercept. Saturn didn't slow down as she spun her glaive in front, and behind her, twirling it around her hips and shoulders defending herself from each attack.
"There's no harm in a little hope." Alexandria said barely above a whisper, before raising her voice in a commanding tone. "Come on, we should stay close if she needs help."
I was both terrified and amazed as I ran across the bay, rapidly closing the distance between myself and Leviathan. The creature countered my approach as a barrage of hydrokinetic attacks rushed toward me. Bringing up my weapon I spun it in front of me, twirling it in a surreal pattern around my fingers, hands and wrists. I can remember doing some baton twirling in the gymnastics classes Emma and I took as girls, but I was no where near this good. My body was sorta knew what it was doing, but the more I fought it almost felt like I was recalling the techniques from a millennium of hard training and combat.
A whip of water swung around from my left and I spun the haft under my armpit switching dominate hands. My blade intercepted the attack and I felt my power drain Leviathan's energy from the water, effectively 'killing' his power over it.
The Endbringer was a lot tougher than I first thought he would be, I could barely feel him weakening as my power slowly drained his power and life away. It really didn't matter, his fate was already sealed. I just wanted to wear him down before fully activating The Silence Glaive, the weapon was terrifying even when I was trying to hold back.
I broke through the curtain of water, after slaying literal tons of liquid. Rushing forward, Leviathan was still embedded in the ship I had smacked him into. Leaping into the air intent on stabbing the immobile creature I flicked away a blade of water only for Leviathan's long tail to come for my exposed right. I gasped as I was hit zipping away with a crack of air. Noise filled my ears as I smashed into a building somewhere between the boardwalk and the docks, windows and walls shattering as I went through them. Cursing myself, I had gotten complacent focusing on myself instead of Leviathan.
"Saturn!" Dragon's concerned voice yelled through my wristband. "Are you alright!?"
I was fine, that hadn't even hurt; you couldn't hurt Death. I didn't take the time to respond, I had to keep fighting or else the other capes would get involved. Fixing my mind on my target, the ribbons wrapped around my body flared. Like the ancient curse said, I arrived on swift wings appearing on Leviathan's shoulder in a flash of light. Cutting along the beast's neck I allowed myself some satisfaction as I sliced a piece of his ruined face off.
His stupid long tail swung up to smack me like a fly as I resumed my spinning weapon style. I kept close to Leviathan as each spin of my weapon blocked or attacked. Another spin and I disrupted a water attack that he launched at me from behind. I smiled as I felt another ribbon wrapping itself around the monster, binding our fates closer together. As more of my power took hold I could better understand my target, he felt odd, alien. I got the idea that this thing wasn't from earth, I doubted that it was even from this solar system; and for some reason that deeply offended me.
Leviathan zoomed away disrupting my attacks, it seemed he was trying to gain some space between us. With a slight huff I flexed my power and I was again up close and personal. Again after a few cuts he zipped away, but he couldn't get away; Death was everywhere.
Another ribbon of my power curled around him, and I felt that he was hiding parts of himself in a different dimension. I could now easily understand why the other capes had so much trouble hurting this abominable invader. Unless you could get to the protected core you couldn't kill it. A part of my mind worried about the other two Endbringers if they were the same, would someone else be able to kill them?
I tried to stay focused as my power was settling around Leviathan at a faster pace, as I sliced deeper into the tougher innards. Bits of whatever he was made of flew off with each swing of my glaive. He lost his tail as another ribbon fixed in place, that was about the time he turned and ran. He disappeared in a giant splash of water and I could feel the distance between us growing. It took me a second to realize what was happening before a wave of annoyance washed through me.
"Get back here, I'm not chasing you halfway across the ocean!" I yelled the ribbons around me flaring again as I appeared underwater beside him. Stabbing deeply into the monster's back I twisted my weapon. Using the curved blunt end as a hook I dragged Leviathan to the surface, before swinging my weapon and sending him hurling back toward land. It was only after he was already in the air that I realized it probably would have been better to kill him out in deeper water.
With another flare I appeared on top of the beast, wind whipping through my hair as we both sailed back. Leviathan gave a feeble attack that I batted away, my power had drained the strength from him. With a twirl I swung the back haft of my glaive down like a great mace. With a crack the Endbringer shot down landing in a crater on the street between the beach and buildings, it was time to end this.
"Silence Glaive!" I yelled, my voice doing that odd echoey thing as the blade lit up purple. Falling toward to the immobile monster I brought my blade down. My power told me where to strike, seeking Leviathan's heart, or whatever it had that was closest. Cutting deep I found my target and unleashed Death, trying my best to direct my power into the parts that weren't actually here. The ground shook and stoplights bounced in intersections, but at least buildings weren't falling over. There was another burst of purple light and the struggling beast under me stilled.
I straightened pulling my weapon free, it's blade no longer glowing. It was odd, he was dead and I still felt fine, I had almost expected to keel over the second I had unleashed my final attack. It was only after I looked at the ribbons still encircling my frame that I saw they were slowly disappearing into sparks of purple light that faded away. The enormous rush of energy was slowly fading away, and I knew what would happen at the end.
I was distracted when I heard a slowly rising sound reach my ears. Looking up I saw the surrounding capes, jumping, yelling and throwing their arms in the air in celebration. Even the villains were cheering. It was bitter-sweet, I couldn't help but smile. Stepping off the corpse of my foe I saw The Triumvirate flying down to me, soon many of the other capes followed, flying, swinging or jumping closer.
"You did it!" Alexandria laughed, looking like she wanted to hug me. It was only when I raised my hand, palm facing her that warded her from doing so.
Eidolon didn't approach me instead going to Leviathan's ruined form, investigating if the Endbringer was truly dead.
"I can't believe it!" Legend cheered, as he settled on the ground before me, dozens of other capes slowly gathering behind him. "On your first time out you killed Leviathan, you saved the city! There might have been some civilians hurt in the chaos, but nothing like usual. None of the defenders died and that's never happened before!"
My smile faltered, as I was reminded of what was happening to me. The slowly encroaching weakness coming to collect payment. "Y-yeah, sadly one cape did die today." My voice hitched, as the throat tightened.
"What who?" Legend asked, the gathering crowd quieted.
"There are several good reasons why I haven't gone out until today." I hiccuped as the tears gathered in the corners of my eyes. "There's a price to use my final power, I'm dying."
"What?" The leader of the protectorate gaped, pausing for several moments, before he turned and yelled. "Strider get Panacea!"
"I don't think it will help." I sniffed, looking down to see that more than half of the ribbons had disappeared into moats of light. "Listen, I don't have long. I learned some things while fighting him. Leviathan is an alien, like a really weird extra-solar type of alien. He wasn't even entirely here, part of him was in a different dimension. If the other Endbringers are similar you will need to hit where ever their heart thing is with something that can get to those hidden parts. Conventional weapons can't really hurt them."
"Wait, how do you know you're power is killing you if you haven't used it till today?" Alexandria asked quickly. "And how were you able to kill Leviathan if his vulnerability was in a different dimension?"
"I just know." I replied gruffly as more sparks of purple light started to flow off the ribbons. Sparks now drifting off of the Silence Glaive. "How did you know how to fly when you got your powers? My power is Death, it doesn't matter where my target is Death is everywhere."
There was a crack and faint rumble as who I guess was Strider alongside Panacea, appeared nearby. "I heard I was needed." She said in a rushed tone, jogging forward hitching up her voluminous robes.
"Saturn says that as a price for beating Leviathan, her powers are killing her." Legend explained.
"Do I have you permission to help?" Panacea asked, already reaching for my exposed upper arm.
"I don't think it will help." But I nodded anyway, a small tiny spark of hope glimmering in the back of my mind. Her hands were warm as the settled on my skin, and the spark of hope died when shock appeared on her face.
"I-I can barely feel anything, but I think she's losing biomass I can't do anything though." Panacea gasped.
"Thanks for trying." I muttered, before gulping down the lump in my throat. "Listen, my name is Taylor Hebert, my dad works at the Dock Workers Union. Could you tell him- tell him I'm sorry."
"Tell him yourself." Alexandria said a bit of panic in her voice, before turning and yelling. "Eidolon get over here!"
The last member of the Triumvirate paused his examination of Leviathan's remains and glided over. The purple of ribbons had disappeared, and sparkles were beginning to float off of my body as the weakness grew heavier.
"Please tell him that I love him, and that none of this is his fault. I should have told him about what was happening at school and about me being a cape." I pleaded. Eidolon coming over and lifted a glowing hand at me. "He's been down ever since my mom died, please don't let him do the same because of me. If you can, please get him a vacation or something."
"She's just wasting away, fading into some sort of energy, and it's getting worse at an accelerated rate." Eidolon grouched. "I don't know what to do, my power isn't coming up with a solution!"
"Clockblocker!" Legend snapped. "Get us more time!"
The time themed Ward pushed his way though the group of capes almost diving to touch my hand, and nothing happened.
"Time is meaningless to Death." I gave a short ironic laugh as I could see the jaws of several capes fall open. Tears were streaming down my faced as I breathed in a shuddering breath, my legs barely able to keep me standing. "I really wish I could have joined The Wards you know maybe then I could have had some friends."
"W-what no, you still can." Clockblocker said still holding my hand. "We can be great friends, whatever's happening keep fighting. We can- uh, I'm sorry I can't think of something funny right now."
"It's ok, but I can't fight this." I muttered as my legs gave out, Alexandria quickly catching me lowing me softly to the ground.
"No Saturn! Taylor, you can't go we need you!" My idol as a little girl yelled. "You don't realize how badly we need you!"
"I'm sorry." I said in a whisper, I could barely make my voice work. "I'm glad I could be a hero. I saved a lot of people today right?"
"Yes! But there is so much more you could do, whatever is happening stop it!" Alexandria yelled, the edges of my vision fading to black.
"I wish I could stay." I muttered before my eyelids grew too heavy to keep open
"Saturn down. BD-6" Echoed unhelpfully from the wristbands of the gathered capes. Many were looking around dumbly hoping someone had a solution that hadn't been tried yet. Others gazed at Saturn's still form as motes of purple light rose off her like sparks from a fire.
"Saturn deceased. BD-6" Alexandria spitefully pulled her own wristband off crushing it in her fist. The capes gathered around watched as Saturn's body glowed purple before bursting into purple motes of light.