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Heroes or Students

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Your name is John Egbert and you’re a superhero. From a young age you’ve had a strong connection with the wind, in fact you can’t think of a time where you didn’t feel a rush of giddish joy at the swirls of air that seem to surround you in the spring or summer hillsides.

 

It only took a small incident with a swing set in second grade for you to start developing certain… abilities.

 

You were only nine, and even with the full force of your tiny body, you couldn’t seem to get the stupid swing to work. Your dad had turned around for only a moment, so it was obviously quite a shock for him to find his son suddenly squealing with joy and surrounded by a mini tornado of spring breeze.

 

Your abilities morphed from a simple breeze, to gusts of air, to nearly giving your father a heart attack when you flew into the living room at the age of twelve.

 

Eventually, you figured out from your grandpa (Grandpa Harley, you liked to call him) that your cousin Jade had been experiencing somewhat similar bursts of superhuman abilities. Something plant related, according to Grandpa Harley’s tales of vines that appear to follow Jade wherever she goes.

 

You turned thirteen and started talking with Jade a lot more, you were even introduced to her friend Rose! Rose was awesome, both you and Jade could agree on that.

 

Rose introduced you to Dave, and the four of you started talking regularly after that, becoming close friends well past middle school, yet you and Jade still managed to keep the whole “superpowers” thing well under wraps after you learned how to control the sudden lapses of power better.

 

You had a sneaking suspicion that Rose knew something was up long before you told her about your powers, but oh well.

 

It had only taken a mishap in Ms.LaLonde’s personal lab for Rose to start developing her own, quirks, you could say.

 

Jade, who was always just a bit more perceptive than you, recognized the signs similar to what the two of you had experienced since birth and had strongly suggested that they tell her about their powers 'because she needs someone to be there for her silly! weve got superpowers and thats a lot to take on when youve never had them before! :P'

 

The two of you told Rose about your less than normal powers towards the end of your senior year in highschool. At which she admitted to you and Jade of her own abilities, enhanced strength and supposed visions that allow her to see into the near future, that had seemingly started after the “incident” in her mother’s lab.

 

It didn’t take long for Dave to finally be told of the abilities of his friends, (None of you liked keeping secrets from him), and needless to say he was justifiably shocked, even if it didn’t show on his face very well.

 

The four of you, and your dad and grandpa, decided it was for the best that these abilities were kept on the downlow. And you managed to keep them hidden surprisingly well! At least, until the first of what was soon to be many robberies got published all over Washington’s newspapers.

 

The mysterious criminal who goes by the initials LE, started rampaging the city’s banks and, surprisingly enough, radiation plantations during the August of John’s second year of college; it only took three major attacks from LE on weapons facilities for you and Dave, who had been your roommate and silent crush for the last two years of school, to get worried enough to call up Rose and Jade for a discussion.

 

Of course, it was only a mere month after that fateful day that Rose and Jade flew down to Washington. And it was only a mere month after that fateful day, that a team of masked heros calling themselves The Betas started showing up to take on any robbery or heist that anyone would dare pull in the city limits. (None of you could’ve stopped Dave from joining the team even if you had wanted to. There was no way he was going to let the three of you risk your lives on the daily without him being there at your sides)

 

LE, who you’ve come to regard as Lord English as stated by the local police investigations, almost immediately retaliated to your group’s efforts of stopping his heists. Even going as far as amassing a team of people to assist his heists or pull a few of their own.

 

A year after graduating college with a Bachelor’s and Graduate’s degree, four years after becoming a member of The Betas, eight months after an incident in a radiation lab that followed the disappearance of Lord English, and three years after finally confessing and hooking up with Dave, leads you to where you are now. Age twenty three, and leader of a band of superheroes, your best friends, who are about to take on one of your main villains, the Black Queen.

 

“Alright, here’s the plan.” Rose called from her spot leaning against the roof’s edge.

“I can’t seem to see the playout for this fight, so we’ll have to go with what I can manage to recollect as of now.” She motions towards Jade and points towards the museum of history on the other side of the the park. “I believe it would be in our best interests to have Jade on crowd control. There’s only a few minutes before the Queen sets loose her robotic creatures into the general park and museum, and as far as I can tell there’s a high chance that they won’t hold back against civilians.”

 

You nod, noticing Jade mimic the motion in your peripheral vision. Dave stands stoically still by your side, a comforting presence that both puts you at ease and worries you. Dave may be a part of the team, but he’s also the only one out of the four of you without powers and if you’re honest with yourself you’d much rather have Dave be the one on civilian duty, where it’s safer and he’s less at risk than Jade.

 

Unfortunately, you know rationally that Jade’s vines would be much better at containing and guarding bystanders that Dave’s sword, (And that Rose is almost always correct in her foreshadowing of positions within the group), so you let the issue be.

 

Leaning into Dave’s presence, you speak up quietly as to not allow anyone walking below the roof to overhear.

 

“Can you see anything in your vision about where Dave and I should fight? The Queen doesn’t usually go after museum heists, and I’m pretty sure Sollux is as stumped on her plans as we are considering how many factories and power grids she’s been to the past few months.” You pause, thinking back to your last conversation with the police of chief’s head technology expert.

 

“Maybe there’s a reason she’s here, something she needs from the museum possibly? English and her were close associates before he vanished so maybe she’s finishing one of his previous heists?” Dave questions aloud, the only giveaway to the nervous energy pent up inside him being his hand hand squeezing against your own under the hidden depths of his cape.

 

“It’s possible,” Rose reasoned, walking tentatively away from the edge of the roof “but the only hints my visions are giving me on the situation are the possible civilian casualties.”

 

She paces the roof a bit agitatedly, obviously upset at the lack of information her supposed ability is feeding her. “All I can assure you is that she’s planning something big, and from the looks of it, has a set plan in mind for this particular heist.”

 

You nod solemnly and turn your attention back towards the open field that turned into Washington Park while rubbing your fingers against Dave’s knuckles absentmindedly.

 

“According to Rose’s visions and whatever information we can get from Sollux and Nepeta at the police station, the Queen should arrive any minute now. We all know the drill, keep our earpieces in, stick together when at all possible, and most importantly-”

 

“Don’t get caught without our masks, got it friendleader.” Dave replied, giving you a reassuring grin as he nudged you playfully.

 

You snorted at the nickname but returned Dave’s nudge, grateful for the temporary distraction. Rose rolled her eyes affectionately while Jade just grinned, both heroes enjoying the peaceful moment before they would inevitably have to go fight.

 

Just as Dave opened his mouth to throw a fake complaint at the playful shove, a large explosion sounded from the inside of the history museum which quickly followed by the screams of a few nearby people.

 

You jumped to action almost immediately, throwing on your mask before scrambling to put your glasses back on. You find your friends in similar like frenzies before they turn their attention towards you, looking for their orders.

 

“Jade, you need to start at the museum entrance and work your way inside, make sure no one is hurt and assist those who are. Try to keep the bots off civilians if you can, when the robots become too much shoot a vine around the museum’s flag pole and Rose will help you from there.” Jade nodded in acknowledgement and quickly strung a vine onto a nearby street post, shimming down it like a fire pole and racing across the park’s greenery towards the shouting museum goers.

 

You turn your attention towards Rose while quickly grabbing hold of your custom-made hammer, slinging it over your shoulder and barking out orders while you go.

 

“Rose I need you to keep the robots away from the museum, assuming that something inside is the Queen’s target. If you get another vision with more information of the Queen’s goals then report it through the comms immediately. Otherwise, await Jade’s signal and keep on the lookout for anything suspicious.” You nod her off and watch Rose leap to the neighboring building's roof, disappearing over the rooftops before turning your attention to Dave.

 

“Dave?”

 

“Yeah?” Dave responds through his red mask, holding his record engraved sword close.

 

“You ready to fight some robots for the fifteenth time this week?” You ask with a semi playful tone. He smirks.

 

“Ten bucks says I take down more than you.”

 

You grin and step towards the roof’s edge, giving Dave a chaste kiss on the lips.

 

“You’re on.”

____________________________________________


It takes about fifteen minutes of fighting to figure out that whatever the Queen is planning with this heist, she plans on going all out to successfully pull it off.

 

You just hammered a robot the size of an elephant to pieces, when you catch sight of the Queen herself standing among an array of the largest robots you’ve seen her produce yet. Who even knows how she gets this many mechanical robots manufactured without suspicion from the authorities.

 

“Knight! Seer! I have eyes on the Queen!” You call out into the comm system in your earpiece, dodging a blow that a passing bot throws your way.

 

“Don't get too close Heir, we still don't know what she's planning” You hear Rose’s voice get relayed back through your earpiece just as you summon a large gust of wind that leaves four robots thrashing helplessly on the ground.

 

You look over your shoulder at Dave who barely has time to nod in agreement with Rose’s words before he's already moving forward with his sword, slicing a robot in half that had become a few mere inches away from his backside.

 

Quickly summoning gusts of wind, you pent up the energy and let it loose on the robots surrounding you and your boyfriend, becoming a bit pleased when the action gives the two of you enough room to form a back to back position against your foes.

 

Taking a quick surveying glance at the surrounding robots, you risk a quick look at where you last saw the Queen.

 

To your surprise, the Queen hadn't made any moves towards the museum but instead had taken hold of a machine you hadn’t seen her use before. In fact, you've never seen anything like it at all.

 

Two of the robots previously guarding her station had taken hold of four separate parts of what looked to you like a large metallic circle. They fused it together with steel bolts and quickly connected it to a main frame that the Queen herself seemed to be getting online.

 

Whatever it was that she was putting together, you doubt it would end well.

 

“Seer,” You whack your hammer against an approaching bot’s mainframe, making a metal clang echo briefly while you kick the robot backwards. “can you see what the Queen’s setting up over there?”

 

You pause, forcing a burst of wind against a nearby robot approaching Dave from his blindside.

 

“I can't get a good look from where I'm standing, and I have the feeling someone needs to stop her before she finishes whatever it is she's powering up over there.”

 

You hear Rose grunt over the com lines before she manages to catch her breath.

 

“I'm a little preoccupied as of the moment! And my visions aren't assisting me much in that regard.”  She huffs and you hear the clang of metal and circuits through the connecting line, signaling that Rose is distracted and wouldn't be able to continue the conversation any further until she's disposed of the enemies around her.

 

As you ram your hammer into yet another robot’s circuitry, you hear a sound that can only be described as a queen’s gleeful cackle, sending shivers down your spine.

 

Using pent up air, you force the robots around you to collapse, revealing a large oval-like metal rim set upright by the Queen’s platform; only supported by a lone steel beam you had overlooked on the hard cement ground of the park’s walkway.

 

You force your gaze away from the device and towards the Queen, and are stilled when you realise she's grinning at you from where she stands by her robotic minions.

 

Not taking your gaze away from her, you turn on your earpiece.

 

“Betas, I'm going after the Queen. Knight will have my back but I need to make sure Witch is successfully keeping the civilians from harm.” You speak into the coms, breaking away from your back to back position with Dave in order to gauge his reaction.

 

“I'm alright over here Heir! Just freeing the last of the civilians from the rubble now.” You hear Jade call out easily through your earpiece.

 

“I dislike this plan immensely, but I can’t see any other options with my lack of visions and current-” a clash is heard through the background of Rose’s communication link. “-predicament.”

 

Dave looks over your shoulder at the Queen’s hard stare and nods at you tersely.

 

“I'll follow you in. But just so you know, I've already destroyed three more bots than you have, putting me in the lead. I can smell those ten bucks already.” He smirks, and you can hear Jade let out a sigh over the coms.

 

“How many times do we have to tell you two? No flirting over the communication channel!” You let out a laugh, much to Jade’s disapproval, and start making your way towards the Queen’s platform with Dave right at your heels.

 

“That's hardly flirting, Witch, I'd just call that a friendly competition during the fight- holy shit okay this not a normal Queen heist.” You look upwards, following Dave’s finger pointing the way forward and couldn't help but agree with him.

 

The oval-like rim that you had previously seen the two larger robots set up has apparently become fully operational, leaving you staring in awe at a glowing blue and black portal not even twenty feet away from where you stand.

 

Your body seems to reboot itself when you notice the Queen grin at you and take a step closer towards the portal, and suddenly you're in the air faster than you can remember moving.

 

“Heir wait-! Frick!”

You can hear Dave scramble to catch up behind you, but by now you've already made it to front of the Queen's lines. You think Rose is yelling at you in the comms- something about another vision?

 

“I've been waiting for you, Heir.” The Queen's smooth voice calls out, her back turned towards you. “I’d wondered how long it would take before you noticed my intentions here were not the usual heist. Still can't quite fathom how English could possibly figure you to be the main threat.”

 

She grits out the words like they were bitter to the taste, managing to keep you well distracted from Dave’s overwhelmed voice a few ways behind you.

 

“What's your plan here Black Queen?” You call out, hoping with every ounce of your being that your nerves aren’t showing on your face as much as you think they are.

 

“Straight to the point? Very well.” She turns around to face you, snapping her fingers as she does so. Almost immediately, two of the larger robots from before materialize right behind you, leaving you to let out a yelp of surprise when they clamp onto your arms and hold you in place.

 

It’s then that the familiar sounds of your comm system come crashing back into your eardrums.

 

“-I need someone to get the fuck back over here, Jo- Heir can't seem to hear me- maybe he's in a trance or something I'm not sure-”

“Knight you need to calm down and focus on getting Heir out of there immediately! Heir’s fate is in danger here and my visions have only just started giving me information-”

“The civilians have been successful evacuated, I'm heading towards Washington Park now!”

 

You struggle in your robotic restraints and try using the wind around you to fly out of the robots’ grip. Much to your avail, the bots holding you steady dig their drill-like feet into the cement ground in defiance of your struggles.

 

“You see ‘Heir’, there was a reason the infamous Lord English vanished without a trace. When was it? Nine months ago?” The Queen circles around you teasingly, her body language letting you know that she is merely toying with you. You struggled against the bonds holding you down, wishing with all you have that Dave or Jade might get here soon.

 

“He's on a very important mission right now, and I'm afraid that you've just now become a part of it. You're quite lucky that I don't kill you where you stand now, actually.” The Queen frowns like she's terribly disappointed she can't stab you in the heart.

 

“Of course,” she pauses, giving you a sly look before inching you and your captors ever so closer towards the portal. “when Lord English himself requests something be done. Then so be it.”

 

You see Dave flash-step his way past the robots guarding the small circle, just barely managing to catch sight of him slashing his sword across the portal’s control panel when the Queen shoves both you and your robot captors right through it.

 

You think you hear Dave shout your name, along with Jade who had arrived at the scene just moments before the Queen pushed you through. Then you see stars and galaxies, and suddenly, you can't see anything at all.