The great, purple beast had one of it’s claw like hands hooked around the hero. His limp body hung like a sack from it’s fingers. Bellowing creatures made of chunks of earth and rock and gravel plowed into it with the force of an earthquake, knocking the Noumu sideways over and over as they shattered and reformed. Karma and Ragdoll leapt from their own, stumbling from the momentum, and joined the fray immediately. Along with the Noumu, the League had brought a handful of small time villains and they descended on the new arrivals like a pack of wild dogs. Karma clocked one around the side of his head, sending him sprawling, and span on another.
Dirt and dust was beginning to fill the area, choking the small spaces between the buildings and making everything feel gritty. The Noumu had appeared from one of Kurogiri’s portals and Karma cursed that he hadn’t just put the man out of his misery when he’d had the chance. It’s fist destroyed another one of Pixie-Bob’s creations, but with no more enemies it continued it’s wild swinging and the side of an office building crumbled in a shower of rubble under it.
“What is it?!” Tiger growled, his arms winding around two of the small time villains and dragging their heads together so hard that their unconscious bodies dropped to the floor unceremoniously.
“It’s a Noumu.” Karma dodged underneath a blade swung at his head and slammed his foot into the crotch of the man wielding it. He went down like a sack of bricks and Karma used his head as a stepping stone to get closer to Tiger. “One of them attacked UA with the League, they’re pretty hard to put down.”
“Karma-kun, you aren’t authorized for combat.” He scolded softly, a swing of his arm taking out another villain.
“It’s either that or die, boss.”
Suddenly, his head filled with Mandalay’s voice and Karma was stopped in his tracks. It was like she was speaking directly into him, even echoing faintly. Tiger pulled him behind his large body and deflected a series of large spikes, shot from a villain’s back like porcupine quills, with the glinting claws from his gloves.
Everyone, be careful, there are still civilians in the surrounding buildings. Karma, please focus on evacuation and we’ll handle the villains. There are four people in the building to your right on the third floor stairwell.
“How’d she know that?” He asked, slamming his knee into the face of a woman wielding a knife uncomfortably close to his person.
“Ragdoll’s Search quirk.” Tiger explained, grabbing Karma by the waist and launching him towards the building he was supposed to be evacuating. He span on his heel immediately afterwards, both hands catching the Noumu’s huge fists as they came rocketing down towards his head.
Karma skidded to a halt by the building’s fire escape, stumbling over the momentum and tripping over his own feet. He wondered if the small fry around him had been briefed on exactly what the Noumu was because more than a few of them were stepping away from it’s raging attacks awkwardly and squirreling themselves away. Mandalay and Ragdoll and knocked most of them unconscious at this point, Tiger and Pixie-Bob focusing their attacks on the League’s main beast. What was the goal here, Karma wondered, shouldering open the door and taking the steps two at a time. When they’d attacked USJ it had been to try and put All Might down.
The further up the stairs he travelled, the more the atmosphere and scenery changed around him. By the time he’d hit the third floor, great spiderwebs with threads the size of his fingers filled the corners where the walls met and the single, tiny, window was blacked out by a mass of them. The incandescent bulbs flickered on and off. There was an eerie clicking noise echoing around him. Hanging from the ceiling were three cocoons, two struggling faintly against the bonds.
“Welcome to my parlour…” Karma muttered.
He frowned and reached up to touch the silken tombs, when there was a whoosh of air, something dropping behind him, and he span on instinct. His powerful punch connected with something that cracked, his potential assailant yelping loudly and leaping backwards.
It was a man, dressed all in black, with four huge spider legs sticking out from his shoulder blades. More like three, now, Karma noted with satisfaction. One of the legs was hanging limply, the punch shattering the carapace on impact. He also had eight, bright red eyes and a pair of clicking mandibles jutting from his jaw.
“You motherfucker!” The man snarled, advancing again. Threads hung from his mouth and the mandibles clicked and snapped at him.
He reared back, looking like he was about to spit, and Karma leapt forwards. He jabbed the man’s nose with his elbow, blood blossoming across his face, and slammed his other fist into the man’s rib cage. While it wasn’t enough to bring him down, he hunched over in pain and took another step down the stairs. Karma grinned. This time, there were no witnesses to judge his tactics.
“I don’t know if you’ve spoken with Shigaraki, or if you’re just a hired thug, but they should have warned you not to sneak up on me.”
Karma’s hands gripped the base of the man’s spindly spider legs. Fear flashed through his eyes for just a moment, before he smirked back up at Karma.
“You’re a hero, boy. You’re not a threat.”
“I’m a hero, am I?” Karma asked, suddenly yanking the hairy legs until they cracked and splintered in his grip. “I don’t suppose they know I’ve killed before. It’s been a few years, but that sort of training isn’t something you forget you know?”
The man had devolved into quiet sobs on the floor. After his legs were wrenched from their sockets, his human feet had gone out from underneath him. Karma stared down with disdain.
“They just don’t make bad guys like they used to. Makes me miss Takaoka.”
He also missed having a knife on his person at all times, as the cocoons didn’t want to come down easily. It took a lot of tearing and sticky hands before he finally managed to free all three of the man’s prisoners. One of them, a younger girl, was unconscious, but the two adults eagerly volunteered to help her down the stairs. Karma made his excuses that he was still looking for more civilians, which would give him another minute at least. They thanked him again and took off towards the exit. The sounds of battle were still going strong outside, so the Pussycats were busy with the Noumu.
“I don’t have any mustard on me…” Karma muttered, patting his pockets down. “I guess we’ll have to do this the really old fashioned way.”
He sat heavily on the man’s back. With a flick, he flipped the switches in his gloves and took a gleeful moment to rub his hands together to get them started.
“This is usually my favourite part, but I don’t have a lot of time.” Karma sighed wistfully. He ghosted his hands close to the man’s sides. “So, I guess I have to do this really, really quickly.”
Elsewhere, Iida’s day had started just as painfully early- only with less sirens. He and Manual had begun touring the city, taking over for one of the night shift patrols, and Manual was introducing him to a few of the hotspots that they made sure to visit during every patrol.
“In every city, there’s certain areas that attract crime. They’re hard to spot by camera or are off the beaten track. Those sorts of places. Definitely take your time to get acquainted with the local ones when you go pro-“
He’d started to tune the hero out. This was something that he should be paying attention to, something that on any other day he’d be listening eagerly to. But his blood was boiling, anger pounding in his ears, and his hands trembled at his sides. The gloves that Karma had given him were a little snug, built for slender hands. It should have been his brother giving him this lesson. Instead it was a small timer. He shook his head lightly to clear his thoughts. It was rude to think about Manual in that way, but he couldn’t help it. Somewhere in this city was the villain that put his brother in the hospital.
Manual was flipping through his phone screen, brows furrowing slightly. “We may be in for some trouble soon, Iida-kun.” He said, holding the flip phone out.
Leaning closer, Iida could see the news feed rapidly scrolling past. Some sort of monster attack in Omachi. Multiple villains sighted. There were similar attacks happening at the same time all across Japan, all of the same sort. Purple, violent creatures. Villains.
“It’s the League…” He muttered, and Manual’s face fell.
“I thought as much. It’s the same as when they attacked you, huh? Let’s keep an eye out.”
The hero kept walking, but Iida’s attention was drawn to the side. Red, down an alleyway. The sharp glint of knives. He cast a glance back, to make sure Manual wasn’t watching him, then Iida stepped into the cloying dark.
Gran Torino was unbelievably fast. Even with One for All activated, it took all of Izuku’s strength to keep up with him. They’d been traveling towards Shibuya when the train had almost derailed, a spindly looking Noumu crashing through one of the cars further ahead of them while chasing a hero down. Once it had gotten itself free of the twisted metal, Gran Torino had kicked it squarely in the chest and thrown it clear of the train. Together they were on the hunt.
“It looks different to the one that attacked USJ!” Izuku called, a powerful leap pushing him towards where Torino was hopping across the roofs in hot pursuit of the creature.
“That means it will have different capabilities.”
The Noumu moved like a monkey, grabbing pilons and the sides of buildings and signs, swinging it’s way across the city streets in broad daylight by both it’s feet and it’s strangely elongated arms. Suddenly it twisted through the air and began to drop to the ground. Torino and Izuku followed after it. The Noumu seemed to have locked on to another hero and as it loped through the streets it shoulders civilians aside like sacks of flour to catch up.
Just as it reached the hero, it’s long fingers stretching out towards the back of his head, Torino and Izuku managed to catch up. Torino plowed into it’s back, forcing the Noumu into the ground, and Izuku’s heel drove into it’s exposed head. The Noumu howled and thrashed, clawed fingers leaving scars in the cement of the ground.
“Watch out! Stay back!” Izuku called to the civilians beginning to edge closer curiously. Fear flashed through their eyes.
“I guess you really don’t know anything about Shigaraki’s plans.” Karma said sadly, taking his gloved hands off of the villain’s face from where he’d pinned him to the floor. “That’s a shame.”
With a flick, he turned off the gloves’ switch and stood up. He patted down his dusty trousers and stretched his back out. The sounds of fighting had quieted down finally, so he pulled the thick spider silk away from the window to peer outside. The Noumu had been buried finally under a ton of rubble and earth and the Pussycats were cleaning up the last of the villains. Around his ankles curled thick, purple mist.
He stepped back away from the tendrils reaching from Kurogiri’s portal and closer to the window. Shigaraki’s pale form was already stepping through, emaciated hands reaching out towards Karma.
The window shattered beneath Karma’s elbow.
His quirk roared to life, calves trembling with the power of his engines. Stain was facing away from him but Iida shot forwards in the blink of an eye.
The first thing he has to do is draw the sword.
The first slice barely slid over Iida’s helmet, nicking one of the edges. It felt like everything slowed down, just the him and the thump, thump, thump of his heart and Stain’s ragged breathing.
Electricity arced across Iida’s hands. He reached out to the bandage covered arm above him, but Stain twisted again. The blade in Stain’s off-hand came dangerously close to slicing open Iida’s side. Blood pounded in his ears. Iida pushed himself forward again, fingertips reaching, one hand catching around Stain’s throat, the other pressed to the bare skin of his arm and the man
Fire shot in thin streams past Izuku’s head, singing the ends of his hair, and he ducked and rolled to the side away from Endeavour’s attack. There were two Noumu now, the spindly monkey one battling Gran Torino and other heroes that had appeared on the scene. Izuku hardly had a moment to look at them, though desperately he wanted to take notes on who they were and how they fought. Instead, he was focusing his entire being into dodging both the second, much larger, Noumu and Endeavour himself. The man threw blazing attacks, thin streams of fire or handfuls of the stuff that exploded on impact. The Noumu had tanked each hit, barely even singed on the edges, as well as Izuku’s highest power punch.
“This isn’t working!” He called to no one in particular, dodging another attack from the beast. It was focused almost entirely on him, a fact that was as unnerving as it was terrifying. Even Endeavour couldn’t seem to draw it’s attention.
There was a creaking, groaning noise, barely audible under the roar of fire and shouts of the heroes, until suddenly a glacial wall of ice exploded underneath the Noumu’s feet. It formed a pyramid around it, then seemed to constrict, until the creature finally stopped moving. Izuku shot Todoroki a thumbs up, grinning despite the heave of his lungs fighting for breath. The second Noumu still fought on.
Endeavour whirled on the next Noumu, his flames roaring like a furnace around him. Izuku had to admit he was a little star struck. Even with all of the heroes focusing their attention on the last villain, it still took longer to take it out than Izuku would have liked. There were two, huge heroes pinning it to the floor with some sort of strength augmenting quirks. The Noumu had done a fair amount of environmental damage, as well as the heroes various quirks, and he had to step around a chunk of asphalt jutting from the road to get back to Gran Torino. The old man was debriefing the police that stood by, so Izuku took the chance to check his phone. He felt his blood run cold. The news feed in his notifications flicked to the next one, and the next after that.
“Gran Torino-san…” He muttered. “What do we do?”
The Japanese government has issued a state of emergency due to multiple villain attacks…
All citizens are being asked to stay inside…
Villains have struck every major Japanese city, what is their goal?
Karma wondered if throwing himself from high places was going to be something he did in every lifetime. He was perched on the shattered windowsill, the hot trickle of blood down his elbow hardly a distraction compared to the manic grin on Shigaraki’s face.
“What do you think of my little display, Karma-kun?” He asked, scratching hard at his neck.
Risking a glance over his shoulder, Karma could see Ragdoll frantically pointing in his direction. Tiger was running as fast as he could towards the building. He’d never make it to the right floor in time, but that wasn’t Karma’s goal. Three floors up. That would mean some broken bones for sure, but not death. Probably.
“All this just for me? I’m flattered! Unfortunately, I can’t hang around and chat. Places to be, heroic things to do. You know the drill.”
With a quick two fingered salute, Karma threw himself from the window. The air rushed around his ears in a roar that blocked out Tiger’s panicked cry. Shigaraki leant out of the window. His shoulders were shaking with laughter. Karma tried his best not to feel the panic setting in.