Kara looked around the tiny cell and huffed in frustration. “We have to get out of here.”
“Still open to ideas!” Mon-el yelled, just as upset as her to be stuck behind a forcefield while four supervillains hauled away one of his only friends on the entire planet.
“Winn whispered something when he fell next to us but I don’t know what it meant.”
“What did he say?”
“He said the forcefield isn’t meant to hold two people and if we …” Kara paused to airquote. “‘Double punch it’, it might not hold.”
“So punch at the same time?” Mon-El guessed.
“Maybe, but we’ve done that already.”
“Well then we’re trying again.”
“All right,” Kara said and stood next to Mon-El at the ready. “On the count of three. 1, 2, 3!”
They both punched. Nothing.
“Again. 1, 2, 3!”
“Damn it,” Mon-El said when nothing happened again, not even a flicker to indicate the shield was weakening.
“This can’t be it,” Kara muttered, looking around the cell thoughtfully. She watched as Mon-El wandered to the back of the room and punched the back wall in frustration. Her brow furrowed when the wall lit up with energy. “The forcefield covers the whole room.”
“What?” Mon-El took a second to process what she said and then shrugged. “Yeah, there’s forcefields on all sides, otherwise the villains with superstrength would punch through the walls.”
“The forcefields take a lot of energy though,” Kara said and started bouncing on her heels excitedly as she understood what Winn was trying to tell her. “If you punch the forcefield all the energy goes to the wall that got punched to reinforce it. But these cells aren’t designed for two people, so if we each punch a different wall …”
“There may not be enough energy to keep the shield up in both places,” Mon-El finished for her.
“Exactly. You punch the back, I’ll hit the front. On three.” They both got in position and Kara counted down. “One, two, three!”
The forcefield held but the light was noticeably dimmer than before.
“Again, with everything you got,” Kara said. “One, two, three!”
The light faded even more. They both pulled back to go again.
“One, two, three!”
Their fists struck the different walls at the same moment. Half a second later the lights flickered, sparks flew in the hallway and the forcefield fizzled away.
“We did it!” Kara exclaimed, rushing into the hallway before the forcefield could reset.
Mon-El was right behind her. “Let’s go scrap some metal.”
“Wait,” Kara pulled him back and headed towards a console on the wall. “We need to call J’onn and warn him.”
“We don’t have time,” Mon-El argued.
“The DEO agents upstairs deserve to know four supervillains are on the loose and headed straight for them,” Kara said opening an emergency channel to the command center. A video screen opened and J’onn walked into view, Alex a few steps behind him. “J’onn, we have a situation down here.”
“What’s going on?”
“Nothing much, just four supervillains on the loose!” Mon-El shouted impatiently from behind her, clearly eager to get moving.
“What?” Alex said, leaning over to check the monitors. “The computers don’t show anything wrong.”
“Metallo hacked his cell open. He locked us up then forced Winn to open the rest of the cells so no alarms would sound. They’re a few minutes ahead of us, they’re probably halfway to surface level by now.”
J’onn nodded and looked to the technician filling in for Winn. “Bring up the monitors from every floor and put this place into lockdown.”
“No!” Kara and Mon-El shouted in unison.
“What’s wrong?” Alex asked. “Why can’t we lockdown?”
“They took Winn with them,” Mon-el said.
“If they see the building go into lockdown they’ll either go on alert and use him as a hostage or try to force him to help them override it. Either way that’s bad for Winn.”
“What do you suggest?” J’onn asked.
“The villains don’t know we’re free,” Kara said. “We’ll come up behind them while you and Alex go for a frontal assault. I’ll super speed in and get Winn out before things get bad.”
“And then we start punching,” Mon-El finished.
“Then we start punching,” Kara agreed.
“We found them,” Alex said looking at a screen. “They’re avoiding the elevators, taking the emergency stairs, smart. They’re at sublevel 12, almost to 11.”
“How fast can you get to them?” Kara asked.
“By the time they get to 8,” J’onn answered.
“Okay, we’ll box them in on 8.”
“Is Winn okay?” Mon-El asked Alex since they couldn’t see the feed she was looking at.
Alex’s face went tight for a moment as she watched a winded, limping Winn dragged up the stairs by Metallo. “He’s grumpy but he’s okay.”
“All right, let’s move people,” J’onn said and they saw Alex charge her gun before they all logged off.
“We better hurry, who knows how many flights of stairs Winn can handle,” Mon-El said.
“Let’s go,” Kara said. Mon-El didn’t have to be told twice.
“I call Metallo,” he said as they started up the stairs.
Kara wanted a piece of Metallo herself but knew she was better suited elsewhere. “I’ll take Livewire. J’onn should be able to handle Draaga and Alex and the agents can take Silver Banshee. If you can get past her scream she’s not that tough.”
The emergency stairs were meant to be able to evacuate the whole underground comfortably so the stairs were wide with large landings. Kara and Mon-El hugged the walls as they went up to avoid being spotted by anyone looking down the center of the staircase. They were coming up on the 11th floor when they first heard the villains a few floors above.
“First thing I’m going to do when we get out of here, full day spa treatment,” Siobhan said. “Two hour massage, mani, pedi, the works. It’s been hell in these low pressure showers.”
“I got a coupon for a nice place on 71st street. Let me go and it’s all yours,” Winn said, a noticeable wheeze in his voice.
“Is he even trying to stay alive?” Mon-El hissed but Kara shushed him.
“You know what even after all this, you’re still kind of cute. Kind of,” Siobhan replied with a hint of fondness.
“Cute enough not to kill?”
“Not a chance,” Livewire answered for her.
“Can we all please focus on getting out of here,” Metallo interrupted. “Then we can decide on next steps and who dies.”
Kara turned on her super hearing and heard Winn mutter “lovely” at the same time that she heard Alex and the other agents lining up outside the 8th floor door.
“Get ready,” she whispered to Mon-El. As they passed the 10th floor she heard a doorknob turning above them followed by a door slamming open.
“Freeze! All of you!” Alex shouted, rushing through the door in front of the villains with J’onn and half a dozen agents behind her.
“Now!” Kara said, racing forward.
“Oh thank god,” Winn whispered, his legs a few steps away from giving out on him. He tried to pull out of Metallo’s grasp but the villain pulled Winn closer then put a metal hand around his throat.
“Back off or he ooof!” Metallo’s threat was cut off by Kara punching him hard in the back of the head, knocking him several feet forward as he dropped Winn who fell to the ground gasping. Before Kara could pick him up and get him clear of the fight a lightning bolt struck her in the back and she stumbled into the wall next to Metallo, both of them now groaning in pain.
“Came back for more Blondie?” Livewire asked, squaring her shoulders. “I’m game.”
“Play with this.” Mon-El crested the stairs and moved to tackle the lightning queen but she teleported away and reappeared behind him, shooting him in the back as she had done Kara. He fell to his knees with a hiss, landing just a few feet from Winn, who was pulling himself back to standing.
“Great rescue so far,” Winn muttered.
“It worked better on paper,” Mon-el replied.
Around them they could see J’onn trading blows with Draaga and Kara locked arm in arm with Metallo. They were all going one for one so there was no telling who was going to win either fight. Next to them Alex’s team were attempting to open fire but Silver Banshee was keeping up a steady stream of screams that were forcing them back and keeping any bullets from penetrating into the hallway. That left Livewire looming over them both.
“Well, I did say I would kill you Tech Support, I just didn’t think I’d get to ice the schmuck as well. My lucky day,” she said, building up a blast between her hands that was clearly more powerful than usual.
Mon-el knew she was too far away to try and tackle again, she would just teleport away, so he chose to evade for now. He jumped to his feet and ploughed into Winn just as she fired at them, knowing the regular human wouldn’t survive a charge as high as the one she was preparing. They both hit the concrete wall hard and Mon-El felt his shirt singe in the back but successfully avoided the blast for the most part.
“Oops, missed,” Livewire said, stalking towards them again. “Like, they say, try, try again.”
“Do you take constructive criticisms on your plans?” Winn asked, gasping and barely holding himself up with one hand.
“Yes!” Mon-El said since he didn’t particularly have any ideas.
“Good. There’s a high pressure water pipe running down the wall two feet to your left.”
Mon-El’s face lit up. “Winn, I could kiss you.”
“Just save my life.”
“I’ll do my best.”
Mon-El moved himself two feet to his left and met Livewire’s eye. “Give it your best shot.”
“Don’t mind if I do.”
Livewire built up another charge and just as she pulled her hand back to throw it Mon-El punched through the wall behind him then ducked down. The lightning bolt missed his head and instead struck a river of water that shot out of the wall and collided directly with Livewire who screamed as she was pushed back and started to convulse as her powers short-circuited.
The sound was enough to grab the attention of the rest of the fights going on. Kara grinned as she took Metallo by the shoulders.
“No, wait,” he pleaded but she had already tossed him directly into Livewire. He seized up immediately, his systems overloading from the water and electricity. A stray lightning bolt also hit Siobhan, not knocking her out but distracting her long enough for Alex to get a shot off and finally take her down. Further up the stairs J’onn phased as Draaga tried to take a final shot at him, then solidified and hit the alien so hard he fell down to the 20th floor.
“I think that’s all of them,” Kara said, taking stock of the four unconscious villains as the agents raced to restrain them all once more.
“Winn, are you okay?” Alex asked, entering the staircase for the first time and approaching their tech expert.
Winn waved her off even though he was somehow gasping and cringing at the same time as he leaned heavily against the wall.
“I’m great … never better … great work team,” he said even as his body slid down the wall to the floor. “But if someone wants to, I don’t know, carry me to the med-bay I’d be … I’d be cool with that.”
“I got it,” Mon-El said, swooping down and picking Winn up in a bridal carry.
“Oh, I was joking …” Winn started to say but then relaxed into it. “You know what never mind, I earned it … and also I think I’m gonna pass out.”
“Med bay now!” Alex yelled. Mon-El didn’t argue and raced up the stairs but Winn was unconscious long before he got him to a bed.
A few hours later Winn woke up in the med-bay feeling … oh god his entire body was a bruise.
“Hey, hey, I know you’re sore, just breathe and relax. And don’t move,” Alex told him after he jerked awake, placing a hand on his shoulder to hold him in place while her other hand held out a glass with a straw.
He took a sip and then laid his head down with a groan. “How do I hurt more now than when I was being tortured by supervillains?”
“Adrenaline rush has worn off, endorphin levels are normal again, you’re actually feeling it now, sorry. You’ll be sore for a few days, incredibly sore, and you have a few burns that we’re treating but you’re gonna be okay,” Alex told him.
“If you say so. We caught all the bad guys, right?” Winn asked, his memory of the last few hours kind of hazy.
“Oh we caught them,” Mon-El said, rushing into the room with Kara close behind.
“And we put them behind three extra levels of security,” Kara added.
“I’m gonna have to do so many upgrades to that security system,” Winn moaned.
“Yes, you will,” J’onn agreed, trailing in last. “But not today. Just rest for now. How are you feeling Agent Schott?”
“Alex says I’ll live. It doesn’t feel that way currently but I guess I believe her.”
“Excellent, because we have to talk about reprimands and court action regarding your access code being used to release four supervillains from custody,” J’onn said straight-faced.
“What?” All four of the room’s occupants demanded.
“I’m joking,” J’onn said, putting his hands up in surrender while they all groaned.
“Oh you got jokes now? I nearly die and now you have jokes. Typical.”
Kara came up and squeezed his hand; it felt good to touch him after being trapped behind a forcefield for so long while he was being hurt.
“Seriously, Winn, are you okay?” she asked.
Winn was tempted to complain about his whole body being a bruise again, but he looked around at the four concerned faces of his friends that had all run headlong into danger to rescue him and found he could only smile.
“You know what, all things considered, feeling pretty good. Thanks.”