Aldrich watched Diamondback, his black shades tinting the crystal covered man's scintillating shine. He looked like he was completely covered in fully cut, polished diamond, reflecting the dim glow of Aldrich's car's headlights and magnifying it through its many facets in dazzling, sparkling brightness.
Had Diamondback been under the sun, he probably would have shone bright enough to flat out blind the average passerby with his 100,000 carat diamond body.
"Who does that gemstudded brute think he is, taking over my role to guard my master?" said Valera. She made a motion to reach for the car door and leave. Aldrich raised a hand in the air, stopping her.
"Don't worry. Let's see just how good our bodyguard is supposed to be. After all, it's good to know how capable our allies are, no?" said Aldrich. He glanced at the rearview mirror. Chrysa was still snugly asleep in Valera's lap through all this commotion.
To say that she was a heavy sleeper was an understatement. As far as sleeping went, she was probably a world heavyweight champion at this point.
Maybe because she was a growing girl.
"Plus, Chrysa looks happy sleeping where she is now. Let her get some rest."
"Understood, master," said Valera. She gently patted Chrysa's silvery hair. "She is a gentle little thing. Perhaps it is best she sleeps and does not witness the battle."
"Soon, she'll have to. But for now, I'd like her to enjoy the time she has with me without the stress of phony cops. Isn't that right, 'officer'?" Aldrich looked over his window to the cop still struggling against him.
With his arm wrapped around and over his back to the limit of its range of motion, the cop was in a painful spot where if he tried to use his other arm to pick up his dropped pistol or do much of anything, he practically guaranteed the arm under Aldrich's control a one way ticket to snap city.
"Who do you think you are!?" said the fake officer. "No, do you even know who we are? Who you're messing with!?"
"Nobody important, evidently, based on how weak you are," said Aldrich. "Your AC count is 2000. You're barely D grade. Where do you even get all this courage?"
"And you're a powerless Dud! You don't get to talk that way to me!"
"Watch what you say, human." Valera's voice cut across to the officer with a chilling intensity, an intensity that made the man's spine crawl with cold, primal fear.
That shut the officer up immediately. The radio at his hip crackled with indiscernible audio. He had been away from the range of the EMP charge, but radio in particular was sensitive to charges like that, rendering the device near useless.
Regardless, Aldrich knew he did not want to take any chances. He briefly let the officer's arm go, and he blinked in momentary surprise and relief. Relief that lasted less than a second before Aldrich slammed his bulky car door open, knocking the officer flat on his face.
As the officer groaned in pain, Aldrich took his radio and crushed it under his foot, grinding the metal and plastic and electronics into a mush of black bits and sparks.
Aldrich knelt down on the officer's back, pinning him prone to the ground, and grabbed the officer by the head, raising his face up to watch what was unfolding in front of him.
"Let's see how well my bodyguard does against your friends, shall we?" said Aldrich.
There was a standoff between Diamondback and seven of the 'cops'. The cops hid behind their black, blue and white painted armored cars, aiming their sizable anti-variant rifles at Diamondback.
Diamondback stood a dozen meters away, staring at the officers with still posture, his expression hidden. The diamond-like crystals did not wrap around his head to fit its form, instead, they structured themselves in a helmet-like arrangement that reminded Aldrich of a square bucket helm - armored, heavy, and powerful.
"Who are you!?" said one of the officers. He eyed Diamondback, then Aldrich manhandling his companion. "None of you are normal. Are you bounty hunters? Mercs?"
"..." Diamondback just stared them down. When he spoke, he spoke to Aldrich. "What do you want to do with them?"
"Take them down. Keep them alive - we can still get information out of them. But since there's seven of them, it's fine if one or two die. And we have to make it quick. We can't be stalled on the side of the road for long like this, even if this is remote road that isn't being monitored," said Aldrich.
"Alright," replied Diamondback.
"Alright!? You really want to fight here? On the highway?" said an officer. "You leave behind any evidence, and eventually, the Panop or the AA are going to come by and investigate."
"Then we leave no trace, right?" Aldrich nodded to Diamondback. "But I'm sure an expert like you already knew that."
"...My powers ain't suited for restraining without killing. I can try to keep them alive, but no guarantees." Diamondback cocked back his fist and unleashed a palm strike. Seven shards of diamond crystal shot out like bullets, slicing through the armor plating of the cop cars like they were made of paper sheets before spearing straight through each of the officers' shoulders.
Collective yells of pain cut through the air as the officers dropped their rifles.
In this moment of pain, this moment of distraction, Diamondback charged like a rugby player, all raging weight and mass and destructive force. And incredible speed, too. He was upon the first cop car before they could even recover from their pain.
Diamondback shoved the heavy car to the side like it was a toy, sending it tumbling on its back. He executed the three officers hiding behind the car in clean, consecutive motions, snapping their necks with single, efficient motions, like he was working on an assembly line.
"We have to get out of here! Slow him down with explosives and give me some space!" said one of the officers, the leader, presumably, by his commanding tone, as he backed away.
The three remaining other cops withdrew grenades, intending to unpin and use them even without the use of one arm. One of them did so because he had a prehensile monkey tail, the other because he could regenerate the hole in his shoulder, and the third using a robotic arm on his back.
Diamondback thrust his palm out again, and this time, he aimed with lethal intent, evidently determining that he did not want to risk cleaning up after explosives. Crystal shards shot out of his hands like buckshot, riddling the officers' bodies with gaping holes that instantly killed them before they could even register unpinning the grenades.
Three swiss cheesed bodies fell back in bloody piles, leaving just the leader.
"I"ve got you," said the leader as he put a hand to his head. His eyes shone bright red as he furrowed his brows and set his jaw, straining in effort.
Aldrich could not see any visible effect, no projectile or weapon or the like.
"It's over," grunted the officer underneath Aldrich. "When our boss lets his mind control loose, nobody can stop it.That big diamond bastard's going to be on you now."
"Hm. That may be a problem." Aldrich unholstered the officer's pistol and aimed it towards the mind controlling Alter. "But he can't function with a bullet in his brain, can he?"
"No need." Diamondback raised a hand, stopping Aldrich. "Picking up after bullets is a chore I don't want to deal with."
? ?? ??-?? ???. ??? "W-what…how are you resisting me!?" the leader strained, sweat pooling across his face in mental exertion. "No…I can't even get in in the first place!"
"My crystals block out mental interference. But my AC count is high enough a nobody like you couldn't even get through my natural defenses in the first place." Diamondback rushed forward, closing the distance between himself and the leader in an instant.
Before the leader could react, Diamond back grabbed both of the man's arms and crushed them. He then swiftly tore off his belt and took away any guns and ammunition with precise motions. He finished that all off with a low kick that completely snapped the leader's leg, making him scream as he fell to the ground.
Diamondback cut the scream off by shoving his crystal covered hand over the agonized man's mouth. "Quit your crying. None of those wounds are lethal. You're one cut above the trash here. Luckily, or maybe unluckily for you, your body's strong enough to survive this."
"Guess that's that," said Aldrich. He put the pistol down, instead pressing it against the back of the head of the officer beneath him.
"P-please, let me go! I swear to god man, I'm just here for an odd job, nothing to do with you, nothing personal at least!" said the man.
"Good, you're willing to talk," said Aldrich. He called over to Diamondback. "Bring the leader over too. Check if he's willing to talk."