Chapter 269 Seraph
The moment Clint left, the airbird, hovering in place, turned, aiming to fly past Seraph. From the screen, Aldrich saw Seraph raise a golden brow.
"You've made your decision to resist an A-class hero's orders. Lethal force has been authorized. Prepare yourselves," said Seraph. He flew higher in the air until he looked down at the airbird. The twin wings of gold on his back changed shape, the energy they were made of fluxing with fluid movement until their winglike forms narrowed into spikes.
Spikes ready to punch holes straight through the airbird, no doubt. Aldrich noted down for future reference that Seraph's flight did not seem contingent on him maintaining his energy tendrils into wings.
Seraph's face, even on the cusp of killing an entire plane's worth of passengers, remained stone-faced cold. Aldrich did not expect anything else.
Seraph was among the more brutal of the A rankers, and he probably ate more lethal force misuse cases than a street rat in an all you can eat buffet. His marketing team's futile efforts to try and portray him as some kind of angelic figure did nothing but play to irony at this point.
Still, the simple fact that he was A rank meant even with horrible popularity ratings, he could do practically whatever he wanted so long as he did not actively kill innocent people. In fact, in that regard, Seismic was way worse, having legitimately caused the deaths of hundreds of civilians via collateral damage.
"This looks real bad!" said Fisk as he clutched his gamedeck to his chest like it was his literal baby. "You sure he can deal with this guy!? I know Clint's like, strong and stuff, but this dude's a legit A ranker!"
"Relax, kid." Diamondback crossed his arms and looked up at the screen showing Seraph's impending attack. "Clint's never lost a fight yet."
Before Seraph could thrust his spike riddled energy tendrils into the airbird, he was knocked out of vision, turning into a white blur like a train had rammed right into him.
That train being, of course, Clint.
Clint smiled broadly at the airbird and pointed away, telling everyone 'Go'. He disappeared out of the screen's vision, feathered white wings flapping as he pursued Seraph.
"Spybird, get us out of here," said Aldrich.
"You got it." Spybird responded through the PA system. The airbird lurched, and had Aldrich's body been fully mortal still, he might have felt some sense of nausea from the brief weightlessness he felt.
Whirring that increased in intensity resonated through the airbird as its engines charged up. Then, without much warning, the aircraft shot away now that nobody was blocking it.
"Noooo! My baby!" Fisk fell backwards from the sudden acceleration, and his gamedeck shot out of his hands and smashed against a wall, sputtering in sparks and a shower of separated pieces.
Fisk slammed his fist against the floor as a tear welled out of his eye. "Damn..! Clint would've caught that. Miss that big guy already."
"I'll get you another one." Aldrich reached down and helped Fisk up. "For now, just be glad we're safe."
"We aren't gonna support Clint at all, though?" said Fisk as he nodded in thanks at Aldrich. "Dude's out there all alone!"
"Clint fights best alone. Think of him like a natural disaster," said Diamondback. "Do you 'backup' a tornado? A hurricane? No, you get of its way and let it destroy whatever's in its path."
"Now that's badass," said Fisk.
"I could have taken that fight too," said Valera, not wanting to get one upped.
"You could have, but then you wouldn't be with me, would you?" said Aldrich.
"A fair point." Valera cracked her neck and licked her lips. "Though it is a shame I did not get to fight. That winged man did look to be quite the worthy challenge."
Aldrich wondered whether Valera could beat Seraph. Of course, he did not know Seraph's full powers, but from recorded fights and reports, in terms of pure physical stats, Valera and Seraph were evenly matched.
Whether Valera could beat out Seraph's energy tendrils with her array of martial arts skills was an open ended question.
A question that, hopefully, Clint would settle by taking out Seraph permanently.
"Die! Die!" Seraph stood over Clint in the middle of a cratered road, raining down punches that sent ever deepening cracks throughout the already stressed asphalt.
His energy tendrils complemented his punches, stabbing down with blade like points.
Blood and guts and other miscellaneous parts, scales, fur, eyes, teeth, fins, sputtered up in a frankensteinian geyser of gore.
Seraph now looked utterly deranged, his pure white toga costume drenched in so much red it was hard to tell that it had once even been white. His pale, smooth skin suffered a similar fate, turning into a canvas of blood where only his glowing, blank white eyes shone through.
A thickly muscled tree trunk of an arm covered in bulging veins shot out from beneath Seraph, slamming into his chest and sending him flying dozens of meters in the air.
Clint stood up. The crater he was in was so deep that it reached up to his shoulders, and he was already a big man, getting bigger by the second, too.
"Nao thish ish a fhight!" shouted Clint, words slurring because his lower jaw had been punched so hard it had detached, dangling down like an accessory.
Horrific injuries was an understatement to describe Clint's state. His body was filled with so many holes he might as well have been swiss cheese. He was missing an arm and a big chunk of one of his legs, the red and raw flesh underneath spurting blood.
Yet, in spite of all this, Clint's red eyes sparkled with excitement. He took his torn jaw and set it back in place. Newly grown fibers of flesh eagerly reached out and attached his mouth back together in one piece. The rest of his wounds quickly healed up too, the holes covering up within a single second.
Where Clint healed, his skin solidified, growing dark green scales. With the full body injuries he had suffered, the scales covered his entire body, making him like some kind of reptilian humanoid, especially with his signature curved horns.
"Why won't you die!?" shouted Seraph in frustration. He put a hand at his chest, nursing a burning bruise from the uppercut that had sent him flying.
That hit was much stronger than before too. Atleast twice as strong.
"Hahah! I'm fucking unbreakable!" Clint flew in the air. He no longer needed wings.
It had been twenty minutes since he started his fight with Seraph. Since then, his evolution had progressed so much he had obtained the following powers:
Levitation based flight.
Shock absorbent chitin.
Empowered muscle fibers.
A constant cocktail of pain reducing, performance enhancing hormones.
Not bad, but not great either. Clint was maybe 30 percent of the way to getting really fired up. A shame that this A lister could not even bring him to 50 percent, even after he had gotten all his hopes up from seeing the young uns that Vane had shown him taking down the Megaloptera.
"You really are as unbreakable as the reports say you are," said Seraph.
"Made a name for myself in the cities, too, huh?" Clint laughed. "Pa would've been proud."
"You won't live to pass down that evil of yours," said Seraph. He briefly glanced around. The Panopticon drones had not shown up yet, let alone media drones.
Seraph often requested delays in Panopticon support because he did not like interference. That, and he hated being watched. He was always judged for killing, for enforcing justice, but he knew better than anyone that the only way to make sure a villain stayed down was to end them once and for all.
And this man, Clint, the Unbreakable, with a bounty of 20 million credits, was one of the biggest figures of the underworld. A man Seraph had to take down in the name of justice and good and law.
"Pass down, huh?" Clint looked down with a wistful gaze, remembering.
Seraph's eyes widened as he saw Clint's guard go down. With a burst of speed, he flew at Clint with jetspeed force. His energy tendrils coiled in front of him, whirling around in the form of an oversized drill.
If Seraph drilled Clint's body from the center and blew it apart, he could separate all the component pieces and make sure they did not regenerate. That was how he had dealt with multiple regenerating villains before.
Clint stopped Seraph's drill attack with one hand. Like a broken power tool, the drill tried to spin, but Clint's impossibly tough grip kept it rooted in place.
"You've made me remember some good times," said Clint. His smile twisted into rage, baring teeth that were now monstrously sharp. "But also some bad times."
With a roar, Clint grabbed Seraph's two tendrils, mashing them together between his hands to form a pulley, and used that to yank Seraph and slam the hero into the ground. The crater that Seraph had gouged out with Clint was nothing compared to what Clint bashed out now.
Seraph lay gasping for breath, embedded in the center a massive swathe of sunken in road. His eyes flickered shut and open as he struggled to stay conscious.
Clint floated down, standing over Seraph. "Y'know, kid, you're too serious for your own good. Learn to let go and smile once in a while, heh."
Clint's ears twitched as he picked up the blaring siren of Panopticon drones far in the distance. It was now time to go. He rapidly evolved a teleportation based power, his skin rippling in distorted waves of space.
"See ya, kid." Clint waved and turned around. The ripples intensified swallowing Clint up in a ball of stretched out space before disappearing, leaving no trace of him behind.