"Hey, Austin, wanna play?" A tallish blond kid extended the handle end of a ping pong paddle towards Austin. His acquaintance George, a 16 year old Ukrainian, was borderline professional at the game, his ability only enhancing his prowess on the table. Austin smiled, and grunted in affirmation. He knew he would lose and he didn't like that, but maybe he could at least score a couple times. Besides, he could always take him to school on the ball court later.
Austin had many acquaintances like George, people he was nice to and friendly with, but nobody he could really say was a friend. Many of the students at the mansion had cool abilities, like insect controlling, blade arms, whatever. Just cool stuff. It made Austin feel a bit sad, as the only thing he could really do was make things brighter or darker. Nothing electricity didn't already accomplish. Some days it made him want to give up and go home, other days it made him strive to learn to master it. In all actuality hadn't made much progress, though he felt like he had spent much of his time learning it. Studying physics at the mansion gave him some ideas for his ability, reflection and refraction. He spent much time on the former, being able to effectively turn thin air into a perfect mirror, given he had enough time and concentration to do so. Refraction was a different story; he had made almost no progress on emulating its effects. He can kinda make things look like they are being seen through a lens of some sort, and even magnify things slightly. It took a lot of concentration, and Austin often found himself breaking into a cold sweat before finally gasping for air, realizing he had forgotten to breathe in his trance.
Alongside his Atlantean training, Austin had been sparring with Antonia daily. She had the ability to mimic any muscle memories she saw, which made her a very formidable opponent. Training usually ended with Austin getting his ass handed to him, but he tried to not let it bother him. Not that losing to a woman bothered him, but losing in general made him very bitter. On top of that, things were kinda awkward with Antonia. Apparently she wasn't seriously flirting with him, and more or less just trying to get him to join the Royal Family. That alone didn't make Austin feel to great, but he was more upset with himself that he tried to go through with the ruse. He didn't speak to Antonia outside of training, and even when they trained talk was limited to "We're doing this today," or, "Try and do more of this." The training itself was good, and Austin had greatly improved his hand to hand fighting. He still had a long way to go, and had many more forms and techniques to learn from Antonia.
After a few rounds of getting his ass kicked, Austin's game was cut short. Another student, a bit older and more involved than Austin, ran into the recreation room, nearly out of breath as he called Austin to come with him quickly. Austin, tossed his paddle to George and didn't hesitate to follow his summoner. The student, Kieran, also grabbed a girl named Charlie, Kim, and Minerva on the way to their destination: a helipad. There, Justin and River were waiting for them.
“I’m sorry your first mission will be like this, but this is important. You have all been seen by The Oracle as a part of the event that will take place soon if it hasn't already started. You've all been here a week, and have definitely got a better hold on your abilities, so now it’s time to put that into practice."
Yeah, but turning into a human mirror isn't what I'd call usefull...
"Austin, Minerva and Kim, you will all work under River as the offensive team, you will be the ones to face the threat front on. Charlotte, Kieran and I will be the supplementary team, helping those who we can to safety. Another of our teams which has already been dispatched to France will meet us there.” He quickly gave them a rundown of the situation. There were a number of renegade Atlanteans terrorizing Paris. Somehow they had manipulated meteors to fall to Earth, probably with the use of their powers. They were to disable the renegades and halt the aerial assault. After that, he hopped into the helicopter. The rest of the team followed suit, River taking the pilot's seat.
Once everyone was in, River brought the chopper to life and spoke over the headset, “Good luck guys, I have faith in all of you.”
"Holy ****." The helicopter neared Paris, now a city of chaos. Meteors rained down from the skies, destroying anything within a ten mile radius of the Eiffel Tower. The projectiles shot past the helicopter, forcing River to bring the helicopter to quick dives and sharp turns.
Austin tried to stay in control of his body, but he couldn't help but bump into Minerva a few times.
"Sorry," he said, bringing himself back to a sitting position after a particularly rough tumble. River finally brought the machine to a stop, landing with the Eiffel Tower standing in the distance. The team re-assembled outside the helicopter, awaiting their orders.
“Team, with me!” called River. Austin, Kim, and Minerva followed River as they ran towards the Eiffel Tower, apparently the source of the chaos. Meteors landed left and right, filling the area with thick smoke and fire. Austin was nearly flattened by a large meteorite, landing between him and River. Stopping instinctively at the sight of the fire it caused, he quickly lost the rest of the team in the smoke. Coughing loudly, Austin followed the sound of heavy music at the base of the Tower. As he neared, the drumline stopped. Looking through the smoke, he saw a particularly large, cemented figure fighting a smaller person. Austin didn't know who was who, or what was going on. He assumed the band was the renegade squad, it wouldn't make sense for anyone else to hang around. Either the cement dude or the crystal figure he was fighting was obviously trying to stop them too. He hoped whichever one was not a terrorist would kill the other, as neither looked particularly fun to fight. Austin ran towards the remaining two band members, who continued to play while their bud was being attacked.
What the hell? Austin thought. It seemed like they didn't think helping their friend would make short work of their assailant. But hey, it wasn't his problem. A meteor landed between Austin and the band, but he didn't slow down. He dashed at them, stopping only when the music changed keys. The singer pointed at him. He yelled some bullsh*t over the mic that didn't even rhyme, but he still moved his voice up and down like he was singing. He dropped his mic and walked calmly towards Austin, then suddenly sprinted. Austin braced himself for a physical impact, not thinking that the man's abilities may be ranged. He was not-so-pleasantly surprised when a scream sent him tumbling backwards. Laughter emitted from the singer's powerful throat, a loud and unnatural boom. Austin shook his head and stood back up. The man continued to laugh, making Austin a bit nervous.
I need to get closer to him...
Austin grinned a bit, more of a distraction than a sign of good feeling. The man stopped laughing, noticing Austin's smug look. He snarled a bit, and let out another screech. This one had a higher pitch, making Austin's ears ring as he dove out of the way. He quickly stood back up and tackled the singer to the floor, doing his best to strangle him. Somehow the renegade let out another scream, which forced Austin off of him and into the dirt a few meters away.Austin again got up, slightly slower then the last time. He was beginning to get tired of being thrown around. It was time to see if his ability would be of any use here. As the singer loomed over Austin to deliver another -probably fatal- scream to him, Austin shot his hand up with a flare of light, then quickly rolled away. Blinded, the man screamed and cursed in aggravation more than anything. Random sound waves rippled through the air, turning over trees and cars that were caught in the wake of their power. Austin took advantage of the situation, delivering a heavy blow to the back of the singer's neck. A loud crunch was heard, and the singer fell to the ground. Before Austin could celebrate, the singer rolled back over onto his backside and shrieked, sending Austin flying yet again.
Dazed, Austin looked up to his opponent. The man rolled his neck a few times, loud pops being emitted from his bones.
"That was a nice blow, pal," he said, "but not nice enough." Austin stumbled to his feet, and assumed an attacking position.
"Heh, light versus sound. This outta be fun." The singer started laughing at his own comment. Austin didn't like the guy's stress on the word "fun". He did, however, come up with a great pun to use...
Austin charged straight at the guy while he was still chuckling, grabbing him by the waist and lifting him up as he continued to dash straight forward. Slamming the man into a tree, Austin muttered, "Don't you know? Light is nine hundred thousand times faster than sound." Oh yes, so bad*ss. In the cheesiest, comic book superhero kind of way possible. The screamy-dude struggled for air under Austin's hold, while simultaneously striking him uneffectively. The life was slowly being squeezed out of him, pleasing Austin greatly. A meteor interrupted the moment of victory, however. Austin looked, astonished, as the tree Mr. Shriek was held against exploded. Austin was separated from his foe, and knocked to the ground. As the dust settled, Austin managed to pick himself up yet again, this time with a new addition of cuts and bruises. The singer was just a few yards away, and he started to get up himself. He started to laugh again.
Ugh, Austin groaned, why wont this bastard stay down?