Tear The World Apart, Part Twenty: The Harbour Aftermath

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(July 14th, 2008)

The Patchwork City Harbour was a ruin, but there was life amidst the wreckage. A few special forces teams were already cataloguing the damage, measuring ruined piers and checking the stability of portside businesses.

Sitting nearby, having found a bench that had missed being exploded, thrown, or otherwise mauled, Nadia and Amber watched the crews work. Nadia was still wearing her Mayfly suit, but her mask was lying on the bench next to her. Timebender remained in costume, her clothing stained with dust and sweat. She turned to Nadia, sighing. “Sorry we couldn’t get here sooner. There were three skirmishes we got called to enroute.” The battle for the city had not ended with Judgment’s death; in fact, although Rex Mundi’s forces began a staggered withdrawal only five minutes afterwards, fighting had continued over the next two hours. At first it had been as fierce as ever, but as the SEA took strategic points and continued to advance, it had gradually dissolved into a series of warring retreats as the Antiheroes attempted to make good their escape and the SEA did everything in its power to stop them. “How’s Jim?”

Nadia made a rude noise. “The SEA doctors won’t let me see him. But they say he’ll be fine; it was just some second-degree burns, and the healers on staff will be able to get rid of them without any scarring.” She sighed, looking down at her suit. “I wanted to keep fighting, but they wouldn’t let me.”

“And a good thing too, rosebud.” The two twisted in their seats to see Blastwave, wearing a baggy sweatshirt and jeans instead of her usual coat, standing behind them. She had one arm in a sling, but was otherwise looking as well as ever. “Your suit is trashed. I know you’ve got those Atlantean nanowhastits installed, but it’ll be days before you can fly, let alone fight.” She mock-punched Nadia, lightly tapping her nose. “There’s such a thing as too much dedication.”

“I know.” Nadia sighed, looking out over the harbour again, and slid to one side as Wave walked around to take a seat next to Amber. “But people were fighting, getting hurt… even dying. And I was sitting like an idiot because I screwed up.”

“You did okay, for your second live fire mission.” Blastwave shrugged easily, then followed Nadia’s gaze. “They dredging the harbour yet?”

“Oh, yes.” Amber grinned. “There’s five billion dollars worth of gold down there. You can bet that was the first priority.” She didn’t know who had programmed the Aerial Gold Reserve to consider ramming speed an acceptable option, but she could guess. And, technically, it had worked; the Reserve and the Antihero fortress had crashed into the harbour together, twenty minutes into their firefight. She grinned at the memory, despite herself. “I wonder if the Doc’s going to get in trouble.”

“I heard he’s blaming Rex Mundi.” Nadia and Amber chuckled as Blastwave spoke, and she grinned in response. “It’s crap, of course, but we could never prove it, and it’s not really worth prosecuting him over something that might have saved a lot of lives.” She started to shrug, then winced and quickly restrained herself. “This is a very odd town, is all I’m saying.”

”That it is, Wave.” Amber nodded. “But it’s worth it.”

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