Echoes Long Forgotten, Part Fifteen: Insults For Everyone

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(October 13th, 2008)

“You actually tried to kill me! You son of a bitch!” Mayfly and Dragonfly tumbled through the air, wings tangling and shifting as they lost altitude, rocketed upwards, then lost it again. Mayfly was hammering blows down on her ex's armor, while he fended her off and tried to pin her arms down. “I can't believe you actually did that!”

“That's because you never listen!” Dragonfly shoved with all of his might, pistons straining for a moment before he pushed Mayfly off of him. The two nearly slammed into the ground, only to right themselves and rocket upwards. He shouted over the wind, his comm giving him nothing but static. “You just go along with whatever stupid theory you've got, and damn the evidence!” His voice rose louder, as he spun to strike down at her. “You never understood a thing that was going on around you!”

“Maybe not.” As Dragonfly's fist came down, Mayfly caught it with one hand. For a moment, the two strained against each other. “But I've started paying attention. For example, you're out of ammo.”

“And your left arm servos are damaged from that blast.” As he spoke, Dragonfly brought up both of his legs, slamming them into Mayfly's vunerable side. She tumbled to one side, and he laughed. “I'm not sure how you avoided it, but you didn't make it all the way.”

“Avoiding the blast was easy. We could always track each other by our comms. I figured your fancy new suit had a one-way version.” Mayfly shrugged, circling around Dragonfly cautiously. “So I tossed my comm through the wall while I looped around you. Just didn't figure you were toting around that kind of blasting power.”

“Ah. You have gotten smarter. I would have thought a simple chain of logic like that would wear you out.” Dragonfly dove forwards suddenly. Mayfly pulled up her legs, flying over him and kicking out – her feet impacted his jetpack harmless as he passed by. “Shame you never showed that kind of initiative when we were working together.”

“Stopping you? I seem to remember doing that a lot.” Mayfly looped forwards, dodging right at the last moment. A glancing blow from Dragonfly sent her spinning, but she recovered quickly. “You can blame me for sending you to jail, but I kept you out of it at least twice.”

Dragonfly powered forwards again. As Mayfly cut her power, dropping like a stone, he grabbed one leg and spun her around twice, releasing her to careen towards a nearby wall. He barrelled after her, impacting with her just before she hit. Brick and plaster cascaded around the two as they crashed through two walls into a hallway. His grip lost, Dragonfly rolled to his feet. Mayfly did the same across from him, fighting back a wince as her leg reacted painfully. “You give yourself too much credit, Nadia.” Dragonfly's lips were curled back. “You were never the guardian angel you thought you were.”

Suddenly, Mayfly sighed heavily. “Come on, Don. Cut the insults. Maybe I didn't know you as well as I thought, but I remember the man who could make us feel like we mattered. Like we were special. You're so mad you want to turn that around now?” Suddenly, she charged forwards, swinging at him. Dragonfly stepped backwards, blocking the blows with his arms, giving ground with each step, as Mayfly yelled at him. “If I was so useless, why did you keep using me until I wasn't convenient for you any more?”

Dragonfly twisted. One arm shot out, grabbing at Mayfly's left side. There was a sound of snapping circuits as she pulled away, leaving a brown metallic panel in his fist. “Because it was just so easy to play you. Just like now.” He laughed, kicking out. Mayfly somersaulted backwards down the hall, landing in a heap. “Of course I kept you around. You were like a little admiring puppy. Useless, but cute.” Striding forwards, he kicked again. Mayfly tried to roll backwards, but her damaged cybernetics betrayed her and she tilted to one side, catching his foot in the chest and slamming back through a wall. “And you always took insults too personally. Keep them going, and you just go for the throat. Never mind that your suit's years behind mine. Never mind that I've been training, too. You thought you could take me.” Shaking his head, he stepped forwards again, watching Mayfly struggle to her feet. “Stupid. Why don't you give up? If you're abject enough, I might settle for trouncing you and breaking your little toy suit.”

“You must be joking.” Mayfly took a heavy step forwards. “You have no idea, Don. I've fought Lockdown. I faced off against Dudeman. I've seen war – pretty damn recently, too. You're nothing. You're just a jumped-up punk that someone handed a suit to and pointed at me.” She spat on the floor in front of him.

Dragonfly's face purpled with rage. “You're wrong again, Mayfly. I'm the worst thing you'll ever face.”

“Oh, please. A copycat costume? This whole setup stinks to high heaven. You think someone broke you out of jail and gave you that suit because you're just that good? And then pointed you at me? Because I don't believe for a moment that no one told you to come here.”

There was a moment of hesitation. “Shut up.”

“Face it, Don. They don't want you. They just want to hurt the Champions, and you're expendable. Just like last time. Was it Antiheroes? The Witch Doctor, maybe? Rex Mundi? Stop me if I'm getting warm.” Mayfly grinned.

“Shut up!” Charging forwards, Don brought all of his force around in a devastating swing. It caught Mayfly in the chest, sending her sailing through the back wall and out into the street. Her wings caught in midflight, flickering for a moment from power loss, and she laughed again.

“Giving me a free escape route? How nice of you. Keep on screwing up, Don. Do your mystery friends actually expect you to win alone?”

“SHUT UP!” Roaring, Don dove out the window. Mayfly drifted backwards towards the street, landing with a roll and staggering up again. She waved to him as he dove towards her. “YOU DON'T KNOW ANYTHING!!” Don's jetpack roared as he dove downwards. He'd see if she could dodge this.

Mayfly watched him come, biting her lip. At the last moment, she moved – but now how he expected. She fell backwards as he dropped, rolling into a ball. Caught off-guard, Dragonfly didn't bank quickly enough. He slammed into the pavement with enough force to send it crumbling down into the sewers below. Mayfly, caught in the shockwave, slammed to one side as Dragonfly followed the pavement down – only to watch him catapult upwards a fraction of a second later as a massive brownish-yellow tentacle, which had been quietly retreating through the sewer system, reacted to this sudden intruder.

“I know where Tony is.” Mayfly smiled brightly.

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