Echoes Long Forgotten, Part Sixteen: Winding Down

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(October 15th)

Mayfly retreated down the street, watching the confrontation as best she could – with the way that her wings were faltering, she didn't trust the air. Unfortunately, the result seemed to be roughly what she had expected. While Tony had battered Dragonfly around pretty fiercely, now that he knew what he was up against, his retaliatory strikes were forcing the beast into retreat.

There was an explosive blast from the vincinity of the pipe, and a green blur sailed through the air and crashed into a building across from her. Mayfly ducked, shielding her head from raining debris. Changing directions, she leapt with her good leg, gaining a moment of altitude while her wings faltered into life. A moment later, they faltered right back out again, and Mayfly crashed onto the roof of the building she had been attempting to vault in a shower of brownish-gold sparks.

“Having trouble, Nadia?” Dragonfly slowly came into view over the side of the building. Nadia rose to her feet again, settling into a defensive stance, as he continued. “That looked like your main power core giving out. Not good when Atlantean power crystals crack, you know.”

“You don't know when to quit, do you, Don?” Nadia smiled as Dragonfly set down on the roof. “You don't seem to be moving that quickly yourself.”

“I'll be fine. This suit's a lot better than that rickety contraption you've been hauling around in.” Dragonfly shrugged amicably. “You, on the other hand… well. Do you have any power left at all, or are you just carting around a few dozen pounds of metal?”

“Like I said, I'm fine.” Dragonfly started to circle around her, and Nadia shifted her stance to follow him. He noted the way that she was dragging her left leg pointedly.

“Seems not quitting is something we both have in common.” He went vague for a moment, then sighed. “You're right about one thing, though. I'm not special.” Abruptly, he sat down on the edge of the building.

Nadia raised an eyebrow. “You expect me to believe your sudden change of heart?”

“Screw it. You're done. It's not worth it to finish you off.” Dragonfly shook his head slowly. “You know, it always used to bug me that you thought we were so special. Like we deserved the world to give us something. We were never special. We're still not. You're just a normal girl who happens to own a suit. I'm just a normal guy who happens to know you.” He stood slowly, and Nadia took a step backwards, but he made no move to advance towards her. “You're not special, Nadia. You were meant to be a boring working girl. Go back to being that way. It's safer.”

“I find it hard to believe that you are interested in my safety, what with the whole trying to kill me thing.”

Jets blasted, and Nadia brought her hands up as Dragonfly crossed the distance between them in a moment. His fists and hers met, and her gauntlets cracked under the impact as he gripped them. His voice was low. “Nadia, I know your suit tolerances better than you do. I know what will break your suit, and what will break you.” Nadia gritted her teeth against the pain, kicking out uselessly against his armour as he continued. “You're nothing. That suit was all you had.” His hands let go just as the pain was about to become unbearable, and he smiled unpleasantly as he stepped backwards. “Guess you were right, Nadia. Even I wasn't sure whether I wanted to kill you or not. But this is the important thing. I beat you. Your training, your determination – none of it matters without that suit backing you up.” He glanced down the street, and nodded. “And here comes the cavalry, rushing in to save the damsel in distress. My cue to go.”

His jets flared again, and Nadia abruptly charged forwards, screaming wordlessly as he accelerated away. By the time she reached the side of the building, he was several blocks away, and speeding up.

“Mayfly! Are you alright?” The voice came from the rooftop doorway. Nadia looked back to see Timebender standing there, slightly out of breath. “We got here as quickly as we could. What happened?”

“It was a trap.” Nadia's voice was low. “Tony, the harbour. All of it. Dragonfly was here.”

“I see that.” Timebender was looking past Nadia, to the rapidly vanishing figure in the distance. “Blastwave, can we track him?” A short pause. “I see. No, I understand. They played us this time.” She looked back to Nadia. “Sorry.”

Nadia shook her head slowly, fighting back tears. “He'll be back.”

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