Rise of the Pheromaster Pt.2

Rise of the Pheromaster Emblem (Text Black)

Previously on Blessed Inversion Rise of the Pheromaster…

Pheromaster has made his move, Mentalist under his orders takes control of several Inhibitors and betrays her former friends. With Titan, Nature, Degree, and Mach under her control they kill Geralt and numerous other members of the Cell. Jun, Miles, and Karen escape but leave Granite unconscious and Director Boone at the mercy of her captors. While the trio set out for RajTEK, SWAT-Spider receives a message from Haze that Biohazards men are planning to capture Raja. But if SWAT-Spider was to let them capture Raja, he’d have a guaranteed way to uphold his bargain with Haze and get to Pheromaster…

Golden Age

Black Ice/Henry “Hal” Sharp

Cinder/Carlos Sánchez

Jey Connors

SWAT

SWAT-Spider/Steven Kessler

Haze

Doctor Khonshu/Kreon Galanis

Forecast

Raja Eishner

Sunspot

“Hal…” Jey says half asleep in bed.

“Huh?” Hal replies half asleep. “Your turn to get the door.”

“Your turn to get the door.”

“But I don’t wanna…” he whines. Slowly getting kicked out of bed by Jey until he rolls face first onto the carpeted floor. “Fiiine…” Now forcibly removed from bed, Hal wobbles to his feet and heads downstairs. When he opens the door he sees the mailman entering their truck and leaving. The package that they came to deliver left haphazardly on the front step. He sluggishly makes his way back up to the bedroom and flops face first into his pillow.

“What was it?” Jey asks.

“Mail…” Hal uses all his strength to sit up and open the manila envelope. Inside he finds his Inversion Registration Card which he promptly tosses onto his dresser so he can return to the comfort of his bed. Curling up close to Jey, putting his arm around his waist, and returning to the position they were in before he was so rudely awoken. Hal begins to fade into sleep when he realizes what he received in the mail. The sudden excitement causing his body to freeze up.

“OH MY GOD!” Jey shouts as he quickly jumps out of bed and falls to the floor. The sudden cold against his bare skin was the last thing he wanted on one of his days off. “The hell Hal?!” he shakes wrapping himself up in the covers.

“Dude, my thingie came in!” Hal jumps up ecstatically as he admires his Inversion Registration Card.

“Why did you have to ice up like that though?”

“I’m sorry but it’s the thingie I told you about.” he tries his best to contain himself but fails miserably. “My card thingie the um…just…here.” Hal tosses the IRC at Jey who begins to examine it.

“It’s an ID.” Jey frowns unimpressed. Throwing the IRC back at Hal and curling up on the floor in his covers cocoon.

“It’s my official ID so I can superhero and not get arrested now. It’s like…super late but still. I can finally go out again.” Hal returns to normal and walks over to Jey to comfort him.

“Meh, I’m still mad.” Jey curls up into his cocoon even tighter.

“You baby.” Hal pouts. “Fine, I’ll make it up to you when I get back.”

There was no time to spare. Hal searched his drawer for the last of his spare costumes and quickly puts it on. Racing out the house with a trail of ice in his wake. He knew it didn’t actually change anything about what he did, but it did mean he didn’t have to worry about the police. Probably…He knew the criminals he helped apprehend were still at large so now it was time to find them.* It’s been four days since escaped so searching the scene of the crime would be pointless.

*Blessed Inversion Golden Age Chapter 4

“Maybe there’s a fire somewhere I could put out. Fires don’t shoot at me.” Black Ice thought to himself while skating through the streets of Silver Plains. He had gotten used to the flow of traffic so it was an easy feat. But a strange rustling sound kept distracting him as it gradually became louder. “The heck is that?” he turns around to see a cloud of ash rapidly approaching. “Crap!” Black Ice freezes his body and braces himself as the ash cloud flies into him and drags him through a jewelry store window. “Man…this was my last suit too.” he groans wiping the glass shards off his somewhat damaged suit.

“You got lucky before.” a voice echoes from the ash as it reforms into Cinder. He wore an open black jean vest over matching pants. Emblazoned on the back of the vest was the Stars of Doom name sitting around a star. But most importantly was a less than subtle metallic cup being worn over his jeans. As if to make sure Black Ice knew he couldn’t use a groin attack to win again. “But I ain’t going down so easy this time.” he cracks his knuckles.

“Bad guys never do. That’s why I got steps 9 and 10.” Black Ice stands and enters his fighting stance. “Oh, and Ice Beams!” he shouts firing a stream of ice at Cinder. The attack fails as Cinder bursts into ash and reforms next to Black Ice and punches him in the face. Turning his fist into ash, grabbing Black Ice by the neck, and throwing him back out into a passing by car. The ice that covered his body was the only thing keeping him from breaking several bones. “I did not miss you Cindy.” he groans all the way to his feet. “The hell he’d get so much better anyway…” he thought to himself. His eyes scanning his surroundings at the on-looking civilians. “Sorry guys, no free show for you.” Black Ice puts his hands on the floor and creates a semi-dome cutting off a portion of the sidewalk and storefront. Keeping only himself and Cinder trapped within.

“Made yourself a little coffin eh? Saves me the trouble.” Cinders eyes blaze with ash that began to fill the store.

“That’s what she said.”

“That doesn’t even make sense!” Cinder vents his frustration with a stream of heated ash that pushes Black Ice into the ice wall and begins to smother him.

“Can’t…breath…gotta do this fast…” Black Ice thought to himself as he tries to get his bearings. Even with frozen over eyes he couldn’t see through the searing ash and the pressure it exerted kept him from making much movement. “Just…need a little room…” he strains to raise his arms parallel to the ground and fires two streams of ice.

“Can’t aim with ash in your eyes punk!” Cinder taunts as he continues his assault.

“Almost there…” Black Ice thinks to himself as he stops his ice streams for a moment to fire another for a few seconds. Forming his Ice Clone behind Cinder. But being made entirely of ice, it was wholly unable to sneak up on Cinder.

Cinder sighs before stopping his attack on Black Ice and backhanding the Ice Clone with his burning ash covered arm. Cracking its head in the process and shattering it upon its collapse on the floor. “Any other cute tricks you wanna try?” he taunts unafraid of anything Black Ice had to offer.

“Just one.” Black Ice responds standing to his feet. “With all that heat around you, I bet you can’t even feel how cold it is.”

“Doesn’t matter when you can’t touch me.” Cinder scoffs gradually filling the room with his ash.

“I know. That’s why I froze us in here and did that.” Black Ice points to the wall behind Cinder which is now an entire wall of ice. “I probably can’t beat you in a fist fight but I can rig the arena. Been making sure the temperature was dropping since we got in here.” With a snap of his fingers, the room surges with a wave of cold so intense that it freezes Cinder and even his heated ash where they stood. “I call it Flash Freeze. Pretty situational but useful in an extreme situation like this.” Pride begins to fill Black Ice but then a slight realization comes in. “Wait, can you breathe? Shit, I don’t think you can breathe.” Frantically, he unfreezes Cinder’s head so he can live to fight another day. “Sorry about that, this is why I should test moves out on actually living things.”

“This doesn’t mean a thing.”

“Yeah well, I won so there. The heck did you attack me for anyway?”

“We know your boss got free so I was gonna snuff you out before snuffing out that pretty boy at RajTEK.” he admits openly.

“What is it with you people and RajTEK? Gunma INC. is great too. Maybe you should attack them sometime.” Black Ice vents childishly before he realizes what Cinder just said. “Wait did you just narc on yourself? You’re a terrible villain.”

Having no more reason to watch over Cinder, Black Ice melts the ice semi-dome and begins to skate towards RajTEK. Regardless of if it was a trap or not, he had to make sure whoever was actually still in the building was safe. Thanks to the added help of Doctor Khonshu and the Inversion staff at RajTEK, reconstruction was successfully completed. The only sign they were ever attacked being the memories held of it. Although this, unfortunately, was enough to keep many workers from coming in. Leaving it largely empty aside for the ever-present Doctor Khonshu who tried to restart his work without distraction. Distractions outside of Raja that is, who sat watching Doctor Khonshu as he worked on an incomplete exoskeleton. The Khonshu Drives glowed atop his blue scrubs as he held them over the exoskeletons leg joints. His grasp on manipulating gravity was precise like a world class surgeon. Screws and wires floated into place unopposed by other utensils. Everything put into place with the utmost care to remain undamaged and secured.

“That’s awesome and all but you know I could help you right?” Raja notes.

“Indeed, but that’d defeat the point. The Khonshu series is being done by me and me alone. By hand, not technopathy.” Doctor Khonshu responds remaining perfectly focused on the work at hand.

“You make it sound like a bad thing.”

“It’s not bad but it’s not the same as doing it the old-fashioned way. There’s a level of skill involved that comes with this you just can’t replicate.”

“Couldn’t have said it better myself.” Haze echoes as he materializes in front of Doctor Khonshu with arms crossed. The suit he wore giving him both an intimidating and formal air about him. To his right stood Forecast in a similar gray suit with a look of disdain burned into his face. To Haze’s left stood a thin woman with a literal flaming head of short hair. Like her comrades, she wore a suit albeit in a crimson hue. Sunspot was ready to return to business.

“It seems you’ve caught me at a bit of a disadvantage.” Doctor Khonshu says nonchalantly. In the midst of his delicate work, diverting his attention to self-defense would risk damaging his precious exoskeleton. “Oh fuck it.” Throwing caution to the wind, Doctor Khonshu creates a gravity well around himself and Raja. Shattering the leg joints and sending its shards flying at Haze, Sunspot, & Forecast. But rather than making somewhat gruesome contact, the shards fly through them unfazed. “That’s not supposed to happen.”

“Really? Because everything’s going exactly as I planned. Orca, Shifter, you’re up.” Haze signals manifesting two more individuals to the Doctor Khonshu and Raja’s left. Orca was a woman wearing a dark navy blue dress with white mark surrounding her deep brown eyes much like those found on Killer Whales. Her hair was long and black, going down to the middle of her back and covered her right eye. She wore long formal forearm gloves to complete her look and make her look more like a professional opera singer than a gangster. Similarly, Shifter was also a woman though her hair was curly while tied back in a ponytail. Her dark brown skin made a striking contrast to the scarlet dress she wore. Hers, extending down to the knees and cutting off at a skirt rather than being full length like Orcas.

Orca takes a deep breath and unleashes a sonic scream that pierces through the gravity barrier, forcing Doctor Khonshu and Raja to grab their ears in pain. Leaving them vulnerable to Shifter. With a twist of her wrist, the floor twists and bends upward around Doctor Khonshu to trap him. Giving Haze the opportunity to remove the Khonshu Drives. As the pair sat at the mercy of 5 gangsters, SWAT-Spider watches hidden high on the ceiling above hidden amongst the light fixtures. He had arrived just in time from a hidden rooftop entrance to catch Doctor Khonshu’s attempt at self-defense and now had to make his decision. Leave his friends or help them.

“He really should’ve sent me instead of you Forecast.” Haze chuckles to Forecasts annoyance.

“One week…we couldn’t go one goddamn week without another attack. What did we do to deserve this?” Doctor Khonshu says trying to wiggle himself free to no avail.

“Not we, he.” Haze corrects Doctor Khonshu pointing at Raja.

“Me? What’d I do this time?” he asks more annoyed than anything. Corporate espionage was the norm for him to deal with but outright attacks not so much.

“You’ll find out soon enough. We’re done here.” Haze signals turning his back to Raja. “Grab Raja and if he tries to struggle just hit him with some lightning. But NOT enough to kill him Forecast.”

“What about him?” Forecast was focused solely getting revenge against Doctor Khonshu for the embarrassment he experienced a week ago.*

*Blessed Inversion SWAT Chapter 5

“Doesn’t matter to me. We just need Raja.”

“Sounds good to me.” Forecast cracks with electricity with an ecstatic expression.

“You’re the one who tortured SWAT right?” Doctor Khonshu asks Forecast.

“Yeah, what about it?”

“Just making sure I memorized your face so when I get out of this I can find you and make you my bitch again.” he taunts Forecast only to receive a bolt of electricity to the temple. His screams of anguish were music to Forecast’s ears, but gut-wrenching for SWAT-Spider.

“Okay, I’ve had enough of this.” SWAT-Spider thought to himself. Guardian Aranea may be altering his old SWAT uniform into being his costume but he lacked any of the gear that came with it. Five-on-one, while injured, wasn’t ideal but neither was letting his friend die and another get captured. Besides, if he saved Raja he could make this Pheromaster come to him. But before he can drop down from the ceiling something grabs hold of his left arm.

“Can’t let you do that SWAT-Spider.” a deep voice says before revealing itself. It was a tall thin man wearing a skin-tight green-hued costume much like SWAT-Spiders own. Sharp frills ran from the top of his head down to his lower back, extending into a tail that spiraled like a chameleons tail would. His eyes were similarly large and chameleon-like and the mouth was similarly large and extended past where his mouth normally would be. Finally, on his fingers were slip into three large digits over the normal human five.

“Shit! Am I really so out of it I didn’t notice him with my Danger Sense?” SWAT-Spider thought to himself as he kicked into gear. Using his right arm he fires webs over the new opponents eyes. Blinding him and giving SWAT-Spider a chance to kick him in the chest and free himself. But his effort was in vain. Before he can get out of range his opponent’s tail swings out like a whip and wraps around his ribs. “GAH!” he cries in pain. Even with Guardian Aranea keeping his bones in place and his old SWAT uniform providing extra protection, they weren’t a match for the Inversions tail.

“Chameleons eat Spiders and Crawler’s hungry.” he growls. With the size of his massive jaw, it wouldn’t be hard to eat the helpless SWAT-Spider. “But Crawler has orders.” he says swinging his tail and sending SWAT-Spider crashing through one of the laboratory tables. Before SWAT-Spider can even contemplate trying to get up, Crawler lands next to him. Wrapping his tail around SWAT-Spiders stomach once more and lifting him up into the air.

“When we know what you can do you aren’t so hard to deal with.” Forecast taunts SWAT-Spider smugly sure of his victory.

Hehehehehe.” SWAT-Spider chuckles to himself.

“The hells so funny?!” Forecast shouts increasingly annoyed.

“Just that you think you know everything I can do.” Information advantage was always something SWAT-Spider held as one of your greatest weapons. So no matter how hard he fought he always kept some of what he and Guardian Aranea could do hidden. Unfortunately, none of them would’ve saved him from torture. But they’d come in handy here. Crawler is caught by surprise as one of Guardian Araneas legs juts from SWAT-Spiders back and slashes him across the snout before three extra legs are spawned alongside them. Landing on the ground and keeping him suspended off the ground. The Aranea Legs were useful for movement, quick surprise attacks, and assassinations but weren’t particularly strong or maneuverable for actual continuous combat. But they did make for one hell of an entrance. “No more playing around.” he says, the eyes on his helmet shifting to a menacing squint. His anger and adrenaline blocking off any pain he felt. “I’m killing all of you.”

Next Issue

Rise of the Pheromaster Pt.3

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