Rise of the Pheromaster Pt.4

Rise of the Pheromaster Emblem (Text Black)

Previously on Blessed Inversion Rise of the Pheromaster…

The Inhibitors have gone rogue & Haze, Sunspot, and Forecast escape with Raja Eishner in tow. Leaving SWAT-Spider to battle Orca, Shifter, & Crawler alone. Orca and Shifter come to blows with Orca the victor, departing only to run into Black Ice. She attempts to mislead him into fighting SWAT-Spider but her plan backfires when he easily determines Crawler is the real threat. Without her guardian, Shifter is apprehended in short order. But not long after this the Inhibitors Reflex, Chaos, & Miles Shephard alive bringing news of Mentalists attack. Black Ice remains undeterred believing they can handle the increasingly negative odds. Now they prepare to head to the Pathogen but not before the young hero Jetstream performs a dangerous request…

Inhibitors

Reflex/Jun Naegi

Mentalist/Fabiana Pereira

Chaos/Karen DeGroat

Titan/Wendell Hoffman

Sasha Boone

Mach/Stephanie Balboa

Nature/Wei Jin

Granite/Kathy Preston

Construct/Rory Tymchyshyn

Degree/Raina Dahmani

Sleuth/Katerina Sonter

Golden Age

Black Ice/Henry “Hal” Sharp

SWAT

SWAT-Spider/Steven Kessler

Jetstream/Gabriel Kessler

Doctor Khonshu/Kreon Galanis

“Seriously?!” Jetstream asks excited yet somewhat confused at the sudden declaration that he was going to Sweden.

“You can’t be serious.” Reflex says in disbelief. “You’re not sending a little kid to the Cell.”

“Do you know someone who can run or fly at super speed? Teleport?” SWAT-Spider asks bluntly.

“You’re asking him to run close to 4000 miles alone into a hostile environment.”

“I’m asking him to help us save lives.” he counters.

“What do you need me to do dad?” Jetstream asks noticing the seriousness on his and Reflex’s face.

“Oh god, are you really about to send your son out like this?!”

“Right now we have a problem only he can solve. I don’t want to do this but he’s the only one who can do what I have in mind.” SWAT-Spider wasn’t ready to send out his 13-year-old son but he knew the risks if he didn’t. He pauses and turns to Jetstream. “Gabe, I need you to run to Sweden to the Inhibitors base as fast as you can. When you get inside I need you to find out if Raja is there and if any of the Inhibitors are. Make sure nobody sees you and don’t try to fight anyone. Most importantly, remember my mental resistance training.”

“But I don’t even know where it is.”

“I got that covered.” SWAT-Spider replies, walking to a nearby table and retrieving the Khonshu Band. “This is the Khonshu Band. It has an onboard computer we can use to keep in touch with you. More importantly, I can set it to give you directions. Follow it and you’ll get there no problem.”

“Okay.” Jetstream nods confidently. Taking a deep breath, he puts his goggles on and races off.

“I don’t wanna backseat parent but are you sure you’re sure about this?” Black Ice asks.

“No, but he’s our best chance right now. Let’s make sure we’re ready whenever he is.” SWAT-Spider had unwavering faith in his son. But even so he knew how inexperienced he was and that could put him in jeopardy…

While SWAT-Spider and the others remained at RajTEK preparing, Jetstream raced through Silver Plains to his destination. Starting out running normally gaining speed. Working his way up to his max speed. Sprinting with his arms extended behind his back.

“If you’re as fast as I believe you are, your approximate arrival time is 2 hours and 15 minutes.” Doctor Khonshu says across the Khonshu Band.

It was the first time Jetstream ever had to run non-stop and his first time having to leave New York. “Dad’s counting on me so let’s see if we can cut that time down.” Jetstream thinks aloud as he pushes himself to run faster. Crossing the highway out of Silver Plains, east through the rest of the state, and over the ocean. He only had a few days training with SWAT-Spider in how to better use his super speed and this was the first time he ran on water. The excitement of the feat blocking out the fact he’d have to keep doing it non-stop if he didn’t want to sink into the ocean below. “Hey, do you play music?”

“Like father like son…” Doctor Khonshu sighs.

“Huh?”

“He asked me the same thing when I first made it.”

“So…does it?” Jetstream asks much to Doctor Khonshu’s annoyance

“What do you think?”

“It does.”

“Did you not get the subtext?”

“I dunno did you really make a wristwatch that’s a walkie-talkie, scans stuff, and shoots tasers but for some reason can’t play music?”

“If you weren’t such a smartass I might’ve played music here for you to listen to but now I’m not going to. Take that.”

“Hey! No fair! Man…” Jetstream groans to himself as he continues his run. His thoughts as the only thing that could keep him company. Seconds dragged on and minutes were unbearable. But he stayed focused on his task…that is until hunger began to set in. Running at super speed non-stop burned a lot of energy. “Hey, how long until I get there?” Jetstream asks the Khonshu Band.

“Approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes left until arrival.” the Khonshu Band replies in an automated voice.”

“Oh, man…I’m gonna burn out before I even reach the place at this rate…Hey, is there like a cruise on the way?”

“A cruise from Canada to Ireland is approximately 15 minutes away.”

“Cool, I’m sure they won’t mind a little pit stop.” Jetstream says to his computerized companion as he shifts his course.

“What do you think you’re doing?” Doctor Khonshu asks across the Khonshu Band not even 5 minutes after Jetstream’s course shift.

“I’m making a little detour. I gotta-”

“Get back on track. Time is of the essence.” Doctor Khonshu reminds Jetstream.

“Fiiiiine…” Jetstream groans returning to his mission. He knew he had a job to do and sometimes doing a job meant pushing yourself harder than you have before. A little over 1 hour and 45 minutes later, Jetstream finally arrives at the Cell. Stopping to catch his breath and admire the sights. “You can do this Gabe. Can’t let dad down.” Jetstream thinks to himself. He soldiers onward using his super speed to vibrate himself through the front door. He had no idea where to even start his search and wanting to prove himself chose not to ask for assistance. All he had to do was find Raja.

Now that he was finally at his target destination, Jetstream decided to explore the facility floor by floor. Starting with the floor he was on, he raced through the charred hallways and searched the two dozen meeting and computer rooms. Each empty and devoid of life, like the Holding Cells he checked next. A single room had its door punched down and appeared to be an office of some kind. Even a child could tell this was likely Director Boone’s office. But beyond the shattered front door there wasn’t a sign of struggle wherever she was taken. The final area he found was the Hanger Bay that remained only missing the VTOL that Reflex, Chaos, and Miles took.

“Hey, can you guys see this?” Jetstream asks the Khonshu Band.

“Set it to scan mode JS.” SWAT-Spider says from the other end of the Khonshu Band.

“Oh, okay.” Jetstream replies pressing the screen on the Khonshu Band. He then waves his arm across the room so it can scan.

“Looks like everyone’s still home. Have you run into anyone yet?” he asks in thought.

“No, the whole first floor is a ghost town. I’m gonna run up to the second floor now.”

“Wait, Gabe.” SWAT-Spider says to deaf ears. Jetstream had already raced off to the top floor. His search limited by the stone walls covering the doorways.

“That’s weird. Maybe I should just vibrate through them.” he thinks to himself before stopping when he comes across the cafeteria. “Finally food!” his mind races at the thought of food. He glances inside an assortment of scientists and maintenance staff sitting listlessly in the cafeteria. They murmured lowly to each other while exchanging half glances to the source of their strife. The tan-skinned figure wearing the Inhibitors tactical uniform. Her hair was a short curly brown. To her friends, she was called Raina. But to them, she was just Degree the traitor. If anyone so much as crossed her she’d use her Thermokinesis to boil them alive. Jetstream had orders to avoid direct interference but he was also a superhero. “That’s the same uniform those ladies were wearing. That means she’s the bad guy.” he thought to himself. He only had one shot at saving everyone and he’d make sure he got it right. Taking a few steps away from the door, Jetstream takes a deep breath to calm himself. He gets low into a sprinters stance, dashes at max speed in a fraction of a second. His body vibrating through the door like it wasn’t there, through the cafeteria, and landing a punch square or Degree’s jaw to knock her out cold in one punch. “Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow.” he whines shaking his hand. He was still learning how to punch from SWAT-Spider and had yet to learn how to properly not hurt himself punching. “Have no fear, Jetstream is here!” he declares sticking his chest out proudly. The suddenness of his appearance didn’t set in for a full 30 seconds before the hostages began to somewhat relax. “What’s wrong? I just saved you guys.” his excitement begins to wane.”

“There’s no point. We can’t escape and there’s still seven other Inhibitors you have to stop.” one of the scientists says defeated.

“Don’t say that. We can…” Jetstream wobbles and shakes his head to recompose himself. He didn’t have time to pass out from exhaustion. Not yet at least. “I have friends who wanna help but I need to find the bad guys in charge.”

“The training room in the basement.” another scientist replies with a glimmer of hope in their eyes.

“Sweet, okay. Just stay here and I’ll be right back.” Not missing a beat, Jetstream races for the staircase and down to the basement level. Stopping as he comes across the Recreation Room. The blood stains from Geralt’s death stained the floor and some of the furniture despite his body having been moved.* The sight paralyzed Jetstream.

*Rise of the Pheromaster Pt.1

This continued for several minutes, his eyes never diverting from the crimson stained floor for a second. SWAT-Spider stressed how dangerous it was to be a hero but seeing the aftermath firsthand was a bit much for the young hero. But he knew he still had a job even if he was scared so he pressed on at his normal speed. Arriving just in time to see the elevator back upstairs closing. His heart continued to race and he hesitated unsure of if he should continue. Jetstream already knew the answer and raced upstairs. Returning to a normal speed when he reaches the first floor so he could follow the voices as they headed to the hanger. There a private helicopter landed with the signature Acel-Corp AC logo on the side. Out stepped a man with sleeked back black hair wearing a maroon double-breasted suit. His demeanor calm and proud of himself. He approached the remaining Inhibitors; Mentalist, Nature, Sleuth, Titan, Mach, Construct and the now converted Granite as they awaited him with their prized prisoner Sasha Boone. This gave Jetstream the perfect opportunity to vibrate his way through the wall and super speed his way into hiding behind one of the VTOLs so he could hear their conversation.

“Jason McKellen…” Sasha scowls at the sight. It wasn’t hard to put two and two together to figure out he was behind all this.

“That’s Pheromaster to you.” Mentalist snaps at her.

“It’s fine Fabiana. So Director, let’s talk business shall we?” Pheromaster smiles. His hands clasped behind his back.

“Fuck you.”

“Why does everyone have to be so difficult today?” he sighs with a roll of his eyes and shakes his head. “You’re going to take me to the Pathogen.” his eyes shimmer a purple hue.

“I…guess it couldn’t hurt.” Sasha replies compliantly.

“Good girl. Now for the rest of them.” Pheromaster turns his attention to the Inhibitors. “We have a very important job to do. I need you all to do whatever it takes to get the job done.” he awaits a response from each of them. Receiving a series of nods from all but Titan. His face twitching as if annoyed by his attempt to use his pheromone manipulation. “Be a dear and keep him on a tight leash Fabiana.”

“Of course Jason.” she answers seductively.

“That can’t be good.” Jetstream thought to himself. “Maybe I should…” his thoughts halt when he stomach growls loud enough to catch Pheromaster and the Inhibitors attention. “Oh crap.” Before Jetstream can even think about running, Construct traps him in a hard-light cube.

“Fabiana, who is that?” Pheromaster asks turning slowly to look at his subordinate.”

“I have no idea. I’ve never seen him before now.” her voice shaky as to not further upset.

“So much for hiding…” Jetstream mutters to himself as he steps out from behind the VTOL. “You’re all under arrest! Surrender or else!” he declares in a boast of false bravado. He had been running on fumes for some time and the most he could do with his super speed was short bursts or vibrating through walls.

“Or else what?” Fabiana crosses her arms furious at the threat.

“Um…I’ll fight you!” Jetstream stammers. Witty banter was not yet his forte.

“Look, I don’t have time for this. Construct, please shrink that cube until he’s crushed. Everyone else, we’re leaving.” Pheromaster orders. Walking to one of the remaining VTOLs with Director Boone and the remaining Inhibitors in tow before departing.

“Any last words?” Construct asks with his new level of freedom granted by being controlled by Pheromaster rather than Mentalist. Now he could speak without it just being a mouthpiece for Mentalist.

“I wanna go home.” Jetstream says with eyes darting around his ever-shrinking prison.

“I’m sorry but I can’t do that. I honestly have nothing against you. But this is my job. I hope you’ll understand”

As the construct begins to get mere inches from crushing Jetstream his heart begins to pound in his chest like a jackhammer. Thoughts of a rapidly approaching death consuming his every thought. “LET ME OUT!” he shouts. His eyes glowing blue as he summons a blue-hued energy construct of his father to hold back the cube.

“Steve?!” Construct’s heart skips a beat at the sight of his old mentor. Even if it was just an energy construct every detail of him was there. The stubble covering hidden scars, the permanently serious or pissed off expression, even the outfit he wore was the same RajTEK uniform he wore around the Cell. The moment of sentimentality allowed the energy construct Steven to shatter the hard-light cube. Allowing him a chance to fire an energy blast at Constructs feet and sending him rolling to the floor unconscious.

Like his father, Jetstream kept some of his abilities hidden. In this case, the ability to create energy constructs much like Construct himself. But unlike the Inhibitor, Jetstream was still having difficulty maintaining the constructs form and integrity and he wasn’t ready to show SWAT-Spider. This was the first time he was able to summon a full energy construct that wasn’t a simple shape. Between the sudden use of this power and the stress that triggered it the last of Jetstreams energy reserves were gone. His body crumbling to the floor under gravities weight. “Dad, they took Director Boone and left. I didn’t see Raja though.” Jetstream relays his message in a daze.

“I see…thanks Gabe, I’m proud of you.” SWAT-Spider compliments his son’s good work.

“But I couldn’t stop em or figure out where they’re going…They even saw me…” Jetstream whines upset as not doing exactly what he set out to do. He may have disobeyed SWAT-Spider at parts but this was one part where he didn’t plan on acting out.

“It’s fine Gabe.” SWAT-Spider reassures him. “You’re still alive which is what matters most to me. Look, the Doc has a way to track them and now we know Raja is still alive and that we’re gonna be facing the entire Inhibitors roster. Now we won’t be going in blind or to the wrong place. Hopefully, we can beat em to the Pathogen.”

“What do I do?”

“Sit tight, we’ll take care of the rest and come to pick you up. If not, lay low and get home as soon as you can.”

“Okay.” Jetstream responds lowly. Part of him wanted to go help them but the rest was too scared to even try moving. Not that he could. With all the non-stop running and fighting, he was too burnt out to even sit-up. Whether he liked it or not, he had to leave everything else to the others.

Next Issue

Rise of the Pheromaster Pt.5

 

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