Previously on Blessed Inversion Rise of the Pheromaster…
No more mystery, no more scheming, and no more running. With Reflex, Chaos, SWAT-Spider, and Raja Eishner freed from their prisons on the Pathogen all that’s left is to stop Pheromaster. But the mad CEO isn’t going down without a fight and has not only the Inhibitors but some of the prisoners on the Pathogen fighting for him. Who’s going to win this Six vs Ten fight?
Today was such a good day…All of Pheromasters plans were coming to fruition. But now they’re all falling apart at the seams before him. A person he thought was disarmed is now fully armed and neutralizing their greatest asset. People he thought were dead were in fact alive. The person he wants dead most just won’t die. And worst of all he has to rely on a pair of unstable prisoners instead of just using them as glorified cannon fodder as he had hoped. Blazer, the 16-year-old middle eastern boy responsible for the Six Rivers Wildfire* was powerful but without Mentalist controlling him he could lash out unexpectedly. The other was the new recruit, Ryan Angel, codenamed Overload. He was an Inversion the Inhibitors caught during a mission to Australia. He was a somewhat heavier young man with an impressively long head of hair that went to the middle of his back. Compared to many of the other prisoners in the Pathogen, Overload had come willingly. His powers of Supercharging let him charge any object, living or not, within range beyond its natural limit. A useful power for making a formerly weak Inversion into a powerhouse. Unfortunately for him, he had no control of it and the objects he Supercharged would often explode violently. Both of these prisoners were returned to their former attire so that they could once more access their powers freely.
“You heard the snowflake. Let’s kick some ass.”* SWAT-Spider declares as he summons Araneas Legs, four massive spider legs from his upper back, and raises himself a few feet off the ground. He was nowhere near ready for front-line fighting but he knew exactly who his target would be.
“Kill em all!” Pheromaster orders his troops.
“Chaos, light em up.” SWAT-Spider orders.
“No problem boss!” Chaos exclaims gleefully. She missed Steven immensely and now she was able to finally work with him again. With a smile on her face, she pushes her illumination power to its limits and shines like a lighthouse. Forcing all present to cover their eyes.
“Cute trick niña.” Cinder mocks while becoming a mass of living scalding ash. Flowing through the air and smothering Chaos. Dampening her light and making it difficult to breathe. Reflexively she fires off beams of light but in his ash form, it just passes through Cinder harmlessly. One of the beams she fires soars through the air and barely misses Jetstream as he races across the floor at a blinding pace to escape Mach. To them, the group was standing still. All except for Chaos’ light beams that moved even faster than they did.
“Notgoodnotgoodnotgoodnotgood!” Jetstream rambles in his mind repeatedly. Even running at his full speed he wasn’t able to lose Mach. He may be younger but she still had more experience with moving at such speeds. Every shortcut through the areas under construction, she was there. Every sudden turn and double back he did, she was there. Each time he sped through the non-essential areas, she was there. Nearly getting hit by a beam of light didn’t help. “Wait, was that the weird lady?” he thought as he looks back where the beam came from. Even in slow motion, he could tell Chaos was in trouble of being smothered by a cloud of ash. But it gave him an idea. “How’s it feel to not keep up with a kid? Bet it sucks!” he taunts as he races towards Chaos, running a circle around her with Mach following suit.
“What the fuck is this now?!” Pheromaster cries out in confusion and annoyance. The combined speeds of Jetstream and Mach creating a miniature tornado around Chaos that begins to absorb Cinder and scatter his ash high above towards the ceiling. The wind from the tornado forcing a standstill.
“Hey, you’re pretty fast? Is that all you can do?” Jetstream asks Mach as he continues running in a circle around Chaos.
“Yeah, just like you. But faster!” Mach says as she starts to run parallel to Jetstream. Her eyes locking with his. She knew she had to stop him for the greater good, but she couldn’t help enjoying having someone who finally could keep up with her.
“Ha, jokes on you! I can do more than run fast.” Jetstream gives a cheeky smirk while summoning a blue energy construct of Steven. It appears in front of Mach and using the momentum of their run, catches her, and flings her into Granite. Knocking her out cold and stunning Granite before Jetstream comes to a stop. “Score one me.”
“OH COME ON!” Pheromaster howls like a man possessed. Veins practically exploding in his forehead and arms.
“You really need to chill out Pheromaster.” Black Ice fires a stream of ice at Pheromaster only for Nature to step in, her body turning into ice and stopping the beam. “Or I guess she could too.” Nature remains silent, turns her body into fire, and unleashes a hellish stream of flames on Black Ice. “Oh crap!” Black Ice aims diagonally at the ground and creates a wall of ice to protect himself and everyone behind him. “Okay, I think we-” Before Black Ice can finish his sentence, Titan punches through the ice wall as if it was paper. The shards knocking him to the floor and forcing the group to scatter.
“Don’t all ask if I’m okay or anything…” Black Ice groans as he tries to get to his knees only to get doused in flames by Nature.
“Someone get BI! I’ll deal with him.” SWAT-Spider says fearlessly as he jumps towards Titan. His Danger Sense combined with Araneas Legs keeping him one step ahead of Titans slow and wild punches. “Those eyes…” he thought as he skillfully dodged a wild haymaker from Titan. His eyes, despite being silver, had an eerie glow about them. “He’s under mind control. That means…” With a quick duck, he dodges a wide right hook and leaps over Titan. Firing webs from both hands at Mentalist.
“Watch out!” Granite says jumping in the way of the webs. Without any rocks around she was entirely powerless here. This was the least she could do to help.
“Perfect…” SWAT-Spider thought aloud before Cinder’s ashes come down from the ceiling and reform around him, dragging him along the floor chest first.
“You ain’t so tough SWAT.” Cinders voice echoes like a ghastly wraith in his ash form.
“Get off my dad!” Jetstream races to Cinder, running circles around him once more.
“I don’t fall for the same trick twice.” Cinder makes his lower body solid before spreading the ash from his torso outward. Increasing the temperature to their maximum. Without Mach running alongside him, Jetstream isn’t fast enough to disperse the ash and inhales some of it. Burning him inside and out before causing him to trip to the floor. Rolling across the floor until he hits a wall.
“You bastard!” SWAT-Spider instinctively lashes out with Araneas Legs but no matter how they pierced his heart or skull it was still just ash and did no damage.
“Normally, I don’t like picking on kids. But since he’s yours I’m going to enjoy this immensely.” Pheromaster taunts the pinned down vigilante. They may have beaten some of his fodder but he still had his aces.
“We need to help them.” Chaos turns to Reflex looking for leadership.
“Fire everything you have at Titan.” Reflex says without hesitation. “It won’t stop him but that’s what I’m aiming for. And don’t worry about Black Ice.” she tightens her gloves and charges headlong towards Titan. For the first time in a while, she could see the future clearly and wouldn’t be caught by surprise.
“Okay…” Chaos was hesitant but trusted Reflex. She gathers energy and unleashes her strongest beam possible at Titan who takes the blast straight on. His metal skin combined with his super strength letting him stand his ground. Not only that, but he began to slowly walk towards her. A terrifying show of strength from her former ally. Now it became clearer than ever why he was recruited into the Inhibitors before someone like Pheromaster could swoop him up.
“Nature, be a dear and take her out.” Pheromaster orders Nature to divert her focus moments before she’s hit with a beam of ice that freezes her in place.
“Fun fact, I started out fighting fires. That was nothing to me.” Black Ice boasts as he stands up.
“Ice platform now!” Reflex calls out.
“Ice Platform is a go!” Black Ice puts his hands on the floor and creates an ice platform under Reflexes feet. Launching her into the air and set to land on Pheromaster.
“NO!” Mentalist finally speaks and uses her Psychokinesis to catch Reflex midair. “You’re not touching him!”
Reflex smiled as she had her body slowly crushed in the air by Mentalist. She knew this would happen and more importantly, that her lashing out would weaken her hold on Titan. With his freedom restored, he unleashes a hellish shout and slams both fists on the ground. The shockwave it creates shook the entire Pathogen, knocking everyone standing onto the floor. The blinding rage he felt turning him towards the cause of his misery…Mentalist and Pheromaster.
“Haze, get him in-” Pheromaster turns to Haze who is nowhere in sight. “No…no you fucking did not…” his heart sinks as he sees Titan approaching. He looks around and sees Cinder floating away as a cloud of ash, freeing SWAT-Spider and leaving Pheromaster with only his Inhibitors, Blazer, and Overload. “It’s okay, I can still salvage this.” he thought to himself. “Overload, Blazer, don’t fuck this up like she did!”
“But I don’t want to do this.” Blazer protests. Without Mentalist focused, he too was no longer fully compliant to Pheromasters words.
“I swear to god…FABIANA! STOP FUCKING UP AND DO SOMETHING!” he orders.
Mentalist realizes her mistake, releases Reflex, and takes control of Blazer and Overload. “You aren’t going to ruin all our plans!” she says in a disturbing echo of Blazer, Overload, and her own voices. With his power magnified by Overload, Blazer unleashes a volley of three dozen heat missiles that begin to soar wildly through the Pathogen. Chaos and Black Ice do their best to shoot down the Heat Missiles but many of them veer haphazardly off course into the walls and ceilings. To make matters worse, his Heat Constructs take the form of Minotaurs that begin to battle Titan. His mighty punches being able to crack but not destroy them in one shot as they had before.
“Get to the Director, Doc!” Reflex shouts to Doctor Khonshu.
“Why don’t you people just die already?!” Pheromaster storms over to Reflex and kicks her in the side.
“If you say so…” Doctor Khonshu thinks to himself as he floats to Director Todd. Leaving her at the mercy of Pheromaster. “Enjoying the show?” he asks.
“No, I’d end it now if you would stop interfering with my powers.” Director Todd responds blandly despite his annoyance.
“Yes well if it went like last time you’d end it for the wrong team. Can’t you see how deranged he is?” Doctor Khonshu motions towards Pheromaster as he admires Blazers Heat Missiles bombarding the Pathogen and Titan fighting wave after wave of Heat Construct Minotaur.
“But the Inhibitors are my allies. If he works with them then he is my ally.”
“By that logic, if a Dictator was working with the Inhibitors you’d work for him. Don’t you have a mind of your own? I mean you resisted both mind control and pheromone manipulation. You aren’t an idiot or weak-willed…probably…So why aren’t you on our side?” Doctor Khonshu’s question was direct and blunt. Pointing out the fallacy in Director Todd’s actions up to this point. “You control one of the fundamental laws of nature. You can end this in a fraction of a second. I suggest you do that before your prison is damaged even more. If not I’ll have to do something drastic.”
“Only an enemy would attempt blackmail.”
“I’m not blackmailing you or making a threat, it’s a simple fact. My Khonshu Drives are able to manipulate gravity much like you can. In fact, I designed it after discovering you were becoming the Director before the Inhibitors were formed. With that in mind, you know that I’m able to create a strong enough gravitational field to form a Black Hole.” Doctor Khonshu holds open his right palm as the Khonshu Drives palm glows. “I’m one of the five smartest people on the planet. You know I know how to do this and you know I know it will be fatal to me and everyone here.
“You wouldn’t do that.” Director Todd calls Doctor Khonshu’s bluff.
“You have no idea how spiteful I can be.” Doctor Khonshu replies before forming a tiny Black Hole above his hand. “I’m willing to die to make sure he doesn’t win. He’s willing to kill to make sure he doesn’t lose. I’d like to think someone picked to be Warden of a prison where innocent people are contained until they know how to operate in normal society would have a good enough moral compass to know which of those is more altruistic.”
As Blazers Heat Missiles continue to soar causing chaos within the Pathogen, the air around Doctor Khonshu and Director Todd was silent. There was some merit in Doctor Khonshu’s words. He was always a literal-minded person and followed rules blindly without ever putting too much thought into the reasoning. Far too much power for someone with such a simple way of handling things. But now was the time for him to act.
“Enough.” Director Todd utters as he unleashes the full force of his power. Trapping Blazer & Overload in Gravity Fields before returning them to their cells. “I do not know which of you to trust. One releases prisoners and the other threatens me. Whoever defeats the other will be who I side with.” he crosses his arms and chooses to return to neutrality and observe the battle further.
“That could’ve gone better…” Doctor Khonshu sighs only being somewhat successful in his mission.
“This can’t be happening.” Pheromaster thought to himself. Everything was spiraling out of control faster than he could fix it. “It’s fine, even if I lost Blazer and Overload and those cowards Haze & Cinder abandoned me I still have my right hand.” There was only one chance for Pheromaster to turn this all around and he had to take it. “Fabiana, you want to win don’t you?”
“Of course I do.” she replies somewhat insulted. Didn’t he think her dedication was worth it?
“Then be a dear and win. Do whatever you have to and I’ll be sure to give you a nice reward.” he says as he looks deeply into her eyes.
“Don’t listen to him Fabiana!” Reflex says as she finally gets to her feet. “Can’t you see he’s just using you?”
“He’s not using me, we’re equal partners.”
“And when he called you out on a mistake and shouted at you?”
“Just…SHUT UP!” Mentalist lashes out with her psychokinesis and mind blasts. Attacking anyone and everyone who wasn’t Pheromaster. The pain that coursed through their minds was like being continuously electrocuted. Their combined cries were deafening. Even SWAT-Spiders psychic defenses couldn’t fully protect him. All but Black Ice falling victim to her assault.
“You missed one.” Pheromaster notes pointing at Black Ice.
“Huh…guess I’m immune.” Black Ice thought to himself surprised. It was easy to notice powers like cryokinesis, accuracy, or elemental transmogrification. But ones like regeneration or resistance to poison or psychic attacks was one you’d have to discover in the heat of the moment. As fortunate as he was, he didn’t know his limits yet or want to push his luck. “Time to end this mad scheme once and for all.” he clasps his hands together and summons a blinding snowstorm.
“Can you sense him?” Pheromaster asks covering his eyes.
Fabiana strains her eyes, blinding by a mix of rage and passion. The snowstorm made it difficult to hear but she manages to make out a figure quickly approaching. “Go right ahead and die already!” she sends out a powerful psychokinetic burst. Totally obliterating the figure as they approached. Limbs scattering wildly across the room. A frozen head rolling on the floor and touching Mentalists foot yet not returning to normal. “Is that supposed to happen?” she asked Pheromaster not fully knowing how Black Ice’s powers worked.
“Nope.” Black Ice says as he slides in low to the ground behind Mentalist. His Ice Clone successful in deceiving her. “But this is, Ice Beam!” he calls out firing a point-blank range ice beam that freezes Mentalist.
“Wait, we can-” Pheromaster begins to plead only to get a frozen spinning back kick to the stomach that sends him crumpling to the floor. His insides feeling like they just got hit by a professional kickboxer.
“My god you just won’t shut up.” Black Ice says what everyone was thinking before creating a miniature ice prison to trap Pheromaster. “So…” Black Ice helps Reflex to her feet.
“I already know what you’re going to ask. And yeah, we won.” she answers proudly.
“So what?” Pheromaster forces a pained chuckle as he holds his stomach. “You caught me. Big whoop, what are you gonna do now? Huh?” he gets to his feet and smugly grins. “You don’t have shit that’ll hold up in court. Well, unless you wanna dive bomb your precious Inhibitors harder than they already have been. How many people do you think will be willing to work with all but two? How many are gonna willingly work with RajTEK after their precious project fucked up so hard?”
“Dude, you’re in an ice prison inside another prison giving us a gloating monologue. If anyone thinks you’re the good guy our justice system is in serious trouble.” Black Ice groans. Even for him, this was a bit much to bear.
“Then let me ask you a quick question snowflake.”
“Don’t care, what proof do you have I did anything wrong? Because last I checked, I didn’t do anything wrong. I just happened to be visiting one of the facilities I helped fund. Something entirely within my rights.”
“…We have…proof right?” Black Ice turns to Reflex and SWAT-Spider in hopes of good news.
“Nothing we could prove.” SWAT-Spider answers grimly.
“No, we aren’t gonna just turn him away, are we? He literally tried to conquer the world! That’s like one of the most blatantly evil things you could do.”
“Just wait 10 seconds.” Reflex says casually. Sure enough in 10 seconds, Director Boone is returned from up above by Director Todd. Her former proud and imposing presence returned to normal without Pheromaster manipulating her.
“Ah Ms. Boone, finally here to release me I trust?” Pheromaster smiles as he finally manages to stand up straight.
“Not at all McKellen. You made your bed and you’re gonna lie in it.” Director Boone scoffs.
“What, you really think you can just lock me away? On what charges? Being an Inversion? Which, if I might add, you can’t even prove. Face it, you may have stopped me but I won. You have no proof and if you try to just arrest me people are going to wonder why Acel-Corps CEO just disappeared overnight.”
“For someone who was so quick to abuse the Inhibitors, you don’t know how we work do you?”
“I know there aren’t laws to deal with Inversions which means I’m untouchable.”
“That’s where you’re wrong McKellen. Mr. Sharp, would you mind showing him your IRC?”*
*Inversion Registration Card
“First, secret identities are secret for a reason lady. Also, give me a second. That wasn’t a punny joke for once.” Black Ice reaches for the snowflake emblem on his lower abdomen and pulls his IRC from beneath it. A simple modification Jey was able to help him with during his spare time.
“The hell’s that?” Pheromaster asks hesitantly.
“See, this is called an Inversion Registration Card.” Director Boone retrieves Black Ices IRC and shows it to Pheromaster while keeping his name covered by her finger. “We’ve been slowly rolling them out so not many know about or even have them. You get one of these and you officially register yourself and your powers. It gives you protection in court and acknowledges your rights. Right now you’re an Unregistered Inversion acting against the United Nation. Your title means nothing which means you’re about to be put in the deepest darkest cell I can find for as long as you live. Or until I remember you’re here and decide to let you out again.”
“Wait, you can’t do this to me!” Pheromaster cries grabbing the frozen bars that confined him. His anger and fear blocking out the immense cold.
“I can, and I will. If you wouldn’t mind Director Todd.”
“Of course.” Director Todd shatters Black Ices prison and suspends Pheromaster in the air, sending him into a cell on the bottom-most level of the Pathogen to remain in isolation. His followers, including the ones who were under Pheromaster’s influence, being sent a prison cell alongside the Inhibitors other captives.
“Well Mr. Sharp, Inhibitors, Kessler, Galanis, good work.” Director Boone congratulates the heroes who helped stopped Pheromaster before his plan could get any further.