Chapter 6- Wildfire

blessed-inversion-inhibitors-emblem

Previously on Blessed Inversion Inhibitors…

With the rise of Inversion related crimes, the United Nations forms an Inversion exclusive branch of NATO to combat them. Wendell Hoffman, a super strong Inversion from Canada, has now joined their ranks. Now begins to process of training their newest member…

Rory Tymchyshyn/Construct

Inhibitors Leader. Energy Constructs

Jun Naegi/Reflex

Inhibitor Second-in-Command. Limited future sight

Katerina Sonter/Sleuth

Inhibitors Tracker. Pheromone manipulation

Wei Jin/Nature
Inhibitors Elementist. Elemental Transmogrification

Wendell Hoffman/Titan

Inhibitor powerhouse. Mute

Geralt Hoffman

Wendell’s grandfather. Totally human

Sasha Boone

Director of the Inhibitors. Classified

Kathy Preston/Granite

Inhibitor Geokinetic. Hates rock’n’roll

Stephanie Balboa/Mach

Inhibitor Speedster. Gotta go fast

Fabiana Pereira/Mentalist

Inhibitor psychic. Traitor

Karen DeGroat/Chaos

Inhibitor Powerhouse. Photo & Umbrakinesis.

Raina Dahmani/Degree

Inhibitor Flyer. Happy to be here

After a long flight; the Inhibitors away team Construct, Reflex, Sleuth, and Nature return with their newest member and their extra guest.

“Welcome to the Cell.” the pilot says upon landing. “I hope you fine folks enjoy your stay no matter how short it may be.”

“You’re going to say that every time aren’t you?” Katerina asks.

“You bet your ass I will. Gotta have fun somehow.” Miles Shephard was the primary pilot for the Inhibitors and also one of the human members. As such, he spent most of his time in the cockpit and not doing much else to contribute.

“Are you sure about this Wend?” Geralt asks his grandson who nods in return.

“Don’t worry Mr. Hoffman, the Cell isn’t all business. You’ll love the Rec Room when we get to it on the tour.” Rory assures his new recruit and guest.

With the segway made; Rory and Jun take the pair on a tour of the Cell while Katerina and Wei went their own ways. The tour went smoothly as expected, the training that followed less so. Without Kessler and still no proper trainer, Rory and Jun did their best to train as they believed he would. Which meant testing Titan’s limits, teaching him how to properly control his powers, and how to defend against psychic attacks.

After a week of training, the Inhibitors alarm sounds signaling they had another emergency mission. For the first time since their inception, all the Inhibitors were called to meet Director Boone. “We have a situation in North America. A wildfire has started in Six Rivers National Forest and needs to be contained. Our intel suggests it’s a particular Inversion we should’ve dealt with sooner. Ahmed Noonan, codenamed Blazer, is a powerful Inversion with what’s been dubbed as Heat Constructs and Heat Missiles. EVERYONE is being sent to deal with this. Construct will be leading in the field but you’ll be broken up into three sub-teams as well. Team A will be Reflex, Sleuth, Mach, and Degree. Reflex, your team is to focus on search and rescue. Team B will be Construct, Nature, and Granite. Besides leading the mission Construct, your team has to keep the fires contained. Team C will be Mentalist, Titan, & Chaos. Mentalist, you have to deal with Blazer directly. I’m leaving you in charge of that Mentalist. I’ll be on the coms as well to make sure everything goes smoothly.” Director Boone orders firmly.

“Are you sure you should be sending all of us?” Reflex asked out of both concern for if they fail and having Mentalist so close to a highly dangerous Inversion.

“This isn’t up for debate, you’re all leaving immediately.” her orders given, the Inhibitors depart for the hanger.

“What’s going on?” Geralt asks as Construct as he walks by.

“We have to stop a wildfire and a dangerous Inversion. But don’t worry, Wendall is just going to be helping people in the area. He won’t be in direct danger.”

“Do you promise?”

“I promise.”

It’d take an hour for the VTOL to reach Six Rivers National Park, by the time they arrive it’s virtually unrecognizable. The sky was stained red by the superheated missiles that cut through the air. The flames below covering the sky with smoke. The once beautiful national park now a flaming hellscape. The rivers that flowed through it began to dry up and the wildlife did their best to flee for safety. Most would fail, the rest were injured trying. The firefighters who were already on the scene did their best to battle the wildfire but it was a losing battle with more and more fires being started by Ahmed.

“Shephard, deploy Team B.” Director Boone orders.

“Yes, Director.” Miles replies, opening the side door.

“Team B, follow my lead.” Construct says creating a platform to lower the trio to the ground below.  “Granite, think you can wall off the flames?”

“I’ll try. I’ve never had to work with such a large area before.” Granite concentrates and puts her hands on the ground. The earth begins rumbling at her command and slowly raises a massive ring of stone around Six River. But before it can even reach full peak it’s bombarded with heat missiles. It takes all her might to both continuously rebuild the wall and maintain its position. “I’ll keep rebuilding the wall but I won’t be able to move from this spot. You two have to do the rest.”

“Okay, Nature I need you to find a river and start trying to extinguish the flames.” Construct orders Nature who turns into air and flies to the nearest remaining river. Now he had to deal with his own task. The smoke and ash from the wildfire would affect the areas nearby if it wasn’t dealt with. Like Granite, Construct pushed his limits and created energy construct armor for all the Inhibitors. Only Titan, Granite, and Nature could withstand the flames so with this he made sure the full team would be able to come out alive. Having to maintain 10 different energy construct suits simultaneously across such a large area was difficult. But as the leader, it was his job to make sure he did his job.

“Teams A and C, you’re up next.” Director Boone orders signaling Miles to land the VTOL.

“The area’s too dangerous for me. I’m pulling out.” Miles warns across the radio as he departs once more.

“Miles, In need you to stay as close as possible so I can maintain visuals.”

“Okay…” Miles replies lowly. He didn’t like this particular order but he knew he had to follow them.

“Degree, get Sleuth into the air. Sleuth, find the survivors and give directions to Mach. Mach, get them to the firefighters.” Reflex took charge and her Team acted as she needed them to. She knew that they needed to save anyone still in the park, but Reflex couldn’t leave Mentalist unattended to. Seeing an opportunity, she began to track Team C as they went towards the epicenter of the flames.

“Titan, would you be a dear and clear a path?” Mentalist asks casually. Titan nods in response, turning his skin metal and punching down any tree on his way towards where they believed Ahmed was waiting.

“What do you think you’re doing?!” Director Boone shouts across the intercoms.

“Clearing a path. Or should we just walk through the fires?” Mentalist snarks to her boss.

“It’s a National Park and trees can grow back from a wildfire. They can’t grow back when you’re punching holes through them.”

“Jeez, sorry.” Mentalist rolls her eyes. “Can these suits withstand the fire?”

“They should, but I’ve never had to pull a stunt like this before. Just don’t break it, I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to rebuild you one.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.” Mentalist replies.

“Do we know what he looks like?” Sleuth asks while scanning the forest.

“Just look for an Inversion that isn’t part of the team. For some reason, the west coast hasn’t had more than a dozen Inversions manifest their powers.” Director Boone informs the Inhibitors. This was one of the curious points of the Singularities that no scientist could properly understand.

Titan stops clearing a path for Team C as a 10 foot tall crimson colored Minotaur construct appears in front of him. It immediately punches him, sending him flying through several trees and stopping when he slides through the floor. The metal on his face still scalding hot from the punch. The fact he could feel the heat through his normally invincible metal skin made him concerned about how hot they actually were. Not that it mattered, he had friends to protect. Titan clenches his fist and flies towards the Minotaur and punches clean through it in one shot and burning off his gloves in the process. His victory was short-lived as several more Minotaur Heat Constructs appear alongside a Dragon, Hydra, and Cerberus.

“These punks won’t last a second against us.” Chaos says giving into her dark side. Her shadow beam flew through the air and consumed one of the Minotaur Heat Constructs as Titan battled the Hydra & Cerberus.

The Dragon took to the skies and began breathing releasing heat missiles wildly across the park. Each making a beeline for one of the Inhibitors. With little time to react, Construct instinctively creates an energy barrier around each of the Inhibitors. The impact of the heat missiles destroying the barriers and their armor. The sudden strain having to defend against the attack knocks Construct unconscious leaving the Inhibitors largely defenseless against the heat and flames that surrounded them.

“Rory’s down!” Granite warns across the headsets. Not that the other Inhibitors didn’t get that idea from their armor disappearing suddenly.

“You’re gonna pay for that!” Chaos shouts diving further into her darkness. She prepares her next attack but remembers her meditation she learned from Steven. Using it, she returns to a balance and fires both a light and dark beam at the Dragon Heat Construct, shattering it into a flaming explosion. “I’ve taken out the big one, leaving the others to Titan and going to find the target.” For the first time since Steven’s death, Chaos felt at peace even amongst the flames. Even with the stress, working for the greater good helped ground her unstable nature. Now she just had to find Ahmed.

Chaos’ search didn’t take long. At the epicenter of the wildfire sat a confused crying Ahmed, a 16-year-old just like her. The school field trip he came on ruined by the sudden violent manifestation of his powers. The fear, anxiety, and power that now surged through him clouded his thoughts. The light and darkness emanating from Chaos’ body protected her as she walked towards Ahmed over a field of ash.

“Ahmed! My name is Karen and I’m one of the Inhibitors!” she calls out to get his attention. The tears and fear that consumed him kept him from responding.

“Please, just leave me alone!” he cries trying to get Chaos to leave. More Minotaur heat constructs appearing to defend him.

“I know what it feels like to have more power than you can contain. More than you can control.” she tries to reason with Ahmed. Her umbrakinesis creating tendrils of darkness to bind the Minotaurs without destroying them. “I don’t want to hurt you! But I can’t help you unless you let me!”

He didn’t know what to do or if he should trust her. He just knew he wanted the nightmare to end. “Okay…” he nods letting Chaos approach.

“Thank you, I know you’re thoughts are running wild and you’re confused. But that’s fine, stop trying to fight and contain your thoughts. You can let that happen. Just remember to focus on the present.” she tries to recite what she learned from Steven to the young Inversion trapped in a similar situation as her.

“But if I do that-”

“You’ll be fine. I’m here and can guide you through it.” she smiles and extends her hand. Ahmed hesitates and reaches for her. But before she can take his hand, Ahmed’s expression becomes cold. Several heat missiles spawn and launch from his back, spiraling and returning back towards the pair. Karen’s heart sank but she knew what to do. She switches to her dark mode and entraps him in shadows, knocking him unconscious and banishing all his constructs. “Target is down…”

With the Ahmed incapacitated, Nature could continue to aid in extinguishing the Wildfire and Mach could continue escorting the survivors unimpeded. For the first time, they all worked as a team to stop not only an Inversion but a natural disaster. Unfortunately, Chaos couldn’t celebrate. Even though she tried to her best to reach him as Steven reached her she failed. In the last second, he turned on her. This meant he’d become a new resident of the Pathogen. At least until they were able to rehabilitate and teach him how to use his powers. Director Boone would contact his family about the situation. Tragically, she’d also have to tell the other parents of their kids who reduced to ash as his powers first manifested. Their only consolation was the process was instantaneous and painless.

Chaos wasn’t the only one who couldn’t celebrate, however, Reflex also had thoughts on her mind. She had managed to track her past Titan’s battle with the Hydra and Cerberus, a fight he won with little effort. When she got there she could see the process working, but something was off. Mentalist was there as expected, but right before Ahmed could take Chaos’ hand she smirked slightly. Was it a coincidence or did she make Ahmed turn against Chaos? With her mind control it wouldn’t be hard. But that just begged the question, why would she want him to be sent to the Pathogen instead of potentially joining the Inhibitors?

Next Issue

COMING SOON

Recommended Reading

Blessed Inversion SWAT Chapter 7- One at a time

 

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