But for me, I could almost picture two versions of myself popping into existence even as one of the giant twins slashed out at me with her spear. I leapt upwards and felt a bit of wind as a blade the size of a wall slashed under me. As I did, the two sides of myself spoke out.
One side was human, the part of me built into me from birth. I needed to beat down the twins. They were some of the E88's strongest members, their best answer to brutes like me. Beating them down would remove two powerful cards for the Empire, and send a message to Kaiser, especially since the two were his mistresses. It was the logical decision.
The saiyan side of me, which probably looked like a Super Saiyan 4in appearance, was begging me to fight Lung. To finally deal with an issue that had come up during my research over the week. To fight the only person the populace of Brockton Bay thought would be able to kill me.
I compromised. The little grin on my face faded, as I slowly flipped in the air. Gravity slowly took hold of me. I heard one of the busty giantesses beneath me call me a coward. I reached for my wrist and twisted my resistance dial.
All the way down.
As my armor released it's grip on me, I released a burst of ki to go rocketing towards the pair.
My fist slammed into Menja's face with a sickening sound. Her head snapped back, eyes widening as she staggered back. Then her eyes rolled back into her head, her body slowly shrinking as she passed out.
“Menja!” The other blonde screamed, her voice shaking the air.
I landed on the ground and looked up, eyes hard. Her own eyes were filled with anger, and a touch of something more. Something that made both halves of me smile.
She swung her sword down. With my enhanced speed, it would have been easy to dodge the blow. Instead I lifted a hand. The blade slammed into my palm, a little bit of pain radiating from the blow before it faded. I stood tall, holding her back with one hand as she pressed down. She grunted, tried to pull her sword back. I squeezed my hand, cracks radiating outwards. The fear in her eyes grew.
“Sorry,” I said quietly. “But I've let this go on for too long.”
With a tight grip on the cold steel, I shattered the sword in my fist. Fenja fell back, shocked. I leapt up and punched her in the sternum, keeping my blow strong enough to know her out, but still hitting with far more force than before.
I didn't wait for her to pass out. I leaped off her shrinking body, rocketing towards the warehouse.
“This is Sun Wukong, I've taken out Menja and Fenja. Moving to engage Lung.”
I flew into the warehouse through the hole that had been made earlier. The building hadn't gotten any quieter. The second I landed a skinhead spun around and swung a tire iron at me. I ignored him, eyeing the area around us. The tire iron bouncing off my head meant nothing compared to the sight I saw across from me.
A dragon roared, an explosion of flame coming from his skin. He wasn't done ramping up. His scales were just coming in, a bare chest full of tattoos turning reptilian. He grabbed a merchant and threw the poor junkie girl through air. She screamed as she landed, breaking her legs. Lung roared.
“Hey!” My voice sounded pitiful in the chaos of the room, with bullets flying, powers flashing, and people screaming. But he heard me. Lung looked up, his eyes hard. I'm sure that if I still had my tail, it would have been lashing out like a whip. I lifted my hand to my wrist and turned my resistance dial all the way up. “Time to dance.”
The dumb skinhead who'd been beating on me with a now dented tire iron screamed when a hail of rubber bullets sent him down. I flickered my eyes over to Miss Militia, who had taken a high spot behind some cover, up in a scaffold. She was taking shots at the gangsters, leaving the parahumans to duke it out. Kaiser's blades were visible everywhere, but seemed to have walled off one section of the warehouse. Apparently he'd already taken off.
I pushed that all back, stepping forward. Lung kept his eyes on me as he grew. The closer I got, the bigger he became. His eyes shifted into something reptilian, golden almost. Hands became claws, a long tail slowly grew from the base of his spine and shredded his spine, his jaw grew outwards. Muscles and scales grew all over his body.
When we were close enough to hear each other, he spoke. “Wi'Ki'Ou. Brea'Ou.”
I took a second to read his body language. Even as misshapen as he was, he still acted like a human being, enough that he could be read. He was confident, eager. The Saiyan part of me felt insulted at that. “Tough guy when you think you can win. But I know the truth. The sort of truth Vegeta would love to exploit.”
He had a half a second to look confused. Then I leapt up and towards him, rearing my fist back. I was moving slowly, enough that I could be seen. It was still enough for me to punch him in the face. His scales cracked under my fist, and he staggered back. Still moving slowly, I punched him again, and again, getting rid of technique and speed for stylistic, overblown attacks.
He roared in pain and rage, fire lashing out at me as he grabbed one of my punches and hit me a few times himself, his massive fists driving air from my lungs. I twisted my arm out of his grip, let him hit me twice more, then shoved him back. He flew back, roaring, and crashed through the flimsy sheet metal behind him. Bullets flew around us, the beat of the drum to our fight as he rolled to his feet and I met him. His fist bounced off my arm as I blocked, fire burning my skin. Once again avoiding any sort of technique, I stood my ground against the dragon, and we threw down. My fist shattered scales, claws tore apart my armor, and we roared. The world was fire and rage.
I hated him. I thought I'd felt hate before. But hate isn't just the anger. It's the blow to your pride. It's looking at someone and realizing that they are the anti-thesis of everything you are. It's seeing someone hold the title that should be yours. It's watching evil grab all that is good, and lording it over you. I hated Lung. Because at the end of the day?
“You don't even lift.” My voice was cold. The joke that had crossed universes to this moment came out as a dark statement of fact. Lung didn't respond, only lashing out with his fangs. I held him back, and felt more of my armor melt painfully as he breathed fire on me. “How strong are you? Does making you base level stronger add to you ramped up strength? Can you focus your powers to one spot? Do you ramp up from true threats, or can you control the transformation by convincing yourself that something is a greater threat than it is?”
His fist slammed into my nose. I felt blood fill my mouth. I ignored it.
“See, I know your secret. The dark part of you that you hide from the world,” I grabbed his ears and pulled him down to meet my knee, using a classic muay thai strike. “What drives you Lung? What is the focus of your life? You carry yourself like a warrior, but that isn't true, is it?”
“Sh'Up! Kil'!” Razor sharp claws swiped at my face, leaving three deep scratches in my cheek that spilled. The grin that sprouted on my face at the feel of it was impossible to hold back, so I let it go.
“Worries you, doesn't it? See, I've been letting misinformation guide me for a while. It was only until recently that I realized what a mistake that was.”
The Undersiders. I'd acted on fanon, expected them to act like they did in the fanfiction I'd read. And they had, for the most part. It was only later that I'd realized something. When I'd mentioned Dinah getting kidnapped, none of them had a real reaction. Sure, they hadn't acted like sociopaths, except for Regent. But they also hadn't acted like they truly cared beyond what was expected. I'd just ignored it due to bias.
The thought had bothered me. The realization that I'd been so stupid hurt my pride. So obviously, I'd done everything possible to fix that.
“I read up on you,” Lung threw me back. I slammed into a fence, rolling to my feet as the metal snapped against me. A sidestep got me out of the way of a hammerblow, leaving a crater in the concrete. “Kenta,” When Lung froze in shock, I kicked him in the ribs, sending him back. “Half-Chinese, Half-Japanese. You faced discrimination because of that. It's why the ABB allows all Asians to join. But let's dig deeper into your motivations.”
He was ten feet tall now, as imposing as Broly compared to me. All the broken bones, scales, and teeth he'd gained in my fight with him were already healed. His roar made me cringe. A bullet bounced off me from behind, but I ignored it to focus on the dragon that was burning the concrete below us.
“You met her first. Had a drug overdose while a terrifying woman in a fedora held you down.”
Lung froze again, dragonic eyes wide. “Hawi?”
“A cute black piggie told me,” Actually it was a bunch of random stuff I'd pulled together based on reports and what I could remember from fanfics, but he didn't need to know that. I lifted my arm, wincing at the pain I felt in my ribs as I did. “Come on. You still got a few minutes of your psych eval left.”
He stared at me.
That did it. Roaring, he rushed forth, fire erupting around us with no source. I lifted my hand and blasted the incoming fire with ki blasts, keeping the hot flames from incinerating me. Lung slammed into me as I did, ignoring the ki blasts that tore chunks from his chest. We slammed into the street, landing on a parked car. As the metal crushed under us, the gas tank was ignited by Lung's flames. We were sent flying by the explosion that followed. I stopped in mid-air, floating as I glared down at Lung. He got to his feet, looking up at me in rage. Wings rose out of his back as we glared at each other.
“When are you going to run?” I yelled down at him. “You ran from the Chines Goverment! You ran from Leviathan! You came to a city where no one could truly challenge you, and you kept running! Never facing a real challenge, never pushing yourself!”
Lung roared in rage, and he flew upwards, swinging his flame-wrapped claws at me. His wings beat in the air with incredible force. I flew down, shooting him with ki as he rose towards me. The fire he responded with caused the ki blasts to explode in the air, buffeting us. We hit each other like tank shells meeting in midair, spinning around. Saiyan and Dragon grappled in the skies, scratching, punching, and biting at each other. My hate for him grew.
“You're not a coward Lung! I can accept corwardice!” I punched him in the face. “You don't even lift! Do you understand what that means!? You come up with excuses, you dodge challenges, you don't train! But you claim to be the strongest!” He grabbed my shoulders, digging his claws in. I headbutted him, and felt his nose shatter and heal under my blow. “No one here can beat you! No can make you work for a win! All you have to do is kick back and let your reputation grow!”
We slammed into the ground. “Lazy!” I rolled on top of him and punched him over and over. “A dumb thug, unwilling to push himself! Selling girls as sex slaves, pretending to be a shogun! What worth is there to you!?”
He ramped up even as I held him down. It didn't matter. My armor was falling apart. I was getting faster and faster, stronger and stronger, just as he did.
“Ki'Ou!!!” Fire rushed across me, hurting me further. I slammed his mouth shut with an uppercut. I was winning. It didn't matter how strong he could get. I'd simply beat him into unconciousness before he got there.
Then a moron wandered in.
“Dude, that is so fucked up!”
Lung and I froze. We turned out heads to look at the voice.
A white guy, a teenager really, dressed in a t-shirt and jeans, had gotten close, and was filming us with his phone. He was staring at the screen, not paying attention to the fact he'd gotten about fifteen feet close to two superhumans in the midst of combat.
Lung roared, lifting a hand to blast the moron. At super-speed, I moved forward, yelling out.
I got in front of the guy and spread my arms out. Heat slammed into my back, and pain flared. I screamed in horror, and the guy joined me, scrambling back. I spread my ki out, trying to shield the man. The fire seemed to go on forever.
Then it was over. I fell to my knees, panting. I couldn't feel my back anymore, but I knew it must have been charred like raw steak.
“Oh shit. Shit,” the moron mumbled as he scrambled back. I felt like screaming at him for his idiocy.
Instead I chuckled. “Learn to... Dodge you moron.”
A massive clawed hand rested on my shoulder. It squeezed, hard. I felt pain flare as metallic claws scratched at burnt skin. “Ah...Wih.”
He shouldn't have said that. Whatever humanity within me was violently pushed aside. I spun around, grabbing his arm hard. We glared at each other, me in anger, him in shock. I thought about saying a one-liner, but only had energy for one thing.
So I ripped his arm off.
“Oh shit!” The moron screamed in horror.
Lung stepped back, releasing an angry cry.
The situation only got crazier with a blonde blur slammed into Lung, sending him back towards the warehouse.
Glory Girl grinned as she floated before me. “Heh. Finally got Lung.”