Now Playing: Creedence Clearwater Revival- Who'll Stop The Rain?
Armor Model: Nautilus.
Active Module: None.
Pilot: Pendragon, Nicolas.
System Status: Online.
His grip on Alpha Five releasing on reflex, Terminus tumbled through the water, firing the miniature thrusters on the Nautilus
to stabilize himself after the initial impact of the Human Flood. If he'd been on solid ground, it would have been much harder to move him like that, but fighting underwater was wholly different. For one thing, it meant his sensor suite was much more limited. The aquatic armor's sonar hadn't even picked the New-Age Nemo up until mere moments before impact.
The pirate had somehow shaped the water around himself in order to confound Pendragon's armor. He was clever- most hydrokinetics wouldn't have been clever enough to come up with such a niche application of a power with dozens of other, more obvious uses. It was also a consequence of the Front Line's public profile. Nicolas could no longer rely on his relative obscurity to keep his armor's capabilities secret from potential enemies. Every potential opponent could study him from hundreds of freely available online videos, and even use that information to guess the capabilities of new armors like the Nautilus.
That didn't, however, mean that they would be able to beat him.
Just as Terminus had reoriented himself, he felt a second impact. The Human Flood's water hammer was virtually invisible, somehow solid
without being ice. He was using his hydrokinetic powers to hold a specific volume of water in a certain shape- but while they were both fully submerged, that meant it was visually indistinguishable from the rest of the depths, aside from a slight distortion that resulted from its inability to freely flow.
A single strike wouldn't have damaged any of Pendragon's armors much. But Cortez was clearly clever. Not only had he engineered the flooding to deploy his legion of acquatic thieves, he was also trying to take advantage of an environment in which he was clearly superior. Unencumbered by heavy armor, the Human Flood would be able to move faster, and his powers meant that everything around them was his weapon. According to the databases that the Nautilus
had accessed the moment it identified Cortez, he was also physically enhanced while saturated with water, meaning his ordinary blows would be more powerful as well.
The use of water pressure to try to kill Terminus was smart. His armor had been designed to withstand the Marianas Trench, but the Flood was seemingly capable of increasing the pressure to arbitrarily high levels. If he could keep the attack up for long enough, he would crumple the Nautilus
around its pilot like a soda can. Already, sensors were blaring inside the armor, warning Nicolas that the surface integrity was failing. Fortunately, he had rapidly recovered from the disorientation of the initial blow.
Raising one of the warsuit's gauntlets, Pendragon began charging the suit's flash cannon.
It was a short-range electric attack designed to incapacitate enemies. His palm would glow with energy, as the attack increased in power. The intensity had already been recalibrated to account for the Flood's enhanced physical attributes- the standard setting, while capable of knocking out an ordinary human, wouldn't have slowed him down. Increased charge, however, meant a longer charge time.
And every second Terminus spent powering the flash cannon up, his suit's hull was getting closer to collapsing.
Finally, the weapon fired. A burst of electricity that would, in theory, harmlessly incapacitate Cortez. If it failed to knock him out, it would at least disrupt his concentration, and disperse his aqua hammer.
That would give Terminus a moment to activate the suit's thrusters, and put some space between himself and the Human Flood.
A message, the notification held back due to the active combat engagement, popped up on his HUD. Manaria Goleme, asking if she could drop civilians off at Skywatch. Nicolas felt a stab of annoyance that the Society had brought a child into a situation like this, but there was no time to send her a response. Hopefully Novak or McCoy could handle that.
Speaking of which...
Activating the Front Line comms channel, Terminus addressed the team.
"I found the bad guy. Roger Cortez, AKA the Human Flood. Seems like he's got teams in SCUBA gear all over the city, trying to ransack the place. My guess is that he's using his powers to make the storm worse, too. Sending my coordinates."
For a moment, Nicolas considered broadcasting their location to everyone in range, but that seemed like overkill. One metacriminal didn't warrant the attention of every hero who'd shown up to help save lives. Their time was better spend on search-and-rescue, or dealing with the heist teams. The Front Line could handle the bad guy by themselves.