Anna had already contacted the Metro Defenders and told them Scourge was there. We'd estimated five minutes until I was up to my eyeballs in capes.
I had to keep him there for five minutes. After that, Sumerset was safe, Scourge was in custody, and I...
Well, I'd figure out the rest when I got there.
A bolt of concussive force smashed into the archway over my head; solid stone splintered. A security officer was flung half-way across the room before he landed into a crumpled heap in front of me.
Before me, there was only smoke and chaos. And at its center stood Scourge.
He had removed his white gloves; his left hand terminated at the elbow. It had been replaced with a clockwork marvel of gleaming scarlet--a red prosthetic assembled from a hundred or more delicate parts. The fingertips ended in sharpened points; as Scourge saw me, he clenched his metal hand into a fist--wires crinkled as the device made an angry hiss.
The front of his coat had been burnt away, leaving his chest painted in long scorched streaks. His eyes narrowed--and the red hand burned with a black energy. It churned around his knuckles, tongues of it lashing at the dust.
"You," he said.
The boomerang hit me in the chest, sending to the floor; a second later and it was already snatched up into Boomerang Kid's hand. He waltzed through the crowd as if they weren't even there, reaching for the immense steel boomerang on his back.
It occurred to me then that if any of these people died, it would be on my head.
I threw myself to my feet and charged for the Kid, aiming hard and low. I hadn't gotten far before he hurled his weapon straight ahead--toward the two guys in front of me.
The boomerang unfolded with a soft click, its edge extending into a deadly blade. I dove, tackling the two onlookers to the ground. The weapon whipped right over our heads, missing by inches; it arched up high and started folding back into itself. As I got back up, one of the men beneath me started freaking out.
"Ohmygodohmygod," he said. "You're the frigging Sk--"
"Get out of here," I hissed. I shoved myself to my feet and went straight for the Kid, hoping to catch him before the boomerang returned.
He flipped his wrist, producing a second wooden boomerang--and proceeded to smack me upside the head. I stumbled back, just as the giant boomerang landed in his hand.
And then I heard the catastrophic roar behind me--the sound of stone cracking and crumbling.
Scourge had been using the clawtips of his prosthetic to carve something into the floor. Now that it was complete, the marble tiles were swelling upward, forming a 9 foot tall heap--a heap made of bricks and dirt. A dull red glow emerged from the empty sockets of its gradually forming 'eyes' and 'mouth'; a word that I could not make out was scratched on what slowly became its forehead. Arms and legs began to break away from the main body as clods of crumbling earth fell to the ground.
"They're ready," Anna said. "Talking to them now."
Beneath the helmet, I smiled.
"You impudent little slut," Scourge said, his voice shaking with rage. "You have absolutely no idea what you've done--what you've cost me. I'm already running out of time, and now you've forced me to spend more--to stretch the good faith of my benefactors..."
The golem took a step, tearing its foot out from the marble. Boomerang Kid circled behind me; Scourge circled to my left.
Three against one.
My smile grew.
"Did you really think you'd have a chance, you stupid little bitch? Did you really think you could take me on alone?" Scourge said.
My smile turned into a grin.
"Hm. Let me think about that: Nope."
The front doors exploded--and Epoch arrived.