Jessica (Chapter 20)
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Forty energy, twenty arrows with ten metal, two-thirds capacity on the hardlight battery, but way more than enough for the powersuit. Basically full shields, and Nathan’s not used any of the consumables… We can win, it’s just going to be messy.

Jessica took another shot at the bruiser chasing them with the hardlight projection. It wasn’t dealing all that much damage, but even through the annoyingly damage-resistant waters around him, they still managed enough that he couldn’t afford to just ignore her, even with Rain regenerating them slightly. Still, they were coming up on the midlane turret, while supposedly Damian was doing the same from the lane itself.

She’d trust that when she saw it. People never did that kind of thing without asking questions, and would just go silent instead.

Two more shots at the water guy, one of which was speed-boosted and the other used to teleport out of the way of yet another wave.

He hadn’t hit her yet, but that was probably going to change soon.

“Start on the wood,” her support said, as the base came into sight.

How had he..?

Well, she wasn’t much a fan of being told what to do in that tone of voice, but it was what she’d been planning to do anyways.

“There’s a corner that I think we can get you mostly covered in next to the base,” he followed up, “and it looks like our ride is here.”

Surprising. Damian had actually shown up.

That felt strange, somehow. Since when did people like him show up when asked?

Whatever.

The base was low, though– so her next four arrows were shot in quick succession at it, all boosted in speed and damage.

That was the real benefit of the hardlight projector, of course. She’d taught herself to do the rapid-firing she needed to be competitive with other carries of this level, but the projector let her completely skip the downside of firing so many arrows at once. Notably, the fact that she would then be down that many arrows.

As the crumbling started, though, she heard the buzz of her shields being hit by a wave.

That had been the trade after all.

And it was instantly followed by the wild noises of multiple ultimates and penultimates.

Challenger’s Callout on Damian, another arena appearing out of the ground, and a Rising Tide cast that intersected all of her allies’ positions.

Not that they’d be able to trap her team with that, at this point.

Nathaniel teleported back to the divide between the mists’ wall and the base, throwing a Void Wall behind him and marking the area over their link. Damian shot into the air on what appeared to be a jetpack, firing a grenade launcher into the air before switching to a rifle as his own Penultimate cast dinged in her mind.

Explosive Delay was a good ability, but she cursed as it came out, even while she teleported twice with half-drawn arrows aimed only vaguely in the direction of the enemies.

One, two, three.

She absolutely wasn’t sure of the timing, but she fired off the wood arrow anyways, activating Reign and Painseeker again, immediately followed by another Reign-boosted arrow–though a hard-light one. This time behind the Void Wall before it was even cast, she didn’t even bother with the attempt to run, instead kneeling down where she stood and closing her eyes.

The enemies weren’t letting them just get away with it, though. While she wasn’t visible and was behind fairly effective cover, Void Wall also gave away her position to anyone with half a brain.

Which they had, unfortunately.

A cast of Rain that was essentially a curved line between her and the bruiser appeared, and Waverider instantly followed, picking up speed as it pulled water from the environment.

Nathaniel teleported something without even looking, and the wave blew apart, though now much closer to her, and he followed up with taking a step closer and swinging that sword he had.

It didn’t deal much damage though, because while it appeared to have a good base damage, none of his abilities boosted it.

Which was a problem, because the diver was somehow getting closer to him while deflecting every bullet Damian fired.

Change your fucking aim! Jessica screamed in her mind, but it wasn’t enough. She could already see that glow beginning to form around the woman’s body that was the primary expression of the build– Daredevil.

That passive built up physical boosts as the user blocked or dodged attacks, with no regard for how large those attacks were, even.

So Damian’s rapid-fire rifle firing directly into the woman’s shield was about the worst decision he could have made.

Another penultimate dinged in her mind, and she prepared to have to move, regardless of her focus being occupied so completely with the nearly-at-the-top-of-their-arc arrows.

Death Strike would burn all of those Daredevil stacks for a single, powerful strike, and she was closing in on Nathaniel.

He didn’t even appear to look at her, though, instead throwing more items, even teleporting some.

A bright flash confirmed that at least one was a flashbang, but she still barely stopped herself from just yelling a warning, instead marking the approaching enemy as a red rectangle in the corner of her support’s vision.

He didn’t even glance at it, drawing a green arrow pointing away.

She didn’t know what that meant until about a second later.

Instead of hitting him like Jessica had been expecting, the diver suddenly disappeared from where she was, already in striking motion down at Damian.

The hit never connected, though.

Nathaniel had teleported from his position guarding her to behind Damian, midair, and he opening he penultimate’s portal.

She went through.

“Incoming!”

Jessica couldn’t see the output point of that portal, though, so she instead focused on the arrows coming down. Another nine seconds, if she let it play out, or seven if she sped them up.

Three versus three, though, she decided on the former.

The enemy support was trying to pressure Damian, but was mostly ineffective due to his aerial position and her lack of damage. She was supposed to cover for other people, after all, and that wasn’t really an option here.

But now Nathaniel had appeared in her line of sight. Falling.

A Shield Bash almost instantly came out, shoving her support over. He pulled it into a graceless roll, but that wasn’t enough as she followed up with another shield-strike, this time with the point on the bottom.

Nathaniel’s shields were only at half-strength, already, and they hadn’t even damaged the opponents that much, yet.

He took steps backward, but she could see that his attention was actually on the bruiser again.

He was trying to get to her.

And with the extra water around him from the Rising Tide cast, that would mean her death.

It wasn’t easy, but she slowly pulled the string back, triggering the hardlight projector.

All she needed was one–

The explosion shattered her thoughts, and she let go of the arrow early, teleporting to the edge of the arena more on instinct than intention as the wood arrows slammed into the shields of the enemies immediately following the explosion, starting to wind their way around the legs of their targets.

Jessica was almost ready to celebrate, but a Flame Wall slammed down over her position.

Spoiler

2-3 more and we're finally done here. Finally.

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