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|�This is the easy part�
I considered when we finally reached our destination. Magnus and Zion took a 5 mile head start, since at their status they couldn�t keep at my speed for long periods of time; I should better keep behind and help them in case anything went wrong (what was really improbable to happen since we were Pantheon members)
It was already late night. We took yet this advantage on our side, our humongous bodies dressed in the Pantheon suits could develop over 40 miles per hour (if we kept running together, but I could actually reach 70 miles an hour if I used everything without waiting for my much smaller sized colleagues) � it took us less than a 10 minute jog to reach their base.
�We have visual contact with the target!� � Zion told me over the intercom; they�ve arrived a few moments before me and were studying the probabilities.
�They only have fifty men and twelve tanks guarding the whole area! We�ll be out of here before you can arrive big man!� � Magnus teased me as usual, but I was decided not to pay attention to his usual provoking attitude � �Wait for my orders to act, make sure they are unaware of our arrival�.
The kidnappers choose an old part of the city which had been abandoned during the civil war, among the many possibilities, they choose to hide inside this partially destroyed hospital building, it was a typical guerrilla settlement, they had their men spread behind any possible obstacle, hiding from any plausible terrestrial approach, their tanks patrolled the area around their headquarters, and they kept their surveillance patrols from the top of the remaining buildings.
They were clearly very well organized, but that was meaningless to us. I reached Zion and Magnus; we didn�t need night vision goggles or body heat scanners to locate the enemy units spread all over their base, our magnified senses could even hear their stomachs growling, smell their breath and distinguish what they had eaten by hundreds of yards afar, not to mention that we could see almost as perfectly in absolute darkness as we did in daylight. Magnus exchanged looks with me, he knew my thinking very well � �We are flanking them aren�t we?� he asked smiling up at me.
Maybe I was too predictable, but there was no better action plan at the moment, since there were three of us, I was just as strong (or even stronger) than Zion and Magnus together, we had to use that in our favor � �You and Zion are gonna attack the main building going from south, make sure that you cause enough destruction to call their attention, I�ll be heading from west with everything I have!�
Magnus sneered, he grabbed Zion�s shoulder � �Listen rookie, you just do like in the NFL, TAKE THEM DOWN!� Magnus made his joke and as they disappeared from my vision. I kept watching from my standing point. The shredded buildings covered a dangerous and well armed criminal organization, but that was not a problem for any of my crew members.
It took only a few seconds to notice the first signs of my fellow Pantheon acting, soon I saw what should have been Zion running towards a small group of soldiers, they were knocked by some blurring force. They still managed to get back on their feet, opened fire into every possible direction, but even to a newbie like Zion those AK-47 bullets meant absolutely no threat, they simply bounced on his special suit, while Zion kept moving fast around the shooters � they were so distracted by this impressive attacker that they couldn�t contact their base.
Zion finally stopped in front of them � He was nervous, but he trusted his superior conditions, like any of other member during mission, Zion wore a thick mask that disguised most of his marvelous face, only his clear thin lips and white teeth were partially visible; the electronically shaped voice tone announced the UN Security Council Directive that gave Pantheon members authority to make arrestments during our missions in their primary language (each member is trained in 5 different language groups, but once we are optimized the whole language database from Pantheon computers is downloaded into our powerful brains, which means we can virtually identify and communicate in every idiom and dialect practiced on the planet�s surface). The fighters were not expected to surrender that easily, now that they had a steady target they could try aiming at a vital point, but that proved to be even less useful.
Zion stomped the ground, creating a shockwave that easily knocked the shooters, meanwhile, my rookie companion easily grabbed each of these five grown men and held them under his powerful arm hug, squeezing their bodies against his impressive muscles. I could hear their screams, they still tried to stab him, but that proved to be unwise once their blades broke when tried to pierce the incredible hardness of the suit combined to Zion�s optimized muscle tissue. With a few more seconds they had surrendered to avoid Zion squeezing out their remaining oxygen � before they could regain their capabilities, the red haired member easily grabbed the iron bars on the grid of a nearby broken window, bending them around his small captives like they were mere ropes, tying fists and ankles together, with this action Zion made sure his prisoners would be out of combat long enough for us to accomplish the mission, and I would definitely report his excellent performance.
The shooting called the attention of the nearby patrolling tanks; just two old �Urutu� tanks. Although they proved to be very efficient in conditions like those we were right now, their fire power and resistance meant nothing against Pantheon members. The tanks approached covered by the shooting of the soldiers spread around the buildings. Zion used his massive frame to distract the idiotic pilots of the vehicles, even if they tried to aim their canons at him; he simply was too fast for them.
They didn�t expect Magnus to use the distraction caused by Zion, my friend simply approached an old building, calculating the fragility caused by the years of abandon (I could devise his grin when he realized what he could do to stop those impertinent little foes) with a powerful punch that pulverized the precise pillar, he brought the 5 storage old bakery building down to the ground, creating a giant cloud of dust and debris that scattered the enemy shooting strategy. There were big men everywhere, running out like rats out of the sinking ship, but Zion had them overpowered before they could reach any considerable distance, with incredibly simple yet inhumanly strong and efficient non-lethal moves; both of my subordinates nullified the enemy unities outside the tanks.
The machine gun on the tanks continuously hit Magnus on his back, but he simply turned around, the sparks of the bouncing bullets shone like little stars in the darkness, the projectiles sounded they had bounced at a solid steel wall, his hulking figure kept walking towards the tanks � the grin was absolutely radiant now, he just approached slowly as the tank pilots tried to use more powerful weaponry on him. Magnus finally stopped and faced his alleged threatens. With extreme calm, he just reached for the conveyer belts of the closest tank, simply breaking the material like it was made out of paper.
Magnus wanted to prove that he wasn�t joking, so he made that clear by crushing the wheels with his powerful legs; easily sticking all the way down his massive feet, crushing the wheels like they were child�s toy, to his next number, with one hand, he easily pierced through the steel body of the tank, stretching the hole he had done even further as he wrenched the huge head engine at once, throwing it away like that was a mere tennis ball. The first tank had been completed overpowered.
Magnus simply looked at the other one, crossing his massive arms at his powerful chest, the pilot and the shooter got out of the cabin, raising their hands � They knew they weren�t match for Magnus or Zion, but just when I thought it would be over the grin on the face of my fellow member made me realize just how precious he was, just to emphasize that those guys shouldn�t try any trick, Magnus approached them, noticeably adjusting his enormous crotch, giving them a glimpse of what rested between his gigantic thighs, and the mere idea of being forced into taking that monstrosity paralyzed those strong bodied mercenaries, these poor men looked at him with fear on their eyes, they dropped to their knees bringing their hands behind their heads. Magnus exploded in a powerful laughter, while Zion arrested the humiliated prisoners (although I personally didn�t agree with such choice, Magnus did a phenomenal job for he was able avoid further violence towards humans, which is always an excellent achievement considering Pantheon�s objectives).
I could hear that our actions got the desired effect, with all my senses I had the perfect image of that every single resistance cell now moved towards us, which meant that the headquarters had nothing more than its usual security forces, the rest was sent to face whatever enemy managed to infiltrate their base � �It�s time!� I said as Zion and Magnus rushed to meet the enemy forces frontally, while I simply jumped from rooftop to rooftop in the western direction.
I didn�t need to actually see what they were doing, because when Pantheon members needs to work coordinately, they almost become symbiotic � I knew that Zion and Magnus walked side-by side slowly and causing as much distraction they could, throwing heavy things to scare the shooters without actually hurting them. I knew the more they approached the more despaired the measures of our overpowered enemies became; they were using everything now from rocket launchers to heavy grenades (which caused absolutely no damage to us, for our optimized skin is simply invulnerable to extreme heat and cold conditions).
Meanwhile, I headed to their headquarters � they had turned off the lights but it meant no problem for me. I�ve been able to smell Kwome�s blood on his bruises as I got closer the hospital (if he was the only one being held hostage, that meant he had been hurt constantly to keep their menacing authority over their captive), so I could tell he was at highest hospital floor (if wasn�t being kept at ground floor, to have easiest escape route by land, that could only mean they had airborne support). I rushed my pace reaching the nearest building of their headquarters, although that building was not as tall as the former hospital, I could devise that they kept Kwome tied and there were about ten men at the floor and a few others patrolling the surroundings from above.
I noticed the increasing agitation on the soldiers � their apparent leader talked over the intercom to someone on the roof, and even though I could hear everything they were saying, it wasn�t necessary, for the sound of this old chopper engines had warned me of their escaping intentions even before they finished their conversation.
�If they want to escape by going up, the best way to crush their plans is forcing them to go down!� - I considered this as my super heavy optimized muscles jumped over 30 feet up in the air. The pressure of my thighs over the old rumbling building was just too much, as I leaped into the night sky the sound of the tumbling construction alarmed the poor soldiers, but truth was that they wouldn�t stand a chance.
As I heavily landed, my massive bulk literally shook the rooftop, sending most of my scattered enemies to the ground, I could feel the whole building felt the impact of my heavy muscles� weight increased by gravity effect. The helicopter pilot had successfully turned on the engines, they would soon be in flight condition, but unfortunately they would not have such time. It took me no more than a few of my steps to reach the ridiculously small sized (to my current size that is) aircraft, the wind force and incredibly loud humming generated by the helix meant no danger to my gargantuan frame.
I could feel the steel blades spinning just a few inches from my 8�6� height, never taking my eyes off the coward pilot; I noticed when he motioned to lift off without his captive or his leader as well. Just lifting my impossibly thick arm had the effect I looked for. The sound of crushed metal, the pieces of the shredded helix flying all over the place, the smell of burnt aircraft fuel filled my nostrils, while my monumentally thick arm barely felt a tickle when the deadly spinning blades hit its optimized hardness; the helicopter was destroyed by the mere contact with me. The frightened pilot looked into my colossal size, jumping outside automatically as he devised my next movement. I brought my arm back and grabbed the small chopper by its rear part, easily piercing through the metal with my fingers, I swung faster and faster, bringing the weight of the aircraft easily around with the increasing tempo of my circular movement.
The concrete roof broke in huge pieces as my feet used it to obtain enough resistance to swing both my enormous weight and the destroyed vehicle, finally I perfectly let the useless weight go, it shot up like a rocket into the sky, the flaming engine describing a perfect trajectory like a shooting star falling from space � since my optimized mind calculated everything precisely, speed, departure angle and all physical data, the former escaping vehicle heavily landed in the middle of the streets where Magnus and Zion were facing the ridiculously weak tanks.
I knew Magnus had heard me while crushing and swinging the helicopter, so he just smiled and stopped Zion from reaching the point of impact (not because it could hurt him, but just to show the rookie why we are regarded as legendary among the other members). When the soldiers noticed the fireball falling from the skies, they simply abandoned their tanks and patrol cars, reaching rescue among the buildings. The powerful impact brought light into the dark streets � The explosion only augmented the feeling of complete desperation our alleged adversaries showed. Zion and Magnus used this to easily stop the few tanks and old jeeps which bravely, yet uselessly resisted.
Zion lifted one jeep on each hand � each one with half a dozen guys (who jumped out screaming like scared children) he held the vehicles over his head, while Magnus captured a nearby tank, he jumped at its roof, ripping it like a paper box, threw the occupants out in the streets, then he got back to the ground, grabbed the tank easily turning the heavy vehicle upside down, casually walked down the street a few steps behind Zion � they announced to our overpowered, overwhelmed and over humiliated foes that they should better surrender before they lost their lives.
Calmly, both of them showed their point by throwing their light cargos into the enormous fireplace caused by the fallen helicopter, they stood right in the middle of the flame combustion, while such fierce flames could burn human flesh and bones into ash, the explosion barely affected the impeccable stance of Pantheon members, Magnus and Zion kept their huge muscular arms crossed at their powerful chests, indicating the game was over, they should surrender now before they would turn into a more incisive approach.
One by one, these pathetic men appeared on the street � mostly because Magnus and Zion announced out loud they would be captured by force if they didn�t show themselves in thirty seconds. Such threat, made by those who had just destroyed half city arresting highly trained mercenaries clearly had the desired effect, so it was just a matter of time before they would actually get caught.
I watched the beautiful glow of my homemade shooting star illuminating the scared sweaty faces of my own prisoners � ten big men easily overpowered inside my bear hug. I felt their weakling bodies squiggling like they could actually resist the power on my optimized muscles. They were so tiny, so small, so weak, yet they were still by far much bigger than my Andy (What if one day Andy saw me optimized like this? How would he react? Would he still love me if he knew the truth about me and the Pantheon?). One of them, noticing my momentarily distraction, managed to loose his arm and reached for my mask, even if he didn�t actually take it out, it was enough to bring me back into reality. All of them screamed in pain as I squeezed the air of their tiny lungs, I made sure I wasn�t crushing any of the small criminals, the pressure was just as the verge of the pain humans can bear under stressful situations like that.
After the last one passed out, I simply held their bodies piled on my enormous left shoulder, walked to the edge of the building. When I realized, I held this 20-feet long old flagpole I had just yanked from the concrete rooftop, I couldn�t help but smiling while I bent it like a piece of fresh pasta around my captures, making sure it wasn�t too tight on my poor weak captives, I wanted to avoid having one or more crushed by the steel. (I smiled because once Andy commented with me that he loved when Superman tied his prisoners with a steel flagpole, maybe I was paying him a tribute, even though he might never know his boyfriend could do the same as his favorite comic book superhero, deep inside I felt like he was being honored by my uncanny muscles, the muscles that he worships even in my post-stabilization size).
I heard the muffled cry of Kwome as the bandits tried to take him away from the building, counting on an alternative escape route. They went downstairs very quickly but each step of them was clearly heard not just by me at this point, but also by Zion and Magnus who were already in their way to the building. I waved my head, praying for Kwome being able to hang for a few extra moments, with the power of my muscular thighs I jumped down into the street, feeling the warm breeze of the African night caress my muscles as the speed increased exponentially, creating an enormous 50 feet diameter, 10 feet deep crater right in the main street, already foreseeing their next movement � they would not be able to use this street, which was the widest and clearest.
There were five brand new black SUV�s, with shooters at each window, each one drove off the building at an incredible speed, turning quickly to their right to avoid the crater I had just created, my powerful muscles brought me up with a simple jump, and there I was running after those cars, since I didn�t know in each car exactly they had put Kwome, the best way was going through each one and checking for him � but we had to make sure Kwome was safe. I devised Magnus and Zion going out from the next corner � we all knew we could abate each car with extreme simplicity, but we had a higher objective. The guys seemed to understand my consternation, so they let the cars pass them � we would have to take another approach � which meant the kidnappers would have to think they had actually escaped, so they would loose their threat over our target.
We jumped into the rooftops, following the cars using the protection of the dark night, even being so powerful and heavy each one of us could move silently when desires, we just kept following the cars, as I focused for any sign to locate our Kwome � �Come on man, you�re tougher than these guys, any sign dude! Just let me save you!� � I kept thinking over and over as I focused all my senses to find anything. The cars were almost hitting the main road now; we would not be able to use the rooftops for much longer.
Finally, I heard an unconscious muffled groan of pain � He had been knocked out with something, (I could fully smell chlorophorm now) those bastards drugged him so I couldn�t listen for his cry. I looked at my partners who had just noticed I was about to act � �He�s at the fourth car, you take care of the first three � I�ll get him!� We split into different sides � Magnus and Zion jumped to lower rooftops as I proceeded at the highest ones. I calculated the space between the fourth and fifth vehicles before I leapt higher about 25 feet above my current position, the strength on my muscles made my legs jump multiple times the world record distances.
I aimed at the roof of the fifth vehicle, and my huge feet came down crushing it like a rotten tomato. The car got instantly destroyed (fortunately this car had two passengers sat at the front part, so I didn�t crush any bastard with my massive weight) the wheels simply exploded and the car lost its control, before I reached the ground, using the car to jump forward, to land exactly behind the fourth car, at the perfect position to grab the rear part, easily lifting it at a 90 degrees angle � the wheels were running but the car couldn�t move anymore, so I just held it stable supporting it on my wide palm, ripping through the roof metal with the other like it was a tin foil, revealing my scared sardines � the men just dropped their weapons, and handed me what I was after � the young captive Kwome Tugandi had this black mask on his face, his hands were tied just like his feet � the effects of the chemical were fading off his mind, he cried inside the mask, his mouth was muffled with tape. I grabbed my fellow DF+ and held him on my arm
�It is okay now Kwome, you�re safe, please calm down� � I said on his beautiful Portuguese idiom, feeling my own tongue dancing inside my mouth as I pronounced the words in that sensual language � Kwome cried inside his mask, I comforted him as I looked at my captives, the anger building inside of me (Pantheon members must avoid being taken by emotions, although I personally wanted to crush those worms into pulp for doing this to a young innocent man).
I saw that Magnus and Zion had easily stopped the previous three cars, they brought their own prisoners back to meet me � �Magnus, go long!� I yelled at him, still holding Kwome in one arm I kicked the SUV with the guys inside like a football � Magnus laughed as he ran over three hundred yards to successfully catch the vehicle in the middle of the air before it crashed heavily against the ground. The screams on the kidnappers sounded like music to me, they would still have a due process of law before they were arrested, but at least they knew now what it feels to be weak and impotent against those more powerful, but I didn�t look to see how they landed, I only cared about my small guy who kept sobbing on my humongous shoulder.
I easily removed his blindfold, once they took a full view of my glorious body; those pretty brown eyes were almost popping off their orbits. As I gently freed his mouth, all he could mutter was some words in Portuguese. I knew this was a common reaction when normal men saw a Pantheon member in person, what had always been an urban myth became the most evident truth in their lives. I turned my back on Zion and Magnus who were taking care of the prisoners to fully focus on the small Kwome, when the vibration at the soil indicated that something was coming towards us.
I heard the tanks approaching � they were giving everything they had to take us down, but that was not enough � only 10 small sized old tanks against three members? They were so asking to be crushed. I called for Zion and gently removed Kwome from my grip � I couldn�t risk his fragile life facing those tanks � �Keep him safe, Zion. Magnus you take the other captives and take them as well� I said coldly already feeling the blood rushing through my veins. Magnus� smile blossomed � �You don�t take too hard on them, big guy, remember they�re just tiny little guys trying to win at least one!�
Ten tanks appeared down the city square � I moved faster and faster, opening my arms at a parallel angle with the soil, my massive arms completely stretched gave me an enormous span, as I reached my highest speed (almost 80 mph). They still tried to fire their machine guns or their more powerful weaponry against me, but even when they did hit me, it felt nothing more than mosquitoes to me � it was my time to end this game once and for all. I ran obliquely through the first row of three tanks, my arms are so strong and thick they simply knocked the impressive weight on each combat vehicle, they literally swept of the ground, like fallen leaves are blown by the breeze. The three tanks flew over the next ones, completely damaging the first six tanks in a matter of seconds. Once I stopped, looking over my enormous shoulders, the scene was simply chaotic � the soldiers tried to squeeze themselves out of the tanks before I could return to finish the job.
I walked back to them facing the remaining four tanks � we had already fought for too long, they should be aware of our objectives, now that we already had Kwome they had no reason to keep fighting. I simply jumped into the tanks, one by one, ripping through the covers like they were plastic toys, destroying their weapons and exposing the weakling pilots to my much superior strength, the steel shreds were spread all over the square, the pilots held their hands up high, surrendering to my uncanny powers, and I just nodded along. Magnus quickly arrested them, while Zion handed me the trembling figure of Kwome, whose face looked so scared, so amazed and at the same time, I knew he had never been more thankful to someone in his whole life. Although he never said a word, as soon as Zion handed his small body to me, he instinctively held around my left pectoral muscle (as much as he could because it was too big for him to fully embrace), his legs adjusting to my forearms thickness as I held him effortlessly.
I felt that his heart still pounded heavily inside his small yet strong chest, the view of me was at the same time fascinating yet very scaring � a nearly 9�tall muscle monster dressed in black costume with a mask covering my face. Since we had accomplished our objective (all the captives had been properly held and unable to recognize any agent) and Kwome was DF+, I judged it would be better if we just ended the whole undercover aspect of the mission. I removed my mask, revealing my striking beautiful features to his shocked face. He looked at me holding my chest like his life still depended on the power of my muscles � �Who are you guys?� he managed to ask in English, recognizing Magnus and I had previously communicated in such idiom.
I smiled at him � �We are Pantheon members, sent in special mission under UN request to rescue you, Kwome Tugandi, from your kidnappers� the words sounded a bit incorrect to my ears, since the real mains aspect of this whole mission was to locate and rescue a prospective member for the Pantheon legions, but that would have to wait until he felt comfortable around us � Zion and Magnus finally joined us, they also had removed their masks, the look at their faces was just as worried as mine, especially from the rookie member
�Kwome, did they hurt you? Are you in any pain?� � Zion asked forgetting to introduce himself first.
Even Magnus had noticeable concern on his usually cool expression, he had checked Kwome�s bruises over three times now � �You�re a tough little guy, that�s for sure� he commented as he shook hands with the still spell bounded young man.
We ran back to the shore, where this enormous Pantheon special aircraft waited for us, when we entered carrying our tiny rescued man, all the supporting members (pilots, communication technicians and even military advisors) celebrated, cheering our names as we proceeded into the airplane, they got us airborne � Kwome still looked perplexed � �Wait, this is my house! Where are you taking me?�
I looked deeply into his eyes I felt sorry for him, sometimes being told the truth may be really traumatic, I hoped I could do it just as nicely as it had been once done to me.
"NOW comes the hardest part..."
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