Schulmanator: This is very true! Sensational Girl was key in defeating Zama way back in #25.
SimCoug: Powerful friends. Friends I wouldn't wanna mess with.
Ceafus 88: Thank you very much!
PREVIOUSLY on The Best Defense: It's Media Week! The Defenders are out doing press across the city, and have just finished up with the re-opening of the Botanical Gardens with Flying Juniper Tree. Why were the Gardens destroyed in the first place? Oh yeah, because Morning Angel went nuts and tried to kill everyone in the city for some reason. She's locked up now (a very secret fact), but is looking to break out. Titus and Sensational Girl are staying at The Mines to help with security as the Universal Power Neutralizers are upgraded, and Cosmette and Juliet are heading back to HQ. Hm... I feel like I'm forgetting someone... Seems like it's important. Maybe not. Oh well!
In the air over the dark East Bank HS football stadium behind the East Bank Library...
Cosmette and Juliet were beginning their slow descent for Defenders' HQ in the midst of an actual pleasant conversation when a familiar energy blast knocked Cosmette out of the sky over East bank. Juliet could not see who did it, but raced towards the ground to check on Cosmette, who had crashed on the 50 yard line of the high school football stadium.
Juliet: Cosmette! Are you alright?
Juliet touched down lightly near where the shiny metal girl had crashed.
Cosmette: Ugh, yeah, I'm totally fine. But whoever hit me won't be soon.
Neko-Blaster: Oh, don't bet on that!
Cosmette: Neko-Blaster! That means-
Halloran: Yes, we're all here, this time, Cosmette. And this time we will be victorious. The timing could not be better, the location is one of my choosing, and we should be free of any outside interference. You could, of course, surrender, but a fight won't disappoint me.
Super Pecs: Aaahahahaha!
Super Pecs jumped out of seemingly nowhere to swing at the two Defenders. Cosmette leapt for the air, but was forced back down to dodge out of the way of Neko-Blaster's blast. As soon as her toes touched the ground, she was forced to whirl away from Super Pecs, who had leapt at her once again in an attempt to tackle her.
Suibijo: Hahahah! You're not winning this one, Defenders!
Suibijo pulled water from a water main and freezing it into spears to chuck at Cosmette and Juliet.
Juliet: Holy melted ice cream, Batman!
Juliet turned the ice instantly back into water to fall upon Suibijo's head and Cosmette zapped her, knocking her onto her backside. The two girls then turned to take on Halloran, with Neko-Blaster hovering in the air behind him. Cosmette turned slightly to keep Super Pecs in sight, as the man was rising to his feet as well.
Cosmette: What do you even want with us, Halloran? Why keep attacking us?
Halloran: You provide good sport. Defeating you will provide me access to your buildings, your files, and prestige I would not know otherwise.
Cosmette: Prestige? You already have that. Everyone knows how tough and how smart you are, they-
Halloran: They think I'm not in your league, but I most certainly am. This talk is merely you stalling for time. Who do you have coming to help you? Fearless? Titus? Irritating Pierce and that golden wench Victory? Surely not the Power Unit.
Juliet: Pierce and Victory? Then you don't know?
Halloran: Know? Of course, I know! I know everything I need to know!
Cosmette: Fearless is gone. He left with Eikyou. Pierce and Victory were killed by Shar Pen. How do you not know that?
Halloran: Lies! You're lying! Stalling for time! Kill them, quickly!
Halloran's words brought chaos to the small park they were in the midst of destroying.
Cosmette: Agh! We're not lying!
Cosmette jumped over Super Pecs while once again dodging a blast from Neko-Blaster.
Cosmette: Tell him, Juliet!
Juliet: I'm here to replace- dryer than the damn Sahara! -Pierce and Victory!
Juliet evaporated the water Suibijo flung at her.
Juliet: You look like you could use a drink!
Suibijo glared at her for a moment, then coughed and turned and ran. Halloran looked at her in utter shock, unable to call any words to mind to halt her retreat. A blast from Cosmette made him stumble backwards. He pulled a futuristic-looking laser gun from the holster at his hip and fired at Cosmette.
Halloran: You may have gotten Suibijo (somehow, wow, actually), but you'll find the rest of us will soon overwhelm you!
Juliet: Freeze, suckah!
Juliet expected him to stop in his tracks where he was, but, charging hard towards her, he merely laughed at her and kept his advance.
Juliet: Freeze! Freezefreezefreezefreeze FREEZE!
Juliet cringed backwards as he bore down on her, but Cosmette took a moment away from dodging Halloran's well-aimed shots to knock Super Pecs off-course with a full-power cosmic blast. She was just too late, however, and as he crashed to the ground, the impact knocked Juliet down as well, burying her in the earth he kicked up.
Cosmette: Oh, no!
Cosmette immediately broke off from trading fire with Halloran to rush and check on Juliet, but it made her vulnerable to Neko-Blaster. The Bugg-woman sprayed her with her surprisingly more powerful blasters and tackled her, locking her limbs up behind her head. Cosmette, slightly dazed from the blasts, looked at Halloran to see him grinning at her triumphantly.
Halloran: And now, so you see, I will not be fooled by your little ruse. While Juliet being here was a bit of a surprise, I'll admit, I won't be tricked into believing that the rest of the Defenders are out of service. You two foolish girls cannot be all that's left of them. Such a poor challenge this would prove, you mere scraps left behind.
Cosmette: Neko-Blaster can't hold me.
Cosmette wanted to appear brave, but was still trying to shake the cotton-y feeling in her skull. She had not even begun to try escaping. It would be an extremely easy thing to do, but-
Halloran: But, then you'll still have to deal with me and my special gun. And you've no doubt already deduced that this is much more than a mere laser gun.
Cosmette: I'm listening, Halloran. What do you want?
Halloran: Oh, shall I talk and spill all my plans to you now? Or shall I kill you and be done with the actually quite powerful nuisance that you are?
Cosmette: You'll talk.
Cosmette smiled at him knowingly.
Halloran: Heh. We have done battle before. You see, Cosmette, it would be easy for me to destroy the Defenders-
Cosmette: Yeah, you've proven that many times before.
Cosmette snorted, rolling her eyes. Her head was clearing by the second.
Halloran: Shut up, it's monologue time, you shiny, little brat.
Cosmette eyed the laser pistol in his hand warily and decided that, better though she may feel, it would be wiser to hear him out.
Cosmette: Oh, how I wish I could fry that stupid thing in his hands with cosmic beams from my eyes...
Halloran: I'm not going to mess around with you anymore. I've wasted too much time, too many resources, and now it is time for a payoff, for my victory. So I will continue humbling you Defenders, I'll furrow out the rest of your teammates... Hm, weird they haven't shown up yet. Is their response time inhibited by something? I don't know...
Halloran glared at her for a moment, then Suibijo reappeared.
Suibijo: Halloran, she wasn't lying about Pierce and Victory!
Halloran: Where did you go? We need you here, fool.
Suibijo: Thirsty, I was- *ahem* I was dehydrated, all of a sudden, my powers were gone!
Suibijo glanced around fearfully, then noticed-
Suibijo: Where is Juliet?
Halloran: Gone. Dead. Who cares. What are you talking about? Pierce and Victory aren't liars?
Suibijo: No, they're dead, she's not a liar! I saw a newspaper about it just now!
Halloran wisely kept his now-widened eyes on Cosmette, but pointed at Suibijo.
Halloran: How do you know this? Have I been cheated my chance at ultimate victory?!
Suibijo: Yes, I'm sorry, Halloran, they were killed while we were holed up in your lab-
?: More like trapped in that lab!
?: You know who I am! And you know why I'm here now!
Halloran: No! You'll not deter me, Coyote Versus! She dies, now!
Halloran jabbed his gun at Cosmette, but before he could pull the trigger, the gun exploded in his hand, knocking him to his backside.
Cosmette glanced back at Neko-Blaster again and grinned, the strained look on the villainess' face turning hopeless. Cosmette's arms lit up with her powers and Neko-Blaster recoiled in surprise.
Cosmette, not even bothering to look back, zapped the ground beneath the cat-girl's feet and rushed to the spot where Juliet had fallen. Before she began digging into the dirt to find her friend, she spared a glance for Halloran, and was surprised to see Coyote Versus, the tall, rather dashing villain, swing down on a rope and engage the man in combat.
Cosmette: What's his game this time?
She forced her powers an inch into the dirt and swept it away, one layer at a time, getting no more than three swipes away before discovering Juliet's nose.
Cosmette pulled her teammate out and delicately tapped her cheeks.
Cosmette: Oh, no, Juliet, are you alright? Please wake up! Please!
Juliet's eyes popped open and she smiled at Cosmette.
Juliet: Nerdgirl, where's Halloran? Did you beat him by yourself?
Cosmette: What? No, there's Coyote Versus, he's-
The two Defenders looked over and saw Coyote Versus holding Halloran on his knees at gunpoint with his other gun trained at Suibijo.
Coyote Versus: Ladies, why not come here to see what Halloran's final fate will be?