“I’ll peel your skin, like an orange,” Ghoul hissed in pain as he removed the knife, his screams of pain music to Ryan’s ears. The eye’s blood turned to strawberry-colored ice cream when it came out of the socket, making the courier hungry. “Then I’ll drink your blood, and the sweet elixir it carries!”
The other Psycho chose that moment to land on the beach, hitting the ice floor with a loud thump and somehow avoiding slipping up. Ghoul’s white mist slowly widened the ice layer over the beach, which now spread to the sea and the walkway; Ryan suddenly wondered if he should add a scarf to his outfit.
“Ghoul, what the hell?” While her voice was somewhat muffled by the mask, miss nuclear disaster was clearly a girl. “You heard Adam. The shipment first.”
“That’s him!” Ghoul snarled, creating blades of ice over his forearms and pointing them at Ryan. “That’s the bastard who beat me up! I told you he was an Augusti!”
Slander? That was the thanks Ryan got for trying to alleviate that old fossil’s suffering? And they said euthanasia was progressive!
“I guess Adam can’t be mad at us for dusting one of ‘em,” Sarin said, raising her gauntlets at Ryan as if he should be intimidated. She mustn’t have washed her hands. “If you knew what’s good for you, you should have stayed the fuck out of Rust Town, but I guess you pussies are pretty slow to learn.”
“Don’t worry,” the courier replied. “Whatever happens, Blower—”
“Blower?” the hazmat girl interrupted him, confused. “That’s not my na—”
“Your name is Blower now because you blow air.” Ryan then pointed a finger at one-eye, menacingly. “And now his name is Picard because I liked French frozen food.”
In retrospect, calling a girl Blower might have sounded a little dirty, because she became really upset.
Her gauntlets began to vibrate, unleashing a blast of compressed air at Quicksave. The ice below them began to crack from the shockwave, and Ryan realized he should have nicknamed her the Vibrator instead.
Stopping time for a few seconds, Ryan lazily waltzed out of the blast’s way, almost slipped on the ice, caught himself, cursed, and then let time resume. The compressed air blew up the walkway behind the beach, grinding stones to dust and redecorating the pavement in a straight line for at least ten meters.
Trying to make it a threesome, Ghoul skated after Quicksave speed rivaling that of a car, blades raised. Not swinging this way, Ryan dodged the attack by narrowing his head. His time stop could last for up to ten seconds—and you could do a lot in ten seconds—but suffered from a cooldown duration afterward. It was equal to the amount of time Ryan spent freezing time; use the time stop for five seconds, can’t do it again five seconds afterward.
Not understanding the concept of personal space, Ghoul kept trying to nail Ryan with his blade and received a punch in the stomach for his trouble. Fisty activated on contact, the ram smashing through the Psycho’s ice armor and sending him flying backward to take a bath in the sea. The water froze right after he entered it.
Unfortunately, the contact with Ghoul’s white mist froze Fisty, jamming the pistons. Goddamnit, it always had performance issues when things heated up.
Not caring about her teammate, Sarin kept focusing on attacking Ryan, who chuckled at his own mental joke. The courier had to run away from the beach and on the walkway, as a shockwave collapsed the ice, even briefly stopping time to make it.
“You blow air very fast? That’s your power?” Ryan struggled not to laugh, but almost slipped on the frozen pavement, ruining the moment. Why didn’t he dedicate a loop to ice skating again? “My fan can do the same, and it cost me fifteen bucks!”
Seeing Ryan escape and still pinning for his undivided affection, Sarin pointed her hands at her feet and unleashed a new shockwave. A column of compressed her blew her to sky high, allowing her to leap over the harbor. Ryan looked up and got a perfect view of her behind, but much to his disappointment, she seemed to float inside her suit. Very strange.
“Why the obsession, Blower?” Ryan asked, trying to unjam Fisty so he could introduce her to that crazy girl’s face. Nothing dirty. “Have you fallen for me at first sight?”
“Unfortunately for you,” Sarin replied, vibrating her gauntlets from above to rain short blasts at the walkway, “I’m a necrophiliac.”
Oh, a fellow quipper! Ryan was so happy to have some back and forth interactions, even if he needed to focus on avoiding the blasts. So many Genomes just tried to kill him without exchanging pleasantries.
Stopping time again, Ryan ran away and managed to reach the part of the walkway which hadn’t frozen over. Running on ice was a lot harder to do than it sounded, and more importantly, made him look like a klutz. When time resumed, Sarin’s volley had turned the frozen pavement into a cheese. On the horizon, the courier noticed Zanbato and Luigi finishing the supply run, seeing that he could handle the situation well. “I’m sure we’ll break the ice between us.”
“That’s just pitiful,” Sarin replied upon landing on the roof of a waterfront warehouse. The height gave her a better view of the walkway, and solid ground allowed her to focus entirely on Ryan. This time, having resolved her own performance issues, she switched from short bursts to sustained fire.
“Did my invitation leave you… stone cold?” Quicksave shouted innocently to Miss Chernobyl, running away while managing to unjam Fisty. The sustained blast collapsed the walkway behind him, stones falling on the beach. Frankly, it surprised Ryan that they hadn’t woken up the whole neighborhood.
“Don’t you ever shut up?!” Ghoul’s voice snarled, as the drenched Psycho leaped on the walkway for a second round. Even with his armor of ice on, he left saltwater behind with every step, and… was that a starfish stuck to his leg?
“Anyway, as I said before you interrupted me, whatever happens…”
Ryan turned to face his foes and extended his arms, doing his best to look fabulous.
“I won’t take you seriously.”