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Thread: The MetaWar Saga (unfinished)

  1. #41
    Alexander Tau Guest Spider. Just visiting.

    Default Chapter 6


    We found the bastard, all 8' of him. He had just finished slaughtering all the employees of a small tire dealership. I ordered NightWing to hold altitude.

    “Where are you going?”

    “Inside to say hello, be ready.”

    I pushed more energy into my shield and flew through the front door, or what was left of it anyway. Damn this thing was ugly. The room was long with a high ceiling. My target was at the far end.

    Floating just inside the door I called out, “Hey there ugly, what's up?”

    His head snapped up, and with a roar he charged in my direction.

    Now this gets a little complex but I have been told that people really want to hear the details. As he charged forward I flew up and over his head. I passed over him very quickly and then angled downward. Twisting my body I ended up flying towards the creature's back at about his waist-level.

    I knew he would be too heavy for me to lift so I sent out a wave of anti-gravity. Slamming into his back I wrapped my arms, and bands of force fields, around his waist.

    Locked together in this fashion we essentially rode the waves of anti-grav through the front wall.

    When we hit daylight I let go and dissolved the force field bands. Pulling my legs under me I reversed direction by kicking off my opponent.

    He smashed six cars before he slid to a stop.

    “NightWing, go!” I ordered.

    “Coming in.”

    Her attack was pretty good for a first time. She came in fast from his right. The sword slashed at precisely the right moment. If the creature had not got his arms up in time it would have opened his throat.

    As it was, first blood was hers.

    My turn.

    By now I have to admit it felt like running a checklist. Number one on the list, concussive force.

    Boom. Boom. Boom. I slammed him with force bolts. Other than moving his body around a little they were not doing any good.

    Heat. My left and right hands released great torrents of fire.

    Seems to piss him off, so much he roared a few times and threw a car right down my line of fire. The car exploded and I had to contain it to keep the rest of the lot from going up.

    This was fun. Read that with a butt-load of sarcasm.

    “Coming in.”

    Fast and hot, she struck again. This time the beast could not react fast enough, her speed and perfect strike drove the blade in deep.

    The creatures howled in pain.

    NightWing had come in so fast she had to bank up hard to keep from slamming into the building behind me. I knew she would be a bit getting turned around.

    I pulled electricity into my right hand, and concussive sound waves into my left.

    Zap. KaBoom. I call it a ThunderBolt. A blast of electricity worthy of a natural lightning strike, and enough sound to rival thunder. They hit at the same moment and are generally devastating.

    Not this time. Oh I rocked him, I burned him a little, but basically, zip.

    Let' try softening him up a bit. Green concussive force blasts kept the creature off balance. I kept those up right until I heard NightWing's next call.

    “Coming In.”

    She came in lined up with the street this time, low, only 6' off the ground. Her swing caught the monster off guard and rendered it's left arm almost useless. She zoomed away, over and past me.

    Eyes. Two Lasers in parallel burned into the monster's other arm. Bingo.

    Flash, Flash, Flash. Again and again I slashed at the monster with my ruby red beams.

    “NightWing, hold off on any more attacks, I think I have it now. Good job so far.”

    If you thought I was going to make her finish the beast off then you have formed an overly harsh impression of me. I never forced anyone to kill. I demand that people attack full out when the situation calls for it, like this one, but to take life intentionally is no small thing.

    You either have it in you, or you do not. And that is something everyone has to discover on their own.

    She had not answered me yet.

    “Pulsar to NightWing.”

    Crap.

    “Pulsar to Central. Where is NightWing?”

    Yeah, I broke radio protocol, so sue me.

    “Central online. Well sir, she is unconscious, but ok. You had better see for yourself. Vectors up.”

    I hate it when Central gets cryptic. I have told them that.

    CRUNCH. Something huge hits me in the back of the head. Well the forcefield around the back of my head.

    Oh yeah, the monster. He hit me with a car which promptly exploded.

    He was right on top of me. Oh no.

    I caught both of his wrists in my hands. My strength was nowhere near his but I could, and did, solidify my forcefield. Bands of force stronger than steel bound us together.

    The downside was that I could not move either.

    Didn't matter.

    I locked eyes with it. I tried to see some humanity in those yellow orbs. I saw an animal, not a man. The red beams struck one last time, and I held them on target until he went slack.

    “My target is down, going after NightWing.”

    Into the air, following the vectors to her. 13 blocks away.

    In the middle of the street lay a pile of people. Along the sidewalks were five civilians, all dead. In the street, mostly obscured by the bulk of the dead monster on top of her, lay Huntress. She was out but alive.

    Half across the dead monster was NightWing. Also alive also unconscious.

    It was the monster's body which caught and held my attention. Sticking up from the back of the poor creature's neck was a sword, it had to be NightWing's. It plunged straight down into the creatures body, right behind, and through, the spine.

    “What the fuck happened?” asked a groggy FireLord. He had just walked over from one side of the street and looked roughed up.

    Took a little while to reconstruct, but this is what happened. As NightWing was slowing down from her last attack she spotted FireLord, Huntress and their creature.

    Huntress was doing well with her sword, the creature was cut in over a dozen places already. FireLord was above them looking for a shot. He got impatient and got too close.

    The creature jumped 15' straight up and caught my foolish comrade by the ankle. I am sure it must have hurt his hands but that did not stop the monster from using FireLord's body to smash Huntress to the ground.

    FireLord was violently thrown across the street into a brick wall.

    What NightWing did next took a lot of guts, more than I thought she had.

    She accelerated until she was right above the monster then shot straight up. When she came down 10 seconds later she had the sword held out ahead of her in both hands. Diving straight down she drove the sword into the back of the monster's neck with all that force behind it.

    Let me explain the risk here. We of Olympus have a wrist display that gives us all sorts of information. Most useful are the navigation vectors. An arrow points the way and moves as your arm moves. If you are a flier you can get a set of displays similar to what an aircraft uses.

    None of these things were of the slightest help to NightWing as she rolled over the top and began to plunge downward. If this was going to work it would be because she could fly with precision guided by instinct. At the speed she would be traveling being even the slightest bit off the mark would mean hitting Huntress.

    And she knew that even if she was successful she would be slamming into something awfully hard.

    Perhaps fatally hard.

    She still did it, and she hit her mark perfectly.

    The monster died but she slammed into the ground with incredible force. Her shield kept her alive but it was a stunning impact. Afterwards she was one big bruise for a week.

    When that week was up, she signed up for active duty. Since then she has been working for Psyche and PsiInt.

    At the time we had no idea what the monsters were, or more accurately how humans became monsters. We did note one odd thing about them. They were all particularly vulnerable to a specific energy or in some cases, type of attack.

    None exhibited any powers other than enormous strength, a very tough hide, and resistances to a wide variety of energies.

    What were they?

    “Central to Pulsar”

    “Go Central.”

    “We have a teleport traces in your area, looks like Loki.”

    Made sense.

    “Vectors to him, now. Send a Praetorian team to this location.” I ordered.

    I took off fast and burned a hole in the sky getting to where he was standing.

    Strangely he seemed to be waiting for me. He waved. I did not land but instead floated 50' away from him.

    “Pulsar! How good to see you, how is that smoking hot girl of yours?” beamed Loki.

    Funny, I am never that happy to see people who want to kill me. He was standing on a roof top looking down as the Avengers took out the last of the monsters.

    “Were those your pets?”

    “Mine, oh my dear boy no. I am just the messenger, the ferry-man taking his charges to their assigned destination. Don't blame me.”

    I believed him actually. He was too full of himself to lie to me. And he suggested what we already suspected, he was Charon as well.

    “Then who? Come on Loki you waited here for someone to show up, you have something to say. Spit it out.”

    “Just straight to it eh Pulsar, not very subtle.”

    I built up power and lashed out with my eye beams. Two brilliant red pencil-thin lasers stabbed through Loki's head. Nothing.

    “That was rude! I should leave.” he pouted.

    “Can't blame a guy for trying. You know you want to talk. So talk.”

    “Very well, but thou do vex me mortal.”

    Throwing up seemed the proper response, I waited instead, floating, arms crossed. Now I wish I had my cloak.

    “I bring a message from one who respects you, that should tell you it is not me, and he wishes to make a deal. He will split the planet with you. He gets Asia, Europe and Africa. You get North and South America. Australia gets turned into a resort, that was my idea.”

    A pause.

    “So what do you think?” he finished.

    You know what I wanted to say. But I had never been this close to Loki before and I was starting to get some sense of the energy he commanded.

    I stalled.

    “So this would be your friend who spends most of his time in Europe? We call him Brainiac, you might want to tell him that.”

    “He will probably like it, I will do that.” he snickered. This really was a weird guy.

    “It is a temping offer, after all we are likely to destroy this planet if we keep up this constant fighting. But I am not sure I like the terms. I represent Olympus, and you of all people know how much power we have. Do you think the terms are fair?”

    I was asking a psychopath for his opinion on an insane deal, actually I guess that made perfect sense.

    “Well he does have a lot you do not know about. A lot of the MetaHumans who ran from America ended up joining with him. And you should see his base, underground and... wait. Naughty Pulsar, you got me talking. Well done.”

    “Hey I am just trying to explore the possibilities here, I did not ask you anything about his base. If he really wants to make a deal then we should be able to talk a little right? How did he build it anyway? I have Geo but he must have done it the old fashioned way.”

    “No I am not going to tell you anything more, silly. I would take the offer, you are trying to protect something that is very, very fragile, my dear Pulsar. Hold on as tight as you like but you will lose.”

    He was fully intangible, but not in the way the Density Masters did it. It seemed like he was half in, and half out of a portal. Standing in the doorway he was only partially there. I could not touch him because I was talking to an image, not a physical body.

    Except.

    “I am not going to lose Loki. You want an answer, well my answer is a message. Be a good little errand boy and take it back to your master. Tell him that I am coming for him. Tell him can take his offer and shove it up his ass. I am going to kill him, I am going to kill you. Tell him that.”

    Loki look pissed. Gods hate it when people mouth off.

    “And before you go I have to compliment you. This little trick of standing in your portal is very effective. As long as you can keep that running you are invulnerable. One little thing though, that portal is connected to you, that portal draws on ambient energy to function. Do you see where I am going with this?”

    His face told me he did not.

    I raised my right hand and the entire rooftop began to glow with an intense yellow light.

    Loki screamed in pain, and then vanished.

    Yep, this was turning into a pretty good day. A valuable MetaHuman had passed her first trial by combat with, ahem, flying colors. And I got to make Loki scream.

    A pretty good day.

    Not typical, but good enough.



  2. #42
    Alexander Tau Guest Spider. Just visiting.

    Default Chapter 7


    The Mountain.

    That is what we call it, officially it is Mount Olympus II.

    Seems silly to describe it, you have seen pictures, everyone has. It reaches 8,008 feet into the sky.

    The first 1,000 or so is fairly normal looking, hills turning into something bigger. The next 3,000 are fairly sharp slopes.

    From there it just goes up, and up and up.

    You can breathe on the top, but it is kinda thin.

    What can I say? Right after we acquired the final section of land that completed the Olympus you know today, Geo and his team sent me a proposal for a 'little mountain'. We had an area nearly 100 miles east/west and 80 miles north/south so there was room for a lot of things.

    He wanted to take the southeastern corner and turn it into a 'small set of hills and a moderate mountain'.
    I swear that is what his proposal said, I have that page framed and on my office wall.

    We had learned by then that a lot of rock, or water, could shield people from the Scanner Metas, and as much as I hated to admit it, we had to keep under cover, all of us. The Mountain was a perfect solution.
    The actual Mount Olympus stands 8,800 feet.

    It was not that big in the plans. I would have noticed 8,008 feet.

    I swear I woke up one morning at a comfortable 10 am, walked out onto my patio, and there it was.

    Frozen, I stood and looked for the longest time, my tea arrived and I was still looking.

    Wow. No, WOW!

    I will admit for a few moments I considered how I could inflict the maximum amount of pain on Geo without actually killing him. But the scope of the creation just washed those thoughts away. How could I be angry? How could I deny this achievement?

    And something more.

    How long has it been since the Earth itself has been altered this radically? Changes happen all the time, but this... wow.

    What were we really? Humans with superpowers? Or Gods?

    Were people like us, long ago, the reason we believe in Gods?

    The top section is a square nearly a quarter mile wide. Four original members, four sides, is what Geo had to say about that.

    The vast majority of the people of Olympus live inside that mountain. Again I am sure you have seen pictures but we have such vast open spaces inside it is easy to forget where you are. We do not live in caves. We live surrounded by grass and trees just like you. Our sunlight is sometimes artificial but I can assure you the energy make-up is exactly the same.

    It rains inside Olympus in the big open parks.

    Our main entrance lies 20 miles south of Gillette, WY which is many times the size it was before all this began. A thriving town where we do a whole lot of business. We have always maintained an active watch over the entire area of course.

    We have also gone down into the earth. Frankly the amount of space we have available or in use is staggering. There were, in this third month of the second year of Olympus, 31,503 residents and we had space for many times that number.

    It was decided by the MetaCouncil that we had to go global. We had Star's teleport abilities but she could only handle a few portals an hour at most. Anything beyond that was a real strain on her and we tried to avoid that. I do feel bad about all the times I got her out of bed to open a doorway for us.

    How to do it? We would need secure bases. The countries we were in would have to be under our control.

    We decided that somewhere in Europe and somewhere in the Pacific would be enough. 150 miles off the coast of Japan was the eventual choice for the latter. A large section of land in what used to be East Germany was found for the former.

    Sadly there were no good island choices near the land of the rising sun, so we decided to make one. Geo was sure he could do it. It was to be bigger than Olympus, and public. We could not hide a huge new island.

    It would also serve as our retreat point should the USA fall, or decide they no longer wished to tolerate our presence.

    The base in Germany was as secret as we could make it. Tunnels connected it to all sorts of places. Airports, trains, garages, everything was available with almost zero exposure.

    That's right, you still do not know where it is. It is rather amazing I am admitting it's existence even now.

    We call one Asgard and the other Atlantis.

    The decision to install telepathic controls on the governments of Germany and Japan was not an easy one. But the evidence was mounting that someone was manipulating countries like pawns on a chess board and there seemed little choice.

    America, Canada, Mexico, Germany & Japan.

    Quite the alliance.

    The Mountain, and the new bases when completed forced us to confront another problem that we had been avoiding for some time now.

    The list of people who wanted to come to Olympus was just under 1 million.

    None of these people were MetaHumans, they could just move right in practically. No these were people who were not immediate family but in about 10% of the cases, somehow connected to a MetaHuman, or a human staff member.

    The other 90% had no connection to Olympus at all they just wanted to live with us. A fair number of them were famous which was sadly an extreme problem for us. Some were willing to pay gigantic sums to buy land, a request never granted. We had plenty of money. For our own safety we were a rather closed society and the needs of celebrities did not fit in.

    The ones we did consider were those who were afraid of what the world was becoming and wanted to be safe. We got a lot of those, complete with pictures. The simple lack of a place to put them, and the infrastructure to support them, kept us from saying yes to all of these requests.

    What we did do for the people who wished to come to Olympus was to interview everyone of legal age for some sort of job. They also got to meet a Telepath.

    Sigh. I mean please.

    22 of the 'families' on the list were actually groups of agents, intelligence agents.

    Five were from hostile Meta groups, the rest were from the US, Canada, Mexico, the EU, etc.

    Again, sigh.

    Do people ever learn? We drained the impostors of information and sent them back to their masters.

    We did need to expand our staff, so our first round of expansion brought 3,000 new employees. With them came 11,121 dependents. We built some houses, but most people elected to live inside the Mountain.

    By the end of this year the total population of Olympus, Atlantis and Asgard would be just short of 100,000 people.




  3. #43
    Alexander Tau Guest Spider. Just visiting.

    Default Chapter 8


    This is going to be different.

    I was in Boston, in a limo with Nova, Erin, and some Praetorians. The black SUVs ahead and behind us carried a squad of Praetorians as well. Nine more of their comrades had a mobile HQ up and running outside of town and I was sure a drone was above us.

    Ajax's team was lounging at the HQ.

    We were heading to the secret base of a friendly MetaHuman team. If this really worked, it would be a first. The first time a group formed outside of Olympus and yet shared our basic goals.

    PsiInt had done all the real work on this one, along with Nike's team. It had been pretty easy to see that a group of Metas was going some good work in and around Boston. We were rather busy and pretty much left them alone for a number of months.

    Alone, but not forgotten, or unwatched.

    They did ok. Kept mostly undercover, picked off a number of Metas who really were problems. Speed and his folks helped them out from time to time. The team knew the speedsters were helping out but made no attempt to contact them, or us, about it.

    Then Philadelphia. I was looking for allies, for more power.

    They called themselves the Teen Titans.

    After all the oldest was only 18.

    I went over what I knew about them as we drove in. The leader was a male, age 17, a Telekinetic, and a strong one, he could fly which meant he did a lot of training. He had an female Energy Projector that used air blasts and could manipulate wind to some degree, age 18, as his second in command. Also lover according to my info. She could punch through 1 inch steel with a concentrated blast, very impressive even to me.

    Then two problem children, at least as far as I was concerned. Acrobat and superwoman. Both female, and both really liked to fight. The acrobat had killed a few times and the strong one had done the rest. Most of the kills were valid MetaHuman problems, most but not all. They were 16 and 17 respectively.

    A 17 year old male Density Master provided the team with recon and information, and from all reports a lot of jokes. A 16 year old female with the power of Invisibility helped in those departments. She was one of three Metas with that ability who did not go bad.

    The last member of the team was the one I was the most interested in. She was 18 and a Shape Shifter. We had only encountered the three Carnage wanna-bes so I was curious about what she could do.

    Cyclops, Magic, Batgirl, Sasquatch, Wisp, Mirage & Shifter.

    Psyche, Selene, and the new girl who's name it took me forever to learn, all met the seven, and forged a basic agreement. I was here to seal the deal, and deliver gifts. Erin was with us to handle the transfer of goods, and get them set up. Oh, she did have two techs with her, one male and one female.

    The three squads of Praetorian Guards were with us because of Erin. One would remain with her at all times, and the other two would hover close. Ajax's team was in the area because I was feeling a little paranoid and wanted to hold all the cards I could. Two speedsters were in the state as well.

    I was impressed at the cover they had arranged for their lair. We drove into a huge downtown parking garage, and then went up. The last few levels were not open to the public which should keep most people from venturing to the top. There, still under the cover of a roof, we entered a large service style elevator. Two average sized cars could ride down at a time but our limo would have to go solo.

    The elevator went down below ground level and let us out in some sort of tunnel. It looked rather old but still in fair shape. There was only one way to go and we took it. Almost two miles later another large elevator stood lit up before us. Up we went, one SUV, then after a radio call, us, followed by the last SUV.

    Huge garage, still underground. And there was a welcoming committee made up of Batgirl and Sasquatch, both in costume and masks.

    So were Nova and I for that matter. The plan was to make nice but first we had to do the formal thing. Nova looked fetching in her black and red outfit. Spirals of flames crawled along her body like snakes, very erotic. My formal outfit is not any different than my usual, sorry, but I was wearing my cape.

    When we exited the cars I draped it over me like a shroud, hood and all. No part of me was visible and the folds of cloth swirled around me.

    “You look like death, need a scythe?” Nova teased.

    I retracted the hood and left a high circular collar instead, “Better?”

    “We should lose the masks, we are here to team up with them right?”

    “Not yet, we have to do this right.”

    “yes boss”

    “Stop that.”

    Batgirl and her large companion walked over to us.

    “Hello, I am Batgirl and I will be your guide today. It is a pleasure to meet you Pulsar, and you too Nova. This is my friend, we call her Sasquatch.”

    Greetings were exchanged all around.

    “Ah, Pulsar, what is with all the guys with guns? You are a superhero right?” came from Batgirl.

    “Those are Praetorian Guards, they are here because Erin is here. One set of them will be staying with her at all times. The other two groups will stay with the vehicles. I hope that is fine with you.”

    “Well, not really, I thought we were all friends here.” a little hostility from Batgirl there.

    “We are, but Erin is a VIP at Olympus, and as such she does not leave it's confines without a dedicated bodyguard. The Praetorians are that bodyguard. If you look closely at the group standing right next to her you will see that one of them is indeed female. Her name is Michelle, she is quite possibly the deadliest shot I have ever seen, and believe me that is saying a whole lot. When Erin has to visit the bathroom, Michelle goes with her. Besides what do you care about guns, you are superheros right?”

    The eight of us took another elevator up.

    The room was a little odd, circular which is not a common shape for rooms, and about 100 feet in diameter. Display screens much like a miniature version of our Central were to my right, and a big screen TV with couches and tables to my left.

    In the center of the room was a large table, also round, with seven identical chairs on one side, and three different ones on the other.

    The way the rest of the Titans were waiting for us told me something about each. Cyclops was standing near the control center. Someone who I could not see was occupying one of the six chairs there. The boss keeping his eyes on everything, looking for something to do. I liked that.

    Magic and Mirage sat at the table. The second in command who was where everyone probably should be, or at least would soon be. Mirage, there as a friend or. Hmmm. Special senses tell me lots of personal details, but I also read body language. Something between these two, interesting, have to ask the PsiInt girls about that.

    Wisp and Shifter were sitting along the outer wall, as far away from the door as possible. They were perhaps not all that pleased about us, or just not all that social.

    Batgirl and Sasquatch walked directly out of the elevator and parked themselves in front of the side screen. Something animated came on. We were not all that important to them it seemed. The constant scanning the two of them gave Nova and I on the elevator notwithstanding.

    All this power, in the hands of another group of teens. I hope you can understand why this was not just some simple visit. It was good, too good, but it seemed real. Telepaths told me it was real, they were honest, not perfect, but honest in their desire to do something useful with their powers.

    But I was the one that had to approve this connection. What we would give them would make them far stronger than they currently were. If we were wrong, hell, if I was wrong...

    The die was cast, we were here, lets do it already.

    I motioned the Praetorians to take up station at the door, and took Nova and Erin forward to the table. Cyclops had already begun walking that way, and without a command the rest of his team did the same.

    Getting a little surreal now.

    Nine masked people, and one perky Engineer, faced each other across the table.




  4. #44
    Alexander Tau Guest Spider. Just visiting.

    Default Chapter 9


    I reached up, pulled off my mask, and tossed it onto the table. Nova did the same.

    Two seconds of silence.

    Cyclops pulls off his mostly red mask. Not a bad looking kid, worn around the eyes though.

    His team follows their leader's example.

    Nine unmasked people, and one amused Engineer, face each other across the table.

    “This is weird” says Cyclops to break the silence.

    “I agree.” which was the only thing I could say.

    Laughter.

    Ok I will not keep the suspense going, they really are a good group of people. They did not attack us and the day went well. Erin worked her magic and a bunch of trucks rolled into the Titan's garage.

    We gave them all two sets of Olympus combat uniforms each, complete with masks. Communication and security links were established between their command central and our Central.

    They take care of Boston and the surrounding state as much as they can. They can request speedster support or more if they really need it. About once a month a pair of my people go and spend a few days with them and deal with something extra nasty.

    The Teen Titans are not Olympus citizens, they do not have our Immunity. I worry about them because of that, and because they are all so young.

    Turns out they all knew each other before becoming Metas. Three of them had moved away from the state but the rest had known each other for a decade or more. When the Meta change happened they got in contact with each other, looking for old friends to help deal with something difficult. Once a couple of them found each other it was not long before they were all standing together.

    I really wanted to know why they would not simply come to Olympus. They could remain a team if they wished.

    Cyclops showed me why he was their leader, very thoughtful. “There are a couple of reasons, and I am sorry that one of them is not very complimentary to you sir. Boston is our home, and we agree on the level of danger that MetaHumans present. We cannot leave our home unprotected. Your fight is too big for us sir, but this city, that we can handle.”

    “I understand how you feel, but we can move your families to Olympus as well, and some close friends..”

    “Can you move the guy at the photo shop I have been flirting with for six months?” came from Batgirl.

    “Will you bring my favorite bar too?” slightly sarcastically from Magic.

    “You see sir we really are all tied to this place. We are MetaHuman and we do feel a responsibility to do something worthwhile with our powers. But here, not at Olympus, sorry.” added Cyclops.

    “Alright, and the less warm and fuzzy reason?”

    “Well sir, and please know I really do hold you in the highest respect, we all do.”

    “I don't.” Mirage tossed in.

    “All of us.” repeated Cyclops with a stern glance at Mirage. “But we are afraid you might eventually turn out to not really be a good guy. Not so much yourself sir, but Olympus. Or maybe you get taken over ya know? Olympus is a big target now and something might happen. Think of us as the reserve, the back-up in case something really bad happens.”

    “I understand, I do.”

    I did, they did not trust us. Smart kids, will wonders never cease?

    Food arrived, and we broke up a little to eat and chat. Nova went off with Magic and Batgirl to see the rest of the headquarters. Turns out they all lived there as well.

    I sought out Shifter.

    “You are a shape shifter correct?” I asked.

    “Yes.”

    “You are the first person with your power I have met, I am curious about it.”

    “There is nobody like me at Olympus?”

    “No, we have only met a few people with your power, and they were very unpleasant.”

    I told her about our encounters with the Carnage creeps.

    “Carnage, icky. Watch this.”

    She bent down to put her hands on the floor and changed. In under five seconds she had become a panther. For a moment she moved and acted like a cat but then she looked at me, bugged out her eyes and tilted her head in an all too human gesture.

    Freaky.

    She bounded around the room, making full use of the power and speed of her feline form. Diving behind one of the couches she was out of sight for just long enough to transform again.

    A huge snake poked it's head up. It slithered over the couch and into a coil on the floor.

    Merging, flowing, and Shifter was back to her normal self.

    “Very impressive. But you know the name 'Shifter' just does not do you justice.”

    “Why not, it is descriptive.”

    “Agreed, but not impressive. I would call you BeastGirl. Eventually that would become Beast.”

    “Ohhh. I like that. I will think about it.”

    Cyclops was curious about our mobile command bases so I took him down to the garage. The Praetorian in charge was willing to give him a small tour once I ordered him to do so. My Praetorians are really serious bastards, and that is how they are supposed to be.

    Me? I have a sense of humor, they do not.

    “That is amazing stuff, I have barely begun to think about doing something like this.” gushed Cyclops.

    “We have had some time to work on how we do things. Since we do travel a lot they help.”

    We have two full-sized RVs as the core of our mobile HQs. From the outside they look normal but they are armored and over-powered. One is equipped with screen and sensor equipment, the other with lockers and storage. HQ One is where the eye-in-the-sky drones come from, and the other the combat teams call 'The Armory'. If we are traveling long distances we have fairly comfy RVs dedicated to creature comforts and beds.

    And I just have to add some slightly messy detail. Anyone who has traveled much in an RV or similar vehicle knows that their toilet facilities are generally somewhat limited. Ours were not, they were fully and properly functional.

    Along with the big boys we used SUVs, Vans, Limos, motorcycles. All armored to some degree, most in basic black but we had other colors for when we wanted to be less obvious.

    The price tag for a complete set? In the area of 100 millions dollars. I told him that.

    “Want one?” I asked.

    “Hell yes.”

    We lived in an odd world but that was how it worked. He ended up buying the two command vehicles, 2 sleeper RVs, 4 SUVs, 2 Limos, and 16 motorcycles. Closer to 150 million actually.

    The rest of the day went smoothly. Over the following months the Titans would prove themselves worthy of every bit of faith I invested in them. They kept mostly undercover and still managed to do a lot of good.

    Later on they would provide a very valuable service, but that would be getting ahead of the story.



  5. #45
    Alexander Tau Guest Spider. Just visiting.

    Default Chapter 10


    Some days are just bound to go bad.

    Pretty sure this was going to be one of those. Psyche and I were in one of our limos riding through Chicago. Our destination was a courthouse and a trial.

    Yes, a MetaHuman we had captured, well almost captured, was going on trial for murder.

    He called himself Burn, and his power was microwaves. With one of the more deadly of energy projections he could generate an enormous amount of heat. We are sure he is responsible for more than 20 deaths, and I should have killed the son of a bitch when I had the chance.

    Justice had tracked him down a little over a month ago, and we had been trying to get custody of him ever since. Unlike most states in similar situations, Illinois had refused. Their reasons did not make any sense to us at all, and the subpoena had come as a complete surprise. They wanted me to testify at Burn's trial.

    I could have refused, they have no power over me. The alternative plan would have been to send someone in to kill Burn off and be done with it.

    Instead I was here with a small army of Praetorians, and Apollo's team with a mobile HQ outside of the city limits. Psyche was here because I needed information, I was confused and I hate that feeling.

    The reason he was in custody was because a significant number of Chicago's finest had arrived on the scene just as my fight with Burn was reaching it's end. I won but he did not die in the battle. When I moved to deliver the final blow, the officers challenged me, ordering me to stop. Again, they have no power over me, and I could have ignored them. I didn't, and they took Burn into custody.

    And now a trial.

    We arrived at the courthouse to find another small army, this one of police. There were 18 Praetorians with us to protect Psyche. They were not happy either, this was too public, too many people, they hate that.

    “Hold on now, you cannot carry weapons into court.” ordered the Sargent in charge.

    “My presence has been requested, and these people come with me.” I stated rather flatly.

    “No way, they stay outside.”

    “Let me put it to you this way Sargent, they go in, or I do not. I suspect there is more than simple testimony desired of me, you might want to contact a higher authority before you refuse our entrance.”

    He did, and I could see the anger on his face when the expected answer came.

    “Alright dammit, you are cleared to enter, all of you.”

    “Praetorians, establish your perimeter. Sargent this is Monitor Falken, he is now in charge of security for this location.”

    We went inside.

    I suspected that the District Attorney was the prime mover behind the day's events and he was Psyche's first target. As soon as we entered the courtroom she scanned him.

    “He is ambitious, and he does not like MetaHumans. With this trial he wants to establish that we of Olympus are every bit as bad as those we fight. He hopes to make enough stink over the way we operate to get himself elected Governor. He is also deathly scared of you and is having serious second thoughts about facing you here. The fact that you could kill him with no legal repercussions was not really real to him until we walked into the room.”

    She chuckled, an evil sound that was not really her.

    Good, I could use that fear. But the sum of her report just sent me straight to pissed the hell off.

    We were fighting every day just to keep this planet spinning, and this jerk-off wanted to make political points with us? Fine pal, you want to play, lets play, and a few similar thoughts ran though my mind as we waited.

    I will not bore you with all the details of the trial, you have probably seen it anyway.

    Burn was guilt as sin but they did not request the death penalty.

    Finally it was my turn.

    “Would you remove your mask sir?” was the DA's first question.

    “No.”

    “Why not, are you possibly ashamed of the things you have done? Or perhaps you are afraid to show who you really are for some other reason.”

    “I am not ashamed of anything I have done.”

    “How many people have you killed?”

    “Personally, or do you mean in my role as Commander of Olympus?”

    “Both.”

    “Personally I have killed 24 MetaHumans and 16 humans. The other information is classified and I am not at liberty to answer.”

    “Forty people, you have killed forty people?”

    “Yes.”

    “And this does not bother you?”

    “It bothers the hell out of me, but it is necessary.”

    “Necessary, yes you do like that word don't you. Who decides what is necessary Mr. Pulsar?”

    “Pulsar will do. I decide that, with advice from the MetaCouncil.”

    “You decide who lives and who dies? What gives you that right?”

    “Fate gave me the right when it handed me and 600 other people this power.”

    As I said that I ran cracking blue electricity all along my body. I could see the fear in the DA's eyes at my display.

    “So because you have this power, you have the right to decide who lives and who dies?”

    “I am not a god if that is what you are asking.”

    “Seems to me like you are, or at least think you are.”

    “No, but a lot of my brother and sister MetaHumans feel that way. Burn is one of those.”

    “Mr. Dubrose has said he is sorry for his crimes. Are you sorry for yours?”

    “He is lying.”

    “How do you know that?”

    “My best friend is a Telepath.”

    “Telepathy is not recognized under Illinois law.”

    “That simply shows how human law has failed to cope with MetaHuman existence. I know what Burn is, and I know what he will do if given the chance.”

    “You did not answer my question, are you sorry for your crimes?”

    “I am sorry for the people who have died at the hands of MetaHumans that I could not stop. I am sorry for the destruction that has claimed so many innocent people. I am sorry that people like Burn even exist. But I am not sorry for anything I have done.”

    “So you enjoy killing? Admit it, you think you are above us don't you?”

    Finally, took him long enough.

    “How could anyone in their right mind enjoy killing? How can you even ask me that?”

    “Because I believe it is the truth, I believe that you are every bit the criminal that Mr. Dubrose is. It is time to shed the light of day on that nest of vipers you call Olympus!”

    “Foolish little man. You brought me here for this? I said that like a question but it really is not, I know. I know why I am here and I know what will happen. You are going to lock Burn up. You will isolate him from every possible power source and you will watch him around the clock. It will work, perhaps for a couple of months. But people get sloppy as time goes by. He looks harmless enough and that will be your downfall. He will escape, and he will kill.”

    I stood up, raised my arm and pointed towards the assembled people.

    “I want everyone here to realize what is going to happen. We could stop this, I could stop it right now. Wipe that smirk off your face Burn or I will. When he escapes, we will hunt him down. But what happens next is up to you. Either you change your laws so that Olympus can deal with MetaHumans, or you watch more cities burn and more people die.”

    With that I walked off the witness stand.

    The prosecutor said, “You have not been excused.”

    I said “I don't care.”

    My path took me right by Burn. I leaned in towards him, he looked properly scared. The chains that tapped off his excess power were designed and manufactured at Olympus in case you were wondering. We would help them build his cage too, but none of it would matter.

    “We will be watching.” I said for his ears alone.

    Olympus left the courthouse.

    Once we were back in the limo Psyche and I had an exchange unlike any before it.

    “If it looks like this asshole is going to be elected I want PsiInt to make sure it does not happen.” I ordered.

    Ordered mind you, not asked, not requested. I am the Commander of Olympus and when I give an order it is obeyed. Period.

    “No.” she said softly.

    “We cannot allow this sort of... What did you say?”

    “I said No.”

    Now I was confused, I mean I know the word but what was she saying to me?

    “Why?”

    “Because it is wrong, because we have done everything you have ever asked of us but we will not do this. We have killed for you, we have violated so many minds, so many. Not that long ago we convinced a 52 year old man to give up land that his family had held for six generations. Six! We have done all of this because we believe in you. We believe that you alone can save this planet and every living thing on it. But we will not do this.”

    Conflicting emotions hit me. She had not referred to herself as 'I' even once in that rant and yet I believe she meant I in almost every case. This was happening too often these days.

    But as much as I was concerned about my friend I was angered by her refusal. I am the Commander, and no is not an option.

    “And if he succeeds?” I asked.

    “Then we will deal with it. We have an alternative plan, just kill him. That is your normal answer to a problem.” she threw at me.

    I was stunned, and yes dammit I was hurt. Psyche knew me in a way that you really cannot comprehend unless you know a Telepath. She was my Spock, always at my side, always ready to do the impossible. I counted on her, I trusted her, and she had just inflicted a terrible wound on me.

    But as fast as that hit, she followed up.

    “I am sorry, that was unfair. We know you do only that which you must and we have agreed with you all along the way. If you are guilty, we are guilty.” she said.

    I did not know what to say. Should I lash out too, get up on my Commander's high horse and demand she obey my orders? Would it be better to try and talk through this with her, after dropping my psi shield?

    For safety I was always protected against psi just like any other energy. I routinely let my shield drop when I was with her so she could in fact read me, but not always. I will admit it, when she could get into my mind she had all the advantages. With her telepathy blocked we could argue on a more level playing field.

    She took the options away.

    “Stop the car.”

    The limo was being driven by a Praetorian of course, and Psyche's lead bodyguard was in the other seat. The divider was down and for the past few minutes they had both been trying not to listen to what we were saying. She and I had never argued in front of anyone before and I think it worried them much like when your mother and father would argue in front of you.

    Psyche leaned forward and slapped Michael, her guard, in the back of the head.

    “Stop. The. Car.” she ordered.

    The driver looked at me.

    “Do it.”

    We pulled over and she started to get out.

    “Where are you going?” I asked.

    She ignored me and ordered Michael back into the limo.

    “Where are you going?” I asked with a lot more force.

    “For a walk, alone.”

    “Not alone.”

    “Fuck you.”

    “Them or me, your choice but you are not going alone.” I said in my full command voice.

    She snarled at me and waved at Michael to follow.

    “Get your squad and stay with her. You lose her and it's your ass, you read me Praetorian?”

    “Yes sir, we will not lose her sir.”

    He saluted and headed off after her, his squad mates converging on him.

    I got back in the limo, and we headed to the Hotel. The driver had the sense to close the partition as soon as we got going. Good thought because I was in a deeply black mood.

    “Pulsar to Apollo”

    “Apollo, go”

    “Change of plans, Psyche decided to see some of the sights of Chicago. I am heading back home but I want you to stay here until she is ready to leave.”

    “What's going on boss?”

    “Don't ask, she is mad at me and wandering the city. Michael and his squad are with her but I want you watching too, get your people shadowing her right now.”

    “Yes sir, Apollo out.”

    My worry about my friend eventually overcame the anger. Nothing happened to her that day, and soon we were all home at Olympus.

    Turns out I was wrong about Burn though.

    It took four months.

    One of his guards, worried about his sick daughter, had forgotten to deposit his cell phone in his locker before going on duty. When he entered Burn's cell to deliver his lunch he did not know the battery was already dead, just like him.

    Burn had drained it even before the door was open and it gave him enough power to reduce the poor guard to a cinder. The guard's name was Kelly. On the way out of the prison Burn managed to kill 3 more guards, Robert, Dave and Lexi.

    Before we terminated him he murdered more people. Sam, Debbie, John, and Tina.

    To the families of Kelly, Robert, Dave, Lexi, Sam, Debbie, John, and Tina, I am sorry.

    I am sorry I did not kill Burn the first time.
    I am sorry I did not kill him that day in court.
    I am sorry I did not have him killed later.

    Each time I had to make a choice and I can only hope I made the right one. But at this moment it did not seem much like it. There was nothing right about any of this.

    The Greater Good.

    Sounds hollow but it is the only path I know. Do the most good for the most people.

    I used this event to change the laws, it was necessary but I wish I could have found a better way.

    Because of what happened with Burn every state passed laws that gave Olympus jurisdiction over all MetaHumans. Those who remained outside of Olympus essentially were given dual citizenship in the eyes of human law. When a MetaHuman criminal was apprehended they were turned over to us.

    We executed most of them.

    But some, those that were willing to change, those we gave a chance. Only one of them ever turned on us and that was driven by events none of us could control.

    And the ambitious District Attorney? He was demolished in the election. His opponent was a strong supporter of Olympus and won in a landslide.

    And believe me, we had nothing to do with that.



  6. #46
    Alexander Tau Guest Spider. Just visiting.

    Default Chapter 11


    The first time a whole city was used as a pawn in the MetaWar it was part of an attempt at conquest. Mordred really did plan to settle down and rule.

    The second time it was to insult Olympus, and collect a bounty on Medusa.

    A horde of malformed humans attempted to rip a City down with their bare hands. Third time.

    Now we come to the fourth.

    It was different, the residents were allowed to flee and were for the most part unmolested as they did so. About 100 people died the night the Meta group arrived, and 930 died trying to get out later.

    For a City of 300,000 that is not too bad. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but this was a war.

    Once the populace was gone, they began to destroy. Homes, businesses, gas stations, libraries, hospitals, everything. Power plants exploded with violent fury, fire was everywhere.

    Olympus, after contacting the President of the United States, decided to wait and see if the invaders were indeed going to let the people go. Once more the Emergency Broadcast system was not a test and it told everyone to evacuate as quickly, and calmly as possible.

    That many people take a long time to get out of somewhere. Twelve hours later, at 9 am the city was mostly deserted and the marauders had been rampaging for over an hour.

    We always complain that we never have enough time to respond. Star has changed that but still we feel like the clock is our mortal enemy. Twelve hours is far to long to wait to go into battle. The whole time we were ready to go because we did not know how serious our new enemies were about letting people go unharmed.

    They did not make any overt moves towards the panic-stricken people and so we ended up just waiting, ready to jump. For twelve fucking hours.

    We almost killed each other while we were just waiting. I had to get real rough with everyone at one point about two hours in, and Psyche actually yelled at someone about an hour later.

    I knew exactly who I was facing, what they called themselves, and what basically they could do.

    This was not going to be easy.

    They had a perfectly balanced combat team. I was impressed with the structure.

    Vulture, flier
    KillerShrike, flier
    Destroyer, energy blast disintegrate
    TNT, energy blast, focused explosions
    Freyr, strength
    Sigyn, strength
    Venom, armor
    Fenris, armor
    Lady Pain, mind blast
    Blood Archer, acrobat, explosive arrows

    This happened on a day when everyone was home and available. None of the combat teams was on a mission and nothing but routine stuff was going on. Since for once we could fight without having to worry about innocent people getting hurt I decided to take a special team with me.

    Every one of the Captains protested this decision.

    I asked them if it would make any difference if I said that I was planning on taking most of them?

    Funny to see that sort of grin on those usually oh so serious faces. I ended up going with : Nike, Valkyrie, Warlock, Apollo, Arclight, Demon, Huntress, Thor, Sif, Atlas, and 2 speedsters.

    You might notice I was not at all playing fair, there were more of us then there were of them. Fair never even enters my mind. Win, win fast, that is what I am thinking. As it turns out the odds were not as much in our favor as I expected but I am getting ahead of myself.

    Nike and Valkyrie were going to go after the Fliers. That is a one on one type of fighting, a style of combat my two were quite good at.

    Apollo and Arclight were both powerful Energy Projectors but neither can fly. They were actually going in as fire support rather than to engage a specific target. If they could help out any of the other pairs they were free to do so.

    Blood Archer had a bit of a reputation so I tagged Demon and Huntress to put her down. The evil archer used Arrows with explosive tips and was amazing in close combat. Huntress would get her at range, or Demon would take her out hand to hand, well knives to claws.

    Thor, Sif, and Atlas would take the lead as we moved in. The strength of those three combined was such an amazing thing. Atlas could move about fairly freely for once which seemed to make him happy.

    We also had a fairly inexperienced team member, but a vital one. This one did have some field experience and had shown himself to be an asset. Warlock, 23 years old, Mind Blast. He was more powerful than Talon and had limited Telepathic abilities as well. He was fully armored and would have Arclight and Apollo to look after him. Warlock's target was Lady Pain.

    People who can throw mind blasts operate on their own unique frequency. I can block them, as can others, but they are dangerous. They generally do not have normal defense so if they show themselves they are easy targets. These days most are smart enough to operate under cover or from a bit of a distance.

    But before everyone but the Fliers would be able to do much my two powerhouses would attack. I was not sure who QuickSilver and Hermes would get but I was sure their attack would devastate our opponents. Plus having two of them on hand would just make things go a lot smoother.

    I assembled the team, assigned Nike air command and Thor command on the ground.

    Star opened a Portal and we all moved through it.

    I had imagined this so many times, but it was still so very hard to see.

    A once proud city in flames and rubble.

    Most of the taller buildings in the downtown area were damaged but standing so we arrived well south of them. Destruction was everywhere, huge swaths of homes had been smashed. Cars lay on rooftops. Telephone poles stuck out of walls.

    All I could think was it look liked giant children had wandered through. Crushing, grabbing, throwing away what is no longer interesting. In a way that was the truth.

    Time to end this nightmare.

    Something very weird happened. I felt it and I was not alone, Arclight and Apollo's heads both snapped up and around at the same time mine did.

    “I hope that is not what I think it is.” muttered Arclight.

    It was.

    “A force field, a sphere shaped force field around the entire fucking city.” I reluctantly said.

    “Who is doing it boss?” asked Demon.

    I concentrated. The energies were hard to trace at first but then I got the pattern down. Down was the operative word it seemed.

    “About 2,000 feet below the center of the City. Somebody, no idea who.” I explained.

    “Pulsar to Central”

    Nothing, no surprise. But we had comms with each other so that was something.

    The forcefield was only a few thousand feet behind us.

    “Everybody stay put, I want to see this sucker up close. Nike, Val, with me.”

    Off we flew. Took only moments to arrive.

    You could actually see it if you were close enough. Thick, say 3 feet thick. We moved off a 100 feet or so and I let loose with a strong energy blast to no effect.

    I thought I could bring it down in time, with help, but not easily. If Star could get in here then more help would arrive, if not we were on our own.

    We rejoined the group.

    “The plan has not changed, but we do not have the Speedsters or any other support. Everybody stay focused and alert, I feel more surprises in our future, and I fucking hate surprises. Thor, Nike, lets get moving.” I ordered.

    Our ground forces got moving while the fliers waited for a moment. We took off together.

    “This scenery is depressing, but any day I get to fly with you is a hell of a day boss.” said Nike.

    Yeah, a hell of a day.

    What happened next never happens in real life. In the comics the artists love to draw line-ups. How many times have you seen both sides of a fight looking right into each other's eyes? But that is just not how it actually works. Full teams do not meet and then fight, things go a lot faster than that.

    Except for today.

    As we reached the center of what used to be a city, they were waiting. And there were more of them than I expected. Six more to be exact.

    The ones I knew about were in the center, a short line of people waiting for us. To their left were four of the new ones. I reached out with my senses to try and learn something about them. Two of them were pretty big, 6' 4” or better, supermen I was guessing. One was quite thin and dressed in some fairly heavy armor.

    I focused on him and immediately saw energy fluctuation around his body. Gravity waves, crap.

    The other unknown was more subtle. It would take time to figure him out, time I did not have.

    “Pulsar to Team. Now the plan has changed. I just scanned the four on the left. The tall thin guy in the armor controls gravity, Arclight he is your first target. Atlas time to get big and team up with Arc.”

    I waited for acknowledgments from the two of them before issuing my final order.

    “Thor, Nike, lets do it. The two on the right are mine.”

    Those two I knew, and I wanted them very badly.




  7. #47
    Alexander Tau Guest Spider. Just visiting.

    Default Chapter 12


    I screamed off in the direction of the pair, pouring on the speed. Swooping down I sent tendrils of my cloak to wrap around the wrists, ankles, and especially the neck of the male half of the duo.

    I hit the female with a quick wave of 13 gravities, enough to knock her down and rattle her for a bit.

    I wanted a little time with Romeo.

    “I'm Pulsar. You tried to kill a friend of mine, you failed, I won't.” I boomed at him.

    We were nearing the northern boundary of the force wall so I angled down to 6' off the ground. I snapped upright, killed my forward speed and at the same time let Romeo drop. He bounced across the rubble for about forty feet.

    I landed. My cloak swirled around me, settling down into a pool extending outward for ten feet.

    Romeo got somewhat unsteadily to his feet.

    “Ok asshole, lets see what you've got.” I commanded.

    “So you are the great Pulsar, I am pleased to meet you. Truly I am.”

    “The feeling is not mutual, shoot, or I will.”

    He wanted to delay to give Juliet time to find us.

    “Oh very well.”

    He fired a whole volley of blasts, most of them even hit. Not bad actually, a combination of kinetic force and something else. Normally I would take the time to analyze them.

    Not today.

    He was still sending bolts at me as I began to walk towards him.

    “It is too bad you choose the life you did Romeo, you are fairly strong and you could have done a lot of good.”

    “Good? Who cares about that? I have a ton of money.”

    We were now only ten feet apart. He had stopped trying to blast me. Ever since he had gotten up he had been looking around for something. We were both waiting for her to appear.

    “Stupid, powerful and stupid, what a combination.” I said.

    His defensive screen was also formidable, it took me five shots to knock down.

    “Goodbye Romeo.”

    “STOP!” screamed Juliet from my right.

    “Don't move Juliet, or he dies.”

    She was about 50 feet away from me, just far enough away that I did not feel her teleport in.

    “See that glow around his neck, that is a forcefield, you vanish and I will snap it. As I recall the story, Romeo finds your seemingly lifeless body and kills himself. Then you awaken to find him dead and kill yourself. Is that how the story goes?”

    “Yes, but our story will be different!” she spat back at me.

    “Now be a good girl and play out your part.”

    As I spoke I had sent tendrils of my cloak along the ground to grab Romeo again. I lifted him up and in one smooth motion threw him at his lover. He smashed into her and they collided against part of a concrete wall. Looked like it used to be a parking garage a part of my mind noticed.

    Juliet untangled herself from her lover's unmoving body. She gathered him up into her arms. It took a moment for the truth to sink in, but when it did she screamed.

    “Noooooooooo!”

    I was hovering 10' in the air, looking down at them.

    My eyes shot ruby red death at her. They vanished.

    Goddammit! Nobody can teleport sitting down! Star told me that was freaking impossible. Romeo was dead before I threw him but I wanted to get her as well.

    I felt cheated but there was no time to dwell, there was still a battle going on. You might be wondering how Juliet got out of the city with the force wall still up, join the club. Somehow she did.

    I flew back in the direction of the fight.

    “Pulsar to Nike.”

    “Nike, go.” came a rather rushed reply.

    “Status?”

    “Outnumbered.”

    “On my way.”

    I should have called Thor for a sitrep. If I had I would have found things were not going all that well on the ground either. My assumption is that if I had done things the proper way I would have headed towards Thor first. So I am glad they happened the way they did. There was nothing I could have done to change what was about to happen. But at least I was there.

    Zooming up into the sky I spotted Nike twisting and turning to avoid gunfire coming from one opponent and explosive blasts from another. The Meta who called himself TNT could fly. That was unexpected since his power was a focused explosion contained within a narrow forcefield.

    I pulled up and to a stop, my cloaked flared outward into gigantic wings. Amplifying my voice I called out.

    “TNT try me!”

    Nike immediately pulled a tight turn and came zooming above me. Vulture kept on her but TNT came right at me, and he was blasting away.

    BOOM. BOOM. BOOM. BOOM.

    Powerful blasts tore into me. My shield held but the combined force of the blasts and the resulting disturbances in the air caused me to have to work to stay upright. I let him take all the long range shots as I poured power into both of my hands.

    TNT was about fifty feet away from me when he stopped shooting to take a look at me.

    My right hand sent electricity in a massive bolt towards TNT's chest and at the same time from my left hand came the sound wave.

    ThunderBolt.

    His shield barely effected the bolt and the sound wave tumbled him. TNT went into an uncontrolled plummet towards the ground.

    Valkyrie reported her opponent was down but not dead, she was flying my way already.

    Nike was down to swords with Vulture. I could see them looping, engaging, and then breaking apart.

    I really did not think she would need me, so I waited in place for Val.

    Nike did not need my help to finish her final foe. She drove the sword through Vulture and attempted to break away. Despite the mortal wound her enemy grabbed onto her and drove downward.

    We were at 20,000 feet.

    I could not see well enough to tell but somehow Vulture must have gotten a lucky hit on Nike. Central's report that Nike was barely conscious triggered me into action.I was too far away but I took off after them anyway.

    Calling below I tried to get somebody in position to do something but everyone was engaged and could not get to the right position even if they were not. Even the mighty Atlas was too far.

    Valkyrie caught up and then went past me. Central was feeding me speed and distance information, you do not need to hear all that. But I knew that even Val's speed was not going to be enough.

    Nike and Vulture hit the ground with a sound that I hope I will someday forget.

    Valkyrie held onto the chase far too long, she was not going to be able to pull out in time. I threw waves of antigrav in front of her. They added enough lift to get her clear.

    I stopped in midair. 5 seconds later. Central quietly told me that Nike was dead.

    Reports started to come in, our enemies were pulling out. They lost Venom, TNT, and Vulture, we lost Nike. Warlock and Atlas were not in good shape. Atlas had been the target of a number of blasts from TNT before he took off to join the air battle.

    Warlock had lost his fight with Lady Pain and suffered at the hand of Sigyn.

    I felt the force wall around the former city vanish, and shortly thereafter I felt the source vanish from his hole. Turns out the hostile Density Master could extend his field to others. His AntiGrav buddy provided the motive force. Together they could travel underground, quick and undetectable.

    Arclight never got a shot at either of the two of them. As soon as he started to close they sank down into the earth leaving Freyr & Sigyn to do the fighting. Another puzzling pair, they both wore costumes with a definite Norse flair for one thing. And for another both of their faces seemed longer and thinner than was natural.

    Warlock called Sigyn 'freaky looking, Marlyn Manson freaky'. She did say something about Loki but the details were not recorded, or remembered.

    We gathered our wounded, our dead, and Star took us home.

    In the following weeks we would discover that the main Meta team worked for the MasterMind we were calling Dracula. The other two groups were Meta Mercenaries. Seems Drac wanted to test his team in pure Meta combat and that was the only point.

    Nearly a thousand people dead, a whole city destroyed, for a little live training exercise. I freely admit I developed a deep hatred for his guy. I looked forward to killing him and looked for ways to accomplish that for quite a while.




  8. #48
    Alexander Tau Guest Spider. Just visiting.

    Default Chapter 13




    Darkness.



    I feel fuzzy.



    Can't move. Restrained somehow. Can't see, eyes are covered.


    Where am I?



    My head was fuzzy and my mouth tasted like dirt. It was hard to think.

    New Orleans, that was where we were. Nova had been badgering me about a vacation for months and I finally gave in. Mardi Gras was colorful and noisy.

    Praetorians don't blend.

    Why am I thinking that? Oh yeah, because I realized that when we were out and about. The Centurion had insisted we take a couple of squads, so we did. But even dressed like everyone else around them you just could not miss those hard focused faces.

    Nova and I slipped away from them.

    There was something, a parade. Nova and I got separated but I was not worried. I mean what could happen to us?

    Girls. Boobs. Beer.

    Images were still fuzzy but I remembered a girl and her naked breasts. No, three or four girls, lots of naked flesh.

    And a Beer. They gave it to me, I drank it.

    No. Oh god no. I did not fall for the oldest trick in the book.

    Crap. I am never going to hear the end of this. But then again, when considering my surroundings, perhaps living with it was not going to be my problem.

    Why did I feel so tired? Even a drug should not do this to me. I looked inward and realized that my internal power levels were basically zero. Something had, and was, draining me. That something was easy to determine because I had had a hand in creating them.

    We called them PowerCuffs. They completely enclosed the hands and could be set to drain almost any form of energy. Very effective, but not against me. When we tested them I always was able to overload them quite easily. Even if I were unconscious putting a set on me would cause an overload.

    A smell caught my attention, somehow familiar. Burned insulation and rubber. They had burned out a few on me until I was drained enough for them to hold.

    Damn.

    I heard the hum of a speaker.

    “We know you are awake.” came from a male voice.

    “Release me, now!” I ordered.

    “No, we won't be doing that. You are not in charge here Pulsar.”

    I knew they knew who I was already so if they thought that would affect me they were mistaken.

    “Sorry I have never gotten used to talking to dead people. If you know who I am, then you know who is coming for me. Let me go now and you get to live.”

    “Sorry.” there was a hint of fear in that one word, score one for me.

    “So am I, for you.” I muttered.

    “Who is in charge here?” I asked.

    “You will meet him soon enough. First we have some questions for you. It will go easier on you if you just tell us what we want to know, you will in the end anyway.”

    “Right. Listen carefully you little fucks! You think you can hold me? You are insane, your boss is insane. Go on take your best shot you will not get anything. But I will get free. And when I do I promise I will take the life from your bodies one drop at a time. Before I am done you will beg to die!”

    They tortured me. Mostly with knives. If you think I am going to describe that you can forget it.

    I do think I did indeed scare them. What they did to me was bad, but it could have been worse.

    When they were done I got to meet the boss. At least he took off the blindfold.

    “Well so this is the great Pulsar, Lord of Olympus. Somewhat disappointed but I guess I will have to allow for the setting. Please feel no need to get up.”

    Oh yeah, this was a funny guy.

    “You may address me as Emperor Zatch, or your Majesty. My dungeon keepers tell me you refused to cooperate, is that how you obey your Emperor? I all want are the access codes and a few key pieces of information so I can level Olympus. One little nuclear bomb, nothing outrageous or anything.”

    I was barely conscious and bleeding from a couple of dozen places. But I felt it would be disrespectful to my host not to say something.

    “You.” I began

    “Yes?” he responded.

    “You are going to die screaming.”

    “How rude! And quite impossible, no one knows where you are, and they will never find out.”

    “We are in Australia, and we call you Dracula.”

    That shook him. He was quite the sight actually. Dressed in some sort of flowing robe in purple and gold. A white tunic and funky black pants completed the outfit. Face like a potato though, lumpy and not regal at all.

    “How do you know that? Who told you?” he demanded.

    “Olympus knows that asshole, has for a while now.”

    “Take him to his cell. Spend a while in darkness maybe that will drain, hehehe, some of the insolence out of you. Love those PowerCuffs.”

    They did not have to unstrap me to move me and I soon found myself alone. Or so I thought for the first hour or so.

    Then a voice, female.

    “Hey can you hear me?”

    “Yes I can, where are you?”

    “I'm in the cell next to you.”

    “So how are you talking to me?”

    “The air ducts, they link all the cells on this side together. As long as the guards are not around we can talk pretty easily. My name is Penny, what's yours.”

    I pondered. This could easily be a trick. But it could also be true, and if true I had an obligation to them.

    “Pulsar.”

    “No, come on, who are you really? I know you are probably a MetaHuman, so am I. But you could not be him.”

    “I wish you were right, I really wish you were right.”

    “You are not Pulsar, probably working for Zatch.”

    That was a new voice, a male.

    “Eddie! Give him a chance, he is probably just scared like we are.”

    “Zatch is a piece of shit, and a dead piece of shit at that as soon as I get free.” I stated with more than a bit of hostility.

    “See Eddie! Told ya!”

    “Good acting, don't trust him Penny. Words are cheap, I know.”

    “Listen to him Penny, he is being smart. If I were the two of you I would not trust me either. Stay smart Eddie and you will get through this.” I said.

    “Mister who are you?” Penny asked.

    “I am very tired, must sleep soon. But listen to me both of you. The whole of Olympus is looking for me, and they will find me. Hang tough for a little while longer and I will get you both out of here.”

    They both responded but I barely heard them.

    The next day they shook me awake and some sort of doctor looked me over. A small pain in my arm which was lost in all the pain from the cuts and I had an IV attached. I was so drained that the small energy boost from the glucose was noticeable. Nowhere near what I needed to break out, but a start.

    Again the questions. Again the knives.

    You never really realize how much you can hate until something like this happens. Words, words are nothing. They hurt me and I got through it by killing them in my mind, over and over again. I took the rage I felt and used it to magnify the tiny spark of energy within me. Again and again I smashed against the Cuffs.

    Not enough.

    I blacked out and awoke in my cell.

    My first thought as I came to was to wonder how long I could go without energy. I vaguely remember thinking that 4 days was probably my limit. Food, even real food, would not do it alone. Normally this is not a problem, an hour in the sun and I am good.

    “Hey mister, you awake?” Penny asked.

    “Alive at least.” I responded.

    “I asked the guard who you were but he would not tell me. But Eddie did the same and he thinks he saw something. Tell him Eddie.”

    “I am probably wrong, they were just screwing with me. You know they love to do that.”

    “They said that he thought people were coming for him but that they would never find us. Someone is looking for him, he is telling the truth about that.”

    “They were screwing with me!”

    “That is not what you said the first time. You said they looked scared. Goddammit Eddie we are locked in fucking cages! Tell him the truth.”

    “Eddie, when they talking about someone looking for me, how did they act?” I asked.

    Silence.

    “They looked scared, alright, they twitched, checked their weapons, looked around, they were scared. That does not make you fucking Pulsar okay!”

    “Alright fine. Whoever I am we all are in the same boat. We all need to get out of here. It would help if you would both tell me who you are and how you ended up here.”

    “I ain't telling you shit.”

    “I will. I'm Penny and I am a MetaHuman. Wow that feels like some sort of AA meeting. Anyway, I can control animals. Birds, cats, dogs, snakes, not insects though, yech. I did not figure out I even had powers until a couple of months ago. See I had been going to the gym for a while and when that Meta change thingy happened I just thought 'Hey the gym is finally working'. I know, scatterbrained but what ya gonna do?”

    “Did you consider going to Olympus?” I asked when she stopped for air.

    “Sure but I am not a hero. Fights scare the piss out of me, literally. I just figured my power was too unimportant for people to worry about. That was why no one had searched me out or tried to recruit me or anything. I just went about my life, bought a dozen more animals, I have my own zoo now, and tried to keep my power hidden.”

    “And then something happened?” I asked.

    “Yeah. I was out walking with my two big dogs, Rocky and Bullwinkle when I saw this old guy grab this little girl. We were in the park and the girl's mom had stopped to buy a bottle of water from a stand. The girl had wandered off a little bit when this scummy old bastard grabbed her. The girl started screaming and without even thinking about it I sent Rocky and Bullwinkle after them. They caught up easily and forced him to stop.”

    She paused, and then continued.

    “I keep wondering why I did not just leave it at that. The mom was screaming and running toward the man and the girl. My dogs were keeping the fucker from moving. I could have just stood in place and let the police handle. But what I did was run up to the scene and order the man to put the girl down. Me. I did that. I told him to put her down nice and easy or my dogs would rip his throat out. He did, the cops grabbed him and I tried to get away. No luck so I just told the cops my dogs were trained. It made the paper and then one day I woke up here.”

    “Do you know why?”

    “Yeah, old Emperor Butt-Face wants to learn about MetaHuman DNA. Since my power seems to be unique he wanted to study me. Mostly they have taken samples of every single damn part of my body and then tossed me in here. They could at least give me a TV, the bastards.”

    Study our DNA. Lots of people were doing that but little had been learned. Not sure what Emperor Butt-Face (I liked the name) expected to get out of that but I did not think it would be much. My opinion of Zatch was going down and that made me feel a little better.

    “Thank you Penny. Your power is neither small or unimportant it is just that until you started using it you would be hard for anyone to detect. The story in the newspaper speeded up the process but someone would have found you anyway. Eddie, any chance you feel like telling me why you are in here?”

    “Come on Eddie, at least tell him what you have told me. I won't tell him if you do not want me to but I really wish you would.”

    “I am in here because I decided I did not want to work for Zatch anymore. I was an idiot to ever get involved with that asshole and now I am stuck here. What else do you want to know?”

    “What did you do for Zatch?”

    “Muscle, I have a lot of that. I just wish the Meta change had given me some brains to go along with it.”

    “Alright, thank you Eddie. We can talk more later. I need to sleep now.”

    “Night Pulsar.” Penny said rather pointedly.

    “Goodnight Penny”

    Another day. They wanted to torture me but I kept blacking out. The doctor was consulted but everything that he suggested was turned down. Seems my captors were quite worried about anything that might give me energy to work with. I just kept thinking 'Comon, come on, hit me with a good strong stimulant and I will end all your problems'.

    Please.

    No such luck, back to the cell.

    I drifted for a while. Penny tried to talk to me but I could not really focus. Mostly I thought of Nova. I missed her. Life as a God sucks. Whole fucking world looking to me to save it. I am gonna fail but at least we will all die together. I just want to go off with my woman and maybe make a baby or two.

    Can't you know. Oh we can have sex but what am I supposed to do shield the sperm?

    That woke me up. What the hell was that all about?

    “Penny?”

    “Yes, I'm here. Are you ok?” she sounded concerned I must sound pretty bad.

    Went well with how I felt.

    “I am ok, just worn out”

    “What they are doing to you must be harsh, you seem to be getting weaker each day.”

    Perceptive girl.

    “I am. Ok, look, you both might as well know. I probably only have a couple of days left. If they do not find me by then it will be too late. So I am going to give both of you a phrase to say. No matter how long it takes my people will get here. If I am gone what I am going to tell you will guarantee that they will get you out of here. Our captors have me so completely cut off from all energy sources that it is killing me.”

    “Don't talk like that Pulsar, you are going to be fine.” from Eddie.

    Pulsar. He called me Pulsar. Don't know why but that made me grin like a freaking idiot. I had to wait a couple of moments before I could speak clearly again. That sort of smile comes across in your voice.

    “I hope you are right Eddie but I have a problem. If I tell them what is happening to me they can keep me alive but it will also help them to get what they want. I cannot allow that to happen so I cannot tell them.”

    “But if you are going to die you have to tell them.” said Penny.

    “No Penny. What they want is to destroy Olympus and that is more important than my life. Both of you must swear to keep this secret no matter what happens to me.”

    They both did, and I told them what they needed to know.

    Then I slept, and I dreamed. None of that is any of your business either.

    The next day I was in slightly worse shape and Zatch showed up to question me.

    “What is wrong with you?” he asked.

    “Your hospitality is lacking, service sucks.”

    “Don't be insolent. You know I have your life in my hands, talk! My keepers know their business and they say something is wrong with you. Tell me what it is, it is your life we are talking about.”

    “The only thing you have in your hand is your dick. I suggest you use it to fuck yourself.”

    Let me just pause for a moment to say something. There are not many moments in one's life where you really feel proud of yourself. Life is just too complex and there is always something that holds you back. But this moment, helpless and dying before an Enemy, I stuck to what I knew to be right. I am proud of that.

    Pain. Darkness. Cell.

    I can't describe what I felt and saw as I slowly tried to come back to the world. It was dark and filled with blood and I would rather forget.

    “Pulsar?” came faintly through the haze. Penny? Probably?

    “Yeah?” I croaked, I sounded bad even to myself now.

    “You sound terrible.”

    “Yeah well your hair is a mess.” which might have been funny except for the coughing spasm that took me as I said it. My body was failing, and I did not really care anymore.

    “What did they do to you?”

    “Nothing, if you talk harshly to me I pass out now, kinda frustrating for them.”

    Ok, that actually was funny. I heard Eddie laugh.

    “Hello Eddie.”

    “Hello Pulsar, wish I could help you somehow.”

    “So you believe I am Pulsar now, that is good to know.” actually I did not give a shit but it seemed the thing to say.

    “Yeah, something is happening at some of the entrances. Guards are pissing themselves. Olympus is doing something so I figure you are probably telling the truth. I had a little fun with one of the assholes. I told him 'You don't think Pulsar is going to let you live do you?' And man I fucking swear he went white. God that was a beautiful thing.”

    I was pleased. Mostly at the news that my friends might actually find me. That lasted about ten seconds, but it was nice for a moment.

    “Pulsar, can I ask you something?” asked Eddie.

    “Of course.”

    “Am I a bad guy?”

    Pretty sure I chucked at that.

    “Did you ever kill anyone?”

    “No.”

    “Do you want to?”

    “Just Zatch and some of the guys here. Some of the guys and girls I worked with really liked killing. They would joke about it and everything. I mean I know sometimes you gotta, but I never wanted to.”

    “Then you are just a guy who made a huge fucking mistake. At least you realized it before I had to send someone to kill you.”

    “You mean that?”

    “Yes, I am far too tired to lie. You fucked up. But with any luck at all you will get a chance to redeem yourself. Olympus will give you that chance. One other thing though. I do not know what will happen when Olympus comes but it will be dangerous. I want you to promise me that you will make sure Penny gets out safely.”

    “I will sir, you have my word.”

    Good. Job done. I welcomed the darkness.



    Last edited by Alexander Tau; 04-08-2009 at 11:42 PM.

  9. #49
    Alexander Tau Guest Spider. Just visiting.

    Default Chapter 14




    Sounds.



    They pulled at me. I resisted. I was comfy in the blackness and I did not want to leave.

    More Sounds.



    Against my will I was drawn back to the world.

    Noise. I really wanted quiet.

    Explosions? Gunfire. I knew those sounds and I knew I should care.

    Another sound, much closer. My name?

    “Pulsar! Pulsar can you hear me?”

    Had to be Penny but how could she be so close?

    “They wanted to move us but there is so much fighting they only sent a single guard for me. I kicked him really hard in the crotch and grabbed his keys. I am going to try and get you out.”

    Something bad here. Sounded good but something was wrong.

    “don't touch me.” I whispered.

    “What did you say?”

    “Don't touch me. Get Eddie.”

    “Why?”

    Why do women always ask for explanations when there are clearly other matters at hand?

    “No time, go.” I croaked out.

    “Ok, ok, I am going. No need to bite my head off.”

    I drifted. The sounds of battle got louder, and then quieter. Then just when it seemed silent, Ka-Boom and off it would go again. Some part of me said I should be able to interpret the sounds, tell what was going on. I told that part of my mind to go screw itself.

    “Pulsar I got Eddie, what do you want us to do?”

    Stop with the questions that would help a lot.

    “Eddie, don't touch my skin. The controls for the Cuffs, find that. Triangle-shaped black box”

    Blissful silence.

    “I have got it, now what?”

    Do I have to think of everything?

    “Press the unlock and then the release buttons.”

    A series of clicks and the pressure around my hands went away.

    “Now use your strength and get these restrains off me, be careful not to touch me.”

    You are probably wondering by now why I was afraid to have them touch me. The next moment will explain that.

    Penny was leaning over me and went to brush my hair out of my face. In doing so she made contact with my skin. A green spark jumped from her hand and she slumped back against the wall. If she had collapsed on top of me she would have died.

    My body was so drained it would reach out for any energy it could get. Full contact with me right then would kill in seconds.

    Sick as it was, I felt a little better.

    Eddie went to Penny. She was still alive and would wake up so I called him back.

    “She will be ok, get me free.”

    He applied his muscle to my bonds and I was free a few minutes later. Free and weak as a kitten. I needed power and there was none around. They had planned carefully for their kidnapping. What little light there was in my cell, and the corridor beyond, came from low-energy chemical lights.

    I would have to get into the main part of the base to find a power source.

    Penny came around.

    “What happened?” she naturally asked.

    “You touched me and I sucked part of your life out of you. Sorry. Can't help it right now.”

    “That was what that was? Weird. I feel some nausea but otherwise ok.”

    “You will be fine after a while. Just make sure to keep a little distance.”

    “No problem there.” but that came with a smile.

    Ok, what to do? Eddie had broken the table getting me off of it so I could not ride on that. Carrying me would get us about 5 steps so that was out.

    What I should have done was sit tight. I knew my people were close and they would find me.

    Yeah right.

    “Ok, I am going to crawl out into the hall and then figure out what to do next.”

    I did, scenery was not much better.

    “Eddie you know this base right?”

    “Yes sir I was here for about 3 months before I got fed up.”

    “Ok, I need energy, a bunch of batteries would work. Think you can find those and get back here?”

    “If all the guards have been pulled up top then it should be no problem. But you two will be defenseless.”

    I hate it when people debate with me.

    “We are all going to be dead if we are discovered before my people get here. Get going and get your ass back here fast.”

    He went.

    Penny was a cute girl. Long curly brown hair and a nice smile. She looked thin and dirty but the smile on her face still lit up the room.

    “Nice to see your face.” I commented.

    “Yours too, although yours is famous, well sorta. You know what I mean.”

    I chuckled.

    “I do indeed.”

    “Glad you both are enjoying yourselves.” a new voice.

    A guard with weapon leveled at us. We were at one end of the corridor and he was at the other but I imagine if he fired enough bullets he would get us.

    I wish I could say I had some profound thought at this moment. I was a little surprised.

    Roar. A blast of flame hit the guard from behind. He hit the ground as ash.

    Red light filled the corridor as she walked through the doorway. A fire elemental out of some storybook.

    My body felt the heat and drank of it.

    My eyes focused.

    Muscles that had all but failed me grew strong again.

    My shield returned.

    I stood.

    Nova ripped off her mask as she was just steps away from me. I could see the tiny bursts of steam that were her tears.

    “Don't touch him.” cried Penny.

    “It's ok, she knows.” I said as I motioned for Penny to back away.

    Nova and I met and intertwined. I wrapped us in a shield as our lips met in the sweetest kiss I can remember. Heat poured him her and I took it all.

    “I was so scared!” she said when our lips parted.

    “I know babe, let it out, all of it.”

    Again our lips met and the power flowing from her spiraled upwards.

    I wanted to hold her like that forever but as my power returned so did my sense of responsibility. I told Nova to damp it down and I dropped the shield.

    “Weeeo bossman, that is quite a dick you have got there. No wonder she likes you so much.”

    “Hello Demon it is good to see even your ugly face.”

    Yeah I was naked.

    “I brought a uniform and mask for you honey.”

    She brought something else too. I gestured and it broke out of it's bag and slithered towards me. My cloak wrapped itself around me much as Nova had done moments before.

    “Is that alive?” asked Penny.

    “No but explanations will have to wait. Demon I sent a young Meta named Eddie to find power for me. Superman, black hair, 6' 4” dressed like her. Go find him.”

    Demon looked at Nova. “Commander?”

    “You heard the man, go.” she snapped.

    “Since when are you a Commander?” I just had to ask.

    “Since the real one went and got his dumb ass captured. I saw the video. So flash some tits and you become a moron?”

    Nice to be back.

    “They were very nice tits.” I teased.

    “We are going to talk about this later, I promise.”

    “I believe you, now... Commander, status report please.”

    “We have taken the upper levels but there is still fighting down below. Pockets of resistance dot some parts of the mid levels but not for much longer. Drac engaged Zippy and he has the speedsters tied up but otherwise we are in control here.”

    “Who is we?”

    “Who do you think? Justice and Bloody Vengeance are down here with me. The Avengers are holding the surface entrance and trying to nail Zippy.”

    “He calls himself Emperor Zatch, where is he?”

    “Drac? Pretty sure he is down in the lowest level. That is a massive garage and someone is holding Thor and Sif off I am guess that is him.”

    “Found him boss. He was in a fight and had put down two before I got there. Did pretty well.”

    “You look better sir.” said Eddie.

    “Yeah, she does that for me.” I said nodding at a smiling Nova.

    “Alright time to finish this. Demon I want you to get Eddie and Penny up to the surface. You can rejoin us after you do that.”

    “No way” & “No” came from both Eddie and Demon at the same time.

    “You are going to get Zatch right?” asked Eddie.

    I nodded.

    “Then I am going along.”

    “Me too.” chimed in Penny.

    I should have argued but a new emotion had finally gotten hold of me. Anger.

    Time for Emperor Butt-Face to die.

    “Alright, fine, lets go.”

    We walked through the base. Demon and Eddie took the lead. The few guards that did not run at the sight of us died quickly. A stairwell led us down.

    It really was a massive garage, more of a hangar really. The fight was at the far end.

    Valkyrie flew up to us as we entered.

    “Boss! You are alive!” she gushed.

    “Good to see you too Val, status report please.”

    “Yes sir. Well they are down to about a dozen guys but they have two Meta with them. Some freak in a purple bathrobe keeps yelling orders but it is basically a standoff.”

    Thor and Sif had built a makeshift wall out of cars. They were behind it throwing other cars at the bad guys. I saw two different blasts come back in response. I reached out with my senses and got them both fairly easily. Concussive force and Sonics. The blaster with the sonics was the stronger of the two.

    “Eddie you stay right here with Penny and I do not want to hear a fucking word about that.”

    I did not get an argument.

    “Everybody else, let's go to work.”

    We moved down to the battleline. Thor roared out a greeting to me and Sif waved right after she threw a car.

    “We got a bunch of assholes that need killing boss.” said Demon.

    “Good thing you are here then. Thor, Sif, Val, Demon, get ready. As soon as the blasters are down haul ass up there and get the rest. Do not touch the asshole in purple unless he attacks you.”

    “You take the guy on the right honey.” I said to Nova as we floated upward.

    She nodded and was strangely quiet as we flew forward.

    I felt the impacts from the sonic blaster but they were easy to neutralize. My still hungry body absorbed quite a bit of it. He had a shield but I blasted it down with a volley of my own. One more shot and it was over.

    Nova spun and dodged her target's shots until she was almost on top of him. She fired once.

    The rest of the team came charging towards us. I motioned Nova to follow me as I went up and out of the way. The gunfire that had been peppering us both ceased and switched to the new threat.

    Ten trained men against four gods, guess how long they lasted. Not long is the correct answer.

    We landed. Zatch was as far back as he could be, hiding behind some steel boxes.

    I disintegrated the obstruction.

    He came out with arms raised, hands pointing towards us. An ugly black energy crackled along his fingers. His death touch, probably very lethal.

    I made two chopping motions with my hands. Hot planes of energy sliced first one, and then the other hand off at the wrist. He screamed and sank to his knees.

    Nova stood silently beside me.

    “I think he needs a hug.” I said.

    “Yes I do too.”

    She walked towards him. He was screaming even before she enveloped him in flames.

    I felt nothing.

    No joy, no relief, nothing at all.

    Except the almost overwhelming urge to go home.

    With Zatch dead the rest of his forces surrendered. The base was cleaned out, all the computers were drained of information. I later sent Geo in to erase the place completely. He filled the tunnels and his team destroyed all the entrances.

    We reached the surface to find more friends. And Star with a portal.

    I found myself standing alone with Demon and Penny while Nova got everyone ready to withdraw.

    “Man boss you should have seen it! Apollo sent Star to pull Nova and the Praetorians home as soon as we knew you had been snatched. Don't feel bad about that one boss, I saw the video. Anyway. Nova went right to Central and demanded that Apollo put her in charge of the search for you. And I mean de-man-ded! Apollo tried to tell her that this job belonged to Blood, 'Those are Pulsar's orders'. “

    Even with his rough voice, it was easy to tell Demon was enjoying telling the story.

    Penny was trying not to stare at my strange companion.

    “Go ahead and take a good look Penny, despite his fierce appearance, and lack of social graces, Demon here is not a bad guy.” I told her.

    “Yeah, I'm a freak and I know it. Listen though boss. When Apollo said that to Nova she said 'That is one big set of balls you got there boy, come outside and I will burn them off you. This is Pulsar we are talking about moron, it is going to take more than Blood, and I want command. Say yes, or burn, your choice.' And dammed if she and Apollo did not head outside! Apollo was pissed. Selene was there too but she had not said anything. Right as Nova and Apollo were squaring off the wierdest fucking thing happened. Psyche's voice came out of Selene's mouth. Freaaaky. Psyche told Apollo to put Nova in charge of the rescue, and said if either one of them took a shot they would deal with her.”

    Nova came up for the last few sentences. She looked a little smug.

    “He really thought I was just going to stand around and wait for others to find you. I love him but he is really dumb sometimes. Much like you my powerful love.”

    My plan to take down Dracula was complex and involved. Infiltration, split-second coordination, all that sort of stuff.

    Nova's plan was to start killing people until somebody told her where I was. We knew a number of people who worked for Drac, she started with those.

    It worked rather well, just took a few days.

    As we got ready to enter the portal to go home I turned to Nova.

    “Honey, I think I am done with vacations for while.”




  10. #50
    Alexander Tau Guest Spider. Just visiting.

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    Author's Comments


    That is everything that I have completed so far. I have the rest of this book written but not polished and tweeked.

    Been a little while since I was working on this story on a daily basis but I would like to get back into it at some point. There is one more year of the story to tell.

    Like the first book these chapters could stand a few descriptive additions. People and places need a little more detail. But when I was really writting it was a smooth daily flow of text. Just telling the story was fun and I do want to finish it.

    I have written the very end of the book though. It sets up the next generation story that I did not really think I wanted to do. The MetaHumans happen, the War happens, and that is it. A nice contained piece.

    But maybe it will not end there.

    I have thought that I might use it as the basis for an PbPC game at some point. We would just pick the point at which the Game begins and from there on the story would be different. It would be difficult to find people who could, and wanted, to play the key people. I do know a couple of people who could play a few of the parts already so with time maybe I will find more.

    Lets see I know a Pulsar, Psyche, StarGirl, Nike, Apollo, Demon, Thor & maybe Speed.

    Guess that is not too bad so far.



    A.T
    (-)
    Last edited by Alexander Tau; 04-13-2009 at 06:15 PM.

  11. #51
    Alexander Tau Guest Spider. Just visiting.

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    Since I am indeed working on a MetaWar game now this is a shameless bump.

    I want to put this source material up at the top for everyone to see for a bit. At least until I publish the 4 Chapters of Love on the Run I have completed.

    Even though I am expecting that the vast majority of the Players in the new game will want to create their own people, and that the Plot of the game will NOT follow the Plot of the Story, I think it is still going to be a useful resource for the game. I do have some ideas about how some of the more powerful Characters might find their way into the game. More on that later.

    And perhaps working on the game will drive me to finish this little bit of Fiction. I have been thinking I could do a shorter approach and really tie everything up nicely.



    A.T
    (-)

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