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Breaker's blow smashed open the security screen that had dropped between the heroes and the villains upon the arrival of their elevator, just as the cascading fire alarms sent dozens of gallons of water and fire suppressant foam down on the hallway. Briefly taken aback by the sudden onslaught of chemicals, the criminals at Ember's cell were unable to stop the heroes as they came pouring out of the elevator, ready for action. From inside her cell, Ember pressed her bruised face to the glass, watching like a passionate sports spectator. "C'mon! The hallway's full of flatscans! Don't you people have any regard for human life? Watch yourselves," she added to the others, "Somebody get this on tape! You know what these miserable unbred  bastards like to do to their superiors when they think no one is watching!" That little incident, where a mind-controlled Jack Wolf had supposedly killed a supervillain, had been in the news recently, now that the heroes thought about it - it wasn't something that had gotten a lot of attention outside of a narrow circle. Nobody really gave a damn about the Psions. 

 

 

Down below, the sudden spray of water and fire suppressant left the heroes on the ladder soaked as they made their way to the bottom - to the far end of a wild melee in the corridor, just as the supervillain Breaker went charging through the small cluster of supervillains standing outside the door of a notorious prisoner, seemingly charging right at them! 

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Downtime exploded into action, zipping through the all-too-human trio that had appeared at the other end of the hallway. It was a matter of inches every way; he grabbed Arrowhawk and tossed him against the wall with a bang, backhanded Mindsteel across the face and against the wall, and hit Foreshadow in the gut hard enough to send the other hero staggering. An instant later, the super-fast thug was back among his criminal fellows, turning to the so-far-silent black-clad fourth man. "Hey, do your thing!" With a nod, the other man disappeared - and suddenly was in the elevator again! Only the fact that he'd done this trick before saved Crimson Tiger, as she was fast enough to dodge as he grabbed for her midsection!

 

When he vanished, he left pain behind - and looking down, she could see a neatly-removed section of her costume over her stomach in the shape of a human hand, and feel the burning sensation underneath where the outer layer of skin had gone with it! This was no worse than a sunburn - but it could have been so much more than that! 

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Arrowhawk merely grunted as the super-fast criminal slammed him off the wall. He felt a short, sharp pain in his shoulder. "Alright. You." By the time he'd pushed himself forward from the wall, his bow was nocked in his hand. He glared forward at the group of criminals, voice rising to a shout.

 

"You. Mustard on a Circuit Board. You've got one gimmick, and it didn't work on an old man. If that's your big trick, at least your oversized baby-gro's finally appropriate for something," snarled the big man, pulling the string back, aiming at Downtime, tracking his movement and letting fly without a second thought. The arrow crashed squarely into the vilain's solar plexus despite his enhanced speed, driving him to his knees

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"Agh! Not another broken rib!" Downtime clutched his side and slumped briefly against the prison wall, woozy from the pain of his injury. "Damn it, right in the one Rocket broke last year! Goddamn it, why didn't I buy insurance when I had the chance?" 

 

"Save it for your union rep, buster!" declared Sandstone. She turned and suddenly grabbed Breaker by the front of his prison jumpsuit, whispering in his ear. "I'll make it look good, honey!" before she turned and hurled him at Arrowhawk, the two men both knocked topsy-turvy by the blow but not more than banged up by the surprise impact of gigantic punk powerhouse against caped Scottish archer. "All right, screw this finesse noise, let's do it the hard way!" She pointed at the slowest of her allies and declared, "Gamma! On my mark!" 

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Sszinid   

As Downtime's fist caught Gideon in the cheekbone, spinning him around and slamming him into the corridor wall, it occurred to the young vigilante that he was, for the second time in as many weeks, badly outclassed. He managed to get his arms up in time to avoid breaking his nose as he stumbled headfirst into the side of the hall, rebounding in time to watch Arrowhawk let fly. He could feel a broad bruise taking shape beneath his right eye; hopefully nothing was broken.

 

Outclassed he was, but what could he do? He was in the thick of it now, and the other heroes would be outnumbered without him. And potentially with him, if these goons managed to free the prisoner they'd come for. All he could do was fight his hardest, recognizing that he had a good chance to ending up as the new rug for this particular bet of prison. Steadying himself as best he could, he re-lit his glimmering psiblade and charged with a hearty shout.

 

He was nowhere near as fast as Downtime; the comparison was laughable. But he was fast enough to pull some of the same tricks. And as he reached the villains he shut his eyes and let his mind guide his hand faster than the eye could follow, spinning his light-drinking psiblade out toward the three foes he could reach. He would likely be done for in the next few seconds, but this was his only way of contributing to the battle. He planned to use it while he could.

 

"This... is going to hurt," he mumbled, trying to stay agile in the aftermath of his attack, his eyes half-shut.

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Crimson Tiger gasped and reached down. A stream of curses, both Thai and English, flooded her mind. This was not good, not good at all. Whoever this guy was, he was dangerous. She couldn't afford to let him try that again, and she did not want to close distance and offer him another opportunity.
 

She took a step back and pulled a chakram from her belt. She let it fly, but her foe managed not to get hit by it. She growled. This was troublesome. At least Breaker didn't seem to be on their side, which was a good thing at least. Either way, she had to keep her head straight or things could get worse real fast.

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With a roar, Gamma hurled his mighty fist against the super-charged plastic that held Ember in place. At first the atomic powerhouse's mighty blow did nothing more than drive a hole through the door big enough for a child to crawl through - but then, green, spidery cracks shot through the damaged partition with an ominous sizzling sound. Her eyes wide, Ember stepped back - then grinned as the plastic fell entirely away, leaving her with only her power nullifiers holding her inside the cell. "Well, it's about pʼaqyng time! Hey, Gamma, unlock me!" She held up her wrists, a grin on her face, but Gamma suddenly looked not-so-sure of himself. 

 

 

In Foreshadow's mind's eye, suddenly the entire corridor burst into flames! 

 

"I...I don't know about this..." Gamma shot a look at Sandstone, who was busy with her own enemies to face. 

 

"C'mon! Unlock me!

 

 

The fire burned with a cheery red glow, as if the entire corridor had been dipped in hot coals! 

 

 

"Can't we just take her out and take the cuffs off back at the base?" demanded Gamma, his voice rising nervously. "She's crazy!" 

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Quinn   

"Yeah, listen to the smart one! Let's not take the cuffs off th' crazy woman with burninatin' powers in a tight space!" Breaker called over, clambering off of Arrowhawk and dusting himself off. Disgustingly, it didn't look like the bulky guy had even taken a bruise from the manhandling - though he didn't look directly at Sandstone. On the positive side, however, he hadn't taken a bruise! Already he was doing better than the last time he fought her!

 

Not taking more time to boast, the big lug lunged forward - massive arms outstretched. Years of experience navigating chaotic gang brawls, combined with speed deceptive to his bulk, enabled him to easily skid through the melee - the Warden and the guard he'd talked to earlier now under his arms. Rather unceremoniously, he dropped the two into the elevator and out of the line of fire - now using his massive shoulders and hulking bulk to block the doorway. Sharp eyes picked out the remaining guards on the floor - he'd have to go for them next.

 

A big hand pointed back at the sandy villainess - and the sound of super-powered knucklecracks filled the air. "A'ight. You're my huckleberry. Wanna try that one again?"

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Suddenly air displaced itself behind Crimson Tiger and she felt a hand on her body - then a surge of pain and the distinct sensation of air on an open wound on her back. The teleporter had struck again - his black-clad body and full face mask giving no clues to his identity, but the bloody patch of her armor on his hand showed his sinister power and frightening intent. For the first time he spoke, his voice a low chuckle, but used no words that might have given away his identity. He pointed his hand at her and beckoned, as if inviting her to bring on the fight. This was a personal fight - even if she had no way of knowing who on Earth he was, and even if he'd given no sign of recognizing her. 

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Arrowhawk grunted as the big guy got thrown into him, and proceeded to charge back into the fray. Sigh. He was only going to get thrown around some more. Stupid. And everyone was posturing and squaring up for mano y mano brawls. 

 

"Hey, Sandy," he barked, sliding a hand back into his quiver, and pulling out a bulky-tipped arrow. "This is a couple of pounds of explosive packed into an arrowhead detonating on impact. You can't dodge it, you're not quick enough. It will hurt you, not many people are tough enough. Seem right to you?" He bared his teeth, pulling back the drawstring and sending the arrow winging to the centre of Sandstone's chest.

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Foreshadow was still struggling to note if anyone got the number of the truck that had hit him.  Wincing in pain as he doubled over and picked himself back up.  Somehow his head felt worse than his gut.  His mind was flooded with images of a foreboding barbecue held in the corridor.  Essentially things did not look like they would be improving.  So of course, Foreshadow did the most foolhardy thing possible and began sprinting across the corridor towards Gamma.  Considering his foresight occurred in response to the man pounding away on the door.  He had money on the fact there was a little causation to be had there.

 

All the while he made sure to openly warn his comrades in arms about the possibility of being charred alive."I don't mean to assign seats.  This hall's might be about to go up in flames in a few.  And I don't think burnt ashes is a good color on me.  Try and stick near cover."  His abdomen screamed out in pain with each step.  Foreshadow's body clearly not wanting to sprint so soon after taking a superhumanly fast punch there.

 

A fact that did nothing to deter him as he dove forward tucking his body in and rolling underneath Gamma.  It was a tight squeeze that would have made a contortionist proud.  Unfortunately it also meant being between a rock and a hard place as he took note of the prisoner.  "I'd hate to cut this reunion short.  But, I'm not looking to be char broiled."

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"C'mon," taunted Ember, trying to catch Foreshadow's gaze behind his mask, holding up her still-restrained hands. Her face twisted, the still-visible bruises on her face an ugly shade of purple and red against permanently-tanned skin that shaded close to orange. "Hit me! Hit a powerless woman in a prison cell with your big stick! I bet you'd like that, you perverted flatscan freak, you'd like to-" From her theories, which had the same venom that a striking cobra might have, Ember had a very idiosyncratic understanding of why superheroes did what they did. She notably made no comment on the suggestion that she might be planning to burn them all if she could just get her power-nullifiers off.

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