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Found 5 results

  1. Summer 2020 The first thing you have to understand is that Eira Katastroff was decidedly not bringing her boyfriend home to meet her parents. This was a real summer trip (albeit a short one) with her, Pan, Lulu, Mia, and Micah all heading across the Atlantic for a week or so to visit lovely Sweden. So what if they were going to start at her parents' house? The Natt och Dag estate was a natural place for their first arrival and convenient to much of the rest of the country. She'd asked (and not whined, definitely not that) to get hero visas for all of them and it had all worked out fine. Everything was going to go perfectly. So here they were, a couple of weeks after Claremont had dismissed its students for the summer, standing on a campus that was mostly deserted except for a few unhappy students stuck there rather than with their families, the sky overhead bright and sunny, the trees and grass a brilliant shade of green. It looked to be a good day. There was no sign of Angelic yet.
  2. With the heroes and two-thirds of the ship's complement beamed down into the heart of the Curator's central control room, it was just Jill and Vrix-117, and of course Quickstep as well. Vrix wasn't as talkative as Samran or Shepard, and admitted that as she showed Jill how to read the panels that showed everyone's life readings inside the Curator's construct. "Commander's tactical, Shepard's science, but I'm more engineering. I mostly keep the ship running while they're on missions." Vrix had removed her helmet too, revealing bronze skin and hair as red as a lollipop. "I...oh!" she pointed as one of the wall panels lit up to reveal a flash of light from the distant perimeter of the ringworld, a silvery saucer ship flying through the gap. "I don't know that design, but they're not local. Hang on." She tapped a button on the panel in front of her, then shook her head. "Damn. I can't reach the commander, but I got a tachyon squirt out to the fleet. They'll be sending reinforcements. Friends of yours?" she asked, cocking her head Jill's way. Dorothy peered at the screen and said, "Looks just like a flying saucer from the movies!" - The saucer erupted into the Curator's system as it dropped from FTL, spilling a wash of tachyons and neutrinos along with a spray of visible light. They were between the ringworld's star and its structure, and for a moment the sheer size of the magnificent construction, known to be one of the largest structures in the Milky Way, filled the scanners of the ship. Thanks to the Curator's famous paranoia, it had been a long, long time indeed since anyone had ever gotten this close. 'Beneath' them was an ocean big enough to swallow multiple Earths, a storm playing across it that could have covered the entire planet, with distant shores visible even to the naked eye beyond before the ring curved away into invisibility. Trillions of people were down there, living their lives, perhaps never knowing about the Curator. Above them, close to the star, hung a black sphere the size of the Earth's moon, part of the circle of rotating black squares the size of planets themselves that made day and night for the people below. It was the central control unit of the entire structure, the geniuses aboard could tell at a glance. And inside that sphere, somewhere, was Steve. And attached to the side, visible as they got closer and closer, was a white pod the computer recognized as a Lor military vessel.
  3. Ready for anything, the heroes erupted from the pyramid ship, weapons raised as they prepared to do battle with unending robot hordes! But instead they found...stillness. The lights were bright, just as VINCE had suggested, the sharp white glow of the central spine overhead casting harsh shadows everywhere. There was a scent in the air vaguely like the stuff added to natural gas back on Earth, and everywhere there were robots! Eerie humanoid skeletons with three eyes and clawed limbs, ferocious-looking guardians of the Curator that were doing absolutely nothing. For a long time, Harrier eyed the robots, his armor having chunked open over his skin, before he spoke in a voice loud enough for them all to hear. "Look at them. They are not arranged. They are not armed. They are...immobile." And sure enough, the robots were silent and still, caught in the middle of walking, pressing buttons, circulating around the hangar bay, but not a single one moved a metal muscle. Harrier walked over to one, still wrapped in armor. "It does not react." "So what does that mean?" asked Quickstep, scrubbing her hands along her arms as she leaned out of the ship. "Is he waiting for something? Is this really his base? Are we were we're supposed to be?" She wrinkled her nose against the smell. "What do we do now?"
  4. Wharton Hill Harrier watched, as amazed as anyone else, as the Curator's ships gathered up the severed Freedom City and began to carry it away into the perpetually grey sky overhead. Over the distant rumble, he called, "We should not remain this area long! The subsidence from the city's removal may cause a collapse...and if the Curator's ships do come hunting for the missing ones who probed the sky, they will pass through this area early in whatever search they make. We should avoid being taken by the Curator...again," he added, chewing on that thought unpleasantly. "His attentions will not be in our favor." He was carefully not looking at Blue Jay or Bee-Keeper, eager not to resume the arguments that had nearly gotten the armored warrior and young (so young, was I ever that age?) archer captured by the collecting vessels.
  5. Elsewhere Test Site I Freedom Hall Blue Jay woke up in a ditch, the smell of ashes in her mouth. She was in her costume and fully armed, the quiver at her back weighted with arrows. Raising her head, she found herself surrounded by a vision from Hell: a bombed out Freedom City laden with debris, ashes, and the broken remains of what once might have been bodies. She'd seen the effects of power pikes well enough to recognize their work. And there, screaming down from the sky like the armies of the damned, came the all-too-familiar sight of an Omegadrone troop carrier, big as a small jet liner but covered in the spikes and weapons she knew all too well. It roared overhead, antiproton engines screaming loud enough to nearly deafen her, and headed for what looked like Freedom Hall. Baxter awoke from a dream, and found himself in Hell. Bee-Keeper III felt the vibrations in his suit before he saw the ship come roaring down out of the sky; a monstrous vision of technological hell as it swooped overhead and plowed into a nearby street hard enough to rattle his teeth, careening along a street to plow into a nearby building. He noticed the apocalyptic surroundings next; the ruined Freedom Hall behind him, the smashed windows and fallen bodies of what looked like the aftermath of a grim and terrible battle here at the heart of Freedom City's heroing, and then finally what looked for all the world like a shattered city all around them. Jill O'Cure's eyes snapped open and she found herself in an empty hospital. She could tell that right away; the red, flickering emergency lights exposed a scene of wild chaos, torn and fallen beds and equipment in a mad jumble, but no sign of life, or death, for that matter. She knew this place, the waiting room of the clinic in City Center just down the street from Freedom Hall. She was in costume, not her scrubs, but before she could take further stock of the situation there was the brief scream of mighty engines and then a nearby BOOM, as if a plane had hit the ground just a few blocks away. Bones. Bones bones bones. Wander had seen plenty of those in her life, but the pile she was standing over was impressive. Smashed and broken, they were scattered over the front steps of the City Center Clinic like a child's much-abused toys. She could make out the familiar sight of skulls and other big bones, but these bones hadn't rested easy: something had disturbed the remains, if they'd come here first inside bodies. The ossurary at her feet was new; the burning city all around her wasn't. Suddenly, the familiar sight of an Omegadrone troop carrier roared overhead and disappeared over the nearest high-rise with a BOOM that shook the ground beneath her feet. When Harrier awoke, strapped into the recharging station of a heavy combat Omegadrone, Steve found himself frozen to the spot in the mortal terror of an awakened nightmare. He wasn't conscious of anything about his surroundings, only the sudden, horrible surety that his life was a dream and he was about to be taken away and dissected by the Physician. WAKEUPWAKEUPWAKEUPWAKEUPWAKEUP-the crash interrupted his frenzied mental shouts and tore him loose from the station, sending him bowled end over end against a hard steel wall before he realized the ship had crashed and that he was all alone inside it. Taking a moment to steel himself, and think of Gina, the Omegadrone chose to meet his fate head-on: armored up, he blasted out the nearest hatch and burst forth onto a murdered Freedom City street. It wasn't so strange, really, he'd seen many of those in his time. He distantly saw an armored figure in yellow and black nearby, and moved towards him with pike raised defensively.
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