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July 13th, 6ish PM, Riverside.

 

The end of the world’s arrival looked to be on a Friday, Eastern Standard Time.  This was in stark contrast to the expectation from many office workers, and comic strip cats, that it would be on a Monday. Though it was in part towing the line of the firm the belief of those who lived in Northeast United States that the world revolved around them.

 

It was only fitting, then, that the apocalypse would start in one of the most important cities there.  Self-fulfilling prophecies being what they are.

 

In a parallel with other historical events, this particular phase was set off with the delivery of a message:

 

“Taarvon is here, he is fighting Shivan Steelgrave.  At the peninsula of Loneliness”

 

This was news, good or bad it was hard to suss out, or know that what the impact had.  But it came from the lips of a Furion, young as they went, battered, bruised, and bloodied.  Though, he had succeeded in getting to the some of the Earth heroes, and relaying the information, before he collapsed in a heap.  There wasn't many there, but it was a number that wasn't zero, and the three that he had found were some of the luminaries in the dark times that were crashing around them, the city, and humanity itself.

 

But it wasn't just a swarm of Omegadrones, of course.  Though the relief on the young Furion's face spoke volumes that they were the ones he had been after.  Especially the recognition in his eyes on seeing Gaian Knight, before the rush of words came out before he dropped down.


A look to the Eastern horizon showed the sky alight with flames against the dwindling day.

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Gaian Knight ran a hand down his face, looking off toward the horizon with tired horror; those two fighting each other was better than some of the alternatives, but not by much. He was tired, and battle-worn - not too hurt, thankfully, though his coat was badly torn in the back where a drone had jumped him with a pike. Tiamat had paid that back in full before he'd had the chance, but he suspected none the less that he'd be feeling it for days.

 

If he had days. If any of them did. They'd have to make sure everyone lived to regret his bruises.

 

"Much as I'd rather let them fight it out and clean up the winner, I don't think we can stand the collateral," he said. Tiamat had detached her cape; she was laying it over the messenger with something akin to respect - or as close as she ever got before getting to know you; she nodded at her partner and stepped away to radio out and add him to the long list of injured in need of pick-up and triage. "If we're lucky, they've already taken chunks out of each other and we don't have to take them at full strength. If we aren't, we're in for a rough fight. I've got no rank to pull and make you jump in that mess, but if you do, we're going to have to go in swinging. I'm open to suggestions."

 

Stones and rubble were already gathering into a platform for him to ride; that was perhaps the only grim upside to a cataclysm like this. He wasn't short on loose material. "I doubt they came alone. Tiamat and I can sweep groups pretty effectively if we have to, buy ourselves some breathing room."

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Hovering just off the ground, costume pitted and stained by soot and worse from a hundred skirmishes and rescues throughout the last four days,  Phalanx scanned the surrounding streets for danger as the Furion arrived.   Phalanx focused on the messenger's  words and frowned deeply.  "Worse they may be fighting over something of greater value."  his words a dire rumble as he peered off toward Lonely Point his vision cutting across distance and obstruction with equal ease.  Why Taarvon would challenge Steelgrave here and now suggested stakes they were not fully aware of to this invasion.

 

The battle itself was obscured to even his sight but the approach alone was beyond treacherous.  "Swarms of drones, heavy drones, ground is crawling with those poor souls bound to service."  the paragon offered with a heavy sigh at the sight of the Omegadrones and proles surrounding the base where Taarvons shadows and minions hid the fight from him.  "We can ill afford to let them prepare or gather their defenders in force."  he suggested and looked to his fellow heroes.  "We'll need to punch a hole through the guardians."  Phalanx suggested looking to Gaian Knight who had perhaps inadvertently volunteered to be that battering ram.  "Then strike Steelgrave and Taarvon quickly, before the drones can close in."  It was perhaps not a complex plan, and perhaps suicide in the end.  Even if they did defeat the villains they'd be surrounded and desperately outnumbered.  "But we buy time."  hopefully enough for those around the world and beyond to close the portals and seal prime from the predations of the Terminus once more.

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Triakosia

All Triakosia could think of was NOT AGAIN!

 

Already she'd seen one Earth die to the hands of Terminus and she was determined that it wouldn't happen again. After getting Katie, and as many of the children of heroes that wanted them somewhere safe, to The Sanctum, she'd spent the last three days constantly active fighting where and where she could. With her enhanced senses, she was aware of so much more that she just couldn't reach in time. It hadn't stop her trying though and she'd be going almost non stop for the last few days.

 

When she spotted the fight between Taarvon and Shivan Steelgrave fighting each other she didn't even pause to consider why they were fighting each other, instead, she flew towards them at her top speed and look of grim determination on her face.

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Pausing only long enough to run a tired hand back through his hair, Tarrant pulled his hood back up. "Right," he said, gathering stones together into a small platform, "the direct approach it is." Outside, his companion had already disappeared in crimson fire, emerging in all her terrible scaled glory. They set off with all due haste, bee-lining toward the greater conflict and trying to ignore the...everything, all around them, as hard as that was.

 

"We'll punch you the best hole we can," he was saying; behind him, he was trailing a jet stream of rubble - a growing cloud of stone and cement and even some asphalt, as unresponsive as that usually was. Maybe the city itself was angry.

 

"They are many, and nearly feral things," rumbled the dragon. "We may not hold the attention of all of them, if they are too many or too well-commanded. We must all keep one eye on each other, and our backs."

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The glow that had lit their was was revealed to be as bad as they imagined.  As two titans of the Nihilists had proverbially grabbed the back of the other guy's head, and were ramming their other fist repeateding into their foe's face.  The assorted hordes were in the same, a grinding, bloody, firey attrition that fit what their goals were.

Looming behind Steelgrave was the portal back to the Terminus, all crackling red and black with the edges seemingly to devour to world around it.  The black and gold armored Annihilist was pointing his Omega Drove forces as a forward surging wedge against Taarvon's vanguard.

The landscape was blasted, with guttering bits of anti-fire in the ground.  The damage sweeping back up towards the armed forces station. They had pulled back, or were gunned down and savaged by the crossfire that was aimed to rip apart against reality itself.

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Phalanx shot ahead making himself the point of the spear and ensuring he was in place in intercept the brunt of any countering fire letting Gaian Knight and Tiamat focus on unleashing the storm of stone and fire to clear a path.  Shouting over the roiling turmoil of the following rock storm he gestured at the streak of another hero entering the fray.  "Looks like we have some backup."  the paragon called out between swatting aside the stray shots of the forces on the perimeter.  

 

Sparing a glance at the base where the routed forces of Lonely Point huddled under what cover they could find, "We need to give them cover to retreat."  he bellowed over the sounds of the rapidly nearing battle.  Though to do so they'd have to redirect and give the more dangerous foes more time to regroup or split their forces.  

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Gaian Knight cursed, taking stock as quickly as he could. He didn't like the look of that portal, he didn't like the look of that fight, and he was definitely kicking himself for not realizing the armed forces would still be holding out here. Of course they were - why wouldn't they?

 

His platform pulled to a halt, the geokinetic hero planting his feet on it as he brought glowing hands low. "I can do cover!" he shouted, reaching down into the earth to see what he had to work with. It'd have to do. "It's gonna cost you a few seconds of that hole-punching, though. Tiamat! Going to need to interference, here."

 

The dragon bellowed, sweeping out in front of him to intercept fire and return some of her own.

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Triakosia

Dancia was consumed with a burning hatred for the forces of the Terminus, helped by a long memory of what they had taken from her. But not enough that she'd neglect the safety of those that were also fighting them, for if it wasn't for them then it wasn't worth fighting for.

 

Floating until she was just above the cities defenders she brought together her hand with all her might sending a thunderous concussion wave through the assembled ranks of the enemy.

 

"You've fought bravely to defend this city from this threat soldiers, but now the time to fall back. Don't worry we've got it from here."

 

She gave the soldier a reassuring smile, she’d been a soldier so knew exactly what they must be feeling right now.

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There was no resistance to the swelling of the earth, as sand and substrate surged upward, interceding between the remaining members of the armed forces and the hordes of Nihilist forces.  That, when paired with the shockwave that Triakosia that sent the swarm of Omegadroves scattering gave them breathing room.

After all them?  The soldiers?  They were incidental.  What was important to their enemies was each other, and they were having out a lot of long, long, simmering anger out on each other and their allies.  The explosions going on around them like this was Omaha Beach, with several stray crackling bolts of energy striking the wall that Gaian Knight had wrenched up, putting divets into the surface of it.

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