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Kingmaker: Benelux (IC)


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Brussels, Belgium

July 27th, 4:00 PM


The trip over water had been mostly fine. When going at the speeds that Fast-Forward was capable of, there was little in the way of hazards that could slow you down. Going overland was more of an issue, being more bumpy, breaking off from the Scheldt river near Antwerp to hit the capital of Belgium.


Brussels was, in many ways, one of the most powerful cities in the world. De facto capital city of the European Union, it was a meeting place of every sort of power you could imagine. Which made it the perfect sort of place for a super-hunter-for-hire to set up. Much as they wanted to keep it quiet, the governments of the world knew that there were plenty of powerful individuals who could take on entire nations, and sometimes things had to be done a little more black hat than the average superhero could manage.


Amongst the mixture of modern and antique buildings rose a white complex, cast in the art moderne style, looking more than a little out of place next to its neighbours. It rose for 6 storeys, lacking much in the way of detail beyond glass, white plaster and steel. This was the home and office of Adrian Pike, once known as Kombat, former ally of Corona and now a potential threat.




@Avenger Assembled @RocketLord @Tarrakhash

Edited by Shofet
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"Woof, I'm spent." Taking a moment to compose himself, Richard took out a handkerchief from his jacket pocket and wiped down his face. "Gonna be tasting the Atlantic for a little bit." In between parts of the conversation, he disappeared long enough to buy himself a Belgian Pepsi. Evidently he wasn't quite as spent as he made it out. "So what's the plan, team?" he asked as he cracked open the frosty can. "Maybe two of us go in the front to try and talk to Mr. Kan't Spell, and somebody hangs around the backdoor in case he tries to vamoose?" He made a gesture toward the building they faced. Despite his light tone, it was clear he took the conversation very seriously. He paused for a minute while the other two were finalizing the plans they'd started on the run over, sending a quick telepathic message to Paige. Everything's good here so far - gonna go knock on the dude's door in a  minute. 

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Serena huffed and puffed, not so much out of strain from exercise, but rather strain from terror. Human beings were not meant to go as fast as she just did, and her body told her that. The mascara and eyeliner she had deigned to wear now ran down her cheeks, which she futilely rubbed at with a napkin that was leftover from a fast food meal.


"Ohmigod... Hokay..." she said.


She looked at Archer miserably. "I swallowed so much seawater. Gak. Next time, we're just taking a plane."


"Since I know him... Should probably... Be the one to visit him at the front. I am going to suggest that Archer hangs around back since FF here can zip around to join him and intercept if he needs to, anyway."


She looked at Richard seriously. "So, important note. Less quips with him, or he will totally throw a tantrum. He always took himself super seriously and if you make fun of him he'll have to prove he's the big man and it'll be really, really stupid."

Edited by Shofet
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"Yeah." Connor was honestly at a loss of words here. The entire trip... it had just gone so fast. Thank god that the lenses on his mask had at least protected his eyes from the wind somewhat. He was shaking slightly, but really tried not to show. How could Cline even live at that speed? And now they were in freaking Belgium. He'd never even left the damn state before. Super people were insane. 


Shaking his head and trying to steel himself a bit, he nodded at Corona. "Sounds good. Yeah, that sounds like a plan. I'll get up high. Stay out of sight. Catch him if he tries to slip out. Sounds like a plan?"


No quips, he'll throw a trantrum? That was useful to know.


"What was it about weird spelling in the 90'es, anyway?" he muttered, mostly to himself as he reached for his bow and arrow, shooting a line up to the roof of a building, then pulled himself up and started making his way to the back of the place.

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"I told you guys needed to cover your face more when you ran!" He shrugged. What could you do with rookies, anyway. "As for your guy, that happens with guys of a certain age," said Richard as he put his polarized sunglasses on and adjusted his pastel jacket. "They settle into their glory days and nothing can ever get them to move past it. Sad, really. All right, Solar Flare, I'll back your play," he said, gesturing for the younger woman to lead the way. "But if he does ask for an autograph when I get there, don't blame me," he said cheerily. 

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Serena waited for Archer to get in position, before looking at the intercom in front of her. She felt her breath catch in her lungs for a moment, and realized she was deeply anxious. Who wouldn't be? She had only not seen him for almost a quarter of a whole century, and last time she did, she was letting herself get caught so he and the rest could get free.


She walked up, and pressed the buzzer. "Uh... Adrian? It's Serena. It's been a while, bu--"


She was cut off by the sudden opening of the door, behind which she saw a face that had not changed all that much since she had last seen him.

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Standing in the doorway was Adrian Pike, looking younger than he had any right to. He was dressed in a simple white dress shirt with buttons low enough to see the definition in his chest, and grey slacks. With his wavy blonde hair, chiseled jaw and blue eyes, he looked alarmingly like Dacre Montgomery in Stranger Things.


He looked at Serena, folding his arms. "So you got the slowed ageing too," he said.


Then his gaze shifted to Richard, his eyes narrowing for a moment. "And you brought a speedster. If you were planning to fight me, I think announcing yourself was a terrible idea."


He pushed out his lower lip with his tongue, before leaning against the door. "So, do you two want tea?"

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Richard's face lit up. "You know me! My agent must be doing something right, man!" He shook Adrian's hand with the sort of firm grip he'd learned as a boy that men gave each other, then zipped just inside the house. "Richard Cline, friend of the family. If we're doing tea, I don't want to sound like a wuss but my wife got me drinking chai and that stuff is the bomb," he said without any seeming irony - a familiar bit for anyone who'd seen his show. The move also made sure their target stayed in Archer's sights as long as possible, but who'd have thought a guy like Richard thought about tactics. "Don't mind me, though, it's your ladyfriend's show here." 

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Serena marveled at how little the man had changed in all these years. The comment about slowing ageing had caught her off guard, though. Some things finally clicked in her head. She had just assumed that she had really good genes, but it had been a little strange that she hadn't change at all since she was... what? 25? No wrinkles, no grey hairs, nothing. Seeing Adrian now, hearing what he said confirmed things. 


Her stomach suddenly felt even worse.


"Uh... Yeah," she said. "I guess so... So, you know why we're here, right?"


"I can guess," Adrian said, moving further into the house. Serena followed dutifully. She noticed quickly that the interior was as white as the exterior, only brought to life by the occasional potted plant or abstract piece of art. Once she started seeing furniture, it was all bare steel and glass. It reminded her of what she thought a rich serial killer might live in. Which, given Adrian's profession, she supposed wasn't that far off. As they made their way to the living room and Adrian disappeared to the kitchen to make tea, she saw the first piece of wood in the form of a chestnut bookshelf. The books on it were in various languages, none of which she could read, but she did recognize Arabic and what she thought was Chinese on it.


The few books in English she saw had titles like "The Progression of Power: Are Metahumans Getting Stronger?" and "Taking Back the Reins: How the World's Militaries Plan to Deal with Metahuman Enemies." She frowned deeply, and mouthed 'what the heck?' to Richard. It appeared that Adrian really loved his work.


"Uh... So... We're here about Heather. She's back, and working with Wu."


She heard a loud sigh from the kitchen. "I thought as much," replied the voice from the kitchen. "...We'll talk about it in a second. Settle in."

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Connor was in position by the time Corona and Cline had reached the door. The design and layout of the buildings were so different from what he was used to, but he supposed that was simply the difference between American and old European architecture and design. He had an arrow nocked, but kept the string loose. No point in pulling it before necessary, if it even became necessary.


Adrian looked younger than Connor had expected. Then again, so did Corona. He frowned. If it came to a fight, that meant Kombat would be in his prime, not slowed by age at all. Great


At least Cline made sure to stay out of his shot. As they moved around the house, Connor followed, making sure to keep Adrian at sight at all times. Especially when he started moving into the kitchen. Connor wasn't quite sure what they had said, or why he left them alone, but Connor adjusted his position. If there was a window to look into the kitchen, he'd look inside, keeping an eye on Kombat. 

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Richard stood up and paged through the books on Kombat's shelf, moving so fast Corona could hardly see him. By the time he'd sat back down again, no more than a second or two had passed - and the latter was more to give him time to think about what he'd seen rather than reading. He looked rather less cheerful than when they'd come in. "We've got people on her in Freedom but Corona here says you're the best person to talk to about her." He fidgeted briefly, something he hadn't done in years, then stood up to pace. "People have a funny relationship with psychics," he said suddenly. "Even super-people." He had that damn book on fighting psychics in his hand again, and found himself paging through it slowly enough to be visible, his brow furrowing. "You can find somebody's stolen child and make the kidnapper turn himself in, and some asshole will write a goddamn editorial about the ethics of mind control." 

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There was an audible sigh from the kitchen, and then the sound of something ceramic being placed down on a countertop. Adrian emerged from the kitchen not long after, looking particularly tired. He leveled his gaze at Richard, frowning.


“You know, Mr. Cline, super powers are fairly terrifying, especially when you’re trying to run a government,” he said. “We’ve been blessed, really, wit h how many people with powers have opted to use them selflessly, without any expectation of profit or political power. But, for illustration purposes, let’s just… Imagine something for me. Let’s say there’s a person with powers… Very similar to yours. Speed. Can move incredibly fast, to the point that any vehicle we can make can’t catch up. Let’s say this person with super-speed is politically disenfranchised, and angry at… Let’s say, United States Congress.”


He leaned against an armchair, folding his arms. “Four sitting US presidents have been killed in office, eleven United States congress members have been killed with guns. Which, guns can be screened for. But let’s say that speedster does it. He doesn’t need a gun. He can just race on in there, and let’s say he’s durable enough to strike someone at his maximum speed with his bare hands. If he can keep up momentum, he could pull off one of the largest mass-political assassinations in history. He doesn’t need a weapon, he is the weapon.”


He ran his fingers through his hair. “But… The reason that hasn’t happened is because of contingencies. You can prepare for a speedster. They’re obvious, their powers are physical. They can be hampered. And most of them aren’t bulletproof.”


“But psychics… They’re not so obvious. Yeah, okay, you can convince a guy to turn himself in. But there are political groups out there that see use of nuclear terrorism as a valid form of political action. Now imagine one of those groups out there managing to get a whole group of these people, rare though they are, and they can start subverting officials in a nuclear power to their will using the exact same powers you used to make that guy turn himself in. Sure, you could probably figure out something was up with some of those officials, but all of them?”


Serena frowned deeply at Adrian. “That is beyond unlikely, and you know that. There are ways to deal with that.”


Adrian shrugged. “Yeah, unlikely. Not impossible. Definitely not impossible. And that’s what scares governments. That’s why they hire people like me.”


“And… On a more personal level, the other thing that scares people about psychics is that it’s a violation. It is seizing your bodily and mental autonomy on a level that is incomparable to literally anything else. It is reaching up into you into places that only you are supposed to be in, and taking control from you.”


“Have you ever been controlled by a psychic, Mr. Cline? Have you ever been forced to thin kthoughts that aren’t yours? Made to feel things that weren’t from within you, but put there by someone else, and you didn’t even realize until later? I mean Wu, God, Wu. He’d gaslight you, yeah. But what Heather did… It’s like nothing else.”


There was actual moisture forming at his eyes. “There are still days when I’m not entirely confident that the thoughts I am thinking are my own. I only barely managed to break away, and even then, I’m terrified it’s some fluke.” He slumped his shoulders, then straightened up again. “So maybe I have a good reason for wanting to defend myself from people like her.”

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Kombat started talking. He clearly didn't like what Cline had said. Didn't like psychics at all. To tell the truth, he had a point. Speedsters like Cline, psychics like his wife? They were good guys. They might've been on the other side once, but even then, they were never that bad. He felt his lips going dry. The man made sense. What could you do if someone with powers like that decided to just make a mess of things? Was Kombat's views really all that different from his own? People with powers... they could do anything they wanted. The only ones to stop them were other people with powers. What if someone strong enough got their hooks into someone powerful enough to just rearrange the world?


He shook his head. How far did this reach? How bad could Heather mess with someone that Kombat was still reeling from it, years later? 


Could she still be in his head?


He'd spelled it out himself, hadn't he? He was terrified that even getting away was some fluke. What if it wasn't? What if Heather still had control, and he just didn't know it? 


Kombat was supposed to be the perfect fighter, right? And the Corona and Flash-Forward was this close to him. He selected another arrow and placed it on his bow, ready to pull the string at a moment's notice.


But, why did he have to make so much sense?

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Serena stared at Adrian and realized that he had changed more than she had thought. He had always been an example of over confidence, and would never let anyone see that crack. At least, not without lashing out afterwards. Still, she worried that it was only a matter of time before he did.


"I... I'm sorry, Adrian, I didn't realize she had..."


She walked forward, slowly at first. Then, she gently took one of his hands and clasped it between hers, holding it there for a moment. She had been expecting a little resistance, but received none. Instead, Adrian was simply staring at her.


"...She recently manipulated my brain too," she said softly, stroking the back of his hand with her thumb. "It sounds like she did a number on you, and I am sorry for that. If I had known, I would have been there for you. But you can't... Take whatever she did and apply it to everyone with her powers."


Then, she felt Adrian tug his hand out of hers, and looked up to see him glaring at her. She frowned. "Ad--"


"Save it," he said. "Do you think I want to hurt every psychic? No. I know there are good ones. I'm not crazy. But... I have to take precautions against the bad ones, because I am never letting anyone do what she did to me again. I will die before I let that happen."


Serena stared at Adrian, trying to think of what exactly Heather had done to make him this way. Whatever it had been, it had made scars deeper than she thought possible on him. She felt sorry for him, something she never expected to feel. She remembered the fights that he always started, the insults. This didn't seem like him. But then she thought about Paige, and Holly, and wondered just how much collateral damage Adrian was willing to deal with to defend himself.


Adrian stopped, and then turned. "Water's done boiling," he said, before starting to head back towards the kitchen. Serena didn't even try to stop him.


After a few minutes of tense silence, Serena watched Adrian return with a china tea set on a tray, before setting down little Asian-style tea cups and filling them up with an orange looking tea.


"It's Jasmine," he said flatly. "Good for you."


Serena noticed that Adrian's gaze was rather firmly locked on Richard, and she tensed up, getting ready to intervene if she had to.

Edited by Shofet
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Not for the first time since his father-in-law's final death, Richard thought of Parker Psion. 


"I don't think you get my meaning, buddy." He closed the book. "I know exactly how people like you think - and if your friend goes rogue, my family pays for it. So I'm here to make sure that doesn't happen." He set the book down and cracked his knuckles, thinking about how he'd have already punched Kombat in the back of the head if this had been even twenty years earlier. "People give their life's blood defending this world and all some people can do is spit in their shadow because of what might happen. I say forget it." He looked Kombat up and down and said, "She'd pull you down with her, too, by the way, so I hope you're gonna do the smart thing and help us take her down." 

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Adrian stared at Richard for a moment and sighed through his nose. Then, he picked up a tea cup. "Alright. Come with me. And tell your friend to come inside," he said, before starting to move down the hallway. He walked to a small bust of what appeared to be Julius Caesar, and tipped back the head, revealing a little button underneath. He pressed it, and the wall suddenly gave way, sliding open to reveal a corridor. He wasted no time in stepping in, walking down.


All along the walls of the corridor were pieces of costume and clothing. Most of them looked like they belonged to super-villains, with dark colours and flashes of sinister looking symbols, but some were ties or scraps of a fine suit. Most of them had a small hole in them, surrounded by a tell-tale scorch mark. Others had cuts, some seemed to be stained by a strange chemical. 


Finally, he came to a small screen. He placed his thumb down, and leaned in. "Brutus Protocol," he said into a small microphone. Then another panel opened up, revealing four objects. Above each one was a nameplate: Revolt, Heathen, Beastfreak and Tantrum. The one under Beastfreak was empty, and a little digital readout said 'deactivated: unnecessary.' Under Revolt's was what looked like a gas grenade, while under Heathen's was what seemed to be a strange mechanical device marked "EMP". Tantrum's, however, was simply a set of vials and syringes.


He walked forward, and grabbed the vials, handing them over. "Okay. If you inject her with this solution, it'll cause her powers to go haywire. It'll cause a psychic surge that will... For lack of a better term... Make the part of her brain that makes her psychic detonate."


Serena stared at Adrian. "...Wouldn't that kill her?"


Adrian nodded. "There's a good chance, yes. Could also cause severe brain damage."


Serena looked over at the one marked Revolt. "And what does mine do?"


Adrian hesitated for a moment, before sighing. "Your powers are based on crystals in your blood. Inhaling the gas in that grenade would make them coalesce in your arteries and send you into cardiac arrest."

Edited by Shofet
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Serena stared at Adrian, her eyes widening for a moment. She looked at the grenade, then at Adrian. Then at Richard. Then she looked back at Adrian, and with a wild expression, she hauled back and punched Adrian in the face with all the force she could muster. Adrian stumbled back, looking a bit stunned as blood ran from his nose. He ran his hand over the area, and then looked at the tea he had just spilled, before sighing.


"I understand you're upset, but I had to take precautions in case she sent one of you after me."

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Tell your friend to come inside? Connor froze for a moment. He was this far away, and Kombat had spotted him already? Damn. Meant he would've been ready for anything Connor would have thrown at him, anyway. Still, he should follow. They were moving out of sight, and he couldn't provide any backup like this. Shooting down a zip line, he reached the door and pushed it open, quickly catching up with Kombat, Corona and Cline, he still keep an arrow ready on his bow, just in case. No reason to put his guard down, just because Kombat had seen him.


A hidden door, with the button hidden in a statue? For someone that claimed to hate super heroes, Kombat had all the clichés down. Secret headquarters and everything. Trophies of past victories. Scraps of costumes, hung on the wall for only Kombat and his select few to admire. The colors ranged all over the spectrum. Probably both villains and heroes.


Connor scoffed at the thought. Any similarities that he might have thought he had with Kombat ended there. He wasn't about to fight some hero just because they had powers. He'd prove he was just as good as them in other ways. Better ways. 


And then, the secret weapons. Planning for every occasion, even against his old team. Or rather, especially against them. Connor eyed the syringe as Kombat explained its purpose. Brain damage at best. Dead at worst. And he had a way of taking out Corona too. 


The punch came so quickly, straight in the face. Immediately, Connor raised his bow, taking aim at Kombat. Corona had her reasons for the punch. Hell, Connor would probably have done the same, but still, better safe than sorry, right? Not like he could just suddenly start blasting like other people here.


"You're in charge, Corona. Just say the word." The arrow string was pulled tight, arrow ready to fly. Not a lot of distance between Connor and Kombat, but he figured he could get a shot off before Kombat could reach him, if necessary.


How could Kombat have been thinking of ways to kill his friends, even if they might be under mind control? How long had he planned? Had he even tried to find non-lethal ways?

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Ugggh, thought Fast-Forward. He was fairly sure that the first Archer would have just stayed hidden and let him and Corona bluff about the sniper ready to shoot them in the back of the head, but there was no reason to give the kid grief when he was obviously working his heart out here. Guess he really _is_ an Archer! he thought, never having had a high opinion of the other Bowmen of Freedom City. "Compound P, huh?" He studied the weapon handed them by Adrian, tossing it back and forth from one hand to the other. "I met the guy who brewed up the first batch of this," he added, his voice tight as he remembered the recent death of Parker Psion. Guess nobody cares much about that. Family business is family business. "Well, let's hope your friend hasn't learned any tricks in the last twenty-five years." He didn't comment on the punch in the face or the planned betrayal - neither of them were his call to make. "We'll let you know when it's done." 

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"I... I can't believe you made plans to kill all of us," Serena said, her throat tight.


Adrian stared back at her, looking obviously unimpressed. "And what was this visit about, huh? I'm going to guess it wasn't just because you wanted to let me know what was going on. Your powers are dangerous, Serena. If you had used your powers instead of just hitting me, you would have taken my head off, because my skin isn't tough enough to take a grenade like yours is."


Serena frowned at him, but she didn't really have any obvious rebuttal. She looked down at the floor. She had always known Adrian to be pragmatic when it suited him, but this seemed cold, even for him. 


Her eyes drifted to what Richard called 'compound P.' The knowledge that it could very well kill her former friend sat poorly with her. She promised herself that she would do what she could to ensure something else was used instead. But on the other hand, what had Heather done? What had she become that she made Adrian react this way? Would she even be able to recognize what had once been like family to her?

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Adrian sighed, rubbing at his lip and removing some of the blood from it in the process. He looked at the heroes around him, his eyes settling on Archer. He looked at the bow leveled at him, and smiled.


"You know, I never got to meet your predecessor. But uh, always wanted to say something to him, figure I can say it to you: anything a bow can do, a firearm can probably do better."


He looked like he was about to say something else, when suddenly, his phone buzzed in his pocket. He blinked, pulling it out and looking at it.


"Hmm," he said. "You got another guy outside I don't know about?"


"Uh..." Serena said, looking over at her compatriots.


Then, Adrian's phone started to ring. He blinked, and answered it. Putting it up to his ear, he looked at the others with a  deeply concerned expression.


"Hello?" He asked.


The response inaudible to others, he nodded, and then put it up on speakerphone.


"Hey, hey, babies," came a youthful sounding woman's voice. "I'm Roadkill, and my brother here is Rayburst. Momma told us to come and pay your playdate a visit, along with all our friends. Figured we'd give ya a heads up before we came and kicked your ribs in."


She paused. "Oh, and Fast-Forward, you're welcome to run away with your little boy there, but I'm probably faster."


There was another voice, a young man's. "I thought we were White Knight and White Bishop?"



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Connor still held his bow, with the string pulled tight. Kombat's dig at the old man and the use of bows? Not appreciated, but nothing worth getting worked up over, either. Still, he couldn't resist a short, but cold reply "Sure, if you're not good enough to do things the hard way." Adrian was probably lucky that he'd never met the old man in his prime. The first Archer would've wiped the floor with him, as far as Connor was concerned.


Honestly, he wasn't quite sure what that Compound P thing was, except that it could take out Heather, fatally. Whatever she had done, had Kombat even thought of a non-lethal way? Of course, Connor shouldn't be one to judge here, either. He hadn't met Heather, only had Corona's word for who she used to be.


He froze as the phone rang, and a woman's voice came through. He should've stayed outside. Should've kept watch. Now someone had them cornered in here. His arrow still aimed at Kombat, he took a few steps to the side, moving further away from the door. "Shut that thing off." They couldn't make any plans of action as long as the people outside were listening in. Kombat had to know that, too. He really hoped so, at least. 


"How reinforced is this place? Is there any other way down here?" Kombat was prepared for everything, right? He'd have to have another way out. He had an idea to buy them some time, but it wouldn't be any help if it trapped them. Roadkill and Rayburst. A speedster and a blaster, judging from the names, and they had the group cornered. He quickly switched to another arrow, holding it tight, aimed at the entrance.

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Fast-Forward considered that for a second. "Let me have the phone," he said, putting it off speaker and putting it to his ear. "Hey, is this Roadkill? You sound like a little brat, honey, didn't anybody ever put you over their knee and spank you?" Rather than taunting, he sounded distracted on the phone. While he spoke, he was hastily flipping through something he pulled out of his jacket pocket - it looked a little bit like a vintage leatherbound journal with neat, precise pencil drawings and sketches inside. 


"Marker?" he asked Adrian, putting the phone down for a moment. When he got one, he took it and began drawing on the wall at super-speed - an image that vaguely resembled the Big Dipper but clearly was not. He drew quickly, stopping to glance down at his notebook repeatedly as he went, maintaining a one-sided trashtalk all the way. 


"Oh yeah, make fun of my wife, that's real original, honey. I hope you like getting smacked around by old people,  because you're gonna get caned tonight." As he worked, the sketches he was making on the wall began glowing with a distinct, twinkling glow like stars viewed on a clear and moonless night in the heart of the countryside. "If you're so fast, why would you even need to melt my legs off? That doesn't even make any sense. Listen, do you have a manager I could talk to, because you are just failing at your job entirely here." 


He did what was obviously an eenie-meenie-mine-mo with the other heroes, then took Adrian by the back of the head. "Whiplash," he said apologetically, an instant before he and Kombat made a dead run at the stars on the wall and disappeared entirely. A second later, he was back, "Who's next? 

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Wait, what? Fast-Forward grabbing the phone and talking, alright? But that figure he drew on the wall, and then he pulled first Kombat, then Corona into it? He could teleport? Knew magic? Whatever it was he just did, Connor had moments to react, and had to think of something before Roadkill and Rayburst came running. Could he even go through the portal on his own? It hadn't seemed like it.


And there was something else. Arrow still pulled back, he turned to Kombat's shelf with weapons to take out his old team. They'd taken the one to stop Heather, and Lester's was gone already, but then, there were Serena and Rachel. If those guys got in here and took it.


Fine. Buy a moment, wait for Cline to get back and take him out of there. He let go of the thermite arrow, letting it fly at the way into the the stairway leading into the underground bunker. A second, then the explosion rocked the place, caving in the entrance. Probably just a matter of time before the entire thing fell, but he would probably have some time, and Roadkill and Rayburst would have to dig their way through, at least.


Then, the important bit. The weapons. Scrambling to get them down and bring them, he could only wait for Cline to get back and get him out of there. "Any time now, FF..."

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"Hello - woah!" declared Fast-Forward as he arrived amid explosions and a vibrating building. He grabbed Archer by the back of the head. "Low bridge!" and a moment later they were traveling through something else. It was clear this wasn't super-speed, or if it was it was nothing like what they'd experienced with Fast-Forward before. Instead they were running on a starry highway against a black background and bizarrely enough there was distinctly music playing as they went. 


"It's the magic of the Behenian stars!" Fast-Forward said cheerfully. "Picked it up as a hobby a few years back, it's pretty handy!" 

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