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September 4, 2019 

Vibora Bay, Florida 

11PM 

 

It's a dark and stormy night

 

This sort of thing happens a lot in Florida. As Dorian rolled up on the east coast of Florida like God's own judgement, the people of Vibora Bay remembered Michael last year and took action. Some people left, some people stayed home, and everyone mourned all those lovely tourist dollars that _could_ have come the city's way during the ruined Labor Day weekend. As it is, by all accounts Vibora is going to come through this one better than people feared. Having spent his wrath against the east coast, Dorian is rain, lightning, and high winds, but not the near-apocalypse that was last fall's city-wrecking storm. 

 

On the other hand, that's bad enough!

 

Six inches of rain and high winds closed the schools and universities today, and most businesses shut down too. Mayor Barker (who weathered the last storm with flying colors) was on Channel 7 last night to tell the citizens of Vibora to be ready for anything. They have to be, because nobody's going anywhere with all this rain. The traffic's always bad in the Panhandle though, especially on the spur that takes you up to the big west-east Interstate 10, so people in Walton County have a lot of experience with sheltering in place. People facing floods have moved into city-run shelters - many public buildings are full of people. Red Cross workers and other volunteers are on the scene - though most of them are actually out of town helping with the aftereffects of Dorian further east. Many streets are impassable, the beaches are closed, and rescue crews and emergency personnel are on high alert. 

 

Things are bad - but not quite hero bad. The last you heard, Siren went east to help with the aftermath of the storm there - it's just the hometown heroes on the scene today. Around 11 o'clock at night, just as trusty local weatherman Tom Bonilla appeared on your screens to give you the latest tracking information on Dorian, there's a tremendous flash of lightning and clap of thunder that booms across the metropolis - and from Seagrove to Rosemary Beach, the city's power goes dark. 

 

-

 

The University of Florida - Vibora Bay 

Outside Gibbs Residence Hall 


"Go to Hell!" In the rain and lightning, two men were yelling at each other in the shelter of the brick patio in front of the old residence hall. "So you've been down here this whole time, spying on me!?" Riley was shouting at his double, heedless in his anger of the other's physical prowess. "I told you before - I do not need your help! I never will!

 

"...fine." Riley didn't shout back at his double, he didn't even punch him in the face. He turned and walked away, pulling up his poncho as sheets of rain cascaded down onto him, the winds so strong he felt them buffet him as he walked out onto the campus parking lot where he'd stashed his bike. It wasn't good biking weather but if you knew what you were doing and could see in the dark, you could get through fine - even dodge the cops if you took the backroads. Good thing the roads to the swamp hadn't actually flooded yet. 

 

Riley got on his bike, grabbed the handlebars - and closed his eyes for a long, hard moment. No. No, hell, no, I am not going to do that. He opened them again and revved his engine with a rumble so deep he could feel it between his legs far more than he heard it. If he was going to get back home, he needed to leave right now. He clicked on his headlamp - and suddenly, there was a flash of light in the sky, and a deep boom, and the campus streetlights winked out. 

 

Adjusting his shoulder bag, Riley permitted himself a sigh. 

 

 

 

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There wasn't alot of high ground in Vibora bay overall.  Less so in Inner Weston.  Which meant a sturdy sandbagged building and not the terrible two bedroom apartment Chris shared with his mother.  They ended up at Saint Pauls.  His mother, and nominaly his own, church.  His mother had gone to help with the food and supplies laid out along one wall.  Chris was left with his thoughts, and the pounding demands of the Voice.  There was danger, the hurricane of course he suspected.  Squeezing his brow Chris tried in vain to shut it out.  It was hopeless, especially here.  He apologized to the concerned young woman down the bench from him, "Just a bit of a headache, think it's the incense."  he explained despite there being none burning.  "I'm gonna get some fresh air let Maria know if she comes looking?"  he knew they all knew his mother she made sure of it.  Like it was some kind of coup to be well liked.

 

Chris stumbled outside into the rain and wind that whipped away the smoke from the few smokers braving the weather for a fix before.  Breathing deep it did no good.  Holy ground or psychotic break the Voice refused to be silenced.   Resolutely Chris tucked his windbreaker tighter around his frame and stomped off down the block anywhere to get away from the Church for a little bit at least.  He was a block o two off when things began to quite in his head even if hte storm only rose in ferocity.  He looked about cursing, "Mierda."  under his breath as he looked about.  Then it went dark.  "Bad to worse real smart Chris."

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Anthony was on his way home. It was a long day of deliveries, and he had quite a bit in tips coming. Well, except for that one jerk who complained that his pizza was cold. Anthony knew that was a lie, but he let it go. All he wanted to do was get home, feed his cat, and maybe play some guitar. He was saving up for a mic, maybe release some of his music online. 

 

He had his hoodie pulled up and his headphones in. He kept his head down. He knew the storm was coming down. All he needed to do was get home before it hit and he'd be cool. It wasn't like he couldn't get out of town if he needed to. Still, memories of Katrina haunted the back of his mind. Then, two blocks away from home, something went wrong.

 

As pounding drums and shrieking guitars filled his ears, he turned his gaze up at the city, gazing out at the darkness. He had his costume in his bag if he needed it.

 

"Well...%^*#"

Edited by Thunder King

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Persephone

 

Doctor Camellia Blume had her hands full. She'd closed down her practice and cancelled her appointments in the face of the hurricane, and turned down several party invitations, but the Weston storm shelter she was volunteering at was filled to the brim. There was less than two feet between each cot, there were so many crammed into the building, but every one of them was claimed. There were lines of people snaking through just about every room. People waited in line for food, for bathrooms, for toiletries and other supplies the local stores had donated. Camellia was acting as a "volunteer mental health professional", though her red vest and the identification in the lanyard around her neck didn't specifically identify her as such. That sort of labeling could make people feel suspicious or self-conscious. Often the people who needed the most help were the most reluctant to, or least capable of, asking for it, so instead, Camellia and her fellow volunteer counselors came to them. They performed a sort of emotional triage, scanning the crowd for those showing signs of the greatest emotional stress and targeting them first. Some people were distraught over having lost track of pets, or having been unable to reach loved ones. Others were already homeless, and suffering from various existing and untreated disorders. Camellia and her fellow counselors stopped more than one brawl before it began. Only time would tell whose acute stress reactions would fade away, and whose would metastasize into full-blown post-traumatic stress disorder. But even a small amount of support, a calming touch and a friendly ear offered at the right time, could make the difference. Even in a disaster, sometimes people just needed someone to listen to them.

 

When the thunder rumbled and the lights went out, the people in the shelter started yelling. The volunteers managed to calm them back down once enough flashlights and hand-crank lanterns had come to life. Once she'd helped get the commotion settled, Camellia told her fellow volunteers she was taking a break. She slipped outside and sloshed through the shin-high water for a couple blocks, until she found a palm tree. She asked it nicely to lift her up so she could get a better view of the city. The tree obliged her, bending down so she could climb on top of it, then standing back up. Its bark shifted and bent to provide her with easy footholds. She thanked it and gave it an affectionate peck on the trunk. Still unsatisfied with her vantage point, she imagined the tree being taller, and it grew to match her mental picture, twice its normal height and several times its original diameter, standing firm against the battering winds. She didn't like what she saw.

 

Lord have mercy. This frog choker's already got these poor people's nerves plumb frazzled as is. They were ready to fly off the handle before someone cut the lights for the whole darn town.

 

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The Immutable Betsy Brooks

“Why don’t you stay in Vibora Bay Betsy, enjoy the weather he said. If I wanted all this bloody rain I would have stayed back home!”

 

Betsy had spent the day so far travelling around the local supernaturals she knew and made sure that they’d be okay for during the storm. With the weather being so bad she’d eschewed her bad-ass cloak for a bright orange rain poncho, like that one worn in that Brue Willis film but much cooler.

 

Having done her task she’d had a simple plan, she had a couple of bottles of cheap champaign and a safe location where she enjoy the time in a drunken haze.

 

What could go wrong? Of corse that's when the power went out throughout the city

 

“Well ****!”

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Torque

 

A-Plus Auto Wreckers was a death trap; of this, Taye was sure. The trailer she currently called home was a flimsy structure that sufficient rain or wind would erase from the Earth. So, everything went into plastic tubs, which were then delivered to her rented storage locker on the third floor of a converted factory. Safe, or at least as safe as she could afford.

 

Her uncle Otis was a stubborn man, but her inhuman body was far stronger than his. It was easy work to pick him up, take him outside, turn into a Ford Explorer, and drive him to an evacuation center as CCR's "Who'll Stop The Rain" played on her radio, loud enough to drown out his curses and protestations.

 

- "You will be safe," - she rumbled through her stereo system.

 

"Damn it, girl! You're as stubborn as your mother, Taye!"

 

- "Yes, I am." -

 

Now that her uncle was safe, it occurred to Taye that there would be others in need of relocation. So she spent the rest of the day ferrying families, the elderly and hospital patients to safety, assuming whatever vehicular form was most appropriate. This was by far the most public use of her abilities she'd made since her transformation, and many of her passengers were initially put off by the arrival of a driverless SUV that firmly requested they get inside if they wanted to live; no, she couldn't resist. But eventually police and other emergency personnel began to recognize her and her custom Florida plates (TORQUE 1) and wave her through. Vibora Bay might not be Freedom City, but its first responders knew not to look a weird gift horse in the grille. 

 

Taye was starting to develop a pleasant feeling of satisfaction with her accomplishments when all the lights in the city went out, and she reflexively switched to darkvision.

 

- "This cannot be good." -

Edited by Heritage

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CHEVAL

 

Marcus had been on the street for a while now. Full costume, with a poncho in the same pattern as his costume. Had to keep the brand going and everything, stay recognized. Even without calling on the power of Ogoun, Marcus Dumont was strong, and powerfully built, he stood out, and someone had to be seen out here, helping people. He'd run across plenty of people needing help so far, a few looters that he'd chased off, a car needing a push to get started. And the rain was just pouring down now, and he had found a young woman and her kid, helping them through the storm, shielding them as best he could. 

 

The shelters were overflowing, but where else could he taken them? "Right down there, ma'am, then you'll be there." He pointed down the street, just a few blocks away. "They'll take care of you. I gotta get back out there, but I'll stay right here until you're in there, alright?" The woman thanked him and left, getting inside.

 

Marcus stood and smiled for a moment. It might be small stuff to the world at large, but it still felt good to help. And then everything went dark. The power everywhere went out. "Man, that can't be good." If anything, this would just make everything in the city even worse. Time to get back out in it, then.

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Woodsman

 

Considering his options, Riley decided to make for the swamp. He kicked on his headlight and flicked a switch on his motor, then roared through the darkened campus with an engine loud enough that people could easily hear him coming. That maneuver got him off-campus, but much to his disgust was too little too late - Vibora City police were already on hand at the small metal bridge that let onto the many dirt roads leading into San Sebastian. Riley was stuck. "What the hell?" he called. "Why can't we get through?" 

 

"All the surface streets down there are mud!" yelled the Vibora Bay cop from the relative protection of his squad car. "You get off the bridge, you'll be bogged down in mud in ten seconds, and then the waters'll drag you down! Especially with the power-" And then he said nothing, because a gigantic foot came down on the two squad cars and squashed them flat with a horrendous crush of metal, stone, and flesh.

 

Riley looked up and was honestly too surprised to panic, watching with his fist shoved into his mouth as a tremendous bulk moved between him and the sky above, a bulk illuminated by flashes of lightning that showed reptilian flesh and rotting meat, a bipedal form some sixty feet tall that passed over him without so much as a downward look, its strides making the old railroad bridge shake with every step. As it made its ponderous way towards the downtown, Riley gunned his bike forward and looked at the mashed cars and the crater of a footstep, a crater that had no antecedent. 

 

He didn't let himself believe he was sane until he'd reached down and touched what the creature left behind. 

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Something was going on, but Taye had a bad viewpoint down on the ground; time to take to the air, rain or no. She smoothly rolled into a decent-sized parking lot, and with but a thought, she began to reconfigure herself into a black helicopter, rotors sprouting out of her roof and a long tail forming out of her trunk. Soon the loud roar of her rotors filled the night air as she slowly rose up and cleared the roofline, her lights lancing out into the black. Straining to make out anything through Dorian's wrath, she cycled through her darkvision and IR modes, as well as monitoring radio chatter.

 

There might be more going on tonight then just a storm.

Edited by Heritage

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Chris blinked at what he'd seen.  Did that tree just grab that woman?  He started carefully moving toward the woman in the tree uncertainty in his steps.  What was he going to do, tell the tree to put her down?  he wasn't even in costume.  Should he be in costume?  He pushed the thoughts away the Voice wasn't worried, not about her, oh something bad was coming, a big ass hurricane qualified in Chris's estimation not that the Voice was always clear.

 

"Uhm, Miss?"  he called out uncertainly, "Uh you ok up there?"  he looked up at the sky, "These things do get lightning sometimes and ...."  he trailed off with a shrug.  His hoodie was clearly insufficient for the weather so he really had little room to throw shade.  But up a tree seemed weird and he was almost certain it had grabbed her.

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Speed Demon's search of the city showed him many people in need of help - but perhaps the most serious was the car accident up in northern Far Weston, not far from the campus of UFVB. A car had come down, speeding down from San Sebastien Swamp, and run off the road into a drainage ditch at a T-junction. The accident must have just happened; Speed Demon could see the car filling up with water, hear the screams of children on the inside. If he didn't act fact, people were going to die!

 

From her aerial position, Torque had seen the crash in Far Weston too  - too far away to intervene, but not too far away to get there to help. She'd seen the car speed off towards the Swamp - then come roaring back down the road and crash into the hill. It was near the missing police cars she'd heard about. What the hell was going on over there? 

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Persephone

 

From the top her her tree, Camellia saw something at the far northern edge of town, though she couldn't tell what. Whatever it is, it's big! And it's moving! Heavens to Betsy, it's like the Crabtree Building itself stood up and went for a midnight stroll!

 

Camellia relaxed her arms, letting the red volunteer vest slip down off her shoulders and fly away in the ferocious winds. She slipped her lanyard over her head, gently pulled over a meter of hair through it, and then let her volunteer I.D. fly away to follow the vest. Green pigment spread all across Camellia's skin, like a cloud of ink under water. Her long hair, already falling as far as the top of her legs, grew even longer, brushing her ankles, and shifted from platinum blonde to royal purple. The irises and sclera of her eyes morphed from blue and white to a similar violet hue. Thousands of overlapping lavender leaves sprouted from her skin in strategic places, a living alternative to clothing. With a quick tug, she then ripped free her actual clothing, held together as it was with discretely sewn-in magnets, and she let the hurricane take those final trappings of her normal life as well.

 

As Camellia, she had tried to be discrete, but as Persephone, she wanted visibility. Folks might need help. Even if I can't see them, I reckon they should be able to see me if I'm lit up like a Christmas tree. Her purple hair was already shiny, but when her mental command released the right combination of chemicals into it, her hair flared up, as if someone had cracked a two meter long glow stick. She willed a duller gleam to her eyes as well.

 

At this point, she heard yelling over the howling wind, and spotted the young man below her. She patted the trunk of the palm tree, and it bent down in a nearly 180-degree loop. That should have broken it in half, but Persephone had altered its flesh so that now it was as flexible as a willow leaf. The tree trunk stretched and snaked downward until Persephone was hovering less than a foot over the flood waters directly in front of Chris. "Hey there!" She smiled and waved at the young man. It's that cutie from the shelter. God willing and the creek don't rise any higher, he won't recognize me as fast as I recognized him. "Did you need some help, Sweetie?"

 

Edited by Grumblefloof

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Anthony changed into his costume before he got to the car. He took a deep breath and rushed over. He was able to pry the door open without using his hot touch, and rush the people out one at a time. He started with the children, running them out of danger, before getting the adults out of the car. He used his speed to get them to safety before continuing his patrol. 

 

Being fast certainly had his advantages.

Edited by Thunder King

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As it turned out, there was no finishing his patrol - at least, not quite the way he'd intended. 

 

"Coming..." The father of the family, a bearded white man with blood covered his smashed face, whispered "Coming..." so quietly it was almost inaudible over the sound of his weeping children, who seemed to be trying to decide whether or not to hug the flaming speedster. 

 

There was suddenly a distinct vibration in the water of the drainage ditch; and Speed Demon felt something tug at the powers inside him too, as if they were listening to the sound of a tune being played he couldn't quite hear. Over the sound of rain, and thunder, Speed Demon felt another vibration, this one through his feet. He couldn't see anything down the road, though, not through the thick and driving rain and the city cast into darkness by the power outage. 

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The Immutable Betsy Brooks

So this was going from bad to worse, as she made out a shape in the dark.

 

“Oh for **** sake.”

 

She looked at the two bottles of cheap bubbly and the thought of a easy night of drunken bliss. Either that or a fight against a bloody big something threating this city. She sighed, it wasn’t really a choice.

 

“Well **** it! Let’s go save the bloody world!”

 

Stowing the bottles away and taking off her sunglasses, so she could get a proper look with her night vision, she made her way as quickly as she could towards the shape in the dark.

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CHEVAL

 

 

What was that thing? A giant tree, stretching up above? How was that thing even standing in these winds? This wasn't Michael level bad, but still plenty bad, and the winds should've snapped a tree like that apart. And then the tree started glowing, before it started moving, bending down somewhere, near that nearby church. The name escaped Marcus at the moment, but he was sure of it. Seemed as good a place as any to go. Setting into a run, he headed down the street and towards the light. At any rate, that lightshow was bound to attract more people, someone that could need his help. 

 

It didn't take long before he reached the tree, finding a woman that stood atop it as it had bent down, talking to a young man. There was a strange vibration in the ground, causing Marcus to stop and look down at his feet. What was that?

 

"Gwo flè..." he muttered to himself as he approached. The woman was litterally glowing. He couldn't say he seen either before, but it was always welcome to see someone else with powers, and she seemed peaceful enough, at least

 

Raising his hand, he smiled despite the rain and called out with a friendly tone. "Bonjou! I am Cheval! Are any of you hurt? Do you need any assistance?"

 

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Clearly something bad was going down on the North side of town, so Taye tipped her nose down and increased her speed, switching to IR to look for any signs of life or vehicles in danger. She also kept her radio switched to the emergency frequencies, listening for any updates.

 

The jet black helicopter flew over the city about a hundred feet above the street until it reached the crash site. Hovering overhead, the wash from her props whipping up the wind and rain even further, Taye trained her lights on the scene as she increased her amplification in an attempt to be heard over the noise; the voice was somewhat deep, but clearly female.

 

- "My name is Torque. Are you in need of assistance?" -

Edited by Heritage

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Or not.  Nope.  Tree ... friend.  He grinned a bit at his own internal monolog as the now glowing woman descended.  He glanced over his shoulder, "Who me?"   he shook his head, "Uhm, I just thought."  he pointed to the tree and shrugged brushing his bangs out of his face.  "No I'm fine."  he assured her and looked as yet another hero strode purposefully down the street, "Ah no we're all fine here."  he assured the tall man.  Apparently everyone else was out in force to help, and he looked like some lost puppy.  Which normally he wouldn't mind but for first impressions with the only other heroes he'd met maybe not.

 

"I uh was just checking on Miss."  he glanced to the woman for a moment realizing he hadn't caught a name and looked back to Cheval, "We should probably get to a shelter this is gonna get worse."  he offered trying to assert some control on the situation and winced as the Voice demanded he do more, danger was coming.  He took a steadying breath and shook it off and decided if one was going to be extra one might as well be all the way extra.  With a quite thought there was a flash of golden light he used as cover to quickly change his clothes into those of his costume.  "I am Sagrado Corazon."  he announced, "And I'm here to help."

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Woodsman 

 

Think. Woodsman stood before the smashed police cars and the bodies of the dead, his face partially obscured by nightvision gear.  Think. Smarter than the bear. Sixty-four feet was goddamned impressive when the thing was looming over you but the shadow of its footprints hadn't been that big - yet it had stepped on the police cars perfectly. It killed the cops on purpose. It doesn't want anyone to know it's here. And it stunk - it stunk bad, like rotting meat. What the Hell? He climbed back on his bike, gunning the motor as he did and setting it to run silent. Most men wouldn't have tried riding their bike with nightvision gear on under their helmet, but most of them didn't have his practice. Okay you sonofabitch, let's see how fast you are. 

 

He sped down the road, slowed himself by the rain that turned most of the road into deep puddles that at any moment could have stopped his bike and sent him tumbling painfully to the asphalt. The monster was moving at a good clip, the vibrations it set up making the road tremble ever so slightly, but as far as Woodsman could tell he was the only thing after it in the world. And no wonder; the power was still out and the rain thick, and the nice houses and apartment complexes beginning to pop up on either side were still dark, the people inside battened down against the storm. Can't do this alone. 

 

He'd taken something from the wrecked cars, a belt radio that had somehow escaped the destruction. He turned it on, one-handed, and yelled into it, "This is Woodsman!" He didn't know the VB police codes the way he'd learned in Freedom City, so he didn't bother. "There is a creature in Far Weston! Large, reptilian, a killer!" He slowed down to find an address. "Can anyone hear this?" In Freedom City, it might have gotten him the Freedom League - in Vibora Bay, there was a police operator yelling at him to get off this frequency immediately. Disgustedly, he hung up - and sped up after his prey. 

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Persephone

 

Quote

"Who me?" Chris shook his head. "Uhm, I just thought." He pointed to the tree and shrugged, brushing his bangs out of his face. "No I'm fine."

 

"Well it dills my pickle to hear that you're alright!" Persephone swung closer to the young man and gently rested a hand on his shoulder. "But Honey, you won't be alright for much longer out in this dam-buster. And other people could get hurt if they come out looking for you. But you're in luck, 'cause there's a shelter at St. Paul's right near here, not two blocks that way." She pointed in the general direction of the church. Which you darn well know already, because you were just there. So what the heck are you doing out here?

 

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Setting into a run, Cheval headed down the street and towards the light. It didn't take long before he reached the tree, finding a woman that stood atop it as it had bent down, talking to a young man. Raising his hand, he smiled despite the rain.

 

Persephone heard (and felt) over half a ton of giant metal man stomping and splashing down the street before she saw him. She was alarmed for a brief moment, assuming a defensive posture and getting halfway through the mental command for the tree's fronds to expand into tentacles. But she relaxed when he smiled and waved, so the tree only got as far as stretching its fronds to about twice their normal length and waving them against the wind vaguely in Cheval's direction, before shrinking back down and hanging limply once more.

 

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"I'm fine," Chris assured her and looked as yet another hero strode purposefully down the street, "Ah no we're all fine here."  he assured the tall man. "I uh was just checking on Miss."

 

Persephone turned back to the younger man and placed an open hand on her chest. "Well aren't you sweet as cherry pie? Thank you. But as you can see, I'm doing just fine, so you can skedaddle over to that shelter with a clean conscience." She gave his shoulder a quick pat before turning her attention toward the new arrival. Well hush my mouth, a literal knight in shining armor, riding to the rescue.

 

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He called out with a friendly tone. "Bonjou! I am Cheval! Are any of you hurt? Do you need any assistance?"

 

Goodness gracious, he even speaks French. Or close enough. ¡Quel beau gosse! The tree swung around, hanging Persephone a little closer than arms reach to Cheval. She reached in and shook his hand, flashing him a wide smile while her other hand smoothed some of her hair behind her ear. "Je m'appelle 'Persephone'. Enchanté." Her eyes and hand both lingered on his for longer than they needed to, so the flash of light caught her completely by surprise.

 

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There was a flash of golden light Chris used as cover to quickly change his clothes into those of his costume. "I am Sagrado Corazón."  he announced, "And I'm here to help."

 

Alright, just how long was I staring at Lancelot here for? Did that kid just turn into a superhero, or did a superhero appear after that kid took my advice and ran off? Forget it, I'm too embarrassed to ask. "Well butter my bottom and call me a biscuit, another shepherd in sheep's clothing! I reckon we could use all the help we can get." Persephone pointed at roughly a 45-degree angle upward. "While I was up there, I saw something way over yonder coming out of the swamp. I couldn't get a good look at it with all this hooplah," She waved a hand in circles spiraling up toward the sky. "But whatever it was, it was HUGE, like Union Station woke up from a nap and started moseying over to the frigidaire for a snack. I'm fixin' to get a closer look." She gave the tree trunk two quick slaps. "Hop aboard if you want a lift. Not the fastest way to travel, but they're a lot stronger than they look."

 

The palm tree swung back up into the air, taking Persephone (and anyone who took her up on her offer) with it. The tree then stretched and curved up over the Weston buildings until it found another tree, this one an oak. The oak extended several branches toward the palm, and the palm deposited its cargo upon them. The oak branches grew and stretched and swung as the palm trunk before them, ferrying its charge to another tree, who in turn passed it on to another, an arboreal relay race across the city.

 

Edited by Grumblefloof

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Speed-Demon blinked up at the helicopter. "OH, well, I think I can get the people out, but the car looks pretty screwed. Think you can haul it out? They need some help." 

 

He was only fairly sure that the helicopter was being piloted instead of, you know, a talking helicopter. Honestly, though, after getting possessed, there were few surprises left in the world.

 

He was worried about what was going on elsewhere, though. He had a feeling that something bad was going on tonight. 

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CHEVAL

 

Getting close now, it became clear. The woman was green. Looking at his own metallic skin, Marcus decided that being green wasn't so weird, after all. "Anchante," he replied with a smile as he shook her hand. French, and something about the way she said spoke. To tell the truth, Cheval had probably been too focused on the woman, not paying much attention to the young man, and he was caught off guard when there was a flash of golden light. Moving his right hand up to shield his eyes, he couldn't suppress a smile as the young man stood before them in a costume, introducing himself as a hero, as well.

 

"Impressive! All help is welcome, my friend!" He reached out, quickly placing a hand on Sagrado Corazon's shoulder in a friendly gesture, before letting go while Persephone described what she had seen. His friendly demeanour changed, ever so slightly. A giant shape, coming out of the swamp and heading for the city? He looked around. The streets should be deserted, aside from any stragglers. He could probably get to that thing fast, but not without knowing exactly what it was. Persephone's plants seemed strong, but were they strong enough?

 

His entire body started shrinking, the metallic skin fading into Marcus' natural color. "Mesi ampil." He reached out for Persephone's tree and held on, as it started lifting them through the city. "I doubt the thing heading outta the swamp is here to make things easier. We better watch out for any stragglers, make sure that thing doesn't get to them, no?" As the relay race began, he followed his own advice, while trying to look ahead for the shape. Find out where it was. Then get there as fast as they could. Sounded like a plan, at least.

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The Immutable Betsy Brooks

So apparently there was other hunting for whatever this massive creature was. She’d recognized a superhero team-up having tried it herself, though it didn’t really stick.

 

“So I guess you're all here for whatever this bloody big bugger is stamping around out there?”

 

She looked at the unlikely collection of Vibora’s finest, she guessed that meant she was back in the hero game. Oh well, let's do this properly then!

 

“So do we have something resembling a mother**** plan here?”

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Woodsman

 

Woodsman pushed his engine hard and caught up with the monstrosity - how was something so damn big so fast! Even now he'd only caught it because it had stopped moving; he slammed on the brakes as he reached a broken wrought-iron fence and stared past at it. A flash of lightning illuminated the creature again; a gigantic, stumbling reptile now moving across open ground towards a church that Riley didn't immediately recognize. He stopped his bike, grabbed his shoulder bag with his gear - and watched as the crocodile-thing smashed into the side of the little old chapel at full tilt! 

 

Speed Demon and Torque 

 

You heard the vibrations and felt the tremors even as you worked to save the lives of the wounded civilians, but dropping them off at the hospital meant you got back here just in time to see it happen. The spire of the old Freeman's Church falls with a deafening roar, a century of history destroyed in an instant. It takes a moment to see what's happening though - but there it is, a tremendous bipedal alligator standing amid the ruins of the church and roaring against the sky in a howl like death itself. 

 

Immutable 

 

And whatever is going wrong is going wrong now, right now, in a way that at once is terrifyingly new and all-too-familiar. 

 

Sagrado Corazon 

 

And the Voice is shouting in your ear as Persephone lands your group on the scene not in words but in impressions: "ABOMINATION! ABOMINATION!" 

 

Cheval 

 

And whatever part of you was touched by a god knows your enemy as the creature howls in triumph. 

 

Persephone 

 

And beneath the driving winds and howling storm, whatever part of you is a plant is flinching in terror from what should not be - from the Anti-Life! 

 

Speed Demon, Torque, Immutable Betsy Brooks, Persephone, Cheval 

 

The great beast howls - and suddenly things begin to change, around the time the man on fire and the helicopter woman meet the god's spokesman, the god's champion, the plant woman, and run into the unbreakable one.

 

Lines of eldritch power come erupting from the ground all around the ruined church, shimmering like spotlights in smoke through the driving rain, lines of power which intersect the great beast and make it grow! It grows and grows with impossible speed and the sound of unholy warping of flesh and bone. For this is no living being you can see now - even through the rain and winds, you can smell the scent of death and see the rotting flesh of this gargantuan abomination! It grows, and it grows until it towers above the church it once matched in size. 

 

It has more than doubled in size, now clearly visible above the far Weston skyline at what will later turn out to be a hundred and sixty-four feet tall! And at its feet, in one last flash of lightning, something new is happening - the ground is tearing open, and the honored dead of one hundred and fifty years of Vibora history are clawing their way to the surface. 

 

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As he vaulted up into the branches with Persephone and Cheval, Sagrado Corazon took note of the creak of strain on the branch and exertion from Persephone to hold them all aloft.  Laying a hand on her wrist he gave her a reassuring smile, "Don't worry they'll hold."  As he spoke there was a subtle shift to the wind to work with their motion rather than against and the branches more easily bore their weight.  Any paying attention would likely note the faint golden glow passed from the young man to the plant controller as he spoke the light nearly eclipsed by her own luminescence.  

 

As Persephone set them down outside the church chris' eyes grew wide, "Impossible." He slowly took in the scene with growing horror feeling more out of his league than usual as the dead rose unquiet and angry.  Despite knowing he was outmatched he stood resolute and for the moment pushed the Voice to the back of his mind where it could warn but not distract he hoped.  He took in the beasts trajectory and gave a resolute nod, "We'll stop it."  he stated firmly.  The alternative was unthinkable.  He glanced to his fellow heroes, "Anyone got an idea how?"

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