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Persephone

 

Persephone raised a hand to cover her mouth as she stared at the unfolding scene with wide, softly glowing violet eyes full of sadness. Earlier in the day, Camellia had left her usual pearls at home in favor of a simple gold cross, worn discreetly under her shirt since she preferred not to advertise, even when it would be socially advantageous. Now it hung openly around Persephone's neck. Her hand fell from her mouth to clutch the pendant while she mouthed a silent prayer. Lord, please watch over your children tonight, as we try to watch over each other. As you have forgiven our sins, so please forgive them this desecration, so that those who wrought it might learn forgiveness. Please extend to them the mercy that they would not show us, so that they might learn to be merciful. Please help us to ease whatever pain drove them to this horror.

 

Still hovering above the ground, held aloft by the stretched branch of a nearby sycamore, her nearly two yards of glowing purple hair still illuminating the night sky around her, Persephone glanced back and forth between the ruined church, the corpses digging out of their own graves, and the enormous crocodile. I reckon that church was probably empty. The monsters, they're the immediate threat. It doesn't look like anyone lived there. The monsters need to be contained. There probably wasn't anyone taking shelter inside. That croc isn't gonna stop with the church...No. No, no, NO! Good gravy, Girl, what're you thinking?! Probably's as useless as a screen door on a submarine! We need to make sure. Would you want anyone else gambling with your life like that? With your family's lives?

 

Persephone took a deep breath. Her arms drifted in a fluid upward arc toward the church ruins, one of them fully extended, the other bent closer to her body. Vines from several different directions slithered across the ground toward the rubble, while dozens of roots burst up from the dirt under and around it. Each one inflated to several times its normal size, until they ranged in diameter from an inch to a foot or more. She rotated her arms so that her open palms, which had been facing the ground, now pointed skyward. Then she slowly lifted both hands. The swollen plant pseudopods slid under and wrapped around the chunks of fallen masonry, and hefted it up off the ground, exposing what was left of the church interior.

 

She shouted into the church ruins. "HEYYY! IS ANYONE IN THERE?! HOLLER IF YOU'RE STUCK!"

 

Edited by Grumblefloof

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CHEVAL

 

It appeared that Persephone, Sagrado Corazon and Cheval were not the only heroes of Vibora Bay that had been drawn to the giant shadow. To the beast. He could feel it. That thing was why he was here. Smashing through the church. Summoning forth the dead. The honored dead, the ancestors. Yes. The mighty beast, towering above the ruins of the church, it was the enemy

 

The foul mouthed woman and Sagrado Corazon asked for plans. Persephone started searching the ruins for survivors. Good. She was the only one here that he knew what could do. Marcus was not much of a strategist, he knew that. Others here would probably be able to come up with better plans than him, but he could at least buy them time to figure something out! He pulled off his poncho and threw it to the side. If he were to do this right, he needed the attention of the enemy

 

"I am not a great thinker, but I will buy you time! Figure something out, while I draw its attention! We must keep it away from the city!" He strode forward in the pouring rain, walking with purpose towards the beast and its horde of the dead. He could not let this transgression stand. The beast had to be stopped before it reached Vibora Bay proper. The fallen church was bad enough, who even knew how many were still trapped inside?

 

He slammed his fists together in front of him, calling out. "BEAST! I am Marcus Dumont! Cheval of Ogoun! And I! I am iron!" He started running, quickly building up speed as his skin shimmered, almost glowing as he started growing once more, the change coming over him. "I am covered with iron!" With a flash, the power of Ogoun entered his body, a mountain of a man of iron, steel and power leaping through the air, across the horde and towards the monster's right knee. Right arm pulled back, hand clenched into a fist he let a mighty punch fly! He would draw the beast's attention, the only way he knew how!

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- "I will attempt to move the vehicle." -

 

This proved to be easier said then done; hooking her landing struts in the windows allowed Torque to lift the the car up and out of the ditch, but in the process the roof was sheared off. No matter; the family was alive, and while Speed-Demon raced ahead with the injured man, the vehicular heroine air lifted the rest of his family to the same hospital. 

 

However, the car accident proved to be the least of their concerns, as they returned to the scene in time to see a towering menace just destroyed most of an historic church, and somehow in the process managed to...raise the dead?

 

- "How is this even possible?" - The helicopter sounded genuinely confused.

Edited by Heritage

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Woodsman 

 

Woodsman was frozen in stark terror for a moment before he sped into action, doing what any Woodsman would do when faced with a sudden horde of monsters. He gunned his engine, hard, loud enough to be heard over the storm even for the creatures rising in the middle of what had been the church's green, now practically under the feet of the giant creature that had brought them back to a mockery of life. Sure fingers found a bolt at his belt and he fired it into the crowd, a sizzling tracer of a shot that further got the attention of the zombies. Just as they started running for him, the bolt hit a tombstone and a highly-compressed chemical compound of his own design fractured and hit open air - the fire suppression arrow blasting everything around it with a toxic brew that froze fast to dead flesh and bone, rain flashing over into ice in an instant. It worked - and now the others were definitely chasing him. Riley turned his bike around fast, kicking up clods of dirt as he went, and roared towards the metahumans he'd spotted on the way in. It was impossible to see much of the rapidly arriving figure on the bike; he was all black and green from head to toe, face hidden by cap, ski mask, and night-vision gear. 

 

Persephone and Speed Demon 

 

There are indeed people trapped inside the smashed church - it's easy enough to find them in the parson's office, once Persephone follows Speed Demon. It's intimidating here, right under the shadow of the great beast and amid the rotten smell of the animate dead, but it's worth it to save these lives. "Oh Lord thank you!" says the woman they can see inside what looks to have been the pastor's office. You can just make out her bruised face and worn features, and hear the voices of those pressed in there with her. "I'm Lunella Price, I'm the pastor's wife. My husband is hurt, and my kids are here in here with me...." They sound older, teenage boys maybe, but they're clinging to their mom still under the circumstances. Somebody needs to get this closet door open where it's pinned shut by fallen rocks, and get the civilians out here. 

 

Cheval 

 

Up close, it's instantly clear that this beast is dead - the animate dead! You can feel your fist sink deep into its flesh, though, and as you land on the other side of its feet, a chunk of dead flesh as big as you falls away, revealing more pustulent, rotting meat. It's really very disgusting, which is probably why you're too distracted to get out of the way when the beast ducks its head with lightning speed and closes its jaws around you! The smell is even worse here, as is the pain of being crushed between giant teeth the size of your whole body! Anyone else in the group you were with would probably be dead now but that's small comfort as the beast shakes you like a dog with a toy before hurling you straight down into the heart of the smashed church at its feet. Cheval's impact shakes the debris in the parson's office, sending more debris falling from the broken ceiling, and the Man of Iron himself plunged through a church basement down into the sandy soil beneath the church. He was far beneath the creature now, with a broken understructure between him and the fight above! 


The fight was on! 

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Speed-Demon was inside the church, trying not to freak out. He knew he must look intimidating, with glowing eyes and hair that looked like smoldering ash. He took a moment to focus and work out his plan. It didn't look like that to anyone else. 

 

He went for the kids first, gently leading them out of the building using his speed. He took the mother last, getting them all clear of the horde of undead. He hoped they would be too bewildered by the speed to notice the monsters outside.

 

Then he went back into the church and touched the debris surrounding the door. His hands heated up and made short work of it, letting him reach the pastor.

 

He guided the pastor away from the monsters as well, and returned to the battlefield, ready to take on the zombies. 

 

"I'm Speed-Demon!" He shouted. "I'm here to help." He took a ready stance.

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The man on the bike crashed out among the assembled heroes, making a hairpin turn on the street that nearly flipped him over in the rain and darkness. Woodsman had, much to his disgust, no idea who these people were. But nonetheless he knew a fight was happening and so he growled, loud enough to be heard over rain and lightning and the moans of the horde of zombies, "Going up!" There was no point in being quiet when the monsters were already after you. With that, he gunned his engine and roared towards the zombies chasing him, keeping to the half-broken line of the church walkway to avoid burying his nose in the dirt. Whatever the ravening ghouls expected the man they were chasing to do, it wasn't to come roaring back at them. Woodsman was a glistening blur through the darkness as he drove his bike full speed towards the grotesquely-swollen leg of the gigantic zombie. 

 

He'd think later about all the time and effort he was going to have to spend fixing the bike, because right now he was thinking about only one thing - how to survive the next handful of seconds. He drew his grapple gun free-handed and fired at a gigantic, rotting thigh, feeling satisfaction as the spiked tip sunk deep into the kaiju's flesh. It wasn't much of a hold, but it would have to be enough. A moment later he leaped off the bike, feeling the weight yank at his shoulders, a sickening moment of near-free fall, before he swung back and impacted the monster's left leg. He rolled against the impact, breathing in slow, shallow gasps to avoid inhaling the stink of the decidedly rotting mountain he was about to climb. Another flash of lightning illuminated the dark figure ascending the side of the giant zombie, the dead all around seemingly briefly confused by the sudden escape of their prey. 

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Cheval

 

Dusting himself off, the man of iron found himself in an unfamiliar setting. He shouldn't have been able to see anything down here, deep beneath the church in the dead of night, surrounded by caverns that looked natural. Even to be in an underground cave he knew he had to be in one of the highest points in the city, as it was the space was small and cramped for someone of his bulk, the walls wet with condensation and the rain now pouring down from up above. There was a smell in the air like a recent burning, though, and the shadow of words and symbols carved into the stone walls that practically sang of arcane power. Shadows because as far as he could tell, whatever had been here had been burned away - and quite recently too. 

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CHEVAL

 

Bondye! Cheval's strike did damage, that much was true, ripping a large chunk of the beast away, but even then, he had never hit anything like it before. It was not just rotting or sickened, it was the dead itself. The animate dead! Looking at his fist briefly, he only had time to let out a quick curse as the beast's fangs came down upon him, grasping around his body. The teeth alone as great as himself! Holding on for his dear life, he couldn't help but let out a loud groan as he creature threw him into the ground, smashing through it and falling into the strange caverns. 

 

It was but a moment, and he was on his feet again. He had never been hit as hard before. He had to get back into the fight, and yet, he gave pause. This place, it seemed like a place of worship. Even as the rain came pouring down on him, flooding into this place, that much was clear, and yet, it appeared that something was wrong. Cheval could recognize symbols of the Orisha... Christian symbology... some kind of Voodou, perhaps. He had to admit, he knew little of such things. What Nane Dee had taught him as a child, the scraps of knowledge that Ogoun had imparted upon him, and yet, this place seemed wrong. The markings had been burnt away. Were they wards, perhaps? Seals keeping the beast in place? 

 

He was not the man to solve such mysteries. Cheval was a fighter, not a thinker, or a magician. Maybe one of the others that had gathered were more inclinced, and perhaps, it would save the day, but for now, he had to keep the beast busy.

 

Once more, he leapt! Soaring out of the cave, as high as he could, as close to the beast as he could, aiming for a leg near the knee, he called out to it once more: "It will take more than that, Beast!" he roared, as he let his fist fly once again.

 

As he landed on the ground, he called out to the assembled heroes. "The caverns below hold ruined symbols of faith and magic! Someone might have unleashed the beast!" 

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It was clear several metahumans were now converging on the area, which was good; the situation clearly required force applied at great speed, which was not something the police or military could pull off so effectively. Her first thought had been to mow down the shambling figures, but with evacuations in progress, such a tactic might harm innocent civilians. So instead, the massive abomination became Torque's target.

 

Tilting herself forward and gaining velocity, the techshifter aimed for the creature's right eye, hoping to tear a large chunk out of its flesh and hopefully impair its vision with her rotors blades; she would have gone for one of the lower limbs, but two metahumans were already operating down there, and there's was no point in putting them at risk.

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Looking on in horror as the beast knocked the church to rubble like a dollhouse Sagrado Corazon froze and stared at the tableau unfolding before him.  The man of iron spoke but was barely heard over the howl of the winds and the shock of such wanton destruction, he launched at the creature only to be swatted aside like a gnat while the Voice within bellowed outrage at the thing that should not be that towered overhead.   Others branched off to search the rubble for survivors, the man on the motorcycle turned to launch himself up the beast climbing the scaley hide without hesitation and Chris swallowed hard staring down the horde that had been following.  For the moment he pushed the Voice to the back of his mind and took a step forward, "We need to steer it away from the city,"  he shouted over the winds and turned to face the risen dead, "I'll see if I can do anything about the dead."  the slight hero declared and moved to put himself between the risen and the survivors being rescued.  

 

Steeling himself he pushed down the urge to flee and stood stalwart before the advance the words of the lord's prayer almost unbidden on his lips in the latin he had been taught it in his childhood.   As the prayer drew to a close he looked up right hand resting over his heart and issued his commandment voice booming with the power of the divine,  “Sit Dominus Iesus custódiat te et perdúcat vos ad vitam aeternam.”  

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The Immutable Betsy Brooks
Giant Alligators and zombies, just another perfect ****ing day in the life of Betsy Brook. At least there were others to some of the heavy lifting, helpfully both weren’t the type to negotiate so she didn’t have to worry about. Figuring the others would handle the big bad stomping around she choose to focus on the risen dead.

 

Zombies were always a pain, refusing to stay dead, but if you punched them enough in the head them they tended to go do down well enough.

 

Sleepy time you ****ing undead.”

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Persephone

 

As the other superheroes whizzed by her, Persephone couldn't help but think back to the medical residency which had dominated the last several years of her life. It's my E.R. rotation all over again. Like I'm wading through molasses and every move I make gets intercepted half a second before I make it.

 

She flinched when the great beast mauled Cheval and hurled him against the ground hard enough to punch a hole in it. He's brave, you have to give him that. It sure cost him, though. I hope he's as strong as he looks. I'll check on him after I make sure there's no one buried under that rubble.

 

Her hands flew up and she screamed "NO!" when Woodsman's crossbow bolt reduced dozens of the zombies to a pile of flash-frozen and shattered parts. She almost lost her concentration. The plants lifting up the rubble started to sag. She quickly collected herself, and they rose back up. Oh for Heaven's sake. It wouldn't have been easy to test every one of those bodies and match it back to its proper resting place, but it would've been possible. Now there's no chance. Now the desecration of these remains can't be undone.

 

When the bloated sycamore branch lowered her into the church ruins and her glowing hair illuminated the faces of the pastor's wife and children, she gave them a smile and started to reassure them. But the young man with fire for eyes and ash for hair zipped inside, melted the debris blocking access to the pastor, and whisked the whole family away before the words left her mouth. "Do-...Well alright then." She chuckled and gave the tree branch a pat. It pulled her up out of the ruins. She released the other plants, and they shrank and retreated, dropping the rubble back where it had lain after the monster's attack.

 

She was just about to instruct the branch which held her aloft to plunge down into the hole after Cheval when he came leaping back up out of it and slammed into the reptilian behemoth again. Yes sir, he's absolutely as strong as he looks. And from the way the ground shakes when he runs, he must be as heavy as he looks, too. It's amazing that he can jump that high.

 

The tree branch swung her down next to Cheval, holding her just a few inches above the ground. "Hold still, Cowboy." She held up her hands, cupping the empty air, and two large flowers instantly sprouted and bloomed from each of her palms, a yellow marigold and a red poppy. She closed her fists, crushing the flowers, then smashed her hands together, mixing them into a pulp. She reached out and pressed her palms against the dents and scrapes the creature's enormous teeth and the impact against the ground had left in his metal flesh. Cheval felt a warm tingle as she rubbed the slimy mess against his chrome skin. The pain he'd been ignoring vanished, as did the cuts and bruises. One of her hands lingered on his chest. "You're tougher than a two-dollar steak, Darlin', but you're not invincible. Be careful out there." She turned to the side to face the creature. She clenched her fists, and a layer of dark green bark sprouted from her flesh and covered her skin in overlapping layers like snake scales. "Now, you and me, Big Boy, we're gonna mix."

 

Edited by Grumblefloof

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Croczilla

 

The beast was a bizarre sight standing - as a bipedal crocodile would be. A massive muzzle as long as its torso, relatively stubby legs and arms - and a tail! The last thought whizzed through Betsy's head a moment before the tail did its best to do just that, cracking down at her with a whipcrack motion that hit like a freight train and sent her flying away through the rainy night. Her arc was low, too low - it saved her from flying out to sea but she was suddenly tumbling along wildly at ground level, digging a trench in the asphalt as she smashed down a rainsoaked street at racecar speeds. She hit a boarded-up window, smashed through it, caught a glimpse of a convenience store inside - and then went out the other side to smash her way bodily into what had once been a nice stone statue but was now so much rubble. 

 

She could still see the monster, though, towering above the small buildings of this part of Weston, roaring in triumph as it began stalking its way across the grassy lawn it now occupied like a colossus. Everyone else could see it too - the great beast was about to tear its way through the city unless they stopped it. 

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Speed-Demon vanished in a blur of glowing orange. He followed the beast as it stalked through the city, raising his bared forearm in preparation to dig his burning hand into the creature's rotting flesh. He was glad that the stench of burning flesh would be left behind him.

 

He bolted past the monster, extending his glowing hand to dig into the beast's leg. Unfortunately, he instantly realized that he failed to harm the zombie. He cursed, loudly, and dashed back towards the other heroes. 

 

"Do I need to go get her?" He asked. "That looked like it hurt." 

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Woodsman climbed to the top of the monster, vaguely aware of scale. He was about five and a half feet tall and the monster was about thirty times that size. Not a rat against a man. A bug, a wasp, an hornet. He took a moment up there, hatchet dug into the rotting flesh of the beast's back, beset by the unspeakable stench from a mountain of decaying meat, to think about what had brought him here. All right you son of a bitch. He crawled his way, hand over hand, amid the sound of helicopter blades, of howls, of screams, of the murderous dead. I know three goddamn things. He reached somewhere around the shoulder of the beast, easily dwarfed by the massive head that swung out in front of him like a city bus with teeth the size of his whole body. One is killing monsters. He drew his bow and fired one-handed, the impervium tip digging deep as it hitting the rotting flesh far out onto the jawline, catching on bone. He tugged, hard, holding on as the creature jerked and bobbed through its fight with the other heroes.

 

The monster barely felt the sting but that was all right - he hooked the other end of the line to his bow and fired again, this time using a gas cartridge bolt to drive it especially deep. Crocodiles got stupid weak arms! The second shot hit the creature right in the midst of its 'palm', the barbed tip digging deep, and suddenly the creature jerked and gave a pained howl as it realized its jaw was now tied to its own body! It jerked, howled - 

 

And Woodsman fired another shot, line hooked around the first one, a long, long shot that went zipping down and hit the creature right in the foot! It wavered, roared, and suddenly began to topple backwards. I got you sucker! Oh sh- Tripped up by super-tough line digging into its skin like a man pinned by needle and fishing line, the monster was falling backwards! He dug in his ax and rode out the fall even as his stomach lurched sickeningly, leaping clear at the last second amid the tremendous roar and explosion of the creature slamming tail first into the remains of the church. He hurt as he rolled to the ground and ran, ran from the rampaging god-thing he'd brought down, hurt down in his ankle where he'd landed, but he was alive!

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CHEVAL

 

Everyone seemed to be striking at the beast, though with little effect. It seemed not even the strength of Ogoun were enough to deter this beast, after all. And... was that a helicopter trying to cut the beast with its rotor? Incredible.

 

The beast was on the move, it seemed. Single, massive steps brought it away from the ruins of the church, and the innocents that had been saved by the present heroes.

 

He was about to move when a branch brought Persephone near him. Hold still? He did not have the time to hold still, did he now? They needed him. They needed all of them, if they were to stop this beast. And yet, he listened, as Persephone spread the strange pulp over him. It was a weird sensation, and yet, his scrapes were disappearing, he no longer felt sore. It was remarkable!

 

"Mesi." No, he was no invicible. She was right about that. "I know, but I'm betting that I can take a hit better than anyone else here. I have to keep everyone as safe as I can. Let us see what we can do against the beast when we work together!" The beast was not heading for the city, was it? No... It was headed to the abandoned strip mall. There was a church there, like this. Could it be heading for churches? Destroying places of worship? He didn't have time to think about it before the creature fell, brought down by a man with a crossbow.

 

"HA! Now this is more like it!" He rushed forward, as fast as he could. Draining the beast could be risky. Who knew what kind of corruption he could invite inside his body? And yet, if his blows did nothing, then perhaps that was this best option. He struck at the beast's head, hoping to see at least some effect.

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Croczilla: 

 

Cheval felt his blow ring out like a gong as the power of the god inside him tore away a tremendous chunk of rotting flesh from the fallen titan, making it howl and writhe as rotting bone and muscle melted away from its gigantic skull. The effect was like taking a blowtorch to snow, and chunks of rotting flesh larger than a car were soon falling everywhere around the iron powerhouse. He'd clearly hurt the beast, striking at the very heart of the magic that bound its dead flesh together, so much that from the 'shoulders' up it looked more like a gigantic skeleton with a few bits of rotting meat still holding it together than anything else. But bone and tendons were still horribly alive and as the mountain-sized creature roared and writhed in undead agony that dwarfed even the fury of the storm, it was clear that it was still very much in the fight!

 

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Torque was gathering a lot of information about the creature and those who chose to oppose it. It was very strong, but not every attack injured it. And the multi-colored plant controller seemed to possess some sort of healing ability. Which was good, because the foul-mouthed woman who'd been swatted so far away could probably use some of that about now.

 

Apparently lacking the ability to directly damage the monstrosity, the techshifter instead took off in the direction Betsy had been hurled, her turbines whining at top speed as she flew. She'd been monitoring the combat in IR, and therefore had a pretty good idea when the indestructible woman had landed. Sure enough, the trench she'd dug during impact was still bright with heat, and soon she was hovering directly over her, kicking up a whirlwind of debris as she yelled through her external speakers as she slowly lowered down to her.

 

- "My apologies; this may be unpleasant!" -

 

From the hull of the helicopter, several tentacles of steel shot out and began to rapidly wrap around the injured expatriate. The very second Betsy was firmly held, the black helicopter shot back into the air, pulling some serious G's as it raced back to Persephone, only to rapidly decelerate and land gently by the plant lady's side, carefully depositing Betsy on the pavement as the limbs withdrew.

 

- "I have another patient for you!" -

Edited by Heritage

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Breathing a sigh of relief as the risen dead fell back to their rests, one way or another, Sagrado Corazon looked off in the direction the beast seemed to be moving with concern.  "Another Church?"  he questioned though hadn't time to ponder much more.  High above woodsman unleashed his enveloping bolo arrow and the beast began to tetter.  Tracking the creatures path he leapt gracefully back, though perhaps ought have dove for cover.  He managed to easily enough avoid being crushed beneath the creatures bulk if narrowly.  He had not anticipated the effects of the undead reptile impacting the street however.

 

As the foul humors within the beast burst from rupturing rot the lithe hero was covered in the befouled ichor.  He was for a moment stunned speechless though clearly disgusted as he sought someway to escape the clinging foulness, "Dios,"  he spat, "It's it's in my mouth..."  he bemoaned before succumbing to the urge to purge bending double as he emptied the contents of his stomach into an unlucky bush. 

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Persephone

 

Persephone flinched again when the enormous crocodile's tail struck the English woman in the dark longcoat and sent her flying. She got halfway through the mental command that would send the tree branch she rested upon swinging toward the Englishwoman when the helicopter spun around and followed her. Nevermind, good, the chopper will get there ten times as fast as I could. Persephone barely had time to form that thought before she was distracted from the Englishwoman and her plight by the mysterious and recklessly effective stranger, whose reckless effectiveness continued uninterrupted as he brought the gigantic reptilian zombie crashing down to the ground.

 

"Goodness gracious!" she yelled. "Good thing we got those people out of the church when we did! But fry my feet and call 'em 'drumsticks' if that wasn't some darn impressive physics calculatin' you did, in your head even, bringin' down somethin' that big with a tool that small. Archimedes would be proud!"

 

Not as proud as he would've been if you'd factored the variable into that equation that would've kept you from nearly gettin' squished like a Palmetto bug in a wood chipper, but still, proud.

 

Quote

- "I have another patient for you!" -

 

Sure enough, in a matter of seconds, the helicopter had retrieved the injured woman and lowered her beside Persephone, apparently having noticed her ministrations to the metal man. Persephone clenched her fists, then opened her hands as more flowers grew from her palms, up through the cracks in the protective bark coating her skin. Where only two flowers had grown for Cheval, this time Persephone created a whole rainbow bouquet, including poppies and marigolds like before, but also adding begonias, daisies, and lilac. As before, she crushed the flowers together into a paste and pressed the pulp against Betsy's skin. The pain which had overwhelmed Betsy moments ago vanished instantly, replaced by a warm tingle and a slight rush of euphoria, like she'd just tossed back the best espresso she'd ever tasted. Betsy could feel her broken bones fusing back together, the open cuts in her flesh closing, the swelling fading away from her skin. "There you go, Sweetie, you should be fine as peach fuzz now."

 

With the Englishwoman's wounds tended to, Persephone turned her attention, at last, to the behemoth. "Now let's see if we can't build on that darn good foundation our Mystery Man laid down and keep this beast from knocking over any more buildings. Hey Albert!" she shouted at the creature. "I don't know what put the burr in your saddle, but this little hissy fit you've been pitchin' is officially over." She swung her arms up and around in front of her body again, dropped into a crouch, then surged upward while taking a step forward, pushing her upturned palms up toward the sky as if lifting an invisible box. The soil around the creature exploded as hundreds of roots and vines, stretched and bloated until even the smallest ones were thicker than telephone poles, surged up and over its body in every direction before burrowing back into the dirt, attempting to pin the prone crocodile in place under a tangled web.

 

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Croczilla 

 

Bound, the great wounded beast roared and thrashed - and the very landscape shook with it! It broke free of Woodsman's lines with a toss of its great head, though Persephone's powers proved far more difficult to counter. Still, the sheer size of the great monster meant it was still a threat. It rolled to its feet, stamping great and bloody limbs, and the lightning and thunder overhead matched its fury. As water from sheets of rain gushed over and through its body (pooling in a foul lake at its feet), the beast thrashed and howled ominously - and everything shook again! It was immediately clear that the waterlogged ground already weakened by Cheval's recent trip into the depths of the Earth, couldn't handle this much violence. As the beast fought, the soil beneath everyone's feet roiled and bucked like so much water, already damaged stonework cracking and breaking into rubble as the battered church property was further shaken to pieces. 

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Steam rose from Speed-Demon's body as he called on reserves of power he had not yet touched. The spirit within him was calling for carnage, to tear this creature apart. So, he answered.

 

He sped forward, a burning orange trail in the rain, the steam followed behind him as he approached the creature. Before it could even twitch, he dug two burning fists into it's undead skull. The heat was intense enough to char away flesh and bone instantaneously.  

 

He began to slam his fists into the monster as fast as he could. He sacrificed accuracy and precision and threw the hardest strikes he could. He didn't bother counting them. Before it could have a chance to take a swipe at him, he hurried out of it's reach and back towards where he had stood before.

 

He stopped his stride and slid back where he was, his glowing palm drawing a trail of steam as he slid back. 

 

"Alright, you son of a bitch, let's see how you like that!" He said, breathlessly. 

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Flames burned through the great beast's body as it roared and stomped its defiance, bound by nature's power even as divine energy infused its dead flesh. Guessing what was going to happen, Woodsman ran his way to cover and ducked behind a still-standing mausoleum in the cemetery. Just in time, as the zombie crocodile went from burning to exploding. In an awesome rush of arcane magic that briefly battered away the remnants of the hurricane still washing the city, the giant crocodile 

 

EXPLODED 

 

in a wash of heat and light that was briefly as blinding as the Sun! There was a terrible scream from the heart of the inferno - or maybe the cry of a beast's soul being set free, and then the light was gone and the heroes were standing amid the burned, smashed remains of one of Vibora's greatest churches, while all the while the torrential rains of the hurricane continued to beat down on them. Of the great beast they'd fought, only a burnt-out skeleton remained, charred black with a flame that had faded away now that its celestial work was done. 

 

When the explosion cleared, Woodsman ducked, looked around, and headed for the group of heroes. "Hey! Hey!" called the masked man in black, raising his voice to be heard over the storm. "Any of you know anything about magic!?

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Barely lurching behind a crumbled wall Sagrado Corazon managed to just avoid the blast of the beast succumbing to the many blows unleashed by the fiery speedster.  It did manage to clear the air and most of his suit of hte foul ichor that had so recently coated the area where he stood and he was able to once more get his stomach to cease it's lurching revolt.

 

Standing he looked out at the devastation and shook his head in amazement they had all survived, then looked once more to see that they all indeed had survived as he did a quick mental count of those he'd seen rush to the scene.  It looked like some were battered but all were accounted for at least.  He approached the dark clad man and looked him over somewhat critically, "Nice shooting, landing coulda used some work."  he teased  mildly and looked over the charred remains shaking his head, "Does a high school trip to universal's wizarding world count?"

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Persephone

 

Persephone's skin was already covered in protective bark when the giant crocodile exploded, but she still reflexively raised her arms in front of her face and turned her head away. Without any conscious instruction from her, the trunks of two different trees in the churchyard also twisted, stretched, and dove in front of her, shielding her from the blast. While the smoke cleared, the trees slowly spooled back into place, their bark scored by the shockwave and splattered with charred reptile flesh. Persephone reached down and helped pull Betsy to her feet.

 

Quote

"Any of you know anything about magic!?"

 

The bark covering Persephone's skin quickly dried out, shriveled up, and fell off. She brushed a few stray chunks away with her hands. "Sorry, Sugar Plum, afraid that's not my department. Closest I ever came was dating a magician for a month and a half when I was nineteen, and all I learned from that is what a bad idea it was for me to date a magician. But I'm fixin' to climb down that hole and take a look at that cave our knight in shining armor here mentioned. Then I'd like to mosey on over yonder to the swamp that thing came out of. I bet the plants in both places have some real interesting things to show me. But first..." She motioned upward with two fingers, and the tree branch holding her lifted a few meters up. "...Is anyone else hurt?"

 

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