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Octoman

 

*SNIFF* Fur... *SNIFF* ...poop... *SNIFF* ...fur... *SNIFF* ...poop... *SNIFF* THERE he is! Lessee, whatta we got here...cheap drugstore soap, no frills. Workin' man, and single. Dude's got no money and he ain't tryin' ta impress anybody. Harsh chemicals...so maybe he's just a janitor who hates kids 'cause we remind him of his squandered potential. ORRR maybe he's a MAD SCIENTIST who's gonna turn the zoo animals into GIANT MUTATED CARNIVOROUS HYBRIDS RAMPAGING THROUGH THE STREETS UNTIL HIS DEMANDS ARE MET! Only one way to find out.

 

In one second, Ben's skin cells analyzed the light reflected from the objects around him and released matching pigments, rendering him invisible. In another second, his tentacles slid out from the pockets in his arms and torso with a quiet slurping noise, while the top layers of his flesh stretched and folded and condensed to change his appearance from that of a casually-dressed 16-year-old boy to the distinctive yellow and black jumpsuit of The Sensational Cephalopod, OCTOMAN!

 

Octoman bent down to immerse his face in the mystery man's scent, and began following the trail. His tentacles floated in the air around him, the thousands upon thousands of suckers flexing as they took in even more olfactory input. With his eyes fixed onto the ground in front of him and his ears useless, he was oblivious to both the humming and the frightened screams of the other attendees.

 

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"We should at least let Dr. Ellison know, then we can check it out. We're not the only ones here."

 

He started to try to walk casually in the direction he'd seen the motion in. Then the sound hit him like a wall, and he froze in place for several moments. Veronica was saying something. What was she saying? Micah struggled to think. He turned to look at Veronica, his eyes showing tiny green lightning bolts roiling over them.

 

"I need to change."

 

The air whirls around them, and Micah is gone, over in some corner out of sight of people and cameras. In between the blinks of eyes, he's yanked his costume and goggles out of his backpack with hands shaking at several times the speed a human should be able to achieve. His regular clothes tore as he yanked them off and stuffed them in the pack. He tried to breathe, and it was all shaking, shuddering breaths. He blurred through the air, the goggles barely settled on his face, the pack dropped on a nearby roof. He landed near the others, not the same place, and there he crouched. All but curled in a ball. 

 

The air around them stirred, and dust kicked up in little whirls.

 

"What's going on?"

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For a second, Heroditus was gripped in the worst fear he'd ever experienced.  He had just seen Danica and the tortoise enclosure, and suddenly felt like he himself was in a great arid desert.  A blazing sun loomed overhead, the air so dry it sucked the moisture from his skin, his lungs, his eyes.  And the vast emptiness, coupled with the certain knowledge that there were things out there, things he would not see or hear, things with fangs and pincers and stingers and skin rougher than any shark's.  He froze, then began to hyperventilate...

 

... and then it stopped, as his trembling caused Astrid's headphones to slip back down over his ears and blare her viking metal at him, providing some measure of interference.  "An akoustik effect," he realized, "like what ancestor Teptavopos worked on!"  He adjusted the headphones to fit more securely, cranked the volume, and checked on his squadmates.  "OH!  I THINK I CAN COUNTER THIS!"

 

Reaching into his pouches, he withdrew several components and quickly set to work.  Surfacers, always so volatile.  But this should bring some much-needed calm.  In moments, he had what looked like a rounded cone with four tuning forks emerging from the side, set evenly around it.  He set it on the ground, on its wide end, then knelt before it.  He raised his hands to either side of it, and channeled his arcane energies into the device, which set the four tuning forks rotating.  Two of the forks began vibrating instantly, in sympathy with the subsonic fear effect that was blanketing the area, then the other two began vibrating at a counter frequency, generating feelings of serenity and tranquility.

 

"HOW ARE YOU FEELING NOW?," he asked Micah and Veronica.

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GM

 

Up ahead of the rest of the Claremont students, Danica managed to fight off the effects of the sound waves that had begun emanating through this part of the park. But as the elementary school children around her started to show signs of fear and panic, the teenager quickly went into action. Maneuvering her Segway around the group of school kids, Danica managed to keep any from running away, herding them close together as she pulled up near, promising them everything was going to be okay.

 

Then she put up her turtle shell to protect the group, enclosing them all inside.

 

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Hot on the trail of the mysterious figure, Octoman heads back behind one of the nearby buildings, unaware of the chaos unfolding behind him. Behind the building he finds a service path used by zoo staff to access some of the nearby enclosures. He does not move too far along this path before he spots the strange figure a short distance ahead.

 

The figure appeared to be a man, wearing a dark, slightly tattered trench coat and a wide brimmed hat. He was standing half-turned away from Octoman, holding a phone in one hand and appearing to be in a conversation with someone using a headset.

 

"The fear effect should be creating chaos, unlock the enclosures and that should keep them busy while we move in for the one you are after."

 

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Back where most of the Claremont students where gathered together, Heroditus' spell created a clamming sensation that washed over Veronica and Micah, helping to brush aside the fear and uncertainty which had been gripping them. But even as the two teenagers were freed from the effects of the subsonic attack, things seemed to go from bad to worse.

 

Up ahead and to the left of the group, several adults came running and screaming from an area near enclosures located there. Just moments behind them appeared two large gorillas, roaring and clearly agitated as they moved into the main path, pausing a moment to look around them.

 

Behind the group there as another roar, and looking back they saw a tiger that had somehow gotten lose as well and had leapt out onto the main path as well. It hunched down, looking like it might be ready to pounce on some nearby bystanders who were cowering beside a table.

 

And then the subsonic humming continued, washing over the area once more. This time, it was too strong for the countering effect Heroditus had cast, and washed over the four teens once more. The Atlantean teen found that the blaring music from Astrid’s headphones seemed to at least help somewhat against the effect.

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Veronica Danger

 

Veronica was not terribly surprised when Micah quickly departed to change, she knew he was rather concerned about keeping his identity secret. As both Astrid and Heroditus moved over near her and Micah, the teenage Danger watched as Heroditus quickly began casting a spell. Veronica was able watch Heroditus shape the magic with her mystical sight and felt the calming effect wash over her and remove the lingering feeling of fear.

 

"Much better." She replied to the Atlantean teen, before just moments later the strange humming washed over her once more. Once again Veronica felt the feeling of fear grip at her as Heroditus' countering effect was pushed away. This time, the teenager was able to push aside the feeling as she saw several of the animals somehow get free from their enclosures.

 

Realizing they needed to do something to contain escaped animals and avoid the effects of this strange humming, Veronica looked down as the numerous silver symbols on a long necklace chain that she had just taken out. Selecting about half a dozen of them, she quickly unclipped them, reattaching them to a smaller bracelet chain. As she finished attaching the last one, she could sense their magic synthesizing as she slipped the bracelet over her left wrist and then extended both hands out to her side, releasing the spell around her that would stop the fear caused by the subsonic humming.

 

"We need to get these animals back into their cages without harming them if possible." She stated to the others around her, before a look of concern came across her face. "Anyone know where Ben is?"

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Somehow things had managed to go from bad to worse. Gorillas and tigers oh my. Astrid clutched Porrklubba harder and let out a Norwegian curse under her breath. "Faen." It didn't exactly do much good but it did let Astrid vent a bit. Her usual way of venting when villainous shenanigans were afoot (beating up the jerks responsible) was unfortunately denied to her until they got this wild situation dealt with first. With that in mind, she heeded Veronica's call and answered back.

 

"Don't know where Ben ran off to but I think he noticed something was off before anyone else did," she quickly explained before saying, "Gonna have to cut this short. I spot a mean looking tiger that needs to be settled down. Be right back." Knowing that she didn't have a lot of time, Astrid focused and started to say a couple words of the Old Norse in a fast whisper. She had only done this spell twice and she still hadn't exactly mastered it, but given the situation she didn't really have time to be slow and exact. When her incarnation was done sparks of lightning surrounded her as her clothing magical shifted into her costume. 

 

Her rocking battledress now on, Astrid activated Porrklubba's power of flight and bolted into action. The magic warclub left a travel of tiny sparks of electricity as she flew above the running crowd of scared zoo-goers and closed on the rampaging tiger. When Astrid made it to her quarry she gave the animal a reluctant look even as she blocked its way from the fleeing guests. "Really hate to do this but you're going to need to go to sleep be a tick. Don't worry. I'll make sure the drittsekk that started all of this gets there's." 

 

With that said, Astrid held Porrklubba out in front of her and yelled "Skykkr!" Instantly, the a bolt of lightning emitted from the weapon and stroke the animal. Astrid knew that the blast won't be lethal or even painful but she still cringed as the tiger was hit.  

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Octoman

 

Quote

"The fear effect should be creating chaos, unlock the enclosures and that should keep them busy while we move in for the one you are after."

 

DEFINITELY not the janitor, then!

 

Octoman's tentacles stretched as the coiled up like springs. When he'd built up as much muscular tension as he could, he unleashed them, launching hundreds of feet of tentacle flailing at the mysterious stranger. The effort disrupted his skin's ability to monitor and mimic the light being reflected off of his surroundings, causing him to appear as if someone had cut an Octoman-shaped piece out of a photograph and then clumsily pasted it onto another copy of the same picture.

 

"Sorry Mister Mad Scientist! No unleashing GIANT MUTATED CARNIVOROUS HYBRID ANIMALS to rampage through the city streets until your demands are met today! Not with THE CRIME-FIGHTING KRAKEN HIMSELF, OCTOMAN on the job! These animals are staying nice and UN-mutated today! EAT TENTACLE! Wait, no, that would probably hurt on my end. These things are actually kinda sensitive. Damn, I should really workshop these catchphrases BEFORE I run into the bad guys. It's like, UNPROFESSIONAL, y'know? Like, GECKOMAN wouldn't be out here slingin' his ROUGH DRAFTS at you. I mean, y'all decided to pull this crap on MY DAY OFF, so it's not like you were gettin' my A-game ANYWAY, but STILL."

 

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GM

 

The mysterious figure was caught completely off guard by Octomam's sudden appearance, barely having a chance to register the tentacles coming at him before they began coiling around him. In moments Octoman had managed to coil his tentacles around the figure several times, completely immobilizing him and lifting him off the ground.

 

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Back where the main group of Claremont students were located, Ms Thursday quickly moved to try to incapacitate the escaped tiger. But although her electrical blast connected with the feline, causing it snarl in discomfort, the beast quickly leapt aside, even as its fur stood on end. Somehow the tiger managed to shake off the effect of the electrical attack, shaking itself slightly as it focused its gaze on the teenage heroine.

 

Snarling at the teen, the tiger leapt towards her, its claws leading in front of it. However Ms Thursday was able to easily step aside from the attack, as the tiger’s leap carried it past her, where it landed on the ground, turning back around to face her once more.

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Micah grit his teeth as the...whatever it was...seemed to increase in force, despite the best efforts of his Atlantean teammate. He closed his eyes and breathed through his nose, a measure in one of his many calming exercises. 

 

'They think this stuff's scary? They've never heard thunder on the plains!'

 

His eyes snapped open, almost completely green with energy as the outline of wings manifested behind him. His whole body pulsed with faint tracers of energy.

 

"I've got the gorillas."
 

And then, in a crack of thunder, he was moving. Tracers of lightning as thin as spider webs showed his path. He raced back and forth between the raging primates, delivering a barrage of blows with such rapidity, one could be forgiven for thinking a storm had landed. His fists and feet struck dozens of times in a second as he put everything he had into trying to drive back the maddened gorillas. 

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Heroditus' cobbled-together device was throwing off sparks, and the tuning forks were all going a bit wonky as they spun out of alignment and then fell out of the metal cone.  "I CAN FIX  THIS!" he shouted, though whether he was trying more to reassure his comrades or himself was up for debate.  He worked frantically at his device, scratching in new sigils, trying new tuning forks, and popping in a few gemstone slivers.  He took only a few glimpses up from his work, to see his squadmates fighting the escaped animals -- "THIS SHOULD CALM THEM DOWN, TOO!" -- and the still-panicking throngs of people.

 

He sent another charge of mystical energies into the device, and it sprang to life again, tuning forks rotating, cone humming, absorbing the fear-inducing subsonic waves and emitting a calmative counterpulse.

 

Now that his machine was running again, he spared a moment to look up and around at the surroundings.  There must be some transmitters, concealed somewhere near here.  Up in the trees?  The light poles?

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GM

 

Thunderbird's rapid attacks all land solidly on the pair of gorillas, both of which are caught unprepared for the sudden attacks. Both animals grunted in pain before being knocked back from the teen, flying backward a short distance before landing hard on the ground, unconscious.

 

Artificer once again tried to counter the sub-sonic vibration effects that were emanating around them, but now the effect seemed to have stabilized and was reinforcing itself, easily overcoming Atrificer’s magic as it continued to affect the bystanders around the teenage heroes.

 

Not deterred by this, the Atlantean teen began looking around for the source of the subsonic vibrations. Glancing around him, Artificer spotted what appeared to be a small acoustic device fixed up on a branch of a nearby tree.

 

But even as Thunderbrid dealt with two of the escaped animals, another sound caught the group's attention. From up ahead came the sound of squealing tires and what sounded rather like distant thunder. Around a corner a small go-cart like service vehicle came, a zoo employee behind the wheel and appearing to be panicked. This vehicle was followed almost immediately the massive form of a charging rhinoceros.

 

The rhinoceros managed to move up alongside the service vehicle, swinging its head to the side and smashing its horn into the vehicle’s side. The force of the impact sent the vehicle out of control and it swerved to one side and crashed into a low wall near one of the animal enclosures.

 

The rhinoceros briefly came to a halt, shacking its head for a moment before it turned and seemed to fix its gaze on Thunderbird, the closest of the Claremont students.

 

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Back on the service path, Octoman easily grabbed ahold of the man, wrapping him several times in coils of tentacles before pulling him off his feet. The figure barely was able to struggle before the tentacles bound him so tightly he could barely move. As Octoman turned the figure to face him and began engaging in his typical banter.

 

Now looking at the man, Octoman could see he was in his forties. With long brown hair than came down around his face most of the way to his shoulders. The man gave a small smile as he looked at the now visible form of Octoman. "You are already too late. By now half the park, including your friends, should be cowering in fear, as agitated animals freed from their enclosures start to run amok among them."


"So you have a choice young hero. Waste time dealing with me and let people start being injured or killed, or go now and try to help stop the animals."

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Veronica Danger

 

Veronica winced slightly as Micah attacked the two gorillas with a rapid series of punches and kicks. "I said we needed to try to contain them as gently as we could…” She began to call out to her classmate when the speeding service vehicle and pursuing rhinoceros appeared. "Looks like we have a bigger problem now." She called out to the others.

 

Looking back toward where Astrid was engaged with the tiger Veronica called out. "Might need your help with the rhinoceros!"

 

As she spoke, the teenage Danger raised her right hand, which glowed with mystical energy. At the same time, a similar glow began to form around the tiger, trying to wrap it up and immobilize it. For a moment it seemed as if the tiger might be trapped by the mystical energy, but at the last moment the feline managed to dart away, escaping from Veronica's attempt to trap it.

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"Hva i helvete?!" Astrid cursed aloud as she saw the tiger shake off her spell and leap to the side. The beast tried to return the favor with an atatck of its own but Astrid was fortunately enough able to deftly avoid its claws. Of course, that didn't change the fact that she was wasting time dealing with a very ticked off feline when needed to be helping out the others with the rest of the chaos. "I'll be right there!" She yelled to back to Veronica. "Just need to take another swing at Grumpy Cat over here." Taking in a breath and concentrating, Astrid stared the tiger down yet again as she channeled divine lightning into Porrklubba, this giving the spell a significant boost in power. With another scream of "Skykkr!" blasted the tiger once again. 

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