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Breaking the Doomforge

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May 17th, 2021

Early Afternoon

The Lab


Voltage entered the room, and took a breath. A small crew of drones was busily flying about the room, dropping off pitchers of water and glasses.  In addition, each seat had a tablet.  He had sent word to Miss A that he was coming up with plans to get rid of the Doomforge in Kingston.  She had agreed. He also sent word to the Atoms, in case they had any ideas.  They sent their newest ally, Rocket, who would represent them in the discussion.


He had plans to expand the scope of the discussion, and then the collective efforts to get rid of it, once the initial discussions were well underway.  If he had too many voices in the early phases of the discussion, it might make it harder to establish.


He took a deep breath.  "I'm ready." He said over the comm. 

Edited by Thunder King
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A doomforge squats obscenely amid the rubble of a fallen crystal castle, its once-proud defenders dead or transformed into technological terrors by the will and power of Omega. The world's fallen champion stands, his weapon bearing the hearts of his lost loves, alongside an approving Shadivan Steelgrave. There is movement in the rubble, and Steelgrave gestures to his personal guard; a hulking brute among the cybernetic abominations at his command. Without a word, the guard steps forward and picks up the still-living creature from beneath the debris that had sheltered it, a smaller defender of this last stand. It looks back at its master for a command. "Do as Omega wills," says Steelgrave, his voice deceptively soft behind his Exterminator armor. The drone looks between the forge and its prisoner, and then strikes what it carries against the ground again and again until nothing is left but organic remains. It is conscious of its master's "hm" as it returns to his side watching, waiting. Above, the red skies of the Terminus beckon as fleets of Omegadrones fly overhead. 


In Miss Americana's office in the Lab, Steve's eyes snapped open at Voltage's words, his dark, lined face the implacable mask that meant deep things were stirring inside his mind. Slowly, he unclenched his fingers from the arms of the chair where he had been sitting. "I need to go with you," he said, rising to his feet, knowing his wife would know all too well where his mind had been. "I cannot sit here while It is discussed." He put his hand against the wall for a moment and added, "But I will follow." 

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Miss Americana turned to face Steve from behind her desk, but it was Gina's eyes that sized him up before she gave a brief nod. It would be useless, worse than useless to argue that Steve should avoid walking into the scene of his darkest nightmares. He'd had a long time to learn how to deal with the pain of his past, and it had never involved looking away or trying to forget. Action was what he needed, and hopefully erasing the stain from their city would at least lighten his crushing burdens. "Whatever you need to do," she promised, "I'll help you however I can." She picked up her tablet and a handful of holocubes, brushing one hand lightly down Steve's arm as she headed for Voltage's conference room.

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Late, late, late.


Of course Jay was late. Again. And just when he had been picked to represent the Atoms at this whole... thing. The Doomforge? Yeah, he knew about the Doomforge, he didn't have powers when Omega attacked, but uncle Johnny had told him all about it, and it had been bad. Still, he kinda wondered why he had been chosen. Super fast, sure, but he mainly dealt in physics, quantum or otherwise, and, well... this was a Doomforge


Moving towards the conference room, he passed by Miss Americana and Harrier and slowed down just in time before he reached the door, coming to a complete stop. 


"Sorry, sorry, I know I'm late! I'm Rocket, from the Atom Academy!" He kind of wanted to shake their hands, but at the same time? He was late, and Voltage was waiting. 


But honestly? With these people here, what was he doing here?

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When they were all inside, the former Omegadrone settled himself into a chair near Miss Americana, one of the reinforced ones that only creaked slightly under his weight. He was a big man and heavy, slow in his movements outside of combat. He didn't fidget. But he did roll his neck, making an audible, distinctly mechanical sound, before he spoke in a soft, rumbling voice. "Thank you for summoning us," he said to Voltage. "What do you propose?" 

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Voltage took a deep breath.


"Welcome, everyone, thanks for coming. We need to get rid of this thing.  I don't know what sort of danger it presents now."


"I have tried to study the Doom Forge to the best of my ability. I'm not an expert on the Terminus, though I do know a lot about technology. My first proposal is simple, in a way."


"A series of pylons, located around the Doom Forge that would teleport it off world.  I realize that doing so could potentially violate treaties or be seen as an act of war, which is why I'd propose teleporting to a location no one would go.  The outer edge of a black hole."


"If I'm right, the black hole's effect on time and space will render the Doom Forge harmless. I admit, though, I don't know all of the dangers that the Doom Forge could present.  I'm open to other ideas, of course."


"We would, of course, have to make sure it's empty of all life, and that the area is cleared before we place the pylons." 

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Miss Americana nodded. "I've had a team at ArcheTech studying the Doomforge for the past eighteen months, trying to come up with ways to dismantle it safely. There aren't many available. It's monstrously strong, an order of magnitude above anything we build with here on Earth, and full of nasty little traps for anybody trying to break it down or even get into it. I nearly lost this body trying to see if we could just take it apart in small pieces," she admitted, turning her hands over to view the now-unmarred backs. "Sending it somewhere to just implode has a certain elegance to it, but actually doing the removal could be a serious challenge without destabilizing all the land around it. What have you got in mind?" 

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"Singularities are often gateways to other dimensions," said Steve softly. "I can give you the...energy signatures, to ensure that the chosen portal does not lead to the Terminus. It would be unwise to attract attention beneath the Doom Coil." He shifted in his seat, the chair creaking slightly, and said, "The long-distance transportation effect must be accurate enough to deliver the Forge directly to the event horizon. If it should drift into deep space, it might land on a world large enough for material conversion and full awakening." He blinked and behind his eyes saw the vast staring maw of a Doomworld, tearing its way through the populated star systems nearby


He put his chin to his hand and said, "How deep beneath the planet's surface can you send the effect?" 

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Everyone else had been looking into the Doomforge since it showed up? Honestly, Jay felt kind of out of his depth here. He hadn't been doing anything like that, after all.


"So, uh, I'm not really a Terminus expert or anything like that, but if it got small scale defences for taking it away in pieces, and its kinda stuck right now, do we know if it got anything that would disrupt the teleport?"


He shrunk a bit in his seat. Why did he even ask that?


"They're not really easy to get rid of, right? So what if there's something in there that can disrupt the teleport, or worse, alter it? I dunno, it might hijack the signal or something like that, send it somewhere we don't intend to send it?"

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"That is an excellent point, that's why we've brought people in.  As for the teleport effect, well, I'll need to determine the precise dimensions of the Doom Forge in order to make sure we can get rid of it. The Terminus is all about entropy, so I have to assume we would need to alter our calculations to potentially compensate for any interference the Doom Forge itself could provide." 


He sat back, and took a deep breath.  "I've come up with a series of pylons that would relay the teleportation signal between them, based roughly on how my own teleportation powers work.  I would place them around the Doom Forge and key them specifically to the Doom Forge's own...unique energy signal.  Then, the entire Doom Forge would be teleported elsewhere."

He looked at the other three people at the table.  "Thoughts?" 

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"I think it's a solid start," Miss A said, opening the holoprojector in the center of the table without moving a muscle. Words and images began to spill onto the table in three dimensions; the doomforge, several speculative pylon designs, a map of the city's power grid that quickly expanded to include water, broadband, phone and transportation lines around Kingston, and a rapidly growing web of calculations that she didn't bother to explain. "We're going to need to get very exact measurements, and that includes below the surface as well. We're speculating that it might go down at least half as far as it goes up, maybe more, and just teleporting a chunk of earth like that could cause subsidence for up to a quarter mile in every direction. We might want to consider finding an equivalent patch of similar soil in an uninhabited area and using the teleporter to plug it in as quickly as possible, to minimize sinking. I'm just going to assume that any city infrastructure that was there is already a lost cause, but we'll want to make sure that nothing is live or gushing when we get to work. What sort of timeline are you thinking?" 

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  • 3 weeks later...

"It is a good plan."


Jay thought for a second. So, half the blink of an eye to the others.


"How do you propose we test the Doomforge's defenses? We can run simulations all we want, but do we have some samples or measurements to make sure what's gonna happen?"


He could at least aid with the delivery system, try to move the pylons into place before the defenses would notice.

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"Doomforges are built to a common plan," rumbled Steve softly, "I have provided interior schematics, a f-floorplan and the like. But the defenses are organic. Not of...of flesh and blood," he said, gesturing with his scarred hands. "But they will have been designed specifically for this world, with the possibility of resuming the cycle of infection even after the initial drone force has been destroyed." He rose to his feet, putting his hands on the table in front of him. "I recommend remote-controlled probes with built-in self-destruct systems. Piloted by remote transmission rather than cyberkinesis, to avoid the possibility of hijacking."


He hesitated a moment, then, seeming to gain in confidence, went on, staring down at the plans without actually making eye contact with anyone "The force of the Terminus have come to this place as a...murderous invader. The reality of the Terminus itself is of...of death run riot. Do not plan for a battle against an enemy. Plan for a battle against a nightmare. This, and no less, is the reality of what lies inside that place," he said, finger stabbing at the image of the forge.  

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"I don't have a specific timetable, but I'd ideally like it gone by the end of the summer.  I agree with testing the teleporter matrix.  We have sensors that should be able to detect the mass of the Doom Forge and map it out in it's entirety.  We map out the Doom Forge, key it to that specific mass as much as we can, and then test the teleportation matrix on an equivalent amount of soil somewhere else, just to make sure it'll work without issues.  We can see about putting that soil back immediately.  Obviously, we won't be returning the Doom Forge.  Taking what you just said in mind, I think I can whip up a new proprietary drone control unit to plant the teleportation matrix."


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  • 3 weeks later...

"Well, it's been awhile since I flew a drone with my hands instead of my brain, but I think I can come up with some tough little drones to plug those control units into," Miss Americana offered. "Self-destructing, like you said, as well as some sort of defensive capability along with the ability to deliver the payload. I think I can tweak that self-destruct to be "destruct the area around self" as well, just to put a little more pressure on the forge wherever we can manage it. I don't plan on anything we send in there being retrievable or reusable anyway. Why don't we start with plans for the teleporter and the drones, network together on our collective progress, and see where it takes us? I think end of summer is a reasonable timeline, barring more world-threatening disasters." She brushed her knuckles lightly against the wood of the table. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

The plan was good, solid. And Jay felt like an idiot for his next question, because these people obviously knew what they were doing much better than he knew what he was doing, but...


"Just to cover all bases, but are we sure it'll be enough just to take the same mass? Do we know how the Doomforge's materials will react to the teleport? If the Terminus is as weird and invasive as you say, then who knows if it even follows the physics of our universe?"

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