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From the Clear Blue


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Sunday, February 27th 2022, Midday afternoon


Predator
 

/Shift end in approximately 14 seconds…/

“Thank you, Cynthia.”

Jean snarled as the tentacles tightened around her, trying to crush the armored shell protecting her from the alien environment of the dimensional transition. Servos strained as she fought to pull herself free of the creature. She didn’t even know what it was or what it wanted, and frankly she didn’t care. Honestly, she didn’t even know if it was actually sentient. It had been pulled into the space between worlds with her when she shifted.

She’d been through this often enough that she’d been able to tune her sensors to the subtle signs of when a shift would hit her and estimate when it would drop her into a new world. Seconds ticked down as she fell through the nothingness between worlds, struggling against an abomination nearly four times her size.

Freeing an arm finally, the fingers of her gauntlet retracted and a click-snap was lost to the colorful void. A foot and a half long blade extended from the back of the hand of the foreplate, just under the Duster plate and clicked into place. With a vicious slash, the edge bit into the tendrils ensnaring her other arm. Again and again she hacked until her other arm was freed. In an instant, a matching blade appeared and Predator began driving the mono-edged weapons deep into the rubbery flesh of what seemed to be the main ‘body’ of the creature. Purple ichor ran from the numerous wounds she dealt it.

/4…3…/

The numbers echoed in her ears as she desperately tried to free herself.

/2…1…/

Crap, wherever she was about to wind up, it seemed she was going to have an unwanted tag-a-long.

/0…/

Inside her helmet, Jean shut her eyes against the disorientation of shifting. 

 

Nothing happened for a full two seconds. It was only an estimated timing after all, it wasn’t right all the time, to be honest it was never 100% correct. Another second passed and a tentacle slipped around one of her arms again. She pulled her other arm back to slash…

 

A new reality slammed into the combatants. The force driving them apart as the duo fell through open midday air. Predator quickly recovered, it wasn’t her first shift after all.

Noting the pull of gravity on her again she twisted as she fell, getting a view of where she was falling to. Below her a city stretched out beyond her current field of view. Inside her helmet, screens flickered and shifted as a wave of new data was being processed.

/Locate gravity detected…calculating time to impact…7 seconds…6…/

Jean grunted, but her primary concern was the mass of tentacles and teeth mere meters away from her. It was slightly lower then her, most likely due to their relative orientation when they shifted. Somewhere in the corner of her HUD the local time and date synced and she made a split second decision.

‘Sunday…’

She thought briefly.

/5…4…/

Predator twisted again, bring the hands of her gauntlets to bear on the creature. The blades click-snapped, collapsing and sliding back into the forearms of the suit as her palms opened to reveal the focusing lens of the twin blasters set within. Taking only a moment to note her surroundings and judge her attack.

/3…/

Light erupted as the energy blasts struck the creature. The force actually slowing Predator’s decent even as they drove the creature down with more momentum.

The angle of the attack drove the thing into a nearby building, sending it plowing into empty offices before it could land on the populated street or sidewalk.

The sound of the impact alerted those below, causing a commotion as people either ran for cover or pulled out cell phones.

/2…/

It didn’t matter to Predator though, as long as they stayed out of harm’s way. Using her maneuvering thrusters she slowed her fall and angled into the opening in the building’s exterior.

 

Inside the ruined office Predator rolled with her landing and came up with her palm blasters ready, Cynthia’s countdown cutting off. The creature was not in sight though. Dust and papers fluttered in the air, settling around the destroyed furniture. She could hear the buzz of damaged lighting and the interior was dim, but not dark. It had only been a moment between her shots and her entering, it should be in sight.

 

Slowly the smooth faceplate of the helmet scanned the room. Nothing registered on her sensors and she began to worry.

/Negative signs of movement…/

Cynthia offered.

“Gimme thermal vision.”

Jean ordered.

/Engaging.../

On her screens the color palette of her imaging switched to the colorful gradations of infrared thermal sight. It was hiding, waiting to strike.

This had been how it has surprised her just before she shifted. It had come out of nowhere, latching on to her seconds before they both dropped out of that world and fell into the void between worlds as she had decided to call it.

What it didn’t count on was that this time it was the prey, and a Predator was the one on the hunt for it.

Edited by Spacefurry
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There were many perks to working in the theatre industry, one of which was a reasonable amount of free drinks and snacks from the concessions stands in the theatre in which one worked, being an actor meant generally he had the lions share of daylight hours to himself, outside of rehearsals and recitals. costume fittings and the like, a perfect set of coincidences that lead him to where he was now, sat on a local roof top in his costume with a latte in hand and a bagged muffin at his side overviewing the streets below.

 

it was really the first time he'd used his powers "selfishly." finding himself a quiet place to sit and not obsess over the events and revelations of the last few days, needless to say he was still ready to spring into action, combat with crooks or just being able to intervene positively in someone's life in a small way, catching a escaping balloon, helping someone cross the street or even just signing the very infrequent autographs from whatever small niche of fans he had won himself.

 

he was of course taken completely off guard by the sound of a powerful energy weapon discharging over his head and saw nothing more than shadowy blurs crash into the office building across from him a few floors above him.

 

"Duty calls Mr. muffin, ill be back for you later." he sighed as he stood himself up and focused his attentions on the mirrored glass of the building, his body rippling momentarily before he rose into the air and began to approach, arms raised and ready to evacuate civilians from the struggle if need be.

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   ROCKET   

 

By the time Mirror Knight had started to rise into the air, a streak of blue, black and yellow raced past him, up the building, towards the whole that had been blown in it, disappearing inside almost as soon as it was spotted.

 

Just before

 

An alarm sounded through Atom Academy. Jay looked up at the noise, taking himself away from the his current project. He had once read a comic about a Cosmic Threadmill, and he had wanted to see if he could build one, but the alarm was more important. "What's that noise, ALEX?" 

 

It took just a second for the Artificial Life-form EXperiment to respond, but by the time it did, Jay was already by the monitors, next to headmistress Tesla Atom. "Interdimensional incursion detected, Mr. Wade." 

 

Tesla watched by the screen as the armored figure and the monster appeared and started to fight. She turned to Jay and opened her mouth to shout "GO!"

 

By the time the words left her mouth, he was already gone.

 

Now

 

"Hey there." 

 

Rocket stood before the armored figure, almost appearing out of nowhere, aside from the rush of air that had heralded his appearance. He wore the Atom Academy uniform, his hands held up to show that he meant no harm.

 

"So... where did you come from?"

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Posted (edited)

Predator

 

Predator’s smooth helmet slowly turned as she looked across the office until a voice sounded from behind her. Reflexively she snapped around, one palm aimed at the owner of the voice. The other palm still pointed out into the office space. A sticky looking purple substance was splattered across her arms and chest, a few drops freckled the smooth blank face plate.

There was a moment before she spoke, the voice slightly distorted by the helmet’s hidden speakers. When she did speak, it was short and concise as she took in Rocket's appearance and manners.

“Costumed. Friendly greeting. Hero.”

As if that was all she needed to know she swung back around and stood up, letting her hand fall to her sides.

“Elsewhere.”

She answered Rocket’s question.

“But I didn’t come alone. An unknown entity arrived with me.”

 

Inside her helmet the color palette of her screen shifted again as thermal shifted to ultraviolet. This gave her something to see. Looking down at her own arm, the purple ichor clinging to her arm it shone like blood under UV. Looking across the office she spotted a glowing trail on her screen.

“Whatever its leaking is emitting low level ultraviolet radiation.”

She said, sounding just a little curious.

“Cynthia, adjust the search lights to emit ultraviolet light.”

/I am sorry, damage to the emitter array makes it unable to comply/

A second digitized female voice came from the hidden speakers. Jean cursed under her breath. Just another repair to add to the growing list. All the shifting and lack of appropriate resources had taken its toll on her and the suit.

 

She looked back at Rocket.

“I don’t suppose you can see in the ultraviolet spectrum?”

She asked before the helmet tilted to look past him to the hole she had made in the outer wall.

“A friend of yours?”

She asked as Mirror Knight rose into sight.

Edited by Spacefurry
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"Aqquaintences, we've met on the job before now." He spoke calmly as he manuvered to be better situated and not just hovering outside the impact hole like a fly around a open jar of honey.

 

"I am Mirror knight and my compatriot here goes by rocket if memory serves." His gaze wandering beneath the featureless mirror mask to look for signs of disturbed matter and dust.

 

"Pleasure to be working with you again my friend." He added adressing rocket directly.

 

"I Caught most of your exchange. I can do UV. Just give me the signal."

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   ROCKET   

 

"Sure, Rocket's fine. Or just Jay." 

 

He wasn't really a secret identity guy, anyway. Not like he hadn't been seen in public. People knew he was Johnny Rocket's nephew, anyway.

 

"So, elsewhere?" he asked, crossing his arms as he spoke. "That's a whole lot of options. Where do you mean by that? Space? Alternate reality? Another dimension? Mole people from inside the Earth's crust?" He was talking fast. As usual. Couldn't help himself. At least he knew better than to run off and look for trouble on his own. "And that "unknown", what is it? What could it do. Would be nice to know what we're looking for here."

 

There was a lot going on here already... Hopefully the armored person from elsewhere had some answers before he went rushing off.

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Posted (edited)

Predator 

 

“Mirror Knight and Rocket.”

The armored one nodded at each hero.

”Then, for now, you may call me Predator.”

 

Her smooth faceplate focused on Rocket. There was a pause of silence as internally Jean pulled up and glanced at a few still frames from her fall through the sky.

”Forgive my shortness.”

She began with a nod toward Rocket.

”Judging from several iconic buildings amongst your skyline, I assume this is this world’s version of Freedom City. I am originally from my own version of the city, on my own world. So, an alternate reality is an accurate description.”

Predator shook her head.

”But, what matters is that something arrived with me, something not from mine or this world. I can not verify how harmful it could prove to be to the local populace or ecological system.”

 

She looks back at Mirror Knight.

”I injured it before our arrival, and the substance it’s leaking seems to have an ultraviolet response.”

Predator gestured towards a hallway leading out of the the office space and into the rest of the building.

“Initial scans show a trail leading deeper into the building, but my tracking software is offline.”

 

Inside her helmet, she switched off her microphone and addressed her computer system.

”Cynthia, begin a basic system scan and compile the results with the running list of repairs needed. Mute alerts.”

/Affirative… beginning basic system scan…alerts muted…/

She didn’t need a distraction at a critical moment.

 

Jean switched her microphone back on and addressed the two again.

“Thank you both in advance for your assistance. Now, for the safety of others, it must be contained or eliminated.”

She stated almost matter-of-factly as she let Mirror Knight take the lead.

“The entity consists of an amorphous form with several tentacles in a radial around a maw. Approximately 3 meters wide, it seems capable of stretching and contracting its mass and appendages not unlike a typical octopus.”

Edited by Spacefurry
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"ah it can't ever just be a grumpy rabbit can it? its always a toothed octopus or a inverted humanoid or something rubbery and disgusting.." he sighed as he moved his left pointer finger in a perfect circle tracing a line of thrumming purple light that span itself into an orb and cast its strange glow out across the room its low frequency hitting on colours otherwise unseen by human eyes amidst the chaos of the crash sight, revealing splotches of the creatures...blood adjacent fluids to the unassisted eye as white puddles beneath the glare of the orb.

 

"Time to follow the yellow drip road."

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   ROCKET   

 

"Predator? Right."

 

Jay didn't exactly have a ton of alternate reality experience, but he had been studying everything Atom Academy had on the subject, and it turned out that the Atom Family had been doing a lot of multiversal adventures in the past.

 

No reason to distrust the person in the armor just yet, and Mirror Knight seemed to be taking the lead here, but...

 

"Is it visible to the standard visual spectrum?"

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Predator

 

Predator nodded at Mirror Knight, letting the hero take the lead as the drops and smears of ichor shone under the UV light.

“So this happens with some frequency in your world.”

She asked with all seriousness at Mirror Knight’s quip as she watched him conjure up his light.

 

She looked back at Rocket as they began to follow Mirror Knight.

“It was visible normally when it attacked me, before that I didn’t see it. It was fairly rocky terrain and something in the local stone was interfering with my radar.”

She answered Rocket’s question.

 

The trail of ichor led out into the hall. The building’s dim interior was eerie and quiet, it was a Sunday after all. Following the shining trail was like something out of a horror movie. Predator’s smooth face plate slowly moved as she watched the hall ahead cautiously. Small noises from her joints and the soft hum from her ready blasters were the only sounds coming from her for several moments before speaking again.

 

“Judging by the visible technology, it appears your world is close to my own in basic advancements. Tell me though, are there any advanced research centers?”

She asked, the helmet’s speaker giving her off-handed tone a minor distortion. Jean cursed mentally, even small repairs had been hard to make in the last world she’d landed in.

“If I have the time after this hunt, I may endeavor to petition for their aid in facilitating repairs before my next shift.”

 

The trio followed the trail down halls in a random pattern, the creature unfamiliar with the environment. Moving deeper into the interior the only lights were a single long bulb every twenty feet or so. At one point the path seemed to split, but Mirror knight could see far enough ahead that he could tell the creature had doubled back and taken the second path. A small plaque on the wall indicating restrooms, the HR office, and a server room were in the new direction.

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Looks like whatever it is has doubled back and is heading that way." Mirror knight states with a rising panic "towards the restroom, HR office and server room."

 

"Rocket do you think you could relocate me with you? i think we'd best go for speed in this circumstance, and whilst I am limited to human speeds i think the light will shine fast enough to reveal the the beast a head of your arrival."

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  • 1 month later...

   ROCKET   

 

"Sure. I can carry a lot while I'm running, so just point me in the right direction. Come on, I'll get you both."

 

Jay stands behind Mirror Knight and Predator, waits for a brief second to give them the chance to get ready... and then he speeds off, running through the building as fast as he can safely go, moving at Mirror Knight and Predator's directions.

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GM

 

Predator was heavy, but not as heavy as Rocket may have thought. With Mirror Knight’s direction they follow the trail of UV reactive ichor in a flash. As Rocket carried the two down the winding hall they could tell the trail was thinning out, but they were able to tracked it to a set of broken double doors. A sign to one side identified it as the ‘Server Room’.

The faint light from the hall did little to reveal the large room littered with a multitude of tiny, blinking lights. But somewhere within, the trio could hear the sounds of equipment and electronics being wrecked and destroyed. A few stray drops of the ichor still shows up under Mirror Knight’s light just beyond the room’s threshold before the trail disappeared completely.

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Predator 

 

When they reach the double doors Predator motioned for Rocket to set her down. She didn’t say anything as she stepped towards the broken doors, reaching out she pulled on one of them further aside. It creaked on its remaining hinge.

“It seems to be healing from its wounds if the diminishing trail is any indication.”

Internally, Predator called up her thermal vision, then dismissed it. The electronics within were obscuring any other heat signatures. Instead she took a moment to pull up the several images of the creature her cameras had captured.

“I don’t think it has traditional sight. I don’t see any eyes on it in the playback stills.”

She said, wishing off-handed she could share the images. The helmeted head looks around for a moment before pointing to a set of switches beside the remains of the other door.

”Some light should only help us.”

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  • 4 weeks later...

"some light it is then, bright but not harsh." he said as he held his hands parrellel to each other and appearing in a swirl of colours between his palm a orb of bright white light akin to that given off by a SAD lamp formed, casting uncoloured radiance into the darkness of the server room, mute and intense as it surged to fill the shadowy crevices between the racks upon racks of servers.

 

"it would cast shadows no matter what i did So keep an eye out for movement in them."

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