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Dr Archeville

Massive Explosion in Riverside! [IC]

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Time/Date: March 29th, 2009 (a Sunday), ~10:00am.

58 degrees out, steady SSW wind at ~10 mph. Earlier morning had been foggy, now it's hazy; a light rain is due to start in an hour or so.

Riverside. A section of Downtown Freedom full of bohemian, Old World charm, featuring several small parks, tree-lined streets, and brickwork buildings. It's a popular place for young people, especially college students and artists, partly due to the comparatively low rents and loft apartments, and partly due to the plethora of shops and restaurants which cater to most any avant-garde need.

At the Sunberry suburb (located on Sunberry Lane), all seemed quiet. Most all the inhabitants were either away or deeply asleep, so the silence was only broken by the chirping of birds and barking of a stray dog.

This was not to last.

A great and violent explosion at 23 Sunberry Lawn sent the white siding, blue shingles, and red door of what the neighbors called "the America House" hurtling up and out, though they were engulfed in flames. The explosion was so great that several homes near it were also destroyed, and wind-driven fires quickly spread to other homes. Thick, black, acrid smoke poured out of the crater, and the damage evidently reached several underground power conduits as people several blocks away found they were now without electricity.

Dr. Metropolis, Freedom's enigmatic "City Spirit," felt the explosion like a punch to his gut. In a flash he was on the scene, his green glass eyes surveying the damage as a police officer might react to seeing several badly mangled corpses: calmly, professionally, but with a hint of revulsion. He radioed Freedom Hall, whose seismic monitors were already feeding Daedalus information, and reported the scene.

The League would be there soon... but who else would come?

[[Continued from this thread.]]

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Contrary to the stories spread by certain poorly-researched roleplaying games, vampires don't actually sleep. Those vampires descended directly from Vlad Dracula, in fact, don't even need to take shelter during the day. There were no days off for young vampires working their way up in the world of undead politics, a necessity of which Jack was only too keenly well-aware. A normal man might have had trouble running daytime errands all day and fighting crime all night, but it had been a long time since Jack Faretti had been a normal man. He had the good fortune, or maybe it was misfortune, to actually be in Riverside the moment of the explosion; shopping for a deathday present intended for one city elder on behalf of another elder too indolent to actually leave his Bayview mansion to go shopping. It was all tedious and deadly dull, the sort of embarassingly trite activity that sires and dams usually didn't describe to their prospective fledglings when they told stories of the undead.

At the sound of the blast, Jack dropped the necklace he was holding and spun around on his heel, blinking back tears as he stared into the sun and saw the rising cloud of smoke over the neighborhood. "Get down and call 911," he told the frightened shopkeeper, summoning his own courage to run out of the shop and stare at the sight of the huge rising cloud. Some people around him were running in terror from the massive blast that had to have been only a few blocks away; others were watching, their eyes open wide with fear, a few people around him had been hurt by broken glass.

It was ten o'clock in the morning. Avenger hardly ever came out in daylight; usually only often enough to prove that he wasn't actually a vampire. Jack was hungry, too, not having fed yet that day. But he could see the fire from here. People might be hurt. People might be dying. Jack had seen enough dead bodies to know he didn't want to be responsible for anymore. He ducked into the darkest alley he could find and actually said a short prayer for strength, even as part of him laughed bitterly at the obscenity of the damned undead calling on prayers to any deity. He was a monster. But he was also a hero. After a few moments of quietude, he moved away where no one could see him. It was Avenger who made his way towards the blast, on foot by rooftop with the sunlight sapping much of his abilities, but none of his hungers.

"Can't let people suffer because of me. Can't." When he finally made his way into the neighborhood where the blast itself had occurred, Avenger looked up at the blast and made a small, involuntary noise. None of Avenger's faux-loner dialogue; none of Jack's own words, seemed adequate to sum up the horrors of what he was witnessing. Finally, when he'd mastered himself, Avenger moved closer, down at ground-level to investigate the disaster.

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Arrowhawk stopped dead with the realisation of what he'd done straight after he pressed the button. But... it just seemed so wr- Fire, pain and white heat slammed into the elevator. The shaft giving way, he felt the whole elevator go crashing through rubble and soil, even as it collapsed in upon itself. mortar smashed into him, cracking ribs and numbing his ability to move. He tried desperately to get low and minimise the inevitably horrific damage, but a shard of metal walkway embedded itself in his upper leg, pinning him to the wall behind him even as the others gave way.

All this happened in an instant, explosion driving a rapidly decomposing elevator upwards towards ground level while smashing and stabbing into its occupant, bludgeoning him unconscious. It was wrong. I couldn't let it be there... was his last thought as something heavy smashed down onto the jaded archer and drove the breath from his lungs.

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Every once in a while, life decides that your day is going to suck, and there's not really all that much you can do about it. All you can really do is just grit your teeth and ride it out. But unfortunately, some of us don't even get that option. No. Some of us just have years of blood, sweat and tears swept away in an instant. Gone. Just gone. And nothing you say or do can bring it back, no matter how desperately you want to.

But what's even worse than that, is when you can see it coming. Even knowing, just for a single second, that you're about to lose everything AND there's not a damn thing you can do about it, strikes a mortal wound to your very soul. So when you take all of this together, and bundle together with being blown up and being lit on fire, and you will have the universe's equivalent of a "$%^& you!" that was just hand delivered to Malice this early Sunday morning.

Malice's broken body was pitched quite some distance. A significant portion of his armor was charred, and several pieces simply weren't there anymore. Shrapnel was embedded in the suit, almost everywhere it could go, making Malice look like some sort of disfigured porcupine. A rather large piece of shrapnel had actually gone right through the armor, lacerating Malice across the chest, where he now bled heavily. If it weren't for the life support systems, Malice would already be dead.

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Dark Star had been doing what he usually did; flying and patrolling. When the explosion occurred, he blinked as he felt the ripple. In a flash, he rocketed to the still blossoming cloud of destruction. He took in the destruction and carnage, even as he moved. "By the stars above...what happened," he muttered to himself.

Despite his shock, he wasted no time, letting his senses extend down into the rubble. If there were people inside, they might not have long. He had to move quickly, be it moving rubble or finding and healing the injured to keep them alive.

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Taylor was studying in her cheap loft apartment when she felt her eardrums pop from the shockwave just as the power flickered out. She frowned and looked up at her now dark surroundings and strolled to the window to peer outside. Not only was the power out all over in this section of Riverside, she could see in the distance the flicker of fires burning not too far from her home.

Her mouth firmed in a grimmace. Her one weakness. That didn't cause the diminutive heroine to hesitate as she fixed her gaze just above the destruction. With a crackle of fell energy, Taylor Chun dissapeared from her apartment and Phantom appeared in the skies of Riverside.

Her expression was downright furious as she took in the crushed houses and structures. This was her home.

She avoided the licking flames and picked the first collapsed structure she saw to begin phasing through, looking for survivors.

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Ace was traveling incogneto, avoiding the press as was his habit before his 'official' return to Freedom City. It had been awhile and he had spent the last few days getting back in touch with old contacts and making a few new ones while reaquainting himself with the city and its luminaries. Thus he found himself weaving his way thourgh the suburban maze of riverside, top down and enjoying the morning sun.

The lightweight sports coupe actually bounced slightly as the shockwave rocked the ground beneath him, Long time vetran of battles both supernatural and conventional Ace was well versed in what that ear popping boom represented. As he commanded his phone to dial his special line to the govenorand dropped the car into gear racing towards the rising pillar of smoke.

As a voice on the other end began to resopnd Ace interupted, "Morning Govenor, Ace Danger, Theres been a massive explosion in the Riverside district of Freedom City we'll need you to get the national guard mobilized for rescue immediat..." Ace screeched to a halt as he crested a low hill and looked down into the masive crater in the center of the quiet neighborhood "Dear God," Ace Danger had seen many things in his years on earth and it took quite a bit at this point to render him speachless.

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Sunlight glinted and glowed across the gigantic marble frame of the Centurion statue. The godlike man had proven mortal after all, giving his life to defend his adopted people. All too many men would have succumbed to hubris with such power as he had at their command, but he had not. His efforts served the demos and the polis, as was proper. Though fallible, the cosmic Roman had displayed the cardinal virtues of decorousness, wisdom, justice, and courage--especially courage--through to the end. Standing atop the gentle waves of the Centery Narrows, the Mariner looked up, both at the monument and to the man, praying that he, too, would rise to his duty in such a commendable fashion.

Next to the Mariner's feet, the dolphin named Aristo stared up at him with its unreadable black eyes, seeming to ape him as he gazed upon the statue. Abruptly, something caused the sleek gray creature to turn, squeaking and clicking, toward the shoreline.

Trouble.

A moment later, the water dutifully carried news of a hammer blow to the city even as the air brought the deep, rolling report of an explosion to the Mariner's ears. The blast had been close. Ignoring the knot that suddenly gripped his stomach, the defender of the depths narrowed his piercing blue eyes and scanned the nearby skyline. Soon, a rising plume of inky smoke rose toward the clouds like Zeus' finger in reverse, pointing to the place where he was needed.

Obediently, the water of the bay rose beneath the former sailor, propelling him quickly atop its swell and wrapping him in its protective embrace. Soon, he was racing along as fast as a sports car, a prayer to Poseidon on his lips and ocean water whirling about him in wild eddies and currents, grimly set upon reaching his destination as fast as possible.

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Sen sat in a meditative pose on his floor.The room was dimly lit by a soft overhead light and sparsely furnished. He was accustomed to this posture, so his legs didn't cramp. What he was not accustomed to was mediation. Akai had insisted however, that this would help him gain control of his life from his demonic side.

In truth it was helping. In the beginning he had felt little more than massive agitation and impatience, but these last few hours were easier. He breathed in. Then the building moved.

The floor shook as if a giant had smashed the building on the side, and Sen fell over. He Quickly scrambled to his feet wondering if it were an earthquake. But he new immediately that it wasn't as the building stopped moving. Then the light overhead went out. Sen glanced out the window, where there was still some daylight. As he stuck his head out to look a curtain of dirt, and debris swept by. It was shock wave. That meant an explosion.

Truly Freedom City was not a place for the old. Quickly dressing himself Sen went to his closet. Inside was the Muramasa. The sheath was Ebony carved with runes, a masterwork blade. Sen could feel the sword's malevolence but, reluctantly, he picked it up.

He had gone out little during the day. Most supernatural menaces came with the darkness, but now he decided he would go see what happened. At the very least maybe he could help move some people. Tucking the sword into his belt Sen leapt from his window and raced down the street heading towards the thick column of smoke.

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09:58

A toga-clad prince, standing in his gleaming chariot, floats in the sky. He draws back on an empty bow. As he pulls the string, a shaft of flame appears in its wake. He unleashes his fiery bolt to descend upon the earth below. Where it lands, the earth cracks open. Where once, there was a city, now there stands only a pillar of light and smoke and fire.

Beside him, a pale warrior maiden sits atop a white horse. Her golden tresses hang in a braid from beneath her horned helm. She knocks an arrow, takes aim at the field below, and lets fly the cloth-yard shaft. Her arrow strikes true, piercing the heart of the young shaman. He falls from his metal steed, collapsing to the asphalt.

The dominos fall. The strings of fate are rent asunder. The plague spreads unchecked throughout the land. For want of a nail, the kingdom is lost.

The Scarab clutched at her forehead and collapsed to her knees as the stabbing pain echoed throughout her skull.

09:59

The manhole cover popped out of its housing and clanged to the ground several feet away, as if coughed up and spat out by the very ground itself. Pedestrians jerked backward, interrupted as they tried to cross the street by the sudden gust of wind in their faces as something unseen flew past them. Newspapers and coffee cups were scattered and blown away.

...Not fast enough...Not enough time...

10:00

BOOM.

David Freeman was reaching into his satchel for another newspaper as the ground shook from the explosion, knocking his bicycle out from under him. His body flipped into the air. The crown of his head smashed against the street. He rolled over onto his back and pulled off the "dorky-looking" helmet his mother insisted he wear. Split down the center, it fell apart in his hands. "Whew. That was close."

The sudden absence of sunlight drew his attention upward. It was eclipsed by the flaming wreck of a minivan that now hurtled down toward him. He froze. He couldn't think, not even to pray.

His heart still felt like it was stuck in his throat when the battered vehicle slowed to a stop just above him, at the same time the crimson-&-gold armored woman materialized on the street in front of him. Whoa, he thought to himself. Just like Star Trek...

Her arms were extended up toward the van, which hovered and gently swayed in the air, as if suspended by some invisible cord. She lowered her arms, and the wreck crashed down to the ground.

She turned to David, extended a hand as her cape flowed behind her, and pulled him to his feet. "Are you injured, Mr. Freeman? Do you require medical attention?"

David palmed various areas of his own head and torso. "No, I'm OK, thanks...waitaminute. How do you know my name?"

The Scarab chuckled. "Keep up the good work, and you will get that scholarship. You will be accepted to Standford Medical School. And you will discover a vaccine for John Varley's Disease, before it kills millions instead of thousands. Including Mr. Varley himself."

David's eyes widened. His jaw dropped open. "Um...Varley's Disease? I don't think I've ever heard of that."

The Scarab floated a few feet up into the air. "That's because the alien who brings it to Earth won't arrive for another twenty years."

David blinked, and The Scarab was gone. "Did that just happen? I did hit my head pretty hard there..." He shook his head, climbed back onto his bike, and pedaled home. "I don't think anyone's gonna notice if the morning news arrives today."

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Ace took a moment to collect himself before continuing, "Its bigger than I thought, we'll need help as soon as you can get it here, I'm heading into the area to see what I can do now." With that Ace hung up, the govenor was a public servant and would hopefully do as he asked. Ace hadn't the time to exert further pressure.

He looked up and saw the small shapes of Freedoms defenders flying or blipping into view as he pulled a meager first aid kit from his trunk and headed down into the blast area. He came first upon a beat cop standing shocked at the destruction before him. No signs of injury Ace noted quickly and stood before the man looking him in the eyes, "Get ahold of yourself, there are people down there relying on you and mea nd anyone we can find to get them to safety now get on that radio and do exactly as I say." As the officer shook off his shock he began to call in his location and status. The band was clearly abuz with news of the event. Ace had the officer call in additional support as he looked down the street for anyone else moving.

That done he headed for the nearest house and began to gather survivors. Few of them would have any formal training but until the big guns got here this was all they had. He looked out over the assembled group and spoke clearly and consisely "This seems to be an isolated incedent and we don't know what happened but help is on the way. However it will take some time for them to get here and that may be time you're friends and nieghbors don't have. Gather whatever medical supplies and clean watter you can, if you have tools, prybars anything get them, anyone that has first aid trianing follow me." He strode to one of the clearer lawns and began to set up an on sight triage while the others moved to gather what supplies they could.

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Arrowhawk & Malice

They remain unconscious.

Ace Danger

Approaching from the northwest, Ace danger puts in a call to the governor, talks to a nearby beat cop, then began gathering survivors. The first two houses he ran to were empty, but the third had an elderly couple who had been trying to gather some important things before evacuating. They both seed somewhat confused, though Ace could not tell if it was due to shock from the explosion, Alzheimer's, or both.

Avenger

Approaching from the south, the first thing to catch Avenger's eye is two houses at the edge of the crater, which are on fire and filled with smoke. Does he rush in to save potential victims from the toxic smoke which won't affect him? Or do vampires fear flame too much?

As he began to form a plan of action, he saw Dark Star zip overhead, and Phantom pop onto the scene.

Dark Star

From the southeast he arrived, and his senses showed him... a lot more than should be present at a 'simple' explosion. Weird pockets of energy/radiation and static were all over the place, providing 'blind spots' here and there.

He does detect a few bodies, less than he may have been expecting given the size of the community. The closest are a family of three (mother, father, little daughter) and their dog who had apparently just gotten into a car for a drive, but the car was now blocked by & covered in flaming rubble. However, he also notices that there are four bodies at the very bottom of the crater.

Mariner

From the southeast Mariner came, roughly following the same path Dark Star had taken. He also sees the flaming rubble-blocked car and family.

Phantom

Approaching from the west, Phantom was immediately struck by Something Very Wrong about the scene. In addition to the large crater, flaming rubble, and general devastation, she could sense several small dimensional tears all through the area!

She also sees Dark Star zipping about.

Scarab

Coming in from the northwest, Scarab encounters a hot, acrid, obscuring smoke blown towards her by prevailing winds. Casting out her senses before getting too deep into the smoke, she found several people in need of help, though not nearly as many as one might expect for a community this size; it would seem most had already left or had been out the night before and not yet returned. Scarab also sees and hears fellow heroes coming to the rescue; of particular note to her are Ace Danger, Avenger, and Dark Star, all of whom she'd worked with before.

Closest to her, she sees a dog barking next to a young man laying unconscious on a bed; the rubble which had obviously crashed through his roof and the blood trickling from his head clearly indicated a concussion. However, she also notices that there are four bodies at the very bottom of the crater, though obstructing rubble & poor lighting makes it impossible to ID two of them, and the other two are so badly mangled (in part from their bodies having apparently slid down the rough crater) they cannot be identified.

Sen

Also coming in from the northwest, Sen was easily able to find the site because the smoke blown directly towards him. He knew if he kept on the smoke would be thick enough to possibly damage him... but his keen ears also picked up canine cries for help from within.

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Trusting his fellow heroes to do their job and not necessarily wanting them to see him doing his, Avenger was halfway to the houses before he stopped hiding. Plodding along on foot in daylight was a nightmare when people's lives were on the line, but he couldn't let his own hang-ups endanger the lives of innocent people. Being a hero meant risking more than just your life. Studying the fire for a moment, Avenger did his best to make his way around it, trusting on his costume and natural dexterity to protect him from the worst of the blaze.

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The Scarab soared down to the young man's house, through the hole where his roof used to be. She closed her eyes and concentrated for a moment, reliving the experiences of lives past, reviewing memories of similar situations. Her telekinesis allowed her to lift the rubble off the man and cast it aside with an absent-minded wave of her hand. Then she examined him, doing what she could to tend his injuries.

Head injury. Not good. He needs immediate attention, and he'll need regular observation over the next two days. Which isn't something I can commit to. So let's get you into the right hands.

The Scarab formed a mental picture of a pair of giant hands, gently cradling the young man. She guided these imaginary hands as they levitated him out of his house. Wounded young man in tow, she flew up out of the house and through the air, searching the streets below for aid.

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Ace comforts the confused seniors as he walks them to a well shaded yard "Just follow me Sir, ma'am, the oficer here will take good care of you we have the situation under control.". Once there he sits them down and checks them for woundsand has the officer secure the area for a central triage until the pro's show up.

With that he's off to check other nearby houses for survivors or supplies.

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Sen pushed through the smoke hacking and coughing. Though his lungs burned from the smoke he never once thought of turning back. There could be survivors. He glanced around once he was inside the house. The smoke was still choking him but he could see a little.

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Dark Star moved around, searching for those in need. This level of destruction showed how bad things could be...and what was with the weird energy pockets, radiations areas and blind spots? What the heck had happened here?

He shook his head and focused on the his objectives, finding people. He paused a second as he spotted the bodies below at the bottom of the crater...odd. But the people under the flaming rubble came first.

Moving each piece of rubble would take too long...He concentrated reversing the gravity of all the rubble around the innocents and sending it floating upwards. Then some light TK shoved the floating debris off to pile up on one side. "You're all right now!" He shoved a path through the rubble with on TK push. "Head to the edge of the rubble and someone will take care of you there."

He turned back, to continue searching. He could have moved and healed any injuries they had as well. But there might be people who still needed help in this hell. He glanced around, spotting other heroes and yelled to get their attention. "HEY! WE NEED SOME COORDINATION HERE! SCARAB! LINK EVERYONE UP! TEAMWORK TO SPEED THE SEARCHING AND RECOVERY! ALSO, WATCH OUT, THERE'S WEIRD ENERGY POCKETS AND BLIND SPOTS SCATTERED IN THE BLAST ZONE! I'LL HEAL THE CRITICALS, JUST GET THEM TOGETHER!" Hopefully, someone would listen and try and organize. He was no leader but he knew they'd work a lot more efficiently as a team. Hopefully, someone would organize it.

In the meantime, there was more to do. He turned and flew down into the crater, making sure to avoid those weird readings. There were people down here who needed help.

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"HEY! WE NEED SOME COORDINATION HERE! SCARAB! LINK EVERYONE UP! TEAMWORK TO SPEED THE SEARCHING AND RECOVERY! ALSO, WATCH OUT, THERE'S WEIRD ENERGY POCKETS AND BLIND SPOTS SCATTERED IN THE BLAST ZONE! I'LL HEAL THE CRITICALS, JUST GET THEM TOGETHER!"

DarkStar! Of course! Why didn't I think of it before?

The Scarab turned around, abandoning her search and instead flying toward the insubstantial hero as fast as she could.

Good idea, DarkStar. I have wounded coming your way.

For some, the sensation of The Scarab's voice echoing in their heads is familiar, if unsettling.

ATTENTION ALL HEROES! This is The Scarab. Open your minds to me and let's get organized. DarkStar can heal the wounded. Bring all casualties to him. Converge on my location. If you can't safely transport yours, then speak up. I'm sure Phantom is already investigating the anomalies.

The Scarab used her telepathy to transmit a map of the area into everyone's minds, with her and DarkStar's locations as blinking red and blue dots, respectively. It wasn't so much that they could "see" the map, as they seemed to remember seeing it.

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Thanks to the sudden voice in her head, Phantom for once was grateful for the telepathic intrusion. Confident that heroes were dealing with the wounded, she teleported to the closest dimensional anomoly to examine it further. She was concerned for the stability of the zone as Phantom hadn't seen anything quite like the several tears that seemed to be dotting the landscape.

Scarab, it's not just radiation. There are tears in the fabric of this world. I'm examining one right now. I'm... not certain how stable this area is. I'll update you when I know more.

Phantom extended one ghostly hand to the tear. The most likely dimensional activity would be one of the transient dimensions which was good in a way. Those, Phantom was very familiar with.

I may dissapear from your senses if I cross-over. Don't be alarmed.

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Avenger opted not to reply to the psychic message at first, though he had relented enough to make sure Scarab knew he was there. Surely it was just a simple matter of getting through the fire into the houses where he might find wounded? Dimensional rift? Was the explosion dimensional? he asked as he cunning slipped between two bonfires, picking his way along unsteady ground with the unhappy knowledge that if he fell here, he'd fall for sure and have no way of doing anything about it. But he had to do something!

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As the mental sending hit him Ace smiled, now they could get some control of the situation. He replied along the telepathic link 'I've begun to establish a triage area and gather survivors at my location. I'm also in contact with emergency services but they have callls coming in from all over the area. We could use a view of the big picture.'

As he issued this reply he continued his canvasing of the houses aong with any able bodied civilians he was able to find.

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'I've begun to establish a triage area and gather survivors at my location. I'm also in contact with emergency services but they have calls coming in from all over the area. We could use a view of the big picture.'

She gave Ace the telepathic equivalent of an nod. The big picture. Right. I'll see what I can do.

The Scarab brought the wounded young man to rest at DarkStar's feet. "Head injury. Possible internal bleeding. Do what you can." Then she turned away, flying high into the air, directly above the center of the crater. She concentrated on stretching her mind and her senses over the battlefield, linking everyone together.

This may be a little disorienting for you all at first, but it should maximize our efficiency.

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Sen blinked in surprise as he saw the man rise up out of the shattered building, but surprise changed to understanding as he heard the communication in his head. Sen didn't enjoy having a voice in his head. He shared his life with another unwanted speaker as it was, but he couldn't deny the usefulness. "This is Sen. I will continue searching on foot." He hoped that worked. He made to leave the shattered building when he heard a plaintive whine. He turned to see the dog wagging its tail and staring at him. He sighed. He gathered the canine in his arms. "I have found one dog, I believe he belongs to the youth that was just lifted out of here." With a powerful leap Sen cleared the hole in the roof and landed on the street outside. The smoke was still thick so he ran further from the house.

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Arrowhawk & Malice

They remain unconscious.

Everyone Else

Is now telepathically linked, thanks to Scarab.

Ace Danger

The elderly couple coughed quite a bit from minor smoke inhalation, but seemed more or less alright.

A neighboring house held a WASP couple and their two children, who were trying to carry out as much as they possible could.

Avenger

Steeling himself, the nocturnal knocker of ne'er-do-wells leaps and bounds towards one of the two homes before him, the one seemingly in more imminent danger of being engulfed in flames. His inhuman reflexes allow him to avoid a falling flaming 10-foot-tall tree, and soon he is inside.

Though a 'normal' man would be overcome by the quickly-building toxic smoke in the home, the toxicity was of no threat to Avenger himself. The smoke's opaqueness was, though, and that coupled with the roar of the flames made it nearly impossible for him to discern whether or not there was anyone actually inside the house.

But heroes don't give up that easily... right?

Dark Star

Dark Star lifts and separates the flaming rubble from the car, and the relieve family shoots out of the car. He then turns to the crater.

It's rather deep, about 50 feet, and as he goes down he sees sewage, water, and power lines all spilling their contents into the hole.

The first two bodies he came to, both about a third of the way down and within a few feet of each other, were clearly beyond his help: the remains of a well-built man, whose entire front half had been burned/blown away down to the gleaming white bone, and the right half or so of an equally well-toned woman.

Further down, about halfway, underneath several large pieces of metal, was a third body, which he recognized (despite the tattered costume and numerous burns): Arrowhawk!

Mariner

Looks for more people who are in need of rescue.

Phantom

Phantom realizes three things about these tears.

The first is that there's no trace of any magical radiation.

Secondly, the tears are all completely random. Almost every single one leads to a different dimension.

Lastly, and mercifully, most of the tears seem to be closing on their own, and none appear, at this time, to be growing larger.

Scarab

After rescuing the comatose & contused man from his burning home (and espying Sen go in for the dog) and laying him at [Ace Danger's triage center?], the eternal psion sets up a telepathic switchboard for all involved, to facilitate communication and rescue efforts.

Sen

After rescuing a dog (and seeing its master being carried through the flaming roof), Sen continued on to the next house. It is also obscured by thick smoke, but at this one he can hear a human voice, a woman's voice. He could not quite make out exactly what she was saying over the din, but he could definitely tell she was calling for someone, though her cries were periodically broken by... he could not tell.

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'I can say for certain that these tears are made by no magic I know of. I'd go so far as to say that I doubt this was magical at all. It could be the result of some very high end tech but that is not my forte.

Phantom provided the mental map of rifts to Scarab to supply to the mental map.

If no one has need of me, I will see about ensuring these rifts close without letting anything out. I can teleport if anyone needs my assistance urgently.

Nodding slightly to herself, Phantom cast about to find the rifts to the most dangerous dimensions and began setting about mending the tears, her face set in concentration as she focused on casting spells to seal off Earth Prime. Still, she remained alert, half a mind on all the remaining cracks. Despite the calm of her mental voice, Phantom was more concerned than she voiced.

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