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The Horror In The Museum (IC)

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"Okay, let's see here..." Breakdown put his ear to the ground, so to speak. He tuned into the emergency frequencies with his Radio Sense and got cracking looking for something that Kid Cthulhu could handle.

Attention all Freedom City Fire Departments! Large Fire in Wharton State Forest-"

"Naw." He changed channels.

"Gas station robbery in progress. Local cars respond only."

"Too small."

"Silent alarm triggered at Freedom City Museum."

"That'll do!"

Breakdown tapped a few buttons on his iPod and raised his headphones to his ears. "Alright, guys, I've got something. Someone's breaking into the Museum! I figure you two are artsy, so you might want to stop him, KC!" Breakdown said with a wink. "I'll get us there. You can do the rest. And, don't worry. I'll try and make the teleport easy this time."

---

Moments later...

The three young heroes were standing outside Freedom City's Museum in Center City. Standing at the foot of the marble steps that led up to the front of building, the three could see beams of light flashing inside the lobby. Thank's to Breakdown's concentration, the feeling of nauseousness that they were expecting to hit never came. The feeling was a welcome relief. Kid Cthulhu's realization that he was about to make his heroic debut, however, was not!

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Moments later...

The three young heroes were standing outside Freedom City's Museum in Center City. Standing at the foot of the marble steps that led up to the front of building, the three could see beams of light flashing inside the lobby. Thank's to Breakdown's concentration, the feeling of nauseousness that they were expecting to hit never came. The feeling was a welcome relief. Kid Cthulhu's realization that he was about to make his heroic debut, however, was not!

KC looked about, and was relieved to find his stomach had not decided to eject his lunch. "Nice work, BD, I'm not going to die before I even get into my first real fight." KC said. "Well, into the fray I go!"

KC opened the doors to the museum, wrapping his moist tentacles around the handle. As he walked into the main entrance, he realized he could not see the potential thief of art. Using a small amount of his magic, he channeled the mystic fire into his fingertips, illuminating the room. "Hello, potential thief! I am Kid Cthulhu, and I believe it is my job to stop you from...thievery." Man, KC thought, I need to work on my introductions.

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Now teleporting like that was livable. If Breakdown could market that technique, he would be a rich man. Clearing her throat, Fulcrum spoke her approval, "Much better, Breakdown. You're a fast learner." She tapped him on head playfully.

Instead of taking the lead, as she was wont to usually do, Fulcrum stood next to Breakdown with her arms behind her back. She smiled at KC's enthusiasm and hoped he handled himself well. "Good luck," she called quietly to him, "Be cool."

Something about Kid Cthulhu really bothered him. It wasn't him per say. He seemed like a fairly level-headed, if somewhat emo teenager. That certainly wasn't a crime. His powers were interesting if a bit icky, but again you can't blame a hero for his powers. The source though bothered her. Once KC made his big entrance, she repressed a giggle and whispered to Breakdown, "So did he tell you anything about where he got his powers?"

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"Haha! Only that no trashcan in Freedom will ever be safe again!" Breakdown quipped happily as he followed Kid Cthulhu into the building. When the young hero illuminated the room, the flash also lit up the outside of the building. It made the sign that said, "Museum of Natural History" easy to read as if it was broad daylight.

Once inside the large lobby, the hero's quickly took stock of their whereabouts. There was a circular reception desk in the center of the room. Three hallways left this central chamber, each in one of the four compass directions, with the main entrance facing due south. Above the eastern hallway, a large sign read: "Prehistoric Times". The western hallway had a sign that read, "Ancient Civilizations". The northern hallway read, "Famous Artists". Surrounding the northern hallway were two large curving stairways with expensive carved wooden hand-rails. The stairways led up to a large second level which completely surrounded lobby. The only displays they could see were for two small hallways on the second floor leading off diagonally ahead. The right one read, "Famous Inventors", and the left one said, "Famous Artists".

"Yipes!" A small thin man was actually standing on the railing of the second floor balcony which looked over the lobby. His very expression spoke the words, 'you caught me red handed!' He had a small flashlight in one hand and a large, empty burlap sack in the other. He hastily hid both behind his back which rendered neither of them out of sight. Only then did he remember to click the flashlight off. The man's appearance made the scene even more comical. He was dressed like a mime. Or at least a poor mockery of one. He was complete with a small French hat, stripped white and black shirt, and black knit pants and shoes. He wore no mime-like face paint, but a thin mustache played across his top lip.

Dropping his possessions on the landing behind him, he reached his left hand up to give his fine mustache a twirl. "Ne he hehehe!" He laughed. When he spoke it was with an intolerably thick French accent. "So good to see that Freedom's Filthiest are on the prowl! Well? What are you nosy, no-good, flea-bitten, mutated, disgusting, foul, creatures planning on doing?! No one in this wretched, run-down, dilapidated, one-horse town can stop...THE COLLECTOR!!!"

With that he turned his back on the heroes, stuck his behind far into the air, ("Neheh nehehehee!") and rummaged through his sack. He with drew two tiny golden orbs each about the size of an 8-ball. "Observe my fabulously French powers of Snooty Summoning! Ne he!" Releasing the orbs he watched them fly down the east and west hallways, trailed by a stream of energy.

A "RWOOOAAAAAARR!!!" erupted from the eastern hallway. Within seconds, the ground began to shake, and crashing sounds reached the heroes ears. Before long, a large form came into the light of the lobby. The bony skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex towered above the heroes.

The western hallway was thankfully a bit more subdued. All the heroes heard from that direction was a dull, "NuhhrrrrRRrrhhrrrRRRrhHHHrhrhrhhhhh." Though, they were no less relieved when the Freedom City Museum's entire mummy exhibit poured into the entrance hallway.

"Hehe, I think I'd rather be a trash can right about now..." Breakdown mused out load. Even as he talked, he began turning his back to the Fulcrum and Kid Cthulhu. He faced west, staring down the Furious Pharaohs. "KC!" Breakdown's voice jolted him back to attention. "You hold down the fort here. Fulcrum - Give that big fellow over there someone his own size to pick on. I'll deal with this blast from the past." Breakdown pointed as he shouted orders, his finger finally resting with the group of undead in front of him.

With that, Breakdown launched into the air and flew headfirst into the crowd of Mummies, clotheslining two of them as he went. He flew off into the shadowy sections of the western hallway, and miraculously, the crowd of mummies followed him. He had gotten their attention...

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Kid Cthulhu looked at The Collector with a look of bemusement. "What? Seriously? How do you expect me to take you seriously? You're a walking stereotype." KC put his hand to his temple and readied a mental draining spell. Something to weaken his will before he zapped him with his more offensive spell, one that may put him to sleep for a while. It's hard to stay on one's feet when one's sanity has been drained. "Regardless, I'm gonna take you out, Collector, lack of originality and all." KC extended his squiddily hand in the direction of The Collector, and he fired off a sanity draining spell. "Let's see how well you can fight without a will to speak of!"

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"You've got to be kidding me," mumbled Fulcrum. Of all the villains she had fought over the years, nothing came close to this guy in sheer camp. Kid Cthulhu would trounce this guy...in no time? Okay, now things were getting interesting. Mummies and dinosaurs would be a challenge. Fulcrum quickly summarized the situation and what was needed.

KC may need a new entrance line, but really he could work that out himself. Secondly, KC did state his intent to The Collector, but she would have preferred if he asked for surrender first. These situations required certain diplomatic gestures. Thirdly, everyone knew his or her assigned task. Breakdown had the potential to be a good leader. Heck, he was already good at it. She nodded in approval.

Major issues decided, Fulcrum zoomed off to intercept the rampaging pile of bones. The skeleton was probably a replica, given how rare T-rex fossils were, but the thing was probably still quite costly and labor-intensive. She had no interest in damaging or destroying something, well frankly, so interesting. The skeleton roared and snapped at her as she zipped around its head at hypersonic speed! Within moments the animated skull wobbled dizzily.

The caped hero dove on the great beast, seizing its jaws and clamping them shut. She smiled. All she had to do now was keep it busy until they found a way to de-animate it. She wondered how long this plan would last. Offhandedly she said to KC, "Depending on how polite you want to be, some heroes ask for surrender first."

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"Weeehgehehehehe! I reject your reality!" The Collector dipped into his bag quickly and withdrew a can full of paint. He quickly pryed off the lid. Tossing the can full of paint at Kid Cthulhu, he screamed, "I substitute my own!"

Following his dramatically artistic actions, The collector ran towards the wall, drew some suction cups out of his bag, and started climbing it!

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Before Fulcrum could say anything else, the dinosaur decided it didn't like being wrestled. The big skull whipped from side-to-side, turning a simple apprehension into a full-on rodeo! She managed to keep the grip for a few seconds but not the full eight! Last she was spotted, she was hanging on by one its nose as the great beast did its version of the weasel war dance.

As the two disappeared back down the east hallway, she called out, "This thing is stronger than it looks! Watch yourselves!"

Resonating with the other sounds of battle came reverberating thuds and bangs. Some were strong enough to rattle the windows and fixtures. Darn dinosaurs!

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The hallway into which Breakdown had disappeared was dark. The only sounds they could hear were a series of dull impacts. The two other heroes suspected that Breakdown was indeed duking it out with the mummies.

*WAP* Suddenly, breakdown shot back out into the light, crashed to the floor and skidded to a stop. "Damn it! He got me!" Yelled the teen hero, holding his head. A mummy came rushing out of the darkness after him, and dove on top of Breakdown. The hero caught him mid flight with both of his feet. He coiled up, and kicked, sending the mummy back into the darkness. A second later, he was on his feet and rushing back into the dim light of the hallway to fight once more.

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"Weeehgehehehehe! I reject your reality!" The Collector dipped into his bag quickly and withdrew a can full of paint. He quickly pryed off the lid. Tossing the can full of paint at Kid Cthulhu, he screamed, "I substitute my own!"

Following his dramatically artistic actions, The collector ran towards the wall, drew some suction cups out of his bag, and started climbing it!

KC dodges the bucket of paint. "That." KC said, with a tone of extreme of annoyance. "Was a waste of good paint."

KC crouched over, and leathery wings extending themselves from his back. "I would normally be pissed off, but you're too sad to be angry at. However, I gotta put you down. Time for some barbecue!"

KC flapped his wings, easily reaching the height of The Collector within moments. He extended his hand and attempted to flash-fry the Frenchman with a blast of green mystic fire.

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"Yikes! It's getting hot in here!" The collector yelled as a ball of fire exploded on the wall next to him. He dangled by the suction cups that were wrapped around his knees and bent backwards so he hung upside down. Out of his bag he drew a painter's pallet and a brush.

"It's never a waste of paint! Look at the art I've created on the floor of the museum!" He started dipping the brush into red paint on the pallet. "But it seems you're a fan of paint, so here! HAVE MORE!" He flicked the brush and the flying Kid Cthulhu and streaks of paint flew across the room. They went wide and were completely ineffectual.

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As Breakdown stood up, Fulcrum flew out of the darkness of the east hallway. Oh, she'd like to be flying under her own power, but that was not to be. She landed head first with a loud thump. Standing up proved a bit wobbly, "Mean suckers! How you doin', KC? Breakdown?" said Fulcrum while trying to regain her senses.

Answering her call was that blasted dinosaur. It roared from the hallway, snapping wildly as it charged. Which meant it charged headlong into the spilled paint that Fulcrum was thrown over. If those empty sockets could widen, they would be huge. The great beast slipped and slid across the lobby, zooming its way into the west hallway.

Fulcrum leaped, trying for a grab, but to no avail. As she flew after the bag of bones, she yelled, "Break! Incoming!"

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KC flew a bit higher, his leathery wings flapping in the air. He heard Fulcrum's voice, and called back "I'm surviving. This guy is just about irritating the heck outta me, though." He readied another fire spell, and extended a squiddly arm. Mystic flames roared from his arm. He hoped he would take this guy down, maybe show the other two heroes what he was made of, that he was no ordinary squid-boy.

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Fwoosh! The Collector quickly went up like a matchstick as the firey blast hit him in the backside. He hit the wall and bounced off, falling the few feet to the ground. Once there, he proceeded to run around in circles as his rear end lit up like a torch. "Ow, ow, ow, ow! Hot, hot, hot, hot, hot!"

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Once in the darkness of the western hallway, Fulcrum could see Breakdown holding off a veritable horde of mummies. "Come on! Put up your dukes!" Something was different about him, though. He didn't look solid. Between dueling with the Tyrannosaurus, she finally got a good look at him...

Breakdown seemed to be vibrating. He was moving the very molecules in his body so rapidly, he didn't seem to hold a solid form any longer. Fulcrum watched as one mummy charged at him and passed right through. "Can't touch this!" It collided with a second mummy which collapsed on the ground. Breakdown quickly spun in place and laid a hand on the back of the mummy that had gone through him. The mummy shook violently, and colapsed into a pile of dust. Reaching down into the pile, Breakdown picked up a large bone, likely a femur.

"Here boy! Here boy!" He waved the bone at the Tyrannosaurus. Catching it's attention he hurled it back out into the lobby. "Fetch!" The dinosaur crashed after it. "Fulcrum! I got these guys! You take care of scruffy!" Just as he was cheering her on, another mummy snuck up on him and tackled him to the ground...

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"Make them do the Thriller!" yelled Fulcrum as she circled around to follow the T-rex. Breakdown's idea was a good one. Smiling to herself, she zipped between the skeleton's legs and snatched up the femur from its closing jaws. Hovering up near the ceiling, and hopefully outside of its jump range, the morsel was dangled down to the dinosaur.

"That's a good girl," she complimented when the T-rex wagged its tail, "Now sit up!" To her astonishment, the skeleton leaned back and wiggled its little arms. This had to be tested further. "Roll over!" to which the over-sized dog did just that, making a terrible racket across the lobby floor.

"Good girl! I'm amazed you do any of that, but good! Play dead!" The T-rex cocked its head in confusion. Fulcrum chuckled, "Okay, too obvious. How about fetch?" She finished by tossing the bone down another hallway, and the dinosaur stomped enthusiastically after it.

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KC landed on the cold marble floor of the museum. He folded his wings onto his back, and launched another mystic blast at The Collector. The fire wasn't like ordinary fire. It hurt, but wouldn't set the museum on fire. Funny how magic worked, sometimes. "Take this, you amateur! You will steal art no more. Or, at least 'till the next issue comes around, or, you know, when someone breaks you out of jail. Whatever."

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"That's what you think! Nehehe hehehe heeeee!" The Collector managed to bat out the flames on his rear end just in time to see Kid Cthulhu's blast coming. I singed the top of The Collector's hat as it flew past, missing by the narrowest of margins!

"Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!" The collector drew a large blank white canvas out of his bag. He collected his paintbrush and pallet and swiped a few colors onto it. When he was done, it showed a spitting image of Kid Cthulhu, sans his head.

Grabbing the canvas, The Collector quickly charged Kid Cthulhu, attempting to bring the Canvas down on his head! The canvas crashed over Kid Cthulhu's head, using it to substituted the part of the painting that had been missing.

"My masterpiece! Hehe!"

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KC easily dodged out of the way of his attack.

"Okay. Now you're starting to piss me off, Collector. I kinda thought you were funny at first, but we need to put this to an end. In the words of the immortal governor Arnold Schwarzeneggar...HASTA LA VISTA, BABY!"

KC moved his hand to his temple and whipped up a sanity draining spell. He hoped it would be enough, because he was just about out of badass lines to say. He would have used the one from They Live, but that one is more of an opener, to be honest. He'd come up with something.

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"Sacrebleu!" The Collector screamed as he clutched his head. "Qu'est-ce que c'est?!" He threw his hands away from his head rejecting the piercing mental attack.

"Nah you haff done eet! Zat eez ze last straw!" His accent intensifying with rage, The Collector reached into his bag once more.

He withdrew an expensive looking camera! "Take zis! Un zis! Un zis!" The Collector began an impromptu photo shoot of the teenage hero. Each flash of the camera was like daggers in Kid Cthulhu's eyes.

Finally turning away from his subject, The Collector tossed the camera over his head and shouted, "Ack! I cannot vork like zis!"

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KC blinked and rubbed his eyes, shaking off the effects of the camera. He attempted to steal The Collector's sanity, but his concentration was off from the camera flashes. "Crap, that's one powerful camera."

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Fulcrum squinted as she gazed down the hallway. The dinosaur vanished into the shadows, and frankly, only its huge foot stomps helped her keep track of it. The white flash of a camera caught her attention. She yelled up to KC, "How are you doing, KC?"

The mistake in this situation was looking away from the hall. In that split second or two, her senses focused elsewhere, the stomping intensified and grew louder. By the time she realized it, all she had time to do was look down the hallway, "Oh s...."

Yeah, this one was going to be ugly.

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The attack on his mental faculties seemed to intensify The Collector. He grabbed his sack and rummaged once more, scowling beneath his infuriatingly French hat. He withdrew a large tube of paint about the size of a person's leg from the sack and threw it to the floor in front of him. "Jack ze Dripper goes 'splat splat plat'!" he gave a mighty leap and jumped on the tube of paint. Like a tube of toothpaste squeezed far to hard, it exploded directly towards Kid Cthulhu!

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KC walked to the side, easily dodging the attack. Okay, now he was pissed.

He walked to the middle of the marble floor, his feet squishing softly against it. He closed his eyes for a moment, gathering power. The lights in the room began to flicker, and Fulcrum could hear a sound echoing from the hallway. It sounded as if a dozen lost souls were moaning, and the sound was growing. KC held his hands out, and began to slowly draw them together. As he did, all of the windows of the museum shattered, and a green glow began to emanate from his palms. KC roared a battlecry, and hurled the force at The Collector. A pillar of mystic fire poured from his hands. As the flames neared him, the phantom voices raised to a scream.

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Fulcrum had just enough time to react to her incoming problem. Or she would have if KC hadn't used his unnerving attack. The moans distracted her just enough that she turned to look at KC. The result of the attack, however, was lost as the dinosaur collided with her. The blasted thing was carrying a whole, stuffed mammoth!

The skeleton, mammoth and hero went sprawling past KC and landed in a jumble near the front doors. Other than a few dull thuds, only the raw power of the mystic fire and the shattering windows echoed through the museum. As the big beast thrashed around, Fulcrum stuck her up and looked around. She blinked at the mess for a moment, then to KC and finally to his unfortunate target.

Fascinating.

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