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Geez3r

Monsters? In the Streets!? - AEGIS HQ (IC)

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These wide strings of attacks got the attention of the government almost immediately. These attacks were seemingly too random. There was no earmarks of any involvement from the usual suspects. No demands, no rhyme or reasons behind these attacks at all. All they had in common was that it was 3 monsters in every area just causing as much destruction as they could muster, panicking the citizens and generally sowing chaos. But to what end?

 

AEGIS felt this was jus the tip of the iceberg and recruit some of Freedom’s best and brightest. They wanted to figure out what this was all about before the next stage came to pass. AEGIS sent helicopters to pick up those in the know to bring them to AEGIS HQ.

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Doktor Archeville was at the ArcheTech corporate headquarters in Hanover, signing off on a new arrival of raw materials. Normally he would not be needed for such a transaction, except in cases where the arriving material was something extra-special, which this one was. Daka crystals weren't easy to come by, and it was largely the good graces of Ace Danger that allowed his company to purchase them. Of course, even with Danger's okay, he had to pay through the nose for them, but it was definitely worth it.

As he signed the last form on the deliverer's clipboard, the sound of a helicopter zipping towards his building drew his attention. When it began landing maneuvers, his interest grew by leaps and bounds.

Odd, I do not recall seeing any requests for helipad use today.

I couldn't make out the markings... could be an attack! Defend our territory! Repel the invaders!

Or it could be someone in desperate need of medical attention, and we were the closest facility.

Or a Trojan horse!

"Dat is all de papervork, ja," he said (not asked) to the driver. He then turned to the two workers carrying off the last of the shipment and nodded to them, "get de rest of dis secured quickly, please... "

He glanced up to the roof, and got the impression that this was not going to be something resolved quickly or easily.

"... I haff a bad feeling about dis."

In less time than the two workers could blink, Archeville had flown up to the roof and set down near the helipad. It was a dark blue helicopter, marked with the red-A-on-gold-eagle emblem of AEGIS, the American Elite Government Intervention Service, Defenders of Liberty and the Shield of Freedom. Two men in dark suits and sunglasses had exited the chopper and were headed towards the entrance when they saw Archeville's arrival.

Ah! I knew it! The government's come to shut us down and confiscate all my works!

Or they have come to request aid in examining some newly-captured bit of metahuman or extraterrestrial technology.

"Gentlemen, how may I be of serv-" the Doktor began, but was abruptly cut off.

"Doctor Viktor Archeville," one shouter over the roar of the chopper blades, "you are needed for matters of vital import. Come with us, now."

"Vhat, not even a 'please' or a-"

"Now," the man repeated, quite insistent.

The Doktor entered the helicopter.

I am going to be very upset if this turns out to be some sort of trap!

I am sure this is nothing of the sort.

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Ace still had alot of friends over at AEGIS even if he was officially somewhat on the outs after Cairo. Thus he had gotten word early that he was to be called in though details as to the specifics were not nearly so forthcoming. He gathered his effects tucking in an assortment of goodies from the 'good ol' days' and made his way to the helipad atop pyramid plaza just in time to see two new agents step out of the helicopter.

Striding forward he greeted them with far less formality or severity than they likely felt was warranted, "Who's Wheaties did you piss in to get taxi duty?" He inquired clutching his fedora to his head as he crossed towards the aircraft. They gave him a stern and somewhat exasperated look before mechanically stating, "Captain Ace Danger you are being recalled to active duty for reasons of national security please come with us."

That was a surprise and Ace merely nodded and stepped into the helicopter followed by the agents, "Must be big." he murmured to himself as he strapped in for the flight to the iceberg.

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As much as Estelle de Havilland loved her work, she also loved to play, though it was a side of her she didn't let show as much as she should.

Of course, things were a little different on April 1st... ;)

Sporting her Harvard sweats, Estelle sat on a stool in the middle of her loft in Hanover, happily tuning her vintage Gibson SG; periodically, she extended a thin golden wire to adjust the amp or tighten the pegheads. When she finally liked the sound, she started off with a little Angus, popping off the opening chords.

Suddenly there was a rather insistant knock at the door; no one had buzzed, she she assumed it most be a neighbor comaplining about the noise.

"I'm so sorry, I'll try and keep it down; I thought I was-"

However when she opened the door, a pair of...well, 'government goons', for lack of a better phrase, were waiting in the hall.

"Doctor de Havilland, your country needs you."

"Uh...alright."

- - - - -

In a matter of minutes, she was in the back of a helicopter banking over the Wading River, her formfitting silver and blue jumpsuit replacing her far more comfortable sweats. They hadn't said much since they'd lifted off; how these spooks loved their little games.

"So, are you gentlemen going to tell me..." Her voice trailled off when she saw the giant things tearing apart her adopted city."Oh dear god..."

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Duncan Summers told Darian Cale to be ready at any moment for a call. This is that moment. AEGIS needs his help. Quickly scurrying into the vehicle, he does not question why he is needed. The monsters trashing the city are obviously the reason why. Though what they would have him do is on his mind. Is he the only one? Surely he wouldn't be the only one. Then again, a lot of his recent dealings were lonely ones.

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The chopper rides are short, but rather intense. It's quite clear that the pilots are pushing the choppers as fast as they can go. From your vantage point, you can see some of the destruction that's happening on the city. The agents are relatively mum on what this is all about, flat out telling you they don't have clearance for that sort of information.

Within mere moments of one another, all four choppers set down on the roof, Harry Powers himself and a great number of AEGIS agents are on the roof waiting for the heroes. The agents load onto the choppers as soon as the heroes exit and the chopper take off to parts unknown barely even winding down the propellers. "Come with me." Powers says curtly. "Your questions will be answered in a more secured location."

He takes you down a few flights of stairs, before stopping on the landing, and looks at the collected group sternly. "Breathing a word to anyone about anything you see from this point on will be considered an act of high treason or espionage, and you will be held accountable to the full extent of the law." It was plainly clear that Powers was in full on serious mode here.

The wall slid away to reveal a secret elevator, and after everyone piled in, it drops sharply, bringing you surely beneath AEGIS HQ. The doors open to reveal a giant hub of activity, dozens of AEGIS agents running around, and there's enough high tech advices around to make even the tech heads here envious.

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"Breathing a word to anyone about anything you see from this point on will be considered an act of high treason or espionage, and you will be held accountable to the full extent of the law."

The convoluted entrance procedure combined with the utter seriousness of Agent Powers somehow made Gossamer think of the opening credits to Get Smart, and much to her horror she foud she could not get the theme song out of her head. The fact that the city was actually in grave danger only made it worse, and the blonde heroine found herself holding back innappropriate laughter, a golden lasso wrapped tighly across her mouth.

Must not laugh, must not laugh...

At last the giddiness passed and she was able to focus. "Sir, I know it's an obvious question, but do we have any idea what those things are or where they came from?"

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Ace passed through security with an almost bored and nonplussed look on his face, "They don't tell the taxi service anything useful. We'll find out more when we meet up with the ... director?" he ended with a question. Ace had never really done well with the rank and file of AEGIS. Too military for his taste.

"But to put out a theory they do know something more or at least suspect." HE added glanceing to the group, "As if it was only the giant monsters we wouldn't be needed." He smiled wide and turned to follow the agents, "Us being here means they know somethign but can't make heads or tails of what it actually means."

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On the helicopter ride over, Archeville was glued to the window, drinking in all the scenes of destruction and chaos.

Oh, this is fascinating! So many giant monsters attacking!

And the city's heroes are all right there, working to save it!

Perhaps, but their level of organization leaves much to be desired.

Perhaps that is why we were called in?

"Dere is certainly more dan just giant monsters attacking, Herr Danger," he said in response to Ace's musings/jibes. "For von, de fact dat dere are so many of sem: mit most kaiju attacks, dere is only von, maybe two or three, but Freedom is being attacked by a dozen of sem now. Are diese refugees from Kaiju Island, someding de Terra King brought up from Sub-Terra, or someding else?"

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"Currently, we have little more than theories as to the origin of the creatures. Though we believe can rule out Kaiju Island. Most of the creatures are actually too small to be Kaiju, and despite their outwardly savage appearance, they are not exhibiting any of the traditional patterns we have seen with previous Kaiju attacks. Here, let me show you."

Director Powers leads the group to a wall of monitors, showing a mix of live feeds from across the city and what appears to be several old recordings showing previous Kaiju attacks, along with a few maps citing patterns in attacks. "Observe this fish creature here." Powers shows a recording of the monster rampaging throughout the train yard. "What's it after? And furthermore, what's it doing so far away from a major water source? Strangest of all is the fact that these creatures seemingly appeared out of no where and in teams of all things. My dearest hope is that these really are just Kaiju and I've wasted your time and mine bringing you here today, but I don't think we'll be so lucky."

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Darian quizzically ponders aloud while looking at the footage, "Dimensional invaders?" He clears his throat and looks up to Director Powers, "Have you checked for dimensional and or temporal anomalies? They could be from anywhere in the 'Cosmic Coil', if you will. This does seem a bit random. Escalated, but random. We could be facing random happenstance on a major scale." Darian thinks randomness would be the least of their worries. If this was a coordinated attack, then these guys were just the start of the whole thing.

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Gossamer stepped closer to the monitor, brows furrowed in thought. "It certainly is unusual; organized randomess, as it were." She indicates Darian with a nod. "I'm inclined to agree with your dimensional traveller scenario; their appareance was too sudden to have occurred naturally. Or perhaps teleportation or a summoning?" She extends a graceful hand to the young man. "I'm Dr Estelle de Havilland by the way, or Gossamer; we never got a chance to meet back at Claremont. A pleasure."

The beautiful scientist then threw a look over her shoulder in Ace's direction, and she smiled warmly at the handsome adventurer. "And it's a pleasure to finally meet you, Mr. Danger, though it's unfortunate the circumstances are so dire. I had hoped to make your party last June, but sadly I was detained." She extended a golden tendrill in greeting, then turned back to the screens, stroking her graceful chin thoughtfully.

"My first thought is that these creatures were brought here by a third party as some of distraction, so that a more subtle course of action can be carried out whilst the city's defenders are occupied; if that's the case, the identity of said party and their goals and motivations are the real question. At the very least, I think its something we should consider."

But something started nagging at Estelle's brain, and her hair darted and twitched with agitation as she shook her head. "No, something about all this isn't right; these creatures, their behavior is too...I want to say 'stereotypical'?" She pointed at a few of the combats on the monitors with her shimmering strands. "Look at the way they move, their choice of targets; it's as though they...watched a bunch of old horror movies to study monsters in their natural habitats, the SyFy Channel standing in for Animal Planet."

Deeply troubled, she looked first to Powers, then the other heroes present. "I'm half-convinced they're not nearly as dumb as they look."

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"I am not sure vhich is more disconcerting," the Doktor said, rubbing his chin, "dat dese beasts might be a distraction to cover up some other, subtler crime, or dat dese beasts are not de mindless creatures dey appear to be."

Aliens? Shapeshifters? Alien shapeshifters?

There are several scenarios which are more likely than that one.

"Mein first move vould be to scan for any odd energy signals," he said as he began typing on an unattended keyboard and checking what AEGIs had already found, "see if dese dings are communicating mit each other, or if de vons who sent dem are coordinating movements vhile dese beasties tromp about. Ve should also try und track vhere dese dings came from. Did dey approach from de sea, de rivers, from underground? Or did dey simply appear in de middle of de streets, as if teleported in? Or an innocent bystander vas hit mit some mutagenic compound dat turned dem into dose dings?"

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"Yes, we've been scanning for that. We went with your idea first." says Powers nodding to Quark. "However, there hasn't been anything major on the radar. There's always something on the radar, but this is Freedom, and nothing of major of major consequence. We've only just begun to search the more esoteric energy signatures, so nothing to report on one way or the other. If you'd like to examine the results yourselves, look at this screen here, results will come in as they're found."

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Archeville made several "hrrmmm" noises as he looked over everything.

There are several things wrong with this picture. I'll have to remember them.

Agreed, but- wait, remember them for what?

Oh, well, you never know. We could someday find ourselves in anoth-

You are taking notes so you can stage your own "alien invasion," so we could be the "saviours" of everyone?!

Mmmm.... could be....

This I why I cannot think nice things!

"Look, dere, und dere: dose creatures are targeting specific structures. Bridges, dams, train stations, power substations, communications towers. Dey are not going out of deir vay to avoid trampling anyvon, but dey are picking specific targets. Dis is no rampage, dis is sabotage."

"Also, look at dese scans of de creatures demselves." He pulled up close-up footage of the rampaging monsters, paused at various points to highlight assorted points. "All of dese are humanoid. All of dem. Even de Rhino-Mole, here, is structured more like a crouching human -- note de placement of de legs, de shape of de pelvis, und how de arms are attached at de shoulders -- razher dan a true quadruped. I vould bet dese are all mutated humans."

And now he started babbling theories as he rose from the console and began pacing. "Sleeper agents mit post-hypnotic suggestions to take a mutagenic agent und destroy certain structures at a specific time? Are de structures tagged in some vay, perhaps an ultrasonic signal or a chemical? But who did dis? Doctor Simian? No, he vould vish to keep de infrastructures for himself. Fear Master? It is his style, mit all de chaos und terror, but not his MO... unless he found some vay to turn men into monsters mit his sonics...." Archeville got a glazed look in his eyes as he tried calculating just how such a transformation could be done. After a moment he forced himself out of his reverie, "Medea? no, she turns men into typical animals, not dese types of creatures. Lady Lunar, using de Moonstone to turn people into 'Creatures of de Id'?"

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And now he started babbling theories as he rose from the console and began pacing. "Sleeper agents mit post-hypnotic suggestions to take a mutagenic agent und destroy certain structures at a specific time? Are de structures tagged in some vay, perhaps an ultrasonic signal or a chemical? But who did dis? Doctor Simian? No, he vould vish to keep de infrastructures for himself. Fear Master? It is his style, mit all de chaos und terror, but not his MO... unless he found some vay to turn men into monsters mit his sonics...." Archeville got a glazed look in his eyes as he tried calculating just how such a transformation could be done. After a moment he forced himself out of his reverie, "Medea? no, she turns men into typical animals, not dese types of creatures. Lady Lunar, using de Moonstone to turn people into 'Creatures of de Id'?"

Dr. de Havilland studied the locations of the targets on the monitors, and then her mouth became a hard line.

"They're cutting the city off from the outside world; no one gets in or out, and no one sends a call for help. This could turn into a slaughter."

The blonde scientist shook her head, sending ripples out to the ends of her hair as she pointed at a pulsing graphic on one of the screens.

"We can eliminate at least a few of those possible suspects by looking at this pattern in the psychic frequencies; this is some sort of broadcast, instructions or perhaps an attack order, repeated over an over again at regular intervals. Who has either the technology or ability to send such a signal over such a large area?"

Gossamer frowned.

"I must confess that I'm fairly ignorant about most so-called supervillains."

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We can skip ahead a bit here. You guys go back and forth with various theories and then Atlas makes his announcement. Your reactions please.

Archeville's brow furrowed during the first part of the transmission as his mind raced to figure out who that Captain Thunder impostor could be. When he revealed himself to be Atlas, his face fell. "Nein, nein, nein, nein, nein...." he whispered.

Of course! He's a Grue! That's why some parts of the samples we gathered looked so familiar!

But... no... but... he had broken free of their Unity! He must have, to have shown as much compassion and heroism as he has! Pseudo did it, an-

And he could just as easily be a really good actor on a long-term deep cover assignment, and everything he's said up to now has been a lie!

No... no! I refuse to believe that! Atlas -- Samael Natorvich -- is a good man! And besides, you know those samples are not wholly Grue, there is some human in there!

Pfaugh.

And then Atlas mentioned power going out. The Doktor mentally braced himself... but there wasn't even a flicker.

Ah, of course, the AEGIS HQ must have its own entirely self-contained power supply, wholly separate from Freedom's grid.

The power system for my home is better!

"... von must admit," he opined, "he is thorough...."

"Right," he announced with a sharp clap, then spun around and began to pace. "Grue invasion, multiple fronts, Freedom League is down. Most of de city's infrastructure has been smashed, de access points blocked, und now de power is out. Riots und looting are rampant, und dat is just from our own people; dere is also de escape at Blackstone to contend mit. Und who knows how many Grue spacecraft above us, how many Grue agents are on de ground already, und how many more of dose... Kaij-Grue are out dere. On de plus side, dere are stil a lot of superheroes out dere, und several of deir bases haff independent power supplies und communications systems, so ve are not completely cut off."

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Gossamer was devestated by the revelation of Atlas' involvment; she stared at the screen, tears forming in her eyes.

"It must be some trick...it's not possible!"

And yet far more bizarre things happened in Freedom nearly every day; mind control, demonic possession, so many other options.

Or maybe he was bad the whole time, even aboard the spaceship...

"Right," he announced with a sharp clap, then spun around and began to pace. "Grue invasion, multiple fronts, Freedom League is down. Most of de city's infrastructure has been smashed, de access points blocked, und now de power is out. Riots und looting are rampant, und dat is just from our own people; dere is also de escape at Blackstone to contend mit. Und who knows how many Grue spacecraft above us, how many Grue agents are on de ground already, und how many more of dose... Kaij-Grue are out dere. On de plus side, dere are stil a lot of superheroes out dere, und several of deir bases haff independent power supplies und communications systems, so ve are not completely cut off."

Estelle turned towards the others, waving an arm towards the monitors.

"Gentlemen, I can't help but feel perhaps I'd be of better use somewhere out there. My intellect is far outstripped by yours, and I think my powers would be of greater use in the field."

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Ace watched the Big Red Mans announcement with a gaze of well practiced detachment. Whatever he might have felt about the situation was buried behind his carefree facade, "Well that certainly answers some questions." he said with a shrug.

He turned to look to the other specialists that had been brought in. "This is merely the opening gambit. Softening us up, disrupt the infrastructure throw us off balance." He explained thoughtfully, "The Grue are stubborn to a fault and certainly not perfect tacticians but there is more going on than there appears. We have seen almost none of the hidden agents that are their specialty." he said ominously.

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"We wouldn't be hidden if you could spot us readily." echoed a cold voice from the back of the room. The speaker was a petite brunette, carrying several manilla folders in her arms. "Opps, did we let that slip?" the girl's voice is joined by several others dotted throughout the room, all speaking in complete unison. The guards by the exit, a man on one of the phone lines, the agent standing not 4 feet from director Powers, and the agent who had been compiling the data on the screens for the heroes to see. "Pity. Now we can no longer allow anyone to leave alive. Your demise will be slightly less painful if you surrender now."

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As the voices grew louder and more numerous, an icy chill went down Estelle's spine.

Good Lord...they're all around us.

"Pity. Now we can no longer allow anyone to leave alive. Your demise will be slightly less painful if you surrender now."

There was no doubt that she was afraid, but as was often the case, the arrogance of villains also made Gossamer rather angry.

"You would be wise not to underestimate us; there are many of us as well!"

The golden-haired warrior sent a thick tightly-wound whipcord lashing out towards the impostor closest to Director Powers, hoping to give the man room to act.

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The Grue agent side stepped Gossamer's attack with its unnatural body elongating and contorting out of the way. The other Grue took their own forms, 2 of which looked like rock golems, 2 more looked like strange jungle cats and the last one took on a similar form to the Grue that Gossamer attacked. It was this last Grue that radically enlarged its limbs before brining them crashing down on the AEGIS agents throughout the entire. In a well coordinated move, the 2 cat like Grue also used the opening to scatter into opposing hallways at a rather high speed. As the lashing Grue landed, the golems went into action. The first smashed the wall around the exit they had been guarding a moment ago, while the second barrelled into Director Powers, forcing him to collide bodily with the wall opposite, where he collapsed in a heap. "Now what was that you were saying about there being many of you? Such a primitive way of thinking is it not little girl?" The Grue's fist transformed into a mace before slinging it at Gossamer's head.

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Archeville cast a sideways glance at Ace. "You und your big mouth..."

Before even Ace could get off a quip, the Doktor was in the air, sheathed in his blue-gray force field, pursuing one of the feline Grue.

Ah, finally an excuse to get away from those clods! I know why they called me, but why they called in Ace or Gossamer, I'll never-

Hey! Focus here! We are the only ones that can catch these two, and... oh no! It is going after the mainframe!

Mainframe, eh? So after we kill this thing, I would have access... unfettered access, if the alien kills any personnel stationed there before we arrive...

No! This is so much bigger than you or your petty desires!

Now, now, you know that simply is not true -- my desires are the stuff of legend!

"Agile little thing," the Doktor muttered as he did some on-the-fly adjustments to his Electromagnetic Screwdriver, "but let us see how good you are at dodging... dis!"

POWER!!!

Non-lethal! Capture it alive!

Archeville's techno-wand sparked and buzzed angrily as it unleashed a bolt of blue-white lightning at the creature...

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...Which zap fried the ever living crap out of it. It lost consciousness in mid-stride, so it barreled into the opposing wall at full speed, leaving a rather large dent and making a very satisfying *THUNK* at echoed off the otherwise empty hall. The creature's form returned to the natural Grue humanoid shape now that the alien was no longer maintaining the taken form. Dr. Archeville was left floating next to an unconscious hostile alien, a super high tech computer mainframe with unfettered access to nearly everything, and not a witness in sight. Decisions, decisions.

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Ace saw the beast take down the director and his first instinct was to go to him and get the hulking brute off the comparatively fragile man. But he knew there were greater duties he had. He turned and tapped the base intercom system trying to broadcast to the rest of the base as well hoping the infiltrators hadn't done too much damage already.

"This is Captain Ace Danger, the Iceberg is under attack by agents of the Grue Unity. Initiate immediate full lock down procedures." he commanded issuing an out of date code that hopefully would still be verifiable. "You are members of the most elite force on the planet, these chumps don't have a clue what they have gotten themselves into so let show them why their pitiful invasions have failed time after time. And remember you're not trapped in here with them. They're trapped in here with you." Ace turned with a cocky grin to the remaining grue in the room, "I'd almost feel sorry for you all if you weren't so damn ugly."

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