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Jack's metahuman energy awareness let him address Sparksmith without turning around, his eyes fixed on the advancing horde. "Energy manipulator, huh? Stick by the hospital; might need you to pull emergency generator duty." With the building still full of injured patients, a power outage could be devastating. Having someone to catch anything that got past the first line of heroes wouldn't hurt either.

For Fulcrum, the swordsman spared a glance and smirk. "Mo', you're running with the Interceptors now; we've only got the one plan." Jack twirled his arcing blade before snapping it at the ready. "Him 'em till the don't get up no more." Thumbing the radio again, he addressed the cowboy on the rooftop. "Colt, if you would be so kind."

In response a narrow but blinding beam of light shot down to the street, curving about the entire hospital. The laser left a distinct trench the width of a thumb in a massive circle around the building, scored asphalt sizzling from the heat. Flicking a switch, Jack switched the radio to blare from the MAVERIC's prodigious speakers, his voice, clear as a bell, easily reaching those high above the vehicle. "Ladies and gentlemen," he called to the assembled heroes, "that is the line. They don't cross it." There was a moment's pause, then he added conversationally, "Incidentally, three points for the big ones, two for the really ugly ones and one a piece for the fast ones and the fliers."

Leaning into the MAVERIC though the driver side window, he turned the sound system over to the speakers, electric guitars and a breakneck beat filling the still air as a toothy, feral grin spread across the swashbuckler's face. Jack began walking toward the advancing armies, arms spread out challengingly, a distinct swagger in his step. "You think you can pull this in my house? LET'S GO!" he roared.

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Geckoman whipped the remote out of his pocket. The Pitchoo rocketed up towards him, walkway ready to jump onto.

"Ok, darling, time to go shoot stuff... and no more dents," he crooned to it. "You be a good girl." He leapt easily from the roof a good twenty feet, landing on his feet on the ship.

"Ok, guys, you know your plan, stick to it and blow up alien gribblies, m'kay?" And with that the door was sliding shut and Geckoman was easing himself into the pilot's chair.

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Grim hopped up and threw her arms around Colt's neck to give him a nice long kiss for luck, then gave him a pinch on the cheek.

"Take care of yourself, cowboy."

She dropped back down to the roof and gave the rest of the heroes a salute.

"And good luck to you all!"

And with that, Grim took a running leap off the roof, leaping some fifteen feet into the air before switching to her pixie form and zooming down towards Jack, before veering over to the emergency entrance. Once there, she conjured forth a large dull-gray barrier, fifteen feet long, three feet high and six inches thick, some ten feet in front of the doors, the two ends curved slightly towards the building. She was no expert on fortifications, but she hoped it would aid in the defense of the doors.

"You think you can pull this in my house? LET'S GO!"

Hovering by the entrance, Grim got on the radio. "Rock 'em sock 'em, Jack! Where do you want me?"

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"Much as he's an asshole, Jack has the right idea," mused Geckoman as he flew the Pitchoo towards the swarm of flying nasties. "Let's rock and roll."

With a few rapid-fire button presses, he'd called up the targeting computer, which was struggling with the sheer number of them. "Game time." The twin gun turrets opened fire, spraying electrical bolts en masse.

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Colt popped open the chamber on his rifle to release the spent laser cartridge he'd used to back up his teammate's speech. "Reckon I been waitin' a powerful long time'ta use these here suckers." Colt reckoned as he drew another strange looking piece of ammunition from his coat pocket. "Cover yer ears ladies'n gents." He told the people on top of the hospital. "There here's gonna be one big boom."

Colt loaded the rifle. *Snick*, *Click*, *Chak* and fired. *THOOMP*

"Fire in the hole," Came his quiet warning, over the radios an instant before the skies lit up.

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While the blast is deafening, it doesn't seem to deal too much damage to the Screamers. Probably due to the fact that the Pitchoo had just scattered the Screamers, Colt wasn't able to get a good cluster of creatures to aim at. Those he did hit however were soon falling out of the sky. The heroes were truly fearsome, it appeared as if over a third of the Screamers had already been dealt with.

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James was never the biggest advocate of patience. And they needed to meet the enemy well before it got close enough to trash the hospital, even just accidentally. Even he knew that much. He reached out and grabbed Wander's hand. "Anyone else need a lift, call out and I'll be back for you." He concentrated and a moment later they appeared directly behind the 3 behemoths. He released her hand and grinned. He bowed, extending one hand to the nice clear, open and free shot at the thing's back. He didn't have to say it but the 'after you' was clearly there.

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Jack glanced upward as Colt's shots and those coming from Geckoman's airship thinned out the crowd of flying creatures. "Get up there and back Fulcrum up," he told Grim without slowing his steady walk toward the advancing horde. The fencer rested his scintillating blade on one shoulder, the arcing electricity mimicking a solid sword. "We need the airborne threats dealt with first, before they get to the roof."

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Jack glanced upward as Colt's shots and those coming from Geckoman's airship thinned out the crowd of flying creatures. "Get up there and back Fulcrum up," he told Grim without slowing his steady walk toward the advancing horde. The fencer rested his scintillating blade on one shoulder, the arcing electricity mimicking a solid sword. "We need the airborne threats dealt with first, before they get to the roof."

"Copy that, Jack!"

Pixie Grim shot back up into the sky right for a clump of Screamers darting to avoid the Pitchoo's fire. The tiny angry mass of wings and claws flew right into their midst, spiraling, swooping and ripping its way through the lot.

"Rrrrrraaaaaaah!"

Her battle cry was as fearsome as it was wee. :twisted:

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Young Freedom's commlinks all suddenly crackled with Edge's voice, their putative leader's words strong and sure. "Our grandparents beat them once. Our parents beat them twice. The Freedom League beat them just six years ago! This isn't an invasion, it's an insult! Just some stupid aliens who like getting beat up! Well if they want to get beat up, by Jupiter, we'll beat them so hard we'll be telling OUR kids about it! C'mon, Young Freedom! LET'S GIVE THEM WHAT THEY DESERVE!" And with that, Mark concentrated, tapping into the core of energy at the heart of his very being, and the world exploded.

Everywhere there were explosions: cars erupting in gouts of flame to scorch the Grue on the ground, windows bursting to send showers of glass erupting through the flesh of the Grue in the air, the big behemoths tripping and falling under the own weight, as an eruption of sheer terrible misfortune for all the enemies of Freedom came erupting from the center of Mark Mason Lucas. It was a glorious moment, and he was smiling when he finished.

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After the teleport, Wander took a split second to stare up at the massive behemoth she and Hellion were up against. She listened to Mark's voice over the commlink letting his confidence fill her, then took a deep breath. "Thanks for the lift," she told Hellion with a half-smile, then swung into action. Using her bat like a pole vault, she leapt up the thing's gigantic back while it was still turned, smashing it viciously in each of what she thought were its ears before dropping back to the ground.

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Edge's explosion devastated the landscape, and the very last of the Screamers fell from the sky. The other beasts still seemed to be on their feet however. The Stalkers seemed to be slowed somewhat by the attack, but still had most of their numbers. The Ravengers were barely phased by the attacked, and most worrisome of all, the Behemoths didn't even break stride as they continued their charge to the hospital. Wander fared better than Edge, being able to knock one of the Behemoths cross eyed for a moment, but it was still on its feet, only now it was looking for a fight.

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In the wake of the blasts Phalanx looked to what groups were still on the move and shot out of the sky in a flash of blue and gold. The hardier group seemed largely unphased by Edges assault and he aimed to slow them. With the noble speeches of his fellows ringing in his ears he lanced toward the hulking beast in the midst of the monstrosities flying out of the sun to hide his approach. He slammed into the creature with titanic force his aim true and his will steady. This alien scum wouldn't reach the hospital.

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To its credit, the beast was able to hold its ground. It did so while looking at the world with it's eyes blurry and its ears ringing, but it did it. Turning back to face its assailant, the creature gave a beastly roar straight out of Jurassic Park that made all the nearby fires flicker in the wind. The other beasts nearby also take an interest in Phalanx. It wasn't until he got so close did Phalanx realize how many of them there were.

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"All right. If those things are that far out... at the speed they're going... "

Sparksmith does a bit of math in his head and on his fingers. He glows in a bright blue-green, floating upwards to get a better view of the Grue.

"I'll be back in a few seconds. No worries."

He flies out a few hundred feet, suddenly stopping in mid-air. "All right. They're all watching... this better work."

Sparksmith makes two sparks. One in each hand. The surge around him quickly, reforming his forcefield into what looks like a suit of iron armor. They then come together above his right hand, expanding into a giant cannon. As it falls onto his hand, he shouts, "Ready...set...IRON CANNON!" With contact with his hand, the cannon fires a large beam of blue-green energy at a pack of Grue.

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The blast has a devestating effect on the monsters. Sparksmith is able to concentrate his fire on a large cluster of enemies, significantly decreasing their fighting numbers. It even looks as if the group is going to start retreating. With the exception of the behemoths, that makes 2 out of 3 threats dealt with for the heroes. So far, Colt's line has held up pretty darn well.

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Fulcrum turned, just for a split second, to smile up to Edge. The guy had a great way with words, and just as importantly to her, a good sense of humor about this nominally mind-numbing situation. His candor buoyed her spirits and helped her to focus on the needs of the moment.

Turning back to the scene, much hard work had already been accomplished. The fliers were gone, but hundreds of smaller creatures remained. Those really weren't her specialty. She needed a big, dumb and very lethal brute to fight. As the Behemoths' foot stomps rattled the glass, her decision was made. Popping her knuckles, she zoomed into the fight.

Vanishing in a blur, the giant paragon followed her comrade's lead and assaulted one of the mountain-crushing monstrosities. Streaks of blue-and-gold and dust whipped up into a dust devil as Fulcrum circled around the beast at supersonic speeds. The brute rocked wildly as she delivered a volley of punches, especially to the gut and face.

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Jack of all Blades watched the other heroes speed through the air, teleporting about or firing from a distance, and glanced at the electrical rapier in his hand with an irritated grimace. Even sprinting, it was going to take him a long time to reach the invading hordes, and even longer to thin the herd out one at a time. Sometimes the job calls for finesse, he reflected, and sometimes you just need a bigger stick.

Stopping in his tracks, the swordsman extended his hung rily arcing blade in front of him, gripping its hilt with both hands and he closed his eyes and steadied his breathing. Reaching out with his metamagi awareness, he found the steady heartbeat of the city's powerlines. Careful not to disrupt the flow to the hospital itself, he pulled. For a moment, nothing happened, then as one every street lamp in view suddenly exploded with the high pitched sound of shattering glass as bolts of lightning leapt to Jack's outstretched sword.

The blade doubled in length and thickened into a veritable broadsword, then doubled again. As soon as the energy began pouring into his weapon, Jack shot forward, swinging it behind him. With a roar, he kicked off from the ground and into the air, sweeping his sword forward as he did, his flight illuminated by the uncounted lightning bolts even then streaming toward him. "NNNRAAAAAGH!" As it sliced through the air, the blade continued to expand until it was a semi-solid torrent of energy nearly the length of a city block. At the far end, Jack's slash brought its crackling fury ripping through the army of beasts.

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In the courtyard, Fulcrum streaks towards her target. The beast loses sight of her as she performs her rapid aerobatics. Flying in low, she finds her target and hammers him repeatedly. But somehow, the beast weathered the assault before it counters with thunderous force.

The other side of the hospital plays lightning to the display of thunder. Lightning washes over the charging creatures, and many fall, yet many more remain. The large behemoths move to attack their assailants, clawing, biting and lashing out at them in any way they can.

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Geckoman spun the Pitchoo around. "What they deserve, Mark?" pondered Chris. He came level with the second largest group of monsters, armoured and closing in on the hospital, hovering above their heads as the looped the ship around in a firing arc. The turrets drew a bead on their solid carapaces, and opened fire in a blaxe of white-hot electricity. "Howsabout a good 500,000 volts!" The comm channel filled with the sound of mad laughter.

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Colt slipped yet another un-proportionately small charge into the breach of his rifle. He flicked the catch and chambered the round. Then fired the miniature nuke into a crowd of enemies. He made sure he didn't harm buildings, civilians or other heroes. When the smoke cleared, there was nothing left of the crowd of enemies he had just fired into.

"Two down, one'ta go."

Colt loaded and fired again into the last crowd standing. This blast did damage, but did not reap nearly as much devastation as the previous attacks. Soon as he'd launched the round, he covered on his stomach behind the ledge at the edge of the building. He wanted to make sure that nothing below the building could see where he was perched.

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The heroes had them on the run, in short order, the hospital would be safe and the enemies routed. From there the heroes could focus on the larger threats at hand and even track down and confront Atlas. All around it was all going swimmingly.

And then the corner of the hospital about 4 floors down from the roof exploded violently. Alarms began blaring instantly, as did the screaming of the civilians within the hospital. A quick glance reveals two surprising facts: the explosion occured from inside, and two, there was no fire nor scorch marks around the area, or even smoke. Someone did this by hand.

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The others seemed to be doing quite well. The large groups of the creatures were dropping like flies all over the place. James stood fast as the others laid into the Behemoths, knocking them about. Unfortunately they were made of tough stuff and refusing to drop. But they were looking a little injured and stunned. He figured now was a good a time as any. Raising both hands, he reached inside himself for the hellish power. Summoning fire to his hands, he pointed up (WAY up) and launched a stream of fire from each hand at the creatures!

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Jack whirled around to face the hospital, his blade snapping back down to normal size even as the electricity from his city block-sized strike was still roiling through the creatures in the distance. "No! Grim!" he shouted at the top of his lungs, sudden frustration playing across his face. "Air taxi, stat!" They'd failed to keep the hospital safe, he knew; all he could hope for was that it wasn't too late to save the civilians inside, including his sister.

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"No! Grim!"

"Air taxi, stat!"

"On my way, Jack!" The determined pixie girl zipped to Jack's position by the MAVERIC and firmly grasped the collar of his coat with her tiny clawed hands. "Hold on to your hair!"

With a flutter of her wings, she impossibly hoisted the swordsman into the air, heading for the ragged hole in the hospital's side. As she flew, she leaned her itty-bitty face into Jack's ear to offer some pint-sized encouragement

"By the way, the Giant Lightning Sword from Hell? Epic!"

The gaping maw of glass and concrete loomed before them as Grim thrummed forward.

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