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Geez3r

Meltdown (IC)

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Raymond Nuclear Power plant. Controversial since its inception, it never the less supplies most of Freedom City's energy needs. If there is a reason the city went dark, it is likely to be found here. But the site was strangely quiet. There was no signs of a struggle of any kind. If you didn't know better, you'd say that nothing was amiss with this area at all. No sirens, no alarms, nothing. But something was up. There weren't any people either. Surely they wouldn't abandon the facility in a time of crisis?

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Ironclad sped through the night high above the city, frantically switching through the police and civilian radio bands. There were reports of hideous, gigantic monsters, stories that the Freedom League had been killed, and everyone had seen Atlas's betrayal live on TV. Part of her wanted to fly straight over to the city center and give him a haymaker at Mach 1. Rationally, though, she knew that the greatest danger was in the darkness. Modern man could endure a lot, as long as he had hot water and lights. Which is why Ironclad had turned her delta-shaped helmet east, towards the Raymond Nuclear Plant, and pinned her throttle.

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Rift appeared almost suddenly, A defying note exploding not far above the power plant that was only halted by the teenagers control over sound itself. "...Nothing. Not good." He muttered as he slowly started to descend, his thoughts focused on trying to find even the faintest murmur inside the building. He stopped when hear heard a rocketing sound from behind. He spun around, guitar at the ready. He nearly panicked when he saw a power armored enemy come racing towards the plant, but relaxed. It clearly didn't look like Malice or one of the power corp flunkies. Why was he worried about that happening? He didn't know. The panic of the city was already starting to get to him.

"I really hope you're here to help out." Rift said, projecting his voice towards the figure.

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The streets were dark, all the power gone from the grid.

There was the sounds of explosions in the distance but the immediate area was quiet. Not a single voice cried out to anyone or anything as the station sat dark.

Blitz came to a sudden stop and the dirt he had kicked up in running drifted around his feet and his hair fluttered around his face for a second. He looked up at the tall cooling towers of the nuke plant that had so quietly provided the city with power for his whole life. Blitz looked around and didn't even know where to begin his activities. Having foolishly thought that there was something wrong with the power plant he had run over here as fast as he could so he could to try and put a stop to it. But, now that he was here, he didn't have a clue how to get this freakin' plant working again.

Just as Blitz was about to head on into the plant, he heard a strange noise coming from above the plant. His head snapped up to look at the new arrival. A figure looking like they had a... a guitar with them. He heard the figure speak loudly, too loudly, requesting help from an approaching flying individual dressed in what looked like red and gold suit of power armor. This was getting to be a crowded party real fast. Blitz thought it best to go up and do introductions or at least just offer his help before too much else happened to confuse things even more.

Spark-FWOOM!

Blitz was up at the top of the power plants cooling towers and standing on the edge of the giant concrete structure in the blink of an eye. He then yelled up at the floating guitar-guy, "Hey! Down here!" Blitz waved just to make himself highly visible, "You here to get this thing up and running?"

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Ironclad banked as she approached the power plant, shedding speed and ending up hovering fifty feet or so away from the cooling towers. "I'm not here to fight! I'm here to try and get this power station back online! We'll need lights in the city once the sun goes down," she shouted at the figure with the guitar. The sun was touching the horizon already, so she didn't waste anymore time. Instead, she turned to the bulk of the facility and began scrutinizing it, trying to recall what she knew of the lay-out. If she could find the pile and the control room, it would be a good start.

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A burst of light appeared in the air, followed by a rush of sucking air disappearing into a bright shining hole spiralling open in the very fabric of space itself. An imposing figure clad in armor of crimson and gold floated through, her massive red cloak billowing behind her like the sail of a ship from some ancient armada. An instant later, the cyclone of light collasped in on itself and blinked out of existence. She hovered in the air before Ironclad.

Her head inclined momentarily, then righted itself, scanning the armored heroine. "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If you are here to help the city, then I can help you." She turned down toward the power station below, then back to Ironclad. "I can easily see inside, but most of my accumulated knowledge applies to more primitive technologies. I don't know what I'm looking at. But if you are responsible for the construction and maintenance of that suit rather than just its operation, then I can give you eyes to see beyond sight."

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Ironclad was caught off-guard when another armored hero suddenly appeared in their midst, but she only hesitated a second when offered a chance to "see beyond sight," whatever that meant. She gave a single, jerky nod, then spoke. "The armor's mine, yes. I'll take whatever help I can get. We need to get this station up and running, ASAP."

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"Thats why I'm here as well. We can't-" Rift never really finished his sentence. A teenager appeared on one of the cooling towers shouting at him. The Teen guitarist was about to respond when the sudden flash of the tunnel made The Scarab herself appear. Out of everything Rift was expecting, the scarab was well at the bottom of that list. If this was a calmer situation, he would be asking questions about what happened to the Knights of Freedom and such, but now they had a job to do.

"I know quite a bit myself. I can probably lend some help as well." Rift said to both Red and Yellow clad heroines. "I think you might wanna give that guy some warning if there is something lurking inside." He added with a nod in Blitz's direction.

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"Have protection against radiation," said Avenger, simply appearing amidst the group as if he'd been there all along. And had he? It was, as ever, hard to say. He was covered in dust and blood, none of it his own, and still carrying a broken piece of rebar with alien flesh on it. "And can see in the dark. Can follow instructions from Scarab, if someone who knows power plants can tell me. Little actual knowledge of technology," he confessed.

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Blitz was a bit perplexed by everything that happened all at once.

The red and gold armored heroine flew in and announced that she was there to help. Then a huge portal opened up in the sky with gold light pouring out of it and another red and gold armored lady super floated out and addressed the other. THEN another guy appeared out of thin air looking like he'd just walked out of a horror movie blood-bath. The guy with the guitar then entered the conversation taking place 50' over his head. Blitz cocked his eyebrow up over his goggles but remained still. These guys seemed to all be heroes and they seemed like they were going to be working together already.

Really not knowing what to do or say, Blitz called up to the floating gathering, in a slightly sarcastic voice, "If you need my help, just let me know. Anything at all."

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Conscious of Blitz's feelings, Avenger realized he was in the same boat. "Could likely use your help if you are faster than radiation," said Avenger, moving back to stand by Blitz. He wasn't being sarcastic; he didn't know how fast the kid was. "All in this together, for the city. SCARAB!" he called up. "COULD USE YOU DOWN HERE OR US UP THERE!"

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"Come." The Scarab gestured for Ironclad to follow her as she floated down to the ground, or at least, a few inches above it. "Avenger. It has been too long, Comrade. We can discuss your wayward teammate after we attend to the matter at hand." Her cape continued to flow and flutter behind her, despite the absence of an actual breeze.

She placed her fingers against her temples. Her helm began to glow with a brillaint golden aura. "See the world as I see it, the shadows pierced, the veils lifted. I shall be your eyes, and you shall be my guide." A spectral image appeared in front of each of the assembled heroes, a first-person perspective flying through the walls of the power plant, almost too quickly to follow, occasionally hovering in one spot and then darting away again like a hummingbird. "Evil can run, but it cannot hide. Not from me."

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Lacking any actual mode of transportation other than her own two feet, Aiko Karakuri was hoofing it over to the power plant. With the power gone it meant that there was a problem either in the grid or the plant, and given how much "fun" could be had using materials from a nuclear power plant it was a fairly safe bet in the gynoid's mind that it was a question of sabotage. So she was heading there, her own technical expertise and inorganic body would be useful there at least. And with any luck she wouldn't get into such a fight that her artificial nature was revealed.

Idly she the collection of flying heroes, but Karakuri didn't have time to stop and instead kept pumping her legs maintaining a steady 20 miles per hour rate of movement. It wasn't the blue haired, and blue clad, heroinne felt like stopping and trying to have a chat with a group fifty feet above her head either. Then one of the two in red and gold coloured armour descended, and seemed to speak with a young hero Coordination would be good though, so I'd better stop. And she did, pulling herself to a stop about ten feet from the two heroes on (or at least near) the ground. For the moment she stays silent, instead observing the somewhat flashy display of power. It was a bit faint to her eyes though.

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"Hear me, Vivian Kriger!" The Norn called out to her. "The Gods have called upon you once more to serve them. Go now and do battle in the name of Odin!" The telepathic voice in Vivian's head was gone as fast as it had appeared.

<"I renounce all the words and works of the devil, Thunear, Woden and Saxnôt, and all those fiends that are their associates."> Vivian responded to the call, invoking the Orb of Fate in the process, <"I hear and obey, Norn">

---

As the visions faded from the heroes and heroines gathered at the power plant, and as Aiko arrived on the scene, there came a distant rumbling from the heavens. Suddenly, there was a sound like the shattering of an enormous rock.

*KRAK-THOOM*

Lightning struck the ground in front of the assembled heroes. When the blinding flash faded, a woman armored in blue-grey steel plate mail with fur trimmings was knelt on one knee before them. Rising from her kneeling position, she hefted the massive hammer in her right hand and rested it over her shoulder. "Harkm mortals!" she exlaimed, "We have come to do the will of the Gods. I am Valkyrie, Chosen Warrior of Odin, Destroyer of Evil, and Bringer of Justice." A hard, defiant look played across her face as she spoke. It was almost as if she was daring any of those assembled to challenger her claims of might, even in this trying hour.

Valkyrie lifted the hammer from her shoulder, and turned it over slowly in the air. She slammed the head of the hammer into the ground at her feet. Sparks flew from the head of the hammer when it made impact. "We have come to ensure the will of the Gods is done. Aid, if thy will, mortals. Or step aside if thy choose not. We pray the Gods take pity on thy souls should'st thou get in our way."

Good, child. Very good. spoke The Norn in Valkyrie's head.

Odin be praised! she answerd.

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Ironclad was focused on the disorienting experience of having her sight melt through the various walls and floors within the power station, but she had some attention left to spare for the newcomer. "Nice speech," she allowed. "Is there a Norse god of nuclear fission, by any chance?"

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"Hardly!" Valkyrie's eyes narrowed in disdain at the jest.

Telling jokes? On the field of battle? How disrespectful these dilettantes are!

"The gods need no such devices for power." Valkyrie lifted her hammer in front of her, causing it to crackle with its god given power. "It is because of the needs of mortal men that we stand ready to fight. Come, let us end this farce! Today we fight for the gods and for glory!" Valkyrie lifted her hammer high in the air. A smile cracked on her face: the smile of a person that greatly enjoys their job.

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The Scarab seemed completely oblivious to the arrivals of Aiko and Valkyrie.

The technicians and guards have all been incapacitated. They are being held...here." The spectral image of a three-dimensional map of the complex in the mind's eyes of the assembled heroes glowed a bright red at one spot. The first-person view flew down through the walls and floors and ceilings, a blur until it came to rest at one of the storerooms. Inside, they could see the room was filled with battered bystanders, slumped down in piles. "However..." The "camera angle" shifted again, to the upper levels. "If you look closely, you'll see those same faces among the 'technicians' and 'guards' puttering about here. I think it is safe to assume hostility among everyone currently moving unhindered through the complex, so for once, the prudent course of action is to 'shoot first and ask questions later."

"And the culprits have altered the reactor in some way. Whatever energy is now emitting from it produces psychic interferece, making a thorough scan impossible. Whatever their sinister purposes, they cannot be allowed to co-opt a nuclear reactor to that end. We should split up, with one group securing the reactor while the others free the hostages and see them to safety."

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Blitz was feeling a bit ill from the excessive speed and impossible trip he was being shown. The last shift up to the upper levels finally did it. His stomach gave an all-mighty heave, Henry twisted away from the supers gathered around, bent over at the waist and chucked-up his lunch.

The super-teen spat, wiped his mouth with the back of a gloved hand, and turned around to face the gathered supers once more. "So," Blitz asked, still a little winded, "What you're saying is, 'get in there, kick some technician butt, and turn the power station back on'?" Raising his eyebrow at Scarab for confirmation, "'Cause I'm down with that if it's what we're planning on doing."

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"I think the "Turn the power station back on" part is gonna be more complicated than that man." Rift said to the speedster. He did note the two new arrivals on the scene. He wondered briefly if Valkyrie survived on a diet of ham for a moment. He also wished her enterence wasn't so damn loud. Hey, that exchange student is here as well...Wonder if she knows about machinery. I really hope so.

"Well, I think its a safe bet Valkyrie will go get rid of the fake techs. I'll come with the reactor team and see what I can do." He said.

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"Yea, verily. We shall go where the fighting is." Valkyrie seemed intent on perpetuating the stereotype. She slapped her hammer into the palm of her left hand, eager to begin the fighting. "Come then. Let us waste no more time on such paltry words, when there are foes to be vanquished." And then her voice took on a more even tone, and a devilish smile crept across her face, and she turned to begin walking towards the building, "In your words, I believe the saying is, 'less chat, more splat.'"

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Blitz cocked his eyebrow at Valkyrie as she gave her third sanctimonious proclamation in the last five minutes.

He nudged Rift with his elbow, put his hand in front of his mouth and said, in a whisper loud enough to be heard by everyone, "I think I'm in love." His face split into a wicked smile. His body let off a spark and he dashed to stand directly in front of Valkyrie in a kneeling position before he continued, "Beautiful woman of the lightning hammer, I would follow you to the fight!" Blitz brought his hand up to the front of his face and balled his hand into a fist, emitting a small spark as he did so. "Lead on and we shall leave a glorious wake of destruction in our path!"

It was out of character for Blitz, but he was enjoying himself in that moment. "In plain English; lead the way and I'll kick the crap outta some bad dudes with ya."

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In spite of herself, Valkyrie smiled. Perhaps humor does have it's place on the battlefield. This one I like.

"Very well, O Fleet Footed one." She smiled down on him, laying her hand on his shoulder. "Though thou couldst do with a sterner stomach, Thy eager determination is admirable. Thou hast earned my trust, and such constitution may be learned by the body with time. Come. It begins!"

In a flash of lightning, the two were gone. Through Scarab's mental floor plan, the others could see the two reappear approximately ten feet beyond the front doors. This of course came as quite the surprise to Scarab.

---

Inside the building, lightning flashed once more. Though there was no sky from which it could appear, the power of the gods would not be denied. In the place where it had struck the floor of the power plant, it left two heroes, one standing and one kneeling in its wake.

"Odin hast not yet seen fit to grant me more accurate control over my travels through his thunder. Such experience comes with many battles hard won, and I am but a Stripling. This is the closest we may get, for now. Placing a hand once more on Blitz's shoulder, Valkyrie commanded, "Rise, hero, and pray to the Gods that thine lunch stays where it should."

Valkyrie hefted Mjollnir with her right, and let the haft rest in her left just below the place where it met the head of the weapon. She began walking in a direction that she determined would take her deeper into the complex before finishing her earlier proclamation. "For battle is upon us!"

Valkyrie was the first to lead the charge. Her battlecry rang through the halls of the power plant: "Hrraaaah!"

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Karakuri speaks up after remaining silent initially. "I am well versed when it comes to technology, so I believe it would be prudent of me to assist with the reactors."

While her almost subconscious filing took place the gynoid actually takes the time to observe the others present, partly lamenting her own relative ignorance of the other heroes present in the city. She did tentatively identify the more verbose of the red and gold armoured ones as the Scarab, but that was about it. Then Valkyries pulled her little stunt. "Perhaps we had better move as well?"

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Ironclad' hands flicked through apparently empty space, though it swam with neon-bright displays from Jessica's viewpoint. The suit shifted, sections opening and sliding and interlocking into new configurations. Once it was done, the red-and-gold suit and become a steel-and-purple construction, with slender arms and massive shoulders. She prowled forward confidently, shaking her limbs and curling her hands into fists. It was the first time she'd tried shifting modes like that, and it looked like a success.

The color-shifted hero stepped up to the door. "Wherever we go, it's gonna mean fighting through a whole bunch of mooks." She was quiet for a second, then her voice rang out again, amplified. "And I am just fine with that!" Imitating Valkyrie, Ironclad raised he fist high and charged the door.

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The Scarab took to the air once again, her massive cape filling up with a mighty wind that none of the other assembled heroes could feel, hear, or see. "Avenger, your aptitude for infiltration is unmatched. You spearhead the effort to rescue the hostages and see them out of harm's way. I shall lead the strike team against the doppelgangers on the reactor floor. We will clear a path to the reactor, at which point, those of you with the necessary scientific knowledge will figure out what the invaders have done, and more importantly, how to reverse or derail their plans." She soared over to the front doors of the power station. The Scarab extended her arm forward, her outstretched palm facing the front doors. She clenched her fingers into a fist as she pulled her arm upward and back toward herself in a circular motion. The doors flew open, then ripped off at their hinges and skidded across the concrete before them.

"No time for subtlety. This is war."

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