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World Domination Through Recycling (IC)

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[floatr]FreedomCitySkyline.jpg[/floatr]

The long Centery Bridge, the largest supsension bridge in Freedom City, stretches across the Centery Narrows, allowing the state highway to cross between the Great Bay and the city. It affords a spectacular view of the Freedom City skyline, and is high enough not to interfere with water traffic entering or leaving the Narrows. Unfortunately, the bridge is also a popular target for criminals, terrorists, and giant sea monsters. And today is no different.

“This is Amy Feng, high in the sky in the WNTW Channel 3 Action News Copter! We’re broadcasting live from above the Centery Bridge, and I’m telling you it’s a madhouse down there! Take it from me folks, it’s going to be more than the usual rush hour slow down today!â€

“There’s a swarm of… what look like bugs, big metal bugs, crawling up out of the Great Bay. Each one is as big as a car. They climbed right up the bridge tower, and now they’re spread out across the road, right in the middle of traffic. All lanes have screeched to a halt, and there are collisions and fender-benders everywhere!â€

BugBot.jpg

"I can see something else moving down there...(Get me a close-up, Fred!)...It looks like a man...a giant...it's striding among the smashed cars...appears to be wearing some kind of armor...no, not armor...oh god, it's him...Sorry, folks >brrzzz< we’re getting a lot of >brrzzz< (Fred! Can’t you clean up that signal?) There’s some kind of interference...">brrzzzzzzzz<

The camera zooms in on the bronze giant as he turns to stare into its lense. His eyes burn with a fiery red glow, and although his mouth does not move, his flat monotone echoes across the bridge.

Talos.jpg

"FOR TOO LONG, THIS WORLD HAS BEEN RULED BY FLESH. DISGUSTING, REPUSLIVE FLESH. TOO LONG HAS SUPERIOR TECHNOLOGY BEEN SLAVE TO INFERIOR BIOLOGY. YOUR FLESH IS WEAK, FRAGILE, FLEETING, CONSUMED BY BASER INSTINCTS. YOU FEED AND YOU MATE AND YOU ACCOMPLISH NOTHING BEYOND PERPETUATING YOUR POINTLESS EXISTENCE. IT IS TIME FOR EARTH TO CAST OFF THE FLESH, AND EMBRACE THE MACHINE."

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Southside

Rift sighed as he sat on the ledge of a roof on top of a rundown apartment building. It had been a surprisingly quiet day so far. The Brotherhood seemed to be busy keeping their heads down and the usual muggers and thugs won't come out until nightfall. He leaned back as he tuned his guitar, still ready for when some small time crime showed itself.

What was about to happen however was beyond small.

As the Teen Guitarist strummed a few notes, he heard someones TV inside the building. He stopped dead when he heard the reports of panic on the bridge, the chaos and panic that was growing. And worse of all, the chilling metallic voice of Talos. Without thinking rift slid off the ledge, quickly feeling the pulse and sound of the neighborhood giving him flight. I'm going to be waaaaay over my head doing this. He thought as he willed his sound barrier into existence and his fingers tightened their hold on the stings. But I can't just sit on my ass and do nothing. Taking a pick out from his pocket, he rose upwards, getting a clear shot at the bridge as far as he could tell. With one strum of his guitar and a loud bang, Rift was nothing more than a blur of motion as he sent himself rocketing though the air towards Centery Bridge in a streak of black and blue.

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Gigawatt flew low over the bustling crowds of downtown Freedom. Shoppers, students, office workers, going about their daily lives. It made him feel good. Due in some small part to him, and others like him, those people didn't need to worry. Things were taken care of.

Gigawatt flew by an electronics shop just in time to hear the “Breaking News.†He stopped, startling a few people as the glowing blue man touched down outside the shop, watching the report on the bridge.

...oh god, it's him...Sorry, folks >brrzzz< we’re getting a lot of >brrzzz< (Fred! Can’t you clean up that signal?) There’s some kind of interference...">brrzzzzzzzz<

Danger at the bridge. It would take too long to fly, so it seemed he would need to cruise. There were lights going along the bridge, and he could cruise through the power lines faster than he could fly. He knew most of the grid, it wouldn't take too long.

It was almost like getting sucked into a vaccum cleaner. He dove into the nearby street lamp, and felt himself stretch. He couldn't be as condensed traveling this way without overloading things. So he stretched out, and started to move. Things needed to get taken care of, and that was his job now. He moved as fast as possible.

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Henry had just gotten home, grabbed an afternoon snack, and sprawled across the couch when he turned on the television and saw the news report.

“This is Amy Feng, high in the sky in the WNTW Channel 3 Action News Copter! We’re broadcasting live from above the Centery Bridge, and I’m telling you it’s a madhouse down there! Take it from me folks, it’s going to be more than the usual rush hour slow down today!â€

“There’s a swarm of… what look like bugs, big metal bugs, crawling up out of the Great Bay. Each one is as big as a car...

Henry's chin drooped to his chest. He took a deep breath and turned off the tube before he jumped up, threw his uneaten bag of pretzels down on the dining room table and pulled off his street clothes, revealing his costume. He slid his goggles on and bolted for the door and the street beyond.

-Less than 2 Minutes Later-

Blitz streaked onto the scene dressed in his black suit with the purple bolts that ran from his spine and wrapped around his torso. He was definitely not expecting to see the 9' tall bronze man who loomed in the street bellowing at the top of his lungs.

"Well..." Blitz thought, "This just got a lot more complicated."

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Tarrant was just heading out to get some paperwork done at the University when he heard the commotion on his radio - he didn't have to listen for long before turning his car around towards the bridge. Well. I guess I had to get involved in more than knocking a thug around eventually....

It took him only a few minutes to get close, find somewhere secluded to stash it, and change into his gear. Less still to make his way to the north end of the bridge and see-- The heck is that thing? Well, Tarrant. This ought to be fun.

Or you might get yourself killed. I'm really hoping it's more fun than death. Death would be bad.

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Traffic on the eastern half of the bridge was a total mess. Cars and trucks lay scattered across all 8 lanes, some empty, many upended or piled together. Some motorists ran screaming, while others remained in their vehicles, either trapped, incapacitated, or just paralyzed with fear. Ms. Feng wasn't kidding - each of the robot spiders really was as big as a car. And there were dozens of them. Maybe hundreds, swarming across the bridge from east to west. More were climbing up out of the water, clambering across the eastmost support tower to the asphalt above.

And what's worse, as they closed in, the heroes could see them clustering together, four or five at a time around the abandoned cars, cutting and tearing them to pieces, and using those pieces, and the tools mounted on their bellies, to build more spiders. Others scuttle up the bridge support cables and begin harvesting them for raw materials, seemingly heedless to the danger of collapse...

The window of a minivan is plastered with the tiny, frightened faces of two small children. Their mother pulls them close as she locks the doors. But a handful of spiders suddenly surround them. One leaps onto the van, deploys an arc welder, and begins carving open the roof, while the others pull off the wheels, the hood...

A man in a rumpled business suit lies slumped down in the seat of his car, his face leaning against the dashboard. A stream of gasoline pours out of his tank, flowing ever closer to the flaming wreck of a nearby SUV...

A bruised, battered trucker climbs out of his cement-mixer, grabs a tire iron, and desperately tries to fend off the spiders closing in while simultaneously dodging the quick-dry cement leaking out around him. His dog, already ensnared, barks helplessly...

A police cruiser bore down on Talos. He just stood there, motionless as a statue. Then, as soon as the car was within arm's reach, he bent down, deceptively quickly given his massive frame, caught his hand under the front bumper, and launched himself upright, hurling the cruiser up over his head. It crashed into the street behind him, rolling over a few times before it skidded and screeched to a halt. One of the officers lay unconscious, his face covered in blood. The other staggered free from his battered vehicle. Talos began striding toward them, slowly, almost leisurely, which only added to his menacing demeanor. The cop frantically pulled his pistol free of its holster and fired shot after shot at the looming bronze giant. In his other hand, he clutched his radio, screaming into it "Officer down! Repeat, OFFICER DOWN! Centery Bridge! We need backup! Air support! Ambulances! Just...just SEND EVERYONE!!!" His bullets ricocheted harmlessly against the bronze giant's chest, not slowing his advance in the slightest...

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'Ok, quick assessment; tons-of-spider-drones-destroying-cars, civilians-in-danger-everywhere, evil-metal-man-who-hates-biologicals, other-supers-on-the-scene. Whaddoido?' It was then that Blitz saw the unconscious figure in the car leaking some fluid that was creeping towards the flaming wreckage of a car.

Blitz cocked his eyebrow at the image before him.

He ran full tilt at the car with the guy in it. He ran over the other cars and through the wreckage to get there as fast as possible. He wrenched the door open, pulled the unconscious man out, tossed the man over his shoulders, and high-tailed it away from the leaky car. It was hard to move with this guy on his shoulders; Blitz was definitely moving slower than he normally would have. Blitz made his slower-than-normal escape to a less dangerous location to drop off his "cargo".

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"I don't care if he's in a meeting right now!We have a robot army tearing up one of our bridges!"

City Hall - Freedom City.

As usual one of the many boardrooms had been repurposed into a situation room for city government to handle the current crisis. Mayor O'Connor, Commissioner Kane, and the eight members of the Freedom City Council were busy coordinating the response over a real-time digital overlay of Centery Bridge. On speaker was a secretary for AEGIS Director Powers.

"I am sorry sir but the Director is in a high level meeting with UNISON officials. I will be sure to relay your concerns to him once the meeting is over." The speaker cut off.

O'Connor sighed and slumped down into a chair, pressing a hand against his temples.

"Looks like the MAX suits will be a while. Barbara, how far away is the STAR squad?"

Commissioner Barbara Kane indicated a bright blue police star marker on the digital overlay. "Here. Traffic from fleeing citizens is holding them up. It will take them five, ten minutes to get to the area. And I will say again sir, the STAR squad can handle this without the MAX suits. We don't need a Federal Agency to hold our hands in this..."

The officials continued their arguments. Whether the police department would be sufficient. Whether to buldoze their way through red tape to get to Director Powers. Whether they might need Super-MAX suits deployed. Whether the Mayor should use the red-line and call in the Freedom League proper to help deal with Talos. And, as usual, no one noticed the janitor as he quietly exited the room...

----

Moments later, in the sky over Centery Bridge, a few rays of brilliant sunlight pierced through the smoke rising into the air above the warzone. More and more rays found cracks in the clinging smoke before a great white and gold flash burst through, shredding the remaining smoke and allowing the full brightness of the Sun to light the bridge unhindered as Pharos descended on the battle from above like a bolt of white and golden light.

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Rift did a quick take on the scene. He quite honestly didn't expect self-replicating Spider robots on the scene. He did see something close to a blurr help a man out of a car and get away. He felt a little calmer that there were other heroes on the scene. He doubted he could take down Talos himself, he was infamous for standing up to the Centurion one on one if his memory serves right. He spotted several small figures trapped in a car surrounded by spider bots. No way could he start clearing them out if people are in danger. OK, Get people out and assist everyone getting the spiders and Talos out. Simple enough plan. And with a plan, Rift strummed out a note and was suddenly hovering over the minivan and playing another line of notes that sent a sonic blast at the Spider on top of the Minivan.

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Pharos paused in midflight, cape flaring out behind him as he took in the scene on the bridge below. There were so many people who needed help here. The robots were everywhere, devouring everything in their drive to create more of themselves. Fortunately there were others here. His eyes tracked one blur as it rescued a man from a car. And his ears picked up the distinct twang of guitar strings, drawing his attention to another hero rescuing a family from assaulting spider bots. But all this chaos had an epicenter. Talos.

The bronze titan was advancing casually on a frantic policeman, who was desperately attempting to ward the supervillain away from his unconscious partner. The giant was casually disregarding the hail of bullets directed at it. And heaven knew what would happen to the officer if the construct came closer. Perhaps crush the man, or maybe Talos wouldn't even notice as his great feet simply stomped the officer to paste, continuing on his inexorable path.

Whatever Talos intended though, was not something Pharos was going to let happen. With a whoosh of displaced air, he flew at incredible speed, racing against the bronze man's measured stride. Pharos came up behind Talos, floating to be at eye level with the giant as he rapped the bronze shoulder to let the villain know he was there..

"Why don't you pick on someone your own size?"

As Talos' turned his head towards the query, he was met with the oncoming fist of Pharos, the blow connecting in a thunderous crash with the full power of the Sun itself behind it! Unstoppable Force met Immovable Object as shock waves from the connecting blow shattered what intact windows remained nearby! Sparing a brief moment, Pharos turned to speak to the officer before engaging Talos again.

"I'll hold him off! Get you and your partner to safety!"

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The solar hero's fist struck with such force that it rended a chunk of metal from the facade that Talos presented as a face. Half his jaw torn off, sparks flew from the sundered wires and cracked machinery beneath it, now exposed. The bronze behemoth staggered a step backward, then turned his face back toward Pharos.

"SO...THE FLESH HAS A CHAMPION. A CHAMPION MIGHTY ENOUGH TO LEAVE A MARK UPON TALOS. A RARE THING INDEED. YOUR DEATH WILL DO WELL TO SHOW THE MORTALS THE FUTILITY OF THEIR CAUSE."

Talos' eyes burned brighter. Heat ripples appeared around him as his entire body glowed fiery-orange. The asphalt melted and bubbled under his feet. He lashed out, grabbing Pharos' neck with his massive fingers. One hand held the solar hero in his vise-like grip while the other balled into a fist and savagely pummeled him. Two punches to the gut, followed by one across the jaw, then a backhand across the nose in the opposite direction. Talos finished the beating with a brutal head-butt, then knelt down and rammed Pharos' face through the concrete-and-rebar lane divider.

"IF YOU HAVE THE GOOD SENSE TO STAY DOWN, MY METAL MINIONS WILL PASS OVER YOU, AND YOU SHALL BE AMONG THE LAST ORGANICS TO PERISH." With those parting words, the bronze behemoth held Pharos' neck with one hand, grabbed his knee with the other, hefted Pharos over his head, and hurled him over the edge of the bridge.

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The four remaining bugbots surrounding the minivan turned in unison toward Rift. Bomb-bay-style compartments opened on their undersides, deploying metal cylinders. The openings lit on fire, and then the cylinders squirted streams of burning liquid toward him. The children inside the minivan continued to cry and scream and cling to the inside of the windows, while their mother continued to frantically pull them back and attempt to hold them to her body.

The cop's pistol clicked a few times before he realized it was empty. He responded to Pharos' edict with a wide-eyed nod, then turned to his overturned squadcar, pulled his partner free, hefted him over his shoulders in a "fireman's carry," and took off trotting toward the relatively calm western half of the bridge.

Errant flames finally caught up with the gas tank of another sedan. It exploded, sending fiery shrapnel in all directions and adding another layer to the mass panic that had taken over the commuters.

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I don't know who that guy is - was? man, that's gonna leave a mark - but I am so very, very glad he's not me. Or I'm not him. Whichever. Gaian shook his head to clear it. The guy with the...guitar...?...has the minivan, which leaves....right, then.

Planting his feet and spreading his arms, a soft, earthy golden glow swirled around Gaian Knight's hands as the concrete from the wrecked mixer broke apart, spun together under the man and his dog, and carried them to the far side of the the west lanes, hopefully well out of the reach of mechanical spiders. "Sir? Uh, you...might want to get to safety...quickly. We've got this." ...I hope.

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"Oh man. I hope I'm not too late." Sparksmith appears on the scene surfing on air on a glowing blue board. "Crap... There's a lot more damage now then what I saw on TV," he thought out loud. He flew closer to the bridge, seeing the chaos more closely. His focus closed in on the minivan, the two policemen, and Rift. "Rift's in trouble... but the innocent come first." He made two sparks in his palms and sent them out, forming two platforms. One platform slips under the officer carrying his partner, while the other slips under the minivan. The glowing blue platforms curl up and surround the two subjects in bubbles. Sparksmith moves them as quickly as he can to a safe distance away.

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It had taken too long. He jumped out of a lamp post in the middle of the bridge, and found chaos. Metal monsters, a bronze giant, and a lot of screaming. 'Can't get civs out, don't dare blast too close to any of the cars.' He saw others taking care of this or that. But there were so many of the bugs. 'Best to start there.' He took a moment, and started gathering. He was carrying about 12 gigs of charge, so he started to pour that into a blast, a single blast. 'Better to take out the little ones before they start tearing things up. The big guy can wait.' He waited until he had maybe 3 gigawatts ready, and hurled it toward a large group of the bugs. He hoped no one was in the middle of that.

"INCOMING!" he shouted, hoping to get the good guys out of the way. He'd never done a blast that size. It would be interesting to see.

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*CRACK-KOOM!*

Gigawatt's single massive bolt of lightning tore through the air with a deafening thunderlcap. All the assembled heroes felt their nostrils fill up with the distinctive scent of ozone. When the bolt struck the swarming masses of giant robot spiders, it exploded into a crackling sphere of electricity, tendrils winding through metal in every direction. The non-conductive asphalt beneath it crumbled, shredded, and launched up into the air in all directions. Some of the spiders exploded as their internal circuitry was overloaded, their razor-sharp, gargantuan steel mandibles and leg-claws landing several meters away. Others merely melted into piles of slag. All-told, about two dozen bugbots were destroyed in the blast, a noticeable drop in their numbers.

Unfortunately, one of the stray spider legs, half as long as a car, was blown right up into the spinning blades of the news helicopter. Metal crashed and clanged and crunched against metal, and two of the blades were ripped free. The chopper began spinning out of control, spiraling down toward the water...

The rest of the swarm gradually moved forward, lacking the self-awareness necessary for fear.

*KER-SNAP!*

The cutting torches of the spiders scuttling about the suspension cables had finally begun to take its toll, as several of the smaller steel coils finally snapped free. They sliced a deadly arc across the bridge, digging up chunks of asphalt and tearing through cars like they were made of butter.

The frantic mother in the minivan grabbed the handle on her door and heaved, rolling down the window halfway as Sparksmith's energy platform deposited her back down on the bridge a short distance away. "WAIT, PLEASE, HELP! The dash is all twisted and bent! My leg's stuck under...I think it's broken! The thermometer's redlining! I think the engine's on fire!" Sure enough, a faint plume of smoke was barely visible leaking out the hood.

The tinny, vaguely distorted digital laugh of Talos echoed once more across the bridge. "PUNY ORGANICS. YOU CAN NO BETTER STAND AGAINST THE PERFECTION OF THE ARTIFICIAL THAN YOU CAN WALK INTO THE OCEAN AND STAND AGAINST THE WAVES. IS THERE NO ONE ELSE?"

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Blitz deposited the man he had gotten out of his car on the west end of the bridge, where he would be safe for the time being. "Get outta here," was all he said before he bolted back into the fray. As Blitz ran back towards the fray he took in the situation as it stood now. A lot had happened in a very short amount of time. Talos had thrown one of those flying heroes off the bridge, the civies were getting saved. As he ran by a slightly smoking van Blitz saw a woman who he couldn't help, he didn't have the strength to rip that door open or to un-stick her leg that was obviously pinned. He turned his attention to the bigger problem at hand: the spider-bots that were taking down the suspension on the suspension bridge.

He turned and ran straight up one of the cables that was being cut into and put on an extra burst little of speed he dashed from cable to cable in an effort to hit the spider-bots who were welding the cables that were coincidentally keeping the bridge out of the water.

In a flurry of speeding fists, Blitz pummeled the spider-bots within his reach and continued running up the cable until he reached the huge suspension cable. He slid to a stop and looked around to continue see what had happened since he had bothered to look at the battlefield earlier.

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Pretty soon, the spot Rift was hovering by was nothing more than a giant orb of burning flame. Rifts Sound barrier was managing to keep the flames at bay, though he could feel the intense heat on his face. He was able to narrowly avoid most of the whipping cables of the suspension bridge, a far stray cables managing to nick his shield and knock the flames away.

Damnit, Gotta take care of these spiders. But I have to-"Oh" He stopped thinking when a mass of energy appeared underneath the mini van and started lifting it above the ground. He could make out Sparksmith doing his thing. "Thanks man." He called out. Then he heard the woman cry out in panic. "See if you can do something about the engine before the fuel tank goes off!" He left those words as he moved away from the fire spewing bots and moved into position in the center of the road, moving back enough to get the four bots from before in between the hord. He couldn't hear anyone else in the army of spider bots before him, so he doubted he was about to do more harm than good.

"Well, time to send these things back to the scrap heap." He muttered as he started playing a solo of the top of his head, a massive wave of sound washing over the masses of robots.

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"I got your back, dude!" Sparky yelled down to Rift.

Upon hearing the woman scream, he shook his head at himself. "It's never allowed to be easy, is it?" Sparksmith flew down to the minivan and opened the door. "Hey, no need to worry. I'll get you guys out of here." He reached in, grabbed the people inside and sat them down on the ground next to him. He looked up at the minivan, with the plume of smoke getting darker and darker. He took a deep breath, smiled, and glowed extra bright. He extended his arms as two more sparks came out, making a dome around the minivan, keeping the impending explosion contained.

"Officer!" He called over to the officer who had been carrying his partner. "Do you know a quick fix for a broken leg? This woman needs something until we get her to a hospital."

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As soon as Sparksmith tore the door open, the two small children, tears still streaming down their tiny faces, again broke away from their mother, grabbing for him as they stumbled over the car's interior. When he set them down on the ground to focus on freeing their mother, they clung to his legs.

The interior was mangled, no doubt from the half a dozen giant robot spiders who'd been tearing the car apart a piece at a time. Sparksmith wasn't able to bend the dash back into place, but with a nod of grimacing consent from the mother and a few heaves, he managed to yank her out of the seat and onto the asphalt.

As soon as he'd pulled her free, still leaning on him, with her arms around his neck and shoulders, she whispered into his ear. "Poor little fleshling. Just another pawn who will never become a queen."

It was at that moment that everything seemed to fade into slow motion for Sparksmith. He suddenly took in the whole scene - the odd bundle of blankets and boxes piled up in the hatchback trunk. The frightened children, crying into his pant legs as they frantically pointed at the back of the minivan...the children weren't afraid of the robots outside the van, but of the one inside...

Then he felt a larger, rougher, male hand close around his throat, and suddenly all he felt was pain, and all he saw was red as it burst into an eerie, unnatural flame. The "mother" kneed Sparksmith viciously in the stomach, then turned around just in time for Sparksmith to watch as her skin, her flesh, melted and twisted into gleaming metal liquid, reforming into the body and face and burning red eyes of...Robert Pattinson?!

He chuckled. "Their real mother is indeed in the trunk. And eventually, that engine fire will reach the gas tank, and the van will go up in smoke, taking her with it. And you, little Fleshling, you will die here, with my hands around your throat. And the last thing you'll ever see is your own greatest failure."

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The pavement beneath the bronze titan burst upwards! The fist of the sun careening into what was left of Talos' jaw as Pharos surged back into the fight!

"Don't start picking more fights when you haven't finished the first one!"

With the giant in the air for a brief moment from the force of the blow, Pharos landed; ignoring the heat as he grabbed Talos by the foot.

"Round Two starts now!"

Then with a mighty push, he rocketed up into the sky! A white and gold blur of motion, carrying a bronze streak along with him! Past the top of the bridge. Past the low hanging cloud layers. A mile above the earth before Pharos looked down at his foe.

"Look around Talos. Here is our world. A world I have been guarding for four billion years. If you want to take it, you are going to have to try better than that!"

Holding the giant out with his superhuman strength, Pharos spun! Faster and faster! Until cloudstuff started swirling around them so great was their speed! And with a yell of supreme effort, Pharos cast Talos down from the sky. Sending the bronze man hurtling back down to the Earth almost a mile below!

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Almost too fast to see, Blitz raced around, between, over and under the massive spider-bots, punching and kicking and pulling and twisting and tearing and any weak joints or pieces of exposed wiring and circuitry he could find. His knuckles were scraped, bruised and bloodied from the effort, but such was the price when flesh and bone went up against steel. The spiders knocked themselves off-balance trying to keep up with him, tumbling down to smash against the asphalt and concrete below, or aiming a swipe of their chainsaw-bladed pincers at him only to cleave through a fellow spider instead. Between the blinks of an eye, he'd managed to whittle down the horde's numbers by at least ten percent.

Rift's methods employed far less finesse, but they were no less effective. Standing firm before the waves of sharp black metal death, hair flowing in the salty sea wind, his fingers contorted around the neck of his guitar to find just the right chord, pressing down so hard on the strings they almost bled. He gave a mighty strum, and the banshee's wail screeched across the bridge. Car windshields exploded into a shower of glass, half a second before the entire car crumpled and launched into the air, flipping end-over-end before smashing into the spider-bots below and behind. The screeching wave of sound ripped down the length of the bridge, knocking dozens of spider-bots around like bowling pins as it shredded their gleaming ebony carapces.

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Talos screamed as he plummeted toward the bridge nearly a mile below. "NOOOO!!! THIS CANNOT BE! I AM...INVINCIBLE!!!" The entire bridge buckled and swayed and shook as his prone form smashed into it, leaving a crater across three lanes of traffic. His gleaming metal body lay twisted, torn and mangled at the bottom of the crater, crushed by concrete, impaled by rebar. The blazing fires in his eye sockets died down and went dark.

Dozens of new bugbots hummed and whirred and clanked to life. Unlike their progenitors, whose bodies were sleek, clean, factory-built perfection, their descendants' appearance reflected the piecemeal, haphazard nature of their construction. The heroes could recognize pieces of suspender cables and automobiles, hammered and welded into place. Old and new, the hordes of giant mechanical spiders scuttled into action, climbing over asphalt, cables, and cars alike. While a few here and there stopped to continue adding to their numbers, the bulk of the horde gained ground, sweeping east-to-west across the bridge. The heroes who remained quickly found themselves engulfed in a sea of clanking metallic horror spitting death at them in all myriad forms - flamethrowers, machineguns, liquid nitrogen, and in some cases, merely chainsaw-blades deployed from the ends of their razor-sharp legs.

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Under rapid assault from the 'bots, Gaian Knight was not...doing well. There were painful dents in his chestpiece, he felt like he'd been taken for a spin in that cement mixer back there, and he was pretty sure the tips of his coat were on fire. Something off a ways made a huge impact on the bridge, but his tunnel vision was on the car inside the force field, and the mother who - if he'd heard right just before getting swarmed - was in imminent danger of leaving two children motherless.

Not...not while I'm still standing. Even if that's only just!

Holding a glowing hand out and growling, dust whipping around his feet, a massive saw-toothed wall of asphalt shot upward under the force field. With a sound like a tortured scream it tore straight through the minivan and embedded itself flush with the dome overhead, leaving the empty - and about to explode - front separated from the back and its precious cargo.

Lowering his hand, dust settling around him, he swayed a little. "H...hah. Yeah. Take that."

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After his blast, Gigawatt took a look at the wreckage. Impressive. He'd need to remember to keep from using that too often. If the did that to a normal mugger the results would most likely be...less than acceptable. Debris from the blast had blown everywhere, and Gigawatt almost missed the stray bit that flew towards the news helicopter. "No." Miss it, he silently demanded. There's no way it'll hit.

He was wrong. The chopper was hit, and started to fall. And it was his fault. "No!" it was going down. It would hit the water, and who knew what would happen to the crew. There was only one thing to do. He flew as fast as he could. If he was right, and that damned thing was ferrous enough, he might be able to make a magnetic field strong enough to stave off gravity. He wasn't sure exactly how it would work, but that didn't matter. It had to work.

As he flew, bits of metal and fire came at him. The metal bit flew right through him, as he expected they would, but the flames were hot, far too hot. He tried to ignore them, there were more pressing matters to attend to.

He got to the chopper. It was wreck, and falling fast. 'I hope this works.' He worked on instinct. He had plenty of charge to work with, it was only a matter using it the right way. He brought his arms together. He didn't really have a defined form, it was normally just easier to think that way. Right now what he needed was a lot of charge moving very fast. So he held his hands together, and started to spin his arms around. It spun through his body, and came back in front. It was an odd feeling, pushing parts of yourself in circles.

Once he got the moving charge, he needed to place the field properly. To sudden a stop would have the folks inside crash into the walls, not fast enough might have it spin out of his control. He though for a moment he'd lost it, that it was going to spin out of his hands, so to speak, and keep falling. "I've got it." He whispered to himself. This was amazing. He had no idea he could do this. he started to notice how much energy this was taking, and how drained he felt. 'Be amazed later, if you pass out now, this gets nothing done.' Now all he needed to do was get them somewhere safe.

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