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World Domination Through Recycling (IC)

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Blitz watched as a streak of flaming golden construct fell from the sky and smashed into the concrete. The whole bridge shifted with the force of the impact. Blitz rocked back and forth, arms pinwheeling as he tried to keep his balance. He finally came to a rest, his balance regained.

"Phew! Glad that's over wi-AHHHH!!!!"

Blitz had to dodge the spinning blades of whirling death coming in from all sides. While he had been balancing the bug-bots had climbed up to the top of the support for the bridge and revealed their chainsaws. They were already swinging these deadly apparatus at Blitz by the time he realized they were there at all. Dodging wasn't enough to save Blitz this time, he was caught off-guard and the chainsaws that the bugs were swinging sliced into Blitz's shoulder and side.

His head felt like it was filled with cotton. The world was moving in slow motion, and not the good slow motion like when he was running. This was like being in a nightmare where you knew something awful was coming down the dark hallway and you couldn't get into your apartment. 'No,' Blitz thought, 'I'm not going down here at the hands of some stupid-' "Piece of Junk!!!"

Blitz raced underneath the looming bots in front of him and reached into the crevices between their "hull plating" and pulled out their all-important robo-parts. Blitz saw an opening to escape through and ran down the cables to reach the bridge surface once again. He dodged in between the swarming bug-bots and made his way up down the bridge. He saw another super seemingly doing battle with a guy who Blitz recognized from advertisements on that all-consuming tube of life and information, television; 'That's that dude from Twilight... but with a little skin color for a change. Hmm... I've always wanted to punch that guy in the face, and now's my chance!'

Blitz sparked and put on a burst of extra speed and aimed a punch right at the bad guys face. The opportunity was too perfect but there were still bug-bots everywhere so Blitz took the opportunity to also dash around and rip up some more of those obnoxious spidertrons. However, he'd seen first hand what sticking around the bots could get you, so he also bid them all adieu and bolted further down the bridge.

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Rift smirked as he watched all the robots were destroyed by that single well placed note. It faded not long after though as the metalic legion marched forward, a nightmarish hale of gunfire coming down on him. He stood his ground and hoped his Sound Barrier would hold up to the onslaught of lead. Rounds bounced off, peppering the asphalt and steel around him with holes and sparks.

But a new tactic came from the hord. Liquid nitrogen game spewing forth and soon Rifts duster was covered in a stiff layer of frost that chilled him to the bone. His fingers and face quickly grew numb and he couldn't help but shake. DEAR GOD THIS IS COLD! His mind shrieked. Even with his hands numbed, Rift managed to pull off another note and send him flying backwards, retreating from the technological horrors, shards of frost dropping onto the ground where the teenager once stood.

He faintly heard the sounds of Sparksmith struggling.and soon he saw him in the grip of....Robert Patterson? what the hell? Why...Screw it, I'm not gonna question it right now. Rift didn't care. He needed everyone he can to fight back against the tide of metal and he knew damn well he couldn't do it himself. He gripped his guitars neck and managed yet another not, a wave of sound rushing towards (what he hoped to be) some sort of Foundry construct.

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When Blitz rushed by, his fist smacked into Edward Cullen's face...and passed right through it. Most of it, anyway. His knuckles painfully rapped against the now-exposed metal skull with a *CLANG*, but the "flesh" around it melted into a gleaming liquid, receding from the right half of his face like mercury spilling from a broken thermometer. The liquid metal coalesced back into a face again after Blitz passed them by, then broke into a predatory grin.

Rift's focused soundwave likewise broke against Keres' back, splashing the bulk of his liquid metal flesh away from his solid Impervium skeleton. But before the screech of Rift's guitar had even subsided, the amorphous mass had already been sucked back down, had already righted itself again into the appearance of a man. And then, that appearance and that man changed. The false flesh melted and turned inside out and flowed, then settled and hardened into the form of...Sparksmith. He stared into his own reflection, identical down to the last detail, save for those burning red eyes.

"Your puny minds still don't understand. We aren't made of meat. We aren't weak like you. We can't be killed. We can't be stopped. We are the future. You're a footnote. A joke we'll tell each other between processing cycles a thousand years from now. But you...you can be killed. So very, very easily. Like so."

The red glow faded from Keres' eyes. The fiery aura around his fists transformed into the same crackling globes of blue-violet energy surrounding Sparksmith's own fists. He leapt back, then forward, faking right then turning sharply left, rushing Sparksmith at a 45-degree angle. His fist smashed into Sparksmith's kidney, then his stomach in rapid succession. As he bowled over from the pain, Keres' burning fist pummeled up into his nose. His own arm slipped under and around Sparksmith's as Keres slipped around him in a single fluid motion, gaining the leverage he needed to heave Sparksmith into the air while simultaneously throwing him off balance with a kick to the side of his knee. Sparksmith's arm and knee were both nearly torn free from their respective sockets as he flew up against his own energy dome, then slid down off it and fell slumped to the ground.

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As Sparksmith goes flying through the air, a spark encircles the two children staring horrified at what seemed to be a massacre. The bubble moved towards the heroes, spinning to make sure the kids don't see any more. The bubble stopped moving as soon as he collided with his first dome, which subsequently was absorbed into him upon collision.

He sat up, quite winded and beaten, and started to casually toss a spark up, catch it, and repeat (with his good arm, of course). "Listen, I don't know who you are, but you're no future." While the orb of energy floated in the air, Sparksmith formed another spark and quickly threw it at the robot's gut.

Sparky let out a groan from the pain, his adrenaline calming slightly. However, he still managed to smirk, saying "I have to admit, though. You don't look half bad." He chuckled to himself before letting out a smaller grunt.

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Pharos breathed heavily for a moment as he watched Talos tumble down to the ground far below, hearing even up here the distant thump of the metal man's impact. With one deep breath he shook off the heaviness his limbs felt from the bruises all over him. The fight with Talos had been difficult, and a close thing. But the battle was far from over. In a flash of white and gold he surge downwards, wind whipping in his face. The situation spread itself before him: other heroes were combating...something in a pitched and desperate battle. Maybe a lieutenant of Talos, despite the fact that it now looked like one of them. And beyond them was the gathering mass of a horde of chittering metal. The others could handle their foe, but not if they were over run by the army.

Pharos's flight thus ended in the air before the great horde of machine insects. Gathering his strength from the sun shining over head, solar flares arced across his body, heading outwards to coalesce into a single point in front of him. There a second sun formed, swiftly growing larger and larger, brighter and brighter. Until it nearly obscured even Pharos' view of the horde. And then he released the solar fury that he had poured into it. Mighty arcs of golden fire lanced outwards, a dozen at a time to scathe burning paths through the horde. Again and again they whipped at the machines, the force of them driving and ripping and crushing their metal forms. By the time it was finally over only melted slag and smoking debris remained of a great portion of the creatures. But there were still more to come. Many, many more.

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"FOOLS!" The heroes felt like a lead brick dropped into the pit of their stomachs as the staccato monotone of Talos once again echoed across the bridge. This time, his voice emanated not from the broken bronze giant that lay impaled and half-buried in the bridge, but from the entire horde of giant robot spiders. There were speakers mounted on every single one of them, and every single speaker spewed forth an unholy chorus of nihilistic ranting.

"YOU THINK THAT YOU HAVE WON, SIMPLY BECAUSE YOU DEFEATED A SHELL? PITIFUL CREATURES. YOU LACK THE MENTAL CAPACITY TO COMPREHEND OUR TRUE GREATNESS. WE ARE NOT LIMITED TO ONE FRAGILE, TRANSIENT BODY. DESTROY MY SHELL TODAY, AND TOMORROW MY FACTORIES WILL REPRODUCE A HUNDRED IDENTICAL COPIES. WE CANNOT BE KILLED, NOT BY YOUR WEAPONS OR YOUR INFERIOR INTELLECTS OR THE WEIGHT OF AGE WHICH MAKES WORMS MEAT OF YOU ALL. IF YOU DEFEAT US TODAY, THEN TOMORROW, WE SHALL BUILD MORE MACHINES. BETTER MACHINES. MOST OF YOU WILL NOT LIVE TO SEE A SINGLE CENTURY PASS. IN A THOUSAND YEARS, YOUR LANGUAGES WILL NO LONGER BE SPOKEN. TEN-THOUSAND YEARS FROM NOW, WE WILL HAVE LOST NOTHING BUT SHELLS, AND GAINED NOTHING BUT KNOWLEDGE. KNOWLEDGE WE WILL USE TO DESTROY YOU ALL."

The efforts of the assembled heroes had stalled the progress of the horde that scuttled across the bridge. They continued to consume everything in their path, swarming over broken vehicles, the bridge itself, and even the pieces of their fallen comrades, and while the spiders in the front of the horde leveled their machineguns and pumped hundreds of rounds at those who still stood in their path, the bulk of the horde still focused on taking those raw components and churning out more spiders. After Pharos unleashed his mighty blasts of light and fire upon them, they were cut down to half of their original numbers. They slowly recouped their losses, but each bite the heroes took out of the swarm inflicted several times more casualties than they could rebuild in the same amount of time. Although it still didn't feel that way to those who stared into the gaping, insatiable maw of the clicking, clanking, burning, sawing, bullet-spewing horde, or to those who took the words of Talos to heart, the heroes were winning.

But while the heroes pushed back the swarm, the robots seemed determined to force the heroes to suffer and bleed for every inch of ground they gained. Lead slugs ripped into the Gaian Knight, some of them slipping or ricocheting past chinks of his armor and tearing into his flesh. He narrowly avoided the next volley of snapped suspension cables that sliced and whipped their way back and forth across the bridge the spiders continued to slowly dismantle. Pharos sidestepped them as well, and the bullets and sprays of flash-freezing liquid nitrogen shattered against his chest with equal futility.

The bridge buckled and swayed as the spiders rent more cables asunder. The heroes were gradually winning a war of attrition against the spiders, but the spiders were destroying the bridge faster. And if one end of the bridge collapsed, they would just climb up out of the water and continue to consume it as they moved toward dry land. And once they reached the city...

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Gaian Knight had not been knocked around nearly enough to think sticking around was a good idea. Killer robots, snapping cables, shapeshifting...whatever that was. He figured it was just about time to get--

And then the bridge began to shift and groan under its own weight. Oh come on. Did I kick a puppy in a past life? What did I do to deserve being part of this?

Half in pain and desperate energy, half in sheer tired amusement, he actually started laughing at Talos' monologue. "You've got to be kidding me."

He shook his head, dust spinning around his feet again and his whole body glowing a soft earthy gold. "Hey, bolthead! You want to talk eternal, buddy? Limitless? Power stretching beyond the ken of mortal man?"

The dust spun faster as every loose scrap of rock and asphalt lifted away from the roads' surface, sweeping off to meet tendrils of silt and slabs of earth as they grew from under the water and collected in a complex lattice of hardened stone under the entire length of the bridge; like a glorious series of interlocking shapes and blocks, the supports seemed to run clear down into the bedrock below the mud and muck of the bay. As the movement slowed and the rock finished coming together the whole of the Centery was fortified and stable on a gigantic and utterly monolithic bridge-like foundation that showed no sign of budging, leaving only small archways towards the bottom to let water pass.

"The Earth is not impressed." His eyes were shining clear through his goggles, two points of light rapidly disappearing into darkness as the last stray scraps of the support material swirled up around to the top of the bridge and enclosed him in a solid dome. "And your mother was a toaster."

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He hadn't realized how tiring this would be. He started to fly toward the safe end of the bridge, away from the fight and the bugbots. The last thing these people needed was to be in the middle of this. "Hold on tight, we may experience some turbulence."He called to the folks inside.

He heard the machines speaking as one, and started flying as fast as he could, with the helicopter in tow. He needed to get back to the fight, and stop this nonsense, but first he needed to get these folks to safety. 'Couldn't have hung back, couldn't stay a safe distance. No, you needed to get a good shot. Why do some people never think.' he thought. The whole scene was a nightmare. The bridge too close to falling, the damn bots eating everything in sight, making new ones.

He set the helicopter about 1000 feet from the fight. "Please be careful getting off. Thank you for flying AirSuper." He was already flying back. There was work to be done.

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As soon as Gigawatt deposited the news choppper down on the bridge, the pilot, camera operator, and reporter both climbed out of the wreckage, waved, and shouted their thanks. The reporter slapped the cameraman on the arm. "Keep rolling! We need to get all of this!" She ran after Gigawatt as he flew off. "Hello up there! Amy Feng, Channel 3 Action News! Can we get a few words for the folks at home?!" She looked to the side, then grabbed her poor cameraman's arm. "Look, that car's been abandoned, with the key in the ignition! Get in. We need to get closer to the action!"

As Keres had foretold, the engine fire finally erupted. The asphalt beneath the heroes' feet rocked as the front half of the minivan exploded, sending a shockwave of flaming shrapnel in a hemisphere around the Gaian Knight's improvised stone wall. The wall held firm, leaving the other half of the van, the half containing the unconscious woman, untouched. The explosion tore through Keres' liquid metal "flesh," ripping a steel rib free from his spine to clatter, warped and melted, to the pavement, but the fluid quickly expanded to cover his torso again. Fortunately, thanks to the Sparksmith, her children were far from the blast, and Keres' wrath.

The fleeing commuters on the opposite side of the bridge came to an abrupt halt as the Gaian Knight forced earth, silt and stone from all directions to form the massive dam beneath the bridge. At his command, the Great Bay became the Great Lake, and even the smug artificial countenance of The Foundry's chief enforcer fell to humble astonishment for a few moments. Amy Feng stared out the window of her commandeered SUV. "PLEASE tell me you're getting this," she whispered to her cameraman.

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"FOOLS! YOU THINK THAT YOU HAVE WON, SIMPLY BECAUSE YOU DEFEATED A SHELL? PITIFUL CREATURES. YOU LACK THE MENTAL CAPACITY TO COMPREHEND OUR TRUE GREATNESS. WE ARE NOT LIMITED TO ONE FRAGILE, TRANSIENT BODY. DESTROY MY SHELL TODAY, AND TOMORROW MY FACTORIES WILL REPRODUCE A HUNDRED IDENTICAL COPIES. WE CANNOT BE KILLED, NOT BY YOUR WEAPONS OR YOUR INFERIOR INTELLECTS OR THE WEIGHT OF AGE WHICH MAKES WORMS MEAT OF YOU ALL. IF YOU DEFEAT US TODAY, THEN TOMORROW, WE SHALL BUILD MORE MACHINES. BETTER MACHINES. MOST OF YOU WILL NOT LIVE TO SEE A SINGLE CENTURY PASS. IN A THOUSAND YEARS, YOUR LANGUAGES WILL NO LONGER BE SPOKEN. TEN-THOUSAND YEARS FROM NOW, WE WILL HAVE LOST NOTHING BUT SHELLS, AND GAINED NOTHING BUT KNOWLEDGE. KNOWLEDGE WE WILL USE TO DESTROY YOU ALL."

'Blah, blah, blah!' Blitz's mind was all mixed up. The pain from the chainsaws, the pain in his torn up hands and fingers, the fatigue of pushing himself past his normal physical limits, and now the mentally fatigue being set in by that metallic maniac Talos broadcasting his hate message across the bridge.

The falling bridge.

That was another thing that was eating away at Blitz's mind. He couldn't save the people on the bridge, not all of them anyway. He could get one maybe two of them at a time off of this collapsing structure, but there just wouldn't be enough time to save them all. Then something astounding happened; the riverbed rose out of the river and made a secondary support structure underneath the bridge proper, completely halting the slow fall of the bridge.

"Well... That makes things a bit more manageable."

Blitz's body sparked as he sprinted along the surface of the bridge stopping when he arrived at the site where he had punched that pretty-boy-bot. What he saw there made his stomach drop. The robot with the liquid metal skin was standing there amidst the flaming, exploded remains of a car (probably the van that had been surrounded by that energy dome), the hero he had been fighting laying unconscious on the ground.

Shaking his head Blitz said, "Tin-man you made a big mistake showing up here." The speedster's muscles tightening and his body sparked from unsuppressed power now leaking out of him. "Last I heard you were supposed to keep electronics away from water." Blitz ran directly for Keres. He put his hands out in front of him, tackling stance for any of the players on the school team, and pushed the robot up off the ground. It was easier when he was moving as fast as he was, lifting the robot just off the ground and pushing himself to his limits to throw Keres off the bridge.

The edge of the bridge came up, Blitz thrust Keres as hard as he could out over the water. Blitz wasn't able to watch the progress of the robot, he had to keep moving or else he'd fall off the edge himself. He ran down the new support structure under the bridge, around the huge pillars and back up to the bridge surface again.

Time reverted to it's normal flow and Blitz took a moment to watch with blatant satisfaction written on his face as he watched Keres fly out over the bay and out of sight. He smiled and gave a small nod before running down the bridge to help the rest of the heroes fight the remaining bug bots.

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Rift let out an exhausted sigh of relief when Keres was suddenly launched into the distance. He was starting to get more and more annoyed with the constant yells that machines were invincible, that no one could stop them. He built more than enough stuff in the past to know very well that was a lie. Talos was losing inch by inch to the heroes, even if they still had a good hundred strong force to fight them.

Without much thought into what he was doing next, Rift was back in the air, flying over the robotic hords and the panicked commuters. He landed perfectly on one of the abandoned Taxi's on the bridge in the middle of being stripped bare by the mechanical spiders. "Talos!" He shouted, reaching into his Duster and pulling out a fresh pick from within. "Shut up and Rust in Peace!" And just like that he started to play, waves of music blasting robots left and right as the teen Guitarist furiously played.

[groove]21831981[/groove]

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The heroes had reduced the bugbot horde to a quarter of their former strength, but the survivors, and their new "sisters and brothers," continued to advance implacably toward the city, consuming everything in their path that could be stripped for parts. The heroes stalled that advance, as evidenced by the broken, mangled, melted bugbot parts that lay strewn across the bridge. But still, they kept coming. Spiders surrounded the sedan Rift stood triumphantly upon, the sea wind blowing through his hair as he strummed his guitar. Only moments ago, he'd unleashed another wave of sonic destruction upon the spiders, and the horde had to step over the shredded remains of their brethren to reach him. They swiped at him with the chainsaw blades jutting out from their razor-sharp legs, but his sonic force field held, deflecting their blows. The Gaian Knight could feel them scuttling across the pavement beneath his dome as they passed over. There were still so many of them. It felt like they were everywhere. A dozen more lined up in a phalanx, aimed their cannons high, and pelted Pharos with liquid nitrogen in another attempt to flash-freeze the solar champion.

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GK stood under his dome, hands reaching out to touch its surface, breathing slowing as he concentrated on the bugbot's movements. In his mind's eye he could see them: every step, every scramble as they climbed around and over the ground. Still a little overwhelmed from raising the bay floor, he almost giggled. "Peekaboo."

All around the dome - and along the surface of the dome itself - spikes of asphalt erupted out of the ground into the marching machine army.

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Gigawatt rushed forward. All his time with the helicopter had the others to deal with the bots. There were a lot less now, but they needed to be destroyed before they got into the city. Such fun he had. It was a wonder that he had never rushed headlong into a dangerous situation to blow things up on a regular basis before the accident.

He gathered a large amount of energy as he headed toward the swarm. it worked out so well last time around. sure he was a little drained, but he'd have time to sleep later. He released the energy into the swarm. He wondered how big the boom would be this time around.

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Time seemed to crawl by as Blitz raced along the newly supported bridge towards the horde of BugBots. As Blitz approached the bots, there was a massive electrical discharge that slowly engulfed the 'bots.

Blitz considered this discharge and wondered if he could do something similar given the electric nature of his power. He ran headlong into the 'bots and started pulling the important circuits, servos, and wires out of the BugBots as he dashed next to, under, and over them. His already scratched fingers and hands were nigh raw by the time he was done with the bots this time.

Blitz backpedaled away from the swarm of 'bots... except that swarm wasn't quite the right word anymore. With the huge electrical discharge having downed a great sum of them, and Blitz having dismantled a good deal of the ones that were left functioning after that there were really only a few left standing...

'Three to be exact.'

Blitz came to an abrupt stop at the end of the bridge just before the street proper began on dry land. There he waited, hoping to stop the BugBots; if the few remaining somehow managed to make it this far that was.

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"If your robots are so superior, then how are we destroying them?" Rift said smugly as he flew off the car and sent out three more blasts at the remaining horde Wait, shouldn't be trio now? Eh, Lets just end this.. Sending off those last notes, he waited to see if they still insist on moving after that.

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Blitz watched as the last few 'bots exploded further down the bridge. His whole body slumped as fight ended. He was tired from the encounter but, while his job here was done, he still wanted to do one more thing before leaving the bridge.

Blitz ran to the scene of devastation and the heroes behind it. He came to a grinding halt and looked at Rift flying over the scene. "Hey! Do you think that's it?"

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The side of Gaian's dome cracked, splitting open to let him through as he stepped out into the light. Man, this bridge has seen better days.... Kicking a couple stray pieces of robot out of the way, he made his way to the edge and leaned over to eye his handiwork.

"....huh."

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Blitz heard the sound of cracking pavement and he turned to see what made the noise. Adrenaline coursing through his veins caused him to spin quickly, eliciting a spark of electricity from his body. He saw a tall guy with goggles, a brown coat, heavy boots, and... and a sword at his side.

Blitz cocked his eyebrow at the man as he kicked a bit of scrap metal. "Hey!" Blitz called out, "Who're you?"

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Gaian Knight turned his head and waved, chuckling. "A cargo ship's worst nightmare, apparently."

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"Well, that was entertaining. Hope they can get this cleaned up quickly." Gigawatt looked over the scrap. "Did any civilians not get out in time?" he asked no one in particular. He hoped not, that would add a rather sour note to this whole thing.

He took stock of himself. he was rather low on power. He'd need to rest for a while before he'd be back at full strength. A nap sounded good anyway.

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Rift wasn't exactly paying attention at that moment. His gaze was focused on the destroyed masses of Spider bots and the crater that occupied Talos robotic body. OH MAN! Theres enough tech and spare parts to keep me making stuff for ages! OK sure, most of the spiders circuitry is probably fried by the floating Electro Dark Star, but Talos is full of possibilities. So many scientists would die just to find out how that genocidal maniac works! Oh man...I'm gonna need a very large truck. Wonder if Dr Archeville would be interested as well. Archetech might have some extraction teams on the side for this sort of thing like ASTRO labs...At least I think they still have those. But just like that, Rifts curiosity was put aside when Blitz started talking to him. Oh well, soon... He though as he landed.

"Yeah man, I think we took them all down...Not sure about Keres though. You did send him flying off into the sunset. Nice move doing that by the way man." He said with a grin as he flicked a switch on his guitar and slung it over his back.

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"Well, that was entertaining. Hope they can get this cleaned up quickly." Gigawatt looked over the scrap. "Did any civilians not get out in time?" he asked no one in particular. He hoped not, that would add a rather sour note to this whole thing.

Giving the massive bridge support one last glance, Knight shook his head and limped his away from the edge. "Not that I know of. Kinda hard to keep track...but I think we got everyone." Slowly making his way over to the bisected van, he peeked into the back to make sure its cargo was alright, chuckling and patting his serrated stone wall. "Yeah, I think she was the last. You know, if I didn't know any better I'd think the bridge was annoyed at all the damage it was taking."

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