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Continued from >Familiar Faces


"I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today"

-William Allen White

Earth C-Future-2

With just enough warning to grab what they needed, Young Freedom slipped from one world to another in the early morning light of a clear summer's day. Within moments, they found themselves in a new world: this time in suburban Kingston, right under the WELCOME TO KINGSTON sign installed just a few years ago by the City Council. Pulling his costume all the way on, Mark pushed his thoughts about his father out of his head and looked around. It looked like everyone was dressed and in costume, though no one had had much warning about getting their clothes on and ready to go. For a moment, he thought they'd somehow solved everything and gone back to their world: Kingston in 2035 didn't look that different. Sure, the car in the suburban garage they were next to looked electric and had the sleek, efficient lines of something from a science fiction movie or car company special showroom, and sure the billboard down the street was a shimmering spectacle of light.

It took him a few moments to take in the black. Black banners were hanging on every house, each with a date emblazoned in silver: 6/21/2034: NEVER FORGET! Turning around, he gasped at the sight of Freedom City; shining towers rose high in a monument to futurity, but every single one was under repair, with the marks of devastation visible even from this distance to his inexpert eyes. What had happened here, and what were they rebuilding from? Before he could react to the grim monument in suburbia and the recovering city before them, suddenly there was a cascade of light in front of them on the green lawn and five superheroes formed up out of what was obviously a very advanced teleporter's beam.

In the lead of the largely female group was a >tall brunette in white and blue, a pair of dice on her costume's chest showing snake eyes. Next to her was a >muscular young man in all black, long ribbons extending from the back of his head like a novel kind of cape, a familiar symbol on his chest. Next to him was a young woman >Corbin almost recognized, her face like the young woman he'd met who claimed to be his daughter, but with a costume subtly different, more like Quo-Dis' than anything else and cast in purple from the ring on her finger. In the rear were two older women; >one with green hair and a purple and black outfit, and behind her a gleaming metal battlesuit with waving metallic tentacles like a robotic octopus.

The group eyed each other for a moment before the ring-bearing girl said, her serious look suddenly cracking to pain, "You'd...you'd better be who you look like!"

"Stand down, Vril Knight," said the dice lady, giving her ally a serious look before looking at the others, shooting a wide-eyed glance at Erin and Mark before mastering her own facial expression. "I'm Lucky Strike. Welcome to 2035, Young Freedom. We've been briefed on why you're here and we've located your target. Please, remember that you're from the past of an alternate world." It sounded like she was talking to her own team as much as Young Freedom. "You can't...you can't change what you see here. This is Midnight, Vril Knight, Amaryllis, and Fusion. We're here to help you get to Freedom Hall safely."

"Call me Psilent," replied 'Midnight', his voice raspy and dry, with just the faint hint of a French accent. "While he's here."

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Corbin rubbed sleep from his eyes; he and Cobalt Ranger had ended up sleeping in their conjured chairs on the rooftop. He'd taken a super-fast shower before they left, with a heaping helping of holy flame to get the extra grim off. Now, he blinked as he took in the close-but-not-quite site of Freedom City a couple of decades in the future and...under construction?

"What in the world? Why's this whole place got those...banners..."

He trailed off as the group approached. At first, nothing really clicked. Then he saw the woman with the Indigo Ring. None of the other new folks mattered at that point. He took a half-step forward, his right hand twitching as if to raise towards her in greetings. He looked confused, even hurt, by her reaction.


He shook his head, frown deepening.

"But....No. Fine. I guess..."

He seems to be at something of a loss for words. In some ways, this place is already confusing him more than what they'd seen previously. It all had a feeling of not-quite-right-ness, in a way he couldn't completely pin down. It left him feeling uncomfortable, nervous. He didn't like feeling like that.

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Wander gave the oddly familiar leader of the group a hard second look, but couldn't exactly pin down the similarity. Most of her attention was thoroughly diverted by the healing wound that was Freedom City, looking worse than it had after the Grue invasion, worse than it had after Hellion's father's visit. "Who briefed you?" she asked, then suddenly everything clicked into place, the date, the damage, the overwhelming gestures of remembrance. "Zoe's world," she guessed aloud, then took a step forward. "Do any of you know a hero named Zephyr, about our age? Psyche and Phalanx's daughter?" It didn't really matter, wasn't pertinent to the mission, but she had to know.

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"I...knew Zephyr," replied Fusion, her voice metallic and echoey inside the suit. It was hard to tell if this was Joan, or someone else who'd taken up the legacy. "She was one of my Claremont students. But she would have been born well after 2011 in almost any reality." She sounded tense, they all did, and Amaryllis was ostentatiously studying her teleport beacon as if she was trying to stay out of a conversation that didn't directly involve her. "Was there a time travel incident on your world recently?"

"As for who briefed me...well," replied Lucky Strike, "a few days ago, another version of my grandfather contacted me. He said I needed to meet versions of...my parents and their friends from the past to save the world. My friends were in town because of the work and they all had a connection to you."

"...wait, Rick Lucas is your grandfather?" asked Mark, his eyes widening as he took in what had happened here. "You're my daughter?!"

"...yeah, sort of, Mark," replied the lucky powerhouse a little diffidently, running her hand through her hair in a familiar gesture. "But that's not really important right now, schway? We've got the bomb on lockdown in Freedom Hall, and we need to get there now before anyone else pops in."

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There were times when Trevor almost regretted being as observant as his training had made him. He would have been perfectly content having missed the familiar body language coming from Lucky Strike, or inferring her inherited power suite from her name. 'Psilent' was considerably shorter than the Hunter men tended to be, if his his chest insignia hadn't been warning enough. Rubbing the bridge of his nose thoroughly through his featureless mask, Midnight debated which of the two he found more profoundly disturbing while vaguely wondering if the multiverse was passive-aggressively trying to convince him to just let it blow up and be done with it all.

"Alternate timeline," he noted aloud in a gravelly baritone, reminding himself as much as anyone else. "She right. Time for awkward conversations later. The bomb." The last was a polite if terse and strained demand to the local heroes' de facto leader.

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"Agreed, reality bomb first," Sage muttered glancing at Psilent while subconsciously taking a half-step away from Wander. And maybe we can skip the awkward conversation section entirely, the telepath thought to herself. From the looks of things Sage had the feeling that she wouldn't like the path that conversation would take, it felt like the universe was playing one sick and twisted prank and Eve was not amused.

"As to your question," Sage responded to Fusion with a note of wariness. "We had some time rifts open up not that long ago, a few heroes were pulled in but they eventually closed on their own. Why do you ask?"

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"She had time control powers," said Fusion, folding her metallic tentacles around herself. "I had hoped that if anyone here might have survived, it would be her. But just because she didn't go to your era doesn't mean she didn't," the armored heroine added hopefully. "Time is vast. We've recovered survivors from the deep before."

"Lois, don't get into that," said Amaryllis chidingly. "There's no point in distracting them. We're here to save the world today, not last year." With that, the team from the future (a future, anyway) gave little teleport beacons to the dopplegangers of their parent: the small button-sized dots bore the YF logo that James had copyrighted for them literally a lifetime ago. "This will take all of you to Freedom Hall, and us along with you."

"Sorry about earlier," Vril Knight murmured to her father, looking apologetic. "I know it's stupid to blame you. It's just a tough day all around." When everyone was equipped with their beacons, they flashed away to Freedom Hall, finding the center building of Freedom City's heroes looking...well, not as they might have liked to see it.

Freedom Hall looked entirely new, rising all around them in a metallic dome, and painted on its walls were familiar faces cast in unfamiliar ways: there was Psyche, Phalanx, Sage, Midnight, and others all striving together like something from a heroic Social Realist mural of the 1930s, cast against a stylized Freedom City that bore none of the marks of recovering devastation all around them. For her part, Lucky Strike didn't seem inclined to look around. "Let's move. We're keeping the sphere in the old Hall bunker down below. Most armored place in the city. You know how to fix it?" she asked, leading the way to the elevator.

Only Psilent had stayed loyal to his name so far, the black-clad Francophone starting a little as he realized he was standing almost halfway between Sage and Midnight. Without a word, he took a step apart from them.

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Erin stayed close to Trevor as they teleported, not really taking in everything that was being said as she looked at the murals and tried to correlate them with what she knew. "Zoe told me that Alex and Mike in her future died in a massive explosion in Freedom City, right before she was thrown into the past. She said... she said most of the heroes based in Freedom City died, and many civilians." She took his hand as they walked past the memorials for the fallen heroes. "Are we all dead in this timeline?" she asked Mark's daughter, speaking up now. "Is that why our own counterparts didn't meet us this time?"

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Midnight frowned behind his featureless mask as he looked up at the massive mural. His image belonged in the shadows and the corners of guilty men's nightmares, not splashed up larger than life in an inspirational work. He couldn't imagine even an alternate version of himself agreeing to it, and if he hadn't objected... "Posthumous," he noted quietly as Erin questioned their fates in this timeline. "Don't see you or Edge. But..." His eye settled on the painting of Sage and he winced almost perceptibly as he glanced briefly in Psilent's direction. "Damn. Both." Silently he sent a brief telepathic communication in Eve's direction, hoping she was still monitoring everyone's surface thoughts, making sure she was aware of his deduction. He understood Psilent's cold reception now; it must have been something akin to his own feeling upon meeting Rick Lucas' reconstruction of his grandfather next to his parents' gravestone. A violation and a slap in the face.

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"Sorry about earlier," Vril Knight murmured to her father, looking apologetic. "I know it's stupid to blame you. It's just a tough day all around."
Corbin gave his future-daughter a smile as he pinned the beacon on (or rather, willed his armor to simply encase the beacon).

"It's fine. We've been having a rough ride of it, so I can understand where you're coming from. I guess it's just different from the last time I saw you. Or another you."

He shook his head with a hint of a grin on his face.

"Moving across both time and dimensions makes my head hurt."

He lapsed into silence as they entered Freedom Hall, his historian's mind taking in the general tone of the building. Mdinight seemed on the right track; it had all the hallmarks of a posthumous monument. But why were Edge and Wander not pictured?

He tried not to contemplate the more obvious question of how some of these future heroes came about. Frankly, that way lay madness.

"Midnight has handled the last two bombs just fine. I have faith he'll do just as well this time around."

He frowned a bit.

"You didn't run into any Terminus troops or anything, did you? We had some trouble on the last world..."

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"...Midnight, Sage, and Cobalt Templar were killed during the bombing of Freedom City last year," said Lucky Strike after a moment's hesitation. "I'm sorry," she added, looking at the visiting Young Freedom, "I know that's not easy for you to hear, but believe me..." she glanced at the others. "It's not easy for me to say, either." She scrubbed her arms and added, "If you talked to a version of Zephyr, then you know what happened: the Crime League planted nuclear devices all over the world to try and take it hostage. The League rushed from place to place to stop them, but that just gave Hiroshima Shadow the time he needed to plant his own bomb, the biggest of all of them, right here in Freedom. The team that was left behind, they delayed the detonation as long they could, evacuated as many people as possible, and finally they got it as far into space as they could."

"...Cobalt Templar's shield blocked the effects of the airburst," said Vril Knight shortly, not looking at anyone in particular. "But the radiation and earthquakes it caused still ripped the heart out of the city. Tens of thousands died instead of tens of millions." Fusion, evidently the scientist of the group, clarified that Hiroshima Shadow had amplified the power of the bomb. "If it had gone off anywhere in the city limits, or not behind the shield, it would have incinerated all of Freedom City, most of New Jersey, and possibly even cracked the continental plate."

"I'm so sorry," said Edge out loud, shooting a look at all the other heroes. "What an awful tragedy." He shifted uncomfortably, wishing he could say more. "From what you say, it sounds like those heroes died saving a great many people, even if they couldn't save everyone. You should be proud."

"We are." answered Psilent, shooting a glance at Midnight and Sage in particular. "I took my father's name, and carry on his work and my mother's legacy both."

"As for you and Mom," Lucky Strike clarified, "neither of you were here. My mom works for the Secret Service as the President's personal meta-bodyguard, so she was in Washington when it all happened. And Mark, you're head of the League's office in Dakana," she added. "From what I'm told, every plane in the Dakanan airport had a mechanical failure when you tried to fly out." She hesitated a moment, then added as the doors swung shut, "The same thing happened to us in Jakarta," she added, glancing at her team. "By a 1 in a million chance, the teleport lockout failed. By the time we got here...it was too late. I guess I could have called you guys in, but you don't really talk much these days with Mark's new wife and my mom's job..."

After a very long descent, the elevator doors finally swung open, revealing not a secret bunker with a carefully guarded cosmic bomb, but rather a crowded room full of deactivated robots, a cosmic sphere being lifted up by what looked like advanced antigravs, and a gaggle of a half-dozen unfamiliar metahumans. "Cheezit!" their armored leader declared, and before the heroes could react, thieves and sphere vanished simultaneously, an instant before Lucky Strike's fist passed through where the leader's head had been.

She then swore, and what an oath it was!

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Perhaps on another day Erin might have been a little quicker on the uptake, but it had been a strange few days already. Besides, the idea of herself ever hooking up with Mark was so entirely foreign that it took a few minutes for it to really register. "Wait," she said, taking another, much closer look at Lucky Strike. "Are you saying that I'm your..."

Her words were cut off by the sudden appearance of the villains stealing the bomb right from under their noses. "Track it!" she told Trevor urgently. "We can't let them get away! Who are they?" she asked her... daughter, then shook off the exceedingly bizarre thought. Deal with that after the saving the universe part.

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"They're called the Wolfpack," replied Lucky Strike, her face red. "Goddamn..." She looked like she was going to say something else, but when Psilent wordlessly put a hand on her arm she fell silent. "They're T-Baby nationalists. They want the old settlements at New Freedom turned over to them, and they've pulled off some pretty big stunts before this. Actually stealing a bomb like that is something else."

"Tyrannus in charge?" Psilent asked, nodding even at his own question. "Armored megalomaniac. Behind large crimes and takeover attempts for several years. Blamed for the bomb at first, before Hiroshima Shadow took credit. If he's leading the Wolfpack..."

"Things just got really bad." While they might have had better equipment, the need for the heroes of the 2030s to explain what was going on to the others meant that Midnight's older equipment came in handy: it was a simple matter for Trevor to pin the disappearance on a matter teleporter like the one his own Freedom League used; indeed, from the signature it probably _was_ a surplus device from the old League. They hadn't gone far, though whatever destination they were at was most likely a location out to sea in his own era.

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"Hrm. Why I hate teleportation." Fortunately there were certain practical limitations to technology based instantaneous travel which made it difficult to conceal a jump's destination to someone who knew what to look for and had the proper equipment. Fortunately, Midnight was ever prepared on both counts. "Have them. Here," he noted as his palm sized tablet finished recalibrating to the local reality's geosynchronous satellites and began to compile a map with the Wolfpack's escape route plotted. Turning it around to show the image to Psilent and Lucky Strike, he waited in expectant silence.

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"That's the new fusion plant off Collier's Trench," replied Fusion as she peered over her students shoulders. "They wouldn't go there if they didn't have security precautions in place. Damn!" she cursed, looking at the others. "They must be hitting when everyone's off for 6/21. Those Terminus ghouls..."

"All right," said Lucky Strike, looking at the others. "We'll get out there, hit them hard before they have time to arrange defenses, and we'll let Young Freedom do their stuff. Amaryllis, can you get us out there?" The daughter of Fleur and Dark Star was, after all, the best teleporter on the team.

"I can, but I'll need to be on the surface to do it." And with that, they were all piling back into the elevator, where Psilent took a device from his belt and smacked it into one of the ports on the elevator.

"Removing safeties. Hang on" And with that, they were suddenly rocketing up towards the surface, so fast that Lucky Strike had to grab onto the man who was evidently her father to keep Mark from smacking his head on the ceiling!

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Corbin had been in a near-daze most of the time they'd been walking into the building and traveling down. Nukes going off? Midnight and Sage dead? Him stopping a super-nuke and saving the whole state? He glanced down at his ring with more than a little amazement in his eyes.

'I did that? I...Wow. I guess I need to keep training hard. In case-'

He clamps down on that thought with a frown.

'No. Too much focus on the "maybe", not enough on the "now". But, I have to know...'

He looked over to Vril Knight, concern on his face. He spoke softly, though it was all but guaranteed everyone in the elevator heard him.

"What about Ultiteen? Or probably Ultiwoman, by this point? What happened to Quo-Dis?"


Cobalt Templar was, once again, not fast enough. Oh, he was quick on the draw, but he was still barely forming a construct to try and trap the villains when they were gone.

"Γη επιστÏωμένος σκυλιά δειλός!" he shouted in their wake.

He let the others work on tracing them, or explaining the very basics. He took a moment to close his eyes, take a few deep breaths, and center himself. He opened his eyes, his face implacable, and his eyes actually glowing with a faint blue light. He climbed into the elevator with the others, working to prevent them from being pushed around too much by his bulk.

When the elevator started moving at high speed, he calmly manifested a soft field of energy to help cushion the lot of them, reducing bumps and bruises (not that they were huge concerns for this group, but it was a matter of principle).

"Handy feature."

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Sage was surprisingly all right with hearing of her death, taking a measure of comfort in knowing that it was for the right reason and the right cause. She was less comfortable with the idea of having a child, much less one fathered by her best friend Trevor, but she shoved that uneasiness aside. Sage reminded herself that this wasn't her future, the children of Young Freedom (such a strange notion!) even explained that.

And then the bomb was snatched away right in front of her.

Sage reacted quickly, but Midnight was faster for it took too long for the telepath to start filtering through the billions of minds she felt to trace the Wolfpack. Having that name helped, knowing some information about her target was always useful, but she still wasn't quick enough and aborted the trace after Midnight located them.

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With the help of her inherited abilities and the purple ring on her finger, Vril Knight had no trouble staying upright in the super-fast elevator."Mom went back home," said Vril Knight, shooting her father a searching look. "She invited me to go with her, but you told me that our work was here, so I've stayed..." Before she could go on, they were on the surface, where within seconds Amaryllis had thrown down a gigantic flower that had rapidly expanded into a platform the size of a city bus terminal. The team from here-and-now showed no hesitation about leaping into the gigantic stamens, and so Mark (who had worked with the woman he was sure was Amaryllis' mom) showed no hesitation about following as they leaped into the flower.

Within seconds, both Young Freedom teams found themselves standing on a dockside by the "ArcheTech Fusion Reactor #43!" sign, the metal construction everywhere underfoot showing them that this entire structure (which looked about as big as the Claremont campus) was one giant floating island. On one side of them, the floating dock was mostly occupied with a hi-tech powerboat with a humming electric engine, the Archetech-brand yacht looking luxurious for all that it was evidently an emergency craft. And what a good time it was to have that, because an emergency was clearly underway! Everywhere, alarms were blaring and sirens flashing as a mechanical voice counted down "Ten minutes to fusion collapse. Ten minutes to fusion collapse..."

And no sooner did they hear that then they caught sight of their antagonists: the Wolfpack was running straight for them! All were dressed identically in menacing greys and reds, their chests emblazoned with the howling symbol of the fierce animal that had become the symbol for radical young T-Babies in the future. Their leader, a big, burly man with a stubble-covered square jaw ran up to the most menacing-looking of the group, which in this case happened to be the Midnights, and yelled, "We surrender!"

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"Accepted," Wander told the man bluntly, taking his wrist and flipping him facedown to the deck with one arm drawn up behind him. She knelt on his back and leaned in to speak directly to him. "Now tell us exactly where the bomb is, and what the hell you did to cause this place to be going crazy, and we'll see if we can save all our lives and the universe as well." She sent the rest of the Wolfpack a quelling look, in case any of them weren't totally on board with the surrender idea.

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Sage crouched down next to Wander and the Wolfpack leader she easily had pinned. "I really recommend you talk," the telepath began conversationally. "The past two days have been really trying and we really are awfully busy attempting to prevent the collapse of existence as we know it, which you lot have really mucked up, by the way."

Rising back to her feet, the French psychic regarded Wander's captive with a neutral expression. "So start talking or things will get mighty difficult for you. Because if you don't, well, I'll just rip it out of your mind."

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"The sphere's in the main reactor room," said the muscle guy urgently, "we, uh, put the thing down right in an empty magnetic bottle, so it's really armored and stuff, but you can get to it real easy...well, normally you could, but..."

Between Wander's sheer physical presence and Sage's psychic pressure, it wasn't long before the heroes were able to get a pretty good idea of what had happened; Sage's pictures giving color and life to Hombre's account. Tyrannus had approached the Wolfpack some weeks earlier, telling them that the Freedom League had acquired a device from offworld that they planned to use to wipe out the 'Terminus contamination' in every living organism. He'd paid them well, too well, and organized them all under his own leadership to steal the device and give the League a black eye: he'd even personally seized the Archetech reactor so they'd have a place to hold the device hostage and issue demands.

"But when Gremlin, our techie, found that the bomb didn't do what he said, that it was actually made _from_ the Terminus, Tyrannus got really pissed. He blasted Gremlin into the reactor housing, then teleported out before we could do anything to stop him. That armored bastard, he just left us with the bomb and a reactor going critical! We were going to start up the boat and go back for the civilians," Hombre added, and from what Sage could see in his mind and the minds of the others, it was actually about half-true in that only about half the group would have abandoned the civilians in the reactor building to their fate. From the alarmed talk of the contemporary heroes, a fusion collapse at the reactor could risk an explosion and tsumani that would flood much of the eastern Seaboard.

"Wait..." said Mark, frowning at the bad guys. "You were running away and you just left your friend in the reactor? Don't any of you have any powers that would have let you go in and get him out?" Mark could abide supervillains, particularly since this group seemed to just be stupid pawns rather than actual bad guys (at least in this situation), but he couldn't really savvy just leaving one's friends behind to die, or their bodies behind to melt. It didn't look like the future heroes, who knew all about losing the people on your team in a crisis, were in a mood to be any more sympathetic.

"Well, uh, you see, Gremlin's powers were already radioactive, so when the rads hit him they..."

"Oh my god!" said Fusion, who'd been tapping into the plant's security cameras with her suit. She pressed a few buttons, and displayed what she'd found out with a tentacle-tip camera for everyone to see. Inside a corridor labeled MAIN REACTOR CONTROL COLUMN was a huge, muscular man that towered nearly as tall as Atlas back on Freedom City proper, his skin a malignant shade of orange and his eyes wide and crazed.


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With the help of her inherited abilities and the purple ring on her finger, Vril Knight had no trouble staying upright in the super-fast elevator."Mom went back home," said Vril Knight, shooting her father a searching look. "She invited me to go with her, but you told me that our work was here, so I've stayed..."
Cobalt Templar returned the look with a pensive expression.


And then they were off, and in the blink of an eye, they were on the fusion plant platform. Before he knew it, the Wolfpack had surrendered and explained their reasoning for changing their minds. It made at least a degree of sense. He tensed when the footage of the beastly version of Gremlin was displayed.

"That's bad."

He glanced at the others.

"I'm no good at disarming stuff. I'll try to keep this fella busy."

He hovered into the air and started flying towards the building, before he stopped and turned to the group. His voice was sheepish when he spoke up.

"...How do I get down to where he is without making a total mess of the halls?"

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"Elevators, stairs," Midnight indicated brusquely, heading in the indicated direction himself in a dead sprint. There was no time to lose; the enraged Terminus Baby endangered the civilians, the meltdown endangered the city and the reality bomb endangered all of existence. Taking a deep breath and focusing as he ran, Trevor closed his eyes for a moment before his entire body exploded into inky black particulates, the cloud of mist lifting into the air for a moment before shooting down the elevator shaft toward the danger. Still conscious, the young metahuman ignored the alien sensation, a silent column of stygian mist shooting forth with vengeful purpose.

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"Bring your team," Wander told Lucky Strike, forgetting the oddness of the relationship in the heat of the moment. "Anyone with tech skills, try and stop the meltdown. If you've got a teleporter, get any civilians left to safety. Sage, can you pinpoint where anyone still onboard might be? Help them out. Everybody else, I guess we've got a fight on our hands." Shaking her head as she watched her boyfriend explode again, only mildly concerned by it this time, she headed for the stairs and jumped over the rail, using the flights to slow her fall until she arrived at the core floor.

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It didn't take long at all for Wander and the other heroes going below to catch up with Gremlin; the former T-Baby tech had been in the process of coming up to meet them! Not for a friendly greeting, though, not the way he smashed his fists into the ground and yelled "GREMLIN SMASH PUNY COSTUMES!" He himself was wearing the tattered remnants of his own costume, with only the lower-half of his body still proportional enough to wear clothes. His overmuscled body was enormous, especially from the waist up, his face twisted with madness and his eyes bulging as he leapt at his enemies.

Elsewhere down below, the complex was in a rough state. Psychic eyes and sneaky heroes found their way past rows of bound-up, agitated techs, all of whom turned out to do the heroic thing and make their way towards the endangered reactor complex perilously close to where the giant was in the middle of combat. Things were in a bad way. Though the arrival of actual unbound techs bought everyone more time, they were still no more than thirty minutes from total disaster. Blasted into the reactor by Tyrannus' armor, the irradiated T-Baby had bashed his way out of reactor, destroying the large

robotic arms that manipulate the ferrous magnetic bottle control rods. With these robotic manipulator arms destroyed- the reaction will build to fusion collapse - causing an explosion that will devastate the area and certainly have a terribly unpredictable effect on the cosmic sphere that's still parked right in the middle of the room.

The irradiated room, explained the scientists grimly as they studied the core complex through the walls of the safely-sealed control room. Gremlin hadn't attacked the sphere on his exit, but it was still there in the secondary annex where he'd left it, right next to the giant hole he'd punched his way out of the reactor housing...

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