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Cyroa

Any Port in the Storm (IC)

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Dark Star broke away as soon as he could. But there were quite a few briefings to do, well present really. As one of the foremost experts, and he used that term loosely, he'd had to explain what he knew several times over. But as soon as he could, he had something very important to do.

He flew through the portal to their home on Sanctuary. Once his senses picked up where she was, he flew directly to her not wasting a moment. Pulling to a stop, he settled to stand before her. He didn't waste time with his normal happy greeting upon seeing her. "Stesha, we have a problem. It seems that the planet eater, Gorgon, is heading in the direction of Earth. 'She' will be there in roughly one month. This is going to be a massive effort amongst the world's heroes but...I needed to tell you. I just left a briefing; first moment I could get away really."

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Stesha was outside, as usual on nice sunny days, tending to the island of greenery she'd built on this world. Today she was near the human settlement, raising rows of snap beans and tomatoes in the garden while Ammy slept peacefully in a cloth sling on her chest. She was a bit startled to see Dark Star arrive so precipitously. Haste and terseness were not usually his style. "A Gorgon?" she repeated, blue eyes widening in consternation even as she placed a protective hand over the infant on her chest. "What' a Gorgon? I don't think I understand."

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Dark Star took a moment to settle down, gather his thoughts and explain. "Not 'a' but 'the'. The Gorgon I refer to is a planet sized, well, mess of snakes is almost an apt description. 'She' effectively destroys and occasionally consumes entire planets, roaming the galaxy. I had encountered her several times in the past. At best, I and entire armadas have managed to change her course...but never stopped her. Most civilizations flee when they learn of her approach, and wisely so. I've helped evacuate several worlds over the years." He shook his head. "Anyway, I was helping some other heroes out, transporting mainly, when they discovered some information about a planet 'killer'. I guessed at what it was and went to coordinates... And near as I can figure, the Gorgon will reach Earth in approximately 1 month. And that's assuming she stops at the two systems between us and her and 'preserves' or eats them. Time is rather short obviously. I needed to tell you as soon as I could."

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Stesha was speechless for a moment, trying to absorb that. She knew of the Grue, and of Omega, and all the other threats that could arise to menace the Earth. But she'd never seen a threat worry Derrick as much as this obviously did, and that made her more nervous than anything. "Well... what are we going to do?" she finally asked. "There must be a way to stop it, or destroy it if we must. We have so many heroes, with everyone working together..."

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"We are going to stop her. Somehow, we will." He was confident of that. The real question was what the cost would be; if all else failed, he had an idea or two that might work but the cost would be very very high on personal level. A thought for later perhaps. "The combined heroes will find a way to change her course, I am certain. However, there are going to be quite a few scared people once this comes out. And...perhaps some irrational people," he said (ie villains), "will use this as a time to grab power. It is going to be a busy month," he finished, as if their month as new parents wasn't busy enough!

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Stesha rubbed a hand lightly over the sleeping baby's back, perhaps soothing herself more than Amaryllis. "But if whole armadas with your help haven't been able to turn it aside... Are we going to have to start evacuating Earth?" she asked him, her voice a mixture of dubiousness and consternation. "That would be a monumental job. Where would everyone go? Seven billion people, and we don't have space travel the way the Lor do." She looked around them at her pristine little island of a world.

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He frowned a bit; well would have if he had a face. "Well, it has been turned aside a couple times that I was there and the cost was high each time. And while I was not there for the others, I know it has been tried many times to little success. We will find a way, I am certain." He was certain; he had to be. He shook his head. "Even with hosts of ships, evacuations on a planetary scale are difficult. Even with my creating portals...it is not easy." He shook his head. "I could search for systems in the Milky Way that have ideal planets and have not already been colonized...but I cannot think of any that fit the bill off the top of my head. And I will be needed here I believe." He sighed. "As I said, time is short."

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"We could bring people here," Stesha suggested, a little dubiously. "Temporarily, at least. I would have to expand the scale of my operation here, try and get another florakinetic at the very least, but if it comes down to the last days and the Gorgon hasn't been stopped, it would at least be somewhere to go." It was difficult to even conceive of losing the entire Earth, especially to some strange spacegoing creature she'd never heard of. "What does the Freedom League say?" she asked anxiously. "Are we going to be mobilized?"

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Dark Star nodded. It certainly was a viable option and, if things did being to go poorly, it would allow many people (no pun intended) sanctuary in this chaos. "It is certainly a good possibility. If things go poorly, a refuge would be welcome. We'd have to have some way to create a portal or ferry people here if you or I are busy though...and someone to look after Ammy too. I certainly am not comfortable bringing her out of Sanctuary during all this," he said. "As for the League, I think that would be a safe bet. They are still gathering the higher members together. Like I said, it has only been a couple hours since I found out. But I think this safely qualifies as something the entire League, as well as every capable hero out there, will need to mobilize for. Both fighting out there and on Earth itself. There will be troubles in abundance," he said regretfully.

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Stesha took a deep breath, still reeling from the news but trying to find her feet again. "Gaian Knight will help, I'm sure. Maybe I'll ask those nice boys from the school, Edge and Midnight, if they can help put up more housing and generators. If you have some time available, it'd be easier to do an air surveillance, otherwise I'm sure I can get the bees to help out." She stopped and looked around, rubbing her arms with her hands. "Could you be solid for a minute, please?" she asked softly.

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Dark Star subsumed his energy, assuming the human form. He opened his arms as he stepped forward to pull his wife into an embrace. "For you, anything," he said softly. "Temporary housing and supplies should be easy enough for us to do. And I will make time to do a few fly-over for you whenever you need it. I will not be needed constantly just yet." He gently kissed her hair. "We will get through this."

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Stesha closed her eyes, turning so her back pressed against his chest and both their hands rested on the baby. "I know how much we've come through in the past," she murmured, "but somehow it all seems different now. I almost liked it better when I was just a glorified landscaper and I couldn't do anything big. Now I can, but it's still not enough right now. What if none of us have enough to give this time? I wanted Ammy to have a home on Sanctuary, but not like this."

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He held the two most important beings in the universe in his arms quietly for a long moment. He didn't have the same reflections as she did. Every since he had become Dark Star, there was no 'minor' level of powers. "It is different now. Now I have you and Ammy. It is a so much better than it has ever been. And I would not have it any other way now." He kissed her hair and gave her a little squeeze. "We will prevail. We will find a way," he said with utter belief and certainty. Good would prevail. For him, it was the only way. He had to believe, especially now. He couldn't afford doubts, not when his wife and daughter were on the line. "Ammy will grow up here and on Prime. She will have the best of both worlds. And we will worry endlessly over her choices when she gets older," he said with a smile, trying to lighten the mood a tiny bit and make Stesha smile.

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She managed a smile, mostly because it seemed like Derrick needed her to. "Oh, I imagine so. But we'll have advantages normal parents don't have. We'll be able to keep an eye on her wherever she goes, even deep into space or in other dimensions. We'll have to keep her away from those handsome villainous sidekicks too, before she starts thinking about reforming one." That drew an actual chuckle from her as she ran a hand over Ammy's downy green hair. "But maybe that's thinking too far ahead. I should go and see if Tarrant is at home, there's no sense in losing any time on this project."

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Derrick smiled happily and paused. "I do hope we do not drive her nuts or resent us," he said worriedly. He only vaguely recalled his young human years but the idea of parents always watching over you was one that anyone who had been young once would find uncomfortable. It spoke volumes about how he viewed the universe that this was something he worried about; not about imminent danger from beyond. "Probably. I want to focus on the moments to come. I certainly do not want her to grow up that fast," he said with a smile. With a sigh, he relaxed his hold. "You are right. I should get back." He reached out and lightly rested a hand on his daughter's green hair before doing something similar to his wife's though he added a kiss to that one. He pulled away and even before he finished the move Dark Star was back.

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"Good luck," Stesha told him, watching the familiar transformation of man to energy. "Come home tonight if you can." She knew this new threat had to mean the end of their halcyon babymoon. It had been wonderful to spend these few weeks wrapped up in each other and their family, but now the world was calling for help again, and they both had to answer. It didn't mean she was looking forward to lonely 2am feedings, but if it saved the world, at least it would be a good story to tell Ammy one day. "I love you!" She headed off herself then as well, popping across Sanctuary to Gaian Knight's stone castle in the sky.

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"And I you," he said. "I will try to be here but, you know," he said with a shrug. "I will make time tomorrow for the flyovers and helping prepare Sanctuary as well as whatever else is needed." He opened the portal to Prime with a thought and sallied forth. He did want to be there for dinner and snuggling and everything else. But he knew just as well that this was going to be a very rough month.

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