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Supercape

The Sound of Heavy Metal (IC)

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GM

3rd August 2011

BOOM!

The initial explosion at ASTRO Labs could be heard a block away. The after explosions were not easily dismissed either. It was only minutes until sirens started screaming - police, fire services, and ambulances all circled around and stopped outside the buildings, smoke blossoming out of one of the larger ones.

The airwaves were alive with the news. Quite what had happened was anybodies guess. Nobody could enter, and evacuation was in full process - the people being evacuated knowing little other than the experience of smoke, flame, and noise.

All that was known, was that the building contained some very high end engineering - reactors, cybernetics, and robotics. Valuable equipment - even dangerous equipment in the right hand. And right now, it was flooded with radiation!

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Astro labs was about three blocks away from F & W Co, and it was however only a single block away from the large industrial parking garage used by employees at both establishments. Really the entire area was in chaos as people were evacuating as fast as they could, the parking garage was just full of people pulling there cars out no one noticed the van pulling up the structure. The garage was really one of the taller ones, sixteen stories tall to be exact with elevators on each floor and excellant security. She usually had her van parked up on the third or forth and no one would give it a second look when she drove it out after her shifts.

When she got to the top level she found that it was completely deserted as she parked the van to the edge and climbed out of the cabin in full yellow hazmat while she pulled up her boots and gloves before pulling out the large case from the front seat of the car and pushing it on top of the white van before pulling herself up and constructing the the paintball sniper rifle as well as the custom scope she got to work in cordination with her goggles. Glancing through it, she started to sift throught he buildings, if there anyone in there before she got working on a suitable compound to reduce the radiation in a controlled burst, or at cool any excess heat released by it.

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Professor Quentin Quill was only a block away when he heard the explosion. His extraordinary brain, acutely sensitive to all manner of electromagnetic fields, was soon picking up the airwaves.

This looked like a job for...

He looked around, and dashed into a public lavatory. It was ignoble, he realised, but it served a purpose. There was a twinkle of light, as his tweed jacket and trousers, forged from unstable molecules, rearranged themselves, and out stepped

...Supercape!

He quickly dusted off his costume, hoping the slightly unpleasant odours of his makeshift changing room would not linger, and flew to the skies to survey the scene. The smoke obscured his view, but he could quickly see that radiation and heat pockets littered the building that had exploded. He didn't really know what ASTRO labs were up to at the moment, but he did know they did some very high end, impressive stuff. This could be serious... in fact, it was serious.

With a waft of his magnificent cape he swooped down to speak to the emergency services.

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GM

Meanwhile... Inside the building...

Two engineers stumbled out of a plume of smoke into a corridor of less smoke, and more fire. They coughed violently, there faces sooty, and their white lab coats blackened and burnt in places.

"Trapped! we are done for!" coughed one, as he saw the fire cutting him off.

"What happened?" asked the other, rhetorically "The reactor just went wild! I got these crazy readings out of nowhere... and then the robots, they looked like they got taken over, started going mad!"

"I don't know, I think I saw...somebody...in all that. Or something...in the middle of the reactor! somebody with a death wish, that's for sure. Nobody can survive in there..."

He tugged at the fire escape door "lets get out of here! this is on the outside of the building, if we can just get down this flight of stairs..." he shouted, spluttered and coughing as he did so. With a final yank, he pulled open the door, but his hopes were dashed. It was indeed only one flight of stairs to the ground floor and an external door, but it was blocked by a raging in the middle of the stairs.

At at the bottom, he could dimly make out one of the robots the engineers used to remote access the reactor.

"Hey you, put out that fire!" he yelled, hoping against hope. But to no avail. The robots were relatively simple automatons, and it remained unresponsive.

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It was hard to tell how many people were in the buildings, the thermal readings were off because of the fires. Sifting through her paintballs she sorted out the smoke pellots and weighed the risks. It'd likely lower visibility, but the fire was a higher risk factor. It was also neither flamable or toxic, and heavier than oxygen so it would likely starve off the fires without bringing civilian casualties. Loading up the round she turned the scope to the highest concentrated area of heat, which she blinked for a second because in the mass of the reaction was a shape that was very distinctly human. She let out a breath and shrugged her shoulders, if it was an innocent person this would at the very least not hurt them and probably give them a little breathing room. The paintball left the chamber and hit the mark into the building. As it burst the small capsel released an almost instantious fog that the entire building filling it up.

Almost immediately after the fires started going down and tracking human thermal readings became much easier, especially the ones on the outside at the stairwell just outside the range of the smoke. It wouldn't of mattered though, the smoke only worked because of the inside envirement limited the air, outside fire would need more direct approach. Sliding down tot he back of the van she opened it up and reached over to the fridge. Letting the mist seep out she grabbed a special pack of a division 2.2 liquid gas before heading back up and loading another round Taking steady aim, she fired off a shot at the fire and watched as it sizzled under the burst of sudden cold.

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Supercape was speaking to the head Fire officer, trying to assess the situation, but was coming to the conclusion that the emergency services, and the staff at ASTRO labs, where pretty much in the dark. It has all happened so fast. There was some talk of the automated robots, who were used to enter hazardous areas and handle dangerous material, had gone haywire, and some blamed them fore the explosion, but it was all pretty garbled and inconsistent.

He had pretty much decided that he needed to get in there himself, and stop dithering, when he saw Catalyst's Chemical activity.... the fog was blooming from the windows of the lab, cooling it.

"That's new" he commented.

"I'm going in!" he told the assorted fire and police crew. "I'd stay back for now, no Idea what's going on! I'll let you know as soon as I am able! just get as many people clear and far away as possible... safe from the radiation..."

And with that, he sped off into the building.

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GM

In the building...

"What's this? saved!" coughed one of the desperate engineer as the coolant hit the fire escape. The flames spluttered and died.

"Thank our lucky stars!" said the other, stumbling down the stairs. "I don't know who or what saved our bacon from being cooked, but they are on my Christmas Card list this year" he coughed, clinging to the bannister and half walking, half collapsing down the escape route.

"I can't believe we got out alive" replied his friend. "And a fat lot of good those robots did, hey.... what are you doing...."

The three robots at the bottom of the stairs started moving, circling, and blocking the exit. They raised there unfeeling steel arms in a barricade, and their dark camera-eyes turned without emotion towards the two engineers....

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Catalyst watched the fire go down with a smile as she examined the engineers with her scope. She could of sworn she knew one of those guys. Maybe from last months company luncheon, there was a presentation about some recent data they received during the treatment of a local scientist who had been almost killed by an applied genetic mutatigen that started to give her lizard like appearances. It was either that or the press conference about the official statement of what had happened during the whole Arche Invasion fiasco.

Tapping her fingers trying to think she caught out of the corner of the scope that they didn't look as happy as they did when the fire went out. Adjusting her sight to the things they were pointing at she glanced over and found the robots barricading the walk way. That was strange, were they malfuctioning? Astro is usually very thorough in testing their AIs for abnormalities, so tampering? Either way, they were now an obstacle for the scientists, and like before her gun was just perfect for this new problem. Aiming it carefully she squeezed off three shots hitting each robot cleanly into one of their joints so as to hit some inlayed circuitry to stop their functions.

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GM

The shots cracked into and around the three automatons. They where sturdy enough - they had to be, to do their job - but they did not last long under the sustained fire power of Catalyst. One by one they shut down. The first, exploding in sparks, the second, belching fumes and bleeping madly, the third head lolling to one side and one set of caterpillar tracks going into overdrive, forcing into to endlessly circle in a tight circle.

"Fortune smiles on us today!" grinned the first engineer, as the pair of them struggled down the stairs, still coughing, and launched themselves through the fire door, out of the building, tripping each other up in their excitement to be free.

"We made it!" wept his friend, clutching at the ground in disbelief.

"Who shot those robots up? my Christmas Card list is getting real long this year" gasped the first engineer, trying to laugh away his fear. "Good shooting, whoever it was! hope they are on our side!"

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Catalyst smiled as she looked at the engineers make their way safely passed the barriers before she turned her scope to the rest of the building. There were still a couple of small fires, but it looked like all but the one mass by the reactor had, wait, no someone was going in. Adjusting it she was trying to think if maybe it was a fireman, but those usually went in pairs didn't they? Adjusting her scope she cut through the fog and got a better look at the outline. It didn't look like a fireman, especially when she got a look at something flapping behind the figure as it went. It was either a long jacket, or a cape. She stopped for a second,

Yeah, it's probably a cape.

It was good to know someone else was here too, though she frowned. The fog was probably a bit of an inconvience to him if he was looking for something and she couldn't exactly disperse it. Tapping her fingers she followed the figure. He didn't seem like he was lost, maybe he was trying to get to the person in the center of the mass. A rescue? Maybe, it was so hard to tell.

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Supercape couldn't see anything, and it wasn't just the smoke - something else was in the building. Fortunately, his uncanny super senses meant he could navigate blindly, by using radar.

Heading through the building, he noted the heat and radiation signatures, and was glad that his own costume shielded him from the background radiation which, whilst not lethal, would certainly be toxic.

Something was familiar about some of the radiation signatures. No...surely not him again... he shuddered.

Fortunately, the automatons were just as blind as he was, and unable to impeded his progress. What did impede his progress however, was a plume of toxic chemicals that had caught fire and was emitting a hazardous gas. Supercape was soon coughing and staggered back.

Retching, he sent out a radio signal.

Toxic chemical spill - take extra care - hazardous fumes... as he fought for breath on his hands and knees, crawling from the fumes.

He gave one extra big cough and tasted blood in his mouth.

Oh dear... that can't be good... he muttered to himself...

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While panning though the smoke she found the cape guy again, though this time he was on his knees. That wasn't good. She zoomed in the scope, there were no robots around him. What was it then? Looking for a few more minutes she thought it looked like he was coughing, why? Her smoke wasn't toxic unless.

"Oh snap."

Sliding off the top of the van she ran to the back and started digging through her supplies looking. She knew Astro was a big time lab, heck she applied there when she got out of college. They had huge military contacts in weapons and chemical development, and if the facility was on fire it's no doubt something nasty was in the air.

"Where are you,"

She hummed as she grabbed a syringe and a few empty balls from the fridge as she started to mold a compound. There were a couple of chemicals that could cause that, but only a few were stable enough to be stored in a facility like Astro. Ventilation, at least of where he was, was the best option. A nuetral agent that'll take down all the airborn chemicals, though she couldn't do water based, probably something a bit heavier.

When she was done she only had time to fill and make one paintball to shoot, but she was working for speed and some really nasty things would kill if he was stuck down long enough, even if it was just so. She lined up the shot and breathed and centered it right on the target watching as it cleared out a twenty five foot area of clean area around the target eliminating both the fumes and her own fog,

"Please be okay."

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Supercape spat out another mouthful of blood, and felt like his lungs were on fire. He was just glad he had managed to crawl out of the fumes in time. He really should be more careful. It was all very well navigating with his radar sense, but that still meant he couldn't actually see anything... like fumes of toxic chemicals. At least he had managed to crawl backwards in time.

It didn't solve the problem of how he was going to progress through them, of course. He could teleport, of course, but he might end up slap bang in the middle of a the cloud, which would probably finish him off.

He was caught rather by surprise when the fumes started clearing again. What was this?

Something very strange was going on.

He sent out a quick radio transmission, hoping somebody would pick it up and enlighten him.

*This is Supercape... toxic fumes just cleared themselves...any idea what's going on out there? on in here? something or somebody just cleaned up the mess...emergency services got some secret weapon up there sleeve or something?*

He stood up and dusted off his cape. Why, he could almost see again, despite his streaming and itchy eyes.

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GM

Whats this?

Why do all my brilliant plan's go wrong!!!

Heavy Metal smashed a table in 'twain with the sheer frustration of it. He didn't actually know what he was smashing. He could barely see a foot in front of him what with the thick smoke that had filled the building.

Calm down...methodical...you know this building...

He was of course thoroughly enjoying his meal of radiation from the new reactor here. But it looked like somebody was intent on flushing him out. And, he conceded, it looked like a pretty good plan. As powerful as his magnificent body was, if he couldn't see, he couldn't see.

So...frustrating...

Well, if he had come this far, at least he would get the fusion fluxatron. The heart of the new experimental reactor the insititute had been working on. Now, where had he last seen it...

His arms flailing in the thick smoke, he started blindly clawing his way to the heart of the reactor...

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Catalyst let out a sigh of relief as the caped figure managed to stand up. She could see he was breathing more easily and the coughing up blood had stopped. He really should of headed over to the ambulence, though she guessed there was probably a reason he was there in the first place. Taking her scope she started scanning the fog and found the other warm body getting warmer as it started to tear into the reacter.

That's probably it.

Lining up her scope she centered straight onto the warmer person's back with an acid round. She squeezed the trigger and scored a direct hit from her estimations but it was hard to tell what type of effect it had.

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GM

Heavy Metal had just got his hands on the Fluxatron when he was hit squarely on the back.

"Ouch!" he yelped, nearly dropping the fragile equipment as he was hit.

Damn, that stung! he conceded to himself. What the hell was that?

He would normally just swat away small calibre bullets, and even some of Freedom Cities super-heroes would struggle to put a dent on his super-dense uranium body. But whatever hit him had hit him hard and squarely. And hurt.

So. Blind, under assault, and carrying some vital fragile equipment...

He sighed.

Why does nothing go right for me? Why must I be frustrated at every corner?

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Catalyst sat with her scope eying him carefully,

Hmm, that didn't really seem to phase him at all. Though now he's looking for me, better hurry up and finish this before he figures out where I am.

She shot off another round aiming for the shoulder and chest area. No need to hit the head, this stuff was really nasty if you hit some really delicate areas and he had yet to show that he needed such treatment. For now he needed to go down and be removed from the building. She could do one of those things without seriously hurting him.

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GM

Gaaah! Again!

Another explosion of pain in his chest. True, his compact dense body was not exactly torn to shreds, but the mere fact he was hurt at all was a worrying sign.

And he still couldn't see what the hell was going on.

This won't do. Not for the all-powerful Heavy Metal. This is what puny Liebniz has to put up with! he thought. His uranium blood boiling. He wasn't going to stand for it! Not the mighty Heavy Metal!

So, with a brief pulse of blue-purple radiation, his uranium body changed, becoming pure pulsatile radiation. Freed from physical constraints, the being of pure energy flew skywards, straight out of the building and the cloud of smoke, and looked around.

"Who dares shoot at me? Show yourself!" he demanded, scanning the city line.

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Catalyst's eyebrows raised as the mass of heat lost it's human shape, in fact it lost most shape, it was more a blot of mist than anything. A blot of mist that was quickly rising out of her fog. Trailing her scope on it she watched it raise until she could see it regularly as a blob of bluish purplish mist, correction an angry shouting blob of bluish purple mist. That wasn't good, she couldn't exactly shoot mist now could she. It still needed to breath right? So what about slowing it down a bit. Switching her ammo she aimed carefully trying to figure out which way the mist was facing as she shot her weakening ball. It and burst near the center making a fine mist of light green surrounding the brighter angry mist.

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GM

There! There is the ant that dares fire at me! I'll soon deal with that insect!

"Prepare to feel the wrath of...eh, what's this?"

Oh no..

The gas exploded around him. Whilst it was technically true that he no longer existed as a material object, his body of pure radiation still needed to perform basic metabolic functions. Like breathing. It was, in this form, not quite metabolism as human's would do it. But never the less, metabolism it was.

And in panic, he gasped. Expanding his radioactive chest to maximise the permeation of the toxic chemicals throughout his energetic form.

He coughed... or at least, writhed around like he was choking.

Damnation and blast! he cursed. In a bolt of blue-purple radiation he streaked towards Catalyst. For a fleeting second, he had a moment of abject terror seeing the hazmat suit.

Ye gods... that would be just my luck... a radiatio suit...

Before he quashed his moment of self doubt and pushed his intangible arm straight through his adversary.

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Well, at least I'm not coughing blood any more reflected Supercape.

Just coughing...

But things were looking up. The flames were dying down, the central reactors energy signature was doing the same. The smoke was clearing a little, and at least he wasn't breathing some corrosive chemical of heaven knew what composition.

Oh dear...

Things suddenly got a whole lot worse. He recognised that energy signature. He would recognise it anywhere.

Heavy Metal.

Now he was in serious trouble. Stopping him was hard work for any hero. But given the villain could soak up (as far as Supercape could determine) effectively infinite amounts of electromagnetic energy, Supercape was always struggling to find any way to stop him. And Heavy Metal harboured a particular loathing for the Caped Brit.

Still, if he was here, trouble was afoot. He just hoped he could work out some way of dealing with it.

With a distortion of time and space, he vanished from the building, and reappeared just next to Catalyst and Heavy Metal.

"Good afternoon!" he said with a Jaunty wave, and a quick salute at his unexpected ally.

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The blast hit Catalyst square head on, she had to stop herself from keeling over from the pain. She gripped her gun as she tried to steady herself on the van and caught sight of the caped figure floating a couple of feet away. She was rather breathless from the attack so she just gave him a wave weak wave with her blue rubber glove as she tried to get in position to get another shot into the angry mist.

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It seemed he had an ally. And one who might just be able to take Heavy Metal down. He had never met the mysterious shooter before, and didn't recognise her.

The haz-mat suit was a good sign.

But it seemed whatever weapon she was using would be next to useless against the energy form that Heavy Metal had taken up. Well, that was something that he might be able to help with - inspiration struck...

He couldn't, of course, change Heavy Metal's shape. But perhaps he wouldn't need to. For Supercape, matter and energy were just all wave-strings. By nudging a few key components this way and that, he could "reset" things. Making the energy of Heavy Metal as susceptible to physical matter as any other solid. He just needed to increase its cohesiveness.

Hard work... he mumbled almost silently, as he focussed his mind on the task, bending through several dimensions to work at the problem...

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Catalyst spent a bit of time getting set up again, when she finally overcame the pain she pulled up on her stomach and aimed at the mist again. Half glancing at the man in the cape, she pulled out another pistol and loaded it real quick as she shoot a round at the mist that burst into another dose of the light green weakening ball before she aimed the pistol at the man in the cape and shot a more contained round. It quickly surrounded him and negated the mist from the weakening ball before it could have any real effect.

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"Insect" sneered Heavy Metal as the pellet gas swirled around him.

"It's you I want, Stupidcape!" he snarled at Supercape with a raised finger that quickly turned into a shaken fist.

In his coherent energy form he was faster. Much faster. His arm lanced forwards and struck Supercape dead on, like a whip. But he had not counted on the quantum force field that Supercape had erected around himself, that was more than able to withstand heavy metal's power.

"I have a little trick up my Stupid sleeve, I think!" replied Supercape, as he concentrated on the exotic particles and wave-strings that made up Heavy Metal.

"Nothing too fancy, but I wonder if it might help my new friend..." he said with a wink to Catalyst "...have something tangible for you? hmmm?"

THe jigsaw pieces fell into place, and with a shift of strange exotic particles, and multiple dimensions, something quite peculiar happened to Heavy Metal's body. It glowed a little less, and looked a little more, well, solid. It still pulsated with energy just as before, but something about it just looked like it had mass and form, rather than just energy and power.

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