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angrydurf

Invisible Horizons IC

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GM

The skies over midtown suddenly grew dark, heavy thunderheads seeming to appear out of nowhere. St. Elmos Fire arced along the sides of buildings and the lights in the high rises and famed millennium mall Flickered and dimmed ominously. throughout the city of Freedom those who monitored such things would note a large build up of extra dimensional energies in the region and race into action.

As the bizarre rainless storm grew cars and electronics in the streets and homes below went haywire as lances of strange green lightening struck out seeking ground. In the streets people climbed from their cars and stared up at the ominous portent wondering what new threat loomed over their fair city and hoping to catch a glimpse of one of the cities famed defenders spring into action.

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Rachel Geist was no stranger to having alarms blare, indicators blink, or klaxons wail within her workspace. It had been easy for her to hijack some of ASTRO Labs' non-essential systems to set up some of her scanning technologies. It had been less easy to explain her increasing coffee breaks and absences from her desk that allowed Blueshift to handle whatever situation had tripped her sensors to her boss. Though she was used to receiving the various interruptions, she was quite surprised when every single alarm in her office went off all at once. "That's not a ... good... sound."


"Well, overcharge my batteries and call me 'Sally'!" Mac exclaimed once he arrived shortly behind Blueshift on one of the roads to Midtown.

"Mac!" Blueshift scolded her spunky robot, "No reason for language like that." She thrust her hand out gesturing to whatever it was that had cause all of her alarms to go off. "It's just an electric storm!"

"Oh no, sister. No way you're getting me near that thing!"

"I am not your sister." came Blueshift's indignant response as she dialed in her visor trying to discern what it was that was actually happening, "Now shut up and tell me what you see."

The confused robot, merely tilted itself to the side and regarded his creator with a great deal of scrutiny after the paradoxical command. "You do know a command like that would fry the capacitors off any normal robot, right?"

"Guess you should be glad I programed you then. Now hush!"

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"What's this?" said Professor Quentin Quill, looking out of his apartment.

No sooner had he set down to have a nice cup of tea and a crack at the crossword than some strange energy starts coursing over the city. Again.

Freedom City. Magnet to the strangest energies in the universe... he thought to himself. Still, he wouldn't have it any other way.

In the blink of an eye his costume changed from the tweed jacket and trousers of mild-mannered university professor to the shining blue and white costume of Supercape. He briefly contemplated a quantum entanglement to take him directly to the epicentre of the disturbance. But decided that strange energies would make that a little to unpredictable. Instead, it was time to fly.

His cape trailing behind him, he shot of to the skies, towards what he presumed was the nexus of the disturbance.

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Cole walked out of the store and had started to head for the Lab when everything went weird. He'd just been out for a quick bite to eat. He really needed to pay attention to those little things otherwise he'd miss them entirely as he got lost in his work. He blinked at the green lightning strikes not a couple blocks away. "Fascinating," he said half to himself. He quickly dropped the coffee he'd been holding into the trash and dashed into an alley. He needed some cover to activate his suit.

He had no idea what was going on over. It could be some crazy super villain, an odd experiment gone wrong, or maybe some natural phenomena of this city that he just hadn't encountered yet. (There were all sorts of weird things that made no logical sense that he was still pondering over.) While the odds implied this wasn't some simple benign event, it could happen. Either way, he was simply too curious NOT to go look. So a few moment after ducking into cover, Torque came out and was headed closer to the day's anomaly. The sensors on his suit beeped warnings at him about dimensional fluctuations, warning of possible dangers. Which really just egged his curiosity on even more.

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GM

As the heroes arrive and approach their electronic equipment begins to send out all sorts of spurious signals and errors. With redundant systems and error correction it doesn't damage anything or reduce their efficacy but certainly adds to the overall strangeness of this event. Communications systems and even Cell phones in the area will crackle to life with broken messages that sound vaguely like distress signals in some cases.

Soon the lightning strikes begin to intensify and people flee their vehicles running for shelter in buildings as the astringent scent of ozone fills the air and a pulsing energy seems to fill the area. Suddenly the center of the cloud begins to collapse inward forming a swirling maw filled with arcs of red and purple lightning. With a flash and a booming roar of thunder you will all note the nosecone of an aircraft emerging from the vortex the craft obviously heavily damaged and nearly out of control.

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"Fiddlesticks" muttered Supercape, as he saw the plane poke out of the...well... the whatever...

His extraordinary super senses were having a field day, and he was already trying to make some sense of the strange readings. All of that would have to wait however, when a plane threatened to crash into the centre of Freedom City.

And what are you gonna do about it, Strongman? he asked himself. It was not like he could carry another person, let alone a plane.

But at least the plane looked like it was under some kind of control, for now. Perhaps he could at least protect it from getting wrecked or damaged, and trust the pilot to do the rest. That is, if he knew what on earth was going on.

With a flutter of his cape, and making sure his quantum force field was fully erect, he launched himself into the vortex to meet the plane...

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Blueshift was busy running multiple analysis programs through her visor when the other two heroes showed up. "Wait these readings can't be right," She said out loud, but mainly to herself, "The last time this type of fluctuation was reported, was....The Bermuta Triangle! Of course!"

Blueshift quickly reached down and snatched a small module from her belt. She tinkered with it using the small instruments that extended from her wrist mounted tool set, then affixed it to her visor over her left ear. Dialing it in with a twisting motion she took a second look at the strange vortex while simultaneously grabbing all available information on the two heroes that had show up to back her up.

Then the jet poked through. "Oh boy. Wait. The Danger!Jet? What is going ON here?!"

"Pardon the interruption, but if that thing's going to come careening out of that ... Um ... Well, whatever it is, then we should probably be-"

"Diving for cover! Right!" Blueshift and Mac dove behind a car parked near the side of the street, just as Supercape flew toward the jet overhead. "Supercape! No! I don't know what it is yet!"

"That damned fool!" Mac was peeping over the top of the car, trying to get a look at what would surely promise to be a spectacular disaster.

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Torque let his suit's sensor systems feed him all the data it could while he watched curiously as the nose of the plane suddenly poked through from somewhere else. "Huh, there's something you don't see every day," he said half to himself then paused. "Well, in this city, maybe you do." He noted the damage..as well as a super flying up to do something to the plane. Whatever it was didn't seem to be slowing down the aircraft any. He did some quick math in his head based the plane's rough size (estimate), its apparent speed (also a rough estimate), its trajectory (that was accurate at least). Even before he finished doing the calculations, he moved over to a streetlight and grabbed it. Using it as a conduit, he digitized himself to rematerialize farther down.

He moved to the center of the street and rubbed his hands together. He double checked his systems as well as the math. Theoretically, his suit might be able to handle this. He was pretty sure his math was right but this was certainly not something he'd ever intended to test. Still, it was like there were any other options. He crouched a little and raised his hands like an outfielder ready to catch a baseball. A really really big baseball. Not that he understood the sport anyway. It seemed so...odd. Who would come up with that?

Anyway, time to catch a crashing plane.

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At the controls of the Danger!-jet Ace Danger let out a small cheer as the clouds cleared revealing an escape from the impossible place between worlds into which he had stumbled. All his instruments of course were still spinning wildly but given the fluctuations of the space time continuum such a breach was bound to create that wasn't so unexpected. This in his head said in his best Dr. Archeville voice.

He paled slightly as the walls of the skyscrapers of midtown loomed into view, well he was no quantum scientist how was he supposed to aim a jury rigged dimensional portal accurately. Math never had been his strong suit. Gritting his teeth he wrestled with the controls trying to keep the plane level, with one engine already down he wasn't able to gain altitude the best he could hope for was a 'safe' landing in the street. Drawing on years of experience if not expertise he deployed the flaps and began to engage the airbrakes.

The jet shuddered under the strain as it sped past Supercape the famed hero at the controls struggling to keep the nose up as the plane made its too rapid descent. The atomic hero's protections did seem to deflect teh worst of the supernatural energy arcs wending their way toward the plane but did little to stabilize its flight.

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"Golly" muttered Supercape as the Plane shuddered past him. Close enough to read "Danger" on the side of it, but he was damned if he knew what that meant. Hadn't been in Freedom City long enough. But, he mused, it was certainly apt for the circumstance.

Someone certainly had some foresight when they etched that on the plane.

Now the problem at hand...

Catching falling plane's...

He gave a little wave at Blueshift down below. The lady in question had been rather good at blowing up giant, earth-threatening meteors, he recollected. He hopes she had some equally good plan for stopping a falling plane. Time, in this case, was not on their side.

Focussing his mind, he plunged through multiple dimensions and sub-atomic realities so small they could barely be said to exist at all. In this environment everything seemed screwed up, as far as he could tell. But he had had plenty of practice creating quantum matter. The advantage of the odd, crystal like material was that in many ways, it didn't technically exist, and if it was examined too closely (by someone with the correct instruments and scientific knowledge) its wave-form would collapse and it ceased its non-existence.

So, with a bit of luck, it could still manifest its non-existence here.

Hard as steel, it would not cushion any impact. But, as it did not actually exist, it ignored gravity. If he could hang it mid - air, in the form of an impromptu runway, it might help the pilot, whoever it was, actually slow the thing down...

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Supercape nodded to Blueshift, even as she was taking cover behind a car. The cape clad hero used his powers to produce a sort of emergency runway for the plane to use. Even Torque was standing directly in it's path in an attempt to reduce it's momentum.

She couldn't just stand there. She had to do something.

"Mac! Give me an Electronic Access/Interface Port! Lamp post, there!" Blueshift commanded her assistant robot, and pointed at the electrical panel on a near by lamp post.

"Coming right up!" Mac practically attacked it with a multitude of manipulators and screwdrivers. In less than a second, the panel was removed, and the wiring exposed. Mac attached a few manipulators to some of the more important wires, to make it easier for Blueshift to fiddle with them.

Blueshift knelt next to the lamp post and began fiddling with some wires as fast as her fingers could manage. It would be a rush job, but it would work. Her inventions always worked. Thanks to the messy electrical currents in the area, a lot of the electrical sources like street signs and neon devices were a little more attractive to each other than usual. She used the power cells from her suit to over boost that connection and created a link between four or five devices on both sides of the street.

Irridescent blue static currents rushed between lamp posts and neon advertisement signs. Then between them, more visible currents began cris-crossing and overlapping forming an elaborate system of netting like a weave. The net hung just above the runway created by Supercape, and the place where Torque stood. She supplied even more power from her suit, hoping that it would take some of the mustard off the plane that was being pitched at the brave hero about to field it.

"Come on! Come on! Hold tight!"

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GM

The plane shuddered and groaned under the strains the pilot put it under trying to slow its flight sending rivets flying forth shattering windows and chipping the stone walls of the surrounding buildings. The engines roared in protest as they fought the planes momentum and with a cacophonous roar it made contact with the quantum matter runway screeching along the nigh indestructible material in an almost controlled landing.

Blueshifts EM net sprang up before the plane sending arcs of electricity dancing along the the crafts external shell as it strained to hold back the speeding craft. Lightning from the shrinking portal lanced forth striking one engine silencing and sending up a plume of dark smoke. With the loss of power the plane lurched to the side and began to roll as the EM field finally gave way and the plane careened toward Torque now completely uncontrolled.

As the armored hero threw himself against the plane his servos roared in protest his feet sliding back along the street digging furrows in the asphalt as the mass of the plane drove him inexorably towards the buildings behind him. Just as it seemed he was sure to be crushed between the plane and the walls with a final herculean effort he brought the plane to a groaning stop with inches to spare. The heroes combined efforts had managed to avert far worse disaster.

In the sky above the portal rapid shrunk away and soon there was no sign above of the recent chaos though the streets below were littered with rubble from the damaged buildings and between Blueshifts electric tap and the blown transformers the whole area was without power. Coruscating energies from the recent dimensional transference and Blueshifts EM net still danced around the Danger!-Jet sparks firing off and running lights shattering. Suddenly with a crack and boom the streets were filled with a dense smoke as several of the planes ECM systems shorted and fired blinding the heroes and bystanders alike. In the darkness there was a sound of rending metal and a piercing alien roar and then silence.

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Torque stepped out of the furrows dug through the concrete and did a quick systems check. His energy readings were nominal surprisingly enough. He flexed his shoulders and wiggled his toes. Huh, everything still works. Not bad, he thought to himself. He looked around, spotting not one but 2 other heroic types. Between the 3 of them, they'd managed to keep the damage levels pretty minor and it didn't appear as if anyone was hurt.

He peeked into the cockpit window as he moved towards the access hatch. He was reaching for it when her heard the tearing of metal and a rather unpleasant howl. "Ok...," he said to himself, having little idea what that could have been. People came first however. He popped the hatch open and moved inside to look for passengers. "Hello? Is anyone in here?"

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Even as her EMNetting came offline, and the transformers on that block blew sparks and malfunctioned, Blueshift breathed a sigh of relief. There had been no collision, there had been no casualties.

She once again poked around at her belt, and attached a modulator to her Visor. She dialed in the settings, and before long, she could make out things within the smog cloud and other major interferences near the Danger!-Jet. She hurried over to where the wreckage had been set down by torque. Calling up from street level she asked the armored hero, "Hey Torque?! Anyone in there?"

Meanwhile, Mac was busy making a report with emergency services, "This is Nine-one-one, aren't you not supposed to put me on hold? What? Oh, yea, Giant plane crash. Midtown. No. I'm not using a Stephen Hawking Voice Modulator. No, this is not a prank, it's a real emergency. We need police and possibly ambulances! For crying out loud, we just landed the Danger!-Jet on the street!"

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Supercape could barely see anything. Worse still, the strange disturbances around him made even his extraordinary senses fill with junk. In essence, he was scrabbling around blind.

Which was somewhat new.

Dangerous too, he conceded.

Still, there was little he could do about it rather than feel his way around the plane, straining to see through the belching smoke, and calling out.

"I say, I say...is every one all right?" he called out, not at all clear if anyone could hear him, and what he would do if they could.

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GM

Blueshifts augmented senses sliced through the blinding cloud as she adjusted her visors settings. The plane was in pretty bad shape, extensive charred marks from either lightning or perhaps some kind of attack covered the outer hull. Panels in places seemed to have been ripped free by the strains of the dimensional passage. Near the rear of the plane she'd take note of a large hole in the fuselage that from the direction of the bent and twisted edges seemed to have originated from within the aircraft.

As the smoke and other disturbances began to clear Supercape and Torque could make out the pilot slumped over the controls trademark fedora still in place but unmoving. The windshield was already cracked by the rough landing or passage from lands beyond and would likely be the quickest access to the cockpit. In the distance sirens could be heard as Freedoms Finest scrambled to respond to the strange events.

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Supercape wafted his hand in front of him as the smoke began to clear. It looked a little better. He could see his hand for starters. Then, as the smoke got a little thinner he could make out more and more shapes and forms - indistinct at first, but growing in clarity.

Torque, he did not recognise. But he gave a jaunty half-wave half -salute. He was about to start introductions when he spotted the pilot of the craft.

"I say!" said Supercape rushing towards the slumped figure.

"Are you all right?" he added, shaking the slumped figure by the shoulder gently.

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In his helmet, Torque quirked an eyebrow at the odd wave. Maybe the hero was just a happy fellow or something? Regardless, he nodded in return. Prying metal out of the way to make extraction of the pilot a bit easier, he hopped into the cockpit and looked that poor battered looking pilot over. Or rather he was about to when the caped hero started shaking the man's shoulder. "Pardon, I admit I having no real medical training, but is shaking someone who was just in a plane crash entirely advisable? At least before they have been checked for significant injuries?" He did his best to check the fellow over as he spoke. He had no idea how extensive, if any, the man's injuries were. But better safe than sorry he supposed. Assuming the man was safe to move, Torque would worry about getting him out of here and then start worrying about the strange howling.

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While her two allies were assisting the pilot, Blueshift decided to make sure there weren't too many cooks in the kitchen. Having too many people try to move or operate on the same unconscious person would just end up hurting him more, she thought.

Instead, she dropped through the hole in the side of the ship. She began scanning the area, every few seconds she dialed in a new setting on her visor and switched to a different set of views. She compiled loads of information and logged it all for later.

Perhaps the most interesting thing she discovered was the ship's cargo. If it was the cargo. A large cylindrical object with a keypad written in an alien language. "Oh, this is neat. Mac. Tell the others. I'm going to try figuring this thing out."


Mac flew out through the hole in the ship and hovered near the other heroes. "Well, he looks pretty knocked out to me. But it IS Ace Danger. The guy's pretty famous for that whole not dying thing. I'll bet he's fiiiiiine." Mac waved a small metallic arm over his shoulder, "Anyway, I came to tell you that if you've got a second, Blue's found something inside. It might be important. We're taking a close look. Drop in once you get Mr. Fancy Hat Person sorted." Rather than returning to Blueshift's side, Mac hovered in the air patiently nearby.

Message Delivered. He explained to Blueshift across their mental link.

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GM

As Blueshift settled in to more thoroughly examine the planes mysterious cargo Torque and Supercape would note the unnatural stillness of the pilot as he flopped forward against his restraints at the gentle prodding. As his coat gaped open the reason became increasingly clear with the revelation of the bloom of crimson across his chest. Further examination would reveal that a rod from some piece of machinery had pierced the pilots seat and impaled the ageless hero the jagged end protruding slightly from his chest. Given the injury it was a surprise he managed to keep th plane controlled as long as he did.

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"By my word!" exclaimed Supercape as he caught sight of Ace Danger's injuries.

"Never mind the shaking...I...I think he is dead..." he mumbled. "What happened? he kept the plane in the air...somehow, and even landed it, after a fashion. And somehow the poor blighter ended up with a piece of plane rammed through his chest!"

Supercape winced at the thought.

"That's one brave soldier" he added, wondering whether to give the man a salute.

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Torque blinked slowly. "I...didn't realize," he said quietly. "Isn't this Ace Danger person supposed to be immortal and unkillable? I thought I read some history bit on him somewhere about that," he said softly. "It was some good flying though," he quietly agree, standing back up. He rested a hand awkwardly on the dead man's shoulders, kind of thanking the man for going above and beyond. "He died a hero."

He looked up as the strange little messenger flew in. "We're coming. And that 'Mr. Fancy Pants' was Ace Danger who just died landing this plan," he added with a frown. He turned away after taking a final moment of respect for the dead hero before heading for the hole and back to meet up with Blueshift and see what was discovered.

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As the heroes turned away to follow Mac back to Blueshifts discovery they heard a sudden gasp as Ace Danger Immortal Man of Mystery lurched forward off the jagged metal impaling him. As they turned he fell to his knees coughing as before their eyes the torn opening in his chest knitted itself closed. The man himself frowned slightly as he stood and looked down, "I really liked this shirt." he mused fretfully as he prodded at the now quite ruined cotton. He seemed not to notice the other heroes at first then looked up wit a smile, "Oh I trust I have you fine folks to thank for the help in landing this boat?" he asked with a friendly wave and ducked under the console to dig out a replacement shirt using the old one to wipe up the blood still staining his now unblemished chest a slight frown crossing his features as he poked a finger through his oft patched jacket as he finished redressing with a shrug. "This business is terribly hard on the wardrobe don't you know." he said with a nod and extended a hand, "Ace Danger at your service, and thanks again for the assist."

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Supercape gasped at the sight of Ace Danger's reanimation.

"That's a clever little trick!" he commented, recovering a little composure. "Ah...I am afraid I haven't heard of you, Mr. Danger, bit of a recent arrival in Freedom City. Supercape, at your service!"

He gave a little bow.

"What happened here? I've never seen such a mysterious maelstrom of energy in my life... it's most odd. And then, bamf! you float out of it in this airplane. Nice landing, by the way!" he added.

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Torque turned at the sudden gasp of air and blinked. Twice. That was something you didn't see every day; well at least he didn't. Ace seemed to be treating it like someone who stubbed their toe or spilled something on their favorite shirt; an annoyance. That was just odd...

"Uh, yes we did. A bit of a team effort I think, including your piloting too," he said, reaching out to shake the formerly dead man's hand. "I don't suppose you could explain what happened? What with the portal, the strange howling and what not," he asked as he stepped out of the plane to head to the back compartment. "We have someone else in the back I think."

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