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horngeek

Building A Stronghold [IC]

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After perhaps 10 seconds, the futuristic metal room resolved itself into the back of a futuristic air transport. It was bumping along in some notable turbulence; Haukea found herself suddenly encased in a hologram that looked like a sturdy but generic "hero suit", with the color mostly a black with a few orange highlights. She felt the odd hum and tension of the simulated power field, and then she heard the person a bit further toward the cockpit speak.

It was a literal angel. Freedom Angel, if she knew much of the Freedom League and Freedom City. His face was a bit grim, but his voice was strong and steady as he spoke.

"You all are Reserve members of the Freedom League, but that doesn't lessen your heroism or your responsibility. We're flying into a major disaster zone on the island of Hawaiʻi. Several of Talos's agents and minions have been attacking the islands in force, and it's been the hardest hit. Most of them have been driven back, but between the general damage and the artificially induced volcanic activity, much of the island is an official disaster zone. We're going in to help with that. Search and rescue, damage control, clearing roadways, things like that; all of you have powers ideally suited to make this go much faster than ordinary men, women, and their tools possibly could. Lives will be saved. We're landing now. I'll be coordinating, and if necessary helping defend. Be on your guard; some of the drones may still be about."

With that, the vehicle landed with a "thump", and Heyzel signaled for everyone to exit. When they did, Haukea entered a scene a step away from a nightmare.

Crumpled cars littered the street. Buildings were smashed and crumpled. The roads were torn. A half-mile away, there was the eerie glow of red-hot lava shining up from the ground. There were no civilians immediately visible, but that meant little. Freedom Angel gave a grim nod.

"Haukea, you're with me, we're going to see what can be done where the lava is still present."

With that, he took to the air, obviously expecting Haukea to keep up on the ground.

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Haukea blinked as the hologram came into existence, looking around a bit. And mentally gave points for a hero outfit that was practical. And braced herself a little, since Cobalt was obviously playing hardball by setting the scenario in Hawai'i.

An opinion that didn't change at all as Freedom Angel spoke. Haukea winced inwardly at the sound of 'artificially induced volcanic activity', especially when Freedom Angel mentioned lava flows. She exited the craft along with everyone else, and nodded as Freedom Angel spoke. "All right."

She started running, taking a few steps slowly first to get used to the speed the stimulated superpowers granted her, then accelerating and trying to keep up with Freedom Angel, while trying to watch out for drones.

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The streets Haukea ran down (approaching the speed of a motor vehicle!) were in a similar condition as the LZ. Freedom Angel was clearly making sure not to fly too fast, so that she could keep up. Finally, they stopped at one end of a street that was even more torn-up than the rest, with half-destroyed cars and trucks scattered about.

Which was sort of secondary to the fact there was a slow-moving lava flow at the far end. The top layer of it was partially-hardened blackened rock, but the hellish red glow was present through cracks in said layer, and the front edge was bright, bubbling, and liquid. Most of the buildings were abandoned, but close to the heroes there looked to be an older diner that had about a dozen civilians. All of whom were hunkered down trying not to attract the attention of the three robotic drones now stalking toward the heroes.

Freedom Angel calmly turned to Haukea and spoke.

"See to the civilians. Help them get out of here, get them headed away from this fight and the lava. The route we took should suffice; our landing zone was only a block north of one of the major evacuation points. I will see to the drones. Do not engage them unless they specifically come for the civilians. No matter what, you do not fight them unless they come at the civilians. That's an order."

Without waiting for a reply, he drew his glowing sword and flew at one of the automatons, a wordless battle cry springing from his lips. One of the drones was damaged but not down, and all 3 instantly focused on Freedom Angle.

Which left Haukea with a dozen scared civilians to evacuate.

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Haukea nodded. "All right. Good luck."

She moved towards the diner, watching the fight cautiously in case one of the robots decided it would be a good idea to attack her or the civilians. As she reached the diner, she pushed the door open gently. "Hello, I'm with the Freedom League. Can you all follow me calmly, please? We've got an evacuation point set up, I can take you there while Freedom Angel takes care of the robots."

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The fight wasn't large, but it was clearly intense, and it wasn't that far away. The civilians still seemed nervous, several of them eyeballing the fight. One of them, a gentleman in his late 40s perhaps, stood up and spoke.

"Are you sure it's a good idea to take all of us at once? I mean, it's dangerous either way, right? How are you going to protect all of us at once?"

Some of the others nodded, though everyone seemed to be gathering themselves to move out. It was a bit of a lose-lose for ordinary people, this kind of scenario. Between the lava, the general destruction, and the fight raging just down the street, no one really wanted to stay...

"Will he be okay?"

A young woman asked with concern in her voice, pointing to Freedom Angel. Indeed, the winged hero seemed to be lagging a bit; one of the drones was down, half of it melting in the slowly-advancing lava flow, but the other two were still at least partially active. Freedom Angle wasn't losing...yet.

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