Jump to content

Recommended Posts

For many years, I have analyzed the defenders of the third planet of Yellow Dwarf-XE4. The defenders of the third planet possess vast power, impressive skill in its use, and a cultural diversity unprecedented for a civilization of its technological development. Again and again, they have defeated my probes, destroyed my scout ships, and even removed specimens from my research. Since the death of Mark-Leeds, I have been studying the defenders of XE4-III to learn what qualities have allowed them to frustrate my experiments on their planet. I have learned those qualities are their courage, their trust, and their hope.

I will now delete those qualities.


Test Site I

Freedom Hall

Blue Jay woke up in a ditch, the smell of ashes in her mouth. She was in her costume and fully armed, the quiver at her back weighted with arrows. Raising her head, she found herself surrounded by a vision from Hell: a bombed out Freedom City laden with debris, ashes, and the broken remains of what once might have been bodies. She'd seen the effects of power pikes well enough to recognize their work. And there, screaming down from the sky like the armies of the damned, came the all-too-familiar sight of an Omegadrone troop carrier, big as a small jet liner but covered in the spikes and weapons she knew all too well. It roared overhead, antiproton engines screaming loud enough to nearly deafen her, and headed for what looked like Freedom Hall.

Baxter awoke from a dream, and found himself in Hell. Bee-Keeper III felt the vibrations in his suit before he saw the ship come roaring down out of the sky; a monstrous vision of technological hell as it swooped overhead and plowed into a nearby street hard enough to rattle his teeth, careening along a street to plow into a nearby building. He noticed the apocalyptic surroundings next; the ruined Freedom Hall behind him, the smashed windows and fallen bodies of what looked like the aftermath of a grim and terrible battle here at the heart of Freedom City's heroing, and then finally what looked for all the world like a shattered city all around them.

Jill O'Cure's eyes snapped open and she found herself in an empty hospital. She could tell that right away; the red, flickering emergency lights exposed a scene of wild chaos, torn and fallen beds and equipment in a mad jumble, but no sign of life, or death, for that matter. She knew this place, the waiting room of the clinic in City Center just down the street from Freedom Hall. She was in costume, not her scrubs, but before she could take further stock of the situation there was the brief scream of mighty engines and then a nearby BOOM, as if a plane had hit the ground just a few blocks away.

Bones. Bones bones bones. Wander had seen plenty of those in her life, but the pile she was standing over was impressive. Smashed and broken, they were scattered over the front steps of the City Center Clinic like a child's much-abused toys. She could make out the familiar sight of skulls and other big bones, but these bones hadn't rested easy: something had disturbed the remains, if they'd come here first inside bodies. The ossurary at her feet was new; the burning city all around her wasn't. Suddenly, the familiar sight of an Omegadrone troop carrier roared overhead and disappeared over the nearest high-rise with a BOOM that shook the ground beneath her feet.

When Harrier awoke, strapped into the recharging station of a heavy combat Omegadrone, Steve found himself frozen to the spot in the mortal terror of an awakened nightmare. He wasn't conscious of anything about his surroundings, only the sudden, horrible surety that his life was a dream and he was about to be taken away and dissected by the Physician. WAKEUPWAKEUPWAKEUPWAKEUPWAKEUP-the crash interrupted his frenzied mental shouts and tore him loose from the station, sending him bowled end over end against a hard steel wall before he realized the ship had crashed and that he was all alone inside it. Taking a moment to steel himself, and think of Gina, the Omegadrone chose to meet his fate head-on: armored up, he blasted out the nearest hatch and burst forth onto a murdered Freedom City street. It wasn't so strange, really, he'd seen many of those in his time. He distantly saw an armored figure in yellow and black nearby, and moved towards him with pike raised defensively.

Link to comment
  • Replies 101
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

"It's just a dream," Erin said aloud, even as her heart began to gallop and her muscles to twitch with readiness. "Just a dream. I went to bed and this is a dream." She remembered going to bed, remembered a late-night leftover pizza snack before laying down with Charlie curled warm at the small of her back to catch a few hours of sleep. Her day off was coming up, she reminded herself, and she wanted to spend it with Trevor and be able to stay up for a nighttime patrol. Now she was having a bad dream that conflated two of her most persistent nightmares. She just had to ride it out.

"Oliver?" she called, looking around as she tried to summon the image of the cat into her dreams. It was a technique she'd been working on with her new psychologist, defusing lucid nightmares with comforting thoughts and images. "Here, kitty..." The technique worked sometimes, but not tonight, it seemed. Instead, there was the smell of burning metal and death in the air, sharper and more insistent than she could remember in dreams. She was just going to have to power through this one to the other side. Drawing her bat and opening it to full extension, she began running toward the crashed transport ship, dreading whatever she might see there.

Link to comment

Groggily, Baxter stirred from his innocent slumber against the unforgiving street, eyes unfurling slowly as they brushed away the blur of sleep and focused in on his surroundings as he rose up. That's when he noticed something wasn't right. From within the helmet, he could see the familiar HUD display, complete with the happy dancing bee beside the green light in the peripheral of his vision that informed him that everything was a-okay; and, indeed, he felt fine, save for an odd sense of malaise. But as he sat up, mind foggy as he tried to figure out where he was, his heart skipped a beat. Above him came a thing - a ship, he imagined - of infernal design, familiar yet alien to his eyes. He looked on, both intrigued yet horrified as the mammoth of a carrier collided with the asphalt near him, the vibrations jarring him from within the safety of his beloved Bee-Keeper Armor. All he could do was watch as it slid across the gravel of a blasted landscape, leveling itself into a doomed domicile. It painted a pretty picture of a carnage swathed.

And then he saw Freedom Hall, in all its ruined splendor, the air ripe with the smell of ash and burnt metal. That's when it all clicked neatly together in a bone-chilling realization: whatever it was that had happened, the Freedom League had lost the battle.

"No. No way. No, no, no, no, no!" Baxter silently bemoaned as he struggled to remember; he recalled going out at night, on patrol. He'd landed on top of a building and then... nothing. Just a blank. But everywhere he looked, every inch of Freedom City was in shambles. And Freedom Hall? Freedom Hall was little more than a decimated icon, the scent of something Baxter couldn't even identify rife in his nose - a pungent, degrading smell that filled his heart with terror. The weight of the situation hit the boy hard. How could he not remember what happened? How could this have happened at all? No answers came to the shell-shocked young hero as he watched the smoldering crash site of the foreign carrier, rising to his feet as the dust settled with a clumsy, almost delirious stumble. He just couldn't look away.

But all that sadness and despair quickly shifted gears as another figure made itself known within the wasteland of what was once Baxter's home. From the wreckage came a lone thing - a machine that walked like a man, armed with an all too familiar weapon. Baxter might not have been around for the Terminus Invasion, but he knew enough. Anyone who grew up in Freedom City knew about what he saw: an Omegadrone, in the flesh! It was so clear to him now: it was another invasion! And this time? This time, the city didn't have the Centurion to save them from the endless armies of their evil overlord.

At the sight of the armored behemoth, the Bee-Keeper III grit his teeth to the point of mild pain, tears welling up behind the insectile helmet as the figure moved closer and closer, its weapon held at the ready. No longer was he wracked with anguish about his home. Baxter was mad - no, angry! - and it showed. Fingers balled themselves into fists almost instinctively, the heavy gauntlets bound over his hands clacking with bitterly audible, murderous intent. This thing was responsible for all this! For everything! And the Bee-Keeper was going to make him pay!

"Aaaaargh!!!" screeched the bloodthirsty armored apian, wings unsheathing themselves with a sharp shwoosh before he rocketed his way towards the ominously garbed foot soldier of Omega, violent intention keenly obvious even as he cocked a fist back. For everything it'd done - everything it might still do! - the Bee-Keeper was going to dismantle the abomination of blood and metal, his fear replaced with a burning desire for vengeance. There was no poise or grace to his form, nor hard-learned lesson from Mister Espadas put into play; only blind, frenzied rage as the Bee-Keeper closed the gap and let loose his terrible blow against the Omegadrone with everything he had!

Link to comment

Blue Jay pushed herself upright, feeling an ache in her bones and a swimming head. She remembered going to sleep, weary from a protracted session in the Doom Room, but wherever she was now it certainly wasn't her bed at Claremont Academy. She raised her head and finally saw the city, wrecked, before her.

For the longest time all she could do was stare and shake, frozen to the ground. She had dealt with nightmares of being back on her homeworld, running through the forest from another unnameable terror birthed in the flesh factories, but this was the first time she had seen this safe, secure Earth feature in it. After a moment she looked down and confirmed -- yes, she was also in her Claremont outfit, and the bow she held in her hand was the high-tech piece she'd been gifted by the Freedom League, not the curved and laminated piece of wood she had brought with her.

She finally shook off the shock and stood up, looking around to get her bearings. A part of her screamed that she should make for the treeline, but she knew that she couldn't do that. She had to find out what had happened; she didn't remember an attack by the Terminus, or being woken up, or whatever had led to her being dumped in a ditch. The young archer pulled her bow out and unfolded with a single, hard jerk. She nocked a broadhead arrow and headed into the city, eyes alert and watching.

Link to comment

Ellie's body was already on its feet before her mind had a chance to register her disturbing surroundings; when it did, a string of hissed oaths followed. It made no sense for her to be in the clinic, it made no sense for the clinic to be deserted, it made no sense for it to be obviously devastated. Memory loss, disorientation -- concussion? Before she could catch her breath, the air around her exploded with the sounds of disaster and reflexes were carrying her in a sprint down the hallway to the exit.

A hand glowing with dappled blue light rose to clutch the side of her head, accomplishing nothing. Didn't hit my head. Dios, don't let it-- The young woman quashed the thought and clenched her jaw hard enough to hurt. Surge of panic aside, this didn't feel anything like the horrible loss of control inflicted by Doktor Archeville's nanobots and judging from the sound of the crash, there could very well be people who didn't have time for her to stand around figuring out what was going on. Throwing the clinic's door open, she sprinted out into the street.

Link to comment

Harrier batted away the attack from the black and yellow armored warrior, wincing as he felt the shock of the blow rebound up his pike and into his armored flesh. Power there; great power. This was no Omegadrone, but he was clearly a mighty opponent. His pike discharged with a scream of energy, blasting a crater into a Well, if he wants a battle, I will give him one!He swung the pike around, its sizzling black tip carving a gash in the ground between his position and his apian opponent. And then he did something Baxter had never heard of an Omegadrone doing. He spoke. "If you want me, come and claim me, mad one!" he hissed in a sepulchral voice of steel and stone, beckoning to him with his free hand as he brought up the pike, its energized tip sizzling like the fires of Hell itself.

Blue Jay turned a corner amid the shattered buildings of downtown Freedom City and came across the crash site, where she was confronted with the all-too-familiar sight of an Omegadrone in combat with a superhero. She knew that model of Omegadrone well enough: not one of the great hordes made when cities and bases were swept dry by their brethern, but the heavy combat units that the Terminus deployed against the most powerful soldiers of the Resistance. This was the kind of drone that could kill a base, a town, all on its own; this was the kind of drone that killed Furions. As she watched, it sliced the ground in front of her friend the Bee-Keeper and made a beckoning gesture, the crackling flames of the burning transport too loud for her to hear anything else.

Jill and Wander both heard the power pike blast a few blocks away; Jill had seen Harrier demonstrate his weapon at HAX and Wander knew that sound only too well. This was singular, though, not the mass hymn of destruction with which she was personally familiar. Kicking open the door of the shattered clinic, Jill found herself confronted with the grim pile of bones and bits of flesh that suggested where the patients had gone, and the familiar sight of Wander heading in the other direction. Turning at the sound of the door, Wander saw one familiar sight not twisted into horror by this place: Jill O'Cure, the snarky surgeon herself!

Link to comment

Blue Jay's eyes grew wider at the sight of the heavy duty Omegadrone in the street, staring down and openly challenging the Bee-Keeper. Any fear she might have felt at the sight of the monster was locked away behind the cold walls of instinct and training. Her entire life had literally been boiling down to this point, and when it came she did not intend to disappoint. She already had her bow out; she dropped the broadhead to the street and reached back for an arrow with triangular fletching and a convex notch. She found it, nocked it, drew to her cheek, and released, all in the space of a single breath.

The arrow flew straight and true, and mere centimetres from its target the head of the arrow exploded. Sticky fibers wrapped around the drone and stuck it fast, virtually mummifying its head. Blue Jay knew enough that her arrows wouldn't do much to the thing unless she had the time to aim for a joint or the power unit.

With the arrow away, it was now time to get under cover. "Bee-Keeper," she yelled out, her legs already pumping her towards the nearest building. "Get out of the street!"

Link to comment

Erin skidded to a stop when she caught sight of Ellie coming out the door of a ruined clinic. Her belief that this was a dream was already waning inexorably under the hard reality of ground crunching under her feet and the smell in the air, and seeing someone who had never featured before only added to that. Where the hell were they, and why? She reversed course, bringing her even with the healer in seconds. "Do you know what's going on here?" she asked. "It feels like I went to sleep in my bed and woke up on the steps of the clinic and all this..." For the first time, Erin let herself take in the entire scene of devastation around them, and it was almost too much. For a split second she was back on EZO1and the noise of battle became the neverending cries of the zombies, searching for living meat. She shook herself hard, dragging herself back into whatever this reality was. "What the hell happened?"

Link to comment

The reverberation of his fist against whatever-it-was that comprised an Omegadrone's Power Pike, the Bee-Keeper III winced as his enraged assault fell flat. Baxter was angry - how could he not be? - at the sight of the lone foot soldier, the carrier he'd no doubt come in having done its own deed against what little remained of his iconic home. The putrid smell of burning debris spurred the Hero of the Hive on, tears streaming from the emotion; the sheer sight of the onslaught that was Freedom City having all but stunned him into solid submission.

Even as the murderous machine spoke, the Bee-Keeper didn't care. The beck and call for the conflict did little to phase the boy; thrust into a blind frenzy. Who knew how many men and women this thing had killed? Whom it had killed? Perhaps it was responsible for the destruction of Freedom Hall earlier in the day, or mayhaps the destruction of an abandoned warehouse in the Fens. But whatever it had done beforehand didn't matter: Baxter would have seen this thing destroyed here and now. But before that - before he would rip this armored assailant of his home asunder! - he would have answers. He needed to know what had happened, and why he couldn't remember. Dark days were here, and Baxter? Poor Baxter couldn't even remember how it started.

"Mad?! I'll zzhow you mad!!" the Bee-Keeper yelled back in defiance, every fiber in his being tensing as the Omegadrone's deathly words poured forth. Just as he cocked another fist back, ready to accept the challenge of this heavily-armed villain, a ray of light found its way into his life. With pinpoint precision and before the Bee-Keeper knew what had truly transpired, the Omegadrone was encased in thick, gooey webbing; a lone arrow its means of arrival! Whirling around slightly against the deafening roar of the still humming carrier, he saw something - a familiar face he hadn't seen for what felt like forever. That young girl with the bow from the Lacrenza fire! He'd never been so happy to see a friend in all his life; the permeating veil of dread lifting ever so slightly just at the existence of her survival: a glimmer of hope in a bleak situation.

But then came her clarion cry for a tactical retreat... and Baxter felt a wave of confusion whisk through his mind. Here he was, his foe plastered to the ground and presenting an untold opportunity to pummel the truth right out of his cybernetic skull; why waste that chance? It wouldn't be fast, or discreet - as far as the Bee-Keeper was concerned, and from all he had seen, no one else could be responsible but Omega and his army intergalactic soldiers, and here was one all by his lonesome. It was true: the Bee-Keeper wanted nothing more than to just brutalize his foe, to brawl it out in the street in a fit of grief and turmoil. But there was something about the way the pierced archer spoke that rang in his ears. Something in the way the words rolled off her tongue as she dipped into the building. He couldn't quite place a finger on it, torn between the boiling anger and mournful demeanor struggling for dominance within his mind. But even out for the blood of those responsible, a subtle twinge made itself keenly aware in the back of the young hero's mind: he and Blue Jay might be the last superheroes left in Freedom City, all that were left of a magnificent legacy of everything that was good and just.

"... Fine!" the apiary adventurer shouted back after a moment, as if it were an impossible choice for him to make. Turning back to the surprisingly verbose Omegadrone, the yellow-and-gold themed superhero pointed an accusatory finger the menacing tyrant's way, his modulated voice bordering on bursting into tears. He wanted to say something - anything! - to justify his righteous fury, but couldn't. For now, he'd just have to trust Blue Jay's call; and so in a burst of aerial superiority, the Bee-Keeper III bolted through the ruined skies towards his newfound compatriot making a break for the forlorn building of the once great Freedom City despite his less than eager desire to vanish into the urban sprawl of ruined homes and businesses.

Link to comment

Ellie did a bit of a double-take at seeing the black-and-purple clad powerhouse but she skidded to an absolute stop when she saw the ruined city around them. "Er-Wander? I don't know, sounds like the same thing happened to me, too." She caught the muted shudder from the other young woman, bringing to mind more than a few whispered rumors from their briefly shared time at Claremont, but to her credit the pre-med student didn't hesitate to place a reassuring gloved hand on Erin's shoulder. "The Interceptors got pulled into a-- well, a fairy tale book one time, it was sort of similar? Or it could be an alternate reality? If this was really home, it wouldn't-- I mean, it--" At a loss for words she instead rubbed the bridge of her masked nose with her other hand. "We'll figure it out. Did you see what crashed down out here?"

Link to comment

The glue erupted over Harrier's faceplate and body, instantly freezing him in place. He couldn't even retract his armor plating in this position, not when he was so thoroughly encased that he'd have thoroughly suffocated himself if he'd tried. This was by no means the first time he'd been encased in glue, and for a sudden moment the drone remembered other places, other times, those who'd fought with mercy and pacificity against the forces of the Terminus. Some even until the end. Those memories were enough to freeze him in place for a long second, until Bee-Keeper and Blue Jay were both undercover. When he'd pushed aside the ghosts of the past, with implacable calm Harrier fired his pike: he couldn't aim it, but outside those watching could see its terrible effect. A burst of black energy erupted from the business end, setting the glue coating the drone's body aflame with a black, smoldering fire that slowly, slowly began burning away the glue that encased him. He was going to get free. It was only a matter of time.

Link to comment

"It was an Omegadrone troop transport," Wander told Jill tersely, "it passed right overhead and looked like it was going down somewhere close. Drones are really tough, though. Even if it crashed, they're probably still intact and ready to fight." She looked at Jill, considering the tactical situation. Ellie was tough, but a horde of Omegadrones wasn't a situation where you took anybody you were hoping to protect. Still, they had to figure out what the hell was going on here, and they wouldnt' do that without somebody getting a closer look.

"What's the situation inside the clinic?" she asked. "Are there civilian casualties in there? I haven't even seen anyone else alive so far, but if there are survivors, they'll need medical attention."

Link to comment

The word 'Omegadrone' brought forth a another stream of profanity under Jill's breath. "It's deserted. I'm starting to think we're a little late for first aid anyway," she told Wander, matching her brusque tone and indicating the piles of scattered bones. To the medic the heaps of the dead outside the clinic were monuments of failure that set the edges of her taxed composure alight with anger. "And unless you suddenly figured out how to make force-fields, you're not going anywhere without me. You heard the pike blast, somebody's fighting over there. Let's move." Without waiting for a counter argument, she was tearing off again in the direction of crash site.

Link to comment

Wander sighed but followed, quickly overtaking the medic as they raced through the streets. She hadn't really thought she'd be able to keep Ellie from racing into danger, but if they somehow got out of this situation into something resembling normalcy, she wanted to at least be able to tell Mara she'd tried! Thinking of Mara made her remember her communicator, snug on her belt next to the holster for her bat. Pulling it out, she set it to wide frequency, where it might tag any of her contacts, whether from HAX, the Liberty League, or even Young Freedom. She didn't know whether she hoped to get answers or not. Surely this wasn't really Earth Prime, but surely they weren't the only people alive here, either? "This is Wander calling any heroes," she barked into the communicator as she ran. "Emergency alert. Please respond with your status if you're able."

Link to comment

Blue Jay tarried long enough for Bee-Keeper to join her under cover, and peeked out to check on the Omegadrone. It looked to still be immobilized, but the sickly glow of its power pike was already eating away at the fibers; clearly, before long it was going to be free again, and it would be best to be far away from it before that happened.

Jay pushed deeper into the building, intending to at least get to the other side of the row of buildings before going back out on the streets. She didn't even pause to look back at the Bee-Keeper as she spoke to him. "I'd say it's good to see you, but it's not good for anyone to be here." She reached a locked door and rattled the doorknob, then knelt down and prepared to pick the lock. "We should get to Freedom Hall," she said. "We need to find out what happened to the Freedom League."

Blue Jay froze suddenly when she heard a voice come through her commlink! She didn't recognize the voice, but she supposed there wouldn't be much danger in replying. "This is Blue Jay," she said, pressing the 'speak' button on her comm. She glanced at Bee-Keeper, but decided that if he wanted to join in he could. "I'm running away from an Omegadrone. Who is this?"

Link to comment

"This is Harrier," came a voice over the shared commlink that Blue Jay and Bee-Keeper didn't know; a sepulchral voice of steel and death. So that was what an Omegadrone sounded like when it spoke. "I am here, Wander." Inside his suit, Harrier wondered if Erin's transmission had been garbled as it reached the other commlinks. Ah well, perhaps the shock of the moment had thrown the others off. Automatically he reported in as much as he could, trying to share the tactical situation with his HAX colleague. "I am currently bound by some sort of adhesive, but am burning it away. The others are a man in a black and gold suit of armor, and an archer who I could not see before she struck me. Can you hear the sound of my pike?"

Link to comment

"I read you, Harrier," Wander replied, feeling some relief at hearing a familiar voice, at knowing communication was still possible. "I can't hear you yet, but if you're near where that transport went down, we're closing in on your position. Jill o'Cure is with me, we're moving west on Liberty Way towards League HQ. We'll be alert for hostiles." Shifting gears even as she kept one eye on the sky for enemies descending, she addressed the stranger on the line. "Blue Jay, this is Wander of the Liberty League. I'm trying to get in touch with any heroes still left in the city. Are you near the downtown? Do you have anyone else with you?"

Link to comment

Trekking behind Blue Jay as she clambered and crept her way into the decrepit, destroyed building that once stood amongst many others of its kind. The Bee-Keeper was a mess; a whirlwind of emotion undescribable in his own mind as the heaviness of the situation pressed its weight against him. A burning urge to find the truth haunted his every step as he moved clumsily by comparison to his fleet-footed colleague, heavy footfalls and the occasional grating of metal against something echoing lightly through the abandoned building until they came to a door that strangely seemed unwilling to simply swing open. Baxter didn't even pay any heed to this fact, even as the lithe archer took a knee and began finagling with it.

"Yeah. Yeah..." he finally responded as the woman mentioned getting to Freedom Hall, his own mind overwhelmed by... well, by everything, really. His voice, despite its modulation, found itself keenly nestled somewhere between affirmative ire and an almost tangible sense of dread; he was prepared for supervillains and gangsters. Through all the supernatural and scientifically-derived evildoers he'd had to face, he'd braved it all... but this? This was out of his league. He couldn't have possibly been ready for anything like this; for a reckoning with Omega. But then it struck him; something about the way she'd mentioned the Freedom League that picked at his brain.

"Wait. You mean you can't remem--" he began to inquire, though whatever he was going to say next was cut short by the hiss of audio in his ears feeding through the helmet. It was some sort of radio signal, and through it came a voice! And someone - this 'Wander' - was calling out to others of their ilk! Just the fact that other heroes were still in Freedom City caused a ripple of relief to worm its way into the young teenager's mind. Perhaps there was still hope that whatever had happened could be undone, or that other superheroes were still fighting the good fight against the drones whom had wreaked havoc across the city.

But then came a new wave of terror as another voice crackled into existence. It might have been garbled from the crashed transport at the time, but the Bee-Keeper recognized it nonetheless as its deathly, eerie tone echoed in his ears like an unending nightmare gnawing at his mind: it was the Omegadrone!

"Pzzt!" snapped the armored adventurer, tapping the bow-toting girl on the shoulder roughly as he himself tapped on his antennae-sporting helm, disabling his communications array through the dandy little HUD. "That Harrier thing; it'zz him! That'zz the Omegadrone we zzaw!" insisted the Bee-Keeper to his one-time partner, rage building in his tone as he peered over towards where they duo had just vacated.

"Zzomething'zz not right. Thizz whole thing izzn't right!"

Link to comment

Blue Jay's blood ran cold when she heard the voice of the Omegadrone buzzing in her ear. How did it get onto this frequency? And how did it know... Wander!? No, that couldn't possibly be the Brave, it just couldn't be! The chance of meeting an idol, of shaking the hand of someone who killed Omega made her feel hot and excited, but why was she cooperating with an Omegadrone? A sick feeling settled in her gut as she recalled stories of the invasion of her world; heroes who saw the unending armies of the Terminus and knelt at the foot of the Knight of Entropy, returning as twisted abominations infused with the power of entropy. Could that be what was happening here? And if so, were the rest of the Heroes as twisted and broken?

Her mouth was dry, but she couldn't stay silent too much longer or it would be suspicious. She glanced over at the Bee-Keeper, suddenly glad he'd stayed silent so she could lie. "I'm alone," she said. "I managed to avoid an Omegadrone, and right now I'm..." She crossed to a window and looked outside. She could just barely see a street crossing, if she pressed her face against the glass. "I'm at the corner of 34th and Monument," she lied. If possible, Blue Jay wanted to see this Wander with her own eyes before making any decisions.

Link to comment

The name Blue Jay meant nothing to Jill, but her breath caught in her throat when she heard Steve over her own comlink, receiving on the shared frequencies Vince had set up for the Interceptor's equipment. If both of HAX security's most prominent members were here, had Mara been stranded in the wasted city as well? The medic set the thought aside for the moment; there was enough to worry about already without letting her fears get away from her.

"Wait, there's no such thing as one Omegadrone, except--" she began as she caught up to Wander with some creative use of her grappling line and the unsteady remains of desiccated buildings, a picture starting to form in her mind as she continued to listen. Smacking her face with one hand, she used the other to thumb the 'talk' button of her comlink. "It's a flipping team-up fight, you idiotas," Jill snapped impatiently before sighing audibly. Stress was obvious in a voice not overly given to patience in the first place. "This is Jill O'Cure of the Interceptors. Listen, bird girl, if you shot some goop at one Omegadrone all on his own, that's Harrier and he's one of the good guys. You and your friend in the tin can can stop running. Now, where are you actually holed up, so we can put our heads together and figure out what the hell is going on?" At that last part she sounded vaguely offended by the meager attempt at misdirection.

Link to comment

Wander stared at Jill for a moment, torn equally between annoyance, amusement, and incomprehension. It had been obvious that Blue Jay was lying, but by calling her out on it, Jill had not only tipped their tactical hand, she'd spilled it all over the table. Any element of surprise they might have had was pretty much gone. Still, there was something to be said for cutting through the murk and trying to get as clear a picture as possible, as soon as possible. She supposed the success of the ploy would be revealed by whether or not either of them ended up shot in the next few minutes. And sometimes it was just nice to be able to call a liar a liar.

She flipped her communicator shut, breaking for a moment from her run. "What do you mean, it's a team-up fight?" she asked Jill. "Do you think this might be some kind of setup, like we used to have in the Doom Room to get us working together? What would be the point of that? And who'd be doing it?"

Link to comment

"This reeks of set-up. Bad guys don't shoot adhesive arrows, which means you, me, Steve and some kid stealing the Bowman's shtick and her pal are the only people in comlink distance," Jill explained her reasoning, ticking off points on her gloved fingers. "We wake up with no idea how we got here in a big empty city full of things to freak us out with Harrier dropped like a big ball of 'kill it with fire' in the middle. They even made sure we've got our game faces on." The dark haired medic indicated the costumes and masks they each wore. "We've got our gear, no power-dampeners. Can't put your stars on stage without their props, right? Trust me, mi hermano and our guys can't go five minutes without getting mind-controlled or turned evil or starting a slap-fight." Taking a deep breath, she forced her pulse to slow to a healthier speed. "Dios, an archer. This better not be some screwy take on that flick with Chris Hemsworth's little brother."

Link to comment

Blue Jay plucked the commlink from her ear, sighing. Losing was never her strong suit, so she wasn't particularly surprised when this Jill O'Cure saw through her deception. Still, it had been worth a shot.

Jay half-sat against the wall, looking at the Bee-Keeper. "I can't tell you what to do," she said, "but do you really think that someone who rights alongside an Omegadrone is someone you want to risk your life on? The damnes thing was attacking you before I stopped it!"

Link to comment

Biting his lip behind the visor, the Bee-Keeper paced back and forth for a moment as Blue Jay made her claim. She had a point: you can't trust an Omegadrone. Sure, this was the first time Baxter had ever seen one, but he knew the score. Everyone in Freedom City did; the things he'd learned in class and beyond. That was all he needed to know about Omegadrones and what they were capable of. Anyone willing to consort with one? Just as bad in his book; as narrow minded as that might have been. He didn't know anything about these other heroines though, and their involvement with the thing called 'Harrier' left a sour taste in his mouth.

"Man, I'm with you on thizz one," agreed the Bee-Keeper. There as just no way he could trust an Omegadrone; neither as far as he could throw it, or as supposedly friendly as it was. All he had to do was look around to see the facts. Freedom City was in tatters, and there were alien ships plummeting out of the sky and dropping off Omegadrones. The thought of risking a contingent team-up with anyone supporting the enemy seemed like a foolhardy gambit.

"It'zz juzzt... I don't know. It'zz gotta be zzome zzort of trap," the Hero of the Hive continued, running a hand across his protected noggin, images of the encroaching foot soldier of Omega still terrifyingly fresh. "All I know izz what I learned in clazz about Omega. The thingzz his soldierzz did during the Terminuzz Invazzion. I can't remember what happened before you zztepped in to zzave me, but there'zz... there'zz juzzt no telling how long thizz hazz been going on. How many more of thozze Omegadronezz are out there; but it'zz gotta be a lot."

Resuming his pacing, the Bee-Keeper grew pensive for a moment. The thoughts of what was left of Freedom City chilled him to the bone, but it was a fact he had to face. Tried though he might, he couldn't remember anything else about this whole fiasco. The helmet might not have been able to express emotion, but it didn't take a psychologist to piece together the young man's feelings hidden behind the facade.

"We can't put all our chipzz on the thizz. If it'zz true thizz Harrier thing izzn't trying to kill uzz, then cool," he thought aloud, careful to keep his commlink disabled as he weighed the options. His voice was dark, almost desperate at this point, and certainly rife with a degree of despair. Fear gripped the armored adventurer, and it showed. "But if it'zz not - if thezze people are juzzt working with the Omegadronezz - then we... we might be the lazzt zzuperheroezz left in the zzity." The disguised teenager sighed, rubbing the the metallic insectoid eyes of the helm reflexively as he pondered. It was a heavy thing to consider, but with what little information he had to go on, he could only jump to the worst conclusion in every scenario the boy could conjure.

"What we need izz zzome kinda proof. Zzome way of knowing they are who they zzay they are, and not juzzt out to get uzz."

Link to comment

Blue Jay took a deep breath and then let it out slowly. She smiled at the Bee-Keeper. The knot in her gut relaxed slightly, as she realized she wasn't going to be alone in this city. "I think we should get to Freedom Hall," she said. "If there are any records of the attack, the League should have them." She frowned and closed her eyes, trying to remember stories of the attack on her home world. "If... if Wander and Jill O'Cure are serving the Terminus, then they should have... been at the front of the invasion."

She opened her eyes and stood, fitting the commlink back in her ear. "I think we should get going. I think we should listen in on their communications, but we shouldn't use them ourselves." She pulled out her bow again, getting ready to move. "And we should stick to the shadows and the buildings wherever we can."

Link to comment
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Create New...