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Avenger Assembled

Godwin's Law

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Shadowblade looked over at Silver Magus.  "Bravely done in sooth, friend," she murmured.  "Now, allow me but a moment, and I shalt reconnoiter forward.  Or, if thou dost not believe such caution warranted, let us sally forth and press the thief with our pursuit."  With that, Shadowblade stalked forward towards the open door, moving with all the stealth of a predator on the prowl.  She vanished into the shadows as she approached the door and listened carefully for any sounds of movement or life inside the decrepit building. 

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Hronos shook his head at Shadowblade's question. "I am affraid that I can not answer that. It would certainly make our investigation on the matter easier, but thus far he appears to be unwilling to part with any information of substance." Afterwards, when the Silver Magus informed Shadowblade and Hronos of successfully locating the car thief, Hronos nodded. "That is understood. Then let us all travel to his location with haste."

 


 

After arriving at the car wreck, and following the lead of the footprints in the snow, Hronos examined the building, as Shadowblade suggested a stealthy approach. After giving the matter some thought, finally, he replied. "If you believe discretion will prove to be the better part of valor in this case, Shadowblade, you may proceed as you wish. We will make certain to keep your blindspots covered as much as that is possible." Meanwhile, as Shadowblade made her way to the building, Hronos drew power from the Essense of Time, and focused his senses into detecting any Chronal anomalies in the area.

Edited by Vahnyu

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"One moment." Once more, Silver Magus repeat his incantation as he stays in the back, preferably somewhere shady, as his mystically project his senses inside the house, to see what could possibly lie inside. In yet another flash, his vision once more became blurred as he found himself propelled ahead, as if out of his body, or at the very least his senses were, being projected outward, everything turning to smoke and haze for a brief moment. If he had the chance to be honest, Kyle would admit it makes him feel rather sick and dizzy, lacking in practice with this spell.

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At Shadowblade's approach, suddenly the open door slammed shut with a boom so loud it shook icicles loose from the roof! The house proved impervious to Silver Magus' senses just as it had to Hronos's, leaving it something of a black box there in the darkened, snow-covered street. The doorknob turned just slightly when Shadowblade exerted herself against it, if the heroes were going to enter by force, they would need to work as a unit - or perhaps attack the material of the house altogether! Luckily the darkness of the night, and the quality of the neighborhood, meant that they were unlikely to be branded as burglars by watchful neighbors. Overhead, a flash of white light and a loud noise showed where a plane made a noisy descent, briefly cutting off conversation amid a shriek of jets, before it touched down at the nearby airport. 

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Hronos couldn't help but get startled at the sudden closing of the door. It didn't help that this happened just as he was cutting his chronal sensors off, after finding some interesting information about the building. "This is a worrying revelation." Hronos noted to the Silver Magus, after the loud airplane made its land and turned its engines off. "I attempted to inspect the building of any residual chronal energies, but the building appears to be shielded against my sensors. This fact does neither confirm nor disprove whether the car theft incident is related to the attempted murder that occured in Freedom City University, but there is a mounting amount of coincidences and happenstances that indicate that there is a connection between the two crimes." Hronos then turned his attention towards Shadowblade's location, waiting for her signal to act.

Edited by Vahnyu

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Shadowblade started in surprise at the hollow boom as the door unexpectedly slammed itself closed.  That was... odd, to say the least, and more than a little sinister and intriguing.  Her sharp ears picked up on Hronos's comment about the house being shielded from his esoteric senses and felt a slight twinge of trepidation ripple through her.  If she'd had any doubts, they were gone now - this was definitely more than a simple car-jacking gone wrong.  She gingerly tried the door, but it offered a surprising amount of resistance; clearly, she could not move it alone, and she let out a little frustrated sound.

 

She turned and called back over her shoulder to the other heroes as she beckoned them forward.  "Methinks the door wilt give way before our combined might, though I canst but barely affect it.  We might also assay a more destructive approach, if you will."

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"Well I suppose we COULD. Or..." He took a moment to think. Was there any way around the situation? Likely not, as the house was blocked from outside tampering. No possible way of knowing what was inside it. No way to teleport inside.

 

"No, it's just a door, surely there's nothing wrong with breaking it. If the situation call for it, then so be it." Raising a silvered, armored gauntlet the sorcerer began to incantate. Around his finger, the air rippled and then crackled with static electricity. From the tip of his finger, a bolt of lightning erupted from his metallic finger and toward the door, striking it at full force with a loud, powerful thundering noise.

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The heroes burst inside the house, only to find it was hardly a house at all. Stripped of its furnishings and with a hole cut all the way into the rafters, a giant machine towered above their heads, glowing white and red and spilling uncontrolled chronal radiation like nothing Hronos had ever sensed before! They could just make out a small group of four individuals inside a big glass cylinder in the middle of the machine, the focus of its great energies - in their blue and white jumpsuits, the people inside certainly looked like something fantastic. Alongside, a white-haired, lab-coated fellow with a shock of white hair turned to the assembled heroes and declared "You're! Too! Late!" just before he pulled the switch! With a tremendous flash of light, the world around the heroes seemed to wash away in a brilliant explosion of power, walls, floor, ceiling, and each other lost in a wash of sheer, overwhelming power. 

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...

 

And then they were all in a darkened living room, and it was as if nothing strange had been happening. They stood on an old-fashioned brown shag carpet, just inside a big wooden front door, the faint sound of a television coming from the front room of what was now at least in plan a typical lower-income small bungalow. Inside the living room in front of them they could make out a man fast asleep in an orange and red easy chair, beer bottle fallen from an outstretched hand, while the television droned on about the Genetic Purity League. The occupant of the house was middle-aged and muscular, his grey crewcut and roughened hands making him look like a blue-collar worker catching a much-needed winter nap. Outside, thick, greyish snow lay spread across a small lawn, looking undisturbed by their footsteps. It was as if they had simply appeared there out of nothing. 

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Silver Magus' suit whirred once more as he wobbled around, adjusting himself, being temporarily knocked almost off-balance by the sudden change and finding himself on the ground once more. A moment ago, he was looking at the machine, most likely a time machine of some sort. Before he even had the time to figure out what the machine was or how it could have possibly worked, they had found themselves seemingly displaced. It seems they really had been too late after all.

 

There was something about the scene that was off. He turned his head, assesing his surroundings with his suit's primitive HUD, whose entire function was solely to assist spellcasting. Looking at the television, the armored sorcerer winced. "Oh no." finally said the man, hoping this was one big misunderstanding and not what he was looking at.

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Shadowblade shook off the momentary disorientation as she took in the suddenly transformed living room.  What on earth... she thought to herself as she took in the middle-aged man and his modest home.  Then she looked at the TV and took in its droning message about the Genetic Purity League.  Her mind raced furiously - they had, after all, been chasing a man from a working time lab... and Hronos had said something about the house blocking his chronal senses...

 

"God's blood," she swore softly.  She turned to the other two heroes and murmured, not wanting to wake the sleeping man, "Methinks we are not when we once were. Canst thou detect if we hath been transported into the past?" she asked Hronos hopefully.

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Hronos couldn't make heads or tails of time - the flash of energy from that time machine, a chaotic wash of temporal radiation that seemed to have been completely out of the user's control, had blinded his senses as surely as if he'd been a human staring into a flashbulb. Instead he saw afterimages only, time seeming to at once be shattered into a million pieces and be more solid than he'd ever seen it before.

 

Meanwhile, on the television, the newscaster reappeared - his dark suit and serious demeanor especially notable in black and white. "In other Genetic Purity news, the execution of Communist mutant leader Sebastian Stratos is expected to provoke a reaction from Communist sympathizers in Freedom City. Citizens are advised to be on their guard and obey all orders given by police, military, or Purity League officials. Colored citizens are reminded that their curfew begins at 11PM, Eastern Standard Time. Long live the United States!" He put his hand on his heart, then snapped it to a rigid attention stretched out in front of him. "Long live our purity!"

 

And with that, the channel signed off, cutting to an old-fashioned test pattern and picture of George Washington. The heroes were very alone. 

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"Well..." said Silver Magus as it all began to sink in, confirming that the theory he had assembled in his head was correct. "That is certainly not good. Not good at all."

 

"It seems history has been rewritten and I dare not imagine what kind of world we are currently in. Unfortunately it seems we will have to find out wether we like it or not." The armored sorcerer turned to Shadowblade. "You're with me. We can both move around via teleportation. Unlike our friend here, we can more easily blend in. Which is why I suggest we go immediately to scout ahead." Pressing a few buttons and recesses on his suit, the silver armor begin to open and peel up from his body until only the helmet remain. They pieces whirr and click before falling to the ground.

Edited by RobRX

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Shadowblade nodded and watched as Silver Magus's suit peeled up and away.  Lacking any mechanism to allow her gear to look as inconspicuous, she resolved to keep to the shadows as much as she could.

 

"Very, friend Magus.  And if thou dost not perceive me at a moment, be sure that I remain nearby."  She slipped out the door as silently as she could and took a quick look around - what had happened, after all, to the other people who had been in the house when that flash of time energy had washed over them?

 

She shadowjumped to various vantage points around the house, keeping to the shadows and silent as she moved, looking for any clues or leads about this strange time.

Edited by Corsecjedi

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The last piece of the Silver Magus' armor finally fell off, revealing his face underneath. A rather inconspicuous man his his thirties with short, cropped black hair. Taking a moment to mess around with those mechanical pieces and armor plates, he rearranged them, like blocks of a puzzle until it formed something akin to a suitcase.

 

"Now I just need to find some decent clothes..." says the man, still wearing a skin-tight dark blue suit laden with circuitry. "Magic may be useful but it doesn't account for actual clothing and this suit makes for poor winter wear."

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Searching the house told the heroes that it belonged to Frederick Dawson, a Grand Cyclops of the Genetic Purity League, an organization that (from the books left scattered around) seemed to borrow rituals freely from the Boy Scouts, Freemasons, and the Klu Klux Klan - and was obsessed with genetic purity. Graphic illustrated accounts in the rear of the books told stories about "mutant hunts" where "genetic deviants with Communist-given superpowers" were rounded up and sent to internment facilities in Canada. Perhaps unsurprisingly, every picture of a GPL member was a white man. Dawson had a letter from his son deployed to the 'Australian Front', a heavy redacted document that spoke of vicious fighting in the desert where "the abos called their phony gods, but we put them down, fast and hard." 

 

Dawson didn't seem to be a history buff, but they did find medals for military service that spoke of his father's service in "World War II" fought in France, England, and South America, with frequent badges for "ATOMIC SURVIVOR" inside a hefty chest of paternal decorations. Dawson Senior, a  man visibly suffering from the latter stages of cancer in the pictures they could see on the walls, looked to have been quite the war hero. The last picture they found was one all too familiar - tacked to the corkboard in the kitchen was a newspaper cutout of the day's coupons that just happened to have a picture of "local physicist Leon Litwack teaching his science classes to a new generation of Americans", a man instantly recognizable as the operator of the time machine they'd seen. Litwack was even in the phone book, a resident of a neighborhood that looked to be on the other side of the "George Wallace Airport" that had replaced the Jordan. 

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Shadowblade frowned as she looked over the elder Dawson's service record.  Atomic survivor?  Campaigns in England and South America?  Obviously, things have changed... she mused.  She tapped the picture of the time machine operator to make sure her fellows had seen it as well.  "This Leon Litwack might well possess the secrets we seek.  I say that we sally forth and honor his home with our presence.  Mayhaps we shall find answers."  She looked at the other heroes inquiringly.  "Unless you gentlemen hath a better plan?"

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Hronos was clutching his head in pain, as he tried to fight off the damage that the forced transportation caused to his sensors. This was not gonna be a simple investigation any more. A lot of time passed until he managed to reign in the visions he was seeing, even after he deactivated his Temporal Senses. This incident is the only logically expected result of such crude experimentation with temporal transportation. Hronos thought, as he recalled the mere fraction of time during which he caught a clear glimpse of the machine that flashed him, Shadowblade, and the Silver Magus. This was certainly a predicament...

 

 

"Our current situation was brought about by use of temporal energy, that much is true. However, since my sensors have been damaged, I cannot ascertain whether this is a case of an outright temporal rewrite of the timeline, or a timeline divergence that resulted with us stranded in an alternate universe created to accomodate the change. If this is the first case, then I agree that finding how this change came to be and taking actions towards fixing it to the original timeline would indeed be the best course of action. Otherwise, if this is the second case, it would mean that the universe we are currently occupying will continue to exist as it currently is, even after we return to our original timeline." Hronos said to Shadowblade, in response to her question.

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"Well, to be perfectly honest this is an area of science I have frankly never quite touched beyond the basics." He admit, aware that the time-manipulating machine would obviously know a whole lot more on the subject than he could ever hope to understand. "In any case, this whole world seems quite like a nightmarish sh%&! hole." For the first time in a while, Silver Magus/Kyle lets out a swearword. Clearly he doesn't like the world he's living in.

 

"This whole scenario is outside my area of expertise, I'm afraid. So beside my plan to scout outside, I have nothing else in mind and not a single plan in how to proceed from here on."

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Having made it safely to Dr. Litwack's house, the heroes were actually greeted at the door by the sad-eyed scientist, who sure enough did look like a low-rent Einstein, albeit a much calmer and more subdued version of the wide-eyed mad scientist they'd met in the 'other timeline'. "Ach, I might haff known you vould come. Come in, come in." He turned and invited them inside a small row house crammed with scientific papers and equipment, the yellowed documents stacked freely over vacuum tubes and other old-fashioned computational gear. "So I suppose that since you are in the costumes, you remember the old world? And you know the magnitude of what my friends and I did when we were trying to save so many from such horrors?" 

 

He pulled a book from an overstuffed shelf and tossed it to Shadowblade, who opened it to find an underlined account; a short section of a general history of Europe written by an American historian. 

"1923 - Bürgerbräukeller Massacre. Unknown persons believed to be Communist agents today carried out the murder by incendiary device of over two dozen members of the National Socialist Party of Germany, including Party chairman Adolf Hitler..." Going further led Shadowblade to read about a subsequent Soviet invasion of Germany in the 1940s, one that, coupled with what sounded like a broader European war, had resulted in the use of multiple nuclear weapons in Germany and other European countries, leading to a bitter standoff between nations. 

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"Save from horrors?" replies Silver Magus, quite shocked. "This is TIME we are talking about. Time, reality, cause and effect. No matter how noble or diabolical the intentions, it was insane of you to even toy with it." The sorceror and inventor seems more than furious at these events. "Do you know how many lives you might have erased? Countless."

 

Shaking his head, he could barely countain his anger. In his mind, there were few abuses of science that were greater in their crime. Not only that, his life and that of his familly might have been utterly changed if not entirely erased. Not to mention countless, immeasurable lives.

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"Ach, we believed we were saving the vorld!" declared Litwack, a look of terrible grief on his face. "All of us in the project, We Children of the Fire, we all lost parents, grandparents, whole families to dat schweinhund Hitler and his monstrous deeds! But now all we have done is to kill the very world. I haff seen the casualty reports from Europe and Africa, the millions who died in the bombingsk and the wars...we have killed as many as the mustache ever did! Even America has become a fascist nightmare with these bloodhunts against the superpowered. You know they executed their Centurion as a Red agent?" He scrubbed at his mustache, close to weeping. "And now, now my friends, things have grown even worse." He looked seriously at the heroes as he went on. "My counterpart has been vorking with American super-scientists to build an orbital escape craft for government officials. They believe a war is comingk within weeks or days. There is but one solution open to you. You must travel back to 1923 and prevent this whole horrible timeline from existingk!" 

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Shadowblade stood listening to Dr. Litwack's story with an increasingly incredulous expression on her face.  This story just did not fit the historical record, even one when Hitler might have been removed.  The USSR hadn't been expansionist during this era, and even at the height of McCarthyism, accusing someone like Centurion of being a Communist agent was incredibly odd.  Still, if history truly had been changed...

 

"Thy tale seemeth quite fantastic, good doctor," she said eventually.  "I do not accuse thee of knavery or falsehood, but I fail to see how thy actions, however foolhardy and impetuous, could have brought this about."  She gave him a very even stare with her odd, amber eyes.  "Is there more thou art concealing from us?

 

She turned to look at the other heroes.  "And if he doth but speak sooth, how wilt we journey to 1923?  Wilt our actions prove as foolhardy as this man's?"

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"This is wrong on so many levels I can barely explain it, I am left completely shocked!" was all the Silver Magus could say in lights of all these informations. Especially Centurion getting killed, it simply felt more than wrong. It was almost, dare he thought, an heresy of some kind. Some cosmic crime.

 

"Normally I would very much be against time-travel of any kind but I believe we are, without a doubt, pass the point of no return. There has simply been too much damage done that there isn't much left to risk." He paused. "Except, maybe, dinosaurs replacing mankind as the dominant species, I suppose that could happen and would be disastrous. Or something even more far fetched. Honestly I don't know, time travel isn't my area of expertise compared to everything else. I'm an inventor, not an expert on temporal mechanics."

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