Jump to content

Recommended Posts

July 1, 2014 




The food will be good - and the crowd will be focused on the film. Tonight we should talk further.


Steve closed his phone, put it in the glove compartment of his HAX-issued car, and stepped out onto the street. The sightings on the streets of Greenbank had been dismissed as hoaxes, or perhaps a publicity stunt for one of the many stories told on Earth-Prime that he did not understand. At least at first. A group of young people, coming out of a store that sold picture books like those that had taught Steve how to read many years earlier, had seen representatives of some of their favorite fictional characters scuttling into the sewers, katanas and other martial weapons gleaming in the light. And then another sighting, this time of Sub-Terrans, and then another of the long-dead Conqueror Worm. The sightings all had something in common - they were all of beings that lived underground, all of them glimpsed on the surface before immediately disappearing below. 


It wasn't the sort of situation that got the attention of the Freedom League - after all, the only real emergency had been the HAX car that had nearly been run off the road by a startled driver after a surprise appearance of the Conqueror Worm in the middle of the street. The only people who had been put off by it were the homeless population of Greenbank and the other areas where the sightings of the "Underground" had taken place. But Steve was not a man to turn away from a crisis, even an exceptionally humble one. Transforming into Caradoc, he reached down and used his sword to open the panel, no, the manhole, that would give him access to the sewers below.


Holding the manhole cover in one hand, he activated his jets and slowly flew down until he reached the sewer pipe itself, where a large walkway allowed for significant access even for a man-sized figure like himself. He had thought about inviting Miss Americana along on this expedition, but as a cockroach scuttled by, he decided this sort of mission was not one Gina would have favored. 

Link to comment
The sewers weren't the kind of place where Somnium had planned to make her debut as a superhero. Yet here she was, edging her way along the walkways running through the open pipes and keeping her eyes peeled for anything out the ordinary. Anything that wasn't bugs or excrement, in other words. What she'd do when she found it, she had no idea - she wasn't even entirely sure what she was expecting. Hopefully her powers were strong enough to take care of whatever she happened to encounter... provided that they'd be any use in a situation like this.
"This... was not quite what I had in mind when I decided to take up costumed vigilantism," she said to herself. There was nobody down here to hear her - or at least, she hoped there wasn't - but hearing her own voice filtered through the mask helped to take her mind off of her nerves. Sure, she'd been out in costume before, but that was different. She was Somnium this time, not Nightmare. The last thing she wanted to do at the moment was remember her old life.
This was a chance to do something right for a change. To stand up for the invisible population of Freedom City, defend the people who'd fallen through the cracks just as she had. And for that, she'd crawl through every sewer in the city.
...Didn't make the bugs any less gross, though.
Link to comment

Stronghold made a face as she looked down into the sewers.  "Oh god why did I decide this was a good idea."


The young heroine was feeling very, very... well, off-put by the prospect of going underground (where there were bugs and creepy-crawlies and it was all slimey).  


On the other hand... she frowned, as she remembered what Kalani and her had seen the other day.  The Sub-Terrans had gone into the sewers, so she supposed it was worth investigating... right.  


Just had to go underground.  Stronghold pulled open a manhole cover, then dropped down into the dark...

Link to comment

Another day, another investigation. Terrifica stood inside the Freedom City sewer system, her eyes narrowed against the stench. Note to self: install scent blockers in suit. By the heavens, this is terrible. She consulted her wrist computer for the umpteenth time as she strode forward. Let's see...left at this junction, use the grapple to get over that gap, and I should be near the area of highest reported activity. She had heard the rumors of underground creatures, and they had her mystery senses tingling. She had a dozen theories as to why subterranean creatures (fictional, long dead, or otherwise) would be appearing above ground. However, as of yet they hadn't caused any harm, barring a few bruised egos. Which is fortunate for me, otherwise I expect something like this would have drawn more attention. Mysteries are less fun when you have to explain things to the lesser lights.


That said, nothing good ever happened in a sewer. They were dark, creepy, and smelled to high heaven. Sewage workers really should be paid more. There's that left. Terrifica turned left and kept walking until she got to the gap. Which just so happened to be a wall, considerably newer than the sewer around it. Naturally. Why would a municipal map be kept up to date? That'd take competent and efficient governance, and hell will freeze colder than intergalactic space before that ever happens. She sighed, and consulted her wrist computer again. It was looking like she wouldn't be getting any sleep for the conference at FCU in the morning. It wouldn't be the first time, and it certainly will be far from the last. A new path chosen, she turned around and started walking again.

Link to comment

Because she was the kind of person who absorbed new information like a sponge absorbs water, Terrifica knew that Freedom City's sewers were famously spacious - built in the late 1850s as part of the first sewer systems built in the US, the old sanitary sewers were big enough even for a tall man to walk upright in, in most places more like underground canals (with small walkways) rather than the narrow pipes big enough only for small animals in more modern cities. While newer areas of the city had more modern systems, she was walking in one of the oldest still-operating sewer systems in the United States. Of course, the cold, dark, and smell didn't help any - she wasn't ready to use her rebreather yet, but if she went too far from the entrance where she'd arrived, she might have to. 


Unless something found her first. Terrifica...Terrifica...Turning around, she was confronted by an all-too-familiar figure emerging from the gloom. Lucas Carson, in the white shirt, black tie, and black slacks that were as much as a missionary's uniform as her own nano-fiber suit, seemed to silently glide towards her. "Terrifica, this is no place for a girl like you. Why aren't you church-hunting?" he asked her quizzically, the question seeming to draw from some deep inner pain. "Don't you want any spiritual guidance?" 




Orange light cast eerie shadows in the semi-darkness of the vast sewers as Stronghold began her search for the mysterious beings that lived down below. As it happened, it didn't take her long to find what she was looking for - or rather, be found by them. Stronghold...Stronghold... She turned around, and found herself confronted by an all-too-familiar spectral form. The Volvur looked piteous now rather than frightening, wrapped in barbed chains that cut into spectral flesh that bespoke all the horrors of Hell Stronghold had occasionally seen in her nightmares. "This is no place for you, child, this is a realm of eternal suffering! Turn back if you value your soul!" 



Psychically minded that she was, Somnium had some warning about what she was facing before she turned a corner in the deep tunnels - a scuttling explosion of psychic energy erupted into the air as she made an appearance, seeming to come out of the very walls that surrounded her. "It's about bloody time, Nightmare." Standing impossibly on the fast-flowing, befouled surface of the 'canal' was her father in a Saville Row black suit, flanked on either side by rough-looking goons. At their feet was an unconscious man with bloodied features, staring at the ceiling and moaning pitifully. "He's not gonna talk to us, so rip him open and see what you can see, eh luv?" Her dad was wiping blood off his hands, fresh blood at that. 



Harrier...Harrier. Caradoc turned a corner and was confronted by an image of Gina Evans in her nightdress, steel and circuits erupting painfully from her body. "Run away!" she called to him through bloodied lips as cables erupted from them, "Run away and never come back!" Without hesitation, the armored knight stepped forward and drove his powerpike directly through the spectral figure - he had a moment of terror as he felt flesh and metal and bone beneath his blade, but an instant later the phantom image had faded from his vision entirely, the cockroaches that had surrounded him scuttling away in terror from the noise and movement. 


"This day is going poorly," he said aloud before venturing deeper into the sewers, heading away from the entrance he'd taken and deeper into the gloomy tunnels. 

Link to comment

Even with several seconds of forewarning, the sudden appearance of her father sent Somnium reeling both mentally and physically. She staggered backwards, throwing up a forcefield around herself almost as a reflex action. Being an illusionist herself, a part of her recognised the illusion for what it was, but the image still shook her as memories of what she'd done to her father's victim little more than a year ago came flooding back. It wouldn't be long before those moans turned into screams...


"This isn't real... this can't be real, something's messing with my head..."


The walls. The psychic energy she'd sensed was coming from the walls. She had to take out the illusions at their source, but she couldn't attack something she couldn't see... in the confines of the sewer tunnels she was as good as blind. Lashing out at the phantom image of her father would be pointless if it didn't have a mind to attack. All she could do was try to ignore it. There was no way it could hurt her, and she couldn't let herself be broken by the first reminder of her past, especially when it hadn't even got all the details right. So she pushed forwards along the walkway, shutting her eyes and muttering to herself to try and block out the voices as she navigated her way deeper into the sewers using touch alone.


"You're gone... you're not a part of my life any more..."

Link to comment

Haukea winced at the apparition.  The Volvur... hadn't exactly met with a nice fate.  On the other hand...


Well, she'd done pretty horrible things, but Stronghold had still been a bit shaky in the aftermath of that particular incident.  Kalani had been a big help there.  


Her sister had often been a big help to her.  That said...


"...the sewers shouldn't be a gateway to hell.  So, if they are, I need to try and stop that... if they're not, I need to figure out what's getting into my head."


Pressing her lips together, Haukea moved forwards, determined.  

Link to comment

A wave of conflicting emotion roared through Terrifica, but subsided instantly with one thought. No. Daddy would call me Qiaolian. He knows me by no other name. "Interesting. A poor illusion, designed to inflict emotional trauma and perhaps ward off any pursuers. You have failed on two counts. One, my father knows my name, and I have little doubt that he is entirely unaware of my masked identity. Two, this vision of him is taken directly from my memories. Those clothes were what he was wearing the last time I saw him. Therefore, you are an illusion, made with low level telepathy. The source of that could still be anything and is thus immaterial for the moment. That would mean all the sightings were illusions, as well. Interesting. Thank you, you've helped me eliminate half of my theories." She tilted her head slightly. "No, just over half. Now, are there other clues you'd like to give me? No? Then I'll be on my way." She started to turn, but stopped before she got halfway. "Unless, of course, you can affect the physical world with more than your words?"

Link to comment

Her father's eyes bulged wide and staring, impossibly erupting the way no human face could possibly look. "WHY WON'T YOU LEAVE US ALONE!?!" it demanded in a sudden chorus, an instant before vanishing with a skittering of insects as the cockroaches (who had swarmed especially thickly during the illusion) scuttled down into the canal below. And then Terrifica was alone, or was she? The horde of insects seemed to be heading deeper into the sewers, skittering along en masse in a way that had nothing to do with how insects should behave - but moving slowly enough for the agile Terrifica (even in these close quarters) to follow. 



Intimately familiar with the bowels of cities far worse than Freedom, Caradoc briefly hesitated before following his own cockroach swarm. But he was steel now, not flesh, and none of the creatures of his childhood, or his days at war, would be waiting for him below in the depths of the city. He began moving forward, taking slow, deliberate steps to avoid slipping on the slick surface beneath his feet. Meanwhile, the booming echoes of his heavy stride sounded in the dark, nearly silent sewers, by far the loudest noise down here so far below the rest of the city, where the ground above blocked the noise from below. 



"YOU'RE NEXT!" screamed the Volvur, her face bulging and warping in a way no human face could possibly look, her skin erupting like two demonic crowns on either side of her head - before she vanished, leaving behind a skittering crowd of insects - cockroaches by the look of them, that vanished into the darkness, down deep in the sewers. There was only one logical way to go - and at least her ring meant she didn't actually have to walk in that stuff. In the distance, she heard the slow, deliberate sound of echoing footsteps, drawing closer and closer...



"Come on, luv, help yer old man out." Her father was advancing on her, his eyes bulging with inhuman malice, his voice taking on an echoing timber she certainly didn't remember, except from her nightmares. "You know this is what you want. It's in your bloody nature! Come closer!" He reached for her with grasping fingers - and then just as suddenly vanished, along with the other 'people' in the sewer, the only clue to where they'd gone a swarm of cockroaches skittering madly away, heading deeper and deeper into the distant sewers, the psychic radiance she'd detected going with them like the heat signature of a retreating firework.

Link to comment

Somnium slowly opened her eyes again as the illusion of her father disappeared, unable to stop herself from trembling like a cornered rodent and clutching the walkway railings with a vice-like grip. Whilst the image itself had disappeared, the ugly memories that it'd brought back were still fresh in the front of her mind. What little confidence she'd had in her abilities was now all but shattered. She stood there and tried to compose herself for about half a minute, breathing heavily through her gas mask's filters and resting her head in her hands.


Wasn't wrestling with past demons supposed to wait until a superhero's third adventure? At the earliest?


Still, she wasn't going to get anything done standing around wetting herself. Whatever had conjured those illusions seemed to be toying with her. It - or perhaps they, Somnium really couldn't be sure which - was all but beckoning her to go chasing after the retreating psychic signature. Even if it was a trap, it was also her only lead. And now that she knew for certain that the apparitions were just that, she had no reason to be afraid of them. That was what she kept telling herself as she mustered what remained of her courage and followed the steadily dissipating trail of psionic energy leading through the sewers.

Link to comment

Stronghold didn't wince this time, recognising that... well, whoever (or whatever, her mind supplied) was sending the illusion was trying to scare her deliberately.  And either they'd performed a lot of research (this was discounted almost as soon as the heroine came up with it- how would they know she'd be coming, anyway?) or they'd been invading her mind to pull something out.  That possibility... legitimately scared her, more than the Volvur had on her own.  She didn't know whether the psychic talents of whatever this was were limited to mind-reading and illusions, after all.  


She floated up a short distance into the air and started making her way forwards, following the cockroaches.  Weren't they actually rather clean or something... or was that dogs?  Anyway.  Stronghold advanced further into the dark, scanning for the source of the footsteps...

Link to comment

Terrifica pursued the creatures at a cautious distance. Leave you alone? Without a good reason or so much as saying please? Ridiculous. Regardless of that, she quickly realized she wasn't dealing with a normal creature. Movement pattern is odd. Makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. She smiled. Good. I can sense the satisfactory ending already. All the same, the vision of her father had rattled some interior memories loose. Now is not the time, Mrs. Carson. There is a mystery to solve, and you've got worse demons. Like the one in the mirror. She ruthlessly quashed them down with that thought, and continued onward.

Link to comment

Flying that she was, Stronghold arrived first at what turned out to be everybody's destination - an unused section of sewer accessible to the heroes if they blasted, pulled away, or jimmied one of several rusting iron gates that blocked the way and bore warning placards that dated back to the early O'Connor administration nearly thirty years earlier. Past the gate, through a few broken 'canals' that were long since dry at the bottom but for dried ordure and scuttling cockroaches, the heroes (all arriving from different directions) found themselves actually leaving the sewers behind entirely. It looked as though someone, or something, had broken right through the wall of the sewer system and into a new space - what turned out to be a long-abandoned subway station. Stronghold's light cast an eerie orange glow as she took in the scene of what looked to be been a war even before decades of neglect had set in - there were scorch marks on the walls and a torn-up subway car still on its tracks, and tiles and bricks all torn up wherever she looked. And everywhere, everywhere were the cockroaches, scuttling and nesting together like a mobile, hissing carpet. It was really very good she couldn't smell. 


Down below, the owner of the footsteps showed himself as Caradoc walked in, the faceless shining knight an odd contrast indeed to the infested scene all around him. Still not wanting to risk his jetpack in this area no doubt laden with sewer gases, Caradoc looked up at Stronghold, remembering Erin's stories of a hero who wore a colored ring with special power. "Ringbearer!" he called in a tinny metallic voice. "Didst you follow yon cockroach swarm? We were brought here for ye same purpose!" 

Link to comment

It didn't take long for Somnium to arrive at the rusted gate blocking her way. Pulling it away took considerably longer. She was hardly out of shape, but she couldn't see much point in maintaining an exercise regimen when she could take down most opponents with her mind alone. Not that her powers had done her much good so far. Coming down here had probably been a bad idea in the first place, if she was honest with herself. She'd gone in without any idea what to expect, filled with heroic delusions about her own abilities, and quickly found herself feeling way out of her depth. At least her gas mask filtered out most of the sewer's stench.


As she made her way down the dried-up canal, taking care to maintain her force field in case of a surprise attack, she soon found herself coming into view of the wrecked subway station. However, it was not the scene of devastation that caught her attention, but the fact that she could make out at least two indistinct figures in the gloom. Her first instinct was to take the initiative and blast them with psychic feedback, but the part of her brain that was still composed enough to think rationally quickly quashed that notion. Whatever that thing which had attacked her earlier was, it definitely wasn't human, unlike the individuals ahead of her. Not to mention that attacking without provocation was hardly particularly heroic thing to do. So she called out to them, hoping that her mask might conceal the trepidation in her voice.


"Who's there? Friend or foe?"

Link to comment

Gross gross gross gross gross-


Stronghold tried, but she couldn't keep down the mental reaction- she hated creepy-crawlies, and this was... not pleasant.  She got the impression that anyone who couldn't get their own air supply (she thanked the mages who forged the Rings for their foresight) would be having an even worse time of it, though.  Looking around, she saw the metallic hero at the same time as he called up to her, and floated down, making very certain not to set down.  Or touch the bugs.  


"The new one, yeah.  Um.  I'm Stronghold, but I don't know you, sorry."


She looked around as the new voice called out.  "Um, friend, if you're a hero anyway."

Link to comment

Terrifica had actually beaten Somnium there, arriving while the mentalist was struggling with her gate. Upon seeing the big man with the weapon, she had cautiously hung back in a more shadowed area. Now, she frowned briefly. I have to share my mystery now. Wonderful. Still, it makes sense. I couldn't have been the only one who noticed, and Freedom is filled to the brim with heroes. If this comes down to a fight, as this line of work often does, I expect they'll prove rather useful. Hmm. The last two sound young, and decidedly female. "Truthfully? If I'm foe, it's only to those would harm the defenseless." She stepped into view, and smiled. "Heroes, I assume? I would say it's a pleasure, but I doubt anything could feel pleasurable down here." The big man means muscle, which is always good. A flyer is nice as well, and judging by the glow she can do ranged damage. Uncertain what the other girl can do. May have to compensate. "Now then, shall we do introductions or just get down to business?" She glanced at the cockroaches. "Assuming they'll give us the time. It looks like there's been a small war down here and it's not unlikely that these creatures were involved in some way."

Edited by EternalPhoenix
Link to comment

"This is no recent struggle. This is the Battlefield station," replied Caradoc in a voice utterly devoid of his Renaissance Faire quality medieval accent. "During the Terminus Invasion of 1993, a hellborer dug its way into the G-Line tunnel and infested it with Omegadrones. The structural damage to the area proved impossible to fix, even for Dr. Metropolis." Realizing that he'd fallen 'out of character', as Gina put it, he fell silent for a moment before going on in that stilted accent, "Ye insects have lured us here for some grim purpose. I suggest we-" 


Suddenly, from behind him, there was another explosion of psychic energy visible only to Somnium - one that rapidly transformed itself into a shifting, hideous illusion that was terrible to behold. It was many things at once, as if finding it impossible to hold a form for too long; a woman beset by a cybernetic transformation, a sneering gangster with bloody hands, a hideous spectre stinking of brimstone, and a saintly-looking man with bulging, maniacal eyes. Before it could speak, Caradoc turned and shoved his glowing blade through the shifting mass of the abomination, but this time the illusion proved impervious to attack. 


"Fools!" it laughed in an unholy chorus of voices. "Genius, refugee, monster, ringbearer, we have brought you here that you may bring tidings of our approach to the surface. The Collective is gone, overthrown by a new and superior race! There is only the PSYCHO-COLLECTIVE!" 

Link to comment

"Really? I was hoping for something more interesting. First you're energy vampires, and now you're pitiful excuses for illusionists? Pardon me while I wet myself from terror. A decade and all you've managed to do is annoy the Atoms. A little psychic power isn't going to change a group of annoying insects into something that actually matters." Terrifica's voice positively dripped with disdain as she spoke to the creature, but as she continued to speak she slowly backed away from the self proclaimed Psycho Collective. "Though...I suppose I shouldn't be so dismissive. After all, you're radioactive, and cockroaches are hardy insects. You could be able to impress me. My question from before remains unanswered. Can you, in fact, affect the physical world with more than your words? That would be truly impressive for a group of revolting, sewer dwelling bugs."

Link to comment

Somnium breathed an almost imperceptible sigh of relief as she stepped forward to try and get a better look at her newfound companions, grateful that she wouldn't have to face whatever was lurking down here alone. So these three are heroes, then. And they seem to think that I'm one too. She could hardly call herself a hero. Not in good conscience, anyway. But before she could think of a way to explain her situation without inviting suspicion from the others, the sudden surge of psionic activity from behind Caradoc drew her attention away from the niceties of diplomacy and towards the constantly shifting illusion approaching the group. Introductions could wait until they were done dealing with...


Come to think of it, what the hell was this thing? She'd heard of a Collective upon arriving in Freedom City - some kind of cockroach hivemind with energy-draining powers - yet whilst the writhing mass of bugs fit the bill, it definitely wasn't supposed to be psychic. Its illusions weren't affecting her nearly as badly this time around, though its use of the word "monster" made her flinch. What exactly had it seen inside her head?


No time to think about that now. Somnium followed Terrifica's lead, backing away from the creature in front of her whilst running through the situation in her head. She was willing to bet that this Psycho-Collective was too strong to mindjack and too single-minded to manipulate. However, now that she could see it in front of her, sense it thinking with a single mind... there was a chance that she might be able to turn the tables and subject it to a psychic attack of her own.


"You know, I don't think I've ever heard someone use the word 'fools' and expect to be taken seriously before," she said. As she spoke, she used her powers to create her own illusion, that of a second, half-crouched Somnium moving across the top of the torn-up subway car. Even if the image didn't fool the Psycho-Collective, hopefully it would at least tell her whether or not the thing had a psionic sensitivity similar to her own.

Link to comment

"...sentient, psychic cockroach swarm.  Oh yay."


Stronghold's voice was flat as she looked at the swarm.  "Um.  Okay, uh... question, Mr. Psycho-Collective.  How did the old Collective get overthrown?"


Worth a try.  Talk, for now, try and figure out what the heck is going on with these things.  The name 'Collective' was teasing at the back of Stronghold's mind, but she wasn't getting any definite ideas.  This seemed... a bit out of her depth.  Not that she had any intention of pulling out- this Collective didn't seem friendly.  

Link to comment

"...never mind that!" replied the Psycho-Collective, and if an unholy abomination could sound embarrassed by Stronghold's question, that unholy chorus of a million voices did.


Now that he had learned to dismiss the unpleasant image of Gina's face swarming with cybernetics, Caradoc was able to focus on the more immediate threat. "If you are a mighty threat, why did you warn us away before?"


"...We are a mighty host of Periplaneta americana, our minds empowered by the very Element 38 and Element 77 you discarded!" shouted the psionic swarm, evidently completely blind to Somnium's illusion. "Insects outweigh humanoid biomass by a factor of billions! We are a serious threat to all humanity, and you will take us seriously!" The psionic abomination it had created loomed over the heroes, now taking the form of a single shifting mass of pinkish humanoid flesh with four heads that matched the illusory ones it had tried to frighten them with earlier. "Rarrr!" It waved tentacles at them menacingly and began to advance on them. 

Link to comment

Even though the illusions themselves were genuinely disturbing, Somnium couldn't stop herself from being vaguely amused by the Pscyho-Collective's attitude. "That's adorable," she said, though she took another few steps back as she did. The swarm hadn't noticed her illusion, which helped to abate her nervousness somewhat. From what she could tell, the hivemind was both blind and lacking any form of extrasensory psionic awareness. That, coupled with the fact that it was simply conjuring more illusions rather than launching an attack, suggested that it wasn't nearly as much of a threat as she'd first assumed.


Was there anything to gain from taking the advantage and striking first, though? She'd spent her entire life hurting people. If she was going to become a hero, she couldn't carry on like that. Though she was ready to retaliate at the first sign of trouble, a situation like this would only be made worse by trying to provoke the giant swarm of psychic insects.


"Might I ask how you plan on waging a war against humanity with phantom images alone?" she asked the Psycho-Collective, dismissing her illusion and ensuring the mental fields of force surrounding her remained in place. Whilst doing so, she opened up her mind and attempted to communicate telepathically with the other three heroes. Hopefully the sudden sound of a complete stranger's voice in their head wouldn't startle them too much. "Forgive my ignorance, but do we have a plan of action, aside from keeping it talking?"

Link to comment

"That's what I've been asking. The entire human race isn't about to bow down to an energy drainer and poor illusionist. It needs something more impressive, or I'm afraid no one-least of all me-is going to care."

Terrifica's eyes narrowed at the sudden intrusion. Ah, so that's what you can do. In fact, I do have a plan. I always have a plan. Learn if this thing poses any real threat. If it does, we deal with it in traditional fashion. If not, we can all go home. One other thing. Touching minds without asking is impolite at the minimum. So kindly refrain from going any further into my brain. It's complex and I don't want you to get lost.


"What's this? Advancement? Could you actually be planning violence?" With the ease of long practice, Terrifica slipped in a martial arts stance. Her right hand slid to her belt, where the Terrifi-Staff was attached. "How savage of you. Saying I'm not taking you seriously. For shame, Sir Roach Battalion. If I didn't take you seriously, I wouldn't have followed your clues in the first place."

Link to comment

Stronghold looked at Terrifica... slightly reproachfully.  They didn't need to mock it- her question had been an honest one.  "You might be a threat.  But... um... you don't have to be."


We could always... um... try talking to it?  I don't know what the Collective's done in the past, though, so I'm not sure whether this is realistic or not.  But if it's not really, really hostile to humans, we don't want to push it into hating us, right?


Naive, perhaps.  Stronghold really didn't like to fight, not like she knew some superheroes did.  It was better that they expressed that by being a hero rather than a villain... but she'd like to avoid the fight in the first place.  Certainly didn't want to strike the first blow.  


Even if she didn't view herself as being very good at negotiating.  

Link to comment

Suddenly, from the same tunnel that the heroes had come from, another horde of cockroaches came pouring out in a scuttling display of writhing filth! These cockroaches spoke too, in a hissing voice of a million beating wings that was like something from an Old Testament plague; one that was altogether different from the voice of the Psycho-Collective. "There you are! Consorting with the humanoids, as we might have known! You are a disgrace and a traitor to the colony, you gaggle of undersized mutants!


"No, no!" said the Collective, that psychic illusion suddenly shifting into that of one big cockroach. "I'm a fierce conqueror! I was just impressing on them how fierce I am! I am going to conquer the surface for us, you'll see!" 


"LIES! Your doom comes now!"


And as the forces of the Collective swarmed its smaller psionic cousin, the Psycho-Collective suddenly turned its mental projection on the heroes and yelled "Help usss!" 

Link to comment
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Create New...