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UNISON Headquarters
Geneva, Switzerland
December 25, 2014
10:50 PM local time

Just a few hours ago, UNISON headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland had been practically deserted, only a minimal security detail and a few technicians had been on duty, the rest home with their families for Christmas. That was until Colonel Ellis had been contacted by the Freedom League about an approaching threat from space. In the intervening time, scores of UNISON personnel had been called in, the headquarters now abuzz with activity as UNISON personnel were reaching out to contacts in governments and militaries around the world, as well as preparing itself for the possible arrival of a hostile alien force.

Over a decade ago, UNISON had shocked many world leaders, when it had fielded a small fleet of space capable heavy fighters, the Uni-Storm, during the Grue invasion of 2003. Since that time, Colonel Ellis had managed to hold off efforts to decommission the Uni-Storm, which mean that UNISON had under its control a majority of Earth's space capable combat aircraft.

The pilots for the fighters were still being brought it, and gearing up and receiving briefings for possible sorties. The mechanics that had been brought in were working as fast as they could to get all the fighters ready should they be needed, with more arriving all the time. Things were much further along than if there had been no warning, but they still needed a bit more time before they could get all the Uni-Storm into the air.

During the past few hours, a number of even more unusual individuals had arrived at UNISON’s headquarters, as a group of superheroes from across Europe and the United States had arrived to offer what assistance they could. With Colonel Ellis' former connections with the Ministry of Powers in the UK, it was only natural that the current members of the Vanguard were present. Also present were two national heroes from countries in southern Europe, Professor Chiron from Greece, and Stella d'Argento (the Silver Star) from Italy. A pair of heroes had also transported to Geneva from the United States, sent by the Freedom League to assist as well.

Currently the gathered heroes were with Colonel Ellis in a large command center in the center of the headquarters, where UNISON technicians were tracking activity all over the world as various militaries began the process of preparing themselves for the possibility of an attack, and keeping an eye on the telemetry coming in from numerous satellites and radio tracking stations on Earth that were scanning the heavens for signs of approaching ships.

"So as of right now, we need about another half an hour to have all the planes ready to go into combat if needed." Ellis stated to the gathered heroes. "We can probably have half of them up in about twelve minutes, perhaps a bit sooner. As for the military units around the rest of the world…well, they are trying to mobilize as quick as they can, but this is probably about one of the worst times for such an attack in terms of the number of personnel away from base with friends and family."
 

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Myrmidon had been in Colorado finishing up search and rescue exercise with the USAF when his private comm channel crackled to life. "Myrmidon. You're needed in Geneva." The icy disdain present identifed the voice as none other than Comrade Frost. However, before he could reply he found himself facing the famed Jet d'Eau of of Lake Geneva. "Unison HQ is expecting you." With that the line had gone dead leaving the slightly bewildered clone trying to get his bearings.

 

All in all it had required a five minute run to get to where he was headed; helmet firmly sealed as he was keenly aware that he might get accosted by one of the numerous intelligence agencies and embassies that made the city their home from his appearance. Still he noted how serious this sitation was once he was waved past security and into a location that his genetic template had wanted to get into for years to no avail. The clone hero listened to the Colonel and observed quietly until the man had allowed for an interruption.

 

"If I may inquire, Colonel. What are the objectives you wish for those of us present to achieve other than aid getting your air-and-space cover up and operational? Do we have any anti-space capability other than the Uni-Storms at present?" The query was given a flat, almost robotic tone from his suits' vocoder.

Edited by Semi-Autogyro

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“... and they had a Flight centre at Geneva, but they were going to explode Z-Bombs to stop the invasion. We don’t have Z-bombs do we?â€


Whilst Agnus sounded calm, telling anyone who would listen how this whole thing was similar to her dads favourite Sci-fi show, but inside she was a bundle of nerves. Normally this was the kind of job the big B Britannia usually dealt with, metaphorically she rescued cats from trees whilst Britannia did all the heavy lifting. But with everything going on Britannia was off doing other thing so Young Britannia had to step up to do the job.

 

“I guess we’re the air support.†she even raised her hand “Unless you have something else in mind Jennifer?â€

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Charlie was still suffering a degree of shock taking this all in. He had been preparing to spend Christmas unexpectedly alone (after an argument with his girlfriend Jane) when the Freedom League contacted him. The Freedom League! There had hardly been time for questions before he was bounced off the Lighthouse and sitting here in Geneva as Coiled Lightning, feeling distinctly out of place amid clearly more experience heroes.
 
He was relieved that Myrmidon had spoken up to ask for clarification of their assignment. "Just tell us what to do, sir."

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Though it'd been quite a hectic few months for him, finding himself displaced into another dimension and elbow dropping a robot from a mountainside, Ulysses found himself somewhat more Centred than a few of the other heroes present at the moment, having taken up the ministries offer of employment in the vanguard he'd almost expected to be asked to deal with some incredulous catastrophe sooner rather than later so he'd been a little more ready for it than he'd otherwise have been; that is not to say he was not feeling a little jittery, a force that could threaten the entire planet, you'd have to be brave to the point of foolishness to not feel a little bit of trepidation when faced with that; Fear was not in and of itself evil, a tool favoured by the wicked perhaps but a form of insight in its own weird way that kept your wits sharp and your head attached to your shoulders as his days of barroom brawling in the 50's had taught him.

 

"Sounds like we're here to guard the landing strip and ensure we can get our birds in the air, make sure these blighters can't bash them before they take off." he speaks up, both to share his understanding of the situation and clarify he had the jist of it. "Sorta like in Operation sea-lion, they want to get rid of the air force so they'll be able to rain bombs or lasers or whatever on us and send the infrantry in to mop up whats left...might also swing for some infrastructure as well....and If they're real draconian resort to terror tactics to kick us in the morale." he muses. "population centres and landmarks."

Edited by Exaccus

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Dee Farrington did her best to at least follow the briefing from Colonel Ellis, but the young Englishwoman was rather distracted. For a little over an hour now, something had been stirring in her mind, almost like a radio station that had a faint trace of static in the background. She had no idea what it was, but it seemed somehow tied to her mental powers, for none of her fellow Vanguard members were picking up anything.

As she pushed down the background "noise" once more, Dee turned to regard the questions and comments from her fellow heroes once the Colonel had finished her briefing. "Oh, it is worse than that." She replied to Ulysses' comments about what the approaching alien forces goals might be. "I was able to speed read through much of the reports the Freedom League sent over the Ministry, this Communion apparently fields a weapon that can destroy a planet in a single shot. But most of the time, they instead invade a planet, and covert all indigenous life on the planet to some sort of cybernetic drones that are part of a single consciousness."

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"Oh joy.  And here I thought we might be in a bit of trouble."  Foreshadow joked as Synapse gave them an update of the situation.  Erick Sloane had been looking into properties within the confines of the UK to purchase.  For a guy who often saw things before they came, he was caught off guard when told of the Ministry's extended invitation to join the Vanguard.  Almost as surprised as he was to hear himself say yes.  Unfortunately, the move would not come with a smooth transition period as evidence by Colonel Ellis extended invitation as the world prepared for an invasion.

 

A funny thing had been happening with Foreshadow's gift of foresight.  Funny in a "where's the aspirin?" sort of way that was.  Turns out potential catastrophic events were great for kicking off the visions.  Except he hadn't been getting anything relevant to count as a warning.  If the psychic vision network could have 1AM infomercials that was exactly what he could equate the sensation to.

 

As off putting as it was, Foreshadow hadn't actually had his power for that long comparatively.  He figured that he simply needed to work on honing it better.  Besides, he had plenty of experience when it came to having to rely on secondhand information.  So Foreshadow quietly waited for the head of UNISON to explain what their job was to be.  His attention partially sliding to those in the area he hadn't met.  Particularly the "Star of Italy" herself and the steel Minotaur.

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"The whole planet?" Coiled Lightning whispered in shock, thinking of his friends and family back in Freedom. But he shook his head, no time to worry about them if they were going to do their part to prevent the unthinkable.

"What do we know about their capabilities?" he asked. "Other than the planet-killer, of course. I assume the only thing we can do to stop that is to get these birds in the air to intercept it. But what might this Communion be sending to try to take them out before we're ready?"

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"well if they got drones they'll have soldiers right? like an insect colony...a really big, cyborg insect colony." Ulysses muses as he scratches at his trim beard "forced conversion of populations too huh...sounds like a recipie for wave attacks, they'll be going for sheer numbers id reckon, these drones're probably pretty lightly armed for whatever they're here to do but they're space aliens, lightly armed might mean each is a main battle tank by our standards." a dour look crossing his face as he contemplates his assumptions.

 

"don't be dragging the confrontations out, these things are probably better off dead if they're not already.." he states directed mainly at the younger heroes in his presence "and if my tone of voice changes and i start acting weird stay away from me; spirit of industry isn't much for people, it'll cut loose on everything around it."

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GM

"Air support by those of you that can fly is certainly what we are hoping you can provide. We will be getting flight elements from NATO squadrons based across Europe as well." Colonel Ellis replied to Young Britannia's question. "For those of you that cannot, any anti-aircraft you might be able to provide would be welcome, but we have to expect that at some point they will get some ground forces into play. So we will be relying on you to supplement our own security forces." She then added.

"I will obviously be part of the land based defense." Professor Chiron replied in accented English, the cybernetic centaur stomping one front metal hoof as he spoke. He then glanced over at Ulysses and Synapse at the steam powered hero's comments about not holding back against any Communion forces. "I have also reviewed the information provided by the Freedom League, and your assessment is most likely correct. It is uncertain whether there is any way to reverse what the Communion has done to those it has captured and altered. Thus far the Communion has employed hordes of altered beings, from all over the galaxy, coated with an unusual metal and dangerous melee attacks. Thus far their ground forces appear to not employ ranged attacks, but they are still are likely to represent a daunting opponent for conventional ground forces."

As Foreshadow watched the two relatively unknown European heroes, he noted that Stella d'Argento appeared a bit nervous, but was doing her best to project a calm exterior.

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Synapse gave a small smile and a nod as Professor Chiron spoke up about what he had read on the Communion ground forces. The young Englishwoman then picked up as he finished. "The reports are that the Communion appears to take and convert whatever spacecraft it can capture, completely re-outfitting them for combat. So there are spacecraft of all shapes and sizes. One particular type of smaller spacecraft they use in great number are small, agile needle like craft, which they have shown no hesitancy to crash into larger ships or buildings on worlds they attack, either in attempts to destroy them, or to deploy the four or so ground forces that ride inside them."

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"Would it be safe to say some of our protective measures for the civilians will be Daka technology?  Or are they going into full Isolationist mode for their national defense purposes?  Because, It's safe to say we'll be needing some sort of energy mitigation for the non suicide bombers if this is the case."  Foreshadow openly mused.  All the while calmly walking towards Stela d'Argento.

 

Standing next to the Italian hero he'd give a polite smile and then simply nod.  Picking someone out of lineup while all attention was on everything being said wasn't exactly the best motivational tool.  He wasn't worried about the spirit of Industry snapping or the planet killing weapon.  One concern at a time.

 

When words like forced conversion of the planet and robo zombies were tossed about it was pretty safe to say conventional warfare was out of discussion.  Morale could be a point of contention with the soldiers of UNISON.  "Thus far I'm hearing the defensive plays.  Are we taking it to our invaders as well?  A war of attrition might not be in our favor after all."

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Myrmidon had gone unnaturally still as he processed the information about the situation that he was currently in the middle of; angered that he had been left out of the loop about an Omega-level threat probably due to his background. Still, this was his bailiwick as he cut his needless emotionality out of frame and began focusing his tactical prowess on the issue at hand.  Finally after more than a few people had shot looks in his direction for gauging his reaction did he finally make his opinion known. "This 'Communion' is a sentient, hyper-aggressive Von Neumann hive mind that expands through assimilation like a virus. Ergo, sterilization is something that will have to be done regardless when and whwew they make landfall."

 

He tuned his attention to the man his HUD had recently tagged as Foreshadow II. "This is planetary-scale siege warfare. There is no offense capability that we can project at the moment with our forces present since we must focus our efforts on containment and repulsion. The closest analogue I can apply is the Battle of Britain during the Second World War. The kamikaze drones being akin to the German Wunderwaffe; the V-1 and the V-2. We cannot literally do anything other than containment once they their target. Which will be the ground forces priority. Everything else will be preventing the main force of the Communion from gaining total air superiority and with it the ability to strike at ground targets with impunity with their oritillery, i.e, the British RAF versus the German Luftwaffe. We have to endure until external factors remove the pressure off of us, whether it be from the League or some other faction."

 

Finished with his synopis of the situion he nodded at the Uni-Storms being hatily serviced in the back. "Get me airborne and I will buy as much time as I can. If I get tagged, I will resume the fight from the ground if I survive."

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Agnus gave a frown at the mention of the Blitz, in some way she had lived through that dark time for the United Kingdom. She was also accessing all the reports of this Communion from other’s in the room, a strange sensation to receive it as it happened and not pleasant reading for anyone.

 

“So basically there’s more we don’t know about this Communion than what we do know.†she tried to sound more relaxed than she actually was, but she felt wasn’t even fooling herself.

 

“Look I hold no rank or authority over any of you, though technically I believe i’m a Captain but Captain Britannia sound stupid. But I’d recommend we work some kind of buddy systems, I don’t think it’s a good idea for any of us to go off fighting Communion on our own. So you and you buddy protects our birds as they do there job. And with any luck we all get to come back home, and that home to still be there.“

Edited by TiffanyKorta

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GM

"That is a rather fair comparison." Colonel Ellis stated with a small nod to Myrmidon as the clone hero compared the present situation to the Battle of Britain. She then turned to regard Foreshadow as she continued. "Once we can get Uni-Storm in the air, it will be a major component of our ability to take the fight to the Communion forces. From what we understand, in addition to members of the Freedom League, the Star Knights, the Lor, even the Grue, along with countless smaller interstellar powers are all fighting the Communion out there, and have been doing so for close to two months. If we can beat the Communion back and hold the line, that will provide time for this intergalactic alliance to hopefully succeed."

Just then, one of the UNISON personnel in the room called back to the Colonel and the collected heroes. "Colonel Ellis! Incoming message from the Lighthouse!" Just then, the calm, measured voice of Gabriel came over the speakers in the UNISON facility, alerting them and others across the world about the approach of Communion forces.

"Well, you hear him. Looks like we are out of time for discussing tactics." Colonel Ellis stated to the gathered heroes as alarms started to sound throughout the room and UNISON personnel began announcing the detection of alien vessels in high orbit. The Colonel glanced at Myrmidon as she added, "we have some old Harriers. I can have one held for you if you like."

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The clone supersoldier nodded at Britannias' concerns  as the klaxons started. "Fair enough. Have everyone pair off and have someone watch their six, if either are comprimised send out a distress to next the closest pair." His featureless gaze traveled over the other heroes. "I will need someone with flight capability to be paired with."

 

He noted with some amusment the airframe they were providing was one of british design and manufacture as he returned his attention to the Colonel. "That would be much appreciated, Ma'am." He responded with a curt nod before turning on his heel and heading towards the hangars.

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Agnus stood up and look around trying to look all business like she knew what she was doing.

 

“Okay people you heard the lady let’s do this.â€

 

She gently slapped Myrmidon on the shoulder and gave him a smile.

 

“I’ll be your wing girl if you want, I like to think I have some skill I can keep up with the harrier at least.â€

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Charlie slapped his whip handle against the palm of his hand. Always a little nervous when the orders come down sending you into danger, but it comes with the job. Even if the job doesn't pay any more.
 
"I guess I'm with the ground team, protecting the jets," he said trying to project confidence he didn't feel. "If anything gets by you guys in the we air, we won't let them get near the Uni-Storms."

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Of the people in the room Foreshadow had worked with before, which consisted of a grand total of two people, Synapse was the one Foreshadow had the most experience working with.  So he had to wonder how suited to the situation her powers were when their opponents were likely lacking in brain activity.  Though, he knew not to count the Mentalist out that easily.  Especially when it came to keeping everyone in the loop.

 

He was decent behind a wheel, but by no measure was Foreshadow a fighter pilot.  If need be he was willing to hop on a bird in case the Britannia and Myrmidon pair sent the aforementioned distress signal. But if he recalled the Star of Italy was a flier and he doubted the professor's mechanical legs didn't have some sort of flight capability in such a case.  Though he wasn't positive on either case.

 

"As much as I enjoy Synapse as a dance partner.  I think I'll pair off with the jolly blue giant.  If you don't mind that is."  Foreshadow calmly declared walking towards Coiled Lightning.  "That way the remaining heavyweights can watch each other."  He said assuming the man with the handle couldn't benchpress (physically or psychically) some odd tons either.

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Charlie looked down at his costume. Jolly Blue Giant? Did he look that ridiculous? Did he need to tone the color down a bit? He'd give it some thought if he came out of this alive.
 
He extended a hand to Foreshadow, "My name's Coiled Lightning, I've really just started out back in Freedom, I never expected to get caught up in something like this. I'm not much of a dancer, but if you lead I'll try not to step on your toes. Or trip you up with my whip, but it sounds like if anything makes it to the ground, things are going to be pretty chaotic."

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Giving the situation some serious thought, Ulysses decided he'd be better off with one of the smarter people present to help him best apply the sheer force he could bring to bare against their foes, seeing foreshadow pairing off with coiled lightning he decides now is as good as any a time to be building bridges. "I'd like to be working with you professor, if you'll have me, maybe we can discuss our namesakes." he jokes "I feel I would be best paired with someone who has the expertise to direct my blows as it were, most of my foes I've overcome through sheer strength and I fear that simply isn't an option this time."

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"Well, no worries." Synapse replied to Foreshadow with just a hint of exaggerated disappointment when he indicated he would be pairing up with Coiled Lightning during the upcoming battle. The Englishwoman saw Stella d'Argento looking to her, as they were the only two not paired off yet, and held up one hand with a small shake of her head. "I would not be a good partner I'm afraid. I am not really a flier. Besides, my powers are not like to be the most useful in dealing with this threat."

<But what I can do is provide us with a reliable means of keeping in contact.> The gathered heroes then heard in their minds as Synapse created a mental link between them all. <Normally my range is limited to around three hundred meters, but I can probably extend that out to several kilometers if I remain in here and focused on that.>

The Italian hero gave a small nod of understanding and looked toward Young Britannia and Myrmidon. "It appears I will need to be joining with the two of you."

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GM

"I would be honored to fight alongside you Ulysses." Professor Chiron replied with a nod. "But fear not, I have little doubt that your strength shall have its uses in the battle before us." As Synapse's powers connected each of the heroes together, the cybernetic Greek hero was among the first to test the connection. <Fascinating. This should indeed prove useful in keeping in contact and coordinated.>

"Well, with that all decided, it is bets that you lot get going. We have inbound that will be here in less than a minute." Colonel Ellis chimed in. "Your Harrier is already fueled and ready to go, A crew chief will meet you on the flight line and direct you to your plane." She added to Myrmidon. She then took a brief moment to look over the assembled heroes. "Good luck everyone."

Synapse continued to focus on keeping the mental connection up among the group, climbing up to sit crosslegged on one of the counters in the command center.

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Charlie smiled nervously, <Good luck indeed. We've got quite a task set out for us. Let's have a look at these planes we're protecting.> He waited for the others to start moving. This was going to be a tricky fight for him, these Communion didn't sound like the kind of enemy you wanted to let close, and unless he could rejigger the whip he didn't have near the range for comfort.
 
Foreshadow looks like a guy who can watch my back at least, he thought. Together we're stronger than as individuals, we can do this.

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<Time they chose why they picked the wrong planet to de-organic matterize.  Whichever team smashes the most robots wins>  Foreshadow's relaxed declaration was par for the course.  The moment the danger started getting close enough, the humor had to fly.  At one point it might've been comfort food for fear.  Nowadays, it was just habit.

 

Reaching for his escrima sticks Foreshadow would begin to step away.  Twirling both expectantly before giving Coiled Lightning a nod of acknowledgement.  Though the gauntlet he threw down in jest was humorous, he still planned on making it out the other side as if it were serious.  Ready to watch his interim partner's back and vice versa.

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