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Avenger Assembled

No Fortress Is So Strong

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September 5, 2015 

9PM (local time) (3PM Freedom City time) 

Dahab, Egypt 

Nina floated in the dark waters of the Red Sea, only her bare shoulders visible beneath the surface, as she looked up at Mark. Her voice was dark, too, and liquid like the sea that was her home, and the waves churned and thrashed around her with unnatural energies. "I will pull you down beneath the waves, Mark Lucas, and keep you prisoner in the depths of the sea to use for my own wicked ends. Come to me, and know my true power." 

Mark looked down over the side of their rented skiff and was in love. "That is really, really, hot, babe," he told her with sincere pleasure. Lying on his stomach, he reached down and took Nina's hand. In the darkness of the late night, he didn't worry about his admittedly hilariously fair skin burning - not that he'd have worried that much anyway. "But what if I break loose from your watery chains and subdue you, my tempestuous princess? What are you going to do if I-" 

The beeping of his alarm interrupted their conversation; and right when they were about to get to the part where they didn't talk, anyway. Muttering a curse, Mark rolled over and found his UNISON communicator underneath the black polo and slacks he'd been wearing as a Sinai Force civilian observer just a few hours earlier. He held up the text communicator, read the short message, and cursed with enough force that Nina slid right out of the water and onto the small boat with him.

Mark looked over at her, the faint green glow from the comm casting strange shadows on his bare, sculpted chest. "Horus is attacking Egypt," he said, horror and disbelief mixed in equal measure in his tone. 

"What!?" Nina exclaimed in reply. 

With the ongoing situation in Washington, Egypt barely merited a mention on the late-night news. "And in breaking news, superheroes working for the United Nations are today engaged in a battle with someone who claims to be the reincarnation of Horus, the Egyptian solar deity who served as a member of the Freedom League in the 1960s and 1970s." A grainy cellphone-shot video, with the tag "St. Catherine's, Egypt," depicted a conflict that pitted a woman in blue and white and a man in gold and blue against...against what certainly looked like the Avenger reborn, a darkened town illuminated by the glowing ankh in his left hand before a brilliant glare blinded the phone's camera. "Sources say Horus appears to be directing his rage towards St. Catherine's Monastery, the oldest religious organization in the nation. Both Egyptian and Israeli metahumans have taken up defensive positions outside the peninsula, with their respective governments promising to allow the United Nations to resolve this situation." 

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"Send me there now!" Set demanded with vehemence just short of a snarl, conical ears flattening against the brick red dreadlocks flowing halfway down his back and black furred muzzle rippling back from predatory teeth. Balling his fists at his side the godling glared upward at the kaleidoscope tinted clouds that had replaced the ceiling of his apartment to accommodate the towering projection of She Who Is All, resplendent in her godhood and purity, of a scale with the Sentry Statue that stood watch over Freedom City's harbour.

Eyes immaculately outlined in brown-black ink widened in indignation as Isis boomed back with the power of a thunderclap, "THE BETRAYER DARES MAKE DEMANDS ON WE?! AMIT'S JAWS HAVE BEEN ABSENT FROM THY NECK FOR TOO LONG ALREADY; FOR THIS BLASPHEMY WE SHALL SEE THY ESSENCE FLAYED INTO NOTHINGNESS!" Fingers balanced perfectly between strength and delicateness clenched like toppling tree trunks and flew outward in a regal, sweeping gesture.

The spellwork and solemn accords that protected those on the mortal plane from the direct intervention of divine beings applied only in part to one such as Set and he could feel the flesh of his bare chest threatening to tear as though under the talons of vicious birds of prey from the sheer force of Isis' anger but his own godly pride pushed him forward. "Not! My! Doing!" he shouted back for the umpteenth time with every ounce of volume he could manage, shoulders thrown backward and feet planted wide.

"M-my lady," Sekhmet blurted out, expression hidden with her lioness head planted face down to the apartment floor in supplication but tone suggesting she was gulping in immediate regret. "He has not had opportunity nor means to perpetrate a crime on such a scale, on my honor as an Eve of Ra! My vigilance has not wavered! ...nor do I truly believe Set would profane the Avenger's name with such ignoble slaughter." Her human hands dug fingernails into the floorboards, knowing that she shouldn't have added the last statement.

Only perfect professionalism kept Isis from rolling her eyes in scorn but the way her lips curled conveyed precisely the same regard. "THY HONOR HOLDS LESS THAN NO WEIGHT IN THESE MATTERS, LITTLE GUARD."

"Enough talk!" Set roared before She Who Is All could get going again, now fulling looking like a wolf ready to leap at the throat of a bear. "Use your vaunted wisdom, sister! The Ennead has no time to prepare another envoy to dispatch the pretender, but we be here already! Send us to the besieged shrine and we will end the sick farce!" The godling took a shuddering breath, chest heaving as he forced his blood to cool. The tempest was raging within him, his storm aspect crying out for unfettered destruction. "I will not see my brother's name slandered," he insisted in a more moderate voice, knuckles cracking faintly from how tightly they were clenched. "Surely even after all grudges we share that one footprint of common ground."

Isis' impossibly deep eyes narrowed, weighing the much reduced creature's words.

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It was Hathor who provided them the road to the Egypt of here and now, her ancient temples in the nearby Valley of Inscription being among the few artifacts of the Ennead that had lived in such an inhospitable place as the Sinai, meaning she was among the few of the Ennead who still had a toehold in that cold and mountainous land. Though civilization had penetrated the mountains of the Sinai here and there in the time of Dynastic Egypt, Set and Sekhmet remembered the "Roof of Egypt" as a land of tough, merciless nomads who tended well to their sheep and goats but had little truck with outsiders or their gods. With the pretender to their brother's good name laying waste to the Two Lands, Hathor didn't seem much like the One Who Filled The Sanctuary with Joy today. "Send him to Anubis by the most painful of roads," she made her sister promise. "I will see he spares his bowels for you to eat!" Hathor, as ever, had an exaggerated idea of her sister's appetites. 

The doorway she opened up deposited Set and Sekhmet in a scene of darkness and confusion, one that it took a moment to resolve as a darkened local museum of antiquities. The museum, stuffed full of artifacts from across Egypt's history (but rather heavy on the Roman period and later), was technically closed this late - but that hadn't stopped the crowd of refugees now filling the busy building. No one had even noticed their arrival amid the weeping, the prayers to God, the cellphone conversations, and the lights and sounds from outside - the sounds of explosions so loud they shook the ground and flares of light so bright they briefly lit up the interior of the building like daylight. 

No wonder there were burns, blindings, and other signs of exposure to impossibly bright light outside - and then someone came in through the window. First came a stream of high-intensity water like something shot from a firehose, enough to splatter against the far wall after it shattered the reproduction stained glass window by the door, then came the water's wielder, flying out of control before slamming into the fall wall. Her blue and white costume was battered and burnt along one side and she had an empty scabbard at her hip and no sign of the blade, but she was mad as Hell and pulling herself up within a few moments of hitting the wall.  

"<Filth-eating son of a whoreson god!>" she declared in Gulf Arabic as she staggered to her feet and limped angrily for the window she'd come through. "<We'll make him pay, I promise you that!>" she called to the civilians. "<Get below and away from all windows! So speaks...MONSOON!>"

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"<Colourful, oh waterlogged warrior, but your opponent be son to no god,>" Set called as he strode purposefully out of the shadows. A hot desert wind rolled off of the godling as he passed, strong enough to toss his dreadlocks behind him and warm enough to make the black velvet on his head shimmer slightly in the dim light. Little crackles of crimson lightning popped around his eyes and fingertips, apparently unnoticed as he headed for the door. "Sekhmet, you know my fondness for water mystics; mayhaps our new friend will find use for your healing talents?" Perhaps out of habit the words were flowery but the tone was hard and distracted, his attention only on the target of his wrath.

Disturbingly glad to be back among mortals rather than the incensed Isis or her own sister, Sekhmet pushed her own complicated feelings down into the same corner into which she compressed every inconvenient notion and instead cast a concerned glace at Set's back. Unlike the godling she'd resumed her fully human appearance after their audience with She Who Is All and turned to Monsoon with smoldering golden eye and similarly glowing hands. "Aye, thy shall not rejoin the battle at less than thy full measure, champion. Speak, what transpires here?"

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"...yes, of course," said Monsoon with a suspicious look first at Set, then at Sekhmet, the Socotran princess able to see perfectly well in the occasionally strobe-lit glow of the museum - especially with Set putting on a display of power like that! "An hour or so ago, a being who calls himself Horus the Avenger appeared outside St. Catherine's Monastery some three miles from here and announced his intention to purge a temple of idolaters and 'Jew-worshippers.'" She sneered magnificently. "He is a false god," she agreed with great determination, "I am told his costume is amiss and his ankh a clear forgery. And he is...cruder than the original. And more violent in his aims. So you understand, Sekhmet of Heliopolis," she said with a sudden fire in her voice. "That when one false god appears, a wise warrior makes sure there are no more lurking about. Who sent you here?" she demanded. 

-

Outside, it was easy enough for Set to make his way through the small Egyptian town to where the imposter Horus was doing battle. He could follow the sound of the explosions; and the flashes of celestial light. He found the false Horus on the ground, facing down a blue and gold figure standing in front of the ancient (well, relatively speaking!) monastery compound. The monastery had taken damage; it looked as though at least one ankh throw had gone completely through one exterior wall and out the other, collapsing some buildings and starting fires. But luckily the false Horus had gone no further; instead he'd stopped to bandy words, or at least engage in a shouting match, with the blue and gold figure blocking the way between the monastery and the man. The monks had taken shelter in their compound, and the people of the surrounding neighborhood had either fled or taken shelter on their own. 

"THINE WOMAN IS A JEZEBEL WORSHIPER OF THE GOD OF THE CARAVAN MASTERS! THEY TOO WILL BE SWEPT ASIDE BY THE LIGHT OF THE AVENGING SON!" He pointed a massive, muscled fist at the man blocking the way, glowing ankh in his other hand. 

"YOU SHUT UP, FAKE HORUS!" yelled the UN agent in response. "YOU'RE LUCKY I KNOW SHE'S FINE, BECAUSE YOU'RE A TERRIBLE HORUS! YOUR COSTUME IS THE WRONG COLOR, YOUR ANKH GLOWS FUNNY, AND THE REAL HORUS IS NOT A CRAZY ANTI-SEMITE BIKER!" An odd assortment of smashed items stood in front of him; broken concrete, steel, and what might have been the scorched remains of a giant confection. 

Edited by Avenger Assembled

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Sekhmet opened her mouth to reply, her frown making it clear how she felt about Monsoon's tone but Set interrupted on the way to the doors. "Aye, aye, reasonable doubt, skeptical disparagement. Skip track, moving on," the weirdly animal headed godling snapped gruffly, shoving both doors open with a massive gust of wind that originated from further into the shelter and sent loose objects tumbling about in its wake. He continued out into the night without another word, without breaking his stride.

The taller Heliopolian grimaced and turned back to Monsoon, laying her glowing hands on the suspicious woman a little more forcefully than was probably necessary. As she did her sun disc flared into view behind her head, filling the entire room with the blazing sunlight of a summer day and Nina could feel her injuries knitting themselves back together if not gently than at least efficiently. "Thy reproach be... understandable," she allowed with obvious effort, trying to be the diplomatic one if Set wasn't going to make an effort. She could feel the situation spiraling out of control and knew she was distracted by mixed thoughts about the brief conversations with Isis and Hathor, if they could be called 'conversations'. "Thy belief be not required, worthy, only thy aid in ending the blasphemer's rampage. To even pretend at the Avenger's power... I would see the battle ended quickly and without mercy. Can you fight?"

- - -

Outside thunder rumbled behind Edge's shouts as ominous storm clouds began to block out the evening sky. Unnatural crimson lightning flashed overhead and gale force winds kicked up without further warning blowing the hero's cape forward. Down the empty road toward the combatants Set came, radiating fury that far outstripped his small frame. "FRAUD!" he roared like a sandstorm crashing into the side of a stone wall, his accent coming out more strongly than usual. "I SHALL MELT THY EYES IN THY SKULL AND FORCE THEE TO DRINK THE JELLY!"

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"Nay, brother," replied Horus, warmth in that mockingly, maddeningly frustratingly familiar tone, Horus not seemingly surprised at all to see Set's arrival on the scene. In fact, he smiled. "'Tis no deception but Ma'at's own truth. The scales have but fallen from mine eyes!" He gestured to the damaged temple and the lone hero guarding it. "'Twas always them who were our enemy, the covetous, grasping, race-mixing Jew and their bastard offspring the sons of the carpenter and the caravan master. It was they who destroyed the glory of Egypt, they who cast Helipolis into darkness, and their destruction 'twill be our victory and the restoration of the Two Lands!" It was as if someone had built Horus out of a description of the god without having a likeness to hand - glowing blue eyes that were the wrong shade of blue, a green-eyed falcon's headpiece with too dark a green in the eyes and a beak too long and pointed, a muscular chest and bronze skin that were simply built the wrong way! It had not fooled Set, nor would it fool another Helipolitan - but to the watching mortals, this would seem Horus gone mad. 

The being inside was harder to read - an outer layer that was the false presence of Horus, but inside something that writhed and squirmed in terror and rage, a small thing trapped beneath the boot of something great and powerful...

"LET US SMITE THEM TOGETHER! AS IT WAS MEANT TO BE!" declared 'Horus', his ankh glowing with white-yellow brightness as he turned again to face Edge. 

-

"I can fight," said Monsoon, and from her tone of voice Sekhmet knew the water controller would say the same thing if her legs were broken on the floor. "I have to fight. Edge and the pretender out there are evenly matched - but Mark is a man, not a god. If the false Horus gets away from here, to a larger city or a place without superhumans, he could kill thousands as easily as walking down the street." She shook her head even as she rose into the air amid a swirl of diamagnetism, her eyes bleeding over to red. "We must go." 

Edited by Avenger Assembled

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"Then I misspoke," Set snarled, canine teeth exposed as the sky opened up and punishing sheets of rain began to bombard the entire town, frigid and stinging like uncountable little daggers. "Not thy eyes first but THY TONGUE!" Always had Set been the god of foreigners and at least in his current incarnation that gave him perspective enough for bigotry to put his teeth on edge where another deity might have plead unavoidable favoritism. That was a question of principles and had that been the worst of it Set might have yet been able to keep a cool head, to bide his time and seize upon a better opportunity. To hear such poisonous filth laid at the feet of Horus, however, was too much by far and the only the all consuming cry for destruction held any sway.

Inky shadows crawled up Set's forearms, shrouding them up to the elbows before he hurled the shadowstuff at the false Horus with a shout, a writhing mass of tentacles made out of light devouring abyss that lashed out to try to ensnare their target. "Thy wish to speak of darkness? Let us then speak of DARKNESS!" Throughout it all Set remained so focused on the object of his rage that he had yet to so much as acknowledge the presence of the UNISON hero who had been fighting the madman to a standstill.

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Man, Set seems really mad about this! I guess I can't blame him. He watched as Horus flexed his muscles and snapped his way right out of Set's shadowy embrace and winced. That's gotta hurt! "Hey! You're pretty clearly not on his side," he declared to Horus, "so don't try and give me any of that malarkey! We're gonna beat you down, lock you up, and then maybe see what real gods think of you screwing around with their costumes." He and Set would have to have it out about the eye-melting later - that sort of thing just didn't fly if you were a superhero. He stepped forward, putting some distance between himself and the already-battered monastery. "Eventually tourists will come here and they won't just come for the monastery, they'll come for the place that the Fake Horus got beaten down and had to eat dirt afterwards! Wait, that's not right - nobody cares about you, phony!"

-

As Monsoon's communicator beeped with Mark's signal (not to mention the flashes of lightning in the sky and the growing sense of energy crackling over the city), she ran forward and out of the building, stopping at an overturned water tanker truck she'd seen during the battle. Once there, she reached down and offered her hand to Sekhmet. "<They need us - which means we need to get there, right now! Take my hand, lion god!>" Stepping forward, she closed her eyes as the side of the truck exploded outwards in a sudden torrent; the flood of water rising up as a body and carrying the two women forward in an explosive rush of watery power! 

A moment later, they were amid the battle between gods and man, water cascading around them in a wave that crashed against Edge and Horus' feet. Water swirling around her like an angry tornado, Nina called out in Horus' direction. "<Remember me? I brought you a _true_ god - and me!>"

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Set had no time for banter or speeches, only a haunting, animal howl that echoed through the emptied city streets above the rumble of thunder and the rush of water that accompanied Monsoon's arrival. He gestured violently with fingers curled into claws and in response crimson lightning surged down from above, strike after eye searingly bright strike, like an archer emptying their quiver. The first bolt crashed directly into the pretender's chest then the next took him from behind but after that the strikes came too quickly to keep track. As the heavens disgorged their fury Set's shout began to resolve into a recognizable word. "BUUUUURN!"

Sekhmet touched down on the street in time to see the furious electrical assault... and to see the false god only the slightest bit phased by it. "Blessed Ra," she breathed, clenching her fists at her sides. The impostor was somehow as powerful as the Avenger's earthly vessel had ever been, unlike the diminished form crafted for her mission watching over the screaming godling. Some part of Sekhmet was dimly aware that this was not a fight she could possibly hope to win but that aspect had not a single grain of weight in her actions. "Champion!" she called to the water witch as she fell forward, form shifting fluidly into that of a tawny lioness. "Hold nothing back!" She matched deed to word and charged forward, pouncing through the air like a missile of powered by muscle and tore her prey with flashing tooth and claw.

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Sekhmet could smell something this close - a wash of anger and helpless terror like a jackal with its leg in a trap, but after a moment that vanished again beneath the all-encompassing power of this warped imitation of the solar deity. Laughing as if this was all a grand jest, ignoring the scorch mark over his chest and the scratches against the sides of his face, Horus hurled his ankh directly at Set. And though he missed, the sheer wind of the weapon's passing nearly knocked the diminished god to his knees. This thing might not have had the powers of Horus - but it certainly had the powers of a god indeed. "DOES THIS NOT PLEASE YOU, BROTHER?" taunted Horus as the ankh flew back to his hands. "HORUS AND SET- TOGETHER AGAIN AS THEY ALWAYS SHOULD HAVE BEEN - AND WILL BE SOON ENOUGH!" Laughing, ankh in hand, the god took off into the night sky overhead. "PERHAPS A TASTE OF RA'S-ARGH!"

The air around the UNISON agent, to whom neither Set nor Sekhmet had been introduced, suddenly tore open in a wash of magical energy that erupted from the man's hands like the eye of Ra opening. They'd seen plenty of mortal spellcasters in their time, but this was nothing like that - this was all raw burning unmatched magical power without rhyme or reason, Thoth's fury made manifest! The beam of celestial white light struck the solar god in the back and bent him double, 'Horus' giving a deep cry of godly agony as a black, smoking crater erupted in his armor. "You're a jerk who sucks!" Edge yelled at the overhead powerhouse. 

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Set raised an arm to shield his eyes from the flare of unprocessed power streaming from the plainspoken champion in blue and white. He wasn't clear what he was even looking at; he certainly hadn't expected there to be any beings capable of such a show left on the mortal plane in this age but for the time being that wasn't his primary concern. He released another barrage of crimson lightning from on high, boxing the pretender in more than actually attempting to punch through whatever protections he'd stolen or managed to ape. The revelation of the caped mortal's ability to wound the impostor changed things dramatically: Set didn't have to take the false Horus down himself with his diminished power, he just needed to prevent him from adequately defending himself. Sekhmet was less ready to change her tactics from all-out attack. She continued to slash and roar at the pretender, forcing him to reel back to avoid her fury.

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The ankh flashed past Set again, its passage so close as to ruffle his hair. Was he being toyed with; or was this creature a more inferior copy of Horus than he'd thought? No matter - the ankh snapped back into the false Horus's hand just as Monsoon took up a position behind  and above Set, riding on a cloud of broken water main. "Foolish god!" she called in a Gulf Arabic that Set, amid a day of surprises, recognized as having heard before. "Even in this mountain fastness, you face the power of the oceans unleashed!" 

Horus was about to respond when a meteor hit him. There was no other way to describe it - there was a flash of light in the sky, a faint boom, and suddenly Horus was tumbling out of the sky in the company of a large, cratered rock about the size of the man himself. As Horus fell, his ankh fell too, landing practically at Set's feet even as 'god' and divinely-aimed boulder hit the dirt with a definitive thump. Well, the rock did, anyway - Horus appeared to have landed on a giant air mattress that had literally appeared from nowhere. 

"Got him!" said Edge triumphantly, Mark exulting after one of the longest battles of his career. "Babe, we did it!" Damaged city or not, damaged monastery or not, he swept Nina up in a passionate kiss, the couple distracted for a moment with the battle over and the day saved. 

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One side of Set's canine-like muzzle curled into an utterly incredulous expression as he followed the path of the meteor backward and upward into the sky, trying to parse the abrupt end to the battle. "What." The whole area was still buzzing with raw magical power and something the godling wanted to call chaos but which felt too bizarrely wholesome in its flavour for that term. That was almost enough to distract him from the growing sense of familiarity the companion to the impossible man in blue and white was stirring. The memories inherited by Set from his previous incarnation were not always particularly reliable but the he was reasonably sure that the Socotran tyrant upon whom he'd sworn vengeance hadn't been a twenty-something woman the last time he'd checked. Pointing an accusatory finger in Monsoon's direction, he repeated, "What." Before she could answer the Heliopolian spun about to deliver a petulant kick to the fallen ankh and shout at the top of his lungs toward the unconscious impostor, "What!"

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To Set's momentary surprise, the ankh kicked back! The familiar gold-bronze shape suddenly rippled and snapped at him like a serpent, complete with gleaming fangs that dripped with poison! When the initial strike vanished, though, the snake rippled away straight into the earth and rock beneath their feet, and abruptly was gone entirely, as if it had never been. His two mortal allies seemed to have missed the entire moment. 

Standing on one side of the fallen host, Edge looked down at an unconscious man in his early fifties, his balding head, prison tats, and ruddy complexion oddly familiar. "Hey!" He snapped his fingers. "I know who this is! This is White Knight!" 

"The white supremacist?" asked Monsoon, who'd been giving Set a confused look before being distracted by Mark. "How on Earth did he make a false ankh of Horus?" 

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Set recoiled from the transforming ankh with a look of revulsion that quickly gave way to a look of utter hatred of visceral intensity. "Apep," he growled, snout curling to bare his elongated canines, enough loathing etched into the two syllables to wither any living thing caught too close. Set's shoulders heaved up and down with accelerating breath as he stared murder at the unconscious White Knight, crimson electricity sparking violently about his fingertips as he took a step forward. Fingers clenched into claws and static rippling through his dreadlocks the godling stalked forward, seemingly oblivious to the world around him. He stopped no more than a half dozen paces away from the object of his wrath, visibly shaking with fury. He stood stock still for a long moment then screwed his eyes shut and clenched his teeth, taking slow, ragged breaths. Nearby Sekhmet straightened up into her human form and looked on with grave concern but made no move to interfere.

After a long moment and obvious effort Set let his hands fall loosely to his sides and shook his head like a dog shaking off water. When he opened his storm grey eyes he'd shifted into his own fully human appearance. From the way his left foot was fidgeting he was clearly still agitated, only just holding onto his composure. Looking about for some distraction he narrowed his eyes in Monsoon's direction and pointed a pair of fingers emphatically first at his own eyes then in the princess' direction. "You, Typhoon-in-a-Teacup! Why are you... nngh!" He made a irritable gesture that encompassed all of the woman. "And I want my ring back!"

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"I am not my father, fool," Nina sneered at Set in a hard whisper that was also familiar. "I am Monsoon, princess of Socotra, and its future liberator. And that ring you covet is on the hand of my second-eldest-brother's bride, a mighty alchemist of the Serpent People. If you want it, by all means, go looking for it." 

Edge, off the phone with UNISON, rejoined their group as he slid his communicator onto his hip. "Okay, so a cleanup crew is on its way. Monsoon, you and I had better do what we can here. Hydrokinesis and matter creation are going to really come in handy. Hey, you ARE Set," he suddenly exclaimed, looking at the deity as if for the first time. "Oh man, this must be rough!" he said sympathetically, reaching over to pat the deity on the arm as he turned on the charm. "I am so sorry. I promise, we will figure out how that jerk pretended to be your brother. Horus the Avenger deserves better than some jerk stealing his identity." 

 

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Set made an unpleasant noise and gestured as though he was hoping wring Monsoon's neck through the power of his ire alone. "Rrrgh, as though the bearded egotist would have let one of his spawn marry on of the People!" the godling scoffed, more than willing to get a heated argument underway in earnest before the one with the cape interrupted. He blinked and looked at Edge the way snarling predator might look at someone who had just booped it on the nose. Eventually he managed to push past it and draw himself up, snapping, "Of course I am! ...and aye. He does." The second half was more subdued accompanied by a blistering glare at the unconscious White Knight's back.

"Thy be brave champions indeed to stand against one who might even pretend at godly might," Sekhmet interjected, somewhat out of her element as she attempted to be the more diplomatic of the pair with Set so incensed. "Be there a customary method of execution in mind for the impostor or might thy be open to suggestions? As a matter of righteous retribution such falls under my sphere of responsibility and I would be well pleased to assist!" She smiled toothily at the mortals.

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Edge frowned. "Look, things got pretty rough, but we managed to deflect 'Horus' there before anybody died." That didn't really make a difference to Mark, of course, but he assumed it probably did to godly types. In the shadows left in the darkened city after the battle, he looked grim. "He was mostly focused on tearing up two thousand years of history when we got here - after that, he was all for a super-battle. Babe, can you go around and tell people in the city we got the guy? Maybe they can start cleanup and get word to Cairo to send people in." With a nod, Monsoon did just that, shooting one more sharp look in Set's direction before taking off with red-bled eyes and flying slowly in the direction of the heart of Saint Catherine's. "The White Knight's a bastard, but he'll go back in jail where he belongs. He couldn't have just made an ankh on his own, right?"

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Sekhmet frowned at Edge, less in anger and more in confusion, failing to follow the line of reasoning the blue and white clad hero was laying out for them. "He impersonated a god," she explained in a slow, over-enunciated manner that suggested she wasn't sure if he was having trouble understanding her speech or if he was merely a simpleton. "Tis but one possible punishment for such blasphemy."

"Nay, Lady of Slaughter," Set disagreed reluctantly, taking a deep breath even as his hands clenched and unclenched at his sides. "The fountain of raw magic sees the puppet strings behind the scene. Tis a petty god who smites the slave for the crimes of the master." Looking skyward with a clenched jaw he added, "The Avenger would not be so petty, nor have us act so basely in his name."

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"Hey, thanks," said Mark amiably, pleased at the compliment despite the grim circumstances of the fight. "I wish I could have seen through him earlier. This city's so nice and these people work so hard; they don't deserve to get torn up by some racist psycho jacked up on stolen magic." He gestured at the ground as the gods watched; not with the elaborate arcane fingerings of a mighty wizard, but simply pointing as if pressing an invisible button. As he did so, hardened cement appeared out of thin air, wrapping itself tightly around the still-unconscious White Knight. "We'll make sure he goes back where he belongs - a deep, dark hole." 

 

As the cement crept its way up and hit White Knight's chin, the battered bigot opened his eyes, groaning from the pain of the savage beating he'd taken. "Uhhh...where..." He looked around wildly, struggling against his bonds as flames erupted across his body, but his bound arms meant he couldn't use the weapon - and every time he tried to burn or break the cement, Edge replaced it with another layer. "Aagh! All right, all right, you win!" he said, extinguishing his flames. "Jesus, what do you bastards want? This ain't part of our deal!" 

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