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Thread: Hero Force One

  1. #41
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    Lightbulb HFO Page 2

    Missing: Earth

    The members of Hero Force One awoke to find that the Earth was missing. They, along with the rest of the Laniakea Supercluster, had been translocated to the Deep Void by a mysterious group named R.I.T.E. Hero Force One are beset by the Angels of Ordimar and their battle is joined by an array of factions that all vie for dominance. One Ordimarian sacrificed Nick to open a portal to allow her brethren through. Hero Force One resolved to obtain the Reset Button either to trade to R.I.T.E. or use to reset the Story Arc to the beginning, which would come with its own dangers. Elsewhere they have petitioned "Bill Nye the Science Guy", an alien in disguise, to build a Deus Ex Machine that would allow Qhobeg to use his Story-Wielding powers to move the Supercluster back. In the midst of this, Supreme Dragonlord Riaken, a member of R.I.T.E., seeks dominion of the Netherwyrms of the Deep Void that are only kept from the supercluster by the Nova Shroud deployed by Fladnag the White and his Void Ranger Lobo Ono. Hero Force One have found themselves on Wayne's World, a planet dominated by 90s pop culture...

    Elsewhere again, several deities have banded together in protest of the expansion of the Story beyond the confines of Earth. In order to take control of the Writers, they have resolved to follow the trail of Hero Force One and seek out R.I.T.E. whose goal appears to be the direction that the Writers are aiming. In the ranks of R.I.T.E. are HorseGod and, recently, Chronos. They are preparing for a great invasion of a powerful entity...

    Current TeamDr R. Deep - Mentor and Mage of the team.
    Judge - Currently designated leader and heavy-hitting telekinetic.
    Seraphim - Heavy-hitting angel with healing powers.
    Magick Snowflakes - Young Mage and Potential Character.
    Qhobeg #2 - Story-Wielder and general layabout.
    Company Kid (Benjamin Mahir) - Able to transform into a rat and longest-surving Company Kid.
    Hermes Trismegistus - Scholar, Mage, God and Know-it-all.
    High Imp - Rival to Highemperor and master of bluffing, having lost all his contractual powers.

    Honorary Members
    Flax Hyperon - Space adventurer and super-stud muffin.
    Lobo Ono - Alien Space Ranger with many arms, many guns, two heads and a most impressive space bike.

    Earth-bound Members
    Citizen Rex / The Patriot / Acidspitter (Mr Nine)
    Last edited by TheBritt; 08-03-2015 at 10:30 AM.

  2. #42
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    Ginger Spice

    Judge slowly floats down to Qhobeg. She smirks at him.

    Judge: "Why do we keep meeting like this, Qhobeg? Oh wait, it's because you're incompetent."

    Qhobeg: "Let's just stay down here and argue while our friends are pulverised by 8-bit constructs of doom, shall we?"

    Qhobeg considers what he just said.

    Qhobeg: "Actually maybe that's exactly what I'd prefer to do. Wow! Judge! You're in a girl band!?"

    Judge turns in puzzlement to see a massive poster for the Spice Girls. And in the middle is Ginger Spice in her union flag dress.

    Judge: "ACK!!!"

    Shocked that she had subconsciously been channelling Ginger Spice all her life, she drops Qhobeg.

    Qhobeg: "AIIIIIiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!"

    -------------

    Sometime later Judge floats Qhobeg back up to the forty-second floor of the building.


    Qhobeg:
    "An inch away, I was. An inch from death."

    Judge: "Stop exaggerating."

  3. #43
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    When Judge and Qhobeg reach the 42nd floor, levitating through the shattered window, they find the Power Gloves slumped unconscious on the floor, the other HFO teammates dusting themselves off.

    Qhobeg: Wow, that was fast.

    Judge: Dammit, you couldn't have waited for me to get back? I only got in a few licks!

    She telekinetically thwacks an unconscious Power Glove for good measure.

    Seraphim: Well, maybe if you weren't busy shagging your boyfriend--

    Judge: WHOA. Hang on. I did not-- Would never--

    Deep: It did take you an awfully long time to get back up here, it seems.

    Qhobeg: Guys, if I'd shagged Judge, trust me, I'd be boasting about it. But I did not have sexual relations with that woman.

    Everyone's jaw drops, except Magick, who wasn't around in the 90s.

    Seraphim: I knew it!

    Lobo Ono: I don't know about Hero Force One, but in the Void Rangers, we try to act professionally while on the job.

    Judge: NO! Dammit, Qhobeg! Why'd you have to quote Bill Clinton?

    In frustration, she telekinetically hurls Qhobeg out the window again.

    Deep: It is the planet of 90s pop culture references. There's probably a low-level psychic background field, subtly influencing us. So when he said that he and Judge didn't shag, the psychic field exerted enough effect for him to pick those words.

    Qhobeg's shriek of terror can be heard dwindling.

    Deep: ...you know you only have to catch him again?

  4. #44
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    Arrow Who's That Pokémon?

    Judge rises back up through the window and roughly drops Qhobeg on the floor.

    Qhobeg: "How much punishment can one man take!?"

    Judge: "Wish to keep testing that limit?"

    Qhobeg: "Nooooooo..."

    They look up to see Hermes, Lobo Ono and Ben have joined the group, apparently having shown up while Judge was saving Qhobeg. From a fate she put him in. Again.

    Hermes: "Now that you've finished playing games, shall we move on?"

    Without waiting for the group he went through the door, looking more eager than usual to locate their quarry. Judge surmised this was because he had never seen the Reset Button and was probably overjoyed at the prospect of studying it. The crazy old codger.

    Dr R. Deep: "Which way, Flax?"

    Flax dramatically holds up his Star Trek scanner and takes his sweet time in deducing that they should turn left. No right. No no, it was definitely left.

    They open a door and standing in the middle of the room is a kid with a red and white cap. He slowly turns to face them and spins his cap backwards.


    Qhobeg: "Who's this brat?"

    The kid holds out a red and white ball.

    Flax Hyperon: "A bomb!!"

    Flax dives for cover while everyone else stands and watches him do so. The Pokéball flies across the room.

    Judge:
    "I bet it's a Pikachu."

    Magick Snowflakes: "No way! It's gotta be a legendary!"

    The Pokéball smacks Hermes dead in the face.

    Hermes: "... ouch."

    The ball bounces off of the old man and springs open. Crackling light engulfs Hermes and... he is captured!!!!!

    The boy holds up his Pokédex.

    Hermes

    A being of godly powers who enjoys studying artefacts and likes to eat mangos.
    Qhobeg: "He does? Who knew!?"

    The PokéKid tosses the Pokéball again.

    Judge: "Who's that Pokémon... I bloody wonder... NOT!!"

    Qhobeg: "That reference was almost cringe-worthy. Especially with your weird British accent."

    Judge: "You mean sexy accent, right? I know you yanks love it."

    Benjamin Mahir: "Even I have to admit... it is a really attractive accent..."

    Judge smirks smugly.

    A flash of light reveals the "Pokémon".


    Hermes: "Herm. Herm. Herm."

    Hermes grabs his mouth in terror.

    PokéKid: "Get ready to attack, Hermes!!"

    Hermes: "Herm!! Herm!! Hermes!!!"

    Hermes looks as though he's protesting.

    PokéKid: "Hermes! Tail whip!!"

    Hermes turns and waggles his bum at the heroes.

    ...

    ...

    The laughter seems never-ending.


    Benjamin Mahir: "Make him do something else!"

    PokéKid: "Hermes! Headbutt!"

    Hermes rushes over in an instant and headbutts Qhobeg.

    Everyone but Qhobeg laughs hysterically.


    PokéKid: "Hermes! Super Mega Death Ray!!!"

    Laughter stops.

    Benjamin Mahir: "That doesn't sound so funny..."

    Suddenly the ceiling cracks. The entire building shudders and the heroes desperately try to keep their balance. Then the ceiling is gone, along with the entire upper half of the building. They look up to see the Megazord, apparently seeking revenge for the dragonzord being plot-holed. The megazord tosses the upper half of the building away and raises its metal fist to smash the heroes!

  5. #45
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    Lobo Ono: Vatican cameos!

    The PokeKid looks very put out.

    PokeKid: That's NOT a 90s reference--

    All the heroes duck in response to Lobo Ono's command, and Hermes' Super Mega Death Ray - he's a super-god-mage, of course he's got one - shoots out in coruscating blasts of power to incinerate the Megazord.

    PokeKid: Bad Hermes! I wanted to capture that Megazord, not kill it!

    Hermes Trismegistus: *smugly* Herm herm!

    Deep: This is bad. What fell magic could entrap someone as powerful as Hermes?

    Lobo Ono: You don't travel much, do you, human? Some planets operate by physical and magical laws unique to their own spheres. On Wayne's World, the 90s references are so strong that, yes, their Pokeballs can capture even the likes of a super-mage-god.

    Qhobeg: Say, Magick, you were a waif in the future, right?

    Judge: This is not the time to trade childhood sob stories, Qhobeg!

    Magick: Er, yeah, why?

    Qhobeg: I bet you learned how to pickpocket, didn't you?

    Magick: Well, no, actually--

    Qhobeg: I AM NOW INVOKING THE TROPE OF ALL WAIFS KNOWING HOW TO PICKPOCKET!

    Ben: Oh god, this brings back horrible memories of the NeS 'heroes'...

    High Imp: IS there such a trope?

    Qhobeg: Should be, it's common enough, even if it doesn't have a TV Tropes entry.

    -----

    Britt the Writer: Really, it doesn't?

    Al Ciao the Writer: Eh, too lazy to look.

    -----

    Magick: What the fook! I just remembered, I DO know how to pickpocket!

    Qhobeg: Great! Now pickpocket that Pokeball off him!

    Judge: You DO realize the kid is actually HOLDING the Pokeball in question right now...

    Qhobeg: So pickpocket another one. We can defeat the kid with one of his own captured creatures!

    Magick: Fine. Watch an expert.

    In a scene that Al Ciao the Writer is far too unimaginative to describe, Magick Snowflakes picks the PokeKid's pocket to produce another Pokeball. Qhobeg pumps his fist into the air in triumph.

    Qhobeg: Success! Now open it!

    Magick tosses the Pokeball, and a flash of light reveals... Burby00!

    Burby00: Burby. Burb Burb Burbyyyyyy.

    Magick: What the HELL?

    Seraphim: FURBIES! Aw, it's so cuuuuuuuuuuuuuute! I want to love it and hug it and squeeze it--

    Judge: --and call it George?

    Seraphim: Why would I call it George?

    Qhobeg: Don't be fooled by its cuteness. That is an implacable villain! As you can see by the glowing red eyes.

    The evil mastermind Burby00, captured by a PokeBall, hisses powerlessly at his master, who at the moment is Magick.

    Magick: Burby! Attack!

    Burby00: BURRRRRRBBBBBBYYYYYYYYYY!

  6. #46

    God's Advocate

    Back in London, Agent Mulligan and Citizen Rex stand before a man previously killed in action -- The Patriot. His hat, once starred bold with the American Dream, now appears golden-crossed and bright in holiness. His coat, previously as blue as the spacious skies above his beloved Homeland, now shine with the brilliance of a sunrise (though he would claim they are the color of amber waves of grain). Apart from his more divine, Gandalf-the-White-like attire, however, The Patriot still stands like the intimidating quarterback of Team USA. The Patriot turns his attention to Agent Mulligan, who stuttered in disbelief of his identity.

    The Patriot: "Yes, Agent, I have returned. However, my duties as the Patriot to Hero Force One, even to the great United States of America, have always been but a part of my loyalty to God. And today, my loyalty has been recognized, for I am now God's Advocate."

    Agent Mulligan and Citizen Rex stare in a mixture of utter awe and confusion. They look at each other, and finally, Citizen Rex musters the courage to speak up.

    Citizen Rex: "So... what does that mean, exactly?"

    The Patriot turns his attention to Citizen Rex.

    The Patriot: "It means that you will have to die for your country if you can't make it proud by living, boy! The Greatest Nation in all of Creation will need an avatar to champion for its just cause, to wield the mass weapons of Democracy against Communism and Terror, and to lead the people to the One True Way, the American Way, for Hero Force One stands for America, and America stands for God. I must stand for God, and you must stand for America."

    Silence. The Patriot then scowls at Citizen Rex.

    The Patriot: "You've obviously been doing your country a great disservice."

    Citizen Rex: "Actually, I'm Armenian--"

    The Patriot: "You're too weak and powerless to even bring the sun back, resorting to tricks to deceive the world into thinking it never left."

    Agent Mulligan: "We'd have done otherwise, if we could, great Patriot, but we've been unable to contact Hero Force One, and it was all we could do with what remained of the other Hero Forces could do with the Magium magic users. Now that you're here, though, surely we can fix all this!"

    His hopeful face starts to drop, however, as the Patriot held his eyes closed.

    The Patriot: "...it is not God's will at this time. Rest assured, though, that those faithful in God, and in the might of the Union, will be rewarded. I must leave, but before I do, I must do something about the sad state of affairs with my successor..."

    Citizen Rex: "Yes! Finally, I'll have my rightful powerplaying abilities again!"

    The Patriot: "I don't know what drivel you're babbling about, nor do I care. Frankly, you should be punished for soiling the name of all that is good, not rewarded, before tossing you into boot camp and earning your way to the right of defending the people, to ingrain in you your duty to God, Country, and your Team. However, these are desperate times, when it is clear that God's Chosen People--"

    Agent Mulligan: "Israel?"

    The Patriot: "--of America are under a threat even greater than Communism and Terror."

    Citizen Rex and Agent Mulligan look at each other again in confusion.

    Citizen Rex: "Erm, what's worse than--?"

    The Patriot: "God-damn ALIENS! I was certain that they were no longer a threat to all of God's creation after the 60's, but it's clear now that ALIENS are behind this catastrophe. Therefore, under this clear and present danger, extreme measures must be taken to protect national interests, and that means going against my better judgement to provide you with something, boy."

    After digging into his inside coat pockets, he produces what appears to be Lady Liberty's torch if it was used for the Olympics. While the Patriot holds it with one hand, it appears as if it should be held with two hands, and in fact, when he hands it to Citizen Rex, the torch is nearly dropped before Citizen Rex holds it with both hands.

    The Patriot: "It will burn bright, blue as the shining sea, whenever you are near any alien enemy."

    Citizen Rex: "Uh... thanks. Good to know I can scare them away with a fancy flashlight."

    He points the torch forward and pushes a button on it. The flames suddenly and violently shoot forward, betraying its peaceful appearance to that of the deadliest flamethrower.

    The Patriot: "Any who are not God-fearing humans will burn in its power. It will be America's beacon of hope, no matter how dark or far away it may be to see. Good night, and good luck."

    With that, The Patriot disappears in a flash of holy light. Agent Mulligan and Citizen Rex look at each other once more before they notice that their newly-gifted torch has begun to burn blue.

    Agent Mulligan and Citizen Rex: "Alieeeeens...."
    Last edited by Gebohq; 08-08-2015 at 03:32 PM.

  7. #47
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    Arrow Burbination

    Burby00 leaps at Hermes and headbutts him right in the noggin. Hermes recoils and glares back at his "trainer", evidently blaming him rather than himself.

    PokéKid: "Hermes! Use ultra-awesome-punt!"

    Magick: "Burby00 use Protect!"

    Burby00 pulled up a blue shiny barrier just in time for Hermes to kick said barrier and wound his foot. Again Hermes was unimpressed with his trainer.

    Magick: "Their friendship must be pretty low by now. Maybe Hermes can break free!"

    Qhobeg: "Is that in the rules?"

    Magick: "It is now! Burby00, kick Hermes in the bollocks!"

    The Heroes recoil from manic, and apparently malicious, Magick Snowflakes.

    Burby00 stomps towards Hermes.

    PokéKid: "Hermes use--- ooof!!"

    Judge smacked the kid across the back of his head, interrupting his commands. Burby00's attack was, therefore, successful!

    It's super effective!!!!

    Eventually, Hermes manages to get to his feet and curses in his own special Hermes language. But Burby00 begins to shine and flash!

    Magick: "What!? Burby is evolving!"

    When the shiny is over, Burby stands looking taller and meaner than ever. Like demonic burby.


    Magick: "It's... Uber Omega Burby!"

    Qhobeg:
    "You totally just made that up."

    Magick sticks her tongue out at Qhobeg.

    Uber Mega Burby shudders. Then turns to Hero Force One. On its seemingly evil-cute face is a twisted grin of barred teeth.


    Qhobeg: "Uh... what's it doing?"

    Magick: "I think I don't have enough gym badges to control a Pokémon of such a high level..."

    Seraphim: "Enough of this childish nonsense!"

    Seraphim's wings beat and she is instantly propelled forwards. Her fist connects with Burby's face and knocks one of it teeth flying out of its mouth. The beast reels from the sudden attack but, upon recovering, it roars menacingly. When Seraphim tries to attack again the massive Burby plucks her from the sky and pounds her into the ground. It opens its mouth and a large beam of hot white energy blasts out and hits Judge, who had been sneaking up behind it.

    While the other heroes charge at Burby, Magick runs and jumps over Burby's stumpy legs and reaches out of the PokéKid's discarded pokéball. Hermes, who had been standing there watching, is suddenly active.


    Magick: "Hermes! Oblivion Attack!"

    Hermes spreads his hands and Burby's skin begins to dissolve into blackness. The creature roars with horror until its head is gone. Then the rest follows suit.


    Dr R. Deep: "That... was a pretty dark thing to do, Magick."

    Magick taps her own head and laughs.

    Magick: "Oops! A little overpowered, right?"

    Dr R. Deep: "Not what I meant."

    Hermes: "A least it's over."

    Magick: "Not quite. You can talk now... but... Hermes, sit."

    Hermes sits on the floor.

    Hermes: "I am not amused."

    Qhobeg: "Actually I kind of like him this way. Magick can you make him do a hand-stand?"

  8. #48

    Mythos of Man: Book of Beginnings: Chapter 1

    In a time and place beyond the threshold of life, beyond the shimm'ring pale veil of eternity, beyond the realm of the possible, a castle floats in a dark sky filled with stars and nebulae, black holes and quasars. Wicked towers and soaring ogees buttress the citadel, which conveniently has a spooky soundtrack playing through it, coming out of the very walls in a susurrus of maddening siren screams. The fortress towers up leagues in the sky, and fathoms below into quarries of hovering rock. All in all, it makes a good home for the melodramatic at heart.

    In a cavernous chamber, paradoxically found at both the most hidden heart and the highest height of the castle, a lone figure sits slumped in his secret throne. This throne within this chamber, secret as it is, does not command countless kingdoms like the official throne room does, and yet it seats the real power, a power which threatens all. Or will, rather. For now, the figure broods, its power still without sufficient passion to drive its plans to perfection. A dramatically convenient shadow hangs over the figure's features, obscuring its identity from even pesky readers, and for further convenience, the figure will be addressed as "Hidden Power" until its identity revealed.


    Hidden Power: "This new thread weaves accordingly to my design, and yet I still lack that fire within which I need, that inner power I once had that burned away every doubt of my certain superiority... doubt of my supreme perfection... doubt my personal glory, without which, this all means nothing!"

    Even alone, shrouded in shadow, the Hidden Power speaks as if addressing an audience.

    Hidden Power: "The Earth, the center of narrative threads... it should have been mine! And yet I was Answered, and then I was swept back here by that insufferable Sepulchral Phantom as dust from a library floor! Why?! Why why why why WHY?!"

    The Hidden Power's yell echoes in the empty chamber, its childish demands void of real purpose.

    Hidden Power: "Silence, Narrator! I grow annoyed with your incessant prattling, so hush, before I have you read off the story of your own execution!"

    Just then, the Hidden Power adjusts its posture in thought... *sigh*... "its brilliant genius illuminating its god-like good looks"--really?

    Hidden Power: "I think it's time I take a page from a wizened old man and indulge in some reading."

    A ridiculously oversized and orante tome materializes from thin air, hovering in front of the Hidden Power. With a wave of its hand, the tome opens to its first pages.

    Hidden Power: "Here, the Mythos of Man chronicle every story of humanity worth telling. Every myth to answer every question. I'll start with studying the old man himself..."

    Mythos of Man: Book of Beginnings: Chapter 1

    In the beginning, there is, quite frankly, a lot of confusion. There is Chaos and Nothing and Darkness and all sorts of divine beings and god-monarchs who all claim to exist on their own accord before the other, and who all claim to have brought Order and Light and all things into being as we know it, and who all claim grand stories of their own. Such stories are beyond the scope of this humble tome. Suffice to say, this confusion starts to settle as the Earth, center of all stories, emerges into existence.

    Again, confusion stirs once more. How is the Earth made? How long? How will this story get off the ground with all these questions? The hows are not explained in this humble tome, and the hows are not the important questions to be answered. The important questions to be answered are why, and why all of existence and all of Earth has been created is for one purpose, and that purpose is to set the stage for stories, the greatest of stories which will never end. Stories which, at their heart and soul, need characters. And thus, the greatest character needs to enter and begin to weave such great stories. That character, as all the Powers That Be plot for their own control, would be Man.

    Or so the plots presume.

    On a day on Earth, whether it was the sixth day or the six trillionth day cannot be said as the decimal place is clearly smudged in this humble tome, the god of time, the gods of fate, the god of magic, and the god of writers convened to create the First Man. Several accounts claim that humans existed at this time, that humans had been already created. Again, the confusion, or as some call them, plot holes. However, this First Man would begin the purpose of humanity, a titanic purpose so many try weaving for their own ends.

    The god of time blesses this first man with longevity, the gods of fate bless the first man with destined strength, and the god of magic blesses him with arcane intelligence, each with the aim that this new character would further their own greatness. However, the god of writers, in his own image, blesses him with free will, foiling the others' plots. The First Man stands tall and strong.

    His name is Adam Terraleph, the first man of Earth.

    And as typical of writers, the god of writers decided to rest the next day. The lazy sod.
    Last edited by Gebohq; 08-23-2015 at 01:31 AM.

  9. #49

    Mythos of Man: Book of Beginnings: Chapter 2

    Hidden Power: "Wait, why am I reading this? I have powers beyond comprehension! I could just know its contents and be done with it."

    The Hidden Power glances around its vastly empty chamber.

    Hidden Power: "...perhaps later."

    With a flip of its finger, the Hidden Power compels the tome to flip its page.

    Mythos of Man: Book of Beginnings: Chapter 2

    On the day the god of writers rests, Adam surveys his new home. The god of writers had brought him to Eden, the first heaven for Earth on Earth. Eden overflows with abundance of life in harmony, a paradise free of conflict and suffering. Adam doesn't know how good he had things, here in Eden. In fact, Adam doesn't really even have an understanding of what Good even means. Or Evil. Or much of anything, really. Adam had been gifted with an intelligence capable of grasping the darkest secrets, and yet knowledge eludes him at this time.

    What Adam does know is that he has a lot of questions.

    Adam Terraleph: "God?"

    At first, there is no response, as if nobody is around. Adam, however, continues to call out, incessantly. Finally, the god of writers stretches his arms from behind a tree and walks into view, now leaning on the side of the tree.

    WriterGod: "Hmm?"

    Adam Terraleph: "I have a question."

    WriterGod: "I suppose I can answer one question."

    The man hesitates. His very short life so far makes grasping subtext difficult, though he considers that he may, in fact, only have the chance to ask just one question.

    Adam Terraleph: "What is...everything?"

    WriterGod: "Everything? That's... a large question. Try something smaller."

    For a moment, Adam pauses. He looks pensive, as if considering his options. He then points at a rock.

    Adam Terraleph: "What's that?"

    WriterGod: "Well... what do you think it is?"

    Adam Terraleph: "I don't know. That's why I asked."

    WriterGod: "You have free will, free to find your own answers."

    The man curls his mouth in confusion.

    WriterGod: "Take a guess. Use your mind. What would you call it?"

    The man picks up the rock and examines it. He furrows his brow in thought.

    Adam Terraleph: "I am on Earth. This is part of what I'm on. I'd call it 'earth'."

    WriterGod: "Earth it is."

    Adam Terraleph: "And yet I stand on many things, and they are different, and there are things that stand on this Earth like me but not like me, and--"

    WriterGod: "Why don't you go name those things, then? They're newly made, like you. And I can go back to resting.."

    Adam Terraleph: "Does this make me a writer?"

    WriterGod: "...in a way, sure. Now go, do your own thing."

    And so Adam runs off to name all the animals and plants and whatever else he comes across, and the god of writers seems to disappear from behind a tree. Shortly after, though, Adam returns.

    Adam Terraleph: "God."

    Again, Adam hears no response. Again, Adam incessantly calls out, even longer than before.

    Adam Terraleph: "I'm done! I discovered something I called a montage. It helped."

    Silence. Adam strokes his chin.

    Adam Terraleph: "I could really use a beard."

    He smiles as a thought occurs to him.

    Adam Terraleph: "Since I have named everything, I will sit here now and do nothing. Forever."

    The god of writers spins into view from behind another tree.

    WriterGod: "But you have free will! You can decide to do whatever you want!"

    Adam Terraleph: "I decided to do nothing. And now you're here."

    WriterGod: "Yes. For now. You have to be able to live on your own, though, or my gift will mean nothing."

    Adam Terraleph: "I don't want to be alone."

    The god of writers pauses in heartfelt consideration.

    WriterGod: "You had been made to be the first of many, and any story could use more than just one good character..."

    However, the god of writers, like any lazy and unimaginative and narcissistic ******* of a writer, decides to do what any lazy and unimaginative and narcissistic would do, and make a copy.

    WriterGod: "You'll probably want to be asleep for this."

    Before Adam can question, the god of writers taps him on the forehead, and Adam falls to the soft ground. The god of writers forms another body of of the ground, and the body looks just like Adam...mostly. No self-portrait is ever quite the same, after all.

    WriterGod: "I wasn't even supposed to work today... I'll just take a piece from the man and be done with it."

    The god of writers yoinks a rib from Adam and plops it into the new body. With a short breath, the shell blows away like dust, and a new human stands alive. With a snap of his fingers, the god of writers wakes up Adam.

    WriterGod: "Here's your new friend."

    Dazed, Adam stares in awe.

    Adam Terraleph: "Woah....man? Can I name that too?"

    Human: "I'll name myself, thank you! And I'm naming myself Eve."

    Eve looks at Adam and smiles.

    Eve: "I'll accept 'woah-man' as well."

  10. #50
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    Hermes Trismegistus: How much more of this must I endure?

    Hermes is currently doing a handstand, as bid by Magick Snowflakes at Qhobeg's suggestion.

    Magick: Teehee!

    Hermes Trismegistus: I am not, repeat NOT, amused.

    Qhobeg: I said handstand, Magick, not 'Queen Victoria' impression.

    Magick giggles madly, but stops when Deep clears his throat.

    Deep: I like seeing a super-god-mage taken down a peg as much as the next guy, but we can't treat a teammate that way.

    Magick: Right. Sorry, Hermes. You can do your own thing now.

    Judge: Alright, so with that nonsense out of the way, we can get the Reset Button now, right?

    -----

    In the Deep Void, far away from the hidden supercluster of dozens of galaxies, Dragonlord Riaken and his fellow Derkesthai beast tamers approach the Netherwyrms. Riaken bellows a challenge to the nearest one, which cranes a truly massive head towards him. Its head alone is as enormous as the gigantic dragon on whose back the Dragonlord's citadel is perched. The Netherwyrm's jaws yawn open, and a torrent of black netherflame, sufficient to utterly disintegrate a planet, envelops the half-dragon half-angel.

    When the torrent ceases, Riaken is still there, unbowed.


    Dragonlord Riaken: My turn.

    He pulls out a red cape, and begins acting the part of a matador. Albeit, a half-dragon half-angel matador out in the Deep Void beyond the universe, with a monstrous Netherwyrm in place of a bull. The Netherwyrm, maddened by the red cape - it is after all a tantalizing morsel of reality and dimension - charges, and Riaken expertly sidesteps at the last possible moment, borne on his mystic wings.

    Over and over, for a timeless age, he does this, until bullfighting tropes conspire to wear out the massive creature, and Riaken hovers over its exhausted form triumphant.


    Dragonlord Riaken: Now, beast, you are mine.

    He looks over to see that all his other beast tamers combined have only managed to tame one Netherwyrm by themselves. Two Netherwyrms total, then. This was going to take a while.

    Dragonlord Riaken: There must be a way to speed this up...

    -----

    Seraphim: Maybe it's behind THIS door!

    She slams yet another door off its hinges, as the rest of the team cringes, save for High Imp, who relishes the prospect of another fight. So far, Seraphim has slammed open doors to find more zords, mutant turtles, cartoon supervillains voiced by Mark Hamill, and Bill Clinton "not having sexual relations" with Monica Lewinsky.

    Qhobeg: That last one was REALLY awkward.

    Now, however, nothing reacts hostilely to Seraphim's invasive entry. Instead, a giant floating Pokeball is glowing.

    Judge: What in blazes is THAT?

    Ben: It's a MASTER Ball! That kind can capture Anything!!!

    Mesmerized by it, Ben reaches out and grasps ahold of it! Its glow pulsates contentedly in his hand.

    Qhobeg: Dude, I bet you could capture--

    He pauses, trying to think of something more powerful and impressive than a super-god-mage like Hermes Trismegistus.

    Qhobeg: --ANYthing in that!

    At precisely that moment, a strange being appears in front of them, having teleported there after consulting his viewing orb in a certain dragonback citadel. It is a half-dragon half-angel.

    Dragonlord Riaken: Ah, greetings. Perhaps you can assist me; I'm searching for an artifact called the Master Ball--

    Hermes Trismegistus: Hoping to capture a few Yoshis?

    Ben quickly hides the glowing Master Ball behind his back with a gulp. Riaken does a double-take at Hermes.

    Dragonlord Riaken: Ah, Hermes! Er, yes, precisely. When you came to my citadel and explained that your team was being assaulted by Ordimarian Prophetim, I didn't realize that our sworn enemies the Yoshis were also after you!

    Seraphim: Actually, Judge here tamed-- OOF!

    Judge has elbowed her in the ribs.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Er, yes. Sorry about that, ah, slip. I was in such a rush, you see.

    Deep eyes this exchange with an astute gaze. Hermes of course is being cagey and uncomfortable, because he accidentally embroiled several of his allies into a battle with each other, some of his allies being sworn enemies with some of his other allies. But... why is this Dragonlord also being cagey and uncomfortable?

    Dragonlord Riaken: Quite, quite. No hard feelings. But, ah, I don't suppose you do know anything about a Master Ball...?

  11. #51
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
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    At Dragonlord Riaken's query, High Imp's eyes glitter, and a sly grin spreads across his face.

    High Imp: It is possible we may have heard some lead upon the subject of the Master Ball's location.

    The half-dragon half-angel warily regards the only member of Hero Force One whose height matches his.

    Dragonlord Riaken: I see. And what do you desire in exchange for this... possible lead?

    High Imp: I can think of any number of desirable items that the king of all Derkesthai might possess...

    Deep clears his throat significantly.

    High Imp: ...but I think the retrieval of the nearest Reset Button will be quite satisfactory.

    Riaken peers curiously at the demon.

    Dragonlord Riaken: A Reset Button? What do you want one of those for?

    High Imp: Ah, if you want information on a different subject, we must haggle a separate bargain.

    Dragonlord Riaken: Never mind then. If there is a Reset Button somewhere on this planet, then I will retrieve it for you, if you tell me where the Master Ball is.

    High Imp: We have a pact then. Ben... show the Dragonlord what you hold.

    Ben gulps and brings out the Master Ball. Riaken's mouth falls open.

    Dragonlord Riaken: Excellent! I'll be taking that.

    High Imp: Ah, ah, ah. I believe we only negotiated for its LOCATION... not for giving it up to you.

    The half dragon half angel glares malevolently at them, and even Judge shudders. High Imp is unfazed.

    High Imp: But I am not altogether a manipulative *******. Retrieve the Reset Button for us as you swore, and we shall give you the Master Ball in kind. It is somewhere in this building, is what we know.

    The Dragonlord continues to glare at the demon, and Deep wonders for an instant if High Imp has miscalculated and pushed his bargain too far. But the Derkesthai king relents.

    Dragolord Riaken: Very well.

    His draconic eyes rove around, as if seeking some intuition. Then he spreads his wings, and leaps into the air, before diving nosefirst into the floor. Naturally, the floor crumbles before his assault, as does the floor below that, and several more floors below that one. Judge, Seraphim, Magick, and High Imp peer interestedly down through the hole as the sounds of battle constantly erupt, then fall silent, before erupting once more.

    Judge: I'll say this for the guy... he sure can fight.

    Seraphim: I'm glad we didn't have to fight him.

    High Imp: I do not fear any being's power, no matter how great.

    Seraphim: I didn't say I was afraid of him. A peaceful solution is always best.

    Judge snorts, knowing the violent impulses of her fallen-angel friend. Presently, the Dragonlord swoops back up through the holes he made, bearing the Reset Button. It is a nearly flat silver box, with a gigantic red button atop it.

    Dragonlord Riaken: I have your Reset Button.

    Hermes Trismegistus: That's definitely it. Not a fake.

    The half dragon half angel king of the Derkesthai narrows his eyes.

    Dragonlord Riaken: I would not stoop to such low deception.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Of course not, but my companions do not know you as I do.

    The Dragonlord is mollified by Hermes' diplomatic reply. Judge reaches for the Reset Button, but he pulls it away from her grasp.

    Dragonlord Riaken: First... the Master Ball. You may know me to be honorable, Master Mage, but I do not know any demon to necessarily be such.

    High Imp smiles sardonically, and crooks a finger at Ben. The wererat Company Kid gulps and proffers up the Master Ball. Riaken takes it triumphantly, and then relinquishes the Reset Button to Judge.

    High Imp: The pact is complete. I hope to... deal with you again, Dragonlord.

    The Dragonlord bows slightly, and then vanishes in a crackle of displaced air. Magick is looking at the demon with a new measure of respect. Deep sees that new respect and worries for it. Judge however is all smiles.

    Judge: Welp, mission accomplished!

    Lobo Ono: So... back to your agonizingly primitive space station?

    Deep: Nope, time to check in on Bill Nye on Bungybungy!

    -----

    Shortly, the HFO shuttle exits warpspeed over Bungybungy and lands. The Deux Ex Machine is towering even higher into the sky, and as the shuttle lands, they see Bill Nye waving his arms at them and putting a finger to his lips.

    Qhobeg: We're back! Is my God Machine read--MMMFF!

    Bill Nye has clamped a hand over Qhobeg's mouth.

    Bill Nye: *whispering* Shhhh! It's being tonally calibrated now. The slightest acoustic reverberation could throw it off and result in the implosion of this universe and every adjacent one for sixteen dimensions sideways!

    Suitably chastened, the heroes clamp their mouths shut. Hermes Trismegistus, however, is staring up at the machine in awe.

    Hermes Trismegistus: *whispering* This design is looking familiar now... The Hedrons of Substation Kappa Phi Delta! They must be Deux Ex Machines too!

    Bill Nye: *whispering* Oh yes, the hedron design is archaic. Very effective and powerful, but not often used anymore. Nothing inherently wrong with the blueprint, just that it's incredibly hard to calibrate properly; most people who try to build one wind up blowing up themselves and whatever planet they happen to be in.

    Hermes Trismegistus: *whispering* But...there were more than a dozen hedron-based Deus Ex Machines that I saw. Together in the same chamber!

    Bill Nye regards Hermes with some degree of shock and disbelief.

    Bill Nye: *whispering* You must be mistaken.

    Hermes Trismegistus: *whispering* Try remembering who you're talking to.

    Bill Nye: *whispering* The skill, time, and dedication to build that many hedron-based D.E.M.s is astronomical! And what could possibly necessitate so many in one place???

    Hermes remembers what the Doctor said of the Hedrons in Antarctica: 'older than the universe'...

    Hermes Trismegistus: *whispering* What, indeed...?

    Qhobeg: *whispering* But is it ready yet?

    Bill Nye: *whispering* Soon, soon. Approaching 87% completion. Runes need to be painted on, gears oiled, capstone fitted, and the membranes are being tonally calibrated now.

    Qhobeg stares blankly at Bill Nye's words. The scientist sighs.

    Bill Nye: *whispering* Yes, it's almost ready.

    Qhobeg: YAY!

    Bill Nye: Shhhhhh!

    It is too late. Qhobeg's loud exclamation begets sparking and popping all over the surface of the Deus Ex Machine. Bill Nye frantically rises into the air on hoverboots and begins adjusting all sorts of instrumentation.

    Hermes Trismegistus: I'll stay here to help him stabilize it. The rest of you get out of here!

    The god-mage shoots a dirty look at Qhobeg, and the heroes hustle into the shuttle. They take off in record time and enter warpspace hastily.

    Judge: Nice going, idiot.

    Qhobeg: Sorrrrrrry! But if you were told that your magic lamp was almost ready, wouldn't you be excited???

    Judge: Deep, permission to gag the idiot.

    Deep: Denied. We haven't a big enough gag.

    Judge bellows in laughter. Qhobeg looks hurt.

  12. #52
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326
    Beyond the galactic supercluster, Dragonlord Riaken and his beast-tamers have tamed all the Netherwyrms with skillful use of the legendary relic known as the Master Ball. Riding atop the massive draconic beasts, they soar through the Deep Void to the hidden supercluster, where Riaken lashes magical ley lines - those usually invisible threads of magical essence that weave throughout the cosmos - to the Netherwyrms, then drives the Netherwyrms out into the Deep Void once more.

    The ley lines are pulled and unfurled behind the Netherwyrms, forming a ley bridge towards other universes, just as the captive prophetic Ordimarian angel had told Hermes Trismegistus.

    Meanwhile, our heroes - minus Hermes Trismegistus - return to their space station, to see the fighting between multiple factions starting to die down. The Derkesthai - that is, the dragon cataphracts ruled by Riaken - are gaining the upper hand over everyone else, and the Ordimarian Devil has appeared - thanks to a quick call from High Imp - to maul the Ordimarian Prophetim.


    Deep: That is... fortuitous.

    He is looking outside the viewport of the HFO space station command chamber.

    CynthAI: Indeed. I had calculated that your team would have little chance of containing this battle; it is fortunate another group succeeded where you most likely could not have.

    Qhobeg: Gee, thanks for the pep talk, CynthAI.

    CynthAI: You are welcome.

    Qhobeg arches an eyebrow and looks at Deep, who shrugs.

    Deep: Her sarcasm subroutines are occasionally faulty.

    Seraphim is looking at the battle winding down.

    Seraphim: Who are those people? The armored dragon-riders, I mean.

    Magick Snowflakes: Search me. Hermes is the one who knew them.

    Judge: All I know is, they're killing my precious Yoshis!

    Seraphim: There, there, YOUR Yoshi is perfectly safe in our space station's arboretum.

    Judge: Whew!

    Lobo Ono: They are called Derkesthai. Dragonlord Riaken, whom we met on Wayne's World, is their leader. But they are of no import at the moment. My readings are... disturbing. I need to access your computer, triangulate my sensor recordings with yours.

    CynthAI: No one 'accesses' me. Ask me nicely, and I might cooperate.

    Lobo Ono looks at Deep, who shrugs somewhat helplessly. The Void Ranger suppresses a sigh.

    Lobo Ono: Computer, will you please let me triangulate my sensors with yours?

    CynthAI: I have a name, you know. How would you like it if I called you 'Two-Headed Six-Armed Anomaly'?

    Lobo Ono: Honestly? I wouldn't give a damn. Been called worse.

    CynthAI: Very well, Two-Headed Six-Armed Anomaly. I will assist you.

    Lobo Ono: Thank you, er...

    Magick Snowflakes: CynthAI.

    Lobo Ono: Thank you, CynthAI.

    CynthAI: You are welcome. See how much smoother the team functions when we are courteous with one another?

    Judge: I don't know, I prefer shoving Qhobeg around to being nice to him.

    Qhobeg: If you ever were nice to me, I think I'd freak out.

    They both chuckle, then stop abruptly and edge away from each other. The other heroes nudge each other knowingly.

    Lobo Ono: Whoa, my sensor readings are confirmed. Compu-- CynthAI, will you please display my findings for the others?

    CynthAI: Of course, Two-Headed Six-Armed Anomaly.

    A hologram displays of gigantic black dragonlike creatures approaching the hidden galactic supercluster, then turning in the opposite direction. Lobo Ono adjusts a dial on his wrist-mounted computer, and sparkling silver lines appear, tied to the beasts' backs and unfurling behind them from the supercluster.

    Deep: Ley lines...?

    High Imp: It is as the god-mage said. R.I.T.E. is constructing a ley bridge to other universes, to siphon off their power. And they are using Netherwyrms to do it.

    Judge: Wait, so this means all bets are off, right? They've done what they wanted to do, so now we can get about with moving the supercluster back where it's supposed to be?

    Lobo Ono: Yes. So now we have a choice. Use a Reset Button which could cause a paradox or a neverending time loop... or trust a simpleton to wield godlike powers through a machine that may even now be blowing up the universe.

    Deep: No. Before we make THAT decision, we should mop up this battle. It may be winding down in favor of the Ordimarian demons and these... Derkesthai, but I daresay we don't want them in Earth's vicinity once the supercluster is returned. HFO - deploy!

    The team leaps into action, variously zooming out into space, suiting up, or mounting a Yoshi (in Judge's case) or super space motorcycle (in Lobo Ono's case). Magick Snowflakes stops Seraphim however.i

    Seraphim: What is it, Magick? We have a battle to get to!

    Magick Snowflakes: I know, but...

    She bites her lip, clearly unsure how to proceed.

    Magick Snowflakes: Even though you kick butt and all that... you're the team cleric, right? Couldn't you... resurrect Nick?

    Her voice is such the picture of hope and longing, that Seraphim's heart nearly breaks.

    Seraphim: I... I'm sorry, Magick. Once I could have. Used to resurrect Company Kids all the time. Well, before they started refusing to be resurrected and we had to just replace them. Something about not wanting to deal with the Patriot anymore...

    Magick Snowflakes: Then why can't you resurrect Nick?

    Seraphim: I'm not a heavenly servant anymore. I'm fallen. I don't have the divine blessing to bring the dead back to life. I can still heal, but... I can't turn back death.

    Magick is obviously crestfallen. Seraphim hugs her awkwardly.

    Seraphim: I'm so sorry, Magick. Let's - let's get to it, okay?

    Without waiting for a reply, she zooms off. The young mage sniffs and wipes a tear from her eye as she prepares to follow the angel.

    High Imp: Hold a moment, child.

    [i]Magick jumps in startlement, having not been aware of High Imp's presence.

    Magick Snowflakes: But the others need us! And I'm not a child!

    She bristles. High Imp's eyes glitter with amusement.

    High Imp: No, you are not. A child would not be in such desperate infatuation with someone who is... recently lost.

    Magick's face pales, and her fists clench. The loss of Nick is still raw, but there's been so little time to think about it.

    Magick Snowflakes: Don't you dare say a word about him.

    High Imp: On the contrary, my dear, I could show you what has happened to his soul. You might even be able to contact him.

    Magick regards the demon suspiciously, but is unable to suppress the flicker of hope within her.

    Magick Snowflakes: How?

    High Imp: Before I show you, I require... incentive. Some quid pro quo.

    Magick furrows her brow.

    Magick Snowflakes: Dr. Deep's told me all about demons and their trickery!

    High Imp: I am not most demons, little sorceress.

    Magick Snowflakes: What, you're gonna try to tell me you're really one of the good guys?

    High Imp: You are far too perceptive to believe such a blatant lie, one which I would never stoop to telling.

    Magick Snowflakes: Well, I can't trust you to keep any promise you make.

    High Imp: You saw me keep a bargain with the Dragonlord, did you not?

    Magick Snowflakes: Yeah, I... I guess.

    High Imp: So what if I should show you the vision of your lost friend... and after that, if you deem it worthy of payment, you can fulfill my request?

    Magick Snowflakes: That seems awfully magnanimous.

    High Imp: Perhaps because I am certain of the value of my offer.

    Magick Snowflakes: What would you want in return?

    High Imp: A spell. Knowledge of a single spell that you know.

    Magick regards him warily, but High Imp forestalls her reluctant objections.

    High Imp: Any spell of your choosing. A cantrip, if you like. It will not be removed from your mind or any such thing... merely taught to me, of your own volition. And only if you deem my vision of sufficient value.

    Magick twists her lip in thought, clearly torn, and her resistance crumbling.

    Magick Snowflakes: Well, I... I guess that would be okay.

    High Imp: Excellent. The pact is made.

    He says the words with such satisfaction and finality that Magick instantly wonders if she's made the wrong decision, but her misgivings are swept away as High Imp makes a complex motion with his hands, and an image is conjured between his talons. It is none other than Nick! He seems alive and well, sitting on a golden throne, no less!

    Ares: Why so downcast, son? You're a god now!

    Nick: Sure, of jam donuts. With exactly ONE worshipper!

    Ares: Could be worse, eh? At least you're not the god of lint, like poor Leroy Leprechaun!

    Nick: I guess...

    Sparkles explode all around Nick in the vision, and he gasps.

    Nick: What happened?

    Ares: I'd say you just found yourself another worshipper...

    High Imp lets his hands fall to his sides, and the vision dissipates. Magick lets out a breath she didn't know she'd been holding. In the space of the past few moments, she had sworn devotion to the god of jam donuts, if only for the chance to see him again.

    High Imp: I trust you are satisfied?

    Magick looks at him, tears of happiness trickling down her face. Renewed hope flushes her visage.

    Magick Snowflakes: Yes! Thank you, yes! I should have known his dad wouldn't let his soul languish!

    High Imp: My spell then, if you please.

    Magick Snowflakes: Oh right.

    She sobers, belatedly remembering her promise. Well, High Imp had said she didn't have to teach him anything if she wasn't satisfied, right? She could claim she wasn't... couldn't she? But that wouldn't sit right with her, lying like that. Well, he'd said just a cantrip would be fine, so maybe she could teach him the spell of summoning lavender petals? But no, High Imp had dealt fairly and honestly with her. She had to reciprocate. But she didn't have to teach him anything dangerous or harmful to others.

    Magick Snowflakes: Okay. This is the strongest protection spell I know...

  13. #53

    Mythos of Man: Book of Beginnings: Chapter 3

    In the Hidden Power's super-secret chamber, 'X' suddenly appears. Many powerplayers would never appear in the chamber, either because they are biding their time in hopes of becoming the top dog or deciding they would rather flex their power elsewhere, where they wouldn't have to fight for the spotlight. This powerplayer, however, felt playful and brash at this time, and thus made her appearance.

    Her appearance becomes short-lived, though, because the Hidden Power has already established its usefulness to this story, and so when it dismisses X, the story obliges, and X poofs out of the way. Surprisingly, she does not return to drag things out, possibly finding her fun elsewhere.

    Having brushed aside the distraction, the Hidden Power continues reading.


    Mythos of Man: Book of Beginnings: Chapter 3

    Adam and Eve hold hands as they survey Eden in their nakedness. The CensorGod swoops over, placing bushes and leaves in places just so none of the audience can see the good parts. The two humans stare in confusion as the random bushes and such move in inexplicable ways, shrug, and move on.

    The two see a sign planted in the ground by a nearby fruit tree.

    Eve: "What is it?"

    Adam: "I believe it's a sign. I can't be sure, though, since I can't read."

    The WriterGod appears, throwing his arms up in exacerbation.

    WriterGod: "It says 'Don't eat from this tree'."

    Adam: "Why not?"

    WriterGod: "Why would you want to? There's plenty of other things to eat. I'll take care of any other trees not giving you fruit if you call me. Call for delivery, if you want. Just don't eat from the tree."

    Adam: "Why?"

    WriterGod: "Because you don't want what's from that tree."

    Adam: "Why?"

    WriterGod: "Because it's bad for you."

    Adam: "Why?"

    WriterGod: "Because the tree is mean like that."

    Adam: "Why?"

    WriterGod: "Because that's just how the tree is."

    Adam: "Why?"

    WriterGod: "Because some things are, and some things aren't."

    Adam: "Why?"

    WriterGod: "Because... because I said so. Just go back to living the good life already."

    Before Adam could ask 'Why?' again, the WriterGod disappeared. Adam and Eve look at each other in confusion.

    Eve: "I'll go ask the guy at the gate if he has any delivery suggestions. Whatever 'delivery' even is."

    Eve leaves, while Adam stares at the forbidden tree. A snake slithers into view onto one of the branches.

    Snake: "Hey, man. How're you?"

    Adam: "I don't know. I want to know why I can't eat from this tree."

    Snake: "This one I'm on? Maybe the branches are too high? Here."

    The snake plucks one of the fruit from the tree with its tail and lowers it down to Adam's height.

    Adam: "I mean that I was told I shouldn't eat from it. That it would be bad for me."

    Snake: "By that WriterGod guy? Did he tell you that this was the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil?"

    Adam pauses. He takes the apple from the snake.

    Snake: "He probably really wants you to have it anyway. The WriterGod's always going on about free will, so he's probably just seeing if you'll do as your told or do as you want. Here--"

    The snake tosses down a second and winks.

    Snake: "--for your lady friend."

    Just then, Eve comes back with a bunch of paper menus.

    Eve: "It looks like we have mostly something called Chinese that delivers. They have pictures on them, at least."

    Adam offers one of the fruit to Eve. Having been born yesterday, Eve doesn't think much of it.

    Eve: "Thanks! This whole delivery thing might have taken a while anyway."

    The two eat their fruit as they look at the menu. At one point, they look at each other with wide eyes.

    Eve: "You're naked! You'll get your penis sunburned like that!"

    Adam: "And you'll get chilly during the cold nights without something to wear!"

    Eve: "Wow, we're dumb. We should make some clothes."

    Adam: "Good idea. Good... I didn't realize what that was until just now."

    Snake: "Clothes, huh? You humans are weird."

    As Adam and Eve rummage through the bushes for leaves to wear, the WriterGod comes back.

    WriterGod: "I came back because a writer isn't much good to those who can't read, so-- why are you two hiding in the bushes?"

    Eve: "Because we're trying to make clothes!"

    WriterGod: "You ate from the tree, didn't you?"

    Adam: "What tree?"

    WriterGod: "The tree I told you not to eat from."

    Adam: "Oh right... I forgot."

    Eve: "We ate from that tree?"

    WriterGod: "And now you're lying."

    Adam: "Well I'm not very good at it yet! Why did you forbid us from eating from a tree that made us smart? How could we have possibly know not to eat from a tree when we didn't know what was good and bad?"

    WriterGod: "Because I told you."

    Adam: "And yet you're always telling us to use our free will, then you go telling us not to do something. That snake told me you were probably testing us."

    Snake: "Hey! Don't throw me under the bus, man."

    Adam: "Under what?"

    WriterGod: "I now deem that all snakes must crawl on their bellies wherever they go."

    Snake: "Dude, I already do that."

    WriterGod: "...I now deem a new trope that all snakes are evil."

    Snake: "Well screw you guys, then! I'm out of here."

    WriterGod: "As for you two... you'll have to leave Eden now."

    Adam and Eve: "What?!"

    An angel begins to escort them out of the gates and away from Eden.

    WriterGod: "You'll never be allowed to return, either. Life outside of Eden is a rough world too. You'll have to do a lot of backbreaking labor, and having kids is going to be a real pain."

    Eve: "This isn't fair!"

    Adam: "Punish me, if you must, but allow Eve to stay! She didn't know."

    The WriterGod seems to consider with sadness.

    WriterGod: "No, you must both go, for your own good."

    Eve: "Good. I go where Adam goes."

    Fury builds in Adam.

    Adam: "You're not making any sense!"

    WriterGod: "And the story-world you enter in now will only be more nonsensical. I will leave you two with one final gift... the gift of Potential."

    At that moment, the WriterGod touches the two on their foreheads.

    -----------------------------------

    Adam and Eve wake up, their heads filled with many conflicting thoughts.

    Adam: "Were you and I just kicked out of Eden? Or are we but the first humans with self-awareness? Or am I a man once named Soriel? Or one of the other ten thousand other memories I have?"

    Eve: "I don't know..."

    She looks at Adam.

    Eve: "...and I don't care. Our potentials before us are our own."

    She waggles her eyebrows knowingly.

    Adam: "We won't need clothes if we keep each other warm... and take turns blocking each other from the sun..."

    He waggles his eyebrows knowingly.

    She waggles.

    He waggles.

    They embrace and fall to the ground.

    The snake watches from above, wearing sunglasses and with a camcorder beside him.

    Snake: "Awww yiss."

  14. #54
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Seraphim

    The Derkesthai, in light of their leader's victory over the Netherwyrms, are pulling out of the battle-zone. With the Derkesthai untangling themselves, the Ordimarian angels are putting up a more competent battle against the Ordimarian demons - years of combat between the two forces mean familiar territory for the angels. Seraphim's wings spread out as she pushes herself from Orbital One and into the thick of things. She might have wings, but she doesn't need them. They're more for show. Her flight comes by other means, allowing her to continue movement in the void of space.

    She sees angels trying to attack the station again, but they're being pushed back by Dr R. Deep and the impish demons left behind by Acidspitter. The damage to the station appears to be largely repaired by the nanites, though the lower end still has some gaping holes in the midst of repairs.

    Seraphim draws close to the nearest alien angel. The angel turns to see Seraphim, but it is too late. Seraphim's fist rocks the angel's head so hard that it twists around with a snap.

    Seraphim: "I wonder if she saw that coming."

    She pushes the body away and floats towards a largely gaggle of foes. Ordimarian demons, still being very-demon like, have already started to attack Hero Force One members as well as the angel. The two-sided battle is essentially a three-way trial to the death. Seraphim is even sure she'd seen demons fighting each other half the time. Only the Ordimarian Devil seems to contain himself and focus on the angels.

    Of course, it means Seraphim has no need to hold back.


    As she nears she feels divine energy surging through her body. As it draws to its peak, white light spills from her eyes like long white tears that glitter against the starry backdrop of space. She throws her arms down and from a tear in space suddenly emerges a great shaft of like, sword-like in its design, that flies down towards the gathered group of angels and demons. The hot-white lance strikes through the cluster. Demons are instantly burnt to a crisp in explosions of heavenly white light, while the angels merely cease to move as though frozen in death. The spear, three-times the length of Seraphim herself, turns like a beam of light striking a mirror and shoots towards Seraphim herself. She prepares herself and moment later she grabs the light and is dragged at a blinding speed towards another group. She lets go of the divine light, which continues on to burst through the fighting bodies while she decks a straggling demon in his horrid face. The demon's head lolls with confusion so she smacks him again until he moves no more. To finish him off she channels a token of that divine light into her hands and set the creature alight.

    Suddenly she's grabbed from behind by an angel, who had foreseen her approach. The angel locks Seraphim's arms in place. The Earth-bound angel jerks her head back to strike the angel's nose but the enemy just tucks her own head to the side. No matter how Seraphim tries to kick or punch she's locks in place and no spark of divine light would take the assailant out. She draws on that spear of light again and brings it hurtling back towards them.

    Ordimarian: "You'd kill us both!"

    Seraphim doesn't bother to reply. She's sure the enemy would relinquish her grip before Seraphim's will gives out.

    She isn't wrong.


    The Ordimarian releases Seraphim at the last minute and Seraphim shifts the direction of the lance. It rises up, like a white dragon, and then descends again. It chases after the Ordimarian, who tries to flee on her own divine light. She may have escaped, if it wasn't for a stray aggressive demon that attempts to tackle the angel - only to wind up disintegrated by the lance of light. The Ordimarian ceases to move, stilled by the sheer power of the sword. Seraphim rises her arm and closes her fist. The spear disappears. However she has already drawn attention from all quarters. Demons rush her, believing her power gone. But she expected this to happen. She rechannels her energy inwards and then suddenly unleashes it outward. Light explodes from within her and expels in all directions like a jagged sphere. Some demons tried to stop themselves flying towards the light but it expands too quickly and engulfs them. While such a technique may only hinder any angels, or knock them back, demons are particularly susceptible. They burn with brilliant white light.

    An angel, from below, whips out a fragment of her own divine light which whips around both of Seraphim's legs. Although still divine in many ways, Seraphim isn't an angel of Heaven any longer - so the divine light of the Ordimarian God stings her skin like its being eaten or slowly burnt away. She looks down and shoots a shaft of light at the enemy, but misses. She brings the bolt of light back upwards but again her foe is too cunning. The oracle smiles with the eagerness of expected victory. She yanks the light belt and pulls Seraphim downwards. The movement causes more pain in Seraphim's legs. Another string of light, a stranger shade of white-blue than Seraphim's own, lashes around Seraphim's neck. Seraphim's own power starts to pulse and rage but she cannot focus it into an attack to repel the Ordimarian.

    Then, one moment she is slowly burning to death. The next moment she sees something long, red and sticky latch onto the oracle's head. Apparently she hadn't foreseen this coming. The long tongue whips back again and the angel follows. She is consumed by the open mouth of Judge's Yoshi. The beast swallows and, with a pained expression, poops out an egg. Seraphim stares at Judge with shock.


    Judge: "He's hungry! And angels taste good! Don't they, Yoshi? Yes they do! Nom nom nom!"

    Seraphim: "Tongues off of this angel, okay?"

    Judge: "Don't you worry your little cotton socks, Sera girl. My Yoshi knows he's only allowed to eat nasty meannie angels. Am I right, boy? Yes I'm right. Yes I am. Good boy!"

    Seraphim feels her light repairing her skin and soothing her pain, all subconsciously activated. The sensation is actually quite a pleasurable experience and leaves her feeling quite tranquil.


    Seraphim: "If you keep relying on that thing, you'll get sloppy, you know?"

    Judge: "Hey! He's not a thing! He's a Yoshi! Don't listen to the snarky lady, Yoshi. She's just jealous she doesn't have a loyal steed!"

    Yoshi: "Yo-Yo-Yo-Yoshi!!"

    Judge: "See? He wants to be friends with you!"

    Seraphim: "I'm not going to indulge you, Judge. Keep your ticky-tongued animal away from me."

    Judge: "Even when he saves your life?"

    Seraphim: "Don't exaggerate. I'd have gotten free one way or another."

    Judge: "C'mon boy. We know when we're not wanted. Let's go kick some demons in the head."

  15. #55
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    dragon lady

    As the battle ensues the Derkesthai are making their tactical withdrawal, determined to kill a few Yoshis on their way out. Suddenly they see another dragon pass the battlefield. It's very large.

    Derkesthai Soldier: " Sir! Should... We uh... Tame.. It?"

    The soldier seems unsure of his own words as they stare at the unusual dragon.

    Dragon Lady: "Yeehaw!!!!"

    The dragon cries in laughter as it rides a very old rocket straight by them and completely ignores everything going on.

    Lord Riaken: "I... Don't think so..."

    -----

    NSN: Written quickly on my phone. Sorry for no formatting.

  16. #56
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326
    Magick Snowflakes zooms away from Orbital One into space. She is swept up in the joyous emotions of seeing Nick alive and well... okay, perhaps not strictly alive, but WELL, and that was what mattered. Static discharges from her, power bubbling over in the throes of her emotion. These Ordimarians - angels and demons alike - they're just distracting her from her joy. And they're the ones who took Nick away in the first place. She's had about enough of them! She just wants them to--

    Magick Snowflakes: Go... AWAY!!!

    Her voice rings out as a bellow heard across the void of space, surprising even her. All the Ordimarians, both prophetic angels and anti-oracular demons, vanish from the Terran system, as though they'd never been. Hero Force One is left as the sole occupants of the space around Orbital One.

    Judge: Holy...

    Deep: I definitely need to further her training. Her power is not the issue. Her controlling it, however, is.

    Hero Force One swoops back onto their space station, meeting in the war room again for a debrief. Hermes Trismegistus surprises them all by appearing.

    Qhobeg: Oh, you're back! Did you, uh, prevent the universe from exploding?

    Hermes Trismegistus: Nope!

    He says it so cheerfully that the other heroes look very suspiciously at him.

    Deep: No?

    Hermes Trismegistus: ...but we managed to put a time delay on it.

    Judge: A time delay? Honestly, sometimes I think he's making this stuff up.

    Ben: Er... how much of a time delay?

    Hermes Trismegistus: Oh, only about an hour.

    Seraphim: What!

    Hero Force One leaps to its collective feet, prepared to swoop into action once more, this time to save the universe. Hermes waves his hand dismissively at them.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Oh, settle down. I snipped that millisecond from the timeline and stored it safely in here.

    He produces a small hourglass, with no sand in it.

    Deep: You're saying there's a cosmic explosion contained in that hourglass?

    Hermes Trismegistus nods in satisfaction.

    Deep: And you brought it HERE?

    Hermes Trismegistus: Oh, chin up. It's as safe here as it is anywhere in the universe. Cosmic explosion, you know, can't really escape it no matter where you are. But no worries, this vessel is made of pure lamimagiated quintessence. Unbreakable by any except the mightiest of deities.

    Judge: Are you sure about this, old man?

    Hermes Trismegistus: If you care to try your best to smash it open, feel free, my dear.

    Judge rolls her eyes, despite looking almost tempted. Ben still looks perturbed.

    Ben: Is there a way to open it, though?

    Hermes Trismegistus: Oh, certainly. I can think of about a dozen ways, off the top of my head.

    Deep: Then I suggest you keep it some place SAFE.

    Hermes Trismegistus smiles at them and waggles his eyebrows. There is the slightest flicker of motion, during which the hourglass vanishes.

    Magick Snowflakes: Whoa! Neat trick.

    Lobo Ono: That was a flicker obvious even to these sapients with dulled senses...you must have traveled unusually far.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Let's just say that the hourglass is now in the safest place imaginable.

    He declines to comment further.

    -----

    The Deep Void contains quadrillions of universes in its infinite nondimensional vastness. The galactic supercluster which has been transported into the Deep Void by R.I.T.E. is still relatively close to the border of the NeSiverse.

    But far away, with three universes between this nonpoint and the NeSiverse, a tiny hourglass now drifts in the Deep Void.


    -----

    Deep: Fine. The immediate threat to Terran space is dealt with, and R.I.T.E. has achieved their goals. Now onto the business of getting home.

    Qhobeg: YES! Time to play God!

    Judge looks warily at him.

    Judge: We're not REALLY gonna let this idiot use a... whatever that thing is.

    Deep: We certainly are.

    Qhobeg: Woohoo!

    Hermes Trismegistus: But perhaps not without putting a geas on him, to prevent any... wayward wishing.

    Qhobeg: Awww...

    Deep: That will not be necessary. I trust Qhobeg to do the right thing for everyone, and not to abuse his power.

    Everyone looks skeptically at Deep, but Qhobeg looks even more put out than before.

    Qhobeg: Doc, that's just CHEATING!

    Magick Snowflakes: What? What did he do?

    High Imp answers, amused.

    High Imp: He out-troped the trope master. Appealed to his inner nobility. Thus guaranteeing his responsible use of the Deus Ex Machine.

    Deep just smiles. Qhobeg continues to pout.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Right then. I'm off.

    Seraphim: What? Why?

    Hermes Trismegistus: I'm not actually a team member. I just got guilted into helping by that creepy talking skull. Besides, I have some... diplomacy to do.

    Seraphim: Diplomacy?

    Hermes Trismegistus: Not everyone who recently vacated Earthspace is as forgiving as the Derkesthai were... And then, once things are patched up there, I'm back to study those hedrons in Antarctica, armed with my new insights into the workings of D.E.M.s from working with Bill Nye on Bungybungy.

    Qhobeg snorts in laughter, just as he does everytime someone says 'Bungybungy'. Judge smacks the back of his head.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Besides, you have too many magic-users on this team. Three of us is a little much. Even if we are the most awesome people here.

    Judge: Hey!

    Hermes Trismegistus: If you think you can bottle a cosmic explosion in an hourglass too, go for it.

    Judge concedes the point with ill grace, sulking.

    -----

    Far away, over the icy planet Ledus, the Ordimarian angels and demons appear, very surprised at their sudden and involuntary translocation.
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 09-22-2015 at 05:04 PM.

  17. #57
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow The Mega Story-Wield

    Judge: "It feels weird without that old codger around."

    Benjamin Mahir: "I'd definitely feel better if he were here. What if this goes wrong? It already exploded once!"

    Bill Nye: "It'll be fine! It's all in working order now!!"

    Bill Nye slaps the side of the machine. It gives a loud, complaining groan and he retracts hi hand quickly. Hero Force One all glance at each other with concern. BungyBungy's stark white sky hangs above them and the red rock of the surface rests beneath their feet once again.

    Benjamin Mahir: "What ever happened to asking those R.I.T.E. guys to return the supercluster anyway?"

    Dr R. Deep: "If they were so inclined, they should have done it by now."

    Judge: "Besides, don't you want to see this baby in action!?"

    Benjamin Mahir: "Not really. Not if there's a chance it's going to destroy the universe. Again."

    Bill Nye: "Aaaaaalmost destroy the universe. Almost."

    Qhobeg: "Can we take a vote on this? Ben is against. I'm against--"

    Judge: "You're complaining again? Not so long ago you were all excited about using this thing."

    Qhobeg: "Because I thought I could make myself ruler of the universe and have a harem of alien babes."

    High Imp: "And you're no longer afraid of dying in the machine?"

    Qhobeg: "An alien babe harem would have been worth the risk."

    Lobo Ono: "And saving... a lot of lives is not worth the risk?"

    Qhobeg: "Not really, no!"

    Dr R. Deep: "Come now, Qhobeg. We both know you are a true hero at heart."

    Qhobeg: "I'd like to keep that heart going, thanks very much."

    Seraphim: "Is the machine ready, Mr Nye?"

    Bill Nye: "Yes! Everything is prepared. We just have to get some ladders set up an--"

    Seraphim: "Time to move, Qhobeg."

    Seraphim grabs Qhobeg, none-too-gently, and flies him up to the seat of the Deus Ex Machine. It is carved into the pillar itself, dug into the obelisk and even given its own door. Seraphim deposits Qhobeg there and he flumps into the comfortable, leather armchair. Judge comes up beside Seraphim.

    Judge: "If you cheat us and swan off to be emperor of the universe, I'll find you and break your legs. Understood?"

    Qhobeg: "Aye aye, chief."

    Judge: "But... I do hope you don't die. Yeah?"

    Qhobeg: "... thanks."

    Seraphim's head slowly turns to face Judge with a smirk. Still watching Qhobeg, Judge slowly pushes Seraphim away from the hatch.

    Qhobeg wraps his hands around the back of his head and smiles.

    Qhobeg: "I suppose if I single-handedly save the universe I'll be richly rewarded! Maybe given my old desert island. Or country. Hell they could give me a whole planet, right?"

    Judge: "Or they'll say thanks and you'll go back to our usual life..."

    Qhobeg: "Thanks for ruining my dreams."

    Judge: "Is our life really so bad?"

    Qhobeg: "I suppose it's usually a pretty cushy job. But I'll insist that the President installs a disco aboard Orbital One."

    Judge: "Didn't know you could dance..."

    Qhobeg: "I dance like a geriatric chicken. Doesn't mean I don't enjoy it."

    Judge: "Well I wish I could say I look forward to seeing that... but I really don't."

    Qhobeg: "Maybe I could get a horde of fembots installed on the station!"

    Judge: "You don't need your legs to operate this machine..."

    Qhobeg: "I was just joking!"

    Seraphim reappears, her wings beating against the air.

    Seraphim: "We need to remove ourselves, Judge. Come on."

    Judge wiggles her fingers and retreats from the Deus Ex Machine with Seraphim, after the angel bids a short farewell to Qhobeg. Now alone he spins round in his chair to look at the scripture Hermes Trismegistus had scrawled into the rock. He had already been taught how this should work and so he closes his eyes and extends his senses. He feels the immense power of the machine suddenly course through him. The tangled web of Story winds through his mind like data. He tries to make sense of it but it moves too quickly. He only catches glimpses. Characters he recognises - Gebohq Simon, Jim7, Miss Fire. He sees Characters he's never met, but through the machine he knows them as intimately as if he'd met them personally - Iriana Emp, Frank Smith, Clear. He sees Stories unfolding. An island of TLTE clones, an ancient ship and the Galactic Empire, the all-consuming Ever-ending Plot. He tries to refocus his mind on the task. He exerts his will over the machine and feels it yield. It feels just like his usual Stoy-Wielding. It's no different. Except he knows his reach is now limitless.

    The idea of the alien babe harem flashes into his mind. That would be so great. So much fun. But amidst the idea one face haunts him and he knows all the women in the universe could never make him as happy as that one face. He doesn't even know why he likes her so much. Going back to his normal life on Orbital One. It's certainly not a bad life.

    He feels with his mind and manipulates the story-world. The NeSiverse. He grasps the Laniakea Supercluster and hurls it through the Story. The Deus Ex Machine compiles but he feels some resistance, suddenly, to his action. He tries to keep hold. He has to keep hold. At least until the NeSiverse has been rewritten. Then comes a creeping light. His eyes are closed, his mind is open but the light seeps into his mind's vision. The story is laid out before him but it is now marred by the light. He refuses to let go until the task is done. The light grows. His vision cracks like glass. His mind breaks. Then everything is in tunnel-vision. As he feels his mind relax, the NeSiverse settle, the Story continue, he feels he cannot move. He cannot move his mind, his body. All he sees is a small pin-point of light. His own universe is nothing but a single point of light and he knows he didn't escape the machine...

    ----------

    Judge stares at the wall. Her mind is blank and yet busy. It isn't busy with anything, just busy. Occupied. Better not to think clearly. Only when her chin begins to ache does she move her hand and glance around the medical bay. She works her jaw, trying to bring feeling back. She then wrings her hand and slumps back into her seat. She rests her head on her shoulder and watches him sleep. When it was confirmed the supercluster had been returned, they had expected Qhobeg to burst out of his hatch and expect praise. When he didn't come out of his own volition Judge and Seraphim had to go after him. Judge had desperately ripped the door from its hinges and dragged his unconscious body out. Two weeks and he hadn't stirred. His eyes had been wide open but he had a pulse. Now Qhobeg is in an advanced medical bed, tubes shoved into him and his eyes are pinned shut so they don't dry out. Yesterday they cut his hair for him. They cut it far too short - he'd have hated it. But they thought it would be easier to keep him clean that way.

    Judge hears footsteps but doesn't bother to turn around.

    Seraphim: "Lobo Ono is leaving."

    Judge: "Huh. I half-thought he'd stay..."

    Seraphim: "He's a Void Ranger. I doubt our small life as superheroes would measure up."

    Judge grunts in response. The conversation has fallen away from her. She thinks Seraphim asked her something but she couldn't reply. She just sits and stares at the wall again. Sometimes Magick would come in and sit with her, even cuddle with her on the armchair. She thinks Magick needs it too. For Nick. Benjamin would bring food and she manages to eat some of it, long after it has gone cold. She knows Deep is investigating R.I.T.E. It's not over but Judge can't concentrate on the real world. Not yet.

  18. #58
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Beginning of the Epilogue

    Chapter One - Epilogue

    Agent Mulligan: "This way!"

    Agent Mulligan pushes open a set of doors that takes him and Citizen Rex into a room filled with office cubicles. They are following the alien-detecting torch through the floors of the gherkin building that is now the Hero Force headquarters in London.

    Citizen Rex: "It's pointing left!"

    They head left and charge into another room. The men's bathroom. They follow the torchlight slowly. Step-by-step. They reach a stall and the light points at it. The two men look at each other nervously. Then push the door open.

    Alien: "Wargh! Do you guys mind!!?"

    The door shuts.

    Citizen Rex: "Uh... sorrrry!"

    Alien: "A guy can't get any peace these days! Even when on the loo!"

    They pause in consideration.

    Citizen Rex: "Are you an alien?"

    Alien: "No. I'm your mother."

    Citizen Rex: "Real--!!!?"

    Alien: "Of course I'm an alien!!"

    Citizen Rex: "Oh..."

    Agent Mulligan: "One of those Greys, Sir. I think. Saw them on wikipedia."

    Citizen Rex: "Why're they called that?"

    Agent Mulligan: "Because they're grey-skinned."

    Citizen Rex: "What's grey?"

    Agent Mulligan: "... like gray but with British spelling..."

    Citizen Rex: "Oooooooh. I get it now."

    Agent Mulligan: "How does this thing actually work do you think? How does it detect aliens anyway? Does it just detect everything non-human? It could have led us to a spider or a cat."

    Citizen Rex: "I hate cats."

    Agent Mulligan: "But if it's attuned to find certain kinds of aliens, then it will only detect aliens that it's attuned to find and not all of them."

    Citizen Rex: "Do you think I look a bit girly with it though? I mean, it looks like Lady Liberty's torch so people will think of her when they see me, won't they?"

    Agent Mulligan: "Now that I think about it, didn't he say it detect alien enemies specifically?"

    They hear the toilet flush.

    They look at the stall door.


    Suddenly laser bolts strike through the door and smash into the mirrors attached to the wall opposite. Both of them leap aside to avoid being hit.

    Agent Mulligan: "Sir! Now would be a good time to use that torch!"

    They both look at each other and realise Citizen Rex no longer holds the torch. He fumbled it. They both scramble to grab it again from where it lay in front of the stall door. The door bursts open and the grey alien jumps out guns blazing. Laser shots slam into the floor around Agent Mulligan but cause no damage to the man save a hole in his black blazer. Citizen Rex grabs the torch and activates it. Blue flame sears through the air and narrowly misses the grey alien who runs away to avoid being barbecued. The two men run after the fugitive alien, torch primed.

    Agent Mulligan: "I'm going to need a new blazer. Damn. These things cost a fortune. Look out!"

    They duck as laser fire streaks through the office. Agent Mulligan ducks into one cubicle while Citizen Rex gets into the opposite one. Agent Mulligan makes a signal to Citizen Rex that they should circle round and flank the alien at the far end. He sneaks along the outside of the room, crouching low to stay undetected. When he reaches the end he peeks out and sees the grey alien poised to shoot down the middle of the room. Mulligan waits. And waits. Still no sign of Citizen Rex at the other end. He checks his watch. And waits longer.

    Citizen Rex: "Hey."

    Agent Mulligan: "What the-?"

    Citizen Rex hands Mulligan an ice cream.

    Agent Mulligan: "Where did you get this? Why aren't you over there?"

    Citizen Rex: "Oooooh! That's what you meant. I thought it was a weird time to be getting ice cream, but I figured you knew what you were doing."

    Agent Mulligan refrains from mushing the ice cream into Citizen Rex' face.

  19. #59
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Sleeping Beauty

    The alien sniffs the air loudly.

    Grey: "I smell... strawberry ice cream!"

    Citizen Rex: "Damnit! I asked for raspberry!"

    Next moment, laser fire descends upon them again. It lasts just a minute and then the alien continues to flee. Agent Mulligan tosses his ice cream and runs after the Grey. Likewise Citizen Rex gives chase, except he tries to eat his frozen food en route. They slide around a corner. Unfortunately for Citizen Rex this means his ice cream winds up slamming into his face.

    Citizen Rex: "My... ice cream... so sad..."

    Agent Mulligan: "Ice cream can wait, Sir! The alien is escaping!"

    As bravely as any man with ice cream on his face could manage, Citizen Rex continues the chase. They see the alien run into a lift and shoot at them, forcing the two Hero Force members to pin themselves to the wall. The lift doors close.

    Citizen Rex: "Oh well! Looks like he got away! How unfortunate. We should go file a report or something. Well, I'll get my secretary to file a report. I'll be watching Desperate Housewives..."

    Agent Mulligan: "The stairs!"

    Citizen Rex groans.

    Citizen Rex: "Seriously? Stairs? There's going to be like... hundreds of them..."

    Agent Mulligan runs off and a reluctant Citizen Rex follows. They run down the stairs. Citizen Rex wishes he could use those rocket boots they installed to make him fly, but the last time he used them they went haywire and he wound up head-butting the ceiling for an hour until they finally ran out of fuel. Instead he decides to slide down the banister.

    Citizen Rex: "Wheeeeeeeeee!!"

    Next banister.

    Citizen Rex: "Wheeeeeeeeee!!"

    And the next.

    Citizen Rex: "Wheeeeee-- ow my face..."

    Agent Mulligan catches up to where Citizen Rex has misjudged his speed and wound up face-first into the wall.

    Agent Mulligan: "Sir, you should probably take this more seriously..."

    Citizen Rex: "I am serious! Seriously in pain... my poor, poor face. I think I broke my nose. Can you look at it?"

    Agent Mulligan: "No time! The alien is escaping!"

    As they continue to descend the flights of stairs, the torch suddenly grows more dim. So they return to the previous floor and enter it.

    Agent Mulligan: "Must be here somewhere..."

    They cautiously head down the corridor. Out of the windows to their left is London. Clouds lurk over-head giving the city a dim and dismal look. The streets are fairly empty. Most of London's population had been killed when the demons owned the land, leaving just a few battered personalities to rebuild society under the guidance of their alcoholic Queen Maeve. Agent Mulligan couldn't say that he approved. Being a True American and staunch republican (as in favours a republic, not a Republican party supporter - though he is that too) he couldn't see the wisdom of having any monarch in charge. She is just another kind of despot and with the anarchy and desperation after demon control, she is likely to reign absolute power rather than the previous constitutional monarchy that existed before. Then again, none of this is his business and so he dismisses it from his mind to focus on the task at hand.

    They burst through a set of double doors, Agent Mulligan with his gun read and Citizen Rex with his torch.


    Citizen Rex: "I seriously feel I'm being emasculated with this thing."

    Agent Mulligan: "Uh-oh..."

    Man: "Uh-oh indeed."

    Before them is a small horde of Greys. They're all standing, poised with laser weapons. Many of them are wearing human clothes. A Megadeath t-shirt on one. A Hawaiian shirt on another. An "I'm with stupid" t-shirt on a third. One is wearing a Bavarian yodeller's outfit. However at their head is a strange human male. He is wearing a purple tuxedo with an overly large red bow-tie. Aside from this strange get-up, he also has oddly coloured hair. Half of it is blonde while the other half is green. Yet his moustache is purple, to match his outfit.

    Citizen Rex: "Who the Hell're you?"

    Agent Mulligan: "Your diplomatic skills continue to astound me, Sir."

    Citizen Rex: "Thanks Agent... 47..."

    Agent Mulligan: "You... forgot my name... and we don't have agent numbers."

    Citizen Rex: "That you know of, Agent 47!"

    Man: "I should probably introduce myself before you two become further embroiled in your little quarrel. I am Space Butler."

    Citizen Rex: "That's your name? Dude. Like. Your parents must have been psychic."

    Space Butler: "..."

    Citizen Rex: "Or not."

    Space Butler: "I serve as butler and envoy to Princess Aurora Briarose."

    He stands aside to reveal a hovering casket behind him. Inside the casket they can just make out the body of a woman, but the glass appears frosted so they cannot make out any details.

    Citizen Rex' chest swells.


    Citizen Rex: "A princess!? Is she in need of rescuing!?"

    Space Butler: "The princess is sick and so she was put into suspended animation. Hence the bed--"

    Agent Mulligan: "Looks like a glass coffin."

    Citizen Rex: "That's no way to speak to a princess, Agent 86!"

    Agent Mulligan: "And now you get my number wrong."

    Citizen Rex: "You just said you don't have a number!"

    Agent Mulligan: "You just gave me one, Sir..."

    Citizen Rex: "Oh right. Well now I'm giving you another!"

    Space Butler: "Ahem! Where was I? Oh right. She was transported to Earth for her protection. There's a dangerous war going on around her homeworld, Algernon Terse. However when we arrived our friends here kidnapped myself and the princess and we're being held to ransom."

    Citizen Rex: "That seemed like a lot of unnecessary exposition if you ask me."

    Space Butler: "Sorry, I thought a bit of back story might make you more sympathetic to our plight."

    Citizen Rex: "Princess. Kidnapped. Simple math. We're in!"

    Grey: "Hey waitaminute! Are you soliciting a heroic rescue? Right in front of us!?"

    Space Butler: "Uh..."

    Grey: "You were supposed to convince them to bugger off, Space Butler!"

    Space Butler: "Now, heroes!"

    Space Butler, who has been holding a silver-serving tray the whole time, lifts and tosses the lid aside to reveal a stick of dynamite. Agent Mulligan, eyes wide, begins covering fire while Space Butler lights and throws the dynamite straight at the casket with his princess inside. Thinking, for a moment, the crazy old man has just blown up his charge, Agent Mulligan stops firing and takes shelter behind a pillar as the dynamite explodes. He hears a lot of screaming. He turns and sees Citizen Rex is the one screaming next to him.

    Agent Mulligan: "Sir, you need to get a grip!"

    Citizen Rex: "Right!"

    Citizen Rex jumps out and activates his torch of flaming liberation. The blue fire engulfs one of the aliens that had been lucky enough to survive the stick of dynamite. Unlucky perhaps as he's now burning alive. He runs crying with agony, straight into the glass wall. However the movies lie to us. They don't break so easily. The alien thunks against the glass and is fortunately knocked out for the remaining seconds of his life.

    The princess' casket appears to be entirely in tact, though clearly rocked from the explosion as it now rests against the far side of the room. Citizen Rex makes a bee-line for the damsel in a box but is set upon by the alien yodeller. The grey strikes Citizen Rex with a large hammer, knocking the man to the ground and the wind from his chest. He writhes and chokes for air. He rolls to his knees and starts to stand up but is rewarded with a crack of the hammer to his back.

    Citizen Rex: "Owie..."

    He chokes and finally manages to get a single gasp of air. He's suddenly rescued by Agent Mulligan who throws himself at the yodeller. They roll around the floor in a death-locked battle of strength. Fortunately the greys are short and weedy so Agent Mulligan manages to overwhelm his foe and punches the alien's lights out. He looks back and sees that Space Butler is gravely injured.

    He approaches the old man.


    Space Butler: "There will be more on the way soon. You have to get the princess to safety..."

    Agent Mulligan looks back to see Citizen Rex is at the casket, miraculously healed from his injuries with the power of manly pride of saving a princess. He is poking at some kind of control panel on the side of it.

    Space Butler limply reaches a hand towards Citizen Rex.


    Space Butler: "Don't..."

    But he then dies.

    Agent Mulligan: "So sad."

    He then turns instantly back to Citizen Rex.

    Agent Mulligan: "Sir, perhaps you shouldn't play with that."

    Citizen Rex: "We have to rescue the princess!"

    Agent Mulligan: "Space Butler said she's in there because she's sick. If you let her out, she might die."

    Citizen Rex: "But how will she know she was rescued if I don't let her out!?"

    Agent Mulligan: "Uh..."

    Citizen Rex: "Here. This display says Algimon... or something like that. I bet that means open!"

    Agent Mulligan: "It's Algernon. That's the name of her homeworld. Didn't you listen to a thing the butler said, Sir?"

    Citizen Rex: "I bet I press this."

    Agent Mulligan: "That clearly said 'send', not 'open', Sir. That was in English."

    Suddenly the casket begins to rise into the air.

    Citizen Rex:
    "Uh... oops?"

    The casket blasts off. This time the weight and speed of this object is more than enough to smash through the glassed wall. It speeds off through the skies of London and up towards the outer atmosphere of the planet.

    The two men stand at the window and watch the princess fly away.


    Citizen Rex: "I think that counts as rescued... right?"

    They hear doors slam.

    Grey: "What the Hell happened in here!?"

    The two turn around to see another group of aliens have entered the room. They don't look very happy.

  20. #60
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326
    Citizen Rex and Agent Mulligan are surrounded by so many Greys that the alien-detecting is shining with blinding brilliance.

    Agent Mulligan: Can't you switch that thing off? We KNOW we're surrounded by hostile aliens!

    Citizen Rex: But it's so shiny!

    Citizen Rex is staring happily at the bright azure light. Agent Mulligan facepalms.

    Agent Mulligan: At least switch it into flamethrower mode!

    Citizen Rex: Oh, right.

    With a flick of the switch on the torch, blue flames gush out of the torch, and Citizen Rex sweeps it in a wide arc. Screams of burning Greys follow. Around and around Citizen Rex waves his anti-alien flamethrower, and the blue flames begin dimming before smoking out completely.

    Citizen Rex: Aw, is that it?

    Agent Mulligan looks significantly at the charred remains all around them.

    Agent Mulligan: Isn't that enough?

  21. #61
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Latter-Day Greys of Memnoch

    Agent Mulligan: "I wonder why they're here. And who was that woman?"

    Citizen Rex: "Such a shame we'll never know. Let's go celebrate with a Happy Meal from McDonald's! They have Hero Force One action figures in them this month!"

    Agent Mulligan: "Do you think they'll ever approve of an Agent Mulligan figure?"

    Citizen Rex: "Who's Agent Mulligan?"

    Agent Mulligan:

    Dying Grey: "You humans... are all the same... stupid... selfish..."

    Agent Mulligan: "One's still alive! And maybe just long enough to tell us everything!"

    Dying Grey: "I'll tell you nothing, human! Except for everything!"

    Agent Mulligan: "Uh..."

    Dying Grey: "The woman was going to get us the... world..."

    Citizen Rex: "No time for metaphors!"

    Dying Grey: "I mean literally."

    Citizen Rex: "Oh. I knew that."

    Dying Grey: "We are the chosen people... not you humans... you usurped us!"

    Citizen Rex: "Huh?"

    Dying Grey: "We were supposed to span the galaxy, be the central species of all stories to come!"

    Citizen Rex: "Huh?"

    Dying Grey: "We were supposed to be the most recognisable creatures! The species that all are compared to!"

    Citizen Rex: "Huh?"

    Dying Grey: "Seriously dude?"

    Citizen Rex: "... huh?"

    Dying Grey: "Okay, look. Lemme spell it out for you. Humans were made by the cosmic deities; The Fates, Runekeeper and Aeon, right?"

    Citizen Rex: "Who? No! We were made by... God! God Almighty in Heaven! Mr Patriot tells us so."

    Dying Grey: "You mean the guy that gets voted in?"

    Agent Mulligan: "You're both wrong. We're natural product of evolution. Nothing more than that."

    Dying Grey: "HAHAHA! You still believe in those fairytales!?"

    Agent Mulligan: "Uh..."

    Citizen Rex: "Yeah, 68! You still believe in those fairytales!? Evolution. Pah!"

    Agent Mulligan facepalms.

    Dying Grey: "I have no idea why you're the chosen people. You're imbeciles. You were made by cosmic deities and, in the end, blessed by the WriterGod."

    Citizen Rex: "See? I told you it was god."

    Agent Mulligan: "Wrong god, Sir."

    Dying Grey: "We were created by the great deities known as Phractal and Memnoch. Blessed, then, by none other than The Big O!"

    Citizen Rex: "Well! There's your problem right there! You were blessed by a cheeseburger!"

    Dying Grey: "What!?"

    Citizen Rex: "The Big O. Sounds like a cheesebuger name."

    Agent Mulligan: "Sir, I do have to question your logic at times. And by at times I mean regularly..."

    Citizen Rex: "It does! Think about it! A big cheesebuger, you have to make a big O with your mouth! So it's The Big O cheeseburger!"

    Dying Grey: "Cease your prattling! I'm trying to give exposition before I die and you're taking up all my screentime!"

    Citizen Rex: "Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, didn't they!?"

    Agent Mulligan: "Okay, okay. You think you were made by these... gods. Or whatever. What does that have to do with kidnapping princesses?"

    Dying Grey: "She's current heir to your kingdom of Great Britain. The rightful heir! Not that false Queen who sits on the throne now!"

    Citizen Rex: "Such treason! Someone call Scotland Yard!"

    Agent Mulligan: "Sir, you're not actually from Britain, you know that right?"

    Dying Grey: "Through her we could claim that land, and thereby also all lands that it once controlled! The British Empire reborn as the Grey Empire!!"

    Citizen Rex: "Sounds like a boring place if everything is just gray..."

    Agent Mulligan: "You know, it takes more than just some unconscious woman in a box to claim a country..."

    Dying Grey: "Fool. She would merely be a conduit. A conduit to the magic of Albion."

    Citizen Rex: "Wow, this dying speech is taking a long time!"

    Dying Grey: "Actually I'm feeling kind of better now. I think I'm gonna make it!"

    Citizen Rex: "ARGH!! IT'S ALIVE!!"

    Citizen Rex whips the alien with the torch, killing it instantly.

    Agent Mulligan: "SIR! He wasn't finished revealing his master plan!!!"

    Citizen Rex: "Conversation was getting boring anyway. Look my phallic symbol is glowing again. Must be more of them to kill and interrogate! Let's go alien bustin'!"

    They get up and burst into the next room where they find yet another congregation of greys! The two men charge but the lead alien throws his hands up in surrender.

    Lead Grey: "Wait, wait! We come in peace! We are not the same group of Greys that kidnapped your human princess! They are extremists and cling to ancient ideas that we do not uphold! We wish to help you defeat them!"

    Agent Mulligan: "That's good to kno-- SIR NO!!"

    Citizen Rex uses his torch to instantly vaporise all of the peaceful Greys.

    Agent Mulligan: "SIR!!"

    Citizen Rex: "It's okay, 98! I'm sure one of them is barely alive again to interrogate and get the rest of that boring story out of! At least we broke up the dialogue with some burnination!"

    Lead Grey groans and raises his arm towards the humans.

    Lead Grey: "Please... listen to me..."

    Citizen Rex: "ARRRGH!! KILL IT WITH FIRE!!!"

    Agent Mulligan: "NO! Sir, stop!"

    Citizen Rex tuts and starts sulking.


    Lead Grey: "Albion is a focal point of magic on Earth. You have many leylines, but there's a tremendous concentration in those lands. It's why your Story centres so much in those lands, the magic influences the world in which you live."

    Agent Mulligan: "Story? You mean world right?"

    Lead Grey: "For the sake of argument, I'll say yes. But the original bloodline that could tap into the power of Albion is gone. The only descendants of the Fay line are those without the power of bloodink and so they cannot awaken that magical potential of the land."

    Agent Mulligan: "So they captured that poor woman for nothing?"

    Lead Grey: "I believe they may have been trying to... awaken potential within her. The potential to be a carrier of bloodink."

    Agent Mulligan: "Ink in her blood? Is that like magic of some kind?"

    Lead Grey: "... ... ... yes."

    Agent Mulligan: "And then they'd control her... somehow... and use her to get the magic power of Albion to then take over the world. All because they think they're the chosen people and that humans usurped them in that role."

    Lead Grey: "You got it, son. You have to stop them!"

    Agent Mulligan: "Well, we sent that woman flying through a window so... I think we averted disaster already."

    Lead Grey: "You mean I wasted all that time travelling to this bloody planet just to explain something you'd already resolved?"

    Agent Mulligan: "Sorry. You also lost a lot of your friends too."

    Lead Grey: "Bugger them! Benny there wouldn't stop farting the whole trip here anyway! Look at him! Still on fire now! All that methane. Dirty swine."

    Citizen Rex: "I think I like this one."

    Agent Mulligan: "We'll get you to a hospital. Just hang in there."

    Lead Grey: "Just remember... if the 'Latter-Day Greys of Memnoch', as they call themselves, should ever find the Fay descendent... you will have a fierce fight on your hands."

    Agent Mulligan: "Honestly, Sir, we're the Hero Force Team. This is kind of what we do. By the way, how did you know what the guy in the other room already told us?"

    Lead Grey: "The script."

    Agent Mulligan: "Is that a metaphor for destiny or something?"

    Lead Grey: "... ... ... ... ... ... ..... .. ... yes, whatever."

  22. #62
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Plan B

    Grey Lead croaks and, abruptly, dies.

    Agent Mulligan: "Poor guy..."

    Citizen Rex: "My rod is still pulsing!"

    Agent Mulligan: "Sir... please. Enough of the dick jokes."

    Citizen Rex: "Quick, 35! This way!"

    Citizen Rex, guided by glowing torch, crashes into the next room where they, again, find a bunch of Greys. This time they are the villainous type that the torch had been detecting. Citizen Rex holds the torch like a mini-gun and sprays blue fire of damnation across the Latter-Day Greys of Memnoch. Finished, Citizen Rex rests the torch on his shoulder.

    Citizen Rex: "Why do you think they're called Latter-Day wotsits?"

    Agent Mulligan: "Latter-Day is like, modern day. Later people. I suppose. And Memnoch must be their god."

    Citizen Rex: "Oh right. So... is their a group call the Former-Day wotsits?"

    Agent Mulligan: "You're asking the wrong person, Sir."

    Citizen Rex: "We should ask this Grey that'a barely alive!"

    Agent Mulligan: "Again!?"

    Almost Dead Grey: "Damn... you... humans to all the Hells of the Galaxy!"

    Suddenly the window beside them smashes open and a blur of white rushes by them. Seraphim, the angel warrior of Hero Force One, grabs the downed Grey and throws him through the broken window to his ultimate demise somewhere at the bottom of the building.

    Agent Mulligan: "Seraphim!!"

    Citizen Rex: "We were about to interrogate that guy!"

    Seraphim: "About what?"

    Citizen Rex: "If there's Former-Day Greys... also I wanted to know more about the cheesebuger that made his people."

    Seraphim: "I see nothing has changed about you..."

    Citizen Rex: "Why are you here anyway?"

    Seraphim: "We got a call."

    Agent Mulligan: "I made that call hours ago!"

    Seraphim: "I'd like to see you fly in from orbit!"

    Agent Mulligan: "Oh right... I didn't mean any disrespect, Sir."

    Seraphim: "I also had to get a shower before I headed out. And I stopped off for lunch at the Cris B. Chikin Shack. And then, on the way here, I helped an old lady cross the road. Oh and I --"

    Agent Mulligan: "Uh, I think we got it Sir. Thanks for coming! As soon as... you could."

    Seraphim: "I do have more important things to do, Agent. So let's make this quick. I don't want to miss Game of Thrones."

    Agent Mulligan: "Uh. Okay. Grey aliens have taken over some areas of the building. They were here with a kidnapped woman but we managed to... uh..."

    Citizen Rex: "Blast her off into space...."

    Seraphim stares at Citizen Rex.

    Seraphim: "Remind me why we keep you around?"

    Agent Mulligan: "The people believe in him, Sir."

    Seraphim: "... Remind me why the people believe in him."

    Citizen Rex: "Because now I have this!"

    He sends a gout of fire from his torch to demonstrate its awesomeness.

    Seraphim: "Hold it out."

    He does.

    She snatches it.


    Citizen Rex: "Heeeeeeeeeeey!"

    Seraphim: "You can have it back when you learn to be more responsible with it!"

    Citizen Rex: "Awwwwwww."

    Suddenly a Grey, on a suicide mission, burst into the room firing laser shots at them - every one of which misses by a mile. Seraphim, as the Grey gets close, smacks the alien with the torch like it's a club. The alien slams down to the ground with his face mangled.

    Very Near Death Grey: "Arrgh..."

    Seraphim: "Still alive?"

    She raises the torch to brutally beat the life out of the alien before Agent Mulligan stops her.


    Agent Mulligan: "Sir! We should interrogate him!"

    Seraphim: "Fair enough."

    Citizen Rex: "Excellent!"

    Citizen Rex crouches down and glares at the alien menacingly.

    Citizen Rex: "Tell me all you know about cheeseburgers!!"

    Very Near Death Grey: "Wh-What?"

    Seraphim grabs Citizen Rex by the back of his collar and hoists him to his feet, away from the captive.

    Agent Mulligan: "Tell us where the rest of your people are and we'll take you prisoner instead of killing you."

    The alien grins a bloodied grin.

    Very Near Death Grey: "They've moved on to Plan B..."

    Agent Mulligan: "You have a Plan B!?"

    Very Near Death Grey: "We're not stupid apes! Of course we have a Plan B!"

    Agent Mulligan: "Last guy said we didn't evolve..."

    Very Near Death Grey: "Silence! I'm trying to reveal our secret plan here! If we can't take the seat of narrative power, we'll destroy it!"

    Seraphim: "Another plan to blow up the planet? Our speciality."

    Very Near Death Grey: "Ah, but we shall destroy it with irony! Destroy the humans with the dried teat of its own aggression!"

    The three Hero Force members stare down at the alien blankly.

    Agent Mulligan: "I think that was some kind of metaphor for something..."

    Citizen Rex: "I thought it was poetry."

    Seraphim: "I thought they were dying words..."

    She takes a step closer.

    Very Near Death Grey: "You can't threaten me, human! I know I'm dead already! I've told you all that I will tell you!"

    Without any hesitation Seraphim grabs him and throws him through the same window she had tossed the previous one. Agent Mulligan wets his very dry lips as he trembles from the angel's complete lack of mercy or remorse.

    Seraphim: "Orbital One, this is Seraphim. I have a probable threat to the Earth. Alien plans to blow it up using, and I quote, the 'dried teat of its own aggression.' Need a search on what the heck that might be..."

    Voice: "Denied."

    Seraphim frowns at her communicator. She'd never heard that voice before.

    Seraphim:
    "Who is this?"

    Voice: "Also denied."

    Seraphim: "On whose authority?"

    Voice: "Mine."

    Seraphim: "I'm seeing some circular logic here."

    Voice: "Okay, okay. You can call me DelpAI. I'll probably use one of those 'forget sticks' on you later anyway."

    Agent Mulligan: "What!? You can use those on us! That's my one and only special ability!"

    Seraphim: "You have the special ability to push a button on a stick?"

    Agent Mulligan: "I didn't say it was a very good ability..."

    DelpAI: "Think of me as the nexus for Hero Force. I coordinate, facility and guide."

    Seraphim: "Why have I never heard of you before? I'm Hero Force One."

    DelphAI: "Only Hero Force Zero and a few other select individuals know of my existence."

    Seraphim: "There isn't a Hero Force Zero!"

    DelphAI: "And that's what I want you to think. So. This task you've stumbled upon..."

    Seraphim: "I think I should speak with Deep about this..."

    DelphAI: "Let's not add a whole new layer to this conversation. This alien that you speak of is of the Grey species. In particular the group known as the Latter-Day Greys of Memnoch..."

    Agent Mulligan: "That's right!"

    DelphAI: "I wasn't really looking for your input, Agent Mulligan. But thank you for your enthusiasm..."

    Agent Mulligan: "She knows my name...!"

    He looks like he might cry with joy.

    DelphAI: "I see them now. They have... ah."

    Seraphim: "What?"

    DelphAI: "They're storming one of our bases."

    Seraphim: "Which one? Not Orbital One, surely!?"

    DelphAI: "No. Our moon base."

    Seraphim: "What moon base?"

    DelphAI: "This is why I hate bringing new people into the fold. Explaining ancient history. The American government built a moon base many years ago. It was designed with a mega death laser on it."

    Agent Mulligan: "Is that the technical term?"

    DelphAI: "It is actually! Less of your smart-alecking!"

    Agent Mulligan: "Sorry mysterious boss..."

    DelphAI: "I don't view myself as the boss, Agent Mulligan. I am merely the nexus. I help your real bosses do what they need to do."

    Seraphim: "And the dried teat thing?"

    DelphAI: "It looks like a nipple. The moon a big, white breast."

    Seraphim: "There's an image. Dare I ask why it's dry?"

    DelphAI: "The ray was shut down by... well, a particular little scamp that I'm quite fond of. But that's another story. The ray was out of action until... well until I reactivated it."

    Seraphim: "You reactivated something, technically called a mega death laser?"

    DelphAI: "Seemed like a good idea at the time!"

    Seraphim: "What kind of intelligence personnel are you?"

    DelphAI: "Look, I see a lot of futures, pasts and presents all at the same time! Do you know how hard it is to keep it all sorted in my head? Especially when I only have a skull to work with!? And I'm trying to catch up on the latest Game of Thrones."

    Seraphim: "Now I sympathise."

    DelphAI: "I thought you might. So, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to get to the moon and stop the Latter-Day Greys of Memnoch from using our own laser against us! Not only would everyone be dead but it would be very embarrassing to be killed by our own doomsday weapon."

    Seraphim: "Agreed. But, DelphAI, I shall be asking questions about you later..."

    DelphAI: "Acceptable, Seraphim. Agent Mulligan-?"

    Agent Mulligan: "Yes?"

    Agent Mulligan: "Be sure to keep that forget stick to hand. You'll probably need to activate it in the near future."

    Agent Mulligan: "Uh..."

    Seraphim glares at him.

    Agent Mulligan: "Right..."

  23. #63
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow From Plan B to Plan D

    Citizen Rex jumps out of the One Jet and lands on the black, shiny landing pad of the Moon Base. Swirling patterns in the black material glows softly yellow to illuminate the pad to potential spacecraft and walkers on the surface. He looks up an sees a space brimming with stars and nebulae and, most wondrously, an Earthrise. The blue planet is rising on the horizon marking the "morning" of the moon.

    Citizen Rex: "I didn't know we had a jet."

    Seraphim: "I suspect there's a lot you don't know."

    Citizen Rex: "Yeah. I don't know how they get the holes in ring doughnuts..."

    He doesn't notice the groans of Seraphim and Agent Mulligan.

    Citizen Rex: "How're we breathing?"

    Seraphim: "There'll be an oxygen shield. Let's go. We have to stop these alien fiends!"

    Citizen Rex, having been given his torch back, holds up the alien-detecting device and is satisfied to see it glowing blue. They follow the black path, lit up by glowing yellow swirls, towards the very obvious death ray structure. It is a tall building, standing up firmly, and topped by an elongated cannon. The building looks quite unlike the black, future-material of the landing pad and the paths. It looks like a big, grey bunker with a cannon that seems like it was built during the World Wars. A small metal door bursts open as they approach and several Grey aliens pour out with laser blasters. Agent Mulligan returns fire with his Glock 23. Seraphim, however, evaporates them with a sudden blast of divine light that reduces the aliens into white sparkles. The blast marks the grey, concrete walls with damage but doesn't bring them down.

    Citizen Rex: "Awww, I didn't get to burninate anything."

    Seraphim inspects the walls.

    Seraphim: "They may look old, but they've been upgraded."

    Without waiting for the two men, she goes through the metal door. When Citizen Rex gets inside he's reminded of old bunkers again. A narrow passage with metal doors leading to small rooms. He eyes his glowing torch, expecting to see aliens around every corner. However it is all quiet for now. He jogs after the figure of Seraphim, her naked body disguised only by splashing and rippling light. He finds himself distracted until he almost runs into her.

    They're in a large control room filled with banks and banks of old computers that, when put together, probably equalled the processing of a crappy Dell machine sitting in someone's living room. At the centre of the room is a tall control panel that reaches into the ceiling. It shows signs of minor damage and has definitely seen a great deal of repairs. Yet, now, it looks perfectly operational. Standing all around the device are Greys. One of them, in particular, is wearing a plastic toy crown. He is being carried by other Greys as some kind of leader or even king.

    Grey King:
    "Cease! You are surrounded and outnumbered! Surrender!"

    Citizen Rex notices Greys appearing from all sides, armed with laser guns.

    Seraphim: "Defend me."

    Seraphim throws her arm into the air and, from the aether, she draws in white light to the palm of her hand. Mulligan and Citizen Rex both glance at each other before they open fire on the Greys closest to them.

    Grey King: "What? No! You're supposed to surrender so I can trap you and you escape through some contrived means! Dammit! Open fire! Blow them away!"

    The Greys return fire but they seem to aim with standard "action movie aim" and miss by miles save for the occasional dramatic near miss.

    Then Seraphim's "holy bomb" is unleashed. It strikes the central console and it explodes in magnificent fashion, sending all those Greys nearby flying in all directions including the Grey King. The three heroes shield themselves from the blast as it whips at them. When its over, Citizen Rex peeks from between his fingers. The console is nothing but a smouldering heap of metal and Grey strewn across the room.

    Soon-to-be-Dead Grey King: "Owie..."

    Agent Mulligan: "These guys always seem to have one last breath left in them."

    Soon-to-be-Dead Grey King: "Foiled yet again. Time for... Plan D!"

    Agent Mulligan: "Plan D? More backup plans?"

    Citizen Rex: "I didn't even notice what the other plans were..."

    Soon-to-be-Dead Grey King: "Plan A. Aurora, Princess of Albion. We could have taken over the Earth..."

    Agent Mulligan: "Ah. And we sent her off into space."

    Soon-to-be-Dead Grey King: "Plan B. Blow up the Earth. Almost had that one. Such sweetness to kill you all with your own device."

    Agent Mulligan: "We just stopped that one... so what happened to Plan C?"

    Soon-to-be-Dead Grey King: "Plan C... Coke Break."

    He rolls his head to see his dead fellows.

    Soon-to-be-Dead Grey King: "Seems a bit moot now."

    Seraphim: "To say the least. What is your Plan D?"

    Soon-to-be-Dead Grey King: "Destruction of the Nexus."

    Agent Mulligan: "What's the nexus?"

    But it's too late. The Grey King's plastic crown falls and he lies still.

    ---------

    A man dressed in a dark hoodie walks down a long street in Iowa. He wears sunglasses and worn cargo pants. He ignores the people that pass by him. The signal had come and the latest attack of the Trans-Terra-Terrorists is underway. He has just one duty as part of the plan. He turns down a small road onto a new street. He doesn't know why this building is a target. He had scoped it out many times and found it an empty, unimportant place. The family's possessions are all there but the family is absent. He had intercepted their mail a few times and found that the father, at least, is in a hospital somewhere. Otherwise the rest of them are unaccounted for. He comes up the small path of the unassuming house with the plaque reading "The Nest" on it. He kicks open the door with one swift kick. He doesn't care if anyone saw him, it would be over in an instant.

    He removes his bag and places it on the floor of the living room. He takes out a device that is mostly held together with duct tape and super glue. Pipes filled with bright liquids bubble and gurgle as he starts setting up the connections.

    -------------

    A woman walks slowly, lagging behind the rest of the tour group. She appears unassuming though unusual. She has a thick winter jacket on, lank, unwashed hair and wears a pair of thick-set glasses. She then stops. The rest of the group doesn't notice and they continue to explore the Reed Flute Caves, one of Guilin's most popular tourist destinations because of the incredibly colourful caves. Few realise this is because of the magic ebbing through the area, slipping out of the nexus and affecting the old cave system. The woman removes her bag and takes out a device. She puts it on the rock.

    ---------------

    Lourdes, France, is an important holy place for Christians the world over and a place that many pilgrims travel to throughout the year. Yet most don't realise this small market town at the foot of the Pyrenees, separating France from Spain, is a market town meant to supply the Magium - an academy set up for the magic-wielders of the world and stationed further up in the mountains of the Pyrenees close to the town. While the tourists flock to the sites below, one lone individual climbs up the mountains towards the Magium. A lone sorcerer that had once been a young scholar at the Magium is now returning home. He had long forgotten the existence of this place but somehow, recently, his old home crept back into his mind as though a fog of forgottenness had been lifted like a veil. He reaches the doors. They appear damaged (See the NeS proper) . He finds this curious but he doesn't question it. He has a task of his own. He steps over the gates. The Magium would instantly be aware of his arrival. He wonders if they're on-guard at his return, or if they're unsurprised - those that leave ultimately come crawling back. His eyes are weary and his beard unkempt. He's so very tired from his climb. He then opens his robes to reveal a device strapped to his chest.

    ------------

    In Wiltshire, a small car bungles up the road, struggling with the last of its petrol. Finally it comes to a rest, for the last time, and the driver gets out. It's a small Grey. He is wearing heavy clothes to protect his thin skin from the Earth's hot sun. He stomps across the field towards Stonehenge, that old, stone structure that tourists love to snap pictures. Today, however, it's blessedly free of people. He doesn't want to tolerate screaming and running people when they see his face.

    He approaches the large slab at the centre and places a device on it. C-4. He legs it back to his car before the resounding explosion kills him. When he runs back, the slab is shattered into pieces and two of the cairns have toppled over from the blast - yet most of them are still standing tall. Beneath the slab is a mysterious stairway underneath stonehenge. He stomps down into the underground world of England. Just inside he sets another device and starts the connections.

    Merlin's Ghost: "I say, what're you up to?"

    The Grey yelps with sudden fright. He hadn't expected anything to actually be down here. He sees a ghost. The Grey pauses but the ghost just floats there, looking at him with curiosity.

    Grey Bomber:
    "Blowing up Stonehenge."

    Merlin's Ghost: "Ah, I see. I rather hoped you'd come to rescue me when you got rid of that massive stone up there."

    Grey Bomber: "A bit late for that. You look kind of dead."

    Merlin's Ghost: "Well, that's unfortunately true. Still, floating about down here has been quite tedious. As for your little plan to blow up the nexus, how exactly do you intend to do that?"

    Grey Bomber: "An inventor from Discharding engineered these explosive devices. They'll warp the magical signature resulting in the magic in the area to implode then expand suddenly outwards. It's going to be catastrophic. Then it'll get even worse when the flow of magic in the world is so warped and disturbed. It'll shatter even further, become weaker and weaker. Earth will be ripe for annihilation!"

    Merlin's Ghost: "Sounds like quite the nefarious plot! Can't say I approve much."

    Grey Bomber: "You're a ghost, what can you do?"

    ----------

    In Saudi Arabia, a young Middle-Eastern man approaches he most holy site of Mecca. Destroying Mecca would be a crime against his brothers, his mother and father. His countrymen. But he has a higher calling than Allah and the mortal plane of Mecca. He feels the magic running through the land. His Trans-Terra-Terrorist brothers will be proud...

    ----------

    Machu Picchu, one of the most incredible sites in the world...

    ----------

    A submarine, long ago commandeered from Russia by the Trans-Terra-Terrorists, sails through the ocean until they zone in on the Bermuda Triangle.

    ----------

    Ayers Rock, in Australia, stands solemnly against a setting sun. One lone climber finishes his climb up the curiously shaped rock...

    ----------

    The statues of Easter Island stand quietly as another bomb is placed...

    ----------

    Mount Olympus in Greece isn't the Mount Olympus where the gods live. That would be crazy. It's the gateway to that plane of existence, however, should anyone have the ability to travel there. Magic seeps through the mountain in waves as one lone figure places her bag down.

    ---------

    In a cavern in Antartica are the hedrons. Doctor X, having finished his trip to Italy with the other members of the Cult of X, is back studying the ancient devices. He long ago surmised that not all of the hedrons are present. This he's certain. He could tell from the intended pattern that at least one of them has absconded at some point in history, though he cannot tell it was ever present. Perhaps it was never built.

    DelphAI: "Doctor X."

    The good doctor jumps at the sudden voice. He hates it when she does that.

    DelphAI: "I've been reading the outcomes of current events. Hero Force One stopped Plan B of the Latter-Day Greys of Memnoch, but they have prepared a Plan D. Somehow this plan was hidden from sight until now. I don't know how, or why, but it may have been due to outside influence over the flow of time. The importance of it, however, couldn't be hidden from me forever. Unfortunately I feel it's too late to stop it from happening..."

    Doctor X: "What will happen?"

    DelphAI: "I shall attempt to mitigate the damage done to the area."

    Doctor X: "As in this area!?"

    DelphAI: "No, I mean Mount Olympus in Greece where I am kept. I'm afraid the area you are in is out of range of aid."

    Doctor X: "So what will happen?"

    DelphAI: "I'm sorry, doctor. You are about to die."

    Doctor X:
    "Wh-wh-what!?"

    DelphAI: "You must send your research to another hub instantly, else it may be lost forever. Then pray to whichever god you believe in."

    Doctor X: "I... I don't believe in gods..."

    DelphAI: "That is a shame because it is they who shall be mitigating the damage to my home..."

    ----------

    Across the world, explosions suddenly occur. A great drawing in of magical energy from each area as the devices suck in the magic like a sponge. The magic is drawn into a pocket universe for each device, pulling in that magic into a limitless space. Then the device reverses and all of that magic explodes outward. The immediate area is obliterated in the suddenness of magic before the aethereal substance then drifts off into the upper atmosphere harmlessly. The nexus chain is broken, zone by zone.

    At Mount Olympus many, many of Earth's gods fly up into the sky over Greece - some in the real world, some only existing on the aetheral plane, yet all exerting their will to the mountain. Ares, Athea, Zeus, Thoth, Ra, even young Nick. The magical blast pushes back against them as it tries to expand from the mountain. The physical mountain itself is shattered and cracked from the force, the secret hedron base is filled with the fallout of the mountain's destruction. It would take nothing short of a miracle to uncover them again. Yet the magic is being held back, until, led by Zeus, the magic finally loses its momentum and begins to subside. Finally it settles back into the nexus - holding the world together.

    ----------

    Merlin feels the magic being sucked into the device. The Grey scrambles away but doesn't go far. He's consigned to his own demise. The Grey explained that it would explode, but for Merlin it is the implosion that is killing him. He is a being made, now, almost entirely of magic. He feels himself being sucked into the pocket universe, experiencing his existence in both locations. The darkness of Doughnutdelf's entrance and the complete darkness of the pocket universe. In there there is nothing. Less than nothing because nothingness would be something...

    ----------

    Albion.

    Some universes are quite apart from the others, existing in their own state of being without any similarities or connections to other universes. Some universes are copies of each other and some almost exact copies. Perhaps a tree grew somewhere it doesn't grow in the other universe. Some universes only exist because they are connected to a core universe. These may be considered "Otherworlds". An alternate Earth that couldn't possibly exist without the true Earth it is connected to. When that bridge is broken, so too is that universe. So too is Albion.


    Albion, the otherworld connected to the NeSiverse, is home to magic and beings of magic. Quite unlike our own, its existence may be unfathomable to the human mind. Yet there is land and there are beings and those beings have buildings. Buildings created of magic. The Rift of Albion is the connection between Albion and the old land of Britannia, establishing that connection between the worlds necessary to keep Albion thriving. Keep it existing.

    The realm of Albion exists in much the same way that life of Earth relies upon the oxygen excreted by plant matter. A symbiosis of creatures to mutually exist. Without the trees, the animals would die. Albion, a land of magic, exists by using the magic that seeps into it from the magical nexus of Earth. The Rift allows magic to ebb into the world and maintain its magical supply. In fact, without Albion, magic may well reverse into the Earth itself and destroy the entire planet. Albion is much like a sinkhole for magic, and in that well of magic lives the magical creatures known as the Aes Sidhe. Viviane, commonly known as "The Lady of the Lake" by the humans she has encountered beyond The Rift, watches the Great Loft. The Great Loft is the defensive structure built around The Rift. When the Aes Sidhe first realised that The Rift is a two-way street they needed to have something set up in case danger came through and sought to take their magical world by force. Never did anyone suspect such a danger could possibly face them. Magic is being pulled through The Rift, sucked in. Magic in the aether. Magic of the buildings. Magic if the creatures. Magic of the people. Everything is made of magic and everything is being pulled through. The Aes Sidhe of the Great Loft have retreated after the first dozen were sucked through portal, crushed abruptly and splurged through the gap. At their range they seem safe for now but they don't know how long the great consumption will last. Standing on the ground beside her is a Sidhe cat named Shalott, once a witch of great power now condemned to live in her cat form.

    Shalott: "What if it never stops? This Great Consumption?"

    Viviane: "Then we are doomed..."

    Vivane's sword, composed entirely of water, rests idly in her hands - useless against this enemy. She looks down at it.

    Vivane: "There may be a way to buy us more time... and hope that we find a way to reopen The Rift."

    Shalott: "Whaaaaat? Destroy The Rift? But our world will die without it!"

    Vivane: "It will die quickly with it."

    Shalott: "I don't think this is a good idea, Mistress Vivane."

    Vivane: "It isn't a good idea, Shalott. It is our only idea."

    Shalott: "I hope someone beyond The Rift notices what has happened..."

    Vivane: "So our fate is with the humans..."

    She raises her sword and imbues it with as much power as she can. She throws it through the air. The watery blade spins swiftly until it reaches The Rift and the consumption. It begins to drain instantly of its potency, but the sword lasts long enough to reach The Rift itself and then, suddenly, explode in a torrent of magical water. The explosion hits The Rift violently and suddenly the only tether to life that Vivane and her people have, shatters into lots of tiny portals and then into nothingness. She feels the flow of magic, either way, stop. It's like her own heart has stopped.

    Vivane: "And now darkness shall reign our land."

    --------------

    Something explodes and the cave is rocked by the suddenness of it. Merlin senses the potency of it and believes it could only have come from those beyond The Rift. Someone in Albion. They must have been suffering from the implosion and sought to end it but The Rift is instantly gone. But the explosion triggers the bomb's own explosion, ending the implosion of magic and sends its store outwards. The entire cave is engulfed, Doughnutdelf is buried under rocks and rubble, and Stonehenge itself is knocked over entirely - the only thing that might have kept The Rift open. But for Merlin this is a good thing. He couldn't do anything with his power, his very being, being ebbed away. No magical attack would could be generated as it was instantly drained away. A magical explosion, however, he could easily withstand with all the centuries of magical power at his disposal.

    When it is over he surveys the damage. The entire area is demolished and The Rift, the life source of Albion, is cut. He himself is damaged. He looks down to find that his ghostly figure is shredded and torn. He has no legs, just the torn material of his long robe. But he has, in his ghostly form, survived. He then wonders what the Grey Bomber had intended. To kill Merlin himself? No, the alien had been surprised just to see Merlin there. To destroy Doughnutdelf? A viable target in the past but one of little consequence today. The Rift? A genuine possibility but surely the Grey would have sent his bomb through The Rift before activating it? The nexus upon which Stonehenge sits? The nexus fed Albion and acted as a connection for the world nexus. Britain, ever since its abrupt creation, has been a land brimming with more magic than anywhere else. Without the British nexus, perhaps the entire world nexus could have come down with it... unless other sites were also targeted? Merlin floats away from the fallen Stonehenge. Humanity would soon arrive to inspect what had happened. With the destruction of magic in the area, that includes the bindings that Nyneve, the current NeSorcerer, had once used to hold him within his tomb beneath Stonehenge. He's free... but at what cost?

    ----------

    Magistarr falls off the toilet.

    He could have negated his bowel functions decades ago but here had always been something about using the loo that made Magistarr still feel that he was part of humanity. He regrets it now, however. Being attacked while on the crapper had never occurred to him before now. A most indignant way to be defending oneself. He pulls up his underwear and tries to get to his feet but finds that he's pinned to the floor. He tries to summon magic to spring to his feet but as soon as the spell wriggles from his pores, it evaporates. Before it ever surges from his mind, the energy is gone. He cannot summon magic from his surroundings, he cannot summit it from within. Every ounce of magic is being pulled out and away from him. He tries to manipulate the moving magic but the energy is gone so fast he doesn't have time to even see if it worked. He gets angry and starts to exert greater effort into his spells. Effort he hadn't used for many centuries as the Plot-Hole Wizard. But to no avail. The draw on magic is too strong to overcome. He tries to think what could possibly be so powerful to pull immense amounts of magic from the aether, from his body. He feels that the magic of The Magium has already ebbed away. The once proud building of magical defence has been reduced to any other building made of man. He senses the magical energies of other mages; apprentices and masters. He is sure he felt the energy of Taliesin drift by. No one is being spared. And then he senses that all magic is gone - except his. His source is twelve thousand years old and still strong. Could he outlast the drain? He tries to crawl towards the door but it suddenly flies open. He looks up to see Faust standing over him. He can't even reach out to his new student.


    Faust: "Magistarr... I've... lost everything. We've all lost it... all of the magic is gone. Every tiny amount in the aether, from inside us. You're next it seems. There's nothing you can do to stop it..."

    Magistarr can't reply. He tries not to think how undignified he must look to Faust right now. Faust tries to drag Magistarr out of the bathroom, which succeeds. He desperately drags him down the corridor, trying to get him away from The Magium but Magistarr realises it's impossible to escape in time. Even now he feels that he's at the end of his supply. He'd always relied on magic being in the aether and never considered his inner store until this day. This one day that he needs it. He thinks of his life as the Plot-Hole Wizard. He tries to conjure a plot-hole but it vaporises with the rest of the magical spells. Why, oh why, are his plot-hole powers magic based instead of narrative works? Twelve thousands years of magical knowledge about to be drained away. Could he collect it again afterwards? Maybe it would take another twelve thousand years? He then thinks. The moment his magic is rendered unusable is the moment that the magic forms from his mind. But what if his mind itself vanishes. The spell, closer to the source, may happen quicker. He activates a plot-hole.

    Magistarr's body goes limp. He plot-holed his mind.

    Faust tries to wake his master but cannot. Magistarr is dead in the flesh. Then, suddenly, there is a tremendous thoom from outside. Faust shoots to his feet, just in time to see through the window, a tide of magical energy blasting towards him and The Magium. The front of the building vaporises as the energy crashes into it and all Faust can do is curse the devil for not saving him...

    ----------

    Elsewhere, across the gulf of space and time, is Tartarus. The cavernous room is desolate and empty save for two figures. Memnoch the Devil approaches the man standing there.

    Runekeeper: "I have heard that the nexus of magic on Earth has been all but obliterated."

    Memnoch grins.

    Memnoch: "How... unfortunate!"

    Runekeeper: "And nobody knows where the information originated?"

    Memnoch: "Not even Orkag... Orkagm... Ort... That Big Idiot."

    Runekeeper: "Careful how much you say aloud, Memnoch. Even in this realm of yours, there are ears for the Big O or the other deities. If the Earth deities found out..."

    Memnoch: "Then I'd destroy them all the sooner. You may leave."

    Runekeeper: "You're ordering me around now, Memnoch?"

    Memnoch stares at the Runekeeper for a long while before shrugging and walking away. Runekeeper only then leaves himself...
    Last edited by TheBritt; 11-14-2015 at 02:02 PM.

  24. #64
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Project Earth

    Non-Story Post: This posts ties with several other posts contained within different Stories.

    Clear and the Hopeless: Post #45
    The Never-ending Story2: Post #1917
    The Pantheon: TBA

    --------------

    Dr R. Deep and Magick Snowflakes are in the training centre of Orbital One. Holograms surround them, given away by the flickering of their physical forms.


    Dr R. Deep: "Concentrate on just one of them, Magick."

    Magick focuses and lets loose with a blast of powerful magic. The energy propels across the room and slams into a single being - which then explodes and kills the other holograms too. Dr R. Deep sighs.

    Magick: "Sorry. Accident..."

    Dr R. Deep: "It's always an accident, Magick. They happen too often. You need to learn how to control yourself."

    Magick: "I know, I know. It's just hard to focus right now wi--"

    An alarm blares and the lights shift to red alert.

    CynthAI: "We have trouble."

    The holographic display in the training room changes into a large virtual map of the solar system. It zooms to the Earth and the two Hero Force One members can see that trouble. A gigantic monolith of a ship has appeared in the system and orbits the Earth, very close to the moon. When the databanks are done searching for information they report that the ship was considered an ancient derelict that orbited Mars. Dr Deep frowns.

    Dr R. Deep: "Open a communication with them. Let's see what they want."

    CynthAI: "You should know that another unknown vessel has broken the Earth's atmosphere. The trajectory of the ship is England."

    A holographic image appears in the room. It's a woman with navy blue hair gelled close to her scalp, white skin but also strangely blue lips. She wears white armour similar to the stormtroopers that once invaded the Earth several years ago - a major event that most heroes of Earth know all about.

    Dr R. Deep: "I'm Dr R. Deep. What brings you to the Earth?"

    Woman: "I'm Cassra Terrin-Pullista and this is The Hopeful. We're here to save the galaxy."

    Dr R. Deep: "Indeed? Not the words I usually hear from trespassers..."

    Cassra: "You'll just have to trust me on this. Another, smaller, ship came before me. It contains a renegade sith. He's only an apprentice but he's dangerous. To make it worse he has a woman, a princess, that he's kidnapped and intends to use her to take control of some magical beings on your planet. He'd use them to take control of the Earth and, if my sources are right, his group wants to wipe out all human life."

    CynthAI has a line open with Judge. After spending weeks at Qhobeg's side, she's been ordered to take leave on Earth. That leave is now suspended.

    Dr R. Deep: "Judge. How soon can you get to the UK?"

    Judge: "Already there, boss. I'm with Citizen Rex."

    Agent Mulligan: "And me! Sir."

    Judge: "And the idiot's handler."

    Citizen Rex: "Agent 12 isn't an idiot!"

    Agent Mulligan: "Sir, she didn't mean me."

    Dr R. Deep: "There's a ship bound for England. I'll keep you updated on the exact location when we know it. Get ready."

    He turns back to the hologram of Cassra Terrin-Pullista.

    Dr R. Deep: "What's the group you speak of?"

    Cassra: "The Latter-Day Greys of Memnoch. Have you heard of them before?"

    He closes his eyes and lowers his head. The group is now infamous amongst hero circles after they helped the Trans-Terror-Terrorists to destroy the nexus of magic on Earth. Both Deep and Magick spent weeks ill and today is the first time they've tried to manipulate any magic at all. Just an hour of magic usage leaves them weary. And now they're back.

    CynthAI: "They appear to be targeting Stonehenge. Also network activity has escalated and terrorist cells have lit up all over the UK. It seems the enemy has resurfaced."

    Dr R. Deep: "Judge. Stonehenge. Be prepared."

    CynthAI: "Other ships have entered the system, by the way."

    Dr R. Deep: "What do you mean 'by the way'? How long have they been there?"

    CynthAI: "You were busy talking to your new friend. I didn't wish to interrupt."

    Cassra: "Sounds like you have A.I. problems."

    Dr R. Deep: "That is an understatement."

    Her image disappears but the line is still active. The image of the Earth swivels around so that Deep and Magick can see the enemy fleet. The same Imperials are back after all. After so long. There had been an essence of the imperials on Earth ever after the former failed invasion, but nothing like this. Starfighters burst from the Star Destroyers and lambda shuttles, filled with stormtroopers, issue forth.

    Dr R. Deep: "We have to stop the imperials. I have someone on Earth that can deal with your renegade but I have to stop this invasion."

    Cassra: "Got it. I have to report to my captain. Give me a minute."

    Her image fades as she turns her attention to another conversation.

    Magick: "What will we do, doctor? How can we stop a fleet of ships like this?"

    Dr R. Deep: "You forget, Magick. We did this once already. And then there were more ships."

    Magick: "But... we weren't alone..."

    He concedes that she's right. But, as though answering Magick's concerns, a second fleet of ships bursts from hyperspace. The signatures mark the ships as the Rebel Alliance and, from Deep's limited knowledge of alien politics, they're in direct opposition to the empire.

    Cassra: "Doctor?"

    Dr R. Deep: "I'm still here."

    Cassra: "Seems we have assistance. Captain Ace Lander of the rebellion assures us that he's going to take care of those Star Destroyers. That means all we have to worry about is The Majestic. It's a Galleon class capital ship so there's usually an abnormally high number of stormtroopers onboard. But they're all off planetside. So we only have to worry about the installed defences. Turrets and the like."

    Dr R. Deep: "Not a problem. The real question is... how do we get aboard it?"

    He regrets that Judge isn't with them. She could project a shield around a ship to keep them safe. Deep could do something similar but he's afraid it would take too much of his magical reserve to pull off. After the cataclysm all magic users have been unable to generate much in the way of power.

    Magick: "We just shield a ship and fly in."

    Dr R. Deep: "Already considered that, Magick. We'd use too much of our magical energy before we even reached the ship. We'd be useless there after."

    Magick: "Erm... there... is someone..."

    Dr R. Deep: "Who?"

    Magick: "I sort of taught my most powerful shield spell to High Imp..."

    Dr R. Deep glares at her.

    Dr R. Deep: "We'll discuss this later. Summon the team to the hangar."

    ----------

    Soon they have all gathered in the ship and strap in. They have gone through the plan and have all agreed. Somewhere at the back they also have Judge's Yoshi who gobbles up a random space helmet. Hopefully they don't need to evacuate or someone will find themselves in trouble.

    Dr R. Deep: "High Imp. The shield spell."

    The ship flies free of Orbital One, guided by CynthAI. High Imp concentrates and extends his arms. He is a very tall demon and takes up a lot of space in the small shuttle craft already. Now the others have to move out of his way.

    Benjamin Mahir edges closest to Deep and Magick, fearful of High Imp's presence. Even Seraphim is uncomfortable with him around, but that's because her essence is corroded by his presence as his is by hers. Deep can only imagine how their skin must constantly crawl when around each other. Yet Seraphim's lover is the ruler of Hell itself, so perhaps she enjoys the sensation. Further at the back is Flax Hyperon, who fortunately chose to stay with Hero Force One for a while after coincidentally helping them a while ago. Deep is sure he only stays because he wants to woo Seraphim and Judge.

    As the ship crosses the void between the spacestation and the imperial ship, laser fire erupts all around them and strikes the magical barrier that High Imp has protecting them. It holds up without concern.

    Flax: "Good job, big guy."

    High Imp: "You're welcome."

    He glances towards Deep, knowing that he wouldn't be happy with taking the spell from his little apprentice. Deep doesn't react and simply stares coldly at High Imp with unmoving features. This is, of course, Deep's default face and means nobody ever knows what he's thinking or feeling.

    Cassra: "I've sent CynthAI the maps of The Majestic."

    Her voice rings out of the speakers.

    Dr. R. Deep: "Thank you, Cassra."

    Flax: "Now there's a voice to make love to. Who are you, Ms Foxy Voice?"

    Cassra: "Uh... I'm Cassra Terrin-Pullista."

    Ben: "Better not talk to him, Cassra. You'll only encourage him."

    Flax: "Old Flax is already encouraged! When are you off work, sugar pie? We have love to make."

    Cassra: "Wow. Not even a dinner date first?"

    Flax: "I'm happy to go through the motions, babe. But it's the main event I'm looking forward to."

    Cassra: "First you have to survive that death trap."

    Flax: "I've been through worse than this. Once I was travelling around Meridian VI with a Hian woman named Lu--"

    Ben:
    "Flax! Stop! Please stop! We don't want to hear anymore of your adventure stories!"#

    Flax: "Alright, little buddy. Sorry. I didn't mean to undermine your manhood."

    Ben: "...my what?"

    Flax: "I get it. I know you feel inadequate in the presence of such a man as myself. I would too. I am a fine specimen of masculinity."

    Ben: "I hate my life..."

    Flax: "No need for that, little man. Just takes the will and determination to sculpt a form of this calibre. I did most of my training when I was trapped in the Zero Zone with my brother and wow was he competitive. We spent--"

    Ben: "No. More. Stories! Please!"

    Cassra: "Wow. What a cohesive team you have there."

    Dr R. Deep: "I apologise, Cassra. We must sound unprofessional to you."

    Cassra: "It's okay. My captain had to knock me out with her thighs of steel yesterday because I was being pheromone controlled by this evil guy trying to blow up a planet."

    Hero Force One spend a moment in silence.

    Ben: "She knocked you out with her thighs?"

    Flax: "I want to see that."

    Seraphim: "I think I'm going to launch you both out of an airlock. That would bring a quiet sense of zen to our team, I think."

    Magick: "I like your stories, Flax. They're very exciting. I think we could learn a lot about the galaxy from his adventures!"

    Ben: "Magick... It's not the information that isn't interesting. It's the boasting and, honestly, I don't believe half of them."

    Flax: "I know little Magick likes the juicy parts, doncha pig-tails?"

    Ben: "She doesn't even have pig-tails..."

    CynthAI: "A new communication is coming through."

    Dr R. Deep: "Let's hear it."

    A silken, deep voice slips through the speakers.

    Voice: "I am Lord Kassuin. I am riding behind your shuttle. Your shields are very impressive for such a small craft. If I didn't know better, I'd say there's another Ćon Lord aboard."

    Dr R. Deep: "There isn't. We're using magic to project our shield."

    Kassuin: "Quite. Whatever you're doing it is working. Once we're aboard I'll meet with your group and we'll begin our progression through the ship. I hope you have more than just a shield to show me."

    Dr R. Deep: "I'm sure we do."

    ----------

    The subtle approach was considered. They could hide in the cargo hold of the shuttle and wait for danger to pass so they could sneak about the ship. But that just isn't the style of Hero Force One. A mission that doesn't include at least one big explosion is a mission going badly.

    Before CythAI has even landed the craft, Seraphim kicks the door off its tether. The door spins straight into a group of stormtroopers standing in a very convenient line. At the sudden, and unexpected, aggression, the stormtroopers start firing into the magical shield. Seraphim jumps through that shield and bowls over several soldiers with her light-formed wings. She lands on the soldier that appears to be a captain, given away by the bright insignia on his cloak, and slams his head into the ground with such force that the helmet and his skull become mush. As the troopers open fire in desperate horror she leaps up into the air, rendering the captain's corpse riddled with laser holes.

    From the doorway of the shuttle, Flax opens fire on the crowd. His ray gun zaps rings of plasma energy at the troopers, whose armour never expected to face such exotic weapons and they're rendered immobile.


    Flax: "Faceless enemy hordes. Run-of-the-mill in my line of work. These fellas though, pretty sure my brother has been sorting them out for a while now. Good old Duke. Not as sexy as me, of course. But I'm the older brother, so what do you expect? Always wants to be like me, he does."

    Dr R. Deep: "Family commentaries come after the mission, Flax."

    Deep drops from the ship and lands with a cool sweep of his trenchcoat. He may not be able to exert the full extent of his magical powers but he can still severe limbs. He whips his swords from the sheaths at his back and swings them to block incoming laser fire. Purple aura surrounding the blades sparks every time a bolt hits the sword, resulting in a light show followed by sudden carnage. Deep aims from the black weak points in the armour, clearly allowing for joint movement but exposing vulnerable points to any skilled in swordsmanship. He slices the backs of knees, waists, necks, armpits - all spraying blood from major arteries.

    The stormtroopers fall back and begin to regroup in rank and file near the exits of the hangar. In their midst Deep sees that they're settling up gatling lasers.


    Dr R. Deep: "High Imp!"

    High Imp ducks his head as he exits the, now landed, shuttle. His tall, muscular figure is the colour of rust and from his bald scalp protrude two massive, twisted horns. From his back are six black-feathered wings with dozens of eyes glaring out from them. Looking like something straight from a nightmare, some of the stormtroopers are visibly shaken. The demon takes two bounds and spreads his arms out. The magical barrier rises just in time as lasers spray hot and aggressive from the gatling guns. Magick and Ben quietly vacate the shuttle and remain at the back of the group for safety. Without Judge only magic seems the viable solution to the gatling guns - until the grotesque green ship of Kassuin glides above them and opens fire. Ship-based weapons are powerful at the best of times but used against land-targets they can be devastating. The lasers tear through the gatling lasers and soldiers standing near them. They open fire on the Ćon ship but barely have the chance to put a dent in it before Seraphim is upon them again. A spear of light crashes through one soldier's head, then bounces from head-to-head and chases them down as they run for their lives.

    The Ćon ship lands and the hatch opens to reveal an unusual alien with dark purple skin that shines under the artificial lights of the hangar. His face is thin and elongated with a squashed nose beneath a bone ridge that runs up the centre of his face and protrudes from the top of his skull, where it ends with a bulb shape. Where he ought to have hair he has black bone that looks akin to a headdress. The thin, wispy white hair that he does have hangs from the bone apertures of this bone structure. Deep wonders if the stormtroopers could truly be terrified of High Imp when aliens like Kassuin wander around.

    Dr R. Deep: "Lord Kassuin."

    Kassuin: "You must be Dr Deep. Once again, I'm impressed with your work. Quite a mess you've left here. I was hoping for a more subtle approach, but I guess this works."

    Dr R. Deep: "I think the subtle approach is still an option. We've created enough of a mess to cause distraction. I have one individual that's particularly skilled at infiltration. We'll hand him a map of the ship and he can disable systems with ease."

    Deep holds out a tablet for Ben to take. Ben stares in horror.

    Ben: "You want me to go alone!?"

    Deep doesn't take his eyes off Kassuin.

    Dr R. Deep: "Not all team members exemplify bravery..."

    Ben, trembling, takes the tablet. It displays a map of the ship with a specific target marked.

    Kassuin: "I'll go with him."

    Flax: "You'll miss out on the real action."

    Dr R. Deep: "We'll head for the bridge. If we can't push through the enemy defences, you're to destroy that target."

    Ben lets Kassuin see the tablet.

    Flax:
    "The solar ionization reactor."

    Deep looks at Flax with surprise.

    Flax: "Sometimes I don't understand what I'm saying."

    Kassuin: "The reactor. Sometimes they call it a miniature sun. It's actually a hyperspace field generator. I think I could wipe out the whole ship if sabotaged properly... you said you're headed to the bridge?"

    Dr R. Deep: "Yes."

    Kassuin takes the tablet from Ben and starts typing into the system. He hands it back and Ben sends the data to Deep's own tablet.


    Kassuin:
    "Do that and this battle will be over..."

    Dr R. Deep: "Now I'm impressed."

    ----------

    Ben scuttles along the shiny floor of the long corridor. A small black robot scuttles alongside him. He shoos the robot, fearing it might draw attention to him. However the ship's forces seem to be well-drawn into conflict with the other members of Hero Force One. He squeaks loudly, the cue for Kassuin to follow his lead. As a rat he is barely noticeable by anyone still lurking around these quiet corridors. He hops down a gentle ramp and skids around a corner, finding it difficult to keep his footing on such a smooth surface. Before him is a sudden immeasurable drop into what he presumes is oblivion. He looks over the edge but quickly scurries back. Who the Hell designs these places? He notices a a central bridge between him and the opposite side of the eternal drop. However it is currently facing the wrong way, connecting the two horizontal corridors to his position. He looks up at the wall and sees a control panel. Quickly he shifts from his rat form back into a human and pushes the panel. The bridge slowly grinds round and he transforms back into his rat shape. He shakes himself. It's always an unpleasant sensation when he does that.

    He runs across the bridge, refusing to take his eyes off of the far door - endless pits have never agreed with his stomach. When he gets to the far end the doors sense him, even in his minuscule form, and slide open. He squeaks again, gauging the coast to be clear. Not far now according to that map. Ben has never been good at many things except his one talent for turning into a rat and the other, lesser used, ability to remember stuff really well. After studying the map he knows his way towards the reactor core easily enough. The weird alien should be coming up several metres behind.


    The rat finally reaches the last leg. Suddenly laser bolts strike terror into his little rat-heart and he leaps back into cover. Two turrets stand either side of the door blocking his access to the reactor room. More of a lover than a fighter, Ben sits and waits. Eventually Kassuin appears and spies the waiting rat. Ben doesn't bother to transform and explain. He just sits and waits. Let the big guy do his part of the deal. Kassuin jumps out and from his extended hand hurtles red streaks of lightning that make short work of both turrets in one blast. Ben would have been impressed if he didn't see such things from a teenage girl on a daily basis.

    He runs out and ahead of Kassuin again. The doors open and inside they find a monstrous structure. As large as any power plant, the 'miniature sun' is a deserved title. It's a massive metal structure but through a single shielded window he can see blue-white flowing energy that must be the hyperspace spoken of by Kassuin. He thinks it's beautiful but Ben, in all his usual cynicism, knows many beautiful things can be deadly. Two of them were on his team and they were two of the most deadly women on Earth.

    Ben: "How will you destroy it?"

    Kassuin: "It won't take much."

    Ben scrambles up a nearby console, situated within an empty guardpost. He finds the communications and locates the frequency of Deep's tablet.

    -----------

    Magick raises her arms and pillars of purple energy spring up from the floor and slam individual stormtroopers up against the ceiling. The pillars vanish and the soldiers drop like lead weights to the floor again.

    Dr R. Deep: "Excellent control, Magick."

    Magick: "Yeah! I aced it!"

    Dr R. Deep: "Indeed you did."

    High Imp: "Are you teaching the girl how to hold back?"

    Dr R. Deep: "If I wanted your imput, I would ask for it..."

    Magick senses the sudden tension and backs away.

    High Imp: "Merely a query."

    Dr R. Deep: "One shot one kill is the method of an expert. Spray and pray won't do."

    Flax: "There's soldiers on the level above us."

    Flax is observing his tricorder device that seems to tell only Flax tonnes of information, while everyone else it tells bleeps and bloops in flashing light formations. Seraphim looks up and, with her fists set forth, slams into the metal ceiling. It crumples before her and she crunches through the metre thick durasteel to reach the next level. One dead body drops from above. Flax aims and takes a pot shot as a trooper lucky enough to have survived Seraphim's wrath but unlucky enough to find himself in Flax' sights. This body falls down too.

    Magick: "It's raining stormtroopers."

    Seraphim: "Hallelujah!"

    She descends gracefully through the hole.

    High Imp: "Do you have to say that? It makes my nose bleed."

    He throws his head back and holds the bridge of his nose to stop the sudden bleeding. Seraphim looks up at him.

    Seraphim: "Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hall--"

    High Imp: "Quit it!"

    Dr R. Deep: "Enough clowning around. If we head up through this hole we should be next to the bridge."

    Seraphim: "I took care of the defences already."

    Dr R. Deep: "Seraphim, carry Magick up with you."

    Magick steps into Seraphim's embrace and the angel ascends without a single beat of her wings. High Imp stands under the hole and gives a boost to Flax and then offers his hands to Deep. The magic-user hesitates. He trusts the demon enough for this but he wonders if he should refuse the gesture as a method of putting the demon in his place... but no. That seems too childish for Deep. He accepts the boost and is helped up to the next floor. The demon's hands reach up through the hole and he clambers up, tucking his many wings in tightly to his body.

    Dr R. Deep: "Flax. Open the door."

    Flax scans the panel with his tricorder and, somehow, it breaks open the lock. The blast doors slide open. The first set. The second set. Deep generates magic into his palms and he senses that now too-familiar drain on his being. He wonders if magic will forever feel this limited now that the nexus is broken. He releases the blast and a shower of light and sparks explodes in the room beyond like a flashbang, blinding all those within. Seraphim shoots in like a whirling angel of death. High Imp bounds in after her while Flax slips in behind them and takes shots at key targets.

    Captain Rynard: "Earth scum!"

    Deep only recognises the captain thanks to Cassra's data-packets of information she sent earlier. Deep expected the man to surrender. Apparently not. Flax aims his ray gun and fires. The solid ring hits the imperial captain and he yowls as his life is drained without so much as a blood-splatter. Deep doesn't know which is more grim - Seraphim's bloody cull or Flax' invisible, unknowable assassinations. The remaining stormtroopers instantly surrender and throw down their weapons. They're marched the back of the room and made to kneel with hands on their hands under the twitchy eye, and bleeding nose, of High Imp.

    Deep's communicator buzzes.


    Dr R. Deep: "Excellent timing, Company Kid. We've taken the bridge."

    Deep looks down at the silent and still face of Captain Rynard. He was no Grand Admiral Thrawn but he still came close to getting everything he wanted. Sheer luck and determination were the only allies of Earth this day.


    Ben: "We're in position too."

    Dr R. Deep:
    "Flax. Can you figure out the systems?"

    Flax: "A few buttons here. A few levers there. I honestly have no idea what I'm doing but it seems to be working. I'm diverting all power to the weapons system... ready to fire the ion cannon."

    Dr R. Deep: "Fire it."

    The Majestic doesn't have a lot of firepower but it does have a single, powerful ion cannon. With all power pumped into that cannon the ion energy from that single blast smashes into the closest Star Destroyer and ricochets into the next two closest imperial capital ships. The ion cannon does no actual damage to the Star Destroyers but it does render them completely inert. Deep imagines their crews scrambling to regain control.

    Dr R. Deep: "We go. We have minutes to get off of this thing."

    They run from the room just as evacuation sirens begin blaring. The soldiers they had captured now run for their lives, heading towards escape capsules. Deep drops down the hole, bringing up the rear of the team. They run back towards the hangar.

    ----------

    Wind blows in Ben's big, rat ears as he runs. Although he runs with all his might, much faster than any human, Kassuin is constantly behind him and never loses pace. He reaches the middle of the rotatable bridge when laser fire strikes the bridge and Ben pins himself flat against the metal surface. Blasts strike the walls, then the bridge again. It shakes violently and starts to creak ominously.

    Ben: "What's happening!?"

    Kassuin is crouched beside Ben, attempting to avoid laser fire too.

    Kassuin: "It's an AT-MTT."

    Ben: "A what?"

    Kassuin points down below them. Ben peeks over the edge of the bridge to see a robotic, two-legged walker made of metal and shaped with two elongated 'ears' atop of the chassis.

    Ben: "It looks like a rabbit!"

    Kassuin: "I think it's supposed to!"

    Ben: "Why would they make a ra--"

    The walker crouches its legs and then leaps into the air, rising several storeys into the air. It soars up above them and then lands on the bridge with a loud clang. That seems to pre-emptively answer Ben's question. The bridge, however, suddenly buckles from the extra weight and starts to topple over. Kassuin and Ben run for the escape route but the walker fires at them. Kassuin uses his Force power to hurl himself up and away from the bridge so that he lands on the far end deftly. Ben, however, is not so fortunate. Kassuin doesn't even stand to watch Ben's demise as he continues to make his own escape. Ben falls through the air, down, down, down. The walker falls with him.

    Moments before they hit the floor Ben lands on the walker and hurls himself off of it again - horizontally. This takes enough of the downwards momentum from his fall to save his life as she skids along the bottom of the absurdly tall room. The rabbit walker, however, is in pieces and looking quiet pitiful. Ben struggles to his little animal paws and starts a slow run from the room. He has no map to follow, no communicator to ask for help. But he does have his memory.

    -----------

    Kassuin: "Your friend met his end with an AT-MTT."

    Kassuin jumps up onto the hood of his ship and pops open the hatch. He doesn't stop to explain further. There's no time. Hero Force One get onboard their own shuttle, though they do so unhappily. CynthAI takes control and they sail out of the hangar of The Majestic. They travel in silence and watch the imperial galleon. The rear of the ship suddenly buckles as the reactor explodes. Hyperspace energy is unleashed in a whirlwind of power. The shuttle shudders and CynthAI exerts further thrust to the engines. Far enough away they escape the blast, but the immobilised Star Destroyers are not. In a chain reaction they are engulfed in the explosion of the command ship and break apart. Only the Star Destroyers furthest away, closest to the Alliance vessels, escape the sudden destruction. In an instant they stop firing and Deep imagines the messages of surrender flying to the rebels. The Alliance will take credit for the surrenders but Deep knows it was Earth that won the battle this day. Just like before. Hopefully the Empire will learn its lesson and won't seek a further repeat.

    The communicator sounds and Deep pushes the button expecting Pully to commend them on a job well done.


    Ben: "Glad you're all alive!"

    Magick: "Ben!! Where are you!!!"

    Ben: "I ran into trouble with a robot rabbit. I won though. I knew I couldn't make it to the hangar but I remembered where the escape pods were located. So I hopped in one of those! I'm just to your right."

    Deep climbs to the front of the ship and looks out of the cockpit window. A cylindrical pod floats listlessly nearby, losing some of its original momentum.

    Dr R. Deep: "You are the luckiest Company Kid..."
    Last edited by TheBritt; 12-08-2015 at 12:40 PM.

  25. #65
    Ben: "I wouldn't use the word 'lucky'... or 'Company Kid' for that matter. I'm not a kid!"

    Deep: "Many corporations have dropped your sponsorship."

    Ben: "Uh, sure, that too."

    Magick: "We could call you Lil' Fuzz. That'd be so adorable!"

    Ben: "I regret everything..."

  26. #66
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Chapter Two

    Hero Force One - Chapter Two
    Hero Force Down

    Starring




    Lower Hero Force agents stand between Judge and the crowds of people that have gathered at the airport to see her. She waves obligingly at the reporters and fans as she passes by, viewing them through her over-sized celebrity sunglasses. She enters through the sliding doors and is led by two agents through the airport to the private runway reserved for use by Hero Force planes. She tugs the sunglasses from her face, leading to further camera flashes from the people gathered inside.

    When she finally reaches the runway, another agent greets her with a Starbucks vanilla latte that Judge gleefully accepts. Ready and waiting is a long, sleek plane coloured jet black with dark purple pattern lines. A company plane. Judge looks at the agent who had given her the coffee - a woman with exactly the same hairstyle as Judge, complete with dye job. Judge tries not to assume the woman is imitating her but the thought crosses Judge's mind. Sometimes she's flattered by such things, but on an agent it's annoying.

    She doesn't comment though. She just follows the ginger mane of the agent towards the plane. The woman assures her that her luggage is already onboard. She ascends the steps and finds that she isn't the only Hero Force One member to be taking the plane.


    Judge: "Magick. I didn't know you were in town."

    Magick Snowflakes beams up from her seat.


    Magick: "I wanted to do some shopping at Ms Nymph's Emporium. Look, I got loads of stuff!"

    Magick holds up a shopping bag brimming with magical oddities that Judge can't make neither head nor tail of. Magick's belief that everyone found magic as equally interesting as she did has always been one of the girl's more frustrating qualities. Magick is one of those people that Judge wants to like more than she actually does.

    Judge: "That's great, kid. Have fun with that."

    She falls into a seat and cranks it back.

    Judge: "Wake me up when we get there."

    Magick: "Sleeping already?"

    Judge: "Busy day..."

    She doesn't tell Magick it's because conversing with her for several hours would result in Judge punching Magick through the plane's frail exterior wall. Judge closes her eyes.


    Magick: "Why didn't you fly there yourself? Why take the plane?"

    Judge tries not to audibly growl.


    Judge: "I'd wind up lost. I don't have GPS built into my skull."

    Magick giggles. It's a cute giggle that goes some way to remind Judge not to be so hard on the girl.

    Magick: "I think if I could fly like you, I'd never take a plane. Or a car. Or anything. I'd just fly everywhere! All the time!"

    Judge: "The novelty wears off, kid. You don't pick your nose all the time, do you?"

    Magick: "What? No! Ew!"

    Judge: "Someone who couldn't pick their nose would probably say the same thing you just did. They'd pick their nose all day long."

    Magick:
    "Okay, I get it. But still. I think it must be great."

    Judge feels that's a good moment to drop the conversation and retain silence. It doesn't last very long.

    Magick: "Where are we going?"

    Judge opens one eye to look at the girl. She is sitting upright and looking straight at Judge eagerly. Her mop of frizzy hair is barely kept under control by a baseball cap, yet she has started wearing traditional 'I'm a wizard' robes that completely off-sets the hat.

    Judge: "Didn't you get the mission report?"

    Magick shakes her head, hair bobbing about.


    Magick: "I just got a message from Dr Deep to get on the plane."

    Judge: "Everyone else will head down from Orbital One, I suppose. We're going to Yeman, Magick. We're hunting wabbits."

    Magick blinks and Judge realises the girl doesn't know who Elmer Fudd is. She sits up in her chair.


    Judge:
    "The Trans-Terror-Terrorists. You remember those guys?"

    Magick nods.

    Magick:
    "They're the ones that tried to destroy the magic of Earth. I was sick for, like, two weeks because of them!"

    Judge doesn't remind Magick that they also managed to kill people, putting Magick's sickness into some perspective. Teenagers always view the world based on her own experiences instead of others'.


    Judge:
    "They've taken territory in Yemen, we're going to go in and smash some skulls. Simple, easy and satisfying. Ready to get revenge for your dicky stomach?"

    Magick: "It was worse than that, Judge. I thought I was going to die! But yeah. I'm ready. Bad guys watch out! Hero Force One is coming!"

    Judge: "That's the spirit. Now chill out and save your energy for when we get to the butt-kicking, okay?"

    Judge lies back in her seat again and closes her eyes. She supposes the rest of the team will be there before she and Magick arrive. Judge allows her mind to wander. She has been training with Ffion Heul, the newest member of the team, to expand her telepathic powers. Despite Ffion's own admission of not being terribly proficient in telepathic skills, she has already taught Judge more about her mind than she'd ever been able to figure out by herself. Judge has to treat her mind like it's a malleable substance, something she can physically move about. She picks up some stray thoughts from Magick about being sick and instantly Judge feels guilty at undermining the girl's illness. Magick's recollection of being sick makes Judge suddenly feel sick herself, yet nothing compared to the pain and curious sense of loss that Magick experienced. Then Judge wonders how much of Magick's thoughts are fact and how much of them are a girl's exaggerations.

    The plane rumbles as it starts down the runway and, eventually, takes off into the sky. On their way to Yemen. Judge's ears are suddenly bombarded by a high dose of noise and she snaps awake.


    Magick: "Sorry! Sorry!"

    Magick turns the volume down on the television she'd just turned on. On the TV is the news and videos of Judge herself heading through the airport moments ago.

    Magick: "Hey! You're on TV!"

    The reporter speculates on the possible destination for Judge and the plane and goes on to talk about recent terrorist activities around the Middle-East.

    Magick: "You're always the one on TV, Judge. They never want to see me..."

    Judge grins wickedly.


    Judge: "You'd have to show more skin, kid! Get your boobs out! Superheroes are there to flaunt what they've got!"

    Magick snaps her attention to Judge and blushes furiously.

    Magick: "I-I couldn't dress like that!"

    Judge leans back, hands behind her head. She chuckles to herself. It has to concede that it's true. Judge is one of the most popular team members in the public. So much so that her action doll was the must-have toy last Christmas. Judge had played with her own doll once and pulled the cord to hear herself proclaim "for great justice" with an oddly Americanised accent. Judge, in truth, has been going through elocution lessons after she was made official team leader. It a way it gave her something to occupy her mind with after the results of the previous mission, but she doesn't think she's very good at it. The backers want, however, what the backers want and it was the combined monetary efforts of those backers and the U.S. government that keeps Hero Force alive. At least her doll sales would keep them happy for a while.

    Being an idol for little girls everywhere is also something Judge has been trying to adjust to. Judge Halloween costumes were immensely popular amongst adult costumes, but girls are given a more modest version with purple leggings and a glove that lights up purple to imitate Judge's telekinesis. Fun times.

    Judge is sure that Magick herself has something of a cult following, especially amongst teenagers her own age, yet Magick is unlikely to know much about the internet communities out there as she spends more time in tomes about "Spells for Wood-working" than hitting up Deviant Art fan-art.


    Magick: "I wonder if the people still like Nick..."

    Judge feels uncomfortable talking about the subject of Nick. Nick was Magick's romantic attachment before his death, but talk of Nick would lead to their mutual trouble in love as Judge's own romantic interest lies as a vegetable aboard Orbital One.


    Judge: "Nick memorabilia out-sold the rest of us in the months after we returned and reported him... gone."

    Judge then gets a strange feeling from Magick. A feeling that suggests a sense of distance between Nick and Magick, rather than a sense of loss. It's a peculiar sensation that drifts freely from Magick's mind and Judge picks up on accidentally. The ethics of these expanding powers has already occurred to Judge several times and she has yet to make up her mind and whether she ought to try to keep others' thoughts out or whether she should actively pursue them. Her team mates make excellent test subjects for practising on, after all.

    Judge: "We need to get some rest, Magick."

    Judge lies back again. She thinks of Qhobeg, lying alone in the medical bay of the spacestation. She thinks it won't be for much longer though. Soon she will be able to read minds and then... then she will learn what's happening in his mind...

    Magick:
    "Do you like vanilla oreos, Judge? I saw you drinking vanilla latte when you came on board so I guess..."

    Judge grits her teeth.
    Last edited by TheBritt; 01-08-2016 at 12:56 PM.

  27. #67
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Crash Landing

    Judge had finally managed to get some quiet time when Magick became engrossed in playing Candy Crush on her iPad. Fortunately she had the good sense to turn the sound low as not to disturb Judge's snooze. Her short dreams revolve around the Eastend of London - the place she was born and raised. This being a dream, not a memory, things aren't quite accurate in this dream. Her mother was Dr R. Deep. He, or she, was milling about the kitchen with a *** in his mouth as he washed the dishes. Judge remembered arguing about a fight at school. Through the kitchen window Judge should have seen the concrete backyard of her house but instead she sees the stars of space and the Earth floating serenely by - just like the view from her room on Orbital One. After shouting one last time at her "mother", Judge stormed upstairs to her childhood bedroom and picked up one of the dolls. It was her doll. The Judge doll. It proclaims "for great justice" at her. She then threw it across the room. It struck the wall and the head popped off, a tiny white face with bright ginger hair lying on the floor.

    That was before the plane suddenly rolled to one side, throwing the real Judge against the wall of the plane. Luckily her head didn't pop off.


    Magick: "Wh-what happened!?"

    She scrambles from behind a couple of seats. Through one of the small cabin windows there's an explosion.

    Judge: "Looks like we're under attack. Pilot must have dodged that one. Let's hope there's no m--"

    An explosion erupts outside. Though the missile misses the plane, the resulting explosion is a near thing. The plane rocks violently and the tail end groans with a wild shriek of metal. Judge picks herself up.

    Judge: "We need to abandon ship."

    Magick: "It's a plane, not a ship!"

    Judge: "Not the time to play the moron, Magick! I have to get the pilots!"

    Judge runs down the aisle and manages not to slip over as the plane begins to tilt to the right. The cry of a plane plummeting fills her ears as she bangs on the cabin door. A moment later she uses her telekinesis to yank the door open. The pilots are desperately fighting with the controls. The co-pilot glances back at her.

    Co-pilot: "We're going down, Judge. You and Magick need to abandon the plane!"

    Judge: "Not without you two!"

    Co-pilot: "We're lowly red-ties, ma'am!"

    He flashes her the red tie he's wearing.


    Co-pilot: "It's our job to sacrifice ourselves for you. It was an honour working for you!"

    Pilot: "Incoming missile again. I can't avoid this one. You have to jump now, Judge."

    Judge: "Bugger that for a lark!"

    She runs at them and shouts back down the plane to Magick;

    Judge: "Magick, shield yourself now!!"

    The warhead hits the craft and instantly flames and debris explode in every direction. Judge's telekinetic shield holds against the hideous barrage of destruction, though the purple barrier rattles and shudders like a wooden door in a tornado. Then they're hanging in the blue sky with nothing but fading smoke around them. She turns her head round and sees the two pilots sitting, dumbfounded, in their seats.


    Judge: "You're welcome."

    Pilot: "Th-thanks."

    Judge then spies a small shape falling away from her.

    Judge: "Oops. She can't fly..."

    Flying while holding up a shield is an unusual occurrence for Judge. Flying while holding up a shield to support two men in chairs... this is definitely a first. She zooms downwards and the two pilots yelp as they rattle against the rear of the shield sphere. As they get closer and closer the sounds of Magick crying out for help grow louder and louder.

    Now the tricky part. She couldn't levitate all three of them but the shield is impenetrable so Magick couldn't come inside unless she drops the shield...


    Shield dropped, Judge telekinetically grabs Magick and pulls her with her as she flies downwards, Magick trailing behind like a car being towed by a truck. Judge spreads her shield again, this time as a bowl instead of a sphere. The pilots, who had been screaming louder than Magick, land in the bowl and slide to the centre where they bump into each other. Then Magick lands on them with a squeak. Judge sighs with relief.

    Magick: "Judge! That... that was... awesome!"

    Judge: "Yeah, yeah. Shouldn't witches have brooms to fly on, Magick?"

    Magick: "Wh-what? I'm not a witch!"

    Judge:
    "You're a girl. You do magic. You're a witch."

    Magick: "I- I am not! I'm a... uh... magician!"

    Judge slowly flies lowers herself ever downwards, her arms held high to cast the shield. However it's a long journey downwards and her arms grow ever more tired. The pilots unstrap from their seats and push them up the sides of the bowl to cast them out of the shield and make it lighter for Judge. Judge decides not to inform them that the weight is irrelevant - it's the physical effort of casting the shield that's tiring. Not to mention the blood from her arms is running to her head.

    Finally they come to dry land. Very, very dry land.

    Judge collapses in the sand and lies on her back while the other three start to inspect their surroundings.


    Co-pilot: "Well, at least we're in Yemen."

    Pilot: "But we're in the Empty Quarter..."

    All around them is sand dunes and blue sky. Somewhere up above they can still see some smoke where their plane had been. Where the debris landed, they could only guess. Likely scattered about the desert just like they are.

    Co-pilot: "Question is... which way to inner Yemen?"

    The pilot whips out a compass from his satchel and points to north. He then turns himself south-west.


    Pilot: "This way."

    Judge rolls onto her stomach. The sand is very hot, but not enough to burn her skin. She then pushes herself up.

    Judge: "What're you names then?"

    The pilots look at her in surprise at the question.

    Pilot: "Uh! I'm Agent Barnes, ma'am!"

    Co-pilot: "I'm Agent Noble."

    Judge: "Nice to meet you, Barnes and Noble. Looks like you'll have to lead the--"

    Magick: "Judge..."

    Judge: "What?"

    Magick: "You're all... sandy..."

    Judge looks down at herself. He stomach, and legs glisten with fresh perspiration and patches of sand have clung to her body. Her jacket, in particular, does feel uncomfortable. She slips the jacket off and drops the union jack to the floor, leaving her in her equally patriotic bikini.

    Judge: "I'll need you to wash me down..."

    The two men instantly have their canteens out and offer to pour water over her, most helpfully of course. Judge looks to Magick.

    Judge: "I meant you. Lucky there's a girl who can create a rain cloud in the middle of a desert."

    Magick grins, also keen to help but for a different reason. She holds up a thick book, which is kept on a chain hanging across her torso, and quickly leafs through the pages until she finds the necessary spell. She holds her hand out and mutters something incomprehensible.

    The sky growls.

    Clouds form up in the sky and, a moment later, they open up. Rain pours down on them all.


    Judge: "Magick..."

    Magick whines


    Magick: "I know! I know! It was supposed to be a small one! It just... I don't know! Let me turn it off."

    She points at the sky and mumbles. Nothing. She speaks louder. Still no change.

    Judge: "Magick..."

    Magick: "Ooooooh! It's not working! I'm trying!"

    Judge holds a finger in the air and projects a quick shield spell. It's a weak one but it keeps the rain off of her head. Barnes and Noble meekly shuffle forward and Judge obliges them by extending the shield a little.

    Judge: "I'd ask you to find a spell to dry us off but I'm afraid you'll blow us all the way to Timbuktu."

    Magick sulks and walks towards Judge and the shield-umbrella. Judge holds her hand out and the girl stops.

    Judge: "This shield is not for idiots who soak an entire desert."

    Magick whines and, getting wet, follows after Judge and the two red-ties. They reach a peak of a dune and look out. Nothing but more desert. Judge looks side-long at Magick, who doesn't do anything but sulk and whimper.

    Judge: "Magick..."

    Magick: "I know... I messed up again."

    Judge: "Get over here before you catch a cold."

    A small spark of happiness lights the girl's eyes, but not by much. She totters over to the older woman to get out of the rain.

    Judge: "Guess we have a long walk ahead of us..."

    She looks up, through the purple shield.


    Judge: "I could go up and see where the desert ends..."

    Barnes: "Better to wait til the storm clears, don't you think?"

    Judge: "Afraid of getting a little wet, are you?"

    Barnes: "No! I just think it might be... dangerous... do you feel that?"

    Noble: "Trembling, right?"

    Barnes: "Oh no... please don't tell me there's dune worms around here!"

    Judge: "Dune worms? What're you ta--"

    The sand at the bottom of the dune shakes and bounces as though crawls up out of it. But it isn't any kind of worm. It starts with a robotic eyeball. The eye looks straight at them.

    Judge: "What in the name of my Aunt Fanny is that!?"

    The rest of the machine follows, rising clumsily from the desert underground. It's gigantic, spherical and has all manner of odd protrusions that look distinctly pointy or proddy. Several lights dotted around the body turn on, casting yellow glows across the rainy desert. The eye continues to stare down at them.


    Barnes: "Is that... is that the Death Star?"

    Judge: "We're on land."

    She points to the huge treads the machine would use to cross the desert.

    Barnes: "But it looks like--"

    Noble: "It's worse..."

    Judge: "Worse than the Death Star?"

    Noble: "It's a technodrome!!"

  28. #68
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326
    At a hidden underground bunker in Yemen, the headquarters of the TTT resides in a complex of cubicles that rather resembles a large office. A man with his head shaved and tattooed to resemble a skull barks orders.

    Skullhead: Alright, break time's over! Back to work, you lapdogs!

    Flunky: But boss, it's only been 14 minutes and 30 seconds. The Terrorists' Rights Union guarantees a full 15 min--

    Skullhead: Write a complaint to them then! But you're on the clock now! Someone give me the latest production numbers on our technodromes!

    Flunky #2: Our fourth is nearly complete. The third's crew is still being assigned. The first two are out patrolling, and report no breakdowns.

    Skullhead: Excellent! The masters will be pleased!

  29. #69
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Sunbeams of Set

    A voice booms out from speakers on the outside of the technodrome;

    Voice: "You infidels are trespassing!"

    Judge: "Oops! Our bad! I guess we'll just be moving out then--"

    Voice: "Stand still! This unnatural downpour--"

    Judge glares at Magick, who cows meekly.

    Voice: "--is the work of some evil infidels and here you are! Stay put, I'm coming out!"

    Judge: "Great. That'll make it easier for me to smash your face into mush..."

    A door slides open in an instant and a gangplank lowers, which is obstinately slow compared to the eager door. A group descends the gangplank and troop towards the supposed 'infidels'. Judge notices that they're all wearing assorted ensembles of jeans, t-shirts, beards and AK47s. The guns would make this harder. She could save herself but saving the others may be more difficult. The leader of the group, the man with the biggest beard, approaches first while the others cover him with their AK47s, his own slung over his shoulder.

    Man:
    "I am Almualomin na faroq ulmin ganuluala sane na mologualanaga fang."

    There's a long pause.

    Judge: "You're taking the piss aren't you?"

    Man-with-long-name: "You dare mock my name!?"

    Judge: "You just made up a bunch of jibberish because you know our ignorance at your names, right?"

    Man-with-long-name: "... fine. Way to spoil our joke, infidel!"

    The terrorists all groan and moan at Judge ruining their in-joke.

    Man-with-long-name:
    "I'm Jihadi Jeff."

    Judge: "I think I prefer the other name..."

    Jihadi Jeff: "I don't care what you prefer, infidel! Get on your knees! Hands behind your heads!"

    Judge nods to the others and they all drop down and kneel in the soggy sand. She watches as a few of the terrorists bunch up to try and get under her telekinetic umbrella and keep the rain from their heads.

    Judge: "So, Jihadi Jeff, does Allah approve of technodromes?"

    Jihadi Jeff: "Allah!? You dare speak that false god's name before me!?"

    Judge: "Oh... you're not Muslim? Kind of threw me with the whole jihad thing..."

    Jihadi Jeff: "Oh there'll be a jihad alright! A jihad in the true lord's name!"

    Judge: "... which lord is that again?"

    Jihadi Jeff: "Set, of course! Set, god of the desert!"

    Judge: "Oh. I get it now. And we've--"

    Jihadi Jeff: "Defiled that desert!!"

    Judge nods along with his words, expecting them before they came. She resists the urge to smack Magick across the back of her stupid head.

    Magick: "Well, at least we found the terrorists! So that's good fortune, right!?"

    Jihadi Jeff: "Well done you. Congratulations. And now, to celebrate your success we're going to execute you! Crusader Chris!!"

    One of the other terrorists steps forward.

    Judge: "Seriously? Crusader Chris?"

    Jihadi Jeff tosses a small video camera to Crusader Chris who begins fiddling with the settings for optimal performance in the rain.

    Jihadi Jeff: "Make sure you get the full execution. I'll upload it to TerroristTube later. Guys, make sure they don't move. I don't want to miss."

    Jihadi Jeff turns on his heels, displaying the "Fuq U" slogan on the back of his t-shirt, and marches back towards the technodrome.

    Noble: "He plans to execute us with that!?"

    Barnes: "Overkill much?"

    The man disappears inside the technodrome while Crusader Chris moves around the kneeling group with his camera for some 'dynamic shots'. He leans in close to Magick.

    Crusader Chris: "Could you cry for me?"

    Magick: "Eh?"

    Crusader Chris: "It'll look all emotive and stuff. Oh! Just a single tear though, not lots. A single tear is more sexy Hollywood. If you start blubbering it'll look awful."

    Magick: "I... don't feel like crying..."

    Crusader Chris: "Damn. Let me get some of this rainwater..."

    Suddenly there's a blaring from the technodrome and the terrorists all step back. Then move back even further. One of them moves back further still, evidently less certain of the range of this weapon the technodrome is about to unleash. From the sides of the technodrome emerge thick cylinders that, once fully extended, spin and pop open to reveal two huge circles. From the same port that the cylinders protrude from now comes two more arms with large plates of glass. Judge rolls her eyes.

    Judge: "Doomsday weapons always take forever to set up."

    Barnes: "What's the plan of escape, boss?"

    Judge: "Why would you think I have a plan of escape!?"

    Barnes: "You're the leader!"

    Judge: "Oh right. I forgot."

    The arms complete, they look like two gigantic magnifiers sticking out from the metallic globe. They slowly begin to reposition and the music from Space Odyssey 2000 blares out of the speakers. Then the music abruptly stops and Jihadi Jeff's sounds out instead.

    Jihadi Jeff: "Oh Great Set of the Desert! I charge these infidels wanting! They defile your sacred lands! Now, with your blazing chariot, punish them to damnation!"

    The terrorists start chanting 'Praise to Set' over and over in an African language that Judge cannot understand. The gigantic glass circles approach their final turn and Judge realises that they are magnifying glasses. The sun's light strikes the glass and from both circles a thin stream of heat strikes the desert sand. The beam grows in size as the glasses rotate and turn so that the beam starts to move slowly in the direction of the kneeling captives.

    Jihadi Jeff: "Praise to Set!!"

    The glasses turn more abruptly and the beam suddenly shoots straight at them, breaking whatever original plan Judge may have had. Instead, in an instant, she forgets the umbrella and focuses a sudden blast of kinetic energy underneath them. It's like a sudden explosion under their knees and all four heroes - well two heroes and their secretaries - fly off in different directions. The two sun beams streak through the place they once were, carving up a huge track in the sand as it goes.

    Barnes: "That was your plan!?"

    Barnes shakes his head free of soggy sand as he staggers to his feet. Judge hops up in an instant. With the smallest of effort she casts a small tremor of telekinesis outwards from her skin. All of the sand blasts off of her and creates a sudden draft that blows out her clothes and hair - an incredibly dramatic pose for the terrorists watching the upcoming TerroristTube video Crusader Chris is still recording.


    Judge: "Get Noble and run. I'll distract the iron testicle."

    She blasts off from the sand, spraying the yellow grains all over the unfortunate red-tie. She flies close to the ground, knocking up a dustcloud behind her, until she sees Magick. The girl, just getting to her feet, sees one of the terrorists point his AK47 at her and, instinctively, she thrusts a sudden spell of wind at him that sends the guy off into the sky like a human rag-doll.

    Judge lands next to her with a great 'woomp', knocking sand into the air like a miniature comet.


    Judge: "Magick. Make it rain more."

    Magick: "I thought you didn't like my rain..."

    Judge: "Those beams are powered by the sun. Blot out the sun and they'll stop. Got it?"

    Magick turns and sees the beams headed straight for them. She nods at Judge and allows the older woman to put her arm around her waist. Judge takes off and Magick tries to find the spell in her tome but the pages keep blowing about in the wind as Judge flies.

    Judge: "Don't you have a spell to find the page you're looking for!?"

    Magick: "In hindsight, that's a wonderful idea! I'll create one! But right now, I need to stand still!"

    Judge: "Okay, okay. We'll go in closer to the technodrome..."

    Magick: "Closer!?"

    Judge suddenly drops altitude once she reaches the huge sphere. They drop quickly but just before they connected with the outer hull, Judge applies just enough telekinesis to slow them to a gentle landing.

    Magick: "I think they know we're up here."

    Judge:
    "C'mon, it worked for Han Solo!"

    Magick points up to the massive eyeball staring at them.

    Judge: "Oh right..."

    Jihadi Jeff: "You blasted infidels! You'll burn in Duat for this!"

    Judge: "Duat?"

    Magick is flipping through the pages of her tome and mutters in response;

    Magick: "Hell..."

    Judge nods in understanding a moment before she turns and, with an incredible amount of telekinetic force behind her fist, punches the humongous eyeball off of the top of the technodrome. The eye whizzes off and where it once stood is a bloody hole. Judge winces.

    Judge: "Gross..."

    She then twigs and grins at herself for using that Americanism without even thinking about it. Those elocution lessons are really paying off after all!

    Magick, fining the spell finally, casts it greater still and the clouds slowly grow thicker, darker and meaner. The sunlight is soon blocked from the desert and the sunbeams cease. All across the desert below them is a long streak of burnt sand looking like a big snake from their vantage point. Magick holds up her hand expectantly.

    Judge grins and engages in the high-five!


    Magick: "Yeah! We rock! You know, we should totally have a catchphrase!!"

    Judge's grin melts in an instant.

    Judge: "How about 'Judge, please don't throw me off the technodrome' as your personal catchphrase."

    Magick sulks.

    Jihadi Jeff: "Disappointed!!!"

    Judge stamps on the technodrome with a resounding clang, clang clang!

    Judge: "Having fun yet, Jeff!?"

    Jihadi Jeff: "I said disappointed, not dismayed! That was a wonderfully elaborate weapon we'd concocted! Now I have to resort to even more deadly options!"

    Judge: "Seriously? Why didn't you just open with the deadliest weapon?"

    Jihadi Jeff: "Execution should have an air of ceremony about it. Instead, carnage will have to do."

    The hole where the eye had been opens and the remaining stump is drawn inwards. Judge and Magick both lean over the hole to see what's inside.

    Judge: "That... looks very bright and glowy..."

    Magick:
    "Oh crapcakes!"

    The two of them jump backwards as a huge ball of plasma erupts from the eyeport and bristles with energy. An ever-so-tiny sun.

    Jihadi Jeff: "I wanted Set's chariot to have the glory of finishing you. But I shall have to destroy you with my very own blazing inferno!"

    Magick: "A renewable source of energy and he decides to blast people with it!"

    Judge: "We can ponder the priorities of terrorists later, kiddo!"

    Judge snatches Magick in her arms and jumps from the top of the technodrome just in time to avoid the arcing blast of hot plasma from the mini-sun. They fall but behind them the streak of plasma alters course at a right-angle and zooms after them.

    Judge: "Clever..."

  30. #70
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Digging Deep

    Judge streaks across the desert with Magick in her arms. She extends a protective shield around them, it may not be strong enough to block the plasma pursuing them but it protects Magick from the horrific effects of speeding insanely through the air at crazy-high miles-per-hour. Unfortunately the plasma continues to streak after them. She makes a right-angle turn only for the plasma to follow their path.

    She creates a telekinetic shield behind them, only for the shield to be instantly smashed to pieces by the aggressive streak of energy. The breaking of the shield presses pain into Judge's mind and she suddenly dips dangerously low in her flight path towards the sand dunes. Only Magick's wail of panic keeps Judge focused on the physical world instead of the mental one. She sweeps upwards, but the plasma seems unaffected by the lowing of temperature. Oddly, Judge didn't expect it to be.


    Judge:
    "You should probably be thinking up a spell to get rid of this thing, y'know!?"

    Magick: "I've been trying! Wind currents don't do anything, barriers don't do anything, I was thinking of sacrificing a whale to it but... that'd just be mean."

    Judge looks down and a crazy thought pops into her head.

    Judge: "A crazy thought just popped into my head!"

    Magick: "I think a lot of your thoughts are probably crazy, Judge. I accepted you for them a long time ago!"

    She changes course and heads straight down towards the planet's surface. The streaking plasma had been keeping pace with them for some time but now Judge is laying on the acceleration and the plasma is slowly losing them. Judge wonders if she could escape by zipping around the world, would that eventually break the lock it has on her? But this would be quicker. One way or another. Either success or a very embarrassing death.

    She increases the strength of her shields now, especially at the front shaping it into a cone. Then she changes it into a pulsing force, pushing anything back that comes in her way. For now that's the air.


    Magick: "Judge... I take it back. This is crazy even for you!"

    Judge: "Too late now, girlie!"

    WOOMPH!

    They crash into the desert dune. Sand sprays up like a volcano. Judge's digging-shield allows them to plough straight down, creating a tunnel for themselves. The sand behind them buries them, but Judge's shield keeps them safe and alive for now.

    Magick: "What about our air?"

    Judge: "We have plenty. Just don't talk. Or breathe heavily. In fact, don't breathe at all, better for me."

    Magick: "You're not funny!"

    Judge: "Didn't I say don't talk?"

    Magick: "You're talking!"

    Judge: "I'm going to leave you buried in the sand."

    Magick holds her breath. Judge wonders if that's because she wants to now comply or she expects to suddenly be ditched.

    Darkness is all around them, not that it matters much because there'd just be lots and lots of sand to see. There's no hint that the plasma streak is still following them and Judge hopes that it will have spent all of its energy on the tonnes of sand between them and it. Then, finally, she hits rock. The shield rocks much harder but, surprisingly, the burrowing telekinesis power works just as well on that very solid surface as it did the sand and they start to burrow into the rock. Just as Judge is thinking it's time to return to the surface and see where they're at, they suddenly break into open air. The suddenly change is almost enough to cause Judge to lose her focus again.


    Judge: "We are... somewhere very strange. Can't see anything at all though..."

    Magick: "I can help with that at least..."

    She doesn't need her tome for this one. A simple light spell. She casts it and a tiny glowing orb appears in the air, casting a bright white light out. However it's like a tiny torch in an infinite chasm of blackness.

    Judge: "Might need a bigger one..."

    Magick: "Yeah..."

    She closes her eyes, mutters an incantation - which Judge takes to be the magical equivalent of asking the McDonald's clerk to supersize the meal - and BAM! there's a massive sphere of glowing white light that illuminates what Judge had though to be a cavern. Except this cavern contains a lost city...

    Judge: "I'm an archaeologist and I didn't even know it..."

  31. #71
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow V for Vendetta

    Seraphim gears up and, with a powerful kick off the sand, she springs into the air. The sudden rush of motion brings relief from the oppressive, stagnant heat of The Empty Quarter. She races, headlong, at the Technodrome. It's not the same as the monster machine that Judge and Magick had fought, but it appears remarkably similar.

    She barges through the thick armour plating of the technodrome like its a sheet of paper. The metal barely has time to shriek in protest. Once inside the belly of the beast she lands on the floor. Air conditioning. A God-send. There's not much time to enjoy it though as a horde of angry terrorists come rushing at her armed with their signature AK-47s.


    Seraphim: "Rather a lot of you, aren't there?"

    The leader of the squadron holds up his prototype AK-12. He's only got this gun because he's the boss of the group and, in Seraphim's eye, his only distinguishing feature amongst his rag-tag posse.

    AK-12 Guy: "If you surrender to us now, I promise we'll be... nice..."

    Seraphim doesn't even bother to roll her eyes. She softly raises her arm from her side. As she does this inch-long shards of light appear and lazily hover up in synch with her arm until her fingers point at the group of angry men and women and their guns. She stands there in a kind of mental stand-off - guns aimed at her and her hundred shards poised towards them.

    AK-12 Guy: "Sod it. Kill 'er!"

    No need to wait any longer then. The shards of light silently fly down the short hall. The only sounds next are the screams of humans as their bodies are pierced by glass-like light as sharp as any glass-knife but as strong as any metal. Blood spurts in every direction, agony-gripped hands pull triggers and bullets help make people die all the quicker.

    At the far end of the corridor, Mr AK-12 has activated a panel on the wall. A five-metre cannon pops out of the wall quick-as-you-like and he jumps up into the gunner seat. He aims. He fires.

    The snap-bang of the cannon is more than enough to alert Seraphim to the attack. Much quicker than any cannon, Seraphim's shards zip back towards her and coalesce into a wall of light. It's not a barrier like Judge can make. Seraphim wouldn't be able to stop the thing with physical force. She can, however, create such a high dose of holy light that, when the cannon touches the wall it disintegrates as though it was never there. AK-12 boss fires again. And again. He starts shooting with his honorary weapon to boot. Nothing avails. The wall of light encroaches slowly down the corridor, burning up the dead bodies of the other terrorists and vaporising each shell, each bullet fired by the man. The wall burns the five-metre long funnel of the cannon and, when the wall is just an inch from burning AK-12 to bits... it stops. It vanishes. He opens his fearful eyes. Seraphim punches him. Punches him so hard her slams into the ceiling and falls down in a crumpled mess.

    She puffs out her cheeks. Lets the air pop through her lips.


    Seraphim: "Where next?"

    She guesses up.

    She thunders through the ceiling and find herself on the floor of the next layer of the deadly machine. Nothing but more hordes of angry people. She crashes up through the next layer before they can open fire on her. Same again. She tries once more. This time she's in the control room. Grand.


    It's very spacious, compared to the tiny corridors below, and is filled with a bunch of people in yellow jumpsuits. Because every control room needs yellow jumpsuits to work.

    Standing on a platform that could only be a platform for the boss is, indeed, the boss. Captain of this technodrome, Vendetta Val.


    She's an American-Latino woman with long, dark hair a communist-worker-style military outfit of green and a big cigar in her lips. The green cap on her head completes the look. She's angry and hyperactive, probably because she takes daily shots of heroin and caffeine and has a background of parental neglect and an oppressive government.

    Vendetta Val: "Time's up, fairy woman."

    Seraphim: "Angel."

    Vendetta Val swings up the gatling cannon attached to her arm by a harness and fires. Much to Seraphim's surprises it's not bullets that come her way. A series of immense sonic blasts blast Seraphim. The first knocks her back. The second knocks her off her feet and the third propels her through the wall. The angel, dazed and confused, plummets downwards, having found the outside. The lands with a heavy poof of sand. Luckily Seraphim's healing factor constantly streams through her body. It my not be the same as it once was but it's enough to make her own body virtually indestructible. Saving her from a fall. Or smashing through a twelve-inch wall of steel for that matter.

    Seraphim pushes away the sand and scrambles out of the hole she'd made with her landing. She looks down at herself. Liquid light, her only clothing, doesn't mix well with coarse sand on skin. She winces with discomfort.


    Seraphim: "Hyperon. Where are you?"

    She hears him through the comm piece attached to her inner ear.

    Flax Hyperon: "Seraphim. Baby. I was just thinking about you. Thinking about you, me, Serragoon IV. The most romantic hot springs in existence, under the radiance of its four moons and free drinks for old Flax. Barman's an old friend of mine. If he's still there..."

    She was going to warn him of her plan. Now she's not.

    She hops into the air with a single beat of her liquid wings. She doesn't have to but they often react subconsciously, much like ears of a cat or the tail of a dog. She hurtles straight at the technodrome, only this time she targets the treads. She smashes through them, blasting them apart. She's careful to only destroy one side and cuts quickly out of the way as the sphere leans over and then falls onto its side. Thanks to the spherical nature of the machine, and the dune next to it, it rolls and then slides down, down the dune...

    -------

    Inside;

    Seraphim: "Hyperon. Where are you?"

    Flax hears the voice of Seraphim through the comm in his ear. Without thinking he holds a finger to it, as though that'd make a difference. Old habits.


    Flax Hyperon: "Seraphim. Baby. I was just thinking about you. Thinking about you, me, Serragoon IV. The most romantic hot springs in existence, under the radiance of its four moons and free drinks for old Flax. Barman's an old friend of mine. If he's still there..."

    He's stalking through a very quiet, dark room of the technodrome, slinking from obstacle-to-obstacle. He peeks out and sees a bunch of terrorist guards standing about gossiping in their desert-language that Flax hasn't the patience to bother learning the name of. Then the room rocks. He's more than a bit surprised. He's then incredibly surprised when the room begins to turn. He slips and then slides down the metal floor. Quickly he whips out a sci-fi grappling hook from his utility belt, which he has because... he's a space adventurer and that's what space adventurers have. He slams the energy hook into the floor and then he falls. He stops dead, hanging from the cord, and watches as the terrorists all sail by, falling down the the room to come to a very messy end at the bottom. He dangles there for a moment until the rumbling stops. He waits some more.

    He presses his ear.


    Flax Hyperon: "Seraphim. You okay?"

    Seraphim: "Glad you're unhurt, Hyperon."

    Flax Hyperon: "Why do I feel there's a lack of conviction in your voice..."

    Seraphim: "I'm going to start tearing off pieces of this thing on the outside. You should get to the control room and finish off whatever's left."

    Flax Hyperon: "I love it when you give me orders."

    She doesn't reply.


    He climbs up his rope and reaches for one of the consoles still attached to the former-floor-now-wall. He clambers onto it like a platform. He wiggles his wrist in exactly the right way so that the sci-fi hook knows to let go of its purchase. He swings it around and around then releases it. It shoots upwards. He wiggles his wrist and the hook instantly slams itself into the wall. He tugs it to test and then begins to walk up the floor. When he reaches the top he's close to the door but he can't climb up to it. He looks down. Then back up.

    Flax Hyperon: "Going to have to do something really stupid..."

    He wiggles his wrist. The hook unlatches and he instantly begins to fall towards his death. But with a quick, preplanned, motion he tosses the hook up. It slips through the door frame and slams into the floor again. His body jolts as he reaches the end of the rope. He sighs with relief and resumes his upward journey.

    Once through the doors he can stand on the former-wall-now-floor and, after unhooking the grappling device, he runs down the corridor, laser blaster at the ready. He finds a few unconscious or dead terrorists, rendered immobile by their fall. One is alive and getting up but a swift judo chop keeps him from waking for the time being. Flax checks his map from a wrist device he has mounted there, sometimes call a PIP. He follows the map, which he stole from the computers moments after infiltrating the machine, and treks up through the monolith until he finally reaches an unexpected hole in the wall. Must be Seraphim's doing. He climbs through and he's in the control room.

    Several yellow-suited individuals are busy trying to get machines back online to right the technodrome. Leaning against a wall is the American-Latino terrorist boss, alive and well. Flax raises an eyebrow.


    Flax Hyperon: "If I'd known a lady was in charge, I'd have brought a bottle of champagne with me..."

    She turns and stares coldly at him. With a grin he saunters towards her.

    Flax Hyperon: "My dear pocholita, what are you doing in a place like this, eh?"

    Without warning she sharply swings the gatling gun on her arm and smashes him in the face, knocking him out cold.

    -------

    Sometime later he wakes up groggy and with a blistering headache. Through wincing eyes he finds he is tied to a metal post that supports the once-upon-a-time-ceiling. He arms are up and tethered to the, now horizontal, beam. He legs are, at least, free. His arms are now sore and also aching from supporting his unconscious weight for so long.

    He looks up when he sees boots approaching him, straight into the Latino eyes of Vendetta Val. She grabs his chin firmly and picks up a mic.


    Vendetta Val: "Fairy woman. I have your man."

    She holds the mic in his direction.

    Flax Hyperon: "My pocholita, if it's a ménage ŕ trois you want, you just had to ask..."

    Vendetta Val doesn't appear amused. Or inclined.

    Vendetta Val: "Stop breaking apart my machine or I'll kill him..."

  32. #72
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326
    Seraphim: I won't exactly miss him. He's not my friend.

    Flax Hyperon: Babe, don't toy with my heart.

    Seraphim: I'm sure you understand why.

    Vendetta Val: Indeed, I do. I also understand that you are an angel, and thus are too selfless to let even this fool die.

    Seraphim: You do realize that I specialize in healing powers, right? As an angel of Jim, I can resurrect him.

    Flax Hyperon: I thought you were a fallen angel and thus couldn't resurrect anyone anymore...

    The sound of Seraphim's palm smacking her face is clearly audible through the mike.

    Seraphim: I give up on you, Flax. Escape yourself.

    Vendetta Val: What? You would abandon him?

    Seraphim: You sound female, right?

    Vendetta Val: This is so.

    Seraphim: I'm willing to bet your crew is also female.

    Vendetta Val: This is so as well. By keeping ourselves separate from the men, we remain pure, and thus eligible to be one of the 70 virgins every saint gets in the hereafter.

    Seraphim: Thought so. Then Flax, do what you do best.

    The mike goes dead, and Vendetta Val glares at Flax as the technodrome starts shaking and rattling again with the force of Seraphim's continued assault. She pulls out her gun and aims it directly at Flax's forehead.

    Flax Hyperon: Babe. Pocholita. You, me, Serragoon IV. The most romantic hot springs in existence, under the radiance of its four moons and drinks on the house.

    Vendetta Val: You expect me to fall for that line of romanticized drivel? Prepare to die!

    Female Crew Member #1: Wait, commander!

    Vendetta Val: What?!

    Female Crew Member #1: I'd kind of like to see these hot springs.

    The other female crew members chime in enthusiastically. Flax grins.

  33. #73
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow The Meeting

    Meanwhile (HFO count... actually not very high) in the U.S.A. Hero Force One headquarters, Citizen Rex is standing on a platform making a speech to representatives of several other hero groups and conglomerates.

    Citizen Rex: "As the official hero group of the United States, as continually sanctioned by the incumbent government, Hero Force One has the responsibility to respond to terrorist threats at home and abroad. That includes within the area known as The Empty Quarter, or Rub' al Khali, where we are currently conducting anti-terrorist measures."

    A representative for Adventures & Champions Conglomerate stands up with a query. He doesn't wait to be invited to speak.


    ACC Rep: "The ACC already had ongoing missions in the area before your team moved in. We have grounds to not only remain in place but to supersede your missions merely on the basis of continual presence for the past three years."

    Citizen Rex: "I rather expect that the ACC has people in every pocket of the globe. Does that mean the world belongs to the ACC?"

    The rep looks miffed.

    ACC Rep: "And does the HFO group!?"

    Citizen Rex: "Are you questioning America's anti-terrorism measures?"

    Suddenly the ACC Rep looks cowed. He can't confirm such a position for fear of never being award such anti-terrorism missions for is own group(s).

    Another rep shoots to his feet, hand in the air like a school kid.

    Citizen Rex: "You may speak."

    The Go! Team Rep: "I'm a rep for The Go! Team and I need to tell you that HFO have engaged our target. A villain by the name of Crusader Chris has holed out in a... a...."

    He checks his notes.

    The Go! Team Rep:
    "A... Techno Syndrome...?"

    ACC Rep: "What? Like someone who listens to techno music all day?"

    Citizen Rex:
    "You'll find the word is technodrome..."

    The Go! Team Rep: "Right! That! Your team has basically interfered with our mission. It's all well and good that you have the right to do so over such a small team as ours, but we need that pay check. Will HFO, or the U.S. government, see fit to reimburse lost profits?"

    The reps all start to scribble down fictional missions in the Empty Quarter. Citizen Rex just shakes his head.

    Citizen Rex: "That's a negative. We'll turn your villain over to you if, or should I say when, he's captured. Then you can claim your reward with zero effort."

    ACC Rep: "This is the modern era, Citizen Rex. You think the contractors won't hear that it was actually HFO that captured the guy and not The Go! Guys?"

    The Go! Team Rep: "It's, uh, team. Actually. The Go! Team. Not the-the..."

    He quickly realises nobody cares. The ACC Rep probably got the name wrong deliberately.

    Citizen Rex: "The Go! Team are free to do with the villain as they please once they have him. They could always let him go if they're unpaid..."

    ACC Rep: "You'll make us exhorters then?"

    Citizen Rex: "Let's just see what happens. We haven't even got the guy yet. Maybe he'll escape and The Go! Team can keep chasing the guy wherever he ends up. Next question."

    The Red Faction rep stands up next. There's a lot of groaning amongst the more Western-centric capitalist reps.

    The Red Faction Rep: "What do you say to the claim that some of these so called terrorists are, in fact, liberators and freedom fighters? These hero antics of yours are just veiled attempts by the U.S. to continue its dominance over lesser, weaker nations. In fact, one amongst these so-called-terrorists, may even be a member of the Red Faction hero group. A symbol of true heroism to many communists around the globe. And you're in danger of attacking such a hero. I call for HFO to move out of the Empty Quarter until the RF member can be extracted."

    Those naysayers suddenly seem interested in what the man has to say and are in complete agreement.

    Citizen Rex: "Never going to happen. If your member is found and identified, we'll be sure they're treated properly."

    -------

    In the Empty Quarter Dr R. Deep is battling with terrorists inside the largest of all the technodromes, alongside the newest member of the team - Ffion Heul. They battle their way through hordes of angry, screaming terrorists until they reach the control room where they see a tall, bulky man with a skull tattoo on head. A man known as Anathema Andy.


    Anathema Andy: "Kill them! Kill Hero Force One!"

    Just before she attacks the two heroes, a would-be-assailant stops. She's wearing a skin-tight, bright red outfit with a yellow star on her chest. The Chinese woman is the Red Faction member.

    Unfortunately Ffion doesn't know this and promptly slices the woman in half with her ruhand.


    Dr R. Deep: "Oh... shi--..."

    ----------

    Citizen Rex: "I'm sure everything will work out just fine. But that's all the time we have today, ladies and gentlemen. I have to go. Lots of heroics to do."

    The meeting is adjourned and Citizen Rex walks off stage and retires to the back. He pulls off the holographic projector from his face, and removes the hidden mouthpiece from which the words were being spoken during the meeting.

    Citizen Rex: "I really don't think I need this, you know?"

    Agent Mulligan: "I really think you do, Sir."

    Citizen Rex: "I could have just told those guys we'd give them free cotton candy if they'd go away. I know it'd work. Always works on me."

    Agent Mulligan:
    "That's exactly why you're not allowed to speak by yourself, Sir."

  34. #74
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326
    Judge and Magick stare in awe at the lost city, made of white stone bricks, in a panoply of styles. The city, while lost and forgotten, is still inhabited, bustling with activity, but there is no light anywhere. Lots of murmuring and surprise and pointing ensues, as the residents notice the giant light Magick conjured.

    Magick Snowflakes: Oh, look, locals! Hi everybody!

    She waves enthusiastically. Judge jerks her hand down.

    Judge: They might not be friendly!

    Several beings bustle from the city down the underground slope towards them. As they approach, Judge and Magick can see that they are a combination of lizardmen - in a varying array of green, brown, and yellow scales - and gaunt pale humanoids with dimly glowing embers for eyes. All wear simple loincloths and are armed with spears and ray pistols at odds with their otherwise primitive appearance.

    Lizardmen #1: Sandwurms! Attack!

    Lizardman #2: Sheesh, calm down. They don't look anything like sandwurms.

    Lizardman #1: But they burrowed through the earth! They might have evolved! Super sandwurms!

    Lizardman #2: With due respect, sir, you're an idiot.

    Lizardman #1: Oh yeah? Then why am I your superior?

    Lizardman #2: Because your big brother is a city magistrate.

    Lizardman #1: Right...

    Judge: We're not sandwurms, whatever those are. I'm Judge and this is Magick. We're members of Hero Force One.

    Lizardman #1: I've never heard of you. Sounds like a sandwurm name to me!

    Judge ignores him, as he's the nepotized idiot, and looks at Lizardman #2 instead.

    Lizardman #2: Still never heard of you, but sandwurms can't talk, much less have names for anything. Must be from a mighty far away cavern.

    Judge: We're not from a cavern at all. We're from above, outside.

    Lizardman #2: Never heard of a cavern city called Outside. Didn't think there was anything above ours anyway, there's that stone ceiling there.

    Magick Snowflakes: It's not a cave! It's outside! With the sun and the sky and everything.

    Lizardman #2: Oh, you're members of the Sky cult. Well, to each their own beliefs, no matter how bizarre.

    Magick Snowflakes: It's real! That's where we're from!

    Lizardman #1: Okay, maybe they're really CRAZY sandwurms...

    Judge: Let it go, Magick. So that's who we are. Who are you?

    Lizardman #2: We are the lizardmen and vampires of Ubar! My ancestors and the vampire ancestors met each while fleeing from separate caverns where they were persecuted, discovering this abandoned paradise.

    The vampires are eyeing Magick and Judge coldly.

    Vampire #1: It was members of the Sky cult that were persecuting my people. They worshipped a burning light called the sun that was death to us!

    Magick: Um, no, sounds like you guys were fleeing from the real sun, up above...

    Judge: Look, we'd love to stay and chat, but we're kind of in the middle of something.

    At that moment, there is a horrible trembling and quaking, and the Technodrome drops out of the ceiling to land on the ground of the cavern with a horrific crash and shrieks of distending metal and sparking wires.
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 03-23-2016 at 03:05 PM.

  35. #75
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Subterranean Techno Battle

    Lights from the spherical technodrome blare out, like a techno-disco, and rove the cavern.

    Vampire #1: "HIIISSSSSS!!! It's the Burning Demon of the Sky!! The Sun!"

    He thrusts a finger at Judge and Magick.


    Vampire #1: "They are the heralds of the demon! They brought it here!!"

    Vampire #2:
    "If we kill them, maybe the demon will be released from the world!?"

    The vampires nearby are suddenly surrounding the two of them.

    Lizardman #2: "Listen, guys, maybe we need to think this through a bit...?"

    Lizardman #1: "I think we should kill the sandwurm sun-devils too!"

    Lizardman #2: "You'd kill a hamster if it crawled its way here..."

    Lizardman #1: "Hamster? Like a mini-sandwurm!?"

    Lizardman #2: "I feel I should facepalm but I'd only hit my big repitile nose."

    Judge gets defensive.

    Judge: "I don't want to smack you dudes... but I will if I have to."

    Magick:
    "And you'd enjoy it."

    Judge:
    "Shhh! I'm trying to be all diplomatic and stuff."

    The voice of Jihadi-Jeff suddenly blares through the cavern, bouncing on walls and buildings as it projects from the external speakers of deadly techno-vehicle.


    Judge: "You can't just add the word 'techno' before every other word to make it sound more technological..."

    Magick: "Who're you talking to?"

    Judge: "Nobody."

    Jihadi Jeff: "Alright, infidels! Where are you!?"

    Vampire #1: "Did the devil just call us the infidels!?"

    Suddenly there's an unusual sound of music. The Nokia ringtone.

    Jihadi Jeff: "Dude. Seriously? We're in the middle of executing Hero Force One and you're getting God damn phone calls!!?"

    Crusader Chris:
    "Isn't that blasphemy?"

    Jihadi Jeff: "So help me, Chris, I'm gonna shove that phone where the sun don't shine!"

    Vampire #2:
    "Isn't that here in this cave? He's going to shove his phone into our cave!?"

    Vampire #1:
    "It's the end of days!!! We're doomed! That sound -- it must have been the devil's battle march!"

    Crusader Chris: "But it's my mum!"

    Jihadi Jeff: "Just tell her your busy crushing infidels!"

    Crusader Chris: "You know she doesn't like that stuff, dude."

    Jihadi Jeff:
    "Oh for f-- Tell her you're busy feeding starving kids in Africa."

    Crusader Chris: "I can't lie to her!"

    Jihadi Jeff: "That's it!!!"

    There's the sound of a kerfuffle. Moments later Judge winces as she thinks she sees a little, yellow Nokia phone go sailing by one of the searchlights. The faints sound of its ringtone manages to bounce its way from the cave walls to their position.

    Vampire #1: "It's coming this way! RUN!!!"

    The vampires run from the sounds of the phone while the lizardmen stand looking very confused. Or as confused as a lizard's face can look...

    Jihadi John: "Ahem! Okay. What was I saying? Something about killing infidels... oh. Where are you two? Come on out so I can blast you with death rays or something!"

    Judge: "Okay. Lizarddudes!!! Attack!!! Defend your homes!!!"

    The lizardmen look puzzled. Or as puzzled as a lizard face can.


    Judge: "You just made that joke a moment ago."

    Yeah, but it's funny because it's like a running joke--


    Magick: "Who're you talking to?"

    Judge: "Huh? Oh. Was I talking? Oh! Lizarddudes! What're you puzzled about!?"

    Lizardman #2: "Why should we attack anything you ask us to?"

    Lizardman #1: "Besides. Looks like a sandwurm egg! Trying to get me killed!?"

    Judge: "Beca-- wait, did you just say sandwurm egg!? A moment ago you called me a sandwurm! How could I squeeze that out!!?"

    He points at the gigantic technodrome. The lizards all look up at it.

    Lizardman #1: "Well... if you squeeze really hard...?"

    Judge: "I'm tempted to smash your brains against the wall just for being so stupid. But hopefully you'll die assaulting the technodrome. If you stand here and do nothing, it'll kill you all. And your precious cave-city. So fight or die."

    Magick: "Besides! You wanted to fight us a moment ago! You're not cowards!"

    The lizardmen look uncomfortable. Or as uncom--

    Judge: "Stoooooooop..."

    Lizardman #2:
    "Beating up a little girl and a woman barely dressed... not exactly the most heroic act we've ever done... attacking that thing?"

    Judge: "Right. Great. Fearless lizard warriors..."

    She turns to Magick.

    Judge: "I say we form a new plan of attack. It's time to get crazy..."

    Magick looks up at Judge, idolising her.


    Magick: "Judge! You're so cool!"

    ----------

    On the border of the Empty Quarter is a very big, comfortable tent. Deployed and ready-made the tent has a big "HFO" logo on the side of it. Inside one of its many rooms is the mentor of the group, Dr R. Deep. He's seated at a table evidentially meant as a place for planning grand strategies. Right now, however, its home to several action figures. Deep picks up the Judge doll.

    Deep:
    "I'm Judge and I'm sooooo cool! Die villain!"

    He smacks the action figure of 'Chris the BadGuy' who Deep tosses to the side with an 'aaaargh!'. Judge doll flies around.

    Deep: "Look at me! I'm so beautiful and awesome!"

    He picks up the Dr R. Deep doll and pulls its cord.


    Deep Doll: "Free your mind..."

    He puts the Judge doll down and picks up the brand new prototype doll for High Imp. He flips a switch and a bright light shines from within High Imp's chest.

    Deep: "Oh doctor... I find myself strangely drawn to you..."

    Deep: "High Imp... if you fall in love with me... I know you'll turn to your old, beautiful self again..."

    Deep: "Maybe you are right, doctor. Perhaps just one kiss--"

    Mahir: "Doctor!!"

    Deep: "ACK!!! KNOCK WHEN YOU ENTER A ROOM!!!!"

    Benjamin Mahir looks up at the tent flap and frowns.

    Mahir: "Right... but doctor, I found Seraphim and Flax on the scanner thingy!"

    Deep: "Excellent! I'll be right there. I was just... testing the new High Imp doll..."

    Mahir: "Aren't there official testers for that kind of thing?"

    Deep:
    "It's always best to have a hands-on approach, Benjamin, to every facet of your life. Even the smallest details."

    Mahir:
    "Looked like you had the High Imp doll making out with your Deep doll--"

    Deep: "ACK! OUT!"

    ----------

    Judge: "WRAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!"

    Magick feels the ancient magic within the very stones of the city where it seeped in thousands of years ago. She can almost feel that exotic civilization that lived then, through the magic. Ancient wizards of great power. That ancient feeling only urges her to draw on more aether as she finally releases a torrent of magical lava upon the technodrome. The lava appears from the air and slides down onto the right of the technodrome, melting the metal. What metal stubbornly resisted is yanked off by Judge's telekinesis.

    Magick, held by Judge, is flown into the now gaping hole of the machine. They skid to a halt.

    Judge: "Where to go..."

    Magick points to a picture on the wall.

    Magick: "The guide map says up and to the left."

    Judge: "Great."

    She expands a sphere around her and slams herself through the ceiling. Magick throws her arms downwards, expelling a gust of wind that sends her leaping up after the older woman. Unfortunately Magick still has a lot to learn and whacks her head on the second-floor ceiling. She crashes onto the floor with a whine but leaps up to her feet and tries to act like nothing happened.

    Judge, without looking at her, says;

    Judge: "I sensed that. Pillock."

    Magick giggles as non-embarrassed as she can manage.


    Magick: "Just a bit of a knock. I'm okay!"

    Judge: "Oh wait... what's the American word for pillock?"

    Magick: "Uh... I don't even know what pillock means."

    Judge: "Oh! Schmuck! You're a schmuck! Does that make sense?"

    Magick's lip downturns.

    Judge: "Don't do that. If every stupid thing I say to you hurts you, don't read your Twitter feed."

    Magick: "I block them!"

    Judge rolls her eyes and bashes her way through the nearest wall as casually as though she'd just walked round the corner. She finds herself in a room with a giant glowing ball of energy.


    Magick: "What's that!?"

    Judge shrugs.

    Judge:
    "Generic glowing ball of energy that powers the big bad thingy. Works for me!"

    Then they hear an ominous sound.

    The Nokia ringtone.


    Jihadi Jeff:
    "DUDE! SERIOUSLY!? How did you even get that back!!?"

    The two women turn to see lights suddenly illuminate a horde of terrorists including their leaders.

    Crusader Chris:
    "It's my old phone... mom's calling me again."

    Jihadi Jeff snatches the phone and throws it across the room.


    Jihadi Jeff: "Screw your mom! Everyone! Shoot these guys!"

    Crusader Chris:
    "Don't screw my mom!! Wait... why did my phone stop ringing?"

    They all turn to see Judge had his phone.

    Judge: "Yeah. That's right. Chris is being a naughty boy. He and his pals are trying to shoot me and my friend. My friend is only a girl too, you know? Right, right. Yeah. Chris! Your mom said you're grounded."

    Crusader Chris:
    "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!"

    Judge: "Yeah. It's okay. I understand..."

    Jihadi Jeff: "Screw his God damned mother and SHOOT!!!!!"

    Before the terrorists could open fire Judge uses her telekinesis to throw the phone into the glowing orb. Jihadi Jeff gasps with panic.

    Jihadi Jeff:
    "It'll overload!!!!"

    It does, indeed, overload and explodes. The lights outside start going crazy and the Nokia ringtone blares out from the energy core. The technodrome gets techno with a Nokia dubstep mix supercharged!!!!

    Judge: "Gotta be kidding me..."

    Techno rave lights wash from side-to-side and then, suddenly, the white lights start flickering on and off with strobe lighting.

    They all turn to the light switch where Crusader Chris is rocking out to the dubstep.

    Jihadi Jeff: "Dude. I'm gonna kill you myself..."

    He turns is AK-47 on his friend and kills him.

    The lights return to normal.


    Judge: "His mum- I mean, mom, is gonna be very pissed off with you."

    Jihadi Jeff: "SCREW HIS MOM!! I'm sick of his mom! Sick of him! Sick of you! Time to die!!"

    Terrorist #1: "Uh, boss, explodey power core thingy?"

    Jihadi Jeff: "DEATH TO THE INFIDELS!!!!"

    The terrorists, realising he's lost it, make a run for it while Jeff empties clip after clip into Judge's shield. Magick, behind the shield, looks up at Judge.

    Magick:
    "Shouldn't we run too?"

    Judge: "Pretty sure my shield can take the explosion."

    Magick:
    "Pretty sure?"

    Judge: "Well, yeah, can't be certain."

    Magick: "Maybe we could leave then? Just to be safe?"

    Judge: "But I wanna see this guy get exploded by a dubstep ringtone. He'll go up with a wub wub!"

    Magick:
    "I don't even know what that means."

    Judge: "Alright fine. Let's get outta here."

    She grabs Magick and flies out of the techno-music technodrome and soars through the techno-lights where she then lands on the ... not-techno-floor of the city.

    She sighs with relief and grins at the lizardmen.


    Judge:
    "Jobs a good 'un, lizarddudes!"

    The technodrome explodes behind her in a flurry of bright lights that seem to ebb and flow in wub wub beats. One of the lizardmen steps forward and bows to her. He wears a leathery robe over his scaled body.

    Lizardman #3: "I'm Ballax."

    Judge: "You're called bollocks!? Wow. Embarrassing."

    Ballax: "No! Ballax!! I just want to say thank you."

    Judge:
    "Cool. No problemo. Me and Magick can take on anything. What're you anyway? A lizard wizard? Hahaha!"

    Only Magick laughs.

    Ballax:
    "I have decided I am now a technolizard."

    Judge: "Wow. Like a technology lizard?"

    Ballax: "No. Of course not! I mean like that astounding and incredibly MUSIC that played! Techno... I have already ordered the construction of a new temple devoted to techno with shrines for dubstep, happy hardcore, house, chillstep, future bass, glitch hop--"

    Judge: "Okay, okay! Good grief! What have I done!? But yeah. Whatever dude. Hope you like your temple of music..."

    She turns to leave but the technolizard jumps in front of her.

    Ballax: "Wait! Wait! I was hoping we could... use you for a statue? The pioneer of techno!"

    Judge: "Not sure if I want my name attached to something like that..."

    She rolls her eyes.

    Judge: "But I guess Deep would say I was doing good works by spreading awareness of the team... so... bugger it-- I mean... screw it. Why not."

    Ballax leads them through the city and the two humans admire the ancient dwellings. It's clear were renovations have taken place because, despite the age of the original buildings, the new sections of the city are usually of a much inferior quality both in design and materials. The newer parts, whether its an extension or a whole new building, are often built for function only and not with any sense of beauty in mind.

    The road is covered in sand and dust, evidently sweeping isn't something its current occupants believed necessary. Magick's glow light trails after them, keeping the area illuminated for them. While Ballax seems to have gotten used to it, most lizardmen and vampires around them wince and shy away from its brightness. Amongst the real life lizards and undead are a few statues, which mostly appear to be of lizardmen.


    Then they get to the area Ballax has designated where the temple will be.

    Ballax: "I plan to have a light show, just like the one you showed us!"

    Judge: "Pretty sure that was an idiot mucking about with a light switch but sure, cool bro..."

    Ballax: "And here will be you!"

    He points. There are two squat pillars of stone and he points between them.


    Magick: "Wow! Judge! A statue!"

    Judge: "We already have a statue in Central Park, remember?"

    Magick: "Yeah but-- this is different! This is like a statue that means something!"

    Judge: "Pretty sure that massive metal thing they commissioned also means something to Americans but sure... whatever."

    Ballax points.

    Ballax: "If you could stand here?"

    Judge stands between the pillars.

    Judge:
    "What kind of pose did you want?"

    Magick: "Do you sexy superhero pose! Everyone likes that!"

    Judge turns around, her bikini butt prominently on display. One hand lifts up her locks of ginger hair while her other arm is flexed. She smirks.

    Magick claps enthusiastically.


    Magick:
    "So awesome!"

    Ballax: "That's perfect, techno pioneer."

    Suddenly sand lashes up from the floor and slaps into Judge. It happens in such a sudden instant that Judge doesn't have time to move. The sand keeps coming up, whipping around the two pillars and slamming layer upon layer onto Judge's body.

    Magick:
    "What's happening!!!? Stop it!!!"

    It stops.


    Judge has turned into a statue.


    Magick, trembling, approaches Judge. She reaches out to touch her friend. Hand meets sandstone. Magick whimpers in panic. She can feel the ancient magic in the sand, the device evidently one used for thousands of years. She doesn't think even Judge could use her telekinesis to break out of this - if she's even alive in there...
    Last edited by TheBritt; 04-06-2016 at 02:31 PM.

  36. #76
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Devil and the Dead

    Magick panics and grabs Ballax' robes. She shakes him as hard as she can, which merely sways the big lizardman slightly. He frowns down at her.

    Ballax: "You seem upset."

    Magick: "Of course I'm bloody upset! Let her go!"

    Ballax: "You man reverse it!?"

    Magick:
    "Yes!"

    He looks at her as though the very notion had never occurred to him before.


    Ballax: "But... why!?"

    Magick already has her book open and flips through the leaves until she's at 'S'.


    Magick:
    "Stone... stone... stone-ification?"

    She looks disheartened.

    She flips to 'R'.


    Magick: "Rock-ification...."

    She looks despondent.


    Ballax: "Perhaps petrification..."

    She doesn't look up from the book and starts turning the pages back to 'P'.

    Magick: "I knew that... just... took me a minute to remember the word..."

    The book has no actual spell. Only advise...


    Magick: "A.... man... drake? What's..."

    She thinks.

    Magick:
    "I need a male dragon!"

    Ballax chuckles.

    Ballax:
    "Ah. More of those fanciful beliefs. The ancient race conspiracy, eh? Came before the lizards. Ha! You'll be telling me they're amongst us next. Our leaders are all secretly dragons!"

    Magick: "This picture though... that's a really weird looking dragon."

    Ballax: "I'm sorry that you'll miss your friend, little... white... creature. But she's now serving a much greater purpose!"

    Magick growls. It's supposed to be menacing but Magick, being Magick, she just sounds adorable.

    Magick: "As a pidgeon's toilet, I suppose?"

    Ballax: "Pidgeon? Is that another of your magical fairy tale creatures?"

    Magick:
    "I... I have to find the doctor..."

    Ballax suddenly frowns.


    Ballax: "That'll be that man with the annoying blue box."

    Magick: "What? No. Not that doctor."

    She looks desperately up at the statue-ified Judge.

    Magick: "But... I can't just leave her here!"

    Ballax reaches out and pats Magick on the head. She squirms out of his reach but he doesn't seem to notice the slight. He starts to walk forwards and Magick notices many more statues nearby. He waves his hand towards them.

    Ballax: "She now joins the illustrious elite. Heroes of Ubar. Uber heroes of Ubar, I should say! They were never rulers, they owed nothing to the city. They acted on its behalf from the goodness of their hearts and love of this great nation."

    Magick: "That does not sound like Judge at all."

    Ballax selectively ignores her words. He comes to the first statue. A lizardman.

    Ballax: "A truly great hero and warrior. He defended us from the deadly giant arachnids that swarmed our cavern a few years ago. A true hero for the ages. Daveatron the Bold."

    Magick: "I really don't have time for this..."

    Ballax: "And here we have Davetrix."

    A female vampire.

    Magick:
    "Is this going to be a running gag for all these statues?"

    Ballax:
    "Gag? What do you mean?"

    Magick: "They're not all actually called 'Dave' are they?"

    Ballax:
    "That's their honorary name. Dave means hero in our ancient language."

    Magick shakes her head in annoyance.


    Ballax:
    "I was thinking Technodave for your friend..."

    Magick:
    "How am I supposed to get a message to the doctor from so deep in the earth?"

    She ignores her own accidental pun.

    Moments later and she runs off towards the wreckage of the Technodrome hoping to find one of Crusader Chris' phones. She has no idea how he was able to get a signal down here but she's not going to ponder such logic for fear of jinxing it.


    Back outside the designated area for the new technoshrine, Ballax hasn't noticed that Magick's scarpered and he keeps introducing the daves.


    Ballax:
    "This is Daveworth, one of the most crafty and intelligent heroes of them all. And next, of course, is Awedave. Truly a powerful hero of ancient times..."

    ----------

    Elsewhere in the Empty Quarter, just outside the HFO HQ tent, Dr R. Deep, Ffion Heul and Benjamin Mahir are staring down at the corpse of the Chinese woman Ffion sliced in half.

    Mahir: "Couldn't Seraphim...?"

    Dr R. Deep: "No. Seraphim no longer has such power since she fell."

    Mahir: "Could we... find a zombie... let it bite her and she'll be a zombie then? Not exactly alive but... close!"

    Dr R. Deep:
    "She'd have to be alive before she could turn into a zombie..."

    Heul:
    "She attacked us. Why are we so concerned?"

    Dr R. Deep: "Politics, Ffion. We're going to have very angry people taking advantage of this moment."

    Mahir:
    "Wait... what about 'Spit? Couldn't he help?"

    Deep stares at the body in thought. He doesn't like the idea of resorting to the ruler of Hell for anything. Demons are never to be trusted. Even if there's something irresistible in their eyes...

    Heul: "Doc?"

    Dr R. Deep:
    "High Imp... huh!? What?"

    Mahir: "High Imp? You think he could help us?"

    Dr R. Deep: "No... once maybe. Now. No. Besides, he's gone off on 'demon business', as he put it."

    Mahir: "Then it's 'Spit. Or we accept the political repercussions..."

    Dr R. Deep:
    "Okay. Get him on the phone. Ffion. I want you to find Seraphim and Flax. We have their coordinates."

    Ffion looks down at the body and then back to Deep.

    Heul: "Sorry for causing you trouble."

    Dr R. Deep:
    "Not your fault. Not really. We'll deal with the situation."

    Heul: "Aye, chief. Thanks. I hope things work out."

    Dr R. Deep just nods and Ffion leaves him to brood. Bringing back the dead. There's always a steep price for that. Acidspitter, current ruler of Hell, may be a former team member and an affiliate but even he has to abide by the rules of his domain.


    Suddenly there's a gush of flame and from the fire emerges a young man with a tall, red mohawk. He's ditched his own skater clothes in favour of a punk-styled blazer, patterned with splatter marks atop the pin-stripe, a skinny red tie and a black shirt, wide open at the collar. He has a pair of skinny jeans on, with a few holes here and there. An extra fifty dollars for the hobo-look. On his feet he's wearing an old worn pair of converse with a black and white splatter pattern, much like his blazer. Deep isn't sure if he should admire the attempt to be marginally more formal now that he's officially Mr Nine, or if he should be unsurprised that Acidspitter didn't manage to go all the way.

    On his neck there's a tattoo of something that Deep can't make out clearly but while that's new, the number of piercings has been reduced. Now there's just a lot of them instead of a huge number of them.

    Acidspitter:
    "Ben said you needed my professional help?"

    Deep points at the two halves of the Asian woman.

    Acidspitter:
    "Eeeew!"

    He looks up from the body to Deep.

    Acidspitter: "So... what? You're the doctor, not me."

    Dr R. Deep: "Don't you think she's a bit beyond a doctor, Acidspitter?"

    Acidspitter:
    "Oh, I see. You want me to, uh, raise the dead?"

    Dr R. Deep: "It'd be a great help."

    He crouches beside the body and pokes it a few times, as though checking she isn't about to wake up. He scratches the back of his head.

    Acidspitter:
    "Okay, well, I don't know if I can actually do that but I'll get someone here who can."

    He straightens out as he snaps his finger.

    Another flame appears but this time it opens and spreads into a flaming plot-hole to Hell. Through the plot-hole Deep can see into the Granite Fortress that acts as the headquarters for Mr Nine somewhere in Canada. The first person to come out of the plot-hole is a hulking brute of a demon ad ugly and fearsome as they come. However he's wearing a smart, black suit of a butler and has a silver tray balanced atop his charred fingers. On the tray balances a glass of champagne.

    Acidspitter takes the glass.


    Acidspitter:
    "Tell my advisor I want him, Dave."

    Dave:
    "Of course, Sir."

    The demon-butler turns and stomps, as pompously as one can stomp, back into the fortress. He's gone a short while before someone else appears at the plot-hole. A red-skinned devil, straight-backed and with a long, beaky nose steps briskly forth with the stride of a man that knows exactly where he is and why and he's ready to do business. His black hair is slicked back between his small, neat horns. When his Italian leather brogues touch the sand of the Empty Quarter he stares down at the yellow grains as though they were deliberately trying to ruin his day. His entirely black suit is marked by a single, bright red tie.

    Acidspitter:
    "Dude. My bro wants us to bring this woman back to life. Can we do it?"

    Deep is not impressed at being referred to as 'bro' but he supposes he's no longer in a position of authority over the young demon and is therefore to be subjected to whatever moronic slang Acidspitter is prone to.

    The Devil's Advocate adjusts his glasses as he looks down at the bloodied, long-dead woman.


    Devil's Advocate:
    "Very, very messy..."

    Dr R. Deep:
    "What's what happens when someone's soul is used as raw energy."

    Acidspitter: "Huh! Maybe we could do that!? We could hurl souls out of trebuchets or something!"

    Devil's Advocate:
    "I don't think you want to start mishandling souls, my lord. The paperwork for a soul-flinging-trebuchet alone would be quite tedious. Not to mention, who would you actually fling them at?"

    Acidspitter muses.


    Acidspitter:
    "God?"

    Devil's Advocate:
    "I don't think James Sevenicci would appreciate that very much."

    Acidspitter: "Aliens?"

    Devil's Advocate:
    "I'm afraid to ask why you'd want to throw souls at aliens so I shan't. Instead I should tell you that it is possible to put life back into this unfortunate being. However... it won't be pretty..."

    He looks straight at Dr R. Deep over the top of his glasses.

    Dr R. Deep:
    "I suppose anything is better than nothing at this point. Better to return her animate than inanimate."

    He sighs slowly. Politics isn't a part of the job he likes.

    Devil's Advocate: "Then she shall speak of the cost--"

    Acidspitter waves his hand vigorously before his advisor.

    Acidspitter: "No need for that, man. This is Deep. I owe him big time."

    Devil's Advocate grits his teeth behind his lips.

    Devil's Advocate: "Are you saying this debt was paid in advance, my lord? Remember, there are rules to--"

    Acidspitter:
    "It's done, it's done. Actually, just thinking of the past and stuff, isn't Sera around?"

    Dr R. Deep: "She's on a mission here. Just waiting for her to return."

    Acidspitter perks up.

    Acidspitter: "Cool! Guess there's reason to stick around too!"

    The Devil's Advocate looks at Deep with an expression that suggested Deep was lucky to get this bargain and Deep is very grateful. He might not like Acidspitter because of both his heritage as a demon and his somewhat annoying youthful demeanour, but right now he's tremendously grateful that there's no cost to him or his soul. To have thrown away even a part of that soul would have been to spit in the face of his sister's sacrifice all those years before.

    In a short burst of flame a contract appears, along with a pen.


    Devil's Advocate:
    "Sign this and it's done."

    Deep quickly reads it. He can see it's clearly marked that the debt is pre-paid, much to his satisfaction. Yet, even signing the page seems like he's condemning his soul.


    Mahir: "You okay with that, Doctor?"

    He looks up from the contract to see Benjamin Mahir stood beside him. He doesn't know how long he was staring at the demonic paper.

    Mahir: "Do you, uh, need me to sign it for you?"

    Devil's Advocate: "You can't. You didn't pay the debt."

    Deep is ashamed that a big part of him had briefly leapt at the chance to pass the signing over to Ben. And yet he's also ashamed to sign it himself. But he does.

    His name goes to paper and instantly the document vanishes.


    Devil's Advocate:
    "Done. Now it's all on you, my lord."

    Acidspitter cracks his knuckles.

    Acidspitter:
    "Alright! So... how do I do it?"

    There's a momentary roll of the eyes in Mephistopheles but he doesn't let his lord see it.


    Devil's Advocate:
    "As with all offices granted to you, my lord, you just have to feel for it. Majordomo taught you this already, didn't he?"

    Acidspitter:
    "Feel for it. Yeah. Okay. I can feel it. Sort of. Don't blame me if this turns out crap."

    Dr R. Deep: "Just do your best, Acidspitter."

    Devil's Advocate:
    "You should really refer to him as Mr Nine now, Doctor Deep. Familiarity with the Devil could result in--"

    Acidspitter:
    "Dude. Shaddap. I'm trying to concentrate on this totally dead chick."

    He looks at his own hands and then faces them palm down towards the woman's body. It takes a few minutes for something to happen but when it does it happens very quickly. The two body parts slap together with the very audible sound of wet meat hitting wet meat. The two halves float a little into the air and then spin around as though screwing together until they came to a stop - whole once again. Save for a very horrible scar right around her body. Another few minutes pass before the soul is finally returned as she jolts awake with a cry of horror and anguish.

    Acidspitter sighs with relief as the task is done and he releases the woman. She drops to the sand unceremoniously.


    Acidspitter: "Oops! Sorry about that."

    The woman scrambles backwards, away from the crowd of strange men. She shouts at them in Mandarin.

    Dr R. Deep: "You're alright now. You're safe."

    He crouches down to bring himself to her level.


    Acidspitter: "You were totally dead but I brought you back. Awesome, right? Also you were totally in Hell. Thought I was going to have to get Jim to give me your soul, but nope! There you were in my domain! Makes me wonder why you want to bring her back though, doc?"

    Deep looks up at him.


    Dr R. Deep: "Politics. As usual."

    Acidspitter nods sagely.

    Acidspitter:
    "As usual..."

    Mahir: "She seems... none the worse for wear. Except that scar. Good as new, right?"

    Acidspitter: "Except that she's sort of undead now, sure!"

    Dr R. Deep: "... undead?"

    Acidspitter:
    "Well, what can you do, eh? You said animate, right? She's animate. Just probably not going to die conventionally. And she's probably going to have some very bad dreams. Well. Memories. Hell isn't the nicest of places for murderers, you know?"

    Devil's Advocate: "And she'll probably grows some horns..."

    Deep rises with a look of 'why didn't you tell me this first?' and casts it straight at Mephistopheles.


    Devil's Advocate:
    "Don't worry. They'll only be little ones. Smaller than mine!"

    He strokes one of his horns.

    Deep looks down at her. She looks ready to turn and run.


    Dr R. Deep: "At least she's animate..."

    He then hears music. Everyone looks up at Deep.


    Mahir: "You have Stayin' Alive as your ringtone, doctor? That... could not have come at a worse time, could it?"

    ----------

    Elsewhere, and some time later, a big, bulky military dune buggy leaps from the top of one particular dune. Sand bursts into the air and then gently settles as the car speeds away, leaving deep tracks in the soft and otherwise untouched, desert. In the front is Ffion Heul, grinning madly. Beside her is a woman tied up and looking very angry - Vendetta Val. In the back is Flax Hyperon, who seems to be trying to take in the sun, while on the turret is Seraphim. The gun howls as bullets sting the dunes, missing their targets - several other dune buggies piloted by angry terrorists.


    Ffion had been surprised to find Flax and Vendetta Val wandering casually away from the technodrome after being let go by the female command crew. Once put into the buggy, however, Val seemed to snap out of whatever spell she was under and had to be tied up. Of course, being concerned for her safety, Flax was considerate enough to fasten her seatbelt. Seraphim had joined them soon after and, without a word of greetings, took to the turret. In fact the terrorists may never have been noticed their escape if she hadn't started mowing them down and blowing up random fuel tanks that... seemed to have been left standing around for no reason.

    Terrorists attempt to take pot shots with their rifles, leaning out of their buggies to get a better shot. One of them is hit and he flies out of the car with a Wilhelm scream.

    Flax whips out a pair of sunglasses and leans forward.


    Flax: "So... Ffion, isn't it? You like driving, huh?"

    Vendetta Val glares at him with venom in her eyes.

  37. #77
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Politics - The Beginning

    Magick: "She's going to be really pissed off with us..."

    She stares down the gaping chasm as the winch slowly grinds and grins, winding in. Somewhere down in the darkness the Judge statue is dangling in the air as it's being dragged up to the surface world. The gigantic hole that the technodrome left is massive and Magick can't help but wonder what will now become of Ubar - its unique ecosystem no longer cordoned off from the rest of the world. How will it change the lizardmen and the vampires that inhabit the ancient city? Maybe the hole will be filled in. It isn't the call of Hero Force One but the American government. And maybe the government of Yemen - if the US condescends to tell them.

    Benjamin:
    "I think she'll be happy enough to be turned back to normal. Then again, maybe we should keep her this way? I've always said we should have some art in the lobby."

    Magick gives Benjamin an angry look, that just looks like an adorable pout.

    Magick: "Don't be mean, Ben!"

    Benjamin Mahir rolls his eyes.

    Benjamin: "I was just teasing, Magick. Besides, I'm sure she'd make worse jokes about either of us if we were turned to stone."

    The sun is low in the sky and Magick suspects it'll be dark by the time Judge is finally with them. She's about to go and ask for lights to be set up when the two agents, Barnes and Noble, are already setting them up around the hole. From behind the agents Magick sees Dr R. Deep. He's standing beside a Chinese woman whose currently manacled.

    Then there's the cry of jet engines. Magick looks up to see several jets whiz overhead, passing over the area in search of any remaining terrorists who might be fleeing the region. If there are more technodromes out there, they're hiding below ground somewhere. A gyrocopter follows after the jets and comes to a gentle landing near to Dr R. Deep and his prisoner.


    Benjamin: "Apparently we'll be headed up to Cloudbase."

    Magick lights up.

    Magick:
    "Oh! I've always wanted to meet Hero Force Two!"

    Benjamin:
    "I don't think there's any of them left, Magick. Something happened a while back and all the other teams were thrown into disarray. If there's a Hero Force Two team left... I wouldn't expect much."

    She looks back down the hole.


    Magick: "Maybe I should give this a bit of a boost?"

    Benjiamin: "If you screw it up and she falls back down that hole, you might kill her..."

    Magick licks her lips.

    Magick: "I won't screw up."

    She reaches out, hands clawed, and feels the aether in the air. She senses it and follows it down the hole. She senses it down, down, down - then an object in the way. She manipulates the aether below that object and creates a sudden gush of magical wind. She thrusts upwards. A short time later and the statue flies out of the hole and is fired, like a cork from a bottle, up into the sky.

    Magick: "Oops..."

    She runs after the statue and tries to cast several more wind spells to break the fall of the statue. She fumbles the spell, missing the statue's spiralling descent. Just as she thinks she has it the statue stops dead in the air. Magick stares at it for a moment then turns to see Ffion Heul with her arm outstretched. Magick grumbles at being upstaged and bailed by the newbie.

    Once settled on the sand the two of them approach the statue.


    Ffion: "Did you have some idea for freeing her?"

    Magick: "No. I figured the doctor would know what to do..."

    Ffion looks at Judge and frowns.

    She then places her hands on the statue.


    Magick: "Ah! Ffion! I don't think she'd appreciate that!"

    Ffion: "What're you talking about?"

    Ffion frowns at Magick but turns to realise she's grabbing Judge's stone boobs.


    Ffion: "WHOOPS!"

    She flails back and rubs the back of her head embarrassed.

    Ffion: "Sorry about that, Judge! But you know, they're pretty damn big. Kind of get in the way, you know?"

    Magick: "Backhanded compliment?"

    Ffion: "Or a backhanded diss, I guess."

    She lays her hands on Judge again, this time she lowers her hands to touch Judge's stomach. Magick looks perturbed.

    Magick:
    "It's not as intimate as breasts, but I don't think Judge likes to be groped by girls. Anywhere..."

    Ffion: "I'm not groping..."

    She stops talking and closes her eyes.

    To look at Ffion Heul it's easy to forget that she is actually an alien from another world. She's human, perhaps, but not from Earth. Feeling up statues is perhaps on alien custom Magick had never expected to encounter.


    Ffion: "She's aware inside. I can sense her mind... I think... She can get out of this herself. She just needs some guidance... Some... power..."

    Magick: "Really? Can I help!?"

    Ffion: "It's not your... magic that she needs. I think. I don't understand your magic, if I'm being honest. I'm going to try to amplify her mind with my own."

    She reaches up and touches Judge's temples. Then, as though in afterthought, she opens her eyes to look at Magick.


    Ffion: "If I start screaming in pain or something, please save me, okay?"

    Magick nods dumbly.

    She expected some kind of dramatic moment of flashing lights or swirling magic or explosions or... something. Instead Ffion just closes her eyes and, a moment later, she lets go. She steps back, thinks about it, and then, taking Magick's hand, runs away.

    Magick: "Why're we-- Whoa!"

    The two of them hurl themselves to the sand as a tremendous explosion erupts in the desert. Others, who are further off, all turn in shock at the sudden noise. A piece of stone smacks Magick on the head. She whines and rubs the sore but braves a look back. Judge, back to her old self, stretches as though she'd had a long nap.


    Magick:
    "You did it Ffion!"

    Ffion rolls over so she can see. She sits on the hot sand and stares in wonder at her own doing.


    Ffion: "Kokoro would be impressed with me for that."

    She grins but it's to herself, a smile not meant to be shared with Magick. Magick feels it anyway and she smiles too. She scrambled to her feet and runs across the desert towards Judge, kicking up clumps of sand as her boots clumsily tear up the ground.

    She skids to a halt when a group of agents march towards her. They pass by Judge without so much as a glance. Magick supposes that they must have come from the gyrocopter. None of the agents are the usual agents that the team deals with. Barnes and Noble themselves, stood by the pit still, seem to be just as confounded as Magick is.

    She steps back and then scurries aside as they march past her. Until they finally stop. In front of Ffion Heul. Ffion, who was revelling in her own mind's work, looks up sleepily to see the agents.


    Agent Blackwell: "Ffion Heul."

    Ffion: "Hullo."

    Agent Blackwell:
    "You're to come with us. You're under arrest."

    Ffion squints at them, lips pursed and pouting. Completely confused.

    Agent Blackwell:
    "Please stand up and come peacefully."

    Ffion:
    "You guys're serious?"

    Magick runs over.

    Magick: "Wait! Why!? You can't arrest her, she's Hero Force One!"

    Agent Blackwell:
    "The attempted, and somewhat successful by all accounts, murder of Fang Xiu Shan."

    Magick looks over the sand towards Dr R. Deep and the Chinese woman. When Magick catches his eye he breaks contact and casts his stare down at the sand in shame. Magick grows angry. How can he let this happen?

    Ffion slowly gets to her feet. Her teeth are clenched and she seems unsure about what to do. Magick thinks she wants to fight her way out but doesn't want to upset things for the team. Magick jumps to Ffion's side.


    Magick: "I won't let you take her! She's a hero! She saved Judge's life just now! Like seconds before you showed up!"

    Agent Blackwell: "We're here on orders from the U.S. government, Ms Snowflakes. Pending a trial Ms Heul may well go free. Let's not make a scene and get this over with..."

    He's a tall man, very thin and pale. His sunglasses are, unlike most agents, metallic so that they reflect everything he casts his gaze upon. Magick sees herself in them. Herself and Ffion.

    Ffion:
    "Maybe I sh--"

    Magick:
    "No! No! That Red Fection woman attacked Ffion first! She was working for the terrorists! Ffion defended herself on a mission the U.S. government sent her on! You can't arrest her for that!"

    Agent Blackwell: "Ms Snowflakes, this is not the courtroom. You can argue the case then."

    Benjamin: "Magick. Maybe you should come away?"

    He has come up behind them but keeps his distance, not wanting to find himself between a rock and a hard place. Or a bunch of deadly agents and an alien with a glowing sword. He beckons Magick.

    Magick: "NO!"

    Ffion: "Magick... I appreciate it, but I don't want you getting into trouble on my account. Don't worry about it, kiddo. I probably deserve this anyway."

    Magick:
    "What!? No! No you don't! Doctor! Help!"

    She looks towards her mentor. Her eyes plead for him.

    He watches for a moment. Then turns away and climbs aboard the gyrocopter. Magick stares after him. Stunned. She can't believe he did nothing. He ignored her. He refused to help. In her daze she barely feels herself being shoved aside as agents move in and grab Ffion. Magick can see Ffion pushing agents back but follows them otherwise without a fuss. Judge, however, seems to think otherwise. As the strongest person on the team she's used to getting her own way. It's strange to watch Judge shouting at the top of her lungs but strangely muted by Magick's own broken mind. Judge grabs an agent by the collar of his shirt and throws him into the sand. The scene grows tense. Benjamin, keeping his distance, is shouting something at Judge. Probably telling her to calm down. It's Ffion herself that does it though. Judge walks with Ffion, the agents trailing behind them, all the way to the gyrocopter.

    Benjamin urges Magick on and, after a few false starts, she manages to get her legs to work. Although she sees the world around her, there's only one image that's now burnt into her mind's eye. The image of her idol - turning his back on her.

  38. #78
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326
    A cold white room.

    A large window allowing guards full view inside.

    A single heavy metal door.

    A solitary bulb dangling above.

    Ffion notices every detail as she sits at the table in the cell, her hands clasped on the table in front of her. She is attempting to clear her mind, while also noticing everything - noticing, but not judging, an old Aeon meditation technique. Her meditation is interrupted when a guard opens the door.


    Guard: Your attorney is here.

    Ffion: I do not know what currency you use here, but I'm sure I don't have any with which to retain one.

    Guard: You have friends in high places then.

    Ffion only has a moment to wonder what he means, when a squat midget, wearing a metal horned helmet and a suit and tie stamps in. He has a thick bushy red beard, and an axe strapped to his back. He clambers up to the seat on the other side of the table from Ffion, and opens his briefcase as the guard shuts the door.

    Ffion: They...allow you to retain your weapons in an incarceration facility?

    Krig the Viking Lawyer: No one takes Krig's axe from him!

    Ffion: But what if I tried to take it from you and break out?

    The squat Viking lawyer looks at Ffion suspiciously.

    Krig the Viking Lawyer: If you try to take Krig's axe, Krig will SMASH! Also, Krig will not be your defense attorney.

    Ffion: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend. I'm not planning to take your axe. Um... who are you?

    Krig the Viking Lawyer: Krig is Krig! Krig is happy to meet nice lady.

    Ffion: And you... you're a lawyer?

    Krig the Viking Lawyer: Nice lady is smart! Krig is happy he has a smart client. Some clients very dumb.

    Ffion peers at him doubtfully. He looks sort of familiar, then the memory clicks - a photo from the dossier of Terran world leaders that Doctor Deep had provided her recently.

    Ffion: Aren't you the king of Switzerland?

    Krig takes on a furtive expression, glancing left and right.

    Krig: That's Krig's father, Krog! Krog wears disguise so Krig can moonlight as lawyer!

    Ffion: I...see. So who hired you?

    Krig's face darkens.

    Krig the Viking Lawyer: Nasty monster-man. Krig wasn't going to say yes, but sad little girl said pretty please, and said nice lady was a nice lady, so Krig said yes!

    Ffion takes this to mean High Imp hired Krig, and Magick convinced Krig to do it, though why High Imp would do that for her, she has no idea. She certainly doesn't trust the devil. Unless this is to deliberately sabotage her? Krig appears a bit... unstable, and not terribly bright.

    Ffion: Well, thank you for taking my case. If you don't mind my asking...have you ever won a case before?

    Krig looks insulted, and Ffion blushes.

    Krig the Viking Lawyer: Krig has won all nine hundred and ninety nine cases he's ever taken!

    Ffion blinks.

    Ffion: Really? That's... an impressive record.

    Krig's grin lights up the room.
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 05-23-2016 at 01:21 PM.

  39. #79
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Breakup and Court

    In Washington D.C., in their secret underground bunker base (that actually everyone knows about and there's plenty of photographs, play-sets and even Facebook posts made by visitors all about the place. But 'secret base' sells more play-sets.) the members of Hero Force One, sans Ffion Heul, are brooding.

    Dr R. Deep, one of the longest-running members, sits at a metal table with his fingers steepled. Despite the low-light of the bunker, he still has his shades on. Because coolness.

    Citizen Rex, who has essentially become the company mascot and made poor Benjamin Mahir's role redundant, is sitting in another seat at the table with his 3DS. He'd already been made to turn the sound down.

    Benjamin Mahir himself is there, leaning against a filing cabinet as he thinks about the situation. He feels terrible. He feels guilty. But he knows it's only the logical process to stand by whatever decision is made in the court of law. But he still feels like an arsehole.

    Seraphim is also sat at the table. One arm folded across her waist and the other is held up to her face, her index finger firmly planted into the centre of her forehead. Eyes closed she almost looks like she's nodded off to sleep.

    Then Flax Hyperon enters the room, garnering a momentary glance from everyone before they resume their afore mentioned stances.


    Flax: "Well, looks like lines have been drawn."

    He Rikers a chair and gets comfortable, leaning on the arm of it.

    Benjamin:
    "I'm surprised High Imp chose a side at all."

    Dr R. Deep: "He didn't. He chose who he wants to be with. Which concerns me more than anything else."

    Seraphim: "Why is he even still on this team?"

    She speaks without moving, eyes still closed against the room.

    Dr R. Deep:
    "I wonder that myself. But Hermes Trismegistus decided he should join us and I do trust his judgement. So for now... we'll see. But this divide needs to come to a swift end."

    Benjamin: "Only one way that'll happen, chief."

    Flax: "And it seems that's out of our hands..."

    He groans and rubs his face.


    Flax:
    "I don't like to leave a damsel in distress..."

    Dr R. Deep: "We're bound by the rules. We have to be accountable for our actions. Ffion's position as a new recruit, acting in the grace of the U.S.A. and battling terrorists should all work in her favour."

    Seraphim: "I doubt any of that will even be considered. They're out for blood. They want to appease the communists--"

    Citizen Rex: "COMMUNISTS ARE EVIL DEMONS!!!!"

    That's enough to wake everyone up.


    Citizen Rex looks around sheepishly.


    Citizen Rex:
    "Uh... sorry. I don't know why I did that."

    Seraphim:
    "Because it's the only thing you're good for."

    Flax eyes Citizen Rex.

    Flax: "I have to ask. If you're going to question why High Imp is on the team, why is this guy on the team? No offence, hombre, but you're a liability at best."

    Benjamin: "I think you're just jealous because he's almost as good looking as you."

    Flax: "And you'd know that?"

    Benjamin: "I'm comfortable with my sexuality enough to know if another man is good looking or not."

    Citizen Rex: "Besides! I'm super useful! I have lots of skills! Just ask my handlers!"

    Flax: "Those skills aren't even yours to control, man!"

    Citizen Rex: "But- but--!"

    Dr R. Deep: "Most Company Kid's before Benjamin were utterly useless too. But they served their function. As does Citizen Rex."

    Citizen Rex: "I think you just insulted me..."

    Dr R. Deep: "When that function becomes redundant, we'll review the issue then. Until that time, shelf your concerns."

    Citizen Rex: "You think... you think I might become redundant!?"

    Seraphim: "Do you even know what that word means?"

    Citizen Rex: "No. But it sounds bad!"

    Benjamin: "Maybe you should get a dictionary, Rex."

    Citizen Rex: "I will!"

    He starts checking if the 3DS has a dictionary app.


    Benjamin: "What do we do about Judge and Magick, boss?"

    Dr R. Deep: "Hard to say..."

    Seraphim: "It's not like they're wrong."

    Benjamin: "How can you say that? Going against the government?"

    Seraphim: "I do wonder. What if it was Judge that was being prosecuted? Would I be able to sit by?"

    Everyone knows how close the two women are and Benjamin wonders, himself, if he'd be able to let his closest friend be on trial for an offence he didn't agree with. Ffion is a new member. An alien. A mystery and a mere acquaintance. Is he so ready to allow the law to take its place because he doesn't know her well enough?

    Dr R. Deep: "The real problem is how to deal with the situation publicly. We need to get Judge on-side enough to keep our internal affairs internal. She's the team leader after all. People will listen to her and if--"

    Citizen Rex: "Uh. I just got an alert on my 3DS..."

    Benjamin groans.

    Benjamin: "It'll be the dictionary you tried to download."

    Citizen Rex:
    "No... it's an alert about us. Says we condemn the trial."

    Now everyone in the room groans knowingly.

    Citizen Rex: "What? What did I say this time?"

    Seraphim: "For a change, it's not you."

    Flax: "Screen on."

    Nothing happens.

    Benjamin:
    "It's called a TV..."

    Flax:
    "TV on!"

    The television screen switches itself on. They change it to the news, the previously watched channel being one of the porn channels. Everyone eyes Flax, who just shrugs. Lucky, Benjamin thinks, trying to conceal his embarrassment.

    Standing in front of the International Spy Museum. A fitting front for any secret bunker owning organisation. She's wearing her new outfit, much to the surprise of her team mates. It's much the same in cut - a short-sleeved jacket over the top of a bikini and knee-length boots. However the usual union jack print has been replaced with the stars and stripes. She commits the expected rant that the incarceration is an attempt to appease foreign communists and that Ffion is bound for an unfair trial. None of which anyone could actually say is untrue. She condemns anyone that supports the arrest and proclaims them it to be entirely undemocratic. Hitting all of the right buttons for the American audience. Someone has been teaching Judge very well. Even Seraphim is surprised at the delivery.

    Flax:
    "And now if we say anything else there'll be known distension within the team."

    Benjamin:
    "And now it looks like we're at odds with the government too. The President is definitely going to be making a call soon."

    Dr R. Deep: "And he'll be expecting a fallout control speech from Citizen Rex."

    Benjamin: "I'll send a message through to admin and get a speech prepped in advance."

    ------

    One week later and a courtroom has been assembled. Ffion sits with her lawyer, Krig: Ace Attorney, while at the prosecution table sits Couchman. A lawyer from the U.K., given special dispensation from his duty as Prime Minister to do some lawyering on this high profile case. He's even wearing his black robes and white wig. He casts a glance towards Krig. This is promising to be a match-up of the centuries. In the lawyering circles at least.

    He tweaks his semi-circular reading glasses as he returns his eyes to the papers before him.

    Krig just munches on chestnuts, noisily.


    Ffion: "Aren't you supposed to take the shells off those before you eat them?"

    Krig looks at her, amazed.

    Krig: "Why!?"

    Ffion shrugs.

    Ffion: "Because the shell isn't edible?"

    He throws another one into his mouth.

    Ffion: "I suppose I'm wrong."

    Bailiff Byrd: "All rise for the honorable Judge Judy."

    Everyone gets up. Even Krig manages to do as he's told, though he still throws a handful of nuts into his open maw.

    Judge Judy walks in and sits down on her podium, overlooking the two sides.


    Judge Judy: "Alright. Cameras are rolling for this. I guess a Hero Force One guy can't escape the glare of the spotlight even in court. So here we go. What're the charges?"

    Couchman rises from his seat again, almost languidly.

    Couchman: "Ms Ffion Heul, as mentioned, is a member of the superhero team Hero Force One. During an operation in the Rub'al Khali she murdered Fang Xiu Shan, also a superhero of the Red Faction. Although Ms Fang--"

    Judge Judy: "Ms Fang? She even sounds like a supervillain."

    Couchman: "And yet she is a superhero. Sanctioned as such by the Chinese government. She is now alive again, resurrected by Mr Nine. Ruler of Canada."

    Judge Judy: "That's not gonna end well."

    Couchman: "I feel the same. And so Ms Heul is here to be punished by this court of law."

    Judge Judy: "Let's get her testimony."

    Ffion looks at Krig for guidance. He points a stubby finger at the witness stand up the front. She gets up and walks around to the stand. The admin guys for Hero Force One had tried to get her to wear an Earth suit for the trial but she'd refused - she couldn't go wandering around, especially so publicly, without her designated robes. Krig thought this was a good thing - it would help show how out of place she is.

    She stands there, hands in cuffs. She didn't know why they'd bothered with them. A quick snap of the mind and they'd be off. But she allows the process to run. In the audience she sees all of the team members there, though she notices that Judge, Magick and the High Imp are seated very far from the others. They're easy to spot because of how horrific High Imp looks amidst the other human faces. He's even wearing a formal suit, making Ffion feel a little guilty for refusing to wear one herself. A hulking monster like that condescended to wearing a suit for today, shouldn't she?


    Ffion: "I was sent on an anti-terrorist mission by the U.S. government--"

    Krig: "Did you know anything about the terrormen before you went?"

    Ffion: "No. I just knew they were dudes in big metal balls. I mostly follow orders given to me. I don't know enough about Earth politics to be asking questions."

    Krig grins and swallows a nut in victory.

    Couchman, however, pipes up.


    Couchman: "If you don't know who the enemy actually is, how could you be sure you wouldn't kill, as you did, the wrong person?"

    Ffion: "Hey! She attacked me!"

    Judge Judy: "Continue the testimony."

    Ffion: "I went into one of these technodromes--"

    Judge Judy: "Techno-whats? Is this a disco?"

    Bailiff Byrd: "It's a kind of machine. Like a metal ball with wheels. And lasers. And technological stuff."

    He holds his hands in a ball shape to demonstrate the point. Judge Judge rolls her eyes in exasperation.

    Ffion: "So there was a big fight. Kind of normal, everyday problem for the team so I'd come to believe. I beat a bunch of dudes. They all had guns, firing bullets usually."

    Judge Judy: "Well what else are they gonna fire!?"

    Ffion: "Sometimes lasers."

    Judge Judy: "Forget I asked."

    Ffion: "So this Fang woman attacked me. I think she thought she was pretty great but I've found my ruhand is more than enough for most people on Earth. So I was able to defeat her."

    Couchman: "By defeat, you mean murder."

    Ffion: "I mean killed. In self-defence."

    Couchman: "If someone burst into this room wielding this, ruhand, what would you do, Ms Heul?"

    Ffion: "Defend myself."

    Couchman: "Couldn't that be what Ms Fang was doing?"

    Judge Judy: "Wait, wait. What the Hell's a ruhand. Says here she was killed by a sword!"

    This time even the bailiff is lost.

    Ffion: "It's a sword made from my soul."

    Judge Judy squints.

    Judge Judy: "Is this what all the kids are into these days? Soul swords? What's the world coming to? Alright. Answer the question."

    Krig: "Cannot ask speculation question!"

    Judge Judy: "Restate the question, prosecutor."

    Couchman: "Did it seem like Ms Fang was defending herself?"

    Ffion bites her lip. She doesn't want to lie here but she knows this is a fairly condemning point.

    Ffion: "I suppose so. We came in guns blazing, so I suppose she could just act out in defence?"

    There's a very loud snap in the room and Ffion looks at Krig, who grits his teeth around a solitary chestnut.

    Ffion: "But I doubt she was. Why was she in there in the first place?"

    Couchman: "Well actually--"

    He gets up and presents a document to Judge Judy.

    Couchman:
    "Mission files from the Red Faction team states that Ms Fang was undercover with the terrorists. Gathering intel. Presumably they intended to follow up with a strike operation, but she'd only just gained access so no further missions are logged."

    Krig: "OBJECTION!"

    There's a loud slash noise.

    Everyone thought Krig had chopped something with his axe but apparently not. Just shouting objection gets you sound effects.


    Krig:
    "Hero Team super famous! Everyone knows they went to kill the terrormen. Krig even know from tv in Hawaii. Krig like Hawaii. Krig like Hawaii bars."

    Judge Judy: "Nobody cares about Hawaii."

    Krig: "Krig care about Hawaii."

    Couchman: "As I said. Ms Fang was undercover. I doubt they were watching much television."

    Judge Judy: "Didn't you say this was a technology ball?"

    She looks at the bailiff. He nods slowly, knowingly.

    Judge Judy: "A big ball of technology and they don't have a TV? Sounds like a stretch."

    Couchman: "I mean to say, she was likely busy with other things. Like shooting AK-47s or something."

    Krig: "Unsubstantiated!"

    Couchman looks at Krig. Impressed he knows such a big word.


    Judge Judy: "Alright. We can't say either way, unless Fang comes up. Is that the end of your testimony, Heul?"

    Ffion shrugs.

    Ffion: "After that the doc had someone bring her back to life. I wasn't there at the time. I had to rescue Flax from some crazy terrorist woman with a big-ass gun."

    Flax: "OBJECTION!"

    The slash noise indicates Flax in the audience.


    Flax: "Uh... I didn't need to be rescued. I rescued myself. I just needed a ride out of there. Flax, saved by a girl? That's just crazy talk."

    Ffion: "I totally saved you, dipstick."

    Judge Judy: "Hyperon, you are not on trial. Sit your ass down. Heul, why did Dr Deep have Fang brought back to life?"

    Ffion: "To avoid all this, I think. I mean, she is alive now. She's not actually dead. So really, I didn't kill anyone."

    Couchman: "That's where you're wrong. You did kill her. She was brought back to life. Resurrected. You killed her. Then she came back. A few laws had to be added when Canada was taken over because a fair few undead started popping up and people kept claiming they should be acquitted of murder because the guy they murdered was now a zombie or a vampire or a demon or whatever other no-longer-dead thing they were."

    Ffion: "Damn. Nothing's ever that easy, eh?"

    Couchman:
    "Quite."

    Judge Judy:
    "So. The accused did kill this Fang woman. Fang was an undercover hero at the time she was killed. Heul was acting on orders from the government and her own superiors in the team. Who are your superiors, by the way?"

    Ffion: "Well, Judge is team leader. But at that moment it was Dr Deep. We were split into smaller teams to tackle different technodromes."

    Judge Judy: "Right..."

    She casts a glare across the audience towards Dr R. Deep and than across the room towards Judge.

    Krig: "Krig motion that the death was collateral damage."

    Couchman: "How so?"

    Krig: "Poor intelligence isn't Krig's client's fault. She is soldier. Like Krig!"

    Couchman: "You're a lawyer..."

    Krig: "A soldier lawyer! Soldier follow orders. Do duty. Fang woman gets hurt. Maybe innocent, maybe not. But gets hurt because mixed with real targets. So she is collateral damage."

    Couchman smiles and taps his nose.

    Couchman: "And yet. Hero Force One did know of the operation in Rub'al Khali!"

    There are gasps from the audience.

    Judge Judy: "I hope you can prove that."

    Couchman hands her a document.

    Couchman: "A transcript. A meeting with their very own Citizen Rex where a representative of the Red Faction informs him that they are performing operations in the area. He assures the representative that there would be no overlap and no interruption to their operations. Evidently he was mistaken. Or else didn't care."

    Judge Judy:
    "This is dated the same day that the alleged crime was committed. And looks like it was around the very same time too."

    Couchman: "Yes. And for anyone else this would have been a problem. But this is Hero Force One. Do you know how much money is spent on this team? How many staff members it actually has? We often only see the team members themselves, but there are dozens of agents in this huge organisation..."

    He sweeps his hands across an entire row of the audience which consists of men and women all wearing black suits and black sunglasses, only differing ties to give any sense of individuality. They all look at each other uncomfortably.

    Couchman: "This information should have been related to the frontlines in an instant. We have requested information for communiqués of the day to be delivered to us but that information has been denied to us."

    Krig: "Point stands. Poor intelligence, not client's fault."

    Couchman: "I believe that intelligence was provided. And certainly both Judge and Deep must have been familiar with Ms Fang. She is a very well known superhero in China and Russia."

    Krig: "Client new to Earth. She not know victim."

    Couchman: "These are starting to sound like tardy excuses. This is supposedly the premier superhero team in the world and they botch their intelligence and fail to educate its newest member in important personnel?"

    Krig pokes the chestnut bowl aggressively.

    Krig: "Point stands. Client cannot be jailed for speculation."

    Judge Judy: "Were you educated on important personnel, Heul?"

    Ffion shrugs.

    Ffion:
    "I thought so! I learnt who the President was. I learnt who the Prime Minister of Britain was--"

    She waves her hand at Couchman.

    Ffion: "And its Queen. And this Emperor of Europe. A God, or something, in a place called Burundi. That guy in Canada. I learnt who Justin Bieber is. I learnt who Mr T is too. Mostly I learnt some bad guys, including terrorists. The U.S. government wanted me to know about them the most. They live in the desert. They have AK guns and they have crazy accents. That's about it."

    Judge Judy: "That... doesn't sound like a very efficient education..."

    Krig: "Client not from Earth. Too much to learn in short time."

    Couchman: "Not much of an excuse is it?"

    Krig growls.

    Krig: "Now Krig move to big axes."

    Everyone panics.

    Couchman:
    "He means big guns. Like the expression."

    Krig: "Krig mean axes! Krig no like guns. Krig like axes."

    Judge Judy: "Right. What's your point then?"

    Krig points at Ffion.

    Krig: "Client not from Earth. Cannot be subject to Earth laws."

    Judge Judy frowns with concern.


    Judge Judy: "This is an international court--"

    Krig: "International. For Earth nations."

    Judge Judy: "She's acting on Earth--"

    Krig: "No matter. Still not legal. Check legal books. Krig check. Krig right."

    Couchman: "This is how you'd like to win, Krig? A lowhanded loophole in the legal system? Don't you think that would do more harm than good? The team's reputation would be ruined, forever the public would see your client as guilty."

    Krig: "But client free."

    Suddenly someone calls out from the audience.

    Dr R. Deep: "She has been legalised!"

    There's a sudden uproar as several people shout at him from all corners of the room, including both Judge and Magick.

    Dr R. Deep: "As a member of Hero Force One she was legalised as a citizen of the U.S.A. so that she can run operations and live here... That's all..."

    He looks ashamed of himself but Ffion knew the deal. He saw, like Couchman, the lasting ramifications of a loophole win. Better to sacrifice her than lose all future credibility. Ffion can understand his position but she doesn't have to like it. She starts considering how to escape this situation herself, fight her way out and get to a ship off-world.

    Krig is angrily chomping on chestnuts again.


    Couchman: "This all seems very condemning to me, your honour. We can argue specifics but the basics are these; a woman is dead, an innocent woman. Killed by Ffion Heul acting on behalf of Hero Force One. Poor intelligence cannot be the excuse for a murder. At best that makes this manslaughter. She--"

    Krig: "Aha!"

    Couchman now looks irritated and looks sidelong at Krig.

    Krig: "Krig secret weapon!"

    Everyone fears the axe is about to come out.


    Krig: "Arrived at last!"

    Judge Judy:
    "New evidence?"

    Krig: "Witness!"

    Couchman: "There's nothing another witness can add. Everyone is biased."

    Krig: "Krig witness comes!"

    He waggles his mobile phone and then looks to the doors. They open. And there stands Krig's witness, wearing a long red trenchcoat over her formal court suit. She strides down the aisle with everyone gasping. She reaches the front and Ffion resumes her seat next to Krig. She looks at Krig earnestly.

    Ffion: "This is your witness?"

    Krig nods.

    Judge Judy: "State your name, witness."

    Fang: "Xiu Shan Fang."

  40. #80
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Victory!

    Judge Judy: "Can you give us your testimony, Fang?"

    Fang: "Chinese Chinese Chinese Chinese Chinese Chinese--"

    Judge Judy: "Can we get a translator in here?"

    Couchman:
    "She said that she was working undercover in the Empty Quarter when she ran into Hero Force One."

    Ffion:
    "Can we trust the prosecution to translate this?"

    Couchman:
    "Do you question my honour, madam?"

    Ffion: "You're questioning mine, so yeah! Why not!?"

    Judge Judy:
    "Order! Let him translate or we'll be here all day waiting for some university student to show up and do a piss-poor job of it. Go on Fang."

    Fang: "Chinese Chinese Chinese Chinese--"

    Couchman: "Ah..."

    Krig just grins, big white teeth.

    Couchman: "She says she knowingly attacked Ms Heul. She had to keep her cover. She thought she could beat Ms Heul because she looked small and weak. She planned to then retreat from the rest of the team, putting her deeper into trust of the terrorists..."

    Krig: "Yes. So. Self-defence."

    Couchman: "But she still--"

    Fang: "Chinese Chinese Chinese..."

    Fang casts her own grin, which is suddenly very sinister and malicious.

    Couchman: "Uh... she says she's actually very grateful because now she has inhuman powers thanks to the demonic resurrection..."

    Fire erupts from her aura. Every jumps in fright.

    Fang: "And now you die..."

    Couchman: "She said-- oh wait--"

    Judge Judy: "VACATE!"

    The fire around Fang increases in volume. The bailiff retreats and goes to hurry the judge from the court. The audience are scrambling over each other to get to the door.

    Couchman flips his desk to crouch behind it just as Fang explodes. Fire sweeps across the room, striking everyone not in cover. Hero Force Oner members have used their respective powers in a sudden attempt to hold off the barrage of flame. Judge has a shield up around her and a bunch of innocent people, Magick and High Imp both have the very same magical shields raised - Magick now with a few agents while High Imp's shield pushed back anyone dumb enough to think he'd rescue them.

    Dr R. Deep has a magical shield powered up around him and the other members of the Hero Force team with him. Down at the front Ffion Heul has a shield up that just about protects herself and Krig, though she has never been very good at these soul-projections and she's quickly worn down. The barrage of fire seems to last forever. On and on until, finally, it relinquishes. Ffion drops to the floor instantly.


    Krig leaps over the ashen remains of the defence desk with his axe over his head. Fang, still there, just laughs and vanishes in a gout of flame. Krig's axe hits the witness stand, which seems relatively undamaged. Couchman climbs wearily over the very charred remains of his own desk, looking very singed but otherwise okay.

    Couchman:
    "I hope you're happy with your victory, Krig..."

    Krig remembers the trial and roars, axe again over his head.

    Krig: "KRIG WIN! KRIG GREATEST LAWYER! Now Krig claim spoils of war! Want Couchman head!"

    Couchman: "What--? Christ!"

    Krig swings his axe at Couchman but he manages to escape and scurries towards the exist.

    Krig: "Couchman come back! Not deny Krig fair spoils of victory!"

    He runs after him.

    Dr R. Deep ignores them and slowly paces down the remains of the audience stalls - and the remains of many people who were not lucky enough to escape the flame.


    Dr R. Deep: "This..."

    Seraphim:
    "Is a declaration of war...!"

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