S.T.A.R. Search

May 24, 2015:

The Fearsome Fi-four attack STAR labs. The Titans (and allies) are called to the scene

S.T.A.R Labs

Scientific and Technological Advanced Research Labs, a research facility.

Characters

NPCs: The Fearsome Five

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svGtpDFeDoE Of Kali Ma Calibre]


Fade In…

The alert came from S.T.A.R. Labs. Once meta-human involvement was evident, the call was quickly relayed to all available super-groups while the pertinent authorities closed off the perimeter and evacuated the area.

The reason for the evacuation was quite obvious: The towering red-headed man in the black-and-gold bodysuit who was built like a bull and who, without much effort, seemed capable of tossing vehicles with relative ease.

The street around the building was a disaster zone, many vehicles upside-down or on fire after having been used by the man as ways to discourage local police from getting closer. If some of them didn't get the message, the bearded man dressed in green, with goggles and a hood and of quite small stature was there to add some extra persuasion, crouched as he was on the rooftop and aiming a potent custom-made weapon towards anyone who dared to come close.

The Titans had taken the call, as the group of three were the nearest to the scene.

"The main target goes by Mammoth, name's Baran Flinders," the agent who let out the call informs the team from behind a safe (for now) barricade. "We don't have a positive ID on the other guy yet. Disturbance began about ten minutes ago- two women were seen going into the building. These two are obviously laying down cover fire. Whatever is going on there, we've got to prevent them from making out with whatever payload they're looking for in the labs."

The Cheshire cat, crouched as he is, looks up when a Volvo (rather nice model, too) flies overhead and ends up embedded on the side of a (thankfully evacuated) building, sending glass and shrapnel everywhere. Coughing from the dust, he looks at the other Titans-

"Alright, there's three of us and two of them outside and two insi-" Bang. That beam struck the barricade close to Vorpal. Not fun. "-two inside. How do we do this?"

Miguel forms up a brick barricade of glowing purple blocks between the group and the shooter, hoping to keep anyone from getting clipped by the beams - they're powerful and several of his bricks flash into nothing as fast as he can reform them. The cowled teen looks up and bites his lip. "You go all inviso and get that shooter. Gar and I can double-team Mammoth?" he says, already forming up massive 'gloves' of bricks on his hands and forearms.

+MEET: Flamebird has arrived via +meet.

Changeling is no longer human, because being a lynx means he can jump and run and hide faster. Blasts from on high.

"Agree. Hit the roof, Vorpal, take out the sniper, we'll take down the guy who wants to be extinct."

He nods to Bunker, and says, "make me a habitrail up to Mammoth's feet!"

When that happens, he scampers — hey, lynxes are cute fluffy cats, it's a hazard of the species — and then he stops being a little cat and instead he turns into an actual mammoth, wrapping his trunk around the neck of the OOPS! OK, the super-steroids that made Baran Flinders into Mammoth also made him strong enough to pick up a green mammoth. Well, he's distracted, Migs, go for it!

GAME: Miss America Chavez has set the pose order to 'MuricaVorp(set)/Bunks/Garfs/Bettes

Metropolis isn't one of Flamebirds usual haunts, but if crime cares not for city borders then neither should an aspiring heroine! "You guys need a hand?" She calls out, swinging down from a rooftop to land behind the police line. "Heard about the commotion on the police radio and thought I'd stop by."

"Alright, I'll take care of the snipers. Just don't get yourselves -"

A new contestant enters the field!

The cheshire cat blinks for a second. This one, he doesn't know, but he is not someone to look at a gift Flamebird in the mouth, is he? "-Right, a hand would be awesome! I'm Vorpal. Changeling and Bunker are tackling the big guy, I'm going to deal with that sniper-"

BANG, at least that beam impacted Bunker's wall-

"-because he is getting rather annoying. You can help me with that… or you can make your way in while I deal with the shooty dude. Police says there's two more inside, goodness knows what they are up to in there…" the cheshire cat begins to vanish until only his smile is visible, "If you want to help with the sniper, a moving target would be great while I sneak up on him. Otherwise… be careful when you head inside." And then the smile itself is gone too.

MAMMOTH is, indeed, strong enough to lift his namesake. He lets out a roar as he grapples with the green creature- finally having someone to fight with instead of simply throwing things at is a thrilling prospect for the massive strongman. He plans on enjoying this, so instead of throwing Garfield away, he will attempt to smash the mammoth against the concrete (because extra destruction is a bonus when all the city is made of paper to you), completely oblivious to whatever it is Bunker may attempt. However, it does seem that Gar's misfortunes tend to happen more at the hands of redheads than any other hair color-

The redhead in question was scaling the building as fast as he could. The use of Rabbit Holes was heavily discouraged due to the fact that they would easily give away his location, even if he was invisible. Gizmo up in the rooftop, meanwhile, continues to fire a barrage of suppressing fire before smirking.

"How marvelous, a prehistoric sample. My beam should be able to shoot through him quite thoroughly- let's test that!"

He quickly wheels the gun to point at Mammoth Gar. Should Flamebird decide to provide a distraction, the smaller man will then try to shoot a barrage of beams in her direction, though poorly-aimed due to the element of surprise.

Should Flamebird choose to go inside the laboratory, though, she will find the way easy to traverse due to Gizmo's preoccupation with the mammoth (the green one, not the pink one). Inside is a scene of similar destruction to the outside- the lobby of the building has been thoroughly demolished, and there are whole chunks of masonry that are simply missing from the building- no cuts, no blasts, they're simply… gone. And there is the accompanying smell of ether- very faint now, but it would explain why everybody seems to have fainted in the lobby. With the exception of two security guards. They are not paralyzed- they are most likely not alive anymore, the air around them having turned into a crystal of some sort, preserving them for posterity.

Bunker lets his barricade drop as the Cat goes invisible, and he leaps once Gar is in position. He lets his momentum carry him up and over, and tries to come down on Mammoth like a ton of glowing purple bricks, his twin armored fists and forearms slamming down on the monstrous man, trying to get him to drop Gar. "Time for a siesta!" he grins as he tries to slam the villain with a two-fisted blow.

Bunker is moving, which means Gizmo now has two possible targets near Mammoth. Someone else has joined the fray, Gar hasn't had time to figure out who it is because while little mammoths have big ears, big mammoths have bigger ears, and he totally heard Gizmo dialoguing about who he wants to shoot now.

"Look over there, now look back here. I'm a honey badger!" Gar says in an Old Spice voice, just as Gizmo fires. The beam goes right through where he WAS, oops, hitting Mammoth. This infuriates Mammoth (and hurts a LOT) and he flings the green honey badger at Gizmo. Which doesn't help things a lot; there are flash-grendades and smoke bombs going off and Gar's momentarily blinded. But honey badger don't care. Hm… may not have been the best choice of things to be.

"Flamebird to the rescue!" Bette yells, not the best battle cry ever but at least it lets her allies know what to call her. She springs over the police barricade and charges towards the building, zig-zagging and throwing a handfull of flash bombs and smoke grenades up into the air. Hopefully a lot safer a distraction than letting Gizmo shoot at her.

Once Flamebird makes it inside the laboratory she'll pause, take cover, and dig out the gas mask from her utility belt.

Flamebird. Not a bad name at all, Vorpal thinks as he sneaks up on Gizmo. The problem with being a chaos construct yourself is that, sometimes, fate just takes a big dump on you and fixes all the dice. Just as the Cheshire becomes visible to leap at Gizmo with a battlecry (to get him to, you know, stop shooting people) Honey GarGer is propelled towards Gizmo thanks to an enraged Baran. Gizmo, Vorpal and GarGer manage to impact each other at the same time. This has the intended effect of stopping Gizmo's shaprshooting as the gun rolls off the edge of the building-
But it also sets off the small man's flashbang that he was preparing for Bunker. Gar's already blinded, so now Vorpal is blinded as the three of them tumble off the building and into the yawning abyss below.

The problem with Vorpal's powers is that they are all sight-directed. With no eyes to see where to open a Rabbit Hole or create a safety net, the villain and the two Titans are basically helpless.

"… I hate Sundays…." the cheshire cat shouts, trying to grab a hold of something. That was Gizmo, who kicks him in the face. "Ow!"

Baran, on the other hand, gets a face-full of Bunker Punch and falls backwards, still dazed from receiving the beam impact. He doesn't get up right away as the little Gizmos flying around his head have not disappeared, so that gives the purple-and-maroon wonder time to act-

The inside of the laboratories is a mess. As Flamebird takes cover, the angle allows her to see that a large chunk of the vaulted ceiling is… well, gone. And gone. And gone. In fact, there is a consistent circle of material that is missing altogether, all the way to one of the high floors. Presumably, this is where the two other villains stopped. Or they ran out of whatever it is that makes things vanish like that…

Bunker smacks Mammoth hard, and then he sees Gar get thrown and then the whole cluster up top happen. The cowled teen scrambles to get back from the down Mammoth, trying not to take his eye off the stunned villain but… he has to for this to work, as he concentrates and piles up an ever-growing block of purple bricks directly under the falling heroes and villain - the bricks are, thankfully, the large Stay-Puft kind, springy and resiliant instead of hard and unyielding - the block spreads up and out, as the boy pours everything he has into generating the construct, pushing himself to the limits as sweat pours out of his cowl to run in his eyes.

Falling! Without vision, and his hearing a bit wonky too after the bangs that came with the flash, Gar Badger is reduced to sense of smell. He feels himself hit something soft and yielding and sort of bounces up … the smell of Vorpal is to one side, while the ozone-and-acrid smell of an annoyingly familiar twerp is directly ahead. Gizmo. Gar can't quite remember where he met him (mostly because he doesn't care, he just knows he's a jerk) but he does know that the creep panics when you get personal. So he scrabbles ahead, flailing a bit on the super-elastic surface, til he reaches Gizmo, who he can now hear screaming in panic.

Normally Gar is not a BAD animal. He hardly ever abuses his natural weapons. This is not normally. He grabs onto one of Gizmo's arms (the nearest easy access part) and sinks his teeth in. CHOMP.

It might not be the smartest thing Flamebird has done all day, although throwing flash bombs without warning will no doubt give it a run for the money, but throwing caution to the wind she fires her grapple line up through one of the holes in the ceiling and ascends to the upper floor in hot persuit of whomever has been going round turning people into crystal and vanishing bits of building.

Gizmo goes gonzo, as expected, when Gar gets up close and personal with him. The fact that the trio have not splattered their brains across the pavement indicates that their team-mate Bunker has saved them. Gizmo's yelling does provide Vorpal with a good auditory clue as to where the little man is.

"OH SHUT UP!" and the cheshire cat provides what is colloquially known as a boot to the head (he wears no boots), hard enough to knock Gizmo out.

Behind Bunker, Baran slowly begins to push himself up, letting out an impressive roar as his beady eyes fix on the onesie-clad hero.

"You're…going to hurt!" Baran is not the most eloquent man in the universe. But you don't have to be eloquent when your fists can create a little quake as they slam down on the floor several feet away from Bunker- as they do, now.

The upper floor continues the motif of missing chunks and either knocked out people (scientists and civilians, mostly) or crystallized ones (security forces). There are alarms going off on this floor, and the path of destruction leads to one of the speciment vaults, where Flamebird will encounter two women.

One of them, a redhead, is wearing a gold jumpsuit with strategically-placed holes. Shimmer. The other one seems to be a gun-for-hire. This is no surprise, with two of their number still behind bars, the Fearsome Five have had to resort to less dignified measures to bulk up their number.

Shimmer seems to be preoccupied with dissolving the door of the vault at the moment. The hired gun, on the other hand, is keeping watch in case anyone decides to interrupt the process. The area by the vault has a lot of cover to offer- mostly crates and containers, but still enough for the crafty superhero about town.

Bunker staggers a bit as he begins to take apart the construct, lowering the others, his head thumping from the exertion - then Mammoth's shock wave hits him and he's down on the ground, face impacting right CRUNCH into the concrete, leaving him with a taste of blood in his mouth and his eyes filled with stars. He groans as he falls prone on the cracked street, his concentration gone - which instanntly precipitates the trio he saved a few feet onto the street themselves.

Groaning, Bunker tries to get it together as he puts on knee under him, shaking as he tries to rise before Mammoth can grab his purple-clad form and… SNAP.

Falling again! Gar takes another bite of Gizmo, spits in disgust at the taste of unwashed super-nerd, and then turns into a very large spider, spinning webs all over Gizmo to bind him up. He's especially careful to web his mouth shut. Fortunately the creepy inventor doesn't have a cold or anything.

"We have the right for you to remain silent!"

He stands up as a human and realizes that the ground is shaking, not just because of the fall but because Mammoth is having a tantrum. He flies over as a small bird and lets something messy fly in the direction of Mammoth's tiny little eyes.

Outnumbered, now is the time for Flamebird to be cautious. She swings and drops to the ground, then stealthily takes cover behind a stack of crates. "Shimmer and one armed goon inside," she whispers into the radio on the police channel. She readies a Bird-A-Rang and one of her electrified bolas. "Could use back-up if someone can lend a hand."

Gizmo is out of the count, fortunately. Gar's rather surprising application of biological warfare has Mammoth swinging at the air, and brushing at his face to get the stuff out of his eyes- this tactic of Gar's confirms something Vorpal has suspected for a long time, that birds deliberately hold it in until they're under human targets. Man. Birds are jerks.

Baran's flailing gives Bunker an opening, as the hulking man is way too slow to manage to snatch the bird out of the sky.

Meanwhile, the cheshire cat hears the relay over his communicator, as the police operator lets the team know of Flamebird's status.

"Gar," he says, standing up, "Go help the 'Bird up there, they've got a Shimmer-" whoever that was. Vorpal hasn't encountered these guys before, but Gar seemed to recognize one or another, so he might be better equipped. "Bunker and I can lego-block Mammoth down."

And with that said, there's anvils falling towards Mammoth from the sky once Gar clears the way, "Bunky, double down! Let's hit him with everything we've got!"

The cheshire darts around Mammoth, being quick and agile himself, in order to provide the rather slow man with an overwhelming number of targets and directions of attack.

Fortunately for Bette, the women have not noticed her- but now that vault door is halfway gone. The vapor that is being created is not toxic- there is no need to poison anyone.

Shimmer's changes are not permanent- eventually, everything that was altered will return to normal, but that is not a comfort to the people she has killed by turning their breathing air into crystal or poison.

Bunker rallies to the call and stands up, blood streaming down his front, and throw his arms out as he sees the anvils pop into existance above Mammoth. With a "HHHUUGJHH!" he strain his power and where he points, massive spikey blocks of bricks appear and then, as he slams his hands together, race towards Mammoth from either side, aiming to hit him from each side just as the anvils start to make contact from above.

And the boys are beating down Mammoth with imaginary objects. That has got to be humiliating. As he heads inside, Gar remembers Shimmer too, though as a bird-brain, he seems to remember her as having a fondness for terrible hair — the afro from hell, or a random chop-blob and too much Product in over-straightened hair — and an even worse taste in costumes, with "windows" showing off parts of her body that really, nobody cared to see, especially when combined with her terrible tattoo makeup recently. He makes a mental note to bring her up next time he's on HeroNet voting on Worst Dressed.

This pondering is enough to keep him distracted until he reaches the floor where Shimmer is making gas out of a door. He pops into a small insect form just in time as her guard-thug whips her gaze back to look towards whatever just flew in. Just a bug. While she's a thug, the armed woman knows that you Don't Kill Flies With a Cannon, or in this case a submachine gun.

Bette takes a few deep calming breaths, then dives out from cover. She hits the ground, rolling towards another stack of crates, while throwing the Bird-A-Rang up into the sprinkler above Shimmer. She pauses just long enough for Shimmer to get a little drenched and then skims the bola along the floor, probably attracting a spray of machine gun fire in the process, before discharging the electricity in the bolas. The question is will Shimmer notice the bolas in time to turn them into something else!

The thing about Shimmer's power is that it is not as quick-acting as some others. Sure, turning air into crystal is terrifying, and she gets away with things like that because she strategizes on where exactly to start transmuting things. However, when it comes to objects flying at her at breakneck speed? No, she's not that fast unless she already has a field set up. Mammoth is usually the convenient wall that stands in the way of harm or, occasionally and totally against his will, Gizmo. The sprinklers going off cause the modern alchemiss (hah) to startle- she was not doing this! Looking up into the gushing water was not a good idea, either, because it robbed her of the one chance to spot the sparkling pair o' bolas that was on their way to shock her.

*ZZZZZZZZZT*

The Fearsome Five can be quite fearsome. Unfortunately, without Psimon at the helm, they can also be quite stupid, their plans having the elegance and forethought of a chihuahua attacking a Doberman. Shimmer is out, falling to the ground with random twitches. The mercenary, however, is not out, and she proceeds to shoot copiously in Flamebird's direction. She's not a high-level mercenary, though, so she tends to suffer from Stormtrooper Aim Syndrome.

And no, she still hasn't noticed the little bug.

"Well… I think that's pretty much it," Vorpal says to Bunker as Mammoth stands still for a moment, only to fall to the ground with a loud -thunk- like some miniature King Kong pushed off his perch. The three-way attack definitely took the last out of the brute. "Are you okay?" the cat's catching his breath and checking up on Bunker- he knows that massive constructs tend to exhaust his friend.

The little bug flies over to the woman and turns into a slightly bigger bug — a bumblebee, in green of course — and stings her on the back of her hand. The sort of thing that hurts enough to make her drop the weapon, and of course she'll try to swat him, which works less than well because as soon as she starts to do that he's turned into an anaconda, large economy size, and is using her thrashing as a way to completely wrap her up.

"Hi, Flamebird isn't it?" Gar says, as he deals with the thug.

Bunker drops to his knees, hands to his nose, which is running blood. "I don'd thig do," the purple-clad boy manages to stammer as he tries to get his bearings. "I'll be oday in a zec," he says, nose stopped up. He looks like he just ran a marathon in ten minutes. "Did we ged him?"

Flamebird takes a moment to pat herself down. No bullet holes? Phew. "Yeah, you're Changeling right?" she answers, heading over to the downed Shimmer and putting some guady red and yellow handcuffs on her. "Looks like we got them before they could raid the vault, although it was too late for most of the security guards."

"He's down for the count. Let me see how the others are doing…" He taps his comm and hails Gar- "How's everything up there?"

Noticing Bunker's bleeding, he conjures up a glowing, purple hanky and hands it to Bunker, while putting an arm around his shoulder just in case he needs support. "You did an awesome job, by the way," he looks around at all the destruction. THere are no bystanders to cheer because, well, flying cars. But there is a mobilized police force that is waiting for his 'all clear' to move ahead. Paramedics are on standby, as well.

Gar's method of tying up the mercenary is quite effective. In fact, she seemed to have a phobia of snakes. Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?

LOG NOTE: VORPAL

Bunker gets shakily to his feet, and blots his nose with the hanky, and some of the cuts he got when he face-planted. "Whew… I'm still seeing spots.. "

"Yep. Changeling is right," Gar says chattily from where he is administering some rough 'anti-phobia' desensitization. He looks down at the whimpering thug.

"You should note that we snakes are not actually slimy. I wouldn't recommend letting an actual anaconda wrap you up this thoroughly, but most snakes are too small to consider you prey, and they're more afraid of you than you are of them," he advises. She doesn't seem immediately impressed, especially when he says, "By the way, you're under arrest, and I'm sorry but because you had a gun and you were working for Miss Murder Face there, you'll probably end up being charged more aggressively than if she hadn't killed people. Please consider this in any future heist schemes: you can't trust the Fatal Five. They can't even count."

He looks back up at Flamebird, "You should let the cops know that it's Shimmer. They use special cuffs on her to keep her from using her powers. Also, if she seems to be waking up, let me know."

"Snakes can be poisonous though," Flamebird notes helpfully. "The police know Shimmer is here, I mentioned it over the radio. I should be able to deal with it if she looks like she's coming round, I've got a stun gun in my utility belt that should keep her from causing any more trouble. I'm guessing your friends have wrapped things up outside?"

Vorpal gives the go-ahead so the police can mobilize. "C'mon, let's go see what's up there…"

A rabbit hole opens for Bunker to step through. With a few stops here and there, it should drop them off close enough to Gar and Bette- there's not enough of the building infrastructure left yet to pose much of a visibility problem.

Bunker puts the purple handkercheif away after he wipes his face off again, and looks around cautiously. "We got all their playmates?" he says, glancing to Bette and shooting her a cavalier smile despite his injuries. "Did not get to introduce myself before; Bunker," he says, pointing to his purple-clad chest.

"This is Flamebird," Gar says to the others. "No, not the nice lady I'm holding onto, she's …" he looks at her, "what's your name anyway?"

"Jane."

"Hi, Jane. These are the Titans, and Flamebird."

He is fine with holding onto the merc for now. Mostly because it means he can move very fast if the adjacent and unconscious Shimmer wakes up.

Flamebird waves. "A pleasure working with you all," she says cheerfully, then with a glance at the goon she adds "Well, not with Jane. No offense but you /did/ try shoot me just now. Looks like we've wrapped things up without anyone else getting hurt. Not a bad days work if I do say so myself."

"Right. Too bad we weren't here soon enough to keep her from killing those guards." Vorpal frowns, looking at the downed Shimmer. He left the Rabbit Holes open, so Metropolis' finest will come in with the appropriate restraints soon enough. "I also know that Jane will not be stupid enough to try to escape if you let her go, Changeling. Because right now she's already looking at quite a long sentence, an if she even so much as moves, I'll drop an anvil on her. Right, Jane?" the cheshire cat grins.

"R…right."

Sighing softly, he looks at his team-mates and the newcomer. Flamebird. "Alright, since tomorrow is my day off, tell you what. You lot go and get yourselves something to eat. I'll deal with the paperwork and the statements and catch up to you when I'm done. Consider it my treat."

Because there wa a lot of paperwork that was going to be involved with this. Anything related to S.T.A.R. Labs always did.

Bunker's hands tighten into fists when he sees the dead guards at last, and his masked gaze at Shimmer is a cold stare until he just closes his eyes and shakes his head, his lips barely moving as he mutters something. He takes a deep breath and forces a smile onto his bruised lips. "Thanks, Vorpal," he says. "Shall we get these two upstairs and into a nice cell?" he says to the others.

"OK, join us at the Bean and Bean near the park when you're done," Gar says, as police begin coming through the Rabbit Holes. One of them is quick to snap a pair of glowing-LED cuffs on Shimmer, before anyone even tries checking her for injuries. The officer looks up and says, "Could whoever owns these red and yellow cuffs please remove them now," and waits.

Gar stops being a snake and helps Jane off the floor; she shudders a bit.

"Vorpal, could you open a rabbit hole to there, or is that too much stuff at once?"

Flamebird nods, then removes the cuffs. "They use the standard police locks," she notes as she tucks them into her utility belt. "But it does save me from getting another pair."

"Not a problem, hot stuff," Vorpal answers Gar and -zoom- another set of Rabbit Holes open up. It's taxing him… but considering he has a few hours of paperwork ahead of him, he can afford to get taxed. He can ask for coffee and other fuels while doing the paperwork. He gives Bunker a quick squeeze on the shoulder, though. Vorpal is… a little tougher in his feline form. He's disturbed by the dead security guards… but he's glad they stopped Shimmer in time. There are some criminals whom Vorpal would not mind accidentally squishing under an anvil… and she is one of them.

"Alright, the way is open… save me some food, okay? Don't let Gar devour everything like last time."

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