The Thread, Finale

July 31, 2015:

All the loose threads are fit to be tied in the epic conclusion!

Washington DC

The Nation's Capital


NPCs: Lex Luthor, Sarah Traverstein, Aurelio Martinez, and lots of Quraci Mutant Terrorists



Mood Music: Calexico, the Ballad of Caleb Hogue

Fade In…



The meeting takes place in the middle of the night which is normal for this type of situation, but nothing is normal about this situation anymore. Wilson Fisk has proven to be a bigger hassle than expected. Aurelio Martinez is not sure that Fisk is the reason that his boss, Senator Henry Ballard of Delaware, is behind bars, but he's not taking any chances. The 100 are now in panic mode and must move quickly.

Their meeting is one of reorganization. A plan of attack. Rather than sitting at a table with a single light strung from the sky, they stand around some parked vehicles.

«We need to move and need to move tonight. If we're going to break Fisk's hold, we need to attack him where it hurts. We need to hit him at his home.»

«That's great boss, but how we gonna do that?»

«That's where our boy Benito comes into play.»

Benito, new to the team, gives a nod to Aurelio. He sticks out for several reasons, whether it's that he's got a missing tooth, a devilish glare, and the fact that he is the lone caucasian in a group of men from South America.


The door opens to the office of Lex Luthor. A large window looks out over the city. His city that he's worked so hard to make the best town in the country. Soon, the striking, tall, bald man with green eyes hopes to bring that level of expertise to help the nation.

"Sarah," Lex smiles as he stands up from his desk. "You know Mercy." There's a gesture towards Lex's assistant. Suddenly, Lex notices that something is very wrong. "Wh—"

"Lex. It's Ballard. We need to talk."

"Oh," Lex says with a bit of a grin. "You mean Henry's arrest?" He shakes his head sadly, "Absolute balderdash. I have my best lawyers working on it."

"Lex, I've gone through some of the evidence. It's…" Traverstein sighs and her shoulders slump; a far cry from the confident woman who has gone toe to toe with superheroes for months, and to this point, had been winning.

"Sarah, have a seat. Let's talk about this. Let me get you a drink."


The invasion comes at night and via the Potomac River, just outside many of the major buildings that house the network of democracy for the United States. They slink up upon the banks of the river, not far from the White House and not far from the Capitol—their two targets.

Clad in all black, some carry weapons, other will rely upon their powers. In all, there are about 40, split evenly into two groups as they meet up amongst nods. They've practiced this scores of times, now it's time to put their efforts into action and get revenge upon the Americans for what happened in Bahrain.

Luckily, however, a park ranger tasked with watching over the Lincoln Memorial at night is at the right place at the right time. He puts in an emergency call, and even as the Quraci terrorists are mobilizing and going through their stealthy attack, the Washington DC police are the first responders. And then the military. And somewhere on the in between, the call is put out to all superheroes through all the available ways and means.

It's tough to see everything and how it goes down in the darkness. This much is clear. Out at the Ellipse, the large oval near the Washington Monument, the forces were intercepted by police. It's not going well for the Americans, but the military is on their way in the form of backup.

For the bystander, the battle is a confusing mess of power wielding men in black versus uniformed police.

During the meeting, Aurelio Martinez receives two back-to-back alerts on his personal cell phone. He could probably count on one hand the number of people in the world who have the number.

The first is a package of low quality cell phone footage and images, all of which depicts his sister Bonita sleeping peacefully on what seems to be a cot.

The second is a phone call. Whenever he answers, he'll hear none other than Wilson Fisk's voice on the other end:

"Mr. Martinez," he begins once he's speaking to the man himself. "We have a lot in common, don't we? There are the mean, superficial similarities, of course, but even beyond them: we are men who place a high premium on family, I believe. I think that perhaps the time has come for us to talk things through, you and I. Once and for all. If you like, you may bring a single bodyguard; any more than that, and I'm afraid I can't be certain of where things may go from here."

Wilson Fisk sits alone in the rear of his big, black limo, privacy partition firmly in place. A diamond tip cane rests on the seat beside him and a copy of Wesley's medical chart lays in his lap.

If Martinez is agreeable, he'll give a location in Hell's Kitchen: it's an alley between some crumbling housing complexes.

The Call had gone out. Of course, J'onn J'onzz didn't get that call- at least, not directly. Rather, he heard the fear. He heard the anger. He felt it rising in Washington DC. Glowing red eyes shine as he flies from New York to DC in a few short minutes. He realizes he needs to help the police below, to become a focal point. The Green Speck on the horizon seems to be growing- and growing- and growing! Until a fifty-foot tall J'onn J'onnz floats over the battle field. "Lay down your weapons!" his voice booms out as he lands between the Cops and and the Men in black- his back to the cops, his hands lifted up. "Surrender, or I will be forced to engage."

It is J'onn's hope that a huge green alien will grab the attention of the super-powered individuals below long enough for backup to arrive. To protect those boys in blue- who are very clearly not well equipped for fighting powered opponents.

From the Clocktower in Gotham, Oracle watches… not everything, but a lot and intercepts the emergency call from the Park Ranger, and the subsequent DC police communications. Pulling up video feeds, though murky, she can still make out what's happening … and now the miltary are involved. A call goes out over /all/ her communication channels - JL:A, Titans, certain SHIELD agents (don't ask), OracleApp users and any phone numbers she has "This is Oracle, we have an incident occuring at the White House." Details and locations are transmitted "Please let me know who can and is responding."

Triskelion, New York City

"We've got a code red! Washington DC is under attack by an unknown group." One of the analysts on duty in the Ops Center called out as the police radio transmission was intercepted.

Natasha was one of the first agents called on the scene, assembling a group of tactical strike teams and a trio of quinjets before departing immediately.

Washington D.C.

The trio of SHIELD Quinjets raced over the city streets towards the source of the battle while the strike teams onboard made their last minute combat adjustments.

Natash'a voice showed no sign of emotion despite her worry at what was happening, "We have word the President is secure but little else. Police and military forces are already engaged and have been contacted to expect reinforcements."

The weapons with her were readied and the Black Widow prepared to enter combat with the rest of the agents as they neared the Washington monument.

Look! Up in the sky!

It's a bird!

It's a plane!



A red and blue streak descends upon the Washington Monument like lightning, plucking a pair of officers away from certain, mutant-inflicted doom just in the nick of time. Once they're clear, it races back into the sky, slowing down just enough that those on the ground can clearly make out the bright blue, the billowing red, and of course, the 'S'. Although the invaders' numbers and array of powers makes evacuation somewhat tricky, Superman scans the city for high places near the edges of the assault, just in case he needs to call an audible on that front.

"I can take you back down there," he says to the officers, glancing between their faces between scanning for egress points, "or I can take you somewhere safe." He flashes a small, but genuine smile. "It's your decision."

After stepping out of the shower at his hotel that is located between the Naval Yard and the Capitol building. He turns on his IPAD and begins FaceTiming with his Chief Operations Officer, Arielle Reynolds, "Prepare our monthly report for release tomorrow. I want people to know how great a month our company had, and what we are going to do in the future.

Arielle smiles. "So are you tired of DC yet?"

Morien chuckles softly, "I think I had spent way too much time with lawyers, overlooking contracts, and politicians for several lifetimes.

Arielle Reynolds winks, "Well, you are young, so expect to be spending more time doing both now that we took these contracts on."

Morien paces around the room and sees a serious of flash of light that come from the distant that Morien easily recognizes as a fire fight. Morien peers down at his pad, "Arielle, I think there is some commotion is happening on the street, so basically I am going to be hiding in the bathroom with this bottle of wine until whatever is gone on is over.

Ozymandias quickly dons his uniform and his weapons. He superspeeds way down towards street as he calls to Oracle, "Prophetess, I am in the City. Ozymandias jumps on a van and releases his collapsible bow, "I am I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… and I'm all out of bubblegum!"

The Titans' Compound.

Monitor duty Fridays tend to be rather dull and uninteresting. And if you believe that, Vorpal has a bridge to sell you.

For some reason, Friday tends to be the day that all the crazy pops up and waves around like a maniac. "This is Vorpal, Oracle, I read you loud and clear," the cheshire says, "It looks like I'm your Titan. On my way!"

It's a matter of seconds to run from the control room to the magic doors and then exit out of the Central Park door. It's just about two hundred or so miles from New York to DC. Three minutes of consecutive Rabbit Holing. He could do it.

Washington D.C.

FIVE minutes later (because he had a proverbial 'left turn at Albuquerque' moment), a Rabbit Hole opens in the city, not too far from where the Big Boy In Blue is doing his thing, and one purple Titan comes down. He lands on high ground- a tall building- and crouches low, taking a moment or two to get his bearings and see A) how the fight was going B) who were involved C) who were the biggest threats D) who was in the most danger and E) if there is a good sushi restaurant. For the after-party.

Look, it's a bird!

A plane?

No, it's Faora-Ul. Where Superman is all bright colors and underwear on the outside, the other Kryptonian is dark iron and spiky carapace. Those with extended senses would hear her approach like the roll of thunder as she soars through the air, lights flickering off the enameled alien metal. Electricity sparks near the battlefield as she lands, grabs a utility pole and with a sharp breath of effort, rips it from the ground.

To hear her scream sends normal men reaching for their ears, a banshee howl of anger.



"I think that's a wonderful idea, Fisk," Martinez nearly spits the words. Everyone who is anyone is at the meeting and he begins to figure out who his wingman would be. All of them were capable. All of them hermanos. But, by far, the best in a fight was the new guy.


"Name the place, and I'm there, amigo," Martinez says. "And if you touch anything on her head I will kill anyone you have ever loved. Believe me when I say that, Fat Man."

After the details of the meeting are ironed out, Martinez relays that it will be Benito he goes with, but he also intends to lay a trap for Fisk with his other lieutenants. It was all or nothing tonight and when the smoke clears, Martinez is going to make sure that the one left standing is him.


"It just isn't what we signed up for, Lex. All this dirtiness. I mean, Ballard was knee deep in all this shit. This organized crime. They're saying /he/ was the organizer. I mean, how long as this gone on? It's going to be a terrible hit to the campaign. Not to mention, like, our honor. I'm having a tough time with myself knowing I conspired with that dirtball. Two years of planning. With him." Traverstein shakes her head, beside herself. When she'd first agreed to work with Lex and Ballard, she'd been assured that everything was on the up and up. Sure, they'd strategized, but that was just politicking. This is something different entirely to her. Ballard was one of the bad guys.

"What would you have us do?" Lex asks as he holds the glass of scotch just off his knee while sitting on his desk just across from Traverstein. "Just give up? To allow someone like Robert Kelly to win? Or, for goodness sakes, Reynolds Atkinson? Sarah, you don't seem like a quitter to me. You knew this would be hard."

"I didn't know it would be illegal! I didn't know we were working with a crook!"

"Sarah, you once told me that politicians weren't truly of age if they didn't get their hands a little dirty."

"I didn't mean like this, Lex."

And then it dawns on her.

"Lex, how much about Ballard did you really know?"


Dick Grayson shoots awake in his hotel room not far from the White House. He's always been a light sleeper, but after years of training by the Dark Knight, the booms wake him promptly. Off the bed into the suitcase, there in the false bottom, his blue and black suit.

After he'd bagged Ballard, the chief of police offered him the chance to cash in some of that comp time. He hadn't taken a vacation in 8 years, and was mildly surprised that he could get one so promptly. But as the cover boy of the force and proof that there was some good that could come out of the GCPD, the Chief wanted to put those extra hours he worked to good use. So Dick did like anyone else on a vacation, he traveled. In his room, as he fits his domino mask onto his face, are bags with all the normal tourist trinkets and shirts and novelty items for a guy who has spent the past four days standing in line at places like the National Archives.

Luckily, there aren't a lot of bystanders out to see the large Alien speaking down upon the massesthere's nothing to freak out the public quite like, "Hey there are Aliens and by the way your nation is under attack." Nevertheless, even as J'onn is finishing his statement, he can feel something. A tugging at his minda mental punch from an extremely strong telepath as the Quraci tries to burrow in and take control.

"Oracle, this is Nightwing," says Dick through his com as he ducks behind a car and tries to get a better look at the firefight. There's a line of squad cars that sits along the wall, blocking off the path to the White House. They could just go around, but that would take time, and time was the one resource they didn't want to waste.

Mutants of every ability seem to be blasting squad cars, throwing officers up into the air, or setting things on fire.

As Natasha looks downward, she's got her pick of entry point. Support the wall of cops who are fading fast. Flank the mutants. Or attack from behind them.

Meanwhile, a pair of Quraci terrorists look at each other in fear as Superman shows up. The exhale as he leaves, knowing that whatever they need to do they need to do it quick before he gets back! «Call the telepath. Forget the alien, get him on Superman!» Soon after, Martian Manhunter will feel that tug at his mind disappear and turn towards the Man of Steel!

Morien and Nightwing come together as both rush upon the scene. Nightwing gives the man he knows from the papers a nod before taking on a spiky mutant with quills coming out all over. The former Boy Wonder isn't sure exactly how to hit his foe, and while considering, barely dodges when some of the quills come straight for him.

As soon as Vorpal lands, fiery red flames come swingin towards him as some sort of pyromancer attacks from his left. And, worse, the ground beneath him begins to shake and crack—apparently, there's a geokinetic as well.

The men don't know who Faora are, but they'll be happy for the help. But no one, save Superman perhaps, will have any idea how big of a help she will be.


"Sir, this is the moment we've discussed," says Dom Chestnutt over the phone from the Pentagon where he just arrived. His voice is pumped into the bunker via a feed and the President's analysts all look toward their leader with grave faces. No one expected an invasion. He couldn't be blamed—it was something that hadn't happened to this nation since the War of 1812.

"Fine. I didn't want it to come to this," says President Upton.

"Send the Sentinels."


"KEEP KICKING HIM!" Bill Fisk screams as his sobbing son continues to put the boots to a boy who's already lying in a puddle of his own blood in the alley they're all sharing.


The Kingpin's limo pulls up to one of the mouths leading into the designated alley. Looking into the trash-strewn darkness, he can almost hear his father's voice echoing off of all that brick and concrete.

Once it's time, he pulls the partition aside and instructs his driver: "Ten minutes, and then you make the call, if necessary," before taking his cane and stepping outside to meet his opposite number.

J'onn's eyes narrow- a psychic punch against him. It sends him reeling for only a moment, his form shifting back to its regular size- as he rockets towards that very mind which had decided to attack. He returns in kind, with a psychic assault truly massive in its strength. It follows that same Psi-Carrier wave- an direct blowback. That particular psychic may be rather surprised… This is no Mutant Mind. This is a Psychic with literally hundreds of years of expertise, and strength that would make the world tremble. Even as he dives forward, his eyes FLASH! And a line of concussive force arcs across the battle-field, no less than ten super-powered Mutants finding themselves struck squarely. Multi-tasking, one of the lesser known powers of the Martian Manhunter- when one can connect so many minds, disciplining your own is a required task. "Very well! You brought this on yourselves!"

That Psychic is found quickly, blood gushing from his nose as he falls. He didn't expect the might of The Martian Manhunter, the Swiss-Army Knife of Superheroes!

Nightwing, Ozymandias, Vorpal… good, that's a start. Oracle can also see other responders as well. Conferencing communications with those that she can, the wheelchair bound redhead provides an update "Ozymandias, Nightwing, Vorpal. You're all onsite." And she recognises Faora - eyes narrowing, she's still not got a bead on that woman. "Camera on, please, Nightwing" She needs better visibility to see what's happening on the ground… "It appears those terrorists are mutants…."

"Eagle Two, hit them from the middle. Eagle Three, move in from behind the main enemy force. Eagle One will support the police." Natasha ordered as the trio of Quinjets banked away from each other upon approach to the target point.

As the police fought tirelessly, the pilot's voice over the loudspeaker of Eagle One announced, "Get down."

The line of police officers hesitated, but they knew better than to argue as the minigun mounted on the nose of the Quinjet began to sweep through the line of power armored terrorist mutants followed by a continuous strike of missiles until the ordinance of the quinjet was depleted.

Deploying out of the back of the Quinjet and taking position with the police, the Black Widow levelled an assault rifle loaded with depleted uranium rounds into the battlefield as the SHIELD Operatives with her did the same.


Natasha along with her Strike team opened fire into the midst of the beleaguered mutant forces, cutting them down with little regard. This was a matter of national security, there was no time for pleasantries.

The rest of the police officers in the area joined in the fight as their reinforcements began to advance forward, focussing fire on weakened targets first.

Eagle Two and Eagle Three were moving into position as the fighting began, deploying their teams and providing aerial support for the ground battle.

"I'm hit!"

Eagle Three could be seen spiralling out of control as the pilot tried to maintain altitude; the source of the attack was a flying man with fire powers and he was attacking the SHIELD Quinjet relentlessly. If they didn't get help soon, they would go down.

"Evacuation it— "

Superman slows until he's a blue and red statue in the sky.


Clark Kent is 12 years old and freaking the hell out as his best friend writhes on the ground, arm bent backwards with the bone sticking out. He is surrounnded by the rest of their team; half a field beyond him, the football Clark tried to pass Pete sits in the end zone.

"I- I— how did— " Clark stammers.

"All this blood— we've gotta get him to a hospital!" one of the coaches exclaims. "But how—"
"It was Kent," another one snarls. "Wanted on the squad so bad he tried to kill him!"

"N- No! No, I swear, I didn't know, I didn't— "

As one, the team - coaches and players alike - turn towards the boy, looming over him with hateful, accusatory eyes.


"— is— " Superman says after, like, five seconds of silence.


The team advances on Clark— whose eyes begin to glow brilliantly, violently red. Fire sweeps forth in a killing wave that defies his screams— only to freeze, abruptly. The team freezes too, and so does Pete.

Swiftly, the field washes away into a mass of greens and whites until there's no more trace of it.


J'onn cold-cocks the psychic assaulting the Man of Steel, leaving him to glance between the officers in his arms for a bewildered moment before racing them towards a gymnasium near what he hopes remains the edges of the conflict.

"I'll make sure your brothers and sisters are safe too," he assures while setting them down. "I promise."

And then he's gone in a red and blue streak— to find the woman who was calling his name and wielding a utility pole while he was out of it, rather than a terrorist. A strange woman calling him by his Kryptonian name and wielding heavy weapons doesn't exactly trump the Quraci threat, but it does add a dangerous element of unpredictability.

"I'm afraid we haven't met," he says, approaching Faora at a relaxed speed with his palms facing her. "I can sense that we may have some things to talk about, and I would love to do that— but there are more pressing issues at hand, here, Miss. Maybe you'd like to help me get things under control here, so we can have that chat…?"

Quickly fires an arrow at one of the mutants near the police cars, and watches as the arrow bounces off the terrorist. Ozymandias doesn't hesitate and quickly pulls his assegai transforming it from its solid form to its mystical energy form. He dodges the terrorist's first punch, and pierces his assegai into his chest.

The overwhelming coldness pf his soul being attacked paralyzes the mutant. Ozymandias spins around and is quickly enveloped in a thick red gas as he hears the screaming of two mutant terrorist that have their hands linked together, and are the source of the gas, "Choke and die!"

Ozymandias quickly appears out of the gas and takes one of them with a flying knee to the kidney, and the other goes down with a kidney punch. Ozymandias rolls his eye and thinks to himself I don't breath or die."

"Muta-WHOA!" the cheshire cat jumps off his ledge when he feels the heat coming his way. He wasn't fast enough- the whiskers on the left side of his face have somewhat curled in on themselves. Great, he's going to look like fricking Top Cat for a few weeks.

He lands and rolls to give the pyrokinetic a moving target. Tracking where the blasts come from are easy for the fire, but he hasn't spotted the geokinetic yet. He needs to deal with both, but he has to get them both in view. "I'm under fire, but I can handle it," he says, leaping over a stalled car while staying on the move. His left shoulder and arm sting with burns- fortunately nothing serious- he may have leapt too late to save his whiskers, but early enough to avoid serious injury. "What's the situation? I can provide protection and assistance as soon as I shake these two goobers off…"

As he runs, he splits - an illusory Vorpal continuing his trajectory but the real deal stays behind and to the side, invisible and not moving so he can see exactly where the next attack comes from, which should give him an idea of where the geokinetic might be. Hopefully.

Faora stands on the street below, the heavy metal utility pole held down low, most of the weight on the street. Behind her, sparking with electricity still, are the snapped power cables that once ran to her improvised weapon.

Her face is concealed behind a rebreather, though there can be little doubt she ignores the tumultous riot beyond their little drama.


The woman's knees bend just a fraction and then she's moving from full rest into an assault, launching herself from the ground and whipping around the metal instrument in a broad horizontal sweep.


Aurelio Martinez stands out in the alleyway with his hands over his middle, looking arrogant and pissed. To his right, Benito stands, staring down Fisk.

"You're gonna wish you were never born after this is all over, Fisk. We got nothin' to lose. Our backs are all against the wall, here. And you don't want to see us when we've been cornered."

All around, Martinez' men take up their positions, ready to pounce upon Fisk and his men.


"I'd…had my suspicions," Lex lies as he takes another sip. "I never knew how deep it went. Never knew exactly what he was into. Henry is…" He sighs sadly. "Henry is an interesting man. Quite the charmer. I'm afraid he fooled me." His eyes flicker towards Mercy for just a moment.

"You're lying," Sarah Traverstein responds.

"I beg your pardon?"

"You're lying. I've seen you do it bald faced to voters before and you're doing it right now. You're doing what you do best and you're spinning a bad situation in your favor. I can't believe you expect me to believe your bullshit."


"Sure thing O," says Nightwing and Oracle gets a full frontal image of some guy with quills shooting at Dick. The image begins to spin as the former Boy Wonder twirls out of the way.


Two Wing-Dings later and the Quill boy is out.

The mutant who was caught between Martian Manhunter and Superman, the one who could affect minds, is now lying in the gutter, unconscious and bleeding from the nose. The terrorists can feel the lack of his presence as he falls and many of them realize they have no chance.

One mutant, a Dervish with an ability to twist and whirl at superspeeds sticks a gun in his mouth and pulls the trigger rather than be sent to one of America's concentration camps; a red splat exploding from the back of his head.

Black Widow's attack with the Quinjet squadron goes a long way in telling the Quraci's they need to split up. It's beginning to dawn on them how terrible this idea was. It was never supposed to be like this. The soonest they'd have been seen, surely, was by the time they reached the fence of the White House. They have no idea that a lone Park Ranger was the difference between success and failure.

Like teenagers at a booze party when the cops show up, the bad guys begin to scatter. Several approach vehicles caught in the crossfire and attempt to take hostages as the plan has now totally gone to shit.

"That's a nice trick," Nightwing says through the muffled voice of his rebreather. "I mean, the not breathing or dying part." He almost smiles at Ozymandias, but there's not really time for that sort of thing and before you know it, he's taking out some Brick with a well placed kick to the back of the knee.

Vorpal's mind manipulation tricks do show him the geokinetic he's looking for. A man by a tree is standing, watching the foray and holding out his right arm, guiding the earth as it rips up from under the cement and begins to give the Not-Vorpal chase.

J'onn towards Superman as he apparently gets into some shit, sending a single telepathic message to the Man of Steel. <Call out should you require assistance, Superman. I am here.> Unlike that the Psychic who had tried to attack that man in blue, J'onn's touch is light and perhaps even friendly- as far as Telepathic communications go.

From there, J'onn goes invisible, and intangible- moving towards those vehicles where people are now in danger. Civilians, that is. He'll move along- quietly putting those attackers to sleep with a telepathic attack as he floats along, checking his wards- the human race- to ensure they are uninjured. "This will not bode well for your kind.." he says quietly, as he puts another mutant to sleep. "You have set into motion events that will cause great pain for all humanity. It is clear, this evolutionary cross-roads will be a particularly hard one for your species."

Eyes capable of melting steel widen instead of— well, doing that. The city below gives Superman pause, even as his eyes flicker red; the slag would have to go somewhere.

"No!" he exclaims in turn while bringing his hands up just in time to 'catch' the blow, which sends him rocketing into the air like a line drive. His body bounces through a butcher shop, a bakery, and a candle store before grinding to a halt at the end of a furrough dug into the street.

Recovering takes a while— for him, any way. Endless, precious seconds spent painstakingly rising and chasing dizziness away while Faora-Ul does—

What is Faora doing? Superman scans the city and doesn't stop until he's locked onto her. Afterwards, he takes flight again, racing towards - or perhaps meeting her, arms extending for grappling once they're near one another in either case.

"Miss, I'm not sure what your issue with me is," he grunts while trying to seize the pole and wrench it away from her, "but I promise you: now is not the time to work it out! Lives are at stake tonight!"

There's little that Oracle can do from her perch in the Clocktower. The team on the ground are responding, trained to do exactly this and backed by the SHIELD response… they have it covered.

And yet still, somethings wrong here… mutant terroists, at a time when sentiment is being driven against them? Oracle's eyes narrow and she starts some more searches - something /this/ big had to leave fingerprints.

<This woman,> Superman 'calls out' while attempting to wrestle with her, <She's— I don't think she's one of the Quracis, but she won't— disengage from me!>

"Gotcha!" the invisi-Vorpal shouts once he spots the geokinetic. A quick whirl to check- yes, there's the pyrokinetic, shooting another volley of fire at the cheshire.

One universal truth about cats is that felines are inherently lazy and they love forcing others to do their work for them. That's why a Rabbit Hole opens to intercept the tongues of flame, which then emerge from the other Rabbit Hole and engulf the pyrokinetic, sending the man into a screaming flail out of the tree. Tuck, duck and roll saves the day for him- even if he ends up knocking himself out in the process from the fall.

As for the flaming flamingo…

An illusory Vorpal appears next to the firestarter, dressed in a rather fancy pantsuit and wearing what is most certainly an Oprah Winfrey wig. "You get an anvil, and you get an anvil, and everybody gets an anvil!" he cackles. Yes. Cackles, as a multitude of small anvils materialize in the air and start falling towards the pyromancer and any nearby misfits within his line of sight. They are small enough to cause injury, perhaps even knock others out, but not brain or kill. Unless they were very, very unlucky. The pyromancer tries to fry Vorpal Winfrey but only manages to get half a flaming tongue out before one of the purple anvils makes contact and suddenly it is lights out.

"-I've been waiting for months to use that line," Vorpal confides into his communicator.

Despite the effectiveness of the triple-pronged assault alongside the superheroes, the SHIELD forces who had joined this battle had not been without casualties.

"ArghhhH!!!!" Eagle Three was going down. A group of multipliers, mutants who could duplicate themselves were swarming the Quinjet in a kamikaze attack; being hurled into the intakes by a large mutant downbelow.

The quinjet was heading straight for the Washington monument, it was going to be a national and historic disaster.

Instead, the pilot screams out, "MURICA! FUCK YEAH!" and manages to crash the Quinjet into a group of Quraci terrorists, a large explosion consuming them.

The ground teams were faring decently, out of the twenty four operatives who had touched down, only six had been killed and four were wounded so bad they might not make it.

Natasha was in the middle of the fighting, having discarded her assault rifle when she ran out of clips.

A power armored mutant grabbed her by the throat, about to crush the life out of her before she slammed her gauntlets into his skull; liquefying his brain probably.

She fell to the ground and rubbed her throat, seeing the Quracis begin to scatter.

"Don't let any of them escape." She said hoarsely through her earpiece, "Try to take at least a few prisoners boys."

The Kingpin has nobody but himself in the alley. His driver's close, but not close enough. Elsewhere, operatives are poised to continue gnawing away at the 100's edifices once they receive the call, but they're hardly of use here, now.

The tip of the Kingpin's cane softly clicks against the concrete as he advances towards Aurelio and Benito. "Your organization is formidible indeed, Mr. Martinez. You should be quite proud of this thing you've built— the power you've managed to consolidate in a region notorious for its fractitiousness." If allowed, he advances until there are only a few feet separating the three men then stops, hands engulfing the diamond bauble.

"But you misstepped by allowing your personal and professional lives to bleed into one another. Ours is a brutal life." His eyes rove towards the man with the sadistic grin shadowing Martinez for a pointed moment. "Death is inevitable. Why, then, would you allow a member of your family to take participate in it so intimately?"

After a moment of incredulity, Martinez fumes, "'Why'…? Because he was the best man for the job, you arrogant bastard! Because my sister loved him, and he wanted to provide for them— and this is what gives you license to murder him!" He goes for his waist and comes up with a pistol.

The Kingpin doesn't move as Martinez closes in to jam the weapon between his eyes.

"To take his brother, my sister— to— "

Martinez freezes. His eyes go wide and his hand goes numb.


He looks down as blood bubbles up from his mouth. Slowly, Benito draws the sai back from his throat, but leaves the toothpicks sticking out Martinez's wrist right where they are.

"Jair was merely a regrettable piece of business, Mr. Martinez; you made this into something else entirely."

The cane then clatters to the ground as the Kingpin's hands engulf Martinez's head instead.

And squeezes until the crunching stops.

"Perhaps whatever remains of your organization will have a better head for the business than you did." His eyes shift towards Benito again. "Fine work as always, Bullseye."

Faora kept on the ground, running forward like a samurai. A samurai who lost her katana and decided to wield a telephone pole, the metal juts scraping up pavement as she runs through the middle of the fleeing mutants. She is blasted on the side from fire, one Bruiser is simply thrown aside, and a frog man decides to leap waaaaaay up to avoid being run down by her.

The barricade of police vehicles is broken as she runs through one truck, sending it flying end over end with a dipped shoulder. Lifting to swing her weapon, only to have it caught before she can get any momentum behind it.

"You are just like your father." Faora hisses, the vocalizer hissing as it slides into her suit. "All talk." She shoves hard at the weapon to knock Superman off balance, before following with a series of lightning quick punches and kicks.

Ozymandias enters his full ancient warrior mode as he quickly scans the battlefield, and focuses on several targets. He lets out a war cry and quickly moves his way through the battle. His first victim is a mutant who is firing some sort of energy beam from his mouth. Ozymandias does his Satchel Paige impression and throws a fast concussive bomb at the mutant. The mutant's energy blast hits the bomb, but the explosion knocks the mutant out.
R He quickly calls out a speedster terrorist who is more than happy to attack him. When the speedster starts to hit him, Ozymandias slams his knockout gas bomb against his own chest enveloping both in the gas. Ozymandias quickly grabs the terrorist in the confusion, and puts him in a guillotine choke.

Finally, Ozymandias flips out of the way of a mutant that is causing the ground to open up beneath him. He jumps up in the air to avoid falling into the fissure As he is in the air, he fires a couple of arrows into the terrorist bringing him down. He lands on the ground, and begins fire arrows at the fleeing terrorists too.'


Just as things are beginning to wrap up, the Sentinels arrive. Their dead eyes fixate on the mutant terrorists, what's left of them, and without warning and without hesitation their arms lift in unison.

There's a crackle hiss before the energy transfer leaps from their hands and out into the night—large bolts of energy that begin incinerating Quraci terrorists with little fanfare. Like their bodies the entire procedure is mechanical, emotionless, and completely lethal.

Nightwing, still in battle with the Brick from earlier, narrowly leaps out of the way out of a punch from the terrorist, but by the time he turns back around from his flip, the man he was fighting is burned away into ash.

Even though J'onn rescues the hostages in a fell swoop, the Sentinels erase the remaining, sleeping terrorists from existence with unerring strikes, all in unison. One second they are there, the next they are gone. Their protocols were not written to understand sleeping enemies. That's not something one considers when planning this sort of thing out, clearly.

Likewise, those who Vorpal attacks and leaves for the others are quickly 'dealt with' by the Sentinels. His effort to save their lives was fruitful at first, but ultimately useless. They are indeed, very very unlucky.

Oracle, through her searches, will be able to find some Russian satellite footage of large boats taking off from Qurac a few weeks ago. Deeper dives into Chinese intelligence reports will show her photographs of terrorist camps set up all over Qurac. Rumor has always been that the Quraci's use mutant terrorists in their endeavors, and if Bahrain wasn't confirmation, tonight certainly is. The only hope is that this doesn't turn into a large war between both the nations.

The Battle between Faora and Superman rages on, though luckily it is away from most of the bystanders.


Lex is quiet for a long moment. "Sarah, I very much wanted you to be my Vice-President. In you I saw the tenacious bulldog needed to invoke sweeping change throughout this country. The sort of change that is needed if we're going to make this nation great again. It was never my intention for you to find out about Ballard. I'd hoped to keep you apart from so much of what has to happen in this political game. To keep you pure. To keep you clean. To keep you the zealot I needed."

Sarah is taken aback and sits back in her chair a bit farther, as if revulsed by the man.

"But, it looks as though you'll never be that for me now," Lex says sadly.

"I will give birth to the new age with or without you Sarah. I very much wanted you and Henry for allies. But no matter. I can do this by myself."

Lex takes a stroll away from Traverstein now, looking out over the amazing view from his office.

"I've done everything by myself since I was young. Using what I need to, then throwing it away. You. Ballard. I'm slightly offended that you didn't see Ballard was just a patsy for power. Another pawn in my game. He always has been. Who do you think got him elected in the first place, Sarah?"

"You're disgusting," Sarah spits at him.

"Perhaps. But make no mistake," Lex says with an evil smile. "I am the villain of the story."

There's a quick click of metal on metal as Mercy pulls the trigger and kills Sarah Traverstein after one step and one pull of the trigger.

Traverstein's body goes limp, then slumps, then falls to the ground. Luckily for Lex, his office is tiled, not carpeted. And he moved away just far enough not to get any blood on his suit.

"You know the drill Mercy. If her lover is in the house, just set it up in the car. Call Reeves and get him to change the database to show the gun is hers."

Mercy nods and gets to work cleaning up Lex's mess.


"Well, we're not sure what the windfall of using the Sentinels on American soil will b—" but Colin Walters, Secretary of Labor is cut off by the President.

"I didn't want to do what we did. Everyone knows that. But I stand by the decision. I have always felt that we would do whatever was necessary to beat back terrorism. Al-Qaeda. HYDRA. Qurac. It doesn't matter. Our number one job in the Executive Branch, people, is to protect our citizens. We will do that no matter what."

Upton's blue eyes trail up towards the screen on a television that sits in the upper corner of the room and a look of horror comes across his face, "Oh no."

The television, tuned to ABG, has a running scroll across the bottom of the screen.





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