The Last Days of Wonder, Finale ( Room 1)

April 09, 2015:

Heroes flock to North Dakota in a desperate attempt to save the world.

Weapons Facility, North Dakota

A cluster of missile silos.

Characters

NPCs: Ultra-Humanite, Abomination, Clayface

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The Last Days of Wonder, Finale

"Only two things are infinite: The universe and human stupidity. And I'm not so sure about the first one" — Albert Einstein

NORTH DAKOTA

The trudging of the bare feet make heavy splotching sounds in the parts that still have snow, while the more muddy parts elicit that dirty squicky sound. Ahead, through the dark and the cold spring rain, a country house stands upon a hill; some heavy breathing and then the sounds of uneven footsteps once more.

Finally, arriving at the porch, the screen door swings open and thin wrists pound upon the door.

"Hank? Someone's at the door," a woman's voice calls out. Her husband, putting together a model of an Empire Strikes Back Snowspeeder sets down his work and strides to the door with a heavy sigh. No one comes way out here.

But when Hank opens the door he recoils heavily with shocked eyes and a pained face. Stephanie, his wife, screams from behind him. "It's her! It's her! The Ultra-Humanite!"

Her soaking black hair and sheer blue dress clings to her shrouding eyes that bleed from the corners. Dolores Winters reaches out, also bleeding from the ears and nose. Her eyes look dead aside from the desperation.

But rather than ask for help, she her mouth turns circlish and inhuman, "Ooooo oooo oooo eeeeeh eheeeeeh eeeeh!" She slides into the home, but doesn't walk like a normal human. Instead, something far more simian.

THE SKIES OVER NORTH DAKOTA
SHIELD HELICARRIER

"Why hasn't he launched already?" Steve asks Fury as the pair stand at the bridge, looking out over the vast plains.

"He can't, he doesn't have the codes," Fury replies. "The weaponry is blocked by something called Permissive Action Links, or PALS. Unless you're the President, you need to have a code that is continually changing."

"I thought he said he had already broken the code," Steve replies with a raised eyebrow.

"Captain Rogers, I could tell you I had power from God to smite every foe in my path, and lay great vengeance upon them, but I'd be full of shit. This Ultra Humanite? Full of shit. She can't break the code. Not yet. But I guarantee you she's close."

"Well, we'd better get ready for the drop."

"Hell yes you better get ready for the drop. And Steve?" Fury's eyeball stares at him with a look of empathy. "Be careful on this one."

_ _ _ _ _

"The general plan is as follows. First, similar strike teams are assembling in New Mexico, Missouri, and Wyoming. We have reason to believe that this is where Ultra Humanite is. It's the biggest stockpile of weaponry and the easiest to defend," Captain America says in front of the ad-hoc team the United States has formed.

"To give us more time the helicarrier will fire targeted IMP blasts at each of the warheads. It's fortunate we have the blueprints to each of the silos, since they are of course, ours as Americans. It won't give us long, but it will give us some needed time to get in there."

"The drop point is about 30 yards from a back entrance into the silo. We'll go in from exhaust pipes because they stand to be less guarded than the main entrance and it puts us about 30 yards from the control center and main silo cluster. This is a shoot to kill mission, ladies and gentlemen. I understand we all have opinions about the life of these terrorists, but the government will back your full use of force should you deem it necessary."

_ _ _ _ _

Things are pretty quiet as the team as they descend down towards the plains and the silos below. The EMP blasts spray out into the night in all directions and Steve finds himself praying they hit their mark. As the group grows closer to the exhaust pipe entry point, the call for pulling the parachutes (for those who cannot fly) goes out and almost in unison dark black circles pop in a nowhere midnight sky. It doesn't take long to enter.

Inside, it is hauntingly quiet as the group waltzes through the the large tube which ends into a dark warehouse. The warehouse is mostly empty aside from a few boxes in the far end and a couple of tanks near the entrance. Captain America begins to walk briskly towards the exit, which presumably leads to the main silo cluster and to Ultra-Humanite, but is barely able to get his shield up in front of his face as the weapons begin firing.

The darkness lights up with gunfire like the Fourth of July fireworks in Washington all trapped inside this small warehouse. "Take any cover you can!" yells Captain America as he does so behind his shield. All of the cover, however, seems to be on the far side!

"I don't have to take cover. I am cover," remarks Booster Gold in the sort of strident and heroic tone a director would request, were an actor trying to portray a superhero. In a much quieter and more normal voice, he says to himself, "Ugh, that sounded better in my head." Poorly thought out or not, his declaration was an accurate one because as he raises his hand the curved and translucent surface of his force field becomes visible to absorb weapons fire to protect himself and anyone who is close enough to take advantage of this. He also does not bother to crouch down, because one of the things he does best is look conspicuous and draw fire.

Kara had went up to space following the attack on New York City and Ultra-Humanite's attack in the hopes of giving her powers a little boost; if not for the timely message from Kate she may have missed the briefing which she arrives at just in the nick of time.

Presently wearing her full body costume, no skin except for her face showing; she looked dreadfully serious in place of her usual optimism given the mission orders. Killing was not something she did, but in the situation she was about to engage in; her conscience would surely be tested.

She heads into the building through the large tubes, taking up the lead with Captain American given her nigh-invulnerability.

When the room lights up like the fourth of July, so does Kara using her heat vision to take out targets as she advances towards the terrorists like a blonde terminator.

Knocking a pair of terrorists out of her way with a fist she stops her laser vision and begins using her enhanced x-ray vision and others senses to try and find Ultra-Humanite or other threats of importance.

"Come on everyone! We have to hurry, we can't let this jerkwad fire nuclear missiles!"

This is Kate's first real jump. Clint's been threatening training runs for ages, and now there's only so much time and…oh, hell, just jump out of the plane, it's not like there aren't people to catch you if the 'chute's broken. Nobody heard her squeak on the way down, right?

Once they're headed inside, though, she's more steady, bow at the ready as she jogs along with the others. "Thanks, Booster," she calls as the force field goes up, stepping into place at the man in gold's flank where she can take advantage of the cover. When she catches a glimpse of a target, she leans around the edge, firing into a gun barrel.

Deep in an unmarked base in the cold harsh vast of the arctic men run about a large military complex, most seem to be surprisingly children of all things stepping into massive suits of armor. It's a highly organized chaos as men women and children of all ages get into formation all wearing the same red and white armor with solid gold visors.

As the last of the large group gather together a voice cracks over the intercom in Russian. "Liftoff in five, tonight we live as heroes or die as martyrs for the glory of the Russian people!" The Russian national anthem chiming in to fill the place of the generals voice, as soldiers that on paper do not exist ready for their first real battle. A single man steps out in front of them all, wearing his original rocket red armor, Dmitri Pushkin founder of the rocket Reds, who pushes the button early to release the lid from the facility.

Spidey's used to diving among the skyscrapers in New York where, and this is key, there are large objects that allow him to catch his fall. They are called buildings. Something farms in North Dakota tend not to have. He briefly considers requesting a second parachute, and decides that may be overkill. Instead he webs himself wing-flaps between his arms and torso and dives out with the rest, with a shout of "GEEEEEEEERONIMOOOOOOO!!!" Pause. "AND SITTING BULL FOR GOOD MEASURE!"

But that was up above. Down on the ground, and particularly in the warehouse, it's almost like he's back in his element. Almost. He does not separate from the group, per se, but leaps to cling to the ceiling as gunfire erupts. Clinging here he starts to send out tendrils of webbing, ripping guns away from their wielders. "Really, folks, that's just anti-social! Even when the guests are unannounced, the least you can do is offer them tea. It's like you don't want company!"

Wonder Woman was listening to the briefing, through through her earpiece. When the team all dives in she is hovering in the night sky, watching in darknss as her eyes follow the bodies in descent, turbulent gaze moving with the tempest rolls of the ocean during a storm as she waited patiently for each to go in, and the melee within heard coming to an upheaval of artillery fire and return blasts of the team. "Captain, got those coordinates yet?"

Planned, paced, where enemies dotted the insides of the building and where allies responded, how they fanned out Steve gave Diana what she needed and from that hover long onyx hair lashed around her face in the light winds above only to suddenly be ripped free with Steve's feedback heard. "Copy!" Called through the splitting wind as she descended upon the warehouse.

The ceiling buckles in, metal bending and groaning only to curl away like a missile had shot through it to land her in the midst of the enemies. A surprise and final joining onslought as the woman lands in their midst in a crouch, the large shield propped at her side as one area of cover, her other hand extending and from the vembraces of Submission the sword of Hephaestus forms and fills her hand.

Not even the time for a breath before Diana is under fire from those responding, the shield making fr her cover as well as the vembrace just before she follows up with charging into them; strikes and parrys landed to knock them down and aside.

BURNSVILLE, MINNESOTA
1939

Ulrich Hammels and Bobby McGee play often, but today is a most exciting day. Construction began on a development just south of their neighborhood this week and the construction crews had gone home for the weekend, leaving large piles of dirt and rock piled up like small mountains to play upon. The pair of boys, who have been friends since the first grade, are much more interested in the deep gaping holes where someday a basement will be.

"Awww," Bobby says as he plops down into some mud created by the rain last night. "My mom is gonna flip." But when Bobby turns around to see his friend looking quite sinister.

Before he can say anything more, Bobby's throat is grabbed by Ulrich's meaty fists and the smaller boy falls back into the puddle. From above there's almost no emotion spilling from Ulrich Hammels as he squeezes tighter and tighter until the life of Bobby McGee is extinguished.

_ _ _ _ _

"They're here," the large albino ape says to the small blonde man assisting him and about 40 troops with the Permissive Action Link machinery in the silo clusters. In a circular ring, 8 large missiles with atomic warheads lie in wait, ready to launch once the codes can be cracked.

"Do what I've paid you to do," the Ultra-Humanite says as the blonde man, the Serbian spy Emil Blonsky, nods in return.

"As you wish," Blonsky says as he turns to the battle. His blue eyes turn a horrific green and his small body begins to make some horrific transformations. Scales rip out from where his skin would be, and heavy protrusions spill from the top of his orbital bone, giving his brow a heavy ridge. His hands peel off, revealing large talons and claws and in the end this ABOMINATION looks more alien than man as he erupts into the warehouse and begins to pummel the opposition!

Room 1

Abomination's first target is Cover, or Booster Gold as it were. That bright yellow and the way he stands making him entirely conspicuous to a creature rumored to be stronger than the Hulk!

Kara's x-ray vision is blocked mostly by the lead lined walls—it's almost as if the military had worried about Kryptonian invasion (they did) a few years ago, but that's neither here nor there. She can see the silo room right behind this one, but she's going to have to deal with Abomination first, who makes her his second target.

Kate's shot is a direct hit into the gun barrel that she aims at. Luckily, with the others so out in the open she can take a more reserved approach. By that I mean, Abomination does not crush her. Which is good. But there are still shots coming in her general direction from the baddies.

Spidey's spot on the roof goes a long way in confusing his enemies and they don't catch on at first. Granted, upside down, but he can see the Abomination stomping his way around and, from afar, another strong enemy that Ultra-Humanite has brought to the party. But suddenly, his perch goes intensely wobbly as Wonder Woman crashes through the roof, right behind Abomination!!! Oh snap!

_ _ _ _ _

ROOM 2

The second group comes out into the same room as the others, seeing the Abomination begin his run of terror from afar. For a while, it seems as though they might have a direct shot into the room where Ultra Humanite is working on the missile silos, readying for launch.

But then a giant being formed via what looks like clay walks into their way. CLAYFACE begins to spray down the Xers, et all, with his nasty goo.

Worryingly, Cyclop's full blasts take out scores of men. They also take out the wall in between the heroes and parts of the silo. "Cyclops!" Captain Rogers screams. "One more shot like that and the mission will be over before it starts!"

Jean's telekinetic shield gets a clay shower as the push of force begins to move the mental ball that holds her inside.

Kitty runs into the entranceway of the main silo hold. Ahead of her she'll see a group of men all huddled at computer station, while others are at the missiles themselves, preparing for launch. Some of the men listen to J'onn's beckoning, but others seem to mysteriously keep working. Worse, as the missiles begin to turn on, their pre-flames jet out below, an ominous sign for the man from Mars.

While Clayface does not hit Corvinus expressly, many of those with weaponry (there must be 80 soldiers in this room, at least) begin to light the bird up with their shots, hoping to kill it. Whatever it is.

Beast looks out over the battlefield, but finding an alternate path looks to be tough. The room is a giant warehouse, box like, with one one big entrance to the right (closed) and the exit in the back where the missile silo sits. It would be easier if there were good places to hide, but unfortunately, most of boxes are at the far end of the room, away from the tube entrances.

Zee too is attacked by Clayface. He presents no big problems for a woman of her power, but is a mild irritant and impediment.

"What do we do," Booster asks over his communicator as his forcefield sparkles with the weapons fire it is blocking and absorbing, "… if there ends up being a nuclear missle launch? As a just in case scenario." After a thoughtful pause he adds, "I can probably handle one. Beyond that, who knows." He refocuses on the situation, however, because the Abomination is charging in. Because Kate is by him, he says, "Look out…" And flies into the air, because while he can take that kind of powerful hit, he can't actually absorb it and he does not want her to get flattened.

The result of a collision with Abomination and Booster Gold is that Booster gets clobbered hard enough to send up through the roof, but unfortunately, not the open bits that Diana created. A new exit is torn open, there is a loud "UGH" through the communicator. Then, he is flying back towards the building with his arms extended, a return trip to hopefully deliver a double fisted punch to Abomination.

Kara would ponder the lead-lining of the facility at a later date, invasion of the world from Krypton would probably never happen and if it did; she would be here side by side with her friends fighting against it, this was her home.

When the Abomination makes its presence known she smiles even as bullets bounced off of her costume; the battle armor taking care of the bullets without the need to rely on her own invulnerability.

Supergirl wasn't playing around today. Sometimes you used your powers lightly and toyed with villains, other times you dialled it up to full intensity and hoped for the best.

When Booster is hit, Kara's eyes glow red and she's back to using her favourite attack on the Abominations legs as she flies in to deliver a solid punch right to the face, "Hit him with everything you've got, he's just a distraction!"

Supergirl readied herself for the counter-attack, hoping Abomination would focus on her, calling out, "Hey Ugly! Leave my friends alone!"

Abomination is way, way out of Kate's league. But that's okay. She's pretty unremarkable-looking in comparison to her companions in the tunnel. So while the monster goes after the bright and shiny heroes, Kate ducks her head and starts making a run toward the target. Nobody mind the squishy Hawkeye, let's not find out how well the kevlar works today. Seeing the threat of crumbling walls, she fires a pair of riot foam arrows at the spot, hoping it might reinforce the weaker spots or bigger cracks.

"Anyone who can fly, portal, or teleport calls their missile and gets it out of atmosphere," she answers Booster's question, going into a dive with three arrows drawn back at once before firing them at the men with guns. The benefit of arrows: they're quiet. "Spidey, you think you can stay clear enough to get to the computers?"

"Okay," says Spidey. "We're going to have to work on this if this relationship is going to work, clearly. Ceilings are, you know, my thing." He's not precisely tumbling through the air as he says this, but he is clinging to a chunk of roofing material that can't decide if it wants to fall inward or not. His Spider-Sense warns him quickly enough that it's going down (or, rather, up, as Booster goes flying through the ceiling where he was just moments ago), and he leaps off and away to a nearby wall. He suspects Supergirl's got the Abomination — which is just as well, because Blonsky is just a nasty person. Spidey knows. So when Kate calls out to him, he calls back, "On it! And for the record, my plan was totally to recreate the final few moments of 'Dr. Strangelove!'"

Over the heads of the heroes and enemies alike, he weaves and dodges, counting on his sixth sense to keep him from being shot — and occasionally sending out a line to rip away another gun from its owner on his way to the computers.

Each and every one of the Rocket Reds lined up are the exact same height with a single number on one breast the Russian Army Flag on the other. As they secure their helmets into place they're just in time for the loud klaxon of a launch to go off, an early report causing things to go into a panic before the scheduled launch.

At the very front of the mass group Rocket Red holds his fist into the air, rocket boots kicking into action, then one after another the boots on row after row of suits kick into life each holding the hope that at least one from their group will be able to stop a missile if the other teams fail. When Dmitri speaks in Russian his voice is much more human sounding then it's non Russian counter part as he calls out. "For Mother Russia!" A room full of voices echoing back as in unison the mass of armored figures crack to the sky from a standstill to mach four in the blink of an eye. It's a beautiful sight the earth shattering crack echoing out as far as Moscow as thousands of the suits take to the sky's the con trails left behind forming one massive line that looks like one hell of a large comet.

"Then we get them high and clear of Earth. Let's hope that does not become the case." Wonder Woman states in response to Booster's inquiry, a blast like that is no one's friend up close and personal, it does not matter how 'super' you are, but they would all do it in a heartbeat, Diana already made that vow years ago in her mother's stead. As few casualties as possible. "Rocket Red has his Brigade on it's way as well."

Spinning now, Wonder Woman faces Abomination's back as he charges forward towards the other group and knocks Booster out of the warehouse park. Her eyes follow this, one step forward, but a wavering movement in the lifted ceiling is what really catches her gaze, snapping her attention to their voyeur.

"Company!" Wonder Woman calls iut to the group just before she takes towards the faltered Ultra-Humanite.

"We have it," says one of Ulrtra Humanite's men. "Very well," says the supervillain as he views the battle out towards the warehouse. "President Pershing made his call. Begin the launch procedures. And prepare my getaway jet."

He looks over all of the missiles. Pershing could have done things the easy way. A shame that millions of people must now die.

When Ultra-Humanite pushes the big red button, he doesn't stick around to wait. Instead he begins running to the entrance at the back of the silo where his jet sits. Tie to get the hell out of here and to his undisclosed location.

Six missiles all begin to light up and flames begin to billow out within the silo. Quickly the missiles begin to rise.

Room 1

"Looks like we're about to find out, Booster!" says Cap into the intercom as the man from the future inadvertently creates a crease with Abomination's attention. A crease that Captain America takes advantage of as he runs towards the silo, catching an enemy shot in his shoulder as he strides. He doesn't slow down.

SLAM!

Booster Gold rams into Abomination and creates a sensation the beast has never felt before: Being on the defensive. The green scaly creature slides against the slippery floor, gets up, and then gets socked right in the face again by the good ole Mistress of Might.

Kate's foam arrows do a decent job in mucking up the hole that Cyclops made and in the end will prevent many of innocents from dying a fiery death as the missiles make their exit out of the silo. She slips through mostly unseen, because when Booster Gold, Supergirl, and Wonder Woman are doing their thing, it's easy to slip through the cracks.

Spider-Man gets to the terminal before the launch, but whatever he does, he's going to need to do like super quick beca… oh no.

Wonder Woman makes a break for Ultra Humanite who has now passed out the opposite door and is heading for some sort of high tech looking jet. It looks like the ape is trying to make his getaway!!!

Room 2

Cyclops eviscerates his foes with his optic blasts, lessening the flow of bullets his team's way with each blast. Meanwhile, Jean's power encircles Clayface, creating a swirl of beige and flame that would be a beautiful mixture if not for the seriousness with which this situation is unfolding. Nevertheless, Jean takes care of the splodey danger that is the "man" from Gotham.

Corvinus will now find that the major irritant is gone, Clayface has been bottled up and while he's still getting shot at, he has more freedom to actually do things at this point. He's still a major focus of enemy fire, which was perhaps his intention to begin with.

By the time Shadowcat runs to the terminal it's too late to get all of them. Ultra Humanite has seen to that.. All is not lost, however, the missiles are still in the silo. But they will not be for long. Oh no! Behind you Kitty!

When Kitty goes tangible, it looks as though she's about to be attacked from behind as Beast comes smashing in, landing on a dude, and saving Kitty from being roadkill.

Martian Manhunter, likewise will realize that he must now do the unbelievable, and stop one of the handful of missiles, mid lift-off! He's right, he will not be burned from where he stands, but it is either risk being burned, or the death of millions.

What areas were not filled by Kate's arrow are put back in place again by Zatanna and as the missiles begin to rise, those in the warehouse are safe from melting via the rocket flames.

BOTH ROOMS

In all 6 missiles take off, their destinations unknown at this time.. Shadowcat and Spider-Man will see a red white and blue blur streak pass them just before a wicked screeching sound erupts from metal tearing metal. As one of the missiles goes up, it looks like Captain America is hanging from it as it leaves the silo and heads up, up, and away.

"Missiles launched," Fury growls as they lift up into the air. "We have between 3-5 minutes before these things reach the outer atmosphere. Anyone who can get to one, get to one. You /must/ prevent the uranium firing pin from rocketing into the uranium receiver!!!! Go now!"

Booster Gold ends up slamming into Abomination so hard that the gleaming hero ends up rolling on the floor before he can regain his bearings. As he shakes his head to clear it, he hears the report of the missiles being launched. "Oh no, I jinxed it!" Using the communications capabilities built into his suit, his next comment is more broad-band, to go beyond the JL:A communicator he is wearing; he is just trying to ensure that the heroes in the area know what he's doing. "I'm taking one of the missiles out of the atmosphere," he reports, even as he is rocketing up and out of the building, since there is not much ceiling in the way anymore.

There is a minor sonic boom that rattles the walls as Booster almost immediately breaks the sound barrier, intercepting one of the missles and digging his fingers into its metal hull so he can steer the thing upwards. It already has a lot of momentum going for it, it just needs to be redirected. A communications satellite gets clobbered on the way through low orbit, because physical missile wranglingas it turns outis awkward. When it detonates, it is a bright pinpoint of light well out of the atmosphere.

Spider-Man and Shadowcat have the computers, and they're bound to be more good at that than Kate is. Six missiles in the air. Booster, Kara, and Wonder Woman can fly. Cap's apparently jumped one - that's probably not going to end well, don't think about that - which leaves two for the other team. But if Wonder Woman goes for a missile…

It all flashes through Hawkeye's mind in a breath as she looks over the scene, and her decision is made. Escape has to be stopped first. The first arrow she draws is an explosive tip, aimed at the Ultra-Human's jet.

The second is much more simple. A broad-head, barbed arrow. And that one is aimed at the Ultra-Human's back, right at the spine.

Maybe instead of going out into space Kara should have been studying this particular type of nuclear warhead in depth and learning how to disarm them, with her super-speed it might have made a difference; it wouldn't matter now.

Closing her eyes for a moment she opens them again and focuses upon one of the nuclear missiles that is taking off. She has no clue where it was headed, but she was going to stop it no matter the cost.

Before she leaves though, she provides Kate with a devastating barrage of cover fire, taking down a group of terrorists who had been coming up behind the archer with her laser vision, "Kate! Make sure to punch Ultra Humanite in the face for me please."

A streak of red, blue and yellow replaces Supergirl and she's flying after one of the missiles and grabbing on to it.

She knows enough about the environmental impacts of this detonating to know she had to get it far away from Earth. Her destination with the warhead was space, as far away from Earth as possible. She would use every ounce of her speed and power to insure that.

"Timing," Spider-Man sadly observes, even as he starts to race after that All-American blur. Maybe he's not as fast, but he's aided by his webs once he gets out the door — a double *THWIP* and he's yanked upward and climbing his webs. He DID say he was going for the Dr. Strangelove ending.

He's not as quick about such things as the likes of Booster and Supergirl, certainly, but he knows tech. He makes his way along the surface of the missile to that panel they always have in the movies — you know, the one that Tom Cruise rips off while the missile is in flight. Because nuclear missiles really have those panels, right?

Whatever the reality of the situation, Spider-Man is on the case. This missile is totally not going to blow. If all else fails, he just rips out everything.

Because really, with the missiles already launched what was he going to do with the computers?

The missiles launch, the sound an ear piercing rumble that generates a trail down her spine. Not one that came with fear but one that came with dread. The cause of all of this was just barely out of reach, rocketing upward and landing behind him to pursue. The lasso is tugged free of her belt that held the black and star studded preurgis' in place she is ready to fling it in the direction of the I-Ape when her direction splits off after one of those missiles.

"Kate!" Though Wonder Woman is not looking back she knew well enough the woman was capable and highly alert (and already on it). The name doesn't come from nothing, afterall. The other missiles were manned by those capable of taking that blast or redirecting it to safety with their own propulsion. One, however, was making a sacrifice that she is not ready to see as his ultimate. She had yet to hear all the stories her mother did not tell..

Behind Cap's missile Diana is approaching at a breakneck speed, her shield taken from her side to come just over her armored shoulder and reinforce the gauntlet of silver that rests there as she rams into the missile to send it on a further course that maintains a broken path, but one away from earth if Cap had not already done what was needed. Just at that very moment though, her hand extends up, gripping upon Steve's forearm. "Let me know when!"

Over all coms and all networks a friendly Russian voice calls out "Hokey smokes, you know, you Americans are lucky we're still around to clean up." Rather suddenly a group, no an ocean of red comes across the sky, a full battalion of men dressed in red and white armor, lead by a single man in the front with a bright yellow visor. The old voice laughs heartily into the coms, as parts of the wall begin to branch off from the center point.

Their arrival comes fast the massive boom coming a bit slower as their numbers break off from the battalion into squadrons, splitting off in every which way. It's the first time in over sixty years there has been a gathering of this many rocket reds in one place, and likely it will be one of the last. Though most of the soldiers don't know it there are people using this as much for a good will mission as it is a warning, a show of force, even if they are arriving right at the end of the party.

The Soldiers split further attempting to take care of the major debris being left behind, swooping about at high speeds like some sort of swarm of hornets. They whiz about providing that little push to make sure that the efforts of all the 'real' heroes aren't in vein.

Far off in the distance, high above the atmosphere and out amongst the stars, the missile that Booster Gold aims explodes, visible from Earth even. What happened to the yellow clad hero? No one knows for sure at this point.

The wind howls in the ears of Cyclops making it tough to hear any response as he gets carried upwards and onwards towards space. Whatever he thinks is the option had better be, because there isn't a lot of time to think about it. That's for sure.

Meanwhile, Kitty is able to deliver what Jean needs to know to prevent an explosion over the upper midwest and, perhaps just as bad, poison Lake Superior and all the surrounding people with radioactive material.

Supergirl breaks from the atmosphere and hurtles into space, farther and farther, and her mission is almost accomplished. As she looks at the weapon, however, she feel it getting warmer and about to explode. She's done her work, now it's clear she needs to get the hell out of there.

With the power of her mind and words, the gunfire in the warehouse stops immediately. Zatanna cleans up the mess as every single one of them falls to slumber.

Meanwhile, Spider-Man is one on of the last remaining missiles and begins tearing out the innards with a reckless abandon. In his last punch and pull, he tears out a rather large canister, about the size of two of him that has all sorts of biohazard and nuclear hazard markers on it. Welp, that was fortunate. Careful with that axe, Eugene. Don't just set that anywhere how about?

Corvinus begins tearing away at the missile innards and tears out the firing pin. While the radioactive material is still inside, he's able to pull out what it needs to fire, preventing the missile from exploding.

Beast gives the needed information just before he slams against the control panel deep in pain, having taken a bullet. It's all up to Scott at this point, but someone had better take out that shooter!

Lockheed, circling above, bursts fire and provides cover to those who need it. From his vantage point, he narrows his eyes on the man aiming to fire at Beast. While the man is able to get off the one shot, the little purple dragon flies at the offender, claws slashing and fire bellowing in his face to keep him from any further attacks on his fellow Xer.

Kate Bishop fires and her arrow hits Ultra-Humanite straight away in the spine. The behemoth lifts off his feet and falls out on the tarmac, struggling to get up he digs his hands into the asphalt, desperately trying to make it to his jet, which promptly explodes via Kate's other timed arrow. By the time she gets to him, it's easy. His power was his mind, not any of the other abilities that these heroes have. And not the character of the young sidekick, turned partner, turned Justice League Avenger.

*

"Five different attempts in five different cities."

"That might not be the right file."

As Steve smashes his hand into the side of the missile over and over, bloodying it with each strike his mind drifts to many years ago, sitting in a clinic, trying to sign up for the war. The sky is getting darker and darker as he begins to run out of atmosphere.

"Well, there are already so many big men fighting this war, maybe now what we need is a little guy."

The piece of metal finally breaks through, giving Steve a look at the innards. He knows he just has to pull one part of the casing out and he pulls himself up and in to his waist to find it. A split second later he yanks it free, falling away from the missile and his shield. Damn. The shield and its amazing powers of the diffusion of energy were his one hope at making it past. In all he'd lived a good 95 years on the planet, only about 26 of them were conscious. But it had been a good life, and though he was not able to accomplish everything he set out to all those years before, he's at peace with what he has accomplished as blacks out,

Out of nowhere, Diana appears and knocks the shell of the missile out towards space. She reaches for Steve's arm and catches it barely as the gravity had already begun to take him downward. If the Princess is looking for an answer, Cap doesn't seem to be able to give one; completely out cold.

The Rocket Reds begin clean up duty and take care of a lot of the ancillary work unable to dealt with by others. Curiously, an odd thing happens to Red Rocket IV. Straight from the sky falls a circular object with red and white, circular stripes with a large star in the middle. It looks to be some sort of shield.

*

"Holy shit," says Deputy Director Miranda Hill as she sits in her chair looking unblinkingly at the battle below.

"Holy shit," echoes Director Fury.

"Did we do it?"

"I think they did it."

And for the first time this evening, Fury lets go of the metal railing he was holding onto for all his life.

"Someone call the goddamn President."

EPILOGUE:

SOMEWHERE IN EUROPE

Watching a wall full of monitors that mix satellite feeds with news feeds, the back of the black chair rocks a bit. He's not mad. He's just going to need to readjust.

"Mein fuhrer," says a neatly dressed military officer in black who remains confused as to why his leader is not destroying everything in the room. They hadn't been working with Ultra-Humanite, no, but the rogue terrorist was integral to their plans. "Does this prevent Operation Schneefall?"

Red Skull's eerie eyes turn towards him ominously and the officer isn't sure if he's about to be killed or not. Perhaps he spoke too soon.

"No," Red Skull says with his thick accent. "You leave the worry for me, Hinrich. I have taken care of everything. Doctor Faustus survives, and that's truly all we needed from this little game.""

"Hail Hydra!"

"HAIL HYDRA!" responds Skull's litany of followers including his daughter Syn, Zemo II, Gorgon, Viper, and Kraken, amongst others.

"HAIL HYDRA!"

"HAIL HYDRA!"

"HAIL HYDRA!"

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