Welcome to Earf

January 19, 2017:

The elusive Saskarian ship finally located, the Guardians decide to deal with them as they usually do: directly. And as things usually go, their explosive entrance proves an open invitation to acquainted passers-by.

Wharton State Forest, New Jersey

Large open area near camping grounds. Thankfully closed for the off-season!

Characters

NPCs: Saskarians

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

There were several ways those looking for a Saskaarian ship could have found said ship. First, there was the matter of locating an area where such a thing could land and go unnoticed. Correlating this with either satellite footage or, somewhat more randomly, known UFO citings within a two week period of the day the paper ninja turtles were spotted wandering around Gotham trying to kidnap a certain very cranky PI /and/ choosing an area near Gotham would have produced an answer: Wharton State Forest, New Jersey, closed to campers in January, largely deserted, and actually possessed of a few open areas outside the public areas where a very large craft could have landed…and only one that's at all likely, given the rest of the data points.

How they approach the area is up to them, however, as it is /probably/ not going to be possible to just walk right up to it. There are probably some deterrents in place, things which might discourage this kind of behavior.


It took Peter just about forever to zone in on just where an alien dropship should have landed. When he finally narrowed it down? "Really?! REALLY. We aren't parked like three miles from there in the Milano! And I tromped all around Gotham for nothing!"

Quill was annoyed. This caused him to actually get his lazy ass off the couch and walk around. And get attacked by undead demon things. And his feet hurt.

…those Saskarians would pay for this.

Which is why he had gathered the troops (Troops in this case meaning a small party of close friends) and headed out to rid the world of a group of murderous jerks.

…and take their stuff.

That was super important too.

So here they are. At the edge of the dropzone as Peter peers into the trees. "So." He leans against one tree, glancing over towards Rocket and Groot. "What you think? Landmines?" He asks. "That would totally be typical wouldn't it? Flargin' Paper People making things hard on us."

A pause.

"I'm thinking…Goot? You saw those bowling games on TV? I'm thinking…" And he raises his hands, thumbs together and fingers straight up to make a goalpost. "…just right down the middle. Strike!"

And he makes the universal gesture for explosion.


There is a peculiar energy signal in Gotham.

There are a /lot/ of energy signals in Gotham, of course, just as with any other metropolis, but the vast majority are entirely pedestrian in nature: wifi, airspace monitoring, radio, satellite. Some are unusual, even military. None look like the signal picked up by Six on one of the sensitive antennae bristling out of a concealed corner of her garage, technology not available to the general public — a reverse-engineering effort of DEO equipment — powered by an AI with extensive information about extraterrestrial technology.

She has only just recovered from her outlandish experience with Spider-Man, bruises that kept her in bed for days finally little more than off-color shadows beneath her skin. To investigate is likely reckless, but the allure is impossible to resist. In the end, tracking it proves to be far easier than anticipated, if only because the origin source exists well outside of Gotham, in an area without much in the way of conflicting signals, and signal intelligence happens to be something of a specialty for Six. It sticks out like a sore thumb.

Of course, so does the VTOL that she used to gain proximity to the area. Leery of getting too close in the Valkyrie without more knowledge about what it is that's broadcasting that energy signature, she finds a suitable place to ditch her aircraft some miles out, and then begins the long approach…on foot. It bears saying that Kinsey did not design her kit for use in rural environments. She is a strictly urban creature as Six, technology oriented. Her prosthetics are intended to be used on hard surfaces: they transition from heels to claws, not hiking boots to snowshoes. They move through various degrees of this configuration automatically, depending on how hard or soft the ground is, but the trip is laborious, and she trips over more than one tree root.

(It may be time for another redesign of your prosthetics,) Five whispers inside of her skull.

/Tell me something I don't know,/ she snipes back.

(There are now two extraterrestrial energy sources within my scanning range, and a cluster of heat signatures one hundred and fifty yards ahead of you, at your eleven-o-clock.)

Behind the black gloss of her faceplate, Kinsey's eyes widen. She drops her back against a tree wide enough to conceal her. /A little sooner would have been nice, Five!/

(You didn't ask.)

/Oh my god./


Groot, being his usual Grooty self, found nothing wrong with every outing the Guardians went out on. It became a frequent thing of late, cutting into couch potato time, but maybe it was for the better. He liked looking at things, after all. And looking /for/ things. That was important. That was the reason why they were out in the first place.

But all of those unwatched shows and movies…

Sadly, they will have to wait.

A tree snooping out from a bunch of trees is genius, really. As Quill assessed the situation, Groot continues to stare out at the dropzone. "I am Groot," he murmurs, striking a contemplative pose, chinstroking and everything as he glances back at the man. As the idea and the example is described in terms Groot totally understands, his eyes seem to light up, nodding vigorously. "I am Groot!"


Rogue had honestly thought it was a little too weird for Star Lord to just 'walk away' from the school a handful of miles North of here… so since it was her last class of the day, she'd dismissed them and then headed into the Base to grab a change of clothes.

With a black X-Men bodysuit on, metal boots and black gloves with white skeleton-bones painted on their backsides, Rogue flew about in the sky, her brown leather trenchcoat waving in the wind that whipped about her body. She was muttering to herself about not having left sooner, but he had to be around here somewhere, right?

The young X-Men member continued to just fly a pretty high distance up into the sky, scanning everything down belong for anything out of the ordinary. She shifted her head left to right inside the dark forest-green canvas hoodie that was sewn into the collar of her leather trenchcoat.


Rocket likewise wasn't going to complain so long as it meant they were going Somewhere to do Something, in which case the chance of /this/ particular Something involving a lot of shooting things and explosions is very high. These are odds that Rocket likes.

Perched up on Groot's shoulder, he tries to get his binoculars to zoom in better, but they're nothing high-tech, and it's hard for his fingers to reach the manual spinny thingy to adjust it properly. That is the last time he buys anything off Craigslist.

Tossing the binocs on the ground, he swings his pack from one shoulder so he can rummage through it. "What're we using for that? None of my explosives will roll very well- and to warn ahead of time, they'll only make car-sized pot-holes although I think I got one or to of them in here that might blow up a small, family-owned business." He pulls one of the homemade things from his bag, giving it a toss in hand. It looks like it might have been pieced together from powertools. Actually, it totally was.

"Although we could set off a nice chain reaction if we played things right," he says, nodding at both Quill and Groot.


There were a couple of days where Hikari Hataori hadn't done much of anything. No homework, no sewing, no watching out for the Darth Lizards that had tried to kidnap(?) a perfectly nice lady named Jessica.

There had been a Bad Day, and it had taken Peter Quill and the mysterious 'Zee' to restore her sight. So she feels a bit like she owes someone a favor, and if helping Quill beat up the weird aliens that had also tried to kidnap him could absolve her of some of it…

Well, Ribbon is perfectly happy to help with it!

She still doesn't quite understand what's so papery about them, but there are more important things to worry about. Namely, that the Darth Lizards are pretty terrible and she can help make them leave Earth. Hikari can get behind that.

And that's how Ribbon, a college-aged girl with lavender hair and a weird-looking magic blindfold that ironically allows her to see, came to be checking out a possible alien landing site with Quill, Groot, and etcetera. "So if I see you throw something, avoid it," she checks in with Rocket, who is actually small enough to comfortably ride in Groot's branches. She might be a little envious. It looks comfortable!


/Anything else you'd like to tell me before we get our asses shot off?/

(There is a large perimeter of high-voltage electric fencing being emitted by buried devices, forming a perimeter around the origin point of the primary energy signature. There appear to be thirty-six individuals with measurable vital statistics inside of that perimeter.)

/We should've brought a bigger boat./

(Boats do not appear to have strategic value for this environment.)

/Remind me to expand your database to include 'Jaws' when we get home./ Six leans just enough to look around the edge of her tree. The HUD inside of her helmet, connected through the cables plugged into the back of her skull, brings up an overlay to display positions for all of these aforementioned objects of relevance. /If we get home,/ she adds warily.


"Always a good idea for stuff like this." Peter agrees with Ribbon as he pulls something out of his coat. Its small. Round. Looks vaguely like an explosive but isn't quite. What it is? Is a very high powered magnet bomb. Pulls all the metal in an area to it.

He holds it up to show Rocket and Groot before strolling over to attach it to a sizeable boulder.

"Right," He drawls. "Rocket? You want to prepare the bowling ball and then Groot can have at? Magnet to get em all nice and bunched up…charge to set everything off. Or at least announce that we happen to be here." The grin on his face widens slowly before he covers it with a cough and tries to look half-way serious. "After all. Always polite to announce ourselves."


Grinning at Ribbon, Rocket hops down from Groot's shoulder. "Maybe we'll take out some of those patrols all in one go. Although I hope we can keep some of those hoverboards in tact." He watches as Quill goes to set up the bomb, then looks back towards their target area. "Always," he agrees with Star-Lord. "Better we do things that way before anyone on board that ship decides to use its heavy artillery."

He sets the small explosive beside the one already on the boulder since it looked lonely, then hops aside.

"All yers, buddy," he informs Groot.


Also giving Ribbon a tree-gummy-like smile, Groot eagerly rubs his large hands together. He's been wanting to try this out ever since he saw it on one of those sports channels. Or was it a video game? Maybe both? He's not sure, but it's there.

With the correct placement of his bark-covered limbs, the walking tree friend lifts, drawing his arm back at a 45-degree angle before letting it fly.

"I am…GROOT!"

And he sends it rolling, rolling, rolling, RAWHIDE, keeping his back leg up as he watches for the results of the joint fruits of their labor in anticipation.


So this, ladies and gentlemen and those following along in the home audience…

Is what we might call a 'good news, bad news' scenario.

The boulder starts rolling. Groot would make a good bowler. It looks like it's probably going to be a strike. The magnet doesn't activate right away, which is also pretty good. These thick silver blue posts with blue blinkie lights on top tremble and work themselves out of the ground with 'wah' sounds, then zip to the magnet's surface.

Sure, they're meant to emit a massive zaps of electricity voltage when moved from their position at all, and sure, the zaps of some 25% of the perimeter fence are now alternately pointing at the Saskarians and at the people who started all this, but filling the forest with a small lightning storm isn't a huge problem right?

And letting a bunch of Saskariaans know you are definitely here, that's probably fine…

KERBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!

There are 5 less Saskarians, drawn to the boulder by the magnetic force in a way that might make Six or the Robot /very happy/ they aren't any closer…

and they go up in the blast.

Flaming shrapnel flies everywhere. The Guardians missed that Smoky the Bear memo. Much of it hisses in the snowy woods, extinguished by the pervasive wet, but some of it finds dried pine or other tree-like, woodlike things. Flames begin to snap and lick. The forest is now on fire, which is probably fine too.

And then there are the other 25 Saskarians, which come pouring towards Our Heroes like fireants swarming out of a mound. These are not wielding nice, polite billy clubs or shock lances or vibroswords, because today they are not trying to pull an extraction in a peaceful residential neighborhood. Today they're trying to defend their only way off this rock, which means they're pulling out the guns. About 15 on foot, about 10 on hoverboards in the air…and yeah. There is now a lot of /laser/ fire being aimed at Quill, Groot, Rocket, and Ribbon, the ones they can most easily see.

But hey, it makes quite a commotion for any people of good heart and soul who want to join in this conflict.

(Let us all stop and take a moment to rate this plan on the percentage scale. 8% of a plan, below Guardian Average? 12% of a plan, right on point? Or is it a solid, above average 15% of a plan?

Gentle reader, this decision is yours and yours alone.)


"Nasakuraiyasamei!!!"

The shout cuts through the forest to fill the sudden, empty space of volume that follows the explosion, in a moment as the flames billow into smoke and then energy weapons come to bear.

It is a word without real meaning on this world, subvocal digitization relaying more than just words, more than just surprise or a cry of victory, but a litany of history and context that is sadly lost on those gathered.

Save for one.

As the silver and black, spindly-limbed robot lands in front of the Gathered Guardians, it's most trusted and only friends on this primitive wasteland of an honorless world, it's momentum core flares deep in it's chest and the red energy that gives it life illuminates every crease in it's myriad of metal shards and armored plates.

The hum of it's blade cuts through the air as it draws forth, and with motion that defies reality, the metal seems to be in many places at once, while in reality creating a reverse-momentum field that will send any energy blast back towards the poor Saskariaans who fired on Peter Quill.

No one kills this robot's most glorious and infallible leader while it still functions, it's other hand whipping around to send a handful of shard-like shurikens blazing a trail of momentum-energy that burns hot enough to dig into reality itself, more a distracting measure than something that is likely to stop the horde before them.


It was cold out, maybe she wasn't going to find him… maybe she should just turn around and fly back to Xavier's… Rogue grimaced, high above in the air, flying at a casual clip.

BOOM?!?!

The southern belle stopped her forward momentum and hung in midair, she turned to face the explosion and peered out from beneath her hood. Watching it off to the southeast she was shocked and awed by it, as it was quite a sight from all the way pin the air where she was floating/hovering.

Whatever that was was far more important than wherever the mysterious Peter Inkwell went. So angling her body forward, the hooded/trenchcoat wearing, Rogue zoomed off toward it and was soon greeted with what looked like a… Star Wars battle going on down on the ground, lasers and all.

"Nerds." Rogue muttered to herself. "Must'a found him afte'ahall." A little headshake was given and she SHOT down toward the battle!


Perhaps more than anybody else present, Ribbon knows what those weapons represent. "Careful! If you damage the guns, they explode!" Or at least that's what had happened when /she/ last tried cutting one in half!

Blindfold carefully in place so that she can see, the teenage heroine-in-training raises a hand to the sky, grasping hold of a line that doesn't seem to connect to anything visible. Because whether or not there's a Point A, she's holding tight to Point B and swinging toward one of the flying Saskaarians, left leg extrended for a perfectly good kick.

"Get the hell out of here!" she yells, heel ramming right into the poor alien's gut.

he still hasn't figured out how to spit out cool one-liners. Maybe that's something that comes with experience.


Take Two on the visiting Xavier's plan. Kitty decides perhaps the evening is a better time to try to stop by. Of course, that's before she hears a large explosion and then sees a large fireball and a forest on fire on her way to the Mansion. Maybe she should just stop trying to stop by Xavier's all together.

Eyes widening, Kitty starts running toward the fire to help. A hand dives into her backpack for her phone as she goes, intending to dial 911. She's sure this must be some sort of gas leak or the like. What else would have this catastrophic effect on land and forest?

The answer, of course, awaits her as she closes the distance to the flaming wreckage. And, who does she standing there? Peter Quill. Really, she should have known.

Running up, hand with the phone dropping from her ear to hang by her waist, she waves a hand at the fire and the crater yelling at him, Rocket and Groot. "What in the—!! What are you doing!! There are people who live nearby here!!"


There is an explosion. Six turns back around, back to the scene of the action, and brings her arms up around her helmet, curled in on herself as she feels the shockwave bullet over her. Shrapnel whips past her. A shard of metal buries itself in the trunk of a tree ten feet away from her. Embers spit and swirl.

"What the hell was that!"

Her voice, processed through a program that synthesizes artificial vocal tones, sounds like a white-noise hiss as it passes through the vent slots at the bottom of the helmet.

(Extraterrestrial language detected,) says Five. (Multiple overlapping vectors of simultaneously expressed communication. 'Death to our enemies, victory to the righteous. On the eighty thousandth rotation, plus two hundred and twenty nine, the clan of Ordus crushed the Sokai beneath their feet.' Follows: a burst of transmitted tactical information. Deciphering.)

/Sorry, I'm still a little bit preoccupied with the /explosion/. Mark the hole in the perimeter for me. I want to get in there./

('Getting in there' not advised under present conditions.)

/I need to see what the—/

And then she sees them. The extraterrestrials, on their /hoverboards./

…with their firearms.

And things are on fire.

/We really didn't come prepared for this. Warm up the Valkyrie's systems and be ready to get us out of here. I'm gonna…get closer./

('Getting closer' not advised under—)

/—present conditions, I know./


"Nice throw!"

Then the boulder starts pulling up those stakes, lightning arcing out though the area. "Oh thats fine." And then more lightning. "Yeah. I'm sure its fine." Then there go the Saskarian guards. "…yeah totally fine." And theeeeeeen the explosions. "Everything is fine here…"

Peter Quill has great faith in his plans.

At least until the lasers start.

"Ok now its a party." He calls out as the shots begin landing around him. "Groot! Make sure Ribbon doesn't get hurt! Rocket…" A pause. "…I don't have to tell you what to do. Ribbon! Stay behind Groot! Take any down that get close enough!"

Suddenly there was a Robit among the enemy too.

A familiar robit.

"Er…HAL!" Totally what he decided to call said robit. "DO WHAT YOU'RE DOING!"

Sweet. Now it looks like it was all his idea. Smooth as silk Peter. Smooth as silk. At least until a familiar shouting comes from behind him.

"Wait," He spins around. "Kitten?! What are you do—" And a few lasers slam into the tree he was using as cover. "-its dangerous here! We're trying to get rid of a dangerous alien infestation!" A pause. "Not my fault people decided to live /not/ that close to them!" A longer pause. "I'm gonna go get a hoverboard!" He steps out from behind cover, snapping off rounds in the direction of the mass of Saskarians. "If you wanna keep yelling at me you can come with!"

And so saying he sprints off, towards where Ribbon is just ending her swing in the gut of one of the flying aliens. Bounding off a tree, swinging up a branch and aiming to land in the seat of the now vacated board.


HAL's reflected bolts go slamming into three of the aliens; knocking one off a hoverboard in a shower of sparks, probably to his death. Two more go down on the ground; it's an impressive display…if one that now concentrates the fire of five separate soldiers directly onto him.

Ribbon manages to kick her soldier; he drops his gun and goes flying, hitting a tree. He looks dazed, but not down for the count.

Peter manages to shoot two from behind Hal's considerable protection.

Getting in through the freshly opened perimeter isn't difficult for Six, but now she starts drawing fire as several more take notice of her; one from above her, two from there on the ground with her.

Kitty and Rogue aren't taking fire yet, but they're definitely about to get noticed.

Groot and Rocket are still drawing fire from several of the creatures, as Groot's considerable height towers even over HAL's protection; this all comes from four hover-guys. Meanwhile the rest are moving, doing their best to surround Team Hero…


At least one person is grinning here in this party. Make that /still/ grinning. Everything's happened like a charm so far! Mines, check- oh, not just mines, electro-charged, /huh/, that's interesting. Thankfully he's the shortest of the group so any electricity snaking their way won't be immediately drawn to him, right? Oh, and there go the Saskarians- well, some of them. "Hah-!"

And then the explosion. Rocket stumbles back at the force. "…oh, guess that was the wrong bomb. I should really label these things," he murmurs, stroking his chin as he watches the ensuing firestorm. A little late to do that, but overall, things are…pretty effective. A little out of control. Just a little.

Reaching for his favorite rifle, Rocket blinks, watching as a familiar robot-silhouette goes flinging itself into the fray. "Was wonderin' where T-1000 went." He cocks his weapon, giving a nod at Ribbon. "Huh, nice to know," he says, grinning toothily. That'll just make his job a whole lot easier, he thinks, moving foreward to take aim.

His first shot goes wide as their resident Sprite arrives. He glares at Kitty, and then blinks and points. "Hel-/lo/, aliens with a giant /ship/ parked there and you're blaming /us/ for picking the location?!"


Groot wasn't the only moving tree out in the woods today…

A twenty foot tall Evergreen burst from the rest of the thickly dense forest, shedding piles of snow and dousing crackling fire all around it!

At the base of the tree, Rogue was gripping onto it with her arms wrapped around it, holding it on her shoulder! She slammed down into the ground not far from where Kitty and Peter were and she looked over at them both. "Figures." Rogue said loudly at Quill in particular. She looked to her fellow X-Woman and she gave her a big smile. "Heya Kitty." She said at her. "Why they blowin' up our woods, huh?"

Proudly holding her Evergreen/Jousting Tree, Rogue hoisted it up again and aimed it at the Aliens. "Guess Ah bette'ah do what Ah do best…"

And with that little nugget of Southern charm, Rogue started to fly right at the aliens and their laser weapons. "Go ahead'n light mah tree up, ya dumb *es!" Rogue shouted. "I don't mind havin' a twenty foot fire sword!"


There are plenty of moments where one can think they've messed up big time. But this? This isn't one of them.

Quill's probably right, though. It'll be fine.

Once he gets past the explosive 'shove' part of the program, Groot does wear the 'oh crap' expression for a few seconds between the explosion and the following Skaskarian open firing on his crew, but he moves as quickly as a tree can in this kind of predicament. Smaller roots and branches immediately sprout from his arms and sides, weaving together to give them some more cover. "I am Groot!" he exclaims, taking some of the hits that can easily shoot through a squishy body. In this case, a few squishy bodies. He knows the guys are hardy enough after all they've been through, but it doesn't hurt to save them some trouble.

On Star Lord's command, the tree imposes himself between Ribbon and the lasers flying in her general direction, too preoccupied to realize Kitty is in the area yet not too preoccupied to see the awesome Robot Hal. "I AM GROOT!" Obviously it's a yell of approval thrown Robot's way, turning into a regular battlecry the moment he shifts his arm into a giant branchy, flailing whip. That's definitely aimed at some of the hoverboarders shooting at him and Rocket because air sniping SUCKS, how DARE they!


"Glad to help out!" Ribbon calls, because she is nothing if not Helpful.

Her heel connects with a Saskarian, sending it sailing into the base of a non-Groot tree. It may not be down for the count, but at least it doesn't have a hoverboard anymore!

G…Not that Ribbon would know what to do with one! She gives it a hard shove with her other foot, aiming to send the thing flying off into the woods where it will no doubt be found by a group of adventurous young people and used for shenanigans. It makes her feel much better, after everything that had happened, before everything that /could/ happen, to see that one small victory. And let's be honest, to see Groot supercede himself between her and a particularly harsh-looking laserburst. "Careful!" she yelps, swinging low to check on the mobile tree. Fortunately, he doesn't seem to be on fire.

Nobody is on fire yet! Except maybe Rogue's tree.

Sailing back up into the canopy, Ribbon leaps onto a brand-new line that winds its way through the trees, leaping off of /that/ onto another hoverboard. "Go away!" she yells, bashing at yet another Darth Lizard with a thick, baton-like line. "This is our planet!"


Twenty-five angry whatever-they-ares have taken some mysterious issue with random explosives being hurled at their spacecraft. Six figures this ought to give her time to slip in past the perimeter, get close to the ship, and /touch it/. Get her mind into it and have a little peek at its systems. Maybe do something to help deal with the laser barrage being funneled in the direction of those responsible for the explosive.

That isn't what happens, though. The Saskarians are /angry/, and they're shooting at anything and everything. Two of them spot Six, and that's a real problem, because Six doesn't have an app for dealing with that.

Meanwhile, local signal chatter is gradually processed and deciphered by the AI living in her skull, aided by the sensors in her helmet. The general gist of the alien transmission chatter can be summed up thus:

'What The Actual ?'

There is one voice of dissent, Five explains. An alien who has noticed that Rogue has picked up a tree and is swinging it like a cricket bat instead of what it is, which is a big, fat tree. And this particular alien thinks that they should cut their losses, get into the ship, and go, seriously, why don't we just go? None of the other aliens are responding. This prudent alien, who would definitely be the lone survivor of any horror movie — which this almost actually is, from its perspective — performs the Saskarian equivalent of 'BUELLER? …BUELLER?' and is roundly responded to with the Saskarian equivalent of 'SHUT UP NERD.'

And so it goes. Six, who would typically find all of that fascinating, has little or no time to process it, on account of being shot at. She picks up a dead sprint further into the enclosure, trying to get around /behind/ the ship, or at least put it between herself and the angry aliens with laser pistols. Or rifles. Or whatever.

(Told you,) Five says.


Robot HAL? Aliens? Rogue? There's a lot of strange things going on. First, however, Kitty focuses on Peter an narrows her eyes at him. Then, there are laser flashes and she quickly moves to hide behind the same tree coverage as Peter. "Yeah, that's great and all, but generally when you're trying to save other people, it's a good idea to make sure you don't blow them up along with the dangerous aliens!" she tells him, reaching her hand toward her bag. It seems after the last time she was caught without a weapon left an impression.

Rogue's appearance is met with a blink of surprise. "Yeah, uh, I'm already trying to yell at them about that," she calls after the flying mutant who is swinging about a tree. Pulling out her katana, she follows after Peter, as she's not done yelling at him yet. "Why is it that whenever I run into you, it's followed by chaos and then almost certain death?!"


The robot bristles, leaping high and somersaulting against gravity as it forces a momentum shift mid jump in an attempt to draw fire far away from it's companions, as well as become a harder to hit target.

Then it does the least prudent thing it should do, it's shout of a challenge suddenly filling the air as it /blurs/, it's blade ripping at spacetime with a burning hot cut that sears through one alien on it's way to the group of it's four remaining buddies, trailing armored plates and bits of itself as more incoming fire rends through.

Molton energy drips like so much blood, and it's own sword flashes bright as it reverses it's hold to an overhanded grip and engages the small group with a bounding, savage fury.

Ribbon, especially, will get to see at least one head go flying, the sizzling stump left behind whistling as air escapes the creature's chest cavity, and then an arm, and a leg from another, until at least one of lizard men fires a small rocket at the robot.

The explosion is glorious - not only does it incinerate one of it's pals, the robot's late block and strange interaction with the laws of physics send it careening up and over the edge of the ship, where it tumbles, pieces of it's outer layers falling like rain in Six's direction.

Until it too, drops into the mud only feet from her.

A single, claw-like hand rises, twitching, and it asks a very important question."Yosh?"

Loosely translated: Why must it beeeeeee?!


"It was /fine/!" Peter calls back towards Kitty as he's running. "Rocket used the small bombs!"

…that was a small bomb? Maybe he wasn't paying attention to Rocket's mutters. Maybe he is just telling Kitty that. Maybe he believes it. Who knows! Tune in next week too—

Wait no. This isn't a cliffhanger!

As Peter leaps though the air one hand reaches out to snag the control stick of the board. Spinning himself around he settles one foot on the board and guns the engine. It roars up at an angle, narrowly missing a pair of trees as Peter coaxes its engine to do something it is entirely not ment to do. Drifting into a turn as he levels out he slams into the poor Saskarian that was met by a tree. "Excuse me."

Then he's off again, circling around towards Kitty. But there is Rogue who can…wait. "ROGUE YOU CAN FLY!" A pause. "AND THROW TREES?! No one told me this!!" He's allowed to be surprised isn't he?

Even as he zooms around though he can see a few of them firing at…someone else up the slope? Its either that or they are shooting at trees. Which is possible. "Groot! Ribbon! Someone else up there! Give em some cover!"

His pistol is out as he snaps off a few more rounds into the mob. Because at this point it is a mob. "Rocket you got anything in your bag of tricks that'll make sure they won't take off?" He asks as he notes the Robit being…well. A murderbot. They might need to talk to him later about restraint.

He circles around again, the red-eyed faceplate gleaming in the dark as he zips though the trees right towards Kitty, reaching out to half snatch and half help her onto the back of the sled as he goes by.

This may require a waist grab.

"I don't know, Kitten. Maybe its cause I always throw the best parties?"


When it happens, it happens suddenly, nonsensically, and conveniently right after Peter asks for cover.

Of the Saskarians firing up the slope, one's head suddenly jerks to the side with impact, as if struck by an invisible fist. Another suddenly finds his weapon sparking with malfunctions and, when looks down to examine, finds his chin struck upwards by an incredible blow.

The remaining alien, uncertain of what's happening, begins to fire with haphazard abandon as, unseen (or at least difficult to see), a tiny speck leaps from his weapon to his shoulder. In a flash, the reptilian creature suddenly flips over itself, hurled to the ground by ghostly judo.

In the wake of this havoc, a man suddenly spring up into existence by Groot. He wears a reddish suit, donned by a silver helmet with curious antenna. His hands grip the sides of the helm with no small intensity.

"OH MY GOD." He exclaims, "ARE THESE ALIENS?!" He looks up the tall, wooden creature, "AND ARE YOU…TREEBEARD?!"

Don't worry all, Ant-Man's here.


Rolling his eyes, Rocket hops up onto Groot as he prepares to fire at things again. He'll help cover for a bit while he replies to Quill's silly expectations. "Nothing that'd work from this range. If I had, oh, I dunno, one'a their guns or a hoverboard then /maybe/ I could throw something together! Better yet, if I can get to the ship, it'll be a piece'a cake!"

He shoots at anything that looks Saskarian and moves. Because shooting dead, headless Saskarians is a waste of power. "Hey, Groot! Give me a hand," he says, eyeing one of the aliens zipping about before he gestures with his rifle. "Like what we saw on Lord of the Flies. Or was it Rings. Well, one of those two." Shrugging, he's got complete faith in his woody pal, apparently as he prepares to be launched. Because he is getting a hoverboard. Star-Lord can't have all the fun, after all.


"I'm full'a surprises!" Rogue shouted back at the Star-Lad when he expressed shock at her abilities. "Look, Kitty! I got an even bigge'ah tree than the last time ya seen me!" She smiled big at the fellow X-er and then flew straight up into the air.

With her Evergreen tree crackling and shedding lots of embers in her flying wake she suddenly just abandons it toward the biggest cluster of Saskaroonian-whatevers and then SHOOTS off toward their space ship.

"Look at it!" She shouted. "Its the dumbest lookin' thing I think I've ever seen!" DODGE LASER BEAM! Rogue had to duck to avoid that one, having sensed it with her 7th-sense. "Rude." Rogue glared back at the alien that fired at her.

Flying forward now she went to an outcropping of rocks at the edge of a forest-ledge.

The Southern Belle jammed her hands into the rocky cliff-side and pulled out a huge boulder. She spun around with the boulder over her head, dirt/rocks/leaves falling all atop her. "Hope ya got Nerd Insurance!" She shouted as she threw the boulder with all her might right at their spaceship!


Aliens are definitely scattering under the threat of Rogue's giant flaming sword. Sparks of flames are also going everywhere, because they definitely set it on fire, and she's definitely waving it all about. Smoke slowly starts to fill the area as the forest…smoulders.

Groot takes out two of the hoverboard riders. They spin end over end, crashing in a heap nearby, tangled together and similarly smoking as the hoverboards malfunction. The Saskarians who were riding said hoverboards do not move again.

Ribbon takes out another one and gets a hoverboard for her trouble.

Meanwhile, Six is chased and gets a Robit asking incomprehensible questions, rather than a chance to touch the technology for whatever that is worth.

Really there are only about 12 of them left; the odds are definitely not in their favor. Peter's zooming about, shooting, making things happen, Ant-Man has arrived and has begun kicking ass.

It's our Erudite Horror Movie Survivor Saskarian Friend who decides to get into the turret and start firing. KAKABOOOM! KAKABOOOM! KAKABOOOM! He's taking shots at anyone on a hoverboard. For those who have never been on a hoverboard before these things are also not the easiest things in the world to control, but mileage may vary.

There might have been a fourth KAKABOOM, but it never comes, because Rogue's giant boulder puts an end to this; it slams into the turret, crushing it, even as energy builds up behind the now very blocked, very damaged, very BIG gun. Saskarian technology hasn't responded so well to that in the past, as Ribbon can attest to…

The Erudite Survivor had flung himself back as his turret became a tin can, exhales, and races to the console, muttering I don't get paid enough for this in his native tongue. Fingers fly over keys, and other ship's systems come online, unleashing a sonic SHRIEK that is not at all painful to Saskarian ears, and may be fine for Robits, Groots, and Rockets depending on /their/ unique physiology, but really for anything remotely resembling a human the sound canon is intense, painful, and definitely hard to say, drive hoverboards while experiencing, or shoot, or anything like that. It's a sound intense enough to make ears bleed. Just wanted to be a god lawyer.


Something comes streaking out of the sky in multiple pieces and crashes into the ground in Six's trajectory. She leans away, prosthetic feet splaying out into segmented claws in the soft earth in order to stop her in time, grittily reassembling as she pinwheels her arms to stop from tipping over backward, and straightens.

It is mechanical. It says something, and it becomes clear that this is what Five was translating earlier. It says…

A whole lot of things. Something about Advents and Decimux the Machine God and metal rivers and — she doesn't really have time to parse the rest, because one of the aliens that had been pursuing and shooting her takes advantage of her sudden skid to a halt and moment of distraction, and lands a fantastic shot on the back of her helmet, where all of the cables that plug into her skull are, and while they're insulated against most typical threats, laser firearms are not typical. There's a spray of sparks, and Six hits the ground like a sack of bricks. The last thing to happen to her as she's knocked out is that her eardrums are blasted apart by an LRAD — somewhat defended-against by the helmet, but certainly not /enough/. It is the one silver lining to her sudden unconsciousness.


YES, two down! Minor accomplishment achieved, but there's still a lot to do!

Amidst the chaos, the walking tree grunts. "I am Groot!" he shouts back at Quill. Being the tank is hard work.

His overextended arm returns before it's flung out again at the targets he's now focusing on. 'Protect everyone' is a great command! It'll do…little for the one who has been knocked out of commission, but it's a continuous kind of protecting thing, right? HE'S HELPING.

The other, normal-sized arm is left without much to do…until Rocket gets an idea. With a nod, Groot lends the raccoon a hand, hefting him up with little resistance on his part. "I /am/ Groot!" Drawing back, he practically shotputs his little buddy at one of those poor Saskarians on its hoverboard.

It's only moments after all of this takes place that he glances downward at their new friend The Ant Man, giving him a curious arch of his woody brow. "…I am Groot?"


Driver's Ed did not cover alien hoverboards. It barely covered stick shifts!!!

Ribbon gives about seven seconds' worth of effort into trying to learn to control the stupid thing before remember the better part of valor. That's right - she leaps right off of the hoverboard and back onto one of her lines, racing down it towards the ship. "OU!" she yells in response to Star-Lord, because her language cortex still thinks in both her native languages at once and sometimes things get mixed up on the way from her brain to her mouth. It's fine though, because her heart is singing, her power is a song within her—

And then the FREAKING ROBOT murders another Darth Lizard right next to her. And another, and dismembers a couple more, and—! Properly shocked, Hikari nearly topples off of her personal road while screeching, "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" There's gross alien juice in her hair!!!!!

After all this, the horrible alien feedback sound is just overkill. Six may be on her own for a second.


Metal grinds as that sound splits the air, and it is the looming shadow of Six, and the sudden blast to the back of her head that draws the robot's attention. When she falls, the robot reaches out a shaky hand, the metal that had blasted from it's frame crumbling to sudden entropy, while new plates push out from it's center, locking into place and sliding down over limbs as they straighten.

The robot crawls, and it's words are an incomprehensible babble, but maybe in the dark recesses of Six's mind, Five will understand it on the digital wavelengths it vibrates at.

This time the data comes first, about how damaged it is - seventy percent operational capacity and rising - and then the story of how it came to be: On the six thousandth, plus seven thirty one, the count was issued, and an error was found in the Ordus clan, an anomaly of 'plus one'.

The next layer of it's communication holds a dark, sad tone. 'The Machine God took me from my clan, and re-designated me:'

'Extra'.

With a hauling grind the robot finds it's footing, it's blade drawn and whirling to deflect incoming fire back the way it came, it's momentum field and multi-dimensional motion meant to protect the downed Six from further attack, though it cannot stop it all. More of it's plating flies, but it holds it's ground, providing a function it was never meant for, all in the service of what it thinks it's new family, The Guardians of the Galaxy, would want to see it do.

Today, it tries to be a hero.


A slight, confused pause follows between Ant-Man and Tree-thing as the former processes the latter's answer.

Quickly enough, Scott gives Groot a thumbs up, "Cool. I'm Ant-Man. I thought these guys were just like, costumed robbers in rubber suits or something. That's a thing that happens, right?" Nevermind that they're shooting up a park and not actually robbing anything, "But like, these are actually real! It's like that whole incident thi-AH GOD!!!"

The screeching, aural attack of Saskarian ship is piercing and debilitating, even moreso when it's reverberated inside the Ant-Man helmet. Fortunately, weeks of brutal conditioning taught Scott to instinctively miniaturize at even the slightest sense of bad things happening, and no sooner does the torment begin before he finds himself shrunk down to the size of an insect, where the once-violating soundwaves are no more than an odd, droning rumble in the background.

"Crap, I should do something about that. ANT-HONEY!" Scott holds his wrist module to the air, summoning his winged companion like a MegaZord of old (They totally didn't practice this or anything).

With buzzing wings and chittering mandibles, Ant-Honey Mk. II swoops out of the sky just in time for Scott to leap above her back, carrying them skywards, "Come on, we've got to take the source of that noise out!" He commands, referring to the sound cannon, as he and his winged, chitinous steed flit through mayhem and more towards the emitter of the weaponized, alien frequency.


Peter is most likely going to be slapped later as he scoops Kitty up along with the hoverboard. She would protest louder, but suddenly they are above the ground and speeding forward. Begrudgingly, she puts an arm around Peter's shoulders to steady herself, katana now unsheathed but doing a fat lot of good when they're speeding away from the alien mess.

The mutant's eyes survey the scene, grinning at Rogue's observations of both tree and strength as she barrels through hostile aliens. Her eyes ultimately land on the large alien gun that seems the big gun is making a horrible racket or is about to explode. It's hard to tell with alien technology. "GET HIGHER!" she yells at Peter. "I CAN JUMP OFF AND SHORT CIRCUIT IT!" As she does so, she digs into her pocket and puts the gem into one of Peter's. He's got that ridiculous red leather jacket, it has to have one or two pockets. "I'm sure this isn't a big ask, but I'll need a push!"


Rogue doesn't stop after one boulder… she's changing the shape and contour of the entire ledge of rocks along the forest's edge… and creating a small cave in the process.

Three more giant rocks are thrown at the alien's ship. One after another. She's covered in earth, snow, etc, but seems to be hellbent on burying the Space Nerdship and what she was throwing was likely to be piling up near onside of the craft, if not directly on top of it!

The southern belle, dirty and wet, was grunting and just throwing rock after rock, of all sizes at this point. "I'll bury your nerdship an' make it a relic for some dumb scientist t'find a million years from now!" She shouted, mostly to herself.


If Peter is lucky she'll forget he needs a slap. There are other things to worry about. Namely explosions and rocks and other flying things. "Wait what are you- " And then he sees. The sparks and dangerous feedback coming from that very large gun there. Judging from the size of the thing its going to make one hell of a crater if it goes. " -oh. Yeah. That."

"HOLD ON!" With that as the only warning for Kitty the hoverboard is suddenly banking back towards the fight. He can feel her hands in his pockets and a smirk comes over him for just a moment. "I knew you liked me." He drawls as they speed right back towards danger. He's concentrating on piloting right now, though he does manage to fly low enough to boot one of the Saskarians in the head. "SHOP SHOOTING MY FRIENDS!" He calls as he buzzes by. "ALSO NICE THROW ROGUE!" He adds as he zips onwards towards the target. In between laser fire and thrown boulders. Closing in on the ship. The faceplate deactivates as he slams on the break to send the hoverboard into a drift turn across the sky.

Looking behind him he flashes Kitty a wild grin. Which might mean 'Are you ready?!' and might mean 'Isn't this awesome?!'

It's hard to tell which.

What is obvious is when he slips one arm around her and gives her a quick peck on the lips. "For luck!"

Then he shoves her. Throws her really, slinging the X-woman right towards the overloading canon.

…this might actually be good for her. Since the screeching noise slams into his eardrums as just that moment, causing him to lurch forwards and slam on the gas. The little hoverboard is very responsive. Off it zips, responding to the pained riders commands…and slams into a tree.

There is an explosion of parts as it comes apart and Star-lord goes sailing though the air to slam into a second tree.

…this is what is called instant karma.


ROCKET LAAAUNCH!!

The whoop the smallest Guardian gives as he's hurled by Groot is quickly followed by a heartful "DIE YOU —" Explosions. Ear-splitting shrieks. Chaos, sweet, /sweet/ chaos.

Rocket slams into one of the airborne Saskarians rifle-first, sending the unfortunate soul flying, trailing smoke after him as he did meet the business end of that weapon, and the raccoon's got an itchy trigger finger. Clinging to his new toy, Rocket levels the hoverboard just in time as one of the Saska-guys actually thinks to use the big guns. Er, gun. He'd almost appreciate it, except for the fact that said big gun is aiming at everything in the air- him included! "SH-!!!" He dives, hunkering low as he keeps a hand on his rifle and the other gripping the board, maneuvering it out of range— and then there's a new noise, that of which Rocket quickly identifies its source as he glances over to see that a boulder's put a stop to the ship's cannon. Opportunity knocks?

"Oh yeah!" he shouts, turning his hoverboard for the ship. Tech, sweet tech!


Ant-Man and Ant-Honey disable the gun, which immediately powers it down, preventing one potential very large explosion.

As Rogue gleefully flings rocks at the ship, other systems start to implode or destabilize or malfunction. The little wannabe lawyer alien whips around the interior of the ship and finally gets knocked out, unable to press any buttons which might help.

But there's a Kitty-Peter combo to the rescue; she's able to fly through the ship and short-circuit it, cutting all the power altogether. It's now a dead hunk of metal with lots and lots of salvageable tech.

And as efforts from Groot, Rocket, and Extra reduce 12 down to 6, the other 6 decide to take advantage of the momentary distraction and/or incapacitation of various warriors and get the Hell out of dodge. They abandon everything, racing like hell into the forest, soon disappearing from view. A few aliens on Earth isn't a huge deal, right?

Once again, a good news bad news scenario. Good news…there's a lot of salvageable tech down there, despite Rogue and her boulders. The thing will never fly again thanks to the destruction of several key systems, but that doesn't mean there are not plenty of toys to play with.

Gain!

Tally of costs:

A slow-burning forest, not entirely quenched by the snow, that will probably draw helicopters, law enforcement professionals and reporters at any moment. Various blackened, cracked, shot, damaged and destroyed trees, some reduced mostly to sad splinters. A rockslide, which goes barreling down in Rogue's wake. It doesn't hurt anyone other than probably Bambi and all his kids right around the time when he was just starting to find happiness in his life again after the horrible and traumatic events of his childhood, documented in the movie by the same name…or at least some very similar deer situation.

But for the most part, a win, if they can do something with their prize and keep moving before people who would be all too eager to smear their names and try to get them thrown on the Raft show up.


Extra, robot ninja, looks up. There are boulders. It's power reserves in this dimension, while endless in length, are not in breadth. The momentum it siphons from the Machine Realm flares at it's core when a fragment of Rogue's onslaught slams into it's deflecting blade, and while it is sent careening sidelong, it drains it's ability to stop further attack.

It turns then, looking at the downed Six, then back up at the ship as it shudders and quakes, and then back at Six again.

It does not know much about this world, nor has it sampled it's media, except on very few occasions, always by accident. But it does remember the selfless acts of this world's champions. Of it's new friends. And of one hero in particular, who it recently saw shield a child with it's body.

"Supormahn."

It turns and dives over Six to cover her from whatever terrible thing comes next - trusting in the expertise of their Never Wrong Supreme Leader, Peter Quill, to ensorcell this problem into submission with his pelvic might.

And Rocket, Strategist Supreme, who clearly abhors violence but does what he must, reluctantly, to prove that small creatures are not useless.

And Groot, the spiritual leader of their clan, who always knows exactly the right thing to say in times like these, times of crisis. Perhaps, it will hear his calming voice before the end. It only regrets, as it emulates the world's greatest champion, that it did not get to properly meet all the other heroes here today.


Somewhere in the bushes, a feeble hand emerges from underneath a branch. "Mou yadaaaaaaa," Hikari Hataori whines, flopped out like a limp noodle. There's gross icky stuff in her hair and her ears might be bleeding and she bit her tongue.

Everything is terrible forever!!!!

She may need a minute.


"I am Groot!"

Yes, he understands Scott, but unfortunately this is the only response he has for every little thing said. It's even more of a downside long after he has tossed his fuzzy translator friend into the fray.

And then things happen some more. A /whole/ lot more. As Scott gets blindsided by other problems, Groot barely manages to scrap at the last few unfortunate Saskarians before the handful of them left alive decide to bolt. It's here that he's able to catch a glimpse of the robot's heroic sacrifice.

It was indeed a great moment in film history put to good use.

Devastated by the loss (and maybe sidetracked by everything else once again), the tree tries to go forward, but instead veers left to aid Ribbon who's understandably feeling all kinds of ew right now. He frowns, crouching his large size down next to her, holding out a hand her way. "I am Groot?" Apparently the gross stuff doesn't faze him.


Well, somehow Scott helped to save the day, even though he's not a hundred percent sure what he did other than punch a few weird aliens. He's wandering the guts of the derelict ship at the moment, marveling at some the weird and esoteric circuitry these aliens have going on. "Huh, what's that?" He cocks his head to the side, as if listening to a voice only he can hear, "This thing?" He plucks a weird alien doodad from it's brother and sisters, staring at it quizzically before tucking it away in a side pocket, "Just what you need…that seems a little to convenient." Oh well, victors, spoils and all that.

Moments later after making his way outside, Scott re-sized himself and waves to the attackers, "Hey everyone! I'm uh, Ant-Man! I think this was a really great team effort so I, you know, just wanna say i'm feeling very positive about the whole thing! Really glad to meet you all. Tell your friends!"

"Oh, except the fire!" He throws up his hands, "I do /not/ feel good about that at all. And uh, let me be clear for both the cops and Treebeard over there-I had nothing to do with that!"


Rogue watches a few of the nerds run into the woods and it makes her sigh, she stopped throwing rocks when their space car seemed broken enough… "Gonna have t'round them ones up late'ah. Have a bit of'a rodeo of sorts, I guess." She said quietly to herself.

She was a good fifty yards from anyone else, but she could see some of the 'good guys' milling about with one another. She stepped around a small rock and lowered herself down into a seated position on it, throwing the tail of her leather jacket out to drape over the back of the rock…

Rogue pulled a cigarette out of her leather trenchcoat and lit it with a handgun-shaped lighter that she kept inside one of the many interior pockets.

"Welcome to Earf." She muttered around the cigarette while taking a drag off of it.


Unfortunately for Peter, he is not usually that lucky. However, this may just be the day. After all, she's about to leap off of a hoverboard and through an alien ship in an attempt to short circuit it. With Rogue throwing boulders and others exploding things, it's Kitty's turn to show what she can do with a mostly defensive mutant ability. The chaos around her narrows to a single point as she prepares to launch herself forward with what she will assume is a shove from Peter.

What she was not expecting was to instead be pulled backward into a quick kiss before that backward momentum is then used to launch her forward. Kitty gives Peter a truly surprised look that he may be able to cherish for awhile until it's turned and she's launched toward the ship and weapon. Her face turns and while he cannot see it, she is now focused on the target. She tucks herself in the downward descent, only to then spread out like a flying squirrel when she reaches the ship, attempting to phase as much of herself as she can through ship as she makes her way through it. The simple mass slows her descent and as soon as she's clear, she balls herself up again, using her powers in an attempt to crash aagainst the ground without much harm. There will be some very purple bruises later, but nothing is broken. She comes to a stop in a bit of a pile. After a few moments, she pulls herself up and glances up to see Rogue not too far from her.

"…I thought we talked about your not smoking…" she says after a cough.


Right. That just sucked.

Slowly from the bushes rises Peter Quill. He managed to get his armor back up before he slammed into the tree. So nothing is broken. Beyond his pride and his hoverboard.

Anyway. Nobody saw that crash. So its fine. Right? Yeah. Its totally fine. NO ONE SAW THAT! Its great.

Slowly turns his attention towards the combat zone. Glancing around at the damage. The fires. The bodies. The ordinace damage and laser burns. He nods to himself.

"Well. That went well!"

Really? For them? It did!

"Right. So. Groot is Ribbon ok over there?" He can see her arm. Yeah she's fine! "And Rocket…" Rocket is already headed for the Saskarian ship. "…right take what you can grab!" He's on it. He can trust that.

Brushing leaves out of his hair he just grins, holstering his pistols as he looks up. "Hrmmm…don't have that long before other people show up. And we totally shouldn't be here when they get here. The'll be questions." A pause. "I hate questions."

He really does.

He would say more but not ten feet away pops up SOME GUY IN A SUIT. There is a pause as Peter stares towards Scott, then just shrugs. "Terrans man. They are so weird." A pause. "Er thanks for the help anyway and yeah. Totally not gonna be around here to talk to the cops." Cause thats just awkward. "And that's Groot."

He draws in a deep breath before grinning over towards Rogue. "Thanks for the assist there Two-tone. You really are full of all kinds of surprises!" A pause. "Think ya can do us one more tiny favor? Ships not gonna fly anymore. We move it uh…further away from people!" And where SHIELD isn't gonna land. "…and my expert engineer here…" He gestures towards where Rocket is no doubt busy looting. "…can make sure its not a problem anymore. We can get everyone outta here at once, since some of em might have trouble walking." A glance towards Extra and Six. "And make sure no one gets hurt! Easy!"

As for Kitty? Yes. He's totally cherishing that look. Possibly forever.

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