Pawns out of the Dead

April 02, 2017:

Members of the Justice League, and Wonder Girl, attempt to keep an army of undead from destroying downtown Manhattan.

Lower Manhattan

The southern end of the island of Manhattan is the seat of Wall Street and City Hall. Bounded by the Hudson on the west, the East River on the east, and the harbor to the south, it's a veritable mosaic of smaller, storied neighborhoods that fill in the patchwork south of 14th street. From the arts-friendly, boutique-laden, gentrified areas of Greenwich Village, SoHo, and TriBeCa, to the tenement dwelling, immigrant-filled, working class districts in the Lower East Side, Bowery, Little Italy, Lower Manhattan is one of the most diverse places in the city. Just about anything can be found here, and often is.

Characters

NPCs: Evil titans and hordes of undead warriors

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Even on a Sunday evening, Manhattan doesn't sleep. Sure, the stores close marginally earlier than anytime else in the city, but the restaurants and bars are still open for business. And there are always other things to do, too.

All of which means the city is still full of people out and about, instead of safely tucked away in their homes.

The screaming starts outside a nightclub down by the water. At first, it's largely ignored, thanks to the noise of the music itself. It's when the darkness descends, shorting out electricity in the area and rendering most communication systems inoperable, that people really begin to take notice. (Nothing pisses off today's generation faster than a dead cellphone.)

So, the screaming is followed by darkness (which causes more screaming), the darkness by smoke and fire (which both alleviates and confounds the darkness), and the smoke and fire by blood and, perhaps most chilling to those that recognize it, the sound of marching hobnailed footsteps on concrete and asphalt.

Up the streets of the city, from club district to the south, march squadrons of dead warriors. Some are mere skeletal/mummified remains of Greek and Roman soldiers from antiquity. Others are more recent, the tattered remains of modern soldiers from WW2 to the present day conficts in the Middle East. And there are warriors from every era in between. Where they have come from is as yet undetermined. That they are an invading army of conquest, however, is undisputable. And people are dying as a result.

***

Sunday evening, Barry Allen was in his apartment, watching television and plugging at some of the information on the Mists as he's getting together the list of people to present to T'Challa for the Wakanda meeting. That is until the power goes out. And there's a furstrated noise as he brings up his phone to call in the power outage.

That is until he notices the first videoes going up on Live Stream. Of course, they're titled things like 'Weird Costume Party' or 'Zombie Walk??' Then it becomes more.. attention getting as some poor guy is taken out by an undead Roman. This is Lara Croft's fault - surely, somehow, it's her fault. Darn archeologists.

In an instant, he's gone from the apartment, the speedster's suit kicked from its ring's holding space as he is almost immediately into it as he races from his place in Queens towards Manhattan, cutting inbetween traffic, a blur of red with yellow lightning contrails trailing behind him as he tries to get around the crowd and eventually has to run up the side of a building to get to the top of it and look down upon the advancing 'Army'. "Alright.. so.. the first person that mentions that true love's first kiss breaks the curse will get a punch.. at Mach 2."

***

For people like Cassie Sandsmark, Sunday evening is a time for… studying! She just so happens to be hanging around in some tiny coffee shop with an incredibly bored stare affixed upon one of her language books when all of a sudden the lights go out.

Oh.. Well. That's new.

And yet she can't really take it as an acceptable reason to shirk her studies. She quickly stuffs her book into the bag, weaves her way to the entrance, then swings the door open in time to catch one of the skeletal soldiers hobeling along- which comes to a stop and looks her right in the eyes. "…."

She quickly slams the door shut, then presses her back to it. "Ok! … Rear exit."

***

At Umoja Tower, Ozymandias was prepared to sit down in front of his harp to play some music, when he senses the presence of malevolent supernatural forces close by. Ozymandias lets out a frustrated sigh and quickly moves upstairs to get his costumes and weapons. As he puts on his costumes and weapons, he turns on his communication systems to find out the exact location of the threat.

Ozymandias leaves his tower via his secret entrance and superspeeds towards the location which is not too far from Umoja Tower. Upon arriving on the scene, Ozymandias takes a step back in surprise not because of the threat, but that he has worn a lot of the uniforms that are present over his lifetime. Ozymandias lets out a couple of Kushite curses which basically translates to him being well too old to for this sh*t. Ozymandias pulls out his shield and tries to help shepherd the civilians away from the army before he takes a more offensive approach.

***

Sometimes the oddest things get our attention. Like an EM blackout in the heart of the busiest and most populous district of the busiest and most populous city on the eastern coast of the United States.

OK, OK. Normal people wouldn't really twig to that. But a flying Captain Marvel would. Carol has been all over the place today, flying to and fro for the last few days soaking up all of the energy she could to promote the healing required to get her body repaired. It's not every day she takes a Promethium slug through the upper abdomen.

Finally feeling better, no longer plagued by pain in her gut and flashes from the fight, Captain Marvel is taking a patrol route over New York City when she notices the dimming of lights and the absence of radio signals in an area of Manhattan. She comms in to the League, and then flies towards the heart of that trouble as quickly as possible without shattering windows.

"Control, this is Marvel. I have a potential situation to the western edge of Midtown in Manhattan. Most all EM signals in the area are dead, and lights are failing. I'm heading in, but may lost contact."

Those may be the last words heard from Captain Marvel on the subject.

***

The clubs were hopping, and Agents never sleep, despite the turmoil of the world, things have dollar signs, peope have them, and Starfire is on cntract even if a governmental influence tied to two agencies. One government, and one tied.

Where as the rest of the heroes were doing their…. thing… Starfire was in one of the clubs, a dress worn in her signature purple, silver, strips and straps interrupted by a veil of black that still leaves skin seen beneath. Only much for cover beneath the solid hues of her culture and knowing…

Heeled boots match in paint over calves, lifting her height an additional 4 inches, but meshed together on outer calves and thighs to where skirt will eventually pick up beneath.

Flashing lights ricochet across walls, making the mesh that is near-translucent on dress react and glow in the streaks of lasers… But when it all goes dark, it harbors absorbed faux illumination, just like the sheer gloss upon her lips, but not like that which suddenly pulses along the lengths of comet-heated lengths of tresses. Nor tips pf fingers. (NOT Nailpolish!)

No more light but then screams erupt and that figure that could have passed for human rises above it all, and a perse glow illuminates the club, people seeking exits find one as she blasts it open and into the streets of New York!

***

Diana isn't far from the trouble, having been consulting with a scientist friend in downtown Manhattan. As she walks out onto the streets, the street lights fail, causing traffic accidents as the traffic lamps go out as well. She is moving to help crash victims when Carol's call comes over comms — though the only reason she hears it is because the Lansinar crystal she carries can supercede the magical darkness that has rendered most modern, Earth-based technology useless.

Upon seeing the victims of the crash liberated from their vehicles, she rises up into the air, homing in on the edges of the disturbance.

The undead warriors are methodical and deadly. They come from all races and eras, wearing uniforms from across the ages. Notably, their ranks are punctuated by fallen metas from various eras and cultures — including the Amazons and other such cultures.

They are not killing indiscriminately, it might be noted. Rather, they are killing the defiant or those that are too slow to obey. Indeed, they break storefront windows and crash in doors wherever they can, entering and dragging people hiding inside out into the streets. The people are then herded north toward Union Square where four towering figures stand guard over them. The figures are all about the same height as the Statue of Liberty out in the harbour. They all have multiple heads and at least 100 arms — most of them holding weapons or shields of some sort. Their faces are fierce, ugly, and filled with rage and power. Their eyes glow red. And to consider them slow and stupid is to make a grave, grave error by seriously underestimating them.

***

"So, Barry, an undead army is invading. What do you do?" Flash asks himself from where he's standing, watching the herding of humanity, not sure what he can do about it. As the march carries on, the speedster frowns, and finally notices the small marks of light that come from other direction of other arriving heroes.

Will you pretend with me,
What we once were, we will return?
Sky, earth and in-between,
Come watch with me, as our world burns.

Reaching up to tap the small radio in his ear, Flash transmits. »Flash here, anyone else out for the running of the zombies?« he asks, as he prepares to take off running. »They seem to be heading towards Union Square, anyone got eyes on where they're being herded?« With that, he's already on the run, starting to run, as he past a door just as it explodes outwards and Barry has to move away from the explosion as Starfire emerges from the blast.. looking Club ready. "Uh. Hey." the speedster manages, cheeks as red as his suit for a moment. "They tell you your ID's no good?" he quips as he gestures north. "Take to the skies, see what's going on at the Square. I'm going to try to herd the herders!" he calls out as he breaks his path to continue to run, starting to circle around buildings to clear them out, before he ends up yanking on the door that Cassie's holding closed. "Oh for crying out loud.." he murmurs, pushing on it hard to try to open it so that he can make sure there's noone on the other side.

***

Tim warned her about this; he tried to warn her.. He said that things are getting crazy and Cassie's finding out first hand that he was right. But she didn't think crazy meant 'Michael Jackson's Thriller went horribly, horribly wrong!'. As she's thinking about where to get changed, the two employees that were on shift took it upon themselves to go racing out of the back room. How convenient! And so she fumbles to get her disguise on when the door gets rattled harder than before.

Needless to say, it's difficult to change when the undead are trying to bust in, so new plan. She takes the slight pause to hop forward, then once the door swings open, "HOUSECLEANING!" The Flash has to deal with a brunette wigged, goggles-girl adorn in an oversized sweater and jeans launching a high kick toward his head.

***

After shielded some civilians to allow them enough time to escape, Ozymandias pulls out his Iklwa and bangs on his Zulu styled shield and lets out a war cry. He begins attacking members of the horde changing his Iklwa into mystical version of himself to attack the monsters. There is also a mixture of relaxation and ecstasy that washes over Ozymandias,, when the battle is actually engage. He quips at one of the Roman Soldier' armor and says, "Didn't I kill you at the Battle of Adwa?" Ozymandias blocks the dead soldiers take and buries his mystical energy weapon into his chest. "Well, allow me to correct my error."

After this soldier falls, Ozymandias realizes that he is not making a quick enough dent in the horde, so he quickly sheathes his Ilkwa and shield. Ozymandias calls upon the powers granted to him by Ma'at's boon and unleashes a mystical blast that blasts all the horde in front are six feet in front of him.

***

With no further comms traffic coming in, Captain Marvel has to direct herself. She doesn't even know several of her teammates are in the midst of all of this, and they can't coordinate very well. The only good thing is that few can miss Carol's inbound flight trail; that golden halo glow of hers is relatively distinctive, and doesn't give in to the miasma of darkness; white holes are like that.

"Head for the subways!" Captain Marvel shouts as she streaks overhead of the civilians being herded, and then starts strafing the undead hordes doing the herding, blasting them apart. Photonic bursts join flying fists and crushing heels, at least until one of the undead metas shows up, lion-motif armored suit and all. "SHouldn't you be in the — hungh!" Carol starts to quip, as she takes a tail-launched grenade to the face. His aim wasn't that good three days ago. Jerk.

***

People flood from the club she was within into the streets to meet the hoarde, in which eyes that seemed "normal" come to a full pupiless emerald with the narrow, the perse glow omitting in bursts that leave cankers in the sidewalks and paths for the civilians to flee through while she makes a path!

There is no death or none sought just yet as she only blasts bodies back and away in clatters of ancient armor, but along the cusp of ear her JLA comm blinks and traces a path over the shell in rapid blinks of signs of communication and feedback comes in a shrill cry!

Flash is noted in approach, head tilting, feline in manner upon his appearance and words that garner a nod of response and the comm triggered on.

«Union Square!»

«Adwa..»

«Head for..Subways!»

It all comes in broken but together enough as Kori rises above into the sky like a Star, that attire going relativelt Sailor Moon, but literally it burns away as that of Tamaranean enforcement even in scarcity burns away the humanityof Agent-awarded to leave strips of metallic purle across tawny flesh…

Building up the reserved heat of Earth's Sun, Star decends and when Captain Marvel is met with a Lion, her form descends upon him, scraping a furrow into concrete as she drags him back and away in a barrel roll with a comet's trail of heat behind her.

"Starfire in! I have entries covered! Ozy. Cap. Flash…." Another or 2 (with Cass and Di??)

"Go!" Night is no longer so dark around them or the hoardes!

***

Diana remains high above the fray, trying to make sense of the movement. She catches sight of yellow lightning streaking along the ground, and, of course, the brilliant, photonic glow of Captain Marvel. Shortly thereafter, Oz's efforts become evident to her, as well, as the mystical signature rises up from the sweep of battle. Justice League, all, she wills the Lansinar to forge a connection between her and the Watchtower to get something of a space-eyes view of the situation. The Watchtower is able to confirm the presence of each of the JL members in the area — including Kori. It cannot, however, pick out Cassie. Nevertheless, this allows Diana to will the Lansinar to create contact between the JL members. Unfortunately, she doesn't actually know… or perhaps recognize… Cassie down there. And wouldn't realize the girl was attacking Barry from where she's at, anyway.

"Wonder Woman, here," she says, the Lansinar activating JL comms easily enough. "I have eyes in the sky. The catalyst point is to the south, near the harbor. But the end point appears to be Union Square. Captain Marvel, proceed to the square and report. I'm going to the catalyst point to see what started this. Flash, Starfire, Ozymandias, try to contain the situation as best you can while we figure out what more we're facing." Then, more generally, through the Watchtower, she adds, "If there are any other League members in range… we're going to need reinforcements."

Because every army has a general. Especially an undead one.

***

As he swings open the door, Flash finds himself facing a brunette with a foot aimed directly at his head. It's only a quick movement that keeps his head from getting snapped off by not-Cassie as he manages to catch it to his side and is slammed against the opposing wall. Slumping to the floor for a moment, he gwars in pain, pretty zombie like, until !Cassie moves to attack him and finish him off and he holds up his hands. "Hey, hey, friendly!" he manages to squeak, hopefully before his head gets punched off. "Uh, if you're a super, the trouble's outside. Wonder Woman, Starfire, Captain Marvel.. you know, heavy hitters. Just trying to help down here!" he manages.

Please no punching, Cassie. Ow.

***

Well, it certainly wasn't the perfect blow, but Cassie can't help but grin at the sight of the red zombie reeling back from her attack, then she rushes forward to finish the job with a good punch across the jaw- At least that was the plan until he declares himself friendly which stops her fist in mid-strike. Her eyes go wide, then.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!?"

"You're *The Flash*! I kicked 'The Flash'!" she yells completely over his explaination over the sitation. But her excited expression quickly shifts into that in horror. "I… I just kicked *the Flash*! Oh no.. No no no oh m- I am *so* sorry! That- There was this thing at the door, it wasn't you, I swear it wasn't"

"There was this zombie thing, in fact there are a ton of them, it was at the door! I just- I am *so* *so* *so* sorry!"

***

"Everyone stay alert. There are metahuman warriors in this undead horde." Carol offers, when the Wonder Woman's orders come in. "I'm on my way to Union Square. Pulling out now." Communication given, Captain Marvel lifts off, twisting around to slam her glowing fists through the chest of the lion-armored terrorist's corpse, ripping his mostly-cleaved skull off his shoulders before flying away, heading towards Union Square and …

"OK. Four tangos, tall as football fields are long. Hundreds of arms, each with various weapons. They seem to be running the show, four corners of the square." Captain Marvel reports. "Engaging." Photonic blasts start, followed by a high-speed punching run. She's trying to stay aware of what these figures are doing to the hordes of citizens that have been driven into the square, but she's likely to lose some of that awareness when she gets swatted out of the sky and bounced off the concrete like a glowing basketball.

***

"As you command, Kandake." Ozymandias responds back to Wonder Woman as another mystical azure colored lighting unleashes from his path carving down more of the undead from him. A smirk appears on his face as he sees some soldiers trying to flank him, Ozymandias laughs. "Come on, that was even an intelligent strategy, when I was a 16 year old. Ozymandias flips on top of the car and fires some more energy blast down at the undead soldiers that were flanking him. He turns around to prepare another blast, when an undead meta with super strength throws Ozymandias against the wall. Before the undead meta can bring down his fist on Ozymandias, Ozmandias has recovered and downs him a mystical blast, then reengages other members of the horde.

***

Power Girl replies on comms. "Reinforcements in route! I should be on scene well…now!" Since she's starting from New York, and it doesn't take her long to fly out. That's A LOT of Zombies. Individually, not a problem. But that's a lot. The bigger concern for her, though, is the giant figures out in the harbor. She's used to being one of the people that gets pointed at the big targets, since…well…Kryptonian. "What in the heck ARE these things?" She punches her speed up to full, and will basically do the classic flying-brick intro: soar in and try a good old superpowered right cross at one of those things.

***

As one of the people being lead finds himself pushed around by a civil war veteran in dull grey rags left hanging in taters he finally decides enough is enough. Planting his feet on the spot he refuses to move, turning around to look the festering creature right in the eyes. Planting his feet hard onto the ground he refuses to budge another step. Sensing the disobedience the shambling soldier pulls back his bayonet tipped musket back, before slamming it forward with a great thrust!

Yet instead of hitting the supple flesh of an unarmed teen it the bayonet finds itself bent off to one side of a bright red S on a yellow diamond. "You know, it's rude to poke people." Confused the zombie looks upward only to see a fist come flying in its direction. Knocked backwards the zombie spins end over end, gun going wide, at the might of SUPERMAN! THE MAN OF STEEL!

Striking a heroic pose Superman allows for the young man to make a run for it, the hypersonic CRACK of his slowdown and the gust of wind just now flowing behind him.

As Superman slowly floats up into the air hair he calls out in a booming voice, and over coms. "Did someone call for a Superman?" His confidence beaming out as the light shines off of unnaturally white teeth, the man of steel already zooming off from his point of contact fist outstretched as he beelines for one of the gargantuan gangrenous giants.

***

"Yeah.. I'm Flash.. who are you? And if you hit as hard as I think you can.." Flash says as he gets to his feet, sizing the young woman up. "They can really use your help in Union Square." With that, he's already taking off to continue to try to help rescue civilians, snagging a person up one or two at a time, carrying them away and continuing the process. This is going to take a while, it seems as he moves to and fro.

The giants in Union Square are, to those with a fair working knowledge of classical antiquity, Titans known as Hecatoncheires — the 'Hundred-Handed'. They have multiple heads, red glowing eyes, and at least 100 arms. Each pair of arms holds either a dual-wield martial weapon or a single-wield weapon and a shield in various configurations. They wear armour reminiscent of Ancient Greece, perhaps unsurprisingly. They are big. They are strong. They are fast. They are smart.

***

Superflyingkryptonian bricks and other superflyingcosmicalien bricks, however, are typically enough to get the attention of most superpowered whatsits at any size. The Hecatoncheires are no exception.

The giant Carol faces calls himself Kottos. He is skilled at martial arts, particularly at punching and striking. So, he carries less sharp weapons than the others and more blunted weapons. He raises several shields to counter her blazing attack, which means, yes, she probably does bounce off like a basket ball. And she can be assured he turns to see if she needs further dribbling and dunking before she's out.

The monster Power Girl slams into calls himself Gyges. He is longer of limb than his brothers, and inclined to sharp and curving weaponry, including hooks on chains, flails, and curved blades like scimitars and war scythes. One of his heads snaps back as the Kryptonian woman slams into it and he lets out a powerful roar, swiping out with several other hands and weapons to intercept her.

The monster Kal-L contends against is called Briareos. He is stronger than the others, though not the strongest of the four. His accoutrements favour his strength, great double-handed weapons made for smashing and slashing, heavy and weighted. These will hurt if they impact. He swings at the incoming blue and red streak with several arms, as if Superman were an incoming pitch and he a giant version of Mike Trout.

"Acknowledged," Diana says in response to both Carol and Power Girl. An odd, wry smile touches her lips at Kal-L's grandstanding. "Do what you can to contain the situation in the square."

Meanwhile, she lands near the source of the original disturbance, the point from which the darkness swells. "Ozymandias," she says via Lansinar-enhanced comms, "I think I need your aid. I am where the magic began."

She leaves Flash to do what he does best — taking care of the man on the street. And she has yet to make Cassie's acquaintance. So, she cannot yet factor the girl into her plans. But there are hordes of reanimated warriors in need of corralling, slaying, or otherwise subduing, and thousands of civilians in need of rescuing… not to mention the fact that there are now undead warriors creating pens around the civilians they are funnelling into Union Square park.

***

Cassie nibbles her lower lip and pokes her pointer fingers together as if expecting a scolding, or some sort of jab at her wrecklessness, but what she does actually get, a relieved sigh is given in return, followed by a sudden jump in her heartbeat at his question. "O- Oh! I'm, uh, I'm Wonder Girl, and.. Union Square. Yes-"

ZOOSH. There he goes.

"… sir..?" Her spirits are once more and she races out of the building sans sweater and backpack, right on time to catch sight of the chaos (sort of) going on at the park. ".. What in the world are they doing?" In the blink of an eye she flies forward to interfere.

***

As Ozymandias sees Flash continue to move civilians away from harm, Ozymandias decides to press forward into the never ending horde. "How many times in f*ckin life do I have to face hordes!" Ozymandais fires another mystical blast into a group of soldiers. Ozymandias quickly flips over a car to take cover from some of the soldiers that starting firing on him. He quickly returns fire eliminating them.

"Coming, Kandake!" Ozymandias quickly responds back to Wonder Women as he emerges from the battle. He raises his grappling hook in the air, so he can escape the immediate area. As he begins to lift off the ground, he drops some concussive bombs down upon the horde. He makes sure no civilians are in the area and detonates them as flies off in the air. Ozymandias travels around on the roof tops as he makes his way to Wonder Woman's location.

***

Batted to the ground and then given an extra thump for good measure, Captain Marvel is bruised and a little bloodied; that seems to be her normal state of being of late, though at least she has been punched clean through yet today. It does give Carol the chance to observe more closely the goings on at ground level, which she then reports back, deciding they are important.

"Diana, it looks like they're riding herd for some big ritual. There are robed cultists down in the square, and the undead are not just herding people in, but forcing them to stand on specific spots. We could probably use someone down here who knows a little about magic, if you can find 'em." Carol is unaware that Ozymandias is in the mix, she's leaving assignments to the Princess in the Sky.

Meanwhile, Princess Sparklefists has her assignment, and Carol sets about it. "Re-engaging." Those are the last words that come from Captain Marvel, as she makes up her mind and moves in, launching from the ground and flying a wide, looping pattern as she approaches Kottos. As big as he and his brothers may be, with hundreds of hands and multiple heads, engaging them at their higher altitudes seems counter-productive; her current bruises put paid to that idea. Instead, Carol Danvers aims low - ankle low, in fact - and comes in hot, hammering one ankle with all the might and force she can put behind it.

Up comes Krottos' foot, and Captain Marvel takes advantage, diving under that foot and then pushing up, blasting with light and heat as she exerts all the strength and power she can muster. It's close to the very limits of her unaugmented power, but Carol manages to lift the creature up off the ground, and she keeps up the flight, pushing furiously into the sky and towards the East River. It's not too far.

Then the light of Captain Marvel's golden glowing con trail disappears, as the giant himself falls from the sky into the frigid, putrid waters of the river.

And there is no sign of a signal from Captain Marvel. No light in the darkness. No glint in the murky waters.

***

While others aim for the 'Big Guns' or keep their eyes upon them, there is time for the 'Levelers'.

"Starfire, once more, reporting, clearing a path…" Again. Though she raps avidly at the comm unit to make sure it reads in despite the small light display that contours the shell of her ear. One passes in elacritic speed and another comes behind him from the building, Cassie is eyed…. Up-downed, rather, in a fashion that brings a brow aloft and then the other woman gets a nod and a gesture. "Let's do it, then!" Starfire states to Wonder Girl, turning and leaving a blazing path for her that is like parting a wave among the onslought, and in the interim padestrian is pried from one side ot a safer partition until she lands, not far from Ozymandias with a swirl of that comet's flame as she spins in a manner akin to her own stance of defense-to-offense.

"I hear static and saw another flame go out… What is the status of the rest?" But with every perry, every retort, the heat grows and glows brighter.

***

Power Girl does what she can to dodge Gyges' attacks. Normally, dodging's pretty easy when you have superspeed. But a /hundred/ arms is a lot. She zips this way and that, like an annoying gnat in size, managing to dodge…to her credit, quite a few attacks. But that's when one of the flails catches her, and the blonde powerhouse gets slammed down to the street…down /through/ the street…and into the sewers below. Ow.

Flying towards the massive musclebound monster Superman is about to make contact with the brunt of his fist before the blade comes swinging to meet him. Swooping down at the last moment he manages to throw a bit of a curve ball, just barely avoiding his cape getting cought on the massive two handed sword.

"Strike one." He calls out buzzing around for another pass needing that speed to really make the impact as his first strike proves a bust. A quick burst of red hot laser-beem eyes pelts into the side of the beast superman slamming a turn in his trajectory sending that speeding streak of red and blue back around for another pass.

In that swing back around his barely manages a close shave the blade passing just millimeters from his neck. Speaking into his own com he adds. "Well whatever these Goliath's are planning, we can't let them get away with it." A light pause as he barrels just bellow a hand managing to almost plow right into it before pulling back up with such a collection of swords held by so many writhing limbs. "I'll take your lead Wonder W-" He pauses at the sight of Power girl being slammed into the ground. That sight gives him pause for just an instant, a moments post traumatic stress as his own expression drops to one of horror images flashing through his mind. "Kara!" He screams at the top of his lungs.

***

As Oz arrives, he finds Diana facing several well-armed Amazon corpses. "Sisters, please…" She pleads with them. She does not want to to kill them, even if they are already dead. They are guarding a dark cauldron from out of which the darkness clouds. Further out, away from the perimeter Diana has created, more warriors from out of the darkness and march out into the city. They have found the source of the warriors. There is a sigil, however, inscribed beneath the cauldron. And Diana recognizes it. Oz may, too. It is one of many symbols for Ares, the Warbringer, Deathbringer.

***

Carol disappears with Kotto over the river. The titan sinks beneath the waves, though the river is not nearly deep enough to hold him for very long, it holds him for now. The disappearance of the incandescent heroine is more troubling, though Diana remains largely unaware of it, given her position at the far end of the theatre of operations.

Gyges roars with triumph as his annoying fly of an opponent is apparently brought down. He does not register Kotto's failure to protect his feet, however, and thus does not know that he shouldn't count the Kryptonian out until he sees her dead or unconscious form for himself. Instead, he begins to move to close the gap in the circle Kotto's leaving created.

Briareos' shields glows with the impact of Superman's lasers. It's only when the man of steel screams, however, that he falters.

The city trembles with the sound from Superman's voice. Buildings sway and those not so well-made threaten to crack. Those already cracked from the battle crumble. All three of the remaining Hecatonchieres stagger due to the sonic earthquake that ensues. The people on the ground tumble into each other and even the cultists are thrown into momentary chaos — though the interruption only serves to spur them on to greater speed in the enactment of their ritual.

Starfire and Wonder Girl will doubtlessly hear the scream (as will Diana and Ozymandias). It echoes through the city. The zombie hordes are undeterred, however, save for when a blast of air from the north catches some of them and tosses them around a bit.

***

Wonder Girl wonders if these things are even capable of being knocked out now that she thinks about it, though the train of thought is distracted by her run-in with Starfire. The expression of surprise is clear on her face even with the goggles, though a smile is easily given following the other's apparent approval. "Okay!"

Without a second thought she follows along, and before she can ask about flames, her own flight path shaken by the scream. "Whoa!!"

***

Before Oz can speak, Superman scream echoes through the city. "That cannot be good." Ozymandas gaze falls on the sigil of the cauldron and then back to the undead Amazons. "This does not make any sense! It is a sigil of Ares. I saw in a.." Ozymandais quickly cuts himself off before he talks giving a dissertation about another moment of his past. "If you can keep the Amazons off of me, I think if I can destroy with a Ilkwa. It should destroy the magic.

***

The unknown suprheroine is watched, guarded carefuly…. Unknown!!

"Wonder Woman!" Pause. // Exhale… Exhale!!!//

"Ms. Marvel!" Even as they yell of Superman meets a richer scale of ICantFathomTheEarBleed!

Starfire is causing a zip-line of zig-zagging flae through the 'un dead before Wonder Girl until the scream stoppped them all, but Starfire… Is blazing a path for her fellow team-mateand once her feet hit the docks she is in a run laden by flame that is only extinguished when she dives into the waters after Carol and… through pipelines… Peej.

"I got them, get the girl tht was behind me connection! She needs backup!" And with a silent entry the murky waters of the Bay are breached by Starfire's figure.

***

Spinning around on the spot Superman speeds forward at full speed a crash of thunder echoing out as he rams full speed ahead throwing his head vision ahead as he slams into the shield. His fists go hard into the surface one after another putting more and more strength into each rapid fire blow.

The speed at which he fires off blasts is like a jackhammer on full blast he's not screaming anymore, but he's just throwing punch after punch speeding harder into the foe without a care for his personal safety. Each blow echoes out as he slams hard into its surface, expression hard as he takes out some very deep rooted anger at himself, at the universe, at everything he's lost.

***

"Do it," Diana says to Ozymandias, her shield unslung and her lasso in her hand. "I keep them occupied." She will not raise her sword against her sisters. Nevertheless, she will engage them, and she does, seeking to hold them back while the ancient hero wades in to destroy this first node of Ares' rising power.

As she engages, however, Diana's voice crackles over the Lansinar-enhanced comms. "What's going on out there?" Because all she knows is that Superman is screaming about Kara and Starfire has said something about a 'fire going out', which suggests to the Amazon that something might have happened to Captain Marvel. And there is simply nothing she can do to help any of them, right now. Not when she faces fighters as skilled and nearly as strong as she.

Nevertheless, she wills the Lansinar to find Starfire and has it work to understand just who the Tamaranean is referring to. Once it understands, it is able to touch Cassie's mind and draw her into the heroic communications. "What's your name, little sister?"

It's the last she can say before six of her undead sisters attack and she's having to move to defend and counter.

Kal-L's fury, however, is something to behold. And Briareos, strong as he is, is forced back by the raw power behind each hit. He staggers and his brothers Gyges and Titan, the fourth of their kin, move in to attempt to help. They are notably careful in their steps, however — careful not to disrupt the pattern below.

***

Meanwhile Wonder Girl is doing her best to make any sort of sense of the situation as she, just at that moment, realizes that the hordes are of differing cultures, many of them easy for her to recognize. Admittadly, though, she was distracted by the very impressive display of powers from Starfire. THough there is one question as she asks, almost sheepishly, ".. So, who are you talking to exactl- ACK."

Of course she recognizes the voice, and WG looks about from left to right with a confused expression at first, then raises her pointer and middle finger to her forehead as she blurts aloud, with flushed cheeks. "Hello? It's Wonder Girl! I mean, that's what I'm going by.. But I'd like to help!"

***

Starfire breaks the water and plunges below, only to lash a vambraced arm of violet against Carol's abdomen, tugging her upward…

A sudden blast and water erupts like a geyser of superheated, yet distilled, slapping her body in a rebound/bounce over the docks. Unconcious but with mpact a snall fish and water expels from her lungs…

Beneath a grate is wrenched free fter glowing red, a backlash of current casting Sta back before she plunges into the sewers and seeks another fallen form… One that caused…!!@3@!#5 $e

I'm the Firestarter!! Every kick of feet has armor evaporating until a deep breath is had and Kara's body is hefted from the depths lain in craters while she gasps for air and drips in tendrils of red that her hair forms around her figure…

But once surfaced, even below ground she has stores…. And her entire form knelt over Peej goes red. "…enough…is…enough… Wonder…."

..Fucking Instigator!!

Star is about to lose it, just as she has dredged up two of their comrades!

***

As Wonder Woman engages the undead Amazons, Ozymandias waits for his opens and pulls out his shield and Iklwa. As he charges towards the cauldron, he transform them into their mystical energy version of themselves. There is always some doubt in Ozymandias mind, and this time there is a bit of fear. Ozymandias realizes that their very few things more powerful and unstoppable in this universe than a War Got, let alone Ares.

Ozymandias mystically spear hits the sigil, while he raises his shield in preparation of any possible blowback.

***

Superman floats slightly back, his eyes glowing brighter. Those eyes of his glow brighter, and brighter, and brighter till a brilliant white hot ray of red light flows fourth from his eyes slamming into the creature in front of him. It grows stronger, and stronger as he focuses his full concentration on the creature.

Finally he closes his eyes his expression fades from the moment of pure hatred as he finds his center. Cracking out again he begins to fly high up into the sky. Faster and faster and faster as he travels out from earths atmosphere, simply floating there for a moment.

***

Briareos can't physically survive the heat as Superman pours all his rage and regret into the Hecatoncheir. His flesh melts and extends to his brethren, who also collaspe under the attack. There are screams beneath them, however, as molten drops of flesh splash onto the ground and sear unintended victims — some of whom are the cultists. The only bright side in that gruesome scenario is that the ritual is halted.

It is permanently halted, however, as Ozymandias destroys the sigil powering the ancient cauldron. There is an explosion from that, though his shield and Wonder Woman's own are proof enough against it.

With the destruction of the caudron, throughout the city, the undead crumble into dust and blow away on night winds. Nonetheless, another earth shattering scream can be heard from Union Square as the sacrifice the cultists were preparing is destroyed by the breaking of the undead barriers and the portal that was being formed is cut off. Whomever that was behind it is gone, but his cry of frustration lingers for a moment on the wind.

As her sisters crumble into dust, Wonder Woman inhales a slow breath and sets her features into a grimly relieved cast. "Who," she asks Ozymandias rhetorically, "would dare to try to raise Ares?"

There is no adequate answer he is likely to give, right now. So, instead, the Amazon straightens and places her shield away. "Anyone left out there to report? Wonder Girl? Are you okay?" Because she knows the Leaguers tend to survive the impossible. The youngster… she doesn't know.

***

Unfortunately Wonder Girl is in a situation where she… Really can't explain what in the world is going on. One moment there's utter chaos, the next there's new comrades, the next even *more* chaos, then finally everything seem to just.. Stop. In a rather gross manner, yes, but it stopped all the same-

And she only knows that because Wonder Girl surfaces from the water without even realizing she was knocked into it. The call of her name gets her to her senses in an instant as her heart starts to pound again, "Y- yes, I'm fine, don't have to worry about me!" she calls out as she looks around- Did she manage to lose track of Starfire before she got thrown by the geyser? Certainly seems it, and she sheepishly adds, ".. I've lost track of what's going on though."

***

The blast knocks Ozymandias off his feet and takes him a few moments to get his bearings. As he stands, heplaces his shield and ithaca away too. As Wonder Woman moves on to speak with Wonder Girl, Ozymandias kneels down on one knee and begins to sing an Kushite lamentation song for the honorable dead. Ozymandias finishes the song, "Those honorable soldiers that already passed on should not have been reanimated. Once honorable soldier's final watch is done, they should be allowed to rest."

Ozymandias lips twists into a dark frown as he thinks of his curse. "They deserved better. Why couldn't they just be a bunch of undead Hydra like before. Ozymandias shakes his head and goes to help the first responders that will probably be arring soon.

***

Like the geyser of shore that eft Carin upon the shore a mnhole erupts and through it….

Steam…

Just on the heels of Wonder Girl, who has Peej slid her direction.

"Calm him… Please…" A roll of eyes upward towards Superman. "I cannot… Should not…" «Wonder Woman, bring her to safety?» Star was almost sapped, but for good reason…

The perse glow that casts a silhouette around her figure suddenly expands. She knows nothing of the desire or callers of Ares, but the dead that are -un- here… Like a nuclear reaction flames erupt outward and trail her path towards theatmosphere.

"They will be given proper burial…. I promise." An accord from Starfire, the one who spent **days* in Africa and still has not scrubbed the silt from beneath nails to bury the "failed" Nu, or those others purged. It is part and parcel…

"I wish to know her name, she kicked Flash and followed through with us…" All Star has to say before that "light" dies out.

***

Floating there in the inky black void of space for what feels to him to be an eternity compressed, Superman is silent. Finally after that pause for thought he just opens his eyes to look towards the sun. In this vacuum of space the world was finally silent. No sound could come out this far.

He looks down towards his own hands towards the scar he'd made on his own palm as he uncurls his hand, thoughts of what he'd just done coming into mind. Theoretically he could stay up here for days if he needed, just ignore the world, let it tend to itself, and lock away the memories. He could enjoy the silence. But his conscience would never let him.

***

Diana can't help but agree with Ozymandias about that. "Some of them were Amazons," she notes. "If Ares is ultimately behind this… then, this is personal."

Not, mind, that she won't accept help. She's not that proud.

Nevertheless, the immediate threat is averted. Their teammates are retrieved, though their well-being is yet to be attended. But, it will be.

"Suffice it to say we've won," Diana tells Wonder Girl via the Lansinar connection. "Perhaps you'll do me the honour of meeting me at Union Station. We can find out together what has transpired." And she can better find out who this young 'wonder girl' is.

Finally she turns to Oz and gives him a weary smile. "Thank you, my friend, for your aid. We will speak on this again, soon, I am sure."

All that said, the Amazon looks about at the dust already blowing away and the shattered pieces of the cauldron. "Will you do me the favour of properly containing and disposing of this artefact? You are more familiar with such things than I." Though she'll help where she can. Giving him a nod of her head that is the equivalent of a bow of respect, she rises up into the air, and streaks north to meet her younger namesake and survey the damage at Union Station with her own eyes.

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