Terrigen Mists: Loose Cannon

April 22, 2017:

When Alfie disappears in Hoboken, he reappears in the DEO compound in Hell's Gate, Metropolis, a loose cannon with anger issues. The Justice League and friends must intervene.

D.E.O. Compound - Metropolis

Once the burb of Tealboro, it had gained its name from its pre-Revolutionary War participation in protests against the unfair tea taxes, when the citizens of the area burned down the warehouses of the East India Tea Company.

After the hurricane in 1950 the city purchased the ruined land and razed the site of Metropolis International Airport, which is one of the nation's three busiest airports. Now the Airport is rebuilt and the compound of the D.E.O., as well as branches off for areas of CADMUS Labs. Surrounding the building itself it looks more like a set up for a prison and what was once a runway is now laden in tents, and parking for many unmarked and 'unofficial' vehicles.

Around the compound neighborhoods of hotels, conference centers, condominiums and restaurants used to line the streets, but now they are reformed into housing and offices for the officers and technicians, also heavily guarded and secured. This leads to the dock where a ferry used to offer rides across the river into Downtown Metropolis, but now it bears a barge and several smaller military grade air boats as well as stealth jet boats.

Stretching out from the razed bustle though, the neighborhoods that had not been leveled by the concussive edges of the blast remain in falling disrepair, reminding where residents once had stood for many years and refused moving had been forced out.

Characters

NPCs: Alfie O'Meagan, John Doe, and Thomas Ludtwig

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Ripples in spacetime have been troubling the Northeast ever since the Justice League destroyed NuGenesis Biotechnia and Dr. Charles Andreas forced Alfie O'Meagan to teleport them and John Doe away from the beseiged instituted. The most recent epicentre was Hoboken, New Jersey. A scant time later, however, a larger energy ping than that seen over Hoboken appears centered on the DEO compound in Hell's Gate, Metropolis. Big enough, certainly, to register on Watchtower sensors… not to mention other space sensors out there. (Like, maybe Green Lantern rings or other technologies.)

Of course, the DEO would really rather 'heroes' didn't interfere in territory they've marked as their own. But, they may not get much choice in the matter. The effects on reality there are enough to slice and dice the small island with pockets of 'areas bustling with life as-it-should-have-been' vs. pockets of 'life-as-it-now-is' vs. pockets of 'life-as-it-should-never-be-anywhere-anyhow-no-matter-what'. The DEO are good at what they do. But, honestly? They're not actually prepared for the Mondo Pissed Off NuHuman Powder Keg that is Alfie O'Meagan, now that Andreas threat over him has been broken by the heroes that turned up in Hoboken.

A blue and green lightshow ignites the sky over the island, evidence of his presence, and parts of one reality mix with those of another, threatening to spill out over the rest of the city, if they're not contained soon.

***

When the energy signature pinged the Watchtower systems, Diana was already on hand. She sent an alert out to the rest of the League for aid, as well as to others who might be able to help — wide band across frequencies used by known allies. Then, she ziptubed down to the Hall and exploded out into the sky, heading straight for the trouble spot. Now, she hovers high overhead, assessing the situation to determine where the greatest threat may be.

***

For herself, the woman known as Captain Marvel works in Metropolis, not far at all from Hell's Gate, in the tower with the Globe suspended over it's rooftop. And when the alert goes out, Carol Danvers is in no way slow to respond. "Sorry, Jonah. I need to end this call. I'm needed elsewhere. If you need to finish this, call up Perry. He certainly has the higher authority, and I think he's still upstairs at this hour. See you." Up, up and awayyyyyyy!

***

Dropping in to a hover near Diana is Hal Jordan, green power ring lit up and radiant. The black domino mask not hiding the serious expression nor the fixed position of his lips.

"This is ugly. If this spreads… " A source needed to be found. He isn't seeing it yet and it is not registering. As much as it looks like he is waiting for Wonder Woman's go ahead he isn't, Green Lantern 2814.1 is very much the guy who will go his own route as soon as he can find it. Though, being a member of the Corps hes also learned the value of teamwork. The catch being in there somewhere.

"I'm going to focus on containment and crowd control." Hal declares while watching a bus grow legs and begin to skitter across a bridge below like some giant centipede. It's passengers screaming for their lives. "Starting there."

A *woosh* of air and he is quickly descending ignoring a unit of Knightwatch soldiers in their power armor in his single focus mission to save a busload of abductees.

***

Off to the north, somewhere over Manhattan, a rush of green light shoots out of the sky and arcs at a hard angle, speeding across the tops of the buildings across the water towards New Jersey, proper. Home of the Giants -and- the Jets. Shoulders down and pointed like a bullet, the Lantern 2814.2, also known as Kyle Rayner, is sending off a call through his link to Hal Jordan, as well as pinging a response to the aid frequencies. "Green Lantern…two-" Kyle scowls through the concern for the light show as he draws near, unsure as to whether he's used his name, Kyle? Rayner? Kyle Rayner? Now is not the time. "-coming from the north. Backing up team Lantern, but call out if you need me somewhere else on the field."

***

All this green. Why not add some red just to break up the monotony of it all? Having gotten the alert at SHIELD HQ, Barry Allen popped his ring and within moments, is racing towards the DEO Headquarters. The radio chatter hasn't reached his ears yet, but the blue and green light show is more than a little discerning. That and as he's running at full speed as he enters the area, he's not really avoiding anything. That includes..

Crossing through the first time pocket, the scarlet suited speedster ends up in a red shirt and blue jeans and brodie helmet, looking very much from the 1940s as Jay Garrick/Barry Allen crosses one time stream, popping out the other side.

Continuining to race towards the scene, he felt that tug for a moment and mutters. "Okay, that was weird…" he starts to say, just as he hits another time stream - you know the never should have been - as a speedster turtle streaks towards the scene, before popping out the other side as Barry once again. "Definetly need to avoid /that/ one." Super pets? Really??

***

The Blind Inhuman was at the X-Mansion when some alarms went off. He didn't need anyone to tell him that they definitely weren't good. So he grabbed whoever he could to tell him the location of where it is. Ever since they got back from Orollan, Reader has been looking for something like this. Sure nothing tells him what it is. But he does want to find out what happened to the people in his old city, and this could be a clue. He grabs the cards that he has on hand, and does a quick pet to Forey. "I think I am going to need you boy." Rubbing his fingers along one of his cards, 'Away' He is off to the location that he was told, dog coming along for the ride.

He arrives in a blue light, fate would of course have him show up close to the other heroes. "Forey I will need your eyes." He rubs the fingers along another of the cards 'See', and there is a slight glow coming from the covering to his eyes, and his dogs eyes. "I was not expecting this."

***

"Confirm, the second Green Lantern is on station," Batman's voice announces, over the com net. Because Batman's paranoid enough to be SURE it's the second Lantern, even while he rips through the atmosphere in the Bat-Jet on utterly silent wings. He banks with an expert touch, looking through the computerized HUD down towards the events unfolding below.

"I'm tracking all flying units in the local airspace and all civilian flights are being diverted," Batman says, fingers flying over the controls as he steers the jet with a free hand. "A request for air support has been sent out."

"Lantern. The senior Lantern," Batman clarifies, a moment later. "I'm uploading tactical data to your ring," he says, as sat-nav, geoscans, and all manner of sensor equipment via land and satellite start going over the area with a fine-tooth comb.

For now, the Batman lurks above— hiding in the sky.

***

The lightshow needs more Cowbell! No. Not really.

Fire is what it does get instead. Having left New York only hours prior, a little blue to-go bag is dropped within her Starship to her crew, though their eyes get a smile only in turn from Kori before the call comes in just as she was looping her hair up in a twine around her hand and wrist to knot it into a massive bun and sleep for a couple hours.

"X'Hal… You hate me…" Words on an exhale and Kori is trying to untangle her suddenly jolted wrist from her hair as she races back down the corridor, onto the control deck and dives through the beacon of exit-light.

"Coming from above, Queensland coordinates. Where to?" And there is that fire, breaking through the barrier of clouds, tailed by the cosmic light and is headed like a breach towards the Compound.

***

The center of the lightshow is coming out of the main DEO building. There are DEO operatives running all over their compound, less so out in the abandoned streets beyond the training facility. Reasonably, the focus of the threat is there. But, with the weirdness coming out of the bends in reality, there are other threats as well that bleed out. DeeBees (dimensional beings) pop in and out of existence, some of them even crossing into other timestreams and reality pockets to cause havoc (like the bio-armoured-space-ninja-riffs-on-MCU-Chitauri-foot-soldiers now milling about just outside the DEO perimeter).

There's not much in terms of communication coming out of the DEO facility. They're on lockdown and the 'bender's powers are interfering with the ability of equipment inside Alfie's radius to break through to the outside of the radius. Consequently, the closer anyone gets to the epicenter, the more isolated from the outside world they become.

And the busses turning into centipedes aren't the only things that are problematic to crowd control. Between space ninjas, transforming vehicles, weird dimensional monsters, and the general mayhem of twisting time, yep. There's lots for the heroes to do.

***

"Can confirm," Diana tells Batman. Yes. She can see the second Lantern pretty clearly. "We need to keep the effects of this localized and contained until we can get to the center and find its focus. Lanterns, you're in charge of directing crowd control. Marvel, Starfire, assist as necessary. Everyone else, head for the center. Let's find out just what the DEO has done this time." With that said, she starts descending into the reality bent morass of chaos below, aiming for the center of the compound.

***

Time that was? Captain Spitfire, in US Army Air Corps green and tan, a leather helmet and goggles on her head, a crimson scarf about her neck, trailing in the wind of her flight. Time that never should have been? A blue-skinned Kree woman wearing white-accented green uniform, raygun in hand, ready to do battle against the Enemies of Hala. And the time that is: Captain Marvel, Carol Susan Jane Danvers, flying through the swirling green and gold bands of energy, the barriers of disintegrating temporal mechanics, all to reach the heart of it all. She remembers the young man, threatened, cajoled, forced to begin all of this.

Marvel peels away from her flight pattern and then Captain Hala takes the fight to the space ninjas with glowing golden blasts from her hands. "For the Kree Empire!" she shouts, and the battle is enjoined, all to keep them off the civilians.

***

The bus fortunately didn't last in that altered state Hal wasn't exactly sure what he was going to do with it but right now he is safely moving the entire bus up and over a bridge on a green construct very fenced road. An easy up and over lift.

On the Justice League encrypted coms in response to Batman and the others; "I got it Batsy and it's transferring to anyone within range who can help. I'm even trying to work with these DEO guys but they're kinda assholes. They really dislike me dropping in to their secure channels. You with me, Kyle?"

"It's just like that episode on Maltus. Dense population and lots of calamity. We Lanterns are good at this… " While speaking his voice going from a masculine Firefly Captain Mal baritone to a squeek-squacking teen as a reality warpwave sweeps over him. For a microt Hal Jordan became a virgin again. "Well… that was awkward."

Clearing his throat a nearby unit of Alien-Dimensional-Space-Marines are bulldozed by… a bulldozer. He is Hal Jordan after all and not the most creative or artistic of the Lanterns. He outdid himself last time by making a giant 70s robot.

***

Even on Oa, where thousands of alien species have converged, the DEO building is what the Lantern Corps refers to as a 'target rich environment'. The green mask over Kyle's face boggles at the sight of it, impressed in the chaotic horror of it, but unafraid. The ring on his finger flares as he flies under the Bat-Jet in a beeline for over two hundred feet to the left of the other Lantern.

"On your nine, Hal. I'm with you." Rayner calls out over the line as he swoops into place. Behind him, a gigantic life-raft forms over an empty space in the parking lot. With a glowing, emerald green ramp leading up to it, the construct is completed with a flashing police light, beaming green in a repeating pattern, over a massive sign that reads: EVACUATION. "I copy, evac point is down, just like Maltus only less 'Poozer' being yelled at us."

Kyle lifts a hand to his fingers, whistling to some nearby evacuees, but when he does, a wave flashes over Kyle, turning his cleanly shaven cheeks and lips into a long, scraggly beard filled with gray. A second later…Kyle is back to normal, scowling and digging his fingers through his grimy, black hair.

"If something compromises me, Hal." Kyle calls out, the goodie-two-shoes of the two. "You don't need my permission. Protect the boat."

***

"With this many time streams bent, twisted.. it's like a giant pretzel." Flash comments over the comms, but if perhaps just talking to himself as he races ahead to head towards the center, becoming more careful to avoid the time streams as things become more corrupt. "It's like putting a twist tie on a sausage casing and then trying to overfill it with the cosmos. It's going to try to fill every available space, expand, and then eventually, burst - causing everything to crash together and make a big mess!"

Honestly, it's the voice of experience, the very D-Bee'd Barry Allen is one of those anamolies that eventually became just a natural part of things as he cuts through one time stream where he's temporarily a streak of purple and female, before he enters a juncture and is split into five different Flashes - the 1940s, the current Flash, a yellow hue'd Flash, a young Flash in white with yellow lightning, and one of the twisted black time wraiths that hisses in pain and anger as the five merge back to one on the other side of the corridor.

"If anyone can give me a direct reading on where I'm heading this would be a lot easier, this is turning more and more like Wonderland in here!" Eat me, drink me, change me, morph me.

***

Crowd control and backup? "Loud and clear." Starfire responds.

The bee line that seemed ready to decimate the Compound in the crash of an alien meteor suddenly banks from a 180 degree descent to a 90 degree redirect and as Caprain Marvel suddenly cries for an empire that is due to likely buckle Starfire up, she is bee-lining towrds one of the 'Transformer'd' vehicles her hands no longer glow, there is a flicker of light and her powers shift and sputter like a jet that is jammed. Starfire's eyes grow wide, the reflection bounced back off emeralds one of the altered semi-truck rising like a segmented insect as joints and bearings realign and seek to meet the falling *Star* head to head.

But her bolts aren't firing and for a flicker even her straps of amethyst armor reform into something more aligning to a 5th Element of fit, skirted and twin straps lift to cover in vertical lines of paralell ascension over shoulders. The vambraces around wrists are silver, undecorated, and resemble something more…

"Not a fan of pretzels that are bent. Now I know why!" But as she speaks, in the backdrop the meal bending and morphing groan can be heard as she seeks to face off with something brought in from another distant star and blasting a hole through it is not going to work… She backpedalled as the frisbee shaped nexus consumes her and spits her out the other side, the end game in the cargo belly of the re-shaping semi she has no time to slow down for, or change strategy. No Starbolts? Fine!

One end of the chassis is blown into by Starfire where eyes clench closed, a brace before hands extend and she seeks pistons, wires, solidity before she bursts through the other side (Its an ALIEN thing) and heads skyward, dragging it with her.

***

So of all the things that Reader has experienced, nothing has prepared him for what is going on at this place. Forey sees all of this for him, and he just shakes his head, "So boy, what do we think? Not sure if this has anything to do with Orollan. But whatever, or whoever is causing this could use our help, right?" There is a bark from the dog as he says that, so of course the dog is all for helping. Still looking through Forey's eyes, Reader just starts heading towards the center of it. Of course as he gets close, well the weird things happen. Different versions of himself and Forey, One where his eyes were never taken, one where Forey is well a cat instead, okay that's more than weird. Once at the end they all go away. "So uhm, what do we do?"

***

There's a lurch and the Bat-Jet is abruptly yawed violently sideways. A cascade of energies corusces around the vehicle, indicating a previously invisible 'bubble' of broken timestream slipping around the Jet.

Weirdly, nothing seems to change about the Jet, save for the fact Batman's way off course. He grunts, wrestling with the controls, and pulls out of a corkscrew drive that would have sent almost any aircraft into a tailspin towards the ground.

That's not to say all is well, of course— the Bat-Jet stalls, coughs, and starts to dive, and Batman fights the controls for as long as he dares. "Jumpin' Jetpacks, Batman!" shouts Robin, from the backseat of the craft. "We're about to go into the drink!"

"Steady on, old chum," Batman tells his young ward. "We'll evacuate using th—"

Whatever he was about to use is lost as Batman is shunted back into 'this' reality, leaving Batman and Robin in some other fragment.

Batman manages to bring the Jet around with some fairly clever maneuvering and aims it at the Bay, then punches the ejector. It fires him /down/ out of the craft, and Batman activates a micro-glider pack and soars towards the ground. "I'm clear. The Jet's gliding into the Bay," Batman announces over the commset, hitting the ground with a running stride to arrest his momentum. Not far away, the Jet's cargo container lands with a heavy *THUMP* and Batman dashes towards the cover it provides.

"I'm keying a pulse beacon on a modulating frequency," Batman informs the team on the ground, taking a few seconds to recalibrate the device. "Look for a green signal beacon."

***

Batman's conveniently placed beacon should be enough to help Flash find his way through the maze. Especially, if he cuts through the middle and does that running-up-and-over-buildings thing. Not, mind, that he won't still pass through some Very Weird Stuff in the process. But, before two long, there should be four heroes in the center: Diana, Reader, Flash, and Batman. On the perimeter, another 4 battle the crazy, dimensional twisting mess caused by O'Meagan's unstable powerset and furious disposition. Perhaps that explains the aggressive nature of the reality streams being unleashed.

The central DEO compound building is well armoured and protected, partly because it's partially transformed into a weird metal hive with lots of glowy lights and spikey alien turrets, and partly because there are armed and armoured DEO operatives outside it who, like the heroes, are trying to figure out a way inside.

***

Diana glances back over her shoulder as, one by one, the others arrive. She sees the DEO men and women between them and the building, and walks forward steadily. "I know we do not have the most cordial of relationships," she says to the nearest of the agents as they scramble in front of her, "but we are not here to hurt any of you. We are here to help. If you stand aside, I believe one of us can open the door." Of course, if they open fire, all bets are off. She still won't try to hurt them, but she will make them move out of the way.

***

"For Hala and Kree!" comes the shout, as the blue-skinned Captain Hala dives into battle against the space ninjas. Apparently it doesn't matter what reality she's from, she's as capable a melee combatant as she is with those photonic blasts. Headbutts, elbow drops, knees, kicks, punches … looks like she's aiming to punch through one side of them and come out the other side in a dangerous flurry. Once they are driven back, she starts escorting civilians - including ambulatory speaking pets - to safety.

***

"Your nerd talk has never sounded so…. Delicious, Barry." Hal replies with no time to listen to his stomach actually rumble, "Kyle, if something compromises you, hearing poozer again will be the *Umphf*"

Green Lantern goes quiet in a muffled explosion over the comms. A rocket fired from one of the DEO Mandroid powered armors takes him down, the brunette man disappearing underneath a pile of fire, smoke, rubble and once electrified fence.

"Ouch. I'm okay. Told you they don't like us messing with their channels." Or it was just friendly fire. That is highly possible in the current situation. It's madness afterall.

***

"Kyle to team." Lantern 2814.2 chimes in over the line. From his height, he's watching a stream of evacuees race for the giant life-raft he's prepared, busying himself with punching out blasts of energy towards warping cars that have melted into biomechanical monsters, turning them to slag. "We've got a civilian of some kind with a dog heading into center position. I don't know what the deal is-" Kyle's voice sudden turns into a woman's voice. High above, another warp washes over him. Black haired with a scarred face on one side, he doesn't miss a beat in his statment. "-but he's the one heading TO the problem and not away from it. What the-" Another wave crashes over the Lantern, returning him to the normal, black-haired man that he is.

A row of cars erupts in a roar as SUVs, Hydrids, punky little Fiats, start forming into a humanoid shape. The air around Kyle glows, mechanically forming into a giant mecha-suit brimming with guns and a Japanese advertisement-grade rabbit's face.

K-CHUNK. K-CHUNK. Kyle opens fire on the amalgamation, with cannisters of green light exploding against the thing's chest, knocking it over.

***

Batman swivels his cowl left and right, a scowl on his face as he flanks Diana. She gives the imperious order to the DEO guards— and Batman backs her up, a looming shadow over her left shoulder. All cloak and grim visage, something implacable about him. Not superhuman.

Inhuman.

"Keep following the green beacon," Batman rasps over the comm net. "Watch for Doppler shifts to avoid the pockets of dimensional displacement," he orders anyone nearby. Reader gets a once-over and then, dismisssed. Which is actually possibly a little praiseworthy?

"Marvel. Old Lantern is down," Batman rasps into the comm net. "Diana and I are pushing forward. Kyle, give Marvel suppressive fire, then move up to support our position. Watch for phase shifts," he cautions. "They seem to be getting more intense as we get closer." He narrows his eyes at an unfamiliar, purely animal roar in the distance— and definitely /not/ a thirty-foot tall mammal.

A glimmer of light passes near Batman and he appears even darker, lean and stark under his cloak, even less a man and more a collection of antipathic shadows and bared, rictus teeth. A sharper, deadlier Batman lingers near Diana's side, still daring the DEO to move aside— or face him directly.

***

The lift of the semi-'autobot' comes as Starfire comes out the other side of the carriage, hair going from a large curled mass back to straight, and like a digitallization the armor melts away, chips away, and reforms into the straps and criss-crosses of what is 'currently known'. But without Starbolts she pushed through and lifted the massive vehicle by its tow, and in a sudden arch of light and reminiscent defense mode it is hoisted above her head and thrown down upon the others, but backed now by the blast of perse firepower as it returns to her in the passing!

Behind the throw of her 'little' outburst she streaks in, ahead of the flipping-roll of the semi-bot to careen in an asshole-over-elbow roll into others of its ilk while she gathers padestrians.

Hands are clasped, wrists are gathered, and a little old man muttering about "back in his day" with his push-cart is gathered in an bear hug to set on a curb.

But another pulse and Starfire is skidding across the concrete, a child wrapped in scarves, a coronet upon her brow and an apple rolling across the 'crete walk before her from the old mans cart, who is now young and starig at wrinkle free hands with an awe. Child and mother, non-existant! But the old man stares at the tawny skinned tyke that holds his apple up to him while hefting oversized robes with shock.

"Bye!" Tiny-Kori pluckily states in a chipmunks sized voice before she hefts the hems and scuttles off, but once hop-hop-leaping into another path her small flight suddenly a burst that sends litter on the abandoned streets skittering when she appears beside Hal and is loosely shrugging off dissipating tendrils of that cloth from 'fore and growing back into current attributes.

"Your voice cracks and his goes feminine? Something I should know?" A brow is perked and when one of the Dee-bees leaps for them her hand goes up, palm out like a valley girl, but the Starbolt sends him far back and away to become a smear across the street.

A smirk and Star's hand starts to pulse to life once more, even though her skin seems to slightly show… a human pallor?

***

In a odd moment of clarity, the DEO agent in charge flips up his mask and scrubs his face. "We don't know what's going on in there, Wonder Woman," he gives a wary glance to Batman, "but we do know we'll catch hell if we let you walk in there unopposed." The man shakes his head, however, and looks at the other agents around him, most of whom look ready to follow his lead. "Ah, it," he sighs. "This fight's better suited to you types anyway." He rasies his hand and signals his men. "Fall back!" he calls. "Fall back! Let the heavy hitters try."

Thus, the way is made clear for the intrepid band of interlopers making their way into the center of the compound. As they approach, however, there's a ripple and the door explodes outward, several armoured forms hurtling through the debris. So much for having to blast their way in. Someone's done that for them already.

The agent who called the fall back, looks between the heroes and the gap in the wall. Again, the sigh of a veteran who's seen all this crap before. "Go," he tells them. "We'll back you up." This time.

***

Diana throws up her arms before her as the wall of the compound explodes, her bracelets creating the Aegis shield to protect her and those behind her. She sprints forward several steps, in an instinctive bid to protect some of the DEO agents as well. Then, the lead agent is actually giving way and the Princess straightens. "Thank you," she says, genuinely relieved not to have to fight her way through them to get inside. Especially now that the entrance has been made for them. She looks back at her team, including Reader — whom, from Forey, she can sense isn't just what he seems — as well as Batman and gestures. "Let's go."

That said, she starts running forward lasso in hand, to make a path into the center focal point of the crisis.

***

The communications come in, but Captain Hala is not immediately intending to obey those orders. Then the pulse hits, and Captain Spitfire roars to a higher altitude, following those orders as the sound of a highly-tuned jet engine roars all around her - the reason for Captain Spitfire's nomme de guerre, it would seem. Rapidfire pulses of photonic energy stream from her hands, strafing down over Jordan's drop location, pushing back the enemy and making an opening to get her ally free. "Bombs away!" she shouts, and the throws long-handle old-fashioned grenades downward. Thankfully, they are force-concussives that do not fragment, serious stun grenades rather than lethal munitions. "C'mon, flyboy, up an' att'em!"

***

The shout of Carol Danvers and the ribbing of Starfire are the first things to make it to Hal's ears as debris and smoke clear, that fog of war pushing back from his vision so he can also see that giant ultra-mecha of Kyles outlined by starbolts and photon shots, "This is why no one in the Corps likes that show off." A grin, he is teasing of course. Kyle has a hell of a fan club.

"Thanks you two." Hal offers Starfire and Captain Marvel. "Just shellshocked. I didn't expect that much of an impact or to be shot by one of our own." He ignores Kori's comment about his voice - never happened. He will never admit to sounding like that. Ever.

"Spooky and the Princess probably need us." Taking flight again he joins his comrades, where their colors all end up combined in a rainbow of righteous destruction. Because they are definitely the glow team.

***

"Oh I'm finding out all kinds of things about myself, today, Starfire." Kyle says through gritted teeth as the rabbit-mecha, stealing all kinds of copyright use from Sucker Punch, boots up high into the air to watch the explosive display in front of him. One huge fist points out, scanning the field with three miniguns strapped to it, verifies the area clear, then turns to rattle covering fire. "It's hard keeping an eye on all of you up here while you keep changing. Hal, stay HAL. My ring is freaking out."

Launching forward, Kyle's mechasuit turns its fist down to the field where Captain Marvel seems to be pointed. The three miniguns open fire, raining green tracer fire down on DeeBees, churning up concrete and holding a patterned line for the Captain, as well as the evacuees.

"I'm in position for covering. Captain!? You're clear to go! Good luck in here, we'll keep the door open for you." Kyle remains as business-like as he can. LIIIIKELY part of the reason the Guardians chose him to back up the loose-cannon Jordan.

***

Captain Spitfire is charging hard after the Lantern as they make their way towards the heart of the disturbance, when another pulse goes off right underneath of her … and then there's a pop. All of the comm units will pick it up, and the Bat Jet's sensors will squeal and whine, as a micro white hole suddenly opens up …

And there is no Captain Spitfire. Or Captain Marvel. Or Captain Hala. Or Marvel Thor. Or Secret Agent Danvers.

There's just nothing and no one at all.

***

Reader does look at the others that he somehow joined through his travels through the facility. "I do not know what I can do to help, I am limited in what I can do though." Hey he only has one read left, it's going to be weak whatever it is that he does. "If we can get close to the source I can possibly help. But it will only last for about a minute." He has no idea what stopping time will do close to that source, but well it's the best option. He does have his own staff out just in case they run into any resistance though.

***

"Do I even want to know?" Starfire replies to Kyle while the comm-link to Barry goes blank, and he blinks out.

"Where'd he go…?" A murmur, a dip of brows over the bridge of her nose as she finally comes back as a collective despite the sudden shift that is turning her complexion humanistic beneath the purple armor…

…Slowly that changes into a bodysuit of black and her violet/perse bolts pulse a richter of deep.

So where Flash's slipstream seeks to disappear and join the team is blasted! Behind him closed off for the moment, although he can escape out another exit for now… The sudden warp has Starfire looking human, clad in mercenary attire and bearing a patch over an eye that //pulses green around the edges.

Someone push her out! Or it is apparent Starfire's stance has changed…

Perhaps that has something to do with it all. A void has opened!!

***

Batman turns around and gives Reader a quick once-over. "Then stay behind us and stick to cover," he instructs Reader, bluntly. No more dark-noire Batman. Just regular, still generally frightening Batman. He glances at Hal when the Green Superfriend lands next to the glowing goldenrod that is Diana.

Batman remains basic black, huddled and silent in his cloak. No rainbows.

The heroes charge in. Batman keeps pace with Diana for a few long strides into the heart of the malestrom, then disappears. For a moment one might think it sinister, some strange predation of the time-hopping warpfields flickering around them— but no. Batman vanishes into the shadows and starts advancing aggressively towards the target.

A chemlight flares in front of Diana, flicked to the ground. Green rapidly turns to blue in front of the oncoming members of the League and their allies, whomever goes in after Wonder Woman.

His cowl beeps an alert as the scanning algorithim finishes, and Batman adjusts the sensor suite built into his mask.

He watches the world with a sense of rare, stunned wonder at the fractical dispersion patterns of the floating, broken bits of time and space exploding in kaleidoscopes of impossible, beautiful physics. Each a unique, blossoming event, manifesting through his cowl in a manner otherwise invisible to the naked eye.

He flashes a radio signal back to the Lanterns, but proximity to the source of this beautiful madness is badly warping his transmission. Hal and Kyle might be able to get their rings to show them the breaks in space and time— but then again, reality itself is starting to tear apart.

"Move faster," Batman tells Diana and the team with her, curtly. "I'm detecting gravity distortions, chemical admixtures, and atmospheric anomalies."

***

The deeper the heroes go along the main path into the base, the more narrow the distortion spurs become. Like spokes in a wheel, centering in on the hub, they narrow. But, the 'madness' Batman perceives is only from one particular point of view, since it broadly depends on which 'spoke' one stands in as to just what one sees. Until, of course, they meet the hub.

There, in the center of the command structure, young Alfie O'Meagan stands with a gun in his hand. He is clearly the center of the disturbances around, power rippling from him, but this bubble in the center untouched by that power. Thus, he, himself, may not be entirely aware of the effect he's having beyond what he immediately sees. John stands behind him. Dr. Charles Andreas is bleeding on the floor — who knows if he's still breathing or not? Colonel Thomas Lutdwig, director of this station, is facing him, also armed. Other agents in the area are standing at ready, weapons aimed, but no one has yet fired on the young man or his companion.

"You think you can play god," O'Meagan growls at them all. "You think you can do what you want, change people's lives without their permission. But, you can't. Not any more. You can't!"

Diana hears Bats' call and heeds it. Her speed is tremendous; not even the caped crusader can keep abreast of her, when she runs as she does now. Only the Flash would pass her, and he's no longer here. Though she is not running fast enough to leave only a golden blur, she is running fast enough that she is into the center of the room and between Alfie's gun and the rest almost before the young man has finished speaking.

"Put the gun down," she says to him, her tone cautious and even kind. "No one else needs to get hurt, here. There are more peaceful ways to work this out." Except, of course, that Lutdwig is here and she doesn't trust him as far as a small child could throw him. (Because she can throw him quite a ways.)

***

"I don't intend to." Hal replies to Kyle, "Just don't. stop. moving." The Green Lantern encourages to the other one, while he was talking he shifted three times, a hooded cloak and a white body suit coupled with an almost overwhelming sense of vengeance, redemption and desire to bring forth the wrath of the cosmos, of God himself almost slows Hal. Almost but his will presses on. He could have fixed this if he had remained but who was he? No. Keep up the momentum, for Barry and now for Carol.

"We're losing people out here." Hal stresses in to the comms to Diana and Batman. Reader and Forey not included as they're not in the Justice League comms but they're in that vicinity. "Captain Marvel… " Hal hisses.

Hal Jordan's hands spreading out wide as he starts trying to bubble obvious 'fans' of reality warping. The rings potential showing in the wavering mirage like effect the rifts have on it but there is some solidity there, not much but some and then… they change, bubbles become spikes, become cubes, turn in to birds, develop life of their own. Dodging a Green Pacman. He sweeps wide in the air, around where Kori had been? "We lost another!?"

***

"I'm movin, I'm movin!" Kyle calls out to Hal Jordan, following his lead down the battlefield. Both arms extended, the mechasuit sprays green auto-fire at the incoming DeeBees. Green smoke puffs in his looped flight path that will lead him right past Starfire, who is beginning to shift at the edge of a warp into something that clearly isn't her. "I've got nothing on Flash and Marvel, I'm not picking them up. We're not losing any more today. God, I hope I'm right about this!" Kyle yells for the last few feet before Starfire and…

…the mecha swings its arms, forming a giant, green pillow in a Captain America pillowcase her way. As it flies by, the Green Lantern pillow-crashes Starfire through the warp the way she came through.

"We read you, Batman. Hal?" Kyle calls out, heavy mecha-feet crunching the concrete as he lands and tries to form a defensive line with his weaponry. "Hal, my ring's picking up a lot but do you have enough power to map any of it for them? I'm gonna toss up a beacon and dust the area. Maybe we can make this easier to follow!" Gritting his teeth, Kyle narrows his eyes and continues the fight.

***

Well okay there is a person who is doing all of this appears to be a kid, a powerful kid at that. So for the first time in his life Reader is getting a sense of how those in Orollan felt when his powers manifested. "No one wants to play god. I have come here to see if I can help you." Okay not entirely true, but maybe the kid can't read minds. Plus he has Forey, no one wants to hurt a guy with a cute dog. "Whatever happened, it can be controlled. There is no reason for you to hurt yourself because of that. I just want to talk to you, I think I can help you understand everything." His hand does go down to his cards, just in case though.

***

Batman presses his gloves to the keypad on his left forearm and starts rapidly issuing commands to his headset, the on-board computer working overtime to tabulate the information provided by the sensor gear both on his person and in the drop-pod deployed by the Bat-Jet. He watches with narrow eyes as Reader and Diana square up with O'Meagan, the two clearly ready to drop the hammer.

"Kyle. Old Lantern," Batman says, his voice low and terse, and still clinging to the shadowy darkness. "Diana's set and we have a play. We just need to keep this from spiralling out of control for a few seconds longer. I'm sending a resonance frequency to your rings," he says, voice barely audible to anyone not on the commset. "An asynchronized null-wave might collapse his waveform long enough to guarantee Diana a clear line of attack. Your rings are the only power source available."

The information's uploaded to the rings promptly enough, but the math is definitely on the quick and dirty side of things— and the calculations on their end indicate that there's a definite risk of a dangerous, potentially catastrophic feedback loop if Batman's math isn't up to snuff.

The Bat reaches to his belt and readies a Batarang, with a payload of the strongest soporofic agent he has, and readies himself for the throw of his life if Diana and Reader— and the two Lanterns pulling rear guard— can't lock this down.

Sometimes it all comes down to a lone human and the will to act.

***

Alfie looks to be a young man between 18 and 20, and his anger and pain are clear. He looks at Wonder Woman as she more or less 'appears' in the room, her speed such that he misses her entry in his focus on Lutdwig. "They don't understand anything other than force," he tells Diana. "They did all this to us. I don't know how, but they did. And he—" his gun flicks briefly in the direction of Andreas, causing pretty much everyone in the room wearing a DEO badge to flinch, "he wanted to 'make more' of us." He glances around quickly, now, seeing Reader and hearing his voice, too. "Who the hell are you?" Wonder Woman, he knows. Batman, he'd never have heard of, but the dark knight is hiding out in the shadows, anyway. But, Reader is a completely foreign entity… though, okay, he likes the dog. "Get outta here. This's got nothing to do with you. With any of you. This is between me and these assholes."

"Alfie," John, behind him, says now. "Alfie, this isn't good man. There's too many. Even for you. We just need to get outta here." A beat. "Go home. We need to go home, man…"

Alfie glances sharply over his shoulder at John. "We need to get justice," he says stubbornly.

"We did," John tells him. "What, you think the doc is gettin' back up again?" His voice drops to a hiss. "Alfie, the freakin' Justice League is here, man. We need to go!"

Alfie looks around at all of them and lets out a single expletive. Then, he tosses the gun at Reader. "Here. Catch!" The DEO agents react to the movement, barrels tracking him, fingers starting to squeeze on triggers. But, Alfie spins and puts a hand on John's shoulder. Then, the two of them disappear… and with them, all the temporal fireworks. Gone in a blink and a flash of blue-green light.

***

Batman…. Those eyes of humanistic proportions level upon the be-shadowed figure and when her had rises it chrges with a solar-light contrary to his shadows, a narrow inset of eyes….

And she is smacked with an epic pillow Back, and Between

But what looks like a trench-roll, has starfire rising, hair that had gone a pitch of shadowed-soul, ast over her hhead in a flicker of hands cascade… Stroking through to make it pulse back into that of that flame.

Black bleeds crimson, to orange, to gold, and the flame ignites as she is sliding cross a Nexus upon glowing green pillow and regains tawny pallor as well as reality

In a blink of emerald eyes that bare no pupils… … They cant see the word you see!

Starfire is current, plum huen lips split, the wavelengths between worlds eye'd in a reflective emerald gaze…

She took, she will return… The furrow in pavement comes from the burrow of re-clad and armored feet and hands…

Barry…Carol… She will bring them back through, and with her she seeks to /take// that green pillow for a game of 'Whack-A-Mole'.

"Gotta fix this!" And in a blink, Star is gone…

***

Diana reacts swiftly to each flick of the boy's hand, a braceletted arm snapping out to maintain some sort of block between him and the rest of the room. But, in the end, even she doesn't entirely expect him to toss the weapon toward Reader. Instead, she moves in to try to stop him from disappearing. She is, however, too late. The teleporter and his friend are gone, taking the spacetime anomalies with them.

Her lips thin as the light clears and things, presumably, fade back to normal. She turns to Lutdwig. "He's right, you know. You and your people are the cause of all this." And she is one very unhappy Amazon.

***

Hal Jordan's internal debate is a quick one. Whatever Batman is spouting out its the only idea he is hearing right now, "Alright, lets give Dracula some juice." A grimace at Starfire's disappearance and thats another one down.

No point in keeping count he just nods to fellow corps member and holds his ring aloft. ""In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight.

"Shining brighter it climbs towards the apex of it's glow. "Let those who worship evil's might beware my power… Green Lantern's light!"

A pulse of emerald energy booms out in a null-wave-science-babble that makes no sense to him but the ring will do the work and key in on what Batman is after.

Also he expects Kyle will synch up with him. They're good at this sort of thing.

***

"Kyle here, I read you loud and clear. I'm getting the frequency now." The power-suit around Kyle fades, conserving precious energy as he thrusts out to float higher, putting some space between himself and the ground. Seeing no other evacuees running for the gigantic raft, he points with his ring and nudges it out into the Hudson, where the Coast Guard can evacuate them.

When Kyle turns around again and flinches as Starfire blinks away, diving out in search of the others. He makes a silent bark with his teeth, but it's too late. "Star! Wait!" Kyle calls out…but she's gone. Rayner curses under his breath and furrows his brow. He begins to recite the centering oath and point his ring to a triangulation point with Hal's. Letting the senior Lantern lead, he follows, adding his voice to the mix. "…Let those who worship evil's might…" His own tone takes chorus.

From Rayner's ring comes a similar pulse of energy, tuned in the plan, the pulse emits the asynchronized null-wave given to them by the Dark Knight of Gotham. The power charge on his ring drops hard with the pulse, fueling as much of it as he dare.

***

So the Blind Inhuman does go to answer the guy, "I am Reader an Inhu-" It's at that moment that the kid has decided to toss his gun at him. Was not expecting that one of course, but hey he didn't work for Ennilux for a while because he couldn't hand himself. Plus you know being an Inhuman does help. The gun is caught in the air, but held at his side after that. "What was that about?" Well something was the cause of all of this, and gut instinct tells him that he's not going to like the answer of it.

Batman watches the last of the resonant waves collapse, and the Lanterns' combined efforts help ensure that no terrible calamity affects the area as the villain… rather abruptly departs. He exhales a low, slow sign of relief (privately as he ever does) as the readings in his cowl start to return towards something like normalcy.

"Crisis averted," Batman remarks over the comms net, and stows his Batarang.

Because 'Good job' is reserved for REALLY exceptional world-saving merit. Not just run of the mill world saving, of course.

***

The Lanterns' combined energies do indeed shut down the last of O'Meagan's lingering effects. (The O'Meagan Effect?) Hell's Gate returns to its normal (for this reality) post-apocalyptic chic and the DEO compound returns to its bricks and mortar (albiet highly advanced bricks and mortor) state.

Facing Diana, Lutwig glances to his still armed agents. "Thank you for your help, Wonder Woman," he says icily, "but your presence here is no longer required. I suggest you and your band of 'heroes' beat a smart retreat. The DEO is perfectly capable of taking it from here."

That said, he starts giving orders to his team, most of which involve taking care of collateral damage and wounded, though you can be sure he'll get to the 'track down that kid' order soon enough. For now, though, the immediate crisis is past and the best choice for any of them is to withdraw, regroup, and find their missing friends.

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