Seeds of Smallville, Part One, Vantage Point B

November 08, 2014:

Stryker's Island has been ruptured, allowing many villains to escape. But is this all a trick? Let's find out.

Metropolis

Characters

NPCs: Conduit,Metallo,Manchester Black,Parasite,Chloe Sullivan,Livewire,Solomon Grundy,Bizarro

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Seeds of Smallville, Part 1 of 2

"He that has eyes to see and ears to hear may convince himself that no mortal can keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips; betrayal oozes out of him at every pore." - Sigmund Freud

SMALLVILLE, KANSAS
26 YEARS AGO

The light is piercing, even from the ground. A thousand flashes fall from the sky, heading toward the rural community of Smallville, Kansas. The largest, screams across the sky, just as a red, Ford pickup drives east toward the Kent Farm. Because Jonathan and Martha Kent are so intrigued by the lightshow, they don't even notice the white sedan parked on the side of the road, nor do they see the woman in dire need of help.

Inside the sedan, an expecting mother screams but no one can hear her. One leg is tucked behind the headrest of the passenger seat, while the other, bare, foot is pressed against the window. Her sundress is matted down first with sweat, and later with blood. The emergency situation turns even for the worse, however, when the back window explodes after being hit by a projectile at high speeds.

Outside the car, now, the farm land is being pelted with might seem like hail. Upon closer inspection, though, the chunks are too large to be ice and instead of white, they all seem to be a mixture of rocky black and crystalline green.

SMALLVILLE, KANSAS

PRESENT DAY

The morning light still hasn't peeked through yet, and Clark Kent is trying to sleep in his boyhood room. After going through the toss and turn routine for the better part of the night, he decides he cannot take it anymore and creeps down the wooden steps to see about some coffee.

When he sees his mother, he cannot decide if he's surprised or not.

"Can't sleep?" she asks, pouring another glass. "Sorry, mom," Clark replies as he takes a cup.

Martha chuckles softly to herself as she places the pot back upon its mooring. "I'm pretty sure the cows were able to hear you thrashing about, Clark. Is it the train station?"

Clark nods, "Every night since, I've had this recurring dream. I'm in the Fortress, and I'm hurt badly. I'm bleeding all over the floor and trying hard to get into the main chamber."

Martha looks as if she's about to respond with some sort of empathetic motherly advice, but she stops and looks horrified at the television, "Clark…"

METROPOLIS
PRESENT DAY

The sun was just starting to creep above the horizon when the powerful explosives shook the entirety of Stryker's Island. One of the highest security prison's in the United States, Stryker's had recently been updated to house some of the most hardened, high powered supervillains the world had to offer. Rising high above the cliffs of the island itself, the penitentiary sits with about 30 boats of various sizes, the only transportation out to the island.

But now, three of the four sides sit with cavernous holes. Captives flood out onto the island proper, some of which take to the air, many of which are making a break for the boats, a few of which are diving towards the water.

To make matters worse, out on the lawns, there are hundreds of guards who appear to be burning alive out on the sandy grass. They're wails can't quite be heard way off into Metropolis in the distance, but you'd be surprised how far the blood curdling, harrowing cries carry.

WASHINGTON DC
NOW

President Pershing is dressing down one of his cabinet members and it's not pretty. "/You/ told me that this prison would be safe. /You/ told me it was impenetrable." It looks as if the President is ready to strangle the man with the thick mustache, but cooler heads prevail. "I want Metropolis to be evacuated immediately. Call up the governor of Delawa-who the hell is it?" "Reese, sir." "Reese. Tell that chucklenuts he needs to get the National Guard up immediately, and that the military will be following right behind as soon as we can get them there. Get birds in the sky right away and see if we can start getting some cover."

"You're talking about invading our own city s-"

"I know what I'm saying. God dammit, I want the Justice League, the Sardines, and anyone else you think might help. Call everyone. If this goes south there could be thousands of people dead. We'd rather over-react than under react. Now go make it happen. Jesus H-"

As Rick Walters, head of the Bureau of Prisons gets up to leave, Pershing extends his finger. "Not you, Pershing. You stay here. I'm not done with you yet."

The Titans did not exactly have an uplink to the government yet- they were working on getting some sort of communications system going on. This was a lot harder than it sounded, and it didn't help that they didn't have any technology wizards among them like some teams did. They had actual wizards who could, probably, create little magical communicators, but those would probably work among themselves and not link up to any networks outside of that.

It's sheer, blind luck then, that Keith possesses a tablet and a phone that Oracle has tagged.

Coming out of the shower, towel wrapped around him, Keith O'Neil rushes towards the phone that is ringing.

No, not ringing. It is making that bleeping noise that Oracle programmed into it to let Keith know this was not just a normal call. He almost slips and falls several times en route to the end table (kids: Always dry yourselves after coming out of the shower if you don't want to brain yourselves!) but he finally answers.

"Oracle, Keith here, what's-"

And then he gets the 411, so to speak. His eyes go wide. He's at the apartment, packing the last few things. All of his team-mates are at the castle as far as he knows, and he has no way to contact them in such a short notice.

He swallows hard. "Understood. I'll be there immediately."

It only takes a second to go to the mirror and recite the incantation, and then the skies are streaked with purple as a cheshire cat speeds through, using concatenated Rabbit Holes to give him speed. He's only limited in the placement of these portals by line-of-sight, and when you're up above the buildings, that is a very long distance. It won't take him too long to get to the center of the problem…

The question was, what the hell was he going to do when he got there, considering the caliber of foes locked away there?

And he didn't like it one bit that he was basically representing the Titans. "… why not Wonder Girl?"

Lunair herself really doesn't have a direct link to the government. She's one of the more private X-men slash SHIELD contractors slash person who follows Iron Fist around. She might be learning from a certain really pointy, hairy Canadian (Canadian barber, maybe…?) about teams or something. She's probably fiddling with something or another when she is called up. Why not? She still has some mercenary habits. And she still knows how to listen in. Also, her cell phone's ring is set to Trigger Happy. Someone has a sense of irony and amusement about it.

Sadly, Lunair does not have portals, flying horses, or what have you. She will have to take her scooter up as close as she can, then find a portal or flying friend. Because she's ranged, but she doesn't want to sit uselessly or wave pom poms about.

In the classic five-person team Gar Logan would be the "lancer" — the guy who's always in the front is the Lead Hero, then there's a Smart Guy and a Big Guy and The Chick, but the Lancer is the guy who's in the Leader's face. The Titans experimented with that a number of times, in their differently named instances, and … none of them really WORKED. Instead, they fell more into line with the Highschool Cliques, with the Alphas, the Jocks, the Brains, the Chearleaders, and the Weirdos. And that one time with the Stoner. But they're all grown up now, right?

Gar has been trying to throw together a coherent training schedule, working out how the team needs to go together, who to train how — and it's just not fitting the prefab formats. Which means he has to go looking for other formats.

But he's not permitted to do that. Not today. Something BIG just happened, and he's gotten a frantic GET THERE message from someone over the phone.

The skies over the Titans Castle grow dark suddenly and there is a sort of green shadowy blur, followed by a tremendous crashing, rolling noise. Changeling has tapped into the mythical realms to get where he needs to be — the Wakinyan Tanka is seen in the physical skies for the first time in centuries, the Thunderbird tearing through the air.

The Justice League. There were talks of that before while she was recovering. Tucked away in Themiscrya, wounded wing and scarred arm healed by the Nth. She was better now, Shayera, flying high in the sky, full Thanagarian regalia donned and worn; booted, suited, strapped tight, tucked, snatched and pulled. Weapons here, laden with another, trusted mace at her side all powered by magic nullifying effects that would make her a formidable foe. Or ally.

The coordinates were caught upon the scans that she did of this Terra's communications systems, shot through the sky like a valkyrie from Valhalla with the prospect that she had left her place from underneath Diana's watchful eye.

Not that Shayera needed to be watched, of course.

SMALLVILLE, KANSAS
18 YEARS AGO

The Kent family home is decorated for a party. There are streamers of red, blue, and yellow strung from one side of the interior of the country home to the other. On the table there are six placemats set out, all with a matching Power Rangers theme. Above the archway is a large banner that reads: "Happy Birthday Kenny and Clark!"

Martha Kent hangs up the phone and turns to her son with a pained look on her face. "Clark, that was Kenny's mom. Sweetie, they had to take Kenny back to the hospital again." She comes over to hold the young boy's hand. "They think the cancer could be back."

OVER THE EASTERN UNITED STATES
NOW

"Chloe, what have we got?" The sound dampening device STAR Labs made for him allows him to speak to his friend, even when flying at full speeds.

"Clark it looks like three blasts on the north, west, and south sides. It looks like there's a lot of activity out of the yard and a group of convicts are flying the coop. Those without the means are getting to get to landfall via boats. How far are you?"

"I'll be there in 30 seconds."

METROPOLIS
ON LAND

Convicts are just now getting to land and are looking to get somewhere safe…or trying to create as much mayhem as possible.

As Carol begins to fly out towards the island, she'll notice something coming at her. Something big, and purple, and nasty. BIZARRO comes at her, shrieking fiercely as he attempts to punch her square in the jaw with super-speedy flight at his back. "Mr. DC! ME AM SO GLAD TO SEE YOU!"

From his vantage point, Booster Gold will see Bizarro about to throw a massive punch toward Ms. Marvel. There's also the problem of a large zombie running down at the ground level. SOLOMON GRUNDY is moving quickly, looking for a place to hide. He's spying a sewer route and lifts the top off of a sewer grate and tries to SQUEEEEEEEE…nope, that didn't work. Instead he starts smashing the road, trying to get a path downward.

As Columbia flies past, she'll notice a crackle of electricity aimed her way. LIVEWIRE throws her head back in laughter, psychotic laughter, absolutely thrilled that she's free. As soon as Columbia looks in her direction, she disappears in a flash of lightning into a powerline, only to reappear on the opposite side, where she delivers another payload of electricity. As Oz approaches, he'll come into very close proximity to Livewire, who is paying more attention to Columbia.

As Oracle begins to scan the area, she'll notice something not quite adding up. On the island, there are eyewitness reports of burning guards, but her scanners show nothing of the sort.

That's odd.

Nightwing hangs the next left and there, in the middle of the road he witnesses a terrible sight. PARASITE, a gigantic blob of purple has a six pack of people in his arms. And one in his mouth. The poor fellow has the energy literally sucked out of his body. The carcass is thrown without care as the beast goes for another.

STRYKER'S ISLAND

There are still many convicts out on the lawn of Stryker's Island, looking to find their own route to escape.

Worse, there are hundreds of guards out there seemingly burning alive. They scream as the flesh burns away from their bodies, leaving them with half skeletal, half meaty soon-to-be carcasses.

This is the view for Vorpal as he arrives through a rabbit hole. Convicts are headed in every direction. Some in the air, some via boat. Lunair is still too far away to see, but she is able to find a boat that was stolen by some convicts who already made it to the land.

As the mammoth creature blots the sun out and puts a large shade over the island, several convicts stop to look up at whatever it is that causing the large shade. "RUN!" Several jump off the cliffs and into the water.

But Hawkgirl is able to get in with no such problems, given everyone is looking at Gar. On the ground she'll spy several villains she probably recognizes: Metallo, Barrage, the Trickster, and Silver Banshee.

Part of the Vorpal stock and trade is to arrive at a scene, make jokes, and kick ass with a whimsical approach.

That's out the window. People are dying, and the sight makes him sick to his stomach. He hears Oracle's voice in his ear, and he forces himself to answer them: "—Oracle, they're burning up- flesh is melting away… oh god, I can't help them!" his voice breaks and he wants to turn away from the gruesome scene.

++Find the man responsible for this. Get him to stop++

The voice of the Cait Sidhe is clear and on edge. Soon the horror and the fright are replaced by the emotions emanating from the Fae part of his soul. Indignation. Fury.

He senses Gar's approach more than he can see it. He had been the one to send the message as soon as he started making his approach to the island and slowed down enough to get the phone out. As usual, his StalkMe app was on, as was the GPS. Technically speaking anyone who followed him knew exactly where he was right now. Which, for the first time, was not a bad thing.

Chakrams appear in each hand. They're not the traditional type of chakram- they do not have cutting edges, but rather blunt. These he throws at the fleeing convicts one after another- the convenient thing about chaos magic was that he had access to infinite ammo- and right now he is furious enough, outraged enough to want to use most of it against these men. Maybe draw out the pyromaniac out into the open. "You want to play with fire? Come out here, mother—" language, Vorpal! "Go ahead and light my fire, if you dare!"

Lunair is goin to take the boat then. Grand Theft Marina! She's going to have to take to sea. Captain Lunair will wait for any law enforcement peeps to join and start in across. She's going to do her best to totally look non-threatening. But c'mon, in the face of chakrams (who HASN'T watched Xena?) and all that, one teenaged rufflemonster in a boat (On a boat!) armoring up (with her fl— no, armored boots) and motoring across is probably small fries in the long run.

Thunderbird is the spirit of the thunderstorm made manifest… The giant shadow of the green-tinted cloud appeared with impossible rapidity, and frankly, the sight of a bird with a wingspan that appears to be several miles and made out of clouds and lightning would make a LOT of people run away.

Most thunderstorms do not end as suddenly as this one; most thunderstorms do not dump a sudden blast of ice-water rain over a small area, then follow that with lightning aimed at the tallest … person? … is that giant purple blob a person?

But then the thunderstorm almost never ends suddenly, fading away as the bird vanishes and a swarm of locusts appears in its place. Locusts, at least, aren't mythical, right? Well. Stinging ones are, slightly. The swarm goes after the prisoners, and AVOIDS giant purple nasty, because hopefully the lightning made it pop.

There's always hope, even if it's in vain.

She drives herself to a clear halt above the scene, her eyes taking in all of the elements. The thunder, the burning humans, the.. boy. The boy that had the raven following.. he was here? Interesting.

Her eyes cut towards the most recognizable of enemies, her hands drawing behind herself to reach beneath her harness, flipping the lids on both sides so that the Nth metal rods could fall into her gloved hands as such. Hawkgirl wasn't in the business of talking to herself, however…

"So. I'll get the 52 on the right, you get the 52 on the left."

Human watching his proved fruitful for witty banter and monologuing. Whether unheard or no, she goes right to business, diving down towards the ground at a dangerous low fly, the shriek of the hawk following within her wake as she mows down criminals (and hey, possibly innocents too if they weren't burning, it was for their own good) one by one by harsh and damaging swipes to calf and bone.

It was worse than taking an arrow to the knee.

Wonder Woman was entertaining guests, ones that bore an interesting order from her mother, and promised even more intrigue as it rolled onward. At least their stay with Shayera in the hold of the Themyscira House, had been becoming less of something she needed to keep a wary eye on… Less, not completely.

The call came in though, despite their separation, and the recent resignment of Batman it did not mean Wonder Woman was going to stop listening, stop /answering/. Her spar with her sisters was immediately ceased as one bracer lifts and the voice sounds loud and frantic in her ear, the sound of metal on metal precedes the spark that shower just before she rockets from the open garden atrium and into the sky, leaving the duo behind without word.

They were Amazons, they understood, and their spar carried on between them.

It was not that long after Hawkgirl took her descent that Wonder Woman did as well, in fact nearly on her heels when she spoke.

"Covered." Banking left several of the ones lit in flame are lifted, one convict going for a guard that had managed to stop-drop-and-roll is hoisted off his feet by the back of his neck as Wonder Woman pivots to land one of Vorpal's chakrams within him, dropping the body at her feet just before she takes towards the water, uncaring of the searing flames that threaten her but are far more of a danger to the ones in her arms.

METROPOLIS
ON LAND

The nice move by Carol sends the dopey Bizarro flying right by. Likewise he takes an energy blast to the back and screams with agony as he buries into one of the skyscrapers. When he comes back out, he's looking mighty angry, "I AM SO HAPPY YOU ARE HERE! I HOPE YOU LIVE A LONG TIME!" A long line of freeze vision is sent towards the Maven of Might!

Booster's dive and pull maneuver almost works, if not for Grundy's sheer strength. He's able to hold his ground as Booster attempts to pull him away, and the smelly behemoth uses the leverage to put Booster into a throw. "Grundy MAD! YOU WANT TO HURT GRUNDY!"

But even as the last words leave the zombie's mouth, he's being tackled by a red and blue streak. The pair go skittering across the pavement as Superman slides to a stop. Getting up to his knees, he gives Booster a nod. Two on one. Time to act quick.

Oz had put himself in great position to attack Livewire, but didn't for some reason and allowed her to port away again. This time she's at his left, nine o'clock, and firing another shot at Columbia, smirking as she does so, and adding some extra gusto to this shot.

Oracle now has a new problem. Someone seems to be attempting to hack her communications. For a moment, some of her screens go a blank black with green writing.

who is this?

The message comes across Oracle's screen for a moment, but her powerful defenses are able to beat out and beat away the hacker. She soon gathers her full capabilities again.

Gar Logan does a flyby and gives Nightwing a hand. You see, Parasite takes on the vulnerabilities of those he takes energy from. In this case, people. So when he's doused with water from above, right before Nightwing hits him with electricity. And, better, his skin is not a conductor of electricity, so when he drops the people and falls on his knees in pain, no one else is injured.

STRYKER'S ISLAND

"Heh. Suckers." Manchester Black takes a pack of cigarettes out of the pocket of a downed guard. A real guard. You see those out on the field are just mental illusions. And the spell that Vorpal casts, well, he can't seem to place it onto Black, because in Vorpal's mind, Black doesn't exist. He exists to no one on the island, really. Not even when he puts the cigarette in his mouth, nor when he lights it. Nor when he sends the boat out towards the shore, /away/ from Metropolis, laughing all the way.

After a few minutes, the men on fire begin to dissipate right in front of Vorpal. The perpetrator is long gone, no longer willing or able to keep the illusion alive.

Well that sucks, because Metallo is aiming a strike right at Vorpal's face!!!

Likewise, the men in Wonder Woman's arms begin to dissipate even as Wonder Woman gets to the water. It seems like some sort of ruse. Some sort of trick to buy the evildoers more time. There are certainly guards inside; they must be somewhere. But these ones all seem to disappear at about the same time.

Lunair passes Manchester Black on the way out, but while he can see her, she can't see him wave. Or his purple hair. Or the boat at all as it passes by.

Hawkgirl begins smacking away villains left and right, slicing through meat and bone. Without realizing it, she'll single handedly curb recidivism far better than this entire building would by maiming some villains who will physically be unable to go out and create crimes again…at least not with any real effect. It's hard to run from the cops when you have a sliced Achilles. But just as she makes her first mow through, she's tackled by the side from Doctor Destiny! Somehow, he's gotten his technology back, even his mask that looks like a ripoff of Skeletor. Though his main power is to take control of your dreams, his repulsor boots give him the ability to fly.

SMALLVILLE
10 YEARS AGO

Clark Kent and Chloe Sullivan are talking in hushed tones about something probably dealing with the latter's "Wall of Weird," and trying to get to their next class on time. But as they turn the corner, their expressions both falter. There stands Clark's friend Kenny with a hand full of football players standing in a semi-circle around him and the tiled wall outside of the bathroom barring any hope of an exit.

Clark had caught wind earlier that Kenny had turned in one of the players after being told that the latter was on PEDs. It looks like Whitney Fordman and the crew are looking to settle the score.

"Hey," Clark says, letting his red backpack slide off his shoulder and he moves to put himself in the way of the half moon of football players. "Hey guys, leave him alone."

"This is none of your business, Clark," says Eric Stotz. "This is between us and CancerBoy, here. He aint survivin' this time around."

Whitney gets ready to aim a punch, but just as he's about ready to let it go, it's held midswing by Clark.

"Illusions— ILLUSIONS?"

Fiery is the rage that burns in a fooled cat. "You use illusions against me?" Vorpal bellows, outraged. His ears twitch, though, and he hears Metallo's approach. Fury needs to be channeled somewhere, and as the big metallic creature throws a punch towards the Cheshire cat, a Rabbit Hole opens up in the path of the fist- and its exit portal right by Metallo's head. 'Stop Hitting Yourself' is one of Vorpal's favorite tricks. At a moment of sheer nastiness, if the punch connects with Metallo, he will also shut off the Rabbit Hole immediately to leave the villain with one arm severed.

The Rabbit Hole couldn't close around organic matter… but if the man was 100% metal, then it was fair game.

Two people passing in the night? Lunair is unaware of Manchester Black, who seems to have some sort of invisibility powers. Alas. She looks thoughtful, glancing this way and that as she makes her way over.

Locusts! SWARMING! The area is full of flying green bugs the size of someone's thumb, and they're amazingly selective, going after the people in the orange jumpsuits, or whatever it is the Inmates are issued, and of course against powered menaces should they have exposed skin… these ones, unfortunately, have a NASTY bite, a bit like a wasp sting, though eventually not lethal.

Being a hive-mind also means that Gar's kind of seeing the world in technorama bug-o-vision, which means a locust will land on Vorpal and say "HI!" before flying off. Repeatedly.

It was pure instinct, that by the curl of her wing she was tackled from the side mid-flight. She rolls with Doctor Destiny, the brute force of his tackle jostling her enough to cause her to cry out in alarm and shock, her fingers white knuckling the two Nth sticks as they roll upon the ground, direction sideways. Any burning body? Instantly forgotten. Fleeing criminals? Remembered, but put aside to the afront that had just occured.

But there was something to be said about the only friend on this world you have, locked in battle, not side by side but in close proximity. It rouses the spirit.

Their bodies dislodge due to the force of the roll, but Shayera was quick. She was a militant, first and foremost, up and upon her feet with a few quick movements, her stance bore down upon the ground as the two sticks slam together with a loud..

*THWACK!*

The formed bo-staff fires to life, electricity brimming along its length save for the parts she touch with her special gloves. Doctor Destiny was born down upon with a leveled gaze that would shrivel the might of many coupled with a sick grin that completes mostly hidden features. The staff was twisted and turned upon fingertips so nimble, the end struck and planted into the soil beneath as chin lifts and smile drops, hand outstretched and fingers curled into a fist.. all but one, index beckoning the man forth.

"Come here, you bastard."

When the illusion fades that is all it took for Wonder Woman to come fully to. Lies, deceit, all before her very eyes and she failed to see it until her arms were empty in her flight towards the water to cease (nothing)burning.

Only a pause, her form hovers over the cusp of the island, watching as Lunair is coming towards… and the haze lifts seeing the one passing her by.

One arm lowers, the gauntleted forearm gleaning off the fading light as well as the hawk that archs its bent wings and forms a breastplate over the red top bound around her figure like a battle-enforced corset.

With one simple gesture Manchester is her target, whether or not he is seen by the others, cerulean gaze is foreshadowed with a narrow as she takes swift flight after him, the waters splitting around her like a speed boat's disruption. If he does not move quickly he will find himself ripped from the solace of escape and a boat, quickly a hundred feet above the river and almost nose to nose with Wonder Woman.

"Not so fast!"

METROPOLIS

Carol gives Bizarro about the mightiest shot to the gnads one could imagine. The shockwave emanates throughout Metropolis and would later be reported to have been heard in Baltimore. Though he's far stronger than most people Carol will come into contact, even Bizarro deflates in pain and begins to drop like a sack of potatoes toward the Earth. He says something unintelligible in response. It is very high pitched.

Booster takes Grundy's legs out as Superman takes his upper body. In football they call it the old 'high-low' and there hasn't been a football team on Earth or in Heaven that would quite have a pair of Defensive Ends like Booster Gold and Superman.

SMASH

Grundy is driven into the ground and worse for wear. But as Superman approaches, a few blasts erupt right by his feet and one next to his head. What the? He looks up to see the Royal Flush Gang. But how could that be? They weren't even incarcerated. "Finish up here, Booster. I've got the Flushers."

Superman takes off in pursuit, angling through the maze of skyscrapers as the four foes lead him on a wild goose chase.

Standing over Columbia is the recently appeared Livewire. Surely now she looks for the Coup de Grace. The final death blow. "I don't even know who you are, hero. A pity that you'll die before making a name of yourself."

But just before Livewire is ready to end Columbia for good, she's hit with a blast of water via Oz. She screams in terror and begins to cower, trying helplessly to get away. Her body seems to be malfunctioning as she shakes uncontrollably.

Oracle begins her trace of the hacker. First to Metropolis. Then to the downtown area. Then to an address. Then to the owner, a corporation. She burrows after the culprit and it takes some time to go through all of the red tape, but she gets root into the hackers system. Surprisingly, however, as she pings through and gets a view of the inferior hacker, it might not be what she expected. It's a young woman with short blonde hair, who seems to be watching Superman in action. But rather than cheering on the villains, there's something that's worrying her. You can tell because she's doing that lip bite thing she always does.

It doesn't seem that much in the way of backup /is/ available for Nightwing, but he's done quite the trick in getting someone this big down to the ground with the help of an old friend. All of the emergency services and other heroes are busy elsewhere, so his options seem limited.

STRYKER'S ISLAND

SNIP

Vorpal's rabbit hole move cleaves right through Metallo's arm and the villain screams more in terror than in pain. It's been a long time since he's felt pain in that arm. In response he sends a mighty energy blast of green Vorpal's way. That is, after he recuperates from being hit in the back of his head by his severed hand.

Lunair will see the signs of terrible battle as she approaches the island; heroes and villains are duking it out, the building is on fire, and the smoke billows up and out into the sky.

Hawkgirl can see Doctor Destiny hesitate. Does he really want to take this on? Well, Batman once called them a cowardly lot, and that's plainly evident now as Doctor Destiny turns tail and tries to make a break for it. He just flat out runs away.

"You scampy bitch!" screams Manchester Black. "Aren't you supposed to be hockin' it up on your island with all that lady trim? I figured you'd be muff deep with rugburns on your face!" He closes his eyes, and tries to focus on manipulating Diana's mind with all his might.

OUT OF THE WAY ROOFTOP

Superman sees the Royal Flush Gang go over and upon a rooftop. It looks like they're done with running, knowing that the Man of Steel was far too quick for them. He comes up over the lip and lands, each of the four are holding their hands up.

"We give up, Superman."

"Good. I didn't want this to tu-" Suddenly a blinding green flash hits Superman from behind. He can feel his veins burning, see them turning a dark green as he hits his knees, doubled over in pain.

"Very good," the man says from behind. His voice is obscured from a helmet so it sounds hollow and robotic. "Your money is already deposited. You may leave now."

The Royal Flush gang doesn't take long to get the hell out of Dodge. You mess with Superman it tends not to go well with you.

"Hello, Clark," the large man says as he approaches Superman, who is still kneeling on the ground in pain. The mask he wears over his head is almost completely black and shiny. Emotionless and dead aside from the sides that are emblazoned in gold with wires of green running here and there. The emerald wiring runs throughout the chest and out the arms, as well between plates of black armor over the shoulders and down the core and the legs. It's not clear if this is a robot, but it's clear he knows who Superman is.

He lifts Clark's head up and smashes it down into the ground, before giving him another rip from a gun that seems to be connected into his body.

"CLARK!" the scream comes from his earpiece where Chloe can see what's happening from a camera across the street. "Clark wake up!"

The Conduit reaches into Superman's ear and pulls the earpiece out. He puts it on the ground and smashes it.

"It's good to see you, hon! And again, and again, and again…" Vorpal says- when Metallo reels, his focus finally exits that tunnel vision that he had developed and sees…

He sees…

Just before she speeds away, Vorpal sees the bracelets, the lasso. A seasoned veteran wouldn't have blinked… but a rookie like Keith? Especially with his history? He pauses for a second, eyes wide.

And that's when the green energy surge hits him, sending him reeling back. Parts of his costume are on fire, which is why he ducks and rolls. He's also bleeding from somewhere, but he's too busy to find out where just now.

"You… you poor excuse for a Xerox printer!" And that's when the Cheshire releases the Chaos Wave- pure, concentrated chaos magic expanding out of him and towards Metallo.

The thing about Chaos Magic is that chaos and technology get along as well as crocodiles and kittens.

The magic hits Metallo's body and causes a chain reaction- it is a massive short-circuit that produces sparks, twitching, and eventually the faceplant of the century for the metallic man. He's not dead, technically speaking- he's been switched off. With a sledgehammer.

"Ungh… I can't believe I let myself get shot…" he says, sitting down on the ground for a moment to check his wounds. Next time, he was going to create a construct armor.

Well. Lunair feels silly. She totally missed the manchester dude. But she CAN help twerkify any remainders and help a few guards into the boat. Yes, the Twerker is out. Any villain worth their salt will avoid someone with a sense of humor and an armory at her fingertips.

The "mooks" are pretty much down, either taken out by Hawkgirl or by Changeling; about a third of the locust swarm is mooshed, and the rest swirl together, coalescing into a green-skinned young man in a purple and white costume; he's staggering slightly, but he's seen the Thanagarian fighting the Skeletor impersonator from about six different directions, and he leans for a second against a wall with one hand before turning into a green rhinoceros and thundering up to the assist… but only if she seems to want it.

Why a rhino? Well, in the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy it's revealed that the rhino is the fire warden of the Kalahari, spotting an improperly built fire pit from tens of kilometers away and racing in to stomp it out. It wouldn't be a good thing to stomp out Vorpal; he only just got patched, so, Gar Loganoceros is simply waiting politely to stomp out the guy in the skull mask, if needed.

He ran away.

He ran the fuck away.

Nope. That just wasn't going to do. Seeing the green rhino draw near.. odd color choice, her hand reaching out to snatch upon it's horn, wings taking most of the pressure from the beast to whip her up into the air and onto the beasts back. (Sans horn of course, she let go mid-air)

She was going to ride.

As the rhino (hopefully he's still moving) continues on, she leans towards the side to bat poor Doctor Destiny down, the bo staff having a long enough reach to clip his legs just like the rest. And should the rhino stop? She'll add insult to injury to smash both kneecaps in rapid succession. Just because she could.

"You interrupted." Wonder Woman states in response to his spew of assumptions and insults, all the while she is slowly floating them through the air from above water to above land.

The barrage to her brain does him little good at this point, but it does offer a headache of a gods level that no Tylenol will kill, perhaps on purpose, perhaps an accident - either way her hand /slips/ and Manchester is falling from over 100 feet up towards the ground. This, hopefully breaks his attempts at mentally attacking her.

Just before he hits the ground his body jerks, caught by the back of his shirt to hover facing the earth beneath him, leaving it just out of reach of him but enough to let him grasp the levity of the situation.

"Now, back to business.." Wonder Woman speaks as her hand wraps around the lasso, pulling it from its holster at her hip.

"Let's see if we can get something more /appealing/ from your mouth." As she speaks she tightens her hold and lands, either he walks with her or gets dragged towards the group, pausing by Vorpal in his seated position to cast him a downward glance and a light nod.

"Can you stand?"

Vorpal looks up from his wound- fortunately, it isn't a serious one, his padded uniform took most of the brunt, but it did leave him bleeding from a nasty gash on his right leg, which is why he sat down to take stock. Not that he can notices it very much at this moment, because Wonder Woman is talking to him.

Keith isn't a shy person, not by a long shot, but Gar has seen firsthand how he turns when in the presence of someone he admires. The Amazon was more than admired, it was one of the reasons why he wore the uniform he wears. Green eyes wide, he says "… Wonder W-Woman?"

++How very eloquent of you++
~Oh god this is so embarrassing!~
==Think maybe you can tell her what her name is again? I don't think she heard you the first time.==
~Earth, swallow me…~
++Wait a few minutes, that may be a possibility.++

It wasn't fair when your own soul ganged up on you. He swallows again to clear his throat, and tries again, still clearly in shyland, which is a completely foreign place for a feline to be, "-I … think so. G-Gar can c-carry me if I can't…"

For a moment, he thinks of something to say, something he's wanted to say for a long time, if he ever were to meet the Amazon… but instead, what comes out is-
"I.. I think he is being ridden by the chicken woman right now…"

++Bravo++

Get back to t'werk! There's some dancing villains, a few naked ones, and are those … glitter grenades? Yes, yes they are. Lunair is fighting crime by trolling the hell out of it. Especially since people make frowny faces at murder. Although it may be somewhat perturbing that her reasons for not murdering are generally avoiding hurt feelings.

Gar is … fortunately not close enough to be distracted by that line about being ridden by the chicken woman.

Instead, since the Thanagarian is in need of a steed, he'll be the steed-in-need!

Or something. For a green rhino he's quite tactically astute, catching up with and horn-hooking Skeletroll so he can be more easily whacked.

Shayera heard that, so much that the threat carried from steely jaw directly to ears of the present.

"Call me chicken, or any variations of said word, I will stick this rod where the sun don't shine and leave it turned." Voice carries, horn directing the rhino towards her friend, and soon she leaps down, boots slamming against the earth, bo staff shook off and turned off, and split apart with hands that know how /her/ weaponry works. And replaced.

OUT OF THE WAY ROOFTOP

"Sorry to cut your conversation short. I imagine it was with Chloe. How sweet that you two still fight so much injustice together." Conduit drags Superman across the cement ground towards the doorway that leads into the building. "Don't worry. I won't go after her," his voice singsongs metallically. "Nor will I go after that sweet mother of yours. Or even that reporter you seem so fond of. I'm just going to kill you, old friend."

He stops dragging the Man of Steel in a dark room with a small light hanging above. He's taken him here because he wants to take his time with this. It's been a long time coming, that's for sure. And Clark's lifelong betrayal will reap its vengeance here tonight.

Superman struggles to get his wits. He's battled against the Kryptonite Rock for many years now; Smallville was a treasure trove of the stuff. But a focused blast like this-he's never felt so much pain. It was hard enough to see, let alone stand, or fight. But he does his best to get to his feet, only to have Kenny Braverman pull the trigger again and put him back down.

Conduit laughs, the hollow echo emanating through the room. "Oh, Clark. Sorry, it's not going to be that easy. You've got a long way to go tonight friend. I'm just getting started."

METROPOLIS

Carol streaks downward through the air, picking up more and more speed as she takes Bizarro to the ground and smashes him straight through. By the time it's all said in done, the pair find themselves about four stories downward into the muck and mire of whatever lives underneath the street. That's after bursting through four levels of parking lot.

Bizarro hasn't found much that can hurt him aside from Superman. Well, that's until today. When the dust clears, he's knocked clean out.

Similarly, Grundy finds himself worse for wear and captive of a handful of girders. He's moaning, but doesn't look anywhere near making a fight of it. And even if he did, he's pretty much apprehended, and has Booster Gold watching over him.

"I give! I give!" screams Livewire, clearly beaten by Columbia and Oz. She holds her hands up, and though she cannot be trusted, it seems Columbia has her at a distinct disadvantage.

As Oracle continues to watch her, she'll notice that the blonde woman looks to be panicking. Some auxiliary programs will scan the areas around, looking at faces, billing records, and license plates of nearby vehicles. That's it. There's a 93 percent chance that the person she is looking at goes by the name of Chloe Sullivan as at least one of her alias'.

Even as the words leave Nightwing's mouth, one of the large tank-like vehicles that the SRD are known for arrive on the scene. The government's response team for supervillain attacks frankly could have arrived a little bit sooner. Nevertheless, they seem equipped to handle this sort of thing and have the technology to incarcerate Parasite.

Similarly, vehicles arrive shortly thereafter to pick up Lifewire, complete with hoses of water just in case; Bizarro, with sunshine guns, and Grundy? Well, for Grundy they just have really heavy duty weaponry.

STRYKER'S ISLAND

Metallo smolder's a little as Vorpal stands over him. High above, military helicopters-black and noiseless-begin to descend on the scene. They're emergency military crews arriving from DC. All those terrible things that could happen that keep the people at the DOD up late and preparing until all hours of the night? Well that's right now. As the first helicopter lands, soldiers leap out, a group of them headed for Vorpal and Metallo.

The second group all stop as a handful of convicts are standing and dancing like Miley Cyrus. One such criminal turns to the soldier, eyes watering, "Please help us…" The twerk gun takes no prisoners.

Hawkgirl and Gar tag team poor Doctor Destiny, and while scores of villains will get away today and menace the world for some time to come, it does not seem to be in his Destiny. Yes, I just did that. He screams in pain upon the ground and flips off his mask as he thrashes on the dirty ground.

As crabby as Manchester Black gets, and as nasty as his mouth gets, he's out of words. The drop from 100 feet kind of proved that Diana meant business. He'll mind his Ps and Qs until the next escape. No reason to end up on the dead side of the law tonight.

OUT OF THE WAY ROOFTOP

Conduit reaches up to undo the mask, wanting to look Clark in the eye before he kills him. "You pretended to be my friend for a long time, Clark. I want you to know, that no matter how super you thought you were, no matter how perfect-your past caught up to you on the day of your death. On the day of your death you got what you finally deserved. And all of the hard work you put in-all of those people you put in jail-well they're going to be out there and you won't be able to stop them."

"Kenny?" Clark says as he rolls over.

Kenny Braverman raises the gun and takes aim at his friend, readying to pull the trigger.

TO BE CONTINUED…

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