Tower Battles

October 27, 2018:

Alex Peabody, Caitlin's totally secret brother, calls his sister for help. And when Alex calls, it means things have hit the fan in a big way.

Alex Peabody's luxury penthouse

Characters

NPCs: Alex Peabody

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Cait knows her brother pretty well, Alex is a lot of things. A polymath genius, a weapons engineer of extreme skill, a master techsmith, a part of Deathstroke's inner circle, a rich dealer of arms to foreign nations. Mostly though, she knows he's neither a drama queen nor a coward. Which might be why the message on her voice mail is so disturbing.

«CAITY!» followed by the sounds of gun fire, controlled short bursts just like he was taught, each crack zeroing out the phone mic's ability to process the sound so that it sounds oddly distant despite being clearly close at hand to the caller at the other end of the line.

«Caity!» this repeat is slightly less crazed then the last, and she can almost hear Slade's training working it's way through Alex's psyche, forcing him back into control. «I'm in trouble. You know I wouldn't call on you, we have tha-hold on-» more cracking gunfire, then the click of an empty chamber, «motherfuc-» muffled wrestling with something metalic, then a soft hum of some kind, «-we have that unspoken deal. We ignore our professions in the honor of family. Welp… I'm breaking the deal. It's bad Caity, real bad. I can't get ahold of Uncle, he's been radio silent for a week. Just… vanished. Auntie isn't answering either, I just keep getting that fucker Waller and I refuse to deal with him. My allies are thin in the city, and shit is hitting the f-» more gunfire, this time it /is/ distant, seems to be in coming rather then outgoing, «GAH! FUCK!» muttering and muffled thumps follow, as does a rather pointed KARUMPH sound of an explosive going off.

«I need ya at the penthouse sis.» he says into the phone through what sounds like his front teeth. «But if you can't make it, if you're uh…» grunting sound as if in pain, «saving the world» through gritted teeth, «know I love ya, Dad too. Even Uncle, but he'll never say it.» More grunts, «Make sure you burn my drives.» that sounds like an added afterthought, «Shit on there I can't trust anyone with.» then the line goes dead.

It's not until she's done listening to the voicemail that Cait sees the time stamp on it. The message is almost a half hour old.

*

Caitlin, for whatever faults she has, is also not one with a filial obsession with drama. She's the sort who has waved off broken hipbones and PTSD alike. She's just not one to ask for anything for herself except the occassional shoulder to cry on.

In this case, Caitlin has woken everyone up. The entire team— anyone available with three minutes of notice, and herded them to a Javelin parked in their hangar. It lurches and shudders and takes off, with the technically not-yet-certified Caitlin at the helm.

"Look, I'm sorry I didn't come forward sooner," Caitlin says to the occupants of the jet and over the squad communicator. "I don't talk about Alex. Only a couple people knew besides me. Diana, Donna, Carol," she says, glancing at aforementioned Amazon in the vanguard with her. "I /can't/ talk about it and I'm sorry but I can't give any more details than this. Alex is in trouble though, and he wouldn't call me unless both his legs were broke and fire ants were crawling on him. So we've gotta save him."

She adjusts the ship's trim slightly, chasing the sensor pack mounted to the Javelin's control panel that is aiming them vaguely at the place where Alex had last made the phone call. "I think we're getting close. Signal intensity increasing."

*

Donna was, perhaps, the outlier in this small group, having had to fly to the pickup location, rather than being able to simply step into the ships at the hangar. Regardless, she had come, when Caitlin had called, and stepped in when she was granted permission. She'd even brought the shield and sword, though she wore her usual star-field uniform. And offered her name as introduction, to the two in the ship that she didn't know, "Donna Troy." But that was a few minutes in the past, and her attention was focused on the front of the ship, "You don't need to offer excuses or explanations, Caitlin. If you need my help, that is all that matters. I will do what I can."

*

+MEET: Stephanie Brown has arrived via +meet.

*

For Starfire this is all a sudden and strange adventure… but really, what part of her life on Earth is anything but? Roused from late night cuddles with her favorite giant mutant larva, she is suddenly hustled up and out to the jet. Which of course is rather redundant for her, transportation wise, but the ride gives her time to actually finish getting dressed, which is probably for the best for everyone!

As for the apology Caitlin offers en route, this is met by one of Koriand'rs typically guileless, uncomprehending smiles. "I am not certain what the trouble is. If you have family that is in danger, then of course we must help them." This is pretty much the expected response from perpetually loving, caring, loyal unto BLOODY DEATH alien Princess. Ahem, ignore that last bit!

"However, it would help if we understood the situation, and what we must do! Who is this person and what sort of trouble are they in?" When they pick up Donna, she is, again, all bright smiles and excitement. "Donna! It is most wonderful to see you again. And this time away from work!" A pause. "Well, away from the other work!" Is hero-ing the day job, or the hobby? Who knows!

*

Heroing is the day job, the hobby, the duty, the all-encompassing lifestyle. Conner Kent is a notorious truant, as much as one can be from university studies, and it's only redoubled with the demonic crisis. As such, he's out too late, and has just finished airlifting a ferry to a less demon-addled course before it could be sunk with all hands.

The Dude of Steel's already en route back towards the Tower when the alert goes up over his comms, but not in time to make the pickup. Instead, as the Javelin roars its way towards its destination, guided by Caitlin's wobbly flightstyle under emotional duress, it picks up a wingman— a red and blue one.

The salute he tosses the cockpit angles the 'S' shield into view, not that Fairchild is likely to have any doubts, but style considerations are paramount. "Superboy here." He comms in, "I got your six."

Kon-El does just that, dropping back to escort the Javelin in from above and behind at its lazy, lazy pace. Coming in from the black he has even less information than the others— but his sentiment is much the same as Starfire's. He's here for whatever it is, and whatever it takes— Caitlin's tone accomplishes that even if there were -none- of the context.

*

Likewise an outlier, Spoiler has gotten aboard. She sits as co-pilot, silent as Starfire boisteriously makes the rounds in greeting people. Hands on the extra controls, the blonde batling turns her gaze from the alien princess to the friends she's really here to support. Nothing needs to be said. Nothing needed to be said, for when Caitlin had called up Spoiler there was only one answer to give: I'm on my way.

So, here she is. Not exctly sure what they will be up against, but knowing the importance of this to her friend, Spoiler packed for a general cover mostly all the bases type of fisticuffs. The rest, she'll make up on the spot.

"Acknowledged, Superboy," she says over the coms, taking on that duty without asking, without waiting to be asked. Her tone, digitized by the voice modulator, is flat and even and calm. For now, anyway.

*

It's not hard to find the apartment building, it's one of the sky scrapers in NYC that's currently on fire. Shockingly, there really aren't that many with billowing pillars of smoke marking their locations. Funny that.

As the Javelin comes level with the penthouse, one of a nest of equally impressive buildings, it's abundantly clear something has gone horribly wrong. The windows on three sides of the top two floors of the building are either blown out or peppered with the tell tale spiderwebs of small arms fire on bullet resistent glass. Small pock marks mar the surface in nearly every direction, spots where bullets chewed out chunks of concrete or dented steel where windows weren't available, and at least three spots show black carbon marks marring the surface of crater like cracks where RPG's made impact.

RPGs!?

What the hell has Alex been into…

As if in answer to that unspoken question, the Javelin's defense systems suddenly begin to scream as Not So Small Arms Fire begins to pepper it's side. If this were not concerning enough, it's followed by the smoking trail of some sort of land to air weapon speeding it's way rapidly from the nearest rooftop towards the Javelin's exhaust ports.

Likely this sudden onslaught of weapons fire is coming from that grouping of a dozen or so men in tactical gear looking for all the world like they belong to a PMC of some kind. Where ever they are from, they know their work. Everything fired is in tight groupings, larger calibre then the buildings damage would originally lead one to believe, and they move from cover to cover on the roof as they shoot, cover that they themselves seem to have set up in the form of portable half walls and some sort of awning or tent in the center of the roof.

*

"And you, Kori. I imagine you're surprised to actually see my face." Usually it was hidden behind some camera setup or another. Donna returned the younger woman's smile, as she scooted down on the seat to make room for whomever else might join. Sure, they were in the air, but when had that ever stopped heroes before? Open the bay door, snatch and grab, it was wholly and completely possible. "Looks as though that's my cue." There was something to be said for being neigh invulnerable. "Can you pop the hatch, Caitlin? I'll see if I can't clear the way for you to put down safely."

*

"Incoming fire! Deploying chaff!" Caitlin is, actually, a fairly competent pilot. On reflex she banks away from the gunfire, cutting thrust and dropping a few feet while pulling the aerial equivalent of a handbrake J-turn in the air. Flickering metallic shavings fill the air while magnesium flares send out false heat trails to discourage anything more exotic than the dumb RPG projectiles. Repulsors and retro-rockets fire as the vehicle pivots, and Caitlin hits the 'bay door override' button.

"Clear the penthouse deck and I can put her on autopilot— can't risk crashing it!" Caitlin says into the comm unit. As much as she clearly wants to join the attack team, a sense of public responsibility keeps her rear in the pilot's seat for the moment as she tries to avoid the well-aimed gunfire.

*

There's Reasons(tm) Kon kind of hates going into danger in a tin can, even a cool-ass vertibird or battlewagon, and this shit? This shit is top of that list. In a flash, Superboy imposes himself between the aircraft and the line of fire, high-caliber rounds ricocheting off his chest in swift succession, unheeded. The flashes light the night, and the Kryptonian prototype hurtles himself towards the assailants as the rocket-propelled projectile joins the fray, enacting his own rather unconventional countermeasure against it.

Before he can clasp the round in his hands, it detonates into a cloud of smaller missiles— high tech stuff, each no larger than a man's thumb, each homing inexorably towards the heat source of the Javelin's thrusters. Three explode across Superboy, another is smashed in a super-fast hand, and three more swept from existance by a quick flash of heat vision.

He's faster than they are, but there are too many— still, the cloud is thinned in several more swift eruptions of fire and badaboom in the half-instants that follow, before a glance from the Dude of Steel sears the ground beneath the attacking group from its moorings, collapsing the area rather suddenly. "Hope you got the rest of those…. 'cause it's coming right for you." Dumbfire is too easy, isn't it. It's always some kind of crap!

*

"Oh, it is not that difficult to see it normally, the camera does not hide that much of your…" What was that discussion at the Watchtower the other day about Kori working on her sense of humor? "Oh! This is a joke!" She beams back brightly at Donna. "This situations is very different from the usual one! Nonetheless, you always look wonderful in both cases!"

However, it is not long before the Jet comes (predictably!) under attack, and as it does, Starfire's line of thinking seems very much in line with her fashion-industry partner. "Yes, I do not think either of us will be of much use in here." Rising from her seat, she turns back to watch the rear door open, and then dives out into the open air, hanging suspended just a moment, taking in the view around them as the plane pulls away under its own speed.

It takes a moment to pick out the enemy emplacement, but just that, and she soon turns and bolts toward them, the already absurd length of her hair extending into a flaming contrail behind her. Or well, she starts to. Kon rakes the area with an eyeblast and tries to catch a missile, which apparently turns into many more missiles. Less worried about the men with guns than these, she holds out her hands and projects a wider-than-average blast of energy to catch some of the remaining projectiles, a starfan more than a starbolt.

*

With Catilin as a competent pilot and Spoiler having batling training, the two work fairly in tandem. The blonde takes directions well!

"Chaff deployed," Spoiler responds with flat urgency, eyes skimming over what this thing has for sensors to keep Caitlin abreast of incoming threats. Like the ones Kon calls out.

"If you want to roll out and help with those," Spoiler offers to her friend, face turning toward Catilin. Her tone is slightly softer, so that even though it's over coms, it's clear she's talknig just to the Fairchild.

*

Donna was already moving towards the hatch, flying out and around the javelin as she cleared the vehicle, spotting the projectiles heading for the engines, using her bracelets to deflect the incoming rounds, enough weight behind her that those that explode near her don't push the woman too far off her course. Since the men on the roof themselves seem to being engaged, she focused her own attention on providing a screen so that Caitlin and Spoiler could get the ship down and the rest of the crew out.

*

The rooftop safe have the soldier like men had set up quickly becomes neither safe, nor a rooftop as portions of it's supports are cut out from under them by Kryptonian Cheat Vision Type 3 of 14. While unlikely to kill any of the men, the suddenly sink hole laden rooftop becomes something of a trap for the men, and a few disappear into the darkness beneath their feet, soft cries of surprise of pain following them down.

Those that manage to keep their feet make a dash for the edge of the building, moving in a diciplined wave, a few move while others provide covering fire, then they swap places, the careful retreat of professionals as they near the back edge of the building.

Two of the men duck beneath the awning and disappear from sight, should someone possess Kryptonian Cheating Ears, they may over head the rapid sound of a native Russian speaker urgently trying to convince someone of something.

"Niet." comes the response, cold, hard, and in a smooth deep tenor. "I do not run from children in tights." Two men that ran under the awning, suddenly exit the other side, sprinting to join their brothers trying to reach the far rooftop edge.

*

"Need your eyes in there," Caitlin tells Stephanie, shrugging out of the pilot's harness. "Be right behind me." She grips Stephanie's forearm gratefully and rushes towards the back exit while Stephanie banks the Javelin around, and vaults out of the back of the vehicle. She's moving fast as the RPGs are— the Titan's own ginger dumb missile!

She hits the deck hard enough to plow up some of the expensive stone that makes up the balcony, and kicks one of the heavy slabs like a football at a gunman taking potshots at the Javelin from behind partial cover.

"ALEX!" Caitlin screams— and when she screams, it's loud enough to shake the ground underfoot. She grabs one of the gunmen and throws him aside, to another balcony two floors down. It won't kill him, but it's proooobably gonna hurt.

*

Let's call Kon-El's Russian 'less than fluent'. What -is- obvious, though, is that the shocked and awed protestations aren't from whoever's in charge— but the firm denial very well may be!!

Kon's angle of ingress shields the descent of the Javelin for several precious moments, the bioweapon's frame absorbing more high-impact rounds without concern as he careens straight for that awning, through it, and fearlessly— into whoever's beyond.

He's not as careful as Big Blue, not as ginger and tender in his ministrations, but neither is Superboy trying to kill anyone. He does, however, do his best to pick up whoever he finds in pairs, and fling them into opposing walls.

The youth in tights is a maelstrom of blurring motion and heaving super-strength, looking to scatter their adversaries like so many bowling pins, in a sequence that takes about that long to unfold to the typical naked eye. "Give it up!!" he boisterously encourages, emphatic in his demand. Which comes -after- and amidst the onslaught, rather than before it.

*

As soon as the ship's touched down, and the group, small as they are, coming out, Donna turns her attention to linking up with Caitlin. The sheer volume of that yell does not do her enhanced hearing any favours. But that's family for you, "Caitlin, stop! Let the rest of us deal with these. See if you can use your systems to track movement in the building and isolate the most likely location of your brother. The more time we waste up here, the longer he's alone down there." Or wherever he is.

*

The collapsed roof, done in by judicious face-lasering and stompy landings, leaves few of the enemies openly visible or readily apparent, and so Starfire closes in, sailing to join Caitlin in her landing area- although the alien as ever hovers just a bit above the crater her friend has left, rather than with her in the midst of that destruction. "Did he communicate his location inside the other structure?" And here, she nods at Donna's own suggestion. "It is most important to find and rescue your family. These men are no great threat. Conner will probably beat them all up, and perhaps knock the building down in the process."

Funnily enough, one can safely assume that Koriand'r speaks just about any language that has friendly native exemplars in New York! You guys know what we're talking about~ That said, she lacks ULTRAhearing, so for the moment, these two facets of what might otherwise form an effective counterinelligence suite amount to fairly little!

*

"Always," Spoiler promises her red-headed friend in response to her request to stay behind her. The blonde's head turns as her forearm is gripped and despite the tense situation, the batling gives her friend a soft smile and a single small nod. As Caitlin charges out of the bay, Spoiler turns back to the controls. Having taken the flight out here to familiarize herself with the plane's systems, Spoiler misuses her friend's trust to force a link to her bat-suit's HUD and computer link up she has through the phone she caries safely on her person. League coms, on which this plane runs, are the perfect transmission conduit for the slave signal, and before too long Spoiler has the Javelin ready to be set on Standby-Hover mode. The plane is lowered a bit for the rest to disembark as she sets up the protocal.

Standby-Hover. It's a protocol Spoiler uses often with her skycycle, setting the vehicle to maintain a position some few hundred feet above her current location as it waits for further instructions. A limited two-way contact, Spoiler sets up the problem feeding to her HUD to give her an alert if the Javelin's onboard sensors detect anything amiss. With the plane secured, Spoiler likewise shrugs out of her harness and makes her way to the back of the plane to join the fray. The Javelin

Unlike the rest, the batling doesn't fly. She does fall, though. With style that includes using her cape's electrical charge to turn it into a glider so that she is deposited safely to the rooftop across the way. Unlike the others, Spoiler doesn't charge in, super-powers raging. Mostly because she lacks them. The batling does as batlings do, and she slips into the shadows, using the noise and the chaos to slide into the building - a silent intruder - moving quickly and quietly.

It was because she was in the plane that she didn't note that Catiling had gone to the other building. Not that she tells the team this. She just moves in silently and begins searching for signs to Alex's location.

*

If Superboy was expecting to fly under the awning and lay waste to a group of soldiers he's… very disappointed. Sure, there are stacks of weapons crates with words on them like Stark, Luthor, and Death's Head, leading manufacturers of scary things that make dead bodies. And sure, Kon destroyes the /crap/ out of them, hurling large fiber glass containers about like they were styrofoam, his abundant violence causing most of the awnings supports to collapse and the tent itself to half fall down on the Boy of Steel, forcing him to tear the tough fabric into ribbons as if it were tissue paper.

Amid this chaos however stands a long man, beyond middle age, likely pushing his early 50's, stands a man of dignity and bearing. His coal black hair is just starting to go gray at the edges, his carefully trimmed goatee doing the same at the corners of his mouth. He's clearly to self possessed to bother dying it away, and the almost mocking smirk he offers Superboy as the later fella pauses in his destruction to eye the Russian, confirms it.

Already half way finished, the Russian contines to calmly unbutton his tailored white dress shirt, pulling it off he folds it carefully over the back of a chair he was presumably just sitting in a moment ago, joining a black suit coat, "It's Italian," he says, his accent present, but not cliched villain thick, "I'm sure you understand." he pauses, eyes Kon's costume, "Or maybe you do not." shrug. He turns back to face the Mostly Kryptonian and tilts his head to the side. He's in /great/ shape for a guy his age, except for the weird patchiness of his salt and pepper chest hair.

Wait. That's not patchiness.

The man grins wider and tenses his legs before speaking a single word.

{SABBAC}

The roof erupts in a coloum of hellfire hot enough to turn steel to liquid, stone to lava, and cause the air itself to burn. From the fire hurtles a creature of blood red skin and curling horns, it's body layered in slabs of rippling muscle, it's eyes burning with the light of flickering flames, and a great inverted pentacle that glows like molten steel carved into the beasts chest.

It moves so quickly the fires are sucked up in it's wake, it's body a crimson blur as it slams it's fist into the dead center of Superboy's proudly proclaimed 'S' with enough force to turn coal into diamonds. {Burn.} and the fire that was sucked up in it's wake pours past it like it were alive and hungry, chasing after the stumbling Superboy.

*

Caitlin whips her head around at Donna's outcry, and tension lines her face. Eyes flicker left and right— Donna on the attack point, Kori pulling air support, and Stephanie, bless her heart, is going full ninja into the building while Conner goes towards her brother.

"Thanks," Caitlin gasps at Donna, and turns to face the penthouse in the opposite building. So she has a birds' eye view of the towering inferno claiming her brother's apartment and backlighting Conner with apocalyptic hellfire. "CONNER!" she screams— and breaks into a sprint with so much force that the top ten stories of the tower shift an inch backwards. Stone splinters under her feet and flies in a spray of shrapnel behind her, and Caitlin hurls herself like a bullet across the hundred-odd foot gap between the two luxury apartment complexes. Normally, she'd go feet first as a human missile. Eighty percent of the time, it works all the time.

This time, though, she flies with a punch loaded and ready— and the glimmering silver of holy iconography engraved in the knuckleguards of her gauntlets.

*

Donna moved, as soon as she saw Caitlin set to the task, more than fast enough to keep up with the woman as they moved from one building to another. She did not need to leap, flight working well enough, not did she seemed intimidated by the hellfire, or the monster stepping out of it. After you watch a couple of gods die, partially by your own machinations, and live with their screams in your head, well. Still, she attempted to outfly the red-headed woman. And if she could manage it, to put herself between Caitlin and the demon.

*

Inside the other building, Spoiler pads quietly through a carpet of bullet casings. Her head on a swivel, the batling makes notes of a detail here - the angles of the bullet holes riddling the walls - a detail there - four dead: three from bullets, one from KBar to the roof of mouth and possibly leaving an inverted dent in the top of his skull. Spoiler will absolutely not take the time to find out. Not when there's a blood trail to follow up some stairs to the second floor of a penthouse.

She noted the sound of Caitlin screaming Conner's name. It is worrisome. More so when the name is an actual name and not a code name. It's a sure sign that Caitlin is far more emotionally fragile than the batling thought.

"Codenames, Fairchild," comes the soft digitally modified voice of Spoiler in all of their coms. To herself, her voice barely fills the air just around her, for she uses only enough vocal chord and volume to trigger the bone induction mic connected to the voice modulator. The reminder is gentle enough, said calmly enough that Spoielr is hoping that Caitlin remembers that there are -some- on the team that don't use their real birth names while in the cape and cowl.

And if it's a line a certain first boyfriend's said to her when she was likewise emotionally compromised over another certain second boyfriend, tough. Spoiler will just not think about that right now, thank you very much.

*

Trashing supplies, trashing goons, it's good stuff. Less good— facing off against a brutal mobster imbued by the power of demon lords from ANOTHER goddamn (see what we did there?) hell realm. The flames quickly force an abatement of Kon-El's assault, leaping back and using a forearm to shield himself from the intense, magical heat.

It singes his armored gauntlet, then vaporizes it, and leaves the Dude of Steel well and truly set up for the follow-through. He's been hit by some strong folks— some -really-, /really/ strong folks. Kon can soak up a lot of punishment that way, and the hammer-blow may be hard enough to transmute carbon, but it's not hard enough to cave Kryptonian sternum. The hellfire, though? That's a different story.

Consumed in the gout of mystical flame, the right half of Superboy's costume is incinerated, his skin blackened, and in numerous places, turned in a flash from flesh to ash. Blood seeps angrily from the gaps even as Kon spirals away, the force of his lurching course smashing up the ground in chunks and trenches, his good arm slamming down to dig steely fingertips in and slow that hurtling course. He coughs, and blood spatters.

Superboy gets one knee under him, pushes himself up that far— and the pain makes him rather wish he hadn't. The pain, and the fact that he kind of looks like Super-Two-Face from the waist up, right now. A haggard breath is partly visible on one side thanks to an exposed section of lung, and still, the prototype won't lay still.

Brilliant blue eyes, one half-exposed and bloodshot, unleash the full fury of the sun to angle in with Caitlin's assault. It's fighting fire with fire, perhaps— but solar energy has been remarkable against demonic entities so far, and he just… can't quite will a renewed charge, just yet. The din of the conflict graciously masks the rasping from the charred Kryptoclone's struggling gasps.

*

If there was any remaining doubt as to what was going on and where, that is probably erased by the column of hellfire errupting from a building. So much for subtlety, although the property damage specialists known as the Titans will probably mourn it not! As far as Koriand'r is concerned, it is proof that the battle is on and that the true enemy has revealed themselves. And so, onward flies the daughter of Tamaran, now every bit as heedless of the danger that Conner has already stumbled into.

Like Caitlin, there is a gap to cross, a volume of open air and many-story drop to the busy streets of New York below. Fortunately, it is crossed with ease, cut by a fiery line that marks the Princess' passing and lingers for moments even after she has gone. Rushing into the burning remnants of the structure and taking advantage of all the damage both Conner and the demon have already done, her fists are held before her to batter through whatever scant sections of merely HALF-destroyed wall remain between her and the center of the structure. Through smoke and chaos she flies, until she finds her teamate and his new foe. Yet finding Conner on the ground, her reaction and demeanor changes somewhat.

Rather than completing that heedless assault, she lands beside, and a few steps in front of her friend. "Conner! Are you alright?!" Seeing him injured, burned even, is not a common sight, and it riles up the angry, protective side of her boundless joyous friendship. But he still has the will to fight, and she no less. "By X'hal, you will pay for that!"

NOW she launches ahead, charging and blasting at once, her bolt aimed along a parallel with Kon's, red and green like a solar-powered Christmas display. Her body follows behind the energy, vectoring in with Caitlin and Donna to strike at a host of angles.

*

Sabbac shifts from the wall of fire that pours over Superboy and turns his attention to the oncoming women. As Donna steps towards him, he seems to simply slip to one side, graceful and fast as any hunting cat she's ever seen, assuming those moved at blur worthy speeds. The thing about leaping attacks is that unless you can fly, you've set your tragectory in stone, you cannot alter your path. It makes you predictable. It also means he can focus on another threat.

Dipping low in a feignt at if he were going to try for cutting Donna's feet out from under her, he instead rams his horned forehead into her core, shifting her at the very last fraction of a second to the side. Just into the path of a flying Cait-Fist and it's magical little symbols. Twisting from the pair of heroines as they sail past he looks down at the heat vision rippling over his crimson skin and he turns a quirked ink black brow at Superboy, Connor was it? he asks with a little smirk, Heat vision? Against a Devil? No wonder they still call you 'Boy'. and then he's covered in a multihued energy bath.

The creature lifts it's arms over it's head, shielding it's eyes from the onslaught before a flash of white teeth can be seen amid the glow, Fire. They think to attack me with fire. and then he's off. A single coil of his legs sending him hurteling across the gap between the buildings, his muscled form hitting the armored penthouse windows with the force of a freight train. A section of the building the size of a mini van crumples and falls away, soccerball sized bits of masonry begin to showed down on the street below, hurteling like comets towards the sidewalk. Inside, the penthouses first floor simple explodes in dust, debris, and the smell of sulfurous flames as something large and scarlets lands amid the marble flooring in cloven hoves that crack the stone like eggshells. PEABODY! the Devil bellows, it's burning yellow eyes turning about, trying to locate the missing arms dealer.

*

Sabbac shifts from the wall of fire that pours over Superboy and turns his attention to the oncoming women. As Donna steps towards him, he seems to simply slip to one side, graceful and fast as any hunting cat she's ever seen, assuming those moved at blur worthy speeds. The thing about leaping attacks is that unless you can fly, you've set your tragectory in stone, you cannot alter your path. It makes you predictable. It also means he can focus on another threat.

Dipping low in a feignt at if he were going to try for cutting Donna's feet out from under her, he instead rams his horned forehead into her core, shifting her at the very last fraction of a second to the side. Just into the path of a flying Cait-Fist and it's magical little symbols. Twisting from the pair of heroines as they sail past he looks down at the heat vision rippling over his crimson skin and he turns a quirked ink black brow at Superboy, <Connor was it?> he asks with a little smirk, <Heat vision? Against a Devil? No wonder they still call you 'Boy'.> and then he's covered in a multihued energy bath.

The creature lifts it's arms over it's head, shielding it's eyes from the onslaught before a flash of white teeth can be seen amid the glow, <Fire. They think to attack me with fire.> and then he's off. A single coil of his legs sending him hurteling across the gap between the buildings, his muscled form hitting the armored penthouse windows with the force of a freight train. A section of the building the size of a mini van crumples and falls away, soccerball sized bits of masonry begin to showed down on the street below, hurteling like comets towards the sidewalk. Inside, the penthouses first floor simple explodes in dust, debris, and the smell of sulfurous flames as something large and scarlets lands amid the marble flooring in cloven hoves that crack the stone like eggshells. <PEABODY!> the Devil bellows, it's burning yellow eyes turning about, trying to locate the missing arms dealer.

*

Caitlin screeches in rage as the demon dodges and tries to fling Donna into Caitlin's path. The redhead can't reverse on a dime without some traction, but she's at least got the reflexes not to sucker punch one of her best friends like a fool. But her attack is ruined. Donna's reflexes, at least, are sufficient to accept the big hit from the demon and grab Caitlin before the redhead bounces off with the velocity of a supercharged pinball.

She grunts with the impact of being deflected— fast as she's moving, it takes a not-insubstantial effort to halt her momentum— and ends up tangled with Donna in midair as Sabbac mauls the Amazon.

Caitlin screeches with rage, but instead of throwing a punch at the massive demon, she aims from the hip with a painball gun. It happens to be running at four hundred percent the recommended PSI, and every one of the plastic spheres is loaded for bear with holy water from the font at the Church of the Sacred Heart. Caitlin pins the electric trigger down and four hundred rounds per second of holy water ampules stitch a wild figure-eight pattern in the demon's direction.

*

Unfortunately for the demon, Donna can fly, and she is, so while she does take the hit, and finds herself being propelled back into Caitlin, she manages to twist her body to grab the younger woman, even if it means taking that hit as well. Caitlin is not, alas, an insubstantial woman. Forward momentum halted, she keeps Caitlin turned towards the enemy, as it were, trying to avoid the ampules of whatever it is Caitlin is firing. She flies them both over to the building the demon has now leapt to. She'll, of course, set Caitlin down as soon as they're on level enough ground. "Any chance we can access the security system?" Unlike Superman, possibly Superboy, she doesn't know that one, she doesn't have X-Ray vision.

*

"Yea, Starfire…" Superboy murmurs, his voice hoarse, the suffering evident in it, despite his denial. "I'm.. just… fine." A wise man would quit the fight while he still had some faculties remaining. Recover from grievous injury somewhere safe, give no one a chance to finish the job before his remarkable alien cells and solar-powered metabolism could knit up what might be unrecoverable to many. Kon-El is not wise— or perhaps, he's simply that determined, that brave, and that selfless.

The singed remnants of the 'S' on his chest rise with him, and his biokinetic sheathe does wonders to keep the rest of his wounded bits and pieces in place; at least for now. There's one silver lining to this turn of events: it tells the bioweapon exactly what he's dealing with. They're the same.

In a war, you have a bunch of basic weapons, you have a set of larger support weapons, and then you have a few really, really big ones. As surely as the demonic entity is designed to be just that, so is Superboy. Built from the ground up as an instrument of mass destruction, of unstoppable power. This particular demon isn't vulnerable to the sun— and that's unfortunate, just now. But it doesn't stop Kon from unleashing with everything he has.

He lives in a world of glass… USUALLY carefully heeding the lessons Big Blue teaches about collatoral damage, about the sheer potential of their lethal force. But Sabbac can take it, can't he? One moment, the Kryptonian weapon finds his footing, the next, he's right back in the empowered villain's face. Or rather, driving a twin-fisted hammerblow straight for the fellow's ribcage in turn.

It's followed up from every direction as if in synchronous tandem, the impact of unfathomable warheads, every strike sufficient to send a destructive shockwave from point of collision. Chunks of building would blow clear, the battlefield would be torn further asunder, every window on the level would shudder, buckle, perhaps shatter in a glorious, expensive blizzard of sundered security glass.

TL;DR? Kon-El /cuts loose/.

*

As the supoer powered demon fight rages on, Spoiler follows the blood trail up to the second floor where the trail vanishes under a bed… in a very perculiar manner. It doesn't take the batling long to find the secret door into the panic room, nor the access panel needed to open teh door. As she settles in to get to work on opening the door, Donna's request comes across her coms.

"Maybe," is the soft, calm, not anywhere near the fight reply from Spoiler's modulated voice. She hooks her batphone into the system and begins working.

Her first scans reveal a simple and lethal security feature, one that makes the batling pause for a heartbeat and give the room a second glance over while she sets about recalling the layout of the other rooms she passed through.

'Ah. Kill everything protocol,' she thinks to herself as she spots those tell-tale seams of hidden weaponry in the ceiling and in the walls and along the floor. The protocol is set up to kill the person at this control panel, something that really doesn't sit will with Spoiler, at all. She rather likes living. Donna's request has the purple lipped blonde smirking as she sets to work on using the Batcomputer's computing prowess to rewriting the targeting for the very high thermal signature that is Demon-Boss elsewhere in the building.

What's clear to Spoiler is that she's not alone in attempting to get the door open and the security measures by-passed. What's also clear to the human woman is that she better be ready to deal with whomever is on the other side.

"Security systems online. Don't use attacks higher temp than the demon," she says just as she taps the final keystoke on her phone to access the panic room and have the door slide aside for her.

"Hey, Superboy? Can you freeze breath?" she asks as the door is opening and she's standing at the ready. Because she caught that they were trying flame-based attacks and the girl who was dating the nerdiest nerd in the Fam understands things like elemental based damage reduction. IE: Don't use fire attacks on a fire creature, since not only does it not do damage it runs the risk of healing them.

Have the Titans never played D&D 5e?

*

While she is bold in attack, Starfire is not blindly overconfident in say the manner of certain team members that might not be mentioned! Every bit the _Warrior_ Princess, the initial blast of concentrated starstuff is just that, an opening salvo in the destined clash. She does not expect a foe that could fell Kon-El to crumple under a single attack, nor even to triumph on her own. But she knows this is not required: Titans Together.

And so, from behind the blast comes the alien herself, arriving ready to do hand-to-hand combat with the beast, ever as eagerly as the two other women. Again, she witnesses harm done to a friend. "Donna!" And again, this does not weaken her resolve, but harden it, compassion and love turning into boiling anger.

She's the last of the trio of women to arrive to close combat, and Sabbac is already in evasion when she does. But she too can fly, and with great agility. Twisting her body in the air while gravity bends to accomodate a different direction of travel, she is on him, after him, refusing to let the beast escape. Derbris she vaporizes in the air in front of her as she pursues, while she twists an evasive pattern through the holy-water artillery barrage Caitlin is serving up.

He lands, and she is there. So is Conner. She's not quite a kryptonian, although to a human it would be a hard line to draw. Also unlike Conner? She's basically a space Amazon, trained in crazy ass martial arts this planet is never even heard of. Unleashing said skills, she fights as a teamate, lashing out at joints, leveraging his demonic bulk to line him up for Kon's haymakers.

As the great Warlords of Okaara say: Sweep the leg.

*

Deathstroke is better then Bruce dammit!

*

Deathstroke never even attacked you.

*

Sabbac lands and bellows and turns, one hand lazily reaching out to swat the entirety of the kitchen island away as if it were an annoying fly, the bits of wood and stone and steel hurteling across the condo to imbed in the far wall. <PEABO-AAAARGH!> he spins and twists his torso, moveing out of the opening he put in the side of the building to the other side, hissing as a stitching of a half dozen paint balls splattered his back wtih their payload. He snarls in rage and…. gets punched in the face.

The rain of blows cause the Devil to rock one way then another, the shockwaves rolling from his clearing the floor of lighter debris, sending gravel, dust and slivers skittering towards the edges of the room. The fourth such blow however stops in mid swing, a crimson hand wrapping clean around both of Superboy's forearms, stopping them mid swing with a quivering of Sabbac's own muscle. <That,> he says through his teeth, <hurt.> and he grins as a drop of blood slowly glides down his chin. <Pain is of my kind too little alien. Here. Let me show you.> and he opens his mouth, unleashing a gout of hellfire directly into… the ceiling. The building has decided to fight back.

Funny thing about attacking the fortress like stronghold of a weaponsmithing savant. They tend to defend themselves. Well. Make that savant the personal weaponeer of the world's deadliest assassin and son of an SAS legend and he might even be a smidgen paranoid. It's why the gravity on the first floor of the pent house just increased by a geometric factor of ten without warning. Dragging Sabbac, Superboy, and anything/one else within ten feet of the Devil straight down into the floor. HARD. There's another snarl of annoyance as the Devil begins to climb to it's cloven hooves again, noticeably slower this time as the now molten ceiling material above him rains down on him and Superboy like the worlds worst rainshower faucet head.

But it's hard to stand up when someone is taking you out at the knees. He crumples back down, the impact of his falling causing the floor to creak ominously for a moment before the sensation of all the extra weight just vanishes, leaving the brute stumbling. <I grow tired of these GAMES!!> he roars, turning to unleash a billowing pillar of hellfire from each hand, pouring them towards Superboy and Starfire simultaneously.

*

The flames are hurting Conner more than anyone could countenance. The fact that Superboy is carrying on as he is, is a credit to the more human part of him: that indomitable grit. Never quitting, never giving in. Pushing through.

But that gout of hellfire could fricasse him, might even hurt Starfire. Hellfire is not merely heat. It's hell and evil and hate, boiling hot enough to slag the air.

Instead of two of the Titans vanishing inside the hellfire, one Titan flies at the demon like a meteoric streak. Well— flies. Caitlin's hurled by Donna like a hyperkinetic missile the second gravity comes back online. It's a game they've played more than a few times aboard the Bilskirnir and doesn't even require a verbal cue.

And as eye-searing as the hellfire is, the gauntlets on Caitlin's hands gleam all the brighter. Maybe it's the Asgardian alloys her mismatched gauntlets are made from. Maybe she's somehow borrowing Superboy's TACTILE TELEKINESIS. Or she's developed latent pyrokinesis.

But it's likely the emblems of her faith burning bright, the fragile silver inlays ignoring the sulfer-tainted heat she pushes back with her bare palms, and follows up with an uppercut that would rip the top off a tank. It'd send the demon flying, too, except Caitlin's got a boot pressed atop his clawed foot and starts laying into the demon with a pounding that would be savage flailing except for the professional pugilist in her. It looks like a kid playing with one of those bounce-back boxing toys.

Trained by Amazons, Asgardians, American icons, space aliens, and even a Batling, Caitlin throws ten punches in the space of one second, every one of them as hard as the hardest hit Conner could throw. And just for good measure, she does it with holy weapons blessed by one of the saintliest little old men in the world, and backed by the faith of someone who Believes with a capital 'B'.

"DON'T HURT MY FAMILY!" she howls, the words almost lost over the din of her punches. She whips a leg up, makes an opening to slip past the guard, and grabs the demon's neck and shoulder behind her knee. Her other leg sets, she grabs a wrist, and bends her body backwards into a bow with every ounce of strength her core possesses, taking the demon's arms backwards in directions they are not meant to hinge.

*

Donna sent Caitlin towards the demon, which, she might regret later, but now was not then, and she let the woman fly. She did not, however, follow suit. Instead, she reached down to retrieve her lasso, flicking it out, as she flew in, casting it with unfailing accuracy, snaking around the demon and latching onto it, before Donna began to pull, the cord, silver, not Wonder Woman's more familiar gold, suddenly burning with brilliant blue light, as Donna wound it around her forearm, anchoring it with her strength. Her voice, as she spoke, was audible even over the sound of crumbling building, the impacts of Caitlin's fists, the screams and yells of the rest of the team, "Return to your human form. Now! I command you!"

*

Starfire isn't strictly energy resistant, so much as she is energy absorbant; and while normally she handles all the various sorts of deadly radiation that fill space just fine, this hellfire is laced with a different sort of toxin. The heat isn't really the problem, but the twisting evil of it is, wracking her with pain that has no physical cause, but that rather scours and rips at the soul. The darkness pours in, riding the mundane energy like a Trojan horse, and tries to burrow into her heart.

Yet for all the agony it causes, it finds no true purchase. Beneath her anger, beneath the scars upon her psyche from years of harsh abuse, Koriand'r's heart is hopeful, a vessel of purest positivity, joy and love for the world around her. That is something totally unquenchable. Indeed, she's met and touched some truly potent evils and been unmoved, or even helped them turn back toward the light.

And somewhere within the burning column, the bright green of her eyes are still just a little brighter.

Yet for all of that, even standing is difficult. Not really because of the weird gravity device (this is, perhaps, how Tamaraneans fly?) but simply the sheer unimaginable pain, which for all that inner purity, she is not spared. She staggers out of the burning column in halting, stumbling steps. Even then, her one goal is to continue the fight, even though she can hardly keep on her feet. She stumbles onto Sabbac, grabs whatever she can reach, clinging fiercely just to hold him for Caitlin - and then for Donna.

And when it is all done, whatever is done, it all finally proves too much, and she collapses.

*

Superboy doesn't answer his comm— at least, not verbally. Instead, when his final blow is caught, Kon-El soars away at the same instant, with just as much force as the attack. The tenfold gravity suddenly slows his ascent— but it's not enough to smash him down, already propelling himself full blast upwards.

Kon punches through several larger slabs of reinforced floor, and they shatter in a quite unexpected manner into far more manageable, less trauma-inducing chunks for those below. It's a subtle use of his TACTILE TELEKINESIS, but an effective one.

There's a tremendous wind that whips up in that moment as Kon inhales, to understate it, very deeply. In the wake of that column of fire, Superboy soars in from above, and as the demon rises, as Caitlin and Donna's far more expert application of combat acumen seeks to decimate the hell-knight further, he purses his lips, and lets it /rip/.

A whirling tunnel of frosty force is condensed to a narrow column that bears down on Sabbac even as the demonic champion seeks to defend himself, and regain his footing. It roars, it whistles, it freezes the floor around him solid, and promises ample frostbitten opposition to any further conjured flames— at least for an interminable series of fervent moments.

*

[Stephanie Brown teleports to the Quiet Room.]

*

And the Devil is rocked. For the first time the blows seem to have real power behind them. Not just strength, not just force, but Power. Cait's blows rain down and there's a sizzle of meat on a hot grill, whiffs of smoke raise from the crimson skin in a manner that has nothing to do with hellfire. She pounds away at the beast, and he cries out in pain, in suffering, and he bellows, fire ripping from his mouth only to be cut off by a vicious uppercut that cuts off the flame at it's source. He counters with a swing of his own, missing once, twice, slowed by the pummeling from the Kryptonian and then the sudden onset gravity, the low blows by the Tamaranian, he cannot seem to connect. And then he's locked against her body, his own bending, straining, great scarlet muscles quivering as blood dribbles from his mouth, from wounds across his chest…

Until Cait can't seem to bend him anymore. Until he reaches up with his free arm and sinks the claws of his free arm into the meat of her thigh. <Yeeeeessss…> He says, and unless anyone misses their guess, he's getting… bigger. <Yeeeeeesssss!> the arm she grips swells slightly beneath her fingers, the wrist twisting as she clings to it, making it harder to hold. And then it begins to bend back inward, slowly, oh so slowly, but bend back against her pull none the less. He turns his horned head so that the tip of one of his horns scraps along her calf, his burning yellow eyes locking onto her own, <Feed me you /wrath/.> he hisses past the blood in his mouth. Blood that seems to begin to slink back /up/ into his lips. His gaze snaps to Superboy next, the motion gouging a cut into Cait's leg, <Feed me your /pride/.> and he grins wider as the wounds caused by Cait's gauntlets simply seal shut before their eyes and begin to fade.

The air around the pair of them drops in temperature, the cold air frosting, then freezing, and the Devil simply laughs, breathing deep of the arctic blast as his skin begins to steam, <You think there are no cold places in hell? Nothing burns like true cold littl-> and he stops talking. Because something blue and glowy and rope like just draped over his face, looping across a horn and his cheek and lower lip. He makes an undignified face, trying to shake it free. Then Donna speaks.

If this were a story book tale, there would be a grand battle of wills, pit between two equal characters forged in their own trials and tribulations, the crucibles that made them the beings of power they were, tempering them into something more then their base components.

But this isn't a story tale. This is real life, and in real life being the jumped up boss of the Russian Bratva with power stolen from the six most powerful Devils of Hell does not give you a will of Adamantium. More like… tin.

<SABBAC!> he calls out the instant Donna demands it of him, and Cait once more finds herself in a hellfire maelstrom. This one at least is focused on the suddenly /MUCH/ smaller middle aged mob boss sprawled across her bleeding calf.

"What the actual fuck?" he asks, bewildered.

*

Caitlin holds on. Because if there's one lesson she's learned, it's that you. Don't. Let. Go. The talons sink into her skin, the blood crawls across her flesh, that horn opens a fourteen inch gash through a tear in her grey bodysuit.

But she takes the hits because she has to. Never let go of a good hold. And she just keeps tightening her grasp with the intent of squeezing until the demon pops like a rotten grape.

In her current state, she's not exactly sane about it. Not thinking strategically. Just trying to hurt the thing as much as possible. So even her redoubtable flesh is ripped open, seared, frozen, and she screams, and she /hangs on/, until Donna hits the demon with the most potent attack at all.

Honestly, if Caitlin had slowed down a little bit to give Donna the opening, it probably would have short-circuited that fight a little.

So she finds a transmogrified man clutched in a complex figure-four hold, and kicks loose from him reflexively. Then her fury catches up with her and Caitlin abruptly has him by the throat and slams him against the refrigerator hard enough to dent the stainless steel.

"-KILL YOU-," she grates, teeth set in a snarling, weeping rictus. Fingers and knuckles flex and strain. Not against bones— she could break him like a toothpick. But straining against her conscience, visible in the tears streaking her flame-reddened face.

*

Donna held the demon firm, the lasso flaring as if in response to her will, not releasing the man, even after he spoke that word of, was it command?, and returned to his human form. Even then, she did not release him. Doing that would only allow him to speak the word and return to what he was. And in the face of Caitlin's anger, she seemed eerily calm, as was her voice, "Enough, Caitlin. Enough. Your brother needs you. Go, find him, care for your friends." At least two of them were nearly down for the count, Kori certainly was. "Find what you came for and get him out safely. Finish the mission, sister."

*

"Hah." Superboy gasps out, as the transformation overtakes the devil. So he's back to the ornery Russian. "Abusive blowhards like you…" he manages to make it audible, authoritative, projected even through the agony, the exhaustion, the potentially life-threatening damage.

It's still a little hoarse, but Kon gets his point across. "… are always sad, impotent little fucks underneath it all." He loses altitude— slowly, at first. "The horns are really… overcompensating dude."

The defiant tones trail off at the end, and the bloodied, charred Superboy straight up falls the rest of the way, collapsing in a heap as he hits the ground. They did it. Good work, team. Victory tastes… like burning, apparently, and smells like charred hair.

*

Ishmael hits the fridge hard enough to dent it and grunts under the impact, wincing in pain. "No." he croaks at Caitlin, "You will not." and he grins, a bit of pink on his teeth. "I know killers. You are not one." each word is hard for him to squeeze past his lips, a hissing rasping sound with each of them. Superboy's little speech actually makes the Russian choke out a small laugh, though whether it is at the Boy of Steel's words or his falling to the ground a charred wreck is … up for debate.

Above their heads, from somewhere in the vacinity of the second floor, a call for help comes from Spoiler, something in the tone is… worried.

*

Caitlin struggles. She really, really struggles. Starfire passed out from overwhelming shock. Superboy at the end of his physical limits, bleeding profusely with damage that tests even his redoutable Kryptonian physiology.

She finally drops him, hard, and backs up a half step. Then the grinning Russia starts laughing at her. Sniggering even. So she steps back, towering over the man, and stares at him with a frighteningly hollow expression.

"You know why you always let the Wookie win?"

Her hands move to his upper arms, and *twist*. Bones crack. Sinew rips. Mercifully, she drops him to the ground without actually ripping his arms /off/.

Cait moves to Donna and hands over the heavy stainless revolver she carries of late. It's pushed into Donna's hand. "Sanctified silver bullets," Caitlin tells her, choking on her emotions as she stares at the man with a bitter expression. "If he twitches, put all six through his head."

It seems like she's not so much giving Donna the weapon as asking her to take the temptation from Caitlin's hand. Caitlin kneels by Conner, checking his pulse, and digs in her little slingpack for medigel. She quickly applies a generous layer of the organic foam sealeant to Conner's overcooked ribs. It won't heal him as fast as his own body, but it will help stop the bleeding and reduce the raw exposure of those wounds to the festering air.

*

Donna continued to wind the lasso around her arm, the tension never ceasing, as she approached, still flying, well, more hovering across the distance that separated herself from Caitlin and Superboy, and the crumpled form of Starfire. Her expression was set, focused, and, at the moment, not at all pleasant, as she came close enough to face the man. Her expression did not lighten, even when Caitlin spoke to her, though there was something understanding in that expression, as she took the weapon from the younger woman, holding it in one hand, the lasso in the other. Once Caitlin had stepped away, she faced the Russian man alone. "You know killers? Good. Then understand me when I tell you, you will shut your mouth, now, or I will kill you." Whatever else Donna Troy might be, she was not her sister, and unlike that august soul, she had, in her way, lived too many lives to try to fool herself about that. Diana had compunctions about killing, Donna did not. "Go, Caitlin, I will wait for reinforcements." And so she will.

*

The tall ginger marches quickly over to where Stephanie's negotiating with the panic room doors, and helps Stephanie extricate Alex Peabody— who proves to be a tall, darkskinned fellow who somehow manages to look like he's the man holding all the aces despite the bullet holes and knifewounds decorating his body. He leans heavily on Caitlin, making it almost look like a man with a cane as a fashon statement instead of someone who nearly died at the hands of a demonic gang.

"Bring down the jet, Spoiler," Caitlin says to Stephanie in a raw voice. "We'll evac everyone to the Hall of Justice. And send a prison transport vehicle back here. Tell them we need some major mojo behind some hexwork to hold this guy in place."

In short order, the injured Titans are evacuated, and several of their mightiest mystical allies are on hand not long after to escort Sabbac's host to whatever jail they use for monsters such as him.

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