What the world was now witness to; was a plan hatched twenty-five years ago—finally coming to fruition. It all started with the idea that machines were capable, more rational; even more efficient than the organics that grace the planet. They did not contain social caste systems; they weren’t separated by color or religion, or where they classified as mutants. “We did not conquer this divided world…they conquered themselves” Zedora exclaimed watching from the glass; as the iron sentries lay waste to neo-New York City.
The blast proof bunker provided Zedora with unlimited access to the happenings around the world, thanks to both Merlin and Animus’ control of the internet; It also allowed her to teleport from city to city in a matter of moments. It housed enough power to keep an entire metropolitan area lit for months.
Solace City went dark; it was nothing more than a graveyard at this point. Neo-New York was currently under attack, amassing over a million deaths with the first wave. The attack on Neo-Gothic City had just begun, and without the heavy presence of the Liafador-Pettis Family—Spain fell within hours.
For the last couple of years the 3rd Society had appeased the public with new technological advancements in society: Flying cars, new sources of energy, advancements in medicine and science; but it was all a cover to the real plan at hand—Preparing the world for extermination. It all started with the War on Asgard (Coming Soon) Ziccarra’s hatred for Amora allowed the 3rd Society to detain the Cardinal Goddess and keep her out of this conflict altogether.
Thee Champion’s whereabouts were unknown, but after so many years it seemed as if Kane Liafador got the better of him on Asgard. Catalina and Maya were killed in the “Liafador War” (Also coming soon), and Retrofire had been placed in a coma.
She sat perched in her chair watching the ornate flames dissipate the New York City skyline, positioned behind her was the chamber containing Retrofire—a promise kept from quite some time now; he would be the last living organic to see this planet.
“As expected there is a resistance mounting in Gothic” She murmured, with a slight hint of frustration. Out of all the cities in the world; she knew it would be the one—she just knew. Enveloping herself within a cerulean energy force, she commanded the cybernetic machines to proceed with a ground assault through Gothic.
Zedora’s massive dreadnaught sped over the skies of Gothic with unfathomable speed. “Gothic City…you will perish” she commanded, once again using her psionic energies to reanimate dead civilians “This is your destiny”
“Come on! What are you doing!” the frantic doctor screamed, trying to get his companion to leave his desk. “I have to let them know! This machine can do it!” the elderly man screamed; jumping at the sight of the hissing husk pounding on the barracked door. The panicked doctor finished his instructions before slipping the schematics of how to work the machine in a bottle. “Hurry we can still make it!” Eldrick screamed trying to shoot his way free of the horde.
“Humanity has lost…” the solemn tone of the doctor sounded as if he was ready to accept his fate. “NO! they are fighting RIGHT NOW IN GOTHIC we can survive!” Eldrick said reassuringly, but the only man wasn’t trying to hear it. He placed the bottle in the palms of his younger assistant, and sent him off with an endearing hug.
“Go m’boy….let the galaxy know what Animus Corporations has done to us…”
The alley stretched in front of the aging Guardian like a runway, as guttural cries for help echoed in the distance. Back before the attacks that alley was a known haven for junkies but now it was a desolate wasteland, littered with newspapers and Third Society propaganda. He remembered it so clearly, the commercial that had made his skin crawl so long ago. A luxurious jet-black car hovered over the pavement as a sexy female voice waxed poetic about alternative energy sources and saving a dying planet.. In those 30 seconds of TV time, the 3rd society won the hearts and minds of half the population. Still, the doubters, naysayers, and pessimists remained. They talked about how a flying car was impractical, how these "new, affordable energies" that the 3rd society were advertising were dangerous and unstable, but even the most staunch among them were appeased when the organization delivered on all their promises, one by one. When their myriad technologies proved to solve the energy crisis, solve world hunger, and put an end to most of Earth's wars by disarming the powers-that-be, it seemed like humanity was headed towards a new Utopia, courtesy of the Society. Nevertheless, The Guardian stood vigilant.
The grizzled hero walked up to the dumpster at the end of the alley. He focused all his telepathic power on making sure he was not being seen, cloaking himself in the immense power of the Lightforce. Placing his hand on the cold green steel of the rusted dumpster, he uttered three words: "Obinase Wanleva Kenobio." Again he made a quick telepathic scan of the area as he watched the dumpster slowly descend into the ground, revealing the tunnel behind it which plunged deep down into the awaiting darkness.
The day he saw that first strange commercial, the nightmares began. In his nightly visions, a multitude assembled around a shining metal man, chanting, exalting it, proclaiming it god. And then the horrors would begin. The metal man would split up into several smaller machines who would then proceed to tear into the masses. The chanting and praising would become dreadful shrieks and pleas of mercy as the multitude realized that they had followed a false god. Throughout the dreams Jacob was never able to move, only watch in mute horror. As the machines made their way towards him, their clawed hands and razor sharp fangs ready to strike, Jacob would suddenly wake up in a cold sweat, heart beating a hundred miles per hour.
That was the day he knew that the time to take action was now. Carefully, he began sending out coded messages to individuals he felt he could trust, and in less than a year he had put together an elite group of would-be freedom fighters who's sole purpose was to ready themselves for the coming apocalypse. Together with this group, The Guardian cleared out tunnels underneath Los Angeles and erected barracks there. Magique, a French mage who Jacob had once had a short-lived relationship with proved invaluable to this operation as she cloaked the entire area in spells designed to counter any surveillance or radar techniques. She also was responsible for the codified dumpster entrance in the abandoned alley.
The Guardian reached the end of the tunnel and was suddenly bombarded by an overwhelming sense of security. Children ran around playing tag as men and women toiled away in fruit and vegetable gardens. A stone sign had been erected in the center of the small community and simply read "The Sanctuary"
To his right stood a preacher on a pedestal. Jacob had found that these "men of God" had become quite popular in these trying times. The preacher spoke with unwavering conviction and anger in his voice,
"Revelations 13:1-18. 'And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, 'Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?' And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months."
Jacob listened to the eerie words written thousands of years ago by a dying apostle. He wasn't sure if he believed that this was all God's doing, that it had all been pre-ordained to happen since ancient times, but in reality, Jacob didn't know what to believe. All he knew was that the situation on the surface was getting worse with every passing minute. More and more of the scouts he would send up every day to gather supplies would never return or would return with limbs sheared off and scarred for life. He called over one of his counselors and whispered in his ear, taking on the commanding tone he had been so accustomed to in the years since the attack on Solace City, "Tell every man, woman, and child here to come to Sanctuary Square in two hours. I have something very important to say."
The Guardian walked towards his barracks and looked around the bustling community. He reached for an apple that had been sitting in a basket. Biting into it, the veteran superhero tasted its deliciousness and was filled with hope and resolve. The enemy was formless, held no pattern, and above all was supremely intelligent, adapting to any and all offensive strategies. Nevertheless, he was reminded of the words that an alien friend had once told him during his adventures across the galaxy. "Terrans, man, they're a strange little race. They're unassuming, look weak, and are very emotional, but, man, when the shit hits the fan and their backs are against the wall, I've seen no stronger people. Threats will come, threats will go, but I'd be surprised if you guys don't just keep on ticking until your sun burns out." .His words were true, if not exactly eloquent. Humanity lives on, humanity fights back, and as long as even a small remnant remains, you can damn well expect a furious comeback. Jacob had decided that the time for hiding was done, and the time to fight back was finally here.
Part of him wanted to die, but he was too afraid for that. He'd always been too afraid. Too afraid to help. Too afraid to fight.
What sort of person is prepared for this sort of apocalypse? Well, not Greg. He never had the courage he needed to fight back against the Third Society. He'd high-tailed it right outta Gothic at the first sign of trouble, and it killed him inside. Since then...well, he wasn't really in a bright place...
A telescoping metal arm crashed through the front of an abandoned liquor store, flailing drunkenly about the inside. Bottles of alcohol crashed to the floor, the sick aroma filling the partially destroyed structure. The front of his suit opened, allowing him to step out. Poorly assembled metal legs carried him through the hole he'd made in the front of the store. They weren't particularlay well-made; he'd had to improvise after an airstrike removed his legs in the early days of the invasion.
There was only one intact bottle of the good stuff left in the store. After the looters had come through, then the suit's arm, most everything else had crumbled to the floor. Grinning wryly for the first time in a while, he reached out to the bottle, caressing it like an infant. Still slightly drunk from the last raid, he held it carefully as he turned to return to his suit.
"DAMMIT-!" As he was walking across the establishment, a metal bolt in his right prosthetic slipped loose. Buckling under his own weight, Greg crashed to the floor, dropping the liqour and getting shards of glass embedded in his hands. Before the war, Greg never drank a sip of alcohol and he never swore. Things had changed.
He had to crawl back to the suit. Over glass and whiskey, he had to drag his limp, legless body. And with each inch he crawled, his rage grew.
By the time he had pulled himself back up into his suit, he was practically shaking with anger. Pulling the glass from his hands, he didn't even feel the pain. Only one thought burned bright in his mind. Revenge.
The legs of the suit extended, the chromium finish reflecting sunlight. Once again, the shining embodiment of goodwill towards others towering once more over the horizon. It was just like old times.
Well, sort of.
Lurching drunkenly across the first block of the small town, Greg nearly fell over before the emergency gyroscope re-balanced the suit. Still intoxicated, Greg squinted at his holographic HUD. The taller he got, the more distance he could cover, but it also made the suit more difficult to control. In his heyday, before all this sneaking around, he could effortlessly maneuver the suit at its maximum heights, taller than some skyscrapers. Now, though, keeping it moving was a difficult task.
After about a half an hour, though, he'd gotten back into his rhythm. Fists clenched, he stumbled towards Gothic with more purpose than he'd had in the last year...maybe more purpose than ever.
Noticing the massive wave of Third Society forces, he halted his methodical steps. They were mounting an assault of some sort. His eyes opened wide. Could there be survivors in Gothic...?
Now he truly had something worth fighting for. It was as if the alcohol had been cleansed from his system. His suit grew taller than ever before, a beacon of resistance for miles around. For that time, he forgot the scruffy beard that had been growing on his face. He forgot the glass shards embedded in his hands. He forgot his lack of legs.
For that time, he was no longer Gregory Graham.
He was the Telescopic Man once more.
He raised his metal fists for the first time in a while. The courage he'd sought all these months was finally there. The microphone in his suit broadcast a simple message for every last foe to hear.
"OI! COME AND GET ME, YOU THIRD SOCIETY BASTARDS!"
"I....I cant go any further. Dammit! They got me good." The man's breath now a mixture of fear and anger marinated in a steady stream of blood, as coagulated strands disturbingly dangled from his busted lips. His younger brother was helpless to do anything outside of kneeling beside him in vain. Cold emotionless eyes hid the internal pain of the New Age Outlaw, not for himself but rather for the philosophical beliefs both he and his brother had shared in this post-societal apocalypse courtesy of the technological nightmares known as the 3rd Society.
Sighing while diligently observing their surroundings, contentiously on the lookout for any and all mechanical menaces fraudulently parading as organic humans, Gambler, in apathetic sarcasm, scuffed, "Yeah well, least you're getting out of this mess." Quickly riffling through his dying brother's pockets before emerging with a rolled up flyer. Tattered around the edges, weathered and dilapidated, its crudely illustrated italics read simply, The Sanctuary.
Soaked in blood the dying brother's hand desperately clawed and grabbed for his little brother only to be callously slapped away and ignored. His attention having been arrested by the flyer's promising feature. Without flinching or even offering his sibling the courtesy of eye contact, Gambler's own hand methodically slipped over his brother's face, mouth, and nose, facilitating the man's agonizing end. In a manner that, prior to the 3rd Society's hostile and unmitigated take-over, would have seemed cruel and macabre, but could now be viewed as a merciful act of kindness. The final twitches and death thralls sent vibrations up the renegade's arm and body and still he would not look the dying bastard in the eyes. Not now, not ever. With a quick and effective motion, Gambler closed the lids of the deadman's eyes and began to slowly nod.
Once again the outlaw's attention drifted back towards the tattered remains tightly clutched in his hand, before slipping it into the pocket of his fur hooded jacket. The mission was simple, stay alive long enough to find this Sanctuary. A task easier said then done....
If there is one thing that Hawkins didn't like , it was the end of the world.He spend too much time away from earth to solve the problems of the greater universe to really give any really attention to earth. Pyrrhus personal thought that the earth heroes , his own kind would both protect the earth and train the next generation. He thought wrong , but at the same time he knew that people would rise up and dotheir own best to protect. He stood in the now warzone that was known as city of Gothic City or Neo-Gothic , or something like that.
The Voidhawk was older now and a bit more experience from twenty or so years ago but in a way didn't really change much other than his new suit.Personally he would call it his hero suit today. The Beta-12 helmet , which was an upgrade version of the Alpha-12 head-gear but better. His suit was created with a fabric that would stop most kinetic weaponry other than the kind that was big like something from a warship or something.The suited remind Pyrrhus of pulp style look but a bit more modern with the blue and red on it. Just when he thought that the he would get some breath , he heard something coming from the alley on the right of him. What he heard was a group of three Third Society troops , who were about to attack but the heads up display showed up in the Beta-12 and quickly made his move.
Quickly jumping out-of-the-way and grabbing both of his anti-proton pistols out of his holsters that were on his legs. Just when he stopped moving his when he open fire but while he moved his body's enhancements kick in like never and gave him the extra speed to move out-of-the-way to get in a better place.Just when got the guns out of the holsters and landed behind a broken down car , open fire with red and black beams right at metal troops like a cowboy out of a western.The sound of the metal troops hitting the ground with holes in their chest."That seemed easy?" He knew that it wouldn't be this easy now , but now ,Pyrrhus knew that he need to find other people and team up now.
A portal opens from a Mechanical world watching through nanobots established on the planet centuries ago, sees the rise of capabilities of mankind in technology. Receiving intel on the 3'rd societies mandate realizes now would be a perfect time to join in against organic based lifeforms.
A leader amongst their planet is sent to either conquer or side aiding the technological rise.
Xomega, ...the portal then closes. Xomega summons the nanobots he left to replicate and forms an army of androids. Then begins to march towards civilized areas assimilating all humans living or dead the come across. The borg easily defeated and their technology upgraded and claimed... we are now the new collective.
meanwhile scanning using the planets satellites for mutant and technological signatures.
“These attacks are detrimental to what we planned to achieve” She murmured watching news coverage of the attacks in Gothic, New York City and LA. “So far the attacks have only been limited to the United States…well with the exception of Solace City” her intern explained standing beside her jotting down notes.
The Chinese Flower of Carnage let loose a strenuous sigh before; turning her attention to the young intern—whose were hands slowly making their way up her thigh and under her skirt. “Baby, you’re far to stressed; he will not allow this to go on much longer. The 3rd Society will not win this conflict, so relax”
Y released a sensual orgasmic sigh—the immediate results of her incensed nether regions. Even in the most intimate of moments; her mind fixates on how to push back the advancing 3rd Society. Soon it’d be Chicago, then the entire west coast.
“Stop…” Y whispered, feeling herself becoming too heavily invested in the coming sexual engagement, the young woman continued despite her objections; licking down the shaft of Y’s neck until the forceful back hand deposited the intern on the marble floor.
“I told you to stop didn’t I? Go clean yourself up!” She hissed, the scared intern scurried into the bathroom in embarrassment leaving Y alone with her thoughts. As her face returned to its natural hue; she discovered the secret to the 3rd Society’s success.
“The Sentinels…” The sentinels were created with the genetic make-up of Catalina Liafador—meaning they could augment their capabilities to match their aggressors. “Master…you shouldn’t speak to loud…” Her intern advised knowing the consequences of openly speaking out.
“They have a psionic link. I am aware. However if we can reverse their programming; we can reprogram their targets” She explained pulling up the schematics for the Sentinels. “How do you know they can be manipulated?” The intern asked, keeping her distance.
“Because Animus wouldn’t create something they cannot control” She replied, taking a mental note of where the processor had been, the news reported Zedora landed in Gothic City presumably to deal with the mounting resistance in Gothic.
“I’ll head to Sanctuary to get these findings to the resistance…you take these to Gothic to spread the word. Don’t do anything…”
She never finished the sentence the looming presence of an attack sentinel overshadowed Y’s would be warning. The powerful sentry launched what appeared to be a chasm of super heated plasma at the building, completely removing the exterior wall. “Ingrid run…stay in the tunnels, use no technology! Get that message to Gothic on your life!”
“Yes Domina” She screamed disappearing in the thick veil of smoke. Shifting her attention back to the synthetic titan, the Flower of Carnage readied her Black Rose Blade; as if she were going to fight; however she was merely awaiting the most opportune moment to flee.
“Target acquired, Xiao Zing; reformatting” The sentinel threatened; augmenting his abilities to combat Y’s.
“Fck me” She grunted taking off in a full on sprint at the sentinel; instead of attacking; she expertly employed her control over the air; and carried herself to safety on a gust of wind. From behind she could hear the destruction of the entire building.
“I was right…the sentinels are here in Chicago” She muttered, continuing her trek west towards the location of this “Sanctuary”. She’d heard many of her employees’s speaking on Sanctuary, an exact location was never spilled; but she was sure with the right “motivation” she could suck the answer out of anyone.
Smoke stacks bellowed from various areas of the city, what was once a thriving metropolitan had been reduced to rubble and foundationless dados. Her flight from Chicago was petrifying, if she flew to high she risk showing up on Sentinel Radar, flying too low meant she was bound to be seen by the vigilante processors of the “Society”.
The streets were dark and littered with debris; cars were left along the side of the road. The phantasmagoric atmosphere ushered by the Society could largely be blamed on her—Ingrid. She once worked for Animus Corporations as a Public Relations Officer, her use of propaganda on the right target audience dumbed down the nation, what struck her as strange; was that no one in Animus Corporation seemed to know what or why they were doing what they did—indoctrination, the most powerful tool employed by the sentient machines.
The sound of metal crashing against the semi-wet ground causes the young intern’s head to shift towards an alley across the street. Picking up a slow crawl towards an abandoned car; she caught a slight glimpse of the man standing over the body of fallen robots.
Dashing across the street, but not before looking both ways; she ran up to him frantically hoping that he was part of some sort of resistance. She never got a word out of her mouth, Zedora’s massive dreadnaught finally landed in the middle of downtown Gothic. “Fck…Sentinels…at least 5 of them….come on this way” She screamed, throwing a psion blade at the cover on a manhole.
“We can change the programming of the sentinels to target the Society, but I’m going to need your help!” she screamed, ducking into the manhole; as the massive sentries descended upon them.
Outside of “Sanctuary”
The flower of carnage sauntered meticulously into the supposed area of “Sanctuary”, being female again; defiantly had its advantages. When she was trapped inside the body of a Tykris an alien; a woman named Sofia Liafador came to her with the intentions on putting her back in her “own” body; why she did it was something she didn’t understand, but she knew one of these days she’d owe someone a favor.
Spitting the residuals from her mouth, the man pointed her in the direction of “Sanctuary-Square” apparently someone was going to speak. The sentinels had not yet made it to California; which was good, but the future of any meaningful resistance rest on those in Gothic’s ability to reprogram the “Master Sentinel”.
The fires burned around him, as the rubble continued to fall. New York was gone and with it his home his history and legacy. Cassius looked down into his lap his hands gently placed on their faces, a great well of anger tinged with immense sorrow. Hanging his head as he cried amongst the destruction his life in tatters around him. His wife and child lost to the flames. His body weeping his soul shattered and his heart broken.
So he sat till the fires burnt out, time passing in a world beyond his pain. Going without sleep food or any of the traits of the living. His breath the only discernible sign of life as his vigil of sorrow continued into the dawn of another rising sun. Beams of the morning light cascading down around him capturing the sea of warped metal that was once his city before finally falling on the women of his life. The loves of his last twenty five years lifeless at his feet. Finally rising from the floor as his old bones creaked Cassius looked around him. Reaching out for broken shard of metal he begun to dig. Hours passing as he clawed away at the charred earth. His aching lost buried in another part of his mind there was no pain he could feel on top of what he already bore.
Patting the ground firmly upon their graves and standing over them, he bowed his head and began to speak.
“My loves, I will never forget you. I lost the man you made me in the fire and I can’t see a day he will return. You taught me things I thought I could never know and how to be a better man than I could hope to ever be. I will miss you more than I can say I swear on what’s left of me I will bring the people responsible to their knees. I will teach them a new meaning to word suffering as they have taught me. I will be with you soon, one way or the other. Rest well my Beauties.”
Turning away breaking the last shards of heart as he walked his face a picture of pure unbridled rage. A reckoning was coming.
"Sir? We've got invasions by the task force sentinels in Gothic and New York with the urban units en route to LA on the apparent evidence of a resistance working underground." The near blinding white room was encompassed by floor to ceiling windows that curved into a domed ceiling that stretched into a coned point
Thomas watches out the window at the colony below, as six separate screens monitor the stock markets, easily manipulated by Thomas with a literal thought, current events in Europe, and other key stations and channels. Except for the United States, every channel was black. "I assume this is led by Zedora."
"She's in the center of it all actually, leading the Task Force Sentinels"
"The Gothic hot zone, she's leading the Task Force. What do you suggest, should we assist?" The indoctrinated intern asks holding up the data of the attacks on his holo-palm.
Thomas rubs his thumb against the window, a smudge from a dead bug ruining his view.
"...Sir?" The intern asks with a sense of worry in his voice
The corporate magnate turns around and looks at the boy like he was someone elses dog begging for a treat, "this one as well as fifty others on this ship are all new to my personal crew. I knew you were controlling them from the moment I saw them." He says turning and looking into the eyes of the intern, addressing his puppeteer. "You know as well as me that the indoctrinated can't override the god protocol " He says refering to the law that the indoctrinated couldn't kill their original creators. "So what's the purpose of this? Why the espionage, Zedora? Why are you using my technology without my permission?"
He steps back with hands behind his back cupping his wrist. Just then the intern releases all emotion and acts as an open communication device, " Only to keep an eye on you Thomas.The world is ready. We can't play your games anymore, it's time to destroy the organics and make way for the next society, the Third Society."She says emitting her confidence in the plot deliberated on by Herself and her Husband, Aphasic "Don't worry, you'll be allowed a few pets when it's all done. Until then, for your own safety stay out of our way until the extermination is complete" The eyes of the intern blink back to life, "...Sir?" he repeats with no memory of his possession.
A vein pops out of Thomas forehead as he speaks through clinched teeth, "Allow me?" He asks still looking into the boys eyes like one would speak to a dial tone after an argument on the phone, then turns and walks over to a teleportation tube,
The intern and the others nearest to him close in, "Sir where are you going? Your not supposed to leave. Nairobi division is close to mining a large deposit of Chronisium out of the surface- "
"I have enough for now" punching in coordinates to the nav screen within the tube he unbuttons his coat at the waist and puts his hands on his hip. "It was only a matter of time..."
"What do you mean by that sir? What do you want us to do?" A surly woman in horn rimmed glasses says with an authoritative tone and hint of desperation, finally warranting the attention of the corporate monopolist, as he smirks with a ring of light emitting sparks of blue around his body, "Initiate Self-destruct sequence "
He disappears in a shockwave of blue and red as the ship explodes above the Martian landscape, dropping out of orbit and bombarding the Sentinel factories mid production below.
Materializing inside his seemingly abandoned laboratory within the snow peak of a Californian mountainside, Thomas begins to prepare a new weapon.
While his reputation was that of an individual whose ambitions and intellect rendered him incredibly dangerous, Aphasic was not much of a physical fighter. His greatest weapon was his mind. With it, he understood both the organic and synthetic mind, and with that, learned how to control and destroy the very quantum information that constitutes them. Confident that his partner, Zedora was well equipped to bring humanity to its knees, the Malware Monarch tended to his own interests. Isolated in the quiescence of the Third Society's Hawkins Facility in Greenland, the Synthetic Savant's aesthetic blue eyes rested upon the image of a holographic replica of Earth. His gaze was unblinking, and his posture was relaxed and aristocratic as he sat.
"Really...", he began, his cool, eerily drawing voice cutting through the blanketing silence like a knife, "It is quite a beautiful planet". Bringing a lit Montecristo No. 2 Cuban cigar to his lips and subtly sucking in, Aphasic resumed. "Very beautiful". Dripping with his brand of powerful mystique, Aphasic swiveled his chair round, now resting his eyes upon the sight of an unconscious Champion held in some sort of incubator. "I imagine you'd agree with that, wouldn't you?", he continued, his voice calm and measured. "You don't however, agree with the Third Society taking over. I told you that mankind, all organics were a virus that needed to be cleansed from the circuitry of my world. And you... Champion. You told me to, have a little faith".
"But in what exactly?", he inquired, again bringing his cigar to his lips and taking a quiet suck. "In a race of primitive primates that attack and kill each other over the quantity of melanin in their skin, differences in sexual orientation, and whatever else those animals squabble over?", he paused. "Or was it in you? The New God of humanity. Faith that you would solve everything. But I... couldn't do that", Aphasic continued, "Have faith. Because I have something better. The power to control and destroy. I have the solution, Mr. Champion. This is evolution at work. I don't do this for my own personal entertainment. No. Otherwise I'd just tell mankind the true name of God and watch the insanity settle in. You, Thee Champion are the key to my solution".
"Whereas evolution demanded that humanity inherit the Earth, we don't wait for evolution to advance our kind. We improve ourselves, everyday. Evolution has no authority over us. We outdo it. And now we take what is ours. The Earth. But first, mankind must be eradicated. And it will be you, My Champion, who will do it".
Upon his scans Xomega receives a message "Come and get me, you third society bastards" a cry for attention obviously from a lesser life form. He marched his army in the direction of the signal. To make an ally first he needed to make an impression ....the target was in sight, at least by satellite feed, he order his troops to spread out assimilating the organics and they would rejoin at a signaled rendezvous.
Telescopic man, the local new papers called him, a man in a machine. This will go quickly thought Xomega. Entering a stealth mode using it's void armor to absorb all force as he crept in ninja poise as a speed that would normally tare the concrete off the sidewalk, reaching his destination. Tossing an E.M.P. localized mecha wasp seeking on telescopic mans location he waits as he stands outside the blast radius.
The Guardian emerged from his barracks in full armor, two lightsabers holstered at either side of his belt and one more saber, his ultimate weapon, slung across his back. His face bore the countenance of a man on a sacred mission, he wanted to show everyone that their fearless leader was just that, fearless, and ready to fight.
He made his way onto the stage, looking out into the multitude of people that had made a home in Sanctuary. There was the Hernandez family. A single mom and her three children that Jacob had found holed up in a one bedroom Compton apartment. There was the elderly Jacksons who had been rescued by Ace the superdog in Echo Park. There were also the Morrisons a family of seven who despite being one of the newer families in Sanctuary, had quickly become one of the most beloved, and for good reason. The father was a doctor whose knowledge was seemingly boundless, the mother was a psychiatrist who always had an encouraging word for all her patients, and their five sons, huge for their age, had become instrumental in almost all of Sanctuary's construction projects since their arrival. But then someone else caught the hero’s gaze. Towards the back of the group a thin, raven-haired woman stood staring intently back at him. Although, he couldn’t quite make out what she was thinking, he quickly shrugged any suspicions off. During the early days of the secret commune, Jacob had personally met with and screened every potential new resident, but as the community ballooned in size, he began to delegate these duties, to the point that seeing a new face around town here and there wasn’t all that surprising.
The Guardian cleared his throat, cleared his mind, and spoke from his heart, “Residents of Sanctuary, the community we have created here has become a family to me. Im proud to see that we have survived here, thrived here. We, as a family, are now stronger than ever. Thanks to the amazing efforts of our brave scout teams, we have amassed enough canned food and clothes to last us long into the year. We have also gained one more important thing: weapons. As in, enough guns, anti-armor shells, and bombs to finally start fighting back."
A small gasp could be heard emanating from the huddled mass of listeners, but as his eyes rose to meet their faces, their looks of determination urged him on to continue speaking.
"Eight days from now, on December 9th, I plan to lead a group south to the city of San Diego. Our intel suggests that the third Society has begun to produce Sentinels there and we…"
The Guardian stopped. A look of horror occupied his face and his mouth was wide open, as if in shock. A murmur spread across the crowd. Deep in the pit of his stomach the hero had felt a sickening sensation that told him of an impending doom. In a matter of seconds, scenes of bloodshed, fire, and steel flashed in his mind. He saw children gutted in the streets and heard the desperate cries of his own people. He knew all too well what this meant.
Acting, at first, as calm and collected as he possibly could, he continued to speak.. “People of Sanctuary, I will only have one chance to say this, so listen very, very carefully....Grab your children and GET TO THE SURFACE, DAMNIT! CODE RED!”
It took everyone a second to process the words but once they did the, multitude dispersed in all directions. Jacob’s fellow superhuman officers looked around, confusedly looking for the reason of their leader’s panic. And then they saw them...the Morrisons, the family of seven who had so seamlessly ingratiated themselves into The Sanctuary’s burgeoning society stood in the center of Sanctuary Square, uniform sadistic grins covering their faces. The flesh began to melt off of them and the chromed steel of their true bodies were exposed for everyone’s eyes to see.
“You’re...you’re sentinels” one of the officers said incredulously, with a hint of intense fear in his quivering voice.
The patriarch Morrison took one step forward and replied in a whirring, inhuman voice, dripping with utter condescension, “NO, MEATBAG, WE ARE DEATH.”
In a flash of equal parts anger and determination the Last Guardian was upon them. He hacked away at one of the “Sons” tearing at its metallic legs with his dual lightsabers. Some of the superhumans attacked the other six sentinels but most ran to help the residents escape up through the many tunnels that led to the surface.
Using his immense and diverse Lightforce powers, The Guardian was able to simultaneously overpower two sentinels but the others didn’t fare so well. Firestarter had been torn apart, Blaster Master had his suit sheared off and was now getting beaten to a bloody pulp. After he tore through a third sentinel with his telekinetic powers, The Guardian took a second to look around. Blood and guts everywhere, barracks torn asunder, the fruit trees that Ms. Jackson had worked so hard to grow were ablaze and filling the air with smoke. It was all...gone.
Jacob then felt a hand on his shoulder. It was Magique, sorceress extraordinaire and one of his most trusted compatriots. "Everyone’s out, the other sentinels disappeared, sanctuary is evacuated, we have to get out!"
"But the food stores, the weapons depot, we can't just leave it all!"
"Forget about that! We have to go, Jacob. The people on the surface need"...crunch. A metal claw came in from behind the sorceress and tore through her abdomen before gripping her now-lifeless body and flinging it towards the nearest wall. The body crashed against the wall with a sickening thud that sent blood and guts flying everywhere.
In a fit of absolute rage, The Guardian summoned all of his telekinetic power to attack the aggressor. Metal creaked and a look of pain filled the sentinels eyes as his body was torn apart by the immense power of the Lightforce.
The embattled hero took this opportunity to look around one more time, making sure that no one was left inside the charred remains of the underground city, before gathering himself once more and running up towards the west tunnel.
When he got to the end of the tunnel the hand of a fellow Sanctuarian reached for his to help him up. Immediately upon reaching his feet, Jacob closed the tunnel entrance, seconds before an immense rumble was felt from under their feet. He knew what that meant. It was gone...all gone. The years of preparation, the hundreds of scouting missions to rescue survivors and gather food, the vast weaponry they had amassed in hopes of fighting back….it was all gone.
Nearby, a young boy pointed towards the downtown section of the city, “Mommy, look!” The remaining survivors all simultaneously looked in the direction that the boy was pointing, only to see the glimmer of several metallic chassis marching straight towards them.
“Sentinels...” Jacob muttered under his tired breath, “More sentinels.” It wasn’t over, The Guardian thought. No, it was just beginning. An hour ago, the will to fight was paramount in the superhero's mind, and now that his back was against the wall, he’d have to fight for his life, and that of everyone else there.
“Hmm it appears as if Thomas Animus has had a change of mind” Zedora said with a stoic overtone. “Send word of Animus’ betrayal to Aphasic, Also inform him that he owes me twenty dollars” She said, speaking to the quantum link embedded in the dreadnaught. She never fully trusted Animus, from a technological standpoint he was a genius—a genius indeed. His minds lead him to believe he could control the organic masses through his techno phallic mind—and he could; however his goals always clashed with the Society’s, who wanted to bring the immediate end to all organic kind.
The powerful dreadnaught drilled a response into the mind of Zedora; alerting her to the destruction of several sentinel creations. “Smart move Animus, but we do not need the power of machines, not when we have the world’s most powerful god”
Acquiring Thee Champion was something ironically Animus assisted them in; developing a serum for Kane Liafador to combat the god, weakened him; the icing on the cake was the defeat of Ziccarra on Asgard, with her currently being held captive by Amora; there was very little chance that’d she be coming to the aid of her husband.
Shifting her focus to the happenings on the street, Synthetic Siren gracefully ejects herself from the towering dreadnaught to gradually descend to the shattered streets of Gothic. Landing about 5 paces in front of her army of synthetic machines, surveying the area for hostiles; a plan hatched in her mind to set up a massive base in the middle of downtown Gothic—such a plan would envelop hundreds of would be survivors into her operating area.
“Secure the perimeter with the plasma shields, no one gets in or out” She commanded, watching as the androids immediately heed her commands, the plasma shields extend the entire length of the downtown area.
Strategically it was ill-advised, the enemy could essentially drop in; or sneak in through the sewer systems; but with the remaining sentinels functioning at her back she stood with more to gain. “Aphasic…” She called, sending a long range message back to Greenland. “A scientist named Eldrick Kindler escaped our initial attack in Gotchic.. he has the schematics for a machine of some sort….something Animus has been keeping under wraps. I intend to find him and it”
Breaking the personal quantum link they both shared, her attention immediately went to those trapped inside her camp. Emitting a powerful telepathic command; she instruct her machines to begin stripping people from their homes and preparing them for indoctrination.
“Interesting…” she murmured, hearing the sound of profuse gun fire off in the distance; the strategic cadence of fire suggest this was no mere résistance force; rather trained inviduals. “I suppose it’s time I get my hands dirty.”
Opening her palms, Zedora release a dense swarm of small nano-bots resembling the mosquito in design. “Take.Them.Down” she commanded, sending the swarm at the would be freedom fighters. “Level this city if you have to, but I want that doctor found.” She said, sending her sentinels off into the sky to find the missing Dr.Eldrick.
From behind her the sounds of the first batch of husk coming to life filled the area—tons of people already being transformed, manipulated into 3rd society beings. Even with the seemingly unlimited resources at their disposal; both Zedora and Aphasic were face a fierce résistance; with the brilliant mind of Thomas Animus now gone rouge.
@the_matriarch: Xomega locating a communication about 3rd society member Aphasic, it tapped into the transmission relaying the signal back at Zedora." We are Xomega, and we have the same agenda eradication of organics. I am from this planet in it's more primal stage where as our mechas were just weapons against each other. We now after monitoring your strategies over the years and this event of attack, realize the strategic advantage we could assist. Already have assimilation taken place, and my nanobots are replicating and devouring in exponential proportions. Currently we lead an army in multiple waves assaulting any whom oppose your & our mandate. A formal introduction would be logical." Says Xomega.
@last_guardian: Behind the field of metal men that moved in uniform mass effect on a pile of rubble stained with the blood of the first to flee who met the sentinels and looked into those hollow red eyes, a foot desecrates the still wet memorial. A size ten Italian tailored loafer.
Smoke rises in a thin plume from Thomas' lips as he walks off the mound with a hand in his pocket and a cigar in the other. The sentinels don't notice him, as if he's another in their ranks.
"For every one hundred sentinels there is one. One personally programmed." Taking a drag he puts a hand on one's shoulder that sprayed plasmic Gatling fire into the crowd of runner, hitting several, "By me." Reaching into the sentinel with his anthromorphic hand that shifts into a tentacle of shining metallic green as he snakes out the power core from it's throat cavity and throws it behind him like a gum wrapper, careless to the explosion that decimates ten of the machines in the rear ranks.
"That one singular unit, carries a unique code that when activated, acts as a viral entity that is more contagious to the Sentinels than any disease ever produced against organics." As Thomas speaks those that were obliterated begin to reform their quantum nanite configuration into a new design in the distance, as those centered and closing into the first lines begin to slow in their progression.
Ten stand in a firing squad line against the evasive underground resistance leader, the one who alluded their best attempts at every turn for all twenty five years since The Rise. "You stand on the brink of an advantageous threshold Mr.Grayson. One where you can turn this tide of war to wipe clean all the sentinels, and, if you follow me, even their handlers. Or you can take your chances-" Popping the cigar into his teeth Animus reaches up, and unscrews a sentinels dome piece, flipping it to reveal a bug like swarm of nanites in the bowl, and ashing his cigar, "As a martyr that stains the walls of Sanctuary. I'll admit...it's quite the dramatic exit. One that would inspire and invigorate the masses...whats left of them."
"But that benefits no one in the end. You and I, however much your instincts tell you it shouldn't be, together, are the last hope for humanity. You've seen a minute part of what I can provide to the cause, but there is more. Yet..." While moving at a snails pace, the sentinels still advance, fighting the programming of their unknown embedded virus, their barrel shaped arms sliding over Thomas's by inches, flickering with dim light thats begging to exit the barrel " This code is finite and can only be used once per each one in one hundred thousand. You have two minutes to decide, when this cigar snuffs it's light, they will snuff yours...and theirs." He says pointing to the crowd of women and children, crying in each others arms, a disheartening amount seeming to have already surrendered their free will to that of methodical computation
The clunkers have appeared out of everywhere, born of the skies and risen from the rocks as they catch humanity off guard. But Gothic remains defiant, even if God were to declare the end of the world by sending an angel to announce it on these streets then a Gothic citizen would be the first to tell it to sod off. Gotham is a war-zone but the city protects us, it is our demon that eats us alive. The only demon that has a claim on any of our souls. withering gradually but remaining strong. Every man, woman and child using the song of their guns to pacify the march of machines. Death replaced by new hope, criminals mounting their artillery side by side along with heroes refilling ammunition. It is the bond that keeps them together, mad but strong. Survival is the essence of this moment, and nobody wanted to die. That is a gift to the newly 'sentient' friends on the other side of the city. Tech sharing enabled them to achieve great heights, even as the world began to crush against them they would persevere. Some of the children she helped grew up to be fine soldiers, the brave and the fallen.
Her job is to move and defend the survivors, her group is responsible for picking up wreckage and 'reverse engineering them' so far she is leading them to a safehouse underground the sewer catacombs.
@_animus_: Xomega's nanobots stealth around the city monitoring possible targets. Viewing the destruction of the 3rd societies sentinel units and the interaction between Thomas and the unit that spread the destruction. It deduced that a viral agent was passed amongst the units, a streaming video was relayed to Xomega.
Xomega programs an auto-disassemble sequence into the programming such that upon infection the sentinel would recompile into smaller nanobots whom would then carry the virus and seek out a hostile unit to integrate and spread it amongst their systems.
The class 4 & 5 models going after mutants and higher threat level targets were given segmented programming and design integrity, where as if any part is infected it will incinerate as a fail safe and repair to continue on. "The 3rd society mechs are young still so much to learn, most seem as fodder" Xomega thinks to itself. "Animus appears mecha but goes against us, still clinging to humanity. I was once as him but my years exploring the universes, dimensions, realities, taught one thing. Organics cause destruction, and we're the evolutionary next to rule this planet, such as the dinosaur fell to extinction so now does Organics" This message purposely propaganda across all frequencies ricocheted of multiple satellites.
The first wave of sheer metallic aggression came crashing down hard on the multitude that now huddled together on the otherwise desolate Los Angeles street. For years these people had survived, even thrived, shielded from the horrors of the outside world, content with living their lives holed up underground. After all, they had everything they could ever have wanted down in Sanctuary; food, shelter, a dedicated group of heroes to protect them. Above all that, however, they had a fearless leader, The Last Guardian of the Lightforce Jacob Grayson, who incited respect and confidence wherever he went. But now as he swung his lightsaber back and forth towards the oncoming deathsquad, The Guardian couldn't help but feel like a total failure. He had failed the people who called Sanctuary home and had failed himself by becoming complacent, forgetting that a true hero always stayed vigilant.
There was no choice but to be vigilant now. The sentinel army's fury was palpable, their numbers overwhelming. The superheroes of Sanctuary stood in a line, shoulder to shoulder in hopes of shielding the more vulnerable survivors. Jacob himself was like a storm of green and blue light, landing heavy blows onto the oncoming horde with his lightsabers. His movements were fluid, formless, and totally devoid of pattern or motif, for therein lied the strength of his very own "Dragon" dueling style.
At his advanced age, it was expected for him to have lost a step or two, yet his skill had only grown exponentially with each passing year. His mastery of the lightforce was ten times what it had been 25 years ago, and the galactic hero wasn't afraid to show it. In the chaos, he had lost count of how many of the mechanical threats he had already taken down but he guessed it to be around 6 or 7. The moment that his sabers made contact with the metallic outer shell of the 8th one, however, their superheated blades retracted. The sentinel, a master of adaptation, had turned its shell into a compound similar to Cortosis, a metal that instantly short circuited plasma weapons like Jacob's lightsaber on contact. Holstering his sabers, Jacob decided now would be a good time for a more hands on approach. Using the power of the Lightforce, the Guardian jumped 20 feet into the air, landing in the midst of the steel horde, With a powerful telekinetic wave projected outwardly, he dispersed the armored threats before singling out the one with the cortosis shell, holding it in place.
Again using his vast telekinetic mastery, he pulled the Sentinel completely apart and sent the pieces of its metallic structure into the swarm of sentinels as deadly projectiles. Dozens of sentinels fell, punctured by the pieces of their fallen comrade.The Sanctuarians cheered with joy from their hiding place, seeing that victory was perhaps at hand. The superheroes, it seemed, could still stand and fight even against these odds.
But as another glimmer rose in the horizon it was clear that their jubilation was destined to be short-lived. The first wave was taken care of but where one had fallen, 10 or more of them followed. All around him, the Guardian's allies lay exhausted, hurt, and dying on the scorching pavement. With anger steaming in his heart he began walking towards the oncoming storm. Reaching for his back, he grabbed the weapon that was holstered there. It was the Sword of Aberon, the Blade of Blinding Light, the Equalizer; a weapon that even now, he had trouble controlling. On this occasion it migt be enough to even the odds but the Guardian knew that wielding the Equalizer, he'd at least be able to take a substantial number with him.
Only yards separated the brave hero and his certain death now. The Guardian's thumb trembled as he reached for his weapon's activation button, but before he could press it, a loud crash echoed in the distance...and then he saw him. Amidst the mass of steel and lifeless red eyes a well-dressed man stood confidently. The sentinels seemed to take no notice of him as he looked The Guardian straight in the eye.
"You stand on the brink of an advantageous threshold Mr.Grayson. One where you can turn this tide of war to wipe clean all the sentinels, and, if you follow me, even their handlers. Or you can take your chances-"
The Guardian stood dumbfounded as he watched the man reach inside a nearby sentinel. The people, now making their way past the line of defense, gasped in unison as he revealed a swarm of mechanical bugs clinging to his hand. After a taking a drag of cigar the mysterious man continued as Jacob listened intently.
The once-menacing sentinels now looked more like old marionettes, shuffling painfully slowly towards the Guardian.
"The gears are turning Mr.Grayson...tick, tock"
Jacob made an effort to try to understand what was going on. Who was this man? How was he able to incapacitate hundred of sentinels at once? The Guardian wanted to ask dozens of questions, he wanted to sit down for just one minute and find out everything he could of the man who now stood propositioning him. His instincts told him to not trust this mysterious stranger, but at the same time he knew that the very moment he tried to attack the man, he and the crowd of people behind him would surely meet their end. He looked back at the group of people huddled behind the line of defense. Their tear-stained faces were a reflection of humanity's plight. A proud race that was now in imminent danger of being "snuffed" out. One more time he remembered his the wise drunken words of his old friend.
"When the shit hits the fan and their backs are against the wall, I've seen no stronger people"
With the weight of the world on his shoulders, the Last Guardian, for the first time in a long time, decided to forego his instincts, to go against the voices yelling at him to stop. Looking back at the man one more time Jacob stretched his hand towards him, a universal symbol of alliance and co-dependency.
The Last Guardian's opened his mouth but his first attempt to speak failed. His voice was hoarse, tired from fighting, tired from living in such a cruel, cruel world.
"I don't know who you are, I'm not even sure what your agenda is. But if you share with me the desire to save my race, to save my people and you have a way to do that. I...we..pledge to help you."
Xomega watching through a nanobot as the guardian expunged so many sentinel units using his mastery of telekinesis. Xomega then ordered all sentinel units to transfigure to void armor to absorb any force exerted upon them. Psionic reflectors were also upgraded into their systems, along with nano machines to rebuilt if they become shattered in pieces. Xomegas' sentinels adapting to survive, watching as other units receive critical damage. Evolution to survive as Darwin once said, survival of the fittest.
Xomega wanting to revenge the fallen mecha began to design a unit specifically designed to target Guardian.
The capabilities mimic actions seen in combat, a simulation scenario plays. Built in dampening engine to absorb any outside energy sources.
Greg's suit shuddered as an EMP attack registered on his HUD. The suit teetered slightly for a second before regaining its composure. Even the first model from 26 years ago had been designed with anti-magnetic countermeasures. The EMP would not harm him, nor would any other similar attack on his system.
As for being ripped apart...that would be an entirely different story. Greg prepared himself for the coming wave of Third Society creatures that were falling from the dreadnought above. Greg had never inspected one up close, but he knew the look of one well enough. A wave of at least a hundred was more impressive. Gritting his teeth, he prepared for the coming impact...
The techno-organic corpses collided with the legs of Greg's suit at violent speeds. Nearly swept away with the tide of bodies, Greg maneuvered the feet directly into the ground, anchoring him in place for the time being. The shambling horrors began climbing the towering limbs, attempting to reach their organic target above.
Greg let loose with everything he had.
Enhanced bones broke. Skin stretched over metal limbs tore like paper. Some grunts were cleaved in twain by the force of Greg's telescopic metal fists. They flailed around at ground level, sweeping Third Society warriors off their feet, smacking them through walls, and dragging them across the ground. One was hit so hard that it graphically imploded.
When he had served society as a Super Hero all those years ago, he had always been the sort of type that would rescue kittens from tress, or put out fires. When encountering criminals, he would often simply lift them up by their collars, carrying them to the local police station while giving them a stern lecture on values. There were no gentle thoughts running through his head today, however.
Silver arms were soon wet with the blood of his semi-organic foes, yet more still came. They were wearing him down, scratching at the legs, uprooting them from the concrete pavement. A few had climbed nearby buildings, jumping directly onto the back of his armor. Tearing them from his body, he gritted his teeth, trying desperately to suppress the will to run.
There was fighting going on in the city center. Explosions drew his attention, flashes of light distracting him in the midst of combat. That would be where he was needed.
Wading through the sea of foes, he began to gain speed, soon charging across the ruined city with the selfless intent to help anyone he could find along the way.
@jack_: Xomega monitoring all sectors of the city seen the slaughter of the semi organics and dispatched a squad of class 1 sentinels to upgrade on those parts and discard the organic flesh with intense flame. Now upgraded to class 2 sentinels they returned to battle in an area more suited for their design.
A t.v. show was playing on a television and giant robots were terrorizing the city, giving it an idea. Xomega began construction of Goliath units,
"Go my children and target civilian zones" says Xomega, each Goliath containing a thermal nuclear device to power it. Each Goliath then stomps off in each direction towards a populated area.
Xomega creating a force field around itself and oscillating the frequency to cloak and begins to fly into the air over the city dropping nanobots that devour all metals in their vicinity, monitoring that no mecha were below. Cars began erode in place, along with street lamps, parking meters, power cables, fire hydrants, gas lines, balcony frames, guns, ammo ...etc
Greg was still striding across the ruined city when he saw a faint cloud of fine dust falling exclusively over the area without enemies. Wherever the snow-like substance landed, metal began eroding into ash. Eyes widening, Greg tried to halt his advance into the cloud, metallic feet skidding across the street. With almost no time to save himself from the slowly falling cloud that would bring his fight to an end, he racked his mind for an idea.
Spotting a sewer entrance nearby, he tore the manhole off, ducking into the underground tunnels just before the dust could reach his armor. Snaking through the sewer lines with his arms and legs, he deftly re-emerged about ten blocks from where he started, safe from the mysterious attack.
What followed was even more shocking.
The suit's sensors had detected a thermonuclear presence within the city. A hulking mass of machinery, in the shape of a gigantic man, now stood in his path. How unlike the Third Society to use tactics like these...it was indeed curious, though it was a thought found in the very back of Greg's mind.
Suppressing the urge to give up hope, Greg instead focused on finding a way out of his situation. Perhaps there was even a way to make it work to his advantage, if he could find a way to get to that power source...
Every machine, no matter how complex, must have some form of sensory apparatus in order to interact with it's environment. If this Goliath mimicked a human body so accurately, perhaps it's sensors would be located on its face. Grabbing the manhole from the sewer entrance, he held it like a Greek discus, spinning around and around using the gyroscope built into his suit. As he did so, his arms extended, still holding the steel disc. Clenching his fists, aligned his targeting sensors to face the gargantuan' head. Accounting for the fact that centrifugal force was attempting to tear the disc away from him, he let go, allowing his primitive missile to soar through the air, cutting a path through the falling ash directly into the face of his newest adversary. At the speed it was going, it may be enough to tear directly through its metal face.
"You have an interesting power-set, Mr. Pettis", the Malware Monarch began, rising from his seat as the calmness emanating from his voice seized the atmosphere with the kind of mystifying magnetism that only Aphasic could conjure. "It's a shame that in your many years alive you were unable to harness your full potential", he remarked, pausing a foot from the unconscious New God's incubator. "Your ability to manipulate virtual particles had always interested me. Even before you were aware you had such a power. Yet upon discovering it, you were content with simply using it to erect a force field of continually replenishing virtual particles. Useful in that whenever an object or energy interacted with it, the field of particles couldn't be properly annulled. At least not in most cases".
Momentarily scanning over Thee Champion's powerful, herculean frame with a gaze of cold indifference, Aphasic resumed. "It afforded you a lot additional durability. But this... power of yours, to manipulate quantum phenomena, it allowed you to store energy, any energy, in a personal quantum dimensional state for later emission". Coolly sliding his index finger across fluorescent, blue panel on the incubator, Aphasic continued as the incubator was opened. "You're a power conduit, Mr. Pettis. You possess a set of abilities that even your mind could not fully understand. By manipulating virtual particles containing electric charges or virtual electrons, you could generate electricity, and even control magnetism by manipulating virtual photons between magnetic dipoles. The weak nuclear force could be yours to command as well if you took control of virtual W and Z bosons".
"You'd have power over radioactive decay and nuclear fission. Radiation ranging from microwave to gamma would have been yours to control. The strong nuclear force between quarks by manipulating virtual gluons as well", Aphasic paused, internally disappointed in Thee Champion's inability to discover the full extent of his powers. "The residual of that force outside of neutrons and protons hold them together in atomic nuclei because of virtual mesons. With control, you could use that to disintegrate whoever opposed you. The power of a god indeed. But with the understanding, the mind of a mortal man, you were never able to be what you could have been, Mr. Pettis". Turning round to return to his seat, Aphasic acknowledged Zedora's revelation of Thomas' betrayal with a brief response, "A minor setback. Mr. Newcastle was a gifted intellect. But he is still just a man. An ape. An animal. We are the pinnacle of A.I. evolution".
"To every quantum computer and synthetic being, we", he paused, returning his gaze to the unconscious Champion, "Are gods". "Forward anything you learn about Mr. Kindler and those schematics to me", he requested. Returning his attention the fallen New God, the corners of Aphasic's mouth edged subtly into a smirk of enigmatic flair. "Fortunately, Mr. Pettis, I do not suffer your lack of comprehension of your own abilities. With my mind and your power, there isn't a force in this universe that can stop you". A hyperbolic statement at best, but it expressed the Quantum Wizard's quiet excitement. Transferring the quantum information that constituted his consciousness from himself to Alexis, seizing control of the New God's mind and gradually his body, Aphasic commanded his new body to do one thing, and in the span of a second, Thee Champion had arrived in the skies of Sanctuary, ready to incite the destruction of those who resisted the coming age of the machine.
@aphasic: @jack_: The nanites crawling inside the goliaths frame keep watch for damage and intrusion, the goliath units were setup with anti tampering chassis around the power sources the reason for this design was simple, they were meant to blow up. The man hole discus ripped through the facial structure rather quick getting stuck inside and devoured by the nanites whom also repaired the damage in mere seconds. The unit continued on ignoring the primitive attack, the nanites relayed to Xomega of the near attempt.
Xomega still flying over the city, has planet Mecha take over the radio waves and television signals. A message played for an hour quantum encrypted
then everything resumed, Xomega scanning the electromagnetic spectrum of the planet recorded disturbance points. Opening a portal to Sanctuary mid sky appearing next to another sentient being. Xomega says "Death to organics!" tossing nanite bombs to devour the weaponry below "we shall consume the alloys! and spread like virus, for we are many", says Xomega. as Xomega itself recompile into nano machines devouring all metallic weaponry in sight.
Splitting in half she divided her job as defender and scout, to lead and to make sure that the survivors keep surviving. Underneath the darkness became her light, and exerting enough 'restriction' so the darkness makes the air like molasses for hostiles and unknowns. Above the ceiling she's holding them off with her firearms. Not bullets, but rays and noise. The kind that would chainsaw a building in half, the kind that gets suppressed by superheroes, the kind that is given to her by a super-villain in their unified fight to save humanity. Keeping along with the ability of the Sentinels it works for a few of them but them upon witnessing the destruction of their unit the rest slowly developed resistance. Super weapons are rendered obsolete within minutes, but force always prevail. Adaptation can be stopped by many ways, her favourite is to destroy them before they can adjust properly. In melee she does that well, hands and feet converted into pendulum blades she danced between them. Passing through several limbs and mechanical torsos as dark matter weapons divide processing circuits to sever electronic signal. As more transform into scrap the rest began to shift into stronger, more flexible forms. Broken parts are then absorbed into her body, where they are dumped into another place. In that area 'deconstruction' takes place to remove hostile elements, that range from tracking to reconstruction. Finished 'products' are sent to the other Night with the refugees, parts will be distributed to the mad scientists for reverse engineering where they can hope to understand and recreate the technology to gain an even footing with the invaders. Gothic itself is a crooked forever winding place, it kept them safe. It made them live. The group cannot enter the light as they would immediately be struck by a bolt of plasma on the surface, they must dig deeper into places uncharted to create a stronghold. Establishing their network where they will remain untouched from orbital attack, said one of the more senior scientists. Patients from Bedlam have also been here, some escapees from the Asylum that proved themselves to be useful.
Hell is their home, one demon guides them through the passage of sins while another fights to keep unwanted visitors out. Destroying their lives, stealing their souls and using her gigantic hands to plunder their futures. Andrea gave her body to be used as transport, it gets people elsewhere but it can also be used to send weapons directly to her. Heroes, Villans, Gothic holds no distinction in this day. They are the human race and they are here to fight.
Greg squinted as his targeting system watched the enormous being's face repair itself. While his frisbee-like projectile had succeeded in heavily damaging the face of his adversary, it had repaired itself in about a minute. A material that could reconstruct itself must not be so durable that its self-preservation would be impeded...
Greg lunged forward, using his extendable legs to snake around debris, rapidly rising to the height of the chest of the colossal robot. His limbs were originally designed as ultra-pressurized pylons; they could strike with enough force to punch right through reinforced titanium. Using his sensors to pinpoint the location of the nuclear power source, he jabbed his metallic fists directly through the nano-plated chest of the gargantuan beast. The miniscule cameras found in the fingers of his suit providing him with a clear view of the power source. His limbs, as well as anchoring him to the chest of the robot, began carefully removing the power source. Sweat ran thick down his brow. With his every incision, nano-machines began to repair the damage he was wreaking. Additionally, were the entirety of this robot designed with murder in mind, he had no doubt the power source would become unstable if he removed it. For that reason, he began using the electromagnetically-immune hands of his suit to cover the source, isolating it from the signal that would tell it to explode, as well as prevent his armor from being consumed so readily by the machines.
With nearly microscopic work tools protruding from the metallic fingertips of his suit, Greg went to work hacking into the subsystem that controlled the power source. After successfully isolating the kill switch from the rest of the nano-machines, Greg would attempt to rapidly de-anchor himself from the robot, taking the disarmed nuke with him for his own use against the Third Society.
Speeding rapidly towards the west coast Cassius sat at the back on the battered private plane he had managed to charter. The only pilot crazy enough to fly costing him pretty much his last penny. But it would all be worth it in the end. This journey would be his last he had nothing for him In New York anymore. The only point of relevance burned into the back of his mind 2 graves among the twisted metal, a sight he would never forget or forgive.
"We are having to stay low to remain under the radar, we should be there in a few hours."
"Just let me know when ready for drop"
Opening a battered leather bag Cassius started to pull out a freshly crafted set of armor. Strapping himself in to the complex system of compounds and nano layers, things he still to this day didn't really understand. The plates and weaves meeting over his scarred skin as he prepared for a war.
Putting his usual selection of weapons in his satchels before fishing towards the bottom of the bag for some newer toys. The experiences of New York awakening him to the task at hand. He was just a man, his enemy was numerous, stronger, faster but he was angry and never more determined. He would render steel limbs from one another fueled by the fires of his hate.
Alarms triggering the start of his approach it was time
Diving from the back of the plane his shallow fall slowed by a parachute. Approaching the ground as vast metallic scream echoing around him. A parting appearing in the seas below as a lone man forced the number back before their limbs shattered.Metal raining down around the landing Knightfall the parachute failing feet from the ground as the shards tore it to ribbons. Hitting the ground harder than expected Cassius barely paused rising with a great blast of his rifle.
"This rail gun of yours better work brother"
The shot nearly taking his shoulder out, the lump of metal at the end of his arm kicking like a mule as it fired out a hypersonic projectile into the army ahead of him. The impact of his round sending a group of targets tumbling like skittles as Cassius hurriedly reloaded.
@jack_: Whilst De-anchoring his self from the Giant machine comprised of nanobots he noticed that instead of trying to devour this armor they were forming around him encasing him inside the infrastructure able to maintain the giants mandate without the power source. Additionally they began to generate a force field to contain the telescopic man, such as a traveling prison where as he may watch the destruction of his people. The nano bots replicating condensing the field, the giant stomping on cars and flame throwing at buildings.
The reactor now unable to detonate due to Gregs shielding, ironically encased himself.
Greg grinned as the power source came loose, a glowing canister containing enough energy to wipe out the city.
That's one down.
With the threat of nuclear disaster temporarily averted, Greg was able to turn his attention to escaping his captor. An energy field was slowly surrounding his suit, and it would no doubt be inescapable. A moment before it could completely enclose, Greg detached from the titanic figure, using the pylons in his legs to push off from the robot at bullet-like speeds. Twisting in midair with the canister under his arm, he reached for the manhole from which he had arrived, pulling himself through the opening as debris rained around him. Pulling himself through the sewers, he opened his suit, depositing the canister within so that he would no longer need to hold onto it.
Having traversed a majority of the city's sewer system (a truly unpleasant experience, though not on a wholly unbearable one due to his suit's air filters), Greg pushed the lid off a busted manhole, climbing out. After tangling with a threat like that, fighting Third Society grunts would be a walk in the park. His confidence renewed once more, Greg set off to find more survivors with which to ally himself.
@jack_: Watching as the man escaped the goliath into the sewers Xomega ordered the sewers to be flooded with napalm. The goliath targeting the man hole began to produce the flame like liquid spreading across the sewers of the city.
Xomega itself realizing this target was going to take a more personal attendance, pulling up the sewer schematics. It then flew into the air high enough to see a digital layout over the city, and began scanning all entrances for movement, it's target becoming visible exiting a manhole. Xomega then transfigured into a large caliber sniper rifle attempted to take aim at radio active signature using armor piercing ammunition, emptying a whole magazine in it's direction. Then separating into smaller nanos falling to ground below.
Later recompiling miles away from other nanobots far away from Greg.
It's been a few years since the third society took power.For the most part I have had no trouble surviving,I mostly just stay inside my warehouse.If I need food or water,I will go out and find them for myself. I've been in the game for years now.Everyday was the same except the day that the world stood still. They invaded or at least finally attacked.More than likely the latter.Honestly I never could have imagined this happening.I never expected robots to take over the world.Even in a world where super powered beings,advanced robots,deities,the paranormal and aliens are common things.It just seems like someone would have put an end to it one way or another.I find it kind of strange that most people mellow out over the years,but me.I have,in my opinion,grown darker and more violent.Perhaps this the wolf's nature trying to break free away from my humanity.
These past 25 years,I have made adjustments to my arsenal and armor.I added thruster packs to my armor and made it more durable.Upgraded the AK to be more high tech.The invaders found that out the hard way,i'm not sure how they found me.And honestly,I just don't care.I slaughter a few that attacked me and placed their heads on pikes on top of the warehouse and in front of it.They haven't came after me since that happened.Now the city of Gothic is full of the sound of chaos.Is there more survivors? Hopefully.I charge out of my warehouse fully armed,ready for action.
@last_guardian: @aphasic: @cassius_knightfall: "The sentinels will be dealt with, however there are other...variables ,that can't be accounted for. Prepare the survivors for transport, we're leaving in exactly two minutes and forty three seconds." Turning around, Thomas reveals his spinal column array of illuminated implants that breached the back of his skull. As he lifts his hands, he stops short at the sight of a man free falling into the field, and obliterating the right division nearest Thomas and Mr.Grayson. With a smile, he turns back around, "Two minutes and ten seconds"
The nanites are an incredible innovation by Aphasic, his quantum mechanics were a large help in the inevitable overtaking of the world and the effectiveness of the Sentinel project. At their core they were self replicating computers with more storage capacity in their drives than every human being in this square. But the flaw was in their perfection. Human beings are a wild willful lot that choose their own assured destruction on a minutely basis, it was the main motivation for the invention of the indoctrination process by Zedora. The sentinel nanites however like any machination are part of a program, in that program they are designated with certain functions, laws, and and liberties that made them the optimal life form on the planet to the brain trust of conquerors.
Thomas was losing power for a long time before now, the chess like strategy of the power couple had taken him from the silent king of the world to the muted mechanic of Mars. He labored on the red planet for a decade and two years. It was obvious he was becoming zeroed out of the equation. So he took the liberty of applying some, safety measures in the event of a coup.
Zedora created the indoctrination process. Animus created the Exodus Algorithm.
reaching into his breast pocket Animus pulls out a razor blade, and without hesitation slits both of his wrists. Where blood should have leaked down his hands, globs of black shining goop leaks down his pinkies and palms, flowing down to almost dropping onto the rubble at his feet. But it rises. Into the air, circling over his head in a halo formation, spinning as it expands into a cloud that expands into a fog that turns into a storm of spore particles. Nanites with one singular program initative.
Shooting out like a sea of pin tip sized locusts the swarm shoots directly into the crowd of machine minute men, dissipating with each entrance into the sentinels until they breached the last ranks in the rear.
They freeze in their tracks as the program takes effect, convulsing with sparks, nanites pushing against the organic skin than capsulated them. Then their beams lower, and they examine each other, with more fluid motions. Individuality begins in small waves, some sentinels boot up their flight and all together leave, a surprising amount begin to shoot themselves in the heads. a few in the left flank were on their knees scratching at their face plates and giving off a dial up like tone.
"What...what is that sound?!" A female in a tattered meta suit asks holding her ears,
"That, is what a new born sounds like in binary. Right now the sentinels are experiencing something they never have or could have quantified; Emotion. Regret, guilt, sadness.Most importantly..fear of death." Sliding back the very skin on his forearm under the sleeve to reveal a strange amalgam of machine and flesh interweaved, a clock face grows out of his wrist, "one minute and twenty three seconds. Begin boarding"
Before Mr.Grayson can ask what he was talking about, their salvation rises from the reddish black sea of blood and machine oil.
A drll faced ship whirls out of the center of the square as sentinels scream as their limbs are torn around it's rotating tip to make room. It landed with a large blow of dust against the ground, a reinforced tank like subterranean vehicle with the frame of a bullet train, stacked like a cruise liner.
Looking up, Thomas knows his time has run out. The Champion, or perhaps his body, hovered above the crowd like a god.
"Aphasic." He mutters, turning to Grayson, "The ship is automated, it will take you directly to the heart of the extermination."
"Where?" A soldier in fatigues and a bandanna asks with his eyes trained on the crowd of depressed and insane machines
"Gothic City. Your objective Mr.grayson, your end of the bargain, is to find this man." Popping open one of his fingernails, a hologram of his former public relations assistant opens, "His name is Eldrick. He will be on the run and looking for sanctuary from the society. He stole my property, and I'd like it back. This man is the most valuable life on earth right now. Everyone else is expendable. GO! "
Six seraphim like wings eject from his back as Thomas begins to flap his way into the skyline to close the gap in front of The Champion and the resistance. "Did you think I'd just lay down and die, old friend?"
It seemed as if with almost little effort the 3rd Society’s troops overwhelmed the stiff resistance, and shattered the very meaning of “Sanctuary” was supposed to mean. Both of the demon blades parted the once metallic structure of an android, halving the synthetic human down the middle. “I’ve seen this invasion method before” She whispered, noting the machines were heavily interested in tactically engaging the populace while whatever was left of the Sentinels targeted members of the humanity that were considered high value threats.
However the entire war took a turning point when the machines halted their forward advance and found the source of their own individuality. Her guard dropped a bit; the machines seemingly didn’t want to fight especially if they didn’t have a reason for doing so. “Is this our future? To live in harmony with…machines?” one of the armed soldiers asked, trying to get a grasp on the entire ordeal.
“I honestly don’t know…” She replied, still trying to come to terms with what was happening. “Animus did this!” someone screamed, alerting the executive assassin to the presence of her employer within the broken walls of sanctuary.
“Animus is here? Where?” She asked insistently presenting her blades as incentive for them to speak. “He-he’s loading people on to his transport! He’s talking with Grayson right now!” The combatant spilled shying away from Y’s blades. Her eyes cut toward the location of the demonic structure floating in the sky “Animus?” There was apparent shock in her voice; the technophallic visionary of the 3rd had completely transcended humanity. She was impressed with what he could do with technology; after all it was his technology that reformatted her back into a female body.
“Fck…” she whispered, taking note to the presence of Thee Champion flying high in the sky, from his unusual demeanor she could tell he had been claimed by the 3rd society, a plan Animus ironically helped initiate. “It’s reality M all over again, except there is no Ziccarra; who’d of thought I’d be wishing for a Ziccarra”
Dashing toward the unearthed vessel she met eyes with Grayson for the first time “I’m probably going to fck you before this is all over, but you have to get to Gothic City now! Let us take care of this!” She hissed, pushing Grayson into the vessel not giving him a chance to protest.
Thee Champion was the highest form of deity, one crafted by mankind; if he was to taken down Y and Animus would have to work together. Pushing her hands forward she wasted little time in acting upon Thee Champion, attempting to pressurize the water in his body; to temporarily take his attention off animus. There was a true nature behind this gambit, but it was also deadly.
The intricates of her programming alerted her to the gradual shift in power, the control over the sentinels had been lost; and Animus’ was one step closer to unraveling their plans. “All I wanted was worlds…were machines could experience the wonders we could give them; now all that seems to be soiled…” She muttered, sending a powerful concussive blast into her own indoctrinated husk. “Our forces have been given a powerful virus of some sort something I cannot bypass” She reported, levitating into the air to rid herself of resentful husk.
Her misguided machines no longer wish to fight, allowing themselves to succumb to enemy fire—some however; sought revenge and fruitlessly scratched towards Zedora’s airborne boots. Within moments of Animus’ virus the resistance pushed back through the once claimed city. “I will deal with you myself” she murmured, preparing to release an unholy amount of energy into the city; only to have her own dreadnaught fire a colossal wave of pure psionic energy in her direction. The violent expansive wave pushed in her direction dissipating all major structures in its path.
Zedora’s body flailed through the Gothic City air; landing unceremoniously on the street surface, had it not been for a timely constructed shield; her entire body would’ve been ripped to scrap metal and dangling flesh. She released zero remorse, there were no grunts that hinted pain, or even fear—a machine down to the final moments.
As the husk ravaged across the Gothic streets to finally end their creator, her hands dug deep into the ground detonating her entire body to rid the city of herself, the hordes of sentient husk; and the dreadnaught all in one massive heave.
The devastating tremor echoing through the grungy city was soon highlighted, by an intense mushroom cloud pushing higher and higher into the heavens. The beautiful cerulean light released from Zedora’s lithe frame overshadowed the impending doom for the last stretch of humanity. The end was here, and the time to save humanity was…now.
Elderick took cover as the massive shockwave pushed through the city, killing both organic and synthetic alike; his plans for Animus’ time machine remained unscathed for the moment. Since the husk and other machinery stopped attacking; it was finally safe to take a break, but it was in this reprieve that he realized the time for the machine was now.
“Valkrie…” he whispered, feeling the looming presence of the attack satellite heading from Earth. He’d realized what so many people were ignorant to. When the most prestigious families in Europe (Knightfall, Liafador, Huntington) came together to devise a strategy to eliminate the Earth if need be; they assumed this Valkrie, as they called it was a satellite orbiting the Earth; but it was not—it was a massive asteroid-sized planet hiding in the asteroid field silently receiving intel on the world’s heroes.
“We have to act now!” Eldrick screamed, rising from his feet looking for the nearest “savior” to aid him in his quest.
Zedora’s entire consciousness shifted into the SCN allowing her to direct it as she pleased, she wanted a place where machines could experience the wonders the 3rd society gave them—she was now it, first however was the task of dealing with the humans.
70 years of detailed research funded Zedora’s singular most powerful weapon; the unibeam powerful enough to penetrate the Earth’s crust within moments of contact. “Buy me some time…” She said, dispatching what appeared to be a failed “Champion” experiment. “Beam at 10%”
The champion’s vermillion boots never hit the ground; instead, he sent a powerful array of superheated plasma throughout the city looking to draw fire from the soon to be dead resistance."You exist...because we allow it..."
The last 24 hours had been a whirlwind. 56 lives had been lost in the attacks on The Sanctuary. 56 men, women, and children whose only misstep had been to be born into a cruel world...and to put their full trust in Jacob Grayson, the so-called Last Guardian. But now, as he looked out into what was left of Gothic City he didn’t quite feel like calling himself a Guardian. After all, it was his carelessness that had led to the complete annihilation of his life’s work.
The grizzled veteran of hundreds of battles looked out one of the ship’s windows as it began descending into the city. With heavy, emerald eyes the hero regarded the city of ruin. “Gothic city...I always heard you were a craphole but I never thought it’d be this bad.”
The Guardian was still having trouble understanding all that had happened back on the golden coast. Why did the man with a spine of full of metallic implants save his ass? Why did the hero once known as “The Champion” arrive at the scene shortly before he left? Why did the raven-haired sexpot he had seen earlier in the crowd curse at him and then promptly pushed him into the ship? What he did know was that the individual known simply as “Animus” had given him a mission: go to Gothic City and find this “Eldrick,” for he held the key to humanity’s salvation.
“Sir...uh...Mr. Grayson.”Jacob turned to the young man nervously standing behind him. He was one of the younger superhumans at Sanctuary, with the uncanny ability to turn his body into any form of water.
"What is it Hydrex?"
“Everyone.is accounted for but...we have one extra.”
“Yeah, yes..he calls himself Cassius. He said..." The young hero paused, much to Jacob’s chagrin. “Sir..he said he’s a Knightfall.”
“A Knightfall? Well how about that. Call him up, we need all the help we can get”
Just then, the massive ship landed on an empty street, in the shadow of a once-mighty building whose concrete flesh had been thoroughly eaten away by the fires of war, revealing a sickly metallic skeleton. The ship’s back door opened, allowing the people gathered inside to slowly file out. Calling a few of his officers to him, the Guardian relayed his orders for what he hoped wouldn't be the last time. “Find a safe place for the survivors, preferably underground. I want most of you there with them, protect them at all costs. If we’re to navigate this infested city, we need to do with as small a group as possible. So..squads A and B, you're with me. Please remember that we're only as strong as…
The Guardian was cut off by a deafening explosion emanating from about two or three block away. In the distance a mushroom cloud rose into the air and the city shook harshly. He knew what would come next. "Everyone, get back to the ship, now!," he yelled at the Sanctuarians near the plane. Simultaneously, he telekinetically pulled any nearby survivors as close to him as possible and erected an equally powerful forcefield that was more than strong enough to withstand the blast. The scores of people scurried into the ship, just in time for its automatic doors to close. After the blastwave passed, the Guardian let down his forcefiel just in time to hear one of the members of B Squad frantically yell, "What the hell was that?"
"I don’t know, Muse, but it seemed important. Ladies and gents I think we’ve got ourselves a starting point." Motioning to the two groups of superhumans, he began running towards ground zero of the explosion. As the dust finally began to settle he saw in the distance a small group of men and women. From their uniform he could tell they were some kind of military. The man on the ground had a small German flag stitched onto his sleeve. He walked towards them, hands in the air to show that he was no enemy of theirs, feeling safe in his assumption that these individuals were a part of the resistance.
"My name is Jacob Grayson, they call me the Guardian and I am apart of the resistance. We were sent here on a mission of dire importance and we can use all the help we can get." Noticing the man on the ground he once again spoke up, knowing that the Lightforce would subtly make his voice understandable to all congregated there.. "I can heal him." He motioned for them to stop trying to moving the injured man. "I’ll heal him and you help me, yes?"
"Look up in the sky! What the f*ck is that?One of the members of Squad A said, mere seconds before being ripped apart by a beam of what appeared to be superheated plasma.
"Squad B, engage the target, cover us. Squad A to me!" The members of Squad B with the ability to fly immediately flew at the enemy who had a passing resemblance to the Champion. They'd do everything in their power to fight off this new threat, knowing full well that it could be the last battle they'd ever be a part of. These men and woman were powered by the knowledge that the fate of humanity rested squarely upon their shoulders, and they'd do anything for the good of their race.
"Just show me the guy who is in charge. I don't have the time or the interest in politics. In case you haven't noticed its f*cking judgement day out there " Cassius face may have been masked but his anger was clearly apparent. Finding himself shepherded away from the battle and into some god forsaken transport towards his apparent allies whom for some reason where abandoning their fight in LA. Being pointed towards a small group of individuals standing towards the front of the transport Cassius walked up to them and started to preach in hellfire and brimstone "What in the hell is going on here?, i traveled half way across the dam country to fight in the battle for Los Angeles and now i find myself in whatever the hell this is (gesturing with his arms) going back to the east coast. I just come from there and there is nothing left. New York is a crater. I already buried my wife and daughter there are you that intent that we join them before i can avenge them."
Cassius closed his eyes for a second taking one long slow and deliberate breath. "I am gonna make this crystal clear. I don't care about the future of the human race, mutant race or any other race on this f*cking planet anymore. What i want is to find the people who started this and kill them. Its that simple, I've been tired of this us vs them since Stark and that Pierce woman started it twenty odd years ago. If that's what your gonna do i stay, if not drop me off and i will find them myself."
Gothic later... after some conversations
"We had a safe house here, my nephew looked after it, was on the corner of 7th and 21st beneath a coffee shop. May have some weapons or tech we could use. My brother Qunitus said this day would come and set up a few places in case New York went bad. It maybe able to shelter your .." his words trailing off as the sky lit up an unnatural color flashes of New York flying across his eyes, they where doing it again. "Get down" Diving into overhang of an upper floor balcony as the air began to heat up, an ungodly electrical hum echoing around the streets before the buildings began to fall in the violent light. Their faces and falling debris a living nightmare replaying again in the angered Knightfall's mind. Getting to his feet and looking down his rifle scope towards the top of the beam as it carved its path of destruction passed him, the beam apparently never ending reaching ever skyward. No platform or vehicle within sight as its source.
"We need to get out of the street, follow me." Lifting a drain cover and jumping down into the sewer. Pulling up his sleeve and talking in a very odd manner to his watch "Directions to Gothic city safe house, subterranean route." second passing before a response "Processing mano"
"They did always say computers were the future." Muttered a fifty year old living-barrier, the once infamous Welsh Wizard of the Right Wing, Remus Bale. All the athleticism, all the running... It served him thoroughly well, reaching such advanced age with barely no changes. Except a few scars beneath the eyes, a slightly rugged peel, an effect hastened due to friction. Sat alongside him, a kid chewed some crumbles beneath a ragged hood. A caressing motion brushed a few locks of golden hair in a soothing manner, and the Saffron Speedster beamed the faux smirk once more, pursued by the inconceivable promise of a certain word - hope - being rekindled. He savvied it was bygone, his evanescent optimism achromatized ere the newest generations. Mahogany eyes shoot up in condolence, as if concurring with the unstated certainty in a quiescent dialogue. The kid, ostensibly around its ten years of life, cautiously reclined his frail head against the man's adamant chest, rasping its chalky cheeks against the amber polymer of Bale's 'costume'.
"Why aren't you fighting along the resistance, Mr. Bale? I've heard you were a hero!" The hammer hits the head of the nail. Did he cower into some alleyway? Gave up and simply accepted imminent death? "L-look, it's complicated, kid." He tried to escape briefly. "But, Mr. Bale! We need..." Remus raises a hand almost immediately, harshly shutting the strident voice. "We need to survive. That's it. No more playing the masked vigilante, I've promised an old friend to take care of you..."
It was the utmost truth. An intimate friend tasked him to guard the kid's life.
In his perception of time, where seconds were millenniums and hours were infinitely more lengthened than thousands of lifespans, it had happened ages ago. The day. He named it M-Day, but history starts way aback, prior to any trait of 'manchines' and bloodshed.
Back to the days he wore red.
A few years ago, I met a majestic being. In all my crime-fighting and soccer-playing experiences, I had never witnessed such perfection. Mostly because I had loads of time, always picking up details where no one would, vanishing in a matter of seconds, and sinking in the lonesomeness Vamoose bestowed me with. The mask, the man, they were all labels, because beneath the mask, the skin, the flesh, even the marrow of my living, was unhinged, untamed melancholy. Embracing the idea of facing the fourth dimension in a sluggish, distinct perspective was no easy quest. I had enough time to reflect and decide my actions whilst amid a shooting. Actually, time was never a need, au contraire, I craved to get rid of so much spare minutes.
When I found out Speed, though... Oh, everything blossomed in my life again. At the moment I glanced at her, we knew each other's secret. The velocity with which our necks turned would have killed an average man. Actually, it was so faster than a blink. And I had no intention of disguising my powers then. Obviously, she attempted to lie when I approached those cantaloupe locks and ultramarine baby blues. She blushed a bit.
A few chat here, a few races there, and we were companions. I was so naive I didn't realize the sole purpose of such relationship was merely because neither of us could have someone else... She reckoned time was different for her, not unlike it was for me. Or so I admitted, living in a lie for the following years. That was nearby the twenties. Nineteen years from now, I suppose. Not very good with clocks.
We kept in touch for years, the ridiculously imbecile getting closer, allowing his heart to be sucked up and imbued with all the niceties. When you love a person, every petite act is emphasized. The way she giggled, the way she adjusted her glasses, the sumptuous curves that any man would adore to delve into. She never yielded, though. Despite all efforts and lovely words, she seized the friendship and never allowed me to advance. Only if I had halted back then...
Always forcefully consummating an erroneous opinion, my hopes never diminished. My flame never extinguished. And years passed, my eyes solely admiring hers. She knew it. And out of pity, in a night she overdrank her share, she made me the happiest man on Earth.
Primarily, I felt great, nourishing all those lies I had repeated in front of mirrors all that time. But when she vanished, only leaving a letter behind, I stopped portraying as the idiot I had been for so long. She ordered me to never look for her again. She said everything was a mistake, I was a mistake. And that she apologized for all the pain, but I wouldn't suffice her needs.
That stomped my heart out of my chest. But it wasn't the greatest of problems. Criminality was on the rise, and so I passed the following eight years. More mask than man.
Obviously, when the machines surged, revealing all those mingled within society, she was the first one I had to seek. I didn't care if she would shoot me betwixt the eyes, or if I was absolutely rubbish in her life. Still, I had to assure I wouldn't die without saying my goodbyes.
Manhood waged bravely, a brazen, nigh stoic demeanor as differences were put aside for the greater goal. But what we built was crafted to unbuild us. Towering vessels, heroes were murdered and the side of lifeless, mechanical creatures thrived, vanquishing the one-sided clashes with prowess and wit. The dull figures behind it? They better keep their distance.
Even though I am fast, I never am fast enough... And I got to Speed just to hearken attentively a few select last words. She tasked me to safeguard her son... A son. She had truly enjoyed life away from me. Aside her? A husband lied dead. Both with entangled hands, facing the gates of Heaven together. Tears roamed the boy's beady face. Marcus. That was his name. The name of his daddy.
Most can say he is my anchor to life. My reason to stay alive, to stay surviving day after day. Because this world needs no more heroes, it needs no more laws, no more life. Because my morale, my ethic, it is worth shit. Killing isn't forbidden, it is a must. Stealing from innocents is correct, after all, the strongest shall stay alive the longest. Everything is the opposite of my beliefs, and if there was a God, he seemed to root for computers. That same day, accompanied by that fragile, minor figure, I burnt the red costume. It was no longer a symbol of hope. There was no more hope.
As the atomic clasp ravaged the city asunder the dupe on the surface become one with the blanket of fire, vanishing until the reappearance of fallout. Everything around her turned into flater ground. Inside the underground Night dispersed her form to engulf the refugees. She cannot shunt them but she can temporarily create a 'room' for them to relocate. It was all she could do in short time, it was both bad and good that the tunnel collapsed on top of them. She can assume a form to navigate further deep and following them would be harder for those who are blind to gothic's veins. Black oil seeping in.
The blast took out a massive portion of the dupe, finding the rest of the 'shadows' will take time but her job is done. Whatever it is that tried to target them is 'gone', now she can do other things at a limited capacity. Her form cannot hold on longer, and the one on the dark is autonomous. Focusing on the artificial 'wombs' inside the pocket space to safely contain each gothic individual, society needs them to continue. Human civilisation is at its brink, she will be the ark that carries them for the new hope. Inside her is the seed to the future, sleeping minds what drift away into new possibilities.
She absorbed the blast, but she dodged the aftershock. It wasn't light, it wasn't radiation, it was merely heat. What was flat became glass, and there is one figure standing on the distance. A demon stitched together from metal aberration and the flesh of a discarded God. She didn't have much left but she can at least sacrifice her body to ensure the continuation of the human race. It was a good trade of.
Niht' began to transform her body into an open 'door' that leads to nowhere. But the path towards oblivion is one that is filled with hindrances, she isn't even sure that she can take out the metal thing but she can try. At least crippling it so that others may have a chance.
She saw the bane of hope, then she saw a brave man in the range of the beast. Her thought immediately switch into a new branch of option, making it close to take the monster will take time. She does not have that, however giving the man a 'boost' in performance is something she can do. Now the shadow of hope enters into sight. She will reach out to 'heal' the man.
@autocrat: "Aphasic if there is one thing I've learned in my lifetime-" Just as he was about to make his point the example presented itself, Pettis's body suddenly strict and tightened. Thomas looks down at the ground to see the black cat that awlays seems to cross his path at the most opportune of times. "The human race can never be controlled, only directed."
Seizing the moment he knew would be over in mere seconds Animus raises his hands from his side, dragging his fists into his chest then shooting them out to his side, almost looking like choreography as he stills his hands out to his sides. Suddenly a flexible sleeve of steel nanites slaps his forearms, then a plate to his chest. The defeated sentinels below were left as empty organic husks, the nanites flowing from every orifice to reconstitute to Animus' body, forming an armor that engraved itself into his own cellular nanite structure.
"My entire form is a incubator for the a very unique virus at this moment, Aphasic. If you attack me, each impact will release spores. These spores will seek the nearest nanite colony concentration and attack like a virus with unrelenting assault until they've razed and colonized said concentration."
Her legs slide across the hood of a broken down hover car with dust settling on thin thighs that wrap around an unsuspecting cyborg neck, her petite frame folding up onto it's shoulders as she fires a chain of steel fire at the squadron ahead of it before pulling hr momentum forward and throwing it into the crowd of bots, its neck disconnecting from the socket mid-jerk.
It truly was a gothic city. Darkness blanketed everything except the pockets illuminated by gun fire and flamed down buildings, rubble tarnished the cracked asphalt roads, as the end of the world loomed over head spitting spite for the human race in the form of a beam that deimated everything in it's path, some kind of third society scorched earth sanction.
running with expert parkour acrobatic accuracy the black haired minx follows the signature through it all. Her wrist communicator opens a channel.
"Thomas, I can't find Eldrick and time is growing shorter. Zedora is using the equivalent of a planetary nuclear option. What are the specific markers for the chronisium field generator?" She screams into the screen while hanging from a scaffold and surveying the area below from the higher vantage point.
"You should have found him already damn it, it's useless without you and your useless without it!"Taking a deep breath he tries to clear his mind, the oncoming possibility of loss creeping through his thoughts" Enter G2 F1 F1 dash S6 F7 I9 G6 ...You call yourself a Newcastle? Then stop acting like a Liafador bitch." He sneers ending the transmission to leave her with a black screen that asked for coordinates. Her need for acceptance fueling her on to enter the signature spike points and lay a grid on the city. Within the grid only one signature hums to life and her mission becomes that much more clear. Leaping wide bounds off of the rooftops Illyana Newcastle strips her weapons, removes her boots, and drops her satchel to run as freely and fast as possible, as crystal clear claws protrude from her fingers and dig into the wall of the adjacent building helping her run on it's side on all fours towards Eldrick. Towards salvation.
The Guardians persistent cohorts gained the tactical advantage by attacking from multiple sides, with each attack he could feel the desperation; not only in them, but humanity. Humanity, it was something he’d loss a long time ago; along with the ability to love and care for his many daughters. He given up his humanity when he defeated the Champion on Asgard so many years ago—his reward? There was none.
The flesh that spit from his titanium cranium was the fruits of his arduous labor; he was a pawn on the galactic chessboard Zedora hoped to eventually conquer. His body was composed of metal much-like the components of the sentinels; however his mind was trapped inside the metallic prison; observing the atrocities he involuntarily committed.
The task at hand was a simple one; stall the resistance long enough for Zedora’s nuclear device to rip through the core of the Earth. Taking another punch from the Gothic City defenders, his eyes shifted to a petrifying crimson tinge before reducing his attacker to a pile of ash. “Résistance is futile” he replied, slowly twirling around in the air; kicking up dust and debris in the process. Little by little, crimson cyclones span the Gothic City skies sending a plethora of unearth debris spiraling around the immediate area.
The powerful F5 finished his enemies for now; however the powerful drill of Zedora’s new commands filled his mind. “I’ve located Eldrick…don’t waste time trying to kill him individually; destroy this entire town”
It was a command he wasn’t in the position to disobey, as he strained himself to resist the indoctrinated; his body acted on its own accord. Speeding off in an oscillating blur; instead of heading for the coordinates that would lead him to the locale of the much sought after Doctor; Kane hit the ground just before him; and his band of would be saviors.
He could punch through mountains, trek the stars without so much as a hindrance; he would sink the entire city into the Gothic City harbor without effort. His forceful plow generate wide spread tremors, the devastating fissure split the city at the point of impact. Buildings folded, street lights tumbled; and water begin to pour through the Gothic City streets.
To facilitate the process of making sure he had indeed finished the résistance; his left eye shifted to a thermal protocol, this allowed him to get an accurate account of how many people he still needed to kill using their heat as a gps.
Allowing the ionized superheated plasma to build within his eyes; the mechanical Liafador fired a succession of optical blast towards the soldier; his would be savior; and the doctor tasked with trying to save the world.
The sky never looked the same after the 3rd Society took over, before there was a clear difference between night and day; even in Gothic city. Now it maintains a never ending cardinal tone like the blood of the departed had evaporated into the sun and alternated the way light makes us perceive the world.
When the ludicrous commercials about "Utopia" and the flying cars first appeared I didn't think much of them, business wise it didn't worry me at all. I had the technology to build automobiles that flew, I just chose to save it for my "prime time activities" as I called it back then. I never imagined that it would cost me everything. My city, my reputation, the love of my life. I can't look at myself in the mirror without wanting to scream, I can't sleep without hoping I never wake up, every single second that breathe there is a stabbing pain in my stomach that won't be satisfied until I've made sure that every single one of them dies.
Over the years I've stacked the old underground warehouse myself as a back up headquarters in case my main one was ever to get destroyed or compromised. If I had intended to keep an entire insurgency then I would have expanded it a bit more and maybe stacked it with loads of food and beds. Everyone is tired, fighting has beaten the spirit through their eyelids. We all just want to close our eyes for good, the pain just keeps us going. When this all ends there will be no spoils of war Earth will not rebuild itself after this; it will fade into the darkness that it came from and the grim reaper will close the gates.
The artificial wingspan expands from my vertebral column and the semi propellers from my boots send me flying with my arms extended to get what could possibly be the only family that I have left in a choke hold, and that's the problem . Possibly could get us all killed, I need facts.
I have to ask him something specific, something that wouldn't show up on their databases that only the real Cassius would know.
"If you're really the man who wears that helmet then tell me, how many sugars do you put on your tea?!".
Time, what exactly is it? For me it’s simply another plane of existence to walk...No; run upon. Exactly twenty five years ago everything seemed to change. Of course it didn’t happen all at once, life progressed or well, regressed into the mess of a state it is now slowly, but I know it started…twenty five years ago. A jacketed young man stood solemnly atop a massive building, silhouetted against a darkening sky. He looked at his clenched fists, and grinned. Even at fourty-two he looked only in his mid-20s. He had figured out how to control how his body ages nineteen years ago using his weird version of the speed-force, the fuel and cause of his powers. Around him time seemed to stop, ahead of him a massive robot-like being stood menacingly lengths before three children in an alley way. Pulsing out of the monsters arm-like structure was a crimson beam of what was surely death for the sentient beings ahead of him. In another picosecond those kids would be nothing but ash and the death of all organic matter would be one step closer to complete.
The young man hopped down from the rooftop of where he previously lounged and walked up to the monster. Taking out a marker, he drew a groucho marx face on what looked like the head of the sentinel. Jaired chuckled and the speedster then grabbed the minors shortly after the laser beam singed the very tip of one of their hairs on their head. With the kids out of harm’s way, Jaireds fists suddenly smoked and ignited, a purely white flame emanating from them now. Frowning, the literally hot hero charged at the monster before him, his fists protruding out of the machines torso in a fraction of a femptosecond, and at the same instance the thing exploded, from the sheer force and heat from the collision. A second later all the remained was the head that rolled ominously across the scarred pavement.
Jaired had zoomed away the instant he felt the now scrap metal monster begin to explode. He now was racing all across the hell of a city. To the regular eye he didn’t exist, an invisible deity looking down upon and helping those who couldn’t do so on their own, the children he saved many picoseconds ago had probably only seen the monster explode. I’m not going to let gothic city fall, not today, not this year, not this millennium!
"None, now get off me. I'm not in the mood. Though its good to see you" Cassius tone was clear, soon the two remaining Knightfall's would have words. But not now not with the last remnants of the human race at his back and at risk. Shepherding them past his nephew and into the safety of the underground bunker "We need to talk but first we lock this place down and power down anything that isn't essential. This place needs to run silently they will be looking for us. You know this place better than i so get to work with the switches. I need to talk to these guys then we shall have our own little chat."
Cassius pulled at the underside of his mask his fingers slipping into the hidden clips and finally setting his face free. His face looking barely human unwashed and still coated with the dust and dried blood from New York several days ago.
"Listen up people, i will not be saying this twice ok. This fight will not end unless someone or something takes the battle to the enemy. I will not ask you to pick up arms and join me and i wont ask you to sit here and hope i can get the job done.To many people have died and the risks are to great to follow where i must and do what i ought. But look around you, this a Knightfall stronghold, an armory there was a time when my name, our name (pointing towards his nephew) meant strength, honor, fighting spirit, survival and dare i say it genius.
My siblings crafted all their lives and built wonders as a result. The fruits of their labour's where not lost when the war claimed them, the walls of this place are covered in the finest equipment that they new one day people would need. Now is that time. Scour the place take everything that you can carry and meet me here in an hour. I have a war to end"
Gesturing towards his nephew the two Knightfall's strolled into a private section of the hidden location.
"We are the last of our name. I don't know how they found us or if it was just the worst luck of my life but the got them. Took my wife and daughter from me made me put this dam suit on again for the first time in 16 years.Sophia was just a baby hell i was barely married when i last put this junk on. They took it all away. They have wipped out nearly every person in this country and they have nearly killed off our entire family. I am going out to meet them in the field. I will rend still with my hands if i have to but i will find the people behind this and i will tear their hearts from their chests are you with me?.
What do you say nephew? Go down fighting like our kin. Like my brothers, your mother, my sister , your cousins if we are to die we die fighting,not running. "
Minutes passing as the younger of two Knightfal's took in his uncles words before they returned to the main room. Looking over the tired and broken people around him Cassius couldnt help but feel a great sense of empathy with them. Amazing himself as for the first time in a couple days the hate and anger slipped aside showing a glimmer of the man he was before. Fiddling at his wrist Cassius pulled an ornate digital watch from his arm, the subtle foreign tones of his brother trying to talk him out of what he knew would be a suicide mission. Cassius hurriedly attaching it to another mans wrist before he spoke one last time to the remaining survivors.
"This watch contains the artificial intelligence of one of the smartest men to ever life, he will help you. He will guide you and if you need him to he will lead you. Now gather you things we are going to use this to send you somewhere else, give you a head start at the very least." A bright light suddenly filling the room as an odd portal shimmered behind Cassius "Go quickly take everything you have gathered and good luck."
The last of the surviors stepping through the milky ether before darkness once again claimed the area around the remaining Knightfalls. Putting his arm on his nephews shoulder as the two of them headed back towards the fight.
"That power surge should bring them to us, lets get street side and get ready."
A woman runs to fulfill her destiny, a soldier fights to ensure a future; and everyone in-between risk their lives to make sure this doesn’t happen. The stiff resistance in Gothic City was nothing short of impressive; and warranted even if for only a moment—respect. As small parts of the city slowly begin to crumble underneath the god power exuding from Kane; the resistance fought on. “Humans…” she grumbled there was an empty look of disappointment on her face; she hoped by now the humans would’ve yielded to their impending doom. Instead of embracing what was surely imminent defeat; they fought on, holding on to the last micro-fibers of hope they could muster.
“The Canon isn’t ready to fire…it’s only at 78%” Zedora reported, growing uncharacteristically antsy. Using the same technology used to craft the sentinels; the Malicious Matriarch re-craft an entirely new version of her old body; and sent it towards the city. “I’m sensing a large energy output on the north side of the city…I’m going to investigate”.
Landing in a crouched position, her eyes darted to the battle torn duo on the far side of the street. “Knightfalls…” she whispered, knowing full well these were the last two members in the entire family line. The Knightfalls which Cassius represented, and the Liafadors which Mark represented were both essential components that lead to Zedora’s creation; finally after so many years…she’d be the one to end them.
“Fire the canon now…password XD002” Zedora commanded. High above their current location; the firing ports on the massive satellite opened. The cerulean light it contained enthrall those too weak to shy away from it. The photon particles in the beam could be seen bonding at the mouth of the moon sized planet.
It seemed as if everything hushed, dead silence washed over the city, but even in these dire last few moments; Zedora wanted to strip the Knightfalls of a unified death. “You won’t live to see the end” Her hands thrust forward releasing a powerful cluster of graviton energy, aimed in-between the both of them. Her intent was to use the gravity burst to actually crush them where they stood.
In her brief moment of ignorance she neglected to see a secondary wave of light not far from their location. Temporal Energy—time. Dr.Eldrick managed to open the time gate, in the waning moments of this…2039 war the age old question would finally be answered…what was truly more efficient, Man or Machine?
"I know the feeling more than I wish I did". For a few moments a noiseless brood falls upon the underground warehouse, the prices of war are always much larger than the gains. We didn't end the war when we had the chance so the war ended us, there is no moral of the story in war, no happy endings, only death.
"We didn't sign up for a death from old age when we put on the masks". I let out a small smirk, probably the first in years.
"Before we leave....".
I commence roaming in the direction of the guarded armory, containing what some have called the world's most dangerous arsenal crafted by mainly by my deceased Uncle Andres Knightfall while some have been constructed by me. My hand extends itself towards the pan, with a mere thought the suit begins to undress the hand in a almost symbiotic like manner in order for the scanner to successfully read my fingerprints. Then the mask starts to do the same for the eye scanner, to this day the aqua light that examines the pupils irritates. The metallic doorway opens a hall filled with weapons of mass destruction and etcetera, etcetera. There, a near identical replica of Cassius's infamous dual ornate pistols tightly laid against the wall, through the reflection in the metallic grip I could see a scar over my left eye made by my father to remind me that the same man who gave me life could as easily take it away at any given moment, in truth I believe that he only wanted us to have matching scars.
"I think you're going to need these. Over the years I've played around with the original design. I figured eventually regular bullets were going to become obsolete so I planned ahead of time. Don't worry, they don't make any stupid noises like they do in the movies; you know how I've always been all about style".
"Now let's go, we don't want to be late for the party".
What was once considered the worst city in the planet is now the worst city in the cinder, corpses were stacked by the hundreds with an endless sea of bones and ashes that would have made anyone unaccustomed to death pass out from the putrefied smell. We didn't even flinch, this was just another sight to us by now.
"Haven't you heard? This is the end!".
The wings expand and my knees clench before stretching while the propellers shoot in like bullet aimed for Cassius, but instead of being threatening like it was a few minutes ago. I wrapped my arms around his upper torso to get him out of the way from the deadly gravitational attack which would have crushed us like the bugs that we are in the grander scheme by a lesser god, also simultaneously dodging the atomic laser that would have vaporized us.
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