"I swore I would return here one day. It seemed so much more beautiful in my dreams,"
He heard the recording one last time, sent to him and a million billion other star systems. Raeyn was here, and she claimed Earth as her stomping grounds. It amused him to a certain level, that an entity as dangerous as her would find a place of peace in such a backwater world. Still, he had to admire her choice. He would have done no differently in a past life. Still, he had to fear in his heart as he plotted and planned for the invasion. This effort was countless centuries in the making, beginning with the very first Warsman. It would end with him, for he refused to allow the Prophecy of War to claim him as just another link in its chains. Entire dimensions crumbled in his path. Realities all along the ebb and flow of the infinite cosmic webways trembled at his touch.
It all culminated here.
As of now, the state of Hawaii enjoyed a peaceful summer day. Tourist traffic to its beaches seemed to be at an all-time high for the season. Other pointless statistics met his steely gaze only to be dismissed. He focused on the when and where of the armies Earth seemed to rely on in times of need. STRIKE had finished dealing with the Cataclysm, an event that taught Warsman much about the Vine verse's tenacity in the face of oppression and apocalyptic forces. They were no strangers to the concept of total annihilation and stared into the eyes of Death on many occasions. Yet Death, even as an embodiment and a conceptual constant in the grand scheme of all reality and beyond, met the Icon of War with disdain rather than dismissal or neutral benevolence. He had nothing to fear from her.
As the Infinite Mistress of the Thousand Worlds of Rytorus, I hereby claim Earth as a Protectorate of Rytorus, the Thousand Worlds will come to its aid if ever another invasion force determines to assault the planet.
Warsman heard this part of the recording above all else. The first time the cosmic transmission entered his throne room, he barely batted an eye. In any realm, time eaters were a force to be reckoned with. No army could march against them. No weapon could do them harm. The same could be said of the many gods and goddesses who would gladly defend the Earthen realm. The Champion and the Liafador came to mind, but there would be many others.
Such is the reason why the boom tube reigned as one of the most crucial elements of this plan. Simple boxes at first, but at the flick of a switch they turned into ferries across endless swaths of space. Putting troops on the ground seemed folly at first. Something as unnecessarily brutal as that would prove pointless and costly in the long run. Even with his endless armies, Warsman did not throw them around expecting the vast weight of military might alone to prove his superiority. That, above all other things, showed the callous insecurities of other so-called galactic tyrants. That is why Warsman sat above them all as a conqueror of many other things besides mere galaxies.
The first phase would be simple. Rather than bringing Ragnarok close to Earth and risk immediate detection, the bombardment began over Hawaii as promised to the one named Ulysses. Without the green mutant's curious interest in starting a community - however forcefully - upon the tropical island nation, Warsman would not have a focused opportunity like this. Otherwise, a target of cultural significance or national importance would have been selected. Hawaii seemed perfect not only because of its relationship with the most powerful country on the Earth, but also because of its isolation. The Pacific Ocean would soon speak volumes of the suffering.
At first, no bombs left the boom tubes opened above the atmosphere of the islands. They were left open for a short amount of time, and the projectiles specifically targeted major broadcasting network hubs and power plants of every kind. The islands grew dark in that instant, if not for the sun, but the sky would turn dark in a matter of moments. The projectiles were no mere concussive blast or laser beam charged with enough kinetic force to accomplish such destruction. They were signatures of the God of Evil, cast from his eyes and even deeper from his core within the Furnace of Eternity. They were unlike anything else in all of time and space, untouched by those outside the Warsman title. A weapon suiting a god, so that he could destroy and recreate at will from his station without moving.
The granite-like visage of Warsman glowered deeper into the boom tubes, admiring his handiwork as he continued to blast apart the tender underbelly of the islands. Panic spread, but they were pinned down and alone in the middle of a tumultuous ocean landscape. At least, for now. According to the horror of the moment, they were susceptible to the undying power of a cosmic constant, an embodiment of something that has claimed and will forever claim the lives of innocents and the guilty. Merciless, unbending, such was the might of the Furnace, that it tore apart all things on a molecular level. Molecules were ripped apart, contained, and dispersed into nothingness as the energies of this unimaginable power swept across the earth, turning all it touched to ash and fire.
And, in as swift a motion as the boom tubes opened, they closed, and the islands knew a moment of mercy. Yet, the mercies of Warsman were few and far between, often leading to something else he had in mind to torture and maim apart those he called 'enemy.' These people did nothing to him. They were civilians in a war they did not understand, a war that had been waged ever since the beginning of time. But the kindness and the hatred of the Beginning and the End were one in the same. He would spare no one in this war against life, against anything that stood in his way.
That is when the boom tubes opened once more, and the metademons emerged, with their method of coming here disappearing in the process. Untrackable, and with the only option of those ready to fight to wait for the next wave. And the next. And the next.
Vicious, hulking monstrosities, they ravaged and tore through those who would have survived. Yet, inevitably, they were fodder. Highly skilled though they were, their true passions were mere carnage and savagery. There would be champions who would rally the feeble and the meek against the tide. But for how long? The entire island, consumed by war in a matter of minutes, stood at the forefront of something greater.
Thomas Bradley pulled a red glove over his right hand, eyes solemn. The world was a different place now. Invasion did not come from other countries these days. It came from the stars, from cracks in the universe, from worlds beyond comprehension. Who was he to stand against such a threat?
I am not a warrior. I am a soldier.
He lifted the Echo Disc with his left arm, listening to the subtle sound of metal touching metal. He felt his fingertips run across the smooth, circular surface, but he knew that the arm that had replaced the one he lost was not real. Composed as the same substance of his mighty projectile, it slid the shield-shaped discus into place upon his back. His suit gripped him like a glove, a star-spangled reminder of what he fought for.
I am not a warrior. I am a soldier. Soldiers protect the innocent. Warriors just fight.
He cracked his neck, squinting through the helicopter's windshield. Hawaii was in ruins. The islands had been ravaged, torn apart by unknown energies, but the intent was clear. This was an invasion. Alien life forms fell from the skies in droves, ripping through the cloud cover with unnatural bloodlust. They tore through defensive fortifications and barricades, mindlessly slaughtering any who came near. This incursion had no terms, had no conditions; there would be no negotiation. But...it would be repelled.
Soldiers do not fight. They protect. They have a purpose behind their actions.
It had been approximately a year since Washington had come under a similar alien invasion. The Roman had announced his presence, made his demands, and promptly ravaged the capital of the United States. But at least he had allowed a civilian evacuation...this was a rampage, a massacre. Thomas narrowed his eyes, fists tightening. The helicopter began evasive maneuvers, weaving through the airspace above the islands, now filled with aliens and fighter jets. Explosions shook the frames of every aircraft, bright lights illuminating the ash-colored sky. His mission had come straight from the Pentagon; mount a defense until the heavy hitters arrived. It would be his first time using his powers in a war. He had fought many in the year that had followed his augmentation, but never anything like this.
He heard the metademon before he saw it. The frequency it put off was picked up by Thomas' ears, its battlecry resonating through the hundreds of others that filled the warzone that was once Hawaii. It was barreling straight for the helicopter, on a collision course that would involve it tearing through the metal and ripping apart the passengers within. Not today, he thought.
Turning, almost as if on instinct rather than thought, he leapt from the interior of the copter, superhuman legs propelling him through the air directly at the demon. Within a fraction of a second, he had reached it in mid-air, flattening its face with a punch that packed unnatural power. His cells imitated those of the New Gods, his robotic arm stabilizing the process. He was a demigod, born an American, and turned into something more.
He was in freefall, spiraling towards war-torn Honolulu. His uncanny eyes spotted hundreds of metademons converging on various targets, shredding them like a swarm of locusts. They would be no match for him, though.
He landed, boots cracking the pavement as his superhuman tissues absorbed the force of his fall. Drawing the Echo Disc, he attached it to his metal arm, feeling the vibratory frequencies match. They spotted him, turning as one to face the Star-Spangled Specter. He drew his arm back, then released the disc, his appendage releasing a frequency that guided the concentric death device across the town center. It collided with every last metademon in the area, subconsciously guided by Tom's arm. Any foe it touched was met with a force like no other, a vibration-amplifying touch that tore through nearly any defense. They had attacked his country, and Thomas would show them no mercy. Both his limb and his weapon had been forged from imperium, the substance used by the Roman conqueror twelve months prior. They shared a unique relationship, enabling him to guide the deadly disc in any direction he may please. The spinning red, white, and blue circle returned to him, reminiscent of defenders like Allegiance and Braveheart. They, too, had used similar weapons, and had been similar symbols upon their form, functioning as an inspiration to all around them. Thomas would do the same.
More metademons descended upon him, circling him with slavering jaws and malicious intent. Thomas stood strong, the Echo Disc upon his left arm. He crouched in a combat position, his enhanced eyes taking in every last detail, keeping track of all threats to his form. He was a demigod indeed. The demons converged upon him, and he met every last one, fighting with discipline and ruthless efficiency. Individually thinking about every demon, he twisted and turned, punching and kicking. Each blow was enough to send his target across the island, small airbursts cracking around him with every punch he landed. They tried to overwhelm him, swarming him like wasps, every last demon grasping at his form. The American Demigod crouched under the weight of a hundred metademons, before springing upwards with a defiant battlecry of his own. They scattered under the force of his blows, ricocheting off buildings and the pavement. Meanwhile, Thomas, while shaken, was unharmed.
"I am not a warrior. But you will know today that I am a soldier," he said, bringing the Echo Disk down upon the neck of the last metademon to challenge him. There would be more. Many, many more.
Charles cracked his knuckles and grinned, staring at the destruction around him. Though this was him turning against his fellow humans, the brute didn't care. After all, the chances of the side he was on losing were very slim. They had decimated the entire island in one bombing run, after all. It didn't take a genius to know who was going to win.
Standing at almost 10 feet tall and weighing in at a ton in his current Brute Form, few would think that Charles was really a human. Not that he cared. With an almost lazy jump, Charles put his fist through a fighter jet, destroying the cockpit and throwing the pilot away. With a hearty laugh, he reached up and ripped the jet from his arm, and threw it at another, before falling back to the ground with another laugh, crashing into a building with a massive boom.
Climbing out of the rubble of the building decimated by bombs and, more recently, his landing, a regenerating Charles began to search for a new fight to be had, new humans to crush and maybe even a few supers to give him a challenge. As if they would.
"Operator, we have arrived at the Sol Sector. 5 minutes until arrival at Earth," ORDIS chirped. "Void cloak has been engaged. We are currently invisible to the enemy scanners." This was, of course, unless the enemy chose to scan for Void Mask Echos. However, given the distance between this galaxy and the Tenno home galaxy, it was unlikely these beings were even aware of the Void.
Nodding silently, Excalibur swiftly retrieved his chosen weaponry. A bow known as the Daikyu, which could punch through all but the strongest of armor, that which resided solely on the Balor Fomorian warships. A small set of throwing knives referred to as Despair, which, in the right hands, were highly accurate. And the Dex Dakra, a pair of two swords that could slice even the toughest of armors, though only at the obvious close range.
Properly armed, Excalibur entered into the floor of his ship, where he laid into an indentation shaped like himself, which turned over to expose him to the emptiness of space. However, as he thought on this, the planet of Earth filled his gaze. It was similar to a planet in his home galaxy, mostly water with sparse landmass. The Liset began its descent towards the surface of the planet.
Within a minute, the invisible ship swooped over the island where the distress beacon had been set off by one of the few people in this sector who knew of the Tenno, and Excalibur dropped from the indentation, falling over a hundred feet to the ground, flipping midair to land on his feet. He saluted the ship as it left the contested air space, then began to search for someone who could tell him what was going on here.
Verbally, even in the solitude of his own mind, he identified not as a New God, but as a human. To Thee Champion? A figure iconic with many a great deeds and legendary displays of power, humanity was not defined as being a biological member of a race. In his heart, golden and pure, he believed without fault, that humanity was one's capacity to integrate into a society, to hold within one's soul, the power, the moral fiber to forgive and help their fellow man. And today, Thee Champion would defend his race. His resolve was resolute. Though as he walked, walls of graying brown surrounding him, it was clear that personal beliefs aside, he who donned the dark red cape and made famous the savior's 'S' with a crest on his chest, was with perfect clarity, a New God.
Well over six feet, he towered. Cut from the most flawless of diamond was a physique sculpted and shaped to be the superior of every Western god of war and strength. Tales of ancient men told of Heracles bearing the weight of the world on his shoulders. Tales of modern men? They spoke of an icon, red and blue, whose godhood was defined not by his power, not by his legendary feats of speed, strength and command over electromagnetism. But by his deeds, his great deeds of good. His ability to alter the world's landscape by striving, even in the face of adversity, to create a greater tomorrow for those who call the Earth their home. He was a pursuer of justice, and a defender of the innocent. A protector of the people. That was the foundation of his godhood. After all, as history has taught, some great deeds are even worshiped.
He walked. Dark red cape draping from his shoulders and hanging an inch from his ankles. Boots, semi-armored, and of the same shade of red as his cape, held his feet. And his adornments, a dark azure in color, quasi-armored in fabric, hugged his frame. He walked, every pore of his body exuding an air of majestic might, of intangible, commanding power. His features, archangelic and chiseled, were measured. His eyes, pools of mesmeric, deep blue, focused on the sealed doors ahead as his soldiers, those of the Spanish Armed Forces he now commanded as Captain General, knelt in respect, overtaken by the New God's gravitas, and parted a path, their shoulders festooned by the 'S' he wore on his chest. "You'll remain behind, and protect Spain's people in the event that the invasion somehow spreads. Should the invasion reach Spain, secure our battlespace".
While he's encountered significant success in his quest to mold the Spanish Armed Forces into the world's most potent military superpower, they weren't a finished product. And without his wife, Ziccarra's order to wage war, he could not deploy their forces in Hawaii. She was, after all, the Spanish Prime Minister. The head of state, and the head of government. With Thee Champion's approach nearing, the sealed doors, giant slabs of cold metal, hissed as they parted open to welcome in the sun's radiance. Cloudless and blue, the sky embraced him as he took off and soared. He accelerated and accelerated. Inspiring the air into a rapid thermal expansion that came with a roar, earthen nature's most primal cry, a loud, sharp, crack; thunder. Behind him, a trail of sonic booms chased after him, while the air before him, flattened and compressed, grew red hot and enveloped him in a cone of scalding rubicund.
Still he accelerated, and his frame, speeding through the open sky, left the particles in the air excited with his kinetic energy, that around him they formed a mass of plasma, blue and bright, hot and powerful. Soon he the cold ocean breeze of the Pacific was left superheated by his approach. And as he decelerated, leaving behind a trail of burnt ozone, the scent of airborne salt became strong. He had arrived. And as he landed, his eyes met a sight that was sadly familiar in these times. The ground was cracked. Windows shattered. Trees had been torn and flung from their very foundations. The air sizzled with ionized particles, electrical arcs surging all about. Buildings, bodies were scorched. Others mangled, and many a structures were smeared in the blood of the dead. The scent of salt? Replaced by that of iron.
With the other side of the island secured by a Model Citizen, a man he'd yet to encounter but a man who was his cellular sibling, the New God secured the other side, and met the charging horde of metademons with a blast, a mass of charged particles electromagnetically accelerated to 99.9% the speed of light swallowed them and left them a superheated mess of ionized goo. And as the invasion worsened, he wondered, if Ziccarra would emerge to, by his side, defend Hawaii from cosmos' worst.
Thick ash littered the normally sunny Hawaiian day; death poured from the skies, plagued the ramparts, twirled over every inch of Hawaiian Civilization. Demons, they covered entire city blocks; wreaking havoc on those that could not defend themselves. Across the many islands of Hawaii a myriad of police chevrons littered the splintered streets; they gave their lives to fight the menace. As the events continued to be broadcast around the world, Ziccarra Liafador, Prime Minister of Spain now in her fourth month chose to stand by her word.
In accordance with the Spanish Armament Act, the Spanish Prime Minister was ready to commit herself to the promise. The initial drawback was that she knew there was no way to get parliament to agree to a declaration of war on an American Front—but they couldn’t stop her.
Fatigue kept her out of the Cataclysm conflict, an event that saw the death of her oldest daughter, Catalina. Hidden deep within her Iberian genes burned an insatiable anguish, an anguish that held her accountable for Cat’s death, as well as the previous attacks on Isis and Zeon. Stepping out her palace doors adorned in her L-tac armor complete with sword and shield and her heraldic tiara. The Tiara was something she hadn’t worn since her earlier days as the goddess, but now it was a symbol one of the many that heralded the House of Liafador.
“Maya, should anything happen. I will need you to quickly get me back here” Ziccarra’s command was met by an understanding nod of the head from her reality warping daughter. Slowly achieving flight Ziccarra was gone from Spain in one effortless motion.
From departure to arrival took only two and a half hours, Ziccarra made landfall surrounded by a trail of passive air. Wasting little time, Ziccarra removed her Artemis bow and began to fire concentrated psionic energy arrows, the transition between firing and rearming was almost seamless. Each time she pulled back the legendary quiver an ornate purple incandescent light plowed into the cavities of her demonic foes.
“This was far worse than I thought” her words laced with her iconic Spanish inflection. “Alexis darling, I am he…” before she could finish her sentence a powerful ghoulish like energy plowed into her armor sending her skidding back across the ground. Popping her hips upward, whilst bending back with her hands extended. Ziccarra’s fingers planted on the ground resulting in an adept backflip. Using a quick disconnect, she pulled her sword forward and prepared to battle a horde of demons by herself.
“Goddess” she praised, which was a call to her mother. “If I were anyone else’s daughter. This would be hard"
"Incoming message received, Protectorate Designation Earth is under attack by hostile alien forces."
The Marshal of The Thousand Worlds of Rytorus listened to the incoming broadcast from his throne and clasped his hands, shaking his head mildly in annoyance. He leaned back into the throne and neural connectors immediately sank into his nervous system from the back of the chair, digging into his spine. He ignored the pain, he had stopped feeling it a long time ago. The throne provided instant information, live images and recordings straight from Earth's very own broadcast networks, stolen from orbiting satellites from a cross a billion light years in the blink of an eye. The Temporal Network was a gift from The Infinite Mistress and it received and broadcast information across the fabric of time, bypassing all the other physical laws of the universe in the process. The unfortunate side effect was that viewing the information eventually killed whoever sat in the throne, they might live a dozen years as marshal or a hundred, but it would suck them dry, the brain simply wasn't advanced it enough to deal with such constant information flow.
The Marshal connected to his Generals, viewing their profiles as he did so and immediately selected one for deployment. The forces attacking Earth were using Boom Tubes and likely belonged to the only being known to consistently use such devices. That meant a fleet intervention, the best possible method of attacking, was out of the question. "General Vastorus, deploy to Earth. The Infinite Mistress has declared it a protectorate of The Thousand Worlds."
Vastorus was a reasonably skilled general but more importantly, he was not far from Earth at that moment. The general obeyed his orders without question, his ship arrived in orbit of Earth a just as the first wave of the attack was finishing.
Thousand World infantry and assault vehicles began immediate deployment to the surface, selected to go in small groups rather than huge numbers because of the small scale of the combat zone. Pods full of armed men and women of a thousand races burned through the atmosphere and supersonic speeds. Their retro rockets began to fire ten thousand feet into the air, slowing the pods down enough to not reduce them to liquid goo upon impact. Inertial dampeners did the rest, protecting the troops inside from immediate death as the pods slammed into the ground. Their landing locations were chosen with careful sensor sweeps of the combat zone that identified pockets of greatest resistance, the Heroes already on scene. Three thousand infantry pods slammed into the ground all around @shanana with enough force to create craters. Pod doors blasted away with explosive bolts and infantry poured out. The army immediately began to fight back, firing into the horde of demons even as she was preparing to fight them as well. Plasma and fusion weapons alike tore through the air as an army of almost ridiculous diversity took to the field.
One soldier approached Zicarra.
"The Thousand Worlds of Rytorus are reporting for duty. We are at your command, guide us in the defense of your homeland."
It was funny how things worked some times. Katraya had been on the island as a matter of passing through with no real intention to stay. When the place fell under attack a genocidal butcher became one of its most stalwart defenders. Katraya defended it for reasons entirely different from those of the others. She was no hero, she was a legend of nightmares, a murderous lord of Khorne bent to slaughter and ruin for its own sake. Why then did she defend Hawaii? Because when the island fell under attack the forces of @warsman attacked Katraya just as they attacked everyone else. It was a hilarious mistake, Katraya could have easily been convinced to join the attack. Instead here she was, defender of Hawaii.
By pure coincidence she ended up in the area near the New God. She spotted a sea in the fighting around a powerful being and smiled. Perhaps later I'll take your head too. She was laughing for the first time in an age as the bloodlust took hold. Her double ended ax hacked and slashed as she moved in an impossibly fluid whirlwind of slaughter. Her ax was essentially a staff with a large double blade on one end and a smaller single blade on the other. By all rights the weapon should have been virtually impossible to wield, yet she used it to perfection, at times it was a weapon of absolute strength and at others a weapon of shocking precision. She was impossible to miss in the sea of assaulting forces because it was at her that the sea parted. Her movements seemed almost like a well choreographed dance as she hacked away at her enemies.
In her world Katraya was a powerful Lord of the Blood God, a murderer without equal who rode to battle on the backs of immense dragons. Here she was the same in a world not prepared for such things. She smiled a bloody smile as she fought, blood spraying out in every direction as she cut into her foes. Feeling the silence and her senses elevated by the blood lust that took hold of all followers of the Blood God, she began to chant as she fought. "Blood for the blood god!" at first her cry was quiet but as the fight increased in tempo so did the volume of her voice. "Skulls for the skull throne! BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!" She screamed the last loudly enough that her voice carried over the sounds of war. She found herself atop a pile of corpses, still fighting, her blade lodged itself into someone's skull and she wrenched it free, impossibly spinning the double ended ax around to slice another in half with the smaller ax head. Alone among the others Katraya fought for the sake of killing but she would do so until the war ended and there was nothing left to kill. Her side had been chosen for her and she would stick with it until everything was over. Rare among the followers of the Blood God, Katraya was not entirely insane, she would not turn on her allies in the midst of battle if they happened to be within striking distance.
Mistro was sitting at the helm of the Mighty Mouse, which was currently only a few miles above Earth's atmosphere. The mouse was happy he had been able to track down his old friend Atrocity in just a few days, and convince him to lend out the ship for a while. Suddenly, The Mighty Mouse alerted Mistro of some sort of disturbance over Hawaii. Hacking into a satellite passing over Hawaii at the time, he could see now, a sort of portal had opened up, and something from inside it was destroying the island state. Mistro stood up from his seat, and with a simple hand gesture, his suit and equipment materialized onto him. Plasma sword, dual plasma pistols, rocket boots, and vortex grenades. This is gonna be a lot of fun.
Sword gripped tightly in tail, a plasma pistol in each hand, Mistro was flying towards the giant portal in the sky which was now only a mile away. metademons began to attack him, but he quickly blasted them out of the sky. As he came closer to the portal, more and more metademons began to attack him. The ferocious mouse fired away into the wall of savage monsters that were enclosing on him, he barely made a dent.
Suddenly, one of them managed to grab hold of Mistro, and threw him towards the ground. On his way down the little mouse smashed through the remains of some concrete structure. The resilient rodent rolled over onto his back and took a deep breath. "Ow." Slowly, the mouse swordsman got to his feet. Just in time to see hundreds of metademons approaching, encircling him. Mistro ignored the damage from the fall and took off, he effortlessly hacked and slashed his way through the horde with acrobatic grace and skill at super-sonic speeds. The mouse was just a blur now, leaving a trail of dismembered demons. After about thirty seconds of pure carnage courtesy of the one and only mouse hero, he had bought himself a bit of breathing room. With a simple tap on the wrist of his suit, Mistro summoned his ship. Only a few seconds later, the ship burst through the clouds, then gracefully landed right next to the mouse captain.
The MightyMouse's cosmic blasters immediately began blasting away at all the remaining metademons pursuing Mistro. The firepower of ship quickly proved to be incredibly useful, after only a minute or so, the last of the metademon horde was dead. The general area was safe, for now.
Mistro darted into his ship, in a moment, he was in the control room observing satellite footage of Hawaii. He could see all the other hero's and what looked to be a small army. "So. We've got a super-soldier, a small army, Alexis and Ziccarra Pettis, and myself against a seemingly endless onslaught of metademons. Cool."
'Higher than a motherfcker, dreamin' of it, it's my lovin' (Open your heart)' 'Flying like a screamin' falcon, on our ways to do each other (Open your heart)' 'Pull out the incisor, give me two weeks, you won't recognize her' 'Mouth open, you're high'
It allured him. The chorus, lyrical seduction, charmed his mind and spirit. The song? 'Two Weeks'. And the artist? FKA Twigs. Basslines, hip hop-inspired and mesmeric, rippled, with ease, into his ears from an onyx pair of Skullcandy earphones. Vocals with a focus on sensuality, the falsetto, breathy and whispering, disarmed and allured him with the commanding power of an aphrodisiac. The samurai were lovers of art, and Sosuke, the 'Kenjutsu King', was art's greatest admirer. With his mind left imaginative, his body, lean and sculpted to the proportions of Michelangelo's David, paid no mind to the rigors of the land all about him.
Gucci by name, arctic white in color, his adornments held his frame without flaw. His jacket, hooded, like his gloves, was leather. His swagger? Natural, cool, and reminiscent of the mystique, the cool confidence and Eastern charm of the samurai. Yet his style was contemporary. He was no longer in the Edo Period, the time from which he hailed. He had been flung into the future, and he had adapted. No longer a long, flowing waterfall of liquid ebony that hung just shy of his waist, his hair was cut shorter, made smooth and given panache, flair. His eyes, pale, crystal blue gems hid behind the dark, enigmatic lenses of Ray-Ban aviators. His features, beautiful, perfectly proportioned, mesmeric even, were home to highborn cheekbones, and an expression of seductive calm, of mystifying cool.
Until, his senses flared. Extreme dermal sensitivity to atmospheric vibrations, omni-directional sight for ambient energies, they yelled and he listened, his frame emerging from a rift, one conjured by the technological miracles of a Santiago Porthos. Then and there, he saw and knew why his senses, fervent and eager, had flared. Before his eyes in a cratered city of devastation, smeared in blood and ash, was a horde; of metademons. Their electromagnetic auras? Giveaways of their hostility. And in time, they emerged into his line of sight, and his footsteps came to a halt, gloves fingers coiling around the hilt of his sword, his other hand? Unplugging the earphones that had entertained him.
They were large, barrel chested, and broad-shouldered beasts. Their flesh was gray, and their physiques were like mountains, as if their genes had done everything in their power to compile as much muscle as possible. Their breathing was heavy, and their bloodlust, tangible. Their eyes were white, featureless, menacing. Their features, scarred and gruff, expressions of violence and hostility. It was then that Sosuke's expression, exhibited his displeasure. His eyebrows, angled slightly towards one another, and finally, he spoke, the smooth, beautiful timbre of his cool, low voice hanging in the air alongside his soft, exotic Japanese inflection, "Today, your forces will fail". They were larger than him, beasts from Mars, and he, a man from Venus, it seemed. But he was, simply better.
They wasted no breath, and attacked. Drawing his sword, style in his motion, Sosuke's nimble footwork seized him and he hopped off his front-foot, landing on his back foot, the ground trembling from the impact of his adversaries' power blows. He darted forward, and with their arms lowered from their strike, they were exposed. He struck, single-armed, swinging his 'Acid Katana' towards one of the metademons' arms. His elbow joint extended at the final instance and he popped his sword into the strike. The motion was smooth, his grip mildly twisted by it as the sword's impact, sharp and with appropriate kinetic force, broke the initial resistance that his opponent's bones presented. From there, Sosuke's strike continued, smoothly along the horizontal motion, his hand following, dragging the sharp edge of his katana until both his foe's arms were cut, in half.
His foe bled out, and quickly, he targeted the nearest one. He wore no fear on his face despite his horde member's demise and he attacked again. The Kenjutsu King, again, hopping off his front foot, landed on his back-foot and circled away to the side, before, with his back-foot, pushing himself forward like a sprinter and from the shoulder, extending his sword-hand for a counter-thrust, one that tore into his foe's midsection, ripping through flesh until it exited from the back. The man's sword however, was an 'Acid Katana', the kind that could deposit into the body of his adversaries, fluoroantimonic acid, the strongest corrosive substance in the world.
It tore through everything in the metademon's midsection, ripping electrons off nearby molecules and leaving behind only organic goo as it ripped through the fatty organic tissue of the skin and muscles before indulging in fluorine's love for bonding with calcium, and burning through his foe's bones. More of the horde came, and the bout's difficulty escalated, forcing things to become difficult. Alone, Sosuke would not defeat them all. No, he needed assistance, from anyone, anything. His skill, his abilities were exceptional, but the number's game was cruel.
Sticking the shadows, Excalibur slunk through the ruins of the city. Occasionally he came across a being that, according to the Codex entries Ordis had set up, were the beings that were responsible for the destruction here. They were dispatched with ruthless efficiency, as Excalibur leapt onto their shoulders and decapitated them with a scissor like motion from his swords.
He eventually came upon a large number of the adversaries, all of whom were rushing upon a lone swordsman. Had he not the knowledge that there were no other Tenno in this sector, Excalibur might have mistaken the man for one, though he was clearly without a Warframe.
Excalibur watched for a short time as the man cut down enemy after enemy. For all his skill, however, it was clear to Excalibur that the man was outmatched by sheer numbers. So, with practiced ease, Excalibur drew his Daikyu, nocked an arrow to the string, pulled, and released. The arrow flew through the air with deadly precision, passing through the skull of one being, into another, and still retained enough speed and power to carry the corpse into a third, knocking them down.
The Tenno released a second arrow, followed by a third and fourth in quick succession, cutting down the adversaries with ease. Twenty were downed before others figured his location. And even then, he continued to fire arrows down into the melee.
Trees toppled over in lIt flame, just as the men had.
The populance of Hawaii was held to the sinking ship. The airports had been locked down or utterly decimated, clouds of ash rose from docks where briefly escaping ships managed to float from the warzone. Some couldn't help but be left behind.
Volleys of mortars shot into the crowd leaping through lanes of abandoned cars. Chunks of firey concrete and steel pulverized the humankind running from the approaching Cosmic Fist. With those ahead the hope of survival rested in their two choices. Run and be hit with mortar, or stay behind to be shredded by the wall dragging behind the Gecko Prince, spinning piece of shrapnel simply shredding any flesh that edged to it. Even as the Scholar's beams rippled into buildings from a failure of aim men and women died. An apartment daycare had been obliterated by the sixth beam simply leaving ash of the victims inside.
The hotel district of Honolulu roared with sirens and hellfire beings shredding whatever had a heartbeat. Animal instinct could be what described the evolution of Hawaiian Citizens. People seizing weapons, shredding clothes for tribal accessory. Crowds of people fought tooth and nail over shrimp boats left to rot in docks, all in selfish will to survive.
Ulysses' eyes, still glowing with crimson took in the sights. Structural blockage diminished at his sight clearing view for more display of violence. Gore mangled bodies littered the streets, whatever they were in the public was unidentifiable by their clothes at this point. The fires went ablaze in Honolulu but the other islands were in no good conditions. The Legion shredded through any means of defense the people had raised. Barricades and traps did no match against the legion.
Ulysses' eyes fell to a dark color as the shrapnel wall simply fired behind him, each piece impaling into the wall like knives. The red velveted cape fluttered in an utter state of aloneness briefly. For nigh two minutes hie had stayed down, a prayer reaching out. Gods didn't mercy what they kill.
The Old Testament spoke of two cities consumed by sin and perversion, two cities that God took a great vengeance towards. Though he gave ample warning to his faithful, those who stayed behind were forgotten in the storm that followed. Maybe there were those who lead decent lives, but were just not told of the devastation at hand - a punishment they did not deserve, but received nonetheless. Even the children were not spared, children and infants whose impressionable minds might not have understood the magnitude of their surroundings. God saw fit to punish them all, however, and set the two cities alight in a rain of fire and brimstone.
Perhaps if he had taken a closer look, he would have seen more than just two cities in need of total annihilation.
Upon the surface of Ragnarok, many millions of lightyears away, its lord observed the progress of his many legions against the surprisingly agile defenders of the besieged world. Despite having knocked out communication arrays across the island state, word got out to as far as Spain without even a minor delay or hiccup in transcontinental messaging. The plans he had worked diligently for would have to change, but these were natural twists and turns in thought and progress. The metademons were handling themselves rather well against the heroes, except for in the case of the larger bruisers and heavy hitters like Exemplar, Champion, and the infuriating Ziccarra.
How to properly orient his generals remained crucial in this moment. Infurion, Jindaela, and Malferion were already prepared, properly armed, and waiting. As part of the universal constant of Ragnarok, they would only respawn following any fatal injury. Yet considering what they were about to go up against, this was only a minor concern at best. The forces of Earth were concentrated muscle and brain power, but most of them were still mortal - and only mortal. Sooner or later they would yield, and all would be well upon Ragnarok as the planet it besieged burned.
And so it was decided. In the first wave of generals Warsman would send, perhaps the best suited for the task at hand of leading the charge existed in the blazing spirit and tenacity of the Phoenix Lord. The Burning Plateaus were home to many battalions of warriors based in the element of fire, well-suited to the heat and trained in all manner of close-range firefights and searing the enemy down through the use of flames and unbearable blood-boiling plasma weaponry. Some were even drawn from the very core of Ragnarok, living totems of the massive volcanoes and seas of magma churning underneath. With a clearing made with the arrival of the metademons, that meant boom tubes could be opened on the ground, depositing troops directly to the front instead of dropping them in.
This complimented Infurion's battle strategy perfectly. He coordinated with the metademons already fighting topside, throwing enormous clusters of fire elementals across the Kauai, Oahu, and Maui islands, bringing any remaining defensive positions to their knees. Any heroes already on those islands would be hard-pressed to hold them, as the presence of the fire elementals would supercharge their already fragile tectonic nature, unsettling the ground into large fissures of molten rock. These provided ample cushioning for the molten giants, brainless shock troops ranging from a mere twenty feet tall to hundreds in the air. Larger boom tubes meant larger targets for the heroes to try and counter-invade, thus utilizing the lava surging underneath the surface of the land itself to provide a cover so that the boom tube portal could close safely.
Surely, this meant that the islands acted as a natural barrier against any invading force, considering their distance from each other. And yet, this did not stop the cultists pouring through the tertiary boom tubes from utilizing their own boom tubes, programmed for short-distance teleportation rather than the enormous lengths those on Ragnarok could accomplish. The islands were literally almost sewn together not by land masses, but by the portals the armies of Ragnarok used. Camps connected to each other, barricades and battlements all a testament to the cruel efficiency of this otherworldly fighting force. The speed at which they managed this could only be described as astonishing, as even when boots went to ground the fortifications were already being raised, set to overlook the barren hellscape the legions of Ragnarok had made of the islands in question. Portal-hopping, the countless soldiers of the coming apocalypse rained down one after another, fearless of the consequences save for failing their lord and god.
Infurion stood at the forefront of the charge, his plasma axe set for the shield-bearing patriot Exemplar (@exemplar).
"Hear me now, you mortal fool - and DIE!"
Without hesitation, the Phoenix Lord surged forward, flamethrower belching fire that would put modern napalm to shame as he closed in for a massive swipe of his melee weapon. The blade could eat through solid matter within a few seconds, with stronger materials like adamantium necessitating several swings to fully cut. He did not know of the limitations of Exemplar's shield, but he did know not to underestimate him. The lessons of many were tattooed into his mind, lessons learned against those like Allegiance and Braveheart. To call this man merely another patriot with a flag fetish would be folly.
The Warden of the Burning Plateaus knew this better than anyone, as he personally chose Exemplar for personal combat - and he did that with only those he considered dangerous to the cause of Ragnarok. This would be a magnificent battle between human, and Eldar.
The Second Plague - Darkness
And so, the story of the Bible teaches us that Moses went to the pharaoh in peace. He attempted to try and reason with him, and bring him to the side of just letting the Jewish slaves go without any more bloodshed or hatred. As is the case with many tyrants, the pharaoh refused and kept the Jews in the city. God heard the plight of Moses, and decided to fulfill the warnings of his disciple to the Egyptian monarch. One of the punishments designed against the people of the pharaoh's city would be comparatively less harsh than the others, but perhaps it holds a more sinister purpose than mere absence of light.
The psychological effect of total darkness on the human mind is a curious one. We have come to love the feeling of seeing, and take it for granted. Those who cannot see already know the feeling of isolation total darkness brings, but those who have not yet experienced the sensation are quick to learn of its cruelty. In a land without light, where not even a candle can illuminate the reaches of the unknown. Where nothing can be seen or understood.
Where the monsters live.
The Dark Eldar thrive in the shadows. It is where they lurk, and strike out from at a moment's notice. The clarity of their enemies often cannot fathom the speed and precision at which they move, because they arrive so quickly and so quietly as to seem invisible or not even there to begin with. It takes a sharp mind to notice a Dark Eldar, but an even sharper wit to know of the dagger already at your back. But, alas, they are simply Eldar. Their weakness is their fragility in most cases, and they often elect to evade and dodge where they could simply wear heavier armor or pack cumbersome shielding mechanisms. Yet this glass cannon mentality belongs only to the troops. The elite are a different story altogether.
Beginning with the mighty Fleshreavers, the elite of the Dark Eldar caste belong to a fighting class all their own. Trained and honed in combat like a fine blade, it is their responsibility to be the shock troops as well as the heavy hitters when they are needed. This carries into the Archons, the Death Knights, and eventually to the ruling class of the Dead Haunts itself. It is the devilish quickness that Warsman admires among their many other capabilities, and that is why he dedicated half of the big island of Hawaii - the heart of most of the fighting in this tumultuous time - to Jindaela, the Banshee Queen.
Even with the smoke choking the atmosphere, sunlight still filtered down. It meant that the destructive bombardment had passed and hope could be found in the most obscure places. Nothing could stop the tropical beachfront from absorbing the best and brightest the Sun had to offer. But that didn't meant something else couldn't rob it away.
Among the many weapons in their arsenal, the Dark Eldar favored something called the Nightbringer Matrix the most. It stained the atmospheric gases an impermeable black, literally blocking out any ray of light except for those already burning on the ground. But, just like in the legendary plagues of Egypt, not even a bonfire could illuminate much. And even then, the shadows danced around like demons in the distance. The Dark Eldar could not be seen in that kind of light, in that kind of subhuman darkness that belonged in the primordial nightmares of prehistoric man. From horizon to horizon, the entire chain of islands became enshrouded in total darkness.
And in the midst of this, the Mistress of the Wraithbone stalked her next foe. She had studied the warrior goddess extensively, much to her enjoyment of finding someone like her. The piratical nature of the Banshee Queen meant understanding an opponent much like any sensible pirate captain would learn either through experience or failure the strengths and weaknesses of an opposing British galleon. Slash the sails, cut the ropes, burn the masts, and pick apart the crew. Quick, simple, and leave them for dead in the middle of the ocean. Yet she could not do that to Ziccarra (@shanana), at least not yet. To leave someone like her for dead would be totally wasteful of the ample opportunities given here.
The absolute darkness gave her a picture perfect shot at Ziccarra's lower spine with her javelin. Made of wraithbone, the weapon had been sharpened to an obsidian-like thinness. Yet, like all wraithbone weapons, its weight was nearly inconsequential and its durability spoke volumes of its reliability. The only indication of its approach would be a slight singing sensation in the air, much like a hummingbird chirping or a ladybug hopping to another blade of grass.
Jindaela's speed, even among the Dark Eldar, was legendary. Her cruelty, unquestioned. Yet even she knew this strike, however effective or ineffective, would not finish the warrior goddess so quickly and so prepared immediate countermeasures should the situation, inevitably, arise.
The Third Plague - Decay
It is the year 1347 of the human calendar. The death toll of the Black Death has reached another all-time high. People are encouraged to keep clean as best they can, to help stem the spread of disease. But without proper medication at the time or sanitation methods, it is only a matter of time before the bodies reach their first landmark of a million total. Many of these are people who have weakened immune systems, whether it is physical condition, genetics, or age. Many children born in this time are expected to die early - especially infants. Their lives were important to some, but to others they were just another unfortunate consequence of the era. A tally mark for history to remember. Just one in the 75-200 million estimated deaths.
In that time, God showed mercies to some and indifference to many others.
Perhaps the greatest flaw in our hearts is that we cannot stop the flow of time. It is the greatest disease of all, and there is no cure.
Malferion removed himself from the portal leading to the other half of the big island of Hawaii, the unassigned portion of the invasion divided between him and Jindaela. This would be where most of the fighting would take place, as preordained by the God of Evil. The Rotfather observed the obscene darkness taking root, as well as the growing inferno from coming from the north. The horrors of the Armageddon-like setting seethed around him as he moved, each footstep crackling the air with a new pestilence. Moss and fungus exuded from his armor, making him nigh-invulnerable, and yet he did not come here to fight. His purpose was an unholy one, decided long ago by the council of generals as well as the Regent Lord of Ragnarok himself. While the armies of Elekzier were meant to forcefully convert the denizens of a world to the cause of Ragnarok, Malferion's was to melt it from the inside-out with mind-numbing poxes and decay.
For Earth would never willingly submit, and must be purged of all life in order to be colonized. This was the purpose of the hordes of the Ashen Steppes mobilizing here. The rat-men surged out like a raging tide, their scuttling presence conflicting with the roaring ocean waves. Among them were the more organized battalions of Vile Savants. But next to the Rotfather himself stood row upon row of Plague Paladins, walking tanks that served as his loyal bodyguards.
The Angel of Death never had a taste for fighting, but his purpose here was a noble one in his mind. He was here to intercept the one called Champion (@thee_champion), and to bring the New God to heel by any means necessary. Of course, this meant introducing all sorts of new plagues upon the intriguing creature. Even if he proved immune to the toxins, Malferion's expertise in the field meant that he would become a carrier to the viruses. The fighting would never stop, at least on Malferion's side, as the monstrous Speaker of Despair had every intention in his rotten heart to carry out the will of his lord and master.
As the clouds of blot flies swarmed ever higher, peeling back the flesh of the fallen to only leave the bleached bones glinting in the darkening battlefield, Malferion stepped forward to combat his chosen foe.
"Leave while you have the chance. There is no need for further despair."
Corpses did not lay before him. Of his adversaries, the otherworldly metademons, their remnants were not lifeless husks. No, before Thee Champion, before the luminous shade of red that glowed from his eyes, was a mass of ionized, organic goo. Superheated and made into a primordial soup of fundamental particles, quark-gluon plasma, they were beyond recognition. The air sizzled with heat, and its particles? Charged and excited, inspired random surges of electrical arcs all about. The sound of static, fervent and wild, hung in the air, but nothing proved more prominent than the amalgamation of the scent of blood and gore, and the scalding, vacuum-esque sensation of heat.
Soon the New God's senses, perpetually alert and of global posture, rang, telling him of an electromagnetic aura all to familiar. His wife, Ziccarra. Then, then her voice, it spoke to him, reaching his mind through her legendary command over all things psionic. The recognizable timbre of her Spanish inflection, exotic and romantic, echoed in his mind, and Thee Champion's mind was left certain. "Ziccarra", he smiled to himself, a smile however, that faded with quickness, his spouse, The Goddess' words left unfinished by an attack. "Z!", his mind screamed. Yet as his body readied itself to dash towards Ziccarra's aid, the most peculiar of foes approached to demand that he yield.
Alexis paused, turning round to meet he who was certain to be his adversary in the coming hour. The New God's gaze, earnest and laced with determination, rested on the Angel of Death's. His eyes, pools of deep blue were clear with a hero's resolve, and a warrior's courage. His heart, held compassion for his fellow man, and his mind, the knowledge, the certainty that to defend humanity and protect the innocent, was no task he would ever turn his back on. And beneath his dermis, coursing through every vessel in his towering, herculean frame, was power, commanding and pure, the power of a god. A deity of the modern era. And it was this power that would be his instrument of justice today.
Despair loomed over the island, and the scent of rotting flesh, of decease and infection settled in the air with the prominence of a force of nature. Facial expression resolute, his heart set on a righteous duty, Thee Champion's head shook, "No", he paused, "Leave you to proceed with an invasion that has already killed millions of this world? That", again he paused, eyes flaring with divine might, red and brilliant, "Will never happen".
Even here, thousands of years away from the start of his story, the warrior Gaiseric stirred to life again. He fought against the Romans for his land and family, deceived by their false treaties, and killed. Forgotten, and imprisoned in the hammer given to him by Tempestas - the goddess of the storms he fell in love with. His judgment was his own, as he bargained with the keepers of the dead to stay with the goddess for all time, just as Jupiter had promised to keep Tempestas within the hammer forever.
And so the legend of the hammer continued, for generations of mighty warriors, to fight injustice and tyranny wherever they could. To break the chains of adversity and hatred. To spill open the gates, and free the slaves. To inspire. Ronnie Lincoln did not think of himself as one of these people at first. He graduated from college with the idea that he would go on to live a quiet life as a banker or something. Yet, nobody can predict where the wheel of fate lands or how quickly it spins. It just so happened to guide him to a life beyond imagining, to a life of pure adventure. He traveled the world and even journeyed across the mythical continent of Skellbrieg with good company in the samurai Sosuke, lost in time just as the viking god had been all these years.
A man from feudal Japan accepting the customs of the modern era, and a modern man rediscovering the power of the past. They were truly two sides of the same coin, and worked in tandem with these intriguing and binding differences. Today, of all days, would only be another hallmark in the design of ultimate teamwork they were capable of. Perhaps it would be the greatest showcase of it after all, as well.
Gathering all of his strength within his brawny arms, Turisas the thunder god brought his weapon to bear against all manner of foe. Metademons crumpled at his immediate touch, if not physically then mentally as the pure electromagnetic current surged into their minds and seared apart their nervous systems. More than once they were inspired to take to battle en masse against him, and to differing degrees of success. Each time, however, they were cast down and subdued so that another wave could proceed into the fray. Soon the wounds began to accumulate. The savagery behind their assault meant no respite, and Turisas had to continue battling to his greatest extent possible, calling down from the experience of the collective within the hammer in order to gather their secrets and use them wisely. Though a simple mathematician in another life, Turisas had no qualms with manipulating logic to his advantage.
Bull-rushing into a cluster of the beasts, the godling charged one of them with just enough electrical output to create a fleshy bomb of sorts. The shrapnel created from the thick armor plating caused further casualties, and yet they still did not retreat or even attempt a withdrawal. Their relentlessness would become famous throughout the battle, and so would Turisas' thunder and lightning. Each time he lashed out, the hammer called louder and louder, each consecutive strike bringing to bear an increasingly terrifying amount of electricity. Thunderheads boiled above him, quelling some of the fires through sheer amount of rainfall. But no amount of water could quench the heat of the furnaces beginning to bubble in the distance.
"Sosuke!" the godling cried out. "Sosuke, where are you?"
Before he could carry on with his inquiry about his beloved friend, the ground ripped apart in another catastrophic display of the forces at work. An earthquake shook the landscape in all directions, directing all attention towards its center. Rising like a pillar of fire, a molten structure much like an arm reached out towards the heavens. And then another. Soon, a head and shoulders emerged, and from there the horizon became consumed in the shape of the monstrous thing. Little did Turisas know that this behemoth was named Terrakron, and its power had been legendary on Ragnarok - so much so that Infurion saw fit to include the beast in his list of lieutenants. Though incredibly stupid, one simple gesture from Terrakron could endanger everyone on the battlefield.
Finding that the size of the creature dwarfed even the giant that rampaged through the ocean during the Cataclysm, Turisas could not rely on simple mathematics to send it into outer space. Even then, judging by the sheer mass of the juggernaut he risked caving in all of the island by removing it from its pedestal there in the center. Blinded by ash and smoke, the godling began to spin his hammer at such velocities that the storm around him became conflicted. Instead of a raging tsunami of smouldering embers, dust, and wind, the calling of the Norse warrior brought with him a wintry gale humming reminiscently of snow, ice, and his hallmark lightning blasts.
Yet, in the face of Terrakron, even this seemed inconsequential. The mighty brute groaned in a quizzical interest, at first, of the little animal who dared break the agonized cries of the planet breaking apart. Then, the beast became overwhelmed with unimaginable rage, emotions already running wild in his primitive brain. The worst of nuclear bombs could not compare to the pure destructive potential of the giant and Ronnie, underneath his Turisas alterego, realized it. Blocking was out of the question. Slowing its descent to lessen the impact, however, seemed more likely. Using all of his available resources, the godling shot a blast of lightning into the meteoric forearm of his strange opponent. The plasma energies involved wore down some of Terrakron's rocky skin, flaking it off in large sheets, but did nothing noticeable. Even the lightning could not fully stop the brute's pure strength output, and he managed to intentionally catch the godling in the crossfire.
Many countless tons of stony flesh crashed down upon Turisas' body, breaking away most of his armor. If not for that, then he would have suffered far worse. The godling staggered away, crawling to his feet and facing Terrakron once more, bruised and swollen.
"Numerous hostiles spotted all over the island in unknown quantity. Seemingly endless. Excessive civilian casualties. However, no casualties among ourselves yet, recon is successful. Numerous entities have been marked. We've been able to identify hostile from friendly mostly. Everyone here is relatively well known. Champion, the president of Spain, one known as "Examplar and another as mighty mouse....who seems to be a powerful mouse creature."
"Noted. Hang in there....we're on our way."
"Recap on our objectives, and why we're here. Don't lose sight of it. Alien entities affiliated with one of the entities known as "Warsman" have shown up, in another f***ing attempt to take over the earth..." Captain Bradshaw begins, reading over the report and processing it all quickly for a "mere" mortal man.
"Our objective is to save as many civillians as possible and aid in whatever way possible to contain the situation. As far as we know, the various "minions" the guy employs are nothing more then class 2, class 3s at best. Far they are concnerned, go through them like a hot sword through butter. Just remember what your primary objective is. Once this is done. Severa LZ's are to be established."
Spectres De-cloak midair. Revealing themselves to the visible spectrum as they near the island. Followed by them are various F-72 Phantoms. Their objective was clear. A foothold had been established an area where people where brought, many of them literally carried by various shadow company troopers who were deployed from orbit earlier. Currently, they had established themselves in the Honoloulu International Airport. However, they monsters were pushing to enter this dense now revealed population of people all gathered in one place.
But humans of earth were hardly inclined to simply allow them to lop at their forces.
Honolulu International Airport
A Exosuit clad soldier cries as she cleaves the head off a metademon within the airports. However she is promptly tackled by the large beast it smacked her away, sending her careening away. It sought to pounce and maul the woman, only to get's head blown off by a 25 mm Anti-Material round from a MAR-20. The round interpenetrated the creature and went through said creature at mach 6, tearing through all that was behind it. As the metademons came forth to the area, they were gunned down as reinforcements had arrived. The armor piercing, powerful rounds from weapons Maverick's weapons and ammunition that were wholly capable of combating the melee oriented demons. But what was daunting was their limited numbers and limited ammunition. Having melee weapons 3-D printed from quality materials was becoming less and less uncommon with the corporation. Not all of them had powered armor. Indeed most did not, but their weapons on the other hand allowed them to contend.
From above Bradshaw jumped from above firing micromissiles about as aircraft fire proceeded to eviscerate enemy forces in the sky, with the "mere" mortal man landing on a metademon and smacking it once with his activated PEPs baton causing it's head to explode as he continues his free fall, deploying his shoot at the last moment as he crashes through a glass sunroof, coming from the ceiling as he detaches the shoot, looking down on the enemies as he opens fire. His rounds simply hit harder then most guns, and would be overkill for most targets, with the rounds able to punch into an armored personal carrier, they exploded near the target, reasing a swarm of hypersonic shrapnel that hit with such force at times to dist-ingrate whatever it hits. Spent shells littered the floor as he and the rest of the reinforcements formed a firing squad. A hail of lead, tungsten and copper poving successful in containing them at a small scale.
"Clear the skies."Bradshaw orders through his Techbased "telepathy", as soon, the sky lit ablaze as an enourmous yield thermobaric bomb detonated, filling the skies with the type of explosion one would see in a michael Bay movie. It consumed thousands of the demons in the sky, and soon, troops from outside ordered the planes that cruised at cruised at mach 4 to bomb the area, hammering down on the area as they unleashed payload presents of blastwavesand shrapnel to hammer down on their enemies, the Jet's proceeding to cloak. As Maverick's force in roughly the tens of thousands.It had taken time, but they gained control of the area, the troops standing over the corpses of thousands upon thousands of slain beasts.
Like the Romans, they were very able to quickly build and establish fortifications in over the course a few hours. Most kills coming from predator drones as the area settled down. Forces were moved to evacuate other islands and this area became a hub. A safe location where people could gather. Outside the airport, it waste practically a wasteland, like a parking lot, but it was traversable. Areas were cleared for those who wished to come on foot or by vehicle to come. However, it was mainly done via VTOL Aircraft, dropships unloading soldiers and taking on more people. They hardly sought to attract attention to themselves with the entities who seemed to wreak havoc about and were much more threatening then the metademons. To fight them now may be a waste of resources, and so they opted to allow "the heroes" to fight them instead while they primarily focused on civilians.
However, they were very prepared to face such entities. Various class 4s ran a muck, such as the very same reptilian alien life form who'd laid waste to so many. They were prepared to engage such targets, but only if so necessary. For now,getting everyone off the island was the priority. Secondary objectives included simply controlling the horde. Keeping their numbers to a manageable amount and drawing the crowds away from the airport. The rest was simply gathering information of the enemy and activities. But with Maverick's resources, this wasn't difficult.
The Private Military specialized in gathering information and storing it, as was vital for war. When Recon forces were genetically engineered soldiers capable of echolocating, this wasn't difficult. They mapped out everything in it's entirety. Hiding about as the sensed vibrations. Allowing them to know the position of every civilian and of every enemy. They could assess durability, strength and other factors of their foes through mostly watching them from the ground and the heavens above, in upper orbit. Targets were easily marked and prioritize. People of known benevolent intention could approach without much worry of death. While other targets were set to feel the wrath of Maverick's Arsenal. But with what they faced, many questioned whether or not it was enough.
They say war never changes. Well, they're wrong, thought Thomas, gritting his teeth as he vaulted over a ruined Volkswagen. Swinging the Echo Disc into a metademon, he rolled to the side, coming up behind a charred wall. It was almost physically impossible for him to tire, but his mental endurance was beginning to wear thin. He would need a plan; the swarm of invaders was never-ending. If Hawaii were to stand strong today, the defenders would require a stratagem. There had been no sign of any enemy generals...no tactical targets to take on. Where would they be...
The Model Citizen tensed as he detected something new. Heat. More of it. A burning, horrible smell, and a wave of thermal energy radiating across the square. He leapt to the top of the building, eyes peeled for any sign of the new threat that was emerging.
He didn't have to look for very long.
"HEAR ME, YOU MORTAL FOOL...AND DIE!"
A massive man, wreathed in flame, was charging his position. Thomas was professional. He was a soldier. He wasn't one to make corny one-liners in the middle of battle, like so many others that the public had dubbed superheroes. And yet, as the immolated giant charged him, he somehow found himself addressing him.
"You're trespassing," he said, turning to face the invader, jaw clenched.
"You're trespassing?" Why would I say that? Like some stupid action movie. His accelerated mind, while intended to be used for combat purposes, had a way of wandering, even in the (literal) heat of battle.
But just like that, his foe was upon him, charging with malicious intent. With mere milliseconds to react, Thomas raised his shield as a blast of flame engulfed him. He clenched his teeth as the flames licked at his skin, attempting to sear away his flesh. His New God-like cells resisted, fighting against the incredible heat. They were the cells of a supposed deity, but even they could burn. His skin began to turn pink as the flaming goliath closed in. He might be functionally immortal, but he could still be harmed. Working through the pain, he detected his flaming foe mere meters from him, radiating power. An axe, glowing with red energy, crashed down upon the Star-Spangled Specter's Echo Disc, colliding with it at an angle.
Imperium. It was the very metal torn from the wreckage of the Roman Emperor's craft, the one who had attempted to enslave the citizens of Washington DC itself but a mere year ago. It made up the very arm that stabilized Thomas' biology, the catalyst that permitted him to make use of a New God's faux genes. One particularly strong sample had been discovered, molded by unknown forging techniques into the form of a reflective disc. Not only reflective in the way that it shone in the light; the very atomic makeup of the disc was tempered, developed to redirect any force that came down upon it. It was unique, a prototype weapon found in the Roman war arsenal. The qualities of the Echo Disc had never been replicated.
There was a reason it had been gifted to Thomas.
As the axe came down upon the shield, Thomas bent the side, crouching low as the blade touched his protective cover. Spinning on the heel of his left foot, he balanced himself so that the axe would touch the disc near center, but at an angle. Rather than collide directly with the imperium circle, the axe would rebound at an angle, ideally unbalancing the wielder. At this precise moment, Thomas would seek to push off of his left foot and onto his right, swinging the disc into the back of his burning foe's knee. It would be a brutal attack, designed to completely unbalance his enemy. The disc's unique properties would enable it to slice through nearly any conventional defense, and when brought to bear against a weaker part of his foe's body with the strength of a demigod, it would serve to take him down instantly.
"You're trespassing." Ugh. Let's keep that one off the records.
Captivated, like so many across the globe, Alexander Apex had become fixated on the nearest visual display. In this case, an over-embellished next gen holo-screen situated in the main lobby of the newly traded Empire Int'L. In amongst the casual guest and valued employees. Literally head and shoulders above the gathered frenzy. Inhaling every horrified gasp and moan. Embracing the inaudible attempts of emotional verbiage, as those around him disparately sought to comprehend yet another catastrophic attack on the Earth. "My mother's there on vacation!" Wailed an unknown bystander. But in that moment, in the confines of that particular lobby, that bystander was family. Quickly wrapped up in empathetic embrace by those around her. Even Alexander subtly tilted his head with concerned temperament, before returning to his previous demeanor. Stoic, unhinged, one armed curved around the midsection while the other rose up to meet his over-defined chin.
Even as the collected congregation thunderously roared out with simultaneous ovation at the arrival of @thee_champion:, and his warrior wife @shanana:, Lex remained composed. Internally excited by the devastating fortitude in which the New God confederacy dispatched the first waves of extraterrestrial invaders. Equally impressed by the tactical stability of the privatized military elite, @maverick_6:. Along with several other premieres of heroic exhibitions, put on by various paragons unknown to the False God. And though he secretly possessed the full galactic matrix of breathtaking abilities embodied by the now, Captain General of the Spanish Armed Forces, Alexander had purposely chosen to remain withdrawn from the direct confrontation. Instead the captain of industry had begun funneling company funds towards a multitude of established relief organizations for victims of the Honolulu Holocaust. Sponsored ads had begun streaming World Wide.
Paid for by the Honolulu Holocaust Association: In Partnership with the American Red Cross & ΩEmpire Int'LΩ
Finally, Alexander had had enough. Swimming his way through the never ended ocean of spectators and mortified mortals towards his executive elevator. Followed closely by only his most trusted advocates. Each one feverishly either typing and or monitoring their technological hand-helds. "Sir might I suggest a public appearance? One of the smaller less affected islands perhaps?" Met with a quick and irritated glance, the suggestion's author retreated to the back. "Less affected?"Alexander rhetorically rumbled. "Analytically speaking, how would one quantify less affected? 10 thousand deaths? 20?" A shimmering sheath of illumination delicately began to envelop his optical gaze, before slowly residing as cordial grace once again took hold. "No, we stay the course. Earth's mightiest heroes are already on scene. My physically presence could only serve in adding more chaos to an already unstable situation. For now we shall remain in the background and fight this threat with monetary reparations. But should it spread......."
"Damn it, man is that all you have to say?! People ar dying! We're under an invasion from an unknown enemy on the same island the Japs bombed in 42' and all you can say is, "Hm?" " The military general appointed from the previous administration asks, the swattle of his old jowls disgusting the POTUS and the jingle of his war metals irritating him.
"That's right General Oldman. Because unlike you I think first, shoot second, ask questions later. We appear to have troops from the private sector already in action-"
"Only because they'll expect a hand out like the cut-throats they are! What if the enemy makes a better offer." The General interrupts
"As a businessman myself I see it as an intelligible move on Mr.Bold's part. He'll be paid handsomely, and he knows it. The enemy stands no chance and it's becoming increasingly apparent. They not only attacked the most powerful military country in the world, they did so in a confined space. This will be the proverbial fish in a barrel story when all is said and done." Stepping out of his wheelchair Thomas looks at his watch, a small screen showing the birds eye view of a drone circling the area of Honolulu, "It seems Spain took it upon themselves to play a part on the attacks...interesting."
"They could just be trying to get the damn island for themselves you jackass. We need to clear ALL foreign entities fro our domestic allies land before it becomes unstable." The general states slamming his liver-spotted hand on the hand crafted two hundred-year-old desk in front of him, "Those spics are unreliable and far from trustworthy. We need to get in there and raze every one not born and raised in this country. You need to get your thumb out of your ass, wipe the chocolate off, and press the damn button on these scum!"
Thomas takes a deep breath, the zig zagging veins on his forehead pulsing into his smooth head. Animus puts his hands behind his back the President turns and looks with his steel eyes into the general's faded shade sunglasses. "I've been patient with you General Oldman, but it's plain as day you not only don't have respect for me and ym administration, but you don't even have the competence to grasp my views, or the open-mindedness to consider them. I feel your not a good fit for this administration and would like your resignation."
"Deny you bald commie bastard. I'll not leave this world in your hands without my supervision." He pulls his jacket down tight making his awards sway and smack back to his chest
"You...you won't allow me? Is that you, refusing a direct order General?" Thomas's eyes glare over his brows, chin in chest as he walks over to the other side of his desk
The curtains snap shut by themselves around the office, "Manners" the general turning to the metal on metal sound of them rushing shut from all sides, "Maketh" the doors closing behind them and clacking into a locked position, "Man. Do you know what that means General?"
"Go f- fuh...f..." Oldman loses his words. He wondered when the President turned around, why he had those slits in the back of his suit and his skin seemed like rubber up close. Impeccably perfect beyond logic. Then he knew. As the president bent over into his knees and groaned, and blood leaked onto the eagled encrusted carpet, a transformation happening before his very eyesm he knew. This man was much more, and much worse than the things that attacked Hawaii. He was Devil to their demon.
This thing. This six winged seraphim that took after Lucifer himself stands before the General, transformed to reveal a sextuple of black wings that shone like tarred feathers. Fangs like ivory daggers hanging from it's mouth, the white of them accented by the orange circular glow of it's empty black iris's. It's suit was once tailored to a thin frame, now bursting with unrelenting muscles. The illusion of man was gone, now here stood a self-evolved demi-god.
The sound of liquid hitting corduroys, the gasp of air that tried to drag down the generals mouth to formulate a scream as he freezes like a deer in headlights, "Nuh..nuh...nuh" he had taken too many lives to not know what came next once he saw those evil eyes that incarnated war itself "Then allow me to teach you."
Sting stood deciding when would be the appropriate time to jump into the action himself. A few doom bots attacked him but were no match for him. Sting was tired of watching now was the time to act. Now was the time to end this invasion. Sting walked forward stepping into the chaos. Each time a new adversary would attack Sting would let the blows land. Blue flames rose up his arms and legs each time a blow would connect the flames would rise. Sting stood in the middle of a large hoard of enemies fighting them off as they charged. He had been counting the punches, 24, 25, 26, " It's time, WHO EVER YOU ARE COME FORTH AT ONCE AND FACE ME THIS DEATH AND DESTRUCTION SHALL END ONCE I SPILL YOUR BLOOD" 27. The adversaries rushed him piling on top of his body. Then an explosion, blue flames incinerated almost everything around the dog pile, leaving a crater with only one man inside of it. A devil, a being with a tail and horns made of flames ripped straight from hell itself. The being let out an awful roar that could be heard everywhere. The only words you could make out were " FACE ME" @warsman
The feminine voice of the ships onboard AI roused the Galactic Knight from his restless sleep. Aching limbs reached, grasping empty air while stretching out their muscles. Heavy lidded dark blue eyes strained to open, as they awoke. Heavy sighs escaped Jason T. Carter as he swiveled himself into a sitting position, allowing him to get the kinks out of his neck, snapping it side to side. Reaching up, he rubbed his temples to soothe his head of its ache.
"Ah, much better," spoke the man. Despite his young age compared to some of his kind, he'd seen enough battles to know he was war torn. It was his job to help those in need, to travel the cosmos and protect. But, gazing down at the metal plated floor beneath his feet, he wondered if there was a life beyond this, all the while putting on his standard armor.
Apparently, if today was to prove anything, there wasn't.
"I'm picking up some kind of disturbance....it appears to be emanating from planet Earth."
"Hmm...Earth. Is it close by?"
"Yes. In fact, it's actually within this solar system. That's how I managed to pick up the signals in the first place," Siri spoke matter-of-factly. "It's being invaded by...oh no."
Jason Carter turned his head at this, quickly making his way to the bridge of the vessel, his boots clomping against the ground and causing an echo throughout the empty ship. "What is it, what's wrong?" Urgency filled his words as he looked at the monitors, which would give him any picked up broadcasts, audio, video, etc. On the screen he was met with metademons terrorizing an island chain, causing mass destruction and death.
"Like I said, oh no."
"Alright, let's get moving. For safety, send out a signal, make sure they know us as friendly. Don't want this to get anymore confusing. First stop, Earth!"
Breaking through the atmosphere, the ship blew past several metademons, slamming through them in a similar manner to insects. All the while, his weapons systems went online, firing high powered beams, slicing through or blowing up the airborne enemies.
"It appears these creatures are coming from boom tube travel, probably from straight from Ragnarok, but I'm not sure," the AI informed Carter, who was managing to multitask with listening to the update and blasting the enemy forces. "That's just great. Okay, Siri I need you to figure out where the attack is most concentrated, and where I can give the most support."
The ship began to become visible, piercing through the clouds. The sight that Jason beheld was a grisly one.
The islands were left in horrible ruin, nearly decimated in the Warsman's path of destruction. Civilian casualties were multiplying
"Alright...it looks like there are multiple generals leading these monsters, but they appear to be busy fighting others. I would advise to leave them be unless help is necessary; there are other priorities. It would be best to go to the capital, the city called Honolulu. There we can help defend, get a better assessment of the situation, and perhaps make contact with the people of this planet," Siri advised, while continuing to weave through the enemy lines, avoiding attacks, and raining heavy firepower upon their foes.
Carter nodded, signaling his agreement with this course of action. "Okay, I'll go down, you stay within the ship. If I need you, I'll notify." With that, Jason reached over to his wrist, clicking in some coordinates, and teleporting down to the city.
A white beam surfaced right over the ground, bringing with it Jason Carter, who touched down, noticing the ruin the surrounding area was.
"Looks like they need some back up,"Jason told himself.
Communications channels were deemed useless, had it not been for Ziccarra’s ability to converse with her telepathy and Alexis’ personal quantum dimensions; all interconnectivity of communications would serve to be a damaging loss.
Back into a corner by the seemingly endless hordes of ethereal beings, the modern day Athena facilitated her efforts by employing a series of intricately constructed illusion to deceive the enemies in more ways than one. “Begone!” She screamed, using the full force of her augmented goddess strength to haul a demon in her direction before cleanly removing its head from its clavicle. Even with her divine stamina and endurance; she was convinced the slash and burn tactic was futile, she and the other heroes were wasting endless amounts of energy to subdue minions when the real problem rest with their commander.
Taking two small steps forward to continue the fight, her pure blue pacific eyes dart toward a plethora of foreign pods crashing down all around her person. From the confides of the spherical machines flood a horde of interstellar beings emerged firing a variety of weapons the Cardinal Goddess had never seen before. “Perfect” She said with the tip ends of her finely glossed lips curling. As she prepared herself to rejoin the fight a soldier approached looking for some sort of direction.
Truthfully the Goddess was confused as to what the POTUS wanted in dealing with the crisis, but she could only act in the manner she would as if this were Espana. “Cardinals” She whispered, on her holy command the Red Clan sentries long associated with the House of Liafador appeared from the thin air like guardian phantoms.
“We need to limit the amount of civilians caught in the crosshair, push them back; so we can set up some sort of fortification.” As she spoke, she noticed a bunch of different variables defending the island. Private Military’s, The American Military, Thee Champion; as well as the other mental signatures of people she had not yet met.
“Get the people…” her sentence went unfinished; her eyes darted to the serpent-like darkness gradually spiraling around them like a coiling viper. “Goddess…” Ziccarra whispered tightening the grip on her magic repelling blade. Ziccarra boasted a divine reaction time in her own right; augmented by the ability to hasten such time, it was nearly impossible to ‘sucker punch’ the Cardinal Goddess. She soon found out, nearly impossible and impossible were two entirely different things.
A jarring pain shot through her lower spine, pushing her athletic body to the ground unceremoniously. Had it not been for her improved L-tac armor, she was more than certain her old Cardinal Assualt armor would’ve faltered.
Wincing in pain, her now steamy sapphire gems darted back towards the attack’s origin to see nothing. “Coward…” she hissed. As she slowly rose back to full form, she felt her entire body involuntarily quivering in shock. She was a woman that could pressurize coal into diamonds in the palm of her hand, Shatter Mountains with a swift kick; she was also well-versed in combating the forces of the shadow.
She was known by many monikers, The Modern Day Athena, the Warrior Goddess, Ziccarra The Implaler among them. Known for being a resilient adaptive combatant; able to dissect the intricate tactics of any challenger whether friend or foe. She was well aware of her limits and shortcomings, but at a time when so many civilian lives hang in the balance; she had to respect her foe as much as she does herself.
Throwing her hands forward, Ziccarra parted the area around them with her own dimensional teleportation technique, a skill she knew well, but seldom used. Shield held high, sword In hand, the Spanish Primer focused her eyes on her foe before launching an attack.
The woman appeared exceptionally nimble, it was obvious she was deceivingly fast; her superficial assault managed to strike the goddess without so much of a trail. Her long phallic weapon boasted a superior range in comparison to Ziccarra’s sword, at this range the spear wielding deviant appeared to only hoist one weapon; which suggest the lethality of her attacks were from within.
Without giving off the slightest hunch, Mirage Matron cast an illusion on herself, one that would be impossible to detect even with augmented vision. This was because the illusion was coated around the real Ziccarra, any attempt to read the electromagnetic properties of the Cardinal Goddess would show a real person.
Dashing forward Ziccarra waved her hands across the open air sending a spiraling cache of psy-daggers petal dancing toward the shadow vixen; drawing close enough to employ a more efficient secondary tactic, The Cardinal Goddess launched her Aegis shield from her hands; towards the tenekenentic foe.
If the shield managed to make impact the explosive psionic properties would ignite causing an explosion coupled with the blunt force of the shield.
Giuseppe maneuvered through another series of bombed-out buildings, doing his best to ignore the bodies and charred ashes that used to be bodies. As part of the outlawed horse race, he grew a bit accustomed to watching people get hurt or even die. But he never really became all that comfortable around the glossed-over eyes of the deceased. It all seemed waxy, like they were trapped there, just waiting for something to happen. He shuddered, and Fantasy emerged from over his shoulder.
The Stand was irredeemably annoying. His ability was to store anything inside of himself and call it back whenever Giuseppe needed it. The problem, however, was in Fantasy's execution. Childish, irresponsible, and loud, Fantasy went from being a remarkably useful Stand to a completely idiotic one. His kleptomaniac nature made it compulsory to collect anything he knew would embarrass Giuseppe, ranging from children's toys to adult undergarments. Still, in the darkness overtaking Hawaii at this point in time, Fantasy kept his cool and nurtured the hunting instinct Giuseppe followed. The fallen Italian aristocrat held out his hand.
His Stand shuffled inside his chest for a little while, finally taking out a large cannon-like firearm obviously not from this world. Maybe it started out as something normal, but time spent in Fantasy's pocket dimension altered it in a cartoonish and unpredictable way. Groaning, Giuseppe set the rifle down by its tripod and shouldered the butt. Not really confident in this weapon's recoil, he also ordered a set of earplugs and earmuffs just in case of a reasonably large explosion. Within his sights sat an apparent lieutenant of the invading forces, a bizarre rat-man that appeared far more ogrish than initially estimated. The beast's name, as of yet unknown to Giuseppe, was Snarkit the Poisonmaster, one of the deadliest assassins from the Ashen Steppes. As chief of the Scumblade Assassin Clan, Snarkit had a variety of devious tricks and traps.
One of them sat underneath Giuseppe's feet, ready to explode.
"Zep-punk," Fantasy whispered in his ear. "Zep-punk, you're gonna die,"
"Shut up Fantasy, I'm busy,"
Inhaling deeply, Fantasy replied: "ZEP-PUNK YOU'RE - "
With his Stand's shouting still ringing in his ears, Giuseppe didn't notice the trap until its trigger mechanism fully clicked and expanded outward into a large noxious cloud of toxic gas. Gasping for air, Giuseppe dropped the rifle and reeled in disgust at the stench, yet his lungs were on fire from its effects. If he had anything to compare mustard gas to, this would be it. His skin peeled off in layers, and he collapsed a full ten feet from his hiding spot to the ground. This, of course, attracted the attention of Snarkit. The rat-ogre bade his sergeants to continue leading the Ratlings into battle. Their endless skittering legions would begin to burrow under the earth and establish warpstone foundries that would impregnate the land for centuries with irreversible warp energies.
But for right now, his blades were coated with a venom made explicitly for the spy he had caught.
That was, however, until he sprung a trap left by Giuseppe in turn. Fantasy emerged from the ground in a full habuki dress and robe, howling like a madman and looking into Snarkit's eyes with his own wild and dead ones. The rat-ogre had no idea what to expect and leaped away, his impressively-toned frame moving with an insane level of agility and pure lightning speed. Giuseppe stood back up, apparently unaffected by the noxious gas released upon him. What confused Snarkit even more was the cocoon his humanoid enemy left behind, like a shell from a butterfly.
"Fantasy you can stop showing off now, the second body you gave me worked like a charm!"
With his Stand ready for battle, Giuseppe prepared to face down the rat-ogre with as much conviction as the others who were doing the same to any single one of the myriad alien invaders he knew were around. He just wished his bro could be here too.
"Bers, I heard you wanted to play ball in the states sometime. You know where I want to go? It's where the best players in the Pacific Islands dream of going, where the sun never goes down and the beaches are so priceless you can't take even a grain of sand away. I want to go,"
Screeching, Snarkit lunged forward, becoming completely invisible to the naked eye. Giuseppe panicked, having lost track of the impossibly-large rodent in little more than a second. His only clue came when Snarkit's paw smashed into his ribcage. Fantasy took most of the attack, his heavy armor and powerful muscles absorbing the impact but leaving Giuseppe open to the fallout once he rolled off and took a cement block to his shoulder. All of the momentum crashed back upon him. Fantasy, despite his immaturity and playfulness, hated seeing Giuseppe get hurt. He picked up his human companion, holding him in a protective shell of ethereal flesh and carapace while he recovered.
"I said I wanted to go to Hawaii. It's not ending like this, damn it. Bers is going to come here and we're going to win this fight. We're going to put all you damn rat-men back into your holes and shut them off forever. We...we..."
Some realize it later than others, while some are just born with an innate sense of what they're going to do. There comes a time of self-discovery. Whether or not we choose to accept what we find is entirely situational. It seemed James Palmer had lost all confidence in himself. With heroes like Champion, Ziccarra, and Turisas running around, there wasn't much for a Vietnam veteran like him to do. It seemed they would act to any and all enemies regardless and win. He saw the rise of heroes like Braveheart and, more recently, Exemplar who mirrored his shield-bearing moniker. They were great kids, strong and brave. Old men like him had no place in war now. Except, he wasn't getting much younger either.
The age-defying super serum in his body kept working overtime even after all these years. His eye even managed to regenerate and the metal plates lodged in his skull from the Xelu'tari torturing him suddenly just popped out one day. His shield-arm became less of a stump for him to attach a metal replacement to and returned to its normal, impossibly strong, state. It took several long months for this to happen. Several long months of painful bone regrowth and muscle reattachment. Nerves splitting and growing, which took the longest, but they finished their job. Now he sat there, his shield reforged by Otto von Doom of Elysia, watching news coverage of the first initial waves of metademons flooding out of the sky following the orbital bombardment.
And then nothing.
He held the transmitter given to him by the Victories so long ago. So many fond memories, all of them clouded by rose-tinted glasses as the saying goes. But all of it leading up to Malcolm's betrayal taught him something. No one cares how strong you are, until they know how strong you'll be for them. He took a good look around his makeshift apartment setting. Meager livings, a small start from pocket change and donations. This would not be where he would die. A drum started to resound in his chest.
The call to action, something he hadn't felt since leaving the hospital after returning to Earth. Something he hadn't felt since signing up for the war. Pride swelled in his heart, and he found his old uniform untouched by time. Peeling back the layers, he slipped into it without much trouble, the nostalgic feeling allowing his muscles to truly recover. The colors were the same. He hoisted his shield up into a small gesture of accepting this quiet transition alone in this place somewhere in Chicago. The only piece that remained was the boom tube repurposed by Doom for teleportation to anywhere the holder verbally commanded. James made a mental note to thank the tyrant someday. Even he, as a despot and a maniac, had a human heart after all.
Baptized, Once More, By Fire
Infurion never once underestimated his foe. To do something so brash invited defeat. He truly did not expect the explosive qualities of the shield Exemplar wielded, but to be honest he didn't really have to. The idea behind the first axe-stroke was to dissuade the defender from actually playing turtle behind the circular weapon. It worked perfectly, taunting him like a matador would a bull. All the Phoenix Lord had to accomplish next existed in the near-instant reactionary methods employed by only the elite of Ragnarok's warriors. Leaping a good six feet into the air, Infurion absorbed the momentum charging between his polearm and the barrier, using it to spin in mid-jump. This maneuver had little to no delay between the primary explosion and the resulting charge by Exemplar towards where he narrowly avoided hitting Infurion's kneecap.
The Keeper of Flames had to admit, even a glancing blow from the mighty godling's brutish battle style would cause some measure of harm - perhaps even wound him despite the plate armor he wore. Despite this observation, Infurion did not hesitate. Like a crane leering over a potential victim, he struck out with a mighty cleaving blow aimed for the flesh behind the shield now that he had both leverage and momentum working in tandem with his vicious lariat.
However, the inherent victory of the Phoenix Lord did not seem to come into play on this battlefield. Suddenly, another one of Old Glory's Avengers appeared out of the blue, insultingly using his master Warsman's own technology to accomplish batting his axe away. At first, Infurion backed away slowly, studying what he thought could only be Braveheart. After all, Allegiance supposedly retired or died. In addition to that, the one known as James Palmer would be heavily scarred from the Xelu'tari torturing him.
Taking advantage of this assumption, he once more charged into the fray, using nearby building rubble to attempt a backwards killing blow with the intention of distracting the newcomer with a false idea of landing behind him. Instead, the axe-head would cleave the top of his skull from his body. At least, that is what Infurion thought. Instead all he generated was sparks as plasma-infused wraithbone grinded against an unknown blend of materials.
"I might be rusty, but I can read you like a book," there was no doubt at this point.
"You know, I have to thank you," the Star-Spangled Super Soldier huddled into Exemplar, creating a two-man phalanx while keeping his eyes on the alien warlord. "It's not every day you learn that you can still be inspired to fight for what's right."
Thomas had never once considered that he may be in over his head. The soldier in him had taught him to always be aware of his surroundings, to never underestimate a foe. And yet, he had been tearing through legions of invaders with reckless energy, letting his instincts guide him through the fray. He had felt indestructible, unconquerable.
Despite this, he had unknowingly courted death in engaging the burning general without so much as a second thought. As he deflected the glowing shield, he had leapt forward, only to watch as his foe vaulted over him with uncanny agility. It was as if the world had slowed to a standstill; his brown eyes watched as his opponent effortlessly twirled overhead, preparing to come down upon him with a move that might have put him out of the fight for good. The axe would have torn across his back, had something red, white, and blue not smashed into him from the side...
"I might be rusty, but I can read you like a book. You know, I have to thank you. It's not every day you learn that you can still be inspired to fight for what's right."
The Model Citizen rolled to his feet, gazing in awe at the man he had used as his own inspiration. But now was not the time for talking; war was upon them. Thomas gave a quick salute, acknowledging his star-spangled savior.
"I like your shield, sir," he mentioned, before spinning like an Olympic thrower, his Echo Disc underneath his imperium-alloy arm. Balancing expertly, he hefted the iconic disc with Herculean strength, focusing the vibrational frequency from his arm on the aforementioned disc. Vibrating with intense energy that could rip through even Thomas' skin, the alien disc shot from his hand across the plateau, targeting the flaming aggressor that was known to the forces of Ragnarok as Infurion. Were it to miss, it would be immediately redirected to Thomas through minute vibrations in the air, directed subconsciously by the miraculous arm. Were it to strike the foe, however, it would be with the force of a godling's arm, and enough vibrational energy to split apart molecules at the seams.
Malferion sighed at the man he had been assigned to dispose of. His eyes flared up a magnificent crimson color, but even the fury of the New God did not stir the sensation of fear within the Angel of Death's black heart. Only one person could do that, and he had yet to appear on this battlefield. He hefted his scythe atop his shoulder, his thick armor dispersing more virulent toxins by the second. Even breathing near or being in close proximity to him would be a death wish to normal humans, and a disastrous choice for those of higher power tiers. He had yet to devise a perfect virus to passively infect The Champion with, however, but anything he exuded now could be considered dangerous.
He began to step forward, not at all intimidated by the eyes that melted countless atoms into their basic elements and energies. The same could be said for him if he were to be struck in full force by those vicious eye-beams, but he would recover. He always recovered. Perhaps that is what finally inspired him to lower the scythe from his clavicle and bear it against The Champion. The words of his master echoed in his mind. The Prophecy of War would come to pass, despite the best efforts of these heroes and their armies.
The valiant soldiers of a private military proved themselves against legions of metademons and many other encroaching soldiers of the inevitable apocalypse. The larger giants of the Burning Plateaus had yet to make it to the airport in Honolulu, as they were already rampaging across the other islands of the state. Terrakron had made his stay at the center of the big island, choosing to fight a viking and a samurai for his own idiotic amusement instead of cracking the tectonic plates underneath him in half. For right now, civilian casualties were being maintained and lowered. They could find shelter in the airport and, eventually, freedom from the maddening storm around them. Even in pitch darkness, thanks to the Nightbringer Matrix, the fear of mankind overwhelmed any sense of hope or dreaming. Instead they found nightmares, living effigies to their torments on mortal soil.
But then reinforcements came and the fires and plagues around them seemed that much more distant. Perhaps they could leave it all behind and find somewhere else to hide. Just another den of rabbits, driven out of their holes in a panic. Reports cited Terrakron as mostly stationary, as the portal ferrying him to Earth ended up facing the molten rock of its mantle. So why then, did the people scream and shout as the thunderous noise came ever closer? The nearest fight of that magnitude would have been Terrakron crushing Turisas under his massive arm, but even that only had a singular note to it.
From the endless shadows of the Nightbringer Matrix, turning brightest day to the most impermeable night, came a horrendous cackle. Its sound crinkled bone and sent shivers through hardened flesh. Soon the refugees running towards the airport became blind with fear, their eyes wide, until at the crescendo of the awful cacophony no more people funneled out of the boundless dark. Instead, sickly-colored imps flooded the area all at once, springing to life from the very ground. Hundreds of thousands, and continuing, their sharp teeth and small fingers more than enough to rend muscle from skeleton and pierce hardened carapace armor. Even more terrifying, each tiny nibble allowed the deadly diseases these imps carried a fresh path into a bloodstream. Within seconds, anyone afflicted with a bite or scratch would experience a painful and downright unwholesome death, ranging from total lymphatic shutdown to instantaneous gastrointestinal overload or worse depending on the immune system of the victim in question.
These were only the heralds of the Afflicted, horrible zombie-like creations of plague and sickness that shambled rather than skidded around like their smaller companions. Rather than overwhelm the battlelines with their sheer numbers, the Afflicted would hide amongst the imps, leaping out to drag others down into the tide or engage in combat of their own. Despite their fragile appearance, the Afflicted were anything but weak and had the capacity of overpowering even the strongest of metademons.
All of this, and the laughter of an unseen abomination haunted the growing madness. If any were to have the bravery to use any sort of scanning device to pierce the darkness and find out the source of these things as well as of the incessant phlegmy gurgling, they would only see a mountain of flesh immediately in front of the airport, parked there like a gigantic maggot. Wriggling out of every pore of the creature would be the small imps and out of his exposed intestines would be the Afflicted, screaming as they were birthed unnaturally into the world. A thousand-toothed grin welcomed any eyes able to stomach the ghastly display, the wretched work of the Amalgamation of Decay.
The Banshee Queen, as she expected, did not have an ounce of surprise in her mind. Ziccarra performed just as she expected her to, perhaps even beyond. She lowered her lance into a defensive position, carefully prodding where she could retreat to safely with the leg she kept behind her. The wraithbone crackled against the ground, slicing apart rock and bone just by gently grazing it. Impressive though Ziccarra's armor was, it did nothing to the keen edge of the Ragnarok-forged weapon. Jindaela flipped the halberd into a half-cocked offensive position, recognizing her opponent's charge, and went into counter-defensive measures.
The illusions were relatively difficult to pierce through, even with Jindaela's enhanced Eldar vision. The electromagnetic spectrum existed as a single line to her, not as a definitive blueprint to study and map out. She could barely see anything related to the real Ziccarra. And yet, she found out the differences just in time. The distraction proved effective enough to allow Ziccarra ample time to prepare and throw a series of daggers towards the Watcher of the Haunts, each one vibrating with a strange energy. Jindaela deduced this as foreign enough to her senses to be unique to Ziccarra's brain patterns, therefore making them irrefutably psychic constructs. Wraithbone had a strange relationship with such things.
While it had been carved out of the skeletons of fallen Eldar and reinforced to a flexible indestructibility, the powers of the psychic mind were among the few things capable of shaping and breaking wraithbone. Also, wraithbone was one of the few things to harness and redirect psychic output. It all depended on how the wraithbone was forged and if it were properly wielded by a true master of its combat art. Taking these thoughts into consideration, Jindaela instantaneously launched a series of quick disabling strokes, avoiding the edge of the psychic constructs and aiming at their cores. It was truly a shield against armor-piercing moment, where one mistake could compromise any sort of defense she could muster.
All the while she kept a close eye and ear open for Ziccarra's next move, which - following the strategy of her illusions - meant playing on a series of distractions for Jindaela to keep herself occupied with. Admittedly, something of this magnitude would have worked on Vess, one of Jindaela's lieutenants. Even as Archon Lord, Vess had the mentality of a stubborn pig. He would have been left open to many of Ziccarra's strategies, caring little for the quality of his weapons and instead relying on his nature as undead to surprise the Amazon. Jindaela hated resorting to cheap tactics and gimmicky thrills like that.
All she needed, was her agility and speed.
With almost no time to spare, Jindaela ducked underneath the brim of the shield. Its sharpened edge grazed her wraithbone mask, sending quivers up and down her spine. The time had come to where she and Ziccarra were perhaps at their closest, when they could feel each other's body heat. This was much too close for the Banshee Queen's overall comfort, as allowing Ziccarra this close spoke volumes of her success as a melee fighter. To Jindaela, her mastery of the halberd allowed her perfect mastery at a longer range. In terms of a combat with weapons, she almost failed.
Almost. After all, she still had a grip on her javelin.
Thrusting the polearm instead into a gap between Ziccarra's onrushing legs, Jindaela had to get to a standing position again. Whether or not Ziccarra fell to the ground again didn't seem to matter. Honestly, Jindaela didn't want to see such a proud warrior eat dirt a second time.
She flipped the halberd into a fully offensive position with the blade pointing up. Its vicious edge glistened in the endless twilight. She was ready to attack without mercy now. Keeping Ziccarra at range and on the edge of her seat existed as top priority, using powerful thrusts and quick swipes at the exposed ankles and head area to keep the shield busy. While she had been so close to the barrier in question, Jindaela noticed something similar to the scent of the psionic knives thrown at her earlier. It seemed the Amazon had not only the ability to conjure daggers of that energy, but enhance her existing equipment as well. Truly marvelous.
With this in mind, Jindaela purposely attacked towards the core of the shield itself, avoiding the face and more at the back where Ziccarra defended herself. That way, the sharp edges of the blockade would roll on the wraithbone rather than slash at it and possibly damage it.
It all boiled down to fighting tactically, and fighting quickly, two things the Banshee Queen excelled at - especially in the shadow of the Nightbringer Matrix.
Bers rushed through the dismantling streets, scalded and splintering by virtue of continual firepower. Popping and decaying as raindrops of kosher downfall, scattering through a city as a wave broadens when in touch of the sand. The boisterous atmosphere spread, channeled as the ascending smoke trails present everywhere. Molten corpses daubed into cracks on the walls, the agony of being smeared would be the last those carcasses would experience. Those who were lucky enough to escape the blasts were now within the grasp of savage, tameless monstrosities, exerting whatsoever their instincts commanded, slaughtering children and adult alike, satisfying their inherent repressed desires, bashing bones and slithering flesh with keen-edged talons and teeth.
The remaining of an extra-terrestrial invasion were no short of catastrophical in all given proportions.
Along those amounted... masses of inhuman torture -because corpses was now an euphemism - stood the heroes. In their tiny, limited point of vision, this was still a just and heroic reality. Everyone craved to open both eyes by the morning and deem the worse scenario in the outer-world, outside their shells, was a death accompanied of a bravado that would echo through the tonsils of troubadours for centuries to come. Yet reality was a heartless creature. How many were murdered and wouldn't be remembered? Imaginary numbers and fantastic stories are easier than enumerating every piece of bread you have eaten, no?
His panting reverberated throughout the alleyways, the Russian Dragon was visually scared, well-nigh puking as well. Death wasn't something he was accustomed to, even worse when lengthened to that dreadful extent.
Was that the same Hawaii?
"Of course I do, Zep! Yare yare daze, what a question to ask..."Both towering teenagers head toward the park nearby the college. It was a full day at Seirin, Facebook-only classes, snoring practice during a small part of Calculus, the Seirin Stallions' harsh practicing sequence. Those two 'new-bloods' seemed to be aging faster than anyone. Stress was sluggishly expanding, tiredness' traits commenced to surge, they lacked the hyperactivity they began with... It was pleasant, though. Bernard kept his grades above-average and met new people everywhere, he was leading a happy life. Notwithstanding, the lack of a brotherly figure was soon sufficed by Giuseppe.
The duo looked so silly in their clowning moments, yet they understood each other on and out of the court flawlessly. One could say they had their serious moments when seizing an orange ball or every now then whilst walking.
Bouncing his favorite, recently autographed by his friend and main-star of the Hexcraft series, b-ball, he cautiously passed it to his friend. "Heh, I think of it all the time. I'm ending my Economics course, obviously, and then I'm trying my life at basket... It always were my dream, y'know? Seeing those big, shining lights tremble when the crowd screams your name at an NBA game..."
A swift dribbler, Zeppeli soon shook the hoop with his primary throw. "Hehehehe. Good one, Zep! You're always improving, gonna leave me eating dust like that!" Smiling and nodding, he stole the ball in a contradicting manner to what he had just said. "Ah, I guess you know what I mean, eh? About the NBA and everything. You'll be a world-renowned star one day, bro. I just hope to be there to applaud you from the inside of the court."
"But, hey, why wait that long to visit America?! We should totally go to Hawaii. Always wanted to meet one of those hula girls on those paradisiacal beaches. Heard there might be some Hawaii Rainbow Warriors games too..."
That couldn't have been their conclusive dialogue... Not those two brothers-in-arms. They always had each other's back until Zeppeli foolishly vanished. Bers had eavesdropped some speculation about his best friend flying to Hawaii, so he decided to trail. Now there he was, desperately sprinting, chasing a ghastly rumor. The evanescent light of hope struggled to rekindle in full strength. He was panicking, how could he savvy if his brother wasn't dead? Their bonds might have not been so empowering after all, even though Bers felt Giuseppe still breathed. "Where are you?! Where are you, dammit?! I'll never forgive myself if I can't find you now... Never....... Dammit, Giuseppe, you hot-heated, selfish little runt!" He muttered under his breath.
Machine gun shots... Smoke...
Dammit, what had he gotten himself into? That was an abhorrent sight, unorthodox at its weakest potential. Yet that quaint figure... And red hair rolling in the dirt. He didn't take long to summon Manowar himself. Although not bestowed with a self-conscience, he acknowledged hazard when Bers' eyes saw it. "ZEP!"Rushing in without thinking of any consequences, Worlov readied his Manowar's Hail and Freeze trap. He'd envelop them in mist... And then knock-out whichever beast tore through the curtain of smoke with his chilling-dash. "You motherf*cker! Never vanish like this again! Got us all worried back in Seirin." He'd have to hold his punches for later, though. Right now, their situation was dire.
Simpering, he endeavored to obfuscate the fact he was terrified. His constantly trembling leg, though, worked as a reminder of his fear... and desire to live.
"Some these "gods" are throwing at us. Maybe they're hot sh**. But their armies aren't too god-like. Just a bunch of mindless rabid drones waiting to get offed. Over" A pilot high in the sky comments.
"Yeah well they have bigger guns around. And with these numbers, these guys can seriously f*** with us. Especially with the reinforcements they can bring. Don't get yourself surrounded. Over."
"Roger that. Over n' out." The soldier puts his radio away as a metademon's skull is crushed beneath the heel of an Exo-Clad ENCU's boot, blood leaking from it's mangled skull. When it came down to it, the powered armor had helped level the playing field when it came to close quarters with metahumans and these entities alike. A single metademon hardly stood much chance against a man who trained to fight things far stronger with leverage. They cannot harm everything, but the ENCU were the kind of men who trained to suplex the hulk. Who trained to fight most all manner of the extra-normal. And these beasts were no exception. The group was accompanied by civilians, many of which helped one another, banding together in this apocalyptic circumstance. Not all turned on one another, for many would have little without each other.
And though the corporation as a whole, was morally questionable, with morally questionable men and actions. Ones who would do whatever it took to win, and who had vendettas or simply, the mentality of a mercenary, an image the corporation attempts to avoid. There were good men among them. They gave them hope, a way out. They were heroes in their eyes and in a way, they were different, and gave a different type of hope. They were only men. Men given often better guns, better training and equipment that let them fight the god of evil's endless legions. Unlike nearly every superhero, they were something that people could become. An ENCU was rarely driven by money, and more driven by the desire to empower humanity itself, or, to seek vengeance against that which lays waste to human life. That which attempts to bully humanity. Kids were already wanting to grow up to be just like them. A few of the soldiers even started like this.
The situation was seemingly improving. More and more of the refugees were able to make to Honolulu international airport and safely. Relief was being given on the other islands for those too wounded to remain in their constantly filling makeshift medical bays. (@alexander_apex) Indeed, Maverick troops appeared to guard and protect these areas.
Suspiciously, an object came from space, intercepting earth's atmosphere as Bradshaw receives a signal.
"OLYMPUS to ground. We are detecting what is most likely an extra-terrestrial craft. (@hunterzillas) It has entered Earth's atmosphere and it's trajectory indicates it will be in your A.O. soon." "Copy that." He switches coms to contact team of a squad of pilots "Phantom-4 stand by."
Bradshaw receives another com., Gunfire echoes in the background along
"Enemies have launched an ambush! Repeat enemies are using-" His lines are cut off with the yelling of presumably the man, followed by the noise of others. In response, Bradshaw requests to know exactly what is happening, and soon finds out the enemy has spawned from the ground itself using an unknown means and has begun turning soldier and refugee alike into their legion. Bradshaw used Maverick's surveillance satellites itself to watch the scene, watching some teen being mauled by imps, as an Exo-Clad soldier is forced to simply fend for himself. His skill letting him fight imps left and right. Punching them into cars, slamming one through a wall. But there were too many. Others managed to hold up, a few lucky enough to survive, but out of the 5000 with 400 soldiers people who were at that moment moving, Approximately 120 made it to the air, port. Roughly 900 were able to flee. The rest.....
Bradshaw pulled out his radio during this, getting the Huey ready. One of their advantages was still retaining communication, as they did not rely on this area's radio or com towers for communication. Radio, satellitle and their Radio-Based Telepathy enabled information to be spread quickly. Men were ordered to stay away from the front of the airport, as a huey flew overhead, loading it's specialty ammo, preparing to unleash the wrath of tens of millions of dollars. The Huey was not out of the ordinary and was conventional, as was it's M134 Minigun. However, the ammunition it was going to chuck down range was anything but.
When everyone was clear, Bradshaw gave the order.
"Tear them apart."
"Roger that" The Huey gunner replied as Gunships appear near it to protect it. It's barrel began to rotate and rev before it was unleashed on the hundreds of thousands of imps and enemies below.
The bullets whirred through the air and as the detonated unleashed enormous explosions that bathed the area in X-Rays and Photons. Atomizing targets close, vaporizing everything else and blowing other objects apart with the immense amounts of heat and blast waves generated in any one of the 50 rounds per second the gun relentlessly laid down on the opposition, seeking to eviscerate them, to obliterate them. No buildings would offer shelter and the minigun was destroying the area completely.
The area was destroyed block by block, annihilating most all he aimed at. Anyone who made it through the swath of destruction that cut through the front of the airport would find a firing squad waiting to put them down with ammunition that did not make neat little holes. Ammunition that tore people limb from limb.
"We are detecting a mass near our position. It appears to be spawning them."
"Lay down Incendiaries towards target." Somewhere in the earth's lower stratosphere, a predator drone precisely launched several thermobaric AGMs down towards the ground, enhanced with nanothermite, these bombs hit with immense force as they bathed the area in fire and blast waves that blew out windows and wiped out near by buildings if they hit. The explosions serving to attempt to burn the thing if it hit and reveal the abomination for all to see. "Biological warfare....you know what they say...." Captain Bradshaw says. "Kill it with fire."
He listens to the comments of his men.
"What the f*** is that...?"
"Ohhh sh**. See this is what happens when you jinx us like this, John."
Bradshaw spoke to put his men at ease. Infantry was often less capable of keeping their composure. Not like the ENCU were. "Alright. Enough chit chat. Gunner 1. Open fire on the large gelatinous mass. I'll have a bunker buster flown in on stand by for this thing or the other creatures. I don't want one molecule of this thing floating around, because you can bet your sweet ass it has regeneration capabilities. On my mark....
"Roger f***ing that." The man replied as he then turned the Huey's Hafnium Loaded gun towards the mass. Laying down ceaseless sun temperature scorching beams with every single explosion. Seeking to try to destroy as much of the blob as they could right off the bat.
Meanwhile new routes were selected as men began shoveling civilians about in armored personal carriers. Orbital payloads dropped supplies and weapons. More powerful powered armor became available and they tracked the entirity of what the enemy's activities through technology and shadow company detecting ambient vibrations and mapping the area out, them able to see all solid entities, as well as surveillance satellites high above peering towards the ground They lacked numbers, but had technology and firepower.
And they, would make their stands. Humans, who dared to stand against gods.
'Every time, they fail to take your life' 'Perhaps the tales then, speak the truth' 'Perhaps you truly are, too suave to kill'
Outnumbered, and relying on the sheer magnitude of his martial pedigree, Sosuke did battle without absence of courage. His heart, resolute and unyielding, his cold confidence, commendable and socially disarming, they defined him. Every swing oozed with flair. The edge of his blade, burning with fluoroantimonic acid, the globe's strongest corrosive agent, was deadly, his every muscle fiber twitching with years upon years of training and experience, and yet every movement made was beautiful. There was a cinematic charm, and cool air that trailed behind his every attack and evasion. And for all of the mesmerism of his 'it' factor, it was difficult to distract oneself from the coming horde.
Metademons they were called. They reeked of blood, its repugnant, irony scent hanging in the air with prominence, like a force of nature. They charged, hungry animalistic snarls rippling all about, the air burning hot in their lungs, claws like daggers ready to shred flesh from bone, and Sosuke, the Kenjutsu King, braced himself. Doing what he could to lessen their numbers by harnessing the power of his osteokinesis. With it, he seized control of the calcium deposits in their bones, teeth and claws, and reduced them to dust. Without the support of bones, they were unable to walk, victims of the planet's gravity. The joints were the structural support points of their mass, without them, locomotion was a thing of impossibility. But more came, aggression in their eyes, and the lust for blood dripping from their teeth.
Composed and mentally sound, the suave introvert responded, again with his osteokinesis. He broke down the calcium inside their enzymes, bringing the gift of death to their cells. He exploited calcium metal's hazardous reactions with water and acids in the body to generate heat and calcium hydroxide in their systems, why? To saponify (turn into soap) the fats and liquefy the proteins in their mouths, esophagus', and stomachs. He was deadly, and many of them were slain, but they came in the hundreds and soon, thoughts of retreat crept into his mind. But then an arrow tore through the air, as if intent on breaking the sound barrier before ripping through the flesh of the approaching metademons. One arrow. Then two, then three, then four, and so on. An ally at last. One who attacked from a distance, one who offered support fire while the Samurai Saint dared to press on.
Still however, the metademons were many. And even in the company of this unknown ally, this archer extraordinaire, victory was bleak. Sosuke's wounds accumulated, his lacerations leaving him a bloody sight, yet he continued, the heart of a warrior beating strong in his chest. And then came a loud, sharp crack. One that tore the sky asunder in earthen nature's most primal roar; thunder. "Ronnie", the Kenjutsu King smiled, his brother in arms had come to thin the herd. And thin the herd he did. His power was remarkable, and as he watched the godling's lightning leave nothing but ash in his wake, he knew. He knew that the lightning burned their foes with such heat that it felt cold. And then his thunder, the shock-wave that rippled through the air and shattered the windows of homes even when in the highest reaches of the sky, erupted.
This thunder however, knew no isolation in the upper atmosphere. No it roared within feet of their adversaries. With authority, it ruptured the metademons' eardrums, tore apart their flesh, bombarded their internal organs and shocked them with such force that death was certain. The voice of his brother called for his name, and Sosuke's response was immediate. His eyes, crystal blue pearls shifted and bore witness to the emergence of the greatest giant he had ever gazed upon. One who chose, without hesitation, Ronnie as its opponent. Its power was evident, but the Kenjutsu King, a connoisseur not only of the martial arts but of logic as well, allowed his mind to stir together the ingredients of a plan for the ages. Meanwhile, Thee Champion, answering his foe's challenge, rushed forward, beams of charged particles, electromagnetically accelerated to superluminal velocities, escaping from his eyes, intent on reducing the Angel of Death to quark-gluon plasma, a scorching, superheated soup of the rarest of the universe's fundamental essence.
@maverick_6: Suddenly the gelatinous mass erupted in blue flames, it looked like a man was inside the flames but he was hard to make out. From the flames chunks of gelatin flew off of the mass, and then there was silence. Inside the fire sat a man, yet he was not a man. He had a tail and horns made of fire. He looked at the troops, growling, he let out a savage, eardrum piercing roar. The fire was absorbed into his body and then exploded outwards, incinerating any of the enemies around him. The figure stopped, standing in the center of the flames awaiting a reaction.
With the signing of the contract between Warsman and some of the most powerful leaders of the Infernal Phalanx barring the Eight Gods themselves, an agreement had to be arrived at amongst the Seats of Chaos. They were unique of their order, cobbled together by The Master in an attempt to create lieutenants capable of holding his vast empire together. After all, The Master only had absolute power in his inner sanctum. Within any number of demon lords responsible for leading the countless legions of the Infernal Phalanx, The Master existed as the most solitary and isolated of all. That is why he created the Seats of Chaos, to do his dirty work for him. Demon lords drawn from mortal realms, and given unimaginable power.
It comes as no surprise that ambition to overthrow The Master grew in the heart of at least one of them, who just so happened to be the most ambitious of them all. He kept it secret for many years and proved his fleeting loyalties by drowning Old Fargate in fire and blood, turning it into the ruinous collection of planetoid rocks it is today. But his will was not The Master's. His agenda played out following the binding of Zazamell, who foolishly spoke out against The Master and was punished as a result. This supposedly seeded a sense of fear within the Seats of Chaos, meaning that their servitude was absolute in the eyes of the Infernal Phalanx. But, as the Blood God taught them, all power demands sacrifice.
All the Orc warlock had to do was wait.
And, in the aftermath of Prince Malachenezarr joining with Warsman and bringing the Prophecy of War to its latest potent chapter, Zer'garnuul enacted his plan. The Eight Gods of Ancient Chaos were involved in a war against the Titans ever since the first attosecond of time ticked down from the endless void. Locked in this struggle, the progenitors of the Infernal Phalanx have recently realized that they were on the losing side of the conflict. Therefore, someone must be given the reigns of the Phalanx in order to turn the tide. That new commander, the new supreme warden of the legions that ransacked entire dimensions, was chosen.
The Master, disappointed that it was not him, secluded himself in his Black Citadel, away from the eyes of his peers. Zer'garnuul decided that this would be the time to strike, and so held a secret council between all members of the Seats of Chaos he could trust. Unfortunately, this meant little more than half of them. But the devious mind of the wicked creature always worked in tandem with his inexhaustible cruelty, and the next volume of Skellbrieg's history would be rewritten forever. Zazamell, Voice of The Master - mockingly ripped away from his tongue and given hot coals to stomach for all time for his crime of defying The Master - stepped into the Black Citadel on the evening of the Shimmering Moons. In Thrae mythology, this night had always been affiliated with dark omens and evil spirits.
"What is the meaning of this, Zazamell?" The Master's voice coiled like fingers around his appointed speaker to the masses as he reclined in his throne.
Zazamell, customarily, said nothing - even in his wild thoughts - and continued with his gesture of bowing to the self-appointed Lord of Fargate.
"I see. You want to offer me some form of condolence for losing my position as overlord of the Phalanx,"
The delusions of The Master were many, and so he could not see that Malachenezarr did not even consider him for the task of which he thought himself entitled. Zazamell lowered his head, electing not to hide his eyes from the encarmine-armored madman, but to conceal what he had brought to the room in question.
"Ah, and what have you brought to me? A gift? How marvelous,"
Zazamell grunted in panic as The Master snatched it away so carelessly. It seemed to be a backpack, of strange thick material and filled with metal and a putty of sorts. The Master analyzed it thoroughly, and instead became extremely vocal with his anger. He smacked Zazamell away, keeping the trinket for himself.
"A bomb? Is this your idea of a joke? No human explosive can destroy me or my sanctum!"
That is when Zazamell, in all of his memories of the abuse taken from The Master's cruel hand, revealed the second stage of Zer'garnuul's plan. He ripped off his robes, his heavily scarred body worn down to the bone in some places, and showed The Master an entire array of C4 plastic explosives, charged with fel magic and made that much deadlier. Rushing at The Master like an angry bull, Zazamell managed to catch him off-guard before igniting the switch. Revenge had been taken after many long decades of torment.
The entire Black Citadel shook with the tremors of the blast, and left behind little of the throne room atop the tallest tower. The Master himself struggled out from underneath tons of hell-forged rubble and stone. His red armor, broken, revealed a simple creature underneath. The source of his omnipotence had been taken from him; and the Primordial Lord of Strength hovered over his weak body, a dog-like grin peeling back his thick lips.
"Stay your hand, Bertholdt," a devious voice remarked from out of the smoke.
"You...d-damned Orc," The Master huffed.
"You have to admire human ingenuity sometimes. They know how to make splendid things. Only, I can make them better - don't you agree?"
"You w-won't get away with - "
"With what? Disposing of a weak link in the war machine of the Phalanx? You were always afraid of something, Master, but now you have nothing to fear. Bertholdt, if you would,"
Grunting, the man who betrayed the original Band of the Ivory Skull for infinite power reached down and grasped his former commander's throat. With a sharp tug, the tons of rocks piled on top of his broken legs were left behind. The Master quivered under the mighty grip of Bertholdt the Beast King, and he only stopped struggling once his skull popped open and showered the knuckles of his murderer in a vivid red mist.
"A pity about Zazamell, actually," Zer'garnuul remarked at length. "But he insisted on doing it himself instead of using one of the slaves. His heart lived for the moment in which he could have vengeance on The Master,"
The Orc ran his fingers along his thick beard. His wrinkled, gnarled fingers lifted away a veil of uncertainty in front of him. On the other side, stood the granite-faced tyrant responsible for this great upheaval in the power structure of Fargate. Both Zer'garnuul and Bertholdt bowed in reverence for their new commander, one they would unquestionably follow to any end. The Orc warlock was the first to speak.
"My lord, we have done as you asked. The way to Skellbrieg is open to invade from both your boom tubes, and the Worldscar portal. What would you have us do?"
A pause came from the Regent of Ragnarok. Though only a second or two passed, the deep machinations of Warsman's indomitable tactical wit enclosed all probabilities. Should he invade Skellbrieg now with the Infernal Phalanx, then the Earth forces would be stretched far too thin between fighting his generals and lieutenants on Hawaii while also desperately combating those extra-dimensional legions of demons pouring from the Worldscar. Should the heroes abandon the fight on Hawaii to attempt a shutdown of a larger, potentially more dangerous, foothold for Warsman's armies, they also ran the risk of leaving behind the entire Pacific Ocean and its many bordering landmasses.
But the decision of conquering the Eighth Continent did not come lightly. There would be many who would resist, although their own independent powers had waned in the recent attacks by the Desecrated. A great darkness would fall upon Skellbrieg, an impermeable shadow that would not be lifted.
"Send forth all legions into Skellbrieg. Should anyone come to their aid, they are your enemy. Spare no one,"
"Wow. This got really bad really fast." Mistro said as he watched everything just get worse and worse. From what he could see, the main island of hawaii was being dominated by fire-bending plama gun-toting warriors, boom tubes were opening up on the ground and on all the other islands, and there were molten giants.
"Fun." The mouse said dryly. The main island of hawaii itself seemed to be quite literally falling apart. Since he was sort of safe, the mouse swordsman had time to think and prepare. He decided to further evaluate conditions outside, but as soon as he went to take a look, everything went dark. The sprawling infernos barely illuminated the all consuming darkness.
With a single tap of the ship's holographic control interface, extremely bright LED's flicked on outside the ship, illuminating the general area. The cosmic blasters still fired away at any and all hostiles that approached, their fire had remained constant since the ship had landed. Mistro realized he wouldn't be able to make a difference on the ground, so he took to the sky.
Within moments, The Mighty Mouse was flying through the black sky. The advanced autopilot maneuvered with some trouble through the darkness. Flying only a 100 feet or so above the ground, the ship's advanced scanners easily recognized and targeted hostiles on the ground. The large TI-35 blaster cannons on the ship hummed as they came to life, and roared as they were fired. The bolts fired decimated some fortifications the horde had made, and lessened their numbers. Next, sonic mine. Mistro decided to simply deploy all of them, the ship currently carried twenty four. It may not sound like much, but they were designed to shred the hull of even the toughest spacecraft. Once deployed, the sonic mines sought out and obliterated large groups of metademons.
Still though, the mouse felt as if he wasn't making a real difference. The metademon horde seemed endless. And it wasn't even just metademons anymore, countless other types of infantry all poured in. All he could really do was sit in the sky, continuously blasting away at the endless onslaught of otherworldly attackers. Or, so he thought.
Over time, the Mighty Mouse had managed to intercept a few transmissions from Maverick soldiers. The artificial intelligence quickly pieced together they were a highly trained, powerful, private military force. Mistro flew about the skies, the LED's outside the ship illuminating that which was below him. After a bit of flying about, he could see Maverick forces. Their firepower, skill, technology, and lethality was impressive.
A few more minutes of flight, and the mouse had found their base of operations, Honolulu International Airport. After a few complicated interactions with his holographic interface, The Mighty Mouse projected a giant bubble shield, surrounding the entire airport. The shield was specific in that it would allow humans to pass through it freely, where as anything else would be stopped. It was durable enough to withstand firepower from entire space fleets for short periods of time, so the horde of monsters below would not be able to crack it for at least six or seven hours.
Through loudspeakers on the outside of his ship, Mistro announced to the Maverick forces below. "Hi guys, I'm Mistro, I'm here to help, that's about it."
Given new orders and now able to identify specific pockets of resistance the ground forces of the Thousand Worlds began to rain from the sky in ever increasing numbers. Drop pods fell by the hundreds now on all the islands of Hawaii, plunging deep into the writhing mass of invading demons. The first of the new wave of pods hit the ground all around Maverick's forces, forming an immediate barricade to buy them some respite and allow them to re-position. The pods did not sit for long however, blast doors did release, instead the pods exploded in massive fireballs, having been filled with high explosive charges instead of people. The resulting explosions took a brief barricade and made it much larger, blasting demons to bits and forming a ring of fire from which there was one exit to allow Maverick forces to retreat and form a new defensive line as they continued to evacuate civilians to the airport.
The second wave struck in the masses of demons beyond the new barricade and thousands of troops poured out straight into bloody hand to hand combat and ruthless short range fire fights. Thousand World infantry fought using poor coordination and mediocre tactics, but they were effective in situations like this where strategy and tactics went out the window. They plunged head first into the combat and bought the forces of Maverick time and position. It was not unlike watching someone apply a sledgehammer to unscrew a screw but the damage it did was rather spectacular. Everywhere they found civilians drop pods landed and troops disembarked to offer protection. Where they could they also began ushering survivors towards the airport where landing craft began to arrive to offer aide in evacuation protocols.
"Looks like they got our signal Jason. Now let's just hope they figure out we're friendlies," Siri spoke within his armor, which gave them a closed channel, fortified with Cosmic communicating, so nothing could pick up on their conversations, allowing them to talk freely without the fear of enemies listening. "I'm guessing we can't fool the enemies into thinking this though," spoke Siri, as metademons rained from the skies, darkening the sky above with their numbers.
As the AI said these words, Jason Carter had grabbed his power coin, and inserted it into his morpher. "TIGER ZORD!" A white static encompassed the form of Carter, an armored suit encasing his body, transforming him into the White Cosmos Ranger. Cosmic power coursed through him, the energy of the Cosmic God, Zordon giving him strength beyond many. It was why his insignia was blazoned upon his chest armor, showing all who he served. It was a token of hope, of justice, throughout the galaxy.
Looking up, Jason used his scanners to get ahold of the situation at hand. As far as he could tell, it looked as though the metademons were flooding this island chain, with the Maverick Private army managing to hold them off with superior firepower and skill. Unfortunately, despite this, they were still far, far outnumbered by the enemy. It appeared that they specialized in quantity more so than they did in quantity. But, with countless heroes supporting the military, and now with the White Cosmos Ranger there to help, he would make it his goal to help this planet.
"Try not to overdue this like last time. Took nearly a month to clean up that mess," advised Siri. While he was transforming, she had already taken the helm of the ship, guiding it and launching incendiary missiles on their demonic foes. As the name suggested, the heat incinerated the targets, while small craters were left in the ground where the explosion had occurred.
"No promises Siri, we've got a lot head of us," replied Jason. After saying this, he reached out with his hands, making several motions. It was with this method that began to summon his weapon. While he did this, a white orb appeared between them, brightening until it extended into a full length sword. "Saba, now!"
Saba, the sword that Jason now held in his grip, was similar in design to a scimitar, curved at an angle to increase it's cutting power. Where the pommel of the sword was meant to be, there was instead the face of a white tiger, so well detailed that it looked alive.
And, as it were, it was.
enthusiasm came from the living sword, yearning to be of use once more. Like Siri, Saba worked alongside Carter to help him in his quest of galactic justice. But unlike Siri, he had been helping Jason ever since he had been assigned his task. As a group, they were the perfect team, having each others back, and keeping one another alive.
Leaping forward, Jason sped forward, bursting with speed as he slashed through the metademon army, giving them no chance to counterattack. The Ranger, utilizing his speed, skill, and precision, felt untouchable. Impaling a metademon through the torso, he grunted as he spun around, planting his elbow in the gut of another behind him. In quick succession, Carter reached forward, tearing the sword from the first one's torso, dispatching the second one with a clean cut through the throat, and turning back and cutting off the first one's head. While this occurred though, more and more metademons surrounded him, leaving him with little breathing room.
" asked Saba, signaling to the White Ranger that they were getting surrounded. "Yeah, sounds like a good idea," replied the Ranger, jumping back. Landing on a protrusion in the road, he managed to garner a better vantage point, rising above the foes he now faced. Using the mechanics of his helmet, he began switching options for his next attack. "Saba, ready yet?" After saying this, he flipped the sword so as to have the hilt facing upward, the tiger face staring directly at the enemy bellow.
"Ready when you are Jason, I'm locked and loaded."
"Okay then. Saba, attack!" Jason placed his opposite hand underneath his sword arm, steadying it for accuracy. He managed to do this just in time, as several arcs of energy burst from the tiger's eyes. These white beams either pierced, disintegrated, or exploded their targets. Ultimately, the results of this tactic were the same, with him clearing several waves of the metademons. "Good job guys, but you missed a few." From overhead, Jason ship, Bleeding Dawn, swooped in, unleashing several weapons of various function, the overall one being to kill. Blasting the airborne enemies into ashes, Siri flew the ship back around, launching another payload. came Saba's voice over the coms, before once more joining the fray by firing beams between a metademons eyes, piercing through and causing his lifeless husk to fall over.
Suddenly, Siri once more spoke over the coms, with an urgent tone in her voice. "Jason, we've got a problem. New bogies are coming, inbound, rising from the ground. It...it's horrible. They're little imps, hundreds of them swarming the island, killing and infecting the military and civilians." Siri looked on in horror as she saw a poor, unfortunate man get pinned down by the numerous creatures, being torn limb from limb. Without mercy, the savage monsters turned the man inside out. But the horror was not over, as the man was sickeningly turned into a disgusting, rotting shadow of his former self. A zombiefied, dead husk. He and hundreds more were becoming afflicted by this disease, with no apparent way to dealing with the threat than to simply keep fighting on. pleaded Saba, realizing the urgency of the situation that was presented to them.
Sighing, Jason crushed a tiny imp underneath his boot, snapping it like a twig with his weight alone. Do to his powers originating from Zordon, he was protected against the terrible infection that plagued so many other people on the island. It however did not protect from being surrounded, so now, being mindful, he took careful note of where he stood on the battlefield. "I realize that Saba. But other than simply killing them, what else can I do?" Jason's words reached both Saba and Siri, who themselves held no answer to his question. It appeared that this would have to be solved the good old fashioned way. "This is going to be a long da..."
All words were cut off however, as a trembling, echoing cruel laugh reverberated over the battlefield, drawing the attention of many, and freezing most with sheer horror and fear.
The Cosmos Ranger stared up at the sight before him. Not in fear, but in rage and disgust at such a creature ever existing. A behemoth of a monstrous size stood among them, a freak of nature that had no place on this planet. From the crevices, the pores of its body, burst forth imps, metademons, and other monsters of a vile origin. It was an atrocity, an abomination. It was the Amalgamation of Decay.
Staring at the monster, Jason realized the severity of this new arrival. No longer would this battle be fought on the streets, as it had been up until this point.. He would need some back up on this mission. "Siri, this ones big...but we've fought bigger. It's going to take to long to fight it at this level, I need you to call down the Tigerzord. Is the Observatory within range yet?"
"Yes, but are you sure Jason, I'm not sure it's at 100% yet?" The zord in question was still being worked on, suffering from damages from a previous encounter.
"Yes Siri, I am, we can't do this without it."
"Alright then," Reaching out to connect to the Observatory, Siri spread her conscious out, setting up the process. "Coordinates made, Launch Rail 1 activated, course determined. T-minus 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, launch initiated!"
Orbiting Earth from high above, the Observatory turned on its axis, the correct launch rail directed towards the planet. Outside, in the vacuum of space, no noise was emitted as the Zord was launched down through the atmosphere.
A thunderous boom was heard over the Hawaii Islands as a burning streak in the sky appeared, high above in the atmosphere. The incoming object arced in the sky, passing over the island and hitting the Pacific Ocean. Jason had determined that as the correct course to take, as landing close by would put the islands at risk. He had no plans to do the monsters jobs for them. But no sooner had the mech landed in the water that another noise, the roar of a machine was heard.
Bounding out of the waves of the ocean, the Tigerzord leaped out of the water, and onto the harbor. Jason smiled within his helmet as he beheld the sight before him, the return of his Megazord. "There he is," said the Ranger, right as he leaped up as high as he could, landing atop the Zord's head. "Tigerzord, charge!" With his command, the Tigerzord roared, and bounded forward, bringing it closer to its enemy.
While this occurred, Jason put his hand against the Megazord's head, where on contact, a white light emanated, and he slipped into the machine, arriving within the cockpit. This was a safety measure so only he could enter the machine, keeping teleporters, phasers, and other means of entry out of question. It would take sheer physical force to break in.
Now within the machine, he lifted Saba, and inserted him into the slot on the dashboard, giving him a place to reside while within the Zord, as well as a way to spread his control over it. "Okay Saba, you ready?" asked the Cosmos Ranger, readying himself for what was to come. "
Then speaking in unison, the two commanded, "Tigerzord, convert to Warrior Mode!"
Within the machine, creaks were heard, gears moving as it readied for the necessary adjustments. Its back legs came closer together, turning it into an upright position. Meanwhile the front legs morphed into hands, and at the spine of the machine it leaned forward, its tiger head moving to the chest area, with a head appearing at the top.
An explosive burst of light came from the Tigerzord, signifying its transformation was complete. "Okay guys, you take him head on, I'll rain fire from the skies," Siri's voice was heard over the com link as Bleeding Dawn burst forward and began raining down Ionized Particle Beams, waving them over the giant monster to wash away the creatures that erupted from its pores by destroying their organic matter.
"Let's do this!" Jason yelled, and the Tigerzord walked towards the Amalgamation of Decay to engage in their Titanic Battle.
Two indomitable eyes peered through the endless void between the Floating Hell and Hawaii, the latest addition to the countless battlefields he had waged horrible war upon. The molten giants were well on their way to reactivating the entire chain of volcanoes across the islands in question. Seismic activity alone would cripple most defenses mounted upon the state, with oceans of magma and a choking atmosphere of volcanic gases forming the greatest potential threat. But all that had to wait as the molten giants had no directors that deep in the Earth's mantle. They had to be aimed and then pushed into a singular direction. Like drilling for oil, it took time and great effort for the desired result. At the rate they were moving however, with the pressure building up underneath mountains such as Mauna Loa and Kilauea reaching devastating levels, time was on their side.
This, combined with the fact that the armies having any amount of presence or allegiance associated with Earthen forces were already engaged in deadly combat, provided an excellent shield mechanism for the molten giants to work with despite their lumbering natures and dim minds. It remained in these battles to hold the greatest amount of attention from the Regent of Ragnarok. From his seat of power tens of millions of miles away, Warsman observed his generals and their lieutenants frame for frame, no detail escaping his gaze. The Champion, perhaps the greatest obstacle to overcome together with Ziccarra, could not be dealt with directly. That is why Warsman chose Malferion to fight him, as the Angel of Death's passive plague effects would eventually build up a toxin great enough to at least temporarily infect the insufferable New God.
Each new second ticking by brought a dangerous element to their fight, as Malferion's blot fly swarms and deadly poxes hummed around him. The Champion's eyes did the same, radiating with the raw power to turn physical matter into the base compounds of their creation. Still, the Speaker of Despair had no qualms about going into this. He, too, along with the Amalgamation of Decay, held a large reservoir of control over the endless masses of imps and Afflicted drawn from the Ashen Steppes. Without hesitation, a curtain of these despicable creatures shot upward through the ground, intercepting the blast meant for their master.
Malferion wasted no time, using a similar strategy to cover his advance at the New God. The smell of burning imps was overwhelming, comparable to a sewage pipe mixed with gunpowder. Still, Malferion continued, knowing their sacrifice to not be in vain or even of any substantial consequence. As a universal constant, the planet of Ragnarok and all those upon it were subject to bizarre laws of metaphysics. Like antimatter or the birth of a star, they would return in an inevitable swing of events. But that did not stop any of the more intelligible of warriors from fighting with the highest level of zeal. As they all knew, the eyes of Warsman were upon them, and it would be insult to assume they would come back automatically if he did not will it.
And so, Malferion launched deeper into the attack, instantaneously leaping and defying gravity by asserting his control over the imps once more. A tide of them, all reaching and grasping from the ground once more, was poised to overtake The Champion in a mass of tiny - surprisingly strong - hands and mouths. Though their small mouths couldn't pierce his impenetrable skin, Malferion's scythe had the most potential to, especially if the imps were successful in grabbing the New God and forcefully pushing him into the blade coming down at his chest.
This would be a quick duel, as Warsman predicted, and even he gave Malferion a low percentage of actually winning. His real purpose: to come into contact with The Champion and devise a plague that would finally exploit a chink in his immune system.
Meanwhile, the two American patriots came into a situation involving a patriot of Ragnarok. Believing in something as tangible as a political belief or a nation is realistic, until the threshold of the planet that nation is on is reached. Once that disappears, the weight of any patriotism as humanity knows it also fades into obscurity. That is why Infurion did not surrender once the first shield, thrown by Allegiance, missed while the other lobbed in tandem by Exemplar crashed into his helmet, cracking the facial plate. His Eldar features had difficulty adjusting to the new environment so suddenly, and that is when Allegiance slammed a rock-hard fist into his nasal bridge.
Exemplar's shield, having the momentum of ramming into Infurion's face, bounced off an immediately rebounded back into his ribcage. The proud warlord could not recover at that instant, but wildly shot a burst of intolerable flame in all directions. With Exemplar's shield coming back to him regardless of ending location and Allegiance's innate ability to aim and catch his emblem despite any mathematical impossibility, they could endure the heat that proved greater than napalm. Though the burns on Allegiance's body reawakened old wounds, he knew that Exemplar could endure the same for a little while longer.
"Ready, son? This is where things get interesting!"
Infurion regained his eyesight now, still reeling from the crack at his nose, and brandished his plasma axe, bringing it down on the nearest circle of red, white, and blue that came his way in a paranoid rage. Thinking there would have been a body underneath it, he failed to realize that the patriots were just as easily adaptable to creating their own tricks as well as real poundings. Allegiance's barrier fell to the floor with an unceremonious "thunk," while the real patriot was behind the Eldar. His thick arms wrapped underneath Infurion's and brought them back into a full nelson, exposing the alien's chest and face for Exemplar to exploit.
Warsman knew well of Infurion's brash attitude and arrogance, but he also recalled a certain ingenuity within the Eldar's crude thinking patterns.
Now fully aware of what was going on, the Phoenix Lord arched his back forward and tossed Allegiance into whatever attack Exemplar had planned. Cornered, deprived of weapons, and enraged, the Keeper of the Flame had some tricks of his own to play. Removing his helmet and most of his heavy armor, Infurion exposed a thick Eldar frame totally uncommon to his people. Usually the lithe bones of the Eldar kept them from developing huge muscles or thick padding. But now, Infurion stood before them, a physically remarkable specimen unleashed from the shackles of wraithbone plate and cumbersome hellforge mail. He would now fight on their terms, using their styles.
Allegiance sighed, hoisting his emblem into a lower position on his forearm. "Told you."
In the special case of Terrakron, Warsman knew he would not function well against a knowledgeable opponent. The purpose of the lumbering oaf was to cause as much of a loud distraction as possible and perhaps even sink one of the islands through earthquakes or volcanic shockwaves. As soon as he came into contact with an enemy who would undoubtedly outsmart him, that purpose was lost.
And here Terrakron sat, fighting two warriors whose teamwork had become legendary in recent weeks. The best he could do now was to thrash around and accomplish at least a margin of what Warsman sent him here to do. Yet, to call Terrakron dim would be an insult to light bulbs with at least enough power to illuminate a page in a book. A large part of his brain was removed and given sentience as Magnos, and even that beast had barely enough intelligence to handle himself in most situations.
Turisas looked at Sosuke, still twirling his hammer with intent to throw it. A simple nod indicated an understanding of what Sosuke wanted to accomplish. Knowing the samurai's plan to be his own, the godling went about his own application of thunderous force by doing what he always knew Sosuke had in mind for him to do: hit things. Hit them real hard. By principle of merely throwing the hammer, Turisas exploded from the ground, leaving a small crater as his trademark. Already breaking the sound barrier, the thunder of the viking warrior cracked the sky and pierced through a layer of Terrakron's skin upon impact. Gripping the molten fragments for stability, Turisas began to climb.
The surface of the giant's stomach held a variety of fire elementals hitching a ride on the titan. These were little more than what the metademons provided, save they were harder to actually grapple with considering their molten consistency. Keeping his distance also seemed troublesome as he had one hand on the giant, a hand on his hammer, and two feet desperately grasping for a ledge and catching only thin air.
Smacking any that came close into nonexistence, Turisas finally managed enough of a distance between his foremost hand and the nearest fire elemental to actually flip onto the next possible grip for his thick fingers to coil around. This pattern continued for a few seconds until he reached his original point of impact, where another application of tremendous power had to come into play. Though the size of the giant dwarfed anything Turisas conjured, the voltage of the lightning bolt he used could power the entire Eastern Seaboard for the next decade. With all of that pure energy at the head of his hammer, unleashing it in any direction could prove absolutely devastating. Good thing the only direction he needed to swing was right above his head.
With an earth-shattering blast, he managed to make a slightly noticeable dent in the creature's abdomen. Much to his surprise, no blood or molten flesh appeared before his eyes. Much like the equivalent of scraping away the first few layers of skin but not penetrating any deeper, the pain of the attack finally garnered Terrakron's attention and he raised a truly massive hand to slap away at any and all irritants on his body.
It seemed Turisas had been crushed against the inner linings of Terrakron's rocky exterior, but if anyone could perceive his real intentions it would be Sosuke. Having grabbed a handful of Terrakron's palm upon realizing what the giant was up to, the godling sailed through the air upon the return of the monstrous extremity to a relaxed position. Turisas knew Terrakron, in his infinite stupidity, held a special attention to the godling after almost crushing him at the start of their duel. Few things withstood the weight of the beast, let alone his strength, and Terrakron wanted to know if his new playmate was special enough. Turisas knew that if he went for a direct attack at the giant's head, Terrakron could simply move out of the way given the angle. Now he had a perfect shot at the titan's cranium, and he exploited it without hesitation.
Once more leaping into the fray, shattering the sound barrier almost instantly, Turisas aimed the hammer and all the power behind it at the side of Terrakron's uninterested noggin. As of that moment, Terrakron had lost interest in Turisas - thinking he was dead - and instead went to crush Sosuke with his palm. Yet, considering the teamwork behind the samurai and the viking, nothing for the giant could go right for the rest of the battle.
Warsman sighed, disappointed in Terrakron's performance.
Perhaps the most unexpected battle came when two Stand users came into contact with Snarkit as he pushed regiments of Ratlings deeper underneath Hawaii. The plan of the Ratlings relied on rigging the soil with warpstone deposits, making it extremely unstable. All of this was to try and agitate the volcanic activity of the islands in an effort to drown it completely in fire and pain. Warsman knew what Stands were, and so a special interest was taken in these two. Snarkit's orders remained the same, however, and he would attempt to continue the project as swiftly as possible.
But going through the veil of wintry death didn't seem too high on his to-do list, even if it did coincide with attacking and possibly killing the two interlopers. Taking a stealthier approach, he went totally invisible again and grabbed a Ratling scrounging around for food by the throat shortly before hurling him into the icy barrier. Seeing it being shredded apart, Snarkit pulled on a series of strings attached to the corpse.
These were to a series of blight grenades.
Little did the ogrish assassin know, but Giuseppe had encased both him and Bers in another shield, or rather a portal. The heir to the Zeppeli name huffed and puffed on filthy air, each breath growing weaker and weaker. Having been fighting here longer than Bers, Zep also had the disadvantage of inhaling more toxic vapors and fumes. It didn't start out like that, and he didn't have time to look for a breathing apparatus once it got worse. That's when Fantasy came in and slapped a gas mask on Zep's face, even going so far as to tie it for him. The Stand reached into the pocket dimension once more and gave Bers a matching one. It seemed that Zep's pride still didn't manage to outweigh his spiritual determination to keep himself and his friends alive to see another day.
"Zep-punk, you gotta be more careful. And that rat-guy's vanished again. Can't see him,"
"If he gets close, just punch him,"
"I don't think he's waiting to get close,"
Fantasy looked over the horizon of blasted-out buildings and the thin veil of smoke curling through the air. Ratlings became aware of the commotion following the series of explosions caused by the blight grenades. Armed with a variety of spears and lasguns, these pests were little more than vermin alone. Except now, hundreds of them were swarming to the brothers' position. Snarkit stood back, sneaking again into the shadows to wait for the perfect moment to strike.
"Fantasy, get ready. Bers, just don't hit me with any of what you're about to do,"
Zep knew what Bers had in mind. A blizzard? An avalanche? It didn't matter. Just a huge widespread freezing something-rather. Fantasy, despite his dimensional pocket antics, had a terrifying array of physical properties. He even had such good hearing and vision that he basically almost predicted the future sometimes, such is the case with the mine from earlier and Snarkit's overall intentions as of a few seconds ago. Even Zep knew that Bers couldn't get all of the Ratlings at once. That's why he stood back, ready to intercept those that made it through. Each one of his and Fantasy's fists were ready to lash out, slamming in all directions in a furious storm of punches and battle cries.
It seemed obvious that Snarkit would find a way to outflank them, but when? The Ratlings kept coming at them. When? When? When damn it?!
Warsman could not deny the ingenuity of humanity and its allies. The combined efforts against the Amalgamation of Decay were simply astounding, as the vicious barrage of specialized warheads smacked against his thick body and mountainous weight. Finding the beast distracted enough, the first of three foreign parties intervened and enlisted the help of their formidable technologies as a shield enveloped what the Amalgamation would have otherwise stepped on. However, he simply laughed a thunderous thousand-toothed laugh and continued to step forward. Already the clouds of fist-sized blot flies festered as far as the eye could see. Any flight in or out of the airport would be considered suicidal.
The imps piled on in droves, not the least bit undeterred by the shield. In fact, they were managing to surround it in its entirety. A thick blanket of imps, festering and always moving, swallowed any remaining inkling of natural light that would have pierced out from underneath the already daunting Nightbringer Matrix still hovering in the sky. This was not the last of it, however. The Plague of Death could not be stopped. The innards of the Amalgamation stretched from his boundless gut, and sank into the ground, pumping imps through the soil like malformed blood vessels. The shield could work on preventing the larger things such as the Amalgamation himself from attacking, but not the smaller creatures he produced.
They could find cracks in any shield, in any defense, and still bite and fight and nip. The imps dug through the ground, emerging from tunnels right under the feet of the Maverick squads and the Mouse who arrived just in the nick of time. It would be a dangerous fight, at close quarters and in complete darkness, but it would be manageable for those with skill in combat, though the sheer amount of imps would be a threatening presence - not to mention that they could not be stopped as long as the Amalgamation remained alive. For all intents and purposes, they were trapped there, entombed and alive for as long as they were able to keep fighting like...
...like caged rats.
The Amalgamation laughed uproariously at the irony, his massive girth shaking the ground underneath him as he loomed over the airport. But then, the second of the three foreign parties managed to intervene. The Vile Savants were numerous enough to keep the Thousand World troops at bay, and it began a truly horrendous clash of arms as the legions of the plague collided with the intergalactic sledgehammer. Plague Engines roared on the horizon, providing both close combat and ranged support, as well as cover for the tanks to roll into position and begin artillery bombardments. Another of Malferion's lieutenants, the massive Rotmangler, screamed as it scrambled into a standing position - having recently ported here with a large boom tube.
The Rotmangler, mentally unstable because of its many trapped souls powering the limitless foundries of its scores of engines, had little in the way of actual tactical wit. Instead, much like the Thousand World troops, it existed as a means to an end, a distraction and a force of untameable destructive potential. The plague cannons on all of its surfaces roared to life, and its eight spidery legs trampled hundreds underfoot as it shambled forward in a clumsy and terrifying fashion. The two foremost arms of its chassis were reinforced with thick armor plating and hydraulic claws, while its size alone made it a priority on the battlefield. Tanks were literally playthings to it, and soldiers were as trivial as the dirt on the underside of their boots. Tearing forward in a berserk rampage, it cared little for its own survival if only to grease its joints with fresh blood.
But this did nothing to either hasten nor lessen the resolve of the Amalgamation. No, that privilege belonged to the third incoming foreign party. A robotic humanoid comparable in size to the Rotmangler, this new foe made it a point to personally challenge the Amalgamation to combat, even going so far as to have an ally in the form of a ship fry out huge chunks of the sea of imps at his feet. Insulted, the Amalgamation stomped towards this new oddity, though it barely came up to his chest in terms of size and mass. The mountainous bulb of flesh and rotting meat suddenly began to laugh again, the rusted and incredibly dangerous weapon in his hand some might call his main mode of attacking. However, the Amalgamation had more than just intestines meant to produce imps and Afflicted.
His endless pathways of guts and innards also were home to a variety of tendrils biologically designed to pierce, cut, and most importantly absorb damage. One of the latter he launched at the robot's eyes while two of the cutting intestines zoomed out of his bile-encrusted stomach and into a scissor-like pattern at his foe's midsection. All the while, the sea of imps was parted so that fully half of them were devoted to finding cracks in the robot's armor and, more importantly, invade them.
"Death comes for all, ranger!" he roared, boasting not only the capability of speech but also knowledge of what he was facing. "EVEN YOU!"
Much like the dark queen’s initial assault on Ziccarra, the Cardinal Goddess only managed to deal superficial damage, barley noticeable. It took only moments for the Cardinal Goddess to dissect the preliminary strategy of Jindaela, with her foe appearing to have the upper hand in both speed and range; it became apparent she’d have to attack with a far more innovative ploy than just her illusions. As the distance between them closed, Jindaela’s focus was downward toward the ankles of Ziccarra.
Slowing her pace to an adage, the Cardinal Queen, a certified ballet dancer, well-versed in the movement and executing of fluid tactical movements sought to evade the attacks without the use of her shield. Elevating herself to a “toe-nail” stance, she employed a pirouette à la seconde. This allowed her to evade by switching between alternating her working leg and her leg in the second position.
Her bladed staff came forth, which provided Ziccarra the chance to try something different. Instead of allowing the weapon to penetrate her abdomen. “Gaaah!” She grunted, watching as her blood pushed from her open flesh wound. The sight of her own blood reawakened the animals that reside within the bosom of the Spanish primer. Forgoing her own personal health, throwing her hands out in an attempt to grab the staff, Ziccarra intended to use her augmented goddess strength to jam her sword into Jindaela’s breast bone. Should her tactic not work, she was fully prepared to release an expansive psionic explosion capable to decimating a 4 mile area.
Watching his brother upright, fighting off those fallacious beasts furnished Bers' heart with hope. Those rowdy Ratlings crawled and gnarled there way throughout the mist. The extremely precise Manowar could pinpoint each due to sounds and, mostly, practice in the mist. There the intangible titan morphed any possible deleterious scenario into an odd against the enemy. Always the ace beneath his sleeve, that gelid mist obfuscated the pursuer's view and augmented his ability to identify his assailant whilst sneaking and lurking in his smoke. It could not be as appealing as a dimensional Stand, nor as adaptable, it could not be as aesthetic as a frantic melee-based Stand, yet it had its ups as it took its downs.
Grenades, for instance, were a major problem due to being many. Only if those were a couple, the energetic outburst would be lessened drastically by Manowar's ability, since it, in essence, suctions energy in order to freeze something. That threat would be nullified and the enemy, annihilated before a second thought. Fortuitously, Zep was there. Some had to train enough to even dream of getting as much compatibility as the duo. Their first game was breath-taking, it seemed as if they played together since childhood. And as for fighting, those adolescent students clicked the same. Inhaling Bers into Fantasy's own dimension, they withdrew momentarily, veiled by the ethereal frigid air curtain.
The masks came in handy, those fumes and toxic gases encompassing the unstoppable Seirin Mustangs' stars were threatening to halt their struggle to sustain their position. Nodding in a thankful manner, Bernard let out a swift and velvety "Thanks." prior to leaping accompanied by his friend. Jolting straightforwardly into their last stand for survival. "You're probably quicker and stronger with punches, also more versatile due to Fantasy... And your stomach is probably not shifting as mine is right now..." The Russian Dragon stated in honesty, it was a frightening situation, death was just one more variable. Giuseppe might have been acquainted with it due to his past at horse-racing, but it was an entirely new experience to Bernard Worlov. All that tensity, the inability to gulp and the dry respiration generated by fear alone. It was unpleasant, to say the least.
"Kick their asses, I'll find a way to help you."
But when? How could he possibly aid Zeppeli? A Stand as useless as his? Decent for one-hit-KOs, but practically useless when clashing against high numbers.
What a derogatory scenario, huh?
Watching his friend giving all he had whilst he stood and did nothing ticked him off. His expeditious reflexes required something else, as a future athlete of NBA, his mind had to enact as prompt. It contributed terrifically when under pressure... And so he had a plan. The inheritor of the Zeppeli surname was an explosion of jabs, a flurry of hurled attacks everywhere. He was, obviously, the damage and the shield the group could put up. What did that make Bers? The support and debuffer. He had played enough RPGs to be convinced of that. The vermin assaulted from everywhere, edifices, asphalt... They just couldn't fly.
So why not erradicate the ground-attack completely? That way both could focus on the walls and cleaning-up would be way smoother. In a quickly elaborated plan, Bernard disrupted every pipe containing liquids surrounding the place. How so? He just had to cast Manowar underground. In a range of fifty meters, the asphalt dampened and the mist lengthened. It was their advantage, clearly. The precision of the Stands surpassed that of the creatures swimmingly. And as neither of the boys were bare-footed, but the Ratling were, the moistened street was also a signal of their imminent success.
Utilizing his ultimate speed to cover those fifty meters radio, Worlov froze the water, consequentially solidifying the asphalt. And when the ice is as cold as it was, skin would glue to it, requiring major strength to not only abscond, but also rip the skin of your protruding member. The attacks through the street would most likely cease, evanescent as every second slipped away.
Bers left a minor gap by his side, where water would spurt constantly. Placing his Stand behind the overflowing jet, yet circling it outwardly with his left arm, not unlike it was hugging something, he turned the left hand intangible. It would labor as an aim... With his right clenched fist, the Stand would ceaselessly punch water through the opposing hand. Every droplet made would become a keen-edged projectile, fired with enough vigor behind it to penetrate flesh and bone. The hand laboring as a scope just increased his chances of hitting the targets on the walls.
As in an outburst of rage, the low-pitched, somewhat hoarse, voice of the Stand could be hearkened by Zep, Fantasy and Bernard himself. "Yareyareyareyareyareyareyareyareyareyareyareyareyareyareyareyareyareyareyareyareyare!!!!!"
"Hold you're fire." Bradshaw says, the gunner ceasing now as new faces make themselves shown.
"A lot of people coming in from the wet work." Bradshaw says as he, from the rooftop watches the field appear as the gunner ceases fire. They decided to gather information, before proceeding, watching the battlefield as they observed and gathered all that functioned. Bradshaw crossed his arms as his gaze went up, and a force field appeared. He looked up as one of them identified themselves. Troops sought wholly to identify themselves to it.
"Is that...a giant rat?" Bradshaw says to himself, raising a brow at what they showed him on the HUD of his helmet (@mastermouse) He said to the men next to him, as the newcomer introduced himself as non-other than "Master mouse", one who was formerly affiliated with a Gothic city team. Being dubbed a hero, and watching his behavior with anti aircraft measures trained, they lowered them, not desiring to make another enemy. He watches as the field comes up, with it allowing them to leave and allowing others to enter. "Well alright?"
"Incoming craft Penetrating our atmosphere." Bradshaw hears from the Olympus.
"Friendly or hostile?" The Captain replies
"The enemy doesn't seem to be flying in. Everyone so far who's penetrated the atmosphere so far has been an ally. Let the pods drop."
"Calculations of their trajectories indicate they are going to land near the air port."
The pods drop down, and cause a wall of fire to circle around the airport, protecting it further from enemy forces for a time. An additional measure was welcome, though it made it harder for the troops to appear near the area. However, soon they appeared now, themselves fighting among the enemy forces in a giant clash against the legion. However, this brought detriments. It took away Maverick's option to decimate their forces by laying down well placed ordinance to ravage their forces.
What was welcome was the aid of the civilian escorts. Because this and recon, was the for the presence of infantry on the ground. Otherwise, they'd just raze their enemies into oblivion.. It was chaotic, with some thousand worlders communicating their friendlyness to the troops, they were described over their network, Maverick not needing cellphone towers or such communications to talk among each other. They could better work together, if they listened to the Maverick soldiers, their tactics were sloppy and of questionable effectiveness. If they spoke human languages, they would be directed.
Civillians were to be transported in vehicles, and soldiers were well equipped enough to survive, as was their mission as well. Civilian rescue, recon and survival. To continue fighting. Outnumbered, they may have been, every soldier who worked for Maverick was considered valuable. Not disposable drones, but men of many backgrounds, from special operatives, to army grunt, to soldiers found in third world countries, convicts, mercenaries. It didn't matter, because they were all fighting for the same thing.
Choppers flew off with numerous civillians in the sky, out of reach of the deadly imps, while others had to be carpeted along....but soon their density near the airport grew, they blocked the entire thing out.
"All escorts, do not come to Honolulu international airport, I repeat, all forces. Do not come to the Green Zone. Enemy forces are too dense. New area is to be dictated."
Forces were now being moved away from the airport, because the enormous density of the enemies served as the reason for this. Bradshaw watched, his eyes narrow, as they swarmed the field now. Their numbers immense, so much that they blocked everything out. Not letting a glimmer of light into the field.
Reports of numerous entities appeared, some appearing to help, (@hunterzillas) and others to harm (@below0gaming). F--72 Phantom Screeched through the air at mach 7 as they laid down hypersonic payloads onto targets. Vladmir Knightfall would receive his answer. A fiery hypersonic cruise missile moving at mah 25 and striking him with 500,000 tons of force that sought to either liquefy him or send him hundreds of miles way with the force of a direct impact. Directed towards the warsman's amalgamation of a tank, they would seek to slam into it, to pummel repeatedly with tittanic impact that quaked the area of the island with every blow. The sharp armor piercing kinetic impacts of the missile seeking to penetrate it and destroy it.
They tunneled beneath the field, seeking to attack by coming underneath now.
"Sir they've completely surrounded us!!! They're attempting attacks from all sides!"
".....You know what this means?"
"Yeah...." Bradshaw smirked.
"They aren't gettin' away from us this time. They're gathered nice around the area in one giant cluster f***."
"Alpha-2 to Overlord. Requesting Contingency Strike Package Seven Seven Two Four, over." "Confirm. Charlie Sierra Papa Seven seven two four?" "Yes" "Roger that. Vehicles are on route to position."
A-10 Thunderbolts Zoomed overhead to unleash their payloads towards their crowds who blanked the area, releasing mercilessly amounts of White Phosphorus that rained down to burn their foes with hotter then magma temperatures, to reduce them to bones and ash as the fires spread about civillian uninhabited area.
And then things.....escalated.
"HELIOS and Hellbore engaged. Target locked. Honolulu international airport. Firing in Three. Two. One...."