The Million Mutant March - D.C. Empire Claim (IC)

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Jacob_Grayl

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#1  Edited By Jacob_Grayl
No Caption Provided

In a seated circle in the floral scented basement of the castle, Jacob sat with three other mutants and locked hands as they prayed. Pella, a weather manipulating mutant and proud father of Bell - his 4 year old daughter - broke the physical chain as the full weight of what was to come, and the sacrifice he and his wife - Lana Lake - were to make, hit him with the force of a nuclear explosion.

"Jacob pleeease. She's my baby girl. I cant."

"Sssh. Ssssh." Jacob deceptively comforted.

"Its otay dadda I do it." the spike skinned child gleefully volunteered. Manipulated. Enamored. And misled by the prolific renegade of Revolution X, Bell - as well as her mother - had given themselves over to the influential and violent indoctrinations of the infamous Grayl completely. Pella on the other hand, well, what father could ever be expected to sacrifice their child for the perception of the greater good?

"No! I wont do it I'm sorry." Pella angrily stated while attempting to wrap himself around the child in a protective shield of parental safety. His eyes starting to fog over as he prepared to summon his abilities in defense of his family.

Jacob said nothing. Instead he simply nodded his head, and at first, it would appear as if he had granted the frantic father a reprieve. However as the shadows along the wall began to shift and began to stir, Pella knew his fate was sealed. Instantly latched onto from multiple directions by what appeared to be living shades of black string, the father was unceremoniously dragged along the unforgiven cobble stone floor. Screaming and scraping his nails the entire way, leaving a bloody trail across the room before disappearing into the darkness.

"He was an infidel. A nonbeliever." Lana venomously hissed as her eyes reverted back to normal. Illustrating that it had been her who had unleashed the shadowy constructs in order to subdue her husband. She then obediently lowered her head just a bit as it was to be blessed with a kiss by the Sword in the Stone. Jacob then crouched down to address his little 'soldier.' Her tiny fingers instinctively reaching up to trace the contours of his trademark visor, oblivious to the fate of her father while in the glorified presence of the two-faced mutant.

"Are you ready little one? It's time." he grinned as he removed his gold herringbone chain and placed it around Bell's neck. Much to her visual and excitable delight. A glance upwards allowed him to lock eyes with the mutant child's mother, and without a word, conveyed his silent message.

"Come now Bell. We must get you ready." she said.

"Otay momma. Bye missah Grayl."

Jacob stood back as the mother and cub departed, hands crossed and held below his waist with a sense of regal posturing and genuine approval.

"A man should never have to make such a sacrifice as that." Opa stated as he appeared from behind a support column.

"A MAN, didnt." Jacob sharply replied

"What? What do you mean?"

"She's mine. Bell. She's my daughter. Was, my daughter. Not his." There was almost a hint of regret, confusion or maybe even sadness in the revolutionary's voice as he turned away and ascended upstairs. Leaving his closest friend stuck in a state of immovable disbelief.

Exactly 9 hrs, 9 minutes and 9 seconds later - Washington D.C.

"Sir. We have an unidentified flying object entering restricted airspace."

"Scramble the jets ."

"Maverick, Goose, you're clear to engage. Authorization; zulu tango bravo."

The two F-16's screamed across the crystal blue sky racing towards the source of concern.

"Command come in. I dont see any....hold it. JESUS CHRIST!" he yelled before a wave of static resonated throughout the communications line.

"Sir I'm not picking up either jet on our radar."

"And the hostile?"

Before anyone could respond however a massive shockwave rocked the ground as if a mild Earthquake and suddenly struck D.C. But as the distinctive sounds of high powered energy bursts assaulting the area, accompanied by the chaos of destruction rang out, they all knew it was far worse.

=Terminate unlawful mutants= a towering robotic Sentinel decreed as he laid waste to any human in sight.

=Unregistered mutant = it continued. Lumbering through the streets of D.C. Its partially destroyed panels offering a disturbing look at some of the inner components and wiring placed throughout its vibranium body. Battle damage up and down the outdated mutant killing machine alluded to its reconstituted mission as it called out for mutants yet continued to take aim at exclusively human targets, as it marched towards the capital with purpose and design.

Meanwhile, under the cover of confusion and fear, Jacob arrived at 701 9th street Northwest Washington......

No Caption Provided

"You know what to do right, Bell?"

"I do I do. Are you coming too?"

Jacob simply smiled before slightly turning the child to the side and slipping something into her backpack.

"Be a good girl Bell and we'll all see you very soon. Okay? Now get going."

Without hesitation the little mutant exited the vehicle. She began to run towards the entrance of the building crying and dissolved. Looking the part of a scared child in the midst of a sentinel attack. Naturally she was taking in. Misplaced concern and moral obligation fueling their need to act. To rescue a helpless victim.

"Child are you okay? Are you hurt?" security and others asked. Huddling around to offer their points of comfort.

"I..I suppose to give this to you." she said. Handing her backpack over.

"Oh? Whats th"

KABOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!

No Caption Provided

Instantly the district went dark as the Potomac Electrical Company crumbled to the ground. Jacob quietly sat in the parked SUV for a moment. And for the first time in 10 years he slowly removed his visor. Keeping his eyes closed, the mastermind of the Million Mutant March, shed a red tear. And meanwhile, at that exact moment, one million mutants were suddenly unveiled, brought forth by the technomancy of the legendary Knightfall Don, Andres. Instantly and violently they marched down Constitutional Av past the Vietnam Memorial in route to the White House.

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Aenean

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#2  Edited By Aenean
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"Mourn the dead after the day's work is done. Do not let chaos and carnage destroy your resolve."

The Aenean

Anderson Crofter had long anticipated this day. Mutants, destined to supplant mankind in evolutionary competition, had declared all-out war against what remained of humanity. It would be a violent coup, an ignoble war - a genocide. They numbered in the tens of thousands, perhaps more, and were simply murdering any human being in sight. Without warning they had manifested in the heart of Washington D.C., indiscriminately killing any who did not bear their mark. It was mass death, and it had been fortold.

Like Troy, the world of man was fated to fall. Mutants were preordained to overtake them. As a man torn between both worlds - a human surgically made mutant - Anderson Crofter existed on the border between the two. He had not asked to be made superior; he had no say in his own constitution. His allegiance was, biologically, to all beings. And in his soul he knew that the untold suffering these mutants had unleashed...was wrong.

But how could one stem the flow of blood and horror? Was he to simply resign himself to the grisly deaths of untold thousands of human beings, each with their own souls, their own experiences, their own pain?

Aeneas' great virtue was piety. When Troy fell, he fled with his father upon his back, and with the city's idols in hand. He had saved what he could, to rebuild in the future. Troy's fall was truly inevitable. But in Aeneas, there was hope.

That was why he had chosen the name Aenean. He could not save Troy. But he could do his duty, and save what mattered.

In a flash, too many humans were dead to count. That was the nature of these conflicts. The villains won the day in the first salvo. No amount of preparation could resist the explosive power of an army of mutated humans suddenly conjured in the midst of innocent civilians. It was a slaughter.

His mission was to cut off the head of the beast. To identify the ones responsible for organizing this genocidal mission, and exact justice upon them.

"It's no exaggeration to suggest that the entire United States will belong to the victors of this singular isolated conflict," he confided in his team. A cadre of support personnel, those who provided him with his tools, his mode of transportation, his information.

"This will be the most decisive event in the history of the world. A solitary strike - a simple kick, landed or not - makes the difference between an instant and irrevocable change, and just another Saturday."

The support team nodded in silent assent. Anderson knew, still, that his words puzzled them. How could it be that one fight would govern the ownership of an entire continent, nay, the free world itself?

It was that he could see the outcomes they could not. Blessed by Fate, with insight beyond peer. He knew, on some level, that this skirmish would make a king of the victor, no matter what.

He bowed his head.

"Thank you, my friends. Remain safe."

With that, he departed, red cape flowing. The jet that awaited him prepared to take off for the nation's capital.

Washington D.C.

Over his shoulder was slung an M24 Sniper Rifle, procured in anticipation of such an event. A weapon that lacked the exotic style that had so well defined the Aenean - a mundane weapon of vulgar assassination. And what hope was a mere bullet against the mutant overlords who now devastated D.C.?

Guided by his power, when he fired the weapon, the bullet would find its mark. It was only a matter of getting to the right vantage point. Certain enough that he would be delayed along the way, Anderson leaped from the back cabin, crimson cape billowing behind him as he fell into a glide.

He came to rest on a rooftop overlooking the chaos on Constitutional Avenue. How many dead? He pushed the thought from his mind, teeth grit in steely resolve.

It would not do for him to fire indiscriminately into the army of mutants. No, he awaited the arrival of their commander. And then he would conduct his ignoble work of killing, fully confident that his implanted x-gene would disguise him from any scans meant to pick out a non-mutant. For the moment he bid his time, and prepared to undertake combat against the greatest evil he had yet witnessed in his young life.

Everything had led up to this. Fate dictated his actions.

The Aenean took a deep breath, and waited to strike.

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Amara_BadaBoom

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#4  Edited By Amara_BadaBoom
Jacob...a word?
Jacob...a word?

Amara stood just behind the Sword in the Stone, his body speaking volumes and she could almost feel the exact moment he thought about ending her right then and there. Eyes stone and unmoving he stared straight as the child rounded the corner and away, stepping into the future albeit short-lived future that would shape the mutant race. Power builds behind his golden visor, the power she wished to taste.

Amara stepped closer, her long slender fingers tracing the muscles of his broad shoulders and poking just at the last moment as if poking the bear. "I am all for theatrics my dear, but could we have done without the screaming? Lana has been playing with her food far too much. We are mutants...not animals." she knew her touch caused something inside him to stir, but she knew it was not the normal reactions from men. Not yet able to put a finger on it, she stopped poking and prodding the soon-to-be Messiah...or so he believed. Moving around to his line of sight, placing that bullseye right onto her beautifully sculpted porcelain skin and a wicked smile across her face she spoke with a wicked tick to her tone "You really do find just the right words to make a woman swoon over." winking she spun around and walked away her left hand sliding over her right. As she did this her clothes transformed from a regal and soft peach in color into a skin-tight suit, making her way towards the doors a young man approached with a long fur that he draped over her shoulders. Pulling the fur tight around her neck she stepped into a large black SUV, only stopping for a moment to turn and blow a mocking kiss to Jacob. Truly enjoying every attempt at unnerving or at the very least annoying the great speaker of the Hidden Word.

9 Hours Later, The National Mall

No Caption Provided

Standing at the water's edge, Amara peered into the water. Head tilted to the side as she marveled at her own reflection. It never failed to amuse her at the marvels of modern technology, she no longer could see where the plastic surgeons had perfected the soft and subtleness of her face. Touching her cheek she felt another hand touch her ass, holding in the urge to retch she ignored it as something small and pathetic touched again. The crowd gathered for another day of marveling at a phallic monument. Chuckling as she remembered a Bill Clinton joke, she looked over her shoulder at the lecherous man who had been fondling and oogling her since she stepped into the crowd.

Fully turned around and eye to eye with the pervert she grinned as she quickly and with anger grabbed what was a piss poor excuse for an appendage "Hope you enjoyed yourself, savor the memory and the feeling of that perfectly crafted ass you so rudely took upon yourself to grabbed. For it will be the last time." the last word spitting with venom as she spoke it. Pushing him back he fell into the crowd, embarrassed he called her everything he could muster, but his words faded quickly as Amara made her way through the crowd. Touching everyone she could with a soft "Pardon me, I am so sorry."without a second thought each person nodded and continued on with their day, continuing a tour of the National Mall or trying to avoid another moment with a screaming child.

Watching as each "Baseline" as Amara called them continued on none the wiser to what was about to happen. Making it through the now fully crowded park, no square inch was not filled with a mouth-breathing human. Staring up at the Monument for the final time, Amara smiled as she now a few yards away from the crowd pulled out a pair of binoculars and found the man who had groped her, he was almost through the crowd. His eyes met with her standing smiling wide, a long slender middle finger in his direction and she mouthed something. At first, the man seemed confused and squinted his eyes trying to make out what she was saying.

BadaBoom Bitch
BadaBoom Bitch

His groin glowing brightly before exploding into a massive fireball, starting a chain reaction. Every single person she had touched, she left a tiny yet effective bomb. At first, the explosions were only preceded by a soft pop before body parts and blood filled the air, then the sounds of explosions ripped through the entire area the explosions getting larger and louder. As bombs went off within the crowds at the National Mall and other areas within Washington DC. All the while Amara smiled as screams were deafened by the explosions that rocked DC courtesy of her own detonations and of those most loyal.

As her first salvo of detonations lessened, Amara made her way back towards where the crowd once stood. Making her way through the remains finding those who survived and wiping her forehead and flicking her sweat on the survivors and watching as with a flip of the wrist they burst like a balloon, covering her in bloody chunks. Coming up to the pervert who had sullied her gorgeous rear end with his touch, he still lived hands clutching where his groin once was, he begged and pleaded to ask for mercy. Crouching down slightly she looked at him with disgust as she with lightning-quick speed grabbed his chin and whispered something into his ear before spitting at his mouth. Closing his mouth and forcing it to stay shut she snapped her fingers as his head exploded with a pop.

Standing up and with another flit of her wrist shook off the chunks of the pervert from her body, finally coming to the edge of the water she sat down and began to wash the blood from her exposed skin. As she cleaned the final piece of blood from her skin, she spun around and waited legs folded for someone to come. Hoping for fewer "Scuzzy" targets as she smiled with glee at the bloodbath that surrounded a once-famous location.

No Caption Provided

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Andres_Knightfall

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@jacob_grayl: @aenean:

♔♚ Washington D.C. ♚♔

From the fires of prehistory to the electrical grids of the 21st century, man knew few temptations greater than the trappings of power - fear, respect, money, and more. Yet, power in its truest form lay neither in dollar nor reputation, but in the genetic structure of man's greatest cousin, the Homo Superior. And within moments, a burst of mutant power severed the city of Washington D.C. from the crackle and thrum of its electrical infrastructure.

A minute prior, there was light. A minute later, man was dragged back to the dark ages.

Down Constitutional Avenue, a mutant militia one million strong thundered towards the White House, their voices coming together to crack the air like thunder, and their hearts beating with a revolutionary zeal sparked by a vision shared by Grayl and Knightfall alike. Arms folded behind his back, cloak billowing in the breeze, Andres hovered ahead of his legion, looking every bit as noble as a king from Arthurian legend. Yet the Knightfall Don was no king, for it was not a crown that glinted under the Sun's inescapable gaze - but armor. Kings are mundane, existing in all cultures in every corner of the world. No, Andres was something more, a commander of forces unknown, a master of sciences beyond the grasp of human imagination.

The Scientist Supreme.

Passing his gaze over the seat of American political power, arrogance flashed in his eyes and triumph curved across his face. Then, he heard it. A gunshot. In times ancient and bloody, the battlefield belonged to the blade. Now, it belonged to the bullet, and Andres heard its furious battle cry as it tore the air asunder, barreling towards his skull with an accuracy supernatural and terrifying. The finest of both man and meta would have fallen, crippled by a shot so precise it eluded even the higher senses until it was too late. But not Andres, for within the fusion and fission reactions crackling in his brain, neutrinos arose to communicate at bandwidths beyond reason, processing information with nary a delay in thought.

It was instant.

And the twitch of his grin all but sealed his enemy's fate.

His eyes flashed, and the Knightfall Don overwrote the quantum data in reality's information fabric with code engineered for one thing - to decrease the processing speed of local spacetime relative to himself to 0. So as the bullet drew within a foot from him, it stopped, its motion vanishing from the seams of reality. Turning round, Andres' vision crossed the long distance traveled by the bullet, and the Knightfall Don met eyes with the gunman.

A golden man come to witness the dawn of a golden age.

No Caption Provided

Before time could ever tick, Andres harnessed the telekinetic power of a fundamental force to which atoms surrender more than anything else - the Fifth Force - commanding it to seize his foe by the atom and hold him in place. A spear - Omega - flashed into the Knightfall Don's grasp. Its sapphire glow was a thing of beauty, but as Andres hurled it at his enemy's heart, the spear promised only destruction.

A programming glitch in the cosmic datasheet, Omega would lance into its master's foe and separate every particle in his body from the Higgs field, causing a /0 error in the fabric of reality and scattering every single quark in his fundamental makeup at the speed of light, annihilating him at the subatomic level.

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Aenean

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#6  Edited By Aenean

"I survive my trials only by the grace of Fate."

The Aenean

The slaughter continued, and at its helm was a being who practically emanated power. So resplendent was his armor and presence that there was no mistaking him for a foot soldier. Was he the architect of this chaos, or merely a pawn for a greater force? For the Aenean to discern his origins now, in the moment of battle, was impossible. All he knew was that the man had to be killed.

Calmly, cloaked from sight, he centered his weapon on the foe, and squeezed the trigger.

BANG.

The shot rang out. Of course, his attack consisted of more than mere gunfire; the bullet twisted and curved along an arc even he could not predict, guided by the touch of destiny. It would arrive precisely where it was needed - such was his faith in his own ability. So when the bullet halted along its path in mid-air, gripped by some unseen hand, the Aenean was not surprised. He had completed the technologically convoluted equivalent of a jab, testing his enemy's defenses.

Now he would need to survive his retaliation.

Discarding the rifle, he felt his danger senses kick in. He was the target of an incoming attack; the buzz at the base of his spine that warned him of threats to his life became a roar. Some arresting force washed over the building he stood on, the very atoms stilled in the air; he felt a wave of energy impel the very matter which surrounded him to end its movements, freezing in place. The temperature plunged and frost grew across the roof.

And the force touched him, arresting his movements, slowing his actions. A telekinetic grab so potent that he could scarcely resist it, teeth grit as ice climbed up his arms and threatened to blind him.

It was then that the Aenean's fate-blessed powers began to guide him. Moving by instinct, in the last possible second, adjusting his position before the long-range grapple could fully set in. Even as his muscles failed him - even as he froze in place - he had been able to react just in time. Each cell screamed, but through intense focus he pushed aside the pain of attempting to break a hypnotic hold on his very soul.

On the edge of his Sixth Sense perception he identified the instrument of his doom. The Omega Spear, which would by guided at superliminal speeds by the magical mutant brain of the omni-wizard he did battle with - a fantastical threat, practically divine. But the heroes of antiquity did battle with Gods and emerged alive. He would honor them with all his heart, and emerge all the same!

His body acted by his will, but also without him; his feeling was of being a passenger in his own skin, a watcher from inside his mind.

When the dreaded spear sliced through the air, in the final second, he was able to twist away from it, violating the superspatial grip of the Knightfall Don to evade the Omega Weapon. A dodge which failed in every other possible world save for this one, where the path his power led him down permitted his survival. The spear sailed by him and corrupted the very air with its mystic presence, a metaphysical poison toxifying the very atmosphere around him. He felt it creep into his skin and it shook him to his very core.

That was impossibly close.

Every move was life-or-death.

What could he possibly hope to accomplish? Common sense dictated that there was no courage in challenging such a being - only foolhardy recklessness!

Unless one had a goal.

The Aenean, alone, stood little chance of killing Andres Knightfall. But he could delay him, keep his attention locked on a foe who curiously avoided what would have been for any normal man certain death.

And in so doing, he could create opportunities. For as long as the armored monstrosity had his focus on him, he was not doing something else. Even the mere act of confronting Knightfall created the possibility of victory.

Exhaling, thrilled by the result of his narrow escape, and harboring intense caution, the Aenean rolled to the side, focusing his thoughts inward.

With that he activated his Far Sight, a sixth sense that allowed him to project his perceptual field beyond the limits of his body. That same power which gave him an innate sense of his surroundings now surged outward, letting him look more closely at the Knightfall he battled from behind the cover of the roof.

The wizard posed an immediate threat to his very being - but at least he had distracted him. His body may have been godlike, but his mind was ultimately constrained by its material conditions. In all likelihood, he could think in twenty dimensions, process things before they happened, et cetera...but his aims and drives were human, and fallible. He and the Aenean shared that in common, at least. He was still in man's image - he was still not a God. He could be harmed.

How did the Aenean know the man was fallible?

Before his devastating attack had commenced, Andres Knightfall had turned his head to look at him. That did not prove that he needed line-of-sight to target him, but it at least suggested a proclivity to stare his foes down while he struck out at them.

That tendency would be abused.

ZAP.

The Aenean rose from behind the cover of the parapet and centered his wrist-laser on where he perceived the armored man's head to be. His power meant that he did not have to spend time or effort aiming - his limbs were simply guided into place by Fate itself, rearranged to meet his goals. And with that he would unleash an invisible laser beam, narrow in scope and focus, directly into his foe's eye. Emitted by his golden gauntlet and aimed by virtue of the Aenean's intrinsic awareness of his surroundings, it would threaten the very integrity of the Knightfall Don's brain. Knowing full well the attack was unlikely to kill, the Aenean instead sought to blind the God, cut off the source of his powers, or perhaps force him to withdraw for the time being.

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Andres_Knightfall

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No shadow loomed darker than the silhouette of death itself. For souls old and new, it was the greatest defeat. The end of a dream. The end of a cycle. Yet after the Sun sets, it must rise again to golden the morning sky. Andres was no god among mortals, but the morning star of the Knightfall dynasty.

And when death dared blacken the heavens, he would rise to cast it aglow once more.

No Caption Provided

His legion of mutants marched ahead, and the Knightfall Don glued the omnipresent eye of his higher senses to the quantum information processed within his foe's soul - following him wherever he went. His powers were a spectacle, one that his enemy's metahuman genes engineered to turn the improbable into the mundane. Omega returned to his side and amusement twitched at the corners of his lips as Andres sighted the invisible glint of a laser heating through the air. It was fast, racing from one end to another with so incalculable a motion that the very binds of causality struggled to retain their integrity.

But as his brain - more exotic star than grey matter - processed the danger a billion times over, time had yet to pass, the universal clock yet to tick. His black cloak had yet to flow, but the Knightfall Don had already moved the crucial inch needed to evade the death ray and cast a spell that would author his foe's undoing. Wizards used wands and staffs to heighten the strength of their spells, Andres - Scientist Supreme - used a different aid altogether, an artifact of dimensional engineering.

The n-Cube.

Replacing Omega in his grasp, the n-Cube shared its might with its master, and the Knightfall Don sought to smite the third spatial dimension - depth - from his foe's very essence, rendering him impossibly flat and so perverting his biochemistry that life would endure no longer. His digestive track would collapse, the pipe stretching from his mouth to bottom splitting his foe in half. Even his DNA - the very lifeblood of all that made him - would unravel, for the double helix cannot exist in two dimensions.

It would spell the end of this extranormal foe before time ever truly flowed. Urging his followers onwards, the Knightfall Don raised a finger to the White House and the n-Cube resumed, doubling then tripling its assault, daring to erase the second of his foe's spatial dimensions, then the first until nothing of him remained. For an object with no length, width or depth, with no means of occupying space, is one whose very existence has been forsaken.

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Aenean

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#8  Edited By Aenean

"Every being is anchored to this mortal world in some way. No foe is without flaw...as my power revealed to me."

The Aenean

The golden power cartridge ejected itself from Anderson's bracer with a hiss of steam, his laser attack expended. He had but two other charges with which to rearm, but that would take precious time. He could not repeat the attack without inserting another battery into his weapon.

He's damnably quick! he thought, narrowing his eyes at the mutant maestro. The towering invader's split-second evasion had spared him a moment's pain...but the bigger they were, the harder they would fall.

With his remarkable Sixth Sense, the Aenean was able to both witness and process the summoning of the n-Cube in real time, more or less identifying it as the latest danger to his life. This mutant's abilities seemed to far exceed those of any he knew of; he presented the greatest challenge to the young fighter's life he had ever known.

Already, before they had even begun, he was warned of its effects. The danger sense his power imbued him with had become a constant droning hum which spiked with every flicker of the Don's thoughts, signaling impending destruction. Would he be teleported into the heart of a star? Would his blood be bended inside out? Perhaps his mind would be erased by an antediluvian virus installed in his distant ancestor's source code at the dawn of mankind?

All were conceivable possibilities, and to ponder them was simply to court madness.

What mattered - what truly mattered - was that he fight on, without reservation or complaint.

The n-Cube flashed and he felt it affect the air. The power surge rippled towards him and washed over the entire roof; unlike before, dodging was a useless effort. He would simply need to endure whatever sadism his enemy had in store for him.

"Aghhhh - !"

A pained gasp forced its way out from between his lips as his very atomic structure came under attack. He could feel his very cells unraveling from the inside out, battling against an intrusion from beyond the material plane itself - ! Whatever this incantation was, it inflicted wounds that went beyond what was humanly possible. Only by virtue of his instinctual power was the Aenean able to continue functioning at all as his body vainly resisted the compulsion to fold inwards. If his ability was mind over matter, it was truly being pushed to its utter limit.

The pain is too much.

A subvocalization that inadvertently slipped through his steel will. This was greater than any artificially-induced torture training. It was distinctly unimaginable agony.

Yet still he fought on!

What spared him an agonizing defeat was the chronal ambiguity that came from flattening a three-dimensional creature into an impossible one. For some men, it would take less than an instant; for a demi-mutant such as the Aenean, he had at least ten seconds to spare - !

With Fate itself guiding his hand, he centered his focus on a new target...the arcane focus of Knightfall, the n-Cube itself. Five carbon-tipped darts slipped into his fingers, and fighting the torment of his dreaded attack, the Aenean sought to launch each along a separate path into the cube itself. As an artifact of great cosmic power, he had no doubt he lacked the strength to shatter it...but with proper precision, such a feat could be accomplished. His aim was to destroy the cube, or at the very least, disrupt the attack on his own body - a moment's reprieve from the suffering the Knightfall inflicted on him with but a thought.

The darts would arc through the air, twisting along arcs invisible to all, guided by the hand of Fate, targeted at the intrinsic fault lines of the Apex Arcanist's geometric tool. The Aenean knew not the outcome of his attack, though he knew destiny guided his hand. What should occur, if the cube's structural integrity be violated by the darts' hitting their mark? Would it explode, and damage its master? Or simply deactivate, his gruesome end averted? Only time might tell.

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Andres_Knightfall

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Arrogance. A misguided expectation of triumph. It had handed the defeat of superiors to their inferiors for millennia. And for a moment, an infinitesimal sliver of time, Andres was in danger of becoming the next Goliath to fall before a David.

Darts of improbable accuracy rode through paths known then unknown, somehow matching the instant speed of the thoughts storming in the mind of the Knightfall Don. And in the tiniest windows of opportunity, they succeeded, collapsing the n-Cube from Andres' grasp and heightening the Knightfall's amusement. It vanished, its ashes spread throughout spatial dimensions yet discovered.

In time, he would forge another.

There was no doubting the valiance of his enemy, but there was no denying the certainty of the Knightfall Don. It was time that he end this.

No Caption Provided

A telekinetic field wrapped over him, supplied by the cosmic energies commanded by the Fifth Force. It arrested every atom that dared near him, suspending all matter and energy as forces harmful and external thrashed and crackled against a barrier that would not yield. The Sun's rays raced down the heavens, the light goldening Andres' field in bright arcs. It was a sight to behold, and as the Fifth Force thrummed and sparked at his fingertips, it was the final sight his foe would behold.

An immaterial grip sought to, nay, dared seize every inch of his foe's brain, attuning its telekinetic squeeze to the quantum stress points of its subatomic structure to deal death by implosion of the brain. But his was a foe of miraculous resilience, one determined to evade the scythe of the Knightfall's super science. Behind his helmet's cold visage, his lips curled into a smirk.

He had analyzed the quantum datacenter of his foe, and Andres - a master of reality's programming language - had engineered quantum code to overwrite his enemy's very essence, to alter the vibrations of the strings, the quantum filaments to which his very existence was owed, and render their rhythm incompatible with the vibrations of reality. A stream of exotic particles - the infection vector - were teleported, their mass disengaged from local spacetime into the core of his foe's being to corrupt his very existence, to turn him into quantum data inoperative in this reality.

He would cease to exist, for the cosmos had deemed it impossible.

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Inner_Demon

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#10  Edited By Inner_Demon

It never ceased to delight, how readily the human animal reverted to type once the trappings of its civilization were stripped away. Take away their security, their comforts, all they had come to depend upon society to provide them with, and are they not still human? Evidently not, judging by the collective psychic scream that reverberated through what was, mere hours ago, one of the most stalwart bastions of human civilization and culture on the planet.

There was the usual panic, of course: pedestrians and vehicles alike clogged the streets as they swarmed to escape what was once the seat of their power and security, to get to anywhere else by whatever means necessary, as quickly as possible, trampling their fellows in the process and turning nearly all conventional methods of egress into a hopeless gridlock of machines and meat, which would have the added bonus of all but crippling most emergency response. There were also the looters, the scavengers, who ever lurked on the fringes of society, just waiting for an opportunity to seize something for themselves, seemingly oblivious to the risk to life and limb that this opportunity for acquisition presented.

Down Pennsylvania Avenue marched Abigail McCormac, mutant, fugitive, cultist, and now host to the Demon of Silence, whose laughter echoed in her suppressed psyche as it grew drunk on the heady miasma of panic, rage, and despair that gripped the city. At her side was the hulking, rotting form of Sergei Ivanovich. Around her marched hundreds of the Watchers, the discarded refuse of humanity who had been gathered into the malevolent embrace of the Demon with promises of this very moment, assurances that they would be made to feel power over those who had cast them aside. Although they were not trained soldiers or fighters by any stretch, they had numbers, and virtually all of them bore simple or improvised weaponry of some sort. Beyond the physical danger they represented, the fire of maniacal zealotry gleamed in their glassy eyes.

As the ragtag army made its way towards the center of government, the panicked crowd seemed to part to make way for it, as a psychic command to clear the road for their king and master cracked through their adrenaline haze like a thunderbolt. Any law enforcement or military personnel who moved to confront them suddenly stopped, an expression of bewilderment momentarily crossing their features before they slumped to the pavement, unconscious and at the mercy of the ravenous mob of crazed cultists.

Forward, ever forward...

Within the mind of the young pyrokinetic, the ruler of inner darkness sat on a throne of fear and suffering, and gazed out upon its ever-growing demesne. There were any number of ways this day would end, but all of them would be a victory for the Demon of Silence.

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Jacob_Grayl

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No Caption Provided

In an instant the streets were littered with catastrophic illustrations of pure insanity. Smoke, fire, death and destruction were the nightmarish shroud in which the national's capital now cloaked herself in. And yet the so-called inferior species would not go quietly. Not every mutant was an unbeatable lion. Not every human a cowering ant. Jacob understood that the cost of his revolution would be unimaginable. He had wrestled with it from the beginning believing the fortitude of his mind would protect him against his unspeakable parental transgression. It did not.

Elsewhere, what had started off as a million mutant strong wave of change, had been admirably separated into more manageable moments of tactical conflicts by the United States' rapid military response. Not enough to turn the tide, but enough to make it known that they were more than evolution's failed draft. Enough to display the forgotten grit of a nation forged in the fires of its own historical revolution.

Jacob wondered if victorious, would the forefathers of his mutant uprising be championed as patriots? As heroes? Would they come together and scribe their own Constitution? They would have to. Nothing less would balance the scales for the sacrifice he had made.

No Caption Provided

As the Sword in the Stone remained in front of the burning rubble unwilling or unable to leave his daughter's smoldering tomb, his robotic guardian landed just off to the side with a thunderous rocket thrusting arrival. Continuing its now stationary attack as it served two fronts. Offense, and Jacob's defense.

Cupping its massive vibranium hands around the exposed mutant terrorist causing a volley of automatic machinegun fire to harmlessly ricochet off. Saving the distracted Grayl from a momentary lapse in his situational awareness. Luckily his neuro headwear was capable of maintaining a continuous link between his sub-conscious senses and the salvage yard Sentinel.

"Its time."Gathered up in the careful clutch of the Last, Jacob was quickly spirited up into the air where he brazenly ventured out along the partially plated fingers of his robotic revenger.

Gazing upon the dramatic theater below allowing him to formulate spontaneous and strategic course corrections as he acted as his own 'eye' in the sky.

In route to the White House Tru'X felt a confident wave, an emotional charge as he witnessed the devilish Amara bring down the National Mall in concert with several other soul shattering explosions aimed at not only crippling the district, but crippling the hearts and minds of its people.

Ineptitude polluted what had at one time been a competent democracy. The current administration's failure to foster even a basic response to the nation's more recent string of humanitarian crises had gravely injured the country's ability to divert the necessary resources required to repel a full blown mutant uprising. The country was too divided. Its superheroes, spread too thin.

It was said that the legendary Strigidae, Ivana - the Shogun -, had taken Venezuela with but the toss of a blade. Could it be possible for the Unholy Grayl to take down D.C. without having to of fired a single shot himself?

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Adepta-Occulta

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#13  Edited By Adepta-Occulta
No Caption Provided

"You've said your goodbyes?" asked her "mother."

"Yes," the homunculus replied. She hesitated, and then, "There weren't really many to say. Just this one girl." Kisara stared at the phone in her hand. The lockscreen, a goofy picture of herself pressed cheek to cheek with a dumbfounded Anastasia, reflected the sole thread that'd made her time at the Trinity Institute worthwhile. Anchored by the singular moment captured in that picture, she searched within herself for resolve and found herself only capable by anchoring herself to Ana's faith in her own cause. Without it, she would've been petrified. Not enough time for development. To fully explore uses for the energy called Dunamis, or to refine and craft her artificer's tools for the war they knew was coming.

It came sooner than they'd expected. At once Dr. Vargas' fears were realized, as a multitude converged on the nation's capital and reports of multiple explosions were followed by a call from her chief commissioner. The woman arrived by chopper within minutes to collect her doll.

"How do we kno"

"A multitude of estimated thousands just appeared outta nowhere in Washington and I've got three different kinds of intuition telling me you belong here," the goddess responded. "This isn't the time to ignore a single one of them."

Kisara thought a moment. "An air approach will draw attention from both the enemy and those we intend to aid."

"We can deal with that. Besides DC traffic is bad enough under normal circumstances, I'm not interested in playing extreme Mario Kart. Take us in."

Several hundred miles from the school the helicopter vanished, made – along with its occupants – intangible to photon particles just as the Arcanist tore open a portal which swallowed the vehicle. In the blink of an eye they were hovering over Pennsylvania Avenue, high above the crowd that'd similarly burst into existence on the ground. But just as Nastya had rendered the chopper and its occupants intangible to light particles, the inability of the photons to connect with their eyes made the crowd likewise invisible to those inside.

So she listened. Tapping into the other portion of her genetic code, to the numeromantic perception which overlaid every other perception naturally granted to other animals in each regard - effectively granting her something beyond a sixth sense. The universe communicated with her directly, as did she with it, in the one true universal language. She with her superior hearing, filtering through the static of the chopper's blades whirring. Listened, and inquired. How many?

The universe responded. The numeromancer smiled her thanks.

Shatterpoint

Fighting with a large army under your command is nowise different from fighting with a small one: it is merely a question of instituting signs and signals.

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

"Kisara, link."

For a brief moment, eyes of blue and purple flashed a pearlescent white. The bond was instantaneously perfect. Aligning her quantum harmonic state precisely with Nastya's allowed each to see as the other saw, feel as she felt, think as she thought and communicate seamlessly, managing both like a linked pair of quantum computers with nary any delay. It was a force multiplier of immeasurable utility, enabling each to make use of the other's mental resources at will. The nature of this perfect bond was the only thing keeping her from being overwhelmed by transfinite quanta now filtering each of her perceptions as her mind and spirit virtually fused with Nastya's.

She sensed the crowd and a sharp breath caught in her throat. It was held there for several seconds before tightness in her chest reminded her to breathe again.

"That is not "thousands."

"Well, humans don't exactly have the benefit of my genius. Or yours." But her smile hid concern she hadn't yet felt in the years since she'd been alive. All the so-called Mutant Messiahs that seemed to be following in the footsteps of her progenitor...But not even Amaranth had ever managed to unify a force of this magnitude. To do so without any hints or indications leaking was scarcely fathomable.

If this doesn't work out, Sun Tzu was full of shit.

"Aeon, hover high near the front and circle the area," Nastya commanded and the chopper followed suit under the guidance of the A.I.

An Nth level master of the hidden Arcani Art, Zadkhiau allowed the Lazarus, and now her companion, to "feel" the flow of a given situation around her, sensing details and opportunities in the environment even without extraneous senses. Within the crowd were more nodes than people but each person existed as a separate "point." Several were brighter than others. A few were familiar.

Kisara froze. The hairs on her arm stood up. Her seal burned. Once, the Demon of Silence had been used to embed within her consciousness a fragment of one of the greatest minds in all of space and time. Now, he stood on the battlefield as an enemy.

Nastya grabbed her arm. "Oye, focus querida. He was never an ally. Only a means to an end. Stay connected with me, we're good."

Their thoughts converged and formed a plan without words. The local Fianna were no doubt mobilizing as well as they could with the aid of any who could reach them. Using Aeon's unfiltered access to the Borabu network they were ordered to stand down until further notice. The crowd and the T-Sent had to be subdued but neither Nastya nor Kisara bought into the attack at surface level. This was a show of force. This was intimidation. It was also bait. Whoever masterminded the attack knew that heroes would, as they always had, rush into the horde, using all their collective gifts to randomly chip away little by little at the hopeless odds. Even at that very moment Nastya was fighting to resist her own impulsive desires. With so many others MIA and Selebrity likely locked in negotiations (an adjustment which couldn't have been easy given such a large task, no doubt made more difficult by the presence of new and unproven leadership), she didn't have the luxury of giving in to self-indulgence. DC held any number of critical targets for a major domestic terrorist attack. Each of those targets was no doubt being rushed to the safest available location according to a series of protocols Nastya had practically no knowledge of.

But they were in Washington, DC, marching down Pennsylvania Avenue. It didn't take a numeromancer to guess how this was supposed to end.

"It'll be easier if I go by myself." Sliding the cockpit door open, she fell from the Helicopter without another word uttered. And as Nastya's physical contact with the helicopter ended, so too did the chopper's invisibility.

That left Kisara to manage the streets of Washington on her own. Gazing down at the crowd, she slid on her ignition gloves. And just as her predecessor, she stepped casually over the threshold and descended to the streets below. Her eyes flashed as she cast a spell and, virtually massless, landed with scarcely a sound at the head of the crowd. Marched toward them alone whilst sigils on her gloves activated, granting the Arcane Artificer control over atomic particles in the air sans physical contact.

No Caption Provided

All around the marching crowd water molecules in the air broke down, allowing Kisara to redistribute hydrogen and oxygen atoms. The result was a volatile mixture ready to explode. Carefully curated synthetic material acted as a flint and her control over atoms supplied the wick. Sparks spewed from Kisara's gloves. The air itself detonated, engulfing those at the direct head of the "Million Mutant March." Others nearby were unceremoniously tossed in all directions by the resulting shockwave.

Smoke filled the air and Kisara sought to further obfuscate herself by casting a dense fog over the area while she sought other means to temporarily conceal herself. That same tactic would have limited utility with the same crowd but she was happy to repeat herself, hitting and running, as long as it worked.

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Aenean

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#14  Edited By Aenean
The universe is kind to us in that the most powerful villains are often cripplingly proud.The Aenean

The pain that the Aenean felt corresponded to an unseen attack directed against the very core of his being. Something entirely invisible that he could not interact with in the slightest, save for on the unconscious level or below. The Knightfall Don's efforts to merely delete him from existence were met with the twisting matrix that was his implanted x-gene, the one that turned him into a nexus of physical events. Andres Knightfall had launched an elaborate metaphysical attack against him that challenged the very rules which governed the universe they both resided in. Their powers clashed and the physical result of the attempt to overwrite his quarks and consume his soul - was friction.

In the physical world, the attempt to seize his brain and crush it with telekinetic might was destined to be an utter success. There was no adequate defense against such an attack...it was perhaps only by grace of its elaborateness that the Aenean maintained time to fight. Perhaps a punch would have launched him through a wall and shattered every bone in his body; a mere kick might have scattered him to the wind. But the complexity of targeting another metahuman's brain afforded him precious seconds with which to strategize and counter.

Blood poured out of his nose and his vision swam. His stance and balance were maintained only by virtue of his metahumanity. A demi-mutant, the bridge between species; this was his chosen fate.

"What, nothing to say?" he sputtered, red flecking his lips. His own insides felt as though they'd been rent and turned inside out.

He lifted a hand to trace his nose, rubbing the blood away as he spoke.

The mocking question was a distraction. One that would be followed by another.

Suddenly, he extended his bloodied hand with a flourish, red drops cast outwards. Flecks of blood that would spiral through the air with inordinate precision to land upon the Knightfall Don's armored eyes. Even though this diversion was destined to have almost no effect - it was still an attack that amounted to more than nothing. The effort Andres would need to devote in one way or the other to seeing around the blood that would dot his vision would present an opening. A femtosecond devoted to simply burning the drops away; stepping backwards to avoid the droplets entirely; reaching up to wipe them away with his fingers; it mattered not.

With preternatural speed the Aenean approached, his body driven only by his will. Pain had overtaken his muscles and he was no longer guiding his own movements. Only his powers directed his actions now, pure unconscious instincts which puppeted him at his command.

Moving forwards in a low stance, he extended the fingers on his bloody right hand, launching a penetrating blow up into the Knightfall Don's armored neck. Trusting in his fault-finding power to distribute breakneck force through even the Trion Armor of the Omega Genius.

All to buy enough time for a miracle.

@andres_knightfall

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Andres_Knightfall

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@aenean:

Blood.

The crimson sea through which the matrices of mortal life flowed. In times of war, it left battlefields painted in brutal strokes of red and gore. Drops of it sailed through the air, cast out in search of those glacial eyes that so looked down upon the golden man from whom they leaked. It was clever, resourceful - and desperate. And were it not for the arresting fields of the Fifth Force swaying around the Scientist Supreme, seizing and caging the atoms of all that dared sully the glimmer of his pristine armor, it would've stained his helmet's lenses and cleared the path through which his foe's hand - more spear than limb - would have sliced through his neck.

No Caption Provided

Alas, the blood never crossed the threshold into the Knightfall's eyes, its atoms held hostage by the iron grip of his telekinetic defenses. And so, his foe's hand lanced through the air, guided by a marriage of might and skill made to fell foes unbeatable - and Andres flickered out its path, teleporting beyond reach.

Sweeping his greater senses over the quantum data being processed in the very fabric of reality, a smile - deep in satisfaction yet subtle in curve - eased across the Knightfall's face. Particles elementary and fundamental rose in subatomic tides, heaving here and there in surrender to the will - the instructions - embedded deep within reality's quantum datasheet. Penning new quantum code into the information fabric that permeated all of existence, Andres wrote yet another chapter in his book of super science. And here, now, the subatomic particles all around him would be the protagonists - and his golden foe their antagonist.

Particles come in variants both shocking and standard. Some are unstable, their lives a short flicker in the grander scheme of the cosmos, decaying into other particles, radiation, or both. While others protest the universal speed limit, sprinting through the seams of reality in a futile bid to break the record set by the photon. A few came close, finding that the closer they drew to the speed of light, the more time slowed.

The faster they raced, the longer their lifespan.

By altering their speed, the Scientist Supreme changed the point in space where they decayed. The quantum code he'd authored rewrote the processing speed of the mesons arising from the interaction of cosmic rays and matter, steering them towards Andres' foe, their speed adjusted such that their point of decay into radiation deadly and vicious - would be inside his enemy's chest.

It was no different than teleporting a violent, fatal burst of gamma rays, electrons, and antimatter electrons into his foe's viscera.

There was no cheapening his enemy's courage, physical and otherwise. No denying his supernatural resilience nor the miraculous skill he used to face a threat impregnable and otherworldly.

But the dread horror of death had come, and there was no denying Andres - the 11th commandment.

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Jacob_Grayl

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No Caption Provided

Jacob's uncoupled eye drifted to the side as the sounds of an ovation arrested his attention, forcing his focus to be diverted away from the compostable arrival of an unknown female protagonist and the instantaneous swath she had cut through the center of his 'MMM'. This unexpected display of hope however only served to reinforce the Sword in the Stone's desire to rip the hearts and souls out of humanity's morale.

Kurt Pendragon. The second son of greatness. The chosen one. Heir to the dynasty of all platinum age Pendragons. His mere arrival had inspired the defeated to rise up. To search deep within one's self and anchor a sense of fighting fortitude. With his arrival anything was possible. Humanity could even turn the tide. Suddenly the triumphant chants and cheers of heroism were gone. Replaced by an energized hum shortly followed by the defying silence of the dead.

Slowly the leader of the revolution lowered his hand from the side of his visor as the ruby red flair of it's open dimensional rift subsided. With the arrival of just one hero, humanity's last stand had been re-energized. With but a single blast from his visor however, the Unholy Grail had taken it right back.

"Just like homo-sapiens to cheer when they should run. To fight when they should bow." he announced from the platformed hand of his robotic shield. His speech was as rehearsed as his invasion was theatrical. The Last's left arm, a vibranium skeleton of its original manufactured glory extended out beyond its body. Drawing energy from its stolen HALO battery the towering robot fired a mixture of ignitable plasma in concert with a discharged electrical current. The ray of energy blasted from its palm unceremoniously decimating the foolish bystanders mid cheer.

And despite Jacob's arrogant desire to fully inject himself into the middle of the Emerald Archer's inspired arrival, the lethal fire starting leviathan who had spearheaded a systematic counter-offensive on Pennsylvania Ave. The Sword in the Stone's militarized method had not been packaged with any semblance of style. It appeared to lack even the most basic strategy and yet, as the children of the atom relentlessly raced towards the White House, there was no denying the brilliance of a shock and awe campaign of destruction.

Despite military mobilization and the arrival of several heroes, over the top displays of savage carnage alongside the overwhelming number of mutant terrorists had purposefully added an atmosphere of confusion. The battlefield was everywhere and nowhere. The enemy could fly. They could disappear and reappear. They could manipulate the mentally weak. Deceive those in positions of high ranking command.

A Million Mutants whose powers were unknown, undefined, and all aimed in one direction with one purpose. In theory Jacob could have conquered the capital without ever having to have been there to begin with. The violence death and carnage was simply penance owed.

By now the Last had been commanded to turn around. Momentarily abandoning his advancement on the primary target in favor of confronting the newcomer. As the battle damaged sentinel landed, placing its master gently on the ground, Jacob silently directed it back towards the White House and the capture of the President.

No Caption Provided

"Wait." Jacob demanded. Holding his arms out bringing what remained of the surging mutant crowd to a hesitant pause as they sought to attack the pyromancer. "You're a mutant?" half question half statement, the Unholy Grayl seemed confused. Or maybe disappointed. Perhaps an ironic twist given the previous exchange between the mutant archer and his former idol, Andres Knightfall. The parallels were not entirely lost on the Sword in the Stone.

Holding a disgusted hand over his mouth and nose denying the unbearable stench of burnt flesh from infiltrating his senses, "Why would you fight for them? Defend them? Surely you are not willing to give your life for them....cause that is what it will take. There is no turning back now. Alea iacta est (the die has been cast). Even if we all fall today. It is too late. For tomorrow, every living mutant will be deemed a terrorist. Public enemy number one. Laws will be passed. Innocents incarcerated. Camps reopened. A hundred Charlemgane's were born today. It is time for us to finish what evolution started. Join us. Join your brothers and sisters."extending his hand....

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Jeremiah_Silver

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#19  Edited By Jeremiah_Silver
Jeremiah...this is wrong.
Jeremiah...this is wrong.

The two observed the numerous attacks from their pocket dimension having hidden out in there at the beginning of the attacks and refusing to leave since then. The former artificial intelligence stared solemnly at the events unfolding in front of their very eyes, her mouth twitching in the horror that sent chills throughout her entire body, turning her head slightly her eyes passed over Jeremiah's face as she stared at the same blank expression that he had worn since the killing had started. "You can't just sit and pretend that this is ok Jeremiah you know it isn't."

He answered by raising his arm garnering control of the properties of his own personal dimension his face still wearing its still blank expression as mystical energy began cycling around his arm taking the piercing form of an arrow preparing to send it raining down into the crowds below "They deserve it don't they? For everything they did to Mutant kind."

SLAP!

"Do you not see what's going on around you?! The side of history we're on? He tricked you, Jeremiah! This is not the way to peace, and if this is the way that mutants earn their freedom the world is going to look at you all as monsters forever." The pain from the slap set deep into Jeremiah's features, his cheeks turning a rosy shade of red as Liza's hand, printed its image into his flesh. "You know that this is wrong. Do something about it."

No Caption Provided

The Silver Mage's hand still swarmed with the garnered magical energy, his fingers twitching to release it upon the humans that had caused him trouble his entire life, the taunts, the bullying, the exclusion. But it hadn't just been the humans, he was different from most mutants as well, and to be different is to be ostracised from what you know as familiar, and being different had caused Jeremiah to be alone his entire life, separated from both humanity and mutant kind.

His attention was drawn to a large crowd of humans who were slowly backing away from a towering sentinel who lumbered towards them its mechanical eyes humming with the degage emotionlessness all non-living beings shared, its palm-raised energy beginning to cycle within as it prepared to vaporize the latest of many innocent bystanders. This time Jeremiah acted, arm sweeping with the desperation of a manic, the built-up magical energy erupting from the palm of the Magi-Mutant shattering the once impenetrable defenses of the dimension Jeremiah had concocted, the mystical energy twisting forward in coils with the lethality and coldness of a snake, it's cyan color illuminating the smoking sky in a flashy display.

The sentinel was struck, its position in this realm disrupted as Jeremiah aimed to begin deleting the metallic beast from this reality until there was nothing left but the shimming blue dust that settled into the ash and blood that marked the streets of Washington D.C miles wide. Jeremiah slowly floated down and his boots settled into the concrete, Liza now temporarily stored inside Silver's mind began speaking to him.

{We need to find Jacob and stop him before this goes even further down the rabbit hole.}

"No, we need to talk him out of this, he's their leader and they'll only do what he says. He can't seriously think that this is the answer to the solution."

{And you think that you're going to be able to convince him otherwise?}

His mouth would twist into a slight smirk as he responded "Not at all, but if the guy's gonna break into the castle that I rightfully broke into he's gonna have to listen to for a little while. Now all we gotta do is find him."

{We were in the pocket dimension that whole time and you didn't see him? You're hopeless Jeremiah.}

"Shh He said while beginning to put up a shield around the humans he had saved.

how hard could it be to find him? It's not like anyone else is gonna be focused on me when there are all these other guys around.
how hard could it be to find him? It's not like anyone else is gonna be focused on me when there are all these other guys around."
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Jacob_Grayl

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No Caption Provided

Before the Sword in the Stone was able to further gauge the pyrokinetic mutant's allegiances, the sophisticated communications network contained within his helmet had alerted him to the situational distress of the Last. However the human simping Silver Mage had misjudged his ability to 'delete' his opposition from the realm of reality.

A move either directly or indirectly identical to the technopathic alchemy displayed by the Knightfall Don. A crucial error. Under the reality altering protection of Scientist Supreme, as to avoid being unintentionally erased by his maelstrom of molecular anomalies, the revolutionaries of the Million Mutant March were immune to such spectacles of supernatural removal. To avoid self-inflicted BFR's (battle-field-removals).

Though Jacob had met the young mage prior to the revolution offering him a chance at becoming a part of something historical, he had arrogantly placed little effort in searching out the boy's moral temperament or in his importance to the overall success of the movement. The sting of betrayal was one of pride, not of anxiety or fear.

So placing two fingers between his lips the Unholy Grayl sharply whistled. Redirecting the tactical course of the remaining mutant horde. Militarized hand gestures instantly promoted any and all arctic avengers and winter warriors to the front of the line in an effort to contain the female firestarter. Seeking to neutralize her explosive abilities, before Jacob immediately motioned for a second wave of swordsmen to move in on her and relieve her of those dangerous and decoratively gloved hands. And only then did he return his attention towards the Sorcerer of House Silver.

"See you inside kid."he smirked before the Last scooped him up and rocketed back into the sky. Only to come crashing down through the ceiling of the White House seconds later.

No Caption Provided

Machine gun fire spontaneously irrupting to little success. Bouncing harmlessly off the paneled shell of the last sentinel of Reservation X as it protectively held Jacob against its body while shielding him with its left arm. The right arm powerfully punched through the floor plowing several feet down until it was able to palm the President's bunker like a basketball and rip it from its subterranean station. Effortlessly heaving it out of the smoldering ivory structure out onto the front lawn, digging a small disturbing trench before coming to rest by the north gate.

"Open her up" commanding the Last to peel the titanium box open like a can of pringles so they could effectively end this here, and now.

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Adepta-Occulta

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"Wait."

Damn it.

While Grayl addressed the crowd, the implication of the command halted Kisara mid-dash, likewise pinning her in place. She’d been spotted. Reluctantly, she turned to face the voice that drove the crowd. As if she had any choice in the matter.

Astonishing. The way he commanded them. A single word, and his order carried itself from the front to the back--instant obedience despite the grotesque incineration of their brethren just moments prior. Despite the anger she still felt swelling further as members of the mutant mob checked on their wounded. He was the conductor of this orchestrated chaos, and for the moment he was utterly focused on her, the actions of nearly a million mutants - and now her fate - hanging on his word. How poetic. It was almost a privilege.

"You're a mutant?"

Kisara stood upright, head tilted at a slight angle. Concentration furrowed her brow. His ideas were worth considering. She didn’t possess an X-gene, but technically speaking she wasn’t actually human either. The only difference: the humans who knew her best actively rejected the idea that she belonged among them. And although each represented radically different causes, Nastya, Ana, and now Jacob were the closest she’d been to true acceptance.

But the False Grayl was no savior. Merely the wicked given new form. Pride in his actions - in the self-righteous determination that he knew what was best for all of mutantkind - made him blind, or perhaps apathetic, to the fact he’d backed his “brothers and sisters”—backed all of humanity—into a corner from which there may have been no return. This was the nightmare she inherited from Dr. Vargas. When Venezuela was conquered by mutants, the entire country was essentially shredded, stripped of its cultural identity and made to serve charlatans and extremists. Families were torn apart. Communities were torn asunder.

And the world barely flinched. While some efforts were made to combat these men and women, the message from an overwhelming majority was loud and clear. One after another, terrorists launched attack after attack on world governments. And when they’d taken Venezuela, Bootlickers employed by those very same governments then sought to aid those same unapologetic monsters in their time of need. It was only a matter of time before the Children of the Atom tried it elsewhere. It was frankly baffling that it took so long.

Kisara reeled in disgust. Was he proud of the fact he’d “created a hundred Charlemagnes?” Had he no consideration for the families at all levels who were not well-equipped to handle an all-out war, who were not willing or able to forsake nuanced thought for his black and white worldview? What of the child whose parents were doing their best to understand and cope with her powers? What of the sick and impoverished, of those whose mutations served no wartime utility? All hapless sacrifices in one man’s self-aggrandizing bid to tip the scales, one way or another. So many pawns left to hang by a careless (or simply callous) king.

But before she could question him or properly respond to his offer, another rose from the air, springing a direct attack on Grayl’s. There was no mistaking the presence of another magus once his powers activated. Spurred by a resurging sense of urgency, the self-annointed Speaker of Mutantkind sought to make his departure. At his word a small contingent of multifaceted disciples strode forth to neutralize her by any means necessary.

Confusion delayed her but only for a second. Given the attack on their brethren moments prior, the Arcane Scientist had no illusions as to the fate they intended for her. She could feel their hatred polluting the air. Bile rose in her throat, her own hatred reignited.

No Caption Provided

“A zealot knows no fear but he can be taught,” she whispered, a subtle call and response acknowledging Jacob as she began casting. Far more than a basic pyromancer, the Divine Fractist tore open space itself. Swallowing members of the advancing multitude—or rather parts of them—inside individual portals before closing the rifts mid-capture. A head here. A torso there. Disembodied arms, legs with no upper half, bodies without a head. Around her many more mutants lay in various states of disarray, portals used to effectively saw them into pieces, depositing the rest in a place only the gods could name. Kisara passed one final judgemental glare at the remaining multitude before falling backwards through space herself. This was far too important to get lost in the pawn skeleton, no matter how well constructed.

She strode through the other side onto the South Lawn just in time to intercept the impending checkmate, closing the spectral doorway behind her. This brought her face to face with a trigger-happy regiment of servicemen primed to treat any unrecognized and non-uniformed intrusion as a threat. She barely had time to register their presence before they opened fire. Hundreds of rounds tore through the air in seconds, virtually all of them on target. Kisara winced as bullet after bullet ran through her body–

–harmlessly, she realized moments later. Her eyes opened. Standing next to her, arm on her shoulder, Nastya cast her a look that said “I understand your position so I’m trying not to be too judgemental.”

No Caption Provided

Kisara felt every bit of it but barely spared the thought. Every second counted for or against Nastya’s penultimate Hail Mary. Hand in hand the two vanished, once more intangible to light particles as they tore across the lawn toward the bunker, with the intention of phasing the Lazarus straight through to conduct the briefest of private meetings with the president. Kisara meanwhile re-upped her previous spell, swallowing and depositing members of the President’s army - harmlessly, safely - onto the far side of the North Lawn. Hoping their reappearance from one side to the other would take long enough for her to deal with the Unholy Grayl and his mechatronic titan before his army could arrive as well.

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Amara_BadaBoom

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@aenean: @pyrogram: @andres_knightfall:

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The dead strung around as Amara stood soaked in blood and her own fluids, dripping the sound of her explosive fluids sizzling and dying down as she does not initiate a detonation. The street of Georgetown Historic District is nothing but empty shops and bodies, the fun of killing the defenseless had run its course and now Amara felt something inside swelling, the urge no...the NEED for something more. Her body trembled in ecstasy at the thought of ending someone or something of great power, she started to almost soak through her self-designed suit. Slowly she undressed leaving almost nothing to the imagination, leaving a sleek and lacey brassiere and a pair of "Hello Kitty" panties. Cracking her neck and looking down to the ground beneath her feet, she squished her toes into the pool of blood she stood in, smiling at first and then turning into a fit of maniacal laughter she jumped into the air and explosions ripped under her feet launching her into the air.

Soon she was soaring as high as a small skyscraper and heading towards all the commotion that could be heard between the trio of men of Andres, Aenean, and Kurt. Amara could feel Andres power before she even set eyes on his vicinity, from her airborne travel all she could see were tiny ants. Eyes narrowed and Amara could not help but smile something wicked "Ants always smolder so nicely, pop pop pop ahahahaha" Amara had turned almost feral in her aching for something substantial to go up against. Eyes were not fixed on the poor bastard who had decided Andres was one to be trifled with, it was with the third in the Sausage party.

Now Amara began to fall towards the action, hair blowing wildly as she decelerated, arms out behind her a flurry of orbs began to form all around her, their centers swirling. Her nearly bare body was not to show off her curves or how beautiful she was, it served a purpose....instant access. Sweat poured from her body as she fell, droplets formed into large orbs and then ignited just enough to burn. As she fell towards her target, her cackling could be heard as she flung her arms forward.

No Caption Provided

All over the area below her, struck with explosions and fireballs that engulfed all they could hit. She grinned and barked "Duck! My bad! hahahahaha" hitting the ground with a large thud as she detonated even more orbs at her feet just as she touched down. Launching forward she was screaming mad, like a wild animal she attacked with a solid and mighty kick to the Emerald Archers chest hoping the excessive force from her detonation would sending the archer bouncing like a ragdoll.

"Names Amara...please don't die..."
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Aenean

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#23  Edited By Aenean
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"The body is mortal, the soul indestructible."

The Aenean

The mystic laser summoned by Andres Knightfall arrested his movement and prompted nothing less than brief instant death. A ray of power that briefly touched the Aenean's heart and mind, a gamma burst which bathed his internals in lethal energies - they tore, briefly, his spirit from his body.

The attack was narrowly interrupted by the Emerald Archer's arrival, thrusting the young warrior back to the material plane. Fallen to a knee, he fixed his eyes on the Knightfall Don, awaiting his reply - these two were old comrades, it seemed, and this sudden outburst of murderous power was as mysterious to him as it was the external world.

So he's more than a simple psychopath, he thought, sliding a medicinal pill into his mouth. It would stabilize his equilibrium in a way that his powers could not, miraculous medical science derived from years of pharmaceutical advancement in a world propelled forward by super-science and genetic mutation.

But there was no peace on this battlefield.

The brief interlude, a grasp for reason, was interrupted by the burning arrival of a nearly-nude meta woman, who unleashed a flurry of fireballs. Inoculated against death for now - having barely staved off the devastating power of Andres - the Aenean leapt to the side, rolling across the shattered pavement and coming up with a ceramic dart in hand.

These were the monsters he fought. Creatures of madness.

Drawing his hand back, he flicked it out with a flourish, unleashing the dart with his aim centered directly on Amara's head. A super-sharp projectile launched with truly supernatural precision, directed to bury itself lethally in her skull!

@amara_badaboom@pyrogram@andres_knightfall

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Inner_Demon

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The first true impediment to their progress had appeared, and it was surprising. As Kisara effortlessly immolated several of his pseudo-willing pawns, the Demon paused. There was a familiar energy emanating from her, and a moment's ponderance was all he needed to place it: a favor once done for others, in return for services to be requested at convenience. So this, then, was the purpose of that. So be it.

Before the fiendish incorporeal could respond to the assault however, the leading figure in this day of abject chaos appeared to make his attacker an offer, before coming under fire and leaping back into the fray before he could receive an answer. Frustrating and amusing in equal measure. If nothing else, it reinforced a tenet that the ancient creature had learned long ago: that it was better to allow others to take the lead, when possible. Let the most prominent target have the glory; the Demon would settle for victory.

She evaded the reflexive response of the Watchers, eliminating a score more of them in gruesomely spectacular fashion, before making her way to the White House. What business she had therein was unknown, but that knowledge was unnecessary. With a quick mental command, the ravenous mob turned its attention to the troops on the North Lawn, charging at them in a homicidal frenzy. A withering barrage of fire mowed down their front ranks, but it provided all the cover required for the monstrous Sergei to leap into their midst, his necrotic flesh shrugging off bullets like mosquito bites as he unleashed the rage of his tormented soul.

No Caption Provided

The zombified metahuman's assault was naught but a diversion, however. With the soldier's attention thus occupied, Abigail McCormac raised her arms, and the vile being to whom she had surrendered her will called forth her mutant abilities, mercilessly augmented by his iron grip on her will. A massive ball of fire, pulled forth from seemingly nothing, coalesced and grew until it was easily more than a dozen feet in diameter. With a flick of the wrist, the roiling inferno was sent tumbling towards the Executive Mansion like a hellish bowling ball.

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Jacob_Grayl

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Optical omnipotence. That was how the Speaker of the Hidden Word's overbearing father described his son's unique mutant ability. The truth was however, that even he did not quite understand the true origin of Jacob's unparalleled visual versatility. Nor the myriad of multifaceted machinations the mutant revolutionary would go on to discover and create on his own.

Perhaps this could account for the rather unusual head tilt exercised by the former mutant aristocrat as the 'invisible' defending duo attempted to secretly blip across the battlefield. Behind the Unholy Grayl's trademark visor the controlled emission of a pulsing infrared light bathed the mutant's retina's in a double dose of infrared energy. Unlike a normal human who optically absorbed photons through the retina - manufacturing a molecule known as photopigment - the pulsating energy beneath Jacob's visor allowed for two photons to be absorbed simultaneously by a single photopigment.

Armed with this unnatural ability, and in concert with two independent premotor neuronal circuits for both eye's, Jacob's oculomotor behavior seemed to suggest that he had indeed traced the untraceable. Perceived, the imperceptible.

In a display of reactionary excellence the Great Grayl of Britain's head stylishly swayed to the side just ahead of the phasing Lazarus executing a 180 no-scope as he fired on the unearthed presidential bunker. For the first time since the incursion had begun the Unholy Grail had bled his visor.

And as his unique brand of energy slammed into the cubed fortification, instantly escalating its own force until it had overcome the bunker's outward pointing force until a controlled singularity at the focal point of its gravitational center sought to destroy it, and every and anything unlucky enough to have been caught off guard inside.

No Caption Provided

Little to nothing managed to escape Jacob's visual versatility, including the nightmarish introduction of the towering juggernaut of decay as it savagely tore through the president's security detail. His arrival covertly allowed for an even greater deacon of death dealing horror to create and ultimately emancipate a massive moon-like sphere of the homo-sapiens first elemental discovery, fire. In the beginning, flame had brought life to the humans. Now, in the end, it would burn down their most cherished symbol of fabricated democracy. Poetry and evolution. Together forever.

As the White House erupted, sending a towering inferno of fire and smoke racing towards the heavens and deadly pieces of debris in all directions, Jacob attempted to reacquire the spectacular spellcaster before she could do to him, what she had already done to several of his 'pawns' by scattering their magically amputated limbs and body parts across the globe.

Like a superhuman fastball the Last's arm reached way back before catapulting forward to pitch his mutant master at the esoteric enigma. Jacob sailed effortlessly across the Northern Lawn as he attempted to shoulder tackle and spear his opponent into the ground before hitting the battle polluted earth himself and somersaulting into a re-balanced sliding crouch, one hand already raised alongside his illuminated visor.

"We started a game we never quite got to finish." he smiled.

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Adepta-Occulta

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@inner_demon: @jacob_grayl:

The Scion of Legends tore across the lawn, completely untouched by light particles. Her legs pumped like pistons, fully capable of keeping pace with an automobile at full exertion. Capable of crossing from one edge of the property to another in less than a minute. She gave it all she had. If she could just lay a finger on the bunker, there wasn’t a single thing he or anyone else could do to harm it or those inside.

She was almost fast enough.

Mimicking Amaranth’s perfect intangibility, it was flat-out inconceivable for anyone to see them in those moments for photons never made contact with their physical forms to be reflected back to any visual receptors. It defied logic—defied possibility. But somehow, he did. Gazing with casual disdain upon the newly determined battlefield, the Unholy Grayl wrecked several plans at once, as easily as he’d have gazed at the sunset. The President’s bunker, built to withstand a nuclear strike, was utterly atomized in a matter of seconds before their very eyes. No longer invisible, Nastya and Kisara came to a staggering halt on the razed plot where the bunker once stood.

Eyes unfocused, Nastya stared straight ahead as though somehow waiting for the bunker itself to reappear. She looked utterly dumbfounded. Devastated. Furious? It was hard to tell by her expression alone but through their connection Kisara felt every bit of the volatile cocktail of emotions stirring within her. To be made a fool of by this...Opportunistic pretender. That anger she was intimately familiar with, for she too possessed a fragment of the woman the world knew as Antonia, from whom Nastya inherited a brilliant tactical mind (if not always the experience, maturity and wherewithal to optimize it) as well as her pride. Even at that very moment the Man-Made Goddess was processing myriad calculations and discerning the best way to adapt once they’d dealt with the threat. But in that very same moment Kisara felt the Numeromancer’s higher tactical mind falling aside, those new instincts taking a backseat to the Mutant War Machine that’d always been a part of her. Ever the dutiful assistant, Kisara tried exerting her influence on their connection to pull the reins, to help steady her creator.

By the time she’d started to give up on the possibility, the Demon of Silence and his thralls felt more like a blessing in disguise. As the reanimated Sergei and Abby McCormac appeared to gas the flame, Kisara called an audible. Jacob had come, one of his goals accomplished, seemingly ready to talk. To gloat, and to...recruit? So certain of his victory meanwhile Nastya was reduced to little more than her burgeoning violent intent. Drawing the Legacy Blade and disengaging its trion combat sheath, exposing the anti-metal vibranium inside. A series of moments coalesced into one and Kisara found her play.

Nastya lunged–

No Caption Provided

–through a new portal torn open immediately in front of her. Reappearing across the lawn, momentum carried her directly into Abigail McCormac, whom she'd immediately seek to eviscerate. Tearing open another in the same instant, Abigail’s man-made meteor vanished prior to contacting the White House itself, only to reappear immediately behind Sergei. Kisara sought to turn the demon’s own players against one another, hoping immolation would subdue or at least slow the titanic walking corpse. Thus leaving Anastasia to manage the source of the primary threat, while Kisara herself dealt with Jacob. Mirroring his smirk with a mirthless sneer.

That was disrespectful, leaving me to be shredded by your pawns. I mean I didn’t get to go to prom but I imagine that’s what being stood up feels like. So What now? I don't imagine your 'game' stops here, but perhaps I could offer a draw."

She thought a moment, and then, mirroring Jacob's earlier gesture, extended a hand. "Timendi causa est nescire." Smirking. Sharing a "dead" language, it almost felt like a shared code. "I don't understand you, but...would you let me? From where does your hate stem?"

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Amara_BadaBoom

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@aenean: The fire....the fire it was beautiful, Amara could almost forget where she was while watching the explosions set a chain reaction all around them. The fire so intense the asphalt beneath her feet began to liquefy and stick to her bare feet, the pain was something she had known for so long and she ignored it. Marveling at everything in the fractions of a second, her attack had yet to be reacted to, the smoke and fire hiding her initial target. She had ignored the others within the blaze, but they had not ignored Amara. Eyes closed Amara's arm rose and orbs formed and launched from her palm, the dart struck the first orb and it explodes, yet the dart does not stop only pushed off its course a fraction of an inch. Growling she turned her face just in time for the dart to tear open her cheek, burning to the touch like the fire all around them she spun and lowered herself to the ground. Her growling grew louder, her bare skin began to explode violently bursts of fire erupting all over her body.

Rage controlling the beauty she rushed forward towards Aenean "My turn.." she growled as she moved with speed closing the distance. As she did her fingertips began to glow, orbs forming at the tips as she slashed at her attacker. If her slashes connect not only would her nails cause injury, the orbs at her fingertips would detonate and hopefully take full chunks from her attacker. A gleeful smile across her face as she unleashes her rage.

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Jacob_Grayl

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#28  Edited By Jacob_Grayl

@adepta-occulta:

*translated
*translated

No Caption Provided

*You wish to understand me. To understand this genocidal overthrow of the human species. But you cant even understand your own people's language.* His chin was held high as he spoke with the Unwritten Word. A truly dead language said to have been the purest form of communication between the Earth's first mutants. Or as Jacob had theorized, the language of thee, original mutant.

He repeated the phrase, but this time in Latin as to avoid any confusion. Reaching out to accept - or reciprocate - the spellcasting Cheshire cat's calculated offer of a stalemate.

But as he did, the partially plated arm of the Last echoed it's master's physical movement, its exposed mechanical motors quickly exploding into action as the towering techo-titan attempted to outright flatten the truce seeking sorceress. And Jacob, simply smiled.

It was too late now. There were no more words to be said. No more offers of peace, acceptance or mutual understanding. The game? The game was all but over now.

The remaining mutant tidal wave continued its revolutionary blitz through the capital indiscriminately dealing death to any and everyone who attempted to stand in their way. Some could manipulate time while others could alter their physical appearance. Some could pull or freeze the water in a human body in less time then it took to call out for help. And many of them had just witnessed their mutant malcom eradicate the President of the United States, fueling their collective motivations with an ultimate act of violent inspiration.

"Veni Vidi Vici"

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Adepta-Occulta

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@jacob_grayl:

All around them the sounds of war echoed across the White House lawn; shouting, gunfire, and explosions as the protectors of the nation’s highest office continued in the execution of their duties despite witnessing with their own eyes the commander-in-chief completely atomized moments prior. On regimented instincts they fought to uphold their oaths. After all, there would be other presidents. A long line of succession and series of contingencies put into place long before their time ensured as much, so long as the nation survived. But this was no ordinary war. Hell itself had grown tired of waiting for America to answer her sins and came now, not knocking for an answer, but to kick in the door and visit condemnation upon her.

Yet amid the chaos that gripped their immediate surroundings and the entire capital itself, a girl of only a few months held conversation - however brief - more appropriate of a coffee date than a battlefield, with the grand orchestrator of it all. Head tilted, in the absence of complete understanding Kisara read his body for any indication that he was receptive. Broad shoulders rolled back, glaring haughtily down his nose, he offered no hope. Was it all a ploy? Or a genuine bargain for the soul of the States?

None of that mattered, the mutant idol non-verbally declared. Given new purpose, the towering sentinel thundered once more into action with a speed that belied its lumbering appearance. Leaving scarcely any time to react as its fist came crashing down on the plot over Kisara’s head.

She’d never forgotten the mechanical titan, never stopped accounting for its presence. But between earlier offering his hand and now rejecting her attempt at understanding, the man controlling it was an unpredictable enigma. However fast her mind worked, her body simply wasn’t fast enough to dodge it. She was hardly even fast enough to flinch. Just barely audible beneath the gunfire and explosions and shouting, the crunch of bones and a sickening squelch. Where Kisara once stood was nothing but a giant handprint and a composite human paste stained into the grass.

Elsewhere, the Divine Fractist opened her eyes. Felt herself over as if to ensure she’d actually made it, a stupefied expression plastered over her face. Something that big should not move that fast! A cruel but necessary sacrifice, her only play was to quickly establish a connection with one of the soldiers fighting across the lawn and transpose him with herself. Hopefully buying, if nothing else, a precious few seconds for Jacob to believe himself successful and thereby increase her window for a counterattack.

Facing straight ahead she broke into a sprint. Reached into a portal and plucked the Legacy Blade’s trion combat sheath from Nastya’s hand, grimacing as her grip on the bare blade sliced into her fingers. Reached her top speed and dove–

–into a portal which she intended to spit her out immediately behind Jacob, taking him with her as she immediately opened another on the other side of him. If successful the tackle would see both combatants transported into the air, precisely thirty thousand feet above Washington DC, away from any aid and all distractions. Physical contact would allow her to glean a basic understanding of the mutant’s physical structure and capabilities but one way or another she hoped it would be unnecessary knowledge. For she sought to plunge the blade into and through his spine, even at the cost of piercing her own abdomen.

If that failed...well, she calculated a little over two minutes to try every other option before terminal velocity decided it for the both of them.

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Inner_Demon

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@adepta-occulta: @jacob_grayl:

In its long existence, the Demon of Silence had frequently noted that many enlightened minds thought of life as a game of chess. While some of the strategic and tactical elements were certainly transferable between the two, the Demon had always mused that life was seldom, if ever, quite so simple as that. In chess, the rules were well-defined and unalterable. Life could be far more nebulous; for example, in life the pawns often refused to give up their battle until long after the king had been removed from play.

Such was the case now. The mutant uprising had achieved its goal, or at least the goal that mattered to the Demon. The "king" of the human world had been removed from play. In true, endearing human fashion, however, his defenders continued to struggle against their now all but inevitable defeat. Their delicious despair was palpably growing, however. It truly was only a matter of time, now.

So intoxicating was the swirl of emotional darkness that the Demon very nearly made a fatal mistake. At the last second, it recognized a sign of danger: the sudden displacement of a prominent mental signature on the battlefield. The young one. As it felt the small fissure in physical reality tear open in front of its host body, Abigail McCormac reflexively threw herself backwards, and her psychic dominator grasped out desperately, taking hold of a nearby wounded Watcher and causing the hapless cultist to fling his already-damaged body into the path of Kisara's attack.

It was very nearly not enough. The attack all but vivisected the injured minion, and still tore into Abigail's abdomen. As its host lay on the ground, bleeding but not fatally wounded, the Demon indulged in a laugh at its own expense. Victory had nearly cost a most useful host, and unlike chess, sacrificing the "queen" in life meant that it would not be available for the next game.

Elsewhere, the battle also took its toll. The redirected fireball had struck Sergei full on, and had the undead super-soldier's necrotic flesh not been augmented beyond that of most armor, he would likely have been entirely consumed. As it was, he lay on the ground, stunned, as the ruined and rotting hulk that passed for his body began the process of stitching itself back into some semblance of functionality. The Watchers had largely scattered throughout the city, either to engage in smaller skirmishes, take advantage of the devastation to do some time-honored pillaging, or simply to flee from the carnage that had finally broken their already-damaged psyches.

As Kisara and Jacob vanished from grounds, Abigail McCormac struggled to her feet, one hand holding her bleeding midsection. The necessary blow had been struck, and there was no reason to throw away resources in an empty gesture. As Sergei recovered enough to push himself to his feet and stagger after her, the possessed pyrokinetic began her withdrawal from the capital.

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Aenean

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The dart he'd hurled found its mark, tearing open a gash on the flaming woman's cheek.

He still had distance between them, and that meant the opportunity to analyze his opponent further. She was clearly immune to her own flame; perhaps she had an internal temperature regulator that could be eventually overwhelmed, but he had not the time. He suspected that she also boasted some degree of physical resilience, given her explosive power - otherwise, the detonations would harm her even if she were immune to high heat.

Physically augmented or not, his hurled projectile had inflicted a wound. That was a start.

She advanced with a kind of manic joy, the sort which betrayed an unsound mind. She was strong; had that strength made her overconfident? She still possessed a speed that surprised him, or perhaps it was a trick of the light, the miniature explosions almost blinding to look at. Were it not for the lenses in his mask he'd hardly be able to focus on her at all.

The Aenean backtracked as she advanced; distance was key. Stepping into her was suicide. Her appetite for violence suggested experience in battle, and though the slash of her arm was wild and untamed, it still delivered a series of consecutive explosions which forced him backward, bursts detonating in the air by his chest as he retreated.

"Gah - !" he choked, skin singed on his face; the old foe was forgotten, discarded, his attention fully absorbed with the new.

If he struck her, he'd endure severe burns - worse than those he'd already sustained. That was not an option. He would need to be clever.

As they were fighting in a street, there was a ready source of water nearby. Fire hydrants had been installed throughout the District in the event of uncontrolled blazes, and that applied to the living one he faced as well. Made of cast iron and full of pressurized water, he now turned his focus on one that lay just behind Amara.

Letting another dart slip into his hand, he cast it at a nearby wall, whereupon it would bounce at an angle and slam directly into the topmost valve of the hydrant, a daring ricochet that would see the dart curve across the space between them and careen into his target. It was then - thrown with the greatest precision - that his improvised assault would begin in earnest. The hydrant would not go off, but explode, hopefully dousing the woman in water.

He would be a fool to think that such an obvious trick would put an end to the battle. Amara's ability to combust herself meant that this tactic was far from lethal. But it would afford him an opportunity. For starters, her skin would be temporarily cooled - enough time to strike. And also, when she heated back up, the superheated steam that was produced would surely obscure her vision -

- buying him enough of an opening to land a devastating flying kick. His foot would curve through the air, aimed directly at her skull in the seconds he'd bought himself to attack with!

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Jacob_Grayl

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With a passive look of mild disappointment the Sword in Stone began to turn away. Averting his gaze as his robotic protector began to lift its massive hand from the point of its devastating impact. Only to feel the wind in his lungs violently escaping as he was unexpectedly speared from the depths of a portal from out of nowhere, right into another portal which would see the aristocratic mutant ejected from its temporal tear thirty thousand feet above the cataclysmic chaos below.

All Jacob could do was to forcefully bite down, nearly shattering his own teeth in the process as the pair rocketed towards the earth. Suddenly the violent trembling and bone shattering violicity of their fall gave way to an even more terrifying sensation.

At first there was a sharp, jarring pain in his back. Then, nothing. Jacob immediately lost all sensation in his arms and legs before an involuntary cough spat a wad of blood towards the sarcastic sorceress' face.

The extensive damage, while physically paralyzing, had failed to prohibit the Unwritten Grayl's mental link with the Last. Automatically the distressed cerebral impulses commanded the scavenged sentry to take flight and attempt to intercept the free-falling fighters.

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Amara_BadaBoom

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@aenean: Watching the would-be hero screech as she unleashed her fury and dodge many of her slashes at first, he was not prepared for her tiny explosions to erupt from her fingertips. The air smelled of burnt hair and skin, his face reddened as the heat did its job and caused him pain. Cackling as he distanced himself, his body telling enough that he was trying to find a way out of the situation or to find some form of control. Amara paced back and forth like a big cat watching and waiting for its prey to make a mistake, giving her an in too close to distance and gut him like a pig.

She daydreamed of his blood covering her naked body, sliding down her slender body and falling to the ground. Licking her lips as she again and quickly became drenched in sweat. Her body glistened in the bright sunshine, suddenly he moved a dart sliding down into his palm and letting loose towards her but it sailed far and off-target completely. She grinned momentarily but quickly he animalistic mind came back to reality as she could tell he was not one to miss such an easy throw, his precision earlier only dodged at the last moment. Growling audibly she turned her gaze to where the dart hit and ricocheted into a hydrant.

The yellow inanimate object momentarily became quite animated as it explodes, Amara quickly knowing what was about to happen clenched her fists and pressed her feet hard into the cement. The water cascades all over spraying in all directions, the downpour covering her entire body. Turning her gaze once again upon her target, he made no error and charged fast sending a side kick straight towards the side of her head. With the quick tiger-like speed she brought her palm up to his foot as it slammed into her hand, and then into the side of her head.

Blood trickled from her nose, the force of his kick still sending enough into her skull to rattle it like a rollercoaster. Her eyes only moved to look at him a wicked smile looked to her own palm that his kick had hit initially.....it was dry. Screaming loudly in rage her palm exploded multiple times as twenty small orbs formed and exploded simultaneously. Amara followed the explosion from her palm by leaping straight up separating the two from contact, as she was airborne the soles of her feet brightened as another volley of sweat form and dropped down all falling into his direction. As she cleared some distance a facial twitch triggered her sweat to transform into orbs and detonate in a fraction of a second all-around his immediate area.

Landing from her leap she fell to a knee, her head spinning quite literally her vision blurred. She waited as the water droplets over her body fell and her own body slowly allowed her to create new sweat and bodily fluids that were not tainted with the water.

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Adepta-Occulta

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#34  Edited By Adepta-Occulta

@jacob_grayl:

Teleporting through space always meant some degree of disorientation but Kisara had gotten somewhat accustomed to it on the ground. It was an entirely different story being greeted by the full forces of gravity and drag. Turbulent winds slapped against Kisara’s face as she plummeted to the planet’s surface—her target in tow. In 12 seconds they reached terminal velocity and she was struggling for breath. Struggling to think. She barely needed to. The rest was virtually instantaneous. The sword plunged. A sharp abdominal pain told of her success. A sharp gasp caught in her throat, and though barely able to breathe the homunculus forced her body through the next steps.

Jacob Grayl wrapped firmly in her arms, a flood of information poured into her mind. His name. Genetic makeup. Personal history, present capabilities and future potentials. It was almost too much to take in at once. Fascinating. He would’ve made a fantastic study subject, assuming she could find her own success and get him out alive.

But if she had her way, the Unholy Grayl would get to work in service of her immediately. Whatever happened afterwards, he would be the pivotal tool used to put an end to the largest attempt at a mutant revolution launched on the United States. She sought to align her quantum harmonic state with his own and execute a flawless telepathic intrusion, allowing her to manipulate him as easily as she moved her own arm.

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But she would not seek to impede the Tsent’s upward progress. Manipulated by a sense of “poetry,” or simply her own spite, she sought to move Jacob, angling his head “upward.” Turning his gaze toward the ground and everything else beneath them. To force another activation of the power within his eyes as he looked directly upon The Last. To force him to decimate his great protector with the same ease as he’d obliterated the president’s entire family inside their uprooted bunker.

But though she intended to heavily damage she didn't want to immediately annihilate the automaton. Should this first trial with his body prove successful, then she’d know he was the key. Then she could use The Last to get Grayl to ground safely, and commence with "clean-up." And if the remaining mutants wouldn’t be persuaded to flee and scatter like their comrades, it would be an honor and a pleasure to puppet the latest mutant Messiah and his robotic sentry, allowing him to watch helpless from his own body as the loyal crowd he had led to Washington were obliterated by both her powers and his.

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Jacob_Grayl

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Biodigital surgical implants inside the mutant revolutionary's cerebral cortex, sensing the unauthorized mental override of his cognitive ability to self-govern, instantaneously instituted a series of premeditated prompts as part of the Unwritten Grayl's tactical protocols.

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Though unable to truly prevent the telepathic terror of teleportation from possessing his body, and abilities, as he was forced to unload on the incoming Tscent with a burst of optical energy, he was nevertheless able to quickly upload his consciousness to the Last's central processing unit. But not before the robotic radical sustained a devastating blast to its chest and shoulder, collapsing its right arm into nothingness.

Partially thrown off balance, the Last rapidly regained its avionic composure. Dismissing the destructive attack while launching its left arm and hand forward in order to open fire with its own volly of deadly repulsor beams. Pelting Jacob's body, obliterating it in an act of self-sacrifice so long as it took out the author of his apparent downfall as well.

Macro as well as micro contortions began to resonate throughout the skeletal remains of the Last's partially constructed facial plating, giving the salvage yard sentinel an entirely new and visible sense of personality as Jacob's subconscious slowly came online through encrypted digital streams of mathematical awareness in the form of ones and zeros.

Rocket fueled thrusters on the bottom of his vibranium boots rapidly propelled him up past the point of initial aerial conflict towards the clouds. Before cutting them off and allowing the metal giant to be arrested by gravity and begin racing back towards the ground. Cinematically re-engaging them as its lumbering body performed a slowly developing somersault in order to bring its upper half back around for a second maelstrom of hand launched repulsor beams.

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Aenean

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Connection.

In a brutally precise display of force, the Aenean brought his foot into contact with the rampaging mutant's head. She had initiated a block, but the attack still found its mark. The blood that seeped from her nose indicated a concussion, perhaps worse. He was no stranger to taking lives. If justice merited, he would exact that cost. Wanton murder of innocents could never be excused.

She retaliated; the road tore itself apart under Anderson's feet. He saw now that it was individual droplets of sweat that were exploding, and as they dripped to the pavement, he raised his arms up around his head. The blast wave sent him spiraling down the street, tearing open the front of his defensive cloak. Spun from the reinforced webs of genetically altered spiders, it saved his life from the explosions she created.

Each discrete orb packed enough power to obliterate an ordinary man, if it hit directly. He rolled over from his stomach onto his hands, pushing himself to his feet just as she rose from her bent knee. They'd both sustained grievous injuries now - for humans. Higher types like them could keep fighting even when pain demanded they stop. For his part, he could discern several fractures...

Focus.

Now that she'd been stunned, he had a chance to redouble his efforts.

Raising his right arm, he pressed his middle and forefinger against a button on his palm. From his bracer emerged a compartmentalized satellite dish - a micro-emitter that would suddenly project a devastating wave of explosive acoustic force. This attack, he hoped, would bypass her natural physical resilience, the deadly vibrations shaking her to her very core, disrupting the functions of her inner ear to destroy her balance, and unleashing a wave of overpowering nausea as her organs suffered. A monstrous weapon, turned on a monster.

@amara_badaboom

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Amara_BadaBoom

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@aenean:

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It started with a quiet tremble that simply shook her bent knee, then it rippled throughout her entire. She trembled from not only pain but pure excitement of the battle, her body quickly regained its foothold on its ability to create all the bodily fluids she needed to fight and end the man before her. She grinned as she watched him come to a kneeling position just like her she barked "Please tell me you are not done yet.." with quick movement something slid down into his palm and he triggered it. In an instant, the world began to spin and her body screamed at her, the vibrations slammed into her slender frame like a diesel truck. Slammed backward she tried to dig her fingers into the concrete but only managed to snap fingernails and break fingertips. Tossed like a ragdoll she bounced off the concrete and tumbled over and over until she was able to right herself and slide into position. Putting her heels into the concrete she braced herself as much as she could, blood began to pour from her mouth eyes, and nose covering her face and torso with blood.

As the vibrations died she stood there head fallen backward, standing in a position that defied gravity her body limp. Then suddenly her headshot forward, eyes bloodshot and a crazed look upon her face. The blood covering her began to dance on her skin, bubbling, and boiling. Her skin bursting into fire and explosions, she was a pyre of flames. Even her teeth seemed to be ablaze, shooting forward with strength she all but had used simply surviving the vibrational assault she had withstood. Screaming like a banshee her arms shot forward and a single line of orbs shot from her palms and hurtled towards Aenean exploding as they hit the ground in front of him and sending concrete flying like bullets all over. Like a cannonball, she hoped to slam into him, as she did a massive explosion filled the area like a mushroom cloud. She had enjoyed the fight but knew anymore and it would prove difficult to continue, as the explosion covered the entire area she shot off into the sky and hovered high above. Panting and breathing hard she hoped that he was gone, or the very least....unable to fight back.

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She could feel the last of her energy dwindling, her sweat now thinning out into simple sweat. Her reservoir of ammunition was fading, she needed rest...or a good shag.

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Aenean

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Got you.

Severe wounds, all catching up to him in that moment. He was just over twenty-three years old, effectively bred for this purpose. His parents had done their best to cultivate certain ambitions in him, to sculpt him into the next Alexander or Caesar; but the world had other plans. It was now that it had decided to end. They had been overtaken by the genetic explosion of mutation, an illogical and self-destructive twist in the evolutionary scheme that violated every law of heritability and adaptation. Of what benefit was the power to explode? To fire lasers from one's eyes? The human spirit had suffered brain damage and was lashing out against itself.

All those efforts to make him a leader had fallen by the wayside, and Anderson had reached a kind of enlightenment.

In the heart of this chaos, simple acts were enough. Lost to history, dust and ash. His power - his metahuman ability - had revealed a deeper truth in the universe to him. It wasn't ruling that mattered. No garish stone monuments or ostentatious thrones.

It would have been enough to buy someone time to live. Every second they spent on him was a second spent delayed.

He felt causality surge through him. This moment, this fight, was all part of the clockwork mechanism of the world. This duel would buy time for their plan to fail. All as foreseen not by him, but by a higher justice. Whatever last wound he'd inflicted would persist. No foe was without weakness; in this evil mutant front, perhaps he'd created one. He'd give his life for opportunity -

- the opportunity to save even one person.

The Aenean allowed himself a final smile before he became ash, his bones fading away, his world eclipsed.

@amara_badaboom

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Adepta-Occulta

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@jacob_grayl:

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Though tumbling through the air at 120 miles per hour and choking for breath, Kisara maintained the icy calm of a predator who’d locked its jaws around the throat of a hated rival. Her eyes bled white hot sparks as power stirred in their depth. Resistance was nil but before she could even begin to savor her victory, Jacob’s mental topography radically changed. It was like approaching a once-lively public square and finding it abandoned, completely devoid of all presence save for the bones of an old, dead civilization. His brain and body fell under her control but his mind vacated the premises just as she arrived.

Clever rat bastard. Nevertheless, she was undeterred. If anything the ingenuity of his telepathic failsafe only pushed her curiosity further. Now his most important asset was in her arms. His history could still be read, neural pathways retraced, events reconstructed. In that moment, protecting Jacob’s body from the skyrocketing Tsent was roughly just as important as self-preservation.

The mechatronic titan continued skyward. Faint recognition grazed Kisara’s subconscious as the last tethered connection between Jacob’s former and present vessel faded.

The sky cracked. Kisara held Jacob as tightly as if he’d been her lover. The blast that enveloped them may well have rivalled Grayl’s chaotic disciple battling below.

Both should’ve been obliterated. Had she reacted any slower or at all imperfectly—had she anything less than the supremely reliable concentration of a focused homunculus, both would’ve been reduced to atoms. Through the blaze beating on her skull, blistering her skin and threatening to boil her ichor, Kisara forced her and Jacob’s bodies to hold themselves together. It was the crudest form of alchemy. No memorizing and reshaping elements and structures. No complex formulae. Just a concentrated effort to force the atoms to hold together, to keep their bodies from being split apart. She gave it all she had and barely succeeded. Barely had time to reorient herself when she saw the T-Sent winding up its Sunday punch.

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This time there would be no enduring. However great her concentration, however great her understanding of the forces that bound them, until now she’d only been a scholar, one who’d never had to use these powers so extensively under such constraints. There was only so long she could hold against such an overwhelming force.

But perhaps they could overpower it.

Jacob’s optic blasts were tremendously powerful in their own right. That bunker he effortlessly disintegrated was built to withstand the ground burst of a 20 megaton bomb, and the trion blade taken from Nastya could absorb and amplify any energy passed through it.

Kisara held it before the eyes like a visor, and through the Unholy Grayl’s hotwired brain commanded his body to fire with everything it had. No more half-measures. Now she sought nothing less than the sentinel’s complete destruction.