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ABERRANT: WEIRDER STUFF - CHAPTER II "Sometimes Eating the Cake Just Isn't Enough"

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Sean stood there surrounded by her friends but her senses were miles and miles away.

The doctors office was in a building suite on the east campus of the Benefis Hospital. Sean pondered for a few moments trying to see if she could spot the car but the parking was crowded and to be honest she really wasn't sure what she was looking for. Out of the corner of her disembodied eye she caught a flash of red hair and she remembered that Michelle had red hair. She focused her sight on the red headed girl and the older woman with her. It was Michelle and her mom but they were coming out of the hospital not the doctors office.

It was pretty distant from Seans POV but she didn't see anything odd about the way they were walking in fact it looked like the two were laughing. From thins distance it certainly didn't seem like Michelle was acting like the other kids had been.

 

Without thinking about the fact that he had as yet not told anyone of his mental powers Abel stretched his mind out seeking the same strange thought profiles that he had felt with the kids here in the stadium. Almost immediately he found them. The three skater kids who had been at the lake. They were ravenous and eating burgers and fries at Bunee's at the outside table watching the carhop, Monica Sellers bouncing along serving the few cars in the parking lot. The boys were horny and stoned and while Abel could feel the offness it was subdued and the three boys were seemingly unaffected, or at least they hadn't notice any affect.

Just then a piercing set of thoughts ripped across the ether and while Abel was unable to discern where or what he did get a sense of fear and anxiousness associated with danger.

 

NASA MC

The air force captain sat tensely at the control station his eyes locked on the twin screens in front of him one showed a visual from a camera obviously mounted on a spacecraft. The second was a radar generated graphic. The camera visual showed a white spot which was growing bigger it moved a little like a drunk stumbling home after the bar closed.

“I have the target locked.” the captains voice was subdued, he was fully aware of the senior officials both air force and unknown government types watching his actions closely.

“Fire when ready Captain.” one of the government types spoke his voice also startlingly quiet.

Captain Miller glanced back at the man who had given the order and at the General standing beside the man. The General nodded approval.

So it was that Captain Randy Miller USAF became the first man in history to engage in spacecraft to spacecraft combat against a hostile foe.

 

ALOE LAKE MT

The two Black Hawk helicopters, call sign Pale Horse I and II, flew in low over the surface of the lake, skimming toward the large marshy Island somewhere ahead of the them the small Rotor Drone was sending pictures back but was to small and distant to be visible with the naked eye.

On the little video screen the Black Hawk pilot and copilot could see the marsh rushing by beneath the drone when suddenly something moved and was visible for an instant neither knew what they had seen but later described a many legged cat like thing with what one of them described as a set of “weird Pintals” coming out of its shoulders, the appendages held a green globe the size of a soccer ball. Both airmen saw a green beam emitted from its center. The drone feed died at that instant. Pilots of both Helicopters saw a flash and what looked like a small explosion and took evasive action.

The two helicopters veered away in opposite directions. Form near the center of the island the beam reached out again and caught Pale Horse II near the tail rotor section. The metal exploded as the beam made contact and the tail spun off in one direction and the chopper in another spun out of control and slammed into the water about 20 meters from the island. Men began pouring from the crashed and sinking bird.

Pale Horse I veered back toward the island, the armed chopper opening up with a full array of rockets targeting the area where the drone went down.

 

Spoiler

You may commence posting rember we are while not in combat rounds , are in real time so your posts should reflect the moment. I am available for questions

 

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Courtney and Chet spin around as Lilly jogs up to them. Chets fists are balled and the muscels and veins are pulsing on his arms and at his temples. Courtney steps between Lilly and Chet."

"What the fuck Pryor? Why the fuck do you care what we do?" says Courtney, as she looks past Lilly and grimaces even more. "Shit."

Lilly glances over her shoulder and sees Coach Sissiano coming toward them.

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Lilly blinks, somewhat taken aback.

"What the fuck's your problem? After what happened, we're all getting checked out. And after what you said in the cafeteria I thought we were cool now, so I was just looking out for you and wanted to make sure get checked out and are okay." Lilly responded.

"And even if we're not cool now and all you said was total BS, I'd still rather you be pissed at me, but get checked out and be sure you're okay, than for you to wander off and have who-knows-what happen to you. You could space out when driving or something and have a wreck. It's called 'thinking about others and not just yourself'. You really should try it sometime." she verbally jabbed back.

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<They're at bunnies, eating like they've not eaten a bite in days, while ogling one of the carhops.  They're stoned, and the same "offness" is present, but far mitigated.> he sent to guild chat, The sense of anxiety and fear made him switch his focus, now that he'd found the stoners, to looking for the source, wondering if it were Alien.   Allowing his mind to expand, and sweeping it like a massive lighthouse beam in the mental ether, he got a hit pretty solidly almost immediately.   It was nine human males, screaming in terror and excitement within their minds.   He had the sense they were all about to die, it's what they all felt, as he got small flashes of the sky and the sea, if he had to hazard a guess, they were crashing over the ocean, coming from a fairly high altitude.  They were not nearby by any stretch, and he could essentially imagine himself turning the dials on his power, trying to zero in on just one of the minds, and gain what information he could.

 

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Kia looked around, between Abel and Lilly, rapidly getting completely lost. She wanted to help her friends, but it seemed like half of them wanted to do one thing and half something else, and some kids were sick or something and some of them were really far away, and she was becoming more and more certain that wherever the important things were, it wasn't here...and whoever the important ones were, she wasn't among them.

"I have no idea what's going on," she said verbally, "should we be doing something? Or going somewhere?"

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Successfully managing to attune his telepathy to the mind of one of the men, He could now see what he was seeing, as his memories.  He'd been way off, they weren't over the ocean, they were at the lake, right now.   He clearly saw the alien beast, an alien puma like creature, with six legs, and seemingly hairless.   The creature was impressively agile, and considerably tough, as he could see the telltale charring and blast craters of half a dozen 2.75in rockets around the center of the island, obviously trying to put the monster down.    He saw the memories from moments before, seeing The creature essentially fire a green laser that cut through the rotor section of the other helicopter downing it.  It was a good thing it failed to hit the cockpit.   Knowing what the pilot was thinking, looking to bring the chin canon into play, he could only watch and hope that they would escape that green beam, and bring the creature down, without dying in the process.
<The military has engaged the alien at the lake, a new type, unlike the others.  this one has feline features, and shoots lasers capable of downing drones and helicopters.>    He looked around, in part feeling Kia's confusion.   <I have a feeling we're all about to be needed at the lake.  I swear to god, it looks almost like they're fighting a displacer beast.>

 

1389880153.jpg

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"Probably," Sean wryly agreed with Kia, "but I'm not entirely sure what or where."

The tall woman blinked her large turquoise eyes and quickly glanced around assessing the situation, while keeping the thread to her distant senses active for the moment. Lilly was off a ways, curtailing Chetney's escape, which was excellent, even if they might have to make their own retreat.

<Michelle is with her Mother in Great Falls, suffering no adverse effects that I can see,> Sean updated the regulars. <It might have been a limited phenomenon among the effected. I don't think we have to worry about them immediately, but Alec or Lilly should take a look at them later or tomorrow, just to be sure, and purge the infection then.>

Just as Sean finished her suggestion, Abel was updating them on the situation at the Island. Sean frowned and suppressed a pique of irritation. They should have been allowed to go there, or hadn't bothered acquiescing to Carmody's demands in the first place. <Bloody hell!> Sean exclaimed, but there wasn't a great deal of heat to it as she considered their options. <Who here thinks they can make it there fast enough to make a difference,> Sean asked her fellow Irregulars, <And is willing to do so?>

"And there's our answer, Kia."

As she commented over Guildchat, Sean let the connection to her Farsense collapse and began focusing on a new point. The images and memories Abel sent them were somewhat hard to correlate, so she centered on the coordinates he had picked up, on a point fifteen meters above ground, that she let her pan around for a wide view if necessary. Her senses snapped into sharp focus, better than HD and Surround Sound, and she opened a thread to Guildchat so the others could sense what she was sensing, if needed.

<It looks hot there, guys, who ever is going, get going, but stay safe. First rule of Emergency Rescue is not ending up needing rescue yourself,> Sean commented, starting to walk, no saunter over to Carmody, her presence, her bearing, beginning to grow more regal and awesome. She couldn't move as fast as the others, so she'd contribute in other ways. <I'll distract our Watchers while you guys take off.>

<I can summon up a whole bunch of fog,> Sara offered. <It's not perfect, but'll confuse things and let us get away.> Something in her thoughts suggested not quite a blush, but something. <And I can carry you, Sean.>

Sean blinked over her shoulder down at Sara, then spun around and walked back over to her friends, letting her awe-inspiring presence lapse before it fully coalesced. She grinned, her eyes fierce and bright. <Or that. Let's do that, much more convenient, for us all.>

She send a discrete thought Sara's way. <Uh, just a warning, you probably won't be able to go full speed. You can handle it, but I'm not sure I can. And I won't be too much of a load for you?> Sean's lips curled self-deprecatingly as she looked down at herself and shrugged. <I'm not as small and light as I was.>

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The thoughts flashed back and forth faster than light, plans were made...

Lilly hoped that Coach Sissiano would reach them before the proposed fog rolled in, as though she wanted to slip away, and knew it would be happening, she preferred if Chet and Courtney were stuck here

She got her wish

Grace Sissiano had volunteered for this job not really thinking it would be much more than a little gold star in her file and a stepping stone to promotion, she had never really thought it would actually have anything to do with the weirdness that had erupted at the base... these were kids after all.

“Lilly, what's going on over here,” she asked her Colonel's daughter, but didn't look at her, instead her attention was on the other two, the boy and the cheerleader, “I don't know everyone yet what are your names?”

The two kids not wanting to cause a scene told her and Grace recognized them from the list, she looked over at the rest of the kids sitting on the field then back at them her eyes narrowed a bit. “You two need to go sit with the rest of the kids, Lilly you go and wait with the rest of your group.” She gestured to where the Irregulars had gathered.

Quickly the gang made mental plans with who was going to lift who and in truth it was all a bit confusing.

< Well Sara has Sean and Alec is teleporting or whatever. I know you can fly, Kia, but it is like twenty miles and I can run it in 4-5 minutes or so. Either of you need a lift? > Lilly thought over Guildchat.

< Uh.. Sure? > Kia responded.

<Ok guys wait until the fog is set before we go> Sara warned.

 

Then Sean mentioned her weight.

Without thinking long Sara came up with another idea. “Alright I'm going to fog the whole stadium, Sean when I do I want you to hit me as hard as your can.”

"You want me to what?" Sean asked, arching a doubtful brow at Sara. If she wasn't completely surprised or disbelieving of the request, it was probably only because Sean was skilled now at controlling her expressions.

"Hit me, hard as you can," Sara reiterated confidently.

"I don't think this is a good idea," Sean countered. "I might not be quite as strong as Lilly, but I'm still stronger than human, and I know how to throw a punch."

"Trust me," Sara exhorted, placing a hand on top of Sean's. "I know what I'm doing."

"Okay..." Sean finally agreed, not without uncertainty.

< Be Ready> came Sara's thought “Sean wait for me to tell you when,”the short haired blond says to the voluptuous girl at her side.

 

***********

NASA MC

“Two minutes to optimum intercept range. Target is still on steady course, no divination in orbit or speed.” Captain Miller was in the zone, is words a clear monotone perfect for the record.

“I'm getting some unusual radiation readings on the launch vehicle,” Another airman, this one a Senior Master Sargent said, “Something is pinging the shield but I'm not getting any readings or alarms anywhere else. Seems to be transitional and intermittent. I am showing a minimal increase in temperature.”

“Is the vehicle in danger?” asked the Project man who had given the order to commence the attack.

“Not at this time sir.”

 

************

ALO LAKE MT

The scout zigged and zagged, lept and rolled as the ground behind it was chewed up by the choppers rounds and the rockets blew whole chunks of earth into the sky. The Creature was in full evasion mode and was pumping highly oxidized fuel into its system making almost three times as fast as it normally was but even at this increased speed it had still been wounded by shrapnel a few times. Still it had led the flying machine away from the center of the Island where the Portal would be opening soon.

 

*************

SHELLY HS STADIUM

 

“Ok here goes the Fog” Sara closed her eyes and reached inside the energy flowed, her senses spread out into the air the ground temperatures plunged and rose in different places and with unnatural quickness a thick wet mist rose and swirled all across the stadium grounds

The fog rolling in unexpectedly caught people off guard, causing some to look around, confused by it.

< One lift, coming up. Just hold on tight. > Lilly joked.

< Wait. What? > Kia thought, slightly confused.

Lilly scooped up her best friend in her arms, carrying her akin to a bride across the threshold. The weight was insignificant to her now as she sent a surge of power through her legs and set off for the lake at an unbelievable running speed, mixing in tremendous leaps as needed to avoid cameras, and the view of motorists and other possible witnesses.

“Now Sean!” Sara called out to her girlfriend.

Despite Sara's request, Sean's first punch was tentative, an open-handed strike to disperse the force at the point of contact.

"You hit like a girl, Sean," Sara almost jeered. "And here I thought you were a superwoman, now."

Sean's perfect brows crinkled, for just an instant in puzzlement. She struck Sara again, a more substantial blow this time. "Hmm."

Even if Sara was as tank-like as Lilly now, Sara still should have rocked back or skidded a bit on the ground from the force of her punch. Instead, her fist had just... stopped when it had contacted Sara's sternum, the kinetic force simply dissipated. Or absorbed. Sara looked taut, almost quivering.

"Interesting," Sean murmured, her full lips curving. Sean took a ready stance and gave Sara a full-strength punch, though one meant to transfer the full impact instead of cripple, maim, or kill. This time, Sean actually felt a rebound or a resurgence of the kinetic energy flow back through her arm and through her body, but Sara still hadn't budged an inch. "What does it feel like?"

“Pretty fucking good actually!” said Sara an almost orgasmic look on her face has the energy from Sean's blow flowed in and through her making her stronger than any human had ever been before.

Alec, Talena, Laurili, and Abel all stared through the dense fog at the strange scene playing out between the two teenage girls.

“Talena, you and Lauri need to take off before they notice we're gone.” Abel cautioned the two normal girls as he stepped away from them.

Alec leaned over and kissed Talena quickly almost chastely then stepped back himself. “I'll see you guys there” then he simply vanished.

Alec shook his head looked over at Sara and Sean as they sort of hugged each other. Well this all went South in a hurry, he'd muse to himself, as he took flight, and moved with all the speed he could muster, his barrier shield humming into existence even as he flew towards the lake, hoping they'd make it in time to help. He had barely cleared the stadium when he felt something hit his barrier.

Startled he looked up to see Sara and Sean flaying close to him, Sean was tucked in against Sara's chest one of Sara's arms around her while she was holding onto Sara with both of hers.

<If you can let me into your shield I can carry you too> Sara thought at Abel as she held out her hand.

Bending his shield he let the two girls inside, a few adjustments and then Sara increased her speed and together the three of them rocketed toward the lake.


 

Spoiler

 do not post More to follow will need initiative rolls in the combat thread


 

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*************

ALOE LAKE MT

THE ISLAND

Alec was there.

The noise was very disconcerting not at all like in the movies and the helicopter wasn't even that close. He looked around and saw the crashed chopper abut 50 metes away in the water, he saw the men from it scrambling on shore, some of them hurt from the crash. He quickly ran to the beach to help them get ashore .


 

SPACE 256 MILES ABOVE THE EARTH

The drone known as goofy silently traveled it's orbit it's automation now controlled not by NASA or any other human agency, but by an alien intelligence bent on nothing less than the subjugation or annihilation fo the human race. Signals and energy sent from thousands of light years away rode the Quantum Fold and using the portals aboard the drone as a focusing lens began their assault on the planet Earth

ALOE LAKE MT

THE ISLAND

Alec turned back toward the center of the island when a long loud sound like wood ripping assaulted his ears as the flying chopper let loose a long burst of it's cannon.

Then he froze.

He felt it in his bones in his cells in his head.

There in front of him not more than 20 meters away was a silver disc just like the ones in the camp except his one was over 10 meters across and something was stepping out of it.

alien_centaur_by_therionflux6-d4tnalc.jpg


 


 

NASA MC

Captain Miller studied the readouts and his screens before announcing, “Weapon is at optimal range target is unchanged. Commencing release in 3...2...1.”

He pressed a button on his keyboard and the weapon silent detonated send 628 small tungsten steel balls in an expanding cloud which would intersect with Goofy in less than ten seconds.


 

ALOE LAKE MT

THE ISLAND

The thing was huge easily standing 4 meters tall. The green gems located on it's head and the metallic bands about its body crackling with energy. Alec could feel a surge in his own power as the thing rapidly moved away from the portal it's tail whipping up and a flash of green energy like a laser flashed out at Pale Horse I the beam narrowly missing the chopper which veered away and spun back to engage the new threat.

Sara and the rest of the Irregulars were just flying up over the island in time to witness the arrival of the centaur like monster. Early as they had begun their flight Sean had spotted Lilly and Kia as they mad a stupendous leap to cover a greater distance. A flashing thought conversation and with Abel's Force-field Sara grabbed on to the two additional Irregulars and carried them along so that they all arrived at their destination together.

SPACE 256 MILES ABOVE THE EARTH

The tungsten BBs impacted the drone called Goofy at a combined speed of over 20KM/SEC. The drone disintegrated its debris scattering far and becoming a space hazard. Over the next 28 days four additional satellite would be damaged by direct contact with the debris. The two 1m portals carried by goofy,one a transmitter the other a receiver, remained functional and open but were separated and lost in space.


 

ALOE LAKE MT

THE ISLAND

Two more of the creatures had exited the portal with two more materializing right behind them when the portal flared and collapsed taking the creatures with it but leaving three of the monstrosities on earth.

Like a scene from a superhero movie Sara swoops low and released her passengers who propelled by the force of they're travel spread out and landed prepared for battle.


 

Spoiler

The collapsing gate threw out a burst of Quantum Energy which will allow each enhanced to absorb one hours worth of quantum as if she had rested. We are now in combat rounds. once i have everyone's initiative I will post instructions in the combat thread.


 

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As they drew near the island Lilly felt the wave of energy wash over her, like the heat from an explosion. The small recharge was very welcomed and eased some of Lilly's fears. Only once had she pushed herself to this degree and expended so much of her internal energy reserves... the night she and Alec healed the soldiers. She had felt relatively safe on the base though, but now she was going with her friends to face an uncertain foe, and had worried she might not be able to do her share. Thankfully, this unexpected wave of energy was a small comfort to her and brought a smile to the young woman's lips.

Sara, with the rest of the Irregulars in tow (sans Alec) came in low over the water and released the others, letting the momentum carry them as they landed and spread out somewhat.

Lilly, still in her practice gear (except helmet and shoulder pads) tucked and rolled with the impact and then came up into a 3-point stance, making a shallow trench behind her through the mash as she slid to a stop. She looked up at the strange aliens... the creatures.. the things trying to invade her home... and she was having none of it.

< I'm gonna punch this thing back to it's home. It might get messy. I don't see that Displacer Beast. We need to find it.> she thought over Guildchat with grim determination.

Lilly's eyes narrowed, the streaks of eye-black under them from practice looking like war paint as she focused on her Node. A surge of energy rush from it, coursing down her body in a wave which was only visible because as is ran down her arms, torso and legs each muscle flexed and as the wave passed. She could feel the power surging through her muscles, tissues and nerves, somehow making her even stronger, faster and tougher. 

Like a shot, she launched herself at the Centaur, the marshy terrain of seemingly no concern to her powerful, yet nimble legs and feet. As she was about to reach the creature she reared back her arm, clenching her hand into a fist as she send another surge of energy right down her arm to it, focusing her strike with deadly precision. 

With a forceful, almost angry, grunt she threw her punch with everything she had, testing the power of her focused fist against the hide of the beast. The strike was audible and sent out a small shockwave radiating out, pushing dirt, small rocks and loose vegetation away in a small, expanding circle. Beneath the hide of the beast Lilly could feel bones breaking as the force of her blow radiated from the point of impact, shattering bones and likely rupturing internal organs, causing the massive creature, easily 4 meters tall, to fall to it's knees before her, wracked with obvious pain.

< I gave this thing everything I had in that punch. It's not dead, but I bet it's regretting stepping through that portal. I can only punch like this a few more times, so I will try to soften up the other two centaurs for your guys to finish off and hopefully I can keep them aggro'ed on me. We still need to find the Displacer Beast too.> she sent out across the Guildchat.

< And don't forget to at least take off your uniform before shapeshifting. I'm sure it is a pain to replace it. > she thought directly to Kia, reminding her friend, lest she ruing her uniform like she did her clothing last time..

 

Spoiler

Actions

Lilly will activate Multitasking for the scene as a free action, Boost, close to the Centaur in front using her free 1/2 running movement, activate Claws, and Punch the hell out of it. So 3 actions means -1, -2, -2 respectively (after Multitasking).

 

Free Action - Activate Multitasking enhancement for the scene. (-3q)

 

1.) Activating Boost (-4q)

5 Quantim + 1 Boost = 6D10 -1d10 (multiple action penalty) = 5d10E7 => 2 ((6, 6, 7, 7, 1 → successes against 7)) = 2

2 successes means Lilly gets a +2 to all 3 physical Attributes. Base Attributes raise first and anything after 5 becomes/adds to Mega-Attributes.

4 Str + 2 M-Str  →  5 Str + 3 M-Str  →   (She can now deadlift 50,000 kg (50 tons) and has [20] automatic successes to Strength/ Might rolls and close combat damage dice pools.)
5 Dex + 2 M-Dex  →  5 Str + 4 M-Dex
4 Str + 3 M-Stm  →  5 Str + 4 M-Stm  →   (+1B Soak from 5th dot of Stm, +2B Soak from 4th dot of M-Stm+Resiliency (which raises her Bashing Soak to 22 for the moment), and she gains 2 more Bruised Health Levels for the moment)

The added dots fade at the rate of 1 per 6 rounds (her Quantum + power rating).

 

Free Action - Move half Running distance to close to melee on the nearest Centaur.

 

2.) Activate Claws (-2q)

 

3.) And punch the centaur.

Attack:

Using Martial arts for attack: 5 Dex + 4 M-Dex + 2 Martial Arts = 7 + 4 mega dice - 2 (multiple action penalty)  = 7 + 2 Mega dice.

Non-Mega Dice: 7d10E7 => 3 ((1, 10, 4, 10, 9, 3, 6 → 3 successes against 7)) = 3
Mega Dice: 2d10E7 => 1 ((7, 5 → 1 successes against 7)) = 1 (a rolled 7) = 2 successes
Total Successes = 5 

Damage: 

Base Damage: [15] + 5 Str +1 Claws + 2 (from Strike) +5 (successes on attack) Lethal damage, Armor Piercing

Centaur's Lethal Soak: 15 -10 (5 successes on AP attack) = 5

Adjusted Damage after Soak: [10] +13d10 Lethal damage, Armor Piercing

13d10E7 => 4 ((3, 2, 3, 8, 5, 1, 5, 9, 6, 5, 9, 7, 5 → 4 successes against 7)) = 4 + [10] = 14 Lethal Damage

 

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BULWARK AFB
MOMENTS AGO

Airman Black a flight technician had just opened the storage cage to extract another drone when suddenly the cage filled with sound as the drone all five, came to life. One by one they lifted off they're cradles and with Black ducking out of the way the five rotor drones took off single file flew out into the open hanger and then out onto the airfield veering east.

 

"Col Pryor sir, the air field just reported that the drones took off sir."

Pryor who was watching the men from the downed chopper swim to shore on the long range camera. "Good how long until it's on site?"

"Sir, it's not just the one sir it's all of them and we aren't flying them sir. They just took off by themselves."

Col Pryor spun around and stared at the airman on the phone. "What the hell are you talking about?" he tried to keep his voice level.

At the filed camera control station Airman Allison Bigby had to press her lips hard together to keep from smiling at the chaos erupting behind her as they tried in vain to regain control of the drones.

They hers now, hell they were Her and she knew just what she was going to do with them. Something caught her eye She had seen the man suddenly appear on the beach and help the soldiers then she saw the disc and the monsters.

"Col Pryor you better come see this it just got worse."

"What now?" Pryor went back hurriedly to the screens and arrived just in time to see his daughter  smash the new alien threat.

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Abel smiled as his feet touched the ground, and he looked to Kia, who was standing there with him.   "Let's Kick their asses."


<Sean, can you to use your esp to spy out that damn displacer beast.  We can't let it get away.   I'm going to try and keep these soldiers safe behind my shield.   Worst comes to it, I can get one of the missile pods from the downed helicopter and throw it at the things, and Alec, at that point I'd want you to blast it. Should be a rather impressive explosion.   Of course we'd wait for any of us to clear out before it comes to that.>


None of them had any idea what exactly these things were aside from a threat, and he was passively scanning for the same sort of alien mental dissonance as at the cabin, when he'd felt the things before.  He knew where three were, but the 4th was really what he was looking for.  


Abel is playing things cautiously, focusing on defense, as he tries to shield the injured soldiers, as well as find the displacer/scout


3 successes for his roll


 

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The sensation washing over hims was thoroughly unpleasant. The roiling Quantum energies translating to a sensation similar to an itch, but inside his head. It was distinctly unpleasant. With a low growl he reaches for the incandescent power pulsing in time to his own heart, forming a ball of glowing energy in his palm. Letting it loose, the pencil beam of actinic light flashes forward, burrowing straight through the central "Eye" on the creatures forehead and exiting out of the back of it's head, it's expression of pain terminated mid vocalisation.

It twitches once and starts to topple over, the smoking hole through it's head still glowing white as its massive bulk hits the ground.

<Focus 'em down if you can. More of them that go down ASAP, the less surprises they can begin throwing around.> He listens silently for the half a second it takes Abel to lay out his own plan. <I don't know. The missiles seemed minimally effective earlier. And most of their power comes from the warhead being a shaped charge. Finally, I don't know if my power would detonate it or just annihalate it. So far, when I use it, it only leaves ash behind, so there's no garuntee that you would get anything even closely resembling an effective weapon. I can try, but I think I may be better off just blasting the damn things.>

Spoiler

Lazors!

8D10E7 => ( (8, 5, 9, 10, 7, 4, 2, 8 → 5 successes against 7) ) = 5 | 10s: 1

Grand total of 6 successes.

Damage:

8D10E7 => ( (8, 9, 7, 10, 1, 10, 10, 4 → 6 successes against 7) ) = 6 | 10s: 3, ones: 1

For a grand total of 6 Lethal

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Sara unwrapped her arm from around Sean's trim, tight waist, who landed in a run, and then flipped and cartwheeled with acrobatic grace, her long legs scything through the air. It wasn't to draw attention or showoff, but it was more efficient in dispersing her momentum. Also, the gymnastic movements let her glance all around the island swiftly. It would have been too fast for a normal person, but not for Sean, not anymore.

Her senses were incredibly acute and since pushing her Farsense sense recently, if anything her eyesight had grown even sharper. Everything was in hyper-sharp contrast and had impossible clarity, regardless of distance. She was able to discern beads of water and sweat on the soldiers from where she was and could count the individual blades of grass scattered about the marshy island.

Even before she landed and heard Lilly's and Abel's comments, Sean was searching for the alien scout, leaving the alien mobile artillery for the rest of the Irregulars, unless it turned out they needed her help in downing them. True, she was feeling stronger now, but she had felt the immense strength coiled in Sara's arm as she had held her and the efficacy of Lilly's punch and Alec's lasers was clearly evident. She'd be more effective in a different capacity than as muscle at the moment.

<Already looking for the scout> Sean told the others with a calm, professional intensity. <Now that we're on site, my own eyes will be better than my Farsense. Keep burning down the Centaurs like Alec said.> They had brought down one of them fast enough that it didn't seem they needed to off-tank the other mobs. <If you can or you get the opportunity, try targeting the crystals in their heads, it might disrupt their control of the energy ejector bands.>

She noticed the play of electricity over the crystals and metallic-looking bands. There had to be some method of control for the weapons and it seemed a reasonable conjecture on her part. Sean had every intention of getting her hands on at least one of the bands, and possibly the crystals in their head, to see how they worked and possibly adapt to their own ends, or at least develop a defense against them. They were facing an invasion, after all.

Sean hadn't stopped moving, her heeled ankle-boots not seeming to impede her in the slightest on the sludgy terrain, moving forward to get the best field of view she could of the island and any potential hiding places for the scout. Though it seemed she was completely ignoring the alien centaur creatures towering over her, she wasn't. She'd enabled parallel thought avenues, assigning one of them to analyzing their movement from her peripheral vision, listening to the sound of their movement and feeling it in the vibrations under her feet, constantly considering the best evasive maneuvers, her inhumanly sharp female intuition keeping her aware of any danger directed her way.

She noted the incoming drones, musing they must be controlled by a single person or slaved to one drone in particular, they arrangement too precise. Well, there's going to be recorded evidence of our involvement this time. She dismissed that as unimportant for the moment, they needed to locate that scout and eliminate it.

Either it had escaped initial attempt of a beachhead at the Camp or Fort Bulwark - possibly evolving into a new class of creature when alone to adapt to its new prerogatives - or had arrived in the meantime. In either case, it had evaded detection for that time seemed to be acting as a spotter for the portals. The first had collapsed, but it could still possibly be a focus for opening another.

Sean knew the precise the location of the coordinates from using it as a focal point for her Farsense, and from there, she can panning around the island, looking for the scout. She narrowed in on anything that could possibly obscure its outline or conceal it outright, looked for anything anomalous in case it had a chameleon's capability to alter the coloration of its epidermis.

She was concentrating on looking for it so intensely, it was an instant before she realized contrasts weren't just sharpening, but she was seeing into the ultraviolet and infrared spectra. Cool! Predator-vision! Sean's enticing lips curved into a ravishing, fierce grin. This should help piercing any camouflage.

<Stay sharp people - I may need to call in an air-strike if I find the damn thing.> She remembered how fast it was. <To bring it down before it can get away again.>

Spoiler

Luck Pool for the Scene
5D10E7 => ( (4, 8, 1, 10, 3 → 2 successes against 7) ) = 2 | ones: 1, 10s: 1 
Average result - 2 Luck successes to assign each round

Activating Electromagnetic Vision (+3 dice to visual Awareness rolls, plus new range of visual perceptions - UV, IR, Magnification/Telescopic x1000) -1qp

Taking three Actions ( -1, -2, -2, Multitasking): 1 to search specifically for the Scout, 2 to dodge any incoming attacks. Assigning a Luck Success to each Dodge, which gives her one Automatic Success on each Dodge.

Perception Roll (5d Perception + 5d Awareness + 3d Enhancement + 2d Mega Perception): 15d10, first 2 Mega.
15D10E7 => ( (2, 6, 6, 4, 8, 1, 1, 7, 7, 10, 1, 5, 9, 8, 1 → 6 successes against 7) ) = 6 | ones: 4, 10s: 1  = 6 successes

Dodge #1 (5d Dex + 5d Athletics + 2 M-Dex - 2 Multi-action + [1] Luck): 10d10 +1
10D10E7 => ( (4, 10, 10, 6, 7, 5, 6, 5, 10, 3 → 4 successes against 7) ) = 4 | 10s: 3 = 5 Successes

Dodge #2 (5d Dex + 5d Athletics + 2 M-Dex - 2 Multi-action + [1] Luck): 9d10 +1
9D10E7 +1 => ( (9, 1, 4, 8, 7, 1, 4, 3, 4 → 3 successes against 7) + 1) = 4 | ones: 2 = 4 Successes

 

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The giant centaur like creature shuddered as Alec's Laser beam burned through its head, already on it's knees from the powerful blow dealt by Lilly the thing simply sagged the rest of the way to the ground. The green gems sparking and throwing off energy  creating a small green light show about the monstrosities body.

The other two creatures moved quicker than their bulk should have allowed in our gravity. The one nearest Lilly Jumped Sideways away from where it's compatriot fell land a good fifteen meters away, while it was in the air its body twisted and it landed facing Lilly and the rest of the Irregulars. Also while it was int he air, the small gems began flashing beams of semi translucent light. These beams flashed all around like search beams with many of them ending up locked on Sara who was still in the air in the open.

As a number of small beams settled on her, the tail of the creature began to glow a furious green and swung toward The flying girl.

A blinding emerald flash and a huge beam some 5 inches in diameter arced down the converging smaller beams and though Sara tried to twist out of the way she could not evade the beam. It hit wish a crash of thunder and flash of green lightning Sara spun head over heels back from the force of the blast slamming into the water some ten meters off the island, where she disappeared under the lapping waves.

The other centaur had lept forward in the same manner but toward the men on the beach and Alec. The same series of small beams flashed out lighting up Alec and several of the soldiers. The tail reared up over the things head but instead of one giant beam five smaller beams flashed out these struck and invisible barrier and wasted themselves in the air a few meters from Alec and the four other men that had been targeted.

 

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Sara Slammed into the water and went under her body burned and bruised but alive.

Alive and angry.

Like a rocket she rose from the water her eyes blazing with fire.

Spoiler

Sara has taken 3 level os damage and is at -1 dice penalty

 

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Sean felt something inside constrict with savage brutality when the tracer beams locked onto Sara, followed by the 12.34cm thick bar of coruscating verdant energy slamming into her and knocking her into the water. The incredible self-possession and competency that she had felt since her transformation wavered under an assault of fear and fury at what had happened to her girlfriend.

She was about to change course and dive into the water after Sara when she caught something out of the corner of her eye, a flicker of movement on the ultraviolet spectrum. It was still now, but she had the direction and distance, as easy for her to determine as the location of her hand in relation to herself. A flood of relief flooded through Sean when she heard the hiss of steaming water and drops of water hitting the lake. A flick of her eyes and she saw Sara in the air, battered, but her eyes orbs of red fire.

It was a glorious and allaying sight.

Sean continued her movement at an angle to what she'd seen instead of directly towards it, so as not to give aware she had noted its position. <Guys, I've caught something on the East side of the island. 3.76 meters from the pier, 31.20 meters from Lilly.> Sean sent them an image of a big glowing arrow pointing the spot over Guildchat. With her enhanced ability with geometry and spatial awareness, she plotted out the vectors and distances between each of the Irregulars and the suspect scout and overlaid neatly annotated lines into the image for her friends. <Can't get a perfectly clear view, but noted it on the UV spectrum. Many animals, including reptiles, birds, and insects, use it to see through natural camouflage. I believe it to be the alien scout.>

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Kia was having a lot of feelings at that moment.

The trip over had been like every roller coaster ride she'd ever been on, rolled into one and then shoved down her throat. All the panic from the speed and the not being in control. All the reckless exhilaration from...well, from the speed and the not being in control. She was left catching her breath as everyone leapt into action. Sheer adrenaline tore through her system, drowning out the emotional noise of fear with the urgent need to ACT. She didn't even hear Lilly's admonition about her clothes, really. She was too busy feeling a need to be something else.

Not being in a position to think carefully about what specifically she wanted, Kia's body and instincts chose for her. She needed to be as big as possible to dominate the situation. As strong as possible. She needed to kill all of these things. Fueled by infinite energy, her cells burned themselves up to replace themselves with a new generation.

The transformation Kia underwent was startling in its speed and violence compared to last time...and that was considering that last time she wrecked half a cabin doing it. Even her enhanced body couldn't contain the heat generated by the sudden and rapid metabolic changes, and steam gushed out from her as she expanded, forming a thick cloud that something could be seen moving inside. Something big.

The creature that came lurching out of the fog cloud was nothing that had ever walked the Earth, though it had clearly used real things as inspirations. Its body was low-slung, like an alligator, and covered with thick, jagged sheets of armor like massive shark scales. Its wedge-shaped head and toothy maw were also very reminiscent of an alligator, despite the multiple eyes...but the resemblance dwindled from there. Four legs were stubby and muscular, but another set of limbs set farther forward terminated in a set of crablike claws. The monster's body was far more flexible than an alligator, moving with almost sinuous grace despite its ludicrous size. This was necessary to let its tail...sporting a giant spike on the end like a scorpion's...arch over its back threateningly.

Steam still vented from between its scales as it stomped towards the monsters, and the trailing edges of those scales were glowing dully with fading heat.

The thing's entire body, almost forty feet long and probably weighing dozens of tons, was a blaze of quantum radiation...there was no way anything like that could ever be real without generous revisions to physical laws. It nearly hurt the eyes to look at.

Kia opened her mouth, big enough to ride a horse into, and roared at the aliens...challenging them to either put up or shut up.

 

sir_tom_meets_the_grocc_by_katepfeilschi

 

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The monster coming out of the mist was the game changer.

"We aren't ready for this."  Col Pryor was ashen faced his only daughter was on that island with monsters. "Go to condition one get me the pentagon and get everything here mobilized and heading to that island NOW!"

The Island

The five drones came in at a safe height keeping above the fray but well within the hyped up camera's capabilities and range for making HD recordings of what was going on. Bigby had already shunted the feed out of the air force servers and she was sending them into the cloud coded of course this was her ticket and she was going to cash in.

Pale Horse I hovered the pilot unsure what to do  he couldn't get a shot without putting those kids who had come out of nowhere in danger and then a fucking monster out of a Godzilla movie stomped into view where those poor kids had been.

That hesitation doomed Pale Horse One.

The scout was much smaller than the Centaurs but it's fusion laser was just as powerful the flying machine was a danger and could follow it it had to be destroyed even if it meant revealing itself. The plate on it's back open and the arms extended , between them the focusing globe a quick shot using the data from the Centaurs targeting beams, it couldn't miss.

The green beam ripped through the aft section of the helicopter right where the volatile fuel tanks were. in second a burning ball of fire, men and machine plummeted to the earth.

On the beach the soldiers opened fire on the nearest Centaur their bullets bouncing off amid sparks from the impacts. One soldier who had rescued a stinger portable missile stood and launched not at the Centaur nor the monster closer to him but hat  the heat plum at the other side of the island where the laser that had killed his friends had originated.

The missile flashed across the island both centaurs looked and brought weapons up but they were too late the missile following the laser beam pointer tracked in on the heat residue of the fusion laser and exploded 5 meters from the source.

The scout saw the threat at the last second but it was too late for it the blast sent the spring coils within the warhead out. designed to take out an aircraft moving at near supersonic speed the scout was shredded leaving only a few chunks of weird meat and a fine brownish mist as it's fluids were vaporized.

Spoiler

helicopter is down and burning those men are dead. the scout is dead. the two centaurs are unhurt. next turn both will split dice and defend once and attack once for ease i rolled one defense the centaurs will each have a defense of 5sux this next round.

Lilly is up.

then Abel then Kao then Sean same as before and go!

 

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Lilly could feel see and feel the energy crackling around the green gems on the lifeless centaur at her feet. On one hand it felt kind of pleasant, but on the other hand, it was a bit disconcerting.

< Hey guys? I am sense some energy coming off these green gems on this dead one. Like.. not enough to recharge me yet, (it's only been seconds), but it feels like it I were to stick around, that it would start recharging me. Maybe they are some alien tech? Like some artificial way to channel whatever the hell energy we do, or something. Just a heads up. > she sent over Guildchat as she took stock of the change in the tactical situation with her heightened mental alacrity.

The other centaurs had wisely jumped away from her after her display. Too bad it wasn't far enough.

< Gonna see if I can take out the far one myself so you guys can pour the hurt down on the other one. No matter how this works out, I should be fine. Don't worry about me. I got this one. Just bring down that last one. > she added.

Lilly sent another surge through her legs and propelled herself at the Centaur closest to her (which happened to be the one furthest from everybody else), kicking up a visible trail of dust, dirt and debris behind her that hung in the air for several moment before slowly dissipating. With incredible speed she closed the gap on the centaur, rearing her arm back in a haymaker punch. The energy coursed down her arm, through her muscles and fist as she finally let loose. The Centaur, now well aware of threat Lilly represented, tried to leap out of the way, but the creature just could not move it's bulk out of the way of punch Lilly was throwing with lightning speed.

Once again, the impact was audible, radiating a small shockwave as her fist met it's flesh, threatening to pierce it from pure force. She could hear, and feel, bone crunching.. pulverizing withing the alien as the wave of force coursed through it's midsection, rupturing organs in it's wake. Before the creature could react in any intentional way, Lilly's other fist impacted with the same shockwave, only this time not only could she hear bones break, but she could feel it convulse and then fall limp.. lifeless before her.

Lilly looked down at the centaur, checking it's gems to see it they had the same reaction, and they did.. sort of. As the centaur collapsed the gems started sparking, making a light show around as energy flowed all around the body, but there was a difference this time. Now lines of visible green energy started immediately flowing between this one and the other dead one.

< Uhhh guys? This one is doing the same, but check out the lines of energy between them. Maybe it's making a portal, or a self-destruct fail-safe or something? We might want to keep them separated... > she warned over Guildchat.

 

Spoiler

Lilly will activate Hypermovement to run to the Centaur closest to her (that happens to be furthest from everybody else) and punch twice, spending a willpower on the first attack.

 

Activate Hypermovement: Running (-2q)

 

Penalty for 2 actions is -2, -3 and then Multitasking drops it to -1, -1

 

Attack: #1

Using Martial arts for attack: 5 Dex + 4 M-Dex + 2 Martial Arts = 7 + 4 mega dice - 1 (multiple action penalty)  = 7 + 3 Mega dice + Spending 1 Willpower for an auto success.

Non-Mega Dice: 7d10E7 => 3  ((7, 4, 3, 9, 4, 6, 10 → 3 successes against 7)) = 3
Mega Dice: 3d10E7 => 2  ((5, 10, 9 → 1 successes against 7)) = 2 (rolled a 9 = 2 successes, rolled a 10 = 3 successes) = 5 successes
Total Successes = 8 

-5 Successes from Centaur's dodge

Total Net Successes = 4

 

Damage: 

Base Damage: [15] + 5 Str +1 Claws + 2 (from Strike) +3 (extra successes on attack) Lethal damage, Armor Piercing

Centaur's Lethal Soak: 15 -8 (4 successes on AP attack) = 7

Adjusted Damage after Soak: [7] +11d10 Lethal damage, Armor Piercing

13d10E7 => 5 ((8, 7, 6, 8, 3, 4, 10, 1, 1, 2, 10 → 5 successes against 7)) = 5 + [7] = 12 Lethal Damage

Total Net Damage = 13 Lethal Damage

 

Attack: #2

Using Martial arts for attack: 5 Dex + 4 M-Dex + 2 Martial Arts = 7 + 4 mega dice - 1 (multiple action penalty)  = 7 + 3 Mega dice + Spending 1 Willpower for an auto success.

Non-Mega Dice: 7d10E7 => 2  ((2, 9, 3, 2, 5, 2 → 2 successes against 7)) = 2
Mega Dice: 3d10E7 => 1  ((8, 6, 5 → 1 successes against 7)) = 1 (rolled a 8 = 2 successes) = 2 successes
Total Successes = 4 

Total Net Successes = 4

 

Damage: 

Base Damage: [15] + 5 Str +1 Claws + 2 (from Strike) +3 (extra successes on attack) Lethal damage, Armor Piercing

Centaur's Lethal Soak: 15 -8 (4 successes on AP attack) = 7

Adjusted Damage after Soak: [8] +11d10 Lethal damage, Armor Piercing

13d10E7 => 5 ((6, 9, 4, 3, 5, 10, 10, 9, 1, 7, 7 → 5 successes against 7)) = 5 + [8] = 13 Lethal Damage

Total Net Damage = 13 Lethal Damage

 

Total Net Damage from both attack = 26 Lethal Damage

 

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While the others engaged, Abel had been also trying to find the displacer. Turned out there was little need, it revealed itself to shoot down the second helicopter, and he winced inwardly at the loss of those men, but had a grim smile as one of the soldiers pulled himself together long enough to kill the displacer beast with a rocket.  "Great job fellas.   One of you reach into my pocket and get my phone, call the base and tell them my friends and I have this, not to send anyone else.   There's no reason for anyone else to die here."   

His shield had kept them safe so far and he adjusted, moving to cover as much as he could, curving the sides and top hopefully enough to prevent any sort of multi direction attack.   Still he was now focusing his efforts on the 5 identical minds he'd picked up.  If he were to guess, he'd have to say he was feeling a collection of AI, simply based on how orderly, precise and uniform the minds were.   More than that, he suspected that even the alien minds, which seemed hivelike, and artificial in their own way, weren't ordered and perfectly uniform like this. 


<guys, something's up, I've got five more incoming.  I can't tell if they're hostile, but can tell you this, they certainly aren't human either.   I'm going to try to find out whatever they are, but I don't like whatever's going on with the dead ones either.  Stay on your guard.  Lily could well be right to separate these things, or destroy them completely.  No need to let them go Predator on us if we can help it, I like this lake.">  His warning out, he focused on keeping the soldiers and himself safe,while reaching out to find out more about the five other minds he'd detected

(3 successes)

 

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Lilly could feel a nagging feel in the back of her head as she looked at the line of energy coursing between the dead centaurs. It was a new feeling for her, but she instinctively knew what it meant.

< Something in the back of my head is telling me that something is VERY wrong here... especially about the energy flowing between the dead centaurs. It's not just a hunch, but something I cannot shake... warning me. Be careful, separate them or something. This is not gonna be good when the third one dies, especially if it's close. > she warned over Guildchat.

 

Spoiler

Intuition

3 Perception + 1 Intuition = 4d10E7 => 2 ((7, 9, 5, 2 → 2 successes against 7)) = 2 successes

 

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Sean could still see the heat of the missile's passage and detonation, though it was dissipating quickly in the chill of the October air. She was glancing around, looking for another alien scout that might have been staying hidden as a reserve or backup while Lilly brought down another alien tank and Kia transformed into a nightmare monstrosity that Sean found most impressive. Sean couldn't help but feel regret and shame that they hadn't been able to stop the aliens from downing the other chopper, but at least it seemed they would be able to stop this alien incursion.

Then Lilly sent them her doubts and warning and Sean's head whipped around to stare at her, her premonitory sense tingling in frantic alarm. Her eyes might have been directed straight at Lilly, but that wasn't what Sean was seeing. She was witnessing what happens after what triggered their warnings went off. Well, shit, Sean thought, perversely calm and feeling a spike of pique instead of being terrified, probably still not going to get my hands on some alien-tech. These Asheen are being real clever bastards about this.

<It's WORSE than very wrong,> Sean expounded with controlled intensity, not panic. <I can see it. Giant green mushroom cloud over the island AND lake. Can't tell if distance will mitigate or end the effect or spread out the explosion over more ground. And while I'm sure I could do it, there's no way I have the time to take one of these things about to figure out how it works and then disarm it. Kia, if you can, try to disable the centaur alien instead of killing it.>

Sean's eyes flicked around, from the obliterated scout to the centaurs, to Sara, the soldiers behind Abel's shield, and back to the self-destructing aliens. Clever - if their initial assault succeeded, all is well. If it fails, their downed troops explode and still damage or destroy the resisting force, weakening them for the next attack. Sean's lips tightened in determination - they had to stop this, not only to save themselves and others, but who knows what fallout there could be from the destructive energy.

<There are other options that I'm going to explore, but I'd never expect anyone else to take a risk like this one or think less of one who didn't.>

I so hope I actually believe this and it isn't just my own pride that is trying to kill me simply because so far, I was nothing more than arm-candy in this confrontation.

<Anyone so inclined and capable, make a strategic withdrawal and take whoever you can with you. Those staying... having some way to bleed off or ground the energy in a controlled manner would be ideal, but not knowing exactly what it is, even if it's akin to the energy we are using, that isn't our best option.>

Sean's eye narrowed on the aliens, focusing on the infrared spectrum. Some of those crystals were a focus for the energy, others she conjectured were controlling mechanisms, but most had to be for energy storage. If they aliens biology was anything like ours, the ceasing of metabolic functions should be lowering their body temperature, while the sources of energy should be radiating more heat, even if it's just in the containment mechanism if not the energy itself.

<But unlike on television or the movies, often the best way to defuse a bomb is to destroy it before it goes off. I would suggest we target the gems and see if we can stop the build-up from reaching it's threshold. And keep withdrawal in mind - we won't have much time if we fuck up. Abel, if you can get me a firearm, the heavier, the better, from the soldiers, it would be greatly appreciated. And tell them if reinforcements are on their way to call them off.>

She wasn't as tough as Lilly, not nearly, and wasn't sure if the energy was in a state to do actual harm yet if she smashed the gems with a fist, so wanted a back-up option in case.

Sean chewed on a lower lip, pained at what she was going to ask Sara, that if she agreed, she was keeping herself in danger when she could easily fly away, and knowing she was going to ask anyway. <Sara, you absorbed the kinetic energy of my strikes,> Sean sent her on their private channel. <Can you absorb other forms of energy too? If so, you might be able to stop the catastrophe, or at least buy us some more time.> Sara could feel the intensity of the emotions Sean was feel, even if her mental voice was still silky smooth and professional. <Might is the best I can offer, but it's all I have and the Irregulars are the best option right now, compared to the Airforce.>

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Sean grunted audibly and mentally as her highly sensitized eyes resolved a new heat source inside each of the massive - if not nearly Kia massive - aliens as their flesh cooled. The sources were big and hot, at least seventy-five to eighty degrees hotter than the surrounding tissue, and growing even brighter and hotter as she watched.

<Abort on targeting the crystals!> Sean exclaimed into Guildchat. <Those are just... just peripherals and utilities, probably modular. The power source is inside them by their pelvic region! Behind the joint between their lower region and upper torso.> She frowned, worrying at her lower lip as she shifted her visual spectrum for a moment. <That area looks very thick with muscle, and maybe some sort of organic armor. If you can, try to come at it from behind or below, likely to be at least relatively somewhat softer tissue.>

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< I can grab one, or more, of these things and clear, like, 70 miles easily with a single leap, or like half that straight up, if we need to spread them out. Hell, I can probably even grab Kia and a centaur and still make the leap if needed. Just let me know. Also, I am almost drained, so I might be able to siphon off the energy for some amount of time. Maybe Kia and I spread out two and then maybe throw every shield we got on the last one? I dunno. Just tossing out ideas. > Lilly thought over Guildchat.

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<there is utterly no guarantee that spreading them will mitigate such a blast, in fact it could well make it far worse, increasing the radius.   Think, when you build a failsafe like this, you know the first reaction is to separate the cells, or try to disarm it.  Hell even moving it could well be what sets them off.   I would suggest we take the one that's not disabled and remove it, since it's not reacting yet  Perhaps we could get them to use the portal at base and send the corpses into orbit..>

 

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< And there is utterly no guarantee that it wont either. In fact, spreading them out could well break the link they have with each other, disarming the 'bomb' or making them smaller, individual explosions.

Abel, you might be smart, but you cannot wait to make a decision until you have absolute certainty. That paralyzes you with inaction and it's a surefire way to get your position overrun and lose a battle. That's why the overly cerebral people make great analysts, but terrible commanders. My dad taught me that making tactical decisions are just as much about intelligence as taking initiative. 'Fortuna audaces iuvat'. Fortune favors the bold. 51% is good enough. In this case, where we have nothing to go on, 50% is good enough. Better to try and do something than let it blow up in our faces while we wait for certainty.

I very much doubt they ever expected a race they were conquering to be able to detect this energy and realize what is going on anyways. And yeah, perhaps we could get them to the base and use the portal, but we are not sure how long we have till it blows. It could take out the base for all we know. We do not have a neat, digital display counting down.

But, I'll make it moot. Unless I am given a hell of a good reason not to, I am gonna grab one of these things and put some distance between it and the others, or crush the pelvic region like Sean was saying. Maybe even both, in that order.>

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<Lilly's right. If we wait till we have all the information, this lake and everything around it will be so much radioactive slop. Fact is, we gotta do something about this. Distancing or otherwise disabling the "reactors" is something we can do.>

Of course, time would have been perfect. Eyeing the gems in the creatures forehead, he couldn't help but think that they would offer a solution if he just had the time to take a look at them properly, but given the limited time they had to work, it would have to take a back seat. Putting the ideas to the back of his head for the moment, he reached deep. Up till now he'd been skimming from the top of his powers, unable to reach any further down to drag up any more of the ravenous power but now. Now, however, he really needed it and, bringing his will to bear, shattered the barrier that had previously been holding him back, the blazing power roaring to the fore, leaving him feeling tingles in it's wake, veins pulsing with incandescence in time to his hearbeat. Yeah. He could work with this.

Directing the cascade out, the formerly uniform beams of light crackled with barely restrained power, jumping from side to side as they rushed towards their target, much like lightning. Impacting with the corpse of one of the fallen beasts just over the pelvis, the light hungrily devours everything it touches, the flesh and chitin of the creature flashing into ash before even that is devoured under the onslaught. By the time the beam tapers down, one full third of the creatures mass has been devoured by the ravenous storm of energy, including the reactor stored deep inside it.

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<That works too, I suppose.>

Sean blinked as Alec's particle bean cleaved away a good third of the centaur, reducing the mass to its constituent atoms. 36.89% reduction in mass, she calculated instinctively, senses she couldn't explain giving her the exact dimension of the creature, despite not being able to see it all, equations following allowing her to formulate the mass. Despite her surprise, she glanced at the other alien assault creatures - precisely the same dimensions and mass, taking into account respective damage, of course. Clones or manufactured to precise specifications, just like organic weapons...

Also, the remaining overheating reactor wasn't abating despite the loss of proximity to the disintegrated one.

<Distance or proximity to each other isn't a factor here - we still have an overloading reactor. Getting it away will get it way from us and the base, but won't stop it from overheating, causing it to blow and releases who knows what as fallout. Overheating!> The mental face-palm came through Guildchat clearly, along with Sean's self-recrimination. <I'm so stupid! Of course! Buried inside the creature, at a junction where it's circulatory system must intensify. Dead now, the damn reactor is lacking coolant! It's blood (or what is used as blood) was the coolant! Lack of a shut-down function probably isn't a bug, it's a feature!>

Sean ran over to join Lilly by the remaining fallen centaur, but in passing her impossibly keen vision picked up the winking of crystals from the standing one being menaced by Scorpodile Kia, beams lashing out before they became visible on the human spectrum. The thing was scanning her, Sara, Lilly, and Abel's Force Shield.

<Kia - Chomp-Chomp! Damn thing is scanning us!> Sean commanded as she stood on the opposite of the centaur from Lilly, and getting a good grip on it. <We can't keep it alive, and dead isn't going to make things immediately worse. Lilly, we're gonna throw this one into the lake, right there.> She sent everyone a image of where she wanted in the lake, deep enough to submerge it, not so far they couldn't get to it easily. <We gotta get its temp down.>

Her eyes flicked from side to side eerily fast and she assembled disparate facts and fitted them together. <Sara, mistress of the elements, do you think you can drop the temperature here, or freeze the lake?>

There was a pregnant silence before Sara answered. <Yes. I think... yes.>

<Good enough. A risk, but worth it. We need one of these fuckers intact, so we can learn about what we're facing. Alec, you're our contingency plan in case it the reactor doesn't cool enough. Hope you can pull that trick about two more times.>

"These alien assholes aren't blowing up any part of our planet. And next time, we're going to be ready for them!"

Spoiler

Taking 3 actions - one to run over to Lilly, one to dodge in case Scanny McCentaurface launches something at her (-2 MA + [1] Luck), and one to help Lilly throw the centaur thing as precisely into the lake as possible, chest down (-2 MA + [1] Luck). Will roll if and as needed.

 

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The remaining Centaur hesitates for a moment then assessing the threats and it's available actions leaps at the Kia-croc!

it lands in front of the immense creature and drives it's tail stinger deep into Kia's back. The tail penetrates but the hide is incredible tough and only about a foot of the tail penetrates leaving the Centaur attached and vulnerable.

Spoiler

Kia takes 3 levels of damage after soak

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<Got it Sean, let me get into position then throw it,> came Sara's thought as she zoomed across the Island to the point Sean indicates in her mind.

<And cross your fingers guys I really don't know if I can do this>

The flying girl hovers about forty feet above the water ready to try!

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A foot worth of spine that could punch through plate-steel impaled into Kia. It felt to her like...a bee sting. The relative size of her body compared to the size of the attack was overwhelming. She treated the perpetrator of that attack in much the same way as she would have a bee as well.

She swatted it.

One titanic clawed arm swung upward, casting a shadow momentarily over the centaur as it struggled to extricate its weapon from the beast. With a hissing, gargling roar, Kia brought the claw DOWN onto the centaur with a force somewhere around that of having a sack full of dump trucks dropped on one. The ground SHOOK, and the sound of the impact was like having a satchel charge go off. Dust and bits of mud and twigs whuffed outward in a ring from the place where that claw descended.

There was kind of a wet ripping noise as she lifted that appendage again, and a thick gooey strand was stuck to the bottom of it, linking it to the ground.

The Centaur was there, smashed, dazed...half of its body flattened and leaking horrible greenish-yellow liquid. But it was alive. Barely.

The force of the impact knocked it backwards though, and its tail spine popped out at last. The hole in Kia's hide visibly drew shut as a tidal wave of new cells grew in new tissue, and filled the gap. It was as if the creature had never hit her at all.

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Sean couldn't help but glance over as Kia-zilla dealt with the alien. She could sense the striking equations of her monstrous form, resolve her exact dimensions in four dimensions and calculated her mass, the force in which she hit the alien. Theories on where Kia drew all her extra mass and where she sent it afterward popped into her head, along with the potential side-effects.

Sara's ready signal made Sean shake away the distraction of the scene.

<Roger, Sara.>

Sean and Lilly heaved up the alien creature, each of them moving to grab one its legs in a hand, their fingers digging into muscle and bone for a secure grip. Lilly could have supported the weight with one hand and even Sean could have managed it alone, but its limp, dead mass and unwieldy proportions would have made it awkward for only one of them to handle. Swinging it around by the tail like the hammer throw would have been efficient for sheer distance but lacking in accuracy.

<You totally got this, Sara!> Lilly assured their flying friend.

<You can do this,> Sean echoed less ebulliently but with equal confidence. <On three. On three.>

Aware of the mathematics that made up reality, at least as she witnessed it, Sean counted them off with chronometric precision. Both girls had physical coordination beyond any natural athlete and moved in perfect unison, Lilly supporting the bulk of the weight, Sean helping in balancing it. The elephantine alien flew almost gracefully through the air in a smooth arc, slowly rotating to land in the Aloe lake chest first 57.88m away. There was a great splash, some water going even higher than where Sara hovered, then washed back, covering the alien except for a twisted leg and the tip of its hindquarters, such as they were.

<Go for it!> Lilly and Sean encouraged simultaneously.

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The splash hadn't quite reached Sara's altitude when she reached deep for whatever it was that fed the powers they had been given. Her head pulsed and her body shuddered.

The water was her, she was the water. Sara and the water were one.

The alien thing was less than two meters  below the surface and was sinking fast, Sara stretched out her arms looking like a crucified figure floating in mid air, she called and the water answered. The cylinder of water rose ten meters across the Centaurs body could be seen inside it no longer sinking instead it rose with the column of water. At the same time that the water rose Sara cooled the water once, twice. In seconds the water had frozen solid.

The huge ice cylinder stood for a few seconds before the weight of the ice shattered the surface and the Sara made Iceberg crashed into the water followed by Sara. who dropped from the sky smashed into the bobbing ice and slids off into then under the water.

Spoiler

Sara expends all of her remaining quantum and a willpower  as she uses her Elemental Master to perform three actions pulling the water up and then freezing it. Powerless she falls forty feet striking the ice cylinder and unconscious goes into the water

 

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Lilly and Sean both blinked in surprise, caught off guard as Sara fell unconscious and plummeted to the artificial iceberg and then slipped beneath the water. Both of their minds only lingered for a split second before they leapt into action. Sean took off for the shore of the island with a speed surpassing the fastest sprinters, getting knee deep in the water as Lilly literally leapt over her and all the way to the spot where Sara hit the water, diving in after her with the grace and skill of an Olympian.

The water was brisk, especially so near the iceberg, sending a slight shiver through Lilly as she scanned through the clearing bubbles finally spotting Sara. She had been sucked under the iceberg, her body limp and seemingly lifeless. 'The cold might be a blessing'  Lilly thought to herself as she swam toward her at superhuman speed, hooking one arm around her torso as she swam with the other and her legs. Even one armed, Lilly still swam faster than one would think possible, her powerful arm and legs propelling the pair through the water toward the shore, bursting forth from the water as Sean watched and waited anxiously. 

A small bit of relief hit Sean at the sight of Lilly with Sara in toe. At least she was out of the water, but it quickly apparent that she was not breathing. Lilly immediately began performing CPR, finally thankful that her mother had insisted on the class. 'It could save someone's life one day.' she had always told Lilly. Today, it was.

Lilly pinched Sara's nose and blew into her mouth, trying to maximize the use of her new lung capacity, without harming Sara, and then released, returning to chest compressions as Sara coughed up water. Lilly rolled her onto her side and sighed in relief as Sean hugged Sara tight and then stripped off her thermal vest and hoodie to give Sara, so she could have some warm, dry clothing.

Lilly rested a hand on the bleeding cut on Sara's head and focused, checking her for injuries other injuries as she channeled energy through her arm, sealing the wound.

< She hit her head on the fall and gulped some water. Nothing too serious though. She should be fine. > she informed the others as she sat there in her football practice gear, aside from shoulder pads and helmet, dripping wet, but seemingly unaffected by the cold.

< Hey. What's up with those drones? Are they here yet? Because you can bet after what they just saw us do, the Docs are gonna have A LOT of questions for us. > she thought over Guildchat.

 

Spoiler

Just to be safe, Lilly activated Physical Prodigy enhancement for the swimming, and then on shore Healed Sara 1 wound level (her max atm). Due to her 1 Medicine (thanks Mom), Lilly knows CPR.

 

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Seconds of chaos become stilled heartbeats.

Lilly and Sean gasp with relief as Sara coughs up water and grabs onto Sean holding her tight, “I don't know how to swim,” she whispers her face buried into Sean's neck.

 

Across the island Alec unleashes another blast of Light which reduces the majority of the last Centaur to it's constituent atoms. Kia-zilla watches the Centaur disintegrate ready to stomp on it if need be. The soldiers around Alec and Able are visible shaken yet feelings of relief begin to surface along with grief and guilt many of them raise their weapons toward Kia only to be stopped by Abel.

“She's a friend guys! The enemy is gone, they are all dead. You can stand down and relax.”

 

Overhead the five drones circle lower, their coverage overlays the whole of the Island, everything that has transpired captured and recorded and tucked safely away.

Sean and Lilly look up at the nearest Drone as it sort of wobbles then plummets to the water.

Abel, who has been monitoring the five 'AI' intelligence's feels a surge of mental pain that he has to apply his shield to to keep from being hurt by the feedback, as all five drone intelligence's die. The drones fall to the ground or into the water.

 

BULWARK AFB

Col. Pryor has been handed the phone and is conferring with the pentagon.. “It's confirmed we have the video of the incursion , we're sending that to you now, yes sir we have taken casualties but the situation is under control. But we need to step up our prep and I need combat reinforcements here asap.

...Yes Sir, I will get a list of recommendations to you right away. Thank you general.

Airman get me someone on that goddamned island I want to talk to my daughter!

And  Bigby we need that video on the way to Washington five minutes ago." He turns to look at the young airman manning the cameras and sees an empty chair.

"Where the hell is Bigby?"

 

THE ISLAND

As the bases forces arrive on the shore and begin launching their inflatable watercraft, one of the men on the Island calls out.

 

“Lilly Pryor! Your dad wants a word!” he holds up a radio microphone.

 

Spoiler

Combat is ended post as normal now good scene

 

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Lilly's head snapped to look at whoever had called out her name. It was a voice she did recognize, and then the words sunk in and she winced slightly, getting up from the ground. She walked over, still dripping wet in her practice gear and took the radio microphone.

"Uh, hi Dad. Practice ended early." she said with a wince, unsure of how her father was going to react. He could be Pissed, or proud, or worried. Most likely a combination of the three. It was the ratio of the three that slightly worried her.

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Will Pryor closed his eyes when he heard his daughters voice. Regardless of what he just saw Lilly, his Lilly, still sounded like his little girl.

"Are you all right?" He asked

"Yeah dad I'm fine.."

"What about that other girl, the sheriffs daughter is she ok?

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Lilly nodded, even though they were talking over radio.

"She should be fine. She hit her head when she fell into the water, but I did CPR and healed the cut. She should be okay." Lilly answered as she looked around.

"Everybody else is fine too. I mean, Kia's cheerleader uniform might be shredded, but other than that we're all okay."

Lilly looked at the soldiers and bit her bottom lip with a small sigh.

"We tried to save as many of the soldiers as we could. I mean, that's really why we came. I mean, like, I told them to let you guys handle it, but things went sideeways when the first chopper went down and it was clear that the guys needed serious backup, so we slipped off and came to help."

"One of your men managed to get the thing that shot down with chopper, with a rocket or something, and we took care of the 3 centaur things. Not sure how or why the portal closed though."

< Guys. I gotta tell my dad about the centaur-cicle bomb. I'm gonna try to make sure you can get access to it though. > she informed over Guildchat.

"Uh, you should know that the frozen centaur thing.. it's kind of a bomb. Well, more like a reactor that if it gets too warm blows up.. I guess. Either way, blowing up would be bad."

"We saved it so we could have a look at it and the alien tech. I'm sure you or your superiors or whatever will want to grab it and take it to Area 51 or something, but some of us are really smart, like, really, really smart and I think we understand the energy and stuff better, so we saved it so we could study it and maybe start getting a better understanding of them and maybe reverse engineer or something."

"Just, if you can, let us study it in a freezer or something too? I know it's super weird, but I think we have a better chance to do it, and do it quickly, than anybody else." Lilly said, trying to explain why they did what they did and plead their case at the same time.

"And what happened to the drones? They all crashed."

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