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Aberrant: Mutant High - [MH-Plot] Four Hours In Hell


Dave ST
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Disclaimer: Although this should go without saying (since it was part of the original proposal when you agreed to play this game) I'm going to reiterate it here. Although this is a comic style game, it is a realistic comic style game. This means that combat can sometimes be visceral and cruel. By visceral I mean graphic.

This thread will contain a realistic portrayal of what is essentially a War Zone. Civilians are caught in the middle of a nightmare and as you read you will find that sometimes in War Zones people die or get hurt and by people I mean men, women, children and possibly puppies and kittens. Bronies are excluded because they are not technically people any more. If you have some trouble dealing with graphic material or can't handle it without your 'deal with graphic material pill', then you may want to sit this one out.

Contrary to popular belief this author does not advocate disemboweling anyone or dropping buildings on bus loads of toddlers or nuns. He does advocate making Bronies cry, however.

The rules are simple:
1. This is a "No Death" thread, meaning your character can not die no matter how much damage they sustain (there are worse things than death though).
2. Unlimited Energy is in effect unless the ST says otherwise (a machine or effect that stunts your ability spend energy on your powers, for example). This also applies to your opposition.
3. You all get 1 (one) Power Maxx, every 'hour' of this thread (use it or lose it). Remember that super ability everyone was supposed to be able to do with their powers? You may use it once. If you have not decided what ability is yet, get with me and we will hash it out. Your opposition gets one use of theirs as well (yes, of course they have them too!).

4. Regenerators. If you regenerate or have some other healing power the requires energy, you must spend energy to fuel your healing. This is an exception to the unlimited energy rule. However, when/if your energy pool reaches 0 you may still use all your powers, you just can not heal anymore until you recover some energy.

5. Don't be a dick.

6. Have fun.

Posting Order: Due to schedules, I understand that not all of you are available all the time. While most of this combat will be free form, there are a few 'Boss' fights in store for you. Please, if you can't make it to the party, say something. Be courteous to your fellow players.

Oppostion: All of your opposition is made with (30NP) plus 35-50XP. 'Named' NPCs are made with a power level equal to or greater than your own. Dreadnoughts are made with eggs, cinnamon, and a little bit of love. Aside from physical opposition, some of you will have a lot more to deal with mentally or emotionally than people trying to kill you.

Experience: How well you play up the theme of this thread will depend on how your XP award will be come the end. I'll be keeping a close eye on posts.

Things to remember:
1. You are mutants, therefore you are the bad guys. Period. I know you're trying to do something good, but the public doesn't know, nor care at the moment. Keep that in mind.
2. If you'd like to do something your character might not be capable of or is just plain weird, get with me first, please. I love flair, I hate stupidity.

3. You can look up a map of Manhattan by typing Times Square in the search bar, it will tag Times Square and you can use that as a point of reference as the fic goes on.


1st Hour


Nothing could have prepared them for the reality of what was happening in Manhattan. Radiating out from Time Square was just block after block of chaos. Fires roared out of control, blasts of all sorts of energy from electricity to light to creeping darkness could be seen in random spurts as the local National Guard tried to hold off the violent mutants with burst fire automatics. Dreadnoughts thundered down the avenues firing missiles and their forearm mini-gun lasers. Screams rose from the streets, explosions sounded and sirens blared.

Through all of the disaster hundreds of thousands of people were trapped in the middle of it. Caught on the front line when the battle began or forced from their homes as the fighting damaged or destroyed their safe havens. Of course, the National Guard and local rescue teams were trying usher out survivors as best they could, taking them beyond the conflict to safe zones, but to say they were spread thin was nothing short of an understatement. Civilians scurried under and over wrecked vehicles, mutants and Dreadnoughts alike mowed any unfortunate in their path down with out a second thought, they hid where they could some were crushed under cars as the massive machines stepped on them as they passed to move towards a target, others still were simply victims of fallen rubble or a stray friendly fire bullet. By the score, civilians were being slaughtered and the Dreadnoughts (with less of a body count than the mutants) just couldn't keep up the pace. The battle was spreading, carrying itself out further and further by the hour. At this rate, Manhattan would be a crater by dawn.

,,

Even the hardest among them could feel a pang in their gut or a tear in their eye. This was just horrible.

,,

"Stealth system is engaged!" Curtis shouted over the engines, the open cargo door in the rear where they all stood looking out at the carnage, and, of course over the noise of hell itself. Compared to this, Dante had it easy they thought. "This is as close as I can get!"

,,

"Please tell me someone has a plan." Alex's gut was so tight, knowing he was considering jumping down into that was enough to make him want to vomit. Sakurako was finishing calibrating everyone comm devices so the teams could communicate. She was dabbling with a few configurations on his wrist comm when she saw the havoc for herself the first time. She swallowed hard her stomach suddenly felt the same as Alex's. He placed his arm around her comfortingly, trying to shield her from the horrors going on below, but the noise was all to real. "You don't have to go." She didn't say anything, she just went back to distracting herself on his wrist comm.

,,

Curtis looked over the edge and drank deep of the war zone that was underneath them. "As the most logical one here, I'd like to say for the record. We're beyond crazy." And it was true. Saying you're going out to go save the world, and actually doing it were on two totally different plates. It wasn't surprising if some of them lost their nerve.

,,

"We hit them hard and we hit them fast." Warren moved to stand beside Curtis. He actually placed his hand on Curtis's shoulder, a gesture of respect from one warrior to another in some cultures, Curtis knew. We keep comm channels open and we support each other as best we can. Civilians are our priority, we're here to protect them first, kick ass secondary. We might not like each other sometimes," He glanced at Alex, as the two of them were still fighting over Warren's attitude towards teaching Morri about sex. "But we're all..." He hesitated, which was odd coming from him once you got him involved in something he was passionate about. "...we're all family tonight, guys. Keep each other safe."

,,

"Guys!" Violet's voice came over their comms. "Oh, boy is it a poo storm down there. Alright... let's see. Satellite imaging is showing that there are Dreadnoughts battling mutants at the Rockefeller Rink, there are civilians on the radio in Hell's Kitchen trapped in the park and we have Brotherhood goons hunting and causing problems for trapped civilians in the Garment District, 8th Avenue and 38th street, right by the Manhattan Broadway Hotel. Aaaaand that's just the ones closest to you."

,,

Oneca pressed her finger to her ear. "Thanks, Violet. This isn't going to be easy," She squeezed Warren's hand tight and he replied with the same. "There's no snake to cut the head off of. Best we can hope is for containment, to keep it from spreading."

,,

"It's better than nothing." Cirque chimed up, gracefully balancing in a crouch along the edge of the loading ramp. "Violet, where are the nearest rescue squad base camps?"

,,

"Umm..." They could hear hardlight keys being tapped with a 'booping' sound. "Nearest one is Chelsea Park. Doesn't look like the fighting has gotten there yet."

,,

Alex tightened his wrist comm and took a deep breath. "Okay, good. We send those we rescue there, it's a start. There's too much for one team... who goes where?"

,,

"We'll figure that out once we get down there." Warren said, tapping Cirque on the shoulder. She understood and took hold of his hand. "If you can fly, let's get on it. If not, grab a partner and let's get down there... we can't stay up here forever."

,,

He was right. He usually was in stressful situations like this. Of all the mutants on the plane he and Morri were probably the two most dangerous with years of combat experience under their belts. Unlike Morri though, Warren was allowed to keep his mind, to some extent, intact. It made him the closest thing to a life line for them cling to in this chaos, a guy who'd done this sort of thing before (or so they thought). Truth of the matter was, this was no bar brawl or alley way scrap. This level of warfare was far beyond anything Warren could've imagined, just like the rest of them he was ready to spill his lunch.

,,

Most of Times Square was empty, the battle having moved on to other parts of the city, but it was crowded nonetheless. Sonja, Oneca and Morri knocked out a few mutants who were harassing some civilians, but they didn't stick around long enough to thank their rescuers. Fire, ash and debris were the scenery with distant screams and explosions being the only noise instead of the bustle of traffic or horns blaring.

,,

"We, uhh..." Cirque looked around and whistled. "Aren't stickin' around for the clean up, right?"

,,

Morri looked at gymnast and shook her head as if to say 'you are out of your mind'. Everyone managed a smirk or small smile. It was the moment of levity they needed to formulate a plan of attack...

,,

...time to go to war.

,,

Your goal for the first hour is to:

1. Neutralize the Dreadnoughts at Rockefeller Rink.

2. Neutralize the Brotherhood hunting party.

3. Rescue the civilians in Hell's Kitchen.

,,

The holo-huds on your comms give you a map Manhattan and denote where these objectives are with red dots. Kind of like a video game, if you've ever played one. The point it, you don't have to stop and ask directions. Violet is at the helm to supply you with relevant intel (so yes, you can 'cheat' and look things up, if you need to). 'Cheating' follows the Don't Be a Dick rule as well as 'ask me' rule. Please don't abuse it, it's a tool to save us all some time.

,,

You may do those in any order you choose, as a group or split into teams. Every action has a reaction in this fic and as a group you will need to decide the best ways to handle things. There is no way to fail any of these objects and you may ignore them altogether if you prefer (like do two of them and ignore the third, for example). Everything is up to you, there are not good or bad choices. Only choice, and consequence.

,,

Special note: Because all of you have commlinks and can communicate with each other at all times planning and talking amongst yourselves in the Chatroom or in the OOC thread is permitted and will not be considered meta-gaming. 'Table talk' is encouraged in this thread. It will also save time. You have a lot of tasks ahead of you.

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Sakurako continued to work on the com-links, making sure everyone is set. "A... Alright that is the last of them... I'm... choosing to stay with the plane. We should set down somewhere where this can serve as a base camp for us if anyone gets hurt. I'm... no good out there in the front lines, but I gotta stay here for you guys. You knock them dead... err... unconcious, okay?"

,,
OOC
This is me sitting out. Final answer.
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Oneca nodded at Mouse and didn't even roll her eyes; it was war everywhere you looked and even her stomach was tied in knots. She raised her wrist to her mouth, speaking quickly over the comm as she dodged more falling bits of building. "Well, for what it's worth, here's my idea: Curtis, go see if you can make a friend with a Dread like you did with the plane. Sonja, give 'em someone their own size to play with while he does that and take Natalie, Alex, and Daniel with you for more firepower. Those things are built to kill us and making more of a mess of the city than anyone else, so we need to take them out quickly and permanently."

,,

"Kia, Caitlin, Diana, Marco, and Ari, go grab the norms and move 'em to the park." At a look from the nearest of her fellow students, she quickly explained, "Kia's nice and can adapt, so she can get to them; Diana's pretty-pretty and can put out any fires blocking the way. Caitlin can make sure you guys don't get killed and keep the norms from beatin' the crap out of the four of you 'cause they're scared and stupid right now. Marco can get a good line on their location and use his TK to move stuff out of the way, too. Ari's a 'porter so it'll make things go faster all around. "

,,

"Warren, Morri, Kazuo, and I will go take care of the shits that started this whole damn thing." She didn't give the reasons why, in her mind, the four of them were best suited to the messy task of most likely having to kill a bunch of mass-murdering mutant fuckheads out loud, but Warren had already told her that he'd killed people before, half the time at school was spent keeping Morri from flipping out and gutting someone, and she'd made a deal with the Devil so it wasn't like she'd be getting damned a second time. Kazuo was a little more of a wild-card, but she'd heard rumors and seen him and Warren 'sparring'; he seemed like someone that would do what needed to be done and not get all squeamish and hesitant about it. "So, unless someone else's got a brilliant different idea, let's go. Oh, and Sonja?" Her tone turned from grim to a soft sombre, "Make Mom proud, okay?"

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Kia's trademark smile and warm glow were noteably absent this hour as she looked out at the haze of smoke and screams that wafted through the streets between the towering skyscrapers of downtown NYC. She looked at Oneca with wide, shocked eyes, but nodded slowly. Help people. She could do that. She'd come to fight...she was one of just a handful of students who'd ever faced one of those robots before...but if she were needed to do something else that was fine too. That was all kinds of fine.

,,

She started to change, but her distress showed. The change was slow and uncomfortable-looking, with her skin splitting here and there to reveal tougher stuff underneath; thick and leathery. Kia gasped and muttered something that might have been a swear under her breath, and tried to get her head in the game. People needed her! This time she had the presence of mind to activate the uniform she'd gotten. Its silvery gel spread out over her, under her already strained clothes, until it covered her entirely. Then it bubbled out as Kia shifted. It deformed up until the formerly small girl now hulked about six feet tall...grotesque with gnarled, overdefined muscles and interlocking plates of bone or something that looked like a weird, organic suit of armor. She still had humanish features under that silver coating, and armored shell, but she didn't look remotely human. When she hopped out of the plane, she hit the ground with an audible impact, and the concrete under her spiderwebbed out with cracks.

,,

"Okay," Kia said, her voice artificially deeper. The nanofluid moved with her mouth, eliciting a startled yelp, and she covered her mouth with a giant paw-hand. "Ew, it's...on my lips!" The lapse was just a second though, and she had the grace to be embarrassed. "Sorry! Okay, I'm going to try to help the civilians out! I hope I don't scare them!"

,,

SalmonMax *rolls* 10d10t7: 9,5,6,5,9,9,4,5,10,3. Successes = 4.


[salmonMax] 10:24 am: And the mega...
SalmonMax *rolls* 4d10t7: 6,1,3,2. Successes = 0. ,,

3 successes to allocate to abilities. Kia takes 2 levels of Density Increase and 1 level of Armor. This brings her strength to *****/** and gives her a total of 16/13 soak. She will then proceed at top speed to assist in the evac operation.

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"You too, sis," Sonja replied, the Bahaar sisters sharing a rare moment of mutual tenderness amidst the chaos surrounding them. Sonja was terrified for her sister - she'd lost one sister and she didn't want to lose another - but she was proud of her too, risking herself for others. "Kick ass, but come home. All of you."

,,

After Violet listed their objectives, they were highlighted on the discreet holographic display projected by their commlinks. Sonja nodded to herself, plotting a course - she was familiar enough with Manhattan, particularly 5th Avenue, but the visuals sure helped. "Whoever finishes first between Hell's Kitchen and the Broadway, go help the other - we'll hold off the Dreadnoughts." With each word and each step, Sonja's grew deeper and richer as she grew taller and larger. "Let's go, team. Down 47th, up 6th, then down 49th to the Rink."

,,

With a series of whooshes, Alex, Daniel, and Natalie took to the air. Already twelve feet tall and still growing, the leggy and athletic Sonja looked easily capable of keeping up - in fact, she'd have to keep her pace to something they could handle. And standing in their shade, Curtis glanced up at the stealthed jet running on auto-pilot.

,,

"Uh, guys, I'll need some mode of conveyance to reach Rockerfeller Rink in a timely fashion," Curtis observed.

,,

"Right." Sonja glanced at the flyers. Natalie was slight. Alex's glow flared into a coruscating sphere of golden energy, a protective field of sunlight. Likewise, ribbons of searing crimson flames danced around Daniel. "Guest you ride with me, Curtis. Hold on tight." Before someone could say anything, Sonja added, "Shut-up, Warren!"

,,

Effortlessly, Sonja picked up Curtis with one hand and braced him against her back - there was a circular ridge for him to hold onto. A bit awkward, but it would get worse as Sonja got bigger. Curtis narrowed his eyes, then communicated with the nanites in his and Sonja's uniforms. A second later, his sleeves melded with the material high between Sonja's shoulder blades, giving Curtis a secure perch.

,,

"Good to go."

,,

The Rockerfeller team rushed down 47th Street, knocking and blasting debris clear as they went, giving civilians what chances they could to get clear. By the time they were rounding onto 6th Avenue, Sonja was thirty feet tall, the ground quivering under step, and Curtis could barely see over her shoulder - with the nanites help, he climbed up higher so he could get something of a view ahead.

,,

"Okay, we keep moving for the Rink," Alex suggested over the comm-channel, British accent crisp and cool. "I and Daniel will deal with any mutants along the way - either chasing them away or doing something more permanent. Sonja and Natalie, keep 6th Avenue clear of broken or abandoned vehicles - looks like people can get most of the way down to Chelsea Park that way. Help who you can along the way, but we need to get to the Dreadnoughts quick before they spread out too far and we have to chase them down."

,,

"Gotcha!"

,,

With the occasional lash of flame and laser blasts, Brotherhood mutants either went down or decided to go find easier prey. Using pure strength and magnetokinesis, Sonja and Natalie left a cleared path down 6th Avenue for anyone trying to flee. Sonja used her great height to hand individuals down trapped on third and fourth floors, Natalie did the same, using a bus to get a group of people off the top level of a parking structure. All the civilians were urged to head for Chelsea Park, where the emergency responders had set up a base.

,,

Though they were given a chance to get away, those they rescued seemed to be every bit as scared of them as they were of the Brotherhood mutants. Sonja frowned and tried not to blame them, but even though she didn't lumber around and have scales, she was beginning to feel like bloody Godzilla.

,,

When they turned onto 49th Street, Sonja was standing over fifty feet tall - far larger than anyone had ever seen her before - and Curtis was beginning to think he didn't need a good view anymore. The team paused for a moment - they could see the hulking, deadly forms of the Dreadnought flying and stomping around the Rockerfeller Rink, rapid bursts of laser-fire leaving green after images in their eyes, the sound of screams reaching their ears. There were a lot more of them than just one.

,,

"Daniel, circle around and hit them from the North, Alex, do them and come at them from the East, and Natalie, from the South," Sonja said, her voice feminine, but almost as deep as an avalanche as she took a deep breath, priming herself. "I'm gonna charge straight ahead and draw their attention. Curtis, I'll drop you off on a roof top - give you better sight lines on the Dreadz and maybe slow down any Brotherhood from reaching you."

,,

Sonja reached back, and after swallowing a large lump in his throat, Curtis made his suit release Sonja's and settled on her disconcertingly ginormous hand. Comparatively, he was barely the size of a can of Coke to the giant Sonja. As she brought him around, he got a really good look at just how big she was, in every respect. Held in a firm but gentle grip, he hoped he didn't get crushed.

,,

"If there are any Brotherhood to deal with, Alex and Daniel will handle them again, double team if you have too. Me, Curtis and Natalie will continue beating on the Dreadz." Her strength, Curtis' cyber-K, and Natalie's magnetic mastery would be the most effective on the Dreadnoughts, Sonja figured. "Let's do this!"

,,

The three flyers broke apart to circle Rockerfeller Rink to come at the Dreadnoughts from behind, while Sonja charged straight down 49th, eyes flicking from the ground to the Dreadnoughts and back. She picked up speed with every step, the ground shaking violently now, and praying she could avoid squishing anyone along the way.

,,

She dropped Curtis off on the top of a building right before Rockerfeller Plaza, her velocity making almost making him tumble head-over-heels right off the edge. Shaking his head clear, he did have a good view over the tree-lined street.

,,

And then the fifty-six feet tall, buff Barbie-doll figured young woman was engaging the Mutant destroying robots, hoping she'd live to see her sister and her boyfriend again.

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  • 5 weeks later...

For Daniel most of that first hour was an exercise in precision use of his abilities, both in taking down what foes crossed his path, and extinguishing the fires they caused. It was more exhilirating than nearly anything else the young mutant had ever done, and despite the carnage, inwardly he reveled in it. They were going to make a real difference here.

,,

"Alex even with Sonja's distraction, there's a great chance they know we're coming. Let's hit them one at a time, focus our fire, and we'll take them down faster, hopefully keeping our friends safe in the process." There was a brief acknowledgement, and the two with real "firepower" went to war.

,,

Alex designated their first target, and together they unleashed a torrent of raw destructive force, a hellish wash of superheated plasma and flame that reduced the first dreadnaught they battled to a puddle of molten slag.

,,

"HELL YEAH!" It was all Daniel had time for as Several of the Dreads turned their attention from the rampaging Giantess towards the pair of airborne mutants, lighting up the sky with energy blasts which the pair mostly managed to avoid. Daniel did take one blast, but his defenses held, and he nodded. "That one next Alex!"

,,

Without surprise and the inability to synchronize their attacks as they had on the first Dread, this one proved far tougher, and Daniel considered cutting loose even further, holding back only because he could well remember how much flame that technique created. "A little bit longer,just gotta buy Curtis and Nat a bit more time..."

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Warren and Oneca flew, while Morri and Kazuo followed on foot. The two could have carried them, but Morri had shaken her head and Kazuo had shrugged and pointed out that she shouldn’t be alone. Morri didn’t care; she wasn’t focused on them anymore. Her senses were reaching ahead of them, straining toward the scent of blood and pain that hung in the air. She was afraid, she realized but overriding the fear was eagerness. For too long, she’d been told ‘no’. “No, Morri, you can’t hurt others.” “No, Morri, use your words.” “No, Morri, don’t attack people when they make you afraid or angry!”

,,

No one was saying ‘no’ now. The feral understood that she was free to give rein to her instincts and drives. She could attack. She could cut. She didn’t have to use any social lies. She was free to be Morri.

,,

Her new armor felt strange; not bad, just strange. It was heavier than her winter clothing but it didn’t impede her movement. The run over gave her a chance to feel its limitations and by the time they were in the general area, Morri was sure she’d be fine. The red and gold outfit made her look more imposing, but Morri didn’t care about that; she’d be happy wearing rags most of the time. What pleased her about it was its defensive abilities.

,,

They saw the conflict long before they could affect it. The streets in this area were perfectly straight, creating valleys between mountains of twenty and thirty story buildings. Smoke billowed out onto Eighth Avenue from Thirty-Eighth Street, providing minimal cover to Morri and Kazuo before they arrived. But on the other side of the smoke the war raged.

,,

Morri’s first target was a skinny, long-limbed boy who was hoisting a car into the air by its bumper. The bumper should have snapped off the car but physics were being grossly violated. The young-looking mutant spun the car and its screaming passengers once before casually tossing the vehicle into the pizzeria on the corner.

,,

Morri bounced forward as her blood congealed into a long, slim blade. She shoved it through the mutant in one brutal thrust, catching him from behind and off-guard. The kid—he looked like he should have been at the school—screamed and dropped to one knee, dragging her blood-blade down. Morri bared her teeth and pulled her weapon loose. That turned out to be an error; the kid twisted to face her and thrust his hand at her. An invisible wall of force caught her and bodily hurled her away. Her trajectory was also stopped by a wall, but this one was made of concrete and glass. The window frame caught her in her lower back while the glass skittered off of armor and sliced skin. From there, she rolled onto a couch and rebounded off a coffee table before finally coming to rest.

,,

“Ow.” It only took her a second to recover her senses; the reek of cigarettes and a full catbox in the apartment didn’t help her reeling head. Staggering back to the window, she spotted the kid being barbequed by Oneca. Since the flame-wreathed bad girl had things in hand, Morri did the natural thing: she slipped out the window and climbed down the building with the intention of shanking his ass from behind. He collapsed before Morri could get there, and the feral turned her attention to the next opponent, a gray-haired man casually flicking bolts of bright yellow energy at buildings and humans as it pleased him. She took a moment to check on Kazuo, Warren and Oneca; seeing they were in one piece and still active, she started to stalk toward him.

,,

She crept around the far side of vehicles and debris until she was close enough to pounce. His walk had carried him half-a-block up Thirty-Eighth, so he was to the liquor store before Morri was able to attack. Silently, she leapt at him from behind an overturned police car, but he must have sensed her coming; he turned and blasted her with his bolt. It hurt like hell but the pain was quickly fading as she landed in front of him. Her blade stabbed at him but his quick dodge made it a glancing blow.

,,

Morri had assumed that he’d be weaker at close combat but his eager grab at her changed her mind. Ducking under his arms, she made a shallow slice into his stomach. Sadly, he pulled enough so that instead of spilling his guts, she cut only skin. His hands were glowing as he tried to close, and Morri noted his knees were glowing as well as she discarded her blade for a shorter one to compensate for his closeness.

,,

He grabbed the front of her armor and pulled her close. She got a blade into his side, but his elbows, which were glowing like his hands, and knees began to pummel her. His elbows were striking her head and shoulders, while his knees slammed into her sides and thighs. She’d seen his fighting style before in a movie, not that she really cared which one right now. With a growl, she fought back, working to get around his defenses and get a knife into him.

,,

When she felt the blade sink into his side, Morri twisted hard and jerked it to the side. She wasn’t quite able to open up his stomach but he staggered back from her, his face twisted with pain. “Go. Go!” Morri shouted. “Go, no fight. Live. No go, die.”

,,

His eyes narrowed and he turned away—only to twist back and thrust a golden burst of power at her. Morri rolled under it and uncoiled into an attack that cut up into his groin. “Warn you.” She stabbed him low in the stomach with her off-hand and he collapsed to the ground, his hands holding his various cuts. He had no fight left in him, and Morri abandoned him there.

,,

She surveyed the fight, noted her schoolmates were still up, still fighting, and went back to war.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Kia had almost reached her destination when she realized what a dumb thing it was she was doing. Lumbering into a refugee area looking like a giant monster was going to do nothing but cause chaos and panic...and that would get people killed. Fortunately, her nanosuit let her resume her normal appearance, then reconfigured to look like a rather official-looking jumpsuit that might have been the uniform of any number of militaries or security companies or agencies, without actually identifying any of them.

,,

"Okay, lets split up," she suggested. "There's a lot of people over there, and we don't want to shout so loud it attracts attention. I'll head to the north end of the crowd, Marco you take the east, Ari the west and Diane the south. Caitlin, you go straight in to the center of it. Let everyone know that we're here to relocate them to a safer place, and that we have to get moving immediately. Anyone that asks who we are, tell them that it'll be explained when we reach the park."

,,

Kia took a deep breath, and shook her head. "I guess if anyone gives you trouble, or doesn't want to go, just warn them that the chaos here is spreading, and it won't be safe much longer. But then we have to go...we can't force anyone. We can come back for them after the rest are safe. Also, Marco, once we get moving use your mindreading to let us know if anyone else is hiding nearby, or if there's any mutants coming our way so we can take care of it. And, uh...everyone stay on their radios because we'll need to stay in the crowd and keep everyone moving together."

,,

She started to ask if that was all right with everyone, but then stopped herself. No one else was offering a plan, and there wasn't time for democracy. She wasn't used to taking charge, and it felt queasy and weird, but she'd already jumped off that cliff now so it was too late to try to fly back up.

,,

So Kia headed over to the northern edge of the crowd and pushed her way a little bit inside, then waved her hands around and shouted, "Everyone LISTEN UP!" It had about as much impact as one might expect a small, cute Asian girl's shout to have in the middle of a nervous crowd full of conversations. Almost none. With a little curse, she turned to the others around her.

,,

"Guys, listen, I'm here to help everyone here, so spread the word okay? I need everyone to listen to my instructions or people are going to get hurt." It came out as something she was concerned about it and was trying to avoid, not a threat. "Just tell the people around you to shut up and listen, and to pass it on."

,,

It took a few repetitions, but once a few people started the ball going, the effect was surprisingly effective. People here knew their position was precarious, and were looking for direction. They might doubt that Kia could help, but she SAID she could, and that was enough to get people looking expectantly at her within a decent sized radius.

,,

Abruptly at the center of attention, Kia felt her face heating up. Not because of shyness, but because of the sudden sense of crushing responsibility. These people expected her to save them. Could she?

,,

"Alright everyone, you're being moved to a safer location over at the park," she called out, raising her voice as loud as it could go without altering her vocal cords. Kia could be louder than her frame suggested. Cheerleading had some perks. "Take only what you can easily carry without slowing down! Stay with the group; don't get separated! We're going to avoid the main streets, so everyone will need to stay quiet and keep their heads down."

,,

"Who are you?" someone shouted. Someone else added, "What IS this?! Are we being invaded?!" There were general murmurs of assent, spiraling rapidly into more questions, more shouting.

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Kia shrieked, "Everyone SHUT UP!" Shockingly, they did, at least for a moment. She rushed into that gap. "I don't have a lot of answers for you, and I'm sorry about that. Once we've reached the park and have made sure everyone's safe, there will be more. Right now there just isn't time. We have to get everyone moving."

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"You're just a kid!" came a voice from the crowd. Kia looked in that direction and corrected, "I'm a volunteer, and I'm doing this for you. If you want to stay, I can't make you come...but I mean to show you guys how to get somewhere you'll be safe."

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A woman cried out, "How do you know the park's safe? We're doing all right here!" More murmurs of agreement, and more than one of disagreement.

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"Central park is where the National Guard and city police forces have set up their main crisis centers," Kia explained. "They'll have food, water and medical care there. Everyone please follow me!"

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Other parts of the crowd were already moving, the others in the team having done their work.

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The backstreets and alleys were tight fits though, and Kia earnestly hoped that they could keep the peace. A panic would quickly turn into a stampede, and the consequences would be deadly...maybe worse than whatever caused the scare in the first place.

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*Okay everyone,* she said on the comm, *Keep in touch, keep everyone calm. No obvious powers if you can possibly help it.*

,,

Getting this off the ground. If no one else wants to chime in, I'll continue it in a little while with some complications, then have another post concluding it a little after that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Kazuo and Warren were in their element. When the he hit the ground his from wavered and shifted back into his own from the dark reflection of his girlfriend, as if she could get any darker. The place was a war zone and mutants were making short work of anyone trying to seek shelter or safety. Morri and Oneca got started early and the two 'gentleman' saw no reason to disturb their fun. It wasn't like they didn't have several left to choose from.

,,

A couple mutants were lobbing energy blasts down an alley way with laughs and smirks, peppering dumpsters that were protecting people hiding behind them. Kazuo sighed. These guys were a waste of his time. "I guess I'll go handle that. You handle the big guy." He ran off, hurtling over a car as he slammed into his first opponent.

,,

"What big guy?" Warren looked perplexed as Kazuo leaped over the car. Then it hit him. No, really, it hit him... the mutant stormed from between two cars parting them like Moses through the Red Sea and slammed a fist square into Warren's chest as he spun about to react to the sliding of crunched metal across the street. He flew back, sliding a good distance before he simply tumbled and rolled like a rag doll the rest of the way. He winced and wobbled as he pushed himself up, his knees shaky and his stamina almost depleted after only one blow.

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"You are such an asshole." He yelled as loud as he could muster, throwing himself back up to his feet and staggering back a couple of step to regain his balance.

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"C'mon, Cupcake..." Kazuo shouted back. "You're just being a bitch because you didn't think of it first."

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The big guy yelled and stomped forward. He was an average looking guy, just ripped like a Venice Beach reject with a buzz cut and a physique that was barely kept in check by his bulging muscles. Ox-lite seemed to describe him best. Warren rolled aside as he punched a wrecked car, sending it flying away into the side of a building. The adrenaline was pumping now and the dizziness was quickly fading. The man yelled again and bull rushed him, his arm cocked back for another car crunching power swing. Three... Two... Warren counted the stomps of his strides and then ducked low as the wrecking ball of his fist found nothing but empty space as a searing pain swelled up in his naughty bits. Swiftly Warren ducked low and punched him in the groin hard enough to cause him to tumble over him and hit the ground already grasping his snarglies and whining in several octaves higher than seemed feasible. "Big and stupid, man. You're a walking cliche'."

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"You okay, baby?" Oneca touched the ground beside Warren, her concern was mixture of concern and moderate sarcasm. "How could you not see that guy coming?"

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"Rusty I guess." He leaned from side to side, stretching his back. "I blame the school, it's made me slow... docile."

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"Uh, huh..." She gave him a coy smile, like she didn't believe a word he said.

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"I don't like this." Kazuo walked over to them. "Too easy."

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"I was thinking that too..." Oneca looked about, a bit paranoid. "Where is everyone? This can't be all of them."

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  • 3 weeks later...

Alpha Team

(Curtis, Sonja, Natalie, Alex, Daniel)

,,

"Mutant threat assessed. Networking counter measures. Engaging hostiles." All the Dreadnoughts spoke in unison, their eyes blinking brightly in synch with syllables. They disengaged and regrouped together, forming a phalanx between themselves, Alpha Team, and the small band of innocent mutants that were being hunted before the team arrived.

,,

They Dug in an prepared for battle. Rocket pods erupted from their shoulders, concussive laser mini guns sprouted from the radius of their forearms, beam cannons energized and 'warmed up' on the flats of their palms. These bots were ready for war and much to Sonja's dismay... it looked like they got a few upgrades...

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Alpha Team is facing 4 Dreadnoughts. The Dreadnoughts go last in the round, so you guys may go first.

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Beta Team

(Kia, Caitlin, Diana, Marco, Ari)

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"Wait a damn minute!" A sudden shout came from far behind the group. A militant looking man with a ball cap and a Remington shotgun was walking up fast n the group, a determined look in his eye. "You people can't seriously be believing this load of shit can you? Look those outfits!" He pointed to Ari, "And that girls eyes... they're shimmering in the dark. These people are mutants! Get yer heads out of yer asses... there ain't no refuge in the park, it's a trap! They're rounding us up! It's a damn mutie coup!” The man’s shotgun rose up and Kia found she was staring down the barrel. “Get back y’stinkin’ freak, we ain’t going anywhere with you…”

,,

The public seemed to agree now that they’d been shown ‘the light’. They hollered at tem and pumped their fists a few times, but they weren’t armed so it was obvious they didn’t want to push their luck. As if on cue a strange green blast slammed into the gun toting man’s chest, knocking him backwards. The crowd froze in fear.

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“Always nice to meet a few more fellow evolved, gotta be careful round these humans, they ain’t learned their place yet!” Several more mutants were walking up, one of their number had a dwindling green glow surrounding his hand. “Well, what have we here? A whole gaggle of mundanes hiding away? Still haven’t learned a lesson, after all that’s going on tonight you’re still going to pull a gun on you’re new masters? Harold! Light em’ up, one more pyre to serve as an example!”

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The one called Harold, a skinny guy with brilliantly orange hair that seemed to move on it’s own like a dancing fire, stepped forward. His eyes ignited into a crimson flame and Beta Team could feel the air around them starting to heat up.

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Time was short…

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You can stop Harold without an initiative roll, after that, I'll need everyone to roll and place their results in the Four Hours in Hell combat thread.

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Delta Team

(Oneca, Warren, Kazuo, Morri)

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From out of nowhere a massive hand lurched up from the asphalt. It was made from earth and stone and it ground it's joints into flaking dust and it grew up suddenly, grasping and squeezing Oneca where she was hovering in place before it effortlessly tossed her aside. She flew back unable to stop her momentum until she hit the front fender of a car and bounced over the hood of the vehicle like a rag doll. She hit the ground limp and just slid to a stop.

,,

"Traitors." The word drew their attention from Oneca's landing. She was already attempting to stand, just dazed a bit by the shock and impact. From over some rubble an attractive Colombian woman approached. Her hair was cut short and she was in denim pants, hiking boots and a denim jacket covered her brown corset top. Behind her was a buff Latino man, bald with no shirt on sporting a goat tee. He had an intricate serpent tattoo that wound around his body with the serpents head resting over his left shoulder. He wore cargo pants that appeared to have all the pockets filled with something, since the looked incredibly heavy on him. Her third companion was obviously a mutant. She was light blue, her skin covered in fine scales that were barely noticable. She barefoot, with fins folded neatly on her forearms and the back of her calves, her eyes were yellow and her hair a long, flowing green.

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"Normally, we hate to punish our own kind," The Colombian woman started. "But we're here to usher in a new era, and mutant kind is either with us, or against us. Obviously, you've chosen a side. We'll make this quick. Siren, Jack... you know what to do."

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"Ándale," Jack said, smacking his fist into his palm. "Let's get this over with." Siren said nothing, she just gracefully padded her way forward like a prowling runway model.

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Initiative from everyone on Delta team, please post them in the Combat thread and we'll get this started.

,,

Oh, Oneca is okay, the toss was just drama. She was unhurt and isn't adversely affected by the toss.

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Overlooking the street now turned into an urban line of battle, Curtis glowered with intense negative emotions at the Dreadnoughts and their creators. Observation had already demonstrated that the massive killing machines had absolutely no understanding of the term 'collateral damage,' much less attempt to prevent it. If there weren't so many mutants in the riot, the Dreadnoughts would have killed far more innocents than those ostensibly hunted as a danger.

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Even closer now, Curtis could see their armaments. Rapid fire lasers, palm mounted cannons that probably unleashed an even more explosive payload - MISSILE PODS. To their many sins, the American military and designers of the Dreadnoughts added hypocrisy, inefficiency and dunderheaded incompetence for Curtis' personal list.

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You'd think their purpose was to raze a city to the ground... oh, right look at that.

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Curtis' mouth made a cold sneer. Time to show the living oxymoron(s) of military intelligence and R&D the pathetic truth. His mind dove into the nearest of the Dreadnoughts, accessing its programming and hunting for the main control loop. The parameters for Dreadnoughts detected, tactics and weapons were already defined in their files, so he re-used those while setting up his modifications.

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It wasn't so automatically easy - enough foresight existed for the developers to add what they would have considered top-notch firewalls. Curtis still felt barely impeded by their defenses.

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The new instructions: target other Dreadnoughts ONLY, and no weaponry. Just pure physical force and restraint. Divide, conquer, and hopefully prevent threat to bystanders.

,,

"Trojan Dread online in three... two... one..."

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"Weeeellll... crud," Sonja muttered.

,,

She glared down at the Dreadnoughts, as in her HUD, one of their red-coloured outlines flipped to blue, indicating the one Curtis had reprogrammed. The fact that currently the Dreadnoughts barely came to up to Sonja's knee didn't make them particularly less menacing.

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Picture a hornet - now size it up to the size of a particularly large house cat. Then make its stinger glow and whine ominously and while you're at it, give it three stingers. A fraction of your size, the thing is still damned menacing. And there were at least four of them.

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Rail guns Sonja had been prepared for - missile pods and gatling lasers and particle beam cannons were another maker. Still, she was the one best able to take the hit, at least until and if Alex got charged up - she had to keep their attention on her.

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Though Sonja had been gaining experience at increasingly large sizes, she had very little at her max.

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The super-sized teen briefly considered stomping the ground to cause a shockwave before dismissing the idea. They and the Dreads were moving around so much, she'd be lucky to hit more than one, and would risk bouncing around the innocent mutants they were trying to save, besides. And who knows if she might have made a crater into the subway system.

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So instead, Sonja used what her size had given her - a great reach advantage and immense strength back by tremendous mass. Despite what every Godzilla and King Kong movie - or any movie with a giant-sized biped really - would have you believe, being as tall as a five story building didn't automatically make you a lumbering, clumsy, and slow bulk.

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Sonja settled into a mobile fighting stance with the enviously smooth and powerful grace of a gymnast or dancer. A firm brush of her foot felled a decorative tree that was impeding her space and poking her in the ribs, giving her more room to maneuver - she needed a lot to curtail excessive collateral damange.

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"Come get me!"

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The Dreadnoughts seemed entirely too happy to comply. But when one came for a flyby, a leg the length of a city bus and considerably stronger and more shapely scythed out in a roundhouse kick. Continuing the spin, Sonja caught one trying to get inside her reach while her back was turned. A fist bigger than a beach ball came down on the Dreadnought in a hammer fist, trying to drive it into the ground.

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"Focus on the damaged ones first, guys," Sonja exhorted over the comm. "The fewer Dreads fighting, the better."

,,

Sonja suspected their stings were going to hurt!

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From his Vantage point in the sky, Daniel knew this would not be so easy. He targeted the centermost of the four dreads, lashing our with a torrent of fire hopefully to fry its circuitry and melt the armor. His own body was wreathed in what looked like orange-red flames, the manifestation of his defensive aura.

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With their bristling armaments, he wondered if the heat from his attack might set off a chain reaction in the mechanoid mutant-killer, wondering what it would take for the fuel in its missiles to ignite. "Oh Hell." he muttered under his mask, knowing there was a good chance Alex's attacks could do the same.

,,

"Keep them in the open, don't let them get close to abuilding!"

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