Heroes Legion: Year One: The Manhattan Project
Chapter 16: Rescue
HMS Damocles, Washington DC: July 10th 2014: 12:30 PM
At this time, Lt. Hardcastle and General Arcane were going through the manifestos, personal files and recent communications of everyone in the HMS Damocles' current onboard crew.
After hours of screening every single one of them, which was no small feat, they had narrowed it down to three suspects.
Capt. Steve Marzaki, Corporal Stella Bates, and Private Oscar Rankin.
Out of all of the potential soldiers who might be crooked, bought off, or in any particular way a part of the conspiracy…these two checked out as the most likely to be the moles.
Because they used to be friends with the deceased traitor and Anti-Metahuman paranoiac Cash Williams, and their hacked communications data showed that they all had encrypted conversations with someone.
When this was over, he would have to have his trusted TechNet guys look at it and try and find the IP address of the communication's sender…because right now, he wasn't even sure if his own guys could be trusted.
Outside of himself, and Lt. Hardcastle…anyone could be a suspect.
Even if they had three possible leads, there might be co-conspirators they didn't know about.
It was bad enough he had to deal with this all the time with FEIND, now he had to deal with another organization infiltrating and corrupting his organization from within…one they knew nothing about?
That was beyond disconcerting!
"Okay…" General Arcane said to Lt. Hardcastle, "Send our soldiers to go and round these three up from wherever they are on the ship."
"Right sir…" Lt. Hardcastle nodded, and activated her earpiece communicator "I need a crew to find Capt. Steve Marzaki, Corporal Stella Bates, and Private Oscar Rankin and bring them here to the bridge please. Tell them that General Arcane wants to speak with them. If they don't arrive after being PDA'd, find them, arrest them and bring them to the bridge."
They waited a good half an hour before getting an update on the search after the soldiers searched through the ship after the three of them failed to respond to the call to assemble on the bridge.
It was Sgt. Hemlock of the third division, "Ma'am, we haven't been able to find Private Oscar Rankin. However we found Captain Steve Marzaki and Corporal Stella Bates…they're dead. It appears someone murdered them in their cabins…"
"Or they committed suicide" General Arcane theorized, "That means either Private Rankin killed them, or he wasn't part of a suicide pact. Either way, the fact you can't find him in his quarters when he took a leave to his quarters with the others when their shift changed means he's still here on the ship. Find him, and be careful! He's killed some of our own already; I don't want any more good people lost to this traitor."
NYPD 9th Prescient, Lower Manhattan: July 11th 2014: 3:30 AM
Outside the front doors of the re-purposed 9th prescient of the NYPD, the three metahumans on guard suddenly drew their guns or activated their defensive/offensive powers when they saw something in the darkness upon the surface of the street.
But when they saw nothing, they assumed it was just their eyes in the darkened city playing tricks on them.
If they had sense to look behind them, they would have seen a hands shadow creep up on the surface of the main door and lock the door shut.
Meanwhile similar shadowy hands were snaking around the outside of the building from shadows being cast from the diming moonlight.
They were shutting all the windows, and doors, and any other means of entrance and exit the building had.
The shadows upon completing their jobs then converged upon the roof, forming into Shadow Knight's living shadow form.
His glowing red eyes surveyed the buildings air conditioning unit, looking for the main air intake vent of the buildings depowered air conditioning.
Once he found it, he headed over to where a small sack was laying on the ground.
He used the shapeshifting abilities of his living shadow form to make his fingers discreetly remove the protective grating of the main air intake vent.
Once he had done so, he reached into the sack and pulled out one of Silicon's remote controlled drones.
The same kind he had used during the "Knight Switch" incident on Black Knight.
Once he had placed it inside the main air vent, he turned back into a flat form that a normal shadow was expected to be…and returned to where the rest of the Heroes Legion were camped out in the cloaked Battle-Falcon.
Velocity opened the door quickly to let his teammate back inside.
Once inside, Shadow Knight turned back into his flesh and blood…and also armored self.
"I've sealed off the building's entrance and exit ways just in case, and deployed the drone into the air vents." Shadow Knight said, "Now all we have to do is use that drone to find the cell where they are being held, and give them the slipstream drive Techne used to escape capture. It's set to this vehicle's exact co-ordinates; all they have to do is press the button."
"Provided that there aren't any surprises in store hidden in that building, like a signal jamming E.F.D device for example. It would make finding them and maybe getting them out a bit hard." Ravager pointed out.
"Unlikely, there are no dead zones similar to the kind the E.F.D devices cause showing up on my scanners…" Cyber-29 said through the Robo-Warrior suit, "Never the less…I will proceed with caution."
"Think you can drive this thing through the air vents without giving yourself away?" Raven Ducard asked Cyber-29, while looking at the drone feed being broadcast to them via the front monitor.
"Without even crunching some bytes…" Cyber-29 said with confidence, and then using his remote uplink to the drone, started to make it venture through the air vents of the occupied police station.
"Activating night vision mode" Cyber-29 said, and the dark image the camera feed was showing them from the drone suddenly became green and clear.
"Always wondered why night vision is always green, anyone else?" Velocity commented.
"Let's just hope nobody hears that thing if it makes any noise" Atlanta said worriedly as she watched the feed with her teammates.
"If we're lucky any hostiles in the area will think it's a rat or mouse in the air vents" Murdoch suggested to assure Atlanta, "With how well they've kept the island clean and tidy so far, it wouldn't be a stretch to think that there's now a big vermin problem in Manhattan as a result of their actions."
"More so than usual?" Ravager scoffed, "I find that highly unlikely."
"Okay…" Shadow Knight said looking at schematics of the building they had acquired from Robo-Warrior's suits data files, "according to the schematics, you need to take a left turn coming up. That should take you right to the dividing vents leading into the holding cells."
"Gotcha knight, turning left!" Cyber-29 acknowledged.
The drone made the left turn, and then made another left turn at the split and traveled down the vents that traveled through and above the holding cells of the left side.
That's when the Heroes Legion heard a sound coming from one of the last holding cells up ahead.
"What's that sound?" a voice belonging to a French teenage boy asked in curiosity.
"Must be a rat in the vents" a female voice suggested.
"Nope…" a younger sounding teenage boy's voice said in disagreement, "not unless that rat's remote controlled."
"That's RJ!" Raven Ducard said in recognition.
"Zoom in Cyber-29, see if they are all in the same cell" Stephanie Walker suggested.
Doing what he was told, Cyber-29 adjusted the viewing camera of the drone so it could look through the ventilation grate and into the cell underneath the grate.
"Yep…" Cyber-29 confirmed, "They are all in there…and they are fitted with Silicon's power neutralizing collars. Which explains why they haven't tried to escape from there yet that's for sure. Hmmm…no guards visible either. Guess they don't think anyone is or would be trying to break them out."
"I can disarm those collars" Techne said assuredly, "All I need is for you to get them here."
"Okay then, you know just what to do Cyber-29 old buddy. Let's break them out!" Robo-Warrior said.
Cyber-29 used the drones' robotic appendages to unscrew the bolts locking the grate to the vent.
The grate then crashed to the floor of the cell, and the drone followed after it.
Atlas and his resistance starred at the strange drone in confused disbelief.
Where had that come from?
And more importantly, who was driving it?
"Hey look, there's a note" John Thunderhawk said.
"Be careful with that, it might be a trap" Sheila warned as the Native American metahuman examined the drone.
"Don't worry, I don't think it's meant to harm us" he assured the cat girl.
"Why do you think that?" Maya Thunderhawk asked her brother.
"Because the note say's 'press this to escape'…and it's carrying Techne's slipstream device" John Thunderhawk answered sarcastically.
"You think Techne did this?" Atlas asked in wonder, "Well way to go Techne!"
"Where on earth did she get the drone from? This definitely wasn't anything you find at a RadioShack." Roulette wondered.
"Who cares, let's just use this thing before anyone hears us!" RJ said anxiously, pressing the activation button on the drone.
Within a flash of light, Atlas and his group found themselves transported out from their cells and into…the back of…no way, it couldn't be!
The Night Hawk!
But that was impossible, that vehicle had been destroyed during the destruction of the mansion.
If it was still intact, then that meant…
As if to answer their shocked glee at the realization of what this meant, Velocity's voice sounded from behind them.
"Hey guys…are we late to the party? We brought chips and dip and everything!"
Battle-Falcon, Subway Tunnels: July 11th 2014: 5:40 AM
"I still can't believe it… but I am glad that you are all alive" Atlas said after hearing the whole story about where the Heroes Legion had been exactly for the past three and a half weeks.
"We would have come back sooner" Raven Ducard said, "But some things couldn't be rushed, and some of us were in no shape to travel."
"What matters is that you're here now" Roulette said assuringly, "And it's a good thing too. We could use all the help we can get, and now that our forces have been re-united as a complete Heroes Legion set. We might have a way higher chance of succeeding."
"Yeah, especially with what's happened to Silicon, did you hear?" Shelia asked.
"Techne told us" Atlanta confirmed, "It is disgusting what they have done to him, but we will find him and snap him out of it."
"It's dawn now…" Shadow Knight said from the driver's seat, looking at the digital clock "I bet any second now there is going to be a 'Meta-Voice' broadcast in response to your 'great escape' as it were."
"What about the Last Resort Squad, did you guys rescue them?" Maya Thunderhawk asked.
"We figured they would be in the same building as you." Robo-Warrior answered.
"No, they were taken to Central Park" RJ shook his head.
"That adhoc concentration camp we pashed coming in here? That's where they're being held?" Raven Ducard asked in remembrance, "well…at least we don't have to search around the city now. So how do we get them out?"
"Well…" Murdoch said thinking aloud, "The area is surrounded by magical energy barrier magic charms. Now we could place anti-magic spell symbols on each of the spell symbols projecting that shield around Central Park. Velocity could use his speed power to go around and paint them over the symbols…but there is still the matter of if we break open a hole in the wall or send it crashing down…those people are still trapped in here with an army of Metahumans surrounding them. They try to escape or the wall goes down, they are sitting ducks."
"What about a teleportation spell?" Shadow Knight suggested.
"The amount of magical energy needed to transport the amount of people inside central park…" Murdoch shook his head, "I don't have the strength to do that, maybe a fraction…but not all of them."
"I could do it" Raven Ducard said with determination.
"Are you sure about that?" Atlas asked concerned.
"A few months ago I got an unwanted power boost added to my already grafted magical abilities given to me by the witch feeder demon" Raven Ducard explained her reason for being sure she could do this, "my normal magic is not quite adequate…but my 'Dark Raven' magic…that might be enough to transport the entire population of Central Park to safety outside the city."
"Whatever you think you're going to do to rescue those people and the last Resort Squad, we better do it fast…" RJ said, "I just picked up a 'Meta-Voice' broadcast. They are not happy we escaped, and now…now he's saying that all forces should head to the central park area…to squash the 'human cockroaches' being held there. His words, not mine."
Central Park Area: July 11th 2014: 6:53 AM
In the open area field known as Sheep Meadow, thousands of people were gathered and contained against their will.
All of them were humans who didn't have M-Gene's.
There were also a lot of family's held captive in here, some were whole…others had been torn apart by Meta-Master and the Dark Elite's reign.
If that person in their family had been cleared by sonar, they ended up going somewhere else and were never seen again.
These people had no idea that that meant their loved ones were possibly right now brainwashed or coerced activated metahumans in Meta-Masters army…if they were lucky.
Considering that on multiple occasions Meta-Master had sent truckloads full of mixed human beings (Non-M-Gene bearers, M-Gene Bearers) to Times Square to be activated…which would kill those not lucky enough to be potential metahumans.
One of these whole families who had been both lucky and unlucky to have any M-Genes, the Heroes Legion didn't know…save for one member.
Once a thorn in Raven Ducard's side, they had become good friends in high school after the "Dark Raven" incident.
Now she and her family had been hiding out in their house's basement in Washington heights when the siege of New York started.
Her father had confidence that SLEET would have this situation handled before the terrorists made their way to their end of Manhattan Island.
They had a well-stocked basement, and a shotgun.
It didn't do them any good when the terrorists came knocking and forced her and her parents to go see some freak show in the supreme courthouse who could tell if she or her parents were "those who could be raised up"…and after being examined by the guy, they were sent here.
Forced to eat meager rations, the berries of the park, catching the rabbits and birds trapped in here with them to keep from starving…even though that was a half victory onto itself.
During the first week, people trapped here with them tried to make a break out from this prison the park she used to have family picnics in.
But whatever it was that was keeping them contained here, it only allowed these terrorists to enter and exit.
Though the terrorist leader "Meta-Master" told them that they were not to be harmed, that didn't mean they couldn't be harassed and abused by the "wardens" of this bizarre prison.
She was glad the Zoo had been emptied during the first few days of the chaos.
She hated to think about sharing the area with lions, tigers and bears!
Today however, something had changed.
This time for the worse, as if the situation wasn't bad enough already…now the super powered terrorists were rounding up the front groups of the population of this makeshift prison to the front area…where their intentions were made clear.
First they gathered all the males who had been unlucky enough to be in the front area of the park, and put them up against the far wall of the park area.
She figured these men had been chosen for the firing squad because they had been the ones who had fought back initially.
He father had one time came to her defense when a green vested terrorist harassed her and her mother, and got a broken wrist for his trouble.
Now he was going to get a bullet…or worse!
"Don't be sad ladies and children" one of the green vested Metahumans declared through a bullhorn, "You'll be joining these cockroaches soon enough. As soon as they're dead, it's open season on everyone else here in Central Park."
Gia screamed her father's name from where her mother tried to restrain her from rushing to his aid, and tried to shield her eyes so she wouldn't see her father get executed by the firing squad...or see her death coming right for her when they were finished.
That was when suddenly a strange sound echoed all around the park, as for some strange reason the shield surrounding the entire park vanished.
As both the prisoners and the metahuman terrorists looked around at the unexpected event that had occurred, a secondary sound could be heard…rapidly approaching the area.
They looked up in the direction the sound was coming from, to see falling down towards the ground was… a robotic man and a comet of…Darkness?
The prisoners and the green vested terrorists watched as both the robotic man and the comet of darkness slammed into the ground.
The robotic man landed in an "Iron Man" style dramatic landing, while the comet of darkness splattered onto the ground.
The robotic man stood up and faced the green vested terrorists, while the puddle of darkness rose up and formed itself into…an armored figure with glowing red eyes, a strange hat and a strange costume.
"So you're all Made-Men level metahumans I gather from those vests of yours right?" Shadow Knight commented while the green vested metahumans stared at the two them absolutely dumfounded upon seeing them alive and well, "This is going to be fun!"
Realizing who they were, and thinking they had a chance to take them down and finish their mission given to them from Meta-Master.
The green vested metahumans opened fire on Robo-Warrior and Shadow Knight.
The last thing a few of them would remember of the event would be the pain of the punches, and the exhilarating feeling followed by more pain when the two heroes returned the attacks in kind with haymakers, punches, miasmic gunshots, and martial arts moves.
Attacks that despite being enhanced by their individual powered armor suits would have sent these jerks flying through the air just the same.
They were just Made-Men level metahumans, meaning they only had some increased durability and low level super strength.
They were formidable against non-super powered humans, but against the Heroes Legion…they were cannon fodder.
The ones in the back of the fighting realized that they had no chance against the two of them in a fight, but they had the numbers.
Two of them wouldn't be enough odds to keep them from finishing their mission.
They turned their attention back towards the men assembled at the firing range and the prisoner population gathered around in the back of the melee.
If they were to accomplish their mission, all they needed to do was open up a few rounds with their guns onto the crowd and within half an hour…all the prisoners here…women and children…would be dead!
As their comrades were being thrown around like ragdolls behind them, they aimed their guns and got ready to massacre all those innocent people with sadistic glee.
Suddenly a golden streak of energy raced through the small army of green vested metahumans, going through the rows one by one, side to side.
Before their eyes, their guns vanished from their hands.
If they had looked fast enough, they would have seen that on every pass the golden streak made through the rows, a hailstorm made out of their guns formed…and the collection of their guns went flying through the air at a 90 degree angle…at a speed that would cause them to eventually fall into the Hudson and queens!
Once that was done, the golden streak came to a stop in front of the bewildered Made-Men level metahumans and the terrified masses of humans behind where the golden streak stood.
Velocity shrugged, "Sorry guys. Guns weren't registered. Had to repossess them! Here…have a spin on the Ferris wheel…on me!"
Velocity then began spinning around rapidly in place, and increased in speed until he had become a Tasmanian devil like tornado of speed…which went barrelling into the crowd.
Sending them flying all over the area or flying back into their comrades like a game of human bowling…only no plastic spheres and such.
His armored hands adding to the crushing effect his super speed enhanced fists were having on those green vested metahuman soldiers he was whaling and slamming into.
Those who scattered out of the way, found themselves being darted from above by a flying Atlanta.
They collapsed into unconsciousness and immobilization from the paralytic darts effects.
That was when the rest of the team poured into the Melee, keeping the Made-Men level metahumans distracted from killing the people trapped here…while Raven Ducard flew over…casting a few immobilization and petrification spells onto a few foes.
She landed on the outside of the skirmish with her arms outstretched to either side of the park grounds, and with a quickness that she had recently learned to do with her spellcasting regarding a few of her defensive spells spoke the words needed to cast the Shield spell.
"ARS ARCANUM SHEILDUS!"
The crowd gasped in both fear and awe as magical energy shot out of Raven Ducard's outstretched fingers, and formed a wall of energy…dividing the crowd and herself off from the melee ensuring behind here.
Knowing her friends and teammates had this in hand; she focused on her part of the plan.
She looked at the crowd and held up her hands in an assuring manner.
"Don't worry, I'm a friend. My friends and I are here to get you out of here to safety" Raven Ducard assured them, "Don't be afraid…but in order for me to be able to send you all out of here, and out of the city to safety…I'm going to have to get a little…ugly. Stand back!"
That was when Raven Ducard activated her transformation into her Dark Raven super form.
Meanwhile in the crowd, where Raven Ducard couldn't see her or her parents that she and her teammates had rescued from certain death.
Gia Hartley could see the magic witch girl who had arrived here with these other…Heroes?
She was stunned silly with disbelief when she recognized the witch girl.
She dressed differently and did her hair differently when they had met and hung out in high school…but that was clearly her.
She never forgot a face.
It was Raven!
As she watched her transform into a demonic she-devil version of herself, Gia didn't know what to think about this revelation about her new friend.
What was she?
Who was she?
Back in the brawl, Atlas and his group joined the party.
One of them before being struck by the miasmic bullet of Shadow Knight was bowled over by the full force of Maya Thunderhawk's grizzly bear form she had transformed into while charging into the fray.
Roulette drew his cards, charged them up and threw them at his opponents.
On contact, they manifested random objects and effects…all designed to take down or stun his opponents long enough for the heavy hitters to finish the job.
Like an explosion of light similar to a flash grenade, coating a few in a mass of sticky hot tar, trapping twelve of them in a giant glob of cherry jello…if they weren't in the middle of a brawl, the Heroes Legion would probably find the slapstick effects the metahuman hero's powers were having upon the enemy when they exploded.
Thanks to velocity, none of the non-bullet proof/armored heroes had anything to worry about.
In fact, in the case of Atlas and his metallic punches…the enemy were the ones who had something to worry about.
His punches were one hit K.O's with each contact made to someone's face.
John Thunderhawk in his humanoid eagle form flew down like a bird of prey and grabbed a few foes with his talon claws, pulled and tossed them forty feet into the air and went around for another pass.
Shelia and Murdoch both ripped through their foes like vicious feline animals.
So far the battle had been quite one sided, when suddenly the Heroes legion's luck changed out of their favor.
Their millage on the luck factor always sucked!
When only a small handful of the opposition was left standing, two buzzing boomerang buzz saw blades shot out from outside the front entrance of the south side of the park area.
The Heroes Legion and Atlas's Resistance barley managed to duck or jump out of their way as the boomerang blades made an attempt on their lives.
Some of the Made-Men level metahumans left standing weren't so lucky.
The boomerang buzz saw blades returned to the metallic breasts of their sender….Dominatrix!
Who was joined by her lover Brawl, who tossed a garbage truck right at the Heroes Legion like it was a simple garbage can!
Robo-Warrior barely managed to catch the tossed garbage truck and set it down harmlessly before it could slam into him and his friends.
Then he stood with his friends ready to face their latest attackers.
They knew this would happen.
They knew if they came in to theses peoples rescue like this, their anonymity here behind enemy lines would be put at critical risk.
Attacking this massacre would no doubt cause on or worst case scenario ALL of the Dark Elite down from their tower to deal with this.
Especially when the crowd outside the park had seen an attack happening and went to go get some help or report to Meta-master and the Dark Elite.
They had accepted that eventually, which is why they had decided to act fast and hit hard to try and get the job done before help arrived.
They couldn't risk wasting time going over and covering all the "What if's" when they had so little time to get up to Central Park and stop the massacre.
They might have expected reaction and arrival time to be shorter than expected since Black Knight could teleport a response unit to investigate and deal with the situation into the area easily.
They just didn't think it would be the power couple themselves who would be sent to investigate the disturbance.
No doubt Meta-Master thought it was only Atlas and his resistance who had been interfering with his metahuman empires twisted affairs as usual this time…since both he and his team didn't know they had survived the attack on the Mansion.
The two villains looked at them in surprised shock.
"How many times do we have to kill you kids before you stay dead?!" Dominatrix exclaimed in exasperation upon seeing the Heroes Legion was alive and well.
"As many times as it takes my dear…now let's make sure this is the last time!" Brawl declared, and charged at the Heroes Legion.
Atlas, who was pretty much nigh invulnerable in his metallic skinned body, charged in kind towards the super powered mercenary.
Brawl gave the metallic hero a backhand slap with his right hand which sent Atlas flying back into an abandoned car parked down the adjacent street.
Before Brawl could go after Atlas to try and kill him, Maya Thunderhawk charged into him while in her grizzly bear form.
Robo-Warrior then opened fire on Dominatrix, sending a volley of shoulder missiles at the cyborg villainess.
She pulled up her shield arm and blocked the attack.
The attack only managed to knock her back a few feet.
She tried to attack back, but suddenly she felt her robotic limbs and her weapons suddenly cease to operate by her thoughts and impulses…almost as if she was having a cybernetic seizure.
"Hello Dominatrix…" a female voice that she knew too well spoke to her through her cybernetic left eardrum.
"Techne!" Dominatrix exclaimed in recognition upon hearing that voice.
"Bingo" Techne's voice said through her cybernetic left eardrum, "you know when you came after me down in that tunnel, I wondered if you were being cocky or stupid coming down there yourself…going after me…the only metahuman in the city who could do a 'Magneto" on you with your…wolverine-esque weakness to my power. A weakness you should have known about since I was one of the Dark Elite's lackey's."
"What the hell are you talking about?" Dominatrix demanded.
"Wolverine is weak against Magneto because his bones are metal, Magneto controls magnetism so he'd be able to move him around like a puppet on a string. You're limbs are mechanical and I can control machines and technology with my mind. Do the math."
"Oh shit!" Dominatrix declared upon realizing what Techne was going to do.
Without any will of her own, her limbs and her weapons moved and activated on their own.
Her right arm morphed into an energy weapon, and aimed right at Brawl who was about to stomp down on Maya Thunderhawk's bear forms neck as he had her pinned down under his other foot.
The blast from the energy weapon sent Brawl flying backwards into a nearby café shop.
"Babe!" Brawl coughed from inside the building, "What the hell?"
"It's not me, it's that Techne Bitch!" Dominatrix called, "She's got control of my limbs! When did she get this good with her powers? She couldn't even make my hand move against my will."
"Because she doesn't have any reason NOT to use her powers against you this time, the mental block Meta-Master put in her when he brainwashed her to be a loyal soldier is gone… including the implanted inhibition that she could never use her powers against one of the Dark Elite. She's confident and she's pissed! Shame you only saw use for her as a hacking tool and a patsy. But your mistake is our gain." Cyber-29 declared through the Robo-Warrior suit.
"I think my 'Reason you failed/suck' speech tendencies are starting to rub off on you" Shadow Knight said impressed.
"Controlling my woman and using her against me?" Brawl said from inside the café he had been knocked into, "Now that's cold, even for me. Sorry babe…I'll make this up to you later."
"Make what up for me, what are you…?" Dominatrix began to ask.
Brawl didn't answer, he just charged out of the hole that had been made in the café window he had been knocked through.
But instead of going straight for the Heroes Legion and Atlas's resistance…he went the opposite way and headed right for Dominatrix.
Against her will she didn't move, and fired her weapons at the charging Brawl…who shrugged of her attacks long enough to get close enough to her to land a punch to her stomach area.
Like something out of an anime cartoon, Dominatrix went flying into the air…, crashed through a building several blocks behind at the end of the street and vanished from sight.
The only thing missing was a twinkling star to indicate where she had vanished in the sky.
She landed somewhere in the battery, but far enough that she wasn't affected by Techne's power.
It would take her several hours to self-repair…and five hours at least to get over being pissed at Brawl when she realized he did this so Techne could no longer manipulate her.
"Guess that's what they meant by love HURTS..." she coughed.
He then turned around to face the combined forces of the Heroes Legion and Atlas's resistance.
"There are no strings on me kid!" Brawl shouted to the area, hoping Techne could hear him "I just beat your trump card with my own fist. What are you gonna do now kids? I know the only person who can kill me can't use his powers to send me to the river without tipping off Black Knight and by extension the others that you are all alive. So what are you gonna do?"
Suddenly something invisible slammed into Brawl, Hard!
It was Stephanie, Techne, RJ and the Night Hawk!
They had taken that moment of distraction, when Brawl was busy boasting his success towards the heroes to take him by surprise.
They rammed him into and pinned him against a wall from the chest down, and then all the offensive weaponry on the cloaked Night Hawk came online and started firing on the pinned Brawl at point blank range.
They managed to do some damage to him.
Unfortunately, while he was pinned against the wall… Brawl was still stronger than the Night Hawk.
Plus his hands were free underneath the grill of the Night Hawk.
He grabbed the chassis of the vehicle and with all his upward body strength yanked it upwards.
Causing the Nighthawk to flip over and land upside down in the middle of the street.
This also unfortunately caused the cloaking device to falter temporarily, exposing the vehicle to the supervillain.
Before brawl could attempt to peal the Night Hawk open like an orange, or before the Heroes Legion and Atlas's group could even attempt to stop him.
Something rather unexpected happened.
A beam of pure concussive energy shot out from down the street and struck Brawl square in the side.
The Heroes Legion and Atlas's group barely managed to hit the dirt before Brawl flew right over where their heads had once been and crash right into the wall of south central park.
This attack which had come out of nowhere it seemed had managed to knock the wind out of Brawl, who was so dazed and confused by what had happened, one wondered if the guy was seeing stars circling around his head for the first time in his life.
While staring at the downed Brawl to make sure he wasn't getting back up anytime soon, Shadow Knight activated his armored suits communicator, "RJ, Techne, Steph…are you guys alright in there?"
"We're fine" Stephanie Walker responded, "What's going on. One second I'm looking at Brawl's feet through the front windshield, the next he's gone. What happened?"
"Good question…" Ravager said, equally perplexed at what had happened.
The Heroes Legion and Atlas's group after looking in the direction of the winded Brawl, looked back to see who or what had just attacked the supervillain mercenary.
They saw a sumo wrestling looking figure stumble from out of an adjacent alleyway, who slowly but surely started to shrink and mold back into a regularly sized and shaped Japanese boy.
Once he had returned to normal, he paused and looked at the Heroes Legion who recognized him instantly.
"Hey guys, remember me?" the boy called to them with a friendly smile.
"Hiro Nakajima" Shadow Knight said impressed, "Also known as 'Sumo'…nice timing. Almost a Duex Ex Machina, but welcomed none the less… What are you doing here?"
"It's a long story, I'll explain it later." Sumo assured them.
"Who is this kid?" Atlas asked upon seeing and meeting Hiro Nakajima for the first time, wondering how it was the Heroes Legion knew him.
This Japanese American kid who had quite almost literally just come out of nowhere in order to save their friends in the Night Hawk before Brawl could get to them.
"Like the kid said, it's a long story and we'll explain it later" Velocity said, then he pointed up to the sky above Central Park "Hey…look at that. Raven's about to get her hex on! This is gonna be epic!"
"Just a second…" Shadow Knight said looking right at the dazed and stunned Brawl, "One last thing to take care of."
He focused his powers and aimed his shadow gun at the super powered mercenary.
A miasmic bullet shot out of the gun, which exploded into a purple colored gas on impact with Brawl.
The effects of the gas, plus the beating he had just received from Sumo's Kinetic breathe beam attack were more than enough to knock Brawl out into complete unconsciousness in one simple inhalation.
"Okay, now we can watch the show" he said almost deadpan tone.
The Heroes Legion, Atlas's resistance and Sumo watched as Raven Ducard, who was floating thirty feet above Central Park in her Dark Raven form.
Currently holding a sphere of dark magical energy in her raised hands, lowered her hands down at the crowd of prisoners bellow…and fired.
They watched as the energy sphere grew as it fell towards the crowd bellow, and kept on growing until it became a sphere of magic large enough to swallow the entire population of the Central Park concentration camp.
The prisoners all vanished within an instant of being washed over by the magic spell.
They would reappear in a park in New Jersey…with quite a story to tell the authorities, news people or anybody who would listen after realising they had been saved and were now out of occupied Manhattan.
Back in Central Park, Raven Ducard floated down to the ground and transformed back into her normal usual self.
The strain of casting the teleportation spell on such a large area, even while enhanced greatly in strength and magic while in her Dark Raven form, had left her a little weak and winded.
"I'm alright…" She assured her teammates when they swarmed around her when she collapsed to her knees, breathing like she had just run a cross country marathon, "I just…need a moment to catch my breath."
"Well done Raven…" Shadow Knight said giving her a comforting congratulatory hand on her shoulder, "well done. Your parents would have been proud if they had seen that."
She smiled at him.
"I know…" she said, as she put her hand over the hand he had on her shoulder thankfully.
"So much for staying incognito…" Velocity said in dismay, "If Meta-Master didn't know we were here, he does now or he will eventually. He definitely would have seen that spell do its job from the Empire State Building, and if he didn't…he'll find out from either brawl of Dominatrix when they recover…or any of the metahuman jokers who fled before we could kick their ass."
"Doesn't matter…" Shadow Knight assured his teammate, "We had to do this, and we did the right thing doing so despite the risk of losing our element of surprise against the Dark Elite. Otherwise some of these people would have died instead of none of them. Besides…even if they know we're alive. They can't find us. We have these suits, and we have the Night Hawk. We can still hide away from their radar and work from the shadows against them."
"Which we should do immediately" Atlas said urgently, "Before we test our luck any further than it already is. Let's get the Night Hawk back on its wheels and get out of here before more of them show up."
"Indeed…" Techne called from the overturned Night Hawk, "the roof of this thing isn't nearly as comfy as the floor you know."
HMS Damocles, Washington DC: July 11th 2014: 10:53 AM
"Sir…we've got an incoming transmission from DC" Lt. Hardcastle said.
"We're on a communications blackout until the mole is found" General Arcane said dismissively.
"But sir, it's coming in on your private line" Lt. Hardcastle pointed out.
General Arcane paused thoughtfully, and then he activated his communicator.
"FINALLY!" Agent Smith said on the other end, "I've been trying to get a hold of you for days. What's going on?"
"We have a mole on board who might have sabotaged the LRS insertion into Manhattan and who may or may not know who is behind the sabotaging of Rikers and who's been providing weapons that were NOT on the HMS Demeter when it was hijacked…to Meta-Master. I've issued a communications blackout and a sealing of the ship until we find him. What's wrong?"
"Seriously, What isn't wrong Arcane?" Agent Smith said exasperated, "for the past few days I've been in meetings on your behalf while you tried to find a mole. The situation is getting worse; they are planning on using nuclear weapons OR the Prometheus Cannon to handle the situation. If any metahumans pass through the embargo line on the George Washington Bridge, they'll retaliate."
"They can't do that, I told them that it would be catastrophic!" General Arcane said in response.
"They don't care, they want a resolution before Meta-Master and his forces are marching on the front lawn of the white house and Senator Ennis won't shut up. The president just signed off on the order, any second now any chance of us from keeping the morons with an itchy trigger finger from making this all blow up in our face is getting less and less likely."
"I don't care if the president signed the order; he's basing his judgement of really bad information. Especially if the idea came from Senator Ennis's cabinet…then it's definitely a bad idea disguised as a good idea waiting to bring us all down. I'll deal with this situation in Washington in earnest. Right now I need to clean up the mess and keep the mess they are being made to create out of some machevellian plot and paranoia before it can happen. " General Arcane said with determination.
"What are you going to do?" Agent Smith asked.
"Cut off the strings before anyone who may or may not be involved in this conspiracy can use us or the American arsenal as an instrument in their goals any further than they already have" General Arcane answered, "I'll contact you later. For now…keep an eye on Senator Ennis and the rest of the politic horde."
"Understood sir" Agent Smith responded.
"Lieutenant…" General Arcane said to his protégé, "Burn the bridges. Lock down all access to the weapons board and Prometheus. Authorization: Gremlin-001. Shut down every one of our missiles that the government/military could have access to and launch against Manhattan and lockout the Prometheus cannon. Nothing else, keep the fleet functional and running. We want to keep these bastards away from our missiles and the Prometheus, not hand the country or several other ones over to FEIND on a silver platter. Also tell our ships to keep an eye on any missiles not controlled by us that might be launched by POTUS order. Any of them fly, they are to shoot them down. "
"Yes sir…" Lt. Hardcastle nodded.
The second that code was entered and cleared into the SLEET network, the missiles of the Air Fleet and Fighter Jets as well as the access device to the Prometheus Cannon Device were locked out from any user access that was not authorized by General Arcane…and the ban would not be lifted until Arcane confirmed it with a bio-scan into the computer with a reset code only HE knew about.
In the section of the ship that Private Oscar Rankin was hiding in, a place that the soldiers looking for him had yet to check.
The utility corridors and AC ventilations passageways of the ship, which acted if you knew how to navigate them and avoid the detection devices placed in key areas acted as a perfect way to quickly and silently get around the ship.
There were hundreds of yards of length in total of places he could hide in while inside these tubes, and that's what he had been doing since the lockdown after the others committed suicide so that the race traitor Arcane wouldn't be able to get any information out of them.
Since he still had a job he had to do, he didn't eat a bullet.
So now he was waiting for word from the head of the group who had employed him to help deal with the metahuman problem the RIGHT way.
Sure that meant some innocents would die, but countless innocents would die if they didn't stop these monsters once and for all…so their sacrifice would not be in vain.
They weren't the bad guys here; they were patriots trying to defend their country against a real menace trying to strike back before it was too late and show the world what kind of monsters these "superhuman" really were.
Now that it had been proven with Manhattan, it was time to wipe them all out.
To prevent them from enslaving and decimating humanity, like they were doing to Manhattan.
That was when he felt his secure cellphone ring in his pocket; he pulled it out and answered it.
A garbled digital voice on the other end responded back "Arcane's onto us we think, he just shut down all access to SLEET's missiles and the Prometheus cannon. It will only be lifted by his command. There's nothing we can do about it and can't touch the cannon or the missiles…or at least he thinks so. We've already done our part with the Prometheus. Did you do your part with your plane and its missiles for when the time comes?"
Private Oscar Rankin chuckled upon hearing that, and then reached into his pocket and pulled out several computer chips.
"I'm holding the override chips to my planes controls and the missiles in my hand as we speak, you give me the order…" he said with zeal, "and I'll gladly blow that city apart with the stealth bombers tomahawk missile to save our citizens from the metahuman terrorists. I'll do it with no hesitation for god and country…and the future of the human race!"