Written by TwiceOnThursdays :: [Tuesday, 26 May 2015 00:37] Last updated by :: [Tuesday, 26 May 2015 12:41]
It was a warm, crisp, blue spring day. Despite the warmth of the sun, the area outside Hexagon Labs was coated in a thick sheet of ice.
Several police cars were scattered around the square, parked at dramatic angles, several which were covered in ice. The ice refracted the flashing blue and red lights into a prismatic spray, spraying color over the square. Policemen were crouched behind the cars, focused on the square.
In the center of the activity stood two humans, each dramatically different from the other. The first was a giant of a man, towering over everyone in the square. He stood 8 feet tall, his shoulders almost that wide. He had long scraggly blond hair, and tuffs of hair grew from his shoulders, chest and down his back. His arms were huge, larger than a NFL linebacker’s legs. Two huge tusks grew out of his lower jaw; the ends of his tusks drew attention to his piggish yellow eyes.
His companion was much easier to look at. She was a short, athletically slim woman with light blue skin. Her nails, lips, and pixie cut hair were all a dark blue. A dark blue bikini nicely displayed her trim figure. Her bare feet padded along the ice, her dainty feet finding purchase despite the slick sheet of ice. She gestured with her right hand, and a light blue ray lanced out, and struck a police car, enshrouding it in ice. The policeman who had been taking cover behind the hood of the car, scrambled back behind a food service truck.
“Berserker! Frost! Give up! You can’t get away! A SWAT team is on its way!”
Suddenly a huge gust of wind blew in from a side street, followed immediately by a loud “CRACK”, and a low rumble that shook every window and fractured some of the dense ice. Frost was pulled from her feet and tossed a few yards towards where Berserker had been standing. Berserker was no longer present, one moment he had been towering over the area about to hurl a car, and then he was gone. The car thudded back into the ground, rocking on its shocks.
Frost lay in a heap for a few moments, and then slowly shook her head groggily. After a moment, she her eyes started to focus, and she stood up and looked around. Her forehead scrunched up and her eyebrows rose in puzzlement. “What the fuck happened to Berserker?”
From his point of view, Berserker heard a loud crack, and suddenly the world was bright blue sky and some wispy clouds. He was rocketing upwards at a ferocious rate. The wind was buffeting his eyes, and despite his enhanced durability, his eyes started to water and he had to blink away tears. Something was pushing him low on his back, sending him ever higher in the sky.
He started to squirm around, trying to get a good look at what was going on. He’d almost figured out how to wiggle around when the pressure stopped and immediately something grabbed his leg. He was spun around quickly, so fast everything became one blur. The force let go, and he was hurled farther up in the sky. With nothing to grab onto, his tremendous strength was worthless, and he continued to tumble uncontrollably. Despite being so high up, Berserker was mostly just annoyed. He could survive a fall from space, so all he needed to do was wait.
Back on the ground, Frost had regained her feet. She was looking around, puzzled. “Well this has gone tits up.”
A bullet bounced off shoulder, and another pinged into her forehead, shattering on impact. She snarled, “You shouldn’t have done that. Now I’m pissed. I don’t know what is going on, but I’m gong to make you all pay!”
She clenched her hands into fists, and held them at an angle from her body. They started to glow and a bright blue halo started to form around them. The halos grew, until the two merged and began to cover her entire body. The glow turned a deeper shade of blue, and white sparkles danced around in the aura.
Frost lifted her head back and let out a maniacal laugh. “You should have been nice to me! Instead I’m going to freeze everything!”
With an ear-shattering crack, a huge front of air rammed into Frost from above and dropped her to the ground. The sparkling blue halo winked out. Before Frost could figure out what had happened, she had disappeared from the square and flew through the air. She shook her head to try to clear it, and realized she was being carried. She tried to concentrate, but the world seemed a bit fuzzy. She was being carried by a beautiful dark haired woman. She couldn’t see more than some blue earnings in the woman’s ears, her arms were bare and her shoulders were nice rounded caps of muscle, there was hint of a shiny metallic blue top.
“Hey, you’re that Ultima chick! I need to …” Her words slurred off. The world became a dark tunnel that seemed to get farther and father away. “you can’t stoooo …” Her world went dark.
She awoke inside a small room with no visible door, though one side was completely open to the hallway. There was a slight persistent hum in the room; it made her feel a bit queasy. She raised her hand, and concentrated. Nothing happened. She tried again, and still, nothing happened except she felt a bit more nauseous. Her powers had been blocked.
She walked towards the open front of the room, and bumped into the air. She ran her hand around and felt an unyielding resistance, and it was slick, she couldn’t grab ahold or it or make any kind of purchase, and could barely even feel it. It was absolutely unyielding, and totally slick.
Still, they always made a mistake, and she just needed one and she would be free. She looked around the ceiling, but failed to see a camera. She knew that there had to be one somewhere.
She shook her fist towards one of the corners. “I’ll get out of here! I always get out! And then you’ll be sorry!”
She looked over to the cell across the hall from her. There was a blur, and Berserker appeared in the cell. He was out cold, and his arms and legs were in some kind of manacles. She could hear him snoring softly.
She massaged her temples, trying to get the pounding drum in her head to quiet down. She was left pondering where the day had gone so horribly wrong.
- - - -
The day was simply fantastic, a nice crisp blue sky that was mostly clear, with a scattering of fluffy white clouds. A fit young woman dressed in tight skimpy gym clothes with a metallic blue hint to them hurtled through the air. She was doing loops, and corkscrews, swirling around in the clouds. Laughter echoed through the sky, matched to a large grin her face. It was the newest member of the Liberty Squad, the raven haired heroine Ultima.
Her communicator beeping interrupted the simple joy of flying; the tone indicated a non-Liberty Squad call. She glanced at the screen, it was Professor Stolovitzky. She had been ignoring calls from her former professor. After using her amazing memory and ability to do large complex calculations easily to find and fix some troublesome errors in his latest paper, he kept calling her trying to get her to fix the rest of it. She would have helped, except he still didn’t want to put her name on the paper, since she was “just an intern”. When she was his working for him, he’d always undervalued her work, and asked more of her than any of this other assistants. Now that she no longer worked for him, she felt little obligation to do more of his work for him. Besides she had better ideas for research topics now, and would much rather be studying them, and no shortage of professors who would like to work with her. The intersection of science and magic was fascinating to her, and Professor Stolovitzky thought magic was hogwash.
She’d been spending too much time studying her powers, studying magic, planning for emergencies, whisking villains to jail, and had spent little time enjoying herself. Today, she was just going to spend some time enjoying flying, instead of answering Stolovitzky’s call. She’d already told him multiple times that without credit; she was unwilling to work on his paper. Eventually he would get the hint.
Even her current flight was work related, she was en route back from Bedlam Penitentiary, where all the worst super villains were jailed. She had just put Frost and Berserker away after they had attacked a research facility in Kirby. She’d whisked Berserker away, tossing him halfway into space where it would take minutes for him to return to the ground. This removed him from the battle and kept him from tearing things up. She then returned to take care of his partner. One moment Frost was attacking and before she knew it, she awoke inside a special cell at Bedlam.
A quick jaunt back up to near space and she found Berserker tumbling towards the ground. She whisked in at super speed and hauled him all the way into space. His thick skin and overall durability prevented any damage, but as tough as he was he needed to breathe. As he started to black out, she again moved in, attaching manacles to restrain his mighty muscles. He recovered quickly, but not before he woke up in a power dampening cell next to Frost.
In the month since Ultima had been accidentally granted Ultimo’s powers, property damage from super-powered criminals in Kirby was down 79%. She ended most fights before villains knew they were in a fight. If the villain were like Berserker, super-strong and durable, she’d pull them out at full speed and up into space.
If they were roughly human durable, she would grab them, and rocket away at a fraction of her top speed, just fast enough to knock them out from G-Forces. If like Frost they were tougher than normal, she just sped up until they passed out. Usually by the time they reacted, they were already helpless from the G-Force, and moments from passing out. She found her enhanced senses could easily judge the needed speed and she backed off right at the edge that caused a blackout.
Her testing with her heat vision and cold breath indicated that they were not vision and breath related, instead they were the result of her telekinetically speeding up or slowing down molecular movement. Hours of practice at super speed had given her phenomenal control over this power. Criminals with super weapons would find them disabled in an instant as she would fry or freeze important circuits, wires, buttons, or triggers. Then next eye-blink they would be restrained, and awaiting being picked up by the police. They rarely even got a shot off. Most were subdued before they even knew Ultima was in the area. Sometimes she didn’t even stop, and just let the police handle the mop up.
Only a few villains possessed enough power to actually stand up and fight her for longer than a few seconds. So far the Liberty Squad and most of the world’s governments were really happy that she’d replaced Ultimo. She was saving millions of dollars of re-construction with every fight, and avoiding damage to priceless works of art and statues. All good news after Ultimo had knocked Berserker through the Statue of Liberty last month. Liberty’s torch had been knocked off, and sank to the bottom of the harbor. Worse, even though he could have retrieved it he was “too busy”. New York was still grateful that she’d stopped by and raised it from the depths. It wasn’t too difficult, though she had to make sure she properly wrapped it in her TK field as she raised it, it wasn’t strong enough to move around in the water without that.
She had not only raised it from the depths, she dried it off immediately, and blasted off any crud that had grown on it. She then inspected it for damage. After consulting with the engineers, she grabbed some extra material and reattached the arm. Her amazing control over heat and cold enabled her to do perfect welds at high speed. It was now good as new, and she had a key to New York City.
Once again her communicator interrupted her day, this time with a light buzzing indicating a priority alert. Her communicator like Blur’s had been adapted to send data in a high bandwidth pulse, in case they were moving at high speed. Of course Ultimo’s hadn’t been set that way, he’d never thought to ask about it, let alone tweak the implementation like she had done.
“Can’t duck this call.” She pushed the button and watched the view at high speed fast forward, slowing her perceptions down a bit until it wasn’t a series of slow frames. Monstro was attacking Tokyo. Again.
It was a half a world away, she could teleport to the Liberty Squad station, and then teleport down, but it was almost as fast to just fly there, and it would free up the teleport tubes for others to use. She zipped straight up, constantly accelerating as the atmosphere thinned and she got farther away from the ground. She could accelerate directly up and cover the 100 miles into space in a few seconds. She’d rose quickly, breaking the sound barrier a few hundred meters above the ground, quickly ramped up to Mach 10, then really added speed as the atmosphere thinned. She exited the atmosphere, speed up to close to her full speed, whipping in an arc and coming down in a sharp decent towards Japan. The atmosphere ignited around her as she re-entered, shock waves rolling off her.
She had already located all the planes in the area, calculated their flight paths, and planned a direct decent into Tokyo. The advantage of flying from space was she could see Monstro and his path clearly. He was making a beeline towards Akira University, a huge line of broken buildings, and shattered streets marked a line from the harbor. “He’s behaving strangely. He normally attacks nuclear power plants, totally draining all radioactive material. But Akira doesn’t have a nuclear reactor …” She sped up her perception of time again, even the speeds she was rocketing in now seemed slow. She pulsed off some requests for past records. She already read all the accounts of Monstro attacks, but she remembered a footnote from one of the reactor attacks, and she now had the clearance to read the full report.
As she remembered, all the reactor attacks ended up with the reactors void of any radioactivity. Somehow Monstro absorbed all the radiation, something that should be impossible. The classified report was about the structural integrity of one of the reactors. Buried deep in the report was a note that it was incredibly lucky that Monstro attacked, as there had a been a fault in the reactor tubing, and soon the reactor would have started to leak large amounts of radiation, and probably had been leaking small amounts already. She let this sink in for a moment, and called up the after reports on all the other reactor attacks, and found that in each one, somewhere in the reactor system there had been an undiagnosed problem, and some of reactors had been leaking minute amounts of radiation. The amounts had been too small to trigger the alarms. In at least one case, it would have resulted in a large Failure. This was also the only significant land attack Monstro had ever done. He’d somehow popped up in the interior of the Ukraine near a nuclear power plant, and sucked it dry before disappearing. The full study had shown that the reactor was only a few steps away from a Level 7 nuclear leak, a few weeks at best. In another case, he appeared and sucked a reactor dry right after an earthquake had flooded the region. It was hours away from venting radioactive material, when Monstro appeared, and drained all the radiation. No wonder the people of Japan had a love/hate relationship with him.
The standing theory was that Monstro somehow absorbed radiation for sustenance.
If he was drawn by radiation, there should be a signature of some sort. Flipping through the electromagnetic spectrum in wide swaths, she caught an odd pulse emanating from the University, coming from the Otomo Physics department building. It was not strong enough or of a type to be deadly, it would bounce off human skin. Though it was safe, it was certainly odd, and to had a pulsing pattern to it, almost like a tidal wave. Also, every time the wave rolled back out and crested, Monstro would give a small jerk. He was definitely reacting to the radiation signature. Still, it was innocuous; it was about as dangerous as a radio signal. Monstro was destroying Tokyo.
Little bursts of light spattered around, as the Liberty Squad appeared, and started to attack Monstro. By now, anyone looking up would see the mighty glowing star that was Ultima. She pulsed off a warning for the Liberty Squad to back off for a moment, and started to brake, if she hit Monstro at this speed, the shockwave would probably flatten a good portion of Tokyo, and cause a seismic event that would be felt in Paris. She altered her flight path so that she’d hit Monstro and knock him back along the path that he’d entered in. There really wasn’t much data on how much Monstro weighed, or how tough his skin was. Conservative estimates placed his weight at 50,000 tons, and no one knew how much damage he could take. Ultimo never could lift Monstro, despite trying a few times. She was significantly stronger than Ultimo, and hopefully hitting him at high speed like this should enable her to toss him back out into the bay. Likely with her size, that much force would be like shooting him with a bullet, and she’d punch right through him. While it would severely injure him, it wouldn’t get him out of the city, which was her primary goal. As she rocketed in to slam into Monstro, she pushed out her personal shield so that her impact would hit all of Monstro, not just the narrow part her body hit.
Keeping her perceptions running at full speed, she seemed to be gliding towards Monstro. Ultima scanned all the buildings. If there were people around, she would need to throttle speed, and hope for the best. She rescanned all the buildings, coming up empty. Thankfully the weekend and evacuation plans had removed most from the fight zone. As she ducked down for her attack run, sonic booms rumbled behind her, shaking buildings and shattering windows.
Despite pulling back on her speed, the impact immediately shattered the remaining windows in a quarter mile radius, and shredded the buildings next to Monstro. With her field spread wide, the impact almost knocked her out and she struggled to remain focused on the task. The impact lifted Monstro off his feet, and she continued to push him, straining. She dropped him into the ocean with a gigantic splash.
The force of the impact left her a bit lightheaded. She’d not been hit so hard since she became Ultima, and that included when Hercules had punched her full force in training. Sometimes it was hard to convince Hercules what training was.
A quick shake cleared her head, her silky black hair flipping around in a satiny cloud. Cutting her speed, she banked and turned towards Tokyo. A huge wave of water erupted as Monstro’s head reared out of the water, and he started to return to Tokyo. He was moving at quite a clip, faster than he’d been recorded moving before, making a beeline back along his previous path. Ultima took stock of the situation, and figured that it might be time to try to dissuade Monstro with some direct force.
Banking into a turn, she sliced in from the side, and slammed into Monstro’s head, rocking him back. A quick flip, and she rocketed up a half-mile and came down to slam into his body. The force caused a shockwave to roll through the water, and forced Monstro back. He reared his head back and roared.
As Ultima came around for another pass, Monstro let out a quick burst of flame that bathed Ultima in a warm amber glow. He’d attacked Ultimo with a full force blast to little effect, so Ultima just barreled through the flame. As she hit the flame, pain ripped through her body, and instead of flying into Monstro, she tumbled uncontrollably, and had to fight to regain level flight. Despite having done high G corkscrews, this relatively light tumbling made her nauseous and blurred her vision. With some concentration she managed to re-assert control and settle her stomach. She tried to scan Monstro, but none of her vision powers worked. Focusing through a splitting headache, she finally managed to scan for some radiation, and found that she had a cloud of a buzzing radiation around her.
Looking down at the ocean, she realized that instead of working at high speed, time was flowing normally. She could barely concentrate, and felt weak and lethargic. Each second she dipped closer to the ocean, only the mightiest effort kept her aloft.
What had Monstro done to her? It wasn’t a full power breath attack, he had to take time to generate one of those, and it caused his spines to glow. Ultimo had taken a full power blast and had just gotten a little singed. What had happened?
The radiation around her was quite odd, and was oscillating in a pattern. Radiation should be emitted in a band, or a group of bands, not like this. As she studied the pattern, she realized that each cycle was causing a reaction inside her.
“I have to get rid of this radiation.” It was slowly draining off, and she had started to feel a better. She dropped down to the ocean and dived in. The water should pull the radiation off her faster than air, and hopefully disrupt the pattern. This seemed to work, a few moments and she felt a lot better. She wasn’t quite up to speed, but the faster she barreled through the water, the better she felt. There was still some residual radiation clinging to her, but there was no longer an oscillating field. She popped above the waves, and spun around quickly, becoming dry in an instant. She still wasn’t at full power, and popped up into the upper atmosphere to grab some direct solar energy. The strong sunlight cleared her head.
What had happened? Monstro had hit her with an incredibly tuned radiation attack, and it had knocked her for a loop. While she was recovering, Monstro had already waded back to shore and was moving quickly towards the university. He seemed almost panicked. He had never moved that fast before, he wasn’t built to move that quickly due to his size. She sped her perception up, and could see Monstro’s heart hammering in his chest, and his lungs gasping for air.
He wasn’t even paying attention to the attacks of the Liberty Squad. In the past, Lady Lightning’s blasts caused him pain, and would divert his attention. But she charged up a full power blast, pushing herself over her normal maximum, and tossed it at Monstro. As the blast hit, Monstro let out a huge grunt, and the ridges along his spine flashed blue. Other than the grunt, he didn’t acknowledge the hit, and didn’t swerve from his path. His eyes were glued straight ahead, looking right at the Physics building.
Remembering the strange radiation pulse from earlier, she flipped her vision back around, and found the field was stronger and pulsing madly. As she flew back towards Tokyo, she tracked the radiation back to a lab. A swirling portal had started to form, and items had started to float and flow around the portal. A rotating magnetic field had formed around the portal, and was starting to induce current in the structure of the building. The equipment in the room was heavily bolted to the floor, and inside a faraday cage. Obviously the effect wasn’t entirely unexpected, though it seemed to be exceeding expectations.
Space began to warp around the portal, as it emitted a wan purplish light. Something was seriously wrong here, and it seemed to be driving Monstro into a Frenzy. A quick scan of the room gave her the ids of all the people in the room. She scanned every piece of paper in the lab, charts and notes, and a few research papers. They were attempting to create an infinite energy source, by collecting Zero Point Energy.
Even flying at the top speed she could go in the atmosphere, she had plenty of time to run through the papers, carefully double checking details. The main equations in the paper weren’t quite correct. There were more dimensions to take into account, and a few math errors incorrectly estimated the effects and the scale of the energy generated. The misaligned equipment was shunting that energy into opening a wormhole. Since there was no endpoint selected, it was likely going to attach to a high energy point, with a massive gravitation field. The best you could hope for is that it’d pick something massive and close, like Jupiter. More likely it’d link to the Sun, another larger star, or a Black Hole. Any of these would destroy Tokyo, and if it wasn’t immediately closed, the entire world.
To Professor Takimoro, it looked like a beautiful, scantily clad young occidental woman had appeared from nowhere. She rattled off flawless Japanese, almost too fast to follow. “You are opening an uncontrolled wormhole! How do I disrupt the pattern? Simply cutting the power now will just cause it spin out of control!” He blinked at bit, confused in equal parts by her message and her unearthly beauty. It was like an angel had appeared, as his experiment had run amok, and directed him to an answer.
While the professor tried to grasp what she said. She examined the equipment closely. Fortunately, she’d spent some time pondering how dimensional travel spells intermixed with higher level mathematics and physics. She had spent quite a bit of time thinking about magic in scientific terms, to gain more perspective. The first problem was to stem the dimensional bleed, to gain enough time to close the portal.
She spent about an hour figuring out the best use of a dimensional containment spell, and the variations she would need to use to slow things down. To the rest of the world, this was a second of normal time. Using her vision, she burned a complex containment grid around the portal. She should take the proper time for a real ritual, the grid would be more powerful and more stable, but that would take a few minutes. Minutes of real time, rituals could not be done at super-speed. And minutes she did not have. Instead she grabbed mystical power with sheer force of will, and flooded the runes with it. At her speed this meant a second and the runes glowed with a green light, and the portal slowed down a bit. The bend of space around the portal lessened, but did not go away. The portal was a few orders of magnitude more powerful than any mystical dimensional portal she could create.
She traced the circuits controlling the generating field, making a guess, she changed the frequency to something that should help dissipate the field. It wasn’t perfect, but it was close. Unfortunately, the field had such strength that the equipment would take a long time to cause the field to falter, and there was a chance it was self-sustaining. She’d need a massive influx to cancel it. All she had done was extend the time to disaster, but hopefully it was enough.
“Doctor! We need to spin the field down!”
“This shouldn’t have happened! We had it all calculated! This portal should never have formed!…”
He rushed over to the control panel and made some quick adjustments, tuning the counter-pattern better. Unfortunately, it still wasn’t enough. It was like blowing a fan to stop a thunderstorm. A pitch black uneven hole started to appear in the center of the portal. As it appeared, the building gave out a heavy groan, as the beams shifted. Gravity fluctuated around the room, causing the lab assistants to be tossed everywhere. If the field fully opened, the Earth would be sucked through.
Ultima was deep in thought. She needed a high energy field tuned to the exact pattern to shut the portal. It would need to exceed the output of a nuclear reactor. Where could she get …
To the people in the lab, it looked like Ultima disappeared, and the entire side of the building with her. They were tossed to the ground in a great blast of air. In Hyperspeed, moving faster than she’d needed to before, Ultima calculated how to restructure the building to open it up, and not collapse. She ripped out the wall and fused some of the interior beams into new supports, and then yanked the heat out of them, freezing the molten metal into place. The portal was now exposed to the world, and easily seen from outside.
Looking out the hole, she saw the squad still engaging Monstro. He was obviously wounded. Amazon was pummeling him at high speed. Lady Lightning was about to let loose another blast. No time. No time. Even as fast as Amazon was, it would take too long to tell her.
Ultima calculated a complex pattern, and flipped out at such a speed that Amazon didn’t see her coming, and was surprised when she was hurled aside, knocking into Lady Lightning and throwing her bolt off. Ultima focused and sent heat into some vital components, and Mechano’s armor let loose sparks and smoke and started to list to the side. His Linear Beams which had been hammering Monstro, flickered out.
Hercules had been about to throw a mighty punch; one that looked like it might injure Monstro’s leg, considering how he was limping. But Hercules blow landed in air, as he found himself hurtling through the thinning air, skirting the edge of space.
Ultima flipped behind Monstro, and once again extended her field, trying to encompass all of Monstro. She’d never tried to lift this much, and the effort caused her to focus completely on her task, and her vision started to grey out as she strained. It was like all her powers were focused on the effort. Nothing in the gym had remotely been this heavy. Her head felt like it was going to explode. After a few moments of exertion, Monstro slowly lifted off the ground. Monstro struggled trying to get her to drop him. She groaned at the weight, somehow he was much heavier than 50,000 Tons! She began to haul him towards the university. As he realized he was getting close to the university, he calmed down, and once again stared at the Physics lab. Suddenly it felt like his weight dropped to a manageable level, and she picked up speed.
She dropped him in front of the hole she’d made, giving him a direct view of the portal. It was like nothing else existed for Monstro.
“I hope this works!” But, with that done, she needed to try to save anyone who was still around. Even if her plan worked, the entire Physics building might be destroyed. She clicked her communicator on high speed, opening a channel to Blur. “BLUR! TOKYO! NOW!” Even at full speed, she had to keep things short, he was significantly faster than she was.
She plotted the position of everyone in the building, and burned a 3D map into the side of building. She couldn’t move people that fast! The G-Force would kill them, even using her TK field to hold them steady and move them as one. Still she had to try. And hope help would arrive.
Glancing down to the ground, a green blur streaked in to resolve into Blur! “GETEVERYONEOUTMONSTRONEEDSTOCLOSETHEPORTAL”. He had complete control over momentum, and could safely move people at almost full speed. He could remove the 834 people in a few seconds. Fortunately, she’d spent several days talking to Blur about rescue operations, or a few minutes real time. A glance at the 3D map told Blur everything he needed to know, and he zipped off into the building. Before he’d been hampered by needing to scout the area to find people to rescue. With Ultima’s sensory abilities and ability to transfer that information to him accurately and quickly, he’d shave seconds off the time it took him to clear the building. Startled people started to blink into the open area close to the building, as a green blur buzzed back and forth. Soon the area was filled with 100’s of people.
Monstro’s back started to crackle as he built up his breath weapon. It reached full power, and he didn’t stop. Lightning started to arc between his spine ridges, and the glow got blindingly bright. Bits of blue appeared on the edges of his spinal ridges, as the electric discharge between his ridges became a constant arc. Monstro’s eyes started to glow bright yellow, with orange currents of energy swirling around inside. The crackling aura around his spines continued to build, and he started to glow all over. His skeleton was visible as a dark shadow as the glow seeped out of every pore. A sparky glow was rattling deep in his throat, sending sparks and flashes out of his mouth.
Ultima saw Amazon start to rocket in to punch him, and quickly darted in to grab her arm and spin her off the attack. “Let him work! He’s the only chance we have to save the planet!”
Monstro reared back to let loose, a focused beam erupted from his mouth, so bright it eclipsed the sun, casting dark shadows everywhere. The beam was laser focused, much more concentrated than Monstro had ever demonstrated before, and much brighter. The brilliant blue-white beam slammed into the center of the portal, which gyrated and spun wildly. The wobbling sped up, until the portal blinked out in a flash of light.
Monstro stood still for a moment, patiently watching the lab. He looked around and sniffed a bit. And then lightly punched the wall, dropping rubble onto the lab equipment, squashing it flat. He then slowly turned, and started to shuffle towards the ocean. He was limping on the leg that Hercules had been pounding on, and his left arm was held close to his body. His left eye was puffy, and half closed.
Though he was in obvious pain, and each step seemed to take all his energy, he never faltered or acknowledged his difficulty walking. He finally made it to the shore, and turned back to give Ultima a long look. She gave him a nod back. He cocked his head back and unleashed a mighty roar and then turned and waded into the ocean, disappearing under the waves.
Ultima floated, watching the sloshing ocean until the waves subsided and returned to normal. All that was left of Monstro were the shattered remains of the buildings he’d waded through. It was now time for the aftermath, cleaning up all the damage that had been done. She couldn’t help mentally assessing that she and the Liberty Squad had caused a good percentage of the damage. Worse, she could see the wide swath of destruction her entrance had caused. Below the buildings, there had been damage in the subway. A scan revealed 378 people in need of help, and 47 dead. She didn’t check under the buildings! She could not determine when the rubble had fallen. 28 people were killed by Monstro’s initial foray into Tokyo, At least 9 people died when she slammed Monstro from orbit. She couldn’t determine cause for the rest. She almost gave in to despair, she wanted to help people, not be the cause of death and destruction! But she didn’t have time for self-pity, there were still people who needed help. Some of the people in the subway would die if they were not rescued soon.
She clicked her communicator, and started to co-ordinate with Blur to find anyone trapped in the rubble. She gave him priority on people he could easily get to, while she began to effortlessly move large chunks of building that had blocked the subway, opening up a path for Blur. His control over momentum allowed him to move even patients who should not be moved. He could whisk patients on the edge of death to local hospitals without even jostling their hair, or moving their limbs. His speed enabled him to load balance the wounded to several area hospitals. If he had a few seconds free, he’d run people in need of less medical attention a few 100 miles away to avoid swamping the local responders and hospitals.
As the Liberty Squad came back around, she directed them to tasks the suited them. This was met with some umbrage, especially by Mechano, but her direct monotone allowed no room for quarrel. She sent Lady Liberty to deal with some downed power lines, Mechano to haul off some of the rubble she’d broken down. Amazon seemed a bit upset, but Ultima quieted her with a simple “Let’s make sure everyone is safe.” They floated down to continue to move away cars and trucks that littered the zone, enabling Blur to whiz in and transport more victims to the hospital.
In short order everyone had been evacuated from the area, and Ultima began to coordinate with city officials on removal of rubble and how she could help repair. Once all the people were saved, with a few blips of apology, Blur raced off to his daughter’s birthday party. But she stayed, working long past when Mechano left in a huff of complaints about armor repair costs and being treated like a dump truck. She worked past when Lady Lightning stopped by to congratulate her on her first time saving the planet and returned to base to man the monitors. Eventually, only Amazon remained, toiling tirelessly next to Ultima, hauling away the refuse. Ultima fused some of the shattered glass, repairing some of the windows. And helped route some new electrical and communication lines. Before long, the roads had been cleared, and the city began to return to life. It would take a while to rebuild, but the city would bounce back quickly now that the basic infrastructure was repaired. Tokyo was already planning a celebration to honor her contributions.
Ultima only stopped when Amazon grabbed her arm and pulled her into a hug. She struggled feebly to get free for a moment, and then settled into the embrace. She looked frail and vulnerable, instead of the mightiest being on the planet. Amazon rocked her slowly, as she started to cry.
- - - -
Hercules was hurtling through the upper reaches of the atmosphere. He spent the time it took to finally come down, contemplating where he should get a burrito, and which brothel he should visit. Maybe burritos AND a pizza. Perhaps Ultima wasn’t as fun as he thought. He really didn’t enjoy these long tumbles through the air. It just wasn’t a sporting way to fight. Not to mention she interrupted his epic battle with Monstro. He’d really been wailing on the monster, and he was pretty sure he’d injured a leg. That was a first in any Monstro battle! He’d been glorious! She kept him from writing another page in the Epic Story of his life. Oh. He was going to land in the sea near Greece. At least he could find some decent food. And Beer. Beer was definitely needed. There was that delightful girl in Mykonos. Wait. That had been 100 years ago. Pity. Maybe she had a granddaughter? A Great Granddaughter? Whatever. The women there were wondrous, and reminded him of his youth so many centuries ago.
After he plunked into the Mediterranean, he started to swim towards shore.
His communicator buzzed. He’d had on his communicator? He could have just teleported back to the base! Oh well. It was time to explore Mykonos and find some good food, good wenches, and some beer. He ignored the beeping communicator, and swam to shore.
One had to have priorities. And like his battle, this night would be legendary.
- - - -
A slight man stood over a worktable. He had stick thin arms, and a bony chest. It was Kent Raymond, formerly UltimThundra156.
“That oaf won’t answer his communicator!” He slammed the communicator on the table, but it barely bounced off the table, rendering the effect comical, rather than the dramatic explosion of frustration he had wanted. When he was Ultimo, that amount of effort would have embedded the device deep within the Earth, and left the table in smoking ruins. There was still a patch on the floor where he’d done just that when a paper refused to not print pictures of him cheating on his last girlfriend. They even printed them after he left the Editor-in-Chief’s car embedded at the top of a spire of a building. Even worse they filed a lawsuit against him. Thankfully, since no one knew he was Kent Raymond, he was safe for the moment, but the lawyers were fighting to get his identity revealed.
Life was so much more complicated without his powers.
“Doc, he’s not answering!”, he fumed at Occultus. “We really could use his help with the plan. I can match her of course, but we need him to ensure that we have the upper hand.”
Occultus started to stroke his goatee. “Don’t worry old friend. We can convince the Olympian to fight for us. And the plan is coming together nicely.”
“Soon, you shall have your powers back, and then we shall see about putting Ultima in her place. She shall learn that no one fools with Occultus.” He bent his head back, and let out a mighty laugh. Kent stood by awkwardly.
A servant who had been about to drop off a few cups of tea of his masters special blend of tea, held back and waited until the laughter subsided. This resulted in him being scolded for delivering cold tea. Still better a scolding than deal with his master interrupted during a maniacal laugh.
- - - -