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Futuristic Hadean: Arcadia

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PiePillager

Chojin

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In the late 40s, the world changed forever. Within the blink of an eye, the impossible became real and things once thought to only exist in the realm of science fiction became a reality. Supers.

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Enhanced physique. Frightening abilities. The world underwent massive shifts then, yet, even now, decades later it seemed as if humanity was only just beginning to cope with the changes it was forced to undergo….

In the span of time between the 40s and today, these superhumans sought to use these mysterious and powerful abilities to prevent crime or put a stop to natural disasters…or vice versa.

Powers have been categorized, and governments all around the world have formed organizations recruiting supers to serve their nation or hunt vigilantes who go outside of the law to dispense justice. While there were many abilities yet uncovered, science had made huge breakthroughs in cataloging powers and discerning their origins.

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Then on a single day, everything changed. A Beast descended upon the beach of Atlas City, wreaking havoc.

Its origins: Unknown. Its goals: Undiscernable.

Many innocents fell victim to it. Many supers laid their life on the line to stop it. And when it was eventually put down, no one had any hint as to where it had come from or if another attack was on its way.

And that’s when everyone realized the world they had become accustomed to wasn’t as figured out as they once thought…

There was magic within the dark crevices of the Earth…

We weren’t alone in the universe…

Our Earth was one of many…

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Piece by piece, the facade we had built up crumbled into the sea, following the Beast of Decay. And mankind would have to realize the horrible truth that they once again knew nothing at all.

As the various hero organizations of the world scrambled to make sense of the Beast, to uncover any sort of cause or motive behind the tragedy, to find somewhere to place the blame…George Carlyle had a vision for preserving the world and ensuring its future.

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An unlikely band of heroes, who impressed him with their incredible ingenuity and bravery, were conscripted into his service as a new super team.

The Brave

Neither government affiliated nor quite recognized as a legal private owned Super Team, The Brave were united in the name of a singular cause; to put an end to threats related to the Beast of Decay.

But that would not remain their sole goal for long. For in this ever-changing world, the forces threatening humanity would only escalate in power and cunning. Who best to rise to the occasion than the most powerful gathering of heroes the universe had ever seen?

This is the Pinnacle of Heroism!

Awaken to Justice!

You could be a hero too!


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PiePillager

Chojin
March 22nd 5:46 P.M Baie de Douarnenez, Finistère, France

A rocky, makeshift barricade just over 2000 ft tall had been set up across the Baie de Douarnenez. It was the only thing standing between the coast and the titanic tsunami waves threatening to flood onto the shore and sweep over the continent, drowning it in unforgiving ocean.

Its creation was, perhaps, the final act of French native hero, Voyante. Impaled against his own blockade via spear to the chest. He was fairly certain his lung had been pierced. In fact, if it weren’t for his own telekinesis (just barely) holding his bodily functions together, he was sure he would’ve been long-dead by now. His bloody, trembling hands feebly attempted to pull the spear from his body to no avail.

It took nearly every ounce of mental strength he had in him to erect the stone barricade in the first place and it was taking every last ounce of willpower now just to keep himself alive. His purple mask rested against the stone and his eyes began to narrow and blur.

He had protected the continent from a nightmarish flood. This wouldn’t be a bad way to die, if not for the fact that the true threat, the source of these tumultuous waters remained. And…he was right in front of him.

Suddenly he felt a boot slam against his chest and heard the sickening sound of cracking bones as his foe attempted to draw the spear out from his body. Or perhaps one last attempt to torture him.

“Vous respirez encore, psychique?” the sneering voice of Monsieur Mer echoed through what appeared to be the helmet of a drowned chevalier. Adorned in royal vestments, the sea-bound villain always had a lust for power, but now it appeared as if he deigned himself a king, standing haughtily above Voyante atop a pillar of water.

For the past few weeks, he had been sailing across the entirety of Europe, attacking harbors, beaches, and docks, threatening retaliation if any Super Organization interrupted his plans and offering a safe haven to those who swore fealty to him upon the founding of his new “kingdom”.

And as if he weren’t bad enough, with his ability to manipulate any body of water to catastrophic degrees, he wasn’t working alone. He brought with him terrible creatures from the depths of the ocean or perhaps from the depths of hell. Following in their wake, they terrorized European waters with seemingly neverending hurricanes and massive whirlpools that doomed many an innocent victim to a watery grave.

But to what end? What was the goal that caused them to bring a newly minted European Superteam, the Sainted Knights to heel, five of their nine members dead, three fighting for their lives as they attempted to save victims about to be swallowed by an all-consuming vortex lying beneath the tumultuous tides, and one, Voyante, on his last breaths?

“J’espère que vous vivrez encore quelques minutes, vous savez…” Monsieur Mer spoke reverently, looking over his shoulder as a massive dark shape arose in the water drawing closer and closer to the surface. Even with his vision fading, Voyante could see the shadow beginning to rapidly rise out of the waves, massive spires beginning to jut out of the water. “Je ne suis pas un homme cruel, voyez-vous? Je veux que vous soyez témoin de quelque chose de beau dans vos derniers moments…”

Monsieur Mer gestured to the colossal structure rising from the sea. Ornate marble towers and arches adorned with gold. Pristine windows. A bridge extended out in front of titanic cedar gates. And surrounding that, lush greenery, rows of hills, and mountains. Simple houses and steeples.

“Ceci... est vraiment romantique dans tous les sens du terme!” Mer began to ramble. “Une histoire perdue et honteuse retrouvée! La Bête d’Atlas City m’a donné une réponse aux questions que je me pose depuis une décennie!”

“Il y a tout juste un mois..” Mer’s voice softened a bit as he decided to kneel down and face Volante, stepping on the spear, causing a noticeable splatter of blood to seep down beneath the hero’s mask. “Je n’étais qu’un voleur et un meurtrier. Voler ceux que je jugeais moins importants…J’ai gagné en richesse... Devenu un pilier de la pègre criminelle et pourtant je me sentais si vide…”

As Monsieur Mer began to proselytize, Voyante felt himself drift into unconsciousness. A ghastly wail quickly broke him from his stupor. No! …To call it ghastly would be a mistake. It was beautiful…haunting. It demanded his attention, yet made his rapidly depleting blood run cold.

The siren song came from a phantom woman arisen from the sea. With her scaled blue skin and tattered nightgown drenched in seaweed, she looked as if she was born of it. She had pale white eyes and flashed Voyante a grin that would’ve slowed his heart to a crawl if it had not already been in critical condition.

He tried in vain to turn his head, but he could not bring himself to look away. He was certain that if he continued to look at her further, he would die. Whether that was truly the case or not, he had some relief in a sense, when she turned her head to regard Mer instead, caressing his cheek lovingly.

Mer alternated from looking at the morgan, speaking softly and resuming his bile ridden further whenever he glanced back towards Volante. It was then the psychic hero realized the true depths of this madness. “Je l’ai rencontrée une fois, il y a des années, dérivant seule sur mon yacht dans une tempête. Elle m’a fait ce cadeau... fait de moi un DIEU DES MERS... et JE L’AI GASPILLÉ!”

“Cependant, mon amour était patient... elle a attendu le jour où j’ai réalisé que je n’étais pas simplement un petit voleur d’art de souche noble... J’étais un mortel ascensionné dans la divinité….Et cette Bête alors qu’elle dévastait d’innombrables héros, sa présence même provoquant un changement dans le paysage... ça m’a montré ce qu’un dieu peut faire...!”

As he continued to rant, another figure rose from the sea, about half the size of the kingdom. Another woman, though she could barely be called human. “ET PUIS MON AMOUR M’A DIT SON NOM POUR LA PREMIÈRE FOIS! PLAÇANT UN BAISER SUR MES LÈVRES ET DES MURMURES À MON OREILLE, ELLE M’A PARLÉ DE SON RÊVE! UN RÊVE QUE JE SUIS VENU PARTAGER!”

Suddenly, Mer lunged forward, his hand smashing Voyante’s head against the wall with one hand as he ripped the spear from his chest with the other with one pull. Whips of water grabbed each of the hero’s limbs and suspended him in the air, directly in front of the castle. “UN RÊVE D’UNE PRINCESSE TRAHIE REVENDIQUANT SON DROIT D’AÎNESSE ! RÉGNANT CÔTE À CÔTE AVEC SON CHEVALIER CHOISI DANS UN ROYAUME DES NOYÉS! LE ROYAUME PERDU, YS! “AVEC L’AIDE DE MA CHÉRIE, J’AI GAGNÉ LA FAVEUR DES CRÉATURES LES PLUS GRANDES ET LES PLUS TERRIBLES DE TOUTES LES MERS! LE FLÉAU DE LA MER ÉGÉE! SCYLLA ET CHARYBDE! ET MON ARME SECRÈTE, LE CIREIN-CRÒIN LONGTEMPS CACHÉ!”

As much as Voyante wanted to deny it, what he was seeing before him, couldn’t be denied. Before him was the City of Ys, the one legend spoke of to be forever sunken beneath the waves. And alongside the madman and his ghastly bride were monsters only spoken of in legend. The half-human Scylla, like many of her kin human until the waist, where the horror began with six heads of massive dogs jutting just underneath her torso, braying and barking rabidly as behind her trailed numerous, long, slithering tendrils. She was responsible for plunging two of his dear friends to a watery grave while sending others careening into the ocean as they attempted to save civilians trapped in the cavernous mouth of Scylla’scounterpart.


Charybdis. The second and more foreboding of the two monstrosities of Greek origin. A living abyss. A vortex with teeth with an endless appetite for anything and everything that tread in the sea. Mer mentioned a third, the Cirein-cròin, but he hadn’t spotted the third creature. Perhaps it had something to do with the small gleaming silver he spotted darting in and out of the water. In the end, however, it didn’t matter.

He had to do something. Even if this act was to be his last. Simultaneously using his telekinesis to keep his body alive as well as lift the wall of stone he had created from sediment within the sea bed, the psychic warrior sought to raise the entire structure in the air and bring it down upon these monsters. Like a shower of Meteors.

He may not have been able to strike them all down…but if he was to take out the Mer as he continued his rant, whatever magic that was bringing this forth could possibly end.” AVEC SON AIDE, J’AI ACQUIS LE SORT DE SOULEVER LA CITÉ PERDUE À FLOT UNE FOIS DE PLUS!”

This would take all his willpower and certainly cost him his life, but if Voyante could simply….simply…simply turn around to face her. He stood entranced once more, his mind now too weakened to fight it as the morgen, the drowned princess of Ys sang to him. Unable to resist her sirens’ song, urging him to cease any heroics. To simply let go and die.

“Tous jureront fidélité envers l’empire de la mer,” she whispered, each syllable feeling as if it were a countdown towards death. “...... Ou ils se noieront.”

Monsieur Mer began to lower Voyage into the water. “Dormez dans un sommeil aqueux, psychique. Se noyer et un jour se relever. Un chevalier au service de l’empire qui enjambe la mer…” he spoke. A low but loud sumbling came from the sea.

“Sinon…” the Morgen smiled mischieviously. “L’un de nos champions a faim..." she and Mer began to laugh, cackling as rain began to fall upon Volante’s face. It would be almost foreboding…but suddenly he felt at ease. In the distance, masked by the loud splatter of the rain, was the sound of propellers, slicing through the skies, desperate to reach their destination before it was too late.

“Et ainsi tombe le dernier de ces pitoyables défenseurs” Mer mocked, with a snort.

Volante finally relaxed and closed his eyes, taking comfort that it was finally the end.

…But not for him.


***

“Needless to say, this lead was a dud…but I’m glad we headed up here anyway,” Henry noted, checking some readings in the HUD display emitting from the radar before walking in front of the VTOL’s doors. The Vehicle in question was on autopilot. With any luck, it would avoid being caught in the crosshairs of the battle about to ensue. Henry needed it to transport both the civilians and the wounded. Both parties still swept up in the whirlpool.

“She hasn’t eaten ‘em yet,” He sighed, cracking his neck. “That’s good news for us. I figure we should get the hostages outta there first and after that…” he shrugged his shoulder. “We go buck wild…within reason.”
 

obscured_light

Potatoes for Brains
"A buck for every time anyone says buck," Shinigami said as she came up behind Henry in her Gray form. Her eyes took in the sight before them, a swirling vortex of teeth and flailing bodies capturing her attention. Twenty or so, a few having been reported to be heroes, which would be no small task amidst the other, larger presences causing the current situation.

"I got the hostages if you guys wanna focus on the bad guys," she volunteered, going translucent and floating a few inches off the ground. "I can join in the beatings once I sea that all the hostages are secured."

Not bothering to even hear if anyone caught that, Shinigami fell through the floor, zooming her way towards the hostages who reached out in desperation.
 

DarKnight36

Imagineer
Sasha clapped Henry on the shoulder as Akiko passed through the floor, and brushed his wet reddish hair back from his eyes. "Looks like we got our work cut out for us, but that's why we get paid the big bucks," Sasha chuckled. He eyed the frothing waves with a calm gaze, which inevitably narrowed when he saw a flash of silver catch his eye. "I'm diving, keep an eye out for Scylla. Don't want her to swat our bird from the air."

Sasha leaped from the helicopter, transforming as he did, changing his molecular structure to fit the water as easily as the air. He slipped into the ocean with hardly a splash, his new form equipped with gills, fangs and clawed, webbed extremities. He was a demon of water now, slightly larger than his human form, but with eyes disproportionate to see through the murky depths. His skin was dark and made up of millions of tiny scales, that most animals would break their teeth on, and like a shark, he could sense the movements through the water.

"The water is warm," Sasha muttered as he bared his teeth. He whipped his tail forward, propelling him instantly through the water towards the rising city. "Too warm..."
 

Wing06

Master of Wind
Klaus chuckled and rolled his eyes, "Well, the buck stops here," Klaus quipped, adding to his team's horrible habit of using puns before a challenging mission. "I'll see what I can do to slow them down while the others get ahold of the hostages!"

Klaus lept from the VTOL, clicking the embedded button on his Chrono-Dialer. In an instant, millions of nano-bots crawled from the time-manipulating device. They spread out over Klaus's body, encasing him from head to toe in a specially formulated carbon-nanofiber suit. He hovered just above the water, taking in the scene. Every day in 2045 was something new, something unknown. It frightened and fascinated him. "Do what you've always done," He thought, racing towards the maw of the Sea-Monster. "Move forward, help those in need, and the rest will fall into place!"

His left hand tapped his waist, opening a small compartment in his armor. "I hope this works," he muttered as he got closer to the cavernous Charybdis. in one smooth motion, Klaus pulled out one of his Zeittasche from the compartment on his waist and threw it with as much force as he could muster. The small device found its mark and suctioned itself to the colossal creature's skin. "I think you need a time out!" Klaus said over his team-comm channel as he dialed in a duration of time on the chrono-dialer for the Zeittasche to operate. "10 minutes, that's the max. I think I can stop this thing!" He called out, urging the others to collect to hostages.
 

PiePillager

Chojin
Henry began to quietly wonder if he should stop saying anything around these three entirely for fear of another outbreak of puns. Shaking his head, he looked out as Shinigami began to tend to the hostages as Klaus froze the massive Mythological beast in time. "Ten minutes...should be more than enough..." Henry nodded before glancing over at the one other occupant left in the VTOL, excluding himself and the two technicians George left in their care. "I'm gonna need y'all to clear out those hostages quick!" Henry relayed over the team's comm-link.

"Hope you didn't come all this way to just sit there..." he looked back at Liz with a wide smile. A smile that quickly faded as he noted something gleaming in the water. "Sasha, watch your back!" As Henry spoke, a large shape had begun darting towards the shapeshifter in rapid fashion. It was the hybrid monstrosity, a vile grin on her face as she chased after Koschei with a mad cackle.

She wasn't the only one among the villains who had taken notice of the heroes' arrival. Monsieur Mer folded his arms in dismay, tut-tutting to himself in apparent disappointment though he didn't seem immediately concerned. "Plus d’intrus ? Comme c’est irritant... J’avais supposé que l’ONU enverrait tôt ou tard sa propre escouade, mais ce n’est pas le cas..." he shrugged, before gently grabbing the Morgen's hand. "Nos redoutables amis en feront un court travail, tout comme les autres. Terminons le rituel, ma chérie..."

But the Morgen simply held a hand out, a perplexed look on her face. "Attendre! Quelque chose ne va pas... Quelque chose ne va pas avec Charybde. Et il y a autre chose... les cris !" she turned her head, looking somewhat shaken, her head violently twisting and turning like a radar attempting to hone in on something. "Ne les entendez-vous pas? Âmes... Il y a un autre esprit ici. Plusieurs! Ne les laissez pas me toucher!"

"Âmes?" Mer raised an eyebrow beneath his helm. "N’ayez crainte, mon amour! Je ne laisserai rien dans ce monde ou dans le prochain pour vous faire du mal. Plus jamais..." he assured the Morgen, grabbing her hand and petting it gently. "Âmes... Peut-être que ces envahisseurs n’ont pas été envoyés par l’ONU après tout? Qui sont ces?" He muttered to himself as he, and the reluctant Morgen began to make their retreat into Ys.
 
"Buck off," Liz shot Henry an annoyed look, "Darling, there's no way in hell that I'm going near that French monstrosity. I can be useful right here, thank you."

As if to prove her point The Alchemist stood and stepped past Henry with a flourish, grabbing her metal cane with both hands and twisting it outward. In an instant it's shape began to change, transform, elongate and sharpen into what finally appeared to be a two meter long spear. With a smug expression she aimed her thin arms outward and hurled it forward with surprising power. From the end of her deadly weapon a thin line attached itself to the elder's hand and span outward like a harpoon, it's sharp, needle-like tip now whistling in the wind as it sped toward the creature that chased Sasha in the water...
 
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obscured_light

Potatoes for Brains
Akiko grinned as she saw Charybdis freeze, Cobalt Clock having stalled for time both literally and figuratively.

"Ten minutes? That's more than enough time," she said on their comm-link, still flying down full speed.

As she began to approach the water, a writhing feeling emerged in her chest. It felt like a nest of snakes had been woken up suddenly, all of them moving around in a panic. Her speed dropped to an eventual stall, looking around quickly for what had aggravated the souls . She couldn't see the Morgen or Mer, only feel how the writhing seemed to slow as they made their retreat into Ys. Floating for a few moments longer, Akiko shook her head. Already a couple minutes had been wasted. Whatever it had been, could wait.

Those in need of rescue could not so Shinigami resumed her descent. Cobalt Clock had made it easier to pinpoint the people and as she grabbed their hands, they became translucent like her. One person for each hand and another two clinging onto each leg for dear life. She debated getting a fifth but was already feeling the strain, wondering as she flew up why they couldn't have the Boomobile at a time like this.
 

DarKnight36

Imagineer
Sasha grimaced as Scylla's tentacles reached out towards him. If there was one thing he didn't care for, it was octopus. Tentacles were not his thing. As if she could sense his distaste, Scylla laughed mockingly and the giant chimera-woman reached for him with a clawed hand. Sasha whipped his tail again, sending him just out of reach. Scylla's six dog heads yipped in frustration, their menacing hunger almost palpable.

Just then, Liz's spear pierced Scylla through the shoulder, slicing straight through and leaving her left arm dangling. Scylla roared in pain and annoyance, turning her attention to the helicopter above. Her tentacles flashed, gripping the spear and sending it hurtling back towards the aircraft like a bullet. Sasha barely had time to blink before the lance made impact... No, the makeshift javelin bounced off something, dropping into the choppy water below.

Sasha frowned, as much as his demon form allowed anyway. A shield power? Was one of the other supers conscious enough to erect such a barrier? He didn't recall any in the area that could replicate such a feat, but perhaps his information was off. Either way, Sasha used the distraction to speed towards the city, hoping nothing else would get in his way. There was a disturbing power there, and he intended to get to the bottom of it.
 

Wing06

Master of Wind
Klaus watched as his tech did its job. He breathed a sigh of relief, watching Shinigami gather the hostages she could before he, with the assistance of his nano-bot power-armor, grabbed hold of three more hostages. After the hostages he'd picked up were out of immediate danger, Klaus set his sights on the city of Ys. The myth came to life, and he could help but feel a bit excited despite the threat.

"Target is entering the city," He stated over their comm link. "I'll leave the rescue to you, Shinigami. I'm going to go and test the city's hospitality."
 

PiePillager

Chojin
Shinigami and Cobalt Clock had rescued seven of the ten trapped within Charybdis' maw and now the latter Cobalt Clock and Koschei were headed after Monsieur Mer and the Morgen in Ys. "This is the only civilian transport we have. I'm not gonna let it get caught in the crossfire," Henry informed the Alchemist. "Now I would assume...you'd like to stand by, however..." he glanced outside. "See that octopus lady?" he pointed at Scylla below as her tentacles began to furl in anger as she thrashed about, eyes darting towards the ship. "She's none too pleased about that spear," he gave her a shrug.

egglover egglover
 

obscured_light

Potatoes for Brains
"On it, Cobalt," Shinigami responded as she hauled up her third batch of rescues. Beads of sweat were already forming on her brow as she dropped them off in safety, the people breathing sighs of relief as they solidified and felt the floor beneath them. She went back again, still faintly sensing something that bothered her as she descended again. Another entity, a ghost perhaps? She would have surmised that perhaps they had been too late but the others hadn't said anything yet. She worked quickly, wanting to investigate but reason won over.

"Hey, what else we got here?" she asked in the comms, gathering the last few up.
 
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PiePillager

Chojin
"How much time we have left? Seven minutes? Five?" Henry inquired. "Either way..." Should be enough. Henry nodded to Akiko with a grin after seeing her make her way back with the remaining victims. "Nice work. We have two sea monsters left and..." before looking at the two technicians onboard. "Gonna need you guys to take control of this bird. Start steering it way outta harm's way. Got a feeling there's more here than at first glance..." he spoke, watching the two technicians nod before scrambling towards the controls before turning around to face the ocean once more, blaster in hand. "Shinigami...keep an eye out." Raising the fist that held the blaster in mid-air, it quickly folded backwards along his hand like a pair of knuckles.

Within an instant, his body disappeared from the ship. Within another instant, the cosmic Titan Macroman zipped through the skies. His head turned, watching Akiko and the VTOL to make sure everyone had backed off far enough for his liking. Hovering above Charybdis he folded his arms, observing both her and Scylla. The former was still bound in time by Klaus' devices, making her the easier creature to deal with.

Scylla on the other hand merely hissed in demented anger, unsure if Macroman was the one who hurled the spear at her or not. Though as light began to amass in the cosmic titan's arm, her instincts informed her, perhaps it'd be best to find out later. Macroman's arms formed into a cross shape, the light continuing to gather in his arms until both lit up the darkened skies and fired forth the "ELYSIUM BEAAAAAAAAAAAAM! HAAAAH!"

The silver-beam fired forth, into the beast's maw, setting the living abyss alight. There was a stillness, even amidst the tumultuous, raging sea before them....and then Charybdis, as if awoken from being ensnared by Klaus' Zeittasche let out one final, almost...triumphant sounding roar before light began to seep out of the various pores in her body from beneath the waves and an explosion rocked the water.

Following that came a shockwave, strong enough to knock Scylla backwards and smash over the colossal waves Monsieur Mer had summoned, forcing them back into the sea, though it wouldn't be long before the massive waves would begin to form once again. While he never had the pleasure of meeting Scylla or Charybsis in the past, the nature of their monstrous forms had the expected reaction to his Elysium beam. Luckily, no one was harmed in the resulting explosion, though that didn't stop him from scanning the waters just in case. The last thing he would risk is collateral.

He narrowed his eyes, thinking he did indeed spot something...but the high pitched noise emanating from his body indicated that he may not have enough time left to investigate. Better help the others take care of the remaining mons....wait. There WAS something else. A silver streak darted across the water, pushed forward even further by the shockwave. Though it seemed rattled it's focus was alarming on Shinigami.

In the blink of an eye, a massive serpentine shape erupted from the sea. A silver scale sea-dragon coliling around Akiko as she transported the remaining victim, it's maw big enough to devour an entire pod of whales, the Cirein-cròin!

obscured_light obscured_light
 

obscured_light

Potatoes for Brains
"Big mouth," Akiko commented as she turned around to see what had emerged from the sea. She squinted. Was it coming for her?

Shinigami hurtled towards the VTOL but the Cirein-cròin pursued, trying to coil around her incorporeal form. The VTOL was in sight but she diverted from it, the Cirein-cròin's huge body nearly colliding with it as it followed. Another turn and there it was, still on her and right on top of her, the snake's speed surprisingly matching her own. Though it wasn't much of a surprise considering its size. Shinigami frowned as she stopped in the air, her view obscured by scales and a very huge mouth as it tried to ensnare her.

The people clinging to her screamed for her to move even as they saw the sea snake's body pass through them. She could simply wait this thing out and keep it distracted but a vague sense of weariness had already begun to spread through her body. A familiar ache reminded her that she had already spent a lot of energy and the fight hadn't even truly started yet.

With a small tsk, Shinigami and the rescues turned invisible, the Cirein-cròin momentarily caught off guard but a flicker of its tongue was all it needed to know Shinigami was still there. Those seconds was all she needed though as she pushed herself to maximize her speed, hurtling towards the VTOL at the fastest pace she could muster. The Cirein-cròin went towards it but just as its gaping mouth threatened to swallow their ride, Shinigami slipped inside, released the people who she was holding onto, and slapped her hands on the floor to turn the VTOL and everyone inside incorporeal.

Darkness fell over them and for a few tense moments, everyone held their breath, certain that they were dead. But an angry rumbling followed by the sight of the stormy skies once more let them know that Shinigami had succeeded at the last second. The Cirein-cròin reeled back, letting out an ear piecing roar of rage as it realized it had been denied a meal.

It snapped at them, the civilians flinching as they saw the inside of its mouth and teeth as it tried again and again. The few heroes looked over at Shinigami, unable to discern her expression underneath the mask. Akiko was struggling though, eyes shut tight in concentration as she extended her touch from the VTOL to the people, the process much more taxing than touching them directly.

"It won't harm us," Shinigami grunted into the comms with a grimace as beads of sweat rolled down her nose. "But I'm an iceberg right now and I don't want to be sinking this ship. If one of you could give me a few moments to hop off, I can take care of that garden snake myself."
 
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DarKnight36

Imagineer
"Always late," Baron Albrecht von Richthofen muttered, staring down at the stormy coastline where the pointed spires of Ys had emerged. Louder, he spoke into his comms. "Mila, I'm on site. Looks like your intel was right. The Brave are already here, I'm seeing their helicopter below."

"Let's not make this a repeat of your weekend in Los Angeles, shall we?" Mila's voice drawled back. "No one even knows you were there."

"I recall," Albert grumbled, thinking back to that afternoon he had attacked the warehouse. Landing in the warehouse, he had confronted the dragon-lady but he'd lost her in the fog produced by Richard's out-of-control powers. In fact, he counted it as one of his worse debacles, having shown up with very little intel and too late to help anyone. The League showing up had been the cherry on top, finding Albert amidst the chaos and kicking him unceremoniously from the scene so, in their own words, "We don't have amateurs ruining the day again." Clearly the League wasn't happy with the Brave or ACHI, and ACHI had essentially fired Albert the next day. Ivetta, ACHI's leader, had told Albert carefully and clearly that his attempts to be in the spotlight were foolish and making ACHI look bad, thus they were pulling him from the main roster and wanted him to 'take a break.'

Thankfully, the Brave's mysterious benefactor had reached out to him via Mila, his older sister. France needed him, or so it was claimed.

Albert wiped the rain from his goggles with his gloved hand, and peered down at the storm. What would be his best point of entry? Divebombing seemed to be the only thing he was really good at these days. He could see two sea monsters below, Charybdis and Scylla from what Mila had told him. Charybdis was the big throat, and Scylla the octopus-dog-woman thing. Perhaps Charbydis would be a good target...

Warning alerts lit up Albert's cockpit as Macroman sped by, perhaps not even noticing Albert's aircraft as he hovered over Charbydis and let loose the Elysium Beam. Albert cursed as his aircraft rocked from the turbulence, barely maintaining control. He really didn't want to have to build another plane after destroying the last one fighting the Beast in Atlas City. And so much for Charybdis and Scylla as the former broke apart into fleshy chunks, and the latter was sent back into the ocean depths Ys had emerged from.

Just then, a large sea dragon appeared, chasing a woman Albert recognized as Shinigami. Shinigami was carrying what looked to be survivors, but the dragon wasn't letting up. Albert began to dive, picking up speed, flexing his fist. Shinigami landed on the helicopter, the dragon passing through as her powers activated and turned the VTOL incorporeal.

"Cirein-cròin, it can turn small, like fish-size," Mila warned, the plane's cameras catching what Albert was aiming for. "Watch it."

"It's not going to matter in about five seconds," Albert snarled. "Take the controls."

Albert's plane veered to the side as Mila activated the remote piloting. Simultaneously, Albert leaped from the triplane, passing through the VTOL and smashing into Cirein-cròin at breakneck speed. His right fist connected directly above Cirein-cròin's eye, his power rippling from every fiber of his being.

Cirein-cròin's massive head seemed to vaporize, blood, brains and bone splattering over the next half-mile of ocean. The rest of the body started to thrash, but Albert simply punched again as both he and the monster's remains fell, his left hand connecting again and sending a shockwave of energy down the creature's spine. Cirein-cròin's massive serpentine length ripped apart, turning the water a murky red.

Albert wasn't looking forward to getting wet, but instead hit something very solid. It was almost as if there was ground here. Albert rose to his feet, standing on the invisible floor above the water's surface.

"Well, this is new," Albert frowned, not sure who had done him the favor. He turned to the VTOL. "Shinigami, everyone all right on there? Oh, is that the Alchemist I see back there as well? Mind if I come aboard?"

***

Sasha burst from the water and landed atop one of Ys' buildings. He gazed up at the dark towers, and felt a twinge of excitement. This city was humming with power, a long lost energy source that was being pulled from beneath the ocean. The monsters were just the guards, whatever was in there was much worse.

"Klaus, watch your back," Sasha said over the comms. "This city's alive."
 

obscured_light

Potatoes for Brains
There was this sick, splattering, crunching sound that made Akiko open her eyes only to see blood and guts and snake bits fly through them, a singular hero blasting his way through like a sharp knife through paper. By the force he was using, Akiko expected him to dive straight down into the depths but instead, he landed beside them on an invisible floor, looking as baffled as her. He began to ask questions while she was trying to get her brain to remember exactly who he was. Instead, her mind decided to latch onto a specific word he had said.

"W-wait..." she began, taking her hands off the VTOL, it solidifying once more as she felt like she was becoming jelly herself. Slowly, her head turned, the circuits in her brain frying as she calculated the mental gymnastics necessary to have even forgotten in the first place. "The Alchemist..?"

She had been aware of course. Acutely aware on the way over that The Alchemist had been with them the whole time but the situation at hand had apparently taken every bit of her mental capacity. Shinigami had figured that all the heroes would have gotten off the VTOL but from what she had observed so far, The Alchemist defied a lot of expectations while simultaneously raising them. Which is why she was unsure why she hadn't realized the hero was still on board when she had been making her way over. Then again, she had been a little preoccupied.

Shinigami rose up from the floor, her helmet moving from The Alchemist to the stranger, muttering abashedly with a shrug, "I mean I'm cool with it. Your invisible floor there don't last long either?"
 

Wing06

Master of Wind
Klaus found himself touching down into the city of Ys just as Sasha's warning came over their comm channel. It was a strange sensation, the city pulsed beneath his feet with every step. He attempted to peer around corners, but it was as if the buildings shifted to obstruct his view. "Curious," he muttered, running a gauntleted hand along the stonework of a tall, foreboding building. In any ordinary city, it could have been an apartment building. However, in Ys, it was simply there. Unknown horrors could fill the halls, but Klaus would be none the wiser. His objective wouldn't be hiding among the "common" structures; no, villains, or anyone who seeks power and control, would seek out the most ornate location.

"You know, hiding among the oddities won't save you!" Klaus called out, trying to ignore the shadows darting around his peripheral vision. He knew he wasn't in control of the situation and was a stranger to the city. To expect no resistance would have been foolish, but if there was one thing about fear that Klaus understood, it was to ensure the other party couldn't tell just how afraid or uneasy you truly were.

"If it's a fight you want," he began, standing his ground, "You'll need to stop hiding." His eyes darted left and right as he raised his fists. "I'm only here for him, so if you want me and my friends to leave your city, help me, and we will be on our way." Appealing to whatever lived in Ys was a gamble, but he hoped to avoid unnecessary fighting and wasting time, the irony of which wasn't lost on the Cobalt Clock.
 

DarKnight36

Imagineer
A breeze picked up on the other end of the street from Klaus, a soft rush of air as if the city itself were sighing. The air brushed past Klaus, carrying with it the words of a long-dead city:

"The floodgates..."

From behind Klaus, scraping could be heard as if something was dragging on the ground. Turning revealed nothing, but another sigh:

"Open... the floodgates..."

More scraping from behind Klaus, back the way he had first been looking. Turning again would reveal a completely different street than the one he had just been on. The city had changed, and a new path now lay before Klaus. A final sigh:

"Open..."

***

Sasha walked down another street, close to Klaus as the crow flies but in the maze of Ys, it hardly mattered. The streets seemed to shift to the beat and flow of the unnatural power, once dormant but now re-emerging. The ghosts of the past flitted just out of view, reaching for Sasha from the corner of his eye. He could sense no malevolence from them, however, despite his appearance. Instead, there seemed to be a sense of awe.

"Memories," Sasha said out loud, consulting himself. "It's the memory of this city. The spirits have long since departed but the memory remains..." Sasha peered up at the tallest tower rising from near the center of the city, itself a part of the castle that formed the focal point. The tower screamed within the void, like a sun blazing at noonday. Sasha smiled, all teeth, and continued walking, allowing himself to be led towards the tower.

It's where he wanted to go himself after all.

Wing06 Wing06
 

PiePillager

Chojin
In the meantime, Macroman didn't have much time to process the arrival of another hero. He'd seen him before, battling the Beast of Decay with them back at Atlas City. What was his name, the Red Baron or something of that nature? There wasn't much time to dwell on it now, there was one last monster to take care of.

Scylla slithered towards the VTOL, regaining her senses completely after having been knocked about by the shockwave and visibly shocked at how quickly her other monstrous ally had also fallen. This didn't give pause to her whatsoever as she seemed as determined as ever to discover who had launched the spear at her. Macroman was hoping she had enough sense to realize when to give up, she was not as sturdy nor as strong as her two fallen comrades.

As the beeping reverting across his chest grew louder, his options grew more limited. Perhaps some attempt at talking her down could come later after she dealt with whatever injury she might incur from what he did next, which was swiftly grapple around her waist and suplex her into the massive wall of rock behind the both of them.

***

Monsier Mer and the Morgen stood within the tallest spire of Ys. Rain rapidly splashed against the window as Mer got to work, carving runes into the floor and walls...
 
The Alchemist shot Akiko a pointed, disapproving look, but turned her attention to Albert with a thin smile and gestured to the invisible platform of air that he stood upon, "You're welcome, by the way. Yes, yes, come aboard - erm, Bertie, was it? Quickly!"

With a tsk of annoyance, Liz slipped past the crowd of hostages that filled the small space of the ship, making her way toward the controls with ease. Slender fingers pushed a button on the control pad that connected to Macroman's suit. He would hear the honeyed voice of The Alchemist telling him what he already knew: 'Henry, please try to avoid pulverizing our fishy friend there. We do need to do some questioning today, thank you.'

The VTOL began to move in the air as Liz took control over it, steering it toward where Henry and Scylla were fighting. Below them a large blooming flower of red muddyed the water, the remains of Cirein-cròin floating on the surface. Golden eyes met Akiko and Albert's as they stood on either side of her, "Hm, do you think that thing has a family?"
 

obscured_light

Potatoes for Brains
Akiko looked over from The Alchemist to Bertie, wondering if he knew the answer. She placed a hand on her chin and thought it over for a few moments. Shinigami had met monsters before, those that did in fact have families, but those had all been created.

"If it does..." she finally settled on as she scooted forward to survey the scene once more. "We just became homewreckers. Or Bert there did."

Without waiting for a response, Shinigami fell through the floor once more. She hung in the air for a few moments, letting the writhing in her chest confirm that there was still something out there. Her eyes glowed beneath the mask as they had when she had seen Henry's soul but the trail was faint here, almost obfuscated. She flew out towards the fighting seeing Macroman grapple Scylla and the others, had they gone towards the city now risen? Shinigami frowned and flew out even closer, letting the souls guide her towards the city where the feeling became a buzzing instead. It was like the scent had been dispersed and the haunting city before her made it difficult to discern if this was what was riling her up so. It didn't feel like it was but it was hard to tell at times.

Shinigami let out a small sigh, feeling the fatigue beginning to settle in her body. She continued forward, letting the wayward souls guide her until she felt a sharp tug. There, she thought, unknowingly heading towards the direction of Mer and Morgen.
 

Wing06

Master of Wind
Klaus felt the whispers reverberate through him, resonating with his physical makeup. The Chrono-Dialer on his wrist lit up and pulsed in rhythm with the echoes in his mind. Voices of the past called to him, and ghosts of the city's inhabitants walked by at the edge of his vision. "What are you trying to tell me?" He whispered, watching the chrono-dialer flash again in time with the word "Open" in his mind.

The familiar feeling in the pit of his stomach washed over him. He was being pulled through time. "Wha?" he began as the world went cobalt, remaking itself as the hands of time wound backward.
 

DarKnight36

Imagineer
"I have serious doubts about a mythical creature having others of its kind, but I've been surprised before," Albert said to the Alchemist as the helicopter drew closer to the battle, much to the protests of the rescued survivors. "How are you going to even question Scylla if we, er, capture her? Not sure she can even talk."

egglover egglover

***

The city jolted back into existence for Klaus, and for a moment, everything seemed the same. The strange thrumming of power was still prevalent, although less noticeable. But as Klaus became more rooted to reality, he realized he could hear the sounds of a festival nearby.

Klaus himself seemed to be in a sort of alleyway, if those existed in Ys. The great walls of Ys that held back the ocean were near enough Klaus could hear the waves breaking against the stones. A bell rang out, it was a quarter to midnight, and a few citizens passed by, dressed in what appeared to be costumes.

The city of Ys had sent Klaus back in time to before its destruction!

Wing06 Wing06

***

Sasha reached the base of the tower and peered up at the structure. It was a twisted, broken thing, and he could sense near the top what was probably Monsieur Mer and whatever creature was guiding him. But it was below the tower that caught his attention. The power source that breathed life into the city was still there, more wild and uncontained than ever. The damage to the city from its sinking had broken some of the shackles, it appeared, or perhaps time itself had done that.

Sasha turned away from the tower and entered a separate building nearby. The memory ghosts of Ys were showing him this was the way to enter the underground. He descended a staircase, passing through clouds of hot steam that were no problem for him. At the bottom, the source of the steam lay - a pool about 10 feet across, its waters bubbling like a geyser.

"That explains the water temperature," Sasha said to himself again, his eyes narrowing. "What were they doing in Ys, harnessing a magic volcano?"

Whatever it was, he would need to dive to find out. Still in his water demon form, Sasha made some adjustments that would help protect him from the heat and leaped forward, disappearing into the dark, boiling waters.
 

PiePillager

Chojin
Macroman gave a brief nod over to the helicopter to show that he acknowledge Liz's request, although he had his doubts that Scylla was much for conversation. Scylla had spun around and clung to the rock wall, her tendrils enveloping it and slowly ascending the structure, attempting to crawl onto the beach. The dog heads jutting out of the monster's waist began to snarl at Macroman rabidly as he quickly he lifted her by one of her humanoid arms, and tossed her over his shoulder back into the water.

The beeping emanating from his chest now grew louder and he knew he didn't have too much time left fighting in this form. He gave a wave towards the VTOL, motioning for it to back off so he would have more room to finish this fight.
 
Liz shrugged, "Can't our little ghost girl speak to souls or something? Not that I can ask her now. God, I hate it when she disappears like that."

The VTOL hovered some safe distance away from Macroman and Liz leaned back, folding her arms and crossing her legs. Gold eyes stared up at Albert, "Why are you here, anyway?"
 

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