Lina leaned in real close to Marcus' hand as the fingers crackled with power, which she assumed could fry her if she shook his hand now. She was definitely interested. Lifting herself away from the cracking digits, she gave Marcus another friendly smile. "So you make electricity? Cool! Are you going to work in the science field here or something? Or are you all for the field and ready for action?"
Waldemar had stepped out of the car as it came to a halt and listened to Kurt's plan. "Sounds good." He remarked as he looked around and spotted a building on the opposite end of the street that had less stories than the others, and thus it would be easier to keep an eye on what was happening at ground level, or at least that was what he thought would be the case. "I'll be up in that building there. Oh, and..." He withdrew his phone and looked at the number on it, which he guessed was Seraphim's internal numbers for these devices. "The number's 279453, so we can keep in contact."
Having passed on the number he again secured the phone to his harness and ran over the street towards the building he had designated, an ordinary apartment block by the looks of it, though Waldemar couldn't be sure. Still it didn't require anything to gain access from the outside, as the fire escape was already folded down. 'Someone has probably already escaped this way due to the commotion then, less work for me.' He thought as he used it to climb all the way to the roof of the building, giving him a good vantage point over the street in front of the clinic.
Sitting down at the edge of the roof and using the ledge to support his firearm, Waldemar took out his phone and called Kurt and, he guessed, this Arlana as well. "This is Waldemar, I'm in position overlooking the front of the clinic." He said as he kept the gun trained on the entrance to the clinic, but just as he had delivered his message the door opened and out came what looked like one of the store's clerks carrying a small box in his hands. He was followed moments later by a person dressed in a black duster with a helmet shaped like some kind of wolf? Or maybe a dog? It didn't matter, the gun he was pointing at the clerk however most certainly did matter.
"This is Waldemar, the villain has exited by the front door, he's got a single hostage held at gunpoint, a pistol from the looks of it." He told the others as he kept his rifle pointed at who he presumed was the villain, though the longer he looked at him the more a feeling nagged at the back of his mind, like something was just off, it was almost like the way he sometimes moved seemed to skip a beat in the fluid motion. Waldemar blinked his eyes, it was probably just his imagination, or his vision playing tricks on him. This was a pretty stressful situation after all, and he might still have some jet-lag from his trip across the Atlantic.
He focused solely on the gun again as the villain continued advancing, apparently telling the clerk what to do and directing him with the odd motion from his gun. Waldemar observed for a moment, feeling the rifle in his hands, and then made up his mind. "I can hit his gun from this distance, just say the word."
"So you make electricity? Cool! Are you going to work in the science field here or something? Or are you all for the field and ready for action?"
"Make it? Only in small quantities. It's complicated, but the best way to describe my powers would be to think of me as a giant, talking battery. I can't just pull power from nowhere, I have to siphon it first."
Marcus looked around for a suitable power source to demonstrate, but decided against the idea. His power draws had a bad habit of damaging power grids. 'Adelbert probably wouldn't like me shorting out this floor's power for the next week.'
"As to your second question, both. Wherever I'm most useful." Marcus looked her over again. 'She doesn't have the accent of a New York City native, and I haven't heard of her.'
"So, where are you from? What drew you to Seraphim?"
"I'm almost at the scene." She opened her wings fully and straightened, filling them with air and quickly slowing to a halt as she dropped onto the clinic's rooftop as silently as possible. She took a quick glance over the side, then dropped her head back behind the barrier. "If his weapon can be dealt with, I can deal with him easily." Normally she'd go as is, relying on her appearance to take the enemy off guard, but something about this Coyote seemed more dangerous than the average goon, maybe it was just that he wore a mask. Generally street thugs didn't do that.
"I'm ready when you are."
From his vantage point, Werewolf saw the Seraphim heroes roll onto the scene.
Right on cue.
And with that thought, almost as quickly as they had arrived, Werewolf left. Latching a tendril onto an adjacent building, he continued his trek out of The Bronx towards Manhattan.
Hope that poor bastard they're after is ready.
"Let's go, then." The light around Kurt began to ripple slightly and his form blended into the area around him. By the time he stepped out of the vehicle, he was completely invisible. He approached the window to peer inside. Holding up the clinic was a masked man armed with a handgun. Terrified customers cowered on the floor. Going through the front of the store was asking for trouble, so the back entrance was the logical choice.
"This is Waldemar, I'm in position overlooking the front of the clinic."
"Copy," Kurt replied. If he was careful about it, then he would be in the perfect position to strike when Waldemar fired. "I'll let you know when I'm in. Any word from..." His voice trailed off as he heard the sound of flapping wings from somewhere above him. A large figure flew by and perched up on the clinic roof, moving with a certain kind of grace despite its size. With it stopped, Kurt took a better look. It looked like some sort of monstrous animate statue, with large wings, claws, and a somewhat long tail. It also had distinctively feminine frame, long red hair, and almost marble-like skin. The creature seemed to hold a hand up to her ear.
"I'm ready when you are."
'Okay, so THAT'S Arlana,' Kurt thought. 'Army doctor guy and creepy statue lady. This'll be fun.'
Immediately after Arlana's arrival, the masked man exited the clinic with a hostage that was carrying a box. Kurt pressed himself flat against the window and waited for the two to pass by. A pistol was pressed to the hostage's back and the masked man seemed to be in a rush. Since they were on the move, there wasn't much Kurt could do that wouldn't potentially harm the hostage.
"I can hit his gun from this distance, just say the word."
Waldemar could disarm him, then he and Arlana could swoop in and take care of him. As good a plan as anything. Kurt spoke with a hushed voice. "Take the shot."
In an instant, Red Coyote went from planning his next move to nearly jumping through the roof. He had hear a gun-shot, the SPD out front detected a fast-moving object disrupting the hologram.
"Ah! Alright then BoB, switch simulation Beta to run bombBluff4." He snapped, as he scrambled to get the door open. He pushed the medicine loaded gurney out the door and stuck a block of C4 on the frame as he ran for back door of the clinic. Ok, I need to make my plan, so far I've got: Two SPDs, my on person kit, a bike, a gurney full of meds, one more block of C4 and twenty more SPD's on the way from Broadway. I need those reinforcements, so that's where I'll head. As soon as he made it outside he made a left turn down the street and activated his second SPD. As he hit the street the SPD ran a program similar to the firetruck he used earlier, but this one geared more towards blending it, after the SPD ran the test pattern a classic New York Taxicab appeared around him. Thanks to the cities traffic congestion he was able to keep up on feet. So he duck his head, followed the traffic, and hoped that whoever Seraphim sent was dumb enough to be delayed by his ruse so he could cover some ground.
Out front the gun of the Hologram warped as Waldemar's bullet passed through it. For a second the simulation that ran the projection stalled, not knowing how to proceed. It waited until the Battle Observations Bot relayed Ryan's command. The Holographic Coyote suddenly had the gun knocked from his hand as he reached into his jacket and retrieved a detonator. Mark, and the other civilians either ran for it or hit the deck, suddenly the projection stood alone outside the Clinic. With his right hand he pulled open his duster and revealed six heavy blocks of plastic explosives. Without a clear threat, the simulation began turning around and acting like he was trying to spot them. All the while displaying the bombs.
" I don't need to explain do I? I think it's fairly obvious what I'm suggesting here!" He yelled through the SPD's speakers. " Just, stand, back."
"I can't take him, he's got a bomb." She took a quick glance around, finding a door into the building on the roof. "I'll try and get down to ground level." She lay flat and focused on the flesh, her body compacting, the stark-white of her skin turning a healthier pink and her bones shifting and adjusting until the Gargoyle was gone and a girl remained.
Not ideal, she thought. Loose drawstring shorts and a shirt that had been so stretched out it hung down below her waist. Didn't matter, she just needed to get in close enough to engage. She pressed a finger to her ear. "If you get a kill shot take it. If he sets that bomb off, everyone in this clinic will die. It's not worth risking their lives and ours for him." She ran for the door, flinging it open and beginning to descend the stairs. It was a short building, and she emerged into the clinic only a few moments later, quickly painting an expression of fear and bewilderment on her face as she worked her way towards the door.
Lina blinked a few times, pondering the questions Marcus just asked of her, even though she knew the answers to both absolutely. "Me? Hmmm... Well, I came from Pennsylvania. Altoona, Pennsylvania to be exact. Kinda quiet, we're not the kind of town to be noticed on a map. Not much to say... Left home at sixteen after an incident at home left me with no parents. Sad, but... Well, I don't mope about it too much." Said Lina, chuckling uncomfortably on the last sentence.
She cleared her throat and began speaking again, with renewed composure. "Anyway, yeah, sixteen, left home. I'd always had a sword with me, and i would learn to use it at home, but i had to pawn it for travel money. I spent some time going from town to town, seeing if there was any place that needed a freelance 'Superhero'. I didn't find any place like that until I found Otterwall. It's up in northern Pennsylvania, and it's a very nice place. " She gave a wink. "And perfectly safe too."
"At Otterwall, I found Wolfen. Wolfen was... Kinda like this place, only less... International? They were a tiny place, with only two super heroes, and one of them was medicinal based, a doctor, a mechanic, and a researcher. But man, if they weren't the best at their jobs! I joined them at sixteen, so I guess I didn't waste too much of my life on the road. the best people you'd ever meet, except old Ogre, the doctor... He was a bit weird. He liked to try hypnotism treatments... Eh, I digress. Man, we were the best team you'd ever seen... Otterwall gained some renown because of us. Heheh. 'Round the time I got there, the place was ACTUALLY getting attacked by real threats. Supervillains making a mess of stuff, not major supervillains, but, y'know. There was even this one time this lunatic scientist guy came in with an army of mutated lions wanted to take over the city... So he could take over the moon. We took care of him, alright. Ha..." Lina chuckled with nostalgia.
"Oh, I'm so sorry. I blew over your other question... Well, things got really quiet at Otterwall... Believe it or not we actually did SUCH a good time that the crime was so low the police were bored. As much as I loved everyone there, I wanted to continue helping people, cheesy as that sounds. So i bid them all adeu, they gave me a GIANT sword as a parting gift, I freaking love those guys, and I found Serpahim through the internet. I figured i could do the most good here." Lina's smile was pure as gold as she finished her lengthy explanation. "Eheheh. Sorry, was that more than you needed?"
"Heh, don't worry about it. There are far worse things in this world than being a chatterbox. You want to help people, so you're alright in my book. I just woke up one day, realized I had superpowers, and thought, 'Fuck, what am I supposed to do with these things? NOT be a superhero?'"
Marcus cast a quick look at his watch and started at what he saw - it was already three in the afternoon! So much to do, so little time. "Well, I should get settled in. It was nice meeting you." With a wave, Marcus left for his room.
He opened the door to his apartment, strolled in, and dropped his bags on the couch. It wasn't anything special, just big enough for one person to live comfortably, but it would do. Particularly if Adelbert wasn't boasting and they had a decent engineering lab on site. 'I should really get some maintenance done. I haven't checked the integrity of my suite since that fight with the Tide Twins. That, and I'd like to get a second opinion on my latest projects. Dad's been out of town for a while, and I really need some peer review before I field test it. I should start with - '
A rumble from the pit of his stomach cut that thought short. "Heh. Progress can wait for a decent meal."
Lina waved Marcus a goodbye and gave him a smile as he left. She'd met someone today. If she had a checklist of things she'd mark that off. The sword wielding titan of strength suddenly found herself back in an empty hallway, with seemingly no one around, again. That wouldn't do. She decided to head off in a random direction to explore the facility again. She didn't really care where she ended up, just so long as it was a bit interesting. But behind every door she found that wasn't a living quarters, she found uninteresting normal things. Broom closets and the such.
A good hour went by like that, and Lina didn't find anything. She sighed and decided to head back to her room, defeated by the many hallways of this building. Back down the stairs she went, back to the boredom of her room. At least she had television, and that only let her down half the time. And so back she went, back onto her couch and back to channel surfing.
"I can't take him, he's got a bomb."
Kurt sprung into action. While still under his cloak, he lunged forward at the masked man, aiming to grab his detonator. What he didn't expect was to go completely through him and tumble to the ground. He went into a roll at the last second and used the momentum to bring himself up to a crouch, facing the masked man. Allowing his cloak to dissipate, Kurt fired an ectoplasm blast from his palm at the assailant. The purple energy sailed through his target, who temporarily dissolved into static before coming into focus again.
If this masked man was a spirit, Kurt would've picked up on it the moment they arrived here. Waldemar, Arlana, or any of the hostages wouldn't have been able to see him as well. That had to mean...
"Guys, don't know if you saw that, but this isn't our perp. It's some kind of decoy. The real guy's probably fled the scene..."
Kurt caught a glint of light reflecting off something metallic in a nearby tree. From this distance, it was hard to tell, but it looked like some kind of camera or projector mounted on a set of propellers. Almost as if it knew it was caught, the image of the man suddenly vanished and the object took off with surprising speed towards the alleyway.
"...but I think I know how to find him. If you can, follow my signal and keep your distance."
Running into the alley, Kurt re-engaged his cloak and took off after the flying projector. If he was lucky, this thing would lead him right back to the guy who deployed it, or at least, his base of operations. This guy was crafty, whoever he was. And likely very dangerous.
Those sounds echoed throughout the sewer, accompanied by the squelches made by Morph was it attached itself to the ceiling, avoiding the rats and the possibly toxic water below. Shaping its tendrils into claw-like appendages and used those to anchor it to the cold brick of the ceiling. Its stomach bulged with the contents of the poor citizen it had devoured on the street, and bulged even more as Morph manipulated its own flesh to increase the surface area of its stomach. Soon the transformation was complete, if a biologist were to examine it now, it would be mistake for the numerous alveoli at the end of the lung's respiratory tree, until it was cut open with a scalpel, revealing all-consuming acid and perhaps a remain of something that used to be part of a human swimming about in that acidic soup. Devouring a whole street of people had been Morph's riskiest venuture yet, and the most rewarding...
Its hunger would be satisfied for possibly another three days, then the beast in its belly would howl for blood again. Being a all-devouring, shapeshifting, biological engine of destruction was hard work, needing a significant calorie intake to maintain. Even as Morph's size increase with every meal, the calorie requirement simply to keep the engine running increased. It was a tough dilemma, but with many answers. Morph could simply devour the Earth once Morph got too big or even perform mitosis, something that Morph wasn't too sure about. It didn't even know whether it could reproduce, sexually or asexually, and didn't like the idea of competing with its offspring. There only could be one Morph in town.
With a feast like that, it would take at least about twelve hours for it to digest. Morph didn't mind, in fact it relished the feeling of saccharides, amino acids and lipids being torn from the dead meat and being absorbed into Morph's being. Nevertheless, with the average diet of the New Yorker, there was a unsavoury amount of saturated fat and trans fat. Both inferior to unsaturated fat with those delicious fatty acids. Oh well, at least Morph now had time to think about such things without the hunger or the onslaught of fragmented memories that was to come. Thinking was something strange and new to Morph and with its prey already having mastery of it, Morph was determined to get the hang of it, lest it fall behind to the bottom on of the food chain. Still, one thing haunted Morph, even before it had gained sentience, it was a picture, no a logo. A logo that read "BioCorp". That was its next move now the hunger wouldn't stop, only to get that image out of its mind.
"What?! How didn't you detect that sooner?!" Christopher was not happy when one of his scanners informed him that an attack had been made a few blocks away from the Seraphim building. "The police will have surrounded the area! We should have stopped it sooner before it devoured a whole street!" He hung up the phone and took a moment to breath. "It's alright." he said to himself. "I just need a reliable team of heroes to go and investigate..." Who he'd send, he wasn't sure.
He got another call on his phone and picked it up. "Christopher Adelbert speaking." "Sir, we've detected the...thing...in the sewers. It's not far from where it attacked the street." "I'll send a team there immediately." He hung up the phone and picked it up again to call the heroes he would send.
"Persephone, Faraday and Blizzard. I've got a mission for you. A blob of sorts has attacked a street nearby and is trying to get away through the sewers. You should be able to find the street if you follow the sound of sirens and look for the blood stained street. Find it, and take it out." He hung up again and sat back against his chair. "What a day. First some technological biohazard, according to Quick, Blizzard and H2O. And now a blob that devours a street while our scanners detected it too late." He rubbed his forehead a bit before returning to his work.
Blizzard got the message on her cell and headed down towards the lobby, waiting for these Persephone and Faraday she was going with. This blob sounded like a few other ones she'd had to deal with before. Thankfully, she had her miniature laser gun ready in case she needed it. Persephone and Faraday would be able to recognize her by her black shoulder long hair and the blue outfit she wore.
As Marcus finished shoveling the last of his sandwich into his mouth, he heard the beep of a cell phone ringing somewhere to his right. Looking to the source, he saw a sleek, modern looking smartphone on his desk, the caller ID naming Adelbert as the caller. URGENT MESSAGE - LISTEN IMMEDIATELY. 'Right. Adelbert did say he'd give me one of these things to keep in touch.'
Answering the phone, Marcus heard Adelbert's voice speaking to him in a very serious, businesslike tone, in stark contrast to his previous friendly demeanor. "Persephone, Faraday and Blizzard. I've got a mission for you. A blob of sorts has attacked a street nearby and is trying to get away through the sewers. You should be able to find the street if you follow the sound of sirens and look for the blood stained street. Find it, and take it out."
He hung up and slipped the phone into his pocket. 'Time to get serious, Faraday.' Gathering the remainder of his gear, he slung it on and dashed out the door. A set of fingerless gloves to act as a conductor and the HUD display suite for his goggles - he hadn't fully tested their integrity since his fight the other day, but that could wait. Duty called, after all. 'Still, it couldn't hurt to run a diagnostic while I move.' Getting into the elevator and selecting the ground floor, Marcus brought up his suite's interface on his HUD and ordered the damage assessment diagnostic to run.
INTERFACE DETECTED, BEGINNING ASSESSMENT
CHECKING VOLTAIC COMPILERS...
NO STRUCTURAL DAMAGE DETECTED - CAPACITANCE AND RESITANCE AT NORMAL LEVELS
'Good. It should be fine for now.' The elevator opened to reveal the ground floor, a woman in blue standing in the center of the lobby. She looked to the elevator as it opened and approached. Marcus stepped out, doing the same. 'That must be Blizzard. I'm guessing ice-based powers, but I should get specifics I'm going to be working with her.'
He extended out his hand in greeting. "Blizzard, I presume? I'm Faraday."
"Persephone, Faraday and Blizzard. I've got a mission for you. A blob of sorts has attacked a street nearby and is trying to get away through the sewers. You should be able to find the street if you follow the sound of sirens and look for the blood stained street. Find it, and take it out." Said Christopher's voice as it rang through Persephone's room from an orifice she couldn't quite find. But who cared? This was big! Her first job here and it didn't even sound like kiddy crap. An entire street?! How in the world could... It ain't gettin much farther now, though! It's days are numbered by the minute!. She though, full of disgust and energy.
Quickly slipping out of her casual clothes, which would just be whatever assortment of T-shirt and pants she had at the time, Lina slipped into her old Wolfen uniform, the long, flowing, red jacket, the flouro-red pants and under-shirt, and her black and red skirt. Needless to say she had her glasses. Out the door she sprang... Before she realize she forgot her sword. flushed with embarassment, she stopped in her tracks, stood there for a minute, before she resumed her dead-sprint, but in the opposite direction this time. Back to her room, she went, to find her precious blade. Persephone kept it in her closet, a whole back wall just for it. In a nice little case and stand, provided for it by Seraphim. She gripped the handled of the golden colored, giant blade, Ark of Noah, and hoisted it over her shoulder, on the flat end, of course. The sword itself was bigger than her, in height and width. the only dimension it wasn't larger than her was depth, but that in no way entails that she's fat. "Man, I wish I had a sheathe for this... I'll ask Christopher if he can provide after this mission."
She cricked her neck a few times and ran back out the door, but only at a jogging pace this time. This was a narrow hallway and she had a big sword with no sheathe. Running at a dead-sprint would be suicidal and homicidal. To the elevator went the mighty maiden, and down to the bottom for she went, where she found her comrades, Marcus, and a new woman, who she could tell was blizzard by Process of Elimination. She walked over to both of them, and grinned a wide, toothy smile. "Yello, guys! Heya Marcus, kinda funny how we just met and now we're on a mission already, huh?"
Blizzard extended her own hand and shook Faraday's. "Yes, I'm Blizzard. Pleasure to meet you." Not long after that, another girl came out of the elevator, presumably Persephone. "We've got a mission to do, so lets not stop for too long here. Pleasantries can be made on the way." Blizzard walked out the door with the two close behind and listened for the sound of sirens, as Christopher had said. That didn't take long, as she looked to her left and found the source a few blocks away.
The three of them sprinted towards the scene, and Blizzard was shocked to see just how blood stained the street was. "What kind of monster..." she started before she stopped when a police officer came towards them. "What business do you have here?" Blizzard fetched her Seraphim ID out of her pocket and showed it to the officer. "I'm here on Seraphim business. These two are with me." She pointed towards Persephone and Faraday. "Alright, but don't temper with anything. If you're here to catch the one that did this, search if you want to. Whoever it was isn't here anymore." the officer said to them.
"We know." Blizzard said. "We need to check the sewers. That thing is around here somewhere in there." The officer shrugged. "There's a sewer cap right in the middle of the street there. Take a look there if you want." Blizzard nodded and hovered towards where the sewer cap was. She lifted it open and motioned for the other two to come before hovering down into the sewers.
Turning to the street, the stench of death and gore overpowered Marcus's nose. He reeled further at the sight before him - skeletons stripped bare, and blood spattered like water after a rainstorm.
'Fucking... What happened here? It's like a pack of wild animals came and picked these people down to the bone. I'm not too keen on letting this... thing... run free.' Marcus saw Blizzard prop open a manhole cover and make a motion to follow her down.
'Still in the sewers, huh? Damn it. That's going to complicate things.' On the one hand, power mains ran the length of any sewers large enough for people to fit in - it made them easier to maintain. On the other, it is a sewer, damp and full of water. 'I'm gonna have to be careful down there. If I get wet, we're all in trouble.'
Marcus followed Blizzard down into the sewers, careful to keep himself dry as he did. The air was humid, and the sewage ran in a stream to his right. 'Humid air... another inconvenience. The city's engineers must not have finished repairing the respirators down here.'
"Just a word of warning, ladies - if you see me get wet, get away from me IMMEDIATELY. I'll need some time to dry off before I rejoin the fight. I can't be held responsible for what might happen if you don't."
Needless to say, Lina had delved into the manhole cover. She was too intent on stopping whatever monstrosity did this to marvel in disgust at it's handiwork. Lina had to position her sword so she and it could make it down the manhole. This thing REALLY needed a sheathe.
"Just a word of warning, ladies - if you see me get wet, get away from me IMMEDIATELY. I'll need some time to dry off before I rejoin the fight. I can't be held responsible for what might happen if you don't."
"Hm? Why should we- Oooooh. I guess water makes it hard for you to use your powers huh? Heheh, don't worry. My weakness is a lot more inane than that, and probably more inconvenient." She patted him on the back, kinda forcefully, like one of those big burly men who doesn't know you're like a twig compared to him. "Don't worry buddy, you'll be fine, and hey, if you need a dry off, you could always sit on my sword. It won't get it done fast, but you'll be dryer quicker." she laughed, knowing that sitting on a sword for a few minutes wasn't the best way to do things in an action situation like this. "Just keep mind of the water, and we'll be perfectly fine. I don't mind a little electric shock every now and then, anyway."
She turned her head back towards Blizzard, who had gotten a bit ahead of them. "Hey, wait up, Frosty!" She said, taking off into a job, sword still on her shoulder. It hadn't even begun to fatigue her yet. "So what do you think we're up against, Blizzard?"
Without any special command, the Drone defaulted to a taking a circuitous path back Ryan, who was still making still making his way through the city. Once it was close it began hanging out of sight, sticking to alley-ways, and remaining well people's heads. Below Ryan began congratulating himself on his get away, thinking he was home free. The remaining SPD's from Broadway would be here in just moments, but now Ryan had a feeling that he wouldn't need them and it was only a few more blocks before he could get a boat at the water-front.
At the moment he was fenced in by cars on a busy four lane street. All around New Yorkers went about their day without a clue that a villain was in their midst. And that villain went about his without a clue that there was a hero very close by.
"Don't worry about it. I could freeze the water around here to help you not get wet." Blizzard replied to what Faraday said before turning her attention towards Persephone. "I'm not sure. I know it's a blob. If it's one that absorbs other's mass, well, then we've got a big blob on our hands. Thankfully, I've come prepared." She patted her gun holster under her left arm. "It's only a last resort, but I won't hesitate to use it if I have to, since we may need to avoid the blob re-grouping if I can execute my plan along with you two."
She didn't want to keep them in the black, so she continued. "Should it be a blob that can re-group, I will need to freeze parts of it and have either one of you break those frozen bits off. Once that's done, I can use my laser gun to evaporate the parts that have been cut off. I've gotten this question before, so I'll answer right away. No, I can't use the gun on the blob itself if it's too big. I had it specifically made to only take out small things, otherwise it'll overheat. I prefer to use my powers to bring down criminals and villains, not a gun. But I've encountered blobs before, so the gun is only usable for that job."
"Hold on a minute. As long as we're on the subject of preparedness..." Marcus reached up and felt around the sewer's ceiling, and sure enough, he found a power main running along its length. Sensing the powerful current moving within, he guessed... no longer than a few seconds? Only one way to find out. Grabbing it with his right hand, he activated his HUD. "Prepare major power draw protocol." His HUD crackled to life, displaying his current capacitance at 2%. 'Wow, I didn't think it was that low. Good thing I stopped us, I'm nowhere near ready to fight right now.'
"Stand back, this should only take a few seconds." His HUD gave a beep, indicating his suite was ready for the incoming stress. Marcus took in a deep breath and started the drain. Lightning crackled from his hands as he did so, and the figure displayed on his HUD made a steady climb upwards. 15%... 35%... 50%... 75%...
A few seconds later, he released the wire with a gasp, and his HUD let off another beep, this time to signify the power draw was complete. 100% capacitance. "Okay, I'm good to go. We should move quickly. I have a feeling this thing won't stick around for long."
"So this could take a while while we chip down the blob. Alright, that's fine by me." Lina said as they walked, paying attention to Blizzard as she spoke. "I've never fought a blob. Mostly just more... Em... Solid threats, so this should be interesting."
The stink in the sewer didn't exactly bother Lina, but the smell wasn't exactly pleasing either. "Hm. I've never really been in a sewer before, like most normal people. Then again, we're not really normal people. Is there a 3-dimensional aspect to these at some point? Like a lower level or floor?" Lina asked, genuinely not knowing the answer.
While Faraday charged up, Blizzard made things ready so he wouldn't get wet by freezing the sewer water as they went along the path. "There shouldn't be." she answered Persephone. "It should just be straight ahead, backwards or to the sides. No down. The only up obviously being to get out of the sewers."
Once Faraday was charged up, they kept going, Blizzard hovering over the sewer water to freeze it. "Yeah, I agree." she said to Faraday saying to move quickly. "We want to take care of the blob as soon as possible so that it doesn't cause any more harm. We don't want another street like the one we just saw..." She clenched her fist in half-anger. "Nothing that does that deserves to go on. We'll find it and defeat it. Nothing more, nothing less."
The change in the waters unsettled Morph, as it was vulnerable in its open state. Gradually retracting the sacs, it settled into a more compact state, with large sections of chitin taking shape, protecting the soft underbelly, the claws retracting into tiny hooks on the underside of Moprh. The shell took the colour of the ceiling, while the soft fleshy parts camouflaged themselves as moss. After that, as a little subtle touch, Morph let liquid secret out of the pores, giving the impression of a raised wet lump in the ceiling caused by damage or where some worker was a little overzealous with the concrete. Morph mimicked the foot of a slug, it slowly crawled away from its resting place, slowly but surely to the location of the BioCorp building, directly opposite to Seraphim. After all, it was only a matter of time until they noticed the carnage Morph had wrecked in the street above.
Waldemar looked on in bewilderment at the scene, he was sure that he had hit the villains pistol, and yet he had seen the unmistakable impact of the bullet on the asphalt in a straight line behind it, and weirder still was the slight delay before he had 'tossed' away his pistol which was now nowhere to be seen. As he brought out his detonator and opened his coat to reveal the rows of explosives it contained, Waldemar silently wondered if this had somehow been his plan, and that he had actually missed with his first shot.
He finally snapped out of it when Arlana spoke over the cellphone and leveled his rifle at the villain again, now brandishing his detonator and seemingly daring them to do anything to hurt him, it truly seemed like he intended to blow himself up unless they let him have his way. Trying his best to aim at the small detonator the villain held in his hands and wondering if hitting it would actually help and not just make him trigger the explosives, Waldemar was deep in concentration as the message from Kurt came through on the cell, just a short "I can." in response to Arlana.
Moments later the person flickered briefly, like the image of a TV with bad reception, and as Kurt let his cloak fall away and fired some kind of energy bolt at him the flickering returned, only even more visibly. As the person, or image, focused itself again Kurt sent through another message.
"Guys, don't know if you saw that, but this isn't our perp. It's some kind of decoy. The real guy's probably fled the scene..."
Waldemar cursed, of course it was, seemed incredibly obvious now that Kurt had figured it out, if he had half a functioning brain he should have realized it when the bullet had passed through his pistol and impacted behind him, now the villain had a head start on them. His mood didn't exactly improve either when a metallic object up and left from a nearby tree faster then he could spin his rifle around, letting whatever decoy the villain had used escape as well.
"...but I think I know how to find him. If you can, follow my signal and keep your distance."
His mood was marginally improved as Kurt finished his message however, apparently he had a plan to stop the villain still, despite their little distraction here. "Got it, I'll be following from a distance, should I try to keep your position within line of sight?" He asked over the phone as he went back to the fire escape and descended from the roof, meeting up with Arlana as he used the phone to home in on Kurt's signal so he would be able to follow him.
Marcus walked alongside his comrades, his eyes sweeping along the walls to the sewer. He'd been in them before, back before he became Faraday, as he was often dispatched to repair broken power lines and assist construction crews in building new ones. The brick walls where lined with mold and water, a result of the city's recent neglect of this borough's infrastructure. 'I can't count how many calls we got complaining that the sewers where spiraling out of control. The city should just fix the respirators down here and be done with it.'
As they moved deeper into the sewers, Marcus started to to notice something odd - the ceiling above him was being tinted with some strange, dark fluid. 'Water wouldn't leave marks like that. What's going on here?' Looking ahead, he saw something even stranger. To the untrained eye, it would just appear to be more neglected sewer, some shattered concrete covered in moss. But as Marcus looked closer, he noticed the texture was... off. And the fluids covering it seemed to match the liquid trailing behind them. Silently, he motioned for Blizzard and Persephone to stop and back up. Reaching up, he touched the power main, took a few steps away from the mass, and let loose a massive surge through the wire. A sound like a gunshot let loose as a bolt of electricity surged down towards the mass...
Morph waited above where it has nested. To the average observer, it was just some moss-covered concrete. A remnant of the neglect of the sewers in this block. At first he saw a man with goggles, he seemed to be quite cautious in his step, avoiding the water as much as possible. Then he saw a woman with a giant sword and then nothing else as the sword partially blocked its view. Morph cursed, there could be any number of Seraphim agents there. No doubt these were the ones who dared to call themselves Morph's predators - Seraphim. No doubt they had seen what carnage it could unleash on the street above, it hoped that Seraphim would take that as a warning, but no. They had to play the hero. Still, as the group approached, in what others would describe as fear but was more of instinctual self-preservation, Morph secreted more of the fluid, ready to turn it into an impetuous flow. The man was now reaching up to the power main, Morph didn't anticipated what would happen next.
Suddenly a bolt of electricity surged towards Morph, reflexively it calmed up inside the chitin shell, but that made no difference. Morph got the full brunt of it. As the current ran through its mass and muscle, bits of Morph twitched and a memory fragment of its creator was jolted into its head - it was of him linking up a dead frog to an electrical circuit and watching it move. Fighting the current, Morph let the chitin completely cover itself, every bit of exposed flesh covered by a shell. Legs jutted out, half-tendril and half-claw, like some strange mockery of an insect. Channels opened throughout its body, from the stomach to the pores, a potent mix if Morph had the time to let the acid get concentrated. As when mixed with the liquid of the sewers and its secretions, it was only mildly acidic, but better than nothing. A giant monstrosity stood there where the concrete was, the few bits of light reflecting off the wet chitin. Morph was ready.
Blizzard stopped when Faraday motioned for her to do so. She prepared by freezing the water up ahead as much as she could before he let out an electrical surge. It hit whatever had apparently been on the ceiling, which she could only assume was what had consumed all those people on the street. She was right in thinking it was a blob.
There was little time for words, so she tried to keep it short. "I'll freeze parts of it, and you two work on breaking parts of it off so I can shoot them with my laser!" She began freezing the blob with her powers, a blue stream of frost could be seen coming from her hands. She also aimed her powers towards the ceiling in order to get the blob down to them. The sewer water was frozen so that it would land on that if it didn't land on either side. The process of freezing the blob was taking a while, since it was more solid than the water, but it was working as the side of the blob that faced Blizzard slowly froze over.
"Ahaha! Just like old times!" Lina said, as she lifted her sword off her shoulder and was at the ready with it now, knees bent, sword a little to her side, with the point facing the frozen parts of Morph. She took a moment to consider how best to charge her sword. The creature seemed to be pained by electricity, freezing it was still in the process of being verified to work, and fire... She didn't really think extreme heat would do much, but she could try some other time, she supposed. Plenty of blobs in the world. She decided on ice, and, gripping her sword tightly, she inhaled deeply. The moisture that had accumulated on the sword began to freeze, and the water vapor around the sword was visible, like a breath on a cold winter's day. The sword had reached near antarctic temperatures, and though it was not as potent as Blizzard, it was sure to afflict those not well suited to the cold.
Wasting no more time, Lina saw that a good enough portion of the large blob was now frozen, and, while she didn't anticipate that she could cut it all off in one clean blow, she knew she could chip it off bit by squishy bit. She leaped at and with the great power in her legs and flew above it. Her sword, however, was held downward and, upon reaching within range, Lina made a great swing upward, sword brought steady to her front, pointing forward after. She'd managed to take off a sizeable chunk with her frigid sword. She spun back around quickly, in position to defend now, facing the monster's back.
'So this is is the... thing... that killed those civilians...' Marcus could hear his teeth grind together, a cold mote of anger welling up in his stomach. With Lina out of his field of view, he could focus on attacking this monster without fear of hurting his comrades. It would still be best, though, if he could avoid firing through the air where he could, at least for now. He could never control them in humid air, after all.
He quickly checked his power levels, and found them to be at a satisfactory 75%. 'It's a good thing I had that power line take the brunt of that shock. Something that strong would normally drain quite a bit more.' Taking in a deep breath, he extended his hands out and started charging another bolt, this one meant to arc directly at the blob. "Hey! If you can talk, you'd better give me a fucking good reason not to fry you right here!"
Frozen, then shattered, then shouted at. Morph was puzzled why the man with goggles angry? All it had one was to sustain itself, just like herbivores with plants and humans with their hotdogs. Morph could only reply to the man to the only way it could, by responding to the threats to itself and eliminating them. But one emotion crept into its mind, one Morph hadn't experienced since its birth: anger. Morph wanted to burn calories at a rate that would produce enough heat to burn through the ice and burn through the bloodhounds of Seraphim as a show of literally burning rage. But that would put itself at risk, not to mention sewer gas, a volatile mix of hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, methane, carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides just waiting for a naked flame to light up the town. There was no point to that approach if the end result was death all round.
It scoured the memory fragments of its creator, looking for another approach, as he appeared to be logical, if somewhat erratic and had a handy database of proteins, the ones that Felix had found interesting still rich in detail. His mind would hold the answers. The problem was weaving through the amount of junk memories, nevertheless that problem went away if Morph concentrated hard enough. And there it was. How was it that fish survived in the freezing Arctic and Antarctic Oceans? Well, they had a protein for that. A protein that gave freeze tolerance, not stopping the freezing process completely but made sure that the biological tissues survived the ordeal. Maybe playing dead was worth the indignity...
Production was switched from acid to producing the AFP. Morph let the bundle of amino acids flood its system, in hope to save as much biomass as possible. The man with the goggles looked like he was charging up something, maybe that was where the electricity came from? In anticipation Morph let the flesh under the chitin shell turn into something not unlike the infamous electric insulator known as rubber. However, at this point, Morph had turned to playing it by ear ans wasn't completely sure whether the change would block a sufficient amount of electricity to soften the blow. In a flash of impulse, Morph used a clawed appendage to pin the man to the wall, changing the palm of the sinister hand to a mouth and began to speak.
Morph listed all the reasons it could come up with. It wasn't quite sure that was the answer the man was looking for, or would like to hear...
It seemed to be working, as Persephone broke off the bits that Blizzard had frozen already, and they were big enough for her lasergun to handle. She reached into her holster, using one hand to still freeze the blob, and shot at the bits that had fallen off of it. The laser hit them, and they evaporated into fumes and gases, no longer solid enough for the blob to reassemble with. She probably would have smelled something foul if she'd been close enough when shooting the bits.
The blob grabbed Faraday and said something to him, it seemed. "Sustain, supercede, survive? What in the world are you talking about? You killed innocent people, you don't deserve to keep on going, however you keep on going!" Blizzard froze the "hand" that held Faraday, careful to not freeze him in the process, and the part of it that was connected to the "hand". Or at least she tried, as it seemed to be freezing slower now. "What in the..." she asked herself. This was odd. She wasn't feeling tired after using her powers. So it had to be the blob. "Trying to protect yourself against the freeze? Then have some more!" She increased her power to freeze the "hand" better, then continued to freeze it as best she could. It was still going slowly, but she wouldn't give up.
Marcus nearly had the wind knocked out of him as the blob swept him up and slammed him into the opposite wall. With a sickening whisper, he had his answer: "...Su...sta..in...Su...per..sede...Sur...vi...ve..."
The mote of anger growing his stomach exploded full force, sending a flash of red though his senses. "So that confirms it. You're nothing more than a rabid dog - victimizing the weak for your own gain." Marcus could feel its flesh shift under his skin, turning hard and pliable, like rubber. So, it thinks to shield itself? Seems it didn't pass its high school physics, whomever this... thing happened to be. Everything is a conductor, the only difference is how hot things get when you press the issue.
"And you know what we do with rabid dogs here in New York?" Marcus still had the potential he'd built up earlier. With the monster touching him, this voltage should be more than enough. With a deep breath, he readied to release it all in one burst...
"We PUT... THEM... DOWN!" With a flash of light, he released his stored potential into the monster, the smell of melting rubber filling his nose.
Morph was definitely sure that the answer given was not the answer wanted as the bloodhounds barked even louder this time. The ice woman blabbed on about 'innocents' which got a laugh out of Morph, the victims were far from innocent; muggers, murderers, paedophiles, rapists, you name it. Morph was certain that the stream of memory fragments it saw while it rested was not those of people who led 'innocent' lives. It came to be conclusion that these people just called people 'innocent' so they could save them, as superheroes only save the 'innocent' citizens that are dragged into this. The ice woman continued to sent a flurry of cold to the hand, fine let her, let her drain energy into this fruitless task, let her freeze her comrade in place, let her be hoisted by her own petard. Its cells would survive the ordeal thanks to the AFPs.
The barking was accompanied by a jolt more painful than the last. It refused to scream out, the last thing it wanted was its prey to see it as weak. Morph hadn't factored in dielectric breakdown and found the 'hand' and other parts of itself melting with the heat, both ice and the rubber-like flesh withering away under the heat. Some parts even shattered, revealing even more of the rubber, heated so much by the jolt it was almost liquid. but that was just like the discarded skin of a snake. Morph was sure that even more would replace it. Rubber oozed, trying to escaping the chitin, the proteins denatured and the heap of biomass rendered to just of a lump of flesh. Morph let the rubber pour through, encasing the man in goggles in something that looked between tar and rubber. Morph was sure to stop the electric man this time.