Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Supers: A Fine Day For An Apocalypse

Throughout the week, each of the heroes received the following letter:

To Whom It May Concern,

I need your help. I cannot reply on those I used to trust; one in particular will fail us in our time of need. I have proof of it. I know that alone, you cannot stop what is coming, but I hope that together, you will make an impact that will echo far beyond your abilities. Please find attached the means of travel; meet me at HERO Coffee Bar in Chicago, at 2 PM. I will be there if I can. You must help us. Without you... all is lost. I will see you soon.

The letter was unsigned; however, as it said, the letter contained a means of travel - plane ticket, bus pass, even taxi fare from the airport. Additionally, there is a single photograph in each envelope. The heroes, each for their own reason, followed the letter's instructions and arrived at the bar.

While there were a number of strange people - a bouncy Hello Kitty-bestickered woman, a blob of sentient green goo, a fellow in a mech, a monk, and an archer, to name a few. They introduced themselves to each other, and after a bit of waiting, asked the barista if he had seen anyone else. He handed over a note written on the back of another photograph. Everyone brought theirs out - all double exposed photographs. In fact, as someone noted, they all seemed to be the work of a heor known as Timelapse!

While each picture was of something different, each one was double exposed. The city skylines and placid streets contrasted with fire and mayhem, missing buildings, overturned cars, and other obvious signs of disaster.

A few of the crew decided to check out one of the buildings, a little over a block away. Nearly there, they ran into a crowd of thugs with guns and baseball bats. The thugs were quickly disarmed, some more so than others. In fact, only one managed to make it out of the encounter alive. The bodies were quickly disposed of by the green blob, who happily snacked on body tissue, bullets, guns, and all the random things they had in their pockets.

The gadgeteer in the mech suit caught sight of another fellow hurrying away, and gave chase. He was lead down the subway, onto the tracks, and through some side passages to a locked door; breaking in, he took out the man, but found nothing else of note. Another hero followed them, and together they found an ultraviolet flashlight and a list of names on the wall, including such names as Centurion (an invincible sword fighter), Nucleus (flight, clean atomic fire, radiation absorption), and Techannus (flying mech, super smart), as well as sidekicks, normals in position of authority, and even a few random newspapermen, talk show hosts, and police officers. There were a few supervillains on the list, too - Ultraman, The Bone Man, and Nuclear Winter grace the list.

Meanwhile, B. Happy (the one with stickers) helped the poor fellow who survived their group, albeit without a leg. She quizzed him a bit, but found nothing useful. Healed up again, she called him a cab, and sent him on to a safe place to recover, hoping that he would have a change of heart.

Reunited, the team went searching for the names on the list, locals first. The newspaperman was dead; so was the police detective. Upon finding the news anchor (also dead), the group caught the beginning of an interview with Centurion... who died on camera.

The only link between them was Silverage. The team gathered at Silverage's base to get some answers... but outside the Uncanny Squadron, they were attacked by two groups, one under War Diamond, and the other under the control of Ei8ht, an AI-powered mech suit!

The supers tore through the bad guys like chaff. Eventually, War Diamond stepped into Ei8ht, and the two blasted off, out of everyone's reach.

As if on cue, a hologram at the steps of the great hall sputtered to life. Silverage, leader of the Uncanny Squadron! For a moment, he was silent, then he suddenly loomed larger, and boomed, "I don't know what your goal is, here, but I can tell you this: your meddling has damaged events beyond even my control. While you've been bumbling around trying to solve mysteries far out of your control, you've hindered me more than you'll ever realize." His hologram slowly shrank back to human-sized. "I'm sorry. You couldn't have known. Please, come in; while I cannot repair the mess you've made, I might... but that can wait. Please, come inside."

The hologram blinked off, as the great doors to the Uncanny Squadron's headquarters swung open. Inside, huge screens display ever-changing images of past heroes associated with the Uncanny Squadron. Many have gold ribbons draped around the edges - notably, the Centurion's. At the end of the hall, another door swings open. Inside is a sparse office. Before Silverage could speak, a giant mech crashed into the building! It's Techannus; his mech was heavily damaged. He crawled out, bleeding, and staggered over to Silverage. "It's started... Silverage, just like Timeline said, it's starting... we couldn't stop them."

Silverage looked at the heroes. "It's not too late to stop them. They... they don't know about you. I can only hope they haven't gotten to you... Look in my safe - there are instructions there. The combination is..." His voice trailed off as a shadow fell over the skylight, but B. Happy managed to get the code from his mind... just before two massive shapes crashed into the room.

Before Silverage could utter a word, the smaller of the two shot him in the chest; the larger, moving faster than expected, grabbed the falling body and tore it in two. The two figures in mechanical suits turned, and with a squawk of radio noise, stomped forward.

Judy, a speedy monster with an armor-piercing sword, brought a hero down in a single strike, screaming, "Not now, you've got a headache!"

Punch, the larger of the two, grabbed another hero, hauling him into the air and punching him repeatedly, all while screeching, "Do stop the naughty, noisy baby, Judy!"

The gang fired all they had at Judy, hoping to bring her down, and bring her down they did; but that was not the end. With an evil laugh, one of their members, Rubber Face, revealed himself to be Wild Card - a supervillain! He blasted the others, hurting the monk.

B. Happy, meanwhile, had already opened the safe, and was quickly making her way out of the building.

As another hero fell, the gadgeteer bolted for the sky.

Finishing off the few remaining heroes, Wild Card grabbed his fallen henchwoman, Judy, and ordered Punch to carry her, heading off to who knows where.

Around the city, explosions rang out; fires leaped for the sky as silver flying saucers fanned out over Chicago, firing indiscriminately. Silverage's headquarters weren't the only target... Chicago is burning. The few survivors heard sirens in the distance, and the screams of panicked crowds. Whatever this is... whatever this was... the heroes knew they needed to get to the bottom of it.

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