Necessary Evil

Rendezvous at Midnight
5th July 2014

Arrowhead was panting as she made her way along the rocks below the old lighthouse. Some miles away she could see the fancy New England Country Club Hotel burning-a victim of one of the missiles they had evaded while tying to escape in the M’ Buna. The others were already waiting for her, thanks to their various flight and teleport abilities.

As she cursed under her breath, another M’ Buna emerged silently from under the waves and glided silently towards them: it displayed no lights. The ramp opened and was flanked by half a dozen masked and green suited minions. At the head of the ramp stood the imposing armoured figure of Dr. Destruction.

“In quickly. The vehicle will shield your signatures. We need to be off.” he said curtly. They all hurried inside. One of the Doctor’s henchmen took the controls and they submerged once again.

“You might think I rescued you because I’m in awe of your amazing powers and heroic escape", began the Doctor. “You’d be wrong. You can all be cut into flank steaks on a V’sori examination table for all I care.” They shifted uncomfortably, aware of the Doctor’s neferious reputation.

“No, I rescued you for two reasons. The first is because it draws the fins away from my real target. The second is because I can always use a new Omega cell. If you want in, and can prove yourself to me tonight, you’re in. If you’re not interested…well, let’s just say I’m sure the V’ Sori will be.”

“Ah… Omega Cell?” asked Arrowhead.

“That’s right, Omega Cell. Or Omega Resistance, if you prefer” replied the Doctor.

“You’re in charge of the Resistance?” asked Secutor incredulously.

“Who else has the Will, Resources or Genius?” snapped the Doctor. “The World’s so called Heroes dropped the ball spectacularly, and I don’t want my Playground drained dry by a fleet of alien scavengers, leaving the rest of us to die on a pathetic dustbowl. This planet is MINE, not THEIRs.”

“And let’s not forget they want all of us Dead-you as well as me. As you have already experienced. And now they have you marked and tagged. It’s only a matter of time really if we don’t fight back. And I will make them all Pay. Oh yes.”

“We fit in how?” asked Harrier.

“I am giving you the option to be my latest Omega Cell. Pass a simple test and I can make you invisible to the V’ Sori again. I suggest you consider carefully, or the aliens will have you caught again within a very few hours.”

At that, Dr. Destruction slammed a button on the wall, and a view screen lit up showing a schematic of a camp.

“You will note that I am now communicating telepathically at the speed of thought with you all. In this camp- which we will be flying over in approximately two minutes- is a prisoner named Mindjack. You might have heard of him — he pulled the Amij Diamond job last summer. He’s in there somewhere, and I want him. If you agree to break him out and bring him to the center of the camp ALIVE, I’ll eliminate your tracers so that the V’ Sori can’t find you. I’ll pick those who survive up after I deal with any remaining V’sori that fly in.”

“It won’t end there though. I can find you wherever you go now. I can help you and show you how we can defeat the invaders who took over our playground, or I can point you out to them like wounded prey to a hound. It’s your choice.” He stood back and folded his arms.

Flight to Disaster
4th July 2014

Fixer opened his eyes and blinked through the red mist. He must have banged his head on something as they crashed. He could hear coughing, and a metallic voice seeemed to be speaking through the Fug..

They had been in the M’Buna. They had despatched the crew in the loading bay- more low level V’Sori it seemed, but had also been engaged by more crew pouring in from an engine room. It seemed like the vehicle was being prepped for launch anyway however, and between them Fixer and Secutor quickly managed to deduce the basic operation of the craft, and lifted off. It seemed that automatically the bay doors swung open, and they dropped down to see the Atlantic Ocean below them. Then they had been attacked by the two V’Sori Manta; they had been badly damaged and had crash landed through the pine trees, somewhere south of Boston, or what was left of it. How long had he been unconscious?

“Is anyone alive there. Hello? Hello?” The metallic voice again. Fixer looked up at the view screen.

A familiar figure was visible on the screen: there could be no mistaking the famous form of Earth’s most powerful supervillain — Dr. Destruction!

“You seem to have survived the crash but you’ ve aroused some interest. If you want to live, you’ll listen to me.” said the Doctor. Fixer was all ears now, and he noticed that Harrier and Arrowhead, seemingly unscathed, were leaning over the back of his seat and watching the screen.

“I picked up the V’Sori ship activity, and tapped into their communications. My you have been busy." sneered the synthesized voice. "Dozens of search/ Destroy teams are heading your way-and I’m sure your crashed ship will be sending out an automatic Mayday as we speak.”

“ Get out now. If you can make it to Devil’s Point near the old lighthouse in fifteen minutes I can get you out. I wouldn’t recommend flying- keep low and hidden. If any of you have a suit comm patch me into it and I’ll contact you later. If you can survive i may have a use for you. Now go.”

“Did I mention that you will have been tagged? They know exactly where you all are.” he added. “Only I can protect you. Move!”

Fixer looked round to speak with the others: Arrowhead was already running.

Death Row
4th July 2014

Harrier peered out of her small and sterile cell, and pondered the last couple of days. The Museum raid had been a big mistake, and she cursed her own overconfidence. The security had been as lax as she thought-getting the text wasn’t a problem, but the volume of sneaks and collaborators operating on the streets nearby, even at the dead of night, had proved her undoing. She had no doubt been ratted out by some fool reporting suspicious activity after curfew, probably in exchange for a few extra food rations.

The sweep had caught her with some sort of alien beamer, and when she woke she had been tagged with a Neutraliser bracelet- her powers were useless. Over the last couple of days she had been shuttled from one temporary holding facility to another,until she was now on the Tashi transport ship. Things didn’t look too good.

Most likely they were headed for one of those big Man O’ War ships to be removed off world, assuming she survived that long of course. Already half a dozen other prisoners had been removed, never to return again: their cells were filled with new faces, a couple of which seemed vaguely familiar. Perhaps the rumours of the aliens dissecting supers were true.

She guessed they were all supers of one sort or another, though as they were all now dressed in white paper suits none were immediately recognisable.

The door on the left opened, and one of the faceless V’sori Drones brought another paper suited captive in, and placed him in the cell opposite. He would wake in a few minutes.

“I’ve got to get out of here” thought Harrier, and started to examine the electronic lock.

“We’re in a V’Sori ship. We’re all supers, I think. " called the harsh voiced woman, to the groggy looking man in the cell opposite Harrier. “New prisoners come in the door to the left there. Other prisoners are taken along to the far end of the corridor. We don’t see them again.”

" But these locks" said the newcomer. “They are electronic. It might be possible to short circuit them if…..”

“If we poured something into them”, cut in Harrier, “like for example water from the cartons they bring us.” Twice per day a pair of robots appeared, dispensing a carton of pure water with a straw, and a vacc pack of nourishing sludge. They were due again in ten minutes or so.

“What?!” the harsh woman exclaimed.

“I was going to tell you” said Harrier, “But I was waiting for the newcomer here to wake up. We need to feed the straw into the door near the lock and pump water in-all at the same time. There’s a chance at least some of the locks will fail.” she shrugged. “It is better than waiting for death.”

They all pondered. The door opened, and one of the robots trundled in, dispensing its packages at the four currently occupied cells. The second robot entered, and the first robot patrolled down to the end of the corridor. They all nodded.

Their luck was better than expected. Harrier’s cell opened and she stepped out, and clutching both hands together swung at the head of the nearest droid with the edge of the nullifier bracelet. The bracelet itself was unharmed, but the metal head snapped sideways and made an awkward squawking noise. The nondescript man also opened his cell, as did the man next to him. One of them ran over to the harsh woman’s cell to assist in opening it, while the other rushed down the corridor to the remaining bot.

Realising that she only had a short window of opportunity, Harrier grabbed the weapon arm of the broken droid, and twisting out and crossing a few wires managed to fire the blaster at the locking mechanism of her bracelet. The last cell door opened, and a fine featured blonde woman rushed out.

The blaster of the second robot missed before it was overwhelmed. Following Harriers lead the two male prisoners attempted to hotwire the second droids blaster, and managed to free the woman from her bracelets. Harrier too finally succeeded, and with a cry of triumph triple sets of curved cybernetic talons emerged from near the back of both wrists. Leaping into the air at great speed she slashed at the remaining bracelets. And then the alarm went off.

What the automatic V’Sori voices were proclaiming were a mystery, and the strobe like red lighting flashing on and off was distracting to say the least. Either way it clearly boded no good.

“We should try the left corridor” said the pale woman. “That’s the way we were brought in-our gear may be in there.” With no real information they opened the door into some sort of robot stable. A storeroom to the north revealed the equipment of a variety of captured supers however. As they scrabbled for their gear, Harrier thought she dimly recognised who they all actually were.

One of the men strapped on several gadgets, and an old leather flying helmet and coat reminiscent of an old 1930’s pulp aviator. He grinned and introduced himself as Fixer; she had heard of the gadgeteer, who often supplied equipment to other villains; she required little herself, but quickly donned her armoured costume.

The other man headed straight for a suit of red and gold combat armour which was easily recognisable as belonging to Secutor: a Battlesuit villain and bank robber.

The pale woman donned a white and grey costume, and equipped herself with an odd looking bow and a series of electronic gadgets. " Arrowhead" she explained curtly.

Harrier and Fixer were dressed fairly quickly, and moved back into the robot stable. As they did so the door to the corridor they had entered from opened, and the dark clad visored figures of half a dozen V’Sori Drones poured in. These all looked very similar, encased in form-fitting body armor with visored helmets Each drone bristled with the weaponry, cables, and piping necessary for it to complete its role of alien slave warrior. Some even rumoured that beneath the armour, these things were already dead.

Harrier lashed out with her talons, ripping the head off the first drone. In the cramped confines of the robot stable the drones could fortunately not bring all of their firepower to bear, and Harrier was deft and lightning quick. Fixer shimmered and vanished , reappearing down the corridor behind the drones, and firing a strange high tech pistol with a baroque styling. Several of the drones appeared to be stunned.

And then Secutor appeared, his armoured punch piercing straight through a Drone chestplate; there was an awful stench of decay and corruption. Behind him the archer assassin Arrowhead appeared, one of her arrows taking another drone straight through the throat.

With all four supers now in the fray, the remaining drones fell, and leaving another door on the far side of the table they entered a corridor, which turned towards the (presumed) front of the ship. Through another bulkhead door and the corridor ended in at junction, going ahead to another door, or left back into the centre of the craft.

Arrowhead crept forward to peer round the corner, but as she did so the door ahead cycled open, and a squad of drones marched swiftly out, taking her in the shoulder with one of their blast devices. All of a sudden, the archer was in dire trouble in the narrow corridor.

Help was at hand however; Fixer pointed his sonic pistol toward the clustered Drones, and a burst from the weapon caused several of them to stagger and lower their weapons. Hurtling down the top of the corridor Harrier evaded several shots and landed at the rear of the group, and downed two of the dark clad figures. Secutor hovered above and behind Arrowhead, and his blasters felled another. The Drones were falling like ninepins. Arrowhead fled to the rear of the group to recover her composure.

Deciding to follow the corridor to their left back into the centre of the ship, about halfway down they came to another junction, with a stairwell leading down to their left, and a short corridor leading to a door to their right. Ahead in the confusing red strobe light they could see that the long corridor ended in a T junction: they guessed that that side of the ship was a mirror image to the one they had escaped down. Arrowhead opened the door.

The room was a large one, and resembled something between a lab and an infirmary. Along two sides were tubular structures each containing a stationary Drone. At the far end was what looked like a dissection table, and sprawled across this was the semi dissected corpse of a naked woman with grey stone like skin. Arrowhead recognised her as Avalanche, a super who worked as a low level enforcer for the mob; clearly Avalanche was no more. Also in the room were four V’Sori, in uniforms far simpler than any she had seen before. Each had a pistol sheathed at their sides.

“Time to Die!” she snarled, firing a warning arrow into a computer console next to one of them. Then all hell broke loose.

As Secutor and Fixer rushed in one of the V’Sori focused on the panel in front of him. Six Drone tubes swung open, and the Drones within activated jerkily. The other V’sori drew their blasters and fired wildly.

Fixer stunned several of the drones with his pistol, and Arrowhead took one V’Sori in the throat. Secutor flew in hovering above the doorway, looking for targets of opportunity with his wrist lasers. All of the V’Sori and opponents were taking cover behind machinery and taking potshots. Harrier speeded in, landing behind one of the Drones and ripping a great gouge from his torso.

The return fore took its toll however, with Fixer taking two blaster hits, forcing him to scurry for cover using his teleport device. He fumbled in his pockets for the V’Sori regeneration serum he had filched from one of the destroyed Guard Robots.

Harrier too was having problems. Although fast and hard to hit, half a dozen blasters were now emptying in her direction. Eventually one of them struck home. Deciding that discretion was the better part of valour she flew out at high speed, and back around a corner into the main corridor. The others followed.

Most of them were wounded but they had accounted for over half of their opponents. After nodding at one another they burst back into the room.

This time their attack was more co ordinated, and the remaining foes fell in rapid succession. They looked around grimly.

“Looks like the experimentation rumours were right” said Secutor. Fixer meanwhile was fiddling with one of the computers. While he couldn’t read V’Sori he did manage to come up with what looked like a simple schematic of the ship.

“Those stairs lead to a lower deck, and it looks like there are a couple of ancillary craft here. M’ Bunas I think” he said. “They could be our way out.”

Before they left Harrier looked dispassionately down at the violated body of Avalanche. With a sweep of her claws she severed the cables and machinery attached to the cadaver, making sure that she was truly dead.


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