Entries in DEC (5)


Four To: 21, 20XII

The sun slowly continues its decent over the horizon as a figure clad in blue stands atop a mound in Central Park, NYC. A young girl in pink, white, and blue attire stands with him looking ever anxious but at the behest of a solemn 'wait,' she regains her composure.

It's a cold December 17th. The year is 2012 and the world, as most have known it, has changed drastically. The steady increase in urban terrorism and suicides in the United States alone have left a deep scar across the pages history will record. Even with all the pain and suffering, mankind's potential for compassion has stood ever vigilant. Within all the turmoil and strife a cause has finally been identified and an end lies in wait for the those who gather in the name of justice and righteousness.

The two soon become four and explanations grow to become a larger part of their shared desire for resolution. Two young boys join them next within minutes of one another. All standing before the mysterious figure who by this time has been identified as the famed 'NYC Guardian.' As if as herald of the inner meanings of existence, itself they all stood eager for some sense of clarity. The sun continues to set.

The world had seen better ages. The masses were giving in to primal urges and time had become a precious commodity. Hysteria rampant, the night brought all manner of demon and monster from man through the machinations of depravity and affiliation. One conundrum existed within the chaos. Simply, 'why?' A growing tension rose as days turned to weeks and eventually months. No one could be prepared for the level of devastation wrought by the delusion of apocalypse. The sky's on fire, tinged with orange and red as the city grows silent making way for the darkness.  Two more men join the fold and the Guardian finally speaks.

Resting a hand on the shoulder of one of the two boys, Guardian utters one word and leaves again to the silence. The others gaze intently on the youngster as he stands there, hands in the front pocket of his hooded sweatshirt, a bandanna where a large tooth-showing smile graphic is tied around his nose and mouth. Resting his palms on his face he takes a deep breath speaking the the first thing on his mind. "My name is Mael Lehrer...." Stopping briefly, struck with bewilderment, he quickly restrains his awe and continues.

Lehrer spoke of his investigation and how everything pointed to the spot they'd all converged upon. He told them about how he knew of many of them already. How he had seen some of the exploits of the vigilantes 'Black Knight', 'Quantum Butterfly', and 'Shiny Suit Man'. How he had heard about the runaway Halen Samson who'd been suspected of arson. But the other two gentlemen stood as mysterious as Guardian. One of the men was of a semi-muscular build, bearded with disheveled hair, wearing a pair of slacks and a long sleeve shirt without socks or footwear of any type. The other was really tall and covered in scars. He was missing his left arm and eye but stood armed with several bladed weapons and hadn't spoken a word since they'd all gathered. Amedais Metzuirk, the bearded man, keep pretty quiet as well but seemed awfully interested in Lucas Baise, the swordsman.

As Lehrer continued to ask for information from everyone to figure out the best way to approach the situation at hand Baise began to grow terribly impatient. When Benjamin Davis, 'Shiny Suit Man', mentioned that he found his way there as he was on a quest to retrieve a memento that someone stole after killing his master Baise really lost all reserve. No longer content to follow alongside some 'child' he unsheathed a kabana located at his hip and made his way forward. Before anyone could say anything however, an explosion erupted before them revealing a platform in the center of a lake. Things began to get stranger and stranger as what appeared to be armored guards began to rise out of the platform. Armed with long staff with a short wide blade attached the the end. The weapon heavy guards topped out at 50 and began to converge on the intruders. A flash of excitement appeared across Baise's face as he charged in. Lehrer appreciative towards the confirmation that they were indeed in the right place turned to Guardian in which he was simply met with, "We fight." So, it began.

Outnumbered almost seven to one the odds were not in their favor. In a short amount of time Baise was able to determine the lack of a human compnent in the armors which alleviated some of the hesistation. Before long however, QB came to learn of the enemy's electrified blades. It was as if a war were taking place. Guardian, Metzuirk, and QB fought with their bare hands. While Baise and Knight fought with blades, Lehrer took charge of Halen and Davis directing them as they commendered some of the strange weapons and attempted to disperse the enemy.

Even with the fight on so many fronts they were still ding overwhelmed. Loosing stamina against the tireless androids it appeared as though this would be their last night. The situation was terrible and then everything changed. the area seemed to shift for a moment and on the return a large number of people made the lake their new home. With the new intrusions attention of the mobilized metal turned giving the group the respite they needed. Circumstances were looking to turn regardless of details until Lehrer glanced someone he knew. Someone who was a big part of his drive to even begin investigating in the first place. It was a teenaged boy. Fighting in the center again the robots and what looked like the others that appeared alongside him. This was the worst possible situation Lehrer could've conceived when faced with finding the brother of the girl he loved. Grabbing a discarded staff Lehrer rushed in to help, wailing out the name of the hope he tried to keep alive for the last year. 'Michael!?'


Three to: 21, 20XII

Twelve hours have passed since the start of the siege. Making there way through the initial platform, the adventurers found their way to a massive complex. Question after question piling up they decided to split up. Recovering some kind of communication device they split into three teams. Being met by horrors upon entering the complex, they found a survivor and now she leads Lehrer as his team tries to piece together just what is going on.

His name is Mael Lehrer. Over the course of this year he has been threatened, blown up, and arrested. At 14 years old he is blessed with above genius-level intellect. Yet he's curse with a debilitating condition that left him without a physical mouth, nose, or ears. He has had a hard life constantly being shunned by children and adults alike but now he faces his greatest challenge yet. The world is imploding but there's a face to the evil influence. Someone inside this underground complex that screams government has been proliferating the global scale terrorism and destruction. It was no surprise that there'd be others who'd be able to find the location as well but to be reunited with one of his lost friends in the midst of battle would bring about countless enigmas for many a time to come.  On his way currently to a control room in the complex, he's accompanied by he newly found friend and led by a researcher found mere feet away from the entrance.

She is Allison Breadth, a researcher with a doctorate in biological sciences. Three days ago she was making remarkable progress in a highly confidential project that would revolutionize the way common pollutant rich emission would be repurposed. She was proud and ecstatic especially after a slew of incidents involving a near death experience when a system-wide power failure forced a lab by lab isolation protocol trapping her and a number of members of her team in a room that was then scheduled for sanitization. By what could only be described as a scientist's most dreaded conclusion, a miracle, she survived. Putting that incident behind her she continued on with her work. As a woman of science, setbacks were to be expected however, so was calamity. Yesterday after another lab's project broke loose things became truly grim as it began slaughter any and all that got near it.  As if developing a mind of its own it took over the complex's security and proceeded to lock every in, murdering any who dare try to escape. Making it so far as to the main entrance, her and a number of other researchers were attacked and again by what could only be described as a miracle she was left, in a pile of fallen associates, but at least, alive. It is now that she finds herself making her way further into the 'murder-plant' leading two young boys in hope that they along with the rest of their team can stop whatever has happened. Though another reason appeared for her to agree to such terms when so close to escape. Both of the boys had the most 'intriguing physical anomalies. One lacking, in essence, a face. The other equipped with an artificial biomechanical arm and eye made from a material and at a technological level far beyond anything she'd ever seen before. She had no desire to die but as a scientist, there was no way she could pass up the opportunity to study such technology.

His name was Matheui Rouzer. Almost a year ago he was transported alongside his best friend Michael Lamb to a strange world where two factions were at war with one another. Faced with fighting or dying the, two boys chose the former in hopes of somehow making it back home. After months of hell in a world blessed with such amazing technologies being used solely to create new ways of killing, the boys found a lead that may take them back. During the mission however, Matheui lost his left arm when he was confronted by the leader of the opposing army. Shot in his thigh, he awaited the end when Michael sacrificed himself to save him. After that day Matheui abandoned his old life and hope of ever making it back. Taking up the title given to his fallen friend by the enemy forced. He became Michael the Carver. Equipped with a new arm, an artificial eye like the one his friend was given after loosing one in an earlier battle and an upgraded version of Michael’s weapon, Rouzer took charge as a leader. As Michael the Carver or MtC he continued the fight until during a sortie he found himself and many of those around him, transported back to his own world. He made it but things weren’t the same anymore, he wasn’t the same anymore. Tagging along with Mael Lehrer to be caught up with what had transpired while he was gone, he found himself distracted. It was a lot to take in but after all he’d already been through, he was having the hardest time trying to figure out how Lehrer was talking.

He was called “Shiny Suit Man.” His real name however is Benjamin Gray Davis. In his travels from Alaska he had met many kind people but more times than not a lot of the not-so-kind were the ones he associated with. After finding his master slain and the master’s prize memento stolen, Davis felt he had to recover it. Engaging in the ritual memento making of the fallen, he forged a coat including samples of the very veins of his teacher. After burying the closest person he had to a father, he donned a suit, held a funeral and made off on his quest. Always seemingly a few steps behind the killer-thief, he had many battles and even recovered a number of other stolen mementos along the way. Though hesitant at first to use the items he soon learned that without their help he may never achieve his goal. As a student of the art of chi manipulation he was able to utilize many of the recovered items in much more masterful ways than those in procession of them. And with the memento of his master being able to become nearly impenetrable, he made for a fierce adversary. Upon hearing of Baise’s circumstances he joined him in his quest for the one known as ‘Zuerker’.

Referred to as the ‘Demon Ten Blade’ by many, Lucas Baise stood as a man over six feet tall and filled with rage. He was an orphan having been separated from his family at a young age but when he was taken in by a man known as the “Great Master’ he had finally found some peace. Still filled with anger however, Baise grew up in the Great Master’s monastery with just over a hundred more pupils of the master’s martial art. There he had three close companions that became as brothers to him. New students arriving wasn’t a cause for concern until the day she showed up. Breea Zuerker. Swearing revenge Baise walked the path of blood. Taking each of his brothers blades along during his quest with a solemn vow he left a trail of bodies that finally led him to Central Park, New York. It was a harsh journey from New Zealand but nothing would deter him. Not even the loss of an arm when he caught up to the associate of Zuerker’s who had his master’s memento.

Coining the title ‘Alchemist,’ the mysterious man known as Amedais Metzuirk joined in with Davis and Baise. At 37 years old he stands at perhaps the oldest member of the group of 10. Not a practitioner of martial arts or having lost anyone or a memento, his reasons for tagging along with those two is unknown. Guided to the spot in New York by a “convergence of ominous energies.” Metzuirk’s alliance with Zuerker has been a big issue with Baise. Fairly stoic, it was at the behest of Davis that an altercation between the two has been put off. Coming from Antarctica, his aversion to heavier clothing only continues to baffle the others. Although he seems to hold skills that would make him formidable, including the ability to see energies, his mannerisms make it hard for anyone to connect with him. Even with that however, Lehrer still choice to give him an earpiece for the team of three. Perhaps seeing something in him that the others don’t or making the logical choice based on Baise’s reluctance to accept help from anyone and Davis’ almost gullible child-like innocence, Metzuirk stands as a means of relaying information to Lehrer to help piece together the puzzle that stands before them all.

It's the 18th of December and the final battle is underway.


Two to: 21, 20XII

Its been over hours since they entered the complex. Greeted by dismembered corpses and the stench of death three teams were developed and a plan of attack derived. Info, strike, and search/rescue. As Mael Lehrer and his team established a command center in which to go over schematics and to shut down the source, Lucas Baise's team went on the offensive. Albeit Baise's true goal being one of personal vengeance, his means served the ends. Leaving Guardian's team to search for survivors and clue to what had transpired before their arrival.

NYC Guardian is the name given to the most mysterious member of the search and rescue team. Sex undetermined, silent and stoic, Guardian stands as possibly the most powerful member of the group. Dawning a skin-tight body suit with armored gauntlets, boots, a chest plate, and helmet, Guardian leads his companions Knight, QB, and Samson.

He calls himself Knight of the Black King  His real name is Knight Polaris Blitzer. A vigilante on the streets of Queens, NY. A tinkerer at heart, he has created and forged many unique armaments for his crusade. The spring-blade, a gauntlet styled spring-snapping blade stands as his primary weapon with support gadgets such as crude explosives and an amalgam of the guts from a night vision scope and hearing aids worked into his full-faced helmet. He joined the search team to keep an eye on QB. Even in such an ear his name stands as more than a moniker as chivalry compels him.

Quantum Butterfly is what she calls herself. At the young age of 14, Sarah Chen found herself gifted with a greater than human power. In a year where the world seemed to mirror her home life she decided to do something with such a power. Making a name for herself in the heart of New York, it wasn't long before the New Jersey commuter found the catch in her newly improved prowess. Unsure of how she came into contact with the technology that granted her new abilities, the people who were developing it would make it clear just how much they wanted it back. Going so far as to bury her and the passengers of a a subway train alive, were it not for Guardian she surely would've died. spotting him during a patrol a mere few days earlier she followed him to Central Park officially becoming a player in the biggest gambit of life and death the world has seen since the last world war. QB now follows Guardian, taking solace in knowing the Guardian will level and playing field. Though Samson's purpose continues to elude her.

Halen Samson:  Runaway, depressed, looking for redemption. Samson's a young boy who found himself much like QB, the sudden recipient of a mysterious power. Unlike her, he has viewed such as a curse. He believes it has ruined him and any hope for a normal life. To randomly developed abilities and unknown durations and at unpredictable moments had done nothing but isolate him and cause suffering. Like the fire. Were it not for Guardian he may have died. Finally reconnected with his hero he joined the group in hope of gaining some guidance from the only other person who’s as big a freak as him.

The team has been searching for hours through the many levels of the complex until stumbling across something worse than the massacred bodies of its former employees. Whoever was running this show was experimenting on children. One desire rang true amongst the team.

Please let those children be okay.


One to: 21, 20XII

Zueker. It was the name of the woman who turned Lucas Baise’s paradise into a hell. She stood before team Baise along with several members of her ‘Collectors’ with a demented smile as she grasped a katana made of bone. The weapon caught Davis’ eye. It was his master’s most prized possession. A memento from the master that taught his master. His quest was at a climax. Metzuirk standing before such a force smiled and clasping his hands together, prepared for battle as did the others of his group.

Guardian’s team had picked up a new addition. A young adult named Marshall Doxson. He was the only survivor of the experiments they had come across. Whether it was because he was the oldest of the test subjects or because of his unique ability, he survived. He survived and joined the cause to put an end to the horrific complex. His addition was a welcome surprise because by this point, the tide had begun to change. The lifeless corpses of the former inhabitants were being reanimated somehow. Filled with the unanimous desire to kill, Guardian’s team could use all the help they could as they made their way to Lehrer’s team.

Mael Lehrer; the boy genius. He had located the source of the enemy and after relaying that information, made his way there alongside MtC. Before meeting running into the undead opposition they had a bit of time to talk. Lehrer was taken back by the events that transpired in the other world for MtC. Matheui Rouzer and any thing that made up his original persona seemed to have died with Michael Lamb. Michael the Carver was someone else. There was nothing he could say to console his friend so they waited for the others in silence.

Baise made his way to Zueker paying little attention to her foot soldiers. Davis and Metzuirk soon found themselves separated from him as the Collectors took special interest in the two. Davis, a strong advocate for peaceful negations, tried to reason with the enemy forces first. Unsuccessful, he drew a pistol and short sword he’d recovered a couple months back during a confrontation with some Collectors. Looking to Metzuirk with concern over his ally’s lack of armament Davis was simply met with a smile as the fight began.

The corpses were endless. Technological graphs could be seen on each of their backs but getting to such a vital area proved quite the challenge for Guardian’s team. On the comm with Mael and Breadth Knight was running out of patience with their reassurances that they’d be able to disable the zombie-like offensive ‘shortly’. Guardian made the way while QB and Samson defended their flanks. Knight brought up the rear but with the weight of his armor and other gear he was hard-pressed to keep up such momentum. If he mad it out alive he swore he’d rework his suit incase he ever had to fight an army again.

It wasn’t long before Lehrer and MtC were overrun themselves. As Lehrer was occupied with a work-pad, trying to shut down the monsters in tandem with Dr. Breadth who stayed in their command center, MtC urged him to help with the hordes.  Using a combination of a pistol shaped energy weapon and throwing knives he was slowly being overwhelmed, even with his incredible marksmanship.

Davis and Metzuirk had their hands full. Although their enemies weren’t particularly skilled, the weapons they held made up for it greatly. Davis did his best to disarm the Collectors but with Baise and Zuerker moving further and further out of view he decided to change his focus. Metzuirk was holding his own. Ever though he was unarmed he took down many of the aggressors by focusing on disabling them as opposed to knocking them out. His skin shown with a reddish tint and Davis couldn’t help but be drawn in by his fighting style. It reminded him of one of the styles his master taught him.

Guardian’s team after finally rendezvousing with Lehrer and MtC took up defensive positions outside of the access point to the source. Done with all that he could do, Lehrer looked to MtC for a weapon. Giving him his gun MtC’s left arm changed to a shade of gray as his hand slid open, a long knife shooting out. In one swift motion the hand closed and his wrist snapped grasping the blade as it started to glow. Directing the others with the confidence and airs of a military general it now became a fight for time.

Baise gained a few new scars from Zueker but returning the favor as well. Their weapon were tinged with crimson and as both warriors choked on exhaustion, their breaths raggedy, the final strike was upon them. Getting ready to charge in, a shot from Davis disarmed Zuerker. Down to the last few Collectors, Metzuirk urged Davis to catch up with the two. Turning to Davis in a rage Baise wailed out to be met with the first sign of rage, or any negative emotion, Davis had showcased since they had all gathered. “My Master’s memento will NOT be used for death,” was all he said, Baise turning back o his true opponent as she tried to make her escape.  Baise, grunting, made chase leaving Davis to reclaim that which epitomized his most prized memory of his master. The Great Master of One who, was not merely a teacher but, as a father to him.

Making their way into the access point, teams Lehrer and Guardian found themselves in a large empty room. Lehrer explained that it was a junction point and that the platform they stood upon would take them to the level below--which would be were the source was. As Lehrer turned his attention to the work-pad the others took the time to catch their breath and refresh themselves. With all that had happened since the year began it was all starting to settle in. A lot of what they’d all seen and done seemed almost out of a movie or comic book. But with all the lives lost and the ones that continue to be at stake they weren’t green enough to believe it could be a dream they’d wake up from tomorrow, or that they’d all definitely be waking up ever again after all this was over.

Baise made his way through a corridor entering a large open area. He was shocked to find Guardian and the others, as was Davis and Metzuirk who had followed him in shortly after. Zuerker seemed to be nowhere in sight but Baise rage was quite clear. Turning it to the other he lashed out questioning them about her and what they had done. It took QB to settle him down enough just so that he’d listen to reason. It turned out that with all the hatred and anger he held within; he followed a code similar to Knight’s in regard to the treatment of women. By the time he was calm enough to accept that Zueker had given him the slip they all felt the floor shake, eventually starting to crumble from beneath them.

It was the end of the fourth day since they all joined together and together they now fell.


12 21 12

The date was December 21st in the year 2012. The floor had given way and our ten heroes were indisposed. Were it not for the repeated chimes of Dr. Allison Breadth, they might all have never woken up again. Lehrer was first. Awakening to the call and frantic warning he preceded to orienting himself as he moved to find the others amongst the rubble and debris. Unfortunately it wasn’t the first time the ceiling and floor had met with him in the between, he chuckled to himself.

Most of the others were pretty easy to find, all were bumped and bruised up pretty good but otherwise okay. Guardian however, was a different story. It took some time to dig their ace out. The anonymous avenger’s armor was pretty damaged in the fall but even without it there were no identifying traits visible to determine sex. Once past the discombobulation the armor even began to mend itself. Knight, Metzuirk, and Davis tended to the others. Using a combination of standard bandages and ointments, energy cleansing, and a special salve that incurred rapid healing through chakra flow the group was back on task quickly.

Looking for a way out it would be Lehrer who first came to notice a large sphere-shaped object in the center of the room. There was a perfect circle of rubble around it remained pristine. As if something were protecting it. After closer examination and relay of the information to the doctor the signal went dead just as Bredth seemed to find the answer to it all. Suddenly a voice boomed throughout the area. ‘Back!” was all Guardian spoke before a tentacle shot up from the floor and through the armored hero’s chest. Lifting Guarding up of the ground the attention of the others was displaced as the sphere began to float above its indention in the floor, sending Lehrer flying backward with one swift motion. A tendril extending from the base of the sphere linked it to the ground and as it flashed with energy the Guardian seemed to just lie motionless. Attention turning back to the sphere, a crease appears exposing more tendrils that begin making their way towards the debris. Pulling it all back to it’s origin a crude humanoid form encasing the strange machine. A voice makes its way out of the device. A question is uttered as the others stand in shock and dismay. “Are you gods or their messengers?”, is met with silence.  Shortly after the sound of Bredth’s voice can be heard. The phrase ‘run’ and then silence as a light in the makeshift titan’s eyes flash and our saviors realize the final battle stands before them.

Dr. Bredth finally knows it all now. Confronted by the cause of it all she thinks to herself about how she shouldn’t be surprised. Garden. She knew everything but now she was probably going to die, the nozzle of a gun pressed firmly into the small of her back.

Lehrer awoke to find Guardian hoisted up and the others attacking the mechanical monstrosity. He reminisced about a time not too long ago when he didn’t lose consciousness every other hour before noticing something strange. Guardian’s helmet was starting to crumble away revealing a bare skull. His mind starting trying to process it, contemplating whether it was a condition present prior to being impaled, caused by it, or some combination of both. It wasn’t until the request for assistance from MtC rang in his ears that he was brought back to the active world. His allies were being beaten back and Lehrer was just the one to find a weak point to exploit. There was only one problem however. He realized that he could no longer speak. Deducing that it was due to the Guardian’s incapacitation, he racked his brain trying to figure out how he’d get them a winning strategy were he even able to find one.

 His name was Garden Scheling. He was the son of the head of the research facility in which Dr. Bredth worked. Though not as gifted as his father, he was still considered to be quite intelligent. And in this moment he decided to tell Bredth what he had done with all that intelligence. Taking her to a conference room he turned brought up surveillance of the battle with the ORB, a spherical device found almost 20 years earlier. A piece of technology so advanced that the entire complex was built to study and reverse engineer new purposes for its components. ORB was in essence the origin of project “Black Box”.

MtC had them attack in teams. Putting the survival of the group before his pursuit of revenge Baise reluctantly accepted his orders. He split them into two assault teams and a support team. Using Doxson’s unique ability to perceive and then seemingly merge an alternate with a primary reality, he kept him close to him as he proved cover fire. Essentially MtC fought the battle on two planes of reality altering between stratagems and merging the two in hopes of recouping losses and finding the best path to victory.  So far the tactic seemed to be all that kept them from being slaughtered but the drain on Doxson was soon making its presence known. Were this the war he could figure out a better plan but in the open area and dealing with such an overwhelming force and armed with so many variables as the abilities of his allies, he needed Lehrer in if there was any hope of success.

Laughing while he licked his lips, Garden reveled in the devastation his creation brought about. Filled with such glee he asked Bredth is she believed in any deities. Without giving her the time to answer he went on to explain that his mother had. He spoke of how that was why she left his father. About how, because of his work she felt the man she had married was being influenced by the devil and become a monster. He told her how he hated his mother and loved science. How her beliefs were ridiculous and how without empirical proof, had no place being uttered. His ranting eventually turned to when he became aware of ORB. When he finally found the means to prove how wrong his mother was. Acquiring tech from many different departments he began to spread his message. Playing on people’s beliefs or rather the lack thereof, he created an army to spread death and destruction. It was his plan to call any figures of divinity to action. To show his mother that as the world sinks into hell there would be no salvation. He would show all the believers that they were wrong.

MtC’s primary assault team consisted of QB, Metzuirk, and Samson. Given their skill set they were the best choice to create an opening for his secondary team. Baise, Knight, and Davis were tasked with disabling the sphere mech. As the primary team would create opening since they all had enhanced strength the blade team would move in to attack its innards. It wasn’t a bad strategy but the sphere just seemed to rebuild faster than they could dismantle and after each attack its form seemed to evolve, adapting to be a better defense against them. There hands were full but bad went to worse when the golem switched focus from defense to offense.

ORB tech had the potential to save the world from itself and the fact that it had been perverted by this preteen sickened Bredth. Ideals about all she worked for and all the good she believed the facility could accomplish was being torn from her. The trite mania of her captor began to stir something deep within her. She never had an easy life. It took years of hard work and perseverance to get where she was. Abandoning her social life and sleepless weeks didn’t stop her so there was no way she was going to just sit by and let it all play out to the tune of a mere child. Steeling her resolve she bided her time, suffering through more psychotic ramblings until she could find her chance.

Doxson was about at his limit when MtC gave the order to fall back. He’d noticed that no matter what, their adversary never left the initial area that the sphere inhabited. It was a gamble but, one that paid off as they were finally given respite. Gathering around Lehrer things began to look grim once they realized he could no longer speak. Turning back to MtC he implored them to brainstorm. Past all the obvious suggestions like ‘not dying’ Metzuirk said something that made Lehrer’s face seem to light up. Using pebbles he tried to show them what they needed to do. Lehrer had the solution and tried his best to get that point across but was interrupted as tendrils starting shooting up from the ground.. Narrowly avoiding any direct hits they all scattered. It wasn’t hard to tell that it only had a limited number of tendril through which to attack but that didn’t make their new plight any less imminent. MtC giving the command to try severing the tentacles, they went on the offensive with little luck. It wasn’t until Lehrer, after commandeering one of Baise’s blades, set off a smokescreen packet that they would be able to regroup. But even then, they knew they wouldn’t have long.

Cursing those he admonished as peons, a fury rattled within Garden. He would not succumb to such inferior creatures. He would not be proven wrong by mere mortals, no matter what enhanced traits they may posses. Putting down the gun and turning to his work-pad he began to work on something. His focus so intent on the screen it would be too late to notice Bredth had made her move. She recovered his weapon and commanded him to stop his game. Paralyzed with terror at his grievous error of leaving his back to a woman, his mind escaped distracted only upon being commanded once again to put an end to his game. The sides of his lips pursed into a crooked smile as he used his work-pad to smack the gun away. Already the victor in his mind he began laughing again the monitor behind him revealing ORB resuming his initial assault. Bredth was struck in awe and he could see it. Garden began to laugh any harder as he went on to explain how he’d instituted a contingency to allow ORB autonomy with only the need of a target. So pleased with himself he turned his back again to take in his genius. Low did he suspect the loss of consciousness that would follow him gazes return to his hostage.

They could hear her voice over the comm system again. Bredth let them know what they were up against as she made her way to a console in order to try and stop it. With Garden out of the picture the only thing left was to destroy the monstrosity before anyone else could ever get a hold of it. They didn’t mention that to the doctor but it stood as an unspoken understanding amongst them. Geared up in preparation for the next assault MtC took out his blade tossing Lehrer his gun as he charged in. Returning the blade to Baise Lehrer ran off collected the discarded tendrils. Baise, holding tight his master’s memento, stood stationary concentrating on the blade even as ORB’s weapons scraped across his flesh. Samson, his super strength failing, found himself saved by Doxson. His ability had changed again and now if he couldn’t figure out what his new one was it might very well be the end for him. QB prepared herself to join MtC until she was halted by Metzuirk. He tried to convince her that she should hang back. He told her about how just like with Guardian he could see her power. How unlike Guardian’s or anyone else’s in the group, hers was based on what he referred to as, ‘aengy.’ Metzuirk tried to warn her that prolonged use of unstable power source would burn her out but she raced in anyway. Telling him before going on the attack that none of it mattered because unlike everything else in her life, it wasn’t just an escape, the power gave her true happiness. Knight made his way towards ORB as well, severing as many tendrils along the way as he could until one pierced his suit leaving him on the ground grasping his side in attempt to stop the blood loss. Davis rushed to Knight. Standing vigil his coat turned to a deep black its torn ends swaying like a flame. Dragging him to a safer location, Davis’ coat reached out to thwart all attacks. Once secure he apply the last of his salve to his fallen comrade and made his way to battle until he was stopped by Lehrer. There was a plan in the works.

Bredth was distraught to find the level of intricacy of Garden’s programming. The only way to control ORB was routed directly into his now destroyed work-pad. There was no longer a way to stop it remotely and even if they could get close enough to it there just wouldn’t be enough time shut it down before it locked out the unidentified access. Garden not only crossed the line, he made sure there’d be no way of getting back. The only help she’d be able to offer now would be to sever its connection to the facility’s mainframe. It wasn’t much, but she hoped it would help.

MtC was able to pry a large portion of ORB’s plating loose before being tossed back like everyone else within its immediate vicinity. ORB generated an electric field so intense it literally pushed MtC, QB, and Metzuirk halfway across the area. Doxson having been caught by a tendril pulled his way to Knight. The tendril went right through one of his calves. Davis stood by Guardian, his master’s memento in hand, ready to strike. MtC lost a couple fingers and some of the functionality of his arm in the last encounter. He could still generate a field but not nearly enough to provide cover for the second part of the plan. QB and Metzuirk a little worse for wear continued the fight. Metzuirk pushing past the pain of broken ribs and QB’s veins burning like acid they refused to let up. ORB has stopped upgrading itself and the tendril attack had ceased. It even showed signs of a blind spot but the signs were far from evidence of success in this endeavor.

After a second field erupted from ORB pushing the two strikers back Lehrer made his move. Firing away at the loose plating he grasped hold with everything he had. The pain was excruciating but with all the strength he had left was able to jar it free. Before he could take in the victory he lost consciousness as a third field was released. Hope was fading when at Samson’s behest, Davis prepared to cut through the tendril that held Guardian. ORB reacting to the action fired a set of darts toward Davis that left trails of a metallic dust. As he concentrated on the memento he began to bring it across the tendril’s base when a charge like lightning began to travel along the darts trails.

Baise stood ever still, concentrating, focusing on his balde. His eyes closed, he seemed oblivious to the happenings around him. At the sound of thunder, he awoke from his trance charging at ORB. With his master’s memnto he’s slash right though its armor covering cracking the sphere itself before being tossed through one of the walls.

Guardian’s lifeless body fell to the floor. In mere moments the armor began to mend itself just as before. Davis turned to ORB to find Samson in his line of sight. The new ability was energy absorption. Baise was out but the damage was done. His attack along with the removal of Guardian left ORB is a dangerous state. It was siphoning off power from Guardian and without the influx it could no longer maintain the level or offensive and defensive capabilities it once had. And, after Baise’s attack the sphere couldn’t even maintain its current form as its armaments began fall. Barely able to stay a float it slowly made its way to Guardian’s slowly regenerating body. With Davis knocked out by the initial feedback after slicing through the line, Samson was all that stood in its path.

QB and Metzuirk gave their all to make it to ORB but they were just too far away, Too injured to get there fast enough to be of any help. MtC was in a similar position since he was separated from his blade, out of daggers, and no closer than QB and Metzuirk. Reaching out to stop its progress Samson fell to his knees no longer able to stand. ORB had drained him. Falling to his side, he joined Knight, Biase, Davis, and Doxson in incapacitation. Hovering over Guardian a tendril made its way out of ORB. The situation appeared bleak until Lehrer appeared stabbing ORB to the wall with MtC’s blade. Using the recovered tendrils to wrap the blade and the panel he slinked his way to Guardian after regaining consciousness as Baise made his final charge.  ORB wouldn’t attack itself is the hope he placed all his faith in. Drapped in piece of itself it lowered its defenses allowing Lehrer his chance. Things didn’t go exactly as he’d planned but none of that mattered. The fight was finally over.

It’s 11:59 PM and hopefully a new day awaits. They all stand, gathered together outside of the facility as Guardian destroys it all. The amount of power used in the process leaves them all speechless. Although Garden made his escape sometime after Dr. Bredth left in search of a workstation, they felt safe knowing that his chances of ever trying for an apocalypse again are gone with the facility. They all made it out alive but the world was a different place than it once was. Garden’s reign was over but new evils still existed. Zuerker and her collectors, the Ops crew who were after QB, rival survivors from the alternative world MtC made it back from, and of course the remnants of any of Garden’s sheep. There was a lot of work left to be done. But they were up to the task. Afterall, as long as there’s a tomorrow, there’s hope.