Posted on Thu Mar 22nd, 2018 @ 6:09am by Category V: Supervillain Frederick Hollywood
The Villain's Spire
Location: The Spire
Timeline: The Year of the Apocalypse
The mutants raced at the team encased in Sentinel power armor. Much like the nano, or Lorde armor, it was bonded to the user, but in a far more intrusive way. In essence, there was nothing left but what was needed to fuel the person’s mutant powers. These cyborg monstrosities where normally controlled by an AI or controller from a remote location.
The Nucular Woman took down three of them by detonating the power core of one of the Sentinel suits. The wave of the explosion also took out several stories of the buildings nearby. The strange material that Lorde had built the town from rained to the ground, some of the larger pieces digging deep into the ground and falling through.
Stryde fired a dozen arrows at the same time, each tipped with her deadly toxin. Each hit home. Only two of them went down. The others had already used the armor’s programing to counter her abilities.
Finn began firing. Making a headshot on the first mutant was easy, and the poor person went down like a sack of potatoes. His second headshot did not have the desired effect. The bullet bounced off harmlessly.
Sweeney fired right after Huck. Several rounds found their way into one of the Sentinels. Holes appeared in various places in its armor from his force effect. Seeing that one trick ponies had little effect here, he placed a shield in front of himself and the leaders of the group.
Bingo ran and jumped up to meet the oncoming group of Hydra nightmares. His plan was to drop kick the mutant to the ground for Bango’s next attack. “Physical attacks are futile.” The poker faced mutant pointed his palm at Bingo. The flash from the repulser was recognisable to most. The strong man’s headless body fell from the sky and crumpled onto the ground.
His two remaining brothers screamed. “NO!” Aryel was going to say stop them, but before she could the two had already jumped into the air at the one that had murdered their bandmate. Everyone expected them to meet the same fate as Bingo. Instead, they each grabbed an arm and yanked the purple and blue armor clad mutant in half. “Hell...”
A massive ball of energy slammed into Sweeney’s force field. It blew apart most of the street and flung Bango and Bongo into the wall of the Spire itself, breaking Bango’s arm and knocking Bongo out, who incidentally hadn’t ever been knocked out before. As Bango got up to check on his brother, a repulsor blast took his head off.
Aryel spoke quickly through Beth’s communication system, “You know what you have to do. This isn’t going to get any better. We planned on this. Everyone knows what needs to happen.”
The once child of light’s guts tightened. What the blasted puppet was asking was almost unthinkable. The risks could mean the death of the entire team. Worse yet, it might not even effect the enemy how they hoped, but it was the plan. She was right. It did seem like the only plan left.
There are times when even the angels are asked to descend into Hell.
The mushroom cloud could be seen for miles. It darkened the entire town. The Spider Queen poked her head out of the manhole she had sought for cover. Bethany looked like a goddess filled with some kind of cosmic energy. The blast had had some kind of double effect. It had also filled her with massive amounts of gamma rays.
When Fractyle saw her teammate, she spoke quickly, “Stay back. The radiation will kill you. I can’t control it.” Then she put her fingers to her lips. “Sh. She is coming.”
Stryde might not have been able to just hop right back out where Beth was, but she would be damned if she would just let her die alone. She ran through the sewer to another junction, hoping to get out in time to help. Her heart raced, hoping she could get to another manhole cover in time.
The great black beast that once was so golden and beautiful walked through the center of town, snorting and sniffing the air. Again the great dragon roared, shaking the buildings and the souls of all those who could hear it save the one rider.
Fractyle begane to power up. There was one hope. A large enough gamma blast might knock Syn down and make the fight just between Aryel and Stryde. It would cost her everything. Too much, in fact. After releasing enough energy to try and stop the juggernaut, she would be drained for some time.
Apparently the darkened Syn had similar ideas. As she began to breath deep, her chest began to fill with a dark blue cold flame. She extended her front legs to allow more room for her chest. Her massive wings shot out and crackling energy the same color as her flames ran along her spine and wings.
It was now or never. Beth knew if she didn’t strike now there would be no chance to within seconds. She held out her hands together in front of her pointed at the black dragon. “This is gonna suck.”
Just a bit to the right of the child of light a manhole opened just a bit and Stryde could see what was about to happen. “Bethany!” She at least wanted her to know she wasn’t alone.
Bethany could barely hear the spider queen’s voice in the distance. A strange feeling of calm came over her. For most of the woman’s life death had been a constant companion. Beth felt like she had to say something to console the woman. “Don’t worry, it’s going to be better tomorrow.” She unleashed hell on the old headmistress. The southern quarter of the city was brought to ruin instantly. The whole area was obscured in smoke and debris. Beth slumped to the ground, spent. Even her muscles hurt. Her body felt like a lead ingot.
When the clouds dissipated and the shadow of the dragon could be seen looming over what was left of the city, a voice like something out of hell called out to the Nuclear Woman. “Oh, my child, you have killed one to many of us in that way. But don’t worry. Now you will get what you have always wished for. Jesus wept.”
The great beast unleashed her fury on her old student without hesitation. The bolt of energy was immense, over one hundred feet in diameter. It cut its way through the center of the town like a industrial laser through butter. The flames tore Bethany down to atoms in no time.
Stryde was blown back into the sewer. Being forced to watch her only remaining friend burn away to ash in this way was more than the arachnid could bear. She screamed out. Suddenly something deep within her snapped. Suddenly she was encased in a cocoon of silk. Webbing launched out in all directions from her. This new web material was out of phase with the material world, so it passed by the sewer and out of the city. It continued out until it hit the holo-emitters. Once the webs found the emitters, they shut down the virtual world she was trapped in. Of course, the widow woman had no idea this happened, encased as she was.
In a short while a voice called out to her, “Don’t worry, my dear, everything will be alright.” A hand separated some of the webbing on her face. There was Lorde, her mentor and long dead leader.
Stryde began to cry. “Where am I? Are my children here? Am I dead?” Tears rolled down her face for the second time in the arachnid’s life. “They...They killed Bethany.”
Frederick worked free his lieutenant from the bonds of her own making. He put a hand to her cheek. “Do you remember the first time we met?”
She could never forget that. His warm hand on her face brought it all back to Arachnia’s mind.
Lorde had been told of a legendary beast that lived in the dark forest under a great mountain in the northern reaches of Greece. He had styled himself like one of his favorite heroes of old from the movie Clash of the Titans. He had even gone so far to make a shield that had a mirrored reflection and a sword that could glow. His Lorde armor resembled the motif of the period, except that it was colored black and red and could turn invisible for a time.
Upon entering the forest of the dead, Frederick was fascinated by the macabre scene. He imagined building a castle or some other kind of stronghold in this place like Dracula or one of the Munsters. Some of the victims still squirmed around in the cocoons hanging from the trees. All about the area were ruins of a long forgotten temple of some kind. Clearly they had been spider worshipers.
As he stalked his way deeper into the spider’s lair the forest gave way to the temple. In this area there was far more of the structure intact. Beautiful pillars of marble stretched up and into the mountain. Large seating areas resembling pews lined an area he walked through with the remains of many symbols of the fallen order. He moved from behind one of the great pillars to the next, trying to remain hidden.
Suddenly, from an antichamber, the spider queen showed herself. Half her body was that of a black widow spider the size of a horse. The other half that of a ebon woman with eyes of fire. She reminded him so much of one of his childhood fantasy creatures he took a breath. It was enough for Arachnidia to hear.
“Who dares to intrude in my lair?” Her voice sounded strange. It was being interpreted by his helmet, but he could tell by her tone speaking was not something she was used to doing. “Come out where I can see you.”
One of his great hopes had been answered in that moment. She was no beast. The spider woman was indeed a mutant and in need of his help. Sadly, it threw many of his preparations and scripts out the window. Lorde stepped out from behind his marble shield and bowed before the great huntress. “I am Lorde, and I have come to help you.”