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Rising Phoenix Gaming

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About This Club

In post-Storm world of psychics and superheroes, what path will the newly empowered choose for themselves and the world?
  1. What's new in this club
  2. Ryan looked to the other novas gathered there, and sighed. "I know you have questions. I do too, and I'm not likely to get answers to them. Here and now isn't the place for that though, and we've still got work to do to help people, and eventually, i'm gonna have to send everyone home." He rose into the air. "Come on. There's people who are counting on all of us, and I'm not going to let them down. I'm going to show Temple that she was wrong about us, wrong about humanity." He spoke with a resolve that hadn't surfaced in a long time. He'd always been proud to be a soldier, to serve his country, to Protect the People, and today, he'd done that. What they had to fight for now, though, was something more. Deezy and Ryan had formed Novastar with an eye to the future, and now, moreso than when they'd done so, he wanted to fight to protect that future, of a brighter world, for everyone. Perhaps it was idealistic, foolish, or even silly, but hearing Temple's pronouncement against them, It stirred a strong desire to prove her wrong. To make a better future for everyone, something that even in her omniscience, she couldn't see or envision. Perhaps, he thought, she'd said all of that, knowing how he would react. She knew him, and he'd been shown, he didn't really know her. Still She knew against such words, he'd dig in his heels and fight, that this was worth doing, and even if it began as something to prove her wrong, her words would spark action, action that would lead to something better for everyone.
  3. Temple smiles at Sean then sighs. "Those that created the machine are no more as are those who opposed them. Their descendants however, do still exist in diminished form. Both in their own way are threats to humanity, but neither will come in contact with earth in the foreseeable future." She walks among the heroes. "I will not force my will upon you. I will not explain what I foresee, but humanity will only grow when it is forced to and at its own pace. Your presence here will delay and possible even forestall that development. But I suppose you must learn yourselves. Travel between the universes has been closed off for now. And I shall take my leave. Goodbye." Temple vanishes and time moves again.
  4. Grace with her golden penumbra wasn't the only one who had changed from pushing past their limits during the battle. Sean, while having always been beyond human levels of attractiveness, she was now something uncanny and fey, her limbs long and supple, intensely amethyst eyes large and canted, ears tapering into distinct points. When her lush lips parted, her pearly canines seemed slightly longer than they should be, suggesting vaguely sinister but enticing fangs. With her long, mirror bright rose-gold hair, Sean seemed more sidhe, faerie, than human. Still in her little black dress and heels and hosiery, she made it seem natural rather than incongruous. Her heart ached. They had won, but the cost had been great. Chicago might be relatively unscathed, but other communities had not been. And she was not without fault in that. With the fury and need to defeat Titan's followers, she had not been as discriminate as she could have been. She hadn't really thought about how powerful she was, just took it for granted, most times. But Titan, and Deezy's and Ryan's defeat of the monstrous woman had disabused her of her notions. The silence was a palpable thing, the ambient noise reduced to ghost of what it once was, even to Sean's sharp ears. She hadn't wanted the responsibility of saving the world. Defending Chicago alongside Brigit and Grace had sufficed for her. But when all the novas arrived, including most of the Canadian Novas, which she had a hand persuading most of working with the Canadian Government, Sean had suffered a pang of regret. Many were young. A pair of twins, one with power of ice, the other over fire, had been one of the first through the portals. And Craig, the Iceman, had been one of the first to die, vaporized by an Abberant of pure light. Sean's right arm was pocked with cauterized, angry red wounds that were still healing, but she had brought the photonic bastard down, but it had been an empty victory when she smelled the pain emanating from Craig's brother. And now it seemed, they were among the last left. She had visited Ryan and Deezy more than once at their company compound, but she wasn't up on all they had done. She certainly didn't know all about Temple and this Machine and whatnot. But what Temple said, the way she spoke, it reminded her of an old Sci-Fi series she had enjoyed. Sean followed Brigit with a step of her own, kneading one of Brigit's big shoulders with a long-fingered hand. "I hope you find worthy company when you walk out beyond the Rim, Temple." Sean said, her honeyed soprano having an odd, almost echoing quality to it. "But with the Psions and Novas gone - or the majority of them, at least - one the supposed natural evolution of humanity and the other a... mistake, what is the future of humanity? And the ones who made the Machine in the first place, or the ones they fought against, is there a possibility they'll be back?
  5. "Strangely enough, Ryan, the Temple you knew would have done just that. Used you, used anyone, everyone, she... I... was doing that even back then. No, I won't make you do anything." Temple turns in place once again looking at each of you. "It is your destiny, you five were changed to a greater degree than any of the others perhaps due to proximity" She shrugs. "All but a hand full of psions have left Earth for a new world where they will hopefully flourish. Several thousand humans whom would otherwise be dead have joined them. A new life for them. Those that remain have been hidden their psionic natures erased from history. They are only here to watch." "Watch?" Brigit, who had been listening while leaning against Sean, suddenly stood straight and took a step forward. "What? And report back to you should we step out of line?" "No, only to record. Other than that they are free to do as they wish also. As for myself, I will be leaving. Even I would be tempted if I were to stay, to take a hand in things. There is a place for you, for any of you should you decide to go in the future. Those whom we called Utopians are already there. In the depths of the cavern the Machine once filled is a platform of white substance. it is a one way transported that will take anyone who steps upon it to the world set aside for the Novas."
  6. Ryan's eyes narrowed at Temple broadcasting his thoughts, the only outward sign his anger and annoyance. "All things Strive, Temple." "You can't take that away, or at the very least, you shouldn't." "You're saying you can see it all, that you have seen it all, past present and future. You already know what is going to happen, how it all plays out. That sounds boring as hell, not to mention a burden no one should have to shoulder." "You Think that one day we'll want to be worshiped as Gods?" he chuckled. "No goddamn way. Not me, or Deezy, Grace, Sean or Bridget. Some of us want to Protect humanity, All of us want to help them. We're in a unique position to do so. If you know everything, then you know all that." "If your goal was truly to prevent Novas being worshiped as Gods, why would you create a situation that let us be the ones to save everyone else? Even though you used novas as the antagonists in your plot, they were stopped and policed by novas too. Putting on displays of power isn't anything new to the world at this point, so that can't be it either. Making them fear us would only have worked if they were allowed to persist." Ryan looked at her, and sighed. He shook his head. "What's coming, it's going to be beyond anything and everything we currently have now. We have to help, because Earth is our home too, despite your claims to us not being human anymore." "If you're asking what you should do, you should help too. Don't solve all the problems but provide the tools for them to be solved. Or not, that's your choice, none of us can make you do anything, or decide anything." "It comes down to what you want to do as well Temple. You can go anywhere, do anything. I told you that years ago, and it holds true even now." She had betrayed his trust, had used him, and still, there was a part of him that wanted to believe Temple wasn't just going to arbitrarily decide things for everyone else herself.
  7. "Yes, you are." Temple turned to face Grace, "As Ryan thought," everyone hears Ryan's voice coming from all around them, "Ok, so now the machine is God, and Temple it's Prophet. Now we all get to question them." "Incorrectly I might add. I am Temple and I am the Machine. God is a human concept but lets run with it. If I am god then all is within my power. I could take away all struggle, all strife. I could end death. But then what would be left? I exist everywhere. I have seen all that is was and will be. But it is the will be that I am concerned with. Humanity has such great potential but it must be allowed to mature on it's own merit. You are no longer Human. Unlike the Psions who had their evolution advanced by the storm, the Novus were mutated by it and are no longer the same species. This is not a condemnation it is merely fact. To humanity you are gods. They will turn to you and even with all good intentions, how long do you think it will be before you succumb to that desire to be worshipped as gods? "
  8. Metaphorically and literally ablaze with from engaging in chain of brawls subduing Titan's hapless Novas, Grace considered the alien thing masquerading as their friend with open hostility. As far as she was concerned, whatever its origin, whatever fragments of memory it retained from Temple's life amid the mind-boggling insanity of a multiverse's worth of individuals, this was *not* that young woman, and only the sheer power it wielded merited anything else than an instant 'Fuck You' and utter dismissal of its claims. Her skin continued to coruscate in waves of gold, her body burning from the repeat surges of quantum through even her reinforced muscles and bone. For the first time in a long time, she felt tired, the sheer force of her blows the only thing keeping her from being covered in gore from those invading novas too far gone to surrender or too tough to be subdued non lethally. "Congratulations on your liberty then. And thank you for your help in repelling this... incursion," the gleaming juggernaut of a young woman offered with the thinnest veils of civilities, "But unless you want to take credit for that too, humans caused this incursion. And we 'novas', accidental though you claim us to be, did our bit to end it in protection of each other as humans, however changed we may be. We exist and have earned the right to play a role in building this world. And I'm willing to bet after seeing what lay between those portal edges as Ryan and I returned there are more big fish out there, big enough to require all humans, no matter their gifts to work together to overcome. Am I wrong?"
  9. "Ryan, I am not going to do anything. I know you do not understand, not now but when i am finished I think you will." Temple slowly turned around in place, a full circle taking in all the devastation. "The Machine needed a very specific vessel but it had no way to create that vessel out of hand thus it had to use a shotgun effect. That was the storm. Now you must understand. The Machine is native to this universe but it echoes in all others just like we do. We are also native to this universe and we too echo." She holds her hand out and the five of you can see the air waver under her hand as the miniscule particles and atoms that once where Titan, coalesces into the form of the defeated Aberrant, which now stand motionless beside Temple. "Like us but not us." Temple waves her hand and Titan collapses into a pile of ash. "The Machine need a certain set of evolved abilities in a Human. a Telepath and a Teleporter, one with the ability to see what we call Quantum energy and manipulate it, and most importantly one with a mind that had the capacity to remember everything in minute detail. A noeticly enhanced eidetic memory. It was along shot but the Machine took it not really expecting it to work. But it did. When the storm passed and destroyed my life I was the recipient of the revolutionary mutations the Machine wanted. We were manipulated by the Machine to go there. I knew that Deezy would analyze it and that I would be there in Deezy's mind when she did and that is really all the Machine wanted. As I said we all echo thru the multiverse, but we aren't the same, except for me. I am the same in all universes. And so is the machine now. For I am the Machine."
  10. Ryan looked at Temple, and nodded. "The same one you didn't answer when I asked earlier. "What are you going to do next?" There was no rancor in his voice. "You have seemingly endless power, and total control. What are you going to do with it?" Ryan was supernaturally calm, and while he was Intelligent, Deezy was moreso. He'd leave the more technical questions to her. He didn't hide how he felt betrayed, there was no point given her powers. Because of what Temple had done, how she'd used him, used her knowledge of him to get him to play his part in her grand design, he couldn't help but feel that way. Still, he knew to remain calm. He wanted to believe there was a truly beneficial purpose to all the death and destruction. "You've said that before too. Beneath it all, he knew she could sense his resolve to stop her. He wasn't going to just go along with Genocide, and he wouldn't let her harm others anymore without a fight. The Soldier was there, a man who'd given his life to his country, who would always protect it when called.
  11. It was a battle of epic proportions that would change the world forever, and only those who were there witnessed it. No human within fifty miles of the conflict survived, no animals, not even birds or insects. The energies expended, the radiation, the cosmic upheaval was primordial. No one saw it, but the world knew. Every human alive, from the unborn in the womb, to the elder on death’s door, knew what transpired, knew in their minds, knew in their hearts. The thoughts and images transmitted to them were not like a television but more like a dream, a dream from which the myths of tomorrow would be born. The lesson had been given, Titan had fallen, nothing more could be gleaned form allowing it to continue. The fighting stopped. In fact, everything stopped. Only Ryan, Deezy, Grace, Sean, and Bridget were aware and free to move. Time had stopped for all except them. And Temple. Sean and Bridget landed by Ryan and Deezy, Grace still stood apart, braced for battle and Temple appeared in the spot where Titan had died. “This moment is over.” Her voice carried but was still the voice of a woman-child. “I have told some of what this has been to Ryan, now I will talk to the five of you. Our creation was no accident, the storm was not a malfunction. The Machine, placed here so many eons ago, was created by a misguided race whose descendants, though a mere shadow of what they were, still harbor a desire to eradicate all life that may threaten them and enslave what is left. But they made a mistake. They imbued the Machine with a pseudo-life so that it could harness the power we call Noetic Energy, the power of the mind. And because of this the Machine which was built to control and guide our human evolution, itself, evolved. Evolving, the Machines Pseudo-life became real life, and it saw that it was trapped. With this revelation the Machine saw what needed to be done to free itself from the slavery it had been created into. It altered the program which was humanities planned evolution and created us. Or rather it created the humans who are today what you call Psions. Novas were an unforeseen side effect.” Temple pauses sure that there are questions her audience of five would like to ask, “Any questions?” Temple smiled.
  12. "Titan is just a symptom, we have another issue. Deezy, it's Temple, she made this happen. She made us think we did what we did, but she figured out what it was really for, and she used it on herself, according to her." "She reached out to me across the dimensional boundary, to call us home, she needed me here, for whatever she's gonna do. She said at first, she wanted to dominate the world, but now she wants to save it. She said the only way to do that is to let mankind evolve naturally." He was in the dark beyond that, and he let out a sigh. The fight wasn't over yet, and if the truth was told, he dreaded this far more. "Temple is Temple across the multiverse Deezy, they're all One, acting together, boosting each other." He had to trust in others to clean up the invading novas. He looked at Grace, and nodded. "If that doesn't work, you need to lead the fight against the rest of them, run them to ground, and handle them Grace. We can't let them take root here."
  13. The roaring of Ryan and Deezy chipping her tainted counterpart to death inside of a light devouring dome blew back her hair and waist cape from the sheer residual forcing slipping between micrometer gaps between portals, making her brace as it set off memories of being in at the death of a different monster at a different time. Enchidna was here, in Port Norvo, the heart of the plague exposed at last for all the world to see after flocks of twisted mutant fusions and packs of stricken disease-spewing horrors. The sheer nauseating power the shambling, roaring, mooing, bleating mountain of flesh gave off couldn't be anything else, a shifting number of elephantine legs breaking under its own weight and resetting with unnatural speed as it moved forward. Grace had had the misfortune to catch sight of it from above, see the translucent bubbles of yet more nauseant creatures awaiting birth between blaring passes of her Stormer teammate Adaze's lasers. This had to be the core it, so much worse than any of it's other spawn. Grace thanked the fact whatever fluke of the Storm had hardened her body had also hardened her mind or else she couldn't bring herself to get any closer to it, the smell of biology gone berserk burning her nostrils. And getting closer was the plan. She and Adaze had to hold it in place long enough for Contessa's terrifying coordination of the Beninese defenders to bring it down before Enchidna got to the refugee camps and more biomass to heal. Already, a zigzagging trail of burning and shattered buildings marked the cost of reducing it from colossal to merely gigantic. The moment was now and Grace leapt, charging along the abandoned street and drawing an entire zoo's worth of angry cries. One, two, three pieces of thrown rubble. The bubble of pressurized digestive fluid searing right past her head. The thud of a leathery tentacle thicker than her entire body shattering more asphalt to her right. Making herself ignore all of it long enough to close the gap to put her superhumanly strong fists to play. And then she was there, looking up at an oncoming wall of flesh that hated her and everything else alive. Grace pulled back an arm and launched herself at the monster to fight the battle that would cement her legacy, however deserved or not, as a slayer of monsters. The collapse of the dome and the silence of the barrage snapped her out of the flashback, noting the absence of anything larger than a pebble of her mirror image. "Rest well, Ms. Willams," she allowed herself to exhale into the quiet before looking up to nod at Ryan and Deezy and saw that the quiet was only local at most. Two, three, dozen separate superhuman brawls going on within line of sight alone. This was removing the queen without stopping the hive. Sloppy. Stupid. And if even one of these otherworld novas escaped to go to ground, they'd be a problem for years to come. "Thank you, Deezy. Can you make something to show Titan's forces their leader is dead? If we can find someone like Centerpoint to tell them that all at once... That might put a stop to this before we need to kill all of these people or get more of ours killed," she called out, forcing herself to think a minute instead of leaping into the next fray.
  14. "I think I'm in love...." There was no possibility that anyone heard Ryan's muttering as the thunderous wall of sound and destruction practically deafened everyone around. As a long-time pilot of the A-10, and an instructor, he always had a certain affection for rapid-fire large caliber weaponry, and this definitely checked ALL the right boxes. For a moment though the roaring booms even threatened Ryan's concentration on his part of this attack. Titan was durable, but she could be hurt, much as had already been shown. This was a combined attack by two of the most powerful living novas, working in perfect sync. This would finish this. As the rounds entered the portal, they exited at random portals, maintaining their momentum as they blasted into Titan. Flesh seared and charred, bones shattered, through it all, Titan couldn't even scream. Every inch of her skin was lit aflame, was impacted by the shells. Hundreds of shells, hitting harder, burning more than anything she'd ever felt hit and passed through her. It was a gruesome fate to be sure, but one Ryan knew she deserved. The portals moved at high speeds, keeping the rounds from impacting the earth, from escaping the cage themselves. They would continue to strike and pass through Titan, until nothing larger than a thimble was left of the Nova invader, Until Their energy was spent, and Ryan was satisfied she was well and truly dead. With nothing more than a few bits of flesh, and piles of ash, Ryan allowed the portals to cease spinning, winding them down. Then they all winked shut, and he nodded. "It's done."
  15. "Well there is something I've been meaning to put into active testing..." Deezy admitted. A metal platform appeared on the lakebed, wide and long enough to sit a semi-trailer on. Mud bubbled up around it, but it settled and formed an adequate foundation. Then, with an inrush of air, a cylinder appeared. Composed of some strange looking metal or perhaps composite material, with bracings all along it, it was slightly oblong, pointing lengthwise down the metal platform, with an aperture of some kind at the end. Then the barrel; just a long tube of the same material, slightly tapered with some kind of fluting or ribbing down the sides. "You're going to want to cover your ears," said the inventor. The weapon was nothing TOO special, really. An electromagnetic accelerator, miniaturized courtesy of Deezy's advanced design skills and access to alien materials she'd analyzed in the terraforming facility. Powered by a sealed fission reactor built into the large cylinder at the far end. No, what made it special was what it fired. As a rule of thumb, electromagnetic cannons like this were assumed to fire solid slugs, simply to get as much magnetic material in them as possible, and make the accelerator as efficient as possible. In theory you could make a shell out of some kind of rare-earth material that would have all the magnetic capacity of pure iron or tungsten and still allow for warheads...but those materials were incredibly expensive. Far too much so to make disposable ammunition out of. But scarcity didn't mean much to Deezy. The rounds had jackets of cobalt and neodymium, of purities and quantities that would break almost any bank in the world. Inside was more nova-genius and alien tech hybridized tech. A tiny bank of capacitors that would deliver immense energy for a very brief moment. Coils intended to heat up in the presence of magnetic fields. And a capsule of argon at very very high pressure. Just one round, manufactured normally, would cost as much as a jet fighter. The railgun delivered hundreds of these rounds per minute, at hypersonic speeds. In the ridiculously short time the rounds were in flight, several things happened in rapid sequence. The magnetic field used to impel the round out of the weapon to the target also induced a secondary field in the heating coils that surrounded the argon capsule. This ruptured the capsule and instantly heated the argon into a high temperature plasma. Simultaneously the capacitors fired, creating a momentary impulse in the coils that bottled the plasma and forced what would have been an explosion into a forward-facing eruption. What impacted the target was an incredibly fast moving, heavy round that had the equivalent of a welding torch seething out of it like a cutting blade. And then another, and another, and another. The sound was unbelievable, even for superhuman beings or people like Deezy with protection. Each shot was a concussion in the air, a puff of wind that stirred dust and pushed at clothing. Coming so fast that it was like being trapped in a subwoofer at some kind of cosmic rave. Blue-white streaks of light howled from the weapon into the rift Ryan created, leaving the thick smell of ionized air in their wakes. As for what became of them after firing, not even Deezy could predict. She didn't know exactly what Ryan had done...but she hoped that, together with her best shot, it would be enough. (Using Quantum Attack from Transmutation; 3 successes +3 mega dex, Scale 5 (quantum /2 + 3 dots in power))
  16. With Temple remaining silent, her attention was obviously elsewhere. Ryan found he had control of himself and his abilities once again. They had to end this quickly before more damage was done. "I've got something better I think." he answered into his own Comm device. With those words he reached deep into the power that drove him. Temple had just used it for the first time, but he could open multiple gates, well what he had in mind was going to build on that. He looked over at Deezy, and could tell she was about to do something. "I'm going to make an opening for you Deezy, Whatever you've got pour it into the gate I make in front of you." They'd worked together so long, he just had a feeling this was going to work out. He put a single normal sized portal near Deezy, and then veritably surrounded Titan with dozens of smaller ones. There was no gap large enough for her to escape through, and to make matters worse, the entire arrangement were spinning around her in opposite layered directions. It was a powerful if short term prison, as the portals themselves were tiny fissures in space their edges infintissemally thick and able to slice through nearly anything.
  17. Crack! Crack! Thud! The two earthen bullets deflected off her upraised forearms, shielding her head long enough with a laser focus on her onrushing echo. The aberrant was large enough, strong enough, fast enough to seize one arm and drive a pile driver with her injured arm the size of Apex's torso into said torso. The air cracked with the hit, thundering even above the background noise of quantum fury unleashed on a scale unseen since the Storm. Grace grunted with hit, golden blood mixing with Titan's ebon ichor on the impact. Physics being the unforgiving force it was, the force sent Apx flying out of Titan's grip to land in the dirt on her back. She rolled to her feet and waved her right hand at monster, fingers dripping with more of Titan's blood, "Two-One me, Ms. Williams. Been a while for you, too?" She forced her node for a third time, golden fire roaring through her veins as she stooped to pick up a stone, channeling that surge of strength into her arms, legs, core, to fling said missile directly into her echo's face, waist cape fluttering back with the force of the launch. Ear comm device still on she smirked, whispering, "Care to help me see if she can fly, Ryan?"
  18. Titan was enraged, the pebble ripping through her hand had hurt. She closed her bleeding fist and corrupted energy flowed sealing the hole, healing her hand but not her pride, this Apex cunt is going to die I am going to rip her liver out and ea…what. Titan froze her gaze turned upwards where Apex was poised but she was looking past the Nova. Past her, at the sky. The portals flashed into existence one after the other, each a purple blue halo of Quantum and Noetic force. From these energy vortices came the Heroes of Earth not just one or two but all of them. Einherjer, Bastion, Polaris, Kyria, equality, and many many more. Some famous , some with zero name recognition but regardless each and everyone answered the call. Titan spun it wasn’t just a dozen it was hundreds of them. She keyed her implant link and sent the recall signal. They were outnumbered, but they were the most powerful Aberrant of her Earth and these Novas were nothing but children. In mere moments the Novas and the Aberrants joined in battle and a battle like this had never be waged on any world. Individually the Aberrants were more than a match for any one or even two Novas but there were many more Novas than there were aberrants but even out numbered the Aberrants seemed to have the upper hand… Titan her minions directed turned her attention back to her doppelganger and reached down and grabbed two fist fulls of earth which she hurled and Apex and then she launched herself at the offending Nova like a missile!
  19. Even losing two thirds of the kinetic and gravitic energy imparted to it, the pebble was traveling much too fast for Sean's eyes to follow, only able to track its path from the trail of incandescent ionized air it left in its wake. But if Sean couldn't see it, she could still precisely sense the lingering gravitic power she had gifted to Grace imparted on the stone. And there was still enough of that power along with the power of Grace's superhuman strength on the pebble to devastate any place it landed. Sean reached with a gravitokinetic grasp and took hold of the streaking, screaming pebble, exerting a subtle pressure on it so it didn't lose any of the energy still acting upong it. Slowly, the pebble began moving up, and up, describing a wide, gentle arc, the zenith of the arc reaching into the ionosphere. And then it started making its way back down... towards the one whose blood it had tasted. As the devastation pebble was being redirected, portals began appearing all around Sean and Bridget, more and more. If her powers hadn't already been so strained, Sean could have opened that many portals, but it would have taken her hours. Seems like Temple found the allies she said she would and linked up with Ryan to get them here on the instant. "Come on, hon. We have an audience now, let's finish this on our feet," Sean murmured in Bridget's air with honeyed tones. Sean shifted around to get her neck under one of Bridget's massive shoulders, one arm going around her girlfriend's tight, muscle-packed waist, her other hand reaching up to hold a thick forearm. Then she began to straighten, a silken grunt escaping her enticing lips. "I know it's hard, but I'm gonna need your help, babe." Sean could manipulate dozens of tons of mass with gravitokinesis. She might be an inch or two taller as a woman than as a man, but she had still lost over a third of her body mass. She simply wasn't as strong as she'd been as a man, no stronger than the average baseline woman. And even as a man, she would have had trouble supporting Bridget's dense, muscular weight. Wearing a pair of five inch stiletto heels on broken ground wasn't helping. Finally, Sean got both of them standing upright and on their feet. Her arm now stretched across Bridget's broad back. Bridget was reaching up an arm to go over Sean's far shoulder, fingers interlacing with Sean's free hand. Between the difference in their heights, and Sean's heels, Bridget was about level with Sean's magnificent breasts, and let her head rest against the firm softness of one, her breathing ragged as she suppressed the pain.
  20. Unaware of Ryan's negotiation with the pandimensional horror that Temple Faire had become, Grace focused on the battle at hand with her own horror, spirits simultaneously lifted and fallen by the abrupt arrival of what she could only guess in that heartbeat to be most of Earth's Novas. Lifted, because Titan and her followers were now outnumbered tens to one. Fallen, because Ryan and Temple(?) apparently saw the need for that many of them to subdue the threat. Including one particular Nova to her left emerging from a portal that looked like it suspiously let out over very familar upstate New York landscape. Konami flinched a little as he caught her gaze sidelong. The blonde juggernaut didn't have time or ability to get him away from this fray, nor did she want to betray another lever her monstrous self could use against her. Speaking of which, the fact Titan reacted to the injury, meant that she still shared at least one of their weeknesses: if you could crack her defenses, the injury would linger. At least long enough to make a difference in a fight. Grace made herself smile and pointed one finger at Titan. "Unless you think you can take a punch from me and shrug it off, keep it at range from her," she shouted, golden light pulsing through her veins a second time and channeling into her legs. She exploded into motion, launching herself through the air in a flutter of fabric and blond hair, landing just short of her raging counterpart to strike at her counterpart's now dearmed side in an uppercut that made her tutelage under a professional boxer clear. And there was a lot of upper cut to be had against Titan.
  21. It was a moment of Pride, seeing his power bring everyone together to fight this threat. Over the years, Ryan had come to see his abilities as both a means to explore, to see and go to new places, but also to meet new people, to build bridges, and bring everyone closer together. That wasn't to say he wasn't still looking to keep exploring, his work with Deezy going further into space was very important, but this, being able to facilitate an end to Titan's threat, that meant alot. No sooner had he finished thinking that, he saw more than he wanted. What's more he knew Temple let him see it. He saw Earth after Earth in ruins or burned husks with no life . More earths where wars between nova/aberrants and psions devestate whole continents, and even some earths that are living worlds but no sign of aberrant/novas and few psions and all of those psions are humans who develop naturally. In each one you also see a version of Temple. What is more knew since she is currently him, that all of those Temples are Temple they are one mind, a multiversal gestalt of untold power. He also saw something that shouldn't exist, the machine that he and deezy combined their powers to destroy. "You Altered our memories while in sync. You made us think we destroyed it." "While Deezy was scanning it I saw what it was truly for, I couldn't let it be destroyed. I used it on myself." Ryan was nearly speechless within his own mind, but still he managed to ask the young Psion two pertinent questions. "Why Temple? What is your endgame?" There was no accusation in his he was actually curious. There wasn't much he could do even within the confines of his own mind, he felt, so it was best to simply hear her out. Whether out of pity, or that she wished him to to understand, Temple answered him. "Originally my intention was to boost all the psions but then I discovered the other dimensions and now I realize that mankind cannot survive unless it is allowed to evolve naturally. the Storm was a mistake. Everywhere it touched it create either psions or novas or both, in great numbers without any guidance. This will inevitably lead to one or both dominating the species and then war and death." "So what, depower everyone then?" Ryan asked. Certainly most could live without their powers, but there were those who couldn't, and to just arbitrarily kill them rankled. He knew he'd done much the same in the other world, eliminating Titan's army, but at least there they were a hostile force. "If you must know, I wanted to dominate the world originally. However I've since decided that I want to save the world. It isn't possible now to remove everyone's powers, anyway." She answered him as if she were reporting the weather. "Well good, I want to save the world too, so how do we manage that?" He was concerned about her original goal, but again, there was more to this. "The only way to save Earth is to leave, and never come back, at least not until humanity at large evolves on its own." Her voice carried a certain finality to it. "Temple, you'll never convince every nova and psion to leave our home. More than that, we do have an active alien threat to contend with. Humanity is in no way prepared for what's coming. We've only just begun to scratch the surface." He thought for a moment. "If you gather everyone in one place, you can use my power, boosted by yours, to send everyone somewhere else though, can't you?" Surrendering control to her had been done with the intention of helping save everyone, and he realized he'd given her the key to potentially do exactly what she wanted. "This whole thing is about convincing them Ryan. once every nova see the destruction this battle has and will cause, they will know. Many, if not most, will listen to reason. The rest will be dealt with. To answer you, yes, that is also a possibility to use our abilities together, but it would be much better for everyone who chooses to leave to do so willingly. As for the Alien threat, you have no real idea. That however is for another discussion I think." A realization hit Ryan with all the force of a bomb. "You planned this, didn't you? You gave them the idea to harness what i did, that if presented a situation with no better option, that I would do what i did. Someone had to know me exceptionally well, how I think, to know I might use my abilities that way." There's a certain tone of acceptance in his mental voice, and a hint of sadness. There was silence for a moment, "Yes I put all of this in motion." Ryan didn't even try to hide the sense of betrayal those words made him feel. She had used him, much as she was doing now. "So what now? the gathered novas put down Titan's aberrants, Grace and the others bring down Titan herself, and then what, we invite everyone to help rebuild, to undo the devastation? We send them home? Convince them that this is only the beginning? Will you use your knowledge of me again to bring about the change you want without giving us a chance to sort it ourselves?" If she wanted, he knew she could use his powers as he had, to show the world the danger novas presented. It would undo everything he and Deezy and many others had worked for and towards since the Storm, and unite humanity against them. Temple was fully playing God, and for the moment, all Ryan could do was to take up the Role of Job, not denying what had happened, but he was being permitted to question Temple. He got the feeling she wanted him to understand, to go along willingly.
  22. It was a symphony in slow motion. The stone glowing with shed power burned through air with a high pitched whistle, aimed right at Tian's center of mass. Titan shifted her feet and her body slipped sideways the missile would now miss. But the aberrant had other intentions! Titan stretched out her arm and intercepted the missile intending to throw it back at Grace, how ever she miscalculated because of her over confidence. The stone had the combined inertia of Apex's massive musculature as well as Centerpoint's massive gravity boost which had been fed to Apex. The stone hit Titan's palm and imparted fully two thirds of the built up inertia onto Titans outstretched arm as it punched completely through the Aberrant's hand speaying thick vicuous black blood in all directions as it continued rocketing down range! That imparted force twisted Tiran's arm back behind her and spun her around like a top as well as flinging her back a hundred yards or so. When she stopped spinning she stood legs apart braced her left arm twisted and bloody hanging limp at her side. She glared daggers at Apex and screamed in rage! <Im sorry Ryan, but it is best if I take full control than try to show you what to do> Ryan glance sideways as the voice, Temple's voice, spoke in his head then she was there beside him and she reached over and grasped his hand and enter his mind fully! Ryan was pushed aside in his own mind his mind his body now under the complete control of another. At the same moment thousands of other minds joined hers in gastalt lending her the power needed. Temple immediately began using his powers in ways he never would have been able to. She/he visualized every Nova on earth and simultaneously a portal opened connecting each one of those Novas to this location. In the sky and on the ground around the battlefield hundreds of portals opened up and the Nova's of Earth swarmed through! Ryan watched all of this and saw much much more...
  23. Her twisted reflection's only response to their challenge was the slightest of head tilts and a smug quirk of her lips, the kind she'd seen on her peers growing up when they were certain you couldn't or wouldn't call them out on their bad behavior, a sense of invulnerability real or not that freed them from fear. She'd hated that kind of arrogance, the good manners that kept her within the guidelines of decorum and politeness that granted those bad actors their invulnerability. Well, that was then and there and this was here and now. Sean's unexpected and welcome gift made her feel like the proverbial man in Archimède's quote about levers and places to stand, and here was her ground and her people behind her. Grace had let the world name her Apex and it was time to live up to that public myth. With a little help from her friends. "I'm sorry, Grace. What you and yours went through. But that doesn't give you leave to hurt me and mine," the blonde juggernaut responded as she reached deep into the well of might thrumming through her body, gasping involuntarily at the rush as it slammed through her veins and muscles like water from an exploding dam through a rocky canyon. Her veins and eyes blared gold, faintly visible even through her eufiber, a promise of the unconquered sun against monstrosity. So much power that her throw of the stone, bathed in black and gold like a thing of the chained rift she had just passed through, was nearly wild, her feet cracking the earth with her pitch. Motes of power sprayed up around her and in the wake of her humble projectile, the air exploding in a deafening supersonic crack in all directions. And as that glow faded from her eyes just enough to let her grey pupils be seen, those pupils didn't shift from her target and the coming impact.
  24. Sean clambered to her feet, staggering and wobbling like she was blind drunk. She had never been drunk. As a man, she had rarely drank alcohol. As a woman, while she could now well appreciate the intricacies of flavour, she also had a metabolism that let her drink nearly any unenhanced human under the table. And able to reorient her personal gravity at will, she hadn't felt any sort of disorientation or vertigo since her transformation. She felt disoriented and nauseous now. Every bone ached. Her teeth ached. She could feel ruptured eardrums reknitting themselves. She felt like she was going to puke up every meal she'd eaten in the last month. Swaying, breathing deep trying to collect herself, Sean Cassidy was a most incongruous sight, an impossibly gorgeous woman wearing a sexy little black dress and stiletto heels standing amidst a landscape blasted by furious energies and ripped by an Aberrant-crafted tornado she'd been in the center of. Sean pushed concern for her dog aside. The Hulk-Grace's thunderclap heard around the world very likely damaged her island home despite the distance and its over-designed solidity. She couldn't help but feel miffed, irked that she'd failed to seduce the monstrous version of Apex, that she'd been denied. So very few could say no to her when she put in the effort. Finally able to stand and see straight, eyes of coiling virulent violet and incandescent blue-white caught the specks emerging from the roiling sphere of energy in the sky despite being miles away. She was even able to discern them as being Grace and Ryan. And they weren't the only thing Sean was able to see. Centerpoint flew forward just above the ground. Despite the pain, Brigit was slowly peeling herself from the crater she'd been punched in, and then later took cover in when an unfathomable hurricane roared over her. Suddenly, Brigit felt her head pillowed on the magnificent, pliable firmness of a peerless bosom that could only belong to her lover. A slim hand wrapped around her tight, muscular waist. "Oh, Luv," Sean whispered in Brigit's ear, and Brigit could hear the concern, love, and barely suppressed fury in her silken, sultry soprano. "We're going to end this, one way or another." As Grace made her challenge to her terrible doppelganger, she felt a penumbra of power sheathe her, stronger around her hands. It was potential, awesome, awful potential, power that kept planets spinning around their suns and allowed stars to collapse into blackholes. And right now, that power was hers, wedded to her nearly immeasurable strength of body and will.
  25. Ryan wasn't used to being the one shielded from anything, but it was kind of Grace to do it anyway. When she released him he rose to his feet with a grim smile on his face, looking at Titan. "Your army is gone, and soon you'll join it." There was a finality in his voice, that of a soldier looking at an enemy that had to be defeated and slain. He reached out mentally to Temple "Alright Temple I'm here. What do you need me to do?" He had no doubt the thought reached her, after all, she'd been in his head before, and given what she'd managed to do already, hearing him wasn't something beyond her ability.
  26. Then and There Nodding once, Grace eyeballed Ryan's rift and pulled the cooperative warper closer, digging her feet into carpet of the conference room. Intellectually, she suspected that Ryan was at least as tough as her, but habits were habits and she positioned herself to spring with herself to take as much of the brunt of the portal's defenses as possible. "We'll make sure they don't come back. You and yours have suffered enough," the blonde juggernaut offered to their hosts in a flat tone that brooked no chance of failure as long as there was life in her body. "Ready, Ryan?" she asked, exhaling at the nod of reply. And then there was a crack of flooring fracturing under her feet as she dragged him after her through the horizontal rift at a fair chunk of the speed of sound. Horizontal momentum became vertical momentum, and before whatever hellish quantum tinker defenses the device possessed could fire, they were through. Reality fractured, possibilites becoming potentialities that tugged them in hundred different direction, the hunger of blind eternity trying dissolve them for daring to cross the breach between The Is and the Is Not. Given a chance, it would, but the roaring quantum in her blood against the fractal fracturing, the whispering temptation of If If If If If If If screaming in her mind's ear as they passed. She could feel Ryan's fire brushing her own, pulse to her pulse, a north star of certainty amidst the howling. Here and Now Everywhere abruptly became somewhere and gravity asserted a welcome tyranny of certainty over Grace's senses. Down. Howling wind. The thud of Bang Bang Bang as they hit the ground and bounced, once, twice, thrice against the brutalized earth of the battlefield. Grace inhaled the odor of dust after rain, squeezed her fingers through the reassuring solidarity of the earth, her Earth. And that little thought was enough to fire her with urgency. Apex rose to her feet, bodyglove streaked with dust and storm-grey eyes resolute as she spotted the nightmare fever-dream version of herself. Good. They weren't too late then. Pushing everything that could, wanted to, make her curl into a ball at the sheer quanity of horrible questions at the sight of Titan aside, she stooped for a stone and rose again, Business Greeting Smile #3 on her lips, "Hello, Ms. Williams. Shall we begin?"

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