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[Plot Thread 1.5] Mythbusters [Complete]


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3:48 AM GMT, Friday September 20th, 2019

One of the few nights in town, away from the grueling demands of SAS selection, and someone had to go ruin it. He'd been sleeping, for god's sake! Not that the men around him, the barracks building, or the storm outside cared at precisely this moment. The men, at least, were trying to help.  But, what do you do for someone that keeps getting struck by lightning? Not like "several times over the course of a life" but "it's been a dozen times in the past thirty seconds and it's not stopping". Itty, so named because he was only five and a half feet tall in a group that averaged out nearly half a foot taller, grabbed his boots, put them on his hands, and shoved Stevie out of bed. He kept shoving him - through two more lightning strikes, go Itty - until the Colour Sergeant was out from under the ragged hole in the roof. Itty's face was peeling from the world's strangest sunburn and the lightning got in two more strikes before finally deciding that Stevie was well and rightly cooked and could be left alone. 

"Steve! Shit, someone get a defibrillator!" Men scrambled through the room and out into the halls of barracks. There was a first aid station down the hall, and Steve felt cold gel on his chest less than a minute later. That finally got his body to sync up with his mind again. 

"Dun...Don't do that!" He shoved Itty away from him, sparks flying between the two men and the live machine in Itty's hands. The room let out a collective gasp that immediately broke out into overlapping chatter - amazement, shouting at Steve, several prayers. One guy, a younger man that Steve was pretty sure wasn't going to make it through the full ten weeks, slid down the wall and just stared

Steve ached and every time the thunder rumbled he could feel it in his bones. He stood and stretched, rubbing sore spot on his bared chest. The thunder became regular, rhythmic, and out of sync with the ache in his boned. The barracks began to shudder with the louder rhythm; the men were looking at each other, frowning.  

"That feels almost like-"

"Footsteps," Itty finished for the other soldier. They all poured out of the front doors of the barracks, alert and freaked out at the same time; Steve was given a larger berth in the sprint for outside.

Hereford was back-lit by the angry black and purple-red clouds; lightning bursts chased through the storm, giving back as much light as the moon the clouds had blocked, but in random strobes of incandescent heat-light. Rising against that was an immense figure made of cracking ice; two blue orbs looked out from the enormous face as it reached out and put a gigantic fist through the third story of a hotel. People tumbled out, injured and terrified. A sound like glaciers cracking came from the giant - it was laughing.

Busywork assignments annoyed the hell out of her. She understood that someone had to do them and that her supervisor often gave them to her when she'd be otherwise sitting at home just waiting for word that Brady was back and ok, but they still annoyed the hell out of her. 

She'd checked into the hotel in Hereford in the early morning, napped a few hours, and then headed to the hospital in her guise as one of the Minneford Foundation's more personable auditors. Dr. Vasilakis needed a reminder of who she was, which was exactly how it was supposed to go. Be unassuming. Be nice but not gregarious. That's how you can hold a cover for years without ever being suspected. Brady had been thrilled to get a chance to teach Karrie just a little of his side of the trade.

"Jane Doe" was also exactly where she'd left her the last time she'd been in Hereford: laying on a hospital bed, a feeding tube down her throat, and a strict schedule of turning to keep her from getting bed sores. Karrie didn't know the details, but for some reason they weren't allowed to just move the woman to a more private - controlled - facility. It wasn't her job to ask. Getting "Laura's" paperwork from the hospital, so the bogus foundation would continue to pay the coma victim's bills, took up the rest of the afternoon and she busied herself with real paperwork through the evening. She'd made herself go to bed on UK time; she was going to be in Europe for a few weeks and best to get on schedule the first night. 

She woke up in the early morning frozen in place. Literally. Everything in her room had a sheen of hoarfrost on it and the whole building was shaking. She shivered and the ice on her shattered off, not melting but disappearing. She could hear screams from nearby, less than a handful of rooms down. The building shook again and again, like small earthquakes only a few seconds apart. A loud crash, the ripping of concrete, steel, and wood, reverberated from above her as part of her ceiling was ripped away by an enormous icy fist crashing through the space. She scrambled away as part of the bed and mini-fridge from two stories up crashed down into her space.

The fist retreated and the screams got louder. Over it all she heard the icy, grating laughter of the monster that had just killed at least a dozen people.   

In the hazy darkness there had always been bits of sounds: a beep here, a low murmur of a voice there, the constant tinny sound of argument or racing cars or other random things. She'd never been able to focus on them and make them more than indistinct noise. She'd wanted to, but it was just so tiring

The screaming finally go her attention. It was so loud and so close and so there. She forced her eyes open for the first time in years, blinking against the dim light and the rush of fresh air over her skin. The room she was in was trashed. A hospital bed lay broken into several pieces below her; monitoring equipment had been thrashed about and littered the rest of the floor. In the doorway was a young orderly, her face frozen in fear and the screams emanating from her. Behind her, she could feel the winds from outside whipping at the broken section of the wall, cold to the point of bitter. 

She lighted down softly onto the floor, shivering from the open back of her hospital gown. She glanced at the other woman and said in a light, smooth voice that shouldn't have been possible from vocal chords unused for three years, "I'm cold. I need better clothes."

The orderly swallowed, cutting off her own screams. "Th-there's street clothes..." She pointed shakily to one of the cabinets under the sink in the room. The red-haired woman nodded and stepped over, pulling out the set of clothes with delicate movements. The orderly blushed and turned away when she slid off the gown and dressed herself.

Others were peering into the doorway now, shocked silent by the destruction of the room and the up-and-moving of their long-term patient. The storm outside flickered and flashed angrily, refusing to drop water just yet but in full thundered voice across the city. A strange regularity had entered the cacophony of the storm and it was getting louder

After she'd slipped on the pair of new tennis shoes and secured them in place, she glanced out the ruin of a wall and then back to the people still stuck in the doorway by a mix of fear, awe, and hind-brain gibbering. She quirked a smile at them and shrugged. "Guess I should go see what that is. Sorry about the-" she waved vaguely at the ruined equipment and wall.

She stepped backwards out of the hole in the wall and fell upward.

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Karrie yanked on her tennis shoes and grabbed her bathrobe and coat. She left her purse but grabbed her wallet and phone, stuffing them in pockets. Still half-asleep, she operating on training that was ingrained into her.


First priority: civilians.


She went into the hall, seeing a number of people trying to evacuate but in a disorderly fashion. She grabbed the closest one, a middle-aged man close to hysteria. “Be calm,” Karrie instructed, her voice hard as ice and unable to resist. “Leave the building.”


Over and over she grabbed a civilian, calmed them, and ordered them to leave. At the end of the hall, she went up a flight, passing a couple on their way down, and opened the door into an icy hell. Hoarfrost still coated everything and the hallway opened to several rooms, which opened to the outside. Bodies lay bleeding and trapped. 


She had no medical gear, no triage training. She needed help. 


Back at the hallway, she grabbed a young man. “Go downstairs, find the emergency services, and direct them up here,” she ordered. His eyes showed fear and shock, but they cleared as she gave him direct orders to follow. 


Up one the next floor, the hall was open to the dark sky and countryside. Karrie stared up at the giant of ice and stared. To her surprise, she wasn’t that surprised. “That’s different,” she muttered. 


It didn’t matter. She could do nothing against it, only support efforts against it. Flipping open her phone, she dialed the one number she hoped she’d never use: the “shit’s gone sideways numbers, or better known as the boss’s personal cell phone.

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The giant of ice roared, a sound like an Arctic blizzard turned up to eleven, and ponderously drew back one arm with a creaking, crackling groan of stressed ice.  The hotel was still standing and Karrie, standing in the hallway with her phone to her ear, realised that the damned impossibility was going to hit the building again.  Malevolent glee shone in the dim blue glow of it's eyes as it's laugh rose above the howl of the storm, the gust of it's breath whipping Karrie's hair and clothes against her.


((Cue the Awesome Fight Music))


And then the giant was limned with an eye-stinging, coruscating wreath of energy as bolts of lightning so bright they left afterimages on eyes that were closed converged on the icy colossus from what seemed like the whole damned sky at once.  The sound was terrifying, a thunderclap of Biblical proportions accompanying the dozen or more strikes and making the welkin ring, drowning out the icy monster's basso scream of pain.  It reared back from the hotel, flailing as it staggered under the assault.


Three Land Rover light-assault-vehicles sped in close formation down Hereford's main street, their mounted weapons spitting .50 calibre incendiary rounds and, in one case, fully-automatic anti-armor grenades up at the creature that towered over the market town.  The vehicles were crewed by a mixture of SAS currently stationed at Hereford and some of the 'trainees', each of which was as hardened a soldier as could be found outside the Regiment.


"Is that your bloke doing that?" a SAS trooper yelled at Itty as the short Scots Guardsman leaned out of the LAV and stared upwards.  Against the clouds overhead, a glowing figure wreathed in blue-white lightning was visible dropping onto the roof of the hotel.  


"Well AH'M no' bloody doin' it, yeh bampot!"  screamed Itty over the roar of the injured and infuriated creature.  "Let's stick to the plan and draw the fuckin' thing oota here, aye?!"


"Right." the SAS trooper replied laconically, sending the LAV into a 180 bootlegger turn, the other two vehicles copying the move with an ease born of practice - as well they might.  The Regiment had pioneered this kind of fast, light diversionary strike on Axis bases in North Africa back in the Second World War, and the gunner in the pintle mount lost hardly a beat, the thud-thud-thud of the grenade launcher starting up again as soon as the vehicle finished it's spin.  Glancing back, Itty saw the glowing figure of a man he'd only met ten weeks ago gesture, and once more the sky lit up with the wrath of a hundred storms on the sloping shoulders of the icy titan.


"FUCK!" he yelled, blinking.  "I cannae soddin' see!"  The sound of footfalls shook the ground under the Land Rover, and the SAS trooper looked in the wing mirror.


"Well, we got the cunt's attention."  he yelled back.  "The CO is going to shit stationary trying to write up this AAR though."


Stevie caught his breath for a moment, still trying to process the dizzying experience of flying born by the wind, not to mention causing all hell to rain down on an icy monster as though the clouds were his personal artillery division.  He was concerned dimly with how well he seemed to be taking it, but to be honest was glad of that.  The weather... powers - let's just call them powers, his mind supplied ... were instinctual to grasp.  He could feel the storm over Hereford, the energy within it aching to lash out and find targets, just as he knew he could direct that energy.


Peering through the rain and sleet with eyes that seemed sharper, he saw the three LAV's leading the giant out of the town.  The SAS was not a heavy armor unit, though.  And without tanks or air support, killing or incapacitating the thing was going to take...


Well, it was going to take more than dogged determination and military excellence, that was for sure.  He watched the thing's progress and collected himself for the next improvised 'flight', something he was not really looking forward to.

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The phone had nothing other than a busy signal. “Shit,” Karrie said and headed for the roof. World-altering events were happening -- because giants and Thor were apparently a thing now -- and she was fucking stuck in England without any real support. 


You’re just an analyst, you’re not Brady, able to save the world, a scared voice in her head said, but Karrie knew it was stupid and wrong. She could do something, she could diminish that monster, but it was moving away and she needed to stay close.


She popped the door open, holding up her hand to stop the lashing rain from blinding her. The faintly glowing man was still there and Karrie dashed toward him, waving her arms. “Wait, wait!” she shouted. “Can you get me closer to that thing?”


He paused from gathering himself and turned towards her, eyes flickering with an electric glow but still recognisably carrying an expression of disbelief.  "Luv, I don't want to get closer to that thing. But it's my job." he yelled back. "Why are you going?"


“I can shut it down, or parts of it!” Karrie yelled, then sighed. “Can you get me to the giant? I need to be within a hundred meters, I think.”


“Ya think?” he yelled back.


“Look, I’m making this up as I go along,” she said, challenge in her voice, “same as you.”


He grinned at her. “Then climb on and hold tight!”


Karrie swallowed as she circled behind him and climbed on his back. “Don’t suppose you come installed with seatbeats?” 


“It’s getting away,” he told her.


“Go,” Karrie said grimly. He crouched, the wind picked up sharply and then threw them into the air. She bit back a shriek of terror, redoubling her grip on his shoulders. 


She nearly lost that grip when a woman dropped from the night to hover next to them. “Hello. Need some help?”

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"Careful. If you can't fly, it's quite the drop at this point." The red-head took a moment to look the situation over: the American woman's hands slipping on wet skin and more likely to end up choking the flying man. She shook her head and flew up to his side, her wet zip-up hoodie brushing against him. "You're going to end up choking him. Switch over. Clothes are easier to hold on to."

"I'm not sure I can let go of him and not get ripped away by the wind," Karrie said with utter calm. "I need to get to the convoy and stay within 100 meters of the giant." The unspoken can you do that was clear in her voice.

"Lay hold of her."  If Steve felt any surprise at the sight of a flying red-head in street clothes, well, it was no stranger than giants made of ice or his being able to control the weather.  He tried to  keep the gust of wind bearing him and the woman aloft even, as he motioned to the red-head, his voice booming above the storm and gale.  "Get her to one of the LAV's and tell them that Sergeant Nord said to stay within one hundred meters!"

The red-head made a spiral next to them, easily plucking Karrie off Steve's back. Her arms slid seat-belt like around Karrie's torso, her legs criss-crossing to keep Karrie's own from dangling painfully. She chuckled playfully as the two of them sped away. "Y'know, if the storm keeps up, he might end up losing the pants, too. Would be a shame."

She lighted down on Itty's LAV, setting Karrie down gently on his lap. Whoever this woman was, she certainly had an impish sense of humor. "Captain Nord says to keep her within a hundred meters of the ice giant." She was already flying again, headed back to the center of the of the storm. She called out over her shoulder, "Personally, he needs to find a hammer and upgrade to prince. He's already fighting a jotun!" Another laugh and she was gone. 

She met back up with the maligned Colour Sergeant only a moment or two later. "So," she threw a nod towards the rampaging Nordic myth - the icy one - and asked, "Plan?"

Steve swore a little as the winds buffeted him, feeling like a kite on a string right now, the rain soaking his pyjama pants and running over his torso's scarred, tanned and tattooed skin.  Like a lot of soldiers, especially Marines, he had more than once gotten totally atrocious and visited tattoo parlours in his younger days - the most recent of which had been a few months back when word of his acceptance to SAS selection had come down.  Serpents, phoenixes, a small heart with '42 Commando' emblazoned over it, all the usual drunken markers were present.  He hadn't had the wings and dagger motif done, because that would have been bad luck at that point, instead getting a large tree with sprawling roots and branches done on his back.  It had hurt like a bastard the next day, too.

"We see if the strange lass can do something to the giant.  Then I'm going to hit it with everything I have." he said, envying the slender girl her effortless flight.  "Name's Stevie.  I'd shake hands, but I'm not ready to crash land yet."

"Aww," the red-head said in Welsh-ish accent, "she's not that strange. Just American." She grinned and laughed again. "No idea who I am, but not really the moment for navel-gazing is it? I think I'll go try and punch it." Fitting word to action, she buzzed off in the direction of their adversary.

Karrie slid off of Itty's lap and into the back. "Keep us within range, soldier," she said in a voice to be obeyed. Looking back out at the giant, she stared at it and willed monster to shrink. Nothing happened for a second and she took a deep breath and felt a little deeper at the thing. To her eyes, it was suddenly built of power and lights.

"There  you are," she murmured, and selected a light. With a smile, she shut it down. "Not on my watch, asshat," she growled as the giant was suddenly man-sized.

The red-head blinked as her target was suddenly below her instead of about to be punched by her. She spun in the air from the unspent energy, stopping herself to shout back at Steve. "You're up, your Nordness!"

His Nordness also blinked at the now-miniscule (by comparison) icy figure, who seemed to be looking around in confusion at the suddenly-larger world he/she/it was inhabiting.  Whatever the American woman had done, this fight had (probably) just gotten a lot easier.

They were outside the town, now.  The LAV's had turned and begun circling the figure within the 100 metre mark, pouring on fire which the ice-man was still soaking up.  Steve looked up at the storm overhead, feeling it's extent and the sheer power being expended up there, and suddenly felt that it was his power.  His for the taking, as it were.

He reached up as he drifted on the wind currents above the creature below, feeling the energy building above him, gathering it in one hand.  Lightning forked, forked again, coming to rest in the soldier's grasp like a flickering, dancing javelin which he gripped firmly, feeling it squirm and struggle, then plunged downwards with it ahead of him.  The wind roared, thunder rolled above him as he narrowed his glowing eyes against the lashing rain, forks of lightning dancing along his skin and trailing his descent.

When he struck, the whole damned sky struck with him, an ionic charge drawn from both within and without the man who had been plain old Colour Sergeant Stephen Nord.  Lightning converged above him in the clouds and struck through him into the monster, the resultant pulse killing everything electrical within a mile, the blast rocking the Land Rovers even as their engines stalled from the EMP.  A cloud of smoke and water vapour obscured the strike zone.

For a moment, even the storm lulled over the battlefield. A small sound started, like a snap of fingers, spread and multiplied over the area. The mist was freezing solid in the air. Ice pulled to ice, forming spikey balls hanging in the air. Then they exploded. Spikes flew everywhere, some as small as fingers and others large enough to bash through the metal and engine of one of Itty's LAV - rocking it hard lengthwise and sending the occupants scrambling out to avoid being trapped if it tipped. 

Whatever force had sent the ice out called it back again, reforming the ice-man as they slammed into each other. It howled in rage at the sky, seeking the small warm thing that had dared call the elements down on him. It grew, reaching towards Steve, but couldn't quite seem to reach the towering height it had before. 

A blow from behind sent the creature rocking. Steve's flying counterpart had circled around while it was distracted in its hate for her skymate. The blow was....terrifying. She punched into the creature's head, her fist sinking her arm up  to the elbow. She made a pained grunt at the searing cold and yanked back.

Karrie pulled against its size again, and once more the giant shrank. But the strain on her face made it clear that she was struggling to keep it at the twelve foot height.

Steve yanked a frozen spike from his shoulder, grimacing at the chill that permeated his body from the wound.  His sleep-pants in tatters now, and trailing smoke along with his aura of lightning, he soared above the creature's grasp.  With his mouth set in a thin line, he reached out to the storm again, noting the heat-haze in some areas.  Warm air currents...

There was a rushing sound, at first.  The clouds overhead stopped roiling and began to turn clockwise, the winds whipping at the hoodie-clad woman's hair and clothing and pressing against the troops in the LAVs.  Then the noise took on the thunderous tenor of a giant freight train rolling endlessly overhead as a funnel descended from the clouds to touch down in a circle ten feet across, the monstrous ice man in the center of it.

Steve's eyes glowed brighter, the lightning of his aura dancing against the sides of the funnel. The last ragged remnants of his clothing were whipped away, yet the winds did not seem to buffet him at all as they cycloned upwards, drawing the frozen man up with them into the heart of the tornado.

"Going to see if he shatters."  Stevie yelled back.  "Want to help me piledrive him into the ground?"  Lightning danced more urgently over his body, his muscles seemed to swell and harden subtly as he clenched his fists, rolling his shoulders.

"We hit him hard, smash him against the ground, and then make snowcones."  He looked over his shoulder at the girl clinging to him, grinning slightly.  "The updraft is about to become a downdraft, so if you want out, now's the time to get out of the funnel."

"Oh, you know how first dates go." She laughed and let go, reading herself for the descent, "Just got go with the flow!"

His barked laughter was whipped away by the howl of the wind as the cyclone reversed, the wind rushing down from above the two flying demigods and hurtling them down to meet the rising jotun.  They hit together, her fists cracking deep into the thing's stomach as Steve's shattered it's chest with a small thunderclap.  It roared, grasping at the sergeant's head with it's huge hands, squeezing so hard it made his vision turn red with black spots.  But, spitting a curse, he held on to both consciousness and the creature, carrying it with him.

Propelled downwards by terrifying winds, the three beings smote the ground with enough force to make the LAV's jump a foot into the air and shatter the nearest windows in the town.   The dust, water vapor and mist flew up around a newly formed crater, at the bottom of which now lay the combatants.  The ice giant had absorbed the brunt of the impact, it's body fractured into misshapen pieces that the nameless woman and Steve lain amongst.

Steve groaned weakly and rolled over, looking up at a much calmer sky, the tornado's terrifying funnel having disappeared.  He closed his blue eyes, feeling the rain on his skin.

"You there, luv?" he asked, not wanting to raise his head and look for the redhead right now.  Even if it was bloody freezing laying here. He heard a groan off to his right and something rude muttered in a foreign language. 

The pieces began to draw back together as before for Karrie. Steve and his companion could see the ice reforming steadily, and readied themselves for another fight.

The first time it had rebuilt itself, Karrie hadn't realized the light she was seeing had a switch. Now, she understood a little better that she could affect that too -- but that wasn't all. Nord-boy's storm. Red-head's flight. Both of them would have to ask her permission to use their power if she decided to make them ask--

Karrie pulled her thoughts from that edge of egomania. They were the thoughts of a power-hungry child, not a grown woman working toward the national interests. I wonder if I'll always fight that temptation, she wondered, reaching toward the light that pulled the giant back together. I wonder why I can be so rational and calm about this?

She cut off the regeneration, and the ice splashed to the ground in a rain of melted water. Itty looked at her. "Is it done now?"

"Yes," she said. "Care to introduce me to your fellow soldier? Perhaps after he has a pair of pants?"

Itty stared down at his own boxer shorts and shrugged, giving her a shit-eating grin. "Nay so impressed with his assets, hm? He'll be crushed."


Sans Steve's input, the sky above had roiled for a moment in the aftermath of the cyclone. The rain lifted, though, and the clouds began to drift apart from one another, the pale flicker of stars and moonlight breaking through in patches. The lightning had already given up in exhaustion. For Hereford, the storm had passed.

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Those taking the lead in uniform and carrying weapons, others in their sleepwear and forming up around the 'civilian' some distance behind, the special operations troopers crossed the field to the edge of the shallow crater filled with puddles of icy cold water, flashlight beams playing around searching for threats. What they found was Colour Sergeant Nord in his birthday suit, in the process of sitting up and glancing around with the air of a man who was in no mood to fight any more, and would take it out on anything that made him. He rubbed the back of his neck and wiped a streamer of blood from his nose as he glanced around for the red-head.


He was hit in the head with a large grey zip-up hoodie at least a couple of sizes too small. "Geez, stop streaking. You're makin' the soldiers blush." She seemed to just pop up from nowhere, though the truth was that she'd simply snuck up on him in his exhaustion.


He grumbled, looking up at the troops. "Any of you lads happen to bring a blanket?" he asked as he got to his feet with the hoodie held strategically in front of him. Itty tossed him a silver thermal survival blanket, grinning.


"There ye go, Captain Nord, sir." he chuckled, pointing at Kyria as the sergeant fixed him with a flinty look. "Wee lassie there promoted ye, Cap'n." And with that, he gave a parade ground salute. Several of the other soldiers grinned, one or two chuckling as the adrenaline from the fight subsided in the face of normal banter.


"Sergeant Iswold?"  Steve's tone was level, with a hint of world-weariness.




"Stop being a twat."


"Yes, sir, Captain Nord, sir!"


Steve fixed Kyria with a side-eye. "Now look what you've gone and done."  Kyria laughed, draping herself on one side of him with her cheekiest grin.


"Well, I didn't have a crown handy, so Captain had to do. Next time, do a dance with the strip. Maybe you'll get Major."


Karrie stepped forward and stopped next to the Scots Guard sergeant as he finished teasing his fellow selectee and, technically, his senior NCO. She didn't say anything; she didn't need to. Her mere presence reminded him of her request just a few moments ago.


"Oh, aye!" Itty coughed. "Sorry, madam." he apologised to Karrie, suddenly all business. "Sergeant, this lady wanted an introduction. Miss, this is Colour Sergeant Stephen Nord, Four-Five Commando, Royal Marines." Steve finished wrapping the blanket around his waist, then dropped Kyria's hoodie atop her head and gave Karrie a casual salute.


"Miss. And you'd be?" he inquired, studying her intently.


"Karen Sherman," she replied. "I work for the U.S. State Department, so I'm sure I'm about to get asked some interesting questions about the two of you, and I wanted to be ready with at least your names. Also, do either of you have any idea what just happened?"


Kyria shook her head. "Woke up in a trashed hospital room, heard the monster walking, went to look." She tilted her head, watching Karrie curiously. "Not the normal state of affairs....um, wherever we are?"


"No idea what went on. I was asleep in barracks, and then got hit by lightning a time or two."


"...or ten." Muttered one of the other selectees. The SAS troopers listened silently as they scanned the area.


"And then ran out with the rest of the lads when we heard that thing trampling over Hereford." Steve finished. "And I could feel the bloody storm, too. Like it was an extension of me, somehow."


"Yes," Karrie said, "I felt that too. I'm curious if this is a passing phenomenon or something we'll experience again. I'm still experiencing effects, and I assume that the both of you are." Glancing at the woman, she said, "I'm sorry, I've been rude. I'm afraid I'm a bit flustered." Despite her words, she looked completely composed. "I didn't catch your name?"


The red-head was quiet for a moment, then shrugged. "Neither did I. Like I said, I woke up in a trashed hospital room. That's as far back as I can go."  Steve gave her a surprised glance, then looked up and towards the army base some miles away.


"Choppers are in the air now that the storm's calmed."  He said, hearing the distant sounds. One of the black-clad troopers nodded.


"We've called for a lift - LAVs are conked. Miss and Miss-" he glanced from Karen to Kyria. "The base colonel extends his compliments, and asks that you agree to accompany us." The tone was polite, and professional. It was also not quite a command - technically he couldn't order them to do anything. Perhaps 'strong suggestion' would be a better way to put it.


"It's a sound idea." Steve agreed. "If something's up with us, might be a good idea not to have us around civvies for now. As part of the State Department, you will be able to call your people, of course." he added to Karen. "Hereford has all the coded signals toys."


"Good, because I haven't been able to reach them on civilian devices." Karrie smiled ruefully. "Too many people on the system at once. I need to contact my family, too." And Brady, if he's done with his mission.


Kyria half floated, half climbed onto to Steve's shoulders, sitting without much weight to her. "Lead on, Sir Thunderbolt!" She grinned down at Steve, clearly still a bit manic from the fight.  The SAS and would-be SAS soldiers might have smiled a little, but they hid it well as 'Sir Thunderbolt' stared hard at them all before walking with as much dignity as he could up out of the crater, Kyria perched on his shoulders like a giddy parrot.


"Too bad my phone's fucked." One of the selectees muttered as the whup-whup of an approaching transport filled the air, the dark shape sweeping low over the fields towards them. "This'd be a great cover shot for the Armed Forces rag."


"Hush ya gob." Itty said with a slight smile belying the tone of command as the downdraft from the chopper ruffled everyone's hair. "Let's get his highness and the lassies back to base, then we can laugh it up over a hot wet, alright?"



Good thread, guys!

+1 XP to all characters

Bonus for the thread:
Steve - Take one dot of Fame, all of Hereford saw your.....heroics.
Karrie - Take one dot in Call For Back-Up. The SAS knows what you did, even if they can't prove it. And you're a Yank.
Kyria - Take one dot of Fame, because the SAS and selectees just can't help telling the tale of how Steve got a battlefield promotion to Captain.


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