Another new suit…

Well, my nifty alien Overguard suit finally bit the dust. It stopped self-repairing and spots where it had previously healed began tearing under minor strain. I contacted Dr. Omega and had them run off a few of our SmartSkins (TM) in my colors. They’re not as adaptable as the Overguard suits, but they’re better than fighting crime in my sweat pants.

The other day I was involved in a fight with Magister and his Demi-human Liberation Army. I sympathize with the demi-humans, but this guy is always trying to liberate his people so they, and everyone else, can be his subjects. Not my idea of liberty.

He attempted to breach Legacy HQ to steal something from Dr. Oblivion’s stash of magical artifacts. He got into the HQ, but as far as we can tell, he didn’t get what he came for.

I just realized I haven’t shown my updated costume since the big cross-time battle. This is my new SmartSkin (TM) version. I made a little alteration, since I no longer have the Overguard power gem. They tell me we already have over a hundred regular customers for SmartSkins and with their versatility, we’ll have more in the future. Its comfortable, too.

Good news, etc.

Good news is, I’m getting back into the hero thing…

…bad news is, there’s a new Abraxas in Dynasty. He’s younger, and claims to be the son of the recently deceased Dynasty leader. Valkyrie is leading Dynasty, now, and Ironsmith and I got the call about a warehouse robbery on Connor Road.

We arrived and found these two tearing through the place.

There's a new Abraxas in town

I managed to get in some good shots on this Abraxas, Jr. and he definitely doesn’t seem as strong as the original. Could be a hybrid, I suppose. Still packs a punch, but I can charge up quite well from his punches. He also tosses around some impressive energy beams from the eyes that started the fire.

Ironsmith got a workout in his latest rust bucket. Why he paints them up that color, I will never know.

The warehouse was a mess, but it looks like they left without whatever it was they came for, so that’s a plus.

Back in business. It feels good.

I’m still NOT DEAD…

And that’s more amazing than it sounds.

Okay, I’ve been dragged across half the freakin’ galaxy, since the start of summer and all I wanted was a nice, relaxing vacation!!!

I went with the Elysians to their orbital habitat and they tested out the ancient hyperdrive, and it worked! We jumped a few light-minutes at a time, making a circle around the solar system. It was fun and the stars were brilliant and untwinkling and all that. After awhile, it was time to go home so they programmed a jump to take us back to solar orbit, just inside Earth’s orbit.

This time, the drive did something decidedly nasty. Instead of dropping us into a parallel orbit with Earth, it jumped us across the damn galaxy. Something about a fold in space-time or something, wrong place/wrong time, whatever.

We reappeared in normal space in the middle of the battle of the millenium. There was what looked like an enormous red star near us and there were thousands of space ships of different types in the space around us. The habitat reacted by erecting some pretty powerful force shields, and the battle raged around us as if we’d never appeared.

Then something strange (yeah, I know) happened. My Overguard power gem started reacting and I got this flood of information. The red star was, in fact, the massive quasar–sentient quasar– the Overguards call “the Crimson Flame”. It’s the source of all their power and fuels their technology as well. The Flame was calling for help.

Overguards were responding, but distances are enormous on the galactic scale and there was simply no way for them all to get here. The attackers were using a power of their own, a kind of indigo/violet energy they tossed around the way the Overguards do their red energy. They are known as the Brotherhood of the Black Sun and their power source is a strange, dark quasar that radiates mostly in the ultraviolet. I’m told that violates a bunch of laws of physics, as we know them, but I saw the thing and it’s real. It’s also very powerful, probably as powerful as the Flame, and had all its forces concetrated to the task of capturing or destroying the Flame.

Now, there are a lot of very powerful Elysians, so it wasn’t long before we had a squad or space-worthy types ready to join the fight. It took some time to get the habitat to open a window in the shield, for us, but we got out and made contact with the Overguards and their allies.

The fight was brutal. Space combat is the weirdest thing I’ve had to learn. No gravity to work with, so flying is always tricky. Easy to move, difficult to maneuver. At least there was plenty of energy to eat.

So, we fought. And we fought.

We lost. We were simply outgunned and there was no help for it, but to grab all the survivors we could and bug out.

The Flame, realizing it was about to fall into enemy hands did the only thing it could. It used its own power to warp itself out of normal space. Better than it falling into the hands of the Black Sun crowd, but deadly for the Overguards in the field. At least the Flame managed to send out one last warning signal. The Overguard tech holds a residual charge for a few hours, so most Overguards would be able to find a safe haven, before their power went dead.

So, the Overguards are no more. My gem went dark about 6 hours after the Flame disappeared. No one knows if the Flame is still alive, or if it committed suicide. The habitat is now a crowded place, 580,000 people of 16 different species living there. There’s room enough, but feeding them all is going to take some work. The hyperdrive still works, but the jumps back to Earth took a lot longer than the one out had. We couldn’t locate that ripple in space-time that vaulted us across space on the way out.

On the way back, we met several Overguard ships, running on backup power supplies. Limping home, like we were. We managed to get some of our evacuees to ships headed for their homeworlds, and by the time we popped back into orbit around Sol, we were down to 389,000, or so.

Here’s the thing. The Overguards have acted as the de facto peacekeepers in the galaxy for thousands of years. Now, there is no peacekeeping force in the galaxy, and there’s a new, very dangerous threat running loose. Earth’s status as neutral territory may be threatened. It’s suddenly a very different galaxy out there.

I’m not dead!

Wow. Summer’s almost over. I never thought I’d be away from home this long, much less away from Earth.

It’s amazing how something like an exotic vacation can get you swept up into large, strange events. I decided I needed a break after the last big adventure and took the opportunity to head back down to the Elysian city in Antarctica. I get there and they’re having a big celebration. They’ve just learned how to activate and operate the propulsion systems on their space habitat, that’ve been dormant for millennia.

Of course, with having met some of their long lost predecessors, the true pre-historic super-beings who built the thing and are the source of many of Earth’s legends and myths of gods and heroes with supra-normal powers, I was pretty busy sharing my story. No shortage of dinner invitations, you might say.

So, as these things happen, I got swept up in the celebration and accepted an invitation to visit the habitat and ride along on the first test drive.

The drive system folds space somehow, it’s not entirely understood even by the Elysians, they’re learning how to decipher the ancient science as their brains continue to evolve, thanks to the “upgrades” they got when they were accepted by the derelict habitat.

Here’s what it looked like, on our approach.

Ancient Elysians' orbital habitat

Man, I am tired. I’ll write more later.

This gets complicated and there’s some pretty bad things happening out in space, right now. Earth’s lucky to be in neutral territory, at present, but with what’s happening, it may not last much longer.

Back from New York

Olympia’s doing well. She had a couple of broken ribs and some internal bleeding, but it’s all under control, now. She can’t do much with her ribs all taped up, but it’s a big improvement.

Things have been pretty normal, the last couple of weeks. Caught a guy robbing Saratoga State Bank. Called himself “Thruster”. He seemed to be able to generate hot gasses from his skin and direct them to provide thrust. It left a stink like burnt sulphur. Apparently, he runs out of fuel pretty quickly and his recharge time is long enough that he was easy to catch and restrain before he started blasting again.

Checking out my new place. Wish I could show it, but I’m still doing the secret ID thing, for the time being.

Well, I’m heading out for patrol. Heard there’s a shipment of old Kraken League war tech being routed through town. Nobody’s heard from the Kraken League since the Valiants took down King Kraken in 1996. Still, it’s a good idea to be on the lookout. Later…

Follow-up

Anyway, just thought of this after I’d posted. I found a new place, the other day. I’m buying my first house, it’s up in the hills, about 20 miles outside Pinnacle City. Ironsmith is gonna hang there, for a few months, while he gets settled in and finds some gainful employment. Shouldn’t take long, he has a couple of inventions that should be quite lucrative, once he gets them patented.

Tomorrow I have to fly to New York, we’re meeting with the Valiants to work on protocols for these massive team-up things. The idea is to start working together more often, so when the..umm.. stuff hits the fan, we can coordinate our efforts better. Sometimes the “throw muscle at it” approach just doesn’t work.

I also want to check in on Olympia. She got hurt pretty bad in our recent team-up. She’s nearly as strong and tough as Victoria, but she is still mostly human.

Ouch

Wyred pulled this pic off one of his remotes. Ouch!

Party Time

It’s been almost a week since the funerals for the fallen heroes. I also attended private funerals for Iron Eagle and Metal Max, and joined the crowd at Sea Lion’s burial at sea.

We finally got around to having a formal ceremony inducting me into Legacy. Afterwards, there was a party at Noonan’s and I met heroes from around the country, and more than a few retired heroes from the 60s and 70s.

I found this cool shot of Legacy, circa 1968.

Legacy 1968

Apex-pre-goatee…Black Eagle, before he got his metal wings…Fireswan, before she married Prof. Paragon…Sea Lion 150 tans ago…Victoria looking much the same as today…Gauntlet in his prime…and Red Racer, father of the current Racer. Red Racer was one of my favorite heroes, growing up. I patterned my new “lightning bolt” trim on his suit.

Here’s Legacy’s new lineup.

Legacy-New lineup

Yes, that’s Dh’ayl floating near the top. Drako, Ironsmith and I are the latest recruits. Ironsmith impressed everyone by putting together a a new suit of armor, using an old Space Force powersuit. Drako made quite a showing in our recent adventure across timelines. His powers are magical in origin, something about his great-great-grandmother being an actual dragon. The girl with wings is Skye and her sister, Mysti are our Elysian contingent. Sunray has recovered from her solar energy depletion. Dr. Oblivion has changed his headgear again. Victoria has updated her costume, but Apex is still in his original outfit. Nanoman is up front there, all small and stuff. Captain Elastic can’t seem to resist stretching in these photos. He’s getting kind of protective of Racer, these days. I hear they’re planning to get married in the fall. And, then there’s me.

I met Skyrocket’s team mates, from Dallas. They call themselves The Wyld Bunch. I mentioned that’s more of a bad guy type name, but they just laughed. In addition to Skyrocket, there’s Spyder, who’s 6’8″ and Fantasi. Skyrocket flies and can shoot sparkly energy blasts. Spyder is a big, strong wall-crawler. Fantasi’s powers seem to be psionic, something like really convincing illusions or something.

The Wyld Bunch

Later in the evening, this chick from Chicago called Bouncing Betty was totally hitting on me at the party. She was on the rebound.

Another crossover update

Found a shot of me fighting myself.
Overcharge, he called himself.

Amp-v-Overcharge

Kinda creepy to look at that pic.

The whole time we’ve been here, every time I crossed paths with Victoria, she seemed to be doing the deja vu thing. She had this odd look on her face, like she was remembering something from long ago. Like she’d been here, before.

This fight was going on a lot longer than I’d thought it would. I knew we were outnumbered, but with Apex and Victoria on your side, it’s really easy to get overconfident. Add to that, a bunch of Overguards and the rest of Legacy, the Valiants, Omega Unit and a good-sized squad of assorted heroes and villains, and I had felt pretty good, going in.

Their numbers were wearing us down. We were getting tired, and they kept on coming. We should have known it wouldn’t be easy, most of these fighters were the survivors of their various worlds’ destruction. While we hadn’t run into many in the Apex class, there were plenty of them just shy of it. Along with Omnedon’s cyber-enhanced, super-powered “warhounds”, they were beating us.

Things were getting bad. One of the defenders threw a reddish glowing chain around Mega-Man’s neck, that ozmium stuff, and he went down like a sack of potatoes. Victoria had beaten Thunor, but she was fairly exhausted, by that point and had broken her left arm. I had been dog-piled by a group of power-grabbers and only had my Mark I human strength to fight with. Mega and Wildstar were nearby and surrendered. We were surrounded. Lucky for us, they take prisoners.

It was a classic scene. We’re all tired, bruised and battered. The guards are all puffed up with their victory and they drag us into Omnedon’s tower. We’re hauled up in front of King Bloatmonster, himself and Mega-Man cries out, “Vickie!” drawing a reaction from the manacled slave girl in front of Omnedon’s throne. Really, it was a touching scene.

Omendon's throne room

All the while, Victoria has this amazed look on her face, like she’s not all there. Here eyes are flitting around, looking for something. I edged over to her and asked, “What’s up?” She just smiled and said, “Cavalry’s coming.”

Before I could do a “hunh?” there was a flash of light in the swirly purple sky and a huge golden disk came out of it. A shockwave, like thunder, but more of a distortion of space-time, than any wave passing through air, shook the tower. Victoria flexed and pieces of shattered metal went flying from her manacles. She was laughing!

The Cavalry

Anyone who couldn’t break his bonds, she freed. She ripped the ozmium chain off of Mega-Man and dived for the slave girl’s similarly glowing chains.

The ozmium in the building kept them weak, but they were free.

The flying golden disk belonged to these guys. Kin to our Earth’s earliest superhumans, the ones who built the Elysium space vehicle and the city in Antarctica. We called them the Knights of New Elysium, as they call their homeworld. The golden disk belonged to the one called Sundiver, his version of Apollo’s golden sun-chariot. All the Knights are Apex/Victoria class in power and they really helped tip the balance.

Knights of New Elysium

But, most amazing of all, was who was riding along with them! The Golden Eagles, including a 19-year old Victoria! They were from 1946 and had been caught up in this whole crosstimeline cosmic apocalypse when the New Elysians appeared over White Sands, New Mexico, looking for allies. Call me a geek, but teaming up with the world’s first superhero team was something really cool.

The Golden Eagles

Another group of out-time heroes had already joined the Knights, they call themselves the Seven Sisters, and they claim to be the genetic daughters of their world’s version of Apex.

The 7 Sisters

Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself, here.

So we break out of our chains and the big golden disk smashes through to huge curved windows of the throne room and Victoria greets herself with a sisterly hug that seems to confuse the younger girl as much as us. The strangest thing, though, was the resemblance between the younger Victoria and the slave girl Mega-Man had called Vickie. They could have been sisters, almost twins. Amazing. Turns out Vickie, who goes by Virago, is Mega-Man’s grand-daughter.

One of the Knights, the one called Alkemy, with the furnace head, did something that I felt more than saw and suddenly, all the ozmium was changed to iron. Virago went wild, her strength coming back faster than I would have thought. Omnedon tried to flee, but she grabbed his grav-chair and dumped him onto the floor. A couple of his bodyguards tried to stop her, but she smashed them against the wall with less effort than swatting a fly. She then turned to Omnedon and beat him to death while the rest of us fought one of those warhound creatures and his other guards. We were busy with our own opponents, not that any of us would have moved to stop her, at that point.

Omnedon overthown

Intrepid carries a lot of stuff on a mission, he had several of the self-adjusting vac-suits Omega Industries is making for the space program. We outfitted Virago with one and did a quick customization on it, so we could ID her easily. They’re tough and flexible and make pretty decent costumes in a pinch.

Virago kicks ass

From there on, it was a running battle. We pulled the weaker survivors to safety and Dr. Power used his magic to transport them to Sundiver’s disk. At some point in the mayhem, Petra, of the Seven Sisters found Thunor’s magic mallet and there was a flash of lightning and a roar of thunder and she was transformed into a thunder god, calling herself Thunderstone. She became a storm of righteous fury on our side, at that point. I got the feeling this were her first time flying on her own power. It’s a heady feeling. Plus, tossing gigawatt lightning bolts has got to get your blood flowing.

Thunderstone

So, the battle raged. The walls shook. The enemy fell. We fought. And fought. Gradually, I adjusted my suit to let in more of that energy that was overloading me, before. It helped some. I heal pretty fast, but I still need food and rest. No time for that, though.

Our guys fought like demons. I saw two Overguards go down, Legacy’s Overguard, and Ilda-Ee, of the planet Kwynnon. I remember how funny she was, paired with our Overguard, who was always so stern and serious. The two Bluestreaks seemed determined to top each other, while Racer seemed more focussed than I’ve ever seen her.

It was interesting to see the proto-Overguard, the Crimson Flame, at work. His power came from the same source as the Overguards, he just didn’t know it. He’d found his power stone in an archaeological dig and wouldn’t discover its extraterrestrial origins until the 1950s. The Wisp was kinda creepy, an energy ghost with weird electromagnetic powers, he could do all kinds of strange things. He was fifty feet tall, at one point.

Seeing young and “old” Victoria fighting side by side was strange. And not. When you realize Victoria is as near immortal as anyone can get, and notice how often supers get bounced through time, it’d be surprising if she never crossed her own path. Young Victoria seemed less sure of herself, strong as ever, but less confident in her power and skill.

It was like watching history, seeing the Eagles in action. I wanted to tell them about Dark shadow’s betrayal, but that wouldn’t unfold for a few years, from their perspective…and it’s history, so what’s the point? Can’t change history, can you?

The Seven Sisters were interesting. Nike’s strength and speed, and her “power-punch” made her pretty damned formidable. Petra’s stone body gave her strength and resistance to damage, add thundergod powers onto that and she easily became the most powerful member of her team. Swyft and Racer got on well, together, Red and blue speedsters tearing around the battlefield. Aegis’s energy shields protected her from attack, while she used her weapons and any weapons she laid her hands on. Ghostwind has the ability to walk through walls and become invisible. Nightingale has voice-based sonic powers, she can use them to create shockwaves, shatter steel or even to put people into a trance-like state that renders them susceptible to suggestion. From her name and what I saw of her powers, Discordia has the abilty to make people dislike her, and each other. How she manages to fit with her sisters is something of a mystery.

I got to see the Knights in action, for a bit. Imperator is every bit as strong as Apex. Nebula’s powers seem to be a lot like Wormhole’s and Tesseract’s, bending and folding space-time. She seemed to teleport wherever she wanted to go. And teleported her opponents out of her way. Don’t know where she sent them. Thunderlord seemed to take Petra’s transformation as a challenge, there was a thunderbolt competition for awhile. Flora’s got plant-control powers, which you wouldn’t expect to do much in an artificial floating city, but she found what plants there were and used them. Zephyr seems to have wind powers to go with her wings. Sundiver’s solar powers and Alkemy’s transmutation powers were off the scale. With a wave of the hand, Alkemy left dozens of bad guys standing there in their filthy boxers. Most of them became fairly easy to manage, at that point.

Ships started disappearing through Omnedon’s dimensional gateway, so Mega-Man got it into his head to put the city’s power grid out of commission. Virago followed, and Wildstar and I went along. Less fighting, lots of door and wall smashing, for awhile. The city’s power source was a matter-antimatter reactor, powering the city and the dimensional gateway machinery that Omnedon used to plunder worlds. I guess if we left them with power on that scale, they’d start it all over again, under some new leader. According to Norok, he had several brothers who’d step into the breach. Those who still had enough sentience to think like that, anyway. According to Norok, several of Omnedon’s sons were converted into those ultra-powerful warhound things, like the one that killed Abraxas. Others had gone part way through the transformation, and commanded the Reaper ship used to plunder the various Earths.

When we reached the reactor room, we found that the thing was constructed out of some kind of unbelievably strong metal, and heavily shielded, to boot. The controls were indecipherable, so shutting it down first, wasn’t an option. Smashing it was the only way to do the job, quickly. We threw every form of energy we could at the thing, but the only thing that seemed to make a dent was Mega-Man’s strength. He started pounding this crystal dome that was part of the reactor chamber, it’s only real weak spot. When Virago realized what he planned, she tried to drag him away. He told her to go, and told Wildstar and I, “Get her out of here, now!”

"Get her out of here! NOW!"

We did.

She fought the whole way, and cursed us as colorfully as any sailor. Between us, Wildstar and I were barely strong enough to control her. Then the explosions started. The whole city shook as the reactor vessel vented antimatter plasma, annihilating all matter it touched. The reaction grew. One of the annex sections of the city broke off and drifted away. It was time to leave. Virago didn’t fight us anymore. Tears running down her face, she grabbed up two of the non-flyers and followed us to the Omega ship. Others made their way to Sun-disk. Everyone who could fly was carrying one or more of those who couldn’t. The mass of the city shielded us from the worst of the radiation, but it was going to get really bad if we didn’t get the hell out of there, fast.

I found that guy, Ironsmith, on a rooftop and scooped him up. His armor had been pounded into scrap, by then, and he couldn’t fly on his own. We fought our way through the bad guys, most of them were trying to get to their ships or whatever, to get away from the city. With their reactor destroyed, their dimensional gateway was closed forever.

It was a crazy time, crowding as many people as we could fit into the corridors and holds of the ship. Sundiver expanded his disk to maximum diameter, he got eighty or ninety people onto it and followed us back through the transportal to our world. As the transportal closed, we saw the city go up in an eye-searing blast.

We were home.

In all, we lost eight people. Eleven had serious injuries. The rest of us were bruised and battered, even the supposedly invulnerable types like Apex and Victoria, even Maximum Man, were sporting bruises and scrapes. Victoria’s arm was broken, but had already started to heal. One of the gifts of being a goddess, I suppose.

After seeing him in action, Apex invited Drako to join Legacy. Ironsmith is going to room with us, for awhile and may be asked to join the team, too. Yuri Ninchenko is rotating back to Earth to take his place as Earth’s resident Overguard, but Dh’ayl is taking up the Overguard position in Legacy, for the next few months.

Mega, Wildstar, Virago, Tesla, and Cassandra are planning to move to Los Angeles, Centurion wants to start a super-team for the weast coast and says he likes the name Guardians. Look for them on a beach near you. Wildstar and Virago seem to have made a connection, and Mega and Cassandra had something going before they arrived.

I saw Dire wolf head off with Deathknell and his crew. Valkyrie and the other members of Dynasty disappeared before we docked with Goddard Station. Disaster Area regrouped on the station, and took the shuttle to Earth, still under the truce. Mechanus and Galatea are talking to the station commander about joining the staff. I think Mechanus intends to start a machine colony on one of the planets or moons.

Cyberia and Wyred invited me to their wedding, it’s in June, in St. Petersburg. They already dress alike, they might as well tie the knot, eh? Jeez, I just thought about how ulta-geeky their kids are going to be. Or maybe they’ll turn out to be like, ultra-jocks, in retaliation.

By now, you’ve seen the big changes I’ve made to my suit. I like the lightning bolt theme, so I think I’ll stick with it, but the mask is bugging me, lately. The glowy contacts are irritating, after 9 or 10 hours and the little eye-holes are just annoying. Since the costume design is kinda 70s retro, now, I decided to rework my mask, on the way home.

A quick update.

Shuttling some wounded and some freed captives back to our Earth.

The battle is still a bit one-sided, but with the additional muscle in the second wave, we were finally able to push through into the city. I hate to say it, but this is war and we’re taking few prisoners. At any rate, few of them surrender. I think most of them are so far gone, they’d rather die than be faced with the things they’ve done under Omnedon. I hope that’s it. I hate the idea that there are people who love killing and destruction. They’ve decimated whole worlds. They’ve killed and enslaved so many people, they have to expect a death sentence.

We broke into a building where they were holding several supers in those ozmium chains, some were pretty nearly starved to death, but a couple came back like gangbusters, as soon as the chains were removed. The healthier ones couldn’t be persuaded to hang back and recuperate, they just dived in and started wailing on Omnedon’s warriors. From Mega-Man’s stories, I gather there are a lot of grudges built up, here.

Pulsyr was injured by falling masonry, as we fought in the streets of the city. He seems to be the only super from our world who is effected by the presence of ozmium. Quake and Stormsurge found their powers virtually useless in the environment of the city, so they brought some of the wounded back with them. Cyclone and Flashfreeze had no such problems, there’s air inside the city’s atmosfield for Cyclone to manipulate and Flashfreeze’s powers work on molecular motion.

We lost Metal Max, two days ago. He was fighting a guy called Metalmorph, as the name suggests, he’s able to reshape his metal body any way he likes. Max’s armor just wasn’t enough. Hoplite and Centurion killed Metalmorph a short time later, but Hoplite was injured bad enough he was sent back home. Centurion is really impressive, he’s not only got the armor and the weapons suite, but he’s faster than we’re used to seeing with armored guys.

The Death of Metal Max

Others injured in battle are:
Olympia, badly beaten by an armored villain called Ironmace. Lustre, struck down by a power blast from a creature composed of living lighting, called Blitzen. Shakedown, whose sonic gauntlets overloaded and blew up. Max Power, whose power ran out after a few hours. Blackbird, whose speed and fighting skills were insufficient to protect him against 3 speedsters. Sunray is suffering solar deprivation after expending most of her energy protecting the ship. And Manta, whose powers work best under water, was injured fighting a villain called Mako Shark.

Victoria has been tied up fighting a thunder god type called Thunor. Her lance against his mallet. They’re pretty evenly matched. My money’s on Victoria. Ever since we crossed over into this realm, she’s had this look, like she’s seen this kind of thing before. I get the feeling she knows something she hasn’t told us, yet.

Abraxas is dead. He was attacked by this weird cyborg monster thing. There seem to be several versions of it, with differing power levels and abilities. This one was able to beat Abraxas to death, but took so much damage in the fight, Apex and Mega-Man were able to destroy it. After they broke away from some of its brothers, that is.

Abraxas vs Warhound

My suit is controlling the inflowing energy pretty well. We figured out what’s causing my problems, but the suit is the only way to counteract the effect. This realm, it’s what’s left of several realities and some of the energies of those realities remains. Specifically, the “psychoplasmic” energy that powers most of the supers in all realities. Most of us are getting extra power, while we’re here, it’s just that my powers make me especially sensitive to it.

I took a hit from an energy vampire type creature. He was able to punch through my shields and tag me, but I heal pretty quickly these days. Wormhole teleported the crab-guy away to who-knows-where. Handy guy. I tried talking him over to our side, but it didn’t seem to take.

Ouch

Fought some geek with a magic ring. His magic was like Gauntlet’s, so I couldn’t charge up from it, but there’s so much energy going to waste here, I was able to shatter his constructs and punch him out. Wyred caught a snap of it, with Wildstar blasting some rock creature. The armored guy in the foreground is one of the captives we freed. Calls himself Ironsmith. They’d taken his suit away while he was uncoscious and never let him close to the guy wearing it, after that. While we were rescuing him, one of the guards responding to the breakout happened to be the geek in the stolen armor. Ironsmith said some key phrase and the suit cracked open and spat the geek out like a watermelon seed. Like a lot of these people we’ve rescued, the ones who can still fight, anyway, Ironsmith has some issues to work out. We can use the help, so I don’t think anyone minds.

Amp and Wildstar fighting Omnedon's warriors

A few days ago, I fought an alternate reality version of myself. My opposite number, I guess you’d say. He called himself Overcharge and he had the same powers as me and a similar outfit. Our powers were useless against each other, so it became pretty much a hand-to-hand fight, until he backed into Gibraltar’s stone fist. It was beyond strange to see myself die. I don’t recommend the experience.

Berserker went down fighting, protecting our retreat with the wounded. He stood his ground, in a narrow alley, while we carried Hoplite and the others back to the ship. He was a joke as a super-villain, but standing in that narrow gap, his axe flashing as he slashed and hacked at waves of attackers, he was one hell of a hero. I’m going to make sure he’s remembered.

One of our wounded was none other than Wormhole, who’s been so effective helping recover injured fighters. He was shot in the leg by some kind of blaster. The guy who shot him wore a suit of armor that wouldn’t have looked out of place on a Star Wars set and Wormhole has been geeking out about being shot by a stormtrooper. One of Wyred’s ubiquitous sensor drones caught this shot.

Wormhole wounded

Well, we’ve dropped off our wounded and picked up a few more fighters to go back to the city.

The City

Unbelievable.

Biggest fight of my career, biggest fight I’ve even heard about.

How am I going to tell this story? Begin at the beginning, they always say.

Here’s a list of everyone who went along on this little excursion.

First Wave Roster
Legacy
Apex, Victoria, Metal Max, Captain Elastic, Sea Lion, Overguard, Iron Eagle, Dr. Oblivion, Racer, Sunray, Mysti, Skye and me, Amp
Omega Unit
Tesseract, Intrepid, Ogre, and Airborne
Challengers
Mega-Man and Tesla
Guardians
Mega, Wildstar, and Cassandra
Assorted Good Guys
Wyred, Lustre, Neon, Pulsyr, Cyberia, Max Power and Bluestreak (II)
Assorted Bad Guys
Berserker, Deathknell, Wormhole, Shakedown, Brazen, Thermina, Abraxas, Valkyrie, Blackbird, Panzer, Grav, and Dire Wolf

Well, we boarded Omega Unit’s Kuldar destroyer and headed into space. Using Norok’s knowledge and Elysian transportal technology, we opened a portal to Omnedon’s realm, a bizarre region of non-space that’s all swirling purple and violet. Nobody knows why it’s that color.

Omega Unit's Kuldar destroyer

That’s the ship, opening the portal in space, not too far from Goddard Station. We passed through it into that weird swirling space and in the distance (?) we could see a spec floating against the roiling background colors. We made for that speck.

As we neared it, it became clear we were looking at the city Norok had described. Built up over the decades using debris from the destroyed or looted universes. According to Norok, even when a universe is destroyed, there are always relics left behind. Sometimes, there are people, who were lucky, or unlucky (depending on your viewpoint) to survive.

Omenedon's expanded capitol

Our entry into this realm did not go unnoticed. Luckily, those ships hovering over the city are transports of some kind, not warships, so all we had to deal with were the warriors. That was bad enough, there were hundreds of them. We learned from some of the survivors we rescued that Omnedon’s Legion, as he called it, was made up from the super-powered survivors of the various decimated Earths. Not all were human, because evolution had taken different paths on some of the more divergent timelines, but most were variations on the humanoid form.

Imagine an army of desperate, degenerate superhumans. That’s what we faced, 43 against hundreds. Some of them had been heroes, some villains, the ones who served Omnedon willingly had a fair degree of freedom, we later learned. Those who didn’t were fitted with a control device that carried a shielded capsule of antimatter. During the fight, I saw dozens of unexplained explosions, warriors who refused to fight for Omnedon any longer, who sacrificed their lives.

As we approached the city, a plane of light extended from it, on the near side and the warriors began forming ranks on this plane. This was the first battleground, a shimmering plane of blue-gray light. We parked the ship at the edge of the plane and all but Captain Elastic and Doctor Oblivion deboarded and advanced on the enemy.

They were led by a guy called Goldhawk, his battered golden armor and wings had seen better days. He ordered us to surrender, but Mega-Man attacked without hesitation. Goldhawk’s weapon seemed to weaken Mega-Man, so I swooped in and snatched it away from him. It’s powered by ozmium, the metal that weakens the big guy. After that, Goldhawk didn’t stand a chance.

Goldhawk Leader of Omnedon's Castaway Legion

Castaway Legion

The warriors were a different matter. Some were unbelievably strong and fast, but we had strength and speed, too. I saw Mega-Man and Apex back-to-back, fighting more than a dozen warriors. The thing is, these guys didn’t have any organization. Even with Goldhawk leading them, they’d been a rabble. We were weaker in numbers, but better organized. We’d all been given Legacy earbugs, so we had communication and coordination.

It wasn’t always enough.

Iron Eagle was killed by an energy blast that would have rocked Apex. Sea Lion was mortally wounded by that alien-looking purple mollusc with tentacles. Some kind of poison in the wound prevented all attempts at healiing with science and magic. Tesla’s broken leg hasn’t healed enough and we had to bring her back to prevent her injuring herself. The main reason I’m back with the wounded is that there’s something about that realm that charges me up too fast. I couldn’t bleed off energy fast enough, I felt like I was swelling up, about to burst. I’m working with Overguard to use the suit and power gem as a regulator.

On the other hand,the bad guys are holding out pretty well.

Grav’s powers enable him to knock down wave after wave of attackers. some kind of gravity wave thing. Wormhole has been handy pulling our guys out of tight spots. He has amazing precision with those spacewarps of his. Deathknell has really been working his team, I wish they’d brought Escapade along, she’s cute. It was funny, at one point, Deathknell and Dire Wolf were covering each others’ backs and all the while, Deathknell is recruiting. He’s not only a major powerhouse and a criminal mastermind, he’s a networking genius.

Shakedown has hit on every female in the group, including Victoria. She threatened to squeeze his head like a pimple. Brazen seems to keep to herself. I’ve read she’s stuck in her metal form, nobody knows why.

The scariest thing has been working with Dynasty. Abraxas is just scary, he has this way of looking at you like you’re less than an annoying bacterium. But, not so much less that he wouldn’t burn you off the face of the Earth. Victoria and Valkyrie are always looking daggers at each other. Raven just seems creepy. Panzer’s armor creaks and squeals like it needs serious maintenance.

Wyred and Cyberia were pretty amazing, too. Each trying to impress the other with gadgets and witticisms. Nerds in love. What are you gonna do?

Max Power and Bluestreak (the second one) are here, representing Justicia, the official Justice Department super-team, Bluestreak is easy to spot with his trademark light trail. Max Power, on the other hand, can be found by the trail of bodies he leaves in his wake. Strong and fast, he’s also a master of several martial arts and a stone killer, in the right situation.

We’ve also got that alien energy creature, Neon, with us, and his/her/its NASA liaison, Pulsyr. They’ve got a whole teamwork thing worked out that’s been pretty effective.

Omega Unit left Esprit back at home. I bet she’s pissed about that.

Having trouble processing the deaths of Iron Eagle and Sea Lion. It’s not that I haven’t seen death, before, I lost my whole family, as you know. And while I never much liked Iron Eagle, and Sea Lion was usually on the coast, so I never crossed paths with him, I think I should feel more than this numbness. Ugh. I hate thinking about this stuff. I have team mates and friends who’re fighting for their lives and I need to get back in the fight myself. Almost time to go,

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We’re loading up, now. I have my equipment set to regulate my energy intake. I don’t know about the others, but I’m more than a little concerned about the bad guys tagging along. On the other hand, they have as much stake in protecting the Earth as those of us on the opposite side. Especially the ones who want to rule the world one day.

Oh, one other thing. Overguard (the one in Legacy, who still maintains a secret ID) called in reinforcements. We have five Overguards going back with us, and the Valiants are just docking with Goddard Station, now. They’ve brought Tronix, Maximum Man, Fantasya, Hoplite and Olympia. Centurion flew in from the west coast, too, and we have Skyrocket coming up from Dallas. I’m told Avante is on high alert, covering Earth in the event something tracks us back, but that didn’t keep Gibraltar from joining us.

It’s time.