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