2019-04-06: Demons Taste Disgusting

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Featuring Black Mamba, Fusion, Airman
Rating PG-13
Synopsis An anomaly hits lower Manhattan, forcing Sentry to face down horrific demons and a powerful leader. Rated PG-13 for mild cussing and gore.

Chaos. That's really nothing new for New York, but in this particular instance, the chaos is large enough to actually call in the best. An emergency call came in from a practically panicked New York Police Officer. These men and women do not get panicked, they're trained to be calm under any fire, and yet - the voice on the other end of the line sounded not only terrified, but about ready to soil their britches, if they hadn't already.

"S..Sentry, emergency in Battery Park.." (In the background, a great deal of screaming, yelling, and loud explosions can be heard.) "An..anomaly hit lower Manhattan regi.. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAh." Just before the final scream, a loud, booming voice can be heard. "YOU WILL BOW BEFORE KA.." And then the radio went silent.

The scene that lies before Sentry is one of horrific destruction. The entire lower area of Manhattan looks as though an nuclear bomb has hit it - though a long time ago. Buildings are crumbled and covered in vines and overgrowth. Where there should be tall, impressive skyscrapers, there is nothing but barren land and ancient ruins of what must have been New York.

There is a distinct line between where the anomaly starts and where it ends, for police officers are trying their best to cordon off the area, a line drawn between the new and the old. People in the apocalyptic landscape can be seen, cowering, running, or being attacked by horrific demonic looking creatures - straight out of some kind of alien horror film.

In the middle of it all, holding a police officer up by his neck, is a tall, dark haired man dressed in dark, black armor, with a strange red two thunder bolt-shaped S's that form another thunder bolt-shaped S down the middle. The officer struggles to breath, his legs kicking as the tall man still has him in a choke hold. "Did you not hear what I said? This world is now mine, why do you resist?"


There are days that Joey Griffin still feels as if he's the new kid to the superhero block - trying to fill the much larger proverbial shoes of his grandfather and struggling to do justice to the legacy of the Airman. Even after having his abilities for more than a decade, after membership in groups both in New York and Chicago and a respectable career adventuring solo, there are just those times where he can't shake the feeling that he's always going to come up short when measured to the 'big guns'. When he feels that calling in the 'best' means Beacon, not Sentry. So, an emergency like this one? Well, it's a chance for him to realize that not only is he right where he's supposed to be, but that he and Sentry are indeed America's premier defenders - and the only ones equipped to defend her shores at a moments notice.

Maybe it's the absolute terror and panic that was in the policeman's voice, maybe it was the way he was cut off, screaming. Regardless, Joey's minor funk of the day has been snapped and he's up and to action almost immediately. The wind answers his summons and he's at the scene of the anomaly in heartbeat - but his heart then skips the next one as he gets a picture of what's going on. Sentry has dealt with some strange anomalies since the phenomenons started, there's been wastelands and dinosaurs and robots and everything in between. But this? Joey has no idea who the individual is who has the policeman by the neck, but it's clear that he's responsible for the destruction and ruins that the anomaly has brought with. And for a second, that funk that Joey was wrestling with this morning starts to gnaw at the back of his mind. Maybe this *is* one for Beacon...

Taking in a deep breath, Joey shifts his form to that of living air, hopefully giving him protection against whatever the dark-haired individual might be able to throw at him. He glances back to where he hopes that Fusion and Black Mamba are hopefully positioned nearby to him, searching out direction from Sentry's field leader. "I don't think he's noticed us yet," Airman intones quietly to Fusion, "But it also looks like our boy in blue doesn't have much time either. I'm ready to engage on your say-so. What's the plan we're looking at here? Grasp and gasp?" He's referring to one of Sentry's tactics that's been fairly effective against otherwise uncontrollable opponents - immobilizing the target so that Airman can deprive them of oxygen and put them to sleep.


Sentry are already on the scene!

...technically.

Zara Breinholst, Sentry's Black Mamba, is out for her irregular morning 'jog'. She varies her routes at random, enjoying getting out of Sentry's HQ and being among the more normal citizens of New York, but not wanting a routine to provide a regular route for journalists to bug her, or make it look like she's on a photoshoot. This morning she took the subway to Battery Park, and set off at a swift but easy slither, aiming to circle the park and then 'jog' back to HQ. She's dressed in Sentry-branded sportswear (naturally) and she was happily humming along to the music from her earbuds...

...then a moment of dizziness and disorientation, and...

...instead of the smooth path through the park she's been slithering along, her scales are crunching through scattered debris and the park itself... well, it's seen better days. Zara halts, and looks around, her brilliant green eyes wide. Not with fear, but curiosity. She's studied the anomalies, but she's never actually been present at the moment the world changed. She plucks her earbuds out, the music still playing, quiet and oddly tinny.

~...And you may find yourself~ ~In another part of the world~ ~And you may find yourself~ ~Behind the wheel of a large automobile...~

The music's interrupted as the emergency call cuts through on priority, and Zara's sense of wonder takes a back seat to her job. Not least because of the demonic creatures starting to emerge from the trees all around her. She stuffs an earbud that's not just an earbud back in place. "This is Mamba, I'm at Ground Zero. Hostile contact." Her words are clipped and efficient. She'd like to say 'bring my stuff'. What she actually says is, "Engaging."

A terrified civilian blunders toward her, chased by something out of nightmare. She shoves him to one side and opens her mouth, impossibly wide, fangs dropping into place, and spits a stream of venom into the charging demon's face.


The instant that Joey is there - Erana is not far behind. Her powers are a bright, golden aura that surrounds her. As many things that Sentry has seen, it still takes Fusion a moment to adjust to the anomalies. That brief moment is soon met with professional attachment, they have a job to do. Thus, Erana's gaze first seeks out a snake in the destruction, when that fails, she offers a quick. "Copy Mamba, I do not have a visual on you. Civilian safety will be in your hands." No pressure.

To Joey, Erana's voice echoes through his ear-piece. "There are a lot of creatures on the field, Airman, grasp and gasp first, if that doesn't work, you go for the demons and civilians, I'll take the leader. On my mark - and go!"

Below - the parademon that Mamba spits at reels backwards, screaming out in pain as his clawed hands try to remove the venom from its face. Its wings beat fiercely on its back before it suddenly just seizes upwards and falls to the ground, unconscious. The terrified civilian stumbles to one side, nearly falling though is very thankful as Mamba takes care of the creature that was about to attack her. "My God. What are they??" She screams outwards, another civilian charges forward, this one is dressed in police officer blues, though ripped - as a massive wound can be seen along his side. "Get out of here, this way." He yells, his eyes are blood shot and face a mask of horror. "Mamba! What do you want me to do?"

As for the armored man, he'll find that his prey, the dangling, trying to breath Police Officer, is suddenly yanked right out from his hands, a golden bubble surrounds the officer, pulling the man swiftly to the safety behind the barricade. Fusion's form hovers over the dark haired intruder, as a golden cage strikes down firmly around the heavily armored, man. "Airman! Now!"


Giving Fusion a quick nod, the ethereal form of Airman begins to hover upwards, his smoke-like hair billowing about him as his luminescent eyes focus in on the tyrannical invader. "Copy that," he answers Era, a bit of a frown pulling down at the corners of his mouth. He briefly takes his attention away from the apparent leader of the onslaught to scan the chaos below - swooping and terrorizing demon creatures, flailing and running civilians, frenetic police officers - and finds he's also not able to get any eyes on Mamba. Briefly, he also states into his comlink, "Careful down there, Mamba. No idea what you're seeing down on the ground level, but it looks like a warzone from up here. These demon things are everywhere." Hopefully, taking out the leader will make them easy to mop up.

Then, the directive is given - Fusion's signature golden energy flaring to life to form a cage around the invader and her shout for Airman to do his thing. Though he doesn't really need to do so, Joey holds his hands out before him as if physically pulling on the air within the golden cage, curled fingers tightening into shapes just shy of actual fists. As he does so, the gasses within Fusion's cage swirl invisibly, all of the oxygen in that space removed completely to be replaced by carbon dioxide from the area immediately surrounding. "On it!" Airman calls out as he deprives the invader of any breathable air, his voice growing louder as he decides to address the dark-haired terrorist directly. "Take your last breath, Dark Elvis. Your consciousness is about to leave the building!" Here's hoping, anyways...


Fusion's voice crackles in Zara's earbud as her venom hits its target, but she's too busy to reply for a few seconds. She really has no idea if her venom will even be effective, but she stands her ground, tail coiling defensively to give her some ability to push back if she has to try to block the demon's charge...

The other members of Sentry //might//, just //might// hear a sigh of relief, and perhaps even a very quiet, "I'm SO glad that worked." Before Zara's voice cuts in again, at full volume, and suggesting a confidence that might not be quite as genuine as it sounds. "Copy. I'm on it."

Unknown number of civilians. Unknown number of wounded. Unknown number of hostiles. And it's way too dangerous for the emergency services to back them up. No pressure, indeed. She smirks to herself when Airman's voice cuts in. "Doesn't look any better down here, Airman. I'll try to keep some grounded for you." The last is said in a hurried tone as an injured police officer accosts her.

Zara takes one look at him and makes the only decision she can. "Lead as many as you can out of here. Don't fight them unless you're cornered. Leave them to us and run. When you get out, make sure whoever's in charge has a cordon set up... and make sure there's medical support. There's going to be casualties." Her voice turns outright grim for the last. "Go!"

As the officer flees, Zara takes a breath. Time to get herself noticed. There are still trees, although it looks like whatever happened here either killed or corrupted them, and the regrowth that followed looks... wrong. But Zara can still move through them nearly as easily as in the open. She darts into their shadows, coiling up a treetrunk and moving through the branches until she's above a knot of the demons... and then drops.

Her jaws hinge wide and her fangs clamp down, hard, on a demon's shoulder, while her tail scythes out in a wide arc, hoping to bring as many down as possible in one movement.


There is only a brief moment of surprise written across the features of the dark haired super being. His gaze lifts upwards seeking out the form of the one that took his prey from him. His upper lip curls into a scowl, "A woman!? How.." Only to find himself trapped fully into the golden cage, then the air begins to drain, changing from oxygen to carbon dioxide, the being inside just laughs. "I do not need your pitiful air to breath." One armored hand lifts upwards, balled into a fist, he takes a quick swing and slams down on the golden trap that is around him.

The blow sends a backlash of energy through Fusion, her hands lift up unconscious to protect her face, even though it really isn't needed. "Holy God." Is all that Erana can get out, at least initially. The cage is gone, enough pressure was placed upon it that the energy just displaced entirely. Yet, by that single touch, Erana's able to see just what they're dealing with.

"Super strength, invulnerability, flight, eye beams, super breath, this thing is unlike anything I've felt before. Airman, stick to the plan, both of you, save lives, I'm taking this thing up high - away from the battlefield." And then, to the figure below, Erana's voice calls out, "I don't suppose we can talk this over..?" She tries at least, though the figure is zooming swiftly towards her, forcing Erana to streak upwards, soon disappearing out of sight.

Below, the parademons are rounding up civilians, herding them towards the opening of one of the few buildings that still stand. They speak in a garbled language that sounds more like grunts and nonsense, versus actual words.

As for Mamba, her fangs easily sink into the demon's shoulder, her venom almost instantly knocking the creature out, sending it falling down fast. Another is knocked senseless with her tail, while a third gets caught in the crashing of the other two (and Mamba) and all end up on the ground unconscious. Two other creatures break away from herding the civilians to begin their attack upon Mamba, claws used as weapons they aim to strike out at the snake-woman.


As the super-being just laughs in response to not being able to breath, Airman drops his hands and abandons the concentration of removing the oxygen - just as the mighty swing completely and utterly shatters Fusion's golden entrapment. "Oookay, so much for the grasp and gasp," he mutters, flying upwards just a little in reflex. Airman's hair continues to wisp and billow outwards from the top of his head not unlike the smoke from a recently snuffed candle, or fog rolling off of dry ice, his features taut as he hears the laundry list of powers from Erana that this being possesses.

"Geeze, what *can't* the guy do? Puts Stalwart to shame..." Which is saying something. "Right, I'm on crowd control for you," he answers Erana then, as she engages the invader. Though, with her attempt to get the guy to discuss things all reasonable-like, Airman can't help but quip back into the comm-link, "Nice try, Fusion, but this guy does *not* look like the sit-down-and-talk-out-our-differences type. Be careful up there!" And then, he's orienting himself to dive down closer to ground level, his legs little more than a jetstream of white and grey as he begins to entry the chaotic fray of the attacking parademons.

"Thanks Mamba," Airman replies to his other team-mate then, as he aims his torpedo-like plummet straight towards one of the parademons. "Whatever you can do down there is great. I'll do my best to pick 'em off from up here while you..." Airman stops in mid sentence then, catching sight of where the parademons seem to be gathering civilians, herding them along like cattle. "North side, looks like a hotel? These things are starting to bottle up bystanders inside. Work your way there if you can, I'll meet you outside." And with that Airman heads towards that area, using hurricane-force winds to batter and smash any parademons he encounters along the way, smacking them into each other or whacking them straight down to the ground if he can.


There's Fusion's voice in her ear again, but Zara's too busy to listen to the words her friend and team leader is saying. Her tone, though. That comes through loud and clear. Fusion's having trouble. Just the idea of Fusion having trouble is unsettling. If this is a threat she //can't// put down? The whole city could be in danger.

Zara pushes the thrill of unease aside and focuses on things she can actually influence. Like her fangs punching through the demon-creature's flesh and the sensation of her venom flowing into the thing's wounds. And a moment later, the taste of her mouth filling up with whatever passes for the creature's blood. It's unutterably foul. Zara rips her fangs out of her victim, doing even more damage in the process, and rises up on her tail, in the centre of a pile of felled demons. She spits out a mouthful of greenish ichor, shot through with postulant yellow. "Gah. These THINGS..." She hawks and spits again. "Taste REVOLTING." Her comms are still on. Her brilliant white and cobalt blue running gear is stained with inhuman blood, and it's all around her mouth even after she wipes it with the back of her hand.

She probably looks very heroic right now, but it doesn't matter. She has their attention.

She cocks her head at Airman's voice, and nods even though he can't see her. "Just let me finish up here." She tells him. The demons are approaching. She doesn't wait for them. Coiling her tail below her, she springs explosively forward, aiming to wrap her lower body around the creature - and squeeze. HARD.


"ONLY A COWARD RUNS!" That booming voice comes from the nigh-invulnerable form of the 'leader' of the demonic infestation. Considering Fusion currently has her headset off, it's probably not really heard. At the point where she feels that beating the snot out of this anomaly is safe, she suddenly spins about and a golden fist slams full force onto the figure's jaw. It's as powerful as she can make it, she isn't holding back in the least. She's held airliners up, she's demolished buildings, and right now, she's decking the single most powerful super she's ever had to deal with.

Considering the speed and suddenness of the attack, the dark haired man takes the punch and is tossed backwards by it, his form flying away opposite Erana at a very high speed. It's just enough time for Fusion to state, "If I have to, I'm going to lead him to The Hole. Report below?" Followed by a quick. "Oh Shit." Then nothing.

One after another of the demonic infestation find themselves being slammed not only into each other, but onto the ground as power winds slam into them. Horrific greenish yellow blood oozes out from the creatures as some try to move, only to find their wings broken and shattered, and bones crushed.

As for Mamba, as horrific as she looks and as 'heroic', she's still very effective in her attacks. The parademon lets out a shriek of pain as its squeezed. There's a kind of sickening *pop* followed by a very limp creature within Black Mamba's tail. It does cause the second of its kind to pause ever so slightly, though it still moves to attack Zara.

The crowd that the parademons have herded together stand before the ruins of an old hotel. A huge creature, much taller than the other demonic monsters steps out from the doorway. While its appearance is that of the creatures, it stands at least twice the others size. The monster gestures towards the crowd. The demonic creatures begin to shove the screaming civilians close to the enormous monster, who opens his mouth wide, ichor dripping from its fangs.

The first up the stairs is a young man in his mid to later twenties. His clothing marks him as someone that would fit right in with Wall Street's best. He screams in horror as the monster begins to reach out towards him.


Barreling along, Airman almost blends seamlessly into the high-velocity winds that he's controlling, a thread of smoke and vapor that hits like a proverbial mack truck and moves like... well, like air. As demonic as the creatures appear, as villainous as they're acting and, due to the fact that they're not really from around here anyways, Airman doesn't seem to have any issues with battering them to pulps as he charges towards the remains of the hotel. There's times for restraint - but this isn't one of them. He pulls up a short distance from the hotel and the gathering of parademons there, about ready to whip up a funnel twister or similar crowd-control device, when Fusion's voice comes over the commlinks.

"The Hole?" Airman answers, not sure if he heard Sentry's leader correctly. "That quite a hike from here, Fusion. Just be careful when you see the border markers and be sure to give a heads up to the..." Airman doesn't finish, though, as he's cut off by Era's rather alarming expletive and then, just radio silence. "Fusion?" he calls out once, then repeats in a little more worried tone. "Era??" If Joey were in human form and had skin at the moment, it'd pale. As it is, his eyes widen and horrible scenarios start to play out in his head. "Mamba - You're going to have to clean up down here, I'm going to..." But as he's looking to head upwards to check on Fusion, Airman spots the giant parademon lumbering out of the hotel, and the purpose for everyone being herded there becomes all too clear.

"Aw, nuts... Mamba, I really need you up here at the hotel. I've got a two-ex-el bogie here and he thinks these civilians are snack time..." Briefly wondering if he can rely on Mamba getting here in time to engage the giant parademon before it eats anyone, Airman realizes that he has no idea how far away the snake-heroine is. And that giant, ugly SOB is already starting to bear down on its first victim. He's the one here, he's the one that needs to act - and so, silently hoping that Fusion is doing okay and that he isn't going to regret this decision later, Airman charges forward, a wall of air acting as a wind shear on either side of him as he flies directly towards the double-tall parademon. "Everybody hit the ground!" he shouts out to the civilians, hoping that the parademons won't understand him any better than he can understand them. And then, it's the full force of that wind shear, a miniature hurricane sweeping forward to slam right into the big parademon and his gaping maw. "You ugly son of a gun, are going on a diet!!"


If Zara was a //successful// bio-weapon, she wouldn't be screwing up her face in disgust as she crushes the demon in her coils. And that *pop* gets a particular wince. Sometimes she really doesn't enjoy her work. But hey, at least she didn't have to bite this one.

Letting the demon collapse to the ground like a fleshy sack of broken twigs, Zara rotates on her tail to face her next victim. She sees the hesitation, she's grateful for it, and despite still feeling a bit unwell over crushing its companion, she uses it. She grins at the creature, fangs fully on display, and even over-dramatically licks her oh so very sharp teeth at it. Anything to give her an edge. She's just about to spray venom in its face when she hears...

"Oh shit?!" Zara's hand flies to her earbud. "Fusion? Fusion!"

She's talking at the same time Airman's in her ear, talking over him as he talks over her. It's almost a fatal distraction. If her reaction time were any less enhanced the demon would have gutted her. As it is, claws slice through her top and score lines of blood across her abdomen. She has no choice if she wants to live through the next few seconds.

Her fangs take the demon in the throat.

"I'm on my way." The reply comes to Airman after a bit of a delay, and there's the sound of some ragged breathing over the comlink, but the words are clear, and Zara's already moving, putting on an inhuman burst of speed. Anything that gets in her way gets a faceful of venom. She's running down her reserves, but she's not going to be late. Not if she can help it.


From above, a streak of gold comes crashing like a speeding bullet towards the earth, though it does seem to be directing its own path (or trying to). Within that bubble is one Erana Neal, AKA Fusion. Getting hit by a God like being is nothing to sneeze at. The bubble crashes hard into the water, a splash large enough to cause an enormous wave erupts afterwards. A slightly out of breath answer is given as Fusion orientates herself, and rises back upwards. "Ow." From the same area that the crashing bubble went into, another comes streaking outwards, water spraying in all directions as it does so. Fusion can be seen within the bubble, her hair a mess about her form, though not worse for the wear - thanks almost entirely due to her 'secondary' powers. "At the speed we're going, it wont take long to make the Hole. He's too powerful, and I can't find a flaw." With that, Fusion's once again bulleting upwards, disappearing into the distance.

Without a doubt, Black Mamba is every bit as frightening as the parademons, at least when she really starts sinking her teeth into the creatures. One after another get venom spit into their faces, as demons fall to the ground, some twitching before they draw into unconsciousness, others simply falling face first into the dirt. Those civilians that are still around scurry towards safety, the officer that originally spoke to Zara is doing his level best to get everyone out.

As for the enormous monster..? He is ill prepared for Airman's attack. The attack sends him flying backwards, slamming and crashing into the brick and mortar of the hotel. The man he was about to eat..? And in fact, everyone else, do register what Airman said, they drop to their knees, hands covering their heads. As soon as they can, they begin to run in the opposite direction, getting away from the swiftly crumbling building, and the parademons that are initially shocked to see their leader get tossed about so easily.

It doesn't take long, however, for the enormous creature to rise upwards, gesturing towards the wind itself, yelling out something that doesn't make any sense to a normal ear, but can easily still be understood. "Bring it."


Oooh yeah, that's a satisfying feeling Airman has, plowing straight into that giant parademon, full force, feeling it slammed backwards into the old and cracked bricks of the building behind. But, the Sentry hero doesn't revel in the sensation for long - as soon as he's knocked over the brute, he's whirling about to check on the civilians, making certain that they're all able to get up and run to safety. And though they need little encouragement, Joey does offer some, "Get clear! The police have a safe zone set up to the west of the park!" At least, that's where he thinks he remembers seeing one set up when he flew in. Hopefully he's got his directions right.

To Fusion, Airman nods - an audible sigh of relief coming over the commlinks as he hears her voice after the less than ceremonious touchdown. "Okay. Just watch the markers - and be careful!! Mamba and I will mop up here and I can follow you right after if you need." Joey pauses a beat then, glancing around. "If Mamba gets here. Mamba, where are you? Stop playing with your food already, you're missing all the fun." The's marshalling the forces of the winds again, starting to target some of those individual parademons, buffeting them back and forth in swaths, when he catches sight of the giant one pulling itself back to its feet. Airman takes in a deep breath, letting it out in a slow sigh. "The big ones never stay down..."

Hovering upwards to give himself range and height on the beast, Airman yells back to the thing in just as defiant a tone, "Yeah, well bloaarghnaggh fragnack to you too, ugly!" He starts to pummel the beast with one wind gust after another, the blasts of air so forceful that the building behind the thing is starting to crack and crumble under the relentless onslaught. "I don't know if brute force is going finish this one off... You still got some juice left, Mamba? Could use some in this guy's face right about now..."


That streak of gold catches just the corner of Zara's peripheral vision and her head snaps up, green eyes zeroing in on Fusion and tracking her fall effortlessly. For a second the snake-human hybrid holds her breath, not blinking, but then she sees that not only are Fusion's powers still active, she's at least got a modicum of control over her trajectory.

She's never been more relieved to see her friend plummeting back to Earth.

Zara doesn't watch the impact, she's moving again. She doesn't know exactly what Airman meant by a two-ex-el bogie, but she knows he wouldn't ask for help unless he needed it... although the sudden arrival of his complaint in her ear makes her ever so slightly less worried about him. "Don't get killed, Fusion." Zara puts in, and a matter of seconds later she's slithering over fallen masonry, body flowing almost like liquid, to join Airman. She's looked better. Her clothes are going to need to be burned, her hair is crusted with demon ichor, and her own blood's on display. A couple of particularly persistent demons got another couple of swipes in on the way over.

"This is the fun I was missing? You're sure you don't want it all to yourself?" She grins, fleetingly, and it really doesn't improve her appearance any. She has demon stuck in her fangs. "You tell him!" She calls up to Airman as he answers the beast's challenge, and then she darts in to the attack too, circling, picking off smaller demons and looking for an opening.

Airman's call's the best one she's going to get. She looks up, narrows her eyes, instinctively calculating angles, and spits a stream of venom into the wind, sending it curving towards its target. "Always!" She lies. Her venom sacs ache, and she knows she's nearly dry, but now's not the time to hang back. Fighting the wind, she surges forward, coiling around the beast and climbing him, leg, then back, biting and squeezing as she goes. At least half her bites are dry now. She just hopes she's distracting the thing enough for the heavy hitters to finish the job.


"I'm always careful." Is the response that is given, though even as she speaks, one can hear the roar of hatred and anger coming from the one giving 'chase'. "This guy is such a jerk." Fusion's voice is amused, in the 'I know something, you don't know' kind of attitude. She's taking this monster from another world into a place that no one is easily able to get back from. The Hole. A prison capable of holding some of the worst that this world (and others) has to offer. Within its depths a secret (and very large) device is held within, the bubble of which negates all powers over a large area, both above, and below. The markers of which, Joey mentioned, Fusion needs to be very aware of. No one has ever not been altered by the negation of powers, no one. (Hopefully that will remain true, today.)

Within Manhattan, suddenly - just as Zara sinks her teeth over and over again into the monster's form, she gets a lot more than she might bargain for. Green ichor like blood tinged in yellow spurt out from each bite, the blood coats everything as it sprays forth. The creature yells out in pain, its clawed talon hands trying to swipe away the venom that hit him so perfectly within the face. As it yells, for the venom hasn't quite taken its hold, the monster tries to dislodge Black Mamba from its grasp, twisting, turning, attempting to claw or beat the snake-woman away.

A swirling vortex of parademons begins to swarm about Joey and Zara, and just when things look really, really bad ...

Suddenly there's that slight disorientating sensation. A bit of dizziness. A slight blink. And the world rights itself. The apocalyptic destruction is gone. The broken pavement and barren landscape with its weird, mishapen trees, is once again returned to normal. The demons are gone. The only thing left is the blood, the gore, and the memory of what transpired.

"Shit - where'd he go? Hey guys? Lost him.." Is the confused tone of Fusion, "He just disappeared..."


"Right," Airman calls back to Fusion at her 'I'm always careful' comment. "Just give us a shout when you get there, things are looking a little messier down here than I initially thought..." Messy in more ways than one, Joey thinks. Aside from the hordes of parademons descending upon the hotel - or what's left of it at this point, there's Black Mamba (finally!) in the middle of the fracas, twisted and wrapped around the super-sized demon and taking bite after bite out of the monster's ugly, revolting hide. Spraying ichor and blood and bits of venom just about everywhere. Not the first time that Joey's been glad he can turn himself nigh intangible, as another slurt of sickly green-yellow goo goes sailing through him. "You know," he can't help but remark as he sends gusts of wind to keep extra parademons off Mamba's back, "How you can stand to... well... eat the bad guys is still a little beyond me.. Especially these guys. I mean, what in the world do they taste like?" And then, as if saying the words aloud has made him realize what he just asked, Joey blinks. "Scratch that, I don't want to know..."

And the parademons keep coming. Teeming in from the rest of the park, they swarm and gather, pushing past Airman's twister-like winds, the sky starting to turn black with just how many of the things there are. "Cripes!!" Airman cries out, doing his best to keep whisking the things away, battering them into each other or hurling them to parts unknown. But they keep coming. "How many of these things *are* there? Where's the dang monster generator??" If Airman weren't living wind at the moment, he'd likely be swarmed over, grabbed and torn... as it is, he can barely even see Mamba's progress at this point. "Mamba?" he calls out, then, "Fusion? We... We're starting to..."

And then, in a blink, it's gone. All of it. The parademons, the big guy, the post-apocalyptic landscape. There's green trees, level sidewalks, tall skyscrapers, little signs that tell pedestrians to clean up after the dogs. It's all normal again. Well, except for copious amounts of goo and grime. Airman stops his gale-force attacks, the wind dying down to a gentle breeze as he hears Fusion's confused words over the commlinks. "Yeah, so did ours. I think the anomaly aborted out, and they all got yanked back to... where-ever it is they came from." Returning to human form - and clad in a rather disgustingly pristine white-and-blue uniform that is unbespoiled by any of the previous carnage - Airman alights on the ground and heads on over to check on Mamba. "You okay, Z?"


Zara's clinging on to the big monster with hands, tail, frequently teeth, and all grim determination. Her mouth is full of blood, again, and if possible it's even more revolting than the blood of its smaller kin. It's also everywhere, coating it, coating her, and making it hard to keep her grip. So hard that she can't stop the monster from scoring on her. She's too close to the middle of its back for it to find an angle to rake her with its claws, but just the thumps from its fists are bad enough. She's going to be black and blue tomorrow, if they win.

And that doesn't seem all that certain. At least Airman's questions keep her distracted from how badly she suspects they're losing. "It's not... UGH!" SPIT! "Like I ENJOY it!" BITE! "Some of us didn't win the... GACK! Power lottery!" BITE! AGAIN! And then, muffled, "...ing DISGUSTING!" SPIT! It's all that's keeping her going at the moment.

But then, just like that - reality blinks. And a snake-human hybrid finds herself coiled around precisely //nothing// in mid-air. With a yelp, she falls to the ground in an undignified heap of thrashing tail. She really hopes no one got that on camera, she thinks, dazedly, flat on her back and looking up at the sky. She blinks when something gets in the way of the light, and squints up at Airman. "Never better." She says, still sounding a bit dazed, and tries to sit up. "OW!" That shocks her back to full awareness. "I lied. A lot." She glances around. Police and EMTs are flooding into what was the anomaly zone and, inevitably, so are the press. She looks at Airman. "I can't palm this off on you, can I?" She asks, but rises sinuously to her normal 'standing' position and faces the cameras, even managing a smile.

"No questions until someone gets me a wet-wipe. Please?"