2010-12-17: End Game - Part 1

Players: Corrin, Hosea, Kael, Kalindi, Mike, and Rashmi

Corrin_icon.jpg Hosea_icon.jpg Kael_icon.jpg Kalindi_icon.jpg Mike_icon.jpg Rashmi_icon.jpg

Summary: The final Game starts, right in front of the Genoshan Embassy.

Date: Dec 17, 2010

Log Title: End Game - Part 1

Rating: R (V)

Part 2
Part 3

NYC - Mutant Town

Mutant Town, also known as District X, has become a haven for mutants. This section of town doesn't care what you look like,
accepting all mutants no matter what their appearance. Most of the businesses in this section of town are mutant run ranging from small convenience stores to clothing shops to restaurants to night clubs. The buildings here aren't the high rise buildings you might find in mid-town but most are about 5-6 stories high. Mutant Town might not be the most luxurious section of town, in fact it's fairly run down, but this section of where mutants are safe and welcomed regardless of race, religion and culture.

It's early in the afternoon and the festivities in Mutant Town have been going on since early morning. There's a street carnival set up in front of the community center, taking up the playground and any other open space available. Multiple booths for games and displays, handicrafts, and several stages for performances, musical and otherwise, dot the area. Attendance is heavy, and although there is a marked mutant presence, there are a lot of 'plain folks' faces in the crowds here, too. Tourists, rubberneckers, and neighbors all came to see, do, and some, to learn.

Of course, there's also some folks there to collect points. They are unobtrusive for now, some mingling with the crowds, others gathered in nearby command centers. This is a premiere opportunity to cut the mutant population of the city to a fraction of what it currently is, and they intend to take advantage.

Corrin is outside the official perimeter of the party, pulling up in front of the Genoshan Embassy in a lovely dark blue Corvette… which he is not steering. "That was some ride, Mike," he says, getting out of the car. "I had no idea you could do something like this!" He looks up the steps of the Embassy and sees a familiar face. "Miss Franklin!" He waves a hand. "Excuse me, could I have a word with you? It's about what Agent Kozlowski was doing in Mutant Town earlier this week." And yes, his tone is a bit wry. He's still sporting a few bruises from Koz's efforts.

This despite the efforts of Barnes' own physician, who is elsewhere incognito at the festival.

The generic-looking SHIELD agent apparently driving the car nods, "I'm more than a pretty face." He waves to Rashmi, but doesn't get out of the car. That's because Mike IS the car, the agent driving is a hologram.

Rashmi blinks, turning from her conversation with a fellow intern, smiling brightly and lifting a mittened hand to wave Corrin's way. Excusing herself, she hurries down the steps toward Corrin and the car, head tilted curiously. "Yes, sir? What was Agent Ko—" Trailing off, she blanches, looking from Corrin to the driver with an expression of dawning horror. "He *didn't.* Ohmigod, has anyone been hurt? I mean you hear things from some of the kids but…" At about this time, the bruise on Corrin's face registers, and she goes from horror to outrage in an eyeblink. "When I get my hands on him…"

One such person of the mutant presence is standing at one of the game booths. The classic 'knock the bottles down' never gets old. But it does get frustrating as Kael swears the bottom three are glued down to the stand! The aerokinetic takes aim for a bit before he side throws the ball and catches the middle bottle. But it doesn't knock the other two over, and that was his last shot. "Carni games… Could never win at those." He lets out a sigh before he looks around and starts to wonder towards one of the other games. "What else they got." Glutton for punishment this one is.

Kalindi has come to the event wearing gold jewellery as per her usual dress code, but otherwise looks pretty unobtrusive (for someone carrying such an unusually large backpack on her frame). She walks with an older man, though, who looks unusually pale but still healthy, and has black horns growing from his head. She whispers something to him every once in awhile, complaining about the cold winter air, and he nods gravely in reply to her every complaint.

Hosea has come with a host of Xavier students. "Dis is remarkable, yes?" he says, looking at the celebration around him. "I have never seen anything like it. Dis city has so many people, yes?" He is meeting so many new people here. "I do not understand da games, dey look vedy easy, but no one wins dem. Look at da stuffed animal!" He laughs at a giant gorilla on one of the stands, pointing it out to Kael. "It is da size of a real gorilla." He is tempted to try his hand, but he seems content to watch Kael play them. It wouldn't be good use of his money. Besides, what would he do with a giant toy gorilla?

One of the spotters in the crowd steps back for a rest, and notes the little group on the steps of the Embassy. A cell phone is raised, a picture taken and sent elsewhere, and in one of those command centers, a computer makes a match. "Targets sighted," says the young woman on the laptop. "The man and the woman both were involved in the incident that killed Clarson." She looks up at the man beside her, who grins.

"Good enough for me," he says, and waves to the others in the room. "Suit up, folks! We're rolling!"

Corrin waves both hands at Rashmi, as if that might fend off her wrath. "No, no! He's already in dutch with the bosses for the next decade on this. Not that I think he's noticed." He sighs. "I came here to offer SHIELD's apologies to the community, and to ask if they've found all of the little surprises Koz put up here. All of them are dangerous and the idiot didn't think to keep a list."

Of course, it's entirely illegal to intercept cell-phone signals without the benefit of a warrant, but then, this isn't really something Mike cares about at the moment; he doesn't trust what's happening here. He's heard rumors that this was intended to lure the murderous louts into the open and he has nothing but scorn for that idea. He's listening to everything in range, because he doesn't trust any of it. When he sees the picture of Corrin and Rashmi, he sends a tight-band coded message to the man: "Someone just took a picture of you and Rashmi from a cellphone here and sent it to an untraceable number. Something is up. Instructions?"

Meanwhile the guy in the 'vette just waits for the other two to come back to the car.

Rashmi subsides at the assurance, eyes narrowing briefly before she lets her breath out in a huff. "Well, thanks," she says slowly, shaking her head. "I'd be surprised if they ever *are* all reported, at least until tomorrow or after. Maybe not even then, since whatever things are left are probably going to be useful…" Her nose wrinkles, as the concept seems to displease her.

The question is what /wouldn't/ you do with a giant toy gorilla! Kael'd probably use it as a study chair. Looks comfy enough. The teen looks back at Hosea with a laugh. "When why don't you try one of those games over there." He points to one of the basketball ones. "Though I think that the hoops are a bit smaller so the ball won't go in easily. Wanna give it a shot?" Kael walks over there, smirking a bit. He looks back at the game and pays for one round before offering the ball to Hosea. "Go on. My treat."

Kalindi heads over to the games, where Kael and Hosea are, keeping her follower in tow. " … And even after all that, I did not get thanks! Not even a little!" complains Kalindi in her weird Hindi-Demonic accent, still huffing about -something-, though now she watches the boys play the game, arms crossed over her chest as she waits to be impressed. No pressure.

Hosea takes the ball, and looks back at Kael. "I shall try, because you insist," he tells the aerokinetic with a smile. He looks carefully at the hoop, and the size of his ball. It looks possible. The African carefully judges his shot, and makes his shot. The ball soars through the air, and it bounces off of the edge. By some random chance, it soars toward another hoop just as someone else shoots, and knocks their ball back down into their hoop. No prize for Hosea, though. "Hah, well, at least someone won, yes?" he laughs, pointing at the strange happening. "Enjoy your yellow square with eyeballs!" he calls out with his rich and deep voice to the winners. "What is dat, anyway?" he asks Kael. American cartoons don't usually make it to the Nigerian rainforest.

The concessioneer at the basketball hoops smiles very widely at Kael and Hosea, showing an impressive set of fangs (must make eating a bit of a hazard, though.) "Yeth, yeth! Try the game! One in winth a small prize! Two is a medium! And three is the large prize, the bathketball jerthey of your choithe!" He claps his hands, trying to entice both students into playing more.

Kalindi and her escort get a few looks, but not many; most people seem to think they're Goths, and everyone has seen Goths. Most haven't seen mutants, though, and there are a number of heads craning for that glimpse (and a few cameras flashing when some tourist gets permission for a shot.)

Even so, most people at the Embassy side of the fair are turning to look up the street, because half a dozen stiltmen wearing colorful, balloon 'armor' have arrived. Rather like balloon-animal Transformers. They stride along the pavement, waving to people on all sides, and pretending to shoot the little boys who shoot at them. There is a lot of laughter, and kids flood the street to 'pretend' shoot the balloon warriors.

Corrin blinks as he gets the notice from Mike. "I see," he says, and then his attention comes back to Rashmi. "Miss Franklin. I think there's about to be an incident, centered on you and me. Someone took a picture. Will you come down to the car? We might want to move this a bit further away from these crowds." He turns and gestures toward the Corvette, but his eyes are scanning the crowd for anomalies.

The car is not normally a subtly metallic blue corvette; normally it's a SHIELD tactical vehicle somewhere between an APC and SWAT van, and it has a few extra devices that Mike is now deploying. For one thing, it has a form of radar, capable of showing whether or not persons in a crowd are carrying large masses of metal. Mike scans across the crowd in general but focuses also on the Stilts and Childrens since that looks like the likeliest distraction. He also begins a visual scan of windows and rooftops. This is just … too many places that people can shoot from.

Rashmi blinks sharply, head turning this way and that as the warning is given, face ashen beneath her dusky coloring, the redhead sticking close to Corrin as they approach the not-a-Corvette. "…What, now? *Already?*" For all her turning and looking, it's almost as though she expects them to be lit up red, with giant arrows pointing down on the heads of the moving shooters. "But… there's *kids* out there, guys!"

Kael chuckles. "Don' worry. Least someone won a small prize." He gives a wave towards the attendant as he walks off, looking around for a moment before he looks over at Hosea. "Oh, that? It's just Spongebob Squarepants. Honestly, I think it's a stupid children's show. But it's all the rage in preschool." He shrugs once more before he starts to head towards a concession stand. They have Elephant Ears! But the laughter of children makes him stop and look towards the people on stilts and he just blinks a bit before he tilts his head. "Okay, that wins the weirdest thing I've seen today award," mumbles the aerokinetic to hismelf.

"Not the best aim, but very lucky," comments Kalindi about Hosea's shot, watching all of those events go down. Her companion nods in agreement, apparently not wanting to disagree with anything his leader says. She approaches to answer the question about Spongebob, piping up, "It is stupid, but sometimes I have watched it, and I am not in preschool."

Hosea's attention suddenly shifts, following the characters that have been moving along to spot the SHIELD agents mobilizing. He scans the crowd, looking for possible threats. "Ahh," he tells Kalindi. "Children can watch television, it is good on dese cold days," he adds to her before answering the man with the game booth. "No thank you," he tells the concessioner." He places a hand on Kael's shoulder, and leans in closer.

"Something is wrong," he says. "I do not know what, but you should stay close, if something goes wrong, I will protect you." He doesn't feel the need to have a close relationship with Kael in order to feel responsible. Sure Kael has plenty of his own training, but Hosea…his combat training has been of a different nature. Brown eyes scan carefully, looking for what might be out of the ordinary.

The balloon Transformers continue down the street. The Optimus Prime on points his weapon at Corrin and Rashmi, but he doesn't pretend to shoot them: he really does shoot them. Something like a rocket grenade launches toward the two, trailing red smoke, which is why the kids in the street think it is part of the show. They all cheer.

Yes, Mike. There is a LOT of metal inside those balloon warriors. Certainly more than could be accounted for by sets of stilts and safety equipment. The presence of combustible chemicals is probably a clue, too.

Elsewhere, another cell phone rises and another picture is taken and sent. Hosea is wearing an X-shaped belt buckle, and that same woman-at-a-laptop recognizes it as signifying mutant alliance. She pipes the info to the strike team, and smiles as she picks up her coffee.

Corrin doesn't wait to see if the grenade is real or just a pretty cloud thing. "DOWN!" he yells, wrapping an arm around Rashmi's shoulders to shove her to the ground behind the car/Mike's current disguise. He'll raise his shield, too, around them both.

Mike pages, "What weapons do you think the machine will have? I'm thinking it has, in varying degrees of horrible, the microwave "pain generator", the infrasonic "super-laxative sound ray" and at least one or two other anti-riot devices. And maybe something more lethal" to you.

And that's the clue for Mike to change his profile. Suddenly the car is no longer the simple Corvette. A SWAT-van sized machine with several varieties of SHIELD weaponry, in a non-metallic blue. Still, the driver remains the hologram (which wraps a humanoid framework, so that the image inducer will work correctly.)

Mike has several odd traits when he's in a vehicle, one being a defense against thrown rocks and chips. The grenade has to move across him to reach Rashmi and Corrin, therefore, it is essentially a nasty rock, and he deflects it with an invisible *swot* that sends it roughly back in the direction of the fake Optimus that created it.

And at that, a signal goes out to the Barnes relay, and to any SHIELD agents stationed in the crowd: the attack is on. Doors open in front of Rashmi and Corrin, and Mike's voice says, "Get in fast!" while he prepares one of the non-lethal suppression devices, though he'll need to be closer to use it.

And at that pause, he 'spots' Hosea's picture, and while he doesn't have the X-phone any more, he knows their emergency number and calls it, leaving a message: Contact Hosea. He's about to be attacked in Mutant Town by terrorists.

Rashmi looses a startled shout as she's driven to the ground, a second time as the concrete jars her shoulder rather painfully, but before she can even begin to think to protest, her world is swallowed up in heat, pressure, and the shattering roar of explosives mere inches away from her head. While the SHIELD agent's forcefield is enough to blunt the worst of the damage, keeping her alive and intact, there's still the niggling problem of Something Just Blew Up In My Face that sets the redhead to curling up into a ball on the ground, trying to figure out if she should scream, sob hysterically, or another of any number of generally unhelpful but perfectly reasonable reactions to military-grade weaponry.

Kael lets out a laugh. "It's great if you want to dull your mind while watching it," Kael sarcastically says to Kalindi before he looks back at Hosea. Going silent for a bit before Kael gives his own look around. "We'll protect each other, Hosea," is said quietly back as the aerokinetic spins to look at the balloon transformer launch a grenade at … Rashmi?!

"I'm beginning to see a connection between a friend and danger," mumbles the teen as he sticks near Hosea as he sees Rashmi is in good hands. But for the mean time, he keeps his eyes peeled for things happening in his immediate area. "It does not dull me. I just leave the TV on to learn English better," replies Kalindi, quite annoyed at the slight, but her attention is drawn towards the explosion. At this happening, she inquires of the boys she's already talking to, in a demanding tone, "Hey, is this a show or something? This seems very dangerous to be having in a crowd." To her companion, she asks more quietly, "Is this a show?" Already, she begins to take command of some of her jewellery, reaching to break off her bracelet and convert it into a thin strand of gold.

The African points at the booth. "Take cover, dat is no show!" he announces to Kalindi, and grabs Kael by the shoulders. The 6'8" African pulls on the smaller teen, draggin them both into the booth with a powerful jump. "Someone has attacked da festival," he informs the three plus the vampiric looking showman. As if it weren't obvious. He reaches into his phone and is about to push the panic button when the text flashes across the screen announcing that there is trouble headed for them. "Dere are more," he says, quickly shoving the phone back into his pocket, and scanning for signs of an additional threat.

The warhead splits into four components when Mike hits it, only two of which head back toward the balloon Transformers. One continues over the SHIELD van and explodes in the air on the other side, directly over Corrin and Rashmi. The fourth warhead screams off over the heads of the crowd and dives under one of the carnival booths to explode there. The carny is a turtle-like person, and 'shells up' just before the explosion. She is bounced into the air amid a storm of plastic knick-knacks and torn stuffing, like a basketball on steroids. Pity anyone she lands on…

Kael's picture is taken and sent, since he seems to be with Hosea. Also Kalindi's, and her escort. All three are at least mutant sympathizers, in the eyes of the 'players' of this game, and are therefore valid targets. And since the whole point of being here is to rack up as many points as possible….

Corrin can't hear Mike's order to get into the car. His ears are ringing. The shield can take a close explosion, but that doesn't mean it is pleasant, and when Corrin lifts his head, his nose is bleeding. He doesn't notice. "Come," he says to Rashmi, trying to get her to stand, to get in the SHIELD van. He doesn't need to have heard Mike to figure out that would be a good thing to do just now. "Get under cover…!"

Mike is horrified and angry and also kind of embarrassed, but then, none of the rocks he normally has to deflect are actually multi-warhead anti-personnel packages. Also he's not willing to give the Transformers any chance to do anything else whether or not the explosion hurt them: he's scanned for humans there, and he has military grade silly string available. This stuff is adapted from the stuff used by Paste Pot Pete, who only WISHES he were called the Trapster by anyone else; it sprays out from four nozzles on top of the van directly at the tops of the Pseudo-Transformers. Meanwhile a second stream of a different foam sprays at the area where the kids were running in to be among the feet of the things… this being a foam that becomes rigid after about ten seconds, but also provides protection to objects inside it, breaking up to dissipate impacts. It would be dangerous if it stayed solid for more than a minute, but it fizzes away quickly.

Once Rashmi and Corrin are inside the doors will close to protect them; the windows of the van are already bullet-proof with a micromesh and impact-damping liner, and the van is armored, and Mike doesn't intend to let these jerks deploy anti-tank weapons if he can stop them.

Rashmi is bundled into the van with little resistance, and as the doors shut her hands clench on the upholstery, her breathing a series of short, terrified gasps, not *quite* hyperventilation but close enough. "Oh god… oh god oh god oh god they have *rockets* Mike they're going to blow kids up Mike what do we do what do we do…"

Kael lets out a yell as he's pulled into one of the booths! When they land the aerokinetic crouches down and lets out a mutter as his hair bleaches itself pure white. All the wind in his area of control just stops dead as Kael keeps an eye out for anything. "Seems like we always get the fun times." He's muttering to himself before he lets out a breath. He keeps an eye on those transformers, so he can retaliate against them. Though from the looks of things, most of the people are going to get in the way. "Note to self. Work on precision stuff." Around him, the wind starts to pick up speed. The aerokinetic trying to push the innocent people out of the way towards the edges of the carnival so they can escape. Most likely picking up a lot of trash and debris to block any shots they're trying to make.

Kalindi does follow the orders of the boy who tells her to get down, but this obeisance is held only briefly, "If it is not a show, then it is an attack." She looks to her companion and says with furrowed brows, "Carlos, you will watch me, call my cell if I need to expand, text my cell if I need to rise." The thread from her broken bracelet reaches into her backpack and seems to extract the large amount of gold therein, coating Kalindi in her heavy gold armour and bestowing upon her two half staves, her eyes flashing black and pulling light out of the air as she takes hold of her abilities. "If it is an attack, it is time to reciprocate." She rises and steps out into the open before floating slightly off the ground. "Who do I need to kill?"

Hosea's eyes narrow as he examines the wind gusts around him. "Dat is good," he encourages Kael's actions, though his usual encouraging tone fails to present itself. "I will be right back," he says in a sober voice. It is the only thing that he says before he teleports away, arriving at the base of one of the transformers. He looks up, and teleports again, this time arriving on the inside of the inflatable costume, bent on putting a choke hold on whoever might be within.

CRASH! The turtle woman lands beside the tent Kael and Hosea took shelter in, her weight cracking the pavement and spraying everyone with chips. People shriek — some of them in laughter, because not everyone here is yet quite aware that this is a real attack. This is Mutant Town, and there are mutants here… weird happenings is what they do! Right?

The other Transformers open fire now. Optimus Prime was hit with the two warheads, and the twin explosions shredded his disguise and knocked him off his stilts into Starscream. Both went down in a tangled heap, and they are still getting loose from the mess. Mike's foam isn't helping. Neither does Hosea — that's a complication they didn't expect!

They don't appear too damaged, though. Megatron and Bumblebee stride forward two steps before the rest of the foam sets, but that isn't a problem for them. They stand between the main carnival and the Genoshan Embassy. One lets fly with stink gas — which has the added bonus of being thick and green and hard to see through. The other fires heavy slugs up into the cornices of the buildings nearby — look out for falling architecture! The other two train their weapons on the SHIELD van and fire. One is using a flame cannon, and the other is spraying bullets. The bullets bounce; they end up going all over.

Corrin pats Rashmi. "You're fine in here," he says, and then he leans across her to look out the windows on the side of the bad guys. He has to; he made her get in first. "I have a plan, Miss Franklin…" Which she may not be able to hear, post-explosion, but he talks anyway. Mike will hear, if she doesn't. "I'm creating a skidfield under the closest two. Let's see them stay upright, now!" Which they won't, but they'll still get shots in, first.

"Don't panic," Mike says to Rashmi, which is useless but since he can't actually deliver the stereotypical movie slap, and wouldn't in any case. As he's scanning the outside he discovers that the radio setup he's using is suddenly being routed through by SHIELD, since (like all their SWAT vehicles) this van is able to become a mobile command post, and it has. He provides the numbers of the cell phones which had been taking photos of mutants to the central command and notes the common number they were sending the photos to, figuring that they can do the work of chasing down any other numbers sending images to that number; he updates Corrin's status on the comm and switches the sound on so the passengers can hear what is being said.

That only takes part of his attention. Computer brain, thank you for being useful this time.

The silly-string turrets finish spraying their high-powered adhesive, which has been drifting onto the four "machines" … and possibly other things. The ground-foam was to keep it from sticking to kids, which it probably did. The stuff hardens into a nigh-unbreakable mostly inelastic rope-net affair. The van drives four heavy "feet" out to the pavement to anchor itself, and the "net" strands are collected as the turret rotates, winding them together quickly to yank towards the van. A second device on the outside of the vehicle aims at the two standing machines and emits a subsonic thrum. This is an especially unpleasant device: it fires a focused cone of sound that has been discovered to, well, cause rapid peristaltic action in the lower bowel of humans. There is no PG-13 name for this weapon.

Sadly, Rashmi *does* have trouble hearing Corrin's reassurances and Mike's sage advice, and flinches as the elder agent leans across her to get a better look at the rapidly escalating chaos. One part of her mind notes with no small amount of satisfaction, the wide array of nonlethal weapons Mike sets against the armored terrorists, but soon her eyes find the midway, the screaming and panicking and shooting that manages to be worse than any trouble she's managed to find herself in to date, and while the gouts of flame and bullets spanging off the van's exterior are a clear signal that Getting Out Is A Bad Idea, her heartbeat begins to slow as her mind starts to race, the need to *do* something creeping into her expression.

Kael hops to the side as the turtle woman crashed down next to him, a arm brought up to block chips from his face before Kael unleashes a swirl of wind around him. Knocking the booth out from around him before himself gets into the fray. Though it's mainly to get everyone else out of there that can still move. The winds pick up, hovering at about 25 miles per hour. Strong enough to give a stubborn person a good push in the right direction. "Everyone! Get out of here. This /isn't/ a show!" Of course, his voice most likely might get drowned out by other loud noises.

Kalindi flies up at a diagonal, quickly, upon seeing precisely what the source of all the commotion is. She knew it before, but hadn't had the time to process yet. She drops back down when she is above a transformer she did not see the flicker of a Nigerian man next to, and points her two half-staves at it and splits it off into several razor sharp magically reinforced strands, the darkness around her eyes seeming to get larger as she pushes herself with her ability and tosses the network of strands down into the transformer below her, trying to get through and twisting them so that she can cause lethal damage to whatever is inside.

Hosea lands with a solid thud onto the ground. His two targets are hauled off by some weird goop, and so he turns around to face the standing transformers. He of course isn't expecting what happens next. He's hit by the force of…something. He's never experienced sonic weaponry before, let alone be on the receiving end of it. He flies forward with the impact of the vibrations, slamming into the ground. Bah, SHIELD amateurs.

Hosea glances to the side, and teleports over and away from the cone's affect. He struggles to get back to his hands and knees, his nose bleeding and his ears ringing. Of course, there are still some crowd members here as well. "RUN!" he shouts in a voice as loud as he can muster, roaring at the crowd. He blinks rapidly, trying to get his bearings again.

The 'silly string' net works like a charm. Between that and the skidfield Corrin laid down, the four Transformers still upright all fall over toward the SHIELD van. The two nearest fall on their weapons, rendering them unusable for the moment. This is just as well; the activation of the subsonic weapon has rendered their pilots… unable to function. For the moment.

The net doesn't stop the Megatron and Bumblebee attackers, but they're so tangled up in the web that they stop firing, anyway. Megatron is Kalindi's target; when she arrives above him, he tries to bring his weapon to bear. Not having much luck… and then he starts to scream.

Prime and Starscream, on the other hand, have a target. The net caught them only partly, since they were both already down, and getting yanked sideways spoils Prime's aim. The rocket he launches at Hosea goes wild… and heads toward Kael. Who might not see it coming past the stink gas….

Starscream just plants a hand on the ground and electrifies it. Is that foam an insulator? Everyone within about fifty feet better hope so.

Corrin grips Rashmi's shoulder and gives her an encouraging smile. "Mike? Do you have a hypersonic on this thing? Something to mess up the balance centers of anyone hearing it?" He's climb past Rashmi to reach for a radio. "Agent Kelly to Central. Confirm Student Drakos' last transmissions, in full. Better send a fleet of ambulances; we're going to need them."

Hypersonic? Maybe. Mike looks through the weapon controls and finds "Hypersonic" and it's operated through the same emitter set as the Have a Brown Pants Day Sound Ray. He begins to bring it to bear on Fake Inflatable Starscream, and stops suddenly. Yes, the foam is supposed to be a safety foam, not conducting electricity or thermal extremes while providing moderate impact suppression. Dissipates with high-frequency sound when used without a stabilizer, and he didn't use a stabilizer. "Can't use high-frequency sonic or the foam protecting the kids vanishes faster."

The screams outside indicate that the gold-clad woman is probably doing something painful to the inhabitant of the Megatron. Mike calls on the external speaker, "Please leave him capable of being questioned, Ma'am."

He looks through the weapon systems and finds one last thing: impact gun, shoots a dense pellet that expands, strikes with about 1000 pounds of force. He fires that at the Starscream, since it's the one still up.

And the cessation of weapons fire against her sentient shelter spurs Rashmi into action; slipping under Corrin's arm, she scrambles to the rear passenger compartment, fumbling at the door and staring toward the midway. "…Guys look behind the crowd okay? There's only six of those things, that's not enough, I'll see what I can do to get people to safety." Not precisely leaving it open to discussion, the redhead finally gets a good enough hold on the door to shove it open, hauling it shut behind her as she pelts toward the midway and her friends, spheres swirling madly around her body.

Kael looks back towards the transformers, as well as the growing cloud of gas and he starts to redirect the winds to blow it away when the missile bursts forth from it. The aerokinetic curses under his breath as the winds cut off from blowing people away before he redirects it at full blast (around 70mph) at the missle. Pushing upwards at the nose of it to try and push it upwards above the crowd. If it looks like the missle isn't going to budge; Kael puts a burst of wind under him to put him up into the air away from the missile.

At the sound of the speaker Kalindi just -sighs- and withdraws the strands, checking them for blood. There's probably some time left for the man, though he's probably going to die. Kind of a waste. Not that he'll likely die, but that she probably destroyed any cellphone. A list of an enemy's contact numbers might be fun to own. Maybe that can be rectified, though. She consolidates the strands back into a ball and simply forms a large razor sharp disk, anchoring it to herself by a single strand, and intentionally tossing it down to try and cut the threat in half, estimating approximately where there's no pilot, aiming for Prime. "I did not even get a chance to buy cotton candy," she complains out loud, even though Carlos isn't even here to listen to her anymore. "But no, there is no time for that. There are stupid men riding stupid machines instead. This is stupid."

Hosea is left with little recourse. With the ground around the transformers electrified, he dares not approach them again. So instead, he gets to his feet, and starts shooing at the crowd nearby. "Go! Dis is vedy dangerous! Get out! Shoo!" He waves his arms, at them, trying to get the crowd to retreat. Ugh, stupid Americans, they think everything is a movie.

Megatron is down, and now Kalindi is going after Prime… or the man who was inside the Prime costume. He is struggling with the silly string net, and not doing well. He does even worse when Kalindi's razor disk hits him — more screaming.

His nearest ally is Starscream, who sees, analyses, and attacks. Kalindi is his new target: how does she do against a bolt of lightning?

The other three Transformers are regrouping. Bumblebee yells through a speaker: "This area is covered with kids! Under this foam!" He has one arm free; he'll shake it, something will go *klatch* and he'll fire. Something liquid sprays out of the nozzle he sprayed the stink gas from… it will smoke where it touches foam.

The other two have their helmets together. Mike can't listen in on this conversation… and it is a conversation he would like to hear. Especially since the result is they both grab the net and yank it in the same direction, which actually rocks the SHIELD van on its wheels, bracing and all. If he was aiming at anything, that aim is wrecked.

As for the crowd… too many of them are behaving exactly the way Hosea complains. They do think it's a movie! One vast stunt, put on for their entertainment. Cameras flash and one lady says, "Smile, sugah! Yo gonna be a big stah!"

All the bad guys are too busy to deal with Rashmi at the moment. That kind of luck won't last, though.

And Kael has his work cut out for him. The rocket is going way in excess of 70 miles an hour, so it hits the wind wall and drills at it. Kael's flight for the sky is the only thing that will make it turn, because the wind strenght needed to make him fly is what he needs to bend the warhead's flight. It'll go boom at around the sixth story up… which shatters windows all around, creating a rain of glass shards….

Corrin double-takes on Rashmi as she leaves. "Miss Franklin…NO!" Don't go out there, it isn't safe! Too late… "Damn it! Mike, I'm following her. Track me." He grabs a SHIELD tracking bug and slaps it onto the jacket he's wearing, just in case, and shoves out the door. Like Rashmi, he's benefiting at the moment from the bad guy's being distracted by other issues… he knows that won't last. Grim faced, he tucks his head down and runs after her.

Mike answers the woman, his synthesized 'Agent Voice' not really matching his own usual tones. "Sorry, Ma'am, but these guys would rather hurt other people than celebrate diversity."

Inside, he's suddenly busy with a huge surge of traffic on the SHIELD switchboard, some of it requesting information while more of it's doing other things; he has to monitor to make sure none of it contains requests or directives to him and his group. And now tracking Corrin and Rashmi.

As the YANK comes he's focussed the infrasonics on the Starscream vehicle just in case the impact doesn't work - the driver might find it harder to do what he wants to if the cramps hit. The engine mount isn't flexible enough so Mike stops that beam. Meanwhile he has no choice but to let Rashmi out, followed by Corrin, and he begins tracking, forwarding the status — Agent Sundowner and Student Franklin exited vehicle; six to ten children under protect foam being attacked, foam failure in 30 seconds and they've been inside for too long as it is — to main command and asking for further instructions. And another agent or four to help with these guys, please.

The call from Bumblebee galvanizes Rashmi's attention like nothing else could; children, trapped in foam, and one of the armored killers spraying them down, like weeds… Anger quickly takes hold of the formless drive to act, focuses it onto the robots and the children, and while changing direction that abruptly causes her to skid some, stumble for footing, the redhead in the thick sweater, gray skirt, and some sort of thick black leggings is now charging toward the foamblobs, the children therein, and the robots. Ahead of her, her spheres form up into a vertical formation, akin to the spirograph patterns she uses for practice but much tighter, much faster, and as close to a shield as she's capable of making.

Kael curses loudly as he flies over towards the raining glass shards. "I really hope this works." He gulps a bit before he cuts the air out from under him, making him fall through the air before he creates a wind wall under him and uses that to launch him onto a shop's awning. While he's in the air, he focuses his attention on creating a gust of wind upwards. Not to blow the glass away, but to slow the fall enough so that people aren't hurt too bad by it falling. But what he doesn't think about is the rebound from the awning which sends him bouncing off of it and landing with a good thud atop of a parked Taxi. A soft groan means he's still conscious!

Helpfully, Kalindi yells down to the man she cut with the disk, almost as if she is being helpful, "You will probably live if you do not bleed to death first!" That's a step up from the first guy! She flails slightly as white hot electricity crackle by, her phone jingling that she should rise thanks to Carlos's watchful eyes. Yikes! Good thing that missed. Without other variables involved, and SHIELD probably being able to take care of the last guy, she decides her best route now is escape. It's not like she promised to deliver the pain to anyone. She swings the flat edge of the disk at Starscream before she goes, just to let him know she hates him too, and then flies back to her cult follower. "You were right," she says to him, "It was at least interesting. Maybe we will find somewhere else to by cotton candy on the way home." She lowers the disk to the ground as a platform, allowing the man to step on so that they might both use it as transport back home.

Hosea has had enough of this nonsense. He snatches the woman's camera out of her hand and smashes it on the ground. "Dis is not a show, foolish woman. Run!" he barks at her, hoping that his display will cuase a more significant response. "Stupid American cows! Your lives are in dangah!"

The click of Bumblebee's weapon rings out in his ears more significantly than anything that anyone could say. He lunges forward, and when he has finished the lunge, he has teleported to where the children are. He mutters something in an African tongue, and grabs the first child by the arm. He becomes intangible, and the child he holds does as well. He's never tried this before with a living person, but there's no time like the present. The boy is pulled free. Not all of his clothing comes with him, but there is little time to worry about such things. He goes to the next and repeats the process, yanking the children out like carrots from the ground, tossing them to the side as he frees each one. Cause bruises? Likely. Does the Nigerian care? Not a bit. He's too busy saving their lives to worry about insignificant injuries and social embarassment he might cause in the process.

The concussion round hit the Starscream just as the cone of sonic Ex-Lax brushed it, and the combination is more than enough to foul Starscream's attack on Kalindi. A disappointment, but one that can be rectified… or not, as the woman flings her razor disk at him, cutting a deep slash through his armor. He howls; she flies away. Curses! His response is foiled!

The attacker inside the disguise takes stock. Megatron: down, possibly dead. Prime: down. Starscream is himself too damaged to continue. Bumblebee is up and fighting. Roadblock and Shockwave seem to be giving SHIELD some problems; they're currently trying to flip the van onto its roof. "Second team!" he snarls into his mike.

Bumblebee turns his acid gun on Hosea, even as the Nigerian teleports in to the second child. It's like playing Whack-a-Mole with a squirt gun; he'll fire on Hosea each time he appears, and since there are fewer and fewer children to rescue, there are fewer and fewer places the man is likely to appear… which makes guessing his next appearance that much easier. Now, if only all mutants would be this cooperative in their demises.

A tourist climbs up on the cab's hood to look Kael over. "Hey, kid. You all right?" He'll poke Kael in the head a couple of times. "I can hear you breathing. Or do you even speak American?"

Corrin notes Rashmi's change of direction and vectors with her, switching to skidfield skating so that he'll catch up to her faster. He doesn't know what the Bumblebee is spraying, but if it's taking away the foam around the kids, it isn't good. A moment of thought: there are at least three foamed kids between him and Bumblebee, and while the Transformer needs to be his prime target, it doesn't need to be his only target. "Miss Franklin!" he yells, and then he does something which should terrify any parent anywhere — he slashes with his sword at the foam around the nearest child. He knows the sword won't cut the child, but not many other people know that. "Get him out of here!" That's one Hosea doesn't have to rescue, at least.

Being a SHIELD APC/SWAT/RFC means that Mike has actual visual-camera records of all this fun and games. Including the Departure of the Golden Goddess. Or rather, that SHIELD does. Mike calls out to Hosea, "Watch out for the acid thrower!" as he gives a return YANK! to the two downed machines then fires off another concussion round, this time aiming at the acid gun. If nothing else the expanding blob might foul the gun. So far no response from SHIELD, but Mike updates them with the change in action plan for Agent Sundowner and Spirographia. (Not really the name he uses.)

Meanwhile the guy inside Starscream clicks open a radio and since Mike can't understand what it's saying (encrypting conversation? How annoying!) he starts jamming it with random noise, hopefully making it all howl and squeal. At least part of his conversation most likely got out, but Mike's also advised SHIELD of the frequency and his action, and sent a snap of the packet, that might be enough.

And, fighting transformers. This is so humiliating. Somewhere inside his subconscious something says "OK, FINE, we'll figure out how to make it work!"

It's good advice, having Rashmi see to the children. Probably the best advice she could be given, and thus it'll be a source of endless embarrassment, in later days, how she completely ignored it. Why? Because *these people were about to murder children.* And the best part is, she doesn't have to be within reach to express her displeasure. Two spheres separate from the pack in front of her, streaking out toward the joint of the acid-gun arm, and three more have a more direct flight path; up and forward, at the 'belly' of the armor. Each sphere, capable of striking with all the force of an auto at respectable highway speeds, spurred on by the redhead's righteous fury. "WHAT IS *WRONG* WITH YOU PEOPLE?!"

Kael lets out a louder grunt at each poke of his head before he goes to push himself up. He pants a bit as he looks up, he has a few cuts on his face and bruises up and down his arms and torso. "That… fucking… hurt." He looks around, and grunts out, "Is everyone alright?" He looks at the tourist, his hair still white as the winds around him start to swirl a bit.

Hosea continues his plight, pulling the children from the acid burning foam. He keeps his gaze set on the transformer, and surely to his dismay, the acid passes straight through him as if he were a ghost. "Your evil will end today," he growls at the hulking inflatable robot after he has pulled the last child from the foam. The African disappears from sight, and inside of the costume, and grabs hold of the exoskeleton's chest. His move is a decisive one. The African lunges a hand toward the pilot inside, aiming to crush his windpipe. As much as docile Hosea hates combat, this is the reason. He understands that you cannot win a fight if you do not understand that you may have to kill the person you're fighting.

Roadblock and Shockwave get yanked in return by Mike, which only encourages them. One of them shifts his grip and manages to intercept that second concussion round, the one headed toward Bumblebee. The blob splats over Roadblock's right arm and shoulder, collapsing the inflatable disguise, leaving the armored man inside partially visible. He'll start peeling out of the disguise, because it is now fouling his movements. Shockwave just yanks on the van while this is going on, to distract Mike and give his partner time to get free.

Starscream yelps as Mike's jamming creates nasty noises in his ear. Ow! Bad mutie. No biscuit. He, too, starts peeling out — but he's peeling out of his disguise AND his armor. Both were ruined by Kalindi; time for him to retreat.

Bumblebee snarls as the acid stream passes straight through Hosea. "God damn it! Die, vermin!" he shouts, re-setting the gun to a wider field of spray… which does no good, as the African appears inside the costume, and then reaches inside the armor. "What are you….GLKKKK!"

Of course, that's when Rashmi's balls start hitting. The elbow joint is punched in, the disguise acting as a one-time airbag before the second ball smacks in. The joint still works, but not as easily. However, this villain has worse problems, as her next three spheres slam into him one after the other. He staggers for the first, trips on the second, and falls on the third. —And what happens to Hosea during this? His legs are approximately where the balls are striking…

Corrin sees that there are multiple attacks on Bumblebee. He can't see Hosea, but Rashmi counts as multiples all by herself, and he figures she's doing just fine. He circles around to the rear of the two Transformers attacking the SHIELD van. He's starting to go a little fuzzy — what was he just going to do? But going after a couple of giant inflatable robots who are attacking a SHIELD vehicle is a no-brainer.

The tourist says, "You're alive! Hey, everyone! He's alive!" There is a scattered cheer from the people standing around — is Kael the good guy or the bad guy? One little boy asks, "Is that Storm?" "No, dear. Storm's a girl." "Oh… is that Mrs. Fantastic?" "*sigh* No, dear. The Invisible Woman is another girl…."

Yes, definitely SUCKS not being able to grow an arm or something. Mike doesn't dare drop out of the vehicle so he can generate a new pattern and re-merge; he's been fielding all sorts of messages and routing them not just intelligently but sentiently, which normally requires a person or an LMD, and there isn't an LMD here, which means he's stuck being … no he's not. Internal smile. Mike abruptly retracts the blocks and slams into reverse, and begins moving, since there's no cars parked behind him. This _should_ not just yank them off balance but leave them closer to Corrin.

Moving gives Mike a clearer angle at what Hosea is doing. Alarm. "THOU SHALT NOT MURDER!" is shouted on the external bullhorn in Mike's voice, not the fake SHIELD Agent voice.

Rashmi whips around at the sound of squealing tires, eyes flicking from Mike to battlesuits and back, and narrows her eyes as the trio of spheres dart from their place in front of her toward Soundwave's legs. The other three fan out independently among the children yet to be released from their foam encasements, moving much slower as they work at chipping them free. Multiple speeds, multiple vectors, multiple axes of rotation mean that Rashmi's concentration is severely taxed for the moment, herself uprotected and unable to spare the mental resources to keep moving.

Kael lets out a coughing laugh. "I'm not Storm. I'm Gale." He looks back over at the group of transformers/balloon things and he grumbles. "Dammit." The winds around him swirl tighter and lift the teen off of the cab. "Everyone get inside, and stay there until the authorities arrive." That's all he says before he starts to fly towards the fight. Maybe he can still help out in some way.

Hosea was not anticipating the impact of the psionic spheres from Rashmi The first one slams into his leg, and he can hear the definite crack ring out from his bone. He teleports back out before the following spheres strike, landing upon the ground. It's clear almost immediately that he can't support his own weight. He collapses, with a broken right leg and a growl.

He isn't done yet, though. Prophet pulls himself back up, and grabs his broken leg. Finding the broken point, he pulls back a fist, and slams it back against his leg. Hosea lets out a howl of pain as he makes a rather rough set of the bone, forcing himself to get back up onto his feet again. That type of remedy will certainly not last him long, but he doesn't have time for a broken leg. Even with his high threshold for pain, the very mechanics of moving on a broken leg are rather inhibiting.

Between Mike and Rashmi, the remaining Transformers all go down. Roadblock's pilot goes somersaulting out of the net that is still attached to the van and he ends up on his back in the street. Not quite how he planned on getting out of his disguise, but it'll do. He'll rev up the flame cannon. But rather than attack Rashmi, who is closest, he'll wash down the sidewalk… and its burden of unconscious kids. Points, you know, and as in Deathrace 2000, kids count more than adults.

More cheering, stronger, follows Kael as he flies off toward the fight. He'll fly through the remains of the stink cloud — just enough there to be icky. Rotten cabbage, swamp water, and skunk — peeyoo! But his flight through it disperses it; no one else will have to deal with it.

Hosea is far enough from the fighting that no one bothers him at the moment. Starscream's pilot might, but he's busy bugging out. He doesn't need to be here; he knows more teams are coming. LOTS more teams.

Corrin startles as the van suddenly takes off, but since it's dragging his targets closer, he's fine with that. Since Shockwave is still all inflated and hanging on, and Roadblock appears to be preparing for something new, he'll target Roadblock. As Mike drags the Transformer by, Corrin will step in and slash him across the back of his armor. Sparks fly, and the internal seals pop. He'll have to cut him a couple more times to get it off him, though — the stuff is TOUGH.

Mike is still spending too much time coordinating SHIELD elsewhere - because apparently this is NOT the only place things are happening. Here, his friends are too close to use the suppression weapons, so he takes up more slack, driving forward, and then backing up a little to pull the guys past Agent Sundowner again. Visual still works to record these guys. He moves forward again, feeling a bit like he's fishing for river trout, towards where Kael has been moving, and pauses.

"Summoner, Prophet, watch out, he's heading for the kids again!" in the Agent voice again. Just in case they haven't seen.

Rashmi has seen. Oh, she has seen, and for the first time the sheer desire to *hurt* is starting to edge out more charitable goals, and as she steps toward the free-standing hardsuit, her spheres form up around her like a swarm of fat, angry, impossibly speedy bumblebees. The first streaks toward the would-be killer's dominant weapon arm. The second and third, the hip or lower spine, whichever is more visible.

With his flight through the stink cloud, Kael's flight becomes more and more unstable. He lets out a soft grunt before he lands, albeit a bit ungraceful atop of a car. Which is Mike, though Kael doesn't know that. He falls onto one knee, an arm wrapped around his chest as he pants. "You've got to be kidding me," pants out the aerokinetic before the winds change once more. A very powerful gale of wind roars between the man and the unconscious kids. Though if they were on the side with the kids, the winds wouldn't be affected. It's only the space between them that has the high winds. Try putting fire through that. But once Rashmi has taken the weapon out, thus obliterating the immediate threat, or he holds the winds longer than 10 minutes. The winds die out and Kael just collapses onto the roof of the vehicle.

Hosea takes in the surrounding situation, and takes two steps forward. One of them is exceptionally painful, and he clenches his teeth tightly. His curly locks of hair blow furiously in the wind, and he watches as the remainder of the transformers are dealt with. So he sits down. Right in the middle of the wreckage, his part in this fight is through. He's not unconscious, but he certainly wishes he was.

Most of the bad guys are down, either dead or out. The Megatron pilot is dead. The Optimus pilot is badly injured. The Bumblebee pilot is badly injured. The Shockwave pilot is fine, but so tangled in Mike's silly string web that he isn't getting out without help. The Roadblock pilot is injured, but should live (although after what Rashmi did to him, he may be wishing otherwise.) And the Starscream pilot has bugged out.

There are injured children all over this street. Some are having breathing difficulties, courtesy of the foam; some have bruises in various degrees of severity, courtesy of Hosea's rescuing them from the foam and acid. A few have acid drop burns. All are at least confused, and most are scared. They're crying… but they're alive.

Corrin walks over to the SHIELD van and lays a hand on it. His eyes defocus, then refocus; he was checking if it still had the 'life light' around it that would signal Mike's presence within. "Mike? How many more are out there?" Because for a crowd this big, six bad guys? Don't make him laugh.

Mike is still there, and Kael is on top. Mike says, "Help the guy down off the roof please," as he checks with SHIELD. He knows that they're in teams, he knows that they called for a second team, and he knows that there are SHIELD medical on the way, and he's stopped jamming enough to count the signal replies … he tells Corrin and the main control what he's found; three more for sure, but there were also at least two and maybe as many as seven plants in the crowd.

For now, he's going to continue site coordinating, following the manual on the radio software, until relieved or until they get an LMD here to do the job. And a small part of him is deciding what to say to whoever's idea this was.

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