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#937445 - 09/13/17 04:49 AM The Oracle at Delphi  
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“I see the future, dear,
but I see danger,
stranger beware.”

The ‘meeting’ was as much virtual as literal, as Brainiac 5 had wasted no time dispatching teams, giving them their assignment updates in transit, once he cracked several encrypted datafeeds pouring forth from this ‘Oracle’ to criminals all over UP space. Thanks to information provided by missions as diverse as Chameleon Boy’s Sklaran infiltration and Ultra Boy’s old contacts on Rimbor, as well as the ambush of Violet’s team by the Interplanetary Gang, he had advance information on multiple high profile raids, as well as a half-dozen lesser schemes more appropriately handled by local heroes, or the Science Police.

Dozens of successful lower-profile heists have kept the SP baffled, as the presumed-to-be Naltorian Oracle seemed to be able to anticipate SP response, and forewarn his criminal clientele of exact response times and tactics. Dream Girl had slammed the table in annoyance, “That’s not how it’s supposed to work! This is so frustrating.”

Brainy had said dryly, “Now you know how the rest of us feel.” Dreamy shot him a withering look, but he’d already turned to address Dawnstar, and her well-honed look of faux outrage was wasted.

“Have you had any success at tracking this ‘Oracle?’” Brainy asked, and the winged Starhavenite simply nodded in the negative. It was Wildfire’s turn to slam the table in frustration. “This is ridiculous, does everyone know this tesseract trick?” Dawnstar only looked bemused, countering, “It’s flattering, really. Before this, the only Legionnaire that villains regularly took special precautions against, by hoarding Kryptonite, was Superboy. I count myself in good company if our enemies are considering me as much of a threat to them.”

Giving this side-conversation precisely as much attention as he felt it deserved, which is to say none, Brainy turned to Ultra Boy, “Jo, the Rimborian government has sent us legal claims for expenses related to your disruption of advertising revenue, but I already had legal standing by. Do not reply to them.”

“You had lawyers standing by because of Jo?” Tinya asked with a too-calm expression, clearly spoiling for a fight.

“No, I had lawyers standing by because of Rimbor.” Brainy said. “If you’d gone to Rimbor, I’d have prepared for nuisance suits regarding illegal trespass due to unregulated phasing. And if Imra or Nura had gone, they’d have been prepared for nuisance suits regarding invasion of privacy via psionic means. Making up regulations and then fining visitors for breaking them is how the Rimborian government funds itself, in absence of any sort of consistent schedule of taxation.”

“Wait, so they’d sue Dreamy just for *dreaming* of a Rimborian?” Jo asked, with a wink at Nura.

Dream Girl just snorted, “As if.”


The Oracle at Delphi WIP in BITS.
#937446 - 09/13/17 04:50 AM Re: The Oracle at Delphi [Re: Set]  
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The oort cloud of the Xanthu system is thick, by the standards of oort clouds, but such distances still separate the various asteroids and cometary bodies that you can’t see one from the next. As a result, it’s hardly a surprise that this latest ‘Armory of the Ancients’ had gone undiscovered so long, even with one of the UP’s charter worlds in-system. The first Armory had yielded up the terrible Atomic Axe, and everyone knew how that story went, so exploration had proceeded with great caution, and as little public fanfare as possible, making it something of a mystery how the Legion of Super-Villains had discovered the covert SP research expedition to this site.

The Cruiser ride to Xanthu had been somewhat subdued, Tinya observed. Dirk and Brek had immersed themselves in a D&D simulation, Gates was focused on writing something, digits clicking furiously as he input what was probably another of his tiresome political manifestos, Tellus was meditating or possibly napping?, his nodules rippling slowly through soft pastel colors in a soothing, almost hypnotic display. Brin had settled into one of his usual funks, spawled out over two seats, fingers thrumming along to some angry staccato beat, and Jan, uncharacteristically, had been curt and dismissive, the motion of his distracted eyes all she needed to tell that he was accessing the infosphere. Tinya hated to pry Okay, that’s not entirely true…, she thought, but his attitude seemed like it could disrupt the mission, and she was concerned, not merely curious, as she used her Espionage Squad codes to covertly peek at his public browsing history, to see if it provided a hint as to what was weighing upon him.

“UP resolution 5418.312, on the development of Trom...” Tinya read, and immediately recognized this perpetual thorn in Jan’s side. Years ago, some guilt-obsessed faction within the UP Senate had declared Jan the caretaker to his homeworld, as the only surviving Tromnite. In the interval, he had received thousands of ‘offers’ to open up his world to development, each with it’s own promises of fame and fortune, each as summarily dismissed as the one before it. Reading forward, she was appalled by the naked opportunism on display. The words seemed innocent enough, but even on the periphery of her mother’s political career, Tinya had learned to see the subtext. Officially, the UP wanted to use the DNA fragments of the victims of the Tromnian genocide to recreate the species, cloning them to repopulate their lifeless world, but it didn’t take a political genius to recognize that some factions supporting this wanted to create another voting population that they could take under their wing, and thereby use to bolster the strength of their own voting blocs, while other more mercantile concerns were salivating at the thought of thousands of transmuters becoming available to tempt with the offers that Jan so handily dismissed out of hand. What was being sold as a grand act of humanism, to give the people of Trom a second chance, was instead a school of sharks, circling for a great feast. Jan himself had surely been approached, in his quasi-official position as caretaker of Trom, but the fact that the resolution being discussed had no mention of him or his support, might as well have screamed to the skies that he was in opposition.

Movement behind her startled her, and she looked up to see Jan standing behind her. His face betrayed no emotion as he said, “We’re almost there.” Regardless, Tinya knew in the pit of her stomach that she’d been busted. “It’s outrageous that they want to dig up your people to add a few more seats in the Senate, and a new population of transmuters to exploit,” she said softly, not wanting to leave this hanging unspoken, “And I was worried, not just nosy. And now I’m pissed.”

Jan’s face remained cold. “Don’t worry about it. It won’t happen.” He raised his voice and spoke to his Flight Ring, “We’re here. The bulk of the asteroid is shielding our arrival, so we can park here and arrive undetected.”

Brainy’s decoding and interception of the Oracle’s detailed data feed about this facilities location and defenses had come too late for a massive SP reinforcement, which, depending on which group of criminals had *received* the data might have just added more potential casualties to the impending heist, and so he had dispatched this team to help reinforce the expedition. As the facility on the far side of the asteroid broadcast a distress signal, Tinya recognized that they had arrived too late to reinforce the facility, and were now playing defense…

Across the small asteroid, only two kilometers away, a small cruiser dropped out of hyperspace only a thousand meters away, an act that seemed utterly suicidal, given the precision of the calculations necessary to jump into or out of hyperspace within even hundreds of kilometers or planetary bodies, or even the dispersed and erratically moving bodies of an asteroid belt or oort cloud.

The distress call from the monitoring satellite was automated, which was the only reason it even got off a few seconds worth of broadcast, as a hatch opened in the ship, and a slim transsuited figure holding a massive handheld weapon discharged a stream of energy rivalling that of a much larger ship-mounted weapon, obliterating the unmanned satellite in a single shot with unnatural precision. The figure then leapt from the ship and began flying towards the research facility, followed by more suited figures…

<<I sense distress. The facility is under attack.>> Tellus stated suddenly, his black eyes opening suddenly and the dozen or so colored nodules on his dorsal surface flaring a concerned purple, tinged with just a hint of angry red as he started into motion, moving towards the airlock with a swimming motion through the air.

“Suits on.” Jan said matter of factly before cycling the airlock ahead of Tellus, and the Legionnaires flew into action, with Tinya skipping the wait for the airlock and simply phasing through the hull into the vacuum of space, and drifting down to the asteroid. Silently, they advance across the surface to the entry port, on the other side, hoping not to be too late...


The Oracle at Delphi WIP in BITS.
#937447 - 09/13/17 04:52 AM Re: The Oracle at Delphi [Re: Set]  
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The entry port, which they’d expected to have been blasted open, shows no sign of being invaded, the intruders having somehow overridden security, or perhaps mentally influenced the defenders at the door, to gain entry. Sun Boy offers to burn through the controls, but Element Lad just holds up a hand to stay him, “Phantom Girl has this.”

Tellus affirms that he senses no conscious minds behind the door, and Tinya phases through the door, to open it from the inside. On the other side, a pair of SP officers are entrapped in thick sheets of ice, leaving only their heads exposed, and she opens the door before reaching through the ice to grab hold of first one officer, and then the other, phasing them and pulling them free from their icy restraints. As the other Legionnaires cycle through the airlock, Polar Boy’s eyes widen at the sight of the man-shaped pillars of ice, and the unconscious SP officers. “Nothing worse than a dirty Tharran,” he mutters sourly.

Jan gestures, but there is no visible sign of any sort of sort of transmutation has taken place. “Some sort of nano-machinery, I could sense the presence of metallic elements on the walls and in the air, which I’ve turned into nitrogen. Assume that our invaders know that we’ve arrived…” he explains before moving forward. Behind him, Dirk has begun radiating focused warmth into the cores of the hypothermic SP officers, carefully bringing them back to health, while Brek uses one of their own medical kits to provide more mundane medical help. Brin is standing at the door forward, eager to advance, but waiting on Jan to give him the word. Dirk looks up, recognizing that this could take more time than they can afford, but unable to rush the process of warming the officers. “Go, Brek and I will make sure these two are alright, you go ahead and make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.” With that, Jan nods to Brin, and the Zuunian growls approval as he stabs the door controls, cycling them into the next room. Seeing what he doing, one of the half-frozen guards attempts to mutter a warning, but is too late…

What comes next feels like the floor had fallen away beneath their feet, but in all directions simultaneously, as if they are falling in every direction, and being stretched in the process. Each Legionnaire can dimly perceive their teammates flying past and through and away, and the only coherent sound is Gates’ voice, speaking as if right next to each Legionnaire, saying, “Ah, it’s right over here. Follow me.”

No one else has the capacity to even respond in this timeless shuddering moment of utter confusion, let alone point out that they can’t control their movement in this strange falling place, before the disorientation ends abruptly, with a sharp crack, leaving each of them feeling like an elastic band that has just snapped back into shape, skin rubbery and insides trembling.

All too suddenly, each Legionnaire discovers that they have been separated, but are not alone...


The Oracle at Delphi WIP in BITS.
#937492 - 09/14/17 05:05 AM Re: The Oracle at Delphi [Re: Set]  
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Jan blinks as the spatial transition fades and the world seems to coalesce back into being around him. His surroundings are dark, but he can sense the same elements as before, for the most part, oxy/nitrogen atmosphere, ferrous and silicate elements in the rocky walls of the chamber, and a large mass of inertron and more complex alloys and compounds bearing down on him…

Reflexively he transforms the nitrogen in the air between himself and the attacker to iron, the most durable metal within a reasonable ‘distance’ on the atomic table, and therefore the quickest change he can manage, while he uses his Flight Ring to jet to the side. A loud CLANG! in the darkness tells him that he has bought himself a second, and he quickly transmutes a small quantity of a nearby wall into phosphorus, lighting up the chamber, and his attacker, in a harsh white light. Where he had been standing, the enormous inertron limbs of the centuries-old cyborg named Immortus smash his impromptu iron barrier aside, causing pieces to fly off with a scream of tortured metal and send shrapnel in all directions. A sharp tearing sensation and a sudden burning causes him to grit his teeth as one of the jagged metal shards slashes across his upper leg, and he continues moving erratically in the confined space of the cavern, while Immortus gloats in a loudspeaker voice.

“Foolish Legionnaire, you are but flesh and blood, and my form is as immortal as my hate! Whatever you create, I will just use to destroy you!” The cyborgs tears off a long jagged strip of iron from Jan’s wall of iron, waving it like a crude oversized sword as if to make his point.

Inertron is not a singular element, so it takes Element Lad a few seconds to transform the thick inertron armor plates into lesser compounds, changing one element at a time into nitrogen, until what remains crumbles under the strength of the exoskeleton beneath it, and Immortus stumbles to the ground, unbalanced by the sudden change in weight and balance, as his bulky form is now a slender skeletal framework, surrounding the life-support canister that contains what small fraction of his human flesh remains. His formerly booming mechanical voice has taken on a tinny quality of desperation.

“You can’t do this! I am forever!”

Another brief moment’s concentration and the nitrogen in the air around the ranting skeletal cyborg transforms into foamed titanium, easily strong enough to keep him restrained, and the chamber is blissfully silent, giving Jan a momentary peace.

“You’ve sacrificed everything worth living for to never die. No amount of inertron will protect you from the inevitability of change, or from your own fear. I can’t even muster pity for you.” Jan says quietly to the imprisoned cyborg, aware that Immortus cannot hear him.


The Oracle at Delphi WIP in BITS.
#937493 - 09/14/17 05:06 AM Re: The Oracle at Delphi [Re: Set]  
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Pardon me while I burn, and rise above the flame.
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Brin is barely even disoriented by the sudden transition, his superior balance and reflexes allowing him to adjust to his new surroundings in far less time than would many others. The room is brightly lit by a vast glowing humanoid figure, bloated like a tick by the stolen solar energy he’s absorbed.

“Sun Killer.” Brin says, alerting the oblivious villain to his presence, and then mentally kicking himself for not just taking him out without giving him a chance for a ‘fair fight.’ The villain whirls around and launches a blast of fire in his direction which the Zuunian acrobat avoids with a quick sideways cartwheel that ends with a launch directly at the swollen villain. Before he even reaches his target, he feels the waves of heat rolling off of the villain, and he uses his Flight Ring to jerk himself to the side, aborting his planned attack, recognizing that Sun Killers skin is hot enough that that rock beneath his feet is glowing the sullen red of magma…

Sun Killer laughs, and launches another lazy stream of fire in Brin’s direction, tracking Brin’s movements as he attempts to stay ahead of the rush of fire, moving erratically, and as fast as his Flight Ring can safely move him in this confined space.

“You can’t touch me. And I don’t even have to hit you to beat you…” Sun Killer gloats, and Timber Wolf recognizes that the air in the chamber is growing increasingly hot, and that it will eventually overwhelm him even if he manages to avoid these attacks. Desperate for something, he strikes the rocky ground with both feet as part of his next flip, shattering the stone and giving himself some weapons, one of which he manages to snatch up before he’s dodging that stream of fire again.

Sun Killer is clearly not impressed, “Oh, he has a rock. Which will melt before it reaches me. So scary…” Still in mid-flip, Brin whips the stone at the soft target of Sun Killer’s gut with superhuman force, and even as the stone indeed melts, it still retains its mass and strikes Sun Killer so hard that he staggers back, clutching his belly, with a cry of pain. Timber Wolf seizes the moment to snatch up another stone and crumble it to gravel in his hand, hurling it like buckshot in a spray that catches Sun Killer across his chest, head and upflung arms, with sharp cracking sounds. Sun Killer cries out once again, and falls, bloody and bruised. Brin seizes advantage of this momentary respite to strike the wall behind him with a thunderous blow, and snatch falling stones as fast as they fly free to hurl at the reeling Sun Killer. If Sun Killer is a walking sun, Brin’s barrage resembles a storm of meteors, and the larger man staggers back, before finally collapsing, unable to withstand the punishing blows of the stones, which, even half-melted by his corona, strike with brutal force. Finally, fallen to one knee and with arms up to shield his head, with a last desperate cry of pain, he croaks “No more! I yield!” and Brin holds a rock ready as the villain’s fiery aura fades. The intense heat remains in this chamber, with no sign of abating, but Sun Killer collapses unconscious from the pain and shock of a forearm that Brin can see has clearly been broken by one of the projectiles, and Brin sighs in relief, wondering how long he himself can remain conscious in this heat.

The fire’s out, but I’m still in the frying pan... he thinks sourly.


The Oracle at Delphi WIP in BITS.
#937546 - 09/15/17 04:58 AM Re: The Oracle at Delphi [Re: Set]  
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here, more often than not
This is great fun Set, from Brainy having the lawyers ready for bogus Rimborian claims through to Brin's predicament. I'm taking a quick break at work and reading and replying on my phone so this'll have to be a short review., Sorry.

Looking forward to seeing where the other Legionnaire's ended up and what or who Sun Boy and I assume Gates will be left to deal with at the Armoury.

More, more, more!


Legion Worlds Four - awesome ongoing adventures set in the Retro-Boot, only in the Bits o' Legionnaire Business Forum.
#937554 - 09/15/17 12:37 PM Re: The Oracle at Delphi [Re: Set]  
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Pardon me while I burn, and rise above the flame.
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Tinya phases reflexively and is spared the worst of the wrenching transition. The chamber she reappears in is similarly constructed of rough stone walls, and the gravity remains the same, so she’s sure that she’s still in the same asteroid. She is facing a wall, covered with colorful glyphs, and in front of it, the Sklaran knife-expert named Akka has turned to watch her appear with a measuring look.

A knife flips through the air, and passes directly through Tinya’s head faster than she can even react, and the sound of it clanking violently off of the wall behind her shocks an unladylike curse from her. River of souls, she’s *fast!* Tinya thinks, as she sees Akka slowly drawing another blade from the assortment tucked in her belt, thigh holsters, ankle sheaths, small of her back, upper back beneath her hair, and arms…

“Intangible. Smart to remain in that state, Bgtzln, during the transition.” Akka says conversationally.

“So glad you approve…” Tinya replies snarkily, but is interrupted as Akka twists somehow in mid-stride and is flipping through the air in a move that Timber Wolf would admire for its speed and directness. More out of instinct from years of close-quarter combat training, Tinya flinches to the side, and the dull-looking blade opens up a blazing gash on her upper arm, feeling like it has cut halfway to the bone. She flings herself up into the stony ceiling of the chamber, and leaves most of her body phased into the rock, using it for cover, while clutching her cut arm tightly, attempting to slow the flow of blood.

Akka cranes her head back and gloats at Tinya, whose face is protruding from the ceiling above her, apparently disinclined to throw her special dagger, slouching casually against the wall, slowly passing her free hand through the bloodied blade of her weapon, as if it were no more tangible than a candles’ flame. “This one’s Bgtzln steel. Hard to get on the black market, but hardly impossible, and when you’ve been warned that you’ll facing a Bgtzln in the coming days…” the Sklaran says conversationally, “Obsidian scalpels for the Braalian, non-conductive blades for the lightning twins, I even have a little bitty knife for the Imskian.” She adds with a grin, more like a predators’ toothy threat display than anything containing human warmth or humor.

Tinya feels a rush of dizziness, and wonders if the blade was poisoned… It doesn’t even have to be. I could pass out from blood loss alone, and if I’m halfway through a rock wall when that happens… Tinya thinks, cutting through the mocking words and the burning pain of her injury, recognizing them as obstacles and trying to ‘phase’ past them the way she would material objects in her way. All she has to do is stall, and let shock and blood loss win this fight for her.

She forces a steady tone and is pleased to see that Akka’s brow furrow at her apparent focus. “So, you cut me. Good for you. But we both got teleported into this chamber, and it doesn’t look like you’ve had any luck deciphering those glyphs or opening that door, while I can leave any time I want.”

With that, Tinya launches herself forward, as fast as her Flight Ring can manage, which is considerable in the light gravity of this asteroid, and she feints towards Akka’s knife-holding hand, then veering with a twist towards the other side of the villain, so that she will be forced to first over-extend in one direction, then correct to reach across herself. Spinning in mid-flight she avoids the deadly Bgtzln blade by scant centimeters, and recognizes that the lowered gravity worked to her advantage, causing Akka to overcompensate and nearly throw herself off-balance. For the first time, she’s grateful for all the times Shady kicked her ass in hand to hand combat training, which she’d only agreed to do to humor her friend, as it helps her to anticipate and avoid these blows. Now with her back to the wall, she sinks into it as Akka recovers blindingly fast and lunges at her, just as Tinya hoped…

The blade of Bgtzln steel sinks up to the non-Bgtzln hilt into the door, and Tinya’s luck holds as it interposes a power conduit and sends a jolt of energy lashing forward to throw Akka violently away from the wall, the blade falling from her nerveless fingers. Tinya dashes forward and stomps the Bgtzln blade into the floor of the chamber, phasing it as she does, so that no one unable to phase will ever be able to retrieve it from its stony prison.

Her hand remains clamped over her bleeding arm, and she’s afraid to move it, lest the bleeding accelerate, so she turns and ghosts through the wall, leaving the unconscious Sklaran in this sealed chamber, her own stony prison.


The Oracle at Delphi WIP in BITS.
#937555 - 09/15/17 12:43 PM Re: The Oracle at Delphi [Re: Harbinger]  
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Pardon me while I burn, and rise above the flame.
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Originally Posted by Harbinger
This is great fun Set, from Brainy having the lawyers ready for bogus Rimborian claims through to Brin's predicament. I'm taking a quick break at work and reading and replying on my phone so this'll have to be a short review., Sorry.

Looking forward to seeing where the other Legionnaire's ended up and what or who Sun Boy and I assume Gates will be left to deal with at the Armoury.

More, more, more!


Thanks for the kind words!

The Brin vs. Sun-Killer fight was my angry reaction years ago to Brin getting in a fight with Sun Emperor that involved claws and regeneration and him jumping in and trying to go hand-to-hand with someone who was radiating heat hot enough to melt metal. Ugh. I wanted to show what someone whose powers were super-strength and acrobatics could do in such a situation, instead of 'Wolverine.'

Other fights, like Jan vs. Immortus, and Tinya vs. Akka, were just me having fun. In case it's not obvious, each of the arriving LSV members got teleported to a separate chamber, and each of the arriving Legionnaires have also been teleported, which is entirely a convenient contrivance for the writer to have one-on-one fights, and not a wild melee. smile

I also picked the newest LSV villains (Questor, Akka, Sun-Killer, etc.), just to explore some new characters.


The Oracle at Delphi WIP in BITS.
#937575 - 09/16/17 05:16 AM Re: The Oracle at Delphi [Re: Set]  
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Tellus pulls himself from the clashing currents of disrupted concepts of linear space. Violated spacetime seems to slough from his flanks as he ascends into this chamber from the below-spaces between where-he-was-before and where-he-is-now, and he can sense a single figure, her mind alerted to his arrival, turning to face him. He has never met the woman, but recognizes her as a recent addition to the Taurus Gang, calling herself Alchemical Girl, thought to have been depowered in her first encounter with the new Academy student, Glorith.

Even before she gestures, he can sense in her mind that she is no longer depowered, and is attempting some hostile action against him, her poise strong and her will confident. He can feel a slight tingle in his body, and is concerned that she may attempt to set his body aflame, the easiest trick by far that a metahuman catalyst of chemical reactions such as herself could accomplish. He considers telekinetically hurling her into the wall behind her, alit with alien script, but cannot guarantee that such a blow would render her unconscious without causing her greater harm, and so instead turns to his telepathic gifts, trying to find the triggers in her mind that will cause her to drift into slumber…

He can feel her confidence waver as she sags, leaning back against the wall, one arm still upraised. She ceases whatever assault she is attempting on his biochemistry, and attempts to affect the flow of serotonin within herself, but this black-eyed fish is in her mind, and she feels as if she is underwater, flailing in every direction for anything to grab onto, unable to remember the word ‘serotonin,’ or how exactly to save herself with her power, a child alone and drowning. Trapped in her own mind, unable to find solid ground or air to draw breath, she feels herself sink into the warm comforting waters and lose consciousness.

Tellus watches dispassionately as the young woman’s body slumps gently to the floor in the asteroid’s light gravity. In her mind he can sense that she was attempting to shut down his body’s ability to process oxygen, so that he would suffocate, unaware that, as a Hyrkraian, he extracted energy from methane instead, and that oxygen was a toxic byproduct to him, not a life-giving necessity. If anything, he felt a bit refreshed by her failed attempt to kill him. Still, he recognizes that if this young woman had figured out his physiology before he figured out her psychology, he’s be the one at her mercy right now, and he could sense that the concept of mercy was as alien and toxic to her as oxygen was to him...


The Oracle at Delphi WIP in BITS.
#937576 - 09/16/17 05:17 AM Re: The Oracle at Delphi [Re: Set]  
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Sun Boy felt his body shudder as the world spins back into place, yanking him away from the two SP officers he had been treating for hypothermia, and dropping him into a darkened chamber.

“Woo, fun ride. Haven’t felt anything like *that* for at least eighteen hours…” He quips to the presence he can sense before him, swimming into view as his tunnel vision cleared.

The slim figure was standing before a closed door lit with dimly glowing symbols of some sort, in this otherwise darkened chamber, and Dirk heard an automatic update from his transsuit as it beeped. <Shutting down for reboot, estimated update time, 45 minutes.>

Well, that’s not a coincidence. he thinks as a heady musk fills his nostrils, and he attempts to exert his power before it’s too late…

“Hey there, handsome! The gods must love me to send *you* to save me from this dreary solitude.” comes a high-pitched squeaky voice that he initially finds grating and affected, only to flow into something delightfully quirky as the figure of the villainess Fume resolves before him. As he recovers from his initial disorientation, Dirk is intellectually aware that he’s already gotten a snootful of her mood-affecting pheromones, and that his body’s reactions are as much artifice as genuine, but he’s having trouble caring at this point. She’s fiddling with some gadget at her belt, but he finds his eyes drifting down her long legs, and back up, measuringly.

“Hey yourself, beautiful. We really have to stop meeting like this, people will talk.” He flirts back, dropping any hint of a guarded posture and relaxing into this very different battlefield, one in which he’s far more confident.

“Let them talk.” Fume laughs, playing along and buying time for her powerful pheromones to more thoroughly saturate his system, and turn him into another one of her playthings. Not that she had any doubt that *this* Legionnaire would prove a hard sell… She pats the small device at her belt, “I hope you don’t mind that I overrode your transsuit for a factory reset. I just didn’t want anything to come between us…” she says with a smirk, as she runs her hand across his chest. “Ooh, you’re so hot! In every sense of the word!”

Dirk grinned at her wordplay, and then his grin faltered for a moment as he wondered why his body temperature was so elevated. It had seemed very important a moment ago, but he was having trouble remembering why he needed to run so hot?

Sensing a moment’s hesitation, Fume breathed softly into his face, and his eyes clouded with the fresh rush of musk-scented chemicals, and everything became clear…


The Oracle at Delphi WIP in BITS.
#937609 - 09/17/17 05:07 AM Re: The Oracle at Delphi [Re: Set]  
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These one-on-one fights are cool! I like how Brin dealt with Sun-Killer, and it was very annoying how he was Wolverine-lite all through the last Legion series. Tinya's fight was also fun; she and Shady don't get very involved in direct combat a lot in the comics, so I always like seeing them get their hands dirty when it happens smile

Someone remembered Alchemical Girl! She is too good a concept to disappear into obscurity, even if she does have an unwieldy name (says the guy who called a character Bioluminescent Lass) tongue

Is Fume one of yours? I don't remember seeing her anywhere before, I like her!


Read the alternate adventures of the Legion after Legion of Three Worlds!
postlo3w
#937612 - 09/17/17 06:58 AM Re: The Oracle at Delphi [Re: razsolo]  
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Klar Ken T5477 Offline
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Paradise Valley
Originally Posted by razsolo
Fume?

Fume!

LSH V6 #11


I'm nigh invulnerable. I have the reflexes of an Olympic-level jungle cat. I have the strength of 10, perhaps 20 men: a crowded bus stop of men. But my greatest power is this: when destiny speaks, she speaks to me.
She says hi, by the way.
#937614 - 09/17/17 09:38 AM Re: The Oracle at Delphi [Re: razsolo]  
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Set Offline
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Originally Posted by razsolo
These one-on-one fights are cool! I like how Brin dealt with Sun-Killer, and it was very annoying how he was Wolverine-lite all through the last Legion series. Tinya's fight was also fun; she and Shady don't get very involved in direct combat a lot in the comics, so I always like seeing them get their hands dirty when it happens smile


Thanks, I wanted some one on one fights, to showcase individual Legionnaires, but now that I've done that, I'll have to make the next battle or two team efforts, since I don't want to repeat myself (and this is a *team* after all, not a bunch of lone wolves!). I definitely wanted to mix it up. Tellus mostly got lucky that Alchemical Girl didn't know how his metabolism worked. Timber Wolf used his brain, and his victory could still be pyrrhic, thanks to the oven-heat left even after the fight. Tinya's move was pure desperation, and she's also on borrowed time, bleeding and light-headed... Sun Boy, well, some people just don't fight fair. smile

Quote
Someone remembered Alchemical Girl! She is too good a concept to disappear into obscurity, even if she does have an unwieldy name (says the guy who called a character Bioluminescent Lass) tongue


Yeah, going through the villains I'd never used, new blood like Questor, Immortus, Frost, Fume, Akka and Sun Killer seemed like obvious choices, but some other new characters who had been seen in other places, like Alchemical Girl and Cryo King and Psionic Lad (who turned out to not be usable, because his 'origin' as coming from a Legion future turned out to be a lie). Alchemical Girl had a great visual, but she's not had much time to be experienced with her powers (or with Hyrkraian biochemistry, obvs), and is less dangerous right now than she could potentially be...

The super-villains totally need more ladies! And I love her look.

Quote
Is Fume one of yours? I don't remember seeing her anywhere before, I like her!


Klar ninja'd me on that, but yeah, she's a once-seen new member of the Legion of Super-Villains, seen alongside the Tharran Frost putting the whammy on Colossal Boy with her pheromone powers.

I just added the transsuit-rebooting gizmo (stolen from whatever company makes transsuits, and which would not work if the transsuit wearer were in vacuum or something, for safety reasons!) to explain how her power works on people with transsuits.

She might also be able to modulate her 'fumes' to be corrosive and eat through transsuits, but I didn't feel it necessary or appropriate to be upgrading her powers in this here second-ever appearance. smile



Last edited by Set; 09/17/17 09:46 AM.

The Oracle at Delphi WIP in BITS.
#937644 - 09/18/17 03:45 AM Re: The Oracle at Delphi [Re: Set]  
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Café Cramer
The Trom dilemma makes so much sense; after the tragedy, it would be off-limits but greed eventually takes over and it's considered ripe for exploitation. Like a stand-up comic said, everything's funny... eventually.

That Jan has to take some time to transmute elements depending on their distance in the periodic table or their complexity is the perfect solution to give his power some limits.

I had to think, of course, why wouldn't there be Oort Clouds everywhere?

Akka's knife collection is impressive, although I wonder how she would manipulate an Imskian-scale knife.

Telllus is a bit of a pacifist, isn't he? He'd rather disarm an opponent than disable.

Your Nura is a great character, she really shines here.

And hooray! The future is metric! wink


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#937682 - 09/18/17 07:19 PM Re: The Oracle at Delphi [Re: Set]  
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Klar Ken T5477 Offline
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Paradise Valley
Should I apologize for "ninjaing" you? It sounds like a bad thing. I meant it quite the opposite. I love obscure villains. I love to see them used. The Legion Needs More Villains!


I'm nigh invulnerable. I have the reflexes of an Olympic-level jungle cat. I have the strength of 10, perhaps 20 men: a crowded bus stop of men. But my greatest power is this: when destiny speaks, she speaks to me.
She says hi, by the way.
#937688 - 09/19/17 02:25 AM Re: The Oracle at Delphi [Re: Klar Ken T5477]  
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Set Offline
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Originally Posted by Klar Ken T5477
Should I apologize for "ninjaing" you? It sounds like a bad thing. I meant it quite the opposite. I love obscure villains. I love to see them used. The Legion Needs More Villains!


Oh goodness no, it's just internet slang for sneaking in and replying before the person being addressed, and it's totally cool! (Usually it's reserved for someone who replies to something while you are still typing out your response, but since you beat me by three hours, it's safe to say I wasn't typing out a response that whole time!)

And yeah, I also love the obscure villains. I was seriously considering using Organus and Prince Pharoxx (although the latter seems to be dead, but I could easily work around that, since his benefactor Hagga might have been able to restore him to life, at great cost to herself, which she might be willing to pay if she was already one foot in the grave, and maybe even secretly related to Pharoxx, and thinking of him as her lasting legacy...).

I definitely wanted to not use the standard LSV members, or Mordru, Universo, Regulus or the Fatal Five, since all of those are either over-used, IMO, or I'd just recently-ish killed off (in Regulus' case) in another fic. smile And then I broke my own rule by using Mekt. So much for my resolve. smile

And yeah, more villains would be cool, as well, in addition to more use of the obscure villains. Hence my introducing Mai Li An / the Lightning Lady, and now the Oracle in this second chapter, and perhaps someone else new in the third chapter!


Last edited by Set; 09/19/17 02:29 AM.

The Oracle at Delphi WIP in BITS.
#937739 - 09/20/17 05:18 AM Re: The Oracle at Delphi [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Set Offline
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Originally Posted by Fat Cramer
The Trom dilemma makes so much sense; after the tragedy, it would be off-limits but greed eventually takes over and it's considered ripe for exploitation. Like a stand-up comic said, everything's funny... eventually.


I definitely think that there's a lot of potential there. It's the 30th+ century, it should be cake for them to scrape up whatever DNA traces are left on Trom and recreate the entire race via cloning up new bodies for them, and then accessing whatever data they have left to educate the new Tromnians in their own culture and history. They wouldn't be the same people they were cloned from, but it would be a sort of 'genocide do-over,' and it would be pretty easy to convince people to go along for humanitarian reasons. A new planetary population would mean one more voting bloc in the United Planets, a new presence in the Senate (and one that's kind of politically naďve and easy to manipulate, for the old pros, perhaps even one that can have a temporary overseer / governor chosen for them, while they work out their own selection process), and, the cherry on top, an entire population of transmuters, ripe for exploitation. And, one man, Jan Arrah, standing against this, with the rest of the universe wondering 'why wouldn't he want his people back?' It's all kind of sinister, and someday I might be inclined to go further into it.

Quote
That Jan has to take some time to transmute elements depending on their distance in the periodic table or their complexity is the perfect solution to give his power some limits.


Yeah, I like the idea of it being 'faster' to move something more gradually on the Periodic Table than to just try to turn Nitrogen into Uranium or whatever. Less protons, neutrons and electrons need to be added (or subtracted), so it would seem like it would be 'easier.'

Quote
I had to think, of course, why wouldn't there be Oort Clouds everywhere?

Akka's knife collection is impressive, although I wonder how she would manipulate an Imskian-scale knife.


That was mostly a joke, and kind of a shout out to an Iron Man snark some years back where he was showing off his 'Hulk-Buster' armor, and joked that he had a teensy suit of armor in case he ever had to fight Ant-Man. Realistically, Violet would just fly into her ear or something and unless Akka was smart enough to put some tiny killer robots in her ear or otherwise set a trap for Violet in advance, Akka would be eggs over easy with a side of vertigo.

Quote
Telllus is a bit of a pacifist, isn't he? He'd rather disarm an opponent than disable.


He always seemed that way to me, more likely to come at a problem sideways, rather than use blunt force or a direct approach. I like the idea that he's more of a three-dimensional thinker, coming from a three-dimensional aquatic environment, and being both a telepath and a telekinetic, he's always got two ways to deal with most threats.

Quote
Your Nura is a great character, she really shines here.


Thanks! I just love her sass. She's a treat to write!

Thanks for the feedback!


The Oracle at Delphi WIP in BITS.
#937740 - 09/20/17 05:36 AM Re: The Oracle at Delphi [Re: Set]  
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Set Offline
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Polar Boy felt like he’d been tossed end over end, and crouched panting at his arrival point, a room lit by the blue light of a survival torch. He could have sworn he heard voices arguing as he arrived, but when he looked up, a single figure stood before him, the renegade Tharran villain, Frost, with his distinctive white fringe of hair sagging like a wilted tuft of grass.

A sudden chill indicated that the cryokinetic had already begun his assault as he growled, “Die, you race-traitor sellout!” Brek engaged his own Tharran gifts and began dispersing the heat around his foe, each racing to see who could freeze the other first, but it seemed that Frost, despite his relative inexperience at offensive use of cryokinesis, and operating off of Tharr, was far more powerful than Brek had imagined… A laugh from behind him explained the argument he’d thought he’d heard earlier as he turned to see a second Tharran shimmer into view, his distortion field only serving to keep him camouflaged as long as he remained stationary. Cryo King, white-maned and full-bearded older brother to Frost, shared his brothers’ villainous tendencies, but little else, as the two Tharran villains stalked around the Tharran Legionnaire, combining their twin assaults to overwhelm Brek.

Pressured on two fronts, Brek can feel himself dropping to dangerously low temperatures, his transsuit and the internal heating elements of his costume unable to compensate fast enough. As the brothers circle him like jackals and he spins to keep them in view, Brek sees a suited corpse slumped against one wall, withered with age, and seeing his expression, Cryo King laughs and says, “I guess the SP weren’t the first ones to find this Armory, but that guy never made it out of this room.” Frost adds, “And neither will you!”

While confident he could take either of these rogues, Brek could tell that the two of them were going to freeze him solid if he didn’t find another solution, and the glint of light off of his Flight Ring inspires new confidence as he shouts, “Long Live the Legion!” through chattering teeth and accelerates forcefully into the younger Frost, slamming him into the wall with as much speed as he can muster in this small chamber, and using the villains body to cushion his own impact. He can hear Cryo King’s cry of outrage even over the grunt of pain from Frost, and, limbs so cold that he can barely move, he once again calls upon the Flight Ring to spin himself around and accelerate his fist straight into the unrushing face of the older villain with a resounding crack. Brek can hear groaning from behind him, and once again directs the Flight Ring to send his fist back into Frost, faster than his half-frozen body could have reacted, and finally being rewarded by the sight of both of the Tharran brothers collapsing into unconsciousness.

Answering his own question from moments ago, “I guess there is something worse than a dirty Tharran. Two dirty Tharrans…” Brek mutters, as he can feel the heating elements in his suit working overtime to try and bring his body temperature back up to what he considered comfortable, thankful that his years on Earth had innured him to extremes of cold that most other Tharrans would find brutal (and most Earthers would find intolerably hot, but Earthers were weird like that)…


Last edited by Set; 09/20/17 05:49 AM.

The Oracle at Delphi WIP in BITS.
#937823 - 09/22/17 05:01 AM Re: The Oracle at Delphi [Re: Set]  
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Set Offline
Pardon me while I burn, and rise above the flame.
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Space folded obediently around him, settling into comfortable patterns, much unlike unruly sapients. Sometimes Gates preferred the structure of spacetime, to the chaos of people, and their truly incomprehensible systems of governance.

The room he’d forced his way into was obviously, to his eyes, anyway, the end of this seemingly random teleportation network, and he’d skipped past all the chambers the system had attempted to route him into, right to the end. Before him, a humanoid stood, holding a weapon that seemed altogether too large for him to even support, its business end glowing with a threatening display of energy.

Questor quirked an eyebrow, “While the rest of us have to solve puzzles, however childishly simple, to reach this chamber, you just teleport to the end. I suppose that could be seen as elegant, or rude, depending on how much effort the Ancients put into these puzzles…”

The Coluan villain seemed in no hurry to fire that oversized gun, so Gates risked a glance around the room, seeing that it was filled with dozens of doorways, one of which had an open portal, and a different looking doorway behind Questor. “Do we play our roles, like puppets of the system?” Gates asked, “Do you try to kill me, and do I try to arrest you?”

Questor gave a thin smile. “I’ve almost solved all the puzzles. If Nyeun Chun Ti could break into the first Armory of the Ancients, even if he had to sacrifice a couple dozen gang-members to failed guesses, it’s only a matter of time for someone of my genius to break the code. In a few moments, every door will open, and then my teammates will pour into this room, and it will all be over. Or perhaps your teammates will have prevailed. Shall we wait together and see?”

Gates looks at the oversized gun, which he’s fairly sure just blew the SP monitoring satellite out of space with the efficiency of a ship-mounted plasma cannon, and nods, “Waiting is agreeable to me.”

[Grr. Wrote this out of order. This should have been before the rest of the Legion vs. LSV solo encounters. C'est la vie, I'll fix it in post-production. :)]


Last edited by Set; 09/22/17 05:03 AM.

The Oracle at Delphi WIP in BITS.
#937824 - 09/22/17 05:08 AM Re: The Oracle at Delphi [Re: Set]  
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Set Offline
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[And, properly formatted, all of the solo fights would go here...]

As one, a half dozen of the surrounding doors open, and Gates gives the little sideways scuttle that is his people’s equivalent of a smug expression (lacking horrifyingly squishy and texture-less mouthparts, like those humanoids, with their flesh hanging off of them like half-digested food). Sun Boy literally swaggers forward, while Element Lad limps into the room, leaning heavily on the wall, clearly injured. Polar Boy and Timber Wolf are both using their Flight Rings to float forward, both appearing somewhat the worse for wear, with visible burns on Timber Wolf and a wash of heat accompanying his arrival, while Polar Boy floats stiffly forward, as if paralyzed, and immediately veers towards the super-heated air rushing from Timber Wolf’s chamber, like a moth to flame. Tellus floats forward as well, but shows no sign of injury. Even in the low gravity of this asteroid, it’s the only sensible means of locomotion for the aquatic Legionnaire.

Questor looks disappointed. “Can’t *anyone* handle a single Legionnaire?” he mutters, clearly annoyed with his fellow villains.

“Don’t give up hope yet, greenie.” A woman’s voice comes from the doorway behind Sun Boy as his face goes blank and he raises hands that burst into flames. Fume moves into view and leans against the doorway in a bedroom pose, before saying, “Take them out, my pet.”

The flames around Dirk’s hands flare up, momentarily blinding everyone, and before anyone can spring into action, Fume pitches forward and slumps to the floor, while Dirk’s face clears and he smiles. “Funny thing about pheromones. They’re fragile chemical molecules that don’t handle 250 degree Celsius internal temperatures well…” He turns to place cuffs on the unconscious woman, “I got a snootful initially, sure, but a rush of attraction and arousal? Nobody’s got more experience riding that wave than me.” As he lets her gently slump back to the ground, he gestures to Brek for a medkit, “Now let’s do something about that inexplicably sudden case of heatstroke you just got…”

Questor looks at the assembled Legionnaires and at his massive gun, as Element Lad announces to the room, “That gun is force-shielded, I can’t transmute it.” The gun in question then rises slowly to point instead at the roof of the chamber, and Questor can be seen struggling to resist initially, but finally yielding, his physical strength no match for Tellus’ telekinetic might. The Hyrkraian’s calm telepathic voice washes over all of them. <<Surrender now, Questor, there is no gain to continued resistance.>>

“Agreed,” says Questor, reaching up to power down his weapon, but Timber Wolf moves forward to take the device from him. “Careful! He could bring this whole chamber down with that thing, maybe even crack this asteroid in half!”

Questor does not resist, and allows Brin to take his weapon from him, “But then *I* would die as well. Don’t be foolish.”

“There are plenty of super-villains who would risk it to kill an entire team of Legionnaires,” Brin retorts and the Coluan just scoffs. “Yes, but, just between you and me, plenty of super-villains are idiots.”

“Tinya, are you in need of assistance?” Jan asks his Ring, and moments later Phantom Girl emerges from a wall, having homed in on his Ring’s signal to locate the group. She seems unsteady, even in flight, and paler than normal, even for a phantom, clutching her bloodied arm in a death-grip. “Sorry, I got turned around. There are a lot of small chambers in this place…” Brek turns away from the unconscious Fume and practically trips over himself getting to Tinya with his medical kit.

Behind Questor, the final vault finally yields to whatever algorithm he’s entered, and a golden light floods the chamber, revealing a long hafted weapon with a tip blazing like the sun. He smiles faintly, “And so the prize is revealed.” Moments later, his smile fades. “And it’s just some sort of plasma weapon. Capable of emitting a lance of plasma as hot as a star, and certainly exciting to anyone who doesn’t already have a comparable weapon, to be sure, but nothing quite as reality-altering in potential as the Atomic Axe. What a disappointment. They’ll probably name it something predictably alliterative like the ‘Solar Spear.’” he taps a control on his wrist and a hellish red light fills the chamber as a spatial distortion that some recognize as one of Zymyr’s teleportation warps begins to open behind Questor, engulfing the newly revealed weapon behind him. Sun Boy attempts a half dozen small bursts of fire to distract the Gil’Dishpan, who remains safely behind his own warp, while Element Lad seals the newly christened ‘Solar Spear’ in a shell of titanium, and Tellus seeks out the teleporters mind, attempting to disrupt his concentration before he can whisk Questor and his prize away. It’s something of a surprise to everyone present when a flash of green energy disrupts the warp, and Questor, instead of stepping back into the safety of the warp, bumps into the wall of the chamber behind him, the warp disrupted by Gates’ own space-warping portal forming in the midst of Zymyr’s warp.

Questor looks perturbed at this turn of events. “Nothing is going as predicted today. I think I’ll have to ask for my credits back…” Peering at Gates, almost as if seeing him for the first time, and fingers twitching slightly as if he’s already anticipating dissecting the Vyrgan Legionnaire, he asks, “How did you know that would work? One spatial disruption forming inside of another one could destabilize them both, or fold spacetime inside out and kill us all…”

“I didn’t put that much thought into it,” admitted the Legion teleporter. “Just between you and me, plenty of super-heroes are also idiots.” He quipped, earning a bark of laughter from Sun Boy.

Questor just shakes his head and draws a spool of restraint tape from his belt and binds his own hands. “This has been for naught. There will be no need for fisticuffs. Being punched into unconsciousness is terribly bad for the brain, so I’ll spare you the need.”

Over the next thirty minutes, the Legionnaires tend to their injuries, and load the assembled villains, suitably restrained, aboard their cruiser, which they have summoned remotely to dock with the asteroid. Only Immortus, sealed in a massive plug of titanium, which has to be moved by Timber Wolf and Tellus, using a combination of telekinesis and brute strength, and Questor, whose Coluan brain renders him immune to the beta-wave sleep induction function of neutral restraints, remain conscious for the trip back to Earth.


The Oracle at Delphi WIP in BITS.
#937853 - 09/23/17 05:26 AM Re: The Oracle at Delphi [Re: Set]  
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Set Offline
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The trip back was mostly uneventful.

Brek tended to Tinya, whose blood loss had left her lightheaded and overly chatty, so that she woozily regaled her nursemaid with a sad tale about how her best friend Shady is now spending all her time with Night Girl, and she’s feeling left out, which dovetails into a recounting of her last double date with Shady and Mon-El, in which Jo ate two plates of ‘pan-seared romanescu steaks with artichoke hearts,’ whatever that was, and then was gassy throughout their trip to Shakespeare in the Park, whatever that was, and Tinya was trapped between a gassy Jo, and Shady, who, shameless as ever, laughed when that happened, and whose odor-activated ‘smart deodorant’ discharged a fresh wave of ‘Talokkian jasmusk,’ whatever that was, every time it detected a fresh noxious event, while Tinya sat mortified between these twin chemical assaults, praying for some sort of Legion emergency to interrupt this ordeal... Brek smiled along and nodded sympathetically at what he thought were appropriate moments, bewildered by this tale of woe, lacking anyone else to pass his patient on to. Brin and Jan were undergoing minor regenerative treatment, for their respective injuries, while Dirk was sleeping off a chemical purge to remove any lingering traces of Fume’s pheromones, leaving the cruiser on autopilot.

Tellus had settled into the back of the cruiser, with the restrained and (mostly) slumbering villains, there being no seats for his Hyrkraian physiology in the typical seating area to the fore of the cruiser. Questor seemed content to close his eyes and engage in some sort of serene mathematical self-entertainment, which suited Tellus fine, and Immortus had finally quit raging against his confinement and begun brooding dark thoughts that seethed like a pool of corruption in the otherwise calm emotional ‘terrain’ that filled this rear cabin. Tellus could sense Gates’ approach psychically even before the clattering of his many legs against the hull entered the room with him, and could also sense that the Vyrgan sought conversation, steeling himself for this new challenge.

“Your abilities proved most effective against this Alchemical Girl,” the teleporter began before warming up to his pitch, “It’s outrageous after all this time as a Legionnaire that the humanoids still haven’t included seats in their transports modified for your body type. We should say something…”

Tellus interrupts, using his voice modulator, rather than telepathy, “Please stop. I have no interest in your pointless divisiveness. We are all Legionnaires, humanoid or not, and I enjoy the mental calm, and lack of distractions, that comes with remaining back here.”

The nodules on Tellus’ back flare an irritated red, but Gates does not know enough about Tellus to recognize this sign of anger, and he blinks in consternation, having not expected this rebuke from the normally placid Hykraian, sputtering. “But if we do not demand equal treatment and respect, nothing will change.”

Tellus explains patiently, “I did not join the Legion seeing revolution. My people were enslaved by the Gil’Dishpan, and by leaving my world behind and assuming a public role as a Legionnaire, I draw attention to my people and their plight. Through incremental steps, and not strident outrage, I encourage UP senators on good terms with the Legion to recognize not only my people, but the other worlds containing life not traditionally a part of the United Planets that is being exploited by the Gil’Dishpan. Revolutions come and go, like the tides, seeming to gain great ground, but as suddenly losing those gains as the new leadership is forced to embrace the same policies as the one they deposed. The only true change is incremental. ‘Slow and steady wins the race,’ the humans say, and this is what I seek, a change in perception and recognition that may take a generation, but will be solidly built, and last forever, unlike some short-term feel-good cause of the moment. Evolution, not revolution.”

Gates seems utterly flummoxed, “You… You are political?

“Everyone is political.” Tellus says patiently. “The United Planets is like an ocean. You or I don’t have to like it, and it doesn’t require our approval to exist. It serves many billions of lives, who have spent many generations shaping its laws and traditions to serve them adequately, and neither you nor I have the right, let alone the ability, to take it away from them, or change it in a way that might seek to serve them less well. It is our task to adapt to these waters, and to do what we can to make them more welcoming to ourselves and our kind.”

“So you are saying that we should not burn down this house in which we must live?” says Gates, frustrated by the notion of ‘working within the system,’ but quite capable of understanding Tellus’ views.

“Exactly.” Tellus says, his nodules changing color again, to a calmer blue. “And now I wish to meditate. If you wish to explore the petitions I’ve put before the UP council, they are a matter of public record.”

The remaining hours of their return trip to Earth passed in blissful silence.


Last edited by Set; 09/23/17 05:43 AM.

The Oracle at Delphi WIP in BITS.
#937854 - 09/23/17 05:27 AM Re: The Oracle at Delphi [Re: Set]  
Joined: Aug 2006
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Set Offline
Pardon me while I burn, and rise above the flame.
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Pardon me while I burn, and rise above the flame.

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Meanwhile, while the various teams, such as Element's team at the Armory of Ancients, are off world...

Projectra dances with Val in the Mission Monitor Control Room, retracing the steps of a traditional Orandan waltz that they had danced last on their wedding night. For a man so utterly at ease in his body, who prowled into metahuman conflict with a casual predatory presence that few could match, she remembered that he had been charmingly awkward and uncertain as they moved together in the sight of their hundreds of guests, and this recollection brought a sad smile to her face, for this version of her love could no longer surprise her. Still, the warm strength of his hands on her arm and waist brought her comfort, even if they were but illusion, and his flesh and bones were long in his hero’s grave on Orando. Her love had charmed her with his ages-old eyes, and his strong young body, but most of all his enduring confidence, and the rarer moments, shared only with her, when his confidence failed him, dealing with a circumstance for which he was not trained, such as diplomacy or intrigue. Despite his common heritage, his crime-lord father had raised Val to be a leader of men, ruling through force and intimidation, and forced him to absorb decades worth of training in how to cripple and kill with his bare hands, until he could dismantle warriors of greater size and real world experience with terrifying brutality. And from these lessons, instead of the ruthless enforcer his father had sought to raise, Val had gleaned the warriors codes of respect and serenity that underlay so many of these ancient fighting traditions, something that Projectra had seen underneath the defensive swagger and seeming arrogance that he held up like a shield to any who would judge him, or, worse, underestimate him…

Her distraction is shattered and the image of Val spins away into a figment of light and shadow, dispersing with a courtier’s bow before he fades from view completely. Far from here, she has been listening to Science Police command directly, and in the confusion and hesitation that accompanies the announcement, before anyone even rushes to alert the Legion to the crisis, Projectra is already on the move, her masked guise as Sensor Girl shimmering into view over her like a cloak. She moves with false confidence, concealing the dread fluttering in the pit of her stomach, even though no one is present to see her trepidation. How we cling to our illusions, she thinks wryly, especially our illusions of control…, as she sends out a signal to serve as a backup line of defense to Duplicate Damsel at the Academy before silencing her Flight Ring to incoming calls, not willing to risk distraction in what is to come, as she rises swiftly to the roof exit.

For Ol-Vir is attacking Earth, and the rest of the Legion is at least thirty minutes away, or otherwise unavailable on missions to deal with this Oracle and the criminal enterprises they have organized. Projectra alone represents the Legion on Earth, and is the planet’s first, and perhaps, last, line of defense against a madman with the powers of Superman…



Last edited by Set; 09/23/17 05:30 AM.

The Oracle at Delphi WIP in BITS.
#937855 - 09/23/17 05:33 AM Re: The Oracle at Delphi [Re: Set]  
Joined: Aug 2006
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Set Offline
Pardon me while I burn, and rise above the flame.
Set  Offline
Pardon me while I burn, and rise above the flame.

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It is early evening over Metropolis, and long shadows conceal the streets from sight. Even without mystically-enhanced senses, it is not difficult to find Ol-Vir, floating above Metropolis. Science Police attack craft harried his laughing form with yet-smaller drones that buzz around him like insects, discharging stun-beams, restraint-nets, sedative darts and more lethal weaponry, all-too aware that they were incapable of harming him, and were but desperately delaying the moment that he turned his incredible destructive power towards the city below them. At that point, the only question would be how many thousands he could kill with each building he collapsed…

She can sense that the attack craft are, for the most part, unmanned, thank the Orakills for that small favor, but as they fall in broken or flaming pieces to the city below, lives have already been endangered in this deadly game of distraction, buying time for an evacuation that would prove little more than a stopgap against an unstoppable murderer who could pursue those fleeing to the ends of the earth, if not the ends of the solar system.

A smear of color cloaks her presence from view, so that she appears as just another bit of the shadow-drenched city below, as Legionnaires soar forward to defend the city. Dawnstar is first, and Projectra can feel the crack of thunder as she breaks the sound barrier, feathers slicked back and trembling with her passage. Ol-Vir can feel the rush of air exploding around him, and his clothing flutter with her passage, turning to attempt to track her passage with a burst of heat vision, as time seems to slow down to his accelerated perceptions. The winged Legionnaire’s cry is muted by the distance, and her wings combust as her skin blackens and burns. Like Icarus, wings afire, she plummets from the sky, and Ol-Vir is distracted from this glorious sight by the shout of outrage from Ultra Boy, who dashes forward with eyes burning with blue fire. Ol-Vir uses his enhanced speed to dodge under the blast, feeling the wash of heat even through his nigh-indestructible skin, and strikes with brutal strength. The visceral sensation of impact shudders up his arm as his entire forearm sinks into the Rimborian’s chest, and the sound of bones crunching accompanies the faint sigh of surprise. He treasures the look of surprise on the Legionnaires’ face as he yanks his fist back, accompanied by a warm wet spray of blood splattering against the front of his tunic. Jo Nah tumbled away like a discarded rag, and Timber Wolf is next to charge into the fray, eyes red and face twisted into animalistic fury. Ol-Vir’s vision blurs and he can feel his head rock back at the Zuunian unleashes a powerful kick to the side of his head, but another flash of heat vision, more focused this time on this easier target right in his face, reduces the Legionnaire to ashes and embers, which thump harmlessly into his body before they crumble apart and fall away, like the others before him.

“I am invincible!” Ol-Vir shouts to the smoke-filled skies, “Send them all to me! I’ll burn you all, your entire team, your entire city, your entire *world!* All will be sacrificed to my Dark Master, and the smoke from this offering will rise and summon him to reward his most faithful servant!”

He is distracted from his speech by a ruddy glow beneath him, and a vague sense of weakness. He turns enraged to see Sun Boy rising slowly from the city below, shining with a red light that he can only assume is red solar radiation, meant to sap the yellow solar energy from his cells. Too slow, he thinks, as he blows the Earth-man a mocking kiss of super-chilled air that freezes him solid. He would like to descend to see the Legionnaires’ frozen body shatter on impact with the ground, but he thinks better of it and rises suddenly into Earth orbit, so that the rays of Earth’s yellow sun shine upon his face and can rejuvenate his strength. He feels better even before reaching sunlight, which seems curious…

Projectra rushes to get back into range, Ol-Vir having risen so quickly that she could not compensate in time, and she ascends into Earth orbit as fast as her Flight Ring can carry her.

Ol-Vir looks down to his hand, to see that the blood and gore from Ultra Boy’s death, and the soot and ash from Timber Wolf’s cremation, are no more. Boiled away by vacuum? Scoured off by his rapid acceleration? That seems unlikely, but his train of thought is disrupted by a flash of light and the sensation of electricity washing over him. He turns to face the light, seeing Lightning Lass floating across from him in the void of space. He’s no longer sure if things are what they seem, and rushes the lightning-wielder, arms outspread like a primitive flying machine, reveling the sense of impact as he moves through her with irresistible strength and speed, but unsure whether or not he can trust these feelings. He turns to see the sundered halves of her body, which he has torn in two with the force of his passage, drifting away into darkness, blood already frozen into strange shapes in the cold of space.


The Oracle at Delphi WIP in BITS.
#937856 - 09/23/17 05:34 AM Re: The Oracle at Delphi [Re: Set]  
Joined: Aug 2006
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Set Offline
Pardon me while I burn, and rise above the flame.
Set  Offline
Pardon me while I burn, and rise above the flame.

Joined: Aug 2006
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Duplicate Damsel can see the SP craft falling like moths flown too close to a flame, and just as she’s making the decision, Bouncing Boy has already anticipated her decision and ordered their students to move into the city and do what they can to help the SP and any civilians threatened by falling debris. Projectra may have instructed them to hold back, but that does not mean they have to stand by and watch…

Nightwind says matter-of-factly, “What do we do if Sensor Girl can’t stop him?” Lu looks to her husband, his doubt written on his face, and she doesn’t have to be a telepath, after years wed to this man to hear his thoughts as clearly as if he’d spoken aloud, I kind of think we die… She takes Chuck’s hand in one hand, and Nightwind’s in the other, squeezing reassuringly as she turns to address the other students lingering behind. “We fight. Like Legionnaires.”

Luornu is pleased with how confident she sounds, and is rewarded by the way his eyes crinkle when he husband smiles. “Let’s go, people!” he shouts, bounding away towards a plume of distant smoke.


The Oracle at Delphi WIP in BITS.
#937857 - 09/23/17 05:34 AM Re: The Oracle at Delphi [Re: Set]  
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 7,975
Set Offline
Pardon me while I burn, and rise above the flame.
Set  Offline
Pardon me while I burn, and rise above the flame.

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 7,975
In a place that is not a place, where concepts like time and distance are more suggestion than law, a bulky figure looms over a slimmer one, hunched over a monitor, watching the dance of deception between the Orandan illusionist and the mad Daxamite demigod. The larger figure crunches a handful of honey-steeped spice beetles, a treat from her homeworld, the small burst of toxin within each beetle’s reaction chamber adding a pleasant piquancy to the experience, mumbling with a numb tongue, “Why don’t you just send her a holo-signal on her Flight Ring and give away her position? He’d kill her in a second…”

The seated figure replies in a precisely modulated tone, hands folded in a reflective pose, “If I wanted to end up like Computo, a lobotomized slave fated to clean their toilets and fold their laundry, or the Time Trapper, torn to shreds at the end of time, or Nemesis Kid, ignominiously executed and left for the dogs by this very woman, then yes, I *could* kill a Legionnaire. But it certainly wouldn’t be the Queen of Orando, whose subjects can call upon mystical forces I could never predict, let alone counter, and have an appropriately medieval sense of justice. Or the Shadow Champion of Talokk VIII, for that matter. Or the future High Seer of Naltor. Or the daughter of President of the UP, who could have a strike team of Bgtzlns phase into my bedchamber. Or the son of Rene Brande, who currently enjoys a certain notoriety among Durlan youth. Or the last son of Trom, whose murder would constitute an act of genocide. Or Brainiac 5, whose envious fellow Coluans would like nothing more than to prove themselves his better by bringing his killer to justice. Indeed, there are surprisingly few Legionnaires that I would consider safe to kill, let alone wise…”

The larger figure just grunts, conceding the point and downing another handful of spice beetles. “Got it. What’s ‘ignominously’ mean?”

Her companion just grins, recognizing the question as rhetorical.


The Oracle at Delphi WIP in BITS.
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