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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Team-Building 104 - Part 4L

Team-Building 104: Part 4L - "The Voyage Home: The Harvest"

7 Days Ago – The armor touched down safely on the rooftop of one of the tallest buildings in Megalopolis and immediately started to klaxon loudly. It didn’t take long for the resident superheroes to arrive on the scene to investigate.

“What are you doing here?” SuperDude asked it.

“Looking for you, actually,” It responded. “I have been sent by the government of the United States in an attempt to recruit you to be a part of a team of like-minded individuals.”

“That work at the beck and call of the bureaucrats?”

“Not entirely. I work with a business man that will be able to provide funding should we need it. But the government is starting to grow scared of the amount of heroes/vigilantes that are popping up these days and does, in a way, want to police them. That’s why they are forming the WMD, the Weapons of Mass Destruction. If I am able to gather enough people, there are plans for a small satellite group called the IED.”

“It seems like a solid idea. Let me think about it Mr…?”

“Warmonger. I am called Warmonger.”

6 Days Ago – “What in blazes?” His fingers stabbed at the keyboard and pulled up the satellite imagery. A small craft was entering the Earth’s atmosphere and heading towards North America. He started to get readings and suddenly it vanished. He growled under his breath and set another program to estimate where it was headed based of the telemetry.

Several hours passed and he had a guess. New York City. Suddenly another computer pinged as strange readings appeared in Megalopolis. The Dark Avenger stood and pulled on his cowl.  It was time to meet the man called SuperDude by the press.

5 Days Ago – The Dark Avenger watched the one called SuperDude from the shadows on top of a building nearby. The readings had led him to an alien being attacking the hero of Megalopolis. He watched as they talked; a guttural growling noise that ended in a question. He dropped down and spoke up. "Not everyone likes you."

* * *
Thomas walked through the streets of downtown Detroit searching for the local hero he had heard rumors of, a young black youth who called himself Jive. Apparently he was a sound-manipulator of some kind.

He rounded the corner as two thugs peeled away from the shadows of an alley to follow him. They were quickly joined by another two and then a fifth. He smiled and continued to walk until they totaled seven strong. He stopped in the middle of the street and turned to acknowledge them.

“Evening, gents. I don’t suppose you’re the welcoming committee?” They snickered and two pulled out knives.

“That’s funny. Rich guy like you gots to have a wad of cash on you as thick as my…” A roar ripped through the street and he was blasted right out of his shoes and into the wall next to a parked car.


“Damn right!”

4 Days Ago – SuperDude frowned at the position of leadership, but everyone seemed to listen  to him. Amazona had taken off to find her ‘god’ and they were headed to a Veterans Hospital outside of New York City on the insistence of ‘Jack Rabbit’. He secretly wished that this Dark Avenger fellow would step forward and flat out say he wanted to lead but he could feel him nudging him in the right direction. Within a day and a half they already had five people, and possibly by days end two more. How many powered people were out there in the world?

3 Days Ago – Finding the Mystic City of Sham’bala had been difficult and the recruitment of one of its most powerful sorceresses had been surprisingly easy. She had been bored and eager to escape the confines of her ‘prison’ to go out and visit the real world beyond the mountains and fogs that hid the city from the world. She had mentioned another student of the magickal arts who may be useful; a master who could use literary works to summon assistance.

* * *

She was called the Wolf and she was tracking poachers through the wilds of Africa. They had been killing elephants and harvesting their ivory for weeks.  She had begun to track them down and eliminate them one by one.

Night had slowly crept in and she was nearing the final camp deep in wilds. She had lost the scent hours ago but she knew deep in her soul that she was close. Suddenly the night was lit up by a flare and she turned in the direction of it, moving slowly.

Sounds of fighting came in with the wind. She moved faster and witnessed a heavily armored warrior fighting against the remaining poachers. Their guns fired uselessly against the metal hide and she thought she could hear it laughing at their attempt.

She paused and pulled the hood around her and shifted into her wolfen form, growing in size and strength. Calling on the gifts of her ancestors filled her with awe and calm, knowing that she was carrying on the heritage of her people.

Leaping into the fray against the poachers caused immediate panic among them, and gave the armored warrior pause for a moment.

“Wolf?” It asked in a male metallic voice. She growled in response and began her attack. “Oh, she’s gonna be a complicated one…”

2 Days Ago – They watched from the shadows as William Tell ran around his city using whatever technique he could to go from place to place quickly. His accuracy was deadly when needed but also passive. In a matter of several hours he had caught several looters, robbers and he was tracking a rapist.

“He is going to kill that man.” SuperDude spoke up from the long quiet.
The Dark Avengers eye’s narrowed. “You’re right. We have to step in.”

1 Day Ago – “I know of a ship that can get us to the depths where we think this city is.” Jack said when they were flying towards England.

“Really?” The Dark Avenger said over his shoulder.

“I wasn’t always a hero. For a while I was a pretty damn good explorer of the unknown. That’s how I stumbled on to Amazona and her people. We have a ship that I modeled after the Nautilus from that book.” Jack seemed proud as he reflected.

“That’s better than the submarine I would have stolen, I suppose.” The Dark Avenger smirked.

* * *

Warmonger had recruited his last two heroes in Brazil and Antartica; a plasma-wielder protecting his village from slavers and the Columbian Mob attempting to find a beachhead to move their businesses forward. The other was a creature made of energy, hiding in the icy wastes to avoid killing anyone because of its nature.

Thomas had convinced them easily to come to America and attempt a new life there. So he had picked up the others from one of his bases and started to track the attacks on the other heroes, some of which had hit the news. ALIENS ATTACK EARTH, the headlines blared.



The Harvesters roared in agreement.


SuperDude spoke to the Harvesters as they exited their ship. “We do not wish to fight you. Get back in your ship and leave the Earth and we will allow you to do so as long as you promise to never return to this place.”

“Do you really think that will work, buffoon?” Amazona called up to him. SuperDude shrugged.

Conjuressa gasps quietly.
SuperDude looks down at her. “You understood that?”
She nodded.

“We all understood that.” The Dark Avenger said. “She magicked us, I think.”
She nodded again. “Understand, but not speak it. Our throats won’t make those sounds. I have no idea how SuperDude is able to,” she frowned.


The Harvesters all leapt forward and began the attack on the WMD and the IED.

* * *

A pair of Harvesters circled below SuperDude as he hovered above them. They glowered up at him and punched a few buttons on their harnesses and twisted a dial. He felt energy drain from him. He glared back at them and plasma lanced from eyes and slammed into them, superheating the metal and burning their skin.

“They still seem to want to eat me.”

“No shit?” Conjuressa said. Fire blasted from her hands and froze three smaller Harvesters in place. “HAH HAH FUCKERS!! Didn’t see that coming did ya, bitches?!”

* * *

The Dark Avenger took two quick steps forward and drew a large knife from the small of his back. Spinning around as he drove the blade into the elbow joint of one of the Harvesters he sliced clean through the bone and muscle dropping the limb to the ground. It roared in defiance. “I think I noticed something.” He spoke into his headpiece. “Each one this guys has an insignia on their harness at the left shoulder. Like a rising sun only the rays are between two and seven in number. The five, six, and sevens all drop pretty easy.  Whoever is number one is the leader.”

“I have eyes on number one, he’s coming out of the ship and he looks... human.” SuperDude spoke and he flew overhead providing support where it was needed.

* * *

Warmonger spoke up finally, “I’m inside the ship.”
SuperDude glanced to the armor fighting three of Harvesters by itself. “I can see you fighting --” he started, before being interrupted.

“Yeah, I multitask really well. Anyways, they have some crazy readings in here, and if I’m reading this correctly their main objective is SuperDude and secondary targets are Conjuressa, Amazona, King Hrolf, King Carp and Jack Rabbit. Plus they are mining some kind of power source from Central Park and I think they have one chained in their ship.”

“We need to crack the ship open then, and release it, and that will stop the harvest of the Central Park source.” SuperDude said.

“Can you upload the ships specs to me?” The Dark Avenger asked.

“It’s uploading now.”

“Enough talking,” Amazona ripped the insides from one of the aliens and swung them into the oncoming horde of weaker ones attempting to overwhelm her. Hrolf dropped down and sliced through three of them in a single swing.

“I agree.” He said before spinning around and bringing another two down.

“Keep them busy and I’ll figure out the weak spot on the ship and have SuperDude crack it open like an egg.”

“We also need to figure out what the leader is planning. He’s just standing there, and I think he has some kind of shield protecting him.,” Jack Rabbit responded.

“Why do you say that?”

“I keep getting bounced or shuffled away from him when I get close. A few feet for sure are no man’s land.”

“Damn.” The Dark Avenger started reviewing the schematics and knelt down as his brain worked through the information.

* * *

Jive spoke up, “I got this one.” He opened up his mouth as wide as it would go and began to scream. It was a slow build, and low, until it started to build towards its crescendo which erupted in a cone outward from him. Waves of soil were pushed away as the sound headed for the ship. The ship rang like a bell when the sound wave first struck it, and then it began to vibrate.

The heroes defended Jive from the waves of Harvesters looking to protect their home, ship, and food supply from the attack. Finally the ship cracked along the seam that the Dark Avenger had spotted and the roof slid open. The ground started to rumble along with the ship as light spilled forth from the opening.

One massive shudder ran the entire length of Central Park, knocking everyone to the ground. The ship hopped into the air, the landing struts ripping free of the soil beneath them. Trees toppled and a wave of water crashed against the far bank of the lake.

The Harvesters seemed to panic with these developments, some fumbling with their harnesses which seemed powerless now. The weaker of the Harvesters collapsed as if drained or they just had their strings cut by an invisible puppet master. The remaining High Blood dropped their weapons and placed themselves on the ground in a passive position, surrendering.

“Well I would have loved to say that was easy…” Rabbit popped in.

“It’s not done yet.” The Dark Avenger said. “The leader is still standing.”

“He didn’t fall when all of you did, either.” SuperDude said.  He turned in the air to face the leader. “We’ve beaten you. Surrender now and perhaps we can confine you to a lower security prison and not the SPIRaL.”
The leader began to laugh. “That’s funny. I cannot be contained. I am the last survivor of a dead universe. I have lived countless eons alone. That is until I found the Harvesters, parasites eating at the edge of existence. They need the Star Force to live and I needed pawns to break free of my tether in the dead universe I was lost in. So we struck an accord. I fed them one of the greatest Star Forces ever created and brought them here as soon as I could sense another like myself out in the void. A few weeks ago I sensed one.” He paced back and forth on the ground in front of the ship as the soil continued to churn.

“Are you seriously doing a monologue? Wait does this make him our arch-enemy or something?” Jack Rabbit asked.

“That does seem to be the case.” SuperDude responded. “Do you have a name, fella?”

“Yes I do, but unfortunately I tire of this game. We shall soon meet again.” The leader vanished in a pop.

“So.. we won?”

TBC in Team-Building: The Epilogue

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