Big Blue Battery

March 20, 2014: When a Kryptonian meets blue goop, things get explosive.

//Galluzzo Labs, Outside New York //



Mood Music:

Galluzzo Labs

Outside New York

"I appreciate you coming out here, Mr. Kent," says Harrison Galluzzo, the CEO of Galluzo Labs and the target or a recent string of exposes written by the writer in his midst. The call had come in that a 'source' at the labs was ready to come clean, and that if Kent wanted the story he had to come right away.

It wasn't about what the Galluzzo's were making, it's about what they weren't doing. Safety concerns had grown when roughly one third of their workforce had come down with forms of cancer. Clark Kent had wanted answers on behalf of the victims, and in response the Federal Government had put several contracts on hold, decimating Galluzzo stock and putting the monarch of the company on the edge.

The 'source' had told him to drop everything, to tell no one he was coming, that the risk was too great. Clark obliged, having certain benefits to prevent him worrying too much about being jumped. He was mildly shocked when the source turned out to be Galluzzo.

"Where do you get this material?" Clark asks Galluzzo as they walk above the catwalks, high over vats of bluish goo. "Kansas. Little town in the center of the state is chock full of the special ingredient."

Galluzzo sighs, as Clark takes a look over the edge. Taking his chance he uses the weight of the larger man and gives a slight shove.

Clark's lower knee hits the railing and he begins to topple. For half a second he thinks about hovering there and slugging the desperate Galluzzo straight in the chest. Instead, however, knowing that cameras are everywhere, Clark knows he must keep his secret. He plops down into the goo, unceremoniously and promptly sinks to the bottom after a bit of splashing for effect.

But a funny thing happens when his body begins to sink. He can see his veins begin to glow a fluorescent blue. There's a charge from inside his body and for a moment he feels ecstasy before being followed by extreme malaise. And then, though still alive, he feels something strange. A feeling he's not felt since being very little. He must get to the top…He's out of breath!

Meanwhile, high above, Galluzzo watches as the blue goo begins to sizzle and is coated along the top with a layer of electricity. For a half second, it looks as if it's going to die out. But then, and without further warning, a giant explosion of electricity and sweltering liquid shoots straight upward, blasting through catwalk, incinerating the metal, Galluzzo, and the roof above.

Within moments, the 911 calls begin pouring in. An explosion at the Galluzzo chemical plant. It could be radioactive. Galluzzo's people aren't giving all the information, and hundreds of workers need to be evacuated!

Mimic and Cyclops are in the Danger Room training when the computer lets them know Something Bad has happened. It's been programmed to monitor news and police frequencies, listening for certain keywords that indicate their special help might be needed. 'Explosion' coupled with 'chemical plant' would certainly get a query. Toss in 'radioactive' and the query becomes an alert. The giant robot they'd been fighting explodes under the combined force fo their optic blasts when the program halts and they're informed of the disaster. A shared look is all it takes to know they need to go help. "Computer, display satellite images of the chemical plant and surrounding area out to half a mile." Once Mimic has a destination, *BLINK* He and Cyke appear about a hundred feeet from the plant.

And with the 911 calls, come the escalations. With the cancer scares and the close scrutiny of the company, there's a very real chance of chemical contamination — let alone anything else. And it being in the heart of Kansas makes it more of a concern.

Diana is contacted, actually, because the powers that be can't find Superman to contact him. Certainly not in the few moments after the explosion, at least. But, the Amazon doesn't have the advantage of teleportation of any sort. The best she can do is an extremely fast, extremely high tech, extremely invisible jet, which is what she now pilots across the country toward the hot zone, sweeping for information as she flies.

There is a brief moment where Cyclops stands still, very still. He shakes his head once from side to side, ridding himself from the disorientation of teleportation before lifting his left hand to touch the control device of his visor. "On location. Ready to receive the feed." It's send back over the X-Net to Cerebro.

There, Professor Xavier has plugged himself into Cerebro. They are about to test a new device, a modification to Cyclops' visor that will feed telepathic locations from Cerebro, through the X-Net, and into a 3D overlay built into Cyclops' new visor. If it works, it will show him exactly where every humanoid body is within the plant, an advantage that wouldn't be there had he relied upon the visor's thermal imaging.

"Let's see if this Cerebro link works," he informs Mimic. "We'll find the heaviest concentration of people and start evacuating."

There are enclaves of workers all over. Some in big areas like the factory, some in small offices. In all 132 workers are at risk and trapped, compared to the 263 who were able to get out immediately. In short, this is a god damn mess, and if you thought Galluzzo stock prices were bad before, wait until this hits the news.

But there are more important things than money.

And what of Clark Kent?

Superman has not yet appeared on the scene, as one might think.

"I should go into the heart of the plant in case there's radioactivity." Mimic tells his team mate. He's already transformed to metal and even if that's not enough, his healing factor should fix things. "You can direct me to where the most people are trapped and…" He studies the plant for a moment. He's actually at a loss for the best use of Cyke's optic blasts under these circumstances.

The plane nears the site of the fire and Diana checks the readouts it gives. Not good. Now, frankly, Diana's way of solving most problems is either to talk her way out of them, or to punch her way out of them — sometimes using the lasso for good measure. Something like this, though?

She has the advantage of Hestia's fires, which allow her a certain level of immunity to fire and radiation. She also has the fallback of Gaia's restoration, but that is not a ritual to be assumed lightly. But, there are people that need to be saved. More than that, she can see, with sharp eyes, even from where she is that whatever is in the midst of that is glowing blue and dangerously. It needs to be capped. And, perhaps, that's something she can do.

So, she steps out of the side of the plane, letting it hover (because that's what it does), and floats straight down into the heart of the plant, looking for some way to confine the spill.

Cyke turns his head to Mimic, listening. He nods a quick agreement, then points to the factory. "Most of the people are trapped in there. Others are scattered in offices all over." He reaches over to grasp Mimic by the shoulder, a sign that he's going with Calvin into the factory. The X-Suit, after all, provides some protection against radiation. "If it's not too dangerous, I'll take over and you can 'port the others out. Let's move!"

A scientist runs out towards the plane, recognizing the form of Wonder Woman as she disembarks. "Wonder Woman!" he says, out of breath. "I'm Dr. Harvey Battons, physicist here at Galluzzo. We got a crisis on our hands, radiation everywhere. If there's any way we can get this thing covered by dirt, we might be able to stem it until specialists are able to get here.

Meanwhile, the raging inferno of power begins to spread wider, as opposed to the fountain of boiling liquid in the sky. If it continues, it will surely come into contact with the next vat over. Would that start a chain reaction?

Mimic nods to Cyke, just accepting the man's decision to come along, and ports them into the factory. It's a series of small teleports along line of sight since he prefers not to port blind unless absolutely necessary. Along the way, a worker here and there that he spots, is BLINKed out into the courtyard till they get intot he heart of the factory.

Diana looks at Dr. Battons. "If there's any danger of secondary explosions," she tells him, "We need to seal off the secondary vats. Then we can look at burying the worst." A beat. "Have you no equipment at all to deal with this sort of spill?" The answer is probably 'no', given the news, lately.

She looks up at the liquid, the already ruined vat, and her eyes alight on the metal roof tiles that are hanging haphazardly in the breech. "Let me use those…" With that, she rockets toward the roof, pulling up sheeting to use begin to cover the secondary vats… and thereafter to worry about building a silo to hold the fountain. One step at a time.

As soon as the X-Men have teleported into the factory, Cyclops spins about to face the outer wall. He scans about, relying on his strategic strengths to determine what he expects to be the path of least distance from inside to outside. Then, he dials down his visor to its lowest setting and fires,

A tiny beam of red, optic force shoots out from the center of his visor. It burns a tiny hole through the wall, but there is no chain reaction. No explosions, which is a good sign.

With a flick of the finger, he dials the visor up to a much more powerful setting. This time, a ferocious beam blasts forth, collecting factory infrastructure and blowing it clear out into the parking lot and surrounding area. The result is a sizable hole through which the people trapped inside can flee.

Cyclops spins about and shouts with a powerful, commanding voice. "Everybody move!" He motions toward the opening with broad arcs of his arm. "Go! Go! Move!" He runs toward a group of fearful stragglers closest to the incident, intent upon ushering them into action by force of will, if not by grabbing them and shoving them along.

Does he feel bad for causing some collateral damage to Galluzzo Labs' already strained investment? Nope. Personal damage lawsuits would be a lot worse, after all. All the while, he's got one eye (see what I did there?) trained upon the boiling vat of energy, but for now, evacuating these people is his number one priority. Cerebro's feed keeps him appraised of who is where, and Wonder Woman's vault to the ceiling is not missed, but he doesn't react aside from noting that there's another friendly here. It's a lot to digest, but the trained leader is quite used to dissecting so much information in the heat of an incident like this.

It's what the X-Men were trained to do.

"We don't," Dr. Battons says with a shake of the head to Diana before she leaps into action. "The only thing that could do this would be more power than we can even muster. This sort of reaction? There must have been a massive power source; a lot more massive than our power company would have authorized.

Was it a bomb? Some other device?

Diana does a good job of stacking the metal to keep the two vats separate, but the worry is whether the relatively flimsy roofs will hold properly.

Scott punches a hole with his visor and whatever is exploding seems to be reacting with something other than force. He's able to get that group of folks out safely.

On the wings at the Northeast, northwest, southeast, and south west there are large office buildings that hold many of the workers, Cyke has already freed one group. The major need is the factory in the middle, which sits directly next to the vat in question, the problem is that the exits have burst and the explosion continues. Diana is flying around above and throughout, getting the pieces of roof set up as a barrier between two of the vats that are in the middle of the building. Cyclops stands on the outside of one of the corners. Mimic blinks. He stands where he wants.

With Cyke busy directing the traffic of panicking workers, Mimic ports deeper into the center of the factory where exits to the outside are less easy to find. Here at the heart of the explosions, he doesn't want to open portal, even ones that blink out in a second. Throwing spears of energy at individual workers, each BLINKs out as it comes into contact with them. It's much more precise and less likely to take unwanted chemicals and energy. Glancing up, he watches Wonder Woman for a moment but she seems to have things under control for the moment. Better to continue to get the workers out.

Wonder Woman curls the metal over the vats, squeezing them sealed with her hands. The precarious roof is a concern, but its materials can still be cannibalized. "Get yourself to cover," she tells the doctor. "Evacuate whomever you can along the way. I'm going to enclose the power source, but the roof is unstable. You need to get out." Because she can walk away from a ton of rubble dropping on her head. Most people can't.

With speed and strength given by the gods, she just keeps moving. That's the best she can do. She pulls material away from those places where it is more likely to cause harm should it fall, and uses it to surround the font. But, hovering above it, she looks down into it. Because if what Batton is saying is true, then there's some catalyst within it. Maybe she can grab that catalyst and get it out before the whole place blows.

Having blasted another hole out, Cyke is busy directing the much more motivated workers to safety, when a piece of burning ceiling collapses. He looks upward instinctively and blasts the piece of rooftop far into the sky. However, he notices then that his optic blast seems to be dispersing the energy that was burning through the ceiling. After all, it's neither plasma, nor radiation that comes from his eyes. No one has yet managed to explain it, not even the Professor, but a light goes off in his head.


Scott goes bursting into the factory, looking about for his X-Comrade. "Mimic!" He trains his visor upon the gigantic explosion, which seems to be the center of the problem, and opens fire upon the blue flames. "Time to cross the streams!" he calls out, while leaving the visor open and pumping red optic power toward the explosion.

Its notable that Cyclops is aiming at an upward angle, rather than dead on and level to the ground. Wouldn't want to disperse that ugly stuff toward some unsuspecting factory workers, after wall. When he sees Wonder Woman at work, he begins using his expert sense of geometry and direction to angle the fire into a place where, hopefully, it can be maintained by her manipulated ceiling material.

Diana secures the vats on the perimeter and looks down. She'll be shocked to see that there's some sort of movement from within the vat. That…That almost looks like a person!

Meanwhile, Cyclops' wide arc blast diverts the explosion at an angle. The bad news is it blows the entire back end off the wall and factory. The good news is that the blast didn't kill anyone, and the diverted inferno dissipates immediately upon hitting the ground.

Inside, there is panic and mayhem. Even worse as Mimic begins flinging things at people. They don't realize how much he's helping them until they show up somewhere else…very safe.

Mimic nods at Cyke's idea but then there's Wonder Woman right by the vat where all the problems are coming from and that puts her more or less in his line of fire. "We need you to move!" he calls, sending a few more workers out to safety.

Upon seeing the movement in the vat, Diana's eyes widen. "Oh, Hera…" she breathes. If there is someone in there, however, she needs to get them out. So, she steels herself against the power and the boiling chemical soup, and streaks down in a straight dive. Her hands grasp around the body she finds there before she reverses and pulls herself straight up, dripping in glowing blue soup, a heavy burden in her arms as she lifts it skyward.

A grimace creases Cyclops' lips when he sees the rooftop go, but he bears down until Wonder Woman makes a dive into the vat. He clicks the visor shut a blink of a moment before she strikes the beam, letting her pass. Then he's scampering over toward Mimic, watching as she takes to the sky again. There is a beat, a moment of surprise, before he crouches down, looks just slightly upward, lines his shot up with what the Cerebro feed confirms is a clear shot with no people beyond, and opens fire again.

Cyclops blasts away just as the pair get out of the way, raising high into the air. The red pushes low against the vat and pushes much of the blast down ward and into the ground, dissipating it quickly. Even what he doesn't touch with his mutant powers dissipates its energy rather quickly and the explosion looks as if it's about to be all over.

But thank goodness Mimic is still here. Because even as the energy dissipates, the walls of the building are about to give way and crush the remaining workers in the middle of the building.

Diana brings the victim up into the air. He's covered in a blue, paint looking like substance. He spits some out and bring his hand to his face, covering his eyes with a pair of thick glasses that he wipes off with his hands.

Exasperated, Clark looks to Wonder Woman. "Diana, I…"

"I don't have my powers."

Does diving into the vat count as moving? Technically, yes. It does get her out of the line of fire. But then she flies out with… a body? That'll need to be explained later. But whatever she did, it seems to have helped if a bit too late to keep the building from collapsing. Flame on! Armor off. Mimic flies to the exact center of the room where he can see everyone as he turns and they BLINK out en masse: workers, Cyke, even Wonder Woman and unknown not quite dead person.

"Clark?" Diana's expression is one of shock and surprise. It really wasn't that she was ignoring Mimic or Cyke. It was more that she got distracted by the immediacy around her. A personal failing, in this instant. But, the body… that was kind of important. And, now, they're certainly far enough out of the way that the mutants' efforts should go unhampered.

"Clark, what happened?" She calls him Clark simply because he's not dressed as Kal, and she understands the distinction. Her expression schools. "We need to get you somewhere safe, first." At this point, they're both dripping blue. And that will need to be washed off. But, there's still the crisis below, and she can't leave that, just yet.

Of course… then she's BLINKED… and that brings a whole new set of, "What?" as she finds herself in an entirely new position.

Cyclops keeps his beam flowing until he can feel himself teleporting. The optic blast is shut off in an instant, and when he strikes ground outside, his boots sizzle upon the ground. His X-Suit may have protected him from the radiation, but his face is hot, red, and will likely be blistering within hours.

Regardless, he muscles through the pain and rises, panning about with his visor, looking for any stragglers that might still show up as being trapped inside through the Cerebro feed. It's flickering, the visor having taken some radiation damage, but the feed is thankfully still online.

Clark shakes his head, blue goo dripping from his longer black locks. "I don't know. I got pushed by Galluzzo into the vat. Next thing I knew there was an explosion, a continual explosion. I think it has something to do with my physiology; my veins were glowing down in that vat."

Large groups of people now get outside via the Mimic express. All around, workers hug each other in happiness of…well…not being dead. "Thank you!" one lady says to Mimic, throwing her arms around his neck.

Cyclops emerges from the building just as it comes crashing down. High above, governmental helicopters are making their way towards the site; SRD in effect.

Once everyone's out, Mimic is the last to BLINK outside and then lands on the ground, his flames flickering out as his feet touch ground. And then some woman is trying to strangle him inefficiently. At least it seemed that way for a second until he gets his head out of fight mode. "Umm, you're very welcome. I'm just glad we could help." Giving her a smile, he looks around to make sure Cyclops is fine and that Wonder Woman and her rescued victim(?) are okay as well.

Wonder Woman hears Clark's words and frowns. "That's not good," she notes needlessly. Then, however, she looks around. "We need to decontaminate, first," she tells him, then, looking at the goop covering both of them as she takes a step back. "Then, we'll go someplace we can talk and figure this out." She glances over to the pair of mutants, then, however, and gives them both a nod of greeting and a wave of thanks.

A final scan confirms that everyone got out okay. It's only then that Cyclops can breathe a sigh of relief, and only then that the pain really registers. And… helicopters above. He looks up quickly, then dashes over toward Mimic. He gives the man a meaningful look, one that tells a mouthful even without being able to see his eyes. It's all in the way his lips are turned into a regretful frown.

Its time to go.

His left hand touches the visor's controls, opening a channel to the X-Men Base. "Situation contained. Coming home." A simple nod is given to Wonder Woman. Then he reaches a hand for Mimic's shoulder, for this is not the day the X-Men are meant to go public.

As the government comes, the heroes all head their separate ways. For the X-men, the trip back to New York is probably the easiest part of the day, given what they've just succeeded in doing. For the other two, there are more questions than answers at this point, and none of the answers look to be very good.

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