He Knows, Part 2

Summary:
October 25, 2014 : A terrible tragedy occurs in Metropolis as the Innovation Station comes under attack.

Metropolis

Downtown in the greatest city in the world


Characters

NPCs

  • <Name of NPC or "None">
  • <Use same pattern for all npcs>

Mood Music:
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10:42 AM

DOWNTOWN METROPOLIS

A serene, late fall morning is about to be interrupted by some of the worst horror imaginable. Only that it's quite imaginable. For every generation, there are moments that confound, terrify, and traumatize. Pearl Harbor, the JFK assassination, the Iran Hostage Crisis. September 11.

When the devices go off in Metropolis' Innovation Station, the major public transportation hub in the city, there was no time to warn the Big Apricot's heroes. Fire erupts out of several of the exits and the entire building looks like it is ready to crumble in upon itself, trapping the thousands of people below. Who or what could have done this? Well, there will be more on that later. The immediate need is for help. Right away.

Enter Waller. Or not. One could protest and say that she's been there all along, but no one would usually see her coming. And she likes it that way. There were no CADMUS boys around thus far, only a lingering person by her side on the rooftop nearby; a vantage point to watch things go tits up in Metropolis.

It's a rare thing for her to be on this side of.. no, this city. Often times there was a need but stand in's were always sent in her place. Messages sent through the grapevine and a nod passed through to get what she needs and wants whenever deemed necessary. Today though? Special. Why? Who knows but Waller.

*CLICK*

The zippo cap was slapped against denim clad thigh and dragged forth to bring it a light, boot perched upon the edge of the building as the flame was brought to stog tucked in between her lips. Inhale. Exhale, ether laced smoke blown out through the nose of a bull coupled with a sigh as she watches the distaster below.

"Watch carefully, Floyd. The kids are going to come out and play."

At this hour, Michael Jon Carter is generally doing his day job. If he's not on the set, then he's going over the scripts for upcoming episodes; today, he is doing the latter, when Skeets notifies him of an emergency situation. No one in the cast or on the staff for 'Secret Hospital' bats an eye when Michael runs down the hall, throwing off clothing and pulling on parts of his super-suit. This isn't the first or even fifth time this has happened.

By the time he is flying to the site of devestation, Booster Gold is fully in costume. He pauses only to sweep his gaze over the building and below it, his visor systems allowing him to see through concrete and steel. He isn't strong enough to hold up a building, but he does have the ability to provide auxillary exits. Hovering over the ground nearby, he starts to blast into it, the golden energy beams plowing through and boring a tunnel downwards.

Floyd Lawton has his own cigarette, nodding to Waller as she speaks to him, "Don't they always. Gotta air out their long undies," he says. A pair of dark sunglasses hide his gaze, his dark hair slicked back. He's out of costume, dressed just like an average joe, although the pistols underneath his arms make it clear he's anything but. He sticks close to the boss, though, knowing his main job is keeping her safe when things get hairy out in public like this. After all, if Waller goes down, odds are his cranium follows.

Bobby had been in Metro for work. DCI is after all an international company and he'd been delivering a prototype to the lab boys up here when everything went boom. Crap. Taking to the skies on an ice ramp, the cool guy circles to get a better look at what's going on. Suffice it to say, he doesn't like what he's seeing. But then he remembers something. Snatching a comm unit out of his pocket he flicks the button and starts talking. "Hey, uh, Oracle? Can you hear me?"

Meggan had been in Metropolis for a far more elementary purpose, namely to try and take photographs for her haphazard efforts towards a liberal arts associate's degree through the computer. She had flown into Metropolis quietly, and when there was a distant explosion, she had abandoned her camera bag where it was - near the harbor. Her t-shirt and jeans are shed like so many skins, and she streaks towards the spreading cloud of ash with anxiety on her face. She doesn't even wave to the sliding Iceman as she homes in on the central spot.

As that particular comms channel crackles to life, Oracle frowns. The Clocktower is in Gotham and she's not seeing any trace of Bobby (Iceboy as she's come to think of him) on her video feeds. Tapping her own comms unit, Oracle's digitally altered voice responds "Oracle here, reading you loud and clear. Over."

Oracles hands have not ceased, and move over the console in front of her, and finally a window flashes up on her monitors. Oracles frown deepens. Iceboy is in Metropolis.

Now, 14 minutes after the blast, emergency personnel are beginning to come upon the scene but are having issues because of the crowd that's converged outside. Because of the panic, there's confusion and fog and it's coming together to make things more difficult.

From above the station is a large crater in the middle and parts have collapsed in on themselves. From Booster's perspective it's clear that many people have already died. If they are to save the rest (and want to get as much in before Booster has to leave) they will have to be quick.

Bobby and Meggan will see similar scenes, as will Oracle with her eyes in the sky. Oracle will also see that because of all of the people on the Metropolis phone lines trying to get through to love ones, it's causing a major telecommunications problem for the entire region.

In the building proper, people stumble out by the scores, bloodied and screaming. Disoriented and delirious. Smoke is still rising and the air outside the station is still filled with the building materials that have been destroyed by the blast.

_ _ _ _

PORTLAND, OREGON

Clark Kent is sitting in an office building, waiting for an interview with a businessman whose name isn't really even worth mentioning given what's occurring on the screen in the lobby. Immediately, Clark regrets coming out here. Regrets working at the Planet. Regrets everything he's done or is doing aside from watching over Metropolis.

"Well, I'll be-" says the middle aged woman behind the desk as she sees the devastation on the news. "I hope it wasn't those-" She looks back to Clark's seat but he's gone.

Much like children themselves, Waller and Lawton remain upon the roof, shaky at best, but ever watchful. Each lean was taken with careful consideration, and even though they both lack the gear to make a safe descent, she was sure that she'd be safe. And if she wasn't?

KABOOM!

Tragedy of a different sort. They weren't even friends, yet she spoke to him as if he was one. Just because she could. "I'm putting the death toll at about one hundred." She states matter of factly. "But that's a stretch. Fifty dead, over a hundred hurt and.." There was Booster.

"Get your camera. It's starting."

As a team player, Booster knows that communication is vital. He does not, however, have anyone specific he can relay his thoughts and ideas to. The thing to do in such a situation is to try to talk to everyone nearby, and he does this by broadcasting through his on-board communications system, trying a broad swathe of channels in the hopes that he will get heard. "This is Booster Gold. I'm going in underground to help with evacuation." He flies down the tunnel he has been blasting and punches his way through the last of it. It is not a straight shot, it curves here and there because he did not want to cut through power or water lines, but it is a clear way to the surface.

Underground, everything looks much worse than Booster had hoped. His forcefield billows out around him into a sphere as he moves towards the worst of the collapse that he can get to, and then the sphere expands out even further. It pushes upwards, lifting debris as he starts to sweat, opening channels of escape. "…if someone could point to the nearest exits, that would help, since I think I'm going to be busy trying to keep this from flattening everyone down here."

You'd expect Floyd to have some sort of disposable camera, or a piece of crap digital thing, something snagged from a Wal-mart on discount or layaway. He looks like that kind of guy and, in most things, he is that kind of guy. But taking a picture is a kind of shooting. Not the fun kind, not the kind that gave you that good rush, not the kind that punched through bone to nice soft jelly, but still. Shooting. He had his pride to consider.

The lense of the camera is aimed, zooming in, a large clunky thing. It even has a crosshairs in the sights, which makes Floyd grin just a little bit. No, he and Waller are not friends. Floyd didn't have friends. That old phrase "What are friends for?" To him, that question was far from rhetorical. Sure, he needed people on occasion, used them, was used in return. But affection? Enjoying one another's company? Jesus wept, no thank you.

"I'm getting it." he says flatly. "The Boyscout Brigade at their finest." he says, rolling to record and setting it to snap stills at random intervals.

Bobby swoops down low. There's a lot of dust and smoke and fire and it gets him coughing quite a bit before he manages to ice out one of the larger ones near him. "Oracle? Thank God. There's been some kind of explosion in Metropolis. Cell lines are all jammed and it looks like a lot of the automated traffic direction systems have failed. I can't see anything for all the smoke. I'm going to try to pull people out but I could really use some direction as to where folks need help."

With that Bobby touches down and tries to find someone in urgent need of a lift out, sprying fires as he goes like a nerdy extinguisher.

Meggan lands near the wreckage, but the lingering displeasure of billowing smoke is balanced by the obvious terror within. Meggan's fists tighten, then relax, and she takes a deep breath before walking inside.

She does her best to remember the calm and peaceful feeling she felt while watching Frozen Planet yesterday evening. Remember how you felt seeing otters holding hands. Holding onto that emotion, she radiates out calm against the panic, but she adds to it by raising her voice. "Everyone, remain calm, please - if you're hurt, please speak up as best you can. If you aren't — Oh!"

Meggan clasps her hands together. Two small beads of light form in the palms of her hands, the tiniest drawing from the earth beneath Metropolis. She unfolds her hands, now bright, and starts to semaphore them in front of her, into the gloom. "Come towards me, then bear left. You'll see the sign. There are people outside for you!" She sadly does not pick up the Booster Transmission, but perhaps she's picking up his vibe, if unknowingly.

Tapping her comms unit, Oracle responds to Bobby "Acknowledge. Standby Instructions to follow. Over"

In the Gotham Clocktower, media coverage of the disaster is appearing in windows on the displays and Oracles glasses reflect the glow from the screens. Oracle taps into the Metropolis Innovation Systems CCTV system, parts of that system are still intact but the feeds are intermittent and gritty. At the same time, Oracle conducts a sweep of all radio channels in the area and picks up Booster Golds signal.

Tapping the comms unit again "Booster Gold, this is Oracle, Providing remote support. Acknowledge please. Over"

Assessing the CCTV feeds, Oracle provides the location of the first group of people to Bobby and adds "Oracle to Bobby, there is someone else onsite. Currently in the underground, be aware. Over."

With that in hand, Oracle pulls up the cell networks, triangulating the signals of cell phones in the vicinity of the disaster.

Superman lands amid a red and blue streak and slams into an open spot on the ground. He doesn't stop to ask any questions, and his mind is moving a thousand miles per second. Though surrounded by civilians in panic, Superman doesn't have the time to stop and help the individuals. If they're out of the building, that means they're out of the immediate danger.

His eyes are a milky white as he scopes up and down, left and right, trying to take in all of the information. No extra devices. That's good. But the structural integrity of the remaining parts of the station are cause for immediate concern.

He doesn't wait. The red toe of Superman's boot drill downward into the ground, burrowing a tunnel to come up from beneath. A few moments later he erupts through the tile floor of the station and looks up at the devastation all around.

"You think you can lift this thing?" a bystander, covered in dirt, says to him.

The entire building has sunk down and crunched in on itself. The main support cylinder sits right in the middle of the station.

"I'm not sure."

Superman looks to Booster Gold and gives a nod. And with that, he starts to lift.

- - - -

Bobby finds immediate prospects for people in need. There are a half dozen people right there in the entrance with broken bones who are unable to walk. They scream at him in thanks and panic as they see that superheroes are starting to show up.

Meggan's requests are also heeded as there are a handful of shouts in her direction as she gets inside. Others start making their way towards Meggan, trying to find their way out in all the dust.

"Get them too. But I'm looking for one particular boyscout. The biggun'." Last time she saw him, his face was getting railed to the sands.

As soon as those words leave her mouth, Superman flies in with all gusto, no glory or fanfaire. He wasn't a show off, that was a good thing, but the bad thing about boyscouts is that they were almost too hard to sway to do bad. Almost.

"You're going to have to lay your finger on that button, Lawton. Bastard is damn near fast as that kid Flash." She won't even discuss how she knows him, even if she spends many a night giggling at what had happened.

"Get me a couple of shots of his face and then we're gone. We stay here any longer and we run the risk of being noticed." With those words spoken, she flicks her cigarette off the side of the building after a deep inhale, a few steps drawing backward as her leather jacket was soon zipped by the upward tug of bare hands.

"Oracle, I copy," Booster says through his communicator, sounding faintly strained but rather relieved. "If you can receive data through this channel, it's incoming." He is not completely certain how thorough telecommunications are in this era, but he begins sending a feed of what his visor has picked up; all of the structural damage, superficial as well as x-ray views. "Its…" He goes quiet for a moment when Superman shows up, then says via communicator, "Superman is here."

When Superman starts to push upwards, Booster lets his forcefield shrink in again, since he no longer has to prop things up. "I can help!" Reaching up, Booster puts his hands against the cylinder and his forcefield flows over it immediately, coating the structure and much of what is attached to it, making it more cohesive. It'll help spread the pressure, at least. He also starts to push, because while he is not as strong as Superman, he is still pretty darn strong.

Floyd Lawton does as he's told. He always kind of imagined having Superman's face in his sights, although he always had some sort of fancy super-bullet and that hot reporter, the one who was always kissing his butt, tied up on the rooftop watching. So he could look over at her, wink and blow a kiss before he blew her alien boyfriend's brains out.

Floyd had an active fantasy life.

He's also damn good with a camera and fast on a trigger, tracking Superman's movements with his sniper's eye, waiting until he's frozen in the act of trying to lift and getting some nice candids, "He's making a face like he's taking the world's largest shit, but I got 'im."

Bobby isn't nearly as strong as Superman. And he can't lift debris off people. Making the debris cold enough to shatter could kill folks so instead he concentrates on ferrying folks in and out with quick trips to the waiting ambulances. Fires, when they get too close to folks are quickly iced off though this does mean some areas are getting quite slick now. Sorry!

Meggan keeps signalling others, waving things around - and she looks up, feeling a brief ripple of hope. Could it be, someone big? she thinks, eyes widening.

"Come on! Tell me if anyone's hurt, where they were, I'll get them," she continues as she semaphores people out. She coughs a couple of times, but other than that, she's bearing up nicely.

"Oracle to Booster Gold, Acknowledged. Visuals received. Is the site clear of further attack. Keep transmitting. Over" Oracle is all business. And then the CCTV signals drop as the Emergency Services cut power to the location. Using the cell phone signals that are being traced, Oracle transmits locations to Bobby. "Oracle to Bobby, Next targets. Booster Gold and Superman onsite. Over"

Anyone else on, or around the, site are lost in the noise and confusion.

"Well," Superman says as he looks at Booster with a nod of thanks for the assistance. "Here goes nothing."

The Man of Steel takes a deep breath and bends low like he's going to squat an Olympic sized set of weights. Only these weights are a building. He gets underneath the long cylinder and lifts upwards with his mighty legs. Unbelieveably the crushed part of the building begins to move and releases avenues for people to get to the next room up where Bobby and Meggan are waiting and assisting.

"Oh thank you Superman! Thank you Green Lantern!" says one lady with broken glasses. Incredulously, Superman opens his eyes and glares at her angrily. "Get out of here! I can't hold this forever!" Superman's body begins to shake under the weight and it's clear that the rest of the survivors need to get out and need to get out now!

"Hah!" Amanda cracks out, that was her laugh. No giggles in front of the people, no belly chuckling fits, just a loud HAH that probably sounded like a crow in the distance to those with good ears.

"Do you ever wonder, Lawton, if that guy actually sticks around to help rebuild his city? Or does he just flash away to other parts of the world to avoid clean-up. Not to say that it's a bad thing, but.." She clicks her tongue against her teeth, lips soon pursing. Another thought brewing. "Buffalo wings. Let's go get some buffalo wings."

Hand lifts to press against her ear as she snaps her fingers to direct Floyd's attention. "This is the Weatherman. Need an extraction team and three surveyors several clicks north of my position."

"I'm… I'm not Green Lantern," says Booster through gritted teeth, not due to frustration, but because he is channeling everything he has into helping Superman push this building up while keeping his forcefield intact over the bottom of it, all while not passing out. "I'm Boost— oh, nevermind, you're gone."

Along with the visual data Booster is sending to Oracle, he says to her, "I don't think this is going to hold much longer… doing a last evac…" Then he looks to Superman and says, "It's awesome to meet you. I'm sorry to leave you holding this alone, but I can see there are people still alive who can't make it out… I'm doing a sweep." With that, Booster steps away and flies fast, zooming around the area to gather up those citizens who are too injured to move, using his forcefield so he can carry several of them with him as he evacuates them to the surface.

Floyd Lawton tucks away the camera, looking for a moment back at the heroes doing their hero work. When he first got caught, he'd lay in his cell and wonder what motivated guys like that, what got them out there, risking their lives for the common dope. Usually with their underpants on the outside. Was it for the adoration? Were they on the take somehow to the government? Did they at least get laid? In time, it became clear, though - they did it because it was the right thing to do.

What a bunch of shitheads.

"Oh, he cleans up. I bet his alien Mommy taught him to always make his bed and put away his toys before she finished scrubbing his titanium butt and singing him the Declaration of Independence on the way to sleep," he says, lighting a fresh smoke off of its predecessor. "Wings sound good, especially if its at one of those titty owl places."

The other heroes seem to have things well in hand here. When he sees Superman straining to hold a very heavy section of rubble up, Bobby adds some ice pillars to the effort. Sure, they're no Man of Steel. Few things even come close to that, but maybe it'll let Atlas shrug just a bit there.

The ice nerd makes one last sweep to make sure no one has been forgotten, and then ramps out himself.

"Oracle, do me a favor? Dig up what you can on how that happened. If it's something bad, ping me."

"Oh hello!" Meggan says as Booster Gold zips back; she climbs out of the wreckage, possibly last, carrying a guy in a wheelchair with a scraped-up arm in front of her. The weight seems not to be bothering her much, even though it's a /powered/ wheelchair.

She is also completely caked in gray dust, but life sucks.

"Oracle to Booster Gold, Acknowledged. Good Work. Over" Oracle smirks a little. When Booster checks his comms systems next, he'll find an encoded channel, Oracle Direct.

As the Weatherman comms goes out, it pings on Oracles systems and is recorded, time to review that later. "Oracle to Bobby, Acknowledged, will research and advise. Nice work down there Iceboy. If you get the chance, my compliments to Superman. Over" Back in the comfort of the Clocktower, Oracle sits back in her chair, her face lit by the flickering of her screens, watching the chaos of the transport hub. Hands moving over her consoles, searches as to the attack for today already initiated.

The pain in Superman's face lessens when Bobby puts his ice supports in. He wasn't sure he would have been able to do it, but when Bobby gave aid, he was able to keep it up until everyone got out. As Meggan, Bobby, and Booster get the last remaining people out, Superman holds it long enough until his x-ray vision tells him they're out.

A terrible gurgle of crackling and breaking echoes out into the city as Superman gives out; the entirety of the building falling on top of him as it crumbles away. He'll be fine, of course, but for the dead and their families-well, they're not so luckily.

A few moments later, just after the rumbling has come to a close and the rubble has been gun to settle, a large fist bursts through the rock. Then the other, and Superman finally pulls himself outwards. He gives a weary nod to Meggan and to Bobby. But as he's going to give one to Booster and begin tending to those hurt, his blue eyes go wide.

Across the street, windows on the Kellogg Building are on flames, strategically placed to spell out a message.

"I KNOW" it reads and Superman gets a bad pit in his stomach.

He doesn't know who the message is from, but he certainly knows who it is for.

THE END


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