Gods and Monsters: No Strings

Summary:
November 14, 2014: Reality rips apart at JFK airport. At the end. First? Mayhem.

JFK International Airport

Its an airport. What the hell do you expect?


Characters

NPCs

  • Jerusalem
  • Seoul
  • Veruca
  • Aleksander Barbosa
  • Balginder Singh
  • Crowd of people
  • Random dead journalist
  • Two Pilots
  • Stormwatch Wet Team (who magically disappeared)

Mood Music:
[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAOjPsvE8mc]


ONE MONTH AGO:

Barbosa leans down, his face at a clear hiss as he speaks into Balginder's ear. "You are going to replace my number two. He went into battle and died an honorable death. I hope that you are as faithful as the previous one."

Veruca stands idly by as she watches, full on leather with a few straps loose, arms crossed about her chest with a look of scorn. "We can't send Balginder out there alone. If you knew he was going to die, if you knew that this was going to happen, my lord, you should have warned him. Prepared him!"

Aleksander rises, the armored hand resting upon the mans bare shoulder. It was nearly bonded to him, so much that he moved with a bit of pain that barely crosses handsome features. "Veruca, this is all in your gods plan. Do /not/ question and obey!"

The ombre blue woman did not take kindly to this, but she remains tight lipped and quiet. "I'm going to go check on him."

"VERUCA!" Aleksander hisses, but he does not leave his spot.

CURRENT DAY: JFK International Airport:

The airport terminal was bustling with life; many citizens were due to take off to their flight to parts elsewhere. Security was ten fold that day, not because The Weatherman was present, but because it was closer to the holidays, and they were still up in arms with random attacks that spanned across the joining cities. The designated crew would not be among them, however, tucked at the very beginning of the runway, a singular airplane that was made for trips as these, commissioned by Stormwatch, insurance paid up in full.

It was a shocking sight to see Amanda joining the ranks of what she would call the lowest of the low, business suit worn, dressed to the nines as she stands near the pilots. "I want this plane off the ground in fifteen. See to it that it's done."

The two men nod and she ascends the stairs after breaking apart the miniature group that was formed.

ONE MONTH AGO TO THE DAY:

"Veruca. Is everything ready?" Aleksander asks. "Yes my God." There was a sickly look upon her face, not due to failing health but.. she strained herself, stretched herself far and wide, to hold such a gift and expand herself as she does, it took time and preparation.

"Then let us go. We're not going to allow them to set foot upon my sacred sands. /OUR/ sacred sands."

"But my Lord! You won't be safe if you leave this place!"

Aleksander stood from his perch upon the kings end of the table, both fists, bare now, pressed against the table. "What I see will come to pass. That bitch and hers will die that day and everything that they so love will be all ours for the taking! New York.. new.. fucking york."

CURRENT DAY:

"Wheels up in twenty!" The first pilot calls as he too, enters into the plane. His destination? The cockpit. The second pilot hangs behind as he directs and monitors the wet team under Waller's commission; occasionally looking and nervously checking the time upon his watch.

—-
"So he said, 'Somebody call the wet team!' and I said 'Wet team? I AM the wet team!'. And then I blew his jaw off. Do you know how hard it is to get a good Princess Bride reference in during a headshot? I mean, I've only managed it five times in my whole career…Hey, yo, here comes the boss lady…" he says to his fellow ruffians as Waller approaches the plane, leaning out onto the top step. He peers around, his telescopic site scanning for any telltale sniper signs or approaching enemies. You never can tell. He heard that in a song once.

Floyd's actually clad in his costume today, giving him a red-eyed, cross-haired view of the world. He flexes his arms in his armored gauntlets, the comforting weight of his wrist magnums tugging at his arms

—-

Despite his normal identity as Robin, Damian isn't wearing his classic and recognizable garb. Instead, he looks more ready for the dark - a black outfit that looks equal parts ninja costume and biker at the same time. The collar comes up right under his chin and his hair falls nearly to his shoulder. He still wears the khaki bucket hat he's been sporting, and instead of his domino mask, he's wearing his aviator sunglasses. His head turns slowly to regard Floyd and his comments, but he turns back, holding his sword in the space between the side of his seat and the wall.

—-

Booster Gold is uneasy about flying in airplanes. Crafts that hurl themselves around without any sort of anti-gravity technology are unnerving and dangerous, to his mind. Then again, if it tumbles out of the sky, it's not as if he has to fall with it. The idea eases his mind, but only slightly; he still seems pensive as he stands there in his shiny suit, glowing faintly, looking more like he is waiting to get his picture taken than someone who is going on a mission. There are people who have been endangered, and someone who is endangering them — this is enough to get someone like Booster on board because 1) he is really into saving lives and 2) it might look good on his resume.

—-

Midnighter is, unsurprisingly, in costume. He usually is by preference. It is, after all, who he is. The one addition is the earbuds he's wearing that lead to an MP3 player. It's going to be a long flight so he loaded it with the complete Backstreet Boys discography. Assuming that term still applies in the days of digital music. He's sprawled in a seat near the front of the plane, mostly turned to face the others so he can keep an eye on them.

—-

Normally, Cameron Tenoaks wouldn't have to go within a couple of miles of any given airport. One of the benefits to being able to fly one's self around is a notable lack of need for commercial flight. She's even offered to help out guys on the department move their stuff on moving day a couple of times, and there was that one time the captain of her shift needed to get crosstown Metropolis and the roads were jammed…

So the noisy, crazy, exceptionally paranoid confines of JFK International would definitely be off her personal 'no fly list'.

Except for the fact that her coworker Eric Johnson had gotten an amazingly inexpensive airfare to visit the folks back in Louisiana through JFK. And then the connecting flight to Metropolis — as is the typical sort of thing that happens with budget carriers sometimes — cancelled. So Eric had given her a call, and asked if she'd be able to, you know, 'give him a lift'. Pun excluded, she's more than willing to help her partner out, Eric's had her back more times than she can count, and she his. That's what partners do for each other.

So now she's standing in the vestibule of the airport, with a sign that says 'Johnson', wearing what looks like a business suit and tie combo. Oh, and nice thick black sunglasses. Heck, if she's going to be a freakin' chauffeur, she might as well look the part, right?

Even here in New York though, a few folks start murmuring and mumbling to each other, as they try to remember why she's noteworthy.

—-

Airport security might have increased today, and certainly it did quite a bit in the past decade. It is still pretty much useless to deal with many superhuman abilities. For instance: Fantomex misdirection. It is an insidious think that works through the 'reality sketching' instead of more conventional psionics or holograms. And it allows an armed, white-clad faux French thief pretty much ignore all security and walk straight into certain airport terminal.

Now, if Fantomex knew the kind of people travelling with Amanda Waller today, he… no, he would still be here. Because common sense is something for some other people.

—-

Among the team of ruffians; Jersualem and Seoul. Granted, it wasn't their real names, but it was their names all the same. They listen to Deadshot, little smirks toying upon their features as one turns to the other, standing up straight as Waller boards the plane, and floats right past them towards the front.

"Look at this shit here." One mutters to the other, gesturing towards Booster. "I know that dude. That's the Green Arrow. No wait, that Lantern dude. Yeah, I don't know why they call him that though, isn't that guy mostly in yellow and blue?"

"I don't know man, but that guy is cool."

"You idealize anyone, you sad fuck."

The second pilot remains outside, making sure the workers load the baggage area of the private jet with the necessary items and belongings, he steps way for the briefest of seconds to press a hand against his ear, and nods.

Waller takes the first seat, cornered off from everyone else as she retrieves her cellular phone from her personal case. If anyone would see what she was doing now? They'd consider her a madwoman. She remains detached yes, fingers punching rapidly against the screen of the phone.. and while some may think that she's texting some honey dip back home? She was actually playing a game of piano tiles. Got to keep that hand eye coordination in check, yo.

Once the rag-tag Waller crew boarded the plane, the stairs were lifted, pulled up and set aside in its compartment, door slid closed and the second pilot soon joined his partner in the cockpit.

Something was different though, even the first pilot could feel it. "You alright man?"

The second pilot nervously nodded, his shaky hand reaching for a bottle of water which was twisted off and soon devoured with heavy gulps.

"I'm fine. Let's just get going. We got a long flight."

If only he knew.

The typical sounds of the plane starting and preparing to take off were heard, and soon wheels rolled against the concrete below as the flight began it's run. With most private planes suited as they are, its fast and light, and no time soon after, the nose lifted into the air and wheels were off the ground and ascended, locked in place.

But there was something that most didn't expect, even Waller. And she was prepared. The second pilot immediately stood from his chair, tears forming within his eyes as his face burns a bright red. "I'm so sorry, Paul. He.. he is my God. He.. he will save us all!" His shaky hands undo the jacket that he wears, revealing a vest of intricate wires and C4.

**"FOR MY GOD BARBOSA!"

*BOOM!***

—-

Deadshot had strapped himself in, preparing himself for a long flight, glad that he'd hit the head before he zipped himself up into his costume. Midnighter was here, so he knows not to expect anything resembling fun conversation. That dude's main power was radiating a no-fun zone. He'd make Big Bird burst into tears just walking by. He'd make Richard Simmons get a haircut and start wearing pants. He'd…

God damn, he was so fucking bored.

And then he wasn't, as he heard BARBOSA vaguely shouted and then the explosion taking out the front of the plane, flames blowing back. His armor gets hot quick and he throws himself at the door, since he's closest and, well, fuck the rest of them. He closes his eyes and tries to find the latch by hand, hoping the heat that's trying to cook him in his armor makes the airtight seal give way and let him shove himself out onto the runway.

—-

Damian doesn't frighten easy-he's stood up to some of the meanest things on the Eastern Seaboard and lived to tell about it.

But the unexpected smash of the explosion, followed by the heat, takes the breath out of his lungs. He reaches for those yellow mouth-plastic bag things to try and get oxygen and get his bearings. Immediately he goes into panic mode, which given his training, pulls in his focus. His mind begins formulating ideas on how to get out of this. Are there parachutes? He should check. If not, maybe one of these costumes could help him out.

He gets up, against his better judgement and tries to stagger towards the back to see if any parachutes might be hidden in the crew cabin at the back.

—-

In order to distract himself from his airplane-jitters, Booster Gold concentrates on the other people who are going on this mission. Midnighter gets scrutinized for quite a while until Booster decides that he is not Batman. He is in his seat with a can of Diet Soder as if he were in one of those television commercials he does for that company, and then there is an explosion. This is exactly why he hates airplanes, they explode all the time, don't they?

Rather than just undo his seatbelt, Booster tears it away and is flying towards the cabin and the flames, his forcefield expanding for a moment, trying to shield those behind him from the heat. The bigger problem is the aircraft itself — Booster is pretty sure they do not keep flying after sustaining this kind of damage. He dives out of the torn fusilage, trying to get under the plane so he can gets his hands beneath it and support it under his power.

—-

For my god Barbosa'. Since he's at the very front of the plane, the shout is loud enough for Midnighter to hear even through the closed cockpit door. It gives him enough warning to spin his chair so the back of it is to the cockpit and to curl up into a ball so the chair and his armor absorb the blast. None of which helps much with the concussive force and it sends him through the air like a bowling ball. Hopefully, for them, none of the others will be pins.

—-

The statuesque orange-haired woman was starting to eye the gathering clump of people, some of whom were pulling out cameras and taking pictures of her, a couple standing next to her and having their friends take pictures while she sort of grits her teeth and stands there. If she said too much, or even really protested right now, well, it could cause a riot.

Then, thankfully, she starts to see Eric over the heads of the mob forming around her, and she holds up the sign so he can see it.

He owes her a beer for this one, even though she doesn't drink. Maybe a nice hot coffee, instead?

Even as Eric starts to make his way through the crowd, there is an earth-shattering BOOM. Guess the 'Ka' part decided to take the day off, or something. Or budget cuts.

Columbia hops up over the crowd, which sort of folds in sort like water filling a hollow, even as she points at Eric. "Talk to Eric. Everyone be calm! Back in a bit!" Okay, maybe he DOESN'T owe her a drink, after all.

And then she's hopping to the doors, whipping through the revolving door as she takes two steps and launches herself skywards to try and find the source of the loud noise, and assess for any sort of survivors or the like.

—-

Fantomex snuck in before the second pilot and he made this mistake: he didn't bother to spend two seconds to study the man. Alas, wasted opportunities. Now, the plane is coming down, and he braces for the impact. The major danger is fire sparking the fuel on impact. The tanks must be full. And he won't regenerate from being burned to cinders.

The rational thing would be doing what Deadshot is doing: open the closest door and run like hell. Instead he runs… well, climbs over the seats as the plane falls and crashes, looking for Amanda Waller, who has never meet. « E.V.A. I need a little help » he calls in his head. And the flying saucer hovering invisibly a few yards over the terminal rooftop, lurches forward, speeding towards the crashing airplane.

—-

*BOOM!* The nose of the plane, decrepid and destroyed, goes down.

There was a reason as to why, aside from Floyd (lilly livered duck fucker) Waller kept Jerusalem and Seoul around, for as soon as they too heard the name Barbosa, they were out of their seats, providing cover for their boss. Both men, wrapping themselves around Waller where they could fit, but it was Booster who saves the day for them and her, his shield blocking the flying shrapnel that would surely pin the three bodies together in a bloodied hug of death.

Floyd could feel it, the handle of the door, but by then, it may be too late. If he does get out? There will be a decent chance that he'll fall a good 15 feet to the ground below.

In the back, Damian would find that there were loads of parachutes and medical supplies for the taking. Waller wasn't stupid, she knew that someone would wind up getting hurt. But in the air? Yes. She employed boys who were mean, nasty, and compelled to fight at any given moment.

Midnighter goes flying, and it was a sad sight for the poor asset; for he takes down bodies of the other men who boarded the plane, softening the blow that may have injured him momentarily.

So now we could say, that Midnighter beat a couple of men with another man. Funny.

Columbia would see the impending reckage of the plane near the far end of the runway, currently held up by Green— wait Booster Gold…

Speaking of which, his might was a startling asset to this mission, and a terrible one. The part that is held up by his power was indeed done, however, the back end slowly creaks and groans, bending at an unnatural angle and cracking. If Fantomex were smart, he'd take advantage of the opening that was soon to come…

***THACKATHAT*

*SNAP!***

"I had strings.."
"But now I'm free.."
"There are no strings on me.."

A soft voice is heard in the crowd of many ombre blue.. who watches in the distance with The Man Who'd Be Known as God.

—-

Sorry, bosslady, with you up front, he kinda figured you were already BBQ. There's loyalty and there's stupidity, and not being willing to sell you out isn't the same as taking a bullet for you. He's happy to dish 'em out, though.

Floyd snarls at the stubborn door and, turns to head towards the back, calling out, both aloud and on comm through his helmet mic, "These are the fuckers we're after! Watch out for a bitch in any mirror or reflective surface! And make sure your seatmate isn't fucking possessed before moving towards the emergency exits!" he says, grunting as Midnighter bounces off his shoulder and sends him stumbling to his hands and knees, "Fuck! Watch your ass, ass!"

—-

When Midnighter finally comes to a stop, Damian slams a parachute into his gut. "Put this on," he says snidely, obviously still pissed at the prying the old timer and Vorpal seem to have done into his life and choosing an odd time to show it. He remains unsure if Midnighter can hear him, but he gave an effort.

He shrugs into his own chute and throws several out into the cabin. From there, he moves towards the edge, ready to leap out once he's sure he'll have enough height. The aviator glasses get pulled off from his face and his long hair billows back towards the cabin as he looks over the edge.

—-

The metal of the fuselage crimps further where Booster Gold grips it, fighting against the momentum of the aircraft as well as its weight, which is pushing him through the air while he tries to counter-fly against it. He can see bits of the craft falling away, gritting his teeth for a moment as there is nothing he can do about that but hope no one is sitting in the tail-end. The muscles of his arms and torso bulge and flex as he tries to keep the remains of the airplane as level as possible, wrangling it down towards the ground.

—-

Midnighter picks himself up and steadies himself with a hand against a wall. He's not even on fire since the shockwave hits first and propelled him into… Well, hopefully they'll heal. "Your chute isn't going to open before you smash into the ground." he points out calmly. "Stupid. He should have blown the plane up when we were at fifteen thousand not fifteen feet. And his god is just as big an idiot." Grabbing Damian by the shirt, he runs back to the front of the plane since physics always wins. And while he'll survive, the kid might not when the tail end crashes to the ground.

—-

There are old heroes and there are bold heroes. But rarely does one see old bold heroes. Cameron pushes herself at her top speed to get to the descending jet and attempts to put her shoulder under the back part of the fuselage to buy some more time for the occupants of the flight to get out. She knows it's a matter of time before the structure gives way, but if she doesn't make the effort to try and buy as much time as possible for the occupants to get out… hopefully they have parachutes, otherwise things might get really interesting indeed.

"GET OUT!"

It probably can't be heard through the fuselage, and her sunglasses go whipping off as the wind from the rapidly descending wreck of airframe plummets. Is it enough?

—-

After a couple seconds trying to hold the plane, Booster will feel some of the weight is lifted from his back, literally. There is a crunching sound when E.V.A. grabs the body of the plane with spindly metallic 'legs' and tries to steer the aircraft into a controlled crash-landing. It is too heavy for the technorganic construct, but she was called to help. Meanwhile Fantomex has managed to reach Amanda's seat, and he is trying to see if the woman is still alive.

—-

Get the fuck off of me!" Waller shrieks, and the two men move away yet rips her from her seat. They keep her gathered, whilst everyone ruffled themselves about the plane looking for exits, she was looking towards the cockpit. Which was blown three ways to hell. Coated in blood and guts, there was no way that the pilots survived that. But, she wasn't angry at that. Not at the bomber, Barbosa, or Jeru and Seoul. Nope.

She was pissed at herself that she didn't see this one coming.

The plane itself is jostled by Booster's might, and soon Cameron's strength was leant to aid.

And from afar? They see it, and smile.

"America's heroes." Veruca hisses, her voice unnaturally soft and gravely. Her usual, gorgeous appearance is tainted with blood; shards of glass jutting from her body, stomach ripped to shreds with the pieces that look as they were placed there, due to murder. Nails were sharp as shards of glass, creaking against her leg to split the skin and make herself bleed.

"Stop." Aleksander grumbles. "And go."

A dozen of ombre blue begin to descend down the hill, the middle half of the women who all look the same leaping into the air, loud screams and hisses marking their entry.

Aleksander stands alone…

"Who the fuck are you?" Amanda blurts out towards Fantomex, but her further words were cut short from the cracks and snaps of the plane. No more words, she pushes past Fantomex with her boys following, snatching up a parachute to use as failsafe just in case.

—-

Deadshot looks out the window, just to see how far up they are, and sees the approaching flying lady brigade coming up, although they're barely dots at the moment, "Oh, yeah? You wanna play chicken with Deadshot? Awright, we can play some god damn chicken." he says. He reaches up above and snatches down a pair of rifles, his scoped sniper for long-distance shooting and a heavy AR-15 auto. Setting them down, he rapidly straps on a parachute, watching Midnighter haul Damian around. Hell, they almost look like father and son, grim fuckers. "Watch out, makin' a fuckin' hole!" he cries, and he blasts the locks on the cargo bay doors with a pair of precisely aimed armor-piercing shots from his wrist magnums…and, as the hatch falls open, he leaps out into the wild blue yonder, falling towards the ground, sing-songing, "I'll shoot your eye out! I'll shoot your eye out!" in a childish voice.

—-

Oh. Hmm. As Damian looks over the edge they're little more than 10 feet above the ground. He chuckles to himself, having feared far worse, before he's jolted back into the present tense by Midnighter, back away from the end of the plane.

He trips and follows along, stumbling, but moves away from the gaping hole.

—-

With the assistance of Cameron and E.V.A. helping to support and steady the aircraft, by the time Booster's feet touch the ground, what remains of the plane can get set down without causing further explosions. Having people on board running around and smashing more openings through the plane is not exactly helping this balancing act, but all it really does is elicit a, "Good grief," from Booster. With the immediate problem dealt with, he turns to Cameron and says, "Hi," as if they'd just run into each other at a Sundollar Coffee. He then turns to E.V.A., and says, "Hey there. I'm Booster." After this disaster, seeing something as homey as E.V.A. is helping to settle his nerves. "What the hell is going on?" he asks in a more generalized way, turning to look towards the direction where Deadshot is throwing his taunts and threats.

—-

"Next time, use Stormwatch personnel." Midnighter tells Waller but is distracted by Deadshot. "Looks like we've got company. Barbosa's people seems like a safe bet." He checks his coat to amke sure noen of his weapons got dislodge then looks out a window as the planet comes to a landing. "Her. Don't worry about killing this one, Son of the Bat. They never end unless you get the original. And if she's smart, she won't be here." Not that they seem to be smart so far.

—-

Cameron was about to remove the engines in a most vigorous fashion when it became obvious that the plane was down well enough that such an effort would not be necessary. Inwardly, she breathes a sigh of relief, because she wasn't quite sure that would have had a desired effect.

"GET CLEAR! MOVE IT!"

Even as she's being a bit bossy, the statuesque woman is looking around for some sort of way to cover the escape of any people from the plane before it really does become a fireball.

—-

Fantomex manages to look hurt at Amanda's words, even with the mask on. "Mademoiselle, if you don't know who I am, perhaps you are not the Weatherman I was looking for." He hops into the remains of the pilot cabin and dexterously climbs up through the hole there to the top of the plane. "Booster, my partner, the wonderful and incomparable E.V.A.," he makes the introductions, since E.V.A. is so reluctant to talk to strangers. "In my never humble opinion what is going on is that this would be criminal mastermind, Aleksander Barbosa, is trying to kill you all. I could be wrong, but that has never happened yet."

—-

One Veruca..

Two Veruca..

Three, down in a hail of glass before they even reach the falling yet flying plane.

Booster, Cameron, and E.V.A proved effective. For if the plane belly flopped against the ground, the friction surely would have set off the jet engines and killed all nearby. There was still fire near the cockpit and random spots of the plane, but nothing that would draw the attention and cause a major wide panic of blood, guts and death.

We'll leave that to New York's finest.

"They were." Amanda bites back, dropping the parachute towards the ground with a glance towards Fantomex. Words were not spoken at this time, but she commits that face to memory, watching as he leaves so that she could step out into the open.. and at bad timing.

For she and Jerusalem were immediately pounced by the hordes of women, two of which grip ahold of the arms of Waller, grappling her in a tug of war while five more rush from behind.

They seem to quarter themselves off, each small group going towards a hero of the day. While the first three blows were struck by Deadshot, Jerusalem, now joined by Seoul join into the foray with their own group to deal, leaving Amanda to her own devices with the two that she has.

Fucking men.

To be more clear:

While Booster is questioning what was going on, three of the copies slowly gather at his back, bodies at a hunch, nails extended.. a low hiss and.. *POUNCE*

Cameron was next, her shout for everyone to get clear was met with five screeching woman, all leaping at once, all attempting to tackle her down into the ground and rip her to shreds.

But wait, there's more. Midnighter and Damian were next, instead of the typical three or five, they got twenty. Veruca knew of their capabilities from when they first met, and she left nothing to chance when it came to the Grandson of the Demon and.. that.. well, that tea drinking dude.

Deadshot, there was a soft spot for him, he received almost the same amount; the womens descent was quick enough for them to attempt to snatch him from the air and bring him down to the ground at the risk of lowering their numbers by shattering into glass.

But Fantomex, he was the anomaly of the entire crew. He was not supposed to be there, and that made Aleksander angry.

"BALGINDER!"

The large man quietly rouses himself to his Gods side, head hung low, stoic.

"That man in the white. Take his soul."

—-

Deadshot tries to ignore the women, which is rare for him, being a sucker for the ladies as he is. But he knows that they're just a distraction, a deadly one yes, and one he'll have to deal with if they start shredding his armor too bad. But he's a shooter, first and foremost, "Deaf." he says, and the helmet soundproofs, muffling the screeching and howling and burning, leaving him alone in his head, leaving him alone with the gun, even as he feels himself being assaulted, his body jostled, he raises that sniper rifle, dropping to a knee to brace the shot against his shoulder as he lets his eye scan, search, telescopic lenses working in synchronicity until he finds…THERE!

BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!

One shot for each. He tries to make Veruca's a graze, though. Sentimental, he is.

—-

Damian straightens and regroups. Without a mask upon his face and with Midnighter just calling out his name in English, Damian's irritation with the old man continued to grow. But that frustration needs to be put to the side or he might not make it through this.

He slides his hand down and pulls it back up, putting a domino mask over his face in one swoop. Then to the sword which he unsheathes as the 20 start to bear down on him and MIdnighter. He closes his eyes, and focuses on his exhaling, growing more and more relaxed each time his chest compresses and the air slips from his lungs.

The first one who attacks receives a katana stab towards the stomach. Not waiting to see the efficacy, Damian pulls, spins and slashes low, trying to take out knees and shins and stay away from nasty hands.

—-

Booster Gold is far more concerned about the health and safety of everyone who had been on the plane; besides the team, and pilots, there were a few more on the flight crew. As it turns out, it is not that difficult to topple Booster to the ground, which is what happens when the female figures leap on and dogpile him. He is strong, not rooted to the ground. He is also durable, however, largely due to his forcefield, which is keeping him safe for the moment under their attacks. "Ladies, please…" Golden energy glows around his wrists, but instead of firing out as beams, the energy surges through the forcefield that hugs his body. As a general rule he is not lethal in his combat, so while he is covered in sizzling power that will zap anyone who comes in contact with him, it is merely an extremely painful stun.

—-

Twenty against two. It's almost flattering. It's also stupid to hope that mere numbers will carry the day. But then, everything about Barbosa has been done stupidly. That many opponents just get in each others' way and increase the number of scenarios where they win the day. Midnighter moves far enough away from Damian to give him room to use his sword and sends a brace of shuriken at two of the incoming Verucas. As Damian stabs, he leaps toward one, kicking at the spot between her eyes while his fist aims for the sme spot on another. It's going to be a fine ballet.

—-

This was the sort of training session that Columbia hated going through with her mom. Because no matter how well she did, even after becoming much better at this sort of thing, she could never, ever keep up with how dramatically Mom could mop the floor with folks. Of course, when Mom was throwing folks who would have been called 'Super Soldiers' back during the Second World War at her, these women… weren't quite there. If anything, Cameron actually has to hold back a bit so she doesn't splash them against each other.

One should not take restraint, however, for timidity. As one arm comes over her shoulder, she's grabbing at it and twisting around on the toes of her right foot, spinning around her improvised 'bludgeon' to clear the area around her. No splashing of the women, but if they breathe, they'll probably be winded a good bit, providing there is success in her endeavor.

The statuesque woman's clothing, though, is a nice suit and tie, as noted earlier. Rather… was. The suit and trousers are starting to shred from the other assaults…

—-

Fantomex watches a large crowd of women descend on Waller's agents, still standing on the top of the plane. The flying saucer called E.V.A. is retiring her mechanical legs from the fallen airplane. He is not doing much to help or hinder, but somehow he still warrants having the head thug sent him. "Balginder, did he say? Tell me, are you bullet-proof?"

—-

Deadshot; his name rings true. Even though the women tear and pull at him, the two shots ring out towards Aleksander and Balginder.

But Aleksander knew that it was coming. With a slight push-shove towards Balginder and a side-step away, he avoids the shot and catches a graze towards the Hand of Ptah. Which angers him. And springs him into action. Bad move, Aleksander.

The women tear and pull at Waller, who seek to drag her back to their God.

But even she wouldn't be so easily felled; for with one sharp tug and pull of her arm, she rips the flesh the navy blue to tear her arm free, kicking away at the other who stumbles, leaving Waller enough time to reach for her pistols to fire.

And glass begins to fall.

For Booster, the women pound away until he begins to emit a strange light, which each of them tear at and scream; falling away onto the ground as they curl up and tremble so hard that they too, shatter in glass.

Damian's conscious will remain clean; for the women he stabs too fall apart in glass, though.. they continue to come. This was no fight like the others; where the criminal waits until their buddy is felled to continue the fight. For all of them, there was no ending in sight.

Midnighter, Waller enjoyed watching survelience videos of him in action, for his dance rivaled most, and killed many. His aim was true, but would it be enough to stop the rest who don't give up?

Columbia however? Her restraint was for naught. For the few that fought with Damian and Midnighter branched off to try to swarm the woman due to easy pickings.

*POW POW POW POW*

Shots fired from Amanda's guns towards Aleksander, who approaches him with true steps and the intent to kill. He approaches her the same, using the Hand to block the hailfire of bullets upon his approach.

Balginder, was not bullet proof. The number that was done on the previous one was a testament to such. Thing about this Balginder? He was too far gone to speak. So instead of retorting words back to Fantomex, her makes a shocking leap to begin the throes of battle with the white garbed stranger.

—-

Deadshot snarls. That son of a bitch. "He made me miss," Floyd mutters to himself, lowly, unbelievingly. He drops the scoped rifle, letting it fall to the ground as Aleksander rushes at Amanda, dueling with the Weatherman. From the funky hand, he's apparently the mastermind, the wanna-be god, the dude who's made him have to shoot at a hot girl and turned a night at one of his favorite stripclubs into a bloodbath.

"I DON'T FUCKING MISS!" Floyd roars, and he turns and just starts unloading with his wrist-magnums, the armor-piercing rounds he loaded in all aimed straight for Alexsander's arm, intending to chew the meat off of that arm until that heavy fucking glove falls right off and breaks his tibia along the way.

—-

Damian reaches with his offhand and grabs a trio of batarangs. In a flash of movement, the batarangs flare out from his hand, heading towards the copies, aimed at their necks. Meanwhile, his hand quickly goes back to his katana, looking to play defense now.

—-

"That…" Booster Gold floats upwards from the ground as the women shatter into bits. "…Okay, that was really disturbing." But at least now he knows they do not seem to be 'real' people. The briefest glance around shows him that there are a lot of them left. He wrenches at one of the airplane's wings, metal creaking and snapping as he tries to get a good broad piece without any jet in it, bringing it up and around as if it were as light as a nerf bat. Booster then starts using it as if it were a huge flyswatter, aiming for quantity as he tries to clobber groups of the glass-clone-women.

—-

Leather doesn't cut easily and Midnighter's armor even less so. Any cuts from glass will heal quickly enough to not even be a consideration so each kick and punch is aimed to go through the nearest Veruca and his path makes sure there's always going to be a Veruca near. "The artifact on his arm, Son of the Bat. Removing it would be a good idea." He's assuming the boy can figure out who the target should be.

—-

As those assaulting her regroup and re-energize, almost, Cameron's attention is brought to the others that are turning to glass, or crystal, and shattering. And then her gaze catches the man in white, and she gets an idea as she catches her breath. She lets her improvised club fly… at Balginder. She doesn't know the white-clad fellow from a hole in the wall, but it's definitely not fair that he only gets one thug and she gets almost a dozen.

"Hey, TINY! CATCH!"

She'll let the remaining around her grab her as she tenses her legs and JUMPS for the skies. "All Aboard Air Columbia!"

She's hoping that she can get as many cling-ons as can grip her.

—-

Fantomex does nothing to prevent Balginder tacking him. Indeed, he gets grabbed and… where did he go? There is nothing in Balginder's hands. As the thug stands, there is a single, loud shot which takes the thug's knee from behind. He might be too far gone to talk, but it is unlikely he can jump around with a shattered knee. "Not bullet-proof," concludes Fantomex, sounding disappointed. Then he keeps shooting, aiming to the glass clone women closer to Waller and Columbia.

—-

The blasts towards Aleksanders arm doesn't stop him. He relied heavily upon the hand of Ptah to get him through this. He saw his future, he will live to see another day. As, the other one thought.

Amanda continued to fire until the clips were empty, avoiding the mans left, she rushes towards him as that damaged arm weakly lifts to rip open a tear in the reality. That, is what Waller wanted all along.

With a grunted warcry resembling a Marine's heading into unarmed combat, she rushes into him, pushing him through the tear..

And her right along with it.

The women surrounding Damian realized what happened.. and stopped.

"Be."
"Seeing."
"You."
"Soon."
"Kid."

One by one, after each subsequent word, they shatter into pieces as the black metal hits their neck. There was nothing left for Damian to do. He felled his foes with expertise.

Booster on the other hand? He was a show stealer and a show stopper; each swing broke the women by the pound, leaving a hail of glittering glass surrounding the hero..

From afar.. someone snaps a picture. A shining and true moment of heroism for Boo!

Each woman who catches a fist or a boot from Midnighter flies, one into the other and shatters. You get the point. Midnighter was magnificent.

Cameron was a smart one; two heads are better than one. For when her club flies, Balginder doesn't see it. He lept at Fantomex, only to miss and get caught in the face and a bullet to the knee. He cries out in pain, body flung back and off of the plane, tumbling to the concrete with a hard *THUD*, but he was still alive…

A rush of shadows begin to pour from the tear that Aleksander created, along with a cacophony of screams following in their wake.

—-

Deadshot watches Amanda disappear through the rift, along with Aleksander. Too late. He'd ripped up the fucker's arm, but not enough. Not enough to save Waller. Fuck.

I mean, he didn't really care. Nope. Not a bit. Just didn't wanna get in trouble. That's all. No emotion at all.

Deadshot just turns and walks away, ignoring the shadows, ignoring everyone and everything. Then he sees the flash, the journalist daring to snap a picture. No publicity. Floyd casually extends his arm and blows the photographer away, blasting through his camera until brains splatter out the other side. If someone came and found him, called him back to base, threatened to blow him up, fine by him, he'd show up. Until then, though, Waller -was- Stormwatch, as far as he was concerned. If or until she got back from whatever backwater hole she fell into (or he got a chance to go get her), he was fucking out. Finding a way to do that? Outside his capabilities.

In the meantime: beer. Strippers. Throw one back for the Wall. And kill anyone who gets in his way.

—-

With nothing left to do, Damian sheathes his katana and kicks at the shattered glass with disgust in his eyes. "For all the stupidity you were talking about," Damian says, over his shoulder towards Midnighter, "It was your idea to put us in a metal tube and fly halfway around the world." Damian doesn't have time for this shit. He begins to walk away, intent on working on this angle with Titans assistance and dealing with it in his own way.

—-

Booster's attention is drawn to the reality rift in time to see Amanda charge through it. In some ways he is like a golden retriever; friendly, blonde, and tends to chase stuff before thinking it through. The battered plane wing, sparkling with tiny fragments of glass, is dropped as he flies towards the tear with an exclamation of, "Ms. Waller!" And he tries to dive in after her.

—-

Actually, it was Waller's idea. But 'a metal tube'? Really? "I'll let Waller know you prefer tramp steamers." Midnighter tells the kid's back. He looks at the rift, almost casually 'killing' a Veruca who decides his distraction is the perfect opportunity. "Now that I didn't see coming." he says to no one. "Or that." he adds as Booster jumps after her. He certainly doesn't intend to. Maybe Jackson King could be talked out of retirement.

—-

Holy crap, Booster, we're still fighting over here, what the fuck?

Cameron does NOT utter that, as much as she wants to. No. Now that she has her very own 'entourage' of crystaline ladies, she turns her 'new fan club' into… Balginder Bashers.

Rods from God, they are not, but the ground where the burly man landed… is raining (wo)men.

She was halfway through this evolution when Deadshot coldly caps the photographer.

Oh, hey. A new target for her raining crystal women from the heavens… One.. Two… Three… Four… Even though the guy will probably dodge, she's doing everything she can with the weaponry she has to at least slow him down from his goal of whatever the heck it was. There's clearly nothing she can do for the journalist at this point, so her momentary anger shaken off she turns towards the injured and remaining to see who needs healing.

Though she could do without the mention, some of her clothing… well… she's at least not going to get busted for indecency?

If the rift persists long enough, she'll shake her head and look for some way to reach in and get at least Booster back. She doesn't know Amanda for much of anything, but getting her out would be a plus, too. But she is definitely NOT going to let herself get sucked into another dimension or space-time or whatever. She's needed on-shift tomorrow…

—-

Fantomex also saw Waller vanishing and tsk in annoyance. This wouldn't have happened if he just had called for an appointment. As E.V.A. is reminding him. But that is just not his style.

Alas, reporters, firemen, police and federals are going to be here in a few seconds. And he is not very interested in the publicity. So he climbs into E.V.A. and they fade into the background. Back to watching quietly.

—-

The screams of horror and terror continue.. and.. the sound of Waller swearing? No. She was considered dead. Right? Please.

The poor journalist who manages to catch a winning shot of Booster, dies. Sadly, the film of Booster's shining moment in a hail of glass and plane wing goes down with only those who watched and probably will fail to remember his name. Speaking of…

The moment Booster enters the rift, he catches a glimpse of the inside.. and is thrown right back out.

Along with the body of a young, unconscious girl, who bounces along the concrete, rolling to a stop. Soon after, a leg. And then an arm. And the head of Barbosa rolls upon the ground, his eyes rolled into the back of his head, mouth hung ajar, expression locked in horror. It was a gruesome sight for the unwitting.

Soon after, Waller comes tumbling out, suit torn to shreds, bloodied and battered. A large shard of glass jutting from her side which was broken off due to her roll. But she tucks herself and rises swiftly, the Hand of Ptah upon her left which was soon spread out towards the rift, metal fingers closing to seal it off.

No Jackson King today.

Columbia's barrage of ladies rain down upon the injured Balginder.. who remains outcold for now.

"Midnighter. Grab the girl and call in a team." Still barking orders, even though severely injured.

—-

Deadshot hears the boss' voice and turns back towards her, "FUCK YEAH!" he says, actually giving a fist-pump. He was actually pretty proud of the broad, finishing the job in whatever hell she got sucked into. No, he didn't dive in after her, but, as he often reminded people, his job description was pretty clear. Kill who you're told.

And, if anything of Cameron's comes his way, he's gonna shoot it. Just a given.

—-

Upon being spat out, Booster stops mid-arc, hovering in the air. Despite all of the mayhem, his hair still looks great. His expression, less so, as he seems faintly disturbed. He drops out of his hover and lands on his feet, looks at the severed head and says, "…ugh. Gross. If I wanted to see this kind of thing I would've stayed in my native era."

—-

Midnighter reaches up to turn on his communicator. "Midnighter." he says as he walks toward the girl. "No, we're not over the Atlantic. Get a team out to JFK. And head off Homeland Security. It wasn't a terrorist attack." He leaves it at that then looks back to Waller. "You should take off the Hand of Seeing What You Want To Believe' now the rift is closed."

—-

Once again, decapitated people are well beyond Cameron's healing skills. Even so, she can't heal stupid, even if Barbosa was still alive. There is the Balginder fellow, who just appears to be out, and the woman who charged into the rift and has a chunk of glass sticking out of her. Well, this wasn't too hard to figure out.

Wearing clothes that are nearly roughly analogous to Amanda's in terms of condition, she looks at the strange artifact, then the woman. "May I heal you?"

It's more a statement than a question…

—-

That fuck yeah was heard round the world. There were thoughts of hot wings and booze in Deadshot's future.

With Damian gone, however, Waller was left to her own devices upon figuring out just what his name meant. And now with Barbosa dead and Amanda in possession of the arm, she draws her arm to a bend, fingers flexing into fist and not as she stares into the metal. It was clear, that the temptation was there.

Was she going to use it to see into the future? Nope. Her will to resist was stronger than that. But she does not remove it from her arm.

She glances up towards Booster with a smile. She recognizes him, knows him, and a nod was given. A nod. To some, that would be like a million bucks from Waller. And she would see to it that he would get the fifteen minutes that he deserves.

A glance is given towards Midnighter now as he approaches, her unclad hand dropping down to her middle as she grips the glass within her side. With a sharp yank and a splattering of blood, it was wrenched free and tossed to the ground. "I'm not taking this thing off until we're back at the safehouse. Get CADMUS on the line and let them know that we're coming."

Her eyes narrow soon, she was close to fading, but she kept herself here and in the now.

Thank you Cameron!

A tilt of her head is given.. along with a nod. "You may." She speaks to the woman, this ought to be good.

—-

With permission given and the damaging shard removed, Cameron places both hands on Amanda, closing her eyes and clearly concentrating on the woman's injury. The most grievous of the wounds heals itself, almost instantly, and may even leave the intelligence coordinator with a bit of a rush given the sudden lack of strain on bodily resources as the warmth floods through.

Cameron will take a step back with bloodied hands and look down at her clothes.

"Oh, damnit."

Hopefully Eric has some sweats in his bags to borrow from, or the airport gift shop has something…

—-

JFK LOBBY:

A hooded figure watches within the window, hands tucked within the jacket pocket as leather legs soon draw themselves to a stand, strength now returned. A smile perks pink lips, one hand wretching itself from it's place within her pocket as she swipes the hood to reveal shocking red hair.

"Magnificent." Veruca whispers, turning to saunter towards the elevator with a sway of hips that contend with a snake.

Down the escalator she goes, a soft hum upon her lips, her sing-song voice quiet, but meaningful.

"I've got no strings."
"So I have fun."
"I'm not tied up to anyone."
"They've got strings."
"But you can see."
"There are no strings on me."

And with that last line.. Veruca's gone.


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