World on Fire: Water For Elephants

Summary:
March 10, 2015: Another energy surge puts the patrons of the Central Park Zoo in danger of more mutated creatures. Manhattan's heroes come to the rescue and try to find out more about what is happening.

Central Park Zoo - NYC

On the east side corner of Central Park, the Manhattan island zoo might be considered small for a zoo in such a famous city. The animals in residence skew toward those that are able to put on shows, perhaps in an attempt to draw crowds through cute tricks as opposed to variety. Past the gift shop and the cafe, the largest open space is occupied by a manicured garden and the slightly raised sea lion tank surrounded by seats and a slate courtyard. The sides of the tanks are made of thick glass to give visitors greater visibility into the depths of the water.

Many of the other exhibits, like the penguins and the tropical birds, are in enclosed buildings to the east and west. Mimicking the feel of the vast park that surrounds it on three sides, the zoo feels more like a large green courtyard and meeting space. It is a playground that happens to have exotic animals living nearby.


Characters

NPCs


Mood Music:
[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZY9_Xr5XPA&index=12&list=RDtti76BnCL98]


Ever since the strange occurrence at the Rum Row speakeasy, there has been no activity of a similar nature for two weeks. Perhaps it was a tragic one time thing. However, those that have been monitoring the right signals will discover a blip that emits over the trees of Central Park. Even as it grows in energy, spiking off the charts, the area it seems to come from shrinks. First, it covers the dozens of city blocks the entire park constitutes and then very quickly funnels to a point over the east side of 65th street: the Central Park Zoo.

While smaller than any of the other borough’s zoos, Central Park Zoo has the advantage of being right in the middle of Manhattan. It tends to attract families with young children and tourists who either afraid of the Bronx or think the much larger and more famous Bronx Zoo is too far away. As today has been the first truly warm and seasonable day after the vicious cold snap that overtook Manhattan over the weekend, it is packed even this close to closing time. Tourists and families meander about, laughing at the antics of the sea lions and filtering through the penguin house.

Babies start to cry, sensing the atmospheric change much like in an airplane, and others rub at the back of their necks as the hairs there rise. Despite the crowd, an unnatural hush descends.

If he had a lot of free time, Booster Gold would be far more successful when it came to seeking out anomalies. The fact is that he has a day job, so he cannot do this. It is pure fortune that he happens to be in New York City when he senses that spike, because this is the city where Secret Hospital gets filmed. As an extra bonus, he was already off set and changing into street clothes when it happens. Ultimately the two biggest benefits of all of this are that he is in his powersuit and flying towards the Zoo within minutes, and also, his hair looks even more perfect than it usually does.

Sara Pezzini may be one of the newest agents of SHIELD on the block, but with eight years as a detective and six specializing in the weird, she's a logical person to go and check out the unusual readings near the zoo. It helps that she's got police training in dealing with crowds, too. Wearing a plain black suit that hides her gun, she's walking through the crowds at the zoo, checking the area for anything unusual. "Pezzini here, nothing's looking too odd over here by the polar bears," she reports back to control. "Got crowds out here, though."

Simmons is in her laboratory at the Triskelian, doing some research when she gets Fitz's call. He's detected an energy spike similar to the one in Rum Row and she's to get there right quick. Doffing her lab coat and remembering, this time, to remove her safety goggles, she throws her jacket on and grabs her bag with field equipment.

Heading to the Triskelian carpool and selecting a car, Jemma heads towards to the Zoo, the 65th street entrance to be exact, that's what Fitz has told her. It will take a few minutes for her to get there.

The Central Park Authority has a very strict no motorcycle rule, but if anyone tries to get in Captain America's way, it'll be a surprise. He weaves in between groups of people and takes to the snow/grass when it looks like it might be too busy to be safe.

With quizzical citizens to the left and right, he finds a hill straight in front of him. He accelerates, rather than slowing down, taking the hill at a high speed and catching air as the motorcycle carries up and over a park bench. It lands on the ground with a smash, but Steve is lucky to keep control. He's also lucky he didn't break the frame.

As he approaches he takes his shield from the front of the bike and puts it on his back as he prepares for anything. To his left he can see Sara—it'll be the first time they work together as full fledged SHIELD agents. He's pretty sure that's a good thing.

Pretty sure.

Kara is sitting at the top of a higher portion of the zoo above the tiger preserve, the cape of her new costume fluttering in the breeze as she watches people go about their day to day lives. A little girl is about to point her out to her mother but Kara smiles and shhs her with a finger to her lips from a distance.

Kara is sitting at the top of a higher portion of the zoo above the tiger preserve, the cape of her new costume fluttering in the breeze as she watches people go about their day to day lives. A little girl is about to point her out to her mother but Kara smiles and shhs her with a finger to her lips from a distance.

"Dear Diary. My powers have started recovering on their own. I met a cute boy earlier with a dumb name."

Kara sighs and looks down at the caged up tigers, "I decided to take Streaky to the zoo today but he got scared of the big kitties, no clue where he went. "

Then Booster can be seen flying towards the area and Captain America is riding in on a motorcycle as babies begin to cry, "Steve and Jon just got here, not sure why but they're making babies cry." Another sigh, "I used to be so great at making little Kal stop crying."

EARLIER:
"So - chimpanzee monkies," repeats Karen to her employee. "You know, this experiment has been really really hard to explain to investors." Karen's employee nods his head briefly, the scraggly looking man pushing up his glasses. "Yes! They are really, really, really intelligent animals, and if we can just… you know, help them express themselves on a wider scale, we might be surprised at what we find." Karen sighs at that, bringing up a hand to kinda rub her temples.

NOW:
Karen leaned forward over the railing near the monkey cage, her eyes narrowed, staring at a chimp who was picking his nose with a stick, quite profoundly. Jaw working quietly, her stare turns into something more like a glare, as if she could unlock the secrets of the chimp just by willpower and otherwise alone.

Of course, crying babies tends to disrupt one's concentration. Giving her head a shake, she sighs, and straightens up from the railing, adjusting the blazer of her suit-skirt a bit, her hand lifting to rub against her temples. Crying babies were some of the worst things in the world when you had super-hearing. And…

You know, there were a lot of them. Karen kinda lowers her hand from her eyes, her brow furrowing with concern as she glances up and down the path.

The zoo goers have no clue that there are those among them that are on high alert to the strange goings on of which they are only subconsciously aware. The loudspeakers start to declare the close of the zoo. The announcement is extra loud in the strangely quiet crowd. The sea lions start to ork, birds shriek in unison and the polar bear roars just as the speakers cut out with a static that can make skin crawl. Just like the speakeasy, the sound cuts out, leaving the zoo to its natural cacophony of animal voices when a loud crack of what sounds like thunder reverberates across the zoo, shaking through muscle and setting the heart at a strange rhythm.

Then, it is gone, leaving only the unnatural silence.

A burst of sound in the silence is a trumpet in harmony. In the middle of the crowd by the sea lions a two headed elephant drops, cracking the slate, glowing an unnatural grey as if lit by some form of inner hellish light. The two heads trumpet again in discordant melody, rearing up and nearly crushing a family. They shriek, crying and screaming, the father and mother both throwing themselves over the stroller containing their baby.

Near the polar bear a lion stalks its prey. Snow white and larger than the lion has unwitting tourists in its sights. Though it lacks the camouflage of the prairie, it fits in well the with the polar bear habitat. It opens its mouth to roar, triumphant, as it pounces.

"Captain!" Booster spots Captain America, and flies down towards him. He is only passingly familiar with the SHIELD agents, but he knows this guy. "That incident at that little bar. I think this is related. And I think it's a time anomaly." That seems to be that—once he drops this admittedly vague information he is flying again, towards that big white lion. His arm is outstretched and his hand is open, as it seems he is not trying to attack it. Booster Gold seems to be in a rush to pet this creature.

Sara flashes a brief, wry smile toward Steve as his bike roars onto the scene, but she's still got her mind on the job. "Correction, control," she says quietly as everything goes silent and then loud again. "Definitely some unusual activity. I've got some sort of lion in the polar bear enc-" Oh, no, that's definitely not in the enclosure anymore!

As the lion pounces toward the tourists, Sara dives into the fray herself. She hardly has time to think about what she's doing, but the Witchblade apparently knows lions. By the time she's there, she holds a tall, oval shield between herself and the lion in one hand, a spear in the other. Straight off the African plains. Sara's as startled by that as anyone else, but she stays where she is, trying to push back the lion.

Reaching the Zoo Simmons parks the car and hurries towards the entrance, her bag in hand, just in time to hear that crackle of static. The noise makes her pause momentarily… she'd forgotten that in the analysis she and Fitz had done. Looking around she mutters "Where the hell is Fitz…." a slight look of annoyance crossing her face.

Finding somewhere to duck out of the way, just in case things get hairy like they did last time, Simmons open her case and thumbs her phone to activates the FitzSimmons' seeker drones… today, she's been prepared and she's bought them with her.

The glowing, yellow spheres zoom into the zoo and dispersing themselves around the enclosures. The data is fed back to Simmons' phone, and she'll pause in the cover she's found for now.

"Emphasis on anomaly," Steve says with a nod and a look of, 'here we go again." He puts his kickstand down and promptly moves to put himself between the giant two-headed elephant and the family it nearly just crushed.

He brings the shield upward and looks back towards the group; to parents first and then the children. "Run as fast as you can, I'll hold him off," he says with a nod and a smile for the youngest kid. He does his best to sound reassuring under these trying times. He has fought many foes in his day, but a two headed elephant is a new one.

"Sorry Diary, gotta go, turns out it wasn't Steve and Jon who made the babies cry!" Kara pushes the touchscreen on her phone and slips it into a little pouch on her skirt before putting in a little earpiece into her ear she hoped ALL JL:A people were carrying.

"Hey Cap, Booster. Supergirl here." She was smart enough to use codenames in public.

"I'll deal with clearing out the civilians!" Using her superspeed and superstrength, Kara goes about the task of clearing out everyone in the area who doesn't seem like a hero.

Poor Karen is grabbed by her and she says, "Don't worry miss, I'll get you to safety!"

The sound of the crying babies coalesces to…

Screams and panic. Karen pauses a moment, her lips turning downward into a frown - a deep frown. This was a time to dash off and reveal the arrival of o/~ Power Girl o/~ and indeed, Karen gets a self-confident little smile on her lips as she kinda ducks her shoulders, her eyes flickering towards a little point behind the chimp enclosure, where she just might be unseen as she changes into the uniform she wore just beneath her outfit, when…!

Well!

"I uh… er… uh…!" says Karen, as Kara swoops her up off of the ground. "Thank you, but I was fine, I… could…!" Karen looks mournfully back at the spot where she was, the chimp that she was observing before clapping merrily, baring his teeth.

Karen just kinda sighs, slumping in Kara's arm. Oh, the perils of secret identity.

As Booster's outstretched hand reaches the albino lion, his fingers manage to comb through its stiff white fur. In a flash, he's able to feel a warping, a breaking. This creature is something not meant to be and certainly not meant to be in this here and now. It's a strange glimpse of infinity the could be lost in if it weren't for the fact that the longer his hand remains on its fur, he can feel the heat leech from his hand, frost bite already setting in within moments. Already in pounce mode, the lion swipes at the shield and spear raised by Sara. The roar sounds again. Though, this time it has a new target: Booster touched the lion and therefore made himself the number one target. With razor sharp claws, it attempts to rend through the outstretched arm currently petting the angry lion.

Drones rise and swirls amongst the crowd, raising high and mining for whatever data it can find. They process through the multitudes of civilians before two of them start to circle incessantly by the back of the zoo, far from the others, sending data back to Jemma: something similar is here. Something with the same energy signatures along with other with more normal readings.

The family underneath the elephant run, pushing their stroller as fast as they can away from the rampaging two headed elephant. "Thank you Captain America!" they call back absently as they run. One head turns to glare at Steve with red glowing eyes. The other has something else in its sights. With it's trunk it reaches out and is able to snag a teenager in its grasp. It squeezes violently with a trumpet and then tosses it straight into the sea lion tank, where the young boy starts to slowly sink.

The rest of the patrons run, shoving at each other to ensure they are the first ones out. Kara is able to fly a few of them to safety, but there are thousands of people here, crushing each other at the bottleneck that is the entrance. The people there look up crying, pointing to Kara with Karen in their arms, desperate to be saved even as they push and crowd each other in a desperate attempt to get away from rampaging beasts.

When Booster makes contact with the huge cat, he gasps and his eyes glow for a moment, a faint ice-blue light that is difficult to see with his visor in the way. Between the numbing cold and the shock of the energy he feels from this creature, his concentration falters and he drops out of the air, the faint golden glow snuffing out around him. As he falls, the lion's claws rake over Booster's arm, tearing gouges through his shiny suit over the limb and shoulder. Sparks are thrown from the tears, showing hints of circuitry under the glossy exterior, as well as red where he bleeds from his wounds. Exclaiming aloud, as well as through his communicator he says, "Don't kill these animals! This isn't their fault!"

With the spear and shield comes at least a little knowledge of how they're used, and Sara dances back from the lion's strike, jabbing with the spear as she ducks out of range. "Go!" she calls back to the tourists behind her. "Head for the exits! If you run into something else, take shelter indoors." Runaway lion wasn't actually covered in her NYPD or SHIELD training. Imagine that.

"Okay, runaway animals usually aren't at fault, but people get priority," she says to Booster, stepping in to try to tug him back behind the protection of her shield.

Simmons keys her SHIELD communicator "This is Simmons, I'm on location at the Central Park Zoo. The anomaly is centering towards the back of the Zoo, near the Snow Leopards, I'm moving in that way. I'll be following the East path past the Penguins and Polar Bears." She's not sure who's there but she wants to get a better look at the actual site of the energy spikes.

Holding her Shield Phone in one hand, Simmons pulls a small pistol loaded with two tranquilising darts out of the case and begins to move briskly towards the back of the Zoo.

Steve isn't crazy about going easy on the animals, but the normally cheerful and open Booster Gold seems to be holding a lot of cards close to the vest right now. And being part of a team is trusting one another. So rather than climbing up the trunk and snapping one of two necks of this beast, he resolves to create a diversion.

Spinning on his boot he rockets the shield in a manner which it will carom back and forth between the two heads. Meanwhile, he's moving, not even waiting to see if he's successful.

SPLASH!

The Star Spangled Man with the Plan is diving down into the cold water, trying to rescue that kid.

Kara plops Karen down on top of a safe spot and looks at the woman, seeing how familiar she is, she gets distracted from the crisis, telling her with a smirk, "Wow, you really get around. Try to be a little safer, OK?"

Flying back towards the others she sets down beside Cap and asks him, "What do you want me to do Cap?" She points at the big elephant, "I could put him in a cage and let the zoo have a new attraction? He's so cute."

Karen was set down upon the ground - no doubt one of the crowd of people as Kara zips back and forth relentlessly. "Sure," she says, "I'll try to schedule my zoo visits around the… two-headed elephant attacks!" she says, with a cheery tone. A beat. That was a bit snappy, in spite of her lighter tone. She'd have to apologize to Supergirl later.

Giving Kara a slightly nervous look as the other shifts away, Karen moves towards one of the walls - the bottleneck that kept people from escaping. Chewing on her lip a little bit, Karen kinda casually leans against a point in the wall, away from the entrance proper. And with a subtle flexing of her arm, pushes it down, trying her best to look casual about the whole thing. Maybe even surprised that the wall fell down! Oh no! Okay. It would be harder to walk across the rubble, of the wall, but maybe an extra exit would help people from being trampled?

"This way too!" she calls, gesturing through the open part of the wall.

There was something vital and important she had to take care of, while she wasn't in the way of things.

Karen bends to one side, and pulls off her black business pumps, letting stockinged toes wriggle against the ground. Better.

Completely unaware of Booster vouching for or reading the lion, it growls swiping again at Booster before it narrows in on Sara. The shield and the spear are menacing and the smell of Booster's blood is in the air, raising its predatory instincts and deeming Sara a threat to its prey. Ducking down slightly, it attempts to lunge underneath Sara and her shield, keeping out of the reach of the spear as it does so. The heat of the crush of people and even just coming in contact with the air, makes its icy breath steam and crackle. Crying out in terror and heeding Sara's warning without a need for a second time, those patrons still left toward the back flee to the exits as best they can.

As Simmons moves toward the 'Temperate Territory near the back of the zoo, she has to pass by both the double headed elephant and the lion. Luckily, they both (all three?) of them are totally engrossed by the others and she is able to sneak by in the crowd of other people running in the other direction. By the time she reaches the snow leopards, she can hear the snow monkeys hooting and shrieking, mixing in with the human cries of terror. Pressed against the protective plastic sheeting, trapped in the snow leopard viewing area is a class of elementary school students. One of the chaperones lies motionless on the sidewalk, blood pooling down the pavement. The other stands in front of the children, trying to shepherd them away from the monstrous creature focusing on them. It's a deep green color and maybe at one time was human. However, it is all spikes and angles, its fingers foot long knives. One hand glints as it rakes at the class it has in its sights.

The shield ping pongs between the two elephant heads. The creature rears up in anger and pain, trumpeting its displeasure before one of the trunks is able to smash into the top of shield it a resonant 'bong' that the vibranium rings across the zoo as the trunk its it and then it crashes to the ground. Steve, already in the water and saving the unconscious child with either cracked or broken ribs, may feel the vibrations, but not hear the sound. The sea lions swirl and swim around him in an attempt to help, both man and animals buoying the teen to air and safety, though he remains unconscious.

Kara's placement of Karen is opportune, as when the latter opens a space in the wall to let others out, they start to flock over. The second escape lessens the bottle neck, making it all the easier for the people to flee from the horrible scene they had the misfortune to be at the zoo to witness.

Fortunately, Booster has enough focus to at least take a knee, making it much easier for Sara to pull him to safety behind her, the lions clawtips skating over his back, superficially marring the glossy blue and gold material. "You're right," he says to her, his good hand clutching over his bleeding wounds. "I'll get this guy. From the sound of things there are people who need help." Gritting his teeth as he forces his mind to focus again, a golden translucent bubble pops into existence around the huge white lion, narrowing in like an egg in an attempt to keep it entrapped.

Sparks fly from Witchblade armor as the lion's claws skid off of Sara's shins before she can pull back quite far enough. "Nice trick," she says in relief, catching her breath. "Simmons, it's Pezzini," she adds across the comms. "I'm coming to meet you over there. Keeps your eyes open, it looks like we've got twisted animals getting 'ported in." The shield and spear disappear, and more armor climbs over her form as she starts to dash deeper into the zoo after Simmons. Have to keep the brains of these operations safe.

Simmons is breathing slightly heavy, more in fear than anything else, that walk past the animals was not in the biochems duty statement. "This is Simmons, I'm at the Snow Leopards enclosure. There's another mutated being here. I want it taken alive this time." She's resolute on that matter.

Getting as close as she possibly can to that viewing area, she checks her phone and the readings being received from the drones… eyes widening as she does "Pezzini, acknowledged, this being, it's incredibly predator driven. It has children cornered." Taking aim with her tranquiliser pistol, complete with a dendrotoxin filled dart, Simmons fires at the deep green coloured being.

Steve surfaces with the boy in his arms, "Yeah, if you could take care of that, Supergirl, that would be great." His words are calm, but his focus is elsewhere. He drags the boy up on one of those rocks that seal's use to lounge about at the zoo.

He leans down close to the boy's mouth to ensure he's breathing. His hand comes up to the young man's neck to also check for a pulse. He's not an expert on First Aid, but if something needs to happen now he can do his best.

Kara nods to Steve, "Got it." It looks like the poor double headed elephant had NEARLY been knocked out by Steve so she flies over to it, patting it gently on the head and then the other head, "There there buddies. I'll get you a new home." OOMPH!

Kara lifts up the massive elephant and finds it a new zoo enclosure to live inside of. Imagine the revenue the Zoo would get!

And there was Karen. As the flood of people start heading towards the opening, Karen starts to slip away from them, belief in the ability of the gate to draw attention away from her paramount. It was almost time to…

Karen sees an elderly man slip and fall in the ruckus. "/Hey/," she calls, her voice a bit louder than it shoulda been. Pushing her way through the crowd easily, Karen bends over, and helps the man up, gently picking her up and helping to carry him towards safety herself.

Where the hell is Fitz?

Well, the black van with SHIELD markings that comes crashing through the zoo's walls may have something to do with it. The van goes hopping and skidding through the emergency exit gate that it just turned into an entrance, and as the skidding slows, the back doors pump open.

Inside stands Leopold Fitz, decked out in field armor and looking far too badass for himself. The agents standing to either side of him, like Fitz, are wearing their Portal Busters; the first design, which was built to affect the more scientifically mundane portals, considering his Mark 2's were fried during the HYDRA incident.

The agents detach their charging cables from the power pack riding on Leo's shoulders, before all three hop out of the SHIELD van. "Sorry I'm late!" calls Fitz toward the others. "Had to verify something?"

A makeshift scope has been attached to the tip of his Portal Buster's discharge gun. The scope, a large circle with a transparent, blue screen, begins to glow after he sweeps the gun around and lands upon the area where the Watchtower had detected a second energy spike about to take place. Fitz adjusts a few parameters on the gun; the tech is fringe science at best, and it's never been tested on temporal readings before.

"Ready boys?" he asks the agents at his side.

Booster's focus and thinking keep the frost lion from taking off his head, instead, only raking his back superficially. While somehow changed supernaturally, it is still just an animal with cold powers and the golden bubble manages to trap it. Snarling and bashing against the shield of energy, it keeps attacking and smashing itself headfirst in its attempts to escape - or perhaps to eat Booster, it's not completely clear.

Sara is able to quickly reach Simmons, as the patrons have all since fled either to Karen's makeshift exit or the proper one in the front of the zoo. The green creature shrieks - a sound of nails on chalkboard when one of Simmons' dendrotoxin darts hits its flesh. It lands for a moment before popping out of its flesh as if accelerated healing powers pushed the alien substance from its wound. However, in good (or bad news) the green predator's head swivels to take in Simmons, recognizing her as a threat. Leaving the school children behind, it streaks forward with unnatural swiftness, razor claws drawn to rend her flesh with the triumphant cry of the hunt.

The teenager is placed on the rocks in the sea lion enclosure without much ceremony. His breathing is shallow, but there. The young man is obviously in some pain, but with treatment he should live. Borking in anger or in confusion, the sea lions swirl around Captain America and his rescued charge. Meanwhile, Kara is able to lift the elephant with quite some difficulty. It has the same weight as two elephants, despite the fact that only the heads seem to be merged. And the skin is warm to the touch, the glow feeling almost radioactive. It's trunk grabs onto one of the wooden souvenir carts, tossing it toward Karen and the elderly man she is attempting to help in a fit of rage.

Above, the sky cracks like thunder again just as Fitz asks his pivotal question. The clouds swirl like a murmuration of birds, static rising and ready to strike.

"Yeah, I know you want me. Get in line," Booster Gold remarks to the angry white lion, giving it a wink. He is standing upright, but is wobbling a little and is covered with a fair amount of blood by now; his hair still looks really good, though, which is the important thing. The forcefield around the trapped lion shrinks a little more, trying to keep it in place without giving it enough room to really hurt itself as it claws and bashes against the impenetrable barrier. His eyes widen and he gasps quietly, and says, "It's happening again."

"Simmons, duck!" Sara doesn't have time to get between Simmons and the lizard creature, but she does have a few other tricks up her sleeve. As she gets closer, she throws out one hand and a length of the Witchblade shoots out like a lasso to wrap around the creature and try to pull it off course and away from the scientist. "Fitz, we're getting things dropped in on us all over the place. You have a broad spectrum application for that thing yet?"

Eyes widening in horror as the predator turns towards her, Simmons ducks. She's heard Sara's call. "About bloody time, Fitz" the scientist speaks "I've a speciman here that I want to keep alive." Taking aim with her last dendrotoxin dart, she fires again.

"Watch him," Cap says to the Sea Lions with a nod as he makes the leap from the rock to the end of the tank. He leaps down to the ground into a sprint, stopping only when he gets near his shield. With a quick step, he pops it up to himself and keeps running. Whatever this thunderclap brings, he'll be ready for it.

Kara scolds the double-headed elephant as it grabs at stuff and tries to smash people, "Ok Stompy, you really need to stop. I'm TRYING to be your friend." The young woman sighed and would definitely need to add this to her diary, "What a day."

At least carrying the man was easy enough for Karen. Carrying him carefully was the tricky part. Especially when large rocks are thrown her way. Blue eyes pop open wide, and Karen's face turns into a grimace of confused thought, when… "Don't look don't look!" she tells the man, quickly shifting him into holding him before herself, curling up around him. The chunk of rock strikes her, shattering all around her, leaving rock dust and a tear down the back of her blaze and buttonup blouse.

Karen peeks one eye open, looking down at the man. He looks back up at her with wide eyes.

"You looked, huh?" "… yep."

With a heady sigh, Karen sets him safely down outside of the wall, /finally/ starting to jog behind something to get changed, the red of her cape visible through the tear in her suit.

"Yep," answers one agent.

"Ready as I'll ever be," grumbles the other.

It takes a lot of effort, trusting Sara to keep Simmons from getting mauled. He's grimacing even while lifting the discharge wand to adjust his aim, until the center of the disturbance is in his sights. "Hope so!" he calls back to Sara, Booster and Simmons, while dialing up the width setting. "Set for wide beam, tighten it down to strengthen the beam once we have it," he advises the agents. "Fire!"

Depressing the trigger causes a blast of invisible, subatomic energy to burst out of the Portal Busters, a visible disturbance bending the air as the blocker's beam travels toward the disturbance. The guns themselves emit a low, tooth-rattling rumble; Fitz and his compatriots have to brace themselves against the guns' powerful energy discharge.

Simmons' plight reminds him; they really do need to get the ICER prototypes up and running!

The lion continues to crash agains the golden prison Booster has erected around it. It's thrashing becomes less and less violent as the space becomes less available to do so. Eventually, the frost lion is merely clawing against a small dome, unable to move other than slip and slide up and down the curved edges of the shield. It snarls and shows its teeth, showing just how much it wants to muss up Booster's perfect hair. However, at the moment, that proves impossible.

As Sara is able to protect and warn Simmons, the lasso wraps around the green skinned creature. With another unhuman shriek, hands wrap around the lasso as it constricts around its upper torso. It has just enough of a trajectory correction to cause the creature to land just to the left of Simmons. Though still lasso'd, it crawls, snapping and hissing toward Simmons, restricted knife-like hands attempting to tear through the scientist and her attempts to tranquilize it. For now, the dart sticks, but the toxin has yet to do its work.

Cap is easily able to pick up his discarded shield as Kara takes the double headed elephant and disappears into the sky with it - who knows where she thinks a safe place to put the beast. The cart breaks around Karen like a wave washing around a rock. But, just as she is changing, Fitz fires his gun.

It is unlike any other gun fired in the area. The rumbling of the sky increases for a moment until suddenly it stops. The rip in the sky suddenly opens into a circle. First, a large amount of green ooze drops immediately on Steve and the nearby Fitz, coating them in a viscous fluid. And then, as if reversing, the portal starts to whirl backward. Some of the golden droids start to fight against the tide of the voracious wind, being pulled toward the sudden vacuum. Steve, Fitz and Karen - nearest to its suction - are also caught in the draft, suddenly lifted up toward the air and into what can only be described as a green infinity.

"I'm not sure that made it better!" Booster Gold shouts, after seeing the effect that gun has on the reality tear. He looks at the trapped lion, then at the portal, then at the lion again. First things first. He touches the forcefield and it crackles with energy, bombarding the poor feline monster with stun rays. The bubble vanishes and he is again surrounded with a golden form-fitting glow, before flying upwards towards the vortex. "I need to get more data," he explains through his communicator, and the closer he gets the more he seems to be fighting against its pull as he looks into the hideous doomhole in the sky, scanning it and trying to not get devoured into unreality.

"Are you really sure you want it alive?" Sara asks through gritted teeth as she reels the lizard in, twisting enough to get between it and Simmons. Granted, fully armored, she doesn't look like she's that much better an alternative. But she's on SHIELD's side. She spares a glance toward the portal opening in the sky, but right now she's trying to concentrate on not getting Simmons eaten. "What're we breaking in the fabric of reality here, people?"

Captain America is lifted off his feet from the intense suction, pulled straight towards it and with little ability to control himself as he careens towards the abyss. He's been through a lot in his 90 or so years on this planet (most of it on ice), and he's not one often to look for help. But this looks like it might be a major problem. As he heads towards the green swirl he looks to Kara, hoping against hope the Kryptonian can get him out of this.

"Sorry guys, I'll be back in a bit. Stompy needs a proper home." Kara had been unable to find a suitable location for the mutant elephant to live and she was sad for him because everyone deserved a home.

"Don't worry Stompy. I'll find you a nice place to live in Africa and I'll visit you like every day." Kara shakes her head, "Every week. Well, at least every month, OK?"

The elephant seems to be calming down as Kara flies it along keeping it firmly aloft, she's unable to fly too fast though because it's an elephant and it might die if she goes at top speed.

Streaky returns and Kara calls to the flying cat, "Streaky! Help me out with Stompy?" The cat isn't interested, it flies away back to the JL:A Lakehouse.

Skittering back out of the creatures grip, Simmons is fumbling in her bag and fitting two more darts into her pistol "Well…. yes, I think so." the distracted biochemist says "They are human after all, even if they don't look it."

Glancing up at the sky, she shakes her head before looking back at the lizard being and aiming. This time, she'll fire both darts into the thing… Hopefully that will let Sara secure it properly.

"It's not us, Sara. I think someones' trying to come through…"

Streaky really wanted some cat food but he saw that really nice Steve Rogers fellow from the house in trouble. He had tried to bond with him, he even offered him cat food. They had relaxed together in the backyard before Hydra randomly attacked by accident, it was magical.

As far as Streaky was concerned? Cap was the man.

While Captain America may have been hoping for Kara to save him, instead Streaky arrives to grab him by the scruff of the neck with his mouth and drag him to safety.

A pair of glasses. A blazer with a tear in it. A skirt and such.

And one o/~ Power Girl o/~.

These are the items, in the exact order that they could be seen sucked towards the gaping portal, Power Girl's wide eyes and slightly taken aback look coming from her as she floats towards the thing. "I'm here now!" she announces to the world at large, even as she drifts towards the portal proper.

"I uh…" It was hard to punch portals. Peej kinda twists in the air, and starts flying away from the thing as fast as she can, her little red cape fluttering in the wind. Kinda tilting her flight pattern just so, however, Peej hopes to impact Captain America and grab him, helping bear him away from the portal. "Fancy meeting you like this!" she says, waggling her brows.

She's pretty sure she never met Cap before. But it seemed the thing to say.

"Augh!" Fitz spits some of the ooze away before it can get into his mouth; to say he's feeling cross about being slimed is an understatement. "I think I've got some samples for you, Simmons!" The annoyance in his voice is visceral.

"Tighten the bloody beam!" he instructs the agents at his side, ignoring the weightless feeling. If they all get sucked into that time portal, it'll be bad news. Bad, bad news. Much worse then being weightless and drawn toward a bloody time portal.

Spinning the dial, the odd, transparent disturbances coming forth from the Portal Busters intensify, warping the green infinity with wave upon wave of portal-stopping power.

Booster gets a since. "Be careful!" he cries out, not knowing just how the subatomic energy might affect the hero! Let's not talk about the fact that Fitz's only hope of not ending up fried is in a piece of fringe FitzSimmons tech called The Portal Buster, MkI.

Booster is able to stun the lion, though it takes quite a bit of energy in order to do so. The frost lion, still in the gold bubble collapses onto its paws after a few moments, eyes fighting and then closing as it sleeps. As the time traveling Booster Gold travels toward the sucking portal, he can feel it pushing him back. This is an abomination. Much like the lion he read, whatever lies forward is wrong and ever hungry. It pulls Booster toward it before he is able to violently pull back and falls against the ice lion's energy shield.

The green creature roars and hisses, attempting to reach Simmons with every breath it takes. It snarls at Sara, realizing it as the woman responsible for trapping it, attempting to rake its incredible claws through both of them, slowing only slightly by the dendrotoxin that is pumping through its system.

Kara is long gone toward Africa with the two headed elephant. Captain America, with his shield scrambles at the ground in an attempt to not be sucked through the portal. However, with the combined efforts of Streaky and Karen, he is caught and with a struggle pulled back toward the earth of the zoo. Fitz's cry focuses the beam, but it only manages to focus the sucking beam. It pulls against all attempting to fight against it. There are certainly readings to be had. As Fitz swirls the dial, the portal opens wider and then slowly starts to close and with it the vacuum toward its strange green dimension.

Tendrils of energy are coruscating and crawling over Booster, which may be from his proximity to Fitz's beam. His suit seems to be processing that power, although a direct blast of it would be a different story. Ultimately, he lacks the strength to really wrangle with the vortex, fresh blood still leaking from his claw wounds. Once he wrenches away, he crouches on the ground near the unconscious white lion, trying to clear the stars bursting before his eyes.

The Witchblade is proof against stronger and stranger things than lizard men, and as the creature slices as her, Sara gives up on the whole restraining it thing in favor of just punching it in the face. It shouldn't kill it, but hopefully it'll put it to sleep a little faster than the darts are.

Simmons isn't quite quick enough as the creature rakes it claws at her, drawing a gash across her forearm… "Ow…" she mutters and finally stands up. As Sara punches it in the face, she looks rather delightedly grateful, if a little shocked, "Oh, thankyou! Now I have something to study. Can I help you secure it?"

Wonder how the good folks at SHIELD medical are going to feel about this speciman.

Helping the Supercat pull Cap to safety, Power Girl lands upon the ground, bringing up a gloved hand to brush her blue-gloved hand through her short blonde hair. Of course, she couldn't pack her boots under her clothes, so she was barefoot at the moment, but perhaps that wasn't as noticeable as…

Well, the big portal that just closed, with the various creatures that boiled out of the place.

Bringing up her fists in a fighting position, she twists towards Booster and…! Okay, the crazy lion was out of it. And twists towards the lizard man, and…! Sara was punching it. And… and…

A beat, and Peej lowers her fists. "Did I miss the fight again?"

Soon as Fitz leaves the ground, he freaks. "Oi!" he calls out. "Everyone hold on!" The beam gets tightened to its most direct and powerful setting. With the vacuum closing, his shoes hit the ground and he staggers, the beam shifting just enough for one of his seekers to get caught up in the closing portal; the little yellow device lost wherever it went.

Fitz can only guess as to what's going to happen when that portal finally closes completely.

Kara arrives in Africa some time later.

She finds a very nice Elephant retreat for Stompy, although the owners seem kind of confused why he has two heads. Even in Africa though, they recognize the Red S and she promises them she'll come at least once a month to help them out in exchange for taking care of Stompy.

Waving to Stompy as she streaks into the air she puts her white earbuds into her ears and begins to sing along to some stuff she got on the JL:A computer.

Meanwhile, Streaky was back home enjoying cat food with Hawkpuppy.

The amount of energy and information given to Booster is enough to overload him for a moment. Luckily, the frost lion is still in its own golden shield and shocked into unconsciousness, otherwise it might be freed.

The green creature fights valiantly against Sara, smashing and raking against her with its long claws. Its left hand continually crushes against her temple with a hard object embedded into its palm, leaving indentations against Sara's skin. Leaving whatever wounds it can, it slowly succumbs to both the poison and the physical abuse. One without the other wouldn't have led to such its succumbing. Finally, causing as much damage as it can, it slowly sinks into some form of unconsciousness.

As Karen is able to pull Steve out of danger, there are quite a few different people focused on other things, but Karen was able to save Captain America from an inter-dimensional rift. She didn't miss the fight, she just managed to intervene at the exact right time. While no one else may know that, she does. The portal closes slowly, leaving behind the green ooze on Fitz, Steve and Karen. With it, Fitz and Simmons' will notice on their data retrieval that their Sulu droid gave them a burst of information and then completely went dark as the portal closed.

"Power Girl?" Booster Gold says, seeing her land nearby. "This creature needs to be secured… I can't touch it, and I'm not going to be able to contain it anymore in a moment." What with the blood loss and shock, the information overload and everything else, Booster has remained conscious essentially by being extremely stubborn. Now that things seem to be getting under control, he passes out, and the unconscious lion is now free to continue its rampage, if it should wake up.

The claws don't trouble Sara so much, but by the time the lizard is finished pounding on her head, she's starting to see stars. "Help would probably be good," she agrees, letting her weight sink onto the downed creature. The details of using hands and restraints are just a little bit past her at the moment.

Cradling her gashed arm, Simmons moves towards Sara "Thank you again, for your help. I can't tell you how helpful this will be." Pulling some zipties from her bag, the young biochem will secure the creatures wrists behind its back and then follow direction to ensure it's fully secure. "This is Simmons, I have a live speciman for transfer to secure holdings."

Well, said lion should be okay. Power Girl can contain him. Snapping over - (with a flashy snap of her cape, even), Karen gives Booster a brilliant grin. "You got it, I'd be happy…" Booster passes out. "…to…help. Are you alright?" she asks him. Of course, she was glancing between him and the lion at this point, biting her lower lip.

"I have a man down over here!" she calls.

That seemed the right thing to say. She should probably try to contain the lion. Yeah. Peej sets herself to doing just that, not quite letting go until they were safely locked away.

A few moments after the portal closes, Fitz shuts down his Portal Buster. The machine winds down with a whine, and Leo promptly falls back onto his arse in a pool of green ooze.

"Ugh. I feel like I took a bath in a mungy, old haggis," he grumbles, and flicks some of the junk from his fingers.

The SHIELD agents who accompanied Fitz begin to call in a medical and containment team.

The creatures not taken to safety in Africa are taken into SHIELD containment. The frost lion and the green spiky creature are put into special holding to be taken away. Only those with SHIELD clearance will be able to do more study on them, though those who were able to get whatever readings they could grab have things to go on.

Otherwise, the empty, now slightly ruined zoo is empty of tourists and families. The portals for now are gone, though the clouds still roil in similar murmurations before slowly slowing into a more regular storm formation. Something is happening in Manhattan, but it is hard to figure out why it is happening or where it may happen next.


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