Finest Hour, Part One: In Position

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(September 20th)


“Good to see you again, Director.” Blastwave saluted with a smile as Danger Ace stepped out of the shadows in the street with Eclipse and Hazard.

“And you.” Danger Ace nodded once, looking over her gathered forces. “Agents, heroes, and villains, this is it. We have the Ontario and East Coast cells on hand to attack Ecchs' forces. Alpha Team needs to disable the psiportal, and quickly. Can you reach it?” She looked over at Blastwave, who nodded.

“Absolutely.” Blastwave said with a smile. “The location is filled with reflective surfaces for Jack. Pretty much a requirement for psiportals.” She looked over her team. The Champions nodded resolutely, Jack Silver saluted, and Chad just smiled. “We're ready.”

“Good. Beta and Gamma teams are going after the narrative engine.” Danger Ace looked over her own crew. “Hazard, we'll be relying on your lead. Auger, let us know if trouble's coming. When we get there, the Witch Doctor will help ensure that we can disable the device and my own narrative powers should give us an edge in succeeding. Eclipse will add mobility, and Oleander and Charon will lend support. Any questions?”

“How long until they know our plan?” The Witch Doctor asked.

“About twelve seconds, I'd guess. We'll need to move quickly.” Danger Ace looked around her teams, and smiled. “It's been an honor working with you all. The diversion begins in three minutes. Get in position.”

“Yes, sir.” With a salute, fourteen heroes broke into groups, moving towards their destination. The streets of Patchwork City spread out behind them, and ahead glittered the black monolithic tower of the Malefico head offices.”


“I don't believe it.” Kaniessa shook her head in shock. “Even Ecchs would not be that…”

“It's perfect.” Clockwork disagreed, steepling his fingers. He looked around at his team. Warzone was as attentive as always, suit standing in perfect parade rest as he listened. Kaniessa was staring in disbelief, her razor-sharp fingernails nervously tapping a tattoo into the table beneath her. Malleus Kane and Dragonfly, the last two members of the group, were suited up and lounging, amused but not worried. “Everyone is now aware that Rex Mundi is Spencer Ecchs. Who would imagine that his secret lair was, in fact, simply located in areas of his main office complex? With his teleportals, even his own servants might not have known. They might still not. Elegant and simple, and if there were a true problem, well… he could always leave.”

“Can we take the portal?” Warzone asked seriously. “By your count…”

“Not all of our enemies matter.” Clockwork answered. “Weltgeist has been neutralized, and the Antiheroes are about to be. This leaves only three enemies for us to take down in order to claim our prize. If we let the Resistance and Mundi exterminate each other, I think we can bring Kyall back onside and succeed. But we need to move now. Any objections?”

“I'm in.” Dragonfly said softly. “I want Malefico to burn.”

“Glad to hear it.” Clockwork waved lazily, standing. “Let's roll out. We'll be at Malefico by the time the explosions start.”


Skew looked over his assembled troops. They weren't much, compared with the forces that Judgment had led on Patchwork City two and a half years earlier. Barely sixty soldiers, but ready. Fanatical. Willing to do whatever was necessary. “Troops, the so-called Resistance thinks that we have been tricked. But we know the truth. A sympathizer on their team has leaked the location of Mundi's lair to us, and the time that they intend to attack. We will not let them steal our prize.

“The enemy is numerous, ruthless, and evil. He has swallowed our world in darkness, and the SEA allowed him to. We are all that remains between the light and eternal night, and we will not fail in our holy cause. You are the best, the last hope for humanity's future. We will destroy Rex Mundi and his Inner Circle. We will destroy any Resistance members who try to stop us. This is the moment that the world turns its face away from villainy, and returns to the side of justice.”

He smiled, and raised his hands, and the entire battle force began to quiver as Skew's dimensional powers reached out around them. “Vengeance for our fallen brothers and sisters is at hand. In Judgment's name!”

“In Judgment's name!” Came the roar from sixty voices.


“We're under attack!”

“What?” Sitting at his desk on the top floor of Malefico, Spencer Ecchs straightened abruptly, toggling his comm. “By whom?”

“Resistance forces have hit the first floor!” On the other end of the comm, Lord Mayhem gritted his teeth. “They've already engaged the fire wombats and the vehiclones, and they're trouncing them. I count fourteen enemies.”

“It's a diversion.” Ecchs's fingers flew, bringing systems online. “Shivarex, Psiborg, get down there and help sort it out. Shivarex, Atlantean tech is your top priority. Ada meet me in the control room. Mayhem, Lucy, I want you covering the narrative engine. It's going to be hit. Just slow things down until the psiportal spools up, and then we're all gone and the engine with us. I'm powering up our secondary base as we speak. Won't be a minute.”

He shook his head. “This is the big one, folks. I expect the Antiheroes to be dropping in any minute now. Let's give 'em a show.”


“Sir! The Earth portal is powering up for a full-scale 'port!” The soldier snapped to attention.

“What?” Heran Kyall Varrn scrambled for his communications connection. Around him, the Varrn war-room stood silent, caught in shock. “Time?”

“Three minutes!” The soldier reported.

Kyall looked around the faces of his warmasters, and felt a savage grin cross his features. “Assemble every soldier we have. Get them down there! Start porting in three minutes. I want control of that psibeacon!”

He looked around at the room, and his smile grew. After all this time, it had finally happened. “We've been preparing for this day.” He said, starting into motion. “Prepare the vanguards. I will enter the fray with our second wave.”

“Provided there is a second wave.” Grandmaster Saal fell into step beside him, checking his weapons. “Whatever is occuring on Earth must be extremely dangerous, to require such a drastic reallocation of power.”

“True.” Kyall acknowledged. “But our soldiers are prepared to enter a war zone. The enemy is not prepared to receive us.” He smiled. “I can feel it, Saal. I will be a part of this battle.” He closed his eyes, felt certainty rising once again. It had been over a year since he had felt this hopeful. “It is my destiny.”


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