Finest Hour, Part Twelve: Down To The Wire

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(November 26th)


Psiborg blasted through a wall, racing upwards to reunite with his master. “This is intolerable.” He muttered to himself, feeling his systems spark and falter. Twice in as many years, after decades without injury. When this was over, he would have to find a way to petition Rex Mundi to destroy every remaining piece of Atlantean technology on Earth.

As he did, however, he skidded to a halt. Yellow energy lanced from his third eye, grabbing a wall and pulling it in front of him. A blaze of wind and heat cascaded around the wall, melting steel and crumbling stone, and Psiborg stepped through the remains. “You are in my way.” Psiborg said grimly. “That was a poor decision.

“I'm just shaking in my boots.” Chad cracked his knuckles with a grin as he looked over his enemy. Next to him, Jack Silver stood at the ready, his uniform scorched from his momentary meeting with Malleus Kaine, and Blastwave hovered just behind the two, her hands glowing with heat. “You're not looking too good, Psiborg. Get some bad tech?”

I may not be at my peak,” Psiborg admitted, “but I am more than capable of squashing the three of you. Get out of my way.” Energy gathered around him, pulsing down the hallway.

“If you were, you'd just kill us and be done with it.” Blastwave shook her head. “You're scared, Psiborg. This battle isn't going your way.”

Enough chatter. I serve the rightful ruler of Atlantis and the world. You have no power over me.” Psiborg focused his mind, and energy began to push out from him. As he did, Chad and Blastwave combined their powers, as Jack dove through the mirror the trio had set up in advance. A moment later, the glass cracked and ran, as the floor ignited.

Psiborg's energy slammed into a nearly-solid wall of superheated air, and for an instant the two powers were even. Then, inch by inch, Psiborg began to push his two opponents back. He stepped forwards, light flickering in his third eye, focusing on his opponents. “Jack Silver cannot flank me.” He said flatly. “There is no nearby mirror present. He will not return in time to save you.

“Don't need him.” Chad grunted, sweat streaming down his face. He shuddered, swaying on his feet.

“Yeah, we just set that up so he could get away. He'll be back to haul us to safety.” Blastwave said with a crooked smile, her skin pale with exertion.

The two waves of force pushed against each other. The walls buckled and exploded outwards, leaving all three fighters hovering in the air around a slowly growing bubble of ruin. Girders collapsed, concrete melted, and Psiborg's field began to creep around the edges of Blastwave and Chad's combined forces. “I am impressed.” Psiborg admitted, yellow sparks flying from his eyes. “I did not expect you to be so nearly my equals. But there is very little holding you active now.” He smiled thinly.

A sharp crack split the air, and Psiborg jerked and spasmed. His eyes flickered. “Wha-wha-wha-wha…” As he did, the energy surrounding him flickered and faded, and the heatwave opposite him rushed forwards. “Impo..ss…posi…Imps…” Psiborg's body was consumed by heat, and he fell from the sky.

Almost instantly, Chad's eyes rolled back in his head and he fell. Blastwave dove after him, grabbing him by the shoulders, and the two began to slow – a moment later, they hit the pavement, which began to bubble as the two bounced, crashed, and slammed into a parked car. For a moment, wet paint dripped over the two, as they cooled.

“Good shot, Jack.” Blastwave finally mumbled, lying on her back staring up at the sky.

“Thank you, ma'am.” Jack Silver leaned over to look at her, a sniper rifle perched on one shoulder. “Didn't even need Atlantean tech. All of his power was focused on you two.” He winced, leaning down next to her. “Chad okay?”

“He'll live. You?”

“I'll live.” Jack winced. “But I don't know if I can get back upstairs. Kind of running out of mirrors.”

“Yeah. Just let me fly up…” Blastwave closed her eyes, then opened them and winced. “Maybe not. I think I'm out of juice.:” She triggered her comm. “Amber, this is Wave. Psiborg is out, but we're blocked off. Good luck.”


The shadows in the narrative engine's room pooled and twisted, disgorging Hazard and Eclipse. The two started to look around, peering through the gloom at the many vague shapes around them. The entire room was faintly lit by the radioactive green glow of the narrative engine, sitting many yards away.. “Get ready.” Eclipse said softly. “Anything could happen…”

The lights came on, chasing away the shadows and leaving the two heroes squinting against the sudden glare. Across the room, leaning against the narrative engine, Lord Mayhem smiled broadly. “Good day to you both.” He said politely. “I'm afraid that this is the end of your quest.”

“Yep.” Standing across from Lord Mayhem, her battlesuit gleaming, Lucy looked across at her alternate. “We're here to keep you from messing with the engine.” She glanced over her shoulder at it. “Trust me, the doc has put so many safeguards and failsafes on there, you don't want to be messing with it.”

“Should have known.” Hazard shook his head. “Lucy, why are you doing this?”

“Why?” Lucy snorted. “I owe Doctor Ecchs. He saved me from a goddamn hellhole, Lucky. You thought your world was bad? It had nothing on mine.”

“Lucy, he created that world.” Lucky said patiently. “If it hadn't been for him, it never would have existed, just like mine.”

“So he made us, and he saved us.” Lucy responded. “Not really seeing your drive to stop him.”

Eclipse shook his head. “It's no use, Hazard.” He said. “She's not going to listen.”

“I might, if you had anything worth saying.” Lucy snapped. “But you don't.”

“I have one thing.” Hazard took a step forwards. Lord Mayhem raised a hand, electricity arcing between his fingers, but held back from throwing energy at his opponents. “Lucy, you're an alternate of Lucky, just like me. I know that this seems like a safe choice, something that you have to do, but you don't. Mayfly…” He broke off. “Nadia once told me that she trusted me, because I was Lucky Ladd, and Lucky wasn't a bad person. You're Lucky too, Lucy.”

Lucy swallowed, and looked away. “Funny thing. I knew someone like Nadia once. Nate. Good man, in a lot of ways. He told me that I was unstoppable.” She smiled in memory, and looked back to her alternate. “But he wasn't just Nadia in another world, Hazard. And I'm not actually like you.” She smiled, raising one of her arms, and a missile launcher popped out. “I'm more of a dark reflection than an alternate path.”

Hazard sighed. “Crap.”


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