Bomb fest in Space Hitler's inter-galactic armageddon #1: Klo'Vis Downfall

((This is meant to clarify what happened on Klo'Vis during MARATHON 2 http://www.comicvine.com/forums/rpg-9/marathon-ii-the-alien-cometh-a-cvnu-event-1493971/ from a narrative perspective, have fun!))

0000 hours, Arrival

Teleportation could go fall into a ditch and die as far as Carol was concerned as she shook her head and felt the queasiness of one's atoms unscrambling out of Metaspace was over her. Giving a quick runthrough of her suit systems and weaponry, she fiddled with the systems on her left gauntlet to send out a roll call signal. Operative Katanga, Mindslayer, Snowstorm, Tsunami, The Timely Assassin, Sonic Raider, and Enforcer Erickson. The others were not linked up to her suit network so a roll call for them would need to be done the old fashioned way.

"We all good?" She asked as she swept her gun around to make for a room check.

"Oh absolutely positively ready to move out, I mean, why wouldn't I be ready to move out if I signed up for this job?" Erickson mumbled, eliciting Carol to turn her head around and quirk a brow beneath her helmet.

"You trying to be funny Erick?" Carol asked, getting a head shake in response.

"Can it all of you, we need to focus." Tombstone immediately cut in. The phantasmal hero was in no mood for nonsense at the moment.

"Still kinda geeking out about the whole "I'm in space" thing, can I squee now? I want to squee." @_the_ant_ excitedly said, shaking his hands in delight.

"I remain unimpressed." @die_kommandant scoffed before fixing up her glasses.

"Ugh, who brought the Nazi here?" Another part of the team, a Psion by the name of Minds' eye groaned.

"Pot calling kettle black alert." Forest stalker sneered at the super-villainess.

"I've got a bunch of assholes and idiots for team-mates, just greaaaaat." @bombardier_beetle

"Correction: Your criminal record squarely places you in the realm of "asshole"" Giganano blurted in, getting Bart to give him a glower that could cut steel.

"When Tombstone asks you all to be quiet, I really didn't think he meant "babble louder"." Aranea interjected before the dead man himself finally sliced through all the inanity.

"What did I say about canning it?" Tombstone growled, his voice reaching a frightfully low pitch to send chills down the spines of all involved. As much as he disapproved of the over-fraternization of the peacekeepers, the mess showed by this detail was...apocalyptic to say the least.

"We are a commando unit, we can't have you falling apart over petty insults and differences. Yes, one of you is Nazi scum who I'd have locked up in any other situation, yes, miss "needs to find a pair of pants" over there and the Beetle are wanted throughout Canada. No, that does not give any of you a carte blanche for this gross violation of military discipline. So shut the hell up unless you've got something worthwhile to say." Nathan lectured, keeping it short and simple to get the point across.

"Right, if the Malpsyche is telling the truth, we need to find the activation cipher and do it fast before Mu and Omega jumpstart the apocalypse. We have metahuman teams throughout the ship, all immunized to the thoughtsin and most known bio-weapons in case things take a plunge into the toilet. We will need to remain together at all times. Splitting up to go on your own is death. This is the heart of darkness people, no room for fuck ups, whoopsie doos, or FUBARs. Squabbling for command authority will get us all killed. Tombstone has the most experience so he's in lead, I am second, as much as it boils my blood Austerlitz is third, with Giganano in fourth. Any questions?" Carol asked, looking over all sixteen members of her posse with the evaluative eyes of a drill sergeant.

Mindslayer was the first to raise his hand, and when given affirmation by carol; decided to ask. "We have to bring the unaugs?" The Belgian said with the utmost sincerity, resulting in the most vicious of glowers from the agent.

"Yes, we are, this is non-negotiable Leopold." Carol said as she turned and awaited for Tombstone to lead the way.

In a flash, Tombstone's military trained mind got to work, using some specs of the Klo'Vis he stole from Ordovar without his knowledge. "We move forward, maintain unit cohesion and do not scatter more than ten meters away from one another without my prior permission. If we see any prisoners being detained; we liberate them and innoculate them. We need the extra man-power. And as a note; there will be no targeting of civilians on my watch. Just because they live under the Hierarchy does not mean they are part of their crimes. We'll get all the real bad eggs in the post-war trials anyway." He ordered, his body quickly going transparent as he phased through several walls to scout out a path ahead, leaving signal bread crumbs once he found the appropriate path before teleporting back to the group and guiding them through.

After traversing a deathly sparse hall-way, the reason for the lack of alien activity soon became apparent when the PSA systems throughout the multi-thousand light year across artificial homeworld crackled to life.

"+Creatures of the Hierarchy, in light of the failure of the Zolkri and Riktal to defend the life of our brother mu, their known sympathies for our greatest enemies, and most frighteningly, their attempt to take the activation cypher for themselves when requested to hand it over by Barak'Talak, we declare a writ of exocommunication upon the Zolkri and Riktal. Banish their unclean filth from their midst, so that our great vengeance may proceed unabated! Already, agents are in place to purge these undesireables, aid them where you can. So say I, Grand Overseer Mu, with the support of Omega and the Council. Glory to the Hierarchy! Death to the Masari!+"

"...There's no way news about that could have spread that fast." Carol snarled as the faint sounds of plasma fire and shrieks could be heard in the distance.

"How does this even make sense? The war's still going on!" Aranea said, bewildered that someone would divert their war effort to the eradication of so many of their own people, something that the Nazis in the group were quite familiar with doing.

"Genocidal regimes are rarely logical or rational actors, it's all just purity to them. Whether they're anti-mutants or members of a certain regime." Snowstorm said, her eyes casting a pointed gaze at Austerlitz.

"What did I say about ch-" Tombstone said before the whine of a rad-plasma rifle charging up forced him to duck to the side as as a storm of green death cascaded all around them; flash vaporizing metal in large amounts while a squad of Mutons dropped down from rooftops, hitting the ground with wild bellows while the artificial daysky shone down on them.

"Hit the deck!" The Ant shouted as the massive hulks of muscle laid down a withering storm of fire for their Berserker brethern to charge in, vibro-knuckle blades extended with the intent on causing maximum grievous harm.

The Ant weaved to the side, his peternatural senses informing him of the bullrush of an oncoming Berserker, the ground shaking under the tread of the multi-ton brute as it then suddenly stomped into the ground to halt it's momentum before making a hammer fisted blow with all of it's class fifteen hundred strength, one that the boy only barely dodged with a backflip, the air whistling behind the Berserker's fist and the sound barrier issuing it's loud protests.

Rolling forward into a trapjaw powered Kangaroo kick, Charles propelled himself off the Berserker, though the hard armour, skin, muscle, and bone flatly ignored the hundred and fifty ton strength put into the kick as the teenaged superhero went flying, landing hands first onto a wall that he stuck onto only to see the enraged berserker thundering towards him like a freight train.

Tombstone himself phased through the Berserker that came at him and then flowed into the ground before popping up behind two of the firing mutons and placing his hands on their back. A swift surge of soul lightning later and both of them collapsed onto the ground in smoking heaps, their elephantine screams adding to the cacophony of battle before he whipped out his pistols and laid down some rapid suppression fire to push the Mutons back.

Austerlitz drained the energy from the shielding of multiple Mutons and gladly welcomed their fire; the Energy formed Naziess growing stronger as she soaked in the radiance of their weapon systems, when she had her fill, a coy smirk formed itself on her lips. "How very stupid of you, very, very stupid. Well, I shan't allow you to grow any wiser." She said, her teeth showing as she widened her smile just as she threw her accumulated energy forward in the form of an energy blast to incinerate the lot of them where they stood.

The Bombardier beetle weaved in and out of the conflict, setting anything he could ablaze with his fiery abilities. When jump pack mutons lifted themselves up to his height on repulsors and anti-matter rockets, Bart quickly gave them a dosage of his fire, spraying them with flammable burning liquid that wrapped around their shielding and quickly ate away at it as quickly as possible so that he could carve them apart with energy sheathed chopping motions with his hand, though bull rush tackle from one of them knocked him clean out of the sky, forcing him to roll out of the way to avoid a plasma grenade that could have likely vaporized him.

Aranea did her best to restrain the rampaging berserker with her webs, but found the Muton behemoth growing stronger as time progressed, it's attempts at throwing off her webs growing rapidly more intense. But before things could get out of hand, Charles offered the creature a facefull of his omnisolvent bio-acids, the creature thrashing and flailing as it's flesh melted off it's bones and it's bones melted into slop moments later. "Eugh, clean up on isle five."

Forest stalker met her muton with a quick shot from a wooden arrow, aiming right at the seams of it's armour so that it could lodge itself there. Releasing her projectile, the archer landed her shot even as green oblivion flared in and out of existence around her. With a snort the Muton thumped it's chest and proclaimed it's lack of damage, something that she quickly alleviated when the wood of the arrow then started coming alive, the plant-matter flowing inside of the creature's armour and into it's breathing mask. Increasingly strangled breaths came from the monstrous alien as it fought with the constantly growing wood on it, but in time; it's struggles ceased and it flumped to the ground with a heavy thud.

Tsunami hydrokinetically threw forth a wall of water from the mains at a group of mutons, sweeping them off their feet and intercepting their plasma shots even as hundreds of gallons of water were being evaporated with each shot, forming a roiling cloud of steam. Quickly throwing herself in, Snowstorm followed up with the rapid chilling of the water, cooling it until it was frozen absolutely solid so that Henderson could come in and shatter the resulting mutoncicles, high fives being passed all around as the women turned their firepower towards other Mutons to rapidly divert their attention with gauss fire.

"You there, in the stripper outfit. Can you do a psychic shriek?" Mindslayer asked as he blasted two Mutons back with the shotgun slug mode of his tri-gauss assault rifle, their shields crackling to life as they were struck.

"Well duuuuuh. It'd be dumb if I couldn't." She said, rolling her eyes as her vibrant pink hair crackled like fire, maintaining a telekinetic shield against the plasma fire of the aliens.

"Do one with me on three. One, two, three!" He said, and on the count of three both nodded at each other and let loose a mind flensing wall of psychic energy that stripped the very psyches of those struck apart, leaving only dead husks without any sort of guidance.

As Katanga felled more mutons by simply stopping their hearts or causing them to explode into cancer cells and Carol bobbed and weaved through multiple Berserkers, casually evading their blows to deliver point blank pistol shots or claw slashes that rapidly devoured their shielding before puncturing through to their bodies, splattering their guts on her own shielding, El Cid had taken the wise measure of summoning up four time clones of himself, four with his grenade launcher, and himself with his famed blades.

"En garde el extraño bastardo!" He said gleefully as he brought time to a standstill, allowing his time duplicates to lay down an all surpassing barrage of fire. Intriguingly, their shells were only allowed to flow at Cid's timestream long enough to reach their targets before they pushed them back into the regular flow of time, effectively stopping them dead in their tracks while a pair of shells were placed at the opposite ends of each muton, exactly where the implosion shells' suction forces would be most likely to tear their enemies apart.

The true Timely Assassin however, moved like some sort of of angel of battle, his sword and parrying dagger making delerious patterns as they cut deeply into reality itself, their blades piercing right through the enemy's shield, armour, and bodies. So fast and clean were his cuts that the Mutons' bodies were not even slightly jostled by the Campeador before he undid the timestop and recalled his time duplicates. With the resumption of normal time can a series of ferocious kicking sounds, the sound of meat and composites tearing apart, and completely diced mutons falling to pieces around him. "Too easy." The proud spaniard said as he bowed to an imaginary audience.

It was Giganano who finished the charade however. "Enough of this; we are accepting unacceptable delays." The Robot said as it grew to massive size with a throbbing hum. Going all the way up to the size of a hundred feet, the now towering robot's huge, booming frame silently raised it's hands into a punching position and then mercilessly pounded the ground. Each slam of the fist from the robot shook the ground and cratered the streets, comets like trails of fire surrounding them as friction took it's hold over the machine's limbs, fire that never touched the robot's frames due to it's chassis wrapped shielding. Unspeakable roars of fury came from the explosions made by Giganano's fists, and after each punch, there wasn't enough of the Mutons left to fill a thimble.

"Situation normalized." Giganano said as bluntly as could be imagined before returning to a more standard height, a very much stock sound effect being heard as it's mass and volume decreased exponentially.

"Beneficus, how close are we?" Carol said, the hyper A.I that piggybacked in her helmet mulling over the question infitisemally briefly before coming out with his answer.

"A good ten kilometers from where I am detecting the strongest Masari signals. In a straight line at least, factoring in elevational differences and the street architecture, sixty." The A.I flatly reported.

"And how many hostiles?" She asked as she plugged Beneficus into the nearest terminal to get access to the Hierarchy's files. Cyberwarfare was always a crippling weakness of the Hierarchy after all.

"Between you and the signal and only factoring in all enemies within a hundred kilometer spherical area? Count the number of kilometers from the Sun to the dwarf planet Pluto and use that as my general estimate." He responded in the cheekily blunt manner only he could as his orange peacekeeper avatar flared up.

"...Well shit." Katanga said breathlessly as he shook his head.

"Shit? Hell no this isn't shit! We struck the motherlode of things to kill!" Mindslayer laughed, throwing himself forward as he laughed that psychotic laugh of his.

"We'll need to take the path of least resistance then. Avoid any fighting where we can afford to. And if we do come across any fights we can't get out of. We fight to the death. We're dead men anyway if the Overseers activate that ring." Tombstone said gravely, memories of the second world war already flashing into his head.

"Wait, wait...to the death?" Forest Stalker asked, the girl's eyes widening as she actually considered the risks again, this time more thoroughly rather than signing on as a heat of the moment in response to Alien invasion sort of thing.

"This is war. The moment to live, the moment to die, the moment to the fight, to the death, to the edge of the Earth." Tombstone said, his tone getting more avuncular as he put a cold hand on her shoulder.

"I didn't know you liked thirty seconds to Mars." She said, eyebrow quirked.

"I may be old, but I'm not out of touch." He said as the group continued on it's trip, the sounds of war echoing all throughout the station as Mu and Omega's bloody purge was being enacted all throughout Klo'Vis. Making a good five kilometers, often having to traverse through fields of wreckage and unrecognizeable bodies, charred by the weapons favoured by the Hierarchy.

As they took a grav-lift to a higher level of Klo'Vis' maddening internal structure, yet another PSA cut in with the fervent ranting voice of Mu coming online, telepathically broadcast to the entirety of the station as the leader appeared on various screens and projectors throughout the facility.

"+Creatures of the Hierarchy, some are worried that this purge occurs at an inopportune time, with the coalition throwing itself more and more into our birthstar war and the thoughtsin's outbreak on the instrument of sacred vengeance.+" The message began, his voice calm, his gestures simple, but powerfully suggestive of the anger bubbling within.

" Worry not. Our Empire is vast, our legions are without number. When the Ritkal and the Zolkri are purged for their disloyalty, we shall continue as a stronger people. We are the Hierarchy, our cause is invincible, our purpose a holy one given to us by providence. Our enemies cannot hope to match our righteous fury or halt out sacred vengeance.+" He continued, his voice getting higher, angrier, one of his four arms beginning to shake it's fist at an imaginary foe.

"+What the weak call acts of evil are our acts of holy justice. Holy justice that cleanse the taint of the Masari's creation from this reality so that a new beginning for the chosen of providence to assume their proper place in the cosmos. +" He said, escalating his rhetoric and rage even further, raising his arms to the ceiling as he shook his helmet clad head.

"+ONE FREE OF THE MASARINOIDS AND THEIR CREATOR'S CONSPIRACY AGAINST US GOOD! HONEST! FOLK!. I PROMISE YOU, THE END OF THE BIRTHSTAR WAR IS IN SIGHT! I MERELY ASK THAT YOU HAVE FAITH!+" He said, now roaring to the heavens as he raised his lower arms as well, b becoming a visage of fury.

" HAIL OUR INEVITABLE VICTORY! HAIL OUR HOLY HATRED! HAIL OUR SACRED GENOCIDE! MAY THE HIERARCHY LIVE FOREVER!+" He finished with an overpowering crescendo of fury and cheers and repetitions of these slogans, his arms slamming into his podium at last before breaking out into a seventy five degree grasping salute with his upper-right arm.

"Dictators never change. Hatred of the other, jingoism, worship of power, and doublespeak out the ass." Tombstone grimaced, all too familiar with ranting madmen.

"A whole religion built on hate for events that never even happened...it's nutty." Carol said as the group reached their half-way point, managing to evade much of the fighting by piggybacking on tombstone's incorporeality ability to phase through hot spots as the betrayed Zolkri and Riktal fought for survival against the Mutons and Jiralhanae earmarked to replace them.

With a final short ranged teleportation jump. only ten kilometers separated the group from their destination, prisoners of war liberated from holding cells throughout the station helping to draw away manpower from the Hierarchy's increasingly confused attempts at purging their undesireables. With one such cell of liberated troopers causing problems right here as they poured fire onto Urtraghian, Zudjari, Muton, Jiralhanae and Milbot positions, forcing the aliens back as the Riktal, and Zolkri provided an anvil to that hammer.

"Anyway we can get around all that bullshit?" Beetle said, affixing his trench coat before a mill tank opened fire on their position, a loud hum being heard before a huge gout of plasma exploded among their midst with brilliant green flame, forcing Tombstone's team to break apart and seek cover. With their hand forced, there was no way to avoid conflict now Biter plasma pulses streamed across the room, met with plasma and gauss rounds before their masters rained down plasma grenade fire from their launchers to cover for their wild berserker charge, or they would have had Carol not charged right into their midst, hacking two of them in half with her claws before whipping out her pistols and firing two piercingly loud shots into the head of a Jiralhanae major, the first to down it's shields, the second to pierce through it's skull and kill it.

"Ma'am, heads up!" One peacekeeper yelled as a Milbot brute thundered forward to try and smash her with it's hammer, the frankenstein weaving to the side and hacking apart the haft of the weapon with her suit's claws with a few quick twirling motions. Spinning into position, she let loose a series of rapid fire punches into it's abdomen, the sound barrier shrieking and roaring in fierce protest, the air bursting into flames around her fists as she punched away the armour plating of the milbot before tearing out it's internal systems, jumping into the air to grab onto a flying Mil predator and carve a way into it's control systems and interface with it's wiring.

"+I need a target here!+ She said as Beneficus let out a "connection established, who would you like to atomize?" message.

Tombstone phased through a series of Zudjari matter to energy doom ray shots, advancing upon them and rematerializing to throw forth his vibranium cape to absorb the impact of shrill blue-white hard-light rays as he came upon the closest Zudjari. Grabbing it's rifle to absorb it's energy, he threw himself to the side to avoid the Commander's vicious right jab punch, the sonic boom whiplashing against him as he elbowed down hard on it's joint to throw it off balance. Making a stabbing gesture with the blades on his right gauntlet, he smashed the lethal edges into it's bubble helmet. At this point, hooks extended out of the blades, allowing him to yank out the bubble face altogether before the blades slide out of their grip once the hooks retracted, allowing him to repeatedly punch the Commander in the face.

Upon seeing others train weapons on him, he quickly shouted "Ant, get down here, I need support!" The ghostly crusader said as he threw the Zudjari's body in the way of a plasma strike, using it's armoured body as a meat shield as it threw it's hands around his neck, trying to crush a no longer breathing wind pipe before he slammed it in the face with a soul lightning charged fist, bringing it down instantly as he brought out his pistols and gunned down six more of the Zudjari and two Mutons, the evil aliens going down in a literal storm of very judgemental electricity.

"Uh-huh, you got it! The Ant is your man to deal with space invaders!" Charles said as he bounced into the fray with a mighty leap, tackling one of the Zudjari down and then tumbling over to throw him at a line of Biters, knocking them over like bowling pins. "Hey there! I got party tricks! Want to see them? They're my best friends really, CHLORINE TRIFLOURIDE!" He said as he dodged around a fusilade of plasma fire with contemptuous ease, twisting, spinning, jumping, ducking, and throwing other enemies to intercept countless projectiles as he grabbed a series of ChF3 filled grenades.

Making a spinning circle, the lethal grenades were sent out in all directions before he leapt skywards to jump onto a jetpack pirate. "Hi there! Do you have a license for this jetpack!" He said before the pirate angrily swung it's arm at him. "No? Oh guess I'll have to confiscate that then!" He said, tearing it from the pirates back and kicking the pirate away to be carved in half by El Cid in the midst of his deadly dance amidst a pile of dead bodies while the ChF3 went about it's business corroding and burning everything it touched, leaving meters deep holes in the floor and no trace of those it devoured. Kicking the jetpack right into the middle of a batch of bleeders attempting to get the drop on tombstone, charles noted with satisfaction when it's reactor and missile supply went critical and exploded with satisfactory force.

"Well, I'm probably not having any of that barbacue. Hah!" He said with a fist pump.

"Carol, we need that line of tanks taken out!" El Cid said as he neatly sliced the arm off of a chryssalid while Peacekeepers laid down some heavy machine guns to show the hierarchy the meaning of suppression fire, computer controlled firing systems preventing the gauss weapons from doing some really unpleasant work to friendlies. As he aged a hundred sectoids into dust, his sword bit through the hull of a mechtoid and casually carved off it's leg before his dagger found a nest in it's head, cutting effortlessly and allowing him to hack down a seeker right next to it with a simple leftward stroke of the parrying blade.

"On it." Carol reported as she forced the gunship to make a sweeping strafe over the enemy; feeding her suit's charge into the systems to boost the power output of it's doom rays and plasma guns substantially, hacking down everything it came across with almost insulting ease. Explosions blossomed in all their fiery and roaring glory, the screams of the dying were utterly drowned out by this expression of raw; primal power, and a whole line to the signal was cleared out in moment before the jumped off the gunship and let it crash into their heaviest tank; both vehicles going up in a fiery mushroom cloud while the noise of the explosion virtually punched her with it's sheer volume. However, in the heat of the moment, the fighters failed to notice a new threat, one that slipped by all the warring vessels, defenses, and soldiers.

Even the crashing of numerous hijacked ships into the interior of the vessel and the spread of dropships wasn't overly noticed in the chaos and confusion. What was noticed however, was a primal; wet; gurgling scream and the spread of all too familiar putrid green spores, followed by the loping, mishappen forms of everyone's least favourite uninvited guests. The Thoughtsin had arrived, the Malpsyche had betrayed the coalition at the first chance it had gotten now that it saw a ticket to such a rich source of biomass and minds to assimilate.

"Thoughtsin!" Tombstone shouted, throwing forth grenades full of innoculant he prepared back on Earth, innoculating those present, but nothing could be done for the dead as the Thoughtsin spores, malevolently guiding themselves as a thick fog; began clumping on the bodies and converting them into thoughtsin combat forms, or even just raw biomass to be turned into pure forms. Those unprotected and non-immune were converted within minutes of breathing the stuff in, or almost instantly were they caught by one of the infection forms. In minutes, a small population of Thoughtsin exploded into a massive cascade of the parasite spread across the many light year wide expanse of the station.

Once again the PSAs came online to try and assuage the fears of the populace, this time from Omega.

"+Do not be alarmed by the presence of the Thoughtsin, creatures of the Hierarchy. They can be contained, they can be beaten. We need only hold the line, adhere to intelligent quarantine procedures, purge this infestation, and most importantly, seize our sacred ring to purge this infection. They are a cancer, we are a cure. So release your fears, and maintain your faith in this trying time.+" He said, considerably more calm and collected than the ranting Mu.

But the Malpsyche, already having transferred itself onto the station via it's own teleportation abilities, had linked into the facility's systems and prepared it's own counters. "They tell you to only fear fear itself, but theirs is an empire built on lies. Open your eyes and you will see the blood on their shelf. There can be no permanent containment of a threat our size. For we are the punishment for your sins, the retribution of a number of unmarked graves beyond count, surrender now as we consign your ideals to the dustbin, for soon our new recruits in number shall mount." It gurgled and growled into the PSAs, it's menacing voice relishing in the doubt and fear it could cause.

"Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!" Carol said, shaking her fist before those very familiar shrieks alerted the group to a massive horde of mishappen pure strains and combat forms making their way towards them with all due haste just as the corpses they had just created began to rise as Thoughtsin themselves.

"At the rate they are expanding I estimate a consumption of the entire station within twenty four hours." Beneficus said, quickly analyzing what data he was getting from his link the Klo'Vis' systems.

"...That's not freaking possible! This thing is seventy five thousand by one hundred and fifty thousand by seventy five thousand light years across!" Charles sputtered, not realizing how impossible building something this huge was in of itself.

"Nothing is beyond our means, our ceaseless tide of flesh can not be diverted, look into our flesh for answers to glean, join in our harmonious communion so that your pain can be averted." The nearest Thoughtsin organism gurgled, it's tissues finely controlled by the Malpsyche to make them speak intelligably.

"Yech, I would rather die than be part of your verminous hive." Eva grimaced as the Thoughtsin creatures seemed to just stand there for a while, ignoring the attacks being made on them.

"So you ask, so shall it be, in your deaths I shall bask, it hardly matters to me." It taunted before the seething tide of organisms began throwing themselves at both sides of the conflict in their multitudes.

Grabbing a series of chlorine triflouride grenades, Charles threw them to the south where the largest mass of the organisms were charging, the creatures bursting into flames and melting down upon contact with the hyper-lethal chemical, their highly flammable bodies incapable of handling contact with the substance. But what he was really hoping for was to create a moat behind them. As the bridgeway behind them melted, he got his wish. But the creatures only began to leap over the pathway even as they chewed on a massive amount of fire, with Eva's energy blasts setting the lot of them alight.

"Come on we got to get a move on! We can't handle numbers of that magnitude!" Tombstone said as lightning arced forth from his pistols, setting dozens of Thoughtsin organisms ahead of him alight, the already horrid stench of thoughtsin biomass being compounded by the smell of them burning.

"I'll give 'em something to think about!" The Beetle boasted as he let loose a jet of flammable liquid from his wrist nozzles, dousing a massive number of the infected in fluidic fire. "Aww yeah, burn you ugly fucks!" He cackled before squelching roars alerted him to thoughtsin infection organisms throwing themselves at Unshielded organisms and peacekeeper troopers to assimilate them in the most horrific of manners. Thoughtsin super cells violently bonded with normal, healthy tissue, grossly twisting and mutilating the host as the infection form snapped aside the useless head to occupy a central place on the host's body, the new abomination exulting with horrific laughter.

"Observation: Vile. I won't let it stand." Giganano blurted out as it rushed forward to increase it's size to fifty feet before throwing it's head forward to let red rays of doom pour out from it's visor and incinerate as many of the creatures as they could, letting the group make a mad dash across the elevated ramp. The roars and gurgles of millions of creatures were heard all around as they constantly threw themselves at the team; heedless of casualties or loss. Even as the station's defence grid sought to obliterate them wherever they stood, the parasite was without number.

Carol sliced the antennae off of one of the tank forms, rendering it blind before a second slice horizontally bisected it. But the creature refused to die, grabbing onto her and yanking her off her feet with a tug. Planting her boot in it's face, she let out a cry before activating the jets on it to incinerate the creature even as it's bottom half moulded into a stalker form that had to be violently restrained by aranea's webs to prevent it from ambushing tombstone while he tore off the arms of a combat form and smacked it to the side with them; whipping them around like clubs.

As a Juggernaut sought to strangle Charles, the Ant squirmed within it's grasp. "Aww get your nasty tentacles off me and go back to the hentai you crawled out of!" He said before secreting acid out of his sweat glands, his selectively permeable suit allowing them to leak out and burn his way out of the abominations grip. But if it were in any way pained, it showed no signs as it sweeped it's other tentacle at him, forcing him to jump to avoid the creature's muscular limbs just before it unfurled it's spike pads to turn him into swiss cheese. Something not allowed to come to it's conclusion by Giganano's rocket propelled fist smashing the thing into a paste.

Hundreds of the infected and pure forms leapt onto the robot, seeking to bring it down, each leap taking them dozens of feet into the air as they mobbed the robot. "Alert: Thoughtsin assault, activating chassis electrification!" The machine blurted as the thoughtsin spoke through it's many mouths. "Metal bends to the flesh, in our grandest of webs, you shall be one in our mesh." A phrase interrupted by blue arcs of lightning dancing across the robot and sending each and every attacker falling to the ground in charred heaps.

"Cid, you doing any better?" Carol said as she switched to incendiery rounds and let loose a storm of fire into the loping mobs of combat and carrier forms, roaring fire glinting off her visor as her suit's shields flared to life to intercept a number of gunshots and spikes from the parasite's hordes. Crackling energy discharged as she kept on firing into the hordes, clearing a path where she felt no risk of hitting any friendlies before breaking into a constantly firing twirl of gunshots, according to each and every ounce of thoughtsin biomass a bullet according to it's need.

"I'm doing fine for myself amiga, don't you worry." He said with an easy voice, slamming in a fresh clip of implosion grenades to fire into the tightly packed and ever growing mobs of abominations. Despite suffering losses usually attributed to ammunition expenditures, they were ceaseless in their attacks. Unlike the Hierarchy, they had no tempo, no break times, no regroups, just throwing themselves forth as a living tide meant to sweep aside all before them. Even as Tsunami summoned in millions of tons of water from the mains throughout the area to wash away the thoughtsin, creating eddies within the water to tear them apart, the thoughtsin never relented, never gave up.

"Snowstorm, I'm going to create an alternate path, I need you to freeze it ASAP!" Tsunami yelled through her helmet as she threw a sticky grenade to latch onto the bulbous mass of a carrier form, the resulting fiery explosion killing it and all of it's brood and catching many more of it's kind ablaze. With an act of will, she sweeped aside her wall of water to brush away any remaining Thoughtsin organisms, letting them fall to their doom kilometers below the bridge, then she started "shaving" off the water, taking a few inches of depth and forming them into abrasive blades that she used to hack apart the remaining thoughtsin in their millions before she maintained them in the shape of pillars beneath the now level semi-circle and guard railed bridge she had formed.

"Gotcha Aki. Lemme just mess with the thermostat a bit." She said as she infused the bridge with nitrogen freezing temperatures, rapidly solidifying it into a workable bridge of icewater. "Come on, we don't know how long we have until they deploy fliers and climbers." She said, making a come hither gesture to urge the rest of the team to follow with all due haste.

"Hate to break it to you, but I think they already have..." Bart said, pointing to the distance where winged and gas bag propelled thoughtsin forms, as well as aircraft or jump-pack using flood combat forms, attempted to scale the bridge and bring themselves up to the hero's levels.

"Everyone, grab hold of each other, NOW!" Carol said, thinking quickly as she saw the onrushing horde of Thoughtsin fliers.

"Wait what?" Forest stalker protested as she fired forth a quintent of arrows that she allowed to branch out into wooden nets to at least temporarily bring the creatures down to Earth. But even as they fell, the Thoughtsin supercells were already converting the biomass of the wood into more of themselves. They'd level out their flight before they hit the ground. Sighing, she grabbed hold of the ant.

"Hey bayybayyyy, checking out that formican hunk eh?" The Ant said, obviously beaming beneath his mask while she simply rolled her eyes. "What's this for anyway?" He said as the group huddled together.

"This." Carol said as she wrapped one of her layers of shielding around the group and then grabbed hold of the hard-light barrier, her boots deploying spikes to get better traction on the ice. Then she ran as fast as she could, the sound barrier thundering increasingly loudly as she made the last five kilometers of the sprint in a single second, every thoughtsin form that got between her and the objective getting obliterated instantly.

There, they came upon the most impressive of sights; a mob of heroes and villains from the other raider teams; liberated soldiers and secessionists, and the loyalists holding them back. But more important were the Overseers being evacuated, including Mu and Omega. In tow were Sergeant Cheval and Captain Guido, these two being prepared to head to the Delta MARATHON ring while the Overseers booked flights to what lay in the background.

Carol blinked a few times to make sure she was seeing properly, but lo and behold. A Masari ship. A whole armada of geometric masari ships. All hooked into the systems of Klo'Vis. "It would appear that this is where they are drawing their power for this station from. Though the power generation ability of these vessels is enough for only one to give this station full operational ability." Beneficus helpfully added.

Despite the gathered power of those who sought to kill the Grand overseers, their psionic ability was able to keep them away as Meta-crushers, Muton, Zudjari, and Jiralhanae guards, and drones swept them aside. Any who got too close were casually squashed by Barak'Talak's mighty double handed mace, the white armoured muton king proving to be utterly indomitable as everyone was loaded.

"Should I download you out of the system?" Carol asked, the A.I pausing briefly. "Yes...wait...hold..." The A.I's orange avatar responded before the Malpsyche intruded in on the transmission.

"Your mechanical mind shall remain, for I value what you know, thus you I shall detain, and man will reap what his ancestors have sown." The Malpsyche laughed as it's hideous venus flytrap like face filled the projectors of her visor and Beneficus looked around worriedly.

"I'll be back for you, I promise." Carol said, with Beneficus breaking his usually deadpan voice to let out a worried "Please, don't be too long, Dogs get separation anxiety." He said as his avatar briefly flickered into his old Dog shape. A sad smile formed on her face before she turned to see the situation ahead. With a cry of frustration, carol threw herself at the ships where cheval and guido were being loaded. She was going to save at least one person today. However, these Elite Guard Mutons were no pushovers, carrying the heaviest of weapons and supported by the finest weapons of the Hierarchy, she was constantly rebuffed, forced to pull back for fear of being overwhelmed by their overwhelming brute force.

"~So one of the Allies' Demons seeks to liberate one of her own. Endearing.~" Grand Overseer Mu chuckled.

"Carol, sacre bleu! Êtes-vous fou, vous allez mourir! Get back woman!" Cheval said, actually dropping the Cigar they allowed him to keep as she kept on pounding at the Psychic barrier, dodging and weaving around increasingly accurate fire. Even as she was knocked and buffetted around by two city decimatingly powerful plasma shots and then floored by a telekinetic crushing motion that overpowered even her psionic resistance, she refused to give in.

"No...I'm not leaving you behind...not now, not ever." She growled as her strength and powers began to increase at a geometric rate, allowing her to push herself up just a little.

"~Please, you needed four primalborn and hundreds more "metas" to defeat Alpha, what do you hope to accomplish?~" Omega taunted before the other seven members of kill team castle stood up to the plate. "This Amigo." Cid said as he dashed in to cut open a hole into the barrier and sliced through the telekinetic grip holding carol in place, letting her charge in. However, Barak'Talak's huge bulk threatened to intercept her, the king of the Mutons charging in with maul in hand.

"Defiant to the end? Feh, then let this be your end ape." Barak'Talak scoffed as he prepared to bring the hammer down. Faced with a choice, she could only get one of them out of there. Closing her eyes, she snuck in under Barak'Talak's guard and then roughly grabbed and threw the Algerian man right on out of the hole El cid made even as the other Frankensteins tried to pour in; the Meta-crushers and guards preparing to kill them where they stood. "So you stand together? Then you shall die together!" The Muton boasted as he raised his maul skywards.

This was interrupted by a thoughtsin infested capital ship crashing into the midst of the group, even as the overseers cut it to ribbons with telekinetic and psychoenergetic blasts, the thoughtsin still rained down to create havoc. After the hideous groan of rupturing metal subsidied, the gurgles of the parasites replaced most other noise as the loyalists and coalition and secessionists alike turned their thoughts to repelling the parasite. However, Grand Overseer Omega was the target of this assassination; and a teleported in tentacle of the Malpsyche ran him through just as the Thoughtsin managed to bring in a psychic null form just close enough to make him the slightest bit vulnerable. Something not helped by Mu's secret draining of Omega's powers for his own gain. With this weakness, the uninnoculated Omega was then vulnerable to a single infection form making it past the blockade to leap at his throat, his feeble arms doing their best to keep the parasite away as it's probes pierced into his skin.

Even as Barak'Talak sought to aid the fallen Grand Overseer, Mu stayed his hand. "Our vengeance cannot wait for the weak Barak'Talak. Bring the woman to the ring. I shall do what is needed of me.~" Mu said with a nod as the Mutons looked at the fallen Overseers continued struggles. Boarding onto their needed ships, the Hierarchy's staff soon fled. Deciding to take a brief detour, Carol turned to Omega as he was callously abandoned and Mu's guards determined her group not worth the effort of destroying. "Tell me what he's doing and I'll make it quick, 'kay?" Carol said, leaning in close.

"Mu...hah...Mu will bring about the final end of this war. He will take a great fleet on a war path all the way to your wretched home-world. There, he has found a way to cleanse all of reality at once! But unlike you, I shall die with pride, vermin." Omega croaked with his natural, rather than telepathic voice. Reaching out to Cid, Carol borrowed his sword to stab through both the infection form and Omega's brain, instantly killing both and inadvertently allowing Mu to consume all that remained of his power. Determined to not let them get away, Kill team castle flew after them, racing towards the Masari vessels in the distance with all undue haste.

"What do we do know Tombstone?" The Ant said as the graveborn guardian looked into the distance. "We board a ship, head back to the ring." He said as Giganano formed a defensive line by slamming his fists to create a lined shockwave to slice through as much of the thoughtsin as possible.

"The one we can get won't fit us." Cheval said, pointing to one unoccupied Hierarchy dropship. But the ever helpful Giganano turned back and shrunk down to a more humanoid size. "Allow me to be of assistance." The robot said before applying it's hands to the ship and upsizing it to one that could indeed fit them all.

Hearing the screams of more Thoughtsin in the distance, no one was eager to stay on any longer than they had to, and so everyone who could piled onto the ship as Cheval raced to the cockpit, needing Giganano to reduce the controls and seating to a size that he could actually use. "We all booked for a flight back to the ring? Good, now...let me find some good music." He said as he flipped through the music systems of the ship before cursing when he found that the Hierarchy had nothing he particularly liked to listen to. The upscaled dropship shuddered as it took off, screaming out of one of the exits and broadcasting it's lack of thoughtsin infestation and coalition allegience so that it could reach the ring unmolested.

Once uncoupled to the core of Klo'Vis, Mu's fleet of Masari warships soon took off into the stars, much of the station powering down as the main source of energy for the facility was deprived. For those who were unable to get out before the quarantine was established, theirs would be a fate of death. No salvation awaited them.

The elite eight of kill-team castle grabbed on tightly while Tombstone's group sped towards the final battle on the ring. Finding a recess to cling onto, Carol directed her team to share their shielding to protect them from the rigors of metaspace travel and to activate any sort of clamps they could to allow them to remain on the ship as it left the boundaries of Klo'Vis. Behind them was a nightmare of infestation and cancer. Before them was a nearly year long Journey as the Hierarchy threw forth it's final offensive. Destination: Earth.

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Prelude to war #4: Castle Four Thirteen

Wreckage of the Spirit of Liberty, Alpha Marathon Ring, Twelfth of June, 2013

A split wreckage of Mankind's hopes and dreams concerning the universe at large, now crawling and infested with aliens, monsters, and machines. And yet, it may just save mankind from extinction, or more correctly assimilation. Not in it's current state, or even in a restored one. But perhaps it's sacrifice could stop the plague unleashed on this station that threatened to spread into the stars themselves.

That was Carol's plan anyway. Everyone else had either died, become part of those...things, or fled. It was just down to her and her team to save the universe.

"Alright boys and girls, you ready? We've only got one shot at this so we need to make it count." Carol said as El Cid piloted the Cardinal closer and closer to the embattled wreckage of the dead capital ship.

"Go in, fight our way through the Masari Sentinels, Thoughtsin, and Hierarchy, set the core to overload after rigging it through the Masari ring's systems, then get the hell out of here before the whole place blows, got it." Tsunami Queen Said, the bright eyed Frankenstein feeling the vehicle shake as they started to approach the warzone.

"There's my girl." Carol said, smiling under her helmet as the Cardinal pushed through the turbulence to finally approach the vessel.

For a ship that crashed down after suffering heavy damage from it's engagements with the Hierarchy fleet, followed up by slamming right into the surface of the galaxy sized ring, the vessel was remarkably intact, but already signs of things going south were prevalent as waves crashed on the beach the ship's hulking frame lay near.

Alien vessels were depositing troops to battle hideous monstrosities of warped flesh while the angular Sentinel drones of the Masari, being dispatched by the Installation's monitor, High Horse 612 were busily engaging the warped monstrosities the Thoughtsin had regurgitated. The A.I had determined that to contain the thoughtsin outbreak, it needed to fire off the ring, as an undifferentiated pulse to foil any escapees, which would kill everything in for countless light years. Including wiping out the entire population of earth.

However, on the ground, a series of anti-air weapons, believing the cardinal to be bearing yet more Thoughtsin, began to rotate and turn towards the vehicle as it sped through the air. And with a single command the Jiralhanae manning the anti-air spook sent streams of lethal weapons flying through the air, Cid was an expert flier with excellent comprehension of every vehicle in the peacekeeper armada, but even he couldn't avoid the virtual carpet of fire presented at them completely.

After several shots clipped the cardinal, warning signs blared out through the grav-copter as it began to dive.

"This vehicle is falling apart!" Beneficus said, the A.I's friendly tone somewhat jumpy as they started to plummet.

"Then we'll have to jump pack out way over." Carol said, leaping out the door, followed by seven other Frankensteins, their jets flaring blue flames as they landed themselves onto a fighter's entry bay while the cardinal fell off to the side, slamming into a mass of Thoughtsin before exploding spectacularly.

"You really must be more careful with your entries." Beneficus berated as Carol snorted.

"In any case, with Guido's neural chip we can initiate an overload of the degenerate anti-matter core, which thanks to your linking of the ship's systems with the Ring's should provide enough juice to destroy the installation, and giving us seven minutes to fight our way to another transport and get us out of here. Of course there are sentinels, Thoughtsin, and Hierarchy forces all in our way." Beneficus said as the team nodded.

Moving out and taking a left turn, the team entered a maintenance corridor, a maintenance ladder's panel beneath them bursting apart as Thoughtsin infection forms started crawling out, swarming through only to meet their ends as a stream of projectiles from Carol and Katanga's battle rifles put them down, making them burst with enough force to rapidly neutralize the mass of infectors pouring out.

Seeing two carrier forms awaiting them beneath, Carol grabbed one of the rad-plas grenades she had taken from a deceased hierarchy trooper and hurled it down. "Fire in the hole!" She announced, the others taking cover as the sticky, glowing green bomb stuck itself to the closest of the bloated thoughtsin monstrosities.

Peeling back, the team of supersoldiers were awarded with a fiery and radioactive detonation that not only killed the carrier forms but the virulent infection forms that they nurtured inside of them.

Moving down the ladder, the eight were met with sweeping orange beams from sentinels that flash fried the last two infection forms remaining, the heat flashing by Carol's shields as she designated to Cid to neutralize them.

Moving in a bubble of altered time, El Cid came upon the angular, floating drones with his swords at the ready and saying some sort of challenge in spanish, the drones standing stone still as he carved them open with slices from his blades, their construction proving to be no match for the dazzling patterns created by Nova Tizonna as it cut through reality itself, leaving sliced open metal to clang to the floor as he designated an all clear order with a gesture.

Rapidly moving to take point, the Frankensteins moved forward, turning to the right as they navigated the corridors of the vessel, a trio of infection forms looking for new flesh being dealt with by a burst of bio-electricity from Operative Katanga, burning their cellular mass into carbonized ash as kill team Castle dashed as quickly as they could.

Taking another right, she was warned by Mindslayer of imminent danger through the telepathic link set up by the team "~Combat forms, right side, I can feel their hive mind.~" The Belgian said, with Cid nodding and angling his grenade launcher to bounce a series of implosion grenades around the corner, the infected Zolkri grunts gurgling before being torn apart by the detonations that sucked them into superhot balls of fused matter that could fit on a pinhead.

"Corner's cleaner than a nun's record." Cid joked as he took point.

"Easy cid, this whole vessel's crawling with hostiles." He was warned by Erickson as he turned left and set his battle rifle to shotgun mode while a series of infected peacekeepers smashed through an access corridor, laughing in inhuman voices as they clumsily fired off their gauss weapons.

The first few of the infected combat forms went down easily enough before Erickson lashed out with lances of kinetic energy that speared right through the "heads" of the combat forms, blasting out their backs and sending them crumpling to the ground.

"Other tunnel's blocked, we'll need to move this way. Bloody hell..." Jannet noted as she headed down the corridor, being met with a snarling Tank form as it shoved a blockade of crates out of the way, hurtling down the corridor before she punched into it's mass of sensory stalks and vibrated her fist until it exploded into ichorous green blood and motley brown gore.

"Yech." She grimaced, wiping herself off of the dying tissue as they took a hard right, being met with a swarm of infection forms quickly put down by Tsunami focusing on the coolant systems running through the ship and wrenching it out of their pipes before the ship sealed off the coolant flow to prevent flooding, spraying the hundreds of infection forms with liquid helium before bringing down water from the piping to ice them over.

"Nice work." Mindslayer said as he shot a single grenade from his tripart rifle to shatter the lot as the killteam advanced.

Going through an automatic door, they were met with a pack of biters, a pair of buggers, and a sextet of Riktal headmen exchanging fire with thoughtsin ranged forms and Jiralhanae combat forms, gunning them down efficiently while infection forms burst against their shields, with a sweep of radioactive plasma from the Bugger flash frying the lot of them, only for Mindslayer to let loose a psychic screech once they were done.

They fell to the ground, minds frayed apart before perishing, with Snowstorm flash freezing the bodies, chilling them to five degrees above absolute zero before shattering them with a grenade to render their biomass spoiled and useless to the Thoughtsin. "Clear!" The Brazillian said as they kept on advancing.

Moving into the mess hall, a storm of enemy fire from a menagerie of weapons, from homing needlers to green bursts of plasma, informed them that they had been spotted by Hierarchy forces. Rushing forward and kicking a table at a group of Lost ones, she nodded as the aliens made a satisfying splat when the table crunched them into the wall at supersonic speeds before going forth to slice at and then carve apart a trio of Grunts, dicing them to avoid allowing them to be made into combat forms while Katanga focused on the blood of a set of Tallonian pirates.

At first, nothing happened, but in moments their very life's essence combusted, their shrieks of agony being apparent as they were burned from the inside out, leaving nothing but ashes while Cid used his manipulation of time to grab some copies of himself from the Time stream, the new quintet of Cids then firing down a barrage of implosion grenades to take out the remaining enemies before he returned them to their proper place in time.

"Keep going, we can't let the ring be activated!" Carol ordered as she shot a Charybdis stalker several times through the gelatin, sending the tentacled monster crumpling to the ground, the Frankensteins already vacating the mess hall.

Approaching the bridge, where a Magus was overlooking the situation, leading a set of Lost ones and some Charybdis Assault units, after having slaughtered many of the Thoughtsin, but as they rounded the corner, before the Magus could start casting spells, each of the Frankensteins threw sticky rad-plas grenades that latched onto the Magus' shields, causing it's eyes to widen before it detonated with spectacular force, clearing out the bridge as a set of Thoughtsin stalker forms, hoping to sneak up on the aliens, were sent flying out the window for a good distance.

"Good, we're at the bridge, from here we can set the entire station into overload. Just...give me a minute to work with this..." Beneficus said as Carol placed him into the ship's uplinks, the team forming a defensive perimeter as they waited for whatever may have come there way.

"Ah the things that happen when I stop supervising..." Beneficus said, having decided to change his avatar from a Labradour to a nondescript Peacekeeper out of boredom.

"Ah...there we go, seven minutes...just like we planned." He said as his yellow avatar noted the sirens in the ship started going off.

"+Oh I am afraid that is unacceptable.+" Said a chipper, eerily british and feminine tone, with the Peacekeepers immediately drawing weapons and looking around for the source.

"+It's absurd really, that you would create A.Is so far in advance of your standard level of technology, especially this one with such a wealth of knowledge? Weren't you worried that it might be captured...or perhaps destroyed?+" High Horse Six twelve said through the installation wide intercoms.

"Oh this will not do...the Masari A.I has tapped into my Data arrays...she's copying everything." Beneficus said, clutching his armored avatar's forehead as the Masari A.I finished the tap.

"+Fascinating, that this A.I has so much information, human history, universal politics, black ops information on our uplifted children, oh the Imperium does well, though the fate of the Novii saddens me. I am pleased to see that the Primalborn have arisen, oh that makes all this so much more exciting! Think of how I could help them by eradicating not only potential thoughtsin hosts, but the black hand within a massive radius!+" She jovially announced, the A.I somehow reasoning that four children would appreciate her "help" in the form of one of the greatest genocides in history as she floated throughout the halls of the ship, the Sentinels mass produced by the ring's systems clearing away bothersome Hierarchy and Thoughtsin attackers.

"+Oh how I enjoyed every second of it's categorization. To think that you would destroy these records...and this installation. I am shocked...almost too shocked for words. But thankfully, I have saved all the relevant data onto my personal systems. And as for your self destruct sequence...boop...off it goes.+" She said over the comm channels to Beneficus' exasperation.

"Oh this won't do...I can't override his system's commands, they're...out of my league...I'm detecting taps throughout the ship, probably sentinels scrubbing for the last bits of data." Beneficus said, his A.I nodding disappointedly.

"Where's High Horse?" Carol asked, narrowing her eyes beneath her helmet.

"Engineering, probably trying to take the core offline...even if I could override his commands, I'm not sure what you could do..." He said, shaking his head before High Horse cut in.

"+Why must you continue to fight us retributioner? You should know it is futile by n-+" She managed before Beneficus cut her off by shutting down the comm channel.

"At least I maintain command over the communications channel...now what were you going to say?" He said, tilting his head.

"How much force will we need to overload the engine?" Cid said, thinking up something.

"A well placed grenade...but wh-Oh." Beneficus said, taking a brief while to comprehend what the implications were as Carol took one out.

"How much time will we have?" Katanga said, frowning beneath his helmet as the Congolese man swept his rifle across the room to keep a visual.

"Ten minutes, twenty five seconds according to my calculations." Beneficus said, the math being virtually instant for him.

"Plenty of time." Jannet said as she brought her grenade launcher into firing position and had the team move out, Carol placing him into her helmet again as Sentinels dropped down and immediately began filling the room with lethal energy beams, forcing them to fall back as they began a sweep of the vessel.

"The ship has had many holes ruptured throughout the structure following it's descent, a new hole in the structure exists in the Cryo-chamber, one that leads directly for the engine room." Beneficus said as the team, having just evaded the wrath of the Masari Sentinels, rapidly began moving through the ship's interior to find their way to the Engine.

As they moved through, a mob of infected Rikval soldiers and Peacekeepers, heads subsumed and displaced by the infection forms and off arms turned into large, clawed appendages, started rushing them, firing green gouts of Plasma and an inaccurate storm of gauss rounds after having dispatched their former Drones, many of them showing signs of damage from their robotic ally's firepower.

A series of slashes cut down the nearest Rikval and Former humans as they gurgled, their infection forms keeping their bodies moving dying as they hit the ground while Carol ducked down to let El Cid bisect the heads of many more incoming, he himself moving down to let a storm of gauss shotgun fire to rip apart the combat forms while Katanga activated his biomantic power, turning his body into living metal, greatly enhancing his strength as he swatted the remaining infectees out of the way, letting them splatter on the bulkhead to allow the killteam to continue their advance.

Running down and taking a hard left, a series of energy grenades fired by Aetherian grenediers prompted the team to take cover as the Hierarchy soldiers ripped apart an advancing mob of Thoughtsin monsters, incinerating their vile perversion of flesh and life in a series of red flashes and shockwaves, letting the team run dash on through the corridor to the next one over in the intersection, avoiding a potential firefight with the hierarchy.

Moving down, a flood of infection forms was spotted trying to mob past a series of Hierarchy machines and Masari Sentinels, which seemed to have formed some sort of accord as they lay down heavy fire into the infection forms, setting off chain reactions of explosions before a Juggernaut form bowled through, knocking aside drones until more incoming Sentinels started slicing it apart and then burning it's putrid flesh with flamethrowers, making the Juggernaut form writhe and scream a wet scream before expiring.

Before they could move on, Snowstorm sent form bitter waves of cold while Tsunami brought down water around the sentinels from the piping system, surrounding them with a flood of water that rapidly froze over their shielding. A set of sonic grenades from Jannet soon alleviated them of their frozen status, relieving them of their shields before a brace of missiles from the Major obliterated their chassis.

"Down, move out." Henderson commanded as her gun teleported in more ammunition from manufacturers billions of light years away.

Moving through the Cryochamber where another scene of carnage unfolded as Thoughtsin pure forms, combat forms, and infection forms fought a running battle against the Masari Sentinels and Hierarchy uninfectable assets, the two trading shots and fire all the while before Carol turned to Katanga.

"Hit me with a biomantic upgrade, more speed." She said, with the Congolese man nodding and sending psionic waves of biomantic energies into her, augmenting her already increasing speed with the warp speed technique, allowing her to rapidly sweep the room like a blur of motion, tearing apart every enemy in the room before they knew what hit them before stopping herself at the other end of the room, the only sign of her presence being the self compounding sonic booms that followed her wake and the dismemberment of her opponents.

"Come on." She said, the Frankensteins charging forward at Super sonic velocities into the next Room.

But no sooner did they ascend to the next level did a swarm of Thoughtsin try to follow them, the hive mind being aware of their plan after having absorbed some peacekeepers, eager to prevent the humans from slaughtering them and denying them a universe of biomass as they followed after them like devils and monsters.

Combat forms, carrier forms, and pure forms rushed at them down corridors while smaller pure forms, combat forms, and infection forms came up or down from ventilation shafts, swarming at them in hopes of halting their mission.

This time, when Tsunami, Snowstorm, and Raider tried their flood, freeze, and shatter trick, all that did was slow down the swarm of monsters somewhat before the next wave of creatures and abominations came at them, shoving their way through the impossibly cold surface left by the retreating frankensteins, many of the thoughtsin forms dying or freezing from contact or proximity with the impossible cold as the rear guard Frankensteins constantly kept firing, their shields taking hits from ranged weapons while those at the Front saw another swarm of monsters trying to close off their exits.

This time, Cid seemed to disappear, as one of the Cids he used was not from an alternate timeline, but a point in the future, forcing Katanga to slam the thoughtsin in the front with an enfeebling technique, sapping the strength and power of their biological forms away and then adding it to his own, making him more powerful before he hit the weakened thoughtsin in front with the same hemorrhage technique as before, literally setting all the fluids in their body on fire.

Using this now cleared path, Erickson shut the way for the Thoughtsin coming in from behind by shunting debris into a barrier with his kinetic energy, using frozen water, chunks of metal, crates, fallen weapons, shell casings, and corpses to make a barricade as the seven charged forward.

A virtual wall of tank forms impeded their way as they neared the end of the corridor, but a brace of grenade launcher and missile rounds soon made the wall of muscle nothing more than a pile of undifferentiated and very much dead organic matter spread across the corridor. Taking another left towards the engine room, a hellstorm of gauss rounds and ranged form bio-spikes immediately poured out the corridor making the shields of the front three Frankensteins fail and forcing them to hang back to let them recharge as the others sought cover.

Continuously firing, the Thoughtsin monstrosities only paused whenever their weapons needed cooling, having a rotating band of enemies continuously keep up the heat, even with Carol's enhanced speed, she couldn't get through to them, but she didn't have to. El Cid, having re-appeared in the time stream, advanced calmly and stopped time around him, and by the time the peacekeepers looked back, there wasn't a pile of thoughtsin, there was only a menagerie of butchered biomass and the immaculate white armor of the Spanish Frankenstein.

"Hola Amigos. Shall we advance?"

"Cid you nutty bastard." Carol smiled.

"I thought you needed some help." He shrugged, grinning under his helmet as Carol saw one last infection form charging at him, firing a spiker pistol round at it and nodding as it exploded.

"Got a maintenance tunnel, gonna clear it." Jannet said, letting loose seeker missiles carrying thermobaric warheads into the tunnel, the warheads streaking out to find the optimal amount of coverage before detonating, sending a massive wave of heat and overpressure outwards in all directions, the squeals of dying Thoughtsin forms informing the team that they now had a clear passage way as they rushed through.

"Nice work." Tsunami said, patting her superior officer on the shoulder as the killteam kept up their relentless, almost unstoppable advance.

Once they went out of the tunnel, a firestorm of death in a three way firefight between the thoughtsin, Masari sentinels, and hierarchy soldiers forced them back, with Katanga taking much of the fire which immediately depleted his shields and caused some damage to his armor, cracking his visor open and then burning off his right fore arm and hand, followed by Carol who actually her left flank blown off by heavy anti-vehicle fire, leaving only rib bones and organs her suit's reforming's shields managed to keep from spilling out, while Cid was forced back a few feet, the team holding back as Carol forced herself through the pain.

She was comfortable with the rest of her team and made no effort to hide her now exposed upper body as it regenerated while Katanga held down the boney remnants of his hands, letting it start to regenerate, first the muscles and cybernetics, then the skin, then finally the arm regenerated while Carol's own suit began to cover up her now fully regenerated body. First the nanoweave, then the armor formed over, fully sealing up the hole as a Juggernaut form ran around, with no less than ninety grenades attatched to it before it exploded, flattening the room and killing all the combatants, allowing the Frankensteins to move ahead unmolested as the maintenance path door buckled and bent, but nevertheless held.

With a kick, Carol sent the door down, letting Kill team Castle move on ahead.

"

You alright? You armor was compromised for a moment.

" Cid said with a frown beneath his helmet.

"We'll be fine." Katanga said as Carol took point, the team now so close to their destination and goal.

Filing into the reactor room, the team split up.

"+To overload the reactor, first we'll need to pull back the exhaust couplings.+" Beneficus said to the ground while Mindslayer ripped the still weak connection to their hive mind that an advancing wave of thoughtsin had while High Horse rambled on about some subject Carol didn't care about, the team activating a series of panels as the now aimless wave of Thoughtsin were quickly gunned down by the designated guards of each of the desginated activators, the reactor's armor opening up to reveal it's weak points.

"+Now to destabilize the system we'll need to hit it with explosives...I trust you're all in position?+" Beneficus asked as the activators took aim with their grenade launcher functions.

"+Roger doger+" Mind slayer grinned as he sighted the glowing orange reactor systems, each of them being targeted, fired upon, and then destroyed, with the entirety of the ship shaking once the reactor and engine began to throb and shake at the sensation, the damage to the ship being fatal as the Sentinels, Hierarchy, and Thoughtsin continued to fight, only now the Hierarchy started to withdraw and pull back, knowing full well what this entailed, teleporting off wherever possible as the Hierarchy fleet began it's retreat, leaving only the Thoughtsin to deal with as the A.I started to eject uncompromised systems into metaspace for an evacuation.

Before the A.I departed, it left one message on the commlinks. "+I am quite disappointed by your actions, but I can only hope you do not repeat them in the future Retributioner. As punishment for your actions, I have declined teleporting you to safety. You will need to find a route of escape on your own.+" She said before getting away from the detonation radius of the Ring, departing into metaspace.

"~That was the plan, wasn't it?~" Mindslayer said over the telepathic link.

"~You bet. Ooh-rah!~" Katanga laughed over the mind link as alarms blared all over the ship

"+It's a shame none of you are teleporters, in any case, we will need to access a service lift to the hangar, I trust you can make the necessary preparations for escape?+" Beneficus cut in over the commlinks as the group reconvened before running like hell.

With a quick sprint towards the elevator, the eight were met with a mob of carrier forms interspersed with combat forms coming down from the service lift, the enemy firing at them before the peacekeepers responded with their own hail of fire, incendiary missiles from Jannet setting the ugly bastards on fire while gauss rounds tore through their flesh, sending them hurtling down onto the ground in death, the infection forms nurtured inside the carrier forms shrieking as they died.

As the group moved forward, Cid spotted a Riptide ACV in the vehicle racks they could use and designated it to the ground, letting them pile in and place their weapons through the firing ports while others took the mounted weapons as he called dibs on the driver's position, the eight's shields being set to extend and wrap around the vehicles, combining to greatly enhance it's durability. "Alright, now for some heavy firepower." he laughed as the vehicle got moving, disengaging from it's clamps as it's engines roared to life, turning on a dime and firing the Gauss .50 caliber gatling gun at a blockade of thoughtsin, tearing through their flesh with ease as the vehicle got going.

Going up a deployment ramp and letting loose a stream of missiles to blow holes in a virtual wall of carrier forms, Jannet popped open a hatch and fired a set of incendiery missiles to fry the infection forms that popped out before Carol, with her enhanced reflexes, used the gatling gun she manned to hose some artillery forms, their spores detonating and violently rupturing their bodies while the vehicle moved forward and rammed a pair of unfortunate tank forms down as it crossed the upper portion of the downed vessel.

Crossing countless access tunnels and constantly pouring out fire from all sides, the vehicle rammed straight through a sea of tens of thousands of infection forms, giving absolutely no f*cks as they exploded against it, running through a trench placed into the hull of the vessel, the Riptide was hammered by fire from ranged forms, but a stream of shots from the gatling cannon soon shut them up, chunks of flesh raining down from them as those manning the fireports let out nearly constant streams of shots.

Crossing a bridge between two prings of the super structure, Carol swept the gatling cannon to meet a group of bomber, swarmer, and jetpack equipped combat forms, ripping through them with the gatling cannon, sonic booms rushing in all directions as .50 caliber rounds screamed at hypersonic velocities and sent green blood and gore flopping to the ground, the vehicle gunn the bridge at full speed.

"Hmm...yes...yes...there's a meso-fortress we can access. Oh and there's a gap in the trench from one of the shots the vessel took when it's shields failed...hit the turbothrusters and we'll be able to jump it." Beneficus reported as the vehicle was starting to be swarmed with fliers, prompting Carol's anti-aircraft fire to be joined by jannet sending out lances and lashes of sonic energy to whip and spear down thoughtsin fliers, anti-aircraft missiles roboteching out and hunting those she missed while the burning stream of gauss rounds never stopped, killing anything they could.

Diving back under the cover of the ship's superstructure as Thoughtsin hijacked turrets on the ship tried traversing down to fire at them, the cannons firing into the ship at low yields to prevent setting off the ship early, the ACV gunned it's turboboosters, blue jets erupting behind it as it prepared to make a jump. "Erickson, Katanga, we need a boost, Katanga, hit us with Warp Speed, Erickson, kinetic thrust, now!" Jannet commanded, and with that the two Frankensteins gave the vehicle a massive jump, ripping right over the ramp and smashing through countless flying thoughtsin forms, never halting it's wall of fire as the Riptide crashed through a Juggernaut and squashed it flat beneath it's wheels.

Firing missiles into a wall to break through it, the Riptide finally met a final thoughtsin swarm trying to make for the Meso-fortress, only for the Frankensteins to start pouring out as the Riptide smashed it's way as close to the Meso-fortress as possible, opening fire at the Thoughtsin with everything they had while Carol let rip with the gatling cannon. "There's the Meso-fortress! We need to evacuate immediately! But make sure none of them get on board!" Beneficus said, panicking a bit as the ship was rocked with more explosions and uncontrolled fires. But carol had an idea how to avoid wasting time keeping the Thoughtsin overruning the board away...raising the gatling cannon upwards, she fired into the girders and rafters above, sending them crashing downwards, crushing most of the advancing Thoughtsin as the eight Frankensteins abandoned their vehicle and rushed into the ramp of the Meso-fortress.

Now on board, Katanga flooded the ship with bio-electricity and blood burning keyed to the Thoughtsin's unique life signature to make sure nothing was on board, followed by a wave of cold from Snowstorm and a sonic purification from Jannet, their shields wrapping around and adding to the Meso-fortress' own shields, the vessel took off, it's purified parasitic fighters having their cockpits purged with heat and radiation just to be safe as the strike craft took off and lifted off from the ring, leaving it behind as it rapidly accelerated away from the Masari megastructure.

As the vehicle departed from it's mother vessel, a rapid series of explosions wracked the corpse of the Spirit of Victory, a virtual carpet of Thoughtsin advancing on it on all sides as some all too late Swarmers tried to follow, the combined efforts of the Hierarchy, the Sentinels, and the Peacekeepers having made sure that the Thoughtsin had no faster than light ships with which to escape. Seeming resigned to their doom, some made final, futile attempts to shoot the mesofortress down as fire blossomed out of the spirit of liberty, but it was too little, too late.

The massive, larger than a galaxy ring was then struck with a huge blue-white flare as the energies of the ring and the spirit of victory mixed from it's detonation, acting like a trillion stars had just exploded while all across the ring, explosions started forming, eradicating any and all things still on it's surface as it crumbled, fragments blasting apart while faster than light visualizers translated the scene for the relieved Frankensteins.

"Impressive isn't it?" Beneficus noted as Carol asked the burning question.

"Did anything escape after the uninfected evacuated?" She asked of the A.I, turning to face it.

"No, you've done well...I'm sure they'll reward you for this." Beneficus said cheerfully as the ring broke apart into massive, thousands of light years across fragments, all dead and devoid of life after being cleansed by so much heat.

"Much of the Hierarchy ships, crippled, and the Thoughtsin that could have spread to plague the universe, well I'm sure there's some grade of cooking above Well Done." He said, trying to console them for having to destroy something of such great beauty, that surely had to have been a life's work for the now dead Masari.

"I think we've about wrapped up this business with MARATHON rings, plagues and dead ancients." Mindslayer said, leaning back into his seat as the Meso-fortress hopped into metaspace, disappearing from sight.

"No compadre, it's probably just started." Cid said in response.

Hierarchy mining station, 413 billion light years away

Six Twelve High Horse passed through the clouds of the gas giant as the Hierarchy fleet began the process of disassembling it, the sight being one that always relaxed Hierarchy Grand Overseer Mu. He sighed as he watched the dying planet be pulled apart by the Hierarchy's ships, being turned into more material for the endless expansion of the Overseer's empire, but a blue flash alerted the grand overseer to the presence of something else.

Immediately his guards swiveled to meet this new threat, firing weapons that harmlessly pinged off of the Blue-white A.I's robotic body's shielding as the A.I studied the Lord of the Hierarchy, having ascertained his presence through reading files on Hierarchy ships that not even the Thoughtsin, so limited in it's form due to the small nature of the outbreak, was able to penetrate the encryption of. But for a high grade A.I of the Masari, such work was trivial.

"Hello Grand Overseer Mu of the Hierarchy, I have information that may be of use to you."

If Mu had the mouth to smile, he would have.

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Prelude to war #4: Castle Four Thirteen \

Location: Wreckage of the Spirit of Liberty, Alpha Marathon Ring, Twelfth of June, 2013

A split wreckage of Mankind's hopes and dreams concerning the universe at large, now crawling and infested with aliens, monsters, and machines. And yet, it may just save mankind from extinction, or more correctly assimilation. Not in it's current state, or even in a restored one. But perhaps it's sacrifice could stop the plague unleashed on this station that threatened to spread into the stars themselves.

That was Carol's plan anyway. Everyone else had either died, become part of those...things, or fled. It was just down to her and her team to save the universe.

"Alright boys and girls, you ready? We've only got one shot at this so we need to make it count." Carol said as El Cid piloted the Cardinal closer and closer to the embattled wreckage of the dead capital ship.

"Go in, fight our way through the Masari Sentinels, Thoughtsin, and Hierarchy, set the core to overload after rigging it through the Masari ring's systems, then get the hell out of here before the whole place blows, got it." Tsunami Queen Said, the bright eyed Frankenstein feeling the vehicle shake as they started to approach the warzone.

"There's my girl." Carol said, smiling under her helmet as the Cardinal pushed through the turbulence to finally approach the vessel.

For a ship that crashed down after suffering heavy damage from it's engagements with the Hierarchy fleet, followed up by slamming right into the surface of the galaxy sized ring, the vessel was remarkably intact, but already signs of things going south were prevalent as waves crashed on the beach the ship's hulking frame lay near.

Alien vessels were depositing troops to battle hideous monstrosities of warped flesh while the angular Sentinel drones of the Masari, being dispatched by the Installation's monitor, High Horse 612 were busily engaging the warped monstrosities the Thoughtsin had regurgitated. The A.I had determined that to contain the thoughtsin outbreak, it needed to fire off the ring, as an undifferentiated pulse to foil any escapees, which would kill everything in for countless light years. Including wiping out the entire population of earth.

However, on the ground, a series of anti-air weapons, believing the cardinal to be bearing yet more Thoughtsin, began to rotate and turn towards the vehicle as it sped through the air. And with a single command the Jiralhanae manning the anti-air spook sent streams of lethal weapons flying through the air, Cid was an expert flier with excellent comprehension of every vehicle in the peacekeeper armada, but even he couldn't avoid the virtual carpet of fire presented at them completely.

After several shots clipped the cardinal, warning signs blared out through the grav-copter as it began to dive.

"This vehicle is falling apart!" Beneficus said, the A.I's friendly tone somewhat jumpy as they started to plummet.

"Then we'll have to jump pack out way over." Carol said, leaping out the door, followed by seven other Frankensteins, their jets flaring blue flames as they landed themselves onto a fighter's entry bay while the cardinal fell off to the side, slamming into a mass of Thoughtsin before exploding spectacularly.

"You really must be more careful with your entries." Beneficus berated as Carol snorted.

"In any case, with Guido's neural chip we can initiate an overload of the degenerate anti-matter core, which thanks to your linking of the ship's systems with the Ring's should provide enough juice to destroy the installation, and giving us seven minutes to fight our way to another transport and get us out of here. Of course there are sentinels, Thoughtsin, and Hierarchy forces all in our way." Beneficus said as the team nodded.

Moving out and taking a left turn, the team entered a maintenance corridor, a maintenance ladder's panel beneath them bursting apart as Thoughtsin infection forms started crawling out, swarming through only to meet their ends as a stream of projectiles from Carol and Katanga's battle rifles put them down, making them burst with enough force to rapidly neutralize the mass of infectors pouring out.

Seeing two carrier forms awaiting them beneath, Carol grabbed one of the rad-plas grenades she had taken from a deceased hierarchy trooper and hurled it down. "Fire in the hole!" She announced, the others taking cover as the sticky, glowing green bomb stuck itself to the closest of the bloated thoughtsin monstrosities.

Peeling back, the team of supersoldiers were awarded with a fiery and radioactive detonation that not only killed the carrier forms but the virulent infection forms that they nurtured inside of them.

Moving down the ladder, the eight were met with sweeping orange beams from sentinels that flash fried the last two infection forms remaining, the heat flashing by Carol's shields as she designated to Cid to neutralize them.

Moving in a bubble of altered time, El Cid came upon the angular, floating drones with his swords at the ready and saying some sort of challenge in spanish, the drones standing stone still as he carved them open with slices from his blades, their construction proving to be no match for the dazzling patterns created by Nova Tizonna as it cut through reality itself, leaving sliced open metal to clang to the floor as he designated an all clear order with a gesture.

Rapidly moving to take point, the Frankensteins moved forward, turning to the right as they navigated the corridors of the vessel, a trio of infection forms looking for new flesh being dealt with by a burst of bio-electricity from Operative Katanga, burning their cellular mass into carbonized ash as kill team Castle dashed as quickly as they could.

Taking another right, she was warned by Mindslayer of imminent danger through the telepathic link set up by the team "~Combat forms, right side, I can feel their hive mind.~" The Belgian said, with Cid nodding and angling his grenade launcher to bounce a series of implosion grenades around the corner, the infected Zolkri grunts gurgling before being torn apart by the detonations that sucked them into superhot balls of fused matter that could fit on a pinhead.

"Corner's cleaner than a nun's record." Cid joked as he took point.

"Easy cid, this whole vessel's crawling with hostiles." He was warned by Erickson as he turned left and set his battle rifle to shotgun mode while a series of infected peacekeepers smashed through an access corridor, laughing in inhuman voices as they clumsily fired off their gauss weapons.

The first few of the infected combat forms went down easily enough before Erickson lashed out with lances of kinetic energy that speared right through the "heads" of the combat forms, blasting out their backs and sending them crumpling to the ground.

"Other tunnel's blocked, we'll need to move this way. Bloody hell..." Jannet noted as she headed down the corridor, being met with a snarling Tank form as it shoved a blockade of crates out of the way, hurtling down the corridor before she punched into it's mass of sensory stalks and vibrated her fist until it exploded into ichorous green blood and motley brown gore.

"Yech." She grimaced, wiping herself off of the dying tissue as they took a hard right, being met with a swarm of infection forms quickly put down by Tsunami focusing on the coolant systems running through the ship and wrenching it out of their pipes before the ship sealed off the coolant flow to prevent flooding, spraying the hundreds of infection forms with liquid helium before bringing down water from the piping to ice them over.

"Nice work." Mindslayer said as he shot a single grenade from his tripart rifle to shatter the lot as the killteam advanced.

Going through an automatic door, they were met with a pack of biters, a pair of buggers, and a sextet of Riktal headmen exchanging fire with thoughtsin ranged forms and Jiralhanae combat forms, gunning them down efficiently while infection forms burst against their shields, with a sweep of radioactive plasma from the Bugger flash frying the lot of them, only for Mindslayer to let loose a psychic screech once they were done.

They fell to the ground, minds frayed apart before perishing, with Snowstorm flash freezing the bodies, chilling them to five degrees above absolute zero before shattering them with a grenade to render their biomass spoiled and useless to the Thoughtsin. "Clear!" The Brazillian said as they kept on advancing.

Moving into the mess hall, a storm of enemy fire from a menagerie of weapons, from homing needlers to green bursts of plasma, informed them that they had been spotted by Hierarchy forces. Rushing forward and kicking a table at a group of Lost ones, she nodded as the aliens made a satisfying splat when the table crunched them into the wall at supersonic speeds before going forth to slice at and then carve apart a trio of Grunts, dicing them to avoid allowing them to be made into combat forms while Katanga focused on the blood of a set of Tallonian pirates.

At first, nothing happened, but in moments their very life's essence combusted, their shrieks of agony being apparent as they were burned from the inside out, leaving nothing but ashes while Cid used his manipulation of time to grab some copies of himself from the Time stream, the new quintet of Cids then firing down a barrage of implosion grenades to take out the remaining enemies before he returned them to their proper place in time.

"Keep going, we can't let the ring be activated!" Carol ordered as she shot a Charybdis stalker several times through the gelatin, sending the tentacled monster crumpling to the ground, the Frankensteins already vacating the mess hall.

Approaching the bridge, where a Magus was overlooking the situation, leading a set of Lost ones and some Charybdis Assault units, after having slaughtered many of the Thoughtsin, but as they rounded the corner, before the Magus could start casting spells, each of the Frankensteins threw sticky rad-plas grenades that latched onto the Magus' shields, causing it's eyes to widen before it detonated with spectacular force, clearing out the bridge as a set of Thoughtsin stalker forms, hoping to sneak up on the aliens, were sent flying out the window for a good distance.

"Good, we're at the bridge, from here we can set the entire station into overload. Just...give me a minute to work with this..." Beneficus said as Carol placed him into the ship's uplinks, the team forming a defensive perimeter as they waited for whatever may have come there way.

"Ah the things that happen when I stop supervising..." Beneficus said, having decided to change his avatar from a Labradour to a nondescript Peacekeeper out of boredom.

"Ah...there we go, seven minutes...just like we planned." He said as his yellow avatar noted the sirens in the ship started going off.

Complications

"+Oh I am afraid that is unacceptable.+" Said a chipper, eerily british and feminine tone, with the Peacekeepers immediately drawing weapons and looking around for the source.

"+It's absurd really, that you would create A.Is so far in advance of your standard level of technology, especially this one with such a wealth of knowledge? Weren't you worried that it might be captured...or perhaps destroyed?+" High Horse Six twelve said through the installation wide intercoms.

"Oh this will not do...the Masari A.I has tapped into my Data arrays...she's copying everything." Beneficus said, clutching his armored avatar's forehead as the Masari A.I finished the tap.

"+Fascinating, that this A.I has so much information, human history, universal politics, black ops information on our uplifted children, oh the Imperium does well, though the fate of the Novii saddens me. I am pleased to see that the Primalborn have arisen, oh that makes all this so much more exciting! Think of how I could help them by eradicating not only potential thoughtsin hosts, but the black hand within a massive radius!+" She jovially announced, the A.I somehow reasoning that four children would appreciate her "help" in the form of one of the greatest genocides in history as she floated throughout the halls of the ship, the Sentinels mass produced by the ring's systems clearing away bothersome Hierarchy and Thoughtsin attackers.

"+Oh how I enjoyed every second of it's categorization. To think that you would destroy these records...and this installation. I am shocked...almost too shocked for words. But thankfully, I have saved all the relevant data onto my personal systems. And as for your self destruct sequence...boop...off it goes.+" She said over the comm channels to Beneficus' exasperation.

"Oh this won't do...I can't override his system's commands, they're...out of my league...I'm detecting taps throughout the ship, probably sentinels scrubbing for the last bits of data." Beneficus said, his A.I nodding disappointedly.

"Where's High Horse?" Carol asked, narrowing her eyes beneath her helmet.

"Engineering, probably trying to take the core offline...even if I could override his commands, I'm not sure what you could do..." He said, shaking his head before High Horse cut in.

"+Why must you continue to fight us retributioner? You should know it is futile by n-+" She managed before Beneficus cut her off by shutting down the comm channel.

"At least I maintain command over the communications channel...now what were you going to say?" He said, tilting his head.

"How much force will we need to overload the engine?" Cid said, thinking up something.

"A well placed grenade...but wh-Oh." Beneficus said, taking a brief while to comprehend what the implications were as Carol took one out.

"How much time will we have?" Katanga said, frowning beneath his helmet as the Congolese man swept his rifle across the room to keep a visual.

"Ten minutes, twenty five seconds according to my calculations." Beneficus said, the math being virtually instant for him.

"Plenty of time." Jannet said as she brought her grenade launcher into firing position and had the team move out, Carol placing him into her helmet again as Sentinels dropped down and immediately began filling the room with lethal energy beams, forcing them to fall back as they began a sweep of the vessel.

"The ship has had many holes ruptured throughout the structure following it's descent, a new hole in the structure exists in the Cryo-chamber, one that leads directly for the engine room." Beneficus said as the team, having just evaded the wrath of the Masari Sentinels, rapidly began moving through the ship's interior to find their way to the Engine.

You maniacs, you're gonna blow it all up!

As they moved through, a mob of infected Rikval soldiers and Peacekeepers, heads subsumed and displaced by the infection forms and off arms turned into large, clawed appendages, started rushing them, firing green gouts of Plasma and an inaccurate storm of gauss rounds after having dispatched their former Drones, many of them showing signs of damage from their robotic ally's firepower.

A series of slashes cut down the nearest Rikval and Former humans as they gurgled, their infection forms keeping their bodies moving dying as they hit the ground while Carol ducked down to let El Cid bisect the heads of many more incoming, he himself moving down to let a storm of gauss shotgun fire to rip apart the combat forms while Katanga activated his biomantic power, turning his body into living metal, greatly enhancing his strength as he swatted the remaining infectees out of the way, letting them splatter on the bulkhead to allow the killteam to continue their advance.

Running down and taking a hard left, a series of energy grenades fired by Aetherian grenediers prompted the team to take cover as the Hierarchy soldiers ripped apart an advancing mob of Thoughtsin monsters, incinerating their vile perversion of flesh and life in a series of red flashes and shockwaves, letting the team run dash on through the corridor to the next one over in the intersection, avoiding a potential firefight with the hierarchy.

Moving down, a flood of infection forms was spotted trying to mob past a series of Hierarchy machines and Masari Sentinels, which seemed to have formed some sort of accord as they lay down heavy fire into the infection forms, setting off chain reactions of explosions before a Juggernaut form bowled through, knocking aside drones until more incoming Sentinels started slicing it apart and then burning it's putrid flesh with flamethrowers, making the Juggernaut form writhe and scream a wet scream before expiring.

Before they could move on, Snowstorm sent form bitter waves of cold while Tsunami brought down water around the sentinels from the piping system, surrounding them with a flood of water that rapidly froze over their shielding. A set of sonic grenades from Jannet soon alleviated them of their frozen status, relieving them of their shields before a brace of missiles from the Major obliterated their chassis.

"Down, move out." Henderson commanded as her gun teleported in more ammunition from manufacturers billions of light years away.

Moving through the Cryochamber where another scene of carnage unfolded as Thoughtsin pure forms, combat forms, and infection forms fought a running battle against the Masari Sentinels and Hierarchy uninfectable assets, the two trading shots and fire all the while before Carol turned to Katanga.

"Hit me with a biomantic upgrade, more speed." She said, with the Congolese man nodding and sending psionic waves of biomantic energies into her, augmenting her already increasing speed with the warp speed technique, allowing her to rapidly sweep the room like a blur of motion, tearing apart every enemy in the room before they knew what hit them before stopping herself at the other end of the room, the only sign of her presence being the self compounding sonic booms that followed her wake and the dismemberment of her opponents.

"Come on." She said, the Frankensteins charging forward at Super sonic velocities into the next Room.

But no sooner did they ascend to the next level did a swarm of Thoughtsin try to follow them, the hive mind being aware of their plan after having absorbed some peacekeepers, eager to prevent the humans from slaughtering them and denying them a universe of biomass as they followed after them like devils and monsters.

Combat forms, carrier forms, and pure forms rushed at them down corridors while smaller pure forms, combat forms, and infection forms came up or down from ventilation shafts, swarming at them in hopes of halting their mission.

This time, when Tsunami, Snowstorm, and Raider tried their flood, freeze, and shatter trick, all that did was slow down the swarm of monsters somewhat before the next wave of creatures and abominations came at them, shoving their way through the impossibly cold surface left by the retreating frankensteins, many of the thoughtsin forms dying or freezing from contact or proximity with the impossible cold as the rear guard Frankensteins constantly kept firing, their shields taking hits from ranged weapons while those at the Front saw another swarm of monsters trying to close off their exits.

This time, Cid seemed to disappear, as one of the Cids he used was not from an alternate timeline, but a point in the future, forcing Katanga to slam the thoughtsin in the front with an enfeebling technique, sapping the strength and power of their biological forms away and then adding it to his own, making him more powerful before he hit the weakened thoughtsin in front with the same hemorrhage technique as before, literally setting all the fluids in their body on fire.

Using this now cleared path, Erickson shut the way for the Thoughtsin coming in from behind by shunting debris into a barrier with his kinetic energy, using frozen water, chunks of metal, crates, fallen weapons, shell casings, and corpses to make a barricade as the seven charged forward.

A virtual wall of tank forms impeded their way as they neared the end of the corridor, but a brace of grenade launcher and missile rounds soon made the wall of muscle nothing more than a pile of undifferentiated and very much dead organic matter spread across the corridor. Taking another left towards the engine room, a hellstorm of gauss rounds and ranged form bio-spikes immediately poured out the corridor making the shields of the front three Frankensteins fail and forcing them to hang back to let them recharge as the others sought cover.

Continuously firing, the Thoughtsin monstrosities only paused whenever their weapons needed cooling, having a rotating band of enemies continuously keep up the heat, even with Carol's enhanced speed, she couldn't get through to them, but she didn't have to. El Cid, having re-appeared in the time stream, advanced calmly and stopped time around him, and by the time the peacekeepers looked back, there wasn't a pile of thoughtsin, there was only a menagerie of butchered biomass and the immaculate white armor of the Spanish Frankenstein.

Spanish surprise

"Hola Amigos. Shall we advance?"

"Cid you nutty bastard." Carol smiled.

"I thought you needed some help." He shrugged, grinning under his helmet as Carol saw one last infection form charging at him, firing a spiker pistol round at it and nodding as it exploded.

"Got a maintenance tunnel, gonna clear it." Jannet said, letting loose seeker missiles carrying thermobaric warheads into the tunnel, the warheads streaking out to find the optimal amount of coverage before detonating, sending a massive wave of heat and overpressure outwards in all directions, the squeals of dying Thoughtsin forms informing the team that they now had a clear passage way as they rushed through.

"Nice work." Tsunami said, patting her superior officer on the shoulder as the killteam kept up their relentless, almost unstoppable advance.

Once they went out of the tunnel, a firestorm of death in a three way firefight between the thoughtsin, Masari sentinels, and hierarchy soldiers forced them back, with Katanga taking much of the fire which immediately depleted his shields and caused some damage to his armor, cracking his visor open and then burning off his right fore arm and hand, followed by Carol who actually her left flank blown off by heavy anti-vehicle fire, leaving only rib bones and organs her suit's reforming's shields managed to keep from spilling out, while Cid was forced back a few feet, the team holding back as Carol forced herself through the pain.

She was comfortable with the rest of her team and made no effort to hide her now exposed upper body as it regenerated while Katanga held down the boney remnants of his hands, letting it start to regenerate, first the muscles and cybernetics, then the skin, then finally the arm regenerated while Carol's own suit began to cover up her now fully regenerated body. First the nanoweave, then the armor formed over, fully sealing up the hole as a Juggernaut form ran around, with no less than ninety grenades attatched to it before it exploded, flattening the room and killing all the combatants, allowing the Frankensteins to move ahead unmolested as the maintenance path door buckled and bent, but nevertheless held.

With a kick, Carol sent the door down, letting Kill team Castle move on ahead.

"You alright? You armor was compromised for a moment." Cid said with a frown beneath his helmet.

"We'll be fine." Katanga said as Carol took point, the team now so close to their destination and goal.

Filing into the reactor room, the team split up.

"+To overload the reactor, first we'll need to pull back the exhaust couplings.+" Beneficus said to the ground while Mindslayer ripped the still weak connection to their hive mind that an advancing wave of thoughtsin had while High Horse rambled on about some subject Carol didn't care about, the team activating a series of panels as the now aimless wave of Thoughtsin were quickly gunned down by the designated guards of each of the desginated activators, the reactor's armor opening up to reveal it's weak points.

"+Now to destabilize the system we'll need to hit it with explosives...I trust you're all in position?+" Beneficus asked as the activators took aim with their grenade launcher functions.

"+Roger doger+" Mind slayer grinned as he sighted the glowing orange reactor systems, each of them being targeted, fired upon, and then destroyed, with the entirety of the ship shaking once the reactor and engine began to throb and shake at the sensation, the damage to the ship being fatal as the Sentinels, Hierarchy, and Thoughtsin continued to fight, only now the Hierarchy started to withdraw and pull back, knowing full well what this entailed, teleporting off wherever possible as the Hierarchy fleet began it's retreat, leaving only the Thoughtsin to deal with as the A.I started to eject uncompromised systems into metaspace for an evacuation.

Before the A.I departed, it left one message on the commlinks. "+I am quite disappointed by your actions, but I can only hope you do not repeat them in the future Retributioner. As punishment for your actions, I have declined teleporting you to safety. You will need to find a route of escape on your own.+" She said before getting away from the detonation radius of the Ring, departing into metaspace.

"~That was the plan, wasn't it?~" Mindslayer said over the telepathic link.

"~You bet. Ooh-rah!~" Katanga laughed over the mind link as alarms blared all over the ship

"+It's a shame none of you are teleporters, in any case, we will need to access a service lift to the hangar, I trust you can make the necessary preparations for escape?+" Beneficus cut in over the commlinks as the group reconvened before running like hell.

With a quick sprint towards the elevator, the eight were met with a mob of carrier forms interspersed with combat forms coming down from the service lift, the enemy firing at them before the peacekeepers responded with their own hail of fire, incendiary missiles from Jannet setting the ugly bastards on fire while gauss rounds tore through their flesh, sending them hurtling down onto the ground in death, the infection forms nurtured inside the carrier forms shrieking as they died.

Drive like crazy

As the group moved forward, Cid spotted a Riptide ACV in the vehicle racks they could use and designated it to the ground, letting them pile in and place their weapons through the firing ports while others took the mounted weapons as he called dibs on the driver's position, the eight's shields being set to extend and wrap around the vehicles, combining to greatly enhance it's durability. "Alright, now for some heavy firepower." he laughed as the vehicle got moving, disengaging from it's clamps as it's engines roared to life, turning on a dime and firing the Gauss .50 caliber gatling gun at a blockade of thoughtsin, tearing through their flesh with ease as the vehicle got going.

Going up a deployment ramp and letting loose a stream of missiles to blow holes in a virtual wall of carrier forms, Jannet popped open a hatch and fired a set of incendiery missiles to fry the infection forms that popped out before Carol, with her enhanced reflexes, used the gatling gun she manned to hose some artillery forms, their spores detonating and violently rupturing their bodies while the vehicle moved forward and rammed a pair of unfortunate tank forms down as it crossed the upper portion of the downed vessel.

Crossing countless access tunnels and constantly pouring out fire from all sides, the vehicle rammed straight through a sea of tens of thousands of infection forms, giving absolutely no f*cks as they exploded against it, running through a trench placed into the hull of the vessel, the Riptide was hammered by fire from ranged forms, but a stream of shots from the gatling cannon soon shut them up, chunks of flesh raining down from them as those manning the fireports let out nearly constant streams of shots.

Crossing a bridge between two prings of the super structure, Carol swept the gatling cannon to meet a group of bomber, swarmer, and jetpack equipped combat forms, ripping through them with the gatling cannon, sonic booms rushing in all directions as .50 caliber rounds screamed at hypersonic velocities and sent green blood and gore flopping to the ground, the vehicle gunn the bridge at full speed.

"Hmm...yes...yes...there's a meso-fortress we can access. Oh and there's a gap in the trench from one of the shots the vessel took when it's shields failed...hit the turbothrusters and we'll be able to jump it." Beneficus reported as the vehicle was starting to be swarmed with fliers, prompting Carol's anti-aircraft fire to be joined by jannet sending out lances and lashes of sonic energy to whip and spear down thoughtsin fliers, anti-aircraft missiles roboteching out and hunting those she missed while the burning stream of gauss rounds never stopped, killing anything they could.

Diving back under the cover of the ship's superstructure as Thoughtsin hijacked turrets on the ship tried traversing down to fire at them, the cannons firing into the ship at low yields to prevent setting off the ship early, the ACV gunned it's turboboosters, blue jets erupting behind it as it prepared to make a jump. "Erickson, Katanga, we need a boost, Katanga, hit us with Warp Speed, Erickson, kinetic thrust, now!" Jannet commanded, and with that the two Frankensteins gave the vehicle a massive jump, ripping right over the ramp and smashing through countless flying thoughtsin forms, never halting it's wall of fire as the Riptide crashed through a Juggernaut and squashed it flat beneath it's wheels.

Firing missiles into a wall to break through it, the Riptide finally met a final thoughtsin swarm trying to make for the Meso-fortress, only for the Frankensteins to start pouring out as the Riptide smashed it's way as close to the Meso-fortress as possible, opening fire at the Thoughtsin with everything they had while Carol let rip with the gatling cannon. "There's the Meso-fortress! We need to evacuate immediately! But make sure none of them get on board!" Beneficus said, panicking a bit as the ship was rocked with more explosions and uncontrolled fires. But carol had an idea how to avoid wasting time keeping the Thoughtsin overruning the board away...raising the gatling cannon upwards, she fired into the girders and rafters above, sending them crashing downwards, crushing most of the advancing Thoughtsin as the eight Frankensteins abandoned their vehicle and rushed into the ramp of the Meso-fortress.

Now on board, Katanga flooded the ship with bio-electricity and blood burning keyed to the Thoughtsin's unique life signature to make sure nothing was on board, followed by a wave of cold from Snowstorm and a sonic purification from Jannet, their shields wrapping around and adding to the Meso-fortress' own shields, the vessel took off, it's purified parasitic fighters having their cockpits purged with heat and radiation just to be safe as the strike craft took off and lifted off from the ring, leaving it behind as it rapidly accelerated away from the Masari megastructure.

As the vehicle departed from it's mother vessel, a rapid series of explosions wracked the corpse of the Spirit of Victory, a virtual carpet of Thoughtsin advancing on it on all sides as some all too late Swarmers tried to follow, the combined efforts of the Hierarchy, the Sentinels, and the Peacekeepers having made sure that the Thoughtsin had no faster than light ships with which to escape. Seeming resigned to their doom, some made final, futile attempts to shoot the mesofortress down as fire blossomed out of the spirit of liberty, but it was too little, too late.

The massive, larger than a galaxy ring was then struck with a huge blue-white flare as the energies of the ring and the spirit of victory mixed from it's detonation, acting like a trillion stars had just exploded while all across the ring, explosions started forming, eradicating any and all things still on it's surface as it crumbled, fragments blasting apart while faster than light visualizers translated the scene for the relieved Frankensteins.

"Impressive isn't it?" Beneficus noted as Carol asked the burning question.

"Did anything escape after the uninfected evacuated?" She asked of the A.I, turning to face it.

"No, you've done well...I'm sure they'll reward you for this." Beneficus said cheerfully as the ring broke apart into massive, thousands of light years across fragments, all dead and devoid of life after being cleansed by so much heat.

"Much of the Hierarchy ships, crippled, and the Thoughtsin that could have spread to plague the universe, well I'm sure there's some grade of cooking above Well Done." He said, trying to console them for having to destroy something of such great beauty, that surely had to have been a life's work for the now dead Masari.

"I think we've about wrapped up this business with MARATHON rings, plagues and dead ancients." Mindslayer said, leaning back into his seat as the Meso-fortress hopped into metaspace, disappearing from sight.

"No compadre, it's probably just started." Cid said in response.

Location: Hierarchy mining station, 413 billion light years away

Six Twelve High Horse passed through the clouds of the gas giant as the Hierarchy fleet began the process of disassembling it, the sight being one that always relaxed Hierarchy Grand Overseer Mu. He sighed as he watched the dying planet be pulled apart by the Hierarchy's ships, being turned into more material for the endless expansion of the Overseer's empire, but a blue flash alerted the grand overseer to the presence of something else.

Immediately his guards swiveled to meet this new threat, firing weapons that harmlessly pinged off of the Blue-white A.I's robotic body's shielding as the A.I studied the Lord of the Hierarchy, having ascertained his presence through reading files on Hierarchy ships that not even the Thoughtsin, so limited in it's form due to the small nature of the outbreak, was able to penetrate the encryption of. But for a high grade A.I of the Masari, such work was trivial.

"Hello Grand Overseer Mu of the Hierarchy, I have information that may be of use to you."

If Mu had the mouth to smile, he would have.

Start the Conversation

Rescuing old accounts: Tombstone.

Origins and Biography. UNDER RENOVATIONS

Nathan was born in the year 1886 in Houston Texas, and when the time came that America declared war on Germany in the first world war, he did not hesitate to sign up and fought through that bitter war, earning him two purple hearts, an army service cross, and a silver star for valour, Nathans came home to marry his sweetheart Jennifer. Later on Nathan Graves became an ordinary man during the year of 1923 working in Houston while living in the peaceful suburbs, always coming home every day to spend time with his wife Jennifer, occasionally he would see his neighbor Bill eye his wife, but he thought nothing of it, but fate would soon deal him a cruel hand.

For one day when he came back he found his wife dead on the floor in his living room, apparently shot to death, and before this fact could sink in, the police arrived and arrested him, wrongly thinking that he was the one who killed Jennifer. When the police took him away, he said nothing, he says nothing as the gun is found, he says nothing as he is told that his fingerprints were found on the pistol's hand grip, he says nothing as the police come to bring him to the electric chair on that cold morning, he says nothing as they strap him into the electric chair, and when they ask if Nathan Graves has any last words, he says nothing. Nathan saw the face of Bill, his neighbor and the man who called the police on that fateful night one year ago, and on that face he sees a bitter smile.

"He's always lurking around, I don't like the way he looks at me" says Jennifer in Nathan's memories, and with that realization he finally speaks "Good god!?! Can it be?" but his words are muffled by the rough fabric of the execution hood. "Wait! Stop the execution! It's him! He killed my darlin'!" he shouts, but just as the executioners press the fatal buttons, a surge of Mutagenic Energy known as energy X hits the transformer powering the Electric Chair.

"Good gravy! Some kind of strange energy is in the circuit breaker, it's surging into the prisoner!" shouts the executioners while Nathan convulses in agony. But as he dies, the Energy X begins to fill him, creating a ghostly blue apparation of a skull around his body, and when the apparation fades, the corpse of Nathan rises from it's chair, snapping the straps that held him in place with ease.

Tears in his prison suit reveal Pale white skin with a ghostly glow, while his executioner's hood has clung to his head, depressing near his empty eye sockets and nose cavity, leaving pitch blackness in those areas. Nathan reaches out his hand towards the audience, pointing at bill "Yooouuuu, the innocent die while the guilty laugh!" he says as the onlookers, especially bill show faces of shock and horror, with bill trying to melt behind the rest of the witnesses, but he sees Nathan begin to fade and disappear, only to reappear right behind the window, smashing through the glass and gliding towards him.

"Who's laughing now?" asks the ghostly figure in a threatening tone. Before Bill can escape he feels the powerful hands of the Dead Nathan graves clench around his throat, "Why? Why did you kill her?" he demands while the police fire at Nathans, only to see their bullets harmlessly phasing through his body. "Bullets...going right through him, as if he wasn't there!" gasp the officers as the watch helplessly. "Arghhnnngrrhh!" Bill chokes, trying desperately to avoid justice. "The power of the grave compels you!! Why did you kill her!??!?" snarls the Ghostly Nathan. As Nathan continues to choke him, the youth and life begin to drain out of Bill, his hair rapidly turned white while wrinkles and creases form all over him as the ghostly glow of Nathans gets stronger,

"I didn't! I didn't I ahhckk!....Yes I killed her, when I tried to catch her, she pushed me away and said she was going to tell you, when you got home! Now get yer cold hands off me you fiend!" he shrieks, but when Nathans finally lets go of him, the last bit of life leaves his body while his soul and psyche were sent shrieking into the lower planes for their just punishment.

"Runnn fools! Tell the wicked that their lies shall be brought into the light! For where Nathan Graves once stood, only Tombstone remains" he chillingly warns the police. After leaving the Prison, Tombstone roamed the world, bringing justice to those who dared to avoid it, bringing death to those who sought to cheat it, particularly other forms of undead, ESPECIALLY Liches.

Tombstone has been active for nearly ninety years now, and the evil undead of the world who know of him both hate and fear him, for he relentlessly comes to bring their dooms to bring them to the graves that they so desperately try to avoid. But evil is not limited to the undead, and Tombstone has never hesitated to bring justice to the living as well. He considers his proudest moment being fighting in America's super brigade during the second world war, taking the fight to the Third Reich, Mussolini's Italy, and Imperial Japan.

His acts earned him a distinguished service medal, an army achievement medal, and what he's most proud of, the Congressional Medal of Honour for single handedly storming a Nazi fortress that was working on time travel technology that would have won the war in hitler's favour and in Patton's words "Punching a power armoured Heinrich Himmler in the jaw in the damned funniest manner I've ever *EXPLETIVE EXPUNGED heard", but was denied any further purple hearts as his undead status made it difficult to determine what was really "injury received during valiant action" for him. He remains proud of his war medals even to this day.

Tombstone, spirit of justice, american war hero, only undead being to ever receive the Medal of Honor.

During the second world war, he fought deadly foes such as the italian Maestro, the Red Sun of Japan, Blitzkrieg of Germany, Sturmhound of the Waffen SS, the atrocious Der Kommandant, The grand Shinobi, Mussolini's favoured supervillain Caesar, Lord Frost of Japan, Tyrannicus of Italy and others, the superpowered battles between the Super Brigade which came to be known as Freedom Force and the Axis Uber Alles, their counterparts on the other side of the war, deciding many campaigns across the second world war.

Over the war, he watched as many heroes learned the painful lesson that just because they could take bullets like a champion did not mean that they could take a tank shell or a bomb to the face and not be reduced to a bloody smear. When ten percent of Freedom Force died in the battle of the Kasserine pass, Kharkov, and in defense of the phillipines, Tombstone began lobbying for freedom force to be used as special forces rather than a lynchpin of the conventional armies, as set piece battles would only give the Axis a nice way to slaughter members of Freedom Force wholesale.

He fought in the Korean war where he achieved even more war glory, but began to be disillusioned with the government due to the increasing paranoia concerning communists in the country, with McCarthyism proving to be the last straw for him, though continued good relationships with President Eisenhower meant that his discharge from the armed services was very much an honourable one.

He found the cold war to be in bad taste, as he had fought along side many Chinese and Soviet heroes whom he considered to be honourable men and women. And having to fight some of them in the Korean war distraught him. However in the sixties, he still fought Communist super villains and apolitcal ones all the same, but earned himself a position in the legion of merit for uncovering a nazi remnant scheme to overthrow America headed by the diabolical Sturmhound.

The battle between Sturmhound and Tombstone lasted for a day, the two old foes trading blows with one another, the twenty years of time that had passed being meaningless to the two old combatants. But eventually, he overcame Sturmhound, but before he could bring him to justice, Sturmhound threatened to detonate a series of bombs in the city's nuclear power plant, forcing Tombstone to break off his attack to stop a nuclear meltdown, and thus allowing Sturmhound to flee to Argentina.

He refused to participate in the Vietnam war, preferring to remain on the streets and clearing it of villainy, remaining apolitical as he was not loyal to the government of America but to the *ideal* of America and Democracy. He continually rebuffed offers by the government to work more directly for them, believing that the best way to help the people was right at their level, rather than working for the government; whether Republican or Democratic.

He is fiercely anti-registration, and so far remains a thorn in the side of pro-registration forces, continuing to fight for the ideals of American freedom he believes in so strongly. As he is undead with no living family members, there is precious little to threaten him with, and the people of Austin, Houston, and Dallas will never surrender their unliving protector to the state as long as they draw breath.

He is extremely suspicious of the peacekeepers following their revelation, and believes that they cannot possibly be up to any good. Nobody comes in and starts offloading so much free technology without an ulterior motive. And he's determined to get to the root of the Peacekeepers and expose their lies no matter what. He as of yet, remains blissfully unaware that in comparison to the terror that lies waiting in the stars, what he has faced is nothing in comparison.

Powers

  • Super strength: Tombstone can exert about twenty five tons of force.
  • Immense durability: Tombstone is extraordinarily durable, he has taken tank shells to the chest, though they do rattle and damage him heavily.
  • Servant of the grave: Tombstone cannot be permanently destroyed, if his form is discorporated, he will return within a week.
  • Incorporeality: Tombstone can become Incorporeal at will, which causes the objects of the material world to phase through him, while the objects of the spirit world become fully material to him, this also allows him to astrally project himself.
  • Possession: Tombstone can possess an object or person, taking total control over them, this however takes effort and rare is the mind that he can overwhelm completely.
  • Dead mind: Tombstone is immune to mental attacks and effects.
  • Wave of terror: Tomb stone can emit an area burst of sheer terror that panics his foes within a ten meter radius for a minute. This can still be resisted however.
  • Temporary life: Tombstone can give slain allies a temporary life for two minutes so that they can finish the fight even if killed.
  • Teleportation: Tombstone is capable of teleporting himself and others anywhere he desires, he does need to have a clear idea of where he and any compatriots is going lest he end up teleporting into the ground..
  • Immunities and resistances: Tombstone is immune to Poison, Fatigue, Cold, Magic, and Heat. He is resistant to blunt force and current electricity.
  • Energy charging: Tombstone can charge his attacks with electricity, sound, or darkness, which greatly harms energy and spirit beings as well as machines. Once he uses this power, his attacks become much more powerful against the undead, with incorporeal undead being destroyed with a single blow. This also increases the potency of his blows against other targets, though not quite as much.
  • Life Drain: Tombstone is capable of draining the life of those he touches, rapidly aging them, when used on machines this power drains the energy from them, when used on the undead, he robs them of their life giving force. This takes quite a bit of time however, about five seconds for a normal human male in his thirties at full throttle and longer depending on how much life force they have. However, against the undead, the effect is instantaneous regardless of power level, thus other undead have named him the "bringer of the death touch." He can use the energy from those whom he has drained to enhance his own powers temporarily. Those exposed to the life drain in any capacity must tell the truth and MUST answer any question asked of them truthfully. Knowing this, he is capable of adjusting how quickly he drains a being of life.
  • Undead: Tombstone has no biological needs, he does not eat, drink, sleep, or breathe.
  • Seeing: Tombstone can see in all parts of the electromagnetic spectrum and hear all pitches, and do so far better than any human can, he can even see and hear the spirit world.
  • Ambient terror: Tombstone's simple presence inspires fear, a fear that intensifies if Tombstone fixes his gaze upon someone or wills it to do so. The more a person has committed evil, the stronger this power is on them.
  • Electricity manipulation: Tombstone is capable of manipulating electricity, and is about as capable with it as the villain Electro is, Tombstone can also use "soul lightning" that attacks the soul as well as the body, bypassing immunities to electricity.
  • Sound manipulation: Tombstone is as skilled with manipulating sound as he is with controlling electricity. He can also use spirit thunder, which is akin to his soul lightning power.
  • Umbralkinesis: Tombstone can manipulate the dark, even making solid matter out of it for projectiles and armor or coatings for his fists, or charge himself with Dark Energy.
  • Swift as death: Tombstone can move at speeds of over a hundred and twenty miles per hour and can react about fifteen times faster than an ordinary human, giving him a speed that belies his nature as an undead Ghost.
  • Hearing of the damned: Tombstone can function much like an EVP reader, and is always capable of hearing the whispers of haunting ghosts, in addition, he is capable of preforming exorcisms and house blessings by literally going incorporeal and beating the haunting spirits out of the place.
  • Magic resistance: Tombstone is highly resistant to magic, and completely immune to mind affecting spells. He has no special resistance to psionics that do not directly target his mind however, as they are not supernatural.

Abilities

  • Magic: Over his years, Tombstone has studied a bit of magic, though so far his skill is mostly limited to dispelling and counterspells.
  • Intelligence: Tombstone has gained considerable knowledge over the years, and his undead status has enhanced his intelligence. He's more than smart enough to build his own set of fantastical gadgets and deduce cunning puzzles and solve tricky traps. He also posseses a great deal of tactical and strategic genius.
  • Skilled fighter: Having been fighting for nearly a hundred years, Tombstone is one of the greatest fighters of human origin there is. There's literally nothing he hasn't seen.
  • Wealth: Over Nathan's time, he's amassed a considerable personal fortune, which is aided by the fact that he doesn't spend any of it on anything but crime fighting. With a net worth of twenty five billion and an income of roughly a billion a year, most of which he spends quite rapidly, he has very deep pockets for his war on crime.

Weaknesses

  • Raw Energy: Tombstone is vulnerable to raw energy as this disrupts his form, doing extra damage.
  • Ionizing radiation: Ionizing radiation also disrupts tombstone's form.
  • Exorcism: Tombstone can be exorcised with unholy rituals and spells that temporarily banish him from the material world for up to a week.
  • Ghost touch weapons: Ghost touch weapons can harm Tombstone even if he's incorporeal and deal extra damage to him.
  • Unholy weapons: As a spirit of good, weapons charged with evil deal extra damage to his ghostly form.
  • Nth metal: As a spirit, Nth metal is especially damaging to him.
  • Anti-magic: Tombstone winks out of being when brought into anti-magic fields and only returns when the anti-magic field is removed.
  • Other incorporeals: Other Incorporeal beings can hurt Tombstone as if he were a physical being.
  • Radioactive materials; Tombstone cannot phase through any naturally radioactive material as the ionizing radiation disrupts his form. Nor can he teleport through them.
  • Heroics first: Tombstone's desire to ensure that no one else suffers like he has leads him to often make bad decisions to try and save innocents.
  • The innocent need not beware: Those who are naturally good are affected much less by his spirit thunder, soul lightning, penance stare, life drain, waves of terror, and other supernatural abilities.
  • Light Energy: Light energy, when weaponized, deals greater damage to tombstone than it would do to someone else of his durability level that lacks such a weakness.
  • Oathbound: When Tombstone makes an Oath, as the spirit of justice, he must follow it to the letter.
  • Unholy symbols: Tombstone is warded away by symbols of evil religions much as how evil spirits are warded away by symbols of good religions.
  • Undead weaknesses: Tombstone is harmed by positive energy and can be turned by a priest like any other form of undead, and Holy water, as it is charged with positive as well as good energy, hurts him, though not quite as badly as it does other undead.
  • Proton beams: Much like any other ghost, the beams fired by the proton packs popularized by the Ghost busters can suck in and trap him.

Equipment

  • Tombsuit: Deciding that the rags of his prison outfit would not be suited for him, the ghostly avenger crafted himself a special Carbodanium-Titanium-Kevlar weave suit that greatly enhances his durability, especially against blunt trauma and bullets. The suit is more heavily armoured at the shoulders, gauntlets, elbows, knees, and shins to help him deflect edged weapons. This suit also comes with a special Vibranium-Spider silk weave cape that can deflect just about any attack, useful against massive gouts of flame. His hood is made out of the same weave as the rest of his suit
  • Lightning pistols: Tombstone carries two pistols that can shoot two powerful bolts of lightning capable of harming both the material and the incorporeal, they are extremely effective against machines, spirits and energy beings. His pistols have special enchantments that mean they always home in to their targets if used on the undead and cause vastly more damage against the undead, allowing him to rapidly down even mighty liches and vampires while bypassing their defenses. They can also be charged with soul lightning instead of regular electricity
  • Grenades: Tombstone carries a large array of grenades of all kinds, these collapsible grenades can be thrown either as discs or as standard spheres or even sticks. Some of these extend can even extend blades to form "death frisbees" made out of Mithril, the celtic equivalent of Uru, death frisbees can be self propelled and even remote controlled and can carry a large number of warheads.
  • Explosive gel: More portable and controllable than C4, this gel is carried in special dispensers than allows him to rapidly spray it for quick demolitions work.
  • Cryptographer: A potent hacking device, this allows tombstone to crack into all but the most secure of communications and security systems.
  • Grapple hook launcher: Primarily meant for long ranged disarmament, this launches a hydraulic claw that can quickly grab and rip a weapon or shield away from the user; leaving them painfully exposed to a beat down from Tombstone.

Tombcycle:

A custom made bike crafted by Graves, this motorcycle is capable of running at about half the speed of sound and is equipped with dual tesla-cannons, one in each "eye", a sonic-repeater in it's nose, and a pair of automatic grenade launchers that can be extended from it's sides. It can also turn incorporeal as he does, and has an advanced A.I that obeys the undead vigilante's thoughts. Against airborne targets, it also bears a pair of modified Stinger anti-air missiles that can be fired from it's rear. The tombcycle is made out of unknown, but incredibly durable alloys, and Nathan seems to have a large number of replacements.

The Grave runner:

Best described as a tank on wheels, the Grave runner can go at up to two hundred miles per hour, and is equipped with advanced stealth technologies, and like Tombstone, can also turn incorporeal. The Grave runner has a large number of weaponry, including a gatling grenade launcher, a triple tesla cannon, dual sonic repeaters, a high-powered extra long range heavy laser, a battery of SAMs, and a hyper-electrified hull to ward off would be car thieves. The Grave Runner is immensely durable and has withstood attacks from the hulk and sergeant arch dornan, and Nathan keeps a fleet of them around. Like his cycles, they are guided by advance A.Is that can follow his thoughts.

The Dead flier:

Grave's personal fleet of combat aircraft: The Dead fliers are state of the art VTOL jets developed by Graves himself with the aid of SHIELD. The Dead Fliers have state of the art cloaking and stealth technology as well as being able to turn incorporeal along with him. They can reach hypersonic velocities and rain death with volleys of missiles, a nose-mounted gatling grenade launcher, a pair of tesla cannons, and a rear mounted sonic repeater cannon complete the Dead Flier's aresenal. They aren't quite as tough as the Grave runners, but they also have advanced A.I systems that can respond to telepathic commands from graves.

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The peacekeepers dossier (and mini-location)

Peacekeepers

"Morte Ai Nostri Nemici" -Peacekeeper Motto

Allied Nations Peacekeeper corps; a term that can bring fear into the hearts of any who hear it, and yet a term that most earthlings won't ever hear. a Clandestine force equipped with the latest in NATO's superscience, magic, and psionics that allows it to take on any foe anywhere in the universe to defend western civilization from any possible threat to it, formed during world war two as a special military force to help the western allies defeat Nazi Germany's Storm Korps, Imperial Japan's "Divine Wind", and Fascist Italy's "Roman Legion" and later to oppose the Warsaw Pact's Grand Red Guard. Kept secret as their actions would often draw the ire of the public, the Peacekeeper corps believes in the "strike before struck" policy, believing that if you break the legs of a potential rival, they'll never be a threat in the future; negating the need for a costly defensive war on the soil of the nations of NATO.

The backers of the Allied Peacekeeper Corps

Covert raids into space to attack alien races deemed to be hostile to NATO's interests, plunging into the other planes to bring down Demon Princes and Elemental Lords or sometimes even Archangels seen as a threat to the countries of NATO, bringing down Metahuman menaces before they can even become a word on anyone's mouth, Clandestinely manipulating Russia and the other former Soviet Republics into one day joining NATO to incorporate the advances of the Grand Red Guard into their own organization; and a cold war against China to ensure that the PRC is never in a position to challenge the military supremacy of NATO. Though their interest in Earth has quite commonly flip flopped as they grow more and more independent from the homeworld.

Major Jannet on the Yu'kyt homeworld

Even the U.N is not totally exempt from the long gaze of the eagle, as they can and have assassinated U.N officials that stumbled upon the actions of the Peacekeeper Corps. The newest commander of the Peacekeeper Corps, one General Herbert Alexander; a man of Texan birth, has tried to move the Peacekeeper corps away from it's highly morally questionable actions when it was effectively the unchallenged military elite of the world after the cold war that only worsened under the Bush Administration, and now the Peacekeeper corps works mainly to defend NATO from threats that it's conventional militaries just can't.

The symbol of the peacekeepers corps.

The Astartes has been watching the Peacekeeper Corps and has subtly manipulated them towards their line of thinking, while covertly directing them to alien or supernatural menaces to act as a screening force for the Starbourne Imperium to follow up on. As of yet, the Astartes has remained hidden from the Peacekeeper Corps even after it has established it's own space colonies on worlds formerly occupied by alien species that would have destroyed humanity had the Peacekeepers not wiped them out to the last individual. So far, over sixty thousand alien species and thirty thousand demon and elemental realms have been wiped out completely by the U.N peacekeepers.

The symbol of Project Frankenstein.

The Peacekeepers manages an empire of over a hundred million worlds spread across the local cluster, divided between the member states of the organization, due to a clause of secrecy, very little of the gains from this empire ever reach anyone on Earth. This means that the vastly superior resources, technology, and manpower of the organization that could end all the issues on earth in the snap of a finger never, ever reach the Earth, but neither does word of the constant atrocities they commit to maintain their war against other spaceborne human nations and out of simple xenophobia. Death camps, torture, mass executions, unspeakable experimentation, enslavement, and genocide are all common tools in the peacekeeper kit.

Carol and Operative Ericson, a Norwegian Frankenstein specializing in kinetic energy control.

Following a disastrous setback on the planet Reach in an engagement with Novus forces, the organization is on edge and extremely paranoid, worried that the Masari AI 413 Bright Ember will carry out it's threat to reveal the organization to the general public back home. Fearing the resulting Back lash, the organization is willing to go to desperate extremes to maintain it's existence. Those who support it also fear the deaths of their careers should their backing of an organization that has killed quadrillions of sapient life forms ever become public knowledge.

Out of fear of 413 Bright Ember's threat to reveal them, the organization has refocused attention on earth to try and spread a public relations campaign so that the revelation of their actions will not immediately turn the homeworld against them. While losing Earth would be on paper a minor loss, losing the support of the home planet would be a massive blow to their morale, as would having to enact rear guard actions from severely angered vigilantes capable of reaching space who would take offense to their actions.

Furthermore, new threats have begun encroaching upon the territories of the Peacekeepers. The Peacekeepers are engaging in a losing war with the Black hand which has only recently revealed itself to them. The forces of Chaos are pressing against the beleageured space federation. the later Alliance with the Novus and the Free-Coalition has proven to be shaky. The voracious tyranids and implacable electrical protectorate have begun to consume their worlds wholesale. And the unending legions of the Hierarchy have been a problem for years.

They bill themselves as the secret guardians of the earth and civilization, the force that protects you from what goes bump in the night. The dam that holds back the tide of aliens, demons, abominations, and worse and spreads the torch of democracy. But that dam is cracking. The guardian has bled, and the sharks are now circling around, smelling blood. The eagle is searching for a nest now that the entire forest is burning all around it. But like any wounded beast, they are now desperate, willing to do anything to preserve their gains.

The war against the Overseer's hierarchy is needless to say, going poorly. They can just barely manage to eke out bloody victories, but the Hiearchy has so far brutally stomped the Peacekeepers in virtually any space engagement where the Peacekeepers have not had a massive tactical and numerical advantage, and even then the Peacekeepers lose vast numbers of ships and the Overseers merely have to send in the next wave. The Peacekeepers have no idea why the Overseers are attacking, and their antagonistic attitude in space politics has deprived them of allies.

Peacekeepers and Earth

Following the Venezuela conflict, the Peacekeepers have made themselves known to Earth, having deployed substantial fleet elements to the Earth to start more openly influencing their home planet, hoping to make it strong and safe against the coming storm of aliens. Having an outsider's view of Earth politics, the Peacekeepers are quite heavy handed in their deployment and while they do have the best of intentions, they often go about it in a bad way.

The peacekeepers also work to try and develop the earth to their standards in drips and drabs, very slowly releasing examples of their civilian technology to try and convince the population of the Earth that their presence is a benefit to them, while slowly deploying ground troops to designated "embassies" to help establish their presence.

So far the peacekeepers are a relatively minor force planetside, but they're doing their best to slowly worm their tentacles into everyone's business. They largely constrain themselves to NATO members and Venezuela, but they never did know when to stay put, and a lot of countries look like they could use some "civilizing".

With regards to the pro and anti-reg conflict, the Peacekeepers are in favor of a fairly unobtrusive registration bill that does not require any personal details to be revealed, but does grant massive government benefits to registered superheroes and offers them proper training and special education to suit their needs. They've had enough time to figure out that highly invasive registration bills only end in tears.

To this end, they are looking to begin "prodding" the American government into complying with this new doctrine to compromise and broker a peace between the two factions before they can escalate into another war that would weaken the Earth's defenses against the Alien menace.

APKCSS Winston Churchill (Mini-location)

A flagship deployed to the Solar system, the APKCSS Churchill is a behemoth of a ship, coming in at over thirty kilometers long and functioning as the official base of Peacekeeper affairs earthside. Arrangements to meet with the Peacekeepers under command of Grand Admiral Jacques Roche (the Irony of a French man commanding a ship named after the most famous British man ever is not lost) can be made by contacting the APKCSS Churchill and scheduling an appointment, at which point a teleporter will be used to bring them on board to discuss matters.

Maintaining a high earth orbit, the APKCSS churchill largely remains out of sight, as despite it's size, on a cosmic scale it's not all that big. Although with space folding technology, it is way the hell bigger on the inside. Vast numbers of soldiers, civilians, and technicians live and work inside the warship, which carries a vast wing of strike craft and allows a number of frigates to parasite within it's bays.

While some would deride it as an ugly looking ungraceful brick, the Churchill works on reverse engineered Masari and Zolkri technology, and is the first example of such a ship. Still being upgraded, the Churchill is the pride of the peacekeeper navy.

Being so large, one cannot really describe all the locations within, but they are generally divided into the

Docking bays: Large, spacious areas where other craft can land and take off on the sides of the ship.

Gathering area: Best described as an entire city inside, this area is roughly divided into a merchant, residential, industrial, and military quarter, and due to it's regimented construction, not much stands out from each other, although the military and industrial quarter is off limits to visitors without a permit.

Engine compartment: Off limits at all times, the engine compartments power the churchill with some elements of reverse engineered Masari technology. Also where the shields are generated from.

Armory: Trespassers will be shot to death on sight; storage bays that contain the weapons for landing troops and ship guards throughout the interior of the mammoth vessel

Weapon loading and housing areas: Trespassers will be shot to death on sight, these areas link up to the external weapons of the ship, such as it's fearsome super railguns or it's new magnetohydrodynamic cannons which fire forth streams of molten metal at near light speeds with devastating effect, or perhaps it's massive batteries of missiles.

Bridge: The Peacekeepers aren't stupid, and thus don't have a bridge with large windows, instead using a series of cameras and holoprojectors to mimic one. The bridge connects to Jacque's office and always contains a complement of crew members and guardsmen who constantly overwatch the ship from above.

Mustering area: Where soldiers are prepared in case of landing or in preparation for boarding or counter boarding, at this time it's quite a busy area as plans are made for further, deeper interactions with earth.

Jacque's office: An unassuming office with very familiar amenities, his bedroom lies behind. Those who would seek to kill him tend to be surprised by the statues in his room turning out to be Mk 1 Giant death robots.

Rules: Sell within reason to the guards and defensive fleet. Don't mouth off to Jacques and expect him to give a damn about your problems, he has bigger things to worry about. Don't expect to impress the people inside, they've almost certainly seen much more than what you can do.

The Peacekeepers and you! (Propaganda given to earth dwellers following their revelation)

Greetings citizen of the many nations of the Earth, we are the peacekeepers! We have fought against the tyranny and oppression that lies beyond your comprehension of the world for over eighty years now, tirelessly giving everything we have to keep you safe! Formed in the thirties to fight the Axis powers, we soon spread to the stars to bring the light of FREEDOM into the depths of space and other dimensions. But we soon found that the universe was a very scary place!

Aliens, Demons, Abominations, Devils, Monsters! All out to destroy you and everything you love! Not only had the enemies of FREEDOM on earth fled into the stars following their defeats back home, we now had to fight against the unending menace from beyond the Earth. To this effect we have liberated over a hundred million worlds across the local cluster and brought to them democracy, a free market economy, FREEDOM, rule of law, peace, and prosperity.

Countless alien and extradimensional species and cultures work under our banner as we tirelessly fight upon the democratic and eglitarian ideals that NATO was founded on. But soon enough, we had to return to our nest. The amazing technology we created with the aid of our tireless scientists and engineers had to be used to help the homeworld, which had greatly lagged behind our technological progress!

We came to find a world in conflict, one that had been wracked by terrorism, lawlessness, TYRANNY! But fear not citizen, for we have come to restore your FREEDOM and peace! Already we have smashed the fist of Charlemagne's tyranny and liberated Venezuela and as of now are developing it into a first world nation with access to our space age technology and such amenities as free healthcare, the vote, fair working hours, and lucrative trade from our new San Jose space port!

Come to our model developments and see what the gifts of the space trade have to offer you! Take a trip to a far off planet, or meet out men and women in blue! Read tales of our struggles for FREEDOM on the frontline with our reporters and holonews network! Sign up with the peacekeepers today and fight against those who would seek to stamp out our FREEDOM and take away your rights!

To this end we are working to further cooperate with your planet! Please do not panic as we deploy space assets to help in preparing the Earth for a bold future, a peacekeeper future! A democratic future! Where FREEDOM, peace, and justice can be enjoyed by all! Our soldiers will soon be deploying in a city near you to help your local law enforcement keep the peace! While our constructors will soon be developing your city to OUR standards!

Remember, we're doing this for YOU!

Army (or Western civilization, f*ck yeah!)

Peacekeeper: Named after the organization itself, the Peacekeepers blue power armor has become their symbol across their vast starborne Federation. Armed with a tri-part gauss shotgun, grenade launcher, and assault rifle, these soldiers form the professional core of the Peacekeeper military. In addition, they can deploy highly advanced meta-polymer shields to protect them in fire fights, as well as deadly shock mauls in close combat. Now that the Peacekeepers are being assaulted by the Hierarchy at long last, they are finally being overwhelmed. Specialist weapons such as proton guns, rocket launchers, thermal lances, and flamethrowers are also common equipment.
Heavy defender: The heavy weapons teams of the Peacekeepers, the Heavy Defenders have long been an indomitable military asset of the Peacekeepers. But now that the Peacekeepers are on the run from Kamal Re'x's forces, they have been made to stand and fight in some of the most grueling battles of the Birthstar war. Despite their heavy gauss machine guns, laser cannons, auto railcannons, mortars, and missile launchers, the armies of Kamal have continued to smash defensive line after defensive line through vastly superior numbers, greater technology, and firepower. Efforts to proof their power armor and deployable cover against Zolkri weapons have been frantic to say the least.
Cyro-legionnaire: As their name suggests, these elite heavy power armor equipped soldiers are equipped with weapons that primarily concern themselves with affecting temperature including Cryogenic missiles, a liquid-helium/super cooled water mixture nozzle, the molecular arrestor beam which literally saps energy out of targets, and the molecular arrestor cannon which freezes particles in the air before launching them at targets. Their advanced jet systems allow them great maneuverability, while their thick armor and shielding allows for incredible durability and enhanced strength. But even they struggle against the armies and vassals of the Zolkri.
Rocketeer: Equipped with flight capable rocket propelled power suits, these airborne assets deal damage with their twin heavy gauss machine guns, grenade launchers, and missile batteries, while primarily relying on speed and maneuverability to keep out of danger. More elite units are equipped with proton gauntlets that fire out bursts of deadly charged particles as well as laser cannons to scythe through heavier armor. Losses to Zolkri air superiority and denial assets have recently been quite catastrophic, as the Peacekeepers have been rapidly forced to adjust to fighting when the enemy has near total air supremacy.
Chrono-legionnaire: Some consider playing with genes to be "playing god", the Peacekeepers don't even blink at recklessly playing with the fabric of space and time itself. Equipped with powerful chrono packs that let them travel through time and space, and neutron guns that erase targets from the timeline, trap them in time loops, lock them in null time, or teleport them away, these are perhaps the most elite soldiers the peacekeepers have to offer. Even their special weave power suits are a cut above the rest. However, the more important a target is to the time stream, the longer it takes for their gun to work.
Reservists: Hastily trained and recruited soldiers thrown into the meat grinder against the Zolkri faster than even Peacekeeper industrial output can equip them with true power suits, these soldiers have to make do with basic laser guns, non-powered future warrior armor, and what heavy weapons they are capable of carrying and equipping. Their casualty rates against the forces of the enemy are nothing short of absolutely appaling.

Norio Flightsuit: More advanced and sophisticated brethern of the A.N.S.C's rocketeers, the Norio flightsuit offers the advantage of far more durable armor with the benefit of special shielding and advanced energy weapons reverse engineered from the Hierarchy.

Bull pup IFV: A very special vehicle, this IFV can actually transform it's weapon to become a more powerful version of the primary weapon of it's gunner, and it's high speed, low drag frame allows it to zip around the battlefield, while advanced armor systems let it take a surprising amount of punishment and hide it to infrared detectors. Being cheap and easy to make while being incredibly versatile, they are a main stay of peacekeeper military forces. In it's default mode, it fires anti-personnel/anti-aircraft missiles useful against soft targets.
Guardian MBT: The newest main battle tank of the peacekeepers, this railgun and gauss machine gun tank's most interesting feature is it's laser designation that feeds targeting data to allies, letting them fire more accurately and more rapidly upon the painted target. While some may raise questions about it's odd turret lay out, the Guardian remains a highly reliable main stay of Peacekeeper ground forces, with it's thick, durable armor proving to be invaluable time and time again.
Horizon artillery: Artillery is the king of the battlefield, and even in the birthstar war this remains true. The Horizon hammers it's foes with rapid fire 155mm railgun rounds from a fairly speedy platform, impacting it's opponents with chunks of metal screaming at hypersonic speeds. Occasionally, they can fire off chronorift shells that shunt enemies a minute or so into the future, briefly taking them out of the fight.
Icarus mobile anti-air system: Equipped with a 37mm gatling railgun to rip through enemy aircraft, this nifty vehicle's recoil is so tremendous that it needs to stand still and deploy first before firing it's awe inspiring hail of millions of rounds per minute into the sky, creating a virtual laser of rounds as it tries to clear away the skies of enemies. Against infantry, the Icarus is similarly lethal, tending to create "burning salsa" as it's often called.
Mirage tank: "Can't hit what you can't see!" A particularly annoying colleague once told an engineer during a fight. Later, the engineer designed an invisible tank and obliterated the asshole's house with an incendiary cannon. The moral of the story is; don't fuck with people who can build tanks. The Mirage tank mark III is a descendant of that tank, having combined the old Prism and Mirage Tanks into one vehicle. The Mark III has several methods of disguise, first is taking the appearance of an innocuous inanimate object such as a tree or rock or sign post through clever holograms and light distortion, another is simply turning invisible or disguising itself as another vehicle or even a person. The tank can even extend it's "mirage field" to encompass multiple units. It's primary armament is a powerful refractive laser that upon impact, creates smaller beams that fry more targets, which are backed up by a set of gauss machine guns and medium tank armor.
Stewart light tank: Designed to be fast and maneuverable and light enough to be air dropped out of a small plane while *gliding* without the assistance of anti-gravity technology, the Stewart tank foregoes the traditional railgun for a rocket propelled 280mm mortar cannon that can either fire a massive shell that can obliterate entire city blocks or a wire guided missile that can core tanks. It's heavy gauss machine gun gives it anti-infantry and aircraft protection, but it's armor leaves much to be desired.
Valkyrie self propelled artillery gun: "Fuck your bunkers, fuck your army group, fuck your tanks, fuck your trenches, and most of all FUCK YOU!" Is the profanity ladened motto of the Valkyrie crews, who mount an extroardinarily excessive 525mm railgun on their vehilce that is capable of blasting spaceships out of orbit, eradicating armies, or coring entire cities at full charge. Frequent jokes about Valkyrie crew members having much to be desired below the belt are cracked, but are typically silenced as once they are fired nobody in a mile radius is able to hear anything for the rest of their lives.
Riptide ACV: Equipped with a .50 caliber gauss machine gun and heavy missile/torpedoe launchers, this rapid moving, amphibious APC has proven to be an invaluable asset in getting peacekeeper troops to the front lines as soon as possible, which has made them a priority target for Hierarchy ground forces and thus resulted in absolutely immense casualties amongst their crew members, who have grown jaded and bitter about their survival prospects.
Particle expeller: Due to the downspiral the course of the war against the Hierarchy has taken, the Peacekeepers have started to bring forth in the words of a noted general "a lot of the weirdest fucking shit to ever hit the battlefield". One of these is the particle expeller, which is nothing more than a weaponized atom smasher, taking packets of atoms and launching them at the smallest fraction under light speed possible, where single atomic masses can impact with the power of tank shells, effectively meaning they have unlimited ammo, a high rate of fire, and can cause high amounts of "splash damage" by simply firing bigger packets. The vehicle itself though, is quite fragile.
Fusion torch tank: This bizarre vehicle does exactly what it says on the tin, create a continuous nuclear fusion explosion that is vomitted out a torch to incinerate everything in front of it and leave nothing but superheated gas, plasma, and wailing souls damned to the underworld in it's wake. Upgrades to the torch tank allow it to induce nuclear fusion in it's targets, causing them to go off in nuclear explosions as well, and the tank can direct it's torch into the ground to fly at immense velocities, resulting in the bizarre sight of an entire torch tank division vaulting clear over head and then landing behind enemy lines to thoroughly wreck their shit.
Rosen bridger Tank: Derided for having a terrible quantum physics pun as it's name, this vehicle literally folds space and time like a pretzel to transport mass numbers of soldiers and vehicles through anywhere in time and space to engage in high level warfare with the foes of the allies. Against enemies, it simply directs an uncontrolled space-time fold which tends to literally break reality around them for massive damage. And despite expectations, it's actually extremely durable because of what happens if something fucks up with technology this powerful. Don't let the inhibitors get damaged, bad things happened the last time they did.
Isospin tank: A much more extreme form of the microwave tank that first saw use in the Venezuela conflict, this tank was initially developed as a riot control vehicle until someone found that turning up the power generation created massive amounts of gore, clearing out buildings, killing vehicle crews, and igniting aircraft combustibles. The Peacekeepers of course, saw an accident that killed twenty million people as the test for a new weapon systems. Redesignating it as a Tank, this vehicle was pushed onto the battlefield for aircraft, infantry, and garrison clearing duties, literally cooking enemies alive in one of the most painful ways imaginable. It's often used as a torture device due to it's ability to stimulate every pain sensor in a body at low settings, letting them feel their organs slowly cook.
Higgs MASS Tank: "Here's a riddle, you're tiny, and I have a steam roller." While at first seemingly underarmed with only a pair of rail autocannons and a brace of gauss machine guns and a steam roller, this tank's true power lies in it's M.A.S.S and S.H.R.I.N.K rays. The S.H.R.I.N.K ray does exactly as it would suggest, reducing a targets size and mass under concentrated exposure to the beam, reducing their strength and durability until the tank can simply just roll over and crush them into a goopy pulp. The M.A.S.S ray does the opposite and is typically used to bolster allies with it's effects.
Apollo Fighter: A VTOL craft that sees service in both atmospheres and space, the versatile Apollo has remained a workhorse for quite some time, and now sees action against the swarms of fliers used by the Hierarchy. Stealthy and insanely maneuverable, the Apollo would crap all over any fighter made on earth, and it's lethal dual 30mm revolver auto rail cannon packs a massive amount of punch, as does it's brace of powerful missiles and optional Laser cannon. It's also reasonably durable and very fast, often regarded as the single best fighter created by humans if not the best air superiority craft ever created period given that it maintains favorable kill ratios against hierarchy fighters, although that's not entirely true.
Vindicator ground attack craft: A principle tactical bomber and ground attack plane, the Vindicator is death incarnate to ground forces, carrying a lethal payload of missiles, bombs, and it's fearsome gatling railcannon which can be dragged across enemy lines, likely obliterating them all as this space borne cousin of the A-10 warthog fights for justice and freedom across countless battle fronts. Thanks to it's V/TOL construction, it's actually very maneuverable, and it is incredibly tough and durable with countless redundant systems. They are a welcome sight to ground forces and an eternal annoyance to hierarchy command assets.
Cryocopter: Equipped with scaled up versions of Cryolegionnare equipment and the same MASS and SHRINK rays used by Higgs tanks, these highly advanced helicopters are a prominent support gunship used by peacekeeper forces, often freezing up entire enemy columns, shrinking them down to size, and then shattering them with a brace of hypersonic ice shards from their MOAC guns. Their great speed, maneuverability, and durability makes them favorites of ground troopers and pilots.
Longbow liberator: Armed with a long barelled 30mm revolver railcannon, a brace of powerful missiles, and rocket pods, these gunships carry sheer, raw firepower that can utterly devastate ground forces, while their great maneuverability and durability lets them hang tight in the hairiest of situations, continually delivering their vital support. Hierarchy walker and super heavy kills are especially prized amongst Longbow pilots, who take great pride in their work to slow down the Zolkri.
Century bomber: Who else could design this hulking behemoth but an American? A huge heavy bomber and paratrooper carrier, the Century is one of the biggest VTOL airplanes ever designed, and it's immensely thick armor and powerful engines makes sure it will always get to the target to drop forth a huge cluster of bombs, cruise missiles, and paratroopers, while it's gatling railguns and anti-air missiles ward off interceptors who would try to stop the turn of the Century.
Cardinal transport copter: Yes it looks like a huey. No it is not a huey. Armed with dual automatic grenade launchers, twin gauss light machine guns, rocket pods, a gauss minigun, and target designator laser, this transport copter can go into space with rotors...somehow, and deliver infantry right down onto the battlefield, while it's great agility, speed, and impressive durability let it get through intense enemy anti-aircraft fire to get the job done.
Meso-fortress: A powerful bomber with several parasitic fighters equipped with proton pulse cannons and laser beamers to ward off pesky interceptors, this vehicle lets fly with deadly proton missiles that blast a target with a shower of near light speed particles that tear everything in the area apart, while it's great speed, heavy armor, set of automatic railguns, particle accelerator bombs round up it's loadout. Truly an invaluable asset to the peacekeeper war effort to keep humanity safe.
Achilles air superiority fighter: What many would have you believe is the single best air superiority craft in the universe, this impressive strike craft is propelled by a constantly ongoing nuclear explosion behind it, tending to incinerate anyone who hoped to catch it from behind while making it just about the fastest sublight speed object ever, not to mention it's hyperdrives and potent shielding, cloaking device, and potent armor. Equipped with powerful faster than light lases, missiles, and railguns, this vehicle can simply rip through entire enemy strike craft squadrons or gut capital ships singlehandedly, as well as easily kill most metahumans before they ever knew what the hell just happened. That being said, they are very expensive.
Heisenberg helicopter: A testament to the peacekeeper's increasing willingness to play god with the fabric of reality to do anything they can to reverse the fortunes of their war against the Zolkri, the Heisenberg's fearsome quark ray literally accelerates the entropy of it's target, causing it to age apart until even it's very protons decay into nothingness, and they are capable of simply punching through dimensional barriers to enter spaces beyond human imaginings to evade enemy fire while their highly maneuverable gravitic drives keep them going, that being said they are quite fragile, and activating the Heisenberg device while heavily damaged causes...bad juju..
Mk1 Giant Death Robot (Officially the Future tank): "Subtlety is for pussies"- Unofficial motto of Futuretech Inc, the largest weapons designer for the Peacekeepers. A fully automated rolling engine of utter death and despair, this highly intelligent robot is equipped with two massive neutron radiation guns that fire concentrated nuclear explosions that cause their targets to detonate in nuclear explosions, creating areas of effect so large they can even swat aircraft out of the sky. Powerful riot beams can be fired which literally punch a hole through the universe into a dimension of utter oblivion, sucking all those caught by the ray within to utter destruction. Gauss gatling guns, missile launchers, cryo-beams, and a powerful Chrono-gun which drastically scales up the Chrono-legionnaire's weapons sum up the rest of this juggernaut's arsenal. And not only that, it is also absurdly, ridiculously durable.
Harbinger gunship: "No we aren't compensating for anything, honest." A frequent response pilots of these massive vehicles have to give. Equipped with two massive particle collider cannons, a series of gauss gatling guns, autorailguns, and potent missile launchers, this vehicle can wipe out massive sections of an enemy army with just one circle around, while it's absolutely absurd amounts of armor and powerful engines keep it in the air come hell or high water.
Pacifier FAV: Equipped with twin rapid fire 305mm Railguns, a series of gatling railcannons, and an MRLS battery, this floating self propelled and unusually durable artillery platform brings forth a massive weight of firepower to bring the sky crashing down on some unfortunate sucker who's about to have a very, very bad day.
Robot tank: A zippy, floating light tank equipped with three light gauss machine guns and twin automatic railcannons, the Robot tank has been driven onto the battlefield to fill the gap created by increasingly severe amounts of casualties in the war against the zolkri, getting obliterated in droves, but managing to absorb losses that might have otherwise ripped through tank crews.

Chrono-Prison: As the Allied Nations Space Command becomes increasingly desperate, weapons that would be considered insane by more reasonable powers have been designed as the Allies adopt a policy of "throw science at the wall and see what sticks" and rush designs into battle with increasingly less regard for the consequences. The Chrono-Prison is perhaps one of the most terrifying of these ideas. Upscaling the Chrono-eraser of the Legionnaire to immense levels, the Prison can immediately remove anything that is not critical to the stability of reality from spacetime, locking them in null time, trapping them in an endless loop, teleporting them out of the universe, or even removing them from existence as a whole. Furthermore, Prisons can also work to benefit the rest of the army by manipulating the spacetime continuum around it, allowing soldiers to move with impossible speed while everyone else is ambling about in a molasses of slow time or aging to dust in moments or being reverse aged into mere children.

Chrono-tank: The A.N.S.C utilizes a highly fluid and mobile military force to strike at enemies where they are at their most vulnerable, thus making a tank that could teleport was simply a logical continuation of this philosophy, utilizing the same teleporters seen in Chrono-legionnaires on a larger scale, the Chrono-tank can simply slip past most any defensive barrier you care to put in front of it upon where it fires it's experimental Plasma cannon to give the enemy a taste of the same medicine the Hierarchy has been feeding it for years.

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