Friday, May 28, 2010
Ghosts of the Deviant Stronghold!
Captain America: Iron Man! Thor! AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!!!!
Grey Gargoyle: Just one touch, and I’ll...
Cap: Catching my shield is a matter of practice, Gargoyle! (flings shield into Gargoyle’s head) Something tells me you’re not trying out for the Mets.
Thor: The Absorbing Man must NOT come within an arm’s length of yon Destroyer! As God of Thunder do I call the winds to sweep away this doom!
Absorbing Man: Suddenly this whole place is cracking up and flying away! Blast it, Enchantress! He’s picking me up off the ground with a hurricane force!
Iron Man: My force field will keep us both from being swept away, Cap!
Captain America: I don’t know what the Enchantress is doing here, but as soon as we’re clear, she’s got to be stopped next! She’s powerful---unpredictable! And most likely behind this plot!
Iron Man: Hawkeye, She-Hulk! I detect you flying into the antechamber now! Thor’s cooked up
She Hulk: We’re getting long-hair’s summer breeze back here in the cave, Shell head!
Hawkeye: But I think we’ve picked up a hairy hitch-hiker on the way in! I’ll try not to crash this sky-cycle, and we’ll be right there!
Holt: I’m about to be sucked into the storm! The dusty vault with these stones nearly left me blind. They don’t even know I’m here...which is all that’s kept me alive, so far!
Suddenly, as Iron Man deactivates his force field, Midnight Sun glides in on his aero-discs and kicks him into the wall, skimming past. Captain America charges the Enchantress, too quickly for her to put her plan into motion. Titania still stand beside the Destroyer, imprisoned in an eerie glow.
Enchantress: By the dark trolls, Avenger! I’ll have your mortal life for this.
Grey Gargoyle: Our forces cannot be divided thus! Absorbing Man!
Leaping into the air, Gargoyle reaches out for the wind-swept villain. With a touch he turns him to stone, so he falls back to the ground near the frozen Destroyer.
Grey Gargoyle: The nature of his power should allow him to take the stone touch and still remain mobile. Were such a brilliant chemist as I, Paul Duval, to have such ability to absorb energies and substances, I’d be truly unstoppable!
Absorbing Man, changed now to stone on the surface and too heavy to been blown out of the ripped open cavern, struggles quickly to reach the Destroyer, while Sabretooth lands directly onto Iron Man. In the moment it takes for Iron Man to wrest free, Absorbing Man reaches the immobile Destroyer. Desperately, Thor hurls his war hammer Mjolnir into the robot, smashing it over...but not quite far enough out of reach!
As his hammer magically speeds back to the hand of its thrower, Thor cries out to Iron Man:
Quickly! Render yourself and all Avengers invisible!
Iron Man complies, as Midnight Sun comes barreling at Captain America on his aero-discs once more, to deliver a brutal kick. To his chagrin, Hawkeye fires an arrow with a bola tip that engages and swings around Sun’s left leg; the resultant imbalance slams him into the wall, and then the ground, where another arrow hits his right aero disc, releasing a corrosive that causes it to fall off the dazed assassin. The Enchantress sees Creel touch the Destroyer, and as the mind-transfer into the robot occurs, she disappears, saying:
The first thing the Destroyer sees upon its awakening, it will attempt to destroy, without rest! It can’t see meeeee...(fwash!)
Three phantom forms appear before the Destroyer at that instant: one of them declares, “Quickly! We are intangible...let us distract this behemoth!” Sure enough, his initial blast goes straight through their vanishing forms.
Titania is also unfrozen at this moment; dazed she tries to gain her bearings. Grey Gargoyle tells her: “Woman, the Avengers want those stones atop ---there!” he says, pointing. She looks down at her feet and sees: “Crusher? Baby, you came for me! That must mean these other guys are fighting the Avengers!!”
She walks up to the precipice on which the Norn Stones rests and slams into it; “well, anything I can do as a non-favor to those smug hero creeps!” In the resulting pieces slide the twins.
“Dave! This whole thing’s crumbling!”
“I kinda noticed, Nick!”
“Look! Dad’s levitating! He’s gonna make it!”
“It’s that stone he’s holding!”
“Yeah...apparently he believes it’s happening, too.”
Steve Holt, frantically wishing not to be caught in the rock slide, instead finds himself drifting out of their reach. His face bears utter amazement; it is the Norn Stones reacting to his mental command not to slide into the rubble.
Iron Man and She Hulk, with a beam generating cold and a cold blow, knock the disoriented Titania out of commission momentarily.
Iron Man, visible once more, is checking his computers, onboard. “I detected three other life forms in this area for a moment! But whatever technology they’re using is giving off energy configurations like nothing I’ve seen on Earth! Are they a part of this strange chamber? It seems filled with markings and ...wall art?---from some fantastic hidden race...”
Thor’s hammer engages the villains; Sabretooth decides, as Grey Gargoyle falls upon the shattered cavern floor, that a Thunder God is above his pay grade. Instead, he rakes his claws across Captain America’s shield. A quick kick to the villain’s solar plexus backs him off long enough for Captain America to charge him shield-first. As Hawkeye rushes over to check Midnight Sun, the Grey Gargoyle freezes him with his hour-long stone touch.
The Destroyer remains frozen; it has no way to detect the foes it believes it was awakened to destroy! Thor wonders aloud if the robot will retain the Absorbing Man’s powers, as well. At that moment, however, the Enchantress reappears...
The twins bypass the scene of battle to continue the search, adjusting for space warped by the teleportation tunnel. "Should we try to leave clue, in case Dad is active in this realm?" Nick asks Dave.
"Never leaves Mom’s side in the one where we grew up!"
"Kinda hope he’s not in the middle of this scrap, ‘less he has powers like Dad where we grew up!”
“Well, you know he's got the Stones. This’ll be a different version of Dad, anyway. Sides, what if we are just as lost?
I’m beginning to suspect we are."
"Is that someone we know?"
"What kind of ghost would haunt a Deviant stronghold?"
"Old friends," comes a voice. The patterns begin to resolve into three forms...
(conclusion next post)