|Mine Your Business|
|What: Miner's Trapped! West Virginia! This looks like a job for...|
Somewhere in the hills of West Virginia...
Coal still powers much of the Eastern Seaboard despite advantages in cleaner technology. Much of it comes from the hills, starting north in Pennsylvania and running deeper south into the mountains of West Virginia. Each day, miners careen downward for miles and miles into the murky depths of the mountainous underbelly to dig up the dark crumbly product that heats our homes.
Many of these mines were built long ago, and have either become dilapidated in some manner, or were never built well in the first place. In any event, sometimes these caves have a way of collapsing.
It's been all over the news today: 40 miners trapped 3 miles underneath the Earth. A call was sent out to the heroes of the world.
Just as he's putting the finishing touches on one of the rooms at the Hall of Justice, Superman gets the call from the Pentagon. It doesn't take him long to get west to the mayhem.
The news article was the first thing she saw when she crawled out of bed this morning. Batwoman wasted no time, or money in her opinion, getting herself here as fast as her credit card could swipe. The plane ride, though even more expensive for being discrete, gives her just enough time to get ready and get a more detailed report of the incident from the Colonel, and to send a message to her new digital friend. When the plane lands she's moving, flying out of a cargo hatch on her motorcycle and speeding off toward the mines.
A gentle hum becomes a heady roar as a motorcycle comes speeding up the road. The Black Canary grips tight to the handles of the bike, knuckles white under her gloves as she speeds up the road. Coming to a screetching halt not far from the mines the Canary pops off her helmet and turns on her earring transmitters with gritted teeth. "Alright." Her head tilts side to side loosening her neck and with a kick she starts the bike again the purr of her motorcycle carries the Canary up the road.
"Duty calls, ladies."
Tony Stark was about to dive right into one of his hot tubs that just happened to be filled with oh so many beautiful women, when the bad news popped up all over the wall screen. With a sigh, he leaves the tray of champagne and turns to head to his Hall of Armor. Time to suit up.
It takes him less time than the Man of Steel, but Iron Man's speeding towards the scene with some righteous speed coming out of those boots. "Alright, JARVIS. Hit me with the sitch. Gotta' make this short and sweet. I've got some relaxing to do." As if relaxation is what's on his mind at this very moment.
J.A.R.V.I.S., to his credit, has already come up with a general mock up of the situation based on news reports and whatever else he could find throughout the information superhighway. It's not until Iron Man is on site does he get close enough to scan and thus can provide Tony with better and more up to date knowledge.
The readouts in Tony's computer systems will let him know that the rubble is located about three miles down a long angled shaft that's normally taken by car. Worse, it seems like the entire mine may collapse as it begins to groan wildly.
Superman lands softly as a crowd is beginning to form around the mouth of the cave. He's not met Batwoman or Black Canary yet, but their dress signifies they're here to help and he dispenses with the pleasantries. "Ladies," he says simply and with a nod. "Iron Man." Another nod. "What have we got?"
Batwoman nods to Superman and the others quietly as she slides off her bike. "Three miles of earth between us and them, some explosives," She pulls out a handful of small demolition charges, "And I doubt very much time. Anyone have a plan?"
Pausing after hopping off her bike Dinah tosses her blonde hair. "Hey, three miles huh? All rubble or are there pockets? I've got a trick thats a touch more delicate than those." She nods at the explosives in Batwoman's hand. She turns to look up at Superman, still on the shorter side, even in heels.
"Not much time. This thing's going to collapse if we don't do this now." comes the robotic sounding voice. Iron Man has brought himself in for a landing and is making sure that he's talking to Superman and giving out the much needed information right now. And that's when Black Canary opens her mouth and Iron Man's mask pops right up. "Allow me to be the first to sign up for any tricks you've got up those sleeves." Tony cracks a smile at this point. Distracted.
J.A.R.V.I.S. is already running through a series of possible scenarios of how they can tackle this problem with lightning speed. Super AI's can do stuff like that, apparently. Tony might as well get his flirt on while J.A.R.V.I.S. is doing his thing.
"We'd better move quick th..." But Superman stops talking at another loud groan. With a whooooooosh he disappears down into the mine, leaving the other three to themselves.
Batwoman glances at Iron Man as she nods to Canary and puts the charges away for now. She's looking to Superman again then, but he's suddenly just gone. "Well." With a shake of her head she heads in after him, "I guess I know how Spoiler feels now... "
"Son of a-" Dinah swears as she catches Superman fly off. "Alright." She takes off at a healthly sprint towards the mine calling out as she runs. "I have a Canary Cry, its a sonic blast that could easily clear this rubble provided its not all one solid mass." She pants a little as a solid booted run carries her to the mine.
Tony's helmet seals back up and he's blasting off after the others. "If you can shake things up, I can clear the debris pretty easily." Iron man's robotic voice carries as his shoulder plates slide back to reveal miniature missile boxes, which likely isn't armed with anything lethal. J.A.R.V.I.S. is currently isolating the weakest points in the mine so they can handle those first.
As everyone gets down deep into the mine, about halfway down, they'll shine their lights on Superman, who's standing, holding up a large piece of rock. "Uh..." The Man of Steel does his best to smile at them. "I heard you talking about using something to blast the debris away. That might not be the greatest idea. Because that'd probably kill the people we're trying to protect........unh....." He adjusts a little bit, wincing. "So, anyways. Looks like I'm going to have to sit this one out and play Rock baby sitter. Whatever your plan is, do it quick. This is really heavy."
"Right then." Batwoman eyes Superman briefly, then looks to the others. "It might. But if we can get to them, we might be able to use that cry of yours to make an easier path back out. Iron Man, you should go ahead. If there's any more blockage, you'll be best equipped to handle it for now."
Black Canary nods at Batwoman. She rolls back her shoulders and cracks her knuckles as she nods. "Right." She looks up to Iron Man, "Lead on blaster boy." she quips falling into place next to Batwoman.
Iron Man pulls ahead, zipping past both Batwoman and Black Canary to make sure that he's coming up fast behind the Man of Steel... and then zooming past him. "Don't get an itch, Superman!" is said, as he turns on the speed to try and take the rest of this mine without too much problem. J.A.R.V.I.S. has already started scanning for signs of life down this deep in the mine, hoping to figure out who or how many are injured and such for removal purposes. Prioritizing.
Another mile or so down is a pile of rubble. Amazingly, Tony's readouts get vitals on all 40 miners. Everyone's still alive, but their air is running out fast!
Batwoman slides in after Iron Man, keeping a careful eye on the rock around the three. "We'll have to take them out in groups if we can." She says, "Iron Man, you have a way to safely tunnel upward from the miners' position? Then we don't have to try to squeeze them all back through here."
Black Canary follows close behind. "Too much rubble could fall back down, the soil doesn't look stable enough for a more verticle hole. We need to work with what we got. I can try to open the shaft up enough to get them all out, single file." Dinah says to Batwoman in a soft whisper, she eyes the tunnel critically as they move down.
"Tunneling would probably be suicide." Iron Man's taking everything into consideration at once. "I can probably get them all out of here in one fell swoop. I've got a few tricks up these sleeves." Iron Man's optics single out the rubble in the way and he holds both of his gauntlets up to give a light push with magnetic force to see if he can't move that stuff out of the way. It's the closest thing he's got to TK. "Ladies? Get to work on that shaft." Oh, Tony.
Tony's magnetic pulses start pushing some of the debris out of the way slowly, but the boulders are pretty large. It's slow going, for sure, but steady. The rubble pile itself is pretty deep, too. The caving in was pretty extensive, which makes one worry if another one is coming.
"Yes, sir." Batwoman salutes, the gesture perfect despite the thick sarcasm in her tone. There's a tiny sigh, almost inaudible, afterward, followed by a quiet, "Understood, Colonel." Reaching up, she touches a finger brifly to the earpiece of her mask. Then she starts placing the tiny demplition charges, carefully adhering each to a larger bit of rubble and clearing the smaller pieces once the charges have done their work. Her work is precice, broken only by a few nods here and there to an unheard voice.
Dinah is immediatly at Batwoman's side. She hefts at the rubble after Batwoman's blasts clear. With a small grunt here and there the Canary moves rubble to one side clearing the shaft for the miner's exit.
Iron Man is muy focused on trying to make this rubble get out of the way without too much effort. "JARVIS. Repulsors at ten percent. Goin' for the gusto here." And while JARVIS makes the adjustments, Iron Man's gauntlets come up and he holds his arms steady to send a more powerful blast of his signature non-weaponry to miniplode those boulders out of his way. Gotta' get to those miners. J.A.R.V.I.S. is in charge of letting Tony know if another cave in is on the books.
The charges are placed, although Superman's voice can be heard off in the echoes as if he's trying to ask something. Darn that superhearing and superseeing business. In any event the boulders all seem to make space away from a circular point in the center of Tony's magnetic focus, burrowing a deep hole within the rock. By his sensors, it's not much farther.
"Keep working here, I'll go see what that's about." Batwoman hands a few charges to Black Canary and slips back down the shaft, placing a few more charges on her way, "What's that, Big S" She calls out when she gets closer.
Black Canary moves along the mine shaft clearing rubble and placing some of the charges as a small sheen of sweat gathers on her brow. Why couldn't it be old fashioned TnT? Clamy hands place the devices and quick enough she's back to hefting rubble. "All set!" She doesn't dare raise her voice above a casual call.
As Iron Man's magnetic repulsors continue their work, eventually they punch through to the other side, creating a pathway to the other side. As Superman is called out to, he calls back, "I'm not really sure explosives in a mine this fragile is such a good idea. Are you an expert demolitionist?"
"No." Batwoman smiles, "But I'm getting my instructions from one." She taps the ear of her mask again, "Alright, Colonel. Even Superman's doubting this, so it had better work. If not, I expect a closed casket funeral." Nodding to Superman, she turns and heads back down the shaft calling down to Black Canary, "Ok, get yourself clear while these detonate, then if you can start sending the miners this way. We probably won't have a lot of time, so be ready!"
"Clear!" Dinah moves away from the rocks pulling her gloves taught again. She waits for the boom and for the dust to settle before she darts in through the rubble to the Miners.
There's a loud boom as the cacophony of explosions rock the inside of the mine. For a moment it looks as if the idea is about to work, but that is quickly replaced by the realization that the entirety of the mountain is going to come down upon them. An impossibly loud crash is heard, perhaps second only to Black Canary's cry in noise level, as rocks fall from the low ceiling. Within moments the dust and rocks have settled. Iron Man, Dinah, and Batwoman all find themselves separated in small pockets. Alive, but alone.
"Right." Batwoman sighs, "Your consultant is fired, Colonel." Without any more delay she does the only thing she can, she starts lifting rocks and doing her best to clear a new path out.
"Mother-" Dinah curses under her breath. "Could have been a florist" She chucks some rocks in the darkness "Could be curled up at home with some young wealthy-" She huffs as she continues to work towards the miners "man!". Dinah wiped sweat from her brow, quelching a rising panic.
Unfortunately, what the women don't see is that upwards digging will take hours if not days. Instead of a short swath of rubble, it's now miles and miles of rubble. They dig as they can, however, slowly the oxygen at their levels begins to get used up in their lungs, turning to carbon monoxide.
Batwoman continues to work, though she knows that things do not look good. "I'm running out of options, Colonel." She says, keeping her voice low to use less air, "I need a new idea and fast. Or we're going to join those miners down here, permanently."
Slowly, the air begins to empty out of the pocket where Canary finds herself. She's forced to rest more often, and then struggles to find the will to even stand. She closes her eyes and for a moment she falls unconscious.
A fist smashes through the rubble and Superman burrows through the rest of debris and into the cave. He picks Canary up into his arms and with superspeed ducks out of the hole and back to the surface. Once up top, Superman sets her down and then heads back in.
Batwoman ducks, hearing the crash. When its clear enough to stand, she notices the hole, and as she starts climbing her way back toward the miners, Sees Superman heading her way with Black Canary. Nodding her thanks, she quickly moves out of the way, then contonues heading down toward the miners.
Superman shoots Batwoman a glance and begins to peel the rocks away at incomprehensible speeds. "I told you I wasn't sure it was such a good idea. The good news is they're breathing. All of them."
"Then maybe you should have started with your tunneling technique." Batwoman replies, moving as fast as she dares down the tunnel and to the miners, who she starts getting to their feet, helping any that are having trouble.
"I was trying. And then a mountain fell on me. You'll remember I was holding it up so it didn't crush you." Superman starts grabbing miners with each arm and hurries them out. After his first run, he looks to Batwoman, and hands out a few bottles of water, "Start getting this to the men while I start getting the others out.
In all it doesn't take too long to get everyone, including Tony and Dinah, to safety. Despite some turbulence, the miners are freed and taken to the hospital to deal with their ailments.