|Grounded: Battle of the Fortress|
|What: Wonder Woman, Zenith, Supergirl and Superman face off against Darkseid, Power Boy and Kalibak in the Fortress of Solitude.|
It has not been long at all since Superman burst back into the public eye bearing a Stark-tech suit forged specifically for him. After several sightings across the continental United States, he once again dropped off the radar – making straight for the Fortress of Solitude and the Kryptonian super-computer within.
Clad in ordinary, utilitarian black clothing he stands with his new suit of armor open and waiting alongside him. The call for Diana to meet with him at the Fortress went out shortly after he arrived, the Man of Steel fully intending to pore over his findings even as he confers with his comrade in arms about the best next course of action.
Figuring that's where Kal-El calls home, and not knowing his other identity, Lor-Zod has checked in at the Fortress a few times since Superman was so publically stripped of his powers. He'd almost given up hope of finding him, until those appearances in the armour. Now he tries again, and this time he finally finds the Fortress accessible and occupied. He slows, floating to a gentle landing as he says, "Kal! I knew you wouldn't give up."
Truthfully, Diana has never been to the Fortress of Solitude. It has always been a sacrosanct place he kept much to himself. Close friends as they are, neither have really had the chance to visit the other's "home apart". Neither he to Themyscira, nor she to the Fortress.
Thus, rather than just showing up on his doorstep, she stands in the war room of the Watchtower, using a com screen to reach him. The Fortress itself, after all, is technically just a teleport away from there. So, as she makes the call, she's simply hoping he's around //somewhere// to pick up.
“Better still,” Superman calls to Lor-Zod as he arrives, “I’ve found away around what he did to me. I can undo the genetic alterations but it’ll be a long haul. It took years to fully charge my cells with solar energy … I’ll be starting from scratch.”
When the communicator built into the panel sounds, he reaches out and flicks it on. The connection between the Watchtower and the Fortress is established.
“Hi, Diana,” he says, still investigating his findings closely, “I’ve got some good news and some bad news.”
Zenith thinks about that a moment, and steps over closer to Superman. "Well, it only took me about a week to get my powers.. can my DNA help?" He quiets, however, as Superman begins talking to Diana. He does give a small wave to the screen, however.
Diana's expression reflects relief when she sees Kal's face on the screen. She glances to Lor when he appears and smiles, giving a light nod in response. "Kal. Lor. It is good to see you both. What have you discovered? I have some information from a woman named Channel; I don't know if it will help or not, but I could deliver it to you, if you've not yet seen it."
Within the depths of Apokolips, Darkseid picks up the yellow crystal within his vault. His motherbox in hand, he carefully scans the energy signal within it. Setting it back on it's pedestal, he strides through a couple massively armored doors, slamming shut, arms behind his back. Thundering footsteps take him to the huge tower of DeSaad, finding him toiling away on his latest gadgets. When he realizes who has come, the robed figure collapses prostrate. "M,My lord!"
"I am having difficulties locating Kal-El on Earth. I've gathered the data from his cellular structure on my Mother Box." He then tosses it to clatter on the ground before DeSaad.
"/Find him./" Something very close to anger is in that voice, and trembling DeSaad takes the Mother Box in both hands.
"Y,Yes my lo--" He drops the priceless miracle of technology, crouching to pick it up again. "YES, my Lord! Right away!!" Rushing over to a gargantuan computer terminal, one that stretches nearly a story into the air, the Mother Box is carefully slotted within it. Deft fingers start manipulating the scanner, Darkseid approaching and standing behind.
SCANNING... SCANNING... Sweeping pulses flow over Earth. The frozen wastes of the Fortress are highlighted and zoomed in. Another region, highlight and zoomed in.
The Fortress of Solitude's exact location begins blinking red on the huge screen.
Within Superman's sanctum, his computer would offer him an ominous warning: An energy scan has managed to penetrate the defenses of his Fortress, and Kryptonian technology. Such is probably Not Good.
"I'm not sure," Kal-El says with a slight frown as Lor makes his offer, "It could but given that you're from a different reality I'm not sure it's a wise move. There has to be a way to supercharge the process."
He glances up at the screen with Diana on it, half-smiling, "Any little bit can help. I think I've just about figured a way around ... around ... "
The angry, beeping light on the console draws his attention immediately. There's not much that can breach the defenses of the Fortress of Solitude and what little that can is cause for concern. He looks up at the screen once again, "Diana, this conference might have to wait."
Without waiting, he takes a step back and into the suit of Stark armor waiting for him nearby. It seals around him in an instance, giving him the look of a mechanical Superman. He turns to Lor, voice suddenly grave.
"You need to get out of here, Lor."
Zenith smiles and says, "I know Channel. If she has info, and it's about energy of any kind, it's good." He blinks at the beeping, and steps back as Superman suits up, floating into the air but asking, "Why? What's going on?"
"Give me the coordinates?" Diana asks of Kal, now. "Let me help." She can be there in a flash -- a flash of blue light, in fact. And she can bring the analyses with her... not to mention an extra hand to the fight. Both very useful things.
The Mother Box is yanked out of the console, and placed back within Darkseid's ominous sash. DeSaad is sweating bullets, and after the monolithic God leaves the room, he lets out a long sigh and wobbles back to his workbench, grasping his chest. Being near Darkseid in such a mood... it can truly crush the soul of meager beings, to witness such killing intent and bared fangs.
Huge double doors blow inwards, revealing a grand open area with a raised stone fighting circle in the middle. Granny Goodness and Kalibak are within the room, the latter holding a battered Jon-El by the head and about to smack him with his Beta Club; Jon-El wielding a sword now, and donned in the Apokoliptian armor that both finished consuming his mind, and replaced the power the Aegis granted.
His son and Granny say nothing, expressions fearful. But all Darkseid does is bring out his Mother Box and open a portal. It cracks and booms, frozen air and wind rushing out. "Jon-El. Kalibak. Come." Immediately, the Apokolips heir drops Jon-El and rushes forward.
Within Superman's computer, another warning begins beeping. That an interdimensional portal just opened right outside the front doors...
Superman isn’t about to pass up help from Wonder Woman. He reaches out one steel-encased hand to forward the coordinates to the Watchtower, allowing any signal from it to bypass the defenses put in place. When Diana teleports she’ll arrive right in the heart of Superman’s sanctum sanctorum.
Distracted by the warning lights flashing all across the console, Superman lets out a pained ‘no’ before turning back to Lor, “Darkseid.”
Zenith blinks, his eyes flashing a little wider for a moment. Still, he doesn't obey, shaking his head as he says, "No way, I'm not going anywhere." His face is set in a stubborn look so common among young teens. He stays floating in the air, as he turns to face the entrance and whatever may be coming.
Coordinates received, Diana activates the Watchtower teleporter and appears in a flash of blue light in the middle of the Fortress' command center. She has slung her shield on her back, and has her sword at her side, in addition to her lasso. She also carries the case in which Channel's information has been stored. That, she places on a counter console shortly after she arrives.
"What are we looking at?" she asks now, taking a moment to sweep her eyes around the place, noting defensive positions and possible flanking routes before she moves to greet the others properly. A smile: "And thank you for the coordinates."
Johnathan catches his balance as Kalibak lets him go, at the orders of Darkseid. "Yes Lord Darkseid." the boy says immediately, the sword shaped similar to a greek kopis sliding into a reverse sheath attached to the back of his black and red Apokoliptian armor he moves to pick up the helmet that fell on the wayside during his spar with Kalibak his bruises pulsing with dark energy as The Omega Effect heals his battered face. The helmet locks into place it's eye-slits glowing a baleful red as he follows Kalibak. "How may I serve you Dark Lord?" he asks the armor muffling his voice deepening it.
"Be silent." Darkseid states with a growl. Kalibak spares a 'what are you, stupid?' sort of glance before following behind the God of Evil through the Boom Tube. After Jon-El also passes through, the Boom Tube vanishes in a great crack. A huge iceberg looms before the trio, snow and wind barreling down heavily.
No more words are needed. With a roar, the Scourge of Apokolips surges forward. Huge fingers slam into the hidden door, clenching and sinking into the metal like it were made of clay. Veins bulge from bronze skin, and with a great, twisting SHRIEK of popping hinges and torn composite alloy it's hurled away, flying into the whitewash and *thunking* down.
Darkseid immediately strides through the opening, Kalibak falling into pace one step behind.
The computer remains helpful. Three signatures detected. Darkseid. Kalibak. ...And Jon-El.
And there might also be mention of a very minor breech of the main armored doors.
Superman almost feels the need to insist Lor leave. Almost. But with Darkseid and his New Gods blocking the only viable exit to the Fortress of Solitude, Zenith is probably safer with Superman and Diana. He looks over the energy signatures the security system is returning, affirming his worst fears.
“Darkseid,” he answers, pointing at the centermost blip.
“Kalibak,” he gestures at another blip near to it.
The last blip causes his brow to furrow and his eyes to narrow behind the faceplate of his suit, metal finger tapping angrily on the display.
He turns fully to Diana, the blue eyepieces glowing as he gives her the tactical rundown, “We’ve got a near-omnipotent god with access to incalculable energies. His son, eight feet of aggression and a half-Kryptonian half … something. I’m still working on that one.”
Zenith glances to the screen curiously as Superman reads out the identities. Alright, so he's a little nervous but he does his best to hide it, though that means for the moment he doesn't say anything, just looking back towards the entrance.
"Half-Kryptonian, half-Amazon," Wonder Woman tells Superman, giving him a serious look. There's neither amusement nor affection in her expression as she says it. Only a simple statement of fact. And a shuttered look that gives nothing else away about it. "Something I will explain later." Her gaze turns toward the door, and she unhooks her lasso from her belt. "For now, we have enemies to subdue."
She, too, however, glances to Zenith, disinclined to allow a youngster to fight. Indeed, this may, in fact, put her at something of a disadvantage, since she'll be inclined to protect him -- whether or not he needs it. And, indeed, that fact may become somewhat obvious as she moves to a defensive position that puts her directly between the lad and the likeliest route for the invaders. "Powerboy needs to come out of this in one piece," she tells the others. "We //must// find a way to subdue him, capture him, and... I pray to the Gods... heal him."
Because it's the right thing to do... among other things.
For several years back in the 1980's the United States government was working on something called Project Thor. It was a Space-based weapons system that worked on a singular principle. Drop a LARGE DENSE object from space onto a city. Essentially the atmosphere would heat the object up into a state they were calling Plasma. Essentially creating a nuclear-sized blast effect without all that really nasty radiation. The science was unfortunately quite skewed and the project was abanoned. Kara Zor-El read about the project on the Internet one night late and this is a prime time to try to apply it's effects. While she's not a large object, she surely is TOUGH/DENSE enough to count. The fact that she was up there in high atmosphere soaking up some rays was nice. Now she's nice and fully topped off as she powerdives straight down onto Darkseid's rather large head. At the last moment, she flips and lands feet first into the evil man/thing/whateverhereally is! While not a Mother Of All Bombs level blast, she bets he's gonna feel that one later!!
Johnathan enters the fortress right after Kalibak, keeping to the other side of the entry hallway when Kara comes bursting through the crystalline structure of the fortress he leaps back knocking away a piece of debris with his armored eyes glancing around as he waits for the dust to settle.
Although Kara descending from the sky with brutal force and killing intent is certainly speedy, one couldn't call it subtle. Darkseid tilts his head sideways, already inside the Fortress' front area directly through the torn-asunder doors. He turns just in time for those booted feet to be intercepted by crossed forearms, the great CRACK echoing like thunder throughout the entire facility. Toes dig in to metal, ripping a furrow as he's driven backwards to the middle of the small room, smoke curling off his gloved forearms. The expression on the God of Evil's face, though, is one of sheer ferocity and rage. Apparently Kal-El's stunt as a robotic Superman rubbed him the wrong way.
Only hesitating a second, Kalibak rushes forward with shocking speed for a man of his heft, Beta Club in hand as he unleashes a brutal swing towards Supergirl's back. Apparently, the fighting has already begun... and if the others wait any longer, it's going to be three on one!
“Heal him?” Superman frowns, turning his head towards the entrance, “Heal him from what? He’s a killer, Diana. Even before he started bowing to Darkseid. We don’t owe him anything.”
That said, Superman isn’t about to harm the kid unnecessarily. He can /sound/ angry but anyone that knows him knows he is not a brutal or vicious man. He opens his mouth to say something further when another blip appears on the screen, a blue one this time.
When Kara arrives through the ceiling his eyes widen behind his faceplate. Even the blacksmithing of Tony Stark is no match for Darkseid. But Kalibak is a different kettle of fish entirely.
Superman springs to action, boot jets launching him into the air as he propels himself with full force toward Kalibak. He reaches out to grab his club-wielding arm, using all his might to try and yank it in the opposite direction before he can take a swing at his cousin.
Zenith nods to Diana and says, "I'll try." He looks to Superman, maybe to say something, but then Kara arrives and the battle starts and there's no real time to say anything. Despite Diana standing in front of him, he zigs around her and flies out in a blur, targetting a punch at the opponent closest to his size, Power Boy.
Diana springs forward virtually the instant the invaders fully breach the Fortress. However, with Superman slamming forward into Kalibak and Zenith colliding with Powerboy, it makes more sense for her to double-team Darkseid with Kara. Equal to the Kryptonians in strength and skill, she flicks her lasso through the air in a bid to wrap it about Darkseid and bind him, pulling hard on it should it ensare him in an attempt to pull him off balance and give Kara a very clear, and very hampered target.
Kara has learned her lessons well when it comes to her powers and her combat training. She knows that Kal-El isn't a match for Darkseid even with Starks newest fancy suit. When she see's Diana's lasso being whipped out, Kara rolls OVER Darkseid's shoulder and down his back. She kicks gently off the New God's thigh and tries to twist a FULL powered punch right into Darkseid's spine in the hopes of inflicting SOME damage but also to propel him right towards Diana for a Combo attack!
Johnathan Kent takes the punch his armor absorbing most of the impact as he's sent flying to crash into the wall of the fortress before falling to the ground. Unable to fly like the heroes he quickly dashes forward Heat vision pouring out of the slits in his helmet, two quick blasts aimed at Kara's back as he dashes past and into the main room of the fortress trying to lure Zenith to follow. Once inside the main room he draws the Apokoliptian blade and waits the sword gleaming in the golden light of the fortress.
Darkseid's attention is still focused on Kara, sparing a glance when Superman rushes past. His fury is momentarily aimed in that direction. A mistake, when up against foes of this caliber. Diana's lasso suddenly wraps around him from behind, pulled taut against his biceps. His initial response is to flex and extend his arms to annihilate such a petty inconvenience. Color him surprised when the glowing rope doesn't so much as budge, and Supergirl manages a full-force strike not to his back, but to his face. He goes flying away, impacting the wall adjacent to Diana and shattering through, skidding on the metal ground and coming to a stop. Stunned for the moment, and still half-BDSM'd by the Amazonian!
Kalibak's swing is slowed by Superman's sudden impact, but Clark will find much to his chagrin, the gap in strength is much more than expected. "What is this... you think that tin can is able to stop me?!" His right fist swings in a brutal arc, aiming to hit Superman in the chest and smash him into the hallway. But then his eyes widen, turning towards the interior of the Fortress. "Father...!!"
Zenith stays airborne, glancing only an instant to cheer as Kara delivers such a blow to Darkseid. But then he's a blur in the air again, indeed following after Power Boy. But, he doesn't aim for the upper body, this time. He flies in at near ground level, hoping to sweep Power Boy's feet out from under him.
Diana's muscles flex as Darkseid careens into the nearby wall. Not content to leave him there long enough to risk him recovering, she pulls mightily on that rope, fully intending to slam him in another wall just for good measure. She leaps forward as the wall cracks with the impact and slams her fists several times into his head and torso, trying to keep him down and disoriented enough that he cannot retaliate.
Further, she never once releases her hold on that flexible rope or allows its loops to slack. "How do we stop you, Darkseid?" she demands, pulling back with the knowledge Kara has her back and will not hesitate to strike. Diana, however, is not foolish enough to waste the opportunity the golden rope around their foe provides. It may be he is immune to such power -- some gods are. But, there's no way to know without trying.
"How do we return Superman to his strength and Powerboy to himself?"
The twin heat blasts to her back are just not strong enough to burn through her Kryptonian made suit. It might look like thick cloth but it is FAR more durable and can take hits even from plasma weapons if need be. The material dissipates the heat of the beams quickly, a small curl of smoke all that remains. She knows this is no time for joking around as Darkseid alone is a very deadly threat! While she's not discounting the possesed Jon-El as a threat either, she sincerely hopes that the spawn of Zod can handle him. For a moment her mind rails against the thought of a helpful Zod at all but in this case she hopes the boy learned well from his father the skills of War. Taking advantage of Darkseid's current state, Kara flies rapidly at the New God, hoping to drive her open palm strike right into his chest!
Johnathan Kent's legs are taken out from under him, but with that Zenith has made a potentially fatal mistake. Letting go of his sword Johnathan suddenly wraps his arms around the young boy his legs moving as well as he tightens his grip using pankration instinctually the older boy, his strength augmented by The Omega Force coursing out of the suit and into him tries to put him into a body lock to try and mitigate his superior speed and flight capabilities. "Submit." He says the armor muffling and deepening his voice it the only word he's said since exiting the boom tube.
Darkseid finds himself hefted up into the air once more, letting out a grunt before whipping sideways, and crashing again into a wall; another huge dent forming. But he dimly realizes he is within the main room of the Fortress now, main terminal looming against a wall. A moment later a fist strikes him with titanic force, and with arms bound he's got no defense to her storm of strikes, although Diana would find her fists sore and knuckles raw, skin threatening to split from the feedback of striking the God of Evil with all her might. Kara's blow makes his eyes bulge out, dark blood sputtering from his lips as he sinks even deeper into the metal.
"How do you stop me...? You cannot. I will crush you all, right here." The thrum of the lasso, perhaps to Diana's dismay, rings true. Despite his huge form settled within a divet, body bound, and two of the strongest beings to live settled before him. But that simply means it's what Darkseid believes... although to have that confidence in such circumstances may be unnerving.
"This fortress is the only thing on this planet that can fix him, Amazon. But I will..."
Kalibak's focus is indeed no longer on Superman. The beams strike him in the face, raking up over an eye. He roars in pain, free hand grasping the side of his head. "BEGONE!!" The Beta Club is raised, and a powerful blast of concussive force is leveraged towards the literal Man of Steel. Bracing himself, he kicks forward with super-speed, air cracking as the sound barrier is broken. His Beta Club is swung with titanic foce towards Kara, snarling as he aims to strike her and send her flying further into the room. A moment later he moves to swiftly swings his arms about Diana, and grasp the wrist holding his Beta Club with the other. A bearhug, with power on par with the blessings of the Goddesses. "FATHER... FATHER!! RELEASE HIM, IMMEDIATELY!!"
Unable to draw Kalibak away, Superman frowns behind his faceplate as the New God charges off to save Darkseid from the combined might of Supergirl and Wonder Woman. Left without an opponent for the moment, he looks sidelong and down to where Power Boy and Zenith struggle.
He reaches down, attempting to grip the armored Jon-El by the ankle so he can heave him with all the suit’s strength off and away from Zod’s son. Hopefully enough to give Lor some breathing room as Kal-El once more zeroes in on Kalibak.
He may not have the strength to match him but a tin can flying at you beyond the speed of sound is nothing to sneeze at. Even as the suit’s internal monitors blare impact warnings he moves to put his shoulder into the back of Darkseid’s Elite.
Uh-oh. Zenith is caught by Power Boy's grip as they tumble, unable to pull free. He doesn't submit, however, lashing out with everything he has, including his heat vision and, without even consciously intending to, telekinesis to try to either get free or slam them both into a wall or ceiling. He's frightened, but not giving up.
"Agh!" Diana grunts as Kalibak wraps her in the father of all bearhugs... and squeezes. Even with her Amazon strength and endurance, the pressure around her shoulders and ribs is immense. The scrapes and cuts on her knuckles are healing rapidly, which speaks to her natural regeneration - a useful gift, given the damage Darkseid's Elite is capable of inflicting. Though her hands still grip her lasso, she is caught off balance and unable to give immediate response, much of her attention more on keeping the pressure from breaking her than anything else.
Kara is caught square in the FACE by the club Kalibak swung. She is sent blasting through a wall by the mighty blow. Not really understanding the nature of that monster nor the weapon he wields, she staggers back to her feet for a moment and reels as the room spins dizzily around her for a few seconds. Precious seconds in a fight but it's not everyday that the Maid of Might gets her bell rung quite so thoroughly!
Johnathan Kent starts to squeeze on the young Kryptonian his armor enhanced muscles crushing the younger and less durable boy. Then he's quite unceremoniously peeled off the young man and sent flying to hit the wall with an ooph of released air as he slams into the wall HARD!. Getting to his feet and shaking his head Jon doesn't charge Zenith again but instead leaps forward rushing at Superman in an attempt to tackle him, his armored fingers looking for a purchase on the new armor to try and rip it off as heatvision hits and reflects off the face plate of the armor
Darkseid lifts up his legs before slamming his heels down, sinking them into the metal. In a fluid motion he whirls upright, leaning forward. A slow exhale, momentary respite offered in the battle. His eyes glow a fierce crimson, as hands shift and grasp the lasso firmly where the knot binds into him. With a snarl, he fires those legendary Omega Beams for the first time, bearing down towards Diana as she lays grappled, unable to bring her invincible bracers to intercept the blow...!
From behind, Superman impacts Kalibak with enormous force. It probably damages his suit significantly, as a matter of fact; the New God is significantly more durable than Tony's technology, and he staggers forward a few steps. "I WON'T... LET GO!!" he calls back towards Superman, as the roaring beam flies in Diana's direction. "VAPORIZE HER, FATH--"
The beam suddenly zips up at a sharp angle, avoiding Diana. Instead it strikes Kalibak within the chest with catastrophic force. He's sent hurtling backwards, bouncing head over heels down the broken hallway, before skidding face-first all the way to the snow outside. Smoke billows up around him, Beta Club having clattered to the floor a distance away. He is very slow to begin pushing himself back to his feet.
"You insolent worm... How dare you presume I need your aid?!" He yanks the lasso up and off with a snarl, hurling the loop of rope aside. His form begins to ripple with crimson energy, causing the lights to dim within the Fortress. It begins outputting energy readings that are literally off the chart, unable to fully quantify the amount of Omega Force currently channeling through the God of Evil.
"You went back on your word, Kal-El... I offered you a choice, to live your humble life with your father, and leave this life behind. So be it...!! I will show you the true force you face, and the futility of your resistance!!"
The suit's internal alarms wail and flash, alerting Kal to numerous fractures in the outer hull as well as joint servos knocked out of alignment. Even as he strikes Kalibak he is tackled by Power Boy, tumbling through the air with him as the young half-Kryptonian attempts to rip the suit form him. For the past week frustration and fury has been welling up within him, made only worse by Apokoliptian assaults on Smallville and Power Boy's apparent willingness to kill.
To kill while having the audacity to wear the Shield.
Superman turns in the air, reaching up to grab his attacker's head between his two metal-clad hands. His fingers dig into the metal, tearing the helmet away from the boy's face and sending it clattering across the ground. With the rest of his strength he attempts to plummet to the floor, aiming to drive Power Boy's face into the ground and free himself from him.
Zenith flies high into the air, taking a split second to catch his breath and calm from the panic of being nearly crushed. Then he looks around again. He starts to fly forward to help Superman with Powerboy, but then he notices that Darkseid seems to be preparing to make perhaps a deadly attack on Superman. So, he makes what's probably a stupid move. He flies right at Darkseid's face and tries to blast him in the eye with heat-vision.
Diana watches Darkseid's beam fire towards her. She's certain, as it first lances out, that it will take all the gifts of the gods with which she's been provided to survive the attack - and possibly require Gaea's own blessing to recover after... should she be so fortunate as to survive.
Except the beam redirects itself, and the Amazon Princess finds herself unexpectedly freed as Darkseid himself blasts his son away from her. She is, at first, wrenched back by the Elite's grip on her. But, when he throws his arms out for balance, disoriented by the blast, she stabilizes herself quickly, with the grace of Artemis. A snap of her wrist and the lasso coils back toward her.
Again, the fateful choices of battle. Which is more important? Stopping the aggressor or aiding the victim? She slings her shield around from over her shoulder and, crossing her bracelets one over the other behind it to lend the strength of the Aegis to Haephestos' finest workmanship, she launches herself forward, hurtling toward Darkseid as his energy builds...
She may regret this later, but stopping Darkseid must take priority over saving Powerboy from his own father's analogue in this universe.
Reaching up and wiping the blood from her nose and face, Kara growls quietly as she experiences the pain of having a broken nose for the first time. Her eyes are tearing up pretty badly and she wipes at them for a moment before shaking it off and flying through the hole she made in the wall. With a roar of anger, pain, and frustration, Kara blasts herself right at Darkseid even as she see's the energy building around him. "Oh. No. You. DON'T!" she yells as she tries to not only hit him but hopefully blast him through a wall and out into the snowy tundra surrounding the Fortress!
Johnathan Kent's skin pulses with a reddish tinge his eyes dull and washed out, conciousness absent in those eyes, his face twisted into a snarl of anger and hatred one single lock of hair spitcurling in the center of his face he continues to try and rip the armor open even as superman drives his head into the white floor of the fortress. The sudden pain has him letting go out of reflex, his eyes the strain on the armor letting up as his eyes gain focus for a moment.
[Kryptonan} "Father?" Kryptonian The boys voice says sounding confused for an instant before his eyes go lifeless again Darkseids influence clamping down on his mind once more. With strength born of his heritage and the armor Johnathan slams his hands down on the floor launching himself up to try and place an axekick in the center of Superman's chest.
"You're no son of mine!" Superman practically growls, reaching to grab Power Boy's ankle as he attempts to kick him - using the momentum to try and drive him aside.
The eyes of the faceplate glow red, the air shimmering with heat again as he prepares to blast Darkseid's newest convert with the full force of his pseudo-heat vision ... only to be grabbed by Kalibak.
The monster's fist closes around his middle and drives him into the ground, the suit sparking and smoking as the floor cracks and gives way beneath it. His eyes light up once more, twin beams of red lancing through the air at Kalibak's other eye.
As he fires he attempts to climb to his feet, only to find the suit struggles to respond.
No longer is there any hint of restraint within Darkseid. A hand lifts, and the blast of Zenith's beam impacts a gloved palm. His own eyes roar, and a brutal arc of energy whirls towards him. The speed is beyond measure, barely visible even to the trained eyes of Diana and the human reflexes of Supergirl. Were it to strike, it would launch the young Kryptonian up into the ceiling, and burst through the steel, glacier, and send him hurtling into the sky. A booted foot stamps into the ground, whirling towards Kara and sending a sudden backfist in her direction, titanic force that even surpasses the Man of Steel at his height leveraged behind it. But he can still only attack so many at once, leaving Diana's brutal assault to strike him in the chest and send him backwards. He slams into the wall, a great crash of kinetic energy blowing out. But hands immediately thrust from whirling smoke and grasp the edges, bodily hauling himself back to his feet into the midst of the room.
Kalibak, back on his feet but badly injured, suddenly sends himself hurtling towards Superman. Lacking his Beta Club at the moment, he uses sheer brute force in an attempt to swing at the ensconced hero, aiming to drive him towards the floor!!
Zenith has been hit by many powerful attacks since he's come to Earth, but nothing like Darkseid's Omega Beams. He doesn't even have time to whimper as he's smashed through the ceiling and ice, arcs through the sky and flying through a great arc before landing in the snow quite some distance away.
Again, though... which is the worse choice? Allowing Superman, potentially, to die? Or Darkseid to wreak further havoc? Diana has only known Kal for 18 months or so, but in that time, she has never had a doubt that his choice will always be to see evil vanquished, even at the expense of his own life. As is her own. So, perhaps it is not such a difficult choice, after all. It may very well be that she, alone, cannot hope to take Darkseid on, and win. But neither can she leave him stand unchallenged - not any more than she could leave Ares stand unchallenged and unopposed.
"You will not destroy this place!" she says, pressing her assault with all that she has left to give. "You will not destroy this planet or its people. You will fall, Darkseid. I so swear it!" And she leaps, launching herself at him again, while he is still off-balance, shield and fists both coming into to bear, this time. Part of her hopes one of the others will recover enough to lend a hand. But, even if they do not, she is called a Champion for a reason, and she will not back down, though it cost her dearly... even ultimately.
Darkseid's mighty fist slams into Kara's chest like the hammer of a certain blond God and then some! Not only does this blast Kara off trajectory and through a wall out into the snow, it very likely cracked or maybe even broke a rib or two in the Girl of Steel's chest. It -definitely- knocked the wind out of her and she's having some trouble getting it back as the burning pain radiates through her chest. Slowly she picks herself out of the snow and takes a moment to cough blood onto the snow. She staggers back to her feet and knows that this battle is going badly. When she see's Lor Zod go blasting through the ceiling with the telltale glow of Omega Beam impact fading around him, she's shocked. Her vision then shows him slamming into the tundra and laying utterly still. Dead. Darkseid killed a Zod. A Zod that was trying his best to be a hero and one that came to the aid of the House of El.
Kara Zor-El's eyes fill with tears as she watches the boy's small form just laying there. Those tears them turn to steam as her eyes BLAZE red and with a SCREAM of pure unadulterated RAGE, ANGER, and PAIN, Kara blasts herself again at Darkseid. Her form blurring as she PUSHES her speed higher than it has ever gone before to reach Darkseid and lay a beating on him!
His armor broken, helmet removed, the breastplate cracked from being hit by the man of steel. Eyes glancing between Kalibak and Superman, and Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and Darkseid he takes a couple of steps towards Darkseid prepairing to launch himself at the Maid of Might when something goes wrong a corona of Omega energy washes out of Jon's armor the breastplate breaking in half from where it was weakened and then Jon lets out a cry of pain, hands coming to his head he slumps forward smoking and unconcious
Darkseid's teeth are grit, the front of his spandex torn, muscles beneath bruised. Blood leaks down from the corner of his mouth. Certainly, the attrition of the assaults are starting to build up... but the sheer ferocity and onslaught of his attacks are not yet abating. Huge chest expanding again and again from the breathes huffing out. Eyes begin to flare crimson again, Diana striking down while he's not yet recovered. A blow to the cheek knocks his head aside, and the Omega Beams instead tear through the ceiling, sending a cascade of stone and metal down. A few more blows stagger him forward, but without warning he recovers with a brutal ferocity. Swinging out in a broad stroke, leveraging power with intent that Diana cannot hope to fully stop it despite her powerful reflexes and defenses. His Omega Beams then fire again, blasting towards her with raw concussive force.
Yet a moment later, Kara bursts back in. He only begins to turn before she strikes him from behind, sending him flying against the broken walls of the Fortress. The torrent of blows land undefended, sinking him back further and further, face beginning to deform. But with a loud roar he lashes out, massive hand trying to grasp her by the midsection, as he unleashes another incredible blast of Omega beam; if it strikes true, he will not let her go, but simply continue to strike her with it as it focuses more and more, rage etched on the granite features of the rampaging New God.
Kalibak suddenly moves to stomp down heavily upon Superman's back as he tries to get up, grinding him beneath the heel. Before a huge hand moves to grasp the back of the suit and heft Kal-El up, turning to face him towards the inner room of the Fortress. "Behold, Man of Steel. This rage... a rage none in this universe can stand against... it is your actions that unleashed it on your friends...!!"
Superman is hefted up, the suit sparking and malfunctioning. Nothing that cannot be fixed, surely, but certainly he has put it through more punishment than it was ever meant to bear. As he’s lifted his mind begins to race, neural links prompting power to reroute from every last vestige and into one place. He struggles, turning himself in Kalibak’s grasp.
Then, with all the strength the suit can muster, he unleashes a burst of heat vision at Darkseid’s heir along with an ironclad boot towards the jaw. The joints begin to smoke, the StarkTech completely taxed to the point of exhaustion.
Kal-El wastes no more time. The suit opens up like a husk in Kalibak’s grasp and he drops from it, hitting the ground in a crouch and sprinting towards the circular control panel at the center of the Fortress.
Diana lets out an unwilling cry of pain as Darkseid's fist connects with her jaw and sends her careening backward. His Omega beams crash into her, slamming her backwards into a still standing wall and, like Kara before her, she can feel something inside her chest bruise or break with the force of the impact. Still, she is Wonder Woman, and she has the presence of mind to throw her shield up before her and cross her bracelets once more to invoke the power of Athena's shield to reinforce her own again, despite the agony that burns through her torso as she does. It is enough to keep the vengeful god from pulverizing her entirely, before his attention mustneeds turn to countering Supergirl's attack.
Being grabbed by a now highly pissed off New God was not in Kara's To-Do list today but look where she's at now. In his clutches! Kara is still highly pissed off as well and that is not something to ignore. The young woman is blasted in the face by Darkseid's Omega Beams and her skin rapidly begins to show the effects! Screaming still in her rage and pain, Kara looks down at the knuckle of Darkseid's thumb and releases a full power blast of heat vision at that one small-ish spot in the hopes she can make him release her. If he does, she's going to put everything she's got into the most dastardly kick she can muster right into Darkseid's coconuts!
The blast to Darkseid's hand does indeed cause him to snarl in pain, but he doesn't let go; although it does cut off the Omega beams, and allows her a brutal kick right between the legs. For a brief second he pauses, which is an eternity at a fight of this speed, yet then twists to hurl Supergirl directly towards Diana with heavy force. "Enough of this...!!" With a quick burst of speed (The limp is visible despite him trying to hide it), he reaches the large monitors and computers. His Mother Box is in hand, and he slams it down. Immediately the monitors begin flicking as the AI and database is compromised. "Deleting... Del-Deletion override. Barring accees--Access allowed. Deleting. Error: Data clusters compromised. Master Control initiated. Deletion override. Error: Master Control override code being input..." The fantastical Mother Box, marvel on par with the Celestials, works to butt heads with Kryptonian's marvels.
The intense blast strikes Kalibak right in his face once more. "AGH! MY OTHER EYE!!" Now both of them have been struck and he staggers backwards, tripping over his Beta Club and crashing to the ground as Superman molts from the machinery. His run towards the command console is ignored for the moment... he does not have long before the last of the AI's master control is taken away, and he loses control of the fortress!!
To those looking on, Kal-El may seem to have lost his mind. With all the defenses and strength of a mortal man he charges straight towards Darkseid and the control panel he attacks with the Mother Box. His fists clenched, he flings himself over the low railing and comes up alongside the God of Evil and the flickering screen.
“They’ve already shown you, Darkseid,” he hisses through his teeth, beaten and bloodied himself from being thrown around inside his suit, “They’ll defy you. Look at you. You’re bleeding. Gods don’t bleed.”
Not waiting for a response, the Last Son of Krypton slams his hand down on the controls. Somewhere high above the Watchtower teleporters liaise with the ailing Kryptonian computer. Coordinates are found somewhere in an empty patch of space in high orbit around Earth. The signal is sent …
Diana rises to her feet, jaw clenched in pain. "Athena, grant me strength..." she prays softly, breath shallow and harsh. Her gaze focuses on the dark god even as Clark runs up to hit the control panel on the console. That puts the defenseless Kryptonian far too close to Darkseid for her liking. She readies her shield once more and takes flight, fully intending to ram Darkseid clear out of the way, beyond where he can hurt anyone but her... at least for the time being.
Which basically means it's a race between her body and the Watchtower signal.
Okay...that plan didn't quite work the way she was hoping! Kara rolls over and pushes herself to her feet. Her body is battered, bruised, and broken in various places. She now understands what working through the pain means. She's heard one of the coaches at her school telling that to various basketball players. Frankly Kara looks exhausted but seeing her cousin in such close proximity to Darkseid without the protection of his armor, Kara takes flight towards him in the hope of protecting her cousin from Darkseid's wrath!
Darkseid is grinning, before Clark's fist suddenly slams down on the controls. It's remarkable, really. As a human, his presence is so minimal, so mundane, that it slipped through the omniscience of the God of Evil while drunk on the complacence of victory. "You impudent...!" But Diana and Kara are rushing towards him, and he is forced to defend himself. Kara gets a brutal zap of the Omega Beams, lancing left and right to intercept her wherever she might attempt to dodge, while forearms raise to catch the god-fueled blow of Diana and deflect it away. And then his hands rush out, palms slamming together right over Clark's head...!
But they pass through him, his body phased out. Due to the Mother Box's interference, the teleportation is done somewhat in slow motion. "...Hah. Defiance to the last. But tell me this, Kal-El. Do you feel you won, this day? Can you claim this a victory? If you truly think me a threat so readily handled, then don that tin outfit again. Show yourself in public as the name I forbade you. And see if you can live with how many souls die, struggling and hopeless, as I show you my clenched fist..."
Kalibak had been crawling around, finding and grasping a piece of metal with a momentary expression of happiness, but then frowning. That's not his Beta Club. Tossing it aside, he gropes about, finding his cherished weapon just as he, too, is affected by the teleportation matrix. He tries to squint around through blackened eyes, both of them gradually fading out.
Darkseid stands tall beside Clark, looming, hands behind his back.
"I dare you to defy me again."
And then, he is gone.
Clark looks around slowly, leaning on the console as he regains his breath. His ribs are bruised from the ride inside the suit and there’s already a little trickle of blood on his jaw. He reaches up to wipe it away, leaving a smudge where it was. As Darkseid fades he gives him one last defiant look.
With the New Gods departed he turns to Diana and Kara, only now perceiving just how much they’ve suffered in this fight.
“I have to,” Clark tells them, almost apologetically, “I’ve got to defy him. He can’t win.”
Then, a look of horror crosses his face: “Lor!”
He doesn’t wait, finding within himself new reserves of strength as he takes off across the shattered and scarred floor towards the exit. Out in the frigid arctic air to find the fallen Son of Zod.
As she passes through Darkseid's dematerializing form, Diana twists in the air, pulling herself up short with a grunt of pain and barely keeping herself from careening into a console beyond. Panting softly, she alights on the ground, once more, slinging her shield awkwardly behind her. Her nostrils are flared and her jaw is tense, speaking volumes about the pain the fight has left her with.
Fortunately, however, she will heal fairly quickly. In a day or two, anyway.
"Kal, wait--" She tries to stop him from rushing quite so quickly off, pell-mell, but her attention is distracted by Jon-El's unconscious form. Moving carefully, she comes to stand over him, looking down at him with that same shuttered expression on her face that she had when she first tried to tell Superman who he was. She glances to Kara, "Help your cousin find Lor-Zod," she suggests to her, if the girl has the wherewithal to heed her. "I will deal with Jon-El."
Kara nods to Diana and staggers out after her cousin knowing that he's going to find Zenith's corpse out there. She limps a good bit as she didn't quite realize that she'd broken her foot kicking Darkseid in the junk. Once or twoce she even falls but with a determination or more likely sheer cussed stubborness, she moves after her cousin. "Kal! Wait...no!"
Clark doesn’t stop. For all the beating he took he had a wall of Stark-designed armor between him and the worst of it. He’s still in fighting shape for the most part. He’s already hurtling across the tundra towards the little dot point the Fortress computer indicated as the location of Lor-Zod.
Inside, the computer still reels with the occasional outburst of static. Quite suddenly, a screen pops up and begins to catalogue all the information lost:
“Kryptonian: biology. Deleted.”
“Kryptonian: biology: genetic mapping. Deleted.”
“Personal files: Kal-El: Darkseid: Omega Effect reversal. Deleted.”
So much for the quick fix ...
Really at this point Kara has gone beyond her body's level of tolerance for pain and certainly she's NEVER been beaten quite this badly before in her life. She staggers almost drunkenly after Kal-El and keeps trying to focus her vision on her cousin's form. Then someone turns off the lights. Everything goes black and poor Kara faceplants into the tundra like a falling tree. She lays there, unmoving.