|EXILES: The Silent Planet|
|What: The Exiles head to Mars to destroy a Death Ray|
When: Impossible to Determine
Why: Soon to be Revealed
f"I really ought to stop having these meetings in the middle of nowhere."
If it were any other man, at any other time, in any other place, this statement would most likely be taken figuratively. A relatively unassuming middle-aged man, moderately overweight and severely balding, with a red bowtie and a bright purple vest, stands next to a table upon which rests a large caraffe of hot chocolate.
Beneath his feet, translucent ice is all that supports his not insignificant weight. The ice extends only a few hundred meters in all direction, with the table resting almost squarely in the center.
There is nothing beneath the ice. Nor is there anything in the environment surrounding the small ice island. In all directions, there is nothing but inky blackness, interrupted only by the light of a few very weak-looking stars.
He, and the tiny island of thin ice, are literally in the Middle of Nowhere.
The man looks at his ornate golden pocketwatch. "Three... two... one..."
Four portals open up around him. Three appear above the ice, one much larger one appears just off the ice.
"New team. Not a lot of old faces. How exciting."
Kilroy is a desolate lost boy wearing a shirt maid of the skulls of slain pirates, his feather plumed in a roman centurion helmet and penny in his sash taken from the beard of a dead time god. Purely decorative of course. He has just stabbed the duke of pirate idle in the dimension of pirates when the portal opens up. Vacation over. "I will be brave." It is all he says. Almost all he ever says. He steps through the portal.
"Tiger, take left flank," calls Brew.
Angela does not much respect her senior officer's personal traits, he is often drunk and a bit violent, but he is all business in the field, so she moves to the left and calls for a power boot. The web of dgreen energy surrounds her and her implants tingle as the energy flows through them into the armor. A burst of energy from what they are facing, something she has yet to clearly see, sends her stumbling backwards into the portal...
A Skrull invasion is happening in New York, and Spider-man has been caught in the middle of it. Separated from his team-mates in the chaos, the dark-suited hero dodges weapons-fire and shoots a web out, swinging down towards the enemy... and suddenly he's here in the room, landing on ice and almost skidding right into the table before he stops himself. Looking around, he says, "Whoa... ok, that's new."
One Portal opens... and doesn't seem to stop growing for minutes. The others have well appeared as it still increases in size, having passed the size of the Hulk by far, reaching the one of a small corvette and then a full sized battleship.
Commander Sakamoto of His Imperial Space forces, Captain of His Imperial Space Super Battle Ship Yamato had just ordered a full check pof the ship as it was leaving docks, the particle guns on the upper deck starting their operation slowly as they were charged in a test run, just as the missile launchers in the bow where loaded. "I want the whoe ship operational ten minutes ago! Faster!" the Commander's yells filled the bridge, her harsh looks upon the crew. "Navigation, what are those readings you have there? Don't tell me we get enemy signatures just when we leave our Docks! I want that fixed right now!"
While the whole ship went to battle stations, the rift in the hall started to show a sign of red, and then something pierced it, looking almost like a steel potatoe, but it revealed to be the tertiary bridge of the spaceship which slowly descended through the rift, the pure mass of it breaking the ice and sinking the hull into it so just the dark grey painted upper part with most of the armament and the main bridge and auxilry brige stayed over it.
"NAV! What was that? All hands Battlestations! Get the enemy onto the screens!" The Bridge was filled with energic commands, the captain pointing onto the ice masses outside "Get me the arse that is responsible for this here right now!"
"Hmmm... let's make this simpler..."
Suddenly, the crew of the battleship is standing on the (now much smaller) ice floe.
"Let's see... don't need you, you, you, you, you, you, you, you, you, you..." This goes on for a while, as the Timebroker points at each member of the crew that he finds inessential. They all vanish instantly, presumably back to wherever they came from. However, the Timebroker is quick to disabuse anyone of the notion that the crew have been sent anywhere nice.
"This part is very boring for me, so I'm going to keep it very short. All of you are dead, plucked from your realities right before they ended. Time is broken, and you are now unhinged from reality. If you want to save your realities, you'll have to work together as a team to fix the entire Multiverse, one Universe at a time. But, realistically speaking, all of you will probably die in the process."
"Penny Whistle's done this before. Nice to see you again, by the way. Ask him questions if you want, I don't really care. Due to the Disastrous End that my last team suffered, I've elected Angela here to be your new leader. She'll be wearing the Tallus, through which I'll communicate all of my instructions while you're on missions."
A large armband thing with a big clear jewel in the center appears as if by magic on Angela's arm.
"Take a second to shake off the cobwebs, because you're going on your first mission, aside from Penny Whistle, in exactly sixty seconds. You'll be travelling to Ma'aleca'andra, also known as the planet Mars. A madman has set up a death ray, and it's your job to take it, and the scientist, out of commission permanently. How you do this is entirely up to you. But if you don't succeed...."
He points to the ship, and fires a beam of energy at it. The entire ship glows brightly for a few seconds, and then the energy fades away.
"... I've just ramped up the explosive capabilities of the ship's self-destruct system. So the mission will be accomplished, whether you all live to see it or not.
Suddenly, all of the assembled people are on the bridge of the Yamato, with nothing but a skeleton crew, a few Exiles, and a table with a carafe of hot chocolate.
Also, the ship is now plummetting quickly toward a massive city. On Mars.
A woman with gold amor and long dark hair stumbles backwards throug the portal. She is only getting to her feet when the Tertiary Bridge breaks through the ice and the show begins.
Angela would object to being in charge, she is pretty green for a WEB agent, but she gets the feeling that it is not optional.
"OK, so we have until the ship hits to finish the mission, well I was a detective first, I suppose that means finding the death ray is my job," Angela states. She looks at the Commander, "I assume you have some degree of technical skills?"
Penny Whistle makes marks on his face with the "face paint" of scarlet and makes an odd 'smiley face' out of it. He nods to the pthers sagely, helpimg to explain the nature of reality, the importance of doing this, how pirates were awful and how he looked forward to working woth them as a team by saying,"I'll be brave."
With a fast movement the service pistol of the Uniform clad woman is in her hand, aiming at the Timebreaker "You told me you just murdered my crew by sending it back to where they had been without the ship. So why exactly I should not kill you?" But then... they are back to the bridge, no crew there to control most of the machines. Seconds pass in which the woman draws in information, the gun lowering and being placed on the commander's chair side rest. "Status report! Full power to reverse, give me a lock upon whatever looks like a death ray to you!" Her commands to the few rests of the crew are clear, then she turns to the other that appeared upon her bridge "I don't care who that was, but it was neither the Emperor, nor the High command. I am a captain, not an engineer. Tell me what part of the enemy should be vaporised and I get you a nice new nebula, but I need someone to operate the guns, damit!."
Spider-man doesn't even get a chance to comment during the quick briefing, stunned as he takes in the information. "First Galactus, now this... what is it with ending the universe?" Shaking off the shock, he looks to the commander as she says she needs someone to man the guns. "Um... I'm pretty good at video games, if that comes anywhere near close."
Penny Whistle begins to play the pipes tjat summon the dead, a haunting dirge of long forgotten memory. Few are those it summons here, a few workers who died in its construction, rats, roaches and even a mascot monkey crushed in an elevator shaft. One skeleton (literally) crew. As they shamble on to the deck, Penny Whistle waves at them and nods to the captain.
Angela decides what she needs to do, "Get someone on the sensors Captain, we need to find an energy source on the planet below capable of powering a planetary scale energy weapon."
On the ground below, it appears that a massive battle is taking place. Naked warriors on the backs of primitive Martian beasts assault the city in droves, firing upon the citizens therein with weaponry that perhaps wouldn't look out of place in the Amazon rain forest on Earth. At the head of the charge is a man who appears to be, at least anatomically, completely human. Like all of his compatriots, he is also clothed only with a few pieces of jewelry and a swordbelt.
Within the city, the civilians seem to be dying off very quickly. But they are defended by a sizable defense force comprised entirely of Synthetic Men. With advanced energy weaponry, the Synthetic Men are making a valiant stand, doing their best to drive the attackers away from the city's borders.
Commander Sakamoto frowns, eying at the skeletons and undead... "I have no idea what you are, but if any of you is an engineer, hurry to the damned engines and get me full reverse power ASAP!" Stress creates gleaming buds of sweat upon her firehead. Turning to the boy, she points upon one of the main artillery consoles, which look a bit like an elaborate PC, but very much more monitors and an actual 'gun' to aim with "I have no idea what you mean by video games, but I need someone to pinpoint the targets. Think you can manage?" Her eyes wander over to Angela then she points to the chart table "I can offer Radar and Camera in various wavelengths, nothing else. Not sure how to pinpoint something called energy readings..." Then the eyes go back to Penny "Whatever you do there... nevermind, just don't stand in the way."
Angela looks for the computers in charge of sensory readings, but pauses to say, "I doubt anything can be done from here to stop the ship from collision. The odds are only by completing the mission can we save the ship."
Angela looks over the bridge, figuring out the purpose of various stations. Once she finds the sensory or observation or whatever they call them controls, she heads over to try to figure them out.
Penny Whistle jyst stands there. The crew hops to.
Nodding fast, Spider-man leaps over the console and drops into the seat. "Ok, this doesn't look /that/ complicated. Taking a quick second to figure out the controls, he starts looking through the crowds of naked warriors and Synthetic Men for anything that looks death-ray-ish.
There's a sudden surge of energy from a large structure near the city's center. A transparent dome begins to form over the tower, which unfortunately does not extend any protection to much of the city's civilian population. They're still pretty much getting ripped apart by the savages.
As the dome solidifies from nothing, the top of the tower opens up, revealling a massive set of coils arranged in a row. The coils begin glowing with a greenish light as the top of the tower slowly turns toward the ship, aiming The Death Ray directly at the Yamato.
This could hurt.
Penny Whistle randomly presses a buttpn
Angela notes, "That looks like our target, what kind of defenses does the ship havem Captain?"
Suddely a defense shield shimmers into place around the ship (thanks to Penny Whistle pressing the right button).
She adds, "If you can spar with the fortress, I can lead a strike team in to try to disable the machine."
"Even a moment more can be crucial, Girl." The Commander tells, taking a seat in her black leather seat, so she can operate the main controls of the captains station. "Whatever that thing is, Boy, you have the towers. Try to obliberate it." A look to Angela, then she shakes the head "The Hull and its mass." As the screens flicker to life she is confused herself "and what the research placed there..."
The weapon fires directly at the ship, punching a massive hole through the armor. In a flash, multiple decks are almost completely destroyed, and many of the ship's systems are rendered inoperable.
Penny Whistle heads to the lift anf heads down to the hanger.
The Spider quickly starts to aim the guns as he sees the death-ray, but machines don't move with his superhuman reflexes and it takes a split-second too long to aim. "Oh no," he says, a moment before the death-ray fires and tears into them. As soon as his target lines up he punches the fire button but whether there's still guns to fire...
Angela shakes her head as damage warning lights go on all over the bridge, "I better hurry." She joins Penny Whistle before the Elevator closes and hopes the power is not out between here and the nearest hanger.
Penny Whistle enters the authorization and activation of the hanger doors once inside the fighter by pressing random buttons.
Angela and Penny Whistle reach the hanger. She states, "We are taking an escape pod, thecontrols in those have to be simple...unless you an handle anything more complicated." (Glances at Penny Whistle uncertainly)
As the ship shakes under the Impact, the commander opens a panel of the desk, pressing in a sequence to activate the last resort, the missile batteries "Captains Log. This is Commander Sakamoto, captain of the Yamato. We were assaulted by an unknown enemy and down to barely functional. We will go down fighting. And that means we take down the whole enemy city with us. As I speak, the tactical warheads are armed." A glance over the rests of the crew and the young gunner "It has been a honor to pilot this ship."
With a sigh, the woman stands up, saluting towards the flag in the back of the bridge, then she flips a series of switches. 1...2...3...4...5...6. Each of them is accompanied with a rumble from one of the missile tubes receiving the command despite the heavy damage, stating the anti-ship missile in them.
Angela says to Penny Whistle, "We have to assume that the city has defenses and be prepared for an assault. Get ready to launch if this fails."
Penny Whistle floats in a pod w angel,"I will be brave
Spider-man gives a cheer as the dome is destroyed, but the seriousness of their situation becomes quickly apparent again as the Commander gives her speech and fires the missiles. He looks from her to the displays again.
On the ground below, John Carter of Mars loses all color in his face as the missiles begin raining down on the city. Heading up the Army of Savages, he's made a valiant reckoning of himself today. At his feet, the ground is littered with Synthetic Men who have been hacked apart most violently with a sword. However, despite his brave attempt to rescue his Queen from the tower of the Mastermind of Mars, it was all for nothing.
He falls to his knees and yells at the top of his lungs "DEJAH!" as the explosions rock the city around him, killing virtually everything within.
He, and the city around him, disappear in a series of fiery explosions, which turns the area for miles around to glass.
Almost immediately afterward, violent sandstorms begin pouring into the vacuum left by the explosion, turning the entire region into a swirling mass of red sand.
Angela frowns, knowing that allies were destroyed as well as enemies this day. It would have been better to try her plan first, but possibly the ship would not have survived long enough. This was war, and hard decisions had to be made, but she really does not like it much.
Penny Whistle begins to play the pipes for the dead martians led by john carter. He can help!
As the city goes up in flames, Commander Sakamoto falls back into the chair, sighing deeply, screens over her dark or red, marking the heavy damage the ship sustained "I hope the girl makes it home..."
Angela, pale from witnessing the destruction, turns to Penny Whistle, "I do not think we will need to go down, the destruction seems pretty total."
Penny Whistle says, ".....They were brave."
Frowning under his mask at the destruction below, Spider-man doesn't say anything, just sitting back and staring at the devestation.